Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Last Day to Vote for Activity One Pics!

Yeppers everyone - today is the last day to submit your votes for Activity One photos!

Check out all 52 entries here:

Email your votes to nora.demington@gmail.com before tomorrow. One set of votes per activity per person. You can vote for more than photo. You can vote for your own photo.

And FYI:

Activity Two photos - "Holiday/Celebration" - are due February 7th. 
Anyone can enter Activity Two - even people who didn't enter Activity One.

Any questions??? Feel free to ask!

Monday, January 30, 2012

CeCe's 'Bun' for Inky

Whattup peoples! Sorry for the lack of posts. We are working on several things for you from many different directions and that is taking a bit of time.

Reminders about the 2012 Grand Photo Contest: 
Votes for Activity One are due in by tomorrow, January 31st. 
And Activity Two pics are going to be due on February 7th.

Today we have a brief interruption in our other two main storylines (Maple's Laboratory and the CeCe and Kenna Saga). [And of course we have sixty other things on our to-do list: Agent S stories, doll jewelry tutorials, holiday photos, outdoor photos, recent purchases photos... the list goes on and on and on... we just can't keep up with ourselves!)

We wanted to show CeCe's hair in our version of a bun. It's not perfect, but twisting her hair into a sleek, smooth bun wasn't going to happen for us. Haha. Inky asked to see her hairstyle from the back - so that is what we are attempting to accomplish.

CeCe is wearing McKenna's School Outfit sweater and skirt, along with socks from Aunt Bees Old Sew N Sew, and AG shoes from a different outfit. Her hair was pulled back into a ponytail and then secured with one loop of a hair elastic. Her ponytail was then twisted into a bun-like shape and secured with the rest of the elastic. Her curls do peek out - which we like. I am sure someone more talented could really tame her hair a bit more, but we like the bun a little unruly. ;-)

More pics!

Hope this was useful to those of you considering Cecile!

Stay tuned for more posts!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Maple Insists: McKenna's Hamster Set

Ah, the elusive hamster.

AG FINALLY makes a rodent pet set --- I mean how many kids out there have hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, rats, and chinchillas???? A LOT right? --- And they bundle it with a $225 bed set. Which will then cost $23 more to ship, never mind the taxes if you live a state with an AG store. Qua? This seems really dumb to us.

AG, are you reading this? The hamster set being only available with the bed was dumb. I, Maple Twiggs, declare it to be so on January 25th, 2012: Dumb, dumb, dumby-dumb-dumb.

Sure, sure you could say that it was brilliant marketing and business strategy, blah-blah-blah. I don't give a billy goat's gruff. Simply said, a lot of kids want that hamster and you have made it impossible for them to get it.

The spirit of AG should be charity and understanding. Forcing people to buy a $225 bed, to tell their children they can't have it, or to search Ebay endlessly for just the hamster part of the bed set is not charitable nor understanding. :-(

I wag my butt at you AG.

Le sigh. Not really much one little doll can do in the face of corporate greed - but I have said my piece.

Now I will discuss the hamster set itself. It is cute and sufficient. The hamster is super tiny, like a bebe ham. He is a little bit over an inch long. So in approximate scale, that would be a three-inch-long hamster in real life. Tiny lil dude. We haven't read the McKenna books yet - so we can't tell you the kind of hamster he is supposed to be. But this is like the size of a Siberian dwarf or something. See my collage below.

He is a molded piece of plastic that is flocked. Then his eyes are painted a black color that will pierce into your soul. My hamster's eyes are a little large. I think he was eating some special brownies or something...

I still have to figure out what to name him, and I am not sure if I will keep him as part of my laboratory. True, a hamster in a science lab makes sense. But have you seen the gear he comes with? Totally Barbie-plastic-happy stuff. Fine for people who like that. But not overly convincing as something that should be in a science lab. At least the hamster itself isn't a chunk of hot pink plastic. Although AG probably considered that option...

I will probably end up revising his equipment or making a new tank thingy for him.

If anyone has any suggestions for revising the equipment or finding new stuff, 
please feel free to share them in the comments.

The hamster equipment includes the tank/cage, a wheel, and a food dish. The water bottle is permanently attached (as far as we can tell) to side of the tank. Once everything is inside there is pretty much no space for the hamster to move. Sigh. His materialistic needs have crowded him out of his own home. Sounds familiar.... (looks around at a room full of dolls).

So here are the rest of the pics. If anyone has any questions about this set, please let us know.

Thanks for visiting us today!

