Saturday, December 9, 2017

A new retro Our Generation doll!

Today was a lovely, chilly, crisp day with sunshine and blue skies! After my grocery shopping, I headed downtown to drop a DVD off at the library. Then I checked out The Bay to see the OG doll selection, because at Christmas time they have more items.
I noticed that all toys were 20% off!
So I headed towards the dolls, and I spotted the above doll for only $15.50!!!! I thought it was an error as the other OG dolls were $39.99. 
But I took it to the cashier, and lo and behold it rang through as $12.40 Cdn! 
I was simply astounded. I think she's adorable. Her name is Joy, which is my sister Leona's middle name. I love her red hair, and she could easily double as Anne of Green Gables.
So now I have two Retro dolls. It pays to check things out!

By Loretta Houben

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Dolly play...

This was one of my prettiest window scenes, done in 2006. Lately I just don't seem to have the time or the energy for this, sad to say, but I'm trying to get back into it. The dolly groups, facebook pages, blogs and YouTubes are all inspiring me greatly, and I find when I "play" with the dolls, re-arranging them, dressing them up etc, it relaxes me and makes me feel peaceful instead of hyped because of all the evil news I hear on social media. (not just TV anymore) So I am now looking at my doll collection as a Stress Reliever, and therefore very valuable!

by Loretta Houben

Sunday, November 26, 2017


The girls are looking at Black Friday deals both online, and in traditional paper flyers.
Here in Canada this is a fairly new concept, and seems to be going well with the shoppers!
Even I found a few things online that interested me, including a Black Friday sale of 20% off American Girl! And that happened BEFORE Friday!
The cute little flyers were found at 
American Girl Ideas website. CLICK HERE for the link to your own free printables!

This was the ad I received in my email letting me know about the Black Friday sale.

By Loretta Houben

New Maplelea outfits for my 18" dolls.

Recently I received a Maplelea email advertising a great sale. I adore sales! The cute outfit above included the T-shirt, vest, shorts, tights and adorable shoes, all for $15.60 Canadian! It's called "Urban Jungle". Dondi, which I've named my new doll, just loves it.

I also ordered this cute "Signs of Spring" for $14 Canadian! Maplelea is located in Ontario, and ships anywhere in Canada for a flat fee of $9.00. I got the items within one week so I was very pleased.
This outfit has a sleeveless dress, blue belt, cute purse and really nice shoes. The items fit the AG dolls very well. I just love them.

By Loretta Houben

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Another new doll! Meet Truly Me #54!

While doing some much needed fall cleaning, I came across cash I was saving and had forgotten about! Do you ever do that? I like to keep some cash on hand, especially if it was given to me, and then I can spend it when needed without any guilt. I've been suffering from many bad migraines since October 11th, so I felt like I needed to splurge on something nice. And what nicer than a new doll?

I read online that the Truly Me #54 mold would be retired in December, and I had never bought Ivy Ling, (who also had this face mold) the best friend of Julie, so I thought I'd check out the AG Vancouver Boutique while downtown yesterday, after my chiropractor appointment. (so relief of pain is now associated with a new doll purchase!) I noticed that the doll on the shelf had notched eyes, and the doll in the case did not. That really intrigued me, so I asked to see some more dolls.

The shop assistant kindly brought out more, and I chose the one above. A lot of the dolls hair was quite messy which I thought strange. I always take my time choosing a doll, as they are definitely not cheap! I don't have a Truly Me doll yet, and I really like this one. I love her brown eyes! Apparently this doll and Samantha are the only AG dolls with brown decal eyes. The modern outfit she is wearing is very colourful and cute, although a bit skimpy compared to other dolls and their Meet outfits which I've purchased.

She has a print cotton sleeveless dress with a bit of netting on the hem, pink panties, and a very cute turquoise jacket. She also has white glitter shoes, which to me are very modern. The whole skimpy bright outfit suits 2017 to a T! It matches girl's and women's outfits in the stores!
I took these photos last night, so the lighting is a bit dim, but I was quite pleased with #54, who now needs to be named. 

