Friday, 12 June 2015

From York Show (7th June) part 3.

This is the third and final instalment of 'How I Became a Pauper' - the biography of a doll's house addict.

The Ironworks and Black Country Miniatures

This is not an age issue; I have always had a terrible memory for names of any sort.  I spent my last few years working as a primary teacher and was lucky if I knew the thirty plus names by the end of the year!  Other teachers knew most of their next year class before they moved in!  I can tell you every little detail about an individual but, as for their name, it is often just a big black hole.  

This company is a case in point.  I have loved their work from day one of this hobby and seek them out at every opportunity but can I remember anything beyond 'Black Country'.....

They are The Ironworks and Black Country Miniatures and they make breathtakingly detailed stuff.  I was looking at the teeniest tiny pieces of brass in a 'kit' which they sell to enable you to make a campaign chest with all its trims.  Indeed the exquisite keyhole plate covers I showed you, which I bought from Jennifers of Walsall, were made by this vendor.

This time I bought their perfectly proportioned and weighted Georgian door knocker.  Apologies as this is not a good photograph of it.  It comes in two pieces so it needs really to be glued on a door to look right.  

I also picked up the keys and might buy another.  There are only two modern keys in this set, so I still get seven from it.  I will paint them black first and see how they look before splurging a whole two pounds on some more.  Aren't they lovely for just that small amount of money - you can keep the clunky variety.

This is someone else I should try to walk past with my eyes closed.  I often don't want things but I have to buy them.  Jacqueline Wheatley Miniatures (who I just googled as Jennifer Wheatley, which sort of proves my earlier point) makes a myriad of pretty things but I am enamoured with her husband's lovely, perfectly scaled and beautifully made things.  I am especially dotty about his wooden spoons and can't get enough of them, especially as every one is different.  I have no idea if my 1830 kitchen 'supports' these items but I sort of don't care as I so want them.  I am afraid I can't find an email or website for her.  It is a case of catching them at a show I guess.

Uh-oh this is my daft buy from the show.  Every show I go to I always seem to buy an unnecessary and expensive (for my budget) item.  This time it was some some Susan Bembridge Designs wallpaper.

I am still 'loosely' looking for wallpaper but wasn't super-focused on the task.  I hadn't seen anything that worked for the period or my colour scheme (green/yellows) so I stopped by Susan Bembridge's table.  Again, this is someone I know from being at various shows and looking at her work on line but had never considered buying as she is pretty much focused around Georgian/Victorian and I haven't done either until now.  I was vaguely aware she might not be in my usual price bracket but stopped any way.  Bit of a conversation with her and I went through her sample book looking for an important paper such as something for the dining room.  En route, not having found an important paper, I saw this and thought it would do nicely for another bedroom; it does have a buttery yellow background.  Four pieces please - duly rolled and wrapped and then came the surprise that it is £11 per sheet.  I am useless at being embarrassed and couldn't possibly say it was too rich for my blood so I stumped up the money and beat a swift retreat.

Can I just say this is no fault of the vendor only the idiot purchaser!  My flipping housekeeper had better appreciate it!  (lovely paper quality and print)

Newtonwood Miniatures has a glass cabinet that I like to peer in at shows and wish I could have everything I see.  Luckily they also have some things I can buy such as these hooks for the servants hall, fire irons for one of the rooms and yes, three! boot scrapers.

I have no idea how that happened and to be honest with you I have no idea what they cost me.  I am really, really lazy at not totting up things.  I look at the individual prices and decide if I can buy the item and then hand over whatever total anyone asks me for.  I know, I can hear you all screaming at me from here.  The even stupider thing is I am not generally like this - it is a miniature show mode - I claim it is because I get really, really tired.  So, on this occasion I picked up the fancy-shmantzy boot scraper and the lady who served me went to get me some already wrapped fire irons rather than taking the ones from the display, she took the hooks off me and made a nice little bag of them all and I paid her.  When I got home I discovered two more boot scrapers, so these will be going begging when I can get round to it.

Just before leaving their stall I spotted this lovely fireplace.  The detail is very fine and I like the marble inset.  It is so like many of the fire surrounds I have been looking at in the houses I have visited the past couple of weeks.  This is certainly destined for the drawing room.  It is a pity it is on a side wall.  That reminds me - it is also very, very slim as Adam fireplaces were.  These preceeded a time when everyone had a deep mantelpiece filled with clutter.

I have overspent by so much it is scary but I remind myself that you have to get this stuff when you see it, it may not come around again, so if it gets bought in June 2015 rather than November 2018 it will all come out of the same pot really???  Economics is not my strong point but I would have been good in politics.


  1. I think you did exceptionally well with all your purchases (and I did the same at SB's stand at Kensington with tile flooring paper - wanted it, paid for it then did the sum so you're not alone!!)

    I do like your wallpaper - it IS very bedroom-y and will look lovely in place. All the other items look to be chosen with all your research in mind and you're right about buying things when you see them, you would be buying them at some point anyway. That's how I deal with it.

    All we need now is to see them all in place when the time comes.

    1. I do hope your SB story is true and you aren't just making comforting noises. It is true that whatever your house costs at the end won't change by 'not buying things until later'. I had a good day and love my buys. Why does it take so long to put them away when you get back? Have finally got in the basement inner walls today so now feel like the house has actually begun. Finally!

    2. Definitely true Em - not much change out of £40 for two sheets. I'd better not make a mistake when laying it!

    3. Crikey that's even worse. Never mind if you just love it that's fine. As you say there will be a lot of tension cutting into this paper! Marilyn

  2. Oh Boy do you ever sound like ME!!!! I don't have a good concept of money either when it comes to Miniature Shows. My only measure is DO I LOVE IT? I Love what you picked up at the fair and I am of the same mind about the wooden spoons. They are Marvelous! However, I think that I would have had to feign a fainting spell when it came to handing the money over for those 4 sheets of wall paper.... YIKES! But I agree with both you and Irene, that get what you want when you see it because if you wait too long, then they either have discontinued it or you never see that vendor again. :/

    1. Hi Elizabeth - nice to see you. Dollhousing has brought out stuff in me I never knew I had - patience, able to do 'chappy' things like electrics, sawing etc etc, inability to plan (!) and utter sloppiness with money. All these attributes disappear in real life world. Odd!