Monday, October 9, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Yes, it's that time of year here in Canada.
I love it at this time of the season. It's just perfect!
The weather is great, the flowers are still blooming, the pumpkins are at their peak, and it isn't anywhere near Christmas. 
The only thing lately is that Halloween has appeared to take over in the stores, but that's a money making grab so I try to ignore it. I'm not very fond of gory Halloween decorations. 
My two vintage Chatty Cathy dolls are showing off a sign I made a few years ago, and one of them is wearing a pilgrim dress and hat I made, and sold. I would like to make another to keep, but of course, I haven't yet got around to it!
Today I'm thankful my parents are coming for turkey dinner, and I'm thankful to live in a free country, in Canada, where we can still practice what we believe, and are still free to attend church.

Have a wonderful day!
By Loretta Houben

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Free cowgirl crochet pattern for 18" dolls.

From another blog I follow, Karen Mom of 3, I discovered a link to a FREE crochet pattern for 18" dolls.
Just click on the link above. I love free!

I thought I'd share it on my blog too.
I'd love to try it one day, but don't hold your breath.
I'm still busy crocheting for Miss Pippa.

By Loretta Houben

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Meet Miss Pippa Piggy!

Meet Miss Pippa Piggy!
She is a 7.5" doll by Madame Alexander.
I never knew these dolls existed until recently.
Some of the Chatty Cathy doll collectors joined a new group on Facebook; The Piggy Parlour, and I was invited to join too. I was dubious at first, but lo and behold, the adorable photos of the member's dolls intrigued me, and before I knew it one had arrived at my home.

I raided the doll cabinet and found undies and a dress I'd made for another doll, and shoes from Ginny. The next day I dug out a crochet needle and thread and in one day I created a dress and hat for Pippa. I think it turned out really cute. I also made a little pearl necklace.

This is what she looked like before her metamorphosis.
This photo is from online. The house is cute, but she is houseless. She's the "stick" piggy. There are 3 in the collection.

Here's the whole collection. Apparently the doll company is now sold out of little piggies. 

I would like to create a swimsuit like this for Pippa.

This is Catherine J's collection. These are the large piggies but there's such a frenzy for them now that one sold recently on eBay for nearly $300 US!

This is Karen C's photo. She loves to thrift shop and she finds the most darling items!
So this is my latest doll adventure.
Always something new!

By Loretta Houben

Thursday, September 7, 2017

New things for Josefina Montoya!

While I was in the USA a week ago, I stopped in a thrift store or two. There's a wealth of delightful used goods to buy, and I have developed a beady eye for doll sized items.
I found the above things at Value Village, and a local thrift shop in La Conner. The little dolls look Mexican to me, and are so cute. They appear to be Christmas ornaments as each one as a thread loop on her head.

I really liked this bowl, which was in a package with a bracelet for $2.99. I'm giving the bracelet away to charity, as it doesn't fit me. But the bowl is delightful! The beads are hand glued in a gourd. I just love it!

This little manger set is hand made in Guatemala. The tiny angel's head was broken off, but for only $1.50 I knew I couldn't lose, and I easily fixed it with some white glue.

The little set is darling. I thought these were great things for poor neglected Josefina!

By Loretta Houben

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

A new dress and shoes for Josephina!

Josephina finally has a change of dress!
I recently ordered this online from the US American Girl store. It was $16 US on sale, including 2 red ribbons for her hair, and a ribbon sash, top, skirt and gorgeous shoes.
I really like this outfit, and am glad I bought it.
Josephina has been neglected but I'm hoping to change that. On our recent trip to Seattle, I found a few things suitable for her at thrift stores. I'll add photos later.

By Loretta Houben

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Lea's mini jungle hut craft.

(originally posted Jan 23, 2016 on my other blog) don't you wish you were here, in a jungle hut?
I had such fun creating this today!
I woke with a migraine at 4 am so I had to take it easy today. Yes, crafting is taking it easy! It's such fun and so relaxing. I got this idea from Doll Diaries online.
Karen Owen came up with the idea of using a Dollarama store basket.

I found the same basket and so I started with the same idea, but added different things. I made the loft using bamboo skewers, and added a felt layer and made felt pillows sewed together and stuffed with cotton puffs. I cut out felt flowers without using a pattern and used quick drying glue to attach them.

The hammock was made with a piece of burlap tied with string to two posts which I wedged underneath the skewers. I think it turned out really cute. The rug is also felt.

The table and stool are simply a paper towel roll covered in felt. I added the tops using a piece of cut out cardboard.

Lea fits nicely in the loft or the hammock.
With frogs and fresh fruit at hand, she will have lots of fun in the jungle. She just has to watch out for snakes!

By Loretta Houben

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A brand new American Girl doll!

Hubby and I went on a roadtrip to Seattle WA 
August 26 to 28th, 2017. We hadn't been there for a while and he suggested it, so I went along for the ride. LOL! Of course we checked out Nanea Mitchell, the new AG 1941 doll just released. We missed the special event, but they didn't give out any freebies. 

I was interested to see her in person. She is very cute, with a different face mold, and different eyes. 
I really liked all of her clothes and accessories.

Here she is in her meet outfit with her little shopping bag which is reversible. 

This is her pretty school dress and shoes, which also comes with a hair clip with her name on it, and a special pin with Remember Pearl Harbor on it and a small pearl. She has a cute shop but it was nearly $300 US so of course I didn't buy it.

