Saturday, February 6, 2016

Some Great finds for Lea's Bahia Berry Stand!

We have added a few things to Lea's Bahia Berry Stand that I made last week!  (If you haven't started making yours yet, just go for it.  It is so easy if you follow the tutorial from American Girl Ideas. If I had had to buy all the paint and foam core, I would guess this has a cost of about $15 to make.)

I found this tin at Michael's for under $2! Just what we needed to hold cold beverages.  I used the ice from the OG ice cream truck and the bottles of sparking juice are from a retired AG fiesta set. 

The tin might be a little small, but it works.

While at Michael's we also found a tube of fruit.  I used the 40% off coupon so they were only $6. I love the textures and variety!  This set came with an assortment of fruits and veggies- my favorite is the artichoke! 

The doll can even hold the fruit!

But, the best find was this back drop I found from for $18 with free site to store pick up.  Unfortunately, they are no longer available on the site.  Perhaps they will return.  They are available HERE from the manufacturer.I have also seen these backdrops on ZULILY HERE.  If you try Zulily, type FunDeco in their search and you can follow FunDeco to receive an email when they return.

The backdrop has 4 scenes.  It is meant to be standing so you can play with all 4 at once, but it can easily be used flat or just in one corner.  I used the winter scene with the AG winter scene and they are exactly the same height and work well together.

And our favorite addition to the Bahia Berry stand-  LEA!!!!  Here is a quick shot of Lea with the girls visiting the beach.  Lea arrived yesterday!!  YAY! Gracie used some gift cards from Christmas to buy the sale package which included Lea, her mix and match swim suit sets and her beach accessories for $150 including shipping!  What a steal!  This is the first time we've welcomed a GOY doll so early in the year and I think we are going to enjoy having her all year and collecting for her throughout the year.. Gracie dressed Lea in Isabelle's clothes and I think they work for her! In fact I like these colors on her better than her meet dress- although she is not dressed for the beach! More pics of Lea to come.  I can do some comparisons of her and other dolls if you have any requests be sure to add them in the comments below.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

An Amazing Little Camera- For Lea?


Friday, January 22, 2016

Doll Sized Harry Potter Books!

I don't know how I didn't know these printables were available since my daughter LOVES anything and everything Harry Potter! The free printables for all the books in the series are available from American Girl Ideas and are already perfectly sized for your dolls. I printed them out and using my craft knife I cut some pieces of foam to make up the insides of the books. I can't wait to show my daughter when she comes home from school! So awesome, thanks American Girl Ideas!

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Throwback Thursday

Happy Thursday everyone! Sharing an old photo and blog post from January of 2013! It's amazing how fast three years goes by and here we are still loving our American Girl dolls and crafting with them/for them.  :) This photo is of Amanda, Gracie and Lily's dolls getting ready for Valentine's Day by crafting some special Valentines for their friends. To read the complete blog post and see the additional photos click here

Do you celebrate Valentine's Day with your dolls? If so, how do you celebrate? Now that our daughters are a bit older and busier with school and extra-curricular activities it's harder to carve out the time to do these sorts of things...which means we start to think about it earlier so we can plan ahead! We kind of have a tradition of having a little gathering for special treats and crafting for Valentines Day with the girls and their dolls. The dolls exchange Valentines as well as the girls! It's so fun!

Now off to plan what out Valentines will look like this year!
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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Some Valentine's Day Inspired Etsy Finds

Sharing some fun Valentine finds on Etsy today! Photos are all from the individual Etsy listings and all items are linked to the specific shop where you can find the item...and other items that are super adorable finds for your dolls as well! My personal favorite is posted above. I love aqua and red together and the love bird pattern on the dress is so sweet and I've never seen that pattern before, love it!

I also adore this little apron set pictured would be so fun to wear while baking some special treats for Valentine's Day don't you think?

We also like these simple outfits and love that you can choose your own color combo...

This girl and doll skirt set would be fun!

And I love this set especially...I could see our doll Bella wearing this since her style is fun and funky!

It's fun to look forward to another holiday now that Christmas and New Years is over. We need something to help us get through this bitter cold month here anyways! 

