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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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April 10, 2016

My visit to Maysville, KY and Fort Wayne, IN

I had planned (even made reservations) to attend the annual THREE miniature shows that take place in early April in Chicago and meet up with bunches of members of the on-line petitpointers group I belong to including even Elga from South Africa whom I met in Amsterdam during my visit to France (2012).  On my way, I planned to stop at the miniature museum in Maysville (where I would also meet up with some of the petitpointers) and drink in all the treasures there.  Then I would go on to Fort Wayne where January and Maggie are now living, visit them and then go on up to Chicago.  Those plans have changed now, dropping off the Chicago ending.

MAYSVILLE ...

The drive over from Huntington was beautiful.  The best way to go is I-64 just over to Grayson and then you go out into the countryside to Rt. 9 (the AA Highway) which takes you straight into Maysville and almost always is pretty clear of traffic.  Plus which, it's just lovely country and Friday was no exception - some sunshine, some clouds and beautiful redbuds everywhere.

Arriving at the museum, there was a nice group there - Annelle, Jolie, Susan, Lesia, Roni, Tamra, and I think one other lady but I can't for the life of me remember a name (was it Sharon?).  We had a nice amount of time to look at everything and there were some new pieces since I had visited last summer.    I was able to take several photos...


When you walk into the museum, this is the building you see - the Spencer House, created by Kevin Mulvany and Susie Rogers.  Sorry for the glare but you can still see how beautiful it is.  All the furniture, accessories, chandeliers - everything - have been handcrafted by many miniature artisans.

The next two show a handcrafted door with a stunning "stained" glass window.  I was rushing to get pictures so did not read the info about it but I'm almost certain this is a painted window - I simply can't imagine it being leaded.  But it's glorious!






















The violin maker's workshop is one of my favorites - all the tiny violins hanging from the ceiling and that beautiful cello...

And this window of needlework just blows me away.  Particularly the ivory color crocheted bedspread.  The rug behind it is woven on a miniature loom, the rugs are petitpoint, there is a block patch quit and three quilted pillows, and the crocheted coverlet with three matching pillows.  And the delightful dress, jacket and three minute dress forms with beautiful dresses on them. Amazing work!





















 This is a delightful toy shop crammed absolutely full of all sorts of toys with a lot of extra toys scattered all around.  It also gives an idea of how the museum is arranged.  There are a number of these large structures and the walls, filled with various rooms, boxes of similar objects, etc. wrap around the outside of the entire area.    Below is one corner of the gallery with a charming panorama of nursery rhymes portrayed in miniature vignettes with a beautiful painted wall behind.

A gorgeous hand-stitched quilt.  It's actual size is probably about 5 inches x 7 inches!

And finally this unbelievably detailed, inlaid cabinet.  Each drawer with a different scene, the cabinet door interiors with individual scenes and the incredible filigree pediment on top.  Words fail...  And these few pictures are just the very tip of the iceberg.  If you love dollhouses and miniatures and have a chance to visit this museum, DO!!

Kaye Browning (the owner of the entire collection and also the benefactor who provided the funds to build on an addition to the existing museum to house her collection) came in probably about an hour or so after we had arrived and talked about some of the things in the museum and then we went in to the exhibit gallery with Kaye to see the newest acquisition - Catherine's Palace which was from the Carole and Barry Kaye collection.  Kaye provided lots of information on the extensive renovations that were necessary.  It sounds like it was quite an undertaking to get everything fixed up and cleaned up.  It is a stunning, "giant" miniature and I can't imagine the size of home the Kaye's must have had that could house such a structure!  The exhibit gallery also included a wonderful display of Russian art all loaned to the museum by collectors from in and around Maysville.  So overall, a very nice visit to the museum.  I've been there several times before but this visit was made very special by having Kaye there to give us some good background.  And a few pictures of that exhibit...

 Catherine's Palace.  The pictures of the rooms (just a few of the rooms) leave a lot to be desired because  everyone was crowded around looking and taking pictures.  It's an incredible structure and the interiors are pretty much unbelievable but I have to say I like the Spencer House better...


 The upper room is the amber room which has a long and interesting history.  There's an interesting Wiki article HERE if you're interested.  This miniature room is based on the restored room now on exhibit in the palace in St. Petersburg in Russia.

There two large cases filled mostly with palekh (Russian lacquer boxes) and Faberge eggs (I wasn't clear as to whether they were all actual Faberges).





Next on the agenda was a walk to a nice cafe for lunch.  I remember way back one time when the museum was brand new, two friends and I drove over to see it and then tried to find a place for lunch and did finally find a small, run-down cafe but the town was basically dead and now it's all revitalized and so attractive.  The cafe had a nice menu.  Our group had to split up between two tables but we all had a pleasant time.  By the time we started walking back to the museum it had started to sprinkle and I had my drive to Fort Wayne to get started on.  When we went back into the museum, another group of  petitpointers had arrived during our absence (and I don't remember getting any of their names) and so the director of the museum wanted a group picture.  Took a while to round everyone up and then get us all situated so that everyone was in the picture but that was accomplished as the new photo in our Yahoo gallery shows.  Several of us had him use our cameras also (I wanted a group picture for my blog) but the one on my camera is even blurrier than the pictures take with it. :)


So the whole experience was enough to take care of my love of miniatures for the time being.  And now I'll spend the next few days indulging my love of my daughter and exploring Fort Wayne.  We've already lunched at the "Fort Wayne's Famous Coney Island" and it is justifiably famous - their sauce for the hot dogs is really tasty.  And Maggie had a nice visitor's guide to Fort Wayne and there are all kinds of places, some within walking distance, that I can visit.  

I woke up to snow on the ground Saturday morning and it has been below forty since I got here but Monday (it's now Sunday night) is supposed to get up into the 50's which will sure feel better although it's also supposed to rain most of the day.  

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