There was a very fun game this past week on a Disney Pin forum that my sister and I are on all the time. You had to create a character that you'd want to be in any Disney film or show. Well, the answer to that was obvious for me -- it would be "The Baby Sitter", a new character in The Mandalorian. Someone who dresses like the villagers of Sorgan (Episode 4: Sanctuary) and takes care of Baby Yoda 24/7. Nanea helped me out by dressing up in a costume and having her picture taken in the role!
Let's continue on with the story of the big day. Remember the crowded Build-a-Bear store? Remember Kelly and her "choice" dilemma? Remember Phoenix's admirable job at handling the crowds and serving each customer? How about Jill and Silver's thrilling birthday shopping spree? Let's re-join the crowd at the BY (as in Baby Yoda) clothes bins, where the twins are picking out little robes with fluffy collars for their new cuties. "This is the best birthday ever!" Jill was grinning from ear to ear.
While the twins inspected each robe, Phoenix helped Zale pack up her beautiful water-colored bear (that just happened to match her backpack and shirt). "Would you like a box for him?" "No, thanks. He fits in here so well that I'll just take him on my walk this way. I wonder if he likes the beach . . ."
Next to check out was Harold. Being the most active member of the Islandshire Merry Man Club, he'd found the perfect large plush of Little John the Bear from Disney's animated Robin Hood. "This is exactly what I need. He'll look great sitting in the Merry Man clubhouse. Wait 'til the other chaps see him." Such a lot of happy customers. Phoenix was feeling pretty happy, too. A little tired, but happy!
By now, Jill and Silver had selected robes and dressed their Baby Yodas. "Stand still, girls, and hold your Babies. Smile. Let's have a birthday picture."
"Time to get them ready for their trip home. Oh, and don't forget their special birth certificates and collectible photo inserts." "Oh, boy! Thanks! Those are neat. That'll look cool on our bedroom wall . . . or maybe as a decoration on our pin board." The twins closed the boxes and paid with their birthday present: a Build-a-Bear gift card. "Thanks for a great birthday, Phoenix!" They chatted and giggled the whole way home . . .
Customers continued to file in and out, the little bell on the back of the door nearly always jingling its song. Phoenix went to see if she could help anyone, but it looked like they were all doing very well . . . except for poor Kelly, that is! Oh, my. She was still having trouble making that final decision. Wendy and Johanna had arrived and thought they might be able to help their friend make up her mind.
"What about a bear? Or a seal? Ooh, that penguin is super cute! Then, there's always Baby Yoda, you know. He's so cute that you just have to love him -- and he's the newest thing." Johanna made her suggestions in her best selling voice. Wendy looked at everything pointed out, and while Kelly still couldn't decide, Wendy knew that she needed to go home with her own Baby Yoda. She selected a cute face from the top of the pile and headed right over to the stuffing machine.
In the meantime, Masami and Sun-Ho were digging through the bins of plush. It didn't take too long to find what they were looking for. Masami spotted the perfect unicorn-colored llama that just happened to match her outfit (a very color-coordinated gal). Sun-Ho's choice was more in the line of his favorite theme: UP! Since Build-your-Own-Kevin plushes weren't available, he opted for . . . yep, you got it . . . "Oh, Masami! Look at that . . . SQUIRREL!"
"If you guys will just step right over here, we can get your new friends in their boxes for the trip home," said Phoenix, holding out a cute little cardboard house. Masami's llama looked almost excited to be getting into it! Kelly just stared, wondering if she should have chosen one of those . . .
The shop was really filling up now, and customers were crowding in. Benny and Raito came in together, with Nanea and Janie close behind, leading everyone's favorite Islandshire Grand Champion chicken on her leash. Raito had quite a shopping list, with plans for taking presents home to friends. He and Benny got right down to business and started looking at the Baby Yoda choices.
It did not take long for Raito to start filling his arms with Baby Yodas. "Let's see . . . I need to take one home for my sister. She'd never forgive me if I came home without one for her! And I definitely need one for Angela . . . and I can't forget Wanda . . ." Benny started filling his arms with the matching outfits and suggested buying one of the pre-stuffed display models to save time in the stuffing line. "Great idea, Benny!"
While the boys were picking out their Baby Yodas, Nanea and Janie took Flossie over to see the stuffing machine. The bouncing motion of the stuffing seemed to mesmerize Flossie, who just stared with deep concentration.
"Excuse us, girls." Benny and Raito came up to the stuffing machine with their arms full of Raito's purchases. "We've got a lot of stuffing to do!" Janie's eyes got as big as saucers, and Nanea wondered silently how Raito was going to fit all of that into his suitcase with the other souvenirs he was already taking home.
Phoenix came over and fit one of the unstuffed Baby Yodas onto the end of the stuffing machine. "You can turn the crank, Raito. That gets the stuffing spinning right into your plush." Raito couldn't get started fast enough. "Oh, boy! This is cool!"
Obviously, the boys were going to be at this for quite a while, so Nanea and Janie decided to show Flossie all the plush choices. "Let's start with Baby Yoda, since that's who everyone is excited about," said Janie as she sat down to put a Baby Yoda in front of Flossie. "What do you think?"
Flossie waddled over to stand near Baby Yoda and gave him one of her very serious looks. She let out one small "cluck", which clearly meant that she did not want to take one of these home. "Don't worry, Flossie! There are all kinds of other stuffed animals to look at. Let's go over to the shelf." Janie dearly loves Flossie.
As Nanea and Janie made their way across the shop, they noticed Mabel and Joan on the hunt for something cuddly. Bunty's cousin, Sioned, was chatting with Kelly and showing off the cute little Irish bear that she planned to take home. Kelly thought he looked pretty cute, but she still couldn't decide on what she should take home.
"Here's the perfect little kitty cat," squealed Mabel, holding up a calico kitty with a lot of personality and very soft fur. "Oh, yes! This is just what we're looking for." The twins marched off very happily with their new little friend packed safely inside its cute "house box".
Janie and Nanea stood in front of the wall of plush and let Flossie survey the shelves. Janie wondered how a chicken was going to make up her mind. Nanea was pretty sure she knew what Flossie was going to pick, but she didn't want to say anything before Flossie made her own decision. Can you guess which one Flossie will pick?
Well, if you guessed the little pink and red chicken, then you're right! Flossie hopped right up to the shelf to nudge the cute little plush. "That's what you'd like, Flossie? Alright, we'll go get a box for her." Janie couldn't decide if Flossie thought it was a long-lost cousin or just something to look at. It didn't cluck back . . .
"This is a first! A chicken plush for a Grand Champion chicken," said Phoenix when she brought the box. "I think we should have a picture of you guys with Flossie. Say 'cheese'!" Even Flossie looked like she was smiling.
By this time, Raito and Benny had everything stuffed and boxed. The Baby Yodas were so cute that Benny had decided to take one home for himself. (Move over little Olu and Minnie Mouse, because a newcomer would be joining the plush collection in the Island House!) It wasn't hard to find a Baby Yoda that had just the expression he liked, but it was really neat to find a plush shark lurking at the bottom. "Hey, man! Look at this. They've got a plush shark. I definitely have to take this one home." Benny grinned while Raito admired the shark. "What's your fascination with sharks, Benny?" Nanea heard the question from across the store and came running over to say, "There isn't time to hear the story now . . . maybe later over a campfire."
The happy group left with all their boxes of plush, Flossie waddling out in her own champion-chicken fashion. The shop was emptying out by now, but there were still a couple of shoppers -- including poor Kelly, who just couldn't make up her mind. Bunty and Eliot came in, pushing their Godchild, Truannie, in her pram. The sight of such a cute little baby took Kelly's mind off the plush for a few minutes. "Hello, cutie pie! Are you here to find a new toy?" Truannie looked up with her round blue eyes. "Googy."
"Oh, look! Here's the perfect pet for you, Truannie." Bunty put a cuddly white cat into the pram. Truannie immediately sucked on its ear. "Googy." "That's what she says when she likes something." Eliot was a little more realistic in his interpretation. "That's what she says for everything. It's the only thing she says."
While Eliot pushed Truannie's pram around the store, Bunty did a little shopping of her own. First, she found an adorable black-faced sheep that would look just fabulous on her bed. Then, she found an amazingly fluffy lamb that fairly jumped into her arms. "Brighton really needs this lamb! I just have to get it to send to her. What do you think, Eliot?" But Eliot hadn't heard her; he was in deep conversation with Truannie.
