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Dollmaker's Journey

October/November 2010 Issue 106

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

October/November 2010 Issue 106

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,

The newsletter was almost finished when October 13, 2010 happened. I joined the rest of the world to watch 33 miners, trapped 2,300 feet underground since August 5, rescued in Chile. Glued to the TV, we cheered as the last miner came to the surface. Thanks to the efforts of many people in many lands using innovative technology, this miracle was possible. Originally they thought the miners might be freed by Christmas. Truly we have much to be thankful for this November.

Right after this event I fell and hurt my right knee. I thought I had broken it, so I went to see an orthopedic surgeon. X-rays revealed that I now have osteoarthritis. Fortunately, I don't need surgery at this time. However, I wasn't able to return to my computer, exercise or even walk without crutches or a walker until recently. Since my computer was downstairs and I was confined upstairs with heavy duty pain medication, the newsletter was delayed. I apologize for missing the October issue, but there will be so much more to enjoy in this issue. I have included a simple project that even children can do to make a special gift for the holidays.

'Tis the season to be thankful for our many friends and families. It's also time to think of making special gifts for those you love. A popular movie for children this year was "How to Train Your Dragon". All my grandchildren want dragons this year, and in addition to books about how to train your dragon and how to make paper dragons that fly (from Amazon), check out our dragon patterns. I believe we have one of the largest selections on the internet.

Bonnie and Mary Ann

Tips from Gloria "Mimi" Winer and Judi Ward

Q: Is the Airtex polyfil that you buy at JoAnn's or Hobby Lobby the same as the Airtex you order directly from the company?

A: (From Gloria) No. The Airtex sold at JoAnn's is OK. I have used it in an emergency, but it is a bit slippery and sometimes it is not as smooth as the Premium. Look for Airtex Premium. You can get it from CR'S Crafts or directly from the company, Ask for the Premium Airtex. The phone number for Airtex Consumer Products is 800-851-8887. Ask for Customer Service they will retail or wholesale. For many years (almost 20) they supplied my studio and all my classes for free but that stopped two years ago when the economy tanked... I now order it Bulk in a ten pound box. It lasts for a very long time. One of my 16 to 19 inch dolls takes about 12 to 14 ounces. I have made my last six "test" dolls using recycled Airtex, My "bone yard" was taking up far too much room, so I used a razor blade to open all the limbs and bodies that didn't work and then spent an afternoon pulling the lumps and balls of stuffing apart and fluffing them up. Every one of the dolls I stuffed with used Airtex is just as smooth as the ones that were stuffed with brand new Airtex.

A: (From Judi) I too had trouble with Airtex "anything" over the years....Back in the olden days when I lived in the Pacific NW, I ordered stuffing from Tacoma Industrial Rubber and Supply in 25 pound boxes. It was just called Fortrel Plain...It felt "right", and Buffalo Batt (snow) does too.
Then in Germany I ordered Glorex stuffing from Switzerland...It felt "right". I have tried every other brand in bags over the years, and Buffalo is the only "regular" stuffing that seems to have stayed the same over the past 30 years.

The best stuffing will "stream" as you gently pull on it, not just fluff apart.....The best way to find great stuffing is to do the stream test....Sadly, you have to poke a hole in the packages to do it. LOL Also, buy some wool stuffing to get the right feel. Wool stuffing streams and stuffs beautifully but is not washable so for lots of dollmaking polyester stuffing is best, but wool stuffing has the right qualities.

The EXCELLENT polyester stuffing made by Buffalo Batt is available again where all the Christmas decor stuff is... It is labeled "Buffalo Snow," comes in one pound bags and is 3.99 here at K Mart. This stuffing is available all year long in some places but at Christmas time it is really easy to find. It is slightly wiry, packs beautifully, it is not slippery and it "streams" if you pull on it lightly, rather than breaking apart in fluffs. It actually stuffs a lot like wool stuffing.

For years, when I recycle stuffing, I put it loose into my dryer with no heat and let it get all fluffed up again. There are very few lumps left when it is finished. It leaves no more lint on the dryer lint screen then a load of towels and has never harmed my dryer. I put it back into a bag and it is almost like new. If you fear for your dryer, I wouldn't do this. Works for me.

Editor's Note: It's the season to stock up on Buffalo Batt snow. I went to the store after Christmas last year thinking I would get a good deal, and they were sold out. So check your local stores BEFORE December 25 in the Christmas aisle for this alternative to regular stuffing.


