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Dollmaker's Journey

June 2002 Issue Twelve

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June 2002 Issue Twelve


Copyright 2002 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. Visit out companion website:

** Notice! **
You can now read all the past issues online. Go to: The archives include an easy to follow index to all the past issues.


Dear dollmaker friends,

We have been working long hours every day to complete our new Internet hat classes. Eventually we will have a series of five different classes, with lots of new hats and ideas never before available. The first course, "Hat-making Fundamentals", will be the FREE prerequisite class at Crafty College ( Course 2 - "From the Inside Out - Creating Hats with Structure" will guide you through the construction of 34 different hats. We've been giving our digital camera a mighty workout photographing all the step-by-step procedures! More information about the dates and details for the classes will be available very soon. There never seem to be enough hours in the day to get all the creating done we want to do! Ever feel like that?

Relax now and enjoy this month's collection of dollmaker's delights!

Mary Ann and Bonnie



Marilyn Radzat is a prolific fantasy artist who creates something magical at least once a month. She lives in Hawaii and incorporates found objects, seashells, sea glass, etc. into her work. Currently she is creating a series of trees with fairies inside. You can see them on her website at: or check out several specific trees (url below).

"The Collaboration of Spring"

"Winter's Dream"

When asked where she gets all her inspiration from, she shared the following:

"Well, I guess I could say that I am prolific. It's sort of embarrassing to swamp the world with my fantasies, but truly I'm happiest when I'm in that space of creating, and so I go there as much as I can. I work in the studio most days and sculpt most evenings in front of the TV.

My children are grown and on their own, so my time is my own. We do have guests that come to visit a lot, here in Hawaii, but I just invite them into my studio and they fall into creating right along side of me. It's amazing, given the right atmosphere and supplies what people can create. It inspires me.

So as long as my fingers hold out, and the muse calls, I'll be creating. :) The only thing that I find is true is that I have to keep pressing my creativity. I'll be inspired by a certain thought or idea, and maybe do 3 or 4 pieces of that particular inspiration, but then I need to press myself again to come up with something that requires a bit of a challenge - either in body shape and form, or action, or in the mechanics of doors opening and such. It's really those moments of translating a thought into reality that are the most fun, and are the most rewarding. I find myself trying to live in that space over and over, as much as I can. Thank you for taking a look at my work, and thank you to those who send me your comments. They mean a lot to me. Always. Much aloha, Marilyn Radzat



To save yourself time and energy, get all the details on upcoming doll related events such as Quilt Market (they need doll centerpieces for American Cancer Society - free pattern link at Karen's site), We Folk of Cloth in October, the Gypsy of the Night Sky 2002 Treasures of the Gypsy Challenge and many other events by regularly visiting Karen Samuelson's CLOTH DOLL CONNECTION website. For the most comprehensive news on designers, events, challenges and activities be sure to check out and bookmark



Learn to make miniature dollhouse hats using cardstock and fusible web. This free tutorial also has fun embellishing techniques. Be sure you check out all four lessons.

Learn to paint perfect eyes. This free tutorial is geared to miniature porcelain doll makers, but has great ideas for cloth faces also. The link is for lesson 6 on eyes, but check out lessons 1-5 for more great ideas.



Gold feathers - A friend wanted to learn how to dye feathers gold for a Phoenix she is making. When I get a challenge like this, I love to experiment until something works. I found a fabulous product called Design Master that is a special spray dye for silk flowers. It does come in metallic colors, and is designed to dye natural fibers such as silk and cotton. Since feathers are natural also, it works for them. Just put the feather in a box lid, and spray lightly with desired dye. (You might want to hold the bottom of the feather down with a piece of masking tape, because the spray makes them fly away. LOL) You can fluff up feather afterwards by holding it over steam. Mary Ann and I are writing a series of online hat classes, and dyeing feathers is just one of the techniques we cover. By the way, if you live in the U.S. JoAnn Fabrics is having a clearance sale on Design Master because they are discontinuing it. However, you can also buy it at most Craft Stores and floral shops. It is usually found in the floral department or paint department. Hope this helps for people who want magical feathers for their dollmaking projects. You can also use the spray glitter that adds a touch of glamour to feathers.



By Katherine Lloyd

Silica gel is available from "good" craft stores, and some pharmaceutical suppliers. That which I receive is usually in the form of translucent, or deep blue, pellets, very similar to the ones we use for helping our dollies, and bears to sit nicely with weight added in the right place! (However, DON'T use Silica gel to weight dolls. Plastic pellets, sand, or pea gravel works better, and is MUCH cheaper! Editor's note)

I am assuming you are wishing to use the product for drying flowers, foliage etc.

