The Internet Craftsmanship Museum Presents:

Dollhouse rooms and miniature crafts

Added to museum 7/25/15

The San Diego Miniature Crafters organization offers a display of their members' work

Three cabinets display a selection of miniature rooms. (Click on photo to view a larger image.)


The San Diego Miniature Crafters club consists of members who devote their time and artistry to create miniatures. They can be in different scales from 1:144 to 1 inch equals 1 foot (1:12). They can be complete structures like dollhouses, single rooms built with a theme and a story or individual pieces of furniture or other small items. The members attend meetings and local and national conventions where seminars and classes are held to teach the techniques of making realistic items in miniature.

About some of the individual craftspeople

(Click on photos to view a larger image.)

Debi Cerone

Debi is the builder of three of the displays seen here. She made Decisions, Decisions, Who let the dogs in? and Bones and Booty, Debi also helped co-ordinate this museum display with the other club members.

Leslie Hopwood

San Diego native Leslie Hopwood has been making and collecting miniature since childhood. Having attended most of San Diego Miniature Crafters' 41 annual shows, she finally joined the club nine years ago.

Michael Sue Nanos

Michael's parents were skilled artists who encouraged her creativity as soon as she could hold a crayon. She has been learning the art of miniatures over the past 40 years. Currently she has a class of 30 children who meet at her shop, Ms. Peggie's Place, to learn skills no longer covered in public schools. Her need to pass on her mini-making knowledge is joyfully fulfilled each time she sits with her students.

Julia Tollafield

Julia is the artist who conceived of turning a metal Biscotti tin found at an antique fair into an Italian Bakery.

Jackie Hoefert

Growing up in San Diego, Jackie Hoefert was always interested in tiny things. She joined the San Diego Miniature Crafters in 1997 and began as a one-inch scale miniaturist but soon began working in tiny 1/4" = 1' scale.

Peggy Boggeln

As a child, her mother brought home new dresses in large boxes. She would cut up the top to build a house plan in the bottom. She broke up other toys to make things for her house. Little did she know there was an entire craft world out there making things in small scales!

Thirty years later, in 1983, she found a series of classes being offered at Michael's craft store. People in the class started talking about clubs and a national organization (now international) and then she was hooked. In miniature, many skills are required—wood cutting, painting, decorating, etc.

She joined San Diego Miniature Crafters (SDMC) after she retired in 2012 and is the Southern California state representative for the National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts (NAME) starting in July, 2015.

Anita Kirwan

Although born in Chicago, Anita claims San Diego as her home having moved here as a very young girl. One of Anita’s most treasured items is a small family of tiny Asian dolls she made some 70 years ago.
Anita began working on miniatures again after she began taking her daughter to the Doll and Toy Emporium in Old Town San Diego.
Anita has an eye for the delicate and things that remind her of family. She has a dollhouse, built by her and her husband that is a treasure trove of family memories. Her many room boxes represent the things and people she loves. Each are a place you’d be happy to walk into and spend the day if you could!

Buff Greaney

Buff is a Chicago native who came to San Diego via Naples, Italy and Sugarloaf Key where she was busy as a Naval wife and busy mother - and ‘owner’ of a pet monkey!
Always imaginative and creative, Buff enjoyed a couple of art classes in college and later took interior decorating classes for fun. Her work life was detailed oriented, she retired as a writer for instructions/manuals for assembling computer components.
Buff has an unleashed imagination that embraces an expressive and often humorous spirit. She is mentor to many miniaturists, she encourages original ideas and embraces resourcefulness.

Sheila McKisic

Sheila began working in miniatures in the 1980s when her husband bought her a "huge" dollhouse kit. Her career life has included fine art, teaching art history, computer game design and animation, and other related interests. Working in miniatures over the years has allowed Sheila to apply her imagination and creativity to new endeavors. Creating the detailed miniature scenes, including the many items and figures to bring them to life, continues to be a very satisfying experience.


Jeannie Napolitano

Once a nurse on the Santa Fe Railroad, later working for the Flying Tigers, Coronado resident Jeannie Napolitano has been crafting and collecting miniatures for more than two decades.


Here are several examples of the Miniature Crafters group's work:

(Click photos to view larger images.)


Feelin’ Groovy

by Buff Greaney

The trailer was inspired by a picture from a magazine. The pictured trailer was used to sell things at swap meets in the LA area. This trailer started life as an RV but with careful attention it was crafted into an airstream style trailer with a hand painted exterior. The inside was created entirely from the imagination of Buff who worked to make it shabby chic. The cozy interior is filled with handmade items from the woven wicker chairs to lights and bedding. it’s practically timeless in its invitation to sit, relax and enjoy what life has to offer!



