My latest twelfth scale glass eyed, removable clothes, brushable hair young ladies are extremely ready for Miniatura, in fact they are packed in their boxes sitting in the hall waiting to be loaded into the car to go go go!
My friend, who was the editor of Dolls’ House World magazine, last century and into the noughties, is on the coach coming north to stay with me for a week.
It’s Miniatura, it’s brilliant, it’s nearly here.
A quick reminder if you are coming, all the information, virtual tickets to load on to your phone, a list of the exhibitors and what you can see are all at www.miniatura.co.uk It is worth clicking on the Tickets button, there are savings to be had.
The hall is right next to the free car parking, easy peasy. The entire site is wheelchair friendly. Miniatura is all in one hall with a hundred stands, last time I counted. It is in miniature, so that is like visiting a hundred shops in a day, which, of course is one of the utterly brilliant things about it. This might be a day for comfortable shoes, perhaps. I always think people who bring little cases on wheels for their purchases are very sensible. Stand holders are various in terms of up to date, some have smart phones hooked up to card reading machines, some are old fashioned, like me and can only take money, though I do take cheques drawn on a British bank. The only drawback of the NAEC that I have discovered, is that there are no cash machines in the building. There are banks on site, but closed at the weekend. I understand that the farm shop near the entrance did offer cash for a small purchase with a card last show but cannot guarantee it. I suggest you bring a bit of everything and somebody strong to follow you and carry it all.
As always with this show, above all others, the content is carefully curated and exhibitors are by invitation. The majority of them are artists but because it is Miniatura there are always items in all price ranges. So there will be things you want and the advice is to get it if you see it and you want it. As you know I make one of every doll; even though they are made from my own moulds, individuality abounds. Many other craftsmen produce similarly idiosyncratic items.
I’d like to tell you a secret that I know from my side of the stands, and that is that there is a lull after the show begins before the shopping frenzy occurs. So there is time to scoot round the whole show if you are quick and early and have serious FOMO. A very experienced miniaturist once told me that the thing to do was begin at the back of the hall and work forwards, which worked for a while until everyone cottoned on. There is no lull time for haberdashers, wood suppliers and retailers but they do tend to have multiples, keep watching and dash in if you see a gap, would be my advice.
On Sunday morning before the show opens, stand holders are requested to open up, so that other stand holders can shop with them, which is practically a reason to turn into an exhibitor, unless you are on your own, which I have been for years. The impossibility of shopping the show while standing behind my stand, is frustrating. But this time I’ll have a friend.* I also have money, a shopping bag, a credit card, a loose cheque folded up, a couple of extra tenners down my bra, a spare pair of shoes and a sandwich.
See you there!