Which Doll are You? Quiz | Valentine’s Day Edition

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope everyone had a lovely day. ;)

In celebration, I’m going shopping with my best friend, and for you guys, I put together a festive quiz! It’s similar to the doll personality quiz I made awhile back, but obviously this one is Valentine’s Day-themed. Enjoy the game!

Which Doll are You on Valentine’s Day?


Scroll down to find your results!

Mostly A’s: Isabelle

Platonic love is the most important kind to you, and you go out of the way to make sure your friends know just how much you appreciate them. Despite not celebrating the holiday in a traditional way, you still love putting up heart-shaped decorations and getting dressed up.

Mostly B’s: Felicity

You’re independent, don’t care for romance, and think Valentine’s Day is a commercialized holiday based in materialism. The excessive amounts of romcoms and lovesick couples make your head hurt, but there is one good thing: the candy. If you don’t get enough from friends to satisfy your sweet tooth, just wait until all the leftover chocolate goes on sale.

Mostly C’s: Nevaeh

A true hopeless romantic, you have heart set on one special person. But you’re shy and think they’re way out of your league, so you’ve never let slip who your crush is. With a love for words, you might try composing a letter that reveals your feelings to send to your sweetheart.

Mostly D’s: MJ

To you, Valentine’s Day is all about being seen: going on romantic dates, dressing up for parties, and taking on-theme photos for your social media. You love the gorgeous snacks that come with the holiday, as well as the sweet gifts your friends and secret admirers give you. You’re always up for a good time, and Valentine’s Day is no exception.

Which doll did you get? Let me know in the comments, as well as how your Valentine’s Day went!

xo
Loren

 

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The Complete Guide to Creating Quality Photostories

I think my blog is best known for its photostories, and I guess having won Doll Mag’s “Best Posts From a Doll’s Perspective” award in 2015, and “Best Photo Stories” in the 2016 Paisley Awards proves it. So I’m compiling my (almost) five years of knowledge on writing photostories to help you make yours the best they can be.

A photostory is a short story where the writing is broken up by pictures of your dolls. Mine are usually between 1000-2000 words, but of course yours don’t have to be nearly that long. There’s no set length for a photostory. It can be as long or as short as you need to get through the plot.

There are also photostory series, which take a lot more effort, time, and planning than your basic photostory. Series have the plot spread out through multiple installments. My longest photostory series was The BFF Wars, which had thirteen segments, plus two half parts.

When planning a photostory, the first thing I do is pick which doll will be the main character. Who I choose is influenced by several different factors, such as the type of story I want to tell, which doll hasn’t been featured lately, the doll’s personality, etc.

For example, let’s pretend that I want to do a photostory set at the beach. Whoever stars in the story will determine where it goes from there. If I picked Caroline, who has a motherly, compassionate personality, the story might involve her forcing sunscreen on her sisters or helping them out of stupid situations they got themselves in. With inquisitive Ellie as the main character, the focus would be on her discovering a new species of fish while studying tide pools. Or if it was told from fantasy-loving Parker’s point of view, it would be about her search for mermaids and sea monsters.

Which leads me to my next tip: make sure your dolls have well-developed personalities. When each doll has set hobbies and traits, it makes it easier to write from their perspective and have them interact with other characters. You wouldn’t want to read a book where the MC is flat and boring, so make sure your photostories aren’t like that.

As someone who’s loved writing since third grade, I know just how hard it can be to come up with exciting, unique characters. And whenever I get a new doll, I struggle with making her have her own personality instead of being a copy. To help you flesh out who your dolls are, find a simple questionnaire. Google “character questionnaire,” find one that you like, and fill out the information for your doll.

Now that you’ve picked a doll and given her an engaging personality, the next step is to create a plot.

The way I come up with plots is by picking something that the MC is passionate about. For example, Parker is interested in the paranormal, so I made two photostories from her point of view about a haunted house and an all-knowing magic eight ball. Then I come up with a dilemma for her to face, like when Ellie was worried about being on the naughty list in my 2017 Christmas special. From there, the rest of the story is usually about the MC trying to solve the problem.

In need of inspiration? Read through my photostories by clicking here. Maybe something will spark your creativity!

Now you have two options: write out your story or take the pictures for it. There’s no right next step, it’s really just a matter of preference. Personally, I take the pictures first, because I usually continue to develop the plot while photographing. And I find it easier to write when I already have my pictures to go off of.

But you should do what you want! This is a creative process and I don’t want to tell you exactly what to do. In fact, this whole guide is just suggestions, and if something doesn’t work for you, then go ahead and ignore it.

It doesn’t matter if you decide to write or photograph first; the story part of a photostory is inevitable. Some of you might love writing, and you won’t need any advice on it. But there are others who want to make photostories, but are hesitant because writing isn’t a strength of theirs.

