Friday, April 21, 2017

A DIFFERENT KIND OF SNOW

Anyone who lives in or around the Portland area can relate to this blog post.

Remember this scene just a few short months ago?

Our neighbors backyard

Momma Cat's  backyard
 Momma Cat has lived in Portland for her whole life and she doesn't remember ever seeing snow more fantastic than what we got this winter! It was awesome! It was trecherous!  It was a schoolkids dream come true!!

Yesterday, Momma Cat went out into her backyard to see which of her plants made it through the winter, and which ones she will have to replace.  

This is just one small glimpse of her plants that she wanted to share.  

A different kind of snow


Sweet little azalea bush
 As you can see, the plants are doing fine, and so are the weeds!  The "snow" you see in these photos is just one of the many flowering trees shedding some of it's petals on the ground. It's kind of pretty, don't you think?

Now Momma's problem is finding the time, and a dry day to go out and do some necessary gardening!

- Momma Cat

Thursday, April 20, 2017

COLORFUL KITCHEN/BAKING STUFF AT JOANN FABRIC AND CRAFT STORES

Look at these colorful and cute items that Momma Cat found at JoAnn Fabric and Crafts.

New Wilton display at JoAnn Fabric and Crafts
Sorry about the blurriness of this photo.  Momma Cat was in the Wilton section of her JoAnn store today and she saw this new display.  Then she started thinking how nice it would be to have a few of these items to brighten up her kitchen!  There are silicone trivets, whisks, spoons, spatulas, etc.  Most of the items come in two different sizes.  So you can pick the one that suits your needs.

It doesn't even matter if you like to bake or not. These utensils can be used for other food prep, and they won't scrape your pans!  Also, they're reasonably priced, so you can afford to buy a few at a time.  

Here's a thought, wouldn't they make great bridal shower or hostess gifts! 

It's amazing the stuff you can find at JoAnn's  when you have a little time to look around!

- Momma Cat  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

NEW CHARMS, HAIR PINS, AND BROOCHES

While Momma Cat was working yesterday she came upon a new line of charms, etc. in JoAnn Fabric and Crafts jewelry section.  They are very cute, and this is just a smattering of them.  There are so many more things to choose from, you really have to go and take a look for yourself!

This first one is a little brooch.  Momma Cat thought that it would look lovely in one of her doll's hair.  But, it is the type of pin that you could wear on anything.  Isn't it just sweet?


See how tiny it is?  It's the shape of a bow, and it's got little rhinestones in it!  So pretty!

This next picture is of a pair of hairpins with little bees on them.  Momma Cat has never seen blue bees before.  Nevertheless, she really liked them, and thought she could cut them down and use them on one of her dolls too.




This next item is just a lovely little branch-like pin with some little pearls in it.  Momma thought it would also make a nice hair ornament for one of her dolls.


Momma thinks this last item is the prettiest one!  It's a hairpin that looks like a peacock feather!  It's so lovely she may have to keep it for herself!!! 
 

There are so many other charms, pendants, tassels, pins, and hairpins at JoAnn's that it's really hard to resist them!  Momma Cat had to stop at four for now.  But, as Scarlet O'Hara always said, "Tomorrow is another day".

Since jewelry and hair items for dolls are so hard to find, unless you're into plastic, these seemed like a great find!  But, if you're not into dolls, guess what, they're work for all of us big girls too! 😺

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

MOMMA CAT DISCOVERS NEW ARTIST!!




Momma Cat was shopping at her local New Seasons Market the other day.  While she was there she needed to look for a birthday card. So, she walked over to the card rack and saw this little adorbs riding a bicycle!


Image of Other Ways Forward
Other Ways Forward

Momma Cat had to buy it for her little guy's birthday!  Momma Cat thought it was very special and was curious about the artist, whose name is Jeannie Lynn Paske, so she looked her up on the internet!  Her website is obsoleteworld.com


Here is another example of her incredible artwork. 

Image of So Asleep In Our Dreams
So Asleep In Our Dreams

When you have a few minutes to relax and enjoy yourself, you should treat yourself to a look at all the wonderful images on her site.  The really lovely thing is that you can buy some of it for yourself, or to give as a gift.  She has prints and cards and they're all reasonably priced.    

Momma Cat has already purchased several of her cards to send to special cats in her life.  But, she would dearly love to purchase one of Jeannie's prints.  

The problem is, which one?!  They are all so wonderful!!!

One more thing about New Seasons Market.  They usually have a pretty nice selection of local artists things in their card rack.  So, if you're looking for something out of the ordinary, you should look there.  You might find something awesome!



-  Momma Cat

 

Monday, April 17, 2017

A NEW LOOK FOR LAUGHING CAT

After years of the same old thing, Momma Cat was getting tired of the look of her blog, so she decided to change it!  Baby Cat has her own blog now, and has not been a contributor to Laughing Cat for a long time, even though she continues to be Momma Cat's creative consultant, along with a few other special cats. Also, the colors of the old blog didn't really highlight all photos very well.  So Momma Cat changed everything to reflect all of these things. So whaddaya think?  Do you like it? 

Speaking of cats!  Momma Cat just finished this guy last night.  He's kind of sitting in the catbird seat, if you'll pardon the play on words.  He's crocheted using Bernat Pipsqueak yarn.  Momma had a very large skein that just had to be used up, so she created Mr. Gray Cat (very imaginative name, don't you think?).  Fortunately for her she had just enough to complete this project.  She later found out that the gray Pipsqueak yarn has been discontinued!!!!

