Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Isabelle's Stuff

American Girl has released quite a bit off stuff to go along with Isabelle, their 2014 Girl of the Year doll. We've put off posting about it for quite a long time because we have not been very impressed, but we were motivated to finally get it done today. Here it all is, along with our comments.

accessories - $30
I'm not a fan of the asymmetric zipper on the jacket, but at least it's not more pink. I think fingerless gloves are pretty much pointless to begin with, so I'm not a fan of them either. The other accessories are nice, and I really like that hair decoration.


pajamas - $24
I like the purple top, though I wish the straps were slightly wider so that they covered all of the cloth of our shoulders. I cannot stand the bottoms, however. Either make it pants or make it a skirt. The flaps of sort-of skirt make me cringe. So does the clashing headband.
 
metallic dress - $34
I am not a fan of the weird asymmetric dress over the t-shirt look. I'd describe this outfit as hodgepodge and sloppy.
 
performance set - $38
AKA the semi-goth ballerina outfit. I do not like the combination of ultra-girly with black athletic gear. Two thumbs down from me.
 
dance barre - $65
For all the ballet loving dolls out there, I'm sure this would be fun. It seems pretty pricey for what you actually get, but hopefully it's good quality.
 
dance case - $44
The stuff that comes in this would be fun to try out on our hair. No way would I pay $44 for it and its fancy case, though.

studio - $275
This studio would make a great backdrop while playing if you are into fashion design. Way too pricy for me to ever consider it, but the detail is impressive.
 
Tutu the kitten - $22
 Of course Isabelle's pet would be a fluffy white kitten. XD No surprise here. At least she's cute.
 
Next up: a bunch of mix and match pieces sold separately

coral sweater - $14
The material and color are nice, but I don't like the huge neck hole or the asymmetric hem of this sweater at all.
 
wrap sweater - $14
Sorry, but I can't stand little crop shirts like this layered over other stuff. They just plain look goofy to me. Either wear a normal-length sweater or don't bother.
 
purple leotard - $12
Not my favorite design for a leotard, but the color scheme is fine.
 
rosette leotard - $10
Eh. This is kind of mature in cut for something a young girl would wear (suggesting curves where there aren't really any yet...) I guess this is the norm for dance wear? At least AG's.
 
practice top - $8
*Gags* You wouldn't catch me wearing this in a million years.
 
dance skirt - $12
Yay, something I actually like! Such pretty sequins, and the bow is the perfect finishing touch. If I was a ballerina, I'd love to wear this over my leotard.
 
funky leggings - $12
They're funky alright. The left leg I don't mind, but that bow... Not only does it look weird, but can you imagine how annoying it would get? I'd no doubt get it caught on something within the first few minutes of wearing them.
 
sparkly skort - $12
Are those cupcakes? I would have chosen a different, more dance-appropriate design (maybe stars or sparkles?), but otherwise I don't really mind it.
 
scrunch pants - $12
I like the color of these, and what a pretty waistband! It looks odd to only have one pant leg scrunched, though. If I was going to wear them, I'd scrunch up the other leg too.

tutu - $14
It's a shimmery tutu. I've never had any desire to wear one, but for the ballerinas out there that like them, this one is fine as far as tutus go.

legwarmers - $12
If you want to keep your legs warm, these will do the job. I think leg warmers in general are kind of silly. I'd much rather either deal with cold legs or wear pants, but for ballerinas who must wear leotards, I suppose they make sense.

In summary, if you are into ballet, the colors purple and pink, and asymmetric styles, then Isabelle's wardrobe is for you. If not, you can heave a heavy sigh, shake your head, and wait for next year. That's what we've been doing. ;)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Landslide

We're back! 

Mom and the rest of the humans were gone on vacation from the 13th through the 20th. Even the family dog was at the kennel, so we dolls literally had the place to ourselves. My sisters and I took a vacation of our own while they were away and went camping in the backyard with our dogs and horses. I guess it wasn't technically camping, since we slept in the shed. But at any rate, we spent our days outside and took a hiatus from TV, ipods, and our laptops.

The night before our vacation began, Horse #51 joined our herd. Forgive me, sisters. I can explain.

