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Dollmaker's Journey

November 2013 ~ Issue 133

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

November 2013 Issue 133

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,

It was Christmas 1967. I was serving an 18-month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Massachusetts, and it was my first Christmas away from home, friends and family. My companion and I spent ten hours a day walking around the town of Danvers in knee-high snow knocking on doors trying to share a message about Jesus Christ and peace on earth. Everyone was too busy to listen. At least we had plans to share Christmas dinner with some people we had met. I was discouraged when I was transferred to another town far away two days before Christmas with a new companion I didn't know.

Christmas day came. We placed a small tree my parents sent decorated with paper chains on an end table and settled down to eat our dinner of boiled macaroni and carrots, the only food we could afford. I opened a package from John Marshall, my next-door neighbor back home in Virginia. Even though he wasn't a member of our church, our families had become friends. He wrote a note saying he knew I was trying to be a good missionary, and he sent a book that changed my life. It was called "Try Giving Yourself Away" by David Dunn and was published in 1947. On the inside title page it says: "In which is set forth that happier way of living which all of us so earnestly seek and so few seem to find... This is a great pity since the secret lies within ourselves, and its magic can be enjoyed every day without price."

The message in the introduction is even more relevant today than it was then. He writes: "These are troubled times. The world is full of strife and heartache. [It was written shortly after World War II ended.]  Men and women everywhere seek peace of mind and heart, and wish desperately that they as individuals could do something toward lifting the heavy blanket of gloom and fear that oppresses mankind. "

"Perhaps you and I can help. More than anything else, the world needs the healing influence of a great surge of simple kindheartedness, to rid humanity of jealousy, selfishness and greed. Such a surge must start with us, as individuals; it is beyond the power of the world's rulers or statesmen. In our daily living we average citizens must establish the spirit and set the pattern of a kindlier world."

"Could there be a more opportune time for all of us to try giving ourselves away? Could anything else we might do as individuals contribute so much toward the peace of the world, or earn us so much personal happiness? I doubt it."

The book is now highlighted and dog-eared, but I try and read it at least once a year and live by its principles. His giving away is simple - a smile, a compliment, sharing surpluses, a listening ear. As we walked past a store decorated for Christmas, we stopped and complimented the manager on a great window display. There are hundreds of ways to share with others that don't cost a dime. My husband was so impressed with my book that he bought one on Kindle and has shared it with others. As the holidays approach, it is our wish that you find ways to "give yourself away" and lighten the load for those you meet.

Love, 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. Our goal is to connect interested dollmakers everywhere with exciting classes and we are relying on you to help us make that happen! -

Our list of exciting Dollmaking Classes is growing!  Be sure to visit this page as often as possible to see what wonderful classes may be coming near you! -


Our NOVEMBER SALE includes two great categories - EXOTIC/FANTASY and STEAMPUNK. This exciting array of patterns is discounted 20% all month long.

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.


One of the most inspirational speakers I ever heard was Barbara Barrington Jones. At the time she was a former ballerina, age 66, and looked quite young and energetic. As part of her speech she held out a long piece of string. She said (I'm paraphrasing this), "Imagine that this is your life. The average woman lives to be about 88 years old. Divide the string in half. There you are at age 44, raising a family, having a career, making decisions for the rest of your life. Halve the string again. At age 22 you are getting an education, making decisions whether to marry, have a family, where to live, what to do, looking toward the future.  Now look at the last fourth of the string. Here you are at age 66, with 1/4 of your life still ahead of you. Are you going to retire, rest on your laurels, say life is over, I'm too old, you can't teach an old dog new tricks?  Don't give up! You still have one fourth of your life ahead of you, with endless possibilities. Grandma Moses learned to paint in her 70s. (It was hard for her to embroider because of arthritis in her hands.) This is the time to think of learning new skills, get a new hobby or interest." Looking at it this way, I still have a quarter of my life left. Who knows what I might accomplish now?


Taken from Debbie Tenzer's Do One Nice Thing Newsletter
Many people jokingly complain that they have "nothing to wear," but for premature babies this is literally true. They are so tiny that few clothes fit them. This is one more concern for their families who have already been through so much.

