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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Rainy Day at the Local Flea Market

Sunday was a very rainy day, but my daughter had the day off, so we decided to while away an hour by visiting the local flea market. It was also a good excuse to walk off some of the sore muscles we had acquired at the huge, outdoor flea market. The Sunday one was under a roof; however, it is about to go on hiatus again, as they no longer have a space in the place they have been using.

While I am all for unions, helping people to have decent wages and benefits, when a union decides that a local group, not-for-profit (entry fees assist a number of local sports ventures) needs to hire a union employee to set up and take down all the booths, at double time of course as it is a Sunday, we have gone far from the sublime and right down to the absolutely ridiculous.

Anyway, there is one vendor who regularly carries some mini items. Sunday was ten items for $5.00, so I picked out: a bunch of flower pots, always useful; two small wash tubs, good for floral arrangements; four filled glass jars to go into my Tudor apothecary; and a delightful little resin pig toy on wheels that will go into my children's shop.

As I need to get cracking on items for Camp MiniHaHa the end of September, I am finishing up a number of non-mini items that just need a few more minutes' work on them. Then it is back to minis, with regular posts, of course!

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Flea Market Report

...and it will be a short one; no minis! I can't really believe it, but all I saw was a tin dollhouse and plastic furniture for the same, some undistinguished odds and ends, and a "wrought-iron" mug tree with 4 red mugs. Nothing to show for it, miniature-wise, but boy am I sore from all that walking.

With camp happening in about a month, it is time to get back to miniatures quite seriously, so I hope to report some finished projects soon.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Part 3 of My Wonderful Recent Mini Finds

This is also the last part of this particular topic; next week I am off to an all-day giant outdoor flea market some hours from here, with my younger daughter, and I hope to encounter more interesting finds there.

This, for me, was the piece de resistance! This little Tudor bench has 12, count 'em, 12 of Philip Aitken's miniature pewter pieces attached to it. I intend to un-stick them, as I have any number of settings they would go into.

My belief is that this was Mr. Aitken's display piece for shows. There is a large tankard, a small mug with a handle, two pitchers and two goblets, a ladle, chamber stick, plate with the New Brunswick provincial coat of arms on it (I also have one of these with the State of Maine coat of arms on it,) a knife, large candlestick (which is in need of straightening out), and a rough, woollen place mat. As I had been collecting his work on the secondary market, to find such a large trove of his pieces in one place made me feel as if I had won the lottery! Each piece has his mark stamped into it, so tiny you need a magnifying lens to see it clearly.

Perhaps some of these pieces will end up on M. Ramet's refectory table as part of a Tudor banquet some day....

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Part 2 Of My Recent Wonderful Mini Finds

The first part was yesterday's post, although I didn't title it Wonderful Mini Finds.

This is an unbelievable trestle table and bench set in 1/12 scale. It is pegged at all the joints, and as you can see, the ends of the table are dove-tailed on, as well as pegged. And, this set is signed:

It was made by Quebecois miniaturist Pierre Ramet in 1986; the little green sticker says the original price was $60.00 - that was nearly 30 years ago. The other sticker is the Aitken's Pewter sticker I mentioned in yesterday's post. This store still exists, and still uses the same sticker. I was so pleased to find this set! M. Ramet still makes his miniature wares, he was listed for the Montreal show in 2013, and again this year, I believe.

This furniture set calls for a medieval banquet to sit on top of it - something to put together over the next winter, perhaps.

The bird's eye view shows the tiny pegs in the table and benches. I consider this quite a treasure....

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

The Machine is Working Again: Part 1 of Wonderful Mini Finds

I mentioned in a previous post, I think, that I had found some nice pieces at a local second-hand store; this is the first one, and I will try to get the others on in the next couple of days.

This little hutch is likely a kit, and I suspect it might have been a Daisy House kit, it kind of has that feel about it. As you can see, the back panel on the top is not quite sealed; however, the finish on this little hutch is wonderful. One of the knobs for the doors is missing, it is likely a 1/24 scale doorknob, and I hope to replace it one of these days, when I track down some replacements.

The wear on the drawer and doors was very nicely done, and the drawer itself moves very smoothly.
My instinct is that this was a piece made to display miniature pieces; the other pieces I picked up bore the Aitken's Pewter stickers. Philip Aitken was making miniature pewter in the 80's, and showed at a number of big shows both in Canada and abroad. At the time, I wasn't yet doing miniatures, as I was working and raising kids, but I worked on some church banners with Mr. Aitken's wife, and on one visit to their house I was invited to see Philip's miniature workshop. Not long after that we moved out of the country for a few years, and on our return, we learned that Mr. Aitken had passed on. Mr. Aitken was an engineer by training, and he just might have made this little hutch. His son runs a very successful Real Life pewter business here in town.

The computer has been back to the repair shop; there is an incompatibility of some sort with the various programs on it, and that has been causing all the trouble. We now have a crib sheet to fix the problem ourselves, should it recur. So, here's hoping we can keep the blog going.....

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Weird Things Are Happening

The entries I tried to post today show up in the google search engine, but don't show up on the actual blog. Photos aren't showing up at all, the screen just freezes. The computer has been repaired twice to deal with this, but it is happening again.

Until we sort this out, I guess the blog will just have to go into hiatus. Dear heavens, I wish it were possible to TALK with a real, live human being at google to try to sort this out.

Thank you to all of you who have stuck with me so far, as I really don't know what will happen from here on in.