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Dollmaker's Journey

April 2013 ~ Issue 128

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

April 2013 Issue 128

Copyright 2013 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 hearts and prayers go out to the victims of the recent Boston Marathon attack. It is sad when a few misguided people turn an event of celebration into a nightmare of terror. Flags are at half-mast throughout the United States. Bonnie's daughter lives near Boston, and she was shocked to hear the news. In Massachusetts the Boston Marathon is a holiday that people from around the world look forward to each year.

What can we do as dollmakers when tragedy strikes? Prayers always help. Some might want to design a special quilt as a memorial. Bonnie's knit and crochet for charity group might create afghans to comfort those who lost limbs. When these are made every stitch is a prayer. Others might create dolls to remember those who were lost. Bonnie was in Lancaster, Pennsylvania recently and visited Aimee and Daria's Doll Outlet. There she bought a wheelchair, crutches, leg cast, arm cast, and bandages to fit an 18" doll. This might be the time to create a doll to fit them, so she can explain to her grandchildren what happens when good people encounter evil.

One of the best visual aids Bonnie created were two large dolls (22" and 24") of her great-great-grandparents on their wedding day, January 6, 1853. She enlarged their faces from an old daguerreotype picture she had and transferred them to cloth. She then dressed the dolls for their wedding day following clues from the picture. Her great-great-grandfather George Washington Bean had his left arm blown off at Fort Provo, Utah when he was 19 by a cannon explosion. Here is an excerpt from his journal:

"On September 1st, 1849…Lt. Wm. Dayton called to me and asked if I would help him fire the cannon. It was about sundown. I responded quickly to the call. He said he had waited for me and that all was arranged for a cannon practice on the bastion. We ran up the ladder to the cannon, loaded it and fired once, without much consideration. Then, without swabbing the gun, Dayton jumped and caught up another cartridge of old cotton cloth and 1-1/2 pounds of rifle powder, inserted it in the muzzle and we both began ramming the cartridge home, when it evidently caught fire, being broken and torn, and the remnant of the former one still burning in the breech, caused a disastrous explosion. It caused a deafening roar as to strike with dread all within hearing, who testified to the shock which bore evidence of a dreadful accident…We were thrown thirty feet away on the ground, Lieutenant Dayton was killed outright and I taken up as dying, terribly mangled, but still breathing, with my left hand gone – picked up in Celia Hunt's dooryard, who recognized George Bean's band ring on his little finger. My clothes were partly burned off, eyes and face black with powder, and burned so badly that I could see nothing for twenty days thereafter; my right arm and hand were severely lacerated; also my right thigh, breast, neck and face were filled with splinters and powder burn. Some of the two hundred wood splinters remained in my body for twenty years, working to the surface at different times…."

His left arm was amputated to 3-1/2 inches below his elbow. In recreating the event Bonnie had a removable forearm that snapped onto the upper arm so she can remove it when retelling the story. On the little finger Bonnie put a ring.

Gruesome though this story is, the good news is that he survived, married at 22, had many children, and learned several Indian languages while recuperating from near death. He later became an Indian interpreter, judge, and led a full and active life.

A year ago I shared with you a link to the butterfly circus, about a man born with no arms or legs. The actor in this story went on to become a very successful speaker all over the world. In websites at the end of this newsletter you will find a link for one of his lectures, which so mesmerized my grandchildren that they insisted on hearing the entire thing. Good things can come from tragedy – it all depends on whether your glass is half full or half empty. It is our prayer that you learn to overcome challenges and handicaps and use the gifts you have to bless not only your life but the lives of those around you.

