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Meet Our Dolls
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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Our new doll, Elizabeth

Here she is!  She arrived so quickly!  We decided to keep her name Elizabeth, but her nickname is going to be Lena.

She is SO beautiful!!  We dressed her after she arrived and brushed her hair.  Her hair is silky and smooth.

Lena does not have any blemishes or marks anywhere.  She is just like a new doll.

Lena was supposed to be a gift for someone else, but just like with Nellie, Sophie has fallen in love with her.
So, now we have to decide what to do....

Update:   Elizabeth has been renamed Savannah Ann and was adopted by Aunt Sina.  She is now living in Georgia and we will get updates from her periodically.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I did it again!!

We have another doll.  I did it again.  I got sucked into the bidding excitement on Ebay.  This will be our 6th doll since last Christmas.  Is this becoming a serious addiction?

Anyway, here she is on the Ebay ad.

We have not named her yet.  Sophie has to decide if we keep her or give her as a gift.  Nellie was supposed to be a gift too, but she has become a member of the family.

As you can see this new doll looks like Elizabeth, but I think she is a Just Like You doll.  She is wearing AG clothes.  I will post pictures when she arrives!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bye Grandma!

Well, Grandma Linda was here visiting and too soon she had to go home again.  But we had SO much fun crocheting cute things for the dolls and eating lots of lunch out.  We miss you Grandma and we love you!!!

Brenda, Sophie, Kurty and the dolls.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Some more things we made...

I already did one post about things we have made for the American Girl Dolls.  This is another installment.   Some of these items you may have already seen in older posts about the dollhouse, but I wanted to talk a little about the process of creating all these items.

 I am fortunate in that I have a husband who is a wood-worker on the side.  SO, my garage is filled with these great power tools for cutting and fashioning wood. Those of you who do not have power tools in your garage, do not despair. There is no reason most of these could not be made with heavy cardboard.  Depending of course on how hard your kids play.  Also there are SO many pre-cut pieces at craft stores, so check them out.

One of the first things I made, myself, was the couch for the dollhouse.  My first thoughts were to shop online for doll furniture.  When I saw the prices I thought again.  So I came up with a basic design in my head and sketched it on some plywood and showed my husband.  He walked me over to one of his many saws and showed me how to cut it out.

You can see my pencil marks along the cut line.  I will try to come up with a simple cutting plan if I have any requests.  I know has some great tutorials for doll furniture.

After I had my back/side pieces all glued together I laid them down on some old blue jeans and cut out rough  patterns for the back and arms and seamed them together like making a slip cover.  The seat was not glued at this point.  I upholstered it last in one piece that covers the seat and front.  This fabric is all hot-glued to the wood with stuffing added before the last seam was glued down.  You can see I purposely used the jean hem for the front hem of the sofa.

 This is a little chandelier I made.  I found the crystals in a second hand store for $4.  I am always looking for small things that might work for the dollhouse.  The crystals are hanging from some plumbing tape.  This is actually a metal tape with holes punched all along it for nailing things to studs during home construction.  (I am always rummaging though my husbands stuff for bits and pieces of hardware) I painted the tape white and hung the crystals on it.  It was not too attractive on its own so I added some sparkly purple trim.

This is a dressing table and stool I made. 
As you can see they are constructed of a round or square top with glued legs.  I put one finishing nail in each leg through the top while the glue was wet to help it hold together.  The table legs are glued to 4 spacers to make it easier to glue the top on.  All the fabric is just hot-glued to the wood.  

This is the table and stools for the kitchen.  You can see that I used the simplest possible design.  The table is two circle cut outs with the top slightly larger than the bottom.  I glued them to each end of some wood scrap.  Most of these wood pieces can be purchased at craft stores or hardware stores and some hardware stores will even make some cuts for you.

 I cut out 4 circles for the stools and glued them to each end of some 1/2 inch pre-cut square wood spindle. (I am not sure what it is called) My circles are not even very round, but painted and covered with fabric my daughter loves them.  

This is the kitchen counter top.  As you can see it is just 3 pieces of wood glued and nailed.  I added some molding to the front edge to give it a bit more finish.  You may have noticed by now that I paint everything white.  Paint is a great way to hide imperfections!

Here is something easy for you crafters out there.  I saw these butterflies in the craft store and thought I could do something with them.  I decided on a mobile.  The arms of the mobile are heavy craft wire.  I used needle nose pliers to bend the ends into curls.  I hung the butterflies on the ends of the arms and then got them to balance.  This was purely trial and error.  When I got them to hang evenly I put a spot of glue on the arms so the string wouldn't slide around.  I had some extra crystals from the chandelier and added them to the center.

Here is our doll stove.  This took a little more thought and planning than most of my projects.  I knew I needed a box with an opening and door on the front.  The oven door handle is just a drawer pull.  The burners are large washers and the knobs are those charm beads with a metal lining inside.  These beads are held in place by a loose screw over a small washer.  They are loose so they will turn. The door is hinged and held closed with a small bit of velcro.

