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Dollmaker's Journey

August 2004 Issue 35

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

August 2004 Issue 35

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,

The votes are in for the FUNKY FLAMINGO contest. Over 600 people selected their favorite flamingo. Here are the results:

Grand Prize - #1 “When Social Security Isn’t Enough…” by Bev Gelfand
I think a lot of people could relate to the title, with a grey-haired granny trying to make ends meet. Bev wins a $100 gift certificate from Dollmaker’s Journey

First Place Two people tied
#2 Rose and her sedate sister Phoebe by Robyn Martin
#3 Flamingo with Philly Guitar by Patti LaValley
Both will receive a $75 gift certificate from Dollmaker’s Journey

Second Place #5 Sunbather by Susan Barmore
Susan will receive a $50 gift certificate from Dollmaker’s Journey

Third Place - #8 Flamingo by Dolly Francis
Dolly will receive a $35 gift certificate from Dollmaker’s Journey

Honorable Mentions
#6 Missy Flamenco Flamingo - $1.00 a Dance by Jackie Westfall
#7 Bar Stool Flamingo by Mamie Harris
#4 Flamingo with Fimo Shoes by Stephanie Harris
All three ladies will receive a $25 gift certificate from Dollmaker’s Journey.

June Pierceall For helping judge the contest and suggesting it in the first place, we are giving her the flamingo pattern of her choice so she can finally make the perfect gift for her husband.

We want to thank everyone who participated in this fun contest. As far as we are concerned, every one is a winner. Many of you mentioned that you would like to make a flamingo of your own. Therefore, we are publishing all eight patterns under the search category “Flamingo”. Several patterns are available now and the rest will be put on our website as soon as they are ready. We have been blown away by the quality of the pattern presentation of these wonderful new patterns designers and we know you will be, too. To see the winners go to:

Mary Ann and Bonnie


Beginning August 1, 2004 you can take 20% off all the patterns by KAREN SHIFTON ( and VALARIE GARBER (

Take time out to play with some of these fun patterns and get a discount too! Remember, they are only on sale until September 1, 2004.


Be watching for some very exciting changes on our site.


We have decided to add a Charity Corner to our website. This will include a list of charities that are looking for cloth dolls, some links to charities, and 6 free patterns you can use to make dolls to give away. These patterns have been used to give dolls to children in Haiti, Africa, Afghanistan, hospitals, paramedics, homeless shelters, orphanages, etc. We have also included a cat pattern just for fun. If any of our readers know of a worthwhile charity that would love to receive dolls for a child, please let your editor know at
Put charity dolls in the subject line. We are in the process of getting the patterns online and they will appear shortly.


The Art Nouveau Challenge contestants are online at:

Beaded Art Doll Competition
Deadline: August 15, 2004
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.

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

Hot Flash Challenge
Deadline: September 1, 2004
Download PAMELA HASTINGS’ FREE pattern “Hot Flash" at:
Design your own fabric...either dye it...felt it...weave it...discharge dye it...stamp it...bead it…sew it…quilt it…or change it in some noticeable manner…you can make the face like Pamela did or you can use clay...and embellish it.

There will be three categories - best embellishments...most creative fabric and strangest! E-mail your pictures by September 1st to Bonnie B. Lewis at Be sure to put “Hot Flash” in your subject line. There are fabulous let the creations begin...the top three dolls will be mailed to Art Doll Quarterly.

Treasures of the Gypsy Challenge 2004
Deadline: October 1, 2004
Dolls need to be shipped directly to Houston, TX the first week of October
Dolls on display and Show from Oct 30 Nov 7
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 November 4-7, 2004. 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.

CC23 CostumeCon Doll Costume Competition 2005
Convention dates: April 29 May 2, 2005 in Ogden, Utah
For general information about CostumeCon visit their website at:
For information about the doll competition, go to:
Color Challenge dolls MUST pre-register. They will give you two colors to use in costuming your doll.

Challenges In Time: Japonism
Deadline: June 30, 2005
For details go to:



We are delighted to welcome the extraordinary PATTI CULEA to our Dollmaker's Journey family! Along with a selection of Patti's popular doll patterns we have the entire set of patterns for her amazing "Stargaze Stitchery Tome." Each pattern teaches you a different technique for making 2 pages of this unique fiber art journal. Learn one new technique or learn them all! This spectacular project is an exciting gift for your creative senses.

