Evie and Lula arrive early to school.
Teacher Sky is warming up for the morning singing.
She tells the girls to read while they wait for the other children...
The Little Darlings love the first day of school... Why?
Because it starts in October, not September when they are still running around in shorts.
Because they get to dress up in school clothes...and shoes, after a summer of barefeet!
And because they get to choose anything they want to do (within reason) for the day!
Read books, play with dice, sort and build with matchstick blocks, learn time, write on the chalkboard....
We notice the boys haven't shown up yet. Different rules for boys?
Or still scrambling for fall clothes?
Lula and Evie were already in the classroom early, when Teacher Sky was there playing the piano.
And they show up later to join the rest of the girls.
Pottery Owl has joined the girls in the classroom. See it, on the right? Great learning symbol!
And honoring the old aunty who made it years ago, who isn't with us anymore...
No homework! The girls make their way home from school...
Okay! Now there is another batch of Little Darlings coming down the Fall Path.
But a visitor joins them... Nothing sinister!
But Tink and Xennia spent all summer in a fruitless (or frogless) search.
And now, who shows up?
Random Iplehouse bjd photos from last October...
Some photos that are NOT Little Darlings! They got ALL the attention this week.
A couple of these were used in stories.
Most didn't make it on to the site!
I take a lot of photos...
I am reviewing photos that have not been used and making decisions...display? or archive?
It's fun to go back and see the work from a year ago!
Well, go figure!
Tink and Xennia spent lots of their summer hunting for frogs.
It became a bit of a thing...
Dolltown has creeks, meadows, lakesides.
And then, just when they were distracted by school start, look what (or who) showed up on the Fall Path !
The girls were heading home after their first day of school...
Tink said, "I love frogs!"
Xennia said, "I didn't know frogs were so big!"
Big Frog said, "I think I will fish again here near the Fall Path! Nice kids!"
Our Little Darling, Maggie is off to London, England.
She is going for an extended stay with daughter, Tasya.
It was a sudden decision.
We barely had time to find her extra clothes and a soft silk scarf to wrap up in.
After her Dolltown goodbyes, she was tucked away in a rolling bag and the two flew off, on their way to Vancouver Island for Thanksgiving with family before heading to Tasya's London home.
I learned the next day Maggie's bag had missed a connection and she spent the night on her own.
Tasya was stressed, knowing Maggie was by herself in a strange city and they wouldn't be united for a day.
I understand Maggie actually said, "Chill, Tasya! I'll see you tomorrow. But first, a little Vancouver sightseeing without you."
Where would a doll go, I wonder?
We won't know until she Skypes...
Once again (shades of Lula persuading Lani) it took a little effort to convince Tasya.
But Maggie is a smart little thing, and dressed just like Tasya, wearing flats, carrying a rope for climbing, and tying her hair in a top knot (which Tasya does when she gets serious about something).
Tasya talked to Maggie about what she might face if she moved to London for a while.
Do you have climbing walls? Maggie asked slyly, knowing Tasya teaches climbing.
Done deal. Pack a bag! Throw in the rope!
Then, it was time to say goodbye.
First, Miley and Lula.
Lula has just returned from spending months with daughter, Lani, in Melbourne, Australia.
Lula gave Maggie tips...watch out for spiders, get under a light cloth when it gets hot, windy, and too sunny.
And ask for some babies from the Salvation Army store if you get lonely.
Thanks, Maggie said.
Next Maggie said goodbye to the girls in the Schoolroom.
The girls had mixed feelings...excitement, curiosity, sadness.
"You are so lucky!" "Yes, I can't wait."
"Where will you go to school?" "Home schooled!"
"You'll get to have lots of fish and chips!" "Yes, and bangers and mash!"
(Uh oh...how about fresh tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, Maggie?)
"When will you be home, Maggie?" "Maybe not til next summer!"
"Ohhh Maggie! We will miss you!" "I will Skype..."
Of course, Maggie said goodbye to her BFF Jiyoon before leaving for the months long trip...
Jiyoon was excited for Maggie. She has done a little traveling herself and thinks it's a good thing.
She said to Maggie... it gives you more ideas and insight into how other dolls live around the world,
and fosters open mindedness, which is a good thing.
Well, I had actually just said that to Jiyoon before Maggie came to see her.
Because she was crying about Maggie leaving.
My little monologue almost cheered her right up, so she was able to say, "Go ahead!" and mean it.
Our beloved little Maggie.
An independent spirit.
I think the promise of living with a cat was enticing. Even after she was told it was...a skittish cat, with claws.
Maggie might look so sweet, but she has an independent and courageous spirit.
And she thinks she is smart enough to outwit a mere cat. And she thinks she can climb faster.
Okay, I am going to quit thinking about all that for a while.
I've heard stories about Tasya's cat in her London flat.
This will be one time I advise an aunty it's okay to keep a Little Darling in a drawer...
(But take her out every day for a chat, and a hug! )
Well, Jiyoon was pretty sad when Maggie left for London with Tasya. Maggie and Jiyoon have been hanging out for months.
