Friday, September 26, 2008

American Girl Dolls on QVC

Did anyone catch the QVC segment last night that featured American Girl dolls? I missed the first 15 minutes but was told that Julie, the newest main historical doll, wasn't even shown and sold out in 15 minutes anyway. Julie is from 1974 and came with her meet outfit, 2 books and her Dog Walking outfit. It's so cute and includes 3 dogs that she takes care of. I remember reading that in one of her stories.

Next came Molly, who is probably my favorite historical. She was my daughter's first AG doll back in 1998 and Molly became my first AG doll in 2005. Molly was being sold with her Miss Victory outfit, her meet outfit and 2 storybooks along with a stage that revolved. This however was not an AG historical item. Many of you may recognize it as the stage that you can use for your doll wearing one of the AG ballet outfits. If you follow Molly's stories at all, you know that her father is a doctor and has been sent to England during WWII. Her mother was a stay at home mom and now she's having to take work outside the home. The show host pointed out something very cool--that little girls now can relate to that whether their dad or mom is over in Iraq or just having Mom go back to work after being home. Molly McIntire is a sweetheart of a doll!

Then they showed the adorable bald Bitty Babies available in blonde, brown or AA. It was a super deal too because you got a high chair, feeding accessories, the doll itself in its meet sleeper and another outfit as well for only $106 I think.

The last dolly featured was another of my favorite historicals, Miss Addy Walker. Addy came with her meet outfit, her Flower Picking outfit and her Songbird and Treats set as well as her Meet Addy book and a large book telling all about what it was like in Addy's time. The big book included what toys children played with back then as well. Addy is so adorable, I just love her.

I'm not really sure that I agree with selling these dolls on a venue like QVC. On one hand, it may tend to make them seem "dime a dozen" as my daughter put it when I told her that AG was on QVC last night. But on the other hand, the way it was presented was very tastefully done and not the usual QVC frenzy that I had expected. It wasn't like they were selling a doll itself for some outrageously low price of $35--they sold a doll, 2 books, an extra outfit and some sort of accessory to go with her for a reduced price. It was good way to educate the American public about AG dolls, especially those who may not have known about the AG website to begin with. It may make people want to explore the AG website even more and find out what other great things they have there.

The next show featuring American Girl dolls on QVC is on October 25, probably the 7-8 ET p.m. time slot. Be sure and write yourself a reminder or set it up on your computer to remind yourself if you missed the first installment. It's anyone's guess what will be next. Will it be more historical dolls? I hope so! JLYs are top sellers for Mattel so I would think they'd want to educate more people about the American Girls that started it all, the historicals. After all, that's why Pleasant Rowland founded the company to begin with, to educate girls on little girls of different time periods. Mattel bought her company in 1999 but despite numerous retirings of different historical items, they seem to be on track in keeping the historical line intact.

QVC showed a countdown to Christmas last night and it's 90 days away GULP! If you would like any handmade American Girl doll clothes for your favorite little collector for Christmas, please check out my Kitt's Kloset site. My mother and I along with a good friend who lives in New York make all the clothes you see. If you purchase something of Holly's and mine, it would be great if you'd place a separate order for Holly's items since they will be shipped from her home in New York. Holly makes beautiful handmade historical American Girl clothes. Her ID on eBay is newyorkdolldesigns. She also sews for the MyTwinn dolls as well so check her out sometime!

And of course if you're a Barbie fan, don't forget to check out my handmade Barbie, Ken and Bratz clothes
at my site, Barbee & Friends. Please order early for Christmas! Thanks and happy doll collecting!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Adjusting to College Life and Empty Nesting

Wow you're saying, another post on the same day? What is this world coming to? Well I just wanted to get my customers/readers caught up with what is going on in my real life. Yes! I actually do have a real life beyond making handmade Barbie clothes or sewing clothes for American Girl dolls.

As many of you know, we recently became empty nesters, well we will be for 5 years anyway, lol. Our one and only, our daughter has gone to the University of Connecticut and life is well, just plain strange right now. She went from tears to happiness pretty quickly though as she's adjusting to life on campus, getting used to sharing the bathroom and showers and of course, doing laundry. Being an only, she was not used to what it's like to wait on the bathroom or a place to take out her contacts or brush her teeth. Although I would say she's probably had more experience in those things than most kids (aside from the laundry!) by having attended 4-H camp since she was in 5th grade as well as going on various overnight class trips.

She doesn't seem to think she's making friends quickly enough but she does really like it in Huskyland. The football games are fun and she enjoys her Animal Science class a lot. We are going up to visit her on Family week so that should be fun.

