So I finally found this display cabinet that I had been wanting for years ...
Sorry for the quality of the photo; took the picture in early morning with too-bright light coming from the window to the left - or something. It is a real challenge because of the configuration at that end of the room; there are our recliners to the left, the back of a loveseat in the living room up one step to the right, and an end table and sofa behind me, so I just can't get any further back to get a good picture.
Our living room is separated by a half wall from our kitchen and extends in an L-shape to form our den, so I don't have many interior walls, and I have looked for a long time for a mostly-glass case that would fit in the relatively narrow space that is available on one side of the front windows in either our living room or our den.
At a local furniture store I was describing what I wanted to a sales lady. (She was very intrigued when I explained that I am a storyteller/miniaturist and took my card so she could check out my stories.) She said normally they got pieces like that during the winter holiday season, but she had a catalog I could look through and if I found something they could order it for me.
Well, by golly, there it was. It is made by Coaster of very heavy tempered glass, was within my budget, perfect for my needs. Since it is all glass, the emphasis is on what's inside, not on it as a piece of furniture, which is exactly what I wanted.
Here is a description, in case any of you might be interested:
Essentially the same cabinet is available from Ikea at a lower price, but there is no Ikea store within hundreds of miles of El Paso, and the shipping would be prohibitive. I was pleased because the store here ordered the unit for me and put it together for free, and my husband picked it up when it was ready and moved it into our hallway and unstrapped it from the furniture dolly while I decided where I wanted it.
There was a considerable amount of unloading and reloading and moving involved here. First, I unloaded the etagere by the front door, then DH strapped it onto the dolly and moved it over to the left of the window in the living room, first pulling a loveseat aside to get it into place. Then he re-strapped the glass case in and moved it from the hallway to take its place by the door. No, I didn't like that; the wall slopes up to a high ceiling and it looked stunted somehow. So he moved it back into the hallway, pulled the etagere back out into the living room and then I unloaded the bigger cabinet in the den and he moved it beside the door, then he moved the new cabinet and put it to the left of the front window, but I didn't like it there ...
I forget how many times everything was juggled before we finally had everything the way I wanted it; thank goodness he was in a mellow mood. Love you, dear!
The top shelf of the glass unit holds Mouse House in a Holey Rock, begun in a workshop with the Steeles many years ago. Until the purchase of this display case, this setting was inside our entertainment center over the tv, where absolutely nobody saw it. It is extremely heavy because it is constructed on a piece of volcanic rock and was very difficult to get down for people to view. You can read about how my husband stumbled onto this little dwelling and its occupants here.
This is my Desert Dweller, the second sculpted doll I ever made, whose story you can find in the Green Man pages here.
The third shelf holds some of my Green Man memorabilia. The heart box was a Mother's Day gift from my daughter Dana last year. You can read about the other pieces in the Green Man pages.
Bea's Junk Yard had been in a bookcase inside a basketball display case. You can read about my visit with Bea in the SlightlyStraightForward pages here.
The top of the unit holds the Crazy Cat Lady, whose story you can also read in the SlightlyStraightForward pages here.
Inside the dome is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In the old days there was a little miniature shop called Mr. Luckett's where I first discovered Robert Olszhewski's figures, and Mr. Luckett permitted me to purchase some through a layaway plan. When the Disney Snow White series came out, I ordered the entire thing, although it was way beyond my budget; however, I justified it to myself because one piece was mailed per month, with the last thing being the cottage which came nine months later.
Hmm; I just realized I have never taken pictures of this collection, and two other similar fairy tale domes, Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Little Red Riding Hood, although they are not Olszhewski. I need to do that soon.
