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Our own dolly book!
Learn the ABC's with Little Darling Ana and her Dolltown friends!
Right across the street from Dolltown is a hive of charitable busyness! While chatting about a hornets nest terrorizing the neighborhood we discovered our neighbors have a hall full of hats!
Real Canadian toques! Mounds of them on their way to...two dozen countries!
And Andy, the man who ended up saving us all from the hornets, is the man who makes the toques. It's true!
A man of courage, talent, and generosity!
And I have discovered that Joan, his wife, manages the collection, packing, and distribution of piles of soft good for the poor, unhappy, and toque-less! A woman with a big heart, motivation, and organizational skills. And she is tech savvy at 70 years old!
Scout overheard me talking about the neighbors and the project they are busy with. And she convinced me to take her, and her buddies, Lula and Evie, to see these good deed neighbors.
And the Gang of Three made a delightful discovery...
Piles of toques! Scout is impressed!
These toques are traveling over the mountains where they will be packaged up to go to needy people.
But we see something in the bag behind Scout!
Lula and Evie catch up to Scout and they all marvel at the toques made by their neighbor!
But, who is peeking from the bag behind the girls?
That's not a toque!
Little knit dollies!
Look at them! Knit dolls with toques! And is that a knit bunny?
The girls want to play with them... How will they do that?
The girls make a plan.
And it involves Lula climbing up to the top of the bag the knit dollies are in!
Of course it does!
Evie gets ready to hoist her up...
There you go, Lula!
I think the knit dollies are excited!
Lula falls in...and helps Evie up.
Scout, stay where you are!
The girls toss the knit dollies down to Scout.
Wow! Scout is smitten with these little dolls!
And Evie finds a knit bunny!
As Lula finds more knit dollies to drop down, Scout gathers them on her lap.
And Evie jumps down with the blue bunny!
What has Lula found now?
Not sure what to call this knit creature but she brings it down to her friends!
All the knit creatures are happy to spend a little time with the girls!
But wait! There's more!
The girls notice another bag full of knitted creatures.
Oh my goodness.
I better think fast or Joan's hall will be filled with creatures on the loose...
Okay girls! I have an idea!
Wouldn't the purple bunny we see up there like a friend to travel with?
That makes sense to the girls!
How will they get the bunny up there?
Evie, and Scout hoist the bunny up...then it hops!
And when I remind the girls what the dollies and creatures are for,
Lula puts one of the knit dollies back.
Blue bunny and the purple bunny look very happy! Friends!
Way to go, girls!
Then the girls get stubborn.
They still want to play!
Come on! We can't sit in the hall all day!
We just came to see toques heading out on their way around the world!
Neighbor Joan pops a little knit basket in front of the girls and tells them they can take their new friends home....on a sleepover.
She says the girls can take as many as will fit in the basket!
The girls don't want to put any more knit dollies back!
How are they going to get them all in the basket?
But two to go!
Well, we know the knit dollies don't mind squishing into small spaces together!
And Evie ties the last dolly on to the side of the basket...
Good job, Evie! How creative!
Lula and Scout say goodbye to the other knit dollies in the bag...
They pose for a last photo with the toques and toys.
Saying...Way to go, Uncle Andy and Auntie Joan!
Now the girls want to go back to Dolltown and show their friends.
They'll get to tell the story of the good deeds happening right across the street from Dolltown!
And they ask me to carry their basket home for them.
Be careful! they say to me. Don't drop our knit dollies!
The bunny buddies say goodbye.
And as the girls leave...
...more dolls show up!
These dolls must have heard there was something going on!
Looks like Joan and Andy have their own little Dolltown, and we didn't even know!
And our girls missed these dolls...
Should I tell them?
Would my dolls start running across the street to play with the neighbor dolls?
Hmmm. I don't know! I'll have to think about it!
What I do know is we had a wonderful morning!
Our Dolltown trio of good deeders found themselves in a world of fun.
Who knew we had such charitable acts going on right in our neighborhood!
Well, it's actually not uncommon in our little town. But we didn't know piles of toques were being created right across the street!
Here is the knitting wheel that Andy uses to make his toques.
And the little knit creatures are made by the dozen, by Diane Magnussen... Love them, Diane!
