Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Future in Miniature?

Is the future bleak and dreary like this?

Nope, I don't buy it. So what does the future look like? This?

Or, maybe we really can't know what the future will look like, but we can certainly have fun guessing. So, perhaps we start with this*:

And possibly this^:

With a lot of this^?:

Hmmm, maybe, and there are a few contests out there that these ideas could be tested in. . . .

Wishing you only good things, Neen

* NASA artwork depicting possible future lunar base
^ The "freedom room" is an Italian-designed room consisting of 100 square feet and ideas contributed by prisoners, as featured in
^^Photos from Google images,

All photos used pursuant to the Fair Use provisions of the U.S. Copyright Act, no claim to copyright is made by use of the photos on this blog. I have attempted to provide credits for the photos. Nonetheless, if you know the provenance of the photos used, please let me know, and I will provide that information on this blog.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Undersized Urbanite Dollhouse Contest: Thank you Christina!

Congratulations to the winners of the Undersized Urbanite Dollhouse Contest, Brae, Lyssa, and Audra! And a HUGE thank you to Christina O who created the contest, and so ably monitored and managed the contest, even when the app running the voting decided to take a day off. Christina even obtained international media recognition for the contest: photos of the winning houses will be featured in a popular European magazine that focuses on miniatures. Christina also made every entrant in the contest, including me, feel like a winner. We all found supportive comments from Christina on our blogs as we were creating the houses. Thank you again Christina, fantastic job!
Please check out the other entries here. Every one of them is exceptional.

The Winners
In addition to the fact that all of winners have beautiful, unusual names, Brae, Lyssa and Audra all created gorgeous miniature houses. Check out their winnng entries here.
Here are a few photos* of Brae's First Place entry, the outstanding Artist's Studio:

My Thank You to You
I enjoyed creating the Art Deco Bungalow as my entry in the contest. Without a doubt, however, the very best part of that creative process was the wonderful support I received from the readers of my blog as I barreled along, sometimes hitting the mark and often missing it by a mile. I have heard others say that the miniaturist community is an exceptionally supportive and kind group of people, and I know that is very true. So thank you guys, it was a great experience, and it's not over yet. I have a few ideas for the next project.....

P.s. Who knew that Hollywood would go Art Deco? Maybe they read my blog (not)? At any rate, with the release of "The Great Gatsby," there is a revival of all things jazz age. A friend went to a banquet in D.C. the other night and reported that many of the ladies there were dressed like this:

(Photo from this post)
Wishing you only good things, Neen

* Photos of the Artist Studio were sourced from the Undersized Urbanite Dollhouse contest winners' page found here, all copyrights to the photos are owned by Brae. More information may be found on Brae's blog. The photos are reproduced here under the Fair Use provisions of the U.S. Copyright Act.)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ground Control to Major Tom

This has very little to do with miniatures, but it does have to do with art, and the universe, and possibly the most moving music video in history.

Canadian Commander Chris Hadfield came back to earth today from a five month mission on the International Space Station.

American Thomas Marshburn, Russian Roman Romanenko and Commander Hadfield landed as planned southeast of the town of Dzhezkazgan at 8:31 am local time.

Hadfield, 53, an engineer and former test pilot from Milton, Ontario, was Canada's first professional astronaut to live aboard the space station and became the first Canadian in charge of a spacecraft. He relinquished command of the space station on Sunday.

Hadfield bowed out of orbit by posting a music video on YouTube on Sunday — his own custom version of David Bowie's "Space Oddity." It's believed to be the first music video made in space, according to NASA. "With deference to the genius of David Bowie, here's Space Oddity, recorded on Station. A last glimpse of the World," Hadfield said via Twitter. According to David Bowie: "It's possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created."

There's a reason I use the word "universe" in my blog name, it's because I believe in technology, and the future and I think a commitment to exploring space is the only way this planet of ours will ever get past the poverty and wars that hold us back.

The technology that evolved from the 1960s space race shows that dollar for dollar, spending money on space exploration is so much more fruitful than spending on wars, and fewer people die....

(Above and below, actual drawings from a 1970s NASA project on potential colonization of space)

(The first two, and last two, photos courtesy of the NASA Ames Research Center)

Whether you agree with me or not, please enjoy the video produced by Commander Hadfield, his son Evan, and NASA, found here

Wishing you only good things, Neen

Monday, May 6, 2013

Another post on the Art Deco House ( Undersized Urbanite Dollhouse Contest)

Go here to view and vote for the incredible, creative entries of my co-competitors! This contest was created by the very, talented Christina, and everyone has three votes.

Whew, it was a mad dash to the finish line! Go here to view my contest submission photos. It was a rough week, my mother had emergency surgery, and I have learned, for the zillionth time, that if something could go wrong, it will (also, I learned that if you don't finish contest entries early, you will only be able to submit three photos before you run out of time(!)).

In this post, I want to describe the history of the house and provide a few details. First, the house is created from a 1930s Art Deco radio case. These are the "before" pictures:

Here are the "after" pictures:
The concept is an Art Deco bungalow built on a NYC high rise:

There is a roof top patio on this roof top bungalow:
With a drinks cart:

And a piano:

"Glass block walls made out of bobbin cases:

And Strombecker's Art Deco, patio sofa with two chairs:

The kitchen is raised, and there are clear, sliding doors opening to a lighted storage area beneath:

The wallpaper depicts the Brooklyn Bridge against the Manhattan skyline:

The kitchen floor is "top hat" linoleum made from scrapbook paper:

The stairs are made up of domino beads:

The living room has a black and steel tile fireplace:

Which is modeled on an Art Deco fireplace depicted in an episode of "Poirot."

The living room also includes a mirror rug, and a soaring bird light.

The living room furniture is from the Petite Princess line, which was modeled on Hollywood's 1960s glamorized, revival of Art Deco.

I have been working on several miniature replicas of furniture and carpets by Eileen Gray, and Jean Dunand. I did not have time to finish them for the contest, but will add them at a later date.
The mantel is decorated with Egyptian and Asian statues, as well as a Buddha, an "ivory" elephant, and a Chinese Lucky Cat. This type of decoration was very popular in the 1920s and 1930s.

I hope you enjoyed this history and tour of the Art Deco bungalow. When I started this project I was determined to stay true to the era. I have learned that was a very hard goal to reach. The final bungalow is definitely urbanized, and definitely undersized. It is also, for the most part, true to its Art Deco bones.
Wishing you only good things, Neen