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Dollmaker's Journey

February 2004 Issue 30

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

February 2004 Issue 30

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,

Congratulations to JoAnn Law, one of our designers, for finally having been "sprung" from the hospital. Carolyn Moore reports that there's still a long road ahead, lots of tests to be done yet (and I get the distinct impression that she's very much sick and tired of those!!), and that she is without much energy, but she's also very definitely glad to be back in her own home and in her own bed. She asks that we keep the prayers going (not out of the woods yet). We would like to thank all of her friends for their support, love and prayers. Joann was absolutely overwhelmed and delighted by all of the messages of support she received from her doll making friends.

Great News for the Doll Making World! Kezi Matthews had authorized Limited Edition printings of several of her original patterns! The first pattern is Hot of The Press! It is
Dollmaker's Angel... 20" Soft Sculpture Kezi Original Doll Pattern. This Limited Edition printing includes a color cover! The pattern includes all the original instructions, pattern pages and Kezi's fine line face transfers! Bonnie used this pattern to enter the Hoffman Challenge several years ago, and her doll won a place in the traveling exhibit. Please note that The Doll Net, Internet Visions Company, is the only source for Kezi's Original patterns. The patterns are limited in number and are being sold on a first come first serve basis. Check her out at

Mary Ann and Bonnie



It’s hard to believe that this is our 5th year of business. For a long time we wanted to focus our site primarily on Art Doll patterns and a few hard-to-find supplies. In an effort to better meet your needs and enable you to experience “One-Stop-Shopping” we are slowly but surely expanding the variety of supplies we carry. PLEASE let us know what other types of supplies we could carry to serve you better by dropping us a note at and we’ll do our very best to comply.



Don't forget to stock up on the wonderful patterns of our Designers of the
Month - LI HERTZI and JUDITH PRIOR - while they are 20% off. This sale ends February 29th.



Treasures 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. To see pictures of some of the 2003 dolls and get more information, go to
Kits containing fabric, trim, and trinkets to use in your Gypsy doll will be mailed beginning in April (cost $15). Dolls (18" or smaller) made for this challenge will be displayed at the Houston Quilt Festival. For more information email her at: or call (505) 847-0963. To receive your kit (which includes shipping instructions), mail a check to: Treasures of the Gypsy, P.O. Box 748, Mountainair, NM 87036.

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:



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 – This tea party has been cancelled, but will resume next year.

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:

July 22 – 25, 2004 - Doll Camp 2004
Meadville, Pennsylvania
For more information visit their website at:

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:



Earrings made from Sculpey in the shape of shoes were featured on the Do It Yourself Network. You could probably use the same ideas and create shoes for your fashion dolls. For instructions and pictures to go:,2025,DIY_13762_2623759,00.html

Check out this free mini tutorial on creating a molded felt or fabric face written by Michele Barrow-Bélisle, one of our customers. She also sells patterns and kits.

Lots of free great crochet patterns on this site:



One of our customers, in response to my article on cleaning irons, sent us this great tip:
Fabric softener sheets are amazing things! The next time you burn something in a sauce pan toss a used sheet in the pan with hot water. Let it sit for ten minutes and the pan will wipe totally clean! Liz De Roche


By Bonnie B. Lewis

We sometimes get questions from customers on what stuffing tools work best, especially if their hands go numb or are arthritic. They also want to know how to take care of rough hands that can snag fabric (especially Dolskin and nylon stockings.) Here are some suggestions off the top of my head.

I too have hand problems, with carpel tunnel and trigger thumb. Our large speedy stuffer works well for most dolls, but won't stuff tiny fingers. I use a combination of hemostats, both sizes of Barbara Willis stuffing forks, and the speedy stuffer (great wooden handle) along with something recommended by Judi Ward, one of our designers. She uses a flat head screwdriver. Just make sure the handle is large enough to grasp easily. You can get screwdrivers with great oval wooden handles that are quite comfortable to use. The advantage of our large speedy stuffer tool is that it has a clawed end that grabs the stuffing and guides it to the proper place. Hemostats do the same thing, but are more difficult to operate if your hands hurt. Some people have the clamp cut off, which makes them easier to operate. Screwdrivers are perfect for guiding a small amount of stuffing into a hard-to-reach place. I have even used chopsticks and pencils (eraser end). And for tiny fingers that have pipe cleaner armatures, Barbara Willis stuffing forks are the only thing that works. I wrap a small amount of stuffing around the forked end, slide it into the finger, and when I remove the fork the stuffing stays put.

As far as hand cream, I have several letters from customers who have tried different things with success. Here is a synopsis of what seems to help:

1. Two great hand creams that seem to help psoriasis, eczema, cracked skin, arthritis, etc. See them at:

2. Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. Rub some on your fingers before going to bed. If you wish, cover your hands with cotton gloves or sport socks so Vaseline doesn't get all over sheets. Just wash your hands first to get moisture on the skin before applying it. Use it after every bath or shower. If you are worried about using a petroleum product, you could also use Crisco or vegetable oil used for cooking. Rub on, and then wipe off.

3. Some brand name lotions people like are: Neutrogena lotion, Avon's Moisture Therapy, Glycerin or Caster Oil on hands overnight protected by cotton gloves, Udderly Smooth (found at fabric stores and

Hope this gives you some ideas. Let me know what works for you.



They've done it again! That dynamic designing duo - MAGGIE BAGGETT and JEANNIE RIGBY - have just released their newest booklet "Draw & Cut & Pin &
Tuck - A Simple Approach to Clothing, Shoes and Accessories." Combining easy techniques, lots of color photos and their humor filled writing style, Maggie and Jeannie are on a mission to help you get all those naked dolls costumed. Another MUST HAVE for every dollmaker's reference library!

