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Dollmaker's Journey

March 2004 Issue 31

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

March 2004 Issue 31

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,

It is with great sadness we bid a fond farewell to a wonderful Dollhouse Museum in Washington, D.C. Flora Gill Jacobs has collected dolls for most of her life. They are currently on display at the Washington Dolls’ House and Toy Museum at 5236 – 44th Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20015 (near Chevy Chase, Maryland). Phone 202-244-0024. The museum will be open until May 1, 2004, when it will close forever. All dolls and incredible dollhouses will be auctioned to the public June 19, 2004 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Bethesda, Maryland. Admission is by pre-purchased catalog. The auction preview will be June 15-18. You can learn more about the auction at

The reason I am writing about this is because Flora gave members of the DC doll community a personal tour of her museum. The dolls are incredible, some dating back to Colonial times, and the dollhouses are amazing. There is a huge Spanish hacienda, a colonial mansion, a castle, etc. etc. If there is any chance you might be in the Washington, D.C. area before May 1, I highly recommend you visit this historic museum with its amazing dolls.

By the way, thanks to Liz De Roche for the great tip last month on how to remove burned food from a sauce pan. We had an “abandon all hope” pan that I was ready to toss, so burned that nothing would remove the blackened residue. Instead I put 1” of water in the pan, brought it to a boil, put a used dryer fabric softener sheet in the bottom, and let sit for 20 minutes (I didn’t think 10 minutes would do the trick.) The burned food easily came off with just a light pressure from my fingernail. It was like MAGIC! Liz, you are my friend for life.

Mary Ann and Bonnie



Don't forget to stock up on all the wonderful patterns of our March Designers of the Month - JUDY SKEEL and MARY KOCHEVAR - while they are 20% off. Sale ends March 31, 2004.



ALERT! This project has a deadline of March 31, 2004, so you need to respond quickly.

Pamela Hastings, one of our designers, sent us the following message:

“Christine Adams, who has initiated the postcard project below, is one of the contributors to my latest book, DOLL MAKING AS A TRANSFORMATIVE PROCESS. Although this project involves cards, rather than dolls, I think it could be a
transformative experience for the recipients. We can each change the world by changing ourselves and giving a little to transform others. Thank you, Pamela”

Postcard Project

I am the Artist in Residence in a four-building campus for the elderly. I am also working on a Masters program at Goddard College. I’ve proposed a postcard project as part of my third semester work and I’m asking for your help.
The senior citizens I work with span gender, race, and economic circumstances. The common denominator of many is the lack of outside contact and the fact that they are older citizens. I’ve noticed that cards and pictures are generally posted in resident’s rooms for all to see. The message is, “See, someone, somewhere cares for me!”
I am asking that you make an original postcard, sent to me and labeled “To a friend.” I will distribute these among the residents of the nursing home. The campus I serve has four buildings and nearly one thousand residents.
• I am asking you to create and send a handmade postcard approximately 4” X 6” to me labeled “To a friend” to be distributed to a nursing home resident.
Please send the card on or before March 31, 2004.
• The card may be painted, collaged, in fabric, digitally manipulated, whatever you decide. When making your card remember that older eyes appreciate clear and large lettering.
• Please include your name, address, and email address with your card. I will track the project and provide a report at a later date.
• Because you’ll be sending the above enclosure with your card it is probably wise to use an envelope.
• If you have friends, family, or fellow artists that would like to create a card please encourage them. This is an opportunity to be included in a very special exhibit.
• Before distributing the cards I will exhibit them as a group. The exhibit will be a part of the report.
• The address to use is: To a Friend, c/o Christine Adams, 796 Nelson Street, Rockville, MD 20850. My email is
If you write to me with a question please use “Postcard Project” as your subject.
Thank you to all who chose to participate. With your help I know we can enrich the lives of the recipients.



