Dolltown April 2017

It's the Sashas!

We invited our Sasha dolls to participate in the River story...


The Sashas were brought down from the attic last year. Biding their time in their own basket.


Where did they come from?

Our family sold Sashas in our book and gift store years ago (way before Dolltown). We loved their universal look, and the quality. So these four are my children's dolls, along with two Sasha babies. These dolls have seen things, heard things, and been steadfast companions, to my kids, and then to each other.


And when my kids left home, their Sashas were tucked safely away. For years. And now...


This spring in Dolltown, we decided they were just right to oversee the children at the River this year. Old enough to take charge! Two of them are heading down there after this Bridge meet up. We want them there before the children show up for their picnic. And to get the canoe ready.


The canoe was in the attic with these Sashas, so it's fitting...

Archie and Channing say see you later to Asia and Bethany. Such a skilled and serene group!

So many adventures and travels with my inventive kids, before their years in the attic.

And their years in the attic! That's a whole other story...


Who Brought the Canoe?

Here's a view of the Dolltown River, before the picnic gathering starts....


The Dolltowners come here regularly so we thought it was time to have another event here and take some photos.


We decided to bring in the Sasha dolls, after their long hiatus in the attic, and after months of patiently waiting in their own basket. (See last post.)


One of the special things that was also brought down from the attic was a beautiful birchbark canoe.


It was made in the Shuswap by the Secwepemc people. I know because it was one of the many 1st Nations crafts brought in to our book and gift shop years and years ago. 

Birchbark canoes were traditionally used in the east. And in the west I understand it was more common for canoes to be made from spruce bark, and cedar planks on the coast.

However, we know that this particular canoe was crafted from the birchbark used to make berry baskets. Perhaps it was made for children to play with while the grandmothers picked huckleberries for the winter. This canoe has been in our family for five decades.


And now, the Sashas are introducing it to Dolltown.

The Dolltown children have been hearing about it for days...

Look! There is even a tiny canoe, like a toy for dolls!


Here are two of our Sasha dolls, now Dolltowners, Archie and Channing.

We decided that these sturdy, calm, and responsible dolls would look after all the children expected at our Dolltown spring picnic.

These dolls were taken on many outings and road trips in their previous lives as child-owned dolls.

They have seen the Pacific Ocean, and big rivers, little rivers, creeks, lakes and rain puddles.

And I am happy to say that they have never immersed in any body of water, not even a bathtub.

(Or so I believed...I am starting to hear stories I never knew about, so perhaps I am wrong!)

But these dolls have been on ferries, in motor boats, row boats...and canoes.

And they were probably there when we got this beauty of a canoe. 

Now the Sashas are excited to show it to the Little Darlings and their friends.

(I have to tell you they are excited because you would never guess from looking at them!)

Archie heads off to scout the surroundings for a minute.

And Channing leaves to collect the girls who were at the Country Music Hall of Fame...

While they are gone, Zoey, Chantal and Faith arrive at the River.

And see the canoe they have heard about!

Archie returns and hands Zoey the toy birchbark canoe.

And Faith wants to know what is in the old cloth in the big canoe (big is relative, right?)

Faith moves in beside Zoey, wanting to be next. Chantal is always agreeable!

Archie tells them to handle it gently. 

Zoey passes the little canoe to Faith, as Pearl and Scout arrive.

Faith passes to Chantal. Pearl can't wait!

Scout, is that the picnic quilt there beside you?

Chantal passes to Pearl, and Pearl to Scout...

Birdy, Rosa, and Jiyoon arrive.

And Zoey and Pearl sit by the big canoe, ready to unwrap the cloth. What is inside?

Looks like some moosehide, a stone. The girls explore and chat about what they find.

The boys, Chris and Douglas are impressed with the little canoe. Does it float?


See the rolled red quilt? Now we can fetch the picnic basket!

It's time to clear some space and get ready...

More kids coming! How is everyone going to fit in to this little clearing by the river?

We'll work it out!


