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Dollmaker's Journey

April 2011 Issue 111

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

April 2011 Issue 111

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,

Spring has finally arrived in the Washington, D.C. area. Pollen index is high, and everyone I meet seems to be coughing and sneezing (including me, and I didn't think I was allergic to anything! Maybe I just have the flu for the THIRD time this year!) It reminds me of a story my father used to tell. I have never seen it written down; because it would be impossible to replicate the sounds you need to use to tell the story properly. You deed to dell id wid a ferry stuffy dose udil da ferry ed. (Obviously I won't write the story like this. It would drive me crazy!) Have a handkerchief ready before you begin.

Wilbur by Bonnie B. Lewis in memory of my father, Frederick W. Babbel

Once upon a time there was a little boy named Wilbur. He was the apple of his parents' eye. He was a perfect baby, a wonderful toddler, and when he turned 5 his parents took him to the doctor for a pre-school checkup. The doctor asked Wilbur some questions, and then took the parents aside.

He said, "Wilbur is a wonderful boy, very intelligent, and completely ready to begin school. However, I noticed when talking to him that he has a slight speech impediment. I think he needs to have an operation."

So he did, but it didn't do any good.

When Wilbur entered sixth grade, his parents went to a parent-teacher conference. There his concerned speech teacher told them,

"Wilbur is a wonderful student. He is smart, does his homework, and is liked by everyone. However, he had a slight problem which all my therapy hasn't cured. He has difficulty communicating with the other children. I think he has a slight speech impediment. Why doesn't he have an operation?"

So he did, but it didn't do any good.

When Wilbur entered High School, he joined the football team. He dreamed of becoming a quarterback, and worked hard at improving his game. Finally the coach pulled him aside and gave him the bad news.

"Wilbur, you are a wonderful player, and well liked by the entire team. However, I can't encourage you in your dream of becoming a quarterback, because they have to call out plays, and not everyone can understand you when you talk. Why don't you have an operation?"

So he did, but it didn't do any good.

Wilbur went on to college, and there he met the girl of his dreams. They fell in love, and soon married. About a year after their honeymoon, his bride took him aside for a little talk.

"Wilbur, I love you very much. You are a wonderful husband and will soon become a father. Before our baby is born, I just have one request. I notice you have a slight speech impediment. Why don't you blow your nose?"

(Pull out a big handkerchief and blow your nose really hard. Then speak in a normal voice.)

So he did. And he has been alright every since.

I recently told this as a church talent show, and was surprised that no one had ever heard it. Sometimes the simplest solutions are best. April is the time for jokes, and this is one of my favorites. Enjoy!

Wishing everyone a very Happy Easter Season!

Bonnie and Mary Ann


I read about this relief effort in Do One Nice Thing ( I know lots of dollmakers who make sock dolls and animals. I thought if you had any to spare, you might want to support this plea.

Following the triple disasters in Japan, more than 100,000 survivors were evacuated to shelters. As if being traumatized, hungry and freezing were not enough, survivors were also barefoot. Jason Kelly heard about that. An American living in Sano, Japan, he started Socks for Japan, a relief effort to send new socks and care letters from people around the world to Japanese evacuation centers. A new, clean pair of socks, and some love from the stranger who sent it, can really lift a person's spirits. Jason's team needs more socks. Can you send a pair?

*Send only new socks. (Regular socks, NOT Japanese split-toe socks)
*Put each pair in a sealed plastic bag, with a note or child's drawing
*Write your email address on the package
*IMPORTANT: Write "Urgent: Relief Supplies" on the package. It will avoid import duties and speed through Customs

Ship to:
Jason Kelly
Plaza Kei 101
Wakamatsu-cho 6 15-6
Sano, Tochigi 327-0846

NOTE: There are many mailing options. First-class postage on a bubble envelope works best. Ask at the Post Office.


The FAIRIES are once again a-flutter here at Dollmakers Journey. Spring has sprung in the Northern Hemisphere and you guessed it – our huge selection of FAIRY patterns are 20% off for the entire month of APRIL. Be sure to stock up! -

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.


"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." Albert Einstein


Q: What is greater than God? More evil than the Devil? The poor already have it. The rich want it. And if you eat it, you die. What is it?

