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

Astrid 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 Astrid 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+

Monday, January 12, 2015

WWOG: Paris Accessories

Grace Thomas' collection is somewhat unique in that it has two clothing based accessory sets. The first is the Welcome Gifts set which features Grace's pink beret. The other accessory set is her Paris Accessories set which features her polka-dot purse. While there are things to like in each set, neither is a major hit here--at the end of this post I will mix and match for a hypothetical perfect set.

The polka-dot purse construction and design are both great. The faux-leather strap is sturdy and the buckle construction looks realistic (though uses velcro for closure).

The purse is even lined and I very much appreciate that extra touch. I also appreciate how big and roomy this purse is--it feels like a purse made for travel. One could fit a map, a book, a camera, and all sorts of other touristy needs in it. 

However, my one complaint about the purse is that it is made of cotton, perhaps mimicking the coated cotton trend in upscale purses--but this polka-dot purse is primarily white and I am concerned about its ability to stay bright and white.

The Paris Accessories also comes with fingerless gloves with a bow detail.

The coin purse is underwhelming and cheaply constructed with a regular ribbon as a wristband. The coin purse does not close, so it is not a very realistic or practical mini purse. Even the metro pass barely fits into it.

I enjoy the credit card like metro pass as well as other similarly constructed offerings from AG such their library cards and bus passes.

Finally the set includes her lip gloss. I can not determine how or why it is that her lip gloss has her name on it. The cap does not come off, so this is a prop only. 

The lip gloss is cute, but it is primarily something to toss into her purse and forget... Though to be fair, when I was ten years old I was fairly obsessed with lip gloss. Anyone remember the giant sticks of Lip-Smackers by Bonne Bell in about ten thousand different flavors? How about the lip gloss sticks that came with attached chains and could be worn like necklaces?

The Paris Accessories are underwhelming overall, though the polka-dot purse is striking. In a similar way, I was also underwhelmed by Welcome Gifts set. If I could create a perfect small accessories set for Grace Thomas, it would consist of

*raspberry colored beret (matching Grace's Meet skirt and similar to Ivy's beret)
*raspberry or gray infinity scarf
*polka-dot purse
*working wallet or better constructed coin purse
*Metro card & euros

As is, with both of Grace's accessory sets I almost can create this perfect set. I am off to Etsy to search for an infinity scarf!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

WWOG: French Bakery - Part IV (Pastries & More)

So many accessories with the French Bakery! Today we are going to dive into the second and third goodie bags. Our accessory count so far stands at 20...

The second goodie bag is full of primarily baking sheets, pans, and utensils.

A mixing bowl branded with the La Patisserie logo.

Baking sheet. I really like the slight scalloped edges of the pan.

Torte pan.

Cupcakes pan--looks like the real thing, just smaller.

A faux-silver serving stand. This is quite light weight and plastic, but I think it will blend well in a full bakery scene.

The all important whisk and spatula.

Two fancy plates.

Four paper napkins (though I count this as a single accessory). They arrived slightly bent at the upper corner. The material used is similar to paper crepe and replacements could be made rather easily.

A half-dozen eggs. The eggs are not removable.

A single bottle of sparkling water. Really? Couldn't spring for at least a pair? I predict many parched customers for Grace.

One fancy serving tray.

And the final item of the second goodie bag is this super darling rolling pin. The accessory count now is at 34 (20 + 14).

The third goodie bag was filled with all the pastries for the shop. Again, I am unusually tickled by the "DO NOT EAT" stickers.

A slab of dough!

The dough makes a little more sense when paired with the rolling pin.

Raspberry macarons.

Red and silver sprinkles. The caps are glued on, which makes sense as the sprinkles are metallic confetti pieces. (DO NOT EAT! LOL)

Raspberry torte (x2)--this is an identical torte to the single one included in the Pastry Cart.

Chocolate torte (x2), another repeat from the Pastry Cart.

Key lime tart (x2)! Yum. This one does look almost good enough to eat.

Chocolate tart (x2) above and raspberry tart (x2) below are also repeats from the Pastry Cart. And the next few items are also repeats.

Four cupcakes.

More macarons.

Two baguettes.

Two croissants--finally something new again. These look amazing. The croissants complete the third goodie bag. The count for accessories is now at 60 (20 + 14 + 26). All we need is one additional accessory to meet American Girl's claim of "More than 60 Accessories!"

Look at what was hiding in the stove unit behind the bottom doors! A pink domed stand. It is quite alarmingly bright and plastic, but it gets the job done. 61! Ding! Ding! Ding!

The hard work is finally done. Next we get to set up and play with La Patisserie.