Myths and Legends: Past, Present and Future
Deadline: August 31, 2004
For information check out
Anne Copeland, 2350 W. 250th St. #14, Lomita, CA 90717, 310-539-5087

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:
For information about the 2004 Hoffman Challenge (deadline August 6, 2004)

2004 Sulky Challenge (deadline July 31, 2004)



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) (this website is still under construction)

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



We have recently updated the SHOWCASE on our website with 13 new photos of the fabulous dolls our customers are creating. It is always a thrill to see the uniqueness of each dollmaker’s vision. Treat yourself to a peek at these wonderful dolls by: Charlene Lowe, Judy Wellnitz, Anita Butler, Sandy Hart, Pat Watson, Natalie Hamade, Beth Rocha, Tina Keenan, Gay Denesse, Cheryl Zehner, Wanda Fortenberry and Shirley Walker.



Free doll projects and information on hair, etc.
They even have a link to our guardian angel doll:

Barbara Johnson shows how to make wigs from all sorts of unlikely things on the Carol Duvall show,,HGTV_3242_1370876,00.html

And if you love teddy bears, there are about 50 free patterns here:



Lots of our customers liked the tips for hand care: Here are some more I received:

To remove all those rough bits of dry skin that make your hands resemble the hook side of Velcro tape, scrub your hands with any facial scrub, be aggressive concentrating on the roughest parts. Rinse with warm water then apply your favorite hand lotion, petroleum jelly, or Shea butter if you want something natural. Also, Mary Kay sells a kit for hands that uses a similar regimen and is very nice. Susan

I have used Bag Balm on my hands, feet, anywhere that gets chapped or dry. It’s the stuff farmers use on cow's udders. It comes in a green can at the feed and seed store. I've also seen it in a few savvy drug stores.

I found that the best thing to use on my cracked fingers is Preparation H. It works great. I get cracks along the nail on the side of thumb and I rub that on and heal it up fast. It also works great for cold sores and anything that needs healing. Also there is a new lotion "invisible glove". Forms a glove on your hands and doesn't feel greasy or slippery. Nancy Jo Hill


By Bonnie B. Lewis

I recently received a letter from Samantha, who is planning to teach a dollmaking class for beginners. She wanted some ideas on what tools to bring, and what to put in a kit, since most of the students would not have access to things dollmakers normally use. Since the class was more than one day, she decided to give each student an inexpensive plastic bin to hold all their tools and supplies. Here are some suggestions I shared with her.

Congratulations on being asked to teach. Mary Ann and I have taught lots of classes, and hopefully I can share some information that might be useful.

First, kits:
In looking at your dolls, you probably want to include fabric for the skin of the doll, since you teach soft sculpting and not everyone has access to Dolskin. When we teach Miss Sadie the Church Lady we include ethnic fabric that we hand dye especially for the class. You might want to include a sculpting needle and matching thread for sculpting (do you use upholstery, quilting, or regular thread?). Hair would be nice, especially if it is fake fur or mohair that you use felting needles to apply. If you are using anything special for eyes (transfers, inset eyes, lashes, etc.) include them also. The pattern should be included in the price of the class. Some teachers try to sell the pattern separately, but most students expect that if they pay for a class, the price should include the pattern. We tried to price our kits very inexpensively ($10 - $15) and always included more than was expected.

Second, supply list:
A comprehensive list of supplies that students need to provide (including needles, scissors, pins, tape measure, stuffing tools, paint brushes [what size], turning tools, fabric, stuffing, sewing machine, etc.) is helpful for the students. Be sure to mention note paper, pencils, pens, freezer paper, or anything else that would be helpful for them to bring to class. I would rather have them bring too much than be missing a critical tool they might need. To create this list, Mary Ann and I would make a new doll from scratch, using the kit we put together. EVERYTHING we needed to make the doll that wasn't in the kit we included on two different lists - the supply list for students, and a supply list that we as teachers needed to provide (such as an iron and ironing board.)

Third, tools:
We always brought paint for the eyes and sealer (usually crystal lacquer) for the class to use. Also we provide paper plates or plastic lids or wax paper or freezer paper to put paint on. We also made sure that everything on the supply list we asked students to bring we also brought (in case someone forgot an item, couldn't find it, or brought the wrong thing.) Be sure to mark your tools, scissors, etc. so if you do lend them to students they are returned. It is helpful to use a colorful tape or ribbon on everything you bring to easily identify it as yours. Also bring baby wipes (removes paint from hands and tables), paper towels, extra paper for notes, etc. It is also helpful to have different dolls in different stages of development, so you can show a technique (e.g. sewing on a leg) without having to cut out, sew, stuff, and getting a leg ready for the demonstration.

