An American Girl Doll Story

An American Girl Doll Story

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

And Suddenly, She Reappears...

It's been almost 6 months.
That is just so unacceptable, and believe me, I totally get it. I left everybody right in the middle of a photo story that I know many of you were interested in.
I still love my dolls very much, and I take photos of them or do their hair whenever I have a chance (NOT often, unfortunately :P). But I just haven't found time for this blog.

I wish I could go back in time to April and tell all of you that I was taking a break, rather than just abandoning this place. I am really, really sorry to all of you. I suppose it might make you feel better to hear that throughout the past few months (alright fine, a bit more than "a few"), I have thought of all of you quite a lot.

I'm not going to give a list of excuses, because nothing really "out-of-the-ordinary" happened. I just got caught up in school and then summer vacation and then starting high school at a local arts school (I am really enjoying it). I've never had a good record of posting consistently, and I think a lot of it probably has to do with my "talent" of biting off more than I can chew. You know, it all starts with saying "yes" to someone, and then after that, a million opportunities pile on top of whatever it was one said "yes" to.

I really would love to get back into blogging, and I hope to. But, I know I'll never be able to find the time to blog consistently, so I don't know if it will be worth continuing. I thought of setting up an Instagram account or something, and I did, but I don't really like Instagram, because I cannot really do photo stories or write as much as I want under each post.

I'm definitely going to finish my current photo story that I left in the middle of, but I cannot say when the final part will be posted (It will be up by the end of the year, for sure). It could be done next week, or it could be done December 1. I don't really know. I just do not want to make a promise that I cannot keep.

I'm just really disappointed in myself for having taken such an extended break without even checking in or anything. I am so sorry.
I understand that some of you may be disappointed in me, and I agree with you all for being disappointed.
I don't really know what else to say, except:
I'm really sorry.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Orphans of Main Street Home for Girls: Part #3

