Sunday, August 31

This week in the Civil War: Aug. 31, 1864

The Fall of Atlanta

The Confederacy's prized Southern city of Atlanta fell to Union Maj. Gen William T. Sherman and his troops 150 years ago this week in the Civil War. Sherman slashed the supply lines of rival Confederate commanders, hitting at points south of the Georgia city. Confederate attempts to drive back the Union invaders stumbled and the Confederate forces were forced to retreat from Atlanta on Sept. 1, 1864. Sherman's army began occupying the city the following day. "From Sherman's Army, GLORIOUS NEWS, Atlanta has Fallen" read one of the early headlines dated Sept. 3, 1864, informing the North, in the Cleveland (Ohio) Leader. "General Sherman is reported to have entered Atlanta at nine o'clock yesterday morning," the newspaper added. "The movement by which he entered the place must have been a very bold one." It reported Sherman's forces once heavily arrayed on the northwest side of Atlanta had relocated in large numbers to the southwest side of the city to battle the Confederates there and cut off vital supply lines needed by the rebel army. Another news dispatch dated Sept. 2, 1864, said "General Sherman's advanced Atlanta this morning at 11 o'clock. "The whole Federal force will enter today." The Evening Star of Washington, D.C., said the Confederate defenders had been driven off and the enemy was set to fleeing at night.

Friday, August 29

Project Runaway


To help debut the new clothing line, American Girl is partnering with Lifetime's Emmy®-nominated "Project Runway" for a BeForever-inspired designer challenge that will air on Sept. 18 at 9 p.m. EST/8p.m. CST. And, to extend the Project Runway experience for fans, a selection of the actual designs created for the BeForever-themed episode will be showcased at American Girl retail stores nationwide this fall.

And to think neither Heidi nor Tim has contacted us yet.


We might not be ready for prime time, but Momma has the sewing skills and I have runaway runway experience.

Thursday, August 28

Elle marche dans la beauté comme la nuit
Whew, what a day for dolls!

First was the long awaited release of BeForever.

Secondly, a Dear Friend found a Coffin Bean Robecca for Me!

Third, and finally, my beloved Wilde Imagination released a new character doll in their wildly popular Evangeline Ghastly line!

Meet Angelique de la Nuit - a childhood friend of Parnilla's! Angelique was born in Hoboken, New Jersey as Gladys Hope Goldfarb. Soon after, she moved to Paris....

At a mere $225, I better start saving my half-dimes.

Dress like your doll

Okay, I have to admit it. Momma and I both really, really, really like the new Ribbon Trim Sundress for Girls.

This pretty sundress is inspired by Addy. The royal-blue print dress has a black waistband and trim, and cute black bows on the shoulders. It has a gathered bodice, and hidden pockets at the side seams of the full skirt. Above-knee length. Cotton. Imported. Blue. Sizes 6-16. 


Once upon a time, Pleasant Company and American Girl both offered girl-sized versions of the dolls' various outfits. While very nice, maybe it wasn't as practical.

Addy's girl-sized outfit was sold as the "Striped Pink Dress" for $75, but was discontinued in 2000.

The new alternative is not only less expensive, but girls can wear the outfits daily now instead of saving them for special occasions and make believe.

Well done, American Girl. Well done.

Finding Freedom

Well, BeForever launched last night and (I never thought I'd say this) I miss the original cinnamon pink dress My doppelgänger came with.

Courageous Addy Walker has deep-brown eyes that open and close, golden hoop earrings, and thick black hair. She comes in an authentic 1864 outfit:
  • A royal-blue print dress trimmed with black ribbon, with black bows atop short bell sleeves
  • Lacy white pantalettes
  • White stockings
  • Black boots
  • Two blue ribbons for her hair
The 18" Addy doll has a huggable cloth body, and her movable head and limbs are made of smooth vinyl. Includes the paperback book Finding Freedom, the first novel-length volume of Addy’s classic series.

The new Addy is very pretty (I love her hair!) and I like the blue dress, but it does not look like the first dress a runaway would receive or wear.