Stay tuned for more posts soon!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Winter Wonderland Photos: Voting Begins!

Hola! Here are all of the entries we received for Activity One of the 2012 Grand Photo Contest! There are 52 in total - and that is AWESOME! We hope we get this many for the next two activities as well. :-)

The theme was Winter Wonderland and it was supposed to be about what winter means to you/your doll(s).

The entries are fantastic - So be sure to vote for your favorites by emailing nora.demington@gmail.com. We won't use your email address in any way.

You can vote for more than one picture.

Please send in your votes within one week, so that is anytime 
on or before Tuesday, January 31st. 

Let the peoples know that you liked their pic(s)!

p.s. If we missed an entry, or messed up your caption or something, let us know.

p.p.s. Start thinking up what you'll do for your Holiday/Celebration photos -- those will be due a week after voting is complete for Activity One. So that is February 7th, y'alls.

The entries... in no particular order....

Photo One

"I wanted my picture to be different than what I think other peoples photo will be like. So I added in some color, just some of it! :) I wanted my photo to be dramatic, but yet interesting. I wanted it to be a mystery of where she came from and where she is going so I didn't add any buildings or hints!

The photo is called:  Lady of the Winter"

Photo Two

"Rilla pleads with Molly to take down the Christmas tree. 'It's three weeks past New Years, for crying out loud!'"

Photo Three

"This is Nora (#55), walking through the wardrobe into Narnia. Sadly, we don't get much snow in Cincinnati, so we make a fake snow day! Fortunately, fake snow is a lot warmer than real snow!"

Photo Four

"This is Macy, the Ice Princess. Every Winter, she floats down with the snow and stays there, until it melts and comes again the next time it snows."

Photo Five

"Since snow doesn't exist in the deserty climate in which we live, we used some of our holiday decorating items to give us the look of a winter wonderland. Renee modeled for our photo. To us, a winter wonderland is something like a sense of awe. Walking out your door and stopping dead in your tracks at the beauty of nature. "

Photo Six

"Imagine a girl walking out in the snow for a moments refreshment before a snack."

Photo Seven

"Here in California, we usually only dream of snow.  Our 'Winter Wonderland' usually consists of rain, rain, and then some more rain!  But that doesn't stop Hayden from enjoying the wintry weather.  As she likes to say when quoting one of her favorite literary heroines, rain 'provides so much more scope for the imagination.'  She loves wandering through the drizzly weather, armed with her favorite rainbow-colored umbrella, making up stories in her head about castles and princesses.  And she always dreams that maybe, just once, the rain will turn to snow! :)"

Photo Eight

"Here is Jess enjoying a cup of caramel hot cocoa while watching the horses play in the snow."

Photo Nine

Mia: "We have got to find a bigger hill."
Lexi: "Yeah, this thing is practically doll-sized!"

Mia and Lexi decided they wanted to go sledding for this photo contest, 
but this was all they could find! They were very disappointed.

Photo Ten

"When I saw the theme I almost immediately thought of my own winter wonderland. When most people think of a winter wonderland they think beautiful, white, soft snow. However, my winter wonderland is at a beach. Warm water, warm sand, and warm sun. Living on an island is an awesome experience. Having Nani (Kanani) as a friend is good 'cause she can show me the ins and outs of island living.  The collage I did is just one fun day at a beautiful beach. From making sand castles, to making sand angels. From taking pictures, to eating ice cream. Even just admiring the beautiful view is amazing. Hope everyone enjoys my winter wonderland!!!"

Photo Eleven

"Ariel is not used to cold weather, but when her cat got sick, she had to take her out, no matter the weather. She grabbed her nearest coat (she forgot her boots and gloves!) and sled out with Pepper in the lead. When she finally saw the vet she was over joyed."

Photo Twelve

"To me, a winter wonderland involves snow in two different ways. One is when snow is falling, and I have a book, comfy seat, and hot cocoa, so that I can be all cozy while I watch it fall. The other is when I'm outside playing in it, and can be in a snowball fight. For Activity One photo inspiration, I picked the latter.

My entry depicts a chilly day in mid-January when almost all the dolls are outside playing (some had colds or broken bones and had to stay inside) in the snow. Gracie is hiding behind the tree on the left, and Nellie and Addy are hiding behind the tree on the right. The picture is amusing because Ruthie 2 (we call her Ruthie 2 to keep her different from Ruthie Smithens) is caught running between trees just as Ruthie is about to fire off her snowball. This is a piece of Winter Wonderland to me."

