Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Good, better, best
Most of the time, I think of myself as a miniaturist. I've been decorating dollhouses and making room boxes all my adult life (except for that stint in the convent, where hobbies were frowned upon — they require too much clutter and too many material possessions).
But yesterday at The Elegant Dollhouse in Sacramento, California, where I did a signing, I met a woman who should get the Nobel in Miniatures.
I had considered taking along a small scene I made to use as show and tell as I signed. At the last minute I left it behind, thinking it would look shabby in an environment that showcased the best of the hobby. I was right!
The photos show arrangements by Jan Kimbro who makes one of a kind, miniature flower arrangements. Her fans think she uses a brush with one bristle to paint the tiny bits of paper she assembles into an iris or a rose, green leaves or baby's breath. There's nothing to show scale, but let me tell you that the rose buds are less than one-quarter inch around. Jan declined an invitation to have her own picture taken, but she did give me permission to use these photos and invite you to call her if you have a special request. (916) 349-1340.
I had a wonderful day. Miniaturists are great mystery readers; some of the reasons for this were put forth nicely by our recent guest blogger, literary agent Jessica Faust. The Elegant Dollhouse staff, especially Barbara, Anna, and Ethel, and all their customers were very welcoming and are very talented.
When I got home I was tempted to sweep everything on my crafts tables into the trash. If I can't be as good as Jan, or Anna, who put together the amazing bookstore in the photo, why bother? The books in Anna's store are about one inch high. There's a coffee shop and a loft with tables and more books. Every detail is perfect.
My lesser self prevailed, however, and I decided to continue with my imperfect works. Maybe I could be as good, I rationalized, if I had only one hobby, no job, no classes to teach, and no writing deadlines. Also no family or friends. I doubt it!
But I wonder, how "good" do you have to be to claim a hobby as your own?