Daily Mini Exclusive: dailymini Nominated for Webby Award

dailymini Named Nominee for 22nd Annual Webby Awards

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The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences has recognized dailymini as a Nominee for the 22nd Annual Webby Awards in the Social Media category of “Weird.”

This nomination spotlights dailymini as one of the five best in the world in its category (and among the top 10% of all work entered).

With over 13,000 entries from all 50 United States and over 70 countries, and 3 million votes in Webby People’s Voice, the 22nd Annual Webby Awards was the biggest in history.


Daily Mini Interview: Shay Aaron Miniatures and TV Set Design

Shay Aaron’s Work on a New Israeli TV Show

Etsy | Instagram | Facebook | Flickr |

Miniature maker Shay Aaron has been busy the past few months. He’s been designing sets, accessories, and props for a new show on Israeli TV network KAN, called מדינת הגמדים. It’s based off of the British series, “Newzoids” and features miniatures and 3D-printed dolls in the odd scale of 1:5. The team is using some 1:6 scale miniatures as well.

מדינת הגמדים is on air now!


Shay Aaron is a master miniaturist who sells his work on Etsy when he’s not busy creating miniature sets or props for TV shows. Based in Tel Aviv, Israel, Shay frequently shares his miniature creations online; follow along on EtsyInstagramFacebook, and Flickr.

Daily Mini Interview: My Petite Art by Ryan Terry

Ryan Terry of My Petite Art

|  Etsy  |  Amazon  |  

mini2How did you first get into miniatures?

I first got interested in miniatures by accident, literally! I have always been interested in art, producing traditional portraits for friends, family, work colleagues without any huge success. Then in 2006, I injured my lower back doing some gardening and was out of work for a considerable length of time. During my rehab, I was listening to the radio when a story of a miniaturist artist, Dave Williams, was aired.

With limited neck movement and time on my hands, I decided to have a go at painting in 1:12 scale. I first painted some miniature Monets and I was quite pleased with the results.

Then two incredible things then happened. Firstly, all twelve of my Monets sold within days. And secondly, and probably more importantly, I found out that painting miniatures helped my concentration no end and really helped me to deal with my constant back pain.

mini4Soon commissions came, mainly from overseas, with a few challenging requests thrown in as well. I have discovered there are two types of collectors when in comes to miniature art. Those who like traditional artists: Monet, Van Gogh, Vermeer, etc. and those who want something unusual. Which is great as it keeps thing fresh. I love Vermeer, but after the umpteenth Girl With a Pearl Earring, it’s nice to paint something original or even something after a relatively unknown artist.

We all know about the great French Impressionists, and I am a huge fan of them but there are also wonderful Russian Impressionists who are just as worthy. Works by Aivazovsky, Malevich and Korovin provide great inspiration for me.

What’s the most unusual miniature you’ve seen?

One particular commission always comes to mind when thinking about unusual miniatures. I was asked to paint a customer’s dog, an Australian Cattle Dog dressed up as Elvis Presley, complete with white suit and rhinestones!

Digital StillCameraWhat other activities do you enjoy?

In recent years, I became an artisan chocolate maker which was enjoyable for a couple of years but didn’t have the same addiction as miniatures. So now, I have decided to combined my passion for chocolate with my passion for miniatures with my new 1:12 scale vintage chocolate displays.

How can we help preserve the future of miniatures?

It’s great having an online presence and very easy to start selling to a huge captive market. The downside is that the retail selling side and miniature fairs are really suffering. I think in the future, fair organizers need to combine their efforts and have less, but bigger fairs.

mini3I love the idea of pop-up shops and one idea I’ve had for a long time now is to have a barge/canal boat and convert it into a floating miniature shop! It could travel up and down the many waterways of England, stopping off at all the major towns. First stop, would have to be my home town, Birmingham. Well, they do have more canals than Venice!

My Petite Art was created by Ryan Terry who’s based in Bournemouth, Dorset, UK. To add some of his miniatures to your collection, shop now on Etsy or head on over to Amazon.


