The Little Darlings have lots of adventures...
Sometimes with their friends, especially the Chris Miller and Robin Woods boys.
And sometimes with other little children, like Gabby....
It's Dolltown after all. And my Little Darlings live with a variety of dolls, from babies to Barbies, from vintage to bjd's.
Blog stories with our Little Darlings below.
For more photos of the Little Darlings, together and alone, go to Little Darlings Gallery...
From an early blog post...
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 from the artists, and with each artist the wait time varies from a few months to about two years (for a Little Darling painted by Dianna herself). (At times, the artists close down their wait lists when they have too many orders to fill)
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 my Little Darlings.
At Christmas, all the Little Darlings (well, almost all) had their photos taken with our Eiffel Tower model.
They stuck an angel on the top while they waited for our real tree to show up!
Here, some of the girls show the Tower to Indira and tell her all about the arrival of the model-in-a-box a whole year before, in 2016.
They shared the story of the month of dedicated coloring it took to prepare the Eiffel Tower, and the exciting summer build. And finally the 2017 Christmas photo shoot....
"Pretty!" Indira said...
Yes! We think so!
April, famous Fashion Doll Stylist, sent a package of French goodies to the Dolltowners for Christmas. There's the Eiffel Tower model...in a box!
Here are the girls coloring the birds, butterflies, and flowers that cover the Eiffel Tower. It took close to a month to get it done!
Last summer, we put the Tower together before school's end. The girls and their friends worked in teams, until the last piece went up!
Then all the Dolltowners headed out to the garden to admire the months of work. Even Conner, attending April's Fashion Design School for Girls in Detroit, made it for the event.
Christmas 2017! In December, the Little Darlings decided to pose with their Tower gift for their photo shoot.
Xennia (Where's your shoes, Xennia?)
Flo (Yes, it's Faith, as we have known her...or Fig as we know her now. Sheesh!)
And Rosa, who missed the shoot!
The girls are happy to see their festive Eiffel Tower photo shoot posted.
But I had barely pushed the Publish button, when they clamored for the next Christmas post.
Yes, there are definitely more photos.
And we'll get to them!
And here she is.
We have called her Indira...
Each Little Darling has arrived under different circumstances. And this is very true of this Sculpt Four pretty brunette.
Dianna added a new sculpt to her original three last year. I had the opportunity to spend time watching this new sculpt of Dianna's take its place with the doll collectors I chum with online.
This sculpt is a special mold, with its great big eyes, and comes in a variety of skin tones.
We scanned the Fours coming in to collectors from the different Little Darling face painters, and created a collection of some favorites.
And when an opportunity came up with one of my fav painters, Helen Montgomery Skinner, along with an irresistible offer, I deliberated and then succumbed.
And requested this sweet look, with dark eyes and hair. She surpasses our expectations.
My thanks go out to Helen.
Indira joins Tink, Scout and Xennia, her Helen sisters. And the rest of the Little Darlingss and Dolltowners.
Now, who was around to welcome Indira when the box arrived?
Xennia, Tink, Birdy, and Fig...
Our Scout by Helen was nowhere to be found.
And that was Indira's welcome.
Hugs all around after finding her shoes and a sweater for our northern clime.
You'll notice our girls are dressed in a motley collection of clothes, from winter dresses, to pj's, to jeans and sweaters. That was our January...a free for all.
Now though, it is time to get these girls ready for Valentines Day!
I have my work cut out for me!
Gifties! How exciting!
While the slumber party was going on, a package arrived in the mail, from our friend April, Fashion Doll Stylist. And from Conner, our Little Darling attending April's Fashion Design School for Girls. (It's Conner's second year! That's another story...)
Now, we have seen photos of Conner over the past months in the cutest shoes! They make them at the Design School...especially for Conner! So we were very excited to find, not only cookies and candies from Paris! But some Conner-designed shoes! Four pairs!
And after an afternoon of lounging, eating, and trying on shoes, Fig chose the pair that matched her pixie hair, and found herself an outfit to go with them.
Way to go, Figgy! How cute is that!
Thanks, Conner! Nice shoes! Thanks April...what a good design teacher you are!
(And I know it was you who packed the eats back from Paris, and mailed the package. We are truly grateful! Even though the treats are gone....)
Now, the packages aren't done!
Another one has arrived! A familiar box.
We haven't seen a box like that in Dolltown for ages!
Gather round girls! I think we have to find a new letter,
for a new name, for a new girl....
