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    February/March 2011

    Member of the Month - Meet Deb G!
    By Heidi Cleveland

    Congrats Deb!

    I survived January 2011! The snow is slowly melting away from the yard. I do not remember when I shoveled that much in one season. Hopefully by the time you read this, all the snow will be gone and no other storms came blowing through. I am starting to think about Spring. And maybe even a Fling! That would certainly kick old man winter out of my mind for sure!

     This month I would love to introduce you to a talented miniaturist, Deb G. Debbie has been a member of the Greenleaf Forums since January 3, 2009. Her work in her gallery just blew me away.   I had to share her work with those who have not met her yet or have seen her gallery.

    Congrats Deb! 

    Debbie lives in Northwest Ohio with her loving husband. She has a grown daughter and a seven year old grand daughter. They have two cats, Mr. Cavalli and Miss Chanel, who are more spoiled than most children. They are the cats in her Forum avatar. They were both rescued together at eight weeks old at the local rescue shelter. Debbie works for a major regional bank in the IT department supporting cash vault operation in three states. Her urgent voice mails and pages go to her cell phone which is never turned off, and she hasn’t had a day where she was not on call 24/7 since 1998. She does get to work home occasionally, but not nearly enough for her. Debbie has a Master`s degree in Computer Information Systems which she completed online, for obvious reasons.

    Congrats Deb!

     Debbie never had a dollhouse as a child. Her affinity for all things mini came from a annual holiday display in her area. It started in 1960 and it was called Children`s Wonderland. The displays were animated Christmas vignettes populated by furry animals, mostly in their homes. The scale was not 1:12 but it intrigued her just the same. She started putting together House of Miniature kits in high school but she did not have a dollhouse until 2008. Her husband gave her a Glencroft for Christmas. She fell in love with the house after seeing it in the Glencroft project blogs in the forums. She loved how our very own professional Paperclay sculptress Tracy Topps had paperclayed her Glencroft. Debbie was hooked. She spent every spare minute of the next two years working on the house. It will always be her absolute favorite house.

    Congrats Deb!

    Debbie does not collect many items for her passion. She makes them instead. The reason she makes most of what is in her houses is that she is so particular about scale. She found early on that not all 1:12 scale items are what she would consider to be "in scale". She makes a multitude of things in polymer clay. They run the gamut from vegetables, pies, and flowers to lampshades, andirons, and kitty cats. Remarkable work! She has taught herself how to wire her own lamps that she makes. She learned to work with natural fabrics and stiffeners to make the curtains and bed covering drape realistically. She also learned needlepunch embroidery to make "hooked" rugs and she also makes tiny braided rugs with embroidery floss. Debbie loves creating her own items and she loves making them look as real as possible. She has literally thousands of digital pictures of the interior of her Glencroft. She took them all at eye level and point of view of someone who would be inside of the house. She uses those photos to show her any flaws in her work progress that she cannot see from the outside. Debbie says that all the tiny details that you do not consciously see still contribute to the overall realism, so every minute detail counts.

    Congrats Deb!

     Debbie says she was very tentative when she first opened that Glencroft kit. She had no idea how much work it was going to take, and how many things she would learn, but she was very excited nonetheless. Her approach was to study the instructions for a few days, then read the construction blogs on the Forum. The worst part of the construction was putting in the ceiling beans in the living room and kitchen. She spent HOURS on that, late into the night. She clamped everything so carefully before going to bed. When she awoke then next morning she discovered that the left side of the floor had raised up about a half inch. You could see the tops of the beams on that side, and the bathroom floor was warped. She was able to hide these transgressions with trim pieces. Debbie learned to look many times at a section before it dries! Debbie would love to attend a Greenleaf convention where she could meet many of the people from the forums. She would love to take some artisan classes at one of the national miniature conventions. She wants to learn how to make real stained glass windows and miniature throw pottery.  Her biggest dream is to have a combination miniature shop and craft center where she could teach classes to show others how wonderful this hobby can be. Debbie says that it would have to be somewhere in San Francisco because she and her husband fell in love with the first time they were there.

    Congrats Deb!

    Right now, Debbie is working on a Buttercup that she has bashed into a full two stories with a winding staircase that will have a powder room under the stairs. She likes the Buttercup but it will never be her Glencroft. The Glencroft will always be her favorite dollhouse. She has another in the box waiting for her, and she plans to bash that one by adding a larger kitchen with a fireplace on one side, and a sun room on the other that will be accessed by another set of stairs going down from a landing where the window is now. She has it all pictured in her head. Can I live there when you are done Debbie?

    I asked Debbie if she had any advice for the newest miniaturists out there. She says that the best resource for any miniaturist is the Greenleaf forum. She has learned more from the generous, talented, creative people there that she could have ever imagined when she started out. She would tell a budding miniaturist to feast their eyes on the works that have been created by everyone there, and run with it. It`s art in 3-D, just as much as a painting or sculpture is art. Debbie truly believes that. I do too.

    You can look at all of Debbie`s works of art by checking out here gallery here.

    For participating as the Member of the Month, Debbie will receive a $25 gift certificate to the Greenleaf Store.

    Come on Spring!!

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