Monday, May 28, 2012

Before the Fair

Well, you've seen what I found at the fair. The day before the fair, my sister and I drove through the Blue Mountains to Sydney. We were running late leaving, and we were meeting our aunt for afternoon tea (already rescheduled from lunch). So when we stopped, my sister said "Just 10 minutes!"
I'd say we both had several lots of 10 minutes, in a bookshop, an antiques centre and a cafe! I had a quick scan of the downstairs displays in the antiques centre, and then went to get a hot drink before pushing on. I'd finished my drink by the time my sister came for hers, so I left her browsing her bookshop finds and scooted in again and whizzed through the upstairs section of the antiques centre - until I came to a cabinet which had all this in it:

A china or porcelain dinner set with a sweet design which looks rather like clover (the sauceboat is marked Germany) - and a set of four little blue serviettes (or napkins, depending where you're from), in rings!!!

(Actually, not the furniture (tables, chair, sideboard) - they're recent ebay purchases which I'm just using to display the miniature sets.)

A turned wooden dinner set, including a tureen and comport, painted with a design of cherries, and a vase of flowers:

A green painted wooden tea set, missing the saucers:

A set of four blue painted wooden cups and saucers (set out here with the same set of serviettes):

A green and gold turned wooden set of decanter & goblets on a tray:

A clock, some larger cutlery (marked Germany) and a larger serviette & ring:

A bowl of fruit and what I was most excited about, tiny turned wooden salt and pepper shakers!!! The guy in the shop (not the seller whose display cabinet these were from, but the guy on the till) said he'd seen others before. But I hadn't - not this small, dolls house sized. All the other items, yes, some more often than others - but I am delighted to have salt and pepper shakers, and I'm not sure how I'll decide which house to put them in! Perhaps I should put them in Tim's shop, and see who buys them.

In the same display cabinet was this little ring of charms - I almost didn't get it, but the little people in their big hats are so sweet! They're just over 1/2" long.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

My Buys at the Fair

There weren't many stands with vintage pieces (apart from Anna-Maria's), and you had to look hard. I found it much easier when the crowds had thinned out on the afternoon of the first day. All of the dolls in the photo above were on Robyn's Mini Dolls' stand. The solid wooden furniture, and the Fairylite bath, are from Anna-Maria. (The books and stationery are modern reproductions - two from The Miniature Supermarket, and two from Michelle's Minatures (no website; her email is

Aren't they cute? Both of these bisque dolls were on Robyn's Mini Dolls' stand. What first drew my attention to her stand was this set of folding furniture, which was in a box labelled '1900-1910 German Folding Dollhouse Furniture'.

I'm not sure if it is German - Patent No. 43297 is stamped on the back of all the pieces - but it's definitely old, and very ingenious.

And it led me to look more closely at the rest of her offerings. The two little bisques were on display:

They are wearing their original clothes, with 'Made in Japan' labels sewn on. You can also just see the 'Foreign' stamp on the back of the one on the left.

I bought this playground equipment from Anna-Maria:

These dolls are very small - these ones are tiny!

A kewpie and two other celluloid dolls with marcella waves, all from Robyn's stand. Having tried to put the dolls on the seesaw, I realise that the ones I've actually played on have bars at the front, not the back, so you don't slide down when your end goes up!

As I was showing interest in vintage dolls and furniture, Robyn drew my attention to this doll, which was on the stand - with the side of the box facing the front of the stand!

A boxed Flagg bridesmaid! At first I thought she was a bride, but Robyn showed me the end of the box:

Then she pulled out some more vintage dolls:

- this lovely painted-over bisque nurse (who's managed to get off her feet for a while, and has an Australian Women's Weekly magazine from December 1941 to read (from The Miniature Supermarket), and cards to write and send (from Michelle's Miniatures (email -

- and this Grecon riding girl!

who also has her tag:

The flowers in the vase are made by The Designing Woman, Annie Warrener-Edge, of Queensland. She had two arrangements of Australian natives in her display - the Christmas bells were slightly different, and she explained that these ones, with rounded bases, were made after she had a chance to look closely at real Christmas bells. I think they're gorgeous - I love having Christmas bells in vases at Christmas, and now I can in a mini house too!
The book of crosswords - with a pencil that really writes! is from Michelle's Miniatures.

I bought the crocheted rugs at the end of the second day from Kim's Miniatures - at half price! Now I've had a chance to look at her website, I realise that the rugs came all the way from Sweden (via New Zealand), and are made by Berit Gyllenhammar. Kim's Minis also sells miniature marquetry by Berit Gyllenhammar - amazingly detailed - you can see some in my previous post.

Kim's Minis ( also had fantastic food and baking equipment - I bought some baking trays and tins:

The wooden cupboard is from Anna-Maria. The gingerbread people and cutting boards are from Adelaide's Miniatures by Design (, and I found the Acme toaster oven on Diana Simms' stand (it's a fridge magnet, and she had a couple of others, a stove and something - but much smaller scale). This was another stand with vintage and antique dolls, though I didn't get a photo (and didn't buy any of them).