Sioned, standing near the shelf of plush, had already found a little Irish bear for herself. "Bunty, you just have to see this very cute bear here. Doesn't he make you think of something?" she asked, as she held out the light pink bear.
"Oh, yes! Our Joint Venture!" said Bunty. "He'd make a perfect mascot, wouldn't he? Shall we buy him?" It was a purely rhetorical question, since the girls had already moved to the checkout counter and were sliding the little bear into a box. (More about the secretive Joint Venture is forthcoming in a future issue of the Gazette.)
"Thank you so much, Phoenix! This has been a great shopping experience. We'll have to bring Truannie in again for another plush, but she needs to get home now." Sioned left with the trio, leaving only Kelly in the shop with Phoenix. "It's almost closing time, and I still haven't made up my mind. There are just so many cute animals . . . and I like them all."
While it crossed Phoenix's mind that there weren't as many cute animals left to choose from as there had been when Kelly was one of the first to arrive this morning, she didn't think that mentioning it would help the situation. Instead (being a very caring salesman), she took Kelly over to the shelf and pointed out a very colorful cuddly bear. "You know, I think you should really consider this bear. He's got French Fries on his little patch, and that's almost your favorite snack. He might be just the one for you."
"He's perfect! Why didn't I notice him before? Wait 'til I show Lori what I picked out!" Phoenix boxed up the bear, and Kelly walked happily out of the door, humming all the way.
Whew! What an exciting day! Phoenix locked the door, placed the "Closed for the Day" sign in the window, and fell into a chair. Everything had gone off quite well, and even the stock of Baby Yoda had lasted through the all-day rush. It's a good thing she had the weekend off, though, because it was going to take a lot of time to restock the shop. "Ah, well, never do today what you can put off until tomorrow. I think that's the way the saying goes . . ." Right now, it was time to head over to Connie's house (taking along her own cute Baby Yoda, of course) to relax and watch a movie . . . a quiet movie . . . with a small cast and little noise . . . maybe a silent . . .
It's open! Let's go NOW! It's time! The big day on Islandshire had finally arrived, and the place was buzzing with excitement. Baby Yoda's at Phoenix's Build-a-Bear! There was almost as much excitement about this as there has been before the pre-Grand Opening sale of Kelly's Disney Pin Trading store.
Phoenix was at the shop before sunrise. Even the birds weren't awake (so the early worm was still safe). There was lots to do before the door could be unlocked, and Phoenix is a very "prepared" little gal. Loads of her friends had already told her they were going to be there "before the crowds arrive". With that many people coming early, they would bring "the crowds" with them, and she didn't want to disappoint even one person. "I hope I ordered enough Baby Yodas . . ." The other stuffed animals seemed to be staring at the pile in the center of the store with what appeared to Phoenix to be a bit of the old "green-eyed monster". (In Baby Yoda's case, you might call it the old "green-eared monster"). Phoenix shook her head to clear the daydreams away and got to work.
It didn't take long for Phoenix to ready for the customers. The stuffing machine was loaded and ready to spin. There was a large stack of take-home boxes waiting for the customers. The check-out counter was crowded with plush, birth certificates and special photo inserts to accompany The Child on his homeward journey. The sun had barely crested the trees, when she noticed the first two customers already standing in line outside while others hurried in from every direction. Take a deep breath. Oops, straighten up that pile. Shove that extra bin of stuffing under the counter. Okay . . . it looks like everything is ready. Boy, everything looks really cute! I hope they like it!
Phoenix unlocked the door, and the crowd rushed in (in an orderly fashion, of course, because everyone on Islandshire is very polite). The little bell jingled on the back of the door as they pushed it open, but no one heard it over the excited squeals and gasps at the sight of Baby Yoda.
Jill and Silver were the first ones inside. It was their birthday weekend, and they had come to build Babies for their special day! Of the whole Island crowd, they are definitely the craziest about Baby. They even came wearing t-shirts appropriate for the release. (That's Jill on the left, Silver on the right.)
"I found the one I'd like. How 'bout you?" "Ditto! Ready to stuff them?" By the time they got to Phoenix, the shop was pretty full of customers, and a line had already formed at the stuffing machine. "It's a good thing we got up early and stood in line before the store opened." (Jill's hearing aid helps a lot in normal settings, but the din of loud crowds unsettles her a bit. Too many people talking at the same time just sounds like a lot of noise to her. She doesn't mean to appear rude or snobbish, but she can't always tell that people are talking to her. Then it looks like she's ignoring them. Anyway, Jill and Silver try to avoid large crowds, and this showed all the signs of being a VERY LARGE crowd!)
Meanwhile, the place had filled! Leo had no trouble spotting a precious little pink pig with a pretty pink bow on her neck (pink bows are Leo's favorite things). Some of the others, though . . . well . . . decisiveness isn't everyone's virtue . . .
Poor Kelly! She loves plush, collectibles and licensed things . . . but she has a little trouble deciding what to buy. With all the choices staring her in the face, it was almost too much for her! "What should I pick? I like them all! The Child is so cute, and I love that bear . . . and I really like that pelican. Oh, my . . . What's a girlie to do?!"
Lori sensed Kelly's dilemma and came to the rescue. "Come on, let's look around together. There are lots of great choices, but something will jump right out at you." Lori is everyone's idea of the best Personal Shopper, and Phoenix was glad to see her here so early.
By this time, the shop was packed, and everyone was hard at work trying to choose their own special creation. Mariamne (pronounced Maryanne), ever the people person, contentedly looked around and made up a poem for the occasion: People came from everywhere to be at Phoenix's Build-a-Bear. Some have a favorite color in mind, Others a favorite animal kind. Some know what's going in their box, Still others seem to stare in shock. Kashook . . . stuffer works like ne'er before, and still more crowds come through the door. When day is done, and Phoenix locks up, will Baby Yoda take the Winner's Cup?
Phoenix had pre-stuffed some of the animals, just in case someone didn't want to stuff their own or wait in the stuffing line. She had bins of unstuffed animals to dig through. There were tables, shelves and bins everywhere! Eloy was hunting for something . . . he just didn't know quite what.
Even Minnie was here . . . and she doesn't usually brave crowds or large events. But who can resist Build-a-Bear and Baby Yoda?!
As some of the others moved towards the line at the stuffing machine, Mariamne and George brought Kelly over to the display to suggest some fun choices for her collection of plush. "This French-fries bear is so cute, Kelly! And that's your favorite snack, so he might be just perfect for you." "Or what about that really cool frog?!" (George is all boy.) "I just don't know . . ." Kelly was still overwhelmed with all the choices.
Eloy and Leo were the first to finish stuffing their plush and selecting accessories. The little pink pig and Eloy's black bear were tucked safely in their fun take-home boxes, and Phoenix made sure that each one went home with their birth certificate.
Jill and Silver, having never been in the store before, needed some help stuffing their Baby Yodas. "Baby even looks cute while he's being stuffed! Oh, I'll never forget today, as long as I live!"
"Come on, Silver! You can turn the handle to keep the stuffing all fluffed." Phoenix had done a good explaining everything, and Jill and Silver were quick learners. "This is the best birthday ever! This is the way!"
While the twins were busy stuffing their Babies, George found just what he was looking for . . . a brown bear with the British flag on his chest. "Wow! This is like something Prince George might have. Cool." Kelly peeked over George's shoulder to see what he'd picked out. "That's a nice one. Maybe that's the kind of bear I need." She sighed. "It's such a hard decision. I just don't know what to pick!" "There'll be something that stands out a little more than the rest in your mind. That's the one you should pick, not what someone else likes!" George is very decisive and never has trouble making up his mind.
Kelly sighed. "I don't know, George. It's not that easy. They all look so cute . . ." She turned around to see who else was in the store. Nachito and his sister, Nautilus, weren't paying any attention to Baby Yoda. They were excitedly digging through all the plush bins and seemed to know what they didn't want. They also didn't seem to mind that it was taking a good bit of digging to find what they did want. Hmm . . . Kelly didn't think that method was for her. Everything looked so cute. How does one decide?
"Here it is!" "Here it is!" They stood up and shouted at the exact same moment. After the laughing died down, they realized they were in a real pickle here. Each had found a really cute little fish . . . but which should they buy? The orange one? The cute little spotted one?
Nachito and Nautilus were going back and forth, back and forth. He liked the plain orange one, because "it looks like a boy". She liked the spotted one with pink fins, because "it looks like a girl". Phoenix came over to see if she could help out, since it was obvious that there was only one solution to the problem . . .
