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.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Shows in December

Here are some UK shows being held in December - 

Saturday 3rd -- Kensington Dolls House Festival, Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, London, W8 7NX  (KDF)
Sunday 4th -- Marriot Hotel, Southampton Road, Portsmouth 10.30am 4.00pm (Dolly's Daydreams)
Sunday 4th -- The Town Hall, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands (MM Fairs)
Saturday 10th -- The Shoreham Centre, 2 Pond Street, Shoreham-By-Sea, West Sussex, BN43 5WU. (MGM Fairs)
 Sunday 11th -- Leisure Centre, Sea Front, Felixstowe 10.30am 4.00pm (Dolly's Daydreams)

Thank you Miniature Scene for this list

Sunday, 27 November 2016

York Dolls House Fair, 20th November 2016

As this blog records the shows I visit it seems right to write a post to at least acknowledge that I went to the York Show on 20th November.

There isn't a review here as there is nothing I can add to the one I wrote for the Spring Show back in June (see York Dolls House Fair, 5th June 2016).  Same venue and same 'arrangements'.  I didn't take any photos at the show and seemed to wander around in a daze achieving very little.  This is no criticism of the show but does demonstrate that what you take away from these events is very subjective and is as much to do with your attitude on the day as it is to do with the show.

There were 81 vendors and I only managed to pick up a few very ordinary things for my project so I came away feeling very flat.  Others have got a bounty of lovely things from exactly the same day in the same place.

If you want to see what I bought they are posted over in my project blog  Dalton House

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Scottish Dolls House Fair

This is a bit eleventh hour, but worth a punt in hopes it reaches some of you who can get there.  There is a show in Edinburgh tomorrow:

for full details,click here:  Scottish Fairs

In brief:

Scottish Dolls House Autumn Fair
Next Fair .. 6th November 2016
Fair is Open from (10:30am to 4:00pm)
Royal Highland Centre
Strathmore Restaurant - Lowland Hall
EH28 8NB
Adults £ 3.50 Children under 12 FREE (Please pay at Door)
Cafeteria Available - Free Parking - Disabled Access

It is showing 23 traders, so not a massive show BUT everyone of those is a gem for one reason or another.  I'll let you check them out for yourself as we all need/like different things.  There are at least six in that list that I would be making a bee-line for.

I always think however small a show is it is a great chance to go feely-touchy shopping instead of  the internet throw of the dice. 

Think of it this way if you had a local dolls house wouldn't you be in that shop every five minutes; well, in Edinburgh, this weekend there are 23 shops all in one place.

The organiser is Dream Home Miniatures - the JiaYi retailer where I bought a few things at the NEC - this vendor on its own is worth a trip.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Miniatura photos

Thank you to Andy Hopwood at Miniatura for sending me these wonderful photos to share:


Laurence and Angela St. Leger

Tiny Tails Miniatures

Vanessa's Dolls

WHB Miniatures

Little Bits and Pieces by Julie

Malcolm's Miniatures

S & W Golland


Stephen J Randall

Sylvia's Mini Knits

Jane Harrop

Jane Davies

Het Porcelein Boompje

Gek Miniature Art

Five Valley Bears

Annie Shushneva

Botiny Miniatures

Dateman Books

Dolls House Direct

Eggers Delight & Elite Designs

Elisabeth Causeret

Enchanted Dolls
Al'turn'ative proportions

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Miniatura, Autumn 2016, 1st and 2nd October 2016

What a terrific weekend!  We travelled down to the NEC after lunch on Friday for an overnight stay ready for an early start the next day.  Indeed we stayed two nights so it was absolutely relaxing and enjoyable.

If you buy the weekend ticket the number of visitors to the show is limited on Saturday - not sure to how many -  and the room was certainly very, very busy as soon as the door opened.

It opened smack on time at ten o' clock and this is the queue still going in at about quarter past.

By about two in the afternoon it looked like this - much calmer and easier to get around, though still busy.

