American Girl, keep giving us Dolls of Color for Girls of the Year.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Historical Clothes Reviews and Historical Accessories: Addy's Tartan Plaid Dress, Ida Bean Doll, LE Mini Doll, and Sweet Potato Pudding Kit

Merry Giftmas, AddyWalker!
Merry Fucking Giftmas to all my readers, lurkers, lovers, haters, and hangers-on. And that's not sarcasm, that's exuberant joyful cursing.

Normally, I don't do back to back day posts, hence my holiday series reviews going to carry into January. It's stressful on me, and I get tired and feel like I'm flooding you with too much data. I always worry I'm going on and on about shit no one cares about when I get into The Doll Zone. But today is Giftmas, and Giftmas is very important to my AG collecting. Because, if you haven't read the story before or spent any time on this blog, let me remind you. Christmas Morning, 2005 was when I got my first AG doll ever after wanting one since I was kinda around eight or nine and falling in love with Addy when I was thirteen: Aduke "Addy" FirstArrival Walker.1 I was 25 years old, and my mother- and father-in-law2 got me her, her meet accessories, her nightgown with her heartwarmer and slippers, the hair kit, her work dress, and her Tartan Plaid Dress. I cried, people. I fucking sobbed when I got her and I'm not ashamed. I immediately changed her into the dress and she was so pretty that I swear she glowed in my arms. I cuddled her all day and eventually started snuggling in the bed with her every single night. Every year, she gets into her dress for the holidays. Even last year, when some shit went down through my family--the December after I got laid off that March--and I thus had a miserable, shaken holiday season , I changed Addy into her dress because she just has to get dressed. It's as much a tradition now as fucking around on the internet and staying up ridiculous hours. Addy is the leader of my gang, she is bossy and she is brilliant and she is cocky and better than your blond and/or blue eyed moddies and she doesn't have to share her collection with anyone except maybe her bestie Sarah because fuck you, that's why.

Yes, that's right, I started with one doll and one holiday set, and eight years later I have twenty-six gang members and enough AG holiday stuff that it takes a calculated effort to do the holidays and some people have to change outfits twice. Aw yiss.

The Tartan Dress came out the same year Addy did in time for Holiday 1993, and originally cost $22 but has since been bumped up to $28 because gas ain't less than a dollar anymore. And at the time, she also had
  • a holiday food craft set, the Sweet Potato Pudding Set for $16: cast iron spider, glazed  mixing bowl, spoon, faux holly spring, and recipe
  • a doll, Ida Bean, for $18 (originally $15)
  • and a craft set, the Needlework Kit and Lamp. for $18: Plastic and metal oil lamp, plain apron, embroidery floss, needle book with needles, wooden hoop, and instructions.
Everything else has been retired--the kit in 2002, the needlework kit and lamp in about 2005-2006, and Ida Bean just this year in 2013. But her dress still stands for the holidays. AG sort of wants you to want to get holiday wear for dolls, and so they almost never retire a holiday set if the historical character is still there to wear it.3 And I have almost every bit of Addy's Holiday collection. I got Ida Bean off eBay for $15 with shipping since the cost was cheaper than AG's costs at the time within months of getting Addy; since she's retired her price has almost doubled but I'm sure with patience you can get her for a good cost. I paid $75 for the complete, unused Sweet Potato Pudding Kit from private purchase in 2012 because Addy and I are spoiled absolutely rotten by my husband, and on eBay it goes for about that much when it shows up complete. My needlework set is a mishmash of stuff. I got the authentic apron from someone for about $10, I scanned someone's instruction book and needle book, I have so many needles I lose and replace them on a regular basis, and I took my ass to Joann Crafts and Micheal's and picked out embroidery floss and a wooden hoop for maybe 6 bucks in total. I just don't have the lamp.  But that will change when I finally focus on eBay and find a good knock off. So it's not going to be a review so much as a Crafting Creatively and adaptation.

Order is: Dress set, Ida Bean, Mini Addy, and Sweet Potato Pudding Kit. Of course I have the LE Mini Doll. She was the first I got, as soon as she was released. So this bonus? Is me showing some of my fancy cooking. I'm way too good to you.

