Dolls and Doll-related Items for Sale

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

My Collection Part One: Mini American Girls

Since Chris and Rachael are both sharing pictorial records of their collections, I decided to jump in too. It's something that I ought to do anyway, and it will be an easy photography option when I am otherwise uninspired.

I decided to start with the mini American Girl dolls. They are 6 inches tall, and are tiny versions of the regular 18" American Girl dolls, and their friends, who also had dolls for a short period of time. I think I'm in the minority, but I prefer the soft bodies that my mini dolls have, like the 18" dolls. At some point, Mattel changed the minis so that bodies are all vinyl. Most of the American Girls' stories start with them being nine years old, and later on show them celebrating when they turn ten. There are several more mini dolls out there; these are the ones that I own.

This is Felicity, and her friend Elizabeth. Their story starts in 1774. Although they are friends, Felicity's parents are Patriots, while Elizabeth's are Loyalists, which leads to some tension in their friendship.
Felicity's dress changed when Mattel re-introduced Felicity to the doll line. I think the original dress was much more period accurate in its print choice. Elizabeth is wearing a dress from Felicity's Christmas story. She and Felicity are invited to the governor's mansion for a dance lesson along with other well-born girls. Mini Felicity in her Christmas dress was also released, along with several of the other mini AG dolls. You'll see an example two dolls down.  

This is Caroline. She lives in New York state, on the coast of Lake Ontario. Her father runs a shipyard, until he is kidnapped by the British, during the lead up to the War of 1812.
Caroline's dress is pretty accurate to her time, with the high waist and simple trims. The dress on my mini Caroline is a little strained in the bodice, though.

Meet Josefina. Her story starts in 1824, where she lives in New Mexico. She has recently lost her mother, and her aunt comes to live with them, bringing new ideas.
This is the dress from Josefina's Christmas story. Josefina's meet outfit is Hispanic style, with a loose blouse, gathered print skirt and woven belt. Her Christmas dress is more in line with European fashion of the time, although she also wears her black headscarf, or mantilla, to Mass. The 18" doll also came with a hair comb, and Josefina wears one in the pictures in the book. If you look at this extant 1820s girl's dress, you can see how accurate Josefina's dress is.
At one time, this dress could be seen at Vintage Textile. The image survives on Pinterest, and although all the images link back to Vintage Textile, I couldn't find the dress anymore on the website.

Here are Cecile and Marie-Grace, from 1853. They were unusual in that both were main characters in their stories, and also friends interacting in the other's life. Each girl had her own Meet book, and then two other books of her own, making for six books total. Both girls have to help their family and others around them when a yellow fever epidemic hits their home city of New Orleans. Cecile also faces challenges as a member of a well off, "free people of color" family, when most black people in the United States at that time are slaves. Marie-Grace has lost her mother and recently moved to New Orleans with her father, feeling overwhelmed in the big city.
Many collectors agreed that mini Marie-Grace's face is... unfortunate. The solid pink straps on Marie-Grace's dress are called bretelles, and they come off much better on the 18" doll than here. Cecile's dress is also pretty accurate, although in real life, the white center of her dress could have been tightly pleated in "fan front" style, and she probably would have had at least one more velvet bar across the bodice.

This is Kirsten. We meet her in 1854, when she is moving to Minnesota as a pioneer from her home in Sweden.
Kirsten's uncle, aunt and cousins have settled in Minnesota before Kirsten's family. Kirsten receives this "American dress" from her cousins pretty early on, to replace the traditional dress Kirsten wore from Sweden. Since Kirsten's family is not well off, her dress is simpler than those of Cecile and Marie-Grace. The 18" doll's dress is more accurate, having a slight gather in the bodice at the waist. Kirsten's looped braids don't translate to the mini doll very well.

Here is Samantha. She lives in New York state in 1904, with her grandmother, who is wealthy. Through Samantha's eyes, we see all the new things that are changing the way people live, such as automobiles and the telephone, and new ideas about things such as votes for women and child labor.
This outfit is Samantha's meet dress from her original story. Bangs weren't in fashion for girls in 1904, but the rest of her outfit is perfect. Don't get me started on the clothes the re-released Samantha doll wears.

This is Ruthie. She is the friend of Kit, who is the main character of the stories. They are facing the Great Depression together in 1934. Kit's dad has lost his job, while Ruthie's father is still employed.
The cut and print of Ruthie's dress is just right for the 1930s. My Ruthie's hair is unruly.

So here's an introduction to my collection. I hope you don't mind that it also turned into a mini-lesson on historical fashion, but that's right in my wheelhouse. My interest in historical fashion is what attracted me to American Girl dolls in the first place.

Total dolls: 9

Thursday, March 19, 2020

More Scrapbook Paper

Even though I've been spending the huge majority of my time at home lately, I haven't felt in the mood to do a lot of doll photography, craft work, or sewing. I have cleaned up my craft area a little, but the creative item that I've wanted to work on the most is a human-sized afghan that I'm knitting.

I did hit Tuesday Morning a couple of times recently, and got the yarn for the afghan, a few crafty things, a few doll things, and a few pads of scrapbook paper. This pad will be great to provide backgrounds for holiday themed photo shoots.
This one has some wood floor and log cabin images that might work out for doll room settings. There are also a couple of pieces, like the bike leaning against the wall, that might make a good backdrop for photos.
I couldn't resist the fairy tale one, even though I already have a fairy-tale themed scrapbook pad with different images. If I get into a good sewing groove this summer, I may be able to make some nice fairy tale outfits for my Ever After High dolls, and take some "artsy" pictures.
Are any of you working on any doll projects whilst staying at home?

Friday, March 6, 2020

Managing to Post

Well! My winter has been going pretty well as far as mood. Using my light box also helped me maintain something resembling a normal sleep schedule, instead of my body insisting it couldn't be nighttime, because there hadn't been any daylight yet! However, I wasn't really very motivated, which is different from being depressed. I have interest in doing things I find enjoyable, but my body hasn't been responding with physical energy to get things done. From experience, this should start getting better very soon, so I'm trying not to let myself get discouraged. I'm thinking that I should do as many photo shoots as possible through my more productive time of the year, although I've also been suffering from lack of concentration lately. It's frustrating being bored, because you can't even focus on a five minute YouTube video!

However, I'm doing a lot better today (after being sick for almost a week on top of everything else!) These are a few things that I've been wanting to share, that won't require a ton of writing on my part.

For one thing, I'm going to an annual Pullip doll lovers event called PUDDLE. This year it takes place on June 6th, in Elk Grove, Illinois, which is a suburb of Chicago. I've been wanting to go to another doll convention since the Tonner event, and there really don't seem to be that many out there anymore. The Barbie convention is out of my budget, besides which I'm not that big of a Barbie fan overall. I'm hoping that PUDDLE will be an enjoyable experience.
Partially to get to know other Pullip doll collectors before the convention, I'm going to be trying to post more Pullip pictures on my Instagram account. This is the best I could do last month, but March should be better.
Of possible interest to doll photographers are these two sets I saw in the #SNAPSTAR line. I think Aspen's studio is more interesting, as it has the star shaped spotlight *and* a separate spotlight with three color filters. Echo's set only has one spotlight, although it also has the "pink carpet" props. Anyway, these sets might be a budget opportunity to pick up some small-scale lights for photography.
I have so many posts that I've been wanting to make! Hopefully, the rest of 2020 will be better for this blog.