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

Friday, March 31, 2017

1989 Pleasant Company doll catalogue

I have this catalogue.
My aunt, Pat Brutke, sent it to me years ago as she thought I'd love the dolls. I did; I fell in love with
Samantha Parkington and loved her and her clothes. However at the time she and the 3 other dolls were $80 US each and I couldn't afford it. 
Pleasant Company was owned by Rowland Pleasant, and she had an idea to produce a series of historical dolls with a book collection telling their stories.
I love this original idea. She sold the company to Mattel and since then it really took off with many dolls being produced, but then recently the historical dolls began to be retired. I think Samantha was the first to go, but fortunately I bought her in 2006. My dream finally came true.
Anyhow, the catalogue is now worth this price, which is around $91 Cdn! Maybe I should sell it. What do you think?

By Loretta Houben

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Miniature kitchen sink for mini dolls.

I found the above image on Pinterest.
Most of the images don't take you to any links, except ones that sometimes get me in trouble because they are rigged. So I don't know who created it.
But I'm putting it here on my blog in order to try to make a similar version of it out of foam board, for my mini dolls.

Then I found the above on FB and it's on a really neat BLOG.
Please click the link to discover how to create a farmhouse sink out of polymer clay.
This also really intrigues me.

By Loretta Houben

Friday, March 10, 2017

Mattel doll line in 2017.

Mattel produces the American Girl line.
Apparently they are in deep trouble.
Here is a new group of dolls coming out in 2017.
I purchased Tenney already; I couldn't help myself.
She is beautiful in person.
I'm very tempted to purchase the Hawaiian doll on the left.
Even though I did purchase one of my own choosing when I visited Honolulu in Dec 2014!
To read about why Mattel is in such financial trouble, please CLICK HERE.
It's a newsletter by Lee and Pearl, an 18" doll company pattern duo. It's very interesting. And quite sad.

By Loretta Houben

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Making candy for the doll's coffee shop!

It's March, and time for the wearing of the green!
I quickly set up Grace's bistro set, and added 2 small green cups from Dollarama, and 2 coffee cups which I also found there! The little donuts are from the Newberry coffee shop.
The little hats are also from Dollarama. The elastic needs to be shortened.

I got ambitious and I made some dolly candy.
This is my first attempt!
Someone had used Valentine beads recently online, so I tried shamrock beads. They come in a large pack.
The sticks are candy sticks from Michaels which I cut in half for the correct length. Then I put them in a row of 8 on a piece of sticky tape, and carefully layered a 2nd piece on top. Fortunately it worked out well the first try!
I even added a piece of the cardboard from the bead bag.

I think they turned out great!

By Loretta Houben

Monday, March 6, 2017

Crafting fun!

Crafting doll items is just as fun as collecting doll items!
American Girl Ideas is a great place to visit.
Recently Rudy posted a darling craft to make; a Build a Bear box in 18" doll size with a certificate.
I couldn't resist and printed it off immediately and made it today. 
I had the perfect little bear too, the one I gave hubby with his chocolate rose for Valentine's. He in turn said to use it for the dolls. So here it is!
Now to name him....maybe Charlie.

By Loretta Houben

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Tenney Grant, American Girl doll for February 2017!

On Saturday, February 18, 2017 I visited the American Girl doll boutique on Granville St in Vancouver BC. I had just had my back adjusted a few blocks away, so after a cup of coffee to revive me, Robert brought me to the store. I had received an email letting me know about a special function happening with the chance of winning a raffle draw for one of three Tenney Grant dolls! Who could pass that up. I didn't actually know about the raffle until I got to the store. The draw was done at noon. No, I didn't win!

I did purchase Tenney, the new doll released a few days ago. I'm not sure why AG did this so soon after the DOTY, Gabriella, who was stuck way off in a corner and you could hardly see her. I used Robert's Christmas gift card for Tenney. I'm glad I saved it. Tenney really struck me. I just love her hair and her brown eyes and her cute freckles. Plus she has a different hand mold in order to hold her banjo, which I also bought, and her guitar.

The first boy doll was also released; Logan Everett.
Both Tenney and Logan are part of a musical band.
Logan has a drum set. Well, he sure didn't speak to me, so he was left on the shelf. The dolls are $149 Cdn plus tax, so I need pretty shoes and a pretty dress for that amount of money! He also looks very solemn.

