News

300 Barbie dolls and counting

FINE DETAIL: Rieckie Muchow with her Christmas Time diorama. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
FINE DETAIL: Rieckie Muchow with her Christmas Time diorama. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

FOR most girls, Barbie was a memorable part of any childhood but one Bundaberg woman has not let growing up stop her from continuing to be entertained by the popular figurines.

Creating what can only be described as extremely elaborate themed displays, perfectly replicated to one-sixth of real life, they include a caravan with a working television and a festive lounge room with working Christmas lights.

Rieckie Muchow started making the Barbie-themed dioramas as a way to keep herself distracted while her premature daughter was in hospital. Now 31 years later the intricate designs are helping her through another medical battle - chronic pain caused by a degenerative spinal disease.

"I had a premature daughter and I came out of hospital and I needed something to do," she said.

"Then I stopped for a while when my daughter was little but then when she was finished with Barbie I liked the furniture so I kept it all. I didn't throw any away.

"And then when my daughter was 10 we had another daughter and so there were more Barbies."

Mrs Muchow said her interest in Barbie was rekindled and led her to online Barbie groups and the hobby really took off.

"They told me about this company that makes the miniatures, realistic household items - things that I've never seen before like sliced onions and tomatoes.

"It's called Re-Met. You buy them in sealed themed boxes. It's in a capsule like a Kinder Surprise and they come as a series.

"Once I had these items, I thought 'I've got some furniture, I'll make a kitchen'.

"The first one I did was in a cardboard box and I used washing powder boxes to make the kitchen cabinets and made it up as I went along.

"I entered it into the Bundaberg Doll and Bear Fair and it won."

From there Mrs Muchow was hooked and husband Trevor's skills have also been put to the test to help create the diorama boxes.

"I said to my husband 'If you make me the one wooden box, I'll be able to strip it out and reuse it every year'," she said.

"Well I counted this morning I now have 24. How could you pull it to pieces?

"The oldest one I have is probably the castle."

Meticulously painting sets, imagining new uses for everyday items and using tiny replica items to design varied themes, Mrs Muchow hand makes the items she can't buy.

"I wanted a lawnmower and you can't source a lawnmower so, jam jar lid, a piece of balsa, a soft drink lid, some more balsa, a scoop from the washing power, some Lego wheels and you have a perfect lawnmower," she said.

It's the hours and hours of time spent perfectly creating each diorama that keeps Mrs Muchow distracted and her mind off the pain from the degenerative spinal disease she now suffers.

"It's wonderful pain relief," she said.

"You've got to sit there and concentrate crazily on making sure everything is in the right spot."

Mrs Muchow estimates she had upwards of 300 Barbie dolls and couldn't put a monetary value on her collection or count the hours she's dedicated to the hobby.

"I make three each year for the Doll and Bear Fair. I start in January for the show in September," she said.



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

'He's my house deposit': bulk bill IVF welcomed in Bundy

'I WORKED THREE JOBS': Krystal Templeton with her son Marty.

"This,” Krystal says holding a smiling Marty, " is my house deposit”

Bundy dad to be behind bars for Christmas

Man's matter adjourned until February

Woman to stand trial for armed robbery

A 35-year-old woman will stand trial accused of robbing a man at knife point inside his East Bundaberg unit.

Sarah Kay Adelle Winchester fronts the Bundaberg Magistrates Court

Local Partners

Rob's off to start a fresh new chapter

AFTER more than three decades delivering fruit and vegies to loyal customers across Bundaberg, Robert Ward is packing up his ute and retiring.


Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

What's on: Saturday, December 3

Not sure what to do today? We've got you covered

Head to the sugar museum for a sweet taste of history

Cutting the ribbon to officially open the revamped Sugar Museum at Fairymead House is Mayor Jack Dempsey and Fairymead House Team Leader Hayley Vale.

Learn about the industry that made Bundy what it is

How predictable are your Netflix habits?

Stranger Things is taking the world by storm as a new-age nostalgic Sci-Fi Thriller

The new entertainment binging pattern

Kanye West is on the mend now he's back from hospital

Kanye West is more relaxed since returning home from hospital

WATCH: The young Aussie actor playing Barack Obama

A screenshot of the trailer for Barry, a new film from Netflix.

Aussie teen nails Obama's early university years

Boy George named as a coach on The Voice Australia

Iconic pop star Boy George is to appear as a coach on 'The Voice'

The first Baywatch trailer is here, and it's hilarious

From left, Jon Bass, Alex Daddario, Zac Efron, Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Rohrbach, and Ilfenesh Hadera in a scene from the movie Baywatch.

DWAYNE Johnson and Zac Efron star in TV series reboot.

Sir Mick Jagger a dad again at 73

Mick Jagger... dad again at 73

Ageing rocker obviously still getting Satisfaction

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!