Friday, 7 December 2012

More for Ebay!

Selling on ebay/etsy is all new to us really - I have been looking at blogs about selling art/dolls on these kinds of sites and I am finding it fun seeing what works and what doesn't! It feels very strange selling dolls this way, we are so used to only selling at fairs and then we get to see the reaction of our customers -very odd lol. But if it works out, it is something we will keep doing as we appreciate not everyone can make it to the big shows! Our next show is possibly Miniatura (we hope to make it) if not we will be at Chicago in April.

Aidy and I will have been making dolls for 10 years in 2013 and we will also be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. So lots of things are going to change at Lilyelf to mark these occasions! We have a very cute idea to work on...hopefully it won't take too long to get pictures if it all works out, we are also going to be changing a few things about the way we make dolls and become even more focused on our automata as it is proving very popular!

Here are this weeks ebay offerings - hope you like them!


Monday, 26 November 2012

Ebay Sales...

We are selling some of our work on ebay - we don't do this often! We usually just don't have time to make dolls for shows and to sell online as we do so many shows in a normal Lilyelf year, but because we have had almost two years away from doing British shows - due to family illness -and have only been doing Chicago and Philadelphia, we thought it may be an idea to start using the Internet to reach customers old and new, now that finally we have the time!

As this is our first time listing dolls on ebay in well over two or more years, we have started some at a low price and some even start as little as $1.00 as a Black Friday special. Now is the time to buy! They would make the perfect gift for Christmas for yourself or a loved one - we will continue listing on ebay and see how people respond to our work this way!

Below are our current listings - click on the name of the doll to go to the listing!


Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Show must go on... Philadelphia Miniaturia

Well, hurricane Sandy thwarted our plans...but she didn't stop us! We had two flights cancelled and had to fly out two days later than planned. We were so happy to bump into Penny Thomson at the airport and she joined us in the ride to the hotel - which was brave of her as we had hired a car and yes we got lost more than once! But we did stop for coffee along the way so it was not all bad...
The fact we arrived late meant we were not in time for our workshop which was sold out and some students couldn't make it either, but with huge thanks to Kim and the determination that is the backbone of all hardcore miniaturists, we did manage to run the workshops in two shifts!

It was so lovely to spend quality time with our students and we really appreciate the effort made by those who could make it!

As ever NAME put on a great night before the show and the best part was us getting to 'play' too! Aidy and I had so much fun making things - we made mini pastries, a little house, an autumn wreath and a record holder! We had so much fun and we can't thank this friendly bunch enough for their kindness, willingness to help and general enthusiasm! It was one of the many high-lights of the show...


Show report to follow...

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


Sorry we have been away for so long... In my wisdom I asked Aidy to write a blog post last May to keep you up to date but as ever it was one of the things he half did lol but as I just came across it and it made me smile I thought I would share, although can I just point out we are only just getting to the whole ebay listing! enjoy...

Hello readers, with Roz away at her mums' for the forseeable future (my unfortunate mother-in-law fell quite badly in a Bathroom related incident last week and broke her leg in several places, so Roz has dutifully gone to help out. Btw yes, you read that right about the Bathroom. Don't ask. Besides, according to some stuff I just looked up 90% of accidents occur in the home. 4 people died last year just putting their trousers on so... just take care, ok?) it falls to me, Aidy, the “elf” in “Lilyelf”, to man the lifeboats, take one for the team and generally hold the baby round here.

Yes that's right, if this were a sitcom the scene would open with me waving Roz goodbye before attempting some seemingly innocuous task – opening a tin of beans, say – followed by the screen going black and flashing up the legend “2 minutes later...” cut to a shot of me sitting holding a tin opener and looking forlorn while the house simultaneously burns down, gets washed away in a flood and is attacked by zombie ostriches.

I'm not normally trusted to talk to strange people (are you allowed to be listening to one?); so it's quite an honour to be permitted to write a blog entry and, mad with power, I've decided to try listing a few of our dolls on Ebay.

You heard me right, folks, we've taken leave of our senses down here at Lilyelf towers and we're auctioning off some superb miniature creations in a pay yer money takes yer chance, winner takes all, everything must go grab-a-bargain bonanza!

I'll be putting up some porcelain character dolls from our own collection (moulds made by me, exclusive to Lilyelf), as well as some brand new one-of-kind dolls. The dolls are made to the same high detail and quality of finish as any that some of you will have seen or, indeed, purchased from our stand over the years. Actually, come to think of it, a couple of them have actually been out on the stand for sale recently in Chicago.

I must admit my main motivation is curiosity. My mate Daz (not a miniaturist, more of a bass player) is a massive Ebay zealot and he's always buying and selling a plethora of strange and wondrous items (quite pleased I managed to use a sentence with the word “plethora” in it there). There's a kind of logic at play here, too; Roz being away has made creating new work logistically challenging as we send stuff back and forth so we've agreed to try and use the time to wrap up some commissions. (On which note, Julie, if you're reading this, I haven't forgotten that swimming pool you ordered two years ago...) And our next show is in October so in the meantime I've got all these little people sitting here just looking at me...

Now where's that Zombie Ostrich Repellent..?

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.