I simply use a suitably large container, large enough to totally surround object to be dried, put a layer of silica gel in bottom, and in the case of large flowers such as orchids, or roses, very gently indeed, sprinkle some pellets between the petals, then again very gently cover the whole of the object with pellets, place lid on container and leave for a couple of weeks. Obviously the dehydration period depends on the fleshiness of the object you are endeavoring to dry. I find a shoebox is a good size. My very elderly Mother was delighted that I was able to dry her corsage worn at the most recent of her granddaughter's weddings. Please don't be disappointed if you lose a lot of color using silica gel.

Another option is if you are going to press the flowers in a flower press, between layers of paper towel, napkins, or something similar. I find pansies, etc., hold their color quite well dried in this manner. I frequently come across flowers and leaves I have simply pressed in a book, and forgotten about. The family Bible is great for this, because it is nice and heavy!

I know that there is a new fangled small gadget for drying in the microwave very rapidly indeed, but have not purchased one yet. You can also put flowers into a food dehydrator and they will dry overnight. Have fun drying summer's bounty! Katie

Editor's Note: Katie writes that she is largely confined to her home due to chronic illness and sharing things with dollmakers on the Internet is her "personal" outreach. She says, "I receive so much inspiration, teaching, love, generosity from total strangers, that I feel if I can possibly help someone else on their journey be it dollies, or life in the raw, I am grateful for the opportunity. In fact I have been a bit anxious that my responses are a bit toooo frequent.

I am also surprised and humbled that you felt my response worthy of repeating, thank you for a positive affirmation, we all need as many of those as we can get."



Making antique reproduction dolls has become a popular pastime for cloth doll makers. Talented designer and teacher JUDI WARD was so intrigued by an antique doll she saw on eBay that she created "Isabella Helen" - a lovely 24" doll with painted hair and face. Judi has also designed a pattern for a complete extra outfit and bunny rabbit for this charming doll. Stop by and see these wonderful new patterns at

Travel in style this summer with Hipster, the Troll Fanny Bag from the Troll Queen herself, UTE VASINA. It features several pockets and an amazing soft sculptured face you have to see to believe. Check it out at

Oswald Chambers wrote, "If you are going to do anything worthwhile, there are times when you have to risk everything on your leap." Create a new wall doll from VALARIE GARBER called "Leap and the Net Will Appear." You will also receive a matching pin doll pattern. She has a molded resin face available (purchased separately), which can be covered with T-shirt knit and used with this pattern for a different look. See the face and pattern at

Those KLEVER KEELINGS are at it again! Check out their "Body Shop" pattern. The combinations for mixing and matching the six different body shapes, 4 different head shapes, arm and leg variations and even a mermaid's tail are endless! The bodies range from 12" -18" and are sized to be used with the Keeling Face Stamps and Focus on Faces book. A perfect pattern for dollmakers of all skill levels!

SHERRY GOSHON includes a detailed color instruction sheet to help you make a perfect face to adorn her attractive and versatile 6" "Just a Lil Bag."

KATHY NELSON introduces "Caroline" - a seasoned woman who delights in making her special Sunday outfits. Stop by and take a peek at this charming character.



Designer Claire-ellen wanted to share her delightful recipe for "Vitamins" with other dollmakers looking for a boost of energy!


All good designers must consume copious amounts of "Chocolate vitamins" to exist. Chocolate contains anti-oxidants & provides feelings of well-being. The darker the chocolate, the better. (White Chocolate doesn't count). They tell me to keep sugar content minimal. So, following the advice of experts, here is my recipe.

4 Cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 Cups dried mixed fruit

2 Cups Rice Krispies, (probably more)

2 Cups mushed shredded Wheat

Or substitute any un-sweetened dry cereal

Cut dried fruit into small pieces with scissors & set aside. Oil large cookie sheet. Place chocolate chips in Microwave safe bowl & nuke for 2 minutes, stir & if not melted, nuke another minute, there may still be a few chips left which will continue to melt while stirring. Careful not to overcook or you'll have to throw it out. Stir in chopped fruit. Add cereal a cup at a time & stir in. Continue stirring in as much cereal as possible. Spread & press down on cookie sheet with back of spoon & chill. Scrape bowl & lick spoon. When Vitamins are firm, cut, break or chisel apart & eat. Keep some out to eat & store remainder in fridge.

By Claire-Ellen -Healthy, Happy & Haven't gained Weight!



