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Dollmaker's Journey

Autumn 2011 Issue 115

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

Autumn 2011 Issue 115

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,

The last three months have been filled with changes. The east coast of the United States had an earthquake (Mary Ann lost a bathroom mirror), hurricane, and massive floods all within a week. Mary Ann successfully closed on three homes and is now living in Woodbridge, Virginia. Bonnie's leg has healed, with only a little pain and swelling remaining. Her 25th grandchild was born October 14. (Read more in News from the Home Front). And hopefully the Customer Connection Newsletter is back on track (Bonnie apologizes for the delay). We really appreciated the emails from many of you asking if we were O.K. Dollmaker's Journey is alive and well and doing more business than ever. We have a wonderful sale this month, a spooky question, lots of new items, and a tutorial on transferring pictures to cloth. Enjoy!

Bonnie and Mary Ann

MINIATURE TIP from Presteen Johnson

Check out your local craft store for a package filled with scraps of wood/balsa. A 1-9/16" x 3/4" (base) glued to two 3/4" x 1/2" (ends) with four 1-3/4" x 1/8" square strips (sides) create a wonderful 1:12 scale vegetable or fruit crate. (Can you tell Bonnie is into miniatures this month?)



Don't eat it all!!! After Halloween, send your leftover candy to the lovable folks at Operation Gratitude. If you don't have children, shop the after Halloween sales for half-price candy. They'll include it in care packages for deployed service members. Watch a cute video about it at:

Mail candy, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and dental floss no later than December 5 to:
Operation Gratitude/California Army National Guard
17330 Victory Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA 91406
Attn: Halloween Candy

More shipping info:

If you prefer, make a financial donation online at or mail a check to:
Operation Gratitude
16444 Refugio Road
Encino, CA 91436.


Our OCTOBER SALE is one of our best categories – STUMP DOLLS. Just think of how much faster you can complete a doll when you don't have to make legs! Take advantage of the 20% discount on this great 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.

WORDS TO LIVE BY (as Bonnie reflects on her broken ankle)

"If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need." Elbert Hubbard

Bonnie must truly be wealthy indeed now that the ankle's healed!


Q: What is the world's oldest surviving national parliament?

A: There are two correct answers. In 930 A.D. the Icelanders founded the Althing, their supreme general assembly, the oldest national parliament in the world. However, since it was disbanded several times for a brief period, the Isle of Man has the oldest continuous parliament, the Tynwald, dating back to about 979 A.D. I was looking for Iceland, but both answers are correct.

Congratulations to Sandra Villamil from Ontario, Canada. 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: In honor of Halloween, there are many places in this world that are haunted, including the Tower of London, the Catacombs in Paris, and Ballygally Castle in Ireland. This question has two parts:

a. What is the most haunted city in Asia?
b. Who haunts the White House in Washington, D.C.?

Everyone who emails in the correct answers by November 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 Autumn 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.


December 1, 2011 – "Man of A Decade" Male Cloth Doll Challenge
Sponsored by Dollmaker's Journey, Judi Ward (Judi's Dolls), and Doll Net Market
Online Challenge – For more info and to join today
go to...


October 19-23, 2011 – CreativFestival
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
For registration call 1-800-291-2030
For more information go to

July 22-25, 2012 – National Doll Festival
Hilton Riverside Hotel, New Orleans, Louisiana
(Shuttle provided to other doll conventions in New Orleans)
More information coming soon at:

July 2012 – NIADA (National Institute of American Doll Artists)
New Orleans, Louisiana
More information coming soon at:

July 2012 – ODACA (Original Doll Artists Council of America)
Sheraton Hotel, New Orleans, Louisiana
More information coming soon at:

July 24-27, 2012 – UFDC (United Federation of Doll Clubs)
Sheraton Hotel, New Orleans, Louisiana
More information coming soon at:

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

By Bonnie B. Lewis and others

Picture This

Many years ago I wanted to create a memory quilt (King Size of course) for my parent's 50th Wedding Anniversary. I used Picture This which I painted on each Xerox copy of the pictures I wished to transfer. The wet picture was then placed face down on WASHED (to remove all sizing) off-white COTTON fabric. When dry, the back of the paper was coated with water and all the paper was removed, leaving a reverse image printed on the fabric. The result felt very much like flexible plastic. I had pictures of all five of us kids on our wedding day, my parents on their wedding day, pictures of our current families, and other pictures that meant a lot to my parents (18 – 8" x 10" pictures in all). I framed each picture in lace and added rose strips in between and for a border. My parents have since passed away, and I still inherited the quilt.

I used the same technique to create 30" and 32" dolls dressed like my great-great grandparents on their wedding day. I found a flat face doll pattern by elinor peace bailey and adapted it for this technique. I transferred pictures which I had professionally blown up from an old Daguerreotype taken on their wedding day on January 6, 1853. Because it was in black and white, I had to colorize it, but I then printed it on fabric and used them for the faces. Again, the faces feel like plastic, but from a distance they are very realistic.

