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Dollmaker's Journey
CUSTOMER CONNECTION

July 2012 Issue 122

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Dollmaker's Journey CUSTOMER CONNECTION
Dream ~ Imagine ~ Create ~ Grow ~ Believe ~ Magic
At http://dollmakersjourney.com we help your creative dreams come true.

July 2012 Issue 122

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Copyright 2012 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:
http://www.dollmakersjourney.com/

**Notice!** 

You can read all the past issues online.  Go to:
http://dollmakersjourney.com/newsletter/archives.html
The archives include an easy to follow index to all the past issues.

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Dear Dollmaking Friends,

Mary Ann has been very busy updating our website over the past several months. Now you can click on some of the patterns and see what supplies are needed to complete the project. This way you can buy or collect any odd things at the same time you purchase your pattern, so when it arrives you will be ready to make a doll. She is working on updating all the patterns on our website to offer the same feature.

Mary Ann has also created a fantastic video (see link below) that every dollmaker should view. It is all about the different kinds of fabric we sell, what is suitable, how much stretch, which side to paint on, and everything you ever wanted to know about buying fabric for doll bodies. In addition we have added Gingher sheers (our favorite kind of scissors), acrylic paints, and much more to our supply department.

The Hoffman Challenge dolls are in, and the winners will be announced soon. I have seen some of your wonderful creations and am very impressed at how you used an unsuitable large print fabric to make amazing dolls. Deanna Hogan has collected pictures of some of the 2012 dolls entered, and you can see their pictures here:  http://www.blueherondolls.com/2012%20Hoffman%20Challenge.htm
Congratulations to everyone who entered. You are all winners.

Bonnie and Mary Ann

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NEW FABRIC VIDEO

If you were ever curious about the different types of fabric we sell then stop by and see our very first video "Let's Talk About Fabrics for Cloth Doll Bodies." More explanatory videos coming soon! -  http://dollmakersjourney.com/fabrics.html

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2012 UFO CHALLENGE FROM DOLLMAKER'S JOURNEY

The goal is to spend 2012 minutes this year clearing the decks for new projects and challenges. Recently there has been a discussion on FOCD about ways to focus on one project at a time, and clearing out all the UFOs (unfinished objects) in your life.

So the challenge remains. Work 45 minutes a week, 6 minutes a day, or 2012 minutes this year finishing your UFOs. How are you doing?

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JULY SALE

Our JULY SALE is in full swing and the category is FEMALE. These are all the great patterns that don't fit neatly into the more specific categories we have. Be sure to take advantage of the 20% discount.   http://dollmakersjourney.com/

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.

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WORDS TO LIVE BY
We are all in this together. So when you realize that you're talking to yourself, label it "thinking" and notice your tone of voice. Let it be compassionate and gentle and humorous. Then you'll be changing old stuck patterns that are shared by the whole human race. Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves.  Pema Chodron

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JUNE ANSWER

Q: In golf, where did the term "Caddie" come from?

A: The word Caddie derives from the French word "le cadet", meaning "the boy" or the youngest of the family. The word "cadet" appears in English from 1610 and the word "caddie" or "cadie" appears shortly after that in 1634. Adopting French terms was not unusual for the Scots. For example they adopted the term "Gardez-vous!" as "gardyloo".

This appears to be the origin of the speculative theory, promoted by some, that French military "cadets" carried the clubs for the golfing royalty in France and this practice came to Scotland when Queen Mary Stuart (possibly the first female golfer) returned in 1561. She may have started the term when she called her minions cadets. Of course the military term "cadet" has the same origin, as these "cadets" were often the younger sons of the aristocracy.

Congratulations to Jean Burlingame from Bloomfield, 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!

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JULY QUESTION

Q:  Which verse in the Bible contains every letter of the English alphabet except one? (There are several correct answers.)

Everyone who emails in the correct answers by August 15th 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 July 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.