Daily Mini Interview: Littlest Sweet Shop by Nadia Michaux

Littlest Sweet Shop

| Website | Etsy | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube |

What’s your earliest memory with miniatures?

I had a dollhouse when I was really young, and it had all this teeny, tiny furniture; I loved it! It was one of my favorite toys growing up. Of course I had the early Polly Pockets which is a whole miniature world.

How did you first get started making miniatures? 

When I was a child I loved playing with plasticine. I would try to sculpt everything and it was so much fun. I learned about polymer clay only 5 years ago and got back into sculpting. There were so many cute pictures of miniature food online so I wanted to make some for myself since I collected miniatures.

Do you recall the first miniature you made? 

I made a macaron and it was small, but not miniature scale. I glued magnets on it to stick it to the fridge in the garage.

What’s your favorite type of miniature to make?

I love making miniature food since it is a challenge to make it look like the real thing. I enjoy the challenge and thinking up ways to model something more precisely.

What is the most challenging miniature to make?

It is not really difficult, but I find making very small items like sesame seeds or hundreds and thousands sprinkles very tedious. To create a good miniature you have to make hundreds of these tiny elements and it takes long hours to achieve.

How does your environment affect your work?

I live in the English countryside and it is very quiet and peaceful here. It is so easy to start a project and work for a few hours non-stop with full concentration.

What’s the best way for fans to request a work, or purchase your miniature sweets?

I take commissions and all they need to do is request it via the Littlest Sweet Shop website. I also sell some over-stocked items on Etsy.

What advice would you give to new miniaturists? 

Never give up! I had to practice making miniature food everyday solidly for the past 5 years and the early years were the most challenging. I still wasn’t as nimble with clay and making the fiddly bits made you feel so frustrated.

Favorite miniature you own?

I have a set of wooden country-style chairs made by Mini Treasure Shop from Italy. They are gorgeous.

Favorite sweet you like to eat?

Ice cream and any candy with peanut butter and chocolate.

What inspires you?

Cute and colorful things from Japan. And the beautiful countryside where I live.

What is your hope for the field of miniatures? 

I think that there will always be people drawn to miniatures. It would be great to make the art more accessible and for big companies to produce more tools to make miniatures.

Favorite miniaturists?

HMS2Nunu’s House, and BonneChance Yuri.

What would you like to see replicated in miniature?

A candy world with detailed rivers of chocolate and gingerbread houses.

Other activities you enjoy?

I am currently practicing ballet (IDTA Grade 5) and enjoy roller-skating.

What’s something (most) people don’t know about you?

I will be making the food for the upcoming Upton House Doll’s House project that will be unveiled in December 2019 at Upton House and Gardens, Warwickshire, U.K.

Littlest Sweet Shop was created by Nadia Michaux who’s based in Norfolk, England. To see more sweets in miniature, check out the Littlest Sweet Shop site and shop the collection on Etsy. For weekly updates, follow along on InstagramFacebook, and YouTube.

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Daily Mini Feature: Hobby Builders Supply and miniatures.com Announce Winners of 24th Annual Creatin’ Contest

2017 Creatin’ Contest Winners

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Hobby Builders Supply/miniatures.com, manufacturer and wholesaler of quality dollhouse components since 1975, has announced the winners from its 2017/24th Annual Creatin’ Contest. The recently completed contest centered around the Craftsman Cabin. There were nearly 100 entrants from 32 states, Canada, and the Netherlands. More than 50 percent were first time entrants. They used their imagination to create many different designs, with the most popular being houses, camps or retreats, restaurants or cafés, and retail businesses.

“We are happy to see so many interesting and creative projects,” said Kara Deason, Marketing Director for Houseworks Ltd. She continued:

“The fact that 51% of our entrants were first-timers tells us that miniatures continue to gain interest from the general population and we see different generations working together to complete amazing projects.”

