Doll Jet Packs!

jetpack7

My daughters, 9 and 6 came up with this craft all on their own.  I thought it was just too cute not to share!

jetpack1

So what you need for this craft is:

  • two empty 330 mL water bottles
  • duct tape
  • two hair elastics
  • curly gift ribbon

All of the supplies you need for this craft are available at Dollarama.  This craft will cost about $5 or you can use items that you find around your house.

jetpack2

First step is to tape the two water bottles together with the duct tape.

jetpack4

Next, tape the hair elastics to the back of the jet pack, near the top.

jetpack5

I used the duct tape to cover the spouts of the bottles, so they looked more like a jet engine exhaust than a water bottle.

jetpack6

Next  I bent the sticky tabs of the curly ribbon and pushed them inside the bottle spout.  Don’t take off the back of the tab, otherwise the sticky tab will stick to itself and not open up inside the bottle.  (Having the tab open inside the bottle keeps it from falling out.)

jetpack8

Lastly it is time for the embellishments!  These are the jetpacks that my daughters made for their dolls.  As you can see, the sky is the limit when it comes to decorating!  No two jet packs will look the same!

jetpack9

My girls also added some pom-poms and ribbon inside their bottles for “jet fuel”.

ducttape

Check out all the duct tape options available at my local Dollarma!

Have fun!

~Meg~

* As always on our blog, prices are listed in Canadian dollars (CAD), unless otherwise stated.

Making Memories

Let’s take a moment and be honest with ourselves.  In today’s society families are busy, children are being pushed to grow up faster than we did, and moms are often struggling to hold life all together!

Growing up I always wanted to be a wife and a mom, but not just any wife and mom, I wanted to be the best wife and mom there was!  I planned to always have a clean house, fresh cookies for my kids after school, and a well rounded meal on the table every night. The reality is, my house can be messy, there were no fresh cookies after school today, and supper was Fruit Loops with mac & cheese.

A couple years ago I had a reality check when I discovered that while I had been wrapped up with other things my kids were quickly growing up!  I had missed opportunities to sit down and play, and to truly enjoy my children.  That same year for Christmas  my girls wanted dolls, so after discussing this with my husband, we decided to order them each a Maplelea Girl.  This decision will forever go down as a parenting win!

After the girls’ dolls arrived and I found myself enjoying them just as much as (if not more  than) my daughters.  I was sitting and playing with my kids again, we would do their hair, change their outfits, and go on adventures with the dolls.

wp-image-1819269317jpg.jpg

 

We all get excited when a new catalog comes, we pour over it together, talk about the new clothing and play sets, and research the heritage outfits.

This summer my oldest daughter told me she was glad we bought these dolls because she loves the time we spend together either playing, making crafts, or going on photoshoots with the dolls.

I never knew that getting Maplelea Girls would have such a positive impact on the relationships I have with my daughters.  Thank you Maplelea!

This is a picture I keep in my notebook, a reminder that having fun and making memories go hand in hand.

-Michelle

Maplelea’s Deluxe Wardrobe

share

Today on Canadian Doll Notebook we are reviewing the Maplelea Deluxe Wardrobe. This wardrobe is amazing!  It is a solid piece of doll furniture that can withstand all the daily love that our daughters can throw at it.  It holds a ton of stuff, and is a great way to keep all the clothes and shoes organized.

We have posted the link for our full video review:

Okay, so you have watched the video, and now I am going to throw in my “mommy 2 cents worth”.

I love the fact that when Maplelea designed this closet they paid such close attention to the details. My favorite details are that the drawers are easy to pull open and can be moved around.  The fact that they even designed a slot to fit the Maplelea journal sends its rating through the roof for me.

The Deluxe Wardrobe sells for $125.00 Canadian; in my opinion worth every dollar.

-Michelle

Two Little Night Owls

nightowlpair

One of the things that I love about the 18 inch doll world are all the matching outfits available for girls and their dolls!  Today I want to share with you Maplelea’s Night Owl nightwear for girls and dolls.

