Introduction

Aestival Autumn

Aestival, btdubs, means ‘of or pertaining to summer’. As it is still technically summer, I couldn’t put a fall theme to this post, so I looked for a pretty word to add to Autumn’s name. Not only is ‘aestival’ nice to look at, it works well here.

When I did The Grand Turnover, I changed Autumn’s character a lot. But I just realised that I never said anything about her new personality – so here’s a photoshoot (similar to Fearless – #sorrynotsorry) to re-introduce her.


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Maybe it’s the red hair. Maybe it’s the Irish blood that I got it from. Whatever it is that makes me who I am, it definitely makes me stand out in the crowd.

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You know it’s me when you see a talented girl with great fashion sense and even greater poise. Her chin is up, her eyes are open, and her mouth is set in an intrepid smile.

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She never looks back, this girl. She just keeps going and lets everything that trys to tear her down slide off her positive demeanor.

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This girl’s a visionary, a leader of her friends. Charm and charisma come naturally to her. Her confidence helps both her and everyone around her succeed.

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Sometimes, that confidence gets the better of her. Sometimes she lets her pride and willfullness get to her head. But she never cries over what she can’t change.

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One day, she’ll be the unfailing beacon that many can look to for guidance. Until then, she’ll keep doing what she does best – steering herself and everyone around her to achievement.

They call her Autumn Adair.


At first glance, Autumn might sound a lot like Kaori. But whereas Autumn is social, fashion-forward and bossy, Kaori is not.

Bonus pictures (click to make them bigger):

What do you think of Autumn? Does she remind you of anyone you know? Which of your dolls is most like her?

{Tess}

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Silver Sky Tales

Follow the Siren {Silver Sky Tales #8}

Disclaimer: some of these photos are really good and some are really awful.


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As I watch the car drive away, I try to calm myself down by going over what had happened in the past week.

“Let’s see,” I said aloud. “I left SFO on Monday, layed over in Denver for three hours, and finally reached DFW Monday night. Well, I actually guess it was Tuesday morning. I rode a bus from there to here. And then this morning I caught an Uber car ride to where I am now. Which is a mile away from where I’m supposed to be right now until everything blows over.”

I sigh. Dad never said when that would be. But it isn’t like it’s clear. The media is fickle. Sometimes, they leave something behind in a week, and sometimes they obsess over it for half a year.

I hope it’ll be more of the first kind and I can go home in two weeks.

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I start to walk, not really wanting to, but knowing that I’ve got to. My mind wanders back home as my boots squeak on the drying pavement.

BING!

My phone interrupts my thoughts.

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I whip it out. Usually, I’m not this tech-crazy, but for the past few days, anything from my family is read in about 3.5 seconds.

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I already miss Akio, my cousin. I miss my mom and dad. I miss everyone I knew.

I start to text-walk. It’s not a good idea, and I know it, but I’m a bit desperate. Suddenly, I trip over something. I look down.

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There’s this weird little bag on the pavement. It’s got kind of an alligator texture and is the most gaudy pattern I’ve ever seen.

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I stumble, catch myself, and glare at it. Is it a bomb?

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Then I feel someone watching me. I turn around.

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There’s a little girl looking at me. She looks almost like some kind of siren in alluring shades of green and blue. I make a mental note to borrow her fashion choices for my comics. Yakisoba might look good in that.

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We stare at eachother for a couple of minutes.

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Then I call, “Is this yours?”

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She skips over. Her little rainboots have goofy frog faces on them. Or are they fish?

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“Yeah,” she says. Her voice has a tinge of mischief in it. “Thanks for finding it.”

“You’re welcome. What are you doing here?”

“Well…” She rocks back on her rubber heels. “Can you keep a secret?”

“Sure,” I reply with a shrug.

She leans in and whispers, “I had a babysitter, but I got rid of her.”

Wow. That was…interesting. “Where are you going then?”

“I’m going to visit my older sister, Issa. Do you wanna come?”

Even more interesting. “Um.”

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“She’d like you.”

I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s her big blue eyes with that adorable little freckle underneath the left one. Maybe it’s that I need a place to stay tonight.

“Alright,” I say. “Lead the way?”

