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Friday, March 13, 2015

Caught in a Trap
[and I Can't Walk Out!!]

Hello folks, 

Something about the miniature world just captures me, and sends me on little trips into a fantasy world. That is how I felt at many of the booths at the Seattle Miniatures Show this year.    While the show has suffered over the last few years, both from vendor attendance and attendees, it is beginning to build again, and many wonderful artists bring their work. I wanted to share with you all a little of that experience.  I thoroughly enjoyed the day, and spent just enough to feel slightly guilty about it. Hence, this post acts as my confession!  

Of course, I took lots of pictures, and came home with about two that were decent.  I really need a new camera!  Mine is at least 15 years old, which was the dawn of time for digital photography.  Oh well, I am going to share the two that came out decent, because the projects were way cool!

Country Maid by Bespaq - Shawn Flading

My favorite piece of the day was actually at the Bespaq Table, and they were kind enough to allow me to take [many!] photos of it.  They actually took off the dome so that I could get a picture without the glare, I took enough photos that they offered to charge me for the privilege (yes, they were joking!).  In this case, the many attempts to take a decent photo paid off, and I actually got a picture that worked!

I really loved the scene, it connected with me, the little country maiden taking a short rest surrounded by all her work implements.  For me, miniatures are all about these little stories, whether they contain the mini people or not.  If you can see the story, it works for me.  This one definitely worked!

You'll be able to see the price tag there too.  Ehh-hemmm!

'Tea Tiny' by Shana Stewart

Here is my other real favorite from the show.  Luckily, the two favorites, I was able to come away with pictures of!  They are not perfect, but at least somewhat usable.

This little party table really spoke to me.  Actually, the mix and match chairs echo the dining "set" in our own home, so this was a shoo-in for me. I loved the play of color and shape used in this piece. Everything looks as though it goes together, and there is nothing that is the same in the entire piece.  I thought this was very well done and it really appealed to my personal aesthetic.

The rest of my pictures remain rejects!  So that is the extent of the "Seattle Miniatures Show" that you will see on MY blog!  :0((

As I said, I did spend just a tiny tiny bit while at the show. . . thus the title of this post!  Here are a few things I was able to purchase.  Most of these will not show up in the blog again for some time, but are being hoarded for future use.

Here are a couple of beautifully Steam Punk Picture Frames from 'Mini Masterpieces' owned by Dick & Irene Hines.

Also by 'Mini Masterpieces" some wonderful little kitchen items.  A meat grinder, a cheese grater, and a truly exceptional serving dish with a patterned lid.  Unfortunately, the detail is totally lost in the photo above, especially the meat grinder.  It is a wonderfully detailed piece. 

Beautiful Buns!  :0) 

I loved the items this next vendor sold.  Her work was minutely detailed, and each piece is layered so that were you to cut into the pieces, they looked like real cut pieces.  She had several cabbages that were layered piece by piece so that it truly looked like a real cabbage when cut.  I purchased the two loaves of bread pictured above, but I wanted to buy just about everything.  

Unfortunately, she didn't have the name of  her business on her receipt, so I cannot tell you who it was that did this.  If you ever sell things, PLEASE include your business name! Right?!!    In looking through the dealers at the show, I was unable to identify this dealer. That is too bad, because you all would have really loved her things. 

This black metal hall tree was from Country Store Miniatures.  I loved the metal detail and the delicacy of the piece.  Jim and Carol have a shop at home, by appointment only, and it is within reach of my house (only a 4 hour drive!  ha!)  I may have to stop there some time in the future as I travel through!   They had a WIDE array of miniatures, from very fine to mainstream, and I actually spent more time at their table (think shop!) than any other place in the Show.  They had a lot of those 'itty bitty" things that every miniature house needs! 

Faucets, Pipes, Door handles, Enamelware, and architectural goodies!
As you can see, I succumbed to the temptations.  They had BOXES of little things that you had to sift through, but there were some wonderful things in there!  You'll see a few of these show up soon on the blog, because most of them were bought to help finish out some of the things I have already done. 

