Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I took comfort in reading J. Courtney Sullivan's New York Times article "A Hobby Best Kept Small", published on August 17, 2011. Why? Because there's someone else out there who shares my interest in dollhouses and miniatures... (Actually, there are a lot of people... I've encountered their blogs and websites. I just can't find them in my day-to-day routine...)

I can identify with Sullivan's article because I too outgrew my dollhouse, but had my passion for miniatures re-ignited in my adulthood by one small item--in my case, a tiny baby doll.

I can also identify with the author's stolen moments spent looking at miniatures on the internet. (I must add that her "it's research for my book" guise is brilliant!) I too, have no room for a dollhouse. And I don't allow myself to buy the exquisite (and sometimes expensive) tiny objects that capture my heart.

Instead, I create my own from what I have on hand in my crafts stash or from supplies that can be inexpensively purchased. The thrill of the hunt drives me to browse local thrift stores and antiques stores... And every so often I triumphantly return home with a treasure for my collection... Still, the tiny wine glasses and decanters on the websites beckon me and I lust after tiny claw-foot tubs and miniature books... ("Just wait," I tell myself.)

But most of all, I could identify with the subtext of Sullivan's article--that she somehow needed to justify her hobby. She worried about displaying a dollhouse in her studio apartment where a date might see it and think she was strange. And later, when she told her boyfriend she wanted a doll house, he suggested that the dollhouse should wait until they had a real house and it would be "less in the open". Yup. Though my husband is very supportive and doesn't mind having Abigail's "room" set up on the coffee table from time to time, I too know that sneaking suspicion that I need to justify my hobby. After all, I'm an adult. A wife. A mom. A professional. There's really no point in my sewing a 5-inch by 5-inch patchwork quilt for Abigail. She's a doll. She doesn't get cold. But I spent hours doing so and even hand-tied and bound it in the way one would a full-size quilt.

The only justification I can offer is that it gives me pleasure, is an outlet for my creativity and allows me to practice the crafting skills I've accumulated over the years. And besides, it keeps me out of the bars.

(And a side note to boyfriend of J. Courtney Sullivan: it could be worse. She could be into taxidermy... Embrace the dollhouse; It's relatively benign... And will keep her out of the bars.)

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