Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Red Coats on the Horizon (Part 2): The Plan

Hello everyone! Here is Part Two of Red Coats on the Horizon (You can read Part One here).
It was fun to write, and I hope you enjoy it, also...there is a surprise at the very end of the post not relating to the story ;) :

Elizabeth walked though the door of Mr. Merriman’s general store, 
she turned to Felicity, 
“Now we can talk.” she said, and walked to a corner of the room. 

Elizabeth remained quiet for a few moments but finally she said, 
“Felicity, I know this is a silly worry but—“ 
“—Elizabeth, if it made you nervous then it isn’t silly.” 
Elizabeth sighed, “very well, I’ll tell you what I saw…” Elizabeth looked down at 
at the floor and then after a few moments she blurted out,

I saw a British soldier or, Red Coat as some people call them, by your house, I don’t know what they were doing , but all I know is, I am worried about your family's safety. I know it’s silly…but your family are Patriots and mine are Loyalists. What if they suddenly decided to do something to your family because of their disloyalty to the king?!” 

Elizabeth then with tearful eyes brought Felicity into a hug. Felicity sighed, 
“Elizabeth I am sure it will be alright.” she said, though she wasn’t entirely 
confident about it.
What if something happened? And what on earth was those Red Coat doing? Though, she wasn’t sure she wanted to say that out to loud to Elizabeth? How would Elizabeth react if she wasn’t entirely confident about it? She had heard about some awful things happening to some colonists and she had heard that it was the red coats doing. So would that mean that something awful would happen to the Merrimans? 

                 The next morning… 
Felicity ran through the forest, she didn’t care whether mud got on her dress or if the wind tangled her hair that she had taken out of her bonnet. 

She couldn’t wait to get out of the annoying dress, and go to the modern time, also known as…the 21st century. 

She ran up to a tree, looked around to make sure no one was watching her, 

and then lifted up her necklace. 

Within a few seconds she found herself standing by a different tree, she smiled and then tucked her necklace into her shirt. 

She then walked around the tree, still thinking how on earth was she supposed to find out what that Red Coat was doing? Whatever they had been doing it was not good, she was sure of that. 

Her thoughts were interrupted though, when she realized she was not alone, in front of her sat Z. 
“Hi Z!” she said.

Z turned around in a snap, her eyes widened as she saw Felicity, 
“Felicity! You scared me!” she inhaled and finally said, “What are you doing here?” 

“I thought I would enjoy the fresh air. What are you doing here?” 
answered Felicity. 
“Oh.” said Z, “I’m just filming a stop motion movie…” she looked over the doll standing in front of her, “I do still need to take some more shots though…” 
Felicity sat rather impatiently waiting for Z to finish taking the pictures. She wished she had the patience that Z had sometimes, but she couldn’t help it she was used to action. 

A few hours later… 
Felicity enjoyed the feel of the wind flowing through her hair, despite it’s coldness she felt comforted, and she felt as if she could forget about her troubles…

“So.” said Z, interrupting the peaceful feeling she had had “How have things been for you?” 
Felicity sighed, things were not going exactly well for that matter, there were Red Coats around, and she wasn’t sure how to deal with them. If she had the power to, she would snap her fingers and make them disappear but she didn’t have the power to do so. 
“Not well.” she answered. 
“Oh.” said Z, “what happened?” 
“I can’t exactly talk about it…it, is too personal.” answered Felicity. If she told Z about it, Z would find out she was a time traveller, and that would not be good. 
Z nodded, “but if you ever feel like talking about it—“ 
“I’m fine but thank you.” said Felicity quickly. 

 They were interrupted by voices, 

“Isabelle, this isn’t a 70s themed show—“ came a voice, 
“—But, still I do think that your outfit is in need of pink and flowers, and—“ 
“It’s a country show, Isabelle!” protested Tenney. 
“I know that, but anything looks better with pink and flowers, and ballerinas—“ said Isabelle. 
Tenney sighed. 

“Isabelle, I appreciate you trying to pick out an outfit for me. But I can do this myself—“ she began. 
“But you want to look perfect in the show, don’t you?” interrupted Isabelle. 
“If your definition of ‘perfect’ is pink and frilly, then no, but thank you Isabelle—“ began Tenney. 

