Tuesday, July 21, 2015

New Dolls: It's All Relative

Lots of new dolls have come to reside in Dollton in the past few months. Allow me to formally introduce some of the new dollies alongside their relatives.

I used one of my end-of-school year gift cards to add Ally to my growing collection of Hispanic dolls. Now Dena has a daughter. Ally works for Grace at the flower shop. Ally is on a Barbie Style Teresa body- the new one with the articulated ankles.

I finally scooped up the dark and lovely fashionista. Watching her sell out in several places made me realize that if I didn’t act soon, then I was going to miss out. I kept passing her up in stores, because I was waiting to find one with perfect bangs. Finally, I ordered three at one time from Walmart using Site-to-Store with plans to keep the best of the bunch and return the others. Her new name is Eboni Miller. She is Chandra’s cousin. And she has a daughter. Remember the cutie from the June Brides post? Kenya is Chandra’s niece. Eboni is on a Baby Phat Chandra body. I know I said that I was over two-toned hair, and I am, but I actually like hers. It's a bit disheveled in the picture though from having her head removed.

The blonde fashionista is Robyn’s cousin, Kanika, from Tennessee. Kanika will be waitressing at Robyn’s club. I removed her garish pink lipstick, and I have plans to rebody her soon. I mixed a nice neutral shade for her lips and will paint them one day when I need something to do. And is it just me or is her head A LOT bigger than Eboni's?

A mother- and father-of-the-bride were must haves, and these two look so good together. Lando Calrissian is Dr. William Norwood, renowned plastic surgeon. Diana Ross is Rosalyn Norwood. Then I decided that Brandy needed a sister. The 2002 AA Collector Barbie has a similar facial sculpt, and as far as I know is one of only two dolls ever made with this sculpt. She is now Yolanda Stacy, Brandy’s (married) younger sister.

And what about the groom's mother? I guess the third time really is the charm, because I tried two other dolls in the role of Tony and Amber's mom before realizing that BB Collection Red Model No.02 was perfect. Now we see where Amber gets that big hair. Larissa Scott is a widow, so don't expect to see good 'ol dad. Larissa is on the same body as Amber- Barbie Style Nikki. I grabbed another one when Amazon had them for like eight bucks with free shipping.

Raven is Millicent’s niece. She recently transferred to AU and will be staying with her aunt and uncle instead of on campus. She’s helping out at the bakery until classes begin in the fall. And check out Marisa pattern mixing and looking very on-trend like the star she is!

40th Anniversary Ken is Millicent's brother-in-law, Nathan. He shares a facial sculpt with her husband, Gabriel, so the two are brothers.  He’s so handsome and has the same articulation as So in Style Darren. Faith Hill is Nathan’s wife, Hilary. She is on a Divergent Tris body. I removed her widow’s peak and tattoos with acetone. Nathan and Hilary have twin sons, Justin and Jason.  You can read more about what they do for a living on the Characters page.

P.S. The Baby Phat Kara in the background of the bakery pic is new, too. She might be Camille and Grace's cousin, but I haven't committed to that story yet. Her name is Karalyn (pronounced just like Carolyn). You know the rule: first doll in the house gets the given name. Mara had the first Kara in the house, so I had to change my doll's name.

That’s all for now, but I’ll leave you with a teaser about the newbies I’m saving for a different post. The list includes a grail doll that has been on my wish list for at least a year, the most beautiful AA holiday Barbie (imho) ever created, my first Dynamite Girl, and a new (to me) Fashion Royalty Homme.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Whole Truth (Photo Story)

Tony’s been hanging out with best friend, Matt for most of the morning. Meanwhile, Amber has been waiting to get him alone to grill him about his whirlwind engagement.

I’m heading out. Tell my beautiful nieces I’m sorry I missed them. (Tony)
Whoa, wait a minute. I need to talk to you. (Amber)

What’s up? (Tony, taking a seat on the sofa)
Alright, spill it….what’s the story with this sudden engagement? Will the bridal shower be followed closely by a baby shower? (Amber)

Is that really what you think? (Tony, laughing)
Why else would you be in such a hurry? You hardly know this woman. (Amber)

I know my fiancée better than you think I do. I know that she’s smart and kind and beautiful. I know that she imagined herself married, most likely with children, by this point in her life… (Tony)
So, is that it? She gave you an ultimatum, didn’t she- told you that if you didn’t plan to put a rock on her finger, then you should go kick rocks? (Amber, interrupting)

Nah, she didn’t give me an ultimatum. She didn’t have to. She has a lot going for herself, and she knows what she wants. I’m smart enough to realize that she’s probably not going to wait around for me to become the man she wants. So, I’m going to be the man she wants- the man she deserves- now. (Tony)

Amber looks thoughtful.

