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News Archives: January - July 2005
July 20th, 2005
Updates: added more entries to Josefina's Daily Journal.
July 19th, 2005
The Montoya Rancho has flooded! During the night a thunderstorm suddenly hit the parched plains of New Mexico and rain poured down for two days without relenting. The Montoya family lost half of their flock of sheep and countless pumpkins, chiles, and squash because of the flash flood that ensued. Even the rancho, which is built for sunny weather year-round and so was not prepared, was filled completely with water. The Montoya girls had to climb up on whatever floating furniture they could find and slowly row their way towards the ladder to Josefina's loft bedroom, where they stayed until the water drained out of their home. They tried to save as much as possible, but most of their crop was ruined.
The Merrimans felt very neighborly, however, and have invited them over to dinner twice because of the catastrophe. This was very nice of them, thought Mrs. Montoya, but she noticed that they didn't offer to let them sleep in their dry house. Very neighborly indeed.
Updates: New front page picture.
June 17th, 2005
Oh so much has happened since I last wrote about the adventures of the dolls... when I don't update for so long sometimes it's almost impossible to think of where to start. Well I guess I should start with the Kitty Kapers. The Kitty Kapers is finally finished, packaged and ready to ship and we've finally started taking orders, so it is now officially available! (finally.) After fourteen months of production and a full-fledged movie premiere, the Kitty Kapers; Case of the Stolen Dress is available to the public.
The Premiere was on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in May and was held at an art gallery which we turned into a custom theatre for 50 select people to attend. The dolls prepared their outfits for days ahead of time and each stayed at the Parkington mansion beforehand in order to catch their individual limousines to the premiere. Nancy wore a gorgeous beaded pink dress that she found in her attic the week before, and everyone else wore their very finest gowns and dresses and had their hair done in amazing styles.
The day of the premiere arrived and they all got into their limos and were whisked off to the site of the premiere where they each walked down the red carpet into the theatre where they took their places on a display at the back of the room so that everyone that came in could admire them.
The Premiere itself was a wonderful success. All that I wanted out of the movie was for a few people to giggle now and then. Well I got those giggles, and much more! People were laughing a LOT! It was very, very satisfying. If you can make people laugh, you've made a difference somehow. Everyone loved the movie and agreed that it was much more advanced than our last few movies. They loved the music and the outdoor chase scenes.
After the premiere the dolls returned to Pleasantville and their homes and collapsed on their beds to fall asleep. However, they weren't allowed to rest long because of the entrance of a Doll Country inspector who has been ordered by the government of the country to inspect every home and business in order to make sure that all the ladies can cook, men can work, businesses are attended to, houses are clean and manners are observed. Mr. Henry Murphy has taken his job seriously and has inspected town square. Cristal Purr was fined for not owning a stove. Celine Windmill was fined for never coming to work at the bank. Cristal Purr was fined another time for lying about being related to her sister, Vera, and Alison's Gift Shop has been completely shut down. Clara has since put it up for sale and is hoping someone will decide to rent it who will be willing to pay her the rent once in a while!
The inspections are not over yet- there are still many to come, so everyone in the town is hurriedly teaching themselves to cook, cleaning their houses, polishing up their manners and working out their financial problems.
Kirsten had her birthday last week and recieved the best birthday present that she could ever ask for- a horse! She has since named her "Blossom" and has begun practicing with her for the horse-jumping competition that will be happening this summer. Josefina, Felicity, Kaya, Francisca, and Sonja are also planning on entering the competition.
Updates: New front page picture, lots of new movie premiere pictures on the Movie News page,The Kitty Kapers; Case of the Stolen Dress is now for sale in our Merchandise section!
May 16th, 2005
The Kitty Kapers; Case of the Stolen Dress is now officially available for pre-order through paypal or personal request via email on our Merchandise page. This video is only available on DVD, but is the highest quality picture we could get, as well as audio. The entire movie has a soundtrack of sound effects, music and voice-over narration to add to the full effect of the visuals. This is what we've been waiting for, and it's finally here! Reserve your copy now before we put them on sale at the premiere!