Wednesday, August 27

Sweet Treats are made of this

Betsy, Tacy, Tib, and I are sitting up late tonight watching American Girl closely for the launch of BeForever and Samantha.

The first item we spotted caused all three to swoon: Samantha's Ice Cream Parlor.

One of our very favorite places to hang out is Heinz's Ice Cream Parlour in Deep Valley, Minnesota. (Ours is equipped with the retired Sweet Treats Table and Bakery Case.) This parlor will be a perfect addition!

Scoop up some scrumptious fun! Fancy, mirror-lined ice cream parlors were popular in 1904—like Tyson's, the parlor that Samantha visits in New York City. This wonderfully detailed set will inspire hours of imaginative play. It includes:

  • Two beautiful faux-marble counters with pink countertops that provide plenty of workspace; the front counter is for serving customers, while the back counter has an attached mirror with golden details and decorative columns, along with ice cream bins with removable lids
  • A pink faux-marble soda fountain, featuring three shiny fountainheads with levers that really move and a "stained-glass" lamp on top that really lights up
  • Nine scoops of pretend ice cream—chocolate, strawberry, and mint—that can be served in the pair of cones, bowls, or glass cups with shiny cup holders
  • A metal ice cream scooper with a pretend heart-shaped "key" that would have helped twist the ice cream out
  • A pretty pink chair
  • An ornate metal old-time cash register with buttons and a drawer that opens
  • A sign listing menu items
  • A candy jar with a removable lid
  • Two spoons, two lacy napkins, and a menu

Tuesday, August 26

Times change. Girls are forever.

BeForever, the new American Girl line, launches on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, and I'm still not sure what to make of it.

Our new BeForever books feature our beloved historical characters in a new format designed to appeal to girls who like high adventure and contemporary fiction. We also have fun new puzzle and craft books, plus Bitty Baby activity books for little girls!

It appears the original six books for each character are now condensed into two:

Finding Freedom: An Addy Classic Volume 1 
by Connie Porter

Addy Walker’s family is planning a dangerous escape from slavery during the summer of 1864. But before they can leave, the most terrible thing Addy can imagine happens--her Poppa and her brother, Sam, are sold! Addy and her Momma decide they must head out on their own. Although the road to freedom is difficult, Addy’s new life brings new friends, school, and even the opportunity to help others. But when will her family be reunited? 

A Heart Full of Hope: An Addy Classic Volume 2

by Connie Porter
Having Poppa home fills Addy’s heart with happiness, and moving to a boarding house brings a new special friend--one who encourages Addy to always stay hopeful for the future. Then Addy enjoys the victory of having her idea chosen for a fair fundraiser, where a friendship is born, and the answer to a riddle brings a wonderful surprise. But will the rest of Addy’s family be reunited before the New Year?

And finally, each set has a third volume inviting the reader to time travel?
A New Beginning: My Journey with Addy
by Denise Lewis Patrick

What would it be like for a girl to suddenly find herself in Addy Walker’s world in the middle of the Civil War? How would she feel facing new freedoms and unexpected limits? In this book, readers can join Addy on adventures to outrun a slave catcher, raise money for soldiers, and search for Addy’s family. Their journey back in time can take whatever twists and turns they choose, as they select from a variety of exciting options in this multiple-ending story.

I have not seen any of the new Addy items other than the book covers and a gray market photo of the new Addy in her new blue Meet dress. However, my Dear Friend Samantha Parkington is shedding her Archived Status, and it appears she has a nifty new Ice Cream Parlor.

I can only hope my doppelgänger fares as well.

If I Only Had a Brain

Honestly, I waited ALL YEAR to write my special The Wizard of Oz anniversary post for Aug. 25, 2014.

And I forgot.

(That was Yesterday ... in case you didn't notice.)

The Wizard of Oz, a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, opened nationally on Aug. 25, 1939. It is the most well-known adaptation of L. Frank Baum's 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. 