Fig and Chantal...
While the cat's away, a new doll character shows up.
More than one!
For all of January, I was distracted. With life itself, fundraisers, artist processes, new art shows, watching reruns of my grandson's Christmas videos...
(As cute as a doll!)
But it seems the Dolltown world doesn't stop just because I am not around to observe, abet, and record it.
The Little Darlings wanted a slumber party during our lazy January, so there were changes into pj's...
Birdy and Jiyoon started the pj party off, and we posted some of their photos.
Some of the girls, like Pearl, stayed up in their day clothes, but popped in and out to see the pj'd girls play slumber party games...
Like makeovers. Here's Faith, cozying up to Fluffy, and the girls have changed her back into her original sunkissed golden blond wig,
Faith, on the left, as we have known her for ages in her wispy wig.
And on the right and below, after finding a whole bag of wigs in their wardrobe basket, more looks on her.
And as soon as this pixie red wig was on her little head, our Faith said, "This is it."
And the other girls agreed, including Lula. (That clinched it.)
The pretty platinum mohair wig was added to the wig bag and returned to the basket of clothes.
Hey wait a minute! How about my opinion! I love Faith...
The girls were prepared to argue. So to keep the peace I got out the name book and started reading "F" names.
Now, we have a rule here in Dolltown, to accommodate my brain's predilection to put all names into alphabetical rooms in my head.
Every Little Darling has their own alphabet letter. And if they want to change their name (or if I do!) it has to start with that letter.
As soon as I read "Fig" (yes, it is on a name list!), our now pixie haired Faith jumped and said, "That's it!"
I laughed and carried on reading: Floss, Forsythia, Francine....
Two weeks of name suggestions!
Meanwhile, the other girls called her Fig, or Figgy, or Fig Newton.
And ignored my tries for a reasonable name.
Fig? That's not a name, that's a food!
"I like figs.", our new little red head says.
That's not the point, I reply.
No one is listening...
Some of these girls, including...Fig, were on hand when a box arrived.
With a Detroit address! We know what that means!
Conner and April have sent us a package!
Christmas Dolltown fun!
We carried on bravely, taking photos of our holiday events, while waiting once again for our year of tech troubles to come to an end, so our stories could be posted! And here we are in February, catching up.
All the Little Darlings and friends dressed for the occasions as soon as Xennia returned from her month long Arts Gallery adventure...
For 2017, Jiyoon got to wear our one new Christmas dress. And it's a beauty, from Erin Green, at Darling Lil' Bee.
Here are a few of the early birds, ready for some action.
Before our Christmas tree went up, we brought out our colored Eiffel Tower...a fabulous gift from last year. And all the Little Darlings got their photo taken with it.
But first...Valentine's Day!
No wait! Before we can post our Valentine's dressup,
we must introduce you to our new arrival, Indira!
Pop back to meet her! We haven't had a new arrival since summer!
Except...shoes! From Conner and April! So much to show...
It's the Little Darlings!
During my Hiya Dolly hiatus, the girls had the run of Dolltown. Of course they had their caregivers running after them, making sure they were safe and didn't eat too many caramels francais, or climb too high in the trees...
After a while, as the weather turned cool, several of the girls decided it was time to change and get ready for school. So, with a little help, they dug through the boxes and found the sweaters, shirts, and plaids. And they convinced even the reluctant, the hold outs (can anyone say Tink and Xennia?).
And when they were all dressed and ready they came to me and asked, in their polite way, for photos before they fill their lunch boxes with balogna sandwiches and settle in with their books, atlases, and math counters.
Now, that all sounds very...responsible. And I was understandably impressed!
But I noticed that, while the fall clothes were gathered, every possible Halloween outfit was also sorted into a neat pile, ready for action. And I overheard discussions of how I was to be convinced to buy them some orange tights...
(I can't remember ever wearing orange tights! Do you?)
Zoey, those glasses give you a studious air, I must say.
Here they are together! The Dolltown Little Darlings all dressed for fall and school!
(Two of our girls have gone international and continue their time in other countries.
Maggie is still with her doppelganger, Tasya, in London...where she shares a flat with a cat.
And Conner continues her internship with April in Detroit (and soon back to Paris),
where she attends Fashion Doll Stylist's Design School for Girls.)
Will we pull off a Dolltown Halloween event, after the girls begin their studies for the year?
(I have a policy of "No promises", even when appealed to by the appealing Little Darlings!)