Grand prize winner is Kelly Havens with Cottage by the Sea. Kelly is from Lenexa, Kansas and shared the following, “I had so much fun working on this kit to create Cottage by the Sea, and I am beyond excited to win! The kit was so different than the typical dollhouse. The shape of the original kit, being more square, was a challenge to arrange the interior. It made me think more creatively about what this kit could become.”

“It was my first time to alter an original kit, make paper clay shingles, all the flowers, the front door, stitch the rugs and needlepoint pictures, dress the bed, use battery lights, build a garage and fill it with tools and other stuff! My advice is to make something personal that reflects things in your life that you enjoy or love. By making my house personal, all these passions and dreams are reflected in the end product!”

First place winner is Sharon Elgin of Boonville, Indiana with the Quest Travel Agency. According to Sharon, “What I like best about Quest Travel is how it reminds me of that sense of excitement my husband and I experienced when we booked our first big trip years ago and received our travel documents from our travel agent.The upward slant of the kit’s roof gave me the idea to build an addition with a 2nd roof ‘soaring’ in the opposite direction. This impression of flight inspired me to create a travel agency. I felt the entrance should be on the left side, so I built the kit in reverse. I made the agents’ desks, client chairs, file cabinets, window cornices, many of the accessories, and shelves from scratch. I’m so excited to have placed first in this wonderful contest!”

Second place goes to Sandy O’Grady with Frankie’s Garage. Sandy is from Longmont, Colorado and says, “I have always tried to create unusual projects. This contest is the first I have ever entered. As I pre-fit the bungalow kit, I realized that it could be easily adapted into the garage I was planning as a surprise for my son.”

“I decided to make this garage as realistic as I could, so I knew I would have to ‘grunge’ it up. I am a very tidy person, so I had to think hard about how to achieve it. I learned a lot about how to make a building look old, dirty and dilapidated, finally settling on using watered down acrylic paints and a cloth to blot them. And I found that lighting really makes the scene or setting come to life and sets the mood.”

Third place is Kristine Hanna from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada with Belmont House. According to Kristine, “When I first saw the kit I fell in love with its blend of modern and traditional design. The little windows in the loft space made me think of modern homes with glass fronts. I was really surprised at how easily the kit fit and joined together. I think having the walls and floors slot together and be so sturdy is what made making any structural changes possible. The windows at the front ended up being my favorite part of the house. They offer a lot of light and visibility into the interior and open, allowing hands in to decorate!”

“The biggest thing I learned from this build is to plan at the beginning. The moment I finalized my design the whole process went so much smoother and quicker. The best part of participating is that I now have a completely finished dollhouse to display my favorite miniatures! The contest was the best motivation to get it completed and really challenge myself. I can definitely see why so many people take part every year!”

The 2018/25th Annual Creatin’ Contest features the new and exclusive Three Gables House Kit. The kit has been designed specifically for HBS/miniatures.com and has features to make assembly easier. Entries are due by December 17, 2018 and you can order the kit here. Like this past year, grand prize is a $1,000 HBS/miniatures.com gift certificate. Gift certificates will be awarded ($500, $300, $200 for first place, second and third), $200 for first-time entrants, and $50 each for honorable mention. A thank you gift is given to all that enter the contest.

Houseworks Ltd. has manufactured and provided quality dollhouse components to thousands of dealers and distributors around the world. Houseworks Ltd., headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, was founded in 1975 by Mickey Benamy, and remains a family-owned business. Over the years, Houseworks Ltd. has established a level of excellence in quality, design and service. Its standard has become the industry benchmark. Houseworks Ltd. sells products as Hobby Builders Supply/miniatures.com.

Hobby Builders Supply, Houseworks Ltd., and miniatures.com are major players in the miniatures business. To see more of the Creatin’ Contest entries including first-time entrants’ houses, flip through this slideshow. To learn more about the Hobby Builders Supply and miniatures.com team, check out this recent dailymini featureFollow along to see what’s happening in the miniatures world: Small Talk blogInstagramFacebookPinterest, and Twitter

Daily Mini Interview: Miniature Paintings by Bozinatinyart

Bozinatinyart miniature paintings

Instagram |

What’s your earliest memory with miniatures?

