Author Archives: smallhousepress

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.

Frosty Malt Shop: Part I

Started soon after the Greene & Greene was delivered in 1989, the Frosty Malt Shop was completed in late 1990. The months while Noel and I built counter stools and neon signage in miniature, the newly launched Hubble Space Telescope … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Miniatures | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

Yes, More to Come!

To those of you wondering, and asking, when the next post will be, it’s in the works. Our summer turned much busier than anticipated–Noel is painting like crazy, we have a new dog (Alice, see below), the yard doth sprout … Continue reading

Posted in Miniatures | 14 Comments

The Summer House: “A Simple Cottage”

Sitting out a thunderstorm in Atlanta on our way home from teaching the Airplane Café in Maine, I suggested we go back to the ABC’s–come up with a simple project for our students. As fun as the three roadside stands … Continue reading

Posted in Houses, Miniatures | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

The Airplane Cafe: Lunch on the Road

In the late and frivolous 1920s, Americans loved flying aces, motion pictures, and automobiles. America was motion crazy. We idolized the daring breed of ex-fighter pilots who flew the U.S. Mail Service by the seat of their pants. On the … Continue reading

Posted in Houses, Miniatures, Teaching | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Fish & Fries, 1988: Kitsch on the Line

1988 was a leap year, and the year we took a leap of faith on how funky a project our students would sign up for. Noel was always pushing the edges of the miniatures world, while I was trying to … Continue reading

Posted in Houses, Memoir, Teaching | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Signs of the Past: Pine Lake Park Lunch

1987 saw me running a little faster than time. That year my sister and I threw a 50th wedding anniversary party for our parents, across country in Massachusetts. It wasn’t until the invitations went out that an aunt noted that … Continue reading

Posted in Houses, Miniatures, Teaching | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Learning Aloha: Tradewinds Fruit & Veggies

About a year into our work on the Greene & Greene house we had to take care of some other assignments for our teaching schedule. The first was a project for the NAME 1987 cruise around the Hawaiian Islands. The … Continue reading

Posted in Bio, Miniatures | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Minis, Knitting, Rocket Science–When It’s Over, It’s Over, But Then It’s Never Really Over

“I can’t believe you were actually able to part with (the Greene & Greene house) after all that.  Do you ever go to Tucson to visit it?”– Question from Kathleen after my last entry. Thanks, Kathleen, that’s one of those big … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Miniatures | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

You Have to Stop Somewhere…the Greene & Greene, Pt. III

The final months of the Greene & Greene were reminiscent of preparations for a large family wedding. Deadlines were set and broken as “final” alterations compounded and time calculations protracted. Lists of furnishings and exterior details were trimmed at breakfast, … Continue reading

Posted in Miniatures | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments

The Godzilla Factor: The Greene & Greene, Part II

The Godzilla Factor developed as a further aspect of the miniature Greene & Greene/Gamble House interpretation saga—the monster/s (reincarnated as the architect/designers Charles & Henry Greene) that held us in their thrall, nibbling away at our sleep, our lives, our very … Continue reading

Posted in Houses, Miniatures, People | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments