All my life I've had a deep affection for miniatures. I remember Mom taking me to a Dollhouse Show at a local fire station and being completely entranced by the tiny world. I wanted to crawl inside these homes decorated with real working chandeliers and canopy-topped beds.
Of course, my favorite houses were the ones decorated for Christmas! In my child's mind, I could place myself inside the Victorian or country-style rooms filled with presents, food, and a large green tree bedecked with delicate little ornaments. And a fireplace...there was always a fireplace!
Inspired by these scenes, I'd go home and try to create my own little world. With help from my brothers, we'd build houses out of glue and popsicle sticks. We'd use leftover toys from other broken playsets to fill the rooms. Whatever we couldn't find, we'd make. We weren't limited to houses either. I distinctly remember creating a Western scene. My brothers wound up getting mad at me later because they wanted to play with it, but I saw it as a piece of art that was just meant for show!
I never outgrew this love of miniatures and feel fortunate that I still get to "play" with them. Below is a Country Store I created years ago. Some of the pieces are store bought, many are hand-made. It was my first attempt at creating a piece within the confines of a shadow box. My favorite part about this is not the scene itself, but the fun I had creating it!