My American Girl Catalog Collection Part 1 (1992-2000)

Here is what many of you have finally been waiting for; my catalog pictures. This is going to be very pic heavy and I’ll add my thoughts here and there. Unlike what I said in a previous post, I only have one (the Samantha cover) catalog from 1992, the other is from 1993 (Molly cover).

 Hopefully all of you have seen the old catalog pictures of the doll collections (meet, learns a lesson, surprise, happy birthday, saves the day, changes, and bedtime) because I did not include those pictures. If you haven’t seen them let me know and I’ll add them. I thought I’d show pics of interesting things that make these catalogs special.

The very first page shows the heart of what the company was all about: the books! They don’t even show the dolls with the books! That’s how important these books were. You can tell Pleasant Rowland, the owner and creator of the company was also an educator.

 Felicity is the first character you see. This pic right below is a German made Felicity. You can see her lighter green eyes and softer expression is much different from the Mattel Felicity who has more piercing green eyes. (Obviously, the mattel pic is not from the 1992 catalog).

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Notice there’s not much to Kirsten’s and all of the other doll’s bedtime pages. They only take up one page!

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 I had to show beautiful Samantha. As a girl, I stared at this page almost every day before I got her.

 Take a look at Sam’s Christmas dress: the German made dress has a different lace pattern. It was changed in the 1995 catalog. This style of lace is very rare and costs a lot of money on ebay.

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Pleasant Rowland often left messages to her readers in the catalogs:

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Here are some of the extra things you can buy. AG is still selling many of these items although they’ve changed a lot over time, like the doll tote (funny how it used to be a basket!), the hair styling set, the doll stand, and doll glasses.

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I’m not sure when AG stopped selling these, but you could buy complete matching outfits of every character’s historical outfits. I kind of like what they are doing currently which is the “inspired by historical outfits”. These outfits you see here would probably not be worn by girls very often. Although if I were a girl, I would love to have one of Felicity’s outfits to wear to Williamsburg!

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This was the year the AG magazine came out! I loved these magazines as a kid. I wished they would publish one every month and I tried to do as many crafts as I could. I also loved their story contests.

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This is NOT Bitty Baby!! Before Bitty, it was Our New Baby. These dolls are very very slightly different from Bitty Babies with different complexions, deeper grooves in the hairlines and different neck stamps. Currently today, however, all the Bitty Babies have a new mold with the hairline much closer to the face.

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Here are their outfits. I’m surprised there is no pink!

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Here is the 1993 catalog beginning with another note from P. Rowland.

This is the first time the Historical Characters get two pages for their bedtime scene. Lissie’s riding habit and work gown were new releases that year.

If you go back to the first picture in the post of the catalog covers you will notice that the 1993 catalog was the first time Addy was released! Here is beautiful Addy. I love that they show a small picture of how long her hair is when you take it down.

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Addy is still too new to have 2 pages for her bedtime page. Can you guess what will be released later to make it two pages?

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This is the back of the catalog with another message from Mrs. Rowland:

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I don’t have any 1994 catalogs but I have two 1995 ones. These covers are really different from the previous ones and that’s because this was the year the modern AG dolls were released.

The first page describes what’s in the catalog:

 But the second page is again, all about the books!

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 Did you guess what was missing in Addy’s bedtime collection? It was her Patriotic and work dress.

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 New extras being sold: a trading card album (just the album), a small packet of trading cards, and the box of the complete set of trading cards (300 cards). These trading cards are so cool! They have pictures of all the illustrations in all the books and on the back is either more historical information or quizzes about the books. I’ll have to do a separate post about these cards sometime (I have the whole collection) because they are really cool. The grin pins were also fun to collect.

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A second page of extras are posters, balloons and bookmarks.

I happen to have all of the meet posters hanging in my doll room. Please excuse the top of the mirror in the way of Kirsten and Addy:

 I added Kit when she came out:

The reading poster which I only have one of, is much bigger than the meet posters. Samantha is so pretty in this illustration.

Besides the new outfits for Addy, nothing else new was released for the historical dolls, so we now move on to the modern girls. They were first called American Girls of Today. I just love their motto:

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Along with the dolls was a school outfit, pjs, bunk bed (with a ladder) and ballerina outfit. The two blankets on the bunk bed can be zipped together to form a sleeping bag. The sleeping bag has a pocket that glows in the dark!

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 Girls could buy matching outfits just like they can today:

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Meet outfit for girls:

This is the year Our New Baby becomes Bitty Baby with a new romper and comes with bitty bear.

 The back of this catalog has yet another Pleasant Rowland message.

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I have a whole lot more of the 1996 catalogs. Each cover shows all the new things you will see: It’s the 10th anniversary of AG and everyone is proud to be an AG, new AG of Today items to see, Kirsten and the historicals will get the amazing scenes and settings books, and the AG of Today gets a new meet outfit.