The next morning, after a sleepless night, Molly rose before everyone else to venture up into the attic. The attic looked exactly like her grandparents' attic - it was the last place Molly had been before her life had turned into a confusing mess.
Slowly, Molly climbed the attic stairs, being careful to only touch each stair with a light footstep so that nothing creaked or made a noise. None of the orphans were allowed out of their rooms until about 6:15, and it was only about 5:45. She would've gotten in trouble for sure.
Molly knelt at the fireplace and looked closely at the burnt up wood and ashes that surrounded the wood inside. She looked at all of the fireplace's details and the attic's details as well. This was her grandparents attic. There was no mistaking it! So if it was her grandparent's attic, then that meant that the house had to be her grandparents' house, only, her grandparents did not own it yet, because somehow the year was 1935.
Molly grabbed onto the fireplace and cried. "I want to go home," Molly sobbed. "This isn't my home, this isn't my life, and I am not from 1935!"
Molly was then grabbed from behind. "Ahh!" She screamed out.
"Oh my goodness, Molly! Shut up!" Charlotte pulled Molly off the ground and out of the sad little shape she had curled up in as she cried.
Molly began to wipe away her tears, and she sighed, "Charlotte, I thought you might have been Ms. Coolidge. Thankfully it is only you!"
"You're lucky I am not Ms. Coolidge, Molly. What were you doing up here crying - and this early in the morning too? I had to risk getting in trouble to come up here to see what in the world all of this wailing racket was!"
"Charlotte, I know I am going to sound positively crazy, but this attic is my grandparents attic - it doesn't just look like their attic, it is their attic. But somehow, I time traveled to 1935 and my grandparents just haven't bought this house yet. I must've time traveled in my grandparents attic."
"Molly, you sound so ridiculous! You had better stop all of your wild stories and antics or Ms. Coolidge will probably ship you off to an asylum or some sort of home like that. Now, I know that you miss your parents and your old life, but you are taking this much too far. There is no such thing as time travel, and I do not want to hear anymore about it!"
"But Charlotte-" Molly cried, but her sentence was cut off, because Charlotte tightened her grip on Molly's shoulder and flung her against the wall. Molly's back hit the wall with a deep thud and Charlotte cornered in on Molly.
She stared Molly in the eye, and for the first time, Molly was scared of Charlotte's beautiful, unique green eyes. The eyes danced with anger and warning. "I am sorry that I had to do that, Molly, but you must be quiet. I understand if you want to create stories to pass the time - but don't bother any of us with those stories and don't go venturing off and breaking the rules, because if one person does something, sometimes Ms. Coolidge punishes all of us. None of us take too kindly to those who get all of us in trouble."
"I thought we were friends," Molly replied, her voice shaking a little bit. Molly didn't like the way that Charlotte had said that none of the orphans took to kindly to those who got them all in trouble. Charlotte had added a little extra tone to the words - a tone full of horror and coldness. Molly hated to admit it, but Charlotte was very intimidating at times. "I thought friends could tell each other everything - even if it seemed a little ridiculous."
"We all try to be friends here Molly, but you are just so caught up in your own little world that you make it hard. We all want to be here for you, but you are taking it too far with all of your ideas about 'time travel' and this not really being your life. We want to be friends with you, but friends also help each other, and you aren't going to be very helpful if you get all of us in trouble."
   Molly just nodded. "I am sorry, Charlotte. I'll stop talking about all of it, and I won't go out of the bedrooms before wake-up-time ever again."
Charlotte just nodded and patted Molly lightly on the hand; her green eyes returning to normal with their usual spunky and inquisitive glow.
Down in the kitchen areas, Molly grabbed a small plate of breakfast, which consisted of one biscuit and a little grey ball of mush that Molly supposed could've been thought of as a variety of butter - a dusty, moldy variety.
She took a few bites of the nearly inedible biscuit and scraped the molded butter off to the side of the plate. As Molly left the kitchen to begin her daily chores, she bumped into Sam - the girl who stole her glasses!"
Sam blocked her way, so Molly could not exit the kitchen. "Excuse me, but I am trying to get by - I must begin my chores," Molly informed Sam coolly.
"I know, and I can tell that you are very upset with me for having stolen your glasses," Sam replied in a serious, yet not mean tone.
Molly frowned, "Yes, I am. Do you think I am wrong to be angry?"
"No, I don't," Sam shook her head, "That is why I came to talk to you."
"You came to talk to me?" Molly asked.
"Why else would I be blocking the doorway to the kitchen?" Samantha rolled her eyes. "I know you are probably going to buy your glasses back on Wednesday when I come by to auction off the goods. But, I want to make you another offer. You see, I really need glasses but Ms. Coolidge doesn't believe me. I tried your glasses on and they seem to be a perfect fit. I can even see better! I would like to keep them - I would give you something special, free of charge, in return of course."
"I really need my glasses, Samantha, but thank you for the offer," Molly couldn't believe that Samantha was suggesting that she give up her glasses. Samantha was a big bully and Molly would never dream of helping her! But Molly couldn't help her curiosity, so she asked, "But what you give me?"
Samantha looked her in the eye, "It is a very special map that I have kept for a whole year. I've never been brave enough to explore what it may lead to, but I do know that it promises a house where people would want to adopt an orphan child. The map was sent in the mail to Ms. Coolidge about a year ago. The letter with it begged Ms. Coolidge to follow the map and visit the family who sent the map and note, and stated that they were most interested in speaking with her about adoption. Ms. Coolidge thought it was ridiculous that they sent her an embroidered map and she didn't think they were important enough for her to drive out to meet, so she just tossed the map in the garbage - never thinking any of us orphans would be clever enough to grab ahold of it. I did, and I've always wanted to explore it, but I need your pair of glasses more than I need a map. I'm older - I'll be kicked out of the orphanage soon because I will become too old. You and the younger girls have so many years left. This could be the chance of a lifetime. Please consider the offer, Molly."
Molly could not be sure that she was telling the truth. After all, she had had the nerve to steal Molly's glasses right off her nose. What would stop a girl like her from lying? "How do I know you're not lying?"
