Announcements

SDMC Holiday Party will be held Tuesday, December 15, 2009. Contact Gloria if you wish to help.

The next Show Meeting will be held November 11th at Jeannie Jessie's, 10:00am

Congratulations to Leslie Hopwood

Member of the Year

Congratulations to:

San Diego Miniature Crafters: Blue Ribbon Award

18 Achievement in Miniature (AIM) members.

Our 35th Annual Show and Sale was a rousing success, due in great part to the article in the San Diego Union highlighting Buff's work and our club. Kudos to Leslie for getting us "in the news". We had a over 1,400 attendees and lots of interest in our club and our craft.

See article below:

Crafters share their mini splendid things
2-day event to mark group's 35th year
By John Wilkens
Union-Tribune Staff Writer

2:00 a.m. February 6, 2009
Buff Greaney worked on new miniatures and displayed others she has made over the years at her Poway home. Here, she looked through a window at a banjo player on his cabin porch. (Bruce K. Huff / Union-Tribune) -
Details

35th annual “Nostalgia in Miniatures” show

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

Where: Al Bahr Shrine Center, 5440 Kearny Mesa Road

What: Miniatures exhibit, vendors, free youth workshop from 1 to 2 p.m. both days.

Cost: $6 for adults, $2 for children ages 8 to 11

Information: sdminiatures.com

SAN DIEGO — When they go to restaurants and get the little plastic butter containers, they save the empties – might make good swimming pools.

They ask their dentists for discarded hand tools – the sharp points are perfect for pushing tiny wallpaper into the tiny corners of tiny rooms.

The San Diego Miniature Crafters are holding their 35th annual show this weekend in Kearny Mesa, a chance for members to display creations – elaborate libraries, spooky pirate caves, sleepy haciendas – that can take years to finish and a magnifying glass to believe.

“This is a hobby that you control, that you can go into and just be by yourself,” said Leslie Hopwood, a Rancho Peñasquitos resident and miniatures builder. “What you are creating is yours, and you don't have to compromise for anyone.”

For Hopwood, it's all about storytelling. She likes to create miniature rooms that remind her of special places, events or people.

She did a pizzeria once that memorializes family members who came to America through Ellis Island. She did a library with a makeshift tent in the middle – a blanket draped over a rope. “That's how my daughters used to play,” she said.

The library also has on its shelves replicas of the Hopwood family's favorite books, including a volume on workplace safety written by her husband, Dan. The books are actually small pieces of wood with paper covers reduced in size on a computer and then printed out.

Buff Greaney, a builder from Poway, is known for whimsical miniatures – “weird,” to use her word. One, based on a painting, is of Merlin the magician's room. Another, to be displayed at this weekend's show, is of Santa's kitchen. The elves have been making cookies, and the place is a mess.

“Doing this just takes you into another world,” Greaney said. “I like that if you feel you want to decorate your real house, but you can't, you can do it in a miniature.”

Greaney's work is in the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum downtown. It's a miniature of a block of Third Street from old Chinatown, and it's one of her largest at about 2 by 3 feet.

Crafters work in different scales, usually 1-inch or one-quarter inch. (The dimension used is equal to 1 foot in real life.) Some build complete houses, but those take up considerable space when finished.

Many club members focus instead on rooms or vignettes, building them in shadow boxes, baskets, even lunchboxes. When they're finished, they hang them on walls, display them on shelves or tuck them wherever they have a niche.

“There's a great sense of accomplishment when you finish,” said Marlene Griggs of Escondido, president of the local club.

Store-bought kits are available, but purists like to build from scratch. Gloria Osborn, one of the local club's founders, said she has learned over the years to “save everything.”

When the Mission Hills resident goes to a restaurant, for example, she keeps her eyes open for different kinds of toothpicks. “It's more fun to make something out of nothing, out of items that other people might throw away,” Osborn said.

The local club has about 40 members and is one of the oldest in the country. Some members are concerned that younger generations may not have the interest and patience to do miniatures, but Hopwood is optimistic.

“The popularity of art ebbs and flows, but it never goes away,” she said. “Miniatures are the same.”

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