Holidays go miniature at museum

By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
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Christmas in miniature is the theme for the latest display at the Folsom History Museum. During the Friday night private reception for members, volunteers and display owners, dozens turned out to see the doll houses, room boxes and a large model train set. The show is titled “Under the Christmas Tree.” Jay Kent, of Sacramento, spent seven months toiling over a large doll house resembling something right out of a Dr. Seuss book. “I call it the ‘Whimsical House,’” he said. “I carved it. All the outside is what we call paper clay so I hand-carved (it to look like) bricks and wood.” Andrea Barrows, one of the many Folsom Historical Society members, gushed over the house. “This is gorgeous,” she said, taking a peek into the kitchen and living room. “It reminds me of the Grinch’s house.” In the tall, cock-eyed home is miniature furniture and appliances, but one very important room is missing. “I didn’t have room for a bathroom inside,” he said, pointing to an area outside the doll house. “So, I built an outhouse.” The home has been displayed at the 2010 California State Fair and at The Elegant Dollhouse store in Sacramento. Barbara Taplin has owned the shop for 32 years. “It’s where a lot of these people come to get their stuff,” she said. “They are all talented. I probably have 20 items (displayed) here (at the museum). I didn’t do them, but they’re from my shop.” Marilyn Carazello, of Carmichael, is exhibiting six pieces. “I call them room boxes, but they’re dioramas,” she said. “I got into miniatures in the 1970s. I used to have high-powered jobs so this is how I kept my sanity.” Her jewelry store display took first prize at the state fair in 2005. LaVerne Munz, of Sacramento, brought a dozen pieces to display including an ode to “Alice in Wonderland,” a hacienda and one themed in honor of Harry Potter. “My most recent one is a garage sale,” she said. “I takes about six months (to put one together).” She said she started building the miniatures in 1994. “I think I’m a frustrated interior designer,” Munz said with a laugh. Reach Telegraph Managing Editor Don Chaddock at * * * “Under the Christmas Tree” When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, through Jan. 15 Where: Folsom History Museum, 823 Sutter St. Tickets: $4 adults, $2 children, free for children under 12 Information: (916) 985-2707,