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Dollmaker's Journey

May 2013 ~ Issue 129

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

May 2013 Issue 129

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 people in Moore, Oklahoma today. Monday their town was destroyed by a powerful tornado, leaving thousands homeless and collapsing an elementary school, trapping children inside. Thanks to heroic teachers and early warning many lives were spared. However, everything in the path of the two mile wide twister was completely destroyed. If anyone out there wishes to help, visit to donate online, call 1-800-REDCROSS, or make a $10 donation by texting REDCROSS to 90999.

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! -


Kira from Scotland is asking for dolls of color to be sent to an orphanage in Zimbabwe. She writes:
A need for something totally different recently came to my attention, the need for children of horrible circumstance to get on with being children.....A Missionary came to our Church this past week, his daughter has gone to Zimbabwe for 2 years to work with the Sandra Jones Children's village as nutritionist, the work is with a girls orphanage in Zimbabwe where most of the girls there have been assaulted,  bringing "shame" to the family so they have been thrown out on the streets! These girls are, for the most part, under the age of nine years old!! CHILDREN, and certainly not accountable for something an adult did to them! Ian, the man speaking to us mentioned that the girls were so thrilled and overwhelmed when someone donated 2 dolls of color to the center!  They had NEVER seen a doll of color; most of the girls are still very young and would like dolls to play with.....As a doll maker myself, as someone who believes every child should have the opportunity to be a CHILD... I'd LOVE to send dolls of color to them, but there are over 75 girls there at present (they have a lottery at night to determine who gets to sleep with the dolls for the night) that number is growing every day. I can no way make 75 dolls on my own, nor can I buy them in the UK, I have never seen a doll of color here.

I'm asking if you have any suggestion of how to contact other doll makers making them aware, this is but one shelter, one place where these children are housed; there is surely a need of more than 75 dolls for just this shelter.  Can you possibly suggest a simple pattern if you can't help me find others who would make the dolls, perhaps a designer who might be happy for us to use for this purpose, having never really made play dolls, I'm not sure who or how to contact a designer who might be happy to let us use a simple pattern ANYTHING you could help with in this matter would be GREATLY appreciated!

I'm sure they would  be happy with any type of toy....we all hear about how much these children need, food, water, medicine, & clothing, maybe what they need just as much is the comfort of something to cuddle when sad or frightened....the opportunity to be a child.

Mary Ann responds: We have several free patterns for charity dolls in our Charity Corner -   Feel free to use any of them.

We have asked Kira to send us more information, but in the meantime, if any of you wish to make a doll of color for a child to play with, check next month for information as to where to send it. If you wish to contact Kira directly, here is her contact information:


2013 DO IT CHALLENGE by Bonnie B. Lewis

We recently held a self-employment seminar in our home. During it my husband related the story of Charles Schwab who owned Bethlehem Steel. Here is what he read:
Around 100 years ago, Charles Schwab, president of Bethlehem Steel, wanted to increase his own efficiency, and of the management team at the steel company. Ivy Lee, a well-known efficiency expert of the time, approached Mr. Schwab, and made a proposition Charles Schwab could not refuse:

Ivy Lee: "I can increase your people's efficiency - and your sales - if you will allow me to spend fifteen minutes with each of your executives."

Charles Schwab: "How much will it cost me?"

Ivy Lee: "Nothing, unless it works. After three months, you can send me a check for whatever you feel it's worth to you."

Charles Schwab: "It's a deal."

The following day, Ivy Lee met with Charles Schwab's management executives, spending only ten minutes with each in order to tell them:

Ivy Lee: "I want you to promise me that for the next ninety days, before leaving your office at the end of the day, you will make a list of the six most important things you have to do the next day and number them in their order of importance."

Astonished Executives: "That it?"

Ivy Lee: "That's it. Scratch off each item after finishing it, and go on to the next one on your list. If something doesn't get done, put it on the following day's list."

Mary Kay Ash writes in her book (Mary Kay: You Can Have It All : Lifetime Wisdom from America's Foremost Woman Entrepreneur )

"Each Bethlehem executive consented to follow Lee's instructions. Three months later, Schwab studied the results and was so pleased that he sent Lee a check for US$35,000. At the time, the average worker in the US was being paid $2 per day.

If Schwab, one of the smartest businessmen of his day, was willing to pay so much money for this advice, I decided I would follow it, too.

