Friday, April 22, 2016

Shoulda. Woulda. Coulda.

Samantha Parkington. Kirsten Larson. Molly McIntire.  Do these names mean anything to you? Back in 1986, these young "girls" were introduced to the world in book and doll form by the Pleasant Company. Yes, I am talking about the phenomena of the American Girl collection. My favorite of the three was - and still is - Kirsten Larson.
Unfortunately, she never made it home with us in doll form. (So sorry, Anne! It's my shoulda coulda woulda regret as your mom!) And now she's "retired" and I'm not about to fork out the eBay bucks to get her belatedly.  So, I make do with a doll from Target as I have the time and desire to recreate her Scandinavian/American wardrobe.

First up: the Santa Lucia outfit.
Using tiny scraps from the baptism dress worn by all three of my grand-daughters, I made bodice and sleeves with plain white cotton for the skirt portion of the dress. (Here's Harper in the baptism dress)
See the scraps on the Lucia bodice and sleeves?
The petticoat is made from a white sheet that was damaged.  The striped socks are from a thrift store onesie (40 cents) and the belt is from vintage red bias binding tape. The lace is from my stash of yards purchased for 10 cents a yard back when I worked at Minnesota fabrics. The head wreath was the big splurge of a candle ring.  I'll figure out later how to add the Lucia candles to it. The total cost of the outfit is around $7.00 because of that candle ring.

Next outfit:  The "Frozen Frontier" combo of skirt, sweater, mittens and hat. 

Finding a thrift store Hanna Anderson sweater on sale for $2.00 made me nearly hyperventilate! It would be (almost) perfect in this Nordic black and white ensemble.

The drawback was its front closure of a zipper. Oh well. I cut it down to doll size.

The skirt was made from wool scraps and vintage trims. 

The hat was made from a Dollar Tree
$1.00 knit Peruvian hat, again cut down to fit a doll.

I was really happy to find this as there wasn't enough Hanna Anderson sweater to make a hat, too.
The yarn ties from the hat were repurposed into the cord to hold the two mittens together through the sleeves of the sweater. I'm guessing that my materials cost was under $4.00 for this outfit.

The shirt and slip have yet to be made but here is where you can help me out if you own the original outfit---is it a petticoat slip or a pantaloons undergarment?  I can't tell from the Google image photo.

I'm thinking about turning this into my Could. Should. Would. project. Plenty of fabrics from my collection at home to whittle down. Bring on the "Coming to America" dirndl skirt with blouse and 
vest, the
"Country Dress" with sun bonnet, the "Prairie School " dress with shawl, the "Work Dress" with the locket, the "Springtime Dress" with pinafore and the "Summer Striper" with straw hat! Come on over 
with your doll for a play date! Now is not the time for regrets!

And you? Did you have a favorite Amercan Girl doll?  Did you get her as a gift? If not, do you have
any regrets to resolve?

Friday, April 8, 2016

My Sister"s Birthday

Though her birthday has passed, it needs to be noted! Her Nelson Sister celebration occurred before her actual birthday (for reasons explained later). Many of you kind readers and friends have asked what her "theme " was this year:
It was based upon her Word-of-the-Year, Remember.
The gifts all had something to do with remembering - from silly things like a wristband key chain so keys would be remembered (ring a bell of familiarity for you,too?) to the poignant. In particular, three photo books filled with memories of our Nelson Sister Christmases, Nelson Sister birthdays  and our latest Nelson Sister road trip.

Yes, that is John Brorson holding a large korv sausage! (Christmas book.)

The road trip book to Florida starts off with us in the car. We had a lot of time in the car.

The birthday book has all our past "themes."

And to remember us singing at the top of our lungs at the Disney Frozen Sing-Along, she was gifted with Anna/Elsa word search and puzzle!

Our post-gift tradition is laying the loot all out for its own excessively-photographed session.
We go nuts.
Then, it's off to eat lunch.  What better place than Tre Kronor for remembering all the times we
have been there following our kids graduations and celebrations? Her seminary graduation?

Her "cake" was a warm, gooey cinnamon roll ---yum!
Then off to our third destination of remembrance: TJMaxx; our Mom got us started with this place
way back when.

Now for more Remember back story. My sister is going through a time of transition as her husband was diagnosed with cancer about two years ago. During the week of her actual birthday, they were at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota looking for some answers. There are a lot of questions, too.

But know that my sister is a strong woman of great faith and she remembers who really is in control.

Her word of the year is based upon Psalms 111:4-5.

An especially good reminder for the rest of us, too.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Island Getaway in Costa Rica


Bus transportation from San Jose to the port.
Hot typical breakfast served on a private dock before cruising on the Calypso catamaran Manta Raya.
Cruise includes snorkeling and banana boat ride once arriving at Tortuga Island and after cruising through the Gulf of Nicoya past Cedros and Jesusita.
Fresh fruits and fruit drinks provided all day.
Gourmet lunch prepared on site.
Live music.
Perfect sandy beach.
Wild pigs.
Did I mentioned this island is undeveloped and environmentally protected?
YES!  Yes! Yes! We were in!
Our bus picked us up not long after 6:00 AM on our last free day in San Jose. It took more than an hour to arrive at the port. Our breakfast there was good; the background music of this trio was the kickoff for island excitement.
And then it was time to board. Good thing Wes was wearing his party shirt!
There were about 55 passengers from all over the world as fellow cruisers. We were probably the least tanned in the group.
The crew was busy. The fresh fruits/drinks were plentiful and delicious!
We enjoyed sitting by Captain Milton in a shaded area on the top of the ship.
We cruised close to two hours; perfect day out.

Our island came into view. Wow. Just wow.
And it was time to discover more about this tropical paradise.
We said hello to the white sand, perfect water, shelter area...and wild pigs! (Too fast to snap a pic for me, sadly!)
Just a short time to settle in before our snorkel adventure. Small red boats picked us up to take us out to a docking/diving area to check out the underwater life by rocky little islands.
The above and below pictures are from Calypso's web page - my camera stayed behind here.
The fish were right there; water a bit cloudy.
Then back for the delicious lunch back on the island.

The flowers served on the platter became our "Island Girls" look.
Love these ladies! Front row: Pier, Zofia. Second row: Fran, me, Rhiannon.

The lunch was served on tables covered with white linens, beach umbrellas and billowing parachute circles overhead.! We enjoyed beach time after that and soon got the call to come for our banana boat ride. It was something we'd never done before and we managed to get thoroughly soaked but not capsized.

Again, their photo.  There was a crew photographer the whole this is how the glitterati live?!?!!

Time passed quickly - and this was one of the loveliest travel experiences I'd ever had.  Time to board and take the sunset cruise back to the port.

Perfect end to a perfect day.  I hope someday to go back!

(Apologies for the use of the word perfect multiple times. No other word would do.)