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Dollmaker's Journey

February 2003 Issue Nineteen

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February 2003 Issue Nineteen


Copyright 2003 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,

Many things have happened in the doll world this past month. Cloth doll and toy designer Joan Jansen, of Monterey Park, California, passed away Dec.31st, from cancer. Her patterns appeared in many magazines in the 70's and 80's. Toy Fair in New York City was buried under several feet of snow. Designer Priscilla McDonald's home in Canberra Australia burned to the ground, as did Shirley Nigro-Hill's home in New York. (Shirley taught the vacuum forming doll faces/masks class at We Folk.) If you wish to help, information is under Designer Doings later in this newsletter. There is also an internet alert for someone who stole two dolls, made by Rice Freeman-Zachery and Lesley Jacobs, from an exhibit at the Spruill Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia,. For pictures and more information on who to contact if you see the dolls go to

Mary Ann and Bonnie



Don't forget Sherry Goshon's Art Deco Challenge. For more information email Sherry at:
You can see pictures of Sherry's dolls at:
"Souline", one of Sherry's most recent patterns, would be perfect for this
challenge, and you can see her at:



We are pleased as punch to introduce you to an amazing new designing duo - MAGGIE BAGGETT of Maggie's Baggies and JEANNIE RIGBY of Kaleidoscope. Each of these talented ladies has her own line of imaginative patterns that range from flying frog super heroes to incredible sea serpents and dragons to the most extraordinary turkeys you've ever seen! TOGETHER they have written an exciting series of FIVE How-To-Design booklets that will simply knock your socks off. With their innovative techniques you will learn how to design and armature heads and bodies from scratch, "paint" the faces and apply amazing hair. We're offering a Valentine's Day special from now through the end of the month - purchase all five of Maggie and Jeannie's booklets and we'll take $5 OFF when we receive the order.

We're confident that you are going to enjoy these wonderful new patterns
and booklets as much as we do. Check it all out at



March 8-9, 2003 - Antelope Valley Dolls, Bears & Miniature Show
Lancaster, California
Go to for more information

April 5, 2003 - East Coast Tea Party
West Deptford, New Jersey

April 25-27, 2003 - Calgary Doll Club's 25th Anniversary Celebration
Calgary, Canada
Contact Carol Baker at:
For more information check out:

May 1-4, 2003 - Artistic Figures In Cloth
Columbus, Ohio
To view the brochure/application visit:

May 1-4, 2003 - Canadian Doll Artists Association Conference
Niagara Falls, Ontario
For complete information go to:

July 10-14, 2003 - Enchanted Freedom Conference
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Contact Gladi Alford at: for more information.

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



Check out this wonderful FREE PROJECT from the talented KATE ERBACH - "Germaine the Giraffe" is the sweetest little giraffe you've ever seen - and so easy to make.


TIP FROM DESIGNER CLAIRE-ELLEN - Attractive Hand-sewn Seams

This is a method when you must hand sew a leg, arm, or head to a torso. Use Brown Gel pen for marking seams first. Don't despair; these marks will fade into the seam. If you are working on woven fabric you can finger-press one side under. Use ¼" seam allowance. Pin and adjust a leg (or whatever) to body. When satisfied with position, Brown Gel pen mark stitching line on body to help maintain even line. Use a single strand of matching thread and John James #7 needle. Use very small stitches for neater seams. Note how small the machine stitches are. Secure thread under seam. Take one very small stitch, bring needle and thread straight across to other side and hold down with thumb. This will not only show the exact spot where the needle will enter but will also keep seams even. Continue taking stitches back and forth each side to about the last 1/2". Determine if more or less stuffing is needed before completing. If you have some puckery stitches, pull them out and redo. You'll be happier with results.
You can see Claire-Ellen's patterns at:



Written by Canadian customer Barbara Swain

I do not profess to be an expert by any stretch of my imagination. But I do like my toes on my dolls.

To begin with I usually stuff the foot of a leg just spongy soft (not too firm) up to the point just below the ankle. Place a pin in mid foot matching mid seam top to bottom, just before the part of the leg that goes up to form the ankle. The pin should hold the stuffing in position while you make toes.

Now mark with a pencil or air erasable pen four dots. The first dot will be to the left of the center seam about a fifth of the way up the length of the foot and two thirds the distance over between the middle and the left edge.
Then mark the other three dots, one on center seam and the other two to the right of the middle seam. The other three dots should be about half the length of the left side as they will be the last four little toes on your foot.

Thread up some heavy nylon of upholstery thread and knot it. Go directly down into the first dot to the left of the seam and out the back or bottom of the foot with the thread. Put your needle back thru to the front or top of the foot several threads of the fabric over. Repeat this step until you lock the stitch then pull the thread tight ending with your thread on the bottom. . You should see an indent form in the fabric.

Now insert your needle into the top where you initially entered and out through the bottom where you came out previously. This will wrap the thread around the end of the front of the foot forming the BIG TOE. Lock the stitch ending with your thread on the bottom of the foot.

Next insert your needle from the back or bottom of the foot and come out the front at the second dot on the middle seam. Go back and forth as you did with the big toe until you have locked the stitch ending at the back or bottom of the foot. Then wrap the thread around the end of the foot inserting the needle into the same point at which you began with and exiting out the back. Pull snug and lock the stitch end with the tread coming out the bottom or back of the foot. You should have two toes now. Continue by inserting your needle into the back of the foot of the toe you just made and coming out the next dot over until all toes are made ending with the baby toe. After locking the stitch on this toe. I usually bury my thread by going into the soul off the foot and out the side and snip it.

