Miniaturist of the Month – Dena Buehring

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015
Dean and her French Bakery

Dena and her French Bakery

Say hello to Dena Buehring, Real Good Toys Miniaturist of the Month.  Dena lives in Tucson, AZ and works as an Administrative Assistant for a CPA firm.  Dena says it seems like miniatures have always been part of her life.  In the early 1990’s, she built her first big dollhouse and Dena now has five dollhouses, two wall houses and several room boxes in her collection.

RR-29 Barn

Waiting for Bobby to get home from school

As with most people that work with dollhouses and miniatures, Dena finds it relaxing. She says she is always on the lookout for miniatures for her dollhouses and she has even planned trips around miniature shows, so she can find the next best thing for her projects.  In the past, Dena has built dollhouses for friends that were physically incapable of building the dollhouse themselves, and has taught dollhouse building classes while working part-time for The Doll House, then in Tucson. She also has built a dollhouse along with her grandson and she built him a Real Good Toys RR29 Ruff ‘n Rustic All American Barn for his last birthday.

Scottish House 2

Dena’s Scottish House

Dena’s work load is heaviest in tax season, so she usually works on her miniatures in the summer, beginning right after April 15th. In the winter months, after Thanksgiving, Dena moves from her miniatures to genealogical research.  She loves to trace her ancestry and compile as much information as she can.  Another love of hers is reading.  She said she reads all the time. Dena is a Real Good Toys Facebook fan and we have seen some amazing work from her on our page.  The most recent is one of the Build Along projects that she finally was able to finish.  She calls it her French House.  It is actually a French Bakery and Dena is going to experiment with making Fimo bread and pastries to fill the bakery next summer.  We can’t wait to see what she does with the interior finishing of her bakery.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean

Miniaturist of the Month craft project

A Pirate’s Life for Me!

On a trip to Glasgow, Scotland, Dena purchased the dollhouse she calls her Scottish House.  She was able to bring home the dollhouse kit and some special miniatures packed right in her suitcase. Dena is one of those miniaturists that needs to be doing something crafty all the time and is always thinking about what she can make in miniature.  She likes to do unusual, fun projects like her Pirates of the Caribbean miniature scene.  This diorama was created in an old phone box. Dena says, “I find I miss being creative if I don’t have something to work on – sometimes I just like to do furniture kits or make books or little boxes for kits. I have a MINI problem.”

Dena's Favorite Dollhouse

Dena’s Favorite Dollhouse

Miniaturist of the Month

Interior of Dena’s favorite house

The large green dollhouse was Dena’s first dollhouse. She built the dollhouse in the early 1990’s and although it has some similarities to an early Real Good Toys dollhouse, Dena is unsure of the manufacturer. She purchased it from The Doll House before she started working there. Dena has made several of the miniatures from scratch and has spent years working on this dollhouse. She has had fun adding her personal touches to the dollhouse and still adds to it when she finds something special. She says this is her favorite dollhouse because it turned out so beautiful. Dena says, ” I would like to live there and sit on the porch swing in the summertime.”

Thanks for sharing with us Dena. We admire your attention to detail and your ability to tackle any type of miniature project. We can’t wait to see more!

Would you like to be our next Miniaturist of the Month?  It’s really easy!! Just email your information and pictures to [email protected]

I can’t wait to let your talents shine!sunshine

 

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

Miniaturist of the Month-Leah Sexton

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015
Leah's Collectible Cabinet

Leah’s Collectible Cabinet  Facebook Build Along Project

 

RGT's 2014 Facebook Build-Along Project, Collectibles Cabinet

Leah’s Collectibles Cabinet

Interior of Leah's Collectibles Cabinet

Interior of Leah’s Collectibles Cabinet

Meet our Miniaturist of the Month-Leah Sexton.  Leah has been making miniatures for 20 years and she started with the Real Good Toys Simplicity Dollhouse. She has made many projects over the years and has donated most all of them to raffles, fundraisers and toy drives. Her current projects are the Real Good Toys Collectible Cabinet, Hobby Builders Supply Creating Contest and a room box in 1/3 scale.  1/3 scale is for dolls 18-24 inches. Real Good Toys is just about ready to unveil our 18 inch dollhouse.  Hold on to your hats 1/3 scale lovers.  Leah has enjoyed the 2014 Collectibles Cabinet Facebook Build Along project so much so that she would really like another one.  I think lots of folks would like to see that one come back. That project made a very handy, and cute, craft supply storage for me. She is also working on the current Build Along project, The Crafter’s Cottage.  The popular Build Along projects on our Facebook page, Real Good Toys Dollhouses, allow participants to individualize and design their own dream project while sharing creativity and enthusiasm with a whole group of like-minded people.