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CHARITY CORNER
Every Doll Needs a Home - The Evangeline Booth Miracle Home Annual Auction
Deadline to donate dolls: September 15, 2011
We will be holding our annual fundraiser on October 4, 2012. 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:
http://everydollneedsahome.weebly.com/index.html

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. For those of you that like to create more unusual dolls, some of us will be challenging ourselves to make a doll using Altoid tins for the event. That should be fun!

Dolls can be dropped off or shipped to:
The Salvation Army 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 Small for more information at: erasmuse@verizon.net

This year's benefit will be held on Thursday, October 4, 2012 at:
Schenectady County Community College
The Mohawk Room
78 Washington Ave.
Schenectady, NY 12305
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

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PATTERN REVIEW WEBSITE

When you wonder if a pattern is simple or difficult, good directions or impossible to follow, check out the  pattern review blog at http://clothdollpatternreview.blogspot.com/  to get information on patterns from other dollmakers, or enter a review of the pattern yourself.

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CHALLENGES

September 20, 2012 - Cloth Doll Artistry Challenges
To join this group (yearly fee $12) go to: www.clothdollartistry.com
They currently have seven studios. Each studio has quarterly challenges. At the end of each challenge they round up all the pictures from each studio and incorporate them into CDA quarterly videos.
Here are the challenges for the 3rd Quarter due by September 20:
Art Doll Studio- The Candlestick Doll Challenge
Cloth Doll Studio- The Clothespin Art Doll Challenge
Crafts Studio- It's Your Bag Challenge
Pin Doll Studio- Halloween: Frankenstein, Dracula, Werewolf Challenge
Prim Doll Studio- Halloween in July Challenge
Soft Animals Studio- No Picture/ No Instructions Cat Challenge
Vintage Studio- It's Summertime Gourd Challenge
 
Regarding the yearly fee, the moderator of the site writes: "We now have close to four hundred doll artists who like the privacy as well as having their profile, photo albums, and blog pages. We advertise our CDA updates on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, our CDA Central Newsletter blog  as well as featuring quarterly videos at Youtube showcasing all the photos from each of our studios. Some may say $12 is too much, but one dollar a month is far cheaper than any of the magazines at checkout stands." When you join you can participate in the many challenges they offer. Sounds like fun!
 
September 2012 - Treasures of the Gypsy Challenge 2012
Promise form due August 1, 2010. Dolls due last week of September 2012 for Houston Quilt Festival.
You must purchase packet of materials to be used in your doll from Pamela Armas. The cost, which includes entry fee and shipping, is $20.00. The theme is: The Charmed and Mystical Gypsy
For more information go to: http://www.creationsinfiberinc.com/Gypsy-Challenge.html
Or contact Pamela at GypsyTreasures@cs.com

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UPCOMING EVENTS YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS

September 21-23, 2012 - RenoIowa Retreat
Marshalltown, Iowa
Classes from Sherry Goshon and Jean Bernard
For information go to: http://www.RenoIowaRetreat.com or contact Sherry Goshon at innerchildslg@yahoo.com or Jean Bernard at Jean@JeanBernardArt.com

September 27-30, 2012 - NIADA (National Institute of American Doll Artists)
Stamford, Connecticut
More information about the convention at: http://www.niada.org/index2.html

October 1-3, 2012 - NIADA Dollmaking School
Stamford, Connecticut
Class registration is now open for the NIADA 2012 Dollmaking School
http://www.niada.org/dollschool.html

October 20-21, 2012 - Forget Me Not class with Barbara Willis
Make a free standing ground fairy(no wings) with fully soft sculpted face from knit fabric, wired hands for posing and fabulous leather shoes that compliment the fairy couture costume.  18 inches tall.
Cost: $300 The price goes down, the more people we have registered!! Please send your cheque to secure your spot to Edwina at: 1276 Wellington Street, Ottawa K1Y 3A7

October, 2012 - Doll and Teddy Bear Expo
Information coming soon at: http://www.dollandteddyexpo.com/

January 2013 - IDEX
More information coming at: http://www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=942999

To save yourself time and energy, get all the details on upcoming doll related events at
CLOTH DOLL CONNECTION:  http://clothdollconnection.com/

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SPECIAL GIFTS FOR YOU

Check out Scribbles, a free pattern designed for charity by Cynthia Sieving. Make a child, cat, rabbit or dog and donate to your favorite charity or children's services.
http://www.cyndysdolls.com/scribbles.htm
See more patterns by Cynthia here: http://dollmakersjourney.com/sieving.html

This site has a huge amount of free prim patterns.  They are mostly the cute prim, not the grungy, horrible, ugly prims. http://www.lilliemaescrafts.com/index.html
There are also free tutorials and eBooks on making dolls, hair, face transfer, etc. 

