Blog Archive September 2015

Prototype Ana arrives...

UFDC 2014 Ana cloned from this original...

Last year Dianna Effner created a Little Darling doll to honor the First Nations. The theme was "Shared Passions". The factory paint doll is still available on the UFDC (United Federation of Doll Clubs) website.

This dolly was shipped back and forth from China until the company, who made a number of the dolls in a limited edition,  had all the details right, to Dianna's satisfaction.

Ana is a lovely doll and this original is a beauty. She looks a lot like "Zoe" from Dianna's page on her site "The Doll Studio".

The last photo is of both this Ana and her clone...


A silent baby doll photo story...

Baby dolls of all sizes...

Little Phoebe, is dwarfed by the babies. Imagine Phoebe coming to keep an eye on the young ones! 

The Babies...

A 6" Marie Osmond porcelain sweetie.

Rosebud, her constant companion.

McDonald Dianna Effner You Deserve a Break Today Doll

Macdonald, a porcelain Dianna Effner.

One of the Children...

Phoebe, a little Heartstrings Eva, with more of her share of sensible. That's how she ends up as a babysitter for babies bigger than her. She can figure it out.


Change their eyes...

Some dolls...

BJD's often come wigless but they usually come with eyes. The eyes are probably acrylic, but glass eyes are available. Glass or acrylic, black or colored pupils, irises in a variety of colors, and combinations of colors. I have a couple of extra pairs of eyes, and have switched out my bjd's eyes several times.  To change the eyes, the tops of their heads lift off!


I like to show my non-doll owning human friends now how the tops of the heads come off, so the eyes can be changed. But I was a little trepidatious the first time I did it. And I had to do two dolls at once because Tania here came with brown eyes, and I wanted her to have blue. My boy doll Boris came with blue eyes and I chose the brown eyes for him. So, two tops of heads off at the same time, for my first eyeball exchange. 


I definitely watched some videos before my first switch, which were very helpful. As you can see in the photos, the placement of the eyes really affects what the doll looks like!


Next, restringing! 

I'll let you know when I have become brave enough, or desperate enough!


Tania has gone from brown to blue, to gold, to hazel, and back to blue....


It is interesting that, as they say, if you position the eyes "straight" the doll has a staring look, as you can see in one of the gold-eye photos here. (Not the cross eyed one-that's just funny).) It is best to position them with the pupil tipped up just a little...


Waiting for Noddy...

Noddy's Dolltown buddies are expecting her to show up at the cafe for Happy Hour.

However, she is not likely to show up. I saw her in the Dolltown First Aid Station myself, huddled naked under a quilt. She's been there for a couple of days, no procedure yet.  


Noddy and her friend, Bandy, are actually still waiting for a heating pad. A blow dryer was suggested, but the girls opted for the longer wait time and, apparently, a shorter procedure. As the doll fixer, I am...procrastinating. Letting time go by before I ask the neighbors for the doll fixing equipment necessary. I have been asking overnight guests if they have brought a heating pad. Nobody travels with them. Lucky for me.


Of course, I want to accommodate Noddy's wishes...


Noddy wants to wear "normal" shoes, like Soft Mocs and Birkenstocks.  And her friend, Bandy, wants to go into the modeling business. And wants to trade out her stained body for Noddy's spotless high heeled body.  


Dolls show their age, or misuse, in unusual ways, like possible black stain marks from too much dark clothing. And a Goth stage was deadly, and I guess this particular Prudence, Bandy, was too lazy to wear a body stocking. Or perhaps it was her last owner who was too.... (Sorry. Just a little bitter. How do I know she had a Goth stage? The clothes she arrived in.) For those black stains, soap and water, or even acetone free nail polish remover, just doesn't work. So Noddy's friend wants a whole new body.


And Noddy could care less about the stains. She just wants out of the whole high heeled thing. It just does not work for her. It's a perfect trade. I was happy to negotiate the whole thing. Now I just have to get happy with the switching heads part. Novice. :)

Noddy and Bandy have been secretly talking about this for months...even I didn't know. It wasn't until Bandy came to me complaining about her chances in the big city, sporting suede flats. I didn't approve right away, as you can imagine. but my girls have their own lives to live. (Wha?)

