3 “Explosive” 4th of July Hairstyles

“Explosive” hairstyles! Sorry, I couldn’t help it. It’s hard to think of an Independence Day adjective that lends itself to hairstyles. That’s the best I could do.

These hairstyles are very simple to do and are perfect for Independence Day, as well as all summer! They work great on human hair too, so you can do them on yourself or your friends. I have a short hair hairstyle, an “any length” hairstyle and a long hair hairstyle. Enjoy, and let me know if you try any of these! You can send pictures to me at americangirlsak@gmail.com

Ladder Ponytail (For Long Hair)

This hairstyle is ridiculously simple to do, contrary to its complicated appearance. It’s one of my favorites!

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Supplies: Long-haired doll, six hair ties (DO NOT USE THE TINY PLASTIC ONES, THEY ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO GET OUT!!!), a hairbrush (I know, it’s not AG doll kosher but McKenna needs a new wig anyway, and a spray bottle (optional).

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Step 1: Brush your doll’s hair backward, making it so that there is no part.

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Step 2: Make a ponytail at the crown of her head.

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Step 3: Split the red ponytail in two.

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Step 4: Take the left side of the red ponytail and grab a section of hair from the left side of her head, combining them into a white ponytail.

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Step 5: Repeat on the other side.

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Step 6: Split the white ponytails each in two, then take the inside sections and combine them into a blue ponytail.

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Step 7: Take the outside section of the white ponytail and grab a section of hair from the left side of her head, combining them into another blue ponytail.

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Step 8: Repeat on the other side.

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Ta-da! Beautiful and very patriotic!

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Ready for a backyard barbeque!

French Braid Ponytails (For Short Hair)

This hairstyle is totally adorable, and feel free to make it messy and fun! And there will still be hair sticking out of the bottom, if your doll has SUPER short hair like Lindsey. But I like it that way, it’s playful.

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Supplies: Short-haired doll, two hair ties, a hairbrush, and a spray bottle (optional).

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Step 1: Part her hair down the middle and tie off one section.

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Step 2: Take a small section from the front.

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Step 3: Split it into three sections and begin French braiding.

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Step 4: Tie it off into a ponytail around her ear.

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Step 5: Repeat on the other side.

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Voilà! Ready to play in the sprinkler!

Dressed-Up Braid (For Any Length)

Guys, there are only three steps in this hairstyle. In fact, it probably shouldn’t even be called a hairstyle. But it’s cute, so I’m putting it in here. 🙂

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Supplies: Doll, hair tie (not shown), headband, spray bottle (optional).

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Step 1: Separate a small section of hair from the side of her head.

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Step 2: Braid it.

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Step 3: Slip on the headband, and you’re done!

I hope you enjoyed these hairstyle tutorials! If you try any, make sure to email me at americangirlsak@gmail.com with some pictures! I’d be happy to post them on my blog. Have a fabulous Independence Day!

AGs in Alaska

 

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How To Start Your Own AG Doll Blog

How To Start

So. You’ve been reading doll blogs for years, marveling at other blogger’s cute blog designs, glossy pictures, and creative posts. Maybe I could do something like that, you think. And here’s the answer:

Yes. You can.

I’m going to give you tips and tricks I have picked up in my three years of blogging (remember, I didn’t start out with a doll blog, I had a different one for a couple of years). Hopefully, I can give you the know-how and inspiration to hop online and create your own AG doll blog.

(You could use this tutorial for setting up any type of blog, not just AG, if you would like.)

Step 1) Get your parents’ permissionThis is one of the most crucial steps in starting a blog of any kind. If you don’t have your parents’ permission, but start a blog anyway, don’t think they won’t find out. (Trust me, they will.) Creating a blog without permission will get you grounded, and your parents won’t trust you to ever have a blog, even in the future. So ask politely. If your parents say no, politely ask why. Don’t whine or beg. Are they worried you’ll run into cyberbullies or creepy guys on the Internet? Tell them that you can create a private or password-protcted blog. Are they concerned that you will spend all your time blogging? Ask them to help you set up a schedule. If they need time to think about it, give them time (without interrupting). If they still won’t agree, leave it be and ask again in a few months.

Step 2) If you got a “yes” from your parents, it’s time to pick out your blogging platform. I have only ever used WordPress, so that will of course be my recommendation. However, there are other sites such as Blogger, Weebly, TypePad . . . the list goes on and on.

