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, ♥

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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?

 

Conversing, Compiling, and Comparing – A Back to School Discussion Among the Dolls

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Clara: So, I guess we’re here to talk about… school?

Grace: Uh-huh. *Turns to look at readers*

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Grace: Gracie just came in and told us four dolls that we’re doing a post, so we obliged. It’s a kind of discussion between me and Clara, and then between Julie and Caroline. Each pair has to make a list of five things we’re thankful for coming into the school year. Afterwards we’ll compare lists.

Clara: What?? Thankful for about school? Why not “Five reasons we’re thankful that fall break is going to come.”?

Grace: *giggles* I think it’s supposed to be a bit of a challenge. And besides, didn’t you hear Gracie tell us what we were doing earlier?

Clara: *shrugs* I guess I spaced out at the word, “school.”

Grace: Ok, let’s start then. What about… friends?

Clara: …Huh, you’re right! That’s not so hard, we get to see our friends!

  1. Seeing friends

Clara: Ok, number two…. Um…? I’m stuck.

Grace: Already? How about…

Clara: Oh, wait! Recess!

Grace: Well…

Clara: And lunch!

Grace: But… Ok. Why not?

  1. Seeing friends
  2. Recess
  3. Lunch

Grace: But now lets finish up with some more serious ones.

Clara: Ok…?

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Grace: Like, how about, that we are able to get an education?

Clara: Yeah, that’s good!

  1. Seeing friends
  2. Recess
  3. Lunch
  4. Ability to get an education

Grace: One more!

Clara: All right!

Grace: I think this last one is yours. You haven’t done any serious ones yet.

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Clara: What? Recess and lunch are awesome!

Grace: Ok, yes, they are things to be thankful for, but you know what I mean.

Clara: Hmm, well, *thinks* I’m thankful that we get to have breaks from our work.

Grace: *Shakes head, laughing* I give up. But I also agree, though I think there is definitely more we could have thought of!

  1. Seeing friends
  2. Lunch
  3. Recess
  4. Ability to get an education
  5. Breaks from working

Clara: Yay! We did it!

Grace: I guess it’s Caroline and Julie’s turn now!

 


 

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Julie: Now that Grace and Clara are cleared out, it’s time for us to start. I wonder what took them so long? We all have the same task right?

Caroline: I believe so.

Julie: *Shrugs* Ok. This shouldn’t be too difficult.

Caroline: Yes, but it’s always good to step back and thank God, even for the things that seem mundane.

Julie: *nods* What should be first on the list?

Caroline: I know I always love getting fresh school supplies and books.

  1. New school supplies

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Julie: Yes, and as I think about it. As much as school seems ordinary to us, to many kids in other places around the world it is a huge privilege. So I’m thankful we have the opportunity to get a good education.

  1. New school supplies
  2. Opportunity and privilege for education

Caroline: Yes! And how about seeing friends, old and new.

Julie: I’m thankful for that.

  1. New school supplies
  2. Opportunity and privilege for education
  3. Friends, old and new

Caroline: I have one more, if you don’t mind.

Julie: Of course!

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Caroline: I’m thankful for learning. Even though we don’t always see the impact in a week or a month, you can look back on years and see how much you’ve learned and improved. We can read, write, and do math so much better now than when we started.

  1. New school supplies
  2. Opportunity and privilege for education
  3. Friends, old and new
  4. Learning

Julie: That’s a good thought! And I have one to finish off our list, though I’m sure we could keep going!

Caroline: Yes, it’s hard to only to list five, after you’ve started thinking about it!

Julie: Though we’re listing a lot that’s good about school itself, I’m also grateful for breaks from the business to refresh. Even the Lord rested after creating the world, as an example to us.

  1. New school supplies
  2. Opportunity and privilege for education
  3. Friends, old and new
  4. Learning
  5. Breaks from the business

Caroline: Very good!

Julie: That was actually pretty fun. Let’s go compare with the other girls.

 


 

Clara: You’re done already?

Julie: *nods* We actually wanted to keep going!

Grace: *giggles* Oh dear, I’m not sure I want you to see our list.

Clara: It’s ok, Grace thought of the good ones!

Julie: Let’s compare!

