I live on a small island in the Atlantic Ocean and there is no retailer for miniatures anywhere near me. I'm fortunate enough to travel a lot and can always find a miniature store while travelling. But I do rely a lot on purchasing online.
One of my favourite places for buying online is miniatures.com. They don't sell artisan pieces, but I can get my regular supplies from them, plus many times I can get factory made items that I can alter to make more custom.
I recently made a purchase and I just received my order yesterday. The problem with buying online is that even though they may provide the measurements, you can't always tell scale. I was so excited about finding a "wrought iron" window box for the garden shed window, but now that I have received it, even though the length is right for the window, the depth is completely out of scale.
It looks even larger in this picture because of the perspective with the walkway, but it's only about 3" long. I am going to see if I can have it cut in half lengthwise and make into two window boxes. Once it's filled with flowers, you won't be able to tell that it's missing the back! Hopefully! I also need to distress it and give it a little touch of aging so it's not so new and shiny looking. So I'll have to do a follow up on this piece once I alter it.
I also got three great Morning Glory vines. I am hoping to add a part of a fence at the back of the shed, and I thought it would be great to wine a vine through the fence.
The leaves and flowers on the vine are made from clay. I've been studying it closely and I think I may be able to make flowers from the clay as well. So far all the flowers I have made have been made with paper, and now I am excited about trying a new medium for flowers.
The funny item in the order was more ground cover. I had struggled so hard with the sand around the tiles, which by the way is improving with each layer of glue and sand! I had forgotten that I had ordered several bags of "mulch" for the flower beds. Wish me more luck with adhering this to the landscaping!
The item that was most exciting in the shipment was my little garden bench. It was already decorated with flowers, and some of them need to be switched out because they also are a little too large and out of scale, but I think it has a lot of potential.
I also purchased a sheet of metal (brass) geranium leaves. They have to be spray painted and bent to shape, so I am hoping they turn out nicely. They are so thin and perfectly scaled. I am hoping to make geraniums for the window box.
I got also this pair of "wrought iron" plant hangers. Again I will need to age these a little, but I think they are perfectly scaled.