"Why don't you just buy them both?" Phoenix held up two birth certificates and handed one to each of them. "Well, fish do get lonely." "Yeah, you're right! They're better in pairs." Those fish were boxed up and paid for in no time flat. Good job, Phoenix! That's good salesmanship. And those are two happy customers.
The next customer was Connie (who is pretty shy in big crowds). She timidly looked at the wall of plush, having a picture of something cuddly in mind. Connie likes to sit at home on her little pink sofa and watch movies, so her stuffed animal needed to be something soft and lovable.
Phoenix walked over to the counter and picked up a one-of-a-kind bear. "Look here, Connie! I think Pooky is exactly who you need. Can't you just see him sitting on your sofa?" Connie was smiling her sweetest smile and held out her arms in excitement. "Oh, Phoenix -- he's perfect! He's the bear I've always hoped for. Come here, little Pooky, I'll take you home now." "Don't you even want a box?" "No, thank you. Pooky doesn't like to be in dark boxes. I'll just carry him home." Connie walked proudly out the door and down the street, ready to show Pooky to her friends as she made her way home.
By now, the crowd was bigger than ever, the shop nearly bursting at the seams! Phoenix knows how to handle it, though. "Time to get everyone checked out who's made their decision and let the others look around on their own." Lori had her arms filled with boxes: a Baby Yoda (because "He'll be a cool collectible to have one day.") and a black and white cat which she'd already named "Ollie". "Would you like me to help you with your packages," asked Harold. Always ready to be the man of the situation, he didn't like to see a girl so weighed down with big boxes. "No, thanks. Nice of you to offer, but I'll be fine. I've got a couple more shops to visit before going home. Bye, Harold, and thanks again!" "But how will you see to find your way home?" Lori just kept on moving . . .
To be continued.
The fun's not over yet, but this issue of the Gazette has about all the photos it can handle. Check back for Part 2 very soon for more fun photos of Baby Yoda, Flossie the Chicken and others!
Things are buzzing on Islandshire right now. Not only are a few new arrivals expected to the crowd in the coming week or two, but Phoenix's Build-a-Bear shop is getting ready for an exciting new release!
It all started early in the morning. Zale was out taking a brisk walk before any of the local shops were open (she has to keep in shape for all her swimming and diving) when she noticed a new display in the Build-a-Bear window.
Baby Yoda?! Baby Yoda!! On Islandshire! And it must be coming pretty soon for the window display to be up already! Zale looked around to find someone else -- she just had to share the news. Not a soul in sight. "Oh, well, Nachito and Nautilus will be up by now. I'll just go tell them." Zale took off back the way she came.
Not two minutes later, Nanea and Janie came strolling down from the other end of the street. Flossie's morning walk, you know. While walks on the beach are Flossie's favorite, she does love a good stroll past all the shops. Sometimes their friends come out with a treat for the island's only Grand Champion Chicken. This morning, however, treats were forgotten, as the new window display was enough to bring both girls to a sudden stop. "Janie! Look! Look, Janie! It's BABY YODA!!" shouted Nanea. "We'd better get home and tell Raito and Benny about this right away. They're going to want to camp out to be first in line." Janie looked at the picture of the adorable little Child plush. "He has two-bow ears, like me!" "Well, sort of, Janie. Hmm. But he's a boy, so I don't think he wears fashion accessories." Janie took a bite out of her Minnie Mouse ice cream cone. Imagine not wearing fashion accessories.
Flossie took a close look at the window display. Or was it her own reflection? Nanea and Janie couldn't decide if she liked Baby Yoda or not. "Oh well, we'll bring her to release day. She can pick out her own Build-a-Bear then." Nanea patted Flossie on the head. Flossie clucked.
"Hurry up, Nanea!" Janie hollered between bites. Well, as much as you can "holler" when your tongue is frozen. "Let's go tell the boys!" Off the trio went down the street. Flossie's slow waddle normally wasn't a problem, but the girls scooped her up and ran towards home.
A little while later, another trio came strolling by. This time it was Eliot and Bunty taking their God-daughter, Truannie, for a walk in her stroller. They looked in each shop window as they passed, but nothing had caught their eye yet. While not much of a shopper, there's nothing Eliot likes better than finding little presents for Truannie. "Look at this, Eliot!" exclaimed Bunty, pointing to the new display. "Maybe Truannie wants her own Baby Yoda!" Truannie just hugged her little lamb toy and sucked on its ear.
"I don't know . . ." Eliot surveyed the size of the Baby Yoda display and wondered if it would even fit in the stroller with Truannie. "Well, why don't we plan to bring her on release day? She's bound to find something she likes." "Good idea. Do you like the sound of that, Truannie?" "Googy."
Bunty turned the stroller towards home, anxious to get there soon enough to let all of her friends know to clear their calendar.
With everyone gone to tell the others, Main Street was strangely empty. The Build-a-Bear window display shone out like a little beacon of excitement, announcing the big day that was about to bring Baby Yoda to the island! No pre-order on Islandshire, just lots of fun with friends. Check back soon for lots of photos and fun . . .
Big news today! Nanea just got a message from a friend in Canada saying that there's a Household Scavenger Hunt challenge this weekend on the Disney Pin Traders website (where she's a member). The e-mail included a whole long list of things that you had to find in your house. A pretty good game for a girl who has everything. "The house has been getting pretty full lately, so it shouldn't be too hard to find it all. Don't you just LOVE spur-of-the-moment fun?!! We only have until tomorrow morning to post a picture of our group of 'found' things on the thread, so no time to dawdle!"
"Come on boys! I need your help. I've got the list, but it's going to take all three of us to get finished on time." Benny and Raito put down their fishing poles and hurried over. A scavenger hunt sounded like great fun. Besides, Nanea always serves good snacks after every event . . .
"There are thirty-six things to find. Here's the list. I think we'll have everything, but we'll have to look around for some of this stuff."
They decided that Raito had better sit down with the list and check things off as they went along, since he didn't know where everything was in the house. (Besides, you don't ask your guests to dig through shelves and look in the basement on their vacation, right?) Aulani (the pet turtle) waddled over to help.
Raito started the fun with a loud "Okay, let's get going!" and started calling out item names. Headphones? Check. Calendar? Check. Hand Sanitizer? Check. Take-out coffee cup? Well, we take our hot drinks out in a Thermos, so that'll do!
Bottle of juice? Check. Plastic shopping bag? No plastic bags on Islandshire -- we use reusable fabric bags like this. Oh, boy, time to find some Disney pin items! First, a Hidden Mickey pin. Check. Next, a Limited Edition pin, a Pin Backer card and "Your Grail Pin". "That's easy," called Nanea from the corner. "Here's a pin that has all three!" (Who wouldn't love a limited edition, scratch-and-sniff Dole Whip pin on a fancy card, right?)
Now it's time to find a Disney collectible that's NOT a pin. We also need a snack and some fruit. Benny knew right where to look. The most special Disney collectible (and that's saying something in a house this full of Disney souvenirs) has to be Nanea's plush 'Olu. And her "snack of choice" is always celery with peanut butter, with an apple chaser. Check.
The next thing is . . . a highlighter? Easy peasy. Raito had that one in his hand! One more item checked off . . .
Time to find some pin-trading gear, guys. Like a pin lanyard, Mickey Mouse ears/hat and a piece of Disney clothing. No problem. Nanea headed right to her closet for her lanyard, her new Dole Whip shirt and her Aulani ears. Check.
"Hey, man! What can I look for?" asked Benny. "A coupon? No problem. Got 'em right here. Um . . . expired . . . expired . . . expired . . . expired . . . expired. Nanea! All of your coupons are expired." Nanea was too busy to worry about whether she'd been shopping enough lately.Besides, the list didn't say that the coupon had to be current. Check.
"There's still a lot to go," hollered Raito. "Better keep moving. You need keys, a gift card, a napkin, a fork and a face mask." Benny picked up a gift card, some keys and a fancy fork and napkin. Nanea was digging in the corner.
"A face mask? There's not a lot of call for those on Islandshire. Hardly anyone ever gets sick enough to need one. Besides, they're very unhealthy to wear. Where did I put that thing?" She got down on the floor and looked in the back of the bottom shelf. Flossie just stared.
"Here it is! Found it. Whew, that was a hard one." She waved it in the air excitedly, and Raito checked it off the list.
Now for some more everyday items. Sunscreen? Check. Toothpaste? Check. Hand soap? Check. Hair comb? Check. Nail clippers? Check.
