- Associated Press - Sunday, June 21, 2015

BEATRICE, Neb. (AP) - Single serving containers of butter and jelly can service more than a piece of toast at breakfast - one Beatrice resident used them to help create a miniature house.

The containers sparked the imagination of PEO Home resident Mary Newcomer, 93, to create a miniature dollhouse made completely out of trash.

The plastic single serving cups became furniture and fixtures in the cardboard dollhouse, the Beatrice Daily Sun (https://bit.ly/1JZ3Gcs ) reported.

She calls it a “Trash Cottage.”

“After the containers for butter and jelly, I began to collect toothpaste boxes to cut and fold to make chairs,” Newcomer said. “Then I began to see more possibilities and I was hooked.”

Items used throughout the house include straws, magazine clippings, paper clips, return labels, security envelopes, candy wrappers, buttons, popcorn, medicine supplies, pen parts and pins.

Newcomer has been a resident at the PEO Home for almost two years. She said she spent two to three hours every day for the last few months finding the right pieces of trash for her project and putting it together.

Growing up, Newcomer collected miniatures and had a passion for dollhouse miniatures.

“The seed was probably planted when a fabulous doll house appeared on my fifth birthday,” she said.

It was made from a cardboard box, complete with tiny furniture and stairs to a second floor.

“It was my favorite toy until it absolutely wore out,” she said.

She used to make similar toys for her daughters when they were growing up.

She said she has always been a huge recycler, even before it was common to recycle.

Around Christmastime, Newcomer received packages in what she called “beautiful Harry and David fruit boxes.”

“I saw them and thought I should make something out of them,” she said.

She spent time decorating and piecing together a miniature house equipped with a kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom.

Rhonda Fossler, the PEO housekeeper, helped Newcomer in finding supplies.

“It is just amazing that she can think of all the small details that goes into a house and that she can do all this at her age,” Fossler said.

Newcomer painted the walls and floors, and added small details to the entire project.

“I’ve just always been in love with dollhouses,” she said. “It’s like the saying goes, and I really just saw the potential in someone’s junk.”


Information from: Beatrice Sun, https://www.beatricedailysun.com

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