Mini Show 2019


As usual I went to the Small World Miniature Club show and sale this year, and as usual, found some cool exhibits to photograph (and bought too much, also as usual).

I thought this room in a microscope was a great idea!

I love the unusual room box.

Below: Nice Microscale house.

I love this Victorian house. I think it’s 1/4″ scale.

Another lovely smaller scale house.

Nice vignette.

House on stilts.

Haunted house: Note the skeletal hand in the window.

I have a thing for grungy bathrooms, unless it’s one I’m using.

Front and back of a cart–so pretty!

Love this scene of little boys building a plane out of crates. “Girls Keep Out!”

This is “Fox and a Hen House” by Connie Sauve. She is amazing!


And there’s the fox …

Another house by Connie.

I love looking at everyone’s minis. We all come up with different things–the creativity inspires me.

I bought a few fun things that I’ll post when I get everything sorted out.

Mini Museums–Europe


A couple weeks ago, I ran off for a long vacation with my sweetie, on the lookout for minis! I made a pilgrimage to the Spielzeug Museum in Nurnberg, Germany, which I had visited long ago (it has grown), and found a mini museum in Prague which unfortunately I did not have time to visit.

First the museum in Prague I had to miss. It is in the grounds of the Strahov Monastery near the castle district. Many restaurants and beer halls in the area to make for a fun day. I was up there after everything was closed, sadly. If I’d known it was there earlier …

Happily, I did make it to the Spielzeug Museum (Toy Museum) in Nurnberg. I was on a walking tour, we had free time, and my first question was “Where’s the Spielzeug Museum?” It was two blocks away, and I was there!

The Museum occupies this pretty building (with construction tape–they were fixing the sidewalk).

Select photos of kitchens and dollhouses.

They have many toys and games from days gone by as well. I thought these kits of metal pieces that makes a car or working pump pretty cool.

Noah’s Ark in a box.

You look through these little peepholes to see a 3D image inside. It doesn’t look very 3D to my phone’s camera, but it did to my eyeballs. Scenes seemed to stretch to infinity.


More fun stuff that caught my eye!


This little train goes back and forth across the door opening, with chugging and puffing sounds.


The crowning glory of the top floor:


They run the train on the last Saturday of the month, and I was there on the first Saturday. Oh well! It was still a wonderful train layout.

Of course, I needed a souvenir! Reuter Porcelain had this little set for Nurnberg in the museum’s little gift shop.

After that I went down the street, bought a bag of chocolate truffles at a lovely pastry shop called Neef, and returned to the tour bus on time. A great outing. 🙂 (And the truffles were excellent.)

In the Interim: Mini Show

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I have been working flat out at my “real” job as a writer–two deadlines back to back, and two more coming up. Whew! But–I made time to go to a the Small World Mini Show one afternoon and also to finish another kit. Minis is therapy.

Some cool things I saw at the mini show:

This was my favorite exhibit–a wedding suite in a wedding shoe! You can read the story of it here:

This flower shop was really well done! So much detail.

Witch’s workroom inside a spell book. 🙂

I enjoyed these rooms using unusual spaces.

Well done junk shed.

Lovely and unusual Christmas room.

A couple of my purchases. I couldn’t resist this flapper with attitude from Fern Vasi.

Steampunk manikin from Vegas Aires. So much detail.

I went, I saw, I shopped, I came home refreshed.

Beacon Hill: Left side top floor, front bay, interior


I’m setting the house on top of the garage kit from Hobby Builders Supply. My idea is to run stairs up the outside on the left to a porch (which I’ll build), having the front entrance where the side bay window is. I’ll build that later.

For now, I’ve added the walls to the third floor, and given them a primer coat of latex paint.

I realized I should put the bay window on the front, so if I’m wallpapering the inside, I don’t mess it up trying to decorate the interior of the bay.

Bay window parts are pretty simple–the middle and two sides (middle is bigger), plus an “extension” piece and trim for the top. The thinner part of the window wall goes on top (shown here).

The windows fit easily onto the tabs that extend out from the house.

The extension piece (the smaller of the two half octagonal pieces) goes here. It sort of rests on the edges.

The trim piece goes on the extension pieces, overlapping evenly on all sides.

For now, I’m leaving the extension and trim pieces off, because I’m still not sure what colors I’ll use for the exterior.

Back inside. I want a fireplace wall that I’ll trim off, so I painted it with three coats of antique white craft paint and two coats of clear gloss finish (Deco Art is the brand I’m using).

The opening on the right will be the front entrance / porch.

Wallpaper added. All the wallpaper I bought for this house didn’t look quite right when I put it with the flooring and the furniture that will be in here. But oh well. Stock for another house!

This is scrapbook paper. I decided to be a little eclectic. I’ll wallpaper the insides of the bay as well.

Next, finishing the ceilings! And possibly making chandeliers. Or maybe I’ll do more of the structure before installing lights.

Beacon Hill: Second Floor Staircase

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After the complicated first floor staircase, the second floor staircase is pretty straightforward. (Breathe a sigh of relief).


The pieces, from left to right: The staircase stringers, a top rail (can’t remember which one right now, but it’s not used until later), below that, the three staircase backs, above those the first riser (mark it!), then the other risers, which for this staircase are all the same size. Then I have a couple of third floor rails (these will be placed on top of the thin gothic-looking panels on each staircase and the landings).


