Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My Other Passions

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't
matter and those who matter don't mind."

--Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

If you have ever felt that you were living a life somehow not quite your own, that's probably because it's mine. As far back as I can remember, I felt like a misfit in my family. Let me be clear: this was entirely me -- hell, you already know how I am -- not them. To me, they were just people I lived with. I didn't understand them, they totally didn't get me, and I gave up trying to let them know who I really was. I struggled just to get along. I was thoroughly convinced I was adopted. I even made my mother show me my birth certificate, but then I believed it to be a forgery. As I got a little older, I was so uncomfortable and maladjusted, I was sure I must be an alien they found at some remote crash site. In my teens and twenties, recreational hallucinogens cemented this belief (hippie alien).

There were two things I wanted more than anything when I was a kid. One was a horse. Not a Shetland Pony, but a real horse. But you can read about that here. And the archives of this blog will tell you how it's turning out so far, including the fact that I had to wait fifty years for it to happen.

The other thing I really wanted was a dollhouse. Not one of those metal or cardboard dollhouses with brightly colored kiddie plastic furniture (although they are worth a small fortune to collectors these days), but a real dollhouse.

I didn't get that either.

I am what happens when you don't get something you really want as a kid. I am middle-aged with enough disposable income to be dangerous, and I have been blessed to be able, with the encouragement of the long-suffering, indulgent Mr. Fry, to make my dreams come true. Now, I don't just have one, but two amazing dollhouses.

I built this puppy from a kit. It is close to 3 ft. wide and 2.5 ft. tall. It is 1:12 scale, i.e., 1 inch = 1 foot. It opens from the front like a book and is at times filled with wondrous things from all over the world. Right now, all the furnishings are packed away pending installation of the kitchen cabinets. It is completely electrified, with incredible English chandeliers, no less.

The pink house is a Queen Anne which is also from a kit, but I acquired it already built and finished on the outside. It is freakin' MASSIVE. It is also 1:12 scale. The inside is a blank canvas, and I have already collected many lovely things for it. I also build a lot of the furniture from kits, as well as make window treatments, bedding, etc.

Over the years, I have done many smaller projects, (smaller, meaning less involved) most of which were given as gifts to special friends and family (I'm a friendly alien, after all). I call them vignettes. There isn't room here for pix of all those projects, but if you are interested in seeing some of them, click here. I really am in my own little world!

I used to do miniatures a lot more before I got horses, but it's good for the dead of winter or if I were to, say, break an ankle.

I am living my dreams. I'm living the life now I thought I should have had fifty years ago. Whenever people bring their children (especially girls) to my house, they go bonkers over the horses and my dollhouses. The parents give me that "help me out here" expression. I just smile quite smugly and, while looking at the parents, tell the kids I hope they don't have to wait as long as I did to have their dreams come true.

My other passion you also already know about: writing. My horses have helped me find my voice. I wanted to write more, but I'd go blank every time I sat down at the keyboard. The horses are an ever-renewing source of inspiration, drama and humor.

I wanted a horse and I got two. I wanted a dollhouse and I have two. I wanted to write, and I discovered blogging. All things come to she who waits, and maybe double for having to wait a long time.

P.S. I almost forgot -- I have two blogs, too!


Camille Minichino said...

You do deserve double Leah!

I have double later in life also, since I've been able to turn my miniatures hobby into a mystery series, thus combining two passions.

Love your dollhouses and hope to see the inside sometime.

Camille/Margaret Grace
author of "Murder in Miniature"

Leah Fry said...

I have heard of you and know of your book! Delighted you stopped by for a visit!

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