Archive for August, 2015

Miniaturist of the Month – Renee Orvis

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015
Renee and her Collectibles Cabinet and Mulberry Lane

Renee and her Collectibles Cabinet and Mulberry Lane

Renee's Display Case

Renee’s Display Case

Real Good Toys welcomes Renee Orvis, our very first home town Miniaturist of the Month! Renee grew up right here in Barre. She is married with two children, an 18 year old daughter in college and an 8 year old son.  She attended Johnson State College for one year and eventually finished her degree in fine art at the Community College of Vermont.  Renee also worked for Joann Fabrics for a few years where she developed an interest in sewing, crafts and needlework. She has worked for 26 years at Vermont Mutual Insurance Group in the Finance Department.

Renee 8

Beautiful Foyer

Renee 3

Custom painted fireplace

Renee 7

Great country kitchen

Renee is relatively new to miniatures, but has jumped in with both feet.  She became interested in dollhouses and miniatures when she was young.  Renee recalls receiving a large Colonial Style dollhouse for Christmas one year. The house was passed on, but she kept some of the furniture thinking she might eventually get into dollhouses. It wasn’t until about a year and a half ago that she bought her first kit. Her first build was the Real Good Toys Build Along Collectibles Cabinet.  That was all it took.  Renee was hooked!  Her next kit was the Lilliput Mulberry Lane. Renee really loves art history, especially the Georgian, Regency and Victorian periods.  She wanted to make the interior of her Mulberry Lane as authentic to these periods as her budget would allow.  She said, “I finally decided that I can’t have an exact replica house with all the details exactly as they would have been… so I decided to look at it more as an impressionist painter would and focus on the subtleties, giving the suggestion of a Georgian kitchen or a Regency drawing room.  A little color here and a little detail there, and not worry so much about making it exactly correct.”

Renee 2

Look at those paintings!

What’s next for this miniaturist?  She would like to create miniatures on her own and not from kits.  Renee would like to try her hand at polymer clay food, and has already tried painting and framing her own pieces. She says, “As a new miniaturist, I am very excited about the many facets and options to explore!”

Renee, your enthusiasm to try new things is contagious, and we thank you for letting us have a look into your projects. We can’t wait to see what’s next for you!

Would you like to be our next Miniaturist of the Month?  It’s really easy!  Just email your information with a few pictures attached to [email protected]  I want to let your talents shine!sunshine

My “Mini” Vacation

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015
Museum of Miniature Houses, Carmel, IN

Museum of Miniature Houses, Carmel, IN

While visiting family and friends in Indianapolis, IN, I had the opportunity to visit the Mecca for miniature enthusiasts and collectors. If you travel through Central Indiana, you must make time to visit the Museum of Miniature Houses in Carmel, IN, just north of Indianapolis. I had the pleasure of meeting Suzanne Landshof, one of the founders of the Museum.  We had a lovely visit while touring the exhibits, winding in and out of the many display rooms full of exquisite examples of early and modern miniatures and dollhouses.  Suzanne’s knowledge of miniature history, her eye for quality and detail, and her commitment to the museum, made the visit worth every minute.

Le Chateau foyer

Le Chateau foyer

Beyond being wowed by many examples of unique miniatures such as a full set of armor for a miniature horse, the magnificent, two story foyer of a miniature French Chateau, and a miniature display of Sherlock Holmes’ office at 221B Baker Street, I was struck by how inviting each room felt.

Sherlock Holmes 221B Baker Street by LaVerne Sullivan

Sherlock Holmes 221B Baker Street by LaVerne Sullivan

the Tower Armory by LaVerne Sullivan

The Tower Armory by LaVerne Sullivan

It was like a treasure hunt.  Each room I entered held something equally, or even more enchanting than the last, with the treasures being the stories that each of the displays told.

The museum offers many programs and events that involve young and old. There is literally something for everyone at this Museum.

The Museum is located at 111 East Main Street in Carmel, right in the Arts District.  Check their website, www.museumofminiatures.org, or call 317-575-9466 for more information.