Dollmaker's Journey CUSTOMER CONNECTION
Dream ~ Imagine ~ Create ~ Grow ~ Believe ~ Magic
At http://dollmakersjourney.com we help your creative dreams come true.
July 2011 Issue 114
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:
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Dear Dollmaking Friends,
A funny thing happened to Bonnie on the way to Trek. She writes: I drove to the Marriott Ranch in western Virginia ( 4,200 acres including a mountain or two) with some friends on Wednesday, July 6th, bringing my completed quarter scale handcart (12" high wheels), pioneer dolls, and quarter scale quilts, clothes, trunks, pots and pans, boots, lantern, and many bags for food made from old fabric, muslin, burlap, etc. I filled the bags with items that resembled the food - for potatoes we used oval beads, for onions pearls, for oranges wooden beads, for carrots cut-up skewers, for flour very tiny Styrofoam pellets, for cracked wheat and oats artificial snow, for tooth powder and sugar sand, for raisins small plastic melting beads used to make key chains, etc.
Arriving at 9 a.m., I set up my display on the veranda of "Western Town", a fake store front town with one country store that you could walk inside. (See a picture of Western Town at http://marriottranch.com/index.cfm?action=specialEvents ) We used bare picnic tables with no cute tablecloths and flower arrangements. I wore full pioneer clothes that I made, including a bonnet, dress with high neck, long sleeves, floor-length skirt, and a pinafore apron that also went to the floor. The only problem – high humidity and temperatures in the 90's. Fortunately they made sure everyone was well hydrated by passing out water every hour. Of course this meant you needed to use a restroom quite often. Several porta-potties were across the dirt road screened by more façade. Cars were moved and hidden down the road and cell phone reception was non-existent. We truly spent the day in very primitive conditions. We weren't allowed anything modern, including watches, cell phones and jewelry.
I noticed a large box on the veranda filled with glass beer bottles, etc., and asked our Bishop for help in moving them behind the town. As he pulled the box, the bottom broke and trash went everywhere. I went into the country store for trash bags to assist in the clean-up. There was a back entrance to the store with a 5' shallow ramp, so I went out back for a short cut. Unbeknownst to me the bottom half of the ramp was coated with slime from a recent rainfall. I slipped down the second half of the ramp, fell on my back in the mud, with my left leg twisted at a funny angle. I was too embarrassed to yell for help, so I finally was able to get on my hands and knees and then proceeded to stand. I kept my dress as clean as possible by kneeling on some of the plastic garbage bags I was carrying. (Later I found out our Bishop also slid down the ramp, injuring his knee.)
I delivered the trash bags and went to my display, sitting on a chair with my leg elevated on another rickety chair. The medical personnel who were part of Trek eventually saw me and we wrapped ice in the P.A. (physician assistant's) pioneer bonnet and tied it to my leg. I took two aspirin, got a priesthood blessing from my Bishop that said I would be able to perform my duties for Trek and have quick healing, and sat in a wooden chair until late that night, only leaving to use the Porta Potty across the road. I commandeered a short shovel with an open handle and used it as a makeshift crutch. It took me 15 minutes to walk to the bathroom. At the time we thought the ankle was twisted or sprained, and I decided to tough it out. Fortunately people there brought me food and water. I felt bad I wasn't helping more, but at least I was able to tell stories.
Meanwhile 105 teenagers ages 14-18 with 16 Ma's and Pa's, all dressed in Pioneer clothes, were assembling handcarts on another part of the ranch. These they loaded with clothing, bedding and other necessities and proceeded to pull them over steep hills, a mountain, streams, and through herds of long-horned cattle until they finally arrived in Western Town about 5 p.m. Upon arrival they visited the country store for provisions, made a banner for their cart, played pioneer games, and joined me for a few pioneer stories. I gave each teen and their "parents" a different story to keep and share. The kids got to choose which one they wanted, identified by boy/girl/adult, long or short, etc. I finished the 121st story the day before, printed them on parchment, and put them in plastic bags to keep them dry. If anyone is interested, all 121 one-page stories should be available for reading and sharing on our church website in about a week. http://MartinsburgTrek.org Click on Tales for Trek to see what I have been doing for the past 7 months.
They each received dinner cooked over open fires, and when they finally left for a sing-along our cars were returned from where they were hidden. My friends drove me home. Imagine my husband's surprise when they called and told him to meet them in the driveway with a walker. He drove them home, and the next day I saw my doctor. He ordered x-rays and we discovered my fibula at the ankle was broken in three places, two of them hairline fractures. On Friday I got a bright purple walking cast to match most of my outfits. The doctor originally thought I might need immediate surgery, but the bones were lined up perfectly. Today is the first day I have been able to use the computer. My children brought it up from the basement where my office is, and set it up in a spare bedroom. Sorry the newsletter is a little late, but I have a great excuse!
