The girls think they have seen the black raven again. Well, we followed a raven-like shadow to the Dark Tree, and sure enough, just as we thought....
Just as we thought...Raven Violet.
Our Iplehouse from Dolltown Abbey, across the meadow.
We always see her on Halloween!
Can't wait to tell the kids.
Jiyoon's the early bird today. The sun is shining, the flowers are out....
The Little Darlings are finding their shoes and toys, ready for some garden play.
In the meantime, Indira and Fig make it in to the garden.
Fig finds Jack getting a little fresh air too! A little mingling...
But it's time for play, isn't it? Surely the other girls are ready?
We'll go check...
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...
Once again Aira is switching up... What do you think?
Now, just because we express a favorite, it doesn't mean she'll stick to it.
No doll in Dolltown has been through as many changes as Aira!
Meanwhile, the Iple girls have emerged.
While everyone is at the River, they have made it to the bridge.
First Aira, then Odelle...
So, what's up, Odelle?
Where has Aira gone? And where are Raven and the boys?
Are you heading to the River?
I don't want to call them tight lipped, but I don't always get an answer!
I guess we'll see....
Okay, the first part of this story started in previous post.
The part where the Iple boys are surprising the girls with a box of Christmas gifts. How nice!
But the box was full of lacy underwear and we had to finish the post here...
The girls unwrap all the pretty gifts. and leave, taking the gift box with them!
Hey guys. Sorry to rain on the parade you think is about to happen, but the girls are gone.
They said thanks for the thought.
They'll put the gifts in their Hope Chests. And hope the right guys come along...
Now, don't you two have something useful to do?
Why, Bo! How sweet!
We know you Iples don't really celebrate Christmas.
You have your own seasonal celebrations. But they seem to have more to do with fires, incense, the full moon, drums and incantations.
Not plays, holiday movies, Santa, sparkles and presents...
So, it's nice to see you two take the opportunity to be thoughtful!
I'm sure the girls are going to be very pleased.
Can I guess? Chocolates? Scarves? Magazines?
Is it music mixes? This is so fun for them!
Come and sit with us, boys.
We'll make some room...
Oookaay everyone...I think we'll have to move the rest of this post over to The Others page.
(If it's not there right away, it's because it has to go to our Decision Room, first.
Anything with "underpinnings" has to be cleared by the Decisive.)
Are you serious, boys? Underpinnings? What's the matter with magazines and chocolate?
This is a PG page but you wouldn't know anything about that, would you boys? Not having had parents...
They invited the Dolltowners to the Moon Arch Room at Dolltown Abbey for Halloween celebrations...
The Little Darlings and friends have been streaming through, but there is a lull.
But look...while the Juniors are getting all chummy,
the little sprite who has been hidden all this time watching the goings on,
can't help herself at the sight of Bo's affection with Aira.
Oh, come on! Jealous?
Hmmm, going to have to choose, Boris?
Well, now here, here's Jade! The tiny ones are coming out of the woodwork....
Give them some trick or treats before they blow right off the balcony!
And...get some rest everyone!
Your Halloween event is not done yet!
The Iplehouse JID BJD's love Halloween!
And this year, the boys are in their ubiquitous black garb, but the girls decided to costume up for this special night.
So, fair Tania Aira is a sweet tree angel...
with airy maple leaf wings and a golden halo.
And Cordelia Odelle has persuaded 2 pretty orange butterflies to attach themselves to her for the event. Nice!
Violet Raven has just added an orange ribbon to her black tiered dress...but is there some shape shifting going on?
I have noticed wherever we see her, there is no Raven Bird...and vice versa.
Just saying. We know these Iples have special powers. It's just hard to keep track of them.
Which is how they like it!
After lingering on the path the Iple Juniors head up to their home, Dolltown Abbey,
where they have invited the Dolltowners for Halloween celbrations.
We took more photos of these beauties in the Moon Arch Room...
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!
It's the Iple tribe youth gang!
As bjd's, this group of dolls possess all kinds of skills, qualities, and special powers!
Bjd's are known for being kings, warriors, princes, sorcerers...
And queens, warrior princesses, sorceresses, and enchantresses.
I can't even begin to tell you their complicated stories, each of them, and how they ended up here together.
But someday I will do my best to unravel it all, and tell the story.
For now, ALL of us here just accept their taking over the security here in Dolltown.
And we are thankful. And look the other way when their relationships shift like water.
Even the young ones here. Exactly how old ARE they, anyway?
And don't ask me why some of their names are different today.
Their names and appearances change on their whims...I think.
Please do not read this blog, or view the photos if you are offended by the illegitimate bjd community.
This lad arrived before his half brothers, and before we knew enough to refuse a gift of a doll who would turn out to be so controversial. We do our best to keep him protected, hidden, under wraps, and not exposed to the justified protests his kind receives.
But we just can't put him in the trash!
Look at him! So pretty...
The girls like him. They don't want him to go.