For a great tutorial on making natural looking fingernails and toenails, go to:
http://dollmakersjourney.com/nail_tutorial.html
Deanna Hogan, who created this tutorial, writes: " It's easy, and I must admit came about because of a mishap. My early nails were achieved by painting on layers of Mod Podge only - but the metal of the chenille stems caused an unsightly dark spot in the nail area. I painted the nail flesh-colored to cover it up, and like the results so much better than the Mod Podge alone. See? Not all mistakes and goofs are bad ;-)" This method also works well with Crystal Lacquer. 
 
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Q: Judy from Maryland asked a question: "Years ago at Doll Camp (Allegheny College, Meadville, PA) our instructor gave us some wonderful, very strong nylon cord (thread) that we used to attach arms onto our doll.  You could pull the thread VERY tight without it breaking and the arms stayed on even with hard use!  I am down to my last few inches of this thread and need to know what it might be called for purchasing some more. I've tried several threads that were in my "stash" and none are quite as strong."

A: At Dollmaker's Journey we do sell waxed linen cord (Darice Craft Designer waxed cord white) that is very strong and great for jointing. (http://dollmakersjourney.com/supplies.html) However, Victoria DiPietro came up with a wonderful new way of jointing dolls using ribbon. Victoria agreed to share some ideas in the tutorial in our newsletter. Her instructions begin on the next page.



JOINTING DOLLS WITH RIBBON
By Victoria DiPietro

I've used all kinds of things to joint dolls: buttonhole twist, waxed linen cord (pretty good stuff), plastic doll joints (big favorite of mine) and Offray's Spool 'O Ribbon (my hands down favorite).  I use the 1/8" width in ivory, white or peach color.  It's very inexpensive - about a dollar for a 10 yard spool.  It's a double faced satin ribbon; polyester I think.  Anyway, if you thread some on a jointing needle and use that instead of threads or cords, it goes through a stuffed body easily (easier in my opinion than anything else). Ties tightly and you can bury the ends back into the doll (or tie a pretty little bow).  I've been using it for quite a few of my dolls over a 15 year period and I've never had it break and never had it tangle.  I do recommend putting a little Fray Check on the knot and on any cut ends you let show because the very thing that makes the ribbon slide so easily through a stuffed body is also the very thing that can make the knots and bows come undone.

Threading the ribbon on a needle - I normally use the 1/8" ribbon. However, please try the 1/4" ribbon.  If you can get it through the eye of the needle it should be fine.  If you have to, cut the ribbon at an angle and Fray Check the cut end first.  Let it dry before threading the needle.  The pointed corner and the stiffening of the Fray Check should help you get the needle threaded. Just pull slowly.  If you are using polyester ribbon, it shouldn't stretch.  I can't speak for anything else that is organic or loosely woven.  Do put Fray Check on your knots, the tied center of the bows and any ribbon ends that show.  Not only is it neater as it keeps the ribbon from fraying on the cut ends, but it will keep your knots and bows the way you intended them to be!

Button ribbon jointing - Necessity is the mother of invention!  Years and years ago I was stuck with nothing strong enough to joint a skinny cloth doll I was designing.  Spied my ribbon and gave it a try and was super happy with the results.  It is very easy to work with and so inexpensive. If you like the look of flat button joints without actually sewing on the buttons, try using the ribbon instead of thread. Just slip the ribbon through button holes for the button look without actually sewing on buttons.  You should only need to attach the button in the jointing process with the ribbon by going through it once - versus a number of times with thread. 