Updates: Added The Kitty Kapers; Case of the Stolen Dress page to the Merchandise section.
May 11th, 2005
What a month it has been! I haven't updated for a long while, as I've been wrapped up in editing the Kitty Kapers, and so there is quite a bit of news around the cheerful town of Pleasantville.
On April 23rd, Andres Montoya returned home from his trip south to Santa Fe to visit is sister, Magdalena Montoya. He had lost his mustache in a trip to the hospital, and wished to find some special herbs that could help him grow it back quickly. When he arrived home, he was pulling a wagon full of gifts for his girls, all from the shops in Santa Fe, and a horse with a beautiful young lady sitting upon it. The girl, as it turns out, was Josefina's second oldest sister, Francisca Montoya. Francisca had been living with Magdalena for the past few years, learning cooking and sewing and household responsibilities, and Mr. Montoya had finally convinced her to come to Pleasantville to live with her family.
Josefina, first overcome with happiness at the sight of her sister, soon became very jealous of her perfect manners and beautiful silky hair, however. She didn't like being pushed aside, and Mrs. Montoya was starting to make sarcastic remarks about people who never did their chores. Josefina knew that Mama was talking about HER!
The Montoyas threw a grand Fandango in Francisca's honor that evening, and the whole town attended. To Josefina's great annoyance, all of her friends simply adore her older sister and without knowing it, they left poor Josefina alone by the piano several times in one evening! The Parkington sisters (who are Francisca's age) immediately took a great liking to her and took her on a long stroll, talking about everyone in the town with great animation, and Juan and Antonio, Josefina's nephews who never listen to a word she says, were silent when they looked at Francisca, whirling about laughing her peaceful, unaffected laugh.
Later that week, Josefina was determined to win the Montoya's annual Cinco De Mayo competition. All of the ladies in the Rancho dress up in their fanciest clothes, and weave their hair into intricate braids and curls, sprinkled with flowers and ribbons. Then the men of the household (or MAN and boys) vote on who should win the fancy Cinco De Mayo bread baked by Mrs. Montoya. Instead of winning first place as she had expected, Josefina recieved third to her mother and Francisca, and had to retreat to her room with her mother shouting things like "pride goes before a fall, Josefina!!"
The next day, as they were riding in the hills, Josefina and Francisca suddenly were confronted by the Montoya's great bull. He had broken loose from the flimsy pen that Juan and Antonio had made, and was panting and storming and full of rage when they met him. He chased them up the hills and into valleys and soon they got seperated from each other. Mr. Montoya finally managed to control the bull, but by then both Josefina and Francisca were incredibly lost out in the plains.
Later that night the two of them miraculously stumbled into the rancho together, having found each other in the dark after stumbling around all night looking for each other. So in the end, both are very glad to have found each other and are on the way to becoming close friends as well as sisters.
Updates: New Montoya page picture, New Francisca picture on the Montoya Family Page, and the trailer is now up on the Movie News page!
April 22nd, 2005
Special Announcement: "The Kitty Kapers: Case of the Stolen Dress" has wrapped and is almost finished being edited. The finished preview can be viewed (very blurrily) online if you click here:
Enjoy, enjoy enjoy! Let us know what you think in our guest book and message board!
April 7th, 2005
The dolls are all currently heading towards the Parkington's mansion again- not for a ball and sleepover this time, but rather to see what bargains they can find at the Parkington's Spring Cleaning Garage sale.
The Parkington twins have decided that it's high time they got rid of some of the old dresses and clothes that they've been hanging onto for so long, since they buy new clothes all the time but don't have any use for the old ones. So they are having a big garage sale and selling all of Teresa's dresses that are too small for her, their old hair clips and jewelry, and old bags and hats that aren't very fashionable anymore.
This is an excellent opportunity for some of the people in Pleasantville who can't afford nice clothes at the prices that the Violet's Clothes Boutique offers them for! Cristal Purr and Suzanne Wickon in particular are keen to find nice clothing for their siblings and daughters that don't own any for themselves.