I have been painting miniature all my life. I have always been fascinated with miniature paintings especially antique miniature portrait paintings.

Do you have a background in the arts?

I studied fine art and art history.

What inspires you? What keeps you creating?

I am inspired by nature and the play of light.

What’s the most challenging aspect of your work with miniatures?

I love the challenge of painting small and capturing scenes on a tiny space.

What’s the most difficult miniature you make? And why? 

The most difficult scenes are seascapes. Waves are a challenge to paint tiny.

Motto you live by? 

My motto is everyday is a gift life it to its fullest.

Would you like to share a dailymini exclusive with readers?

Most people don’t know that I am a vocalist and musician.

Tina Britney lives on the south shore of Massachusetts. She creates miniatures as Bozinatinyart on Instagram. Follow along here!

Daily Mini Interview: Miniatures by Susete Saraiva

Horror Miniatures by Susete Saraiva 

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What’s your earliest memory with miniatures?

My mom bought me a miniature tea set as a little girl that I fell in love with. ‘Til this day it’s still one of my favorite keepsakes.

How did you first get started making miniatures?  

I’ve been collecting 7″ figures for years, and with that I began doing toy photography for fun. That hobby slowly led me to the idea of creating miniature props and scale backgrounds/dioramas for more realistic photos. From that point on, I found that my love for miniatures was growing daily and this inspired me to take my ideas down a few scales.

How about your interest with the horror genre? 

My love with horror definitely began around the age of 5, when I snuck into the living room while The Exorcist was on TV. My fascination overpowered the fear I felt at the time which slowly turned into an obsession: the thrill of being frightened.

Do you remember the very first miniature you made?

I was setting up for a photo to take with my Ghostface (scream) figure. I made him a “Serial Killing for Dummies” book. It’s still kicking around somewhere.

What is your favorite type of miniature to make?

Definitely my horror houses. I love the idea of taking some of my favorite homes and bringing them to life in miniature form to display. They are also my most challenging pieces, which in the end gives me the most satisfaction when finally complete.

What advice would you give to new miniaturists? 

Pay attention to every little detail, something as small as a keyhole can make a huge difference. Also, never lose your will of wanting to learn. Every day I learn something new, new ways to improve my craft. It’s never-ending.

Favorite miniature you’ve made?

I recently made a replica of the Evil Dead Cabin with a functioning swing and lights. It’s easily become one of my favorites.

Favorite horror movie?

Although there are many possible answers here, narrowing it down to just one: The Exorcist, without a doubt.

Favorite horror novel?

The Shining by Stephen King.

Favorite quote from a scary movie?

“We all go a little mad sometimes. Haven’t you?”—Psycho (1960)

Favorite fictional character or monster from horror movies, comic books, TV shows, etc.? 

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!

What inspires you? 

Horror movies.

Most memorable miniature you’ve ever seen?

Adam Dougherty makes mini “tooth fairies” and they are as weird as much as they are cute!

Why miniatures? What appeals to you most about what you do?

As the saying goes, “The devil is in the details” but more so, is the satisfaction… being able to look at a completed piece after hours of eye strain and cramping fingers, and seeing how it’s come together just as I envisioned it. That feeling of satisfaction became an addiction, and drives me through the challenges of the various projects I choose.

Why miniatures?

Because they’re just too damn cute!

What’s to come from Susete Saraiva?  

You’ll definitely be seeing more “horror houses” in the months to follow. As well as some original pieces that will, of course, be creepy in nature.

Words you live by? 

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.” —Stephen King

Other activities you enjoy? 

Other than watching horror movies, TV shows, and the occasional Disney flick, I love going for walks by the ravine with my dogs. Being surrounded by nature refreshes my state of mind.

Would you like to share a dailymini exclusive with readers?  

I think one thing most people don’t know is that as much as I love the horror, I’m also a huge fan of Disney and whimsical things.

