Blog Archive June 2016

Little Darlings at the Garden Store

Birdy, Chantal, and Faith hopped in my tote the day I traveled to a nearby town to the big garden store, Art Knapps.

Birdy wanted this terrarium. She thought it looked like a pretty doll case.

Chantal found a very pretty wardrobe mirror just the right size for our Little Darlings.


Look! she says. It tilts!

We have our eye on this mirror!






Tonner Guys Waiting...

Eddie, Knox, and Wiz have heard the Ellowynes are getting ready for a spring fashion shoot...


They offered to help but haven't heard back.

What kind of "help" are you offering, boys?


You say you want to help...the community?

Eddie is glad the guys have only one or two changes of clothes between them. 


Jeans and a easy to get dressed in the morning! Leaves time for more important things!

Just like that story about  Mark Zuckerberg and his same tshirts...

From the Business Insider, Nov 14... 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had his first-ever public Q&A session on Thursday. 

He answered a lot of questions, but the one that got a lot of interest was, “Why do you wear the same T-shirt every day?”

For those who haven’t noticed, Zuckerberg wears the same gray T-shirt at most public events. While many expected a playful response, Zuckerberg gave a pretty serious answer for his penchant to wear the same gray shirt.

"I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community," Zuckerberg said, after clarifying that he had "multiple same shirts."

Great story!

I'll use it as a good reason why my boy dolls appear usually in the same garb.

Until such time as the boys get great changes of wardrobe, like the girls.

Don't hold your breath...


Pop Up Shop in the Country Music Capital of Canada

2nd Weekend at our Pop Up Shop...

The girls wanted to visit!

A Pop Up, second hand, antiques...

Miley, our Dolltown reporter, had to come and see for herself!


First, a few shop things, then a few photos of our town's country music display. including a performance dress worn by Lisa Brokop! Canadian country music performer!

Zoey and Maggie also made it to the old building on Main Street in our little town.


Here they are perched in the flower filled basket of an old bicycle...


And in the afternoon, Faith and Chantal explored mosaics, quilts, and collages...

This is Paul Brandt, a Canadian country and western singer. He came to our music festival several years ago...

Miley thinks he's cute so she is snatching an imaginary kiss. 

Lucky girl!

Yes, every Sunday a small group gathers , sings country and western at the Grasslands Cowboy Church.

It's ranch country folks.


Terra and Friends on the Path...

Terra, definitely an Earth spirit, is at the Path. She is spending time with the plants and acknowledging the four directions.


The boys , who were out for a hike, come across her in the forest. But hide until she's gone...

Wow! Isn't she something! Owen says!

Ernie brought his son, Abe, to meet Terra. Abe brought his drum and showed Terra how to use it.

Different, she said, from the drums I know... Good sound to touch the earth.

Terra has chosen to live in the Forest near Dolltown, and not at Dolltown Abbey where the other Iples live. She visits them, spends time with them, goes to events with them. But Terra loves her cabin in the Forest, close to the creek, the plants, the creatures...

Terra meets Ernie, a longtime resident of the valley, on the Path.


Ernie introduces Terra to his sister, Mokidin. Mokidin is interested in Terra's earth rituals, and they spend time sharing.


Honor the four directions, the sky, the earth...

And then...Ernie came across a River Spirit Crone, resting along the Path.  Ernie told her there was a kindred spirit in the valley now, from another land...


As Terra passed near River Crone, she heard a burbling sound. Terra understood River Crone's burbles and before long she was being led to the river itself... 


Little Darlings, City Girl and Country Girl...

Jiyoon gets to wear the Mondrian dress first here in Dolltown...


Sometimes it's just who is closest to the door when the package arrives.

But I must say that I thought of Jiyoon right away when I saw this adorable Mondrian-inspired dress by Alison Austin on a lovely Facebook group I belong to.

I didn't want to let this creative artsy dress slip away, so after pointedly ignoring the bid for a couple of days I melted, bid, and won (as they say). 

In for a penny...then I chose a color combo for Alison's ruffle style dress and pinafore.... Two dresses, save on shipping. Makes sense right?