Our NOVEMBER SALE category is ANIMALS. This is probably our largest and most diverse category so be sure to check it out and enjoy the 20% discount on this huge variety of patterns. -

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.
P.S. You don't want to miss our December sale!


Judi Ward writes: I just got and perused a CD-ROM by Victoria Di Pietro (Beyond Bows – Ribbon Jointing and More) all about using ribbons for everything one can think of. Victoria Di Pietro is a very talented and innovative doll designer and doll maker who uses ribbons for all sorts of things that one would never think of. She uses the 1/8" ones for jointing and does it such great ways that the ends become part of the costumes. She makes feathers from ribbon that looks so real they it is amazing, and so much more! It gets a little wordy without pictures until the end of a concept, but the information is all there and wonderful! The CD also has a 14" ballerina doll pattern on it for trying many different ribbon ideas, including the cleverest way to do ribbon ties up the leg that stay put without sewing them. We have been E mail friends for a while and Victoria is a "doll engineer" who also does incredible costuming. The CD is available from


Q: Why do men's clothes have buttons on the right while women's clothes have buttons on the left?
(You NEED to know the answer to this to correctly clothe the dolls you make.)

A: When buttons were invented, they were very expensive and worn primarily by the rich. Historically, men of wealth wore clothing with buttons they could button themselves (so buttons were on the right.) Because wealthy women were dressed by maids, dressmakers put the buttons on the maid's right! Since most people are right-handed, it is easier to push buttons on the right through holes on the left. And that's where women's buttons have remained since.

Congratulations to Susan Brackin from Jacksonville, Florida. 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: Which of these statements about Saturnalia, the pagan festival which Christmas replaced, is false?
A. Temple-going during the festival was compulsory
B. Starting battles was forbidden (though continuing them was fine)
C. Celebrants wore a flimsy outfit called the synthesis
D. Slaves were allowed to misbehave, within reason

Everyone who emails in the correct answers by November 30th (NOTE NEW DEADLINE) will be entered into a drawing for a $10 gift certificate to Dollmaker’s Journey. The winner will be announced in the next newsletter. Email your answers to Bonnie at Put November 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.


Give Lavishly! Live Abundantly
By Helen Steiner Rice

The more you give,
The more you get—
The more you laugh,
The less you fret—
The more you do
The more you live
The more of everything
you share,
The more you'll always
have to spare—
The more you love,
The more you'll find
That life is good
And friends are kind...
For only what
We give away,
Enriches us
From day to day.

By Bonnie B. Lewis

1 clear glass plate
Holiday Time Window Cling or design of your choice
Fine line Sharpie or permanent markers
Acrylic paints
Fine paint brushes
Acrylic sealer spray suitable for glass
Scotch tape if needed

On the top of the plate adhere a window cling design of your choice. (It should stick to the glass, be see through and easily removed.) You can also tape a picture to the top with the design facing the bottom of the plate. This can be holiday related, doll related, or anything else you can imagine. (Perhaps I need to make a dragon plate!)

IMPORTANT: If there is any lettering on the design (e.g. Happy Holidays) make sure it is readable from the top side of the plate. If using a picture make a reverse copy. I made the mistake of making it legible from the bottom of the plate, and my only excuse is that the snowman is looking through a window at a sign that says: !wonS tI teL

Turn the plate over, and copy the design on the bottom of the plate with a fine line Sharpie or permanent marker. Remove the picture. Place a white sheet of paper under the plate so you can see the design.

Paint design with acrylic paints on the bottom of the plate. You can also put small designs on the raised sides using the same method. Be sure you paint the small areas first. For example, if painting a Christmas tree, paint the star and ornaments first, then the tree. A candy cane can have red stripes made from a colored marker or fine line paint. You can then paint the entire candy cane white and the red will show on the front. Remember, the first color you paint will show on the front, and if other colors are painted on top, they won't show. Check your plate periodically on the top to see if the design is what you want. If not, it is easy to scrape off the paint with your fingernail and try again.

After paint is dry seal ONLY THE BOTTOM of the plate with clear acrylic spray sealer. You now have a beautiful hand painted plate to give as a gift along with something wonderful, such as a cake or cookies.
Just include a note saying these plates must be hand washed. They are NOT dishwasher safe.