Cherry Hill House Tea House & Baked Goods by Leona”

by Anita Kirwan

At Anita’s house you never just got a cup of had tea poured from a lovely tea pot, snuggled under a tea cozy. This shop is filled with delicious memories of desserts baked up by her many Italian aunts following a lively dinner around a filled table.



Les Chocolats”

by Debi Cerone

A chocolate shop seemed the best way to display years of collecting chocolate goodies. The china plates on the table, Stokesay Ware Georgian Key, are a limited edition and cost as much as full sized fine china plates". Who wouldn't want a seat at this table?



Florida House

by Jackie Hoefert

1/4" = 1' scale

This simple resort home has a wood exterior and paper shingles. Glue is used sparingly in the construction of miniature homes so as not to take up too much space, making tiny pieces and walls not fit correctly. The tiny structure is open in the back to reveal the interior detail.



The Queen’s Croquet game” and Mad Hatter’s Tea Party”

Scenes from Alice in Wonderland by Sheila McKisic

In the croquet scene, Humpty Dumpty, who appears in the second book Through The Looking Glass, was added because it seemed appropriate for him to sit on the wall looking down on the croquet match. He was made from a wooden egg and Sculpy. The Cheshire Cat was also included in the tree as he is such a vital part of the Alice story. The Queen of Hearts' dress was hand painted based on playing card designs.

For the tea party, all the props and characters were made from scratch: the tree trunk from paper mache, the walls from wood surfaced with Sculpy, and the roof from fake fur. The figures were modeled and the body parts attached with pipe cleaners. They were then painted, wigged and dressed. It's more fun (and forgiving) to make unusual characters than those representative of real people.


Swing on the Beach

by Jackie Hoefert

1/4" = 1' scale

Originally a Suzanne and Andrews design, this coastal home features a unique metal roof and stucco exterior. The texture of miniature stucco can be a challenge. A variety of mediums can be used including joint compound. The trick is to apply the medium with a small putty knife or dental tool as if a miniature sized plasterer was working on the building.



Fishing Shack

by Jeannie Jesse

1" = 1' scale (1/12 scale)

Remembering her family's connection to early San Diego's fishing industry, Jeannie Scratch built this shanty and its contents, in which each piece hold a special memory of a person and a moment. From a little roll of duct tape to her husband's favorite lunch on the boat, this Pt. Loma native's history is captured in miniature. Note also the realistic touches like the crushed aluminum cans and the fish on the newspaper ready to be cooked.


Beach House

by Peggy Boggeln

1:144 scale

The little beach house was completed in 2008. The building stared with a Grandt Line kit with Peggy supplying the details and the nearby ocean.

2012.5.6, 2012.5.7

Paddlewheel Boats

by Peggy Boggeln and Jackie Hoefert

1/288 scale

The boats are built from a kit offered at the 2014 National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts convention. The laser cut wood sheets are shown unassembled as well. Jackie moved the paddlewheel and added a pilot house to hers, adding other details as well. While many miniaturists start with a kit, it is common for the kit to be personalized and individualized until no two are alike.

Shown with the two boats is an un-built kit with its laser cut wood and paper sheets.


Sea Shanty

by Jeannie Napolitano

1/4" = 1' scale

This clever seaside home uses aluminum foil to create the ocean waves. The foil is carefully painted with watery blues and foamy white. Working in 1/4 inch scale, miniaturists use a variety of jigs to keep things true while building, including squares from Lego blocks.



by Peggy Boggeln

1/2" = 1'

Completed 2012. Peggy had a box and no plan for it until 2:30 AM one night when it came to her that it needed an earthquake. She made the floors wave as if they were moving in an earthquake while some minor damage occurs in the rooms. After researching the amount of damage depending on the Richter Scale of the quake she decided to make it a 5.6. (The seismic chart below the room does not necessarily represent a real 5.6 quake, but you get the idea.)



Bones and Booty

by Debi Cerone


This is a "State Day" project, which is a workshop hosted by a group of miniaturists where attendees are given all the components for a project that they will create together over the course of a day. Months of planning and preparation go into a State Day. These events are held throughout the country hosted by different NAME clubs. This pirate themed project was a bushel basket with paper mache forming the interior structure. Everything was scratch built, and it was a great use of leftover bits from the craft room stash.


Scale Hutches

Wooden kits in three different scales made by San Diego Miniature Crafters

1/4" = 1', 1/2" = 1' and 1" = 1' scales

Furniture kits are available in several different scales.


Scale Bookcases

Wooden kits in three different scales made by San Diego Miniature Crafters

1/4" = 1', 1/2" = 1' and 1" = 1' scales


Italian Bakery

by Julia Tollafield

1" = 1'

The bakery is built inside a vintage biscotti tin found while rummaging around at a mid-west antique fair. With the exception of the doll, which Julia purchased but dressed, everything within the bakery was made by her. She used polymer clay for the breads, pastries and cakes and made the shelves and baskets to display them. The flooring was also made using polymer clay. The walls are made from purchased tiling. The room is lit using battery operated LED lights. All of her miniatures hark back to memoires from the past and sit in vintage or antique containers.


