Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Create your own Castle and keep it clean!

The Astolat Dollhouse Castle is a fabulous place. Created by miniaturist Elaine Diehl (and international artesians) between 1974 and 1987, this palace is considered to be not only a work of art but one of the most costly dollhouses in the world. It is located in the New York City area.
The Castle
Its furnishings are magnificent, as would befit a structure of this magnitude, class and tastefulness, and span rooms on several levels. The master bedroom features a canopied double bed, comfortable chairs and other expected accoutrements. A guestroom in the Astolat Castle has a bed with a patchwork quilt (above) and a child's playroom floor is scattered with pull toys. Welcoming sitting rooms are graced with an abundance of beautifully designed chairs, sofas and tables. A bird cage adds charm and a peacefully slumbering dalmatian gives whimsy to the house.

Our shop carries a selection of high end furnishings which will provide you with everything needed to create the castle of your own dreams. Indulge your imagination as you wander through mini-acres of room fittings. You'll discover all manner of decor, as well as such accessories as silver goods, statuettes, porcelain figures, foods and animal goods.

This canopy bed can be left as is or refinished.

Here's a luxurious chair-bed with a matching foot rest. Its design spells comfort and class.
Bedroom suites to suit your fancy.

                                 A box suitable for storing linens, opens to reveal two sections.

A distinctly beautiful Victorian birdcage.

Our courting chairs are charming for any design and especially provide authenticity to a Victorian motif.

Especially well-detailed desks and chests.

A genuine silver serving piece, one of many.

Asian inspired designs, above and below left.
Tables and chairs galore!

                                        A simple and tastefully designed table.

This lovely set can be used inside or out.

Note the intricate detailing of this storage box.

You will enjoy exploring the great variety of foods available from aperitifs to layer cakes and everything in between. You'll find kettles of soup to make your grandma proud and great loaves of bread that look straight out of San Francisco. Roasts and pasta and sandwiches are all here. Everything is made with such attention to detail that the end result is true perfection.


Our porcelain doll collection includes these beauties. All highly detailed, they add character to any project. Just a few are pictured here.

The Goebel Miniatures are intricate works of art, each a stand-out in its own way. Our camera can't capture their diminutive charm; you'll have to come by to see them for yourself. 

We look forward to seeing you soon!


Michael Sue Nanos

Michael Sue's Tips:

Keeping Your Castle Clean; How to clean your miniatures

First and foremost, keep them dirt and dust free!

1. Display them in cases, in glass front cabinets, under domes, etc.

2. Even doll houses can be sealed off with plexiglass. Use wooden tracks so the plexiglass easily slides off and on, or you can attach it with small Velcro dots or tiny screws.

3. Another method is to attach flaps of flexible plastic sheeting. I did this in the shop since I truly hate to dust. The plastic can be found at yardage stores. You can just drape it over the top if you wish; anything to keep the dust off and deter the cats from taking up residency.

Cover the whole thing and you won't even have to worry about your shingles or landscaping. I know a women who actually made a slipcover for her house. Now that was something to see.

But with all our great intentions there are still times when we need to clean things up, so the following are some of the ways I have found to be effective. I'll start with the aforementioned shingles and landscaping.

1. Shingles are pretty easy to clean.Using a large, stiff brush, start at the top and work down.

2. Landscaping is a little tricky and cleaning depends upon what materials have been used to construct it. Lord help you if you decided dried flowers were the way to go. Best I have found is to blow it like your gardener, sometimes a hair dryer works okay, sometimes you need more power.

The canned air you use to clean your keyboard is good. No matter what, you are going to have dust and bits and pieces everywhere, just like your gardener. Even if you have used longer lasting sturdier stuff like plastic, silk or clay plants, it will be messy. I would start with air and finish up with soft paint brushes.

3. Cleaning up the outside of your dollhouse is pretty easy. Dust it off with soft brushes. If the paint is dirty and you know what kind it is you'll be all right. Glossy paint is usually an enamel and cleans up with water, Windex  or dish soap. If the paint is just a little shiny you will have to be careful. You won't want to get it wet at all, so a damp cloth will have to do, sometimes a good gum eraser works wonders. 

4. You never want to get the wallpaper wet, so the gum eraser trick is your best bet. Of course, back in the day people used all sorts of materials on the walls and floors.If yours has adhesive paper (such as Con-Tact) and vinyl tile floors they are almost indestructible.

5. When we start on wood, metal or plastic furniture and accessories, rubbing alcohol is our friend. This is just short of a miracle. It is friendly to most surfaces and unlike water the wetness dries so quickly it doesn't have the chance to damage most materials. It even cleans that waxy or clay mess we use to tack stuff down. I'm not scared to use it on most things.

6. Textiles. Well, if we're talking a crocheted doily or bedspread I'll just soak it in Woolite or dish soap. Those are pretty sturdy, but if we're talking upholstery the rubbing alcohol spot cleaning is good. Be careful as it can lift color, mostly on bright dark colors like red. But I must tell you I use it to spot clean my carpets and it's the best. Now, sometimes fabric items are simply glued together and there just isn't anything to be done with them.

Sometime back I told you to never use wax to tack anything down to a hand rubbed finish, that still stands. Those awful wax spots are there to stay. But I was wondering whether oiling or heavy waxing would even the piece out. If you have tried this please let me know and we'll pass it on. Only through sharing do we learn, as they say!