As well as the magazine, I bought some groceries from The Miniature Supermarket:

I was able to spend some time at A Sheila's Shed's stand - I've looked at her kits for 1:144 scale furniture online, and it was good to be able to see the finished items and choose which I'd like to try.

(I haven't tried any yet! There are also 3 tiny solid pieces in the photo - a sink, stove and fridge - so at least I've got some things ready to go in a house!!!)

Somewhere, I've got 3 plastic chairs from Anna-Maria - not to mention her Tomy Smaller Home!
I was sorry that there weren't more vintage and antique dolls houses and furnishings - in previous years, Anna-Maria has photographed stalls with quite a choice. However, it gave us a sense of achievement when we did find vintage things in amongst all the new pieces!

The day before the fair started, we drove across the Blue Mountains to Sydney, and I found some lovely vintage miniatures in an antiques centre in Blackheath. I was very glad I'd bought them when I saw how little there was at the fair (although I still managed to spend a fair bit of money!) So I'll photograph the Blackheath accessories next.

Diva's Houses: Waldfrieden and 1226 Cliff Drive

I had seen photos of Davidia Williams' creations, especially her Rose Seidler house, on The Shopping Sherpa's blog (and it was also written up in the Sydney Morning Herald, when it was displayed at the real Rose Seidler House).
This year she had two houses on display! One is an A-frame house, with this backstory:

Here's a view of the whole house:

furnished with lots of vintage pieces - Lundby, Tofa, Barton - as well as miniatures made by Diva. Isn't that a great spiral staircase? (Also a little scary, with no handrail!)

I love the crowded, lived-in look and feel.

Anna-Maria has much better photos in her post (taken while Diva was setting up, without the front which caught the flash. Also she's a better photographer than I am!).

While Waldfrieden is a 1960s house, 1226 Cliff Drive, Watsons Bay, is completely modern:

Here's a closeup of the backstory:

The front door:

And, as you can see, a very different colour scheme and vibe. The monochrome furnishings really let the artwork stand out:

Sorry this is out of focus - you probably can't see the Toblerone on top of the green crate:

More great artwork, and a lovely Mackintosh mantelpiece:

The stairs lead up to the bathroom (and I am obviously totally oldfashioned in liking railing or banisters on stairs - at least these stairs are against a wall!)

The bedroom, where the picture certainly makes me want to snuggle up in bed and keep warm:

Now I'm off to start photographing my finds!

My First Fair!

This year, I managed to get to the Sydney Miniatures and Dolls House Fair - 3 weeks ago now, on the 1st weekend in May. I went on both days - Saturday from about midday, and Sunday late in the afternoon.
Here are some photos of things that caught my eye.

Right inside the door, DolArtistry had a pumpkin or gourd house, with a turtle moving house just to the left of it:

On the maroon cloth, a miniature gourd lady making gourd houses, with other fictional and historical characters nearby:

A great display by Bill Maguire of Leprechaun Models:

Bill was displaying these, not selling them, and he told me that he is also shows them in schools (especially the Tudor houses), and explains to the kids what houses were like then, and where we get words like 'threshhold' and 'chairman'. His card, B. & V. Architectural Models, mentions scale models for things like development applications and architects presentations.

I would have loved to buy one of his houses - they're made of cardboard, so they're light, and they're small scale, so wouldn't take up much room. The Queenslander at the end of the display did not have an accessible interior, but look at the detailing in the interior of some of the other houses:

The roof and the upper storey lift off in this house, giving access to both floors.

An A-frame house with just one floor:

Here are some other exhibits - a garage with a sports car (if this had the name of the exhibitor, I didn't get it, sorry):

A 1/48th (quarter inch) scale tower by Elizabeth Barnes, and a room by Dawn Watson:

A scene by Marion Hesketh:

Jody and Sarah's Rainy Day, by Rhonda McDonald:

A multi-storey building housed in JazWare's Room by Room, which was made by Felicity (aged 12) and Emma (aged 10), and includes the Pendington-Smythe Bakery and the Willow Tree Tea Rooms. Some of the dolls and furnishings are vintage - can you see the little costume dolls in the central room, and the larger one in the bakery?

Diva's display houses deserve a post of their own, so here are some shots of miniaturist stalls.

Right at the back, Geoff Nott and friend were making trees:

I don't know if Geoff Nott has a website - I found some better photos of his work online, though.

Elizabeth Barnes' stall:

(At the back, on the right, is a stall I bought some flowers from.)

And a closeup of her 1/48th or quarter inch scale Senrabe miniatures:

On Adelaide's Miniatures' stall were these great displays:

On Kim's Miniatures' stall was some fabulous miniature marquetry:

The Shopping Sherpa posted about Kim's Miniatures' scrumptious food - you can see the tables with chocolates being made in the middle of this photo. My sister bought some potatoes here - I bought some Nana crochet rugs and some cake tins, which I will show in another post ...

And here is The Shopping Sherpa's stall:

Yes, Anna-Maria and I met, in the flesh! (Thank you, Norma of make mine mini, for taking photos of us!)
I'm oohing and aahing about the towel in the bathroom of her Tomy Smaller Home (which went home with me ...)

More soon - my buys, and Diva's houses!