Joan and Andy Bisson collect the items and drive them over the mountains to Penticton. And from there the packages are shipped to many countries.
Joan and Andy are volunteers for the Canadian Food for Children Okanagan Division.
The CFFC is a Non-Governmental Organization working to relieve the suffering of the poor in over two dozen deveoping countries worldwide.
Way to go, Joan and Andy! And Diane!
Thanks from all of us!
Now how easy is it going to be to get the little knit dollies back to the neighbors,
after a sleepover in Dolltown? Will our girls let them go? They have to!
(Uh oh! I have had experiences with "sleepovers"!)
Best not to even show Tink and Xennia! Now how do I do that!
I'll get back to you...
Well, isn't that something! We have had Silent Sam in Dolltown for over two years and we have never seen under his cape. It's funny how some dolls just seem dressed already.
No costume changes!
Recently however, we did a little research and realized Silent Sam was probably meant to be a female doll. We looked up the origins...
Sam has always been a guy doll to us. Even after we discovered he had a baby.
I mean we get a say in this, right?
We got curious, though, about what was under Sam's cape. And less than an hour into the visit with our new doll, Sam peacocked his cape right up over his head. (Or her head.)
He kind of looks like a guy, with short pink arms.
Stunning beads, Sam!
But we noticed the beads on one beaded foot are coming unravelled...
Uh oh...now what?
Look on the left there! You can see Sam's baby on his back!
The small blue roll! Does that mean it's a boy?
Is "Blue for boys, pink for girls." an African thing, Togo?
We decided to call mama "Togo" and her baby "Lome"
We think they came from the country of Togo, and Lome is a city there...
Okay, I'm going to leave them to get to know each other.
I think I can hear action back at our Eiffel Tower!
Our Silent Sam has been in Dolltown for a long time and is beloved by the other Dolltowners.
He carries a baby on his back! (But only a few Dolltowners have noticed. The baby is as quiet as Sam is!)
Now, it seems, Sam has a new friend! A friend with a baby too!
Who is the new friend? A very pretty doll all the way from the continent of Africa! How did she get here?
We are waiting to hear the story of her travels. All we know so far is...
Our daughter Lani's bff lives in Africa, her mother lives here in BC and Lani's bff's mother showed up on our porch with our new African mama doll.
Then she left. Wait! Tell us the story!
You can read our story that HINTS that a new friend might happen.
And two years later we are very glad it has happened!
Here she is! So beautiful! And her little baby!
Sam can't believe it! He thought he might get a new friend.
But not a beautiful mama with a little buddy for his baby too!
He welcomes them to Dolltown.
And shows them the baby he carries on his back.
(Pardon the photos. We are on our shady porch.)
Sam's new friend lets him hold her baby...
This is a promising start!
We are very happy for our Silent Sam.
He has kept everyone in Dolltown company.
Now he has his own company!
What shall we call our new Dolltowners...mama and baby?
Chantal arrived in Dolltown first. But Douglas and his brother Chris were here soon after.
And right from the beginning Douglas and Chantal formed a bond. Douglas lives in a world of his own, even when he is with the other kids. He has his own absorbing interests, like planes, ships, history, and building models. He's kind of brilliant.
And Chantal, our little songstress understands him. She is often lost in her own musical world! And she is very gentle and kind, even when others become a little impatient with him.
They spend time in libraries and the music room. Douglas admires Chantal's piano skills, and hums along when she plays, while he cuts balsam wood into shapes, and glues the shapes into models.
So, it's not surprising, with their friendly history, that they chum together on outings, like to see le tour eiffel, built by the children. We posted the photos of their visit, with Faith and Geoff, earlier.
But I snapped more photos after Geoff and Faith left.
And I'd like to know what you think! They seem very...fond!
We are used to a little hand holding.
And a little "I'm still taller than you." (That could go on for years!)
But...aren't you two standing a little close?
Isn't it a little hard to talk like that?
Miley! Say something quick!
Douglas and Chantal almost look they are going to...kiss! Stop it!
I do NOT need dolls acting older than their ages.
And especially these two innocents.
Somebody call them to go play...please! Hello?
Fine. I'll do it myself...Douglas, back to your boy basket.
