I was born in Rio de Janeiro to parents in the American diplomatic service, and spent my youth living all over the world, from India to the Azores: but it was in Ireland that I was taken to see Queen Titania’s Palace, beginning my life-long interest in dolls houses.
I met my husband Chris when he was playing cricket in Oporto. Two years later I graduated from Barnard College in New York and came to start my married life at Shaw. I’ve kept my American citizenship, but England is my home, especially this farm where we raised our three children: Daniel, Marguerite and Eleanor.
I wrote ‘Dolls Houses for Everyone’ in 1987and soon after began teaching at adult education centres around the country. I also wrote ‘how-to’ articles for Dolls House World magazine, becoming DIY Editor. At the same time I was running the Marlborough Dolls House Fair for the Cancer Research Campaign (now Cancer Research UK), and a group of us were using an old farm building as a workshop to make things to sell for the charity. One day I realized that by annexing the cowshed next door, I could teach at home and that’s how it all began!
From the cowshed the workroom expanded to take over the hen house next door. Six courses each year gradually became thirteen or fourteen, many of them now taught by visiting expert tutors, and even the fund-raising has increased, with an annual sale in one of the barns, and a table at the Spring and Autumn Miniatura, all to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
My lovely Chris died in October 2017 and I have just moved into a converted calf shed in the farmyard. Eleanor and Alex moved into the old farmhouse last summer with my three granddaughters and I believe the house is happy to be full of children and life again!