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, 24 November 2014

Whibleys Dolls House Fair and Exhibition - 25th August

This is a strange bit of back-dating.  I noticed I hadn't done a post on this show that I went to back in August which was very remiss of me especially as it was local for me and a very different experience (in a good way) than most shows.  Apologies to Annette in case she knows it is missing.

This is pretty much what went in DH & MS magazine.............

I am happy to attend shows large and small all over the country (and abroad) as my means of shopping for my hobby.  Dolls House shops are thin on the ground and a show is a way of gathering a ton of them all under one roof.

That said, I have often thought that it is a shame that they don’t try to incorporate the ‘exhibition’ side of the interest in there too as well as straight forward selling.  Some shows do have a club showing their work and one or two demonstrations during the day but, in the main, they are predominantly about selling to the converted.

Not so with the first show presented by Annette Mattingley and her husband, Andy.  She set off with the idea that it should be a fun day out, not only for the committed enthusiast but for any poor soul who is dragged along with them.  Hopefully as word gets round lots of people will stop by to see what it is about and some of them will get hooked on making miniatures.  


There were nine exhibitions!  There was a large Hotel which was featured in the March and September issues of this magazine. The South Manchester Dolls House Club showed items in three scales and a WWW1 project they had worked on.  There were four more wonderful dolls house collections to look at but, to make sure everyone was being catered for, there was also a Scalextric set-up where you could race Stig, a collection of Model traction engines steaming away and a terrific model made by Andy.  It was a large model where 1:76 met 1:12.  He combined 00 scale railway with 1/12th dolls house to depict a group taking a miniature railway ride around a miniature village.  Now how clever is that.


There were six traders there to give you the opportunity to buy great things.  More are already promised for next year.


Annette managed to organise an incredible five demonstrations throughout the day covering such things as quilting, knitting, tile making.  When I left Annette was talking to a fair sized group about sewing in this scale.


No show is complete without a prize draw and here you could have won four of Jane Harrop’s lovely kits, a dressed kitchen unit and a Dolls House emporium Dog Lover’s kit.

Whibleys Estate Agents

The ‘Estate Agents’ was probably my favourite part of the show.  There were nine fabulous houses just looking for a new owner to play with them.  With prices ranging from £12 (!) to £250 and in every style there was a house for everyone.

The Venue

The show was held in a lovely building – worth a visit in itself.  There was plenty of room to get around, displays were laid out beautifully and professionally; there were even several power point demonstrations being continually streamed which allowed in even more things to see and more ideas to take home.  Top this out with a welcome cup of tea or coffee, snack or cake in a delightful Coffee House – what more do you need for a great day out.

Whibleys Dolls House Fair and Exhibition
10.30 am – 4 pm
Open Door
Horse Carrs
Shawclough Road
OL12 6LG

Look out for it next August.  If you want to know more, book a table, do a demo, visit, just email and Annette will be there.

Don't forget there is a link to an album with more photos over in the left hand column.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Bought at the Philly Show - part two

There are a small handful of vendors I can not resist and 

Stewart Creations is one of them
Stewart Creations

Do take some time and have a look at the lovely desk and chair I bought on her site.  It is musical themed and so dainty.  The desk and chair.  For now, it is destined for Les Roches.  The carafes and wine bottle set is a repeat of one I used on The Gate House and just loved.  The whisky decanter and four tumblers are a given for a (Christmas) home in Scotland.  The sets of doilies I hope will become lace panels for the windows in Les Roches.  Something I love about French houses is their crisp white lace panels at the windows.  Yes, I know these are cream but they will be more suited to this style of house.  If they are the right size!!  Sheer guess work.  I bought another little jar of her no-hole beads.  I wanted red and dark green and gold for baubles to decorate the Christmas tree and here they are all in one little pot. The fine trim running along the right hand side is easy to miss as it is so narrow.  Just gorgeous - will do as any kind of lace trim or edging and could also be used on walls and furniture for trim and painted or stained as needed.  Lots of choices of patterns and all as nice as each other.  The pictures at the bottom right are the free gifts she always puts in your purchase.  One day I got one which is translucent and so gives a stained glass effect and the next day I got one printed on plain paper.

SDK Miniatures

SDK miniatures

 I bought this to figure out how to make delphiniums but it doesn't really relate to the petals and leaves I've already bought.  SDK uses a whole other system.  Hey ho, I suppose it is always good to try different things.

