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There's something fascinating about miniaturization. Maybe it has to do with shrinking reality down to a more manageable size. When I was a kid one of the neighbors, an architect by trade, built incredible miniatures. For his job he created models of buildings which were impressive enough, but in his spare time he turned to minuscule furniture and a wide variety of other items. I remember particularly the spinning wheel with moving parts. It probably would have spun wool if you could have found small enough sheep.

One reason I enjoy maps is that they are, in a sense, miniaturized geography. When I go orienteering I can hold an entire park in my hand.

Many years ago I built a dollhouse. I'm not much of a craftsman. About the only tools I knew how to use were a coping saw and a rat-tail file. The house was crude but it did have a mirrored ballroom, hard wood floors and built-in book cases.

If I still had the dollhouse I would have something to put on the shelves. Mystery writer Christine A, Verstraetes has had the neat idea of putting online at Miniature Bookshelf tiny book jackets which can be printed out for the entertainment of dollhouse residents. (Seven For A Secret is available there)

Christine has written a mystery, Searching For a Starry Night about missing miniature art.

I actually painted a miniature Starry Night for the dollhouse. I also created a Monet, "Houses of Parliament" and a Degas ballerina, the latter by means of pastels carved down to tiny points with a razor blade. All those paintings have gone missing as well.

I rather wish I could see them again but I probably recall them as being more impressive than they were. Memory, like miniaturization, tends to reduce reality to a more manageable and pleasing size.

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