There were quite a few young girls milling around later.
When I got there at 10:30 the store was empty. I had to wait until noon to see if I had won. Robert went off to do other things for a while. I browsed to my heart's content!

I need to add a photo of my Tenney in her concert outfit which I also bought. Plus each person was given a Tenney 
T-shirt for their doll as a give-a-way gift. It was a lot of fun!

By Loretta Houben

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Asian dolls....

During today's blizzard, in which we couldn't get out of our garage to go to church (wheels spun on ice) I cleared off a space on top of my fabric cabinet, to set up two dolls.
The one on the left is my recent Newberry doll which I've named Victoria. The other is a doll from the Disney store; I bought her a few years ago and she has much smaller eyes than the ones which are available now. I like her better.
You will notice a Valentine (from Build a Bear store) and a cute rooster which actually crows when you press his stomach. (from Walmart) It's the Year of the Rooster for 2017. My Mom was born in 1933, and my MIL Ruth was born in 1921; both rooster gals.

Recently I visited Yokoyaya, a Japanese dollar store downtown, and I bought the tiny Japanese dolls, 3 for $2.00. Most of the items are $2 each. It's a fun store to visit! I usually go once every 2 months. 
I think Grace needs a new dress....

By Loretta Houben

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

FEBRUARY: a new month and a GIFT for you!

It's a new month.
One of my favourites as our son was born on the 9th, and Valentine's Day takes place.
I love hearts!
I used Picmonkey program (I subscribe yearly) to create these little Valentines for your 18" dolls.
I made 12 Valentine cards for family and friends today, and I used some of these to embellish them with.
Have fun! I'd LOVE to see a picture of your dolls with them if you do print them out and use them.

By Loretta Houben

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Newberry Soccer Doll

Here is the Newberry 18" doll with the lid off the box.
These dolls are quite easy to get out. Just a few snips and the thread is broken.

She is set up, read to play in her cute outfit.
The set came with a net, water bottle and ball plus the outfit.
It was only $19.99 C on sale! I really like this doll. I think she is my favourite out of all my Newberry dolls to date.
Her features remind a little of the latest Victoria movie on PBS! I might name her Victoria.

I also bought this pretty dress with black shoes for $8.99 C.
She looks really pretty in it.

Here are 2 close ups of her pretty face.

The back of her head is startling!
I think it was put together like this for shipping.
I need to comb it out as soon as I find the brush.
All in all, I'm very pleased with this doll.

By Loretta Houben

Saturday, January 21, 2017

My new dolls in 2017!

It's only January 21 but so far I've purchased 3 dolls this year. I couldn't help it. Today I was at Sears at Metrotown in Burnaby and I noticed a 60% off sign way in the distance on a group of dolls. Normally I don't go to the 2nd floor at Sears but I was looking for something else, so I'm glad I did go. The above doll named Allie was marked down from $29.99 to only $11.99! Her outfit alone is worth that amount. She is very cute and I love the Newberry quality.

I couldn't decide between these 2 dolls so I bought both. This one came with a soccer net, ball, water bottle, jacket and her outfit plus her soccer shoes for only $19.99, marked down from $49.99! She looks very pretty but I haven't taken her out of the box yet.

I bought this cute doll when I was downtown the other day, at Winner's. She was $16.95 and she is 7 3/4" tall. Apparently these dolls, made by Madame Alexander, are no longer made. I think she is very cute, but it looked like her knees and arms could bend and they can't. Nothing budged when I tried, so that's a disappointment.

I'm still having fun playing with my mini dolls, and thought I'd show the gingerbread houses I made out of paper. If you Google mini food items it's amazing what will pop up! I did this around Christmas time, but didn't take a photo until now.

The little heart cake was bought for $3.99 C at Michael's using a 40% off coupon. It was in the miniature section.

Our snow is nearly all melted, and today it was 10 C so spring feels like it's just around the corner!
By Loretta Houben

Monday, January 16, 2017

Miniature house blog....

