This little package arrived in the mail. All the way from Australia!
On a favorite Facebook group for Little Darlings and friends, a photo contest was held a while ago. And we won a prize!
Since Faith was our May girl, she got to open it. And it's nice to share such a fun event with a friend.
Chantal was happy to help Faith open the package and read the card.
This straw hat prize comes from Kay Marie Treble. Kay makes these adorable silk-flowered hats, as well as the prettiest smocked dresses.
We don't have a Rosebud Collection dress yet here in Dolltown! But it's on our Wish List! Someday...
But we do have a hat now!
Chantal tells Faith how pretty it looks with her deep blue eyes!
Awww, so sweet!
Thank you, Kay!
My girls are very happy to have such a pretty new hat...
Now they think I will let them go out in the sun! Uh oh!
The girls made it to the Garden Shed...and there was the Eiffel Tower model in its brown box, from Paris.
Faith is holding the tiny Eiffel Tower with the model, that arrived from Fashion Doll Stylist at Christmas.
But just before they arrived, Vikka, who set the scene ready for a model build, found some glitter glue!
And left it for the Little Darlings...
Faith, Jiyoon, and Chantal like the look of that glitter! "Let's take out the Tower pieces!
"Let's put glitter on our coloring!"
I'm not sure about that glitter on the Eiffel Tower!
Who's idea was it anyway?
I better go get the other girls. We better have another Eiffel Tower strategy meeting!
In the meantime, we'll post some more Conner in Paris photos!
Wait for it...
Yes, Plangonologists all over the world are celebrating their doll collections!
In Dolltown, we have a party... 100 dolls. Very fun!
Here is Conner in front of the beautiful Sacred Heart Cathedral!
When in Paris...go sightseeing!
April, Fashion Doll Stylist, does this everytime she goes back to her little apartment in Paris.
Well, she sees the sights as she carries on about her Paris business.
But we all know what it is like when you have a visitor who has never been to your city...
Little Darling dolly, Conner, has certainly never been to Paris before, or much of anywhere else for that matter. From a box of Little Darling doll sculpts, to the Doll Studio for a face up, then back into her own box, and shipped straight to Dolltown...just last year!)
Then, a big move to Detroit City at Christmas, to attend Fashion Doll Stylist's Design School for Girls! What an adventure that has been so far. Conner was helping April design couture for dolls, while we were chopping up cotton socks for Valentines Day wear!
And then, a weeks-long stay in Paris, with forays out into the city. Cathedrals, Doll Museums, parks, and shops...with treasures found, like sparkle runners.
Sparkle runners? Never say so! Seriously, never say sparkle runners around here! That glitter that just came out to decorate the Eiffel Tower model here in Dolltown is already giving me the shivers....
But let's enjoy a few photos, from Conner and April, on their sightseeing adventures in Paris.
Gather around, girls! And boys!
We already showed you a few photos of Conner's arrival and first day out in Paris, to a doll museum!
The next photos we received...a chocolate model of the Notre Dame Cathedral!
What! Not fair! That got all the girls clamoring for a trip to Paris!
(For some of them, it would be a return trip, but that's another story!)
Then the two explorers took photos of the Museum of Modern Art,
where Conner was impressed with the art even outside the building!
"And this must be where the King lives!", Conner said when they came to City Hall.
"No, it's where the Mayor works!", April told her.
"Well, he must be very busy to need such a big office!", Conner replied.
Then it was off to the Louvre, full of art.
They saw a glass pyramid out front and then peeked inside,
where there is so much art that it would take years to see it all.
At least, that's what Conner thought!
Conner was amazed at the underside of the glass pyramid!
Another day Conner and April crossed a bridge.
Conner could see boats lined along the river, and April told her people live in those boats!
What a nice view they have of the Eiffel Tower!
The real Eiffel Tower!
And along the bridge, itself, there were lots of love locks!
That's when April told Conner some of her own life love stories.
Conner was fascinated!
And so were the little romantics in Dolltown! (Conner shared some of the stories...)
(I think Badger just left to find a love padlock for Scout... "We have a bridge!", we heard him muttering.)
And, last but not least for today, Conner's sparkle sneakers.
You saved the best for last, one of the girls said. (Really? Sparkle sneakers tops the Louvre?)
Well, it's just as I thought. The girls scattered, looking for footwear of any kind.
No worries. I hid all their shoes. I knew this would happen.
"Does glitter work on bare feet?" I heard Tink say from the dressing room.
Okay, I gotta go...
More on Conner's Paris trip another day!
We are building the Eiffel Tower from April. It's time!
But wait! The girls discovered some glitter tubes, and this little bunch is all for adding glitter to the pretty designs the girls colored back in January...
Chantal is studying the instructions for putting the model together. But Faith and Jiyoon think the glitter should be added first.
I ask the girls if glitter is a good idea. It's messy! But Faith tips the glitter, ready for some gold embellishment.
And glitter supporters, Tink and Xennia, show up with newspapers to put under the project.
Chipping away at my protests...
Maybe we should get the other girls!
