Dollmaker's Journey CUSTOMER CONNECTION
Dream ~ Imagine ~ Create ~ Grow ~ Believe ~ Magic
At http://dollmakersjourney.com we help your creative dreams come true.
June 2011 Issue 113
Copyright 2011 by Dollmaker's Journey
Dollmaker's Journey Customer Connection newsletter is a free e-mail newsletter. Tell your friends, family and fellow dollmakers about us, and feel free to forward this newsletter to those who might be interested. You can visit our companion website at:
You can read all the past issues online. Go to:
The archives include an easy to follow index to all the past issues.
Dear Dollmaking Friends,
Life seems to be speeding up! Mary Ann and Jim both sold their old homes, but are renting them back until the end of July to make the transition to a new home easier. This way there should be no disruption in service at Dollmaker's Journey, so continue to place your orders as always. In the United States we are in the middle of a heat wave, tornadoes abound, and the weather seems to be upside down. Bonnie never did get to Uganda (the visas haven't come yet), but is traveling to St. Lucia in the Caribbean with her daughter to check out a medical school there. The traveling notebooks were such a success that she will now be teaching it to women in her Relief Society (a church organization for women). She needs 50 kits ready the day she returns from St. Lucia. Mary Ann has been so busy getting her home ready to sell, packing and moving, that the article we promised will be deferred until she has a chance to recuperate. Instead Bonnie will explain what is needed to teach the traveling notebook class and some tips she picked up along the way. She even had people request an adult travel book. Of course, they wanted Twilight paper dolls. They want to play the games too!
Bonnie and Mary Ann
Every Doll Needs a Home – The Evangeline Booth Miracle Home Annual Auction
Deadline: September 18, 2011
It's that time of year when we turn to all of our fantastic doll making friends sending out a request for help with our annual doll art benefit. We will be holding our annual fundraiser on October 6, 2011. The event is called "Every Doll Needs a Home" and is a doll art benefit. Donations of dolls are being accepted anytime now up until September 18, 2011. All the proceeds from this benefit go directly to helping the Booth Home. You can also read more about the Booth Home and doll art benefit by going to:
What kind of dolls are we asking for? The live auction will consist of handmade dolls of cloth or cloth and clay. These can be anything from ragdolls to brightly colored funky dolls and/or hand-sculpted cloth and clay artist creations. Altered Barbie dolls will also be welcome again this year. Porcelain, vintage, and manufactured dolls are accepted. They will be offered in a silent auction.
Dolls can be dropped off or shipped to:
The Evangeline Booth Miracle Home
ATTN: Pam Small
168 Lafayette St.
Schenectady, NY 12305
Any questions? Please call (518) 370-0276 and ask for Pam.
or email Pam at Pam.Small@USE.SalvationArmy.Org
We thought we'd start off the summer with a whopper of a sale so the JUNE SALE category is BOOKS/DVDs where the 20% discount translates to a chunk of change. http://dollmakersjourney.com/books.html
Remember, visit our website at http://dollmakersjourney.com at the beginning of each month to see what our new sale will be. That way you won't have to wait for a newsletter.
WORDS TO LIVE BY
I try to end each day saying, 'I am glad I did,' rather than, 'I wish I had."
From Guidepost reader Barbara J. McMorrow of Freehold, New Jersey
Q: The highest officially recorded number of children born to one mother is...? (Name the mother and how many children she had. Biblical accounts don't count!)
A: The highest officially recorded number of children born to one mother is 69, to the first wife of Feodor Vassilyev (1707-1782) of Shuya, Russia. Between 1725 and 1765, in a total of 27 confinements, she gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets. 67 of them survived infancy. (And Bonnie thought she was doing good having four children in two years – twins in the middle. Later they slowed down but still ended up with eight children.)
Congratulations to Denise Giardullo from Cottekill, New York. Your name was selected at random from all of the correct quiz entries, and you will receive a $10 gift certificate from Dollmaker's Journey. Watch for your name in a coming month!