As I decided which minis to put in my new cabinet I also spent several days rearranging the other two etagere/curio cabinets, as well. For one thing, I had collected over the years some full size Roseville pottery pieces that my daughter Dana has been lusting after, and on reflection, I realized that with those, like so many of the things I have accumulated, the fun was in the chase, not in the keeping. So, I passed them on to her and it was wonderful seeing her happily, and carefully, taking them home with her on Father's Day. making both of us happy. She remembers what fun it was when we found them as she was growing up, and I remember how happy I was when my mother gave me some special pieces before she passed away, and how much pleasure it gave her to look at them when she came to visit. So, if I ever miss my Roseville, I can enjoy those pieces when I visit Dana!
There are more items that I plan to gather up and give her soon, as well, including some McCoy pottery pieces. I bought a large white jardiniere - it looks tufted - at a flea market in Pearland TX back in the 70s, but I am keeping it for a while longer because it holds ivy (fake, of course) in the corner on top of our kitchen cabinets - the only non-Coca Cola piece up there.
We moved the etagere, which previously held just my dolls, from its spot by the front door to the other side of our living room window, which butts against a small partial wall separating the den which steps down, and it now holds the Fairy TreeTop Nursery on the top shelf, Mossy Glen on the second shelf, and my 18 inch Green Man on the bottom shelf. Although these show up better in real life, unfortunately, I couldn't seem to get a very good picture because of the way the furniture is. See above.
The unit that held the Roseville pieces, which matches the sofa table and coffee tables in our living room, we moved back to the living room, where it now resides next to the hallway by the front door. Removing the Roseville and some other personal items freed up space and now all that is in that unit is my dolls.
Unfortunately, nobody ever even noticed the Roseville pieces and the other items in it when it was beside the window in the den, but the dolls are showcased well in it in this location, although they also showed up well in the etagere. I just love their effect in this cabinet, where each doll now has space to stand on its own.
I have collected interesting candle stands for a long time, which raised some of the smaller dolls so that each is framed nicely inside the clear ovals in the etched glass side. For example, here is Candelaria. (You can see some of the candle stands in more detail in my Cheap Thrills pages here. )
The larger pieces like Grandmother Byrda, Leger Demain the Magician, and this setting, my interpretation of a song, which is in the bottom, are in the center space behind the door. Previously they were all in domes.
... and Miss Minnie's House now sits on a table in our living room window. I believe Dana cross-stitched that little sign in the oval frame, which fits perfectly over the gable peak.
Years ago the plexiglass piece covering the open back curled up on me so as to be totally impractical, and so this little unenclosed house has been collecting dust for a long time. Oh my goodness, what a job it was to clean. I started from the shingles down and used a soft makeup brush, q-tips dampened with glass cleaner and small pieces of tea shirt dampened with Pledge. I watched, or mostly listened to, an entire movie on Turner Classic Movies while I did this. It was worth it, although I definitely want to get a new plexiglass cover so as not to have to do it again! I had a tv turntable that is perfect for it, and for the first time ever it can be easily seen from either side, and now people are enjoying it as if it were new.
Miss Minnie's House sits alongside one of my display lamps, and for now, at least, the quarter scale Scherenschnitte B&B atop a large wooden candle stand that I found in the after-Christmas sales one year at a decorators warehouse. I brought A Little Corner of the Netherlands in from a bookcase in the den to be showcased for a while, at least, on the coffee table.
That's a front-opening two-story quarter scale building in the doll case on the bottom right shelf of the table. I bought it at an online auction, and plan to furnish it one of these days soon.
So, here is what is now in some of my bookcases in the den as a result of all this massive shifting around.
I hadn't realized until I was moving around all my Green Man stuff how well the Green Woman picture would go with Lapina the Rabbit Tender! I treasure that collage because it was created for me by my friend Pat several years ago.
The second bookshelf holds Anachronon the Alchemist, along with all those goodies left behind by the Damsels in Distress that were saved by the late Impetuous the Dragon Slayer. Unfortunately, the glass and the lights from the windows made it difficult to capture his setting well here. You can read about Anachronon here.