I can’t teach you how to write, but I can offer a few simple tips.

Make sure you use proper grammar! Please read over your story a few times before you publish it to catch those grammar mistakes. Sometimes previewing it can help you spot them, because having your writing in a different font can make them stand out. Or get a friend/parent/guardian to look over it for you.

– Nothing is more confusing than switching perspectives, so pick a point of view and stick to it. I almost always write my photostories in first person (I/my), but you can also do third (she/her) or second (you/your). If you’re doing first person POV, you could try changing who’s telling it (i.e. going from Molly being “I” to Emily), but if you do that, make sure it’s obvious when the shift happens. Try adding a heading at the start of the paragraph with the new character’s name.

– Look up synonyms on Thesaurus. Use varied sentence lengths. Describe the setting and characters, even though the pictures will convey that, too. Keep in mind that your photos shouldn’t altogether replace parts of your writing, they’re just there to enhance the story. Do whatever you can to keep your writing interesting.

You might not be the best writer ever, but don’t let any fear or doubt keep you from sharing your photostory. Don’t compare yourself to others, and if you’re proud of what you’ve created, then it’s good enough.

If you’re a doll blogger, then you probably have some experience with photographing your dolls. Photo shoots just come with the territory. But taking pictures for a photostory is slightly different, as it focuses less on beauty and more on moving your story along. Try taking more dynamic photos that give the idea of motion. And if it fits your story, use lots of props to fill in the frame.

If you wrote the story first, you can pick sentences to base your photos on. It gives you a guide for what you need to photograph.

One problem I run into when making paranormal/fantasy photostories is not being able to show magic in my pictures. You know, like being able to shoot fire out of your hands, or having a magical item give off a mysterious glow. You can experiment with light all you want, but I’ve found that the most practical way around this is just editing the pictures afterwards.

Say you’re trying to edit a fairy into one of your photographs. Your best bet is to find free clip art with a transparent background, save it to your computer, then upload the clip art and your photo into Canva. If anyone attempts that and can’t figure out how to make it work, I’d be happy to share a more thorough walk-through.

Here’s a tip: if you’re photographing outside, gather your dolls and props and put them in a tote bag or sturdy cardboard box. Whenever you move locations, just stick all your stuff inside so you don’t have to make lots of trips back and forth with your arms full of dolls.

Once you’ve got all your writing and photographs formatted the way you want, preview the post and check for errors. If everything looks good, then congratulations, it’s time to publish your photostory and share your creative efforts with the world!

Photostories can be extremely time-consuming, but they’re rewarding, a favorite of readers, and so worth it.

If you follow this guide and post a photostory, feel free to drop a link to it so I can check out your hard work!

xo
Loren

My Thoughts on Blaire Wilson, GOTY 2019

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a great one and aren’t too exhausted today. I did stay up late (nothing new there), but I wasn’t celebrating, just making peppermint bark with my mom. We ended up denting our rolling pin and wooden island from whacking the frozen chocolate to break it up . . . whoops?

Anyway, the New Year always brings a brand new Girl of the Year doll. I didn’t hunt for any leaked images or information this year, so Blaire Wilson was a complete surprise to me. Keep reading for my thoughts and opinions of 2019’s Girl of the Year!

Blaire Doll & Book

First impression: She’s honestly super cute! I love love love her dress; it gives off relaxed early summer vibes, and I wouldn’t mind wearing something like that myself.

Story-wise, I’m not too impressed. Blaire lives on a farm in New York where she helps her family run their inn and restaurant — and, get this, her hobby is cooking. That’s great and all, but Grace Thomas, GOTY 2015, was also all about food. This is just like having a dancer GOTY in 2014 (Isabelle) and then another one in 2017 (Gabriella). There are so many unique interests they could have picked for Blaire, and it just seems like a waste to make another chef so soon.

She’s diagnosed with lactose intolerance in the first book, and I am here for that! I also can’t eat dairy products without getting sick, and I’m glad that it’s being brought up. Maybe having lactose intolerance as a part of Blaire’s story will help readers with the same problem realize what’s going on. I didn’t know what was wrong with me until high school, when I read about dairy intolerance online, and I wish I had figured it out earlier.

Blaire’s Accessories

As far as accessory sets go, this isn’t anything too special, but I do think the color scheme is gorgeous. Apparently she uses the pink tablet to run her food blog, and I might have squealed when I read that. Lea had a travel blog, now Blaire has a food blog — it makes me think that American Girl has realized that a lot of their fans are bloggers and are trying to appeal to them. That makes me happy. :)

The Gardening Outfit is the CUTEST thing omg. I’d genuinely consider buying it. I love short overalls (I actually own a pair for myself), and I can see myself mixing and matching that with a bunch of clothes from my doll collection. Overalls might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I live in a fairly redneck area, so this set is definitely my thing.

