Blog Archive October 2015

The Porcelains...

...from a Canadian artist

This collection of porcelain dolls was passed on to me by a downsizing artist. Awesome!  Which means I had to find several things in my house that I didn't need anymore. One in one out, right? But it can't be dolls out...yet.

So what I chose to get rid of was a small set of outdated handyman's encyclopedias. (It is HARD for a book person to pass on books, even books that have become no more than a chuckle at the old info and drawings.) And the books took up no more space than one of the medium sized porcelains. So I have to find a space, besides my photo shoot area, until I decide what to do with them...

The Porcelains were created by a couple of women here in Canada, who got the molds and made the dolls from scratch. Kiln work, handpainting, and clothesmaking included. I was impressed with the work and excited to talk to a skilled doll handpainter . Even fun to check out the wigs, socks, and shoes chosen for each doll. The two doll artists apparently have made MANY of these dolls, from small to large, set them up in dioramas, and sold the sets to give the money to charity. Way to go, girls! That automatically gets you a membership in my lawolf association (A Loose Association of Women and Other Life Forms).

So, thanks for the beautiful dolls!! Now...what to do with them. A couple of them are clamoring for stories. Okay! I hear you! Just wait...

These dolls haven't mixed much with the other dolls in Dolltown. There is a definite scale difference! (Check out my  Barbara McCall beside the largest Porcelain...)


So, is it the scale, or are the Porcelains indifferent? shy?

Or do I actually have to pick these dolls up and put them in a mixed group? 

That's probably it...

I'll tell you how it goes.




I have Lightroom!

I am immersed in learning enough features on this software to make the cost effective! And relieve my mind if disaster strikes one of my devices.


My iPad screen is smashed. I am completely reliant on my iPad with its photo sorting capabilities. If my iPad stops working, will I have everything backed up? I lie awake at night...


I have notes dedicated to my photo process. My process has changed a lot as my photo stories demand more features...comic bubbles, transfers between devices, moving photos to create stories from my photo shoots, flagging favorites....


The process is pretty labor intensive. Daily photos means daily attention, so I have to choose sometimes-sweep or photo sort, clean the attic or create a photo story.


Several months ago I asked my photographer daughter how she organizes her photos. Photoshop, mom, she said-with "of course" in her voice. Not me, I thought. It is too challenging for me right now.


So I used the album sorting feature on my iPad and downloaded CopyTrans to get my sorted albums over to my laptop, where I could then watermark them and add story bubbles in Comic Life.


But I had to go back to my iPad to move my photos around for a story, then hunt each photo down in its laptop file to upload them to my Hiya Dolly, or to Comic Life, then Hiya Dolly. To be sure the photos were in order. But it was working! Well enough.... And then the screen smashed. Thank goodness the screen protector has kept the glass from falling away, and the iPad itself still works, for now...


After a couple of weeks of photo-process-uncertainty, I explored Photoshop, and researched Lightroom capabilities, felt stirrings of excitement at the possibilities, and took the plunge. And now I have a year to make it all worthwhile.


As I spent my weekend listening to and reading Lightroom tutorials, and tried out some of the features, I began to understand how it could be of use to me.


And just like the people who buy a laptop just so they can email their family and friends, I have found the one feature that will make the whole purchase and hours of learning time worthwhile. And that was just in one weekend. What can I do in a whole year? I am trying not to get dizzy.


As I write this I am double tasking by setting up Lightroom on my iPhone, where I take all my photos. And I am "importing" my most recent photos into Lightroom where I can set them up in Collections, manipulate them, flag them, and export them to my hard drive ready to watermark and add talk bubbles, and upload for you, dear reader. 


This possibly magnificent photo tool acquisition will probably not even be noticed by you...

But, maybe, just maybe, it will change my life. Or, at least shorten my photo process by a step or two so I can get the attic cleaned before the snow flies.

And if my smashed iPad screen causes that device to stop working one day, my work might not be sent into a confused upheaval accompanied by deep emotional upset.


I might be all right. I have Lightroom...


PLEASE! If you use it I would love to know the feature you can't live without! :)





Once I had packed for myself, it was time to turn my attention to the dolls, the ones who were coming with me to the city.