Step 3) Look through and decide which plan you will use. A “plan” is basically the type of service you will get through your blogging platform. I’m not sure how it works with other platforms, but WordPress has several plans to choose from – the free plan gets you several different blog designs to pick from, a few gigabytes of storage space, etc. More expensive plans will get your more (or even unlimited storage), and hundreds more designs. Before paying for an expensive plan, ask your parents if it is okay first. You don’t need an expensive plan to blog – I have been using WordPress’ free plan for three years, and it works great.

Step 4) Pick your blog’s theme. Look through your platforms’ blog theme choices and pick the one that you think best suits your blog. Remember, you can always change your theme in the future, so don’t think you will be stuck with your chosen one forever. However, don’t change yours every week, it may annoy your followers.

Step 5) Customize your blog! This is the fun part about blogging, and the good news is, you can re-customize your blog design many times, just as you can change your theme. Set up a header picture, add widgets, etc. Make it 100% you. There are hundreds of tutorials on how to do this for your specific blogging platform on the Internet. (I may do a customization tutorial in a future blog post.)

Step 6) Now that you have set up your blog, start posting. This is harder than it sounds – but it is also a lot of fun. Get inspiration from other peoples’ blogs (however, do not copy posts/blog designs.) The great thing about AG blogging is that there are so many different types of posts you can do! Photostories, photoshoots, photoseries, craft/hair tutorials, create/participate in tags/awards, etc. You can also create something that is unique to your blog. I created The Dog Blog a few months ago, and I haven’t seen it anywhere else yet.

Step 7) Make friends while blogging. I have become really good friends with my followers – some of us even email and write letters to each other. I have mentioned this before, but friends was not something that even crossed my mind when I set up American Girls in Alaska. My previous blog was password protected, so the only people who read it were people I already knew. Start chatting in the comments on other people’s blog. You can ask someone to check out your blog, but don’t add a follow-up comment saying something like, “did you check out my blog yet?” That can be annoying. If you want to subtly invite someone to your blog, sign your comment with your name/username and underneath, add your blog’s URL. I have followed many people who have given me their URL and didn’t even ask me to check out their blog.

Step 8) Be courteous, kind and respectful. No one likes a blogger who is rude, swears, etc. You catch a lot more followers with honey than with vinegar, that’s for sure.

Step 9) Just have fun! Don’t worry about your follower count. There are bloggers who have been blogging for a year and have 40 followers, and there are bloggers who have been blogging for a year and have 300 followers. The little number on the screen means nothing. I have been blogging for eight months and I have 69 followers. Compared to other blogs, that may seem like a tiny little number, but to me, it means a lot. When I think about all the people who I have made smile while reading my blog, it makes me really happy (as sappy as that sounds.)

Did you enjoy the post? Would you like to see more blogging tutorials in the future? Do you have any tips to share? Did I completely forget something? Comment below, I would love to chat!

AGs in Alaska

Twelve Days of Christmas, Day #10: Christmas is . . . Holiday Hairstyles

Day #10???? Say what now????? 

Yep! It’s Day #10 of TDOC here on American Girls in Alaska. Today I will be doing my first ever hair tutorial! I will be showing you two cute holiday hairstyles, as modeled by Grace and Emily!

Style #1: Flipped Braid Bun

Step 1: Braid your doll’s hair.

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Step 2: Grab the braid by the end and pull it up. (My mom is holding it here, Grace’s hair is not floating.) 🙂

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Step 3: Tuck the elastic part under the braid.

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Step 4: Bobby pin the braid so that it stucks to the doll’s head.

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Ta-da! Simple and chic!

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Hairstyle #2: French Twist Braid

Step 1: Seperate a small section of hair from the doll’s head.

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Step 2: Seperate that section in two.

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Step 3: Cross the left section over the right section.

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Step 4: This is a bit hard to explain, but you’re going to take hair from the rest of the doll’s head and add it to the the section on the left (the one that is hanging down).

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Step 5: (Sorry, this one is a little blurry.) Pull the left section over the right one. (Like you’re twisting it, which is technically what you are doing.)

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Step 6: Continue to grab hair and add it to the section hanging down before twisting that section over. If you know how to French braid, this should be very simple.

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Sadly, my picture of the side of her hair would not upload, but it looked really cool! 😦

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you try these styles, send pictures to americangirlsak@gmail.com!

Just a friendly reminder, tomorrow is the last day to enter my giveaway. 🙂

AGs in Alaska

Countdown to Christmas: Two days!

Twelve Days of Christmas, Day #4: Christmas is . . . Baking

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Hi, everyone! It’s Grace here! Today, we’re going to be making some delicious Christmas cookies!