All dressed up for the holidays, every year.
Dress: The dress is a red, black, and green (with a few hints of yellow) tartan plaid dress that flairs out, worn with Addy's meet shoes and socks, drawers, and a white ruffled petticoat I made for her underneath this to give it lift.

And now is the times of feels, so many that I have to break it with a line.

I don't know if AG was purposefully invoking  the colors of the pan-African flag when they picked the colors, but they hit them on the mark perfectly. I tend to get irritated by some aspects of pan-Africanism, especially when invoked to cause misogynoir4 from black men and stereotypes from society. But when you boil me down, I am a proud black woman who was born to an ex-Black Panther who used to take me to the African World Festival in Houston every year and taught me to sing to and respect my ancestors and their struggles, and to a man so proud of being black that he joined the oldest Black Fraternity in this nation and never voluntary trimmed his afro in his sixty-two years on this side of the Haze. The colors of this dress speak to me on a deep, ancestral level with its colors and one that black women can and often bond over. That is why I'll all but cuss your ass the entire fuck out for putting this dress on anyone else and letting me see it or know it, but especially when it gets put on white girls. Cause in my eyes it fucking screams "Black Pride" and given the shit that she goes through canonically, Addy has every right to be the only one to wear a dress that embraces her black pride. And there is no justification anyone can ever give me to put this on other dolls. No, not even you over there. No, not even on your #26 Harrietts and your Céciles. And especially not on the white girls. No, not even the tan ones. No classic mold girls allowed. No one else is allowed,  and every time anyone in this world does it the AG gods kill a Licorice kitten and then retire your favorite thing. You might as well try to slap shitty ass cornrows in #27's hair. But that's another AG complaint department, and I have details to detail.

Yoke details are fine and delicate.
The yoke--a separate part of a dress's bodice, especially when of a noted different pattern, trim, or texture--is white cotton. There is picot lace trim with thin satin black ribbon laced through in three columns: two that go back to the back end of the yoke and one that goes up to the high collar. The high collar has flat lace trim which is also run through with black ribbon and has a tacked black bow in the center, and the edge between the yoke and the rest of the bodice is trimmed in black satin ribbon border. Mine has a tiny stain on one of the lace points, I just saw. I should wash that later.

Buttons and sash brass. (There is no brass in the sash.)
Down the front of the bodice below the yoke are three small decorative blue round buttons. At the waist is a black taffeta-style ribbon sash. It's not tacked to the waist, so it needs to take care to not have it display too far up or down.

Side tacked.
The sash is tacked down at the side bodice seams.

Puffy pretty sleeves.
Addy's dress has dropped shoulders--a style popular at the era that set the shoulder of a dress or shirt lower than sleeves are set now--and puffy sleeves that are gathered high above the elbow and trimmed with thin satin black ribbon bows at the center.

Bowed over.
The sash comes to the back where--if you remember what I said about tying bows in a TED talk--is tied into a proper wide bow that still has very long tails. The Civil War was on point for bows and sashes everywhere at the waist of girls' dresses. You can also see the wideness of the skirt. And of course it velcros up the back.

Fringe issues.
The edge of the sash has black long fringe. If you haven't tied the bow in the back like an idiot, the fringe should sit so that, at most, the top edge is just below the skirt hem. Girls weren't dragging bow ends lower than that in the Civil War era.

Let's talk about plaid. Beyond this just being a pan-African beauty in its colors, it shows the richness in the fabric. And not just because taffeta. In the Civil War era plaid was a popular and very easy way to say "look at how fucking rich my clothes are." Because then--and now--plaid wasn't easy to match up and match clothes out of. You buy more than you think you'll need--I double yardage on anything I do in plaid--you have to take care to get edges and fronts and sides to line up as close to right as possible, you have to take your time, you lay thrice and cut once, and if you don't do it right then it looks sloppy and shitty and is a waste of good fabric.  Back then a woman's dress could easily take 10-15 yards of fabric; a girl's would, of course, take less. And every seam had to be matched in skirts and bodices and ruffled trim so that the pattern looked continuous. You don't fuck around with plaids. I've made several plaid clothes, and that shit isn't easy. So Addy's dress basically screams rich and well to do, even if she's canon working class.