So, this is a case of deciding what's most important for you.  If you are someone who must find the best bargain and that special one-off piece then you decidedly need to be there at 10 am on Saturday as a lot of stock is gobbled up that day.  If you prefer things a little calmer then Sunday is your day.  On Sunday the pattern seems to reverse - it is nice and quiet at 10 am and tends to get busier as the day progresses.  If you are just greedy like me then it is absolutely a two-day event.

There were 155 vendors (maybe two no-shows?) so enough for anyone to go at.  That said, the longer you are in this game the pickier you get and, whilst surrounded by 155 wonderful people, I am thinking oooh I could do with this or that person here!  Just plain cheeky some folk.

I do feel Miniatura is creeping more upmarket and I am hoping it won't become the Brum version of the Kensington show.  It is lovely to have a wide mix of things to buy at all sorts of budget levels.  Not only do we all have a different bottom to our pockets but there are countless approaches to dollhousing from basic child-like houses, not overly fussy about scale or quality but stuffed full of things the owner loves all the way through a myriad of levels up to museum quality collectors' houses.  A show that can appeal to all of this has a challenge on its hands for sure.

My first attack was to check out my (maybe) next project:

This is the Sussex by Dolls House Direct and with a couple of tweaks might well fulfill the notion I have of an Edwardian house overlooking a park or at the seaside somewhere, inhabited by Vita - a very modern arty lady.

I think Gary's houses have come on leaps and bounds since mine and his acquiring a laser cutter though some are a bit over-trimmed for my taste, but he is offering different to everything else around and a massive choice of styles and sizes; and he will tweak where possible.

My current build is one of his and I didn't want side windows, for example, no problem.

After a bit of discussion about what can and can't be done I walked round the whole show fairly slowly and for once I timed this tour - it took me three hours.

Off for lunch which was the usual show food/chaos.  You can go out into the arena and there are eateries out there to choose from I was just too lazy.  If you are a serious shopper I'll assume you aren't that fussed about lunch as long as it comes with a good sit-down and your choice of beverage.  Mine's a tea, thank you.

On my tour I had spotted a new kid on the block Alison Davies and had admired her lovely furniture and papers and her beautiful display - her site is also lovely to look at - great marketing going on here.  

It worked its magic and I went back and bought four items and made a note of what else I want next time I see her.  Incidentally she is Pat of Lili-Anne fame's daughter so she must be steeped in all things miniature.  Her mom has eased back this summer and Dolls House Direct are now marketing her lovely bathrooms.

I then visited the Little Dolls House Company and bought a pair of lights and, being sort of frugal, managed to talk myself out of another pair I liked and a pretty chandelier.  An hour later I was back buying the other pair of lights, but I still resisted this chandelier:

Sunday morning, just after ten and I was back there for it, only to discover I had missed it by a hair's whisker.  A lady had arrived at ten to buy it and while she was deliberating about the price the lady waiting patiently behind here bought it!  Lesson learned.  If you really love something - get it - worry about the money later!

I won't take you through the umpteen other vendors that have my pennies - if you want to see what I bought go and visit my Dalton House blog.

I am not sure there is anything I can add to the masses of information you can find on Minatura's site regarding the venue but here is my take on it.

The NEC is HUGE - be prepared and do your homework as to how you are going to get to it and get around it.  

You can get to the show via min-rail link from Birmingham's main railway station and everything is under cover door to door - still quite a lot of walking just to do this - the atrium itself is massive.  You can extend this and even fly in using all the links from the airport to the door.

For most of us I suspect, we either stay 'on campus' or drive there on the day.  If you have another half like me who doesn't do the show but is happy to drop you off you can't get very close to the halls and so have to walk quite a way from wherever you are dropped..... and we know about British weather. Best way to go about this is don't try for a close drop-off place (there isn't one) but get dropped at the bus stop by the car park instead - out of the car on to a bus, free ride up to the halls and dropped outside the door.  Easy peasy.

If you are driving and parking, the car parking is always free - you need to pick up a ticket from the show as you leave.  The show information doesn't always make that clear and the advertised £12 a day or £20 for nearer car park might affect whether you want to go at all/one day/two days.  Nil desperandum, as I said it is always free on both days.

