American Girl Today Show Special 61% Discount for Christmas

If you are watching the Today show this morning and the Jill’s Steals & Deal segment, you will have heard about the special bundle offer that is running! It is today, from 8:15 until supplies run out. Simply put the code that you get off the broadcast into the checkout and you’ll get a great 61% discount!

What dolls are included?


Click here for the actual sales page on American Girl. Remember – watch the show to get the special discount code!

Pssssttt… The code is JILLOFFER

Be sure to let us know how you did! Do you enjoy special sales like this?

Jig Dolls

Recently at the Bath Folk Festival Val Knight took the opportunity to perform with her Jig Dolls. Jig Dolls, if you are not aware, are a type of traditional wooden or metal (tin) toy with loosely jointed legs and arms that can “dance” or jig.

Watch as she performs – something she has been doing since the 1980s.


And an earlier clip where she describes how she discovered Jig dolls and began.


If you’d like a tutorial on how these dolls work, there is an excellent page on Chris Harvey’s site.

Eleven-Year-Old Provides Hope

Eileen Martin is truly one special little girl! She has spearheaded a project that has grown and has purchased True Hope Dolls to donate to children in her local community hospital suffering with cancers. Each of the dolls is bald and is supposed to encourage hope and inspiration for their new owners.

Childhood cancer has to be especially tough – and Eileen, who is 11 and wasn’t even old enough to donate the dolls herself (her mother had to) is an inspiration in herself.

If you’d like to help out with this, visit Eileen’s “Chip-in” campaign here. You can also follow her on Facebook.

Life of a reborn doll artist

Liviana Sirmans is a reborn doll artist, also known as a “reborner” and she makes incredibly lifelike dolls.

Liviana was first exposed to reborn dolls 10 years ago and was so fascinated that she bought one over eBay and being emailing with it’s creator and soon was buying the components and making her very own dolls.

Each reborn doll she makes is unique and finely detailed — even down to having the individual strands of hair micro-rooted.

The vinyl head, arms and legs must be washed to eliminate the grease and accumulation from being touched. After they are completely dried, she begins painting the veins. While the veins on the arms and legs are painted on the outside, the veins in the head are painted from the inside.

Her dolls each come with a birth certificate.

Read the full story about Liviana by Elizabeth Butler in the Valdosta Daily Times and find out what doll she never wanted to part with and just why she will never say how much she’s totally paid for her doll collection!

Dolls for young victims or witnesses of crime

Police in Harrisburg, IL have a novel approach to their child victims or children who witness crimes. Police chief Bob Smith has been given a number of handmade dolls that his police department gives to children.

The dolls help break down a wall that has been built up by drugs, alcohol, and other abusive behaviors. These dolls are an immediate bandage for emotional pain that can take years to heal.

The dolls were provided by the Women’s Missionary Union of Raleigh First Baptist Church. Each doll is handmade and is unique. This group has provided dolls for similar situations before, having provided to other charities and shelters in the Saline County area as well as overseas to places like Uganda.

Read more in Brett C. Pinkerton’s story at the Harrisburg DailRegister.

One Family’s Barbie Collection

When John Strojek purchased the first Barbie doll for his little girl as a collector’s item in 1988 he had no idea what he was starting. Now, 200 Barbie dolls later (and most likely still collecting) the family has been contacted to show their dolls at the Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock. The exhibit’s name is

“Barbie: The 11 1/2-inch American Icon” is the latest exhibit in the museum’s series, The 11th annual Eclectic Collector.”

The exhibit will run through January 3, 2013. Admission is free unless you want to tour the grounds.

The Strojek collection consists of many different Barbies as well as some of her friends. It has

“nearly 200 dolls, 15 completed series and vintage dolls including a 1963 Midge, a 1964 Skipper, a 1967 Twist N Turn Barbie and a 1968 Talking Barbie, a 1965 Francie doll house and a 1968 Barbie doll house.”

Mr. Strojek has a theory concerning several of the Barbie dolls. The collectors’ dolls are geared more toward adults,” Strojek says.

“So while some feel that certain Barbies should not be geared for children, they are not actually for children but for the adult collectors.”

That is an interesting theory. Would the New Moon Vampire series fit that bill or are they actually for the young girls to play vampire with?

See the full story at ArkansasOnline by Linda Caillouet complete with collection pictures and a video.

1910 find under Doll House

While rummaging in the family attic in Ohio Karl Kissner found in an old box underneath a dollhouse. The box was full of baseball cards from around 1910. All of the cards were rated, by experts, s an 8-10 and no one has seen cards above a 7 this old. His Honus Wagner rates a 10, so this is quite a find!

“Baseball memorabilia experts have been taken aback by the discovery,  New York-based Barry Sloate saying, “this is probably the most interesting find I’ve heard of,” and Joe Orlando, president of Professional Sports Authenticator, saying, “Every future find will ultimately be compared to this.”

Are you getting inspired to either check your attic closely or look under the kid’s dollhouse?

Read the complete tale here on Yahoo! Sports.

The family is almost united in their decision to sell their personal share of the cards. Wonder how they decide who gets which card?

Rag Dolls for Boys

A mother of two little ones creates rag dolls for little boys. She has joined forces with Richard Branson to produce the first batch of rag dolls.

“Perhaps most importantly, Rag Heroes aims to challenge the stereotypical belief that little boys should not play with dolls. As a mum of two boys and with my background training in counselling and play therapy, I strongly believe that little boys should be encouraged to show their caring side and this should be nurtured by the adults around them.”

She is now competing in “The Pitch 2012” to receive more funding for her boys’ rag doll business.

These dolls will officially launch on August 1, and you can find more details on the Rag Heroes website.

Check out the full story at Toy News by Dominic Sacco.

Psst… If you read Maria’s blog you’ll see that you can win a RagHeroes doll in their contest that is running until the official launch. Check it out!