Monday, December 29, 2014

First Boy Custom: Jack and His Twin Sister, Gypsie

All through adolescence, I never experienced the "hating boys" phase.  Until I was seven, my best friend was a boy.  He then went through his "hating girls" phase and that was the end.  I stayed loyal and true to the thought of us going on our adventures after this temporary set back, but unfortunately, as he began to gradually rise from this needless repelling of the opposite sex, he moved far away--and that was the end.

Can I stop talking about boys now?  I was trying to be clever and tie this story into my photographs, but it kinda dissolved into a miserable parking lot puddle of memories.  Let's not go back.  Nay, let us look at the present moment: this is Jack, and he is a boy who would never hate girls or move away.  What a gentleman.

Formerly a Nellie, I scalped him mercilessly, stuffed him under a bed, and awaited the arrival of a wig from Monique.  This took a while.  I then put it on his head.  Ta-da!  A boy.  A boy who looks like a boy (as opposed to a boy who looks like a girl).   This was the ultimate goal. 

And here he is looking all studly in his button up shirt with the sleeves strategically rolled to make him appear handsomer.

Oh, and did I mention?  He has a twin. 

Gypsie, his sister, was created with a Marie Grace and Ruthie Wig.  I wanted them to look alike, but still have a different face mold.  

Double the trouble?  Double the cuteness?  They sure didn't double my bank account.  That's okay.  I kinda like them anyway. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

I Return With the Next Installment!

Was my cliffhanger suspenseful enough?  Did I manage to drive you all to madness while I sat here behind the scenes laughing at my little scheme?

That's as good as an apology gets, folks.

Before we get into why I haven't posted in four months, let me ease your dying suspicion.

Part 2: Gypsie's Grandfather 

 On her mysterious adventure, Gypsie was toting her Radio Flyer full of American pride to her great grandfather's grave.  

He died during WWII

While you should be debating if all this time between blogging ventures was worth the second installment, please don't.  Logic will rule in your favor and out of mine.

So, let's count my excuses according to month:

In July I worked at two summer camps, plus my father's birthday landed somewhere in the mix.  I auditioned and joined a lindy hop dance team, and I had a sleepover with a friend, which totally took up all my time and creative effort.  

Of course in August I didn't have much of anything going on besides rehearsals and the beginning of swim lessons.  I got this fantastic notion of becoming a lifeguard and I was positive I could do it in a month.  Evidently self confidence isn't the only component needed.  

September welcomed me with an impromptu Chemistry course along with our pretentious state fair. 
However, no matter how it big may think it is for its britches, the fair did invite my brother and I to class up the joint with our snazzy singing duo.  We performed thrice on an unknown stage in the middle of the building everyone avoids.  

But at least we tried. 

At the end of the fair I started my first quarter of college.  And now, with it being November, I'm still working on my first quarter of college.  You don't have to be Sherlock to figure out my life in October.  I think Mrs. Hudson has even a fair shot at guessing.

And thus are the conclusionary tales of me.  Now go outside and rake the lawn!  Your decomposing leaves await you. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fireworks and Radio Flyers

I have great hope that my fellow Americans celebrated Independence Day with a scrumptious bang yesterday evening.  Sorry England, but you should be mourning your loss of the rebels...therefore no party.
I did in fact think ahead for this auspicious occasion for all of my lovely followers.  On Monday evening, I happened to shoot some photographs.  Of a doll.  In a field.

They make me happy.

Obviously that should be enough to make you happy too, but I don't want another Boston Massacre, so the pictures will be uploaded shortly.
But to make this a bit more interesting, I think I'll add a bit of suspense.  Because that leaves the reader coming back for more.  So, let me introduce to you the world of parts.

Part 1: The Mysterious Wagon

What can Gypsie possibly be doing with this vintage Radio Flyer wagon?  Is there a mysterious mystery going on that you must wait for until next time?  Well, you'll have to figure that out for yourself while I go back to bed.  It's firework hangover time. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer Crushes

This post will probably not interest many of you.
It should, though.  Because it interests me.  And I'm running the blog.  So read on.

I have a mission today.  It is to educate you and you're brains which may know nothing of this photo.

