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Dollmaker's Journey

May 2002 Issue Eleven

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May 2002 Issue Eleven


Copyright 2002 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. Visit out companion website:

** 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,

We just spent a wonderful day in Severna Park, Maryland filming two shows for Rag Doll Daze, a local access TV show broadcast in Anne Arundel County, Maryland hosted by Penny DeHoff and co-host Doris Talbott. In our first show we explained how to find or make accessories that are proportional to the doll, and we showed viewers how to make accessories out of polymer clay such as cell phones and remote controls. Our second show talked about pillbox hats, and we demonstrated how to make and embellish them. It was lots of fun. Take a peek -
Cheryl Leone just finished taping four shows with Penny. If you know of any other local TV stations that would be interested in this delightful series, contact Penny at for more information.

Mary Ann and Bonnie



Darlene Wilkinson works with kids that have cancer and she started a doll project about a year ago. She put it out on all the lists and got great response, but when Sept. 11th hit everyone stopped sending dolls for the kids. The project is still ongoing!!!!! The kids cherish all the dolls made with our hands, and for most of them it turns out to be their favorite doll. It's a humbling project to say the least. The dolls can be anything you'd like because the "kids" are from 1 month old to 23 years old. It could be a baby doll, art doll, healing doll or anything else.

Anyone interested please email Darlene and she will send you more information and her mailing address. You can contact her at



We all look for a little "me time" with Spring arriving, and one of our designers has created the perfect challenge. Independent Woman has found her own personal space to gain her "me time". Use your imagination and create your own Independent Woman portraying your own independence..... Maybe you are a Sport's mom so the only personal time you will gain is in a Soccer shoe, or a baseball cleat. The possibilities are endless.


1) You must purchase the "Independent Woman" Pattern by Kathryn S. Nelson. It is available from

2) Create your very own "Independent Woman" and submit a .jpeg of your finished doll no later than June 1, 2002 to Kathryn Nelson. ( All photos of dolls submitted will be published on the Kreative License website.

3) Judging will take place on June 2, 2002. Our husbands and daughters will be the judges of this contest.

The winner will receive a complete selection of the 2002 current patterns offered by Kathryn S. Nelson (there are two new ones coming out soon), plus a few surprise secret goodies!



We are excited to introduce three new designers to Dollmaker's Journey. Check out the enchanting patterns of ALLISON MARANO of Faewyck Studios. The clever construction techniques throughout her collection of sprightly fairies, a shelf sitting pixie, a lovely young woman and an outrageous granny are sure to delight you.

You saw her first dragon in Soft Dolls & Animals; now ALICE ENLOW presents "Dragon #2" a versatile pattern for both children and adults.




January 24, 25, and 26, 2003
Presented by Sisters of the Cloth Doll Club
At the Hacienda Hotel in El Segundo, CA

This conference is for the beginning cloth doll maker, even a novice sewer. The classes will give inspiration and instruction for those who desire to learn cloth dollmaking. The conference will feature Southern California cloth doll teachers and artists who will present beginning and fundamental techniques of cloth dollmaking.

For more information email Michele at is

To order a registration packet (available September 2002) send $3.00 to cover postage to:

Michele Memmott/Dollapalooza
429 30th Street
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

The Dollapalooza website is:


This year the annual conference for NIADA will be held at the Bethesda Hyatt, in Bethesda, MD, a suburb of Washington DC, on July 3 - 7. Come by on Saturday, the 6th, for the show and sale, or Thursday, July 4 for the gallery exhibit, if you live in the DC area. Or think about registering for the whole conference. There's even a master class on July 3. In addition to a wonderful array of programs from Lisa Lichtenfels, Dan Fletcher, Tatiana Baeva (from Russia) and others, there are also some day trips planned to G Street Fabrics and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

For more info go to

To register for the conference, email Helen Facto, Conference Registrar:

Non-NIADA members conference registration is $270.00

To register for the Master Classes, email Doris Edwards, Master Class Registrar:

If you register for the conference, the master classes are $120. However, you can still take the classes without registering for the whole conference for just $135.