Photo Thirteen

"*No dolls were hurt in the snow*"

Photo Fourteen

"Kanani, Licorice, and hot cocoa."

Photo Fifteen

"Jessica Quint spends some time outside playing in the snow. 
She takes a little rest and leans against a pile of snow."

Photo Sixteen

"Heading Down Hill Sledding, Rosey Red checks, in the icy cold snow ."

Photo Seventeen

"Gwen enjoys taking a winter walk on the trail in the woods. She took Pepper along today, who is very excited to be outside with someone. But Gwen would like to go inside soon- it's really cold out!"

Photo Eighteen

"I feel like a winter wonderland must be enjoyed in a solitary, peaceful, thoughtful tramp through a secluded wooded area. A chance to forget the real world, and to just relax with the wild things. I originally wanted to do something similar to the scene I just described - a whimsical scene depicting a doll sleeping out under the stars, surrounded by trees and the glow of the moon....but since I have been sick, I wasn't able to get a nighttime scene. So I settled for second best (and more realistic) wilderness wandering. I wanted to show Nellie's footprints, to emphasize that she had chosen to go out alone....alone into the splendor around her, in a whimsical sort of way."

Photo Nineteen

"Here I have my doll, Ivy.  :)  My idea for this photo was really getting into the holiday spirit.  When I was looking for something to spruce up my dolls' rooms for Christmas, so I found some string, scissors, tape, and little snowmen from the American Girl Magazine and made a photo story of Ivy decorating.  I put together the steps and made this picture!  :D"

Photo Twenty

"When Mia woke up one Saturday morning, there was finally snow! It hadn't snowed where she lives since November! So she quickly put on her snow gear and got her snow tube and went sledding! But after sledding up and down the hill many times, her hands were frozen! She then realized that she hadn't brought any gloves.... oh, Mia...."

Photo Twenty-One

"In this photo, my dolls Kit (left) and Penelope (right) are making a snowman in the 'snow,' which is actually just polyfill."

Photo Twenty-Two

"It is of my two dolls Alison and Elizabeth shoveling snow. That's what it seems we are doing most of winter : ) They seem to enjoy it though!"

Photo Twenty-Three

"This picture is Felicity in front of a pine tree covered in fresh snow!  This was taken in Utah during winter-time. I really like how the color green of the pine tree and the green in Felicity's eyes match up. "

Photo Twenty-Four

"Under the full moon, snow had just fallen. Emily skids down the hill and Molly joyfully waves to her, giddy with excitement to be out in the snow."

Photo Twenty-Five

"This is a picture of my daughter Angelia's doll Nicole (MAG #44) with Sugar.
It was taken just last night after our big snow here in IL. Lots of it but
so pretty! :)  She wanted to go out and check it out so I thought well might
as well do a pic out here too! She decided to have Nicole pull Sugar along
in the sled.  The top she is wearing is Mia's and everything else is off
brand items. "

Photo Twenty-Six

"What does winter wonderland mean to us? Friends spending time together while drinking hot coco and catching snowflakes!"

Photo Twenty-Seven

"I chose this photo because I was always so excited when it snowed (which wasn't very often) that my mother would have to tear me and my siblings away from the window for just long enough to get us into our sweaters and coats and boots. Since Molly was my first doll, she was the obvious choice for this picture."

Photo Twenty-Eight

"These are my dolls Chrissa and Kaitlyn (MAG #26) having fun sledding down a hill."

Photo Twenty-Nine

"(From left to right) Jensen, Kirsten, Rowynn and Kanani making cookies. After a day of play in the cold it's always nice to come inside and enjoy some warm, fresh baked cookies. Look out or Jensen will eat all the chocolate!"

Photo Thirty

"I see my Winter Wonderland as being outdoors only. When I was asked what the dolls would be doing, I answered, 'Sledding!!! - what else did you think?,' so sledding it was! It was the first time that my dolls had ever gone sledding, and they had a blast. I almost decided on a collage of their winter fun pics, but then decided to showcase my favorite one. It was a blast - literally. The wind was very willing to blow the dolls down the little hill we made, and they made pretty good speed for only having three feet to travel downhill in a human-toddler-sized sleigh. ;)"

Photo Thirty-One

"Snow Days go faster than school days! After playing in the snow all day, Kirsten and Nicki pause to watch a beautiful sunset."

Photo Thirty-Two

"Well it doesn't snow much in Mississippi and it did 3 times last year so we probably won't have any for another 10 years or so. Lily Rose my #24 in the picture decided to make a snowman out of popcorn balls. She enjoys making treats and this is a great 'treat' to make in the winter."

