Saturday, March 24, 2012

Connie's BDay: Fancy Dress Partay!


As we mentioned, we took a ton of pics of several of our dresses - as well as sweaters, coats, hats, and more. So we compiled them into a "musical slideshow with humorous captions" for you.

What do you see in the video?

Adanya is wearing a MHD Designs coat and a Melody Valerie Couture gown

Arista is wearing a Needle in a Haystack cape-coat and a Melody Valerie Couture gown

Connie is wearing a cardigan from All Dolled Up Doll Clothes and a Melody Valerie Couture dress

Lizzie is wearing a Melody Valerie Couture coat, scarf and gown

Maple is wearing Emily's Meet sweater and a Melody Valerie Couture hat and dress

Felicity is wearing Rebecca's coat and a Melody Valerie Couture gown

Sun Ji is wearing a Emma Luhu Boutique cardigan and a Melody Valerie Couture gown

Kenna is wearing fingerless gloves from Jeanne Marie, a L'Atelier de Sitara capelet, and a Melody Valerie Couture gown

Annalise is wearing a Emma Luhu Boutique scarf, and a Melody Valerie Couture coat and gown

Nine teaser shots from the video for better (less orangey) viewing...

Thanks for visiting us today!

If you have any questions, let us know!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Maple's First Writing Contest Begins

Hola everyone!

Today we wanted to announce the start of a new contest:
Maple's First Writing Contest.

Maple loves writing. She loves creating new characters and seeing how they will interact within her stories. But she finds it difficult to set aside time to write. Life is busy!

She did manage to start up her own story blog and she is very proud of it: 

So she would love to encourage all of you to write stories as well!

For this contest, anyone can enter - but if you are younger than 18 make sure you get your parent's permission.

The first prize winner will get a $20 AG gift card - which we will mail to him/her (hence why your parents should know you are entering if you are younger than 18).

So for the first time we are trying this type of contest there will be one first prize winner (who will get the gift card), and two honorable mentions.

We'll gauge how popular the contest is to see if we should keep doing them, and if we should offer more than one prize.

What should you write?

1) A fictional story! No real-life stuff. Real-life is overrated. It can be science fiction, or historical fiction, or fantasy, or a mystery, or a romantic comedy, or an adventure, etc. etc. - any genre you want to use. But it has to be fiction.

Sure, it can be grounded in your own experiences and your own mindset - but make sure you aren't just telling us that exciting thing that happened at Applebee's last week. Be creative peoples!

2)  Also it needs to be age-appropriate. In other words - nothing adult or too violent. If you wouldn't want a nine year old girl to read it - then you know it won't work for this contest.

3) We are looking for something between 5 to 8 pages in length, i.e. approximately 1250 to 2000 words. If it is less than 5 pages - that is fine, too. But we thought 5-8 would give you more of a chance to engage your reader.

4) Your entry can be a complete story or a snippet from a story. So don't think you have to have a beginning, middle, and end all in 8 pages.

Think about what you can accomplish in that length and use it to your advantage. It can be overwhelming to say: "I'm gonna write a book!" But it is much less scary to say: "I'm gonna write 8 pages!"

So your entries are due one month from today:
April 22nd, 2012.

Hopefully this will allow people to work it into their schedules. :-)

Please email them to
You can attach them as Word documents or copy and paste your text into the email itself.

If you want to include an image or two, feel free to do so.
But as usual - do not send us pictures of yourself or your family.
Feel free to use a drawing, or a stock photo, or a picture of your dolls, etc.

All of the entries will then be posted on a specific "Writing Contest" page here at The DW,
which will be accessed by a tab in the top menu.
So yes - the whole world will be able to see your entry. :-)

We will most likely try and post people's entries as they send them in.

Readers will have a chance to read them and vote on them.

Perhaps we will create a button that those people who entered can use on their blogs or FB pages to mark that they entered this contest.

Then Penny will choose the First Prize Winner, and the two honorable mentions from those entries ranked in the top 50%.

Any questions?

Feel free to comment with them below!

We hope you are all excited about this contest. :-)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Masquerade: A Starlight Studios Production

So we're kind of slow to post about this, since the Youtube video was posted on March 17th and it's already the 21st - haha. But we only watched the film last night - so we are just slow in general. ;-)

Sitara's Starlight Film Studios has a new release called "Masquerade." It features a lot of Melody Valerie Couture items, some Liberty Jane clothing, and a couple items Sitara made herself (L'Atelier de Sitara).

Seven of the dresses you see in the film were loaned to the film production studio by us - just like many film studios rent costumes for their productions (particularly in the United Kingdom where you will see historical costumes pop up in movies, mini series, and shows again and again if you pay attention, heehee.)