Susete Saraiva is based in Toronto, Canada. To shop her latest in miniature macabre, have a look on Etsy and make sure to follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

Daily Mini Interview: Little Shop of Miniatures

Little Shop of Miniatures

Website | BlogFacebook | Instagram | Pinterest |
Use code DAILYMINI for 15% off your first order! Valid through 2/17/18.

What’s your earliest memory with miniatures?

That would be the day my late grandmother presented me with a dollhouse she personally assembled, painted, and wallpapered. My sister got one, too, and it was just the most magical day for us. We had no idea she had this in the works, so the surprise element made it that much more memorable. My grandma was incredible crafty, and she even crocheted miniature rugs for each room.

I quickly became obsessed with that dollhouse, eventually filling it with every kind of miniature. I actually think I became pretty antisocial for a few years as I spent every spare minute with my dollhouse or at the local miniatures store, blowing every last allowance, birthday, and First Communion dollar. See two photos of that dollhouse below. Because my love of miniatures all goes back to my grandma, I made the shop logo her favorite color of teal.

How did you first get started collecting miniatures?

Confession: I am hopelessly uncrafty and have only made a handful of miniatures in my life. None of them are even close to Instagram worthy. I prefer to collect miniatures from people with far more talent than me.

And how did you take your passion from there, onward to launch your own business?

I’ve always wanted to start my own business; tons of people in my family are entrepreneurs and my parents owned a business together for more than 30 years. But I had no idea what that business would be, so after earning my super awesome liberal arts degree, I instead worked in corporate America.

I chugged along in my cubicle for more than a decade before I finally decided to get off my keister and get serious about starting a business. The challenges and growth possibilities of e-commerce interested me, plus I figured I would have a leg up from all those years of avid online shopping under my belt. I started learning everything I could about starting an online store and eventually chose miniatures because it was already a passion and I felt I could create a really unique and fun online miniatures destination. I laid the groundwork for nine months before I put in my notice. If you want to get strange looks, try telling people you’re leaving a secure Fortune 500 job to sell dollhouse miniatures on the Internet!

Do you remember the very first miniature you ever made?

Oh, yes. It was so incredibly basic: I simply took a Kodak film canister (remember those?), lined it with a bit of plastic, cut out a plastic cover, and called it a trash can.

What’s your favorite type of miniature?

My most favorite category on the site is the miniature food. I’m especially partial to miniature cakes and have actually found a way to make them that’s super easy. Just take a soda cap and layer some wall spackle on it. Try to make those pretty waves you see on professional cakes. Let it dry. Voila–you now have a miniature cake! I jazz up my “cakes” with sprinkles and decals.

How do your surroundings affect or inspire your work?

We’re based out of Erie, Pennsylvania, which recently made news for getting 53 inches of snow in 36 hours. We have insane winters, but in some way I relish the peace and slow pace of the cold weather months. It’s certainly helped my productivity since options are limited when you can barely leave the house! I also love living near the woods and a Great Lake–I always get my best ideas when I’m outside. I am also inspired by music–I really can’t work without it and I listen to just about anything depending on my mood. Right now, I’m rocking some old school Mariah Carey.

What advice would you give to new business owners?

Just take the chance if you feel pulled in that direction. People will say it’s a risk to start your own business, but so is wasting opportunities and your potential. Time is our most precious resource–don’t let your whole life pass you by without going for what you most want. I was a nervous wreck before I quit my job and worried about every worst case scenario. I found that things were much better once I got started and that action really does kill fear.

Favorite miniature you own?

I love anything by Itsy Bitsy Mini. I have one of her mini Birkin bags with a chic scarf tied around it. I’ve always wanted to own a Birkin bag… until that day comes, I have the miniature version!

What inspires you?

That moment in the morning after I’ve had my first cup of coffee and before the chaos of the day gets into full swing. The day is fresh and new and everything seems possible.

