Dollmaker's Journey CUSTOMER CONNECTION
July 2002 Issue Thirteen
Copyright 2002 by Dollmaker's Journey
Dollmaker's Journey Customer Connection newsletter
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** Notice! **
You can now read all the past issues online. Go to:
The archives include an easy to follow index to all
the past issues.
Dear dollmaker friends,
In August 1999 we opened our website as a venue for
selling our own books and patterns. Soon we were adding
the patterns of up-and-coming designers to provide them
an opportunity to market their work. We now have 68!
If your family and friends have been urging you to turn
your fabulous dolls into patterns for others to enjoy
but you're not quite sure how to get started, this is
the issue for you! Along with our "Pattern Writing
101" article we've assembled another wonderful
array of dollmaking treats for you to enjoy. Have fun!
Mary Ann and Bonnie
I would like you to meet Fiona Guagliano, who creates
fairies and other fascinating folk from homemade cold
porcelain clay. She lives in a small town in southern
Italy, and a picture of a beautiful island right offshore
is on her website. You can see some of her creations
She is sharing her recipe for cold porcelain, which
is also called corn dough. This is an air-dried clay,
so you don't need to bake it. When the project is finished,
she gives the dolls a final spray of acrylic sealer
(used to protect oil paintings) to give the dolls a
waxy look. The finished dolls look like porcelain, are
humidity-proof and quite unbreakable. You can color
the dough with tempera powder or acrylic paint, or paint
the finished project with acrylic paints. We have changed
the recipe slightly to use ingredients found in most
American households. Because this clay is so sturdy,
you might want to try using it to make doll accessories.
Fiona says Vaseline petroleum jelly purchased in jars
won't work. You MUST have oil. Vaseline oil is sold
in Europe. In American try using vegetable oil, mineral
oil, or baby oil instead. Her "spoon" measurement
is a soup spoon size (tablespoon) and not a coffee spoon
size (teaspoon). You can see her original recipe on
Recipe for Cold Porcelain Clay
By Fiona Guagliano
1 cup polyvinyl acetate (PVA) white glue (such
1 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons Vaseline oil OR vegetable oil OR baby
oil (you could also use mineral oil, but make sure it
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Mix all the ingredients in a Teflon coated or no-stick
Cook at a low temperature (for gas stove, use a very
low flame) for 9/10 minutes, stirring constantly so
you obtain an elastic mixture, until it begins
to clear the sides of the pot. Let mixture cool until
lukewarm, and then knead it to make it homogeneous,
and store it in plastic wrap or a Ziploc bag. Now you
can model your sculptures, using just the dough you
need, keeping the unused portion wrapped in plastic.
If you store it in an airtight container, the clay should
last for one week to one month, depending on the type
of white glue used, the temperature of your house, and
the humidity level. Do not refrigerate.
Enjoy! Fiona (email@example.com)
DID YOU KNOW? Elmer's glue is named after a cow. The
famous cow used as the corporate symbol on all Elmer's
products is actually named Elsie, and she is the spouse
of Elmer, the cow (bull?) who the company is named after.
There must be something special in the water in Australia!
The designing talent there is out of this world. The
very gifted SUZETTE RUGULO joins our Dollmaker's Journey
family with her very lovely collection of designs -
a witch on the moon, a charming jester, an enchanting
wizard, a lovely mermaid, a darling dragon and a spectacular
clown balancing on a ball. Suzette incorporates many
clever techniques into her designs that will surely
expand your skills. Treat yourself to a peek at her
wonderful patterns - http://dollmakersjourney.com/rugolo.html
UPCOMING EVENTS & DOLL CLUBS
To save yourself time and energy, get all the details
on upcoming doll related events such as We Folk of Cloth
in October and many other events by regularly visiting
Karen Samuelson's CLOTH DOLL CONNECTION website. For
the most comprehensive news on designers, events, challenges,
doll clubs and activities be sure to check out and bookmark
You can also find a list of local doll clubs and their
locations at Mini World: http://www.miniworlddolls.com/Goodstuff/Clubs.htm
If it says "mixed media" it includes cloth
The Santa Fe Art Doll Experience is on the Mother's
day weekend 2003. We are honored to announce the beneficiary
of the Preview Night Opening (May 9) is Dragonfly's
Delights - a non-profit established to sooth the soul
and nurture the body and spirit of women newly diagnosed
with breast cancer. Please visit their web site at:
A SPECIAL GIFT FOR YOU
Designer CLAIRE-ELLEN shares a crocheted sandal pattern
that fits her newest doll "Leda and the Swan." The directions
for Leda's crocheted sandals can be found in our FREE
pattern section. These sandals can be easily adapted
to fit any size doll. http://dollmakersjourney.com/sandal/index.html
Have you ever sold a doll and needed to mail it? How
can you safely pack it so it arrives intact? Kim Jelley
shares ideas on her website: http://www.theartistdoll.com/
Click on the site map for the trademark secrets/tip
link. The packing information is in that section.