First up Maplelea’s Night Owl Nightwear for dolls, $24:

I love these little pajamas!  We did hit a road bump when the elastic on one of the slippers snapped.  Luckily it broke at the seam and I was able to stitch it back on the slipper, we have had no problems since.  So just be careful with the slippers, the elastic can only give so much!

The perfect match, Maplelea’s Night Owl Nightwear for Girls, $28:

These are Moy-moy’s favourite pajamas, and she wears them every chance she can get!

Night Owl pair

When compared to Taryn’s pajamas in the close-up above, you can see that Moy-moy’s pajamas have faded from the frequent washings over the past year.  Despite the abuse these pjs have endured there have been no holes worn through or tears.  The fabric is 100% cotton and very, very soft.

I like that the Maplelea clothing doesn’t have any tags, in the tops or the bottoms.  (My daughters always complain about tags scratching their skin.)  As for the fit, I ordered a size 6 for Moy-moy which is the size she normally wears and they fit perfectly.

As a bonus to today’s post I have a video of the retired Night Owl Nightwear, which was price at $20 in 2011.  I love to see the older Maplelea clothing and how it has changed and over the years.  From what I can find it looks like this style of Night Owl Nightwear was retired in 2011, and replaced with new look that you see now.

This outfit did originally come with matching blue slippers, however I received this outfit secondhand and they were nowhere to be found.  I didn’t like the fit of these pajamas as they were a bit baggy on Taryn.  I also didn’t like the use the rougher style of velcro.  Definitely the new Night Owl Nightwear was an improvement on the old.

slippers_Fotor

Check out our review of Maplelea’s Secord Slippers which are the perfect match to these pajamas.

~Meg~

* As always on our blog, prices are listed in Canadian dollars (CAD) unless otherwise stated.

The Winner of our Summer Contest is…

It’s happened, the school year has started, the weather has gotten colder, and the leaves are changing color. Fall also means it’s time to announce the winner of our #cdngirlsofsummer contest.

It has been so much fun to see the adventures you all have taken your dolls on this summer.  I love being able to see different parts of the country through your and your doll’s eyes.

Trying to choose just one winner was proving to be a challenge, and because it’s my birthday and I love giveaways I decided to pick a winner, and a runner up!  Yay, both the winner and runner up will recieve prizes.

This year’s #cdngirlsofsummer RUNNER UP is…

Martha Maudsley!

I love this picture!  My oldest daughter has the same swimming suit for her doll and it is darling cute.  Sis thinks that you, Martha are the coolest mom ever for letting your daughter take her doll to the pool and get that close to water!

As runner up you have won these cute gladiator sandals, and fun summer straw tote.

runnerup

The WINNER of this summer’s #cdngirlsofsummer contest is…

AnonymousA!!!

This photo of Molly at the Grand Canyon amazes me. The colors are beautiful, and it is such a great shot. You all should check out her blog, Happy Days with AnonymousA to see more pictures from Molly’s Grand Canyon trip.

As the winner of this year’s summer photo contest, you have won this great set from Our Generation.

Please contact us with your mailing address, so we can get your prizes out to you!

Thank you to everyone who participated, and happy fall.

~Michelle~


Charlsea’s West Coast Must-Haves

Charlsea is the newest Maplelea Girl and is from British Columbia’s Salt Spring Island.  Charlsea loves to be outside having adventures on Canada’s beautiful West Coast.  Here are few videos of her collection.

First up Ride the Tide, $26:

As you can probably tell from the video, I was so impressed with the detail and quality of this outfit. This outfit is definitely a must-have for Charlsea!

Next is West Coast Waterwear, $26:

Again I was very impressed with the quality of this outfit.  The wetsuit is adorable, and I love the style of Charlsea’s swimsuit.  My only complaint with this outfit was the tankini top, it is hard too hard to put on!

splishsplashsparkeltop

Chalresea’s tankini top doesn’t separate in the back like Brianne’s Splish Splash Sparkle tankini top, seen in the above photo.  The lack of velcro in the back causes a bit of a problem in dressing her.

charlseatop

In order to put the top on you have to bring both arms over her head, thread her arms through, then try to pull the top over her head, while pulling her arms through at the same time.  This leads to very messy doll hair, and me feeling frustrated.