Today there are many other techniques for transferring photos to cloth that work a lot better. Here are some ideas from our designers and readers.

Inkjet printing

There are now kits available in office supply stores with fabric attached to paper sheets that you can use for printing with an inkjet printer. Dollmaker's Journey sells Miracle Fabric Sheets that are 100% cotton and nicer than those you buy in an office supply store. Just be careful when you buy. Maggie Pringlemeir tells you why she doesn't like most of them.

"Just between you and me -- I wouldn't mess with the commercially available printer sheets. The ones I've used in the past, the fabric just wasn't as nice as I'd prefer my finished product to be."

Stephanie Novatski uses Bubble Jet Set 2000, but she has a quicker way to use an inkjet printer and fabric of her choice. She writes:

"I use the bubble jet set too but if I am in a hurry, I print on fabric ironed onto freezer paper (or use a full size label sheet) and put it through my printer. Make sure the fabric is prepared for dying - it is prewashed and has all the sizing removed. Iron very smooth. Once it is printed, I iron it to set it then give it a light spray of Krylon matte clear. A light spray will seal the printed image and not change the hand of the fabric so you can still sew through it by hand or machine. Printed Treasures make pretreated sheets in all types of fabrics including cotton poplin, batiste, canvas and silk. Natural fabrics such as cotton, rayon and silk work best because they absorb the inks. Polyesters have a tendency to smear since the inks sit on top and are not absorbed."

Bubble Jet Set 2000

Maggie continues: "There's a product that was invented by a company that makes custom silk neckties. They make those ties in short runs -- as few as a dozen ties or as many as a hundred or so. Many times, the customer wants a company logo or a design that simply is not available on traditional fabrics -- so they needed to find a way to do that printing themselves for short runs. The product is called "Bubble Jet Set" and it works. It's not as quick and easy as pop open a package and put the premade sheet into the printer but it's not hard, either. I like to use fine silk Carmeuse or high thread count pure cotton. Prewash the fabric to remove any finishing. Cut the fabric into pieces 9 x 12. Layer about 15 - 20 sheets in a HUGE plastic Ziploc bag (I use the big 2 gallon size) and make very sure that each one is completely flat -- any folds you have in the fabric will give you a line in the finished product that doesn't quite take the dye properly. Pour in enough of the Bubble Jet Set that it can totally saturate the fabric sheets. The instructions say to let it sit at least 30 - 45 minutes. Yeah, right. I leave it overnight, and turn it over every so often, just like you're marinating chicken for the barbeque.

The next day, remove the sheets carefully and hang them to dry. When you hang up the wet blocks of fabric to drip dry -- I use quilters pins in the very corners to hold two pieces together over a single plastic hanger. If there are any folds or if you place it over the bar in the center of the hanger -- the liquid will drip away from that area and it won't take the dyes there. I use quilter's pins in the top 1/4 inch, one on each corner and put that over a plastic hanger. Again, make sure that they are hanging straight with no folds. Set them somewhere to drip dry -- usually overnight. Take whatever liquid is left over and put it back into the bottle because it can be used again. If you can catch those drips, put them back in the bottle, too.

Once they are dry -- iron them onto sheets of freezer paper. I cut mine a little bit larger to make it simple to fit the fabric onto the sheets. Iron the fabric onto the paper, then trim them to 8 1/2 x 11 -- I use a trimming board (old fashioned paper cutter) for this. NOW, you can stack them into a fat box and store them on the shelf for future use.

To use, you put the fabric ironed onto freezer paper and put it into the paper tray of your computer printer. It does NOT need to be a laser printer -- most color printers can print these sheets easily, but you may have to hand feed the sheets one at a time to prevent jamming inside the printer.

Print your fabric, LET IT SIT OVERNIGHT, remove the fabric from the freezer paper and toss it into the washer with Synthrepol to remove the excess inks. I take mine out of the washing machine and iron them dry.

Then cut and use the fabrics to your heart's content. They are now washable. It's not as easy as buying the premade sheets, but it's MUCH more cost effective. My bottle of Bubble Jet Set and Synthrepol and the roll of freezer paper cost a total of about $25. I've done (guesstimate) over 50 sheets and haven't used half of the bottle. Even including the cost of the fabric itself, it comes out to much less than 25 cents per sheet.

A few years ago, a cousin gave me a copy of a photograph she had in her geneology files. It was my grandparents on their wedding day in 1919. I used a high thread count Egyptian cotton in cream color and printed the photo out in sepia tones -- then crazy quilt pieced and stitched a border all around instead of using mat board. It was framed and given to my mother for Yule -- this was her parents and she had never seen that photo. You can do some marvelous things with this product. I'm hoping to use more of those old family photos and make a set of family dolls with their own faces."