Chantal, go change for the beach. Sheesh! Disaster averted.
And this was one pair I thought I could leave alone....
Hal, this is so nice of you!
Bringing the little girls to see the Eiffel Tower all done...
Lilac Moon, Gabby, and Vera think the Tower is so pretty!
They wanted to help with the coloring. So I gave them coloring sheets. And lots of crayons.
And asked Vikka to keep guard so if they approached the tower-in-progress with crayons in hand, they could be...re-directed.
They heard that Lula climbed to the top of the tower so keep an eye on them, Hal!
Nice work, Hal! It's almost like you put a spell on them!
From the way Hal is looking around, I am thinking he was hoping Miley would still be here!
Relax, Hal. It's Dolltown! You'll run into her again sooner or later.
In the meantime, I think I heard the Disney Princesses asking for you earlier...
Everybody likes Hal!
Love these girls!
A little Linda McCall, Tonner Patsy, and Berdine Creedy Lolly Pop.
Our Vera, Gabby, and Lilac Moon...
They are wearing the oh-so-reasonable Prairie Moon dresses.
I took them into the garden just when the sun was setting...
Vera, Gabby, Lilac Moon...
They are ready for their visit to the Eiffel Tower.
Hal said he would take them!
Now, is he going back to see if Miley is still there?
Jiyoon shows us around the local Art Gallery.
Here is a framed painting of the heritage Courthouse Arts Gallery nearby Dolltown. Close enough for the girls to walk to, if I would let them out in the alley by themselves.
So they have to wait until I pop them in my tote for a little company while I do my shifts as Art Gallery Director.
Today it was Jiyoon's turn. I think Jiyoon was hoping to do a little painting while she was there. Not today, Jiyoon!
You wander around while I do a little filing...
Art isn't all fun and games, you know!
That's true, Jiyoon!
Did you like the art show?
It's time to go. Let's check for clouds...
The Dolltowners welcome a new member of our family, a real baby, Jasper! Born down under...
Okay, Boneka! Just one glass...
And fruit smoothies for the children!
Where's the Vitamix?
Little Darlings Birdy and Rosa! And Jiyoon!
Birdy heard that Miley was enjoying all the boys joining the Little Darlings to see the Eiffel Tower. She heard that Miley was watching all the hook ups, listening to the conversations, and was giggling with Floora about the flower Badger gave Scout...and the looks Chantal and Douglas were giving each other.
So Birdy decided she would bring their favorite babysitter Hal. Hal is a very handsome doll. And Birdy thinks maybe Floora and Hal might...like each other.
So Birdy, Rosa, and friend Jiyoon stay for a few minutes and then they leave Hal there to chat with Miley.
Way to go Birdy! This we have to see!
Wow! Who knew Hal was such a talker!
We thought he was the strong silent type.
He is such a great listener with the children!
Although it is hard to get a word in edgewise with girls like Tink and Gabby around.
Speaking of Gabby, Hal had to leave to look after her and her friends.
But it looked like he was enjoying himself with Miley!
Good thinking Birdy!
And look at Miley! She is looking positively flustered.
This little visit started quietly enough!
Will came to see the completed Eiffel Tower model. And he chatted with Miley.
Then the boys Uley and Bobby arrived to check out the Tower.
Xennia breezed in, climbing up to kiss and hug Miley, and Tink joined her.
But the affection didn't stop there!
Will was subjected to hugs, and the boys were surrounded...
Awww, so cute.
It's hard to know if Uley and Bobby liked the attention or not. But they did leave with the girls.
And Xennia "took care" of Bobby, who has trouble standing and walking on his own.
She maneuvered him right out of the scene!
Uhhh, thanks Xennia! See you Tink! Have fun boys!
I wonder where they are going!
Miley and Will are left after the whirlwind that is Tink and Xennia.
But Will decides to follow the kids and see what they get up to!
Good luck, Will! Keep an eye on them, eh?
Now, here's a trio we can trust will not climb under the Tower, or climb to the top!
Zoey and Pearl bring Chris to see the completed model. Chris was there at the beginning of the building of the Tower,
He helped get a sturdy base built, so the rest of the model building was successful.
And Chris may have been in on the decision not to use glitter until the Tower was built.