Doll Fashion...Wonderful Worlds

Wonderful World coats...
I want to take a minute to feature a staple here in Dolltown. 
Lots of dolls arrive in a single outfit, or undies only. Some are even naked, poor things!
We had to find clothes for lots of the dolls arriving during our collecting period a couple of years ago.
And also for my childhood dolls who had a very limited wardrobe packed away with them.
I found a great source on eBay, providing basic styles, and ordered once, then twice, and then again.
I have shown their "yoga" outfits (my term for them) in the past, stretchy tshirts and leggings in several colors. Outfits in use on an almost daily basis.
But I was also smart enough to choose one of these coats in my first order. And I instantly added two more to my second order. Then two more in my third. In different sizes and colors....
They arrive with a scarf, are good for different seasons, and can be worn with leggings, jeans, and fancy dresses. They look good in the country and the city. And are...reasonable. Very reasonable!
I would probably add another color or two, if they had them. But the cream and red shown above, and this black and white check version, really do the trick to provide our Dolltown girls with outerwear. Throw in a jeans jacket and a true winter tweed and we have our coats needs covered.
Thanks Wonderful Worlds!
(wonderfulworlds on eBay)


Now if only we could find an equivalent for the boys...

Where Do You Think You Are Going?



While the Little Darlings were exploring the birchbark canoe at the river, these little girls, Oiya, Lilac Moon, and Gabby, climbed in my tote when I headed out for a visit to Aunt Jacalyn's.


I knew they were there. So I brought Asia, one of our "new" Sashas, to keep an eye on them.

When we arrived, the little girls decided to stay in the car.


I took Asia in with me. I really wanted her to see Jackie's travel treasures. Jackie is a great world traveler. And I have been hearing stories that the Sashas didn't stay in the attic all those years. I understand there were...adventures.


So, to see if I could get a recounting of these adventures from Asia I took her in to Aunt Jacalyn's...

Asia began to remark on the crafts she saw, but she was distracted when she looked out the window and spotted the three little girls, now car-free.

(Wait. I didn't know dolls could get out of a car!)


We watched them as they climbed, walked, and climbed some more...

What did they see? What were they after?

It's not easy to see the three of them here, but I snapped these photos anyway.

I wanted to capture their lilliputian scale against the small hillside behind Aunt Jacalyn's...

Oh my, girls. It's a empty brick. Imagine!

That's what you saw? And risked your little doll limbs to pursue?

May I remind you we have no doll hospital nearby? Just a first aid station and a couple of vintage nurses.

Now, here is Asia to gather you back to the safety of the car.


The girls look happy to see Asia. She seems comfy.

They cushion up when they get back to the car.


Before we go home, we are stopping at the pet store...

Cat leashes, I am thinking. A cat cage would be too...bizarre. Right?


They are just dolls!


The Birchbark Canoe, a Gold Fish, and a Pocket Watch...

We left these kids, with Archie and the beautiful birchbark canoe, on the banks of the Dolltown River. They found a plant fossil in the canoe, a long moosehide belt, and some beads!


They lifted the canoe up so they could see more. And then they headed downstream to find a little tributary or puddle to try out the tiny canoe...


Then Channing arrived with the girls who had been at the Country Music Museum, still in their rodeo outfits...


And they made several more amazing finds in the canoe! 

Family treasures that fascinate the children!



And there is a brief quiet at the Dolltown River clearing as one group leaves. 

Just the sounds of the birds chirping, and water splashing.

(Water splashing? Wait, did I leave the water on in the kitchen?)

Channing, Lula, and Evie at the River...

Wait til Lula finds the rock fossil! Lula loves rocks.

Xennia, Tink, and Owen arrive too...

And Lula finds the rock fossil the other kids found in the canoe!

And Evie admires the beading!

The children check out the moosehide, the fossil rock, the beads...

And then Tink and Xennia find a golden fish and an old gold pocket watch.

After chatting about the treasures, these kids decide to find their friends. 

They can hear laughter downstream...

It's just as well that they are on the way!

We can hear another group arriving from upstream!

There is just so much space in this little clearing!


Flowers, Bunnies, and...Peeps!

But wait! Lots of people are celebrating Easter this weekend! And we have fond childhood memories!

So let's take a few minutes, in the middle of our River outing... 


It's Xennia! Our April Little Darling!

The month of new spring and babies!


