Our Little Darlings News Blog

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2019 Holiday Swap - Signup Open



Dear Friends, we have chosen the 2019 Swap theme. It is Star ShineLittle Darlings will twinkle like the stars in the sky when they receive their wonderful Swap gifts.

When you hear the word “star” what does it mean to you? A nursery rhyme, astronomy, Bethlehem, freedom?

Whatever your connotation of the word “star,” you can make or purchase star-related gifts for your Swap Mate’s Little Darling.


The two signup groups are open now.  There is one group that has a dollar limit on the swap ($35) and another with no dollar limit.  If you are interested in joining in the swapping fun, you have to do two things:

1.  Go to the group you wish to join (limited or unlimited) and click the little "Join" button in the lower right.

2.  Email that group's coordinator (Elizabeth or Dorothy) with the requested information. See instructions within the group guidelines.

You will be assigned a partner as soon as possible.

Here are the links to the groups:

LIMITED GROUP:  https://ourlittledarlings.ning.com/groups/star-shine-2019-holiday-swap-limited-group

UNLIMITED GROUP:  https://ourlittledarlings.ning.com/groups/star-shine-2019-holiday-swap-unlimited-group

If you have questions, or if we forgot something, please post below!

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An idea that Dianna had...

Ladies and gents:


Dianna had an idea with the other artists to perhaps hold a workshop collector event just for the Little Darlings at some point.  The general thought would be that they would teach and share creative projects to make clothes and accessories for our Little Darlings.  Dianna wanted to spark some discussion on this topic.  What do you all think?  Would you like to share any ideas?  Would you consider going if there was a collector event?   I would do my own very best to go.  It sounds very exciting to me, personally!


Some ideas that I have for workshops I'd like to see:  shoe-making, clothing design, modifying a commercial wig to give it personal touches, toy-making, scale furniture making, and hat decoration.


If there was such an event, maybe there could be a table or tables where we could sell or trade our own things we have made for the Little Darlings.  Or maybe even a doll sale/trade area, too.

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2019 Holiday Swap - Are You Interested?

Hello all, my thanks are extended to Dorothy for putting together ideas and materials for this year's Holiday Swap!  Here is the announcement:


Dear Friends,
We are almost ready to begin our holiday swap. Right now we want to determine how many people might be interested.
We will have two swap categories as before, one for $35 and the other for over $35.

This year’s theme is Star Shine.
When you hear the word “star” what does it mean to you? A nursery rhyme, astronomy, Bethlehem, freedom? Whatever your connotation of the word “star,” you can make or purchase star-related gifts for your Swap Mate’s Little Darling.

There are two parts to the Swap: the gift part and the story part.
Part 1 – Gifts
Following the guidelines of your selected category, you will choose gifts for one Little Darling and your Swap Mate.
Part 2 - Story
You can create a brief story to accompany your gifts. For example, you could write about the Little Darling going to Pasadena, California to the Hubble Space Station to look through the optical telescope at the stars.

If you think you might participate, please reply to this post with Count Me In.

We will share the Swap details and time line later. Swaps are always fun activities for our members. We hope you will join in on this one!

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Modern Doll Collectors Convention

Announcement from Dianna:


Hello Dear Collectors,

Please consider attending MDCC in San Antonio in 2019.  Last year in New Orleans all of us of the Doll Dreamers Guild and Friends had an amazing time, but then we always do when we’re together.  The artists who attended were myself, Nelly Valentino, Lana Dobbs, Pat Green, Joyce Matthews, Helen Skinner, associate artist, Gwen Peard and for the first time we met and welcomed our newest guild member all the way from Australia, LeeAnne Carpenter.  Please allow me to recount some of my most notable memories from the event.  I added 4 terrific Helen Kish dolls to my collection.  I acquired an 18 inch Meadow BJD which I will paint myself when I get a chance. I acquired 3 adorable Boneka dolls at the Boneka event.  I met a lovely young artist, Virginia Obeius, and admired her work which led me to buy one of her BJDs online after the event.  I had  an opportunity to witness some truly masterpiece heirloom style dresses made by Nelly Valentino.  Nelly introduced me to a new friend from the UK, Catherine French,  who makes the most exquisite little hand knit sweaters and I was able to purchase 3 of the them.  I struck a deal with Suzie Langellier to trade a doll for some of her beautiful sweaters.  

