Tomi Jane's beautiful dress, on her own Little Darling...
Earlier this year, I was thrilled to get two sets of Tomi's Colorways dresses at what I thought were very reasonable costs.
I wasn't in the market for more.
But when I saw this dress of perfection on eBay, and saw its starting bid, I couldn't resist going for it!
In the end I didn't win....
Which means maybe I can get a few sandals for my girls this year.
But is this going to happen every time a Tomi Jane dress becomes available for the masses? Am I going to succumb each time to beauty and possibility, bid, and take the consequences?
I think yes, IF I see it.
So I don't know whether to stop perusing eBay for things I do need,
in case my eyes land on TJ's unmistakable creations,
or ask Tomi to hike her prices up beyond my reach (wouldn't take much),
or just do extra jobs around the neighbourhood when I find my dolly piggy bank empty and a TJ dress on eBay offered for a song.
I am disappointed that I lost the bid.
But let's be realistic.
It's just that we have a talent show coming up, and this dress would have, I am sure, INSPIRED a song...from at least one or two dollies here. And applause from others.
I didn't win it but I am thinking of blowing up the photo of the dress a little, printing it, cutting it out and adding shoulder tabs...
So I can put it on my dollies and PRETEND it's ours.
I don't think Tomi Jane would mind...
Asa can hear the boys coming, their squeaky runners and leather boots noisy on the marbled floors. She can hear them tussling and laughing on their way. But when they enter her room a hush falls...
Uley and Bobby enjoyed the visit with Asa.
They had heard she is very tall, and very strong. But they found her to be very warm and kind and invited them to have cookies and tea, which were served in the adjoining room.
So they filled their pockets with cookies to go and guzzled the sweet tea and decided that Asa is the greatest.
Hey, we notice Douglas changed out of his favorite Pachom pj's for the occasion! Looks like Wiz let him borrow his Tshirt! Looking good Douglas!
The boys want to ask Asa a few questions about her martial arts skills, but there are distractions...Owen lost a button, Asa finds it. The younger boys , Uley and Bobby get up close. Scout brings Badger at the last minute...just in time!
A Czech Marionette made entirely of linden wood...
Jester Jim arrived a while ago and has been hanging out with Don Quixote. JJ has advice for all of us passing by their hanging rod. (As a marionette JJ and his companion Don Quixote hang suspended, even when they, ummm, sleep.)
There is no topic that JJ won't expound upon. He has words of wisdom about everything. From his philosophy of life to world politics (that the dolls are watching), from how long bread should rise, to how teeth should be brushed Jester Jim gives his opinions. And each piece of advice is weighted with a lifetime of cynicism. Of course, JJ doesn't see it as cynicism. To him it's just real life. The worst guy will win. Our teeth are going to fall out eventually, no matter how we brush...
(JJ that is not even true! Lots of us DIE without our teeth falling out...wait a minute! How did we get to DYING so quickly?)
Lucky the little dollies are not affected by his grumpy words of warning. They just laugh when he talks. They think he is SO funny.
For us humans, Jester Jim and his friend Don present a huge challenge. They are very complex marionettes. And we are complete string puppet novices. We feel thankful when we can get them from one side of a room to another without tangling their strings.
And Jester Jim makes it even more challenging by shouting out cautions... "Hold us steady! Don't mess up our strings! Why do we have to move anyway? It's just going to be a disaster! You're doing it all WRONG!"
I can hear the dollies laughing hilariously. They think it is all for their entertainment. Me? My hands are shaking....
Cowed by a puppet a fraction of my size!
And I picked him! Hahahaha Lucky I love him. I love his face and think it is funny that he is dressed so cute!
Hang on. We have him settled. And being in Asa's presence has calmed him...briefly. Oh, there he goes. They are talking about conditions in Dolltown.
I want to hear this!
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Jester Jim is telling Asa what he thinks is wrong with the Dolltown set up and how it could run better. Asa listens quietly.
And Don Quixote, whose life was dedicated to defending the helpless and destroying the wicked, is sharing stories of his adventures. Jester Jim doesn't believe that any of Don's stories are real and becomes impatient, but Asa soothes him with a smile and a wink.
Daniel has heard the marionettes are with Asa. He has come to hear the stories of these two weathered gentlemen.
Both JJ and Don are a little confused by Daniel's androgynous appearance.