Here Zoey and Pearl tell him the story of the rest of the building, and he inspects the work.
"Well done!", he says to the girls.
Your approval and kind words mean a lot to us.
It makes us want to get you some shorts for the hot summer weather!
(He's wearing corduroy pants!)
Hey Miley! Who's coming now?
Miley couldn't wait to come to the garden and watch the goings on as the Little Darlings bring their boy buddies to see the completed Eiffel Tower.
She brought her friend Floora, our Ballet Doll. And they chat...about shy Faith, Lula and Owen climbing the Tower, and Badger bringing Scout a flower.
They also gossip about a few scenes we didn't show, like Chantal and Douglas getting affectionate. (What?)
And Floora got down to do some floor exercises (of course!) before more Little Darlings arrive with their boy friends.
Oh, here they come!
Who is it, Miley?
Evie is telling Scout and Badger about Lula's climbing exploit, making it to the top of the Eiffel Tower model.
Of course she wants to try it! Evie is competitive, and admires Lula's courage. I had to talk fast to convince Evie not to climb to the top, just in case.
And I was helped by the interaction between Badger and Scout.
Badger is always sent into a kind of delirium when he is near Scout, a fact that Scout exploits shamelessly. She leads him around like a puppy. (She once called him her rescue boy!)
Evie is not getting much encouragement for her climb!
"Make yourself useful!" is one of Scout's favorite expressions.
And she finds lots of useful things for Badger to do.
But...fetching flowers? Not Scout's idea! That is all Badger.
Usually Evie puts up with Badger's moony looks and romantic gestures towards Scout, but today it's too much for her. She disappears to find Lula and Owen. Hunting for frogs...now that's useful.
What is the matter with Scout!
Awww. So sweet!
Miley, our Dolltown reporter is impressed.
But this photo here shows Scout's attitude toward her wishful beau...
Scout is a realist, not a romantic. (Not that we have seen anyway.) She recognizes how useful Badger is. Packing food to the foodbank, digging in the community garden...
She is a bit of a clothes horse...but it must be cotton, linen, or silk, and from eco conscious companies. And she'd rather wear a real flower than jewelry that turns her vinyl green.
So, "Thank you", she said aloud to Badger, before she asked him to help her sort doll clothes. She wants to give some away to homeless dolls.
Wait, what? Homeless dolls? Where?
Give away doll clothes? No way! Do you know how hard I have worked to get those clothes for you all? I work my fingers to the bone. Something you dolls wouldn't know anything about, would you?
Where'd they go?
Lula and Owen have been buddies for years.
(Yes, it has been two years since they have been in Dolltown!)
When Lula Star got to go to Australia with Lani, Owen really wanted to go too. But Lani only had room for one in her camera bag. So Owen had to watch from Dolltown, as Lula climbed mountains, swam in blue oceans, hung from bridges, and hunted for Tasmanian Devils...
I can't remember Lani talking about hunting for Tasmanian Devils. Maybe that was one of Lula's adventure stories. And maybe because Owen really wanted to see one. He was impressed!
Lula is happy to have Owen here to help her climb the Tower. It was a goal of hers, to make it to the top of the Tower, the whole time it was being built. If I had known...
I hope that's it.
I hope that Lula has no more climbing goals!
At least with the Eiffel Tower! What if it had broken?
That would have been a disaster!
I had to do some fast talking to convince Evie not to climb to the top, as you'll see.
Here you see Miley, saying to Lula..."You were lucky!"
"It's not luck!" Lula answered. "I know what I am doing!"
I heard Lula asking Owen if he wanted to hunt for frogs under the thorny bushes...
Lula, don't you have some jeans you could wear?
So, Miley, Dolltown Reporter, wouldn't miss the boys joining the girls for a tour of the completed Eiffel Tower. Miley and her friend Floora keep an eye on the action...
That's good! It's all I can do to take the photos.
Faith and Chantal are here first. That means that Douglas is coming... But who else will show up? Will it be Geoff?
Geoff has taken a shine to Faith and she is not sure what she thinks about it.
But Douglas and Chantal have been friends forever and they are very comfortable with each other!
So, here are the photos...
