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Lotti Madigalis was really quite a lucky elf in many ways for to be born an elven princess was thought a blessing indeed.
Sadly Lotti was a rather lonely elf. She had a governess to fill her head with academia and lived mostly with her kindly yet stoic and very dull Aunt Gertrude.
Lotti’s parents were generally busy bestowing magic and healing to their royal subjects across the vast realm of their lands.

Aunt Gertrude was a long string thin very proper sort of an elf. She wore thick navy blue stockings with twill skirts and was always seen with her head in a book on the great Elven philosophers throughout the infinity of elven time.
Aunt Gertrude rarely smiled as she thought it frivolous even though she did have a quite kind heart beneath her dowdy exterior.She did not have time to play with young ladies like Lotti and no doubt would have also thought that a frivolity too.
Aside from the vast imposing library, Gertrude also was partial to her immense soaring glass house, a majestic concoction of delicate lace faerie iron and sparkling window panes. The interior a sumptuous tangled jade mass of meandering vines and fine wooden sculptures.
Above the sea of green flew hundreds and thousands of butterflies in every hue of the rainbow and beyond.

Lotti was not allowed in to the glass house for fear she would disturb the fragile equilibrium of the rarest of elven seedlings in their nurseling stages.
From outside she pressed her ears as close as possible to the glass fancying she could hear the whisper of each butterfly wings gentle flutter.
Sometimes a butterfly would solemnly stare into Lotti’s apple green eyes with such wistful longing that Lotti began to feel terribly sad that such wondrous creatures should be locked away from the meadows they surely would prefer as their home.They must gaze as did Lotti at the the vast beautiful kingdom beyond their exquisite glass cage longing to be free.

You see that was also Lotti’s secret wish. Oh how she longed to run with the village children. To jump over a skipping rope, to climb trees, to graze her knees and judd her fine delicate clothing.
How she longed to escape the drone of her governess’s long lessons and feel the tips of the tall grasses as she leapt through the fields.

One day Lotti could no longer resist the calling inside her very soul, she reached up to the butterfly net with which the beautiful winged ones were captured. Dragging the net behind her she wrenched open the drawer inside which on an ochre silk cushion lay a gold key, the key to the glass house forbidden treasure to all but Aunt Gertrude.
With a smile as big as the moon in all of his fullness she flung open the glass doors.
Dancing and running, tumbling and leaping came Lotti and an enormous cloud of soaring butterflies. A winged parade of colour and joy.The net she flung from from the stone bridge in to the swirling gurgling waters below.

When Lotti’s parents returned from their royal obligations they consoled a weeping mournful Aunt Gertrude yet really it was in wonder they smiled with utter delight at their precious daughter.
She had dared to listen to the beat of of her own heart which was too full of love to be contained by any walls be they glass or stone.
To this day Lotti is known as the courageous elven girl who embodies the pure beauty of freedom and love.

LITTLE DETAILS;
Lotti is a Kaye Wiggs Pip Elf, Dollstown elf body. Ruby Peril Fullset.
Lotti’s dress is made from a salvaged 1930’s sheer voile with an underdress of silk, cotton and an ivory metalic fabric.
The dress is adorned with fabric butterflies, each has a wire armature so their wings can be played with to every whimsical desire.
Lotti has socks made from a vintage silk cardigan and little pale lavender elf shoes made from an antique kid leather glove.
She has antique lace bloomers and a fine soft mauve tulle petticoat & 1920’s pink tulle shawl.
The stand has a hollow core and faux roots peek through the mossy embankment on which she is firmly attached to her hand made wooden doll stand. A firm wire holds her hips and another ties around her thighs for stability.
From the the mound there are a plethora of wonderous coloured watercolour paper butterflies with wired antennae.
Lotti has a custom made alpaca wig that is extra long and luxuriously soft, the wig is lined with kid leather and the ruby peril label.
Her eyes are enchanted doll urethane eyes, she has soft brown mohair eyelashes.
Lotti carries a hand made aged butterfly net that has a very old hand forged nail holding it’s core together.
She has a blue beaded necklace with a rose glass faceted drop.
Lotti has a Dollstown Elf body in normal skin tone, her body is fully subtly blushed.
The third and final and most delicate of a series of butterfly works, the other two being in private collections.

