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Dollmaker's Journey

March 2012 Issue 118

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

March 2012 Issue 118

Copyright 2012 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,

Today is the first official day of spring here in the United States. All the trees are in bloom, and even though the groundhog saw his shadow in February, spring came early to the Washington, D.C. area. The cherry blossoms are out (they bloomed earlier this year, March 15th, than ever before). By the time the Cherry Blossom Festival, which celebrates its 100th anniversary of the arrival of cherry blossom trees from Japan, begins the end of March into April all the blossoms will be gone. I think we bypassed winter completely. We only had a token snowfall at Halloween, which melted rapidly, and a few snowflakes since. Bonnie was so looking forward to a good snowfall after living in Saint Lucia where snow is never seen, but this year spring arrived in February.

One of our readers asks the question: Would any group consider having a convention in Indianapolis, Indiana? They have them in Columbus, Ohio and Chicago, Illinois. What criteria do organizers look at in deciding where to host a convention? I think it depends on where the organizers live, what amenities are available locally (fabric shops, craft stores, hotels, transportation, airports, restaurants, etc.), what facility could host such a group, and most importantly, cost. I am not sure what criteria large organizations such as NIADA, UFDC and ODACA use, or what it would take to change the location, but I am sure some of our readers know the answer. Please send any thoughts to Bonnie Lewis at and I will share them in a future newsletter.

Bonnie and Mary Ann



How is everyone doing on our UFO (unfinished object) challenge? Have you set aside 6 minutes a day or 45 minutes a week completing some of those projects that you started long ago? Do the dolls in your workroom clamor "Choose me! Finish me! Help me find someone to love!" The goal is to spend 2012 minutes this year clearing the decks for new projects and challenges. Don't let your grandchildren inherit a mess. I have many dolls that just need an outfit, a wig, or a pair of shoes to be finished. Then I can sell, give away, or display my creations with pride.


A little 7-year old girl, Maddie, makes quilts for kids who have lost their home due to fire, etc. She is in need of fabric. Read her incredible story here:

Or send donations to:
Quilted Hugs From Maddie
2150 West 29th Ave
Suite 400
Denver, CO 80211


In support of the Doll Net's 4th ANNUAL BABY DOLL CHALLENGE our MARCH SALE category is BABIES/CHILDREN. This category is more diverse than you might think so check it out and enjoy the 20% discount.

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.


"Today is a most unusual day, because we have never lived it before; we will never live it again; it is the only day we have." William Arthur Ward

This reminds me of a magic trick. (Bonnie used to be a professional magician in college.) Tell everyone you are going to show them something that has never been seen in this world before. Then take a peanut, crack it open, and show them the nut inside. Pop it into your mouth, and tell them no one in the world will ever see it again.


Q: By 1810 which country was producing half of the world's requirements for chocolate?
A: Venezuela

Q: Who produces over half of the world's cocoa today?
A: West Africa, specifically Coto d'Ivoire and Ghana

Congratulations to Karmen Wai from California. 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!


Geraldine Nehl informed us that St. Nicholas is also the patron saint of chemists! That's nice to know.


Q: What do "ides" and "nones" have in common?

Everyone who emails in the correct answers by April 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 March 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.


When I was learning to set eyes in a dolls head we did it with a mirror standing in front so we could see where the eyes were looking before we glued them this really helps stop the cross eyed look.
If you are painting eyes on a cloth head, paint one eye (if right handed, the right one) and then turn the head upside to paint the other eye and eyebrow. This will help them be more symmetrical.

A helpful website is:


At our last Doll Bee Mary Ann brought an incredible apple cake. Be sure and make this when company is coming. Otherwise you just might eat the whole thing – it is that good! She found it in a Costco magazine.

Caramel Glazed Apple Cake (Mary Ann Kaahanui)

1 cup packed light brown sugar 1 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups vegetable oil 3 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt 2-1/4 tsp vanilla extract
5 Washington Granny Smith or Golden delicious apples, cored, peeled and cut in ½" pieces
1-1/4 cups chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Caramel Glaze
4 Tb butter 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar Pinch of salt
1/2 cup heavy cream

Instructions: Preheat oven to 325° F. Butter and flour a 9 x 13 pan. To prepare the cake, beat both sugars and oil in a mixing bowl until very well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, mixing just until blended. Stir in apples, nuts and vanilla, pour into pan. Bake for 60 - 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan while preparing the glaze.

Glaze: To prepare the glaze, melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in both sugars and salt; cook over med.-low heat for 2 minutes. Add cream and boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Poke holes in the cake with a skewer or toothpick. Pour on the glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature. Top with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.