She giggles. “But I don’t even know your name!”

“Well, I don’t know yours, either.”

“My name’s Camille Fauncewater. Now will you tell me what your name is?”

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“Kaori. Kaori Sasaki.”

“Ka – what?”

I laugh. “It’s Japanese. Ka-or-i Sa-sa-ki.”

“Kal-or-ee Sa-sa-kee.”

I decide not to push it. “Aren’t we going somewhere?”

“Yup!” she says. “My sister is really going to like you.”

“I hope so,” I mutter. “I don’t play well with others, usually.”

She doesn’t hear me. Maybe that’s a good thing.


Yes, I received a Wellie Wisher as a gift! Camille is so adorable and I can’t wait to take more photos of her.

IMHO, the last photo is one of the best photos I’ve ever taken. Period.

Let me know what you think – are you excited to see how things will pan out for Kaori and Camille?

{Tess}

Uncategorized

Fearless

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I can’t say I’ve ever met anyone like me.

I wonder why that is?

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Maybe it’s that not everyone is as daring as I am.

Maybe not everyone thinks that everything is the opportunity for more adventures and experiences.

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Maybe not everyone likes the idea of standing on nothing but their own two feet.

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Maybe not everyone tests their limits. Maybe not everyone pushes themselves to the max.

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Maybe everyone feels comfortable in their niche and never wants to reach for something better.

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Maybe not everyone is as stubborn as I am.

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I like to call it constancy, though.

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My name is Kaori Sasaki, and I’m about to change the world.


I am so happy to welcome Kaori from eBay into the Silver Sky Dolls family! She is a GOTY 2006 Jess McConnell, purchased for only $61. Though she’s used, she has a brand new head from the Doll Hospital, so she’s almost in mint condition.

Bonus photos:

What do you think of her? Are you getting the doll wants again?

{Tess}

Uncategorized

American Girl Release {June 2017}

G’day, all loyal followers of SSD! I have been excited about AG’s summer release for some time. Here’s some things to think about on their new release.

Disclaimer: I will not be sharing thoughts about Wellie Wishers, girl-sized outfits or Bitty Baby items. (They don’t interest me as much as the TM and GOTY stuff.)

Disclaimer: All opinions are mine and are not endorsed by American Girl in any way.

Disclaimer: This post will not include every single thing released (although it will contain most of them).

Disclaimer: All photos are from Americangirl.com.

Disclaimer: That was probably too many disclaimers. ๐Ÿ˜‰

There. Without further adieu, let’s get to the part you guys are wanting to hear about!

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First up, the new TM dolls. Iย love their new outfit! It is so versatile and cute, and finally, the dress is a good length (not too short like the Lilac Dress). #67’s true black hair intrigues me, although I wonder why they released a doll that looks similar to Gabriela McBride now. I like the choice of face mould for #68. #69 is my personal favourite though. I wish she’d had hazel eyes, because then she’d look exactly like me. Well, not exactly, because she’d need super-thick eyebrows. ๐Ÿ™‚

American Girl Truly Me™ Doll Without Hair #70 + Truly Me Accessories

The addition of numbered dolls without hair is awesome. Apparently, they’re quite popular, as all three of them are backordered! I really like how they’re accessible now instead of a ‘talk to us’ thing. And, if you wanted to make a custom, this would be how you’d do it… no wig-prying necessary!

Truly Me Accessories

Thumbs up for new accessories! Finally, these are things we can use – not crazy tutus or navy vests… I love that sweater.

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I was kind of shocked to see that there weren’t very many new outfits (although there is the Mix and Match collection – we’ll get to that). I do love the colours of the new soccer outfit and the style of the Travel In Style dress! Although I do wish it were grey with blue buttons. Was I really expecting a grey dress? Heavens, no. This is for ages 8-12, right? AG won’t make stuff that doesn’t appeal to that age bracket.

American Girl Peplum Top & Tweed Shorts Outfit for 18-inch Dolls

The Mix and Match collection doesn’t appeal to me this go-round. I think that the pieces look good on their own, but rarely in the combinations they’ve put them in. (Tights, shorts and boots? I’m not feeling it.) The other thing is that these look sort of warm for summer. That may just be because it’s over 100 degrees every day where I live, though.

