Thursday, August 30

If I only had a brain

Tonner Doll
My imagination is running amok after yesterday's Tornado Traveler Dorothy reveal, because the next doll listed was Scarecrow: I'm Not Afraid of Anything!

For now all I know is that you can get for $189.99:
  • Dressed doll
  • Face includes hand-painted details
  • Fine quality vinyl and hard plastic
  • 17" Matt O'Neill™ head sculpt
  • 17" Matt O'Neill™ body
  • Matt skin tone
  • Painted blue eyes
  • Black non-removable saran wigged hair
  • Green long sleeved ribbed shirt with a cream ruffle on the collar and brown faux suede accent with an antiqued gold buckle
  • Brown faux suede pants with a brown faux suede belt
  • Green faux leather jacket with a green ribbed attached capelet and faux suede and faux leather brown straps and mismatched plaid pockets
  • Cream net gauntlets
  • Silver and gold resin sword with a brown faux leather sword holder
  • Matching brown faux suede boots with rib knit cuffs
  • Brown faux suede hat with brown faux leather and antiqued gold buckle trim
  • Stand
  • LE 500
This can only lead to speculation for more.

  • Steampunk Tinman?
  • Steampunk Cowardly Lion?
  • Steampunk Witches?

Who knows! But I am over the rainbow about these releases!

Wednesday, August 29

I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore

Tonner Doll
Imagine my surprise today while perusing the 2012 Tonner Fall Holiday Collection, only to spot Tornado Traveler Dorothy.


For a mere $179.99 you too can receive:
  • Dressed Doll
  • Face includes hand-painted details
  • Fine quality vinyl and hard plastic
  • Judy Garland head sculpt
  • Cheerleader body
  • Tyler skin tone
  • Brown painted eyes
  • Brown rooted saran hair
  • Brown faux leather hat with black ribbon trim and antiqued gold buckle
  • Gold molded goggles
  • Brown faux leather choker
  • Brown faux leather bolero
  • Brown faux leather corset dress with white bodice
  • White and blue checkered skirt with brown faux leather straps
  • Brown faux leather belt with bottle holder and green decorative bottle
  • Brown faux leather gauntlets
  • Blue striped tights with attached panties
  • Brown faux leather spats
  • Red glitter canvas shoes with red rhinestone decoration
  • Stand
  • LE 500
I do love that man's style.

Sunday, August 26

This Week in The Civil War: Aug. 26, 1862

Second Battle of Bull Run or Manassas, Va.

Confederate Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson orders his forces to attack the Union army on the Warrenton Turnpike in Northern Virginia on Aug. 28, 1862, opening the Second Battle of Bull Run, or Manassas. Furious fighting rages for hours at the Brawner Farm, not far from the site of the First Battle of Manassas or Bull Run. Union Maj. Gen. John Pope is certain he has trapped Jackson and sends a large federal force to attack Confederates on the farm, set on a ridge. The opening day of battle reaches a thundering crescendo in a 90-minute firefight between rival infantry lines set about 80 yards apart. Sunset brings a pause as the first day's fighting abates. Then, on Aug. 29, 1862, Pope initiates a series of assaults against Jackson's lines along an unfinished railroad route. Heavy casualties arise as the attacks are rebuffed on the second day of fighting. On the third day, Aug. 30, Pope renews his attacks, apparently unaware that the Confederates have been heavily reinforced. Confederate artillery shreds yet another Union assault and a large fighting force of Confederates totaling 28,000 fiercely counterattack. The Confederate onslaught smashes one of the Union flanks and the federal army is driven back. Pope's army, despite an effective rearguard action, is forced to retreat to Centreville as Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee scores a decisive victory. In July 1861, the rival armies battled for the first time in the countryside overlooking Bull Run and a Union defeat made clear the war would be long and bloody. Now the Confederate triumph at Second Bull Run shows Lee at the height of his powers. And when the battle is over, casualties on the Union side approach 14,000 while the Confederates report more than 8,000 killed, missing or wounded.

Friday, August 24

The Grimm Adventures of Steampunk Addie

Keeping Momma entertained while she recovers from surgery just got a whole lot easier once we discovered Grimm, a television show just starting its second season.