Thanks for stopping by!
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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sharing an Informational Article on the History of American Girl

Image Credit, Dolls in Pleasant Company Catalog Chloe Effron

I shared this story on our AG Doll Play Facebook page but thought it was one that I didn't want to lose track of as it's filled with really great information and history when it comes to the company itself and the original mission of Pleasant Rowland. Really a thoughtful piece that was put together by Mental Floss writer and Executive Editor, Erin McCarthy...and even though it was posted last year, it's all still relevant. 

I hope you enjoy reading through it as much as we did! Enjoy!

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A Close-Up of the Accessories from Maryellen's Diner

When we were thinking about getting Maryellen's Diner from American Girl I searched the web for anything and everything I could find for all the details about it, including pictures of the individual accessories that came with it. I love to do my research! Where we live, it's hard to watch videos as our internet package is on a data plan and anything that we watch eats up our monthly data package (this is due to living in the Northwoods!) so I was looking for static pictures and couldn't find any other than those on the AG website, and I like "real" photos as I feel they represent the pieces more authentically. Which led me to the creation of this post. Obviously, you can see that we opted to go ahead and get the diner and we are so glad that we did!! This is our biggest AG purchase and we were able to go ahead with it due to our having some gift cards to use to help bring down the cost.

As I shared, we LOVE the diner...the only thing that we would have changed would be adding a few necessities when it came to the accessories! A couple of things we found to be missing were: a blank order pad, salt and pepper shakers, coffee pot, coffee mugs, syrup for the pancakes, silverware (how are they going to eat those pancakes?), a "real" phone (instead of the sticker one!), and a napkin dispenser for the table would have been nice too.

Here is what DID come with the diner...

The hamburgers are fun since they come apart (you can grill the patties on the grill and then assemble) and it was a nice touch that the top bun has a little notched area for the tomatoes to sit in to help the burger stay together. The burgers are pretty huge though...they take up most of the plate!

We LOVE the bell and that it really dings! The best accessory in our opinion!

We are happy with the food...

We love the paper trays that come with the set...will be so fun to serve up an order of fries using these!

The ketchup and mustard bottles will be handy to have too.

The four guest checks are nice, but again, it would have been nice to have an order pad for our dolls to place their own orders.

To round out our accessories for the diner I went ahead and purchased the Cute as a Pie Kitchen Playset from Our Generation (Target brand) mostly for the salt and pepper shakers, sugar shaker, syrup dispenser, coffee pot and coffee cups. I put the rest of the items in our doll kitchen.

Just those items alone really rounded out our diner accessories!

We are having so much fun with the diner! We love that it can be folded up, moved around easily and rearranged with ease. The dolls have rated the diner      

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Our American Girl Doll Playroom

The other day I realized that it had been a while since we last shared our doll room fact, I don't know if we've shared our arrangement since we moved two years ago! Whenever I think of sharing our photos, the room is either too messy (that's a good thing!) or I'm too busy. This weekend we were doing some organizing and it's a three day weekend here due to it being Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday (Hooray!) so I had the extra time.

We have long discussed whether or not we wanted a "doll house" in our room or if we just wanted things to be out and about. Zoey has always maintained the thought that she wanted things to be on the floor with the logic being things would be easy to play with, photograph, rearrange, etc. so we've never pursued an actual "house" of sorts but rather have things set up around the room.

This works for us...I know many people prefer doll houses and that's great! We are just sharing what works for us and our current space. Pictured above is our gymnastics area which can also be turned into a dance studio as needed.

Going clockwise around the up is the bathroom...

And then we have the doll bedroom and work space...(if you saw our original doll room set-up you will notice we do tend to keep things arranged similarly).

In front of the bedroom area we have our living space consisting of two flip chairs a table with a phone and the new American Girl TV and media/Entertainment center (which we adore!). To the right of the beds we have a little white armoire which holds little AG sets that aren't used as often (birthday sets, sewing machine, seasonal stuff, etc.) it also holds hair ties, rubber bands, brushes, earrings, etc. It's our little station for getting pretty.  :)

Next up is our kitchen. Yes...we have a picnic table in the kitchen. Honestly, I've never wanted to replace it with anything else because we can get eight dolls around this table which is really, really nice! Putting a table cloth on it helps make it look like it might belong in a kitchen...and it matches the retired wooden OG stove and fridge set that we have (and love). I hung a little shelf above them for kitchen storage as you can see.

