Monthly Archives: January 2016

Nellie Arrives!

“Nellie!  It’s so good to see you again!” exclaimed Maryellen.  “I was so surprised to get your letter in the mail.

Maryellen Nellie“Thanks so much for helping me out,” said Nellie.

Maryellen became concerned when she saw Nellie’s legs with so little strength in them.  She wondered if her family’s grand-daughter had to be extra careful with her, or if they were scared to take Nellie out at all.  That did not seem like the Nellie she knew who loved to be active and play.  Maryellen’s thoughts were interrupted by Dakota.

noexif_IMG_6717_private“Nellie, meet Dakota – she is new here.”

“Wow, you two really do look alike!  And your names rhyme — Ellie and Nellie!” said Dakota.  “Nice to meet you.”

Maryellen helped Nellie get comfortable in the living room.  She noticed when Nellie sat down, her leg flopped sideways.  Maryellen tried not to stare and busied herself with snacks.

The girls caught up on family news, school, and the latest books.

Pleasant Co NellieAfter a silent pause, Nellie said, “I really need to get to the hospital to have my leg fixed, but I am nervous!  I’ve never been far from home, except to visit family.”

Maryellen thought for a moment, then had the perfect idea!  “When Josefina gets home you can talk with her – she is a Pleasant Company girl too, and she had her shoulder fixed at the doll hospital.  I’m sure she could tell you all about it.

That night Dakota and Addy slept in sleeping bags so Nellie and Josefina could talk without a crowd.  After they climbed into bed, Josefina told her all about her exciting trip to Madison, Wisconsin.  She was so relieved to have her shoulder fixed because Brianna had stopped playing with her.

noexif_IMG_6723_private“Nellie, I have a secret to tell you,” said Josefina.  “When you visit the doll hospital you not only get your leg fixed, but you get a spa treatment too!  Don’t tell all the girls or they will want to sneak into the box with you!”

Josefina made Nellie feel very special.  She was eager to start her journey tomorrow.


Nellie really does belong to a friend who travels in winter.  The last time we borrowed Nellie I noticed that her leg was very VERY loose.  It happens to a Pleasant Co girl after many years.  Since we always have a doll hospital box on hand, we are sending Nellie for her leg repair and she will be good as new when our friend returns in spring.  She does know we are doing this.  Please do not doll-nap someone else’s doll 😉  We will be sure to let you know when Nellie returns.




A Letter from Cousin Nellie

noexif_IMG_6711_privateMaryellen was excited to receive a letter in the mail.  Usually her older sisters got all the interesting mail and postcards from friends who traveled and went to camp.

noexif_IMG_6710_privateThe letter contained some good news and some bad news.  The good news was that her cousin Nellie was coming for a winter visit! Nellie’s family travels in the winter to escape the cold temperatures while she stays at home.  The bad news was that Nellie’s sore leg was becoming difficult to manage on her own, and she needed medical help.

Nellie would be here . . . tomorrow!?  The last time Nellie visited she went on the very first doll expedition to the senior living center.  Some of the girls, like Dakota, had never even met Nellie.  It was going to be an exciting day for sure.

Come back tomorrow. . .


American Girl 2017

It’s hard to write about 2017 when I am still writing the date as 2015!

Exciting news this week from American Girl author Kathleen Ernst, author of the Caroline books and many of the AG mysteries.  She is currently writing a new book for American Girl which will be released in 2017.  She isn’t able to say whether it is a new character or a book for an existing character, but I know it will be great either way.  Secretly, I hope it is a new character because it was sad to see Caroline go.  I appreciate that the Caroline books featured her relationship with her father as a main theme.

My favorite Ernst book to recommend to you (all ages) is Betrayal at Cross Creek about the Scottish immigrants forced to take sides during the American Revolution.