We took lots of photos of our girls in their Nataliya dresses, in early March. We also grouped the girls in all kinds of ways to get to know them, like which artist made them...


While we were at it, we took some Easter themed photos. We know we get busy. And the girls were perfectly dressed for this pastel fashion opportunity!


We love the Easter and Spring symbols...

Bunnies, eggs, chicks, babies, flowers, butterflies, blue sky and all pastels!

Chocolate and...Peeps!

The girls were thrilled when I brought in some of these popular sweets.

If I was a child I could understand the appeal for this popular candy!


Sweetness, stickiness galore! There was a lot of finger licking after this photo shoot...


Another Easter post coming, with Tink, Priscilla, and more Peeps!

And check out our 2016 Easter celebrations!




Our New Tomi Jane Dress...

A story of a new dress from Tomi Jane, a favorite dressmaker in Dolltown... It has been tucked away in tissue for months!
It's Easter week! But the Little Darlings are still at the river and aren't ready to fancy up. They have a very special picnic to enjoy yet!
But I have their dresses laid out for them for when they return from their river outing.
And we are going to have fun because over the year, when I cash in my sparkly water cans, I hunt for basic separates for our active Dolltown lives...or I spring for a special dress.
Last fall while window shopping on eBay, I found this special dress. It is a Tomi Jane Tea Dress. And I am such a Tomi Jane fan!
So I spent all my soda can money on this one dress. And that's why my girls had to wear sock dresses for Valentine's!

Chantal got to try this pretty aqua dress when it arrived, and we sent her photo to Tomi with a thank you. Then we put it away until spring. And it's spring!
Now, who will get to wear it when the girls get all fancied up in our prettiest dresses?
We'll see!
And over the months we have gathered other lovely dresses, from wonderful dressmakers!
We are looking forward to tea time and egg hunts in the garden, all dressed up.
If only it would warm up a little!
We are so over sweaters. It has been a loooong winter!
I have set up a whole page for Tomi Jane on our Hiya Dolly site. And I am gathering our Tomi Jane stories and photos....

Tink, Priscilla, and sticky Peeps!

During our early March Easter photo shoot, I opened a package of Peeps...

When Priscilla arrived on the scene, generous little Tink offered the rest of hers.


Priscilla liked the sweet, but is not impressed with the mess it makes.

Bath time for Priscilla!


Little Darlings Dress Up for a Spring Celebration!

It's Easter time here...

We enjoy a Spring Celebration!

Flowers, bunnies, eggs, babies, sweet treats, and we love an egg hunt!


We decided to have our celebration at the Dolltown River clearing! Ernie and Vikka arrived to get the clearing ready...moving the canoe and laying out the pretty pink quilt. And they brought in our Big Bunny, who came for photos, and stayed when the Little Darlings arrived!

He became a part of the setting! He was climbed on, laid on, and disappeared behind the girls when they all lined up!


The girls are dressed in their finest spring dresses. including our Tomi Janes!

And Xennia got to wear the newest Tomi Jane dress, a lovely checked aqua and white tiered...well here... Just look at the photos! A picture is worth a thousand words!


Thank goodness for these two! How would we ever get events done!

You two should start an Events Planner company!

(Unless it means that I would have to pay.

Wait a minute! I take that idea back!)

Thanks, Vikka and Ernie!

(Vikka, you deserve a rest! Unless you want to go and gather eggs for the hunt?)


Everything looks ready for the Spring celebration...

It's Big Bunny, Easter Bunny, and our two little Christmas bunnies from April!

And Xennia, our girl of the month, is feeling all that in a pretty new spring dress...

All the Little Darlings above are in Tomi Jane dresses. Very pretty, girls!

That's Pearl and Birdy in the blue and red Colorways dresses.

And Lula and Scout in pink and aqua. 

Xennia lies down for  rest after all those photos.

And it gives us a chance to see the little buttons on the back of her dress...


Enjoy the rest of the photo story...words later. 

Here's Tink in a sweet Erin Green dress (also perfect for fall!)

Zoey and Evie arrive with a pretty rainbow bunny gift for Xennia, our LD of the month!

Lucky girl!

(It's not new. The girls just find something that everyone in Dolltown shares, and give it as a gift!

