I saw a couple of friends on the way to the show who both suggested I was heading out to consume a glass or two of wine. Little did they know I was off to enjoy one of the most sedate hobbies around, mainly taken up by middle aged women. That said, when I was being elbowed out the way by an elderly lady struggling to see some tiny vegetables a couple of hours later, I wasn't thinking of it as a 'sedate hobby'.
|The main hall - which is one of many - at the Kensington Dollshouse Festival|
I didn't really have a shopping list on this occasion but knew I wanted to get a few Christmas themed pieces. This is partly motivation to sort out the room where my dollshouses live so I can decorate for the festive season. It has got to the stage where I can't get to my house, shop or pub at all because of the boxes stacked up in front of them. This week, I'm hoping to at least make a start on the room so I can put some of my purchases in their new homes.
|Ready to begin the Christmas dinner (five pence piece for scale)|
As usual we started on the ground floor and one of our first stops was Pride of Plaice. We have already bought most of the beautiful things on the stall but I couldn't resist a few additions to my kitchen. The turkey and sprouts above are all ready for Christmas dinner, and although I already have a couple of puddings, I really like the texture on this one.
|Better get writing!|
I also picked up a pack of 10 shaped Christmas cards which will look great on my mantelpieces, or possibly in the bar.
|All ready for Crimbo!|
I'm very pleased with my beautiful fairy from Sally Reader Miniatures who will sit on top of the Christmas tree in my house. Her site is well worth a look - even if it's just to see the tray of tiny Basil Brushes. I'm lucky enough to own Sally's Humpty and Paddington already but suspect I'll be adding to my collection at some point.
The plate will, of course, be left out for Father Christmas. He'll need a mince pie and a little tipple to keep him going and I'm sure Rudolph will appreciate the carrot. Thanks to the very helpful chaps at House of Mindy, where the plate is from, who spent a long time digging around behind the stall to find the shelves that my mum wanted to buy.
The very detailed table arrangement is from The Flower Lady - can't wait to place it on the miniature dining room table.
As well as shopping, there were plenty of amazing things to look at.
Julien Martinez made the model on the left. To be honest, I'm not quite sure what it is but it reminded me of the kind of thing that Tim (my husband) likes which is why I took a picture.
Julien also had a house of horrors fairground ride on display which was very impressive. I didn't quite manage to capture it on film unfortunately and photos just didn't do it justice - not least because of the flashing lights!
There are plenty of traditional displays on show but I was a little more reluctant to ask for permission to photograph them this time around, partly because I'd forgotten my cards and couldn't always find the energy to explain that I wasn't going to rush home and copy the designs, I just wanted to say nice things about them on my blog.
We also hovered around the huge house below for some time, hoping to get a clear view. It wasn't to be though, there was always a queue of people waiting to get a closer look. Can't really say I blame them!
We were also very impressed with the unusual miniatures created by Dee-Daw Designs. There were some great characters on the stall but I think I was most taken with the scene below - it's not often you see a 1:12 scale cow!
|A scene created by Dee-Daw Designs|
It's well worth having a look at Dee-Daw Designs' Featherstone Hall Hotel project which was created for the 200th issue of Dolls House & Miniature Scene magazine. It includes great photos of some fantastic scenes.
|A few bits for my shop|
Back to the shopping. My store is almost full but I'm hoping I can find space on the walls for a few signs and a chewing gum machine, all courtesy of Platts Mini Packages, which is also where the fantastic paper chains (pictured earlier) came from.
|A pair of leather gloves for the lady of the house|
At this point of the day I still didn't have a 'lady of the manor' for my Tudor house - but I figured that once I found her she'd need a pair of leather gloves. I love The Luggage Lady's miniatures but already have a suitcase and a bag - there's only so much I can fit in.
And so on to my final purchase. I was doing reasonably well on the spending front (I'd managed to tear myself away from the amazing bathrooms at Hearth and Home Miniatures) but we popped back to the ground floor and I had a second look at Crumpled and Rumpled's stand.
We'd spotted the lady we called 'Nanny Doris' earlier as she bears an uncanny likeness to my late grandmother - an incredibly lovely lady who was very talented with her hands: knitting, tapestries and sewing were all part of her repertoire so it seems only right that this Doris is sat at a sewing machine.
|'Nanny Doris' from Crumpled and Rumpled|
There were a couple of other figures that I was debating between which lead to the stallholder commenting on what vivid imaginations we all have. You always have to think about their back story - will they fit in, is she the right age for the man of the house, is she too modern or too old-fashioned? But no, I think she's just perfect which is why she now has a new home with me.