I simply love this blog: A Doll's Picnic and if you are not familiar with it, and you might not as it's a relatively new blog, then go take a read and enjoy!

Ali is a writer, and a figure skater and she loves dolls; she's Passionate About Play Dolls.
In her own words "I’m passionate about art, creativity, artistic journaling, poetry, animals and nature. I love gardens, knitting, yarn stores, tea time, good poems, children’s books and nineteenth century women’s literature." She lives somewhere so warm and dry that European doll hair behaves in strange ways! As I'm in London - which hardly can be described as either - this is So romantic to me!
Although her first love was 18" American Girl dolls Ali has recently branched out and started to collect a whole host of special, beautiful and wide ranging play dolls from Gotz to Schildkrot, Paola Reina to Maru & Friends and many other brands in between.

From left: Gotz Sophie, Emily, Claudia, Paola Reina Lidia and Gotz Katie

I adore the photos, the stories and the different styles in which Ali writes. Via-E Alexis writes in the first person and her entries are like reading a private journal! With Alexis' happy smile beaming out from the photos and the lively persona bouncing off the (e-) page of the journal it's easy to forget that Alexis is still only a doll, well technically a dollfriend. What I love most though is Ali's commitment to enjoying her dolls.

This is Happy Kidz Sophie 2012, by Gotz who arrived about Easter time, hence the bunny. Ali loves animals and has rescued two bunnies, has ten adopted cats and a Pug. I've a feeling that this list might already be outdated!

Gotz Happy Kidz Sophie 2012

"[M]y new goal is to gather a group of dolls that I love to play with and that reflect both who I am and the variety of dolls that are available".
Ali says she's especially interested in contrasting American Girl dolls with similar brands, and this she intends to do on A Doll's Picnic, in time.

To this end Ali shares criteria for other play doll brands that she aims to compare and contrast: first, intended for play, second, at least 16" in height and third, that the doll must be a quality toy made to last. If this sounds like your picnic too, lay out the blanket and start enjoying Ali's beautifully written posts and, do as I do - soak up the Californian sun that shines through each word and image at the same time!

Photos reproduced with Ali's permission.