This is 'The Man.' 
I do not have many crushes, but when I do begin to start feeling myself falling into the orbit of never ending love, I will know one thing.  He is dead.  It's a terrible habit of mine.  I should probably shake it somehow, but, my darlings, who would want to after looking into those dazzlingly blue eyes?  
Black and white photographs have a very swaying affect on how you view a person.  They make him (or said person, naturally) more dashing, more chivalrous, and more...more positively perfect.  But dear old Frankie, The Man, doesn't need to be taken down to grayscale.  Especially when displayed with these two.

Yes, even in color I still feel a bit weak at the knees.
IT'S FRANK SINATRA.  Who wouldn't?  Oh yeah, I guess Bing Crosby and Dean Martin are in there too...don't want to let them feel left out.  
But alas, they are all deceased.  Gone with the wind.  Dead beyond repair.  And yet, even with such hopeless information, you will never encounter a groovier trio of magnificence.  Classy, I think the word is.  Smooth.

So be educated and follow my lead.  Please swoon over dearest Frankie and listen to his records and watch his multiple movies.  I have a scrapbook in his honor.  When I am sad, I look at it.  And then I'm not sad.

P.S. Here's a doll photo as a reward for looking at photos of old men in suits. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

In Summer

I'll finally see a summer breeze blow away a winter storm; and find out what happens to solid water when it gets warm...

Most certainly it is summer.  We're having the most ordinary summer weather here.  Yes, summer.  Thanks for the rain.  Of course we were expecting you.  Enjoy your stay. 

But honestly, I could not be more elated to have a no school life.  College starts this fall and my homeschooling days are over.  I am off!  Onward my voyage to become more learn-ed and smart-ed.  My finals are over, my registration is done, and here I am, filling my brilliant mind with such a stimulating occupation.  
Indeed my friends, I am babysitting.  And I am tired.  But to move aside from this incredibly fascinating subject, let me bring you to the attention of a doll.  Because we all know why you're here.  

I am very happy with her eyes.  In fact, I think I'll tell her.
To whom it may concern:
Your eyes are spectacular.  You looked into the sun just the way I asked, even without your sunglasses perched across your nose as the eye specialist advised.
The Photographer

And by the way, this book is far above and beyond.  It's better than the sensation of popsicles on your tongue after a run.

And then you must climb trees.  It's a summer 'yes.'  If you haven't, I pity you.  But don't climb my tree.  For it is mine.  Find your own.

 Of course, if you happen to climb my tree with roller skates, by all means do so.  I will watch through the lens of my camera.  

All in all, the first two weeks of my little summer have been good.  But it's time for a sleepover with myself.  You know the kind; Pinterest until dawn, PollyAnna playing in the background, and then sleep.  Sleepy sleep with no words popping into my head like babysitting, run, or get up.  That is my happy.  It will come, dear friends.  I have hope.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Window Seat

American Girl has come up with some adorable outfits over the years, but this one was never my favorite.  I mean, purple with blue spots and a bright pink hat paired up against greyish-blue corduroy pants?  Wow.  I suppose it could make a statement for those out of the box thinkers.  I, however, have always had more of a close minded brain, and this hurricane of clothing never even registered as 'cute' up there.  I would never wear it.  My dolls would never wear it.  Okay swell.  Why are we still discussing it?

Because, my friends, I payed cold, hard cash for this delightful ensemble.  What in blazers was I thinking?
Oh come on guys.  Don't you get it?  It's obviously Sulley and Boo.

The colors are just inverted.  Suddenly it's turned into the most adorable thing I could ever imagine.  From the darling knit cap to the sweet little sweater of Sulley.  

And it just so happens Gypsie is a ginormagantic fan of Monsters Inc.  What a crazy random happenstance. 

Poor Mike.  Maybe I could get her green necklace.  Something to match her stunning eyes.

Friday, May 9, 2014

So Close to Summer

Well, I'm tired.  This week has been extremely emotionally stressful as I journey through these last remaining days of school.  It's not that the work is so hard, but my deep fear of finals and testing has led me to have several light anxiety attacks.  
For some reason, I've always had an extreme aversion to any sort of academic drills.  The symptoms include headaches, nausea, anger towards myself, and excessive crying and basic panicking.  This obviously isn't the most ideal way to start a quiz or, much less, a final for your school year.  However, I'm working on the problem.  Slowly.  

To cheer myself (and you all, of course) up, I'm sharing some photographs of my lovely custom girl, Gypsie.  Her parts include a scalped Marie Grace, a Ruthie wig, and a smattering of freckles, because freckles are much more fun to say when paired up with smattering.  

