Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Waiting for Grace: Counting the Hours!

It is the very last day--indeed we are now counting the hours--of GOTY 2014 Isabelle's special year. So it seems only fitting that my own Isabelle poppets take a final turn in front the camera before passing the baton (beret?) to GOTY 2015 Grace Thomas.

Astrid and Ingrid have been searching the closet for something to wear for the January 1st visit to AGPSF to meet Grace Thomas in person. They also have they own shopping goals for the day--they have every intention of bringing their very own (mini) Grace home to play with and share between them. 

Weather reports for California say cool and brisk but with clear and sunny skies! 

Astrid and Ingrid (in front) are wearing the Sequined Star Tee, the very newest tshirt offering in AG "in store" only separates. They have paired the new tshirt with Purple Espadrilles.

The Sequined Star Tee has a unique detail on the tshirt with its flared peplum. Even the peplum itself has a design surprise and is constructed with two overlapping layers with slanted hemlines.

The white bermuda length shorts are an Etsy find. I ordered them this past summer when I realized our closet had very few shorts to pair up with our growing tshirt collection. AG makes very few "basic" jeans or shorts and often adds some overpowering detail to them (such as red embroidered stars on white jeans) so that they cannot be easily paired with other separates. 

The shorts were custom made by GrandmasDollCloset. They are made of a stretch twill with light elastic inside of the waistband. The shorts have four working pockets.

I was offered a choice of embroidered back pocket detailing in various color combinations, but that would have defeated the purpose of having shorts that could be paired with the widest array of tshirts! I chose a straight seam pocket detail in white. 

Note here also the back detail of the Sequined Star Tee's peplum--it is a very flattering and well fitted. One of my pet peeves is ill fitting tshirts that splay open in the back at the bottom hemline.

The Purple Espadrilles are adorable. I had passed them by for months as I could not think of a reason to add them to the closet. However they are a terrific match for the new Sequined Star Tee.

My one word of caution about these espadrilles is that they are quite tricky to get onto a poppet's foot. Luckily, I have a makeshift "shoe horn" I use for slipping the heels of certain shoes onto their feet. There is no possible way I could have managed otherwise! But with my shoe horn method these finally slipped on with relative ease.

The tag! So huge and comical. I was able to get the shoes on without removing it (and then it is hidden) so the tag will stay for now.

The Shimmer & Shine Purse is another brand new offering from AG, and at least for the moment, only available in store.

The purse is unlined, but this seems appropriate enough for how small it is and its relatively inexpensive price.

The purse has a double layer ruffle detail and three sparkling rhinestones. 

Both Astrid and Ingrid love the purse and think it is a perfect added touch to this outfit combination.

Astrid (right) and Ingrid have loved their special year. Next year should be just as awesome with all new adventures exploring what it means to have "twin" poppets--my first set of twins!

While our "Waiting for Grace" series is drawing to a close, Poppets & Posies plans to continue featuring GOTY dolls, both new and old. GOTY 2015 Grace will also have a special series dedicated to her (details forthcoming). Also expect more AGPSF Flash reports, clothing and accessory reviews, and a new feature focus!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Waiting for Grace: Pajamas Party

While my own poppets are busy finding holiday dresses for New Year's Eve, my sister's poppets are dressing down for a quieter evening at home.

Madeleine and Noelle are in the new Fair Isle Pajamas, their Christmas gift this year. They are warm in their thermal-knit pajamas tops and coordinating leggings and slippers. The set also comes with a single berry colored mini terry hairband (not pictured).

In taking photos of the girls, it occurs to me that I have no doll sized bed and pillows to use as set pieces. Until now it never was very high on my priority buying list and most AG beds are quite large in terms of storage or display. While the current Boutique Bed is darling (as well as many previous offerings) I think I'll keep an eye out for future releases. It may also be a fun craft and sewing project as well, time permitting.

Noelle enjoys her turn in front of the camera. The thermal-knit top with its waffle weave texture features tiny buttons and cross-stitch details

The slippers are closer to a cloth sock than an actual pair of structured booties and for some reason the girls have a hard time balancing in them. This is probably because the bottoms of the slippers are not extra thick like the soles on more structured footwear. The fur cuff is plush and soft.

The American Girl tag is sewn onto the left sleeve.

Madeleine and Noelle plan to wait up until midnight on New Year's Eve (actually, just until 10pm California time) to see the official online launch of GOTY 2015! Their plans for passing the time until they get their first official peek of Grace Thomas include popcorn and pop, a new Frozen dvd, and enjoying the glow from the Christmas tree.

How will your poppets be spending New Year's Eve?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Waiting for Grace: Holiday Dress Up

We are enjoying the last few days of holiday festivities with another poppet getting dressed for New Year's Eve. 

Ingabrittaa, who just a few weeks ago was wearing a Saint Lucia dress, has selected a party dress for the big night. Because multiple poppets live in my home, keeping them all dressed for the appropriate seasons, especially if there are multiple outfit changes within a season, is really quite time consuming! 

My usual path to sanity is to change the outfits of only one or maybe two dolls a week. But this month has been a special time with our Waiting for Grace series and wanting to properly welcome GOTY 2015 with a blog post per day during the month of December!

Ingabritta is modeling the Sparkle Party Dress from 2013.

The dress comes with cream colored tights, ruby red shoe, and a headband. The dress itself features a mesh overlay which is artfully fashioned into a "bubble skirt" style.

The satiny ribbon waistband features fabric rosettes.

The dress also features a deep cranberry colored rose fixed to the shoulder.

These glittery ruby red slippers could definitely be used in a "Dorothy" outfit!

And the final touch is a headband with a row of faux-diamonds.

