The Large and Small of It

Sydney's Bay House, watercolor by Noel

The year we built The Seaview, 1976, was also the Bicentennial year, when a nice “older” couple (probably younger than Noel and I are now) in Oysterville, WA, at the north end of our peninsula, befriended us. They had us for dinners, plied us with drinks, and charmed us into helping organize the town Bicentennial celebration. They also happened to live in one of the oldest and quaintest houses in the area, an 1869 house full of history, architectural quirks, and a resident ghost, all of which gave us lots of first-hand research for our houses. Besides giving us a nice break from our many jobs (not to mention adding the task of the Bicentennial picnic and crafts fair…), they introduced us to their daughter Sydney (perhaps due to the favorable reception we had with Mrs. Crouch, her parents’ household ghost, who made an appearance the first night we were there.), newly relocated from San Francisco. We became friends, and Sydney liked our dollhouses so much she asked Noel to design the bayside house she would live in for the next  20 years. An architect and some talented craftsmen/builders took over from Noel’s initial rendering, but he got it started.

The Bay House--full-size

You may recognize the board & batten treatment used in teaching projects of ours like the Beach Cottage and the Garden Shed. Besides being a good friend, Sydney blogs on community life and chicken farming in the little town of Oysterville: www.

Sydney Stevens

About smallhousepress

In 1974, my husband Noel and I began building aged miniature houses for collectors and museums. We were 70's dropouts. We quit our careers in advertising--art director and writer, respectively--and escaped Los Angeles in a VW camper and a Bug for a simpler life on the coast of Washington State. From a tiny studio in our home, we built 64 houses and buildings. Our specialty was aging--making a structure that reflected the scars and wrinkles of time, the elements, and human habitation. In the 80s we began teaching our techniques in workshops around the country, and I began to write our how-to's in Nutshell News and Miniature Collector. In 2000 we migrated across the Columbia to Astoria, OR, where , in 2011, we retired from miniatures. We are Fellows of the International Guild of Miniature Artisans and taught at their annual school in Castine, ME. By avocation I am a writer and poet. The blog is my way of working back into a writing routine, as well as recording what we did, and what we learned along the way.
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