PATTERN WRITING 101
By Mary Ann Kaahanui and Bonnie B. Lewis
We know you're out there. You've designed something
really terrific and you'd love to get it down on paper.
In fact, you've been thinking about it for a very long
time, but just aren't sure how to get started. Why not
let this be the year to achieve that goal! Allow us
to share with you a quick overview of the way we go
about it and perhaps it'll give you a boost of confidence
to try it yourself.
Keep a pattern notebook near you as you're working
on your prototype and jot down anything that might be
tricky or unusual - just enough so you'll know what
you need to make very clear or to emphasize when you
actually begin to write the instructions. It's a good
idea to have only ONE pattern notebook to keep all your
notes in one place. A tape recorder could also be used.
Before you begin to write your own instructions, take
a look through your favorite patterns and determine
what you like most about the way they are presented:
the clarity of the written instructions, the number
of pertinent illustrations, and the order in which the
directions are given. Do you like the way the words
are arranged on the page and is the font easy to read?
Are the pattern pieces on separate pages from the text?
Once you decide what you consider to be the most important
elements in a pattern, you'll be ready to go.
To keep yourself organized through the project it helps
to start with a quick outline so you're sure to cover
all the bases. Set up a document with 2 columns. On
the left side write a general outline for the pattern.
1. General Instructions (size of seams, fabric notes,
abbreviations you will use etc...)
2. Order of construction
D. Face/ Head/Hair
In the right hand column keep a running
list of all the necessary supplies for making the project
that will be listed on the back cover of the pattern.
If your pattern contains an item that is unusual or
difficult to find, please be sure to provide a suggested
source. Below that make a list of the all the pattern
pieces that will be included, so you won't forget any!
You now have a quick and ready reference sheet to guide
you. Best of all, when you are ready to do your next
project, all you'll have to do is revise your original
You don't need expensive software to produce a pattern.
Any regular word processing program will do. The first
draft on the computer is just to input all the words
and get the grammar and typos corrected. Once the words
are right, print out the draft; decide what the illustrations
are going to be and where you want to place them. It
is our preference to have the illustrations in with
the text so that the dollmaker doesn't have to keep
searching for the appropriate drawing somewhere in the
back of the pattern.
If you have not mastered computer illustration, there
are several ways of getting the illustrations into your
document. If you have a scanner, you can draw out the
illustrations on paper, scan them and drop them into
your document. The greatest advantage of scanning your
drawings is that you can easily change the size of them
as needed. For the greatest clarity, it's better to
do your drawings larger than you want them and then
reduce them. Before we had the scanner we would do all
the drawings on tracing paper with a size .03 black
Pigma Pen and tape them into the document with white
correction tape before copying.
The second draft is for inserting blocks of space into
the text for the illustrations. If you have Microsoft
Word you can insert "Text Boxes" and then
format them so that the lines of the boxes do not show.
You will then drop your drawings into the text boxes,
which will enable you to move them around the page if
you want to. At this point you can stylize the fonts.
The fonts you chose should be easy to read. Take a paragraph
and paste in onto a page 5 or 6 times. Put each paragraph
in a different font. Print out the page, hold it away
from you and see which one is easiest to read.