Young at Heart

Young at Heart

I spent several visits and lots of time at Debbie Young's stall just enthralled by her creations.  She had taught a class on building her bungalow and every time I was there someone who had taken the class turned up to buy stuff to go inside and, without fail, said how wonderful the experience had been.  I so wish I had done it - I get held back by this open back style of houses - they are an anathema to me and I don't seem able to overcome it.  Any way her things are lovely and I am still thinking about the Avalon which she said she will be re-cutting when she can.  She knows there is a demand for it.

As you can see, I came away with yet another dining room for Les Roches - this one looks small as Debbie's houses look to have small rooms.  The canisters (etc) are just stash items.  The office furniture may find places in different parts of the house but I liked the corner desk and accompanying kit.  I thought the rocking chair was a delight for just $5 so that was a have-to-have, even though there is no where to put it.

Findings from Jar-Jaf

Jar Jaf

I don't know the relationship between Jar-Jaf and Acorns by Oak but they were working together and I seemed to buy an item from each but had two receipts from Jar-Jaf.  I hope these elongated eyelets will work as the stems for standard lamps.

Go check out their fantastic real life size catalogue  Jar-Jaf   You may never have to hunt round for findings ever again.

Michelle's Miniatures
Michelle's Miniatures

I was so pleased to 'stumble' across Michelle's miniatures.  I had seen her Art Deco house more than a year ago and wasn't convinced it was as fine as I would like.  How wrong I was - it is a lovely little piece and I am very tempted again.  However, I am being a 'good girl' and seeing how I get on with the two projects I already have without launching off into another one.  So I settled on just one little piece that I liked.  Lovely for just inside a door to take off your boots.  It may acquire coat hooks.

Marilyn Crockett

Marilyn Crockett

Sweet little table/bench not sure which until I figure out its size - but beautifully made and only $6

A Mini Thing

A Mini Thing
This was a vendor selling lots of different things from building items such as trims through to decorative pieces.  I am hoping these will make nice window boxes for Les Roches.  Size unknown again.  I really must get on and measure and make a note of stuff on these two buildings.



On to something I knew I wanted to pick up from True2scale - the garden tools and the cushions.  I didn't want all the tools but thought they might come in handy some time.  Little did I know then I was about to find my Grandma's shed and now I want all Carole's garden stuff!  Some more wallpaper - sadly I only have three instead of four pieces so hope it will be enough.  Cushions - how best to make those in 48th?  I am favouring moulding them in air dry clay and pushing them into a shape I want and then covering with the fabric.  I made cushions filled with sand and filled with micro beads in 1/12th because I like them to have weight and crumple-bility but that isn't going to happen in this scale unless I tackle it another way.  I will be posting a piece soon about the mysterious looking wires.

Jo-Anne Roberts

Jo-Anne Roberts

This was a great fabric and lace stall but I am doing my very very best not to buy any more ......but..... this is Swiss Batiste, so it is sort of compulsory.  Just noticed they are the 'same' but different prices, no idea why, just glad to have them.

Grandt Line

Grandt Line

I have listed Grandt Line as the vendor as I thought that was who it was, but they are not listed in the programme so I have no idea who I bought this from.  I confess it was a table I didn't spend a load of time at so I never really took in enough information other than spotting this on my last visit to the ballroom before the show ended.   You will probably have already read me nattering about it in the show report so we'll leave it at that until I start to build about two years from now!

Phew, feet up time, looking at all these reminds me how tiring shows are.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Bought at the Philly show

(Don't forget you can click on the photo to enlarge it.)

My first stop at the show was at one of my all time (UK) favourites Templewood Miniatures

Templewood Miniatures

The table may be destined for Les Roches - right now I probably have three dining tables - just not sure what size table I can comfortably get in those small rooms.  The oval and rectangular picture and mirror frames are new products and, just like all of Alan's work, they are superfine, simple and just lovely.  The bedside cabinet was the only one there and Kathy did say it was the last one; just not sure if she meant literally the last one or the last on the stand.  The drawer opens!  Hopefully even when I have made it.  The Tudor cupboard is pretty enough to go through any period if the wood is kept light or even painted and the door opens.