I didn't buy this outfit either, although I wanted the ukulele but it was sold out!

The bathing suit and fishing set.

I loved the PJ's so I did buy them.

Her Hawaiian dress.

Nanea, the one I bought, at the Best Western in Alderwood, where we spent 2 nights.

I must be nutty to buy yet another AG doll, but I really enjoy my collection. They make me smile.

Here she is, all ready for bed!

We spent some time by Lake Washington nearby. This is a very lovely spot in the world. I'm so glad I live on the West Coast of NA. I can visit whenever I like.

This is tradition; taking a photo of me outside the AG store with my purchases. Our Canadian dollar is still not doing too well, but Robert did get a great rate through Coast Capital, so it wasn't too bad.
But I had to control my spending, as I haven't sewed anything and sold it in a very long time.
We had a lovely get-a-way.

By Loretta Houben

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A summer day at the PNE!

Saturday, August 19, 2017, Alika, my AG doll I purchased in Hawaii in 2014, before I ever knew there would be a Hawaiian doll produced one day, came with me to the PNE, the Pacific National Exhibition. It's been here since 1910 which is an extremely long time for Vancouver! 

Saturday was opening day, and the fair lasts for 2 weeks. It used to be an agricultural fair, but now there is only one large barn full of 4H animals, and that's only for the 1st weekend. There used to be flower buildings, food buildings, craft displays, etc but now it's quite boring actually, unless you enjoy wild rides in Playland! But there are still a few good things left to look at, including the Superdog show, where Alika found a new friend to bring home. (see photo at top) She also found 2 rides that she enjoyed near the cute pig racing section.

The wild pig ride for only 1 loonie! ($1.00)

The rides are in the large old barn. The last time we were here there was a terrific rain and wind storm and everyone had to leave the PNE! Saturday was a lovely hot day so all was well.

Besides eating a corn dog, coffee, popcorn, ice-cream, pulled pork sandwich and fudge, we watched the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) ride the beautiful horses in a stunning 1/2 hour musical show, full of galloping and intricate patterns. It was a lovely sight to see!

I tried to find lots of places to take a good photo, but it's a little tricky holding an 18" doll! I'm really used to taking photos in public so it doesn't bother me if people stare. Only one person inquired about my lovely doll. She didn't know there was an American Girl boutique downtown, and she hadn't heard of Maplelea! That's where I got the lovely 150th T-shirt and skirt set.

This is near Playland. Once long ago in 1981, I rode the old wooden roller coaster with my boyfriend, Robert. I thought I'd die and haven't been on it since, but thanks to a story I wrote about it for a PNE competition in 2002, I won free passes for my whole family, including ride passes, and VIP treatment for one day! I'll never forget that excitement!

Alika, near the far corner of the PNE, where the lumber men used to display their stunts, cutting wood (I have a small wooden chair made by one of them, suitable for dolly size) race to the top of a tall pole, and try to stay afloat on a log in water. I still miss that part of the PNE.

I have many happy memories of the PNE.
I'll close with this darling photo of a mama pig and some of her litter. Aren't they darling?

By Loretta Houben

Monday, August 21, 2017

Aug 21: solar eclipse!

Today we had a partial solar eclipse.
The last one I lived through was way back in 1979!
I even recorded it in my journal, and I said the next one would be in 2017. That date surely looked weird back then!

Today was a sunny day, so I sat outside for the eclipse, with my Hawaiian AG doll bought in Dec 2014 when we visited Honolulu and there was a pop up AG store. Of course, I never knew that there would be a new Hawaiian doll released this year.
I didn't have special glasses so I simply observed that everything seemed murky instead of bright. We only had an 87% totality, so nothing extraordinary occurred. Oh well...the next one is in 2042 I believe.

By Loretta Houben

Saturday, August 19, 2017

A package has arrived!

Look! A package has arrived!
We hardly ever get packages!

AG had a marvelous online sale recently.
They probably have a lot of them, but in this house we have limited funds. So when this package arrived, Tenney and Mary Ellen were thrilled. The plaid dress is so cute with diamond buttons and a brown belt, and cute boots. The white dress was for Lea, a GOTY doll for 2015. It's very pretty, with a bead hairband and gold sandals.

Then there was even a lovely new dress for poor neglected Josephina, with ribbons and darling shoes.

And two cute AG shirts with Vancouver on them, for the low price of $4.00 each! Of course this is US funds but I couldn't resist this, and it really cheered us all up, during this dark week in history. (August 14-18/17)
I won't speak of world events on this doll blog, but things are quite bleak out there. Whenever this happens, and it's been very regular lately, I turn more and more to doll play.

By Loretta Houben

Friday, August 4, 2017

Summertime fun!

Long ago when I began to collect Chatty Cathy vintage dolls, I enjoyed setting up scenes for them. Here is a back yard scene using a child's pool filled with a few inches of water, and some cute props.

Tiny Chatty baby is deciding which fruit to try.
The umbrella and towel came from the Build a Bear shop at Metrotown. These are all vintage dolls.

I bought the pool at a $ store. They don't seem to be made anymore, as I can no longer find them. The doll on the left is a JC Penny reproduction doll from 1998. The doll on the right is vintage, wearing a vintage swim suit from old stock doll wear on eBay.

Here two of the Chatty dolls take a break in the shade and read a CC newsletter I purchased on eBay. The little trike is a reproduction.

By Loretta Houben