Leah's Paint Ready Victorian

Leah’s Paint Ready Victorian

Leah's Holiday New Orleans Dollhouse

Leah’s Holiday New Orleans Dollhouse

Even though Leah doesn’t keep many of her projects for herself, she confides that the Christmas themed New Orleans Dollhouse with an addition was the hardest dollhouse to part with, even though it went for a good cause. No wonder she was sad to see it go…it’s spectacular! Leah also did an amazing job on a dollhouse kit that is no longer in production here at Real Good Toys, The Paint Ready Victorian.  Her color choices and painting scheme are true Victorian.  Our Attic Tower Contest didn’t stump Leah. I love what she did with that small space.  Leah really likes the challenge of contests and Build Alongs. She also has participated in several Hobby Builders Supply Creating Contests.

Leah's Attic Tower Contest entry

Leah’s Attic Contest entry

 

Leah's Wall House

Leah’s Wall House Facebook Build Along Project

Leah’s best advice to any miniaturist is to take your time. Leah says, “For instance, when glue needs to set or paint needs to dry, move to something else in the assembly process so your project doesn’t look rushed”. When Leah is not crafting, she loves hiking the trails around her home in Gladstone, MI, which is in the Upper Peninsula.  In bad weather she loves to curl up with a good mystery book.  She tells me that in order to fund her mini-fun, she teaches at a small local college. Leah says, “I am having fun in different scales making tiny and not so tiny accessories. The challenge of a new kit is always incentive to begin another project”.

Thanks for sharing your work with us Leah. 

We applaud your generosity with your miniatures.

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].

We want to let your talents SHINE!! sunshine

Miniaturist of the Month – Nancy Gallo

Friday, April 17th, 2015
Nancy Gallo - Real Good Toys Miniaturist of the Month

Nancy Gallo – Real Good Toys Miniaturist of the Month

The love of miniatures and all things small often begins at a very young age.  That is exactly how it happened for Nancy Gallo, our April Miniaturist of the Month. Looking back, Nancy says she has always been interested in the world of miniatures.  As a child she remembers being drawn to all kinds of miniature displays. Every year at Christmas her dad would layout a train set, complete with mini buildings, scenery and people.  She says, “I spent countless hours studying every little detail.  I can close my eyes and still see it!”

Nancy started working at Hobby Lobby, a large craft retailer, once her children were grown.  She loved the Real Good Toys Beachside Bungalow on display and dreamed of living near the ocean in a house just like the Beachside Bungalow. Nancy and her husband eventually relocated to Port Richey, FL and she started working at the Hobby Lobby there.  She was finally able to fulfill her dream of buying a “beach house”. While building this dollhouse, her enchantment with all things mini became her passion.  Nancy says, “Everyone at the store knows if there is a dollhouse question, send the customer to me! If I can’t answer their questions, I send them to the RGT website.”

Nancy's Life Stages Collectibles Cabinet

Nancy’s Life Stages Collectibles Cabinet

Inside of Life Stages house

Inside of Life Stages House

 

Country Church interior

Country Church interior

 

Nancy’s projects tend to be reflective of what is going on in her life at that particular time.  She also has been an enthusiastic participant in the Real Good Toys annual Build Along projects. Nancy calls her Build Along Collectibles Cabinet (the 2014 project) her life stages house, where each floor represents a different stage of life.  She is now working on the Real Good Toys Country Church, which she says is filled with passion for her very sick son. Nancy decided she didn’t like the brown pews, so she is sanding them down and repainting them with the teal.  Nancy veered from the instructions on her Real Good Toys Victoria’s Farmhouse by adding a doorway, after assembly.  She learned how to use power tools and now the sky is the limit when it comes to customizing!

Nancy's Victoria's Farmhouse

Nancy’s Victoria’s Farmhouse

Interior of Victoria's Farmhouse

Interior of Victoria’s Farmhouse

Nancy loves to spend time at the beach collecting shells when she is not miniature-ing. She calls the beach her thinking spot.  She also enjoys gardening and cooking.  Nancy is also saving up so she can do dollhouse builds for women’s shelters. When Nancy was chosen to participate in our Miniaturist of the Month feature, I asked her if she had some words of wisdom for new miniaturists. She said, “My goal here is to inspire others to just enjoy the hobby.  Being an expert is not required. Although it is fun seeing the project completed…enjoy the journey.” 