Bonus: this recipe can actually be followed and used to make real-life cookies! However, American Girls in Alaska is not responsible for any injury, damage, or death that will not occur while making these cookies, but she has to say that just in case anyone does anything stupid.

The supplies you will need for this recipe are: 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 eggs, and sprinkes.

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But before you mix anything, preheat the over to 375° degrees Fahrenheit.

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Step 1: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix well and set aside.

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Okay, I’ve got it!

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Step 2: In a large bowl, using a hand-held mixer or a firm wooden spoon, mix the butter until it’s creamy and lighter in color.

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Step 3: Mix in the brown and white sugars.

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Step 4: Add the vanilla and eggs. Sorry the eggs weren’t showing in the ingredients picture!

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Step 5: Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet mixture.

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Ta-da!

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Step 6:  Make little cookie balls that are the size of the rounded part of the spoon.

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Like these here!

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Step 7: This is my favorite part! Flatten the cookies slightly and shake holiday sprinkles on top.

Step 8: Place them onto ungreased baking sheets and bake them for 8-12 minutes!

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This is how the cookies turned out!

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Sorry some of these images are weird, the camera wasn’t focusing right. It was going in and out and in and out really fast.

Anyway, a bonus picture to show you the giant mess these made!

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AGs in Alaska had to wipe her hands on tissue paper for wrapping presents before taking pictures.

Anyway, hope you guys liked this post! If you make these, shoot us a picture or two at americangirlsak@gmail.com, or through our Contact Page. 🙂

This recipe is from The First Book of Baking by Jeanne Besser, and the recipe credits go to her. 🙂

Alright, see y’all tomorrow! Au revoir!

Grace

Countdown to Christmas: Eight days!

How I Customized My Blog For The Holidays

Hi, everybody! Oh my gosh, Christmas is in TWO WEEKS!!!!! Eek! Who’s excited????

You may have noticed something different about my blog, or at least I hope you did. If you didn’t, then you’re a very bad child and should be put on Santa’s naughty list. 🙂 XD

Okay, if you haven’t already noticed, I redid my blog in honor of the Christmas season. It literally only took me three minutes, but I couldn’t figure out what to post today, so this is what you get.

First, I went to my WordPress dashboard and clicked Customize. Don’t click Themes, which is right next to it, or it will just take you to your different theme options.

Next, go to Colors and Backgrounds. I clicked on Palettes for my green color, but instead of having white on the side of my blog, I went to Manual and chose the red color that they had displayed. Then I clicked on “Pick Your Own Color” and changed the dark red they had to a brighter shade of red.

I then slected the little photo button up at the top to choose my header image. I found a picture of Molly with a present and cropped that to fit. Guys, if you have the same theme as me, you probably understand how hard it is to find a picture that will look nice in that tiny little space AND not make the words unreadable, especially since you can’t change the font color. Unless you can and I haven’t figured it out yet.

Lastly, I clicked “Publish” and went back to my dashboard. Then, I clicked Settings. In General, there will be a button that will make it snow. You change that to ON and then your blog will have snow! It’s really super easy, I was expecting it to be a lot harder to do that. But nope!

I hope this tutorial helped in case you were wondering how to do any of these things, which you probably weren’t, but if you wanted to make it snow and couldn’t figure out how, then maybe this helped you!

Alright, that’s all for now! CHRISTMAS POSTS START ON THURSDAY!!!!

Also, real quick, Emmie is hosting an awards “show” called the Emmie Awards! Please check it out here, and if you think I am worthy of any such nominations, please nominate me! https://pheonixamericangirlworld.wordpress.com/2017/12/10/introducing-the-emmie-awards/

AGs in Alaska

Do you like my new holiday sign-off? I did it on Canva in three minutes. 🙂

Headband Tutorial

Aloha, my friends. It is time for American Girls in Alaska’s first-ever craft tutorial!!!

This tutorial is, as you may have guessed from the title, how to make a headband for your doll. This is a super easy tutorial, all it requires is that you know how to operate a sewing machine or know how to hand-sew. It took me under ten minutes to make the headband, so you can see how easy it is.

Without further ado, to the tutorial!IMG_2832

Step 1: Choose your fabric. I have this pretty purple fabric that is 32 inches by 2 inches.

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Step 2: Fold one side of the fabric to the middle and pin it. This is Side A.

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Step 3: Fold the other side to the middle so that they meet. This is Side B. (This is not a very accurate photo. Also, sorry that the tablecloth is stained, we tie-dyed on it.)

