An odd title for an odd page – home to articles and and musings on all things miniature or vaguely connected to miniatures!

For my first Random Thought fate took a hand, as while thinking about what to do on this page, I received an email from a show organiser in Holland to say that as the Dutch government had relaxed the lockdown, her October show would be going ahead (as long as there was not a second wave of Covid -19). This reminded me of a show report I did a few years ago of ‘The Big Event’ show in Holland, and after reading through it again, I decided to add it here as a reminder of the good old days when we could do shows!

The Dolls House part of the hall, I'm in the foreground with Featherstone Hall

BIG FUN AT THE BIG EVENT!

The show is about an hours drive from the Rotterdam ferry terminal, and is held in a huge hall just outside the town centre of s-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch). With well over 100 stalls, the miniatures show was packed out with visitors from all over Europe. The miniatures show runs alongside the more established dolls and bears show, and it was so packed last year, the organisers made the all aisles a couple of feet wider this year to avoid the crush!

Never the twain!
   I have exhibited in Holland for several years, so I already knew there would be no problem with language, as almost everybody speaks some English (and those who don’t are with someone who does) and everyone is so friendly! However I did wonder if the show would work being combined with dolls and bears. The organisers had a simple solution – the entrance was in the centre of the hall, with miniatures on one side, and dolls and bears on the other (divided by a walkway of red carpet down the middle). Although there were a lot of ‘crossover’ visitors I did notice that there were more dolls and bears visitors looking at miniatures than the other way around!
   I think this was probably because there was so much more to see on the miniatures side – including the Featherstone Hall Hotel! It has not been on show for a while, and I was quite surprised how little I had to do to get it back in show condition – especially since it caught fire at its last Miniatura! All I actually needed to do was replace a few light bulbs and my husband added fused switches into all of the transformer lines to reduce the risk of another fire.

This was the only chance I had to get a photo of the hall - before the show opened!

Really moving… no really!

One stand transfixed me, Ashtown, they specialise in dioramas and scenes, as well as selling the materials and accessories to produce your own. But what caught my attention were their moving people – I absolutely loved the two biblical ladies who were shaking a fabric sheet between them. Their arms rose up and down and the sheet wafted, I kept waiting for them to step together and fold the sheet, but they just kept shaking it! Also on the Ashtown stand I saw a decorated chimney pot – which I thought would inspire all those keen on the current trend for miniature gardens!

I kept waiting for them to fold sheet after shaking it – but they just kept waving it up and down!

This chimney pot has a plant in the top and is clad to make it look like a tower house

I spent a good deal of time at Anitas Grote Kleine Wereld (Anitas Big Little World) as it took some time to focus on her TINY 144th scale pieces! I met Anita several years ago at a Dolls House Nederland show when she had the next door stand, and it was lovely to see her new items – she sells laser cut miniature kits as well as dressed and lit houses. One typically Dutch thing I have noticed over the years is the ‘Spooky’ house – Dutch people love to have wizards, fairies and ghouls in their miniatures – and if its not a whole house full, its a single room in a conventional dolls house. Anita addresses both of these for her customers, by producing a spooky house in a cupboard to go inside a dolls house!

Anita's spooky cabinet house
If it wasn't for the finger you would think it was 1:12th scale!

Its always wonderful to stand and gaze at the Christmas trees created by Annemieke Derksen – vet of OMGardens, and this year a white one really stood out for me, dressed with lights crystals and ribbons – it was gorgeous!

Other colours of Christmas tree were on show but this white one was a wow!

I was very fortunate at the show to meet for the first time, Janny Warnaar – Gruis from Art of Mini. It was lovely to see several of the box scenes I had seen in magazines ‘in the flesh’ and I was able to snap a picture of one of her new creations – the ‘Restyle’ shop. Her miniature laser cut kits and accessories are absolutely stunning, and I was blown away by a piece of laser cut lace!

 

You can just see hanging at the back the laser cut lace

Finally, I have to confess – I did cross the red carpet and venture into the dolls and bears side of the hall, and although I had a lovely time buying dungarees and a t-shirt for my daughters bear Henry, the very first stall I saw will give me nightmares for years to come…  And then there was the lady with the (doll)baby in a silver cross 50s style pram with a remote control to make it blink and move, and the little boy carrying a life size (and life like!) pot-bellied piglet wearing a hoodie and with a dummy in its mouth (the piglet not the boy!) …I just can’t wait for the next show!

I found the 'boxed babies' very disturbing but oddly fascinating!

CONTACTS:

The Big Event show: www.poppenhuisbeurs.com

Ashtown: www.ashtown.nl

Anita’s Grote Kleine Wereld: www.anitas-grote-kleine-wereld.nl

OMGardens: www.omgardens.nl

Art of Mini: www.artofmini.com

I hope you enjoyed this reminder of better times – more articles will follow on anything that takes my fancy, but I think historical periods would be good to explore soon, and I think I have an article on the history of the bathroom somewhere….

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