Archive for February, 2010

Miniatures: South American Style

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

2010_2 Galapagos Islands 488We discovered a type of folk art very similar to our beloved American minis on a recent trip to the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.  “Retablos” are colorful vignettes of festivals and everyday life made from a plaster and mashed potato mixture. Originally dating back to 1532, retablos were first crafted as miniature religious shrines. Over the years they almost disappeared, but regained popularity in the 1940’s when country artisans began to depict scenes such as fiestas, markets, workshops and home life. Today there are countless different styles and sizes. Most retablos are positioned inside brightly painted wooden boxes, but you may find others done in egg shells or even small chewing gum boxes. (Remember “Chiclets”?) Others still are made with as many as five floors, all with different scenes, taking many months of work to complete. All the wonderful retablos we saw were full of activity and vibrant color… it was easy to appreciate the fun and enthusiasm in each and every one!

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Dollhouses For A Cause Does Another Good Deed

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Anthony Bello has been building dollhouses for the last nine years.  He’s always built them for his daughter’s elementary school annual Christmas auction.  Now that she is in high school, he decided to keep the tradition alive by donating a Princess Anne dollhouse to the gift auction.  Mother Seton Regional High School has an annual gift auction to help with the upkeep of the school.  This year, the auction is being held on March 5th and they expect about 500-600 people to attend the event.  In the past, all proceeds have helped update their bathrooms, classrooms, fix the parking lot and their elevator.   I’m sure the school appreciates all the donations they receive to help with this auction!  Terrific job Anthony…we look forward to hearing from you the next time you’re ready to start on another fine product by Real Good Toys!  Check out the amazing job Anthony did on this beautiful dollhouse.