And, despite his androgynous look, he's a guy's guy and pitches in with his Iple brothers.
He is a wicked swordsman...
Little Vikka and redheaded Arlen hang with the Iple tribe.
Tania is very protective of Jack. They all are...
Here are a few close ups of this crew!
Tania and Jack
Hey! This is supposed to be close ups of faces! Not abs!
Jack is taking advantage of a little photo time and he's looking to impress Tania!
We'll leave them here in the garden and get back to Terri's End of Summer Shindig.
It wouldn't be the first time this youth gang all disappeared into the greenery for a little summer night's dream...
Nature lovers! (Well, I have heard they are Elementals.)
The Dolltown Awards presenters are getting changed for an ice cream party...
While we wait, we get some errands done.
Our Iplehouse Tania has gone through several changes since she arrived in Dolltown.
Tania with my birthday gerbera!
Tania is her sculpt name. We call her Mercy, Leau, or Aira depending on the story character...
She has not worn her brown wig since last summer. Since the wavy look is saved for special stories, and the silky blond wig has moved on to Cordelia for a while, this look will do for a while.
And she is wearing a coat that we got for the Little Darlings!
Tania stopped in to our Pop Up Shop to see Troll and visit the new characters...
Mermaid! And we really like the old woman in the deck chair! So funny!
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...
It's the Iplehouse JID girls!
Their sculpt names: Violet, Cordelia, and Tania.
Here in Dolltown we call them...a variety of names depending on their story characters.
They are dressed in their Pachom day dresses...
These girls have been at Asa's Open House for a photo, then came to the Bridge to hang out for a while with the other Dolltowners...
After her weeks-long Open House Asa needed some time to herself. Time for reflection and ritual...
Asa arrived in Dolltown with two kimonos, given to her by her previous owner, including this beauty. And this beautiful long hair .
So she was quite a sight!
We stored her kimono carefully, wrapped her long wig in a protective net and got her this Yuri wig to wear for "everyday".
She dresses in her brocade kimono for tea ceremonies, visits from otherworldlings, and when she communicates with her ancestors during rituals.
Asa takes time for reflection and when she emerges she gathers her family around her.
This is her tribe-bjd's from around the world.
The girls Mercy, Simmin, and Terra. The boys Spiro and Bo. And Airus, our ghostly presence. Or he wishes.
Spiro, Asa, Simmin, Airus, Mercy, and Terra, and Bo
Lee is a support for Asa. The Juniors are smart, and good company.
But she relies on Lee in so many ways.
Here he shares energy with her to help her see this month long Open House to an end.
One more group is coming...
Lee, Asa, Spiro, Simmin, Mercy, Terra, and Bo
It's a smile!
Priscilla has been grumping at all of us for months!
We are used to having to interpret doll feelings.
I mean, look at Asa!
But Priscilla really took the cake.
She was grumpy even when she HAD cake!
She looks positively angelic!
Just so you can see...
This is what we are used to!
Quick! We MUST get her to the Talking Room.
What happened, Priscilla?
Was it Asa? Did you feel a change inside? Will it last?
Can't wait to talk to her!
As you saw in our last story, all the girls settled under Asa's calm...
They went from rambunctious to quiet when Asa lifted her hands.
But Priscilla? Look at her! What kind of magic is this?
The girls can't believe it! A smile?
Priscilla gazes happily at Asa. What?
The girls look at each other in disbelief. They only know a grumpy looking Priscilla, even when they think she is secretly happy!
Priscilla is the centre of attention!
The children crowd around her. They want to see this little miracle.
All the talk of Asa's magical powers will definitely NOT diminish after her Open House.
A Czech Marionette made entirely of linden wood...
Jester Jim arrived a while ago and has been hanging out with Don Quixote. JJ has advice for all of us passing by their hanging rod. (As a marionette JJ and his companion Don Quixote hang suspended, even when they, ummm, sleep.)
There is no topic that JJ won't expound upon. He has words of wisdom about everything. From his philosophy of life to world politics (that the dolls are watching), from how long bread should rise, to how teeth should be brushed Jester Jim gives his opinions. And each piece of advice is weighted with a lifetime of cynicism. Of course, JJ doesn't see it as cynicism. To him it's just real life. The worst guy will win. Our teeth are going to fall out eventually, no matter how we brush...
(JJ that is not even true! Lots of us DIE without our teeth falling out...wait a minute! How did we get to DYING so quickly?)
Lucky the little dollies are not affected by his grumpy words of warning. They just laugh when he talks. They think he is SO funny.
For us humans, Jester Jim and his friend Don present a huge challenge. They are very complex marionettes. And we are complete string puppet novices. We feel thankful when we can get them from one side of a room to another without tangling their strings.
And Jester Jim makes it even more challenging by shouting out cautions... "Hold us steady! Don't mess up our strings! Why do we have to move anyway? It's just going to be a disaster! You're doing it all WRONG!"
I can hear the dollies laughing hilariously. They think it is all for their entertainment. Me? My hands are shaking....
