It was February 17th, 2017, and I was with my BFFs at their house in Texas. It was our last hour together before I would fly home the next day, and we were outside in the front yard. All of the sudden, one their neighbors called and waved to them from over the fence.

I jumped at the chance; my BFFs’ neighbors had American Girl dolls they didn’t play with anymore but didn’t want to give away. Best yet, they had retired ones. Would they be willing to sell any of them to me?

The day before, I had talked with the one and only boy in their neighbors’ family about if he knew what dolls his sisters had and if they’d be willing to sell any. His response to hearing that I’m a teenage doll collector was laughing and sarcastically going, “Wow.”

My BFF proceeded to tell the kid that I’m a professional doll collector because I make money off it and even announced the total I’ve made so far. The kid, unimpressed, responded that he had owned twice that amount. I smiled to myself, knowing he thought that the amount my BFF mentioned was all the money I had. I wonder what his reaction would’ve been if he actually knew. XD

Despite his opinion of teenage doll collectors, I brought the subject back to dolls and continued asking him questions, the only one of which he answered was that he knew his sisters had Molly. He wasn’t sure if they’d be willing to sell any, so I asked him if he could just ask his sisters and see. He was nice about it and agreed, although I never got his answer. 😛

Back to the neighbor waving at the fence the next day. The seven-year-old girl was shouting “hi” to us, and I exclaimed to my best friends, “Can we please go talk to them? I leave in just an hour and I want to see if they have any American Girl dolls they’d be willing to sell!”

Long story short, the girl was unwilling. I then mentioned that I was willing to pay $75, and her eyes widened, changing her answer to a wild nod and running back to her house to see which dolls she and her sisters would be wiling to sell.

That was very, very stupid of me. 😩

When I told my parents, they were rolling their eyes. XD I shouldn’t have mentioned the amount I was willing to pay right off, I should’ve started lower! But I was thinking she’d come back with a retired doll, and that’s the only reason why I said $75 right off (still, you’d think after years of doll collecting I would know better!). Anyway, long story short, the only doll they would sell me was…

My American Girl #23! You guys all had some amazing guesses, and only Diamond actually guessed this one!

She’s in need of some TLC…

… make that a lot of TLC. 😩

Oh, I’m sorry, make that even MORE TLC! 😩😩😩

They sold her to me with this cute hair accessory, though, which was nice.

Her hair and tight limbs were what sealed the deal for me. Through feeling the weight of my stupidity I kept running my fingers over her hair and moving her tight arms; they were both still in great condition and the doll was just so cute!

That night, I had dinner at my Texas pastors’ house (and would you believe that the brother of my pastor here in Florida showed up?! I was like – AHHH! THIS MINISTER IS HUGE AND I LOOK SO UNPROFESSIONAL WITH MY WIND-BLOWN HAIR I DIDN’T KNOW HE WAS GONNA BE HERE! He was like, “Hi, Madison!” with his deep, South African voice, and I was like, “AAAHHH!”)

(Just kidding, of course. I actually was normal said hi. XD).

Our Texas pastor’s wife, my Aunt Annette (she’s not really my aunt but we call her one) sews doll clothes and actually taught me how to sew when I was nine (when I only had Molly). She let me choose this doll outfit she was sewing, complete with matching shoes! In fact, the entire trip was packed to the full with surprises after surprises. God went out of His way to bless me with treats and gifts just as a way of making this trip special to me because He knows how much I miss Texas! ❤️

I actually teared up writing that part. God is so awesome! 😊

I tried some different hairstyles on #23 – she is SO CUTE! I’m pretty decided on naming her Katy Christine, or K.C. for short. Like, 99% decided. 😛 I’m also thinking about a last name for her but haven’t come up with any good ones yet.

My favorite hairstyle on her is THIS ONE. Miss Katy Christine is just so cute!

Even though I was stupid and paid $75 for a doll who needs TLC I don’t really know how to give her and could’ve gotten brand-new for only $40 more, I LOVE HER SO MUCH. Katy Christine is such a great addition to the DWOD family and she’s so just. so. cute!