Our meal event was a lot of fun. Though I was a bit nervous about getting up in front of the crowd and telling the story of Suzette Dupré, the audience seemed pleasantly entertained and amused by my attempts to speak and sing in French.  I will be posting the story on one of my sites with pictures of Suzette, hopefully soon. 

The event was well attended.  It was great to see old friends like Claudia Braun of Boneka.  We were a little disappointed that there were not as many of our collectors and fans as there have been at other conventions.  Next year in San Antonio we are going to try some new ideas and be more engaged with the collectors who come to meet the artists.  Please let us know if you are planning to attend.  That will help us plan and coordinate activities and hospitality arrangements. 

We hope to see some of you in San Antonio next September.

Warm regards from all of us in the Doll Dreamers Guild. 

Your Devoted Doll Artist,

Dianna Effner


Photos show  Nelly's amazing work and some sweaters by Catherine French:

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World Doll Day 2019

The Little Darlings Celebrate World Doll Day – Saturday, June 8

In June 1986, doll maker Mildred Seeley created World Doll Day so that
doll lovers and doll collectors could share their passion with the world. On
this day, Ms. Seeley suggested that a doll be given to an adult or child in
the neighborhood or around the globe. She also suggested that doll
exhibits and discussions be held.

She noted that “I have always felt that the common doll could be an
instrument of world understanding...I had the hope that dolls would help
make friends all over the world and develop a little love among all.”
Well our Little Darlings certainly help us do that!
Since its inception, World Doll Day has been celebrated on the second
Saturday in the month of June. This year it falls on Saturday, June 8.

Here is a challenge: How will you and your Little Darling celebrate
World Doll Day? Post a photo of what you do to celebrate the day.

Here are some suggestions: Find a doll in a thrift shop, clean it up, and
give it to a child. Pass along a doll you no longer want to an adult collector.
Volunteer to give a talk on doll collecting at your local library.
Let’s send the love of dolls all around the world!

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Conventions for this year - 2019

Hi ladies, Dorothy asked me to find out which conventions Dianna will be attending this year.  Here's what she said:


"We are planning to attend the UFDC convention in Nashville and the MDCC in San Antonio. I am also considering attending the NIADA in Kansas city. "


Who is going?  Should be fun!

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Winter Holiday Swap 2018 - Signup Open!!


An announcement first:  Dorothy King has been added as a moderator to help out me and Laura with keeping up around here!  Thanks, Dorothy!  She has done a tremendous amount of work to get this swap ready and going and I thank her for it!

Ladies and gents. We have chosen a theme, which is Once Upon a New Years Past Little Darlings will time travel to the past and enjoy fun and games from long ago New Years days.

The two signup groups are open now.  There is one group that has a dollar limit on the swap ($35) and another with no dollar limit.  If you are interested in joining in the swapping fun, you have to do two things:

1.  Go to the group you wish to join (limited or unlimited) and click the little "Join" button in the lower right.

2.  Email that group's coordinator (Elizabeth or Dorothy) with the requested information. See instructions within the group guidelines.

You will be assigned a partner as soon as possible.

Here are the links to the groups:

LIMITED GROUP:  $35 Limit Group

UNLIMITED GROUP:  Unlimited Swap Group

If you have questions, or if I forgot something, please post below!

Full rules and signup information are in each of the links above, but here are the general deadlines for your information:

To submit your name to the coordinators: By Monday, November 5
When partners will be assigned: By Wednesday, November 7
When you should mail your swap in US: By Monday, November 26
When to mail if out of US: By Thursday, November 15
When to show your photos: Monday, Dec 25 or Tuesday, January 1


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Where In The World Is Your Little Darling?

As we welcome our 900th member, let’s take a moment to see where we all are. We know that we are an international organization but where do we all live? Let’s find out!