Sam laughed. "I see how you could think that - but I promise I am not as bad as I seem. Would you believe that I was actually taking dance and etiquette lessons before I ended up here? Over these few years, I've just sort of gotten a rough way about me. But I promise that while I guess I would stoop so low as to steal, I do not lie, and maybe I'll stop stealing too. Would you consider it a fair trade, Molly?"
Molly contemplated the decision for a moment. Was it really a fair trade? No way. Molly was going to end up with some embroidered map that no one even truly knew much about, while Samantha was going to end up with a pair of glasses that Molly depended on for reading and other similar activities. But Molly was starting to become a risk taker. After all, she had time traveled into another year - a very different year compared to the one from which she had traveled. What would no glasses mean? Molly had already seen so much and lost so much. She nodded her head in decision, "You, Sam, have got yourself a deal!"
"Good, I really hoped so," Samantha smiled. "Now I brought the map with me just in case you agreed to the deal." Samantha brought forward a carefully embroidered map. It was very beautiful and each stitch was so precise that Molly right away knew that the person who had created it was a very good person.
That night, Molly and Maggie looked at the map. "What a beautiful piece of art," Maggie sighed in awe.
"I know," Molly agreed. "It is just like Ms. Coolidge to trash something as fine as this."
"I do wish you hadn't traded your glasses for a piece of artwork," Maggie shook her head.
"It isn't a piece of artwork," Molly told Maggie, "It is a map of an escape route. We can all follow it - what if a small group of us escaped? We could visit the home that this map shows and maybe the kind people there would adopt us."
"How do you know they are kind?" Charlotte, who had overheard the late night conversation, asked.
"Well, would a horrible person go through the trouble of making such a map to bring to an orphanage?" Molly questioned.
"Maybe," Charlotte shrugged, but she smiled. She was happy that Molly seemed to be adjusting to life at the orphanage. All day, Molly had kept quiet about her worries.
"I think we can escape," Molly told Maggie. "We would have to do it soon. We'd need to start collecting food and supplies right away."
"You really think we should do something as daring as that?" Maggie asked. "Is that a good idea, Molly?"
"Don't you want to leave this awful orphanage life behind? If the people don't take us in, we can live in the woods together. We can start our own little town of orphans! Ms. Coolidge would never find us!"
"I don't know..." Maggie trailed off, before biting her lip and nodding, "I suppose we could try. If we were discovered, the worst we would get would be a belting or something like that. It isn't like Ms. Coolidge can kill us - that would be illegal."
Molly wasn't sure that Ms. Coolidge really cared about what was illegal or legal, but Molly decided to keep quiet if it meant having a supporter for her plan. "We'll need to start taking a portion of our meals - a non-perishable portion - and hiding it in the horse grain bucket upstairs in the girls bedroom. When we have enough food collected and we decide who is going, we will be able to leave. We should also track the moon - it will be good to leave when the moon is fullest."
"Okay," Maggie agreed.
"You cannot breath a word of this plan to anybody, okay, Maggie?" Molly asked, holding out her pinky finger. "Do you pinky promise?"
"I pinky promise," Maggie giggled.
Molly was thankful that "pinky promises" were around in 1935.
The girls continued to collect food throughout the week. So far, Eleanor, Molly, Shola, Maggie, Charlotte, and Mosi were all set to escape. With 6 people saving a portion of their dinners each night, the food and supplies added up quickly. The full moon, by smart Maggie's calculations, was upcoming and fast approaching.
The night before the full moon was set to come - the night before their daring escape would play out, the girls sat down and looked around, not able to sleep.
"We've had some pretty good times here," Maggie looked around. "As much as we all claimed to hate living here, we managed to make do with the cards we were dealt. I am so glad to be going off on this adventure, but I will miss this place. It is kind of like another home. An awful one, maybe, but still a secure home all the same."
Molly smiled, "That night that we listened to the radio and danced was kind of fun, but I am definitely glad to be getting out of here. One week was more than enough!"
"I agree," Mosi replied. "I can't wait to see where the map takes us!"
Grace and Eleanor went to sleep, but Molly and Charlotte stayed up while Mosi slept across their laps. "I think you are really brave, Molly. I am so happy that you decided to trade your glasses for that map so that you could help not just you, but all of us. I am sorry about how angry I got a few days ago when you were talking about time travel. At least you are all settled in now and we are about to leave the orphanage anyway."
"Uh huh," Molly whispered softly. If only Charlotte really knew - Molly still believed she had time traveled, but she had come to terms with the idea that she was probably going to be stuck in 1935 forever, and she may as well have another adventure! What was there to lose?  
"I hope this plan turns out okay for all of us," Charlotte whispered. "To be very honest, I am rather scared, but I know that it will have to turn out okay."
Molly nodded in agreement and the girls turned their heads toward the bedroom window to watch the sun slowly rise, signaling morning - the morning of the day of their escape.
They had made it to that much anticipated day.
All day, the girls were very jittery, and they all seemed to dance about their chores in a happy, free way. Ms. Coolidge was too busy counting her money to notice.
That night, the girls all pretended to sleep, but at about midnight, they grabbed their little makeshift knapsacks and the bag of food and supplies and they slowly but surely climbed out of the window.
Once everyone had their feet on the ground, the girls stood in front of the orphanage that had become their home. Well, Molly never thought of it as a home, but Mosi had spent over half of her life there, and the other girls had spent a good portion of their lives there too.
"Goodbye," Maggie whispered, saying farewell to the building that had watched her grow through the years, to the orphans that she had spent a part of her life with, and to the chapter of her life titled "Orphanage" that was now, she hoped, in the past forever.
"Goodbye," the wind and the building seemed to whisper back as a candle flickered in a window.
The girls set off into the night...
Sorry it took so long to get to the next part, but I was busy and all that! XD Hopefully I can get to Part #4 in a more timely manner. :P

