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Dollmaker's Journey

April 2004 Issue 32

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

March 2004 Issue 32

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,

Every once in a while we get a request for a pattern that doesn’t exist. So we have decided to have some fun.

Dollmaker’s Journey announces The Funky Flamingo Contest!

Now’s your chance to become a featured designer on Dollmaker’s Journey. Create an original pattern for a sexy flamingo doll. Our customer, June Pierceall, describes the doll as follows:

“I can see this flamingo made of pink satin or a pink glittery lame fabric. Really tacky!!! On top of the head would be some pink feathers or something spiky. She would need long eyelashes, eye makeup and sun glasses down on her beak. There would also need to be some sort of stuffed bra top to give her some big boobs. This would be of some glitzy fabric also. The legs would need to be really long and skinny encased in black lace. A sitting doll could have some sort of high heel shoe. This might be more difficult with a standing doll.”

The object is to see who can create the ultimate tacky flamingo adhering as closely as possible to June’s description above. The finished size is up to you.

1. Dolls must be finished and photographs sent to Bonnie at by June 15, 2004. Pictures will then be placed on our website for judging. One of the judges will be June Pierceall, the customer who created this pattern idea.

2. There will be three winners announced by July 1, 2004. The first place winner will have her pattern marketed by Dollmaker’s Journey and it will be available for sale on our website.

3. Each designer will retain all rights to their pattern, except Dollmaker’s Journey will reserve the right to market the pattern first. The winners will provide Dollmaker’s Journey with complete instructions, drawings, and pattern pieces to recreate their flamingo. If you need help doing this, we will be happy to assist you.

4. This contest is open to everyone – beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Even our designers can enter. Remember, the tackier the better.

Have fun, and we can’t wait to see what our customers dream up!

Mary Ann and Bonnie



Don’t forget to stock up on all the wonderful books patterns of our April Designers of the Month - PAMELA HASTINGS and CYNTHIA SIEVING - while they are 20% off. Sale ends April 30, 2004.


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)



We are thrilled to welcome New Zealand's own JILL MAAS to the Dollmaker's Journey family of designers. Jill's "Slightly Weathered Ladies and More" pattern line is a fabulous collection of uniquely whimsical characters that are sure to delight your creative fancy. Treat yourself to one or more of these wonderful projects at

You’ve seen her work on the cover of Soft Dolls and Animals and now you can find her patterns at Dollmaker’s Journey! We’re delighted to welcome BILLIE HEISLER who’s starting out with two charming patterns – “Aurora and Serena” - mermaids that come with quilted shells and “Gemma and Pearl” – fanciful seahorse riders.



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:



Two links on armatures:
The first one covers all different kinds, from toilet paper rolls to wire
The second link tells you how to armature a dragon

Classic Pumps and Casual Open Side High Heels for Gene Doll – This site shows you how to create unique miniature shoes using an existing store-bought doll shoe
Of course, you could use the ideas and enlarge them to fit any doll you might have.



I just finished recreating two dolls of my great-great grandparents on their wedding day in 1853. I transferred their faces to fabric from an old photo that I had enlarged at a professional photo shop to the size I needed. I used a product called Picture This, which left a hard, plastic finish. You had to get a good Xerox copy of the picture, cover it with several layers of liquid, let it thoroughly dry, and soak the finished face in water, peeling off all the paper, leaving just the ink on the fabric. Since the picture was black and white, I added color using crayons and markers. There are now wonderful products on the market that can achieve the same effect without the mess and work. You can run a fabric sheet through your printer and have a portrait that is soft and more suitable for a cloth doll than my plastic faces were. Just be sure the ink you use is archival quality and won’t run. For those of you who wish to try this, here is a website from HP that might help. Making cotton inkjet fabric sheets:
Be sure to click on the links “projects” and “printing on fabric” to get more ideas. I would love to hear from you if any of you decide to try this, so we can all share in your success.