I hope you considering following Kathleen’s blog  . . .  maybe she will throw her fellow history lovers some more hints 🙂

Doll Storage

What sweeter subject is there in the organizing month of January than doll storage?  You might recall that when we went to the Madison Children’s Museum sale this past summer, we met some new friends while waiting in line.  When we heard Maggie had 23 dolls (at the time 😉 ) we said, “How do you store them??!”  The answer was shelves, and quick as you please we were able to see the collection on her iPhone.  You might remember Maggie as our guest post author on Maryellen’s launch.

Well, the time came for us to find a storage solution after Maryellen and Dakota joined the family.  There are always a few dolls “in use” and a few others waiting in the wings.  We picked up a shelf from Target that is unobtrusive and doesn’t take up valuable floor space for playing.

American Girl Doll StorageWe are grateful to Mr. DollsBetweenUs for putting the shelf up so nicely!

I would love to hear your approach to doll display and storage!

P.S. Can you believe that another blogger was also in the line to go into the MCM sale at 7:15am and we (including Maggie) all appear in a picture on her blog!


Addy: Let Your Spirit Sing

A few months ago I purchased Addy’s benne candy tin (Pleasant Co) from eBay, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day seems like a good date to revisit this part of Addy’s story.

Words below are from Connie Porter’s book “Happy Birthday, Addy!”  The character M’Dear is an elderly neighbor who encourages Addy to claim a birth date of her own, since she does not know her actual birthday having been born a slave.  The date she chooses is the end of the Civil War.

Momma led Addy to one table, and there at her place was a tin of benne candies from M’Dear.

Addys Birthday Outfit

noexif_IMG_6689_private“You sure did pick a special day for your birthday,” said M’Dear.  “This is from Sunny and me.”

Addy opened the gift to find two of Sunny’s bright yellow feathers tied together with a bow.  Addy held them gently, a bit of bright sunshine in the palm of her hand.

Addy Birthday Benne CAndy“Thank you,” Addy said.  She kissed M’Dear and pinned the feathers in her hair.

Addy Sunny Feathers“Let these remind you to always let your spirit sing out,” said M’Dear.

“I will,” promised Addy. “I will.”



DIY American Girl Bulletin Board

Hello everyone! It’s Brianna here, with a fun American Girl Craft! Enjoy the post!

noexif_IMG_6684_privateWhat you will need:

  • Brown or black construction paper “12 by 18” inches
  • Mesh or Lace [Optional]
  • Tape
  • Removable Mounting Putty
  • Printer [Optional]
  • Access to Internet [Optional]
  • Coloring Supplies [Optional]

You take the brown or black construction paper and cut a piece of mesh or lace that is a little bit wider than the construction paper. From there you tape the mesh or lace over the brown or black construction paper. Since there is extra you can wrap the extra mesh or lace around the back of the construction paper and tape it back there so it doesn’t show.Then you can color or print some cute pictures of your doll’s family or what your doll likes to do. Then individually put mounting putty on the back of each picture and put it on the construction paper. Finally, once all of your pictures are on the construction paper, turn over the construction paper and put pieces of mounting putty on the back, so you can mount it onto the wall.

noexif_American Girl Bulletin Board_privateDakota made her own bulletin board, with pictures of her family and her favorite activities. In the picture below you can see what she put on her wall. Dakota taped a picture of Saige by the fireplace and big window in the doll’s house, a picture of Isabelle in her ballet outfit at the barre, Caroline and Caroline’s friend from Cincinnati (where the dolls use to live before they moved to Marlow, New Hampshire) whose name is Kit, and Dakota herself in the garden. Then Dakota taped a picture of cheer leading, a picture of a girl doing rhythmic gymnastics, and a ballerina silhouette.

I hoped you enjoyed today’s post. I hope you come back to Dolls Between Us, soon!


Maryellen Dreams of a New Dress

Words are from The One and Only by Valerie Tripp.  I have abbreviated the story.

Maryellen held the plaid dress up in front of herself as she looked in the mirror.  She sighed.

