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how do you feel when people find out about your interest in miniatures?


Tinkerbelle
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Hi I was wondering last night what peoples reactions are when other people find out that they are interested in miniatures.

Yesterday I was building my basement with my dad when one of our neighbours came round. He didn't mention or enquire about what we were building but he looked at it.

For some reason I felt embarrassed and wondered what my dad would have said if he'd asked what it was. The feeling came out of the blue and shocked me. Miniatures fascinates and makes me happy and after years of anxiety disorder that's a good thing.

Have you ever felt embarrassed for having your hobby or any other feelings?

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Lindsay, don't ever be embarrassed. Miniatures have a long tradition. Models of houses were found in Egyptian tombs.

You should be proud to carry on that tradition. Not everyone has the ability or patience to build miniatures.

Not everyone is going to understand what you do or why, but that's their loss. You and your dad are doing something together and enjoying it. The next time that the neighbor comes by, give him a tour of the house in progress.

I have done that with non miniaturists and many times they start bringing by things that they think that I could use. People are just naturally fascinated with tiny replicas of every day items.

Be proud of your mini accomplishments.

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Hmmm, non-arty types tend to look at me as if I've escaped from the loony bin. Arty types go "oooh" and "aaaah" when they see my various creative stashes of tools, materials and completed projects.

So, over the years I've learnt not to project their confusion onto my own emotions and to be proud of my explorations into my creative boundaries. I doubt myself often enough, no point in letting other people walk all over my confidence too.

This morning my friend's husband found out about my dollhouses. I showed him some photos and he was astonished at the level of detail. Even more so when I started mentioning woodwork, interior design, shop fit out (he owns 11 boutique stores in Dubai) and proper colour-coordinated furnishings and decor.

I don't think he ever picked up a saw in his entire life, and here a woman, no less, is doing woodwork and getting it right!

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Early on in my mini career, I showed some photos to a waitress where we ate a lot. I asked her to save me a couple of the cream containers for lampshades... The next time I went in, she gave me a garbage bag full! There must have been about 500 lampshades in the making. I simply thanked her and took them home. Most of them went in the garbage ASAP. Her heart was in the right place, but as they were unwashed, they didn't smell to good.

After that, always asked what I was working on and did I have pictures. Another convert.

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I no longer mention my houses to anyone. It came up at a family christmas and I was ridiculed terribly. I had another instance when I said I was taking photos for a miniature club (traveling mice) and I was mocked by some police for being to old for childish toys.

That is so disgusting! Why must people put other people down just because they don't have the brain capacity or big enough hearts to let someone have FUN in their life?

In the 1990's I was part of a group of international scrapbookers who had a travelling plush frog that we sent to different countries, took adventurous photos and then scrapbooked layouts in his album, ultimately to donate it and the frog to an old age home as something fun for the residents. I hosted the frog in South Africa and even got permission from our Natural Museum in Pretoria to let the frog "sit" on various large African animals for the album - they thought it was a wonderful idea!

I despair when grownups think the only acceptable FUN is alcohol, sleaze and mindless adrenaline rushes.

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Most people who know anything about me know I am always into some form of art & design, And those who don't know me seem to enjoy it very much. I can relate to another comment above , sometimes I get consumed in it so much and that I start to doubt myself and wonder if I am a little ''off'' or am I just so very lucky to be '' having the time of life'' and go with it. In any case we alone are in charge of this journey, besides what are we with out the arts?

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I think that most people think of those metal dollhouses or the clumsy fisher price ones when you mention dollhouses. It's fine, I enjoy coming here and sharing - where everyone appreciates the work it takes. I went to a Breyer horse show (plastic model horses) last summer and I told friends I was going to a horse show, alluding it was real horses. Which was kinda true - there were real horses.

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Well I used to feel something akin to embarrassed just because my job and its requirements are definitely "non-arty" but a couple years ago I realized that a. I work hard and deliver my due to society and b. I give myself permission to embrace my inner (and outer) eccentricity. :prop: So I do.

