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Dollmaker's Journey

January 2011 Issue 108

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

January 2011 Issue 108

Copyright 2011 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,

Christmas has come and gone. The weather service assured us of a white Christmas here in the Washington, D.C. area, but nary a flake flew. However, across the rest of America there were huge snow and ice storms. So I guess we need to count our blessings. No white Christmas, but safe travel for all our loved ones. We hope all of you had a safe and happy holiday, too.

I stand corrected on the December newsletter. Ann Davidson wrote: "Not to be picky but the solstice is not the 'shortest day of the year' but the day with the least amount of sunshine. All days are the same, 24 hours." Oh well, it was the thought that counted. Thanks for the smile, Ann.

I read an article about women incarcerated in Mexican prisons, sometimes for years before their case comes to trial. To relieve depression, they started making one-of-a-kind dolls and selling them to help allay expenses while in the prison. You can see some of their unique dolls here:

I believe we all make dolls for many reasons. Sometimes making a doll is therapeutic. Sometimes an artistic muse demands attention and won't give you any rest until you bring it to fruition. In my case I loved to sew, and when I ended up with 6 daughters and only two sons, I knew that the best gifts I could give my children were dolls. We didn't have enough money to buy them, so I began with Raggedy Ann dolls for my twins and a Raggedy Andy for my son. When the Cabbage Patch craze hit all my daughters wanted one and you couldn't buy them anywhere, I decided to make them. I ended up making 100 CP dolls that year, except I called them Enchanted Rainbow Kids. They did come with a birth certificate and adoption papers. I even made three identical dolls for triplets, each dressed in that child's favorite color. Some had molded plastic heads and hands, but many were soft sculpted. I learned to love Dolskin as I sculpted tiny toes, belly buttons, bottoms with dimples and faces. Dolls ranged in size from 6" to 24", and each one was unique.

As my children grew I took classes and was introduced to Art Dolls. A whole new world opened before my eyes. Then I met Mary Ann Kaahanui online, we collaborated on several books and classes, and Dollmaker's Journey was born. I have never regretted the journey, and as we begin a new year, I wonder what the future holds. I have learned that if I can imagine something I can create it.

May you find joy in the journey as we begin 2011. The best is yet to be!

Bonnie and Mary Ann

CORRECTION: On the holiday apron featured in the December newsletter, the drawstring needs to be at least 90" long or longer to fit the wearer, rather than 45" long as mentioned in the article. Sorry for the mix-up.


Get the 20% discount on GENERAL SUPPLIES from now through 31 January. Be sure to take advantage of the extra savings!

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.


Check out this link for a great ribbon storage idea. I store mine in a closet with two pipe cleaners attached to a wooden dowel. I run the ribbons onto the dowel through the hole in the middle and then loop the pipe cleaners over the hanger rod. This is a much classier solution, but I don't know where I would put it. Go to:


Q: As well as being associated with Christmas, St Nicholas is the patron saint of:
A. Thieves
B. Earaches
C. Prussia
D. Bee keepers

A: The answer is A, the Patron Saint of Thieves. Our winner, Donna Rae, added these comments: "The answer to the quiz is St. Nicholas was the patron saint of thieves, who I'm sure needed a patron saint! He was also the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, children and students, as well as the patron saint of Greece, Belgium, France, Romania, Georgia, Bulgaria, Albania, Russia, the Republic of Macedonia, Slovakia, Serbia and Montenegro. A tall order for any saint, I would say!"

Congratulations to Donna Rae from Greenville, South Carolina. 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: Why do X's at the end of a letter signify kisses?

Everyone who emails in the correct answers by February 1st (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 January 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.


An inspirational thought from Paula Best, mixed-media artist (Guidepost, January 2011) on why we shouldn't put off until tomorrow what we can accomplish today:

"Begin now. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake."


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


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

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 24-25 – Doll Artists Classic (Branch of NDF)
Anaheim Plaza Hotel, Anaheim, California
Dolls, bears and miniatures sold. Theme: Phantasy to Reality
For more information go to or phone (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
Registration is open now for the NIADA Dollmaking School on August 22-25.
Go here for signups and descriptions.

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


January is traditionally a time for making and breaking resolutions. The following is some of the best advice I have found for living a wonderful life without regrets.

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first pay check.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion.
Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come...
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."


Learn to make a cute boot inspired by elinor peace bailey at
(blog date January 13, 2011) Then go to to order the book.

Adele Sciortino's Creative Costuming Newsletter (15th issue, Winter 2011) is available now. It includes a free pattern for an outfit for the 43 cm tall Narae from Narindoll. Go to and click on "Newsletter". It is free, but you have to register with your email and make a password. Then she will send you an email every 3 months, when she comes out with her quarterly newsletter. Once you are registered, just download the pdf file and enjoy!


