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    April 2008

    Member of the Month - Meet Tini Judi
    By Heidi Cleveland

    Member of the Month

    I would love to introduce you to our April 2008 Member of the Month, TinyJudi (Judi). She has been a member of the Greenleaf Forum since October 9, 2006. Judi is a wonderful part of our miniature family. She always has a warm welcome, thoughtful praise, and lots of ideas to share.

    Judi is a married mother of two grown children. She met and fell in love with her husband, Michial in 1998 and has been married since 2003. They are living in South Carolina after transplanting from Michigan in 2001. Her son Andrew graduated from USAF basic training in March of this year. Her daughter Amanda moved down from Michigan so Judi can baby her baby. Judi also has her loving fur babies. Newman is five years old. He purrs only for Judi. That is usually a warning though. Bites usually come with those purrs. Lainey was supposed to be their little girl. That turned out differently. He is a joy to have around and he loves to be petted.

    Judi has worked in retail all of her adult life. Her current position is as a clothing specialist. She loves her job and all the stories she gets to hear from her customers. It feels like she is talking to a different grandma or grandpa every day. Judi’s biggest news is that she has been smoke free since February 17, 2008. Way to go! She smoked for thirty five years and was diagnosed with COPD recently. She was given five years to live if she continued to smoke. Her decision was made and she quit. She has used grapes as her coping mechanism when she feels the urge.

    Judi didn’t have a dollhouse when she was growing up. Her Great Grandma had some dollhouse furniture and dolls that she would let Judi and her sister play with. They would carefully set it up in various rooms of the house and then proceed to fight over the only doll that had moveable arms and legs. Soon Grandma would break up the fight and have them put away the treasures for another day.

    Judi’s introduction into dollhouses came by way of her husband. She thinks he regrets it to this very day. He was searching online for Dungeon and Dragon miniatures. They started talking about how neat it would be to make a castle. The next day he showed her a website of a woman who had done her real life home in miniature. It was all over after that. Judi exclaimed, “I want a dollhouse!”  She did some research and liked the Greenleaf Orchid. She headed off to Hobby Lobby to get her dollhouse. When she came home she was ready. Michial was just scared. She did run into some problems with the Orchid though. She had put the second floor on wrong, which resulted in there not being a place to put the stairs. Judi was a bit relieved. She was afraid of the stairs.

    Judi classifies herself as a builder and a decorator. She is not much of a collector, unless dust counts. She has always wanted to build her own real life house and live in it. She spent countless hours drawing houses on graph paper. As a teenager, once a house was drawn out, she would go through the Sears or JC Penny catalogs and furnishes it right down to the appliances and curtains. That was her introduction into miniature decorating.

    Dry fitting a dollhouse is one of Judi’s favorite parts of the building process. You get a sneak preview of what your house will be. If she has an idea about the build, the dry fitting process is usually when it comes to life. She also loves to roll asphalt roofing. But please do not ask her to shingle. She hates that worse of all. Judi does have some apprehension in the beginning of each dollhouse. She will sit and look at the box for days. She tells her husband that she is trying to get ideas but in actuality she is stalling out of fear.  Once the fear has subsided, she pets the wood, she talks to the house, and tries to get a vision of what the house will be. She says that usually works.

    Judi would love to meet Dean from Greenleaf along with everyone else on the boards. But her ultimate dream would be to win Ernie’s contest on HBS. The stuff she could get with her winnings! That would be a dream.

    I asked Judi (like I ask everyone) what house she would keep out of all she owns and why. She chose her McKinley. Hands down!

    Member of the Month

    She is building and decorating it in memory of her mother. She is decorating the interior to look like the home her mother lived in. Her mother lived in a ranch style home so the exterior isn’t a match but Judi is painstakingly working on different aspects of the house from memory to be crafted as close as she can remember. Her favorite miniature is the woodstove that is in the living room of the McKinley.  Judi would love to get over her fear of power tools so that she could utilize them in her work. She would also love to learn the art of sculpting clay miniatures. She has done a few things but has never been totally happy with her work.

    Judi’s miniature plans for 2008 are working on her entry for Ernie’s Creatin` Contest. She is really excited about it. She says it is driving her nuts because she cannot share her work with the Greenleaf gang until the end of the year! She also has an idea for a kitchen setting room box that she would like to try.

    I asked Judi if she has any advice for up and coming miniaturists. She says to be patient. Do not rush the build. Let that glue and paint dry. You will thank her later.
    Sage advice Judi!

    You can access Judi’s gallery here.

    For participating in the Member of the Month article, Judi will receive a $25 gift certificate to the Greenleaf Store.

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