Bonnie and Mary Ann


We are establishing a LIST of every Doll Class we can find. We want to know about the classes in your local stores, doll clubs etc... We will post for FREE the information about each class AND we will issue each teacher a specific coupon code so that all of the students can get 20% OFF THE REGULAR PRICES FOR ONE ENTIRE ORDER. In a few days we will have a form on the site that you can fill out to give us the details we need to post for you. Our goal is to connect interested dollmakers everywhere with exciting classes and we are relying on you to help us make that happen! –

2013 DO IT CHALLENGE by Bonnie B. Lewis

Have you ever wanted to learn a new technique? How about transferring a photo to fabric? Participating in a challenge? Finishing that project you've been meaning to get around to, but never did? Making something special for someone you love? Contributing to a charity? This is the year to DO IT!


Our annual spring sale on the FAIRY category is in full swing. Be sure to take a look at this delightful selection of patterns and enjoy a 20% savings.

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.


Sent by Michelle in Wyoming: "This is absolutely the most fascinating time we could possibly have hoped to be alive. So whatever you do don't be bored." Seen on a graffiti wall


Q: When and where was the first St. Patrick's Day Parade?

A: The first official parade was in Manhattan, New York on March 17, 1762. Irish soldiers serving in the British military marched through New York City streets accompanied by highland bagpipes. In Ireland it did not become a national holiday until 1903, and the first parade was on March 17, 1931 in Dublin. However, the first celebration in the American Colonies was March 17, 1737 in Boston, although it did not include a parade.

Congratulations to Marsha Clark from Liburn, Georgia. 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: Who provided Mickey Mouse's high-pitched voice in the early Walk Disney films starring the animated mouse?

Everyone who emails in the correct answers by May 15th (I've given you more time) 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.

Check out Mary Ann's latest video where she answers many of your FAQs (frequently asked questions). Her wonderful talented daughter does a tremendous job of producing these videos for her, and she is delighted with the way it came out. It is on the front page at

May 4, 2013 is the deadline for Shashi Nayagam's Mini Challenge!
She dropped a piece of string on the floor, and it looked like a face. The challenge is to create a doll head using this free pattern.

May 15, 2013 is deadline for 5th Annual Cloth Baby Doll Challenge!
And Back by Popular Demand.. A Baby Animal Category!
Special Grand Prize you don't want to miss.. A Kezi Original Doll - "Ruthie" (Not a pattern but the original Prototype Doll designed and made by Kezi!)
To have a chance at winning this beautiful and valuable doll all you have to do is enter a Human Baby Doll in the Challenge! The Grand Prize is picked Randomly so anyone who enters a doll has a chance to win!


April 25-28, 2013 - AFICC (Artistic Figures in Cloth and Clay)
Double Tree Columbus/Worthington
175 Hutchinson Ave., Columbus, OH 43235
For more information about convention:
For information on teachers:

May 2-4, 2013 – Artist Doll & Teddy Bear Convention
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center
Philadelphia PA.

June 24-26, 2013 – NIADA
Marin Suites Hotel, Corte Madera, California (12 miles north of San Francisco)
Registration is now open at:

July 26-31, 2013 - National Doll Festival #26 (NDF)
Georgetown University Conference Center & Hotel, Washington, D.C.
For more information email Rowbear or Faith Loman at or
or call them at (831) 438-5349 (phone) or (831) 439-9142 (fax)

July 29-August 1, 2013 – UFDC 64th National Convention
Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

July 2013 - ODACA
Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20009 (not updated yet)

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


The Pretty Toys site has over 1700 free patterns for cloth animals and dolls. There are the usual bunnies, cats, dogs, pigs, horses, dolls, penguins, sheep, owls, etc. etc. They also have hippopotami, bugs, lizards, fish, and even a realistic octopus. The patterns are on one sheet (usually) and are in jpg format, so they are easy to download and resize. The pattern pieces
are well marked, so you know to join a to a and 6 to 6.