Our hotel (Holiday Inn Express) is a couple of minutes away by car and each day K dropped me off as described above and I got a taxi back to the hotel when I was finished.  £4.40 on the clock, £5 announced by driver(s) so with a £2 tip that's not a cheap way to travel a couple of minutes, but very convenient.

Taxis are allowed to drop off outside the Hall, but I was told by an 'official' in the hall there is no taxi rank outside and they can't pick up.  So, I had better whisper this, but I got a cab easily on both days, just outside the door.  If this is your chosen mode though you could always book one to pick you up as they are allowed to do that.  Book it from somewhere other than the show - again I was told to go to the Business Centre or the station to book a cab - both are long hikes away.

Miniatura have added in a couple of tables at the front of the hall, newspapers and jigsaws, so you or your companion can take a breather - nice touch - I used the area on both days to regroup mentally, as well as physically and to work out my next sortie.

I am not sure what else you might want to know but if there's anything specific just email me.  

In summary, my definite four shows a year here in the UK are two at York and two at the NEC, so Miniatura certainly ticks my boxes.

Apologies for lack of photos here but it is very time consuming, I don't take my camera now I am not 'working' and the traders are so busy it is an imposition just to ask if its OK to take a photo.  Many (quite rightly) refuse as this is an area rich in picking up someone else's ideas and making it yourself and, even worse, making and selling several look-alikes.

I am hoping I can get a press release from the nice Andy Hopwood with photos and eventually a link to a video (?)  Watch this space... meanwhile ....

I am off to play with all my lovely new 'toys'.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Film from April Miniatura

Here's a nice little 'taster' following the April Show.  It is from the Miniatura website.  Click on the link as it has other pictures and information.  Me? - currently on a count down....

Otober's Shows

There are tabs at the top of this blog showing any shows I know about each month.  If you go there you will see just how poor I am about updating it!  So every month I will remind you about these two great links instead.

The first one for American shows is from 

Small House Models 

The next list is courtesy of 

The Miniature Scene of York

Here is my usual appeal to all and sundry - if you know of any shows anywhere on the planet just please share here or drop me a line ( and I'll post it.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Preparing for battle - take a box

I passed on the notion of my brag book for your shopping list helper a couple of posts ago - now thanks again to Irene, here comes another handy tip that's especially useful if you are doing a two day show and staying overnight and/or travelling by bus or train.

Take a couple of plastic food boxes with you (like Chinese takeaway sort of size) and decant all your small stuff into these. This offers them greater protection from crushing, snapping, creasing and stops you 'losing' things  amongst all that wrapping and paper bags stuffed in your shopping bag.  I have actually done that once.  You really don't remember in the moment that you unpack when you get home precisely what you have, so it is too easy to think you have it all, only a couple of days later to remember some tiny thing that isn't there.

So if you want to know my method of attack and my preparation for the shopping wars this is what I do.

One (no weight) shopping bag that will go over my shoulder if needs be.  I always wear the same jacket - rain or shine - very thin,  but it has a ton of pockets.  This means I can put each vital thing in its own pocket and I don't need to carry a handbag or have to rummage through my shopping bag every time I want something.  

If I am staying in a hotel or am able to leave my other handbaggy stuff in the car or even in a locker/cloakroom depending on venue this is all that I will need at the show itself.

Cash, credit card, debit card - some of dealers will take only one of these things.
Phone - which I now also use as a camera (with permission) - no more having to carry a camera now that I am not writing about shows.
Little shopping book - this does go in my shopping bag rather than a pocket.
Pen (spare bits of paper are in my bragging book)
Hanky - I hear my mother's voice......have you got your hanky?
Comfortable (I wish) shoes

Oh.... and your ticket to get in if you've pre-booked

Lippy and comb go by the board and remain with the other stuff - this is serious shopping after all.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Dealers List, Miniatura, NEC

The dealers list is available for Miniatura now.......

(Thanks Irene)

Here's four of the one hundred and fifty plus vendors

Monday, 19 September 2016

Miniatura Weeekend 1st and 2nd October, NEC, Birmingham

One of the best UK shows is nearly here and my tickets arrived this morning.  This is a show to get to if you can.  Click on the following link to see what it can do for you - there is too much really for me to relate:


Miniatura is held at the NEC in Birmingham - easy to get to by road, rail and even air!  Accommodation on the site if you want to stay there and enough to keep you going for two days.  Make it a short break holiday and there is a lot of interesting things to do round and about Brum.

