Tuesday, July 29, 2014

September Miniature Collector

I just got the September issue of Miniature Collector which has a story I wrote about Susan and Andrew Bembridge, whose divine wallpapers I adore.  I'm so excited!

Do have a look at the story and let me know what you think.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Another Miniatures Auction Coming Up Soon

I've just discovered that there is another miniatures auction coming up very soon--August 15-16 at Ron Rhoads in Spring City, PA.  There is online bidding available for this auction as well.

Here's the information.  I may get over my objections and bid on some of the goodies in this one.

Friday & Saturday August 15th & 16th


                     PREVIEW:  Thursday  August 14th   1 to 4 P.M.

Address: 20 Bonnie Brae Road (Rt. 724), Spring City, Pa
 Charlotte Scott of Alabama, Susan Brooks, Jane Innis, and other important collectors  
Dollhouses, Ray Whitledge Roomboxes, Featuring Rare Bill Robertson Miniatures, Vintage & Artisan Furniture & Accessorie
 ARTISTS TO INCLUDE: Bill Robertson drop-leaf table, one-drawer stands and rare miniature Drafting Set, George Schlosser paintings, Marjorie Adams fan and paintings, Rosemarie Torre, Susanne Russo, John Hodgson, Walter Schutter, Natasha Beshenkovsky, Julian Biggers, Roger Gutheil, Jean Tag, Jane Graber, Le Chateau, largest collection of Debbie McKnight we’ve ever sold to include: Gaudy Welsh set of dishes, crocks, all types of porcelains, Jean Strup chair and needlepoint, Dennis Jenvey,  Kummerow, Therese Bahl, Pat Stevens hats & forms, Great dogs by Irene, Frances Whittemore, Nellie Belt, Gerald Crawford, Sterling: Acquisto, Obadiah Fisher, Nancy Summers, Ray Whitledge Room Boxes, The Rare Mens Store, Geoffrey Wonnacott, Edward Norton Period Furniture, Jim Gans, Tony Jones, Jean Welch, Renee Isabelle, Gudgel, Singing Tree, Glenda Hooker, Marcia Backstrom, Gail Morey, Betty Valentine, Chestnut Hill, Ginger Wyatt, Emily Good, El-Kru, Jean Yingling, Karen Zorich, David Krupick, wonderful selection of Herbillon Furniture. Many shops and roomboxes: Bakery Shop, Floral Shop, Toy Shop, Candy Shop, Country Roombox, U.S. Mailroom, etc. Hundreds of artisan accessories including holiday items, hats and forms, Setsu Ueno rare flapper hats, ladies’ accessories, dolls, baskets, suitcases,  Balestieri carved birds, Posy Patch flowers, outdoor furniture and plants, cakes, Easter, Christmas, Valentines, all kinds of decorations. This is a wonderful offering of the best artisans of the 1970’s, ‘80’s and onward. Everything is in excellent condition.
ANTIQUE & VINTAGE MINIATURES:  Rare Law Office roombox made by Flora Gill Jacobs, Tynietoy, enameled furniture, German ship, antique Noah’s Ark, McLaughlin Folding House, garden plants, ormolu chandeliers, lamps pictures, mirrors, accessories, Boulle desk and bedroom suite, Schneegass, kitchen items, rugs, Maynard Manor tapestries, French porcelains, accessories, lots of furniture.
DOLLHOUSES English Tutor Castle with accessories, several vintage houses with gingerbread, etc.  Converse bungalow, German stables, and more !
DOLLS: Many Bisque and China head dolls,  lots of small all-bisque dolls, vintage doll clothing, shoes, hats, and so much more!!!
18% Buyer’s Premium, 21% Internet Sales

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Miniatures Auction Today at Leslie Hindman (And Online for the Brave)

In under an hour the auction of Cookie Ziemba's miniature collection will begin at Leslie Hindman right here in Chicago.  Since I was on vacation, I didn't have time to go down to the showroom to see the collection in person, but many local miniaturists are on the scene, including Michael Walton, who will pack up your items and ship them to you.

There are some lovely minis in this long-time collector's collection like this Dutch Canal House.

I'm told Cookie kept meticulous records of everything in her collection--something I have neglected.  What about you?

You can follow the lots as they come up here:  http://catalogues.lesliehindman.com/asp/search.asp?pg=1&st=D&sale_no=344.

And you can download the catalogue here for future reference. http://www.lesliehindman.com//files/SALE_344.pdf

I do love reading the descriptions of each item--written as if they were full-sized.

My experience bidding online on the last two miniature auctions was not good.

I was naive: I actually thought the estimated prices listed in the catalogues were intended to be an estimate of selling price. Turns out they are simply for insurance purposes and in no way reflect what the House (or the seller) expects them to sell for.  So that was my first mistake.  A perfect example was a green settee I bid on with an estimate of $200-$400--which actually sold for more than $2000!  Then there was the bed I was bidding on in another online auction-- I was so excited because the winning bid on my computer screen was the amount I bid -- but it turned out someone else had bid the same amount a second before my bid was registered.  The lesson I learned is that it pays to be in the room if you really want to bid--there are too many variables bidding online.  I don't think it is the auction house's fault, it's the software, the speed of the internet connection you're on, the number of other people bidding, etc. that cause the variability.  I'd be curious to hear what others' experience has been--leave me a comment if you've bid online for minis.

