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Dollmaker's Journey

January 2004 Issue 29

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

January 2004 Issue 29


Copyright 2004 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,

Here in the northeast the weather outside is frightful (16 degrees F today, with high winds). Saturday we received 8" of snow, and today we got another foot and it is still snowing! It's a good day to stay inside and reflect on the many friends Mary Ann and I have made since we began our doll making journey together back in 1998. We marvel at how our skills have grown through daily interaction with so many wildly creative, grown-up dollmakers across the globe that still love to play dolls!

One of our favorite dollmaking friends, a member of our Doll Bee and a Dollmaker's Journey designer is Joann Law. Joann was recently diagnosed with leukemia and is currently hospitalized while she receives some heavy-duty treatment. If you would like to send Joann a card or an e-mail (her husband dutifully brings the laptop to the hospital each day) she can be reached at:
3022 North Florida Street
Arlington , VA 22207-1808

January is always a great time to start new projects. Challenge yourself a little by trying a new technique or better yet, make a doll that is totally opposite of the style you generally prefer. You will be amazed at how it will spark your creative juices.

We are so happy to be on this wonderful dollmaking journey with all of you!

Mary Ann and Bonnie



You only have a few more days to save 20% OFF a fabulous selection of patterns
from our January Designers of the Month - CLAIRE-ELLEN and MICHELLE MUNZONE! See their patterns at: and



reasures of the Gypsy Challenge 2004 Every year Pamela Armas has a challenge. You send her $15.00 and she will mail you a packet with pieces of wonderful fabric, trims and embellishments which you must use to create a doll based on that year's theme. These dolls will be displayed at the Houston Quilt Festival. To see pictures of some of the 2003 dolls and get more information, go to
To receive a trim package email Pamela at:

Sherry Goshon, one of our designers, has a 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:



We are delighted to be welcoming another talented Australian designer to our Dollmaker's Journey family. DI MC DONALD is well known for her contributions to the cloth doll world and for her exciting and colorful characters. Stop by and take a peek at some of our favorites - "Emmy", "Angie", "Cassandra" and the "Extravagant Angel."



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

April 10, 2004 - Cheryl Leone's Tea Party - 1 - 4 PM
West Deptford , New Jersey
Donations for a raffle to help a local homeless shelter are being accepted now.
For details email Cheryl at:

April 23 - 25, 2004 - Eclectic Master Class Symposium
Columbus , Ohio
Create independent art works in Mixed media and 3-D fiber. 
For more information check out:

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

June 24 - 27, 2004 - Enchanted Doll Artist Conference
Albuquerque , New Mexico (Albuquerque Hotel)
For more information visit:

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:



JANE HOUCK, one of our designers, has created a wonderful free pattern for a flying fairy.

See more of Jane's patterns at:

Anyone who owns the Missus C pattern by DEV VALLENCOURT should download the alternate arm and leg patterns she created. The doll was originally designed with straight legs and short, pudgy arms.  The alternate leg is bent so she can sit in a chair and the alternate arm is just slightly longer and has longer fingers (so she could sew and hold a quilt).

You can see Missus C's companion, A Right Jolly Old Elf, at:



A few weeks ago one of my students showed up to my workshop with a battery operated pencil sharpener. It was wonderfully strong and sharpened the colored pencils so fast. It's small too - 5-1/2" long, 1-1/2" wide and 3" tall. The brand name is Panasonic  and model #KP-4A "Designer Series" It uses 4 double A batteries and cost under $20.00 US currency.   After trying out my student's in class I went off on a mission and purchased one at a good office supply store. I plan to bring it with me when I am teaching and / or taking classes myself. YUP, I will always be a student as well as teacher so that I can keep growing and learning too. Marcia Acker-Missall

(You can see some of Marcia's dolls at:



By Bonnie B. Lewis

In December we introduced a wonderful invention we found at a Sewing Expo called the Iron Shoe. This is a space age cover you put on your iron that enables you to iron anything with no scorching, burning, or sticking. Using the same temperature (high) you can iron sequins, puff paint, wool, cotton, lame, tulle, lace, etc. and nothing sticks.