Each night, I put together my list for the following day. If I don't get something on my list accomplished, it goes on the next day's list. I put the hardest or most unappealing task at the top of the list. This way, I tackle the most difficult item first, and once it's out of the way, I feel my day is off to a good start."

After hearing this story, I decided to try it. I put my list on a post-it note and stuck it on my calendar. I have actually created lists for the next week, and when I accomplish a task I cross it off with a red pencil. This newsletter moved from the bottom of the list to the top, and today is the day I will finish it. I am amazed at how much more productive my day is when I just follow my list and DO IT!

So your challenge for this month is to create a list each night of things you hope to accomplish the next day and cross them off when you have finished them. It could be as simple as taking garbage cans to the curb or bringing them back inside, watering your garden, or beginning that Hoffman Challenge doll you have promised yourself you WILL make this year.

Good luck, make your list, and DO IT!


Splish, Splash - We are looking forward to summer here in the Northern Hemisphere so our MAY SALE features our MERMAID and BEACH categories to get you in the mood for summer with a 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.


"Use what talent you possess:  the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best."     Henry Van Dyke


Q:  Who provided Mickey Mouse's high-pitched voice in the early Walt Disney films starring the animated mouse?

A:  Walt Disney himself provided the voice until 1946, when Jimmy MacDonald took over because Disney had become so busy he wasn't able to do the voice.

Congratulations to Elaine W. Deeb from Troy, 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: This one is for all you knitters and crocheters out there. What entertainer boxed under the name Kid Crochet as a teenager?

Everyone who emails in the correct answers by June15th (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 May 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.

By Bonnie B. Lewis

Mary Ann and I were excited to bring Dollmaker's Journey to the AFICC (Artistic Figures in Cloth and Clay) Convention at the Doubletree Hotel in Columbus, Ohio last month.  I was able to visit with each teacher and vender, and many gave me tips to use in upcoming newsletters. For the closing night they featured a ventriloquist magician , David Crone.  His website is  If you click on characters you will see a short video featuring each one. Mary Ann and I were delighted to be part of his show. He will be on AMC television on June 13, 2013 at 9 p.m. Eastern Time. He entered a local talent show called Showville and was one of four finalists. Be sure to watch and see who won. (I have a special interest in this because I worked my way through college as a professional magician!)

So here are some of the things I learned in no particular order (to be continued next month!)

Stephen Alan Rausch taught classes in designing and patterning, and thoroughly modern millenary using fun foam. Steven created costumes for the theater and went to clown school. He brought some amazing dolls. For boning in dresses he uses plastic upholstery cord. His hats are made from fabric covered fun foam. He glued the fun foam pieces together with contact cement. One doll held twirling ribbon sculptures. The ribbons were covering wire boning which could be twisted into amazing shapes.

Christine Shiveley-Benjamin taught classes in whimsical birds and rainbow chaos. In the bird class the students sculpted bird bodies from a floral oasis which they then covered with fabric and paper. For beaks, wings and feathers they used Aleene's tacky glue and sandwiched file folders between tissue paper. They cut out the wings, feathers and beaks, molding or curling them while wet. The feet were wooden skewers with the tops wrapped in tissue paper for drumsticks.  The birds stood on wheeled carts (which will be a future pattern - watch for it!)  Christine also taught a mini class on whimsical paper crowns. Again she used file folders, Aleene's tacky glue and soft crumpled moni paper (found at or ). She covered a file folder front and back with moni paper. Then she cut a long rectangle for the crown base and a crown shape for the outside. She glued the two pieces together and curled the crown shape points toward the outside around a wooden skewer while wet.  She then inserted flower stamens, wire, etc. in between the two pieces, added embellishments, and glued the ends together.  The result was a light, airy fanciful crown suitable for any fairy. Her website is
See her patterns at

Dot Lewellyn was a vender from The Gahanna Bead Studio in Gahanna, Ohio. In addition to sharing beads with me when I ran out of the white needed to finish my 3-D American Eagle necklace which I finished during the convention, she shared some information that I am sure other beaders might enjoy. She backs cabochons with Nicole's Bead Backing. I always used felt, but these are stiffer and perfect for beading. These were created by Nicole Campanello and come in many different colors. They can be cut, sewn, beaded, painted, etc. There are many different uses which you can learn about here:

Debbie Jackson taught how to use clay to make amazing beads, canes, metallic fish and a reversible doll pendant. She also taught mini classes on making faces. She told me she likes Fimo or Premo clay. She said Sculpey was too brittle for these projects. I watched amazed as the class combined clays to create wonderful designs, beads, textures, flowers, etc. For jewelry she used Premo clay in black, gold, fuchsia, purple, and silver.  She brushed them with metallic powder, baked them in a microwave and used varnish to seal the finished beads.  She wrote a book called Polymer Clay Jewelry. You can see some of her work here:

I've only covered two pages of my notes, with lots more to come. I will share more insights and ideas in the June issue of Customer Connection Newsletter.


