MIXING CRAFTS AND FICTION

Mixing crafts and fiction writing has been my way of life for a while.

In the Periodic Table Mysteries, my first series, Gloria Lamerino moves back to Revere, Massachusetts after 30 years in California and takes an apartment above her friends’ funeral home. Of course I had to build the home. Attached is a photo of the embalming room in the basement.

embalm

I had fun fashioning the table out of foil, then adding Dorothy’s shoes (in case the deceased craved one last journey) and the champagne cage stool, which also provides an idea of the scale. The washer/dryer are off to the side as they are in the books, on the same level as the embalming equipment. (Thus Gloria does her laundry only in bright daylight.)

In my upcoming fourth series, my character, Cassie Miller, is a postmaster in a small town. Of course I had to build a post office.

6-30-14 inPO

The creative flow goes both ways—my writing inspires miniature scenes, and the scenes then take on a life of their own and inspire my writing.

Crafting, like writing, is also a form of therapy—from an early age, I “hid” in my dollhouse, safe from what was going on around me. But that’s another story! Let me just say that there was no Gerry Porter of the Miniature Mysteries in my life, no Gerry-and-Maddie family, as recently featured in Madness in Miniature (Perseverance Press 2014).

All the more understandable, there was a special thrill in building this post office: I enlisted the help of the 10-year-old daughter of a friend of mine, author Diana Orgain (The Maternal Instinct Mysteries and others). My young friend made the money in the cash register, chose the furniture from my stock of leftovers, and contributed a great deal to the whole scene. I knew she was having fun when she pretended to try to stick her Barbie in the door!

barbie

I love working with the next generation of crafters. Especially with dollhouses and miniatures, it seems, most of the artisans I see at shows are my age or older—not a good thing! The organizations I belong to do their best to encourage youngsters through special workshops for children, and I take it as a personal responsibility to attract new, young crafters.

Through the year, miniaturists (including me) send supplies and scraps for the children’s workshops. We contribute paint, paper, glue, brushes, doll parts, material for bases, and miniature “anythings.” It’s a great way to control my own inventory as well as introduce the next generation to the pleasures of crafting.

 

 

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2 Responses

  1. How delightful, Camille. You continue to amaze me with your creative series and now your matching crafts. Back in the 90s I ran a craft shop in our Vermont barn; when a customer would ring a bell I’d race out of the house, away from my computer, to sell a handmade shawl or rocking chair or cutting board… How I wish I’d had miniature morgues and post offices for sale! I guess it takes a creative mathematician to make such scenes. I’m all thumbs at such an art. And yes, let’s call it an art!

  2. How fun to have a shop like that on your property! I wish I had such a place to offer my minis, Nancy!

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