Make sure they've got a change of clothes. Jeans, maybe. And shoes that won't fall off easily.


Lula definitely, and Scout. Good picks for this trip. Ready for some work, some city exploring. Good friends...


The photos started even before we entered the city limits, with my human companion making suggestions...Be sure you get a dolly photo in front of this old house. And with a monkey tree!


All the city adventures had to wait until some work got done, getting my geologist daughter ready for a travel adventure of her own, crossing the Pacific soon to go down under.


Unfortunately, fate stepped in and changed all the plans for getting out and about. And the dolls ended up having to explore just books, maps, stones, clinometers, and binoculars before they were all packed up, instead of the Art Gallery, the park, the Seawall, and Denman Street's possibilities.


City exploring...maybe next time.



How did Dolltown begin?

We talk to Terri Lee, the oldest dolly here in Dolltown...


Terri, can you tell us how Dolltown started?


Well, Dolltown has been around for a long, long time. But it's a little like Brigadoon, and can only be accessed at the right time.

You-Know-Who thought a thought at the right time, and Dolltown appeared to her. And this time it stayed, because YKW kept the thought alive, inhabiting it with the dolls she had-me and a few others. And by opening the doors, so to speak, to dolls as a kind of retreat.


A retreat?


Yes, Dolltown is now a Come and Go place for busy dolls. Dolls who have jobs- in acting, photo stories, eBooks, marketing, advertising, and as companions for humans. Dolltown provides the Dolls a place to live and work from, hang out with others, and be cared for.

And most of the dolls have agents who get them into photo stories, eBooks, YouTube videos, advertising spots.




Yes! Lots of the dolls would love to get an advertising contract with the right company. Like Jennifer Aniston and the Aveeno company. Or  Matthew...Matthew McConaughey and the Lincoln company. I, myself, remember in my younger days when I worked with Dove soap in the 50's. And with Heated Carmen Curlers, very modern in the 70's.  Sigh...


How many Dolls are there in Dolltown?


Well, YKW likes to say we have 100 dolls here. But she is fond of that number, and just uses it as a projection to aim for. She wants to be sure Dolltown is set up for growth in the future.

So the reality is-there are usually a lot fewer.  But if YKW has her way, that number would gradually increase as Dolltown becomes known for quality work, and its beautiful, interesting and talented Dolls.

And after she gets up into the attic to get the Sashas, Transformers, Masters of the Universe, and Barbies...


What do the dolls do in Dolltown?


Dolltown has a Community Centre where everyone gathers, a Day Care, a Cinema, a couple of Cafe's, shops, a Salon, a Ballroom, small and big houses, lots of countryside with rivers, meadows and country houses. So there's always lots to do.

And of course, we have Dolltown Abbey up on the hill, across the meadow, where  the Iples live and The Others gather...


I, myself, have a big old house in the country. My old friend, Queeny, lives here with me now. Queeny and I both care for Child Dolls, Babies, and Teen Mom Dolls. And we always have Dollies coming and going until they find their own place here in Dolltown, or move on....


Ernie, my, uh, special friend, and his Doll people have been here forever. They live in the surrounding area and mingle with all the Dolls here at our events.

Ernie is a, uh, great help. Very handy guy...


Excuse me, I think we have a new arrival. I have got to go...


Okay! Thank you for your time, Terri!

Can we talk again? You must have lots of stories.


Yes, of course! Come back and see me again sometime....



Rain or Gold

The girls are on a trip to the city.

They are amusing themselves while they wait to go out.

The Characters


Says "Let's move on."

Aligns with the outgoing, the useful.

Lula Star

Says, "Look at this!"

Aligns with the adventurous, the kind.

"What is the value of that gold ring?"








Let's go out...

It's a 12 photo loop....


Native to Dolltown

Ernie, we saw you arrive last spring. Why then do they say you are native to Dolltown?


I was born in the valley, and grew up here. But we have relatives in the States. So in my teens I was sent to live with my uncle and his family and lived there for a long time.


How do you know this area so well then?


From a young age my family here brought me with them, hunting, fishing, berry picking. Even when I lived across the border, we would return for food harvesting and family ceremonies. 


Do you have your own family?


I was married but lost my wife in a car crash. We have a son, Abe, who lost  his ability to walk in that accident. I came back to the valley first to get settled.

