Saturday, October 13, 2018

2018 MET Mini Show

If there ever was a day for mini-ing in Toronto, the MET mini show is it!  The Miniature Enthusiasts of Toronto ( put on a great annual show.  The last two years have had a strong showing, both in numbers and in vendors.  This year was the first time it was a 1 day only show.

I always know who I want to shop from and the order in which I will attack.  This year it was simple 1) Keenderson Miniatures 2) Martha Mclean Miniatures and then 3) Marie-Luce Pelletier.  Because if you go in with a plan, you won't misbehave, right??

Martha Mclean Miniatures

At Martha Mclean Miniatures, I indulged in a set of stainless steel mixing bowls from TYA Kitchen.  The cow hide purse was made by Queenie Wu.

Marie-Luce Pelletier Miniature Pottery

Marie-Luce announced that after 36 years of mini pottery making she is retiring, and this would be her last show.  Thankfully I had brought extra cash with me because I stocked up!  3 trips back to her table!! After Janice Crawley stopped exhibiting, I vowed never to leave pottery I love behind because you never know if they'll be back to the MET show.

Keenderson Miniatures

Glen Anderson of Keenderson Miniatures makes gorgeous minis.  His website photos don't do his minis justice.  I visited that table 3 times because I just kept thinking about his gorgeous little tables, and kept coming back.

Grandpa's Doll House

Liz never disappoints.  My favourite part of her set-up is the board with all the little baggies of minis pinned to it.  This year I snagged the pottery and the yellow dress.  The dress seemed very Betty Draper (Mad Men) and I couldn't leave it  behind.

The Little Dollhouse Company

I preferred the Little Dollhouse Company's display this year over last.  Much more curated and it made it easier to shop.  I forgot to ask the artist's name, but I purchased this lovely coat draped over a hook.

MiniLise Knits

Lise Ashby and the ladies from Imagine, Etc. traveled all the way from Quebec for the MET show.  Lise makes some beautiful, and extremely delicate, knits.  Imagine, Etc. has gorgeous porcelain dolls for you to dress and make as you please (including styled wigs and hair), along with knitting kits for clothing.  I'm not a doll person, but I was very impressed with the quality and the faces on these dolls.

Friends of MET

The MET club has a table of mini items their members make.  I always zero in on a few artists, such as Alberto Gozzi and Waren Richardson.  Waren's offerings this year ran a bit too traditional for me, but Alberto made an adorable table and bench set that I fell in love with.  And I can't leave behind an embroidered pillow (artist unknown).

The wallet was emptied, and I left pleased.  Some items will become Christmas gifts to me, so at least I know Santa is sending what I want!

I'm still chugging along with my mid-century build...on occasion...when the mood strikes.  I will post another mini charity build I started.  That one is almost done, I just have to make furniture.

Sunday, September 02, 2018


The charity auction camper is done!  And the project is 99% complete.  I'm still waiting on the faux grass sheets to arrive from China.  Then I can secure the camper to its mount board and attach the camp accessories (outdoor shower and hammock).

It's been a nice fun break from from making serious minis.  Sometimes you need a bit of fun and silly in your life.  I'm mentally preparing for the mid-century build again, but I haven't quite got into the spirit.

It's Travel Time!

As I had previously posted the kit comes with its pre-assembled trailer.  The rest needs assembly, but the worst is already done for you.

The Interior

The kit is definitely 1:18 scale (Lundby scale).  That's why I gravitated to it, as I knew I could put Calico Critters (Sylvanian Family) in it.  And as I have learned, the pre-school kindergarten set LOVE Calico Critters.

The flooring is a textured wood print paper which was sealed with ModPodge in matte finish.  The kitchen area is straight from the kit.  However, the oven was bashed to have a rack inside.  I also changed all the finish colours and added in a "marble" counter and mirrored back spash.  My little oven knobs are tiny rhinestones I painted silver.  

The bed was also a bit of a bash, as I upholstered the entire structure and made my own bedding.  A little boho chic!

Living Space

The kit came with wires and a battery back for lighting.  I can't say I was a fan of the DIY fixtures they expected you to make.  I found them to really look primitive and take away from the overall feel of the space (and looked out of scale!).

Instead, I made two globe lights that sit on each of the built in benches.  The wires run underneath and out to the battery box.

The Exterior

The exterior was designed with neutral colours as I wanted it to work for whomever would eventually win it in auction.

The box the kit came with was too small for the battery pack.  I think they intended it to be glued underneath the trailer.  I made a larger box, hinged it and decorated it with some bumper stickers.

