On Monday mornings, I am lucky enough to be able to help at the library in my daughter's elementary school. The media specialist, Jennifer Rice, is a friend and I have long admired the miniatures topping her book shelves. I had no idea she made these with her own two hands - no instructions or sets. Just pure creative power.
Ms. Rice says she lives in a small house, which is why she chose to build one as her first mini installment.
"I think these speak to your imagination, and that's what these do for me," says Ms. Rice. "Books do the same thing. They speak to imagination."
Rice got her inspiration for minis years ago. She took her daughter, who is now in college, on her first Disney trip to Disneyland and the two took a canal boat ride through Storybook Land. Known for small scale depictions of many familiar stories, the countryside and homes and princess houses gave Rice the itch.
"I love to look at little things and I wonder what it would be like to live there and be a part of that. It sparks my imagination."
Ms. Rice would love to have a retro camper for herself, complete with lights and critters. And so, she created her own.
"There's a whole miniature world out there if you didn't know."
One student I spoke with was not aware that the library miniatures were made by Ms. Rice. She was wowed! Among the other delights: a beach house surrounded by a sparkling ocean.
Students touching the sand at Rice's beach house enjoy a tactile sensation that is relaxing.
"No matter which side you are on, there is something to see," says Rice.
When inspired to make a new escape, Ms. Rice says she starts with the basics.
"I like to find my house first and then my container."