Hey Maggie! Come here a minute!

They heard the knock at the door...and Maggie and Jiyoon followed me right out to the porch. Much to the surprise of our intrepid deliverer. The package didn't even make it into the house! Get the scissors! the girls said, jumping up and down in excitement...

Sleek, chic, geometric, a throwback to 60's art style...

Here is just the pinafore from the ruffled dress. This can work!

Warm, sweet, ruffled, a throwback to another time...

I just added the hair ribbon to the bodice, since it is a little low.

And a third Alison Austin style shows her creative range...

And the under dress is just adorable. I love the sleeves! And the versatility!


World Doll Day!

On June 11, 2016!

We ALMOST missed celebrating in time. But at the 11th hour, we posted this photo on social media...

Thanks to April, Fashion Doll Stylist, we were alerted to this coming event a week ago when we randomly read an archived post from Fashion Doll Diva.  Great post!


Then we got distracted by our own Dolltown events and had to be reminded, again by April with a gorgeous celebratory photo shoot on Instagram, on World Doll Day.


I researched a little, found a World Doll Day site and here is a write up and the original letter by Mildred Seeley which started the whole thing.


You read this while I go and mark my calendar for next year, June 10, 2017,  second Saturday of June.


History of WORLD DOLL DAY ~

The First World Doll Day was established on June 14th, 1986 with a letter by Mildred Seeley. It was created to spread the universal message of happiness and love. 

The day is not owned by any company, club or person and no fees, permission or obligations are required.


Many have celebrated the day by giving a doll to someone--a child or adult, but freedom of expression and celebration are left up to the individual. In the past, the day has been observed with exhibits, sales, seminars, doll shows and other doll related activities. Why not plan a special celebration in your community?


The logo was created by artist Boots Tyner and represents a child with a German bisque doll--her gift. The logo was designed for free use to promote this special day and may be reproduced.


Join in this wonderful celebration and time of sharing!



So, you have not heard of World Doll Day?  This is not surprising as of an hour ago, I hadn't conceived the idea. To make it happen. I need cooperation of every doll collector, every magazine editor, doll newsletter, doll shop, library, doll maker, mother, grand­mother, father, grandfather, and all the stray aunts and uncles. The first World Doll Day is the Second Saturday of June 1986. Give a doll to a grownup, child in the family or just a friend.  If you don't have a child to give a doll to - find one. There are many children with no dolls.

Think of it this way and ship a doll to another country.  I have always felt that the common doll could be an instrument of world understanding. From the first time I started writing books on doll making, I had the hope that dolls would help make friends all over the world and develop a little love among all.


World Doll Day will also be a day for doll exhibits. It is my hope that all libraries will have a special doll exhibit. Museums will publicize their doll exhibits and have special doll exhibits at this time.  Magazines will put out special editions.  Doll stores will put on campaigns weeks ahead.  Doll Makers will make special dolls for World Doll Day.  There will be doll competitions with World Doll Day awards, plaques and trophies.


The logo is made from artist Boots Tyner's doll representing a child. The child carries a German bisque doll to represent this doll collectors gift.  Feel free to copy the logo or have one made.

Everyone can enjoy the fun as there are no fees, no permission needed, no obligations, nobody owns the day, no club, no company.  It's a free- for- all, take up the day, its ideas and fly with it.  Lets do it now.  World Doll Day.

If you think World Doll Day is a good idea, then appoint yourself a committee of one to do something about it--only then can it become a reality.  Would you tell five people,  ask them to tell five people, and each of them tell five people and so on.  World Doll Day's birthday is June 14, 1986.

Mil and Vernon Seeley

P.S. This letter may be copied and copied again and again until the world knows about World Doll Day.



Now we know! And we really like the ideas set out here...

Mark your calendars, doll lovers!

My dolls are excited about the possibilities! A committee is being formed as I write this, the Dolltowners taking a cue from April's proactive and organized group of fashion dolls.


And a heads up! Dolls all over the world can get together, like April's own dolls did, and plan an event...


So, how did Fashion Doll Stylists dolls and dudes celebrate this year? With awards for the best...

