The other day at JoAnn Craft Store I saw this adorable tiny chicken coop I thought would be perfect for mini kit. It even has a little chick inside.
Of course extra chicks are available. These guys are even on sale right now for Easter. Wouldn't this make a wonderful scene for Kit (AG's spunky depression-era character who sells eggs to help her family)?
One of my Daily Deals purchases from American Girl was Samantha's frilly frock. I've read several well-written, thorough reviews of this outfit, so I won't do a lengthy review, but I wanted to show how it looks on my different dolls.
I don't have Samantha, so Saige got to be my AG model. The dress fits really nicely, but I don't like the way the wide neckline looks on this body style. I also don't think it is appropriate to the era, as all Samantha's former outfits seemed to have a higher neck. the boots fit well but were difficult to get on.
I love how the bow looks with her curly hair. Saige had slightly loose limbs, so I was happy that the tights and boots actually help her stand up better.
Dana, my Journey Girls doll, rocks a more modern look with Addy's snood worn like a beret. I think this would style would look really good on the new GOTY, Grace. The vinyl breastplate looks a little better, but the dress is too wide for her narrow shoulders and a little baggy at the waist. The boots were also loose, but the tights improve the fit and look.
This dress does not look at all Edwardian to me, but it does have a vintage feel. With a quick wig change and the snood worn in the classic style, I think Dana has a bit of a 40's or 50's vibe.
I think the Madame Alexander body style works best with this outfit because of the vinyl breastplate and fuller waist. I used the wig with bangs and let the curls hang loose below the snood.
So, who do YOU think wore it best?
I was thrilled to find this little wooden ark set at my local thrift store, and with my coupon, it was just over $2. It is a perfect size for doll play, and the hand-crafted, primitive look reminds me of Felicity's special toy from her American Girl stories.
It didn't come with any people, but I like the variety of animals: elephant, giraffe, gorilla, lion, and Zebra. Only the poor elephant was missing a partner.
The top deck can be removed to reveal a little storage compartment. Not all of the animals can fit inside with the lid closed, but several of the smaller ones can.
Rachel loves her new toy! Rachel is a Battat doll in a Heidi Ott dress, also found at the same thrift store. I love Savers!
It's time to stock up on stocking stuffers! The holiday season is a great time to buy mini dolls from American Girl, and some of them are on sale for $18.
Many of you may have seen this pink dress before on my blog, but I wanted to let you know where it came from. I found this sweet plush rabbit several months ago at a local thrift store for $4, which included a doll stand. She is a little shorter than an American Girl doll, with a large head and a thin body. The body is stiffer than a regular plush toy and has jointed arms and legs. The arms are quite long for the body, especially for a rabbit, but it does help the dress fit other dolls more easily.
The decorative lace head-piece was sewed to the rabbit's head, but I snipped the thread and attached the decoration to a straw hat. The dress easily opens in the back with Velcro, so I was able to try it on other dolls. The waist and the arms are a little loose on most 18 inch dolls, but I was able to make the dress fit better by tying a ribbon sash at the waist and placing clear elastics on the sleeves. I love how the dress looks on my American Girl and Heidi Ott dolls, but my favorite was a Duck House doll I rescued and transformed. It started as a boy doll, but I wanted to use the wig for my son's play doll, so I replaced it with another thrift-store wig and made a beautiful girl with golden locks. Doesn't she look lovely in this pink outfit?
Here are more pics of my awesome thrift-store dress on various dolls. I was so excited for this find!
I had so much fun making the Beforever mini books that I thought I'd share the template I made so you all can make one too. All pictures are copyright American Girl and come from author Kathleen Ernst's Website. Please only use these files for personal, non-commercial use. If you want to share the templates, link back to this post. Click the links below to access and save the template files.
Hardcover Book Jacket (for use with an existing mini book): PDF file, JPG file
Paperback Cover (to make softcover copy with inner pages): PDF file, JPG file
Today is American Girl Emily Bennett's birthday. I always loved Emily because she has such a cute meet dress, and she looks quite a bit like my own daughter. Alas, I couldn't afford to purchase her before she retired, and I haven't really found a comparable doll I can use as a stand-in. I did, however, find an old Battat doll at the thrift store ($6) who looks quite a bit like Molly. Her hair is a little more reddish and she has brown eyes instead of gray, but the bangs look similar, and I think my mock Molly looks pretty close once she has the braids and glasses. What do you think? Since the weather has been so cold here lately, I dressed her in this DIY ice skating outfit I put together.
Leotard, Leggings, and Skates: My Life As ice skating set (on clearance for $5 after the Winter Olympics) from Walmart
Coat: Springfield Collection. I folded the bottom of the long coat under to make it look shorter so her cute skirt would show, and I added some decorative snowflake brads for buttons.