The downside is that they are in Russian, but it doesn't matter much because they have no or very minimal instruction. There is occasionally a word about fabrics, but usually there are just one to three sentences in the descriptions. However, the latest patterns they have put up have the pieces named in Russian and English, so you can use them to translate the older patterns that are only in Russian. I had to download a translation service (I chose Bing) but it would only work on Internet Explorer. However, I clicked on translate and the entire site was changed into English.
Here is the site address:

by Bonnie B. Lewis

More than twenty years ago when I created George Washington Bean and Elizabeth Baum Bean there weren't a lot of options to transfer a photograph to a doll. I had a very old book with a daguerreotype print of my great-great-grandparents on their wedding day. I brought it to a photo studio to have it professionally enlarged to fit a 22" and 24" doll with a flat face which elinor peace bailey helped me adapt from one of her patterns. I then brought it to a copy shop where they made a dry toner copy. I used Picture This, a fabric transfer medium from Plaid, to transfer the photos to fabric, which I made into a doll. I colored the eyes and cheeks with colored pencils. The face felt very plastic. I used the same technique to create a king-sized quilt for my parents' 50th anniversary. I transferred photos of my parents and each of their children on their wedding days, along with pictures of each family and all grandchildren born at that time. There were 18 – 8" x 10" photos in all, some in color and some in black and white. I framed the photos in lace. The quilt has been washed several times in mild soap and water, and the pictures look just as good today as they did in 1993. However, they feel like plastic and are somewhat stiff. There were two issues with this quilt. The pictures are printed reverse image, so if there are any numbers or letters they appear backwards. With modern technology and computers this is easy to correct, but back then you couldn't. The second glitch was that many of the photos were copyrighted, and copy shops refused to make copies. I had to write to each photo studio and get permission to make one copy (even though we had purchased the photos) for this project. This became difficult when photo studios were no longer in business. For complete instructions on using Picture This, check out this website:

We tried another very old technique at our G Street Doll Club last week, and it didn't work with modern products. The idea came from a book, Fabric Photos by Margery Croner © 1989, publisher Interweave Press. In this technique she used iron-on mending tape (white). She ironed pictures from dry toner onto the shiny side and then transferred the image onto fabric. The finished pictures are sealed with fabric medium. Susan Walker taught the class. She brought some old iron-on mending tape and the technique worked quite well. However, with the modern Dritz iron-on tape no image appeared. Colored images just turned light yellow. Laser and ink jet prints didn't work at all.

She brought several old books that used other techniques you might want to check out. They were Easy Transfers for Any Surface by Livia McRee © 2002 and Imagery On Fabric by Jean Ray Laury © 1997 by C&T Publishing.

Modern techniques are much easier. The iron-on transfer sheets still feel like plastic, but are available any office supply store. Just purchase the photo to fabric paper they sell. Determine the size of the pattern face, shrink or enlarge your faces to that size, and print on the paper. You can then iron the picture onto fabric. Make sure you get the correct paper for your color printer. They have different types of paper for ink jet and laser printers.

Some brands have muslin already attached to paper and you print directly on the fabric. The disadvantage is that you can't choose the fabric color. You can also iron freezer paper (we sell sheets 8-1/2" x 11" at Dollmaker's Journey) to fine cotton fabric (prewash first to remove sizing). All of our hand-dyed ethnic cotton fabric is pre-washed, so you could transfer a picture on fabric to match the rest of your doll. Just make sure you trim the fabric so no stray threads hang off the edge. This should run through most printers without a problem. You can also visit your local quilt shop, and often they have good advice on how to print pictures onto quilts, and some shops even carry the necessary supplies to accomplish this. Follow directions to heat set or seal the ink so the face will be permanent. Be aware also that sometimes this method 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.

Here are two links for more ideas of transferring photos to fabric:
Transferring images to fabric -- 3 techniques
Another technique

At Dollmaker's Journey we carry several items that make your picture transfer easy. These include:

TAP Transfer Artist Paper
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 is sure to get your creative juices flowing. There is also a book by Leslie Riley called Creating with Transfer Artist Paper.