Hemmed up.
The hem is plain and just tucked up and seamed. The rest of the dress shows the richness. ++ A (and that's not a typo, that's double-plus5 A). This is the most beautiful dress in my entire collection, and in Addy's collection specifically.

Hairbow: Addy finishes off her pretty, pretty dress with a plain green satin hairbow that tucks around her properly coiffured hair. Again, I have made it look proper and neat. The ends are diagonal cut. Given the elaborate dress, this is a nice matching touch that doesn't overpower the dress like another plaid ribbon would. A. 

Ida Beans: Addy's dolly.
Ida Bean: Iin Addy's Surprise, Addy's momma Ruth gives her a present of a handmade black beanbag doll--Addy having left her previous doll with her little sister, Esther--and Addy names her Ida Bean because she is full of beans. Well, in this form she's full of polyfil beads. But you know, principle. That and they don't make beans so small. Ida is made of black cotton cloth and comes in a purple calico dress with a small floral print. Mine happens to be a PC version.

Let's have some doll history. Black dolls were often not allowed to be owned by black children. White was right, and black children having dolls that looked like them was dangerous and subversive, because bigotry then and now led white people to think that black dolls for black children were a radical concept--and worse, defying white people's power to make sure black people didn't think they were worth shit. So mothers who gave their children black dolls had to many times hide this. In fact, this is the origin of the topsy-turvy doll. A double ended doll was made with a huge skirt, and one side was a black doll, and attached to the other end was a white doll. Black children could flip their dolls upside down to the white side when white people walked by so that their feefees didn't get hurt and they didn't give them shit, and they flipped back to the black side when they were gone. But Black people too sensitive about black dolls and I'm sleep though.

Face the facts, Ida's black.
So in that vein, Ida is black. She's blacker than black and she's black, y'all. Her eyes are embroidered in white and her mouth is a little red line, and her hair is a strip of curly black fluffy yarn hair, like a little mini fro. I kind of wish she had a little more hair so she didn't seem so bald from behind.

Yarn bow.
 On the left side is a thin red yarn bow.

She has silver loops for earrings sewn to the side of her head. 

Under her dress are plain white drawers stitched down at the waist.

My Ida Bean!
And bonus shot of Addy holding her beloved Ida. Ida gets a B+.  I simply adore Addy's dolly.

Mini Doll: Micro-Addy came with a copy of Addy's Surprise and was released March 2011. She cost $24 and a quick glance of eBay shows none for sale, but chances are she goes for more than retail now. She's fairly faithful to her larger self, with some noted variations. For one, her dress is made of cotton instead of taffeta.

There's no lace on the bodice, but there is the yoke, black ribbon, and bow at the neck; the sleeves are still nicely puffy, there's three small buttons, and the plaid's still rather accurate.

Ribbon sash, in small. 
The waist sash is a plain satin ribbon with no trim.

 She still has the simple green bow.

And she has her drawers, stocking socks, and boots. I normally would not show these but the bows on those shoes untied and I had to retie them and it took forever and so you get to see. If you can find her for a good cost, she's worth it. A.

Sweet potato pudding y'all~
Before we get deep into the review, let's show the set off. We've got a yellow glazed porcelain bowl, a wooden spoon, a cast iron spider pan, a faux sprig of holly, and the recipe both in old fashioned and new terms. My set came new and complete and I suspect was only used for display, not play.

Gonna change that.

Bowl me over.
Bowl: The bowl is a yellow glazed porcelain or earthenware bowl, just the right size to mix doll pudding in. I have such a weakness for doll dishes, right up there with shoes and neat earrings. I could have put mix in it for this review but I didn't want to risk spilling it in my house. So maybe later. It looks like it can stand up to gentle use.

Lines in the bowl.
On the side are three thin white lines in the glaze for decoration. Alas, blurry. My camera apparently decided focusing on my backdrop was the right thing to do.

Bottoms up!
The bottom of the bowl is unglazed--natch, because that's the part that would touch the kiln bottom--and has a Pleasant Company stamp directly imbedded in the bottom. I can't make out the text too well, beyond "Made for Pleasant Company." Magnifying glasses, later. The bowl gets an A. It's pretty, useful, and pretty useful!