Muff: Home-made with a piece of white fleece.
Glasses: Hand-made by me with wire I had on hand.
Her hair was pretty messy, but actually in pretty good condition. I tamed it with a little bit of water and fabric softener, brushed it with a wire brush, and flattened the bangs with a hat before braiding it into that classic Molly style. Now our "fake" Molly is ready for some real fun!
My local Barnes and Noble store does not have the new Beforever mini dolls yet, but they did have a few of the old versions stashed on a bottom shelf. I spotted one forlorn Molly peeking out from a row of smiling Isabelles, and I knew I had to bring her home. So I used my storytelling money and purchased her as a birthday present to myself.
Here she is in Raggedy Anne's pinafore, which makes me think of Molly's birthday dress. Welcome to the clan, Molly!
I'm trying to limit my doll spending right now, but I couldn't resist checking out my favorite thrift store, Saver's. Here are some of the doll finds that caught my eye.
This Victorian beauty was selling for $10, which is worth it just for the dress and stand. It has a porcelain face and limbs and soft body. She looks about the same size as American Girl, and I think her clothing would fit an AG doll quite well. Her beautiful crepe dress is easily removable with a Velcro closure in back. It is adorned with layers of ruffles and lace, with silk flowers and a beautiful cameo brooch for a finishing touch. She even has a fancy little purse.
These beautiful 20" boys from the Cathay Collection captured my heart right away. They have hard vinyl arms and feet, soft bodies, and wigged hair. They have a toddler-style body with curved legs and feet, so they can't stand. They are similar to Bitty Twins but slightly bigger, and they seem to be able to fit into regular infant clothing. I really had to fight myself to keep from buying that little blond. Doesn't his face just seem to say, "Please take me home"?
This little lady is so cute with her copper curls and cute bare feet, but I was actually most interested in her swing. I think it would work great for the American Girl mini dolls. She is tied to the swing, but she isn't glued down, so she wouldn't be too hard to remove. I also love the look of the flowery vines adorning the edges.
I also found several American Girl books in very nice condition. There was the first book for Julie, Kit (not pictured because my daughter was holding it) and Lanie, and an entire set of Julie's 6 books. They were only 99 cents each, and I had a 20% off coupon from donating, so I ended up getting 7 books for about 5 dollars. My youngest daughter loves Kit, so I got her meet book, and I couldn't resist getting Julie's books since it was such a great deal for a complete set. I did leave Lanie for the next little girl, though. This was my only actual purchase.
I'm so glad I have this site to share all my great finds without having to actually buy everything. Hope you enjoyed seeing them. Happy thrifting!
When I was growing up, I somehow missed the whole American Girl phenomenon (probably too busy making tin foil clothes for my second-hand Barbies). Even so, I find myself feeling nostalgic toward the original characters. While I didn't get the chance to "meet Samantha," I did meet and fall in love with similar characters like Anne Shirley, Mary Lennox, and Sara Crewe and their fascinating time period. Though my daughter is thrilled about the pink-clad "new" version of AG's beloved Samantha Parkington, I prefer the original. So I decided to to add her to my mini-doll collection while she is still readily available. The new Beforever mini comes out later this month.
Mini Samantha is currently sold on the American Girl website for $24, but I actually purchased mine for about 19$ on Amazon, since I had free shipping. When Samantha arrived, she was a little off-kilter inside her box, so I was afraid she might be disheveled, but she came out looking lovely, though her hair does lean to one side.
I had already purchased Samantha's Play Scenes and Paper Dolls book on sale for $5. It is no longer available, but some of the other historical paper dolls are still on sale. I love these sets, and at $5, they are an incredible value. The actual paper dolls are a little large for the play scenes, but the mini dolls are a perfect size! Here are some pics of my new "old" Sam.
Samantha gets ready for back-to-school time with this fabulous classroom scene from her paper doll book.
Samantha plays with her new birthday teddy bear in her room (bear and play scene are from the paper doll set). The first chair is made from a free printable available here, and the second was purchased with a coupon from Jo-Ann craft store.
When I first saw this mini doll, I immediately thought of the beautiful Diana Barry from L.M. Montgomery's books. Naturally, I had to create her kindred spirit and bosom friend, Anne Shirley. Saige is borrowing Marie-Grace's dress and Cecile's boots with a mini straw hat to complete her costume. This picture just makes me giddy. I loved Anne of Green Gables so much, and I was even in a junior high production of the play, where I played Diana's sister Minnie May.
Which do you prefer, the new version of Samantha, or the old one?