Also, traveling alone. I’ve traveled to Montreal, Germany, Machu Picchu, and several U.S. cities on my own. With no companion, I get extra focused on the environment and am generally more open to talking to strangers. That said, I love traveling with others, too. My husband and I actually traveled across the entire country by Amtrak train this past summer. And we did it in coach!

What is the most memorable miniature you have ever seen?

Little Shop of Miniatures has some pretty bizarre items: a miniature Ouija board, exact miniature replicas of presidential chairs, miniature condoms. But my favorite odd miniature has to be the “Old Sparky” electric chair.

What is your hope for the field of miniatures?

I hope the interest in miniatures continues to grow and to find an audience among people of all ages and places. It’s so encouraging to scroll through Instagram and see what people all over the world are creating and collecting. In particular, I love seeing all the young people developing a love for minis. I think we’re all realizing the magic of miniatures in an increasingly digital world.

Favorite miniaturists?

What would you like to see replicated in miniature?

I wish there was a way to have exact miniature versions of homes you’ve lived in made. I get very sentimental when I move and think that having a miniature version of my old places would be awesome.

Why miniatures? 

For me, I’ve always relished the opportunity to fashion my own small world full of things I’ll probably never own in real life. (See Birkin bag example above!) It soothes my inner control freak while also letting me be creative, which is something that can be hard to be when you’re a married adult.

I love what I do because I’m always scoping out the best new miniatures to come on the market and I get to connect with other people who love them as much as I do.

What’s to come from Little Shop of Miniatures?

I am still uploading products like a maniac–I’m really only at the tip of the iceberg in terms of inventory. I also want to add lots of new content to the Little Shop blog.How can miniature enthusiasts connect or collaborate with you?

Ask my husband–I’m always online! So you can email me at amanda (at) shopofminiatures.com, Facebook message me (average response time: 5 minutes), Instagram message me. Heck, I even have my phone number on the shop site since I am the customer service “department.”

Words you live by?

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Favorite miniature quote?

“If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.”

Hobbies you enjoy?

Traveling, reading, swimming, horseback riding, and hiking.

And, if I’m being completely honest, watching Say Yes to the Dress for hours on end and listening to Michael Bolton. I’m seriously a huge fan of his!

What do you want miniature fans to know about you?

It’s my goal for Little Shop of Miniatures to be the premier online destination for miniature lovers. I want you to find everything you desire and to have a fun and easy shopping experience, too. If there’s ever anything you can’t find, you can always contact me and I will do my best to find what you need by going back to my vendors. And I always welcome any feedback you have!

Would you like to share a dailymini exclusive with readers? 

Yes! Use code DAILYMINI to take 15% off your entire order. This code is good for the next 30 days–through February 17, 2018–so happy shopping, mini friends!

Little Shop of Miniatures was launched by Amanda Austin from Erie, Pennsylvania. It’s the snowiest city in America! To see what she’s been up to, or to shop her miniatures, visit the Little Shop of Miniatures website and use code DAILYMINI for 15% off your first order. Stay current and connected by following Little Shop of Miniatures on FacebookInstagram, and pin away on Pinterest. And make sure to check out the Little Shop blog, too!

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Daily Mini Update: New Delft Roombox by Robert Off of Miniature Rooms Company

“Vermeer’s Studio – Delft, 1650” by Robert Off

Website | Interview |

Robert Off of Miniature Rooms Company just completed a new miniature roombox, entitled “Vermeer’s Studio – Delft, 1650.” This work is 1:12 scale and measures 12” x 24” x 12.” It’s illuminated by more than 20 small LED lights, each individually painted.

Robert Off had been captivated by Johannes Vermeer’s paintings for the past few years: specifically his ability to capture sunlight, use of soft colors, and masterly treatment of of perspective all combine to draw the viewer into his paintings. As one looks at several of his paintings, it becomes clear that most of the scenes were staged and painted by him in the same studio.

