Monday, 12 February 2018

Skiing Shmiing! - A visit to Michael's is a US vacation must.

So a few days ago I realised there was a Michael's about 15 minutes from where I'm staying for my Ski Trip. For US dwellers this must not seem like a big deal and no reason to blow off an afternoon in the hot tub. :)  But for someone like me who lives in a country of 24 million people and suffers the accompanying lack of retail choice due to the inability to apply economies of scale... it's a big deal!!

For Australian readers, this craft store is like the Spotlight craft and decor sections on steroids. It's more specialised than Spotlight so no, curtains, blinds, fabric, kitchenware, manchester etc, (they have many other stores for that stuff) but such lovely seasonal decor (far nicer than anything we have) and an amazing selection of crafting items.. I was compelled to shop.

Luckily mini crafting items are small so another suitcase shouldn't be required. :D

I mentioned my impending shopping spree to my friends over at the Greenleaf forum and they told me about a sale and a 40 percent off coupon. Even better! Thanks guys!

When I got to the store I didn't know where to start, sensory overload!  I turned down the first aisle and wandered through a maze of silk flowers and plants.. aisles of them.. an amazing selection. If I had an extra suitcase I'd be taking some of these home too, but I had to be sensible. The next aisle I turned down was the fairy garden aisle... Yes a whole aisle, not one little end stand. When I saw the "40 percent off all Tiny Treasures" sign in addition to the 20 percent Valentines sale, I decided this was as good a place as any to start my Mini shopping spree.

I started with mini trees and topiaries. These will be good garden fillers, amongst the hand made plants I intend to make with my punches and origami paper.





I think these little topiary balls will be really cute once potted and given a little treatment to their 
plastic stems. Maybe some reindeer moss in the pot. :)

There was a summer pool themed section so I picked up a couple of cute buckets of beverages for a poolside party.



 I thought these garden chairs were cute so I picked up a couple with a view to paint them a more adult colour.. I may even rust them up. We shall see. The swan I couldn't resist. I though it would make the most amazing retro kitsch garden planter. It will probably also get a make over. Maybe a bit of aging. The fence I thought was cute and might come in handy in a future project and hey, 40 + 20 percent off. The tin bucket will get aged and probably some new handles. I may or may not remove the vegetables from the wooden basket. I'm undecided.


I intend to paint these wire lanterns and make lights out of them. I liked their shape and thought they had promise. We shall see if I can realise my vision. :)


On a lighting note I picked up some battery operated string LEDs in warm white. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of light they give off.


The next aisle also had miniatures of a different brand, no sale on these ones other than the standard 20 percent, :( But smalls are very expensive in Australia with shipping usually more than the item both domestically and internationally, so I took the opportunity to buy what was on offer. The scales varied with no indication which ones they were so I just took a punt on the things that looked most like 1:12. I'm not too concerned about complete accuracy, I just want things to look "right" when in a vignette, so I'm sure I'll be able to use most of what I bought somewhere. :)

I really don't have much in the way of food in mini so I bought quite a few items.



I really like these little clay/plastic food items. I think the Cauliflower is my favourite. I may remove most of the fruit and veg from the crates. I really wanted the food not the containers.. but we shall see what I need, when I need it and make a decision then. The pastries are not the most realistic I've seen but will be good as fillers. At least until I master polymer clay and can make my own. :)


I love the little donuts in their box and the cola bottles. The little cans have cute detail for the ring pull. and the pitchers of juice and tea are adorable. Pancakes, cookies and a cake round out the food purchases.


I also picked up a couple of candelabras that will get a make over. And a selection of plates and cups, most of which will receive paint jobs. 


I couldn't resist this adorable rose teapot and cups even though they are probably slightly too large. I just thought they were too cute and I will have to see if I can work them into a scene somewhere when I get home.


I picked up a few random unrelated minis that were either on sale or as in the case of the mirror, something I needed. I already have one of these mirrors and I want to do a double vanity so needed another one. I could probably have gotten one from China for less but I would have to wait over a month for shipping.


 I also bought a few garden accessories, some tools and mini animals that I will use as indoor ornaments. The Labrador retriever is a Safari Ltd model.. I think I'll flock him. I love the bird bath as is. It's very elegant and may end up in the garden of the San Franciscan.


I think I'll turn the little deer into Christmas decorations. The Swans and blue birds will become indoor decor. The other bird may become a garden ornament as will the flamingos of course!


Some of the beach buckets will get make overs as will the tools. The snails and cute little Gnome will be lawn ornaments.


Over in the scrapbook department I picked up some textured papers that may work as tile or counter coverings. I also picked up some fabric paper that may work for rugs and a sheet of mirror paper.


 Also a few modern prints for feature wall, wall paper. (Excuse blurry photo)


Then I wandered the embellishment section. Sooo many things to choose from it was difficult to get out of their without a crane. :)

I got a pair of matching frames, that will most likely become mirrors. Some cute enameled numbers that would be good for house numbers. Cabochon frames that I will use with my own inserts. Some steampunk looking gears and cogs that will become home decor or may even be used to create lamp shades for custom lighting. I intend to use the embossed keys to create wall art. The typography will likely be used as modern decor.


The Patriotic embellishments are fabric and will be used to create folk art and decorative cushions. The art packs were a spontaneous buy because they have some interesting things in them and I'm curious as to how I would apply them to mini. The options are only limited by my imagination. :) The Jim Holtz fabric has great modern texture and colour so should be fun to use on a furniture project. The travel stickers will become artwork and the Architectural elements will be used to embellish ceilings and the like.


Several packets of mini roses to fill window boxes with.