Take a photo of your Little Darling in front of a local historic marker, a map, or a city/state/county/country sign that shows where she or he lives. Your Little Darling could also hold up an object that symbolizes your hometown, like a small Eiffel Tower for Paris or a small Space Needle for Seattle.


In the end, we can all answer the question: where in the world is your Little Darling?


Thanks to Dorothy King for creating this activity for us!!! This was first added to Discussions.

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Just a reminder

Since we have so many new members, I just wanted to remind you that the rules state that all photos posted on this site must have a Little Darling in it (that includes avatars). If you've posted a photo for your avatar or for a discussion, etc., please find another photo with a Little Darling in it to take its place.  Thanks!!!!!


Moderator with Elizabeth

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As people are getting ready to do some travelling for their dolls, I got to wondering - how many of us are going to a doll show or convention?  You don't have to post the exact date - just the month would be fine.  I've already gone to my first one in April - the PNW Doll Expo in Seattle.  I had a wonderful time and spent al the money I saved for it. :>  Anyway, let's hear about all the places you are going!!  P.S.  Does anyone know what's in Austin next year????

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Are your wigs flammable?

I wasn't sure if the locks I was using to make my wigs was mohair or not.  They looked like it, they had waves, and they were soft.  I decided to do a burn test.  If they were mohair, they would stop burning when removed from the flame and leave an ash.  They would also smell like hair.  If they were acrylic, they would quickly burn all the way up and bead up.  My locks did exactly that - I almost burned my fingers!  So, make sure you know that what you are buying is what you want and keep it away from flames, especially if it's acrylic.  I know a lot of us have grandchildren and they may like to touch or play with the Little Darlings.  This is just an FYI.

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World Doll Day is Saturday, June 9 and since we are an international group, all of the Little Darlings around the world want to celebrate.  But how can they get together and party????  Well, Dorothy King has come up with a way to do so.  I'll let Dorothy explain, and she will organize the celebration, but I want to give her a ton of gratitude and credit for having such a fun plan!!  Are you curious how we will pull this off??  I hope so!  Look for Dorothy's post with all of the details coming soon! 

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Holiday Swap 2017 - Signups are OPEN

Ladies and gents. We have collectively chosen a theme, which is Snowy Day.  The two signup groups are open as of now.  There is one group that has a dollar limit on the swap ($35) and another with no dollar limit.  If you are interested in joining in the swapping fun, you have to do two things:

1.  Go to the group you wish to join (limited or unlimited) and click the little "Join" button in the lower right.

2.  Email that group's coordinator (see instructions within the group) with the requested information.

You will be assigned a partner as soon as possible.

Here are the links to the groups:

LIMITED GROUP: https://ourlittledarlings.ning.com/groups/a-snowy-day-holiday-2017-swap-limited-group

UNLIMITED GROUP:  https://ourlittledarlings.ning.com/groups/snowy-day-holiday-2017-swap-unlimited-group

Questions, or if I forgot something, please post below!

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Holiday Swap for 2017 - ideas?

Hi ladies and gents:

One of our much-enjoyed activities here is a holiday swap.  It's time to get that organized ASAP.  Laura and I would love if you would all submit theme ideas.

Here are what we've done in the past:

2014: https://ourlittledarlings.ning.com/groups/holiday-swap-2014

2015:  https://ourlittledarlings.ning.com/groups/holiday-tea-swap-2015

2016:  https://ourlittledarlings.ning.com/groups/holiday-swap-2016-christmas-through-the-decades

Let's talk about it and get some ideas rolling!  We will have two sub-groups again this year, one unlimited and one limited.  I'll coordinate the unlimited one and Laura will coordinate the limited one.  :)

-Elizabeth and Laura

UPDATE:  polling underway for a theme choice: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LDWTH6W

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Garden Contest Results

Hi everyone!  Sorry about the delay in posting the results.  I had this post mostly done Wednesday and then got interrupted and it's been open, half-done on my computer till this morning when I got a minute.  Our apologies again for the delay.  Laura and I both had unexpected things come up but we finally got the photos judged.  Here are all the photographs and at the bottom is the winner's name.  Everyone did a great job and the photos and stories were a delight to go through.  I'm sure you will all enjoy them!  