Mokidin, my sister brought my son from the States a couple of months ago.  He loves it here. Everybody is so nice!


We notice that you spend a lot of time with Dolltown's vintage, Terri Lee. Can you share with us your relationship to Terri?


Well, I help Terri out a lot. She can't get around the way she used to but she does a lot for the town and the valley. She is very good to all the dolls coming and going. She makes sure everybody has a place to stay when they arrive, and something to eat. And then we find all of them homes. Terri is a great lady...


Well, she sounds pretty fond of you too. Is there something going on there?


Terri and I keep each other company.  We like to watch movies together, and keep up on the news. We have both been around for a long time. And I'm glad that Terri has her friend Queeny with her now. Because sometimes I am gone for weeks at a time. Fishing down at the big river, or camping up the hills to gather huckleberries. Terri doesn't like to leave Dolltown much. And they need her here.


We've seen you two dancing at the Community Centre....


Gotta stay in shape right?

Okay, gotta go. I'm heading down to the Community Center now. We are putting on a feast for more newcomers... 


Thanks for your time! I think I'll head down for a bit to eat myself. I've heard there's huckleberry pie!


Sure! Come on down!



Louie Fisher, business doll

This is Senior Iplehouse Doll Lee. But today he has taken on his business persona, Louie Fisher, dressing in his Iplehouse suit.



He is working from his library at Dolltown Abbey. Louie runs a lot of businesses, online and off.

He invests in interesting Start Ups.

This is Catrine DeMew from Monster High,

I understand.

Cat has taken refuge in the library. She has heard that there are groups out there snatching up dolls like her, and wiping out their identities. 


Cat likes her identity...but since some love her and some hate her she  doesn't know who to trust.

She has come to Dolltown to lay low for awhile.  

The other dolls and Louie (well, Lee) accept her for who she is. 


But she is cautious around company, like Louie's business associates.


Lucky there's a fern...


What's happening here?

Louie has just signed a new contract for marketing

smart bottled water.

Water that changes like magic after it enters the body, and provides the nutrients most needed by the body for optimum health, and mental acuity.

Really. It's been tested. The test subjects liked it a lot.

His business contact is just leaving.


And Cat emerges to keep Louie company.

And notices his laptop...

11 photo silent story


Boys in Lee's Library...a silent story

What's happening?

The boys have been invited to Dolltown Abbey, where the Iples live. They are supposed to be with the other children. But Owen has heard what sounds like a cat, and convinces his two friends to explore....

The Characters

Owen, who arrived in Dolltown as Hansel, has made fast friends with the Miller brothers.

Douglas and Chris Miller have been in Dolltown for a long time. But they haven't been to Dolltown Abbey very often.

None of the dolls have. 



Was that the sound of a cat? Time to explore...

Uh oh! Someone is coming!

A 20 photo loop...


Catrine Demew is at Dolltown Abbey...

Catrine DeMew, a Monster High dolly, is in Lee's Library at Dolltown Abbey.

Lee has allowed her to stay a while AND use his laptop.

Cat is contacting her friends to let them know she is safe.


She asks if any of her friends have been snatched by the scary identity thieves, scooping MH dolls to wipe off their faces and turn them into ordinary dollies.


Heaven Forbid! Cat says... I am purrrfect the way I am!

Dolltown is friendly. Dolltown Abbey has lots of rooms to hide in. And outside? Husky barn Cats.... Friendly too!

Lee, dressed here as business man Louie Fisher, has just completed his business meeting and tells Cat to go ahead and use his laptop. She seems to know what she is doing.

Maybe Cat would make a good assistant?


Little Darlings in The Library for Class Photos

The school kids have been invited to Dolltown Abbey for a fieldtrip to get their school photos done.


So, Lee's usually quiet Library has been busy today, with his business meetings, Cat there hiding from the doll snatchers, the boys looking  for noises and in hidden drawers, Hal and Buddy playing, and then the girls arriving for photos!


It's been a whirlwind of Dolly action!


Xenny will be sorry she missed seeing The Library, but she is on a Halloween mission for costumes and Dolly props...


Halloween is almost here!

This is a 17 page story!

And this time I remembered to add "The End"!