Lastly is my puffy chair.  You have probably seen many versions of this on Pinterest.  I used a mixing bowl and cut out a large circle.  Two circles sewn together make the seat.  a third circle folded in half and stuffed makes the back.  I obviously used scraps sewn together, but they are still circles.  (I seem to have trouble making really round circles) The back is tacked on the sides to hold it in place.  Super simple.

I hope you enjoyed my project tour!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Molly's makeover

Here is Molly not long after I found her at Salvation Army.  Her whole body was covered in a layer of dust.  (I wish I had thought to take a photo)  I washed her hair and her face, arms and legs.

Here she is not long after her initial clean-up. 
You can see her face is a bit faded and pale. Her hair was very dry and frizzy. 

This is her Christmas outfit she was wearing when I found her.

 And, here she is after I treated her hair and gave her a little more color in her cheeks and on her lips.  I read something or saw something that talked about using a little blush on the cheeks of AG dolls when they get a little faded.  I am happy with the results.  She definitely looks brighter.

Molly's hair is now a lot softer.   I did a downy dunk and also tried a couple human hair conditioners.  I was not real satisfied with either of these. What I really liked the best was a no frizz hair treatment that I left on her hair.  I actually saw the auburn  in her hair that I hadn't noticed before.

I just wanted to add one more photo showing her cute shoes.  I just love these.  Molly has become one of my favorite dolls.  I think because she needed a little TLC.

More RECENT Photos of Molly!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Nina and Grandma in California

Hello all this is Nina. I am Grandma Linda's doll.  I just arrived in California to visit with the grand kids.  Grandma and I had a long day yesterday flying from Dallas, TX to Dana Point, CA.  We are here now and we are looking forward to having lots of fun.

I was happy to see the girls and meet Nellie. 
(l-r  Nellie, Nina and Grace)
 Nellie arrived after I went to live with Grandma In Texas.

(l-r Julie, Nina and Grace)
I missed all my AG friends in California.  I only spent a week here before going to Grandma in Texas, but we became forever friends just the same.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Jeans cut off into doll jeans

I thought this might be helpful to some of you.  I tried to take step by step photos.  Just a note, this scrap is cut off from a girls size XL or about a size 6 jean leg.  This is also a stretchy jean, but this should work just as well with regular blue jeans.

Here is the cut off jean leg.   I lay the piece next to the doll and cut it off just above the elbow to allow for folding over to insert the elastic.

Turn piece inside out.  Make a dot at the crotch and cut down the middle.

Stitch around the inseam.  I just let the presser foot stay right on the fabric edge.

Lay the stitched piece next to your doll and fold down the top at the waist line to make a case for the elastic.

Fold the cut edge under and pin.  Stitch around along folded under edge.  
Leave an opening for inserting your elastic.

Use a safety pin to thread the elastic through the opening and all the way around through the waist.

Hand stitch or zig zag stitch the elastic and trim the excess.

After stitching the elastic securely together let it disappear inside your waistband.  
Finish by stretching out the opening and stitching closed.


And here is Julie modeling the newly made doll jeans.

Note: to make a cut off into a skirt make the same elastic waist as for the jeans.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Doll Clothes we made (or remade : )

I have made lots of clothes since we first got Grace that first Christmas.  I thought I would share some of them with you.  I like to reuse clothes that my kids have outgrown or holes in the knees.  I also hang on to things that are in great shape, but just have a stain that I can't get out.

This was a super easy dress made from knee socks.  I cut off the foot of the sock and cut 2 arm holes.  The fabric naturally curls up to make a turtle neck.  An easy variation and it could be a turtle neck sweater.   Sock Dress Tutorial

The denim skirt is made from jean cutoff.  I just added elastic to the top.  The leggings were made from my daughter's tights that she outgrew.

This tee is one of many things I made from outgrown clothes.  I keep tees and jeans that are too small for my kids and it is a great store of fabric for doll clothes and other projects.

This Saree is made from purchase fabric.  I love ethnic clothes and wanted to try this out.

Punjabi dresses.  My daughter's best friend's family is from India and I made these for her doll.

...and one more.

This is an Easter dress made from a $1.00 tea towel I found at Target.  

This maxidress was made from a repurposed tee of my daughter's.  
This is one of her favorite doll dresses.

These two dresses were made from one blouse found at Goodwill.  It made very pretty dresses that remind me of the 70s era.  

This was made from a scrap of fabric I found at Wal-mart.  
I also made the little jacket out of a re-purposed tee.

 This poncho and hat is a little crochet project I put together.  I think it came out pretty cute.

Here is the stripe tee again with some skinny jeans I made from cut offs. 

This is one of my favorite projects.  My daughter wanted to have a matching outfit for our visit at the American Girl Doll Store in LA.  I copied a tee we bought at Target in a smaller scale.  I sewed the doll tee out of a repurposed tee and painted a matching pattern.  The dolls bicycle pants were made from the sleeve of the tee.    

Here is a picture of them together.

Not clothes really, but I thought I would stick this in here.  I used leather scraps from the craft store and cut 4 small slits (2 on either side of toes, 2 on either side of ankles) with a craft blade.  Using a large needle I threaded lace or ribbon through the slits.  Thread across the toes under the sole and then up through the slits at the ankle.  The sandals on the right were definitely more successful in my opinion.