Hanging dolls with ribbon - For fun, try running a ribbon side to side through a torso front at the shoulder area. Attach each arm to the torso with the ribbon by taking the end of the torso ribbon sticking out of the "arm pit" and thread on the arm (like a big arm shaped bead, if you will...)  Thread the ribbon end back into the torso and bring it out to center back - sort of like between the shoulder blades.  Do it with the other arm and ribbon end.  Now you have two ribbon ends sticking out of the back.  Tie together with a square or overhand knot.  Go up a few inches and tie another knot.  Now you have a loop to hang your doll for wall art. 

Attach head with ribbon - If you bring the ribbon ends up the neck stem instead of the back, thread on the head and tie knots at the top of the head, you'll not only will have attached the head, but also made a turning head effortlessly and created a hanging loop.  Bury the ribbon ends instead and wig your doll.  You'll never know the head was attached with ribbon at all. By all means, use the ribbon at the top of the head for a cute hair bow.  I've even made little dolls where I jointed the head on with ribbon, paperclayed a little face and wig and still tied a little bow on the top of the head.  You have to mask off your ribbon first or it will get messy.

Turning head - To make the head turnable, two things must be present in your doll's body pattern design. First, the torso must have a neck stem and the head must also have a neck stem.  The torso neck stem is the one that will become a visible neck.  The head neck stem is a fabric extension from the head pattern that is folded back into the head after it is stuffed up to the chin.  I have always made my own patterns and incorporate these features into the pattern.  I've probably made a half dozen dolls over the years that use another artist's patterns, but I always modify the patterns to include the neck stems.
In general, what you will do is this:  modify the torso patterns so that you create a neck extension right off the torso. (That is, instead of just a seam allowance at the neck or neck tab, draw the neck so its long enough to be a visible neck and extend into the head at least half way - say, about to where the eyes or nose will be.  Shouldn't matter how many pattern pieces make up the torso itself - just add length for the neck.
 
When you stuff the torso, think about if a neck support is needed.  Wooden doll pins are excellent for this purpose.  They look like old fashioned clothespins (not spring clothespins; the type before spring clothespins).  Once upon a time, there was a cute craft idea that used the ball portion of the wooden doll pin for a little head. The smooth part was the torso and the part that splits and goes around a clothesline forms legs.  I think that's how they went from clothespins to doll pins.  I spied them at a craft store almost 20 years ago and don't use anything else - except when the doll has such a thin neck I have to use 3/16" wooden dowel instead.  If you can't find wooden doll pins at a local store, just do an internet search for "wooden doll pins". 

Anyhow, stuff your torso firmly, working your way up to the shoulder and neck area.  Stick your finger (hemostat, chopstick, knitting needle, etc.) through the unstuffed neck and into the torso's stuffing to create a spot to accept your neck support.  Put the support into position and add stuffing evenly around it.  Push the stuffing down to compact it.  I find I get a smooth neck if I place fluffy bits of stuffing all the way around the neck support evenly.  Then I compact it and add more.  The key seems to be in the even layers of stuffing (sort of like a "Ring Toss" game).  Once the torso neck is completely stuffed (and the neck support is buried into the neck and torso - not sticking out above the neck opening) run a gathering stitch around the raw edge of the neck using regular thread.  Cinch it up like purse strings.  Knot off.  Move your needle a quarter of the way around the neck, stick the needle through the gathered neck area and knot again.  Move a quarter of the way around and do it again.  Keep doing that a few times until your neck is rounded nicely and the stitches hold.  A little Fray Check applied to your stitches will keep it neat and in place.  Also, you won't have the raw edges on the neck raveling. 

Stuff the head next, but put some Fray Check on the raw edges of the head's neck extension first.  Stuff evenly and firmly.  When the head looks about the way you want it to look, tunnel into the head's stuffing with tool of your choice and then turn the neck back into the head, creating a chamber that will accept the torso's neck. 