Here's an interesting item: $2.22 in pocket change."Well, we can look through this old purse." Out fell two one-dollar bills (left over from vacation off the Island) and four pearls -- two dime-sized ones and two penny-sized ones. Pearls and gems are the pocket currency on Islandshire, so this probably counts. Check.
"We're doing really well, guys," encouraged Raito, as he checked off each "found" item. "I think the next few things will be easy."
Sandals, a book and a family photo. Benny stared at Raito with a blank gaze. Easy? He'd never been in Nanea's closet. The problem was going to be picking just one pair of sandals from Nanea's collection. Oh, well, he'd leave her to it and go find the next thing on the list. There are all kinds of vacation photos on the cork board, and this "Beginner's Guide to Raising Chickens" is a must-have book for any home library. (It says on the back that it'll actually teach you how to speak bird.) Check.
Benny took everything and piled it on the grass in front of the house. This was a lot of stuff!
Next comes a board game. "Hmm . . . we don't have one of those, but we do have a card game. This will have to do until Jill's Game Club opens up and we borrow something new."
The next thing is a pair of sunglasses. Sunglasses? The boys decided to take a break while Nanea pulled out her bin of fashion accessories. (And she has a lot of fashion accessories.) This was going to take a while.
Nanea set the bin on the table and opened it up, but something was definitely wrong here! No sunglasses!
She threw her hands up in the air. "Where, oh where can they be? They're always in my bin!"
She climbed on the chair and looked in the loft bed. Maybe she forgot to take them off last night. Nope.
On the shelf? Maybe they're behind those pin boxes. Nope. Maybe Flossie knows. Flossie only clucked and stared. She never misplaces her eggs.
Oh, bother. Maybe they're in the basement. An old flower pot . . . some fishing poles . . . a bag of clothes pins . . . a used suction-cup hook. Strange, but Nope. No sunglasses.
By now, Nanea was pretty undone. She ran around to the front of the house where the boys were still sitting and chatting. "I can't find my sunglasses. They aren't anywhere. I've looked everywhere, but they must be lost. We won't be able to finish the scavenger hunt!" The tears were starting to well up in her eyes, but the boys just looked up with funny looks on their faces. "Um. You should try looking on top of your head."
"Oh! Here they are," Nanea grinned sheepishly. "I guess I didn't look everywhere."
Only one more thing on the list. A remote (TV, etc.). They all stood up and looked around. A remote. But there's no need for a television in their Island House. If anyone on Islandshire wants to watch a movie, they just go to Connie's. (She's the only one with a TV. ) "Oh, no!" Nanea looked crestfallen. "We really won't be able to finish the hunt now."
Benny's eyes sparkled. "Don't give up yet, Nanea. I've got it! We do have a remote." He turned towards the corner and stared, but Nanea and Raito weren't sure what they were looking at.
"What's a remote? A control with a button that you push to get sound or movie out of something, right? Well, Nanea's Moana playset is also our stereo. You push this little button remote and it plays music. See?"
"We did it! We finished the scavenger hunt!" Time for a few snapshots with the entire haul laid out in the grass. Raito was thinking how much fun this had been. Nanea was thinking how much fun this had been. Benny . . . well . . . Benny was thinking something a little different . . . It had been a lot of fun to find this stuff, but now someone would have to put it all back. "I wonder if this is a good time to have a garage sale . . ." Nanea was not amused.
Time for Nanea to post the picture on the Pin Trading forum. The boys went back to their fishing poles. Aulani crawled back under the porch to take a rest. Raito will be here a little while longer, before heading back to his home on Pleasant Island, so check back soon for more adventures!
It's a big day for Kelly! She's been working on her new store for months, and it's almost time for the official Grand Opening. Just to be sure that everything's set up right, she's sent out private invitations to a few hand-chosen guests to try out her set-up ahead of time. There'll be more merchandise ready for the Grand Opening, but there's enough on hand today to give it a good first run.
One last check over the pin boards, just to make sure that everything's in place. Wouldn't want any blank spots or damaged pins on the boards when guests start to arrive. Oops, room for one more! (Kelly winced a little as she put up that last pin. After all the pins she'd put on boards the day before, her thumb was a taddy bit sore. And she's very right-handed.)
Okay, everything looks pretty good. Time to take a deep breath and get ready to open the doors. And don't let them know that you're a little nervous. I wonder if I've "bitten off more than I can chew". I hope the help gets here soon. Oh, they're here! Smile! Wave! Kelly talks to herself when she's nervous . . .
Nanea and Makana (long-time pin traders) were the first ones through the door, and the looks on their faces as they stood in speechless awe went a long way to relieving Kelly's tension. "Oh, Kelly! It's amazing!" "It's like a dream vacation right here on Islandshire!" With others here now who could help her with first-time traders, Kelly knew there was nothing to worry about. Benny and Raito? Well, they got a little distracted by the fish at the lagoon. "The last time I saw them, they were making plans to go fishing after the pin trading," Nanea told the others. "Why don't we have a quick look around?" Makana didn't hear Nanea, because she was already past a "quick look".
Kelly stepped behind the counter, as her friends ooh-ed and ah-ed their way through the pins she had for sale. She stood there quietly, waiting to see what they noticed first. There were so many things to try out before the big day, but she particularly wanted the special counter display to attract everyone who came in. Yep, it was just right. "Now Available! It's Baby Yoda! Do the magic hand thing, Baby! Ooooh, Jill and Iya will go crazy on Grand Opening day! They're absolutely nuts about anything Mandalorian, particularly Baby Yoda! Let's make everyone promise not to tell, so the twins will be as surprised as we are!"
The boys arrived while the girls were discussing whether Baby Yoda was cuter when he was chasing frogs, playing with his metal knob or sipping soup from his little bowl. "Ooh, I think he's always cute! It's a good thing you get all three accessories in that set. Just think . . . our own Disney Store, right here on Islandshire! It's amazing!" (Nanea's ultimate compliment is to call something "amazing".) The boys just shook their heads and made a beeline for the main trading board. Makana left to join them, but Nanea and Kelly never noticed. They just talked and talked about the "wonderfulness" of it all, while the others looked around.
Raito didn't bother to contain his excitement. "Look at all those pins! How do you choose? What would my sister like as a souvenir? Hey, wait a minute, I don't have any pins to trade. Benny, heeeeeelp!" As he turned to his friend, he caught a glimpse of a strange-looking pin. "Benny, what is that?" Benny just shook his head and smiled. "Hey, man, you need to watch Disney+ more often. Let's get you set up for trading . . ."
"Hey, Raito,", called Makana. "You need to get some pins and a lanyard. They're over there. It's really fun to buy some of the mystery packs, because you never know what you're going to get. Kelly's got Star Wars, It's a Small World, and UP Puzzle mystery packs. But don't buy everything you'd like to keep, because then you won't want to trade. That's always the hard part of pin trading . . . deciding what to trade in."
Raito was in seventh heaven. Big sigh followed by bigger grin. Just wait 'til he got home and told his sister about this. Back to earth, though, and time to get started.
Meanwhile, another guest had quietly arrived. Sonja was very excited. Even though she had lived in Florida for a while, she'd never been to Disney or traded pins before. "What do I need to buy first? I'd like a lanyard that will match a lot of different outfits, please. Nanea, that one you're wearing would be just perfect, if there's another one like that. You're always so clever with accessories. Oh, Kelly, it's all so perfect. I don't know where to look first!" Nanea and Kelly jumped right in to explain the basics of pin trading.
In no time at all, Sonja had picked out a lanyard (just like Nanea's, of course), but the real job started when she had to decide which pins to buy. There were mystery boxes of all different themes, as well as larger mystery packs. "Oh, so many choices and such cute pins. This might take a while. You two are welcome to help someone else. I'll holler when I'm ready to try the trading part. Oooooh, Baby Yoda!"
Raito came over to the lanyard display and asked Kelly for help. There were lots of cute designs, but he couldn't decide whether he wanted one with Mickey and Minnie on it . . . or Stitch . . . or Pluto . . . or Donald Duck . . . or . . . hmm. Kelly had the perfect solution. "Why not take this one which has everyone on it?" Yep, that's just what Raito was looking for.
It wasn't half as hard to pick out the pins he wanted. Star Wars! No problem deciding there. At Kelly's suggestion, he also picked out a box with a pin in it that he wouldn't want, since he needed something to trade. "How much do I owe you?" "Nothing! It's a present from Benny and Nanea." "Wow, thanks," said Raito. "They're really spoiling me."