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Orphans of Main Street Home for Girls: Ep. 1, Part #2

Thank you for all of the feedback on Part #1! It seems like you all liked the new photo story series idea! So, I decided to create Part #2, because I am excited about it all too! :P

This part is a little short, just because I am still deciding exactly where the story is going. I sort of just make up ideas in my head as I go along. :P
Anyway, here is Part #2:
The next morning came after what seemed like forever. Molly put her glasses back on and stood up out of bed. Maggie and another girl were already waiting for her. The room was bustling with many girls all getting ready for the long, laborious day.
"Good morning, Molly," the girl with red hair greeted her.
"Good morning," Molly returned the greeting and then asked, "What is your name?"
"Oh, my name is Charlotte," Charlotte replied.
Molly nodded, "Nice to meet you."
"I see you are feeling better after your rest," Maggie smiled. "Or at least, you had better be, because today is a big day of work - just like nearly every other day. Charlotte will show you around and give you tips for doing all of your chores."
"Will I have many chores?" Molly asked. Molly needed some alone time to plan how to get back home.
"Just some at first, but the list grows and the grows the longer you stay here," Charlotte informed her.
"Oh, well, I won't be here long at all, so I guess I can handle my short list of chores until I'm back home where I belong."
Charlotte and Maggie exchanged a worried glance. Molly noticed it, but chose not to say anything. Charlotte and Maggie had a right to be worried - to anyone, Molly sounded crazy. The truth of all that had happened to Molly seemed unbelievable. Molly couldn't expect anyone to believe her story, yet she still wished that someone would.
The girls ventured up to the attic. "We have to start by cleaning up the attic. It gets rather dirty up here - especially when the older girls leave the window open. They do it on purpose so that us younger girls will have to work harder. I know that when I am an older girl here, I won't be so inconsiderate towards the younger ones."
Molly just nodded. Could Charlotte really have that little hope of being adopted, of having a life outside of the walls of the girls' home? Charlotte was already talking about herself being at the Home years from then! Molly felt awful. This was a temporary situation for her (If she could find her way back to that gloomy evening in her grandparents' attic where everything was normal for the last time). But for Charlotte, this was life. "Maybe you'll be adopted by then," Molly suggested hopefully.
Charlotte shot Molly a stern glance. "We don't talk much about adoption around here, Molly, so I suggest that you forget about it. Sometimes you just have to accept things."
Surprised by Charlotte's outburst, Molly opened her mouth in shock to protest, but just then, at the top of the attic stars, a little girl sat crying. Charlotte rushed to her side. "Mosi, what is wrong?"
"T-they stole my bracelet," Mosi sobbed, "The bracelet from my mother."
Charlotte hugged Mosi tightly. "I'll try and collect money to buy it back for you, Mosi. Don't you worry - we'll get your bracelet back."
"Are you sure?" Mosi asked, still tearful.
"Of course," Charlotte comforted her. "But Ms. Coolidge will belt you if she sees you sitting idle. Go back to your work." With that, Mosi scurried down the attic steps.
Charlotte stood up and sighed. "What was that about?" Molly asked.
"Oh, Mosi lost her bracelet to the older girls. The older girls often steal things from the younger ones and then they sell them each Wednesday during our free night. Some of us spend all year scraping and scrounging for pennies to buy our items back. We find the money scattered throughout the Home - Ms. Coolidge may have loose change to spare, but she isn't very smart about it. The pennies just spill out of her pockets as she walks!"
Molly and Charlotte shared a laugh over the image of the pennies spilling out of the mean woman's pockets. "Does she really belt you?"
Charlotte nodded, "Well, only if she sees us not working a lot. Mosi is prone to not wanting to work, so she is on Ms. Coolidge's bad side. Now let's start tidying up."
"This attic looks like my grandparent's attic. Hey, this is where you found me yesterday all alone, right?"
Charlotte just gave a half-hearted shrug, "I didn't find you - you'd have to ask Mary Grace, since she's the girl who showed you around yesterday. I never could get used to her nickname Maggie. Just doesn't fit her if you ask me."
"Uh huh," Molly replied absentmindedly. She was deep in thought. If this attic was the attic that she had been found in, then maybe it was also the attic she had ventured into at her grandparent's house! Perhaps there was a portal or something inside the attic. Now, usually Molly laughed at that nonsense talk of portals and science fiction, but in this situation, all of that "fiction" seemed possible.
"But as for looking like your grandparent's attic, I know what you mean. I see things around here that remind me of my parents' house all the time."
"This isn't like that, Charlotte," Molly shook her head.
"Sometimes I sit back and remember my old bedroom. I used to sit and listen to the radio. Then, the Depression hit and my parents had to send me here. They just dumped me off and I haven't seen them in nearly a year and a half."
Molly's bucket of dust, dirt, and ashes fell to the ground; dropped in surprise.
"I'm - I don't know what to say, I'm sorry - about everything," Molly was stricken with sadness for Charlotte and the other girls in the Home. She was also stricken by something else - had Charlotte just said 'Depression', what did she mean by that? No one just dropped their children off at an orphanage - no one within the last 50 years, anyway. What was Charlotte talking about? Were Charlotte and the other girls the ones who were actually crazy?
"There isn't anything to be sorry about, none of it matters," Charlotte snapped. Molly was already too surprised to show much more of that emotion, so she just stared at Charlotte blankly. Charlotte swept a strand of loose hair away from her face and she sighed. "Molly, I didn't mean to snap like that. Sometimes, I just get to thinking about my old life and I get stuck in a sort of rut. I always thought they loved me, but then they went and did, well, you know. It just makes me feel betrayed, you know what I mean?"
"It's alright, Charlotte," Molly shook her head, "I agree - thinking about that could make anyone upset."
Charlotte nodded, "I'm glad you understand. I'm sorry about everything that happened to you, Molly."
"Me too," Molly muttered under her breath. To Charlotte, she just nodded sadly and the two continued to clean up the dirty attic in silence.
After Molly's chores were finished for the day, and Ms. Coolidge had exited the Home on her weekly date, Molly lay in bed.
Maggie took Molly's hand. "Molly, I'm sorry about everything you've been feeling. You know, all the mix-up and you being confused. I know that this orphanage life isn't so great, but I think you'll find that all of us roommates make for some pretty interesting friends."
Molly just sniffled in reply. How could she explain to Maggie that it wasn't just a mix-up in her mind?
"I do hope you'll join us tonight. Ms. Coolidge is gone, and Wednesday night is a lot of fun. We get together and tell stories, eat stolen snacks from the kitchen, and we just dance and party for hours. It's the one time we get to act freely. I don't think you'll want to miss it."
Molly shifted a bit in bed and turned to face Maggie. "Alright, I'll come join you."
Out at the table, a green box sat. Grace picked some papers up out of it. Molly stopped dead in her tracks - horrified. That was the green box that had been in the corner of her grandparents' attic. "Where did you get that box?" Molly nearly screamed in shock.