Meanwhile here at home, hubby and I are adjusting to not having a kid to run to various events and having lots less laundry--hmm, not really anything wrong with those two things, haha. We're finding that we're spending a lot less on gas and groceries, lol. We do miss her a lot but going to UConn has been her dream for a long time now and we're happy she's realizing that dream. She's funding her own education as well because for one, we can't afford to. Plus we all feel that she'll appreciate it so much more if she has to pay for it herself. Not saying we're not helping. Trust me, I've already sent her 4 care packages! It's all a learning process. Before too long, we'll feel like veterans at this empty nesting thing!

Anyway, my Barbie clothes orders really picked up right around the time we were getting ready to move her in up at UConn so I've stayed consistently behind. If you ordered in August, your order should be there. If you ordered earlier this month, don't worry, it's going to be there soon. At the moment as I write this, I am working on one order and just have 3 waiting so I'm not as backed up as I once was.

It has been quite a busy end of summer though and I would like to thank anyone who has placed orders recently for their extreme patience as we three Hanns adjust to college life. I have had to spend a lot more time on the phone with our daughter and sometimes she just calls me to check in. I wouldn't trade that time for all the world as I'm sure no one else would either. My family definitely comes first but my customers are next!

Don't forget to bookmark both my sites for your Barbie doll clothes and American Girl clothes gift giving needs this season! Handmade gifts are always the best! Christmas will be here before you know it. I already have people who have said they're placing their orders early for Christmas and that is very much appreciated. The earlier you order, the better. I usually like to tell people that I cannot guarantee delivery in time for Christmas gift-giving after November 25 so I am going to stick with that date this year as well. I do of course sew after that but I finally have to stop and have my own Christmas.

Well, until next time, whenever that may be! Have fun playing with or collecting dolls. Don't forget, dolls are not just for kids! They're for the young at heart!

Win a Cute Witch Costume for Your American Girl Doll!

Hey I didn't think it had been THAT long since I wrote here last but time sure flies when you're busy. I have some great news to share so I thought I would write again. The fun and cool doll newsletter, Doll Diaries, that I subscribe to is having another giveaway. You can read all about it and how you can enter yourself. When you see that picture you'll see why it's my favorite costume on the website! Samantha (or JLY16) looks adorable wearing it!

For handmade Barbie doll clothes and handmade American Girl doll clothes, I would love to have you visit those two links which lead to my two sites. Please order early for gift giving purposes.

Good luck in the costume contest! I, ahem, am planning to win it myself but hey, if one of my wonderful blog readers wins it instead, I won't be too upset! My dolly girls know that I can make them something--but will I, lol. That's the keyword there since my time is spent making orders for earnings, sort of like the old story of the shoemaker's kids going shoeless. Have fun!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Free Cinna-Minnies and Friends Holiday Specials E-Book

Hello blog readers! Barbee and Friends Doll Clothes has a listing in one of my crafting friends' 2007 Christmas e-book which is free for downloading. I will post the banner here so you can download it. While you're at it, check out the various vendors, including yours truly, for some very nice specials! I won't tell you here what the special is that my site is offering, you will just have to download Rochelle's book and see for yourself. Keep in mind, my special runs through December 1 even though this book may be available longer than that. Don't forget, order early!

This year's e-book theme talks about having a cookie swap. Each vendor who participated in the cookie swap was asked to submit a tried and true Christmas cookie recipe. Maybe it's something that has been in the family for years, maybe the vendor makes it or maybe a family members makes it. Whichever it is, the cookie recipe has to trigger some wonderful holiday memories. Following each person's recipe, you'll find the information for their site and what kind of special they're offering. If you need some Barbie clothes, Ken clothes, some clothes for your Bratz doll or even a new Barbie or Bratz doll, look through Cinna-Minnies and Friends' e-book for my special.

Here is the banner you can click to get to the free download:

Rochelle would like for you to feel free to share this e-book with everyone you know who would love to have some great cookie ideas for some Christmas fun this year. An early Merry Christmas to all of you!

Don't forget, my highly recommended deadline for ordering from my site for Christmas gift giving is November 25. For any holiday falling sooner than that, please adjust the time accordingly. Right now, orders are backing up and it is sometimes taking a week just to get to someone's order and work on it. Please order early to avoid disappointment!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Doll Diaries Is Sponsoring a Cool Giveaway!

In addition to sewing Barbie doll clothes for my website, Barbee and Friends Doll Clothes, I also like to sew for American Girl dolls as well as collect American Girl dolls. I belong to The American Girl Fans Message Board and today I saw a post for a site called Doll Diaries where the owner is wanting to get people to come sign up for her first ever giveaway. Just to give another plug out, the giveaway is sponsored by Beautiful Doll.

What is she giving away, you might ask? Just check out out this page to sign up to win an adorable pumpkin costume for your American Girl or other 18 inch doll. All you have to do is make a comment on her blog, tell that you'd like to win and maybe mention another costume that is your doll's favorite for Halloween. Very simple! Actually I shouldn't be telling you because I'd like to win it! Just kidding! I am really wanting to help her out by getting some more sign-ups for her contest. She's very excited about the giveaway.