Thanks for letting us spotlight your talents Nancy.  You put your heart and soul in each project and it shows!

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 look forward to letting YOUR talents shine!!sunshine

Miniaturist of the Month – Brenda Bourque

Monday, March 23rd, 2015
Brenda with the Rose House AKA First Lady

Brenda with the Rose House AKA First Lady

Have you ever found a dollhouse in a thrift store or at a garage sale and just couldn’t resist? Maybe it was partially assembled, maybe it was fully assembled but in need of refurbishing.  Brenda Bourque, Real Good Toys March Miniaturist of the Month, was lucky enough to find a real gem at her local dump of all places!

Brenda found a Real Good Toys First Lady Dollhouse partially assembled, with the rest of the kit still in the box. Those of you familiar with Real Good Toys’ history will recall that the First Lady Dollhouse was the dollhouse chosen by the Carter Administration to display under the White House Christmas tree in 1980. Brenda has named this dollhouse The Rose House, because she has added a rose to every room, in one form or another. It takes a seasoned  miniaturist to tackle a project such as this and Brenda says this rehab has been her favorite project, taking over a year to finish.

The Finished Rose House

The Finished Rose House

 

 

Brenda 5

 

Brenda lives in Oxford, CT and has been married for 25 years, raising two daughters.  She tells us, “Ever since I can remember I wanted a dollhouse for Christmas.  I finally received my first kit from my husband and daughters in 1998.  I have collected furniture and little things for a long time…” Brenda says that most of her miniature furniture was made from kits when there used to be a kit of the month club.  She has taught herself to make many of the minis and accessories that she uses in her dollhouses.  Brenda has participated in the Real Good Toys Facebook Build Along each year. These projects give participants an opportunity to individualize their creations while sharing advice, tips and techniques with a large group of like-minded folks, which is right up Brenda’s alley. She says she is always coming up with ideas of how she wants her projects to look, and how to get it done.

Brenda's 2012 Build Along Project

Brenda’s 2012 Build Along Project

 

When Brenda is not working on dollhouses or miniatures, she enjoys traveling, photography and enjoying nature.  She is especially interested in photographing dollhouses.  Building and decorating dollhouses allows Brenda the opportunity to play around with her other interests of architecture and interior design, just on a much smaller scale.  She feels working on miniatures keep her mind, and her hands, active.  Years and years of assembling and decorating dollhouses has given Brenda the confidence to think outside of the box, adding that special touch or modification…something every miniaturist lives for.

Thanks Brenda for sharing your experiences and your work with us. Your work is inspiring! 

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

Miniaturist of the Month – Donald Jenny

Monday, February 16th, 2015
Donald Jenny of Bothell, Washington

Donald Jenny of Bothell, Washington

Real Good Toys is happy to welcome our February Miniaturist of the Month – Donald Jenny. Donald hails from Bothell, Washington, where he is an accomplished freelance artist, designing book covers and illustrating children’s books. When he is not doing that, he builds custom dollhouses. Donald grew up in a family of artists. His father worked for an architectural firm, building scale models as a side job. Donald’s father also built model ships as his hobby. Donald’s mother was once an opera singer. She dabbled in painting while raising her family. His older brother loved to draw race cars. That love ultimately led to building race cars as an occupation. Donald’s younger brother, who once fancied himself a folk singer, is now the proprietor of a business that builds and sells custom electric guitars internationally. It is quite obvious Donald acquired his love of the arts from his family, being creative in drawing, painting and sculpture.  He holds degrees in fine art and computer animation.  Although Donald holds down a daytime office job, he continues his freelance business and custom dollhouse building.

One of Donald's gift houses

One of Donald’s gift houses

In the 1970’s, Donald began building gift houses out of cardboard and other materials.  His intention was to use these houses as a substitute for gift wrapping.  These whimsical creations were quite popular with their recipients.  He didn’t begin building wooden dollhouses until 2000. Donald attended a miniature trade show and was hooked! Beginning with kits, he quickly started customizing dollhouses adding his own special touches. He created, from photos and memory, a miniature version of a Painted Lady dollhouse. He donated his masterpiece to a little girl in foster care.  He tells us the only thing she wanted for Christmas was a dollhouse and it was perfect for her.  If time permits, Donald builds 2-3 dollhouses a year, donating them to various local charities.

