Sunday, May 5, 2013

Undersized Urbanite 2013: Contest Submission

Oh hey, there you are!
You've probably heard of the Undersized Urbanite Challenge if you're reading this post. You've come to the right place. If you'd like an explanation of my project objectives, along with empty promises of design features that didn't materialize, look here. Without further ado, here's what I threw together:

 The whole enchilada. This would be a good one to click and view larger.

Before I crammed all of the 'stuff' in there, you could see the ceiling and flooring clearly.
Here's what that looks like:

  I wanted cheap but realistic flooring. Lots of old mill buildings have these amazing wide-plank floors. I chose some 3/4" x 1/16" x 24" cedar, hand-picked the grain on every piece. A slick of tung-oil lends a low-luster natural finish. It's my favorite finish for any wood with decent looking grain.
More often, I thin it with citrus solvent for the first few coats, but this time... ain't nobody got time for that shit.

I like these white and grey bricks a bunch. Been dying to put them somewhere, I had originally talked about doing a wall treatment in the dollhouse kitchen during the I'm a Giant days. Then I changed my mind:

"I'd really prefer something pre-mounted on mesh instead of laying over 1,200 teensy bricks individually. Since there's a deadline looming and all."

Oh hindsight... you get me every time.
I glued each and every one of those damned things separately. I'm clearly a sucker for punishment.

 The ceiling, I did in copper tiles (spray-painted corrugated scrapbook paper). With awesome I-beams.

  The vintage TOMY kitchen is a win. Slightly smaller than 1:12, so it makes a delightful apartment-scale setup. The deer-head was one of a few swap items from Modern Mini Houses that you'll see in here. Also from her: the cactus on the table, the bedroom side table, the living room bookcase, most of the books and throw pillows, and a few other items... she spoiled me. Rotten.

He so fine.

The stools seats are drawer pulls and pipe fittings. I hate the word 'stool'. I'll let you imagine why.



 The lucite platform was an awesome impulse decision. Now that I have an appropriate table saw and I don't have to use the plexi-knife, you'll see more.

 The garment rack kills me. It was a shockingly quick scrap build, stuff I had laying around (the woods are yellowheart and walnut). I'm just bummed I didn't have tiny shoes for the holder at the bottom. Look at those tiny brass casters!! Straight-up tung oil on that, too. Whatever was left on the rag from the flooring.

 It's always 7:20. Clock must be busted. Shitty.

 This killer silk bedspread is a men's tie I thrifted for $1. Boom.

 I resurrected this chandie from the pile where 'I'm A Giant' projects went to die. 
Good save.

Of course the lights work. Electricity is my favorite thing.

 Hey, look. It's my back porch. The only way to get daylight pictures at my house. Sorry.
Not that the trees are a realistic background for a city loft anyway. No trees grow in Brooklyn. Myth. I've been there. It's only potholes and misery.

 Outside looking in.




 It's not a city apartment without a bike hanging on the wall. That one was a prize at Dave & Busters...
Shocks. Pegs. Lucky.


 The bricks set up most of the color story for the room. Whites, blacks/greys, dusty blues, and reds/terra cottas. I found an (unsoiled) rug which really ties the room together.

 There are tons of things I would have done differently if I'd had the time. But I didn't, so I'm not going to tell you all of the things that could have been better. 

I had to finish my submission early, because I'm totally gearing up for priority number one. My new workshop. Currently stationed in Albuquerque on Route 66 for Vintage Trailer Academy! I got to put this post together from a '69 Airstream Overlander we're renting since mine's not road-worthy. Yet. Blogging in style, I suppose. Or as stupid hipsters call it... 'glamping'.

Note the tumbleweed. I love the southwest.

Spring is here and it's finally warm enough to install my fancy new windows and start tearing that trailer apart. I'm pumped. You can bet I'll be showing you all of that carnage. Here I am bucking rivets. It's a start.

Thanks for checking out my stuff, and major kudos to all of the Undersized Urbanite participants. They've all done an incredible job! Can't wait to see the finished projects and vote for my favorites!


  1. I want to come play in that apartment! Well done Meagan and so glad you got use some things from the un-named failed competition. Good luck in this one and thank you so much for sharing everything xxJ

  2. All the finishes are wonderful! Love the copper ceiling especially. That silk is seriously awesome as a bedspread...but as a tie? Egad.

    1. About that tie, I know... right? I rescued it from a fate worse than death. And thank you, but when it comes to finish work you take the cake. That deck is insane. I've had my eye on it, drooling, for some time now! I can't express enough how much I admire your work.

  3. Great job!! My favorite piece is the bathroom mirror. :)

    1. Thanks so much! That mirror is easily duplicated :)
      I originally made it for my bigger dollhouse master bedroom, but pulled it for this project. It is made from toothpicks, a craft mirror, a wooden disc, some scrap brass, and seed beads (to cap the toothpick ends). One of my first 5 miniatures ever made!

  4. Winner winner chicken dinner. AWESOME!!! But seriously the can right next to the fridge? I guess it makes it easy to grab a beer if you are in for a long one. :P

    The brick tile work is incredible. The copper ceiling and iBeams are UhMazeBalls. Lighting rocks as always. I love those pendant lights, well I love all of the lights really.