What is it now? (Tony)
I’m not sure what to say. I’m relieved…and proud of you…and genuinely happy for you. (Amber)
Well, thanks. Your blessing means a lot to us. 

I really gotta get going. (Tony)
Where are you headed in such a hurry? (Amber)
I’m supposed to meet a friend...a girl...an old girlfriend from when I was stationed in California… (Tony)

Seriously, Tony?! How is hooking up with an old girlfriend giving Brandy the man she deserves? (Amber, interrupting again)
It’s not like that! She emailed a few days ago to say she was in town and needed to talk to me about something important. Of course I told her about Brandy, so there would be no misunderstanding. (Tony)

Tony walks into Tastries bakery and spots Lea at a table.

Tony! Hey. Wow, you look great. (Lea)
Thanks. Umm, so do you. (Tony, awkwardly)

So, what brings you to Dollton? (Tony)
I live here now…just moved here not too long ago, actually. It’s sort of complicated. (Lea)
You moved here? Alone? (Tony)
Not exactly. That’s the complicated part. (Lea)

Ohhh, I get it. (Tony, assuming Lea has a live-in boyfriend)
No, I don’t think you do. (Lea)

Lea, what’s this all about? (Tony)

Okay, before I say anything, I’m going to ask you to be patient and just try to hear me out. If you interrupt, it will just make it harder for me to say what I came to say.  I asked you to meet me so I could tell you the whole truth to your face. I’ve rehearsed this a thousand times trying to figure out the best way to say it. (Lea)

To say what? Lea, whatever it is, you can tell me. (Tony)

Lea takes a deep breath and musters all the courage she can.

Okay, here goes. When you left California, I had something I needed to tell you but I was too afraid. We had decided to end things, on good terms I think, several months before that. Tony, I promise you I didn’t know beforehand. You’ve got to believe me… (Lea)

Know what, Lea? Just tell me. (Tony)

Tony, I was 18 weeks pregnant when you left and I’d just found out a few days before. I swear I didn’t know. (Lea)

What?! How could you not know something like that? (Tony, shocked)

I’d been to the doctor a few times trying to figure out why I wasn’t getting my period. Two different pregnancy tests, taken quite a few weeks apart, had come back negative. Finally, after a third test was inconclusive, my doctor ordered a blood test which came back positive. And when I had the ultrasound to date the pregnancy, they estimated I was 18 weeks. I wanted to tell you, but I was scared of what you would think and what you would say. Besides, you were headed back to Georgia. I really am sorry for keeping this from you. (Lea)

So, then what happened? (Tony)
I had the baby. She was born a little early at 36 weeks, but she was perfectly healthy. (Lea)
She? (Tony)
Yes, her name is Kayla Hamilton. She’s three years old. (Lea)

I had to postpone finishing school so I could look after Kayla. I was a year away from my bachelor’s degree. And that’s part of what brings me to Dollton. I want to finish school for myself and for her, and I’m going to need help. Plus, I decided I’d kept this from you for long enough. I hope that in time you will forgive me. (Lea)
Have you been taking care of her all by yourself? (Tony)

No, my mother was helping in the beginning. But at some point- I’m not sure when- she fell off the wagon. She started drinking more than ever, and eventually it made her incapable of helping. (Lea)
Is she here, too? (Tony)
No, she’s still in California, but she’s getting treatment. I asked her to come with us, but she didn’t want to. (Lea)

I don’t know what to say. Is Kayla here? (Tony)
She’s with a sitter. I thought you might need time to get over the shock before meeting her. (Lea)

It’s okay if you want to wait until after the paternity test. (Lea)
Paternity test? (Tony)
I assumed you’d want one. I sure as he!! would want one if it were me sitting in your place. And then there’s your fiancée…she’ll need proof even if you don’t. (Lea)

Tony goes silent for a long time. His mind is reeling with the information he just heard. This definitely changes things.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Wedding Planner (Photo Story)

Tony and Brandy have an appointment with Kari Michell, Dollton’s premier event planner.