Alice before Wonderland Dollhouse

Alice before Wonderland Dollhouse

Donald’s most expensive build so far is his Alice before Wonderland dollhouse, filled with custom made figures and miniatures from the Alice in Wonderland fairy tale. This dollhouse originally was the Real Good Toys #2007 Woodland, with the addition of the 602 Montclair porch.  He tells us, “I have spent nearly 6 years on this project and it still isn’t complete and I doubt it will ever be. This is my baby”!!

Donald's 2014 RGT Facebook Build Along

Donald’s 2014 RGT Facebook Build Along

Donald is one of Real Good Toys most active Facebook fans, always jumping right into our annual Real Good Toys Dollhouses Facebook Build-Along.  He never ceases to amaze us with his creativity and vision. He can take a basic kit and transform it, making it into something truly astonishing. Our Facebook Build-Along projects allow participants to individualize and design their own dream project while sharing creativity and enthusiasm with a whole group of like-minded people.  And that’s just what Donald loves about it.  His Build-Along last year started out to be library and ended up as a brothel. He has already ordered our 2015 Build-Along project, The Crafter’s Cottage, and is anxiously awaiting delivery. Donald says, “I have bought many kits from Real Good Toys because the quality out shines other competitors”.

Donald is looking forward to retirement in a couple of years.  Then he will devote his time to building dollhouses and working on his other love, gardening. Thanks to Donald for sharing his love of dollhouses and miniatures with us.  His enjoyment of the hobby and his creativity inspires all of us.  You can see more of Donald’s work, and much more, at www.donaldworld.com.

Would you like to be my 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

Miniaturist of the Month – Stacy Thibeault

Monday, January 5th, 2015
Stacy with her dollhouse

Stacy with her dollhouse

Real Good Toys is pleased to welcome our January Miniaturist of the Month, Stacy Thibeault of Topsham, Maine.  Stacy has been a stay at home mom for the past 14 years, enjoying Maine life with her husband, son and their three cats.  When she is not working on miniatures, she loves to read and be outside enjoying the woods.

Stacy’s love of miniatures began when she was around 8 years old. She tells us she was thrilled when her Dad used to ask her to help paint ceramic figures that he created in a class he was taking.  That’s all it took for Stacy to become hooked.  She says, “To this day I have ornaments we did together and an entire miniature Christmas village”. Stacy also remembers summers on Sebago Lake in Maine and visiting Crickets Corner Shoppe in Raymond, ME.  Although Stacy proudly states that she was a tomboy as a child, she absolutely loved visiting the dollhouse store.  She remembers her Dad would bring home miniatures for her and she says, “…being the packrat that I am, I still have some of those things. Who knew they would be in my very own miniature houses”. Stacy has been seriously involved in crafting since she was 18.  As it is for many people, a life changing event can often launch you in a different direction, and that is just what happened to Stacy.  With her Dad passing away suddenly in 2010, Stacy found herself overcome with the feeling that she just had to build a dollhouse.  So off she went to the nearest dollhouse store with one thing on her mind.  She came home with a Real Good Toys Victorian Cottage Jr. dollhouse kit.  She tells us, “Got home, dumped it out, read the instructions, and an addiction was born”! Since then, Stacy has built many dollhouses and has started making her own miniatures.  She says it makes her feel close to her Dad.  Her words of wisdom for new miniaturists…Home Depot!  She has great luck finding mini lumber and sample size paint containers that are just right for your dollhouse.

Real Good Toys Victorian Cottage Jr. dollhouse kit.

Real Good Toys Victorian Cottage Jr. dollhouse kit.

Stacy has been an avid fan of the annual Real Good Toys Facebook Build Along, and her favorite dollhouse build so far has been our 2012 Puzzle Dollhouse Kit.  She took the Puzzle Dollhouse kit and recreated her real life house inside and out!  The finished product has a prominent home in her living room, so everyone gets to see it every day.  As Stacy bounces back from a year of physical restrictions, she is looking forward to building the Real Good Toys Newbury Dollhouse kit that she has stashed away.  And after that, maybe the Beachside Bungalow…or the Victoria’s Farmhouse…or who knows which dollhouse build lies ahead for her.

