Sunday, September 18, 2022

Friends, Lunches and Tiny Things

Corona de Tucson

September 17, 2022 

Sunday we had a series of storms blow through.  It was wonderful !  Some showers were very heavy with lots of wind and at other times it was a good steady rain fall.  Either way, we are all in for the rainy days...such a special desert treat ! 

It's been a really nice week.  Jeff and Fran reached out that they would be passing thru Tucson on their way home (to San Diego) from Ohio on Wednesday.  Jeff specifically asked about meeting at the restaurant I had blogged about and I knew right off which one he meant...El Charro.

They had no problems maneuvering Rufus in downtown Tucson and finding a parking spot across the street from El Charro.  It is always great catching up with them.  Lunch was yummy as always  and before we knew it, they were on their way...westward bound.    

Randy and Joe had plans Thursday morning.  When they were done and Randy dropped Joe off at home, they asked if I wanted to go to Manuels for lunch.  That's a no brainer !  Randy lives in Sahuarita and Manuels is in Sahuarita.  If you get a hankering for Mexican when you are in Sahuarita, Manuels is a great choice.

That brings me to Friday.  We had errands in town and one of our stops was at Mildred and Dildred...the best toy shop in town !   Edith turns 2 years old in a couple of weeks.  

And Felix who learned to ride his bike on 2 wheels early this summer is an "o-fish-al" first grader.  Both are growing up way too fast !     

After doing a little googling, I discovered that a very unique museum was just down the street and around the corner from Mildred and Dildred.  

The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures houses a collection of over 500 antique and contemporary dollhouses and room boxes.  Also, throughout the year there are special exhibitions that highlight the breadth and diversity of the art of miniatures.  


The museum styles itself as a mini time machine where visitors set off on a self-guided tour beginning in the rotundra  that travels through different lands and times...some real and  some imagined.  It's really kind of magical from the start. 

The adventure begins in the History Gallery, followed by the Contemporary Gallery, and ends in the Enchanted Gallery.   I only took a kazillion photos and it was difficult to pick ones that show how beautiful the displays are along with the information and stories about each one. 

The automated three story house or hotel built by Emile Wick dated 1885 is at the top of the list for favorite in the History Gallery.  It represents Switzerland in the early 1800's.  Mechanical figures are animated by a key-wound and weight-driven mechanism.  Inside the cabinet is a music cylinder that chimes two different tunes.  

In its day, there were 30 different movements including dancers pirouette to the waltz while servants performed chores.    

My other favorite in this collection is Farrow's Department Store.

 Farrow's was a miniature accessories company.  The miniature store was made by the employees of the company and displays all of their products.  Amazing !

Entering the Contemporary Gallery, the micro miniature sculptures are the first thing you see.

We read it twice to make sure we got it...the sculptures are directly on the tips of No.2 pencils.  The artist, Salivate Fidai creates these micro-miniatures using his index finger as an easel and a X-Acto knife as a chisel.  He states, "The technology is very simple; I take a pencil and remove the extra."

Girl on the Tip Of a Pencil ...2017

So simple...The French Chateau is an example of a Cabinet House.

Artist Eric Lansdown...acquired by museum in 1993

So intricate...Chateau Meno is a 14 room Rococo chateau inspired by European palaces.   

Artist Charlotte Schoenbach (from Atlanta, GA) designed and created the chateau over a 30 year period...acquired by the gallery in 2006

And so fun...hickory nuts were used for the heads of these dolls titled Old Folks.  I love the puppy.

Artist Elaine Cannon...1956

And the last gallery, Enchantment Realm, is enchanting.

Part of Snow Village is cleverly displayed in the floor.

And my favorite...Mice Habitats 

Special exhibits are also displayed in this gallery.  

Skeleton in the Desert...Artist James Roark...Early 1920's Ford Station Wagon c. 2000-2015

And the Addams Family...a favorite TV show in 1646-1966.   

They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky.  They're all together hooky...

It's a beautiful museum and Joe and I enjoyed our adventure there.  

One last stop before heading home.

Back at the oasis, it took two days for the Goldfinch to find their feeder.  And everyday since, the feeder seems to have more takers.

A Tucson Bonze Tarantula visited.

The butterflies found the Firecracker Plant.

He knows better.

Jack has enjoyed the warm sunshine.

Sally struck a pose.

Dover pulled her favorite toy out of the basket.  

And, Joe and I walked.  Until next time,



  1. A visit to one of my favorite museums and a stop at one of Dave's favorite restaurants - the recipe for a perfect day! Nice post Gay.

    1. Thank you Sue! I’m pretty sure we will have to return to the museum…there is so much to see and I’m sure we missed a lot! Totally agree with Dave…Five Guys burgers and fries are the best!

  2. It is always great to spend some time with the two of you! El Charro was a perfect choice for getting together.
    A Five Guys burger and their fresh fries is a nice treat for your day.

    1. We feel the same Jeff! Looking forward to the next time…we have had some yummy Mexican dishes in San Diego too!

  3. That museum is on my list to hopefully see this winter. It looks so fantastic.

  4. When I saw the title I was hoping you'd been to that great museum!!! I've been a couple times, and it's so fun to find all the teeny tiny treasures in those beautiful spaces. The pups are so dang cute :-))

    1. Thank you Jodee...Dover is really showing her age these days at 15 yrs old. I can see making another visit to the museum also. I loved it! There is so much to take in and I am positive I missed some really great things!

  5. I have a lot of respect for those that work on miniatures. The time, patience and detail, I could never do it.

    1. Totally agree Jim. Joe did build a doll house for our girls many, many years ago and some beautiful pieces of furniture with some scrap walnut.

  6. Love this museum! Sue and I visited during our last Tucson trip. We had no idea is was so captivating. We eventually ran out of time because they were closing. Another visit is a must if we get back to Tucson one day. I found the pencil tops so fascinating. Thanks for taking me back. Love that you added photos of the grands:) And, of course, the pups are a must. As I tell Jim and Barb, I only read for puppy photos...haha! El Charro is a favorite of all of us I think. We never miss a visit when in town.

    1. Hi Pam…totally agree it will take several visits to the museum to see everything. The pencil tops just blew us away. I can’t imagine how tedious that would be to carve…and I wonder if many pencils get discarded in the process. I always ask permission to post pictures of Edith and Felix as their mom and dad do not do any social media sites. I’m always happy to capture a good photo of the pups to share.

  7. We've heard that Manuel's was good--now you've confirmed it and we've been to El Charro. Museums aren't our thing but that one looks fascinating--sculptures on the lead of pencils--who knew!!

    1. Hi Janna! Museums seem to fill the void for something to do when it’s hot outside especially when you don’t have to go out of your way to get to them. It was quite impressive to see all the little things and to learn the history of tiny sculptures and doll houses.