Posted in Inspiration, miniatures

Mini Thanks

Like most countries, we in the USA have a harvest celebration. The theme is based upon a pot luck dinner held by our early settlers in New England, modeled after Thanksgiving in England.

I learned from my granddaughter that it wasn’t until 1863 that Thanksgiving became a national holiday. She told us that Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book in the mid-1800s thought that we should declare Thanksgiving a national holiday to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. Ms. Hale had written letters to five presidents requesting this uniformity. Finally Abraham Lincoln agreed that it was worth doing.

This was not the only reason we should remember Ms. Hale. She was an author and poet and supported education for women. She also supported historic preservation and social issues (although she did not support women’s suffrage). Because her home state of New Hampshire believes she should have more recognition, the New Hampshire Historical Society sells a Bobblehead Doll in her likeness.

Sarah Josepha Hale
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Posted in dollhouse, Inspiration, miniatures

Seasons and Eras

In our city, the colorful fall leaves are losing their vibrance. The days are shorter and darker. I don’t despair, rather, I welcome the holidays. First, our family gathers for Thanksgiving with it’s delicious food and camaraderie.

Making place cards is a tradition

When I moved north, I learned the importance of decorating with candles and lights to brighten the days of winter. I also learned the importance of filling the house with the warmth and spices of holiday baking. Of course this is also important in my miniature world.

When American Miniaturist called for Christmas tutorials for their December issue (their 200th!) I gladly contributed. I submitted a tutorial for making classic metal cookie cutters and gingerbread men.

I received the preview copy of that December issue, and it is impressive. There are so many beautiful articles and tutorials. If you already subscribe, you will find my tutorial on page 6. If you don’t subscribe, you might want to, or at least order this issue to see the holiday extravaganza. Here’s a peek at my tutorial.

End of an Era

When I joined the Eugene Miniatures Club, I rashly stated “I’m not going to let miniatures take over my life.” One member in particular looked over at me with a twinkle in her eye and a knowing smile.

It was Joyce, who joined the club in the late 1980s when the meetings were all business; Roberts Rules of Order, electing officers, etc. They soon made her president and she replaced the business with projects; a new one each month.

We lost Joyce last month. She was 91 years old and always had a calm grace and dedication to helping others. But she also had priorities. When she closed out her home and moved to senior living, in place of extra bathroom towels, she stored her tiny silks, plaids and prints, and every color of delicate ribbon for doll making. In the kitchen where other residents kept glassware, she had small glass domes for completed and future miniature projects.

She let miniatures take over her life and even became an IGMA Fellow. I’ll never measure up to the level Joyce achieved, but I know she approved as I let miniatures take over my life. I will always remember her knowing smile and when I want to take it up a notch, I will ask myself, “how would Joyce do it?”

Posted in dollhouse, Inspiration, miniatures

Something New – the Silhouette Cameo 4

I’ve never acted so impulsively!

During the month of September I was called for jury service. I was assigned to a grand jury, which, for our county, met at least three days a week and paid $25 per day. During this time, the MicroMark catalog featured the new enhanced cutting machine from Silhouette, the Cameo 4. I had been curious about cutting machines and this was supposed to be faster and more powerful than the Cameo 3, as well as the Cricut machines. And it was selling for just $300, precisely what I would earn during my jury service!

I had the cash windfall and the new Cameo 4 would be available soon. I thought, “Why not?” And although I have never done anything so impulsive, I ordered it.

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Posted in dollhouse, Inspiration

Miniatures and DNA

I received feedback from Jodi that really resonated with me. She said, “You have the same Popular Mechanics mind in your DNA as I do – I can tell!” Although I have never thought to describe my craftiness and approach to problem solving in terms of the magazine that “inspires, instructs and influences nine million curious minds,” I feel that it fits me to a T. It is quite a compliment, because I admire Jodi and her work. That she sees some of herself in me while I am in the early stages of my miniatures hobby brings a lot of satisfaction.

Until about five years ago I used my Popular Mechanics mind for real life projects. My curiosity about “how the world works” helped in real life projects and it turns out to be helpful in translating to the miniature world. I decided to spruce up my daughters’ dollhouse for my grandchildren and went to the internet for help. I discovered a universe of miniaturists with the same curiosity and approach to problem solving that I have. I had no idea all of you existed! After seven decades of working alone, I found my people!

The original dollhouse in the 1970s
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