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

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Vintage Japanese made mini kitchen set for American Girl mini dolls!

Some time ago I bought this cute little vintage set made in Japan. I can't remember where I got it, but I found it in Robert's office closet, and polished it up and it suits little Emily just fine!

There was even a cute vintage toaster just Emily's size! 
Now it needs toast...

And there were things for breakfast; milk, coffee and bananas! Now we need to build a kitchen. I think I'll create it out of foam board.
By Loretta Houben

Thursday, September 15, 2016

"It Seams Perfect!" by Our Generation: sewing set

I had to take it easy yesterday, so I wrestled with the Our Generation sewing machine set and got it open. These things are not easy! It takes great skill. This is the set I ordered online as there was FREE shipping over $60. This is a Very Cute Set indeed. I'm so glad I ordered it; it's adorable and very well made. The only odd thing is the dress form; the top part balances but doesn't actually snap together with the bottom part, so if you nudge it, it will fall off! Very odd indeed.

The OG sewing set has the cutest accessories! I think I actually like them better than AG sets I've seen recently. Whoever designs for OG is a genius! There is an actual dress pattern made out of tissue paper, and a bolt of fabric so dolly can cut and sew her own dress!

The OG sewing accessories.

OG is designed by Battat in Montreal, Quebec, Canada!
But of course, made in China. That's why I'm so happy that the OG products are now being sold here in Canada.
By Loretta Houben

Miniature printables from a Dutch blog:

My latest passion is discovering miniature blogs with FREE printables. I usually find them on Pinterest.
These adorable printables were found at MINIDESIGN.
Go and check it out!

This is a cute idea for the inside of a bottle cap.
Most of the items used in the blog are household items you'd ordinarily throw away.

There are many cute ideas for children's rooms.
I think some of them are the right size for the mini American Girl dolls, or could be adapted.
The blog is from 2012 - 2014.
By Loretta Houben

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

My Maplelea doll, Leonie.

This photo was taken in December 2013, when we had a few inches of snow. We've had quite a lot of snow over the years since we moved to this house in 1994. The snow has been quite deep at times. I had recently purchased the amazing well made in Canada toboggan so I had to take a picture. It took me all of yesterday afternoon to find it! I have thousands of doll photos. Now when I find one, I date it and file it in a special file folder for that particular brand of dolls!
Leonie is a Maplelea doll from Canada, sold only in Canada at their website. I found her for only $15 (regular she is $99.99) at a local thrift store. If you keep your eyes open, it's positively amazing what you can find in thrift stores.
The dolls are very well made. The only thing I don't like is their eyes stay open, and look like they're staring, but in person they are cute; they just aren't too photogenic.
Sienna is an Our Generation doll, and she is dressed in an OG outfit appropriate for the snow. OG is also a Canadian company!

Maplelea designs the cutest outfits, and ships all packages for only $9 Cdn to anywhere in Canada! This is the cutest outfit, and so Canadian! The snowman is a Hallmark item, and is great for doll prop photos.
By Loretta Houben

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Maplelea Dolls from Canada!

Yesterday along with the surprise package from Texas in my mailbox, I got the Maplelea Doll catalogue. I love this catalogue! My friend in Toronto Ontario, Sarah Jean, introduced me to these dolls a few years ago. I also won Jenna in a doll contest online, but traded her to Sarah Jean for two Bleuette dolls.
The stuffed animals above are a set, $30 Cdn.
The goat's name is The Empress, and the two sheep are Kam and Loops. Tee hee...if you live in beautiful British Columbia you will recognize the joke.

This pretty tablecloth and porcelain tea set for 18" dolls is only $25. I'm tempted to buy it, but I already have so many doll size tea sets. But it's such a good price! Best of all, shipping to anywhere in Canada is only $9!

And this new set is a curling set, very Canadian indeed!  I'm also tempted to buy it!

Charlsea is a doll from the West Coast, and is $99.99 Cdn.
I think Maplelea items are very well made, and a terrific price compared to the American Girl dolls. Each doll comes with a journal, and each of the sets of clothes comes with journal pages to add to the journal. The doll boxes are very sturdy and nice.
The only doll I have so far is Leonie which I found for only $15 at a thrift store a few years ago!

If you'd like to check out the dolls and accessories online, please visit Enjoy! All photos are by Maplelea.
By Loretta Houben

Monday, September 12, 2016

We won a prize!!!

Yolanda is very excited!
She had the most fall-like outfit on, so she was chosen once again to model a dolly item. It had just arrived in the mail box, all the way from Texas. Another doll lover, Emily, has an adorable doll blog in which she shows photos of the adventures of the dolls which live with her. Last month she had a give-a-way contest, so of course I entered. You can't win if you DON'T enter, can you?
But all the same I was astonished when Emily posted the winners:

I had chosen the adorable little tan bag with the emblem for Texas on it, as my maternal grandparents and great grandparents lived in Taylor Texas for a time before moving to Amity Oregon.
One of these days I wish to visit Taylor so I take this as a sign that my dream will come true!
Emily has the cutest blog with the most well dressed dolls you've ever seen. Please pay her a visit!
Thank you so much, Emily.
Yolanda and I are delighted with your embroidery and sewing skills. And it's so lovely to get a package in the mail all the way from Texas!
By Loretta Houben

Monday, September 5, 2016

Labour Day and a New Project Idea!

Here is the perfect project for a rainy and chilly Labour Day!
It was found at this marvelous BLOG.
I had to post it here as I really want to re-create this room.
All the directions for all these items are given at the link above.
The writer and creator is a genius!

Directions are even given for the couch, coffee table, lamps and end table. Don't you just love it?

I think my sister in law would love the tiny magazines and scrapbooks. She once had the cutest miniature house which she made, but she gave it away when she moved to Barriere BC.

The room above starts out quite neat, as all craft rooms do.
But when a person works on projects, slowly the room fills up with delightful clutter. Just perfect for Labour Day!

I love it when all the work has been done for me.
I'll try to work on the project this week and see how far I can get.
All credit and images go to Joann Swanson, author of the exquisite blog post!
By Loretta Houben

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Mini dolls and miniatures...

Today, September 3, I had fun!
First I shopped at the local Michael's craft store on Marine Drive, about 15 minutes from our home. This is a very large store. My hubby was on the hunt for glue to repair an item of his.
He got it for 1/2 price due to Michael's online coupons.
Cell phones are handy devices!
I also used a 1/2 price coupon to purchase a set of mini pencils for Grace. They are the perfect size for her.

The above photo was borrowed from this BLOG.
I found it accidentally by clicking on something on Pinterest.
Aren't the items darling?
I'm putting the link here as I'd love to create these for the mini AG dolls. 

Here is a snippet of the printouts provided.
The instructions and everything else is included in the blog link above.
I got something else for Grace today, that was so exciting it needs it's own separate blog post!
By Loretta Houben