Merry Christmas to me! (A minor splurge…)

I think by now most of you know that Kit is my homegirl.  I don’t know why, but I think it’s primarily because the time period she grew up in is the same one my mom did.  And it’s not just the stories I love, but all of the cool things that they’ve made over the years for her as well.  I’ve got more of Kit’s collection than any other doll, and I’m hoping to keep adding to it with some of the things I missed out on as well as (hopefully) new items they come out with.

One of those things I missed out on was her laundry set.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at it on Ebay and almost went ahead and bought it.  But the price was a bit more than I felt like spending, and seriously, how much would I actually use it.  A few weeks before Christmas I decided to do a bit of looking.  That’s always a dangerous thing, but this time it actually worked out.  I found an auction that wasn’t ridiculous, kept an eye on it–and no one bid against me!!!

Just look at it, whooo hoo!  It is missing the smaller pieces–a box of laundry soap, a laundry basket, apron and two little towels, but for the price I got it for, I don’t even care.  $55 and that included the shipping to my house!  I can make two little towels and an apron, I’m sure I can find a cute wicker basket at some point and as far as the laundry soap–I’m going to be honest, that isn’t all that historically accurate.  Yes, laundry soap existed, but it was more of a luxury item during the depression.  I remember my mom talking about taking a bar of Fels Naptha or other similar kind of soap and having to grate it into the water.  And if you were really struggling, chances are you were making your own soap out of grease drippings saved from dinner!  (In case you are curious about making your own soap from scraps, go here: https://littlehouseinthesuburbs.com/2008/10/if-youre-saying-to-yourself-ivory-i.html)  Something tells me that the Kittredge’s were probably making their own soap.  So I don’t care if I ever have the box.  I’ll make a little bar of soap out of clay.

Let’s see some close ups!!!

First the drying rack:

This little piece is pretty awesome, it folds down for storage just like a real one would.  I was surprised to see that it was made out of plastic though, for some reason I thought these items were made out of wood.  I remember having one of these in our basement for years.  My mother-in-law had one too.  (and now I’m suddenly wondering where that went to when we cleaned out their house…)

Next up–the ironing board and iron.

These are both cute pieces.  Again, plastic instead of wood.  And they didn’t make it so it folds up, that would have really impressed the heck out of me!  But it’s very cute and sturdy, much more so than the one I got with my modern day laundry set from Our Generation.  The iron is nice as well, it is metal and plastic and actually has some weight to it.

And now…the piece you’ve all been waiting for!  The washer!!!

Okay, so maybe YOU weren’t waiting for this, but let me tell you folks, this is what sold this set for me.  Why, you ask?  Well, I’m going to confess something here that might shock some of you, but it’s the honest to god’s truth, and if you don’t believe me, I’ll have my nephew Matt come on here and post confirmation (he loved helping me do laundry with it, strange kid).  Evil Twin can even vouch for it too.  Up until about 1996, this was the kind of washing machine I used!!  Yep!  I inherited my mom’s and used it until it couldn’t be used anymore, the wringer would no longer lock into place which made it very unsafe to use.  I finally broke down and bought a conventional top loading washing machine at that point, but we turned the old wringer style washer into the drain tub for it, so it still had a life well beyond 1996.  In fact, it was still in the house until 2010 when we sold it and had someone come remove it from the basement!

This replica is really well done, the wringers even turn if you crank the handle.  Better yet, the wringers are made out of a similar type material as what the real ones would have been.  However, at least with these ones, I don’t have to worry about accidentally running a hand through it!  (Yes, I did that one time, didn’t break anything, but it did hurt!  Thank heavens for the safety on them that popped at a certain point.)

On the bottom back side of the washer is a lever.  I wasn’t real sure what this was about until I moved it.  It makes the agitator spin!  And if you move it back and forth, the agitator goes back and forth, just like a real washer!

Overall, I’m really happy with my Ebay find!  The pieces I did get are in fantastic condition, the listing said it was from an adult owned collection.  I do find it odd that it was missing the smaller pieces if that was the case, but who knows.  It even had the original box but not the Styrofoam insert.  Not a problem, I wouldn’t be taking it apart to store it anyhow.

