Monday, March 1, 2010

When I grow up I wanna go live in America!

The green eyed monster has risen in me again! Every now and then American miniaturists are blogging about 'this and that' they bought for a pittance at 'Michaels' - usually things like cute as a button hutches and so on - well now Brenda over at Cozy Little House has found gorgeous minis at her Garden Centre of all places!! Is there no end to where you can find cute stuff over there in the good ol' US of A??? *pouts*

All the litte things she bought for her conservatory (a wonderful mini in itself!) are just great, but the birdcage 'takes the cake'! Click here to see the full post.

Now I'm off to sit in the 'naughty corner' and repeat 100 times "I must not be jealous of the good fortune of others." ;)

Photo copied and posted here with Brenda's permission.


Merry Jingle said...

I'll join you :) I absolutely hate and go green with envy when I read some blogs or craft articles and none of the stuff needed is available in Finland or probably in Europe. Same goes for baking supplies. Fortunately at least Martha Stewart has started to ship to Europe :)

My biggest I WANT aside the dollhouse stuff is vintage bottle brush trees, small mica/putz houses and vintage snowmen - all have to be ordered from US and the shipping and custom fees are HUGE!

Should I join you also to the corner?


Glenda said...

Save a seat for me in the corner, please, ladies.

My Realitty said...

But it is sooooooooooo hard to get things from German ebay! What about all the INCREDIBLE mid century furniture you can get there. We have to beg and wheedle for sellers to mail all the way to California! (and I think they get so mad when shipping costs more than the item itself!)I would trade Michaels for anything European any day! xoxo CM

Norma Bennett said...

Ira and Glenda, bring you own stool :)

CM - I do sypmathise as we 'downunder' have a similar problem with US suppliers - quite a few won't ship outside of the continental US, and many who do charge an exhoritant price. However, so you know 'we feel your pain' I'm now adding "I must not be self-absorbed. I must be sensitive to the hardship of others." to the naughty corner chant ;) - somehow I think I'm going to be here for some time LOL

Love 'n Light said...

Hi Norma, how did your first day go?
I hope it was a great start to the rest of your studies!
LL Nat:~)

Norma Bennett said...

Ok thanks Nat, I find tho that it takes a couple of weeks to really get into the swing of it - and when Easter is early like this year it's kind of weird because we no sooner get used to being back and it's break time, so in some ways the real feeling of getting everything under control doesn't happen until after Easter which isn't really a good thing. Oh well, it is what it is...

Josje said...

Have you got room for one more? Although things are improving -more and more companies will ship overseas and accept more than just the dreaded cheques (we have stopped using those several decades ago in Holland, we all use electronic banking)- I am jealous of all the tools and supplies which are so easy to come by in the US.

rosanna said...

Norma, can I come with you? in Italy you can find asolutely NOTHING !!! apart from Miniaturitalia there is no place or us mini maniacs. That's wy we try to make mostly with our hands.And it is aso difficult to find the tools. May be we'd arrange a mini tour ? have a fun day Rosanna

Lize said...


Fully agree with you, can't buy anything here! Most companies do NOT even deliver here!

Jo Raines said...

Now I am feeling quite guilty and sorry for you gals who live in exotic, foreign ports of call I shall never see in my lifetime! I have several of those much-coveted Micheal's cupboards and probably won't do a darned thing with them. I have no idea how much it would cost me to mail you each one but if it's not much, I would be willing to do so. Norma, if you'll send me your address, I'll get one to you and maybe a few other items I can find in my little stash of goodies as soon as I can! You can e-mail me at with your address.

And if you other girls read this, let me know in a few weeks if you'd like one too and I'll parcel them out to you as I can!

Now, Rosanna! You cannot join the others in the corner because you were just showing those sweet goodies you got and that beautiful covered cake plate by Valerie Casson from France on your blog recently that I would give my right arm for!! LOL!


Merry Jingle said...

Dangerous promises Jody :D

It's really getting better and better with the US companies shipping to Europe, but the problem is the cost - first the postage and then the stupid customs :(

If you sometime happen to pumb to a pile of CHEAP white, pink, or red bottlebrush trees (no matter what size), please buy them, I would be soooo happy :) Can you imagine, there is NO bottlebrush trees on the market in Finland. Idiotic. (I know, I have a small problem with my trees :D )


anything shabby chic said...

Hi Norma
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog,and following it. It is so exciting to be able to connect to people from all over the world. I'm from nj where it has been a very snowy winter and wish i lived by you!!

Claudia said...

I saw that post of Brenda's and I am envious, too (and I live in America!) I told her that I've never seen minis at my local nursery!


Susanne said...

There is an award for you on my blog, Norma..

Norma Bennett said...

Josje, Rosanna and Lize - nice to see you in the naughty corner - usually I'm here all alone LOL

Rosanna - while we're all in that naughty corner together let's start planning the tour ;)

Jody you are an incredibly generous soul!! I will definately email you soon. Can I suggest that we get our collective thnking caps on about that 'stash' of hutches you've got over there - firstly you might get 'inspired' and want to use them later - secondly it hardly seems fair that you incur postage costs sending them all over the world! How about putting them in a give-away, or do some sort of swap arrangment or something ... it would be fun to see not only what you get in return, but to see how everyone would do something different with the 'same' hutch - food for thought - let me know what you think.

