Miniature Dollhouses and Rooms From SDMC Members
The San Diego Miniature Crafters (SDMC) organization consists of members who devote their time and artistry to creating miniatures. The scale of these miniatures can range anywhere from 1/144 to 1/12. Some models are complete structures, like dollhouses, while others are single rooms built with a theme or story. There are also individual pieces of furniture or other tiny items built to scale. The members of SDMC attend meetings as well as local and national conventions, often taking part in seminars and classes on miniature making techniques. While the group regularly puts on displays of their own, several miniature makers and their remarkable projects are featured here. The level of detail in these miniature creations is truly astounding.
About the Members
Read a little more about some of the individual SDMC modelers, and how they got involved with miniatures. Note that this is not a complete list of SDMC members.
Debi has built four of the displays featured in this article. Her pieces are titled, “Les Chocolats,” “Decisions, Decisions,” “Bones and Booty,” and “Who let the dogs in?” Debi also helped coordinate the displays on this page with other group members.
San Diego native Leslie Hopwood has been making and collecting miniatures since childhood. Having attended most of San Diego Miniature Crafters’ 41 annual shows, she finally joined the club in 2006.
Michael Sue Nanos
Michael’s parents were skilled artists who encouraged her creativity as soon as she could hold a crayon. She has been learning the art of miniatures over the past 40 years. Currently, she has a class of 30 children who meet at her shop, “Ms. Peggie’s Place,” to learn skills no longer covered in public schools. Her need to pass on her mini-making knowledge is joyfully fulfilled each time she sits with her students.
Growing up in San Diego, Jackie Hoefert was always interested in tiny things. She joined the San Diego Miniature Crafters in 1997, and began as a one-inch scale miniaturist. However, she soon began working at a tiny 1/4”:1’ scale.
As a child, Peggy’s mother brought home new dresses in large boxes. She would cut up the top of the boxes to build a house plan in the bottom. Peggy broke up other toys to make things for her houses. Little did she know that there was an entire craft world out there making things in small scale!
Thirty years later, in 1983, Peggy found a series of classes being offered at Michael’s craft store. People in the class started talking about clubs and a national organization (now international), and Peggy was hooked. In miniature, many skills are required—wood cutting, painting, decorating, etc.
Peggy joined San Diego Miniature Crafters (SDMC) after she retired in 2012. She became the Southern California state representative for the National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts (NAME) in July, 2015.
Although born in Chicago, Anita claims San Diego as her home, having moved here as a young girl. One of Anita’s most treasured items is a small family of tiny Asian dolls she made over 70 years ago.
Anita began working on miniatures again after she started taking her daughter to the Doll and Toy Emporium in Old Town San Diego. She has an eye for the delicate, and likes to incorporate things that remind her of family. One of Anita’s dollhouses, built by her and her husband, contains a treasure trove of family memories. Anita’s many room boxes represent the things and people she loves most.
Buff is a Chicago native who came to San Diego via Naples, Italy, and Sugarloaf Key. In Florida, she kept busy as a naval wife, mother, and owner of a pet monkey! Always imaginative and creative, Buff enjoyed a couple of art classes in college, and later took interior decorating classes for fun. Her work life was very detail oriented, having retired as a technical writer making instruction manuals for computer component assembly.
Buff has unleashed her imagination through her work, which embraces an expressive and often humorous spirit. She is a mentor to many miniaturists, always encouraging original ideas and embracing resourcefulness.
Sheila began working in miniature in the 1980s, when her husband bought her a dollhouse kit. Sheila’s career life has included fine art, teaching art history, computer game design, animation, and other related interests. Over the years, working on miniatures has allowed Sheila to apply her imagination and creativity to new endeavors. Creating these detailed miniature scenes, along with the many items and figures that bring them to life, continues to be a very satisfying experience for Sheila.
Julia is the artist who conceived of turning a metal Biscotti tin from an antique fair and turning it into an Italian bakery.