Monday, 11 June 2012

York Dolls House and Miniatures Fair - 10th June 2012

I had a great time at York yesterday.  I went to this show last year pretty much as a newbie and it lasted me all day.  Having got a few shows under my belt and therefore being familiar with most of the stall holders who do the rounds it is much more like a shopping trip rather than a kid in a sweet shop.

I was very good and bought the essentials I had gone for from my usual suppliers - Jennifer's of Walsall and J & A Supplies.  I also got two fireplaces from Hearth and Home, so that's everything I need to get on with the build...... or so I thought.  Today I discovered that six of my newels for the staircases are not the same at the other two.  Sadly it is the two which are correct and the six which I don't like.  I am a bit cross about it because I was there at 9.30am for the pre-show early-bird let-in, so there were no crowds and he was newly set up and I picked all eight from the same section on his stall.  Lesson learned - don't assume a stall holder has their stock neatly sorted.  It would cost me more to send them back to get them replaced than it would to hide them in a drawer, so they don't annoy me, and go out and buy some replacements locally.

The other minor hold up is fuelled by desire!  I got the two fireplaces I needed, as I said, but I saw a lovely Art Nouveau one on the Sussex Crafts stall which I hankered after.  It comes in at nearly twice the price of the ones I bought.  As of this morning I have succumbed and have decided to order it.  I won't have a fireplace too many because I was debating whether to have one in the Salon or not.  Seems like there will be one there after all.

All that was done in an hour and I dumped the shopping on my husband/chauffeur who stuffed it in the car for me so I could wander round unencumbered for a mooch.  He then went off for a walk in the sunshine (!) and being a pudding magnet he managed to discover a Sicilian restaurant with 22 flavours of ice cream (his favourite food) so everyone was happy.

I spent the next couple of hours trying to decide what little item to treat myself to.  This turned out to be eight more purchases.  

I got a nicely detailed music stand and an unusual little stack of drawers (a sewing cabinet) from someone who was new to me.  I forgot to register her name.  It might have been Alison Davies.  I wish I'd looked properly.  I will certainly try and find her again at future shows as she had some great things and at very good prices.

I also replaced my hunchback midget kitchen dresser with a finished piece from the same lady.  To explain about its predecessor; when I thought I was going to use the Honeychurch I was collecting small pieces of furniture because the rooms were so tiny and I bought an unfinished dresser for the kitchen.  Weeks later when I stood it against a wall I saw that it had a curved back and it looked dreadful.  Small and hunch-backed. Strike two! I had a bit of a look round for a replacement but even the unfinished (nice looking) ones were coming in around ten pounds plus, so I was comfortable with paying £15 for this nicely done one.  I like the drawer handles and the cup hooks.

I fell completely in love with Artforge - check out his site for the most beautiful pieces of work.  Simon is a goldsmith and creates minutely detailed pieces in bronze and silver.  I treated myself to a little letter rack (under a fiver) to remind myself of his lovely work, none of which I will ever be able to buy or have the sort of house to warrant such expensive pieces.  They are really serious collectors' items and museum pieces.  Yet another thing this hobby brings me - the chance to see such works of art... and yes, it is art... it transcends even the best craft work by a mile.

If you want to see my ten (sorry nine! I lost one) ten pence bargains from the charity stall, the put it together yourself single-bust mannequin, bucket and carpet beater, go and have a look at my web album - Bentleys Purchases.

We left at 12.30 and drove over to Beningborough Hall (NT) for lunch and a sunny stroll.  I don't recommend any of the shows for their food if you can avoid it.  

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