Saturday, April 27, 2013

Meet Caolainn!

Remember, I was talking about Farmhouse Antiques

 And going there to find handkerchiefs to make doll dresses out of?  Well, I just finished a dress for this little doll that I made.  Her name is Caolainn (kay+linn), it's an Irish name meaning slender, pure.  It also sounds just like my name and my sister cat's first names combined.  Yay!  I think that's the best reason to choose it, don't you?

Anyway, I started with Beth Webber's pattern for a crocheted Bleuette, which I got off of her blog, By Hook, By Hand ( made this little doll, then I created my own set of underclothes for her.  Notice that she is jointed?  This is the first jointed doll I've ever made.  It was wonderfully easy!

Caolainn with her crocheted underclothes
I used Beth's pattern for stockings and shoes too.  See how cute they are!

Then, I used one of the two hankies I purchased at Farmhouse Antiques to create the dress that Is in the next picture. 

 I got that pattern off of Beth's blog too!  She has a lot of wonderful stuff on her blog, and she's very sweet about sharing.  Thank you Beth! 

Last, but not least, I gave Caolainn a pretty little pair of pink earrings to give her outfit a little zing.  
A little jewelry is just right for this outfit

 I absolutely adore my new little doll and have already started another one!  I think the next one is going to be a blonde because I have some blue eyes I want to try.  Keep your fingers crossed.

My little Caolainn has a yarn hair wig and wig cap, which is the main difference between my doll and Beth's.  But you can use doll wigs if you prefer and can find one you like.  

Anyway, I hope you like my little doll.  I think she's precious.

-  Momma Cat

Friday, April 26, 2013

Sock Monsters Galore!

Remember these two cuties from the art auction a couple of weeks ago? Well, someone bought them! I got slightly more than the minimum asking price but now I'm wondering if I should have charged more. I am still learning how to price things so that I get a fair price but people will still pay what I am asking. It is tricky.

Sock Monster Couple

Anyway, they now have two friends that are up on Etsy! This is Freddy, he has a compass for an eye and a milk carton cap to protect him from the elements, so he is always prepared for an adventure! Here we see him relaxing after a long day of exploring.

And this is Paige. Paige is super excited because she is trying on prom dresses and just found the perfect one! (She loves ribbons, as you can see.) 

If you want to see Paige and Freddy in my Etsy shop, you can access it by clicking on their icons in the right sidebar. Stay tuned for more dolls, including my special surprise doll for the county fair!

-Baby Cat

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sweet Surprise for Momma Cat

Today I went for a long walk, it was a beautiful spring day and Daddy Cat and I went outside and walked for a couple of miles.  Then I went to Starbuck's and had a coffee date with my Friend Cat.

While we were talking Friend Cat gave me a silver bag with a surprise in it.  This is what was inside.

Nancy Ann Storybook Doll

Friend Cat was with me the other day when I went to Farmhouse Antiques on SE 13th Avenue over in Sellwood, to buy some handkerchiefs to make doll clothes out of..

My favorite antique store
She's the one that found the little basket full of Nancy Ann dolls.  You may recall that I purchased one that day.  My Friend Cat bought me the other one that I wanted.  Here's a picture of the two of them together.

Almost Twins!

Aren't they sweet?

If you're interested, I think there are still a couple more dolls there, but you'll have to ask where they are at the front counter, otherwise you might overlook them!

-  Momma Cat

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Baby Cat's Birthday

Today is my 22nd birthday! This weekend Baby Brother Cat and I hopped a bus to Portland and had a great time celebrating with our family, my Boyfriend Cat, and his family. We all went bowling, then back to Momma and Poppa Cat's house for cake, presents, and a terrific game Baby Brother Cat taught us. It was like a cross between Pictionary and Telephone. It was fun and hilarious!

My very chocolate-y birthday cake made by Momma Cat! Everything was Hello Kitty themed, of course.

I received many wonderful and thoughtful gifts, but my crafting will benefit most from this extremely cool dress form! It was given to me by Momma and Poppa Cat, and my Aunt and Uncle Cat (also known as Sister Cat and Brother-in-law cat to Momma). Unlike some dress forms that adjust with dials, this one has a cover that compresses it down to my shape. It just needs a little more adjusting and I am ready to sew all summer long!

