In the spring of 1983 I attended The Sun Country Doll Folks Annual Show (44 years old this year) and was enthralled when I came across a table filled with wonderful miniatures. Until then, I had thought I was the only adult in the world who liked tiny things, and I was just mesmerized by what the woman was exhibiting and selling. I circled the room but was drawn back more than once to that table. She smiled at me and said something like, "I see you like miniatures."
"Oh yes," I said. "These are wonderful!"
Her name was Patsy McAnally (now Tessier), and she told me she belionged to a local miniatures club. Because they met in each others' homes, their membership was limited, and one had to be invited to join. "Would you like to attend one of our meetings as my guest?" she asked. I was beside myself with happiness and at that first meeting, I passed muster somehow, because they invited me to join their club in September 1984.
What followed changed my life entirely, and I am the miniaturist I am today because of Patsy and those talented, opinionated and energetic old-timer miniaturists who took me under their collective wings so long ago. They had been building and furnishing dollhouses from the days when hardly anything was available professionally and were masters at contriving. Over time they shared their successes and their mistakes, as well as their materials, and I learned from the best.
Patsy had a shop in her home, and held twice monthly workshops. One day would be everything you could do with paper, another time would be working with fabric, another working with clay and resin, etc. By the time we finished the cycle, we had created a small setting that would fit within a dome and (other than actual construction) had the expertise to do almost anything from that point on.
It was at one of those Saturday workshops that I made my Easter dinner, which has appeared on some table in our living room every Easter season for close to 30 years.