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Monday, February 22, 2016

New dress for Crissy and Cricket

This is an up-cycled dress I made from a knit top
I found in a thrift store.
I love how it turned out!

Cricket has a new dress too.
I have made several dresses from this pattern.

 Not a new dress but Velvet wanted to get in the picture!

Oh Velvet!

Note: I know some of you may have noticed I have gone back to the dolls original names. I kept calling them by their original names so I gave up and reverted.  
Also, Lisa has gone to live with a friend who always wanted a Crissy!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The value of secondhand dolls

Since starting this blog, I have had a lot of questions about the value of AG dolls that readers have purchased secondhand.  Buying tips for second hand dolls

Most questions I receive about the value of a doll or the age of a doll I can not really answer for a couple of reasons.  First, as far as I know, AG has never released a list of their dolls neckstamps and tag markings to enable collectors to precisely confirm a doll's age.  However, there are a lot of places on the web to research and ask questions to try and narrow this question down. Second, value is VERY relative and personal.  Let me explain:

This is my Molly doll.  She is a Pleasant Company doll.  She has a tan body, but no body tag.  I THINK she may be from the late 1980s.  I don't really know exactly.  I purchased her from a thrift store and she was VERY dirty and covered in dust.  About 2 inches of her hair has been cut, her limbs are loose, her hair has lost it's lustre, BUT, she is invaluable to me.  You see her value to me is "personal".  When I restore a doll her value to me is increased.  To a serious collector she would be a 'dime a dozen Molly' and not necessarily very valuable as a collectible doll, because her hair has been cut, but to me she is MY Molly.

This is Elle.  She is a Pleasant Company Elizabeth Cole doll.    She is possibly a pre-mattel, but I can not be certain. American Girl does not have any available records for their neckstamps and numbering.  The best anyone can do is look online and pick the brains of other AG collectors.  The AG doll community is FULL of lovely helpful doll lovers.

 Elle had some problems when I got her. She had nail polish on her nails.  She had a bit of hair near her face cut off.  She was dirty and her hair needed some restoring. She is my model for most of my care and cleaning post.  AG doll care & cleaning

I bought Elle on ebay to be a raffle doll, but the raffle never took place.  After cleaning her up and fixing her hair, Sophie and I fell in love, so she became Beth's twin sister. How Beth & Elle found each other

This is Grace.  She is Sophie's very first doll.  She was bought from AG.  After her hand was chewed by a pet we decided not to send her to the doll hospital.  A very helpful AG store employee explained that the doll hospital either replaces the whole body or the whole head, not just one limb.  Sophie and I realized that OUR Grace would be gone, so Sophie decided to keep her as she was. 
I have seen so many AG dolls that have been given 'makeovers' when their girl's were young.  Strange haircuts, lipcolor, nailpolish, etc, but most of these girls would not change a thing or send them to the doll hospital because they would not be their doll anymore.

Most of our dolls were purchased secondhand.  Almost all of them needed a little cleaning or other work.  All our dolls are priceless to us because we love them! That is why I say I am not a 'serious collector'.  I am not interested in a doll's monetary value, or how much I could sell her for.  My daughter and I judge by only one thing, does this doll bring us joy?

I guess my point is, if you want a perfect flawless AG doll buy a new doll.  Please. You will be happier.

If you want to learn about restoring and cleaning second hand dolls then by all means get a secondhand doll.  It is a joy to make a discarded doll lovely again.  I derive so much pleasure from this process that I can't imagine buying a new doll except for very special occasions, like a little girl's first trip to the AG store.  Buying a new doll is a must!

SO, enjoy your dolls however they came to you.  If you want to purchase a secondhand doll to save money, do your research and ask lots of questions of the seller.  Be prepared for any secondhand doll to have issues not visible in pictures.  That is just the price of buying secondhand, but it can be an opportunity as well!  Whichever way you add to your collection, remember, your doll's value is not relevant to anyone but YOU!

Here are a couple useful articles:

AG dolls most likely to increase in value
Collectible American Girl Dolls
(This link above is a little out of date)

Monday, February 01, 2016

Doheny Beach in February

 Hello everyone, this is Emma.  I just wanted to share one 
of my favorite things about living at the beach year round.  

This is Doheny Beach about 9am.  
This section of the California coast doesn't face West
more southwest, that's why you can see the sun on our left
instead of behind us.

It's a bit chilly, 50 degrees with a LOT of wind!

Beth and I took Buddy for a walk along the beach.
Not a lot of people on the sand, just us really.

 We can see lots of bird tracks.

And lots of birds, mostly seagulls, I was
 hoping to catch a Pelican, but no luck this morning.

I love to just sit and watch the surf.

 There was a storm last night, El Nino, so we knew the surf would be
pretty this morning.

Let's walk some more.

 Buddy wants to chase the Seagulls.
I know if I let him go he'll be in the waves!

 It's so soothing, just the sound of the surf, even the birds are quiet.

  Such a beautiful morning.

  So I just wanted to share one of my favorite things.
I hope wherever you are today, you have a great day!

Thanks for joining us,