Friday, November 23, 2012

Go Directly To Fabulous

Hello and smiles for Everyone!!! 

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Our day was beautiful and filled with cooking, baking, and eating. Delicious! Today the guys are on the golf course. And I am positively sure that my guy will have golf balls thrown AT him just as he starts his swing! They have hilarious fun and life is so good. As for the girls, they all went shopping, but there was NO way I would even attempt Black Friday shopping. Anyone brave enough to venture out into that madness...God Bless you... (whisper).. you're a little nuts! LOL!!! 
As the turkey was cooking yesterday, I pulled out some boxes of OLD pics. My daughter, Paloma (almost 20 yrs old) and I laughed as we went through her baby pictures and old stories. I could not help but reflect back to all the Thanksgivings past and really how grateful I am to this life journey. I thought about how things don't always make sense in the moment but how the symphony of this life has brought me full circle in all areas, including the miniatures. In the end no matter how tough or impossible things seem ... it always works out in its perfect time. With grace, faith, determination, and hard work dreams DO come true!
Way at the top of the closet I also found the box of old Miniature pics. So... I decided to give you the story of how this Miniature venture began. The very beginning........

Part I 
Everyone has to start somewhere

In December 1992 I gave birth to my little girl, Paloma. I always wanted a Dollhouse when I was little so this was the perfect time (and excuse) to build a dollhouse for her. I bought a Real Good Toys, 2 story kit. I electrified it, papered the walls and hit every dollhouse store in all my travels. Wherever I went, no matter the city I found a Dollhouse store .... Literally!... From New York to Hawaii!!! Lots of time and fun was spent creating this Dollhouse that I decided Paloma would not be allowed to touch until she was 50 years old HAHAHA!

Paloma & her Dollhouses: "They are for looking, Not for touching"

"The Muses ~ The Artists" 
Every Idea begins with an Inspiration

During these years, The Carole and Barry Kaye Museum of Miniatures opened it's doors in Los Angeles across from the L.A County Museum! I lived 20 minutes away. TOTAL FABULOUSNESS!!! This was most gorgeous place to visit. To say I was mesmerized is an understatement!
The museum had a Room box that I visited often. It was my favorite piece. I could just stare at it for hours and never see the same thing twice. I loved it so much! This piece was the "PLAISIER DE VENISE" by Tom Roberts. OOohhhh how I wished I could have it and also wished I could create something one tenth as beautiful! From that day to this, it is still my favorite!

The Beautiful Man: Tom Roberts

After touring the Museum it was time to hit the Museum Miniature Shop, Petite Elite. MORE eye candy, and candy one could buy! Items from the industries top artists graced the big endless shelves. One of a kind dolls and miniatures that were SO breath taking, yet pricey. In those days I was a young wife, and mother. I felt guilty spending hundreds of dollars for a beautifully painted dollhouse chair.... a dilemma! But suddenly I was cured and got over this guilt phase the milli-second I saw this one particular chair that was gold leafed with a hand painted seat cushion by Bluette Meloney! Hand painted fabric!!! Genius! Gorgeous little roses...aaaahhhhh! Shut the front door!...I had to Have it! Wrap it up ...sold! It is still my most treasured miniature piece!

My Beautiful friend Bluette. My muse
Bluette Meloney set from the Museum of Miniatures

After visiting the museum, and buying Bluettes chair I decided I wanted to upgrade my (oooppps I mean Paloma's' ....hahaha) dollhouse. I grabbed a dollhouse Armoire and started painting.......

My First Painted Miniature 1992
Then I painted more armoires, and dressers:

My First attempt at painting fabric. For Paloma's Dollhouse and was rendered in Bluettes style.

Now the ball was rolling... I painted and painted. Some pieces were out of scale but it did not matter. I was getting busy and found a pure joy in the hobby. Since I was a painter and studied Fine Art at Parsons School of Design this was heaven. I could combine my hobby with my art. I was an at home Mom with my little girl who kept me running all day long. So at night after tucking her into bed I painted and played.

It wasn't long before I mustered enough courage to bring some painted pieces to Carole Kaye at her museum. I brought her 7 pieces and she bought them immediately and on the spot. I was ELATED! By the time I drove home (20 minutes) Carole called me to say that all 7 pieces sold and asked if I could return to the museum so she could give me some furniture to paint for her shop. OMG! I turned the car around, headed back to the museum and there began a new chapter.