The bigger question is what am I going to do with it?!?!  I don’t usually buy doll stuff with no real purpose or storyline in mind, but this time I was willing to make an exception.  I suppose I could do a post with modern day Kit and her friends trying to figure out how to use it.  (If you’ve ever seen those videos where they show modern day kids trying to use items from the past, you know what I’m talking about. 😉 )  If it wasn’t so big, I’d be tempted to build a permanent type display for it, a vintage laundry room.  Just not sure where I could put it!  Regardless, I’m still glad I managed to get one at a decent price.

Review of Kit’s Radio Set

It’s no secret that I love Kit and her collection.  I think I have more of her items than any other doll.  I liked the Radio Set, but I wasn’t wild about the price, especially considering how much plastic there was in it.  The AG Gods finally smiled on me though and marked it down to half price.  It’s a set that definitely was not worth $42, but for $21, I was willing to take a chance on it.  To sweeten the deal, I had a $10 off rewards coupon and since I only ordered two items, it was like getting this for $16, whoo hoo!

The set includes the radio, the book “Robin Hood”, a baseball pennant and a cable to connect the radio to your own electronic device.

The radio is very cute.  I just wish it wasn’t so much plastic.

The knob on the left is how you get the different sounds to play.  The one on the right is the volume.  When you turn the one on the left, it not only changes what sound comes out (ranging from music to news broadcasts) but it also makes the needle move.  And…

It lights up!!  I thought that was very authentic.  There is also a button on the back where you can shut it off so you don’t have to worry about the batteries running down in case something bumps the knob.

The book is really well done.  American Girl definitely does mini books better than anyone else in doll land, and this is no exception.

I didn’t take any more photos of the pennant because it’s, well, a pennant.  It’s nice, and it fits in with Kit’s character.

Overall, I give this set a B+.  The only reason I didn’t rate it higher is because of the radio being entirely of plastic.  It wouldn’t have been that difficult for them to have made it out of wood, I used to have a music box shaped like a radio that was about this size that was made out of wood, and I know I didn’t pay anywhere close to $42 for it.  I’m just glad I got this set on sale!

March Bookgroup Read: Meet Kit

It’s time for our bookgroup discussion, and this month we are going to talk about the book “Meet Kit”.  I hope everyone was able to get their hands on a copy of it.  Even if you didn’t in time, you are still free to comment once you get the opportunity to read it.  That’s the beauty of the internet!

Kit’s story is my favorite of all the historicals.  I truly think the reason for this is Kit grew up in the same era as my mom did, and I can remember her telling stories of growing up during the depression.  The different stories told within the spectrum of the Kit books covers a number of issues that I remember my mom talking about.  Especially the part about people losing their homes and having to move in with other relatives or as boarders.  My mom grew up in a “blended” household made up of her, my uncle, my grandmother, and numerous aunts and uncles!

Some of the other things that I love about Kit’s stories: her desire to become a reporter, always trying to help out, and her desire for a treehouse. I remember thinking a treehouse would be one of the coolest things on the planet! Unfortunately we didn’t have any trees that really lent themselves to one, but a girl can dream. I also like her tomboyish qualities, and how she hates her frilly bedroom.

One thing that might be lost on younger readers today would be Kit’s owning a typewriter. Unlike today, where nearly every home has a computer of some sort, typewriters were not a common place item in any home. Even when I was a teenager, a typewriter was a big deal, I received one as a graduation gift. So her not just writing her newspaper stories, but also typing them up is a cute feature that I think makes her books and stories very unique for that particular era.

Now for the part I didn’t like–there is a historical section in the back part of the book where it talks about the Great Depression. It makes it sound like the only place it happened was in the United States, when in fact, it affected the entire world. Times were tough everywhere, and there were many places that things were as bad, if not worse, than in the United States. Just a little detail that bugged me.

While I was reading the section about the Great Depression, the Broadway musical and movie, “Annie” popped into my head.  There are several items mentioned that are addressed in songs–“We’d Like To Thank You Herbert Hoover” and “I Don’t Need Anything But You” both came to mind.  Perhaps another easy to absorb story to introduce young people to the Great Depression, and a lot of fun too!

Overall, I loved the story though, and I especially liked the detailed illustrations throughout. I also loved the inserts of Kit’s typewritten stories, I chuckled out loud at the drawing of Mrs. Willmore “beside herself”. My favorite line in the whole book is when Kit and Ruthie are talking about the newspaper and Kit says “This is supposed to be a newspaper, not a snoozepaper.”

Did you like “Meet Kit”?

Next month we will discuss “Isabelle”.  The book for May is Meet Marie-Grace and for June it’s Lea.