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New school stuff! Its timing is again kind of funny, considering we’ve just gotten out of school…I like the variation in the lunch, the itty-bitty key in the backpack set, and the colour of the locker. Plus, the more traditional backpack is nice. (One-shoulder backpacks aren’t good for carrying weight.)

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Petssss! That French Bulldog is so sweet! I love his droopy little mouth. The hamster is a nice variation to the usual cats and dogs. I wonder if he’s flocked velvet or convincingly-painted plastic? The Tuxedo Cat is pretty neat, too, especially because I was expecting this cat:

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Gabriela's Loft Bed

Gabriela’s loft bed! I love it. The stool looks a bit small for dolls to sit on, though. Oh well. I like the paints and the posters and the comforter is a super-cool print. Nice work, particularly because it weighs in at just $200.

Gabriela's Chair & Ottoman Set

Overpriced as it is (this thing is not worth $70 IMHO), it was necessary to her collection. The mp3 player and headphones strike me as strange, though, considering that it’s more popular to use a phone and earbuds. Oh well, I can’t complain.

Gabriela's Take Flight Performance Outfit for 18-inch Dolls

Sorry, this outfit feels like a mash-up of Isabelle’s and Lea’s collections (Lime green and purple butterfly-emblazoned dance outfit. ;)). It reminds me of that red Jazz Outfit that came out a couple of years ago. But far beyond all weirdness is the fact that it has a sheer skirt and no shorts or anything to put underneath! Crazy and kind of gross.

Tenney's Sparkling Performance Outfit for 18-inch Dolls

As for Tenney Grant, someone needs to tell her to take that jacket off or dye it grey! ;D The sequin pattern reminds me of audio bars. Good association I suppose.

Logan's Performance Outfit for 18-inch Dolls

Logan looks kind of uncomfortable in this photo! This outfit looks sort of bland to me, though I love the jacket. That logo evokes memories of 2005 AG…what’s with the boots? They look OG :/.

American Girl Tenney's Music Cartridge Set

These are neat, though! Apparently, if you have Tenney’s Dressing Room, then you can plug these little cartidges into her amp and they’ll play music, which you can adjust with the knob on the amp. Such a cool idea!

American Girl Grand Hotel

But this is, by far, my favourite new release. I’m just in love with the Victorian furnishings and the colour scheme. This is giving me ideas for making my own!

It even folds up to look like this. How cool is that?

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I love all the accessories that go with it, too. That breakfast is so real.

All in all, I feel like this was a terrific release, the only strikeouts being Gabby’s newest outfit and the new mix and match collection. But hey, that frees up the old one to go on clearance, right?

It feels like the new TM colour scheme is aqua, royal blue and magenta.

Any thoughts? Are you getting anything from the new release? I know that I am!

Signing off for now,

Tess

Silver Sky Tales

Letters to Sri {Silver Sky Tales #7}

In case you haven’t been snooping into the comments, I decided to revoke my judgment upon the first six Silver Sky Tales. Instead of disregarding them (their stories are actually decent), I just decided to progress a year, and finalize everyone in that year. Enjoy.

Also, this post doesn’t have very many actual pictures. It was supposed to have several, but my camera ran out of battery, so I found another way to do it. Enjoy and remember – this is FINAL now!


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The morning sun poured into the bedroom as I opened the laptop we all shared. I glanced at the time. Apparently Autumn had set the clock back again to scare her into staying on task. I never understood that method – I find it impossible to trick myself. Minimizing Autumn’s dance video and clicking off Issa’s random sticky note (I hope ‘the orange leaf isn’t so great’ wasn’t an important memo), I opened my email. It had been ages since my sister had gotten anything from me.

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The little cursor blinked menacingly as I fought the writer’s block building up within me. How do you tell someone you love a lot that you have been trying to find time to talk to them? Especially when she asked you something over six months ago?