Spoonfed cooking.
Spoon: The wooden spoon is made in such a bumpy way that it looks hand carved, even if it isn't, and of a light wood. Metal spoons were expensive, so many working class people used wood for day to day cooking.

The working end--affectionately known in this house as the scoopity6--is smooth; important, as no one wants splinters in the food.

Sticker. Upside down.
On the back is the sticker, because you gotta know who makes your shit. I like the spoon, but I don't feel like I'd actually want to use this spoon to cook or mix lest the wood be warped or damaged from too much use and washing. I'll probably just use plastic spoons with the bowl. But it is lovely for display. B- because I can't actually use it, but I can happily display it.

Recipe, for all your food making needs.
Recipe Card: The recipe is written on off white paper that is tri-folded, for instructions on making sweet potato pudding. The recipe is "written" two ways: how Ruth would have handwritten down the recipes in a script, and then more modern directions in text inside. I actually have scans of the recipe that I print off to use so I don't mess this up, so this is for completeness to the set and display.

Ruth's recipe is written as such: Peel and grate three sweet potatoes, pour on them nearly a pint of cold water, add four large spoonfuls of brown sugar, one large spoonful of butter, season with ginger. Bake for about three hours. First of all, I read cold as "Odd" waters. Stupid cursive, this is why you're dying and I'm glad.7 This is a recipe without much cooking or details, and is likely done for three hours as the potatoes are not cooked beforehand. Also, old ovens would have variant temps depending on how the fire was stoked.

Inside, we have the modern recipe in default/Times New Roman, and how to put a serving in the cast iron spider to cook a doll sized portion. You think I wouldn't do this? You don't know me. Since it's a hard kit to get and AG don't make it no more, I'm posting the full text.
3 sweet potatoes or yams, boiled until tender
1/3 cup butter
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 egg, well beaten
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
shortening to grease baking dish

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. When the boiled sweet potatoes are cool, peel them and put them in a large mixing bowl. Mash with a fork.
3. In another large mixing bowl, combine the butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and salt. Beat until creamy.
4. Add the mashed sweet potatoes and stir until well mixed.
5. Slowly add the beaten egg, milk, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed.
6. Sprinkle in the nutmeg and stir.
7. Grease the glass baking dish (12" x 8") and pour in the mixture.
8. Put the baking dish on the lower rack in the oven. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until set. Allow the pudding to cool before serving. 
Delicious. I love sweet potato--pie, pudding, baked, and a boiled mashed style. Sweet potatoes~. Don't come up in here with no fucking pumpkin pie, and don't put no damn marshmallows on your sweet potatoes.

For the spider size, you'll only need to cook it for about twenty minutes at 350 or until set firm. 

Season your cast iron or you will fuck it up.
One the back are instructions on seasoning cast iron. If you don't season your cast iron you will rust it out and fuck it up and deserve a smack. Treat that shit nice. Instructions and recipe get a A. The handwriting is a nice touch, the recipe--as I will explain--is delicious, and it tells you good stuff.

Holly decor.
Holly Spring: The set comes with a small sprig of faux holly to decorate your cooked or mixed food with. We've got five green holly leaves and two hunks of red berries, on plastic stems. Very holiday, much Giftmas.8 Cute, but the issue is putting real holly near food, because Addy and her mom likely would not have done that. They did not have faux holly, and holly berries are slightly toxic to humans--causing puking and diarrhea--and very toxic to household pets. You should probably not eat holly berries, and you should not leave authentic holly where animals and kids can eat it and make themselves sick. So C-. Cute, but you might not want to try this at home with the real thing.

Cast Iron Spider: The cast iron spider--so called because of the tiny legs on the bottom that pop it up from flat--is adorable. It brings so much memories back. Until I was in college, my family never used crappy nonstick pans, and I learned how to season, cook, and clean cast iron so it won't rust as passed down from relative to relative. Even now my mom still uses cast iron, and I would rather have cast iron pans even though we only have a few here. Give me time.

Stamped and sized.
The bottom with the three little legs has the Pleasant Company stamp and a "1." The number is accurate as it matches cast iron sizing--the old stuff had numbers to mark the size of the pan, and I am pretty sure they still do that now. A #2 would be about 4-7/8" across, which is pretty small. This one is about 3 inches across--so it's smaller and  so gets #1. Authenticity, get you some pan, you're so cute. Mine has a little rust, but that's not my doing and I'm going to fix it.