Every two minutes, a low birth-weight baby is born. Stitches from the Heart sends knit booties, sweaters, blankets and hats for preemies at 1,400 hospitals, free. Here's a grateful message from a grandma:

"Dear Stitches from the Heart Volunteers,
One of your precious hats was given to my granddaughter. She was two months premature, weighing just 3 lbs., 11 oz. I am familiar with "Stitches" because I teach needle arts, and some of my students donate blankets and hats. I never expected to be a recipient of one of those precious hats. Thank you, stitching angels." - Susan

Can you knit or donate some yarn? You will make a huge difference to a baby and her/his family. Donations of knitting needles, crochet hooks, and knitting looms are also greatly appreciated for Stitches' Senior Program, enabling seniors to knit too. A donation to cover shipping would also be wonderful.

How to Help: Click for knitting information, free patterns, mailing address, and to donate online. Also, you can knit items and take them to your local hospital.


Q:  What were the first words ever spoken on the telephone?

A:  The first telephone call was on March 10, 1876. Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, called his assistant, Thomas Watson, who was in another room: "Mr. Watson - come here - I want (need) to see you." These words were spoken after Alexander Graham Bell spilt acid on himself and the equipment he was working on. The acid spill actually completed the chemical reaction needed to transmit his words.
 What would you have said if you knew your words would go down in history?
Congratulations to Caroline Palmer from Chicago Heights, Illinois. 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!


There's a name for that - A fun quiz adapted from Reader's Digest

As a gaggle of geese fly over our home heading south for the winter, and my sister and her husband head for Botswana for a two-year mission for our church where they hopefully won't encounter a pride of lions in the Kalahari Desert, I challenge you to match the following animals with words that define them in a group.

1.      Army                    A.      Apes
2.      Chattering             B.      Butterflies
3.      Dazzle                  C.      Caterpillars
4.      Flamboyance        D.      Chickens
5.      Flutter                   E.      Cobras
6.      Intrusion               F.      Cockroaches
7.      Kindle                  G.      Flamingos
8.      Leap                    H.      Kittens
9.      Mischief                I.      Leopards
10.     Pandemonium       J.      Mice
11.     Parliament             K.      Owls
12.     Quiver                  L.      Parrots
13.     Rhumba               M.      Rattlesnakes
14.     Scurry                  N.      Squirrels
15.     Shrewdness         O.      Zebras

Everyone who emails in the correct answers by December 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 November 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.


I have used various things to add weight to a doll so they can sit or stand. Sand is great. Put it in a sealed bag. I recommend play yard sand sold in a hardware store because any "critters" have been removed and it is sterilized. I have used poly pellets (expensive), aquarium gravel (somewhat expensive), and pea gravel (my favorite - tiny smooth rocks used for walkways, landscaping, etc.). In each case I would encase the weights in a Ziploc or sealed plastic bag. If using a cloth bag for sand line it with plastic or the sand will eventually leak through the fabric and create a mess. For a small doll I have put heavy washers in the feet. For a life-size doll I would go with pea gravel.
Also, many have asked about posing fingers and what armature to use. I use the aluminum 11 gauge sculptor's wire found at Dollmaker's Journey. This can be bent many times without breaking. I use it in all my dolls 18" or taller. It is easy to bend and yet holds its position. For smaller dolls I use chenille stems or pipe cleaners folded in half, with the folded end toward the end of the finger. If you want a doll to stand, for a life-size male doll, try using a PVC pipe up one leg with the end coming out the bottom of the shoe into a stand. For smaller dolls use copper refrigerator pipe up one leg and run armature wire into pipe. For an example see my Miss Independence doll from our Doll for All Seasons series. She stands on one leg with a copper pipe running through it. Her other leg has been positioned many times and has the sculptor's wire in it. Go to and scroll down to July.


Have you ever purchased foaming hand soap and cringed at the price of a refill? I just refilled four 8 ounce foaming soap dispensers at a cost of 3 cents each. You need liquid castile soap to do this, but in my town it is not available, and very expensive if ordered on the internet. I discovered how to make my own using a bar of Castile soap available at my local Wal-Mart.  In searching the internet for more recipes, I also discovered how to make hand dishwashing soap and an all-purpose cleaner, and I taught a class last night to ladies at our church. I thought you might enjoy the recipes I found and tried.

Making Liquid Castile Soap

1 bar of castile soap, grated or finely chopped
2-3/4 cups to 2 quarts (8 cups) boiling filtered water
Put soap in Mason jar. Add boiling water.  Soap ready in about an hour.