The very first page celebrates the 10th anniversary.

The second page is all about the books again! It’s funny how they feature Samantha a lot!

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 Here are the new items in these catalogs. I cannot say enough good things about these scenes and settings books. Yes, they are BIG, but in a way they take the place of a dollhouse which would be WAY bigger. Each character has her house on the cover and then gets a kitchen, bedroom, classroom, store (or something pertaining to her stories), and outside scene. On the back is a map of where she lives. I have Samantha and Molly’s scenes books and I use them all the time, even when I’m doing modern doll stories. Someday, I’m going to have to do a separate post on this too. If you are patient, you can get a really good deal for them on ebay.

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Another new thing is that girls can join the American Girls club. I never joined and don’t have any info about the club but it looks like it was fun.

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 Here’s the new meet outfit of the Girl of Today:

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She also has a new two page school spread. Do you remember those old Macintosh computers? The one for the doll really works! If you click the keyboard it will show a school report.

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 This page got me SO excited when I first saw it to see a doll not only playing the violin but reading that the violin actually works (you can probably tell I play the violin)!! My parents bought the violin set for me but my mom wanted to take it back because the so-called playing violin did NOT actually play. You could make a tiny sound out of it, but that was it. I believe (but I’m not sure) that the violin set sold today is made of plastic, but before it was made of wood and looked VERY real.  The music stand really goes up and down.

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 A new summer scene! I love the earth day outfit (the one with the overalls), it is so versatile. Beware of the roller blades, they stain doll feet, so put socks on your dolls if you have this set. The culotte outfit (doll grilling) is a wonderful travel outfit since it’s all one piece; easy to get on and off and not loose things.

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 Some new items were added to the bedtime page. A locker that was way bigger than the locker sold this past year, a fleece robe, a wheelchair, the Twister game, hairstyling set, and more pj choices.

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They added more outfits for girls to wear:

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 and accessories:

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More books came out:

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Summer outfits that were so different from what the dolls were wearing:

Here are catalogs from 1997, the year Josefina came out:

A new CD-Rom (wow, I haven’t used the word CD-Rom in a while!) where you can create plays with the historical characters.

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 Page two: Josefina and her book collection get added!

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This is the first page of one of the spring catalog of 1997. It is by far my most favorite reading photo (and not Samantha for once!):

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I couldn’t believe how different Josefina looked from all the other AG dolls! She is so pretty!

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The Historicals get new special edition outfits! Felicity’s gown is still really rare and commands a VERY high price on ebay.

I know the scenes and settings aren’t new, but I couldn’t help adding one more new pic:

Can you believe it! There’s nothing being sold on this page! These are events girls can attend celebrating the historical characters.

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 More new items for the modern AGs: Winter wear: The snow tube was sold along with the outfit, but everything else (skis and sled) were sold separately.

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The whole rest of the catalog (and there’s a lot left, I just got tired of taking pics that day) is devoted to outfits for girls.

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Here are the 1998 Catalogs. The big things that year were more AG of Today (as usual) and Josefina gets the rest of her collection.

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I love the cover of the Christmas one, it folds out to make this:

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Oops! My cat, Dori, has been trying to “help” me take these catalog pics ever since I started (or maybe she just wanted to get her picture taken). Here it is without the cat:

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And on the flip side is a celebration of the AG Place of Chicago grand opening:

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A close up of Mrs.Rowland’s comments:

This is the first page of the catalog with Josefina on the cover; it is a very long message from Pleasant Rowland. Hopefully you can read it better in the next two pics:

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And, as usual, the second page is all about the books! A little different this time, since you don’t see a girl and doll in matching outfits reading together.

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Josefina’s birthday set:

Summer and Winter set:

And a full page of her bedtime set.

Molly gets a new bike. No other character gets anything new though.

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The new extras. The Calendars were really cool, they featured historical information each month for each different character. Stickers came with the calendar until about the year, I want to say 2000, but I’m not sure, when the calendar grew to an enormous size and on the back of each month was a poster. I have a couple of these calendars, I should dig them out and do a separate post about those too (if you’re interested).

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And again, the AG of Today gets a new meet outfit. I’m guessing my Miranda was purchased around this time since she came in this particular meet outfit.

The AGOT’s get Christmas dresses and sets.

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I LOVE these Halloween outfits. They are still my favorite costumes AG has ever come out with.

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And again, about a third of the catalog is devoted to outfits for girls.

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 The catalogs of 1999:

 Here’s the inside page of the first one (cover with AGOT’s hair in rollers):

 Page 2: Addy gets featured in the books!

Here is the inside page of the girl holding Samantha:

And here is the inside page of the Josefina cover:

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Oops! I forgot to add the summer catalog:

Inside page:

Page 2:

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The 1999 Christmas catalog changes the presentation of the historical dolls a little bit. Instead of showing each doll in her meet dress, she’s shown in her Christmas dress:

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 Then, all the dolls are shown together in the meet outfits.

