How My Interest in Miniatures Began
I’m approaching 60 years and my interest in miniatures and small-scale collectibles began over 50 years ago. I was around seven years old and we just moved to a rural area in Canada. Our house was a few miles from town and we only had one television station. The only shopping, restaurants, and movie theater were miles away. When we were not in school, my four siblings and I had to find ways to entertain ourselves. I did not know it then, but boredom would lead me to my love of small things.
My First Miniature Objects
I recall it was a boring snowy afternoon. For no reason at all, we started cutting out pictures of record album covers from a record club ad. Although we never played with dolls, we started creating miniature record albums.
After we went through all the record club ads, we were stuck. Someone suggested creating miniature books from book club ads. So we did.
This little hobby piqued my interest in the world of little things. My sisters and I started making miniature cowboys and horses out of Play-Doh. I began collecting Cracker Jack toys (mini card decks, tiny maze games, etc.), and other minis. However, when I was 12, my mother died unexpectedly. Life changed immediately, and I was forced to put away “childish things.” I now had to help run the household and raise my younger siblings.
The Rekindling of My Interest in Miniatures
My interest in small-scale stuff lay dormant until 1991. I was in the military, stationed in the U.K. We just entered the Gulf War when my husband decided he wanted out of England and the marriage. After he left, I found out I was pregnant. Unfortunate timing. To distract me from my impending divorce and fears about single parenthood, I started building my first Greenleaf dollhouse. It made me focus on something new: it was time-consuming and forced me to concentrate. It was a temporary reprieve from real-life problems.
After building the dollhouse, I had to decorate it. It was while sourcing dollhouse furnishings that I discovered some wonderful miniature shops and mail-order craft kit companies. I furnished my first dollhouse with store-bought pieces and furniture that I built from kits. (Thirty years later, I still own some of those pieces.) As for the dollhouse, shortly before returning state-side, I had to give it away due to its large size. Nevertheless, my interest in collecting and building miniatures remained.
More Than Dollhouse Stuff
It was shortly after I gave my dollhouse away that I began collecting small-scale non-dollhouse-related items. When I was furnishing my dollhouse, I had discovered many other types of miniatures. I started collecting miniatures that struck my fancy, from fine art pieces to more commercial miniatures. My collection included Olszewski Hummels, Irish Dresden figurines, David Winter cottages, brass miniatures, etc. The upside of my hobby is that my miniature collection did not take up much space.
After left the military, I moved to Denver, CO. While there, I attended my first miniature convention. Although I am a collector and enthusiast, I am definitely not an artist. But, in one workshop, I learned to build miniature toys and a little toy box. The result was adorable! I wanted to take more workshops, but once again, life intervened and I ended up shelving my hobby.
The Second Rekindling
Fast forward to 2014. After my son was accepted into grad school, I took early retirement from the federal government. I sold my California home and moved to Washington state. In Washington, I accepted a position as an administrative law judge in Seattle. After a few years, the gloomy weather was too much. I started a house-hunting trip in the Southwest. While looking at homes in Tucson, AZ, I discovered The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures. It was an absolute marvel and reignited my interest in miniatures.
Since then, I have settled in Las Vegas, NV. Due to the space constraints of my current condo, I have given away another large dollhouse I built. Currently, I’m building a small dollhouse and camper as “homes” for my dollhouse furniture and accessories. I also continue to collect fine art/one-of-kind pieces from individual miniature artisans.
In addition to the above miniatures, I have become obsessed with “adult” Lego (Creator Expert series). I particularly love building small-scale Lego shops, offices, vehicles, and landmarks. The Lego Creator Expert sets are not easy to build, but the results are impressive. Many of these completed Lego items grace my home. It amuses me that people can’t tell they are Legos.