What I can share here is how I go about getting organised for a big show/shopping trip.

I have one of those 'bragging books' - the plastic folder things that 'grannies' keep their ( 6 x 4) photos in....

I take a picture of every room in the house showing where it is up to.  I print them, cut them out and  put in the folder.  Opposite each picture is a list of the things I want/need for that room.

There is also usually a sort of overview list of stuff like more trims, floors etc so that gets listed and filed at the back.

I will also slip in samples of wallpaper or paint chips or fabric - stuff I want to match in some way.  It is also useful to have sizes of rooms or spaces you want to furnish; for example this time I need two small matching display cabinets either side of a fireplace so it is good to know the ideal size for these and the actual space I have there.  Floor areas for rugs, window sizes, whatever you think might be handy.  I may not be shopping for half of those things right now but how frustrating to see something I might want further down the line but not know if it will work.

This is also the chance (hence doing it early) to order some things from vendors for me to pick up.  It saves me and them time on the day.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Stafford Dolls House Fair

Just a reminder that the Stafford Show is on Sunday.  

Get there if you possibly can, it is a a good show.  Doreen Jeffries shows are big enough to keep you occupied for hours and always make even a long drive worthwhile.  She has a nice mix of vendors so there's always something you want.  

For anyone starting out on the hobby, the best of folk are there like Jennifer's of Walsall and J & A Miniatures and Matlock Miniatures.  For fiddling about with your project everyone else is just great - three of my favourites are Maria's Fabrics - huge range, spot on scale in weight and print and at a great price, Rob Lucas - fine pieces at a reasonable price, Mini McGregor - always something quirky to make you smile (and buy)..... and a ton more.

Stafford Dolls House Fair

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Cleveland Miniaturists UK - Dolls House and Miniatures Fair

While I was at the York show I was handed a leaflet with information about a new show.  Anyone who can possibly get there please do go and support them.  Great oaks from little acorns grow.......  and you are its food and water......

Cleveland Miniaturists UK


Sunday 26th June 2016

10.30am - 5.00pm


(15 min from A1)


Ample free parking, Cafe, Free prize draw, Signposted

more info email:

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Severn Models

Severn Models have very kindly allowed me to snip a couple of photos from their site so I could show you the detail in their 144th dolls house.

beautifully painted

This is an example of a finished house.  As well as admiring the lovely paintwork, please note the house is hinged!

such detail

I love the thinness of the material, it works beautifully in this tiny scale.  Lovely stairs and doorways.

furniture for every room

Just as a collectors piece it would be nice to leave it all in brass.  Such a pretty little thing.

Clever stuff.

Here's the link to his site:   Severn Models

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

York Dolls House Fair, 5th June 2016

I have written several reviews here and in DHMS magazine for the York Show so I am struggling to find anything original to say about it.  I thought I might take another tack.  

How do I decide whether to go to a show and what would I like to find there  ...

1.  Distance - in my case this seems irrelevant.  I have been lucky enough to have spent half the year in the USA for the past fifteen years and that has allowed me to visit shows there.  We are no longer doing that so now I have to consider which shows I want to do and somehow validate the cost and time.  The easy answer is to choose shows which will build into some sort of holiday.  This means that an American show or the Holland or Madrid one aren't out of the question.  

We can actually do the York Show in a day as it is just a couple of hours drive from our home but we have taken to building it into a short break in York.  So this time we left on Friday which gives me the luxury of attacking the show following a hotel breakfast and feeling fresh as a daisy... well a rather old daisy.  We went home on Monday.  It also means we get to eat at my absolute favourite eatery twice a year.  Google 'Trinacria' if you are ever in York.

2.  Size - Hard to put a number on the amount of vendors I need to make it feel worth doing but probably something over forty.  Size and distance to the show are of course interrelated - it is fine to do a small show if it is a day trip but to add in a mini break around it gives me pause for thought.  This is a wiggle and jiggle area.