Good afternoon. How may I help you? (Denise)
Hi, we have an appointment with Ms. Michell. (Brandy)
Last names, please. (Denise)
Scott and Norwood. (Tony)

Thanks, one moment. Yes, I see you are scheduled for a wedding services consultation. Congratulations! (Denise)
Thank you. (Both)

I have some paper work for you to fill out so that I can set up your account. This brochure contains an overview of the packages and services we offer. Let me know if you have questions about anything in the brochure. When you’re finished, just return the clip board and I’ll show you to the conference room for your consultation. (Denise)

Tony and Brandy take a seat, and Brandy looks over the forms.

Need help with any of that? (Tony)
I don’t think so. It’s just our contact information and stuff like that. (Brandy)

Brandy peruses the brochure.

Wow, there’s quite a range of choices here. The Complete Wedding Coordination package handles every imaginable detail from the engagement to the honeymoon. Or we can choose the Day of Wedding package which actually includes a lot more than the name indicates. Or we can build a custom package from the list of add-on services. (Brandy)
So, which are you leaning toward? (Tony)
I really need this to be as stress-free as possible, so I’m loving the sound of this complete event coordination package. (Brandy)

Brandy returns the clipboard to Denise.

Now, if you’ll follow me, I’ll show you to the conference room where you can complete the couple’s questionnaire. Ms. Michell will join you momentarily. (Denise)

Denise returns to her desk to enter Tony and Brandy’s information in the computer.

“What adjectives describe the wedding we wish to have?” It says to check all that apply. I’m checking “romantic”. (Brandy)
Put a check next to “modern”, too. (Tony, leaning over to look at the list)
I think I’ll also check “elegant”. (Brandy)

Now, for the color palette. “What appeals to you: all white, pastels, rich jewel tones, earth tones, neutrals, bright and bold, or black with an accent color?” (Brandy)
Black with an accent color would definitely be modern. The accent color could be a metallic like silver or gold. (Tony)
I think jewel tones would have a modern feel, too and paired with classic white, it could be really elegant. (Brandy)
Sounds good to me, baby. (Tony)

Brandy and Tony finish the questionnaire and wait for Ms. Michell to join them.

I’m finished setting up the Scott-Norwood account. The clients are waiting in the conference room. And here’s a fax that came in a moment ago from the convention center. (Denise)
Thanks, Denise. (Kari)

Kari joins her clients.

Hello and congratulations to you both! I’m Kari Michell, event coordinator and specialist. (Kari)

Kari takes a seat and pulls up their account on her laptop.

I see that you’ve chosen our complete event coordination package. With that option, you get unlimited phone and email consultations in addition to our scheduled face-to-face consultations, assistance with budget planning, help choosing a theme/venue/vendors, plus my attendance at all desired appointments such as dress shopping and cake tasting… (Kari)

Kari continues to explain the services included in the complete package and answers the couple’s questions.

I have your wedding date right here, but before I can prepare proposals with potential venues and vendors, I need an estimated guest count. (Kari)
It will be an intimate ceremony- fewer than 100 guests. (Brandy)

Perfect. Do you have any special requests with regard to vendors or venue? (Kari)
Yes, one of my sister’s good friends is a florist, and she comes highly recommended. Grace Davis is her name. (Tony)
Excellent choice. I’ve worked with Mrs. Davis on a number of events. (Kari)
And my mother is a travel agent. She’ll be planning our honeymoon. I put one of her business cards in the folder. (Tony)
Thanks. I’ll add it to the electronic file and touch base with her soon. (Kari)

Kari looks over the couple’s answers to the questionnaire.

Looks like your theme will be “modern romance” based on the adjectives you selected. Let’s try to nail down a color palette. Do you have a preference for silver or gold? (Kari)
Normally, I’d say gold. But for my wedding, I think I’d prefer silver. (Brandy)

Okay. You also checked jewel tones. Do any of these colors appeal to you: turquoise, ruby red, sapphire blue… (Kari)
Ooh sapphire blue is my birthstone. (Brandy)
And we both love the color blue. (Tony)
It’s settled then…sapphire blue it is. How does white, silver, and sapphire blue sound to you? (Kari)

Sounds beautiful. (Brandy)

The couple continues talking with Kari, providing the details she needs to put together proposals for their next meeting. Finally, they sign the contract and leave their deposit with Denise.

Thanks for reading!