The rear tail lights are pushpins!  The red pushpins were originally pink.  I used Testor's gloss red to make them into break lights.  The clear back up lights are a clear plastic pushpin I sawed in half.  The license plate was sourced via Google images.

And in other spurts of creativity...

I purchased another mini room kit from China.  This one was usually around $22 CDN, but on Amazon I scored it for around $7.  Mind you, it was missing a lot of the kit components, as I suspect these were the rejected kits, but the MDF sheets were perfect and save me a lot of time.  So I'll also be making that kit up for the auction.  I can get a Calico Critter into it too!

We made a family trip the Canadian National Exhibition and I purchased a few mini things!

When my grass arrives, and I finish the last bits of the trailer I'll post a few more pictures of it!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

New Project! And Yet The Old Ones Remain...

It's been a busy spring!  I was tied up with Miss Kitty's school, so minis took a back seat.  BUT, as I am not one to take on too many projects at once (cue the laugh track), I decided to start this years Charity Build!  It's not needed until April 2019, but I like to plan ahead.

Last years Ikea house was a lot of work.  While I love 1:12 scale, it ends up being large and time consuming.  So, I went hunting for a kit to save me time and space.  After all, not everyone wants to bid on a large dollhouse, so something smaller has mass appeal.

On Ebay, the "caravan kit" aka a camper/trailer depending on where you live in the world, isn't quite 1:24, definitely isn't 1:12, so its more like 1:16 scale.  What is important to know, is that Calico Critters (aka Sylvanian Family) can fit!  

The shell of the trailer is pre-built, which I was not expecting!  The best part of this deal is that its made really, really well for a $60 CDN kit (direct from China with free shipping).  It's solid wood and all the pieces fit if you just chose to use it as is.  Could I leave it as is? No.  That minty sorbet green was a bit much and didn't have mass appeal.

I went to my trusty CIL melamine kitchen cabinet paint.  The body is a soft grey and the trim is my go to off white.  I stayed away from bold and gendered colours as it allows it blend into a family home and ensures any child would like to play with it.

I used Krylon's stainless steel finish paint on all the window and door trim.  I then painted and applied the corrugated paper to the exterior.  The floor is a thick, textured faux wood paper that I applied with wallpaper paste and sealed with matte Mod Podge.

I started the interior and have mostly finished the furniture.  Working smaller is a bit of a pain in the ass with all the little bits to fiddle with!

The plan is to mount it on a board covered in grass and have an outdoor scene to go along with the trailer.  It does come with wheels and a hitch for the exterior.  The electrical it came with is a bit sketchy to say the least, so I think I will wire it myself with LEDs and build a "storage" box on the outside the trailer to hide the wires and battery pack.

And In Other News.....

I have also restarted my mid century build.  Recall me mentioning the peeling Houseworks wood floor sheets?  Well, here it is! (see below).  It was glued down, and all that was applied was a thin layer of satin varnish.  It was fine for a while, but slowly started to give.  I attempted to pry and glue the problem areas, but it was too tough.  I just flipped it over and started again (&%*#$!!!! floor).  

Anyhoo, I now have it glued down and have started painting the walls, paper, etc. to move ahead when the trailer is done.

Monday, May 28, 2018

2018 OMEGA Mini Show

 I attended the Ontario Miniature Enthusiasts of Guelph Area (OMEGA) mini show on May 6th.  I always considered this show to be smaller (no pun intended), but it has grown over the last few years.  And I enjoy the diversity, and most of all, the affordability of the artists at this show.

I've "been around" long enough now that I've developed a good rapport with artists and sellers, so they know what I like and will ensure they have brought with them goodies I can't leave behind.  Is that a new level of weird?

Pacific Wood Imports

This retailer is at all of the mini shows.  Thankfully!  They import direct from Asia.  Over the last year I've noticed an increase in fine and unique minis from Japan, which makes my wallet itch.  The bowls, cloche, wood bridge and the wood root table are from Japan.  A very pushy woman was itching to snatch this table if I put it down, as if! The two baskets were made in Thailand.

 Sweet Somethings Miniatures

Nancy Pequegnat's mini creations always speak to me!  I bought a few food items (since I don't do clay work), but the Tim Horton's coffee croissant stole my heart.  My real and mini life aren't complete with out Timmies.  

The table is from Pacific Wood Imports.

Small Scale Showcase

I didn't end up purchasing anything from Carol this time, but I won the first door prize!  It was this beautiful frosted cranberry glass bowl by Glasscraft.

My husband and I learned our lesson.  At previous shows we could never locate the raffle ticket we were handed at the door.  This time I kept them safe and low and behold I won!