Starlight Film Studios has done a wonderful job with this film and we are proud to have contributed to the costuming for this project. :-D

So here is the linky:


p.s. For those of you wishing to see more of our dresses that were featured in this film, we did a special photo shoot which we will show off here soon.

p.p.s If you'd like to learn more about Starlight Film Studios, visit their new blog here.

p.p.p.s. If you want to see more of their photography go here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award

Reese of "Reese's Pieces of Life" blog nominated us for The Versatile Blogger Award. And I guess when you are nominated you kind of automatically win it, haha.

So when you win you are supposed to follow these rules:

1. In a post on your blog, nominate 4 fellow bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.

2. In the same post, add the Versatile Blogger Award.

3. In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you with a link back to their blog.

4. In the same post, include 7 random pieces of information about you.

5. In the same post, include this set of rules.

6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination with a comment on their blog.

So #1:

1. Steampunk Addie:

2. Karen Mom of Three's Craft Blog:

3. Beast's Belle's Never Grow Up:

4. Melody Valerie Couture:

If I nominated someone who has already won it - you don't have to repeat the exercise, haha.



Thank you Reese! We really appreciate the nomination!


Seven random pieces of information about me.

Well, since Maple and I share this blog, we'll try to say 7 pcs of info about each of us.

1. My favorite books are the fantasy-humor "Myth Inc." series by Robert Aspirin. They are "oldish" but still awesome. Maple's are the Flavia de Luce mysteries by Alan Bradley. She listens to them as audio books.

2. I have two sisters, one is my twin (Ellie) and one is younger than me (Maggie). Both of my parents are gone. Penny adopted us when we were very young. Maple has a Mom and a Dad, but no siblings.

3. Maple's favorite candies are Ghirardelli chocolates and she loved going to their shop in Chicago. I don't have any favorite candies because I don't really like sweets. Which works out well for my sisters around Halloween and Easter. They get to eat most of my candy for me. ;-)

4. I wanted to be a Disney animator when I was younger, but now I am not so sure what I want to do. Maple says she wants to be a British chief inspector with the police force. I told her she has to be British first to do that.

5. I prefer to watch animated shows and movies, or romantic comedies. I avoid anything with too much tension, drama or violence. My favorite movie is "Flushed Away," with a lot of runners-up. Maple likes mysteries, British ones mostly. Her fav TV show is "Midsomer Murders." Sometimes it's a bit gory for me, but I occasionally watch it with her.

6. My favorite food is fruit. I could eat berries, bananas, and peaches all day. I'll probably be a diabetic soon. Maple's favorite food is the veggie dog. She likes to eat them in front of the TV when Penny isn't looking. As long as I don't get blamed for the ketchup on the living room rug, I'm okay with it.

7. Dogs are my favorite kind of animal. I love them. They are awesome, cuddly, and so wonderful. Maple can't decide on a favorite animal. Whenever she sees a picture of a cute kind of animal she says "I want one." If she had her way, Badger's Wood would be a giant zoo.

Thanks for reading everyone!

And again, Thank You Reese for nominating us!!!

AG Free Shipping Code

AG emailed us this today and told us to email it to our friends.

You are our friends, right? Hee hee.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spring 2012 Clothing Giveaways!


Have you been longing for doll clothing giveaways?

Well, we've pooled our items: some store exclusives from AGPLA, some from our two newest dolls (yep, new dolls!), some from AG Seamstress, and some from Doll Tag Clothing. There's a lot to offer you!

Four different prize packages are part of our 
Spring 2012 Clothing Giveaways:

1) AG Seamstress's Molly McIntire camel coat with a special hat from Stassy Dodge

2) Doll Tag Clothing blue pajamas set - the same set seen on the cover of their "Sweet Dreams PJs Pattern Bundle" --

3) A complete MyAG meet outfit, with an Innerstar U code, and charm keeper necklace - along with a hot pink AGPLA store exclusive hoodie, and a Doll Tag Clothing black and pink crocheted hat

4) A complete MyAG meet outfit, with an Innerstar U code, and charm keeper necklace - along with a a red AGPLA store exclusive tee shirt, and black AGPLA store exclusive cap

A big Thank You goes to AG seamstress and Doll Tag Clothing 
for donating items for these giveaways!

We will run this giveaway until Wednesday April 4th.  

And we will announce the winners soon after that time.

You must be 18 years old or older to enter this giveaway. If you are younger than that please have someone 18 years old or older, like a parent or guardian, enter herself/himself.

One entry per person please, but you can have other family members enter as well.