Bonnie and Mary Ann
DOLLMAKERS JOURNEY IS MOVING! Mary Ann closes on her new home on July 20th and will be having the business moved into the house the first weekend. She will be making every effort to have as little disruption in service to you as possible. The PACKAGES WILL BE GOING OUT but may take a day or 2 longer to get to you. We appreciate your understanding and patience during this crazy time. If you need something soon, please order before the 20th.
Every Doll Needs a Home – The Evangeline Booth Miracle Home Annual Auction
Deadline: September 18, 2011
It's that time of year when we turn to all of our fantastic doll making friends sending out a request for help with our annual doll art benefit. We will be holding our annual fundraiser on October 6, 2011. The event is called "Every Doll Needs a Home" and is a doll art benefit. Donations of dolls are being accepted anytime now up until September 18, 2011. All the proceeds from this benefit go directly to helping the Booth Home. You can also read more about the Booth Home and doll art benefit by going to:
What kind of dolls are we asking for? The live auction will consist of handmade dolls of cloth or cloth and clay. These can be anything from ragdolls to brightly colored funky dolls and/or hand-sculpted cloth and clay artist creations. Altered Barbie dolls will also be welcome again this year. Porcelain, vintage, and manufactured dolls are accepted. They will be offered in a silent auction.
Dolls can be dropped off or shipped to:
The Evangeline Booth Miracle Home
ATTN: Pam Small
168 Lafayette St.
Schenectady, NY 12305
Any questions? Please call (518) 370-0276 and ask for Pam.
or email Pam at Pam.Small@USE.SalvationArmy.Org
We've just added a new pattern category called "BEACH' where you'll find a bevy of bathing beauties. It is summer time here in the Northern Hemisphere and the perfect time to have our BEACH and MERMAID categories on sale for the month of JULY. So, check out these great patterns and enjoy your 20% savings. (This means MIMI's Modular Mermaid DVD remains on sale!) http://dollmakersjourney.com/
Remember, visit our website at http://dollmakersjourney.com 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.
WORDS TO LIVE BY
"When you live with hope in your heart, in your mind, and in your spirit, you have discovered one of life's most powerful secrets of success." Norman Vincent Peale
Q: The most shopping malls in one area in the whole world are found in what state in the United States?
A: NEW JERSEY has the most shopping malls in one area in the world. There are 7 major shopping malls in a 25 square mile radius.
Congratulations to Diane Dellicker from New Jersey. 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 the world's oldest surviving national parliament?
Everyone who emails in the correct answers by August 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 EnchantedR@aol.com Put July 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.
The Hoffman Challenge dolls were due today (July 15). Please send any photos of Hoffman dolls you made for this challenge to Deanna Hogan at email@example.com
She finally got the Hoffman site to add a link to her Hoffman pages. If you wish to see entries from this and past years, go to www.blueherondolls.com Click on the Hoffman Dolls link.
The Hoffman site only posts photos of the winners, and so many of the entries are spectacular and deserve attention.
September 30, 2011 – Treasures of the Gypsy Challenge
Theme: The Renaissance Gypsy
To receive your challenge packet of "Gypsy" fabrics and trims, send $20 (USD) to
Treasures of the Gypsy
PO Box 748
Mountainair, NM 87036
Please make checks payable to Pamela Armas.
You will receive a packet of exotic fabrics and trims to be used in a doll or art piece of your choice. Your entry can be made from a pattern or created as an original design. All media are welcome. Use as much of the "Treasures" as you like. Additional fabrics and trims may also be used from your personal stash.
To be included in the judging and displays at the Houston International Quilt Festival, dolls must be shipped during the month of September and must be received by Laura Smith by September 30, 2011. Along with your "treasures" packet, you will receive shipping information, contact names, rules, forms, and deadline dates.
If you have questions, contact Pamela at GypsyTreasures@cs.com.
