Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
I'm pleased because this year I took quite a few dolly photos, and I blogged here many times too! Yay! It's lovely to pose and play with a doll collection.
I have so many dolls and sadly some of them have been quite neglected.
Above are two of my American Girl dolls; the one on the left is from Hawaii, when I was there in 2014 and there was a boutique in the main mall in Waikiki, which was only open for 6 months! I happened to be there and spotted it, so I splurged and bought this doll whose # I've since forgotten. But I call her my Hawaii doll and she is still nameless, poor thing.
The doll on the right is one of my favourites; Grace, the GOTY for 2015. She is a beautiful doll with pretty eyes and freckles. I took this photo last year.

This photo is from 2013. These are vintage Chatty Cathy dolls made by Mattel, the same company which now produces the AG dolls. (which I find amusing)
It's fun to incorporate your doll collection into the decorating in your home!
I hope all of you have a peaceful and happy New Year in 2017!

By Loretta Houben

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Chatty Cathy and Barbie.

I took these photos in January 2015.
I have thousands of photos which I'm trying to organize into their correct folders. That may take a while! This is one of my Chatty Cathy dolls; a hard face, blue decal eyed, brunette pigtail doll. Above she is holding my first "Barbie" doll, which is the only kind my Mom would buy for me. I got her on my 5th birthday, and my sister Leona got the same doll, but with white hair. They were purchased at Woolworth's in Vancouver BC. The doll is wearing her original dress with original shoes. Mysteriously I never named my dolls. The dress Chatty is holding was one I got in 1966 for a Christmas gift. The "Teen Fashion" case was 99 cents and it came with my doll.

I've blogged before about my Francie (a 9th birthday gift) and my Stacy (an 8th birthday gift from my aunt Frieda). I still have their original swim suits.

Robert has two of his original toys; a teddy bear and this Kubkar which he made in 1970 when he was in cub Scouts.
It's fun to keep your childhood toys!

By Loretta Houben

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

My Christmas dolls; 1960-1965

I was 6 months old my first Christmas.
My parents bought me a doll as big as I am!
I still have her. She was made by a Canadian doll company which I believe was in Toronto, Ontario; Dee & Cee. They were the ones chosen to make the Chatty Cathy dolls a few years later. Aren't I cute?

My handsome Dad, Jack Williams, and myself.
He always loved Christmas, and enjoyed all my dolls.

A collage from 1961 - 1963.
I didn't appreciate my tricycle until later.
In 1962 I got a soft bodied baby doll and a cute pink cradle.
In 1963 I got a lovely tin kitchen set with pots and pans, dishes, and a pretend turkey.
It was made in West Germany and I loved that set!

One of my favourite dolls was my blonde haired Chatty Cathy doll, made by Dee & Cee in Canada, and by Mattel in the USA. I got her in 1964. The Canadian dolls are marvelously made with glassine eyes and peach limbs which don't fade. My sister Leona got a brunette baby Chatty doll.
We also got a tin house with plastic furniture. 
In 2014 my doll turned 50.

I don't ever remember naming any of my dolls.
Recently I began calling her Catherine.
She still has her original dress and shoes.

In 1965 we had a new baby sister (born in July).
Leona and I got blue doll buggies and diaper bags for our dolls.
We played often with those buggies.
Christmas was always a very happy time in our home!

By Loretta Houben

Monday, December 26, 2016

A white Christmas and an even whiter Boxing Day!

Proof we had a white Christmas!

Mary Ellen got a stocking with a mermaid doll and a little pony.

And she got a TV with a record player!
Today was Boxing Day here in Canada.
It snowed ALL DAY, over 12 hours.
We got 8" of fresh snow on top of our 8" out there.

By Loretta Houben

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Wishing you a merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!
Have a blessed weekend.
From Loretta

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Grace's Christmas adventures.

Mini Grace is my most played with (meaning photographed) mini doll in 2016. I believe I also took more photos of them than the 18" size AG dolls. I also sewed more for them.
Here is mini Grace visiting the nativity scene in my living room.
I purchased the figurines in 1978. They are made in Japan.

I think the poor darlings need warmer clothes.
It snowed here in Vancouver BC on Dec 5 and the snow is still on the ground because it snowed 3 more times after that. We don't usually have a white Christmas.

Another photo of mini Grace by the manger.
Merry Christmas!
By Loretta Houben

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Mary Ellen's new Christmas dress.

Yesterday I decorated the kitchen Christmas tree.
Yes, I have a small one on top of my vintage sewing machine cabinet.
It brightens up the corner behind the table.
For 5 years we had a small white tree in the living room, and when we threw it away last year, I loved the ornaments so much I had to buy a small white tree.

Mary Ellen has a new Christmas dress, which I purchased 20% off last month.
Many collectors have this identical dress but I love it so I had to have it.
It's darling. I would have preferred satin to cotton, though.
I think Mary Ellen is adorable.

Merry Christmas!

By Loretta Houben

Monday, December 19, 2016

My miniature house built in 2001

I finally felt well enough to play with my miniature house yesterday. I dusted it and re-set the scenes and turned on the little lamps. The photos were taken with my iPhone so they're not of the best quality. I made the house in 2001, and crocheted the little table cloth and curtains and the tiny doily underneath the piece of cake. The food was bought in Achen Germany in 2007, and the tea set was from Steveston BC. The tiny Chatty Cathy is an ornament from Hallmark. She has a tiny little string in the back and she really talks!

Here's a closeup of the living room scene with Grandma and Chatty Cathy. I don't remember where I bought Grandma but she's just the right size for tiny Chatty!

The kitchen, next to the living room, is my favourite room! I bought the stove, table and sink from a miniature shop in Steveston BC years ago. We used to have the most exquisite shops here, but now they are long gone, and the things which I loved are no more, but instead all electronics and technical shops which I dislike. Many of the tiny items I bought as a teenager when we traveled to Oregon each summer. I was so happy to put them all in this house which I made from a $15.00 kit in 2001. Aren't the 2 Chatty dolls cute?

Another view of the kitchen. I printed all the wallpaper on my computer. I crocheted the kitchen curtains too, using a miniature pattern book for doll houses.

Here is the bathroom; all bath items from Steveston BC. There's even a toothbrush and toothpaste! I made the tiny towels from a washcloth.

The bedroom, above the kitchen. I didn't add stairs to this house as it would have taken up too much room. The furniture came from Steveston BC, and the other items were collected one at a time. The lovely handmade picture over the bed was given to me as a birthday gift from my Mom 30 years ago. It's such fun to collect miniatures! I made the bedspread and the doll is handmade out of some sort of clay; she was purchased at a wonderful miniature show in Vancouver BC years ago.

And here's the whole miniature house. I enjoyed putting it together all those many years ago. Keeping it dust free is a bit tricky.

By Loretta Houben