As I began to do work for Carole and the museum she constantly told me to paint smaller, smaller smaller. Smaller trims, smaller designs and more delicate. She was instrumental in forcing my hand and eye to the proper scale.  At the time Paula Pasic was the museum Art Director and she was my mentor and taught me many techniques such as gold leafing, distressing etc. Slowly but surely my work improved...... Take a look at the difference in draping below:

1994 Draped  Bed

2012 Draped Bed

 "Keep Going To Fabulous"
The difference between a dream & reality is a timeline

By 1996, I felt confident enough to do my first Miniature Show. I set the goal, scheduled shows across the country and began traveling the show circuit. I met every artist I loved from afar for years. So many master miniaturists that greeted me with open arms, encouragement and help. In 1999 I met Bluette at Tom Bishop San Jose Show, and in 2000 I met Tom Roberts at Chicago International. Both of my muses have purchased my work. There could be no greater compliment. These two artists who both, without knowing, touched my soul with their art, and changed my life. I am forever indebted to these two beautiful people for the beauty they create.
My 2 Hand painted Settees and small commode

My settee in Tom Roberts "Voyage Autour de ma Chambre"

My Harlequin Chars with French Scenes owned by Bluette

For everyone who loves this mini world and loves this either as a hobby or as your work: YOU keep going! Keep working! Keep doing! Never allow anyone to hinder you, discourage you, tell you what the "rules" are. Never underestimate your talent, and your work. Share it all, yell it from the mountain tops because it WILL touch someone, somewhere, at some point. The delights this mini world brings to our souls never ends. There are always new ways, new techniques, and new ideas!  This is where the joy sits... and How Fabulous is THAT?!

Now, regarding that first Dollhouse I made for Paloma ... well... when she was about 4 years old, she carefully took out ALL the furniture, placed it gently on a table, and placed all her Hot-Wheel cars and   airplanes in the rooms! LOL LOL LOL!!! ... forget this girlie dollhouse stuff ... this is the garage!

Have a wonderful weekend! Love and Hugs Maritza


  1. Maritza, Thank you for sharing this wonderful story! I loved every word of it and it filled me with inspiration. I could feel the smile on my face getting bigger and bigger as I read. The pictures are priceless! I love your blog and you <3 Donna

  2. What a wonderful, fabulous blog entry!! IDK why, but it made tears well up! Maybe feeling a little overwhelmed? Thank you SOOOO much for sharing this, darling M!! You my dear, are MY muse!! Love to you! ~Angel N~

  3. Hi sweetie M!! I'm in love with this post!! How beautifully written it is and your story touched a cord for sure!!! I love the ending too :) Adorable!!! You're the best M and you know I love ya so much!!! Hugs and kisses Hun!! Xoxox
    Cyn <3!!

    1. My gorgeous Cyn! God only knows how you inspire me and I love you More!

  4. LOVE LOVE are my Muse! xoxoxox Laura

  5. Loved reading your story. Great job!

    1. Erik G...King Genius! and probably the handsomest Miniature artists in the world (oh some will be jealous I said so...But so what LOL) ...Thank You!

  6. THANK YOU SO SO much Donna and Nina! You both made me smile & teary at the same time Hahaha! I am so happy to blog so that everyone can really see the journey from there to here. The first pieces were awful BUT I kept going. A couple of people through the years tried their best to stop me but I pushed back hard ONLY because I loved the work. It is my honor and MY gift to be of inspiration. In the end, it is truly my only goal. LOVE M

    1. You wil never know how much your encouragement & support has meant to me M!! Words could never express how much, especially a time such as this, it has given me the confidence to press on & press thru!! I cannot thank you enough!! You truly are a blessing to me!! Much love, ~Angel N~

  7. BELLA!! You can’t imagine how much I enjoyed this story!! won’t believe how many times I wanted to visit that Museum on Wilshire!....NEVER made it there! I heard that when they left Los Angeles, they went and opened the museum in Florida; but don’t know if it’s still there?
    To have Tom Roberts and Bluette own your pieces.....HOW THRILLED you must have would be as if Michelangelo purchased them!!! LOL
    LOVE YOU MUCH!!! How cute Paloma was....soooo adorable!!

  8. Ciao Maritza!!! Ho apprezzato molto la tua storia, di averla voluta condividere con tutti noi blogger amanti delle miniature. Sicuramente è di grande incoraggiamento per chi è agli inizi. Grazie.