October 2007 Issue 71
Dollmaker’s Journey CUSTOMER CONNECTION
Dream ~ Imagine ~ Create ~ Grow ~ Believe ~ Magic
At http://dollmakersjourney.com we help your creative dreams come true.
October 2007 Issue 71
Copyright 2007 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 Dollmaker Friends,
The other day as Bonnie was putting her groceries in the car, lifting 40 pound solar salt bags and struggling to keep her purse on her shoulder while she did, a lady approached with a wonderful idea that she promised to share with everyone who reads the Customer Connection. We are approaching the holiday season, and sometimes it is awkward juggling a baby, children, a purse, heavy groceries, grocery cart, etc. This unfortunately is also the time of year purse snatchers prowl the stores and parking lots. Her suggestion was simple. Most carts contain a child seat belt. Just wrap this strap around your purse handle and fasten it to the other end. Most purse snatchers will walk by your cart and casually pick up your purse, but if it is strapped to the cart, they will seek another victim. As an added safety measure, buy an inexpensive carabiner clip (usually less than $1.00) in the sporting good, hardware, or jewelry department. Attach this to your purse handle and the shopping cart. This is especially helpful if the cart doesn't have a seat belt or if it is broken. Bonnie keeps one attached to her purse handle at all times to remind her to use it frequently. Share this with others. Remember, the purse you save may be your own.
Mary Ann and Bonnie
Our October sale is all about holiday gift ideas. Get 20% off all the patterns in the PINCUSHIONS, FURNITURE/TOYS and MATURE WOMEN categories all month long. http://dollmakersjourney.com/
SEPTEMBER QUIZ WINNER
Question: The first crayon, invented in Europe, did NOT contain wax. Instead, it was made from two other substances. What were they?
Answer: Charcoal and oil
The first crayon was a mixture of charcoal and oil. In the early 1900's, the nontoxic wax crayon was invented. The inventor used the French word for chalk, craie, with "ola," from oily, to form the Crayola name. The first Crayola crayons came in a box of eight. Today there are over 120 crayon colors and over five billion crayons are produced each year.
Congratulations to Anne Lampe from Australia. 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!
OCTOBER QUIZ QUESTION
This question is especially for those of you "down under" although anyone can enter.
Question: Our planet is home to just two mammals that lay eggs. One is the platypus; what is the other?
Everyone who emails in the correct answer by November 10th 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 October Quiz in subject box. Please include your full name and where you live (state/country) in your email.
SEWING MACHINE ANSWER
Readers wrote to tell me about their favorite lightweight sewing machines.
Singer 221K or 222K featherweight
"I have a wonderful old one (1950 or a little earlier) and I do use it for dollmaking, especially for small dolls, though it works well with large ones, too. Although I have three full-sized machines (two Janomes and one Pfaff), I like to use the 221 for dollmaking because I can put it on a small wooden table right beside my computer or wherever I want to work. It has such a lovely, tiny foot that seeing where I'm going to sew is very easy...The only thing I wish is that it had an automatic "down" position when I stop. But I'm good at turning the wheel..."
Nancy Jo Hill wrote: "The machine I brought to AFIC is the Brother C6000i, priced at $189.00 at Wal Mart. This machine now comes with a hard case. The one that I bought a year ago didn't have a hard case, so I found a rolling beer cooler for 19.00 at Rite Aid Drugs. The cooler has padded insulation to keep the drinks cold, so it protects a sewing machine well. It has an expanding handle and wheels, like the rolling suitcases that we all like so much. I really didn't care how much it weighed as I wanted a machine to take to classes. This one was easy to carry at 10 pounds and it has needle down and a needle threader and 59 stitches. For the price it is a great machine."
White 1740 Quilter's Machine
Flavia writes: "Four years ago I bought a White 1740 which was marketed as a quilter's machine - because of its size and weight and the fact that part of the carrying case could be used as an extension table. It has turned out to be a real find as it came with 14 feet, including a walking foot, an appliqué foot and a 1/4 inch piecing foot. The really amazing aspects include variable speeds and stitch lengths, easy control, needle up down, reverse sewing and a button labeled "slow" that lets you sew one stitch at a time. Thus when you know you need two stitches, press the button twice and two stitches you get. And if you disconnect the foot pedal, there is another button that you can push for continuous sewing. It has a drop-in bobbin and a weight of around 13 pounds. Unexpected high end features for a machine I bought it at JoAnn's for $208 on sale - plus my American Quilter's Society 10% discount. I love it, love it love it. It is the machine that is featured in photos of the doll cruises. JoAnn's doesn't seem to carry it anymore, but you can find many White 1740 machines online."
