My love for the tiny world started when I was 5. I would design dollhouses all day, and lose track of time. As an avid miniature collector, I’d pick up miniature accessories wherever I traveled. As a young adult, my dream was to craft a miniature old French farmhouse. In the meantime, I owned a chain of retail home stores. When I sold the last one and moved to Ojai, I had visions of raising chickens. So the first thing we built was a chicken coop. Breeds were selected to assure an array of blue, green, olive, brown and pink eggs. My obsession with chickens only growing, I began looking for miniature garden and chicken coop accessories. One day, I got the idea of crafting miniature chicken dioramas inside of cigar boxes. . . . First, they began as miniature coops and everyday scenes embodying my love of animals. But, they have gradually come to include more sophisticated activities and travels. Many incorporate my husband Tracy’s photos; others whimsical art I have discovered. But they all share something in common; they each feature a chicken. One, two, sometimes accompanied by a cow, or goat, or bunny or pig. I call them “Storyboxes”, because, there is a story and an inspiration behind each one.
- Carey Appel