While we are waiting for a laptop fix, here are a couple of photos from last year's summer....
Right across the street from Dolltown is a hive of charitable busyness! While chatting about a hornets nest terrorizing the neighborhood we discovered our neighbors have a hall full of hats!
Real Canadian toques! Mounds of them on their way to...two dozen countries!
And Andy, the man who ended up saving us all from the hornets, is the man who makes the toques. It's true!
A man of courage, talent, and generosity!
And I have discovered that Joan, his wife, manages the collection, packing, and distribution of piles of soft good for the poor, unhappy, and toque-less! A woman with a big heart, motivation, and organizational skills. And she is tech savvy at 70 years old!
Scout overheard me talking about the neighbors and the project they are busy with. And she convinced me to take her, and her buddies, Lula and Evie, to see these good deed neighbors.
And the Gang of Three made a delightful discovery...
Piles of toques! Scout is impressed!
These toques are traveling over the mountains where they will be packaged up to go to needy people.
But we see something in the bag behind Scout!
Lula and Evie catch up to Scout and they all marvel at the toques made by their neighbor!
But, who is peeking from the bag behind the girls?
That's not a toque!
Little knit dollies!
Look at them! Knit dolls with toques! And is that a knit bunny?
The girls want to play with them... How will they do that?
The girls make a plan.
And it involves Lula climbing up to the top of the bag the knit dollies are in!
Of course it does!
Evie gets ready to hoist her up...
There you go, Lula!
I think the knit dollies are excited!
Lula falls in...and helps Evie up.
Scout, stay where you are!
The girls toss the knit dollies down to Scout.
Wow! Scout is smitten with these little dolls!
And Evie finds a knit bunny!
As Lula finds more knit dollies to drop down, Scout gathers them on her lap.
And Evie jumps down with the blue bunny!
What has Lula found now?
Not sure what to call this knit creature but she brings it down to her friends!
All the knit creatures are happy to spend a little time with the girls!
But wait! There's more!
The girls notice another bag full of knitted creatures.
Oh my goodness.
I better think fast or Joan's hall will be filled with creatures on the loose...
Okay girls! I have an idea!
Wouldn't the purple bunny we see up there like a friend to travel with?
That makes sense to the girls!
How will they get the bunny up there?
Evie, and Scout hoist the bunny up...then it hops!
And when I remind the girls what the dollies and creatures are for,
Lula puts one of the knit dollies back.
Blue bunny and the purple bunny look very happy! Friends!
Way to go, girls!
Then the girls get stubborn.
They still want to play!
Come on! We can't sit in the hall all day!
We just came to see toques heading out on their way around the world!
Neighbor Joan pops a little knit basket in front of the girls and tells them they can take their new friends home....on a sleepover.
She says the girls can take as many as will fit in the basket!
The girls don't want to put any more knit dollies back!
How are they going to get them all in the basket?
But two to go!
Well, we know the knit dollies don't mind squishing into small spaces together!
And Evie ties the last dolly on to the side of the basket...
Good job, Evie! How creative!
Lula and Scout say goodbye to the other knit dollies in the bag...
They pose for a last photo with the toques and toys.
Saying...Way to go, Uncle Andy and Auntie Joan!
Now the girls want to go back to Dolltown and show their friends.
They'll get to tell the story of the good deeds happening right across the street from Dolltown!
And they ask me to carry their basket home for them.
Be careful! they say to me. Don't drop our knit dollies!
The bunny buddies say goodbye.
And as the girls leave...
...more dolls show up!
These dolls must have heard there was something going on!
Looks like Joan and Andy have their own little Dolltown, and we didn't even know!
And our girls missed these dolls...
Should I tell them?
Would my dolls start running across the street to play with the neighbor dolls?
Hmmm. I don't know! I'll have to think about it!
What I do know is we had a wonderful morning!
Our Dolltown trio of good deeders found themselves in a world of fun.
Who knew we had such charitable acts going on right in our neighborhood!
Well, it's actually not uncommon in our little town. But we didn't know piles of toques were being created right across the street!
Here is the knitting wheel that Andy uses to make his toques.
And the little knit creatures are made by the dozen, by Diane Magnussen... Love them, Diane!
Joan and Andy Bisson collect the items and drive them over the mountains to Penticton. And from there the packages are shipped to many countries.
Joan and Andy are volunteers for the Canadian Food for Children Okanagan Division.