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Most people I know are amazed at my houses. Many ask what I do with them when I am done. Biggest question is "do you sell them"..... Ah NO, I can't part with them once they are complete. I have NO room for them in my house so the first one is in storage. We sorta downsized about 10 years ago so most of my belongings remain in storage. My Westville sits on a table at my front door....lamps got relegated to the bedroom. :D Only person that isn't excited about my addiction is my spouse. Oh well HAHA

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When I first started, my older brother thought I was nuts LOL but after he understood I enjoyed it and was learning things when he would call the first thing he would ask would be what you working on now. He thought it was hilarious that I would talk about the darn roof is warped or I making wood floors out of popsicle sticks. So no, I've never been embarrassed, but I am the type that doesn't embarrass easily or care to much about what other people think as long as I know enjoy something.

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Thanks everyone I thought I was the only one. I don't know why I felt like that since my parents support my new hobby. My grandmother on the other hand is confused why I do it and not really interested.

I have mentioned it once or twice at work and the response was mostly 'why do you do that?' and condescending smiles but I was like you girls just go and get drunk every weekend while I do something that makes me happy and I will have forever.

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Lindsay, I have a friend that is also a miniaturist. I wouldn't have the nerve, but when anybody asks her why she makes miniatures, she has an answer for them. She says, "Hey! It keeps me out of biker bars!". LOL

I have seen this happen numerous times. The questioner is always stopped in their tracks.

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Too old to give a rat's butt about what anybody else thinks. I enjoy them, my granddaughters definitely enjoy them and I have given several away but never sold one. I have gotten some funny looks when I've told some people what I do as they don't think a six foot plus, two hundred pound plus, plus, grown man should be doing girlie stuff. Confident enough in my masculinity that if they get too cutsie I will whip their butt! Enjoy what you do and thank God that you are still able to do what you enjoy!

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I know we have discussed this problem in the past and I find it so sad that it is still such a painful experience for so many.

I don't have real supporters in my family either Deana.

I have determined that it does not matter to me but when they ridicule Twinkle, as happened last year with her SF, now that just makes my blood boil.

I've never really be great with the clever come-backs. I always think of something to say after the fact.

It's really no one else's business what makes someone happy.

And like Lene said,

.... I despair when grownups think the only acceptable FUN is alcohol, sleaze and mindless adrenaline rushes.

..... when you compare it to what some folks spend their weekends doing (drinking and sleazing), miniatures can't be beat.

So, I'll keep creating anything and everything until my hands and body and mind won't cooperate any more!!

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Casey, I say that about stuff too! 'Keeps me out of the bar'.

I don't care what people think about what I do, I love it and have for a great many years. But to keep me from saying something I will most likely regret and to keep family peace, I just don't talk about them to family - I have problems with the brain to mouth filter so there is no sense adding fuel to that.

My husband's friends are pretty fascinated by them and will ask what I am working on, I think it's mostly because of the woodworking I do and all the mini guns I have though.

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I blame the way dollhouse companies market dollhouses to children/for children. I don't understand why they do this, as children don't have enough money for this hobby LOL. My MIL is the only one who makes the rude comments to me ( I have converted everyone else who was uninterested). Anyway, Ive learned to ignore the MIL...and maybe Ive gained a little confidence in my work and what I create , in no small part because of all the support I have gotten here on the forum over the years.

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My mother used to tell me the world would be a very boring place if we all liked the same things. Her words of wisdom could be why I was never bothered by anyone else's reaction to my hobby, and it can also be why I never regarded anyone else's interests as strange, as long as what they are doing is legal and not hurting anyone.

In the early days, I received a lot of support for my miniature enthusiasm. When my mother told my brother I was getting a dollhouse, his reaction was, "Good, now I know what I can get her for Christmas." My coworkers were also supportive at the time, and one bought me a miniature Mickey Mouse telephone for no other reason than the fact that she was thinking of me. It was just like when people found out I put all mouse ornaments on my Christmas tree. I would receive mouse ornaments from just about everyone I knew.

In current times, I spent a good deal of money restoring one dollhouse and am in the process of restoring another, and some people are confused as to why am I doing this now? Most people are far less enthusiastic about my dollhouses than when I first got one, but maybe it is because they are used to me being weird.

