"I have always loved making and doing and although I never had a Dolls House as a child, I had some little plastic furniture which I spent ages playing with and made tiny gardens in old pie dishes and rooms for Sindy dolls with furniture from matchboxes; all very Blue Peter. I dabbled in all sorts of crafts and collections: stamps, seashells, modelling, spinning and crochet, although most of my dolls clothes were generally created with strategic string, ties and staples.
In fact I can distinctly remember stapling up the hems of my cords at college where, among other things, I spent quite a lot of time dissecting tiny bits of plants and peering at them through microscopes; little knowing how useful that practice would be many years later.
In the real world I found myself doing more gardening and DIY but we also became the proud owners of a shiny new Amstrad PCW and developed quite a proficiency in early personal computing.
For a while two children took all my attention and we played at shops and built Lego models instead. My daughter had a dolls house from her Grandparents when she was three which she loved and then grew out of; and then grew back into a few times and we made bits and bobs for that and visited shops where we discovered a bit more about Miniatures and just how detailed you could get and experimented with making food, inspired as so many others have been by Angie Scarr’s wonderful examples.
My daughter went off on other routes and as time passed I realised that I hadn’t made any themed birthday cakes or fancy dress outfits or even produced a model volcano for a while and I really needed to find my own creative outlet.
Somehow this collection of rather random skills and experience seemed ideal for making miniatures, particularly things I could design on the computer and assemble in fine detail and so Mini McGregor was born, selling at local fairs in 2008 with just a few items including tissue boxes and readable addressed envelopes, which are still going strong today.
Of course one thing leads to another and those modern envelopes have become a whole range of 1/12th scale post, stationery and desk accessories from a sheet of Victorian Penny Black stamps, a hand cut quill pen or freshly delivered Edwardian letters, through desk diaries and paperclips to modern files and mouse mats. Now I also have more general household miniatures as well as furniture dressed with many of my items; finding that often the small details really bring a setting alive and help to achieve a realistic lived in, human look.
I have loved meeting and talking to other Miniaturists along the way and have learned a huge amount from other traders and customers and it was great to be at Miniatura last spring. Due to circumstances I haven’t been able to do any fairs for the past year and I have really missed everyone; so now I am just as excited to be back this year.