Saturday, August 15, 2015

70 years ago today...

Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt, taken on August 15, 1945.
A very popular photo, and representing the complete joy at hearing the news that WWII had ended with Japan's surrender. The official ending was Sept 2, 1945, but August 15 was known as V-J Day in the USA and Canada.
My Dad was 16 and my Mom was 12.
This was only 15 years before I was born.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Paper dolls.

I found this and the paper dolls below on Pinterest.
If you haven't discovered Pinterest yet, you are in for some eye candy.
Currently I have 53 boards, and 5,712 pins.
I have 643 likes, and 385 followers. Nearly all of them are complete strangers to me!
But it seems we adore the same things.

We've been having extremely HOT weather here in Vancouver BC since May.
It's been the driest, hottest weather ever on record for this stretch of time.
Whew...I've run my A/C unit more than I've ever run it before since we purchased it in 2009.
Tomorrow (July 21) we will go to stage 3 water restrictions, which means no lawn watering, no window washing or washing of property, no car washing, and no pool filling. Wah! 

Everything here is coated in dust. We had a bit of rain a week ago. It was sort of misty though and not a full out Vancouver soaking like we are used to. My hubby loves it as he is half lizard.
I find it interesting but I don't really care for heat. My brain melts into a puddle and I'm very tired.
I can't walk or bike ride. I think I'd collapse if I tried it.

Last evening Robert and I drove to Central Park with Kelsie, and went for a walk under the trees, where it was not at all cool. There wasn't one breeze. It was stifling hot at 8:00 pm. Ugh.
Everything was coated in a thick layer of dust, and tinder dry. I'm sure the torrential rains will return soon enough but for now, it's really weird out there.
By Loretta Houben

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Today is my Mom's 82nd birthday!

Today is my Mom's 82nd birthday.
I created this card for her last week. She loves to receive real cards in the mail.
It's wonderful that Canada Post still delivers to home residences. Soon it will be fazed out.
I used a card stock base from Michael's. I buy the large packages of their cards/envelopes on sale.
I glued a pink polka dot paper to the front, and layered lace, ribbon trim, embellishments, and a printed copy of a design I created using Picmonkey photo program.
The original photo is below, showing my Mom in the corn field with her first birthday cake in 1934.

I think little Susie is so cute. 

Today I created this photo collage using a lovely free image from Wings of Whimsey, a lovely blog I subscribe to. Gunnvor Karita from Norway designs some lovely things.
This is one of my favourite hobbies!
This shows my mom as a young girl in the 1940's picking hops.
It definitely wasn't one of her favourite jobs!

Happy birthday, dearest Mom!
May you have a blessed day and year filled with God's richest blessings.
By Loretta Houben

Monday, June 15, 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

My new hobby.

Recently I've discovered a new hobby!
Digital scrap-booking. It was always a mystery to me, until a friend introduced me to a free program online called "". It's a strange name, but a marvelous program. Last month they advertised a special, so I bought a year's membership which works out to $3.00 per month.
I've also discovered free scrap book images to work with online. I simply type "free images" in Google search engine, and voila, magic happens. For the above image I used a square shape to begin with, then I added a lace image, a poem by Emily Dickinson, a rose border and the sweet old-fashioned little girl.

The above image was one of the first ones I created for a doll group I'm in.
I love "png" images as they can be layered on top of other things, without any white; they have clear borders. 

A few weeks ago I participated in a contest in one of my online doll groups for Chatty Cathy, and I created a series of collages which I'll share here. I had great fun making these! All the photos are taken by me, using my Chatty Cathy doll collection and their cute props.
The above Chatty is a soft face glassine eye pig tail brunette, which I sold in 2014 to a friend.
The little washing machine is vintage, re-painted by a friend, Patricia Jean Floyd, who passed away in 2011 at the age of 58. She was very talented. 

This is my childhood Chatty Cathy. I got her in 1964 so we've been together a while!
She is wearing a dress I bought, with an apron by "Gloria's Goodies", a mother daughter sewing team on eBay. The hutch and chair were purchased in Fife WA last month. The little vintage iron was purchased in Vancouver for only $2.00! The background is a scene from American Girl's Molly character, no longer made. I love to iron, too!

Here is my childhood doll again, wearing a dress made by me. The child's sewing machine was made in the USA zone of Germany, after WWII. I paid $30 for it years ago, and bought it here in Vancouver. 

I had fun creating this one, as I LOVE to shop! Especially for fabric!
Or dolls and their props! I bought this buggy (that's what we call them in Canada) a long time ago. They used to be popular for holding fresh fruit on your kitchen counter.
I'm afraid that's never happened! The "Picmonkey" program has the darling typewriter style font.
This is a prototype Chatty Cathy; she is the first one produced by Mattel in 1960.

Here is my childhood Chatty at work again.
The vintage toy fridge was also painted by Patricia. I'm glad I bought her cute items when I had the chance. 

I had fun creating this collage too! There are a few talented artists who share their cute designs for FREE online! Here is my childhood doll on the right, with a visiting Chatty doll. I made their hair ties and aprons.

Ah...the day of rest. It seems not many people stop and relax from all work on Sunday these days, but in our home we sure do! We still attend church in the morning, have a quiet lunch, and read or nap in the afternoon. We also go for long walks with our dog. This Chatty is a pigtail glassine eyed Canadian doll. She is one of my favourites. My husband bought her cute violin as a surprise for me a few years ago. I gave the piano to Jackie, a friend in Bellingham, WA.
I hope you enjoyed viewing my collages.
By Loretta Houben

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Days of the week T-towels.

A long time ago, way back in 1981 when I was engaged to Robert on November 1st, my mom Susie began to plan for my wedding shower. She had saved a set of 1940's flour sack fabric for T-towels (from Amity Oregon and which were really used for flour sacks) and she picked out a design and began to embroider while I was at work. She had 5 months to complete them in her busy schedule.

She chose a darling duck pattern and I just love her tiny exquisite stitches and the pretty colour scheme which she chose. I used the T-towels for many years, as that's what one did in the 1980's!
But then I came to my senses and realized that if I kept on using them they would wear out.
Now they are carefully kept in a dark cupboard.

For Christmas in 1972 my mom gave me a lovely yellow sewing basket complete with needles and embroidery thread, and a set of T-towel fabric so I could sew my own. I chose an iron on pattern from Harvey's store on Kingsway and Earles. I picked little Dutch girls, and set to. It was hard work. 

I finally completed the set years later as an older teenager.
I think it's interesting that I married a man of Dutch descent, don't you?
By Loretta Houben

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the dear deserving moms out there!
This photo was taken on May 9, 2015.
Me and my mother, Susie Williams.
Leona and I spent the afternoon at her home because it's quite difficult for my dad to get around these days, and we didn't have access to a car. Leona gave my mom the beautiful bouquet and I gave her a pretty nightie and housecoat and a Hello magazine with the new little Princess Charlotte's photos.
We brought her Chinese food lunch and enjoyed a nice time together.

Matthew and I. I've enjoyed being a mom for 26 years.
It's the best job in the world. There's nothing quite like it.

In daguerreotype form!

I don't have too many photos of my mom and me together.
This is one of my favourites, taken in the little yard at our home on Euclid Ave in Vancouver.
This is at the corner of Tyne and Euclid. That's Central Park in the far distance with no towers in sight as far as the eye can see.

I love this photo too. My mom was expecting Leona who was born in May that year.

I'm thankful for the wonderful Christian mother I was blessed with, who patiently taught me the most important things in life, and who was an example for me of how a godly woman should live.
Thanks, Mom! I love you so much.
By Loretta Houben