22 July 2012

Fairy Castle.

Yes, some of you guessed it, we went to Chicago.
There were several reasons why we chose Chicago,
One is the feature of this post.
Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle.
 You see, I never really did outgrow my dolls.
I went from Barbie and her friends, to collecting and building miniatures on a 1:1 scale.
To scale each inch in miniature represents one foot in our world.
So, if a couch is three and a half feet long and you want to duplicate it on a 1:1 scale, the miniature version will be three and a half inches long.
This first picture shows the gates to the magic garden, if you look closely you can see a weeping willow tree and the cradle from "Rock a bye baby".
The cradle is less than three inches wide.

 I still love Fairy Tales and I am fascinated with the number of differences there are in the old stories from different places, and yet they are so alike.
This picture shows the great hall. You will notice the stairs in the background do not have railings.
That is because Fairies have wings, and they won't fall.
The floor really is marble and some of the statues are ancient, not just pretend.
I used to subscribe to "Nutshell News" a magazine for miniature enthusiasts.
(Still an excellent magazine if you are interested)
When I was a teenager, they had a story on Colleen Moore's Castle.
I can remember how awed I was, all those years ago.
This was a dream castle, everything in it was made to the highest standards.
Even the china in the kitchen is Royal Dalton, only two sets were made.
The other was for Queen Mary's doll house (I got to see it too, but that is another story).

 I grew up (sort of) and went in the Air Force.
I was stationed in Illinois for technical school and I remembered the Fairy Castle.
One weekend I dragged my roommate Candy in to Chicago. I finally got to see the castle in person.
It was a busy day and they had guards in the room who would not let you stop to stare.
I made poor Candy go around three or four times so I could see every little detail
(I don't think she minded all that much).
This picture, and the next few show the princess' drawing room.
The chandelier is made from solid gold, diamonds and emeralds (yes, real ones).
 See the tiny chess set down in front? The pieces are carved from Ivory.

 This is a close up of the silver furniture. Yes, silver. The couch is made from Sterling silver, the chairs are upholstered on sterling frames. Colleen Moore was a star of the silent movies and she was friends with the rich, famous and talented people of her day. The murals on the walls were hand painted. Framed paintings are just that actual paintings by the artists who were popular when the castle was built.
 The castle's kitchen has murals painted on the walls and you can see some of the china on a shelf by the door.
The castle belongs to The Museum of Science and Industry.
They are aware of how wonderful and how valuable the castle is so they keep the lights around it dim for protection. The castle is wired and has working lights. The lighting makes it all feel even more magical, it also makes it more difficult to photograph.

This is my favorite room, the library.
Colleen's father had little blank books made up and gave them to her friends to write in for her.
Their are copies of books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, William Randolph Hurst, John Stienbeck, Willa Cather, and Edgar Rice Burroughs. These books are in the author's own hand writing.
The book shelves are to either side of the room. Don't those chairs just look like they were made to curl up in?

This picture shows the princes's bathroom. How is that for posh?

Her bedroom.
See the silver chair, the back was made from one of Colleen Moore's earrings.
I did not have a camera with me on that first trip, so I bought a copy of the Museum's guide book for the castle. It seemed extravegent at the time, but I still have it. I used it to refresh my memory on some of the details.

I have always wanted to go back.
Nearly three decades later, my Sweet Husband, took me.
It is still there, it is still amazing, and I am a very lucky girl.
If you are interested, the museum's web site has more great pictures and information.
You can see them at
Fairy Castle

The castle is not the only reason I wanted to go back to Chicago,
stay tuned for further episodes.....

14 July 2012


I finally got to take a real break!
Can you guess where we went?
If you can, which picture gave it away?

1. Street Garden

 2. Details

 3. Neon Redhead

 4. Classic

 5. Sky and shore

 6. Gargoyle

 7. Ducks

 8. Hard Rock
 9. Gothic

 10. Landmark (and Sweet Husband)

 11. Ferris Wheel
12. Play Ball!

Any guesses?


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