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Dollmaker's Journey

March 2010 Issue 100

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Dream ~ Imagine ~ Create ~ Grow ~ Believe ~ Magic
At we help your creative dreams come true.

March 2010 Issue 100

Copyright 2010 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,

Bonnie writes: Every month I put a new flag in front of my home, along with a door hanging or wreath and a series of seasonal dolls in my entry foyer. In January I put out my traditional snow flag with children sledding, and a blue and silver wreath covered with sparkly snowflakes. Snowmen and several Father Times were scattered throughout the house. Usually when I display this flag it guarantees that we will have a LITTLE snow. Unfortunately, the flag worked too well this year (we had 52" of snow in less than a week), so I replaced it in February with a naked cupid flag I made along with a series of stuffed hearts sewn to a coat hanger shaped in a circle for the front door. There were also several Queen of Hearts dolls, a doll with a basket of cherries and cherry dress commemorating George Washington, cupid bears, paper cutouts of Victorian lovers, etc. (The snow didn't take the hint!) In March I put out my Leprechaun doll holding a pot of gold, my Kelly Doll for All Seasons, along with a Leprechaun peering over a shamrock flag I made. I discovered that the grapevine wreath I created years ago for this month had died, so I sat down and crafted a front door display from things I found in my sewing room.

I took the sculpting wire we sell and created a huge shamrock shape (20" x 20"). I then wrapped the wire in green floral tape. I took fuzzy green chenille netting, stretched it to fit the petals, and sewed it in place. I then covered the stem with the netting, sewed crinkled gold trim around the leaves, and made a huge gold bow to cover where the leaves and stem meet. It now proudly hangs on my front door. It is amazing what a little time and a lot of imagination can create.

I bought 11 large clear storage containers (Easter, Thanksgiving, and Halloween were twice as big as the other months) and labeled each with a different month. (December has so many boxes that it didn't need one of these.) Each month I take down a different box which contains a flag, door hanging (unless it is so large it is stored separately), assorted dolls and decorations suitable for that month. It is fun to see old friends that I made many years ago, and my grandchildren love to see the changes to Grandma's house each time they visit. We hope this gives you ideas to store and display the things you make and collect.

Happy St. Patrick's Day and Earth Day!

Bonnie and Mary Ann


We can hardly believe that it has been nine years and 100 Newsletters since our first issue in April 2001. We are not sure how it happens, but somehow Bonnie finds inspiration related to dollmaking and so much more each and every month to share with you, our dear customers. We truly never tire of serving you and love being a part of dollmakers’ journeys all over the world. As a token of our appreciation for your continued support we’d like for you to enjoy a special coupon. All you have to do is CLICK HERE ->>!


For our MARCH SALE we bring you the wonderful and diverse collection of patterns in our ETHNIC CATEGORY. So many great designs to choose from - you won’t be able to resist the 20% discount!

Remember, visit our website at 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.

Sharon Mitchell writes: In reply to your newsletter article, I got inspired to make a doll from a clip art picture of a line drawing. It was a flapper dancing and I was caught with the idea of movement by her shut eyes, profile head arms and legs at all angles and her beads and scarf flying. I wondered if I could capture it, and I did a quick drawing and then quickly transferred it to fabric and before too long – I had my doll! I call it “Dance like no one is watching’! The flying hair, tassels on the dress and the beads and the legs all make it work – from a line drawing! She’s even got an open mouth and armpits! LOL!
Sharon sent a picture you have to see!

Here is an idea from that includes a small toy or doll. Check our Charity Corner at for free patterns and ideas.
Send school supplies and help soldiers give Afghan kids a promising future.
In one plastic Ziploc bag 10" x 13" (or smaller if notebook fits) put:

1. One 8" x 10" or 9" x 12" lined spiral notebook with blank cover (NO Hollywood or cartoon characters)
2. One pen
3. Two pencils
4. A pencil sharpener
5. A small toy or doll (suggested toys: beanie babies, magic slates, coloring books, crayons, markers, watercolor paint sets, small stuffed animals, hot wheel cars, small balls, hair bows for the girls)
6. A box of raisins

You can include a thank-you message for soldiers in your box too. Please include your email address. It's easier for service members to reply by email than snail mail.

