Hello fellow CDHMrs! Who's ready for vacation?
June is the start of the infamous summer vacation season, at least for most of us in America. My favorite kind of vacation is the meandering kind, where I can just wander from place to place, stop whenever the whim takes me and take my time enjoying what I find.
Kind of like an Australian walkabout.
A big part of my walkabouts is admiring the architectural styles and details wherever I am. For as long as I can remember, I have been an architecture nut - a thing that drove my parents crazy during family vacations. I was always walking along (read: lagging behind) looking up at rooflines, checking out edgings and arches, windows and doors and styles of houses, frequently insisting I had to stop for a picture of this or a sketch of that.
Hopefully on this year's walkabout I'm going to see Monticello again. That dream trip to Italy to visit my family is still in the dreaming stage, likewise a return visit to England and a horseback tour of Ireland and Scotland. But a few hours drive East I think I can manage.
I was fortunate enough to tour the masterpiece of the United State's third president during a childhood trip - and it fascinated me even then. Jefferson spent 40 years designing, redesigning and building his masterpiece. I can relate - I've spent the past 20 years designing and redesigning and building my Victorian dollhouse... (Yes, Dad, some day I WILL finish it!)
The architecture of Thomas Jefferson was sheer genius for his time and it still is. The Dome Room (one of the resulting 43 redesigned rooms of the mansion) has an oculus skylight - wow - and is only one of the innovations to spring from the original 14 rooms.
The design features of his Virginia home were exceptionally innovative and impressive for the time (oculus skylight?!) from the mind of an incredibly brilliant man. I love the bed that serves as a wall between two rooms. The idea of having a bedroom on one side and my workroom on the other would mean I'd never have to leave. Well, maybe for food... He also took great interest in designing his gardens, importing new plant varieties and studying their sunlight and water requirements.
Like other famous individuals, Jefferson suffered his fair share of accusations and allegations but it's his creative brain that has inspired me over the years, showed me the value of saying "How about..." Or "What if I..."
The same things I've heard a lot of miniaturists say.
This month is also a salute to father's everywhere and a big salute goes out to my Dad, who funded my dollhouse habit in the early days and continues to get drafted into cutting odd wooden shapes. And continues to contribute to the delinquency by bringing home odds and ends bits of dollhouse stuff from his various trips.
It is also my mother's birthday. A Summer Solstice baby, she loves the fact her birthday is the longest day of the year. She is a doll artist - large baby dolls - and against her better wishes is creating a set of portrait dolls for my Victorian house. Happy Birthday Mom!
Best wishes to all the other fathers out there and birthday celebrators. And wherever you all roam this summer, I hope you find something in your travels to inspire you to greater heights of creativity!
The Miniature Way Editor