Maybe there should be a vote!
Maybe April should get a vote! I'm pretty sure April would not want glitter on the formidable Eiffel Tower.
I'm sure April even questioned the flowers and butterfly embellishments when she was choosing the model. The real Eiffel Tower is all metal, and was designed to demonstrate France's industrial prowess.
But the thought of all the Little Darlings who would be opening probably tipped the scales. Flowers and butterflies to color? Perfect.
But glitter? Come on girls! Who would do that?
Why are you all looking at me like that?
Would you like popsicles?
(That should give me time to get the other girls. Where is my practical Pearl, and Zoey?)
I took Lula on an outing the other day.
I had to get art supplies, which should have interested her, but Lula was completely distracted by what is coming...
Lula's doppelganger and favorite auntie, Lani, is having a baby...soon!
Lula traveled to Australia with Lani last year, and stayed for months, experiencing adventures in the hot and windy country.
Lula brought back seven New Zealand baby dollies.
And now she is excited that Lani is going to have a baby of her very own. With the bub daddy, of course.
So, when we headed out to look for paint canvases at the Dollarama, Lula took off looking for baby stuff.
How can I tell her it costs more to send a baby toy than to buy it?
High economics for a little girl intent on pleasing a tiny baby!
Notice the Dollorama surround. It's a lot like those hot and windy places Lula experienced on her trip!
We stop for a moment to play, on a red fire hydrant outside the shop. Lula loves red...
"Can I look at the toys?"
"Can we get the bub a doll?"
"Maybe a boy doll, for a boy bub?"
"Maybe a shooting gun? It's foam!"
"The bub would like a big ball!"
"How about garden shoes?"
"Look, baby socks!"
"Lots of socks, to grow into!"
"White for boy bub, pink for girl bub."
"Baby bub oil. It's dry there in Australia!"
"Look! Tiny baby spoons!"
"An Elmo bottle! Every baby needs a bottle!"
"Every bub should have a puppy!"
"We used to have these!"
"Bub daddy could catch bugs for the bub!"
"Soft bub candy! No?"
I had to get Lula out of the store. I didn't want to deal with a tantrum.
(I'm kidding. Dolls don't throw tantrums...that other people can hear, anyway.)
"No baby stuff? Why not!"
"The bub is all the way across the world..."
It was tough, but Lula got it. She had endured the long trip herself, mostly from the depths of a camera bag.
So she understood what those toys would have to go through...
To nip that hint of sadness in the bud, I decided it was time for lunch! Just the two of us!
"This is a good idea!"
"I can have anything I want?"
"What does "within reason" mean?"
"Lala let me drink these, on our trip."
"Fine. I'll have this chocolate cake then..."
"Yes? I'll share!"
Thanks, Lula dear!
One of the best tips I can pass on to a new mom? Distraction works!
Sometimes one has to resort to chocolate cake...
(Okay, okay...so maybe not sweets. But you know what I mean!")
We decided! Glitter it is!
The Eiffel Tower will have sparkles....
April and Conner,just fresh back from Paris, helped us by telling us that the real Eiffel Tower sparkles at night! It glitters, twinkles, and shines!
They even sent a photo to prove it!
So, we made the decision to add glitter to our pretty flowers, butterflies, and birds!
The girls were very happy!
Then the weather changed and we had to move inside. We decided to use the schoolroom where there is lots of space for the gluing and building!
So we started. Faith and her friends were so ready to sparkle up...
Uh oh! Everything was going fine,
and then Tink wanted to pour the glitter in her hand, and spread it on her legs.
Faith gave her a talking to, and Xennia started to cry, so Jiyoon and Chantal tried to comfort her...
And they all left to get ice cream, so the other girls could come and sprinkle glitter.
But Zoey and Pearl decided they wanted to get to the building. And Zoey had a good point,
"You can't tell which sides will be on the outside until the Eiffel Tower is put together!"
We could have ended up with sparkles on the inside!
Set the glitter aside! Let Zoey and Pearl get busy!
The boys, Chris and Douglas wanted to help with the Tower building.
And, of course, Chantal stayed to read the instructions, which are in French. En Francais...
Look! We have the base of the Tower done!
Things are looking up!
Or the girls will be (looking up) as they build the rest of the Tower.
But now we take a short break...in the garden with the Iple girls.
It's true! You'll see!
Our Iplehouse girls love the garden. If they are not at Dolltown Abbey, I look in the roses, or under the honeysuckle bushes.
I took a few photos, taking each girl in turn around the garden-stopping in some favorite places.
Then we met up in the pink roses....
Iplehouse Violet, our Raven, is first, with her long black bob, and purple eyes.
Then it's Cordelia, our Odelle, now with green eyes and a short wavy brown bob.
And last is Tania, our Aira, with her soft blonde do and those blue eyes...
Okay! That's a lot of Iple girl photos!
These girls are pretty to begin with, then add flowers and it's easy to get carried away.
And we haven't had many warm sunny days in the garden. All of us enjoyed our time...