Every once in a while I find a delightful blog, and I have to share it here. This one has beautiful handmade miniature houses, and it has easy tutorials for making miniature furniture.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Mini American Girl props

After our chiropractor appointment yesterday my hubby asked if I'd like to stop at Chapter's book store on Broadway. Would I? Tee hee...anytime he asks I'll always say yes!
I looked at the new Gabriela AG doll of the year, and took a few photos but her costume doesn't appeal to me and I don't like her face mold, so I don't think I'll be buying her. Now Grace on the other hand really appealed to me when I saw her the first time. But of course I much prefer baking to dancing any day!
I looked in the Lori department and did find something to buy. A darling mini patio set for the mini dolls. For $20 Cdn this is a really good deal; 9 pieces! A lounge chair with detachable umbrella, 2 chairs, 1 table, 1 tray and 2 glasses of iced tea with 1 pitcher. It's just so cute.
I set it up on my desk, and now we're waiting for those warm sunny days.
By Loretta Houben 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Valentine's Day dresses.

Ten years ago, in 2007, I made these dresses to sell on eBay. I was never a prolific seamstress, but I used to do well with all the things I made. It seemed that there were more hours in the day back then! When you keep busy you seem to get way more done. I can't quite explain it!

Ten years ago, pretty fabric was easier to find, and eBay fees were reasonable. Now everything is much more difficult, and our Canadian $ is not doing well. 

It's nice to look back at my old photos and remember all the fun times I had funding my doll hobby.

By Loretta Houben

Monday, January 9, 2017

Slumber party and a Valentine's Party.

I began collecting vintage Chatty Cathy dolls in 2003, and in 2004 I began to collect props for them. The addiction hasn't slowed down! Above I used a jewelry box for a chest of drawers, an Ikea lamp, and a darling bunk bed which was a Christmas gift in 1970. My sister Leona and I shared the bed and had many hours of fun. The Chatty dolls fit if they don't really lay down. Chatty baby fits fine. I made the nightgown and hat, and the other clothes are vintage 1960's.

This was the first time I decorated for Valentine's Day. I've always set up the doll scenes on my bedroom windowsill. At the moment it's way too crowded and needs to be weeded out again. The table above was purchased at Michael's craft store. I made the red doily which serves as a rug. The stove is vintage from the late 1950's. A friend of the family gave it to us years ago.
It's a lot of fun setting up the dolls and re-arranging them!

By Loretta Houben

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Ice skating on a lake.

For the first time in 20 years, Trout Lake in Vancouver BC froze 12 cm (around 6"). This is very unusual and I missed the event back in 1996 so yesterday my husband and I went to the lake and I took some photos of Mary Ellen in her ice skates. I kept her Christmas outfit on, as dolls never notice the cold anyhow. The ice skates were ones I'd bought years ago from eBay. I didn't purchase her expensive ice skating outfit from AG. It's cute but the price is too high! I used a stand to keep her upright.

Here I am holding Mary Ellen. You will notice I don't have ice skates. I've only skated when I was a teenager and although I loved it, I sure wouldn't try it on uneven and lumpy ice with snow on top. I'd never been on a frozen lake before and I just loved it! We walked all around the perimeter of the lake.

There were hundreds of people out. Many had scraped a large section to have hockey games, and many were practicing and having fun.
It was a grand day!

By Loretta Houben

Sunday, January 1, 2017


My first post of 2017!
Here is Mary Ellen in the new snow we had yesterday, photo taken today.
It was the 7th time it snowed in December!
This is very unusual for us. The last time we had so much snow was in 2008.
We had a very quiet New Year's Eve. I went outside bundled up at midnight and banged a pot and shouted "Happy New Year" while Kelsie, our Jack Russel Terrier, barked a lot.
She loves New Year's Eve. I also popped confetti all over the snow.

I tried to get a picture of the blizzard yesterday but it's a little tricky when you can't really get the dolls wet. I made the hat from a pattern found online; I downsized it for 18" doll size heads.

Here are some of my mini dolls, posing with even tinier hats.
It was fun to make them. The sign is from a necklace cut from one bought at Dollarama.

I hope the New Year is a fun time to play with the dolls you already have!
That's what I tried to do last year, and it worked out very well.
Of course, a few new dolls somehow crept into the ranks, including little Lea.
I won't be buying the new GOTY as I don't care for her costume or her story.
I didn't buy the 18" Lea either. But Addy and Melody both came to live here in 2016, and I really like them.

By Loretta Houben