 Merriam's Miniatures

Merriam is fast becoming one of my favourite tables to stop by and shop at.  She's been making minis for the past 10 years, but has been an embroiderer for years. I think I have a connection with her because like me, we dabble in a little bit of everything mini!  Thankfully, she does amazing clay work, so I buy from her rather then try my own hand at it.  I grabbed some all sorts, jelly beans, jujubes, peanuts and salad.  

The two pillows were rejects from the kits she makes.  But they were priced so well that I couldn't leave them behind.  And let's be honest, me stitching a pillow takes forever!

Martha McLean Miniatures

Martha always knows what I want.....which usually means a variety of purses made by a South Korean artist.  But this time...oh this time....she had a stunning selection of TYA Kitchen items she purchased at the Chicago International Bishop Show.  I kid you not, I saw the TYA in the case from 5 meters away and knew exactly what it was before I had to ask.  What stood out was the killer espresso machine that catches the light like a mini beacon....with its $200+ price tag I left it behind.  And though it pained me, I just bought the pot.  Next time I will start the show at Martha's booth!

Out of the Ordinary Miniatures

Out of the Ordinary always has a few surprises.  Lots of general mini items all neatly organized by category.  But this time, their assortment of mini clothes caught my eye.  The shirt and kilt are wearable (if you are a mini)!  The shirt is so neat, all the seams are stitched, not glued.  And the kilt even has a handmade kilt pin!!

Grandpa's Doll House

Liz has to be one of my favourite mini retailers.  Great customer service and amazing items.  She's moving away from mass produced minis and focusing on the finer items and estates.  Which is music to my ears!

Grandpa's Doll House has a yearly Daily Deals sale that starts in January and runs a few weeks.  I always order a lot, especially building supplies, because the prices are great.

I picked up my order at the show.  And then shopped even more!  Mr. Peanut was an estate piece I got at the show.  Words cannot describe how cut he is in real life.  Cheers to the artist that made him, you did great.

And nothing better then to round out the show and my empty pockets then with a table full of free books!!  Including several books I was eyeing on eBay and never got to purchasing.  Straight into my mini achieve for future mini making.

The Golden Girl

Oh hello again....back once again from the upside down.  Well, in honest, our computer was on its last legs and the process of opening Chrome or a .jpg took 10 minutes so I had to wait until I got a new computer.  And now I'm living in 2018 with a computer that doesn't act like its straight out of 1989.

There have been some set backs in my build.  Mostly busy in the non mini world, but I did have one issue.  More on that soon when I take pictures of the annoyance.  

But in amazing news, the Charity Dollhouse for Miss Kitty's school raised a considerable amount of money!!! The Silent Auction was a huge success, and everyone loved the dollhouse and the tooth fairy houses.

In the mean time....behold my mini tinkering!!

The Golden Girl 

Does anyone else find it terrifying that the 1980's are back in style.  You can call it boho all you want, but its the 1980's (and early 1990's) all over again.  From high waisted mom jeans to rattan everything....look out Goodwill, the hipsters are coming for you!

Joking aside, I have a fondness for 80's era and 80's inspired miniatures. What is one more niche mini market to collect when your collection is ever growing?!?

Could you imagine Blanche, Sophia, Dorothy and Rose sitting around here gossiping?

Where To Buy / Where To Find
  • vintage rattan furniture by Diane Mitchel
  • Table by MiniModels
  • Rug stitched by me (kit by Janet Granger)
  • Wicker woven table (vintage kit) by OmniArts

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Mini bits!

I could tell you how far I've come with my build, but that would be a lie!! Ha.  Actually I was waiting for a 1/2 inch rectangle paper punch to make brick for the interior wall.  In my mind a punch would be faster, but waiting a month for it to arrive seems to have killed that time advantage.


While the project sits waiting for me, I did play around with some minis.  

It turns out that my package to Anna-Maria was on the slowest boat known to man.  Almost 12 weeks after shipping, it arrived.  In her initial package to me, she sent me this beautiful trestle table kit which I finished in American Warm White.  She also made the wire basket (swoon!).  The 1960's vintage metal chair was an eBay find.  The beautiful seascape is by Rebecca Hymes.  She paints gorgeous pictures in 1:12 and sells them on eBay.  I love her work!

I have been burning up the sewing machine lately.  Making table clothes, place mats, and baby cradle bedding for Miss Kitty's school.  The ladies at the fabric store must think I've crazy since all they see me buy is meters and meters of flannelette in random prints. But by the time I'm done a project the thought of making mini bedding is not at the top of my list!