York lays claim to over ninety vendors and more than a thousand visitors.  This show listed 83 and there were a couple of no-shows (this does happen at most shows) so we had 81 to go at.  This is a surfeit of stands for most people to trawl from 10.30 am until 4 pm.  A lot of people like me pre-buy their ticket and they are allowed in at 10 am.

It seemed to have a good footfall, maybe less than the November one.  Again it claims to be the largest event in the North of England.

3.  Workshops - this isn't such a big deal in the UK shows but York did offer three - Make a silk bonnet with Hazel Dowd £5, Miniature Crazy Patchwork with the Miniature Needlework Society £5 and a free session with Jane Harrop - Holiday themed miniatures.  They are usually fully taken up.  

4. Parking - it is just great to be able to park right on site and not have to hike to the show. York does this nicely and it is free.

5. Catering - on site catering is an absolute for me.  I want to be able to take a break with a snack or a cup of tea during the day just to regroup for more shopping.  The better the catering facilities the happier I am.  York also has lots of seating areas to relax in away from the shopping.

6. Good mix of vendors - it is really important for me that there is as wide a mix of vendors as possible.  I want to look at just about anything you could put in a project and would love to see it at different quality and different budget levels.  Hence the need for it to be as big a show as possible.  York Show does OK at this and I am sure there is something for everyone.

7. Disabled access - not high on my must-have list but a vital element nevertheless.  The York Show is on three levels and has a lift.

8. Space - I hate being at shows where you feel you can't breath because you are so hemmed in by tables and people.  Also if you are squished you have to wait ages to get near any stand you want to look at.  York is one of the best for offering a feeling of space and easy access to the wares.

9.  Cloakroom - I meant to check if they had a cloakroom - this is really useful sometimes.  For example if you do a cold/wet day show at Miniatura you really want to shed your outside clothes before going into the show rather than trudge round in them all day (for two days).  I apologise for not checking but have a feeling there isn't a cloakroom at this venue.

10.  Entrance fee -  I have never yet thought the entrance fee to a show was too much and York is no exception.  It costs £5 for adults and £2.50 for children on the day at the door and £3.50 and £1.50 if you buy your tickets in advance.  You save this on one single purchase by not having to pay postage had your ordered your treasure on line.

Here's a few photos of things I liked: (click on any photo to see it full screen)

Delph Miniatures

Delph Miniatures

Delph Miniatures

One of my all-time favourites - Delph Miniatures - they never cease to amaze me with their ingenuity.  
You really need to get their catalogue or spend an evening trawling their website as they sell things you never knew you wanted but then discover you can not do without.

Severn Models

Severn Models

Severn Models

Severn Models

Severn Models is entirely new to me and was absolutely fascinating.  I presume it was born from model railways but there is a wealth of stuff for dollhousers.  I so wish I had taken a photo of the most perfect 144th house (a dolls house for your 1/12th dolls house).  There are many 144th houses around but not many with stairs and interior walls and doors and furniture.  Exquisite and on my shopping list.

YHunt for Miniatures and Bears
Speaking of 144ths for your dolls house here are a nice pair from YHunt for Miniatures and Bears.  If you are a fan of bears this is a place for you.

Victoria Fasken

Victoria Fasken 

Victoria Fasken is another favourite of mine and I actually own some of her dishes for my current project.  I can not find a web site for her but here is a good article about her work:  Victoria Fasken's Exquisite Small Ware

C. J. Miniatures (1:48th)

C. J. Miniatures (1:48th)

C. J. Miniatures sell a lot of very nice things but the favourite for me is always the wonderful work of Gayle B's Petworth Miniatures.  There is always a huge crush around Petite Properties but for my brief journey into quarter scale I would have always chosen the lovely fine materials and beautifully detailed work of Petworth.  If only she made a piano or harpsichord in 1/12th!!

Sadly I didn't buy very much as I had a very specific list of needs and wasn't able to fill them as I am so pernickity.  No fault of the show.  If you want to see what I bought they will be posted over on my project blog on Saturday (11 June).  Dalton House