Her character started formulating shortly after her arrival.  I nabbed Molly's Bike of craigslist and she instantly claimed it as her own.  

Her outfit was completely designed and made by Clarisse's Closet on Etsy.  I'm in love with the soft turquoise cardigan and spring dress.  

The hat adds a wonderfully unique touch too, don't you agree?

She also has a twin brother who'll show up on here one of these days.  After I give him new hair.  Oh dear.  That didn't sound very humane. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easters Without Chocolate

Being gluten free, vegan, and sugar free is fine for a homeschooled kid who has chickens and doesn't socialize much.  But when it comes to occasions.  Special occasions...
It's at these points in history where I imagine myself cramming waffles drenched in sugary syrup and whipped cream into my mouth relished with cherries and sprinkles on top.  
But who needs imagination when your brother's so kindly acting it out?  Thank you, dearest sibling.  I appreciate it.  
Special occasions have been labeled "experimental food day" where I'm concerned.  Mom whips up fluffy, creamy pancakes and muffins as I flip through pintrest, frantically clicking on photos taken by professional photographers.  It has to taste good right?  The picture's so pretty!  
Well, my lemon blueberry waffles happened to agree with the taste buds yesterday morning.  Yes, they weren't half bad.  

There's no graceful way to transition the last paragraph into this one, so let me just present with you my newest doll.  

Of course, she doesn't know she's vinyl.  She thinks she lived in an HBC fur trading fort during the 1850s.

Her spring dress was just finished last week.  I hand pleated the skirt, and my mom piped all the seams.  

I haven't decided on a name yet, and she's quite confused over the matter.  I should probably find one soon so as to put her mind at ease.  

How did you celebrate Easter?  My mom and I ended the day with The Waltons, because you can't get any better than that...although my brother may tell you differently, so don't talk to him.  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Clarisse's Closet Etsy Orders

For months I've poured through the postings of Clarisse's Closet and drooled over the spectacular fashion and taste of the author.
It amazes me every time.  Here I am, wearing blue jeans and one of my brothers shirts, while Clarisse shows off her vintage hats, skirts, sweaters, and shoes.
When her etsy shop debuted two weeks ago, I stared with mouse in hand, ready to click my order before my favorites were sold out.

Honestly, I was extremely impressed with the design and finished look of each individual piece.  The cropped pants have working pockets and adorable pleats.  The slouchy sweater has the tiniest ribbing around the neck, sleeves, and waist.

The sequins and seed beads are all delicately hand sewn on.

And aren't the pants darling?  Paired up with the blue and grey saddle shoes, Maggie's all ready for spring to come.

I bought a turquoise cardigan from her, but don't have any photos of it at this time.  

So if you'd like to look awesome and stylish too, check out Clarisse's Closet on Etsy and mix and match your own fantabulous wardrobe!  

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Girl and Her Dog (and one more nomination)

Some days I'm actually thankful for living in the Northwest.  Usually it's just rain and gloom, but if I'm lucky, while everyone else is shivering next to their gas fires, I get to run barefoot through our green grass, take pictures of budding leaves, and laugh at you all.
Actually I just get jealous because we never get snow.

Then again, sometimes I can catch a sliver of time.  Like when the sun is setting, and a girl and her dog are out for a summer stroll.  Winter may still be hanging around, but that doesn't mean I have to comply.