 In this year, the dolls get new special edition outfits that come with little books. Recognize Felicity’s travel gown?

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Wait! What is this? Could this be a SALE!? From AG!? Yes! It is:

 The Christmas catalog of 1999 features a special edition AGOT outfit to celebrate the millennium.

 The AGOT’s get new dance outfits, a karaoke set, artist set and a new recital outfit.

 They also get new sport outfits.

Have any of you heard of or read the Amelia books? She started out getting her own section in the AG magazines and then was launched into her own thing. I never really cared for her very much.

In 1999 and 2000 I would get, not only the usual doll catalog from AG, but also a mini catalog for girls outfits and accessories only, no dolls allowed!

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And finally, at least for this post are the (doll) catalogs from 2000:

I’m going to start with the coconut catalog (summer).

Here’s the first page:

No book feature this time! Hmmm, that tells me Mattel is really starting to take over. Also, like the Christmas catalog, the summer one features each doll in her summer outfit beginning with Samantha this time, instead of Felicity (is Samantha more popular than Lissie?…I think so..)

The next page shows the doll in her meet outfit with a background in the photograph. Here’s Addy:

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The new extras feature an AG board game, and the character’s World books. I’ve only read Felicity’s but I loved it!

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The AGOT’s get a new spring/summer set. I love these outfits.

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New school outfits too!

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And the historical mini mysteries come out.

This is the first page of the catalog with the doll going camping on the cover. No books for sale on this page, it’s just a description of the dolls and the characters.

Again, they get fully featured in their summer outfits.

Holy cow, AG! Another sale!

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The AGOT’s get hiking outfits. This outfit comes with the shirt you can barely see under the jacket, plus the shorts and hiking boots.

That looks like Lissie’s horse, Penny!

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Here’s the front page of the catalog with the girl holding an AGOT: Look who’s new!

Kit Kittredge!! I could not believe AG released a doll with such short hair!

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Kit gets a full bedtime page right away.

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Here’s the front page of the catalog with AGOT, Angelina, Bitty, and Kit in a Santa bag:

It’s the AG Place of Chicago! (What! No Kit on the front page?)

AGOT gets a new meet outfit again:

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A new holiday outfit.

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New snow outfits.

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A very cool bedtime scene. Look at that fish bowl. It is SO rare, you can almost never find it, even on ebay! I’ve heard it sells for a lot of money! I guess AG stopped selling it almost immediately because the small parts were a choking hazard.

AG releases Angelina Ballerina and her friends for little girls.

More events celebrating the historical girls. I went to Williamsburg with Addy and Felicity (Felicity: https://jackylina2013.wordpress.com/2014/07/27/felicity-in-williamsburg/Addy: https://jackylina2013.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/addy-at-the-plantation/). And, over at The Dolls Between Us, Jen made a beautiful post of Josefina’s historical adventure: https://dollsbetweenus.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/doll-travel-new-mexico/

AG was also selling party kits with different themes:

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If you’ve read every word of this extra looong post, I thank you very much for sticking with me!! I actually had a very fun time doing this! Catalog colleciton 2001-2010 is coming up next. If you want to see any more from these catalogs please let me know! I’ve skipped some things like showing you all of the matching historical outfits for girls, Angelina Ballerina, Bitty Baby, and modern outfits for girls.

-Heather

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About jackylina

Hi, I'm Heather (the human) and Jacky (the doll) wanted us to start a blog together about all the dolls in my room. I collect 18"dolls such as American Girl, Carpatina, Magic Attic, and Kidz n Cats. I love dressing them up and creating photo stories for you to enjoy! I'm a Christian and you will see a Christian influence in this blog because I can't help glorifying the Lord!
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21 Responses to My American Girl Catalog Collection Part 1 (1992-2000)

  1. CutePolarBear says:

    I extremely enjoyed reading this! 🙂 I don’t remember these catalogs, (maybe because I wasn’t alive :P) but my sisters got them, so I recognize a lot of the outfits. I believe they also received the catalogs only for girls, too. I’m so jealous that you have all of those catalogs! 😉

    CutePolarBear

  2. Wow! This was such an interesting post! I really like the old catalogs better than the new ones. Back then the company was more focused on the Historical Characters, and even though they revamped the HCs with BeForever I still think they’re more focused on the Girl of the Year and Truly Me dolls.
    I really like the catalog covers, too. They’re so cute!
    Oh, one last thing: Perhaps the featured Samantha a lot because she was and is the best AG doll? 😉 That’s just my personal opinion, but hey, she’s the only doll(as of now) that AG has brought back from retirement! Since Samantha was your first doll, is she your all time favorite?
    ~Christian Homeschooler

    • jackylina says:

      I really like the catalog covers too! That’s why I saved them. Yes, I do believe that Samantha is the best AG doll, and she is my all time favorite. Although Molly is a close second.

