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Dollmaker's Journey

November 2003 Issue 27

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November 2003 Issue 27
Dream ~ Imagine ~ Create ~ Grow ~ Believe ~ Magic
At we help your creative dreams come true.


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. 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 dollmaker friends,

The holidays are approaching, and everywhere demands are being made on our time and talents. For help during this hectic time check out Fly Lady for her holiday control journal. Go to and click on the Holiday Control Journal. It is free, and hopefully will help you organize things this year so you have more time for the things that are important in your life YOU, your family, friends, and DOLLMAKING. We hope all your projects are finished in a timely manner so you can enjoy this special time of year.

Mary Ann and Bonnie



Don't forget that our November Designers of the Month are BARBARA GRAFF and BRENDA COULTER. Treat yourself to 20% off all of their patterns all month long.



This holiday season try making at least one doll for a Christmas donation to make a sick child smile. Hospitals, rescue workers (police and firemen), and homeless shelters always need toys, and especially this time of year. There are many free patterns on the internet you can use. Check out to see the doll pattern used by Johns Hopkins Children's Center. Go to Sewing Enthusiast, Charity Projects, and Child Doll. You can also use your own pattern. Also check out some of the free patterns on our website at Pompey the Clown would be cute. Just remember these are for a child, so no buttons or things that could come off and cause a child to choke should be used. Write and let us know what you make to give away. We would love to share what you did with our other readers. Write to Put Charity doll in the topic. Thanks for making a child happy this holiday season.



Miss Galaxy 2004 The theme for SYLVIA SCHORR’S Starship California 2004 Miss Galaxy Pageant is ANGELS and Dollmaker’s Journey now has two of the three angel patterns eligible for entry in this exciting annual contest “Renaissance Angel” and “Angel With Polka Dot Wings.” Check out these wonderful patterns at
Photo deadline for entry: on or before Dec. 7th, 2003
Judging begins: Dec. 12th, 2003
Finalists will be announced: Dec. 19th, 2003
The Miss Galaxy Online Challenge 2004: Dec. 21st, 2003 @ 5pm Pacific Time.
The third angel ~The Forest Angel ~ is available exclusively at Crafty College. Check out the website for information regarding this special angel class.

Sherry Goshon, one of our designers, has issued a new challenge entitled “Art Nouveau, 1890-1914 to Art Deco 1920 1930’s.” Pictures need to be sent to Sherry by July 1, 2004. For more details contact Marta Santiago Jimenez at:

Beaded Art Doll Competition: Create an original beaded doll representing the five seasons. You may view Official Rules online at
Or you may obtain a copy of the Official Rules by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to All Dolled Up: Beaded Art Doll Competition, Land of Odds, 522 East Iris Drive, Nashville, TN 37204. Deadline is August 15, 2004.

Hoffman Challenge: The new fabric for 2004 is now on their website. You can see it at:



January 22 25, 2004 Southern Doll Conference
Orlando, Florida
For more information visit:
There are still a few spaces available, but they are going fast

March 17-21, 2004 Kansas City Doll Fair ~ The Art of the Doll ~
Kansas City, Kansas
For more information:

April 29 May 2, 2004 - Canadian Doll Artists Association 5th Annual Conference
Ft. Erie, Ontario (Holiday Inn Ft. Erie - Convention Centre)
For complete details:

October 21 24, 2004 In the Spirit Doll Conference (ITS)
Windsor, Connecticut (Marriott Hotel) (email:
Calico, Etc.,116 Elm Street,Cheshire, CT 06410 ph: 203-272-2443

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



This month we would like to share an article written by one of our designers, Marcia Acker-Missall. It is called “Creating Sumptuous Ribbon Trims”. Because it has a lot of beautiful pictures, we can’t include it in our newsletter, so we are putting it on our website at Check out some of Marcia’s wonderful patterns at:



One of our customers was searching for miniature bow ties to use in her wedding invitations. (See below under Customer Queries.) I suggested that she might want to try and tie her own using a hairpin lace loom available at Wal-Mart and most fabric stores. Here are the directions for a hairpin lace loom bow taken from our hat book.

"Create uniform bows using a hairpin lace loom. You can adjust the width, and then tie the bow around the two straight rods to create bows that won't come untied. Best of all, they are the same width every time. If you don't have a hairpin lace loom, stick two knitting needles or skewers into a block of Styrofoam or oasis. Using this method you can use one-sided ribbon, and the right side will be on both loops, knot, and tail. You can also ask a friend to hold out two fingers and tie your bow around them. For a multi-looped bow, wrap the ribbon around the posts several times before tying the knot."



In the October Newsletter we shared some tips for sewing on Dolskin. Our readers came up with some great suggestions, and I have their permission to share them with you.

