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Sunday, 28 December 2014

Secret Santa Swap 2014 - part 2

In part 1 I explained what we sent to Canada for Lorraine's 2014 Secret Santa Swap.  My younger daughter and I asked for the following:

a classic coat and hat for Sasha (Laura)
a pair of white Mary Jane type shoes for baby Mabel
a pair of lace up shoes for baby Leo
a bright coloured sweater for baby Leo
a yoke style dress for Laura in fine corduroy (patterned or plain)
For anyone who isn't familiar with dollmum's blog, Laura has red hair (Sasha white dress), baby Leo is an early sexed blond boy and baby Mabel is a an early sexed brown haired waif.

The parcel arrived in early December and I saved the individual gifts for opening on Christmas day.

On Christmas morning Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer arrived with a sleigh full of lovely parcels for Laura, baby Leo and baby Mabel.  We did manage to unwrap the gifts during the afternoon however there wasn't time to do more than a quick photo of the three dolls (and my younger daughter) with the gifts before we went to stay with family and it was only 2 days later that I had a moment to edit the photo, followed by a photo session today of the dolls wearing their new clothes.

Rudolf delivers the Secret Santa gifts 
The gifts from Rosie L (Secret Santa) in the sleigh 
Baby Mabel was thrilled with her white Mary Jane shoes - she has been asking for a pair ever since she arrived in our family.  Rosie L had knitted baby Leo a wonderful multicoloured sweater and provided a gorgeous yoke style green dress with a white collar for Laura who with her red hair looks wonderful in this colour.  There was a fourth gift to unwrap addressed to me and my younger daughter (she unwrapped it) and we were very pleased with the lovely felt Christmas tree decoration of a fox and a fox cross stitch kit, which my daughter will stitch.  Rosie L had also thoughtfully enclosed mini candy canes for the dolls.  Thank you Rosie for our lovely gifts - we're delighted with them.
My girl with Mabel, Leo, Laura and all the gifts
Leo in his lovely sweater from Rosie L
Leo and Mabel, who is wearing her new Mary Jane shoes
with the Christmas dress I made for her last year
Leo, Laura and Mabel in their Secret Santa gifts
The fox cross stitch kit which my daughter will stitch
The fox Christmas tree decoration
As it happens, I had ordered a coat and hat set from Vintage Sasha at the Chat 'n Snap after my daughter tried to get a set from Sarah's table but wasn't into rugby tackling all the bigger people who had longer arms to reach through the crowd.  Sarah found some more velvet to make the hat to go with the dog tooth coat (although she said it was just as slippery to sew as the other velvet she had used).  On Christmas day my girl was delighted with the coat and hat set and it went with Laura when we visited family later that day.  On Boxing day evening there was snowfall all night so on the 27th we had a morning of fun in the snow (nearly 4 inches) before returning home later, where no snow at all had fallen.

Laura in her Vintage Sasha coat and hat
with the snow reindeer and a Team Santa Reindeer from Build a Bear
Under the coat in the snow picture Laura was wearing her blue velvet dress, sparkly tights and blue satin ballet shoes!  We'd forgotten to bring some outdoor footwear on this trip to go with the coat.  So she didn't stay outside for long!  My girl transferred the 2012 Olympics pin badge to the collar of the coat from the blue dress.

When Laura tried on her lovely new green yoke dress today she put the coat and hat on over the top of the dress and I took another photo.  She wore the white socks which Sarah included in the set, and her black Scottish dancing shoes by Lisa Hartley.
Laura wearing the Vintage Sasha coat and hat
with Lisa Hartley dancing shoes
Thank you Lorraine for organising the swap again - it was great fun to take part and we're very pleased with our gifts.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Secret Santa Swap 2014 - part 1

I participated again in Lorraine's Secret Santa Swap for Sasha dolls this year, even though I was really short of time to make things.  In the event I was a week late posting the items I made for Marijke in Canada, however fortunately she received them before Christmas (and the parcel got through Canadian customs despite the dire warnings I had received at my local UK post office about customs and importing toys to Canada).