But now, Xennia gets dibs on playing with it. Dolltown rules!)

Awww, little bunny romance!

Rosa arrives, in an Easter bonnet!

And in a pretty dress from Joyce at prairiemoon.

Evie is wearing a favorite Pachom Suesuwan dress.

And Zoey is in this purple beauty from Kathy Groulx at TKCT Crafts....

And here we have Jiyoon in a black and white dress from Sue Toyes at toyestinytreasures.

Faith is in a fashionable blue and white Alison Austin.

And Chantal wears a rose print dress for TKCT Crafts, with a soft pink shrug from Kay Marie Treble.


So, the girls wear a variety of dresses from wonderful cottage industry sources.

The work done is very pretty. I hope to add the sources links.

For most links...hop over to our page, Doll Dressmakers.


And now, you'll excuse us, but the egg hunt is about to start!

Sorry, there are no photos. I got involved myself and forgot!


Happy Easter and Spring from all of us!


Tomi Jane One Offs...

The girls are at the river in their pretty Tomi Janes.

I overheard snippets of conversations...


I wonder what Tomi would think if she heard them?

We do our best to be good. As good as the dresses are!

But things get away on us a little here...


Lula, it's "Where are the eggs, please?

Who suggested climbing trees anyway? This is a dress up event!

And Xennia, I don't think one is allowed to nap in a Tomi Jane.... Xennia?

I do think the girls would do their best if invited for tea to Tomi's, with her excellent girls.

I would teach my girls how to hold a tea cup, and how to nibble on their little sandwiches.

And tell them not to put the pretty cakes in their pockets to bring home, if there are any left.

(I won't let them even bring a pretty purse, in case!)


So Tomi, if you would ever like us to come for tea, we'll hop a plane! (So exciting!)

Just give me a couple of months to pass on to my girls good Tea Time Tips!




Sashas and the Little Girls!


My kids' Sashas, now Dolltowners, got to dress up for Easter too.

Well, the girls did anyway. Archie looks just fine!


Bethany and Asia got to wear Pachom Suesuwan dresses. And red haired Channing is wearing a brand new dress from a brand new source! Every now and then I try out a new dress designer for the bigger girls. 

And that means the Sasha girls have clothes to wear! I can resist the pretty Sasha clothes! For now...


And the little girls joined the Sashas in brand new dresses too! They are very joyful, because usually they just exchange dresses for something "new" to wear. But these dresses are from Joyce, at prairiemoondesigns on eBay. And anyone who shops with Joyce know that most of these girls got new dresses for the price of what one dress usually costs. I don't want to even talk about it because I feel so lucky! These have lovely patterns, and are well made. Shhh. Our secret!


The Sashas stepped aside so the little girls could get a photo by themselves.

And first we gathered the girls with Joyce's Prairie Moon dresses!

Look at those colors!

The little boys, Uley and Bobby, joined their friends.

And the bunnies came back! 

That means the eggs are hidden! And that's where the rest of the children are!

We can hear squeals of delight in the forest nearby...

The photos were taken on our celebration day, of course. It takes a while to post all the fun!

It was time to take the little ones to find some eggs!



Little Phoebe Gets Her Own Outfit!

It's Phoebe with her friend Fancy Nancy, and bunnies...

Phoebe is our tiniest girl (if we don't count the babies).  She's so little that she has no one to share clothes with.


 And I am horrified to admit that her one pretty yellow dress is missing! How could I? 


All she has now is her own bathing suit!

So she has had to borrow some clothes so she could take part in some of our Dolltown activities! Rolled up pants, tshirts pinned at the back...


Thank goodness we found this tiny knit dress, (with a red hooded cape!) in an old chocolate box! She has worn it for several events with different ribbons.


Phoebe is a lovely, kind thing and she's very very smart. A child prodigy actually. (Doll prodigy?)

She deserves her own outfit!

I thought it was time... 


At the right moment I called her to open her package...

Look at those colors! What little girl wouldn't want a new outfit like that!

I think Fancy Nancy is hoping it will fit her too!

Off Phoebe goes to try it on!

Fancy Nancy and the bunnies wait for her...

