So, as you can see from the look of concentration on Amelia’s face the art of Dala horse decorating was taken very seriously!
We had a set of three different sized horses to paint and I joined in too!
They have a very distinct and recognizable painted style and now have become iconic of the Scandinavian culture.
Gretchen's son found me on the Internet when he read my comments on this site recounting my introduction to Gretchen's inspiring collection back in 1976.
I had corresponded with Gretchen during the last years of her life and I knew she had parted with most of her collection, but I was surprised to learn from her son that she had kept one house and it had been gathering dust in his basement since her death in 2011.
Now that I am in CT, I have just I was presented with an unusual opportunity around Thanksgiving 2016 when out of the blue, I received an email from the son of the late Gretchen Deans.
If you are a newer collector, you may not know that Gretchen was one of the three founders of the original Nutshell News magazine back in 1971 and served as the East Coast editor for some years.
The house was in his basement and it was indeed the dollhouse from Gretchen's kitchen: a substantial mock-Tudor suburban house that replicated Gretchen's childhood home in Pittsburgh and still populated by the miniature mouse family Gretchen had dressed herself.
Although her family did not know who built it, I eventually recalled it had been constructed by Joen Ellen Kanze of White Plains, NY.So when Clas Ohlson asked us if we would like to get involved with their project as part of their 100th year birthday celebrations? “It was in the small log cabins, deep in the forests of the Swedish Dalarna region, the the Dala horse was born.I was literally chomping on the bit, excuse the pun! Using simple tools, nestled around a log fire, woodcarvers made these Dala horse toys for their children.To celebrate their 100th Birthday Clas Ohlson will be running a FREE Dala horse decorating workshop this Thursday 12th April 2018 11am-2pm in The Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre! Blogging is one of my passions, when I'm not attached to my laptop I also work as a Practice Nurse.Plus those who take part will receive 20% off in the store on that day. Five years later, he thought he was ready to part with it and he wanted it to go to someone who had known and liked her, rather than offer it for sale to strangers.