Monday, June 26, 2017


Last evening hubby and I headed for Stanley Park.
We went to Third Beach, our favourite place to have a picnic. We packed tuna salad croissants, chips, fresh black cherries, fresh BC strawberries, cookies and Oh Henry chocolate bars. Mmm....

While there I set up Mary Ellen in her new bathing suit. After playing in the sand with her new flamingo sand pail, she had her own little picnic. She indulged in a McDonald's Big Mac with fries, lemonade, a fruit tart, and a butterfly cookie. We decided to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday a few days early. The beach was very busy, but I think it will be worse on July 1st!

By Loretta Houben

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mary Ellen's new outfit for summer!

Today I had occasion to travel downtown on an errand, and I was near the American Girl doll boutique. I can never pass up a chance to stop in, and I had money burning a hole in my pocket. My parents gave me a generous cash gift for my birthday last week. I've had my eye on Mary Ellen's flamingo bathing suit ensemble ever since it came out. 

It costs $42 Canadian plus tax, so it isn't cheap, but you get 5 pieces for that cost. I think it's one of the cutest things ever made! I'm very partial to Mary Ellen and she now has quite a wardrobe. 

Besides the darling flamingo print bathing suit, which is smocked in the back and fits very well, there is a pair of cute sunglasses, a pink hair ribbon, and the CUTEST flamingo sand pail!

There's also an adorable pair of sandals. I just love it all!

Now Mary Ellen needs to find a pool and a cold drink and she will be all set for the hot weekend ahead!

By Loretta Houben

Monday, June 19, 2017

Hummel pictures in the doll room.

A few months ago I bought these darling hand stitched prints at a local thrift store. They were in old ratty frames, but I quickly removed them and transferred them to Dollarama store frames. (only $2 each)
Then they sat for a while in a pile, waiting to be put up.
I had just the right spot for them near the window beside the closet.
It takes me ages to get a project done lately, and I don't know why. I'm very pleased once it's done!
I think the pictures look perfect.
I love Hummel prints.

By Loretta Houben

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Mini Grace in London, England

Our 2nd day in London we visited the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood at Bethnal Green. It was moved here in 1872 from South Kensington. It's a lovely museum with 2 floors of beautifully displayed toys through the centuries. 
Grace was delighted with the doll house and miniature displays.

Grace had never before seen such a neat miniature butcher shop, and neither had I!

Another doll house. One could spend hours staring at all the miniatures.

A view of the museum in 1872.

A view of the museum in 2017!
There is a cafe on the bottom floor and a gift shop.
All museums in London are FREE and this one is well worth the visit.

By Loretta Houben

Mini Grace visits Europe!

Mini Grace was the lucky one chosen to come along with me when I recently paid a visit to Europe from May 17 - June 2, to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary.
It's a little difficult getting a mini doll to come out clear in photos, because you really need 3 hands! So hubby often helped. The pic above shows Grace in the evening on May 25 in a lane we walked down after supper in Oxford. I really wish we had stayed more than one night here, as by the time we came from Dublin on a 2 hour ferry, and then all the way to Oxford by train, it was 4 pm! It was very warm that evening.

One of the highlights of Paris was visiting the Musee de la Poupee down a quiet back lane in the middle of the bustling city. It felt very calm and safe there. It was enjoyable. It cost 8 euros each; not bad. All the 4 rooms of doll displays were very lovely. The museum will be permanently closing on Sept 15, 2017, so I'm glad we got to see it.

We checked out the beautiful but too expensive Layfeyette Galleries in Paris. Grace remembered to wear her Paris dress.

Here is Grace on a bicycle just her size in a very nice shop in Maastricht, Netherlands. Grace does get around!
I'll upload more photos in another post.

By Loretta Houben

Friday, May 12, 2017

Blue Chatty Cathy dresses.

I haven't posted on this blog in ages.
You can blame it on "life"!
My Dad has been quite ill with kidney stones, so I was distracted for a while with that process.
He's doing better now so it's back to the dolls!
In one of my Facebook groups for Chatty Cathy, there is a photo op for dolls in blue dresses. I found this one above from 2004, when I used to sew a lot for the dolls.
I made these two dresses. I sold them at a retreat I attended in El Paso, Texas that June.

Here is my original Chatty Cathy doll I got in 1964.
I still have her. She's the star of my collection!
She is wearing a robins egg blue Canadian dress, which I got from a guy at my Dad's work; his little girl gave away her toys when she was finished, so my Dad would bring home large boxes of stuff which we just loved.
I had this dress for a long time before I realized what exactly it was! It's actually quite valuable.
I don't have the Canadian apron though.
The stroller was a 5th birthday present in 1965.
All my toys are now antiques.

By Loretta Houben

Monday, April 17, 2017

A spring garden party!

Today was spring cleaning in one corner of the bedroom. Ever since last fall the camper had been stored away. Today it was time to get it out again, as Spring is here. And dolls are able to camp in the rain, so I dusted it off and set it up.

Here are my two Heart for Hearts dolls which have never been played with. They took over the camper and love it! I opened the Our Generation garden party set I'd bought last fall. It has butterfly cookies! There was a butterfly flag from last summer, and a few little butterflies.

My husband and I visited the Victoria Butterfly Gardens on April 3 this year, on our 35th anniversary. I absolutely loved that place! Here is one of the beautiful butterflies I saw.

It was fun to set up a doll adventure on a corner of the window seat in our bedroom; I hope to change the display each month.

By Loretta Houben