Posted by: marymarthatours | June 28, 2012

My First Miniatura Purchases — where are they now?

Martha and I are looking forward to our return visit to the Miniatura Show in Birmingham, England this September. Our first time there was seventeen years ago, in September of 1995. Yes, we two sisters have been traveling together for quite a long time, and as Martha says, “we still play well together”.


My travel journal for 30 September 1995 gives a summary of the day:

“Off to Birmingham for a day at the Miniatura Show – a very full day checking out the 200+ booths at the event. We got there at the opening 10 AM and got kicked out at the 5:30 closing. We did stop once for lunch and once for tea, but otherwise it was pretty constant on the go. It took all day, but we did make the entire circuit of booths – skipping only those that were exclusively dolls or building materials.”

In my journal, I also made a list of the items that I purchased that day. We were traveling on a very tight budget, so the few things that I bought weren’t very expensive, but to me each was a treasure. Having recently found the list of purchases in my 1995 travel journal, I got to wondering what I had done with each of those treasures.

Many of them have ended up in my “big” dollhouse, the one I started years ago and have yet to finish.


The packet of 5 floral-design cards from Petite Fleur, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, were placed in an open desk drawer in the den.




A turned wooden bowl with 5 wooden fruits all of different exotic woods from Fenton Miniatures, Stainfield, Lincolnshire, sits on a shelf in the upper hallway.


The scissors from Denise Woods – Handcrafted Miniatures, Sittingbourne, Kent, sits in the playroom next to the sewing box that I purchased in London.  Martha spent some time at the show chatting with a knitter of miniature sweaters. After our return home, she made the partially done Fair Isle sweater on the chair.


The kitchen has a long way to go, but it contains the pine-topped kitchen work table from Carol Lodder, Blandford Forum, Dorsetshire, and the “old” enameled sauce pan from Country Treasures, Rugeley, Staffordshire.


The hiking boots from Wood ‘N’ Things, Anglesey, Gwynedd, were a great accessory in the outdoor girl’s living room roombox.

I was delighted with the marble-topped bar from Ann Marie Miniatures, Hednesford, Staffordshire. I had originally intended to use it as the soda fountain in a building that was going to be modeled on my grandparents’ small town drug store. Although that kit still remains in its box, I had new inspiration for the bar when I bought a wonderful back-bar at a sale at American Miniaturist Magazine at their Kasson, MN, office site. I had a great time creating an English bar scene with those two pieces. I embellished the bar with some inlaid trim and a brass foot rail, and the back bar with diagonal shelves for wine and a central mirror. Some of the other English accessories include ashtrays on the bar, pewter mugs purchased in an antique shop in Bath, and metal Toby mugs purchased from the Miniature Scene shop in York and painted at home.


When the England in Miniature Tour gets to York this September, I’ll be sure to show pictures to Graham Barlow at the Miniature Scene. And when we get to Birmingham, I’ll be ready to acquire some new treasures.

(by Mary)


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