Well hop on over to see all the awards and photos. Very fun!


Our Ellowynes Meet Up, and the Tonner Guys are Invited!

Our Ellowyne girls are planning a major Pop Up of their own. They are meeting to finalize plans for the venue, and decide on how to market their event.


I told them they can use our Facebook page...

These girls met in the evening and invited the guys. There is a lot of work to do, and the girls can use all the help they can get.


Hey does that mean the children will be called on?


A Penny for Maggie's Thoughts...

Maggie was given a penny for her thoughts on Instagram the other day, by April, Fashion Doll Stylist. 


She answered, Maggie I am...

But that wasn't all she said. I know, I was there.

I even intervened after a while!


Here's what she answered:

Maggie I am...I like my new dress! I like this house. I like the creek here. I like the mountains over there. I like to climb mountains. Do those people know what they are doing? Do they have the right climbing gear? I should go and help them. I will ask if I can go. I wonder if Jiyoon wants to come. I bet Uley would like to come. He likes climbing too. But how are you, dear Fashion Doll Stylist? Do you like my dress? I sure love your dolls! They are very beautiful and dress so nicely. Are you glad you are back from Paris? I like Paris! I have never been there but I have seen photos. I have seen YOUR photos! So, I know there are cute dolls in Paris. I'd like to go with you next time you go to Paris. I could help your girls get dressed for their fashion shoots. I like fashion! I'd like to see fashion in Paris!  I'm sure I would be allowed! I am going to go and find a suitcase. The other dolls won't mind. They know I like to travel. And I could Skype with them, like Lula does. And my Auntie Ana Margaret could come from London and get me. You'd like her. She's very nice. I haven't met her in person yet, but I am told I look like her. She likes climbing too. And she has a funny cat. I like cats. Can I bring a cat with me to Paris?  I would hold it on my lap and hug it if it got scared on the plane. I would like to hug some of those children in Paris who lost their people last fall. It was so sad. We all cried. And we got mad at the bad people. We heard there were dolls...


And that's when I coaxed Maggie away from the comments and hit the delete, when she wasn't looking. Now if she could communicate in emoticons I might have left her response there!

It took a while for Maggie to wind down from being spoken to directly on Instagram. 

As I led her away, she continued with me...


Maggie, no I don't know about taking a cat. Honey, I really don't think...well, yes, we do have a suitcase, but...yes, your climbing gear would probably fit in a backpack, but April lives...okay you're right, we do need another laptop like the one Lula took to Australia, but honestly...I don't know about taking a boat in case of floods...yes it would be exciting to see the Eiffel Tower and the doll museums, but...

Come on, we'll go look at pictures of Paris, okay Maggie dear? Oh here comes Tink and Xennia. I bet THEY would like to hear about your Instagram adventure, and about your travel plans. Hey, Tink!

I had to get some work done.... 


So April, so kind of you to offer to take Maggie, but are you sure? She does like to have someone to talk to. Not sure what your very adult dolls would think...

Whoops, wait, sorry!  I think I am a little confused. Maggie is very convincing. And distracting.

What? She has Tink and Xennia helping her pack, and they are looking for suitcases too!

I gotta go!


Ballet Recital! Visit to Grace's! And Daphne's Birthday!

Children's Ballet Recital

Dianna Effner Little Darling Doll by Geri Uribe, OOAK Cloth ballet doll

Wotta busy week!

Last Sunday we attended a sweet ballet dance recital, complete with tea in tea cups and slivers of lemon cheesecake...


Maggie got to go, in her pretty pinafore dress. And we found dolls!

A ballet mom makes these lovely long limbed cloth dolls in tutus and toe shoes (made from satin ribbon). One of them really wanted to come to Dolltown. Yes! Maggie and Ballet Doll quickly became friends, giggling over whispered stories.

They hopped on stage for a twirl or two, then returned to the table for sips of sweet tea!

Kim Lasher Miley doll, OOAK Cloth Ballet Doll, Dianna Effner Little Darling

Back in Dolltown, Ballet Doll met Miley, making herself at home. Look at Tink! She loves newcomers. 