Go back to your torso.  Take a length of 1/8" Offray ribbon.  It will need to be long enough to go from the gathering stitches on the torso neck to the top of the head, plus enough to make some knots (and a hanging loop, if you want).  Whatever the length is you need to do this, double it.  Cut a piece of ribbon that length.  Use a jointing needle or sculpting needle that is long enough and thread the ribbon through it.  Insert your needle just below those gathering stitches on the torso neck and pull the ribbon completely through the neck.  Doesn't matter if you go through side to side or front to back.  All that matters is that half your doll is on one side and half your doll is on the other side.  Take your needle off the ribbon.  Make the ribbon ends even.  Tie one or two square knots.  The knots must be on the top of the neck (tip of the neck?), not at the sides, front or back.  The knots form a pivot point for the turning head.
 
Thread your big needle with one of the ribbon ends.  Take your head and stick the needle in through the neck opening.  Be careful not to catch the fabric you turned inside the head.  Don't go through a seam.  Stay within the hair area. Pull your needle out through the top of the head or a bit back from the top of the head, bringing your ribbon with it. Repeat with the other ribbon end, but come out close to the first ribbon.  Don't come out the same hole.  Remove the needle.  As you pull your ribbon ends taut, ease the head over the neck.  You want to twist the head a little to the right, then a little to the left as you fit the two sections together.  Please don't just jam the head on.  It'll squish all your nice work and won't help you get the pieces together.  Once the head is where you want it on the neck, tie a square knot or two to hold the whole thing together.

Your options with the extra ribbon ends are:  Move up from your knot and make a hanging loop (or use it as part of a decorative marionette string); Bury the ribbon ends back into the head like you would thread; Leave the ribbons alone and create a wig around the ribbons.  Then tie your ribbon ends into a pretty bow (looks like a hairstyle with a ribbon ornament in her hair); Or even make the ribbons part of a ribbon or ribbon and fiber wig.  Your dolls head should now be firmly attached and turn nicely

Creative camisole - I have a doll in prototype mode right now with her arms jointed with one ribbon length.  The ribbon goes through the torso first and each end sticks out where the arms attach to the shoulder.  Each arm is then threaded on, going through just the inside of the arm.  Then the ribbon goes back into the torso and comes out center front right at the bottom of the shoulder plate.  (The head, neck and shoulder plate are made of paperclay over cloth, with the rest of the doll all cloth.)  I glued a piece of narrow lace at the edge of the shoulder plate.  Where the two ribbon ends come out of the torso's center front (about 1/16th of an inch apart), I tied the ends together with a knot and then a small bow.  The lace plus ribbon bow now look like a camisole garment on this 18-1/2" doll I have named "Charlotte". Saved me making another layer of clothing on this little antique-look Victorian-style child. 

Ribbon ballet slippers - One other ribbon application that I remember doing is with a doll that had ribbon crisscrossing up the legs, ballet slipper-style.  Rather than mess with glue, etc., the ribbon that laid closest to the leg was threaded through a bit of the leg.  The second ribbon crisscrossed over and hid the ribbon stitch.  The ribbon won't slip out of position if you do that.  It's a small thing, really ... but it was nice to not have to fiddle with the slipper ties constantly.

Shank buttons and ribbon jointing -I had a question posed to me earlier today about whether to use shank buttons with the ribbon jointing.  I think one or the other is best - the metal shank will create wear and tear on the ribbon and you won't get as tight a fit like you do with thread.    Ribbon jointing with just the ribbon is very appropriate for thin bodied and little dolls.  On a big doll (chunky, more human proportioned) - like a child doll in the 22 inch and up size, the limbs are harder to pull into the body for a tight fit.  The limbs kind of 'clank' together and it's worse if you paint the entire skin.   Your invisible jointing with the shank buttons and cord or plastic doll joints is a much better way to go on chunkier dolls.  For chunkier dolls that have little room in the crotch area of the torso to accommodate the screw part of a plastic doll, your shank button and cord is the only way to go. 