By Caroline Barnard

Editor’s Note: Caroline, one of our Dollmaker’s Journey designers, wrote recently to let us know a film crew from HGTV spent five hours taping her dollscapes for an artist profile on the Carol Duvall Show. Mary Ann and I saw some of her dollscapes when we visited Cheryl Leone’s home a year ago. They were incredible! I told her our readers would love to share her experience, and she graciously wrote the following:

It all started with a business card. Since I print my own, always with full color photos of my work, I hand them out left and right. When I checked my e-mail the day after my 39th birthday, I was surprised to find a message from the producer of The Carol Duvall Show, who had been scouting in the area and had been given my card by another local artist.

After I picked myself up off the floor, I found out that they were requesting more e-mailed photos to consider me for an Artist’s Profile. I was told early on that the taping date would be soon, but nothing really prepares you for having 10 days from approval to taping! So much for losing 30 pounds!

Obviously, I was in a frenzy, collecting up dollscapes I had all over the place, making several identical new pieces, all at different stages, and giving the studio a quick spruce-up. I didn’t have to worry about wardrobe, since they sent a “Do’s and Don’ts” of colors to wear on camera.

The day of the taping, I was very calm. I had already spoken to the director, who was flying in but was actually from a neighboring suburb. She brought a cameraman and an audio man with her. Everyone was very friendly, professional and, well, normal! The only jitters I experienced were when I was wired for sound. That’s when it became real.

My studio is the whole upstairs of our house, so there was lots of strange gadgetry up there, but the rest of the house was untouched. After the light checks and sound checks, I was on!

The director started by asking me some general questions about how I started making dolls, what were my inspirations, what I did and didn’t like about the process, etc. This was the most difficult part for me, because I was sitting in a chair, with no work in my hands.

Next, I made a dollscape, doing some full steps and also using the pieces I had made beforehand. We stopped at different parts, to get still photos and pieces with no sound for voiceover sections. I was so glad to have done the work ahead of time, so that we could substitute pieces when needed. I felt very comfortable during this part, because I love the process and find it almost mesmerizing. I barely even thought about the camera or lights.

Finally, I got to relax. The last hour was all the cameraman, taking footage of finished pieces and other dolls in my studio. I was able to watch his work on the monitor. After they were finished, both the director and the cameraman ordered dolls of their own!

All in all, the taping took 5 hours and filled 3 hours of videotape. It was a wonderfully fulfilling feeling to think that I could share my art with people all over the country. So be very generous with those business cards!

FYI – the episode number is 1742, but I’m not sure about the air date yet.

Dollscapes were created several years ago as 3-dimensional expressions of my two craft loves, dollmaking and landscape painting. Each unique piece combines quilting, appliqué, dyeing, beading, wirework and sewing, resulting in a fairyscape, pixiescape, merscape or swingscape.

Dollscapes are made up of:
• hand-dyed doll in embellished chiffon/lace/velvet outfit
• hand-dyed or appliquéd landscape backdrop
• wired silk 3-D frame
• surface-stitched quilt background
• beaded wire hanger
• Approximate size is 16”H x 7”W

Enlargeable photos are at

Editor’s Note: You can see Caroline’s unique patterns at
Also be aware that one of her dolls, Clementine, will be featured in an upcoming Soft Dolls and Animals magazine.



We’re excited to bring you the newest collaboration from everyone’s favorite Mother and Daughter designing duo JACQUE UETZ and SHERRY GOSHON. Treat yourself to “Aayla” – a lovely 32” Boudoir Doll with a 4” paperclay head.

KAREN SHIFTON’S “Tea Party Pincushions” offers three more enchanting Alice in Wonderland characters that will appeal to every skill level.

For those who love period costuming we have the following:

BECKY HOLLOWAY’S “Bye the Sea” - a sweet young woman in a lovely sailor costume
MARY TRESSLER’S graceful “Camille” and MICHELLE MUNZONE’S exotic geisha “Tamlyn.”