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nellbwNella Ash was born to the smell of warm horse breath and simmering grain.
She was gently loved and in return loved back ferociously with a constant air of mischievous joy at every aspect of her unfurling world.

Nella and Joe rode the back of their fathers dray as he guided the gentle giant Clydesdales to deliver the ale far and wide to the villages scattered through the patchwork of soft rolling hills.
The children delighted in skimming flat stones behind them and seeing how many cows would startle at their games and laughter.
When they reached the inns there were always squalls of boisterous children
running to claim them as family to play. Sometimes they would clamber to nearby streams and catch minnows in little glass jars or make stone wall traps to catch rabbits that were far too wily to be caught.
It was when they arrived home by the glow of lamp light Nella liked best.
She would stay by the great horses heads to hear the slow steady sound they made as they chewed their feed.
She liked to run her small white fingers over the silken part just above their lips and untangle the roughness made by the thick leather driving reins.
Nella’s father had his breeding mares in one of the stable blocks, his horses were desired far and wide for their sound temper and beauty so it was Nella’s mother Elsie who tended to this part of the brewery and oversaw the stable boys duties and the birthing of foals.
Everyone knows that it’s the Gypsy folk who know horses the best so sometimes Elsie would exchange a bag of coins and a barrel or two of ale for a more elegant beast to enhance the breeding line, the dancing ponies her dad called,’spirited beasts’ and Nella and Joe were forbidden to go in to their stalls but Nella did anyway.
There was a stable boy called Alfie, a man who was there from before time began,at least before there was Nella and Joe. He taught Nella how to ride bareback and how to tend wounds from stray fence wires and even yapping ankle biting dogs. Alfie was only half accepted in the village because off the rumours that he was the son of a passing circus performer, his mother was long gone so there was no one to say if it were true and villages could be as blinkered and narrow as a skittish horses in their puritan views. To Nella’s father man was a man and all created wondrously equal.

Joe was more interested in his many hued glass marbles and running in the lane with the other boys in their street. It was such a night when everything changed. Nella helped Alfie take the harnesses from the horses and fill their nose bags while Joe played marbles in the corner with a new-found friend.
Joes friend had never laid eyes on horses at such close quarters and when Nella had gone to the house for supper and bed and Alfie had gone back to his humble rooms, the boys lagging behind thought it a great game to fill buckets with as many oats as could be dragged to the horses stalls. It was the gypsy horses in foal who gorged on the unexpected treat until their bellies were swollen more than you would have thought possible and their bodies began to heave and grow wet with sweat.
That night this was only the first of most terrible events. Nella’s brother knew he had done wrong and he hurried to bed thinking to simply get away with wasting all the oats. In his haste he knocked over the oil lamp by his bed and the slow smouldering took quite some time to begin to ignite the ends of his bed sheets.
Nella stirred to the sound the horses down in the stables whinnying and stomping hooves in distress, she did not stop long enough to smell the acrid tiny curls of smoke already forming but scampered to her beloved horses where a terrible sight met her eyes. Two of the mares were in terrible trouble writhing on the floor with colic, there was no time to run the two streets away to fetch Alfie and Nella knew from Alfie’s teachings what she must do. The horses were wild with fear and without thought for her safety Nella threw rough made rope haters around the stricken horses necks and dragged them up from the ground knowing that if they could be kept upright they may survive the colic. When Nella pushed her way wild-eyed in to the yard the sight that met her eyes was more terrible than anything imaginable, the whole house was engulfed in flames and there were explosions and fireballs from the very core of the brewery.
Nella’s heart raced and her body felt as though it would surely fall and crumble in fear but instead she swung back in to the stable block and flung open every bolt on every door.
The two colicky mares were engulfed in their own pain in the now chaotic yard and before Nella eyes one fell to the ground with an ominous thud, the other who had far less of the oat feast was parching anxiously and rolling her eyes so the whites glimmered against a backdrop of flames and moonlit winter sky.
Nella flung open the yard gate in to the village and clambered on to the back of the mare clinging wildly to her mane with the thunderous hooves of the huge Clydesdales shoes echoing down the village street.

