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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

AG shop in Washington DC

Norvell very kindly took me to the American Girl Doll shop in Tyson's Corner shopping Mall in Washington DC during my trip to the city for a work conference during November.  I had a shopping list of items but also wanted to see the way the dolls and their accessories are displayed.

The shop is on two levels and was dressed for Christmas more than a week before Thanksgiving.  It was a Sunday which meant, as Norvell had explained in her emails, that the shop would be busy and filled with little girls making big decisions!  I couldn't resist that spectacle.  In fact it wasn't overwhelmingly crowded though it was busy, which was a relief, as it was possible to take photographs of the displays without having to avoid capturing other people's children in the photos.
Isabelle, Girl of the Year with the window display
The upstairs entrance to the store
AG horse and carriage
AG girls on skis
AG horse and rider
AG horse and foal
AG bicycle and rider (with pet dog who looks like he delivers the newspapers)
AG girls in their fancy dress outfits
The busiest area of the shop was the beauty parlour for dolls, where the shop assistants would do the hair, gently wash dolls who were a little grubby from play, fit earrings etc for the dolls, all the time demonstrating to their owners how to take care of the dolls.
AG doll beauty parlour, this was busy
AG doll gymnast and her friend who perhaps had an accident while doing gymnastics?
AG dolls and American sports (baseball, volleyball and softball)
AG doll party dresses and matching dresses for their owners
Isabelle, girl of the year 2014 (a ballerina)
The wonderful grand piano for AG dolls
AG dolls baking for Christmas
AG doll Kit, the young reporter
(I wish I had photographed the display with all her wonderful accessories)
Kaya and her tepee (much bigger than the tepee's I made for the Sasha dolls)
Kaya in one of her other outfits, with her foal
Julie and a car to wash
Caroline and her sailing skiff
Addy in her different outfits
The Christmas tree in the AG shop
in the shopping mall we spotted these two AG dolls at a restaurant
I will not reveal what I bought in the shop (yet) and I had to be careful about size and weight because of my luggage allowance.  Norvell bought Kit's reporter set for her dolls as she said that of all the accessories, Kit's are her favourite.  Kit's typewriter was amazingly detailed (this was not part of the reporter kit). I don't know why I didn't take a photo of the wonderful display of Kit and her accessories, they were good.  Norvell made sure I had a catalogue from the shop, which my younger daughter loved when I got home.

We must have spent at least an hour in the shop just looking and choosing and exclaiming.  I'm not fond of the full size AG dolls, as their body shape doesn't appeal to me (yes, they are cuddly but they have very broad shoulders and chunky torsos), however some of their accessories are amazing and I do like the mini dolls (my younger daughter has 2 already).  However, having seen the AG horses up close, I definitely prefer the Canadian made Our Generation (Battat) horses instead (which is what we have got) and have discovered that a small selection of the Our Generation dolls and some accessories including the horses are now available in Smyths Toy Superstores in the UK.  I'm not that keen on the Our Generation dolls, they are nice quality (and much cheaper than the AG dolls) however I definitely prefer the Gotz 19.5 doll faces.  Some of the Our Generation accessories are good.

I would like to thank Norvell for a wonderful day - I felt truly welcomed to Washington DC and hope to meet her again at a future Sasha doll festival (yes, our family are saving and planning for 2016...).

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Jenny and Lexie visit Washington DC

I was extremely fortunate recently to have the opportunity, for work, to attend a conference in Washington DC.  It was my first ever trip to the USA and to say I was excited was to put it mildly!  About 3 weeks before the trip I happened to mention to Lorraine in an email that I was thinking of buying the third 3 Ann's book about Sasha dolls and having it shipped to the hotel for me to collect when I arrived but she made a much better suggestion and put me in touch with her friend Norvell, whom I knew online via the Jenny and Lexie (Heather Maciak) collectors group.  Norvell contacted me to say that she would be in Washington DC at the same time as me and we made arrangements for the Sasha Identification book to be sent to her apartment.  Suddenly I was even more excited about the trip than before, I had known of Norvell for about 4 years and was delighted that we could meet.