To enter, please write your full name and your email address as a comment to this post. It will not be published and only Penny will be able to see it.

In your entry - please tell us which prize package(s) you are interested in.

Four winners will be drawn out of a hat, i.e. randomly picked.

Only entries with a full name and an email address will be put into the hat. If you win, Penny will email that address to notify you and ask for your shipping address.

See the photos below, featuring our new MyAG #47 Needa, CeCe, and our new MyAG #57 Nichelle!

Thanks for visiting us today!

Be sure to leave a comment with your entry!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Maple's Trends to Sew: O'Neill

Yo, Maple here y'alls. Yeah, we totally skipped the February Trends to Sew. I meant to write one of these per month, but last month just flew by in a flash. Sorry about that peoples! I have failed at installing my dictatorial fashion regime!

So here is my January Trends to Sew in case you need to refresh your memory about it or about this series of posts.

Generally the Trends to Sew posts allow me to tell you what to do/give you design ideas. Whether or not you follow my orders/suggestions is up to you. But if you don't like being told what to do... turn back now. ;-)

So we were flipping through Teen Vogue to get ideas for a brand to talk about this month and happened upon an O'Neill item. That was our Eureka moment. We had just been in Cali, so it was thematic - and we were looking for a casual, care-free brand that offers clothing for everyday wear.

O'Neill it is. And they is awesome. Jack O'Neill started the company in San Francisco 60 years ago - he invented the wet suit. Yep, invented it. Today they are located in Santa Cruz and Irvine. They offer surfboards, surfing equipment, wet suits, and a clothing and accessories line.

The problem with O'Neill is that they offer too many ideas - so we'll try not to make the longest post ever - try. But if you want more ideas, definitely visit their site.

First we begin with our one "bottom" that we'll feature in this post, for it is generally "top"-heavy. Get it? Heehee.

Jean shorts. We've talked about them before and about how you should make them. Here is an interesting take on this wardrobe staple that features a printed inset panel. The panel is a nod to board shorts and makes them look beach-worthy.

There are a lot of options out there for inset panel shorts (and even skirts) - depending on what you choose to combine you could make your pair more or less casual. Darker colored filigree or striped fabric could make them look more edgy and daring, plaids would shout "preppy," and a floral could direct it more towards a girly, hippie-esque-look.

And of course you don't have to just stick with printed fabrics - you could mix corduroy or twill with jean fabric - even switching what the main fabric is. An army-green twill pair of shorts with a dark blue denim inset for example.

Tank tops. Are you making tank tops? No?! Well you should be. These little beauties are so versatile. In warm weather duds they provide the focus of your outfit, in the cooler weather outfits they can go under flannels, zipped hoodies, cardigans. The fabric you choose and the style of your tank will set it out from the rest. Think outside of the box and go for looks you see on humans.

This example drapes beautifully - it is made of poly crepe. We love the soft color, gathered neckline, delicate tied shoulder straps, and scooped bottom hemline that accentuates the flow of the fabric.

Stripes are in - try them out. But make sure they are dolly-scale. White and orange, blue and white, there are endless options out there. Can't find the fabric you want to use? Try cutting up inexpensive tees and tanks from Target or Walmart.

Our fav aspects of the tank example below are the spaghetti straps, the V-neck with a hint of gathering at the tip of the "V," and the choice of cotton slub jersey fabric.  It is these kinds of details that you need to use to make your tanks more unique and "real," so-to-speak.

Tanks are even good for warm-weather layering. Try a bandeau top under a lightweight, loose, free-flowing tank with oversized armholes and a deep plunge back, like this example. It doesn't have to be a swimsuit top underneath- it can be a full-length bandeau (even with shoulder straps if you like) - for modesty's sake. This will allow you to play with the combination of colors and fabrics, and contrast the tight-fitting bandeau against the loose tank top.

We like giving examples, if you can't tell. Here is a muted, solid color tank - great for layering underneath bolder items. It is a scoop neck, racer back tank made from a cotton jersey/polyester blend fabric that gives it that wonderful flow. Again, it has a hint of gathering at the neckline that adds something extra.

And our last tank top for the day... A beautiful viscose fabric tank that has an encased elastic waistline (that helps define the shape of your doll with longer tops), and a feminine V-neck. We love the use of a darker floral fabric for this piece and the rounded hemline.

Dresses. Doll clothing makers offer a lot of dresses. They are an AG staple. But not many sellers offer modern tweenage/teenage styles.

