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.
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?”
Last week I introduced you to the Tiny Chef who is soon to star in a new stop motion cooking show. Stop motion has come up a few times lately. Last week my granddaughters and I went to the OMSI in Portland to see the Pixar exhibit. Last year we saw the the Laika exhibit at the Portland Art Museum.
Laika Studios near Portland produces blockbuster films like Coraline, ParaNorman, Kubo and the Two Strings and others. It struck me that there is an interplay between what we miniaturists create and what these studios create for the films. The studios’ work ranges from rustic to beautifully constructed miniature figures, structures and scenes.
The big pink house, called the Pink Palace, that Coraline’s family moved into was on display as well as other movie scenes.
The Tiny Chef is about five and a half inches tall, and makes vegan pies in bottle caps. When I discovered him, he had an improvised kitchen in New Zealand. The kitchen was about 1:12 scale and the food is from real life, but he deftly makes it all work. When he is focused, he sings classics in his special dialect.
“There’s never a dull moment with The Chef as his spirit, charm and cleverness help him deal with the unpredictable nature of life in a tiny kitchen. More than anything, the Tiny Chef is always truly himself as he finds ingenious ways to work tiny. There’s never a dull moment with The Chef as his spirit, charm and cleverness help him deal with the unpredictable nature of life in a tiny kitchen. More than anything, the Tiny Chef is always truly himself as he finds ingenious ways to work tiny.”
For me, miniatures are a vehicle for having fun. I do take the hobby seriously, but I also like to add some levity. Nancy, another miniaturist in our club, gets it. She is a successful businesswoman, who approaches her work with a smile.