UPCOMING EVENTS YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS
July 23-27, 2011 – 24th Annual National Doll Festival (NDF)
Sheraton Park Hotel, Anaheim, California
For more information, inquiries email: DollFestival@aol.com or NatlDoll@aol.com
(831) 438-5349 phone
July 23-25, 2011 – Doll and Bear Artists Classic (DBAC - Branch of NDF)
Sheraton Park Hotel, Anaheim, California
Dolls, bears and miniatures sold. Theme: Phantasy to Reality
For more information go to DollFestival@aol.com or phone (831) 438-5349 phone
July 24, 2011 – ODACA (Original Doll Artists Council of America)
Anaheim Hilton, Anaheim, California
For ODACA Day and the luncheon, register at: http://www.odaca.org/events.php
July 25-29, 2011 – UFDC (United Federation of Doll Clubs)
Anaheim Hilton, Anaheim, California
For more information and to register: http://www.ufdc.org/Convention2011.htm
August 13, 2011 – 6th Annual Day With Dolls
Hosted by the Garden State Doll Artisans with help from the 3D Doll Club of Mount Vernon (Registration starts at 9am, festivities at 10am) 9am – 4 pm First Presbyterian Church, 513 Birch Street, Boonton, NJ 07005
For more information contact Diane Kearney at firstname.lastname@example.org
August 22-28, 2011 – NIADA (National Institute of American Doll Artists)
Registration is open now for the NIADA Dollmaking School on August 22-25.
Go here for signups and descriptions. http://www.niada.org/info.html
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
CLOTH DOLL CONNECTION: http://clothdollconnection.com/
10% DISCOUNT EXPIRES September 8th
While visiting the French Market in New Orleans Mary Ann and Jim met enthusiastic entrepreneur Benardett K. Jno-Finn the founder of www.senicanaturals.com a lovely collection of body products such as Shea Moisturizers, Jojoba Oil and Blemish Balm. Mak just loved the "Sweetness" Shea Moisturizer and purchased some for herself and several as gifts. A few days later when she received a nasty sunburn the wonderful body butter became a soothing balm and she was sold. Benardett has graciously offered a special coupon - "I have created a special 10% discount code for your subscribers if they would like to purchase a product. I would recommend the shea moisturizers to keep hands soft. The coupon code is DMJ2011 it expires September 8, 2011." Treat yourself to a visit to Benardett's website. You will enjoy reading about her interesting background and accomplishments and don't forget to use your special coupon!
THE IRREVERANT HISTORY OF RETICULES AND OTHER NECESSITIES
By Bonnie B. Lewis
I began my pioneer storytelling by asking the youth what kind of purse the pioneers used. I held up my reticule (a small drawstring bag) which contained a handkerchief, a fan from China carved in sandalwood, and a small wooden comb and mirror, along with a wood pencil that would have been used in the 1800's. I then told them a history of accessories that began with the leine.
A Léine (pronounced LAY-nah) was a basic unisex Celtic shirt worn alone or under other clothes. In the 16th century it was characterized by its big baggy sleeves. It was undergarment, nightwear, casual dress or shirt, blouse and slip. Women wore them ankle length and used the voluminous sleeves to carry their personal belongings. The well-off wore them under overskirts and overdresses in public. Made from fine wool, linen, satin or silk, they were usually white or off-white, although some (worn by the men) were saffron or brown-red. They were often heavily decorated with lace, trim and embroidery, often with as much as 10" of embroidery above the hem. King Henry VIII was appalled by the proliferate use of fabric in the Irish Léine. Many had 25 to 35 ells of linen, creating extravagant sleeves and very full pleated skirts. He decreed in 1536 ". . . nor have any more cloth in their shirts or smocks, but 5 standard ells of that country cloth." An "ell" was about 1-1/4 yards of cloth 20" wide. When the nobility protested, he changed the law in 1541 to:
Noblemen 20 cubits (10 yards)
Vassal or horseman 18 cubits (9 yards)
Kerne (turbarius) or Scot 16 cubits (8 yards)
Groom, messenger, or other servant of Lords 12 cubits (6 yards)
Husbandman or labourer 10 cubits (5 yards)
Of course, the Irish ignored his decrees and continued to make Léines their way.
In Scotland the short kilt or walking kilt was popular in the late 17th and 18th century. Back then underwear didn't exist, and the men wore nothing under the kilt except perhaps a woolen leine. If a strong breeze came up there could be a problem, so men began wearing sporrans. Since the attire didn't come with the convenience of pockets a leather pouch became a useful means of keeping together all those valuable items such as money, food, musket balls and the teeth of any unsuspecting rival clansmen! Best of all, it was worn on the front of the kilt and kept it from blowing up while dancing.
Now we transition to England. In the 14th century men's hose were two separate legs worn over linen drawers which were open at the crotch. (Could it be that a pair of pants was originally two separate pant legs joined at the waist?) As hemlines rose in the 15th century and men's doublets and tunics crept higher, their hose became longer and was joined at the center back but remained open at the center front, only covered by a leine. To disguise the exposed male anatomy a codpiece was created, a triangular piece of fabric covering the gap. As time passed the codpiece became used as a money pouch, and eventually became shaped and padded to emphasize rather than to conceal.