Homicide Detective Nick Burkhardt of the Portland Police Bureau learns he is descended from a line of guardians known as "Grimms," charged with keeping balance between humanity and the "Wesen," mythological creatures of the world.

Throughout the episodes, Burkhardt must battle against an assortment of dangerous creatures, with help from his friend Monroe (who is a reformed Big Bad Wolf) and his partner Detective Hank Griffin.

Early in season one, Burkhardt's Aunt Marie (also a Grimm) entrusts him with a previously unknown silver Airstream trailer containing all the tools of their Grimm trade: books (graphic "fairy tales"), weapons, and poisons.

Burkhardt's friend Monroe drives a Volkwagon Beetle. His is yellow with a roof, but I won't be picky about that detail.

Momma (and I) have always loved VW Bugs and Airstreams.

Know we know why.

Wednesday, August 22

An arm and a leg

Christopher Bright
I'm sorry I haven't been around much lately, but Momma was hospitalized three times last month which ultimated in Surgery and a Lengthy Convalescence.

However, I'm taking a quick nursing break to show you this photograph.

The Artificer of My Dreams has done it yet again.

I have long dreamed of having a replacement arm similar to Richard Castle's on ABC's Castle, Season 3, Episode 4: Punked.

As worn by actor Nathan Fillion, this has become quite possibly the most recognizable piece of steampunk costuming ever. 

(Castle primarily traces the lives of Richard Castle, a best-selling mystery novelist, and New York Police Department's Detective Kate Beckett as they solve various unusual crimes in New York City.)

A human-sized version of the Dr. Grimmelore Superior Replacement Arm can be yours for a mere $1,999.


I can only hope mine won't cost quite that much.

Artificer Christopher Bright says it's in its infancy and he has to let his mind "spin a bit" and come up with more "steamy goodness" for it.

Thanks again, Christopher!

Happy birthday, Ruthie ~ Aug. 22, 1923

Happy birthday, Ruthie!

I don't know about you, but I think Ruthie would want a princess party.

And since she liked Kit's birthday dress so much I think Kit's Aunt Millie made her a matching one.

Sunday, August 19

This Week in The Civil War: Aug. 19, 1862

Confederates on the move

This week 150 years ago in the war, Confederate fighters are on the move, set to open an offensive in Kentucky that would trigger fighting in the border state in late August 1862. The state is seen as crucial territory to both sides. Confederate Gen. E. Kirby Smith puts his troops on the road on Aug. 14, 1862, and within days that tramping army is moving well into Kentucky. All told, his roughly 6,000 men present a formidable fighting force. The troops advancing on the road to Richmond, Ky., would not engage Union rivals in combat until Aug. 29, 1862, in the first of their clashes in the region. Meanwhile, every sign suggests this war will be protracted, deadly and grim. Now the once popular move of signing up to fight is wearing thin in some cities and mandatory calls for duty are being resisted by some. The Associated Press reports a large number of people claiming "protection of the British flag" thronged the British consul's office in St. Louis one summer day seeking to exempt themselves from government-ordered militia duty. "Several affrays and struggles occurred between the disturbers and police," AP reported, adding critics complained of those who sought to "sneak from duty by enrolling themselves as subjects of Great Britain." AP notes that several arrests were made. Elsewhere, reports note that a Union army that waged an enormous but ultimately failed offensive to seize Richmond, Va., capital of the Confederacy, has fully withdrawn by Aug. 16 from Tidewater areas to the east. The report said several hundred of the last troops had completed the withdrawal on ships and boats in recent days and "all is quiet." The failure of the Union to capture Richmond and end the war quickly has quashed morale in the North while notably boosting spirits in the South.

Tuesday, August 14

Happy birthday, Kaya ~ Summer, 1755

Happy birthday, Kaya!

Kaya-Nez Perce Indians don't celebrate birthdays, but American Girl tends to hold her birthday celebration in August, around the Nimipuu Salmon Runs Celebration.

If she did celebrate her birthday, Kaya might wear this beautiful fringed deerskin dress adorned with faux elk's teeth which she saved for special occasions. The more successful the hunters in her family, the more teeth she could add to her outfit.