I don't use shank buttons at all.  If I have a large doll like Clara who is 25" tall and is proportionally correct, I use plastic doll joints at the hips and shoulders.  They just snap together and are virtually impossible to pull apart.  They are frequently used on teddy bears and are readily available either at a fabric store, craft store or online at http://dollmakersjourney.com

Thinner limbed dolls that are more fantasy shaped are best for the ribbon treatment.  Just go through the fabric and tie a square knot between the torso and limb if you want the doll repeatedly poseable.  Skip the knot if you don't.  It's best not to put your jointing needle and ribbon through seams if you can; just a fraction of an inch off the seam works best. 

Fabrics to use with ribbon jointing - People wonder if this technique leaves a large hole in the doll. Yes, you can leave a hole with a jointing needle and ribbon, but then you can leave a hole with just a jointing needle!  It's not a tear, it's a "parting" in the weave and the threads in the weave can be put back into place with a little coaxing with your fingernail.  I use muslin and other 100% cotton wovens almost exclusively. I have tried it on knits and unless you are careful, you can tear it.  During the construction process I've ironed my fabric at least twice.  I do not prewash fabrics, unless they need freshening. The sizing the manufacturers apply to fabrics might play a part in this - I don't really know - but I find the fabric weave "parts" (rather than "tears") when I use the jointing or sculpting needle.  I've never had it leave a tear.  Don't pull a ribbon directly through a seam, though. If for some reason the ribbon hangs up a bit, it was because the stuffing is not really springy enough - compacts down too much when handled - so the fiberfill glops on to the eye of the needle and ribbon. I've had it hang up with old fiberfill, but I stopped pulling before I pulled it through the fabric.  I've always been able to coax the needles through, though, just takes a little finesse.  If you have old (years and years old) polyester fiberfill, you might want to look into getting a fresh bag, simply because the newer fiberfill doesn't compact down around the jointing needle. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: You can buy Victoria's tutorial called "Beyond Bows - Ribbon Jointing and More Tutorial" at http://dollmakersjourney.com/dipietro.html
This has many photos and step-by-step directions.

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NEW PATTERNS/BOOKS/CD-ROMs/DVDs/MOLDS

"Safe in Mommy's Arms" is a darling raggedy trio by GINI SIMPSON that you are going to love. - http://dollmakersjourney.com/simpson.html

MICHELLE ALLEN of Raggedy Pants Designs has just released "Raggedy Angel," a vintage style standing raggedy that is ever so sweet. -  http://dollmakersjourney.com/allen.html

We have another amazing Steampunk creature from the fertile imagination of SUSAN BARMORE. You have to check out "Cowabunga!" A mere description won't do it justice - http://dollmakersjourney.com/barmore.html

"Ten Little Raggedies" is the newest release from MAUREEN MILLS. This wonderful all purpose pattern gives you 10 different sizes - from 4" - 16.5" - all in one pattern! http://dollmakersjourney.com/mills.html

BUNNY GOODE has a splendid new pattern called "Scattergoods." You'll see that your fabric choices will dictate the character of the doll you make with limitless possibilities. - http://dollmakersjourney.com/goode.html

"Hapenny Magick Newly Borns" is a sweet, sweet baby character from JENNIFER CARSON'S newest book - "Hapenny Magick." Do stop by and see this lovely doll. -  http://dollmakersjourney.com/carson.html

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SUPPLIES

This month at Dollmakers Journey we are all about NEW SUPPLIES!!! In case you haven't heard we are in the process of putting all the pattern supply lists on the site so we can serve you better. We are taking a good look at the lists and working to add more supplies for your convenience.

First up - we are creating a PAINT AND FINISHES DEPARTMENT. We are excited to bring you a wonderful selection of DELTA CERAMCOAT ACRYLIC PAINTS in 2 oz bottles and also an assortment of PAINT POT SETS - when you only need a little bit of paint. http://dollmakersjourney.com/paints_finishes.html

We have added GESSO in white and black, TEXTILE MEDIUM, SPARKLE GLAZE and CRACKLE MEDIUM. Be sure to take a look at what we have in case you need anything for a special project. - http://dollmakersjourney.com/paints_finishes.html