Sherry Goshon adds: "You need Bubble Jet set 2000 and the rinse treat any fabric....i use a nice muslin that is permanent press....cut freezer to paper size for your printer (Dollmaker's Journey sells it already cut)....iron on to treated fabric....cut out sheets and re iron on both sides put into printer and tada and I have done pins using it....quilt squares all sort of things and it washes with no bleed etc."

IMPORTANT NOTE: Google "Bubble Jet Set 2000" and read about it. There are also video tutorials on U-Tube. Lots of quilt shops sell it.

TAP Transfer Paper

This is the most advanced method of transferring your photos, pictures, drawings, etc. to fabric. You can inkjet print, paint, stamp or draw your images onto TAP then with a hot iron transfer your images to virtually any surface - fabric, paper, wood, glass, canvas, metal & more. You'll get crisp, colorfast results every time and it's washable and crack resistant on fabric. This amazing art material comes with complete instructions and acts like an iron-on transfer.

NOTE FOR ALL THE METHODS ABOVE: Be aware also that sometimes these methods will create a reverse photo, so be careful that letters aren't mirror image. To correct that, as you scan your photo into your computer, you can enter the command mirror image to reverse the photo.

Have fun transferring pictures and faces to fabric. If any of you use another method, please let Bonnie know and she will share it in a future newsletter. Send comments and successes to:


If you don't want to use Bubble Jet Set 2000 or TAP Transfer Paper and print your own fabric, there is a commercial company that will print your design onto fabric. They are called Spoonflower ( They are pricey, but do an excellent job, and can print photographs as well as designs. Susan Walker writes: "I can attest to this place. I bought some fabric with my granddaughter's face on it, and made a purse!"


Sue Daniel was kind enough to share the link for a variety of wonderful FREE TUTORIALS – Thanks, Sue!

Colleen Babcock, one of our designers, will be teaching at the CreativFestival in Canada this month. She has shared two fun patterns with Dollmaker's Journey (on her blog Magic Bean).

The first is Little Sneaks Shoe Deodoriser Dolls, which are little fairy dolls sleeping in lavender filled sleeping bags that can be used to scent your shoes. She writes: "Even face drawing phobic people who don't make cloth dolls will be able to make these 9" (22.9cm) cloth fairies, because the tutorial also comes with two face templates and instructions on how to print the face templates directly onto fabric so all you have to do is colour them in."
The link:

The second free tutorial/pattern is for a Delicate Disposition Eucalan Bottle Doll Tutorial. The giveaway is over, but the pattern and tutorial are still there. Enjoy!
The link:

You can see more of Colleen's designs at


STEPHANIE NOVATSKI has hit another one out of the park with her newest pattern "Flirty Flora" in which you'll get two versions of the doll, each with glorious costume details. -

From the fertile imagination of JILL MAAS we have the delightful "Santa & Friends" that will bring Christmas cheer to any household and the mesmerizing "Snowdrop & Frosty" a beautiful study in white. Come take a look -

Another designer has jumped on the Steampunk bandwagon with tremendous results. "Anneal" is the incredible creation of BARBARA SCHOENOFF and we think you are going to love her. Then BARBARA went in a completely different direction and produced the sweetest baby doll called "Budgie." -

We recently discovered that SYLVIA SCHORR'S spectacular "Marie Antoinette" pattern had disappeared from the site. Well, it's back and on sale along with our huge variety of STUMP DOLLS - discounted 20%
all month long.

PATTI CULEA'S charming new pattern is called "Xiuying." She is a modern 14" lantern maker wearing her version of clothing from the Ming Dynasty. You find lots of photos to guide you through the wonderful
embellishments. -

We are simply delighted to be able to bring you the patterns of COLD FIRE CREATIONS who have developed the most realistic animal patterns on the market. We are starting out with a few of the most popular and will be adding to the collection. It is suggested that you use RAW SILK to construct the bodies and if you haven't used it before, you are going to love the effect. So stop by and take a look and give the RAW SILK (available through Dollmaker's Journey) a try, too. –

MAUREEN MILLS just keeps dreaming up the most wonderful patterns. This week we have two of her newest – "Henpecked Ladies" and "Panda-Monium" – each jam packed with options for hours of creative
enjoyment. –

We're delighted to have two of JENNIFER CARSON'S newest designs - "Yuki Frostfoot" that you'll be seeing in upcoming Fairfield ads, and her sweet baby doll "Lil' Bedheads." We think you'll love them both.

Costume designer extraordinaire SYLVIA SCHORR has come up with two more personas for our Doll and Dude for All Seasons. Come meet "Lydia Moonbeam and her Dog Bingo" and her long-haired companion "Roger the California Hippie."

