Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Miniatures for Mental Health

Debbie Downer is back. ::sigh:: Things are not good, I confess. Apart from trivial bad things, like being stricken with the sinus infection of the decade, depriving me of Tag-therapy for FIVE DAYS… from cramps and grumpiness from another month of NOT BEING PREGNANT… from my usual ‘uh-oh it’s almost my 39th birthday blues… Saturday my sister called to tell me that Tufts University Hospital has decided there is nothing else they can do for my father. He was packed up yesterday and sent to a rehab where he will likely pass away. Alone. Suddenly my Tag-less days and icky sinus and non-pregnancy seem so trite.

God. :::facepalm:: Okay… I am not going to keep on about bad things!

I’ve decided now that I’m back at work, and trying to find some clarity that I need a purpose and some distraction to keep my mind from the horrible waiting. I’d like to start a minis-exchange ring. I’ve been wanting to get back into my miniatures recently… retreat and retrench into things that are good and small and pleasing—and to start thinking about finishing up my Beacon Hill dollhouse and perhaps selling it so I can start work on my Willowcrest. Back in New England, I was part of a minis-exchange group. It was a group of artisans who made miniature food, pottery, dolls, furniture, etc. What we did was really fun.

My cheese platter sans mouse.
I make the same platter with a tiny mouse sitting on it. :)
It was my best-selling item besides the hamsters in cages.

The way it works is this… People who want to participate sign up for the first exchange. We pick a theme… Oh, let’s say… Winter… or whatever. Then, we close the list. Let’s say that oh, eight people signed up. Then everyone gets to work making seven identical miniature pieces in the 1/12 scale that match the theme. Then everyone sends their products to the ‘designated distributor’ along with a couple of bucks to help with shipping, and the distributor sends out eight little packets of seven miniatures to each participant. So you get this array of really great hand-made miniatures. We never spent too much, or went wild… but every once in a while I got some really GREAT stuff… like one miniature maker specialized in miniature stoneware pottery… omg… such amazing stuff… this old man in our group made teeeeeeeny baskets woven from real wood (you can see one on the desk of the entranceway photo of my dollhouse)… and another guy made teeny knives that looked real. We’d have groups as large as twenty (ugh those were taxing!).

My food collections. I had a dessert one, but I can't find pictures of it. :(

I made my signature cheese platter with mouse… or tiny bonsai trees… I made orchids, or tiny pets, bread collections, vegetable and meat collections… you name it (I included some pictures of the collections I used to sell on when I owned that domain). I used to love sitting in front of the TV with my tray of Fimo, hunched over with a pin making tiny ruddy pores on the surface of an orange… or making teeny clusters of grapes. There’s something wonderful about work like that… you sort of get lost in it.

The Entranceway to my Beacon Hill Dollhouse. It doubles as a space for the lady to do her accounts.

The kitchen in the Beacon Hill is very small, so I drafted and constructed custom cabinetry for the walls to maximize wallspace.
Yes, that multitude of spice drawers do open... and Yes, it took me forever.
All drawers and cabinets open, and if you look closely, you can see some of that amazing stoneware.

This picture was from an attempt to sell this house. Note the pie in the window.
I made that chopping block too... my treasured knife set is tucked into a frame i made for it...
the whole block and knives were stolen by little girls who visited while I wasn't present.
I'm still heartbroken because the knives were irreplaceable... tiny metal knives with wooden handles--
a whole set--from French knife to a paring knife. ::heart still hurts thinking about the loss)

I’ve included some pictures of my Beacon Hill dollhouse. They’re old… it’s had *some* work since these were taken, but the pictures are of the custom kitchen I made for it, and the brickwork—yes, it’s covered in hundreds of tiny terracotta bricks.

And the beacon hill in its full glory. Yes, it needs to be finished.


The Dreamstress said...

I'm sorry to hear about your father, and that it comes on top of your not feeling well in so many other ways. I hope his passing is peaceful, and that you are feeling better soon.

The miniatures you make are amazing, and that doll-house is to-die for. Unfortunately I don't do miniatures, so I can't join your groups, but I do know someone who is 'big in miniatures' here in NZ, and I'll tell them about you.

And yes, I have been waiting for ages to use that pun. *blush*

elfkin said...

yay for minis! I'm glad you decided to jump back in. sign me up for the swap :) I'm sure I can come up with something fun.

Lauren said...

I'm sorry your father is not doing well. I will be praying for you and your family

I adore the miniatures you've made. You are so talented. That definitely sounds right up Elfkin's alley :-)

Charlotte said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlotte said...

I'm sad to hear about your father; it always seems like the bad things come in groups :( Hopefully you aren't going through it alone as well.
The minis sound like a fun way to distract yourself

Sharon said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your father. It's good that you are finding ways to distract yourself. That will be your lifesaver. I wish I could make minis but I can't. It sounds like a really fun thing to do. I love your dollhouse.


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