Q: The most shopping malls in one area in the whole world are found in what state in the United States?
Everyone who emails in the correct answers by July 1st (NOTE NEW DEADLINE) will be entered into a drawing for a $10 gift certificate to Dollmaker's Journey. The winner will be announced in the next newsletter. Email your answers to Bonnie at EnchantedR@aol.com Put June Quiz in subject box. Please include your full name and where you live (state/country) in your email.
NOTE: Several times in the past a winner was drawn with no name or state/country included. When that happens we have to draw again. So please, make sure you include this information with your answer.
Results of the 3rd Cloth Baby Doll Challenge are now online!
Go to: http://clothdollbabies.com/challenge2011/
July 15, 2011 – Hoffman Challenge due (new deadline – see rules below)
Learn about new category for the challenge
September 30, 2011 – Treasures of the Gypsy Challenge
Theme: The Renaissance Gypsy
To receive your challenge packet of "Gypsy" fabrics and trims, send $20 (USD) to
Treasures of the Gypsy
PO Box 748
Mountainair, NM 87036
Please make checks payable to Pamela Armas.
You will receive a packet of exotic fabrics and trims to be used in a doll or art piece of your choice. Your entry can be made from a pattern or created as an original design. All media are welcome. Use as much of the "Treasures" as you like. Additional fabrics and trims may also be used from your personal stash.
To be included in the judging and displays at the Houston International Quilt Festival, dolls must be shipped during the month of September and must be received by Laura Smith by September 30, 2011. Along with your "treasures" packet, you will receive shipping information, contact names, rules, forms, and deadline dates.
If you have questions, contact Pamela at GypsyTreasures@cs.com.
UPCOMING EVENTS YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS
June 23-26, 2011 – Creations in Fiber, Inc. (CIFI)
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Or email Diane for space availability at Olough@aol.com
July 23-27, 2011 – 24th Annual National Doll Festival (NDF)
Sheraton Park Hotel, Anaheim, California
For more information, inquiries email: DollFestival@aol.com or NatlDoll@aol.com
(831) 438-5349 phone
July 23-25, 2011 – Doll and Bear Artists Classic (DBAC - Branch of NDF)
Sheraton Park Hotel, Anaheim, California
Dolls, bears and miniatures sold. Theme: Phantasy to Reality
For more information go to DollFestival@aol.com or phone (831) 438-5349 phone
July 24, 2011 – ODACA (Original Doll Artists Council of America)
Anaheim Hilton, Anaheim, California
For ODACA Day and the luncheon, register at: http://www.odaca.org/events.php
July 25-29, 2011 – UFDC (United Federation of Doll Clubs)
Anaheim Hilton, Anaheim, California
For more information and to register: http://www.ufdc.org/Convention2011.htm
August 13, 2011 – Day With Dolls
New York, New York
Dollmaker's Journey will be at this event.
For more information contact Diane Kearney at firstname.lastname@example.org
August 22-28, 2011 – NIADA (National Institute of American Doll Artists)
Registration is open now for the NIADA Dollmaking School on August 22-25.
Go here for signups and descriptions. http://www.niada.org/info.html
October 6-11, 2011 – Art Is ... You
Danbury Plaza Hotel, Danbury, Connecticut
For information check out this website:
To save yourself time and energy, get all the details on upcoming doll related events at
CLOTH DOLL CONNECTION: http://clothdollconnection.com/
DOLLMAKERS JOURNEY MOVING TO A NEW HOME!!!
