Monday, 18 May 2015

A Visit to the Kensington Dolls House Festival......A Place for New Treasures and Mini Friends.

I was lucky enough to attend the Kensington Dolls House Festival this weekend and spent a lovely day gathering inspiration and some fabulous new pieces for my collection. 
 My first stop was at the stand of Jain Squires, The Giddy Kipper, whose work I have been collecting for a number of years now.
 I could not resist this wonderful Humpty Dumpty who will become part of my Mad Hatter project. 
 He really has all the grumpy personality of the worst kind of tea party guest so I feel sure he will be perfect for my scene.
 I have always admired the work of Colin Bird but with so many projects I have never been able to purchase any of his pieces.
With most of my houses with most of their contents collected I felt I could finally add one of his beautiful chairs. It seems that I have chosen just in time as this was Colin's last show for the time being. Every time I attend a show at the moment another craftsman seems to be leaving the miniature world. We can only hope that others will take their places.
 Lidi Stroud of Basketcase Miniatures returned to Kensington this year all the way from Australia with a wide selection of the most beautifully weaved baskets. 
 The detail of Lidi's work is really hard to show in my photographs but each piece is a teeny tiny work of art and perfectly scaled.
Lidi is also such a friendly and enthusiastic artisan, you know each piece of her work comes to you with friendship and generosity. I could not resist having a little splurge as it may be a couple of years before I have the pleasure of meeting up with Lidi again.
 I could not resist this birdcage by Le Mini di Pierluigi from Italy. Again a beautifully crafted item that must find a place in one of my houses surely.
 These pieces by Tiny Ter Miniatures are all for my vintage style staff nook in the roof of Honeydukes. They will go well with the 1940's furniture kits I have set aside by Jane Harrop
I love the eclectic yester-year miniatures by Truly Scrumptious and when I saw this radio, so reminiscent of winter evenings at my nan's, I knew I had to have one. This too will find a place in Honeydukes. I think it has a definite wizarding look so will fit in quite nicely as a muggle artefact.
I also met up with lots of mini friends from Blogland and FB from all corners of the globe, which was great fun. It was especially lovely to finally meet Jayne of Tallulah Belle Miniatures, whose fantasy plants are second to none. 
As you can see I am becoming much more selective in my shopping, maybe spending a little more on individual items rather than buying all and everything that takes my fancy and then discovering I have no place in any of my projects for that item.
Kensington has a wide range of items with pieces from £1 to many thousands of pounds, definitely something for every miniature budget I would have thought. Of course you will find it very hard to find what I call fillers or the mass produced pieces I like to mess around with but I do find it strange when I hear people complaining about the price of hand made, beautifully crafted pieces. I know that many artisans work for little more than minimum wage if they were to add up how much time one item may take to produce. Just because an item is out of my budget I don't then think it is a waste of money or that the maker is taking the pee. 
It is funny that the hours miniature artists spend making say, an exquisite bedspread, are viewed as less worthy than the inadequate £150 a day tradesmen that seem to be prevalent these days. 
Oh well that's my two penn'orth  with my thanks to everyone who made my visit special.

33 comments:

  1. Your little purchases are just lovely. Mr Grumpy Humpty is amazing. I hope to get to Kensington for their Christmas show. All being well!
    All the best
    Vivian

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    1. Thank you Vivian. It is a wonderful opportunity to see how talented some people are and take inspiration from their work......as well as a bit of retail therapy of course!

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  2. Love your Humpty Janice, by the time I got to Jan and Julie their wares were nearly all sold. Was lovely to see you again and catch up..xxx

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    1. Wasn't it an interesting line up this year. So much to see and enjoy. It was lovely to catch up and I hope you are recovered and unpacked!

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  3. Humpty Dumpty is wonderful. I love how he is dressed too. Colin Bird has long been one of my favorites. I am sickened to think he is not going to be making any more miniatures. Maybe you just meant he won't be doing any shows in the future. Your chair is gorgeous! What could be better then Lidi's baskets. You chose some lovely ones. The birdcage is wonderful. I am sure you will find a good place for it to live in your collection. Tiny Ter Miniatures is another favorite. Again some great work. I have never had the chance to see Truly Scrumptious in person. I love the radio. Thank you for the show report!!! I loved seeing all the things you bought.