"We found it in Ms. Coolidge's trash. One man's trash, another man's treasure," one of the girls explained.
"We write creative letters and journal entries and we keep them all in this box. All of us contribute - even the mean older girls. We write imaginary letters to our real parents or we write letters to Ms. Coolidge, and a lot of times, we just journal about the week's events. You can write something if you want."
Molly shook her head, but then she reconsidered. Maybe writing would help her to come to an understanding with her thoughts and all that had happened. She grabbed a stubby pencil off of the table and she began to write all about what had happened to her in the past few days. The words came quite naturally and seemed to just flow from her mind through the pencil, and onto the page.
Eventually, she and the others finished writing.
"What do I do with this now?" Molly asked.
"Well, if you want to share it, you can, but most of us just put the letters in the box. Sometimes they can be personal and we all take a vow not to read the letters of the other girls. We all deserve our own little space after all," Maggie smiled.
"I think I'd prefer if no one read mine," Molly told them and she slipped it into the box.
"Of course," Charlotte smiled warmly.
Then, Eleanor came into the room and bent down underneath the green table. Suddenly, swaying, exciting music filled the air around them. "Now who wants to dance with me?" Eleanor cried out excitedly.
Molly couldn't help but feel giddy and upbeat with the exciting music dancing into her ears. This life at the orphanage maybe wasn't so terrible. She had a great group of exciting friends, she had no annoying siblings or school work. She had exciting Wednesday night parties. Things in the Home seemed a bit harder because of all of the work, but overall, the living seemed a bit simpler. Well, on Wednesdays like these anyway.
The two swung to the music and the others did too. Feet stomped and hands clapped in rhythm to the swinging song.
Just then, an older girl entered the room. "I'm here to auction off some stolen goods."
Molly snorted at how ridiculous that proud announcement had sounded, but the other girls just nodded.
"I have a pair of shoes and a headband!"
"My headband," Eleanor commented. "How about 2 cents?"
"Deal," the older girl replied, handing Eleanor her black headband.
"Oh how I've missed this hairpiece!" Eleanor exclaimed, placing it in her hair.
No one would buy the shoes because they had long since been outgrown by the rightful owner and they were being auctioned off at 5 cents.
"I don't think it is right of you to steal things from other girls just to sell them back! Did you ever stop and think that that could be wrong?" Molly asked as Mosi nervously inquired about the whereabouts of her recently stolen bracelet.
"I don't think it is right that all of us have to be in this orphanage or 'Home for Girls'. Did you ever stop and think that that could be wrong?" the girl retorted smartly. "And as for the whereabouts of that bracelet," She looked at the crying Mosi. "I guess I'll give it back free of charge. It wouldn't fit around my wrist and it's all chipped up anyway. Sorry I stole it."
Mosi grabbed her bracelet and slipped it on her wrist as the older girl prepared to leave.
Just then, the girl grabbed Molly's glasses, "10 cents next week!" She shouted.
Molly grabbed ahold of the girl and wrestled her to the ground. "You give those back," Molly shouted, prying the spectacles out of the girl's greedy hands.
The girl got away before Molly had a good enough grip on the glasses. "I can't believe it!" Molly cried out.
"I've never seen Sam and the others do something as disgusting as that act," Charlotte shook her head, "Can you see very well without them?"
"I can still see alright, just not as good. Luckily I don't need them all the time."
"I'm sorry about all of that," Maggie touched Molly's hand. "But don't let it ruin the festive night. I'm sure we can scrounge up 10 cents for next week."
Molly just nodded weakly. All the girls could see she was a little shocked.
"As exciting as it can be around here on Wednesdays, life here is pretty hardscrabble too, Molly," Charlotte informed her. When you get those glasses back, you had better guard them carefully."
"If we can get the money sooner, can we buy them back before next week?" Molly asked hopefully. She wanted to leave and didn't want to spend one more week here waiting to buy back her glasses.
"I guess we probably could, since you do need them," Maggie nodded. "We'll try as soon as we get all of the money."
 "Shhh," the other girls said,  "The evening news! Then a Little Orphan Annie radio show talk! Then another show maybe if it isn't too late! Let's all tune in - the night is just beginning!"
Molly and the other girls all leaned in towards the radio as the announcer's voice filled the room. "Oh, it's my favorite announcer tonight!" Charlotte cried. "Listen, listen!"
"Tonight is a beautiful night, folks, this beautiful March 23!" the announcer cried out. "I daresay it is the nicest night of 1935 so far. All of you out there who agree with me will surely enjoy this song we're about to hear. Listen up folks!"
Some music filled the air, but Molly was deaf to its swinging sound. The girls all smiled at the lyrics, but Molly was blind to those smiles. All she could hear was the number '1935', all she could see was '1935' flashing before her eyes. Was that the year? "It has to be a joke - a prank on the listeners," Molly shook her head, thinking out loud.
"Shh," the girls around her put fingers to their lips as the latest hit continued to play on the radio.
"Was that a joke - you know, 1935?" Molly whispered to Charlotte, sitting next to her.
Charlotte stared at Molly strangely, "What do you mean by 'joke'? He was just saying the year. What's funny about that?"
"Nothing, nothing," Molly replied, looking away, overcome by all that she had just heard. What did it mean?
Then, it hit Molly. The old fashioned radio that worked like new. The vintage clothing that didn't seem so out of place. The orphanage. The mentions of The Depression.
She had traveled back in time somehow. It explained how the attic suddenly looked different. Sometime after sitting back to take a rest, Molly had travelled back in time. Now she had no idea how to get back - she didn't even have the beginnings of an idea. Would she be stuck as a Home resident forever, and then as a poor girl with no future? Would she ever see her siblings, parents, grandparents, or anyone familiar ever again?
Molly couldn't help it. Everything was too much. She felt tears begin to fall. She had nothing else to do but cry about all that had happened.
"It didn't happen," Molly shook her head in disbelief. "It didn't happen."
The song had just ended, and all of the girls around her came to comfort her. None of them understood, but Molly was grateful for their attempts at making her feel better.
"Don't worry, we'll buy your glasses back as soon as we can!" Maggie touched her back soothingly. "I bet that I have ten cents stowed away somewhere.
"You mustn't be upset about all of your confusion over the past few days," Charlotte comforted her firmly. "It may seem scary, but I think it is rather natural."
"We all miss our parents sometimes too, Molly, and our old lives," Eleanor assured her. "We understand."
"It didn't happen, it didn't happen, it didn't happen," Molly continued to shake her head as though she was in a trance. It couldn't have happened. She could not be right. None of it was true.
"I promise that we understand," Eleanor hugged her. "We all know how upset you must feel right now. Sometimes it can be hard to believe that it happened."
If only you all did understand, Molly shook her head, wiping away tears.
Whatever would she do?
Part #3 coming soon! I'm super excited about this photo story series! It may be my favorite yet!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Etsy Outfit Review & Photoshoot!