Norvell picked me up from the hotel, gave me my beautiful book and took me for a drive around the centre of the city to see some of the main places, such as the Washington monument, the Capital building (dome covered in scaffolding), several of the Smithsonian Museums, the White House (from a distance, you can't get close by car), Washington National Cathedral and the Pentagon.  We found a restaurant on our way to the mall at Tyson's Corner and had lunch.  I had brought my Jenny and Lexie dolls with me, Norvell had one of her Sasha dolls sitting on the back seat and had her Lexie with her which was fortunate as I had brought her some gifts I had made for Jenny and Lexie.  While we had lunch I gave her the gifts (Sasha 1 miniature sailing boat, a miniature beeswax candle from a shop local to me and some local leaflets, some Scottish shortbread biscuits and two miniature hobby horses for Jenny and Lexie).  The hobby horses were scaled down versions of the hobby horses I have made for the Sasha dolls, I started making them as soon as I knew I would meet Norvell.

Norvell's Lexie was pleased to try out her new hobby horse at the restaurant.  We compared the two Lexie dolls - Norvell's Lexie has slightly bolder freckles on her face than mine, apart from that they appeared to be identical.

Norvell drives me over the Potomac river towards
the Washington Monument and Jefferson memorial
View of the Capitol building from Norvell's car
View of the back of the White House from Norvell's car
Norvell helps Lexie ride her new hobby horse
Lexie and her hobby horse
I took the following photos of the two miniature hobby horses I designed and made before we flew to the USA.
The two hobby horses for Norvell's Jenny and Lexie dolls
The other side of the two hobby horses for Norvell
Close up of the two hobby horses for Jenny and Lexie
My Lexie and Jenny try out the hobby horses before we flew to the USA
I think they are hoping I will make them a pair of hobby horses for Christmas
After we had lunch, Norvell and I drove to the mall at Tyson's Corner and went to the American Girl doll shop - however that is for another blog post.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Happy Birthday Peggy Sue

Our Sasha family wanted to join in the birthday party for Peggy Sue, their Schoenhut doll friend who visited for the day during August for some Country girls and Indian fun in the garden.  The weather today was too damp and dull for outdoor party games, so they had party tea and cakes indoors then a game of dominoes.

You can see Peggy Sue's birthday party celebrations at:

Party Preparations

Birthday party time

Opening presents

Baby Leo, Laura, Reuben, Miranda, Nicholas James,
Florence and baby Mabel start their party tea in honour of Peggy Sue
Cheers Peggy Sue - have a lovely birthday
Florence wins the dominoes game

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Chat 'n Snap 2014 - part 3

This is the final collection of my photos from the Chat 'n Snap last week.  For part 1 see, for part 2 see

These were the wonderful dolls from Janet's 'Studio doll project'.
Sasha Studio Doll Project dolls
Gorgeous eyes on this doll from the Sasha Studio Doll Project
I remember seeing this beautiful, haunting doll at the 2012 Festival
More of the Studio Doll project dolls
Dee had challenged people to bring their course dolls to keep her course doll company.  17 came for the day.
Some of the 17 course dolls which made their way to the Chat 'n Snap
Gorgeous course dolls
Some course dolls and Dawn's Studio doll in her tube
Diane had challenged the Chat 'n Snap to rival the number of toddlers who had attended the 2014 Sasha Festival, and collect for charity.  This little lad was supervising the collection.
The Toddler table
The Toddlers looked like they were preparing for Halloween
Lots of toddlers seem to like little Sailing boats
More of the toddlers (I believe there were 47?)
Looking like butter wouldn't melt...
There were tables laid out for Sasha and Gregor dolls of all descriptions to meet and greet each other.
Some of the Sasha & Gregor dolls and babies with that wonderful restored pram
Baby Leo and Baby Mabel sitting with some other babies
More of the amazing variety of Sasha and Gregor dolls, all different
I didn't take a photo of the table where there were 3 horses and more Sasha's.  We didn't think to bring my daughter's lovely white horse.  Maybe next year...