Sunday, 31 March 2013

A successful miniature shopping spree

Local dollshouse fairs can be a bit disappointing but today's - a D&M fair at the Inn on the Lake in Gravesend, Kent - was definitely an exception. 

Unusually, my mum was the first to start spending but I ended up going home with the most purchases. There were quite a few sellers we hadn't seen before as well as some old favourites.

A beach scene that we all fell in love with

The scene above belonged to a lady who was selling off some of her collection to make room for new items. We got chatting to her and it turned out she has 16 houses and her husband has had to build an extension (with 24 power points) to accommodate them all! 

One of her displays was a Christmas shop which included the paper boy pictured with the rest of my shopping below. The whole scene was £199 but just as we were leaving, the husband chased after us and said they would sell the boy individually for a bargain £6. He'll soon have a new home standing outside my general store and the pub, the perfect place to sell papers. Tim (my husband) has just informed me that his name is Tom - because that's what's he's decided. Fair enough - he looks like a Tom.

My shopping which will find a home in my Tudor house, Tim's castle and my general store.

I like having several projects on the go. It means it's acceptable to buy the most intricate flowers, tasty looking sweets and a cauldron of eyeballs and teeth all on the same day. I was particularly pleased with the flowers from Julia Connett Miniatures as they are beautiful and were very well priced. 

Tasty looking veg

Unfortunately I didn't get the name of the stallholder above, but I was very impressed with their veg. The quality of dollshouse items can vary hugely. When you first start out, you think everything is amazing but gradually you learn to pause before buying and appreciate the hand crafted items rather than buying mass produced accessories that simply don't compare.

More food from the same stall - all lovely stuff
One of my favourite sellers is Jay's Miniatures. I don't see them too often but I'm always a fan of the way they lay out their stall, showing so many items as part of a room setting. 

Part of Jay's Miniatures' stall

Today they had some beautiful bikes that I was very tempted by. I already have one but once my pub and shop and in situ, I'm hoping I'll have room for another.

I have my eye on a Royal Mail bike

Their website is well worth checking out for more inspiration and for dates of future fairs they will be attending. The picture below gives you an idea of the size of their range which really is very impressive, especially for any collectors who have a shop, a pub, or have a particular love of miniature food.

A selection of the lovely goods available from Jay's Miniatures

We moved on to Dinky Delights which was a stall I hadn't seen before. Full of really well made food and other accessories, it was mostly for the more contemporary collector but they had some items that really made us smile - not least the tiny copies of Fifty Shades of Grey, a leather flogger, spanking paddle and a pair of handcuffs

The owner said she'd prefer it if I didn't take any photos which to be honest, I don't really understand these days. Before the internet, I think people assumed that the only reason buyers took pictures was so they could rush home and copy the items (little does she know I have no talent whatsoever in that respect) but nowadays I don't get it. The photo I've just linked to is a close up that could be used for the same purpose but maybe she has other reasons that I'm not aware of.

Fortunately for me, everyone else I asked today was happy to have their stall photographed - for which I am extremely grateful. Peter Clark is another of our favourites and over the years, we've bought quite a few of his beautifully crafted items.

A section of Peter Clark's stall

Peter, a lovely gentleman who is always keen to stop and chat, specialises in birds, game, wildlife, fish and brick and tile effects. At first glance most miniaturists would wonder where they might home such items - but in the past my mum's bought a Blue Tit for her bird house (below) and I've bought a coat and hat that will hang on the door in my shop.

The bird table that is home to one of Peter Clark's creations

We enjoyed Peter's story of how he collects the feathers he uses on his birds, stopping when he sees one that has been 'bumped' in the road rather than 'squashed'. He also produced a fabulous vulture from behind his stall after Tim started talking about his castle...perhaps a purchase for another day.

Half skinned hare, anyone?

Today my mum purchased a fish in a box (for her fish stall) from Peter which is pictured below with the rest of today's haul. She was also pleased to pick up a few items for her seaside cafe including bunting that she's been hunting for for a while.

My mum's shopping...she seems to have less than me.

All in all a great day out and a very good value fair at just £2 per person. Now, it must be time to put some of my shopping away...


  1. Wow that is a lot of stuff to look at. I really dig those Royal Mail bikes and those butcher blocks are great.

    1. A lot of the food is amazing - I particularly like the works in progress such as the butcher's blocks or a cake in the middle of being made.

  2. Replies
    1. Ha - I've never heard this hobby described as 'wild' before! :)

    2. lololol. I guess not but when I see all that veg I think, wow, that's wild. So fun.