When everyone had what they needed, Nanea took Sonja and Raito over to the big trading board. Trading pins is easy, but deciding what you want can be kind of tricky -- especially when there are so many choices. "Take your time and look at everything. There's no rush at all. And remember, you can always trade back in the pins you trade for!" Nanea glanced at the pins over their shoulders and . . . hmm . . . she didn't have that one . . .
Sonja knew just what kind of pins she wanted -- sweet treats! She found a Donald cupcake right away. After just a little more searching, she found a matching blue macaroon. Raito, on the other hand, took a little time looking at everything before deciding. Every pin looked good, but he knew that when the right one showed up, he'd know it. (Of course, he was keeping his Star Wars pin and not trading it.) Aha! There it was. The pin he wanted. "Mickey Mouse with glasses and a pencil. That's for me!" Nanea knew they'd be all right on their own, now, so she ran to get the camera.
Congratulations to Islandshire's two newest pin traders! Let's all smile and say "Disney".
While everyone was over at the large board, Makana spied some Stitch pins on the smaller one. Stitch is her favorite character, and she really likes the Emoji pins. "Too many choices, Kelly. Do I want Stitch serious or smiling?""Don't worry, Makana. You can always buy more pins to trade or trade today's choices back in on another day. That's the wonder of pin trading!"
She went over to show her trades to Nanea, but Nanea was enraptured with her own find. "Just look at this one, Makana! It's a dinglehopper! It's amazing! A dinglehopper! Oooooh!" The two girls shared a little "show and tell" time before Kelly called "Picture time!"
More happy pin traders, posing with their lanyards and fun pins. Nanea could tell that her photo collage at home was going to need some updating. Makana doesn't have a photo collage but is going to put her picture on the refrigerator for everyone to see.
Time for lunch back at the house. (Nanea had prepared everything before they'd left that morning). Kelly was confident that she could handle the last few "invitees". "Don't worry about me. I'll be fine now!" Benny thought they should take Raito over to Nachito's Bait and Tackle Shop on the way home. "To check out the fishing poles, you know. Just in case. Right, man?"
As they headed toward Kelly to say Aloha before leaving, Janie walked through the door. "You guys go on without me. I'll catch up in a couple of minutes," Nanea told the others. Janie had come prepared with her pins and her little backpack full of extras. There was no doubt what kind of pin she was looking for, and the shop proprietor knew right where to find it . . .
"Here it is, Janie," said Kelly excitedly. "It's a Mickey-shaped chocolate ice cream bar!" Janie jumped up and down in excitement, her "two-bow hair" bouncing like a pair of Mickey ears in the wind. Everybody on Islandshire knows that Janie loves chocolate. She hardly eats anything else . . . and that's only to balance out the chocolate. "Oh, thank you! That's it! That's the one I need! Here's a vinylmation pin in exchange."
Nanea called Janie over to the big board and helped her look through the pins there. Guess what they found? A Minnie Mouse Candy Apple pin with a chocolate coating. Who'd a thunk?! It might have been a short trading time for Janie, but she'd come prepared. Now, why didn't Nanea think about using her backpack to show off her pins and carry the traders? That Janie sure is creative.
Janie wasn't here only for pins, though. She had some other shopping in mind. "Kelly, do you have any Minnie Mouse plush? Something my size, small enough to keep on my bed?" "I think this is just the thing for you, Janie!" Kelly held out a cuddly Minnie dressed in a shiny pink Princess costume. "This even matches your outfit." Yep, Kelly was going to excel with her new enterprise.
"That's it! She's perfect! She's just what I need. And I'll take a gift card, too. I think I'll bring a friend back for the Grand Opening. This is my new favorite store. Thank you for all your hard work. It's amazing!" (Janie was Nanea's best friend, and a few things had rubbed off on her over the years.)
As the two girls headed toward the door, Nanea hollered over her shoulder, "Your store is great, Kelly! I can't wait 'til the Grand Opening, and I think everyone on the Island will love it. When you're done here, come over to our house for the picnic. There's plenty!" Kelly looked a lot more relaxed now. "Thanks for all the help! I'm glad everyone has had fun. I'll send out announcements, when it's time for the big day. And I'll be there later!" Nanea and Janie chattered as they left. "Janie, you are coming for the picnic, right? You know, there's always room for you. Let's run. If we hurry, we can just catch up with the others."
Meanwhile, Kelly had just enough time to straighten the postcards before her last two guests arrived. Wendy has just arrived back in Islandshire, after having spent a long time in the hospital, where she'd been recovering from a terrible skin condition. She was excited to be out and about, and this was her first time trading. Lori, on the other hand. Let's just say that if there's anything that Lori knows about, it's Disney stuff. Well, and shopping. She's the best shopper and thrifter on the Island. (Thrifter -- that's what you call someone who knows all the ins and outs of "thrifting"; i.e., shopping and finding deals at thrift stores.) Actually, everyone on Islandshire believes that the phrase "shop till you drop" was coined in her honor.
They headed straight to the lanyard rack and found a Minnie Mouse lanyard that matched Wendy's outfit perfectly.
Kelly and Lori complimented Wendy on the perfect match. "Thanks. I'd like to get an autograph book while I'm here. Lori says there are going to be Character meet-and-greets here later on, and I can't wait to have them all sign my book."
Kelly was pretty quiet, waiting for Lori to notice the you-know-who display. She didn't have to wait long, though. "You have Baby Yoda figures?!!! I've got to have one of those. They'll probably be collectible one day. He's SO cute. You just don't get cuter than Baby Yoda. I can't believe there are any of these left this late in the day!"
"I'd better pay for this right away, before you run out!" Kelly looked around and noticed that Wendy was the only other person in the store. And she didn't look too eager about Baby Yoda, so Lori really didn't have to worry too much. Wendy was busy admiring her autograph book, wondering out loud if she should buy two, in case she needed a gift for someone. Kelly stood wondering if she could get more of those Baby figure sets in in time for her Grand Opening.
Wendy traded some pins on the small board and then stepped up to the register to pay for everything. "I think you'll do great with your store, Kelly. I know I'll be back!" "Thanks. I was sort of nervous this morning, but I think everyone has enjoyed themselves. I'll be sure to let you know when the Characters will be coming for the meet-and-greet. It's nice to see you out again. You look great, Wendy!"
The door shut behind the two girls, and the store was empty. It had been a great day, and Kelly was happy with how everything had turned out. She decided to put the Closed sign up and head over to see if there was anything left at the picnic. (Kelly is always hungry, and Benny and Nanea's luaus are legendary.) The next time she opened, it would be for the Grand Opening celebration. And she felt certain that she was ready.
Raito has more adventures to come, so stay tuned. Of course, you're all invited to Kelly's Grand Opening. And she's already ordered another stock of Baby Yoda figures . . .
Yesterday was a special day at Benny and Nanea's house on Islandshire. Their island friend, Makana (Hawaiian for gift and pronounced mah-kah-nah), was coming for a short visit, island hopping in hope of finding a home of her own. (Makana is hoping to be adopted by just the right little girl and wanted to spend some time with her Islandshire friends before that happens.) And you'll never guess where she was writing from -- the Disney Aulani Resort on Oahu. A trip to Aulani is, as you all know by now, Nanea's dream vacation! Best friend and news about the joys and wonders of Aulani, all in one day!
The morning dawned bright and sunny, and Nanea had set the alarm clock for an early wake-up call. Everything had to be just perfect for her friend's visit, and there was a lot to do. The birds were singing "Gitty uppy, rise and shine!" Nanea did a few extra stretches, and it was off at a run . . . "Get up, Benny, she'll be here soon! And don't forget to make your bed!" (It's really just a hammock, but Benny rubbed his eyes open and talked himself into getting out of "bed".)
First things first, and that meant that it was time to let Flossie out for her morning walk. She's an early riser, but she always stays on her nest until Nanea wakes up. Keeping a Grand Champion chicken in prime condition is a very special job, you know, and that means giving her a hug every morning!
"Benny, let's get going! She'll be here before you know it!" Usually, Benny is the first one out of bed, but Nanea was so excited about Makana's visit that she was ready to go a bit earlier than usual this morning.
Benny slipped on his nifty new Shark Shoes and took Polynesia out for her morning perch on the palm tree, while Nanea fixed his morning Coconut Smoothie breakfast. Flossie and Aulani (the pet turtle) were already waddling around the yard and ready for their food, too. "Oh, this is going to be SUCH a fun day!"
