Friday, October 21, 2016

Halloween Collage.

I've been a member of Picmonkey, a photo program, for a few years now. I pay around $32 US per year to use the Royal program which has more features. I absolutely love it! It's simple and easy to use, but there are many features I haven't tried yet, so there is a lot of content in the program for professionals to enjoy too.

Today, October 21, I received an email from Picmonkey announcing new templates. So I immediately tried it out, and created the above. It was really fun to do and I did it in around 10 minutes.
I used a photo from 2014. For quite a few years I've decorated our windows with dolls, using Chatty Cathy and American Girl, with many props.
I won't be doing it this year, as the candy is so expensive, and all the neighbourhood children are long gone. Car loads of children drive in from all over, but they don't live here, so why should I hand out candy to them? I'm a complete stranger! Plus my hubby will be at his Taekwondo class so it's too creepy to do it on my own. A lot of the "children" are tall teens, bigger than I am! Halloween isn't what it used to be.

By Loretta Houben

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A few 18" dolly items....

If you keep your dolly eyes open, it's really quite amazing what you can find while on vacation, or in the local dollar stores.
I bought the above hand made jar in a pottery in Medicine Hat Alberta while driving through the prairies this past summer in August. It was more expensive than the $ store of course, but I wanted a souvenir. 

I have two Dollar Tree stores fairly close to me now.
I spotted this darling jar candle, similar to ones that my hubby used to buy me when he was on business trips. It's made in the USA and was only $1.25!

I spotted these darling plastic containers (full of push pins) at my local Walmart store! I immediately knew they'd be great for cookies or candy. Now I have to try my hand at making a few out of polymer clay!

By Loretta Houben

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Daiso, a Japanese store in Vancouver BC.

I visited Daiso, a Japanese $ store in Vancouver BC last week. I use my dolly eyes now to spot items for the mini dolls which are my newest craze! I bought 3 packages of erasers in the shape of food which I'd never seen before. Here are my two newest Lori mini dolls with their delicious meal. I should have labeled it "Japanese take out" and not Chinese!

I love the Daiso store. For years I only knew of one in Richmond near YVR airport, and that is a long drive. Recently I discovered one in Chinatown and that's easy for me to get to. I visit it about once every 2 months. There are thousands of items in that store. I love the stationary department as I use the binders for genealogy research. 
Last week I found the food and couldn't resist it. One package had 3 bowls with lids and noodles inside; so cute! And only $2 Cdn.
The other 2 packages had a tray of food, with a small mug and chopsticks. I just had to get them. They were also $2 Cdn each.
By Loretta Houben

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Our Generation at The Bay

Ah, the fun of discovering a whole new toy section you didn't even know existed! After shopping in New Westminster briefly today, I decided to stay on the Skytrain and I went downtown to Vancouver in order to see the beautiful fall scenery along the way. I got off at Granville Station and headed through The Bay.

The lower floor had CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS already put up. I think this is simply ridiculous, as summer was one week ago.
So I ignored that section, and headed to the escalator but noticed that the Christmas display was cut in half from other years. In the other half was a gigantic toy display. I could see 18" dolls in the far distance so headed there. I was astonished to see a huge collection of Our Generation dolls, clothes and accessories, including horses, the diner, the camper and car, the ice cream truck and the kitchen set! Just amazing. I took lots of photos. 

I think the above sets is one of the cutest ever. It's a gardening set with a wheel barrow and gardening tools. I may have to go back and get it! It was $34.99 Cdn.

I did buy this set; the garden party.
I can't help it; I love parties and food and lemonade!
It was $24.99 Cdn and there were only 2 sets left.

I really liked this doll. Her name is June.
She is $39.99 Cdn, a much cheaper price than $154 for an American Girl doll, which is what I paid for Addy in April!
I'm quite pleased I found this today.
Of course, one can never be too sure how long it will last...
By Loretta Houben

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Collecting Chatty Cathy dolls...and using them in scenes.

2004 was the year I began sewing for Chatty Cathy. 2003 was the year I began collecting her. I discovered vintage CC's on eBay and was thrilled. Interestingly, each Chatty doll is different; no two seem to be alike! So I have many of them in my closets and rooms. The one in these photos is a simple prototype with blue eyes and blond hair. I made her a Pilgrim outfit as my Mom is American, so I'm actually dual but never took out citizenship as I wish to remain 100% Canadian. I used a filter for the second shot so it looks vintage.

 This was the first time I used Chatty Cathy in a scene!
Our Canadian Thanksgiving Day is the second Monday in October, so that's only two weeks from now.
Every Pilgrim outfit which I ever made I sold, so I still don't own one for myself.
By Loretta Houben

Friday, September 23, 2016

How to make socks for Chatty Cathy.

Back in 2013 a friend posted pictures of how to make a pair of socks for the Chatty Cathy doll. I can't remember her name! But I saved the pictures and thought I should post them here so I can find them again, as my files are getting way too large.
First purchase a pair of adult size socks. This will make 4 pairs of doll size!

Cut the socks in half, cutting out the heel.

Take one of the tops and cut in half. Each piece will be a sock.

Fold each piece in half to the desired length. Cut the toe area in a rounded shape.

Sew close to the raw edges.

Turn the socks to the right side and put on your Chatty Cathy.
Repeat steps with all the other pieces. With the bottom toe pieces you will have to hem the top edge before you sew up the side raw edges.
These are NOT my photos. If I remember who took them, I'll add the name here. Aren't the socks CUTE?
Have fun!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Target store in Burnaby BC, and Our Generation brand.

It was only 3 years ago on November 20, 2013 that Target Stores opened in Canada. This is my local one at Metrotown in Burnaby BC. Long ago in the 1990's it was Woodward's, a Canadian store which went bankrupt in 1993. I still miss that store!
Afterwards, Zeller's was in this spot, until it closed in March 2013. 
Zeller's was a good store until the last five years, when it went downhill with cheap goods. But I still miss it! 

I hurried to Target on this day, but there weren't any crowds. I was never very fond of their fashions or their prices although many others were, including my sister in the USA. But the Target stores in America are quite different from what we got, as everyone soon discovered.
The above photos were taken by myself showing the red balls (which are still there) and the new doors and new facade. 

I never ever expected Target to close all 133 stores in Canada in less than two years! It was a total shock. But one of my mottoes in life is: enjoy each day and live it to the full! So every time I visited Metrotown, I'd go and look at the toy section, especially the Our Generation dolls. On Nov 20/13 I bought Sienna, a travel set and a dog. I'm glad I did. Little did I know my time was limited.

I think Sienna is very pretty. She has lovely brunette hair and brown eyes. The travel set is very cute indeed. 
I didn't really have a chance to purchase many other OG items as my doll funds were rather limited during the short time Target was here. But I enjoyed what I did get, and now it seems like some hazy dream that I once walked the aisles of Target. The huge store sits completely empty now. What a waste!
By Loretta Houben