Tuesday, January 8, 2013

American Girl Crafts Extravaganza

These pics are from a couple of years ago. See, G wanted to have her birthday party at the paint your own pottery place. So I reserved it. Then she decided she wanted an American Girl party. To which I had to say no, the other has already been paid for. My compromise was she could have one friend stay the night of her actual birthday (we'd put her party off a few weeks so her Daddy could come) and we'd do some crafts for her dolls. She picked a friend who loves crafting and dolls and we invited her. Then we hit the craft store for ideas and small dolly things. Above is a sample of the crafts the girls (and I) did that night.
 We found the guitars at Micheal's. They were simply paint your own wood all-hangings. The girls used markers instead of paints to decorate them. The ribbon hanger was already attached for the strap. The butterfly hairclips came from Claire's in the baby section.
We got some knee socks and cut them to make dresses as shown here. (Please, I saw this idea somewhere but cannot find it for the life of me now. If you know where it is, please let me know so I can update and give credit. That was my intent. Ah, what did we do before Pinterest?) We discovered the toe part of the sock makes a great hat. Small cuts of the socks make great headbands, too. I also made the sandals from sticky back fun foam and ribbon. I made these for the girls while they were working on other things, letting them pick their ribbons and foam colors. We used the glittery foam because, well, we like it. We found the small baskets and decorated them for Easter baskets.
 Sock toe hats are good for Honey, too. He also got a finger-knitted scarf and a pipe cleaner leash.
 We found these hair bands with flowers that make great doll bracelets at Claire's in the little girl section. We also found some Silly Bandz rings for bracelets for the dolls.
 We made an attempt at a campfire using a real stick I trimmed from a tree and some fun foam. We have modified this project over the years. I'll have to post a more recent pic. We also took small sticks and stuck packing styrofoam from AG boxes on the end for marshmallows. I believe I saw that idea in the Doll Play book once.
 We made tutus using a sturdy adult hairband for the waist and some blue tulle we had for the tutu. We just tied tons of the tulle around the hairband. It got a little wild with all that tulle.
 G taught her friend how to finger knit and they made these doll scarves while they watched a movie.
Our s'mores kit. The girls made food with polymer clay. One project was completed s'mores (right) and chocolate bars (middle) to go with our roasting marshmallows.

This evening was the beginning of our American Girl crafting bug. More to follow.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Seattle American Girl Store Trip

We made a family trip to the Seattle American Girl Store to celebrate G's birthday a little early. When I planned it, I didn't necessarily mean to put it on Saige's debut day - it was more a matter of being able to get a sitter for our elderly dog and being able to get a room at the Residence Inn on the American Girl package they have. It just worked nicely that we drove up on the first. Once I realized that, I made sure we got there in time for the festivities.

We arrived about 11 o'clock. I was not surprised by the number of people in the store. I was surprised by the number of people in line! The Seattle store is not huge but the line went from the registers all the way to the hair counter. They had it well planned, however, with enough temporary line guides, all the registers open and someone at the front of the line directing people. The line seemed to move quickly. They had plenty of Saige items on hand except for the Painting Set, which was already sold out by the time we got there. We got our free Saige t-shirt as we arrived, checked out Saige and went to the activities. First, G made a horse collage. Then she did the scavenger hunt, which was about being creative. When she finished, she got a Saige poster. She made a little hot air balloon. She then participated in the drawing lesson they had. Each child got a little Saige Drawing Pad for this.

 The Saige photo op - a very cute hot air balloon. That's my G with Emily in her Holiday Outfit.

We did wait in line for Saige's Sparkle Dress, although by the time we got to it, the line was half as long as before. At lunch, Emily had to try the new dress on and get a pic with Saige and her hot air balloon. That thing is super cute but is HUGE. We did some other shopping (Lego Store, Disney Store, Hobby Lobby) before heading to the hotel. I booked the American Girl Package at the Residence Inn about a block from the AG Store as a surprise.
 Here G is checking Emily in to the hotel.
 This is the bed and goodies left for the girl and doll. The bed has a pillow and blanket. There were two milks in our fridge to go with the cookies. Because this is a Residence Inn, there was a full galley-style kitchen. We had eaten such a big lunch at Macaroni Grill, my husband ran to the grocery and we cooked a small dinner in the hotel.
 The letter and map of the AG store in our room.
 And a special pink pillowcase for the real American Girl.
 The bed folds over to make a chair. Here Emily is enjoying some New Year's Day football.
 Emily all tucked in for the night.
G, Emily and her pink breakfast waffle. Breakfast was included in the room, with a pink waffle for the American Girl.

 The next morning we headed back to the store. We shopped a little in the less-crowded conditions and then ate lunch in the Bistro. Above is the special Saige menu they had - smoothies, sparkler, milkshake, and a dessert.
 They sang "Happy Birthday" to my birthday girl. She enjoyed her trip. Below are her purchases with her Christmas money and the birthday outfit she chose.
 Kanani wearing Saige's Sparkle Dress.
 Felicity in the Saige t-shirt.
Closeup of the Saige t-shirt.

Emily wearing Josefina's Holiday Outfit.

 Elizabeth in Caroline's Holiday Outfit. While the headband with the hairpiece is kind of fun and was a good fashion history lesson, Elizabeth is our only blond doll so the only one who will look right wearing it. Wish the gold part and hairpiece part were separate.

 Cecile in her Parlor Outfit with the Lacy Parasol. She is wearing the outfit with the crinoline.

All in all, it was a very fun trip and I am glad we did it. My daughter had a great time. The hotel was nice and the package had some very cute things in it. The Girl of the Year Debut was a fun thing to see also, even if we weren't there to buy the doll. There were plenty of fun activities to spark her imagination.