Another new exciting thing has occurred- we discovered that our digital camera takes video clips and our website supports them! We've put up to small video clips on "The Larson Family" page; a tour of their house, up and downstairs. I'm very excited about this discovery, so expect lots more tours and eventually actual clips from our movies! Stay tuned on this one!
Updates: Video clips on the Larson Family Page.
March 30th, 2005
The photos of the Easter ball are now up on Webshots:
All of the dolls have returned home after the party, which was a wonderful success full of fashionable dresses and hats and music and dancing and fun and games throughout the night. Although there was a little bit of trouble with sleepwalkers and tricksters during the night, everyone made it home safely and most of the dolls are sleeping in quite late right now.
However, not everyone gets to sleep; this week is the last week of principle photography for "the Kitty Kapers" and downtown is all of a bustle with cameras and trailers and lights all set up to shoot the last scene in the movie this afternoon. After that there are a few pick-up scenes that need to be shot, and then the post-production process will begin; editing, music and sound effects will be added and the finished movie will be created!
We're looking into renting a place with a large screen where we can have a premier and invite friends to come and see it. It'll probably be someplace in downtown Seattle. If you'd like to come see it and live in the Seattle area, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Enjoy the pictures!
Updates: New front page picture, updated "movie news" page, added "Easter Ball" photo album.
March 27th, 2005
Happy Easter to everyone from all the dolls and from Willow, Solana and I! The dolls have all been to church this morning- half heading downtown to the Presbyterian church and the other half heading off to the Catholic church near the Parkington's house. The Windmills, Rose and Kaya didn't go to church because they don't follow a particular religion. Now they are ready to celebrate together by meeting in town square for the children's egg hunt! After that there will be a party at the Parkington's house where they will have a dance, eat treats and make and decorate hats to go with their beautiful Spring dresses. Everyone has been invited to stay at the Parkington's mansion overnight and what a party it shall be! Stay tuned, because we'll soon have pictures of all of these things. :)
Updates: new front page picture
March 22nd, 2005
It was this time last year that both Dolores and Andres Montoya packed up their things and went on a trip for several weeks to visit Tia Magdalena in order to help heal Papa's squeeky bones that he'd gotten from being the star performer and lead role in "The Nutcracker." Josefina was placed in charge, along with Antonio, and for two whole weeks they were forced to get along long enough to decide how to keep the household going and the money coming.
Well the time has come again, and this time it's Dolores who's bones are squeeking. So, after seeing her parents off on the train headed for Santa Fe, Josefina returned home to take charge of the rancho for two weeks. She set to work immediately; she organized her sisters and they marched around the house, collecting all the laundry and mending and taking all the sheets off the beds. Then they set up the laundry line outside across the river and washed their own laundry happily. Because Kaya moved recently, the Montoyas have been able to expand their rancho significantly, and so they've set up a permanent laundry area at the mouth of the river. They have put up a nice little pen where they can keep the laundry that needs to be washed, nailed together by Juan and Antonio, who worked on it very carefully and finished nailing the first nail after trial and error for two hours. Alison collects the laundry from all the households in Pleasantville, then hands it to Clara, who washes the clothes from her convenient position on the bridge above the rippling water of Lake St. Peter. Then Rebecca carefully irons each dress (working very carefully on the fashionable dresses in particular) and hands them to Josefina, who pins the laundry on the line and pulls on the other side of the line so the laundry slowly winds its way over the river until it is dry- just in time to be taken off the line by Heather, who folds up the laundry and ties it into bundles, ready to be delivered.
Juan and Antonio were not going to be blamed as lazy either, (as they usually are) and set to work making a goat shed for themselves to sleep in. They put together a rickety shack with a highly doubtful roof covered in twigs, which is now the pride and joy of their life. However, they do agree that it will be interesting to see what happens to their masterpiece when it begins to rain. Good thing they live in such a warm area. They also spent days carefully nailing together a few boards to make pens for all the animals, big animals like Big Goat, Peppers the Horse, and Kuzco the Llama even got a pen with a gate that opens!
