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: http://www.dollmakersjourney.com/
This issue of Customer Connection Newsletter is a combined
May/June issue because Bonnie is going to be gone the
month of June. Her family is driving out west for a
wedding in California,
to help her Mom in Utah
who fell and broke her shoulder, and to bring her daughter
to BYU Idaho where she will attend college the end of
June. (Amy graduated from High School on May 30th.)
She will return just in time to speak with Mary Ann
at the Central Penn Doll Collectors "Hat Happening"
Luncheon in Hershey,
Pennsylvania on the
28th, and then she is off to Boston
to help her daughter who is expecting their third child
July 1st. The next issue of Customer Connection
will be sent sometime in July after she returns from
Mary Ann and Bonnie
out of school?Nothing to do? Spark your summer creativity by entering one
of these challenges.
Summer Dreams Challenge was created by one of our designers,
Patti LaValley. Dolls will be on display at the Western
Washington Fairgrounds in Puyallup,
Washington from 6/28/03 to 6/29/03. To learn more and print entry forms go to: http://www.dolls4all.com
Pictures of dolls will be submitted to Soft Dolls and
July 18-21, 2003 - NIADA
Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans,
NIADA Artist's Show & Sale open to public July 20th
For more information: http://www.niada.org/index2.html
2003 - C3 - The Classic Cloth Conference
Courtyard by Marriott and GrapponeConferenceCenter,
For catalog contact firstname.lastname@example.org
OR call 603-226-4501
OR access C3 catalog at: www.aadadoll.org
(Adobe Acrobat format)
October 2-5, 2003 - Camp Doll U Kent, Washington
For brochure send $3 to: Two Friends LLC, 2423
SE 322nd St, Kent,
OR visit the web site: http://www.dollu.com
October 29-November 2, 2003 - Houston
Quilt Festival Houston, Texas
Jewel of the Gypsy Challenge on display there March 17-21,
2004 - Kansas City
Doll Fair ~ the Art of the Doll ~ Kansas City, Kansas
For more information: http://www.kcdollfair.com
Noreen Crone-Findlay has all kinds of finger puppets
and crafts, including a cornstarch clay recipe, a little
loom, some origami projects and other fun things perfect
to keep your little ones happy this summer. Check them
out at: http://www.crone-findlay.com
NOW WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT? - BEAD TIP
You still can use the vacuum cleaner to pick up your
beads, but first, put an old stocking over the end of
the suction tube & use a rubber band to hold it
in place (make sure it's tight) allowing you to still
suck those little beads up but they stay right on the
end of the stocking until you turn the machine off and
put them into your container. Kelsey Perth, Western
PERFECT DOLL SHOES
By Bonnie B. Lewis
Mary Ann and I wrote a book on how to make over 100
different shoes to fit any doll or bear. It is called
"Creating Fabulous Footwear for Fantastic Dolls."
Included in Chapter 5 are ideas to create sports, running,
tennis, and soccer shoes. This book was published in
1998, and since then we have come up with more ideas
for shoes. Here are some updates to try:
Use the directions in our book to create the basic
shoe, but try making the sole from Rubbermaid shelf
liner (this is a non-skid rubbery webbed design, not
paper, that comes in different colors and textures),
or use fun foam or leather run through a paper crimper
(found at a scrapbook store) to create a ridged sole.
If using leather wet it first before crimping. We suggest
in our book using a mouse pad inner sole (or several
layers of fun foam glued together) and even cutting
up a plastic doormat to create spikes for soccer shoes.
Try using a truck inner tube (used, of course) or a
thick bicycle inner tube for the sole (you may need
several layers - use Rubber Cement to glue them together).
You can also use an old bicycle tire. Try painting
the sole and edge of the shoe with latex mold-making
compound (found at craft stores) or Plastidip (used
to dip tool handles found at hardware stores). You
can dye the latex with Rit liquid dye before using if
you want colored soles. This can be textured after
a skin forms and before it hardens completely. Check
out the rubber kitchen gloves used for washing dishes.
Some of them have great grip patterns, and can be used
to cover the edge of the sole also. We have also tried
rubber balloons cut into thin sections and stretched
around the edge of the shoe. You can also find rubber
sheets at stamping and scrapbook stores. Basically
you will create a thick sole, cover the edge with rubber
(from gloves, vinyl fabric, balloons, or painted latex).