Recently, I ordered a dress from the Etsy shop, Terri's Touch (

This was my first ever doll clothes order from Etsy and I prayed that it would go smoothly. Well, the experience exceeded my expectations! The dress just arrived today within days of ordering, which I think is just positively amazing! Not only did the dress arrive quickly, but it is beautiful and so well made that I believe it may be even better quality than AG itself. Etsy, I believe, is now my go-to doll clothes shopping site. I had a hard time deciding exactly which outfit to order, because each outfit looked so stunning. I am very happy with my choice, but all of the other outfits on there are adorable too. I love the historic fashions for sale! While the dress was $32, the quality is great and it is quite unique too, so I think that the price is pretty fair.

Now for the brief photo shoot! I am considering this my belated St. Patrick's Day shoot, because of all of the green! However, Grace is not my Irish doll (I think Felicity is), but that is okay, Grace still loves green and fun holidays!:
The dress! I just fell in love with the collar and the little sleeves! The fabric just seems so historically accurate as well. This dress will be beautiful in the fall colors this autumn!
Grace resting in the grass.
I originally bought the dress with Molly in mind, but Molly is in a key position for my latest photo story (The Main Street Home for Girls Series) so I decided to get Grace all dressed up instead!
I always tend to do a lot of these shots when my dolls are lying down. I thought the buttons looked particularly cute in this picture - the way they raise off of the fabric.  
Ella Grace Elizabeth. I love how Grace's hair is so soft and smooth - she is my last doll with hair still in that condition.
Doesn't Grace just look like such a 40s' school girl? Elizabeth Walton, maybe?  
I still can't get over that color! I mean, just look at it!!!
This may be on of my favorite photos from the shoot. I can't decide.  
I was trying to get Grace's hair to reflect the sunlight and look all nice, but I sort of failed. XD I guess the sunlight still makes a little shine?
Grace decided to walk over to a different backdrop to get a few different poses in.
She chose this beautiful backdrop. I think that Grace can look pretty good posed against this green.  
My favorite photo of Grace. I am so glad that I kept her braid in. I will probably keep that braid in forever. Kind of like Julie's. :P
Headshot Style.
One more glimpse at the dress details and fabric.
She included a cute note of thanks! Thank you , Terri, for such a wonderfully made dress! I will be ordering from you again, I know it!

I plan on doing an even more in-depth photo shoot with more interesting poses later on when I have more time to travel to a nice nearby park or something. Of course, who knows when I'll ever get to that...XD

Do you have an Etsy shop? I'd love to know because I am now obsessed with all that Etsy has to offer!

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Orphans of Main Street Home for Girls: Ep. 1, Part 1

I had a great idea for a photo story series and I decided to shoot the first few pictures of it. In December, I began a photo story series about three orphan girls on the run. However, I decided to put that on hold for now and do a similar story instead; a story that I found more interesting.
This photo series has elements from a lot of different books that I've read or things that I've seen, however, the idea and storyline is completely my own!
This first part is pretty short, I just wanted to get it posted and all that and to sort of build suspense. :P I hope you enjoy reading it!
It was a gloomy Monday evening at Molly's grandparents' house. All of the adults were out for a dinner night while Molly and her siblings were stuck alone in the house. Molly had ventured upstairs into the attic because when the adults were home, she was never allowed up there.
Now, she stood at the top of the stairs. Everything around her was silent. She could no longer hear the voice of her older sister Jill scolding her little brother Brad. She couldn't hear the music that played or the fire that crackled in the fireplace. Now she was really alone.
Molly shivered a bit, but then she told herself rather sternly, "You chose to come up here, so stop shivering and do whatever it is you came up here to do."
The only problem was, that Molly didn't know why she had climbed the shaky stairs to the attic. Ever since she knew about the attic, she had had a burning desire to see what it was like. Molly had been in plenty of attics, but none drew her in quite like this particular one.
"What a disappointment," Molly said aloud, trying to make conversation with herself so she would feel less lonely, "The only thing here is an old wooden chair, a dusty fake evergreen wreath, and a fireplace that hasn't been lit in at least 50 years!"   
Molly began to turn around to leave, but something caught her eye. There was a small window that cast the last few rays of sunlight upon a dusty corner. Molly's eyes scanned right over it, but then she did a double-take. There was the most beautiful box in the corner. It was green checked and Molly could see the inches of dust that had piled atop it.
Molly stood there, staring at it for a moment, as though the box could somehow be intimidating or dangerous. "Ah, it's just an old box. I may as well open it up," Molly shrugged and began to walk closer to it.
Bending over the wooden desk chair, Molly grabbed up the box delicately. She had no idea what to expect. Surely the box hadn't been touched in years and years.
She sat down in a lighted part of the attic and set the box on the floor in front of her.
She lifted the lid, sending a thick cloud of dust up around her. She sneezed a few times and then reached for the red ribbon that tied a stack of papers into the box.
Her fingers fumbled with anticipation and excitement and mystery as she undid the ribbon that was still bright red even after many, many years.
The papers had millions and millions of sentences and words written upon them. The handwriting varied, with some of the words spelled out in childish scrawl, while other pages were decorated with a very legible, fancy writing. "Ha! Some of these letters look like they were written in my handwriting!" Molly laughed at the coincidence.
She set about reading through them at first, but she couldn't understand what they were trying to say. "What are these letters talking about? Who in the world is this Ms. Coolidge that seems to be talked about so much?"
Molly continued to study the letters until the sun set so low that she could no longer read. The darkness of the attic and the comfortable temperature caused Molly to sit back and relax.
She closed her eyes for a moment and suddenly found herself standing up. The room was a little brighter and in place of the fake evergreen wreath, there hung a white apron.
"What on earth?" Molly gasped.
What had happened? Why was there an apron where the wreath had been, and why was she suddenly standing up. How had the lighting managed to become brighter?
Molly took the apron to try it on, wondering what would happen. Just then, a girl appeared at the top of the steps. Molly gasped and almost dropped the apron.
"Oh, Molly, I didn't mean to frighten you!" the girl smiled warmly. "But what are you doing up here all by yourself? Come on, Ms. Coolidge wants us in bed right away!"
"She does?" Molly asked. Who was Ms. Coolidge? Molly thought the name sounded familiar, but she couldn't quite place a finger on where she had heard - or read - the name.
"Yes," the girl nodded, "We all need to be in bed by 9:30. After all, we do get up at 5:30 to 6:00. Come on, follow me, I'll show you your bunk. Eleanor is your bunk partner. She's really nice, but of course, you know that, since you met at dinner."
"We did?" Molly was puzzled.
"Why, yes," the girl nodded, "Eleanor was the one who sat on your right side. I know the names and faces and routine are all confusing at first, but soon all of it will become familiar."
"What are you talking about? I don't understand at all! What's going on?" Molly blurted out.
 "What do you mean?" the girl replied, "I don't think I understand what you are saying, Molly."
"Well," Molly began, "I never ate dinner with you, I have no idea who Ms. Coolidge is, I've never met or sat with a girl named Eleanor, and of course this place is familiar, it's my grandparents house - or it was. It looks so different now. Oh, and I've never met or seen you in my entire life."
                                       "Are you sure?" the girl wore a worried expression.
"Well yes I'm sure!" Molly replied, beginning to get agitated. "I have no idea what you are talking about!"
"Oh dear," the girl shook her head. "Sometimes change can really shock girls in your situation. It is understandable. I recommend some rest. In the morning, you won't be so confused."
"What do you mean by 'situation'? Where am I anyway?" Molly began to get a little scared. This girl was too calm and quiet to seem like a child. She wore a somber expression and had dark circles under her eyes. She looked unwell.
"You are standing on the 3rd floor of the Main Street Home for Girls," the girl replied.
"What is your name?" Molly asked.
"Mary Grace or Maggie," Mary Grace replied.
"I must be going crazy or something. Last time I checked, I was Molly McIntire age 12, visiting my grandparents house with my three siblings, Jill, Brad, and Ricky and my parents."
"Oh my, oh my," Mary Grace shook her head.
"What?" Molly asked; slightly alarmed.
"I do think you are shocked, because last time I checked, you were Molly McIntire, age 12, whose parents had just recently died. You had no siblings," Mary Grace replied gently. "You need some rest I think."
"Maybe," Molly had nothing left to do but shrug and follow Maggie helplessly.
They reached the bunk beds, which were in a large room - the house seemed so much bigger than the house Molly remembered as her grandparents' house.
"Now get some rest, Molly, please do," Maggie nudged her towards the mattress.
Molly just nodded. Perhaps she would wake up and things would be back to normal.
"Now I will be in the top bunk, resting too. Eleanor should be in to join us for sleep soon. We all like to try and get some sleep tonight, because two nights from now, on Wednesday, Ms. Coolidge leaves for the evening and we have the whole facility to ourselves. We like to stay up late and enjoy ourselves on Wednesdays."
"Oh, okay," Molly nodded weakly as she sank back into the mattress.
The light dimmed in the room as the sun set more, and soon Molly could see other girls entering the room to sleep.
But Molly could not get to sleep, no matter how hard she tried. The other girls around her seemed to sleep fine, except for the occasional younger girl who would cry out or others whose whispery chatter filled the air. There was no doubt in Molly's mind that this would be a long, long night...
Part #1 is over! Please let me know what you think in the comments! Thank you for reading!