  3. Jen says:

    Thank you for linking to my post about our visit to Las Golondrinas in NM. I read your post for the last 20 min and I still have another half to go!!!!! Got to make dinner. I am looking forward to studying the rest tonight. The summer outfits for girls in B&W are a definite fail! A girly prison outbreak!!

  4. Jen says:

    I have so many thoughts I can’t remember the ones from the beginning of the post!
    Kirsten’s collection really speaks to me… Maybe it’s because some of my family is from MN. I think I may need to think about acquiring Kirsten before my 50th which is a few years away.

    I have a tendency to idealize the PC days, but they, too, tried a lot of different things some of which weren’t maybe so successful. I was struck by the lack of pink and purple. The hiking outfit that you own is just fabulous!

    I enjoyed the letters from Pleasant R. I found it interesting that she envisioned her dolls for girls who could read the books independently. Honestly for most girls their interest in AG is waning by that time. I am sad about that.

    Thanks for this PhD level course in AG history! I enjoy anything you have the time to share.

    • jackylina says:

      After a long (and hard) day of work it is so nice to sit down here and read such kind and wonderful comments! (not to mention all of your amazing blogs blogs too!)
      Thank you! Perhaps there wasn’t much pink and purple because AG was aimed at pre-teens before Mattel changed that. I just bought a copy of this months AG magazine because I saw it came with a mini mag (a magazine for the dolls) and was kind of pleased that it really hadn’t changed all that much. Yes, it’s a little bit aiming toward the younger crowd, but it still has good stories in it.

      • Sunny says:

        Wait, so they put the mini mag back in? I thought they took it out a couple of years ago… 🙂
        I haven’t gotten an issue in a couple of months b/c I don’t subscribe (so I would have to buy each issue separately). I feel like the magazine was better a couple of years ago (like 2008-ish). I do think it’s a great magazine for girls today, though. I never liked the other magazines aimed at tween-age girls, they kinda tried to make girls grow up too fast. 😛
        *Sunny

      • jackylina says:

        I do not subscribe to the magazine either, but I was at the grocery store the other day and happened to pass by a stand of magazines with AG on it. I picked it up and browsed through it and sure enough, there was a mini mag! I thought they had taken those out too, but I guess not. My dolls are pretty pleased!

  5. Sunny says:

    This was such a cool post! I seriously read every word. The pictures were so gorgeous and it was really neat to read the letters from Pleasant Rowland. I wonder what AG would be like if she were still in charge.
    Looking forward to part 2!! 😀
    *Sunny

    • jackylina says:

      I wonder if it would have survived if she was still in charge. As much as I love what she has done, I’m not sure if the world today would buy into that. Thanks for reading all of it, I know it was really long. (I tried reading your most recent post, but this computer (that’s not mine) isn’t letting me. I’m glad to see your back posting again though.)

      • Sunny says:

        You know, you’re right. I never really thought about it that way but it does make sense.
        You’re welcome, I really enjoyed it!
        Oh, that’s a bummer. :/ Using other computers can be a pain sometimes. I read your other comment and saw that you were able to finally get in, so yay!
        I’m glad to be back too! I actually didn’t realize how long I’d been gone until the other day…..the days just fly by sometimes! 😀
        *Sunny

  6. Pingback: American Girl, I Can’t Keep Up! | The Dolls Between Us

  7. Olivia says:

    Wow! How long did it take to take all of the photos?

    • jackylina says:

      Ha! It took me 3 days! I had to keep editing the bad ones and taking new ones. But I really had a good time looking through all of them while I took the pics.

  8. Kathryn Schieferstein says:

    Oh man, this is a blast from the past! I think I must have started getting the catalogs around 96 or 97 (my parents got me a Bitty Baby in 98) I remember SO MUCH of these! The layouts! The new items! I would read these for an hour at a time and I kept them for forever. I’m hoping I didn’t get rid of all mine, but I think I might have when my collection got too big. Thank you for posting all of these!

    • jackylina says:

      Yep! That was me, too. Reading them over and over (I practically had my favorite things memorized) and scrutinizing the pics so well I could spot anything AG from far away.

  9. bennettv says:

    I loved seeing these! My daughter and I read every page! I never knew about American Girl growing up since we are in Canada, so it was nice to see the differences between the catalogues then versus now. I adore all of the beautiful photographs and the descriptions on the historical doll pages! Our favourite historicals are Kit, Molly, Addy and Josefina. I wish their collections were still for sale. Ebay tends to be extremely expensive for the older items. My daughter and I will definitely be back often to look through your doll catalogues though! So fun! 🙂

    ginnie / http://www.fakingitmostly.com

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