I was also feeling awful as I'd heard news about a family friend who was murdered on Nov 7. I'm so glad I'm alive, and so glad I have the ability and privilege to buy dolls and enjoy them. I don't take anything for granted anymore. It seems weird in a way to be happy about a doll when someone has died such a grizzly death, but what can I do? It was a gun incident in the USA, and you know what I think of guns. (or maybe you don't, but remember that I'm Canadian and I don't own a gun) So there is the horrid dark side of life, and there is the fun playful side. I think there's a fine balance between the two, and each day that I can enjoy the good things I will do so.

By Loretta Houben

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

SPRING PEARL; my newest doll.

Meet Spring Pearl!

She was only $25 Cdn on eBay!
Originally these dolls sold for $54 US from American Girl, from 2002-2005. The designer is Helen Kish.
I love her dolls, and these are well made and now very affordable.

Spring Pearl's outfit is very pretty, with matching shoes. She is holding a small purse.

She looks quite pensive. She has her hair in a bun, with tiny embellishments, and is wearing earrings.
I bought her from a Canadian seller which was a complete joy.

Here is the back of her lovely little head.
She was #3 in the series. She comes with a book.
I'd love to collect all the dolls.
I hadn't bought anything from eBay in ages, so this was a good experience.

By Loretta Houben

Friday, November 3, 2017

Newberry 18" dolls.

You may have heard the awful news that Sears Canada is closing all of its stores. The closest one to us is in Burnaby BC. It was opened in 1954, and my family has shopped there ever since my parents married in 1955. I remember going there each Saturday at 9:30 am, after a big pancake breakfast. 

As a young married couple in 1982, we bought all our furniture there, including our wooden bedroom set made in Canada which we still have. I'm heartbroken.
Sears produced the Newberry 18" doll for a few years.
I'm not sure what has become of this brand now. Apparently they stopped selling them in Fall 2016, but I took these photos at a great 60% off sale on January 21, 2017.
If I'd known Sears was disappearing I would have bought more of them. I did buy two.

I'm glad I took these photos anyhow. I really like the Newberry dolls. I believe I have 3 of them.

Here is a LINK to information I found out about the Newberry dolls today.

This is the doll I bought in January.
She came in a soccer outfit.

I dressed her in a pretty outfit instead. I love her brown eyes. I'll have to give more attention to my Newberry girls, and give them names. 
It's a very sad day when stores that have been here for over 60 years disappear.

By Loretta Houben

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


Halloween 2017 dawned clear and fairly warm for these parts. I gave most of my decorations away this year as I've absolutely run out of room. So the long lived hay bale is now history. But of course I still have the dolls! This year I didn't dress up Chatty Cathy. I only used the American Girl dolls. Nanea is the newest to join in the fun!

Here she is wearing a cute dress bought on eBay.
Grace is wearing a black T-shirt I made, and a dress from Dollarama; it's a child's dress pinned in the back. It was only $4.00 Cdn and I'm sure I could squeeze 2 from it but ran out of time of course. I love the fabric.

Here is my Hawaiian AG doll wearing the 150th Canada outfit from Maplelea, and Yolanda (an OG doll) wearing an outfit from Build a Bear.

And here is Miss Pippa in her Halloween finery!
She was astonished to see 103 trick or treaters come to the door! Some of them came up close to look at my display. The ceramic Jack o Lantern belonged to my Mom and was made in Japan. It still works!

I carved a pumpkin on Halloween afternoon using a free internet pattern of an owl. It turned out quite cute, and it only took 40 minutes total to carve out the innards and carve the design. It's a thing I really enjoy doing!
Robert dressed up for his job, so he wore the mask at night and didn't really scare anyone.

By Loretta Houben

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Miss Pippa's Halloween outfit

Miss Pippa has acquired yet another outfit, crocheted by myself. I've re-discovered the joy and relaxation of fine crochet! This little ensemble has a headband, dress, and orange shoes.

Last week while shopping at Winner's store I discovered a darling set of 8 chairs with 8 skeletons on sale for $2.50 Cdn. I just knew Miss Pippa would love one for her front porch when she has one some day.
She fit in it just fine.

By Loretta Houben

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