Glue the shoe to the inner sole and add the thick outer
sole. Of course, complete directions are in our shoe
book. Don't forget, we also carry grommets in three
sizes for perfect shoe eyelets, and we now have directions
on our website on how to use them.
Fabric shoe heels:
Many people have asked how to make a high heel shoe
out of fabric where the heel is firm. If the doll sits,
stuffing the heel with Fiberfil works O.K., but if the
doll stands you need more support. I have inserted
a wooden dowel into the heel, and stuffed around it.
My favorite technique is to fill the heel with paperclay
or air-drying clay and then finish the shoe. If the
shoe is part of the foot (i.e. shoe is painted onto
foot) I fill the heel with paperclay, finish stuffing
the foot with Fiberfil, and then put several layers
of gesso on the shoe portion of the foot. This stiffens
the shoe. Sand the gesso between layers for a smooth
finish, and the paint and seal. If the top of the shoe
doesn't have a perfectly smooth line, you can cover
multitudes of problems with tiny trim or gimp glued
around the top edge. It also makes a shoe look more
professional if you glue on a leather sole and heel
Best glue for leather:
Mary Ann and I did a lot of experiments with different
glues when we wrote our shoemaking book, "Creating
Fabulous Footwear for Fantastic Dolls" and we found
Leather Weld by Tandy or Leather and Suede Glue by Aleene's
works the best for leather. I would recommend you apply
it with a toothpick, let it set for a few minutes, and
then press up the hem. It holds fairly quickly and
does not seem to seep through the leather. This is
what we use for all the leather soles and heels on the
doll shoes we make. It also works well on vinyl.
Tiny shoe clamps:
Getting the shoe gathers glued to the inner sole without
puckers takes patience, but it is possible. We love
miniature clothespins, and use them in our classes.
I used to get them at CR's Crafts (http://crscrafts.com),
but every time we see them in a toy store or craft store
we buy some more. I also find paper clips work well
around the toe end (you can get some really tiny ones).
You'll marvel at BRENDA COULTER's use of beads for
both construction and embellishment
in her "Eternal Love & Joy" pattern -
a fantasy mother, baby, and
baby carriage you're sure to enjoy. http://dollmakersjourney.com/coulter.html
The talented JACQUE UETZ has released a variety of
wonderful new patterns including two alternate bodies
for her very versatile "Maggie Rose" press
mold. You're just going to love "Annie", Jacque's
special interpretation of that famous character, and
the very colorful "Jilly
Jester." Made with vintage
linens, "Sweet Pea and Her Doll" is a precious
alternate body for the "Pharia Jester" press
mold. Gessoing and painting the face, arms and legs
of her new baby doll "Rosebud" will produce
the look of an old fashioned bisque doll. We know you
are going to enjoy all of these exciting projects! http://dollmakersjourney.com/friends.html
We're delighted to be adding three new patterns from
SHERRY GOSHON. "Lil Bag 2" is the perfect
size for carrying your passport and credit cards as
you travel. Two new Wall Dolls - "Azalea"
and "DyeLylia" focus on dyeing techniques
for the various materials and trims. Stop by and check
out these wonderful new projects.
KAREN SHIFTON has released her "Pursonified"
which includes a Sling Purse and Neck Pouch in the same
pattern. You'll enjoy learning how to make the exquisite
faces as you create these terrific bags with a wide
variety of materials. http://dollmakersjourney.com/shifton.html
Australian designer MICHELLE MUNZONE has added three
wonderful new patterns to her
rich collection of cloth characters. Stop by and take
a peek at her serene wizard "Dante," bead-jointed
elf "Krispen" and her grandly costumed "Puss
N' Boots." http://dollmakersjourney.com/munzone.html
Dollmaker's Journey is excited to bring you seven new
patterns by the ever popular
MARY TRESSLER, including "Creola", "Vanya",
and "Cabaret" - three exotic
dancers; "Rosalia" - a fiery Latin beauty;