Wow! Perfect fit! Tres cute! What do you think, Phoebe?

The bunnies love it!

Phoebe is excited!

And good friend Kish comes to see little Phoebe in her new, colorful play outfit!

For this momentous event, I brought out the last of the Easter Peeps!

Go for it, girls! But don't get any on your new clothes! 



More photos of the Little Girls, All Dressed Up!

Most of the little girls got new dresses for the Spring Celebration...and even tiny Phoebe is dressed in a new outfit.


And they wanted more photos!


We thought they looked pretty cute so we complied...


Here are buddies Oiya, Whoopi, and Shasta. (Ever since the Sashas arrived on the scene we have been mixing up Shasta's name. Look for a change here, folks! We'll let Shasta pick this time...maybe)


Oiya and several of the girls are wearing Prairie Moon dresses. But Shasta is a little tall. Almost as tall as the Little Darlings!

So she is wearing a dress from a brand new source, Chantal at barb2cinn, on eBay.

A Heidi Ott, a Berenguer, and a Tiny Shawl Dancer by Dianna Effner.

This is a little Berdine Creedy...very sweet articulated girl. 

We call her Lilac Moon. She has purple eyes.

Two little Tonners, a Patsy and a Linda McCall.

Our Gabby with Lilac Moon and little Vera...


Kish, our lovely little Helen Kish...

She is delicate, a ballerina.

It's Fancy Nancy! A little Madame Alexander....

We love Fancy Nancy stories!

Fancy Nancy is wearing a pretty dress we found on a small porcelain.

She is very happy with it. Bright with circles! And puffed sleeves!

Our Phoebe, child prodigy, dressed in whimsy.

A tiny Heartstrings, a Dianna Effner sculpt.

A long legged Berenguer, our Whoopi.

Very cute with those big eyes...

Oiya! An adorable  Heidi Plusczok. Articulated and always on the move.

I think she led the pack of car-escapers not long ago.

She's not talking. She lets us think it was Gabby's idea.... 

Oiya and Uley, another Berdine Creedy, go on nature adventures together...

And Bobby! We don't see a lot of Bobby...he is usually happy to stay at our Dolltown Daycare.

Uley likes to hang out with the older boys, so I imagine they'll be emerging from the forest soon,

laden with chocolate eggs, from the egg hunt.

I think I can hear them coming!



Xennia Borrows Priscilla's Bike

Priscilla biked to the Dolltown River clearing to catch up with all her friends... 

No one there! The kids are still in the forest hunting eggs!


But then Xennia showed up with her little rainbow bunny. And asked Priscilla if she could take the bike for a ride.


She didn't wait for Priscilla to say yes, but took off. Her bunny had to do some fast hopping to keep up!


And Priscilla looked a little miffed (as she often does) and grabbed up our tiny bunny couple.

I think they were a little surprised.

I think they wondered what she was going to do with them!


Hey, Priscilla!

What are you doing with our bunnies?

Oh's Easter Bunny to keep an eye on the situation.

Just stick around, Priscilla! There's chocolate eggs coming, we hear...



Iplehouse Aira and Odelle on the Bridge

Meanwhile, the Iple girls have emerged.

While everyone is at the River, they have made it to the bridge.

First Aira, then Odelle...

So, what's up, Odelle?

Where has Aira gone? And where are Raven and the boys?

Are you heading to the River?

I don't want to call them tight lipped, but I don't always get an answer!

I guess we'll see....


The Egg Hunt Report!

Bunny has spent a whole year in Dolltown! Last year he decided it was such a great place that he would stay. Except for the times he has to leave to hide eggs all over the world.


Of course he makes time to hide eggs in Dolltown! And this year he hid lots of little eggs in the forest near the river. The children have hunted and hunted for all the eggs they could find!


Here is Bunny with a china egg, full of eggs that the little children found...under leaves, tucked in tree bark, and behind twigs and roots.


And here come the little children...

The little children went to fetch little bags, when Bunny told them they couldn't take the china egg.

He heard them making plans to tape it up and roll it back to Dolltown!

Vera said she would stay and keep an eye on the eggs.

But we noticed she was munching them while she waited... Who wouldn't?