Mary Ann's daughter Ana has a dear friend named Janet who loves to create a wonderful variety of things for her family.  She made a marvelous video about her creative process that we think each and every one of you will relate to and enjoy:



The deadline is passed for 5th Annual Cloth Baby Doll Challenge! It is time to vote for your favorites.

August 15, 2013 - Doll Street Dreamers Mermaid Challenge
Anyone can enter whether you are a member of Doll Street Dreamers or not. Rules are here:


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)

October 11-13, 2013 - Magical Art Doll Conference
Tulsa, Oklahoma
For more information about this new doll making/fiber arts conference go to:

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


Here is a wonderful video on how to draw a perfect face using graph paper.

Here is a tutorial for drawing wonderful eyes. Click on the eyes to enlarge picture and see directions.


Dollmakers Journey began in 1998 when Mary Ann and Bonnie wrote their comprehensive shoe making book - CREATING FABULOUS FOOTWEAR FOR FANTASTIC DOLLS.  After several years the book went out of print and the demands of serving all of our customers took precedence.  At long last the book has been scanned in its original form and put on CD and is now ready for purchase.  You will learn how to make the exact shoes you want for any size doll, no matter what the doll is made of - cloth, vinyl, wood etc... Every dollmaking reference library should have this amazing CD!  -

JENNIFER CARSON, also known as The Dragon Charmer, has three delightful new designs for you ranging from the sweet, cuddly "Amat," to the Chinese style "Good Luck Dragon," to the "Dragon Hatchlings" that actually has TWO dragon patterns in it.  If you are a dragon lover, treat yourself to these marvelous patterns. -

Wait until you see GINNY LETTORALE'S ever so sweet "Springtime Bunnies!"  They are adorable. -

"A Balanced Diet" means a cookie in each hand to MAUREEN MILLS' newest raggedy.  She's really darling. -

 We are delighted to bring you the wonderful designs of the very talented LUCY LANDRY whom we were excited to meet at the AFICC Conference last month. "Bridget" features a variety of joints that will enable you to have very natural poses, "Shakti" is the picture of serenity and "Maple Tree Spirits" are just plain fun. We think you are going to enjoy LUCY's work as much as we do! -

Another big hit at the conference was UTE VASINA'S "Stanley." You will just have to check him out because as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words! -


BACK IN STOCK: Mini Stuffing Forks,  ALL of our hand-dyed Ethnic Skin Tone woven fabrics, along with the GRRRRIP GLUE and the 3.5" Hemostats -


NANCY PERENNEC, one of our designers, wrote to share some exciting news. She says, "I sold my Ellen Puppet to the Ellen DeGeneres show. I just shipped today. Really started my year off in a GREAT way! I turned 49 yesterday... Is this a sign of great things to come? I hope so.  I mentioned to them that I was a doll maker primarily and that the puppet was a doll challenge with my doll group. I hope it appears on the show. I'll keep you posted. I am just over the moon about this!"

You can see more of her great patterns at
Jewelery & Accessories:
My Blog:


After returning from the AFICC Convention, Bonnie kept busy beading, including a white butterfly for a grandchild's baptism in Boston this weekend, along with butterfly necklaces for all her daughters for Mother's Day. She is leaving for Boston tomorrow and will return next week.

Mary Ann is recovering from the fantastic time she had at AFICC connecting with so many of our wonderful customers in person.  The attendees were having a ball browsing through all the patterns and books and just being able to touch everything.  She is looking forward to the annual Memorial Day Concert on the lawn of the US Capitol this weekend.  She loves attending the dress rehearsal the night before as it is a little less crowded and she enjoys the "behind the scenes" aspect of the rehearsal.


In honor of Paul's baby doll challenge, here is a great video from Evian. Enjoy!

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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