Looking Forward

Traditionally January 1st is when people give thought to refreshing their lives-starting a diet or maybe committing to begin working  out on a regular schedule. There has been talk these last few weeks, perhaps based on the recent spate of celebrity deaths, and/or the election results, on how 2016 has been a bummer of a year. When focused on the negative, one can always find plenty of ammunition to back up an unhappy outlook on life, but I recently read a newsletter from blogger Ann Wood (of Ann Wood Handmade) that reminded me of something I used to tell my kids, when you focus on the negative, its all you can see. So, take a deeper look and find the good things, they are there!

Do you see the sun, or the clouds?

Do you see the sun, or the clouds?

There is a small ritual that can help you to notice those good things, and can help to change your outlook as well. Every day, write down 3 good things that happened that day. It can be as trifling as having had a text from a friend, or a tasty meal, they don’t have to be earth shockingly important events. But, if you choose to remind yourself daily of things that were good, you will find yourself noticing the good more often, and focusing on the negative less.

I’m looking forward to reuniting with some of my miniature community at the Colonial Williamsburg Study Program in a short time-and by the time I come home, perhaps the notice of which class I was accepted into at Guild School will have arrived. Happy thoughts indeed!


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As the official day for giving thanks rolls around, I’m feeling more apprehensive than thankful this year. Here in the U.S. we’ve just come through a very long and contentious election and I am alarmed to see hate mongers taking advantage of the deep divisions it revealed to spread their insidious poison. No matter the color of our skin or the way we live or worship, there is far more that unites us than separates us and I hope in the end, that will win out.

Pie preparation board in 1/12 scale by Betsy Niederer.

Some dessert for your miniature celebrations? Pie preparation board in 1/12 scale by Betsy Niederer.

So, what is there to be thankful for? I’m thankful I live in a country where we have elections. I’m thankful for each new day that gives me a chance to try and be a better person, better parent, better friend. I’m thankful I don’t have to worry about where I’ll sleep tonight or what I’ll have to eat tomorrow or next week. I’m thankful I discovered miniatures 25 years ago and I’m thankful for the friends and challenges I’ve found there.

What are you thankful for this year?


Not Just for Children

I love antique dollhouses; they seem to carry with them the spirit of those who have loved and cared for them over generations. When I bought a copy of the book ‘The Vivien Greene Dolls’ House Collection, I found myself returning to the photos of one in particular; she’d named it the Mahogany House and it dates from the mid 1700’s. This house, and at least one other from Mrs. Greene’s collection now form part of an exhibit at   the Concord Museum in Concord, Massachusetts. The exhibit is called The Art and Mystery of the Dollhouse and runs through January 15, 2017.

The Concord Museum, Concord, Massachusetts.

The Concord Museum, Concord, Massachusetts.

The exhibit includes a number of room boxes, as well as several dollhouses, one dating from about 1695. The earliest European dollhouses were elaborate replicas of idealized or actual homes, and were furnished with exceptionally well-made and very expensive furnishings. In some cases they may have been instructional, examples for young women in how to run a household, but more likely, they were displays of the owner’s economic status.

One of the special events the museum has scheduled to coordinate with this exhibit will feature some well known Guild members. Stop by the Concord Museum on November 19th between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to meet and observe artists, including IGMA Artisan and Fellow members Pete and Pam Boorum, Elizabeth Gazmuri, Bonnie Backe and Teresa Layman, who will demonstrate their work in 1/12 scale.

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