Friday, December 30, 2011

Meet Marina!

This Christmas I thought very seriously about introducing an American Girl doll to our family.  I know that it can be quite the investment, so I was reluctant to get us started with one of the dolls because my daughter has never been much of a doll kind of girl.  She has an older brother, so she is more of a tomboy.  She loves Beyblades, Pokemon, ninjas, swords, playing battle, video games, her favorite play set is Batman ... you see where we are going here.  She does, however, love her stuffed animals.  She will play pretend with them, cook them meals in her kitchen, feed them plastic meals, organize tea parties with Winnie the Pooh, mend boo-boo's on her Care Bears, and sleeps with her Peaco Ugly Doll every night.  (We love our Ugly Dolls!)  I feel like there is a way to tap into her girly side and find a little doll she will love.  I don't know, I just feel every girl needs a dolly to dress up and love.  I was a tomboy, too, but I had two special dolls, Sally and Patsy that were my mothers dolls and I loved to play pretend with them, be their Mommy, dress them up, put them to bed in their little bunk beds.  I wish I still had those dolls to pass on to her, but sadly they were lost in a fire.  I decided against American Girl, just because more than likely it will be a flop.  I don't mind if she doesn't love something, but not at those prices ;).

One day I was at Joann (I know, big shocker, right?!) and was browsing through eyeballs :) and I came across the sweetest little fabric doll, all naked and alone, nothing but pig tails, shoes, and a sweet little face begging me to give her a home and some CLOTHES, for heavens sake!  She was perfect for Aubrey and at $2, it really didn't matter if it was a flop or not.

I tried very hard to get around to making a cute dress for her doll to be wearing when she opened her, but I was working on getting everything finished in time for Christmas Morning up until 2am, and there just wasn't enough time.  No worry, though.  Aubrey loves to be a bossy betty, so I figured she might enjoy picking out fabric for her dress, and telling me what to make.  It didn't take too long for her to want to cash in on that promise.  Later in the afternoon on Christmas Day I pulled out my bin of felt and told her to pick any colors she wanted for her dress.  She decided she wanted a red and white, so she could have a Christmas dress.  I sketched out a little jumper design on paper and asked her to tell me how she wanted the dress to look, where should it be white, or red, etc.  I got to work cutting and sewing and I have to say, I impressed myself.  I didn't have a pattern and I had no idea if I could even make it happen, but less than an hour later ... Viola!  Our new little doll has a dress!

Now she's looking pretty good and feeling a little more love, but she still needs a name.  I ask Aubrey to give her a name and she tells me to name her.  I tell her I think she should be named Penny.  Penny Lane.  Aubrey gives me a look like - nice try Mom, but that's not it.  I ask her again what she wants to name her and she resends the invitation for me to name her, so again, I say Penny Lane.  And again I receive a look.  I try to ask her to name her, but again, she wants me to do it.  I tell her I need some time to think.  Then she gets the sweetest little smile on her face, with her hands folded under her chin, starts bouncing a little on her toes, and whispers loudly to Pops (who is right next to me), "I hope she picks Marina, I hope, I hope, I hope she picks Marina!"  
Lol ... "How about Marina!" 


Here is my little cutie with her new doll, Marina.  I love the name she picked.  I couldn't figure out how she came up with such a beautiful name on her own.  It wasn't until a few days later we were watching The Fresh Beat Band that it clicked.  Marina is the redhead in the show, who she loves.  I thought that was pretty smart!

(As you can see, Aubrey is sporting her new Pokemon shirt - made by me.  Told you she was a tomboy!  Loves her some Pokemon!)

Aubrey liked her dress, but typical Aubrey - loves to find a negative.  She told me that the dress is too long and it makes her look like a mom.  Well, ok ... you're WELCOME!  As much as her little attitude irritates me, I do love that she has an opinion about what she likes and doesn't like.  She's going to make a great designer someday!  Within a minute of putting her new dress on, Aubrey informed me that she is going to need a summer dress .... that is shorter.  For a little girl.  It has to have rainbow flowers all over it and blue in the background.

I'll get right on it.  

Two days later, I tried to see what fabric I had in my bin that would fit her request.  This was the closest I could get.  It's summery, blue, floral.  No rainbow flowers, but at least I can pinpoint what she will complain about when it is finished, which is helpful for me :).

Here is the finished product!  Marina is ready for Hawaii in her short, summer, blue, floral dress!

I just started working on a sleeping bag for her, so she can go on trips and go camping with us this year.  And if she has a sleeping bag, she's going to need some PJ's!  

Their dad is convinced that this is more a present for me, than for her.  

I see it as a fun way for us to play and work together, while nurturing the little designer, artist, visionary in her and giving her a more constructive way to boss me around and voice her opinions, likes, and dislikes.  

If anything, Marina has been really good for practicing my free hand pattern making skills.  I am pretty impressed that I was able to make a jumper without any pattern, just based on my memory and experience making them for Aubrey.  The skill it takes to make a little outfit for her is going to translate into making outfits for me, so I'm pretty happy about all the time and effort put into making her little outfits and accessories for her new doll, Marina.

Periodically, as Aubrey and I design and make new outfits and accessories for Marina, I will share them on here!  

I also wanted to share a little friend I made for my fur baby.  As I mentioned above, we all love our Ugly Dolls.  Everyone in the family has one ... except Mississippi, our dog.  Poor Mississippi misses her cat buddy, Tomas.  I thought it might be nice if Mississippi had an Ugly Cat to keep her company when are away.  Here is Mississippi and her new Ugly Cat doll made by Mom :).  Now someone can stare at her as much as she stares at me.  

Have fun gearing up for the New Year!  I need to start looking for some fun ideas to ring in the New Year with the kids.  This is the first year we are going to see if they can make it to midnight.  In the past years we have been able to fake it by watching the ball drop on the east coast (maniacal laughter), but this year Bayne is too smart for that kind of trickery.  

Does anyone have any fun ideas for the kids for New Years?  Feel free to share!

1 comment:

  1. I think I still have my American Doll from when I was little, it not the doll the some other baby doll that I would be more then happy to part with. Call or text me if you are interested. -Kristen Connor