We are adding three more colorful characters from BARBARA SCHOENOFF'S delightful Victorian Carnival Series – "Samson – the Strong Man", "Lucinda" the very shapely Trapeze Artist, and "Delilah – the Fat Lady." You'll have fun mixing and matching your fabrics for great effects for this super trio. Stop by and take a peek

From MAUREEN MILLS we have "Hareloom Bunnies" – easy to make rabbits with a warm but shabby look. –

DERUE JOHNSON departs from her usual forest creatures for the sassy "Ropin' Ria Rita" – you have to check out this little gal –

SHERRY GOSHON is answering the call of beginner dollmakers everywhere with her newest book – "So You Want to Make Cloth Dolls" in both print and CD formats. She'll walk through every step of the construction process as she creates two different styles of doll bodies. A wonderful resource for getting started in the exciting hobby we share. -

We're delighted to have two fabulous new patterns from CINDEE MOYER – "Aunt Sukey's Patch" and "Painting Her Roses Red." CINDEE'S dolls are so easy to construct but they all have tremendous visual impact. Do stop by and check them out –


Start the New Year with a think test. (Bonnie scored 20)


Congratulations to Patti LaValley, one of our designers, for her doll Imperess (a little bit diva, and a little bit brat!) which was featured in Soft Dolls and Animals magazine (March 2011). You miss some of the costuming details because the doll is scrunched down in a basket, but the accompanying article walks you through every step. Mary and Jesus by elinor peace bailey are on the cover. They were adapted from her original pattern Papa Noel. Congrats to all!

You can see more of their patterns at and


Sarah Lucas wrote: Edinburgh Imports carries 9" x 11" pieces of Ultrasuede in lots of colors. They also carry supplies for teddy bears, dolls, etc. and are very reliable.
These scraps are perfect for doll shoes, accessories, etc.

Anne Chaffee has another source: I have purchased Ultrasuede scraps through and have been very pleased. The prices are reasonable, too. Most of the pieces were smaller than 9"x12". I also was given a huge amount of samples including Ultrasuede and faux leather from a local interior design store. Frequently these stores just throw these samples away; so it doesn't hurt to ask.

Gloria "Mimi" Winer adds: By the way, ultra suede is not woven or knit, it is more like felt. The fabric will pop, not at the seams but pull apart just like felt. I learned this the hard way, I made several Happy Birthday Honey dolls from ultra suede. Once I learned to work with it i loved the dolls, however, when I put the fishnet stockings on her I had to remove them and shave her legs, the pile stuck through the fish-net. Also, to make it easier to sew on the machine I used a Teflon presser foot made for leather and suede, Jim cut off one side of the foot, the one to my right when seated at the machine, in order for me to be able to see in front of the needle.


Over in the SUPPLY DEPARTMENT you'll find an assortment of new eye colors in the various sizes. While there be sure to take advantage of our ANNUAL GENERAL SUPPLY SALE and enjoy the 20% discount until the end of the month.

TAP is the incredibly versatile transfer paper from Leslie Riley. You will be amazed at how many surfaces you can transfer images to besides fabric. FAST2FUSE and TIMTEX are special interfacings for projects that require some body like boxes, bowls and purses.

Mini Stuffing Forks
Curved Quilting Needles
Essential Sewing Tool
Steam A Seam 2
4.5mm Animal Eyes – Translucent Blue

We are fully stocked with all of our DEERSUEDE and CRAFT VELOUR colors! Also all of the Ethic Fabrics are back in stock except for #15. –


Bonnie's big news is the birth of Lara Katara Clark, her 22nd grandchild. Lara was born Tuesday, 1/11/2011 at 9:12 a.m. in Maryland. She weighed 7 pounds 14 oz. and was 21" long. She is tiny and has blue eyes and dark hair.(pictures at ) Bonnie was able to see her the next day, and as she held Lara in her arms, she shared a poem with her that has been shared with all eight children and every grandchild (usually when they are one day old!) She changes the gender according to the baby she is holding. (Changes are in parentheses.)

It was written by Carol Lynn Pearson, and was included in a book titled "Beginnings" that her sister gave her when she was in college. (She has it memorized!)


My day-old child lay in my arms.
With my lips against his (her) ear
I whispered strongly, "How I wish –
I wish that you could hear;

"I've a hundred wonderful things to say
(A tiny cough and a nod),
Hurry, hurry, hurry and grow
So I can tell you about God."

My day-old baby's mouth was still
And my words only tickled his (her) ear.
But a kind of a light passed through his (her) eyes,
And I saw this thought appear:

"How I wish I had a voice and words;
I've a hundred things to say.
Before I forget I'd tell you of God –
I left Him yesterday."

Looking at this tiny gift from heaven almost makes Bonnie want to start making baby dolls again!

For Christmas Jim treated Mary Ann to tickets for the musical "South Pacific" which they thoroughly enjoyed at the Kennedy Center in January. The best news is that Jim's second grandson Brayden Alexander Roberts made his entrance two weeks early but in perfect health weighing in at 7 pounds 4 ounces and 21" long. His daughter Sara and husband Mike are over the moon. Gramps will be heading to Chicago in a few weeks to meet him in person. Mary Ann will be heading to California to celebrate the 1st Birthday of her grandson Kainoa at his Baby Luau – a wonderful Hawaiian tradition – and she can't wait!!!


See dancer Lunga – imagine making a doll in one of these positions – no one would believe it was even anatomically possible.

Wendy Walton's hilarious website at is worth reading. See what she does with bamboo skewers in a clay pusher "tutorial", an old glove turns into a Japanese cat, and it is charming to read how she created a Hitty doll. Enjoy!

See how the Boogie Woogie, a dance popular when my mom got married, should be done. I wish kids of today had this much energy, instead of texting and playing mindless video games. If you can take your eyes off her, the male dancer is super...never moves his shoulders compared to what his feet and knees are doing. And the top of his head stays at the same height no matter what. The pianist is from Switzerland and plays some of the best Boogie Woogie anywhere.

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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