-Baby Cat

My dress form and me! The earrings and Hello Kitty Watch I am wearing in this picture were also presents from Momma and Poppa Cat.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Today my friend cat and I went to Farmhouse Antiques on 13th Avenue in  Sellwood.  Sellwood is a wonderful neighborhood in SE Portland, Oregon, in case you don't live around here.  We were looking for vintage hankies to make dolls dresses out of.  Beth, of By Hook, By Hand fame has several patterns for doll clothes that you make out of handkerchiefs!  Since I used Beth's Bleuette pattern to crochet a doll, I needed to use her doll clothes patterns to make my doll an outfit or two.   We found many fine hankies in wonderful condition, so if you're looking for some, go there.  They can fix you right up!  Anyway, I digress.

While we were looking for hankies at Farmhouse Antiques, my friend cat spied a basket full of little dolls down low on a shelf.  She exclaimed, "Look at all the little dolls!", then she bent down and picked up the basket and I was taken by surprise.  Inside it were six or seven little Nancy Ann dolls in really good condition.  Not only that, they were inexpensive.  Then, to top it all off,  They were 50% off!  Boy, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven!

Anyway I really scored today.  Not only did I find two really nice hankies to make doll clothes out of (you'll get to see them in a later post), but I found this adorable little doll for only $6.25!

Nancy Ann Storybook Doll

Am I lucky, or what?

If you're ever in this neck of the woods, you should check out Farmhouse Antiques.  It has all kinds of sweet little treasures that I'm sure you'll find interesting.  There's bound to be something there that'll be to your liking!

-  Momma Cat

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Hiapo, my first Hawaiian Doll!

I'd like to introduce you to my first Hawaiian doll.  Her name is Hiapo (hee-ah-poe), which means first-born in Hawaiian.

As you can see, she has a genuine grass skirt, a lei, pearl earrings, and a tropical flower in her hair.  You can't see it in this photo very well, but she is wearing a bikini under her skirt and lei.

I decided to make her because my Sister Cat and Brother-in-law Cat just recently moved to Hawaii, and I kept thinking, hey, I should make a Hawaiian doll.  My Sister Cat helped me choose just the right name, since I know no Hawaiian at all!

Here's Hiapo standing in front of a photograph taken by Sister Cat of a beautiful beach in Hawaii.  Hiapo seems to be ready to walk right out onto the sand!

-  Momma Cat

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The weekend before last Baby Cat and I went to a bridal shower for a young woman named Morgan, that Baby Cat has known since kindergarten!  We both love this woman and wanted to make her a unique gift for her shower.  So we co-created this bride doll for her.

Morgan's bride doll

Baby Cat made the earrings, necklace, and the bridal veil.  Aren't they sweet?

Earrings made by Baby Cat

Matching necklace made by Baby Cat
Veil made by Baby Cat

Momma Cat made the doll, dress, and bouquet.  Oh yes, also the garter and the "diamond" ring (not pictured).

The bride to be recently sent us a thank you note proclaiming her love for us and for her special doll.  We are both so gratified that we could make our friend so happy! We can't wait to see the wedding!

- Momma Cat

Monday, April 8, 2013

Tribute to our Laughing Cat, LeeLoo

A little, tiny black cat named LeeLoo was the inspiration behind Laughing Cat Creative Enterprises.  She was also a sweet and beautiful pet that ruled over our household for the past 13 years. 

Queen LeeLoo the Beloved

Our family was lucky enough to adopt LeeLoo 13 years ago when she was about 2 years old.  Baby Cat was in 3rd grade, and Baby Brother Cat was in kindergarten at the time.  Baby Brother Cat used to be kind of loud when he was playing with his toys, so LeeLoo gave him a real wide berth for a long time after she came to live with us.  But the two of them grew close over the years and I know that he adored her.   Even Daddy Cat fell in love with her.  Eventually she had us all totally wrapped around her little kitty paw.

Not only was she beautiful, but LeeLoo had the softest fur in the entire world.  Everyone always wanted to pet her.  Sometimes LeeLoo did not appreciate all the attention she received, and for this we apologize.  She wasn't always kind to people she didn't know well.  

All of us in this Cat family loved LeeLoo very much, and we are so sorry that she's no longer with us.  But, we are exttremely grateful that she no longer suffers (she was in kidney failure), and we are grateful for all the years that we had the privilege to love and care for her.  