One thing I enjoy about writing this newsletter is the great feedback we get from our customers. Susan Rodesky from Ontario , Canada , wrote the following:

"I just wanted to give you some information about your newest purchase, the "iron shoe" as you call it.  I purchased one about 2 years ago at a sewing show.  I thought it was marvelous until several weeks later when I took it off of my very expensive iron.  The Teflon soleplate was ruined!  It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you remove the cover often to clean both the inside of it and the bottom of your iron.  If it's left on for long periods of time, the damage cannot be reversed."

I am so grateful for Susan's letter. I immediately checked my iron, and sure enough, residue had begun collecting on the bottom of my iron. Cleaning off the Iron Shoe is very easy. Just wipe it off with a damp cloth. Nothing sticks to it, although stuff can get through the steam holes and onto your iron. So here are some tips on cleaning your iron.

  1. My favorite one is from my Grandmother. If you have an iron with a metal plate that is NOT Teflon coated, try the following. Place a brown paper bag on your ironing board. Sprinkle about ½ cup plain salt on it. Turn iron on high (no steam) and iron over the salt until it turns brown. The salt acts like sandpaper and removes all sticky and unwanted residues from the bottom of your iron.
  2. Wipe the bottom of the iron with a cloth soaked in white vinegar. You can also use a vinegar impregnated cloth to create permanent creases in wool, etc. DO NOT try this with apple cider vinegar, just WHITE.
  3. There is a product in your cleaning department called Goo Gone that removes sticky stuff off all kinds of surfaces. Just be sure and wipe the bottom of the iron with a clean wet cloth to remove any residue.
  4. To remove wax and fusible web try heating the iron and ironing on paper towels or old dish towels. By the way, this also works if you spill hot wax on the carpet. Just cover the wax with white paper towels and iron, repeating with new paper towels until no more wax soaks into the paper.
  5. Buy a commercial iron cleaner (available at Wal-Mart and Joann's Fabrics. One brand is called Clean & Glide by Stacy Industries. Just follow directions. Some wipe on and some spray on.
  6. One of the most unusual ideas came from an online doll club. They suggested using "Bounce" fabric softener dryer sheets to clean the bottom of your iron. Just slide your hot iron over the sheet and it will be magically clean. She accidentally ironed over a pin with a plastic top and this method cleaned the plastic off totally.
  7. To shine the bottom of your iron, try ironing over a piece of waxed paper.

So when something sticks to the bottom of your iron, try removing it before you give up and throw the iron away. If you have purchased an Iron Shoe, make sure you clean the iron periodically. I would love some feedback on this. Let me know what works for you.



Two more tantalizing patterns from BECKY HOLLOWAY top our list of new items. "Garden Party" - a truly lovely wall doll and the African beauty "Hattie." Be sure to check our entire collection of patterns from this wonderful designer.

That zany JANE COUGHLAN is at it again. Wait until you see her amazing "Pete's Truck!" It's sure to delight children of all ages.

CYNDY SIEVING'S whimsical "Izzy" is so easy to make and even more fun to embellish.

LYNNE BUTCHER is taking her designs off in a whole new direction with her
two, very unique, new wall dolls - "Ole - the Dancing Violin" and the very
colorful "Tribal Angel." Check out these great new patterns at

We're always pleased to add another MARY TRESSLER pattern to the site. Check out her latest - the very lovely "Buxom Beauty."

LI HERTZI recently moved to California and she's back in the design saddle
again with her wildly colorful dancing cowgirl "Lilly."

We're always happy to bring you more creative treats from that dynamic
designing duo - DOUG & BARB KEELING. We now have "Mrs. Thompson" with her wonderful Yoyo coat along with new double patterns "The Two of Us" and
"Best Friends." The Keeling's color face painting/shading sheets are the

Boudoir dolls are all the rage and we have an absolutely delicious new one
from BARBARA SCHOENOFF called "The Morning After" that has the most
fabulous lingerie. Stop by and take a peek



Q: I've been trying to find stuffed animal fur & I can't seem to find it at any local fabric stores near me (the kind I'm looking for anyway). The other day I saw on your website a rabbit that was made with the type of fur I want.