Ingabritta, a MyAG 56, is really a rather charming and energetic poppet, even though her hair is ridiculously unruly. We have done our best with the short notice of her outfit change and photoshoot! I prefer her in dresses and outfits that seem younger, and the Sparkle Party Dress has a baby-doll silhouette.

I do not have a single complaint about this outfit--I love the design, the fabric choices, and the color. This dress is a quiet classic well suited for the younger set. A+

Sunday, December 28, 2014

AGPSF Flash: Searching for Isabelle

I had a few exchanges to do this year before Isabelle stock disappeared completely and headed up to AGPSF this afternoon. The store was doing brisk business, both in sales and returns/exchanges. My main objective was to exchange my recently purchased Metallic Dress since it had a long run in the lavender tights straight out of the box.

As I suspected, there were no more Isabelle dolls on the shelves anywhere. But surprisingly, there was a reasonable number of outfits available, and for the savvy shopper--all on sale.

On the left side of the back wall display was plenty of the Metallic Dress, so the exchange went smoothly. 

And on the right side of the back wall was plenty of the Sparkle Dress.

But no Isabelle dolls! Normally, the bottom shelf was full.

And no Isabelle dolls under the dvd display.

And around the corner where Isabelle's Studio used to be displayed, there are no Isabelle dolls on the top shelf anymore.

However, quite a few of Isabelle's items were still on the shelves, including

Isabelle's Accessories
Purple Leotard
Scrunch Pants
Funky Leggings
Performance Outfit
Metallic Dress
Sparkle Dress
Makeup Box

The girl sized clothing and accessories were down to just a few handfuls in random sizes--and I saw quite a few moms with the girl sized clothing in their hands waiting to check out. 

There were also only a handful of the girl sized Jewelry Box left, perhaps less than ten. The dwindling supply of all the Isabelle goods is just a reminder of the excitement just around the corner.

I plan to be in line at 10am on January 1st! Will you be going to your local American Girl Store on the 1st?

Waiting for Grace: Holiday Parties

The holidays must go on! My twin Isabelle poppets, Astrid and Ingrid have selected holiday outfits to wear for the big end of year party. Thanks to my sister's Christmas gift, we now have long winter white wool coats to pair with holiday dresses.

Ingrid (left) is wearing the 2013 Brocade Holiday Dress paired with the winter white wool coat from the 2014 Limited Edition Ruby Red Ball Gown set. Astrid is wearing the 2014 Happy Holiday Dress also paired with the same 2014 Limited Edition winter white wool coat.

The fur collar add a softness and luxurious touch to the holiday dresses.

The cream color of the brocade dress is further softened by the off-white coat. The mixing of gold and silver highlights seems to work.

The 2014 winter release from AG featured rhinestones on multiple outfits. Here the rhinestones on the coat coordinates perfectly with the rhinestone detail on the blue holiday dress.

Ingrid and Astrid pose for a selfie.

The girls are now ready for New Year's Eve activities! We hope you enjoyed this Mix & Match edition of Poppets & Posies.

What are your poppets wearing for the remainder of the holidays? Will they be dressing up and going out or dressing down and staying home?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Waiting for Grace: Isabelle Sparkles

Less than a week? I haven't even completed the Christmas whirlwinds of activity and GOTY 2015 is appearing in just five days! New photos of Grace keep showing up on social media sites and even Amazon now has the book cover images up. The more I see of Grace, the more I am enamored. Will she come home with me on January 1st?

So these are truly the waning days of GOTY 2014 Isabelle's reign. But what better way to celebrate her year than to engage in some dress up fun?

Look at what my husband picked up for me from AGPSF. I had been resigned to not getting Isabelle's Sparkle Dress, especially after it sold out online as well as in our local store. But a late restock at AGPSF had me reconsider--it was the last outfit of Isabelle's that had not made it home. My husband was a doll and he made a second trip back to the store just to put this under the Christmas tree!

Isabelle's Sparkle Dress was a late release (late spring) and initially did not catch my eye. I also thought the stretchy sequin material of the leotard construction a bit strange. But once this dress was out of its box and displayed at home, I changed my mind completely. I love it!

I think the crowning touch is the hair piece--its delicate mesh and sparkle "wings" shimmer in the right light. AG packaged this piece smartly by affixing it to a piece of cardboard for transport.

Because I still have both of my Isabelle dolls with their original hair twists, the hair piece sits easily and securely in her hair.

The outfit also comes with cotton ballet slippers trimmed with silver sequins. I could see immediately out of the box the slippers were two different sizes--a bad batch. The larger shoe slipped on easily, but the second smaller shoe was a struggle.

I was hoping it was just my imagination, but below one can see how the slipper covers the toes entirely on the one foot but not on the other. I don't think this is enough of an issue to exchange the whole outfit just for better matched slippers--but it does bother me and I do feel it falls outside of acceptable variances of manufacturing for the prices AG demands.

The dress also comes with a clear beaded bracelet on a deep salmon colored elastic ribbon with a tiny bow. The bracelet is well constructed, easy to get on and off, but is rather unremarkable.

Yet in spite of the issues I have with the slippers, I was able to set them aside when I saw how charming and happy my poppet looked in this dress. The rosy salmon pink is a delightful color against her skin and hair color. This dress on Ingrid (my Isabelle I) makes me want to learn how to set up and take better photographs so I can really capture the magic of this dress. 

Because of the questionable quality of the ballet slippers--even though I really do love the dress and hairpiece--I feel compelled to lower its review grade to an A-.

And while it may take some time and study and might not happen until well into the new year, I will revisit this outfit at some point for a new photoshoot in order to better capture its full and magical effect on my poppet.