Where to send package:

Schmidt, Trent
B Co. 173d STB
FOB Altimur
APO AE 09364

*It costs the same as mailing inside the U.S.
*A customs form (Form 2976-A) needs to be completed at the post office. It takes just a few minutes.
*Mark the space on the form for GIFT, and in the space "If non-deliverable" mark TREAT AS
ABANDONED. That way, if the soldier moves, the box will remain at the base and other soldiers
will receive it.
*"America Salutes You" APO/FPO priority mail, flat-rate boxes are an economical way to mail packages
to the military. They can be ordered online and are available at some post offices.


Q: How do athletes from Africa train for the winter Olympics (ski, toboggan, etc.) when they have no snow?

A: Athletes that qualify scrape up money to train in Europe, Canada or the U.S. To train at home they put in line skate wheels under skis and practice on the streets of town. They also slide down sand hills and hills covered with straw. Most merely train their best and show up at the games, not counting on winning medals, but merely showing up at the Olympics.

Congratulations to Nettonya Ryane from Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. 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: Who is the Father of the Modern Detective Novel and what is the first story he wrote?

Everyone who emails in the correct answers by April 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 Put March 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.

IRISH BLESSING (In honor of St. Patrick's Day March 17)

May God grant you always…
A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering angel
So nothing can harm you,
Laughter to cheer you,
Faithful friends near you—
And whenever you pray,
Heaven to hear you.

By Bonnie B. Lewis

One of the disadvantages of living near the Offray Ribbon Factory in Hagerstown, Maryland, is that everyone who comes to visit me wants to go there to pick up some great bargains. Naturally, I act as tour guide, and end up buying more wonderful treasures that I am sure to use someday.

Yesterday as I was going through a cabinet looking for wire I ran across a large shoebox filled with ribbons I had forgotten were there. I also noticed three drawers were full, along with six shelves, two large cardboard boxes and four large sweater boxes. No wonder I keep buying more. I didn't know what I already had.

The Spring Cleaning Goddess came to my aid, and I figured out how to organize all this bounty. For those of you who also are ribbon challenged, here is what I did.

I got lots of 9" x 12" Ziploc bags (the kind that carry large patterns and have holes punched in the top for hanging.) I then sorted ribbons by color (white/ecru, black/grey, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, brown, red, pink, metallic, and variegated) and by type (loose, on ribbon spools/holders/reels). You could also sort according to type of ribbon (outdoor, gift wrap, polyester, silk, ribbon embroidery, etc.) but I decided that was really overkill. I then labeled the four clear sweater boxes (white/cream, black/metallic, red/orange/pink/yellow/brown, and blue/green/purple). In each box I put reels of ribbon (as many as I could fit.) I then proceeded to fill the bags with loose ribbons, and leftover reels in another bag. The variegated ribbons (more than one color) I placed in three bags – reel ribbons in warm colors, reel ribbons in cooler colors, and loose ribbons. The metallics I also separated into three bags – loose metallic of one color, loose metallic in several colors, and metallics on reels.

Taking drapery hooks (and when I ran out large paper clips opened to create an S shape), I proceeded to hang the bags in my closet, putting two bags of the same color (loose ribbons and reels) on each hook. I also suspended a wooden dowel from the closet rod with pipe cleaners and put gift wrapping ribbon on that. Now when I want to make a doll or hat, I just grab the box and hook with the appropriate color ribbon and have fun.

In addition to the sweater boxes on my shelves, I also have four shelves filled with oversized ribbon reels. At least now everything is visible, labeled, and I can quickly find the colors I need.

Maybe later, if anyone is interested, I can tell you how I organized my collection of lace, doll hair, trims, hats, shoes, socks, accessories, fabric, yarn, books, tapes, etc. But that is a story for another day.


Wide-Eyed Wendy Challenge – See the winners here:

2nd Annual Cloth Baby Doll Challenge from FOCD
Photos due May 15, 2010
Theme is SPRING!!! Go to... for details
See last year's winners at:

See the new Hoffman Challenge fabric for 2010 here:


April 2-4, 2010 - Wendy Froud Three Day Sculpting Workshops
New York City
April 30 – May 2, 2010 - Wendy Froud Three Day Sculpting Workshops
Chicago, Illinois
Three days will allow you to come near completing a fantastical creature or faerie figure. Day One will include connecting to your faerie guide, building an armature and sculpting the head. Day Two will include constructing the body and sculpting the hands and feet. Day Three will include painting, the application of hair and fur and any final costuming. Each day we will be working from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM with an hour off for lunch. The cost is $585.00 which includes polymer clay, armature wire and a selection of materials for hair, fur and costumes. Participants will need to bring basic tools and craft supplies.
Contact Sherry Morgan for more information -

