Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hello...Remember Me? ;)

Yes, I'm still alive. Just in case you were wondering. ;)

This past month has been nuts. It seems like I blinked and it was over. ;) I'm sure some of you have felt the same way, especially if you have kiddos in school and are winding down to the end of the school year.

So, what have I been up to since I obviously have not had the time or energy for blogging?

Let's see...

I found doll-sized pies at Walmart for 50 cents each for dessert day. The pies came in all sorts of flavors and were greatly enjoyed by both dolls and girls. ;)

Middle Gal set up these last two pictures herself. ;) Sorry the first one is so blurry. I didn't realize it until the dolls were back in their room.

My mom was able to find a Bridge Direct Blueberry Muffin for my Strawberry Shortcake shelf. :D (Finding these dolls has been super tricky in my part of the country.) Now I just need to find Plum Pudding and I'll have all of the Bridge Direct versions of the characters. :)

One of the ladies from my doll club found me a couple of Magic Attic project dolls at a garage sale: 

They're in pretty rough shape. Alison (in the first picture) has super loose arms and a haircut. Rose (in the second picture) has a bad eye and a haircut. Her limbs aren't too bad, though.

Removing their wigs was fairly easy. Alison has some pretty bad pen marks across her belly that make her look a little like Frankenstein's monster.  I'll have to attack them with oxy clean later. 

I was hoping these dolls would be pretty easy to restring, but once I removed Alison's arms, I realized I had my work cut out for me. The head is attached with a zip tie at the neck. The arms have cups inside the body cavity and additional cups inside the small holes in the shoulders. The elastic has to be carefully threaded through them both. Blech. ;) I'll probably have to get help from my stringing mentor with these ones. 

I always feel kinda bad sharing my doll projects on here nowadays, because there's never any guarantee how long it will take me to finish them. I'll try to update you in the coming months when I get around to finishing these gals.

I attended the Women's Spring Event at our church last Friday. It had a bird theme, and I sang "Under His Wings" as part of the special music. I also won a basket full of ocean-themed gifts. (They always give away baskets at the event, but this is the first year I won one of them.) :)

Unfortunately, most of the candles and soaps were too strong for me. It worked out nicely for the girls, though. They got to take them outside and play with them. Middle Gal set up a little garden scene with them. Doesn't it look nice and peaceful? :)

And of course, it wouldn't be the end of the year without the school projects for Open House, right? ;) Here's the aftermath of Saturday's crafting time.

Little Gal's penguin diorama. She did most of it herself (I carved the icebergs for her). Middle Gal drew a backdrop for her wax museum display. She's going to dress up as Louisa May Alcott and pose like a wax sculpture. When someone claps, she'll recite a paragraph she memorized about Louisa May Alcott. (Yes, their teacher is awesome.) ;) Oldest Gal worked on a president poster about F.D. Roosevelt. I didn't get any pictures of that, but she did a great job. :)

On Sunday, we celebrated Mother's Day and my dad's 66th birthday. My daughters sang to me, gave me lovely homemade cards and handmade flowers (pictured above). They also unloaded and reloaded my dishwasher. I felt so loved and special, especially since I'd been a complete bear earlier that week. My girls are so precious to me. 

For his birthday, my dad requested a simple yellow cake with white buttercream frosting. Mimi couldn't handle putting out such a plain cake, so she melted some caramel and formed it into a rose decoration.

Isn't it beautiful? Very fairytale-ish. ;) 

And speaking of such things, I suppose I should update you on my book progress...or lack thereof. ;) 

First, some exciting news...which I already mentioned in my last post. I finally finished my maps of my fairy tale world, which I framed and used as prizes for my $100 Kickstarter backers. Like a doofus, I forgot to take any pictures of them framed, but here's the completed map before framing:

It's not nearly as impressive with all of the pixelation, but I really need to keep the names a secret until I'm closer to official publication. I would love to spill all of my secrets now, but I know that would not be wise. So for now, you'll just have to content yourselves with a partial reveal. I can't wait 'til the day I can show you everything. 

