I Will Tell You a Story…

You’ve probably been wondering why I haven’t posted anything about my dolls in 3 months, and when I have, my posts have been few and far between.

In short, I’ve been busy!

In the bittersweet truth, Smile and Craft AG is coming to a conclusion.

But to explain, as well as to celebrate many years of doll fun, let me tell you my story of how my love of American Girl, this blog, and now my departure from it, came to be…

 


 

I received Julie, my first American girl doll, when I was 7. I remember looking at an American girl catalog to pick out a doll I liked. I didn’t want a doll that looked like me. Rather, I chose Julie because I thought her clothes were the most modern of the historical dolls! (Interestingly, now I love and prefer the more historical dolls and clothing.)

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I had Julie as my only doll for a while. Eventually I decided to get Clara. I tried to pick out a doll that looked like me, and chose “My American Girl” #55 as the closest choice.

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Funny fact: I didn’t know about different face molds at that time. I thought that Julie’s (the Josephine face mold) was the only one, so when I got Clara I was surprised at how her face looked! It took me a while to get used to her.

Even though she is my look-alike doll, her personality eventually became probably the most different from me out of all my dolls, besides that she likes arts and crafts.

My next doll was Grace, Girl of the Year 2015, who I picked out at the American Girl Store. She, surprisingly, had my name and looked somewhat like me as well!

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Later on, I believe it was in December of 2015, I was at Costco with my mom and saw Caroline being sold there! Caroline was one of the dolls I was interested in getting, and I was ecstatic! I started talking about the possibility of asking for her for Christmas, but soon the excitement wore off and I decided that I didn’t really want her that much.

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Then, that Christmas, my grandparents handed me a doll-box-shaped present… and sure enough, it was Caroline! She is such a pretty doll, and I was blessed to be surprised with her.

Somewhere along this line (I think I only had Julie, and possibly Clara, at this point), I met a very good friend who was also into American Girl dolls, and had a few of her own. We would play often. It was through this friendship that I grew in my love for dolls, and even started on the path towards blogging!

We enjoyed making crafts for our dolls, so she introduced me to My Froggy Stuff, which has many amazing craft tutorials and printables for dolls. I would go searching a lot online, scanning the internet for new sites with great crafts. From my searching I became interested in Fun with AG Fan and American Girl Fan. Eventually I started reading these blogs for their posts, and not just the crafts. I chose the pseudonym, Redeemed, when I commented.

Those three blogs became huge inspirations for me to make my blog, Smile and Craft AG. I learned about posting and high quality crafting from them, and finally made the exciting aspiration to create my own blog.

So on June 6, 2016, I made a WordPress account and out came Smile and Craft AG and my very first post, Hello World!

It was exciting gaining readers and seeing comments, as well as finding many new blogs to follow! It has been such a good creative outlet.

At this point, I think I pretty much assumed that I would be blogging indefinitely. I was encouraged by how there were (and are, I’m sure) even adult doll bloggers! Even though I was getting older, dolls were still fun, and I wasn’t planning on “growing out” of them anytime soon. However old you are, dolls can still be a great joy!

But now I realize that though “growing out” of things can have to do with changing interests, it can also, instead, have to do with simply getting busier as you grow up.

Probably big factor in my posting decline has been due to starting early, duel enrollment college classes (during high school) in the fall of 2017. School is busy! Eventually I got a job as well. Posting had to be pushed back, though I still kept it up for another year or so.

And now we come to the present. I haven’t had much motivation to make posts. Even over the summer and Christmas I haven’t posted much. One day, pretty recently, I walked into my closet (where I keep my dolls) and realized that my dolls had been literally gathering dust! Not to mention the doll house has been a huge mess for a long time (poor dolls! 🙂 ). Pretty soon, I’m even planning on going off to university!

I realized that my seasons are changing, and it is time to turn the page and bring my years of doll fun and blogging to a close.

Life flies!

I’ve learned a lot, had a lot of fun, and met many amazing people through this blogging adventure!

Here are a few stats…

Blog Age: 2 years, 9 months

Followers: 303… Thank you so much for 300 followers!!! ♥ ❤ ♥

Posts: 183

Words Written: 73,246

Visitors: 7,126

Views: 16,386

Most Viewed Post: “Wellie Wishers at Target!?” (I wouldn’t have guessed that! What was your favorite post?)

And, of course, I’m not vanishing! I still love reading and interacting on others’ blogs, and I even have a personal blog, Joyful in Hope,  that I plan to post on! 🙂 If you haven’t seen this blog yet, you can take a look here!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post, probably my last post on Smile and Craft AG. Thank you all for reading, following, commenting, and making my time blogging very blessed! I cherish the memories made here, and hope you have been blessed by this blog as well. 🙂

To conclude, I am so thankful to the Lord for this opportunity and journey that’s made up a piece of my life. I pray that He will bless you all.

Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 

 

Blessings to you, ♥

Gracie Sign Off

P.S. Here is a Loooooooooong photo mosaic with photos from all throughout Smile and Craft AG’s blog-life 😉 . How many do you remember?

 

“The Unmaking” – A Lyric Photoshoot

Hello!

Time flies! With school started back up, my blogging schedule is a bit more on the back burner. I’m still keeping my plan to post on Thursdays, but we’ll see where the school year takes us… 😉

For this Thursday, I am excited to show you a photoshoot I got of Julie. I got this photoshoot to go with the song, “The Unmaking” by Nichole Nordeman. I really like this song, and I love the lyrics.

I’ve included the YouTube lyric video in this post so you can play the song while you look at the photos and read the lyrics along with them. Enjoy!

 

 

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This is where the walls gave way.

This is demolition day.

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All the debris and all this dust;

What is left of what once was,

Sorting through what goes and what should stay.

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Every stone I laid for you.

As if you had asked me to.

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A monument to holy things,

Empty talk and circlings.

Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?

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What happens now,

When all I’ve made is torn down?

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What happens next

When all of You is All that’s left?

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This is the unmaking,

Beauty in the breaking.

Had to lose myself to find out who You are.

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Before each beginning,

There must be an ending.

Sitting in the rubble, I can see the stars.

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This is the unmaking.

This is the unmaking.

 

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The longer and the tighter that we hold

Only makes it harder to let go.

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But love will not stay locked inside,

A steeple or a tower high:

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Only when we’re broken are we whole.

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What happens now,

When all I’ve made is torn down?

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This is the unmaking,

Beauty in the breaking.

Had to lose myself to find out who You are.

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Before each beginning,

There must be an ending.

Sitting in the rubble, I can see the stars.

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This is the unmaking.

This is the unmaking.

 

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I’ll gather the same stones where

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everything came crashing down.

 

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I’ll build You an altar there, on the same ground.

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‘Cause what stood before

      Was never Yours. 

 

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This is the unmaking,

Beauty in the breaking.

Had to lose myself to find out who You are.

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Before each beginning,

There must be an ending.

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Sitting in the rubble, I can see the stars.

This is the unmaking.

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This is the unmaking.

This is the unmaking.

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Had to lose myself to find out who You are.

 

 

 

Which photo is your favorite? Which part of the lyrics is your favorite? What’s your favorite song, or a song that is impactful to you?

 

Have a blessed day!

Gracie Sign Off

 

Lost – Part 6 – The FINALE!

This is it! The very last part!

 

Complimentary refreshments: Part one, two, three, four, five

And in case you just need a quick reminder, we ended the last episode as follows:

 

 

“You know,” I said, “what I really would like, is just to go home.”

“Then home you will have!” she responded gleefully. “I will take you to the top of the cliff you fell from, and I imagine you can take it from there?”

Home! At last!

 


 

Clara’s Point of View

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Grace had been gone for two full days, and we were all distraught. The police were on the case, and we prayed earnestly that she was safe.

There seemed to be no other explanation, except that she was kidnapped, which we desperately prayed was not the case.

Everything seemed to be lost. Grace. Kaity. Our hopes.

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There seemed to be nothing else to do. We could search for her, but we had gathered a whole search party the other day, with no luck. So we gathered in the field where I had played frisbee with her before she disappeared, and prayed long and hard.

Our prayer was interrupted by a bark. A dog bark.

We instinctively looked toward the direction of the sound.

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Grace!? Could it be??! For there she was, standing off a distance, with Kaity beside her!

“Grace!” I managed to shout, and took off in a mad dash for my sister, Julie and Caroline following close behind.

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I was the first to reach her, and I threw my arms around her in a bear hug, not sure that I would ever be able to let go. She was home! Dirty and scraped up, but home!

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We smothered her with hugs, while a happy Kaity barked and jumped around us.

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“What happened, Grace? How did you get lost?” Caroline asked, after we had settled down a little.

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“It is a long story. I’ll tell you later. But now, I just need a hot shower and something to eat.” She sounded tired, but not frightened. Almost excited. I wanted to beg her story out of her, but I refrained. I would have to wait to hear it, but for now, I relished in the joy of her (and Kaity’s!) homecoming!
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And with that, we led her home, bursting with thankfulness.


🙂 🙂 🙂

What did you think of this photostory? Did you like the ending?

Later,

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