Welcome to the world of A. Morrison Millard!

Since I’ve been too busy to work on my doll furniture lately, I thought it might be fun to highlight some inspiration from around the web.  Pinterest is proving to be a great way to find stuff that inspires.  That’s where I discovered an amazing artist and doll furniture maker specializing in mid-century modern for 1:6 scale.  Yep!  That includes the mid-century babe of all babes…..Barbie!  

She is A. Morrison Millard.  I had a brief and fun email exchange with Annie Millard, who seems to be a very talented and very very busy lady.  We all know that Barbie is big.  I mean BIG.   So leave it her to create little furniture for one of America’s most collectable dolls in the style of the times.  

Mid-Century Modern

I am so inspired by this lady.  She does it all. Check out this room (above, click to enlarge all photos).  First of all, the whole shot is just perfect and beautifully cropped.  She does it all….the couch, the table, the carpeting, the lamp, the books, the window, and the framed portrait!   And here I thought I was getting obsessive.  Turns out there is much to aspire to with the likes of A. Morrison Millard around.  

50's banquetteSame thing with this room, the floor, the table (and it’s glitzy base), the banquette with it’s classic little lamps attached around the back, the brick wall, zebra covered frames on the art (casually cropped) a fabulous red bar stool, and last but not least, the amazing tiny L.A. Times sitting there for Barb & Ken to keep up with what’s up.  This really blows my mind.  

Mid-Century Mod

Mid-Century Modern accessories are so distinctive and Annie does them spot on.  That orange chair with it’s delicate metal work and the cocktail table with inset glass….oh my!   Her clocks and lamps are like being there.  Hey!  I was there.  My parents had a floor to ceiling 3 fixture tension lamp just like these!  I’m havin’ a flash back. 

Doll Accessories

Morrison Furniture StudioAnd be still my heart….the fireplace is just too good to be true.  Fire irons!  She makes fire irons!  I had to show both of these shots because the little red Barbie shoes are bringing back such memories.  But most noteworthy is that bee hive hairdo.  She’s amazing.  I remember those do’s so well.  When I was in grade school, all the cool high school girls wore gigantic teased hair styles.  Again, the wall, the window and art are just right and that brick wall knocks me out. 

Morrison Furniture StudioBarbie!These are just a few of the items at Morrison Furniture Studio (http://www.morrisonsfurniturestudio.com).  Check out her Archives to take a trip down memory lane, and if you’re not old enough to remember this era, you’ll definitely get the feel for this very unique time.  

Barbie furniture

Here are two more complete rooms.  The throw pillows and their fabrics are perfect.  This artist works in wood, metal, glass, fabric, photography….you name it, she does it.  The window shades in the final photo have me in tears they’re so divine, and the inspired use of matchstick blinds to create a wall is simply genius.  Annie, my hat is off to you.  Love your stuff!!

Barbie rooms


Doll Accessories, My Garden Door View


Dolls can only look at walls for so long before they go bonkers.  Yes, they like art & books, but a great view is a lovely thing.  Creating a door or window will add a lot of depth and ambiance to your doll photography.  It also just makes it more fun to appreciate them when you see them in a space as lovely as they are.

Making a door or window with a view is easy.  I’ve used wood in this case….because I can.  I’m a tool girl and playing with my bandsaw is just too much fun to pass up, but you can simply substitute poster board or foam board.

First I decided on the scale, which in this case is 1/3 so it will go with my bookcase.  The first photo below (click on any photo to enlarge) shows my pattern, which was cut from heavy paper.  You can see that I’ve planned for the door and the surrounding moulding.


Next, I mark the pattern onto my wood.  Even if you’re doing a version using poster board or foam board, play it safe and make a pattern first.  It might save you a trip to the store to purchase more materials when you realize you’d really like it a bit bigger or smaller or wider or whatever.


Here’s my finished cuts ready for spray paint.  Just in case you’re wondering, I cut my trim parts in two pieces because it’s less wasteful of my wood.  If you’re doing the poster board version you can do it in one nice sweeping arch.  Of course you can make a rectangular garden door also, but I just love the elegance of an arch.


This next photo shows the painted door and trim in off-white satin finish spray paint.  The beauty of using poster board is that you can simply pick the color you want and skip the painting step.  We’re looking at the back side of the door and you can see my staples holding everything in place.  You’re also looking at the back side of the photo of my garden, which was enlarged in photoshop (in sections) and taped together to get it that large.  Remember I mentioned that this is 1/3 scale (SD or 24″ size dolls), so the total height of the door is 27 inches.  The photo is 22″ tall, which is just enough to cover the needed area.  I simply taped the photo to the door from the back side and when you turn it over, voila!, you have a fabulous view.


The last part is putting the hardware on to give it authenticity.  What you’re seeing below is a piece of green poster board which I used to hold my door hardware before I spray painted it with an old can of gold paint in a hammered metal look.  Love using up old cans of paint.  You can see four little pieces of wood that will make my door hinges.  They are  little wooden skewers bought at the grocery store and cut into one inch pieces.  You know, the kind you put veggies or meat on so they don’t fall through the grill as you BB-Que them.  Place them on a piece of masking tape, with the sticky side up.  This holds them in place while sprayed them.  Otherwise they’d have flow off from the power of the spray can.  The two brown circle looking items are the door knobs, which are large decorative nails I use in my upholstery business.  They worked fantastic, but you could just cut circles and add several small layers of poster board behind them to lift them off the surface and create the illusion of depth.  You could also make nice door knobs out of polymer clay. The little white paper shapes are my door knob plates, which are just poster board cut to a decorative shape and painted.  Pretty cute, huh?


Here’s one of the many photos I’ve taken of this door.  The finished product is so easy.  You can make it in any size you want.  You could take a picture of yourself (or one of your dolls) looking in the window just for fun…..or your cat peering in….or aliens.  Whatever you like.  This is my garden just outside my dining room doors and the path I laid out of local antique brick and all the plants I planted…..cause I’m a DIY girl and don’t know when to stop.  ;o}    I think the wall looks better with more contrast between the door trim and the wall, but…..


As an added bonus, here’s my latest view for my new modern furniture.  I wanted city girls to have appropriate views of their world.  It’s using the same techniques.  You can instantly create a fun space for your dolls or your stuff.  If you have smaller dolls you could set this up on the shelf of a bookcase, adding depth and interest.  See how I did the brick wall for these photos here.





Please feel free to ask questions and thank you for looking.  Hope you liked it.

My Pink Brick Wall Background

One of my most useful backgrounds has been the brick wall.  I generally use it to do real “product” type shots of the furniture for my Etsy shop.  There’s a great Italian restaurant a few blocks from my house on Congress Ave. in So. Austin.  It’s actually two restaurants, Vesapio and Enoteca, which operate from a joint kitchen and they’re both very good.

On the North side of the building is a vacant lot, used for parking or vendors, and it has a nice grungy brick wall.  I snapped it one morning before the vendors set up their tents and the light was just right.  I crop it to reflect the parts I want, copy it several times, and then cut and paste (literally) it together.  You can see the difference between the actual wall, the photoshopped version and the photographed version.  It’s pays to take a photo of the first copy of the one you think you might like before you do lots of copies and cut and paste.  It’s not perfect, but I like it!  Hey!, I’m a DIY kinda girl.

Brick walls as an feature in houses and lofts are quite popular.  They give a nice architectural element to the look of the place and can be found in a wide range of colors to suit your needs.  You can find brick computer wallpaper on the internet, but it’s a lot more fun to get your own from a local source.  Fun is GOOD.