Thank you Stacy, for letting us get to know you. Your energy and love of miniatures is inspiring.  

Would you like to be our next Miniaturist of the Month?  Do you know someone who would be a good candidate?  It’s really easy. Just email your information, with a picture or two attached, to [email protected]

I’m looking forward to letting your talents shine!!sunshine

 

Miniaturist of the Month – Carole Risteen

Friday, November 28th, 2014
Carole Risteen- Miniaturist of the Month

Carole Risteen- Miniaturist of the Month

Carole just loves cats!

Carole just loves cats!

Real Good Toys‘ Miniaturist of the Month is Carole Risteen of Deltona, FL. Carole is someone every miniaturist wants to know.  For starters, she has been involved with dollhouses and miniatures for over 35 years. Over time, Carole has worked in three different miniature shops, and has built over 300 dollhouses. When Carole was working for Through the Keyhole in Texas, she taught classes and built dollhouses as a Santa’s helper.  She said, “Our double garage never had a car in it, but often had half a dozen or more houses under construction”. Carole has participated in four years of IGMA Guild School classes.  What is IGMA? IGMA stands for International Guild of Miniature Artisans and was founded to promote fine miniatures as an art form.  This organization holds a series of intensive training classes every year at their campus in Castine, Maine.  Carole said she has made many wonderful friends over the years. She considers this hobby her obsession.  She tells us, “There has always been some new technique or skill to learn and many old skills to share with others”. Carole confides, “It has never failed me – lifting me up in sad times and allowing me to help others along the way”.

Carole started in miniatures by making House of Miniature furniture kits. She was a buyer for a retail department store in Tucson, AZ and building the furniture kits was her way to relax.  Carole says she bought her first dollhouse in 1979 from The Doll House, Inc. in Scottsdale, AZ. Over the last 12 years, she has been able to share her love of dollhouses and miniatures with her special needs students through Morning Star School fundraisers. She hopes to continue building dollhouses for Morning Star School fundraisers, with the help of her students and her grandchildren.

Carole's Bossy Bungalow

Carole’s Bossy Bungalow

Carole and Susan with the house  they built!

Carole and Susan with the house they built!

 

Carol is an active fan of Real Good Toys Dollhouses on Facebook.  She has participated in our Build Along projects and was recently chosen as one of our finalists in our “What’s in Your Attic Contest”. She continually fascinates us with her ability to transform and customize our dollhouses in a way that makes them one of a kind.  One project she has shared with us throughout the building process is her Real Good Toys Classic Bungalow.  Carole nicknamed this dollhouse “Bossy”.  She was re-creating a dollhouse she grew up in and throughout the building process the dollhouse seemed to tell her which direction she should take with the customization. She customized the dollhouse with an extra floor and many other special touches.  Her abilities are remarkable and her work is exquisite. Now can you see why every miniaturist would love to know Carole? Not only does she love dollhouses and miniatures, she gets immense joy from sharing that love. Carole says, “…my addiction is complete and part of my retirement is minis, supplies and kits I have stock piled”.

 

Thank you, Carole, for letting us have a glimpse into your mini world and allowing us to get to know a little bit about 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’m looking forward to letting YOUR talents shine!!sunshine 

 

Miniaturist of the Month: The Real Good Toys J-Team!

Monday, August 4th, 2014
Jennifer Fitzgerald, RGT J-Team

Jennifer Fitzgerald, RGT J-Team

The Classic Bungalow by the J-Team.

The Classic Bungalow by the J-Team.

I had never even built one of our dollhouses until 5 years ago when Jodi and I decided to tackle the 1 inch scale Classic Bungalow dollhouse.  We built this magnificent dollhouse, decorated the interior and exterior and donated to a great cause.  After that, I was hooked!

I’ve always loved working with wood crafts and our dollhouses are no exception. I was so happy with our build that my husband and I purchased a Ponderosa Log Cabin and started customizing right away.  It’s still sitting in my basement waiting for us to return to our “winter project”.  Each year we get a little further on it, but we haven’t even begun to decorate the inside yet.  I’m really looking forward to that phase of our build.  All in due time!

Over the last several years, Jodi and I have built several dollhouses and we also create our Build-Along project each year.  We have had the great privilege of being one with our community of online miniaturists.  I’ve learned a great deal from what others have done and I’m no longer afraid to try something new.  Even when I make a mistake, I’m always happy to learn how I can correct that mistake and move forward with my project.  It almost makes you feel fearless when customizing because you know there is a way out of it (thank you Gary!)  My tip to all of you would be to just go for it…if you can visualize it, dream it or imagine it, it’s probably possible.  Don’t let anything stand in your way of what you truly want to create in miniature.

