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  Gypsy #4: "Tsigana Tira"

Are they finally done? What a waste of time describing everyone else when I'm the only one people are interested in. And I, the shining star of this band, am Tira. That means "Arrow" (as in "sharp"!), and I am the woman who plays the bells for the band. For that matter, I am the woman in the band. The other two - just girls.

My description may take a little reading here, because I'm so much more complex than those "Kira" dolls.

My head is a Fashion Royalty Adele Via Venetto whose facial screening has NOT been touched. Barb said I was perfect just the way I was! She described my expression as haughty, which means blatantly and disdainfully proud to you, but it just means OBVIOUS to me.

(If you aren't a Fashion Royalty Fan, Barb has a repainted Barbie as Diana Ross head that could be used instead, and NIKA Designs has a GORGEOUS repaint that would also look stunning on this body.)

To keep my hair out of my face (well, you wouldnít want to cover any of that now, would you?) Iím wearing a band tied around my forehead, and of course, itís embroidered to match my blouse. Over my right ear Barb stuck a frosted glass flower with a beaded silver and red center. And behind it, setting it off, a black and red lace flower that matches the lace appliquťs on my skirt.

My hair was taken out of its bun and the layered cut was permed, with slightly tighter curls on top. This shorter hair, shorter than those "Kira's" anyway, enables you to see the details in my magnificent vest!

My vest is made from a fine black and white printed silk, cut so that a single piece of the fabric wraps around my body and shoulders. The red you see in the pattern is BEADS - microscopic glass beads too small to have a hole - that were hand applied. Yes, they are glued, but they were the only size that worked with this pattern and although Barb has handled the vest extensively, they are still hanging on!

Under the vest, I'm wearing a white mesh blouse with off-the-shoulder elbow length sleeves. The upper edge of the sleeves and bodice are embroidered with silk thread and glass beads. The pattern coordinates with the embroidery on the hem of my overskirt.

Barb is very proud of this vest so I'll tell you a little more about it: it's edged with red cord and laces up the front. Notice how the lacing is perfectly integrated with the pattern in the silk?

Although you cannot see it, it's lined with white satin. It comes to a point in the center back and each side of the front. At each point is a hand-made black and red silk tassle. I love the way the front of the vest extends over my shoulders and onto my back creating the illusion of a collar (alright, I'll admit the design is similar to the one worn by Neoma, but even so, it looks so much better on me).

(pssst! Barb says she has enough of this fabric that she can create one more of these vests! She promised she wouldn't use the same color beads but, even so, don't tell anyone - I don't want to see myself coming and going!)

See? I told you, you can see my vest!

My overskirt is made of a white mesh in three graduated tiers. Three lace flowers are appliqued in a random pattern to the front of the skirt. Wherever the tiers are joined, there is a different ribbon embellishment covering the seam. There is a black ribbon around the top tier which ties in the back and makes it possible to remove the overskirt and expose the "slip" underneath.

When I'm feeling exuberant, (as well as blatantly and disdainfully proud) I wear the overskirt. When I'm feeling sexy, I wear only the slip.

The bottom edge of the overskirt - which is over 3 yards long - is trimmed with red ribbon and hand embroidered with silk thread, glass beads, rhodium plated beads, and silver ribbon. The embroidery pattern was developed specifically for this fabric so the threads in the back would not show through the front; and, so that the back - which is sometimes visible due to the fullness of the skirt - is presentable.

OK, here I am in my underskirt. Pretty nice for a "slip", huh? The top of my underskirt - which is always visible - is made of a white satin. The lower part is a thin stretch fabric cut in a circle and trimmed with a rare French black and red lace. The thinness of the fabric allows it to drape beautifully over my outstretched leg, which can barely be seen underneath it, giving it a very sexy and contemporary look. ("Yes, Neoma, this WOMAN is sexy! You have a problem with that?") There is a black ribbon around the seam which joins the top to the bottom, and another one around the waist.

The underskirt can be worn alone or with a removable beaded fringe belt.

My belt is made of silver ribbon, hand embellished with glass beads, and a handmade, silk, black and red fringe. The belt is sized so that it fits perfectly over the black ribbon separating the top of my slip from the bottom. It really sets off my hips, doesn't it? ("No, Neoma, they are not HUGE! They're the same size as yours, if you want to know the truth!")

My bells - you've seen bells before, right? These were made from a brass ring to which dozens of tiny 'silver' clapperless bells were attached. They were taken from a pair of earrings Barb picked up in Afghanistan when she lived there. Although I can hold the bells all by myself in certain positions, I feel much more secure when they're attached to my hand with a thin clear rubber band.

My hands are shaped so that I can hold the bells in either one, and will also readily hold my skirt up if you push the fabric in between my thumb and first finger. Well, yes, I would have to put the bells down to hold my skirt with both hands, OBVIOUSLY! But the skirt is big enough around that it would look fabulous if I did!

I'm pretty impressive, aren't I? And, until now, we havenít even come to the accessories. I know some other Gypsy on this site thinks she knows how to accessorize but the fact is Barb decided on her accessories, whereas my accessories are drawn to me, like Iím some sort of force of nature or something. And with what I have, Iím surprised the other two girls even bothered to mention the subject. Excuse me just a sec will you... ďItís true and you know it, Neoma!!!Ē

For instance, look at my chest where Iím wearing an ornate silver collar and 2 bead necklaces. One is a single strand of 'coral' beads with an 'onyx' medallion. The other is a graduated triple strand of 'coral', 'silver' and 'onyx' beads that are joined into one strand around the back. They're the height of fashion and are all removable. (I have a third necklace as well - a double strand of peridot and onyx glass beads, but I don't always wear it. And, no, Neoma, you can't have it.)

In one ear Iím wearing a simple 'silver' hoop, and in the other, an earring to match the necklaces. Unlike Neoma, I don't have to be coordinated down to my teeth. I'm a Gypsy, after all!

Not enough? It doesnít matter because Iím not done yet. Look at my bare feet where Iím wearing a string of 'silver' bells and several ankle bracelets. Or look on each of my arms where there are multitudes of 'silver' bangles and rings.

Speaking of my arms, Barbara says they've been shaped to make me look like Iím dancing, but the truth is she couldnít find any pose that would make me look anything but graceful.

Yes, I know, everyone in the band is beautiful. But even among the beautiful, there has to be a most beautiful. Come on, girls, you know itís me.

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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: May 24, 2005
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