Here is a space that we switch out a bit depending on what's going on with the dolls. Right now we have the diner set up and our sweet shoppe. Sometimes it serves as the area where our Christmas tree is set up, or our school, theater, etc. The chalkboard on the wall is just a decal so we can easily remove it if we wish.

We have fifteen 18 inch dolls in our collection. Sometimes it's a bit overwhelming to have them ALL out in the room...we are using this little wall shelf for displaying those dolls that may not be being used at the moment. It also kind of serves as decor for the room itself.

To the right of our diner I have a little white cubby shelf (I have two of these in this room), on the top of this one we have our doll salon...this again is something we can easily move to the floor as needed or it's ready for photo opportunities as is right now.

Inside the cubby is American Girl books, magazines and playsets/craft sets.

Our second cubby shelf is behind the door upon entering the room. This stores more of the American Girl playsets and other odds and ends. Each bin holds a specific theme of items. One holds all the clothing and small stuff for the diner, one is for school stuff, one is for ballet/gymnastics and the last one holds hospital stuff.

In the closet we have some unattractive but necessary storage. This is where all of the AG clothing, shoes and extra "stuff" is stored.

And, while it's hard to get a whole shot of the room...this is the best I could get.

It's not crazy fancy but we love our space and truly feel lucky to have it! We didn't always have a room just for our doll obsession so we are so very thankful to have this special space to play.

We would love to see how your space is set up if you have one! It's always fun seeing other people's spaces and ideas. Feel free to link them in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Creating Lea's Bahia Berry Stand

I am totally in love with Lea's entire collection! To help me NOT buy all of those big pieces, I decided to try crafting Lea's Bahia berry fruit stand.  I really wish I were brave enough to try using power tools and working in wood, but I am not.  Instead, I have been pretty happy with foam core. For this project I followed the tutorial from Rudy at American Girl Ideas and looked at Lissie and Lilly's measuremens,  to help me get started and with placement of the window. I started by cutting the pieces out of non-paper lined foam core. (it was just solid foam, 1/4" thick and can be purchased at my local dollar store) Mine were too short, so I had to piece the larger pieces together and ended up making it about an inch shorter than American Girl's) I then painted all the sides and edges- some places needed 3 coats of paint, am so happy with the results! I painted a sheet aqua and a second sheet the dark coral, then hot glued them together. I used a gloss enamel acrylic craft paint from Walmart on the exterior and a flat acrylic on the interior (because I had them) but I like the gloss better, this looks a lot like wood which I love!  The printable from American Girl Ideas are amazing and made this project SO easy!  I printed the 'pattern' for each part, traced them into the foam coar, then used my exacto knife in a sawing motion to cut them out.

For cutting foam core, I like to use this snap off type of cutter, and leave it extended far enough to cut through the entire layer of foam.  
Rudy, from American Girl Ideas, also shared all the printable posters and decals she made!  I printed them on heavyweight gloss paper and glued them on.  Again- SO EASY!

My family lost our kitchen counter this weekend!

I added an edge to the front counter with a 1/2" piece of foam core.  I also made my fruit shelf a bit short then the tutorial. 

I opted to use bamboo to create my awning.  I also used linen from an old pair of pants to create my sign, and I used tullip brand fabric markers to create my pattern.

I made the little box from thick cardboard as I didn't have a tick tac container.

I still need to do a little work on the 'inside'.  So far, I decided to glue real tile to my counter top and am really happy with the look!

Our 'girls' are starting to dream about spring break in Brazil... 
I did a little more work on the inside today.  I did make the little silver shelf, but cannot find silver paint- I may have to buy one thing to make this project! So far I haven't spent anything yet!  I took some pictures today with my Canon (pics above are cell phone pics with artificial lighting) and thought I would share.  Once I get the last piece painted I will add additional photos!  Almost all of the accessories and food items pictured below are from the Our Generation Aloha set.  We have two of these sets and I am SO SO glad I picked them up last time I saw them available online.  With the two sets you really have enough for a tropical dinner party!

Last update...I completed the inside.

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