They wonder which bathroom he uses, and how he has become the best swordsman in the land. He has hands as soft as a girl's and there is not a scar on him...
In the end it was an excellent meet up.
Asa has someone to go to for advice, whenever she wants it.
And Don has offered his warrior expertise to the bjd juniors on patrol.
He asked Daniel if there are any knights in the land.
Daniel said no, just windmills, but it went right over Don Quixote's head...
Chris is busy today.
The boys are expected soon at Asa's Open House!
But first Chris accompanied Will to the Bridge to meet his online friend Conner, who now resides in Dolltown.
Now he is keeping his brother Douglas company while Douglas waits for Chantal. Chantal is Douglas's favorite friend in Dolltown (besides his bro, of course).
Douglas wants to show Chantal his new outfit, sent all the way from Pachom in Montreal. He is hoping to persuade Chantal to go to the library with him later, while he researches ships at sea.
Douglas is a studious boy. He likes nothing more than sinking into a good reference book. Preferably full of numbers. Or historical facts.
And he knows that Chantal likes to find songbooks and stories of the great musical composers when she goes to the library....
Douglas has a special passion for all things nautical. And these pj's are patterned with buoys, anchors, and compass roses. No wonder he wanted this outfit!
Douglas doesn't notice that these look like pj's. He is not really socially conscious and he is very sensitive.
And Chantal is very kind.
I know she is telling him how nice he looks. And that she would love to go to the library with him.
Did I hear her say she will look for sea shanties? Sweet girl.
We ALL love Chantal!
Conner is feeling a little shy, meeting Will for the first time...
In a way they already know each other because they have been emailing and texting for months.
They have sent each other photos, shared their hobbies, and talked about how much they would like to have a pet dog...
But still, they both hope they will like each other in person!
Look at these two!
You'd think their outfits were planned together!
But their wardrobes are both filled with black, white, and bold colors, so it is just a coincidence. They are admiring each other's good taste. Rapport!
And they each have lots of hiking and fishing clothes of course, since they are both outdoorsy!
(Omgosh, that is such wishful thinking on my part...no doll here has "lots" of clothes, and certainly not lots of FISHING clothes! But Conner does have camouflage T's. We are ALL envious!)
So, for the meet up, Conner and Will have each brought a friend for support. Eve has come with Conner, and her good friend Chris is walking Will to the bridge...
Photo story slider...click to change photos.
Well, it seems to have gone really well...
Will is telling Conner he'll take her out on a hike up the hills around Dolltown. And Conner is saying she hopes that Will can take her out trout fishing...with friends, of course!
Will tells her they can fish right off the bridge here! Just add a line, bobber, and sinker to a stick! Conner is excited! (I think I heard her say, "I'm psyched!")
And Will has dabbled with Tenkara, a traditional form of Japanese fly fishing. Simple! It boils the sport of fly fishing down to its essence.
They are off to change and find some string...
This is Asa's Room at Dolltown Abbey, where the Iples live. The Iplehouse BJD's like living on the big estate across the meadow from Dolltown. It gives them both privacy and perspective.
The Juniors are on patrol while Asa hosts her Open House, keeping an eye on the perimeter, making sure Dolltown is safe.
Lee is on hand to take over the Open House for Asa while she rests. In case any dollies show up.
But what WE know is the boys have been held up at the bridge....
Asa invites Kasma the Clown to stay awhile. The Little Darlings are coming to her Open House. And first up are the first girls, the originals, who were the last to arrive, just days ago...
Kasma the Clown exits and Clown Baby arrives with Tink and Xennia. They join Faith and Chantal, already here. Xennia and Tink waste no time getting chummy with Asa! And Asa gets to hold the baby...
Jiyoon, in the pretty purple dress, just arrived in Dolltown too. She has already spent time with Asa. She comes with her new Dolltown friends. But she hops right up on Asa's lap! Scout meets Kasma for the first time...
Anna Zoey and Pearl are the last of our Little Darlings to spend time with Asa. Asa gives them a blessing, then leaves for a rest. Being with children takes energy!
Notice Asa's size when she stands! Oh my goodness!
Asa meets a newcomer to Dolltown, Kasma the Clown. We found him recently at the Bailey House, a place that sells things no one else wants. How could anyone not want this adorable guy!