Benny sat down to enjoy his breakfast (hoping that someone will notice his new shark outfit) while Nanea fed Flossie her morning Purslane (one of Flossie's favorite snacks). It's perfect mornings like this that make Islandshire such a beautiful place to live! (Go ahead. Ask Benny why he likes sharks so much -- just make sure Nanea's not around to here "that story" again. And be prepared to see the scar.) "Oh, Benny, doesn't everything look so beautiful this morning?" "Looks the same to me . . . the smoothie is just what I needed."
Now that all the pets were fed and happy, it was time for Benny and Nanea to take their morning swim. This is when Benny and Nanea get a lot of work done, diving for all the pearls they offer for sale at "Nanea's Pearl Stand". As usual, Benny headed right to the lagoon, but Nanea had to change into her bathing suit. "I'll be there in a minute, I just remembered that I need to practice my hula!" She was going to entertain Makana later on and wanted her hula to be just right. She'd never hula-ed in her swimsuit before, but the audience didn't seem to mind. In fact, Flossie and Aulani looked like they were having fun!
"What do you think, Flossie? Was it good enough for this afternoon?" Flossie is one of Nanea's best critics. One "cluck" means it could use a little work. Two "clucks" mean that she likes the dance. And this was a two-cluck morning! (Watch out, though, because when Flossie lets out three clucks, it means she just laid her eggs, which for some odd reason always seem to come in groups of three.)
"Oh, my! Where has the time gone?!" It was a bit late to head out to the lagoon. There was so much cleaning to be done before her company arrived -- nobody likes to visit in a dirty house! Nanea decided to change into her cleaning clothes and get straight to work. Benny could handle the pearls by himself today, and it seemed so much easier to get things done while he was at the beach.
"Just whistle while you work . . . " Time to dust all the souvenirs and knickknacks. Even the Disney pin board needed a bit of dusting, and the new feather duster was making the job easier than before. (Flossie wasn't very keen about Nanea's feather duster. Something about it disturbed her. Hmm. Then Benny sat down and explained to her that they don't actually use chicken feathers to make them. Have you ever heard a chicken sigh with relief? It's very soft, and you have to be real close to hear it, but Flossie sighed.) "Dust, dust, dust. I just LOVE cleaning my house!"
Just as she was about finished with the cleaning, Benny came back all wet from the lagoon. It had been a good morning for pearl diving, and he didn't mind her staying home. Brothers are like that, you know, and Benny is the best! "Good timing, Benny. Can we practice the hula for a little while before Makana gets here? It'd sure help to practice to a little music."
A quick change, a bite of lunch, and they were ready to practice the Kaleponi Hula. This was always one of their favorite parts of any day . . . Nanea in her grass skirt, Benny with his finely-tuned ukulele (the pineapple one, of course), just the right amount of tropical breeze blowing, and Aulani singing in the tree. "Pāpale ipu kapakahi, kāmaʻa hila ʻauliʻi . . ."
Ever since Nanea got her new Moana-inspired hula costume, morning practice with Benny is the highlight of her day. She's been practicing a lot more, saying that she needs to "get used to it." Well, that's what she says, but it's been her favorite dance outfit since it arrived! It's probably more of a good excuse to wear it a lot. Benny doesn't understand wanting to dress in clothes that don't allow you to sit down, but he's a boy. Nanea always tells him, "Fashion is worth it!" Several times through the song, and "Okay, that's enough practice!" Time to put on the overskirt and get ready for Makana's arrival. "Benny, did you hang up your wet towel and trunks? Yep, I think we're ready. It all looks perfect!"
Cluck, cluck! Chirp, chirp! In no time at all, Flossie and Aulani started announcing the arrival of a guest. It's Makana! And all the way from Hawaii! She must have had a great time, because she was still wearing her Disney pins and Minnie Mouse ears . . . not to mention carrying a very interesting bag (smile). "Oh, Makana, you look great! We're so glad you're here! Welcome to Islandshire!"
It had been so very long since Makana's last visit to Islandshire . . . the three were very excited to be together again. Lots of hugs. More hugs. Everybody talking at once. How fun! Isn't she adorable? Isn't it fun to have friends over for a visit? How would they fit it all in? (Nanea couldn't help wondering was was going to happen to that really nice bag that her friend was holding. Just take a look at that logo!)
While the girls were gushing, thoughtful Benny pulled a chair up to a shady spot under the palm tree by the house. "E noho i lalo, Makana. Nanea's made some special cookies to celebrate your arrival. Have a seat, while I see if she needs any help in the kitchen."
After her long journey, Makana was happy to sit in the shade with her friends. They had much to discuss, and she was excited to hear about all the changes on Islandshire. Benny filled her in on new arrivals (quite a few more kids have moved in since she was here) and told her about Nachito's boat rental and the success of Bunty's Wool Show. There were also a lot of future plans for the island, like a Disney Pin-Trading party, Mina's Pottery enterprise, and his own new Wind Surfer.
Benny had just finished bringing Makana up to date on Islandshire news when Nanea came back outside with a fresh pineapple-orange cookie for her guest. Now it was time to hear all about Makana's trip to Aulani. "Tell us everything! Did you take pictures? Did you trade pins? Did you have Dole Whip? Is it as wonderful as I just know it must be?!"
"Yes, yes, yes and yes!" Makana had to smile. Just remembering her vacation made her happy, and of course she'd brought along a couple of pictures to show everyone. The Aulani Resort was amazing! "Just standing in the lobby was a great experience. You've never seen anything quite so grand before, and people greet you with 'Aloha' and special leis. The windows look out over the beach, and there's Hawaiian music playing and everything." Makana pulled out a picture of the lobby. Nanea studied it closely and sighed with happiness.
"There were employees with pins to trade, and I even got to trade for this Stitch pin!" Makana pulled a pin off her new Lilo & Stitch lanyard to show it off in a good light. (Stitch is definitely her favorite character, and she seems to favor emoji pins of any character.)
Once all questions had been answered and pin-trading experiences shared, Makana reached down for the bag that she'd brought and started digging inside. "I brought some things for you guys to have -- a brochure, a map, some postcards . . . Hmm . . . Let me see now . . ."
Nanea quivered with excitement as she looked at everything. Just imagine. That map had come all the way from the Aulani resort in Hawaii! Benny took a long while to admire all the postcards. What a wonderful friend to think of them while on her trip! "Oh, and I brought you a gift card. That way, you can pick out something online that you'd really like -- and the card will make a good decoration on your pin board, too." (Even the gift card had a great picture of Aulani on it.)
When Makana started telling them about the gift shops in the Resort, Nanea felt like she'd been there with her friend. Makana is a good storyteller. "It was so amazing! There are all kinds of exclusive souvenirs there. It's really hard to pick out what you want." She pulled out a picture of one of the shops . . . Nanea gasped.
Makana had actually seen 'Olu the Singing Turtle! Nanea was overcome with the joy of it all (and probably the dreams of going to one of those souvenir shops herself one day). Benny could see that he needed to start diving for a lot more pearls in order to make his sister's dream vacation come true. He had a pretty good idea that she'd end up buying a lot of stuff. Yep, they definitely needed to save in advance. The real trick would be to get Nanea to stop giving the pearls away . . .
All at once, Nanea looked down and noticed the bag on Makana's lap. With her hands in the air, she gasped, "He aha kēlā? What is that?"
"Well," said Makana with a smile. "This is a special little 'Olu that needed a new home. He practically jumped into my bag. He's for you, Nanea." She held out the bag, but Nanea was momentarily speechless (mark that on your calendar).
"Oh, Makana! Thank you! Mahalo a nui loa." Nanea had happy tears in her eyes as she hugged her own beautiful 'Olu. Then she had to hug Makana. Could a little girlie get any happier? Benny was happy for his sister . . .
The day had sped by, and Makana wanted to see the house and all of the new decorations before the sun set. Nanea was very happy to show her around (still hugging 'Olu under her arm) and point out all of the fun things that had a story to them. She pressed the button on the Moana playset to play a little "mood" music, and everything seemed perfect to both friends. The prize ribbon on the pin board intrigued Makana, so Nanea told her about Flossie's triumph at the Wool Show. Flossie even showed off her fancy new nest box. Makana was impressed. She'd never seen a Grand Champion chicken before.
While the girls were looking at Flossie's trophy, Benny came to the door with a fun idea! There were lots of old friends on the Island that would like to say "hi" to Makana, so why not have a bit of entertainment? He could play the ukulele while the girls danced the hula for everyone -- and there were plenty of poi and snacks for afterwards.
