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Dollmaker's Journey

June 2001 Issue Two

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June 2001 Issue Two


Copyright ©2001 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 our companion website at:


Dear dollmaker friends,

Welcome to the second issue of our Dollmaker's Journey Customer
Connection newsletter. This month we have new patterns, a tip,
sources, a free pattern on our website and more for your dollmaking
pleasure. Mary Ann has also written a thought provoking article on
"Coloring Outside the Lines" that will have you looking at other types
of dolls in new ways.

As always, our goal is to provide you with an exciting array of
patterns, books and specialized supplies that will stimulate and
challenge your creative spirit, furthering your own personal
Dollmaker's Journey. Please know how much we value your support.

Hope you enjoy this issue!

Mary Ann and Bonnie


TIP - To prevent tiny seam allowances from getting caught in the
sewing machine, take a needle and thread and loop it through the 2
pieces of fabric so that you can pull on it gently to get the fabric
through the machine.


Coloring Outside the Lines

Many of us are drawn to specific styles of dollmaking or using
particular materials. Perhaps we love the challenges of armaturing
and needlesculpting a body or prefer using doesuede rather than a
woven fabric. It may be that we are totally captivated by fairies,
enchanted by trolls and pixies or enthralled by imaginative dragons.
I seem to be drawn to realism, striving to design doll bodies that
closely approximate the human form and proportions.

Recently my cousin Colleen stopped by on a day I had received a supply
of new heritage style patterns from designer Shari Lutz. Colleen's
birthday was approaching and I watched to see which pattern she seemed
to like the most. She easily settled on Shari's "Topsy-Turvey."

I have never been particularly interested in primitive dolls but
decided to give it a go. I can't begin to describe the level of
pleasure I derived from making that doll for her! I happened to have
the perfect fabrics for the blouses and skirts, bits of lace trim for
the collars and locks of mohair for the heads in my stash.

The osnaburg body fabric felt soft and supple in my hands. I had a
ball painting it with coffee to wet the surface, then with paint, then
with water and watching it get all blotchy and old looking. I loved
seeing how quickly the black artist watercolor paint wicked into the
fabric and covered it in one coat. My mind was racing to think of
ways I might incorporate some of these techniques into my own personal
style of dollmaking.

When I am designing a doll, I'm constantly concerned with the
technicalities--how am I going to write and illustrate what I'm doing
so that it will be easily understood by another dollmaker. When I'm
making another designer's pattern--and particularly when I'm trying a
brand new style--my mind is free to soar and luxuriate in the pure
pleasure of dollmaking.

I invite you to step outside the personal boundaries you may have
unknowingly set for yourself and treat yourself to making a doll
totally unlike what you are usually drawn to. I guarantee that the
experience will enrich you and enhance your dollmaking skills in
untold ways.
--Mary Ann


Designer KATHY HAYS' sculptural needle felting "Noggins" class was a
huge success at Crafty College. The next class will be starting in
early July. Dollmaker's Journey is the source for the felting needles
used in the class. When you sign up you will be instructed how you
can order the needles with a special class discount. Check out the
details and see the wonderful pictures at
to sign up for the next class.



If you've ever thought about adorning a doll with a veil you might be
interested in the following tidbits we discovered when we were writing
our book, Creating Heavenly Hats for Discriminating Dolls:

*Veils have been worn since ancient times. They are the only head
covering exclusive to women. Heavy veils create an enigma, signal a
woman is unattainable, and conceal identity.

*Thinner veils create an air of mystery and intrigue, and are alluring
and flirtatious.

*Veils are quite often used in religious groups. Catholic nuns wear a
veil to denote modesty and dedication to God. The Hijab worn by
Islamic women denotes female modesty and reserve, dignity and

*Western women wear veils for significant religious or social events
such as weddings and funerals. The white wedding gown and veil
tradition is only about 100 years old.


The ever-whimsical JANE COUGHLAN delights us with her two newest
patterns. At long last the bodacious Beach Babe trio has the perfect
male companion--"The Beach Bloke"! This contented fellow just loves
relaxing in the sand watching the girls go by.

A totally laid back, fuller figured heavenly creature, "Angel In A
Wreath," gently reminds us to keep smiling and not get too
overwhelmed by holiday commotion.