Your child will most likely require help with dressing her doll in this swimsuit.

Lastly Charlsea’s Kayak Set, $70:

This play set is so cute, and all four of my kids love to play with it.  It is also very popular when friends come over as well!  I like that the paddle fits in any of the Maplelea dolls’ hands, so any of the girls can “go kayaking”.

Due to the shape of the rod on the paddle, it often looks bent, even though it is straight.  I can assure you it very difficult to bend the paddle’s metal rod.  This paddle and kayak can endure a lot of abuse. We have had this set for nearly a year and my 2 & 4 year old boys have played with it quite a bit, and it still looks great.

Charlsea is a beautiful doll and we just love her collection.  I can’t wait to see what else Maplelea comes out with for her!

~Meg~

* As always on our blog, prices are listed in Canadian dollars (CAD), unless otherwise stated.

 

Alexi’s City Style

Maplelea Girl, Alexi is from Toronto and has an outrageous city style.  My 6 year old daughter, Moy-moy shares the same eclectic fashion taste as Alexi, making her a favroutie doll at our house.  Here are a few videos of Alexi’s clothing line:

First up is Alexi’s City Chic Pack, $22:

I can’t say that I am crazy about the style of this jacket, a fur-trimed denim jacket is not something that you would find in my closet.  That being said, this is definitely something that you would find in Moy-moy’s closet.

The quality of this jacket and purse combo is second to none.  We have have this set for a year now, and it has endures many hours of play, the zipper pull is metal and the zipper itself is the same quality you would find on your child’s jacket.  As in true Maplelea fashion the pockets open, and your doll would be able to tuck something inside if needed.

The purse is velour and fastens with velcro, it also has a lot of space to carry items.  Moy-may has been known to fit an extra outfit for Alexi inside!  (As you know dolls always need to pack around a spare outfit.)

If your doll is as fashion forward as Alexi this would be a great choice for your collection.  You won’t be disappointed.  I did notice that this set was on Maplelea’s last chance page, meaning that is it soon to be retired.

Next up, Mostly Metro, $25:

This is another outfit that you would find Moy-moy wearing, she is just crazy about leopard print!  We have had this outfit for about year as well and it has also endured hours of play.

Lastly Tangerine Dream, $26:

Moy-moy, loves these pyjamas on Alexi.  They have held up really well, and what she likes most is that the pjs are easily tucked inside the drawstring pyjama bag, this great for storage or sleepovers.

Alexi is a fun doll and a great friend to my Moy-moy.  If you would like to see more of her style check out Maplelea.com, and stay tuned to our blog for more Maplelea videos!

~Meg~

*As always prices are listed in Canadian currency, CAD unless otherwise stated.

*In preparation for this post I stumbled upon Maplelea’s new item page.  Check it out!  There are great things to come this fall!

wp-image-1561723614jpg.jpg

Camp Fire

Fall is my favorite season of the whole year. The smell of harvest in the air (farm kids will understand), the colors & smell of the leaves & grass changing, the crispness in the air & best of all camp fires!

Our oldest daughters thought making a camp fire for our doll friends to enjoy would be a great idea. So we gathered some supplies and got at it.

Our supply list included:

Oversized Battery Operated Tea Lights From Ikea.

Gravel of Various Sizes

Twigs

Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks

The girls found the best way to cover the edge of the tea light was to start with the larger pieces of gravel first. They found that a small dot of glue on the tea light followed by glue the length of the rock was the best way to get the rocks to stick.

After the large gravel was glued into place they filled in the small spots with pea gravel. When done the edge of the tea light looked like a fire ring.

The next step was more tedious than the gravel, the girls took twigs and started to build the “teepee” part of the fire. Before any glue was added they figured out the length and how many twigs they needed and did a trial run.  Once the dynamics worked than came the glue.

This is a picture of the final project, they turned out great!

Note: There is no picture with the fires lit because Ikea does not include the batteries with the tea lights.  I have not been back to Ikea to buy batteries and cannot find the right size anywhere else.

