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My Little Corner of the Net

Monday, July 1, 2019

Barbie at Crystal Bridges

I recently spent the day at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville Arkansas. (To see my previous post about the museum click HERE)

Here is picture of the museum from the architects website.

The museum has a temporary display by American photographer David Levinthal, who has been photographing small toys and collectibles in lifelike portrayals for over five decades. The display is called Barbie and Baseball. The photographs were recently gifted to the museum and were on display for the first time. The show coincides with Barbie's 60th birthday this year! I took pictures of a few of the Barbie images.

From the museum website: Artist David Levinthal is known for his photographs of dolls and toys staged like real-life photographs. In these photographs, he explores topics of racism, sexism, and politics. In his series Barbie (1997-1998), Levinthal photographs Barbies as if they were models in order to spark discussion about how women have been objectified, especially in the post-war era. He adheres to traditional beauty standards of the time and dresses them in cosmopolitan and trendy clothing mirroring traditional model portraits of women found in magazines and fashion catalogs.

Since the 1980s, Barbie has increasingly become more diverse. In response to the criticism of unrealistic and limited beauty standards, Mattel Inc. began to expand Barbie’s look to better fit America’s demographics. In 1980, the first African American and Latina Barbies were created, and since then, 40 more international Barbies have been released. Barbie’s story is now a more truthful representation of the diversity of the world.

Happy birthday, Barbie Millicent Roberts – 60 looks good on you!

 The exhibit also includes an area where you can pose a few Barbies and take your own pictures.

Here was mine!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Philco Radio House Penthouse

This is the penthouse that I came up with for the Philco Radio house!

After I sketched up some concepts, I cut some plywood walls for the penthouse.

I did a little research and wanted to include some architectural elements from the 1930's, round porthole windows, corner windows, glass block, a flat roof, rounded corners, stucco exterior,  and accent bands.  The roof deck will also have ship railings which was also indicative of that era.

I saw the glass tile and decided it would be great for the patio on the roof deck.  I used cardboard squares to located glass block while I waited for it to arrive.

I was excited to to find a hole cutter the exact size that I needed for the porthole windows.

I found some glass block online at

After marking the placement of the glass block, I drilled a hole in each of the locations so that I could use my scroll saw to cut out each hole.

Using the scroll saw, you have to take the blade off between each cut and insert it in the drilled holes.  This took a while.

This was the dry fit of the glass block

This is my proposed placement of the of the Arcade Cast Iron furniture

This was the installation of the glass tile on the roof deck patio

I cut the tile to match the shape of the radio of the top.

I taped the tile off so that I could grout it.

This is the decorative roof element under construction.  I used an iron on veneer on the edge of the plywood to give it a smooth surface.

Here is a picture of the tile once the grout was dry

I am planning on putting this Arcade table and chairs on the deck

I found the perfect door online for the project

I pre-painted the wood trim that I used for the accent stripes.

I decided to paint the windows on the rest of the house a dark metallic bronze color, similar to the radio controls.

I glued the accent stripes on then cut out the holes for the windows.
I made a design change and glued the roof on top and covered it with the iron on veneer tape.  I was initially going to set it lower than the walls.  The balcony roof will rest against the edge of the veneer strip. 

Now with the addition of the penthouse, I can fit all of my furniture collection in the house.  Be sure to see my previous post on the Philco Radio House or click the label.

If you are not following me on Instagram, please do! I post there also.
My Instagram account is Tulsaarchitect

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Philco Radio House

I purchased a antique Philco Radio cabinet a few years ago.  When I saw it, I decided it would be a perfect miniature house. I came across it at a local antique mall and loved the Art Deco design of it. While I have been slow to blog about it, I have made some progress the past few weeks.  I decided that this would be the perfect place to house my 1920's-1930's Arcade cast iron furniture collection.

Here is an ad for the radio from the year of it's introduction.

Online after a little research, I found that the Philco model 45 Lowboy (45L) console radio was in-troduced in June of 1934, listed at $59.95. It was one of 49 new models for the 1935 model year and was heavily promoted by Philco as a world wave receiver. It could not strictly be considered all wave as it did not cover the band region above 13mcs. The 45L continued to be offered for sale through June of 1935.  For 11 weeks at the end of 1934 Philco celebrated the production of its 5 millionth radio. As part of an aggressive advertising campaign, special promotions on Philco radios were offered in stores, including extra generous trade-in allowances, preferential credit terms and combination deals, where one of Philco's 1935 models was bundled together with accessory items, all for the price of the radio alone. Two bundle advertisements featuring the Philco 45L are included below (Nov 26th & Dec 1934).

Here is a picture that I found online of the Philco model 45L in a lot better condition than mine ;)  The one I purchased is missing all of its radio components and knobs.

I began by removing the existing platform inside the cabinet and figuring out where to locate the three floors.

After I located the floors I did some preliminary furniture layouts and decided where I could locate windows.  I have had a few windows in a box that I have purchased at sales, and realized this would be a great project to use them on.

I used a dremel tool to cut the openings for the windows.

The round windows are located on the top floor and will be in the bathroom and the kitchen.  These two windows were also in my stash.

The first floor will be the living room

After studying the furniture layouts and trying different rooms on different floors, I came to the conclusion that I was not going to have enough room for my antique Arcade cast iron furniture collection.  I decided that I could add a penthouse on top.  My first thought was to find another radio and set it on top.  Maybe a cathedral type?  Then after looking at some antique radios, I realized they were not large enough.  I decided I would just create a room on top that was from that era.

I input the radio cabinet into AutoCAD so that I could study different ideas.  I figured this would also come in handy when I got to the openings on the front.  I plan on making the openings into art glass windows.

More to come - Stay tuned!