Jam Session!

Before Kira actually started classes with the gang in their pod, Mimi thought it might be nice for her to meet another member of the group.  She invited Wendy and Kira over to hang out one Saturday.

The first thing Kira noticed in Mimi’s bedroom were her Minion wall decorations!  (yes, these are new and I’m not sure how well they are going to work as they tend to reflect light a bit too much…hmmm…)  “I love Minions! Those are so cool!”  “Thanks, I do too.  You’ll love our friend Cassandra, she has a HUGE collection of Minions!”

“Guys, I have something really cool to show you, I just got it this week!”

Mimi pulled a big black backpack out of the corner of her room.  “Oooo, I can’t wait to see it!” said Wendy.

Mimi laid the bag on the floor and unzipped it.  “OH wow!!! A small xylophone bell set and a drum pad!!  That’s so cool, I used to play the xylophone at my old school” said Kira excitedly.

“Would you like to try it out Kira, I haven’t really messed with it much yet” replied Mimi.  “SURE!!!”

Kira definitely knew how to play, she was really good.

Then Mimi suggested a jam session.  They made a makeshift stand out of her flute case for the drum pad so that Wendy could join too. Mimi grabbed her guitar.

The girls had a really great time playing together!

“I’m so glad you invited me over, this is so much fun!”

I think Kira is going to fit right in with the gang, don’t you?

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I picked up the percussion kit from AG a few months ago, I used some of my rewards cash from the purchase of the surf van towards it.  I knew I wanted this as soon as I saw it, it’s really a cute set!

I love the handles on the drumsticks and mallets.  I’ve had some other items with straps on that didn’t work out so well, but these ones are perfect.  You can get them realistically positioned.  Now I finally have decent drumsticks for Jenny when The Beacons get back to playing too!

The bag is well thought out, even pockets to hold both sets of sticks!  Everything fits in it easily too.

And it can be worn as a backpack.

Mimi currently has this now sitting in the corner of her bedroom with her guitars.  That corner is getting a bit crowded now!  The xylophone/bells are actually playable although I haven’t quite perfected hitting them to get the best tone.  Practice, practice, practice!  The only thing I didn’t like about this set is that you are expected to use the same stand to hold the drum pad.  Thus the reason Wendy had to use an upturned flute case instead.  I’m going to have to come up with something else because unfortunately, they made the stand out of plastic and I don’t know how well it would withstand frequent assembly/disassembly over time.  This is my only criticism of this set, otherwise, I think it’s awesome!

The Beacons might have a little competition at this rate…

Surf’s Up!

I’m curious–what do you think about them not discontinuing the prior year’s GOTY immediately when the year ends?  I personally like it, and it’s a great for someone who maybe has a serious budget to follow when it comes to doll purchases.  I never thought a year was really very reasonable, especially when you factor in some of the pricier sets.  The only drawback I’ve seen is predicting which items are going to sell out and not be replenished.  I’m sure glad I got Joss’s Surf Van when I did!

A friend gifted me something to go with the van for Christmas (thank you!)–and I decided I’d better write about it while it was still available–her wetsuit!  I had been tempted to get her swim set, but then realized that it was very similar to what I already had for Lea and I’m trying to avoid a lot of duplications of stuff now.  The wetsuit though is just a very cool item to have and I debated on it when placing several orders.  Now I don’t have to debate on it anymore!

The fit is really good on it, and the fabric they picked to make it out of is a good facsimile for the real thing, definitely not as heavy though.

Love the little logo on it!

A view from the back.  It is a bit of a wrestling match to get it on due to the fit being snug and it being a one piece item, but I think it definitely adds to the realism.

After I got Wendy all dressed in it and photographed, I realized she needed an apres surf outfit!  I knew exactly what I needed…

I dug out the jacket that came with Wendy when I got her and the closest thing I have to UGG boots for the dolls.  She’s set!  Now, before you question this–did you know that UGGs have been a part of surf culture since the 1970’s?  The original versions weren’t a bit attractive as they were sort of cobbled together out of leftover materials, nicknamed “ugly, ” then abbreviated to “ughs’ or uggs.  And a brand was born.  They didn’t really catch on in fashion until the late 1990’s/early 2000’s.  Bet you didn’t think you’d be reading a doll blog and learn some shoe history, did you??  I’m really surprised that AG didn’t include a set in Joss’s collection to be honest, but they seemed to be way more focused on the cheer side of the story…ugh.  😉

If you’d like to read more about these, here’s a great link: http://foottalk.blogspot.com/2005/06/a-short-history-of-ugg-boots.html  I’ve actually owned two pairs of authentic UGGS over the years and they are comfy and warm.  They aren’t cheap, luckily I came across mine on clearance at TJMaxx.  I think now they are not as in style, but they are still a good boot if you want something warm for winter.  I waterproofed mine with silicone spray so they didn’t end up with salt stains on them.  Not much chance of surfing in this part of Pennsylvania though.

Uh…no. Try again AG.

When I placed a recent order with American Girl, I picked up a set from their clearance items that I’d been curious about.  The Star and Snow Dress caught my eye several months earlier when it first appeared in their sale items, but I kept putting it off.  Several other people I follow had picked it up and I thought it was really cute.  Plus I’m a sucker for plaid.

The set includes the dress, shoes and headband.  When I got the headband and shoes out, I cringed a bit.  I was hopeful that maybe I was wrong.

Well, the dress is cute.  Rebecca volunteered to model it for me.  It fits well and I was pleased to see that the snowflakes are actually embroidered on.  And it has long sleeves!  I will say it was a bit of a struggle to get the Velcro closed in the back, it was a snug fit. I really like the length of this dress, it’s not super short like so many of the recent holiday dresses.

The shoes however… (insert scream here.)

They are solid plastic, remind me of Our Generation shoes.  Not even nice Our Generation shoes, really crappy Our Generation shoes.  They are stiff and difficult to put on, I would be afraid after repeated putting on and taking off, they would leave shine marks on the doll.  And the glitter comes off.  Before it was over with, I had glitter on the dress, my pants, my hands.  No, no, no.   This is not acceptable.

The headband sucks too, but AG headbands as a rule do anyhow.  I wasn’t expecting much.  Someone needs to redesign these, they aren’t long enough.

Here is a photo of the bottom of the shoes, you can see where some of the loose glitter ended up there.  I’m not impressed.  I put the shoes and the headband in a plastic bag and sealed it up.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do with these.  I MIGHT try and figure out a way to strip the glitter off these shoes, but not sure it’s worth that much effort.

Fortunately, I only paid about $12 for this set since I had a rewards coupon to use towards my order, it has been selling for $14 in their sale online.  I’m not exactly sure what this set was made for originally, thinking perhaps a “Purchase With Purchase” offer in stores.  I recommend the dress, it’s very cute, but the shoes and headband are a big fat no from this collector.  I hate glitter on a good day and I don’t want it all over me or my doll stuff.  Glitter is the herpes of the craft world for a good reason.  It’s not often I throw away part of a set, (in fact, I don’t think I ever have) but these items may just end up in my trash can before it’s over with.  I feel a bit like Joan Crawford saying this but “NO MORE PLASTIC SHOES…OR GLITTER!!”