It was actually my friend, Mary, who got got me started on dioramas. She had seen my collection of Barbie size furniture and goodies, and my 7 foot tall Barbie house, and heard my complaints about being unable to fit more than a small part of my collection in the house. She had also seen dioramas on the internet, so she suggested I look them up and, lo and behold, I was hooked! Mary had no 11 1/2 inch dolls, but she was interested and now has two Poppies, a Lilith and a Momoko- and I see others in her future!
When I was setting up the 7 rooms for the Grandville Library Display and got overwhelmed, it was Mary who came to my rescue. She had never done dioramas before, but as we worked on it, she really got into it and was tremendously helpful with her ideas and suggestions.
And then there are my friends, Rick and Linda. Linda has never played with or owned a Barbie, but like a lot of people, she is fascinated by small objects that look like large ones. When she saw the little rooms on my website, she was delighted. I was just as delighted to have her like them. We started talking about what I was doing and a whole wonderful dialogue has come about.
Linda is one of the most creative people I have ever known and she began making suggestions and giving me ideas almost faster than I could absorb them. When we talked the other night, I told her I was having trouble finding plants and miniature ivy for a diorama I was working on, she suggested using live plants when possible. When I stopped at her house the next day, she had a row of lovely little floral arrangements sitting in her window sill to show me how it could be done. They were all in little containers she had found around her house and were done with the flair and style she brings to all her creations.
Meanwhile, her husband Rick, had stopped by a place that makes signs and saw that they were discarding a number of signs printed on foam core (foam board.) The one above was the one that caught his eye. He has probably not done more than glance at my website, but he remembered that I did something with Barbies and thought I might be able to use the sign and also the foam core. (The sign will hang in my doll room, of course.) So he got permission to take it home and brought me the whole pile. As anyone knows who has read my Diorama 101 course, I use foam core a lot. This was wonderful quality stuff. It all has signs on one side and is white on the other. The pieces are about 1 1/2 X 4 feet, making it perfect for Barbie rooms. I thought this act of kindness was above and beyond the call of duty!
My daughters, who stopped playing with Barbies when they were 11 or 12, have started showing interest in the dolls and furniture again. Katie especially has been tremendously helpful in papering the Big Doll House that they used to play with when they were kids, and helping me set up the Grandville Library Display.
Recently, one of my daughters' friends, a college student who had seen some of my dioramas, showed up with some wallpaper border. He'd seen it at a garage sale and thought it might work for my dioramas.
All this is really just to show that when people, who started out thinking you are a little crazy, begin to understand what you are doing they will get excited about it, too. They may never feel quite the passion for your dolls that you do, but you may find that you have acquired a whole new set of helpers and confidants to share your joy with.
By the way, when I was visiting Linda I gave her a fashion doll because she'd never had one. She called yesterday to tell me she'd set up her first diorama!!