Should we call our new girl Nina?

Time With Grace

Grace, our Traditional Acupuncturist, looks like she's taken with our new Ballet Doll!

Grace, fashion hat, OOAK Ballet Doll

Grace does have her own Acupuncture Doll! Not sure how cuddly she is! Jiyoon says hi!

Dianna Effner Little Darling, Acupuncture Doll

And more dolls are showing up at Grace's place! This looks like a baby Buddha in her succulents!

Little Buddha, Fairy Garden

Happy Birthday, Daphne!

Daphne's Garden, Willow Tree

Set on the Nicola River, this beautiful garden is where Daphne spends most of her time. Flowers and vegetables, water features and massive willows. I do my best to keep the girls on the walkways! They like to run off and explore under the big leaves, looking for spiders and little snakes.

Daphne's Garden

Daphne has just set up a greenhouse that's much bigger than our doll studio! We spend time in there, when she let's us in (I broke an orchid once), and share stories... dolls and plants! The girls like to settle in on Sookie's pillows, hoping he'll come and sit on their laps.

bird feeder, Dianna Effner Little Darling, plant nursery

Xennia! How did you get up there! And Zoey is wondering how you are going to get down. So, before Eve could figure out how to join Xennia, Zoey alerted me and I swooped all three away to see Garden Buddha.

Daphne's Garden, Dianna Effner Little Darling, Buddha, Garden Buddha

And here's Zoey with a big Garden Buddha. There is a peaceful water feature just behind them.  But it doesn't stop the girls from using him as a climbing apparatus for dolls!

He doesn't seem to mind...

Dianna Effner Little Darling, red rose

Daphne has a way with plants. Xennia likes the sweet smell of this red rose. But there are hundreds of different flowers to stick their little noses close to. We brought home a vase of mock orange branches. Mmmmm.

Dianna Effner, garden trellis, Daphne's Garden

Xennia and Eve climbed up the trellises  in Daphne's Garden. "Save us from the giant beast!" they teased Daphne about Sookie, her adorable, well behaved, and tiny dog.


Meanwhile, the boys have found the Barbie bike...

A bike! Exciting!


Chris and his brother were late to the boys' meet up on the Path.

Chris found the Barbie bike, abandoned when the girls went in to dress for the party.

Owen got to try it out...


Well, they all did. Even Bobby, whose legs don't work very well.

(There he is, sitting.)

The other boys held him on and pushed him all the way back to Dolltown. 

Will and Owen got there first. They brought their toys...


Tink, Xennia, Maggie and Kate, and Baby Frogs

We did it! We jumped at the chance to get a Maggie and Kate Creation!


We were pouring over Flickr photos of their work and figuring out favorites. Red! Rainbow!


Wait a minute! There's one on Etsy... with a frog!

Tink saw the photo and put her two cents in...


Yes, yes, yes, I think she said. Jumping up and down. Like a frog.


Last year, she got to wear this froggy sundress, from the talented Erin Green. Now Tink thinks frogs are "hers"! Cute wig, Tink!

I was busy, but I thought I'd better follow them.

Since we don't have water features (sprinklers don't count, right?) I was afraid they'd wander out of the yard on their frog hunt.


Tink and Xennia are surprisingly adventurous. Or maybe they just don't get the idea of "consequences". Best to keep an eye on them...


Now where did they go?

What? Oh girls...

I found them in the dry leaves

under some bushes.

But the water is soaking into the ground...oh, never mind!

I think I said "Frogs like ponds".

And they ran off.

Okay! That should take a while!

Back to work...


Lula Star in Australia!

Okay, this is a loooong blog post!

We have set it up differently than we usually do.

Earlier blog posts are beneath. Scroll!!

Lula Star!

This Little Darling looks so much like our Lani...

And, just like Lani, she loves adventure, learning, and travel.

Whenever Lani visited, Lula followed her around and copied her every move. Listened to all her adventures....

And when Lani decided to move to Australia with her Tasmanian, Finnigan, Lula started positioning herself so Lani would notice her. And want to take her along.

