Robin Betterley's Miniatures and Design

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Robin Betterley's Miniatures and Design

In 1974, expecting our first child, Robin stumbled into the world of miniatures. She was already doing crafts and craft shows with her Dad. Even as a young girl she made stuffed animals or painted lawn ornaments and her parents sold them where they worked. Her father, a weekend craftsman, came to her with some play dollhouse furniture he had made and asked her to paint them for the grandchildren. They came out so cute that we brought some to our next craft fair. They sold faster than anything she had offered before.


She then found out that there were shows JUST FOR MINIATURES. So now with two baby girls, Taryn and Rachel, we started doing a few of these miniature shows and her work was very well received.

 

Robin started trying other mediums and came upon bread dough. FIMO and Sculpy were not available then. She started making food and vegetables, then turned to holiday items like wreaths, apple cone trees and colonial style decorations. Everything intrigued her and she was eager to try her hand at whatever could be miniaturized.

In 1979 I left my job in Maine and we moved to Hampton N.H. to open a miniature shop called “The Tiny Touch”, which we operated together for 13 years. (As gifted as Robin may be in the arts - she will be the first to admit she needs me to actually run the business.) During this time, Robin and I made everything from doll houses to sewing baskets, holiday items to castle supplies. We worked in all scales and made many, one of a kind, houses and room boxes.

We held classes in the shop and in our home and also toured around New England doing workshops. Through the shop we met many friends.

We have been fortunate to have had many articles, and two covers, about our miniatures in what was called Nutshell News, a magazine for miniature enthusiasts. Robin has also had a feature articles in the "Gazette", a magazine for members of NAME (The National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts).  In 2010 she had a how to article in Miniature Collector Magazine. This was a 1/2 inch scale (1/24) travel trailer.  Her miniatures, artwork and designs have also been seen in Quilt magazines and in Somerset Studios which focused on Robin’s altered art.

Although we already sold our miniatures to a few shops, we decided to start selling more of our items wholesale. We joined CIMTA in 1990 and by 1993 decided to close our retail store and just sell wholesale to the trade and do a few retail shows.

We moved to Bangor in 1994, after our youngest daughter graduated high school. We moved to Bangor, Maine because we have family here and wanted to get back to our roots. Our home is in an old neighborhood and was previously my aunt’s home. As with any older home we have our work cut out for us.

In 1993 Robin began licensing her designs. Concord Miniatures released her first collection “Harvest Home Kitchen” in 1994. The success of that miniature collection opened the way for “Noah’s Ark Bedroom”, “Petalstone Bathroom”, and “The Liberty Bay Living room” all licensed with Concord Miniatures.

It’s funny how one opportunity leads to another. An importer in the gift market hired Robin to design product for her. A line of folk art dolls, animals, magnets and wall hangings under the name “Folk Tails” were introduced. While at the Atlanta Gift Mart, promoting the “Folk Tails” line, we connected with a prints publisher that was interested in Robin’s designs to be offered as prints. Since that time her work can be found on tableware, paper goods, candle accessories, rugs, statuary, Christmas ornaments, wall decor and most recently quilting fabrics.

In the midst of designing for other companies products, we have developed several lines of miniature kits. Our kits are laser cut, and include art and sometimes fabrics to make an easy to assemble piece that will look just like Robin’s original. Our goal is to continue to strive for new and inventive product and to, as we Yankees say, “Use our customers good”.

Current collections include; 

 

The Miss Lydia Pickett Cottage Collection

This collection of kits include laser cut parts, full color art, fabric (if needed), instructions and stories about Miss Lydia Pickett ( the dog of the house). There are some 1" scale (1/12 )and 1/2" scale (1/24) available in this collection. All kits are available in 1/4" scale (1/48)

 

Frosty's

A Snowman’s Apparel Shop - This kits comes with everything you need to complete. The only supplies you need are paint, glue, and assorted tools. The 1/4"scale shop is inside a 2" scale Wardian case.

 

Witch's Hollow

1/4" scale shop with a candy shop inside.

We also offer in this same collection a 2" scale cupboard with three floors of 1/4" scale rooms.

 

Also available - Secret Books kits, Cabin Fever Collection, Altered Cabinets (available in Christmas and Halloween), and Wallpaper and Carpets.

 

This has been a fun wild ride, but the best is this - we have been blessed with each other, our wonderful daughters and two beautiful grandchildren. Who ever said life was boring?

 

Enjoy,

Shawn Betterley

 

Contact Details

 

Robin Betterley's Miniatures and Design

70 Wing Street

Bangor, ME 04401

 

Telephone 207-947-3963

fax 207-262-7120

 

Websitre  www.robinbetterley.com

email  shawn@robinbetterley.com

 

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 See Current Quilting Fabric lines here

 http://www.wilmingtonprints.com/view_designers.aspx?did=17