Yes, Douglas for sure,
And definitely Geoff, who definitely looks like he is googly eyed over Faith.
Faith, who loves a little attention, is disconcerted by Geoff's attention. And his closeness!
I needed a little buddying up for the photos, but if you look closely, Faith even pulls her skirt away from Geoff so it doesn't touch when he stands beside her.
However, there is that over the shoulder look from Faith when she leaves with Chantal....
Is Geoff making headway? Is there a possible friendship between the two?
We'll see.... Now, who's next?
Miley had to see it for herself...
She has been busy following other stories in Dolltown, like Undeen's makeover, and the Ellowynes' disappearance.
She was sorry she missed Conner's appearance on the Dolly Express jet!
But when she heard the boys were coming for photos, she got herself dressed and invited her buddy Floora to join her in the garden.
They wanted to see the action when the boys joined the girls at the completed Eiffel Tower. Some of the boys haven't seen it since it was in pieces.
And Miley finds it funny to watch the boys trip over each other to stand beside their favorite girl!
It is kind of funny...
And Miley has dressed in the Kim Lasher outfit she arrived in two years ago. For some reason she thinks it looks...French! Floora wears her pink tutu, suitable for all occasions when you are a ballet doll.
Okay! These two have taken their places, where they can see and hear everything.
I have arrived with my coffee, and before the Little Darlings and the boys arrive we gossip.
We know the boys have their favorite Little Darlings and that the girls are mixed in their responses.
Well, they are so young! But we know how early crushes can start...
It's the little Amigas!
The Paola Reina Dolltown girls, Undeen, Quilla, and Ling, were really happy this week to get dressed for summer and spend time in the garden!
Undeen got a makeover...a change of hairdo.
We cut her black hair streaked with green and purple! And gave her a short purple bob.
Almost a pixie wig!
She is very cute, and we are happy...
And she got tiny earrings! And so did Quilla, with her golden hair...
Now Ling wants earrings too!
Our Undeen (an Abigail), Ling (a Liu), and Quilla (a Dasha)...
We took the plunge and chopped off Undeen's beautiful mop of hair.
She arrived in a very cute witch outfit, which we have used for all the Amigas and Little Darlings!
I just had to get that mop off and try a different style.
Hard to explain, but doll collectors understand the need to "bond" with a doll...
AND the Amigas' hair is thick and unruly, all of them.
We tried a few styles...
So cute! All of them!
But we liked the purple short pixie bob...
We love it with her purple lips and cheeks...and earrings!
The makeover immediately helped get these Amigas, all three, out and about into the action.
And they were first on the Eiffel Tower scene, after the big Little Darling garden photo shoot...
And off the Amigas went!
They heard that the kitchen is open, and they are all little chefs.
We are hoping that means...summer snacks!
Now, who's next? The Eiffel Tower is ready for more Dolltowners!
We heard a buzz over our heads, during our garden Eiffel Tower photo shoot...
What is it?
Wait! Is that Conner we can see peeking down at the girls?
(Oh boy. I have a feeling April, Fashion Doll Stylist, is behind this! What has she pulled off now?)
It is Conner! Welcome dear Conner! Come for hugs! And photos! And a good catch up chat!
A visit, lots of chatter and laughter....
And Conner was gone!
The boys didn't even get to see her! They'll be sorry!
Here is the note that Conner sent us after she got back to Detroit, where April awaited her return...
"To Birdie, Xennia, Pearl and all my other Dolltown friends...
I would like to thank you all for the warm reception you showed to me during my very brief visit there yesterday. I really enjoyed the festivities celebrating Dolltown's very own Eiffel Tower.
Birdie, I think you guys did such a great job at putting together our tower!!! It looks even better in person!
And Xennia.....so very good to see my BFF!!!! I've really missed you! Well, I'm really happy we were able to celebrate this event together!!!
I am also grateful to my American friends for getting me a last minute flight on Dolly Express Airlines. This was my first time on a private dolly jet and I was amazed how fast they got me to Dolltown and back in time to help April finish the Ken doll fashion report!
Even though my visit was brief, I am so happy we could all share this together! This is such a splendid moment. Big kisses. I'll be back in touch soon!!!!!"