May 15, 2012 - 4rd Annual (2012) Cloth Baby Doll Challenge!
Theme: "Dollmaker's Choice!"
This year it is up to you (the dollmaker). Just have fun and do your own thing!
For Info and to join go to...


April 20-22, 2012 – RenoIowa Retreat
Reno, Nevada
Classes are full, however you can be on a waiting list.
Classes from Sherry Goshon and Jean Bernard
For information go to: or contact Sherry Goshon at or Jean Bernard at

May 3-5, 2012 - Artist Doll & Teddy Bear Convention

Ramada Airport Hotel, Philadelphia, PA
More information at:

May 18-20, 2012 – RenoIowa Retreat
Fallbrook, California
Classes from Sherry Goshon and Jean Bernard
For information go to: or contact Sherry Goshon at or Jean Bernard at

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

July 23, 2012 – ODACA Luncheon and Sale (Original Doll Artists Council of America)
Sheraton Hotel, New Orleans, Louisiana
More information at:

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

July 26-29, 2012 – All Dolls Are Art Conference 2012
Wyndham Garden Inn, Austin, Texas
Classes with Arley Berryhill, Annie Hesse, Marilynn Huston, Angela Jarecki, Fran Parrigan-Meehan, Theresa May, Lisa Renner, and Christine Shively.
For more information, visit our website: or send $5.00 for brochure to:
AnLiNa Designs, PO Box 514, Round Rock, TX 78680-0514

July 27-29, 2012 – RenoIowa Retreat
Staten Island, New York
Classes from Sherry Goshon and Jean Bernard
For information go to: or contact Sherry Goshon at or Jean Bernard at

September 21-23, 2012 – RenoIowa Retreat
Marshalltown, Iowa
Classes from Sherry Goshon and Jean Bernard
For information go to: or contact Sherry Goshon at or Jean Bernard at

September 27-30, 2012 – NIADA (National Institute of American Doll Artists)
Stamford, Connecticut
More information about the convention at:

October 1-3, 2012 – NIADA Dollmaking School
Stamford, Connecticut
Class registration is now open for the NIADA 2012 Dollmaking School

October, 2012 – Doll and Teddy Bear Expo
Information coming soon at:

January 2013 – IDEX
More information coming at:

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


Some info and updates about craft velour....

I think I was the first dollmaker/designer using it regularly starting in 1975. I bought housecoats from JC Penney's to get it. It was thinner than today's Bucksuede or Deer suede, but not as thin as Polyester Flannel. It was absolutely perfect for dollmaking.

The tiniest fingers could be sewn and turned with ease, and needle sculpting was so easy and effective. A bit later it became available by the bolt and for years and years I sold it in kits.

During that time Doesuede became available too and it was the perfect fabric for even smaller fingers......But then "The Great Craft Velour and Doesuede CRASH" happened in the 90s. The company in Greensboro NC stopped making either fabric for the retail trade. They made it for the auto industry, mostly for headliners and backed it with foam.

Many of the designers and makers had to really scramble to find suitable fabrics for our doll styles. For a while we had nothing! On the "old" Doesuede. You can sometimes find western style skirts made from it in second hand stores.

Then CARA started making a Craft Velour and a Suede, but both are/were very different than the original. The velour was heavier and the suede was very heavy and stiff. It still is. The Craft Velour from CRS Crafts was thinner the last time I ordered some but I am not sure about it right now.

One way to soften the heavier fabrics is to wash them in HOT water with lots of fabric softener.

On Dye.....The velour will take dye but it will not dye dark. An entire bottle of taupe and peach in a small washer load works for a couple of yards of fabric.

A better way to get more color, is to use watered down acrylic paint and paint the entire surface of a sewn and stuffed doll. This also seals the fabric and allows you to use pens without bleed.

All in all, the craft velour and suede are still very versatile and make dollmaking so enjoyable because of no blow outs, turning troubles etc. they are worth fiddling with.

More information on dyeing craft velour from our readers and designers:

Kate Erbach - I have dyed craft velour in the past. Because it is a synthetic I used double the amount of dye I normally would have used. I also add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the mix to help set the dye. Over time it may fade a bit but you can get a nice flesh tone using a package of tan Rit and a half package of Rose Rit.

Velour is a synthetic, so any dye suitable for synthetics should work.

You can dye craft velour if the Fabric is light in color. Stir it with a wooden spoon in an old container. Leave it soaking and check it every 10 minutes. Rinse in cold water and let dry. Try it first with a 3x3 inch piece. This is fun!