The film starred Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale; Ray Bolger as Hunk/Scarecrow; Jack Haley as Hickory/Tin Man; Bert Lahr as Zeke/Cowardly Lion; Frank Morgan as Professor Marvel/The Wizard/Doorman/Cabbie/Guard; Billie Burke as Glinda the Good Witch of the North; and (My Personal Favorite), Margaret Hamilton as Miss Almira Gulch/The Wicked Witch of the West. 

Notable for its use of Technicolor and elaborate use of make-up and special effects, the film's first sneak preview was held in San Bernardino, California. The film was previewed in three test markets: on Aug. 11, 1939, at Kenosha, Wisconsin and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and at the Strand Theatre in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin on Aug. 12.

The Hollywood premiere was on Aug. 15, 1939 at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. The New York City premiere was held at Loew's Capitol Theatre on Aug. 17, 1939.

Amazingly, it was not a box office success on its initial release, earning only $3,017,000 on a $2,777,000 budget.

Can I click my heels three times and yesterday over?

Bad Apple outfit by Greta Garb-Oh!
Ruby boots by Welcome to Neverland

Sunday, August 24

Think Pink ... for Pam

Greta Garb-Oh!
When Dolls for a Cause decided to do "Pink for Pam," a group member with cancer, Momma immediately thought of flamingos.

(Well, it was either that or the Pink Panther.)


As you might know, I was less than enthused about the color choice. At least I was until Momma discovered that the color pink used to be considered a boy color - not for girls!

In 19th century England, boys were considered to be small men. Because English soldiers wore red uniforms, boys wore pink. In fact, the clothing for children in the 19th century was almost always white, since, before the invention of chemical dyes, clothing of any color would quickly fade when washed in boiling water.

Queen Victoria was painted in 1850 with her seventh child and third son, Prince Arthur, who wore white and pink. Pink was seen as a masculine color, while girls often wore white and blue - blue for the Virgin Mary.

As for flamingos, do you know why they are pink? Adult flamingos range from light pink to bright red due to the shrimp in their diets!

Using my favorite "1870s Bustle Dress" by Thimbles and Acorns, Momma paired the flamingos with a pink tonal fabric, piping, and buttons. She finished the back with two pink "ribbons" made of the same pink tonal fabric. 

Dacia from Mini Me Dolly Divas donated a "Tough Dolls Wear Pink" T-shirt, and Momma made a pink breast cancer ribbon fabric lobstertail bustle to complete the ensemble.

The first known use of a pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness was in the fall of 1991, when the Susan G. Komen Foundation handed out pink ribbons to participants in its New York City race for breast cancer survivors.

It became the official symbol of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in 1992. 

The one-week Facebook auction starts Sunday, August 31 and ends Sunday, Sept. 7. Good luck to the winners!

(I am astonished to discover that I like this pink flamingo outfit so much I might ask Momma to bid on it for me!)


This week in the Civil War: Aug. 24, 1864

South Carolina fighting, violence in Kansas

The Associated Press reported in a dispatch dated Aug. 25, 1863: “The bombardment of (Fort) Sumter still continues, and the south wall has been demolished almost to its base.” For weeks now, Union forces have been attempting to smash through heavy Confederate defenses on islands ringing Charleston Harbor off South Carolina’s coast. The AP dispatch added that rebel batteries have answered the Union’s artillery bombardment with bursts of return fire at short intervals. Federal forces reported that their casualties are few and that “every confidence in success is felt by the officers and troops.” At one point the bombardment became so intense, AP reported, that the entire southwest side of Fort Sumter has been reduced to rubble — “nothing but a heap of ruins.” Even the Confederate flag flying above the fort was shot away during one barrage, the AP reported. In Kansas, meanwhile, authorities report the discovery 151 years ago this week of 28 bodies — part of the sectarian violence that the war has touched off in the West. Witnesses said in dispatches that the discovery of murdered civilians in one town was “heart-rending and sickening.”