Liquid Castile Soap Cleaning Solution

3 Tb. Liquid Castile Soap (see above recipe)
1 quart (4 cups) filtered water
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. Essential Oils (orange, lemon, tea tree oil, lavender,  peppermint, eucalyptus, etc.)
Shake everything together in a repurposed bottle or juice jug and use your premade brew to fill individual spray bottles .

How to Use your Liquid Castile Soap Cleaning Solution
*Household Cleaner:  Add orange essential oil for greasy surfaces or tea tree oil for disinfectant.
* Window and Mirror Cleaner:  Cleans windows and glass without streaking.
*Washing Hands:  Add tea tree oil and spray hands, rub hands together and rinse.  The tea tree serves as
  an effective anti-bacterial and sanitizer.
*Body wash: Add favorite scented oil, spray on washcloth and rub over body. For extra moisture add
  vitamin E oil or olive oil to spray bottle. Rinse clean. Mark bottle "body wash." 
*Facial cleaner/facial wipes:  Add lavender oil to solution, spray on washcloth and use to clean off every
  bit of makeup, even mascara. Your face will feel nice and soft afterward
*Eyeglass Cleaner:  This  will make your eyeglasses sparkle.  It won't hurt transition lenses.
*Clean fruits and veggies:  Spay and wipe to remove gems and pesticides from non-organic produce.
*Doggie Shampoo: Add peppermint and lavender to cleaning solution (NEVER use Tea Tree Oil!) Wet
  dog, then spray with cleaning solution.
*Clean Your Shoes:  Spray and scrub. 
*Clean Makeup Brushes:  Spray your brushes every few days then wipe clean with microfiber cloth. 
*Dusting Spray:  Works on wood furniture,  iPad and laptop screens (spray on cloth and wipe screen)
*Homemade baby wipes: Add tea tree oil. Use for changing diapers, wipe hands and faces, clean spots
  of spit-up, etc.

Foaming Hand Wash Soap

Put 2 Tb. liquid castile soap into 8 oz. foaming soap container. Add 1/4 tsp fractionated coconut oil or olive oil (optional) for softer skin. Add essential oil. (My favorites are 5 drops peppermint and 5 drops Melaleuca OR 10 drops On Guard - good for colds and flu, or 5 drops Melaleuca and 5 drops lemon.) Fill container with water. Add spray pump.

Natural Liquid Dish Soap

1-3/4 cup boiling water
1 Tb. borax
1Tb. grated bar soap (use Castile, Ivory, homemade, or any other natural bar soap)
15-20 drops essential oils, optional

Heat water to boiling. Combine borax and grated bar soap in medium bowl. Pour hot water over mixture. Whisk until the grated soap is completely melted. Allow mixture to cool on countertop for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally. Dish soap will gel upon standing. Transfer to a squirt bottle and add essential oils (if using). Shake well to combine. Now you are ready to use your liquid dish soap just as you would use any commercial brand.

Homemade Natural Dish Soap
An all-natural, homemade dish soap that works just like the real thing! Suds up nicely, cleans well, and rinses off without any residue.

1-1/4 cups boiling water
1/4 cup (tightly packed) castile bar soap, grated
1 tablespoon washing soda (use a little more for a thicker soap)
1/4 cup liquid castile soap
10-30 drops essential oils (optional:  I use 20 drops orange or lemon and 10 drops tea tree)

Add grated castile soap to boiling water and stir until dissolved.
Add washing soda and stir.
Add liquid castile soap and stir.
Let mixture cool, then add essential oils.
Transfer to repurposed soap dispenser and use as regular dish soap.

Notes:  Soap mixture will harden as it sets. If it's too thick to pour, just add a tiny bit of warm water and give it a good shake to loosen it up.
The amount of washing soda you use will dictate how thick the soap gets, so adjust accordingly. The temperature of your kitchen is also a factor.

Homemade Liquid Dish Soap

1-1/2 cups boiling water
1 Tb shredded bar soap (i.e. Castile, Ivory or homemade simple soap) OR 1/2 cup liquid castile soap
1 Tb white vinegar
1 Tb Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
1/8 tsp tea tree oil or other oil of your choice (optional)

Combine all ingredients except water into large bowl and then pour in 1-1/2 cups very hot water. Be sure to whisk/stir this mixture until all ingredients are thoroughly blended (and the bar soap is melted). Allow mixture to cool completely on the counter for approximately 8 hours. Stir occasionally. Store in any soap dispensing bottle and use as you would the commercial brands.
Note: You may choose to naturally increase the anti-bacterial qualities of the soap by adding 1/4 tsp lemon, sweet orange, lemongrass, lavender or eucalyptus essential oils.