In one of the first horsey computer games I ever played, Horse Illustrated: Championship season, there was a stable with 5 stalls in it. You start out with a handsome old pinto named Barney. As much as I liked him, was I ever excited to unlock the second stall! It contained a light gray Welsh Cob mare named My Lovely Thistle. She was lovely... and a bit roly-poly. Ever since, I've been fond of Welsh Cobs. 

Back when we first started playing HI2, one of the first wild horses we caught was this Welsh Cob mare:



I thought she was adorable, but she had to go. We didn't have any slots to spare back then, and her stats were lousy. Since then, I've kept an eye out for Welsh Cobs the same way Felicity did for Nez Perce Horses. Like her, I have had no luck.

Our club leader seems to acquire high stat 6/6 horses quite often. After having them a short while, she then sells them and looks for new ones. I'm not sure how she manages not to get attached, but she somehow does!

Felicity bought Kaleidoscope, a 6/6 APH mare, from her at a ridiculously cheap price at end of June. I guess it was inevitable that our club leader would eventually be selling another irresistible horse. As I'm sure you've determined by now, horse #51 is a Welsh Cob. Our club leader wasn't getting any offers on him. When I arrived to take him off her hands, prepared to dish out big bucks, she just gave him to me. Absolutely free! I could hardly believe it. I hope I didn't annoy her with all my thank you's and the running commentary as I rode him for the first time and brainstormed names. XD

Here he is:



Isn't the dramatic sheen to his coat cool? It is way more distinct on brown than was on red dun. Landslide, one of the potential L names waiting on my list, seemed to fit his color and personality perfectly. He will be Slide for short. ;)


Slide's avatar is a winner too. I love his chocolate legs and muzzle. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Xanadu

Back on the 3rd of July, Hazel and I caught PepsiSummer's first ever 6/6 horse on jungle terrain. 


It looks like she wanted to go hide in that cave but didn't quite dare. =)

She is a Peruvian Paso, my favorite jungle-dwelling breed. She's also a lovely golden roan, which I assume is roan on palomino. I have convinced my sisters to let me keep her as a late birthday present even though she's yet another mare.



No wonder she didn't want to go in that cave.
Umber still wins the most difficult personality award, but this mare's three 0's are quite impressive. She'll come around, though. They all eventually do. ;) 

I have decided to name her Xanadu. Somebody needed to think of a mare name that started with an X, and I was up for the challenge. Thank you, Google, for introducing me to this tropical plant, Philodendron Xanadu, or Xanadu for short. Xanadu has a nice ring to it, don't you think? Rhymes with Timbuktu, but definitely more poetic.



According to Wikipedia, Xanadu was also the summer capital of Kublai Khan's Yuan Dynasty in China. Samual Taylor Coleridge mentions it in his famous poem Kubla Khan. It's also the title of a musical - the musical takes its title from a nightclub named Xanadu. Eh. I'm more interested in the plant.

Here is what Xanadu looks like under saddle:


A pale yellow palomino. So cheery.
She made me think of Brio when I first saw her, but luckily there is a definite difference in avatar body color.
Brio in all of his cremello glory.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

You look familiar...

When you have as many horses as we do on HI2, you're bound to occasionally catch a wild that matches one of yours in breed and color. We have seen this over the past few months. However, what we've seen with dark dapple gray Irish Draughts seems... more than coincidental.

It all started with Palladium, the first 6/6 horse that I ever caught. 

Felicity found the second.

Felicity also found the third (but called me to come catch it)

And Bethany found the fourth (but switched from December to Pal for the screenshot).

The color rarity for dark dapple gray in the Irish Draught is 4.4%. That means that supposedly only 4.4% of all spawned Irish Draughts are dark dapple gray. We've spotted 10 total wild Irish Draughts in all of our time of playing HI2 so far, which means 40% of the ones we've seen have been dark dapple gray. Weird.

Here is a closer look at each horse:


Pal from Twin Rivers <3
Stallion from Chilly Forest
Mare from Twin Rivers
Stallion #2 from Twin Rivers

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pinto Love

Well, it looks like I've already picked out our July horse a few days early. Sorry, guys. It's like there's a magnet that inexorably draws me back towards that livery and its rare 6/6 beauties.