O'Neill's description of the dress below is like a how-to for making a classic, girly summer dress: 100% Cotton gauze, Hi-lo hem, Fully lined (psssttt, don't make see-through doll clothing unless you sell it as a layered item that is meant to be see-through), Empire waist, Front pintucking, Crochet inset along bottom, Encased shoulder straps at underarm, Straps looped and tied at back.

If you don't want your doll's dress to have such a deep neckline - keep the dramatic design but add a triangular panel across that space. To match the dress, place a white crocheted panel over cotton gauze for that triangle. Or to provide contrast - put a navy and white striped fabric there, or even a splash of something bold like magenta or turquoise.

The maxi dress is still in style and very popular - perhaps Cinnamon will be offering a pattern for it soon over at Liberty Jane. For now, you could always adapt her Salina pattern to make any of these types of dresses we are talking about here.

We love the color of this dress below and the polyester printed chiffon is gorgeous, lightweight and drapes wonderfully. The key to a dress's beauty is how the fabric hangs - and you need to choose the right fabric to achieve proper drape. A stiff quilting polyester is not going to cut it.

Same can be said for this beauty below - also made from a polyester printed chiffon, with a poly voile lining. The double-layer bodice helps to make this dress look free-flowing while the encased elastic waistline helps to define the shape of the body.

Marking the waistline of a doll dress with encased elastic, an accented seam, an inset fabric/lace/ribbon panel, or a touch of gathering helps a lot - you don't want her to look like she is wearing a potato sack. Also, play with the height of your waistlines- experiment! They don't all have to fall at the "natural" height - try empire or dropped as well!

Long-sleeve tops. Have we mentioned stripes are in? Look below for three examples of great ways to use stripes. 

We like the subtle coloring (this is a very popular color scheme right now) and wide neck-line of this example - as well as the tiny pocket - which is mostly hidden by her hair (why did they place her hair there? who knows).

Things to note about the example below: the beautiful rusty coral color, the dramatic boat neckline; the solid-color coordinating rib knit accents at the neckline, cuffs, and hemline; and the subtle kangaroo pocket. Be careful about how big your roo pocket is - and where you place it. These two design points can make or break the look of your item. Human to doll scale isn't always a one-to-one correspondence, as AGs do not have realistic human proportions.

So you don't like using boat necklines for the dolls because you can see where the arm and shoulder meet? Try adding spaghetti strap accents at those two points - making it look like your main item is layered over a tank top, even when it isn't. ;-)

Love, love, love this top. Penny would totally order a human one except she needs more clothing like she needs a hole in the head. What's so great about it? The neat combo of striped and solid fabrics that coordinate perfectly. The red and grey colors - awesomeness! And the blend of a dolman sleeve top that is loose, flows wonderfully, and yet has form-fitting sleeves for the lower arm.

Layers. Yeah, we know y'alls are thinking about summer, swimsuits and sundresses already - but hey, it's still March peoples. And here in the Northern Hemisphere we aren't past the chilly days yet.

Try plaid shirts. We love this shirt pattern here: and it is on our list of stuff to custom-order at some point from someone. We'd personally go with smaller buttons - but that is just our preference.

We're not sure why people avoid making plaid shirts. Go to your fav clothing site and search for plaid - you'll see shirts, cardigans, and jackets pop up for sure. Perhaps it is too difficult to find dolly-scale plaids in good quality fabrics? If you are striking out at your local fabric store - shop online for fabric, or if you are adventurous - buy or upcycle human clothing - plaid shirts, pants, scarves.

The example below is made from cotton flannel, has convertible sleeves (i.e. they can be buttoned-up to be shorter), and has lovely coloring. We love how they have layered it over a grey and black graphic V-neck tee.

You can also diversify your plaid use by making jackets out of it. This example is lined and uses snaps and a hood to make it more jackety.

If you aren't feeling the plaid-love - you can always go back to stripes! The nautical navy and white look is very in - as well as the draped, slouchy cardigan. A lot of people have been making these.

So how do you make yours stand out? 
1) Look for fabrics with thinner stripes
2) Look for lighter weight fabrics, like jerseys, to use - striped or solids. 

Avoid making your cardis bulky with sweatshirt-weight fabrics. The nearly-diaphanous cardi is in and you should embrace it. You don't want your cardi to make your doll look like a stuffed sausage with marshmallows for arms - you want her to look lithe and care-free. The key to that free-flowing look you see below? Jersey fabric.

And of course I couldn't talk about layering without mentioning my beloved hoodie. I already presented a monologue about them in January- but I wanted to point them out again. You should try making them.

Heathered fabrics would look great as hoodies, as you see below. Try playing with color and contrast - note how the example below has two tones of grey, and uses cream accents at the seams, zipper, and hood/lining. Try it for yourself!