So today I will only watch to see what things go for. Maybe this time will be different.  When the auction is over you can download the selling prices as well.

Good luck if you happen to be bidding!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Sorry to be absent for so long--I just seem to have too much going on in RL this summer.

Today I want to show you yet another fabulous transformation by my friend and fellow miniaturist Bill McGuire for our mutual friend, miniaturist KB.  We have always loved this kit but KB beat me to getting it done.

The project started with a Real Good Toys Front Opening Conservatory Kit.  This is what the kit looked like when it was first put together.  Your standard MDF construction--nothing special.  Nice windows, though.

Here's a photo from the RGT site of a finished kit the way they envision it.  Nice, but again, nothing remarkable about it.

Here's the conservatory when Bill was finished working his magic. Isn't it amazing?

Bill was inspired by, but not slavishly wedded to, the look of the Petit Trianon at Versailles.  He chose Lawbre trim elements to transform the plain kit into a jewel box of a French-inspired structure -- including the classic balustrade, Rococo frieze, acanthus corbels, palmettes, and the shell above the door. These motifs continue around the sides.  Next he added a mansard roof--just peeking over the balustrade--which he painted to look like aged copper.  Finally, he sited the structure on a base and added several steps to the entrance, with room for planter boxes.  Then he painted the whole structure to look like pale, glowing stone.

I just love the way this looks and am once again in awe of Bill's talent.

Now it's up to KB to decide what to do with the interior!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Kensington Dollshouse Festival Report

As expected, I had a great time at the Summer Kensington Dollshouse Festival in London last weekend. Devoted miniaturists started lining up early with their carry bags (I was among the first 50 at 9:15 am for an 11:00 am opening) and soon the line snaked around the Kensington Town Hall courtyard and around the block. The entrance is under the overhang on the right--on the left is the line as it snaked around the plaza and continued down to Kensington High Street.  I met a number of friends from around the world who were also in line -- catching up was a good way to pass the time till the doors opened.

Two perspectives on the line from where I was....fortunately it was a beautiful sunny and warm day so people didn't complain much.  The Festival had helpers passing out the show booklet which was perused avidly in the interim.

Once in the door I did a quick reconnaissance mission around the three floors just to get situated and to pick up a few things I knew would disappear if I didn't jump on them.  The main floor had the most artisans so that's where I spent the majority of my time.  You can see the floor plans here: http://www.dollshousefestival.com/kensington/floor-plans/floorplans.pdf

I had placed orders in advance with a number of artisans so I was able to save those stands for last.  Of course I had to stop and greet friends so it took me quite a while to make the circuit.  I was happy to see and chat with Leslie and Lyndel Smith (painted furniture and oil paintings), Susan and Andrew Bembridge (wallpaper and fabric), Sue and John Hodgson (gilt furniture and accessories), Karen Griffiths and Peter Armstrong (Stokesay Ware), Susie Rogers and Kevin Mulvaney,  Rohit and Radika Kahanna (furniture), Jens and Shaney Torp (sterling silver), Charlotte and Martin Wilmott (Mousehouse Miniatures), Jan and Paul Brownlee (Country Treasures), Annie Willis (Fine Designs), Liz LePla and her sister Kate (ELF Miniatures), Marie France Beglan and her sister Catherine Muniere (dolls)...never mind, I can't list them all!

Mulvaney and Rogers were showing a recently completed project for a Middle Eastern prince.  It is a department store and simply amazing.  I got a few photos but not as many as I wanted because there were so many people crowded around the structure every minute of the day.

This is the front.  I wish I could have gotten the woman in brown to move but she stubbornly refused.

The window on the left--The Princess and the Pea!  My favorite fairy tale!!!!

The right window.  I don't know who she is but look at that dress!

Here's the inside--as much of it as I could capture.  That's the furniture department on the top floor.  Shoes on the left on the next floor, then dresses and a dressing room on the next floor, handbags on the ground floor on the left, jewelry and sunglasses in the middle next to the entrance, and the final room on the right has vases and I think dishes.

My favorite was the handbag department.  Long before I collected miniatures I collected handbags.  Love the mini red Birkin on the display table.

It's a really impressive structure and every little detail is perfect.

Fit for royalty indeed!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The House That Giac Built

I am absolutely thrilled that Miniature Collector has chosen my story about Giac Dell'accio's Dewell Manor for the cover of the July issue.

Dewell Manor is a huge project--Giac claims it's still not finished--and he has done all the work himself. I'm in awe of his ability to do everything from floors to faux finishing to window treatments.

You can see more of Giac's work on his blog:  http://englishmanordollhouse.blogspot.com/.

Congrats, Giac!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Kensington Dollshouse Festival

I am really excited about attending the 30th Annual Kensington Dollshouse Festival in London next weekend.  I'm looking forward to seeing artisan and collector friends with whom I mainly communicate via email between shows.

Of course, I have an ever-expanding shopping list--both for my website and for my own projects (LOL).

Let me know what you are working on so I can keep my eyes open for you.  And if you have suggestions for artisans whose work you would like to see on the site, or if there is a particular piece you would like to have available, leave me a comment or shoot me an email.

If you are attending the show--look for me!