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.