"What a great idea, Benny! You spread the word while Makana and I get ready." The girls went to Nanea's closet and dressed Makana in her other hula costume, while Benny went to tell a few friends to come over. In no time at all, everything was set up (with 'Olu sitting close by to take part in the fun), the friends had arrived, the music started and dancing began.
Friends kept arriving and gathered in front of the house. It was a perfect evening for a party, and there was so much clapping and cheering at the end of the dance that the girls had to give an encore.
Makana and Nanea took a bow and invited everyone to sit down for some poi, Dole Whip and other snacks. It had certainly been a perfect day. Makana will be staying with Benny and Nanea for a little while before finding her new home, so everyone on Islandshire has a lot of catching up to do. Aloha, and check back soon for more Islandshire fun!
This entry is a special request from Leagirl! She wrote and asked if it was possible to have an Aulani map, since that's Nanea's "dream vacation." What a great idea! In fact, I've been trying to get the scans for Aulani maps or brochures, but it wasn't until the last month or two that any turned up. A friend even went to Aulani while on a business trip and tried to get one . . . no success. Finally, though, enough Aulani paperwork has been posted online to make a fun vacation collection here for your 18" doll.
I tried to make a full grouping for one piece of printed paper here. There is a resort map, brochure, Dining Guide, three postcards, two boarding passes (choose your favorite style), and a little booklet that features the story of Aulani's exclusive Disney character, 'Olu the Singing Turtle.
These photos and printables are only meant to be used for your personal use. They are not intended for resale of any kind. Feel free to share the link to this post with anyone, but these are meant only for personal use.
What do you need? You will need a printed sheet of printables (one sheet of plain white computer paper), a pair of scissors and a glue stick.
Step 1: Print your sheet of printables. Print this on one sheet of regular computer paper. Click on the image below to view at full size and save to your computer.
Step 2: Print your page. Select the image of the printables page in your Windows Explorer browser, press "Ctrl + P," and you should see a dialogue box something like this:
Make sure that you select the "8x10" photo print size, because that's how I've digitally sized the graphics to print correctly for the dolls. Select "Plain Paper" in the paper type box. Do NOT check the "Fit picture to frame" box. Now, you're ready to print.
Step 3: Cut out your map and other pieces. Cut right along the edges of the colored area of the printed graphics. You do not need to leave a white border.
Dining Guide & Photo Boarding Pass
These two pieces don't require any folding or gluing, so they are finished when you're done cutting them out! They should look like this:
Aulani Resort Map
Once you've cut out the map, all you need to do is fold it into thirds accordion style. It should look like this:
Double-Sided Boarding Pass
The double-sided boarding pass is quite simple. Cut out around the pass (don't leave a white border).
Fold the pass in half, making sure to give a firm crease at the fold.
Now, open the boarding pass and turn the wrong side (non-printed) up. Cover one half of the pass in glue with the glue stick. (Be sure to put some kind of scrap paper below your pass before using the glue stick. I only photographed this on the bare table to make it easy to see.)
Fold the pass again, being sure to fold on the same crease you have made already, and press down firmly to stick to the glue. Make sure that your glue reached all the edges, and that you press those firmly. You don't want the edges of your pass to peel up later.
It should now be flat and double-sided as seen in the photo below. Let this dry completely. It usually takes about ten minutes and is often advisable to place a book or something flat over it while it dries (that will make it dry flat). Your double-sided boarding pass is now ready for your doll to play with!
Usually, I print postcards as a one-sided piece on cardstock (just drawing the divider line and postage area onto the back) -- but for the sake of being able to put all of the Aulani printables on one sheet of paper, these are a bit different.
Your cut-out postcards should look like this (three postcards with backs attached).
Fold the postcards in half with a nice firm crease.
There are two options here. First, you can just glue the inside of your postcard together with the glue stick, press flat and let dry. (Be sure to put some kind of scrap paper under your work before using the glue stick. I only photographed this on the bare table to make it easy to see.)
Second, you can opt to make the postcards a little stiffer by cutting a small piece of cardstock the size of the card and gluing it inside like this:
Either way, fold the top flap of the card down once the glue is spread inside and press firmly. Let it dry for about ten minutes, and then your doll has got some fun postcards!
Aulani Resort Brochure
If you've already made the doll-sized Walt Disney World Park maps, then you'll be familiar with this one. If not, don't worry! This is a pretty simple piece to make.
Cut out the resort brochure. Cut right along the edges of the colored area of the printed piece. You do not need to leave a white border.
Fold the cut-out brochure in half. The edges may not be exactly square, depending on how you cut it out, so pay more attention to folding the brochure at the dividing line of the graphic's center, rather than matching end to end. You can always trim the edges up later. Be sure to crease the fold evenly and firmly.
Now, open your brochure and turn the wrong (non-printed) side up. Cover one half of the brochure in glue with the glue stick. (Be sure to put some kind of scrap paper below your map before using the glue stick. I only photographed this on the bare table to make it easy to see.)
Fold the brochure again, being sure to fold on the same crease you have made already, and press down firmly to stick to the glue. Make sure that your glue reached all the edges, and that you press those firmly. You don't want the edges of your piece to peel up later.
Your brochure should now be flat and double-sided as seen in the photo below. Let this dry completely before folding. It usually takes about ten minutes and is often advisable to place a book or something flat over the piece while it dries.
You're almost done with your brochure now! All that is left is the folding. This is pretty simple, because you can see the divisions separating each section of the map (particularly if you follow the back side -- the one with the cover).
Once your brochure has dried flat, you make two folds in all. First, fold here:
And for the last step, you just fold the other third over. Voila! Your finished brochure should look like this:
The Story of 'Olu Booklet
The final piece in this set of printables is a miniature booklet about 'Olu -- Aulani's singing turtle. First, you cut out the long piece that will become the booklet. Don't worry about trimming the rounded corners. Your piece should look like this to start:
Now, fold the piece in half. You should have four printed "pages" on each side.
Open the booklet and turn the wrong (non-printed) side up. Cover one half of the brochure in glue with the glue stick. (Be sure to put some kind of scrap paper below your map before using the glue stick. I only photographed this on the bare table to make it easy to see.)
Fold the booklet again, being sure to fold on the same crease you have made already, and press down firmly to stick to the glue. Make sure that your glue reached all the edges, and that you press those firmly. You don't want the edges of your piece to peel up later.
Your booklet should now be flat and double-sided as seen in the photo below. Let this dry completely before folding. It usually takes about ten minutes and is often advisable to place a book or something flat over the piece while it dries.
Now it's time to grab your scissors and trim those rounded corners like this:
Fold the booklet in half again, matching the photos to each other like the picture below.
Only two more folds to go! Be sure to crease these as firmly as you can (I used the rounded end of the glue stick cap to press them in as firm a crease as possible).
Fold the cover forward to look like this:
Finally, fold the back cover in, and your booklet should look like this:
Congratulations! Your doll now has some fun Aulani Resort pieces and can start planning (or remembering) her vacation. Check back tomorrow or the next day for a photo story that will use these pieces and more for some Aulani fun with Nanea and Benny!
Here's another fun thing to make in our group of Florida/Disney vacation doll accessories. If you're taking your 18" dollie friend on a Disney World vacation, you might just want them to have an autograph album of their very own --- and it can even be filled with the names of their favorite characters. This is a time-consuming craft, but the result is well worth it. I've taken step-by-step photos of the process, so I hope that it's not too confusing. Feel free to send questions via the contact form in the right-hand column.
These photos and printables are only meant to be used for your personal use. They are not intended for resale of any kind. Feel free to share the link to this post with anyone, but these are meant only for personal use.
What do you need? You will need a printed autograph book cover (on one sheet of glossy photo paper), a pair of scissors, so coordinating card stock or scrapbook stock paper, some sheets of plain white computer paper, double-sided tape, scotch tape, a stapler and a glue stick. Optionally, you can also add a piece of thin elastic onto the back of the book (this lets your doll "hold" their book).
Step 1: Click on one of the printables below to view at full size and save to your computer. I have included a printable with one cover or multiples. If you have enough ink in your printer to print multiples, I would suggest that. That way, you're covered if you make a mistake -- or you want to make an extra book or two for friends. Once you see these things, you'll need more than one!
