Three weeks to Spring Miniatura. On a personal level this seems ridiculous, because the building work on my house started at the last Miniatura. That’s six months of my life having the real one scale house altered and they still haven’t finished.
This of course, is the most potent demonstration of the superiority of miniatures over reality. The times I have wished in the last six months I could have just popped the house to one side, up the other end of the dining table, for example, and got on with something more interesting, like any one of a number of dolls’ house kits I have stowed away, are numerous. The reality of building a real house is gritty, exhausting and unbelievably expensive. I had some money when we started. Long, long ago. I had fingernails. I did not have dark circles under my eyes. I did not have rubble between my toes. I had carpets. I did not have foam insulation oozing from a new pillar housing a soil stack, in the dining room. Who invented that? Me.
On the other hand I did not have a walk-in wardrobe which is such a joy. I have managed to leave the top shelf half empty so I can buy stuff at the Min, if I get a chance on Sunday morning. Sunday morning is always a dilemma.. Stand holders are requested to man their stands before visitors arrive so that other stand holders can shop with them, but if you want to shop, you can’t be at your stand. What you need is a helper. Long time since I had one of them. Miniaturist stand holders will be shopping at speed, me included.
There is some good stuff this show, you can see the impressive list at www.miniatura.co.uk
If you click on the Miniatura blog, you will see an amazing announcement. Autumn Miniatura is relocating. Not much. On a map it’s about half an inch that way. Travel details for those not arriving by car are included, if you fly or arrive by rail you can still get to the autumn show with the assistance already laid on. The show is relocating to the NAEC, that is the National Agricultural Exhibition Centre at Stoneleigh, half an inch that way on the map. This venue has a huge well-lit hall and the entire show will be in one hall, just like the NEC. There are toilets in the hall, catering facilities, places to sit and rest and all your favourite exhibitors and, crucially, there is free parking. I have been informed (just me I think, so keep this under your hat) that ticket prices may be a nice surprise. Considering how modest the prices already are, for a day out at a big show, I wait with bated breath to see exactly what they will be, I’ll tell you when I know. So Autumn Min, same as before half an inch that way.
Meanwhile Spring, still at the NEC, Birmingham. Always well attended, Spring Miniatura has now taken on a flavour of its own and become the DIY show par excellence. There are always a lot of work shops and demonstrations at the spring show; if you were wondering about taking up Miniatures as a new hobby, this would be a great place to start. The British Polymer Clay Guild will be demonstrating. Polymer clays first became available round about the time I began miniaturising in the eighties. The S&H made some polymer clay carrots for a garden I made in twelfth scale, which are still good. Polymer clays, just in case you don’t know, are blocks of modelling material, available in many colours, which, once modelled, can be hardened in a normal domestic oven. They are eminently suitable for children with supervision for the baking, as you will see if you pop by their stand and see children and adults having a go. It really is easy and very satisfactory if you have never made anything tiny.
Ellie De Lacey is on the exhibitor list and, I have every confidence, will have queues. Last time she should have been next to me but was suddenly struck down with a tummy bug, as were a number of visitors who were staying with her to see the show. I had numerous queries at the show, so, if this was you, she is back!
Herdwick Landscapes, possibly the only dolls house builder named after a sheep, will be there. Their ever-popular range of country type dwellings, quite a few in my favourite scale, twenty-fourth, or if you’re reading this with an American accent, half scale, have started many miniaturists off, the houses are a nice size, not over complicated, both financially and fillable-wise, very achievable. You can surround them with sheep, or not, as you wish.
And there’s that there Jane Laverick again, her with all the porcelain dolls to go in all the houses, especially if she stops chatting to you and gets on with it!
Spring Miniatura 21st and 22nd March 2020 at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham. Ticket Hotline 0844 5811 291
See you there!