Cowed by a puppet a fraction of my size!
And I picked him! Hahahaha Lucky I love him. I love his face and think it is funny that he is dressed so cute!
Hang on. We have him settled. And being in Asa's presence has calmed him...briefly. Oh, there he goes. They are talking about conditions in Dolltown.
I want to hear this!
Photo slider...click to change photos
Jester Jim is telling Asa what he thinks is wrong with the Dolltown set up and how it could run better. Asa listens quietly.
And Don Quixote, whose life was dedicated to defending the helpless and destroying the wicked, is sharing stories of his adventures. Jester Jim doesn't believe that any of Don's stories are real and becomes impatient, but Asa soothes him with a smile and a wink.
Daniel has heard the marionettes are with Asa. He has come to hear the stories of these two weathered gentlemen.
Both JJ and Don are a little confused by Daniel's androgynous appearance.
They wonder which bathroom he uses, and how he has become the best swordsman in the land. He has hands as soft as a girl's and there is not a scar on him...
In the end it was an excellent meet up.
Asa has someone to go to for advice, whenever she wants it.
And Don has offered his warrior expertise to the bjd juniors on patrol.
He asked Daniel if there are any knights in the land.
Daniel said no, just windmills, but it went right over Don Quixote's head...
This is Asa's Room at Dolltown Abbey, where the Iples live. The Iplehouse BJD's like living on the big estate across the meadow from Dolltown. It gives them both privacy and perspective.
The Juniors are on patrol while Asa hosts her Open House, keeping an eye on the perimeter, making sure Dolltown is safe.
Lee is on hand to take over the Open House for Asa while she rests. In case any dollies show up.
But what WE know is the boys have been held up at the bridge....
Asa has invited, not only our reporter Miley, but ALL the Dolltown dolls. Does she understand what she is in for?
Actually yes. She worked it out with the Juniors here, and with Lee and business partner, redheaded Arlen. They know the numbers and have worked out a schedule!!
(We do say we have 100 dolls here, although that number fluctuates.)
It will take more than one day, they figure...
Tell me about it. I am the photographer. Phew!
And Miley, who was first, and came the day before the Open House started, wants to meet up with the dollies as they return from Dolltown Abbey to get their stories!
The Open House is a surprise...
Iplehouse bjd, Asa, emerges now and then from her Dolltown Abbey estate. But when she does, it is usually at night, or in her hooded cape by day. But she knows exactly what is going on in Dolltown. She has people...I mean dolls, and creatures, to keep an eye on things and report back to her.
"Report back to her"? Yes, actually, the Iples were brought in as security for the Dolltown residents. And Asa is in charge.
The dolls, of course, think Lee is the boss. Why wouldn't they? He IS the boss of the business ventures that the Iples and Arlen are involved in...the magic water, the invisible wall (Dolltown's wall is the prototype), and the Dolltown Doll Agency, of course.
But Asa is the Dolltown Abbey chatelaine AND oversees all the security, running the Juniors' shifts. She alerts Lee to possible security problems, if he hasn't noticed them already. Asa herself rides the Dolltown perimeter at different times during both day and night. And, of course, she has to put special attention on the opening, The Path....
But an Open House? In her personal room?
So, I am curious about this change, this reaching out to the Dolltown Community. The dolls themselves are excited!
I understand our Little Darlings are first up, coming in groups. Asa is not used to a LOT of children at one time.
Tania says she'll read me a bedtime story, or two. She is fond of the series of books by Sister Wendy Beckett, whose art critic program comes up here on the BBC. Tania notices Sister Wendy's descriptive and appreciative comments on the works of well known and beloved artists of all kinds.
Tania feels the themes of these little books are just right for the Christmas season. Inspiring. Relax, she says to me...
After reading for a while, Tania pauses as she sees my eyes dropping in contentment. When I look over, I see she is bathed in an angelic light.
It's not the 1st time I have seen this light around Tania.
A feeling of peace fills me...
More, she asks? Yes, I nod...
The older dolls, the BJD's, want to get in on the Christmas action too.
So they got their coats on the day the little ones came down to the park for a winter shoot.
And then a migration towards the living room filled with Christmas decorations.
Why are Tania's arms in that funny position? Because unless you buy from the Iplehouse company itself, the 1/4 scale size that is supposed to fit these 17" dollies JUST DOESN'T. Just sayin... So, it's easier to pretend it's a warm winter day than to try to do up the buttons.
The BJD's were behind the acquisition of two clear skull heads, to use for decorations.
How did I ever agree to that?
It's that indulgent Aunt Jacalyn, catering to the whims of the dolls. For Christmas I said?
Just fill them with red and green colored water, she said.
Oh, a craft project with my dolls!
As if I don't have enough to do.
Keep an eye out for the photo.
Variety of bjd's...
Normal skins, peach gold skins, and real skins, all dressed in black.
Hey Tania! What's with the pink bunny costume?
There we go, Tania...black.
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....
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.
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