Clara and Grace’s List:

  1. Seeing friends
  2. Lunch
  3. Recess
  4. Ability to get an education
  5. Breaks from working

 

Caroline and Julie’s List:

  1. New school supplies
  2. Opportunity and privilege for education
  3. Friends, old and new
  4. Learning
  5. Breaks from the business

 

Caroline: Very nice!

Clara: I told you, Grace! Breaks are serious!

Julie: *laughs* I think those are all good things to be thankful for!

Caroline: Even thinking of seemingly little things help us to be grateful.

Clara: True. I guess I’m a bit more glad for school. And recess seems sweeter too! *winks*

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Julie: *turns to look at readers* Thank you all for reading! I hope that you appreciated seeing us compile these lists, and that it might have inspired you. Now it’s your turn, what are you all thankful for, coming into the school year? Bye for now, and have a good school year!

 

 

 

 

A Basket of Thankfulness – Results!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, Everyone!! I hope you are all having a blessed day so far.

I Love Thanksgiving, and I’m excited to share the RESULTS of the Basket of Thankfulness activity with you!!

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This year, the TOTAL number of things we came up with to be thankful for is…

 

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150 Things we are Thankful For!!!! ♥ ♥ ♥

Can you believe it!? I loved getting in all of your amazing comments saying the things you are thankful for. Last Year we got about 55 things. So this year the number almost tripled! Thank you so much to everyone who participated and shared!

 

And NOW for the great big Basket of Thankfulness list!!

Please note that I took out repeats, so if you don’t see the exact thing you said, it should be somewhere else on the list.

After the list, I’ll share all of the contributors! Here we go!

 

  1. The Gospel!
  2. Light
  3. Creativity
  4. People being unique
  5. Our freedoms
  6. The moon
  7. The total solar eclipse
  8. Smiling and others smiling back
  9. Jesus
  10. The sky
  11. Art
  12. Eyes
  13. People
  14. Water
  15. Purpose
  16. Cold weather
  17. Road trips
  18. My family
  19. Laughter
  20. Books
  21. My home
  22. The Bible
  23. Nature/the outdoors
  24. DSLR cameras
  25. Musical instruments
  26. Southern Gospel music
  27. Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice for us
  28. A hot shower at the end of the day
  29. Encouraging music
  30. Constant encouragement from friends
  31. Flakes of snow falling from the sky
  32. Having the freedom to read God’s Word and pray to Him in our country
  33. For living in the United States
  34. For having a wonderfully cute dog
  35. Chocolate!
  36. A hot cup of tea
  37. For having the ability to write for God’s Glory
  38. For God blessing me with a magazine ministry
  39. For computers and technology
  40. Gel pens!
  41. The Internet
  42. Tripods
  43. Happy memories
  44. My church
  45. God
  46. Pets
  47. Art supplies
  48. My sewing machine
  49. My dolls
  50. Good teachers
  51. My parents
  52. My brother
  53. My aunt and uncle
  54. Hashem and everything he has provided for me
  55. Writing
  56. Friends
  57. The AMAZING blogging community
  58. Food
  59. Thanksgiving
  60. Christmas
  61. Winter
  62. Salvation that comes to me through the Holy Spirit
  63. Good works that, through God’s grace, I am able to do
  64. Strength that God gives me to get through each day
  65. Each day that God gives us to live, laugh, and spread His love to those around us
  66. Cinnamon rolls
  67. Courage to live God’s word fully
  68. Modern technology so that I can “know” people that I have never met
  69. Beautiful sunsets that we enjoyed this year
  70. Warm weather and swimming!
  71. The Holy Spirit
  72. Macaroni and Cheese
  73. Horses
  74. Cartoons
  75. Crafts
  76. Hobby Lobby
  77. Purple
  78. Sleep
  79. Socks
  80. Butterflies
  81. Songs
  82. Dodgeball
  83. Toys
  84. Playing with my brother
  85. Jeans
  86. Bikes
  87. TobyMac
  88. Owl City
  89. Color
  90. Bunnies
  91. A beautiful place to live
  92. Our farm
  93. Safety
  94. The amazing human body
  95. The ability to access education easily
  96. Health
  97. Warmth
  98. Blankets
  99. Pen pals
  100. Internet so friends could stay in touch
  101. My Saviour
  102. Doctors
  103. The police
  104. Our veterans
  105. Fresh water
  106. Being homeschooled
  107. Friends
  108. My pawpaw and mawmaw
  109. Cars(not the movie)
  110. TV
  111. Our president
  112. Our chickens
  113. Gods grace
  114. That God forgives us and sustains us
  115. For the big green earth
  116. Trees
  117. Fresh air
  118. My sewing machine
  119. I can walk
  120. I can talk
  121. I can sing
  122. I can help my mom to take care of my siblings
  123. Donkeys
  124. Different seasons
  125. Tastebuds
  126. Baseball
  127. Animals
  128. Being able to worship God freely
  129. The book that God helped me write published
  130. YouTube followers
  131. Being able to make people laugh
  132. The people who have inspired/encouraged/blessed me
  133. All the people who have invested so much into my life
  134. Being born in the USA
  135. Our Founding Fathers
  136. PureFlix (Christian movies)
  137. The Calling that God has put on my life!
  138. Peanut butter
  139. Frozen yogurt
  140. Whoppers
  141. Pizza
  142. Clothes
  143. Forgiveness
  144. Candy
  145. Plants
  146. My teacher
  147. My great aunt
  148. Being alive!
  149. Summer
  150. Cats