After 8 years of operating out of the basement of Mary Ann's townhouse, Dollmakers Journey will be moving to the wonderful new home that Mary Ann and her fiancé Jim are purchasing together. Mary Ann's criteria were a home that had ample office space and she just wanted to have a "cool" bathroom before she leaves this earth. Jim's criterion was a house that would accommodate the business and Mary Ann's creative space all on one level so her "stuff" wouldn't have to be all over the house! The listing agent for the house put together a slide show that you can see -
It was quite a feat to get both of their homes sold and closed so that they could then close on the new house and have time to move into it. They will be closing on 20 July and will make every effort to accomplish the move with as little disruption to the business as possible and Mary Ann will actually have a Studio Suite! They will get the business moved in and set up the first weekend and then have the remaining household items moved after that. Mary Ann is looking forward to the challenge of combining two households with two very different styles! They will continue to do their very best to get your goodies in the mail as quickly as possible.
Judi Ward loves Grrrip glue from Dollmaker's Journey. She also uses Loctite Powergrab sold in tubes at your local hardware store in the home construction area. It glues everything, including Styrofoam, bonds quickly, and yet has about a 20 minute set-up time. Although it isn't labeled non-toxic, it is dangerous if it gets in the eyes or is ingested, so caution is needed around children.
TRAVELING NOTEBOOKS – PART 2
By Bonnie B. Lewis
Since I invented the traveling notebooks, I have found a few more favorite websites you can use.
good for coloring pages
paper dolls of your favorite cartoons, Twilight, movie stars, teen idols, etc.
Click on Harry Potter games for word search and crossword puzzles
Lots of other fun things here, including printable games for the whole family, kids travel book, etc.
I also found a great new tool at a Jo Ann's Fabric Store. It was pricey ($40) but with a 40% off coupon I got it for $24.00. It is called the Crop-a-dile II Big Bite Punch from We R Memory Keepers. It has a 6" throat so you can punch holes anywhere on a lacing card. It comes with two sizes of holes (use the larger one), as well as eyelet, grommet, and snap setter. You can also see it online at http://www.overstock.com/Crafts-Sewing/Crop-A-Dile-II-Big-Bite-Punch/3128184/product.html
Because I was asked to teach this as a class for my church, I decided to make up 10 kits for people who didn't want to travel to many different stores (online and real) to locate all the materials. Unfortunately, when I passed out a sign-up sheet, I got requests for 50 kits.
Feel free to use this information if you are asked to teach a class too. I packaged the laminating sheets, cardstock, and heavy duty sheet protectors in 10" x 13" brown manila envelopes. The notebooks were separate. In the zipper pouch I put the dry erase markers, mechanical pencil, and dice.
Here is the list of supplies:
TRAVELING KIT SUPPLIES
$10 Kit includes:
6 Dry erase colored markers with eraser tip
1 dice with numbers (NOT dots)
1 notebook (1" spine)
1 zipper pouch
6 laminating sheets
20 heavy duty sheet protectors
1 mechanical pencil
Items purchased separately
1 laminating sheet - 20 cents
1 cardstock sheet - 7 cents
1 heavy duty sheet protector 7 cents
1 dice with numbers 37 cents
1 set Math dice $6.35 (includes 3 dice, 2 – 12 sided dice, game sheet, bag)
1 zipper pouch $1.05
1 – 1" notebook $1.56
1 colored beading cord 37 cents (for sewing cards and stringing beads)
1 set dry erase markers $4.23
(mechanical pencils only available in kits)
Please bring to class:
Paper cutting scissors
Sandwich size Ziploc bags
You can also add to kit:
Crayons Gimp or beading lace for sewing cards
Glue stick Mechanical pencil
Kid scissors Colored pencils
Yarn for string games Dry erase crayons by Crayola
Beads (pony or wooden) for stringing
Set of Math dice (for older children)
I searched many different stores for the materials, and these are the least expensive (in the United States.) I did include taxes in the prices for separate items. (Be aware that with school starting again in August or September in the United States, prices will be really cheap several weeks before it begins. Also, for miniature card decks wait until Halloween when they are used for Trick or Treat, or check out a party store.)
*6 Dry erase colored markers with eraser tip and magnetic back – Staples most expensive, K-Mart cheaper, Amazon.com was cheaper still, and Wal-Mart cheapest. You might also want to check out the new dry erase crayons by Crayola.
