Tuesday, April 27, 2010
A crude dollhouse, made by my father, was one of the few playthings I had as a child. If there was a toy store within 25 miles, I didn't know about it. We had a 5-and-10 (anyone remember those??) in town, but that's where we bought sensible things like dishes and underwear.
For playtime, the dollhouse was it, and I loved it.
My cousin (photo shows us today!) and I would sit for hours furnishing and decorating the rooms. We'd make beds and sofas out of popsicle sticks and toothpicks, and bedding out of worn pieces of flannel or lace from old curtains. We'd cut pictures of flowers out of used greeting cards, "frame" them, and hang them on the walls.
My parents never told me there were stores where you could actually buy ready-made furniture! Maybe they didn't know.
Since I began writing the miniature mysteries, I've connected with so many other dollhouse and miniatures enthusiasts through shows, like Molly Cromwell's (I'll be at her Sturbridge show in June) and Good Sam (in October); yahoo groups like CAMP; and organizations, like NAME, the National Association of Miniatures Enthusiasts.
LATEST NEWS: A first-person article I wrote on how making miniatures has a lot in common with writing novels appeared in the latest issue of Dollhouse Magazine. I'm thrilled to be included in this first rate magazine for miniaturists.
I've never outgrown my need for dollhouses. I'd much rather shop for a three-inch sofa than a life-size one.
One of the most famous dollhouses, and one of my favorites, is Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle. It's in Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry and is surely worth its own blog soon. Here's a quote from her that explains my love of miniatures:
"The child yearns to interpret the adult world in terms he can handle, and small replicas of grown-up things answer his need."
I guess I'm still trying to interpret the adult world!
Did you have a favorite toy that served that need for you?