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Surprise Party Part #2

The 2nd and last part of the story! I hope you enjoyed reading Part #1! I separated it into 2 parts because I feel like readers like that better - it is easier when long stories are broken up.
Early in the afternoon, after church had finished and the girls and families had all returned home, Grace entered her cabin room. On her bed, was a beautiful new dress. It was blue with little white polka dots and the yoke at the top was positively adorable. Grace wondered if it was for her. "Perhaps this was mistakenly delivered to me," she thought aloud, "I never ordered a beautiful dress such as this one."
She fingered the dress delicately, when suddenly the corner of a note popped out of the sleeve. Grace worried that the dress and note were for someone else, and that it was wrong to read the note, but she grabbed the note and began to read it.
Ella Grace,
We request your presence in the dining hall at once for a most important event. Please arrive wearing this dress.
Elizabeth and Friends
"So the dress is for me!" Grace smiled. "How I was hoping it was. Let me put it on!" Grace quickly rushed to get changed, her mind swirling with ideas on why her presence would be requested. Not once did the thought that she was going to a birthday party for herself ever cross her mind. How surprised she would be!
Grace peered into the hall. Her first glance at the hall showed many happy girls jumping up and down, waving their arms. "Surprise, Ella Grace! Surprise!"
Grace gasped in shock. "What is the meaning of this?" She laughed.
"It is a birthday party - for you!" the girls all screamed.
Grace couldn't help but frown a little bit, "Oh my, you needn't have gone through all of this trouble. My birthday is not so important!"
"Oh but it is!" Payton shouted.
"Come join us - let's party!" Elizabeth cried excitedly.
Grace entered the room and rushed to embrace Elizabeth, "Was this your idea?" She whispered.
"Well, in the beginning it was," Elizabeth replied, "But us AG Farm Girls, when we do something we all like to do it big and get involved."
"Oh Lizzie," Grace sighed in amazement as she gazed around the room at all of the festivities that had been planned and carried out just for her!
"Here is the seat for the birthday girl!" Lissie smiled at Grace and motioned for Grace to sit in the balloon-adorned throne.  
Grace thanked Felicity and took her seat.
Once all of the cheering had died done a bit, Grace couldn't help but question, "Do you mean that you all did this just for me? This is such a splendid party, it must've been so much trouble!"
"We did it for you, but we wanted to have two guests of honor. After all, we figured that we may as well have another dear friend celebrate her birthday today too."
"Whatever friend could that be?" Grace inquired.
"Josefina, you can come out now!" Payton cried dramatically. From the dining hall closet, appeared Maria Josefina - Grace's friend that she had met on her first day of school.
Josefina was led to her guest-of-honor seat. "My birthday is on March 19th and today is the 13th. Your friends so generously invited me to come celebrate. Happy belated birthday, Grace!"
"Thank you so much," Grace smiled, blushing a bit, which she tended to do whenever she was given a lot of attention. "Happy early birthday to you, Josefina!"
"A special drink for the celebrated guests," Kit smiled, placing a strawberry soda ice cream shake in front of each girl.
"Oh, my favorite!" Grace exclaimed. "Josefina, you will love this drink! It is Kit's favorite recipe - straight from the 1930s!"
Josefina just nodded. She couldn't speak - she was quickly drinking down the soda shake!
Then Felicity brought out a cake. "12 candles with 1 to grow on!" Lissie exclaimed.
"Groovy Girls," Josefina read the writing on the cake and then giggled.
Felicity rolled her eyes in exasperation, "That is the sort of caption you get when Julie decides the cake's writing!"
Josefina and Grace just giggled some more and Felicity couldn't help but join in on the lighthearted laughter.
The candles were lit, the lights dimmed, the curtains closed, and then Happy Birthday was sung. As the song began to come to a close, Grace thought of what she would wish for. What was there? Her mother was on a quick road to recovery, America was becoming more and more her home, she would probably be back in Paris soon anyway, the girls were becoming more and more her friends. What did Grace want? For the first time ever, she was content. She was happy. She wanted nothing more than what she had in the world.
As the song finally did come to a close, she and Josefina reached over to blow out the candles. I wish for the feeling I have now and the friends I have now to last for a very, very long time. I wish to remember this moment forever.  
With that, her wish was made, as was Josefina's. The candlelight disappeared and the room's window curtains were reopened and the lights were turned back on.
The girls ate crazy amounts of delicious cake and chattered, laughed, and some even danced to the classical music playing in the background.
Then, the gifts were brought out. Each girl received 4 gifts.
"Oh my, you didn't need to give me gifts!" Josefina was surprised.
"But we wanted to, you're our friend now. We are so lucky that Grace was able to meet you!" Molly told her.
Each girl got a stuffed animal, a tote bag, and a wrapped gift.
"These bags are just so beautiful!" Josefina exclaimed.
"Mine is going to start a new trend back in Paris," Grace laughed, "I have never seen anything like this purse made of a pair of jeans, but I love it!"
