When the nation went crazy in August for a certain supermarket's collection of tiny plastic grocery items, a group of Canberrans watched on, bemused.
Members of the capital's Art in Miniature (AIM) group were obsessed with small things long before tiny orange juice bottles and handwash became the obsession of Canberra families. AIM artists create miniature artworks for sale and for an annual exhibition, which opens in Braidwood this weekend.
From watercolour seascapes to oil portraits and line drawings of Australian fauna, the artworks require the exact same techniques as larger pieces of art, but on a much, much smaller scale. Think artwork for your dollhouse walls, or the size a Barbie doll might paint.
Special brushes, tiny palettes of paint and custom pens are used to create the pieces, which some AIM artists are selling internationally.
"There's a huge market in Australia and across the world for miniature art," artist Camelia Smith says.
"For starters - it fits anywhere.
"It sells well because it's more affordable and so people buy them for gifts for people as well."
Miniatures date back to the 8th century, with the style becoming mainstream in Western culture in the 15th century. Early European miniatures were mostly portraits of loved ones, worn by men on the inside of jacket pockets or in lockets, close to the heart.
"Miniatures were treated like jewellery, they were very precious," artist Jan Vincent says.
Unlike painting or drawing on a larger scale, miniature art is a hobby you can literally pop in your handbag and take with you.
Jan Vincent paints while waiting for friends at the doctor's surgery. Artist Kylie Fogarty often completes an entire artwork - she prefers line drawing - while she's waiting to pick the kids up from school.
And in a cold Canberra winter, you can literally sit at the dining room table and create "something precious".
AIM artists describe miniature art as "addictive"; the focus required as "like meditating".
"I think we're all attracted to the intimacy - not only producing something gorgeous, gem-like, but they become very intimate compared to the larger pieces of work," Camelia says.
"Because with the larger pieces you're always asked to step back, you need to step back, whereas we're asking you to step in and see the detail."
Art in Miniature annual exhibition, October 6 to November 18, Altenburg and Co. Gallery, Wallace Street, Braidwood. For further information head to www.artinminiature.wordpress.com