Here is a Steam Punk Weather Vane that I picked up from one of the vendors, another vendor that didn't put their business name on the receipt.   They had a few Steam Punk items, all of which I liked.  The weather vane is SO far in the future in regard to "use" that I think I probably should have just left this one alone, but it "fit" my ideas so well, I couldn't walk away from it!

Remember I told you I don't like skulls on things?  Well, this vendor had a grandfather clock I really liked, but it had skulls on it.  In order to get them out, I would have had to take the whole piece apart, and I wasn't sure I could get it back together.  So back it went. One trap I managed to walk out of!

This is the favorite piece that I was "trapped" into buying by my "sinful desire".   It is a Bespaq piece from Shawn Flading that I absolutely love.  

Every door and drawer works, the shelves are glass with a mirrored back to set it all off.  It is a truly incredible piece.  I bought it for the Grand Parlor, that wonderful little space beside the fireplace. Remember?

Hah!  Oh the things that might have been.  The piece was twice the size of the space it needed to fit in.  I will have to keep looking for a piece to go there, because this one was totally overwhelming in that spot.  It BARELY fit in the footprint, and looked totally out of place.  But never fear.  It WILL find a place in the house.  :0) 

Unfortunately, size matters.  :0(  

I got so intrigued by the next three items that I plopped the money down and purchased them from Newton's Apple.  Price was right, story was great! Purchased from an estate sale.  Loved the pieces.

This one has a working cross bar.  The bar swings up for baby's convenience.  

This is my favorite of the three purchases from Newton's Apple.  I can just see a chair of this style in one of the rooms. 


They were all out of scale!  I got them home and started playing with my new toys, and discovered that I had forgotten to think about scale.  Sigh.  Live and learn.  I may be able to rescue the chair above, since it is proportioned such that trimming the legs down may allow it to "fit" scale, but I am afraid that it will look chopped up.  Jury is still out on that.  Luckily, the prices were not too terribly high, so it is not too much money down the drain! 

There are a couple other odds and ends that I was able to pick up, but not particularly noteworthy, so I've not included them in this post.  You'll see them show up over time, I imagine. 

One of the greatest pleasures of the Show for me was to get to meet Elizabeth of Studio E and Janine of Minworks.  I made a total fool of myself.  You see I have this little problem.  It is called hearing.  I may not LOOK very old, but I am!  :0)  So when Elizabeth found me, I of course couldn't hear her name, so I had to flag her down again and make sure I knew who she was!   Slightly embarrassing. But, in this case, I was so glad it happened because I got to meet a new friend, Janine, who was at the show with Elizabeth.  

There is MORE to that story, believe it or not!  Somehow, I had Janine confused in my mind with Elizabeth.  I had been to both blogs, and seen Janine's picture on hers, and somehow assigned it to Elizabeth, who does NOT have her picture on her blog!  So if it had been left up to me, I would never have found either of them most likely!  Thank goodness for small favors!  

In spite of my buffoonery, it was a real pleasure to meet and talk a bit with both of them!  It is so good to put a [real] face to the names of my blogger friends! 

I also got to meet and talk with Sylvia Rountree, whose work you can see at the Good Sam Show site. We had a pleasant chat and I enjoyed getting to know her a bit. 

All in all, the show was a wonderful experience, again.  I look forward to the next!  

My own work has suffered mightily from real life in recent weeks.  So my next post may be a few days (maybe weeks!) out.  

Until then!  

