Friday, April 24, 2015

Tom Bishop Chicago Show

So that was my first time and that is a FABULOUS and BIG dollhouse show.

So big that in 7.5 hours, I still didn't see all the booths that I wanted to and there were a few stalls I planned to get back to that I didn't.  (Probably just as well for my wallet).

And now I think I need a massage of my neck from leaning over to look at all the fabulous things on display.

The whole experience was a little bit mad (in the British sense).  First of course, just the wandering around and taking in all the work.  So much inspiration and ideas.

For example, I really liked Bindels Ornaments where they show you how to make little purses and fans and lights etc from their filligrees etc.  They said you could use regular tacky glue.  Of course now the issue will be finding some kind of fabric that will work.

But then of course there is some craziness because I felt like if I loved something, I should buy it immediately (if affordable) before someone else did.

And then I spent Saturday night thinking over what additionally I loved (and trying to remember WHERE I had even seen it) and what additionally I wanted to see (I had not really gone to the doll room on the first day, and I did want to see the dolls, even if beyond my budget).  That is, until about 9 p.m. when I went to bed.  Yup, my free night without the kids, and I went to bed at 9.

But on Sunday, I only had 2 hours before I had to leave to get my plane (which seems like a lot of time, but isn't, trust me).  So I felt a bit like I was in that old game show Supermarket Sweep  as I was buying the last items in a rush, but also trying to see certain stalls that I had not seen the first day and really wanted to see because I had read about their work in various doll house magazines.

And of course, one of the best parts was meeting some of the dealers face-to-face, who I've only corresponded with on blogs or by email.  So I really enjoyed talking to Paris and Lisa from PRD Miniatures and others.  And Ray Storey of Ray Storey Lighting is also just lovely.  He had a miniature laboratory that was brilliant (with a bubbling flask!). He said he might teach it as a class next year.  (It would probably be too advanced for me, but it's a beautiful room and SO cool with the bubbling flask.)

So, of course, one of my main purchases was from PRD Miniatures.  It was so hard to choose.  But I am so happy, as always, with what I did purchase.

An original art work by Lisa Renfroe above:  "Waterfall"  2012.

And then a little graffiti pillow below:  "Say Hello!  Stop By"

Another find was TYA Kitchen from Tokyo which sells original work kitchen goods.  The woman next to me bought 5 mixers at $50 each.  I love all the bright colors.

And then I bought this cute little wood toy farm puzzle from Hannah Roet Miniatures from the Netherlands - my children loved these wooden puzzles, so I am glad to have this little miniature one.
And I bought a little Danish Christmas angel because now we have those (as well as little Nissen and elves) all over our real house at Christmas time.   It was hard to choose there as well because she has lots of really wonderfully detailed toys.

I bought clothes at the Heidi Ott stall (which was cheaper than online), so I am pretty excited to dress finally some of my Heidi Ott dolls.

And then of course, some animals.  I bought some little brown dogs for my children from Cottage of Miniatures (which if you brought children, would be perfect stall for them as they had lots of $1 and $2 modern little items - but I saw very few children there). I bought the white dog from  Marie W. Evans and the little felted friend from Muffa Miniatures from Italy.

And I tried to resist the green heels - and I did resist the first day - but I failed the second day, and they were one of my final purchases (from Patrizia Santi).

Hope you have a great weekend!!


  1. Ok you have me all excited again! I went last year and I know exactly what you mean. Did you also spread them all out on the bed when you went into your hotel room like I did? LOL I think I am going back next year for sure. I love Chicago and there are other things I want to do while I am there as well.

  2. Of course, I opened up all my little packages in my hotel room and admired them! And then I went through the Show Guide to see what I had not seen (I hadn't even opened it that day because I was too busy walking around taking it all in) and plan for Sunday!

  3. Was it your first miniature show ever? I have been twice to our swedish show, and it was fantastic, and I couldn't see everything, and that is much smaller than Chicago, so I understand you missed a few things..
    Sound like you had a great time =) And you bought many wonderful things =) Hannah Roet was here in Stockholm last year, but I missed her puzzles, they look soo cute! And Patrizia Santi's shoes always look so wonderful, would love to own some myself =)

    1. Hi Hannah, Thank you for writing! I had such a great time! The Swedish show sounds like great fun. I hope some day to travel to some of the shows abroad - although I will say that the Chicago show seemed very global with dealers from all over the world. I really enjoyed talking to Rachel Roet (of Hannah Roet). Maybe the puzzles are new. Of course I am a bit afraid to open the plastic around the puzzle, because then I might lose the pieces. And Patrizia Santi's shoes are fantastic - and they come in a little shoe box and bag - so cute!
      My first miniature show was this past November in New Jersey. I went with my whole family (including my mom) and so we were only there for about 2.5 hours (because we left for my son's nap around 12:30) so i also felt very rushed there trying to look at everything. It is much smaller, although also very good (and kid-friendly). I am now looking forward to that show again in the fall!

  4. I'm green with envy when I read posts about the Tom Bishop show. It's my own fault - I could travel - but I'm terrified of flying so...You would think 7/8 hours would be ample but it's true that you can't take it all in and always miss a stall or two. I would love to see TYA kitchen in person (given that their site is in Japanese and I don't know how bad the carriage and import taxes would be for the UK) and Patria Santi's work is so good that I always spend more than I really should.
    Wonderful purchases. Thank you for sharing =0)

    1. I am equally envious of posts about the London shows, but it is such fun to see what everyone bought! I loved your purchases from the London show, but also of course, your post was quite funny about your interactions! I think the London show must be quite similar to the Tom Bishop show. And even more fun with friends!

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