Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Elaine Diehl's OOAK Dollhouse Castle

Several years ago when I lived in Arizona, I had many enjoyable opportunities to see this gorgeous Castle in person and had the pleasure of meeting it's designer-builder. Needless to say, this castle is awesome!

The Dollhouse Castle was designed and created by Colorado miniaturist Elaine Diehl, who was inspired by the character of Lady Elaine and her fantasy castle in Tennyson’s Lady of the Lake.

The level of detail ranks this Castle as one of the finest miniature structures in the world today. Over 100,000 pieces are contained within its walls, that were built, commissioned, or purchased to the highest standards. It is occupied by beautiful dolls, including Ladys in Waiting; Knights; and even a Wizard in its tower. It is 100% handcrafted in a 1” to 1’ scale and stands a grand 9 feet high (not including the base), is over 5 feet wide, and weighs approximately 800 pounds.

Ms. Diehl tapped some of the best known miniaturists and artisans in the world to create furniture, sculptings, art work, lighting, and much more to include in her Castle. The Castle and its interiors, ceilings, and floors was constructed over a 13-year period and over 6,000 thousand hours of work; not counting the time it took to create or commission the various pieces within its walls.. From 1978 to 1981 the various pieces were put together to form the final creation. It took more than a year alone just to carve the outside faux-finish stone which is comprised of approximately 200 central blocks that inter-lock into each other with precision pegs that lock into each other. The Castle was on display for many years in her store/museum (MiniElaine's in Sedona, AZ) until Ms. Diehl sold her enterprise in 1996 and went into retirement.

The current owners, Dr. Michael Freeman and his wife Lois, acquired the Castle from Elaine Diehl over a decade ago when Ms. Diehl retired. The Dollhouse Castle is on loan to the Nassau County Museum of Art on Long Island, New York. It is on public display at the Tee Ridder Miniature Museum located Roslyn, NY.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hello Blog Readers!

No pictures today.

First, I wanted to aknowledge our blog followers (who can be found if you look in the left hand column, and scroll down). TeamMIDS is grateful that you take the time to read us, and hope that you enjoy what we have to offer.

Second, I want to apologize for my absence here lately. I have not, nor will I forget the blog. We have features that I really enjoy writing (like the member of the week), and reading (the stories contributed by our members), and bragging about (treasuries, and Team Member accomplishments), among other things.

I have, however, been involved in a large project which has almost come to fruition and will be announced soon. Cath (Golden Unicorn Miniatures) has been pitching in and covering for me as much as she can, and I owe her some serious gratitude for that!

I will be back soon, and I thank you all for your patience. And don't forget to check out the blogs of our followers and fellow TeamMIDS members! They're good stuff!

Lori (wanderinon; or "the big eye")


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Member Spotlight!

We all know and love Dale of dale's dreams. She has a wicked sense of humor, and she's been an intrigal part of TeamMIDS since it's inception.

And I hear she LOVES pot pie!

Miniatures have always been a love of Dale's. From a very young age, she remembers playing with her mother's old renewal furniture at her grandmothers house, and that love continued through her adulthood when she began making and selling her mini's on CDHM, and also to a local shop. That shop is closing now as the owner is retiring, but happily you can still get dale's miniatures through her Etsy shop.

Her interest in dollhouse furnishings extends to all home decor. Her "life size" collection of perfume bottle displays is the inspiration for the mini size ones she wants to make, and she has been working on foot stools and ottomans. She's also planning on making upholstered furniture (perhaps with her famous throw pillows as accents?

From her studio at home, Dale does a lot more than just Minis. In her words: "I have as many interests as the day is long; most all things domestic. I love to garden, mostly flowers. I have a ton of house plants. I love animals and we have a small zoo here, three cats, one dog, two guinea pigs, and one gold fish.

I love to cook, but I hate making dinner. I’ve made all of the drapes and pillows in my home, we have a lot of pillows. I’ve faux painted furniture and upholstered some stools and benches. I love needlepoint and vintage fabric like bark cloth. I love tole painting, I have a collection of trays that I can wallpaper the walls with. They are all black with roses and most were made in the 50’s. The first one I bought for $5. it is now worth over $300.

I’m a frugal shopper with champagne taste. I love to travel, have been all over our country and this past spring, I took my family to Paris, a lifelong dream. My family interests me too, I have three children, Adeline 17, Grace 16 and Lorenzo 15. My husband is my best friend, we’ve been together since 1984 and will have been married for 19 years this May. I care for my 80 year old mother who has dementia. Oh, and I love ballet and have studied it off and on most of my life. I knit and crochet a bit, counted cross stitch, jack of all trades, master of none."

Currently her goal is a line of oriental style rugs in muted tones of sage and rust to peach and gray-blue. We get a sneak preview here!

Dale plans to make her store into a "one stop shop for all of your dollhouse decorating needs from the floor to ceiling, with a designer edge, and champagne taste."

If you'd like to see more of dales work,check out these links:


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Our Article has been posted in the Etsy Storque!!
Yea for Cath (Golden Unicorn Miniatures) and Carol (Blue Kitty Miniatures)


Some of the lovely photo's Cath put together:

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Now that the holidays have passed, and the frantic rush of merrymaking is over, discussion in the forums has turned to what this year has in store for us. A new year brings us the chance to settle in, hone our skills, and set new goals.

Next week the "member of the week" feature will return, but for now, I want to just take a minute to highlight a specific type of work done by three of our fabulous artists: the turnings.

These first two spectacular pieces are done by Mike Rowe. Graceful and elegant, they make a dramatic statement in a dollhouse.

Bertie's vase is whimsical and light.

And Tom, of "TurningsInMiniature" does fabulous work that you can't take your eyes from.

If you haven't already, take the time to look at the shops of these artists...you'll be inspired.