Remove the pin that was holding the stuffing and continue to stuff the leg. Reverse your marks on the other foot and your stitching order to make the opposite foot. Otherwise you may end up with "my two left feet". Barb Swain Jan. 2003



You've seen her intriguing work in Soft Dolls and Animals and now we have 3 more patterns from the very clever CAROLINE BARNARD. It's very difficult to label her fascinating dolls that feature a variety of interesting techniques - graphic printing, watercolor face painting, appliqued features and much more. Treat yourself to a peek at "Forlorna," "Clementine" and
"The Tiny Trio."

Clever Australian designer BRENDA COULTER has two fascinating new patterns. "Adornicus Temby" is actually an enchanting tree character which can be used for display and "Zoltan & Bakonyi" are an amazing flying dragon and rider. Check out these whimsical
designs at

Popular Australian designer SUZETTE RUGOLO will delight your creative spirit with her magnificent "Oberon - King of the Fairies" who is regally arrayed in painted silk wings.

SHERRY GOSHON has designed a whimsical teapot doll named "Lady Samone" that serves as an alternate body for her mother JACQUE UETZ'S "Maggie Rose" press mold. You're going to love this fun project!



Priscilla McDonald, one of our designers, lost everything when her home burned to the ground in a bushfire in Canberra, Australia. She is renting a home while theirs is being rebuilt.
A fund has been created so that Priscilla can buy a new sewing machine. You may wish to donate as a group or individual by going to this web site:
Her address is: Priscilla McDonald
PO Box 13 Duffy ACT 2611 Australia

If you wish to help Shirley Nigro-Hill (New York) who also lost everything in a recent fire, contact Dawn Moller in Queensland, Australia. Her email is:



Trolley Needle™ Thread Controller - Ease ruffles and ribbons into place. Handy for sewing Chenille By The Inch into tight curves and coils. Slip onto index finger like a thimble, then use the blunt needle tip to position chenille strips. Also works as a stiletto to position trims, ruffles, and seams under the presser foot. Dollmakers are discovering this handy gadget at:

Synthetic Doll Hair - high-quality synthetic doll hair, long curly locks, 8 assorted colors, packed into 4 ft - 12 ft. long tubes, 1 yd. or 4.5 oz. of hair - $5.00. Madame Dorcey of Dorcey Creations (the Doll & Toy Museum, Anaheim, CA) utilized this hair for her dolls. Contact Tisa at for more information.

Paper products and tiny wooden tools -



Free Turning Tool - I bought a new pair of shoes last week and in each shoe was one of those "sticks" that keep the shoe stiff and new looking. There is a little bend in one end of the sticks. These sticks are hollow and make the best ever turning tool and stuffing tool if you are going to fly. The bent end will do an OK job of stuffing and packing down the stuffing while you are on an air flight where the "real" stuffing tools are not allowed. The other end is a great turning tool. You will also need a skewer, use the blunt end to insert in the shoe stick when using it as a turner. I have a "zillion" sizes of turning thingee's but find the shoe sticks are a nice addition and useful doll tool too. ~ Barb Keeling



Just finished a Guardian Granny by Marcia Acker-Missall for our youngest
daughter who is turning 40 next month. Was going to make her in all black
but she refused and became the purple lady (trimmed in chartreuse) with an
outrages red hat. This is the second doll I've made from the pattern, the
first was a tooth fairy for the 5 year old granddaughter, she was pretty funny too!
Sharon in No Calif
You can see this pattern at:



Q: I was wondering how well the instant Grrrip glue works on fun foam. I have recently made a pair of shoes (using information from your footwear class that I took online a long time ago) and used fun foam for the soles but didn't like the results using the glue I was using. Is there
a glue that you recommend for the fun foam?

A: I just tried four different glues on Fun Foam, and here are the results: Aleene's Tacky glue is a joke. No matter how much glue you use, nothing sticks. The same is true for Twice as Tacky Glue. Grrrip glue works if you apply enough time and pressure. It helps if you use the contact method here, where you apply a thin layer of glue to both surfaces, let partially dry, and then stick together. By the way, Grrrip also works on vinyl (and hardly anything will stick to vinyl!) The best glue for Fun Foam is Fabri-Tac. It sticks immediately and dries clear, and excess glue just peels off. I would recommend Grrrip for long-term adhesion, but Fabri-Tac for instant success. Kid projects on the Internet recommend Elmer's White Glue, but usually that is just for topical applications such as adding glitter and sequins, and not for gluing two pieces of Fun Foam together. For further information on what kind of glue to use, try this website:
We carry Grrrip glue at Dollmaker's Journey.



They are calling it the "Blizzard of the Century". Of course, the century is only three years old. It hit the Washington, D.C. area on Saturday night, February 15th, and in West Virginia Bonnie is digging out from over 35 inches of new snow. Government, schools, and even doll clubs have been cancelled due to the weather.

At the moment Mary Ann owns two homes and it's been quite a chore getting them both dug out from the big snowstorm. No sooner did she get the 2nd house dug out, when she returned to the 1st house the snowplow had blocked up the driveway entrance. She doesn't go anywhere without a snow shovel! The moving process is slow but steady. Eventually everything will be reorganized and life will return to some sort of normal - whatever that is!



Help to find the perfect doll or website on the Internet:

All about puppets:

Tons of ideas to create perfect miniatures for dolls:

How to make papier mache by Ronnie Burkett:


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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