However, the work was not that even. While Antonio slaved away at a single nail (and tried not to break his own fingernails in the process) Juan tied knots together and ended up with something that resembled a ladder. Since it looked so good, they decided to use it for that purpose, although when Antonio tried to climb up to his bunk losing it, he had to hurry because the rungs began to slide slowly down towards the floor of the shed.
Josefina cleaned the entire house while Juan Antonio were in the fields the next morning, and spent a day fixing meals for the so-called "men in the family." She is starting to get quite fed up with the two of them, who come staggering into dinner at night acting as though they are the most tired and forelorn people in the world, which she knows perfectly well is an act, as Rebecca informed her that before they'd turned the bend onto the old rancho road they'd been jauntily singing and running along, leaping about and trying to catch butterflies.
Can Josefina last a full two weeks without telling off Juan and Antonio and getting them all in trouble? This shall be interesting.
Updates: New front page picture and Montoya family page picture.
February 25th, 2005
What hilarious things can happen in just a few days! And to think it all started with a Lilac vine.
Elizabeth was climbing the Lilac vine the other day, trying to get into Rebecca's room to surprise her, when Teresa came running out of the house, wailing that Elizabeth would fall and break her head.
"Shush!" Elizabeth said, climbing higher.
"But Elizabeth, you'll hurt yourself!" Teresa shrieked.
"I'm having some mischief! If you go and tell ANYONE, i'll take your jewels and hide them so you can't find them!!"
....and Teresa headed back inside. But her conscience was telling her that she really should do something, so she went to find Mr. Hawkins, who brought his big ladder out and dragged Elizabeth down off the Lilac vine. Elizabeth eventually got so mad at Teresa that she actually climbed the Lilac vine all the way up to the third floor and crawled in Teresa's bedroom window. From there she ran into Rebecca's dog, Snowball.
Then Elizabeth had an idea.
She had Snowball sniff a jewel that Teresa had loaned to her, and whispered, "Go Fetch!"
Snowball proceeded to fetch all the jewelry in the Parkington mansion, which Elizabeth did not expect! So in order to keep from getting into deep trouble, she stuffed the glittering jewels into her backpack and snuck out of the house. When no one was looking, she hid the backpack in the roof of the Pleasantville bank.
Unbeknownst to Elizabeth, the roof of the bank is the secret hide-out of Cristal Purr's two sisters, Vera and KT. They found the jewels and put them all on, deciding that since they were so beautiful, Cristal would probably want to buy them, and then they would be rich so they could buy their own house and wouldn't have to put up with Cristal as a house-mate! Besides, then maybe they could buy some food once in a while.
But their plan backfired. Cristal immediately recognized the jewels as the Parkington's and ripped them off the poor girls, sending them out of the house immediately. Cristal then looked frantically around her apartment wondering where to put the jewels.
Rose Hopkins, after hearing whispers and murmers of "oh dear! Where shall I put them? Oh dear, everyone might think that iiii stole them! Not that I did, of course I didn't, why would I do such a thing?" from next door, thought of a wonderful plan to finally get rid of her annoying neighbor. Picking up her green cell phone, she quickly telephoned General Wickon, the Chief of Police.
He came as fast as possible, but as soon as Cristal heard Rose say "Is Mr. Wickon there?" on her phone, she was down her stairs in a flash and out the door. Creeping next door, she had dumped the jewels inside Rose's apartment faster than Rose could complete her call.
Mr. Wickon arrived and Rose sent him over to Cristal's house, where he charged her with theft and put her under arrest. Rose turned around suddenly and realised that the jewels were in HER HOUSE! She scooped them up and ran upstairs. Mr. Wickon was just asking Cristal to hand over the jewels, when they came thudding through the window between the two apartments. All that could be done was to take the matter to the governor.