Doug S


  1. Hi Doug! I'm glad to read that you had a great time at the Seattle miniatures show. How nice that you've met Janine and Elizabeth there ;)! The way you tell about the meeting with these ladies is amusing (I'm sorry, but I can see it in front of me ;O). I can imagine very well how it all went and I'm sure these ladies laughed a lot.
    You have done some wonderful purchases, I'm sure we will see some of them in your dollshouse and other projects. But it's really a pity that your camera didn't work well.
    Here, in The Netherlands, there is a miniatures show next weekend. I hope that I can go there to see lots of new miniatures and maybe I can purchase a few new things that I can't make myself. With my low budget for my miniature hobby, it is my biggest goal/pleasure to make the most of miniature things myself, except for glass works, porcelan and so on. So we will see what I can find there to spoil myself a bit ;O!
    I wish you a nice weekend to play with your new miniatues and making new plans for projects :D!

    1. Hi there Illona! I am excited for you in regard to the miniatures show there! I hope you find lots of really cool stuff while you are there, and fill in those things you need for your projects! I am like you too though, I get a lot of joy out of making things myself, but am also on a strict budget for my hobby. I hope you find all the porcelain and glass you could ever want!

      I did have some fun, I had saved my money up so that I could spend a bit at the show. I am actually somewhat proud of myself! I only spent about half of what I saved up! This is good. :0)

      Enjoy your show! Hope you'll post some of your finds too!


  2. Hi Doug! What a Terrific review of the Seattle Show and like you, I have seen the show go through some "ups and downs" over the decades. This year however, I would have to say it was moving "UP" again, since not only were there more vendors, but there was lots of energy and enthusiasm from both sides of the tables in the room, more than what I remember last year. Saturday was super-charged, Sunday however, was considerably quieter.
    It was with Great Pleasure that I was able to meet you in person and you were right....
    You ARE Tall!!!!:D I had no idea until now, that you were getting Janine and I confused. She often takes photos of Fatima and I whenever we have our Miniteer meetings and then she posts them on her blog leaving herself out of the picture, so I can perfectly understand your confusion. ( Very Amusing none the less :)) )
    Your preference for Country Store Miniatures is not alone. I loved that vendor too and I spent quite a long time sifting through the deal baskets that contained many mini treasures. Your wire hall stand is a BEAUTY and I love the upholstery too, but by far the "Hands Down" favorite is your Bespaq carved wood cabinet!!! I think that you have a Winner with this Incredible piece Doug, and you can look forward to filling it up with LOTS of tiny treasures too.
    It is unfortunate that some of your other finds proved to be out of scale, but if your manor has an attic, then your "disappointments" might still be put to good use in filling it up.
    Have fun and enjoy All of your new minis! :D


    1. Hi Elizabeth!

      I totally agree with your assessment about the show, even Sunday, there was a brisk air and people putting down money. I imagine that the folks who came to vend this year left reasonably happy.

      I told you I was tall! :0) I am glad you didn't pick up on my confusion when we met. The whole thing was pretty funny, I think. I really did enjoy the few minutes we got to talk, and I was excited to be meeting Janine as well. It is really cool to meet other miniaturists.

      I too, love that Bespaq cabinet. I look forward to finding a place for it. I have many rooms in my house and there is one for it too! I was a bit disappointed about the scale on the last three items, but I think I can use the hat tree, and I am eyeing the chair for some "texturing" in the near future, so it will be interesting to see where that goes! The pieces won't go to waste, of that I am quite sure.

      I am anxious to continue bringing the Steam Punk Chateau to life, and many of the little things I purchased at the show will help that, so I am really glad I went! Especially because I got to make new friends!

      You'll have to reveal a few of your finds soon!

      Until then! Doug

  3. Hi Doug, I did laugh at the title of this's so true! Going to a show is just like a trap (in the nicest possible way, of course!), once you're in, it's hard to come out without something!!
    Your purchases are lovely, but I have to say my favourite is the Bespaq unit, gorgeous! I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that you'll find a very worthy home for it somewhere in your Manor. LOL. I agree with Elizabeth, the attic will be a wonderous place for all the little bits and pieces that are 'homeless' at the end of your project, you could have a real mish-mash of articles there, and it would still look fabulous!
    We don't have any miniature shows in Ireland, North or South. I have to go to England... in fact I'll be heading to the Miniatura Show in the NEC in Birmingham very soon. This will be my second show ever, and I'm looking forward to it so much. I have a little wish-list, but we'll see how that goes!
    So glad you had a good time at your show, and getting to meet blog friends must be wonderful...
    All the best for now

