Friday, November 16, 2012

Undersized Urbanite: A Giant new challenge

New year, new challenge! And this one's a doozie.

For the sake of pouring salt in old wounds let's reminisce about last year's big challenge...
I couldn't make this logo any smaller. Balls.
For those of you who are new around here, some background, in a nutshell:
'I'm a Giant' was initiated by Emily Henderson, but since she likes to start things she can't finish, it was properly and thoughtfully concluded by Mini Dork at modernminihouses, months after Emily ignored the second 'deadline'. And it was supposed to be an annual shindig. Ha!
I still need a Valium anytime someone says "dollhouse" and "challenge" in the same day.

It wasn't all negative. Just anything involving Emily.

Don't worry, Debbie-downer was just leaving.

The good experiences and outcomes far outweighed the bad, even though I do more than my fair share of bitching.

Here are some of the things I loved (and reasons for you to participate in Undersized Urbanite!):

-If it weren't for the creation of the aforementioned challenge, I wouldn't have this blog. At all.
-I wouldn't have met any of the amazing bloggers that I have, and forged new friendships with like-minded hobbyists.
-I wouldn't have almost 100 cool people regularly reading my words and seeing my work.
-I wouldn't have a fascinating and obsessive new hobby.
-I wouldn't have half the materials and tools at my disposal.
-I wouldn't have ventured out of my comfort zone and learned that I have skills and abilities I never was aware of. I can work with electricity?! I can work with metals?! I can make scale furniture?! Awesome.
-I would probably have a dated old dollhouse collecting dust in my attic, but instead, I have this amazing, one of a kind, totally custom piece that I can be proud to pass on to my potential future offspring as an heirloom. It's definitely a conversation piece, made with much love, as I designed and handcrafted about 85% of its contents.

The idea, then, was to create a dream space in miniature. It didn't have to be a traditional dollhouse. I had been gifted a dollhouse about a month before I found about the I'm a Giant Challenge. I thought it was a sign from God, rather than a strange coincidence. So I recklessly jumped right in. Little did I know what an undertaking overhauling a six room dollhouse would be!

I gutted the house, electrified it (which I learned and mastered on-the-fly), and refinished/furnished 5 of the 6 total rooms. I spent countless hours planning, designing and making. I love how it came out (so far), and there's still work to do.

Here's a highlight reel of some of my work from that challenge:














I get really happy when I look at it.

Much like childbirth (as if I would know), your brain makes you forget very painful experiences so that you might be crazy enough to try it again. If Emily Loserson was hosting another dollhouse challenge, I'd never go for it.
This one is different. It's essentially the same concept. But this year it's at a superior location and there's competent new management! That's reason for celebration, and participation!

Christina has been so thoughtful in revamping this challenge idea, and has already changed all the things that made Emily's so-called 'challenge' such a drag. With "Undersized Urbanite":

-She's set actual realistic deadlines.
-She's planned for adequate time so that participants might have a fighting chance to finish their project.
-There are prizes instead of empty promises of gallery exhibits.
-There is voting to determine the winner(s).
-There will be regular updates at Little Victorian.
-It will actually be repeated annually.

Although it's called a "dollhouse challenge", it still doesn't have to be a dollhouse. Make whatever you want, however you want, just make it tiny.

I've got two ideas that I'm kicking around, both are a play on the challenge's title. Which way I go is anyone's guess. But since this is going to start coming around as often as my birthday, I could always pocket one of the ideas for next year. Because I'm sure there will be some follow through this time.

If I can do it, you can do it. Come on, join us! We know how to party. And you've got 6 months this time.

Ready... set... GO!


  1. Yahoo! I cant go the whole house hog this time around but i have been playing with a few ideas...and i cannot wait to see what you come up with (that house is surely unsurpassable!) x

    1. Another entire house might send me over the proverbial edge as well. I'll be doing a smaller project this time so I have hope of completing it. But you should definitley join us!

  2. yay yay yay! I think I will definitely be playing along, I have my house and have only just done the floors and bits outside, so significant work is required and a challenge sounds great. Thanks for sharing this! (and all the other cool stuff you share!)

    1. Wonderful! That sounds like where I was with my house at the beginning of I'm a Giant, so yes, 'significant work required' is an understatement :) At least we have 6 months this time, so you might be able to take it slow and enjoy the process.
      Looking forward to seeing how it all comes out, I'm so glad you're participating!

  3. rock, lady! SO glad you're in and I can't wait to see what you do this time. I love that you're working with the title. Mine is going to be a city house, for sure.

    Thanks for telling all your great peeps!

    1. No problemo! I'm really glad you're taking this on! The title was inspiring for one particular concept, but I already have the main structure for the other idea (that would be a challenging undersized undertaking in a different way). Still haven't figured it out, I'm such a flake. Maybe I'll give a few hints, pros and cons, and let my readers decide?!

  4. I just typed this super awesome and witty comment, and then it decided to get lost in cyberspace. Rather than try to remember it all, let me just say, the fail of a challenge from the loser lady (whom I'd never heard of before word of the disaster spread through the mini community) is so saddening to me, it still makes me cringe. (isn't that what she said? lol)

    I'm glad there is another challenge to take part in! I might jump in myself, although I am still trying to build my main dollhouse -- which I've been at for over 6 months! The dollhouse building process is kind of like childbirth, I can confirm that through experience! It is painful, but we all forget easy and fast enough to do it again! :D

    I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with this time, I LOVE the last house. The little girls room is to die for and I think my princess would faint if she saw it! Where do you think of these things?!

    From your 90th follower,(but I've actually been following by RSS feed for a while!),


    1. That's what happens with my blog posts, I have something super hilarious, and it makes sure to delete itself before publishing. What y'all read is just my second rate re-tellings :) But, hey, they get the job done.
      And thank you for your (condolences and) compliments for the I'm a Giant thing. I'm still licking my wounds, but I've come to see the silver lining. I really love the work I did, I just wish I hadn't rushed it for the sake of deadline(s).
      This new challenge will be different, and there's lots of time to finish, so I hope you'll consider joining up (even if you only do a few rooms of the main house for submission)! Or something else entirely...
      The little girl's room was planned/designed to be the dream room I would have wanted as a child (had we been rich). Slides! Swings! Treehouse lofts!
      I thought of all the things that would have added whimsy and wonder to my formative years (although I had a wonderful childhood), and the color palette is a nod to the colors my mom had once sponge-painted all over my bedroom when I shared it with my sisters.
      I think like a child most of the time, so these things come naturally :)

  5. This contest/challenge/getyouracttogether/idea arrived just in time. Health, job, family, health, stress, did I add health?, pressure etc., is intense and the idea of meeting the December 17, Creatin Contest deadline is almost too much (can you spell "straw" and "camel"). So thank you!! BTW, a year later I am still in awe of your dollhouse.....those lights, that children's loft-bed, the floors!!

  6. Wow, wow, wow, on your house. I had seen images of some of the scenes, but as a whole it is simply extraordinary. This might scare some of us away, as we would never be able to match your amazing work, but I'm in anyhow. The lighting is truly amazing!!

  7. You have a wonderful house! So many great ideas! Love your work.....

  8. It turned out amazing, you must be filled with pride everytime you look at it!