Sunday, August 12

This Week in The Civil War: Aug. 12, 1862

Fighting in Missouri, arming the armies

Fighting in the wide-ranging Civil War erupted in the heartland on Aug. 11, 1862, when Confederate forces attacked Independence, Missouri. The Confederate fighters surprised and scattered a force of Union troops garrisoned at Independence. But ultimately, the Union forces that hadn't been killed or immediately captured were forced to surrender. It marked a morale-boosting victory for the secessionist government based in Richmond, Va. The fighting continued days later when a Confederate force of about 3,000 men attacked more Union pickets it encountered in the state on Aug. 15, 1862. Charges and countercharges ensued as the fighting raged for hours in what was also considered a Confederate victory. However, the Confederate force was obliged to withdraw from the area when a larger Union force began advancing toward its position. More fighting would follow in the weeks and months ahead in the states clustered around the Mississippi River and other inland waterways deemed vital to transport and trade. Also this month 150 year ago in the war, the armies were still feverishly arming and supplying their troops with all manner of goods and materiel for what is shaping up as a drawn-out fight. The War Department, in an order published in Northern newspapers, called for rush bids from leather workers to be received no later than 5 p.m. on Aug. 26, 1862, for thousands of much-needed sets of harnesses, saddles and other cavalry equipment to be rushed to several armories around federal territory. "Bidders will state explicitly in their proposals the time, quantity and place of each delivery," the order stated, adding the bidders should send proposals to the War Department in Washington, D.C., clearly labeled as "Proposals, for Horse Equipments."

Saturday, August 11

Out of the blue

American Girl
I never cared for Elizabeth's Bedding.

Until now.

As night falls, Elizabeth enjoys the comfort of this set, featuring:

  • A four-poster hardwood bed with mattress
  • A blue pillow and quilt with Cluny lace
  • A fringed bed skirt
  • Plus, a fringed valance with attached floral–print bed hangings

Doesn't it look like it was made to match Caroline's upcoming parlor set?

And it's not pink!

Meet Caroline ... soon

When Momma and I first heard about American Girl's upcoming historical release, Caroline Abbott, we were cautiously excited.

Then we heard her books were set in 1812. Yippee!

Then we saw Caroline the Doll.


First of all, she's blonde. (Momma overloaded on blonde dolls in the '60s and '70s.)

And her Meet dress is PINK!


But then we saw her skiff and parlor set and our excitement returned.

And we FINALLY found book descriptions.

Meet Caroline: Caroline Abbott is doing what she loves most—sailing on Lake Ontario with Papa—when her world turns upside down. A British officer boards their sloop, announces that Britain and America are at war, and takes her father prisoner. As Papa is led away, Caroline promises him that she will stay strong and steady until he returns. She tries hard to keep her promise by helping Mama run the family's shipyard. Then the British attack her village and it looks as if the American side is in trouble. Can Caroline stay steady enough to help win the day? Includes an illustrated "Looking Back" essay about America in 1812.

Caroline's Secret Message: Caroline and Mama make a dangerous trip across Lake Ontario to the British fort where Papa is a prisoner. When Mama isn't allowed to see Papa, it's up to Caroline to pass a secret message to him—right under the nose of a British guard. Caroline hopes desperately that Papa will be able to use the information to escape. But can she get the message to him? And even if she does, will Papa understand it? When Caroline and Mama return home, all they can do is wait and hope. On Caroline's birthday, an unexpected gift lifts her heart. Includes an illustrated "Looking Back" essay about Wartime in 1812.

A Surprise for Caroline: Caroline Abbott imagined it would be great fun to have two girls staying at her house for the winter. But her friend Rhonda Hathaway and cousin Lydia are both twelve, and sometimes they seem to be better friends with each other than with Caroline. Worse, they'd rather stay inside styling hair than go skating and sledding. Nothing Caroline tries seems to change things, not even the special Christmas gift she gives to Rhonda. Finally, hurt feelings lead Caroline to make a rash decision—one that puts all three girls on very thin ice. Includes an illustrated "Looking Back" essay about Growing Up in 1812.

