This weekend I had a lovely trip to Miniatura at the NEC in Birmingham. This very large miniature show takes place twice a year and is a fabulous place to not only buy lots of gorgeous goodies but get lots of ideas and inspiration.
I have been to the show for the last four years and really enjoy wandering around along with lots of other people who share the same enthusiasm. Everyone is so friendly and I always end up having a chat and sharing ideas.
There are also lots of artisans who only attend the larger shows and do not have websites so this is the chance to see their pieces.
My first port of call was Anne's Fine Design stand. I have learnt that you have to get to this stand very quickly as Anne has a deservedly high reputation and her popular pieces sell out. I wanted an owl this time, obviously for Diagon Alley. This is the one I chose.
I was very glad I went there first thing as the stand was already crowded ten minutes after opening. Anne makes all sorts of animals from sheep to monkeys and she will even make a miniature copy of your own pet. Lots of customers commission Anne to make these very personal pieces.
He looks perfect sitting atop the Michael Mortimer owl stand I have had for a while. I love Michael's pieces so I headed off to his stand next as I wanted to see if he had a table and chair for The Leaky Cauldron I had seen at a previous show.
No table but......
A lovely tall cupboard, perfect for the guest room.
All Michael's pieces are perfectly proportioned and finished. The internal shelves are calling out to be filled with wizarding goodies left behind by previous guests.
As Diagon Alley is the shopping mecca of the wizarding world all my gorgeous people will need baskets brimming with shopping. I have not got any wicker or cane baskets so they were top of my list.
These fabulous items are from C & D Crafts whose stand was full of lots of handmade items at really reasonable prices.
The two baskets are the perfect size and I could not resist the pet carrying basket. My Hogwarts pupil will be able to use this to take her cat on the Hogwarts Express.
I have been collecting these marvellous cats by Sarah Schiff of Pocket People for a while now so I had to buy this cheeky kitten as soon as I saw him. He is a new design she has just started making and he is simply gorgeous.
He looks so at home hanging on the basket but Sarah suggested I hang him from a cauldron handle, perfect!
The show is also an opportunity to look out for helpful items and when I saw these I thought they would come in very handy.
They will be perfect for holding things in place when building or gluing and I have not seen them in my local stores. Plus they were a bargain!
I thought the show itself was a lot busier than the October show and a lot of the traders seemed to think so too. I did think that there were less sellers than usual though and a lot more stands seemed to have more mass produced items rather than unique pieces.
It remains, however, a fabulous day out and well worth the two and a half our journey. All these pieces also come from sellers who do not have websites and I do like to see their new work.