Come and gather around my dining room table – I have a special gift for you. A delicate gift that I made several years ago. Go ahead and take the lid off and peak inside.
Now lower the left side so you can better see the delights inside.
And now the right side –
Within the gift box is a miniature Christmas scene built on a scale of 12:1 which means that the presents under the tree that are normally 12 inches across are only 1 inch. This is delicate because it takes a lot of skill and thought to create items that are to the right scale. Please join me in a tour as I explain some of the more delicate pieces.
The toys under the tree were bought at a store that sells items for building miniature doll houses. I also bought the double present and the paper printed to scale and the silk ribbon to make more presents. The silk ribbon was very important because silk is fine enough to be able to work into the very small bows. What I remember about doing these bows is how terribly big my fingers felt – I had to learn how to experience the instruments as extensions of my fingers.
I bought the Christmas tree and the small candy canes but had to find other materials with which to decorate the tree. I used small red, gold & silver beads for ornaments, tucked white silk ribbon into the boughs, and used small pieces of a very small artificial white flower pieces to look like clumps of snow on the branches.
My daughter had done a miniature doll house and she had some less expensive furniture that she no longer wanted that I used for this room. I purchased the fireplace screen and spray painted the same white flower I used on the Christmas tree to make the garland for the mantle and for the screen, decorating them with tiny red beads and a bow. On the table are real wax candle tapers, a Bible, and a smaller present I made. I bought the plant stand and splurged on the red vase that sits atop. This was hand blown in Austria and was expensive because of the difficulty of hand blowing glass so that it looks light enough when in the 12:1 scale.
The table is my very favorite part of this scene because this is were I was sitting before I got called away. I had just finished a cup of coffee – there is still a little cream-colored coffee left in the cup. There is a spoon on the saucer which is almost not noticed which is perfect because silver is hard to produce in scale – just like glass. I didn’t even get to finish the cookie that I had taken a bite out of. I was about to make a list of my last-minute “things to do” before our Christmas Eve family gathering – you can see the pencil and paper. The pencil has the diameter of maybe a little larger than the larger paper clip.
I made this table using a cardboard base. I don’t remember what I used and the fabric is glued to it so I can’t peak. A challenge of decorating in miniature is finding fabric that is fine enough to drape naturally at this small scale. Also any printed pattern has to look right. These pieces were perfect – as I was able to make a fringe with the topper and even make a cloth napkin to match.
And when the Christmas holiday is past I will fold up my special, delicate scene until next year. Hopefully my memories of this Christmas won’t be delicate so I will have them forever.