One of the challenges is to keep the instructions to
as few pieces of paper as possible to keep the weight
of the pattern down for postage purposes. Sometimes
you have to play around with font sizes and spacing
to achieve this. (This will also be a concern when you
draw out the pattern pieces.) At this point you'll know
if you need 8.5"x11" paper or 8.5"x14". When the 2nd
draft is printed out, check it thoroughly for typos
and consistency of spacing and font styling.
At this point you should ask a few friends of differing
skill levels to test the pattern for you. If you belong
to a doll club it should be easy to find eager volunteers.
Ask them to notate anything they feel needs to be clarified
or any mistakes they've caught. Once you resolve any
issues that may have come up you'll be ready for the
fine-tuning of the third (and usually final) draft.
Now it's time to turn your attention to the cover.
Patterns should have a clear photograph or detailed
drawing of the design with an unobstructed view of the
doll. If the doll has legs and feet, they should be
visible unless covered by a gown. Get a lot of GOOD
photographs and use a glue stick or double-sided adhesive
tape to attach the photo to the front of pattern. Costco
seems to be one of the cheapest sources for reprints
of photos in the United States that we have found. Some
designers are taking digital pictures and printing pattern
covers on their color computer on white paper. This
is O.K., but the quality of digital photos (unless printed
on very expensive photo paper) just isn't as good. Also,
if all your cover pages are printed on white paper,
it is harder for the distributor to keep track of your
patterns. It really helps to use a different color paper
for each design. The front of the pattern cover should
include the name of the doll, name of the designer or
the company name and THE SIZE OF THE DOLL. We can't
tell you how many times we have had to contact a designer
and ask how big the doll is. Customers always want to
For the back cover be sure that you
list supplies needed, your policy for making dolls from
your pattern, and your name and contact information.
For patterns that are folded in half, this information
is positioned on the left-hand side of the cover page,
so that the information is clearly visible on the back
of the pattern through the plastic envelope.
Speaking of plastic envelopes, you can purchase them
from Fire Mountain Gems (http://www.firemountaingems.com/)
Customer Service:(800) 423-2319. You probably want to
order the 9" x 6" size bag if you plan to fold a pattern
8-1/2" x 11" in half. If you use an odd sized
paper, try to get plastic bags that fit the finished
pattern. Other workable formats we have seen include
using pocket portfolios when you have a pattern and
something additional, such as fabric, or you just want
the pattern to remain unfolded. When using this format
you glue a picture on the front of the folder. Be aware
this will add to the postage costs, and it takes more
room to store. Another option is to enclose the pattern
in a page protector that can then be inserted into a
three-ring binder. One of our designers makes fabric
pattern bags, which she also uses to hold her molds.
Pictures of the dolls are printed out on labels, which
are glued to the front of the bag.
We can assure you that the first pattern
you ever do will be the most time consuming. The good
news is that nearly every pattern you do after the first
will be a modification of the basic information you
already have on the computer and it will go much, much
faster as you'll be able to cut and paste certain elements
from previous patterns. We would love for all of you
to know the wonderful sense of accomplishment of getting
your creations down on paper to share with others. You
have absolutely nothing to lose by trying. Just go for
it! Along with all the other avid doll makers hungering
for new designs, we're eager to support, encourage and
cheer you on any way we can.
We have FOUR new items from the incredible SHERRY GOSHON.
"Oh My!" has the graceful body of a dancer to go
with a beautiful face Sherry taught in an online class.
"Kereeditse" (ke-reh-di-tseh), the Goddess who listens
to everyone, is presented as a press mold and body combination
wall doll. Best of all, Sherry has released "Blossom",
the third in her series of larger press molds, and her
winsome body with tyvek wings that balances delicately
on one foot. View them all at http://dollmakersjourney.com/goshon.html
PATTI LA VALLEY just keeps outdoing herself with each
new doll she creates. Her extraordinary "Elton the Fairy
Finder" is sure to capture your heart with his tiny
fairy and net.
JANE HOUCK has added 2 more irresistible characters
to her collection of dolls with covered Styrofoam heads.
You've got to check out her frightening fairies "Ike
& Izzie" at
The whimsical and always eclectic LI HERTZI treats
us to "Just Flying Around", a trio of tiny bodies with
mix-n-match wings that can be marvelous doll pins or
made into a mobile.
