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Dollmaker's Journey

April 2012 Issue 119

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

April 2012 Issue 119

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,

Our G Street Doll Club just completed a challenge I issued almost a year ago. I purchased a book many years ago called Commedia Dell'Arte at the Court of Louis XIV – a soft sculpture Representation by Peter A. Bucknell published in 1980. In it were patterns for 19 figures prominent in stage comedies from Italy's 16th century. I challenged the club to create these dolls for a display at Friendship Heights in Rockville, Maryland. The display opens May 1 and will be there for one month.

Judi Ward created three dolls – Moliere, Le Capitaine, and Trivellino. I created one – Le Medecin, a menacing doctor holding a clyster in his hands. (A clyster is a sinister looking instrument used to give enemas to people suffering from constipation and stomach pains.) The clyster was the hardest part for my doll. Originally Peter used a metal cigar container with a chopstick at one end and a meat skewer with a ring on the end at the other. I couldn't find any metal cigar containers. After worrying about it (this prop is a major part of the character I was creating, because the doctor runs around the stage threatening to give everyone an enema) I ended up using a beading cylinder with a ring on one end. I punched a hole on the other end and inserted a bamboo skewer. I tied a thread around the ring and hung it from a tree branch in our backyard. I then spray painted the whole thing silver. He also has an academic velvet robe with hanging sleeves, a belt pouch for medicines and large handkerchief attached to his belt to tie up wounds.

The patterns were small. Some were half scale and some quarter scale. We had to enlarge them and add seam allowances. If you made them full size the dolls would be 30" tall. Not practical for a display. So we decided to enlarge the patterns 129%. The resultant dolls were about 18" tall – perfect for a display case.

Every doll had different techniques. The dolls created are beautiful or scary, depending on the character. Everyone said it was definitely a challenge, but they all learned something new. Peter's techniques were different from anything we had ever done. For example, my face was pieced with velour, silk, felt, and cotton for the skull cap, mask, felt beard and neck. Some people had to create their own fabric because there is nothing on the market today that worked. Judi Ward had to draw suns and moons on circles and appliqué them all over Trivellino's tunic. Some used ribbon to create stripes. One found an old piece of upholstery fabric that worked and printed the design onto lighter-weight fabric. My face had felt features for the beard, mustache, eyes, eyebrows, and mouth, accented with black paint. I made a hat with buckram, wire, and black silk. Some people hated the challenge, others enjoyed it. Of course I procrastinated (I did enlarge all the pattern pieces and add seam allowances last year when I broke my ankle and couldn't do anything except sit) and made the whole doll yesterday, staying up until 12:30 a.m. and finishing him early this morning. Needless to say I am sleep deprived right now. Of course, sewing on all black fabric in the middle of the night wasn't fun, especially since my sewing machine light decided to die about 9 p.m. I finished the hat at the doll club meeting, glued it on his head, and the doctor is ready to frighten little children (especially since part of his mask is rust red). Hopefully we will get pictures of the display and share them at a later date.

Bonnie and Mary Ann


The challenge this year is a lot simpler than the Commedia Dell'arte one described above. The goal is to spend 2012 minutes this year clearing the decks for new projects and challenges. One of our customers, Marjorie, proposed some working definitions for our projects:

1. WIP. Work in Progress. This is a project that you work on at least once a month, and hopefully once a week.
2. UFO. Unfinished Object. These are projects that you have not touched for a month or more. Some may be carefully stashed away and some may be hard to find.

So the challenge remains. Work 45 minutes a week, 6 minutes a day, or 2012 minutes this year finishing your UFOs. How are you doing?


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.


This quote from Pema Chodron was sent to us by Nettonya Ryane from British Columbia, Canada.

We are all in this together. So when you realize that you're talking to yourself, label it "thinking" and notice your tone of voice. Let it be compassionate and gentle and humorous. Then you'll be changing old stuck patterns that are shared by the whole human race. Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves.


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

A: I thought of this question as I wrote the newsletter on the Ides of March, when Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Pompey Theater by Brutus and his friends. In the Roman calendar the term ides was used for the 15th day of the months of March, May, July and October, and the 13th day of the other months. The nones were 9 days before the ides, on the fifth or seventh. Nones or "nonae" come from the Latin word for nine. Kalends was the Roman name for the first day of the month. Originally the first day of the month was the new moon, ides were the full moon, and nones the day of the half-moon.

Congratulations to Cheryl Adams from Batavia. New York. 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: Which side of your nose should you breathe through to stimulate the creative, imaginative side of your brain? (You can blame this question on my daughter who is going to medical school!)

Everyone who emails in the correct answers by May 15th 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.


Gail Kellison writes: I know some like to find new outlets to sell the dolls they make. Some use ebay and etsy, but after listening to the Today show this morning, I found this website and it says build your store free and sell your stuff without paying a fee. Just thought I'd pass on the information to any of you that are needing an outlet. It looks like a jewelry site, but I see they also have people that sell many other things – including dolls!
It might be well worth investigating. I am not affiliated in any way with the website. I just happened onto it this morning after watching the Today show and they were talking about making money online. This was one of the websites that was mentioned in the Woman's Day article they featured. If you want to read the Woman's Day article, here's the website for it:



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...

July 20, 2012 – Hoffman Challenge
Entry forms available at
You must use a recognizable piece of their challenge fabric.

September 2012 - Treasures of the Gypsy Challenge 2012
Dolls due last week of September 2012 for Houston Quilt Festival
You must purchase packet of materials to be used in your doll from Pamela Armas. The cost, which includes entry fee and shipping, is $20.00. The theme is: The Charmed and Mystical Gypsy
For more information go to:
Or contact Pamela at
P.S. Bonnie just got her packet from Pamela. Love the colors. Gorgeous fabric. Won't spoil the surprise.


