Post by green chile supergirl on Jun 5, 2009 19:33:19 GMT -5
I don't have the Sabbath set, but I did spend some time playing with it in the personal shopping room at AGP NY, so I will review it now to the best of my ability and then grade & update it later when the Sabbath set comes off backorder.
Rebecca's teapot is really tiny! It's cute, but not very big. The box of Ceylon tea is just a simple, unweighted cardboard box. The Samovar is nice and shiny, but the little spigot is plastic. The drinking glasses are etched with a star pattern- they would have been much improved if they'd come with Russian metal tea glass holders, but they're nice without them too. The challah is really odd gummy, squashy texture.
The Sabbath candlesticks are a nice, heavy blue glass. The candles are also much thicker and nicer than the little candles that come with the Hanukkah Gift set. They slide in nice and easily.
Post by green chile supergirl on Jun 5, 2009 19:23:12 GMT -5
Rebecca's sideboard is a lovely piece of furniture, but I personally don't find it worth $130. There is a small drawer just below the main surface, which is lined with red velvet. This is nice, and it can hold some of Rebecca's Sabbath set, but not the samovar or its tray.
Below the drawer is a cabinet space. Again, this can hold some of Rebecca's things, but not the samovar or tray.
The mirror and the top shelf are very cunning- the samovar looks beautiful and shiny in reflection.
It is a lovely piece, but it just isn't worth the $130 they're asking for it.
Post by green chile supergirl on Jun 5, 2009 19:06:19 GMT -5
I love Rebecca's sweet little lunch box! It looks just like something you'd see in illustrations of her time period, though it doesn't appear in her book illustrations.
The red and white striped interior is a cheerful surprise.
The songbook is a single sheet of thin cardboard folded in half.
The interior shows the music. It's unfortunate that the book didn't include any paper pages, but I suppose the song is too short to really warrant that. According to Wikipedia, "You're A Grand Old Flag" was the first set of sheet music to sell over 1 million copies. Who knew?
ETA: Apparently the song is longer. Rebecca's music only includes the chorus, but the song itself has several verses. It was written for the 1906 musical "George Washington Jr."
Rebecca's notebook is decorated with Kewpie dolls, one of which her brother wins for her at Coney Island in her fifth book. The back cover has a multiplication table and the interior paper is lined.
Rebecca and her classmates wave their 48-star flags during their assembly honoring the school's new flag. This flag is similar in size and quality to the flags that come with Josefina's summer fun accessories.
Rebecca's cotton, drawstring school bag has a little pocket on the front to hold her pencil. The pencil is bigger than other, previously released AG pencils. The bag is cute, but it seems impractical.
What do you think- should we eat Rebecca's lunch?
Rebecca's lunch comes with a little napkin, whose edges she probably crocheted herself. She gets two pickles, a bagel and cheese sandwich, and a little pile of rugelach. It stinks that the food is all stuck together, but luckily it doesn't have that gross gummy quality that many AG foods do.
Post by green chile supergirl on Jun 5, 2009 18:54:06 GMT -5
Rebecca's school outfit is very nice! I had read the books prior to seeing the album, and based on the illustration, I was really dreading what the outfit would look like. It comes with a pair of standard issue white tights, which I didn't put on Rebecca. I think the outfit looks just as nice, if not better, with the black tights.
The attached skirt/ jumper isn't that bad, but it's kind of a letdown not to be able to mix/match with other oufits. The little brooch fits on the jumper, but it looks a bit out of place. I didn't use the hairbow, because I'm afraid that once I take out Rebecca's barette, I won't be able to get it back in.
The sweater is easy to put on. After reading that others had difficulty with the buttons, I decided to just put the sweater over Rebecca's head and eliminate fussing with the buttons. This worked rather well for me, though I wasn't able to get the sweater as smooth and nice looking as others' photos.
The black boots are very nice! Finally we get a pair of regular, black, high-button boots. While others have said they wished the buttons were functional, rather than the velcro back, I actually like the velcro back. I'm always afraid I'll pop the buttons off Samantha's white boots, so I'm relieved not to have to fuss with them.
