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Picturing a World

Small miracles

Ericka V, Augsburg Book of Signs (2021)

My day got off to a good start with progress on my current short story. Afterward, I read Kathleen Jennings' post, Observation Journal—Little Groves on what she likes "about "'little woods and wildernesses' in art and stories and life, and as art and stories." So much to think about, agree with, and send me out looking with new eyes. And then, THEN, I went to the post office. Waiting for me was Ericka V's exquisite miniature version—you can really turn the pages—of the Augsburg Book of Miracles. Perfection.

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Tiny gallery

Website alert: A Guardian article, Honey, they shrunk the art … top artists create works for tiny gallery features this abstract painting by Fiona Rae. Hurrah! She's new to me, and the project by the Pallant House Gallery is delicious to anyone who loves scale-model miniatures—including, of course, Queen Mary's Dollshouse, which was part inspiration for the current project.

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Mr. Badger

Blog post alert: I'm a sucker for scale models, stuffed animals, and children's books. Imagine my delight in finding I Made Needle Felted Badger from "The Wind in the Willows." Perfect coziness, and perhaps inspiration for a hand craft or a story. A soothing way to end a week of impeachment, COVID-19, and winter weather, for sure!

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Miniature Bag End

Blog post alert: Dollhouse miniatures and The Lord of the Rings? Two of my pleasures, unexpectedly combined in Maddie Chambers-Brindley's astonishing and delightful My Hand Made Hobbit Hole. Nearly forty photographs of a spectacular craft project. In these last days of the election campaign amid a pandemic, it's a welcome little escape—and it comes with a link to How I made the Hobbit Hole.

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Scale-model hospital

Blog post alert: Another scale model! This one from 1932 of a London hospital. As a bonus, all the images at the History Blog's World's largest medical galleries open at London's Science Museum can be greatly enlarged. Click on the pediatric ward here, for instance, and then click again for a high-rez image of marvellous, story-telling tiles on the walls. Again, useful for historical fiction writers.

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Petticoat Lane diorama

Blog post alert: An illustrated Spitalsfield Life post on rediscovered dioramas of Petticoat Lane will delight anyone who loves scale models, dollhouses, miniatures, and such. They can also give valuable visual clues to historical fiction writers. Enjoy!

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Prévost’s panorama of Paris

Sketches in gouache and watercolor by Pierre Prévost for his panorama of Paris were auctioned on October 23, 2019, by Sotheby's. I love being able to zoom in on the catalogue essay for details like the one shown here. The location of the Académie Julian in Paris's Passage des Panoramas had sent me to 19th C panoramas years ago when I was researching Where the Light Falls. At that time, I had read about Prévost in The Painted Panorama by Bernard Comment (which has lots of fold-out pages). Now, as a stimulus to building a world in historical fiction, just look at the washing on the houseboat, the cabs, and the lamps strung across the bridge! Much, much more available at the Sotheby's site.

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