The following message came to me from Marijke about what her Sasha and Gregor family hoped to receive:

Dear Santa,
My Sasha family consists of 5 girls: Sasha blonde blue gingham, Kiltie, Pintucks, Cora flower dress and Sasha red hair white dress; four boys: Gregor dark blue jeans, Gregor schoolboy blond, Caleb (early, small) and Gregor red hair blue suit; and two babies, Baby Bear brown hair and Baby white suit (also early), both girls.
Five of the family arrived quite recently, and are in need of clothing like jeans, shirts and hoodies for the boys, and overalls or sleepers for the babies. None of the dolls have pajamas as yet, although there is quite a bit of flannellette (winceyette?) hanging about my sewing table. I very much enjoy sewing for my Sasha family, but time can be a deterrent; for example, at the moment the sweater knitting has had to be put off as there is a wedding shower gift being made for next week, and I signed up for a Christmas bazaar at the end of the month. My real life daughter has bought all kinds of sock wool, for Mom to knit up for her, and there are sweaters for both my daughters’ BJD’s partially finished that need to go off to their owners.
My Christmas list would include: a boy’s shirt
                                                      unisex jeans (fake fly fronts most welcome!)
                                                      a masculine hoodie
                                                      a baby overall
                                                      a baby sleeper
If there are non-sewing Secret Santas,  a ball of fine yarn would be wonderful as it is very difficult to find that here; also, enough fabric to make a pair of jeans or a sleeper. The kids are collecting toys at the present, but toys are weighty, and these kids live in Atlantic Canada, so mailing costs need to be kept in mind. There is only one book at present in their size. Colouring pencils would be great, as would backpacks or school bags. Another useful item would be tiny hair clips, all those girls have so much hair! And wool felt for berets, which has to be ordered via the internet here; the shops only carry polyester....
Thank you.

In the event the clothes I made were unisex jeans and a baby overall. I also enclosed a Passion for Sasha long sleeved t-shirt which I'd bought at the Chat 'n Snap in October (I didn't have time to make a shirt or hoodie to go with the jeans).  I included one of my model sailing boats (the one with the dolphin on the sail) and one of my skipping ropes and some mini Christmas chocolate eggs.  Fortunately these toys were not too heavy to post.

Nicholas James and baby Mabel model the clothes,
with the toys and chocolates for Marijke 
baby Mabel wears the overall/romper
The pocket detail on the back of the jeans,
the front had an opening fly (fastened with a press stud)
As you can see from Lorraine's blog post about what people received, Marijke's Sasha family are making good use of the toys and have worked out who wears the clothes.

My daughter and I compiled a wish list for Secret Santa which I emailed to Lorraine.  When our parcel arrived, we put the little presents in my sewing room to wait for Christmas day - see my next post.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Christmas Day arrivals

Rudolf arrived with a special Secret Santa delivery
some exciting packages (from Rosie L)
Baby Jesus has arrived in the manger,
however can you spot who else has arrived in the DollMum house?
Lady Crazie from Germany is perching on the mantle piece with the Christmas stockings
Lady Crazie hops down to visit Baby Jesus
Lady Crazie and the crib scene
Jenny gets to know Lady Crazie who is inquisitive about the ice skating penguin on Jenny's dress   
Lady Crazie is pleased to meet Lexie as well

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Waiting for baby Jesus

Lexie and Jenny on Christmas Eve
I would like to wish all my doll friends a very peaceful, Happy Christmas.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Rudolf and snow

Last week a Reindeer decided to visit our house during Advent.

My girls and I are involved in a lot of concerts during December and at two of them we played 'Rudolf the Red nose Reindeer'.  Build a Bear workshop has issued a Reindeer with a red nose to commemorate 50 years since the stop-frame animation film was released and I bought it as a joke to go with the song at one of these concerts.  The Sasha babies and Reuben decided to get involved - after all the sleigh needed a passenger or two.  We found a surprising amount of Snow/Rudolf related items in our toy collection.
The little sleigh scene we set up at one of our concerts recently
baby Leo in a snowman suit, 
baby Mabel in a reindeer suit and Reuben wears his Christmas sweatshirt
Rudolf's nose lights up.  Jasper the husky also came from Build a Bear (a few years ago)
The silver bells on Rudolf's back were put there by one of the concert goers (they got tangled while we played Sleigh Ride when everyone in the audience was shaking bells).

The Sasha babies and Reuben have been looking after our cloth Advent calendar this week, I think they may change outfits closer to Christmas day.

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...).