Sharing dates of Fairs

If you click on one of the months above it will show a list of fairs usually held that month.PLEASE, PLEASE let me know of any fair you know about and I'll add it to the list.
I apologise for not making any attempt to keep it current this is just an attempt to have a list of as many dolls house shows that I can find. Even if you see a show with an old date you can just google the name of the show to find out the date of the next one.

It would be great if you'd let me know of any I can add to the list.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Orlando Miniatura 2015 - 4 - 6 September

When I was typing the date of the show I realised it isn't strictly accurate.  American shows are much more than just an opportunity to sell/buy things.  This show really began on the 2nd.  Rather than just prattle on about the heap of things to do, I thought I would bullet point what was on offer at this show:

  • reduced hotel rates at the venue itself
  • complimentary tickets to a Disney park
  • you can pick any thing you want to do separately from anything else - all a la carte
  • special exhibits
  • 14 workshops from the 2nd to the 4th
  • tour of the President's Hall of Fame
  • themed luncheons with artisans sharing techniques
  • banquet
  • 3 hour preview Friday night with hors d'oeuvres and bar
  • one hour preview before opening to the public on Saturday
  • three huge raffles, pick what you would like to win
  • buses from the resort to get around Orlando
  • airport pick-up
  • east or west coast beaches just over an hour away
  • back to back sunshine
  • charming vendors/artisans to buy from and chatter to
What's not to like!

As a 'grumpy' English person I don't take advantage of most of the things on offer but I do understand their appeal.  I also imagine that if you were travelling on your own to the show you would still have a great time from the minute your feet touched the floor as you are surrounded by like-minded people who are overjoyed at the prospect of talking minis with someone who's eyes don't glaze over at the mere mention of them.

We arrived on Thursday so I was 'rested' for the shopping and chattering on Friday.

Rested was vital as the convention centre was huge

thank heavens for directions

We were Mickey tagged on arrival.  You get a band (with your name on the back) which electronically opens gates, hotel room and allows you to pay for anything any where within Disney.  Clever marketing - painless spending.  

The preview, as always, was a delight and the four tables of food on offer stupendous.

one of the best crab cakes ever in the centre dish

The organisation and labelling of the whole show is superb; an absolute newbie to the game can find their way around and know what they are looking at.

There must have been a dozen (?) exhibits of people's lovely work such as these two

detail of a complete house and garden in 48th

front of a lovely house built from plans

From that table I wandered off into the show proper and found a couple of my favourites:

Michael Reynolds

Michael Reynolds always has a new piece of magic.

Tom Walden

I hope to be able to get to a show next year where I can do a Tom Walden class. His work is incredible.  I would like to do some 'finishing' with him.

Tom again

I wanted to show you this piece in particular.  I was blown away by the fact that this is not stained or painted wood - just lightly varnished ebony and holly.  I was especially in love with some other holly pieces.  His selection of wood not only for their intrinsic qualities, but then further selecting for the finest of grains so they are in scale, is stunning.  The time and patience needed for that alone wows me.

Two 'blow me away' vendors who were new to me though not to the mini world - were:

Elle Piccolo Dolls

This lady's creations are the best I have seen bar none.  She is a painter so, in addition to her unsurpassed modelling skills, beautifully sourced fabrics, immaculately made clothes, she is able to make their faces so life-like.  A huge amount of their credibility lies in their eyes.  They positively look back at you, full of life.  Check out this link:  Elle Piccolo

My other 'find' was Talley's Turnings.  This photograph, in no way, does the pieces justice.  There are quite a few people doing this sort of work now but you can see that he has an extra something even from this example.  The work is very thin (when it should be) and the colours glorious.  They cry out to be held and admired.

Talley's Turnings

I am particularly cross with myself that I came away without buying a couple of pieces.  I have tried to find a site for him but can only find an email.  I will email to ask what other shows he will be at and cross all my fingers it may be one I can get to.

I am sorry this has all been 1/12th related, I know how frustrating that is for other scales.  In my defence, because this was the birth of a show it was a small trader base and yes, there were quarter scale people there but they were onew we already know and love:
  • Desert Minis
  • Jill Castoral
  • Robin Betterley
  • Young at Heart
  • The Quarter Source
  • Stewart Dollhouse

The next morning I went back to the show (during the preview) and bought ten dollars worth of raffle tickets for each group of prizes.

Members of the Miniature World of Central Florida and Lakeland Miniatures Guild had donated some lovely work for raffling.  For my twenty dollars I had twelve tickets for each of the groups.  It is done in a brilliant way in that there is a box beside each item and you drop your ticket in the box belonging to the prize you would like.  Those twenty-four tickets took me a very long time to post.

I did choose this one (among many) for my grand-daughter.  Perfect gift from a few days in Disney.

I will never know which I won!  Yes, I did win one.  I had an email from Kim on Sunday saying I had won a prize and to go and collect it.  Unfortunately we had to leave the show early on Saturday so I never got to do that.

If you would like to see more of these prizes and other stuff from the show there is a photo album, just click here:  Orlando Show 2015

Kim also always give you a plan of the floor and list of vendors with their contact details.  I can not tell you how much work that saves me after a show.

If you didn't make this one, there are three more due up:

Philadelphia Miniaturia, Nov 6 - 8th 2015
Venice Fun in the Sun, Jan 16th -17th 2016
Orlando Miniatures Festival, Feb 13th -14th 2016

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