There was no more laughter for a very long time, there was no more tender mother with hair as dark as ravens wings and a heart as soft and strong as silken thread, there was no laughing eyed father with is strong weathered work worn hands and kind eyes. There was no brother to play high jinx and chastise yet truly love, there was no kitchen with soups bubbling to warm the winters nights, nothing, just a girl astride a half-wild horse in the dead of night and Alfie ashen faced in his long johns running towards the ensuing chaos.

There were endless offers of a warm hearth for Nella yet she would always find a way back to Alfie and the horses who were now in the safety of a farmer’s field, Alfie was never more than a breath away from his equine family in a little wooden caravan. No matter how kind the offers of the village women it was with the horses Nella needed to be and so most nights she slept wrapped in an oilskin with Alfie’s little terrier asleep across her ankles.
The horses had to be sold one by one to pay for the ruined brewery expenses, eventually there was only one, heavy with foal was the horse that Nella clung to, the horse that she named ‘Nadya’ because Alfie taught her that meant hope.

The villagers hearts had softened towards Alfie but with the brewery gone and his beloved horses he was anxious to search for his Romany Gypsy father, his only family in the world. For Nella Archie was her only family and of course Nadya.
It was so that on the very evening that Nadya’s foal was born slippery and blinking into Nella’s arms that Alfie and Nella joined Alfie’s true family in a life of Carney wonders.
Under the shadow of the grand big top Nella named the foal Aishe, to the Romany folk that meant ‘Alive’. There was no need for metal bits in Aishe’s mouth or anything other than a magical thread of thought between woman and beast. Watching Nella and Aishe it was said was like watching a daring ballet in which there was only love and a grand feeling of being fully alive. So that was the story written as written by some one who had once witnessed the greatest bareback rider on earth, Miss Nella Ash and her horse Aishe. It is thought that as long as she lived her horse was always called Aishe and Nella could have chosen to curl in the darkness of the moon yet she always chose the light and there she dazzled.

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Sophie Farquhar is something like one of those gazelle’s that Ma Enid showed me in the picture books, that’s what
Tobias once said before Margot scowled something rotten at him. I don’t really see how because she is definitely a lady which ever way I look at her.

Sophies mother was an English rose,her father came from France on the other side of the big murky Channel sea. It came as a surprise to Eloise and Gerard to have bourn such a child as Sophie who was more a wildflower of lanky proportion like the most beautiful weed you ever did lay eyes upon.
They was terribly ‘Oo La la’, that’s also what Ma Enid said, they packed her up like a pile of books and sent off to a school to be finished! Its supposed to make you into a lady and walk like you have a broomstick shoved up your you know where. Eloise was as dry as rustling parchment and she would hear nothing of dancing save the dullard ballet classes after lessons on a Thursday.
Gerard on the other hand spent much of his time not writing the Annual report on the wool industry in South Wales and looking out of the window at his marvel of a daughter as she spun and whirled through the hollyhocks and heathers.Gerard understood the soul must be as well fed as the body, he pressed a pair of dance slippers firmly into Sophie’s hands and whispered that she must always follow her heart before bowing to anyone else’s expectations or only a husk of her very being would remain.