I think Rebecca's white/black meet boots look better with this outfit than with her meet dress. Perhaps they should have been switched?
And of course, Rebecca's meet outfit looks great with the black boots. They're so versatile! It would be nice if they were sold separately so that Samantha & Nellie could have a pair too, but it really makes the outfit price more reasonable since they included shoes.
Post by green chile supergirl on Jun 5, 2009 18:42:23 GMT -5
Rebecca's house slippers are really adorable. I question their accuracy, but they are really cute. They're felt, with the soles being made of the same material as the uppers. They're easy to put on.
I made Inky model the robe, because I didn't want to change Rebecca out of her meet outfit- she looks so nice in it! The robe is a soft, pretty blue flannel with silky ribbon edging and adorable frog closures. It fits quite well over Inky's Outdoor Play oufit, so if your doll wants to take her swanky robe to Pine Lake Camp, go for it. There is a little pocket on the front of the robe where Rebecca can store her... who knows what, but she can store it.
Post by green chile supergirl on Jun 5, 2009 18:37:44 GMT -5
Mini Rebecca is a cute little thing. Her little red dress is made of the same fabric as Rebecca's dress. Unfortunately, the little black tabs at the waist don't look as nice as big Rebecca's. Her tiny boots are so twee. As minniebelle said, her eyes are a single color- they don't have the lovely speckles you get on the larger version. The buttons on the dress are also just embroidered rather than real buttons. Unlike big Rebecca, mini Rebecca's sleeves are not lined with white fabric. As mini Rebecca has no other clothes, it really shouldn't be a big deal if her arms get stained.
Mini Rebecca's bouffant hairdo is huge!
The mini book is adorable.
I had the author of the Rebecca books sign mini Rebecca's so that my doll, Inky could have a treasured copy. Jacqueline Green is still making appearances at several other AG stores (we were in NYC), so your doll can also still get a signed copy!
Post by green chile supergirl on Jun 5, 2009 18:24:18 GMT -5
Rebecca's meet accessories, except the brooch, aren't anything special. I was really disappointed in the shawl. I do like it's tasty-looking mustard color, but like others, I was disappointed that it is only printed on one side. I have Josefina's heirloom shawl and was really expecting Rebecca's to be of the same quality.
I really like her little brooch. It features the hare from "Clever Karina," a story that Rebecca acts out with her Uncle Max. I like that it's not a pin, but it falls off so easily. I lost it twice while getting Rebecca dress and felt like an idiot scouring the floor for it. I'm not going to let her wear this if I take her anywhere; I wouldn't want it to get lost.
Oh dear, Rebecca's hat. I think the ribbon is really pretty, but I can't stand the hat. I'm nervous about keeping her curls looking nice, so I was afraid to really mash the hat down on her head. As a result, Rebecca looks rather foolish. I was happy to discover that a friend is interested in the hat, so I can let it go without feeling guilty. Hurrah!
The accessories would have been more complete with a coin. After all, the whole first story is about Rebecca earning coins with her crochet work.
Rebecca doll with Meet Accessories on display at AGP NY.
Post by green chile supergirl on Jun 5, 2009 18:15:42 GMT -5
I am so happy with my Rebecca. I'm thrilled that she has the Josefina mold, which I like considerably more than the classic mold. I am a bit concerned about her thin wig and her curls; I worry that I will mess them up. I have to steel myself to not touching her hair!
Rebecca's meet outfit is really pretty! I bought her school outfit too, but I don't want to take her out of this jaunty red dress. I'm thankful that the sleeves are lined; I've had bad experiences with dolls getting stained by AG's red items.
After reading the reviews on this thread, I decided not to take out my Rebecca's barette. It does look nice in her hair, but it is clearly pretty cheap plastic.
Rebecca has the standard Molly/Emily/Samantha/Kit underpants. We will probably never learn why she and her fellow dolls put their undies on outside their tights.
Here's Rebecca with Nellie. Same face mold, but I think they look quite different from one another.