Mary Ann's favorite scissors are her GINGHER 8" DRESSMAKING SHEARS and we are making them available for anyone who wants or needs these high quality scissors. We also have a handy AWL with a bamboo handle, NEEDLE NOSE PLIERS WITH CUTTER, a BALL POINT BODKIN and the fabulous SCHMETZ MICROTEX SEWING MACHINE NEEDLES. http://dollmakersjourney.com/supplies.html

Over in the FABRIC DEPARTMENT we now have our preferred Southern Belle Muslin in Cream. Be sure to check out our new video to learn more about the array of fabrics we carry for your doll bodies. http://dollmakersjourney.com/fabrics.html

BACK IN STOCK: Colour Shaper Tool Size 6, Crafters Pick Ultimate Glue, 30MM Doll Joints and Medium Brown Braided Wool - http://dollmakersjourney.com/supplies.html
http://dollmakersjourney.com/hair.html


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CUSTOMER QUERIES

Q:  Does anyone know how to fix mohair wefts that are matted?  

A:  Stephanie Smith answers - A spray bottle with a combination of children's detangler/conditioner (I'd start with 3 parts detangler and 1 part water) and water and a large tooth comb will work. Spray detangler and work it in and starting from the ends gently comb and work up through the knots. You must be gentle as mohair is very fragile. It takes some time but after the mohair is dry you can use it and style it as normal.

Vickie adds: To untangle mohair you first gently work in good hair conditioner then use a fine comb and start at the bottom and work your way up. Keep one hand at the top towards the wefting to keep from pulling the mohair out of the weft. When you are done combing gently rinse out the conditioner. This would be a good time to put in curlers if you are going to otherwise put mohair in shape and let dry. You will lose some as you comb it out but that can't be helped All you can do is try to prevent it in the future.

Bonnie adds: Be sure and save the mohair that didn't stay attached to the weft. You can use this to create a "rat" which you can attach under the other mohair to create height to the hairdo.

Q:  I am looking for a free pattern of a tiny fairy that was waking up into a flower.

A:  This is one of our many free patterns at Dollmaker's Journey. Teeny Tiny Faerie Flora is by Allison Marano. http://dollmakersjourney.com/flora.html

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PINCUSHION STUFFING TIP

When stuffing a pincushion add sawdust or steel wool to keep needles sharp and prevent rusting. Just keep the pincushion dry, because wet wood swells and steel wool rusts if wet. You can also just use Fiberfil or wool roving, but they won't sharpen pins. In commercial pincushions when there is a strawberry attached it is filled with emery powder which sharpens needles and cleans them too. Go online to find your best price for emery powder.

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NEWS FROM THE HOME FRONT

Bonnie's brother-in-law died suddenly last week and the funeral is Saturday. Her younger sister is left a widow with ten children and many grandchildren. This was a shock to everyone, as there were no symptoms. He just sat down, slumped over, and was dead. Life can end suddenly for all of us. Sometimes things in life take priority over doll challenges. Her Hoffman Challenge doll was ready for a costume, and it would have been fabulous. However, due to real life events, the doll will be put away until next year's challenge. I hope the new fabric will work to create the costume she has in mind. I will give you a hint. The doll is from the Folies Bergere in France.

Mary Ann has had lots of great comments on the Fabric Video and she and daughter Ana have a quite a few more on the drawing board.  Right now she is getting into full Grandmother mode preparing for her newest granddaughter due to arrive August 6th.  She is crocheting up a storm making blankets, caps and more and is trying to decide which dolls to make and how many!  So much to create and so little time!  Mak has been able to enjoy several theatrical events this summer.  Last weekend she and Ana saw the "How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular" that was over the top creatively amazing.  For some really cool behind the scenes videos click here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=II-rq8FtZsc&feature=plcp
 
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WEBSITES:

Free corset patterns. The file is PDF, but can be reduced to fit a doll.
http://www.ralphpink.com/pattern-cutting/womenswear/corsets

Learn to restore broken dolls, restring arms and legs, etc., step by step
http://www.justmagicdolls.com/articles/restoration/wizard.htm

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