Claudia, I'm sure that it's true that some people are going to be lucky and live near the 'right' places and their situation is not necessarily 'representative' - that conservatory arrangment of Brenda's is cute isn't it?? I'm going to have a try at 'copying' that little birdcage - minus the bird of course!

CM - just to turn you a deeper shade of green (and feel free to join us in the naughty corner until you pale to pink again) I found this blog this morning (I was curious to work out what those little bottle brush trees you were talking about so I googled it and this was one of the 'hits') (and just to prove I don't hold grudges against those lucky enough to get really cheap minis I joined her blog! tehe)

Re the postage issue - apparently a lot of merchants use the UPS mail service that includes item tracking, and that is expensive. For many it's the 'default' mail service and they don't offer the option of 'standard' mail.

Susanne - thanks I'll be over soon :)

Norma Bennett said...

OOOOPS - sorry, that comment that I addressed to 'CM' WAS FOR YOU IRA - I really must eat breakfast (and feed my brain) before I get on the computer in the early morning LOL

Merry Jingle said...

I'm really turning purple in a minute as we don't even have the green trees here :mad:

And the purple color also derives from the fact, that the laying a floor and wallpapering a dollhouse is damn difficult! I wanted a pretty Bakkery and now it lookes like - I don't even go there. Probably I have to do some dirtying in there, so it looks like that all the bumbs and scratches belong to the interior :D

Norma Bennett said...

I thought the Dollar Store Dollhouse post would set you off! Obviously I have a really mean streak ;) Now that I know what you mean by bottle brush trees (there is a REAL tree over here called that, it has flowers that are red and look just like a bottle brush) I'll keep a look out, I have a feeling I've seen them from time to time. It's the least I can do after being responsible for turning you purple LOL

Merry Jingle said...

Now you've done it - don't even mention the real bottlebrush tree, do you think we have any here???

I do envy you people who live in such climates that you have naturally beautiful plants growing and almost anything survives. I remember once reading an Australian book of growing roses and there buzzy-lizzy was recommended to accompany roses but there was a warning that it spread aggressively and can become a weed - A WEED??? We buy them here as a summer flowering plants and pay a big penny for them. And they die every autumn when the frosts come. What color do you think I will be next? :D

Merry Jingle said...

And I forgot to add that I like your idea of the swap, everyone showing off what they've done with the cupboard.

Sans! said...

When I first started minis, I thought Singapore must be the only place on earth where no one else is interested in dollhouses (except Sylvanian which is prevalent). 1 year on, I realised that miniature making is in fact a vibrant hobby here- for Boys! Tin/metal painting , soldiers etc.

After I have trained my mini eyes a bit, I started finding miniatures Yes, I have to make most of them which is 90% of the fun and ok, frustration. But worth it. Also, when I was in Europe, they sell pretty minis but at prices so exorbitant I can't make myself buy them! Spending the money on 2 pieces equates to buying an air ticket to Bangkok!

I will however join the naughty corner because I sulk with envy whenever I see people buying dollhouses for a song on Craig's List! US$5???!!

Seriously though, the other good source for finding minis is the dollar store. We have the Japanese ones here and they too sell hutches for S$2. Don't you have one where you live?

Norma Bennett said...

Hey Sans, nice to see you back here after your exotic travels :) And welcome to the naughty corner. I guess that in one way or another we all have challenges and as Rosanna says the positive aspect of that is that it makes us resourceful.

There are a couple of 'discount stores' in my neighbourhood, one has a few whitewood pieces from time to time but I usually only purchase the tables as they are intended for children so the design isn't good enough generally. However, I do know where there is one of the Japanese dollar shops in another suburb so I must check it out from time to time.

My post was definately somewhat 'tongue in cheek' but the comments have been interesting and we can now appreciate more the challenges we each have, where ever we live.

Glenda said...

We don't even have IKEA here - waaah!
There'll be one in Antarctica before we get one. Pout.
Whoops, back to the corner . . .

Norma Bennett said...

Back to the corner indeed Glenda! I was upset when the nearby (Moore Park) Ikea closed necessitating a long drive 'out West' but I guess that's better than a trans Tasman flight ;)

Carol Mittlesteadt-Kubrican said...

Norma, thanks for stopping by my blog. BTW, my husband and I are thinking about moving to New Zealand from the U.S. because he has a job offer there. After reading your post, I think it would be a difficult transition for my miniatures habit!

Norma Bennett said...

Hi Carol, welcome to MMM :) Indeed if you are going to NZ you'd better stock up with all the minis and mini-ing materials you can! However, it will do wonders for developing your 'resourcefulness' ;)

minwks said...

Dear Norma, What a nice response you received to your "when I grow..."
I will be heading down under in October so put a note in your diary to contact me early September and I will dash to Michaels and take photos of any things I think you would like and send them to you for a selection. Be aware that in Vancouver we do not seem to have the selection that they have in parts of the USA. Then I will include them in my luggage and mail them from Qld.
Keep up the good work at Uni - I don't know how you manage to be all over the net, make mini time, be Grandma and study as well.
Regards Janine

Norma Bennett said...

Thanks for your kind offer Janine! What a pity that when you come to Oz you won't be coming further south to Sydney. To make it easier to be in touch would you please email me at - thanks :)