This bi-annual cloth doll convention will be held October 10-13, 2002 at the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS), 5700 Hammonds Ferry Road, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090. We will be teaching our Sadie the Church Lady doll classes there. (You can see Sadie's picture at:

The information packets were mailed, and registration begins June 1st. Register early for the best selection. More information can be found at:

To save yourself time and energy, get all the details on upcoming doll related events such as Quilt Market (they need doll centerpieces for American Cancer Society - free pattern link at Karen's site), We Folk of Cloth in October, the Gypsy of the Night Sky 2002 Treasures of the Gypsy Challenge and many other events by regularly visiting Karen Samuelson's CLOTH DOLL CONNECTION website. For the most comprehensive news on designers, events, challenges and activities be sure to check out and bookmark



Occasionally we will find something wonderful that we just want to share. Check out the following sites from Heirlooms for Tomorrow which features original dolls by Linda Johnson. She has created a tutorial on how to create Helen Pringle style dolls, with a wonderful section on painting and finishing faces, creating trapunto-style sausage curls, etc.


TIP: Currently Mary Ann and I are creating elaborate Las Vegas showgirl hats covered with lots of feathers for one of our upcoming internet Hatmaking classes. We were worried how to store and/or ship such a doll without ruining the feathers. Go to your local grocery store and buy a clear plastic salad bar container (my local Giant sells them for 10 cents). They come in lots of different sizes, so choose one that fits your hat. They make great hat storage boxes. To ship a doll, cut out a piece from the box large enough to accommodate the neck, slip the doll head into the box, place hat on head, and close box. This should keep the feathers from getting ruined. Just make sure you use lightweight packing materials around box so it doesn't get crushed.



Occasionally we get a letter from a customer asking for help. Here is one I recently received:

"I am very interested in making dolls using polymer clay (for the head, feet, hands, etc.), but I have not been able to find any information on this subject. What I would really like to do (tell me if this is even possible!) is to create 2 dolls in the image of my parents on their wedding day. Their anniversary is coming up, and I want to make something unique and special. Please, could you give me any information on how to make such dolls, or any clues as to where I might find this information? Kelly Lush"

Here is my response:

Making a doll of your parents is an ambitious project! Here are some websites that might help.

Here is a free lesson on how to sculpt doll hands from polymer clay:

Another hands demonstration from Jack Johnston:

Sculpting an African Child's head by Kelly Lynn Smith:

Sculpting demonstration for heads from Blu Frogg Dolls

Lots of tips on working with polymer clay by ODACA artists

Great links to help you make dolls:

Tips on dollmaking from Gloria "Mimi" Winer

Lessons on how to sculpt from Polymer Clay Central (click on lessons and go to sculpture)

Excellent videos by Jack Johnston (

Jodi and Richard Creager (

Lewis Goldstein (

Books by Robert McKinley "Dollmaking -One Artist's Approach" (available from Antonette Cely at

Eloise Piper (available from

Here's where to get supplies and more videos from Wee Folk Creations

Maureen Carlson push molds are also available from:

Here are two sites to show you what can be done using push molds:

Just thought the rest of our customers would enjoy checking out some of these sites.



We have added lots of new patterns to Dollmaker's Journey this month. Check out SHERRY GOSHON"s "Just a Lil Bag" which includes a detailed color instruction sheet to help you make a perfect face.

KATHY NELSON introduces "Caroline" - a seasoned church-going woman, "Mr. C. Weed" - a merman concerned about pollution, and "Independent Woman" for the pattern challenge above. See them all at

Create a vampire complete with open mouth and fangs, new from talented New Zealand designer JANE COUGHLAN.

BRENDA COULTER's dazzling thumb-sucking baby dragon "Pumpkin" with security blanket will charm children of all ages.

You asked for it, now we have it! "Lady Grace" by PRISCILLA MC DONALD is her first cloth doll pattern in her Historical Cloth Series based on a Medieval brass engraving.

Doll pin fanciers will love ANDREA PERKINS' "Fabric Fanatic", a credit card carrying member of FFA - Fabric Fanatics Anonymous.



In this new section we would like to highlight some of the things our designers are doing. NANCY LAVERICK will be teaching a new design called "Frog Prince's Witch" or "I did warn you!" her first online class. You can see pictures of her and her doll at:

Stop by our Designer Bio Section and meet MARCIA ACKER-MISSAL, ALICE ENLOW, and PATTI-ANN STANLEY.