Sunday, August 17

Ghoul talk
Momma has been Scary Busy lately with work, which doesn't leave much time for Me.


Too bad for her, but that leaves me plenty of time to Time Travel and Surf the Web.

We're both still trying to find a Ghoul's Alive Robecca, but now we're also hunting for a Coffin Bean Robecca, too!

Not only is Robecca cute, but checkout the tiny Mason jar she's drinking from!

The Monster High gang can let it all fang out at the Coffin Bean, one of their favorite haunts. Carrying her favorite ghoulish treat, Robecca Steam is ready to grab a table for some ghoul-talk with her beast ghoulfriends. And even though the dress code is comfy and casual, this monsterista is always a fierce fashionista. She wears graphic prints, a sleek silhouette and to-die-for accessories. Her coffee drink with handle fits in her clawesome hand.

The Mason jar (also known as Ball jars, fruit jars, and glass canning jars) was invented and patented in 1858 by Philadelphia tinsmith John Landis Mason.

But what is Robecca drinking out of her jar? Something steamed, of course: but an antoccino, breve, café au lait, café latte, café marocchino, café miel, café mocha, cappuccino, cortado, eggnog latte, espressino, latte, or a mélange? 

Personally, I think it's a Chai Latte: steamed milk and spiced tea. (Add espresso shots for a "Dirty Chai Latte"!



This week in the Civil War: Aug. 17, 1864

Siege prolonged at Fort Sumter, South Carolina

Federal forces have positioned artillery batteries on a barrier island near Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, and begun firing on Confederate-held Fort Sumter 151 years ago this week in the Civil War. The prolonged bombardment will continue for weeks, though the Confederates remain stoutly entrenched in the massive-walled fort where the Civil War began in 1861. The move comes as Union forces hope to penetrate the Charleston Harbor defenses and seize the city as part of a tightening blockade on Southern river and seaports. The Associated Press, in a dispatch titled “Latest from Charleston” reported on the artillery barrages. It said the bombardment of Sumter proceeds sluggishly as Union fighters fortified their positions near the harbor. In between bouts of firing, there is calm, “everything perfect quiet except the occasional boom of the guns.”

Sunday, August 10

This week in the Civil War: Aug. 10, 1864

Shelling near Fort Sumter, South Carolina, Confederate sub to Charleston

Federal forces continued to lay siege to Confederate forces holding defensive positions in South Carolina’s Charleston harbor area. From late July of 1863 until early September of that year, Union forces were intent on reducing Confederate fighters defending Charleston — where the Civil War broke out at federally-held Fort Sumter in 1861. The prolonged federal siege began after a failed assault July 18, 1863, on Confederate defenses at Fort Wagner — led by a courageous black regiment which suffered heavy loss of life. It would not be until Sept. 7, 1863, that Confederate foes would abandon Fort Wagner when their position there became untenable. This week 151 years ago in the Civil War, the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley arrived by train at Charleston after its construction in Mobile, Alabama. It was billed as the world’s first successful submarine and seen as a secret weapon for the South in fighting Abraham Lincoln’s wartime blockade of Southern seaports.

Sunday, August 3

This week in the Civil War: Aug. 3, 1864

War rumors

Amid an intensifying conflict 150 years ago, calls arose in the summer of 1864 in the North for newspapers to refrain from publishing rumors of troop movements, whether by Confederate or Union soldiers. As The Evening Star of Washington, D.C., noted on its front page July 27, 1864: "There are many wild reports to-day and to-night" and most were believed to be "unfounded." An accompanying dispatch by The Associated Press reported on the hardships of obtaining verified war details. "It is extremely difficult to obtain any authentic information relative to affairs on the Upper Potomac, and rebel movements in the (Shenandoah) Valley" of Virginia, AP noted. "By far the greater part of the rumors and even positive statements hourly put in circulation here are evidently false, and therefore not worth repeating," the dispatch added. But big news still got through that week as AP reported that Sherman's Union force was pressing in a "grand movement upon Atlanta," a major Union objective in the Deep South.