As far as pricing goes, check out the article I wrote for the Customer Connection a while ago entitled “So You Want to Teach.” You can find it on our website under the blue archives link.



We are pleased as punch to offer you the latest issue of the extraordinary ART DOLL QUARTERLY magazine. You'll find creative inspiration on every page of this outstanding publication.

If you would like to learn techniques for using watercolor pencils for making fabulous faces, then PATTI LAVALLEY'S new "Mouser" pattern is right up your alley!

We never tire of adding BECKY HOLLOWAY patterns to the site. Our latest addition is "Twinkle" an enchanting fairy sure to delight you.

DI MCDONALD treats us to her newest pattern "India." With a serene pose and a wrapped body she's sure to be a favorite.

MICHELLE MUNZONE has three more projects to delight our creative spirits. “Danielle" is the perfect lady for her "Andre" the pirate. Acrylic and metallic paints really jazz up her sassy little mermaid "Meera" and her clever fairy "Dewi" is actually made with fur. We know you're going to love these and all of the wonderful designs in Michelle's collection.

We have really enjoyed watching the progression of BRENDA COULTER'S designs over the past few years - each doll is more beautiful and intriguing than the last. "Nicholette" is a chubby baby mermaid, sucking her thumb and "Pheebe" is a gorgeous Wood Nymph covered with beads and lace. We're delighted to offer these fantastic new projects.

What do you get when you combine the artistry of two fabulous doll designers? MAGIC!!! We proudly bring you the "Once Upon a Time Series" of beloved nursery rhyme characters by MARY TRESSLER and PATTI ANN STANLEY. The series begins with "Mother Goose", "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and "Sleeping Beauty." Wait until you see how these two great ladies have brought these dolls to life! You are sure to have many hours of creative pleasure with these extraordinary patterns.

SAMANTHA GROUT just can't stop producing delightful patterns. This week we have her enchanting "Folan the Butterfly Fairy" and the lovely "Paige." Stop by and take a peek at these wonderful additions to Samantha's pattern collection.

Creature lovers everywhere are going to adore DOTTIE BLISS' newest gargoyle - "Baby Goyle." It's irresistible!

New from one of our favorite Down Under Designers - JUDITH PRIOR – two versatile new patterns. "Althea - the Attic Doll" is a graceful beauty that can be hung on a wall or grace a bed and "Bumbleforth" is one of the most charming wizards we've ever seen. Stop by and check them out at

Need a little something to give your bathroom a special look - then CYNDY SIEVING'S new "Angelfish" may be just what you are looking for. You're going to love this delightful pattern.

We're just swooning over MARY TRESSLER'S very exotic beauty "Lotus" which comes in two sizes. A definite creative treat!



Designer DOTTIE BLISS actually devotes most of her creative energy to her extraordinary quilts. Many of them are hand painted; all are sewn completely by hand. Those who have attended Cheryl Leone’s Tea Parties have had the thrill of seeing Dottie’s work in person. There is a wonderful four-page article about Dottie in a new magazine called Fabric Trends (Joann’s has it.) If you get a chance to pick up a copy you can see her amazing work. We’re so proud of you, Dottie!



Q: I need to find someone who has a doll or doll body with heartbeat and heat pocket.