When we collected this fascinating character from eBay, he was described as a 1st Nations Doll. He has a felt cape...and beading, which is similar to our coastal 1st Nations. But he was misnamed I could tell. Felt clothing and decorative beading are found in many cultures!
He was only $10... How could I resist?
And he was talking to me, ("Can I come to Dolltown? I have never been so far north!") which after he arrived, I realized was problematic. Because he has no mouth and he communicates through thoughts.
And that means not all the Dolltowners can hear him. Who knew that could be a thing?
We called him Silent Sam, since he doesn't talk (out loud anyway) and he quickly became a part of our stories. The children like him. He's tall, solid, accepting...which basically means he doesn't get after them when they get up to stuff. But he does let us know if there are safety issues, so we can nip risky adventures in the bud.
One day I realized I had made a huge mistake and overlooked something important about Sam. There is a baby on his back! What? The eBay description did not say two dolls! But how could I miss that?
Sam let me know he didn't mind it being like a secret. If the children discovered the baby they would just want to hold it, feed it, babysit it, put it in a buggy... And he wanted it just where it was, tucked into a fold of his warm felted cape.
When I looked carefully I could see the baby (it's very quiet!) has lovely beaded attachments, making it look like a decorative element on Sam's back. Close to unnoticeable.
Priscilla has just discovered Sam's secret. She's not the first. Each Dolltowner who has noticed the baby on Sam's back has kept the secret. Sort of like how we handle the big Santa Claus secret. You don't know it yet, and when you do you become one of the secret holders.
I wonder if Priscilla will tell!
Eventually, the secret will come out.
But what I haven't figured out, partly because of the way Sam is dressed, but also because I'm not sure how to thought-ask this without being rude. Is our African doll Silent Sam? Or should we be saying Silent Sama, or Samara, or Samantha? Is Sam a mom? Or a dad?
Perhaps one day we will know that, too.
For now, a few photos of Priscilla's discovery and her response...
Priscilla has always really liked Sam. She trails around after him, talking to him endlessly.
Sam seems like a good listener because Priscilla doesn't hear his thoughts, only her own.
They are at the Garden Shed, waiting for the Dolltown babies to arrive for outdoor playtime.
Priscilla, of course, thinks she is the first to know Sam has a baby on his back.
And her first response is to blame me and the Dolltowners for being ignorant. (Okay, I'll accept that.)
And she is very cross when I tell her that some of us already know and she is not to tell.
She wants to hold the baby, feed it, babysit it, and put it in a buggy.
(Sam is very wise.)
However, she agrees to keep the secret. And becomes protective of Sam and his baby.
I heard her muttering that she needs to find the baby a toy. Maybe a rattle...
Silent Sam and Priscilla call on Vikka to bring some props for our Dolltown Daycare photo shoot.
We have put Vikka in charge of our props room. She has been on hand consistently every time we have a setting change. She is remarkably strong for such a small doll. And she is a very good at delegating. Anyone nearby...
Priscilla, for instance. Priscilla likes to stand and make comments. About everything. Negative comments usually. But Vikka pays no attention to Priscilla's complaints and criticisms. She just tells her what needs doing and Priscilla finds herself carting baskets, arranging tables...
You'll notice Priscilla follows Vikka when she leaves. I think they are off to create a new setting for an upcoming event...
Here they are!
It's the Dolltown babies!
Dolltown has a Daycare, of course.
And our Vintages Darlene and Cindy are in charge.
In their past life Cindy and Darlene were favorite dolls of my sister's and mine.
After years of sleeping in a suitcase, they were thrilled to wake up and get busy.
They packed away their nurse clothes, got a makeover (silky wigs), and took on the youngest Dolltowners.
We still call them first to the First Aid Room when something happens,
but they love looking after the babies.
And that leaves the rest of us free to follow the older children around.
And keep tabs on their roaming and adventures!
We have a variety of babies and toddlers, from Berenguers to pretty Marie Osmond girls.
Cindy and Darlene love them all, but they have claimed the two littlest Berenguers as their own.
Who am I to argue! They deserve anything they want!
We have little ones from everywhere.
A little Dianna Effner porcelain cutie. We call her Zhilan.
A sweet Madame Alexander, our Neela...
All so well behaved!
Hey, here's Gabby!
What is she doing with our baby group?
She always seems to know when there is a Daycare fieldtrip, or party...or a photo shoot!
Gabby loves photos! Poses, action shots, selfies...
And the snacks are arriving!
Birdy and Rosa got to the classroom early so they could get started on the Eiffel Tower model...
But the room wasn't open yet so the girls decided to explore the garden.
And they were drawn by the sweet scent of roses...
How pretty! Darling girls!
But Rosa lost a shoe, a red shoe.
And we haven't found it yet...
The boys, Will and Uley came by to look but, no luck.
The boys peered down into the bushes to find the shoe, but were warned not to climb among the thorns.
Will takes a whiff of the pink roses, and Uley decided he liked the honeysuckle better. Sweet!
And they were the color of his hair!
Now, back to the classroom to work on that Tower!
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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.