When we arrived we were surprised to see it had moved from Hall 11 to 8 and further surprised to see that it looked smaller than the Autumn one. I think the Autumn show had around 200 stalls and this one had about 150 plus. Surprising what a difference that makes to the look of a show. I managed to cover it in a day and we cancelled our hotel and drove home.
I do have a little grumble and that is (unlike the American shows) you don't get to see the workshops far enough ahead of the show to decided what you want to do.
That said, it was a great day with a lot to see.
I spent a chunk of my time taking photographs of people and stands for the magazine:
These are some of Angela Singleton dolls. You can find her as Grace Mary Miniatures.
She is someone I am doing a profile on.
In the same vein, yet completely different, these characters are the work of Carol Bull of Bags of Character .
She is also on my profile list.
I also had the unenviable task of picking three vendors for the review article about the show. The next six photos are the people I have to get down to the requisite three.
The first is Kate Pinsent Dolls - as it says these are 1/4ths - how does she get that amount of detail, not to mention posable?
She works in all three scales.
I remember Jacqueline Crosby from another show so I may have shared her work already; that's no bad thing as it is just lovely.
I can't find a website for her.
This one was incredibly difficult to photograph and do justice to the work. Sadie of Tiny Tail's not only makes all the wonderful creatures but she also paints them I can't decided which of her talents I most admire.
I suspect many of you already know Simply Silk Miniatures wonderful work but no apologies for reminding you about it.
I am quite keen to put Phoenix in the three. I think we need reminding how terrific their stuff is. I have done three builds so far and they have been in every one and I am already sussing them out for number four.
I just love them - what more can I say? Sussex Crafts . This is how I would like my work to look. I do improve on each build so you never know in about ten years time I may reach something like this level. We all need dreams.
I didn't buy very much at the show. I sort of had a head all over the place on the day. I thought I was shopping for Green Gables and the Gate House but Green Gables needs American stuff and I have pretty much bought all and sundry for the Gate House; also I am procrastinating about both of them. Green Gables was, maybe, being replaced by a thirties house I was negotiating and the Gate house was delayed by leaving two of its walls with Malcolm's Miniatures who is going to make me three interior doors for it. The kit came with an exterior door (though that might get changed for a wonderful Malcolm one) but no interior ones. Indeed the photo I have of the Lewis build doesn't show any doorways any way so that must have been a later tweak.
This little lovely is the first of my treasures from the show and came from Malcolm's Miniatures. I had bought an Aga from him for my half scale which actually wouldn't fit in the cooker place in the kitchen. Malcolm very kindly let me swap it for this. It is sitting sweetly in my sitting room right now waiting for a small pin to hang it up.
The fish and crab are (probably) for Starfish Cottage - if it ever happens - it seems to get pushed back perpetually. Aren't the knives brilliant for just £1.50 each. These are all from Pride of Plaice. yes - loads of fishy things (not easy to find) but other stuff too. the website seems to be in the making.
Wonderful, wonderful, not Copenhagen, but Herdwick Landscapes have saved me hours of frustration - they make a great 1/48th log fire - built and lit. What more could you want. Funnily enough I spent a while looking at it at the show and thinking its proportions seemed odd - that was because they had it upside down - guess what - I just looked at my photo and I have done the same. If you stand on your head you'll be able to see what a little gem this is.,
Don't know if there is anything I can say that hasn't been said about Ray Storey's work but, never forget, every day there is a newbie joining us. He makes the entire light and in perfect scale and all the glass parts come off as they do in real life. This is a hanging kitchen oil lamp and table lamp for Green Gables. They were my (for me) luxury spend at the show and two days later I may not be doing Anne of Green Gables any more as I have a thirties house to do instead. So these will have to be sold or I can ask him if he'll let me exchange them for other lights. Need thinking space. If anyone reading this wants them for £42 the pair (plus postage) let me know.
The Gate House is supposed to be Arts and Crafts but I think this thirties dressing table is simple enough to squeeze it in. Any way my little residents couldn't find everything at once - they would have to compromise too. Jane Harrop of course!
This is what I actually went to her stall for..... quarter scale again - so sweet.
So, I didn't stagger home with a ton of stuff, but probably as you go along in this game that's how it is. You find yourself getting pickier and also just looking out for a handful of things which might not even be 'out there'.
On a purely domestic note re Miniatura - if you are fussy about food - take your lunch and eat it in the foyer! They have the usual criminals to go at - a small food place in the Hall itself, Starbucks, Subway etc and if you just want a sandwich or something I suspect that would be fine. Ken and I planned to have our main meal as lunch - he at an NT place and me at the show. The 'best' I could come up with was a Weatherspoons. Not familiar with them they looked a likely place - everywhere is full incidentally so that wasn't especially a recommendation for it. I had the world's worst steak and ale pie meal. The reason I am telling this tale is to boast that for the first time in my life (and I have endured some grim meals) I found the wherewithal to actually take it back and ask for my money back. There was the usual British attitude of 'it is fine, it must be you', but if you can put up with that you do have a small victory for the palate and your dosh back! This is when I miss Naples - the home of the very best customer service.