So I started my research....


Just so you know who we are talking about. 


Noddy has been keeping a low profile, tired of wearing high heels. She is looking forward to wearing the pants and leather jacket that ended up being too small for the muscled bjd boys...with some nice black loafers. It's time for a change.

Bandy is moving to the city to do some modeling.  She has been told that they like her smooth sculpt, her slanted eyes, and her long shiny hair. But she has also been told that her feet and her consequent wearing of casual flats is not good for her business. So she is going under the heating pad and hoping for a more glamorous look. She is excited.


Dianna Effner Little Darlings...

It's time to talk about the Little Darlings.

These pretty dolls are sculpted by the oh-so-talented doll designer Dianna Effner. Dianna has sculpted many dolls, in porcelain and cloth, and vinyl. The Little Darlings are a 13" vinyl doll with 5 points of articulation. They have painted eyes and brushed bodies.

Dianna has several artists working with her, or who have trained with her, to paint these dollies for the many doll lovers who have discovered the Little Darlings, and want one. Or more.

The dolls can be ordered, and with each artist the wait time varies from a few months to about two years (for a Little Darling painted by Dianna herself).

Also, one can purchase a Little Darling on eBay, from one of the artists themselves occasionally, or when an owner decides to pass one along. Or decides they need a little cash for life's many demands.

The Little Darlings come in 3 sculpts, for a little variety. But the eye color and face paint, the hair color and style, and the wonderful clothing made for the Little Darlings provide a lot of variety.

Dolltown is lucky enough to be home to several Little Darlings. They form the core of all the action here. Whether they are in a story (the focus or bit players) or not, our choices for what happens next here revolves in some way around the LD's. 

There are stories here featuring the Little Darlings, on The Children page. The stories may move around, now that the LD's  have their own page...


Also, I have my  Little Darlings in a Flickr Album, and on a Pinterest Board. As well as scattered throughout the site here, and in my own Photo Gallery...


My Chantal, by Dianna herself...


eBay Rescues...

Interesting concept...rescuing a doll from eBay.

I heard this term, eBay Rescues, from one of the members of a lovely Little Darling site. 


I consider this wild haired dolly my one eBay Rescue.


Now and then, several of the Little Darling artists auction a Little Darling on eBay. Since I wanted to get my stories going here on Hiya Dolly, after I ordered a couple of Little Darlings that would take a year to get to me, I started to look on ebay for LD's posted by the artists. 

 Now, as I tell this, I understand it won't make any sense, except to doll people-doll lovers, collectors, and especially perhaps, Little Darling collectors....


This dolly, a Geri Uribe Tiffany, was up for auction by a seller. I noticed her, but carried on looking for LD artists' postings.  Also, "Tiffany" was not a choice I would have made from the list of cute dollies on Geri Uribe's page at "The Doll Studio".


BUT! as I kept looking, I noticed this Little Darling got no bids by the end of the auction period. Nada.

I, uh, felt, uh, sorry for this dolly who had been passed by, by all the avid LD fans out there. I realized I didn't want her to feel left out, like a child who is passed over when teams are being picked for a game on a playground. So I bought her myself when she was relisted. I didn't want it to happen to her a second time. An eBay rescue....


And I LOVE her.  I called her Lula Star, after Someone I Know, and I love her intrepid, kind, and adventurous spirit. I am so glad she's here with us in Dolltown. I don't know what we would do without her...


But I did learn a valuable eBay lesson. Since this experience I have not bid on a doll just because it isn't chosen the first time around. eBay sellers are patient, and eventually these Little Darlings find a home. They don't all come home to Dolltown (I wish!).


And maybe Lula herself had something to do with it!

What lively Little Darling wouldn't want to be here with all the doll friends and adventures they get up to! 

Perhaps she heard about Dolltown and started sending out "Rescue me!" thoughts on our air waves.

Knowing Lula, she probably would have loved a helicopter rescue, with a couple of our bjd boys shooting energy zaps at all the people who passed her auction by, and scooping her up in the helicopter, while it is still hovering, using ropes and pulleys. And then all arriving here, with the rest of our dollies gathered, cheering her arrival. Medals for the boys. And a band, and hugs all around. And cupcakes and smoothies for all, while everyone listens to her story....