*One 6-sided dice with numbers (NOT dots) – Our game store sold them for 37 cents with tax. Unfortunately they didn't have enough. I couldn't find this kind of specialty dice anywhere else. I
finally went online and bought a pound of dice from Amazon.com. This included 100 dice, some
with numbers, some with dots, some with more or less than 6 sides. The reason I used dice with numbers was because small children (as young as two) recognized numbers and had a harder time counting dots, and I didn't want to be accused of teaching young children how to gamble (LOL)
*1 notebook (1" spine) – Cheapest price was at Costco, but you had to buy 6 at a time. These were white notebooks with a see-through pocket on the front and back
*1 zipper pouch – They range in price from $5.00 to $1.00. Wal-Mart seemed to be the cheapest (made by Elmer's Glue Company) Make sure they are large enough to hold everything you want. Some are really small and will only hold a few pencils.
*6 laminating sheets – Laminating sheets are expensive. They should be 5 ml. in weight to withstand lots of erasing and drawing and should accommodate a standard sheet of paper or cardstock. You will also need a hot laminating machine. They ranged in price from $45.00 for 100 sheets (at Staples) to about $17.95 for 100 sheets from Oregon Laminating through Amazon.com
When it comes to laminating sheets, it pays to shop around.
*20 heavy duty sheet protectors – Don't settle for lightweight or standard sheet protectors. Heavy Duty will withstand more wear and tear. The best deal for these was at Costco, where you get 250 sheets for less than $12.00
*12 cardstock – Try to get 110 weight if possible. This will still go through most printers. Staples was the highest price at about $20 for 150 sheets, Wal-Mart the middle at $3.50 for 100 sheets, and online the cheapest $6.69 for 250 sheets from Amazon.com (Note: All prices may vary depending on your country and location.)
*1 mechanical pencil – The prices were high right now, but should be less before school begins.
*Math Dice – I found these at Staples. Designed for older children, they include three – 6 sided dice and two – 12 sided dice plus a carrying bag and game sheet. They might be fun for grades 4-12. If you use these you will not have to include any numbered dice.
*Beading cord – I found colorful beading cords (like shoelaces) with sealed ends that were perfect for stringing beads or sewing lacing cards. They came in six neon colors, and there were 12 to a package which costs $3.99 plus tax from Michael's Craft Store. They were in the children's craft section with pony and wooden beads. Gimp also works and may be less expensive. This is a flat plastic lacing cord used to make lanyards and key chains, also found with kid's crafts.
Supplies for the Teacher
Hot laminating machine
Computer with internet hookup
Leather hole punch 9/64" (3.5 mm), leather hammer, and acrylic breadboard or cutting mat OR
Crop-a-dile II Big Bite Punch for lacing cards
3 hole punch
Sandwich size Ziploc bags for small pieces (like paper dolls or Tangrams)
Plan to preprint some of the basic pages like dots and tic tac toe before coming to class
SPECIAL GIFTS FROM SOME OF OUR DESIGNERS FOR YOU
Jennifer Carson is doing a free softie sewing pattern of the week on her blog throughout the summer. The address is: www.jennifercarson.wordpress.com
See her other patterns at: http://dollmakersjourney.com/carson.html
Barb Keeling has been experimenting with videos. Her first one is on how to use the puncher needles that she sells. I was amazed that you could do it with regular sewing thread. Impressive! She plans to make more detailed videos that will "fill in the blanks."