"Good!" Ivy smiled, "Julie's mom made both at her Gladrags store. We knew they would be perfect to give as gifts."
"Now you can each come up one at a time and open your wrapped gift," Elizabeth, the party director, told the girls as she cleared a space on the table for the wrapped gifts to be unwrapped.
Josefina went up first and unwrapped an Apples to Apples game.
"We didn't really know what you liked, but this is the latest Apples to Apples edition and we figured that you might not have it," Ivy told Josefina.
"No, I do not have it - in fact I have never played this game," Josefina told the girls. "But it looks very fun. I know my family will enjoy playing it with me."
"Speaking of family," Felicity and Elizabeth began, glancing around the room and building up suspense. "We talked to your parents when we invited you here. Our parents have set up an arrangement. A very special arrangement!"
"What is it?" Josefina couldn't help but ask. Everyone except she and Grace knew what the arrangement was.
"We will just say this," Felicity paused dramatically, while looking over at the other girls in on the surprise.
Then, at once, the girls cheered, "Welcome to American Girl Farms, Maria Josefina Montoya!"
Josefina gasped. "Whatever do you mean?"
"You are moving here, to the empty cabin! Now you don't just have to see Grace and the rest of us at school! Now you can live on this beautiful farm!"
Josefina could not believe her ears. She was really going to move on to the beautiful land and live with this wonderful group of girls. "Oh my goodness! Oh thank you!" Josefina cried as she embraced the other girls; her new sisters.
"I never want this day to end. Never! How it has changed my life!"
After all of the cheering, crying, and excitement of the big announcement had died down considerably, Grace too the center stage. She blushed as she began to open her present and noticed Felicity taking pictures. "You don't need to take pictures, Lissie!"
"Yes, I do!" Felicity responded, proceeding to snap 100 more.
She gave up on opening the present cleanly, and just decided to tear into the wrapping paper. She gasped as she stared down at the doll in the box in front of her. It was Rebecca! A doll that she had wished for!"
Grace shared a special moment with her first American Girl doll and sighed contently.
"How did you ever manage this?" Grace asked them all.
"Forget about how we managed it and smile for the camera," Lissie ordered.
She slid the box completely out of the paper, her fingers shaking with surprise and excitement.
Then she smiled for the camera that Felicity held. Meanwhile, Kit and Kanani were behind her snapping up pictures as well.
"Speech! Speech!" Payton jokingly cried out. She knew that Grace didn't like to speak, but on this occasion, Grace didn't mind speaking a little.
As the girls hugged her, Grace did begin a short speech.
"I just want to thank you all. I know that things have been rough here for my first year, but you have all made it better. Even for times when I have been a little rude or a little quiet when I shouldn't have or maybe times when I accused you girls of doing things and times when I  just wished to be alone, well, even during those times, a part of me knew what true friends you all were. Every single one of you." Grace had really wanted to resist getting all sappy and all emotional, but she couldn't help it as a tear fell from her eye and slid down her cheek.
This was one of the best days of her life, made even better by the true friends that surrounded her.
Later on in the day when Josefina had gone home to pack to move to AG Farms, and the other girls had long since gone to get ready for school the next day, Payton and Ivy entered the dining hall a bit hesitantly. Grace still sat at the table, Looking at the remains of the party. Looking about as though she could still see her friends dancing and chattering.
Her thoughts were broken when Payton whispered, "Grace?"
"Yes?" Grace looked over at Payton and Ivy who had both just entered the room.
"Well, uh, those, um, monkey stuffed animals, they have a special meaning. A different meaning than what you might think," Payton stuttered out. Grace had never seen her that unsure of herself before.
"What meaning would that be?" Grace asked curiously.
"Well, you see, is that I - and Ivy - bought these stuffed animals for you to keep one monkey and the two of us to keep one monkey. When you are in Paris, our monkeys will be apart. Then, when they come together, the monkeys can connect. If we each keep one, then we will always remember each other, even after you move away. And we will also each have something that can fit with only one other - kind of like those heart friendship necklaces. You know what I mean?"
Grace smiled, "Payton, Ivy, that is really, really thoughtful. I was worried about us losing touch when I move back to Paris, but now I believe that we won't."
Ivy nodded, "We are glad you like the stuffed animal and that you don't want to forget us either."
"Ivy, Payton, you two and the other girls on this farm, are the truest friends I've ever had the pleasure of having."  
With that, the three close friends embraced each other. Grace knew right then that she had found the truest friends she could ever have found, and that no matter where life took them all - even if it took them apart, they would never really be without each other.
The end of the story! I'd love to hear your feedback! Thank you for reading! It feels so good to be back to blogging!