See the new Hoffman Challenge fabric for 2011 here:
Get rules and entry form here:


November 27, 2010 – Columbus Black Doll and Gift Show
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Aladdin Shrine Center, 3850 Stelzer Road, Columbus, Ohio 43219

January 22-25, 2011 - Southern Doll Conference
Orlando, Florida
For more information:

February 25, 2011 – Cruising to Wonderland
Go on an ocean cruise and take classes from Patti Culea, Cindi Mahylstadt, and Adele Sciortino.
For more information contact. Barbara Ann Roby, CTC, BR Travel Services 925-246-5707 or send an email for any information or questions to :

April 28–May 1, 2011 – Artistic Figures in Cloth (AFIC)
Columbus, Ohio
Artistic Figures in Cloth (AFIC) is a Doll Makers and Fiber Artist Extravaganza, held in Columbus, Ohio every other year. AFIC is offering your choice of 13 teachers and 24 workshops. There are classes in fabric sculpting, painting, designing, fabric art, paper clay, felting, collage to name a few and in addition to these workshops we have vendors, exhibits and extra events, all activities are geared to simulate the creative artist in you! What better gift to yourself than the gift of inspiration. Come to AFIC and join the fun. Visitors welcome on April 30 & May 1, 2011 to view exhibits and vendors.

June 9-12, 2011 – Figurative Artists Consortium
Algonquin College, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

July 23-27, 2011 – 24th Annual National Doll Festival
Sheraton Park Hotel, Anaheim, California
For more information, inquiries email: or
(831) 438-5349 phone

July 2011 – UFDC (United Federation of Doll Clubs)
Anaheim Hilton, Anaheim, California

July 2011 – ODACA (Original Doll Artists Council of America)
Anaheim Hilton, Anaheim, California

August 22-28, 2011 – NIADA (National Institute of American Doll Artists)
Denver, Colorado

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


VICTORIA DIPIETRO has generously given us a superbly detailed FREE Pattern for a cloth Nutcracker that highlights her ribbon jointing techniques and will be the perfect holiday accessory. –


Stepping right out of the pages of the JILL MAAS 2011 CALENDAR we have the very charming “Maisie” with her companion Meredith Mouse. A very engaging duo indeed! Do stop by and take a peek. Also see the perfect partner for her popular “Mother of the Bride” pattern. Come meet the delightful “Father of Bride” and you’ll know why JILL is one of the most whimsical designers out there. -

We have two wonderful new projects from LESLIE MOLEN. “Twinkle-Bright Reindeer” would be a delightful addition to any holiday décor and her sweet “Luv Muffins” would make awesome pincushions. Also check out two of the most precious patterns you’ve ever seen “Friendship Bear” and “Little Blue Bird Pincushion” that would make exquisite gifts. Come take a look

MICHELLE ALLEN’S laying down snowmen are so quick and easy to make you’ll want to make a pile of them! We’ve also added three more terrific holiday patterns from MICHELLE– two easy snowmen and a lovely Christmas Raggedy. Do take a look –

We have a wonderful treat from PATTI CULEA. Her newest pattern “Ilmaria: Guardian of the Stars” comes with all the gorgeous laces for her costume along with a beautiful starburst rubber stamp. This really is a yummy project! –

“Shady Lady and Dapper Dan” and “Yuko-San” are two classic patterns from the fertile imagination of elinor peace bailey that we are delighted to add to our collection of elinor’s designs. –

If you are looking for ways to nourish your creative spirit then we have a wonderful new book for you. “Art + Quilt: Design Principles and Creativity Exercises” will show you how to rekindle and re-energize your imagination to take your artistic skills to new levels.
Take a look –

There is so much going on in the Mixed Media art world these days with tons of exciting new techniques to explore and fascinating new products to use. The 20+ innovative projects in” Mixed Media Mania” by Debbie Crane and Cheryl Prater are sure to inspire and challenge you and enhance your doll making, too. Read more about it here -

SPECIAL PUBLISHERS REBATE – The Interweave Publishing Company from which we get “Art + Quilt” by Lyric Kinkaid, “Cloth Dolls for Textile Artists” by Ray Slater and “Mixed Media Mania” by Debbie Crane and Cheryl Prater is offering a $5 rebate for any of their products purchased between 1 November and 31 December 2010. Purchase one of these books and we will include the $5 Rebate Coupon with the receipt in your package. A super holiday savings! –