Caroline Takes a Chance: Caroline, like everyone else in Sackets Harbor, is waiting anxiously for the first supply boats of the year to arrive. Without supplies, the shipyards can't build boats to fight the British. When Caroline and her friends Rhonda and Seth go out fishing in Papa's skiff, they're excited to catch sight of a supply boat—until they realize that it's being chased by a British warship. Desperate to save the supply boat, Caroline comes up with a daring idea. Will her plan work? Or is it a dangerous and foolish risk? Caroline has no time to think—she can only plunge ahead. Includes an illustrated "Looking Back" essay about Getting Around in 1812.

Caroline's Battle: Caroline's Papa has barely returned before frightening news arrives—British warships are headed for Sackets Harbor, ready to attack. Every able-bodied man, including Papa, must go and fight. Mama and Caroline are left alone to guard Abbott's Shipyard from the enemy. Caroline tells herself she would do anything to keep Papa's shipyard safe. But when the battle seems to be lost, Mama gives her a terrible order. They must burn the shipyard to the ground to keep it from the enemy. It's the one thing Caroline isn't sure she can do. Includes an illustrated "Looking Back" essay about America in 1812.

Changes for Caroline: Caroline receives a letter asking her to come and help on Uncle Aaron's new farm. Although she hates to leave her family, Caroline is pleased to see her cousin Lydia—and to meet Lydia's pretty cow and sweet baby calf. Determined to help out in any way she can, Caroline keeps watch when a thief starts sneaking around the farm. Then she makes an unexpected discovery—and learns that some things are not as simple as they seem. When Caroline returns home at last for an Independence Day celebration, she is treated to a wonderful surprise. Includes an illustrated "Looking Back" essay about Changes for America in 1812.

While Caroline the Doll will not be coming to live with us, I know her books, parlor set, and her MY skiff will.

Hurry Sept. 4!

Friday, August 10

To the rexcue!

Payne Street Doll Boutique
I am so excited I hardly know what to do with myself.

My buddy Inky discovered an amazing doll shop in Casa Grande while she was visiting Arizona.

The Payne Street Doll Boutique began building handcrafted doll furniture in December 2009, when American Girl sold out of Camp Bunks. At that time, they only sold single-sized bunk beds, but a year later they offered a full line of doll furniture. They continue adding new pieces to their product listing, including their new Animal Lovers line!

Momma has been involved with Cornish Rex rescue for more than 20 years, and even wrote a book about her beloved breed.

And now I can help!

Some of the products that will be featured include a Pet Hospital & Boarding Set, pet carrier, dog house, cat tree, pet bunk house, pet-sized bunk beds, and horse stable and barn.

Their pet hutch has six cubbies with latched doors. The hutch is approximately 27 inches long by 18¼ inches tall by 9½ inches deep. Built of painted pine, hutch can be finished in any color combination of your choice.

Other items carried by Payne Street Doll Boutique include:
  • Double Bunk Doll Bed 
  • Triple Bunk Doll Bed 
  • Quad Bunk Doll Bed
  • Trundle Doll Beds & Bunks
  • Ready-to-Paint Doll Bunk Beds
  • Newborn Photography Prop Beds
  • Princess and the Pea Prop Beds
  • Doll Tables & Kitchen Sets
  • Doll Couch & Chairs
  • Doll Wardrobe & Armoire
  • Doll Vanity / Dressing Table
  • Doll School Desks & Easel
  • Doll Treehouse
  • Outdoor Doll Furniture
  • Doll Gymnastics Set
  • Fashions by Aunt Judi

Thursday, August 9

Sail away with me

American Girl
I am now ready to reveal a secret to you and the world.

Remember the scene in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl when Captain Jack Sparrow sailed the rapidly sinking Jolly Mon into Port Royal?

The Jolly Mon was a small fishing boat originally owned by the gorgeous Anamaria, until it was, "borrowed without permission, but with every intention of bringing it back" by Sparrow.

My secret? I was Anamaria. And soon I shall repossess my Jolly Mon.

American Girl has cleverly disguised it as the upcoming Caroline Abbott's skiff, but I know the truth.

And now you do, too.