It was not long before Sophie met a young man called Daniel Deon by the banks of the Seine. Daniel wooed Sophie with a stammeringly clumsy charm, he wrote terrible poetry to show her his masterful english and often tripped over tree roots as he was so intent on his eyes always meeting with hers.
Sophie was utterly enraptured by Daniels gentle manner and childlike enormous smile so when the day came that he dropped to one knee she wept with joy.
Sophie returned to England where her mother was convinced she was indeed a Lady and dance but a childish passing whim. Eloise and Gerard bought a tumble down maisonette in London for the young couple to live in when they were wed.
Alas, wartime was within a stinking filthy breath’s reach and Daniel made the trip over the sea to hold his beloved and whisper his undying love and decades of promises in Sophies delicate ears.
Safely cocooned in the knowledge that no evil could fell their desire and life force they danced by the hearth, shared their innermost thoughts and kissed until they were as entwined as bramble growing wildly through an oak forest.
Sophie improvised exotic dances and sung lark like love ballads to Daniel. Daniel made plans for the little maisonette, a study lined with all of their favourite books, a roof garden with birdsong and plants of unearthly beauty to wonder at the moons mysteries in.Not even a war could invade this perfect fairy tale.
Sophie and Daniel waved farewell with hearts as ripe as splitting pomegranates.

There were letters …..So frequent the footpath was almost worn thin but then they became less as war must dictate. It is the last letter, this is the letter that Sophie Farquhar clutches to her breast when the curtain falls.This letter so silken from touch around the edges from touch and a little torn.This letter smudged slightly where the tears could not be quelled.The last line in this letter written by the trembling hand of Daniel Deon,
‘Please always dance my beloved Sophie, no matter what please dance. I love you. Daniel’.

So it was that Sophie Farquhar shed the shackles or the safety of her life before and came to join us carny folk.I think that every night she dances for Daniel for it is always with such passion and the most beautiful sad smile upon her face.

This cannot be the end for on the show must go………..

Sophie Farquhar is Dollstown Yujin with a Dollstown 18yr body. Her dress, bloomers and gloves are by me, her stockings are from Dorset,(Etsy), embellished by me. Her hat is by by the magically talented Allison Wonder. Allison currently has three top hats in this limited edition fabric and one in grey wool.

The custom backdrop for Sophie is by the infinitely talented Mr Michael Lynn, an accomplished mural artist and illustrator who makes beautiful balls seem to roll and curtains shimmer with his mastery of Trompe L’oiel. This is an original artwork and the artist retains the copyright of this piece. In the future Michael is hoping to work on custom pieces for lovers of fine BJD pieces.

Posted by rubyperil Comment

PearlI do not remember Pearl arriving,not many do yet no one could ever imagine the carny without her.
Tobias Finch recalls Old Ma Enid lying in her crib awaiting the heavens and speaking a babbling stream of days long past.she told of a woman crazed with the madness of a chased hare running as though the devil himself were grabbing at her heels, the dirt streaked across her forehead and her dress all ragged and only half still about her wisp of a body as she stumbled towards our snake of a road train.
she pleaded in tongues from faraway lands, Ma Enid says you could tell it was pleading no matter what the words meant.
Ma Enid was right there in the lion car back when Thomas Foley and she were sweethearts a wooing with the great beasts for an audience.
She says Tom clean near fell out trying to hang on to the woman and dragged her frail sparrow self into that car with the warm hay and those grand lions he treated like baby kittens. The woman’s eyes were sharp grief as she held out the filthy bundle in her near ghost thin arm. Ma Enid says that was how Pearl got to be here, that messy bundle light as a snowflake.
They buried the woman in the next town right in the town cemetery with a blanket of night on their side, where she come from no one ever did know but that baby called Pearl grew in to the kindest sweetest soul you ever did meet.
Sometimes Pearl is the saddest clown, sometimes she rides bareback or swings from the high trapeze.Sometimes she can be heard speaking in a tongue we do not know but ou can be sure the words are gentle and filled with love.

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Posted by rubyperil Comment

I can remember a lady who looked like a box of diamonds shining in the sun, her name was Margot and her smile made my heart quiver like a cherry flavoured jelly with cream it was so warm and pretty.

