What a hideous mess!  A flood in the last days of December is no joke!  A broken water main has caused ruin all through my house!  Everything has been ruined!  What a disaster!
Everything I have worked for is gone!  I don't know what I will do now.  It's just too much!
My Christmas Tea set is okay!  That's something and it's a place to start picking up the mess and making everything right.  You wait and see.  I'm going to make a better house and fix everything.  That's my resolution for this year.
"This is all I could salvage from the bedroom.  Just the pillows and matress are still good.  The bed has been destroyed and everything else...except maybe for your shoes.  They're under the remains of your shoe cabinet."
"Well this isn't the way I had expected to celebrate the New Year but we have many blessings to count and maybe 2017 will be a better year for us than 2016. So, Happy New Year!"
Bet you didn't think I was serious about making myself a new house.  As you can see from the colour of these pictures, I am burning the midnight oil to do this.  I don't know if I can do this but I know that I can try.  This is as good a place to start as any.  Measuring is essential.  I'm using fiberboard as you can see.  The blocks are supports for the structure, to hold everything in place untill it dries hard.
"Careful, careful! It all has to fit together and glue straight in place.  Can't have the walls falling over or gluing in the wrong place.  This is a lot of hard work.  I just hope I can do this correctly.
The pink frosting is spackle which will give a stucco/adobe look to the structure.  It looks pink now but it will be white when it is dry.  It feels rather like frosting an unusually shaped cake.  Harder to get smooth than icing but I want a rougher texture to make it more realistic.  We will see how well it works.
"Arabelle!  So this is what you've been up to!  You can't build a new house all by yourself.  I've come to help and I haven't come alone.  Teamwork is what is needed here.  Together we can do this."
"Donkey!  You are being a big help, bringing in more construction materials.  Thank you.  Now the work will go faster.  There's a carrot in it for you, more than one!"
"Where is Arabelle?  The spackle is dry and white but nothing more has been done.  It looks as if she hasn't been here but there is so much work to do.  I have a very bad feeling about this."
"Now I have an even worse feeling.  Look at how splintered this slab of wood is.  It is cut very crooked also. There's a whole heap of freshly cut wood just tossed into a pile and abandoned.  What was Arabelle doing?"
"It is a table and has Arabelle's tablecloth on it.  It doesn't look very good to me.  It tells me that Arabelle has been furniture making as well as house building.  I had better get home and find out what is going on."
"You're alive!  What a grand sofa!  So this is why you weren't at the building site.  I'll admit I became worried when I went there and found you weren't.  What happened?"

"What happened?  I failed is what happened.  It's ruined and hopeless.  I simply can't do this.  I'll show you what I mean."
"I had what I thought was a great idea.  I would make us a wonderful wooden bed.  I drew out the design and then went shopping.  I couldn't find exactly what I wanted but the four posts you see seemed to be a very close substitute.  I spent way more money than I should have. I justified that to myself as I was planning to use the leftover pieces to make more pieces of furniture.  I wanted a table to go with the wonderful chairs you bought me for my birthday.  Here you see me measuring carefully.  It went downhill immediately after that.  The posts taper.  The big saw splintered the wood as much as cutting.  It looked hideous!  There was sawdust everywhere.  I failed.  I wasted money and only made a big mess.  I can not make decent furniture.  I'm sorry."
"Arabelle, it was a good idea.  If you had the right tools, you might have made it work.  As for being able to make furniture, this sofa is marvelous!  What about the layered plastic canvas furniture you made?  Why can't you use that as a template and make us a bed out of fiberboard?  You don't need any special tools for that."

"Because it won't look right!  This sofa I made the old fashioned way, adapting the sofa pattern in Plastic Canvas Fashion Doll Living Room. There is only so much one can do with fiberboard, plastic canvas and yarn!  I simply am not talented enough to make a good looking furniture set!"

"I don't believe that for a moment!  You are talented and you can do it!  You can make a stunning bed and better chairs than the ones I bought you.  For one thing they are slightly too small as I am sure you have noticed.  Don't think about what you can't do. Think about what you can do. Yes, that $400.00 bed is nice but that price is impossible.  Especially since it is probably meant for only one person.  You can make us a better bed, one that looks a whole lot more comfortable if you try.  So try!"

"Well I suppose I could try.  After all it is going to be very uncomfortable trying to eat off this table when sitting in one of these chairs.  I may have an idea or two."
"That's the spirit!  Now I'm going to take a nice nap.  I am tired of sleeping on the floor.  This is great.  So much more comfortable."
"Hi!  Isn't the view from our hotel room fabulous?  We're certainly enjoying our trip to St. Katrina.  The sun, the sailing, the shopping, the spas, Katrina is a very popular holiday destination.  St. Katrina is famous for it pearls and glass.  These pearls will make a lovely ornamentation on a very special piece.  Our trip to St. Katrina is a wonderful break from winter."
"Not that we aren't working.  Zane is taking a very important course and studying hard.  I'm working on making a bed.  The old mattress doesn't quite fit the new frame which means I have to make a new one.  It's a lot of work but it should look very nice when it's finished.  I hope!"
"As you can see, I couldn't resist picking up a few bargains.  Can one have too many glasses?  I will have to make a nice china cabinet to put them in, where they can be displayed safely."
"My bed is finished!  Looks pretty good doesn't it? The frame is made of foamboard and air-dry modelling clay with plastic Easter eggs for the finnials and pearl decals ornamenting the headboard and footboard.  The mattress and pillows are made from plastic canvas and yarn.  It's not perfect by any means.  Foamboard tends to warp the instant it comes near any liquid.  But it is a good size, there is a storage compartment under the mattress, and it didn't cost a fortune.   I'm happy with it."

