Friday, May 8, 2009

Missing mini muse

I really can't decide what it is. I have struggled with finding my miniature muse the past year, maybe even can say two years. I won't say it has been missing completely, I just feel it has come and gone more than in the past. I know that my interest in scrapbooking certainly pulls the energy from one to the other, but I just look at my desk (in the bedroom) and whatever project is there and I walk away. Even when I have tried putting away that languishing project to start on something fresh, it works only for a short time. I know that is okay that I am not so into minis right now. I am not totally out of it. I still am very interested in my mini clubs (groups) online. I still enjoy reading the posts. Some days I have a lot more interest than others, but I would say that is normal. Not everyone wants to hear about the ______ email after email. In those cases, I just skip over it. No big deal. on the other hand, when I walk by my scrapbook area ( it is in the living room and is temporary) I want to sit down and do somethings. Maybe not every single day, but more often of late. Certainly my desire to scrapbook the photos I have printed is a good thing. Why let them sit for years as printed photos when I could have just have easily left them on my computer? So yes it is good I am working on those. I really shouldn't let it bother me. I guess it;s just that I want to do minis and the inspiration just isn't there. i know better than to force it. That takes the fun out of it. It makes it stressful and I don't want minis to be stressful. Avoiding stress in minis is one major reason I am not trying to make things to sell. I really love the things I make and I want to keep them for my enjoyment. Sure I love to share the photos and show them off, but not often i make and give away. The things I have sold that were once my darlings, the darling-ness wore off and i could part with them. Seriously, I can't say that money has been an issue relating to this. Sure this year already I have spent money on minis, but in other ways I was glad I didn't have the extra to spend when the opportunities came because I am just collecting right now. I don't want to be collecting... I want to be making. That's why I miss my mini muse. I wonder what her name would be....

A little bit of history...of how i got started in miniatures

My love for miniatures developed early. I can't say for sure exactly when my interest in miniatures started, just that as far back as I can remember, I collected little things. I guess I've always loved things that were small. Some would say that is because I am petite and maybe it is related, who knows. When I was nine, my parents gave me a Sunshine Family for Christmas. Mom wouldn't buy Barbie and a dollhouse was out of the question. So I created my own. It was made with whatever I could get my hands on, so it had a Borrower's feel to it. I also grew up with an O gauge (equivalent to 1:48 scale) train enthusiast as a father. He sometimes let me help paint some of the little people. Sometimes I wonder if my parents realize how much they shaped me into someone willing to make and do instead of just buying. In my early twenties, my then future husband, purchased for me, a dollhouse kit . As I recall, it was at my request, but still he bought it. It was in one inch to the foot scale and it took several years to build. During this building, is when I was first invited to a miniature club meeting. I was ever so pleased to meet others who had the same habit as I. Joining that club and seeing other's projects opened my eyes to a whole new world. To a new side of miniatures that I had never seen. A few years after I started with this club, I sold the dollhouse and I was told it resides in California. I was to learn and continue to learn a lot from that club, called the Mini Dreamers. The most significant thing I learned from them is that miniatures doesn't have to be just in a dollhouse. It can be a roombox or dome of any size. Or what I truly love most, a scene in an unusual container. That is where I got the name "Small Packages". The people in that club went a long way, in teaching me how to see the differences in quality work. I was greatly encouraged by them for my attempts, which helped me to do more and pushed me to learn more. I've learned how to use a multitude of materials and how important it is to use the right materials for the job when it really counts (you know, when it shows). Today, I work full-time and am a mother of two teenages, so always on the go. I am blessed with a dear husband who appreciates and occasionally helps me with miniatures. Although, I don't have much time to actively do miniatures, I am often dreaming about them. When, I do find or make time, it's like being a world away. Not just the world I'm creating, but the whole process of creating, of figuring out what or how I'm going to do whatever. I have varied motivations for doing miniatures. Mainly because I love all things that are small, but also because it really relieves stress. There is also the satisfaction I feel when I complete a project and I can say, "I did this." Often I am motivated by what others have done and occasionally it's after a club meeting that I make the time again to do miniatures when I haven't been. I now belong to several 'clubs'. Most are online. Each club online has it's one benefits but for me the biggest has been the sharing in a similar scale. My clubs: Quarter Connection Little Enough News Micro Minis Small And Smaller Adventures and a local club

Miniature Scale - an explanation

I make miniatures for my primary hobby. For those friends who don't make miniatures, here is an explanation. I prefer to work in 1:48 scale. This means that a real life item that measures 4 feet long would be 1 inch long. Some people use the terms quarter scale, quarter inch scale, 1/4" scale or 1/48th scale to represent the same thing. All of the terms except 'quarter scale' are correct. True quarter scale would actually be 1:25 scale or one quarter of real life. In the example of a 4 feet long item then would be 1 foot. One foot versus one inch is a major difference. I have been guilty of using this term, but I don't anymore. Other scales I have created in are: 1:12 also called one inch scale, inch to the foot, 1/12th and dollhouse scale 1:24 also called half inch scale, 1/24th 1:144 also called micro-mini, 1/144th and dollhouse - dollhouse scale (meaning a piece that would be a dollhouse inside a dollhouse) When working with scale, I believe it is important to stay in scale relative to other items. In real life our world contains all sizes of things. There are small sofas, bigger overstuffed sofas and formal couches for example. Tables can be in various heights depending on it's use. Then add to the mix is the people who have things custom made to fit their size. All this means that things can be different sizes and be perfectly acceptable. What makes them work together is whether they fit together. In real life a dainty side table will look out of place next to a overstuffed couch. Sometimes in miniature, we miniaturists will make a room with higher walls. This is generally either due to a Victoria style house or just to make it easier to play inside the room. In real life we find 12 foot walls but not in most houses. However in miniature it is very common to have a 12" wall for 1:12 scale or 3 inch walls for a 1:48 scale room. For these rooms it is possible that a smaller sofa will look out of place in this room because it is low. It doesn't necessarily mean it is truly out of scale. However when we make miniatures everything looks better when all the items are in scale with each other.