JDayMinis, My Life, French & Antique Inspiration

Sunday, June 15, 2014

34 Years of Designing Minis continued with the early 1980's






The upper photo shows one of my first roomboxes of a Weaving Studio I made in the early 1980's when I had left weaving and started miniatures. I did this in a wonderful class at Diane's Dollhouse miniature shop that had recently opened in Victoria. The instructor taught us how to make the room box which had glass on the front and two sides and how to finish the flooring and the surface of the box top and base. We then decorated the inside with a theme of our choice. I enjoyed making miniature weavings for the tapestry and pillow, all of the baskets except 2, pottery, table, looms, seat, swift, shuttle, carders, drop spindle etc. I also bought a Dremel lathe at the time to make the spinning wheels which were both reproductions of my own spinning wheel. I also spun some very fine wool to hang on the wall and put in the largest basket in skeins.

In the three photos below the Weaving Studio you can see more of the plastic dolls I made for a show in 1985, I always had so much fun turning the plastic dolls into little people. I had a fascination with dolls and had joined our local doll club and then miniature club. At this time Cabbage Patch dolls became popular after they were first introduced in 1983. I made my youngest son who was about 3 yrs a turquoise and navy jogging suit and made one for a Cabbage Patch Doll as well and they both won a Cabbage Patch look alike contest, he had chubby cheeks at the time. That was exciting for both of us. You can see some of my miniature versions of the Cabbage Patch doll, also fairies which I have always loved. There is also a moth shown in the left of the bottom  photo. I was also making fimo teddies and bunnies etc at this time for the shows. It was fun to use the half scale baby cribs and playpens for them.

Next I would like to talk about how I went from plastic dolls to starting a miniature porcelain doll business.


Monday, June 9, 2014

34 years of designing miniatures and still going!




As I'm getting older time seems to go so much faster and I am becoming much more nostalgic. It is so hard to believe I have been making and selling miniatures full time since 1980 after teaching Art in Jr. High. I would like to write a few blogs of how my miniature business started and evolved more for myself as a journal or record but if you don't mind a bit of reading you might enjoy it too.


The first show where I sold miniatures was at a Christmas craft show when I was pregnant with Alex my youngest son who is now 32, see how time flies!! I used a bunch of large round metal 8mm film canisters. I put a pin cushion on the bottom area and a miniature scene in the top. I made a sewing room, kitchen, baby's room, and a few others that sold well, so I was on my way. We then found that the miniature shop in Victoria was for sale Alex was so small he couldn't talk but thought all the tiny things were great. We bought it, moved everything to a room in our business and I called my business Daydream Miniatures because my last name is Day and it was all a dream. We had a room in our basement where I sold the miniatures by appointment and I also had made a miniature catalog. It was so difficult to make a miniature full line catalog. In those days, nothing was digital. I had to take black and white photos of everything and have the catalog printed. I then put an ad in a miniature magazine and hoped someone was interested. My first show was the local Hobby Rockhound and Stamp show in 1984, shown below. Mom used to take me each year to the Hobby show when I was younger so I was very pleased to be in it myself. I had a very large display with all of the houses John and had built and other kits we were selling. John worked very hard making room boxes and house designs to sell and I finished them inside. I also started fimo and handcrafted miniatures to sell as well. You can see a photo above of our house kits and my roombox of miniatures.


My first miniature show was in Vancouver with the Vancouver miniature club in 1984, since there were other dealers selling full line miniatures they wanted me to sell only my handcrafted miniatures. I had started dressing tiny plastic dolls and took fimo items and tiny pottery that a close friend of mine had made. John made a wonderful open toy shop for me to sell my miniatures. If you look closely at the top photo in the lower right hand corner you can see a room box my old son Tony made of a music room filled with photos and albums. I wish I could find a better photo of it, he did a great job.  It had a dance floor inspired by Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" when he first did his Moon Walk. There is also a container of mini wax by my receipt book that I think is the one I'm still using.

I was so pleased with the reception my minis received and knew then that I was going in the right direction. It was difficult when I first start making miniatures because I wanted to try to make everything that was large small!!!. Life had become so exciting for miniature inspiration.

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