Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring Reviews: Sunshine Gardening Bench

The Sunshine Gardening Bench is the ideal accessory/set piece. The bench is compact, easy to set up, and the accessories offer many options in terms of posing and playing.


The bench comes with two flowering plants in soil, two flower pots, a birdhouse, watering can, spade, a miniature beehive, two packets of pretend seeds, three paper butterflies, and a sheet of ladybug stickers.


The flowers are primary made of fabric and wire. The flowers are somewhat fragile--one of the orange flower heads may need to be re-glued before long.


The soil is realistic looking and features little worms!


The little bird is firmly glued inside, I tried, but it is not going to come out of its home.


Watering can is plastic and technically could hold and pour water.


The bench has two hooks for tools but offers only a single spade. This feels like a cost-cutting measure that is quite frustrating at this price point.


The paper products are cute. I have not constructed the paper butterflies yet and I may save this treat for next spring.


The ladybugs are intensely cute. I wish I had an extra set of the ladybugs--I hate to break into this pristine set of stickers just yet.


I am quite satisfied with this set even with the issues of the fragile flower head threatening to fall off and their head-scratching decision to skip the second gardening tool for that other hook. 


Overall, I give the Sunshine Gardening Bench an A-. The compact footprint of the bench means it is easy to display and just as easy to store. I also love how it coordinates with the Sunshine Garden Outfit and I look forward to finding other ways to play and coordinate with this bench.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Spring Reviews: PWP Teal Print Dress

Normally I have the will power to pass the in-store "purchase-with-purchase" (PWP) specials. I was definitely on the fence about putting the Teal Print Dress in my red bag, but two reasons tipped the scales. First, this particular PWP ensemble comes with shoes, unlike the past few offerings. And second, I knew I had a poppet at home eager to get out of her canon outfits and into something playful.


Tuula (aka Grace) is wearing the Teal Print Dress and purple garden clogs (they look a bit like crocs).


The dress is a lightweight cotton knit that closes in back with velcro and comes with an attached purple ribbon at the waist. The bottom hem is serged for a casual look.


The front of the dress has purple faux-rhinestones attached.


The shoes are made of a soft rubber and are casual--they'd work as garden clogs, poolside shoes, or anything one might do in crocs.



The Teal Print Dress ensemble is simple and unassuming. The PWP price for this outfit is $14, still a bit pricy for an oversized tee-as-dress and rubber shoes, but if you want a quick, breezy outfit for an afternoon spent out in the sunshine, this is a perfect fit. Overall grade: B+

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spring Reviews: Boho Beachy Swimsuit

Today's Spring Review is of the new Boho Beachy Swimsuit and the coordinating Beachy Hair Beads set.


The "boho" swimsuit set comes with a one piece swimsuit featuring an aqua ruffle and beads on one of the shoulder straps (see last photo) and flip-flop sandals also with beads. The suit slipped on like a dream. Freyja (aka Kanani) was thrilled to have a new suit for her beachside adventures.


The orange and purple beads are attached to the sandal in the back. The shoes took less than a minute to slip on--the elastic of the back straps and in the ankle bracelets have plenty of give, so the process only took a little bit of coordination. I figure any AG shoe that can be put on in under a minute and without any tools is acceptable.


The Beachy Hair Beads decorative pieces are offered separately. I have mixed thoughts about this set. It is great they are offered separately for anyone simply wanting the hair beads for play without having to purchase the swimsuit--but the beads are so clearly coordinated with the swimsuit that it should have been bundled (and offered at a fraction of the cost).


The two strands are slightly different in design--above is one of the two. The top flower clasps easily into the hair, but the clasp overall seems fragile.


Note the extremely fragile and thin plastic "hinge" of the flower shaped clasp. This hinge is quite vulnerable and requires gentle hands for opening and closing. 


The Boho Beachy Swimsuit lived up to all expectations. The coordinating Beachy Hair Beads are super cute, but pricy for what is included especially considering the fragility of the clasp.

Boho Beachy Swimsuit: A
Beachy Hair Beads: C+

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spring Reviews: Sunshine Garden Outfit

Spring is here and the girls are breaking out the skirts and shorts to celebrate. A new offering this spring from AG is the Sunshine Garden Outfit.


Today's poppet is Lilja, a lovely #55. Her outfit consists of a knitted tee with an asymmetrical neckline, checkered shorts, bright lime-green sandals and a purple flower hair tie.


The sandals sold the outfit for me--the lime-green is fresh! The buckle is decorative and the shoes secure with velcro under the ankle strap.


Second favorite after the sandals is the canvas checked shorts. The pattern and colors honestly remind me of a pair my father wore back in the early 1970s--definitely a vintage/nerd factor that is so retro as to be cool again. Note the real pockets!


The flower hair tie is pretty standard and not essential, but I was glad to have it for my poppet's hair.


