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Gypsy #1: "Tsigana Louisa"

Barb calls me, “The Gypsy Doll”, and in case I look familiar it’s because my head is a repaint by Nicole Kartio of NIKA Designs. But “Gypsy Doll?” Come on, I mean, look at me. How can she put a label on me? I’m a dancer, a temptress, a gypsy, a wanderer. But what I really am is Free. Free to go where I want and wear what I want. And what I want to wear is what you’re here for isn’t it? Well, let me tell you about it.

First, why don’t you take a look at my lovely jewelry. It’s made of silver and gold plate embellished with genuine turquoise beads in a beautiful robin’s egg blue. The color is rare, expensive, and beads of this size must be custom ground. It's just the right size for the neckline of my blouse.

Speaking of my blouse, don't you love the way it fits me? I do! And I love the fabric, too - it's made of a fine ivory net with hand-done crochet edging in burgundy silk. Now, I know gypsies don't usually wear silk but, as you know, I'm not just any gypsy....

Oh, I see you've also noticed my slip. No surprise that it caught your attention as it's made of the same fine ivory net as my blouse with the same crochet edging and is also hand-embroidered in gold, yellow and purple silk. The double-sided embroidery pattern was developed specifically for the fabric, which is transparent, and any thread on the "back" side would be visible on the front.

My skirt is absolutely plain with no outstanding features what-so-ever. And, of course, I'm kidding, because who could imagine me in a plain anything? Just look at it! It's a limited edition designer fabric in a shimmering taupe, gold and lavender 'brocade' (the pattern is woven into the cloth and is hard to see in the photo). It is edged in golden braid.

Still with me? Good! Because I'd like to call your attention to the fact that the scarf at my waist is a metallic gold and black fabric with a slight purple tinge (to pick up the purple in my skirt), edged in black and gold braid. See how its trimmed, with gold plated beads and more genuine turquoise? The points are hand applied purple appliqués, and… oh yes… my kerchief is the same fabric as this scarf.

Want to hear more, do you? Well, my corset/belt is made from gold and purple trim. Not just any trim, either. This was salvaged from a 19th century priest's vestment. I'll bet you don't have any of that in your closet, do you? The metallic threads are probably genuine gold and the colored threads are silk. It is laced in the front with hand braided black silk cord which is passed through working brass grommets.

And, the integrity of the pattern is maintained in the back, where the straight trim was fitted to my tiny (well, it is) waist.

And then there’s my ‘eat-your-heart-out’ vest of deep purple silk velvet lined in a tiny black and gold print which matches the braid on the scarf. It’s edged with gold cord. The back of the vest is cut high so the corset is visible and the points of the vest on the side are cut to hang into the points in the design of the corset.

With all those fine beautiful pieces of clothing, you have to know I wouldn’t accessorize with anything less that a tambourine which is vintage sterling engraved with a Spanish dancer. Hmmm, a tambourine – maybe I am a gypsy, after all.

Well, okay I am a gypsy. And as such I’m not wearing shoes but I am sporting a silver and turquoise slave anklet, which is connected with a tiny chain to a toe ring. Oh, and in case anyone is interested, I’m not wearing undergarments (tsk, tsk!).

You want to know a secret? Barb thinks she made me look good in these clothes. But the truth is the clothes don’t make me look good – I make the clothes look great. Trust me. If you can’t trust a gypsy, who can you trust?


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OOAKFolk, Inc., and artist Barbara Healy are not affiliated in any way with the original manufacturers of the dolls pictured in this site. No photograph, text or graphic on this site may be copied without written permission from Barbara Healy. Copyright © 2004 OOAKFolk, Inc.

Last Revised: October 5, 2004
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