I've struggled a lot with my story ever since returning from Mount Hermon. Several plot devices fell through, and I've had a difficult time figuring out how to fix them. I also needed to rename some of my characters. I realized that four of my twelve main characters had names beginning with "A", which is a big no-no, as it can be confusing for the reader. Of course, at this point, those characters ARE those names, so I essentially feel like I'm murdering them. Two of my characters also may be changing ethnicities, which is also difficult since I've pictured them so strongly a certain way. After lots of dead ends and horrible feelings of worthlessness ("What ever made me think I was a writer?", "I totally stink at this.", "This is officially NOT FUN."), on Monday I finally made myself stop thinking and just sat down and typed. I ended up typing over 2,000 words. They're rough and will need revision, but I must say it was a relief to know I still had some capability as a writer. ;)

I think part of the struggle this month has been that before this I've always written for fun. Now, I'm trying to view my writing more as a potential vocation, which means I have to write even when I don't feel the creative juices flowing. :} It's a discipline, just like anything else. There are a lot of things that come rather naturally to me, writing being one of them. So often, when I find myself challenged by something that usually is no problem, I find it difficult to push through and feel tempted to give up. This new challenge has been a good exercise in patience, discipline, and perseverance. And trust. Trust that God will lead me through this tough story stuff, just like He's led me every step of the way. I need to relax, to stop putting impossible pressure on myself to live up to my own unrealistic expectations. I need to just keep writing, keep learning, keep growing. And eventually, when the time is right, the story will be ready. :}

I guess that's about all I have to share for now. I'm in the process of working on another "real" blog post that should be up either later this week or sometime next week. School gets out next week, so things will be a little crazier for a while. However, once summer is here, I hope to do more reviews and things with the girls. We'll see how that goes. :)

Hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend and have a great week this week. :)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Giveaway Results! :D

It's time to announce the winner of the Glamerup doll dress and necklace giveaway! :D  There were nineteen entries total:

Please excuse the painty napkins at the top of the picture. I finished up my maps of my fairy tale world for my $100 Kickstarter backers last week, and I decided to paint one last copy for myself. ;) The computer desk is my all-encompassing work station. ;)

You guys know the drill by now, but I like documenting my process so everyone knows the giveaway winner was selected fairly. I cut all of the names apart on strips of paper.

The names were put in a bowl, and I drew one out at random (without looking, of course). :)

And the winner is....

Beth M!! Congratulations! :)

I'll send Beth an email shortly to confirm her win. She'll have one week to get back to me. If I don't hear from her by next Saturday, a new winner will be chosen. I'll let everyone know on this post when I hear from her. :)

Thank you to all of you who entered. I have other giveaways on the horizon, so don't be discouraged if you didn't win this time around. :)

UPDATE: I've officially heard from the winner, so the results are final.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Last Chance to Enter the Giveaway! :)

Hey everyone! I just realized I never did a reminder post about the end of the Glamerup doll clothes giveaway I'm currently hosting. I'll be picking the winner tomorrow around 10 am Pacific Time, so as long as you get your entry in before then, I'll still count it. :) Thank you to all of you who have entered. I can't wait to find out who the winner is! :)

For those of you who need a refresher, you can read about all the giveaway details HERE.

I'll be back with results tomorrow!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Glamerup 18" Doll Clothes Review and Giveaway


Last month, I was contacted by "Glamerup" and offered some of their products for a review and giveaway.

Glamerup is a website specializing in doll clothing and accessories for 18 inch dolls such as American Girl. You can find outfits, necklaces, shoes, and other accessories that fit AG and other similar dolls.

Here are two of the outfits I selected for review. Hayden and Anjali are my models today. ;) 

They can't wait to share their new outfits with you. :)

Anjali is wearing the "Veronica Leaves Print Pajama" set. (You can see it on Amazon.com HERE.) I was happy to add this outfit to my doll clothing collection, because I'm always short on pjs for my dolls. :) 

A back view of the pjs. 

The pj top from the front. 

It has button closure. 

The buttons were very easy to button and unbutton. 

The stitching on the clothing is nice and even.

The bottom of the pj top.

Here are the pj pants.

They have an elastic waistband with no Velcro or buttons.