Solveig (aka Saige) joined in for a bit of fun with mix-n-match, and we discovered a green tee in the closet that was a perfect fit for this outfit. The "Nature Girl" tee is from GOTY Lanie's collection. 


Solveig and Lilja are poppet-sisters, but hate dressing matchy-matchy. So swapping out the tee on one of the outfits was a perfect solution.


The Sunshine Garden Outfit is super cute and bright. I am not a big fan of the exposed serged edges of the tee and would have preferred a symmetrical tee, but this is not a big issue overall. The winning pieces are the shorts and shoes:  the shorts have great mix-n-match potential and the lime-green shoes offer a huge kick of color. A.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Spring Reviews: Kit's Chicken Keeping Set

Has everyone else been dazzled by last month's release of new BeForever Limited Edition outfits and so much more? I confess I was overwhelmed by having so many great new outfits to choose from in the BF lines, not to mention a great deal of fun from the modern line as well.

I did bring home several outfits from the spring release, but I must start with my favorite: Kit's Chicken Keeping Set.


The Chicken Keeping Set is being modeled by Gjertrud (aka Kit). This Limited Edition outfit comes with overalls, a blouse, matching hair bow, buckled shoes, and of course, a little plush chicken which absolutely makes this outfit.

This gem of an ensemble was a birthday gift to me from my sister--we visited AGPSF just after the spring release and this was my first choice! While we missed out on the sale that just began on this outfit and other LE outfits, I am glad Gertrud isn't missing out on the fun since this outfit (at least online) is currently back ordered until the middle of April!


I love the sweetheart neckline of the bib and the arched line of the waist band. The subtle gathers are just right and add touch bit of femininity without going overboard. I admit that I generally try to steer away from outfits with prominent or flashy buttons, but this outfit does it right--the pink is a perfect splash. 

The buttons on the bib of the overalls are functional, though the floral blouse underneath uses a velcro close. The hair bow is made of the same fabric as the blouse and the knot/bow is permanent (the hair piece is gathered with elastic on the bottom).


The back of the overalls closes with velcro (buttons non-functional) and whether the straps are crossed or not, the fit is a bit baggy--though this does not detract much from the overall look. I believe much of this bag and sag is more a function of the awkwardly shaped backsides of AG dolls in general.


The shoes are a complete win. The leatherette material is supple but firm, the wingtip stitching detail is darling, and the strap attaches with velcro under the buckle. I was able to slip the shoes on and off easily.


The plush chicken! Too cute!



The wings are done smartly--I fluffed them out a bit to give them shape. I only wish I had a family of plushy chickens to add! How about a chicken coop, AG? I would faint with excitement!


A+. The colors in this ensemble are so flattering and the chicken is a cutie pie! This is a don't miss outfit!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

WWOG: Opening Night


Grace takes a twirl in front of the camera in her pink Opening Night outfit!


The Opening Night dress is tulle mesh over a sequins. The dress is set off by a velveteen waist band that is attached. I especially like the asymmetrical layered tulle detail on the skirt. The capped sleeves are lightly elasticized at the bottom and slip easily over her hands.


The shoes are excellently constructed and slip on easily. There are no buckles or velcro closures on the shoes--instead there is hidden elastic inside of the silvery straps.


The headpiece is jaunty and crisp. It is a bit over the top but in fitting with all of the Parisian themes, with the flared fan reminding me of hair pieces worn by can-can dancers.



Fun, festive, and flirty, this is an outfit that a bit forward but still retains a classic look. Construction was solid and the design of the shoes particularly good. Grade: A

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Etsy Corner: Kitty Hats by Guppy Kisses


Annika returns to model the darling Kitty Hats made by Guppy Kisses on Etsy. I first viewed these knitted kitten caps on an AG discussion forum and knew immediately that my girls would love them!


Guppy Kisses offers custom orders of these hat with several choices of color. I had such a hard time deciding on a color--plus several of my girls were clamoring for a Kitty Hat--so I ended up ordering three: a berry and a purple from a cotton/acrylic blend, plus a third lavender one knitted with a soft mohair blend.


One thing I really appreciate is when Etsy sellers take the extra time to smartly package their handmade products in a visually appealing way. Each hat from Guppy Kisses came in its own self closing plastic bag and she even included her stunning business card. These sorts of extra touches complete the shopping experience for me.


The craftsmanship is perfect--the stitches are even and the construction flawless. The fit of the hats was also perfect for my American Girl dolls.


Ingrid shows off the berry colored Kitty Hat.


Another view of the top and the little kitten ears. 


While Annika and Ingrid have made claims on the purple and berry hats, the lavender mohair hat will likely be worn by Lilja (#55), though she is still waiting for an outfit change out of her holiday dress! However, some plans are afoot for a giant slumber party and pajamas showcase, so we will have to see what will come next.

The Kitty Hats by Guppy Kisses are not to be missed! The seller was prompt in her communications and professionally delivered on this custom order which can be placed on Etsy at her shop. Cute and reasonably priced, not to mention very well made. A+