April 29 – May 2, 2010 – Canadian Doll Artists Association Conference
Four Points by Sheraton, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Theme: Renaissance Dreams

June 9 – 12, 2011 – Figurative Artists Consortium
Algonquin College, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
July 17 – 21, 2010 – 23rd Annual National Doll Festival
Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers, Chicago, Illinois
For more information email Rowbear & Faith Lowman at

July 17 – 21, 2010 – 23rd Annual National Doll Festival
Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers, Chicago, Illinois
Email for more information:

July 17-21, 2010 – NIADA (National Institute of American Doll Artists)
Swissotel, Chicago, Illinois
For information:

July 18-23, 2010 - UFDC (United Federation of Doll Collectors)
Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel, Chicago, Illinois
For registration form click here:

July 18, 2010 - ODACA (Original Doll Artist Council of America)
Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel, Chicago, Illinois
For information:

To save yourself time and energy, get all the details on upcoming doll related events at


Colleen Babcock has designed a crafter's apron especially designed for dollmakers. Here is the link for your free pattern:
You can see more of Colleen's imaginative patterns at:


We are thrilled to have two of KAT LEE’S new dollmaking technique tutorials. KAT always presents her material with fabulous photos and written instructions making it so easy to follow along and learn.
“Sculpting Faces” is one of the most comprehensive treatments of sculpting facial features we’ve ever seen. “Articulated Fingers” will help you create the loveliest hands for your dolls out of a variety of
fabrics. We know these two remarkable CDs are going to fly off our shelves! Check them out here –

Just in time for the upcoming Easter Holiday MAUREEN MILLS enchants us with “Simply Bunnies.” So quick, easy and cute – you’ll want to make a bunch!

We are very excited to be welcoming three talented artists to our Dollmakers Journey family of designers. We think you are just going to love the very sassy “Antoinette” – the very first pattern by new designer PHYLLIS SCARINGE of LaDeeDolls. Her excellent presentation and thorough instructions will guide you easily through the creation of this lovely doll. We’ve had a sneak peek at PHYLLIS’ drawing board and she has many more great characters in the works. We know she is going to do very well.

MICHELLE ALLEN of Raggedy Pants has been on the design scene for awhile and we are starting out with a selection of 10 of her charming and whimsical patterns. There is a lovely array of raggedies and so much more including a few that are very, very clever. Click here to see what we mean –

How lucky we are to be adding a wonderful array of patterns from SUSAN WALKER of Prim and Proper Folks! Several of the dolls are nearly life-size at 48” and would make such great companions. You’ll be having a lot of fun painting, sculpting and dressing this great collection of projects! Stop by and take a look –

We are delighted to bring you two new patterns from KAREN MUSSON who is an extremely innovative designer. She had found a wonderful way of re-creating antique composition dolls in cloth as you’ll see in “Missi.” We love the clever way KAREN uses buttons to create the eyes of “Ellie” – a most unusual sock doll. You’ve got to check it out. -

SUSAN BARMORE must never sleep – she just keeps creating more and more fabulous dolls. We are nuts about her remarkable “Treesa” and sweet “Rainey.” What do you think? –


Q: I read on a doll info page about using Paverpol to make hats. It was mentioned that it should be diluted, so it doesn't have a plastic type finish. How much should I dilute with water?

A: When I made a felt Cowboy hat, I diluted the Paverpol 50% with water. I then dipped the felt in warm water, covered a hat form with plastic wrap, and painted diluted Paverpol only on the inside of the felt (the part next to the hat form). I then stretched it over the hat form, secured it with rubber bands, and let it dry overnight. The felt still felt like felt on the outside, but was slightly plastic looking on the inside. This formula worked on 90% wool felt. You would have to experiment with other fabrics, including cotton and polyester felt. If you use Paverpol full strength on yellow fabric, it makes great rain hats (and they really are waterproof). Just know when you use Paverpol it will retain its shape once dry and can't be reshaped. Also, you can't sew it once you add Paverpol. (The cowboy hat brim needed to be glued in place - it was impossible to sew it.) If you are creating hats for dolls, I recommend you put plastic over the doll's head, cover the entire doll with plastic, and then shape the hat to fit the head (including hair.) OR create a hat form that is shaped like the doll's head and make your hat on it. Remember, Paverpol sticks to EVERYTHING except plastic. You can buy Paverpol at

Cheryl Adams writes: As much as I love the newsletter, I have to admit it was the quote by Mark Twain that caught my attention this month!! (February issue) I have just finished the book "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron and this quote was such an encouragement for someone who needs to follow her artistic dreams, especially dollmaking! Julia's book is challenging, exciting and sends one on a search for the creativity that feeds the soul. Once I'd read it I found other women in my church had read it also and we're doing a series of group meetings on it for others who are seeking their creativity!

