Wednesday, July 6, 2011

For The Love Of Books

A Gift From Flora!

Dear Readers, Just LOOK at the GIFT I have received from Flora of "La Casa Delle Bambole di Flora" blog! She makes these mini versions of the books by Beatrix Potter and had recently posted about them on her Beautiful Blog! I asked her if she had "The Tale of Two Bad Mice", my favorite of the Beatrix Potter tales and Flora said she would send me one!!!!

It arrived in it's beautiful wrappings with a sweet note! Can you see how PERFECT it is?

I immediately had to run and find my 1:1 scale version....
which itself is only about four inches by six inches.... Not very big at all!

Can you see how tiny Flora's book is??

Thank you, Flora for your generosity! I am so amazed and touched by this gift!

And if you are not familiar with the tale....
it is my Favorite because it is about a Dollhouse!

I am thrilled to have this tiny version of my favorite story..... and so is Annabelle!
It is nap time in the Shabby Sister House, so there MUST be a story first.....

I am still like that, Dear Readers, I like to read myself to sleep!
Did it begin, this Love of Books, with the nightly ritual of bedtime stories?

Passed down from Mother to child, from generation to generation?

I know Joanna certainly loves books.......
she collects them from all parts of the World.....
Old books and New...
She has just found some books that her Great Uncle must have left in the Lovely Old Dollhouse... (made by me..... I am still a novice...)
This one is a reproduction of a Very Famous Medieval Book of Hours........ I used velvet for the cover..... I know it is not authentic or to scale..... but it is beautiful.....

Joanna is going to read while Victor takes his Siesta........ it is a hot Summer Afternoon.....

The shelves of the Folly will someday be filled with mini books....
I have bought some... but I really want to make my own.... and I know I will learn the techniques someday.... perhaps even Soon!

The Lord's Council Chamber in The Castle will have a few VERY Precious Books....
I have even started collecting......

There is a Beautiful Illuminated Bestiary by the very talented Ericka Van Horn........ I could not resist... and was fast enough when she posted it that I have it in my collection!

And as for Collecting..... that started AGES ago..... and I still have some of the tiny books.... actually, I can say I have ALL the tiny books that ever came my way...... and if it won't bore you... here is a little tour of my Collection!
Starting with a small Almanac..... yes it is from 1894!

And another tiny mini book I have had for many years is this Thumbnail Bible........ the top cover is missing but the rest is in quite good shape for a book printed in 1815! It is a little large for dollhouse scale.... measuring about one inch by two inches and very thick!

The inside is readable as it was intended as stories from the Bible to interest children.....

And it has numerous beautiful wood block print illustrations such as this Samson and the Lion...

You can see that I have loved books for most if not all of my life.... but I have also loved MAKING them..... as you can see from this carefully sewn and lettered dollhouse scale Atlas that I made when I was ten or eleven......

I even drew and colored a map of the world inside!

Another tiny book I made myself at about the same time is this cloth covered volume......

I wrote the title on the inside in pencil..... "The Prince and the Pauper" by Mark Twain.

And on the back cover I wrote......

But the book that is the most elaborate that I have made.... although still incomplete... is another that I made in my teen years. The cover is not yet bound in leather......

But the front pages are Illuminated.and carefully hand lettered with ink......

And I even dared to try to write every word on every page......
by hand....... in ink.......

For quite a few pages......... but NOT to the end of the volume...................
Alas, my eyesight and hand are not as steady as they were so long ago..... will I ever finish it???
I think maybe I had better......!

Speaking of Mark Twain, that tiny book I made all those years ago has made me think about the way things in life are so connected... like threads in a Tapestry or pages in a book.... events unfold and reveal a bigger picture if we stand back to look.... Because just last week I was in the local airport with my daughter-in-law, waiting to greet my son, her husband, who was arriving home on Leave from the Army. His flight was delayed, so we had some time to use and decided to go up to the departures level of the airport to see if there was any comfortable waiting area. And when we got to the upper level, I was astonished to see a Miniature House! It was a model of the Mark Twain House.... now a museum in Hartford, Connecticut..... and it was ENTIRELY made of LEGOS!!!! If my son's flight were not delayed, we would NEVER have gone upstairs and would have missed it entirely!
Here is a picture of my Lovely Daughter-in-law in front of the probably dollhouse scale model!

And a closer view of the building.....

And a picture of the poster of the Original House.....

And some more detail of the LEGO building techniques.......

And some more.......!

They even made a LEGO horse and buggy!!!!
(This was the nineteenth century....!)

And to think that LEGOS were always the Favorite toys of my boys!
So we were quite well entertained until my son arrived!
(And I think he would admit to loving books too......)

And his Sweetheart, of course!
(Sorry for the blurry photo..... it's the best I got!)

So, Thank YOU, Flora, for the gift of a book.......
Because I can tell that you love books too!

For The Love of Books


  1. I love Flora's books :). I was really lucky to have won a wonderful set on dollhouses at her giveaway :).

    As you already know, Bets, one of the 1st minis I made were books. I don't enjoy making them like I enjoy bashing furniture but I love books and can't do without them, not even for my dollhouses.

    I think you have a wonderful collection so far. The most precious being the Mark Twain that you wrote, drew and bound yourself. You must finish it, my dear. Take it out this evening when you have time and start writing until you are done. It will be finished in no time :).

