Since the beginning of entering the world of miniatures, many veteran miniaturists have said to me ” You sure are starting out BIG”, well……. my theory is, why not!
The idea of participating in my first miniature show came to thought, when Sara Vix with Dollhouse Miniatures magazine and I were finalizing the feature article of Tiny Dwelling slated of the March/April 2016 issue (previously post). Sara was such a delight to work with for the article. Sara was the person who suggested I consider participating in The Miniature Show happening in Chicago, the show was in conjunction with two other miniature shows that were taking place. It seemed to be a wonderful suggestion and fortunately my families schedule, allowed for me to take Tiny Dwelling on the road and to see what participating in my first miniature show would be all about..
My mom (Marlene), made the trip with me. I like to include my mom in as much as possible, and what better way to experience my first miniature show with my mom by my side. Preparing for the show, required many hours of advanced creating, as I truly had no idea what to expect going into my first miniature show.
I am no rookie at the national show scene, as I have in years past hosted a local juried art show in the community where we live and I have also participated in the Country Living Magazine Fair shows, in Atlanta, Georgia.
Having hosted a juried art show and participated in the Country Living Fairs, I had a pretty good idea how to have a successful show. The first year I participated in the Country Living Fair, my booth/space was selected by Country Living to be part of a feature on the Nate Burkus show! I was completely surprised when someone approached me, asked how I felt about filming a segment with Sara Gray Miller (at the time), Editor of Country Living Magazine for the Nate Burkus Show? Of course I was interested, although, I had no idea who Nate Burkus was at the time, my two friends, Missy and Paige, who came along to help me with the show, assured me what had just been offered was a really great thing.
Missy (aka: Missy Moo) Paige (the photographer)
Sarah Gray Miller, myself and the Nate Burkus production crew.
This show was my first national show at this size of venue, the year was 2011. I was creating life size repurposed furniture, combining with antique and vintage goods to have a tiny business, somewhat like Tiny Dwelling only in life size scale!
The Country Living Fair was locate in Stone Mountain Park, in Atlanta, Georgia, a wonderful outdoor setting, under a canopy of trees in the forest, (see above photos).
We worked so hard, had laughs, had frustrations, but, I like to think we all created memories. I returned two more years to participate in the Fair, to SELL OUT all three times! I decided after three shows, the year long preparation that led up to the shows, the uncertainty of my helpers schedules, my own families schedule and the overall direction the show was going in, I decided not to return. Initially the show was to suppose to only be antique, vintage and handmade items.
Missy returned with me the second year and my friend Tammi experienced the Fair that year. Having participated the year before, I had a better idea of what to expect, allowing more free FUN time to be had.
Missy Moo Tammi (aka: the coffee drinker)
The third and last year, I didn’t take as much “stuff” with me. I didn’t need extra helpers, as I could manage the space myself, however, this time my son, Blake wanted to come along with me. His school excused his absence, as an out of the classroom learning experience. Blake has always loved to help, enjoys spending time outside, loves learning and most of all loves spending time with his mom. Having this be my last show, having Blake with me to experience it, was a great lifelong memory we created for both of us. We brought our bicycles along and rode back and forth from the hotel we stayed in across the street from the fairs location. WE HAD SO MUCH FUN!
Blake was the banker, while I was the greeter.
My mom also came to two of the three Country Living Fairs ( unfortunately the two shows she came too, the booth was so CrAzY busy, I forgot to get a photograph of my mom and I!
Sorry, I got off track, this little off set allowed you to learn a bit more about how I got into miniatures. MUCH MORE MANAGEABLE all the way around!
I failed to mention, during the time between my last Country Living Fair and staring Tiny Dwelling, I opened my towns first creative arts studio, The Makery. Heres a little peak inside:
If you want to learn about that adventure, take a peek here:
OK, BACK to the Chicago Miniature Show post!!!
OH MY GOODNESS…. I got WAY OFF TRACK, sorry!
So… leading up to the show, I created many miniatures to take to the show, being my first miniature show, I didn’t know what to expect. I thought it would be a good idea to do a mock table set up, here at home before I left for the show. WELL…..what I didn’t realize is I had made so much to take to the show an once on site, I started unpacking, I quickly realized I could have used two tables! This became somewhat of a challenge, and I thought created a “visual overload” on the table! Most people liked the “full” table and said its was simply more to look at..
Close up of table.
This is how the miniature house was on display for the miniature art contest, I decided with all the time thus far constructing the house, the house would be better protected in a glass case during the show. There were many entries in the contest, I and another person, Jennifer from lookingglassminiature.etsy.com were the only two “rookie” miniaturists who entered pieces. Jennifer and her husband, traveled some 12 hours from Canada to participate in her first show, just like me..
Some of the other pieces entered were available for purchase, ranging in prices from $24,000 to under $100.00!
So needless to say my miniature house didn’t acquire enough votes to win at any level!
I will post a photograph of the grand prize winner, a bit later.
What I did win, were many eyes were on the house, wonderful comments, customers and new miniature friendships were made over the many discussions of the house.
I discovered this inside the house.
Reading this after a long first day, that involved 6+ hours of driving, unloading, table set up, and sitting down to eat dinner at 9:30, I waited to read my note just before I went to sleep for the night.
My now, soon to be 16 year old son, who at the age of 12 went to my last Country Living Fair show, knew just exactly what his mother needed to end a very busy day.
Stay tuned for DAY TWO.