*I would not recomend this craft for younger kiddos due to the chance of hot glue burns. Our daughters are 9 and 10 years old and were able to do this craft with minimal assistance.

-Michelle

Lotus Summary

Our guest post today comes from Nonna at Mommy’s Doll Club.  If you haven’t all ready please go check out her website, it is fabulous!  Please enjoy her informative post.

Lotus Summary for CDN

by Nonna

Aside from American Girl, there is one doll manufacturer that produces the lion’s share of 18 inch dolls. No, it’s not Battat and Our Generation; it’s a company called Lotus Onda based in Hong Kong (that’s China, where most of the world’s dolls are made). Their dolls have been sold under various brands in various locations (including Lillian Vernon catalogs and grocery stores). Here are some of the collections cataloged in Dollation.

lotus brands

 

Any favorites? You’ll see that both relative newcomers espari as well as veteran alternates to American Girl , Journey Girls are here as well as some non-US distributions including Canada’s Newberry line, England’s My London Girl and Germany’s Modern Girl line. Defunct brands are also represented by Laura Ashley and the Jewish heritage play line, gali girls. That’s one big family and it’s not finished yet.

What do we know about Lotus dolls? They’re all intended as direct competition for American Girl dolls. Pleasant Company first released dolls in 1986 based off of a German Götz doll design. It was a good design with high play and collectable value. The first dolls from Lotus were not as successful in competing with the quality of American Girl at this time.

Exact dates are not available for most of the doll lines produced by Lotus before 2000. Collectors weren’t aware of what the market was doing and the little girls receiving the dolls really didn’t care about what would become their history. The biggest competition American Girl had at this time were the Magic Attic Club dolls released in 1994 (although Madame Alexander was also multi-branding at this time with lines sold at Kmart, Toys R Us, Walmart and elsewhere). Magic Attic Club or MAC dolls dominated the market through nearly 2004 when price increases impacted consumer’s desire for other alternatives to American Girl. (By 2007 MAC was done).

Lotus’ Laura Ashley dolls were sold at Toys R Us alongside Madame Alexander’s Mia Bella dolls. Both lines originally sold for around $20 pricing all competition away. The quality was not the same as American Girl but no one expected it to be for $20. The Laura Ashley name provided credential and style to this new line marketed to young girls. They were soft-bodied dolls slightly slimmer than AG.

LA_AG

Photo credit: justmagicdolls

There were only four dolls in the lineup (one was darker skinned) as well as some furniture. The clothing was the stand out feature of these dolls as was the pretty face sculpt.

Another soft bodied Lotus doll line was the gali girls. Sharing the body type with Laura Ashley dolls, gali girls were marketed specifically towards Jewish girls and came with story books. Their major difference was the face mold.

Historical-Jewish-Doll-Miriam_485ED4BF

This is the Miriam doll. You will see this face used in many other lines. One notable gali girl had the same sculpt and body as a Carpatina Ana Ming doll but had bangs(Reyna).

Also defunct is the New York Doll Collection.

c0fcdfa61191fe6a1bd7ce0860292313_kidg

At least ten dolls were offered in this line, all white with the same face sculpt. One even sported an early version of an outfit we have seen on Newberry dolls, My Sweet Lil Girl and Today’s Girl. This doll had a product code of 402451.

402451 brunette 2014

The gali girls were introduced in 2004, Laura Ashley in 2001 with the NYDC somewhere around there (they did not have a store front so it is difficult to accurately date their distribution/manufacture). In 2007, another version of the soft-bodied Lotus doll began appearing called My Sibling (My Pal came along in 2009). These dolls share the face molds with the previous soft-bodied Lotus dolls (that were not Laura Ashley). The My Sibling line introduced stories of dolls with disabilities that children encounter in one another. The stories are created by Loretta Boronat who touts the line as made in the USA except for the dolls (who she says cannot be made in the US. She is correct that most dolls are made in China regardless of manufacturer).