It's hard to see in this picture, but it was clear to me that Samantha's middy boots are a different color than Rebecca's. Samantha's are a true white, whereas Rebecca's are more of an eggshell color.
Rebecca is a lovely doll, but she really doesn't look like the book illustrations. In fact, her cousin Ana looks more like the doll, with its lighter-colored hair.
Unlike others on this thread, I am a total beginner when it comes to fussing with doll curls. I returned Nicki because I couldn't deal with her hair. I managed to get Rebecca looking a bit better- when I got her, the curls on her left side were tightly coiled, but the ones on the right were looser and more sparse. She does look better now, but I do wish I knew how to do banana curls like katieshc.
Post by green chile supergirl on May 30, 2009 20:25:17 GMT -5
I got my Josefina in 1999, so I've had her a full ten years now! Josefina was my first American girl doll- I got her when I was sixteen. She was a gift from my very, very first girlfriend, Dorothy. Well, I haven't the foggiest idea what ever became of Dorothy, but Josefina and I have spent a happy decade together. It's taken me the full ten years, but I just finished her collection today.
She's such a beautiful doll! I love her because we're both from New Mexico and we have the same last name. Whoa! I've never had much trouble with her hair. I gave her a Downy Dunk in 2005 and upkeep with sporadic brushing has kept it in excellent condition. I would never have described it as coarse, even at the point at which I did the Downy Dunk.
For old time's sake, here's a photo of me and Josefina right after I got her:
Other have noticed this, but there is a tremendous difference in Josefina's original moccasins and the newer, Mattel ones.
The ones on the right came with my Josefina in 1999 and the ones on the left were ordered as replacement parts in 2005. The older ones have leather thongs as ties and are much darker. The newer ones use shoe laces and are of a faux leather material.
Post by green chile supergirl on May 30, 2009 20:16:41 GMT -5
The lantern on the left is a Pleasant Company lantern; the one on the right is from the burgundy box era (it came with the chicken and chiles set). I actually prefer the Mattel one! The colors are deeper and brighter. Unfortunately, neither lantern ever came with a candle, despite the little candle holder inside. It's a little detail that really shouldn't have been looked over.
I haven't made the ramillete set, and I will assume that the glue has long since dried up.
I love the tray of bizcochitos. They're weird and gummy, but they look really cute. Lucky they're fake, because I hate anise cookies! I haven't tried the recipe yet for that reason.
Post by green chile supergirl on May 30, 2009 20:09:50 GMT -5
I received Josefina's chicken and chiles as a gift several years ago. The chicken is adorable with its fluffy feathers. I love the bits of straw in the delicate cage. AGR is so right in warning about watching the eggs- they roll away so easily! I have two, which I keep in the little cardboard box they arrived in.
The chiles are the same as the ones with the cocina supplies. It's so cunning to use twists of paper as chiles on a ristra!
I have the later version of this set (mine is from the burgundy box era), so I have a lantern with it. I also have a PM version of the Christmas Eve set, and I was surprised to see how different the two are.
The Pleasant Company lantern is on the left, the Mattel lantern on the right. The Mattel lantern is actually much prettier! It has deeper, brighter colors than the more faded Pleasant Company lantern. I found the hinges on both lanterns to be equally cheap. I really wish both lanterns had come with candles inside- they look so empty without them!
Post by green chile supergirl on May 30, 2009 19:57:49 GMT -5
Every time I get this set out, I think I've lost the little quill pen. Luckily, it's tucked away inside the ledger, but seriously- couldn't they have made it a bit bigger and sturdier? I love the ledger's brown leather cover. I think it's really cool how the ink used is brown, just as Josefina's probably was. I also like how Josefina's father's name is in the book, just as he wrote it in her school story! The inkwell is just adorable and the sibilario is fun to look it.
However, the real gem of the set is Tia Dolores's little notebook, full of sayings, poems, and songs she remembers learning with her sister, Josefina's Mamà. a Grade: A
Post by green chile supergirl on May 30, 2009 19:51:38 GMT -5
I love Josefina's rebozo, with its wonderful earthy colors and little tassels at the end. The booklet that shows different ways of wearing it is particularly helpful- my Josefina likes to switch it every so often. This particulary rebozo is about 500 times better than the weaving outfit rebozo, but once I got the Herb Gathering rebozo, this one fell a bit in favor. That one is so nicely woven, while this one falls short.