Sunday, August 5

This Week in The Civil War: Aug. 5, 1862

Fighting in Louisiana, Confederate ironclad scuttled

Confederate troops bidding to regain control of Louisiana reached the outskirts of its state capital, Baton Rouge, on Aug. 5, 1862, and fighting erupts as they meet Union resistance. Union gunboats on the Mississippi River begin shelling the secessionist troops. The Confederates had hoped that their ironclad, the CSS Arkansas could arrive to shell the gunboats and silence them. But the engines failed on the ironclad and the vessel is unable to take part in the battle. A day later, on Aug. 6, 1862, the CSS Arkansas again attempts to close in on the Union gunboats. But the ironclad gas engine probelms anew and runs aground. Easy prey for capture, the vessel is hastily scuttled, blown up by her crew to avoid capture. The Associated Press, reporting on the destruction of the CSS Arkansas in a dispatch 12 days later, said the ironclad had come aground above Baton Rouge when federal gunboats approached to attack and the Arkansas "blew up." It added that "The ram Arkansas approached with the intention of engaging (federal) gunboats, but grounded at a distance of 6 miles" from the capital city before being destroyed. The account notes thousands of troops took part in the fighting on both sides with a large proportion of officers among at least 250 dead. The demise of the ironclad also signals defeat for the Confederacy in its bid to regain the Louisiana state capital. Meanwhile, news reports indicate Union forces driven away from Richmond, the Confederate capital, during the Seven Days' Battle, have virtually evacuated the bulk of their troops, guns and supplies from Harrison's Landing in the Virginia Peninsula area. A Union offensive earlier in the summer saw Confederate Robert E. Lee put up fierce resistance and repulse the federal force trying to reach teh gates of Richmond.

Saturday, August 4

To boldly wait

outfit by Sew Fun Doll Clothes
Well, My Darling Clementine's outfit is here ... but who knows when Clementine herself will arrive.

I feel like I'm stuck waiting in the original 1968 Star Trek episode, Spectre of the Gun.

As punishment for trespassing on their planet, the inhabitants condemn Captain Kirk and his landing party as the losing side of a surreal recreation of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone.

The setting for Tombstone is drawn from Kirk's memory, but the illusion has a surreal incompleteness to it – buildings are obvious facades, windows and pictures appear to float in mid-air, a floating clock, doors open to nowhere, etc.

The landing party also sees their equipment is changed; phasers turned into six-shooters, communicators and tricorders are missing, and there is no longer a way to make contact with the Enterprise.

And time is ticking away for Kirk ... and Me.

Thursday, August 2

I ♥ Gabby

Right now I am so proud I am bursting at my seams.

Representing the United rates, Gabby Douglas is the first African-American (and first woman of color) in Olympic history to become the individual all-around champion, and the first American gymnast to win gold in both the individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympics. 

As a member of the U.S. Women's Gymnastics team at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Douglas won gold medals in both the individual and team all-around competitions.

Up until now I had thought that shooting and archery would be my sports of choice, but I just might have to reconsider that now.

Go Gabby, go!

Wednesday, August 1

When Addie comes marching home

Momma and I were so excited to spot this wonderful Sack Coat and Pants pattern by Thimbles and Acorns this morning.

During the Civil War it was not uncommon for boys as young as 12 years of age to enlist as drummer boys. Though they weren't technically soldiers, they were still close to the battle lines and often took up arms when battles became heated. This uniform is patterned after the standard pants and sack coat issued to enlisted men and is the same style worn by Johnny Clem, who at 9 years of age became the youngest soldier of the Civil War... actually, of any American war.

This pattern has been carefully researched with close attention to detailing. The pants have a fly front with a small working silver button and two front pockets. The jacket features a unique pocket in the front that is accessed through the front placket. The jacket is fully lined ... just like the original.

This Uniform was fit on an older, thicker bodied 18 inch American Girl doll body (woohoo!), but the design fits the newer, slimmer body sizes as well.

It looks amazingly like what Momma's great-great-grandfather wore during the civil war.

I don't need the pants, but I do want that coat!

And Shari say she hopes to make a pattern for a shirt and kepi cap in the near future!