Check out the October/November issue of Soft Dolls and Animals Magazine, page 24, for a wonderful fabric sculpture called "Women of the First Thanksgiving" by Morgan Elser. She gives complete directions for using Paverpol to create two dolls, the fence, milk and water, buckets, corn, etc. If you have ever wanted to play with Paverpol, now is your chance to create a memorable centerpiece. Paverpol and Paperclay will soon be available from http://dollmakersjourney.com/supplies.html
I Challenge You – Blank Canvas Doll Challenge sponsored by APWPWD
Deadline: December 1, 2007
Adapt her and embellish her to your heart's content. Paint, beads, fabric - the works! Enlarge or reduce her. Male or female. Separate the limbs or give her an armature.
Send photos via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via snail mail to:
6881 Tussic St. Rd.
Westerville, OH 43082.
Encourage everyone in your doll club to enter a doll and send a photo of the group of dolls as well as individual photos. One doll entry per person, please. The club with the most entries will win a prize. There will also be a prize for the best individual doll, so dollmakers that don’t belong to a club are still able to play along!
Prizes - Judges Choice:
$50 gift certificate to Dollmakers Journey
Doll Club with the most entries:
2 days of class with Judy Skeel—a $600 value!
You can get the pattern and all the details here: http://dollmakersjourney.com/#blank
UPCOMING EVENTS YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS
August 10-14, 2008 – Creations in Fiber
For more information go to www.uncommonfolk.org or
April 26 – May 10, 2008 – Doll and Teddy Bear Tour in Germany
The tour begins in Frankfurt and travels down the German Toy Road to visit the International Doll Festival in Coburg and the Doll and Teddy Festival. Visit doll and teddy bear designers, manufacturers, museums, shoppes, a doll & teddy bear doctor, etc. German sights and sounds are included as well as a day spent in Salzburg, Austria on a “Sound of Music” tour. Return to Frankfurt up the German Romantic Road.
For more information contact Sharon Ellis at email@example.com or call 763-241-8733
May 13-20, 2008 (tentative date) – WOW New York
More information will be forthcoming
July 26-30, 2008 – National Doll Festival (21st annual)
Tuscany Suites and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
Same time and town as UFDC, ODACA and NIADA National Conventions
Contact information: National Doll Festival, P.O. Box 66823, Scotts Valley, CA 95067
E-mail: NatlDoll@aol.com or DollFestival@aol.com
(831) 438-5349 phone (831) 439-9142 fax number
To save yourself time and energy, get all the details on upcoming doll related events at CLOTH DOLL CONNECTION: http://clothdollconnection.com/
MILITARY BUTTON HELP
Remember how Bonnie is trying to recreate her father's World War II Army uniform for the Dude for All Seasons, but doesn't know what to do about buttons. Sandy Walker wrote: "Photocopy the button and trace it onto shrink plastic. You may have to experiment to get it the right size. Color it with a metallic gold pencil and shrink it. Since this isn't something that is going to be removed from the doll, apply a dollop of glue to hold in place." Hmmm… I know the real buttons are 1", and quarter scale will be 1/4". I will have to experiment and see how much the shrink plastic shrinks. Thanks, Sandy, for a terrific idea!
SPECIAL GIFTS FOR YOU
Judi's Bleuette Size Manikin is now online and free. Just go to:
Dress her in some of these free patterns:
Painting doll chairs - Stephanie Novatski has some directions on her blog
Designer JUDY SKEEL is sponsoring a “Blank Canvas Doll Challenge.” Stop by and download the FREE pattern at http://dollmakersjourney.com/#blank
Create all those Lord of the Rings costumes you dream about for your favorite dolls. Free patterns with directions for making them are at: http://molendrix.sweb.cz/galerie1.html
OUR DOLLMAKERS JOURNEY by Mary Ann Kaahanui
[Editor's Note: Mary Ann was recently approached by Sherry Goshon to write an article for her new newsletter "Inner Child Creations". We have decided to reprint it here so you can get to know both of us better.]
