American Girl Scenes and Settings book…

PLEASE NOTE: My pink and white dress and coat didn’t sell, so I relisted it with a Buy It Now of $100. You can see it by clicking the picture at the right side bar or you can click HERE.

Back in 2013 I sold all five of my large American Girl Scenes and Settings books… and not because I didn’t like them…I did! I just didn’t like the way my pictures came out with lights glaring in the background, and sometimes there was a hazy look to the scenes. I had all five books… Felicity’s, Kirsten’s, Addy’s, Samantha’s and Molly’s. WELL… fast forward to today. Look what came in the mail!

I had been stalking Ebay for a Samantha book, as I used the bedroom scene a lot with many of my girls. I found a really good deal on one and snagged it.

The reason I “re-bought” the book was… I am hoping I have improved enough on my picture taking skills to see if I can’t make these work again. They really are wonderful backdrops and you can add props to them that make them a bit 3D. It was worth giving a try! There are 5 scenes in the books and Samantha’s has a kitchen, bedroom, classroom, ice cream parlor and an outdoor scene.

I looked through some of my earlier pictures and picked out one showing each background. Now mind you, these were taken many years ago and like I said, I’m hoping to improve! But enjoy these pictures today anyway!

This is what I mean by lights on the background…

…a little better.

I searched but couldn’t find an outdoor picture with a doll in it…

So, we’ll see what happens when I give this a second go around!

See you Monday,
Blessings, Jeanne


  1. Charlotte Trayer says:

    Looks like a wonderful book–I do remember those, but never got any, as I wasn’t really taking pictures of my dolls back then, and they just seemed so big and unwieldy! I’m sure you’ll make good use of this one, though–looking forward to future pictures!

    • Hi Charlotte,
      These books are wonderful and they do add a little bit of charm and interest to the pictures. I was probably silly for selling mine…but, we live and we learn…I hope I can do better this time around.
      Thanks Charlotte,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Linda Doyle says:

    I’m so happy that you found a Scenes and Settings in such good shape, Jeanne! Unfortunately, I came onto the AG scene after they were retired. So I put together my own little rooms, but am happy that I did. They are really nice to have for someone like you, to pose the outfits you create against a scene that accents the clothes. Your emphasis is on the clothes, so you don’t have to worry about gathering things to photograph with the outfits, and at the same time, they are period correct. Are you stopping with Samantha’s, or going to try to re-collect them all again?

    • Hi Linda,
      If I had a bigger sewing room I would LOVE to create little vignettes like you do… they are certainly better than a flat picture, but for now, I’ll give this a try…again…
      For now I’m just going to work with Samantha’s book.. I do like Molly’s book and may keep an eye out for it, but only if I can get my lights and pictures to look okay using Samantha’s.
      Thanks Linda,
      Stay warm…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Congrats on finding the Samantha Scenes Book. I’m encouraging you to ask George to make a few frames with light fabric stapled on them so they will cut the glare from the lights on your pictures. YouTube directions abound. You could even make them yourself with cheap frames from an art store or Michaels. Just remove the picture and backing and staple the fabric to them and they can be hinged together or used by themselves while propped up in front of each light; no need to make a light box. Or use coffee filters on the camera flash or a light fabric with a rubber band to hold it on, not on the separate lights as they get too hot.

    I found one of the Molly Scene Books myself over the holidays but haven’t tried pictures yet. She’s my first girl as her historical year is my birth year (oh, dear). The books close up nice and flat and don’t take up much room. I’m going to try using a white cotton quilt backing I have in my stash to take some snow pictures. I couldn’t believe how big they are. It came in a very nice box too. So glad you got the book and looking forward to your pictures which are always great. Can’t believe more dresses I haven’t see before!

    • Thanks Susette,
      I’m going to give your picture framed fabric idea a try…I hope it works.
      I’m glad you saw some new dresses today…
      Congrats on finding a Molly book…I really liked that one too. Love the school room!
      Enjoy your nice sunny weather the in Calufornia! I’m trying not to be jealous, but it’s hard!!!
      Thanks Susette,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Reading Susette’s post, I wonder if you or Cindy already have one or more frames that could be converted into filters. And I wonder if your outdoor picture might have been used for some of Kirsten’s pictures. I always liked the scenes and settings backgrounds for your pictures. Now the glare leaps out at me, but I don’t think I noticed when you were using them in your auctions. I’m glad to have these backgrounds back and ready for you to use.
    I always thought that the blue diamonds dress (the first dress picture) was one of your prettiest ever, and I still think so. And I must say that you have had and used some very beautiful trims. What a lucky bunch of buyers and admirers we are.

    • Hi Marilyn,
      I was debating about which picture to use in the kitchen and I remembered you always liked that dress, so I picked it just for you!!

      I don’t have any light filters like Susette was suggesting, but I’m going to give them a try. One thing I did notice in my old pictures…the white table top reflected up on the picture, so it needs to have something like a flooring to help with the glare… see, I’ve already learned something from just looking at my pictures…
      Thanks, Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Dorothy in PA says:

    Dear Jeanne, I am happy you found the book again. I wish more doll makers created settings. I know some folks purchase fabric backdrops on ebay but I haven’t done that yet. I have begun looking at the settings that ebay and etsy sellers use for their dolls to get some ideas. Many of their scenes are quite interesting.

