Monday, 14 November 2011

Philadelphia Miniaturia Part 4 - Philadelphia

 Okay so after the Chicago show when my good friend Dru first took me to the Michaels store... I was kind of hooked - think Hobby Craft but far less expensive! At this show Eleanor, who did our workshop kept coming in with little treats for me from a local Michaels on Monday we decided to use the ipad, get a map and go in search of the wonders we may find! 

I was hoping that I could find some remnants of Halloween craft items for our witches - I was not disappointed! I managed to buy about 40 rolls of ribbon that are just perfect - I even got some fab fake fur animal print ribbon in purple - can't wait to use it!

As we expected the store was next to a mall so we had a great time looking around and buying things - we were very good in the book store and only bought 3 books each - I got a fantastic costume reference book which is going to come in very handy for some dolls we plan to do for Chicago!
Oaky, so you have had 3 positive uplifting posts about how great everything was...Now I get to complain! We took a cab to the mall and the driver gave us his card... admittedly we did spend hours in the mall and he didn't answer when we called, so we called the company. We were promised a cab in 15 minutes... 30 minutes later we call again to be told the guy came and we were not there so he left!!! We couldn't have been any more there - we were not difficult to spot, in fact we were almost on Christmas card list terms with the security woman who kept driving past us!

They again tell us 10 -15 minutes, again 30 minutes go by, so we give up and go into the mall and ask at the information desk for another cab company - we call them and yes you guessed it we get told 10 -15 minutes!! By this time we were thinking we may need to walk 5 miles or call the hotel for a rescue mission lol and then a cab pulls up from the original company and it turns out he was the night guy and he only just got the call!

We then had the cab ride from hell as he had his wife/girlfriend in the cab and they wanted to talk so we were subjected to the really loud Radio and oddly they had an aversion to music so we kept getting adverts! We were both so pleased to see the hotel again lol - although I still have the ribbon and the books so it was worth it!

I have to say it made me think twice about being adventurous lol I can't believe it was so difficult to get a cab in America!!

 The view from our hotel window, you can't really see it but there was a  lake and all the trees had beautiful atumnal colours - it was lovely to look out on it every day.

 On our last day we set out to some local shops as there was a Christmas Tree store - I love Christmas as does my mum. I would have loved to bring her lots of things back but we just didn't have the room, maybe next year!

 I adore cheesecake of all descriptions, so I was delighted that we made it to the cheesecake factory! The menu is extensive - Aidy was overwhelmed with the choice and the food was delicious. Although the portions are so huge that we took one piece of cheesecake to go.

 These displays were so cute - wish we did them here :( All the houses looked fab too!

 Me holding all the bags!

 A view of the city as we left for the airport

Despite my teeny tiny complaint...we did have a wonderful time and we really look forward to next year!

Philadelphia Miniaturia Part 3 - The Show

 Our Steampunk Flying Contraption
 - By Aidy and Roz

The contraption - Aidy wanted to make something special for the show, at first I resisted as we had only 3 weeks to get ready because of the issues I had looking after mum and dad, we had very few dolls, no time and I was thinking there was no way we could make a huge piece, make dolls and get ready for workshops!

He eventually persuaded me and we split the workload so I made the balloon (I didn't think I could make it but he insisted) over a wire armature, sewing each square of fabric in place before ageing it with paint effect - it took 5 days to make and I have to say by that point I was glad to be done with it lol. I also dressed the dolls in a steampunk style - so much fun! Oh and made the bird lol

Aidy did all the moving aspects of the piece, he sculpted the dolls, made a cabin for the boat, did all the painting on the boat and funnels and brought it all together. It works on mains electricity or batteries and he really is very good at getting these things to work well!

 The show opened on the Friday night and almost at once our stand had a great response. Everyone loved our latest steampunk contraption and it soon became the talk of the show with people bringing friends to come and look at it - so maybe Aidy was right after all - shhhh don't tell him I said that - he isn't allowed to be right often!

We sold the piece before anything else - it really was a huge success and we have lots more ideas planned for Chicago, in a similar style. - despite my protests about making this one, they really are fun to make and allow us to be really creative which is always a good thing!

The Friday night preview was so much fun, there was great food on offer, even for us picky vegetarians, we had a lovely spot for our stand in the ballroom and we were next to the IGMA sales table (the work on offer was incredible) and Susan and Charles from Sir Thomas Thumb, they were really lovely and it was nice company for the weekend. We actually bought a butterfly from Susan and Charles for our butterfly catcher and he sold right away so it was the perfect finishing touch! Everyone was so excited and happy to be at the show and there was such a nice atmosphere.

It was so nice to just have to go in a lift at the end of the night and get some rest - even if getting the lift took some time lol - so many people!