A: Nothing!

Congratulations to Penny Jarschke from Gardner, Massachusetts. 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: What is a Paraprosdokian? Give an example.

Everyone who emails in the correct answers by May 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 April 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.


July 15, 2011 – Hoffman Challenge due (new deadline – see rules below)
Learn about new category for the challenge

May 15, 2011 – 3rd Annual "Holiday" Cloth Baby Doll Challenge
March is "World Baby Doll Month". In honor of that you are challenged to create a baby doll dressed for a holiday (your choice).
Details at:


March 31 – April 30, 2011 - The work of Lisa L. Lichtenfels
New York City, New York
Lisa's work of the past three years will be on exhibit at the CFM Gallery, 236 West 27th Street, (Between 7th and 8th Avenues) 4th Floor
Phone 212-966-3864
Click on Lichtenfels to see great photos from her last show.
Gallery open 10 to 6, closed Sunday and Monday

April 23, 2011 – Calgary Doll Club Spring Sale
Acadia Recreation Center, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Open 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

April 28–May 1, 2011 – Artistic Figures in Cloth (AFIC)
Columbus, Ohio
Dollmakers Journey will be vendors at this fabulous event!

Saturday, May 7, 2011 - Mini Doll Friends of Southern California's 34th Annual Doll Show and Sale
10 am – 3 pm.
Al Bahr Shrine Center, 544 Kearny Mesa Rd, San Diego, CA 92111
(west side of 163 freeway at Claremont Mesa Rd.)
$6.00 donation....$5.00 with this notice...children under 12 free
information 760-723-0790 or 619-298-2447

May 20-21, 2011 – Mystic of the Northcoast Mermaids of Lake Erie workshop
Ramada Inn, Elyria, Ohio
Learn to make a masked-faced mermaid with Kooki Davis
For more information contact Gloria Kellon at

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

June 23-26, 2011 – Creations in Fiber, Inc. (CIFI)
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Or email Diane for space availability at

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

July 24-25 – Doll and Bear Artists Classic (DBAC - 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 13, 2011 – Day With Dolls
New York, New York
Dollmaker's Journey will be at this event.
For more information contact Diane Kearney at

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.

October 6-11, 2011 – Art Is ... You
Danbury Plaza Hotel, Danbury, Connecticut
For information check out this website:

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


Make a Fool to celebrate April Fool's Day. This dessert originated in England, and is very simple to make. There are many recipes online, but this is the one I like. If you use Splenda or another sugar substitute, it is safe for diabetics, although not low in calories.

By Bonnie B. Lewis

1 quart fresh strawberries (or 3 cups raspberries, blackberries, or other berries)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar (for diabetics, use Splenda)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
OPTIONAL: One drop wild orange DoTerra essential oil OR 1/4 tsp. orange extract OR 1 tablespoon
orange liquor (not necessary, but gives a wonderful hint of orange)

Hull strawberries and wash. Mash or puree berries. Add sugar, lemon juice, and flavoring. Let sit in refrigerator to marinate (half hour to 8 hours). One hour before serving, whip cream and fold in berry mixture. Put in parfait glasses. Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve. Garnish with additional berries if desired.


Arley Berryhill - There are two types of fabrics used for dollmaking -- woven cotton or knitted "suede" cloth. Each has their own properties, advantages, & disadvantages.

I prefer the knits. These come with different names: Doe Suede, Deer Suede, Craft Velour, Suede Velour... These are knits with a mostly one-way stretch. They have a "suede" nap/fuzzy side, and a smooth side (the "suede" side is designed to be the "right side" of the fabric, but most dollmakers reverse it and use the smooth side as the "right side".) The stretch is minimum and usually only goes in one direction. This stretch helps in turning fingers (put the stretch going across the palm of the hand), and allows needle-sculpting without any wrinkles. Because it is a knit, the fabric does not fray --- so you can cut the seam allowance down to less than an 1/8 inch (again, very helpful in turning fingers). The disadvantage is that these fabrics tend to be a bit thick, so the seams show a bit more than a woven
fabric. The other disadvantage is that they are hard to find.