Josefina's leather pouch has a little thong so you can attach it to her belt. I found the little loop somewhat difficult to deal with, so I keep my jola, or coin, in its little paper envelope.
I love that Josefina, like most of the other dolls, has a coin of her own! It's much, much bigger than Kit's little nickel. The hankie has a pretty little embroidered flower, possible done by Josefina's sister Clara, who loved embroidery.
Tia Dolores brings this necklace all the way from Mexico City for Josefina, though her sister Francisca thinks it's too grown up for her littlest sister. I love it because garnet is my birthstone! I also love that it looks like a Zia sun, a pueblo pictogram depicting what else, the sun!
Post by green chile supergirl on May 30, 2009 19:42:28 GMT -5
Josefina sewed this gown all by herself, with fancy material from Abuelito and instructions from Tia Dolores's Mexico City sewing book.
I nominate this outfit for Best Value of all of Josefina's outfits. The dress is really striking. At first, I didn't particularly care for the print, but it has grown on me considerably over the years. The socks are very versatile; unlike the ones from her shoes and socks sets, these socks actually fit under her slippers- and her moccasins!
The undergarment is very elegant- my Josefina likes to wear it under all her empire-waisted dresses. The mantilla is a gorgeous addition to the outfit. I found it a bit difficult to put on Josefina when she's wearing two French braids, but it all worked out in the end.
Post by green chile supergirl on May 30, 2009 19:34:31 GMT -5
I paid way too much for this set on ebay, but it was the last thing I needed to complete my Josefina collection. I love the two little flags- especially the American flag with only 24 stars! It's fun to compare each historical character's flags; it's too bad they didn't put them in every doll's collection.
I love the pretty little mirror. I was surprised to see that it came with a built-in stand! The cover is really pretty. The tortoise is just awesome. I love the telescope! I am among the silly people who didn't realize how far it extended until reading its review.
The clay whistle is so pretty. I love the delicate brush strokes on the side to indicate wings. Unlike AGR's sets, both my herb gathering and summer fun whistles came on the junky plastic cording. I think it would be worthwhile to swap them out for a real leather cord. As with the flags, I really like that Kirsten, Samantha, Molly, Felicity, and Addy also have whistles. It's that kind of continuity that really impresses me with the AG collections.
Post by green chile supergirl on May 30, 2009 19:17:29 GMT -5
Both my grandmother and great grandmother have adobe hornos in their yards, so I was excited to get this authentic piece of New Mexico. My main criticism of it is that it's just way, way, way too small. A real horno would be almost as tall as Josefina.
I got my set at the outlet, but unlike AGR's, I did get the wool. Luckily, the missing wood twigs are the easiest thing to replace. The two loaves of bread are really cute.
What would have made this set perfect would be to have included ceramics in various states of preparation. Hornos were used for cooking and for firing pottery- my grandmother was a traditional Pueblo potter and she used her horno to that purpose.
Post by green chile supergirl on May 30, 2009 19:12:45 GMT -5
Josefina loves her random branch of goodies! The branch is a really odd choice. Josefina can't hold it, and though her things look nice hung on it, there's not really anything to hang it *on.* The corn is pretty- my family also keeps ears of Indian corn in the home as decoration. The blue and red corn cobs are accurate, but the yellow would have been better in an off-white color.
The garlic seems out of scale at first, but I decided that these ears of corn were just smaller, as corn was before genetic engineering. I love thinking about Josefina and her sisters sitting and braiding the stalks and husks into these strands. The chile ristras are very pretty- it was so creative to use twists of paper as chiles!
The squash, unfortunately, looks particularly unappetizing.
I love Josefina's big, black water jug. Again, it reminds me of stuff my family has at home. The braided ring is so cunning! Poor Josefina, however, cannot use her gourd dipper to actually get water from the jug- it's bigger than the opening at the top!