Kasma is still wearing his hangtag, which is where he gets his name. Apparently the Kasma Collection has been a leading supplier of hand-made collectors dolls for years, and our clown looks like he has been around for years. So we are letting him keep his hangtag on. He's so used to it!
Kasma is just getting to know the other dollies, so Asa invites him to stay and meet the new Little Darlings, who arrived in Dolltown at the same time, but from a different direction. I think the Little Darlings will be excited!
Dolls love clowns!
Asa has invited, not only our reporter Miley, but ALL the Dolltown dolls. Does she understand what she is in for?
Actually yes. She worked it out with the Juniors here, and with Lee and business partner, redheaded Arlen. They know the numbers and have worked out a schedule!!
(We do say we have 100 dolls here, although that number fluctuates.)
It will take more than one day, they figure...
Tell me about it. I am the photographer. Phew!
And Miley, who was first, and came the day before the Open House started, wants to meet up with the dollies as they return from Dolltown Abbey to get their stories!
The Open House is a surprise...
Iplehouse bjd, Asa, emerges now and then from her Dolltown Abbey estate. But when she does, it is usually at night, or in her hooded cape by day. But she knows exactly what is going on in Dolltown. She has people...I mean dolls, and creatures, to keep an eye on things and report back to her.
"Report back to her"? Yes, actually, the Iples were brought in as security for the Dolltown residents. And Asa is in charge.
The dolls, of course, think Lee is the boss. Why wouldn't they? He IS the boss of the business ventures that the Iples and Arlen are involved in...the magic water, the invisible wall (Dolltown's wall is the prototype), and the Dolltown Doll Agency, of course.
But Asa is the Dolltown Abbey chatelaine AND oversees all the security, running the Juniors' shifts. She alerts Lee to possible security problems, if he hasn't noticed them already. Asa herself rides the Dolltown perimeter at different times during both day and night. And, of course, she has to put special attention on the opening, The Path....
But an Open House? In her personal room?
So, I am curious about this change, this reaching out to the Dolltown Community. The dolls themselves are excited!
I understand our Little Darlings are first up, coming in groups. Asa is not used to a LOT of children at one time.
These are my gateway dolls...the Dianna Effner Little Darlings.
All the stories that have taken place here on Hiya Dolly started with these girls. But this particular four didn't actually arrive until this last week. So, we get to know them in 3D! And they are even cuter than their sample photos! Thanks Geri!
These four girls are handpainted by Geri Uribe of The Doll Studio. Geri works closely with Dianna, and Geri's were the dolls available to order when I was ready. Sometimes the Little Darling artists get so many orders for these lovely dolls that the only place to get an LD is on the open market...
Dolltown has been fortunate to gather several LD's for our stories. Now, with just one last one to arrive....
The Path, the bridge between Dolltown and the rest of the world...
This is where the dolls come and go-dolls returning from assignments, dolls off on trips, and new dollies arriving...
Here to greet our originals:
It's taking a few days to get to know the real girls...we immerse in names, clothes are traded back and forth, friendships are formed, even wigs change!
Geri's Arial arrived!
This is the face I chose after I discovered the Little Darlings, the lovely doll sculpts by Dianna Effner. Dianna has taught several doll artists to paint these cute faces.
Most of the artists have a waiting list. I got on Geri Uribe's list last January.
Knowing this little dolly was coming, eventually, helped us choose the other dolls we wanted for our stories here.
And the Little Darlings are a hands down favorite of ours. So easy to create characters from these expressive faces.
She's definitely talking to me.... She's very nice.
This little darling is wearing a cute Betsy McCall rain gear outfit.
It's just wishful thinking on her part. It doesn't rain much here. Nobody uses umbrellas. But, when you own a flowered umbrella you want to find a day to use it!
We like to get used to our dolls before we settle on their Dolltown names. Even if we have one in mind before they get here....
This blog post is a tester.
I am trying different photo formats and checking them on mobile devices for the best photo display.
Please comment to help me decide...
Faith and Xennia are babysitting the little Berenguers.
On an early warm spring day, they take the babies to the birdhouses...
Or with hiyadolly.com
Most photos are Pinterest enabled...
One imagines that an original thought, that creates a good vibration, spreads.
Thank you to family, friends, and associates for the inspiration,
and their accoutrements that make this site possible.
Hiya Dolly Stories
Meaningful, educational, or just for fun stories!
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)
AND I love my subscribers. Really. I love you.