The journey actually began with a pindoll swap between a Navy Wife in San Diego, CA. and a busy mother of eight in Herndon, VA. Two significant events happened to Mary Ann Kaahanui in late 1996. Shortly after moving back to the United States from living in the Philippines for three years she attended the San Diego Quilt Show. There she came upon the Dimensions in Dollmaking doll exhibit presented by the local doll club IOLCC (Imitation of Life Construction Company.) Although she had sewn many dolls throughout the years she was enthralled by the phenomenal collection of Art Dolls she found before her. Her creative synapses began firing immediately. The second event was the purchase of a computer and connection to the internet. In no time at all she found the cloth doll discussion group Virtual Dollies which is known today as FOCD – Friends of Cloth Dolls.
Mary Ann eagerly signed up for a pindoll swap where the participants were organized into groups of five. Using the same body pattern they created dolls for the other four members of the group. One of her partners was Bonnie B. Lewis of Herndon, VA. Mary Ann sent Bonnie a purple and pink mime-like character and in return she received a fabulous Frog Prince. Little did they know that they had sewn the first stitches of a rich partnership tapestry!
Bonnie and Mary Ann met in person on September 13, 1997 two weeks after Mary Ann moved back into a home she owned in Northern Virginia and they both attended a doll event in Washington DC for Virtual Dollie members in the area. Bonnie belonged to several doll clubs and one day she invited Mary Ann to her home to be a guest at her Doll Bee. Mary Ann couldn’t get over Bonnie’s extensive dollmaking reference library of books and magazines which would later become the catalyst for their first book.
As time went by Mary Ann began searching for a book about making realistic shoes for dolls. Unable to find what she was seeking she decided the best solution would be to write her own book. Remembering Bonnie’s vast collection of information, she asked Bonnie to co-author the book with her. In that same phone conversation they outlined the chapters of their first book “Creating Fabulous Footwear for Cloth Dolls” and got right to work. To insure that their teaching methods were clear and easily understandable they first developed the material as an online class through CraftyCollege.com. The proceeds from the class funded the printing of the first 100 copies of the book. Picking the books up on the way to the 1998 We Folk of Cloth doll conference in Baltimore, they sold them in the hallways, elevators and dining room. (Feeling something like drug dealers!) The books were gone in a day and a half and the profits paid for the printing of the next 200 copies.
In the meantime Mary Ann had been producing doll patterns and they were meeting other designers through the doll clubs and conferences. It was a natural progression to want to have a website to sell the book and patterns. It was an easy task to decide on the name of the company as both Mary Ann and Bonnie viewed dollmaking as a continual journey. Working with Paul Phalen, the webmaster/owner of CraftCollege.com and FOCD, the DollmakersJourney.com website went online in August 1999. Choosing Paul as their webmaster was the most significant decision in the establishment of their business not only because of his technical expertise but because he truly understood the spirit of what they wanted to project and he was able to translate that to the site. Several other key decisions were made. Given that Bonnie’s home was a constant swirl of activity due to her large family it was decided to run the mail order business out of Mary Ann’s house as her children were grown and gone. In 1999 there was a group of very well known doll designers and their patterns were readily available through a number of other sites. Bonnie and Mary Ann wanted to give an opportunity to new designers to have their patterns available without being in competition with the Big Names. This strategy worked very well and over the course of years they eventually incorporated the patterns of the well established designers, too. The Dollmaker’s Journey family of designers now includes well over 100 talented artists from around the world. Each designer is asked to contribute a free project which drives traffic to the site and lets the customer sample their design style. Another goal was to add new items or projects every week which keeps the site growing and the customers coming back.
The members of FOCD did not like the supply companies hawking their wares in the discussion group. Paul made the phenomenally wise decision to send out a weekly ad digest to the members so they would know where to find the patterns and supplies they needed. This weekly ad really drives the Dollmakers Journey train. Bonnie and Mary Ann also produce their monthly Customer Connection newsletter to inform and advise and to keep customers up to date who do not belong to FOCD.
In the beginning they really wanted to keep the focus on Art Doll patterns and some body fabric and stay away from general supplies which they considered a Pandora’s Box. Once you start, where do you draw the line? They began by carrying a selection of hard to find items such as grommets and Proportional Scale Wheels. It did not take long to realize that the customers would be best served by having more supplies and tools readily available. Now they are constantly seeking new items to contribute to the creative process.