While you're over there, browse around Doll Diaries for some other blog entries as well. It's not just about 18 inch dolls. I saw some links to posts about other dolls too. There are a lot of good resource links, photos, tips and reviews there too for different types of dolls including Barbie. When you're all finished looking there, you can come back and get your handmade Barbie clothes from me! All links above should open in new windows. Good luck! (I think! heehee)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Some Changes to the Cheerleader Outfits/Poms

As you may know if you've visited Barbee and Friends lately and checked out my Barbie cheerleading outfits , I can no longer get the Team poms that you see pictured with my Ohio State cheer outfit. I am running very low on the scarlet and gray color ones but in other colors I have quite a few. The Team Poms company has gone out of business and I have bought all that I could of what the craft website that sold them had left.

I have purchased a pom maker now so that I can hopefully make whatever colors I don't have as the Team Poms brand poms. The first color I had to make was white and maroon. I am thinking it was for Oklahoma University. My customer was very pleased with the outfit but she thought the poms were just a touch too small.

That's why I wanted to write this little article. When you receive handmade poms, they won't look anything like the poms shown on the website. My daughter is going to be in charge of making them and she does a really nice job. But with the yarn weight available, it's not really possible to make them look identical to the manufactured Team Poms. It could be a very long time before I totally run out of Team Poms, but there are just a few color combos out there that have made me have to resort to making the poms for different teams.

Also on 99% of the tops, I will be making a computer transfer to iron onto the top but with some of them, like OSU (Ohio State) I will still be hand lettering these. I just think the OSU in the gray fabric paint looks really nice. If you only have 3 letters required on the top and I have the fabric paint available, I will go ahead and hand letter these.

This probably has not been the most interesting article but it just lets me ramble a little bit about the Team Poms and how disappointing it is that I can't get them any longer. Another hint when buying a Barbie cheerleading outfit , if you need more than 5 of this outfit for maybe a fundraiser or just little gifts to give your cheer squad, please allow ample time for them to be done. Always assume there are several people in line ahead of you, just like at the store. A week for every 5 outfits might be a good rule of thumb, although in most cases I know I could have them finished sooner.

Well till next time, I hope you'll shop my site often and please remember my deadline for guaranteed Christmas delivery is November 25. If you celebrate a different winter holiday that comes earlier, you might want to order by November 18 just to be safe. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Christmas Is Coming...

The goose is getting fat, please to put the penny in the old man's hat....oops that's the song Miss Piggy sang in the Muppet Christmas special. Sorry about that. But now is the time to think about visiting Barbee and Friends Doll Clothes in time for Christmas.

Whether you are in the market for Barbie doll clothes , Ken clothes or clothes for your Kelly doll, now is the time to start browing and making your Christmas, birthday or any other holiday list.

Did you know that stores simply don't carry the selection of clothes for your Ken doll that they used to carry? I had tons of people last year who ordered Ken doll clothes and told me that they couldn't find them in stores. Of course I was happy about that as I told them that handmade doll clothes are always better!

All little girls love glittery, puffy Barbie evening gowns and I don't think you can go wrong with what I have to offer. From what I have seen in the stores, you have to buy a brand new Barbie doll in order to get any kind of fancy gown.

Ok now that you've browsed my site for a little while and you have all these clothes you want to buy, why not make your shopping one-stop and get a new or used doll ? I have quite a few to choose from that are new in box or some that are gently used. My goal is to have even more as it gets closer to Christmas.

Last year I sold every doll that I had listed on the site. Not saying that was a lot because I had just come up with the idea, but I know that the closer it gets to Christmas, the bigger the rush is to find that perfect last minute Barbie gift.

Also last year I had quite a bit of leftover craft show clothes that I could sell those who were calling me daily on the phone and seeing if they could get something in the dwindling days before the big holiday. This year I am pretty much wiped out of all those clothes so that means orders will need to get in early if I am going to have the time to get all the orders finished.

Ok just how early do you have to order? Well I recommend ordering no later than November 25 because anything ordered after that cannot be guaranteed that you'll receive it to use as a Christmas gift. I will keep working as fast as I possibly can to ensure that your items reach your house when needed.

Which leads me to the next topic, my site break. I like to do Christmasy things with my family, shopping, visiting, making cookies, you know, the stuff you see on all those TV specials. Oh yeah and I like to watch those TV specials (my fave is Charlie Brown!) so I am taking my break from December 20 to January 8 so that I can focus on my family and our own Christmas. Too many years I've been cutting and sewing at the 11th hour and had to break my neck to get finished. It's ok if I take off that long, I know the boss! She can be a grump at times but she's ok! This is why I love working for myself!

Thanks to all my crafter friends who inspired me to write this today after seeing them take a renewed interest in their blogs! Hey girls, you know who you are!