Monday, September 25, 2017

What Are The Chances...?

International Guild of Miniature Artisans Show....

I wasn't planning on going, Dear Readers, and wasn't even aware that it was happening, but a complicated series of chances at the last possible hour found me signing up to take a class at the Guild Show! Some of you might also be followers of Rosanna's blog La Casa Rossa where earlier in the summer she posted about a beautiful "George III Serving Tray" that she had purchased at the SIMP show in Paris. It was made by Geoffrey Wonnacott, an English artisan, and she included the link to his website in her post. When I saw her tray I had one of those covetous moments we all experience from time to time.... I wanted one for myself! This is partly because I have one just like it in RL size, and mostly just because it is a beautiful design! But as with many things, I didn't have the time to pursue it and left it for one of those "maybe someday" wishes. But a little over a week ago, I noticed her post in my blog roll and had another look, and thought maybe I should check out the website to see if he had some for sale... so I went to his page and found a listing of upcoming shows where he would be teaching classes on his mini furniture. You can imagine my surprise when I saw he would be teaching a class on the George III Serving Tray at the Guild Show.... and that the show was taking place only an hour's drive from my home..... in less than a week's time! And that the class was an evening class that I could fit in after work!!! If I could register in time.... if there were still available slots... if I could reach anyone at the Guild numbers....! Two days before the class I finally got through and YES there was room still in the class! So last Thursday night I found myself sitting around tables with eleven other miniaturists happily making my own tiny George III Serving Tray guided by the very patient and knowledgeable Geoffrey himself!

We laminated the mahogany wood layers and
 engraved and cut the tiny pearwood oval and inlaid it in the center...
 (which you can see in the first picture.)
Then we cut out the oval and sanded it to precise size....

Next we carefully added the "gallery" around the edges...
and sanded the edges carefully...
(lots of sanding!)
The class ran later than the scheduled time, 
and I had to leave before the project was finished.
But we each went home with a booklet of instructions 
and all the pieces needed to finish on our own.
I still needed to add the brass handles, which you can see here...

And then it needed to be varnished....

Here it only has the first coat of spray varnish, 
and you can see it brings out the lovely wood burl...
But it still needs several coats of the varnish before it is finished.

And you can probably imagine, Dear Readers, 
that I simply had to go back to the Show on Saturday...
Where I found a few of those Treasures....

A tulip vase by Henny Staring-Egberts
had to come home with me....

As did this little doll... 
I am certain she is the big sister of Sweetpea and Little Rose...
(but she hasn't yet told me her name)

A spice cabinet with working drawers.... 
by Pam Boorum....

A sword for the Lord of my Castle....
 (when I find him...)

A beautifully stitched purple leather handbag.....

Awesome purple jeweled sandals by Patrizia Santi.....

Her shoes are just incredible!

Beautiful books.... readable... printed on every page.....

"Flora Londinensis" a nineteenth century edition.....

A fifteenth century Boccaccio's "Decameron"...

And a sixteenth century Spenser's "Faerie Queen"...

And I won't bore you with the other little ordinary minis I found.....!
But here I will show you the George III serving Tray in my RL...

Yes, it is a bit beat up and not an antique, but a reproduction....

And the mini one with the second coat of varnish...!

Can you believe it, Dear Readers, 
that I almost missed this opportunity entirely?
What are the chances that this very item 
would be taught in a class so very near to my home?
And that I would find out in time?
(I feel insanely lucky!)


  1. You bought little wonders, they are all delightful and I am sure you will find the perfect spot to display all of them. And yes, I agree you are a lucky girl, what are the chances of not only get that beautiful tray but also learn how to make it? Let me add that you are a very good student, your tray is turning out amazing!

  2. Wow! Your mini tray is already gorgeous! Even more than your RL one which is very beautiful. Looks like this workshop was just meant for you, lucky girl!
    You also purchased mini treasures. Enjoy all.
    Hugs, Drora

  3. WOW, Betsy, what a luck that you've found out, just in time, that you were able for going to the class for making this beautiful gem of a tray! It looks wonderful, I'm so happy for you you could make it to go to this show of great artists!! Your miniature purchases are all gorgeous, first class quality miniatures, made by great artisans, enjoy it all!
    Hugs, Ilona

  4. Hello Betsy,
    Clearly you were meant to be in that class! I am so happy you were able to register. Your tray is gorgeous! Terrific work. I am a great admirer of Geoffrey's work. You also made wonderful purchases. Everything is so beautiful. The tulip vase is stunning and I am in love with that gorgeous spice cabinet. What a handsome piece of furniture. The doll and the books are also beautifully done and I love the handbag...what a great color. You have a wonderful eye and have purchased, and made, amazing miniatures to add to your treasures.
    Big hug

  5. very nice serving tray and wonderful shopping (nice tulip vase)

  6. your tray. And to me the doll looks like a Lily.

  7. I'm so glad you had that opportunity! What fun.
    Lovely little goodies you got over the weekend, too.
    Looking forward to meeting your knight in shining armor...

  8. Love the little tray. You made some really nice purchases. hugs, lj

  9. I like to think these things aren't luck but synchronicities! Put that desire out there, take steps toward it, and it always comes to pass!
    What patience it must have taken to carve and sand those delicate pieces! And what a marvel to see that wood become so beautiful with a little varnish! You will treasure it all the more having made it with your very own hands!
    I am so happy you got to go, and that you got to spoil yourself a little! You made awesome choices, and I am looking forward to seeing them come up again in your blog as you find perfect homes for each one! :O)

  10. It was clearly meant to be. The tray is such a lovely piece and you found some lovely minis - just think, it might not have happened at all if you hadn't gone back for a second look and you wouldn't now be the owner of all those great little purchases.

  11. How wonderful! I love it when things come together like that. The tray is gorgeous, and you picked up some excellent new treasures. :D

  12. Insane!!! Your little tray is Magnificent Betsy and how marvelous to see all of those other Fantastic minis you managed to bring home with you too;
    Each one is TOP DRAWER! :D


  13. Hi, Betsy - It was such an interesting and timely turn of events that led you to the workshop for the George III tray! It's a great story, and you brought back that lovely tray, so you are insanely lucky! Congratulations. Your purchases from the show are wonderful as well - those books! The shoes! The sword! Lucky you!

  14. you are definitely a lucky girl and I am overjoied for you ! It must have been great to sit there and learn so much. And buying such lovely minis as well. My fav are Patrizia's shoes, I have a pair, she is my favourite designer you know ;o), and they are truly to die for. Well done !

  15. Without any doubt this was a case of luck - plenty of luck. But somehow it was also fate... you were meant to join this class. The tray looks stunning and it's so nice to have a similar piece in RL. Your other purchases are awesome too, Giac already said it, you have for sure an eye for stunning miniatures. I'm somehow not the common type of woman because I'm not into shoes and handbags but even I admire Patricia's work, this lady creates incredible pieces. But take care of the sword... not that Sir Orion gets his paws on it... ;O)