The CFFC is a Non-Governmental Organization working to relieve the suffering of the poor in over two dozen deveoping countries worldwide.
Way to go, Joan and Andy! And Diane!
Thanks from all of us!
Now how easy is it going to be to get the little knit dollies back to the neighbors,
after a sleepover in Dolltown? Will our girls let them go? They have to!
(Uh oh! I have had experiences with "sleepovers"!)
Best not to even show Tink and Xennia! Now how do I do that!
I'll get back to you...
Chantal arrived in Dolltown first. But Douglas and his brother Chris were here soon after.
And right from the beginning Douglas and Chantal formed a bond. Douglas lives in a world of his own, even when he is with the other kids. He has his own absorbing interests, like planes, ships, history, and building models. He's kind of brilliant.
And Chantal, our little songstress understands him. She is often lost in her own musical world! And she is very gentle and kind, even when others become a little impatient with him.
They spend time in libraries and the music room. Douglas admires Chantal's piano skills, and hums along when she plays, while he cuts balsam wood into shapes, and glues the shapes into models.
So, it's not surprising, with their friendly history, that they chum together on outings, like to see le tour eiffel, built by the children. We posted the photos of their visit, with Faith and Geoff, earlier.
But I snapped more photos after Geoff and Faith left.
And I'd like to know what you think! They seem very...fond!
We are used to a little hand holding.
And a little "I'm still taller than you." (That could go on for years!)
But...aren't you two standing a little close?
Isn't it a little hard to talk like that?
Miley! Say something quick!
Douglas and Chantal almost look they are going to...kiss! Stop it!
I do NOT need dolls acting older than their ages.
And especially these two innocents.
Somebody call them to go play...please! Hello?
Fine. I'll do it myself...Douglas, back to your boy basket.
Chantal, go change for the beach. Sheesh! Disaster averted.
And this was one pair I thought I could leave alone....
Jiyoon shows us around the local Art Gallery.
Here is a framed painting of the heritage Courthouse Arts Gallery nearby Dolltown. Close enough for the girls to walk to, if I would let them out in the alley by themselves.
So they have to wait until I pop them in my tote for a little company while I do my shifts as Art Gallery Director.
Today it was Jiyoon's turn. I think Jiyoon was hoping to do a little painting while she was there. Not today, Jiyoon!
You wander around while I do a little filing...
Art isn't all fun and games, you know!
That's true, Jiyoon!
Did you like the art show?
It's time to go. Let's check for clouds...
Little Darlings Birdy and Rosa! And Jiyoon!
Birdy heard that Miley was enjoying all the boys joining the Little Darlings to see the Eiffel Tower. She heard that Miley was watching all the hook ups, listening to the conversations, and was giggling with Floora about the flower Badger gave Scout...and the looks Chantal and Douglas were giving each other.
So Birdy decided she would bring their favorite babysitter Hal. Hal is a very handsome doll. And Birdy thinks maybe Floora and Hal might...like each other.
So Birdy, Rosa, and friend Jiyoon stay for a few minutes and then they leave Hal there to chat with Miley.
Way to go Birdy! This we have to see!
Wow! Who knew Hal was such a talker!
We thought he was the strong silent type.
He is such a great listener with the children!
Although it is hard to get a word in edgewise with girls like Tink and Gabby around.
Speaking of Gabby, Hal had to leave to look after her and her friends.
But it looked like he was enjoying himself with Miley!
Good thinking Birdy!
And look at Miley! She is looking positively flustered.
This little visit started quietly enough!
Will came to see the completed Eiffel Tower model. And he chatted with Miley.
Then the boys Uley and Bobby arrived to check out the Tower.
Xennia breezed in, climbing up to kiss and hug Miley, and Tink joined her.
But the affection didn't stop there!
Will was subjected to hugs, and the boys were surrounded...
Awww, so cute.
It's hard to know if Uley and Bobby liked the attention or not. But they did leave with the girls.
And Xennia "took care" of Bobby, who has trouble standing and walking on his own.
She maneuvered him right out of the scene!
Uhhh, thanks Xennia! See you Tink! Have fun boys!
I wonder where they are going!
Miley and Will are left after the whirlwind that is Tink and Xennia.
But Will decides to follow the kids and see what they get up to!
Good luck, Will! Keep an eye on them, eh?
Now, here's a trio we can trust will not climb under the Tower, or climb to the top!