The Hoffman Challenge has just announced their challenge fabric for 2014. You can see it with 10 coordinating fabrics here:
For more information on the Hoffman Challenge rules and deadlines go here:


July 13-17, 2014 - 27th Annual National Doll & Toy Festival (NDTF)
Pavilion of the Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk Hotel
111 E. Pecan Street, San Antonio, Texas 78205
For more information go to their website and click on download for invitation
Or contact Rowbear Lowman     Email:    (831) 438-5349 phone

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


Make a memory book about the dolls you have created. Tell their stories with pictures and words. Here is a special website that tells you how.


Australia's MICHELLE MUNZONE treats us to three terrific holiday patterns from quick and easy to elaborate - "Joyful Jollies," "Poppins Cone Puppets" and the very enchanting "Pippa & Oliver the Toymaker Elves." -

"Folk Art Santas" and "Snowfolk" by GINNY LETTORALE will make wonderful additions to your holiday decor -

If you are looking to make delightful ornaments then you'll love "Gingerbread Tree Candy" by GINI SIMPSON -

SUSAN WALKER'S "Misty the Fortune Teller" has a charm all its own -

There are always squeals of delight at Dollmakers Journey whenever we receive a new pattern by New Zealand's beloved JILL MAAS. Come meet Lizzie - she's quite the sassy gal! -

LAURA HAKES treats us to two charming seasonal patterns - "Holiday Rocking Horse Door Hanger" and a snowman and rodent duo called "Occupied til Spring." -


Snowmen can be made from PLUSH FELT and we now have 4 new colors of this easy to use fabric - Vanilla, Chocolate, Honey and Jet Black. We've also added a SHAGGY FELT in Walnut - so perfect for comfy bears. Stop by and check them out. -

"Fire Orange" is our newest color of Tibetan Lamb. It is as close as we could get to the hair of the title character Merida in the movie "Brave" and we just love it!


Q:  If I make some dolls and someone wants to purchase them can I retail it? Craft shows in NJ are few and far between (sadly) so I wouldn't do that. However is it possible to make a doll and also sell it online?
A:  We try and sell only patterns on Dollmaker's Journey that you can use, make a doll, and sell it. Some designers limit you to a certain number of dolls a year, but you may sell dolls on Etsy, EBay, craft shows, etc. Just make sure on the sales tag you state "Name of doll created by your name designed by designer's name." Never state OOAK (One of a kind) on the tag unless the doll is the only one, created from scratch by you and will never be made just like that one again.

Bonnie has been busy compiling family history books for Christmas presents. She is also crocheting and knitting snowmen and snow ladies to cover 1 quart cookie jars. (This is the closest she has come to dolls this month.) She has to finish 10 by Christmas and fill them with homemade cookies. She is expecting 41 people for Thanksgiving dinner next week. Children are coming from Massachusetts, Virginia, West Virginia, California, and Texas. On December 1st her newest grandson will be blessed at a church in Virginia (similar to a christening). She is also teaching Primary children three Christmas songs to sing at a church Christmas party on December 6 and two more to sing at the Christmas service on December 21. (They also sang 10 songs she taught them for a special church service in November.) Maybe she can relax next year!

Mary Ann is toiling away trying her best to get resettled in her new home but having to be out of town 3 weekends in a row is making the task quite challenging.  One weekend she and her daughter Ana flew out to California to visit her son Michael and his beautiful wife Kyah and their dear children Kainoa (3-1/2) and Nakoalani (15 mos.) Mary Ann managed to make a "Reggie the Robot" for Kainoa that was a big hit. The family spent a beautiful Saturday at an Apple Festival that included a fun corn maze, animal petting, a train ride around a lake and Kainoa got his face painted like a lion.  Grammy was exhausted! As she works to re-establish her studio in a new space her mind is overflowing with items she would love to make out of her sizeable stash.  So many ideas and so few hours in the day!


This link shows how delightfully creative parents can be. These people are truly inspired!

Barb Keeling wrote a fun story about roller skating at
A slide show flows by when this opens and wait until you see some Roller Derby ladies and click on that pic. Her story is there. The  utube thing at the end and a link isn't part of her story.

Where in the world is Matt? He has people dancing all around the world

Are you tired all the time? You may have adrenal fatigue. My daughter Amy just graduated from medical school and sent me this very interesting link.

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

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

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