The pjs are made of a lightweight, cottony material. They are super cute and would be a great addition for any doll lover's collection.

A few shots of Anjali enjoying her new jammies:

Next up, we have the Frozen-inspired "Winter Travel Outfit". (You can see it on Amazon.com HERE.) 

I feel like I should have had Charlie model this dress since she's the closest in coloring to Anna, but Hayden practically begged me to wear it instead. She's a huge Frozen fan, and Anna is her favorite character. ;)

The outfit has several layers. We'll start with the cape.

I liked all of the detail on the cape, such as the lace trim and the little puffy balls hanging from the ends.

The cape has a "frog" closure in the front. 

The frog opens easily...

...so the cape can come off.

The cape from the back. I want to apologize for some of these pictures, including this one. My camera ended up giving the cape more of a salmon color than it really has.

It has a nice layer on the top. 

The hem of the cape. This is closer to the actual color, by the way.

The inside of the cape is lined with a pink, satiny material.

The next layer is the dress. Doesn't it look nice with Hayden's coloring? :)

I thought about finding some boots or shoes for her to wear with this dress, but then I decided I just wanted to focus on the outfit itself. Don't worry, I won't send Hayden off on a snowy quest without providing her with shoes first. ;)

The collar is really cute on the dress. 

A closer look at the bodice. I love the embroidery. One interesting thing about the bodice is that it's actually made with a slightly brown leather-like material. It's especially noticeable in this picture because of the way the camera decided to capture the lighting. When you see it in person, though, it's not noticeably brown.

The skirt of the dress. I like the details and the nice pleating.

The hem of the skirt.

The dress from the back. 

I love the golden trim on the bodice.

The bodice opens with Velcro in the back and is completely separate from the dress underneath.

And speaking of the dress, here it is without the bodice. 

The material is pretty thin, but it doesn't feel flimsy or poorly made. The pleats in the skirt also make the skirt part seem less see-through than it really is.

This would be a great outfit for any Frozen fan. I love all of the nice details on the cape, bodice, and skirt. It's simple enough for a younger collector to use for her dolls, but looks nice enough for a collector to use for display. :)

Here are some extra photos of Hayden in the outfit. :) Because photo shoots are kinda my thing. ;)

And here's one of Hayden and Anjali together: 

I'm quite pleased with the clothing from Glamerup. It's well-made and easy for little hands operate. The pricing is comparable to other good quality handmade doll clothing online. They will be adding more items to their inventory in the coming months, so you'll want to keep checking back for more items. I would definitely recommend Glamerup to other doll lovers and collectors for fun, affordable doll clothing and accessories. 

If you'd like more information about Glamerup, be sure to check out the following links:   

Glamerup was gracious enough to include some items for a giveaway, too. :) Hayden and Anjali are here to show you the goodies. :)

The winner of this giveaway will receive a sweet little summer dress called "Lovely Mariella" and a doll-sized snowflake necklace. 

I didn't want to open the dress so the winner would be the first to open it. You can see the dress on Amazon.com HERE if you'd like a better idea of what it looks like. 

Another shot of the dress.

Here's a look at the adorable necklace. (You can see it on Amazon.com HERE.) 

It has a nice screw together clasp. I love these types of clasps on doll necklaces. A regular necklace clasp can be pretty difficult to open and close on such a small chain.

Here it is free from the card...

...and here's how it looks on a doll. It makes me think of Elsa. :)

So, here are the giveaway rules:

1. This is a worldwide giveaway. Any of my readers can enter. :)

2. If you're under 18, please get a parent or guardian's permission before entering. I'll have to get your mailing address, and I want to make sure that's okay.

3. To enter, please leave your name or username and email address in a comment on this post. Your comments will not be published and will only be seen by me.

4. The giveaway will be open for entries until Friday, May 1st. On Saturday, May 2nd, I will chose a winner by random draw.

5. The winner will have one week to email me back with his or her mailing address. If I have not heard from the winner by Saturday, May 9th, a new winner will be selected.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments. :) 

Best wishes, everyone!

I received these items as free sample products from Glamerup. All opinions and ideas expressed in this post are my own.