She was first in line to help Lani pack up her apartment and planted the seeds of her plan weeks before the move.

When Lani came home to say goodby, Lani planted herself, with her suitcase, beside the door...

Here she is, all packed, ready to go.

Her scheming worked! When Lani saw that Lula loved maps, could use a compass, and knew about erosion, acid mine drainage,  and geothermal gradients her firm "No!" started to soften. And when Lani discovered that Lula actually had work and adventure clothes, and not just pretty sundresses, the decision was made and Lula was dressed in a warm sweater for the trip.

Although Lula had friends who also wanted to come, Lani's famous firmness put a stop to an exodus from Dolltown. Whew! Thank goodness!

Lula changes into jeans and runners for the trip. Just like Lani!

Lula gets to take bjd Bo's backpack and blanket. Lucky girl!

Lula says goodbye to Scout,

her best friend in Dolltown.

Lula's packed in her travel bag. Pearl tells her to Skype and look after Lani!

Owen is promised photos of Tasmanian devils. He wanted to go! 

Lula waits with Lani for the Greyhound bus. Snowy day!

On her last night in BC, Lani gets to go out with Lani and her friends. Party! The fun has already started!

Lani and Lula had a stop over in Los Angeles. Can we go out? Lula asks. I've seen parking lots!

Lula loved the beach! Nothing like this in Dolltown! She can't wait to send photos back to her friends...already!

While waiting for Lani to get ready for the flight, Lula googles Australia and Tasmania again.

A tour! That was so kind of Lani to take Lula on a bus tour. And Lula got to stand on a windy ledge for the photo!


Lula is so excited she lies awake for hours!


Lucky Lula brought her geology vest. As soon as Lula and Lani got to Melbourne, they headed out with Lani's guy Fin, to work. We are off to the outback! Lula was excited! 

Lula sits with Lani in the jeep, thinking about everything she is going to tell her friends back in Dolltown when she gets back from her work day. Will she see a kangaroo?

You can see Lula above, keeping an eye on the equipment Finnigan is using. She is watching carefully so she can pitch in and help. That way she figures Lani and Fin will bring her again into the field on their work projects...


After months of travels in Australia and Tasmania, Lula gets to travel to Indonesia with Lani and Finnigan.

Drink more water! Lani says.

And get over it...we have adventures ahead!

We are waiting for the story on these characters.

They LOOK a little scary! Did Lula get to meet them?

Lula doesn't feel well!

Get the airsick bag, Lani!

Lula is amazed at the lush greenery.

Now she is happy to have a cool sundress to wear!

Lula is seeing sights most dolls could only dream of!

We love hearing about her travels!

New Zealand!

We have the exciting photos, and now we want to hear the stories.... Time for a Skype call Lula!

Just a little different from our favorite camping place,

at Monck Park on the lake!

Lucky we had a couple of bathing suits! Lula is getting a lot of use out of her animal print suit. Rocky beaches, white sand beaches...Lula loves them all!

Here she got to go camping with Fin and Lani!

And she is learning a lot about all the geological history and land formations in each of the places she is traveling to.... 

But I hold my breath when I see some of the photos! TOO adventurous! Get her down from that branch, Lani!

Sheesh, just like Lani sometimes. Can't look!


Maori dolls, Lula's family away from Dolltown!

Look at this bunch! Lani says she found them at a Salvation Army store! We are hoping someday she brings them to Dolltown for a visit! A meeting of cultures. Dolltown loves diversity!

And there's Albert, the marionette! At Christmas we made sure that Finnigan had a companion for Lula. (Just in case Lula got lonely for her Dolltown friends!) Now they have lots of companions. How happy is Albert!

Lani set up an Instagram page for Lula, There are some wonderful photos there. Well, there were for a while. Then they stopped. I became concerned that maybe Lula had actually fallen off one of those ledges she likes to climb on! And that Lani wouldn't tell me!

But Lani says she just got too busy taking photos of...wait for it...olives. Flavored olives. And Lula was left at home with her new friends. 

Okay now, Lani. I am going to go back and tell the Dolltowners THAT story...  "The reason we haven't heard from Lula, kids...."