See the video at: http://www.youtube.com/user/barbkeeling
See her other patterns at: http://dollmakersjourney.com/keeling.html
Order punch needles at: www.keelingskrafts.com
Stephanie Novatski, while at AFIC, was asked how she does her hands and fingers. She wrote a tutorial while she worked on her 2011 Hoffman Challenge doll. You can access the tutorial here: http://www.novasblossoms.com/handtut.pdf
Or visit her blog and see not only the tutorial but the Challenge doll she is working on here:
You can see her other patterns at: http://dollmakersjourney.com/novatski.html
It is never too early to start thinking about holiday projects and we have three new patterns from GINI SIMPSON that are just perfect! Stop by and take a peek at "December's Snow Much Fun," "We Three Angels," and "Three Little Kittens" and get ready to have some fun. –
No one does Elizabethan costuming better than CHRISTINE SHIVELY- BENJAMIN and her newest pattern "Elizabeth I" will bring you hours of creative enjoyment. – http://dollmakersjourney.com/shively.html
Did you ever hear the expression – "When Pigs Fly"? SUZETTE RUGOLO imagines what that looks like with her grand "Horatio." – http://dollmakersjourney.com/rugolo.html
All the way from New Zealand an enchanting new mermaid has just reached our shores! Come meet "Fennella" the newest pattern from the talented JILL MAAS and consider how much fun you'll have making her! - http://dollmakersjourney.com/maas.html
The imaginative SUSAN BARMORE is also treating us to her newest mermaid "Roxie" who sits upon a grand rock. You'll be amazed by what you can create with some plaster wrap and acrylic paint. -
"Oggie" is the latest release from our favorite Troll Queen UTE VASINA and quite a charming fellow he is. Do stop by to meet him. - http://dollmakersjourney.com/vasina.html
One of the most talented doll makers we know JODY MILLER has finally released patterns for a number of her most popular dolls. JODY is know for her colorful fabric combinations and whimsical characters. We're delighted to bring you her "Handy Hannah," "Rosie" and "Pipkin." Welcome to our family, JODY! - http://dollmakersjourney.com/jody_miller.html
"Bear Necessities" is a terrific new pattern from MAUREEN MILLS for bears with a well-loved look. - http://dollmakersjourney.com/mills.html
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) fans are going to love ARLEY BERRYHILL'S "La Catrina" in her extremely stylish outfit. Do check her out – http://dollmakersjourney.com/berryhill.html
Our favorite Dragon Charmer JENNIFER CARSON designs wonderful animals of all kinds. We fell in love with her very personable owl called "Hoot." We think you will, too! – http://dollmakersjourney.com/carson.html
INNOVATIVE BAG SEALER
While at Judi Ward's the other day she showed us how to recycle used soda pop bottles. Cut off the clean bottle about 3 inches below the top. Fill a plastic bag with anything, run the top of the bag from the cut end of the bottle to the top, pull bag through the screw top opening. Spread top of bag around opening and screw on bottle cap. This will keep liquid, powder, solids, etc. securely in the bag. This works really well with produce bags and bags requiring twist ties to close, but she also tried it on a plastic grocery bag and it seemed to work. A great way to use up those empty water and juice bottles and save money too!
Last month I introduced one of our customers, Edath Feston. She made a beautiful Victorian 27" doll that you can see at http://dollmakersjourney.com/newsletter/Edath_Feston.html
Her question was "How much could I charge for a doll like this?" I answered that it should sell for at least $100. Some of our customers disagreed. Here are their responses:
Ava Hilton: I just read the newsletter from Dollmakers Journey and looked at your doll. $100? I don't think so. This is, at the very least, a $400 doll. There is obviously a great deal of time in it and it is quite well done. Don't underprice yourself. That is a crafters biggest mistake. We often do not ask nearly what we should. I have a mermaid in a fabric shop right now that has less detail than your doll and was told by people in the know that $350 for that was a very reasonable price. It is just a bit longer than your doll and requires much less in the way of clothing. Just my 2 cents. Your doll is gorgeous!
Connie Turner: This doll is really stunningly beautiful and beautifully crafted. It is worth far more than the $100 you mentioned. I would price her at $300 at least.
So Edath, pricing will depend on where you sell it. At a doll show you can get much more money than at a craft show. Perhaps you might want to offer her online through one of the galleries that feature collector dolls like yours. Good luck, and let us know what happens to your beautiful doll.