Margot never knew any other life than carny life, she came from somewhere far down south but one day she came to see our show and she never did go home save to collect a suitcase. She fell head over heels for Tobias Finch the magician who made her part of his act and put a shiny ring on her finger, wasn’t quite a diamond though.

We was at this one town and Margot was so nervous that night she dropped her powder and smeared her lips like she was a clown, turned out her first ringmaster had come to the show and Margot had some terrible memories of the end of his big leather whip.

Everything went to pieces that night, its like hot lava running through a crevice in the rock when one of the family has the blues or the nerves, even the lions were lacklustre in their routine and I felt plain dizzy up on that high wire which was rare since it was my second home. Margot dropped the throwing knives and missed so many Q’s that she was virtually a Z.

When we got to the vanishing act with the old brown suitcase it really fell apart like the apple crumble old Martha the cook makes us on Sundays. Margot never did return from the vanishing, goes to show that its not all smoke and mirrors in showbiz since half of her did come back!

Margot lives in that suitcase now Tobias tends to her every need with such love, can’t see that its the same though, having half a lady and he had to train up Annie the Dwarfs daughter for some of the magic routines, I think he might have done that on account of her being short and a bit plain so as not to make Margot feel sadder. Margot still has that diamond smile and the sweet bird of hope in her beautiful soul, one day I hope she will be whole again.soi6Soi1soistudio

Posted in Characters Comment

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Seek1They come and go so often, the lost, the grieving at the rotten cherry bowl they perceive as their lot, the rabbit girl was no different.
I remember her hovering by the strongman’s tent picking at the ropes with her clean pink fingernails. She had a voice like fresh-cut flowers, all dewy, soft and innocent and not for the likes of the Carny folk.
Determined to run away with the circus she was, she came from a big house where you have to make sure as your arms don’t rest on the table or a hullabaloo breaks out.
Name was Lila May and she had made this bunny suit at night when she was supposed to be sleeping sound in her feather bed.
Lila said the suit made her invisible and she could slip away into different worlds! Barking mad if you ask me, she thought she could work in a magic act but anyone could see she was just a slip of an innocent on the run and we just didn’t ask for trouble on the road on account of it already being quite a hard place to be at times.
Lila stayed a day or two with me in my bunk, she wanted to collect all of the stories I had in my head of the circus adventures, she wanted to gobble them up and devour them like sweetmeats in the hope they somehow filled her own dull life. Lila saw us all as so exotic and free, truth was a far cry but she had a head full of story books and we the closest she got to a rabbit hole down which to escape from that mundane old life in the big house, perhaps she thought that all the sequins and candy stripes would simply spread over her as if she were a pice of blotting paper, who knows.
Elsa sent her packing quick as a flash and I never saw that strange rabbit girl again.

 

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There is the quiet rustle of humble beginnings in a small Soho loft overlooking the rooftops,
The ramshackle,the foul breath of the city in the cool nights sky.

It is only a breath of an awakening.The crow slightly bends his sentinel stance and the music box dancer long silent and broken in the corner omits a tremor and the hint of a long forgotten note, just one but remember…Its just a beginning.
Ruby, do you remember the circus? Can you remember the scent of dry dust and wood shavings, the adoring saucer eyes of the children. Do you remember your graceful gazelle steps across the tightrope, the smell of hot buttered popcorn, the gasps from the Poe faced ladies.

Then you fell Ruby, do you remember the screams, the hideous crunching of bones and you lay crumpled on the floor. They left you behind Ruby, you are lucky to be alive you know, its true that you live as a ghost yet this vision you have Ruby..

There is a definite whisper, shush and listen..

These are your thoughts, your secret innermost dreams of beauty, the little girl who will one day burst from this small attic in silk and velvet with the whole of Soho at her feet.

You are making this dream happen Ruby, if one day you wake, if one day you remember Ruby Peril.

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