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Step 4: Fold Side A over Side B and pin, if necessary.

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Step 5: Using a straight stitch, sew the fabric as close to the edge as you can. Sew all the way down the folded fabric.

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Step 6: Fold the end over 1-2 inches and sew across.

Step 7: Repeat on opposite end.

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You now have an adorable headband!

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These photos are very blurry, I took them post-fixing the camera.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial! Send pictures to americangirlsak@gmail.com if you do this tutorial!

-AGs in Alaska-

How To Make a Stopmotion

Stopmotions movies are more popular than ever on YouTube. Those who make stopmotions with their AG dolls have even started to call it “AGTube.” So what exactly is a stopmotion?

A stopmotion movie consists of a bunch of pictures put together and sped up very quickly. Sound confusing? Here’s an example: say I was taking a picture of Emily. Then I moved her arm just a fraction of an inch and took another picture. I move it again, just a teesny-weensy bit, and snap another one. Say I do that with twenty pictures. Then I upload them onto a movie-editing program on the computer (I use iMovie), and change the duration of each photo to .1 seconds. Then I play the video. Emily looks like she’s waving!

So now you’re curious. You want to make one yourself. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Presenting . . . . American Girls in Alaska’s Stopmotion Tutorial!!!!!

Step 1: Pick which dolls to use in the video. You can’t have a video without actors! (If you don’t have American Girl dolls, you can use Barbies or Our Generation or Littlest Pet Shotp or Lego figures or whatever.)

Step 2: Set up your set. Taking the time to do this right is crucial in producing a good movie. Make sure you don’t have human-sized objects like beds or tables in the pictures as they will take away from the doll-sized effect of your movie. However, some human-sized objects will work. I have a little caddy that goes on my desk for office supplies, but it works perfectly as a nightstand for Lindsey and Molly’s room.

Step 3: Write the script. You cannot do a stopmotion without a script. It is your guideline to everything – even knowing how many pictures to take! After you’ve written the script, you can start filming. You can estimate how many pictures you need based off of it. For example, I have a line where Molly is saying, “I like your new shirt.” That took me about one second to say, so I’ll need about ten pictures. Then I’ll have enough time to say, “I like your new shirt,” when I record the audio. It’s better to have too many pictures than not enough – you can always take pictures out when we get to editing. Your second-picture ratio should be ten pictures for each second of audio.

Step 4: Lights, camera, action! It’s time to start filming! Follow your script and you’ll know what to do with the dolls. Example:

Lindsey: I’m so excited for summer camp, aren’t you?

Morgan: Totally!

Molly: I came here last year, and camp was so much fun.

Lindsey is starting out, so I need the camera trained on her first. Her line took me two seconds to say out loud, so I’ll need twenty pictures. Morgan’s took me only half a second, so I’ll need six or seven. Lastly, Molly’s took me another two seconds, so I’ll need another twenty pictures. It may seem like a lot once you’re done, but it goes by pretty fast.

Now, how do I tell which doll is actually talking if there are more than one? Well, you can move the arms of only that one up and done. You can move their head from side to side. It may sound funny, but it works. In fact, those are the two main things people use in stopmotions for the “motion” part.

Step 5: Upload. Upload your pictures onto your computer and get them into your program editing software. (This is why it’s best to take a class about your software first.) Once they’re in, change the duration to .1 seconds.

Step 6: Add your audio. This is where you’ll add voices to the pictures! You can use the voiceover system on your software or use a microphone. I have absolutely no idea how those work, so I just use the iMovie voiceover. While it’s not super fabulous quality, it gets the job done. Add the audio line by line so you can speed it up/slow it down if it doesn’t match the pictures without getting overwhelmed. It’s really important to know how your software works.

Step 7: Finalize your edits. This is where you add sound effects, music, or just watch the video all the way through and take out any errors.

Okay, you’re done! You have your first stop motion movie! Congratulations, that probably took a lot of patience on your part. What to do with it now? Show it to your family and friends, start a YouTube channel for your stopmotions if you are really into it, or just keep it secret from the world. 🙂

Or, you can go onto YouTube and search “American Girl Stopmotions,” “AG Stopmotions,” or just “AGSM.” Lots of channels abbreviate it as “AGSM” now. There are thousands of them on YouTube.

My favorite AGSM channels are Mixipixie7 and Basilmentos. I haven’t really gotten attached to any other channels yet. 🙂

Thanks for reading, and go make a stopmotion!

– American Girls in Alaska