Thursday, February 13, 2020

Why Do We Love Tiny Things? By Connie Vines

Little puppies, Little kittens, little baby goats.  Humans love cute little things.

Etsay/ Poodle
Miniature doll houses are gaining in popularity once again.

The reason for this interest may be tied to the fact that, in psychological terms, dollhouses and miniature play are safe spaces that encourage total control. "For children," the antiques expert Eve Kahn wrote for the New York Times in 1994, "doll houses can make the universe seem obedient." If your own environment is chaotic, poverty-stricken, miserable, beset with domestic woes or traumatic, dollhouses offer the direct opposite: a universe entirely at your command. The famous psychologist Dr. Ruth had a therapy dollhouse with which she helped children to work through serious issues

Dollhouses and the miniature also offer safe environments for darker explorations. Forensic investigation at the beginning of the 20th century was greatly influenced by the work of a woman named Frances Glessner Lee, an expert in forensic science who taught crime scene detection skills through meticulously recreating crime scenes as doll-scale dioramas.

The New York Times, reporting on the craze for "miniacs" in 2016, reported collectors who specialize in tiny pistols that actually fire, miniature skulls and working electric chairs.

While I love to gaze at these lovely do-it-your-self projects, and several of my friends are long-time hobbyists in the craft of creating dollhouses, I am an admirer.  I, too, like tiny things.

Wikipedia/Common use photo 

I gaze at the objects for story ideas, a physical, visual story-board, so to speak.  It helps me develop my scene (and much simpler than trying to place myself in the environment—no underground tunnels for me, thank you).  If you would like to visit a local show in your area check out the 2020 displays.

I have also discovered some perfect mini stuff to make your work (writing) life better.

Everybody has different tastes. You can shop around to find the miniature pieces for your desk that speak to your personality--there's everything from fake game consoles to opera glasses and fishing poles.

Need a few ideas to get you started?  (Google away) Here are a few concepts:

Filing cabinets that can hold business cards, paper clips, etc.

Jars filled with food-oriented erasers (e.g., donuts, cookies)
coffee and donut erasers/Pinterest

Plastic recycling and trash bins for your pens and pencils

Mini Zen garden

Post-It dispenser that looks like a typewriter

USB-powered beverage fridge for a single can

USB-powered "vacuum" for crumbs and pencil shavings

Mini toolbox for scissors, paper punch, etc.

Mini hanging message chalkboards

Mini games (e.g., chess, pool, card decks).

Let's not forget Valentine's Day!


Remember mini things can be fantastic stress relief valves, according to psychology. But when life gets you down, just remember, in the grand scheme of things, most things we stress over aren't that big, anyway. It really is, as Richard Carlson writes, all small stuff.

Are you someone who creates DIY miniature dollhouses?  Or someone who likes to surround yourself with cute tiny things?

Happy Valentine's Day!

What Woman Doesn't Love a Cowboy?

Remember to sign up for our Romance Gems February Contest!


  1. I had no idea there were so many miniatures in the world ... dollhouses, yes, Christmas villages, yes, trains, yes...but not much else. Interesting post!

  2. I actually have a mini typewriter on my desk as a pencil holder. And a mini ferris wheel as a pencil sharpener. Cool stuff!

  3. What an interesting post! I have some tiny things, but it's incidental--I never intended to have them.

  4. I don't have any miniatures. When I was little I had a doll house but not much furniture. It was more on display than used. Interesting that mini's give us a sense of control. I'll remember that! I do like cute picture.

  5. Guilty! So guilty...I have MANY miniature things. (2) Victorian-era dollhouses I'm building, still under construction, a Halloween haunted mansion, still under construction, (sensing a trend here 😂) holiday villages (Halloween, Christmas, Easter) fairy gardens... Plus, I adore Dachshunds. So much for these things being stuff I can control. 😂 I love the artistic side of creating scenes of things I admire and enjoy, often charming home life settings from the time period I adore. My first dollhouse creation was a Cape Cod Victorian. And where's my first book set??? You guessed it! Fun post, Connie. From my tiny little crazy corner of the world. 😁

  6. As a child I played with miniature animals. I called them china animals. They drove cars and I built hoses for them out of bricks and blocks. I have a collection of owls from my mom and tiny china pitchers.

  7. Fun post. I loved my dollhouse when I was young. My city boasts a tourist attraction called 'miniature world'. I haven't been there since my kids were little. Time for a re-visit. I remember it being really cool.

  8. I have a miniature fairy garden. I found an antique, white porcelain tub at a garage sale and planted a few succulents in it. I added a fairy house and a fairy that I bought at Hobby Lobby. Also at Hobby Lobby I found a white buck and a bear ornament. I just unscrewed the wire hook and removed the string hanger, then added them to my garden. Some red and white painted plastic mushrooms, and crystals we found in Arkansas were added. Now I'm out of room. I need to expand it and make my garden bigger lol But yes, very relaxing.

  9. I also have a fairy garden but mine is in a glass container. I collect a lot of things, though. Not so many since we've downsized, but I can't quit "cold turkey".

  10. I have big glass bowls of rocks and seashells I've brought home from travelling, but not specifically miniature anything. I like the idea of a mini-vacuum for crumbs and a mini-can fridge.

  11. I'm fascinated by the world of miniatures. Loved your post. Happy Valentine's Day.

  12. Mini things are cuter, so you get an urge to care for them, it's almost like natural instinct.


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