The court case was held on the grounds of the Merriman's plantation. Mr. Larson was the judge presiding, and members of the Pleasantville sewing circle served as the grand jury. Mrs. Wickon's excellent knowledge of every proper lady's individual jewelry helped the court to recognize the jewelry as the Parkington's, and after several hours of heated discussion and interviews of witnesses, the court discovered the real culprit.
Poor Elizabeth, now she has two weeks of house arrest to deal with. And worst of all, General Wickon has been appointed to gaurd the Lilac vine to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Updates: New front page picture and "Parkington" picture.
February 18th, 2005
As you can probably tell if you look around the website, there have been a lot of major changes in the last few days! I've gotten around to updating everything, making all the pictures look nicer, adding links to photo albums and cleaning up all the messy HTML links all over the place. But i've also added some interesting features:
~Now if you click on the big picture on each of the Family pages, it'll take you to an online photo album of that family!
~Now you can click on some of the smaller pictures to see them larger in a new window!
~There are pictures of scenes in "the Nutcracker" up on the Nutcracker Reviews Page, which has been completely redone, just as the Video Reviews page has.
~On the "Merchandise" page, (this one i'm particularly proud of!) if you click on the "screenshots" link below each OUR DOLLS video, you can view screenshots from each movie so you can have a preview before purchasing them. I've done the "Day In Pleasantville" ones, and the others will be coming shortly.
As the "movie news" page will tell you, Pleasantville has been full of activity in these last few weeks because nearly the entire town has been involved in filming scenes for our newest movie, "The Kitty Kapers; Case of the Stolen Dress."
Mr. Montoya has directed seven scenes this week, all occuring at the "Violet's Clothes Boutique" which is an enormous set that was decorated to a marvelous extent by Mrs. Merriman, who had real pleasure in finally decorating a set that she could make as fancy and stylish as she wished.
Big trucks and honking noises can be heard by the set as dresses, props and jewelry are all being sorted and loaded to distribute to the houses and families that loaned them to the movie for the last few weeks.
Some of the residents of Pleasantville were quite distressed after loaning their clothes to the movie, especially Mrs. Wickon, Cristal Purr, and Sonja Romanakov, who realised after they'd allowed their fashionable dresses to be put on display that that was all they owned!
Sonja has had to hide in her room during the duration of filming to avoid being seen in public without a fashionable dress, Cristal has had to wear baggy pants and an ugly coat due to the part she is playing in the movie, and Mrs. Wickon simply resorted to wearing a horrid pink and blue knitted sweater. She tried to make it more fashionable by adding her pink feather boa, but it rather made matters worse.
But all is well again, as the dresses and things that were taken are making their way home again, and the hair salon has finally opened. So it's a happy ending after all.
Updates: Too many updates to list! Take a look at EVERY PAGE on this site, and there will be new material and pictures!! Enjoy!!
January 27th, 2005
All is well in the bustling town of Pleasantville unless you count the unfortunate Clara Montoya, who was recently rollerblading down Tulip Avenue when her tail got caught under a horse's hoof and she took quite a spill. She has been taken to the hospital and is feeling better though, fortunately. Paul Windmill has begun taking piano lessons again, from his old and eccentric teacher, Mr. Crabpatch. He's learning the intense Liszt "Totentanz" to play at the next Pleasantville Philharmonic Concerto Competition. ("Totentanz" means "Dance of Death" in German.)
Mrs. Wickon has spent the afternoon at home, applying lipstick and trying out all her jewelry to see if it matches her pink feather boa or not, while, unknown to her, she is supposed to be at work and is getting in a lot of trouble with Mrs. Fox's head maid. The entire staff of Mrs. Fox's mansion is marching towards the Wickon's household as we speak. Poor Mrs. Wickon.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Fox herself is still stuck in one of the Merriman's trees after jumping to high during the fireworks celebration at the Merriman's New Year's Party... Mr. Merriman has been trying to get her down for the last few weeks but he can't reach her, not even when Felicity stands on his shoulders and stretches as far as she can go. Poor Mrs. Fox.