Well, it was wonderful to see Conner, and we gave her lots of hugs! Enough hugs to last Conner for months! Or at least until the next unexpected trip she makes to Dolltown on the Dolly Express! Got a bathing suit, Conner? I think we are going to the beach soon! lol (or...mdr!)
(And thanks April! I know you were behind this trip, and made it possible for little Conner to take time from her design work, at your Design School for Girls! It was exciting!)
So exciting that the girls have insisted that we get our airplane down from its high shelf. Fine...
But don't even think you are leaving the skies over Dolltown!
And we all need a safety lesson!
You hear me?
Where did they go?
What are they doing with that ladder?
See Conner beside the gang of three? In her pretty white-with-pink-flowers-dress....
That April designed and made for her?
And to see the amazing Ken Doll Fashion Report that Conner went back to help with, click here!
We took lots of baby photos the other day...and we posted a few of the baby photos with our Vintage caretakers, Cindy and Darlene.
Then it was on to the Eiffel Tower garden photos!
But we need to pause while we sort out a mystery with those Little Darling garden photos.
And in the meantime we are happy to post a few more of the baby photos!
First, the whole group is here, and we are keeping an eye on them because Cindy and Darlene, their caregivers, are getting their baths ready. Some of them are taken for their baths and Vikka steps in to babysit the rest.
We have pictures here of the tiny Berenguers changing into adorable new outfits! With Vikka helping!
And the big Berenguer baby has a little fun. Although she keeps that funny expression the whole time!
Finally, Vikka carries the Berenguer babies off for their baths.
And our wooden bear and Clown Baby are left with the big toy.
It's a lot quieter...
Okay! The beautiful Eiffel Tower in Dolltown!
We have 6 posts on the building of the Eiffel Tower...at least!
And more posts on the Eiffel Tower's arrival at Christmas...
Also, there's all our January posts when we took the tower out of it's package and the girls colored all the flowers, butterflies, and birds!
Now it's done and it's time for photos in the garden!
All the Little Darlings in the summer garb with the pretty Eiffel Tower!
Here's Faith Chantal, and Jiyoon, who began the build, and were there to put the top on!
Evie came late to the photo shoot and missed a photo with her friends, for now!
But we gathered all the girls for a group shot...
Fait accompli! Or fait accomplis?
April will tell us...she knows it is one Tower built.
But many little tasks and lots of cooperation to get it done!
Merci Beaucoup, girls!
Now bring on your boy buddies who helped!
And welcome all Dolltowners who want to get their photo taken with the Eiffel Tower!
Better get our kitchen going! Time for fruit smoothies and other goodies. Celebrate!
(Of course it would have been a French picnic if we hadn't been impatient and ate all our French food from April, in May, for the Spring picnic at the River! C'est la vie, n'est-ce pas?
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Check out my other sites (None of which get as much attention, at the moment, as Hiya Dolly.):
Inspire Us Kids ...for ideas, stories, links, and resources to inspire kids, or about inspired kids
Best Learning Strategies ...for the best strategies for learning at all ages, from general to specific
Meme Dreams ...for random good ideas that I have run across, or people, links, resources
AND check out sites I have set up for amazing friends:
Suzy Q's Quilts ...astonishing quilter and storyteller
Mischelle's Place ...a gifted life juggler (of people and experience and talents)
Jacalyn DeWolf ...an extraordinarily giving human and writer
I can't tell you yet the web address of my writer/partner's new website...he's still writing in notebooks and telling his stories to the air (catch them! quick! I'm trying I'm trying) I wish, at least, he'd record his cooking processes and recipes. At least...
And keep an eye out for future links to:
Daphne's, my gardener visionary friend and colleague
Keirstyn's, with her mission to find the kindest, cleanest, greenest products in the world
Carol's, who may be too busy learning bass guitar and performing in her retirement, to bother with a site about it all
Tasya's, my oldest daughter, immersed in learning still, and soon to share it (And her hilarious cat Lhasa)
Go to Lani's Adventures, my venturous photographer daughter's website of her first trip to Australia and Tasmania
Check out Sol's channel on You Tube, for my son's antics on his Limber, and his YT video favs
(I have dolls who choose to emulate several of these people, knowing they will amuse me. My dolls are good to me)
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