After Maggie left, BFF's Chantal and Faith decided to take her out for an afternoon in the autumn sun.
The three hopped into the car when I headed over to Jackie's.
They spent time on the deck, balancing courageously on the ledge. I did my best to take a few photos without freaking out.
(The 4 inch ledge meant there was a high possibility of face plants to the deck floor. But even more frightening was the drop on the other side to a rocky cliff angling down to the river.)
But the stability of these girls, and the lightning reflexes I have developed, meant the girls got their photos taken with this beautiful background on this sunny fall day...
Now in that last photo, the girls are secured in a metal stand with three circles that Aunt Jackie brought out when she saw these girls balancing on the ledge...
Thanks, Auntie Jackie!
In this photo, you can see the ledge the girls were on in the background (and it's not the first time the Little Darlings have had photos here...)
Xennia was lingering on the Fall Path, visiting with Big Frog and the little duck.
After Chantal returned from her Fall Day outing with Jiyoon, she joined Xennia.
After their meet-up, Chantal walked Xennia to the Dolltown Daycare to spend time with the little ones.
Chantal then headed to the Schoolroom. She's heard the boys are there. Maybe her good friend Douglas will be there!
Well, the girls have already had several classes in the Schoolroom.
The boys have been out on separate fieldtrips...
(There is no gender divide here in Dolltown.
But there are natural differences that we notice we are catering to.
Just like when I put lego and blocks in front of my own girls as babies and toddlers. And gave dolls and stuffies to our boy...
My kids just crawled across the room and settled in to the other toys. And our boy asked for Tonka trucks and Transformers. And our girls asked for Barbies and Little Ponies. (Well, and Shera!)
But since I have ended up with adult kids who cross easily across traditional gender lines in a way I am personally proud of as a natural feminist (equal is equal) I fall comfortably into boy/girl divides when these dolls come out... It's fun.
And we have lots of variety in our dollies and stories!)
Now the boys are getting busy with the counting blocks, chalk and books!
No sign of a teacher in sight!
We believe in self discovery here in Dolltown. And personal discipline.
These kids keep each other in line. Hahahahaha
The children came in waves...
While the Little Darlings were off on a fieldtrip, these girls gathered for a lesson!
The younger girls had a Math class, with an abacus and other manipulatives.
What a variety of dolls!
A Heartstrings, a Fancy Nancy, a Helen Kish, a Tiny Shawl Dancer, a Berenguer, and a Heidi Plusczok...
Then a Tonner Linda McCall, a Berdine Creedy, and a Tonner Patsy!
All is well until the Trio of Cuties arrive, beginning with Vera wiping off the Math class slogan and printing the word "fun".
Hey, good printing for a young learner.
But Vera! Get down from that chair!
Hearing a commotion in the classroom, Priscilla came in to check what was going on.
The little ones spilled the blocks and covered her with clothes peg counters...
Priscilla took charge and demanded a clean up!
"Smarten Up!", I think she said to them...
Uley and Bobby arrived, very late, and sent the girls off to their next lesson...
And their buddies returned to tell them what they had missed in Math class.
"Isn't it recess yet?", the boys asked.
Vikka slips into the schoolroom between classes....
Nobody knows that she is an accomplished piano player, except Chantal, who has caught her playing before.
Chantal is hoping they can play a duet some day.
Some of the girls gathered for their music lesson with their teacher Sky.
And Douglas was there. He loves music and loves to be in the same room as our little pianist, Chantal.
See the way Douglas looks at Chantal?
He thinks she's the greatest because, not only do they both love music,
but she likes to go to the library with him to look up stuff...
It doesn't get better than that!
Faith and Zoey were on hand as the old jewelry boxes were sorted during a clutter clearing.
So they not only got to pick jewelry that stayed, but put together a velvet box of jewelry for dolls.
And they each chose a bead necklace to wear to school...
The bead necklaces caused a bit of fuss in the Schoolroom.
Zoey and Faith told the girls there was a whole jewelry box full, set aside just for dolls.
So, the Little Darlings headed to Jiyoon's playroom during their lunch break.
And there, jewelry galore...
Back in the classroom, teacher Sky allowed the girls to talk about the jewelry they chose.
And then she talked about the history of body adornment...
It's called a "teachable moment".
Xennia often lies down during the teacher-talking part of a lesson.
She says it helps her concentrate....
Or, Xennia, is it just nap time?
The Iples have invited the Dolltowners to their abode, Dolltown Abbey, for Halloween festivities.
Vikka and the Halloween characters are getting the Moon Arch room ready.
We see Skeleton, Black Cat, Spider AND Spidey. And Lee's raven is here!
Little Darling witches, Lula and Jiyoon, arrive to check it out.
And Tink and Zoey arrive in their costumes...
No Iples in sight...yet.
Vikka has disappeared.
And Tink in her favorite fall elf costume, and Zoey, dressed in her 1st Nations heritage outfit,
left to get the rest of the girls.