    And no, the bible is not too big at all. I can totally see it in your chapel on a book stand as a giant bible, the ones I see often in cathedrals and churches.

  2. I love Flora's books too. You can see that they are very beautiful and quality-made. I also share your love of books (real and mini). In fact, my husband calls me the "book snort." That's one of his little nicknames for me. :-) I have plans to put a used bookstore in one of my dollhouses. That way I can have lots of mini books. Shh! It's a secret! ;-)

  3. I love books too!! The little beatrix Potter book is lovely! But the books made by yourself are very special too!!
    My son has a lot of lego....maybe I can try to build such a lovely house with his ;-)

  4. Funny thing, the first miniatures I ever made were books!I even tried to fill the pages with drawings but of course it was a disaster. LOL!
    I do hope you will finish Mark Twain's book one day, please please! Your collection of small books is great and I hope it will be still growing bigger :)

  5. Books are a curse and a bless, you cannot have too many of them. I love their smell, their consistency, the thickness of the paper, everything.Yours are wonderful, real treasuers and I agree with Sans: your bible will be perfect on a stand. A cousin of mine had one in her home, leather bound with vellum pages. It might have been 80 cms high but may be more and it had wonderful printings just like yours.You should try to place a woodden stand in your folly. Have a nice day, Rosanna

  6. Oh the Beatrix Potter book is too much! (I mean that in a completely wonderful way-it's perfect!) And LOVE your collection, especially the ones you made yourself. (Your illustrations!) And to have the one from your teen years, love that. Most of the books in my dollhouses are, I'll admit, fakes, in that if a tiny person moved in they would have nothing to read. I've made dummies of my favorite books from childhood, and art books I would love to own up in the tiny studio, but they're all cover and no insides. Not a problem that your inhabitants would have at all!

    I did once make a teeny version of one of my sketchbooks:

    but I would love to do more. You've inspired me, for sure.

    By the way, the Lego Mark Twain house, in the airport, no less! I've been to the actual one, and it's uncanny! Lego magic.

  7. Dear Betsy, I have just returned from two days to say the least BUSY, and I can only now read your post. Thanks for publishing photos of my modest book: is really a small thing, in gratitude for your kindness and friendship always shown with your comments :-)
    I was really happy to do a book by Beatrix Potter, which is also one of my favorite books, especially if I have that concern ...
    Because the books are my passion, I am always happy to donate them :-)
    Your collection of antique books is very valuable, but most of all I like your medieval book: the cover is amazing :-)
    What a handsome boy your son: looks a bit like my "little brother" (37 years old!...
    Mini hugs, Flora

  8. I never knew you made those (other, tiny) books! Eat your heart out, Kindle!
    Best blog of all. Loved the books. Loved the Mark Twain house (the original must be magnificent, too) and of course loved the pics of Jake & Livvy. She DOES remind one of Karen. Makes me try to imagine Karen with tattoos, and then Grandma's reaction...
    Wonderful to see them together. Thanks for that!
    Lots of love,

  9. I'm in Edinburgh now, just wanted to si hi and say that I wanted to wait with a post with the icons I got from you until I had the time to do it properly!
    Love your book collection, I love books myself too, both real ones and in miniature. But since my smaller scale means that most of them are 3/4" or shorter, just a few of them are readable. But of course I had to have a readable atlas.
    And how great is that lego house! Such a serendipitous find! (And handsome son too!)

  10. Thank you, Sans! for your vote of confidence! I am afraid the paper I used for the Mark Twain book is too old and fragile to do any writing on... that was more than Forty years ago!!! But I might continue on the little Bible that I was writing word for word. That paper was better quality to begin with.
    And if I have not said so before, when I first read your blog and saw the books with REAL pictures that you were making... I was SO inspired! And I still am INTENDING to learn the techniques so that I can make my own books too!

  11. Hi Jennifer! I will look forward to seeing your little used book store! That is a wonderful idea! Aww... do we HAVE to keep it a secret? Please start soon!

  12. Hi Margriet, My sons have a lot of Lego too..... they made ME keep it all! But they didn't build houses with it..... I was AMAZED to see that house! What a Design challenge that must have been!

  13. Hi Ewa! I hope you didn't destroy your first book? At least you MUST make more! I AM going to work more on my tiny books...... there has not been much time lately... but it is on my LIST! But I am afraid the Mark Twain is too fragile. I will leave it as it is. But making more books is a sure thing for me!

  14. Hi Rosanna! That is a wonderful idea to have a wooden stand just for the old Bible! I will need to build just the right one, of course! And I agree that you can't have enough books.... I will keep making them all my life I am sure!

  15. Hi Amy! I think that for practical purposes most of the books on my dollhouse shelves will have to be the "dummy" kind too. The mind boggles at trying to make EVERY book the real kind!!! That has been part of my problem all along... wanting the tiny thing to be too REAL! I have to learn where to draw the line!

  16. Thanks again, Flora, for your gift! It is a Treasure!

  17. Hi Mom! Amazing what one's children do when one isn't looking.... LOL!
    Thanks for the Grandma comment.... made me LAUGH!

  18. Hi Helene! Enjoy your visit to England! I will look forward to seeing what you do with the icons! I can imagine that finding ANY books for your smaller scale is a challenge! I would just use the wrong scale... but I completely understand and admire the rigor of exact scale! And your dollhouses are such fine examples of your attention to that detail!