My inbox has been positively inundated with inquiries regarding the Chicago Miniatures Show, where yours truly recently spent a rollicking, eye-opening weekend. Not at all quite sure what to expect from the gala affair, this first-time, mini-show virgin heeded the sage advice of my more veteran colleagues and walked into the event with an open mind (and a wallet stuffed with cash)!
Many of the crowned-heads of the Miniatures World were in attendance, showing off their latest and greatest. The three Marriott Hotel ballrooms pulsed with the excited energy of both the highly-exalted exhibitors, and also the clamoring throngs of spectators. Of all, no one could possibly have been more enthused than your intrepid reporter!
As I strolled the aisles, taking in the sheer enormity of all the fascinating, miniature object d'art, my head was absolutely spinning in circles, a la Linda Blair in The Exorcist.
But I digress.
At one point in the show, my eye was drawn to the exquisite creations of one vendor, only to be over-glamored by the artisan next door. I was virtually pulled in two divergent directions! My whip-lash reaction was noticed and commended on by the artist, who laughed at me and said she had never before seen a customer perform a double-take over her wares!
My excursion took a brilliant, new twist when I spied the staircase of fellow-blogger, Sophia, from Small Talk Sophia has been blogging about her fab, new, curved staircase for her French house and it was being shown off in the entrance hall of the show itself. "Hey, I know that staircase!' I gushed as I immediately hatched a plan to find its owner. Sophia had her own booth, Small Treasures Miniatures, filled with an amazing array of GLT (gorgeous, little things). Upon introducing myself, Sophia took the time to introduce me around to several of her fave co-exhibitors! I felt like I had made it 'in!' Thanks, Sophia!
I also ran into the incomparable Erik Goddard, who lives in my hometown of Minneapolis. Erik and I were introduced a few weeks ago by the owner of the local dollhouse store, Little Enchantments, and we had a great chat in front of his table of spectacular room boxes and models of divers architectural styles. Erik's work inspired me to look beyond my 18th and early 19th-century penchant, but more about that, anon...
The highlight of my trip was spending a delightful Sunday morning with Scott Burgess of Whitledge-Burgess. Of course I have admired their work a la distance for ages, so it was a dream come true to at last meet up close and personal one half of this talented duo. (Maybe next year, Ray)? I have to admit I was a little intimidated approaching miniature royalty, but Scott was so affable, we were chatting like old friends within seconds.
I met so many incredibly talented artists at this event and left giddy as a schoolgirl with all sorts of new inspiration and ideas! Oh, of course that's not the only thing I left with...
Here's my new chandelier from Lumenations. I turned it off so you can see it without the glare of the lights. I also ordered matching sconces, made with the same Swarovski crystals. They should be here in a week or two.
I also picked up this table and buffet/sideboard from Masters Miniatures.The rug is a new Ebay find. The colors, I think, are perfect!
These are the Hepplewhite chairs I am ordering from Masters. They are going make arm-less side chairs for me too and are going to upholster them in my silk. They were so friendly and helpful. OMG ALERT! I just received an email that my back-ordered Pretty Pleater is now on the way!
blown glass decanter and glasses from Gerd Felka. I thought the gentlemen of Merriman Park would much rather have a refreshing cocktail than a cuppa tea! I was coerced to buy a new statue to fit the corner niche you see in the background, though I felt deep-down it wouldn't fit. And guess what? I was correct. (Sometimes you just have to let your better half have their way, once in a while, just so they can realize that you're always right)! LOL!
While in Chicago I also subscribed to a few miniature magazines that were exhibiting. How thrilling to finally get to see the splashy lay-out of the Library of fellow-blogger Giac from Late Victorian English Manor Dollhouse, all included in the latest edition of Miniaturas! This publication is noteworthy for its glorious, full-page spreads of gorgeous miniatures with very few advertisements. Simply stunning! And great job, Giac!
All and all, the trip was a brilliant success on so many levels. I left the show with a sack of gorgeous swag, completely inspired by the sheer volume of talent I encountered, and with a new-found resolve to step-up my game.
--And this former, mini-show virgin can't wait til next year!