Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Arnhem Fair - My Introduction to European Artists

We returned from Amsterdam last night. I am jet-lagged (I started writing this at 4 a.m.), but full of excitement and inspiration. I couldn't wait to sit down and write up an account of our experiences at the Arnhem fair.

The Arnhem Poppenhuisstad was the first time I was able to see the work of European artists other than that of the artisans who make the trip to the Chicago International. Mr. True2Scale manned our table alone often, so I could see the tables of some of the approximately 200 dealers. I am certain that I didn't see all of them; but the work of the ones I saw, and their kindness made an impression on me that I won't forget.

Mr. True2Scale is pretending to be a miniature display.

Our table was near the back of the hall, on the end of a row. Our neighbors were so kind and helpful. Next to us was J en M (email). He creates small wooden objects; mostly toys, puzzles and children's lights, with incredible detail. Carla Zandvliet (email) makes beautiful flowers and Christmas decorations from silk. They are very fine and have a translucent quality. 

Fennicole Miniatures 

Behind us was Fennicole Miniatures. Such nice people! Their popular table contained many things that I haven't seen before in the U.S., including unusual shaped flowerpots, wall pockets, tiles and items for landscaping a French scene. Fortunately, some of the items also work well in a Tuscan house and found their way to my suitcase!

And then there was E. Elsner von Gronow, from Germany. I purchased some embossed metal borders (made mostly by hand in Germany) and tiny filigree ornaments.

Piamini, from France (email), offered unique metal and wood items including folding chairs, tables and benches for the garden. I purchased a green bench for the Tuscan house. Such kind people!

Garden bench by Piamini; some of the pots from Fennicole Miniatures.

Volker Arnold, whose work I have always admired at Chicago International, had a large display and many items that I hadn't seen before. I purchased a couple of his tiny Santa's sleighs. He was kind enough to take a photo with me (I was too shy to ask for his autograph as well – ha ha).

Pitcher and egg cups;
Elisabeth Causeret.
Elisabeth Causeret (email) from France had a beautiful selection of 1:12 and 1:24 scale porcelain to choose from. It took a long time to decide on which items I couldn't live without. Finally, I bought two egg cups and a pitcher.

Antique toy kitchen kit
from Sylvia's Lutjeboudel.
Sylvia's Lutjeboudel offers Brocante style furniture kits in wire and wood. Her kits are so charming and unique! I purchased a baby carriage and an antique toy kitchen that includes directions and supplies to make a toy stove, cabinet and cookware. Sylvia is such a kind person and introduced me to many new Dutch customers. I owe her a big dank je wel!

Lara and her daughter stopped by to say hello. Margriet also came by. I had pleasant conversations with the talented Michelle Lebouteiller of Petits Bonheurs and Pia Ravn from Denmark, who both make lovely items. Another interesting artist whom I met is Sherpa. He creates gothic-inspired miniatures. He showed me a coffin that he made into a ladies' purse - truly creative and fantastic!

Close to our table was Poppen(T)huis. Bas Middel creates custom fantasy houses from wood and clay. I took several photos of his displays that I will share in another blog post.

Mr. Bea/Tony Broadwood from Petite Properties found a new customer. I decided to plunge into 1:48 scale and purchased a kit and books for making a shop and furniture. Maybe I'll pick up some new skills for quarter scale and offer 1:48 glitter house kits in the future...mmmm...maybe.

Peiwen Petitgrand/Oiseau deNim
While we were setting up our table on Friday, I met Peiwen of Oiseau deNim. If I hadn't recognized her face from pictures, I would know it was her by the Ladurée bag she was carrying! Peiwen's table was nearby and it was full of fantastic items. Her fish and artichokes are ...oh my! She has been doing a lot of vegetables lately and they are incredibly realistic. And Peiwen is every bit as charming and charismatic in person as I had imagined! If you have the opportunity to meet her, you will find that her energy is contagious! It was fun to share our first fair experience together. 

The Ladurée bag that Peiwen gave me contained a box of macaroons and delicious Marco Polo tea. Some time back, I mentioned on my blog that I'd never had the opportunity to try Ladurée. Well, thanks to Peiwen, Mr. T2S and I were in patisserie heaven! As we bit into the macaroons, they melted (yes, melted!) on our tongues. The crisp, slightly sweet outer wafers gave way to the lightest creme filling. The texture and taste sent waves of euphoria through every synapse! 

Artichoke, dish and Ladurée items; Oiseau deNim
We are both back to work today after only a few hours of sleep. Before we attend the Madrid show, we will have a few days to make some new plans for True2Scale. Perhaps some of the plans will include a visit to France  :-)  Also, I hope to sneak in some time to work on some of the kits I purchased!


  1. Glad you liked the fair in Arnhem, it was nice meeting you. I hope you come again next year

  2. Carol, Thank you so much for the wonderful description of your first experience selling at a miniature faire!! I haven't done one yet so I have really enjoyed reading about Piewen's experience and yours! How exciting for you to have the opportunity. Madrid should be just as wonderful too!! I love what you have bought for yourself. The bench is so perfect for your Tuscan house!

  3. It was very nice to meet you Carol! I hope to see you again next year :-)

  4. Welcome home! I'm glad you had such a wonderful time, maybe till next year!

  5. Oh my it looks like you had an absolutely wonderful time. And thanks for all the links - I'm going to check them out now.

  6. Wow, what a fabulous trip! So modest you have not mentioned your own super stand and all its goodies! I am sure you also were a great success!

    I have some of those artichokes and they are truly amazing!

  7. Oh Carol what fun!!!! Congratulations on the sucess of your first show. And aren't you brave to do it in another country! Thank you for all the great photos and the links. One thing about all the photos that struck me was... How absolutely beautiful Peiwen is. :-)

  8. I cannot help but leave a message here:
    Catherine, you and Carol both are so kind to me!! I am not beautiful; I am just an old funny girl LOL
    Thanks for the nice compliments!!!

  9. I am sorry, it's me again.

    Carol, as I have stated, you will see and taste the best pastries, macaroons and butter in the world once you come to Paris next year.

    We will well organize the plan after you make the decision.

    Off to.... :P

  10. Thank you for sharing ! It is very interesting and full of beautiful things.
    It really makes me want to go there.

  11. Hi Carol, nice to have seen you ... and I am happy to have bought a tiny thing and thanks to share the pictures you have done around. I hope you will come next year! Genevieve you have to come as well!
    Good luck for Madrid! doei, claude

  12. Goodness Carol! What a wonderful post. I envy you being there. I am visiting your blog today because I have just finished making one of your 'Glitter Church' kits. I added a tiny porch and will be talking about it on my blog tomorrow. Your kits are wonderful and I really enjoyed visiting the Arnheim show with you (virtually!!!). Happy Christmas from Ireland, Carol x