As I was happily clicking through the stallions of breeds I like, I eventually spotted him, a 6/6 dun roan tobiano Racking Horse. 




Despite his lack of interesting facial markings, his minimum height and weight, and his not-so-popular breed, he still looked hopeful. When I read his history, I couldn't say no. He's been around since this past November. In the 7 months since then, he's gained a whopping 2 experience points. He has changed hands several times but was never even given a real name. The closest he came: "Christmas Present." Not a well-received present, apparently.

I have named him "Yoshi" after the lime green Nintendo dino. It just seemed to fit him. In my mind, anyway. Something about those big, expressive eyes. Bonus: we have a horse who can use a green dinosaur d├ęcor. I'm really excited for that. XD

As you can see, Yoshi's avatar is quite unique as well. His mismatched mane and tail make me smile. =)



And I'm responsible for what I'm hoping to call our "bonus" June horse if I can get my sisters on board. We belong to a club on Horse Isle 2, and on Saturday morning our club leader was looking to get rid of an APH mare asap. She asked if I wanted her.

How could I refuse, especially after telling her that the APH is one of our favorite breeds? (It's Mom's real-life favorite. ;)) Our club leader generously gave the mare to us at the price of a livery horse. Here she is:




Here is her avatar. She reminds me a bit of Julie's Hazel, but she's different enough that I won't have any trouble telling them apart.


The APH. Her dark areas are sepia-toned with reddish dapples.
Hazel. I'd call her dark areas chocolate brown with orangey dapples.
What a pushover we are for pintos of American breeds! First the twinning Tennessee Walkers, and now these two. Oh well, it is almost the 4th of July, after all. Let's hope we do better at resisting new horses over the rest of the summer.

In other news, it was also PintoMustang's birthday yesterday (June 28). She celebrated by buying herself a cute little grassy ranch isle. She let me and my other buddy, MauveGuava, tag along while she fluted her birthday wild on one of the tiny islands in the middle of Islands Lake Isle. One instant no horse, the next, voila! It was a white gray Orlov Trotter, I think. Pinto blipped away before I could check its details. I had a screenshot of us all admiring the horse, but I was on a different computer than usual (Windows rather than Mac). I forgot to paste the screenshot into a Paint document before taking my next one. Arg. :(

Julie and I also found a total of 7 wilds between the two of us on Twin Rivers Isle this morning. That's a new record for us. Nobody had been wild hunting there in a while! One of them was a Nez Perce the same color as my real-life horse Talia (seal brown spotted blanket), but it was a low-stat stallion. We think we'll retire him to our Millennium Fields.






The other notable horse was this one, a Palladium look-alike. She's the third dark dapple gray Irish Draught we've found now. 2 of those 3 were on Twin Rivers, too.

We're not keeping her, Pal. Sorry. XD

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Hello, Summer

For those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, today is the first day of summer and the longest day of the year. Whoo hoo! 

In order not to get too overwhelmed by all the daylight, Kestrel and I went mining for gems in the tunnel systems of the eastern mountains. I found two pairs of wild horses while I was at it. 

The first two were hanging out together in the middle of Triangle Isle: a seal brown Groningen and a flaxen chestnut sabino Shagya Arabian. 


I went for the Shagya Arabian first. She turned out to be 4/6 with the Unique personality. While I was busy with the first horse, the Groningen ran away and did this:


"Ha! Try to lasso me here, human!"
I caught her anyway. She was 3/6 with the Trailblazer personality. I guess nobody told her that blazing trails through rock doesn't work so well. XD

The other two wilds were Highland Ponies that just happened to be in my path on my way to Rocky Isle. Both were on the same section of ledge, but I found them one at a time.

A light brown stallion just asking to be caught
A chestnut mare.
Try as I might, I couldn't make Kestrel go as close to the edge as she was.
What good luck to start out my summer! I don't think I've ever found so many wilds on a single mining expedition before. The gem mining itself wasn't bad either, especially considering that I crossed paths with several other players. One randomly PMed me asking if I was "The PepsiSummer." Not sure what that meant... but I said yes? I was too busy mining like crazy to ask any questions. =) Maybe somebody else has stumbled upon this blog...