I have another tip for sewing on Dolskin. A satin foot! Nothing else works for me!
A satin foot is smooth on the underside. When you look at the bottom of an all-purpose foot you see a groove that pushes or pulls the fabric in certain ways, depending on what the foot is intended to do. The satin foot is designed to glide over fabric and has no ridges. It is completely smooth on the bottom. Most Teflon feet are smooth on the bottom. Most sewing machine companies carry the satin foot as an accessory; it does not usually come with the machine. If I don't have the satin foot in place on my Viking there is absolutely no way I can sew on Dolskin. The stretch needles don't help; neither does the Sewer's Aid, or deli papers. Sincerely, Char Donahue

This is for the customer who was having problems with her industrial Singer sewing machine skipping stitches. Years ago I attended lingerie sewing class and many of us had the same problem of skipped stitches on nylon tricot. Our instructor suggested washing the fabric before sewing,the sizing in the fabric was resisting the stitches. It worked! Possibly this will work on Dolskin as well. Susan

Doe Suede - skipped stitches are indicative of a number of things. The shuttle tension may not be tight enough; regular tension may be too tight to allow for thread, needle may be in backwards. Take a piece of scrap fabric and play with the knobs or touch pads to adjust for ball needles. If all else fails go to and type in the type of machine you have and look for user manual troubleshooting. Julie

Try changing the foot on your sewing machine. I think it is the foot with the smooth bottom. I have a Kenmore machine and it has a special foot for knit. You might try a different thread also. Linda Presley

Skipped stitches - I also learned years ago skipped stitches can be the needle, if it dulls it can skip, if it is the wrong size it can skip. I also learned recently that some of the new threads really mess up in one of my machines. I purchased some needles awhile back at Al-Mart and wondered why I was having problems and happened to lay them down by the old one and it was shorter, the package was the same as the old one but the needles were shorter. I took them back got my money back and now just buy my needles from Home sew. They work the best on my machine. Julia

In talking to the ladies of Dolls Unlimited Club at Old Town Quilts in Keller, Texas they tell me to use sharp pointed needles. Thanks to everyone who gave suggestions to correct my problem. Guess what? I had a combination of them all! I switched to a standard needle, tightened my bobbin tension, placed paper under the fabric (it was going down into the throat plate hole), and changed thread. I am so glad there is so much knowledge and talent accessible to me. Now I can finish my doll!



We are thrilled to announce that two of our talented designers have collaborated on an exciting project - THE WEDDING COLLECTION An enchanting collection of finely detailed costume patterns designed by SYLVIA SCHORR that transform CLAIRE-ELLEN'S Lady kin, Manikin and Kodiak patterns into an exquisite 1914 era bridal

In addition, CLAIRE-ELLEN delights us with a ribbon embroidered 1869 Ball Gown for Slayings which was inspired by Victoria and Albert. We know you are going to fall in love with these breath-taking costumes for these wonderful body patterns. COSTUME AND BODY PATTERNS SOLD SEPARATELY.

Dragon lovers are going to go wild over SUZETTE RUGOLO'S amazing new creature "Drag mar" which is completely pose able. Check it out!

PATTI LAVALLEY does it again with her "Buttercup and Rainbow Fairies" with
wonderfully imaginative embellishments, including a beaded dragonfly.

We have 2 new offerings from PAULA STOKES - "Lulu La rue", a sassy Victorian
bed doll and a fascinating male doll with a very sculptured body called "Tin Man of My Heart" that you have to see to believe.

ALLISON MARANO is treating us to her lovely new muslin fairy "Argon" with a very colorful and easy to make costume.

"Jesse the Jester" is the latest project from JEVNE EILTS. This colorful juggler can be made entirely of cloth or with an optional painted clay mask.

PAMELA HASTINGS has just published a marvelous new book called "Doll making as a Transformative Process." It's 100 pages of pure creative expression with contributions from people such as Sara Austin, Arlinka Blair, Rosie Chapman, Rosie Rojas, Barb Baya, Cody Goodin, and more who have used doll making for personal transformation, healing, changing relationships to changing the world. This book is a treasure for every dollmaker to have on her personal journey.

We have more terrific new patterns from BECKY HOLLOWAY to delight you
- a 17" Nutcracker, a Santa on a fish, a jester with a sculpted paper clay head, "Ivy" a whimsical seated fairy, "Just in Jest" a terrific cloth and clay project, the magnificent "Tale of the Golden Gypsy", and a set of Nativity animals. View these and the rest of Becky's collection at

Speaking of treats - we have another delectable MARY TRESSLER pattern to offer - "Woman With a Basket" - truly an exotic beauty.