    1. Hi Vivian! It's the truth, isn't it?! But what a lovely trap to find oneself in? I think? :0)

      I hadn't planned an attic yet, but I will find a way to use the pieces, I am sure. They are wonderful pieces, and this is a fantasy genre, even with the way I am treating it, so a piece out of scale, here and there, with the right story behind it, will be just fine, I am sure. I sure have plenty of "rooms" to find that story in, so it'll all work out. What's more, as I work through the rooms, I am finding that I want to keep changing things in the future. So I have NO idea what I will finally come up with. All the best laid plans, you know!

      I am glad you will have the opportunity to attend Miniatura this year! It appears, from a distance, to be a wonderful show. I am excited for you! Do we get to put in orders? :0)

      I think a list is always a good idea. I got about half of what is on my list, but I must admit to not looking at it too stringently! All the big stuff was NOT on my list. :0) But I don't have too much in the way of buyer's remorse! Here's a wish that you find everything on yours!

      Thanks Vivian!


  4. Hi Doug, looks like you spent a small fortune at the show. Ah, it's only money =0P Just think of it as an investment. I've noticed a drop in sellers and visitors to some of the shows I've attended recently. My fear is that vendors make just as many sales through online shops and don't want to pay the show fees. It's a shame because I like to see things in person before I buy them. Oh, and this might sound silly but I have an action figure that I take with me if I'm buying something and want to work out the scale. (especially for chairs etc). Either that or I whip out my 6" metal ruler =0D
    It's lovely to meet other miniaturists isn't it? It feels like you're speaking to someone who totally gets the miniature hobby instead of having to explain why you like miniatures. Glad you had a good time. Now, get back to work! ;0P

    1. Ha! Yes a "VERY" small fortune! :0) But compared to my normal outlay it was a bump in the road at least. For shame.

      I am totally with you on the "see things before you buy" business. I just have the hardest time letting go of my "hard earned money" for something I can't see first. I'm afraid I am old and ready to set out to pasture with that attitude, it doesn't seem the prevailing thinking anymore. :0) I've been having the old man's nightmares about 3D printing lately. They are trying to 3D print FOOD! That CAN'T be GOOD!

      I totally Love the idea of the 6 inch action figure! I am glad you shared that with me, now I will be seen trolling the miniature shows with my six inch doll. :0) Seriously though, it is a great idea! It would have kept me from having to get creative about using what I bought. On the other hand, I do have a six inch ruler, perhaps that would allow me to maintain a modicum of self respect. :0)

      You are so right! I don't speak of my hobby in the company of strangers. :0) Not true, but sometimes I do think carefully about it! For some reason folks don't look at this as art, which totally baffles me, because you have to be ten times the artist to pull of a mini house than you do to paint or sew! Well, at least it seems that way to me! :0)

      I' been workin' Pepper! I promise! I actually ALMOST am ready to post again in spite of my dissembling above! :0) Watch this space for a cool Steam punk item coming! I'm having a few "technical problems" I have to work through first, but I am nearly there!

      Thanks Pepper, I've really enjoyed your comments!


  5. Hello Doug,
    What a nice post. I am thrilled you enjoyed the show and just a little jealous that you got to meet Elizabeth and Janine. While I was reading I was going to say the hall tree is my favorite piec3e, but then I saw that stunning china cabinet from Bespaq. I have seen it and fell in love a while ago, but your pictures really make the detail stand out. Excellent purchases my friend. It is a shame about the out of scale pieces, but perhaps you can use them for bits and pieces in future construction...they would make great detail.
    Big hug,

    1. Hey Giac, I love the hall tree too, but you are right, that china hutch is the topper in my book too. I find it incredible the detail in the piece and look forward to finding the perfect spot for it. Most of the Bespaq stuff I love, but those purchases, for me anyway, will be few and far between. There is this little thing called price that stands in the way of too many of those purchases. I circled around about 5 times before laying the cash down for this one. I knew I would regret it if I didn't.

