Posted by: marymarthatours | April 28, 2012

Our 2012 Trip to Chicago’s Miniature Shows

Continuing our five-year tradition, the Sue’s Day Girls miniature club from Rochester, Minnesota, traveled by train to Chicago this April for five days of fun at the Chicago International Miniature Show, the Independent Miniature Artisan Show, and the Three Blind Mice Miniature Show.


Barb, Sue, Barb, and Jo at the La Crosse, WI, train station

We love taking the train. Every year Jo’s husband Bob takes us to La Crosse, WI, and picks us up when we return. (THANK YOU, BOB – you’re the greatest!) This year we packed a picnic lunch — chicken salad croissants, chips, chocolate chip cookies, and Pinot Grigio wine, which we enjoyed in the observation car as the train sped across Wisconsin.

We timed our trip this year so that everyone could take advantage of the extensive class offerings at the Chicago International Show. Jo, Barb W., and Sue all took the two day class, “Fairy Tales”, presented by Suzanne Larson-Tambruo, one of their favorite instructors. They have taken many classes from Suzanne, who calls them the “trouble makers”. This year they wore their “trouble #1, #2, and #3” T-shirts for the first day of their class in which they each made a ¼ scale Fairy Tale Cottage. At the start of the class, the “trouble makers” presented Suzanne with a ¼ scale scene in a teacup showing Suzanne and husband Andrew’s hotel room at the Chicago O’Hare Marriott Hotel.

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Barb, Jo, Sue, and Suzanne Larson-Tambruo with her teacup hotel room

While the “trouble-makers” were in class with Suzanne on Wednesday, Barb Y. was also taking a class. She was thrilled with her class on making “Flowers in Cold Porcelain” taught by Kathryn Gray of Templewood Miniatures in the UK. I stopped in to see the class in process and was intrigued with the detail and delicateness of the flowers made from cold porcelain paste.  I was also delighted to learn that we will have another chance to see Kathryn’s beautiful work when our England in Miniature Tour visits the Birmingham Miniatura Show in September.

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Kathryn Gray in class with Barb and Barb’s finished class project

The class I took was held on Thursday evening. The instructor was Tine Krijnen of Miniatuur Boekbinden from the Netherlands. I have spent time at Tine’s booth every year, marveling at the exquisite books she creates. Her clip_image010[4]pop-up books have to be seen to be believed. Since I am hoping to construct a 1 inch scale (1 inch = 1 foot) bookshop one day, I figured this was the year to learn to make and bind books at Tine’s “Cookbook in Leather Binding” class. We started from scratch, folding and sewing the groups of pages called signatures, then sewing the signatures together. We then glued the spine and put our books in a press. While waiting for the glue to dry, we learned how to use stamps to blind tool the leather we would use for our book covers. Although I wasn’t totally satisfied with my stamping effort, I think my finished book was pretty good for a first try.

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Hard at work sewing the pages and my finished cookbook with recipes in Dutch

Our classes were great fun, but so was our time shopping at all three Chicago miniature shows.  Next time, I’ll share some stories and pictures of my purchases and favorite vendors.

(by Mary)


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