In other news, I was shocked to see that someone else (Audra's Elements) also nominated me for the Liebster award!  She has such an awesome blog, and I'd love it if you'd check it out.  
Her questions are: 
1. If you could visit any country that you've never visited before, which one would it be?
This is so very difficult!  I've always wanted to travel the world, but especially Europe.  I think I'd choose England because of my interest in its history.  Next, I'd take a trip south and explore New Zealand. 
2. What is one thing that you're afraid of?
Being alone and never measuring up to higher standards.  I'm very competitive, but without people to keep me on my toes, I tend to get distracted and lose interest in the more important things of life.  I hope to always have my friends to push and stretch me beyond my limits.  
3. Who are your top 3 favorite musicians right now?
You know, I've never (intentionally) listened to much pop, and my  Pandora is primarily movie scores and big band music!  My all time favorite singer is Frank Sinatra, but Harry Connick Jr makes me swoon too :)  
4. How would you feel about wearing an outfit that was made up of really bright colors and patterns, that would make people turn and look at you?
That depends.  Would the people be smiling or raising an eyebrow? ;)  I would feel a bit sheepish, but if I loved the outfit, I'd parade it proudly. 
5. What is your favorite kind of clothing to wear?
Classic or vintage.  Anything with a timeless touch.  I'll wear something trendy, but add a some sort of accessory to make it original.
6. What is (or was) your favorite school subject?
History!  Ever since I got my hands on the first AG books, I checked out every story I could find from their time periods.  History is extremely important to me, and I'm learning that the more I know about a certain era, the more I grow to love it.7. What are your feelings about broccoli? Pick 3 words you'd use to describe your feelings.
Summer, happy, childhood
Yep, those are probably as abstract as you can get, but I can still hear mom calling my brother and I inside for dinner on a hot summer afternoon.  We'd grow broccoli in our garden, and she'd boil it and we'd eat it with our freshly dug potatoes.  
Now, if I were to eat it raw? Gross. Gag. Nope.
8. Would you rather spend an afternoon at a museum, at an ice-skating rink, at the seaside, or in your room with a book?
You have the best questions!  This is the hardest yet.  I re-enact at a living history museum (an 1850s fort), and most of the time I couldn't imagine being happier.  But then, I took ice skating for a few years right after Mia came out in 2008, and gosh, that's always going to be my favorite sport.  My dream is to someday skate on a real pond out in the open.  The seaside is more of an illusion for me, as I've only been to a shore on a cold, blustery day.  However, if I were given the sun, some sand, and some clear water, I'm in!  And then last, my room with a book.  With the window open on a late summer evening, I think there's nothing more relaxing.  It's a four way tie, I suppose :)
9. What is your favorite place that you've ever visited?
American Girl Place, LA in 2008.  I don't think I'll ever match the excitement I had that day ever again.
10. If you had a time machine, when and where would you go?
1931, Minnesota.  My mom's dad would be 16-- my age.  I never got to meet him; he died of cancer long before I was born.  I just wish I could spend a day with him and talk.  What were his dreams?  What did he want to accomplish?  Maybe we'd go ice skating together on a frozen lake.  Who knows? 
11. Who is your best friend and how would you describe her/him?
My best friend...several people came to mind, but I think my very best friend would have to be my brother.  
Kinda.  Sibling relationships are so fickle on the outside.  Especially considering that we use to fight nonstop when I was a really small person.  But he's my favorite person to hang out with I think.  We know each other so well, and it's just nice to be together.

Thank you so much, Audra!  These were fantastic questions, and I had so much fun answering them.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Major Award

It's quite thrilling to know that someone reads your ramblings.  I was nominated by two marvelous blogs (Dolly Dorm Diaries and Among the Dolls) for the "Prestigious Liebster Award."  
Oh yeah.  

The questions asked by Dolly Dorm Diaries are:

1.  What part of doll collecting to you love most?
A: Learning about the history from each time period.   And spending all my money on clothes for my vinyl companions. 
2.  What are you to your doll(s)?  Mom? Caretaker? Friend?
A: Caretaker, I suppose.  I don't exactly enter into their world at all.  
3.  What doll is your mini me?
A: #24 is the closest AG has come, but if Isabelle had brown eyes, she'd probably be the closest. 
4.  What is your favorite AG pet?
A: Josefina's chickens, of course! 
5.  Ever been to an AG Place?  If so, where?
A: Seattle and Los Angelus 
6.  Take your dolls out in public?
A: Somewhat.  More rural public than the city.  
7.  Beach or mountain vacation?
A: I'd like to say mountain, but there's no way.  Beach.
8.  Favorite vacation spot?
A: Lake house in really hot weather.  
9.  Favorite AG Horse?
A: Steps High
10. Early riser or night owl?
A: Early riser
11. Own an AG boy doll?  Name?
A: I'm glad you asked!  He will be joining us shortly, but there's no name yet.  