Great fabric from Quarter Source

Quarter Source

I probably already have a piece of this - I always gravitate to the same sort of colours and textures when it comes to fabric and wallpaper - endlessly unintentionally repeating myself.

Tweezers from Smaller than Life

Smaller than Life
These tweezers are desperately needed over in here in Naples; mind you in two weeks time I will back back in the UK for a month and could bring some back with me.  Never mind doesn't hurt to have two different pairs.

Paperclay from the Betterleys


My only purchase from the Betterleys.  I had bought a ton of stuff prior to the show so I didn't see anything else I want right now.  I was glad to see this as I had been looking for some but it seemed to come in huge packs whenever I found it.

Cat and birds from  Mini Gems

The bird is not bigger than the cat - camera perspective gives that impression.  It is destined for the Gate House which already has a cat.  This cat and dove (little white bird at the back if you look carefully) are for Les Roches where someone lives all year.

These are perfect quarter scale so you can imagine how small they are.

Mixture of goodies from Suzanne and Andrews Miniatures

Suzanne and Andrews

I have a table lamp and a standard lamp for places which don't need lighting as these can't be wired.  Two pairs of wellies - essential for The Gate House lifestyle.  I bought six full place settings probably for Les Roches, but if not they will always be useful somewhere else.  I love the Pier Luigi stuff and wouldn't have a clue how to make knives, forks and spoons.

Useful and pretty from Pam's Supplies

Pam's Supplies

I really just needed the glue stand element of the table top kit but it is OK to have parking places for stuff as well.  This was her last one, indeed, it was the one on display.  The white block is a four sided nail buffer - you can get all sorts of them pretty much any where but at $1.50 it is a good enough price to just pick one up.  I commend them to you for fine sanding.  I am sorry you can't see the two little terracotta pots very well.  They are very sweet and even have a painted pattern on the front all for $2 each.  

The thinking behind the glue stand is....  I currently use a mug and my small glue pots get 'lost' in it.  I also stand glue upside down with the top off - don't panic it is very frugal.  Only a very small amount leaks and forms a sort of seal which usually stays in the mug leaving your glue ready to use or you can pick it off quickly and get on with the job.  I can't be doing with taking a lid off and on all the time when I am working.  The reason this kit is better than the mug is - it takes all sizes of glue pots and they are easily accessible and like the mug it will form a glue cap in the bottom of the stand but will also be visible to me so I can re-park the glue on the same spot (unlike in the mug) which saves even more glue.

 Lights from Acorns by Oak

Acorns  by Oak

The lights were my weak-moment-at-a-show purchase - there is always one.  At $21 they are probably too expensive on my sort of budget for an inconsequential item.  They are worth the price for sure but I suspect I need more pressing things before these.  They are wired with I presume pico chips, just praying they work.  They are also very pretty.

Come back tomorrow for the second and final instalment of my purchases from Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Miniaturia, 6th -9th November 2014

Crowne Plaza Hotel
Route 70 (Marlton Pike)
Cherry Hill, NJ

(Miniaturia is hard to type when you are used to miniatura)

So where do I begin with such a mini fest.

We were flying into Philly from Naples, Forida and the second leg of our flight was slightly delayed.  Never fear, being a truly committed mini nut, I made my husband screech to a halt outside the entrance to the hotel and I did a commando roll from the vehicle and dashed in to find the Terrace Room and ....

NAME invites you to join other miniaturists in the Terrace Room for their annual NAME gathering from 7:30 – 9:30 Thursday evening November 6th.  Goodies, roundtables, demonstrations and lots of fun for all Philadelphia Miniaturia attendees!    You do not need to be a NAME member to attend, and it’s all free!

How incredibly kind of people to give their time and materials, 

 (not to mention fabulous ice cream) so anyone can see and even have a go at making, various minis.

By the time my husband had checked us in and taken the bags upstairs it was way past nine and we had to go and get dinner after a long day's travels.

We were able to spend Friday taking in some sights such as the Liberty Bell as the Preview did not start until 6 pm.  Again this was accompanied by nibbles but I was too keen to get to the vendors to remember.  This is my serious buying time and I focus on the the vendors/items that I have written down before the show.  I took the whole three hours to just get around about eight people.  I do my best not to natter too much on this round!