Much has happened in the personal lives of the partners over the past nine years. Bonnie’s parents passed away, their children have married and Bonnie is up to 18 and ½ grandchildren! Mary Ann divorced and eventually found new love and both have moved twice with Bonnie ending up about 90 miles away in West Virginia. A great deal of their work is accomplished over the phone and the computer. Mary Ann is responsible for the mail order aspect of the business and Bonnie handles the newsletter and the creative development of their online courses and patterns as well as supporting Mary Ann any way she can.
Online businesses are all about Speedy Delivery. Mary Ann likes to say that her ultimate goal is to mail the order two days before a customer thinks about ordering so she would have it the same day! Until that can be accomplished Dollmaker’s Journey does its very best to get all of the orders shipped the same day or next day. For a long time this determination made it extremely difficult for Mary Ann to go out of town for more than a few days. They now have their capable full-time assistant Andrea who can keep the orders filled and give Mary Ann a little more flexibility when necessary. This past week alone packages were mailed to such far flung places as The Czech Republic, Finland, Japan and Chile and received in a matter of days. There is tremendous satisfaction from deriving income doing something that they dearly love. It is thrilling to Mary Ann and Bonnie to have built a thriving business that serves dollmakers all over the world, forging a connection between the imaginations of the designers and the creativity of the dollmakers.
If you are looking to make a unique gift then you have to see JACQUE UETZ’S “Angel of Stress/Protector of Chocolate a fabulous wire wrapped doll that holds the finest chocolate in her skirt. http://dollmakersjourney.com/uetz.html
We have three more great projects from The Dragon Charmer JENNIFER CARSON. “Lindwyrm” can be worn on the shoulder to great effect, “Happy Dragon” is sure to bring smiles and “The Witch’s Boot” is a quick and easy addition to your Halloween décor. Stop by and check out these and all of JENNIFER’S wonderful patterns. http://dollmakersjourney.com/carson.html
ANNE HESSE’S “Garden Party” is a deceptively simple construction of fabric and beads that when finished becomes a rich, complex figure. Learn to bead and embellish like a pro with this detailed pattern. http://dollmakersjourney.com/hesse.html
We’re adding two more of JULIE MC MCCULLOUGH'S classic patterns - the graceful “Cat Dancer” and the charming “Twirl”- easily constructed dolls with lots of impact. http://dollmakersjourney.com/mccullough.html
New from Australia’s MICHELLE MUNZONE a really colorful Mardi Gras cat called “Meow-Squerade.” http://dollmakersjourney.com/munzone.html
“Calquincut” is a fabulous woodland creature from the imagination of Canadian designer JACQUIE LECUYER. http://dollmakersjourney.com/lecuyer.html
SHERRY GOSHON has just released her newest pressmold. “Elwyn” is a delightful elfin face that can be made into a brooch or ornament and it also fits the head of Sherry’s FREE elfin body! http://dollmakersjourney.com/goshon.html
You must stop by and meet JILL MAAS’ newest character “Olive” who is on her way to the beach. And wouldn’t you know a selection of doll eyeglasses and sunglasses has just arrived so you can pick up a pair of glasses, too! http://dollmakersjourney.com/maas.html
You’re going to love “Fantasy Four,” the newest pattern from VICKI RILEY. Make 4 different dolls or just one with lots of costumes. Little girls everywhere are going to adore it. http://dollmakersjourney.com/riley.html
The irrepressible “Nurse Nasty and Truck Stop Tess” by elinor peace bailey have finally come to Dollmakers Journey. These two feisty characters guarantee smiles wherever they go. If you are starting to work on your holiday projects than elinor’s “Nativity Scene” will be a great way to use up the remnants of your most precious fabrics. http://dollmakersjourney.com/epb.html
We have 2 more of SUSAN BARMORE’S wonderful painted fabric projects. Check out her delightful “Christmas Bugs” and her snail riding fairy “Dale and Snail.” http://dollmakersjourney.com/barmore.html
Kathy Vorenberg from Las Cruces, New Mexico writes: "Wanted to let you know that my beaded art doll has made it into the six semi-finalists for the All Dolled Up competition from the Land of Odds. I am busy packing her up today for the trip to Nashville. Most importantly, I learned about this competition from YOUR newsletter last November. Thank you so much for all you do." Congratulations, Kathy!