Photo Thirty-Three

"'Winter Wonderland' in my mind means plenty of sledding and snowball fights! In this photo, Sophie and Kit are testing out their snow dish and sled. 'Whee!' they cry excitedly, as they slide down the faux snow-covered hill. The hill I've created with plenty of stacked-up cardboard boxes and a huge piece of white fabric. Behind them, Jessica and Lindsey are having a snowball fight - or they are trying to anyway. Somehow snowballs made out of packing peanuts aren't quite the same, but they are making the best of it!"

Photo Thirty-Four

"On a chilly winter walk, Dakota is delighted when the first snowflake of winter alights on her eager fingertips. "

Photo Thirty-Five

"Zinny and Nali are mushing their way back from Starbucks with their Siberian Husky named Rex. "

Photo Thirty-Six

"Gwen and Chrissa had really wanted to make their entry special and do a photo with fake snow (as there is none in Texas), but every attempt to create 'snow' failed: their paper snowflakes resembled Chinese men with mustaches more than delicate snowflakes, the cotton balls were nowhere to be found, and the humans denied them the use of their toilet paper. So instead they decided to keep things casual and hang out their pajamas. Here they are celebrating winter in the best way they can imagine: with mugs of hot chocolate, colorful cupcakes, and good friends! :)"

Photo Thirty-Seven

"Annabeth dreams peacefully, as visions of snow dance through her head...but wait...
Do dreams really come true?"

Photo Thirty-Eight

"Imagine a lovely lady walking her dog, and caught in a sudden snow flurry, 
and quickly walking home."

Photo Thirty-Nine

Photo Forty

"Enchanted Winter Wonderland"

Photo Forty-One

"This is Melody's contest entry. Melody is the Kailey doll and Isabella is the Madame Alexander doll. I assume you know that doll sitting on trundle of bed = Kirsten. Here's the caption.

I: This is the best sleepover ever!!!
K: Agreed.
M: Sorry we didn't do makeup. I just have Lip Smackers and nail polish.
I: That's OK.
M: Ooo! Justin Bieber song!
*all sing*

Photo Forty-Two

Photo Forty-Three

"The snow fell softly on a chilly winter day. Dakota snipped away at a white piece of construction paper as her friend Marisol hung a string of paper snowflakes on the mantle. Nicki sat beside Dakota, unfolding the snowflake she just finished while eyeing the tasty treats on the table. The three friends enjoyed their snow day and wished for more to come."

Photo Forty-Four

"Only if I could have a day in the cold with mom more often.  I am positive it should snow year around!!!  ~Kirsten"

Photo Forty-Five

"Kanani's view of a winter wonderland is a calm, peaceful and quiet area where she can sit down surrounded by her favourite things. She is an aspiring dancer so she has her Swan Lake poster and red dance shoes near her. She's also a big dreamer so she has lots of different coloured glitter and pearls around her since she believes it brings good luck! To remind her of her beautiful home in Hawaii she has a coconut on her table as well as some souvenir rocks on the floor. Kanani loves to look fabulous so she has all her make up surrounding her."

Photo Forty-Six

Lilly: "I'm such a snow angel!"

Photo Forty-Seven

"Kiana and I were having a Snowball fight, though She wasn't to happy to ruin her dress, Oh well! 

(In the picture Kiana Laday and Alana Jakeub)"

Photo Forty-Eight

"For me, Winter Wonderland is all about a certain elegant winter sport. I've never actually been ice-skating, but I dream of someday being able to skate as well as the figure-skating pros. So I wished for my entry to depict some dolls skating. The actual rink would never let us go and take pictures of dolls on the ice during open skate hours, so that was out of the question. But when it rained for a day, and then snowed the next, there was black ice on the driveway, which caused me a bunch of delight. Trying to get the dolls to stay still on the slippery ice, trying to take steady pictures on the slippery ice, and trying to keep myself from figure-skating and shaking the ice so that the dolls would fall down, made this picture a rather hard one to take - but it's taken! I love a dramatic flare, so Addy does a triumphant split on the ice while Ruthie (left), and Gracie (right) look on with awe."

Photo Forty-Nine

Photo Fifty

Photo Fifty-One

EXTRA! EXTRA! One more picture added in because it was lost in the sea of emails!

Photo Fifty-Two
This is my doll Nicki Skiing in our backyard, it's funny because the day you posted 
the contest it snowed here! 

Vote today peoples!

Again, you can vote for more than one photo.

Send your votes to nora.demington@gmail.com
on or before January 31st.

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