We have heard they are wandering up the path to Dolltown Abbey.
It's getting a little dark, so we hope they arrive soon.
And we are hoping to see the Iples...
Will we see Lee and Asa, the heads of the Iple household?
Or will the Juniors come for the Halloween festivities?
Lula And Jiyoon are...alone! Spooky!
Iplehouse Juniors at the Dark Tree on the path to Dolltown Abbey!
These two have come to greet our Little Darlings and make sure they make it to the party safely...
Of course it's safe! It's Dolltown!
But at Halloween we like to believe that ghoulies and ghosties are roaming the woods.
Scary things like spiders and bats and old grey witches!
So the little girls will be escorted to the Moon Arch Room...
Wait! We hear more giggles coming...
Might as well linger a little longer and gather a few more party goers!
Faith, Scout and Rosa have caught up...
Now they will head up to Dolltown Abbey for some trick or treating fun!
But we know there are more Dolltowners on their way up the path.
These Little Darlings decided to dress up in old fashioned costumes!
When they were ready, they excitedly headed out on the path to Dolltown Abbey, by themselves!
Lucky it's Dolltown!
Coco hears something coming!
She catches up with the girls, to watch over them...
She fits right in to this group of Little Darlings!
And Raven Bird shows up, too!
We haven't seen her since last Halloween (where does she go?).
Sparkly! With such dark eyes!
Birdy meets her for the first time!
"Time to go!", Priscilla says.
It's getting dark on the path!
Are they being followed?
Is someone behind them?
Oh yes! More Dolltowners coming!
More Iplehouse Juniors are heading up the path to their Dolltown Abbey...
This lad does no more than don his skull cap to ready himself for the party with the Dolltowners.
The girls are always asking him if he is dressed for Halloween, at all times of the year.
It's that pale skin and his constant black garb.
And the way he looks sideways at them...
They giggle and run away screaming...
Tania Aira added airy maple leaf sparkle leaves for wings and with a simple gold halo she becomes a tree angel...
I think she likes it so much we'll see her in it for a while.
Her friend Odelle adorned herself with orange butterflies for Halloween.
I'm sure I saw the two of them flying through the tree tops earlier today....possible?
Who knows with these creatures!
Although they linger at the Dark Tree, it's time for them to get to the Moon Arch Room.
The little ones are expecting them!
More Halloween photos with the Iple Juniors on The Others...
Little Darling witches Jiyoon and Lula passed the time in the Moon Arch Room, waiting for their friends to arrive.
They played with little Magnet Head Dolls, while Skeleton joined them with Spidey.
Oh my gosh! Big Spider comes to join them.
The little Magnet Head Dolls are not afraid, hanging onto the spindly spider legs.
And our Monster High girls arrive, checking into the pumpkin treat baskets, still empty...
Come on, girls! You don't really eat, right? How else would you keep those slim figures?
Then they slip behind the Halloween Tree to watch the goings-on. Sneaky!
Iples Bo and Raven arrive with a group of the Little Darlings!
It's time for trick or treats now, right? Even Spidey and the Magnet Heads are waiting!
While the little witches share their witch hats with their friends, Faith drags in the box of treats. Yay!
Some of the Little Darlings head out, bringing trick or treats to share with other Dolltowners.
But these girls linger as the Moon Arch Room darkens...
Not easy to see the girls and creatures!
And with that, the little girls were taken home...
Violet Raven got lots of love from them tonight!
Raven is soon joined by the other Juniors...
They were left to enjoy the moonlit night, on The Others!
Halloween at Dolltown Abbey!
The little group of costumed Darlings have made it to the Moon Arch Room.
Iple Juniors Odelle in butterflies and Aira in a golden halo are looking after the goings on!
But all the attention is on the pumpkins full of chocolate bars and Skittles!
Has Big Spider caught an old grey ghost?
Coco saves her from Big Spider...would he have eaten her?
Tink empties the big package of Skittles into a little pumpkin...
"Are we allowed to eat these?", Tink asks.
"Yes, but not the orange ones! Don't eat the orange Skittles!", says Xennia.
Pearl eyes Odelle's pretty butterflies...
Priscilla watches the fun.
Come on, Priscilla! Lighten up!
Uh oh! Tink and Xennia devolve into candy chaos!
Nobody will be eating those Skittles now! Any of the colors!
Time to pack up, girls....
And with that flurry of busyness, the Little Darlings are gone, heading back to Dolltown to share their treats!
And does Coco get to take the old grey ghost? Is little Spidey going with Zoey?
Stay tuned for more Halloween photos.
Our Tonner 22" Glamour Model is making an appearance!
Awesome! We don't see her very often!
Here she is watching the Trick or Treaters on their way!
These characters want to come to the Moon Arch Party!
Clown is wondering why he is one of the scary ones this Halloween!
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:
Inspire Us Kids ...for ideas, stories, links, and resources to inspire kids, or about inspired kids
Inspired 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)
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...
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
AND I love my subscribers. Really. I love you.