Hightstown Dollhouse Show: 2016

I'm lucky to have a small and manageable dollhouse show to go to right by my house: the Hightstown Miniature Show, now in its 37th year. This is my fourth year going--I've written about my visits before--and I've now honed my system for visiting and buying.

Here are my tips for this show, and these may apply to other similar traditional shows:
  • First: SHOW UP LATE. I arrived with only 90 minutes left for the show and it was not crowded and I found a lot of things. Also, most sellers were offering 1/2 off everything since it was toward the end.
  • Second: MODERN IS NOT MAINSTREAM. No one is really collecting modern, so you can find some cool styles, usually discounted. This makes the first tip even more relevant, since early birds will be hunting down Victorian quarter scale and not midcentury.
  • Third: ALWAYS DO AN EXTRA LOOP AROUND, EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU'VE SEEN EVERYTHING. You haven't seen it all, trust me. I always find things in places I thought I had looked. You just overlooked them!
  • Fourth: HAVE PATIENCE WITH THE DOLLAR BINS. While it might all look broken and/or dusty, you can find some gems in the plentiful dollar bins -- most sellers have some version of them.
So, all in all, it was a productive and happy experience. I do like "getting lost" in all the stuff, and there was a lot of it. 

Here are my spoils!

There are some useful things here, for sure. Let's take a closer look...

These cool retro outdoor chairs, also pictured at the top of the post, were sold by this woman who had used them in her original dollhouse growing up in the 1960s. They are metal with plastic tubing, just like the real chairs! The pillow was from a different seller.

This table and chairs were also from the same seller who had them in her house. I am wondering if they are by KAGE or Strombecker....any ideas?

Did you see this paper? I am hoping this might work as exterior stonework for my Contemporary House by Doll Domiciles. I hope to have an update on it soon.

A comfy dog bed -- did not have one of these. Nice green rug, too.
I got a very nice wooden dining table that needs a leg fixed. 
Lovely leeks, handmade
A dollhouse for a dollhouse shelf, and a vintage Lundby light
Some retro-wrapped gifts and decorative glass objects
More artwork!
Curious about the price tag for all this stuff? Less than $30!

Hope you enjoyed seeing my finds.

Philadelphia Miniaturia

Custom desk by Patrizia Santi -- all mine!!
I finally made it to the Philadelphia Miniaturia last weekend. It's considered the largest miniature show on the east coast and has been going on for many years. The show takes place over two and a half days at a hotel in Cherry Hill, N.J., which is located right outside of Philadelphia. It's less than an hour from me, so I really have no excuse not to go! Did anyone else attend this year? Fran Casselman of Fran Made Minis did, but she and I unfortunately missed each other.

I went on Sunday, November 3, the last day of the show. I arrived shortly before the 11:00 a.m. entry time. After getting chastised twice by the guards for looking at some tables in the lobby before the doors opened (yes, just for looking), I went in to browse and buy.

The space was very open and filled with many vendors. Looks like this:

Waiting to get in

Main room
Generally, things are expensive. There were many artisans showing high-quality work, and not only in 1:12. Quarter scale was everywhere...even some modern pieces!

My very first stop was a Tom Frey's gorgeous wood turned bowls and vases.

Such lovely stuff. Tom, who does custom wood turning in 1:1, let me know that this was to be his last show for miniatures. He believes his main audience is petering out and it does not pay to do the shows -- very sad! He will focus on his 1:1 work.

I was lucky to have some more conversations with other vendors, such as Ray Storey. He said the show was a very good success for him, especially his custom lighting fixtures. We chatted as he was wrapping up a $300 order, and he shared some of his new work, inspired by industrial lab works.

I love these pieces, which will be reasonably priced. This one will run about $7.

Looking forward to seeing more when they are available early next year! Of course, I scooped up a few vases!

I was also fortunate to meet Italian artisan Patrizia Santi, whose miniature shoes have many fans here in the U.S. and abroad.

While I did not invest in any pairs of shoes this time around, I could not resist a modern desk, lovingly crafted and painted.

Cannot wait to use this!

On to Lauren Delaney's booth, also known as L. Delaney Miniatures on Etsy.

It was wonderful to meet and talk with Lauren -- we had a nice chat about making miniatures, photography, dollhouse shows, and books! Her booth was very prettily appointed. I spent some time book browsing and walked away with a few treats!

Next I found Dale's Dreams! Dale and I met a few years ago and she has been hard a work creating new lines of furnishings and accessories that she sells in her Etsy shop.

We, too, chatted for a while with her daughter, who was doing a fantastic job of promoting her Mom's work. She pointed out that Dale renews vintage pieces, and she shared a recent project involving a Petite Princess bed and vanity.

Great, isn't it? Please keep Dale in mind -- she is great to work with!

Then, I scooped up some bargain pieces and was on my way home after almost four hours of browsing. My spoils:

Ottoman from Dale's Dreams

Mod ottoman from Dale's Dreams

Bargain pillow and dresser  for .50!

Wood pieces and rug for .25

Tom Frey's gorgeous work

Another Tom Frey purchase -- had to get two! Patrizia Santi's desk is in the background.
L. Delaney's treats!
I did a very quick scene in my Bodensee with a few of the pieces. Hope to use the others very soon!

Credits: Fireplace is CB2; Couch and chair set is Strombecker; ottoman is Dale's Dreams; sculpture is a Kaleidoscope House accessory; chair is Dollyhome; credenza is vintage German. Accessories are Lundby, L. Delaney, Michael's, and Miniatures by Annina.

The time it took me: 15 minutes

Hightstown Miniature Show

Just a quick post to share my spoils from a local dollhouse show that I attended yesterday in Hightstown, NJ, about 15 minutes away from me: The Hightstown Annual Dollhouse Miniature Show and Sale. As I mentioned in my previous post, I rarely go to shows and had not been to this one, which is in its 33rd (!) year, but I really had no excuse, considering how close it is to me!

I'm glad I went. It was super crowded and often hard to navigate, but there were some gems to be found in the 1-1/2 hours I was there. Oddly, I felt like I was the only one negotiating...nothing crazy, and my offers were always fair, but I didn't see bargaining going on. Personally, I can't help it...it's how I was raised! :)

So, here's my finds. As you might imagine, traditional styles reigned, but I did manage to score some great modern stuff.

Check out these two gorgeous artisan-made shelving units sold by a mother and daughter team; the maker's name is Bruce Dawson, and he has an Etsy shop. You'll see his initials on the bottom of one of the units. They were marked down and I negotiated further to get them both for $20.

Some nice outdoor trees, two bags for $15 (originally marked down to $17.50)

Kids toys, accents, and games (all between .25 and $2) 

Two Native American looking rugs, for $4

An Art Deco style bed, for $5

A very surprising find of a Scandinavian style chair and table by Re-ment (one of my favorites) for $2 in a clearance bin

Some vintage TOMY bath items, for $2

Two cute patio chairs ($5), a galvanized tub ($1) and a basket of fruit (.50)

Cool wallpaper (two sheets for $5)

A carved wooden mini Asian shelf for $7

Not too bad, eh? Can't wait to use some of these soon!