SUPPLY NEWS from Dollmaker's Journey

One of our best selling gizmos is Mary Thomas's ingenious "An Eye For
An Eye Stencil." A human face is five eye-widths wide. The space
between the eyes should be the width of one eye. The stencil has six
sizes of eyes to work with. You line the center front line of the
stencil up with the center of your doll's face, select the size you
want and draw the eye, then flip the stencil over to the opposite side
of the face to perfectly position the 2nd eye and draw it in. So
simple and easy!



**One of our most popular designers, SYLVIA SCHORR, has opened her
own Starship California website. Stop by and check out Sylvia's
complete line of patterns at

**If you enjoy donating the work of your hands to charitable projects
has the most incredible array of knit, crochet and sewn projects we've
ever seen. You'll find free patterns galore as well as a huge list of
worthy projects!

**We recently discovered dollmaker Lesley Riley's really cool website.
Lesley is mostly known in the cloth doll world as the maker of some
wonderful felt child dolls, but she also has a line of "Fragments" on
her site that are amazing--small art fabric collages that incorporate
words, fabrics and textures. She also has a new set of "Fragments"
dolls that are really interesting. If you haven't been to LaLa's
Land, you should!

And for all you vintage dollmakers, we've recently discovered a few
websites where you can buy vintage fabrics. Check them out!



KATHLEEN CHRISMAN has another beautiful new pattern called "Celeste."
She's an elegant 18" stump doll with several beading techniques
incorporated into her costume, as well as sequins and beads with wired
ribbon sunrays surrounding her detailed face. A close up photo of the
face is included in the pattern.

Not only has SYLVIA SCHORR been busy opening her new website, but she
keeps releasing wonderful new patterns--each one costumed to
perfection. "Little Cheryl" is a very prim and proper 12" little girl
in a beautiful dress and hair bow. At the opposite end of the
spectrum is the 27" of exotic mystery--"Shenna, Queen of the Gypsies."



As many of you know, we are working on another book--Creating Artful
Accessories for Amazing Dolls" or maybe "Creating Amazing Accessories
for Artful Dolls"--we can't get away from that alliteration thing!
Anyway, we'd like to start sharing various projects with you. We'd
certainly love any feedback you'd care to offer. As always, if you
try any of our projects and send us pictures, we'll be happy to
display them and brag about you in the Showcase. Just click on the
link below.



After weeks of daily rehearsals, the eight outstanding performances of
Bonnie's church production of "The Sound of Music" played to sold out
audiences. Bonnie really shone as Sister Sophia. On the night Mary
Ann and her daughter attended they were standing with Bonnie after the
show when Bonnie's son Roger William introduced his date to his
mother. It's not every day you introduce your date to a mother in a
nun's habit! Bonnie made seven nun dolls for various members of the
cast. The rosary beads were so perfect; we'll be featuring them in
another issue.

A week later Bonnie was dashing off to Boston for the birth of her 9th
grandchild and 2nd granddaughter. Miss Alenda Nicole Evans made her
debut on Sunday May 20th at 6 lb. 12 oz. And 19-1/2" born to Bonnie's
daughter Caralee and her husband Mike.

Just a few days after Bonnie's return she received word that her
precious father Fred Babbel had passed away in Utah after a long
battle with Alzheimers. Bonnie had seen him in April and he had had a
moment of clarity and recognized her, which was a tremendous gift.
His family and friends will dearly miss him. Bonnie is spending a few
weeks in Utah supporting and assisting her mother. As always, the
circle of life continues to go round and round.

Mary Ann continues to dig her way out of the piles of boxes in her new
home. She's so excited to have a real Dollmaker's Journey office with
everything together in one room instead of stashed all over the house.
She's thinking of putting a sign on the door that says "Nirvana"!
She needs to get the remainder of the house in order before attacking
the studio space in the basement. She's likely to call that area
"Nirvana II"!

As soon as Bonnie returns they'll be putting the finishing touches on
the hat courses and three more Soft Dolls and Animals articles. No
matter how much life gets in the way they just keep on traveling on
their Dollmaker's Journey.


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

Contact the editor 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. 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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Copyright ©2001 Dollmaker's Journey

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