What to do with some girls…

I’ve been compiling things to sell lately to put into house savings, and part of that too has been taking a closer look at dolls that just haven’t quite found their place in the family yet. Two of these, #62 and “the new Flora” were quite a challenge. I’m still not positive they’ve found their place, but here’s where they are now:

I repositioned the #55 wig I’d put on #62 and realized that with her coloring she actually looks like she could be a sister to Josefina! She reminds me a bit of Clara in the books, though her hair is maybe still a bit darker than the illustrations. For now she’s hanging out with Josefina and borrowing some clothes until I can decide if she feels right here or not. It’s nice because I’ve always worried Josefina was a little lonely once Sam got Nellie (since she and Sam were my childhood dolls), but I also had gotten so used to Josefina being independent. Now she doesn’t need to hang out with Kirsten and Addy as much… doll drama!


The one I’m more convinced of because I’ve done this experiment for is a custom Ruthie. While I’ve seen some beautiful Ruthies so who knows, maybe someday I’ll decide I need that doll. But I’ve sort of liked experimenting with this shorter, curlier wig on a classic mold with darker eyes. THis time I plopped the wig on Isabelle, who’s round face and hazel eyes I think look really perfect with the short curly wig! I’m a little concerned about the wig quality. I just have found that these Monique wigs get so dry and flyaway so easily, even in the hands of an adult collector. For now it’s just a little frizzy and I’ll just try soon to recurl it but ultimately I may be on the hunt for a new wig for her, and I guess at that point either I’ve decided she’s perfect as Ruthie or not.


This does mean that right now I don’t have a Flora or a Cordelia (who of course has been missing for a long time now). Dolls to have on the list for someday, as my doll spending is frozen at the moment and husband has already bought my holiday present (Lea’s hut EEEEEH). That’s okay, though. I’ve got plenty of sewing to do to get wardrobes all caught up for all these girls!!


Happy Birthday, Kit!

Oh Kit, cutest of the cute, Happy birthday!


My mom and I have been trying to figure out definitively when I got my Kit. We’re pretty sure I got her for Christmas in 2003 (when I was 15), although my mom thinks she had only been out about a year, which would have put it at Christmas 2001 (when I was 13). I know I’ve seen a picture of that Christmas morning with her somewhere at my moms house, but I’ll have to dig next time I’m home, and that would confirm.


Here are some more clues: I have film photos I took of her with my other dolls. I got my first digital camera for Christmas when I was 15, but I have no digital pictures of dolls. So probably that makes it more likely it was 2001.

I can still name everyone in this photo except that fairy doll to the left! And Sam, that outfit is scandalous!

And that would actually make sense too because I learned about this tagging inside the shoulder that the earliest Kit dolls had. Mine has one of those tags that reveals she was made August 2000. That would have been a long time for a doll to see unpurchased! So maybe we can safely say I was 13 when I got Kit, and she was my last doll for about 12 years. Yes, looking now at the picture I have of Kit from way back when, this does not look like the work of a 15 year old (to be fair, I was babysitting a young cousin this day, but Kit’s outfit looks like the work of a young me.)


I know exactly what drew me to Kit. Her hair cut was adorable, she was the same era as my Grandma, but better than all of those, she was a writer! A journalist! A tomboy! Kit’s character is great in the books. She manages to endure some pretty rough things as a kid in a pretty realistically upset but adaptable way. She gets into shenanigans (uh, let’s not forget she spent a night in JAIL) but never really veers into selfish or bratty territory. She means well and is sorry when she goofs. She certainly pushes against what I’d allow a kid of mine to do… definitely not letting her run off to any camps unsupervised…


Kit’s collection is massive and to be honest, I’m not crazy about a lot of her newer stuff. Lots of pastels and pink when Kit was very much not a fan of pink. Not to mention that But she’s got some of the cutest furniture and accessories, and some of her outfits are adorable! The tanking quality of AG isn’t her fault, of course.


I’m sorry that Kit caught me on the way into my doll dryspell but it does mean she managed to stay in perfect condition except for some loose limbs I had to tighten. Those blond eyebrows get lost in photos so someday I may darken them. But she’s got her rosy blush and everything. I know little girls may not always be a fan of her short hair but it’s so cute and stylish and unique among the dolls. To this day, I still love her and am not surprised I chose Kit as my third doll.

Kit sweater (3)

Happy birthday, Kit! Thanks for being a writing buddy for many years now.