"Oh, I nearly forgot.  My pink, yellow and red dress features a stamen stitch skirt and an attached cape.  The green dress, 'Thinking of Spring' has an asymetrical opening at the bottom and a white stole.  Now that the bed is finished, I will have some time to enjoy this lovely weather and a couple of new dresses to show off.  Off to party."
"Hi!  I am making a kitchen table and chairs.  I thought you would like to see the stages. Don't worry, I will keep it short.  I am starting with some empty spools that used to contain wire.  They are almost high enough to use as seats but they have a rim around the holes which make them unstable and uncomfortable.
"Here, I have cut out two circles from foamboard and glued them to each end of the spool.  The foamboard circles make the spool stable and more comfortable as well as taller. I am putting weights on the top end to keep the foamboard from warping.  That shaft of sunlight feels wonderful!  I only hope it will last. Well spring is coming closer every day."
"This is the next stage, the back of the chair.  You can see the lines drawn on this strip of foamboard.  I will cut along them but not all the way through.  That way it will curve along the circle.  Then I will clip the upper corners. I really should have picked a dress that isn't white.  Oh well, I don't really fade into the background, not with hair as red as mine."
"Okay, the strip has been cut and glued to the upper foamboard.  A large block is weighing it down and keeping it in place while it drys.  It's not quite done yet.  As you can see it is a bit rough." 
"And here is my table.  It's made with two spools, one tall and one short, with foamboard circles glued on each end and then glued together.  They are glued to a pair of foamboard circles which are the tabletop.  I've got plenty of blocks on the top to hold them in place but I've still got to put a few more onto the tabletop to keep it from warping." 
Happy Easter!  I'm here celebrating at the Peace Garden.  It's not easy dancing on the wall of the bridge but it's so beautiful.  You may recall in the last pictures I was making a kitchen table and chairs set.  Well after the glue dried, I applied air drying modeling clay to all the cracks and to smooth over the edges.  I also made a plastic canvas table cloth to fit my new table.  Now, all I have to do is to let it dry and then paint and laquer it.  We will see how it turns out. 
"And here is my finished set, my kitchen table and four chairs.  It's nice to sit down and just enjoy the peace and beauty of this garden.  I wish you all a joyful Easter."
"Here we are on the Ile of St. Francis!  Isn't the statue huge?  It's exciting to be travelling and seeing new places."  (Arabelle)
"This is just the start.  It was a long walk to the top but the view is worth it."  (Zane)
"EEK!  I'm falling!  Catch me!"  (Tansy)
"Ow!  Stop pulling my hair!  Zane, honey, make her stop!"  (Tansy)

"I'm just keeping you from falling!  You did cry out for help and I wouldn't want you to fall too far." (Arabelle) 
"Hey!  Get your hands off my girl!  If you're looking for a fight, I'll be happy to give you one!"  (Kieran)

"She tripped, that's all.  Now let me by!  You knocked Arabelle down in your rush to rescue Tansy from herself!  If Arabelle's hurt you'll get the fight you're looking for." (Zane)
"Arabelle, are you okay?" (Zane)

"Yes, I think so.  I hit my head on the statue. Served me right. I really yanked on Tansy's hair to keep her from throwing herself at you.  I was jealous."  (Arabelle)

"Jealous of that brat?  Kieran can have her.  He's overly dramatic himself.  I think it's all that hair.  As long as you're not hurt, that's what counts."  (Zane)
"Kieran!  My hero!  You really do love me, don't you?" (Tansy)

"You know it!  No one is going to push you around or pull on your hair while I'm around!  I'm not only the handsomest man around, I'm the bravest."  (Kieran)

"My knight in shining armour!" (Tansy)
Well, the voyage is off to a rocky start.  Who knows what will happen next? 
"Well, our ship is coming in.  Kieran says this movie will be the big one, the one that makes us all rich and famous.  I wish I could believe him.  It's another low budget movie and do people really want another movie about pirates?  I fear it will end up like our Tarzan movie but there's really no other choice than to try."  Arabelle.
"Hey!  There's something in this bottle....a message.  I wish it was a genie with three wishes for me but a message ought to be interesting." 
Find Your Fortune!
Fool Your Fate!