And speaking of costuming – check out the amazingly authentic matador costume CLAIRE-ELLEN has designed for her “Mannikin” pattern called “Suit of Lights.”

Savor the delight of making tiny figures from felt, chenille stems and your precious embellishments with SALLEY MAVOR’S soothing book “Felt Wee Folk” – with an array of projects that will give you many hours of creative pleasure.



Stephanie Parker found out about the challenge for beginning dollmakers from our newsletter and decided to enter. The second doll she had made from a pattern got third place. She has gone on to find on-line doll lists and has participated in swaps and made many friends, all because she found Dollmaker’s Journey while doing a search on google for wool stuffing and decided to sign up for a free newsletter. Congratulations, Stephanie, and thanks for sharing your story with us.



Beating heart box -
Also go to and look for "reborn dolls" - they sell bodies, heart beats and heaters

Hats – Here are some websites that carry pre-made doll hats:

Trims, ribbons, lace, buttons, doll stuff, etc.
Home Sew, Bethlehem, Pa. 18018 1-800-344-4739

Voice Recorder – Record your own message in a doll voice box:


STUFFING – A WEIGHTY TIP - We don't carry any stuffing materials at Dollmaker’s Journey, because they are readily available elsewhere, are bulky, heavy, and awkward to ship. However, we wanted to share some tips with our readers on how to weight dolls. One popular weighting material for dolls is plastic stuffing pellets. These are sold at most places that sell doll supplies, like Joann's Fabrics or Wal-Mart. Through Wal-Mart they cost about $3.95 U.S. for a two-pound bag. You can also find them at porcelain doll supply shops, as they are popular in stuffing porcelain baby doll cloth bodies so they can be easily posed. I used lots of plastic pellets when I made 5” nativity figures last year, because the base of the figures was like a stump doll, and the pellets enabled the figures to stand upright.

I have found that plastic pellets are fairly lightweight, so if you need something heavier, try pea gravel (tiny polished pebbles sold in hardware and lumber stores) to add weight to larger dolls. Pea gravel is cheap, relatively smooth, and used a lot in landscaping. One bag will last a LONG time! Place the rocks in a Ziploc or cloth bag and then place inside of doll, stuffing around the bag. Pea gravel is especially useful when making sitting dolls (put in their seat to keep them from falling forward) and stump dolls. I have used it frequently in Victorian Santa’s with long robes and stump bases.

Something fun to use is white play sand (sterilized) to stuff small dolls. I used to make tiny Sugar Lump porcelain dolls, and stuffed the cloth sleeper with sand. This enabled me to pose the doll in any position a sleeping baby might assume. Just don’t overstuff. If you use sand you might want to double line the body fabric so sand doesn't seep through the fabric. I have also heard of stainless steel fishing weights being used. Be sure they are securely enclosed inside the doll. They are very heavy, and could create a child choking hazard if they got out. Because they are small and heavy, they are useful embedded in sculpey doll feet to help them stand. Be careful not to use the lead fishing weights – the lead could seep through the fabric, rusts, and is poisonous.



Bonnie is getting ready to drive her daughter back to college this weekend. Included in the 7,000 mile trip will be stops in California, Utah, and Idaho to visit relatives and other children. However, she will be checking her email each night, and hopes to return before the middle of May in time for the next newsletter. It will be a whirlwind trip.

Mary Ann found out she’s a better dollmaker than a wallpaper stripper! The re-papering has to wait until after the contractor comes to smooth out the walls. There’s never a dull moment at Chez Kaahanui.



This is a wonderful site for information on puppets:

Just for fun geography test for 3rd graders (can you pass it?):
Bonnie had to take it twice. By the time she figured out how to drag and click on each state, the timed test was over. Remind her never to go back to 3rd grade!

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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To change your address, subscribe the new address and unsubscribe the old address.

Copyright © 2004 Dollmaker’s Journey

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