Most of the posts and rails (and all the rail caps) for finishing the staircases are on this sheet. I decided to mark them while they were still on the sheet and not punch them out yet. I will be working on the electricity and the floors before I put in the railings, and this way, I don’t lose them (unless I lose the whole sheet–no!!)


This is sheet 15, which has the railing sections, some of them already used for the first-floor staircase. For the second floor, you need the railing you see in the middle.


I’m keeping a small box to hold the little pieces–the top rail sections I won’t use until later, the backs of the staircase, the treads. Handy for not losing all the small bits.


Make sure to mark the first riser (my “2” means first riser, second floor). It’s different from the others and easily misplaced.


Beginning: The first riser (the narrow one you marked), the uppermost riser, and a random middle riser (both of these are just risers from the main pile) are glued to one side of the staircase. Squares help keep them, well, square.


Adding the second side. I propped it with one of the bottom staircase pieces to help it stay square while drying.


Add the rest of the risers all the way up.


This is the railing section that will go on the stairs. The instructions say to put on the treads first, but because I want to paint the staircase, but stain the treads, I’m gluing the railing on first. I could have painted everything beforehand, but I didn’t have the patience.


The railing in place. It helps to lay the staircase on the table with the railing on bottom, to make sure it glues nice and tight. Weighting it is not a bad idea.


Staircase backs glued in place and clamped until dry.


Everything painted and ready for the treads.


I sanded the edges of the treads after staining them, to show a little wear and tear.


All the stained treads in place. The unpainted side of the staircase will go against the wall.


Another shot of the staircase ready to go.


The second floor in place and waiting. I made sure I had the walls painted and finished before I put in any staircases. Easier than painting or papering around the stairs!


It’s fairly easy to insert the staircase and glue it in place. I haven’t actually glued mine yet in case I need to fix something.

This was a much simpler staircase! But it looks nice.

I will wait to do the rails and posts around it and the first-floor staircase until after I figure out the flooring. Piecing flooring around the posts will be too tricky, I think.


I have more of the walls up, including the outside wall (this will be the bathroom), and the ceilings finished.

Next I’m going to figure out the electricity. I plan to have only ceiling fixtures, with the wires going up through the ceiling to attach to the copper tape on the floor above (then flooring will cover the tape). I haven’t planned any sconces thus far.

Now, that is the plan. What actually happens might be a different thing.

I have some ideas on how to lay the tape wiring so I’m not snaking over walls I’ve already finished. I was going to slide tape between walls and floors, but everything fits together so tightly that idea isn’t going to work. I’ll see what I can come up with.


Moving update


I have my dollhouse room in my new house almost the way I want it. There’s a big closet with lots of storage for my supplies, and room to work on and display the houses.



Note that one of my cats has already decided where he needs to be.

I also am getting my miniatures “mojo” back. I’ll go for stretches not interested in projects at all, or wondering why I have so many minis. 🙂 Then creativity hits me again, and I’m back to work.

I have the RGT half-inch scale bungalow here on my worktable to furnish and decorate the inside. Almost done with that–have finishing touches to add.

Next I have a very small half-inch scale cottage I’m trying to fix up (it’s sitting on the white step stool in the first photo). And then I might actually finally pull out the Beacon Hill and start it up! (maybe)

Basel’s Miniature Museum (Spielzeug Welten Museum)

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For years, I’ve been seeing the ad for the miniature museum in Basel, Switzerland in the Miniature Collector. On my trip to Europe, I was able to stay in Basel for a couple of days (ok, so I planned that!!). Of course I went right to this wonderful museum! It’s amazing! From antiques to a wonderful, wonderful “street of shops” display (on the “special exhibits” floor–I almost missed it!), this museum has something for everyone.

This post features pics mostly of the antiques section, which was the first couple of floors. I’ll do a second post highlighting the street of shops, which was just awesome!

Highly recommend the Spielzueg-Welt Museum if you are anywhere near Basel. Note, there are two Spielzeug museums in Basel. This one is Spielzeug Welten at #1 Steinenvorstadt (the street name), which is on the corner of a lovely shopping and eating district (so there are plenty of places to have lunch). Trams number 8, 11, and 6 stop in Barrfusserplatz, which is about a one-minute walk from the museum. The trams are incredibly easy to ride and navigate.


Loved these antique toy fire engines.




The faces on these dolls are so real.


A dolls’ tea service depicting the story of Cinderella, 1889.


The building that houses the museum is lovely itself. This is the main staircase. (There’s an elevator, don’t worry).


They have a massive collection of antique dollhouses. Here are a few highlights.







Other unusual scale structures fill the building as well.


This diorama is a stage of an opera–the figures can be moved around.


This carriage is beautifully done.


I loved the doll and her sedan chair.


Monks enjoying their brewery.


This room and the one below are cardboard foldaway room boxes.



My husband posted this on his Facebook page with the caption “What bears really do in the woods.”.


Loved the detail in this machine shop.




The full shop.


Another wood shop.


There is an entire display cabinet of these beautiful and unusual 1″ scale artisan miniatures.



Note that the chair can be pushed into the desk and everything shut with the key.


The top of a mouse hole (field mice, obviously).


The interior of the mouse hole.


The whole (hole) thing.


Very large Swiss dollhouse. I told my husband, “See, there are dollhouses out there bigger than mine!” Note the inlay in the floors.


The beginning of the “street of shops” with incredible character dolls. The detail and the lifelike dolls make the scene.


More to come in another post.

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