Saturday, March 1, 2014

Timeless Toys - Concept Post

I have been giving a bit of thought to my Timeless Toys project and thought I would share some of my ideas with you right at the start.

First of all Timeless Toys will be a toy shop that sells and displays both modern and vintage/antique toys.

I will be using a corner house which my Dad made back in the 1990s. It is the same design as the one I have just turned into the Selina Rose Gallery for my sister. However, despite it being a corner design, I think I will place mine on a square base so I can put things around the exterior of the building. To start with I have in mind that there is a tree inside on the ground floor from which some toys will hang and be displayed and one branch will carry on to the outside of the building for a swing.

The house is very plain architecturally speaking but I think for this one I might do a stone facade and, as it is a toy shop, it will need a window display. I also envisage having stairs to the front door so I will need to put it on a base. I'm not quite sure how I am going to do these things yet but there is nothing like a challenge. I am also considering a slide incorporated in the design and a spiral staircase. As the inside space is very limited I will have to be very creative and careful not to waste display space.

I have been playing with the idea of using scanned images of old game boards or similar for the flooring. Below is just a rough photocopy of a couple of possibilities. I would need to do a few touch ups in Photoshop Elements.

This is going to be a creative fun project. That is what I need at the moment. It will hopefully turn out bright, quirky and fun.

When I was considering doing this project as an entry for the Undersized Urbanite Contest I wrote a poem which I was going to use to submit my entry at the end of the build. As I will not be entering the contest this year I will instead put it in this concept post to give you an idea of where I am heading.

Timeless Toys

There stands a toy shop, Timeless Toys
that is a favourite of girls and boys.
It is also a favourite of Mums and Dads
for there they can find toys they once had.
For in the Museum they like to peak
and auctions are held there once a week.
An auction was held the night before
and the Toyman arrives early to pack some more.

When the Toyman goes to turn the key
He is luckily distracted by falling leaves.
For inside the toys are rushing in flight
Trying to find where they were left last night.
As toys come alive when they can't be seen
But no-one must know
No-one must see.

The train tips sideways in his haste
to find the spot he was last placed.
While rag doll flies along behind
on an unexpected ride.
Golly clambers on his shelf
while down the stairs comes a little elf.
Cause when the Toyman does come in
Things must be as were left by him.

So, what do I have to hand at the present time that might go in my toyshop:

First of all I have a number of vintage games, toys and puzzles that I will scale down into miniatures including an old wooden box of dominos with a lovely vintage image, some old block puzzles, a vintage snakes and ladders, and a wonderful selection of paper dolls recently given to me by my friend Lyn. They were her dolls as a child so they are 60-70 years old.

Then there are some minis I have been lucky enough to receive from other miniaturists. First of all a selection of miniatures from Carmen of Mi Pequena Evasion (Spain):

and a game of Ice Cream Opoly from Manu of Il Laboratorio di Manu (Italy) - it even has wonderful little game pieces and mini paper money inside:

There are the doll items and Little Red Riding Hood scene below that I have made from Paper Minis kits:

I have quite a number of other Paper Minis kits to make up yet and will share these with you as I make them.

There is this selection of toys I have found within my stash:

Aren't the little knitted items just lovely. The Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls I bought back in 1990 from a miniatures convention in New Zealand. The little knitted golly was recently given to me by a lady I new back in my porcelain doll making days in the 1980s. He is just exquisite. Such fine workmanship.

There are some plastic farm animals that will be turned into toys:

Some buttons and charms that I will find a purpose for:

I have two of these shelves that I may or may not use. They will need a bit of tweaking to fit into my scheme. There is also a little shop sign for the outside of the shop.

A toy box and some old photos of children with toys. I will be keeping an eye out for vintage photos and postcards suitable for the Museum part of the toy shop.

I am hoping to fit this little German vintage room box into the toy shop although it might be just a little big. If there is a way to fit it in I will. It is 9 cm x 5 cm.

And, I just love this slightly dark but beautiful pendant which I will use as a picture on the wall of the Toyman's attic workshop.

Wow, I have rambled on. I'd better sign off now as I want to have a play with Adobe Photoshop Premier to see if I can create a little AmeriCARna video.

Have a great weekend.


  1. Oh Shari, you´re so lucky to habe this proyect!! It´s all so cute! is a great idea use images of old game boards for the floor. And all the toys are so beautiful. I´m impatient to see the toys shop finish. A big hug.

    1. Thank you Esther, although I think you might be waiting quite a while for the finished item. I want to try out so many techniques and have so many ideas for the toy shop that I will need to spend some time experimenting and thinking as well as making. Hopefully in the interim my blog posts of progress will keep your interest.

  2. O my word every idea is great! It will be so fun! I love the idea of the tree, how about it growing through the whole structure with rope ladders to climb up and a tree house as the top floor and then a spiral slide all the way down? haha that would take A LOT of work! I am so inspired by this project I can't wait to see how it progresses! Particularly love the board game floors they are so cool, you can imagine mini kids playing on them. This whole idea made me grin, you are very clever! Xxx

    1. You and I are on the same page there Freya. We both have a vivid imagination. I must say I like the idea of rope ladders and a tree house - perhaps I can fit that in somehow - perhaps outside in the tree. My initial thought was that the house and a big tree had sort of merged but then I realised that because of the limited floor space in the building I wanted to mostly keep the tree to the ground floor, although perhaps a couple of branches might poke through the floor of the second level and be utilised for something within the toy shop.