 

I hope that you enjoyed reading (or skimming!) through this list, and that it encouraged you this Thanksgiving. I hope that it gets you thinking, and that you will remember how much there is to be thankful for.

 

Before I name the contributors, I also want to give a shout-out to Rita from New York North Fine Art. Rita came up with a plan to give to others and to stop world hunger. You can check out her video about the idea here or on her blog!

 

Here are all of the contributors!!

Lizzy

Sara

Clara

Sassafras

Olivia Bell (aka Livy)

Rebcake

vanamangirls

Cherry Cola22

Diamond

kingofthecowboys1943

Hannah

agdolldreams

blackiesunshine

Allison

Laura

Melissa

Mary E.

Megan (A Barefoot Gal)

Bella

The Chloe Blog

AAG

Evy

Thank you all for contributing, and thank you also to anyone reading!

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,

for his steadfast love endures forever.

~Psalm 136:1

 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

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A Basket of Thankfulness – Thanksgiving Activity!

It’s NOVEMBER!

And November means that Thanksgiving is knocking at the door (here in America, anyways)!

What do you think of when you think Thanksgiving?

Maybe you think of all the delicious food: Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie. Or perhaps you think of family and friends that you’ll see that day. Maybe the Macy’s Day parade or another festive tradition.

Pumpkins. Baking. Falling leaves. Cool weather.

Giving thanks.

Today we’re here to dive into that last one. Being thankful is so important. God calls us to give thanks. Gratefulness can change our whole outlook on life and the situations we’re in, good or bad.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” -Psalm 100:4-5

 

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So, like last year, I have an activity for us to do to help us think and reflect on how much we have to be thankful for!

I hope that through this activity you will take some thought into how you’ve been blessed, and how much you can be thankful for, whether it is easy for you to think of, or difficult.

Here’s How it Works:

  • Comment below and list things you are thankful for! It can be one thing, several things, or as many as you want!
  • Be sincere. Try to put some thought into it, and think outside of the box. There are many noticeable (and wonderful) things to be thankful for like family and friends, which are fine to put, too, but try to dig even deeper into things that are less on the surface, or that others may not think of as much.
  • Spread the word! Okay, so this is not required, but I would appreciate if you decided to share this activity, whether on your blog or other social media so we can gather up many things to be thankful for!
  • Then, on November 23 (Thanksgiving Day) I can post everything that we’ve said in a great big list of thankfulness, along with the names of those who contributed!

This year I plan to put the list as one big list, with repeats taken out, and with contributor names at the end. 🙂

 

I’ll start us off with five things I am thankful for.

  1. The gospel!
  2. Light
  3. Creativity
  4. People being unique
  5. Our freedoms

 

And now it’s your turn!

Comment down below and let’s fill up this year’s Basket of Thankfulness!!

 

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