It is the wee hours of my 56th birthday and I vacillate between feeling like Sally Field when she exclaims “they like me, they really like me” as she accepts an Oscar or Margaret O’Brien as Tootie, the precocious youngest child of the Smith family in the movie “Meet Me in St. Louis”! Tootie is riding on the ice wagon and states “wasn’t she lucky to be born in her favorite city?” I too feel that way about being born in the month of October! My birthday, which is the first part of the month, and generally the weather had finally taken care of the ragweed so I could enjoy being outside again. Or my love of Halloween and sometimes tolerating the snow when we were out Trick or Treating contributed to my fond memories of growing up in rural northern Missouri and being excited about the month of October. Another wonderful thing about October, The Scale Cabinetmaker debuted in 1976. October also happens to be National Dollhouse and Miniature month and now I do my best to promote and or grow the hobby by encouraging people to display, share and participate in this art form that we all love.
I am in a state of flux personally, but that seems to be my new normal, creatively I have been extremely productive as I have been preparing for the last two miniature shows of the year. I participated in my first “Guild Show” sponsored by the International Guild of Miniature Artisans in September. My latest miniature work has been inspired by travels, my love of antiques and also from watching Gunsmoke and Bonanza….those two westerns loved a checked tablecloth and some Blue Willow dishes! In preparing my inventory for the guild show, I was nervous to be presenting my work to fellow artisans and members. I was relieved when a short demonstration was well received and then I had newly created furniture items to find new homes in the collections of treasure hunters who appreciated my aesthetic. I specialize in painted and aged finishes, so someone needs to love the appearance of wear and tear on their new additions to their collections.
October brings me to the St. Louis Dollhouse and Miniature Show. It is always near my birthday or on the actual day! I am now celebrating a decade of participating in this show. There is a wonderful sense of family at this event as the other dealers have become an extended family. We have shared all ranges of emotions and are glad to offer help to each other when asked. It is good to see repeat customers and collectors come to the sales table and ask to see what is new? What is new? I had a creative block a few months ago, to pull myself out of that funk, I sat down and read several volumes of TSC and focused on Jim Dorsett’s words as he responded to the readers’ letters. The message I heard was stick with what you know, learn the correct way to do it, edit your work, and above all else so glad you tried to do it….The information in this magazine is priceless and inspiring.
I did go back to what I knew and went back to the basics of pieces that I had created over 10 years ago, this time things didn’t feel forced, the ideas took form and I really liked them…LOL…so come meet me in St. Louis if you want to see my scale cabinetmaking up close!