Step 2: Print your cover. Select the image of the cover(s) you want to print in your browser, press "Ctrl + P, and you should see a dialogue box something like this:
Make sure that you select the "8x10" photo print size, because that's how I've digitally sized the graphic. Select "Photo Paper" (any type appropriate to the brand of paper you are using) in the paper type box. Do NOT check the "Fit picture to frame" box. Now, you're ready to print. Once printed, the photo paper will take a while to dry. I usually let mine stand for three days before cutting anything, but you can decide what amount of time seems right for you. You don't want the ink to smear as you are handling it. You want to use the glossy photo paper. Even though it's faster and cheaper to use plain paper, it will not look the same. I made a mock-up version of this at first (using plain paper for the cover), and it looks like a craft item. Using the glossy photo paper makes the cover look real -- and look like the real thing!
Step 3: While you are waiting for your cover to dry, you can always start cutting your sheets of plain computer paper into strips for the book pages. I cut strips 1-5/8" wide. Then, cut those strips to 4-3/8" long. You need to have twenty of those strips for your book, but I suggest cutting extras as mistakes will happen on this one. Once you have the 1-5/8 x 4-3/8" strips all ready, make five small stacks of four strips each. Fold each stack in half, being very careful to fold them as evenly as possible. It is at this point that you want to write on the pages, if you'd like your book to be "autographed". It's a lot easier to do them before they are attached in the little book, and you won't bend the cover while you're at it. If you do sign the pages at this time, be sure to be careful not to get them out of order once they're signed. I got my sister to sign the pages of the books that I've made. She's done a lot of fancy scrapbooking and was able to make signatures in the style of Disney autographs we've gotten at the park ourselves. Here is a sample of the pages she made. She chose to "sign" on only one side of each page, so that means two names on each cut strip -- one of those names is on each side of the strip. You are seeing just one side of these strips in the photo below.
Step 4: Now that you have cut out and signed the paper strips, you can cut out your cover. It should measure 1-3/4" high by 4-7/8" wide. Make sure that it turned out to those measurements
Step 5: Cover the back of the cut-out cover with double-sided tape. (I tried a couple combinations of glue, tape, etc. I found that covering the back of the book cover in Scotch double-sided tape and then laying that onto the card stock worked best. It doesn't come loose, no matter how many times you handle the book --- plus, no wrinkles or bubbles.) Your cover should now look like this:
Then, I took a piece of matching blue card stock (this was actually card stock from a scrapbooking paper stack) and lay the cover (taped side down) onto the stock. Press firmly, making sure that the cover is now firmly attached to the card stock.
Step 6: Cut out around the edge of the cover. You should not have any border of the card stock showing along the edge of the book cover. Cut another piece of the card stock in the same size as the cover and set aside for a moment.
Step 7: Fold at the two edges of the spine, making sure that you make hard creases. Your cover should now be in the shape of a book. Fold the second piece of blue card stock to fit inside this cover, but do not attach it to anything.
You should now have a book cover, another card stock piece the same size and fold as the cover, and your inside pages all signed, folded in half and separated into the five stacks (you are making forms for the inside of your book).
Step 8: You can lay the book cover aside for a little while. You will need your five forms (stacks of autographed pages), the inside cover (which is the second piece of card stock you have folded) and a stapler.
Take the inside cover and insert your five page forms into it. Have a look, so that you get a feeling for the spacing and just where you want the pages to be. Then, start at the first form. Center it where you want it and staple it onto the piece of blue card stock.
Keep the front (smooth) side of the staple on the inside of the book, leaving the back (pokey) side of the staple on what will be the spine side.
Add the second form in, making sure to push it right next to the first. There will be just enough room to get all the pages in here, so make it snug. Staple in the same manner. The first two forms are pretty easy to staple in. The last three are harder, because the staples tend to get stuck on each other. Just persevere, and don't be irritated if you have to remove a staple and try again. You want the staples to stay in the spine area, otherwise it will create sharp lumps under your front or back cover.
Once you have all five forms stapled onto the piece of blue card stock, it should now look like a little blue book with a very plain solid cover and staples on the spine.
Step 9: Now you need to get the spine ready to attach the cover. To keep the sharp parts of the staples down and protect the spine, place a piece of plain scotch tape over the spine (sometimes you may want to use two pieces).
Now, place pieces of the Scotch double-sided tape over the whole spine and inside book over. Be sure to go to the edges, because you don't want the edges of the book cover to peel up later. It should look like this:
Step 10: You are about to attach the cover. It is at this time that you need to decide if you would like to attach a piece of thin elastic to the back of your book. This allows you to hook the elastic on your doll's hand, so that they may hold their book. I am going to show how to attach the cover without elastic. Read this, but if you want to put on the elastic, be sure to go down to "Step 11" for instructions.
Take your cover (which is the glossy print attached to a matching piece of card stock) and carefully match the spines and covers of the book to each other. Press firmly together to make sure that they are exactly in line. It is helpful to pull the covers to as flat a position as possible to do this.
Press the spine of the book on a table to make sure that the tape sticks to the spine area. This also helps to create a flat spine. Press firmly all over. You have an autograph book! (If you end up with any edges that just aren't quite right, you can always trim with scissors.) I suggest putting a few heavy books on your autograph book for a day or two. This helps the book to stay in a more closed position.
Step 11: Adding an Elastic Band If you would like to attach the elastic, cut a piece of thin elastic 3-3/4" long.
You will need to press the front cover and spine of your book cover onto the inside book cover (all covered in double-sided tape) --- but making sure not to attach the backs to each other.
Lay the end of your elastic piece onto the double-sided tape on the back inside cover, as near to the spine as you can while still being on the back cover of the book.
You want the elastic to be stretched over the back cover, because if you make it too loose, it will not squeeze your doll's hand enough to support the book. This can be a little tricky, but loop the elastic over the back cover and lay the second end in the same line and touching (but not overlapping) the first end of the elastic. You'll feel like you need three hands, but it's not too hard. Lay a piece of double-sided tape (or two) on top of the elastic. Now, you press down the back cover onto the tape of the inside cover. Press very firmly to make sure that the cover is very attached. You should be done!
Here are photos showing finished autograph books with and without elastic.
To learn how to make other Disney and Florida vacation souvenirs and accessories for your, just click here.
If you're taking your 18" dollie friend on a Disney World vacation, you might just want them to have a park map of their very own. It's quite easy and fun to make them, so here's a step-by-step guide and the downloadable printables to make a doll-sized map from any of the four Disney World parks or Disney Springs.
These photos and printables are only meant to be used for your personal use. They are not intended for resale of any kind. Feel free to share the link to this post with anyone, but these are meant only for personal use.
What do you need? You will need a printed miniature map (one sheet of plain computer paper), a pair of scissors and a glue stick.
Step 1: Decide which map you want to make. Each map must be printed on one whole sheet of regular computer paper. Select the map you want to make from these images (click to view at full size and save to your computer)
Step 2: Print your map. Select the image of the map you want to print in your browser, press "Ctrl + P, and you should see a dialogue box something like this:
Make sure that you select the "8x10" photo print size, because that's how I've digitally sized the graphic. Select "Plain Paper" in the paper type box. Do NOT check the "Fit picture to frame" box. Now, you're ready to print.
Step 3: Cut out the map. Cut right along the edges of the colored area of the printed map. You do not need to leave a white border.
Step 4: Fold the cut-out map in half. The edges may not be exactly square, depending on how you cut the map, so pay more attention to folding the map at the dividing line of the graphic's center, rather than matching end to end. You can always trim the edges of the map later. Be sure to crease the fold evenly and firmly.
Step 5: Now, open your map and turn the wrong side (non-printed) up. Cover one half of the map in glue with the glue stick. (Be sure to put some kind of scrap paper below your map before using the glue stick. I only photographed this on the bare table to make it easy to see.)
Step 6: Fold the map again, being sure to fold on the same crease you have made already, and press down firmly to stick to the glue. Be sure that your glue reached all the edges, and that you press those firmly. You don't want the edges of your map to peel up later.
Your map should now be flat and double-sided as seen in the photos below. Let this dry completely before folding. It usually takes about ten minutes and is often advisable to place a book or something flat over the map while it dries.
Step 7: You're almost done now! All that is left is the folding. This is pretty simple, because you can see the lines separating each section of the map (particularly if you follow the back side -- the one with the cover).
You make three folds in all. First, fold here:
Then, for the second fold --- fold here:
And for the last fold, you just fold the map in half. Voila! You have a finished map that looks like this:
To make the complete set, you will print and fold five maps. Here is a photo showing Nanea modelling her Disney accessories and holding her brand new map (this is an old photo, taken before her new "trim")!
To learn how to make other Disney and Florida vacation souvenirs and accessories for your doll, just click here.