Friday, June 19, 2015

The Boy Craftsman

Heading into the Father’s Day weekend reminded me of this book which was published in 1905 titled:


“Practical and Profitable Ideas

for a Boy's Leisure Hours”

A. Neely Hall
A charming guide for boy’s, much like the housekeeping books written for girls at the time, this book teaches and encourages young men in all of the necessary home repairs, outdoor projects and tool information. Surprisingly along with building rabbit snares and home shelving, the author dedicated 4 chapters to building a dollhouse and the furnishings! The value of gifting and doing for one’s sister and charities are values the author stressed! I wonder how many of our fathers were given this book or read similar articles in the magazines published in the early part of the century? Loving fathers and grandfathers, brothers, uncles and neighbors are part of most MINI lover’s early memories. So here is a nod to the love of gifting and creating that the men in our lives bring to our love of miniatures!
If you enjoy the stories and information I bring to you, I would appreciate it if you would take some time to visit my complete dollhouse and miniature website! I am very grateful to those of you who find the stories interesting and share them on your page with other MINI friends. In this day of copy and paste, I can't prevent anyone from using my research as their own original idea; but, I have to say it is a 'little' disappointing not to be recognized for doing the legwork! So thank you again to those of you who enjoy, share, give credit and shop with me for your minis! ~judy

'There is probably nothing more interesting for a boy to make than a doll-house. It is like building your own house on a small scale, the details and proportions having to be just as carefully worked out to make a good-appearing house." The Boy Craftsman, by A. Neely Hall, c. 1905

'The boy of to-day is ever on the lookout for new ideas which can be adopted for his work and recreation, schemes which are practical and which are thoroughly up-to-date. They must be helpful in suggesting ways of earning money, as well as entertaining, for what boy of the present day does not feel the need of such suggestions to aid him in raising the funds necessary to carry on his work?' The Boy Craftsman, by A. Neely Hall c. 1905

'The average store doll-house is made of thin wood, which is full of defects and likely to warp, besides being put together in such a flimsy manner as to soon fall apart. The majority of these are imported houses, designed and planned in foreign styles, the exteriors being covered with clumsy ornament and gaudily painted, while the interiors are very poorly planned and proportioned. Americanized doll-houses are seldom seen in the market, and the few there are will generally be found very expensive.' The Boy Craftsman, by A> Neely Hall, c. 1905

The Colonial Doll House-with complete illustrations and measurements found in The Boy Craftsman, by A. Neely Hall, c. 1905

A charming front-opening house with stable which is instructed to make down to the paint colors in The Boy Craftsman, by A. Neely Hall, c. 1905

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Manderley Mansion

As many of you know, I have an interest in the connection between miniatures and film making. In today's world of amazing technique in miniature making, I am still most impressed with the generations proceeding us who used their talent in far more primitive ways to create the most astonishing 'illusions' with MINIS. One of my favorite novels is 'Rebecca' by Daphne du Maurier. It sent chills through me as a teenager with its gripping tale of the mysterious death of Rebecca and the connection to the formidable mansion known as Manderley. Alfred Hitchcock brought the character of the house to life in the 1940 film. His use of miniatures were as inventive and crafted with as much quality as his more well known peer of the day, Tara of GWTW. While crafting and enjoying our generation of polymers, abundance of materials, and computer generated graphics, I hope you take a moment to appreciate what past miniaturists accomplished with shoe boxes, paint and dreams! ~judy

The model of the Manderley Mansion form the 1940 Alfred Hitchcock film 'Rebecca'. Apparently the model was so large it occupied an entire sound stage. It was enhanced with matte paintings for sky and scenery for all of the exterior shots.

The model of the Manderley Mansion form the 1940 Alfred Hitchcock film 'Rebecca'. Ah, alas, the movie models always seemed to go up in smoke!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Audrey Heller's Miniature Perspective

As true miniature enthusiasts, you may enjoy taking a moment to see these beautifully executed works by Audrey Heller. Working under a strict scale of 1:87, she creates these fantastical worlds that make you want to sit back and stare. She incorporates common, everyday items like old books, tea cups and wine glasses into her works, making us see things in a new and different way. It's interesting to note that Heller has a background in theatre as a lighting designer and director. She considers these works like a theatrical project that just happens to end up on film. Her goal is to have us see extraordinary detail in everyday life. 
I would appreciate it if you did some extraordinary shopping today!  In this social media world of everyone telling you they have the best of this, and the best of that, simply check out my complete store and decide for yourself if I have what you are looking for…..thanks!  I hope you enjoy today’s MINI story!  ~judy