Posted by: marymarthatours | April 28, 2010

Some of My Favorite Miniature Artisans

One of the great things about the April miniature shows in Chicago is the chance to visit with vendors at the shows – the IMA (Independent Miniature Artisans) Show; the Three Blind Mice Show; and the huge Chicago International Miniature Show. Each year when the Sue’s Day Girls visit Chicago, we plan our time to get to all three venues.

This year I stopped to chat with lots of vendors, making and renewing friendships with the people who use their creativity to make the miniatures hobby so rewarding for the rest of us. Here are some of my favorite folks:

Kari Bloom – Miniton Miniatures –


Kari and Scott at the Miniton booth

Kari Bloom makes the most wonderful Arts & Crafts, Art Deco, and Mid-Century Modern furniture. No wonder she was recently awarded Fellow status by the International Guild of Miniature Artisans (IGMA). In addition to being a marvelous craftswoman, she’s a great teacher. She offers classes at the Chicago International Show, at the Midwest Miniature Guild, and to local groups. I love taking her classes, as she’s not only a well-prepared and skillful teacher, she’s FUN, FUN, FUN.

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Kari’s half-scale Art Deco room class in Chicago and half-scale A&C furniture that I made in a Kari class

Linda and Jim Orleff – The Lighting Bug –


Linda and Jim at the IMA Show in Chicago

Linda Orleff is one of the people whose work has most inspired me in this hobby. Her rooms, vignettes, and scenes are always exceptional and always display a creativity, vitality, and quality that I try to keep in mind whenever I’m working on a project of my own. One of her rooms recently won Best in Show at the Museum of Miniature Houses in Carmel, IN. Linda and Jim “retired” from their professional careers to spend full-time focusing on creating and selling the best lighting products available for all scales of dollhouses. Now that’s what I call dedication.

Barbara Ann Meyer – Mini Gems –


Barbara Ann and the Sue’s Day Girls at the IMA Show in Chicago

One of my very first purchases on my very first Chicago miniatures trip was a wonderful pink flamingo that I couldn’t resist. I didn’t realize till later that the creator was Barbara Ann Meyer. When we took a Bill Lankford class together in 2008, I got a chance to learn more about her passion for creating birds, butterflies, animals, and other tiny creatures that inhabit our miniature rooms and scenes. Every year, the Sue’s Day Girls make a pilgrimage to her booth at the IMA Show to stock up on dogs (Sue), cats (Jo), and birds (Mary) in a variety of poses and scales. This year I bought critters for the outside of the Green Man Pub that’s my latest work-in-progress – a hedgehog and a rook.

Thinking about these fabulous artisans, I realize that there’s something I don’t say often enough — Thank you, Kari, Linda and Jim, Barbara Ann, and all of you wonderful miniatures artists, for sharing your amazing talents with the rest of us who love this hobby.

(by Mary)



  1. Thank you Mary! Amazing people like you are the reason people like me are able to do what we do!

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