Barb Keeling - Gosh you guys did you forget that I had a special eco dye made in skin tones. It is awesome stuff. One tiny drop or two will dye a whole doll. You don't even have to dye the fabric, just make the doll and paint the finished doll with the dye. Done deal. This way you don't have to fuss over what color to buy in the velour which is hard to find in any color. So each one of your dolls can be the color velour, or cotton or doll skin or stretch fabric you want. Just takes a drop or two of dye and some fumes, just great color. Really easy.


Designer AMY NELSON is treating us to her FREE "Serene Seahorse Pindoll" pattern. Thanks, Amy! –

One of our designers, Deanna Hogan, just finished a short video tutorial on making doll wings. This is her first video, and I think she did a great job. Enjoy.
See more of Deanna's patterns at:

Check out Antique Lilac for incredible free patterns and tutorials
Make your own Textured Fairy Wings

Another designer, Colleen Babcock, has a free two-sided Kokeshi doll panel with a tutorial that can be printed off onto printer-ready fabric. She can be made into a sachet or a toy.
Visit her blog at for more free patterns and tutorials.
See Colleen's fun patterns at



For those of you who like more exotic animals check out DORICE LARKIN'S incredibly realistic "Hippo" and "Rhino" along with all the other wonderful COLD FIRE CREATIONS animal patterns. –

Just in from New Zealand - JILL MAAS' delightfully whimsical new pattern "Fred and Frogs in a Box!" You're going to love it – take a look! –

BARBARA SCHOENOFF has just released a truly majestic, beautifully costumed 30" "Santa" that is sure to enhance any holiday décor. -

"Sweet Dream Baby" looks like a precious baby doll but it is also a pillow. Another terrific pattern from VICKI RILEY! –

Check out three delightful new patterns from the ever creative MAUREEN MILLS. Stop by a take a peek at the darling "Easter Bunny Girls," the well-worn "Dirty Rabbits" and the cute as can be "All U Need is Love!" –


We just got in the wonderful PEBBLES brand of chalk in packages of 10 colors and 30 colors. Each comes with an applicator tool and a variety of tiny pompoms for applying the beautiful, bright shades. We think you are going to love it! –


One of our designers, Julie Booth from Vienna, Virginia, who also attends our Doll Bee, was awarded the Margaret M. Conant Grant from Potomac Fiber Arts Guild in the Washington, D.C. area. She was given one year to create a program and portfolio exploring ways to create one-of-a-kind fabrics which could be used for dolls and other soft sculptures. Her program, presented to the guild in January, was entitled Kitchen Frolics – Playing in the Kitchen with Julie Booth. She used common household materials such as flour, cereal, starch, salt, and blue glue as fabric resists using pigment based fabric paints. You can see some of her experiments on her website at (under construction)
Several of her patterns are available at
A book is forthcoming. We will let you know when it is available.


In general, it's best to choose a cotton with a fairly high thread count - 200/inch. The higher the thread count, the closer the weave. Cottons with too loose a weave will result in inferior sculpting and blown seams, especially if you like to make small figures.
Sothern Belle muslin - available at online doll making suppliers and larger fabric stores. My fabric of
choice! Smooth finish, dyes beautifully. (Bonnie dyes this for Dollmaker's Journey)
Pimatex and Egyptian cottons - available in various fabric stores. Very smooth finish for face drawing.
Tops for painting and dyeing.


Bonnie has taken the UFO challenge to heart, and has already finished 8 projects. She has also committed to typing a recipe book for her church. Using the challenge, she is trying to collect 2012 recipes from her local congregation which will be turned into a cookbook just in time for Christmas. This means she has to type 6 recipes a day. In addition she is reading 2012 verses from the Bible, finding and writing down 2012 things to be grateful for, and writing 2012 lines in her journal (does this newsletter count?) She is also completing 4 challenge dolls and several commissions. She is probably overcommitted, but what else is new?

Mary Ann is happy to be back in her studio working on a variety of projects, both UFOs and some new gifts for various friends and loved ones. Her beloved mother Marion will be celebrating 89 years of life on Easter Sunday and the entire family is looking forward to the celebration. Along with weekly Yoga classes MAK has decided to try Zumba and she's having a ball shaking her groove thing and getting exercise, too!


We saw the movie Hugo with our grandchildren, and it caused us to search the internet for more examples of automatons. Watch the video that was on CBS News for more information.
More information at:

This website carries automatons you can make from paper. The most expensive one is of an artist figure that actually draws on paper.

Learn more about the steampunk look at

Visit the world's largest miniature wonderland in Hamburg, Germany. See a video at:

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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