There were a lot of wonderful workshops you could attend starting as early as 3rd November so you (and your tutor) could finish up in time for the show itself.  I got in a lift with a whole European Christmas market made up of several beautiful Market stalls and their owners (Sue Herber's class).  This prompted me to drop in at a couple of other classes that were finishing up.

The fantastic Geoff Wonnacott inspired his students to make this gem - yes, this is a student's work.

Louis XVI Parquetry Gueridon 
A fine example of Louis XVI furniture with the original attributed to Martin Carlin, a Parisian cabinetmaker best known for small refined pieces of furniture. From a prepared cutting list of timber and veneer each student will construct the table, a drawer will be made and legs will be shaped. The circular top and drawer front will be veneered with lozenge parquetry. A fine pierced brass gallery will be fitted to both the top and the burl veneered lower tier. The finish will be the applied and the hardware fitted. A reasonable ability and steady hand would be an advantage.

The venue for the show is excellent.  I love staying in the same hotel as a show so that is the first big plus for Philadelphia.  It is one you could fly into and out of (even on your own) without ever having to go any where else as there is a restaurant and a corner cafe and whatever you need under the same roof.  

The show filled three rooms - a ballroom and a long chandeliered gallery room and a room off the reception area.  With 172 vendors listed in the program there was a lot to go at but you never felt squished.

Ballroom prior to the show opening

There were displays by NAME and IGMA.  Later the IGMA items were auctioned off.

A really nice touch was a children's only room where they could buy things and try their hand at making minis.

NAME had a presence throughout the show as well as the 'come and play' welcome the previous day.They had a room with special exhibits of work under the banner of The Stuff of Dreams.  You were invited to vote for the best one.  Very difficult as they range from very tiny vignettes through to a whole Cadfael castle.  there was some wonderfully inspiring work to look at.

Saturday was a full day to go at if you wanted to.

9am - 10 am the preview
10am - 5 pm the show

I was up bright and perky next morning for the pre-show preview hour starting at 9 am trying to remember what it was I wanted to go back to. It always takes me more than the hour so the show is well underway whilst I am still doing my serious shopping.   

By 1pm you could take a break and join others for High Tea until 2.30 pm.  The serious shoppers among us just snacked a salad and a drink and ploughed on.

We did get some feet up and meal time for a few hours after the show before it was time to be sociable.

8 pm - 11 pm

Social time in the Pavillion

This photo was taken at 8 pm so folk were just arriving.  Nibbles to eat, favors on the tables along with puzzles and quizzes, music playing and a singer - how very civilised.

Sunday began with the IGMA auction at 9 am until 11am, though it was pretty much done and dusted by about 10.30am.

Throughout the show there were door prizes being offered many of which were incredibly beautiful and valuable and would make a collectible all on their own.

Off to shop again for me at 11am (show closed this day at 4 pm) but this time I was able to natter to all and sundry and catch up with people I see from show to show and some I deal with on line.  The vendors are remarkable at remembering you, which always astonishes me and also makes it a real pleasure.  I met a couple of people whose names I knew from Quarter Connection and from NAME  so I now have faces to attach to names.  I was thinking later maybe one of the reasons I get so much pleasure out of visiting shows is that it takes me back to my fifties childhood which is how our daily lives were conducted (with our moms) at our local shops.

I have no way of choosing favourite things so I have stuck an imagined pin in the album and picked just three as a sample.  Please go and look at the web album if you want to see some of the goodies that were there. It will be in a very raw state for a while as I have a lot of RL chores to do right now.  Basically the vendors name mostly precedes their work.

It goes without saying that I arrived at the show saying there really wasn't much I needed or wanted as I had been on something like a shopping binge prior to arriving in Philadelphia, and still ended up buying quite a few things.  I will blog about those tomorrow and over the next couple of days so its not all too much at at once. For now I am sharing the last item I bought as it was unexpected in all kinds of ways.

I had come down to the sales floor to take some last photos.  As I took my first step inside the door I spotted about six packets of two designs of Grandt Line 1/48ths that I had seen fairly recently on line.  I had considered Grandma's shed but decided against it as it was a sort of unknown and here it was in real life at half price - $20 instead of $40.  Being cavalier about these things I thought it was worth picking up for just the components in the pack - siding, shingles, plants, fence, windows, doors, animals etc etc - well worth $20.  Bit by bit I have fallen for the finished object and am pretty sure it may end up something like this one day.