Entry 1, Pauline:

Spring is coming and Little Darling Rene'e is planning her flower garden. She has purchased flower seeds and planted them in seedling boxes.  The little seedlings are ready to transplant. Little Darling consults her gardening books and gets ready to prepare the garden bed. Soon she will have lovely flowers.

Entry 2, Joy:

My girls Samantha and Bessie Bell went out early to get started on their garden planting. Unfortunately, the garden plot has very thick weeds from all of the rain we have received this year in northern California. So, Samantha picked a bouquet of weeds of course. After a lot of work, the girls decided to take a break. Bessie Bell thinks that she will just buy her carrots this year although, I'm not so sure about Samantha. If either girl turns around and sees what is lurking behind them, I'm sure they will both be scrambling back inside quickly.

Entry 3, Kelly Selzle:

Aislin loves to help out in the garden. Lilacs are her favorite, but today we were potting herbs and veggies. Barefoot and enjoying the sunshine after all of the rain we had this spring.

Entry 4, Michele:

Pay attention now…. first we have to dig lots of little holes, and then we can plant the seeds and water our garden. Then soon, we’ll have fresh veggies to eat for dinner!

Entry 5, Michele:

I think over there would be a great place for your very first garden.  I’ll teach you how to dig the holes and plant the seeds, and later on, we can water the seedlings….. What? What did you say? WHAT is your naughty little brother up to now???

Entry 6: Carla

This first one is my Bentley who loves everything pooh.  shes playing the roll of rabbit.  Mr. rabbit thinks is her plants those little carrots back in the ground they will grow into those giant carrots he loves so much. although he hopes to sell a few so he can purchase a large jar of hunny , that's so when his pal Winnie comes to visit there will be a bit of something fer pooh to snack on..   

Entry 7: Carla

Mariah  as belle going about her morning tasks, as you can see she has gone to the bakers for her baguette, then on to her friends to borrow a new book to read.after that she suppose to spend the morning hoeing the lettuce beds..  but I think she has more reading planned instead..hum..

Laura and I both arrived at the same winner based on our points scoring system, although I have to say it was a hard choice.  And the winner is:

MICHELE with entry number 5.  We enjoyed the story and how well the photos fit with it.  Nice work!  Michele, please email me your address and I'll get your prize mailed out!

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Down to the wire

For a lot of you, it's already Tuesday as I write this.  That means you have not quite four full days to complete and send a photo of your entry to Elizabeth for the Little Darlings Plant a Garden contest.  We hope that many of you are waiting for the last minute rather than giving this a pass because it's not a swap or something similar.  Dianna formed this group with learning in mind.  What do you learn from a contest?  How about staging a photograph so that it's well lit and inviting?  How to make props from paper mache or clay?  Learning more about scale so that everything in your photo is truly the right size for your Little Darling?  I think it's evident by the scoring criteria that was provided in the initial announcement, we don't consider this a "fluff" activity.  We want you to have fun, but we want you to try to do something new, too, and learn from it.  And have you seen the prizes that Elizabeth made???  I think they are the best that we've had in a long time!  Unfortunately, only one person provided prizes this time, but they are truly something that is worth the work!

So, while four days is a short period of time, it is still doable to complete an entry for this contest.  Remember to send one (two at the most) original to this contest super duper photo(s) to Elizabeth on Friday, May 5.  What do you have to lose????


Moderator with Elizabeth

PS.  New members - there are references to the contest in the Announcements section.  If you can't find them, just send me an email and I'll let you know where they are and what you need to do.  Please try to enter this contest, even if you wish you could have had more time.  Many people do their best under pressure!  :)

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Reminder for Contest Entries

Janie would like to remind everyone that the photo contest for garden photos closes in just over a week.  If you are considering entering, please get your entries in.  Here are the rules: http://ourlittledarlings.ning.com/blog/trying-again-little-darling-how-does-your-garden-grow

Janie is modeling a dress and shoes that will be included in the prize in addition to this overall and t-shirt set (below shoes are not included):

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