Final Doll Group Photos

I don’t mean final ever but good god I am not doing this again until I have a house with a doll room and can make some proper risers and set up my lighting kit and do the whole thing in stages. Also because, to be honest, looking at my collection as a whole makes me both happy and guilty. I have SO MANY dolls, and it feels selfish when we’re saving for a house and have a kid and all that. Doll collecting is such a luxury and I’m grateful for the time and money I’ve been able to put into mine. I try not to let myself feel too guilty.

Ok, more than guilty, I feel tired and lazy. Taking aaaall the dolls out of the dollhouse and getting them aaaaall set up at varying heights and checking aaaaall their hair and skirts and then making sure they’re aaaaaall facing the camera and then putting them aaaaaaall away… it takes forever!  have so little time for this.


So anyway, here they are:

IMG_1478Now, I know what you’re thinking. This is the most POORLY laid out photo of a doll collection that has ever existed. They are at all sorts of different, weird heights. The photo can’t be cropped so you can see my kid’s toys and dog toys to the side. There’s a shadow cast by me and a shadow cast by the window shade so the girls in the back are 7 miles away and blocked out by the light?

You know what? Too bad. 🙂 This is all I had time for and I’m not redoing it. Do you know what a time-consuming thing it was to even construct this awful photo? My photo teachers from college are turning over in their beds (not their graves! I’m not that old!)

So I was unhappy with the photo but not about to set them all up again to redo it. Instead, I decided a more manageable way to photograph my collection for now was in clusters. Ok, also I’m just a big nerd and I like categorizing things a LOT and I’ve made enough lists just writing out my dolls’ names in the past few weeks to look crazy, so this was an excuse to do something dorky.

Now, don’t be prepared to be amazed just because I decided to do smaller group photos. These photos are still TERRIBLE. But you try photographing a collection of like 34 dolls with a toddler who’s cutting his molars. It is not easy!

First, the fantasy girls: Kestrel, Evelyn, Delaney, Tinuviel, and Eirlys.


Then the 18th century girls: Kaya, Felicity, Vivienne, and Rosie.IMG_1480

Now the photos get even worse than standing on a blue towel. The 19th century girls: Josefina, Jemima, Caroline, Kirsten, Addy, and Gracie. (First, did you know I was almost named Jemima? I’m disappointed. It’s cute. Second of all: YES, I am trying YET ANOTHER doll for former-Ellen-then-Deirdre-now-Grace.)IMG_1505

What’s that? You miss shadowy pictures? Ok here you go! 20th century girls: Samantha, Nellie, Rebecca, Odette, Kit (whose eyebrows get totally lost), Bea, Emily, Molly (who needs her bangs cut), Maryellen, Nina, Meldy, and Ivy (who refuses to look at the camera). Also my dog Watson’s face because he refused to move away.IMG_1527

And finally, the modern girls. I don’t think i was even trying at this point. It looks like someone sneaking a cell phone picture on a closed movie set. Uh well. Here’s ???, Parisa, Margo, Flora, Leyla, Lenore, Sorah, and Kanani. Top left girl needs a name. Kanani has dark hair since this picture was taken mere days ago. And Margo and Flora have both been contemplating some time travel lately, so we’ll see what happens with them. IMG_1531

Ok, whew. We can all agree those are terrible pictures but there’s the fam and let’s not do this ever again*.

*Ever being until we get our house like I’m dreaming of and I have a dedicated doll room because I’m an overgrown child who refuses to buy a house that doesn’t have enough space for a dedicated doll room. 

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Josefina!

Ok, so this is getting posted almost a month late. I’m sorry! Josefina understands. Eventually I’ll adjust the date so it’s actually on March 19th.

Josefina is a special doll. She was the second American Girl I received as a little girl. My mom said I was very clear that she was the doll I wanted for Christmas, and following tradition, I left Samantha and my Magic Attic doll Heather out to let Santa know I wanted Josefina. On Christmas morning, there she was! I was nine (yes, that sounds right, because I got my Bitty for Christmas when I was 8, Heather when I was 7, and Samantha for my 7th birthday).


I wish I remembered what it was that drew me to Josefina. I grew up in Texas, so something about her collection spoke to me (she still has probably my favorite collection), not to mention she’s an absolutely beautiful doll. She was new then too, so that probably helped, seeing her shiny new collection in the catalog. Even just looking at the picture above, I can remember the smell of her and the feel of hugging her, of retying her stupid little moccasins and debating whether to unbraid her hair and so on. I realize that’s how people talk about new babies, haha!

