Thursday, January 18, 2018

My miniature adventures in the Fairest Cape

I have had a lifelong love affair with miniatures. I cannot remember when my obsession with miniatures started. Maybe with my swimming teacher’s daughter having an extensive and enviable collection of Barbie furniture. Maybe with my Smurf collection that I spent countless hours building villages for in our extensive rockery.   I loved building rooms out of boxes as a child and have wonderful memories of a Berenstein Bear craft book that I received as a gift. I loved making the treehouse and other crafts in the book. I spent hours building Barbie doll houses out of pretty much anything I could find. I loved collecting anything tiny and have a whole box of printer’s tray items that I have been collecting since I was a child and that has been packed and unpacked more times than I can remember.

I grew up in Pretoria and the closest miniature club is in Johannesburg, an hour’s drive away. I have always had very dodgy cars and very little income so going through to Johannesburg on my own was not going to happen. The one time I did go I had a very lukewarm welcome and felt very klutzy and way out of my depth. For a really shy introvert this was not an encouragement and I did not go back again. After I got married and started having kids, all my time on focus was spent being a mom and raising a family.  The only hobby I really had time for was reading. I got my mini fix from the internet and paging through the miniature catalogue I had, dreaming about “one day” when I would start making miniatures.

Printers tray
In April 2017 we moved to Cape Town. To my great delight I discovered that the Miniature Guild of Cape Town met twice a month not even 2 minutes from where we live. With my heart in my throat and with a great deal of encouragement from my husband off I went to my first meeting. I loved it. The people were warm, friendly and so encouraging. My first workshop entailed making a printers tray complete with nest, eggs, flowers, butterflies and precious stones. Nearly all made by myself. I was so proud of this first mini. It was really nerve wracking but thanks to my excellent teacher I managed to finish.

During the past six months I have completed a tiny Raggedy Anne doll, a wedding cake,a brass
 Christmas angel, a letter rack with letters, a 144th scale shop  and a lovely Christmas tree.

 I was also encouraged to enter a room box in the Annual Miniature Fair which took place in September. The theme was Any Cape Town street. I was very hesitant about entering as my miniature experience is very limited but I eventually completed and entered a pet shop. It may not have won any prizes but I am so proud of what I accomplished with so little practical experience
Start of my pet shop
Pet shop exterior

Pet shop interior
I have also become interested in micro miniatures and am busy with a 144th scale gypsy caravan. What started out as a packet of bits and pieces is now nearly a complete caravan. It is very challenging and I have no experience working in such a small scale but I have nearly completed it and hope to take it to our first show and tell meeting of the year.

Where do I start?
My gypsy caravan is nearly complete
 I am so looking forward to what 2018 will hold in terms of my miniature making. We are doing bookends as a group project and I am also tackling a conservatory as one of the classes. I had hoped to complete a replica of The Old'e English Shaving Shop at the Waterfront to enter into our fair in September. If you are ever at the Waterfront in Cape Town you have to go and pay them a visit, even if it is just to see the d├ęcor. 

I had plans to start building my own dollhouse. These are all large projects and for a newbie such as myself are definitely more than I can tackle in one year, considering I have two children in Foundation Phase as well as a house to run, a husband to love and a blog to keep up with as and when I can. I will see how I go. One thing is for sure, I love making miniatures and having taking the first step I look forward to many happy years ahead. I will sure these adventures with you from time to time so pop in when you can for an update. 

If you are in Cape Town and would like to join us at the Miniaturia Guild of Cape Town, please contact one of the committee members and pay us a visit. We meet every second and fourth Saturday of the month in Pinelands and would love to see you.
Happy crafting

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