This box is Robert Off’s vision of what Vermeer’s Delft studio may have looked like in 1650. He goes on to share, “Not much is known about Vermeer and only 34 works attributed to him are known to exist today. It is also theorized by a number of scholars that he used a mechanical optical device known as a camera obscure, a device similar to a pin hole camera with a projector lens, to assist him in creating the correct perspective of the scene.”

Robert Off continues, “No one really knows what Vermeer’s studio may have really looked like or even if he used optical aids in his paintings. However, I used bits and pieces of what is known today to create my vision of what his studio may have looked like. Most importantly, I wanted to try to capture the mood of the place by using the elements of the sun light streaming through the windows; the small leaded window panes, the beamed ceiling and wood moldings, the complex pattern of the tile floor, the texture and detail of the oriental rug and the humanity and warmth of a sleeping a dog.”

The Roombox Details:

The view out of the window is a reproduction of Vermeer’s painting of the city of “Delft in 1650.”

The 550 individual floor tiles were made to my specifications in Germany by Rita and Horst Kruger. They also assisted in creating the pattern which was copied from Vermeer’s paintings.

The Delft vase on the table was made in Delft by artisan Henny Staring-Egberts, and the wood windows and the very delicate window mullions, were laser cut to my specifications by Scott Alessio in his New York shop.

All of the paintings in the box are reproductions of Vermeer’s with the exception of the painting on the right wall which is a reproduction of a painting by Pieter de Hooch. His paintings were part of the scenes in some of Vermeer’s paintings.

The section of a camera obscure on the left forefront of box was created by Robert Off who took artistic license in its design as nobody has the “wildest idea of what the actual camera may have looked like,” assuming one was ever used by Vermeer.

A yellow tulip was placed in the photo to illustrate the scale of the box, and also as a not-so-subtle reference to the “Bitcoin Mania” taking place around the world today and its similarity to the “Great Tulip Mania” which took place in the Netherlands over four hundred years ago in 1617.

Robert Off of Miniature Rooms Company hails from Cincinnati, Ohio. To see more of his work, check out miniaturerooms.com. To learn more about his inspiration and background, check out this dailymini interview.

Daily Mini Interview: Call of the Small by Christine Ferrara

Call of the Small

Website | Blog | Instagram |
| Facebook | Twitter | Flickr |

What’s your earliest memory with miniatures?

My earliest memory with miniatures is coming down on Christmas morning as a five year old to a pink and white dollhouse. I was totally surprised and thrilled to have my first house.

How did you first start collecting miniatures? 

I first collected as a child, but then my collecting faded as I became a teenager. My interest in miniatures was reignited as an adult, when I was searching for a dollhouse for my then eight-year-old daughter. I found a very modern house (Villa Sibi), and my husband bought it for me as a surprise for Christmas. That definitely started my obsession.

How did Call of the Small come about in 2009?

Once I had the Villa Sibi, I realized that there was a whole fascinating community of modern miniature collectors all over the world. Some of them, such as Mini Modern, had blogs, and I loved reading about collections and the art of collecting. So, I decided to start my own blog, Call of the Small, in January 2009. I came up with the name in a very immediate manner – it just popped into my head and I liked the idea of heeding the “call” of the small. It just made sense to me.

What services do you offer through Call of the Small?

I do miniature photography and styling for a range of projects, including book covers and magazine articles. Interestingly, my work has been used to illustrate “life-size” design and concepts. I help bring ideas to life! I also source and rent out my houses and furnishings for prop stylists, editors, etc.

What aspect of your work with Call of the Small do you enjoy most? 

Generally, I love working on challenging projects that require creative solutions, and being able to achieve them through miniatures is pretty awesome! I also enjoy the creative freedom that comes from such projects, and I’ve been fortunate to work with book designers, art directors, prop stylists, and others on articulating their respective visions. I’ve found that miniatures tend to open people up – seeing everyday objects realistically small usually makes most people smile.

Tell us a bit about your 19 dollhouses. 