Beautiful Lula Star


Okay, girls...I need help!

We just posted photos of Lula on adventures with Lani in Australia, Indonesia, and New Zealand.

Lucky Lula!

That small dot of light above is Lula, climbing a branch high over the white sand beach in New Zealand. Lani does allow Lula a lot of freedom.... 

I left Tink and Xennia waiting for baby frogs to gather at their "pond".

Big mistake!

Unfortunately, these two saw the photos of adventurous Lula!

They got tired of waiting for frogs to notice the...damp earth, and went in search of a little adventure for themselves.

Here they are way above my head in our plum tree!

Help! Xennia called. I'm stuck!

Can you see her? Upside down?

Xennia got her strappy sandals caught in fork of a tree branch...


What would have happened if I hadn't popped outside for a minute?

I had to do something...I can't watch these girls all the time!

I need help!

I'm off to find Conner and Evie...


Conner and Evie...Reconnaissance Mission

Of course I'll get snacks! Anything! I am going to have so much time to do stuff! Thanks girls...



Evie and Conner Go Into Hiding...

I had to ask this pair to look out for Tink and Xennia.

Xennia and Tink have been getting into mischief that could end in serious doll damage!

We have a First Aid room, but no doll hospital.

So Conner and Evie agreed to look out for the two friends while I get some work done.


They were excited at the idea, and changed immediately into their camouflage outfits so they could watch the pair, without being seen.

That part wasn't really necessary, but I was just happy with a "yes"!

I am off to get them some snacks while they wait.


But I AM wondering now...where ARE Tink and Xennia?

Well, I hope they don't get distracted and go off hunting for spiders.

Or decide to climb up those cedars!

We'll see what happens!


Maggie and Kate Create! It's the froggy outfit!

First of all, we have been saved by a surprise package from Pachom...


Just when we were wondering what to do about Xennia. She heard that Tink gets to wear the new outfit from Maggie and Kate, when it comes.

Then Tink tried to make Xennia feel better by hunting for baby frogs. No luck!

But then an envelope arrived in the mail. with a cute button dress, perfect for Xennia!

Thank goodness! Thanks Pachom!

I guess Pachom's psychic!

But someone has to go and tell Evie and Conner, who are still staked out at the froggie pond. They are still waiting for Tink an Xennia to show up!They don't know that everybody is gathered around the unwrapping of Kate and Maggie's adorable outfit!

The M&K package arrived! Tink and Xennia are excited!

Birdy and Rosa joined them for the unwrapping!

Below....Tink was ready for an outing, all dressed in her froggy garden outfit. She jumped in Auntie J's cloth tote, not realizing that Auntie was on her way to fetch a bottle of champagne for an upcoming birthday. But Tink was a hit at the liquor store, I heard.  

Auntie Jackie! Tink is a child!

Well...a doll child. But still!

Dianna Effner Little Darling dolls open mail from Maggie and Kate Create
Dianna Effner Little Darling Tink dressed in a doll fashion from Maggie and Kate Create
Helen Skinner's Dianna Effner Little Darling, our Tink on errands with Jackie


Ellos on the Hunt...Upcycling!

Pop Up Shop coming in Dolltown! Our City girls traveled to other destinations to hunt for upcycling possibilities. They are on the lookout in local markets for small, unique items they can box up or pop in their totes. But they keep getting distracted by things they want for, jewelry, eye catching clothes!

But, hey! Let's bring those things too, Yelena says at their meet up! We can upcycle our own wardrobes at home! Add beads, satin patches, fringes!

After some vitamin water and bone broth the girls are off to fill their totes! The Dolltown girls are waiting impatiently for their return.

The girls are meeting at a local cafe in one of the small picturesque towns on their gathering journey. Early enough to hit the markets before all the good stuff is snapped up! Fill your suitcases, girls! Can't wait!

Ellowyne Wilde 16" Fashion Dolls, Ellowyne Amber, Ellowyne Prudence, Ellowyne Lizette, in Tonner doll fashions, eBay and Etsy doll clothes