I own a few ball-jointed dolls, but as much as I enjoy them I’m not necessarily as involved as some other doll owners. I’ve only been to a handful of doll-related meetups, and oftentimes when I’ve contemplating attending one I discover that it conflicts with a lolita meetup–and that’s something I’d much rather attend. I don’t often talk about my dolls, but sometimes dolls come up as topics of conversation at lolita events and then I realize that my friends also own dolls.
The last time this happened someone suggested we should have a combination doll and lolita fashion meetup, so at the beginning of July those interested arranged a meetup. The original plans involved the Garfield Park Conservatory, because it’s a wonderful place for a leisurely and beautiful meetup. The greenhouses are filled with lovely plants, and there’s a hall with tables where you can sit and chat or enjoy a snack. The conservatory is very easily accessible via public transportation.
I didn’t take many flower pictures, but this was a view out onto the Monet Garden. It was lovely to see so much in bloom.
And then, on June 30th, a catastrophic hailstorm destroyed most of the greenhouses. Nearly half of the glass panes in the conservatory were shattered. Trying to cope with the damage, the greenhouse was closed with no announced reopening date. I thought we’d have to reschedule to another location, but just before the meetup the conservatory announced that it would be open again–to a limited degree. Repairing the damage is a very time-consuming process. Shattered glass has to be carefully removed from the plants, hoping to salvage as many of them as possible. The conservatory contained some very important and old plants, and some perished during the storm, so keeping those that can be saved is taken very seriously.
The Fern Room, Show House, Desert House, and Aroid House were closed when we visited, and they still don’t have an announced reopen date. We met in the Horticulture Hall, which was open, but it was only accessible from the outside through the outdoor gardens, as it is connected to the closed Show House. Areas of the Bluestone Terrace and City Garden are also closed. We didn’t stray far from the Monet Garden and Horticulture Hall.
Hearing about the damage to the conservatory was shocking, but seeing it was even more heart-wrenching. The Garfield Park Conservatory is one of those things that I count on to be there. It provides a beautiful service to the city–a free place for people to experience lovely plants. I’ve tried to help out by donating what I can, and I’m hoping that others donate their time and money to restore the conservatory. It will take a long time, but hopefully not too long if people really care.
Obviously I’m not in this picture because I was the one taking it, but I love this beautiful tiled fountain.
The meetup itself was fun and relaxing~ The Horticulture Hall was nearly empty, so there was plenty of table space and chairs for everyone. I really enjoyed getting to see my friends’ dolls and discussing related interests. There were quite a few ball-jointed dolls in attendance, but also several Blythes, which I find fascinating~ I think it’s so much fun to pull the cord and change her eye colours. Her overall design doesn’t quite appeal to me, but I still think she’s a neat type of doll.
All of these are one girl’s Blythes! And this is only a teeny-tiny piece of her total doll empire.
Even though there were only a few of us who brought ball-jointed dolls, there was quite a bit of variety. I brought my two, a Volks SD and Volks MSD. Another friend brought a tiny Pipos cat and two Rosette Doll girls. A tiny Leekeworld girl in an adorable dress joined soon, as well as a Dikadoll elf girl.
I was really thrilled to see Rosette Doll girls again~ I remember my first doll, a Violet, very fondly. ♥ Sometimes I’ve even pondered the possibility of someday owning another Violet; I truly think she’s a lovely doll. Seeing a friend’s Armeria and Camellia was lots of fun~ They’re both so sweet. I still adore the crazy proportions of the über-lanky Rosette bodies.
A pile of dolls dominated one of the tables. I thought they all looked very cute together, even with differences in sizes and styles.
I really enjoyed getting together with my friends and their dolls, and I know there were other interested lolita who couldn’t join us on that day. I hope that we have more events like this so that everyone can have an opportunity to come. It’s always fun to see what hobbies and interests I share with my friends~