Friday, January 23, 2015

Journey Girl dolls and pennies!


Maybe it's the really wet rainy weather we've been having this month, or missing Hawaii, or the fact that nothing stays long here in Vancouver BC, but I bought another doll yesterday, the 3rd doll this month! That's quite unusual, seeing as one of the dolls was an AG and you know they're not cheap.
I was busy for around two hours on Wednesday rolling a large container of coins, including pennies. Here in Canada we no longer use them as the Bank of Canada discontinued their production in early 2012. It took me over a year to get used to no pennies, and I no longer find them on the street. However instead I find quarters so I guess that's much better! I can't figure out if I'm getting cheated or not, as if the total of an item in the store comes to $10. 23, and I hand the clerk a $10 bill plus a quarter, I don't get 2 cents back; I get nothing back. But if something costs $20.02 I just pay the $20 and don't worry about the 2 cents so maybe it all works out? It's called "rounding up" or "rounding down".
Anyhow, I went to Toys R Us yesterday after cashing in my rolled coins at the bank.
I got quite a bit back! The pennies totaled $10 so they helped to buy the Journey Girl doll produced by Toys R Us. That's their brand of 18" doll I guess. They have really cute accessories including a darling bike for only $34 and a neat oven for $34. 


They had around 20 different dolls so they were well stocked.
I settled on Dana, an animal lover. I re-named her Penny. Tee hee...
That way she will always remind me of the lost Canadian pennies.
She has a cute dress and sweater, handbag, and blue plastic shoes.
Her glasses make her too studious looking so I removed them.


Here is the huge stack of pennies which amounted to $10!
Coins really add up. The whole amount of all the rolled coins came to $98!
Amazing...
This year I'm planning to save all the toonies ($2 coins) and use them for eating out, as we are on a very low budget this year. My husband got a new job last October 2014 at Coast Capital Savings and it is quite a bit less than he used to make in previous years before his brother left the company due to illness. But we are so glad his job is stable so we have to learn to make do all over again, similar to when we were first married. I guess that's how life is in the 2010's!


Here is Penny released from her box.
Isn't her accessory set cute? There are around 6 different Journey Girl dolls, all in the same packaging. I loved this accessory set as I simply love London! It was only $13.99 Cdn. The JG dolls have really small feet so their shoes don't fit an AG doll.


Of course the T-shirt would look better with jeans or a short jean skirt.
The set has a cute cap, shirt, London map, and a thin plastic red camera, with the adorable red plastic sandals, which were a little tricky to fasten in the back.
I'm getting attached to these little dolls. I found some cute pictures of them on Pinterest.
There's nothing like another new doll in the house!
Loretta Houben

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Our Generation Dolls

This is an online image...one of the "Our Generation" dolls sold at Target.
But you might have heard the awful horrific news that all 133 stores which recently opened in Canada (they didn't open 50 years ago; ours opened in Nov 2013) are CLOSING in May 2015.
I never ever heard of anything so bizarre and atrocious and mind boggling as that, have you?
Anyhow, I never was a fan of Target as the prices are too high and it just simply isn't my style.
But, they did carry the OG dolls and accessories, and every time I was anywhere near Target at Metrotown, just for fun I'd pop in and look at them. I bought Sienna, pictured above, and a few accessories.


This is a set I'd certainly love to buy!


This baking set I DID buy last week, when I was in Target in Surrey.
The box was damaged so I got 10% off. It cost $22.99 Cdn plus tax and it is just darling.


This is so cute, but it's $130 Cdn so I don't think I'll be getting it.
I just discovered that the OG dolls are sold at Mastermind Toys in Canada.
I've never heard of that store, but apparently there are 3 nearby; Abbotsford, Coquitlam and Langley.
Living a Doll's Life has the post about it.
That is a very cute blog.
Loretta Houben

Formatting text!


I love to copy and paste text from Facebook into my Word document for future reference, especially notes on doll items. I have a problem with the blue background which comes with the text.
I hunted everywhere online to see how to get rid of it, but couldn't find the solution.
So I clicked around in my Windows bar on top, and discovered if I click on the A with the red marker/pencil next to it, it automatically removes the blue! Voila!!!!
Here is an example:

white silicone caulking, she added a couple drops of hot pink paint. Stirred. Then added more white to the top. 
The cups are communion cups from Mardels. The straws are the plastic middles of qtips
 

You simply highlight the text, then click on the little A with the red marker, and it formats the text automatically without the blue background. Isn't that cool? 
Loretta Houben

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The second thing I've sewn this year...


This is the second doll item I've sewn this year; a new skirt for Grace!
She is thrilled, and this is the first time I've sewn for a GOTY! (girl of the year)
It was so cute, I thought I'd give it a try. I didn't have any felt so I used what I had on hand, a piece of cotton fabric someone gave me. The red lace was from my MIL's stash, so all I needed to buy was the white felt to make the little poodle, and the red and white baker's "twine" which was only $1.00 for a big roll! So it was a very low priced skirt indeed.