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    1. Hi Catherine, I think Colin Bird is intending to make a few pieces on commission each year but is no longer going to attend the shows. He certainly sold out fast on Friday as you can imagine. Truly's miniatures are so interesting and very well made, the scale is just right too. It was a very good show this year.

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  4. I am hoping to go to the Chicago international show next year. I guess maybe I should decide to go every other year!

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    1. Chicago does seem to be the ultimate show. I am trying to persuade my husband that a trip to the US should include a diversion to Chicago!!

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  5. Love all your purchases, the chair is exquisite. The basket weaving is unbelievable. I have a set of miniature drafting tools from Le Mini Di Pierluigi, the detail is great! You'll treasure the bird cage I'm sure. You've done well, I'm so envious!

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    1. I have never seen Le Mini di Pierluigi before, only his wesite, and loved the birdcages he had on display. I certainly hope he attends Kensington again.

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  6. All wonderful items. Humpty is such a wonderful character and I love Lidi's baskets. Like you I am a lot more discerning in what I purchase these days and I would rather buy one special item I really love that is beautiful made and a little expensive than many miniatures of poorer quality. So saying I do like to revamp some of the cheaper items. I think we all forget sometimes just how many hours can go into some miniatures.

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    1. I so agree. I love painting and dressing basic pieces and turning them into something special that fits perfectly. A little bit of everything is what makes this hobby so special.

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  7. I adore Humpty - a gorgeous individual! Janice, you obviously had a wonderful time at KDF, as did I, bit I wish I could have spent some time wandering and chatting. No matter, next time I'm hopeful that Peter will accompany me! Take care of you...and hugs!

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    1. I always feel sorry for the sellers as you never seem to get the chance to see all the wonderful items on display. I think Peter might be grateful you were tied to your chair though Lidi!

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  8. Unas maravillosas compras!! Me gusta especialmente el personaje Humpty Dumpty y me alegro mucho que disfrutaras en tu visita!!
    Besos.

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  9. Love, love, LOVE your Humpty Dumpty!
    They are all such beautiful pieces.... enjoy :)

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    1. Ah Sandra he is a right reprobate I think, who definitely likes a tipple!

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  10. Great purchases, I love the chair by Colin Bird, it is a shame that many miniature makers are retiring from the shows, I have noticed this too over the years, I did notice a lot of new exhibitors at the Kensington show this year, and still a high standard of work, and agree that the prices suit all budgets. I tend to buy the best I can afford at the time, sometimes I replace thing when budgets allow. I like the fact that you can take a good look at miniatures before buying at the shows, online you don't always get an idea of the fine detailing from the photographs. Anyway, hope that you enjoy your purchases, may they all find a happy home!

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    1. Hi Andy, I agree the line up was very impressive for this show and the quality was amazing. I think tastes have changed even in the short time I have been making and collecting, with maybe less emphasis on the Victorian and Tudor items. Lots more what I would call pretty miniatures on display from European sellers.

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  11. Dear Janice.
    I went to see to KDF as well . It's always such an
    amazing , inspiring day out .
    I love it to . You have bought lovely items.
    Timea
    enchantedolls.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Hope you enjoyed your day as much as I did Timea. I always think we bloggers should wear a badge with pride when we attend shows!

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  12. Some amazing pieces you scored Janice but the Humpty takes the cake! He is just adorable and perfect. It is something else to see these things in person and have the opportunity to see so much from sellers who don't have online stores. I agree with your comments re the prices people are (or aren't) prepared to pay to artisan items and I suppose for centuries people have under-valued artists - until they die.

    But I wish we had tradies here in Australia who were happy with £150 - ours don't even get out of bed for that much. Seriously hard and expensive to get any tradie, even the crappy ones.

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    1. The two main fairs we have in the UK are great places to visit so we are lucky to have them. I think it is becoming difficult for some of the artisans to make enough to cover the price of their stands these days but it is so much better to see their work rather than depend upon photographs.
      Wow, I didn't realise miniatures were so expensive in Australia.

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  13. Marvelous! Everything you bought looks so realistic! Good eye! :D

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    1. Thank you Otterine, I am learning not to be quite so headless at these fairs now.

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  14. Marvelous! Everything you bought looks so realistic! Good eye! :D

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