I have a pretty extensive miniature library and I don't mean the tiny books on the shelf of a miniature library, but regular books on a lot of different phases of the hobby. My first book was given to me a lot of years ago by a dear friend. It was "The Complete Book of Making Miniatures" by Thelma Newman and Virginia Merrill, whose home Tom and I had the pleasure of visiting a few years ago as a special treat when we were attending a Guild Study Program at Colonial Williamsburg. I must say that it was a delight to see some of the remarkable work that was done by Virginia Merrill. Back to the story of the book given to me by long time friend, Ann. Ann and her husband John have been friends of ours for nearly 40 years and they are special people; those who always do for others. If there is a family in trouble for any reason, there will be a home cooked meal delivered to the home by Ann. John, too is involved in good works like feeding the homeless. In any event to continue the story, at the time that Ann gave me the above mentioned book, I was in the process of building a dollhouse for her two daughters. That particular house was pictured earlier in this blog, part of the "Back to the Beginning" comments. It was the house where I had to make all of the furniture from balsa wood with rudimentary tools, but not long after, regular dollhouse furniture became available and that was a good thing. Because Ann and John are two of the nicest people I know and because their lives are full of good works for others, I decided that with Tom's important help, we would build them a church as a Christmas present. All churches would welcome parisioners like our friends as good deeds are part of their nature. I think I need not say that our church was well received.
The building of the church leads me to relate a rather interesting story because I had no idea how we would handle certain aspects of the church...like the stained glass windows, for example. I happened to go into a miniature store near Melbourne and in talking with the owner I learned that she had pictures of stained glass windows because she was on a comittee for her church, investigating the stained glass that her church wanted to buy and have installed. I was thrilled with the pictures because they were all well known Biblical themes such as Adam and Eve and Moses etc. After deciding how many windows we would have in the church and their size, Tom and I took the pictures to a graphics store and had the selected pictures color copied onto transparancies. The results were wonderful; we could not have asked for a better result. Tom built the church structure from scratch with no plans. He also built all of the pews. My contribution was the altar, the organ which was a Chrysnbon kit, the poinsettias, the altar vases, the flooring and wiring and any other little touches that were needed...the bits of landscaping outside. Tom also did the hymnals in the back of every pew. We were pleased with our church and were surprised to see that Real Good Toys soon after had a kit that showed up in most mini shops. I don't think Tom would have used the kit had it existed, but I don't mind bragging on his ability to do such projects from scratch with no plans at all. That is a gift and few people have it.