All the small things

TINY critters living in lavish mini houses, filled with mini furniture and decorations while eating tiny versions of different kinds of food. Tanya Mondoñedo busies herself daily by arranging and rearranging the humble abodes of her favorite minis. She’s the “caretaker” of these little houses that give her nothing but happiness and contentment.

Tanya has been collecting Sylvanian miniatures ever since she gave her daughter a house filled with critters some years back. She fell in love with the tiny critters as she played with them with her daughter. “It ended up that I was the one who became addicted,” Tanya said, laughing.

Sylvanian Families is a line of anthropomorphic animal figurines that come with houses and thousands of decorations and food miniatures. It is made mostly from flocked plastic. The mini decorations give life to the environment of the animals as they make up scenarios of daily home life. That’s what made Tanya fall in love with collecting these miniatures.

“I just love the art of making small things. It’s so difficult to make these perfectly. Plus, it relaxes me when I look at what I made. You can fill your little houses with things that you can never afford in full size,” Tanya said.

Right now, Tanya has about 5,000 pieces of miniatures, some of which she has shipped from Europe, where the Sylvanian Families main store is located. Some of the pieces she bought or sourced locally, while some pieces she even made herself. Indeed, her passion for these miniatures keeps growing as her collection grows and grows.

The miniatures give Tanya so much happiness and in a way fills a void born from a troubled past. Tanya grew up in a broken family and sometimes she feels sad and depressed as all she ever wanted was a complete and happy family.

To her the value of her collection is not monetary but emotional. It gives her a sense of completeness plus hours of enjoyment as she creates different kinds of environments for her little critters.

“The houses often represent my interests, just like a real house. It’s like looking through a window into someone else’s world,” Tanya said.


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