Z walked up to them, and raised her eyebrows, “Tenney, Isabelle. What exactly is going on?” 
“She won’t let me choose my own outfit—“ said Tenney, 
“She doesn’t like the outfit I chose for her—“ 
“Oh.” said Z. 
“Yes, ‘oh’! I can’t believe it, flowers won’t work in a country music concert for some reason!” complained Isabelle. 

“It’s not that it doesn’t work, in general for country, it’s just that for this concert it won’t work.” explained Tenney, handing Isabelle back the flower headband. 

“Oh.” said Isabelle, who seemed rather annoyed, “well then I am sure I can think of another fashionable outfit for you.” 

“Maybe.” answered Tenney, “as long as it isn’t pink, okay?” 

“Okay! but what about jewels?” she asked. 
“I, um, I would need to see the outfit to decide.” answered Tenney. 
Much later… 
“…I haven’t yet gotten out of songwriter’s block which is so annoying, I’ve tried to come up with ideas, I’ve even looked through my songwriting book but no ideas came!” said Tenney. 
Felicity nodded, “have you listened to other singer’s songs? Maybe you would come up to ideas that way.” 
“No, I haven’t.” said Tenney, “I probably should.” 

They continued on their walk,  and Tenney told them that she was frustrated because none of the ideas for songs that were in her songwriting book worked. 
“Perhaps…” said Felicity as they continued to walk, “you should wait for something to happen, and maybe if that thing happens an song idea will come.” 
Tenney looked at Felicity but before she could respond, she was interrupted by a sound of a car as it pulled up to them. Felicity looked over her shoulder to see Sarah sitting in the front seat of the car, 
“Sarah? What are you doing here I thought you were still working—“ 

began Z. 

“Well…” said Sarah,  getting out of the car “I came home early.” 

“Why?” asked Felicity. She was surprised,  Sarah did historical reenactments and there was going to be a big event at the plantation soon. 

Sarah smiled, “They seemed to like my idea about doing a booth about Deborah Sampson, so they suggested that I pretend to be her for them, and teach people facts about her.” 

“That’s amazing!” said Tenney, “But who is—“ 
“Deborah Sampson.” finished Sarah, “she is a woman who disguised herself as a man so she could fight in the American Revolution. Since not many people know about her, they thought it would be a good idea for me to teach people about her.”  

As everyone else was talking, an idea suddenly sparked into Felicity’s head. What if she did what Deborah Sampson did, but she would not join the Patriot army but…spy on the Red Coats!
Felicity was sure she could do it…and maybe while she did it, she could help Elizabeth feel better about what was going on. 

To be Continued.... 
Who do you think was watching Felicity and Elizabeth? 


P.S.  Here is the progress of how my Newt Scamander doll has been going: 

I used this photo as my reference, 
(Image from Harry Potter wiki, 
It was very hard to find yarn the color of Newt's hair, but I managed to find a color that worked even though it was not the exact color, 

As for the doll, it was very hard to find a boy doll with the same facial shape or features similar to Newt, so I used a girl doll. 

Next what I did was cut her hair:

And then after I cut most of the hair off, I began gluing on the yarn: 

Doing Newt's bangs was somewhat difficult, but I think it turned out well. 

Here is how Newt's hair finally looked when it was finished: 

I hoped you enjoyed this extra part of the post. I plan as I continue customizing Newt 
to post the progress of how I am doing it. It will appear at the end of posts, but once I finish Newt, 
I plan to put all the parts together into one big blog post. 

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Book Review: Matilda's Secret

Hello everyone,
I recently found out about a new 18 inch doll company called A Girl for All Time. I am very excited about this, because they have dolls from the Tudor time period, Elizabethan, and Victorian and many more.

(Image from the Official Girl For All Time site,

 Plus I love that their Elizabethan doll, Elinor, looks vaguely like Queen Elizabeth. I am super excited that they have a doll from the Elizabethan time period, because it is one of my favorite time periods.

(image from the official Girl For All Time website,

And I think that Matilda's facial shape is really neat looking, and her outfit is awesome.

(image from the official A Girl For All Time site,

I am also excited that A Girl for All Time made a Victorian doll. (I plan to do a review of her book soon.)

