Are you familiar with Toobs? In case you aren’t, let me enlighten you. Toobs are collections of different themes of plastic figures, made by Safari Ltd. They are the same folks who bring you some of the highly detailed plastic animals and figures you sometimes see in craft stores and toy stores. They are very similar to Schleich (if you are familiar with them), but a little less expensive. Toobs are called such because they are sold in plastic tubes with a theme, and usually contain 8 – 12 figures. I’d seen them around, but really hadn’t paid much attention until a post I saw at AG Design/Craft/Create where she made pet enclosures using them. I thought it was a great idea and kept my eyes open the next few times I was out and about.

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I did finally come across these sets at my local craft store, they usually run around $10, give or take a buck or two.  They had a nice selection, and I was excited to find the pet set I mentioned.

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The pet set includes a hamster, mouse, parakeet, goldfish, lizard, hedgehog, turtle, frog, cat, dog, ferret and a rabbit. I thought the detail was very good on all of the items. Not all of them are proportioned for 18 inch dolls, I felt that the hamster, parakeet, turtle and lizard were the best suited though. Here is Marie-Grace with some of the menagerie crawling on her!
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Here she is with the cat, dog, ferret and rabbit–they are just a bit small, but I suspect they would probably work well with the mini dolls, particularly the cat and the dog.
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I really hadn’t thought too much about buying another set of these until I came across a couple of sets on clearance at Hobby Lobby for $5.99.  Looking through them, I came across one called “Around the World”, with buildings from several different historical locations.  It included the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, Arch of Triumph, Statue of Liberty, Temple of Inscriptions, Pyramids of Giza, Empire State Building, Big Ben, and the Parthenon.  I thought it would be a fun thing to have since some of the girls have personal connections to several of these buildings, plus it would be nice for a school room set up.  At that price I couldn’t pass it up!

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If you look closely, you can see we have a bit of a problem: ours came with the Leaning Tower of Eiffel, and the poor Statue of Liberty looks as though she has gotten tired of holding that darned torch. Wouldn’t you if you’d been holding it for as long as she has? Either that, or she’s doing yoga moves when no one was looking. Caught ya Lady Liberty!!!! I’m hoping that some hot water will help me get these buildings straightened out.

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Here is Marie-Grace with the Arch de Triumph, she thought Alya might enjoy it!
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After purchasing this set, I went to their website–oh my! So many themes in these sets ranging from animals, buildings, even Civil War recreation sets. They also sell bulk bags on the website which would be nice for teaching purposes. There were several sets that I thought would be fun to have. I also saw mentioned somewhere that these are nice for traveling with kids as they aren’t large and they are self contained in the storage containers. Huge plus!

If you haven’t checked them out before, you really should. Safari Ltd.   I’ve seen sets in Pat Catans, Hobby Lobby, Michaels and on Amazon.  Happy looking!

Grandma’s Camera

Louisa was sitting at the dining room table a few days ago, obviously upset about something.  Her grandpap asked her if everything was okay.  “Oh, I’m just frustrated.  My camera isn’t working right.  It’s an old one that belonged to mom that she let me have and I think it’s just wearing out.  Now that I have Eddie back, I really wanted to be able to take pictures of him to send to dad.”  “That’s the drawbacks of things these days” replied Grandpap, “they just don’t last like they used to.”  Louisa told him that she had been trying to think of something she could do to earn some money so she could buy herself a new one, she loved taking pictures.  Grandpap told her to “hold that thought”-then he left the room.

When Grandpap came back, he was holding a camera in his hands.  Louisa immediately recognized it.  “That’s Grandma’s camera isn’t it?”  “Yes, and it’s been sitting in the living room cupboard since she died.  I’m not much for taking pictures, but I think she would be thrilled to know that you were using it” replied Grandpap.  “OH MY GOSH!  Thank you SO much Grandpap!” squealed Louisa.  She gave him a huge hug and said “I will be sure to take very good care of it!”

Later on, Louisa took Eddie into the hallway so she could try out the camera.
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The first few shots didn’t come out so great…
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But as she got used to it, they improved  It was just a matter of getting him to sit still long enough to get a good shot.  He definitely had other things on his mind!
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Finally she managed to get Eddie to sit and she got a good shot that she could send her dad:
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“It’s not perfect,” she sighed, “but it’s going to have to do for now.  Getting you to hold still is a challenge!”

Before she quit so she could go work on her homework, she decided to try out the self-timer feature on it so she could get a picture of her and Eddie together.  It took a couple of tries, but eventually she got a good one.
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“Check it out Eddie, that’s you and me!  You’re so cute!”  “Well of course I’m cute” thought Eddie.  “I’m the cutest dog on the planet, geesh!  Goofy humans.”