I bought these ribbons to make coordinating cushions. There were so many more ribbons I could have bought in the ribbon aisle, but these rolls are large and space in my suitcase is at a premium. Again, so many more to select from than in Australian stores.


I finally made it over to the jewelry finding section and bought a selection of cool charms to transform into minis. The frames will become trays. The glass lidded box will become coffee table decor, probably filled with shells or similar. The lighthouse cat bowl and passport will become decor as will the antler charms once mounted on stands. The bead caps will be used for various projects and to create some delicate filigree bowls. The tiny coastal charms will become decor for bowls etc. 


That's all for now.. Now if I could just make it over to Hobby Lobby.......

24 comments:

  1. Ooohh if you go to Hobby Lobby don't forget to print out one of their 40% off coupons for a regular priced item, just in case you find something you like that isn't on sale.

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    1. Good tip, thanks Sheila! I can't print on vacation though so I hope they will take the coupon off my phone. :)

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  2. What an exciting haul! The phrase "kid in a candy store" comes to mind! :O)
    Don't overlook the possibility of adding another suitcase, or increasing the size of your carry on. You still have the shops in California to clean out! ;O)

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    1. Haha... definitely a kid in a candy store! I did two visits because my husband got sick of waiting for me on the first one. Went back without him the second time. :)

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  3. What a fantastic haul! I have a Michaels five minutes from my house and reading your post made me realize how much I take it for granted! In past couple of years they've really built up their miniature departments. I've been eyeing those candelabras forever, can't wait to see what you do with them!
    I'll have to check out a Hobby Lobby next time I go to the States... hopefully you still have time! Have a great holiday!

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    1. Hi Krystine! I'm glad I've helped you to "see" Michaels through new eyes. :D It was so much better than anything we have I went a bit crazy in there... who knows when I would be able to get there again. There were a lot of other things I would have loved to buy... mostly wood products. I have to go to a specialist modeler store for that stuff in Australia and even then the selection is not what it is here. I have heard that Hobby Lobby is even better so you should definitely make a trip. How far are you from the border?

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  4. You found beautiful things! I look forward to seeing them appear in your projects!

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    1. Thank you! I'm looking forward to applying them to my projects! So excited to get them home and experiment. :)

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  5. Oh wow! Awesome finds! Sigh, I wish I could got to a Michaels.... How long were you there for Sam?? Did you take a packed lunch? Haha!

    Also, I bought some little silicone push moulds for lots of different pastries for a few dollars (either Etsy or Ebay) and use air dry clay (I like Modena) and now I can have as many nice looking pastries as I wish. There are lots of options too.

    Enjoy the rest of your holiday!

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    1. Haha... I needed a packed lunch! I was in there for literally hours. In two sessions. :) I could have wandered the aisles for more time just browsing everything. I would be happy to pick you up some stuff if you want me to Shannon. PM me a Greenleaf if you want anything in particular. :) Happy to mail it on once I get home.
      Great tip on the moulds. I will have to have a look for some. Did they have them in 1:12?

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  6. Una forma fantástica de disfrutar de las vacaciones, viendo y comprando miniaturas, felicidades por tus compras :-)

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    1. Thank you so much! I agree a fabulous way to spend the holidays. I had a lot of fun. :)

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  7. WOW, you've found interesting and wonderful things, Sam, enjoy all of it!! I'm looking forward to seeing these nice goodies in your projects!
    Enjoy the rest of your holiday!
    Kind regards, Ilona

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    1. Thanks Ilona.. I'm really looking forward to making and making over things in this haul into my visions for them. :)

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  8. Hello Sam,
    You sound like a kid in a candy store. I am so glad you made the time to visit Micheals. You found some wonderful miniatures and I cannot wait to see them in your settings.
    Big hug
    Giac

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    1. Hi Giac, :) definitely a kid in a candy store! I had so much fun and I'm going to have even more fun modifying and upcycling this stuff to suit my aesthetic. :) ((Hugs))

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  9. WHAT A HAUL!!!
    you done GOOD kid! :D

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth. Have fun at the Seattle show with Janine. :) I have my own little local miniature show on today so I expect I'll be spending more money on some special minis. :)

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  10. Oh my goodness, this page just scrolled on and on. I was drooling by the time I reached the end. The big swan, and the teapot! I wouldn't have been able to walk out of there with fewer items either.

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    1. I know! And then I went to Hobby Lobby and Walmart!! LOL! I have another haul at least of equal size! Haha.. Now I have my local miniature show on today.. everything all at once.. will my credit card ever forgive me.. Lucky I'm picking up some overtime next week. :)

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  11. acabo de descubrir tu blog, me quedo por aquí y te espero en el mio si te apetece

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    1. Glad you stopped buy Carmen.. I'll surely stop by your blog too. :)

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  12. Hi Sam, So glad you were able to visit Michaels ... and I see you were in craft heaven. Do try and make it to a couple of dollar stores as for someone as inventive as you are you may find some inexpensive inspiration.
    You can always throw away the cardboard rolls that hold the ribbons..... there, you can get a few more things in your luggage. Oh, also, couldn’t you leave your winter clothing with the rellies! You don’t use them very often in Brisbane .... you can always drape yourself in minis for those few days!
    Have fun and remember to breathe.
    Janine

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    1. Excellent suggestion to get rid of the cardboard Janine. I followed your instruction and then promptly hit Hobby Lobby and Walmart.. LOL.. I couldn't find a dollar store, but I was stuffing things in shoes in the end so I probably was at my suitcase limit anyway. :) My Brissie miniature show is on today.. very excited! I know Seattle is coming up very soon for you. Have fun with your Miniteers. :) (did I spell that right?)

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