It's hair trimming time at the Montoya's, as you can see if you look at some of the pictures on the "Our Dolls Video Reviews page," Mr. Montoya has never liked those vicious scissors, especially when they are threatening to cut off his beautiful mustachio.
Updates: New pictures on every page; updated "Contact Us" page with new pictures and ages, new "video reviews" pictures, lots of pictures! Keep tuned in because i'm going to add more webshots albums next. Hooray!
January 24th, 2005
Happy Birthday to our most regular visitor, our good friend Sitara!! Hope you have the greatest year yet.
In the doll world all is well besides the poor teachers at the High School who have all unfortunately gotten sick but continue to teach doll school every Friday. Last week they learned about the history of Christianity from Josefina, and continued work on their Algebra and studies about photosynthesis.
There has been a lot of work done on our latest movie, the "Kitty Kapers." Check out the "Movie News" page for more information. The Clothes Boutique has also been humming with activity (and more than one squeal of delight) as Mrs. Merriman and Angelica work away at the many orders for the Spring fashions. Check out the "Fashions" page to see what it looks like!
Updates: news on Movie News page, new page on "The Fashions" and new front page picture.
January 15th, 2005
Quite a lot has been happening around Pleasantville in the last few days - everyone finally managed to get home from the New Year's party, take down their Christmas decorations, clean their houses and fall asleep just in time for their regular routine to begin again.
On Friday morning, all the children rose early in the morning to go to school for the first time in 2005. The Merriman's woke up first, rubbing sleepy eyes and (in Rachel's case) trying frantically to make their curls a bit more curly after having slept on them. They ate a warm breakfast of eggs and pancakes before putting on their coats handed to them by their mother, and pouring out of the front door towards the bus stop downtown.
Next, Kaya woke up, diving into her river to bathe and then grabbing whatever scraps of paper she could find and setting off at a fast run towards the bus stop, which is 10 miles from her tipi.
None of the Montoyas were fully awake by the time they made it to the bus stop, having been quickly woken, made to dress, handed lunches and pushed out the door. They sleepily yawned as the cart they rode into town on rumbled and bumped along the dirt road leading into town away from their rancho.
The Larsons, Wilsons, Chens and Windmills all woke up fairly early and had no problem getting to the bus stop on time, as they all live fairly close to it themselves and didn't have to hurry.
The bus pulled into the stop at exactly 8 a.m. and all the students boarded, yawning and chattering about everything that had happened since the last time they had been to school; sometime in October.
The first lesson of the day was History; they are learning about world religions and have just finished their study of Hinduism, and have begun Buddhism. They all recieved colorful maps and wrote down things like the "Four Truths" and the "Eight-Fold Path." Then, in math class, they were all required to wake up once and for all because their harsh and dictatorial math teacher, Mr. Gold, was almost militaristic in his requirements.
"Sit up straight!"
"Put that paper away! It's messy!"
"Put all your bags UNDER your desks- they are bothering me!"
"Write your name in your BEST handwriting"
"No GEL PENS ALLOWED"
... and other such instructions left the class struggling to be on their best behavior rather than recieving a fail. And so they worked diligently on their Algebra problems until the bell rang, to their great relief.
The rest of the school day passed with little more event than Allison having to stay after school to recieve a little warning about asking ridiculously irrevelant questions, and everyone hurried home to prepare for sewing circle at the Merriman's house.
Suzanna, Alex, Angelica, Allison and Clara all opened up their shops downtown and began to stock up for Spring shoppers.
Angelica opened the Clothes Boutique and a flock of fashionable ladies zoomed inside (Mrs. Wickon in the lead) to choose their favorite colors for the new Spring fashion!
Today was devoted entirely to filming four scenes from the latest doll movie- "The Kitty Kapers." Nancy Merriman did a variety of acts, from playing the piano, to sneaking along deserted streets, to snoring about chocolate. We can't wait until you can see this- it's going to be splendiforous! (That's one of Nancy's favorite words."
Anyway, an update to the "Movie News" page is coming soon, but I have to go now so that's it for now!
Updates: New front page picture, new Montoya family page picture.
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