May 3-5, 2012 - Artist Doll & Teddy Bear Convention
Ramada Airport Hotel, Philadelphia, PA
More information at:

May 6, 2012 – Doll and Teddy Bear Show and Sale
Doubletree Hotel, 10100 College Blvd., Overland Park, Kansas
10-4. Admission $5.00 (16 and older) Children free with paid admission

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:

October 14 -16 and 17-19, 2012 – "Jack Out of the Box"
Ottawa, Canada
Take a class from Marlaine Verhelst and Ankie Daanen, NIADA Doll Artists from the Netherlands.
Fee Including Kit - $500.00 Deposit of $250.00 to Hold Your Spot. The sculpted bases and bodies will be prepared by Ankie and Marlaine. All students will sculpt and paint their own head and hands and make hair, hats, collars and embellishments for the costume.
For more information go to:

January 2013 – IDEX
More information coming at:

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



By Judi Ward

Felt over vinyl in a nutshell....Get a cheap vinyl doll head. A baby without hair is best but others work too.
Take the head off of the body.
Stuff the head hard.
Cut a large piece of Warm and Natural.
Spread good tacky glue (Grriipp is great) along the center of the face and apply the W&N pressing it securely.
Spread more glue and continue pressing the W&N and working out all of the wrinkles. Use your fingernails to press into the creases and such.
DO not overwork the W&N. Once it is stuck overworking it will make it come unstuck.
Use a slightly pointy thing to press in the nostrils.
Work fast and when you get a big pleat up at the top, carefully cut it so you can butt the edges together. I usually end up with pleats at each side of center. I actually plan them that way.
I work this front piece as far as the center top of the head....and trim the W&N off nice and straight all the way to the neck.
I leave a long bit of W&N to tuck into the neck opening too.
Repeat for the back of the head, butting all edges neatly.
If the doll will have a wig, you can stop at the hairline, and just do the back of neck. Then it will be like a mask face, but with the neck matching the face.
Let dry overnight.
Now, repeat everything with good wool or wool/rayon felt.
That is it in a nutshell. It is something you have to simply DO to get it and the W&N base helps the felt to stick better without the glue seeping through. Have fun.

Check out Judi's other fun projects at


Colleen Babcock writes: "I thought I would share another free tutorial that has been created by a guest blogger, Romona King for my blog. She stitched Marie Antoinette style shoes with cross stitch that she then made into scissor fobs and then shared the how-to. I think that these fobs would really help to identify your scissors and hemostats in a doll class, so no one would accidentally make off with your tools." Here's the link:
On the left-hand upper corner enter Romona King in "Search my Blog" box. Then click on tutorial for Victorian Cross-stitch slippers. While there check out some of her other great free patterns.

Make Megan, a delightful little girl doll, from the archives of cloth doll

Deb Wood has a tutorial for making feather wings.

In honor of fairy month, here is a free pattern from Connie McBride Johnson called "Faylinn the Fairy"
Lots of other free patterns here also.


Just in - Two terrific new projects from SHERRY GOSHON! Check out the
whimsical "Boobee" the Keeper of Love and the enchanting baby fairy
"Baby Lotus" Pressmold and Body patterns. –


Back In Stock:

Hair: Bleached, Dark Auburn, Dark Brown and Mauve Tibetan Lamb –

Fabric: Dolskin-Flesh –

Supplies: 7mm PomPoms, Dritz Cheesecloth, Size #6 Colour Shaper

Sculpting Tool -

We've just added eight more individual colors of MICRON PIGMA PENS in Size 05 to enhance your dolls' faces so you can pick and choose the colors you need. –


Judi Ward has just released her new pattern Silly Birds. It is an e-pattern, which means you print it out yourself, saving postage and time. I bought it, and it is fantastic! I have seen Judi's birds in person, and we have been begging for this pattern for a year. The best part is – I can teach this technique to my grandchildren. They will have such fun choosing a beak, body, feet, wings, tail, crest, etc. It is all done with felt, by hand, while you sit and watch TV. Check it out here: Go to OR


Barb Keeling on her blog tells you how to repaint a doll in 15 minutes with 50 cents worth of paint. She sells a new eco-friendly dye that is fantastic. Read about it here:


Bonnie finished her challenge doll Le Medecin just in time. Now she wants to start on her Hoffman Challenge Doll and Treasures of the Gypsy challenge. And of course, she is still finishing lots of UFOs. Her daughter and grandchildren arrive tonight at midnight for two weeks from Saint Lucia, and another granddaughter has a starring role in "Oklahoma" including a solo that they are going to see next week. Life is always busy at Lewis Villa.

Mary Ann has really been enjoying the glorious spring in Northern Virginia. A spell of warmer than usual weather caused the world famous Cherry Blossoms to bloom early. She had fun to driving into Washington DC to see the spectacular Tidal Basin ringed with the beautiful blossoms. Last Saturday she was able to go on the Spring Garden Tour at the White House. You essentially get to mosey around the President's back yard and see the White House up close and personal. She feels very lucky to live so close to our nation's capital. Behind Mary Ann's house is a gorgeous pond that she walks her dog Pete around every day rain or shine. She has taken to naming the mallard duck couples who live there and today she was thrilled to observe two different mother ducks giving their babies their first swimming lessons. One had seven and the other had 12! Oh the wonder of new life!


Judi Ward's Silly Birds pattern inspired me to share the following website with you - Jaehoon Lim's magic show with birds:

Check out these 4 Polish musicians (The Mozart Group), classical music like you've never heard before.

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Contact the editor Bonnie B. Lewis at with any comments, suggestions, etc.
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