The following Dollmaker's Journey designers will be teaching at We Folk of Cloth in October of 2002: Marcia Acker-Missal, Sandra Blake, Jesse Chandler, Meo Feroy, Kathy Hayes, Anne Hesse, Mary Ann Kaahanui, Bonnie Lewis, Donna Schramek, Karen Shifton, Ute Vasina, Judi Ward, and Gloria Winer. If you are going to We Folk and want more information, you can join the We Folk discussion list by sending a message to

Marcia Acker-Missal shares the following about her class: "I am teaching a one day workshop on Sunday called, BEADED FACE PIN class #101. There is no sewing machine required for this class. The class will cover how to do several no loom bead embroidery and bead weaving and free form beading techniques around a cabachon which in this case is a one of a kind pieces of my original sculpted & hand painted face pins ready for immediate bead embellishment. It's going to be a great fun day full of exciting results that I can hardly wait to see from each student's imaginative mind. And there is no sewing machine required at all. For this class all students need to pack are little tubes of beads, beading needles and thread.....and for those going on the WE FOLK Wednesday tour....they can buy all the beads and stuff at this fabulous bead shop the tour will take us all to."

Annie Hesse is up to more than teaching at We Folk. Check out these two sites to see pictures of her and her big pig!!



Packaging supplies - For those in the United States, go to You can order all kinds of boxes and envelopes for shipping dolls, patterns, and supplies. Best of all, they are free!

Intrigued by Tyvek? Want to add something different to your dollmaking? Check out Meinke Toys at for unusual supplies you never dreamed you needed.



Grommets are small round metal rings with a shank that you insert in fabric or leather. The shank is then flattened, securing the fabric between the ring and shank. You can see them in tennis shoes and men's dress shoes. We started carrying miniature grommets after we wrote our book, "Creating Fabulous Footwear for Fantastic Dolls", because the 1/4" size found in fabric stores was too large to be in scale for most dolls. I use them in baseball caps for vent holes, laced up vests, doll shoes, belts, and corsets. People also insert tiny 1/16" grommets in polymer clay shoes, use a toothpick to deepen the hole, and glue laces into the holes to create the illusion of removable shoes.

Inserting grommets in Lycra, Spandex or other stretch fabrics is tricky, because the fabric stretches and the grommets fall out. Grommets are normally used in leather, felt, and stable fabrics. However, when making dolls I tend to use fantasy fabrics, many of which include stretch, and you need to stabilize the fabric before inserting the grommet. The easiest way to do this is to iron on a fusible stabilizer to the back of the fabric where you wish to insert a grommet. You can also back the grommet with twill or hem tape (NOT bias). You can read all about inserting grommets, including pictures with step-by-step directions, on our website at Scroll down to grommets, and click on the blue hyperlink for complete instructions.



We are continually adding the photos of the fantastic dolls you are making to our Dollmaker's Journey SHOWCASE. Treat yourself to a visit to this exciting collection of imaginative dolls made from the patterns sold on our site. We hope you'll be inspired to share photos of your

dolls, too!



Bonnie has spent almost every day creating new hats for our upcoming internet hat classes. In her spare time she is reading the "Captain Underpants" series and wants to make dolls for her grandsons for Christmas. She is flying out to Utah to spend several weeks helping her Mom get her house organized, but can't seem to organize her own. What else is new?

Between order filling Mary Ann has been running downstairs to the studio to finish putting together a lap quilt as a wedding present for her niece Melissa. She's on a never-ending quest to use up her stash which never seems to deplete. Little Petey just graduated from his first set of obedience classes and will start the next course in 2 weeks. He's well on his way to becoming a well trained dog, and Mary Ann has high hopes he will one day stop absconding with doll body parts!



Jumping Jacks - 6 great paper dolls you can print on cardstock and make. Directions on how to assemble them are included. Bonnie took a class from one of our designers, Andrea Perkins, who designed a jumping jack to look like Santa Claus. We covered the body with fabric, added a fur beard and ultrasuede face, and made a toy that delights every child who sees it. When you pull the string the doll dances and moves. We even tied a jingle bell to the pull string, which makes it even more fun. Be sure and click on the six pictures at the bottom of the page for full size patterns. The "jacks" are reproduced from antique toys.

The Do It Yourself Network (DIY) had a show featuring Susanna Oroyan where she taught how to make Polymer and Felt Masks. Links to other great projects are there also.,2058,321,00.html

Wondering what to call your new doll? Check out the Name Generator site – enter elf, orc, hobbit, human, fantasy, male, female, etc. and it will generate as many new names as you desire. It will even generate an entire feudal village with names, ages, descriptions and families.


We'd love to hear your thoughts about our Customer Connection newsletter.

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

You can also read all the past issues online at:
Included is an index to all the past issues.

Thanks! (By the way, you might want to print this out and put it into a binder to keep for reference.)


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