Her she is in her famous "Sun Spot" photo, so named because she loved to seek out spots of sunlight throughout the house and then sit in them to get warm.  

LeeLoo, "Sun Spot"

Believe it or not, black kitties are extremely hard to photograph well.  I'd say only one in ten photos come out well at all, so I'm especially glad this one did.  It's one of my personal favorites. 

Laughing Cat Creative Enterprises came into being because of a dream Momma Cat had in which she was carrying LeeLoo around through a beautiful, but, haunted house.  LeeLoo was clinging to Momma Cat on the front of her body, much the same way as a baby Koala would.  While they were looking around and admiring all the wonderful carvings in the woodwork and such, LeeLoo threw back her head and laughed a great big belly laugh, like a very happy child!  This dream and image were so powerful that Momma Cat and Baby Cat decided to use it for their business name and their blog name.

Thank you LeeLoo, you were no ordinary cat.  You will never be forgotten.


- Momma Cat

Friday, April 5, 2013

Sock Monster Couple

I don't know why I have strayed away from making dolls for so long! I think they are my favorite thing to make, it is just so much fun to give them each their own unique personality and story. I have been making sock monsters for a while now (so named because they are knit from sock yarn) but most of them are on my old blog, 

Their body shapes are a little bit Tim Burton inspired, but they really come from my imagination and whatever objects I find that I think will give them the desired character. Each sock monster starts out as a gender-neutral figure with no race or social status, and then takes shape with the addition of found objects.

I was inspired to make a sock monster couple by these cute old-fashioned locks and keys I found at Collage. I thought it would be cute to give one monster the lock on their heart and the other the key. If you don't know, Collage is an art store in Portland that has so many cool things for all different kinds of art projects, and tons of things I would like to use on sock monsters. I have to be careful about going there until I have more money or run out of doll fixin's!

The dolls' bodies are knit from merino wool sock yarn and they have poseable arms and legs. The gears I used for the girl's eyes are also from collage. The other objects that make up their faces and accessories were collected over time from antique or hardware stores, or were given to me by friends who know I collect that sort of thing. 

You may recognize the girl doll's hat and shawl from some of my previous projects. Her earrings are actual earrings from Claire's. 

I entered these dolls in a student art auction at school, I really hope they are selected and someone buys them! If you are interested and will be in Portland next Thursday, come to the A&AA Career Symposium at the Left Bank Annex, 101 N. Weidler street.

I am also working on a new doll design for the Multnomah County Fair in May, so stay tuned for that. I have a pretty good idea of what I want to make but little to no idea of how I want to accomplish it. It will be a fun challenge!

I wish I could just work on dolls all day long...

-Baby Cat

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Crocheted Baby Outfit

No, we're not expecting!  Momma Cat just thought she'd try her hand at crocheting a real baby sweater, hat, and booties.
Baby Ensemble

She used an old 1950's pattern inherited from Grandma Cat.  It's the same pattern used to create Lena's sweater in a previous post.  The hat and shoes in this post are the same pattern as the sweater.

Here's a close up view of the hat.  

Sweet little Baby Hat

Here are the booties.

Matching Baby Booties

Now, just because Momma Cat did this doesn't mean that it was easy.  No sir!  It was a very difficult pattern and it made Momma Cat humble, because she was beginning to think she could do anything she wanted without difficulty.  She learned a valuable lesson, and she learned a new pattern!

-  Momma Cat

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mini Sewing Machine

At the beginning of spring break, Boyfriend Cat and I spent a weekend in Coos Bay. On the way back, he let me spend as much time as I wanted in a super-cool miniatures shop in Lincoln City, called Rocking Horse! I was good and only bought one thing, this cute old-fashioned sewing machine kit. 

This is what the picture on the box looked like.

I hand painted all of the silver parts with a paint pen. The drawer pulls are so small they were hard to hang on to when I glued them in. 

There was some difficulty with the wood stain, which was a bit clumpy when I first mixed it, but I think it came out looking alright.

I can just picture a tiny person sitting here, making her own tiny dresses!

I still haven't put together my dollhouse. Unfortunately, that would require being in the same city with it for any length of time. Hopefully that means it will happen this summer. Of course, I knew that any house of mine has to include a sewing machine! Now it just needs to wait for the house to be built.

-Baby Cat