showgirls "Topaz" and "Maisy", the first in a series
of Ladies with Hats; and "Esmerelda", featuring a fascinating
internal body sculpt for more position options. Prepare
to be blown away at http://dollmakersjourney.com/tressler.html
We also have a new book, "Designing a Doll and
Making Faces Inspiration" by PAMELA HASTINGS. This
60-page book includes many pictures and inspirations
to help you design your own doll. Included is a photo
transfer on fabric so you can make one of Pamela's patterns
and a full color gallery of some of her dolls. As you
read you will be given a set of exercises to complete
which will help spark your creativity in diverse areas
such as shape, color, theme, found objects, pattern
design, construction techniques, etc. Treat yourself
to this very special addition to your dollmaking library
Q: Have you seen the article from the NY Times, dated
18 February 01, about a NY doll collector, Andrea Levitt?
The story captures the passion of a "collector"
along with the fascination
(obsession) with which many of us relate to textiles.
You can read it at: http://www.dollsandcrafts.com/press_nytimes2-18-01.html
A: Thank you so much for sharing the wonderful article
and site. Barbara Schoenoff is one of our designers,
I recognized dolls made from Meo Feroy's patterns and
Shirley Nigro-Hill was in our class at We Folk of Cloth.
Q: Somewhere months ago I saw a teddy bear made of
beads. As I am a bear maker I would love to see the
pattern again. Susanne
A: I found a cute pattern for a beaded teddy bear made
from Pony Beads at: http://familycrafts.about.com/cs/bearcrafts/
They also have two cute beaded bears made on safety
pins. Also, when in doubt, go to my favorite search
Under the search box enter "beaded teddy bear pattern"
and you will see lots of other patterns to try. Have
I first heard about Crystal Lacquer when we taught
a class in Montana
with Anne Marie Brombal. She uses it for all her dolls,
and because it is so thick the buildup on eyeballs looks
quite realistic. She also uses it for long fingernails,
and she told us we absolutely had to start selling it
on our site. I know Barb Keeling highly recommends
it, and even sells it in different colors. Crystal Lacquer
was originally designed for scrapbooks, and it is archivally
safe. Therefore, I don't believe it will turn yellow
with age. However, since it has only been available
for several years, there are no dolls
that have aged sufficiently to be sure that is
true. I do know that if you use clear nail polish (remember
the Cabbage Patch craze?) it doesn't stay clear forever.
I made over 100 soft sculpt dolls when my children were
little, and their eyes have turned slightly yellow over
NEWS FROM THE HOME FRONT
Flavia, one of our readers, wrote--Greetings and happy
nesting to you both. I do read the newsletter so I keep
up with your current nesting adventures. The picture
in my mind is of birds in early spring, building a nest
by moving things to one location from a number of different
locations and getting it all to fit together in the
appropriate formation. You have it over the birds in
that you can improvise a lot and still be successful.
The birds discovered Bonnie's outdoor grill just before
she moved, and decided to build a nest. No matter how
the grill was covered or how often the nesting materials
were removed, they kept finding ways to get inside.
The only solution was to move the grill to her new home.
She really does feel like a bird sometimes, building
a nest as she opens a multitude of boxes. One is really
scary - It is labeled "dirty clothes from basement."
Since it hasn't been opened in over a year, she can't
wait to see what is inside. LOL Now every time she
opens a new box she thinks of Flavia and her "nesting"
Mary Ann actually managed to sneak out of town for
several days in early May. Each year a group of women
that have also lived in the Philippines
have a little reunion in various cities around the US.
Last year they marveled at the beauty of Chicago
and this year they discovered the delights of San
Francisco and the NapaValley.
Picture spending an entire day in
a 15-passenger van with women who have toured and tasted
at three amazing wineries. The rollicking laughter
on the way home was incredibly therapeutic for everyone.
MAK went a day early and stayed an extra day to spend
time with her closest friend Judy Wright who was the
organizer. It was a wonderful treat after the grind
of moving over the past several months. Next year the
ladies will convene in Houston.
Now, at long last, she is hard at work sorting through
the last bits of buttons and trims and will soon have
her sewing room/studio up and running again.
We'd love to hear your thoughts about our Customer
Contact the editor Bonnie B. Lewis at enchantedR@aol.com
with any comments, suggestions, address changes, etc.
Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to any
friends. Help us spread the word about Dollmaker's
Journey! All we ask is that you forward it intact, with
the subscription information included.