Back to my mother's philosophy, most artists, musicians, architechs, writers, scientists, technicians, engineers, and people in every other breakthrough profession were considered weird or controversial at one time; but where would we be without people thinking outside the box. So rather than being embarrassed when people are surprised I am interested in dollhouses, I am delighted I had something interesting to say about myself. If they really think I am weird, then they are either shallow, close-minded, or not worth my concern.

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As mentioned above I think many people don't know that there are collector dollhouses. They hear the words dollhouse, or doll furniture and immediately think of kids toys. I just tell people I like the challenge of building something so small using actual materials. Always have some good pictures of my best work on my smart phone to show to people at any time. The best part is when I tell them how much money I have made from some of my creations.

:D

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Al, building is not exactly a 'girlie" thing. Maybe you should ask your guy friends how quickly they can assemble a kit or build something from scratch. Better yet, you might want to ask them what type of legacy in memories they tend to leave for their grandchildren.

Selkie, I've always came up with good comebacks after the fact as well. I believe Twinkle is around 12 or 13? It may be a good thing to remind her critics of all the negative things girls her age could be doing instead of creating something.

I also agree that some people spend money drinking every weekend, yet no one really questions that. Some people may disapprove of it, but not many really question that or find it strange. Yet creating miniatures, dollhouses, and scenes develops brain function, while drinking destroys brain cells and has no long-term benefits.

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Hey, I have an idea. Why don't we list all the good comebacks we can think of, so the next time someone makes a rude or uncalled for remark about our hobbies, we will be better prepared.

I would be careful, however, to distinquish those who are generally surprised but interested, from those who are like to ridicule or make obnoxious remarks. I can certainly understand why someone would not be interested in miniatures, dollhouses, building kits, etc.; but I could never understand the need to ridicule or put down other people just because they have an interest different than one's own.

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Before I would not have let his look get to me and I talk about my dollhouse at work when someone asks me how its going even though I can see they don't really care.

For some reason lately my self-esteem is low. I'm a confident girl but recently I feel like I'm not that girl anymore.

But when I do my dollhouse I feel like the real me again and I think that's why I'm immersing myself in my project. I'm even dreaming about it in my sleep! :)

Sorry if I seem down I'm not usually like this.

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Sorta on the same vein, I grew up watching 'raslin and yes it is spelled that way, at least in the South. My Grannie watched it and so did I so I came by it naturally. I would occasionally tell somebody I watched it and they would invariably respond with, "You know it's fake, don't you?!" I would smile and change the subject to movies and mention the latest blockbuster that came out and ask if they had seen it. They would then go on about how great it was and so and so did this and that and how it was a surprise ending and such. I would then look at them and say, "You know it's fake, don't you?" smile and walk off! The looks I would get were priceless!

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But when I do my dollhouse I feel like the real me again and I think that's why I'm immersing myself in my project. I'm even dreaming about it in my sleep! ..... Sorry if I seem down I'm not usually like this.

That's why you are part of this GL family sweetie. We need each other. :hug: It's okay to be down sometimes. It's a normal part of our cycles of life.

As for our GL family :gathering: , hey, we holler and yell and get excited together - we get mad and furious and vent to our brothers and sisters here - we pause and reflect and pray together - we quietly encourage and love one another ... and sometimes we even give each other gentle boots in the rear to get us moving again. Now that's what I call a precious family.

Hey, I have an idea. Why don't we list all the good comebacks we can think of, so the next time someone makes a rude or uncalled for remark about our hobbies, we will be better prepared.

This a great idea. We can make little cheat sheets to carry with us so we can choose just the right remark for the right time. I do agree that some folks just aren't interested and that's fine. I'm not going to be a race car driver but I can still be polite and interested in someone who has chosen to do that.

Oh and Twinkle is 14 now. She's growing right up on me.

...... I would then look at them and say, "You know it's fake, don't you?" smile and walk off! The looks I would get were priceless!

Lo-o-o-ove it !!!! Fabulous come back.

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