I have a variety of houses in my collection, and they date from the 1960s through the present day. The majority of them are 1:12 scale, but some are slightly smaller (1:18) and larger (1:10). There’s definitely a soft spot in my heart for the Villa Sibi, since it was my first house. I also love the Citadel, a house that I bought on eBay, but drove from NJ to Chicago to pick up! My Kaleidoscope House is also very special to me.

What advice would you give to new collectors and redecorators? 

  • Focus your collecting; otherwise you will go bankrupt!
  • Pace your collecting, to ensure that you have adequate storage and space to properly house your treasures!
  • Don’t be hasty to renovate a house; live with it for a bit.
  • If you truly love something, don’t hesitate to get it. Trust your instincts.
  • Encourage those whose work you admire, especially miniature artisans and other makers – share their work on social media, give them some free PR! This will help ensure their ongoing success.
  • Share expertise and tips with others to help keep the collecting community lively, informed, and strong.
  • Take creative risks. For me, this means being bold with pattern, color, and design.
  • Revel in different cultures and perspectives in the collecting community; there is much to be gained from others, and miniature collecting is a great equalizer.
  • Become more hands-on (literally), even if you think you’re not naturally gifted to do so. I’ve learned a lot just by trial and error and lots of experimenting.
  • See the world through “mini eyes.” Try to think of creative ways to re-purpose everyday items for use in miniature environments.

Favorite miniature you own by another artist?

This is a tough question! One of my favorite pieces is a midcentury-style shelving unit by Paris Renfroe, a trained architect who has been doing miniatures for the past decade. You can see the shelf here. It is so beautifully made and is so fine in its detail.

What inspires you?

  • Great design and architecture
  • Unexpected and beautiful patterns
  • Pops of color and interesting shapes
  • Midcentury and classic modern lines

What is the most memorable miniature you have ever seen by another artist?

I love work by Slinkachu, who is an artist based in the UK. He uses extremely small-scale figurines traditionally used in train layouts and photographs them in public spaces. The result is very compelling, unexpected, and humorous site-specific miniature artwork. So clever! I also admire the photography of the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death by Corinne May Botz. The Nutshell Studies are models of crime scenes from the 1940s and 50s created by Frances Glessner Lee, and are completely fascinating!

What is your hope for the field of miniatures? 

I’m intrigued by the intersection of art and miniatures, so it would be great if there were more dialogue among mini collectors, artisans, visual artists whose work intersects with miniatures, and museum curators/gallery owners.

I could envision collaborations/projects, events, panel discussions, or other opportunities to share ideas, inspirations, etc. This would also be an opportunity to engage editors, art directors, prop stylists, book publishers, and others who are always looking for creative solutions for their projects. Miniatures might be the answer!

Favorite mini accounts?

I greatly admire the work of mini-makers Paris Renfroe; Doris Nathanson of minimodernistas; and Phillip Nuveen, just to name a few. There are also many gorgeous feeds on Instagram under #dollhouse.

Dream house (in mini) you’d like to work on?

I’d love it if someone would create and make commercially available a 1:12 scale version of Phillip Johnson’s Glass House. That would be a dream to play with!!

Why miniatures? What appeals to you most about what you do?

The greatest appeal for me with miniatures is being able to completely control your environment. I can take creative risks with huge reward. I also love beautifully composed spaces that look life-like even though they are miniature – it’s playful trickery!

What’s to come from Call of the Small?

In addition to further developing my creative services offerings, I would like to complete my Contemporary Dollhouse by Doll Domiciles, which needs lots work, since it’s a scratch build!

Words you live by?

Call of the Small… where small modern lives large!

What’s something (most) people don’t know about you?

I wouldn’t call it an “exclusive” by any means, but most people who follow me as Call of the Small probably have no idea that I’m a fiercely competitive tennis player. I play with a wonderful group of women in a range of USTA women’s and mixed doubles leagues. It’s great exercise and a terrific stress-reducer!

Call of the Small was founded in 2009 by Christine Ferrara who’s based in Princeton, NJ. She offers a range of miniature design and photography services. See what she’s been up to lately on the Call of the Small website or blog. You can also follow along on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Flickr.

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