"Well, this is interesting.  I wish I could find a fortune and put fate on my side but how?"
"Where am I?  What's happening?"
"Congratulations!  You found a fate card and now you get to fix a mistake you made in your past life.  ONE change only and it must be about you.  You can't change anyone else so don't ask to make someone love you, or leave you a fortune etc.  Think carefully now.  All changes are final." 
"Well, I would like to be smarter and more talented."

"Sorry. That is asking for too much.  Your card entitles you to change a decision, not a complete make-over.  You must have made some bad choices.  Everyone does.  Maybe you skipped school and got caught? You went out on a date with a boy when you should have said 'no'?"
"There is one thing but it wasn't my decision.  My Great Aunt Maria wanted my parents to name me Serena but they decided against it.  She was angry and went back to her native country, never speaking to us again.  They've always regretted that.  Could you fix that?"

Now, you're in the zone!  That I can do......and have done.  Stay calm.  In a moment we will see what changes that made in your life. 'A rose by any other name will smell as sweet' according to Shakespeare but who knows?"
"That's....that's the doll I wanted so much but I never got it.  And for my birthday?  Impossible!  There's never any money left over after Christmas for my birthday.  But.....  Tia Maria!  I remember her now!

She took care of me when I was a little child and I would go to her house every day after school until my Mother got home from work.....sometimes I slept over.

And, the lessons!  She taught me Spanish, her native language and arranged for piano lessons and voice lessons.  She enjoyed having me play for her and was proud when I did well in all my lessons."

"NO!!!  Not Tia Maria!"

"She was your great aunt and quite old.  I'm sorry but that is nature.  However you seem to have proven that a rose is sweeter if called a new name."

"A rose is a rose and one can 'tell a hawk from a handsaw' as the Bard also said.  To have someone truly listen to you and be interested in you, someone special.....  That is what made the difference. All the difference in the world, and I will never forget her, my Tia Maria."

"Well, having changed your world, it's time for you to go back to it.  Best of luck."
"Hi!  I'm Serena Thorne.  Welcome to my adventures.  I have just graduated from secondary school and am starting college.  I intend to become a flight attendant and see the world!
"Here I am studying Advanced First Aid.  Did you know that the very first flight attendants were nurses?  If some accident occurs in the air, it is my responsibility to make it right. I also need to know how to help my special needs passengers to make their journey as comfortable as possible."
"First and foremost, I have to learn the safety proceedures.  I have to memorize the safety announcements and the protocols to get everyone out of the plane in an emergency.  There's a lot about planes to learn.  I have to know them inside out and backwards.  If there is an emergency, I have to be ready."
"Part of my training is in serving food and drinks.  To do that I have to earn  the Food Handlers' Certificate and the Alcohol Responsibly Certificate. Here I am learning about the different glasses used for each type of drink.  I an also getting used to handling a standard trolly.  It's a bit short for me but I'll manage."
"Here's one requirement, I'll bet you didn't consider.  If the plane's route goes over water, I have to be able to swim, to help passengers make it into the life rafts, etc.  So, I am here to prove that I can swim.  Wish me luck."
"This is my condo.  Thanks to Tia Maria's farewell gift, I managed the downpayment.  It's an efficency appartment, which means there isn't room to swing a door.   It's in a great location being close to the airport.  I have to live no more than an hour away from my base.  That's in case I am needed in a hurry."

"Hi!!  You will be delighted with your new condo.  I just had to come in person to show you around.  Luxury living at its finest!  Well, let's go in!  I want to join you and I'm sure we are going to be best friends!"
"Wow, isn't it?  Just as you ordered, everthing was put up on blocks and your bead curtains were installed.  Isn't it fabulous?"

"Could you give me a chance to look around?  Yes, the kitchen appliances are raised up to my level and the coat closet looks good but there is more to see."
"Don't be a sourpuss!  Look at all this space!  Don't you just love it?"

"All this space will soon be filled. The whole apartment is 40" by 60" which on the human scale would be 20 feet by 30 feet.  Big for a room but not a whole house.  It will suit me very well but it's not a mansion."
"Bead curtains are so yesterday!  I can't think why you wanted them."

"Watch it, Barbie, you are being politically incorrect....."

"No!  I'm sorry!  Why does everyone pick on me?  They say I say the wrong thing all the time, that my figure is all wrong, that I'm a bad influence.  Why?  I'm just a doll!"

"Girls get criticized for being girls. Girl dolls get twice the grief!  GI Joe looks like he is on steroids.  He's forever fighting, smashing things, and blowing things up.  Totally unreal but you don't hear the hype about him brainwashing little boys.      Chin up!  We girls can be whoever and whatever we want."
"Well, the second bead curtain screens the washroom from view.  The shower looks good."

"Oh, never mind the shower.   You don't have any barbies and that's discrimination!  You have to include us in your new series."

"This series is open to all dolls on the condition that they wear the clothes knitted by our producer.  That cheap barbie dress has to go." 
"That was going to be my first demand.  This dress is torn and stained.  I want new clothes.  Hey!  We are discussing business!  No snoopers!  You can't barge into a lady's bathroom with a camera!"