I feel like the clothes in Blaire’s collection are a bit more grown up than previous GOTYs. Less neons and busy patterns, more pastels and simple designs. And I’m living for it, honestly. I don’t hate any of her pieces so far.

Garden Accessories

My dad and I are both gardeners, and neither of us ever wear aprons or gloves while digging through the dirt. So while this set is adorable, it doesn’t seem practical, and the different patterns and color schemes on the apron and gloves clash.

Blaire’s Garden

As someone who grew up weeding in our garden and gathering chicken eggs, this set makes my heart happy. The plants are surprisingly realistic, don’t you think? Not sure about that chicken, though. It looks like it’s in need of a haircut.

I wouldn’t have guessed that the piglet was a piglet??

I’m happy to see that American Girl is continuing to branch out and give their GOTYs more unconventional pets!

I really appreciate the muted colors in her collection and how put together everything is. I think these larger sets will appeal to the target audience by being fun to play with, but will also catch the eye of older fans thanks to the aesthetics.

Overall, I adore Blaire Wilson’s collection: the colors and clothing designs are beautiful. Not sure about her story yet, but I hope it’s better than the synopsis of her first book makes it sound! And while I don’t plan on purchasing Blaire herself, I’m hoping that a few of her outfits will find their way into my dolls’ closet sometime.

What’s your opinion on Blaire Wilson? Is there anything in her collection that you’d love to have?

xo
Loren

P.S. A Doll-op of AG is hosting the Paisley Awards this year, and I’d love it if you’d vote for me! You can nominate your favorite doll blogs here.

Merry Christmas from Happy House of AG

My dolls wish you all a merry Christmas!

This is the first family photo I’ve taken since late 2014 . . . my little family has grown from seven girls to fifteen. wack.

It’s not even noon when I’m writing this and some bad things have already happened. For example, I burnt some of the French Toast I was making for breakfast (it was delicious anyway). And I figured out that the pictures in this post that I spent all of yesterday working on are blurry. It took a lot of editing to make them presentable, and they’re still not as clear as I hoped. I had way more pictures of Ivy that I wanted to share, but it would take so long to edit them all that I’m not sure it’s worth it.

Maybe I’m begin dramatic, but I think there’s something wrong with my camera. (Again.)

But good things have happened too, so I guess that balances it out. My mom bought me a few books that I really wanted to read, and I found out that I can go on a band trip to Boston (!!) in the spring. And I’m going to my grandparent’s house tonight for Christmas dinner and more presents. I’m planning on wearing my dress from homecoming. It’s short, teal, and has off-the-shoulder sleeves. I adore it and I’m happy to have a chance to wear it again.

My mom picked out this tiny lantern as a gift for my dolls! It’s the only doll-related thing I got this year, but that’s OK. I mostly got books instead.

I didn’t have time to put together a Christmas special this year, but if you’re in the mood for some festive reading, feel free to go through all my past holiday posts by clicking here.

I hope everyone who celebrates it has a good Christmas, and for those who don’t, have a great day and enjoy winter break!

Did anyone get a new doll for Christmas?  

xo
Loren

L’automne | AGPS

Me: *gets one (1) cold day*
Me: time to do an autumn photoshoot!!


I finally had time to work on posts thanks to a four day weekend caused by hurricane-induced flooding! Isn’t that fun?

I took these pictures of Samantha by the dogwood tree outside my window this morning. In my mind, autumn has begun once the tree’s berries turn red, and I noticed that they had earlier this week. Plus, I went to the grocery store yesterday and there were pumpkin-flavored foods everywhere. Donuts, teas. candies, cakes, you name it. So, yeah, it’s basically autumn already.

Related image

Here’s some fanart that shows off his outfit.

I’m already excited about Halloween. I’m planning on going as Wirt from the cartoon Over the Garden Wall. I don’t know where I’m going to get a cape or a hat like his, but I’ll make it work.

Also, some of you have been asking when I’ll post Felicity and Samantha’s profiles, and the answer is soon. I finally have profile pictures for both of them, so I’ll hopefully get those up later this month.

Does it already feel like autumn where you live?

xo
Loren

9/3/18

So it’s been awhile . . . sorry about that. Between working at a Boy Scout camp, getting ready for school, and band camp, I’ve had no time to work on my blog this summer. And since school started for me two weeks ago, I’m not going to have much time now, either. I’m going to public school this year, and as if that didn’t take up enough time already, I stay after school everyday until about 6:20 for marching band.

My personal blog is where my focus is right now, so when I do have free time, that’s what I’ll be working on. But I still adore my dolls and this site, so I’ll try my best to show it some love when I get the chance. Hopefully I’ll be able to start being more active in late November, because that’s when marching season ends, and I’ll get to leave school at a normal time.

I hope you guys understand. I’m really trying, but I just don’t have enough time to get everything done right now.

Love you all. <3

xo
Loren