Meanwhile women had many undergarments, but no underwear. In England women wore multiple petticoats, hoop skirts and corsets. Because of the elaborate nature of some of the skirts, it was easier to stand over a chamber pot if no clothing was in the way. The Pilgrims believed that a red flannel petticoat was warmer than white,
When traveling to America in the 1700's it got really cold up on deck when the ocean breezes underneath skirts, and women who traveled in inclement weather asked for help. Sailors had been wearing loose work trousers since the 1580's since they allowed them to roll up the legs for wading ashore or climbing rigging. Legend has it that one sailor offered his trousers to a woman passenger who gratefully put it under her petticoats to keep warm. Thus began the feminine version of pantaloons, although in France they were made of light stockinet in a flesh toned nude color and reached all the way to the ankles or to just below the knee. This is why Empire women in the 1800's often appear to be wearing no underwear when seen in paintings of the era.
Since women didn't have codpieces or sporrans to keep their money and keys safe, they used pockets. However, as styles in the 1800's became tighter, pockets detracted from the fashion line. They started using tiny drawstring purses to match their outfits. Men said they were "a ridicule," but women gave them a French pronunciation and called them reticules. These later transitioned into purses and handbags which we use today.
SPECIAL GIFTS FOR YOU
Here's a free doll pattern from Mimi Kirchner. http://www.purlbee.com/hand-sewn-felt-dolls/
Crochet a colorful Christmas Elf
Judi Ward has a number of free patterns on her website. Everything from a jointed ballerina to a frog to a bunny on a carrot car to a funny slim doll with pizzazz to a baby with 2 faces and a banana! All free and all full sized. http://www.judisdolls.com
If you like to make dolls with visual impact we have two new patterns from the amazing CINDEE MOYER that are sure to get your creative juices flowing. "Fairy Catcher" is a popular class that CINDEE has taught and has now released as a pattern. With "Heart Deco" you will learn how to create a cavity in the doll's body to be filled with something special. Do treat yourself to one of these fabulous patterns - http://dollmakersjourney.com/moyer.html
If you love fashioning exquisite costuming and enjoy artistic embellishment then SHARON MITCHELL'S "Percival Ponce" is the perfect project for you. Stop by and meet this stylish dandy - http://dollmakersjourney.com/mitchell.html
Have you ever wished you had the time and resources to take private dollmaking classes from the very best teachers? Well, dollmaker extraordinaire GLORIA 'MIMI' WINER has found the perfect way to bring
her classroom to you with her new 6 Disc DVD Workshop called "Mimi's Modular Mermaid." You'll find a wealth of information spread over the 20 lessons and 163 chapters and feel just like Mimi is in the room
with you. Stop by and watch the trailer along with a hair wefting demo included in the workshop. http://dollmakersjourney.com/mimi.html (MIMI's Modular Mermaid DVD remains on sale thru July!)
"Victorian Slipper Scissors Holder" is an exquisite new pattern from BARBARA WILLIS. It is so luscious you'll want to make one for everyone near and dear to you. We've also added "Minnie Mannequin," a very popular pattern from BARBARA'S collection. Stop by and take a look - http://dollmakersjourney.com/willis.html
Looking to advance your face and body sculpting skills and give your dolls a wonderful expression? Then SHARON MITCHELL'S "Jeanne – The Innkeepers Wife" is just the ticket. Check out this superb doll –
If you love rabbits and enjoy a few frills you'll get a kick out of MICHELLE ALLEN'S "Bunny Foo-Foo." The directions include lots of color photos to guide you along. – http://dollmakersjourney.com/allen.html
"Creative Cloth Doll Collection" is the compilation of PATTI CULEA'S first four phenomenal best-selling books making one fabulous resource for every dollmaker's reference library! No doubt about it – you are
going to love it! And – it's on sale till the end of the month. Check it out – http://dollmakersjourney.com/books.html
NONI CELY'S wonderful "Cloth Doll Making" is back in stock (http://dollmakersjourney.com/books.html )
On Victoria DiPietro's patterns
Maggie Mier writes: I'll say one thing about Victoria and her method of writing patterns -- they are very well written out, every step is detailed with both words and pictures of what and how to do each step and why. A few months ago, I ordered her newest pattern for the little mission field dollies -- and was
AMAZED at how many pages it came out as! That pattern is now in page protectors and it has its own notebook.
Now, for lots of the folks on this list, that's overkill. Many of us don't need to have our hands held like that. BUT -- the intent of this pattern was to provide a learning experience for groups to produce dollies for charity. There's no way to know the skill or experience level of a group like that, except to say that their hearts are in the right places because they are willing to step up and do the work of making dollies for weeuns.