School Photos in The Library


Waiting for Lee...



3 Little Darlings At the Pumpkin Patch...

In the Pumpkin Patch with Cat and Skeleton

And by the Corn Maze on the old farm truck...


BJD's at The Fall Tree

Three friends meet at The Fall Tree where the Halloween action will begin soon!

Come on, Bo! Time to change...  

What? You can't get your other boot off?


Cordelia greets Raven Bird. But where is their friend Violet? 


Tania wishes now she could take her boots off!

She's going to go and find some slippers.

Lee's coming...

Told you!


Halloween At The Fall Tree

Here's Lee, and Vikka has happily come to his bidding.


Little Ling shows up, and the strong lad, Bo is summoned.

There's something up.

Some story here...

Bo looks like he's thinking...

How can he accomplish the task Lee has given him?


The Children Gather at The Tree for Halloween...

Lee is spending a fond moment with Skeleton, Raven Bird, and Polka Cat when Chantal shows up at The Fall Tree.


"Where are the other kids, Lee?" Chantal asks.

"You're early!" Lee says to her.


Skeleton gives her a bony hug...


Now, isn't an orange dress with a black cobweb design the perfect Halloween dress?



Xenny arrives...

Lee and Cat are making plans.

Skeleton is keeping watch for the dolly arrivals.


Little Witch Xenny arrives and then redhead Pearl. 

And she you know who she sees?

Lee hears her wondering....

Jack, when you spot him, looks a little ghostly...

More of Jack, Lee, and the other bjd's.


The Iples Halloween Photoshoot

The Characters...

Lee is like a father to the smaller dolls and bjd's.

Or he is like an uncle....just becasue of his size.

He is definitely like a partner to Asa, the only other bjd giant in Dolltown. 

Although if another pretty giant arrived, who knows?

Asa is like a mother to the bjds, especially Spiro and Silver. And Airus.

And the dollies in Dolltown love her and are looking forward to an invite again to her special Dolltown Abbey golden room with the circle window. The special tea she serves makes them feel so warm, and good.

Daniel and Violet look like brother and sister. That's what happens with dolls. What look like family resemblances are really factory resemblances.

Get a bjd in Normal Skin, painted by the same hands, and suddenly you get family portraits when there is really no familial relationship.

How can there be? They are dolls!

But for our purposes the Iples are like a family...even Jack, whose story has been told here in the pages of Hiya Dolly.

You can see him here, on the left, in a dark cape.

Made in another factory, in another country, but adopted as one of their own....

Get ready!

Tania, Cordelia and Boris are not in the photoshoot, although officially Iples. Because they are from different tribes they didn't participate in the "family" portrait. 


The Iples Halloween Portrait...

Good ones...okay, that's a wrap!


Lee Gives Miley a Dark Cape to Wear...

Miley, our Dolltown.News Dolltown correspondent has come to The Fall Tree to catch all the action.


Lee thinks Miley should have a Halloween costume.


Miley gets to wear a genuine Iplehouse Dark Cape.

She is beyond thrilled.


And she thinks she looks good!

What do you think?


Zoey Gets to Dress Up as The Witch!

The Characters

Miley, our column writer, has a unique perspective that allows her to comment on the goings-on in Dolltown. First, she's a singleton, being the only Kim Lasher doll we have, so she tends to be impartial. Second, she is trusted by everybody, so she gets the best stories.

And third, she is trained as an Observer, but allows herself opinions and conjecture...

So her "Miley's Musing" column is a big hit with the other dolls, and the Hiya Dolly subscribers....

Ling is a Paola Reina Les Amigas, so she fits right in with the Little Darlings. They can share clothes! Yay!

But Ling may settle in with The Others in Dollton Abbey.

She has that look. And they have an amazing playroom...

Zoey is the well traveled Ana prototype, settling in to day to day life in Dolltown. The other dolls tend to listen to Zoey, even though she is just arrived, as she has a natural authority, as well as her natural kindness...

And Skeleton, playing a bit part here, as a part of the Halloween setting. He is amused...

Dollies are sharing the Paola Reina witch outfit.

Ling has the hat and Zoey asks to use it for a while.

Ling likes wearing the hat but knows she has to share.

Miley likes being involved, in her Dark Cape!