Sandals and flip-flops. Several Etsians make AG shoes and I am sure others out there make them for themselves.

Our tip for all you shoemakers: Think about your buyer/user.

We do occasionally buy shoes that are wild, exciting, and made from boldly colored fabrics. However, in general when buying shoes we are looking for things that will "go" with a lot of different outfits. There is a reason human shoes are mostly neutral colors - browns, tans, blacks, ivories, whites, greys. You buy a pair of white sandals and a pair of brown ones and you are pretty much set for the summer - they go with all of your outfits.

So: Think about your buyer/user. What type of outfit are your shoes going to be paired with? And how can you make your shoes "go" with the most outfits? You want to offer shoes that offer versatility. If someone only owns one outfit that your pair of shoes goes with - they probably won't splurge on the shoes.

Minimize embellishments and chose one color. Try white or brown strappy sandals. Look for that fake leather fabric and make your straps from that. Use subtle accents like braided straps, and straps with stitching to make your sandals stand out from the crowd. Realism is key. Look at human shoes and mimic their materials, muted colors, and styles.

Okay I am done standing on my soap-box for today.

I hope this Trends to Sew post has been useful/enlightening.

And if you are thinking, "Man, she is bossy and opinionated!" - That is kind of the point. ;-)

Have a wonderful evening everyone and stay tuned for more bloggy awesomeness!

Part Seven of Maple's Literary Effort Posted

Well, Maple has been posting one part of her story each month. She wants to speed that up - but life gets in the way. Part Eight is already in the works though!

Here is Part Seven: Please enjoy!

Also, there is some interest in a writing contest for our readers - that's you!

Anyone else like this idea?

Would an AG gift card be a good prize for that?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Activity Three Winners Announced!

After much deliberation....

The final two winners of the 2012 Grand Photo Contest are announced today!


Congrats to....

Photo Number Five


Photo Number Fifteen

Thank you for entering everyone!

There were so many great pics - It was very difficult to choose winners for this round! It was a tough competition!

Don't be disappointed if you didn't win - we'll have other photo contests and doll giveaways soon! Even doll clothing giveaways - once we get ourselves organized. :-)

Coming up next for this contest is "The Final Round" where our 6 winners will compete to determine who will win a brand-new doll and who will get zee gift cards. One winner gets the doll and the other 5 get $20 AG gift cards!

Once we email the two Activity Three winners -- all six winners will have a little over 2 weeks to come up with their Final Photo and submit it to us. Oooo, exciting!

Remember the Final Round is about creativity!

Thanks so much for making this contest awesome everyone!

Monday, March 12, 2012

AG's Pretty Party Dress and LA Extras


Nope - before you ask we haven't decided on the winners yet for Activity Three. But we will soon. So stay tuned.

For now, be entertained with our last post for the "Week of Maple."

Today Maple is wearing AG's Pretty Party Dress (which they released for Valentine's 2012). It comes with the high-heel wedgy, strappy sandals, the heart (plastic) ribbon necklace, and a Valentine with an envelope.

It is a pretty dress and a nice pair of shoes. The necklace is kinda cheap, but eh, whatevs. We certainly like this style dress a lot more than the "Petals & Posies" light greenish blue dress they just released. When we saw that dress in person it looked a bit youngish for us. This style is much more "us."

Is this worth $28?

Not by a long shot - But if you a) absolutely love it to death or b) see it on sale -- then go for it. We got it because we were interested in having a smocked-top sundress, and it is a nice red dress for V-Day that isn't 100% pinkness.

Maple's accessories are a black pair of long fingerless gloves from Jeanne Marie's Etsy shop, and a pair of silky black leggings from Ebay (Sophie's Collection). She wanted to look like a Goth girl dressed for Valentine's Day. ;-)

The "LA Extras" are some of the souvenirs we picked up while there. Maple spotted the pirate-themed Lalaloopsy mini doll and asked for that - Patch's Treasure Hunt.

Other AG dolls with blogs and FB pages have mini Lalaloopsies, so Maple has been pretty jealous of that. She is happy now though.

While we were exploring the Getty museum shops and the LA Philharmonic shop we found: the four mini blank books, a mini hand-cranked music box that plays a snippet of the Pink Panther, a mini bassoon, and a tiny set of colored pencils that also includes an eraser and pencil sharpener.

You also see a tiny camera that makes snapshot sounds and flashes (which we found at Kitson), two mini Tabasco sauce bottles we got with room service, and a coin purse from Kitson that the dolls want to use as a tote bag. :-)

Thanks for visiting us today!

The next blog post will announce the Activity Three winners. :-)

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