Among the Dolls Questions:

1. How long have you collected AG dolls?
A: Since Christmas of 2004  2. Who was your first AG doll?
A: My Grandma gave me Kirsten because I loved "the pioneer doll." 
3. How many AG dolls do you have?
A: Oh goodness.  30, I think, but I haven't counted in awhile.  I'm hoping to sell a couple soon.
4. Do you have any customs? How many?
A: Yes; one at the moment.  Jaikey, who's parts consist of Ivy's face and eyes, Saige's hair, and a smattering of freckles.
5. Who's your next doll?
A:  Marie Grace custom!  Fingers crossed at the moment; I'm hoping to find a Ruthie wig to trade with her old one.  We'll see.
6. What's your favorite song?
A:  There's never only one.  Oh, That Thing You Do (by the Oneders), Anything Goes, Come Fly With Me, and The Way You Look Tonight (all sung by Frank Sinatra).  I'm a big fan of Swing.
7. What's your favorite book?
A: To Kill a Mockingbird is up there.  I have three favorite series', however.  Little House on the Prairie, Little Britches, and The Chronicles of Narnia.   Mom always read those books to us at night.
8. What's your favorite t.v. show?
A: When I'm with my mom, The Brady Bunch and The Donna Reed Show.  When with my brother, Sherlock and Firefly.
9. What's your favorite movie?
A:  Back to the Future and Catch Me if You Can 
10. What's your favorite food?
A: A huge taco salad from "Mucho Burrito." 
11. What's your favorite color?
A: Seafoam Green

Now, for MY questions:

1. If you could go back and live in AG time period, which one would you choose?
2. What's your favorite smell?
3. What's your favorite summer activity?
4. What homework do you wish your dog would eat?
5. How many times have you camped outside?
6. If you could live in any kind of house, what would you choose (for the record, I'd live in a treehouse)?
7. City or country?
8. What magical skill do you wish you had?
9. Where would you travel if you could go anywhere in the world, and why?
10. What would you travel by?  Mule?  Boat?  Wagon? 
11. If you could jump into any painting, which one would you choose, and why?

Lissie and Lilly
A Doll in Time
Quinny and Co
Super Inky!
From Echo with Love
Clarisse's Closet
Sabine the Great
Pippaloo for Dolls

Go check out these fantabulous blogs!  
And thank you ever so much for the nominations.  

Friday, March 7, 2014

1910s Proposal

While flipping through some old postcards I purchased a few years ago, I came across this one with giddy excitement.  

Please Say Yes

I can't think of anything quite so fun as to stumble upon an Edwardian proposal written on a postcard that says "Can I play in your Yard," all the while being from this mysterious "Silent."   
Kids mystery novel from the 90s?  Quite.  And it's all mine.  

It doesn't have to be a proposal.  Maybe he's begging her to watch his dog whilst he visits Granny.
But who wants to think that?  It's over 100 years old, and my imagination is entitled to a little fun.  Maybe he was off doing some heroic deed when he wrote these desperate words.  And look at the stunning handwriting!
I'd say yes.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lonely Vinyl Picnics

I could never rely on my brother to hang out with me in the summer.  Usually I was the loner 6 year old begging him to play, and he'd be refusing because I was little and boring.  I wanted to play dolls.  I wanted him to bounce me on the trampoline and push me on the swings.
What's not fun about that?

So, I'd pack up my vinyl crew in a basket, grab a piece of bread, coat it with butter, and slide out of the house with tablecloth in hand.  Picnics were the life.  Just me and my girls all laid back in the sun, eating our delectable fare and enjoying the grass.  But it was lonely, and I would start saying the word "picnic" to myself for fun because I wasn't having fun.  And then I would marvel at how the syllables of "picnic" lost their meaning after saying them 53 times in a row.  And I would then wonder how many other people had discovered the lost meaning of overly said words...if other 6 year olds thought the same way as me.

Probably not.

Back to the pictures.  We've been having a downpour of rain all week.  Our grass has turned into a flooded wasteland complete with rivers.  But this afternoon started to brighten up.  In fact, it turned out to be around 70ºF by noon.  So, visiting old childhood memories,  I grabbed a couple dolls, a tablecloth, and a basket for a picnic.

 This is me at six

This is my imaginary friend

These are my toys

This is my imaginary friend grabbing Rex

This is me and my imaginary friend playing with the Toy Story characters

Another thing I'd always do was build forts.  Except we never really had sticks big enough to make a tent as awesome as this one.  So, I'd stick to pillow castles.

I did have my group of imaginary friends, which is kinda pathetic.  There were three.  A good one, a troublemaker, and a weird, clumsy, unintellectual one with the name of a clown.  Funny to think about them now, as I haven't in awhile.  

I can't say that I miss their company, but at the time, they were good friends.