If you are a designer with Dollmaker's Journey, please contact Bonnie Lewis at for anything exciting in your life you would like to share with our readers.


When Patti LaValley shared information about a wonderful "art" caddy she found, we ran to K-Mart to buy two. These are waterproof wheeled organizers with collapsible handles found in the AUTOMOTIVE department that have two large stacking compartments with removable trays perfect for scissors and turning tubes and many little stash containers perfect for beads and small items. It is the best thing we have ever seen for teaching or taking classes, simply everything except your machine will fit. We loaded all sorts of hats and supplies into ours when we taped the TV show on Saturday. Usually in art stores something similar will cost at least $90, but these were only $29.95. It is called Master Cart by Keter, and is probably on a high shelf next to the toolboxes. Also check out fishing caddies for great bead containers.

NEW DOLLMAKING BOOK, "Crafting Cloth Dolls" by Miriam Gourley, published by Quilt Digest Press, is available from (click on books.)

The House of Caron has miniature pleaters, doll hair, and wonderful dollhouse costume patterns. Check them out at:

Check out Sandcastle Creations for wonderful wefted mohair "seconds". A one-yard piece of dyed and wefted mohair 7" to 9" long is less than $15.00! It is wonderful in texture and the colors are so real too. They do special order work for a lot of the big name Porcelain doll people. If you want to Needle Felt the hair into a cloth dolls head, simply cut it off of the weft a section at a time. The rest stays wefted and easily kept. Sandcastle Creations is in Newport Oregon No sales at the site, but you can see some of their stuff. Phone orders only 1-800-605-1901 Phone to chat 1-541-574-1901


TIP: I have found that just gluing the pin backs on dolls doesn't work very well. They eventually come off. I have found that sewing them on works well. Usually the pin backs have holes in them perfect for sewing. If you don't want to sew them, try taking a piece of matching fabric and glue it over the flat part of the pin back to the doll body, or sew the fabric onto the doll back. This will really hold it securely. You can also use a small piece of ribbon with the ends turned under. That way you are gluing fabric to fabric and it holds well. I normally use Fabri-tac glue for this, but Grrrip also works well.



We have added more wonderful photos of the fabulous dolls you've been making. Please stop by and admire the talents of our fellow doll artists: Tracy Jeston, Shirley Walker, Annette Swafford, Patti Albino, Kelsey O'Mullane and Patti Page. We have plenty of room for photos of your dolls, too! Submission instructions are at the bottom of the page.



Bonnie's youngest daughter, Amy, just attended her first prom on Saturday. It was a real challenge trying to find a modest formal with sleeves. It seems everything is strapless, topless, slit to the hip, or micro-mini. We found a beautiful satin burgundy gown with cap sleeves that fit perfectly at a thrift store. But when she fell in love with a gorgeous silver and black gown with straps, we compromised by buying a long sleeve lace jacket to wear on top. Needless to say Bonnie thinks she was the most beautiful girl at the ball. (And no, she never did remove the jacket.) Of course, while Amy was getting ready for the ball, Bonnie was in Maryland with Mary Ann taping two TV shows! However, she did make the boutonniere before she left.

Mary Ann's sewing studio was saved by a phone call from Bonnie the night before Mother's Day! Bonnie called well past her usual 9 pm bedtime to tell Mary Ann about a fantastic new hat she had just created for the hat course. When Mary Ann got off the phone she went down to her basement studio to get some buckram to make some hat forms for Bonnie only to discover that her basement was flooding! The water pressure reducing regulator had given out and Mary Ann and her husband were unable to turn the water off! During the 2 hours it took the county to arrive to shut off the water from the street Mary Ann and her husband continuously filled and emptied tubs of water. The flooding occurred in a storage area and the wall of cardboard boxes absorbed a great deal of the water. If not for the phone call the flooding would have ruined the studio before Mary Ann realized what was happening. The better part of Mother's day was spent hauling soaked boxes outside and cleaning up the mess, but the actual damage was minimal. Never a dull moment, as they say.



MJ Trim from NYC Garment District finally finished their website. Now it is easy to order trims, buttons, and ribbons to match that perfect doll outfit. Check them out at: - Trim and Fabric

Myth Links - great ideas for dolls with lots of inspirational stories


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

Contact the editor Bonnie B. Lewis at 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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