CLAIRE-ELLEN enchants us with her stunning "Leda and
the Swan." This mythological goddess, who was the mother
of Castor and Pollux, is seated upon a beautiful white
satin swan, which is included in the pattern. You can
view this extraordinary doll at http://dollmakersjourney.com/friends.html
Three excellent new videos are now available for dollmakers.
Kris Crawford, owner of Fireside Basics Doll Hair,
has just completed her long awaited video about doll
hair. This one-of-a-kind fabulous video covers all aspect
of doll hair selection, organization, felting and application,
with new techniques never before shown. Both clay sculptors
and soft doll artists will love this video. Don't miss
out on the introductory price of $34.95. Price good
May 9 to July 31, 2002. You can order it on her website
The second video is "Introduction to Needle Felting
- Sculpting a Doll with Sharon Costello". This
tape has step-by-step directions for creating whimsical
characters from carded wool fiber. It covers selecting
felting needles and fiber, creating lifelike facial
features, sculpting the body and clothing it, detailing
hands and feet, and adding hair, eyebrows, and finishing
touches. This 131 minute video cassette is available
for $39.95 from http://www.blacksheepdesigns.com
Nicola Allison shows how to make a wig for any doll
from Tibetan lambskin (mohair). You make a form-fitting
pattern, dye the lambskin, create a wig, and learn how
to cut and style it. This new video is available from
Antonette Cely for $19.95 plus shipping and handling.
You can order it from:
Doll hair resources:
Susan Nagel has 12" long mohair perfect for making
doll wigs and Santa beards. It is thoroughly hand washed,
combed, conditioned and packaged by the ounce for $3.00/oz.
For more information her email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Llama and alpaca wool is available from the Lazy B
Ranch. Call Wendy at 936-258-8282 or visit her website
Most of these fibers are short (2" - 4")
but they come in great colors and would work for felting
Gorgeous glitzy designer yarns (as seen at Cheryl Leone's
Tea Party) are available from Margo Koehler, Briar Rose
I had a marvelous class with Collette Wolff on pattern
drafting a few years ago, and she said the reason necks
wrinkle on pancake dolls is because the neck needs a
dart to conform to the round shape of a real neck. It
is a lot more technical than that, but try creating
a dart from one side of the neck to the other to remove
excess fabric and wrinkles. I think you will be pleased
with the results. Hugs, Bonnie B. Lewis
Don't forget to stop by and see the latest additions
to our Showcase to see and admire what our talented
friends are making http://dollmakersjourney.com/showcase.html
NEWS FROM THE HOME FRONT
Bonnie spent two weeks in Utah helping her mother organize
her "stuff". She discovered a wonderful treasure
- a box of vintage hats that her grandmother made back
in the 20's and 30's. She also brought home some hats
her mother wore in the 40's and 50's. She can't wait
to translate these hats into something a doll could
wear. One hat used thin strips of fiber and curled them
like quilling to create fantastic designs. The day after
she got home, she was able to attend the opening night
of NIADA, which happened to be in Washington, D.C. this
year. The dolls were wonderful, and she got copies of
the TV show we made for Maryland Public Access TV.
Mary Ann's Mom came for a wonderfully relaxing visit
earlier this month. It's the first time she's seen the
house Mary Ann and Mel purchased last year and she loved
it. As usual, M.A. has many irons in the fire between
Dollmaker's Journey, home decoration projects and Petey's
obedience classes. This week she needs to make a doll
for her niece's first birthday. There's never a dull
moment at Casa Kaahanui!
Currently, we are both working hard to get kits ready
for We Folk of Cloth. Miss Sadie the Church Lady is
looking better every day. You won't believe what we
did to her body!
OTHER SITES TO SEE
Found this site with lots and lots of information about
This paper doll site has great historical costume ideas.
We'd love to hear your thoughts about our Customer
Contact the editor Bonnie B. Lewis at enchantedR@aol.com
with any comments, suggestions, address changes, 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.
You can also read all the past issues online at:
Included is an index to all the past issues.
Thanks! (By the way, you might want to print this out
and put it into a binder to keep for reference.)
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Copyright 2002 Dollmaker's Journey