Handle your pan.
The handle has a hole to hang from and is a little indented. There's also little dents in the pot, like real cast iron.

At each side are two little lips on the side. Again, more rust. Going to clean this one good. A+. Don't rust your cast iron. Be good to it and it'll be good to you.


And now the fun part--my cooking! My husband and I don't often do big meals, but we do at Giftmas. I make awesome broccoli rice casserole, we have ham, and we eat well. And I decided that this year I'd use Addy's spider and recipe to make some sweet potato pudding. Part of this was inspired by the great post at A Peek in the Pantry--an AG blog dedicated to AG recipes and era-appropriate or inspired food run by Gwen. She made this with the same recipe, and I have followed in her footsteps. She shows all the steps, so I didn't. That and I put the egg in at the wrong step and y'all don't need to see my fuck ups.

I heated up the spider, oiled it, and set it back in the oven to season. The instructions say shortening but I personally use veggie oil.

Mmm, ready to cook.
I then made the recipe--rather than boiled sweet potatoes I used a can, boiled them in their own water, and drained them before mashing. Since I wasn't sure of the measurements using canned, I eyeball and taste-tested the pudding for flavor, and then when it looked and tasted good, I put some in the spider and some in one of my baking dishes. I cook a lot like that. "Does this taste like food with flavor? aw yizz."

I scattered a little cinnamon sugar on the top and cooked each--the small one for 20 minutes, the larger for 55 minutes.

nom nom nom pudding
The larger one will be serving two people. My husband doesn't eat sweet potatoes, but my brother that just moved in with me does, and he declared this, in his own words, "oh my god that dessert yes please." I will take that as "delicious."

oh my god tiny dolly food.
And oh my god tiny doll food. It came out perfect, and I ate it and it was delicious and cute and squeal.

Artsy food pics.
Mmm. Food.


Ah, the historical part. Good times. The dress is prominent on the cover of Addy's Surprise, along with Ida Bean. Even in the recovers, she's still in the dress, albeit from the knees up. I am biased to Melodye Rosales's illustrations over Dahl Taylor as all the impact and color variation was taken out, but Dahl Taylor repaired the shit job that Bradford Brown did, fuck those pictures. I've bitched about this before, and plan to bitch harder later.

In the book, Ruth works hard and late on the dress, knowing that the dress was going to a very particular fussy (and in the good illustrations, light skinned) client. Ms. Howell returns the dress to Mrs. Ford in a rage, claiming that Ruth did a horrible job at sewing it when the truth of the matter is that her chubby daughter Isabella busted out of the dress, and Mrs. Ford stands up for Ruth, takes the dress back, and tells her it's not because Ruth fucked it up. The dress is gifted to Addy from Mrs. Ford, since she'd helped so much over the holiday season, and Addy hems it herself. And then Poppa saw her in her fine, nice dress.

Addy's paper dolls--both versions--have her in the Tartan dress, and show the lamp, Ida Bean, and a scarf she made. I got Addy's paper dolls right after getting the books. So I've had them since I was..fourteen? Thereabouts. They also have the pudding set details, but I don't feel like scanning that page. Go buy a set. Books are easy to find. AG fandom tends to shit on the books and fawn over the stuff.

The girl sized dress--which had no special name, I don't think--was available for $95.

Speaking of the girl sized dress, this is the cover of the catalog I fell in love with. This was my first glimpse of Addy. Can you see why I fell in love? She was gorgeous. If I'd been small enough, I'd have worn that dress. As it is I'd love to make one for cosplay.

And Addy's patterns have the pattern for the dress as well. So, you know? If you want her style of dress for others? Then fucking make one and don't steal her shit.

The only image I don't have but can confirm the used of the dress in is from the play. In the Addy play Addy: An American Girl Story. Addy only gets two outfits from the books: her meet dress and her Christmas dress. She wears it on Christmas Day--the day of the Spelling Bee--and wins. Her dad, proud that his oldest girl can spell and read, shows up at the same time right after.9
ETA 12/30/13: And I found a picture, sourced to Seattle Children's Theatre:

Left to right: Addy, Sarah, Harriet, Mrs. Dunn (the actress for her played multiple roles in the play). Addy is in her Tartan Dress, which other than her meet clothes are her only change.