Zoey and Pearl bring Chris to see the completed model. Chris was there at the beginning of the building of the Tower,
He helped get a sturdy base built, so the rest of the model building was successful.
And Chris may have been in on the decision not to use glitter until the Tower was built.
Here Zoey and Pearl tell him the story of the rest of the building, and he inspects the work.
"Well done!", he says to the girls.
Your approval and kind words mean a lot to us.
It makes us want to get you some shorts for the hot summer weather!
(He's wearing corduroy pants!)
Hey Miley! Who's coming now?
Evie is telling Scout and Badger about Lula's climbing exploit, making it to the top of the Eiffel Tower model.
Of course she wants to try it! Evie is competitive, and admires Lula's courage. I had to talk fast to convince Evie not to climb to the top, just in case.
And I was helped by the interaction between Badger and Scout.
Badger is always sent into a kind of delirium when he is near Scout, a fact that Scout exploits shamelessly. She leads him around like a puppy. (She once called him her rescue boy!)
Evie is not getting much encouragement for her climb!
"Make yourself useful!" is one of Scout's favorite expressions.
And she finds lots of useful things for Badger to do.
But...fetching flowers? Not Scout's idea! That is all Badger.
Usually Evie puts up with Badger's moony looks and romantic gestures towards Scout, but today it's too much for her. She disappears to find Lula and Owen. Hunting for frogs...now that's useful.
What is the matter with Scout!
Awww. So sweet!
Miley, our Dolltown reporter is impressed.
But this photo here shows Scout's attitude toward her wishful beau...
Scout is a realist, not a romantic. (Not that we have seen anyway.) She recognizes how useful Badger is. Packing food to the foodbank, digging in the community garden...
She is a bit of a clothes horse...but it must be cotton, linen, or silk, and from eco conscious companies. And she'd rather wear a real flower than jewelry that turns her vinyl green.
So, "Thank you", she said aloud to Badger, before she asked him to help her sort doll clothes. She wants to give some away to homeless dolls.
Wait, what? Homeless dolls? Where?
Give away doll clothes? No way! Do you know how hard I have worked to get those clothes for you all? I work my fingers to the bone. Something you dolls wouldn't know anything about, would you?
Where'd they go?
Lula and Owen have been buddies for years.
(Yes, it has been two years since they have been in Dolltown!)
When Lula Star got to go to Australia with Lani, Owen really wanted to go too. But Lani only had room for one in her camera bag. So Owen had to watch from Dolltown, as Lula climbed mountains, swam in blue oceans, hung from bridges, and hunted for Tasmanian Devils...
I can't remember Lani talking about hunting for Tasmanian Devils. Maybe that was one of Lula's adventure stories. And maybe because Owen really wanted to see one. He was impressed!
Lula is happy to have Owen here to help her climb the Tower. It was a goal of hers, to make it to the top of the Tower, the whole time it was being built. If I had known...
I hope that's it.
I hope that Lula has no more climbing goals!
At least with the Eiffel Tower! What if it had broken?
That would have been a disaster!
I had to do some fast talking to convince Evie not to climb to the top, as you'll see.
Here you see Miley, saying to Lula..."You were lucky!"
"It's not luck!" Lula answered. "I know what I am doing!"
I heard Lula asking Owen if he wanted to hunt for frogs under the thorny bushes...
Lula, don't you have some jeans you could wear?
For older posts...
go to the My Little Darling Archives 2015
Also, I have my Little Darlings
in a Flickr Album
on a Pinterest Board
on a new Hiya Dolly Fan Page
and an Instagram page called DolltownInc.
Also! Visit our Lula Star's Instagram page, Lula.Star
Ana and Lula Star
Or with hiyadolly.com
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 (None of which get as much attention, at the moment, as Hiya Dolly.):
Inspire Us Kids ...for ideas, stories, links, and resources to inspire kids, or about inspired kids
Best 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)
Jacalyn DeWolf ...an extraordinarily giving human and writer
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...
And keep an eye out for future links to:
Daphne's, my gardener visionary friend and colleague
Keirstyn's, with her mission to find the kindest, cleanest, greenest products in the world
Carol's, who may be too busy learning bass guitar and performing in her retirement, to bother with a site about it all
Tasya's, my oldest daughter, immersed in learning still, and soon to share it (And her hilarious cat Lhasa)
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
(I have dolls who choose to emulate several of these people, knowing they will amuse me. My dolls are good to me)
AND I love my subscribers. Really. I love you.