    2. You're right I just looked at the picture of the dolls house again and it is snug. I also just thought for the garden maybe some of those flowers from Charlie and the chocolate factory that are cups and saucers, that was my biggest dream when I was a littleun, for the past few years I've grown Canterbury bells but it's not the same! You could make them out of 1/24th cups? Or a fairies garden! When I finish my current house I am so doing a proper toy shop like you, straight out of a child's dream! Real toy shops are so dissapointing. I've got to stop taking over your project lol you've just got such a great ideas, it really gets the creative juices flowing! Xxx

    3. Please Freya, don't stop sharing the ideas. That is the fun thing with this blogging thing. Finding like minded people to share your interests with. I had to google the cup and saucer flowers. They are daffodils - so cute. While I may not use them in my toy shop my 11 year old daughter wants to make a magical shop and they would fit in perfectly with that. I have a real love of snowbell flowers and want to try to make some in miniature. I have far too many projects in my head. Since doing this post I have rediscovered my love of the Anton Pieck toy shop painting and I am going to try to base the outside of the shop on that image. I can't wait to see what you do when you create your toy shop in the future. I just know it will be a fun project to follow.

    4. They're not quite daffs but similar. I've never seen the pieck picture before so googled it, it's fab your toyshop could definitely replicate that, the exterior already has a good colour scheme! Love the doorway that adds great visual interest.

      What's the architecture like in new Zealand? my nan lived there for 5 years I think but I don't know where and I haven't seen the photos. The benefit of where I live is that living in a victorian village I can just look out my window for inspiration, I live opposite the old post office which is thatched, all the benefit of a thatch without it costing 10 grand every 10 years! Experience stuff. I'd love to visit as I hear there are no spiders! Yay!

      I've gone on a bit again xxx

    5. The architecture in New Zealand is varied. There are many old lovely wooden villas and bungalows throughout New Zealand and in some areas where there were quarries some of the large historic buildings are stone. The city of Napier is famous for its art deco architecture because the city was rebuilt after a 1931 earthquake. Of course, compared to many other parts of the world New Zealand's history is relatively young. As for spiders, I am afraid we do have them but not too many scary ones. We don't have snakes though which is a good thing. There village where you live sounds wonderful. Perhaps you could take some photos and post them on your blog for those of us who don't get to see those wonderful buildings on a daily basis.

    6. I'll definitely do that as I am quite proud of my little house lol, we are looking forward to 2016 because our house will be 130 years old as it was built in 1886. If you can be bothered you could Google image search Drayton Parslow and a few bits come up.

    7. Actually don't bother I just googled it and it's rubbish I'll take some nice photos when it stops raining here, it's flooding like crazy here in England, bring on the summer! I love art deco so I'll look that up soon!

    8. Yes, I had heard the weather isn't too good over there. I look forward to seeing the photos when you get a chance. Keep dry and warm and enjoy your minis.

  3. I love your ideas, Sharee, and you already have so many great minis to put inside. The smaller plastic dollhouse has really caught my eye. It is an exact replica of a Sylvanian Families dollhouse I bought last week in a thrift store. I hope I can find one of them on ebay someday--too cute! BTW, your poem is beautiful! xo Jennifer

    1. That is because the little house is a Sylvanians dolls house. It is one of their miniatures that came with the Sylvanians store. I love some of the little Sylvanians items. The little push along trolley is also Sylvanians. That is the good thing about doing a modern and vintage toy shop. Plastic and vintage celluloid can go within the same build.

  4. The Toy Store will be fabulous! Can not wait to see the wonders of the world of toys converted into a dollhouse!

    1. Thanks Eliana. I am looking forward to the challenge of trying to scale down some toys into miniature. I have a lot of old Antique Toy World magazines that I can flick through and find items that I'd like to scale down. There is also a lot of inspiration on Pinterest.

  5. What a fun project! I love all of your ideas Sharee and am looking forward to seeing your progress. I love the paper minis and the Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls. Your poem is lovely as well. Thanks for sharing :-)

    1. Thanks Lisa. Paper Minis have some great kits and have a range of toy kits. I have a few kits waiting to be made up. I also have a ton of their book kits I need to make up to finish my book shelf project. I just wish there were more hours in a day.

  6. Cuantas cosas preciosas, todo esta muy bonito y el edificio esta quedando precioso.
    Un abrazo.

  7. I like your new project and ideas. The toys are fantastic.
    Bye, Faby

  8. Que cantidad de juguetes, te quedarán todos preciosos, colocados cada uno en su sitio.

  9. Cara Sharee, il tuo negozio verrà bellissimo perché sono molte le belle idee che hai in testa. Contenta che il mio gioco possa esserti utile. Mi piace molto l'idea del pavimento con le tavole dei giochi antichi. Deliziosa la poesia.
    Un abbraccio.Manu

  10. You are already well on your way with this project! It is a brilliant idea to make the house into a toy shop. It's going to look marvelous.

  11. To build a toy shop was one of my ideas too. I see you have a lot of beautiful toys and other minis to fil the house. It is a very interesting concept - a corner house! I like it. I am sure it will bring a lot of joy to work on this project! Mini hugs, Natalia