About Me

Why Small Expectations?

Here you will find not only pictures and stories of my miniature projects, but also the inspiration, the journey and the magic of each structure. The creative process is truly that, a process. I love dreaming and planning, collecting and researching, building and breathing life into small worlds that otherwise would not exist. Adding the work of other artisans and crafters to my projects also brings such joy, appreciating another artist’s creativity and ingenuity is why existing in a community like this is so special. The only thing small about our expectations is the size of the works!

My Background

I come from a long line of artisans and crafters, my parents and grandparents were very influential. My grandfather was a master glazier, woodworker and artist; I grew up in his woodshop. My grandmother was an expert dressmaker, needle-craftswoman, knitter, baker and cook. I was fortunate to grow up close to my grandparents, and my weekends were filled with as much handmade knowledge as I could possibly devour. Also instilled in me was the drive to do it right the first time. I can remember being around 14 years old and sewing trim on a skirt that was about 8 yards of fabric. When my grandmother saw that my work was sloppy, seams not straight, she made me rip the entire thing apart and do it all over. I cried and complained, but I did it, and you can believe nothing was ever substandard after that.

My first job at 15 years old was at a local fabric and craft store. I had been sewing since I was 9 years old, so it was a natural fit. By 17 years old, I had a handful of craft classes I would teach on the weekends, including fabric and lace applique, painting, wreath making, free demos and kid’s craft classes. Anything I could get my hands on and try, I would excel at. Needless to say, for many of those years, I had my paycheck spent before I ever left the store.

My grandfather had the ability to build any piece of wooden furniture he could dream up. As I look around my studio/office, I see 3 cabinets he built from scratch, a sewing machine cabinet, and chest of drawers and a cedar chest. He taught me from a very young age how to use power tools. When I was starting junior college, I lived with my grandparents because they were within walking distance of my school. I began college as a business major, but always took art classes to formally learn how to hone my creativity. I was uniquely fortunate to take many art classes with my grandfather, who loved to paint in addition to everything else he loved to do. Our watercolor class often took us out into the community to paint.

When it came time to leave junior college and transfer, I had to choose between continuing art school and possibly going into Fashion Design, or getting a degree in Business Administration or Finance from a university. My heart said art school, but my head said university, and rather than starting my career as a starving artist, I chose university. In my first semester at CSU Monterey Bay as a pioneering student, I was required to take a web design class and an internet 101 class. The internet was just beginning to become relevant, and I found in the design class that I had the opportunity to be creative and technical at the same time, satisfying my right and left brain, and I was hooked. I promptly changed my major, and eventually graduated with a BS in Telecommunications, Multimedia and Applied Computing with an emphasis in Design.

I loved to sew, everyone in my family sews, but I found I really didn’t like making clothes for myself. I instead wanted to focus on costumes, renaissance fairs, and period-correct fashion. I would make costumes for myself, my mom and my sisters. Then, the opportunity came to achieve the ultimate challenge, a wedding dress. I seized it, and created my wedding dress out of 22 yards of blush pink dupioni silk. The dress was a custom pattern, and after 4 months of work, it was completed the day before the wedding (yeah, no stress there!). To this day, it is my greatest sewing achievement, and one I will never repeat!

Miniatures

At a young age, I was gifted a dollhouse with furniture. It was not a custom-built piece, but I still decorated and built things for it. I so enjoyed putting everything in it, imagining the inhabitants, and making stories up of the life inside. Then, by my teen years, I put all of that away, until I was an adult.

Once an adult, I bought the Real Good Toys New England Lighthouse kit. I began to dream of who might live inside, and it inspired me to research and collect. That kit remains unmade at the moment, but I will be finishing it, as I have been collecting for it for at least 20 years.

Every fall I would attend the Good Sam Showcase of Miniatures that has been held in San Jose, CA for many years. Then, in 2010, I decided to travel to the Chicago International Miniatures Show for the first time. I signed up for the Rosamond’s Fair Bower class taught by Rik Pierce, and headed out. The show was incredible, and I felt like I was home. Here I was with thousands of my new friends, all passionate about the thing I was passionate about. I walked the sales floor for hours, and was truly inspired by what I saw.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

My Studio/Office

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