DODGE CITY, Kan. - Marjory Nazarenus puts detail into her miniatures filled with tiny dolls, furniture, draperies, crystal, china and even food.
"I've made 13 doll houses and 20 room boxes, and every one of them is different," Ms. Nazarenus said. "In my fridges are food; on the stove, something is cooking; and in every cabinet are dishes."
Ms. Nazarenus not only makes the cabinets but she also paints the dishes and puts tiny toilet paper in the bathroom. She also puts a joke in every room.
A Christmas room contains Santa and Mrs. Claus sitting on stools, with Ms. Nazarenus' name on a Christmas stocking hanging on the fireplace. A Christmas tree in the corner boasts colored bulbs that really light. Loads of Christmas gifts are under the tree, and to top it all off, a tiny bottle of Valium sits in the foreground on the living room table.
"I figured people need the Valium at Christmas time with all the things they have to do," Ms. Nazarenus said.
She grew up with two sisters, and they all played with dolls. She made her own doll clothes, and by the fifth grade, was making her own clothes.
Ms .Nazarenus still plays with dolls - and makes dolls. In fact, she might be the only doll maker in the United States who creates quarter-inch dolls. She also owns a quarter-inch dollhouse that is unique. She has sewn dozens of doll clothes, among them several delicate and elegant wedding dresses.
"One of my dolls has on Lady Di's flower girl's dress," she said. "I bought the pattern when I bought the doll."
She is the star of one-room box displayed at the library. The room contains two photos of Ms. Nazarenus, one as a young girl with her French horn and another of her playing the instrument when she was 65 years old. (She is a member of the Dodge City Community College wind ensemble and the Dodge City Cowboy Band.)
"There's a tiny picture of Mom and Dad on the piano," she pointed out.
"My high school graduation picture is hanging on the wall, and a photo of my graduation from beauty school is on the piano," she said.
A miniature Life magazine sits waiting to be read on a gold upholstered chair in the room box.
Ms. Nazarenus, who was involved with beauty work for 42 years, even has created a miniature room box of her former beauty shop, with a little doll representing her toiling on another woman's hair.
"I'm standing on a stool because I'm so short; I always had to perch on a stool at the beauty shop," she said with a laugh.
Ms. Nazarenus is working on a special room box that she will present to her sister Virginia and her husband, Wayne, for their 50th wedding anniversary in March. The box contains four rooms representing parts of their lives.
"I once took a photo of my sister when she was 4 months old, and with it, I placed a doll wearing a dress I made that matched her dress in the photo," she said. "She cried when I gave it to her. I know she will scream when she sees the anniversary-room box."