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Dear, dear Sri. She’s much older than me, but still my best friend. Our bond had really begun when I was six and taking the Tot Ballet classes at our local arts center. She was already into Level Seven, an accomplished dancer, and auditioning for a supporting role inย Swan Lake. But instead of staying detached from her embarrassing protege, she took time to teach me what she knew. I remember her laboring over teaching me to arabesque. It was about the nicest thing anyone had ever done for me. Since that commitment, we’ve been friends for life, and the thing that always connected us was ballet.

Around fourth grade, I got into writing, though. And I think that was the downhill slide on my ballet career. But I kept dancing, for Sri and Sri only. When I moved here, to Alverton, my dancing became less and less enjoyable. I started to dread classes and eventually lost my momentum. And when I’d told Sri, she had been completely silent. Eventually, after what seemed like an hour, she told me, “Keep stretching. You never know when you might want to go back.”

Inevidably, Sri was still sore about my desertion. But I stretched my pointes every morning, just for her. Every now and then, I’d break into a jete or a pirouette, just for the fun of it. But no more ballet for me, not without her. So now I was attempting a novel about ballet, to justify it.

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Sweet, extrovertive Sri. So different than me. I border on anti-social in my closeness with those I love. But not Sri. She’s an instant friend everyone wants to know.

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Kala. I whispered the name as I pressed the keys. No one has called me my Indian name in ages, and I miss it. It sounds so melodious in comparison to the harsh, sharp So-FEE-ah. But alas, that’s the name on the placard, and my middle name is reserved for family and close friends only. Still, as I sat there, I wished someone would come in and yell, “Kala! Come here, please!”

I don’t necessarily miss home, but I do miss Sri and everyone.

As I hit the ‘send’ button, I wondered whether I could make it to her wedding. How much do plane tickets to Boston cost?

~o.O.o~

Sri replied to me the very next day.

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I smiled, breathing in, and desperately wishing I were in Boston.

Alas, things aren’t working out for me.

Plane tickets to Boston cost $616, not counting fees and tax. And that’s $616 that I don’t have.

Dear, dear Sri.


This took a lot of work. But I think you can see that. ๐Ÿ™‚

If anything isn’t clear about Sophia’s new backstory, all you need to do is ask for clarity and I will reply.

Next up: Her Esteemed Excellence, Autumn Adair {Silver Sky Tales #8}

{Tess}

Uncategorized

Less hate, more dolls

Hate is never a good thing. It only adds to a problem that most of the time didn’t even exist. Yet we see it on a daily basis, rooting itself in places where we least expect it to crop up. One such place is in the American Girl fandom, which means us bloggers. Everywhere I see hateful, sad things said about something every one of us holds dear.

With the changes being made on the American Girl dolls, people have begun to vow that they aren’t buying any more American Girl dolls, or that they’ll only be shopping from the dolls that don’t have permapanties, or whatever. Ginseng, people are getting heated over boxes. Doll boxes! I kid you not. People are getting all messed up over something as silly as packaging.

The thing we need to remember is something we have all forgotten. We buy American Girl dolls because we think dolls are awesome. We consider them our actresses in our own small stories, or loyal companions on all our adventures, or miniature models for unique fashion design.

Somehow, I can’t see how you would ask your best friend, “What underwear are you wearing? Is it permanently attached?” Would a director ask his lead role, “Are you wearing that permanent underwear again?”

The permanent underwear doesn’t interfere with the clothes or the doll. In fact, now with a boy doll, it keeps people from being perverted. It doesn’t do anything but do the exact same thing you always did with doll underwear – stay on the doll! The wonderful stories aren’t going away, and hopefully, neither are the American Girl fans who bring life and creativity.

The way we use them, they’re more than just a doll. But we still need to remember that they are dolls, and that there will be changes made to them as the tech toy industry tries to go. How is a doll to compete with a Zoomer or a Hello Barbie? Staying current and not letting their company stagnate is the first step.

Personally, I am a supporter of a company who still thinks playing with dolls is cool. I will be purchasing Z Yang, despite the criticism, because I’m full of ideas on how she can become more than just a doll. ย I’m not going to let a few simple changes get in the way.

In conclusion, hate has seeped into the world that was once full of girls who just loved their dolls no matter what they looked like. We can’t go back to the way the world was, but we can make a stand for less hate.

What are you going to do to show your support of your passion?