Q: I am looking for Wonderful Wings. You mentioned it in the October Newsletter and I cannot get the email that was shown to work. Help!

A: This is an email address to order the book. You use it when you wish to pay with Pay Pal at However, if it doesn’t work, send a check for $16.50 to:
David Holton
24032 Alice Avenue
Lake Forest, CA 92630
California residents have to add $1.24 CA state tax
International buyers need to add $1 US additional

Go to to see Linda Hammons work and learn more about her book.

Q: I am looking for miniature bow ties that I can glue onto my wedding invitations. Do you know where I can get them?

A: You could use pasta bow ties and just paint them, although they may be too bulky and fragile to mail. You can also tie your own bow ties out of narrow ribbon. I have directions for doing this using a hair pin lace loom that makes them all uniform and quick. (See above under tip) I did find the following sites after doing a search on that might also be of interest.

Miniaturebow ties with shirt fronts (also ties)
Great site for lots of things you can make for a wedding
This company sells paper punches in the shape of a bow tie
Here is how to make a simple bow tie for an invitation out of ribbon



Cinnamon Logs

Mary Ann made these for our Doll Bee, and they were so good I wanted to share the recipe. You can make them ahead, freeze them, and pop into the oven for instant holiday appetizers. They are also great to keep in the freezer all year long for a quick treat when guests drop by. Enjoy!

1 loaf cheap white bread remove crusts
8 oz. Cream cheese
1 stick butter melted
cinnamon and sugar to your liking

Flatten each slice of bread with a rolling pin. Spread with cream cheese. Roll up. Dip in melted butter, then roll in mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Place them on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once frozen transfer them to Ziploc bag.
When ready to serve, bake at 350 degrees F. for 10 minutes until brown rolling them over once during the baking.



Slowly but surely we are expanding the supply area of our site. Let us know what items you’d like us to carry to best serve your Doll making needs.

BUCK SUEDE (use like doe suede) - We just got in three bolts of BUCK SUEDE at a terrific price in great ethnic colors and there is more on the way.

HEAD MAGNIFIER WITH LIGHTS Lightweight with multiple magnifying
options that is sure to suit your magnification needs. Fits any head size with Velcro straps. Great for beading projects. Fits over existing glasses. Lights can be turned on or off. Bonnie’s husband was so impressed he stole hers to do Japanese translations. Maybe she needs to get two.

HEMOSTATS You asked, and we now carry them in four sizes, including hard-to-find 12” for stuffing large dolls. (3.5", 6.25", 10" & 12")

CROSS ACTION TWEEZERS These are great for arthritic hands. They open when you squeeze the comfortable wooden handle, close when you let go, and have blunt ends so you won’t poke through fabric when turning or stuffing. Great for holding thread when trying to thread a needle. We're finding a ton of uses for making it a MUST HAVE gizmo for your sewing basket. In fact, because they were blunt Bonnie used it last night to remove some cotton that came off a Q-tip and got stuck in her ear (DON’T ASK! We don’t recommend you try this at home <grin>) Today her 5-year old granddaughter asked for some help in applying tiny sequins and glue to a fabric house she cut out of scraps. She said the sequins kept sticking to her hands. Bonnie let her use these tweezers, and when she tried them she said, “It helps much better.” Out of the mouth of babes if a 5-year old can use them, anyone can!



Say a prayer for Bonnie and her family. Their son Michael gets home from a 2-year mission to Japan for his church on November 20th and they are driving 2,000 miles to Utah on the 21st to attend their son Roger’s wedding in the Manti Temple on November 25th. There have been a lot of snowstorms in the past two weeks, and we just hope the roads are cleared up for their journey. They have to be back by the 30th when Michael talks about his mission at church. Meanwhile, her daughter is in labor as she writes this, and with three tiny children I know she will need help. Fortunately, a wedding reception in Virginia will be December 6th, and by the time the next newsletter comes out in December, Bonnie will have earned a well-needed rest. The 240 nativity dolls are almost finished only 16 more shepherds to go! Thanksgiving dinner will be eaten on the road somewhere in Colorado or Nebraska. Hopefully next year will be a little more normal.

Mary Ann snuck out of town for a few days to support her family while her Dad had his spleen removed. The operation was on Monday, they brought him home Wednesday and on Thursday morning M.A. and her Mom came downstairs to find that he had driven himself to 7:30 mass! Unbelievable. She managed to get several scarves made while waiting at the hospital. Now she’s making some Christmas decorations for Bonnie’s son and new bride as a wedding present. Remember how meager the decorations were the first year!



Fun costume site:

Great gourd sculptures by Patricia C. Boyd: or

Doll Tags - Another source for printable tags and other fun items!


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.

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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