I’m not the doll-fixing guru, and I can hardly even tell K.C. has stains / scuffs on her face in the pictures above, but I’m willing to try and remove them!

The lovely Meg from Canadian Doll Notebook has helped me SO MUCH with my numerous questions on removing doll stains. Chloe actually has a stain on her forehead that I’m removing now (more on that in another post – it’s unfortunately halted my stopmotion film’s progress) and Meg has been so absolutely kind and patient with all of my questions about the process and everything. She has been the biggest, most amazing help with my first TLC doll project. Thank you Meg!! You are awesome!!

This is after assessing one of K.C.’s stains just two days after doing this wonderful tutorial Meg has on removing stains from vinyl dolls. This actually looks like a scuff mark that I should’ve used this other tutorial of hers for, but it looks like it’s working anyway!

I’m mostly worried about the scuff mark stains on Katy’s cheeks. I don’t want to remove any of her blush as I’d have to re-add it and that would be, simply put, a nightmare. I mean, I’m willing to try, but I’m just not sure as of now. We’ll have to wait and see, though.

I’m documenting my process of fixing her up and will be posting about that once I’m finished (or I might just do parts if it’s taking a while). I just wanted to get this post up to share with you all what doll I bought! A lot of you guessed she is Taryn’s sister… and y’all were wrong! 😄 I still have yet to get her, but I need to get her SOON. Like, probably this month before she is perma-pantied.

I haven’t decided too much about Katy Christine’s personality yet, but I do know that if I won’t be removing the stains from her cheeks after all, I’ll make a nice dramatic backstory of how she gets them, and then her personality will be heroic and brave. Thank you to the awesome Manta for giving me that idea! Manta and I have also created a club on helping anyone who joins with crafting their dolls’ personalities, if you’re interested.

Q: How do you know when a doll blogger / photographer / stopmotioner has been at work? A: When her room looks like THIS. 👍

On another note, I’m almost ready to actually begin filming my stopmotion movie! (K.C. may or may not be making an appearance). The picture you see above was when I was getting my dolls ready for the stopmotion… haha yikes. Chloe’s stain halted my progress as well as I’ve used up 100% of the storage space on all of my devices and computers, so it’s taken me a while. #lifeofacreator 😬 But the secret release date still stands and I’m ready to tackle this project with all I’ve got even though I have way less time to do it now. I’ve written out and picked the music for the trailer and am hiring one of those professional voice guys for it as soon as I can send the script to him, heh heh… my dad and I also discovered we already have the perfect wood we needed to build the set, so that saves us the time and money of a trip to Home Depot. YAY!

Much better! The Christmas cards have been taken down *sniff* but the décor is ready for spring and for the stopmotion!

Now I just need to finish exporting thousands of files off my MacBook, get out my sewing machine and sew the costumes, and lastly, wish for those doll shoes I ordered from Little Gloriana to hurry up. Then I can start the filming… I do not have a lot of time left. 😬 Oh, and I’m officially using our ministry’s Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera for it! I thought I was going to be so confused and be like “MAKENZIE (my photographer sister) HOW DO YOU USE THIS THING HELP ME I’M DYING”, but it’s so much like my sister’s 60D I was using and really easy to figure out! I would text her (since she’s busy all day with internship) with a problem or question and then seconds later be like “Never mind” XD I am so excited for this stopmotion film! It’s going to be the best one I’ve ever done. 👍

On another, another note, I ordered some stuff from American Girl’s sale and it all arrived today! I’ll be doing a haul and a review… sometime in the future. And the future is never now. I also discovered that I actually took the pictures for that braided-bun hairstyle tutorial I mentioned in this photoshoot but totally forgot about them, and then I have two extra photoshotos of Taryn I forgot about, too! So during the entire time I’m filming the stopmotion, I’ll have doll photos at my fingertips that’ll save me time when making posts so I won’t be completely absent!

March is going to be a GREAT month – I’m so excited!

What do you think of Katy Christine? Are you looking forward to the stopmotion film? What exciting things have been going on for you lately?

Love,