My daughter loves all things Lalaloopsy. I love the characters but have never been a fan of the large hard plastic dolls (with their ginormous noggins and Coraline creepy button eyes). I recently discovered the mini dolls, though, and became obsessed! They are adorable, portable, and affordable. I found some great deals on Hollar and stocked up for both my girls.
This is a beautiful outfit my mother in law made for my youngest daughter. She used the American Girl historical patterns for Felicity. These were produced by Pleasant Company to create outfits from the books for the original historical dolls. They are now available free online at AG Playthings. I believe this is the pattern for Felicity's holiday gown, and the dress is three separate pieces: the underskirt, the gown, and the stomacher. It also comes with a pinner cap, but it's hard to keep on the doll's head, so I used a hat from a porcelain doll I have. My MAG 44 doll is modeling the outfit with an added pearl bracelet for a necklace. These patterns are great for making clothes for the retired dolls and any historicals you may have.
Did you know today is National Hat Day in the U.S.? I thought I would celebrate by posting a few of my favorite dolly hats. Hats are such a fun way to dress up an outfit, and they can be made from just about anything, from socks and gloves to duct tape and coffee filters. They are also easy to find at thrift stores (often from stuffed animals or porcelain dolls). Hats off to headwear!
Doll fans everywhere are always abuzz whenever American Girl releases a new character doll, and the new Girl of the Year's debut is no exception. Lea Clark is a nature lover who travels to the Brazilian rainforest. I only had to travel to my local thrift store to find some fun pieces for Lea play on a dime.
There are a lot of REALLY happy girls in Utah right now! American Girl just opened a temporary holiday location at Fashion Place Mall in Murray, Utah. I was able to take my oldest daughter (10) to the grand opening events on Saturday. It was crazy busy, but we had fun.
Doors opened at 10 a.m., but they started giving out return tickets at 9:00. We arrived about 9:30 and waited in line for about a half hour to get a return time of 1 p.m. We just browsed around the mall for a while with all the other crowds of doll-crazed tweens. Each guest received a free copy of Caroline's first classic Beforever book. There was also a drawing for a free Grace doll and a Grace-themed sticker card craft.
My daughter loved meeting the other girls and their dolls. I saw just about every AG possible, from historical to Truly Me to Girl of the Year. We brought mini Ruthie for the festivities. I also saw quite a few girls with Our Generation dolls and some Madame Alexander and Walmart dolls, especially for younger fans. I did notice a difference in hair quality right away. The AG dolls tended to have much better hair than the cheaper brands, but other than that, they were just the same and all the girls seemed to love their dolls equally, no matter the brand.
I guess I have always had a thrifty streak. I remember making doll clothes for my Barbies out of tin foil or socks. Here's another cheap and easy trick to quickly clothe your small dolls: tape! I used duct tape, masking tape, and fabric tape for this project, all purchased from Dollar Tree (where I also found these cute mini dolls).
For the duct tape, I wrapped some plastic wrap around the doll first so the body wouldn't get sticky. For the masking tape, I didn't bother with this step. For the bodice of the chevron dress, I cut notches where the arms should go and just wrapped the piece over the doll's chest and around her back. I made the skirt by sticking two pieces of tape together so the pattern shows on both sides. Then I attached it to her waist with clear tape, gathering as I went. I finished it off with a belt of fabric tape and made a matching ribbon for her hair.
For the yellow dress, I crossed two pieces of masking tape from the front to the back. Then I wrapped a few pieces of tape around her waist and over the top of her legs as a base to attach the ruffles. I started with the bottom ruffle, wrapping the tape around and gathering as I went. Then I covered up the gathers on top with a second ruffle. Finally, I covered that gathered edge with a piece of the fabric tape for the belt. I like how it helps match the earrings and shoes, which are not removable.
I was so excited when I won this adorable Paris themed bean bag from a giveaway at Doll Diaries. It comes from Daydream Doll Boutique, and it retails for $24.99. The bean bag is the perfect size for 18 inch dolls, but it also works for slightly smaller dolls and pets. The fabric is just adorable and perfect AG Grace or any Paris themed room. I love the black and white color scheme with accents of soft pink and silver. Some of the Eiffel Tower pictures are embellished with glitter, which I just love. It gives the whole thing an extra pop of sparkle, but the glitter doesn't shed at all.
The bean bag is very well made, and the fabric seems nice and sturdy. It's filled with styrofoam balls, a little smaller than peas. It's very cushy and pliable. My husband said, "That looks like the comfiest pillow ever," and I have to agree. The dolls seem to like it. To add a touch of Paris chic, I added a pink place-mat for a rug and an Eiffel Tower wall sticker from Dollar Tree. Daydream Doll Boutique also offers doll sized bean bags in several other patterns. I just wish they made them my size!
In an effort to spread Christmas cheer throughout the year, I decided to post these pics from a mini holiday doll scene I set up last year.
The house is a toy barn I found at a yard sale. The fireplace, bench, and chest are all from Fisher Price (purchased at a thrift store). The tree was from the Dollar Store, and I just decorated the scene with little odds and ends.
Now is a great time to start looking out for great holiday finds at thrift and discount stores. Have a very merry day!
Here in Utah, today is a state holiday. On July 24th, we celebrate Pioneer Day, to commemorate the Mormon Pioneers who traveled from the east and settled here to escape religious persecution. I've always loved Pioneer Day and the opportunity to remember my pioneer heritage. It's also been fun to learn about my husband's ancestry, which includes Mormon pioneers who traveled from Denmark as well as Italian immigrants who came here to work on the railroad.
When I first heard of American Girl Kirsten (who was already retired at the time), I immediately loved her because she reminds me of a real-life spunky pioneer girl from my husband's family. I missed out on the full size doll (which is probably best on my pocket book anyway) but I do love my mini Kirsten. I found a wooden wagon for her, but it's missing the top, so I need to try to make a new cover for it. I also found a miniature oil lamp that really works. Kirsten is in the center spot of my mini doll display shelf, along with her mini book and a tiny paper doll book I got from McDonalds. That was actually the first I heard about American girl. Somehow I missed all the hoopla, though I was target age when Pleasant Company was started.
Hope you enjoy these pictures and take time to celebrate your own ancestors and the ways in which they were pioneers, forging the path for your future! Happy Pioneer Day!!
I was really sad to hear that American Girl is retiring their 1812 historical girl, Caroline Abbott, in order to make room for new historical characters coming soon. My daughter listened to the American Girl books, but she didn't get interested in the dolls until Caroline came out. She almost chose Caroline as her first AG doll but decided to go with modern girl Saige instead. Now it looks like we probably won't add Caroline to our home, but we did invite her (along with her owner and another Saige doll) to a tea party about a year ago. Doesn't she look so cute with Saige?