    • HI Dorothy,
      I guess it was kind of an impulse buy… as I “really” didn’t need a backdrop, but they are pretty neat when you have used them before. I’m ready to see if I can improve my pictures with them… we’ll see!
      I like the way Linda makes little scenes with all her stuff, but I don’t have room in my sewing room for that… so the book was the next best thing for me.
      Lots of ladies do make some interesting scenes for their dolls… I always love to look at the details of them…
      Thanks Dorothy,
      blessings, Jeanne

  6. So glad you were able to purchase another Scenes and Settings book. I would love to have one too but haven’t found a deal yet. 🙂 Photographing the girls in an actual room makes a wonderful visual presentation.
    Hope this isn’t a working Saturday for you. Isn’t for us. And tomorrow with the big bowl game, not then either. I’m thinking that chili might be fun.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

    • HI Joy,
      Yes, the scenes and settings books are quite high right now… I’ve been looking for quite a while and finally found this one… I hope I can master the pictures now… :o)
      No work for me today… I woke up with the flu… ugh! No throwing up or cold… just all achy and a fever… George went in without me… :o(
      Chili would be good here…its 40 now with a windchill of 33 degrees… not terrible but I’m staying inside…
      I’m having a wonderful time in my jammies! Well, sort of wonderful…
      Thanks Joy,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Charlotte A. says:

    Very cool scenes! They are so fun to see as backdrops. I would try to defuse the light that you use. That should reduce the shine in the photos. Susette had great ideas.
    Hope you have a good day!
    Take care –

    • HI Charlotte,
      I’m planning on using Susette’s ideas for making the lights not show up so much in my pictures. I’m really hoping I can do this… as I love the backgrounds for the girls.
      I hope you have a nice day too,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Anne Johnson says:

    Kudos on snagging a good deal on Samantha’s Settings book, Jeanne. It must be very exciting to receive new things in the mail that spark your creativity. Loved the “mini” fashion parade, too. Always enjoy seeing your beautiful designs and the talent behind them, and this was a wonderful selection. Thanks for sharing them with us. Looking forward to future pictures with your new scenes soon. Wishing you and all your readers a wonderful weekend, Super Bowl or not!

    • HI Anne,
      I’m still reeling over your sweet poem you wrote yesterday in your comments (if you didn’t see it, everyone, go back and read it… it was wonderful!)
      Yes, I’m looking forward to using these background scenes again and hoping I can master them this time. I’m going to do what Susette said and see if that makes a difference. She sent me some pictures of her doing it with Ten Ping and they were very nice.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures today… hopefully you saw something new in the bunch!
      And a wonderful weekend to you too!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. I once had Samantha book, and really couldn’t get it to work for me. I found the biggest problem was making the floor actually look okay with the backdrop! I sold mine, and in truth, regret it. One of these days, like you, I’d like to give it another try.

    Your dresses are always so beautiful, and you have the sweetest Nellie!

    • Hi Fern,
      I think I regretted selling my books the istant they sold on ebay. I’m really hoping to make it work this time. I hope someday you find another one…
      Thanks so much for your compliments, Fern,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  10. I am so sorry about the flu. I hope it’s just a cold or an allergy, but it is flu season. At least at this point we all know to take it seriously. My sister said hers took 6 miserable days, but on the 6th day she began feeling better. This (when I’m writing this) is Sunday, and you can look forward to church NEXT Sunday. You should be feeling better by Thursday.
    The advice I’ve seen says rest, liquids, a little fresh air and sun if it warms up, and try not to spend all your time in bed — sitting up is good for your lungs. When you recover, you can tell us what worked for you. My friend Rebecca puts fresh lemon juice and honey in hot water and said it really helped her kids. Linda said a sore throat was not part of the flu, but coughing and sneezing and living with kleenex are. My friend Grace dissolved peppermint candy in hot tea to sooth her throat from too much coughing. Other people like fresh lemon juice and fresh ginger root combined as tea.

    • Hi Marilyn,
      Well, it started out as just aches in my neck and back and a cough. But then last night it turned into a cold and a fever and a headache along with the other…but I’m gonna make it…just feeling crummy and miserable…

      I’ve been drinking lemon water myself and trying to sit up as much as I can. Staying in bed was murder on my back…
      No sewing, no helping George, no house cleaning…I did watch 2 westerns on TV and we are going to watch the Super bowl…I’ll be watching from the couch!
      Thanks Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  11. Jeanne, hoping you don’t have the flu. But, if your symptoms continue, call the doctor today as they can prescribe (I think it is Tami-flu) something if you can take it soon. Lessens the severity of the flu. Whatever I had directly after Christmas started with the sore scratchy throat and got worse from there. Horrible painful coughing and sore lungs and fever. Hurt to breathe. Took weeks to get over it. Now, let’s hope that isn’t the case with you. Hopefully, it will be just a cold and you will be fine very soon. Thinking of you.
    Take care.

    • Hi Joy,
      I’m sure it’s the flu, but I’ve missed that window when you can get the Tami-flu shot. I didn’t realize I was actually starting to get sick until it was already upon me!
      Today it has turned into a cold…and I’m just waiting for it to be over…give me a few days and I’ll be over it!!!
      Thanks Joy,
      Blessings, Jeanne

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