Tuscan Pizza Kitchen

by Jackie Hoefert

1/4" = 1' scale

Jackie used a variety of sculpting clay and dried florals so this kitchen is well stocked with pizza ingredients from peppers to garlic. Chalk dust creates a smoky shadow on the aged paper bricks. Flat glue is used to adhere paper in miniatures so the paper doesn't wrinkle. This pizza chef is a one-of-a-kind by doll artist Gayle Clauson.


Sweet P's Licks & Bites

by Peggy Boggeln

1/4" = 1' scale

Completed 2012. This 1/4" shop is still under construction to allow viewing. It houses two Debby Young kits for the ice cream shop (licks) and the bakery (bites). The structure is scratch built.


Decisions, Decisions

by Debi Cerone

1/2" = 1' scale

Made from a Lisa Engler kit. Debi built and stained the cabinet, all candy wrappers were cut out and assembled, some painted and some foil covered. She wallpapered the room, tiled the floor and added lighting. This was part of a club project where each person took a different stand-alone piece to be highlighted in a shadow box.



From the collection of Jackie Hoefert

Micro scale under glass on toy chair

Tucked into the miniature dome is a little bakery complete with individually hand-made baked goods. The cake stands, table and chairs are laser cut wood pieces. The baker's rack is delicately laser cut metal. This micro mini is almost too small to be seen, but it can't be overlooked on the play scale chair. From the collection of Jackie Hoefert, "Bakery" was made by Nell Corkin.


Candy Counter

by Jackie Hoefert

1/4" = 1' scale

Jackie hand made each sweet treat in this candy display while at Guild School in Castine, Maine. Hosted by the International Guild of Miniature Artisans annually, the fine art of making miniatures is taught to a handful of students. The candy samples in this candy counter were each carefully crafted, the twisted suckers were hand shaped with brush bristle "sticks," mold making was learned to create the chocolate and the tiniest cake icing tubes piped details.


Tea Room and Bakery

by Jeanie Napolitano

1" = 1' scale

This one-inch scale miniature is an example of collecting with a sense of humor. Handcrafted and dressed, the bakery chef has lost his balance slipping on a banana peel. This chef was sculpted and dressed by doll maker Fern Vasi. Each pastry was hand made by various American and English artisans. The entire scene was created from Jeannie's imagination with an eye toward fine workmanship.


Corner Tables

by Peggy Boggeln

1" = 1' scale

The Katz's after breakfast and the cats after breakfast each in their own corner tables. The seating areas are from 2014 NAME Day kits, but the rest of the story is from Peggy's imagination.


Remembering Daddy's Office

by Peggy Boggeln

1" = 1' scale

Completed in 2013. This piece was inspired by the pipe stand on the desk, which brought back myriad memories. The office is in Cincinnati—the window looks out on snow covered trees with cardinals. The Davidson crest is on the desk and the Air Force emblem is on the wall. Daddy's silent butler is ready for his jacket. He was a certified financial analyst and once owned a houseboat for travelling on the Ohio River. One shelf in daddy's office had the encyclopedias that were common in every home in the 1960's.


Who Let the Dogs In?”

by Debi Cerone

1" = 1' scale

This was a club project where all members had to make a library scene. Debi built the wall cabinets, tiled the floor, wallpapered and did the molding and trim work. All the book covers were shrunk to copied at 1/12 scale and wrapped around wood pieces. She always has an animal in her projects, but somehow one dog turned into seven, all behaving badly.


A Place for Picture Storybooks

by Leslie Hopwood

1" = 1' scale

A club project challenged each member to create a library in a framed box. This library is inspired by Leslie's family and fond memories of rainy days with tent building and reading. The shelving unit is built from basswood with a gold leafed mantle. On the mantle is a framed photo of her daughters. Carefully made books include her children's favorites along with her husband's published book in miniature on the side table.


People Mover

From the collection of Michele Sue Nanos

1" = 1' scale

The Steampunk movement imagines a Victorian age with fabulous mechanical contraptions powered by steam. Throw in some Jules Verne and there you have it. These sculptures were hatched from bits and pieces of broken furniture, found objects and a whole lot of imagination.


Bluette Meloney Library

From the collection of Michele Sue Nanos

1" = 1' scale

Artist Bluette Meloney revolutionized a new era in miniature artistry with her techniques in painted faux finishes. Every fixed surface in this library example is hand painted.

2015.25.24, 2015.25.25

Ladie’s Parlor Chair and Hall Tree with Safe

From the collection of Michele Sue Nanos

1" = 1' scale

These are "steampunk" inventions made from found objects. Note the complicated mechanism used to fan the person sitting in the parlor chair and the goggles next to the hall tree chair.


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