Overall Feel: This dress is beautiful, and there is no question about it. The fine little details show the work and richness of what was probably Addy's finest dress. Ida Bean is adorable, despite the little details that downgrade her. The sweet potato kit has so many wonderful components, especially the functional spider and bowl. Even if I can't use all the parts for cooking--mostly to keep them neat--I can display them with Addy. I did pay almost five times the original cost, but I got it complete and Addy gets so spoiled. And the food is good. 

Cost Value:
My dress is priceless, as a gift from my MiL and late FiL. The cost from AG is good, and if you have Addy you need this dress. And if you don't have Addy, get Addy and get the dress. No dress without Addy. Ida should ideally be gotten for no more than $25 dollars since retirement. You are not going to find the sweet potato set for retail--trust me, I tried since it was retired when I got Addy. So $60-75 is about worth it for a complete set. Not higher than $90-100, and then it should really have the box if you're a box kind of person--I'm not--and be in perfect condition with no rust, cracks, or missing components.

Very much, dress. It's got rich plaids, dropped shoulders, a wide sash, and fine feminine details. The kit is from the era when PC did real wood, earthenware, and iron. Nowadays this would be plastic and only for display, and likely not nearly as fun to own.

Appropriateness to Character:
100% Addy's. Her mother sewed the dress for weeks. Addy got it as a gift after Mrs. Ford redid the outfit for her. It's in Pan-African colors. It's hers. Everything about it is Addy's. She earned the fuck out of it. It goes on her. It doesn't go to anyone else. This is not up for your cute little debates. Ahem, As for the rest, very authentic--the recipe is updated for today's cooking, and it's good eats. And there are layers of meaning of Addy getting a black doll when white people shat themselves at black children having white dolls.
Final Grade:
A+ for the Dress set. B+ for Ida Bean, A for mini Addy, and A for the Sweet Potato Pudding Set. A's all over for Addy!

Let's not lie. I'm hardly unbiased when it comes to Addy. She's my first, and you never forget your first.

Merry Giftmas, all! 


P.S. This post is backdated to the time I started it. I do that sometimes.

1 That's her full name here. 
2 My husband and I weren't legally married but we'd been together for pushing six years at that point. Mere technicalities.
3 Well, with the hinting exception that they may have tanked Marie-Grace and Cécile's sets. Sometimes I wonder about AG's methods of madness.
4 As defined by Gradient Lair, it's misogyny specifically directed towards black women, and has a lot of different aspects than overarching misogyny.
5 I've read 1984. I've read a lot of things. English Major.
6 The working end of the knife is the sliceity, and the working end of the fork is the stabbity. These are all also terms for the items themselves.
7 When I learned cursive, I struggled--being left handed--and was told by my elderly 4th grade teacher that I would have to have perfect my handwriting to write all my papers and work in formal business, as my handwriting would matter. Joke's on you, Mrs. Kay! My sixth grade teachers told me to print when they saw how bad my cursive was, I type everything on computers now, print what I don't, and sign my name with a swirling slashing. I only use cursive when doing character writing for my furry series.
8 I've spoken through 90s webtergroove, L33T, Lol Catz, Tumblr Lingo, and am now up to Doge. I keep my internet talk fresh.
9 Saw the play three times. It's not the same order as the book.


  1. I don't want To offend you----but---I love you!!! I also love Addy, she was my first AG doll and my favorite!!! I also love your reviews as I am fairly new to AG dolls!! You have really taught me so much about dolls and I am 74 years old. Keep up the good work and I hope your Holidays are great!!!!!

  2. The pudding looks ADORABLE in the skillet, really makes me wish the secondary market prices aren't so insane. I mean, I get why they are, but it just looks so cute in there!

    Excellent review as always, hope you had a good Giftmas!