We have to tell you, there aren’t enough adjectives to describe VICTORIA DI PIETRO’S newest tutorial CD – “Beyond Bows – Ribbon Jointing and More.” You simply won’t believe what can be done with ribbon in the construction of a doll particularly the innovative ways a doll can be jointed. (Mary Ann was blown away with the content and possibilities when she reviewed it!) Click here to find out more about what you will find on this extraordinary CD –

From SUSAN BARMORE we have three different holiday ornaments that are not only darling, but so easy to make – “Winter Girls,” “Winter Boys” and “Gnome Ornaments” are sure to tickle your creative fancy. You’ll find some clever construction techniques in two more of her holiday patterns -“Icicle Fairies” and “Wise Men.” Stop by and take a look. –

You are going to fall in love with “Peter, the Pack Rat Troll” – the marvelous new pattern from UTE VASINA. Her step-by-step photos are some of the best we’ve ever seen and we think the shoe technique is just fabulous! Treat yourself to this really fun project –

WHOO-HOO! Two long awaited new books have arrived at Dollmakers Journey. What happens when you combine the talents of three of the world’s leading doll artists? MAGIC!!! That’s what you find within the pages of “Cloth Doll Workshop - From the Beginning and Beyond with Doll Masters elinor peace bailey, Patti Medaris Culea and Barbara Willis.” The projects they present are just awesome and you’ll even get to see inside their own studios. This book is a real treasure.

“The Complete Photo Guide to Doll Making” By Nancy Hoerner, Barbara Matthiessen and Rick Petersen encompasses a wide variety of materials from twigs, to socks to clay and tons of wonderful techniques for creating dolls on every level. It is an incredible resource that you will refer to again and again to advance your skills.

MAUREEN MILLS must never sleep and we are delighted to bring you more of her wonderful patterns. “Cookies Anyone?” is a charming holiday treat and her “Farmers Field Pumpkins” look amazing real. You won’t be able to stop at one! Also check out her vintage pair called “Past-Tyme Playmates” and some darling cats called “Meow Mix.”

You’ll have a choice of several delightful heads with VICKI RILEY’S cuddly “Security Bankies.” What little one wouldn’t love one of these enchanting blankets?

Canadian designer JACQUIE LECUYER has another winner with her exotic wood nymph “Petaquin.” Check it out

Hot off the presses “Introduction to Making Cloth Dolls” by JAN HORROX is an exquisite new book bursting with creative construction and embellishment techniques. You’ll get three different doll body patterns with wonderful variations, expert instruction and fantastic color photography on every page. There are so many good things within the pages of this book; you’re going to love it! -

Even though Halloween is past, we wanted to share two of our newest patterns. FRAN PARRIGAN MEEHAN’S “Witchy Witch” has quite the colorful outfit
and SYLVIA SCHORR’S “Trick or Treat” is simply charming.

You have to see CINDEE MOYER’S smashing new holiday pattern “Let it Snow” a super project with almost no sewing at all! -

The “Fairy Grocery Bag Holder” from SHERRY GOSHON gives you a very elegant option for storing your bags.

We are happy to report that the most popular patterns from the Phat Phaerie team of KATE ERBACH and ELLEN HAYTAS such as “Emma Mancatcher,” “Gertie on the Beach,” and “Morty and Snerf” are now back in stock in a new CD format.

COLLEEN BABCOCK newest offering is a clever two-in-one pattern called “Snowflake Sprite and Spider Sprite.” In it she teaches you how to make perfect, expressive hands with opposable thumbs. Check out these imaginative characters –

Down Under’s SHIRLEY GIDDY has just added another charming elfin character to her pattern collection – “Koel.” You’ll always find interesting construction techniques in SHIRLEY’S patterns. -


One of the joys of having married children is that their spouses bring favorite recipes to enrich our holidays. We now enjoy treats from Africa, Japan, and Italy. Recently our daughter-in-law Lisa Lewis shared this wonderful Cran-Raspberry Mousse, which we love so much we insist on having it at Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. Enjoy!

Cran-Raspberry Mousse (Lisa Lewis)

To make 6 - 1/2 cup servings

1- 3oz pkg. Jell-O (cranberry or raspberry)
1 cup cran-raspberry juice
1 can jellied cranberry sauce
1 pint real whipping cream or one small container cool whip

Pour juice into saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and add Jell-o and dissolve. In a medium size mixing bowl, use wire whisk to mash jellied cranberry sauce. Pour Jell-o mixture over mashed cranberry sauce and put it fridge till firm but not set, 2 to 4 hours. Whip real whipping cream, add sugar and vanilla to taste, fold into Jell-o mixture. Mixture should remain light and fluffy. Chill again for 2 to 4 hours before serving.