One way, or another, that's an eBay rescue.



Yes, I do have Barbie Dolls...

My vintage Barbie needed a friend....

This is the Barbie couple that I chose to keep her company...


Liz Taylor and Clark Gable!


How could I resist...they are beautiful!

Friends for my bubble haired Moana, and memories of great movies. Especially Gone With the Wind. 

I also have 5 modern day Barbies...young ones. Beach blonde ones. Brunettes...

You can pick Barbies up for a song. I bought a couple just for the outfits, which doesn't work yet with me...buying a doll for the clothes. I can't seem to pass on the naked dolls. Everybody ends up staying. I guess these extra dolls can be...extras. Like on a movie set, filling the background, at beaches, sports events, cafes, street scenes...

One of my Barbies, Magic Barbie, I bought at our grocery store. 

A Barbie with colored wings? Very useful.

My Barbies came out of their basket this week for 2 reasons. First of all, a photo shoot for a story.

But also this week, I spent time on Twitter linking up to Fashion Doll sites. 

I don't own a Sybarite, or a Fashion Royalty doll, or a resin 16" Kingdom Doll. 

But I do have my 16" Ellowynes and these Barbies. So I get to join the Fashion Doll Clubs. 

I am fascinated with the clothes these fashion dolls wear...clothes that belong on runways, doll runways. Yup.

And in doll couture magazines.

Sign up for my newsletter for specific sites and reviews on the Sept 24/15 issue.

Dolls have an interesting history linked up to fashion. I remember reading historical fiction set in the early US that talked about the women in the big houses receiving packages from France, with dolls dressed in the latest French fashions. The ladies would choose the dresses they liked, communicate with the French dressmakers about fabrics and patterns, and order their seasonal wardrobes... And these model dolls are now in museums, part of estates, and come up for auction.

A doll road I have not traveled down.

Modern fashion dolls, even Barbies, claim a much shorter history in comparison to these French fashion dolls. But a 60 year old Barbie is a vintage Barbie.

More on my own titian bubble headed vintage Barbie some other time. 

But you can see her with the others on the Kinds of Dolls page.


Ana's Alphabet Book A to Z

Ana's Alphabet Book A to Z live on Amazon

It's live! ...on Amazon


The process is full of steps but , one by one, I took the steps and uploaded the children's learning book I was working on.

Now, I think it still needs a few tweaks but completing a process was important so I could see what one has to do....


I used a free Amazon program called Kindle Kid's Book Creator, that promises an easy process to publishing. And I used the Comic Life program to create the individual pages. The photo shoot was fun, with some additions and deletions to complete all the pages I wanted. 


Now begins an Amazon book experience I have never been through. And I'll add it to the circle of online interactions and upkeep that keep my thoughts focused on positive and creative endeavors.


And still...allow in the fun and joy that comes from being surrounded by hilarious dolls. The conversations that go on in my head as I think how to set up the next story are lots of fun. Like hearing Lula figure out a way to be in the next book, even though she doesn't belong in it. Creative impatience.


I suppose every thing I hear the dolls say is a part of who I am. So does creative impatience apply to me?

G would say so as he reads the little published book, and sees something that needs changing.

But it does get things done, out, ready for reviewing by others, who will offer more opinions.


So, dear readers, at $3 or $4 a pop, you have a chance to read this little photo story and give YOUR opinion.

Of course I am looking for good ones! Of course! Good reviews!

I want the quiet excitement I feel at having published my first ebook to continue for a while.


But I am also open to constructive criticism that will help make my work better...really! 


Here are 3 pages from the book.... 

I find Gabby to be VERY funny. But here she is doing just what she's told. A good little worker.

It was Xenny that surprised me. She seemed so concerned about her name being pronounced wrong.

Who gave her that name anyway? Oh, me. Especially for my book. Thanks, Xenny! Live with it....

(Say Ksenny like the x in fox, foks. Then she'll be happy.)

Ana's Alphabet Book A to Z

Learn the Sounds of the Alphabet Level One

on Amazon now!


Ana's Alphabet Book A to Z

Learn the Sounds of the Alphabet Level One

on Amazon now!