Friday, August 29, 2014

Bay Area - Come see me at Parking Lot Sale Sat 8/30

Okay, it's a hot mess right now, but tomorrow I will have my first display set up at the Annual Summer Fever Parking Lot Sale hosted by Dollhouses, Trains & More. Stop by and see my booth! (I'll make sure I post pictures for those of you not in Northern California)

Dollhouses, Trains & More
Summer Fever Parking Lot Sale
300 Entrada Dr, Novato, CA 94949
Saturday, August 30th from 10am-3pm

I hope you're having a Happy Summer!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Earth and Tree Miniatures

Earth and Tree Miniatures is kind of like dollhouse Mecca for me. My first modern dollhouse was The Antrim that I purchased from them in November 2007 (only 12 kits were made). Earth and Tree Miniatures is a family run company that is not only a miniature shop but they also make and design their own dollhouses and a line of doors and windows. All of the houses at Earth and Tree were originally designed by Kari's husband, Tom Berkner (Tom's Mill). He named all of his houses after towns in New Hampshire. Tom passed away in 2005. Kari's son-in-law Ryan now builds the kits and houses for the company. Tom had designed so many houses that after he passed they had to eliminate a few of his designs from production. The Antrim is no longer available, but Earth and Tree continues to sell one of my favorite contemporary dollhouses, the Merrimack, inspired by a house in Minnesota.

My trip to Mecca involved another hour and a half drive on our way to the airport to leave beautiful New Hampshire. Luckily, there was a coffee shop across the street, so I was able to ditch my mister and the kids for a quick shopping excursion. The biggest treat was having Meagan of drive an hour each way to meet me (yes, she's alive! She's doing great, just busy and working on other projects, but hopefully she'll be back in the mini world soon).

Earth and Tree Miniatures blew my mind. It's huge; the largest miniatures shop I've seen! 3,000 square feet to be exact. I was able to meet Kari's daughter, JaNeen, who was running the shop that day along with her adorable 6-yr old son that made us free pass tickets to come back anytime (it's always free to shop there, but it was really cute that he made us tickets). The shop is amazing, they have everything you can think of for your miniature needs. In every room there are finished dollhouses that you can shop right out of. They have dollhouse furniture and miniature accessories in 1" scale and half inch and quarter inch scale. They have a ton of building supplies, lighting supplies, landscaping supplies. If I had more room in my luggage I would have purchased some of their great flooring, but luckily they sell online so I know where to buy (it's just always nice to see in person). I only had an hour but easily could have spent all day looking at everything. Here are the minis I bought that I could fit in my purse. If you are every near New Hampshire, Earth and Tree Miniatures is a MUST visit stop.

Earth and Tree Miniatures and Dollhouses
276 Route 101 #1
Amherst, NH 03031
603-673-8707 phone
603-673-0175 fax

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Little World Miniatures & Miniatures Museum in New Hampshire

This last week I fell in love with New Hampshire. We rented a house on Lake Winnipesaukee with 8 adults and 6 kids from my mister's side. Vacation dreamland! Bumper boats, ice cream, mini golf, sluicing, kayaking, swimming, bumper cars, ice cream, hiking, go karts, beach, Fun Spot (where they filmed the Donkey Kong world record setting documentary "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters") oh did I mention the ice cream? So much fun!

I even met Bill Clinton!! Well, Bill & Julie Clinton of Little World Miniatures. We drove an hour and half to Ossipee to visit their shop that they run out of their home. Bill & Julie are an adorable and friendly couple who have been running their shop for over 30 years. They spent many years and earned many awards doing the miniatures show circuit on the East Coast, but after serious injuries from a car accident they have been unable to attend the shows. Back in the hey day some of the shows had 3,500 people in attendance.

Their living room is the museum portion of the shop filled with Bill's mother Esther's collection of houses from the 30s - 50s along with houses they have built and decorated themselves. They have one of the first wood dollhouse kits that replaced the tin houses when metal was in demand for the war effort during World War II. Esther lived into her 90's and played with her houses up until she passed.

Little World Miniatures has a wide variety of miniatures, supplies, electric lights and dolls along with kits and assembled houses for sale. Bill & Julie were wonderful to talk to. Every miniature had a story. It was great learning the history of so many of the vendors, and a little sad that many items are out of production due to artisans passing away with no apprentices to take over, along with the smaller audience of collectors.

If you can, I encourage you to take a trip this summer to your closest dollhouse shop, and if you're in New Hampshire, definitely stop by and meet Bill & Julie in Ossipee. Here are the goodies I purchased.

Little World Miniatures
Bill & Julie Clinton
103 Route 28 (off Route 171) at the "Log Cabin"
Ossipee, NH 03864
Open 7 days a week 11am-5pm