The best sources for these fabrics are all the on-line doll supply sites:,, are the most popular. JoAnn's Fabric carries Craft Velour, but only in the fall for Halloween.

Another disadvantage of these knits is finding them in skin-tone colors. Because they are a polyester/ synthetic fabric, they are not easy to dye. I usually get the "rice" color fabric, and tint it with Rit dye, using pink and tan. I'll let someone else out there write about the use of cottons, as I don't use them that often.

Stephanie Novatski - I would use whatever fabric the designer suggests. All of my patterns except Madame LeChat are designed for tightly woven cotton broadcloth either mercerized or not such as Pimatex or Southern Belle. It should be at least 200 count which is the number of warp and weft threads added together. This fabric is stable enough to be consistent in results and the amount of stretch weftwise (crosswise) is negligible. (The fabric is woven on the loom with the lengthwise or warp threads pulled tightly. The weft threads or crosswise threads go around the warp so they aren't straight and have some give when the fabric is pulled or stretched.) I ALWAYS prewash too and make sure the fabric is reshrunk and has no sizing. I have tried Kona cotton and it was too loose a weave for my style of dollmaking. And I have used 250 ct sheets which were OK but it is hard to find 100% cotton I also like the texture of the cotton. I have tried higher count - 300 - but because the threads are so fine and I stuff hard, the seams pulled or split. All the sources mentioned by Arley carry this fabric. I also order Pimatex prepared for Dye 200 count or mercerized cotton from Dharma trading because I like to dye my own. In the areas of the doll where I want a very small seam allowance (profile faces and hands), I sew again as close to the first stitching as possible but not on it and trim close to this stitching. The smaller the seam allowance the easier it is to turn fingers. I still blow out fingers and noses. Fingers are easy to fix. Faces become clay or cloth overs. I have to admit I have limited experience with Doe Suede and used it on Madame LeChat because of the texture. I did try it on an exchange doll and had trouble turning a mitt hand though in my defense the doll was only 8"and the hand VERY small. Fortunately, I have a very good friend who turned it for me in a blink.

Judi Ward - Thank You so much for the "knitted" fabric tutorial Arley.....I have been using them since before they were sold to the public! I used to buy lightweight velour house coats in JC Penney's to use for dollmaking. This was in the early 70s...It was somewhat later that the fabric stores had them. Right now there is one called "deersuede" that is almost as lightweight as the old Doesuede and makes up beautifully! There is literally no doll pattern out there that will not make up better in the velour/suede type knits. Of course there are patterns that would not be "time period" correct in a knit, but it would still make up better, and I'll bet the dollmakers of old would have jumped at the chance to use them! LOL
The Deersuede has very little give, and only one direction. It works perfectly with a pattern made for woven cotton. The knits do not have a "grain line" so you have to decide if you want the give up and down or side to side and lay the pattern pieces accordingly.
Up and down will make a slightly taller, thinner doll. Side to side will make a slightly shorter, fatter doll. SLIGHTLY is the operative word to remember here. Dollmakers also stuff to different levels of hardness so dolls will vary a lot just from that aspect.
Something else one can do is make the head, and hands/arms from the knit and the rest from printed cotton. So many patterns call for the bodies and legs to be printed cotton, then the head and arms to be "flesh"....Making those parts from the knits make them so much smoother, easier to turn and no fraying between fingers or at the nose tip.

Bonnie Lewis – At Dollmaker's Journey we carry all of the fabrics mentioned above. The ethnic fabric that I dye (100% cotton Southern Belle 200 threads/square inch) has been pre-washed, washed and dyed several times and dried in a hot dryer, so there should be no shrinkage problems. We switched to Pimatex for a while when Southern Belle had manufacturing problems, but they have been resolved, and we are back to Southern Belle. It is the only fabric Gloria "Mimi" J. Winer recommends. If you want a very stretchy fabric that is easy to sculpt (think Cabbage Patch) Dolskin is fun to try. However, it is very easy to overstuff, so be careful. Hope this helps give you a perspective on fabric choices.