Saturday was another really good day for us, we had great sales and a really positive response from people who had seen our work before and those who didn't know us at all. We also kept getting people telling us to go and look at Mike Barbour's dolls as he was doing steampunk pieces too - he was getting the same thing all weekend lol so we did eventually see each others stands at the odd quiet moment. His work is wonderful - not that he had a lot of pieces left by the time we got to see his stand.

It was nice to see Kathy and Brian, from Rainbow hand again. Their stand looked amazing although by the time we took the pictures they didn't have a lot left on show!

Deb Mackie, White Horse studio, had some great pieces too, every time we went to her stand she was busy or taking a quick break so we captured this shot at the end of the show ;)

Bear and Alisa of Standing People Designs were at the NAME event making the magazine rack alongside us - little did we know how amazing their own work is - it is truly wonderful, detailed and just perfect miniature replicas of the real thing. I love these kind of miniatures which if they are photographed on their own you couldn't tell the scale of them - just perfect. It was also nice to meet another couple who share the workload ;)

We were near Jamie Carrington which is always a pleasure, his dolls are just at another level all together and his 1:24 dolls are unbelievably detailed - how does he do it?!? He is so lovely though that you just have to admire him for the artist he is and accept that we have a long way to go!!! We finally joined IGMA because Jamie kept telling us we must lol and it is one of those things we just have never got round to doing so we are now members at last!

Aidy and Jamie spent most of their free moments sat outside the hotel smoking (naughty I know) and probably putting the world to rights...nah I think they just like to natter lol - I had more sense and stayed in the warmth! I found myself wanting to go to bed at around 9 ish and the air conditioning kept giving me a bad head, I guess we Brits are not used to it!

Sunday was a shorter day and it was quiet enough so we could both get to have a quick dash around the show, we didn't take pictures of all the wonderful things on offer as we just didn't have the time. The quality throughout was of a very high standard and could suit all budgets. Every customer I talked to was just loving the whole event ;)

We would like to thank Kim and everyone else who made the show possible, all the wonderful people who had such lovely things to say about our work and all the other exhibitors who were really supportive, welcoming and very friendly. We had a fantastic time at the show, it was a lovely venue, well organised and everyone was so friendly! If you get the chance to go next year we can recommend it as one of the best in the world.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Philadelphia Miniaturia Part 2 - NAME

 The night before the show opened, NAME had their annual gathering, with an evening of goodies (we got flashing badges which we loved and lots of sweet treats!), demonstrations, round tables and even photo shoots of people sitting on the moon lol
 It was all free even to non members and everyone was so friendly and welcoming!

 You could choose from a wide range of projects - you could even make them all if you wanted to!
 It was so lovely for each NAME member to give up their time to teach a mini craft not to mention all the preparation that must have gone into organising each tables activities.
 We made a 1:24 scale magazine rack - Aidy and I never get time to enjoy the hobby as we spend all our time either working in the real world, making dolls or going to shows -so for me this was just wonderful!

 We were both delighted with our little creations -although I have claimed both for my collection ;) and we would like to thank all the people who made the night such a fun event! We shall be back for more next year!
Please take the time to have a look at their website

Friday, 11 November 2011

Philadelphia Miniaturia Part 1 - Workshop

Well, we didn't give ourselves long to recover from Arnhem - just a day lol and we were on the way to Philadelphia. We arrived mid afternoon and had a night to settle in before we got to work!

I was lucky as I had day two of the workshop so I had a little time to adjust but Aidy had to get straight to work ;) As usual we had a lovely group of ladies and it was a really nice way to get to know each other - we had a lot of fun!

Pam and Eleanor already knew what they wanted to make - Pam wanted to make a crocodile for an ongoing project she is doing for a flower show,  a select few have the honor of making a miniature scene complete with flowers and plants - it sounded like so much fun and she has a huge list of characters to make in order to get it finished - we are just sad we won't be at the show to see the finished piece as she has put a huge amount of time and effort into it already.

Eleanor had to make a witch as she adores all thinks spooky! Eleanor is already a customer of ours and now she is most definitely a wonderful friend as we both sing from the same wacky witch sheet :) we had so much fun over the week and we would like to thank her for the little gifts she bought us and for taking us out to find shops and for a wonderful dinner - you really must come and stay with us!

Ann and Carol where happy to let the character just appear from the clay - Ann ended up with a lovely older man however once the show was open he got her into lots of trouble as he decided he just had to have accessories! She did manage to stop him from owning a dog that was $550 and instead got him one for a more reasonable figure lol. Carol made a rather down and out chap, everything had gone south and he was a tad bit down on his luck so she spent part of the show looking for park benches and other accessories he may own. It was so nice to see them both so attached to their little people.

We had a lovely dinner at the hotel with Pam, Carol and Ann and it will be good to catch up with them all next year - we can't wait and are already planning what to make next!