I don’t sew much for her but I did knit her this warm chunky wool cape for those cold desert nights!

I loved Josefina’s books. She’s one of the best American Girl characters, I think. Even though I am definitely more a Samantha, I think Josefina is more distinct among the dolls –in a line of bold, brave, outspoken girls, she’s much softer, gentler, shyer. I envied her a house full of sisters (I have one bother).

Maybe the only thing I’ve ever sewn for her? Poor Josefina!

Though I got her when I was finally old enough to do a decent job taking care of a doll, her hair still suffered. When my mom mailed my dolls up to me as an adult, Josefina’s hair was a veritable rat’s nest. But she has her first edition face and I refuse to get it replaced, so I put a temporary black wig on her and waited for three years before I finally saw a like-new Josefina wig crop up on eBay. Hurray!

The new wig in place!

I have the most complete collection for Josefina out of everyone. Now that I live in Boston, far away from Texas, it reminds me of home. I love the earthy tones, the warmth of it all. I reminds me of San Antonio, which makes me think of summer camps and family vacations and childhood when things weren’t always easy but they were fun and happy. Not that I’m not happy now, but… it’s being a tough spring.

Husband bought her desk for me as a total surprise! He knew it was on my list of most-wanted items. He also wants to get me her piano someday!

I don’t sew much for Josefina because she’s got such a robust collection. It means she sneaks by not getting photographed much. Her face paint is faded and her body is soft. But when I’m sick on the couch, she’s the doll I bring over to watch movies with me. I’ve said before somewhere, maybe Instagram, that though Samantha was my childhood companion, Josefina was my comfort. Her gentleness was comforting.


February doll (9)
Her old set up, before the baby took over this room! Now I have more furniture for her, and she’s always visible on top of the dollhouse since my husband likes her too.

So happy birthday, Josefina. I take it as a good sign that you and my son share a birthday. Thanks for twenty years of fun.

Just some snuggly girls

on a cold day! Josefina was looking extra cute in her indigo wool skirt, and I think Nina manages to look quite cute in her pink and brown sweater. I need to make her a brown skirt but for now she’s pulling off a blue one!


I guess Josefina’s looking a little faded these days, but she is something like nineteen years old! Lately I was thinking about the fact that when I was a little girl, Samantha was my playmate, and then Josefina always felt more comforting and responsible to me. Even as an adult, without really thinking about it, when I’m sick or upset, Josefina is the girl I want on the couch with me.img_9943img_9945

Maybe it’s the medium tone Josefina mold that just does it for me, because I get similar comforting vibes from Nina. She just seems sweet and responsible and like a good listener, ha. Also, how can a girl look so cute in so much brown? But she pulls it off beautifully!

Pajama Party

I forgot to post this in January, but that’s the month each year I put my dolls in their PJs. For me, it’s because January is the worst month –the holidays are over, it’s cold and dark and snowy, and I’m always in a slump. This year wasn’t so bad, since my kid kept me hopping, but it still made me warm and snuggly to see everyone looking cozy in their jammies.



Merry Christmas from the family

In chronological, meandering order with some modern girl bookends:

Tinuviel, Evelyn, Delaney, Kaya, Rosie, Felicity, Vivienne, Caroline, Josefina, Ellen, Kirsten, Addy, Samantha, Nellie, Rebecca, Kit, Molly, Emily, Nina, Maryellen, Melody, Ivy, Kanani, Flora, Lenore on the right, and Margo on the left!

I wasn’t going to do a full family photo, especially because I’m about to get a new girl (yikes) and because I’ve hit the point where full family photos feel… I don’t know, sort of braggy? Or they at least leave me feeling a little bit overwhelmed with how big my collection has gotten I think 20 dolls was the point to me where I went holy cow, I’ve got a lot of dolls. As you’ll see, I’ve made some changes, tucked some dolls away (sorry, Peter!) There will always be dolls I love and want, but I think after I get the new goty, new dolls are going to have to wait for a good long while. I am very, very fortunate to have added so many girls to my family and yes, I’ve been collecting for a long time (I got Samantha 21 years ago!) I think I’m at a good point to sit back and enjoy all the beautiful girls I have!

Photographing this year was pretty difficult as it’s been raining all week so what little light I usually have was even worse than usual, and my phone camera was doing a poor job.

And of course one of my trusty sidekicks helped oversee the photoshoot, made sure everyone was looking where they were supposed to, stitched up any wardrobe malfunctions…

Preparation… yowsa.