I don’t have a year of introduction for Today’s Girl dolls either but I know they were around when my kids got their first dolls around 2000. My London Girl was not introduced until 2011 but their original offerings as well as Today’s Girl were very much in line with the earlier Lotus dolls.

Today’s Girl, sold by Constructive Playthings, is the first to use the Asian facemold on their Leah doll.

Leah 2013_0

This sculpt, or slightly different ones (Lotus makes minor changes and produces new molds very close to old ones) can be seen in the Newberry line as well as hard-bodied espari.

My Sweet Lil Girl is the remaining traditional soft-bodied doll listed in Dollation. This brand appeared in 2015 at US Kmarts. The two dolls offered were nearly identical to Sears Canada’s Newberry dolls.

This blond darling reminded consumers of the most famous Lotus offering, Journey Girls. She is identical to Newberry’s Allie .

IMG_20150924_165225_949

Who does she remind you of? Many consumers felt she look like the Toys R Us exclusive brand, Journey Girls’ Meredith . In the US, TRU does not credit JG dolls to Lotus but they do or have on the Australian, Canadian and UK sites.

Released in 2010, Journey Girls were unique because they have a chest plate that is the same colored vinyl as the head and limbs. This feature is commonly found in Madame Alexander dolls. Remember those Madame Alexander Mia Bella dolls that were around when TRU was selling the Lotus Laura Ashley dolls? Journey Girls are likely a response to those sale points. Up until recently, I would have argued that these are the best quality Lotus dolls. They don’t come with books (like AG) but they have evolved to have tourist destinations per each release. This year, the Journey Girls went to NYC. The original line had four dolls (one is retired); there are now 8 in the lineup with a rotating addition of a holiday doll (since 2013).

2016

In 2014, Barnes and Noble began selling a Lotus line called espari. Like the Journey Girls, espari dolls feature a vinyl chest plate.

IMG_5397-256x300

 

Comparison of Today’s Girl Leah with espari Mirelle courtesy of Mommy’s Doll Club

The above photo shows two basic styles of Lotus bodies. The dolls with the chest plate are slimmer than the soft bodied dolls. They also stand alone much better and have more stable heads/necks. For this reason, they are superior for posing. As previously noted, Leah and Mirelle share the Lotus Asian face mold showing how variations in coloring make for completely new appearances. (Newberry’s Lily also shares this mold with a very light skin tone).

Two more lines appeared in 2015. The Modern Girl available only from Müller in Germany and the Just Like Me dolls from Justice in the US. The Modern Girl line appears to have the chest plate body type but none of them are shown without a top so this author cannot be sure. (My guess is based on how they stand). Just Like Me dolls appear to have a soft body. Both have face sculpts similar to the more recent Lotus dolls but unique to their brands.

Toy-Place-Modern-Girl-479399

Modern Girl

1132070_619

The newest face sculpt from Lotus is the 2016 NYC Journey Girl Ilee. She also comes in a fair skinned, blonde version with ice blue eyes.

Ilee face

Lotus has made great strides in quality based on consumer demands. I think we will continue to see more exciting dolls from Lotus.

(Note: there are a few other rumored doll lines suspected of being Lotus. No unconfirmed lines have been included in this article).

World’s Smallest Toys are the perfect size!

little toys

Dee-dee and I were at our local Chapters store when we found these adorable tiny toys!  Of course we instantly thought that there would be perfect for our dolls, and brought them home!

etchascetch

This one is called the World’s Smallest Etch A Sketch and it actually works like a normal sized Etch A Sketch, as you can see in the photo above.  Our dolls have a lot of fun with it!  We paid $8.95 for little toy.

rubixcube

This one is the World’s Smallest Rubik Cube, which also works like a full sized Rubik cube as well!  This toy cost us $8.95 too.

dollholdsketch

The toys also fit great in your doll’s hand with a little help from an elastic.

dolllovetoys

Grace loves both the Etch A Sketch and the Rubik’s Cube!  Check out the other World’s Smallest toys available at Chapters, or visit Super Impulse for great ideas for your doll’s Christmas stocking this year.  It’s never too early to start Christmas shopping!

~Meg~