The mano and metate are great toys. They're probably the items with the longest history- even prehistoric native New Mexicans used these to grind their cornmeal. It's too bad that no cornmeal/ blue cornmeal is included, but that would be messy.
I love the big copper pan. I like to think of it bubbling with thick green chile stew on its iron stand. Additionally, it looks just like the big copper washtub that Josefina and her sisters use in the first book. Great dual purposing!
The basket is very pretty, but I think it would have been better if they had included a basket in the Pueblo style with designs. The Montoyas would almost certainly have traded for them.
Post by green chile supergirl on May 30, 2009 19:02:57 GMT -5
Josefina's dishes are one of my favorite accessory sets. The plates are very pretty, though all you have to put on them is the cantaloupe with the strange outlet plug. I feel that the melon could have been much better executed. It's a nice idea that Josefina has a really old melon, but it's kind of a random thing to have on her birthday table. No green chile stew? What kind of feast is this?
The "bone-handled" knives and forks have a rustic look about them, but as AGR mentioned, they really are too big for Josefina. That said, if they were smaller, they would look even more out of scale from the plates than they already do.
The green glasses are beautiful. Nothing but accolades for those.
I love the table runner. It looks just like something my grandmother would have. The vase/jar is so pretty with its little blossoms. The apricot blossoms are serviceable, but the stem was a bit long. I think if it had been just a half centimeter shorter, they would sit in the jar much more nicely. Instead, they kind of lean over to the side.
The pitcher is colorful and pretty. I can imagine Josefina pouring herself an ice cold glass of water. I love the little dot and flower decorations.
The bread is so intricate! That Tia Dolores knew what she was doing! It seems rather bizarre to have a loaf of bread sitting on the table with no plate, so I put it on the bizcochito platter, even though it's too small. I think this could have really been improved by having two slices of the bread, so that Josefina and her hypothetical party guest could have something other than a melon half to eat.
Post by green chile supergirl on May 30, 2009 18:52:55 GMT -5
I have two pairs of shoes; one of them is the hard plastic. They're nice shoes, but I find it a bit odd that they don't have tongues. Knowing New Mexican moccasins pretty well, I would say that these really aren't traditional. They match nicely with her party dress, Weaving Outfit, and Harvest Outfit, but I otherwise prefer to use the moccasins.
The socks are nice, but they're really too thick to wear with the shoes. Plus? They look horrible with the light colored material. I've used all three pairs with the riding boots, but the riding boots just aren't as versatile as her regular moccasins. I love that Josefina has nice thick woolly socks, but they would be so much better if her footwear could better accomodate them.
Post by green chile supergirl on May 30, 2009 18:46:01 GMT -5
I'm embarassed to admit that yes, I paid $6 for these ribbons. I really should iron them. They're quite nice, but as AGR said, they're just a bit too short. When I do Josefina's hair, I generally use longer lengths from the Michael's ribbons that come 2/$1. Better value, but my Josefina apparently needed the real AG ones.
Post by green chile supergirl on May 29, 2009 22:48:54 GMT -5
Josefina's Feast Day Outfit is particularly special because the pieces belong to different members of her family. The skirt was a special gift from Abuelita, because Josefina is quiet and gentle like her Mamà, who owned the skirt before her. She borrows the slippers from her sister Clara, and the orange sash is from Tia Dolores.
I love the ruffles on the white camisa. Because they're so festive and dressy, this camisa doesn't lend itself particularly well to mix and matching. I love how the bright white of the camisa looks when placed in the rich coloring of her wood trunk.
The skirt is quite unusual. Like the weaving outfit skirt, it looks as if it would have been better to do the whole skirt in the bottom pattern, with the camisa flaring out over the top. Also like the weaving outfit skirt, it seems like the white part starts a bit too far down. Still, what do I know? Maybe they really did end that far down, though it doesn't seem so from the vintage drawings in Josefina's World.
The slippers are very nice. I have a PM Josefina, but purchased the outfit in 2004. Luckily, the shoes fit my Josefina well, but I wouldn't take her out wearing them as they do slip off quite easily. The color matches the skirt almost perfect- what a coincidence considering neither belonged to Josefina originally!