Lutradur Mixed Media Sheets
This versatile cross between fabric and paper is easy to print on, fold, cut, stitch and embellish. Perfect for ink-jet printers or all-in-ones. Create delicate translucent effects with paints, inks, dyes and stamps. The creative possibilities are endless. Leslie Riley has also written a book called Fabulous Fabric Art with Lutradur.
Miracle Fabric Sheets
Create permanent images with an Inkjet printer on these pretreated 100% cotton fabric sheets that are washable and maintain their soft feel. Simply heat set with a household iron to create vivid and permanent images. Ideal for fabric art, labels, quilt squares and so much more!
Printing Faces on Fabric CD
By Kat Lees
Discover the secrets of transferring painted faces or photos to fabric in this comprehensive tutorial that will expand your face making options.
Find everything at and


NANCY HALL has a great take on a Steampunk Dragonfly that she calls "Cecily" that includes some very interesting wings. Stop by a take a look -

PATTI CULEA'S "Maudlin Maddie of Maldon" dressed in lovely soft velvets joins our collection of PATTI's always wonderful patterns -

Just in from New Zealand - two great new patterns from JILL MAAS! Come meet "Connie" that JILL has taught many times and her wacky, colorful creatures "Loose Cannons!" -

We're delighted to be adding 4 more of MAUREEN MILLS' wonderful patterns. You'll find two great rabbit choices just in time for Spring - "All My Children" and "Roly Poly Rabbits" along with "Kit and Katatonic" and the super easy "Keepsake Angels." -


We are excited to report that we have finally received our shipment of Tibetan Lamb and the following long-awaited colors have returned to the site: Black, Dark Brown, Medium Blond, Light Auburn and Royal Purple. Be sure to stock up while they are available. -

There is no doubt that the Steampunk Theme continues to gain in popularity. We have just added two sizes of assorted gear embellishments "Sprocket Gears" and "Junkyard Findings" for you to have fun with. -


There is a new disappearing marker available where the mark remains until erased with a warm iron. It is called Frixion by Pilot, and comes in three different colors. It sounds pretty good, but an experiment was made, and the mark leaves a ghost imprint and reappears if it is below freezing. Here is the blog with all the information:


Bonnie has been beading up a storm. She wore a phoenix 3-D necklace to A C Moore (a craft store) and they wanted to hire her to teach bead weaving. She has created three sample classes
and was able to get permission to teach using Dragon patterns at She is just waiting for a security clearance before starting on another career! Right now she is frantically finishing this newsletter so she can dye more ethnic fabric to bring to Columbus for the AFIC convention which begins Thursday.

Mary Ann is packing up the goodies to take to AFIC in Columbus, OH from 25-28 April and is so looking forward to seeing so many dear, long time customers in person. Last week she had a surprise phone call from South African customer Glenda Campbell who explained that she was in the Washington DC area for one day only and asked if she could come to Mary Ann's home to shop. She found her way to a Metro station and Mary Ann picked her up and brought her home for a great visit and a happy shopping spree. It is always so much fun when you can see and touch the merchandise. Mary Ann absolutely loves the way Dollmakers Journey connects her to dollmakers all over the world!


A year ago in May I mentioned one of my favorite videos on YouTube called the Butterfly Circus. I laughed and cried. You can do anything if you believe.
What I didn't realize is the actor in that video has gone on to be a wonderful motivational speaker all over the world. My grandchildren were mesmerized as they watched "No arms, no legs, no problem" and we think you'll like it too!

Joyce Zipperer will be joining G Street Dolls with her fantastic sculptures for an exhibit in May. She works with metals, and her primary focus is on costumes. All of her work is absolutely wonderful, but be sure to scroll through all of "Clothes Lines", "Bras, Bikini Sets, Garter Belts", "Corsets, Slips, Camisoles", and "Shoes". She writes: "Focusing on women's undergarments, I have used metal fabrics, carved stone and welded steel to convey the changed attitudes and styles which have mirrored our culture, past and present, to address some of these issues."

The amazing transformation of a guy who didn't give up!

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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