You can see patterns by the above designers at


Gloria J. "Mimi" Winer has a new FREE pin doll project to introduce you to their new interface. Just go to click on the "Free Stuff" button on the right, go down to the "Other Free Stuff" selection, and then select the Mimi's Dancin' Pindoll (5") Project Sheet to download the sheet. It should print on any home printer with no problems. You might also want to take a look at the "Video Tutorials" button. Awesome stuff!

VADA DOLPH is treating us to a quick and easy FREE pattern called "Cheeta & Catnip" – be sure to check it out! –

Wendy Walton did it again. Her Japanese cat was so popular that she created a sock frog. Get the directions here:


We are delighted to welcome two talented new designers to Dollmakers Journey. VADA DOLPH'S first pattern is the very lovely "Candice" which doubles as a sewing caddy.

AMY NELSON of AnLiNa Designs first two patterns are the beautifully embellished "Sirona, Goddess of Springtime" and an awesome dragon called "Draconis." We are really looking forward to see what is next
off the drawing board from these two creative ladies! –

"Nessie" the Lass of Loch Ness is a sweet new creature from JENNIFER CARSON that is super simple to make and very suitable for younger children. –

There is still time for a few more bunny patterns and the designer who must never sleep – MAUREEN MILLS – has two more great ones. "Rabbit Stand" has a very vintage look and you'll be getting your paints out for the darling "Basket Case Bunnies." –

"Damselfly" is the newest delightfully exotic creation of CINDEE MOYER. Do take a look –

Do you ever have special bits of vintage fabric and trim that you aren't sure how to use? PHYLLIS SCARINGE has solved that problem for you with her new "Thoroughly Vintage Vivian." Find out how easy it is to create a special costume with your treasures. –

Easter is fast approaching but there is still time to make up a few more bunnies. MICHELLE ALLEN'S "Mama and Baby Bunny" are a quick and easy duo to create. –

This week we have three terrific new patterns from GINI SIMPSON of Cat and the Fiddle Designs. "Busted" is a rag doll with a bad report card, "My Doll's Dolly" is a doll dressed in vintage hankies with her own rag doll and the title of the third – "Wabbits Here, Wabbits There, Wabbits Everywhere" says it all! Stop by and take a look at all of Gini's charming patterns –


We are now offering the Angelina Fusible Film in four different sampler packs – each with three different colors – a much more economical way to get a variety of colors for your projects. Stop by and take a look. –

If you only need a little bit of Tibetan Lamb or Kidassia Goat or would like to try out more colors we now are offering 6" x 6" pieces that will easily make one wig for a small to medium doll. –

We have a new Prismacolor Pencil color – Salmon. You've requested packages of Microbrush Bendable
Applicators and now we have them.

The following items are BACK IN STOCK:
Freezer Paper, Miracle Fabric Sheets and Dream Seamers all back in stock. –

The Pale Blonde TIBETAN LAMB is also back in stock. –

Dolskin –

8" and 10" Hemostats and the Stuffing Fork Set –


Bonnie was recently asked to research Mormon pioneers. The teenagers in her area are going on Trek, which will involve building handcarts and pulling them many miles for about a week to see what the pioneers had to face. She has been asked to create 150 biographies (1 page each) of real people who crossed the United States in the 1800s. She is looking for stories of courage, faith, disaster, hope, and success to share. Each person going on Trek will receive their own personal story to share with others in their group. Maybe if she has time she can also create pioneer dolls pulling a miniature handcart.

Mary Ann's home has been on the market a bit over two weeks and she's had a fair amount of traffic and hopes the person who is intended for her home will be coming up the front step very soon. Jim's home is just a few days away from being ready to sell. It has been a very arduous month for both of them but they are keeping their eyes on their goal. The house that started this journey is still not sold. Right now they are working like crazy to get packed up and ready to head to Columbus to be vendors at AFIC and they can't wait to see everyone there.


Colored pencils aren't just for kids. Check out this amazing art using this versatile art medium.

Beading for a Cure is having an auction through May, with different amazing beaded objects each week. Money raised goes to help find a cure for cancer. One of them is even a doll. Check it out at:

If you like needle felting, check out these needle-felted peeps just in time for Easter.

Bent Objects by Terry Border – Not exactly dolls, but cute.
You can see more of his creations at:
Be sure and look at the entire gallery. Very inspiring!

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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