Maryellen Larkin Plaid

“Mom,” she said, “don’t you think this hand-me-down dress is sort of old and worn out?”

“Umph,” said Mom.  She was holding a pillow under her chin as she slipped a fresh pillowcase onto it.

noexif_IMG_6667_private“I sure would love a brand-new outfit to wear for the first day of fourth grade,” said Maryellen.  She got carried away, imagining herself in a chic, fashionable, grown-up-looking outfit like the ones girls wore on TV shows.  Oh boy!  Everyone would be impressed!

Maryellen Larkin Our GenerationShe said eagerly, “Mom you and I should go shopping and—”

“Maryellen!” Mrs. Larkin interrupted in a no-nonsense voice. “Carolyn’s plaid dress is perfectly fine for your first day of school.”

“OK, Mom,” . . . As one of six children, Maryellen had long ago learned the sad but true lesson that parents had only a certain amount of patience and energy and attention to give, and you couldn’t use more than your share or your parents got mad.

MaryellenShe’d save the shopping conversation for later.


A Letter from Brazil!

Compassion BrazilSerendipity:  On Dec 31, the day before Lea Clark took doll fans on a year-long journey to Brazil, we got our first letter from the Brazilian child we sponsor through Compassion International!

In our life of instantaneous communication, it was so thrilling to get a letter we had been waiting for for months.  Every little detail was interesting.  Eliane drew us a picture, and we learned, again, that she likes to play with dolls (the word for doll in Portugese is boneca).  Her best friend is Maria.

Sweet Thing:  Her message to us is: “You are very important for God and for me.”

noexif_IMG_6631_privateIf you are a Compassion sponsor, I found these cute seasonal Bible Valentine’s for Kids (free printable)…. in Brazil Valentine’s Day is celebrated June 12!

Thanks for reading… we will return now to our regularly scheduled doll programming!

Meeting Melody

Our Melody American Girl book “No Ordinary Sound” arrived today… She beat Lea’s books here which Amazon hasn’t shipped yet.  Brianna and I started reading it in tandem.  We won’t spoil the book for you, but one shareable detail is that Melody’s family calls her Dee-Dee!

If your library won’t stock the book for a while and you want to get in the mood of the early 60s, I can recommend the young adult book, “The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963” by Christopher Paul Curtis.  He worked in an auto factory in Michigan prior to becoming a writer.  Most of his books are award-winning.

Have any readers started Melody or Lea’s books yet?  Maryellen’s?

Addy’s Special Christmas

by Jen

We have been so busy talking about Brianna’s new dolls that I haven’t had time to tell you about  my Christmas presents 😉

This year I asked for items for Addy that I would wish to have if she does retire this year.  Addy’s Christmas dress was at the top of the list. It is such a special part of the Addy books when Mrs. Ford gives Addy the returned dress just in time for Christmas, and Addy takes her gift and generates a gift for Momma in the form of a scarf when the dress is hemmed.

Addy Christmas

What’s that below the tree?  It is way too big to be another dress for Addy!

Addy Beforeever Bed

It’s Addy’s bed!  Brianna’s response was, “Where are you going to put THAT?”  Hey, I thought you were on my side!

Addy’s bed is strung underneath with heavy string/cord.  This is the probable origin of “Good Night, Sleep Tight” as the rope under an old fashioned bed could be tightened.

Addy Historical Bed

The cording under the bed seems like it could be destroyed by a smaller kid. The bed is assembled with screws and washers that can be undone for storage.

American Girl Bed

Addy tried it right out!


And here is the bed with the quilt.  One slight disappointment is the quilt’s stiffness… it sort of defies gravity rather than draping softly over the sides.  Another issue is the massive American Girl tags which cover every piece and make it hard to arrange the bed without a tag sticking out.



Still, I am thrilled to have this special item, and you can never have enough beds for dolls!  Merry Christmas Addy!


This is our 100th post!  😃