Q: I have a picture of a doll I would like to make, but have never seen a pattern for one. Could you tell me more about her? Azar Attura
A: I have seen similar dolls from the 60's and 70's. They were made in China and sold in gift shops. I got a doll like the picture you sent on my honeymoon that is still standing in my bedroom. The bodies were molded plastic and covered with a thin layer of knit fabric (similar to stockings or tights). You could probably use a cheap plastic fashion doll body, covering the legs and neck with stocking material. The legs didn't have any feet, but were inserted into a plastic stand. The arms were made from wire covered with batting with 5 wire fingers inserted into a stitched long glove. I would make the fingers from bent pipe cleaners or thin chenille stems and wrap floral tape around the arm from the wrist to the shoulder. I would sew a long glove out of stocking material, turn right side out, and slide onto the hand. The head is the hard part. If you can, find a plastic doll head that would work and cover it with a thin layer of tacky glue and stretch stocking fabric over it. You can then paint the face and glue it on the neck. You can see many doll heads at http://crscrafts.com
Also check out the fashion doll body dress form. It comes with a stand and cloth covered upper body. The dress would cover the bottom so you wouldn't have to add legs. If you wish to be adventurous, check out http://dollmakersjourney.com
Click on pick pattern category. Click on molds.
Scroll down to see Thumbelina press mold and body by Sherry Goshon. You would make this doll out of fabric, use the mold to create a face which you could cover with cloth, and then proceed to clothe her as you wish.
NOTE: If anyone has other questions or suggestions, please email them to EnchantedR@aol.com and I will include them in a future newsletter.
Eyeglasses – Find sunglasses or the perfect eyeglasses for Santa and the Mrs. We also have more 3” eyeglasses with bendable sides and either Red or Gold rims. http://dollmakersjourney.com/supplies.html
Curly Hair is back and now we have it in 5 terrific colors. http://dollmakersjourney.com/hair.html#curly
Judith Prior's 3 piece Stuffing Fork Set is back in stock. http://dollmakersjourney.com/supplies.html
If you like to use false eyelashes on your creations we just got in eyelash strips that are ¾” x 5-1/4”. http://dollmakersjourney.com/supplies.html
We are now fully stocked with Doll Face Pink CRAFT VELOUR! http://dollmakersjourney.com/fabrics.html
NEWS FROM THE HOME FRONT
Bonnie feels like the old woman in the shoe, who has so many grandchildren she doesn't know what to do. Between September 5 – October 5 they celebrated 10 birthdays and another one today. It makes it even harder when three granddaughters were born in one year and named Adele, Alenda, and Amber. (It's Amber's birthday today.) She likes to give gifts to each grandchild, and finally came up with A PLAN. She makes or buys simple toys/dolls/dragons etc. for them when they are young, and when they turn eight they get a penny, nickel, dime, and quarter for every year they have lived. Total cost = $3.69. The hardest part is finding a coin for every year. She also gives them a coin book for pennies and $1.00 in pennies. Then from age 9 to 18 she plans to give them a gold dollar for every year (e.g. 9 when they turn nine, etc.) Since in the U.S. they have begun a collector's edition featuring the presidents this year, she gives them gold dollars and when they turn nine they also get a book to collect the coins in. After they turn 18 I think she will just start sending birthday cards.
Mary Ann finished reorganizing her sewing room and is thrilled beyond words to know where everything is now! The first thing she did was complete one of Julie McCullough’s Myth Makers as a gift for her brother Paul and his wife Judy. She will be finishing up several more for holiday gifts. Paul and Judy just purchased a wonderful new 2nd home in Myrtle Beach, SC and decided to bring Mary Ann’s parents down for a weeklong visit. Mary Ann and Jim were able to drive down and join them for several days. The best part was the excursion to Charleston to visit their dearest friends Chris and Jayne Harmon who gave them a fabulous tour of their beautiful city. Mary Ann’s second project was a beach going Santa for the Harmons. All in all the trip was a lovely respite after weeks of reorganizing.
Inspirational video of a girl born with only four fingers who has become an accomplished pianist. http://www.karmatube.org/videos.php?id=168
Because I'm the Mom - lessons in 3 minutes sung to William Tell Overture – hilarious! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfIieEVQDpY
Learn how to do the ladder stitch – an essential stitch every doll maker should know. We even sell the curved needles that make it easier at http://dollmakersjourney.com/supplies.html
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. Thanks!
(By the way, you might want to print this out and put it into a binder to keep for reference….) To subscribe to Dollmaker’s Journey Customer Connection, go to: http://dollmakersjourney.com/subscribe.html
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Copyright © 2007 Dollmaker’s Journey