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Annelies de Kort
It's a small, small, small — miniature — world!

Annelies de Kort shows us the tiny scale of her miniatures. Even the "largest" of her paper nativities shown above — the Portico Nativity at upper left — measures only 1 1.12 x 1.25 inches.

Annelies de Kort filled her Maison Des Dentellieres (Lace Shop) with all of her favorite lace patterns— but in a tiny scale.

A lace beginning

"Hello Alexis," writes Annelies from Elst, the Netherlands, "Do you know that, besides our love for the creches, we have more in common?

"I am an amature mini-publisher. That means I make miniature books, 2-2,5 cm high. Isn't it a small world?"

A fellow publisher and a bobbin lace maker? (Believe it or not, I have a lace pillow stashed here somewhere.) I couldn't have phrased it better myself, Annelies: it is a small world!

"Small," indeed, is the operative word here, because Annelies has wowed our Creche Guild Internet Community with her incredible miniature creches. Naturally, we wanted to know more.

"In the 80s, I started making bobbin lace," Annelies writes, "and after a while I learned how to design my own lace patterns. At one point I had designed so many patterns that I thought, What shall I do with them all?

"'Let's see how small I can make them' was the answer, and I kept making them smaller and smaller. I went a few times to Bruges, in Belgium, and there I saw all these lace shops. So I said to a friend: that is what I would like to do—I will make a miniature laceshop. And she said, 'Then you should make it at 1/12th size, because that is the scale for dollshouses.

"That is how I came to making my first miniatures.

"After a few years, the laceshop was finished, and I started making all kinds of needlework in miniature.
Now I have a dollshouse decorated in 70s style; a medieval room with needlework from the beginning of the 17th century; a cabinet with embroidered doors from the end of the 17th century; and lots and lots of knitted, embroidered, and sewn bobbin lace and crocheted miniatures.

Annelies de Kort's Lilliputiannativities include, at bottom left, an origami nativity that began her immersion into a miniature world.

Miniature creches

"Meanwhile, I made some small origami creches; I bought a little creche; I got one as a present and suddenly I was colecting creches!

The paper creches came to me from the internet. They were a real eye-opener. And now I adore them, Especially the old ones.

"At the same time, I started making miniature books on the computer on all kinds of subjects: my dollshouses; a very special miniature; a trip we've made; festivals; about other miniaturist collections, etc. And I also produced eight creche book catalogs.

"Every year around Christmas, The Religious Museum in de Heilig Landstichting, not far from where we live, has a creche exhibition. And of course, every year I visit the museum and the museum shop. There I always find new creches for my collection.
(They have fold-out creches from Publisher NZV. One more publisher I found on the internet is: ARK-boeken VVHS/BKV, Donauweg 4, 1043 AJ Amsterdam.)

Seeing is believing…

"I was raised in the Protestant faith—which meant that we, and our Protestant friends, did not have a creche.

I went to a Protestant school, so we did not have fold out creches there. But of course, they existed.

As I got older, my religious affiliation lapsed, and our children did not attend a religious school as I had done.

But they always had a creche— a normal size one, not a miniature, made by me."

Best Wishes

— Annelies de Kort

Thank you so much for sharing your story, Annelies. How wonderfully inspiring. I know our friends willenjoy seeing more of your little wonders on your site. And I can't wait to have that bowl of tomato bisque soup with you—upstairs, in that ornate restaurant at the Amsterdam Central Train Station. — Alexis

© 2022

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