Tuesday, June 07, 2005

a three-inch yardstick

I don't own a dollhouse.* But sometimes I kind of wish I did. My friend Chris, whom I roomed with about a dozen years ago, bought a dollhouse when she was about 20. She installed hardwood floors, made from Popsicle sticks. She made tiny magazines with miniature "real" covers made from "renew your subscription now" notices. She made fruit and veggies from Fimo clay. Eventually I joined in the fun (more details and a few more photos in future posts.)

One of the problems we had was determining whether or not our tiny creations was to scale (1:12) or not. Another friend bought Chris some chili peppers for her dollhouse kitchen which looked perfect --until we put them inside. Then they were way too large. Chris solved that particular problem by painting the peppers orange and calling them carrots, but the scale problem was still there...

Finally, two or three years ago, I thought of a solution. I scanned in a yardstick (graphically assembled from three different scans) and printed it out, after several trials and errors, at a 1/12 scale. I now have a teeny, tiny 3" long yardstick (shown above on top of the original yardstick) which I printed on photo paper, glued to some stiff plastic (part of a yogurt container lid, I think) and covered with packing tape. If I want to make a dollhouse CD, for example, I just have to make sure the tiny CD measures five "tiny inches" across!

Here is the yardstick again, along with a dollhouse CD made by the same process, modeled by a Playmobil doll (the only similar-size doll I could find.)

If you own a dollhouse (or enjoy miniature things) and would like a three-inch yardstick of your own with only half the hassle, you can get the image here. Print it scaled down to about 33% (more or less, depending on your printer). Using Best Quality print on photo paper will give you enough detail to be able to actually read the numbers, if you aren't too farsighted. If you've made any dollhouse things I'd love to hear about them!

*my very cool husband bought a dollhouse long ago, for similar reasons: to make cool gadgets to go inside. But his things were even cooler than mine. Things like a miniature working steam engine and table saw. So once our full-scale real working house is ready to move from only-non-choking-hazard toys to the world of tiny things, that dollhouse might take up residence here instead of at his parents' house.


Anonymous Kim said...

Hey, it's a Pajama Sam CD! Cool!

I never would've thought of any of that. I never would've thought a yardstick could be cute. That's pretty nifty.

6/08/2005 12:04 AM  
Blogger Moogie said...

I knew you had done that but never saw the actual photo -- cool. Leave it to Kim to spot it was a Pajama Sam mini CD!

6/08/2005 9:03 AM  
Blogger Karin said...

Wow...it IS a PS CD! I'll have to show Fred!

6/08/2005 9:59 AM  

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