Bonnie writes: I love The Artist's Way. I met Julie Cameron at a NIADA conference a few years ago, and after attending her lecture I ran out to buy the book. She was one of the most inspirational speakers I have ever heard. I remember she wore a beautiful floor-length hand-painted caftan that a friend made for her. I now have lots of notebooks filled with daily pages and lots of inspiration. I try and take myself on an "artist date" each week. (Some weeks it is easier than others!) Enjoy the journey. I know I have.

Mary Ann adds: The following message we received today from new customer Bobi King really exemplifies why we love what we do:

I have bought a number of items from Dollmaker's Journey in the past couple of weeks (I'm new to your site!) Love it and really like the purchases I have made and truly appreciate the expedient service! But the one purchase that has been the most rewarding for me is the DVD "The World of the Doll Artist". I played the DVD over and over the minute I received it and will probably wear it out much as a child with a favorite cartoon. It is an amazing introduction to a variety of doll artists who through their individual explanations of what inspires them and why they do what they do so very much validated my drive to do this crazy thing... create dolls to share my inner spirit. This is a drive that all artists in any medium share. If one doesn't create it's likely they'll go crazy or at the very least suffer from depression. Making my dolls is the greatest joy in my life, it's consuming and necessary. This DVD was able finally to make me realize, I'm not alone in this. I'm OK!

Tip from Gloria J. "Mimi" Winer

I have found that hand stitching some of the new micro suede fabrics takes a "glovers" hand sewing needle, A glovers, or leather needle has a very sharp, wedge shaped point. It is actually extremely sharp so be careful with it and use a thimble. It does the trick every time. A Schmetz number 8 machine needle is what I use in the machine. I change the machine needle if it hits a pin or after every 7 to 8 hours of use.
(These needles are available at


Perhaps you heard us squealing with delight when the long awaited fabric shipment arrived on our doorstep! BACK IN STOCK: Deersuede Chamois, Bamboo & Cocoa and Chamois Craft Velour. Be sure to stock up while we have a good supply. –

Over in the SUPPLY DEPARTMENT we’ve added slightly smaller – 2-3/4” doll glasses and one of Mary Ann’s favorite tools – the handy, dandy Point Turner & Seam Creaser. BACK IN STOCK – alligator forceps in 2 sizes, 6” and 8” Hemostats, Stuffing Fork Sets and the Dream Seamers.


In addition to organizing her ribbon collection, Bonnie has been busy with a Hairdresser challenge from Judi Ward. Each person who wished to participate was given a picture to use in creating a doll. Bonnie got a lady sitting in a chair reading a book under a hairdryer. So in addition to making the doll, she has to make the chair, book, hairdryer, etc. More in the newsletter next month about this interesting challenge.

Mary Ann managed to run out to San Diego for a few precious days with her son Michael, his beautiful wife Kyah and their beloved baby boy Kainoa. For his Christening Kainoa wore a 90 year old Baptismal Gown first worn by Mary Ann’s Uncle Sig, her mother Marion and all their siblings, Mary Ann and her four siblings and her son Mike. The ceremony was held at the Mission San Antonio de Pala that was established in 1816 where Kyah’s parents were married and she was baptized. How amazing to behold a child whose ancestors came from all over the world - Hawaii, Japan, Ireland, Czechoslovakia, Germany, the Pala Indian tribe and more. On April 10th Jim will proudly be giving away his youngest daughter Molly to Christopher Insolera at the Chapel at the University of Virginia. The following week Mary Ann and Jim will fly down to Pascagoula, MS for the launching of the USS William P. Lawrence DDG 110 named after a remarkable man that Mary Ann revered -
More on these adventures next month!


Neil Pasricha catalogs really little pleasures at his website:
He has also written a book called: "The Book of Awesome: Snow Days, Bakery Air, Finding Money in Your Pocket, and Other Simple, Brilliant Things."
Here are a couple of examples:
Fixing electronics by smacking them
The other side of a pillow
Wearing underwear just out of the dryer
Enjoy the list!

In Over Your Head? Check out this great inspirational article.

We’d love to hear your thoughts about our Customer Connection newsletter.

Contact the editor Bonnie B. Lewis at 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.

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