However, the skirt wrapped around the doll's waist twice, so I cut it down to size, and it just doesn't quite hang like a poodle skirt should. Oh well...I love the free poodle pattern provided, although I downsized it 60% on my printer so it would be the correct size.
The other outfit I made was for a customer.


This is what I created for her. She collects Chatty Cathy dolls, quite different from AG dolls, but nearly the same size. (21") I enjoy sewing for AG better as they have soft bodies, while Chatty is so hard and pudgy! However, my goal this year is to sew up as much of my fabric stash as I can.
The green fabric was also from my MIL's stash, and now it's gone. I made two dresses in total from it, so it was a profit for me. 
Did I ever mention that I love to sew?

Loretta Houben


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Remembering my paternal Grandma.


Today, January 20th, is my paternal Grandma's birthday.
She was born in 1908. She died in 2004.
I put together a collage of some old photos using PicMonkey program, which is free online.


This is her 68th birthday in 1976.
My Mom always made a cake for her, and had her over.
This is our kitchen on Monmouth Avenue.
This is how I remember Grandma.


This is Grandma's last birthday.
I like how her hair was cut, although if she knew (she had dementia) that she had short hair and was wearing slacks she would have been horrified! She always had long hair rolled into a bun, and always wore a dress.


Although she had dementia, and was in a care home for a long time, she was always pleasant and in good spirits. I still miss her. She had beautiful blue eyes, and a very quiet voice.


I'm not sure what date the above photos were taken. Probably 1929; that could be my Dad in the high chair. I'm not sure why Grandma is hardly wearing any clothes. Maybe she was that poor? They lived in Saskatchewan until 1941 when they moved to Vancouver BC. In this photo she has short hair. I believe that's Grandpa on the left; he loved horses and he was 20 years older than Grandma.


Grandma holding Audrey, with her younger brother Harry on the left, and his twin Violet on the right. That's my Dad, Jack, in front of Violet. This is 1931 or 1932.
Grandma had a long and interesting life. She was born in Cardiff, Wales and moved to Canada in 1927. She met a Welshman on the prairies, and was married in August 1928. She had 4 children in Saskatchewan, and after moving to Vancouver she had 3 more. 


I remember Grandma loved to read and garden. Her favourite flowers were snapdragons. I loved the old house she and Grandpa bought in the 1940's on E 22nd Avenue. It had two monkey trees in the front, and the bathroom was upstairs where two bedrooms were. The main floor had a bedroom, living room and kitchen. The basement had two bedrooms and the laundry room.
Grandma also loved to bake Welshcakes with currants, and she loved to tell us stories when she babysat us. She was a Christian and enjoyed attending a small church for many years. 
One day I hope to meet her again in Heaven.
Loretta Houben

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

One lovely thing...

(all photos are from Pinterest)
My goal for 2015 is to do or enjoy one lovely thing each day.
I'm marking them down in a special book a friend gave me for Christmas.
This is to capture the moment and not live in such a hurry.
Do you know the feeling?

January 1st: Went downtown to American Girl store and got a free "Grace Thomas" apron.
January 2nd: Matthew came over for supper (East Indian take out) and he opened his Christmas gifts.
January 3rd: Browsed in Metrotown Mall with Leona for an hour.
January 4th: Had communion in our church.
January 5th: Took a half hour walk in the pouring cold rain and talked with my Mom on phone.
January 6th: Matthew came over for roast beef dinner. 

January 7th: Did some sewing and organizing.
January 8th: Bought "Grace Thomas" using my husband's Christmas gift card. My piano was picked up for free.
January 9th: Did a deep clean of the living room. 
January 10th: Went to Granville Island Market and shopped. Our loveseat was picked up for free.
January 11th: We were taken out for Vietnamese lunch by kind church friends.
January 12th: I had a cup of free coffee at McDonald's.

That's how the first 12 days of 2015 have passed.
It helps me to seize the day, and reflect on my blessings, large or small.
I hope your year is going well, too!
I am linking up with Stephanie at her lovely blog, The Enchanting Rose, for her "Roses of Inspiration" Tuesday feature. It's wonderful to see all the beautiful blogs which link up, although I must confess I didn't get around to visiting all 117 of them last week!
I will be trying to link up each Tuesday with something inspirational to read, and I do appreciate all of you who come by to visit.
Loretta Houben

Monday, January 12, 2015

Memory Monday...a special doll!


This past Christmas, 2014, my childhood Chatty Cathy doll turned 50!
I can still remember so long ago when I opened her box the very first time, and saw the top of her pretty blonde head. I screeched! I treated this doll very carefully which is why she is still in such good condition. However, her talking mechanism eventually broke and so she is now mute.
Leona, my little two year old sister, got the Chatty Baby. For some reason, our Dad decided to give her to a friend, Don Neufeld, who promised to repair her. After many months when my Dad inquired, Don told him "Oh, I couldn't fix it at all so I threw it away." Of course we were all horrified; he could have given us the option to keep the doll, but I bet he broke the body and didn't want to return the pieces. Moral of the story: only let an expert touch your beloved doll!
Leona has never forgiven him...
Loretta Houben