A: I searched the internet for several hours, and didn't find exactly what you were looking for. I am not sure if this doll is for a newborn baby, a toddler, or a child. I do know they sell mommy heartbeat sound boxes that can be inserted into existing dolls. (go to and in the search box enter "mommy heartbeat sound box") Also, if you fill a bag with rice and sew a pocket onto a doll, you can zap the rice in the microwave for about 1 minute and have a heated pocket for a doll. We have a free pattern on our website at called Auntie Stressy Anna that tells you how to use polar fleece to create a heated doll. Go to to see her.
I did find heartbeat blankets and bears at the following site:
They also sell a doll called Mommy's little patient baby doll that you can take her temperature, listen to her heartbeat, and help her get better. Just do a search on for "Mommy's little patient baby doll" if you want to see what she looks like. She comes in several different ethnic choices. This doll is for children over 3.
You can also see a Mommy bunny heartbeat doll at



Marcia Acker-Missal, one of our designers, shared this with us. It answers the question, “WHY do you have all this fabric collecting in your house?” I know it was written for quilters, but I think it applies to dollmakers also. (I especially like #18.)
Credits go to Carol Coski- Quilt-a-Way, as published in The Quilted Feather.

To Create a Stash

1. Buy fabrics that you like
2. Buy enough to do anything you might potentially think you want to do with it.
3. Buy a little more, because you know by the time you use it what you have won't be enough and you will need more
4. Buy patterns you know your family will simply love
5. Always buy extra
6. Did I mention to buy more than you think you will need?
7. Sit down every so often with your fabric, and assess what colors/patterns/designs you need to compliment and contrast what you already have
8. Buy the contrasting fabrics
9. Buy the coordinating fabrics
10. Buy extra of all of them because when you sit down to piece, you still won't have enough
11. Always buy enough backing fabric to back a California -King-all-the-way-to-the-floor-bed quilt
12. Add a little more to that backing estimate
13. Use backing fabrics that can be integrated in to other quilt tops
14. Buy a little more to make sure you will have useable pieces
15. If you see a pattern you think you might like in the future, buy it now before it disappears forever
16. Buy a little more just to be sure you have enough for what you haven't decided to make yet
17. Repeat above steps until there is no room left in the house for the inhabitants
18. Buy another house and repeat above



A film crew from HGTV just spent five hours taping Caroline Barnard’s Dollscapes for an artist's profile on the Carol Duvall Show! It was a lot of fun, and she promised to tell us about it in the next newsletter. Also, her design Clementine will appear in an upcoming SD&A article. You can see Clementine at:



HAT SHAPERS - doll sized hat shapers or plastic hat blocks for creating molded hats for dolls. Check out the Gibson Girl and Pork Pie shapers at:

VINTAGE FABRIC and LINENS – For those who love to incorporate antique linens and handkerchiefs in their dolls, check out Easy Street Antiques at:

HEARTBEATS – This company sells simulated heartbeats for pets, but they might work for dolls as well. Check out the Original Pet-Pal at:



Transporting felting needles and other sharp objects safely - One good container for felting needles is a miniature M & M candy container. These tall thin plastic cylinders are filled with candy and have a plastic lid. They look like they are the right height for felting needles, and of course the needles won't poke through the plastic. I would probably put a circle of felt or foam on the bottom to cushion the points of the needles, or just leave them in the straw sleeves we provide.



Bonnie’s 14th grandchild, a little boy, was due a week ago. Her daughter Bonnie goes in today for a stress test. Hopefully he will decide to make his advent into mortality soon. Another daughter, Amy, just had 4 wisdom teeth removed yesterday. Maybe a consolation prize would be to finish Flossie Les Dents, a wild tooth fairy doll she started several years ago from a pattern by Mary Ann Kaahanui (

The one thing that always motivates Mary Ann to tackle household projects she’s been wanting to get around to is impending company. One of her sisters and her family will be visiting soon so last night on her way to bed at 11:30 she stopped off in her main floor powder room that she wants to re-paper and started picking at the wallpaper. Before she knew it the bathroom floor was covered with shreds of paper and it was 4:30 am! It might have been a good idea to purchase the new wallpaper first, but what the heck it felt good to get the project started even though she is dragging today – a slave to her creative energies!



All about trolls
While you are there, check out the great troll patterns by Ute Vasina and other designers at:
Go to the search engine, and under pattern category click on “trolls”

Sweet simple dolls for children

Inspirational Website by textile artist Vidhya Lockyer from the U.K.


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….)

To subscribe to Dollmaker’s Journey Customer Connection, go to:

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