Anyway before I go on and start talking about why I am excited about the fact that A Girl for All Time has dolls from British history,
I have a book to review:

**A warning for younger readers, this book is a tiny bit dark and involves some dark topics, so ask your parent or guardian before reading this review since it involves the Tower of London, which is a bit gruesome. Also this review contains spoilers for Matilda's Secret, so read with caution** 
                                                          Matilda's Secret 

(Image from the official A Girl for All Time site,

This is the first book in the Girl for All Time series. 

I realized while I was reading this book that I hadn't read many books that are in diary/journal entry format. Most of the books I have read are in third or first person but not written by the character themselves. I liked the beginning of the book, where Matilda talks about her simple life in the country. One detail I love is that she is writing in her journal and sitting in a pear tree while doing so.

Throughout the story she writes down her fears, her bad dreams, and her thoughts about the royal family. Matilda is sent to the court of Henry VIII as a spy to help her cousin, Katherine (or Catherine) Howard with her relationship with the king. Matilda is commanded by her uncle to encourage a marriage between Katherine and the king, and she doesn't really have a choice.
She describes Henry VIII as a disgusting person (which is true), and basically talks about how he seems to be looking for younger woman to marry. Matilda describes how the king kept looking at Katherine and was not fond of his current wife, Anne of Cleves.

In the story Matilda's nightmares are described, with some atmosphere and symbolism which includes ravens (which are foreshadowing to the Tower of London). There are a few disgusting elements though in the book, including the point when Matilda comes up to the castle and sees the heads of those who have been executed. This is described, but can be ignored. Also, the ways people would have had to use the bathroom in the Tudor time period is mentioned, since Matilda would be worried about that since she is in a strange place.

The other girls in the court aren't really nice to Matilda. Only her cousin Katherine is kind to her.
Katherine's character is in keeping with the real Katherine Howard. She is flirty and  gives
 Matilda tips for ways to impress boys (though Matilda doesn't have much of an interest in this). Katherine is adulterous, eventually marrying Henry VIII, but she then finds herself absolutely disgusted with him. Matilda is asked to help Katherine have children (because Henry wanted to keep the Tudor dynasty going). She tries to give Katherine medicine that will help her have a child but it doesn't succeed, and Katherine ends up throwing up because of it. Towards the end of the book Katherine starts going insane, and she talks about Thomas Culpepper, who she would have rather married than King Henry. Interestingly one historical fact that they did not mention was Katherine's other affairs that happened during the time she was married to Henry VIII.

One thing I am rather glad about is that Matilda had no interest in being married to the king or becoming a queen. She was in a royal court and it is possible that someone would be interested in such things, but she is not. She is happy with being a lady in waiting, and has no interest in boys, which is rather nice to have in a girl character.

A detail of the story I found interesting was during the time that Katherine was about to be executed (way before her execution) she asked if she could practice putting her head on the block. I had read somewhere before that there was a sort of myth about this, Katherine took hours and hours to position her head properly on the cutting block.

The execution is very sad for Matilda considering Katherine was one of her only friends at court.  In a way Matilda led Katherine to her death by following her uncle's orders. As Katherine prepares to be executed she tells Matilda not to forget her, and gives Matilda her heart shaped necklace. Matilda closes her eyes, so there are no gruesome details about how Katherine's head got cut off.  When Matilda opens her eyes, she does describe it a little bit, but only a little bit.

I will not spoil the end scene of the book, so all I can say is that the way it was written was beautiful and frightening. We are left with the last sentence, "I cannot forget her." It does mention the ghost of Katherine Howard, but it is rather unclear whether it is her actual ghost or a nightmare Matilda had, which makes this story fit into the gothic genre.

Overall I rate this book five stars:
I wouldn't have a super young child read this book, I would have a somewhat older child read it. I think it is a good introduction to the gothic genre and to the Tudor time period. 

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Also what is your favorite time period(s)? 

P.S. I have a custom doll project (as well as Part 2 of Red Coats on the Horizon) which I plan to post possibly soon. Another custom which I plan to do (which I have not yet started) is a Newt Scamander doll, which I will post once I am done making him, but that may depend on how long it takes to customize the doll. If it takes a long time, I may end up posting the progress in parts.