A: The pattern you referred to was Becky Holloway's "Through the Garden Gate".  The pattern just specifies "fur" and doesn't tell you what kind.  Usually inexpensive fake fur is available in the winter months, especially just before Christmas, at most local fabric stores and Wal-Mart.  However, if you want a quality fur, check out mohair available on most teddy bear making sites.  The fur used on the rabbit looks like distressed mohair.  One of my favorite teddy bear shops is Edinburgh Teddy Bears http://www. edinburgh .com/

although their fur tends to be a little expensive.  Also check out Beary Cheap at

If you want more resources, do a search on

Enter Teddy Bear fur supplies and you will get lots of places to check out. 

Q: A friend of mine has a special needs child whose favorite doll's face was destroyed by the family dog.  It is a large cloth doll; the rest of it is intact.  Is there any possibility of purchasing just a cloth face that could be sewn on the doll? 

A: I have covered a doll's face with a new one.  Just draw a face on similar fabric (such as muslin or broadcloth), turn under the outside edge, and appliqué it to the damaged face with the edge of the face underneath the hairline.  You could also put a piece of tracing paper over the damaged doll face and trace the features, which you could then transfer to a new piece of fabric.  This face could be painted, drawn with Pigma pens, or embroidered.  If you are hesitant about drawing your own face, you can purchase iron-on transfers of many different kinds of faces.  To find these (since I am not sure of the dimensions of your doll) do a search at on the internet.  In the search box put "iron-on doll faces" and you will find many companies that sell transfer faces.  Just visit different websites until you find one that is suitable. 



There is a new online magazine just for dollmakers, and best of all, it's free. Check out Cloth Doll Designs Magazine, written by homemakers, moms, dads and kids who make dolls for a hobby.



A local newspaper did a small piece on one of our designers, Patti LaValley. She did not solicit the article, but a reporter came into the shop in Rainier , saw her dolls, and wanted to write about her dollmaking business. Patti was quite pleased with the article, and she received several commissioned dolls from it, plus 3 classes and a talk and trunk show for a sewing group, and best of all, they are actually going to PAY her! She encourages anyone who makes dolls to sell or wants to teach to try and get some local exposure in your newspaper. Here is the article that appeared.

To see some of Patti's dolls, go to:



TINY TURNING TUBES - We're delighted to be offering a TINY TURNING TUBES kit that includes FOUR telescoping turning tubes and one brass rod all custom milled to a satin smooth finish, enabling the doll maker to turn even the tiniest fingers perfectly. Complete directions on how to use them and additional hand making tips are included.

STASH PACKS - THEY'RE BAAAACK! Retiring doll artist CAROLYN PADGETT is still clearing out her incredible collection of heirloom "stuff". She has put together 11 more of her very popular STASH PACKS of antique and vintage lace, fancy fabrics, trims and notions suitable for dolls 15" and smaller. Each box is different, color coordinated with lots of one-of-a-kind items and all contain a surprise or two. Boxes are limited. First come first served. Order them at

BUCKSUEDE - We've just added another color of the bucksuede - Bamboo. Be sure to take a look at our entire selection of this lovely fabric.

SILVER BEADS - Buy silver beads wholesale from India



I have a hint/technique to pass along to anyone who uses Tibetan Lamb or any "real" fur with the skin on for their dolls. My sister, Val, just called with this great idea! She uses a lot of fur trims and also Tibetan lamb for hair. She has been cutting it with little scissors so as not to cut the fur, just the skin...Her scissors were not clipping right at the tip so she grabbed her seam ripper and lo and behold, it just slid right through the skin and cut nary a hair! Dolly Hugs, Judi Ward

(Check out Judi's patterns at:



Bonnie is busy finishing an article for Soft Dolls & Animals. In addition, she is coping with lots of house guests (today 13 people are spending the night), and getting ready for her daughter Bonnie, son-in-law Frank, 16-month old granddaughter and new baby due in March to move in while Frank attends a local college for a year or two. She thought when they moved to West Virginia they could finally retire in peace and quiet. Maybe someday!

Mary Ann has caught the beading bug and can't seem to stop making necklaces. Have you ever noticed how beads breed and multiply at night and migrate all over the house! She's trying to get up the energy to get her studio reorganized after all the Christmas projects so she can start making wonderful new messes. Yep, she's going to get to it any day now..LOL



Inspiration - Beautiful slide show

Couldn't resist for all you EBay lovers

Organize your sewing room - Lots of good tips


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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