Just in from Down Under - DI MC DONALD'S two newest patterns. "Fun, Funky Faces" has 3 traceable 18" faces that make up into fantastic pillows and you'll learn how to make great footwear with her "Trendy Boots and Easy Summer Scuffs." You'll always have fun with a Di McDonald pattern.

BECKY HOLLOWAY'S graceful and beautifully costumed Bride & Groom "Sarah Louise" is now available for all those spring weddings. And to get a jump start on holiday projects, check out "A Gathering of Angels," one of BECKY HOLLWAY'S loveliest patterns, depicting two angels adoring the Christ Child.

CYNTHIA SIEVING'S "Inner Beauty" is an easy to make stump doll that makes a huge impression. The perfect creative exercise for finding and expressing what lies beneath the surface.

We're tickled pink to bring you three more delightful patterns from SAMANTHA GROUT. "Jasmine" and “Angeline” are the sweetest angels and "Katie" will simply
charm your socks off. Treat yourself to a peek!

You'll have fun incorporating all the colors of the rainbow in BUNNY GOODE'S jazzy new fairy pattern "Jewell."

For all you costuming enthusiasts, the amazing CLAIRE-ELLEN has designed yet another exquisite gown for her popular "Ladykins" body pattern. Stop by and take a look at her beautiful "La Mode Gown."

No one produces doll books better than the masterful SUSANNA OROYAN. "Dolls
of the Art Deco Era, 1910-1940" is a wonderful exploration of doll making during this particular era, presenting a rich history along with guidance for collecting and restoring these marvelous figures. Projects include instructions for making several basic dolls, bed-doll dogs and tassel dolls. As always, the collection of photographs is sure to delight and inspire you. Another MUST HAVE book for your reference library!

UTE VASINA'S collection of enchanting troll characters continues to grow with the addition of her newest charmer - "Norman." We know you're going to love him!

You'll get two graceful aboriginal figures - a warrior and a storyteller - in "Dreamtime" by LYNNE BUTCHER. Stop by and take a peek at this and all of Lynne's fantastic patterns.

Australia's MARILYN HALCOMB treats us to "Bracken" another enchanting pixie holding a Stump Work embroidery butterfly. Marilyn's patterns always include fabulous face and body needle sculpting.


Q: Thanks for all the good tips on cleaning the gunk from the bottom of an iron. We live with hard water and I'm trying to remember how to clean the inside of my steam iron. When it first heats up it leaves white mineral deposits on the fabric.

A: I have the same problems with hard water. I try to use distilled water in my iron, but sometimes I am in a hurry or forget. :) Here is how to really clean out your iron:
"If an iron's steam vents become clogged, first clean out the residue in the holes with a stiff wire or a straightened paper clip. Then fill the iron with a solution containing equal parts water and white vinegar. Set the iron on a rack over a broiling pan. Operate it on Steam until it stops steaming; then run it on the highest temperature for a half hour more. To prevent deposit buildups, use only distilled or filtered water in your iron."
This advice was taken from Reader's Digest "How to Do Just About Anything".



In response to a customer request we asked CLAIRE-ELLEN to design Caroler outfits for her “Kins” patterns. She wrote: “Since you are having the same snow and ice we were having earlier this month, I thought you might be amused by my solution. You had asked for Carolers and I was unable and unwilling to navigate the icy hilly wooded roads and found nothing in my stash appropriate, so I cut up a red velvet robe to make the "Kins" dresses. My Doll Club got quite a laugh about this!”
Ed. Note: The length some of our designers will go to create the perfect outfit! We will have FREE instructions for using the “Accoutrement” pattern to make these costumes very soon.

MARCIA ACKER-MISSALL has been invited to teach a series of classes in Australia this summer. They will include cloth art doll making, beading, and surface design workshops. All you ladies who live down under are in for a treat!


BUTTONS and TRIMS: Shelly’s Buttons and More

DOLL PHOTOGRAPHY CLASS: Joe Darin (Jane Darin’s husband) has created a fabulous CD-ROM on "Photographing Three Dimensional Art." For more information email Joe at:



If you live in the United States and buy a pattern from a designer in another country, quite often the measurements will use the metric system. The reverse is also true if you need to convert inches and feet into a metric system. For those of you who are measuring impaired, there is help. The following website is a metric conversion site:

Perhaps you have a measuring tape that has both meters and inches on it - they come in handy. If you get absolutely desperate, you can lay the pattern pieces out on a random piece of fabric and see how much it takes.



It’s snowing again today here in Wonderful, Wild West Virginia. Bonnie wrote a song when she was 16 that expresses her sentiments exactly. She sang it with her sisters (The Babbelettes) in a Barbershop Quartet competition and they won third place. Sing it to the tune of “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”

I’m gazing at a bleak landscape completely covered o’er with snow.
Yesterday was spring like, but with the daylight,
All thoughts of warm weather did go.
I’m gazing at a bleak landscape with snowflakes glistening in the sun.
It’s about time winter was done.
So please springtime, hurry up and come!

Mary Ann is working on Becky Holloway’s graceful wall doll “Garden Party” as a gift for her sister Sharon. This doll has everything – gesso, paint, decoupage and crackle finish – and there’s nothing Mary Ann loves more than making a mess!



Polymer Clay advice

For those Lord of the Ring fans, here are two cloak sites. The cloaks fit real people, but can be adapted to fit dolls.


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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