I feel super lucky to work with Jodi.  Over the past 15 years, we have had lots of great ideas and some come to fruition and some do not.  However, having someone else who is like-minded really makes a difference when you’re bouncing ideas off each other.  We make a great team!  When I’m not dollhouse building or decorating, I have two teenage daughters who keep us on our toes.  I also love to quilt – it’s my first passion.  We’re big on the great outdoors and love to camp, fish and go boating.  I also love to read and yes, I still like the real book (no hi-tech reading gadget for this girl!!).

Jodi Towne, RGT J- Team.

Jodi Towne, RGT J- Team.

I have worked for Real Good Toys for 26 years as the Office Manager.  My job entails, in a nutshell, accounting and customer service.  Being one half of the RGT J-Team has made my job infinitely more creative and interesting.  Having the ability, and freedom, to switch gears in the middle of the day and work on a dollhouse build has been very refreshing for me.  I feel very fortunate to have this diversion in my job.

The Lilliput Kiwi Cottage Dollhouse kit by Real Good Toys

The Kiwi-The lights are on! The J-Team’s lighting project.

Being able to build, finish and furnish a dollhouse has also made me confident in tackling just about any technical question that may come my way throughout the day.  I’ve learned so much about dollhouse building and about myself, and I learn new things from our customers and Facebook fans, just about everyday.  Jennifer and I are able to do a fair amount of brainstorming and collaborating on promotional ideas.  We are always looking for ways to draw more folks into our hobby, which only enhances my job even further.  Some days just fly by when you’re in a mini frame of mind!

I have one daughter, who will be 30 this year. She is a Visual Merchandiser and Wardrobe Stylist in Los Angeles, CA.  When she was small, we did various projects together, and yes, she had a dollhouse.  We had a Simplicity dollhouse model that had fallen off a shelf here at RGT.  It was sort of banged up and needed refurbishing.  After a little TLC, it came home with me.  We had many years of fun making furnishings for her dollhouse from everyday items.  We made rugs, bedspreads and curtains from scraps of fabric.   Those little white plastic pieces from the middle of a delivered pizza made great tables for her dollhouse.

Over the years I have dabbled in several different crafts, mostly sewing and card making projects.  I also love gardening, camping, reading and cooking.  My husband and I enjoy snowshoeing in the winter. At the moment, I only have my Collectibles Cabinet at home.  Room is the issue.  I have several kits in mind that I would like to build, furnish and give as gifts.  I know I shouldn’t say someday…but someday I will build them.  Until then, I take great pride, and get tons of enjoyment, participating in the Real Good Toys Facebook Build-Along projects and being part of the RGT J-Team.

This post is the first in our new Miniaturist of the Month feature. Jen and I thought we would get the ball rolling.  See how easy that was?   We look forward to hearing from our customers, because we want to make you our next Miniaturist of the Month!  Email your information with attached pictures to [email protected] We can’t wait to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

4th Annual Real Good Toys Build-Along Project Finished Photos

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Jodi and I were so excited to see what everybody would come up with for our 4th Annual Build-Along Project featuring the Collectibles Cabinet shell kit.  Lots of people customized to create in mini what their minds only imagined.  Each Build-Along Project is so unique and we’re simply thrilled with the results.  I’m sure you’ll be amazed by the creativity of everybody involved.  Many of our build-alongers were very brave and customized many aspects of their build as well as tried some new techniques .  It’s truly inspiring to see what each and everyone of you do with this annual project.  We’re so privileged to work with you all and be part of such an amazing online community.

Many more people have not finished their kits yet so we hope to add more photos to this album as they roll in.  Take some time to check out the 4th Annual Build-Along Project Finished Photos.  Maybe it will spark an idea and get you in the mini-ing mood.

Jodi and I would like to thank everybody who participated in this year’s Build-Along project and look forward to our 5th Annual Project, which is yet to be determined.  More info will follow in January 2015.  We hope you’ll consider joining us.

For those of you who feel so inclined to create your own mini world with the Collectibles Cabinet shell kit, we still have a few available.  When they’re gone, they’ll be gone forever.

Many Mini Wishes – Jennifer