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My love for the tiny world started when I was 5. I would design dollhouses all day and lose track of time. Later as an avid miniature collector, I’d pick up miniature accessories wherever I traveled. 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. Some incorporate my husband Tracy’s photos; others whimsical art and accessories I have discovered. But they all share something in common; they each feature a chicken. One, two, sometimes accompanied by a typewriter, a wine crate, or coffee and a newspaper. I love designing custom boxes for clients to celebrate special occasions. Anything can be committed in miniature. And I call them “Storyboxes” because there is a story and an inspiration behind each one.

The magnets were added later combining my love of chickens with inspirational quotes that move me. The French bulldog magnets are dedicated to my beloved Theo who passed this year. Custom orders welcome on magnets as well!  They make great placecards, favors, and stocking stuffers.

Stay tuned for upcoming Storybox Lanterns for 2023!


- Carey Appel

careywith buff chicken.jpg

Custom story boxes are available.

Please email us at



“Your story boxes are whimsical, beautifully crafted by hand, and each box is a moment to treasure, a little scene, telling a story. I keep mine on my desk and love to look at it as I do my work or on the phone. Your story boxes are an invitation to enter a miniature world, to allow time to stand still as our eyes feast on the details, and our minds imagine what it would be like to stand inside a garden, near an ocean, inside a kitchen, a tiny livingroom, or wherever the storybox takes us.

Pam W.


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