Albany woman recognized for doll house creations

ALBANY, Ore. - Rhea Avery has always had a knack for creating all things great but particularly small.

In her free time, the retiree can be found in her room decorating what will be her 11th doll house.

"My grandmother liked miniatures," Avery said. "I probably got the genes from her."

Avery has been decorating doll houses out of different miniature knickknacks and collectibles for the last 30 years.

The doll house designer has decorated a variety of doll houses which include a haunted house, a museum, an oriental palace, and a Christmas house.

"We have 10 of them, but we have to stop because there's no more room," Avery said.

But it was work on her Madam Boudelay Bridal Boutique dollhouse that landed her on the front page of June's American Miniaturist bridal issue.

"Originally I had written a letter to them, telling them I really liked the products in their magazine," Avery said. "They said 'well that's great, we want a house of yours featuring those products.' So then I was like, 'oh my gosh.'"

But Avery is not letting the attention go to her head.

"Even if I was a millionaire, I would still make things rather than buy them," Avery said.

The thing about doll house decorating she enjoys the most is that it is an escape from reality.

"You can create your own perfect little world," Avery said. "Nobody loses their job or their house, nobody gets sick, nobody has to go off and fight a war, and there's no politicians."

Avery said without her hobby, there is no telling what she would be doing.

"Oh heavens, I'd probably have to clean and cook, that sort of thing," Avery said. "We have a little saying that we have house work whenever but minis forever."

Avery's doll house creations are also landing in the October and January issues of American Miniaturist.