The orange sash is iridescent, which I find a bit odd. Did they have iridescent material in 1824? I would think not. The sash is too short to tie in a bow, it has to go into a little knot. I really wish it had been just an inch or two longer- it would make the ensemble much easier to wear, as the camisa and skirt add quite a bit of thickness to Josefina's waist.
The red ribbons are nice, but they are not long enough to weave into Josefina's hair as shown in the birthday style. I ended up using them with her hair in two braids with her indigo skirt and camisa, and cutting my own red ribbon to the length needed for her birthday style.
Post by green chile supergirl on May 29, 2009 22:39:31 GMT -5
Josefina's heirloom accessories are very pretty.
The shawl is a gorgeous sunny yellow cover. It looks like the shawls my female relatives in New Mexico still carry today when they're watching dances on the plaza. I love arranging the fringe over Josefina's arms while she wears it. My only complaint about it is that its' very slippery and as such, is difficult to fold and store.
The necklace is simple and pretty. My Josefina has a tiny gap between her neck and her body, and the necklace covers that spot very well. I like the closure, because you can be assured it won't come off.
The fan is nice. I'm in the non-plastic fan crowd, but I like the black lace. At any rate, it's far superior to Elizabeth's all-plastic fan. My Josefina holds it with a clear hair tie.
Post by green chile supergirl on May 29, 2009 22:28:08 GMT -5
Josefina's bedside table is lovely, with its dark red stain, delicate woodwork, and little leather pull. I love the carved detailing just below the drawer. It fits in very neatly with her entire collection. Unfortunately, it is very lightweight and I worry that I might accidentally break it, particularly when her heavy Puebla basin is atop it.
Everything from her nighttime necessities fits nicely on the bedside table.
The little drawer is the perfect size for Josefina to store her hair ribbons and primroses.
Post by green chile supergirl on May 29, 2009 22:21:04 GMT -5
Josefina's table and chairs are the most beautiful furniture pieces American Girl makes. They look exactly like the old furniture in my family home back in New Mexico. Everything about them is so perfectly New Mexican- the color of the wood, the beautiful carving, and the wonderful structure that makes them fit together so perfectly. I love how sturdy they are, just like the adobe homes back at home. The cornstalk carving is so perfectly New Mexican, as corn forms the foundation of human life in the area.
I put off getting this set for a long time, but I was utterly thrilled to buy my set at MCM for only $15! An absolutely steal, and the best deal on anything of Josefina's that I've gotten.
Post by green chile supergirl on May 29, 2009 22:12:58 GMT -5
If you only get one accessory for Josefina, make it her nighttime necessities. No other doll has an accessory that ties all of her stories together in such a sweet way. The beautiful wooden box belonged to Mamà, but Papà gave it to Josefina when her mother passed away. Each of the little treasures comes from one of her stories- and she also keeps her primroses, Mamà's favorite flower, in the box as well.
All of Josefina's treasures fit in the little box- her Mamà's favorite soap, a swallow feather, a rattlesnake's rattle, a nugget of turquoise, a milagro charm, and her little thimble (which really fits on her finger!). I also use the box to store Josefina's necklaces when she's not wearing them.
The Puebla basin, while enormous, is beautiful. It's real ceramic with delicate blue detailing on the inside, showing a village.
All of her nighttime necessities- her Puebla basin, her soft towel (I love this material! It's also used on the collars for Kit's yellow dress & her scooter outfit), her candle in its candlestick, and her memory box- fit neatly on her bedside table, ready for use.
Post by green chile supergirl on May 29, 2009 22:03:36 GMT -5
I really like that Josefina's beautiful nightie can also be worn as a long-sleeved camisa. In fact, it's exactly like the camisa her older sister, Clara, wears in the dramatis personae in the beginning of the books.
The white on white striping is absolutely lovely, it's such a pretty detail. For a nightgown, I think this is actually one of the prettiest that AG has released for their dolls. I just wish I could make a tiny one for Niña!