Just in from New Zealand – SHARON MITCHELL'S fabulous "Miss Kate" with her very expressive face. A terrific pattern for increasing your needle sculpting skills! –

You'll learn how to create a special aging solution to give your Raggedys that special patina with MICHELLE ALLEN'S sweet "Old Abby Ann." –

"Bella" and "Gwen" are two of the newest folk art dolls from SUSAN WALKER. If you have never tried this style of doll making treat yourself to one of these lovely projects.

As promised we have three wildly imaginative Steampunk patterns from SUSAN BARMORE. You've got to check out her outrageous "Steampunk Crow", "Steampunk Walrus" and "Steampunk Buddies" and get ready to have some fun! –

GINI SIMPSON delights us with two new witches – "Scary Mary's Moonride" and "Fancy Nancy's Hooters" – both look like they'll be lots of fun to make. –

Another easy holiday project is "Mumbles" by SHELLEY HAWKEY – perfect for beginners. –

The slouchy "Pumpkinheaded Jack & Scarecrow Joe" by JENNIFER CARSON is yet another quick and easy Halloween project. -


Mary Ann took a class from SUE McMAHON and loved the tapered silicone tip tool she used for working with clay. We now have the "Colour Shaper Double Ended Sculpting Tool" in two different sizes that have
the tapered silicone on one end and a metal tool on the other. A super new tool for your kit if you don't have one. –

Many of you are discovering the wonders of TAP – Transfer Artist Paper – and now we have a fabulous book to go with it. "Create with Transfer Artist Paper" by LESLEY RILEY is a wonderful collection of projects that is sure to spark your creativity as you explore the possibilities of this awesome product. –

We love it when customers suggest products to us so we had a 9 color set of Decorator Chalk made with perfect face making colors. Treat your dolls to their own compact! –

We just received a large shipment of BRAIDED WOOL and have almost all of the colors back in stock. –

We also have all three sizes of Paperclay available – 4 oz, 8 oz and 16 oz. –

YEEE – HAA - At long last we have been able to locate DOLSKIN in colors other than Flesh! For fans of this fabric who have longed for something darker we now have CINNAMON and EBONY. Many thanks to
customer Tonya Dyce for putting us in the right direction. -

BACK IN STOCK: Dream Seamers, TAP, Golden Blonde Tibetan Lamb, Caucasian Light and Caucasian Medium Ethnic Fabrics and 12 mm Clear animal eyes. Did you know you can paint the backs of clear animal eyes any color you want? -

Crystal Lacquer, Aluminum Sculpting Wire, Pressmold Companions, 1/16" Grommets, 1/4 pound Apoxie Sculpt, 1 Liter and ½ Liter Tubs of Paverpol are also BACK IN STOCK! -


Pat Pae swears by the Tide-To-Go stain removal stick as a must have in her sewing box. We all know that our own spit removes our own blood when we prick our fingers, but Pat says it's a lot easier to use the Tide-To-Go. You should be able to find it with the detergents at any grocery store in the US.


After Bonnie's ankle healed, she threw herself into dollmaking again. She signed up for four miniature classes, three at a local community center taught by Presteen Johnson and one online (Brew-A-Thon with Diane Zammito & Sandy Leal). She is working on a miniature farmer's market, a Halloween Brew-A-Thon witch scene, a flower shop, and bedroom vignette. As she learns new techniques she will pass them on. Today (October 14) she and her husband drove her daughter to the hospital at 3:45 a.m. when her water broke. The hospital was 30 minutes away, and they kept praying they would get there in time as contractions kept getting longer and stronger. Amy's husband joined them after getting their 3-year old to a neighbor. Her latest granddaughter was born at 11:21 A.M. Her name is Natalia after her dad's great-great Russian grandmother. She weighed 8 pounds 14 oz. and was 21" long. They are coming home tomorrow.

Mary Ann and Jim are thrilled and delighted to be settling in to their new home. It has been a very long process combining the two households and two decors but the results have been very pleasing. They have been blessed with visits by each of their sisters and their handy husbands who helped them in numerous ways. Mary Ann's son Mike, wife Kyah and 18 month old son Kainoa visited from California and helped inaugurate a new family tradition. There is a little wooden bridge in the back yard they traced Kainoa's handprint on the railing and for each grandchild who visits they will do the same. The second handprint was Jim's grandson Brayden who visited last week from Chicago with Jim's daughter Sarah. They are looking forward to filling the bridge with handprints. The very last area of the home to be settled is Mary Ann's "Studio Suite." She is very nearly done getting her stash put away and is so looking forward to creating in the wonderful space. First on her list is Jill Maas' "Santa & Friends."


Awesome marionette!

Great video on how/why Mimi Kirchner makes dolls

How the Marines wash clothes in Afghanistan

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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