So -- in my humble and considered opinion -- 'tis better to err on the side of being pedantic and verbose. Spell everything out. Write it one way and then write it another way so if the reader doesn't understand one, they've got a fighting chance of understanding the other. You simply cannot explain it too much!
Now, I'm one of those very strange people who actually sits down and READS the pattern all the way through, normally twice, before I try to make it. I enjoyed reading the text of this pattern. I found myself saying, yes, I see that, yes, I understand that, yes, that's how you can do that ... as I went along.
Victoria sets a very high barre for other doll pattern writers to meet. I recommend her patterns highly. You will get expert results even if you are a novice dollmaker.
Victoria's response: Goodness gracious, Maggie, my jaw dropped and I got goose bumps on my goose bumps when I received and read your review. You told me when you bought it that you would write to the group and tell it like you saw it, and you sure did!
You totally get my intent, which was to provide good instructions for someone who's never made a doll before and it's just as you said, how can you know the level of experience except to know that their hearts are in the right place and they want to do something nice for a child?
Thank you so much. This review made my year!
(You can see Victoria's patterns at: http://dollmakersjourney.com/dipietro.html)
On Gloria "Mimi" Winer's Modular Mermaid
Maurine Adrezin writes: I just watched Gloria (Mimi) Winer's new DVD, "Mimi's Modular Mermaid". It is fantastic. She teaches you how to machine sew with precision, how to stuff your doll without having lumps, how to make beautiful seams, how to needle model a female torso and so much more. I brought Mimi into teach my doll club when I lived in Pennsylvania and again in Las Vegas where I now live. This DVD is like having Gloria sit right next to you and giving you private lessons. It reviewed the techniques that I learned from her previously and taught me techniques that I hadn't learned before. Her husband Jim, did the photography. This is one of the most professionally done DVD's that I've seen. There are 6 discs - 20 lessons - 163 chapters. The entire DVD lasts 12 hours and 58 minutes. It is arranged so you can watch a chapter, stop it, and work on your mermaid at your own pace. Gloria's website is http://mimidolls.com for more information.
(You can order the mermaid DVD on sale this month at: http://dollmakersjourney.com/mimi.html)
We are happy to report that Crystal Lacquer, Aluminum Sculpting Wire, Pressmold Companions, 1/16" Grommets and ½ Liter Tubs of Paverpol are all BACK IN STOCK! - http://dollmakersjourney.com/supplies.html
You'll find DOLSKIN back in stock in the Fabric Department. –
When we attended AFIC in Columbus we were delighted to meet Kathy of the Black Sheep Farm and we came home with mounds of her beautifully hand-dyed, silky, soft mohair locks. The gals from the local doll club just raved about Kathy's luscious fibers and we could see why. We think you will be very pleased, too. – http://dollmakersjourney.com/hair.html#mohair_locks
1.5" pin backs are back in stock - http://dollmakersjourney.com/supplies.html
NEWS FROM THE HOME FRONT
Bonnie has learned to take it easy this month, with her leg elevated and confined to a chair. Her husband has been a wonderful help, bringing her meals and even doing the dishes (most of the time.) She may get a removable cast next Friday if the x-rays remain good. In the meantime she is writing, reading emails, beading Christmas jewelry, paying bills, and reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows getting ready for the final movie coming out tomorrow. She will probably wait until next week to see it when she can keep her leg on the floor for more than 5 minutes.
Mary Ann tearfully bid farewell this week to Sarah her assistant extraordinaire and dear friend who is moving back to her home town in Connecticut and will be joyfully living next door to her identical twin sister Jessica. Every day Mak and Sarah worked together serving our incredible customers all over the world was a blessed day. Sarah used to come in talking to her sister on the phone and would say – "Have to go to FUN now!" And FUN they had – every single day. Sarah made countless contributions to help improve the way we conduct our business. Words cannot express how much she will be missed. Mary and Jim are frantically working to finish packing up their households. Jim befriended every produce manager in town and makes his rounds every day to collect boxes. Just a few more days – there is truly light at the end of the tunnel. They are so excited they can hardly stand it.
Beware of the Doghouse – hilarious video for women
See some amazing pictures of Native American sculptures that are made from cast paper (a different process from papier mache, making the paper more like leather), by artists Allen and Patty Eckman. Make sure you click on each picture to see the sculptures close up. To read more about the process, go here: http://www.eckmanfineart.com/paper-bronze.html
We'd love to hear your thoughts about our Customer Connection newsletter.
Contact the editor Bonnie B. Lewis at EnchantedR@aol.com 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.