    Accessories are spot on. The goose cut out is super cool - looks great with the stag head (sold here for $13 by Dotsan - I gotta give the guy props, he thankfully accommodated my request to make this in 1:12 scale). I adore that silver cowboy on horse statue.

    Your Tomy kitchen is in great shape, where did you find it? That tie is hideous, but makes a fab comforter, good eye. I love the garment rack, it's great when things come together and look so good. Really glad to see you getting use out of your Giant masterpieces, they look brilliant in this real challenge. I didn't realize you did drawers on both sides of the coffee table! SOOOO much work and so gorgeous, big loss Emily.

    Do I need to send you some safety googles?!? You could buck your eye out!! Miss you and can't wait to see the progress on your workshop. Safe travels Glampster. :D

    1. Duuuude! Thanks, man. It was a fight to the finish and the pieces you sent absolutely made the space. It would have been so much more work if I hadn't had those! I know the bathroom next to the kitchen is a bit gross, but there is a room divider. 300 square inches kind of had me by the proverbials. I think the aerial view of the 'can' from the sleeping area is slightly creepier. My rhinestone cowboy is just a cast piece from my local shop, so I'll check for another :)
      I overpaid for the TOMY on Ebay. But I loved it. I have more to the set than I could fit in this project, and I'll do something with them soon. I bought half from one seller, and a-la-carted the rest from others. I do want to showcase the full monte at some point.
      And since I got Lasik, I often forget eye protection. I used to wear glasses 24/7. Sorry for setting a real bad example... can't take me anywhere.

  5. Nice! I really like the living room, the brass trunk is looking so good there! What a fun idea to use material from a tie on the bread spread.

    Good luck with the trailer renovation!

    1. Thanks! The brass trunk seems to go with everything, so I probably overuse it :)
      City life can be so stressful... I think I need a rooftop zen garden!!

  6. The whole thing is amazing. Can't even list each thing I'm in awe of. Stuff you threw together...whatever.

    The bricks are incredible, I know it took forever, but it really makes a huge impact.

    1. You're too sweet :)
      Even though it was tedious I'm glad I laid the bricks instead if using paper or premounted brick. The slightly wavy lines and variegated color makes it more convincing as an old building. I really wanted to have exposed duct work and plumbing, but ran out of time. You know how that is!

  7. Hey! I just realized I got the same little mercury "glass" ornaments from CB to use as light fixtures, but I couldn't get the tops off in order to wire them! They were glued on so tight that they just kept breaking. How did you do that?

    1. I knew I was buying them to make lights, so I cherry picked the ones that had looser lids (and less silvering inside, too). I probably looked like a basket-case, holding them up to the light to find a perfect pair, and then trying to rip them apart before paying. I would try submerging them in hot water for a few minutes, see if it loosens them up. Don't know that I'd try any solvent, as it may take off the 'mercury'. I have some extras that are glued solid, let me play around with them and see if anything works :)

  8. Im shocked, it's really an urban loft! I think it's great and the little chairs (not gonna call them stools) are pefect for that space.

    great job

  9. I LOVE THIS! It is totally Urban. Full of life. And it's surprisingly warm. I adore everything that you chose to put in here. Fantastic job!

    I might need to come rob you of that trunk and sofa! Eeee!

    1. Thanks! I feel the same way about yours! I think we have similar taste in colors, and the desire to have it look lived-in. Everyone did such a great job.
      That trunk is a long story. It was very time and labor intensive, there's a whole post about it. I have an unhealthy obesseion with aluminum, brass, and copper (my ABC's).
      But the sofa was a cakewalk, just a leather wrapped foam bench with legs and a copper pipe bolster!

  10. This is superb, you did a fantastic job!

    Cheers, Neen

  11. I LOVE WHAT YOU'VE DONE! I think that every little detail is Perfect for this space! I love the bike on the wall and the set up of the living room and the accessories that you have chosen are so appropriate for the story that you are telling. I would not want a platform suspended from the ceiling on chains with a plexi floor only because I personally find it unsettling, but it suits the atmosphere of this dwelling! I'm Impressed and I wish you all the very best!


    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! The lucite platform is one of the more whimsical/less realistic features of the room, and for sure would be unsettling and/or dangerous to wake up to in the morning, especially when hungover. But in this tiny setting where I needed to take pictures (which clearly, I'm terrible at), it helped keep the space light and open.
      It's probably not so realistic to not have many walls on the bathroom (possibly more unsettling for me in real life than the platform) but I did that for the same reason. Part of the fun for me is being able to do a few outlandish things since there won't be an inspector making sure it's up to code :)
      Glad you liked the important stuff!

  12. I'm back for another inspection! I totally GET why you made the choices that you did and I think that they are the right choices, too. What I appreciate the most are the chances that you took without going berserk! You have kept the integrity of your story and made adjustment accordingly. I like all the little details that I missed the first time around. The coat hangers with the indentations for the clothes, the plastic liner in the waste basket, the fab lighting and the Superduper I beams that I meant to comment on the first time. Great details, great story and great work!


  13. Wow!! So many wonderful details in a very interesting small space.

  14. Hi
    I am speechless- I only have stares!

  15. I love your loft apartment! How can I vote for you?

    1. Thanks, glad you like it! Unfortunately voting for this challenge has ended :(

  16. Oh my freaking GOODNESS.
    Just came across your blog - I dont know what that mino room is except amazing...must go back and read properly