Mr. Gray Cat in the catbird seat (tee-hee)
  
Before you ask, Momma Cat did not make the pillow too.  She bought the pillow at her JoAnn Fabric and Craft store.  It was so pretty, and it brightens up her living room.  So, she just had to buy it! You can see why, can't you?  


- Momma Cat


 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

MADAME ALEXANDER 18 INCH DOLLS VS. AMERICAN GIRL DOLLS!

All of you American Girl Doll lovers cover your eyes and plug your ears.  I know you won't want to hear what Momma Cat is going to say.  

Momma Cat is looking at her collection of 18 inch Madame Alexander dolls, and she thinks they are far more attractive than American Girl dolls!  The American Girl dolls do have a lot of great clothes and accessories that are very well made!  But, Momma Cat has to say, the dolls are not that pretty! 

Take for example Momma Cat's Asian doll, Misumi (meaning pure, beautiful, in Japanese). She has been featured on Momma Cat's blog a few times, because she is so exquisite, and she's Momma Cat's favorite! Look at how beautiful her face is!  She has shiny long black hair too! 

Misumi-Momma Cat's Madame Alexander 18 inch doll.
In addition, Madame Alexander dolls have vinyl heads, arms, legs, and breastplates, and they are poseable!  American Girl dolls only have vinyl heads, arms, and legs.  So a lot of the cute clothing styles reveal the cloth body parts! Not too attractive! The American Girl dolls are not poseable either.



Below is a picture of Misumi in her brand new clothes. Momma Cat made Misumi's underwear, corduroy dress, and hair accessory. She also designed and crocheted Misumi's shoes.  The only thing she didn't make are Misumi's tights.  Momma Cat bought the tights from Doll Secrets


Misumi in her new corduroy dress.
Momma Cat thought that Misumi should probably have a coat to wear on those cold, blustery, wet days that we so often have in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  So she created this coat for her.  Notice the coat is fully lined.

 
The coat's lining

Misumi in her new lined coat.
Momma Cat designed and created a bag to complete Misumi's ensemble, using materials recycled from an old bag that she had.  The heart shape insignia on the front of the bag is one of Momma Cat's old earrings!  The other earring has been lost for a couple of years!

Misumi's purple bag.
   
Madame Alexander 18 inch dolls are infinitely more affordable than American Girl dolls too!  So, if you're on a budget (who isn't?), you can buy a very nice new doll for about $35-$85, as opposed to $115 and have some money left over to buy more doll clothes, or shoes, or whatever you want!  You can find some very nice used dolls on eBay too, if you're willing to do a little work!

Momma Cat has bought several used Madame Alexander 18 inch dolls off of eBay and has had very good results!
    
Every year Momma Cat creates a few items to enter into the Multnomah County Fair.  She does this mainly because it's fun, but also because she likes winning those luscious blue ribbons!

This year Misumi will be one of her entries.  Wish Momma Cat and Misumi luck! 

 
Wish Momma Cat luck!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

RESTRINGING LITTLE 8 INCH MADAME ALEXANDER DOLLS

Momma Cat has purchased several little Madame Alexander dolls over the last six moths or so.  Most of the time Momma Cat buys dolls that have no clothes. But, she has gotten a couple of dressed ones that she plans to make new clothes for1 

The only problem with buying used dolls is that sometimes they come with problems!  Most of them are a little dirty, which is no big deal.  The dirt can be cleaned off with alcohol and a Mr. Clean eraser sponge. 

Some dolls have stains on their bodies from clothing dyes, and sometimes they have ink on them from their former playmates.  These things can be a little bit of a challenge, but a product called "Remove-Zit" has been a Godsend for the really stubborn stains.  This product is only available online, and it's a little spendy.  But, it really works!

The last, and hardest challenge for Momma Cat was that some of her dolls needed to be restrung!  Momma Cat has never restrung a doll before in her life!  So, she went online to YouTube and found an excellent video that showed her just how to do it!!!  
How To Restring A Doll At Home
This video gave Momma Cat step by step instructions for putting the little dolls back together again.  Momma Cat highly recommends it!

Even though the video was really good, Momma Cat had to redo her first doll a couple of times to get it right! Here's a picture of a couple of dolls that She just finished restringing, along with a doll that is waiting to be put back together.

The two sitting dolls have just been restrung.

You can see the broken rubber bands that used to hold this one together.

All you need is some round cord elastic, two hemostats, and scissors.  
 
 
The elastic goes through the hook on one leg and up through the neck.

Attach the head and run the elastic down to the other leg.
Attach the leg and tie off.

Attach elastic to one arm and run through the doll to the other arm, and tie off.
She's done! Here she is with all of her friends!

Momma Cat still has one more doll to restring, but she ran out of elastic cording!!!

The next thing all these little cuties will need is some clothing and shoes!  It's a good thing they can't talk, or they'd be bugging Momma Cat all the time!

If you have a doll that needs to be restrung, save your money and try doing it yourself!  You can get the elastic cording at just about any fabric store. You can buy the hemostats at fabric and craft stores, and probably sporting good stores, as well (people use them to make fly-fishing lures)!  Momma Cat found some at JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts in the quilting notions!  Only there they are referred to as "Needle Pullers"!!!

Needless to say, it was crafty, it was fun, and Momma Cat saved herself a lot of money by trying it herself!😺

- Momma Cat