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Monday, July 30, 2012

Tasmanian Miniature Extravaganza 2012

Saturday and Sunday saw the bi-annual Tasmanian Miniature Extravaganza held in Hobart.  Despite the grandiose name, it is just a fair like any other and the only dedicated miniature fair held in the state.  All the main miniatures shops in Australia had stalls there, including Lorraine from Fairy Meadow Miniatures who hopefully won't be mad at me for "borrowing" this photo from her facebook page:

Lorraine's stall is in the foreground with some of her hand dressed beds in the bottom left corner.  This photo was taken at a fairly quiet time as it was much busier when I was there.

There were also some lovely roomboxes and houses on display.  Here are a few:

Brambly Hedge scene made by Jill Miller.

A selection of Christmas themed stalls

1/24th (1/2") scale Tudor houses

Close up of one of the Tudor houses, this one by Pauline Rice

Aren't those Tudor houses gorgeous!  I kept Tilli firmly buried in my pocket as I passed those; I had a feeling if she saw them she'd want something like them creating for her house.  I did let her take a look at some of the 1/24th furniture on sale and she picked out this bowfront chest of drawers:

Dan was also riding in the same pocket and was disappointed not to find a new hat to replace the one that came with his suit but was crushed in the mail.  In fact all three of us were a little disappointed with the items available at the fair this year.  In previous years there were some stall holders with handmade items and some without internet shops meaning you could find items at the fair you hadn't seen before.  This year, if you couldn't find it on the internet, it wasn't there.  I did manage to collect a few things for the Georgian house though.

 There are four Chipendale style chairs for the dining room . . . . and six plates to make six place settings on the dining room table.  That's because I still need to find two carver chairs to match the side chairs.  Or because I'll only have four place settings and have two plates spare depending on what I decide will look best.  I also bought a range of copper items for the kitchen including pots and pans and utencils.  In the Georgian era, tea was usually drunk out of small bowls or cups without handles the way it was served in the orient.  The oriental style tea set I found is perfect.

Walking back accross Hobart to where I left the car (the only place I know to park for free in Hobart is a fair hike away from the venue) I passed this building and couldn't resist joining the tourists in taking a photo:

It's home to the Law Society and has a marvellously inspiring Georgian facade.   I'd love to make it in miniature someday.

Back home, my own Georgian house is looking a lot less grand than the Law Society.  In fact from behind it's positively a mess!

Yes, I've been getting wired.  I still need to wire up a few wires into plugs and then I need to tidy this mess up, but once that's done I'll finally be able to do something with the outside of the house.  Inside, I finally got to turn my fires on and see if my bead and glass paint embers worked.  I'm glad to say that they do work, in fact I think they're better than many ready made fires.

The Drawing room fire alight.
Not only do the fires glow, they flicker too.  Well, actually it's more of a flash than a flicker but it's still a great effect.  Can you blog a video?  I'll have to see if you can so you can see the flicker/flash yourselves.

The Nursery fire alight.

 The Dining room now has it's two floor standing candlearbra installed in each back corner to illuminate the room.  The remaining lights in the house have all been remade since last week's disasters.  Instead of curving arms they have simple flat balsa wood supports fitted onto some prebought mirror frames.

The Bedroom has two double sconces.  All these lights are made with newfangled bi-pin bulbs.  They are so much more sleek and gracile than the old fashioned screw in kind.

The Nursery has three double sconces. These are the simplest in the house as the kids wouldn't have had the best of anything in their room.

A double and two singles for the Drawing room

A double sconce for the study, plus two singles on the bookcases not shown here.

A double wall sconce in the Hall plus a pait of candle sticks on the side table.  There are also lights in the basment I haven't photographed.  I'll show them to you next week. 

When installing the lights I made one big mistake.  Most of the fittings have more than one bulb, thus more than one pair of wires coming through the same hole in the back.  By the time the wires are poking though a small hole it's impossible to tell which belongs to which bulb and when you try to wire a plug onto the end you don't know if you're attatching wires from the same bulb or different bulbs in the one plug.  So a good tip is to mark the wires before installing the lights so you know what you're doing.

It's time for me to go back to putting plugs on the end of wires and trying to figure out why some of the bulbs already wired up aren't working.  Then I need to finish the outside of the house, fix the covings, install a few skirting boards and I think I'm finally ready to start furnishing the house!


  1. The show looks like it was wonderful! Are you doing/considering a 1:24 house? I'm right out of date and have missed any references to one.

    1. Hi Christine,

      I am planning on doing a 1/24th house sometime after I finish this one, which at the speed this house is going will be sometime next year (or decade). So far I have collected a few pieces of furniture, made Tilli the 1/24th scale lady and a few months ago I found a cheap toy house that I should be able to turn into a 24th scale house.

  2. Hi Alennka
    I live on the North West Coast and wondered if you have any contacts in my area. I am finding it hard to find anybody close by that is doing miniatures. I think you work is amazing and I really enjoy your blog.

    1. Hi Carole,
      I'm afraid I don't know of anyone on the NorthWest coast who does miniatures (I don't know anyone else in Launceston who does them either for that matter). About the best I can suggest is you try contacting the people who used to run "The Little DollHouse" shop in Burnie. Their facebook address is http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Little-Doll-House/161157257260042 The shop has been closed down as the people who run it are planning to move interstate, but they would surely know of any groups or people in the area who you could contact. Sorry I can't be more help.


  3. Hi Alennka, Just saw reference to the Hobart show, and your pics, that means a show next year doesn't it? Wondering if you have found other local miniaturists yet. Helen Davies and (can't remember the lady's name she usually attends the Sydney shows with) lives in East Launceston I think. She has a website, Cupboard Miniatures. I don't think she goes to local shows but travels to UK and maybe others overseas. She was at the Sydney show last year, not this year, I don't think she was selling well as there were lots of cheap things there and people don't want to spend the extra money for handmade and hand-sewn items, that I think was the jist of what she said. I am in the same situation, no miniaturists I know of on the Central Coast where I live now, as far as I know anyway. I do have contacts in Sydney though but its a bit far to travel regularly for a get together.

    1. Hi Maragret,

      Yes, the next Extravaganza is on at the end of June next year. There is also the far smaller lcoal Doll Bear & Miniature fair on in April in Launceston. Whenever I get talking to someone at one of these events they always turn out to be from the other side of the state or simply interstate, so I still haven't found any other local miniaturists. I know there are some though, a few months back there was an article in the newspaper with a photo of a little vignette and a few lines saying it was the result of a workshop by a Sydney miniaturist who had been asked to come by a local miniaturist group. There was no information or contact details for the group though!