To increase amount add one more box Jell-O, one more cup juice, one more can jellied cranberry sauce and increase real whipping cream to one quart instead of a pint, mix in larger bowl.


Gloria Winer writes: I will have a 12" "Elf named Stretch" on the cover and the pattern (part one) in the Winter issue of Soft Dolls and Animals. It should be available in late October. The second part, in the Spring issue, will contain the torso needle modeling, wigging and clothing patterns and instruction. Hope you enjoy it.


Over the years we have been asked so many times where pre-stuffed doll bodies can be purchased that we thought we should provide them for you. We now have the 14” BENDI DOLLS that have wired arms and legs for posing as well as regular pre-stuffed MUSLIN DOLLS in a range of sizes. Keep an eye out for a very exciting upcoming FREE project that will involve the Bendi Dolls. –

We are adding two more types of yarn to give you more hair styling options. The first is called “Attic Annie” – a slender fiber that you can actually apply to the head with a needle. The second is called
“Spoolie Spun” – a 3-ply that can be used as is or untwisted for a finer texture. Also check out our “Mop Cotton” – a thick cotton cord in both red and black for some great hairstyling. –

There are some dolls that just insist on a vibrant hair color and our newest color of Tibetan Lamb – Tangerine – is just the ticket.

Mary Ann’s favorite marking tool is the “Chaco Liner Chalk Wheel.” When her own disappeared in her studio recently she decided it was time to have them on the site so she’d always have one available. Great for marking dark fabrics and the chalk brushes away easily.

We just got a big supply of that wonderful all-purpose tool THAT PURPLE THANG

Grrrip Glue, Stockinette fabric, the assortment pack of 10 Gelly Roll Pens, ¾” jointing buttons. and Terracotta Prismacolor Pencils are back in Stock.


Hop-along Bonnie is finally able to climb stairs without a cane by holding tight to the railing. She did go to Judi Ward's home just after her knee was hurt to finish up her Barbie marionette. She loved the way Judi sculpted the face using Model Magic. (See September Newsletter for details.) She put Sculpey into the toe shoes and baked them in the oven for added weight on the feet. The dolls were then strung onto wooden control bars. Hopefully Judi will have pictures taken and we can let you see the wonderful dolls created in her class. I will admit most of the puppets were fashionable ladies with Victorian hats and dresses. However, with 21 grandchildren and a lot of them girls Bonnie decided to dress hers in Barbie pink with a jeweled crown and long blonde hair. Now she is trying to finish painting lots of glass plates, dressing or fixing more dolls, and getting things ready for Christmas. I'm not sure if she can also squeeze in a dragon or two.

October brought two memorable out-of-town weddings for Mary Ann and Jim. On October 2nd Meghan Trainer, the daughter of Mak’s closest friend Dana married Rowland Adamoli in a joyous, music filled, outdoor wedding with no less than 26 people in the wedding party and a tie-dyed wedding cake! On the 14th Mary Ann and Jim flew to Charleston, SC for 4 days to celebrate the wedding of Jim’s youngest son Michael to Becky Gordner. The entire family stayed together in a magnificent beach house on the Isle of Palms. They were blessed with perfect weather and were able to enjoy some beach time amongst the festivities. Becky was a stunning bride and every activity of the weekend overflowed with love and happiness for the couple. On November 6-7 Mary Ann treated herself to a class with Sue McMahon, a renowned and superbly talented doll artist from Tasmania. You can see her work here - Sue taught her Izzanah Walker style doll with a paperclay head on a cloth body and Mak was thrilled with the results. Sue will be returning to the US in April to teach at AFIC. The time has come for Mary Ann to get her Christmas presents finished up. So much to create and so little time…….


Amazing paper sculptures knitted from paper strips by Viviana Santamarina

Also check out these amazing Native American paper sculptures by the Eckman's

Alexander Mergold has amazing marionettes, puppets and dolls Go here to see some of them.

Liu Wei lost both arms in an accident. Watch him play the piano in China's Got Talent (with English subtitles)

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

Contact the editor Bonnie B. Lewis at with any comments, suggestions, etc.
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