      I really did love meeting Elizabeth and Janine. I hope to meet others some day as well. You are only half a continent away! :0) Someday maybe.

      Never fear! I have already got designs on one of the 'out of scale' pieces, and if things work out the way I plan, (they often DON'T) you'll see me use one of those pieces to create detail, just as you suggested. That is one thing I do love about mini's. Nothing is 'really' a mistake, because you can use just about anything you buy(or create) to create other things!

      Very good to hear from you!


  6. It's always nice to share treasures, even if only virtually. Recently I was at Miniaturitalia, the miniature fair in Milan and I did some shopping too. I mostly bought material to build miniatures. Your cabinet from Bespaq is fantastic. I'm very happy for you :)

    1. Thank You Ersilia! It is fun to share, I know I enjoy seeing what others have purchased from the shows. It is fun for me later to see how they end up being used in projects.

      I hope you got a lot of the right things in Milan! I usually do buy materials to build with, but that is one thing there wasn't all that much of at the Seattle show this year. I bought a couple of tools, but other than that, this year, it was all "stuff".

      Thanks for the comment! It is so great to hear from you! You were my FIRST commenter! :0) You'll always be special just because of that! :0)


  7. Hi Doug,
    First of all, thank you for your comment on my blog and you wishes. Life is wonderful but unpredictable. For some reason it brings surprises unexpectedly and not in correct time, but who knows when correct time is, true? My husband's surgery and my health issues prevented us from attending Seattle miniatures show. I missed old friends and an opportunity to meet and make new ones, including you. However, thank you very much for your report. It was very interesting to read. Your sense of humor inspire! Mini hugs, Natalia

    1. Hello Natalia!

      I know better than you may believe what you mean by life being wonderful but unpredictable. Our family has its own set of health challenges which have tested the waters greatly. They tend to focus you on what is most important in life.

      I do believe that timing is always perfect, whether or not we understand it. I look back on much of what we have dealt with over the last few years, and while it hasn't always been pleasant, there is always a silver lining when we take time to find it. In fact, my involvement with this hobby, for me, was born out of the need for an outlet from some of those things.

      I am so sorry you missed the Seattle Show! It was nice, and very nice to meet new friends. We will meet soon, I am sure, if you are in the area! I look forward to that!

      I am one of those "conventional" appearing guys, with a very dry sense of humor. I've wondered if my "humor" comes across as humor, or something else. (fill in the blank!) It is good know that in at least one corner of the world, "weird" isn't the first thought! :0) Life is too hard not to live it with a sense of humor though, isn't it?

      Thanks for stopping over!


  8. Wonderful post and beautiful photos.

    1. Hi Linda! Thanks so much for stopping by! I took a moment to stop by your blog, and it looks like it would be a fun one to spend some time on, with the collection of videos you've brought together!

      Thanks for the wonderful comment, and I look forward to getting to know you!


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  10. Hi! I happened to stumble on your blog, I know this is an old entry, so I hope you see it.

    Your bread was made by Pat Richmond, Twin Heart. And here's my suggestion for you - before I leave a vendor's table, I make sure the receipt contains the artist's name and business name (if different), the date and a description of the item. I carry a pen in case I have to fill it in myself. I have receipts going back decades and as a result of this practice, I always know who made what,

    1. Hi there a2zmom! Thank You so much for letting me know who made the bread...I felt bad not remembering so this is wonderful.

      I am afraid my blog is aging a tad...Since Oct. of 2015, we have been working on our home and preparing to sell. And I have a lot more excuses where that came from! We are actually packing up tomorrow morning, so it is the beginning of the end... I am glad to be nearing the end of the road on that. I miss working on my miniatures.

      Thanks again for stopping and doing a good deed along the way!



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