A few weeks ago Mary Ann and Sarah attended the amazing Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and found a treasure trove of beautiful, silky ALPACA FIBER in a range of natural colors. As mohair becomes harder and harder to get, you'll find the ALPACA a truly wonderful alternative. - http://dollmakersjourney.com/hair.html
Our individual PRISMACOLOR PENCILS have proved to be quite popular and we are listening to your suggestions for new colors. This week we've added Violet and Warm Grey 90% that is essentially a soft black that many dollmakers find less harsh. - http://dollmakersjourney.com/supplies.html
You'll find the Tiny Turning Tubes, Timtex and the 3.5" and 6.25" hemostats with Grip handle all back in stock. We also have five of our most popular Ethnic Fabric shades available once again in the FABRIC DEPARTMENT. - http://dollmakersjourney.com/supplies.html
We have just brought back the very popular JOHN JAMES LONG DARNERS SIZE 7 in the 25 packs. We were not able to get them for a time and we were delighted to find them available again. – http://dollmakersjourney.com/supplies.html#needles
For those of you who enjoy working with clay we've just added a 5 Piece Stainless Steel double ended SPATULA AND CHISEL set to enhance your creativity. – http://dollmakersjourney.com/supplies.html
NEWS FROM THE HOME FRONT
As time runs out Bonnie is packing for Saint Lucia, preparing 50 travel kits, and trying to finish 150 Pioneer Stories for the beginning of July. She will get back from St. Lucia at 2 a.m. and teach travel kits that evening at 7, and she leaves in two days! She bought wooden wheels for her handcart from http://customwagonwheels.com. They were priced at $65.00 each, but the finished handcart which she conned her son-in-law into making will be perfect. The dolls to go with it might not be finished in time, but she is making miniature bags to scale filled with potatoes, rice, beans, flour, sugar, etc. to put in the cart. It will make a great visual aid when she speaks to the young people going on Trek.
As if Mary Ann and Jim had nothing better to do they have just returned from the first of three trips this month. Last week they traveled to beautiful Mobile Alabama (with a 2 day stop in spectacular New Orleans) to attend the commissioning of the US Navy ship the USS WILLIAM P. LAWRENCE DDG-110 – a guided missile destroyer. Despite the record breaking 103 degree heat, the ceremony was so exciting and it was thrilling to watch the dedicated crew run up the brows to man the rails. This weekend they will travel to New Jersey for the baptism of Jim's grandson Alexander James Lyng and are so looking forward to the special family occasion. On the 25th they will be attending a family reunion in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Never a dull moment – that's for sure!
While visiting the French Market in New Orleans last week Mary Ann and Jim met enthusiastic entrepreneur Benardett K. Jno-Finn the founder of www.senicanaturals.com a lovely collection of body products such as Shea Moisturizers, Jojoba Oil and Blemish Balm. Mak just loved the "Sweetness" Shea Moisturizer and purchased some for herself and several as gifts. A few days later when she received a nasty sunburn the wonderful body butter became a soothing balm and she was sold. Benardett has graciously offered a special coupon - "I have created a special 10% discount code for your subscribers if they would like to purchase a product. I would recommend the shea moisturizers to keep hands soft. The coupon code is DMJ2011 it expires September 8, 2011." Treat yourself to a visit to Benardett's website. You will enjoy reading about her interesting background and accomplishments and don't forget to use your special coupon!
Want a car you won't lose in the parking lot? Check out this art car parade. It kind of reminds me of a Dollmaker's Magic Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah where Carole Doubek was driving to the convention in a small VW beetle. The sun roof was open with assorted 17 foot dragons and other reptiles poking through the roof. Carole couldn't understand why people were staring! (I even think there might have been a few accidents!)
We'd love to hear your thoughts about our Customer Connection newsletter.
Contact the editor Bonnie B. Lewis at EnchantedR@aol.com with any comments, suggestions, etc.
Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to any of your friends. Help us spread the word about Dollmaker's Journey! All we ask is that you forward it intact, with all the subscription information included.