On that same shelf is Anachronon's cart, which now occupies the basketball display box that previously held Bea's Junk Yard. You can read about how he sells his wares at Scarborough Fair and see more of the Damsels' Trunk, here.
The Garden Room, which used to reside under the sofa table by the front door, is now in another bookcase.
I said, What the heck, why stop now? and decided now was the time to rearrange the two curio cabinets that hang over the antique love seat in our living room so that I could showcase some special pieces. I left the two top shelves as they were.
That's a collection of coffee table travel books atop the suitcase. I bought the bookshelf desk and its matching chair so that I could have a place to display more of the many books I keep making. That little pillow in the chair was purchased at Thelma Lewis De Met's late lamented IMA Show in Chicago one year. I have a weakness for decorative pillows.
Here's another bookcase containing my Shakespeare collection. I bought that great geranium in Chicago, and the white kitten is by Alice Zinn.
This more delicate bookcase holds a surprising number of books. I love that silk print pillow, a Chicago purchase.
The bottom shelf of this curio cabinet now allows me to showcase another of the wonderful silk pillows from Chicago, along with a figurine that was a recent Etsy purchase. The little ruched pink box was a gift from my friend Billie Haynie back in the early 90s. I am not positive, but I believe it was Konittajo Poharte who made that bear.
The bottom shelf of the other curio contains another silk pillow; not sure where I got it. The roses were a gift from Moonyeen Moller, the figurine is by Olszhewski and the award is one of my treasures, presented to me by the online group The CAMP in honor of the late Pat Townsend. I was the first recipient, the second was Alice Zinn, and the third is Laurie Sisson.
NOTE: Shortly after I first put these pictures online, I filled another bookcase with more of my miniature books, so I rearranged the two bottom shelves of this curio cabinet.
Because this desk/bookcase is too tall to go on the bottom shelf, I moved some items. The globe table and suitcase with travel books moved to the very top shelf, and moving the desk all the way to the left allowed me to add the pink chair and footstool from the bottom smaller shelf.
This allowed me to showcase more of my books (I just LOVE making books), along with a chair made by the late Bob Bernhard who used to contribute to Nutshell News Magazine. I bought the chair and the rug from Pam Junk.
When I noticed how rumpled the rug looked, rather than take everything out again, I just took another picture view. lol Also, rugs get rumpled in real life in my house, anyway.
Pam also sent some extra fabric, and one of these days I may make a skirted table or curtain or pillow or something, and this chair and rug may wind up somewhere else.
In the meantime, I am pleased to own something made by a man whose work I greatly admired in my early days.
And all this came about because I finally found that display unit.
The new unit is not lighted, but my husband connected to a timer the small scale tulip shade floor lamp that stands beside it. Now it and the lights in my two older units come on when I turn on the living room lights so that I can enjoy what's inside.
My husband says he may look for a light that he can put in the top. (This pic makes the lights look brighter than they actually are in real life, for some reason.)
Putting more items in display cabinets has freed up several glass domes for future projects, too, although I may have to purchase some more bases. I was lucky enough to find several wood bases at the old Brass Shop here. That was many years ago and I need to go back to check out what they have now. Sure had some neat stuff back in the day when I hadn't already filled my house up! Now I am un-filling, and thank goodness Candlelighters (who work with seriously ill children) sends a truck around the area frequently. I try to have one bag ready each time they come around. Nowadays my minis are my accessories, and I am passing things on to my children; much more fun to see their pleasure to get those things now while I am still alive!
And speaking of domes, with all this rearranging - and disposing of some things - my half scale Mother Goose Cottage in its very large glass dome on a turntable is now on the sofa table behind one of our love seats.
I really needed the impetus that all this rearranging has brought and feel so much better now about getting back to miniatures because I have some space to put new things.
I love every piece that I have done and they all seem new to me again, and have never been displayed so well.
If I could just figure out where to put one, I would order another of those glass units. Like so many good things, I am afraid it might disappear ....