  3. There must be something in what you've said here that is so powerful that it even resonates with white people, because I agree with you 100 percent! I got my own Addy in 2012 (late to the party, but better late than never) and the first thing I bought for her was this dress, because yes, she needed it! And yes, her clothes and other things belong to her, because that's the way it should be. (It's a good idea you had, about people using the pattern to make the dress in other fabrics for their other dolls. Hope the seamstresses that may be reading this take your advice to heart!)

    I especially want to say thank you for the information on the secondary market regarding Addy's retired collection. I've decided to start collecting seriously for her, because she deserves it most of all the AG dolls; but I'm a novice collector who would be totally lost in the Wilderness of eBay without some kind of guidance that I could trust. You're sharing with us out of the goodness of your heart, free of your charge, and this newb appreciates it as much as she needs it (a lot)!

    Merry Giftmas, and Blessings for the New Year!

  4. Merry Giftmas to you as well!

    I swear, along with all the interesting information you add to your blogs about period fashion, I can't help thinking some of your thoughts are the same as I had way back when I'd stare at the catalogs for hours.
    In this case, it's about the dress being in Pan-African colors. I'd swear I had thought the same thing when it first came out, but didn't remember until you mentioned it here. Was there something about it in the catalogues?

    I also have my Addy in this dress right now, and she couldn't be lovelier. It suits everything about her.

  5. Merry (late) Giftmas, Neth! I personally love reading your reviews! Did you get any new gang members for Christmas? Anything for your gang?

    1. No new gang members--I'm in a good place and need to sort more before adding new ones--but I did get a lot of stuff through the Cyber Monday Sale, including Cecile's Parlor desk and the party dress sets.

  6. What's going on in the picture from the play? Is that Addy's Janie, and did she get damaged by Harriet?

    1. It's a Christmas doll--neither Janie nor really Ida Bean. In the play, Addy gifts the doll to Sarah after receiving it, since Sarah has never had a doll. Harriet, in trying to see it, tries to snatch it out of Sarah's hands and has just ripped the arm off of the doll.

  7. ack, poor Sarah. Thanks for the explanation. I'd love to see a production of the stage play.

  8. You share my opinion of cursive, all the way to being left-handed. Cursive is stupid. Living in a world meant for right handed people, it sucks. I turn my spirals upside down every other page so that my hand isn't on the spring. But, I am mostly ambidextrous, writing and drawing being the only things I do all lefty. Sports are automatically done right handed, some part of my mind couldn't decide if I was to be left handed or right.

  9. I am now making the pudding and it smells absolutely divine. Thanks for posting the recipe!

  10. I keep kicking around the idea of a sculpy type pudding insert for the bowl and spider, but probably won't be able to get the sweet potato color the way my mom's sweet potato recipes are/were in my head. Maybe they'll match the Sweet Potato Soup with Rum Cream that I make from Cooking Light. It's a favorite winter holiday treat that I make extra to freeze for later. http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/sweet-potato-soup-with-rum-cream http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/rum-cream

  11. Excellent review! I give you my word that only Addy will ever wear this dress, especially now that you have pointed out the significance of the dress colors. I got Addy last spring when the BeForever dolls went on sale for $98 for one day, and my husband was kind enough to stop off at AG Place in NYC on his way home to save shipping. I have you to thank for persuading me that I needed diversity in my gang, even though it is limited to six. I have promised my husband that I will not buy any more AG dolls. Except minis that come as parts of book sets, especially when they go on sale for $11.

    Thank you for being you, Nethilia.

    As for the recipe, Ruth’s original looks much simpler than the modern version. Grating can be done using a food processor. Since white potato pudding tastes better made from raw grated potatoes than from cooked, it stands to reason I will prefer raw grated sweet potato pudding as well.


Trolling, pointless bigotry, nonsense, and hating for the sake of hating will be removed, as will any post screaming "first" because no one cares. Cursing is fine, as I curse myself. I still expect you to act like you have home training. This is not a Free Speech Zone. I reserve the right to delete comments, kick you out of the convo, or tell you to piss off. You post, you stand by your words, and all the consequences of those words, even if that consequence is getting your ass handed back to you. Don't come in my space, spit on my floor, and expect me to call it a swimming pool. I can and will cuss your entire ass out. If I told you not to comment, and you comment, your comments will be deleted.

If you are under 13 your comments will be removed; you're too young to be on the internet unsupervised and you know it.