Also check out the NEW FLAMINGO patterns under the flamingo category. Patti LaValley has other wonderful dolls you can see at
The other four designers, Bev Gelfand, Robyn Martin, Susan Barmore, and Dolly Francis, are new to Dollmaker’s Journey. You can see their fabulous flamingos at: Stay tuned because the other three flamingo patterns will be coming soon.



September 3-5, 2004 Dimensions in Doll Making
San Diego, California
Each year the San Diego doll club IOLCC (Imitation of Life Construction Company) stages a doll exhibit within the San Diego Quilt show. This year they have added a category for dolls adapted from patterns. This will allow participation from many more cloth doll makers. Dolls must be received by August 15th. It was seeing this show in 1997 that set Mary Ann on her journey to become a doll artist so it is very dear to her. This year’s theme is “Celestial Dreams.” You can get all the details on the club website

September 30 October 3, 2004 Camp Doll U 2004
Seattle, Washington
Every other year Doll U will have a mini conference for people on the west coast who are unable to attend ITS on the east coast.
For more information visit their website at:

October 21 24, 2004 In the Spirit Doll Conference (ITS)
Windsor, Connecticut (Marriott Hotel)
This Conference replaces We Folk of Cloth.

January 14-17, 2005 Southern Doll Conference
Daytona Beach, Florida
For more information check out:

May 2005 Artistic Figures in Cloth (AFIC)
Columbus, Ohio (still has 2003 information)

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



Free doll pin “St. Tropez” from Deb McKenzie

Free pattern from Mia Svensson from Sweden
Click on gallery and then free pattern. Be warned. She is one sexy lady.

Sandra Corson-Walker created a fun “Zadora Pincushion Lady” free pattern on her website at:
Just click on freebies



Tip from Gloria Winer:
I have heard from several folks that they were not able to find the free techniques for cloth dollmaking handbook at my website. Sorry about that. Jim says this is how to do it:
Go to <>
Click on the "Techniques" button
Select the topic on the left.
Press the Print button
Select another topic, etc.
Be sure to load your paper tray as the entire handbook will fill a three-ring binder.


by Bonnie B. Lewis

When you enter a doll contest, there are several things you need to keep in mind.

First: Make sure you provide all of your contact information, including your name, phone number, email address, and snail mail address. If you are mailing pictures, make sure they have your name and address on the back. If you are sending them via email, it helps to have a title for each picture, such as “Missyflamingo1”, “Missyflamingo2” etc. that identifies the photographs with the doll or designer (rather than pdf1048). This way if you win a prize, it is easy to get it to you.

Second: Try to give your entry an intriguing title. Our grand prize winner’s title, “When Social Security isn’t enough…” captured everyone’s imagination. Also make sure you mention the size of the doll. It helps to know if you are looking at a miniature only 3” high or a life-size doll over 5 feet tall.

Third: If you are sending the actual doll, make sure everything is securely attached, your name, address and phone number are on the doll as well as the stand, the box is sturdy and sized to fit the doll and clearly marked with your return address, and the packing materials aren’t loose. If you must use Styrofoam pellets, put them in Ziploc bags so they don’t get all over the place. I know some contests won’t accept a doll if it is packed in loose Styrofoam. I could write a whole article on how to safely ship a doll.

Fourth: Some shows require slides of your dolls. If you only have digital pictures, you can convert them into slides. Noni Cely mentioned a company in her latest newsletter that can do this. Galleria Ventures can make 35mm slides from digital camera files or computerfiles. They get the files over the internet or by mail, make the slidesand send them back by return mail. The quality is superior and they havebeen in business since 1997. Check them out at:
Or email Sheryl Curtis at:
If you are sending digital pictures to a magazine, it must be saved at 300 dpi resolution or higher. For email photos 72 dpi is sufficient and much faster to download.

Fifth: This is probably the most important point. If you are being judged via pictures of your doll, it is extremely critical that they are good ones. The best light for photographing dolls in an amateur setting is natural daylight on a cloudy or overcast day with NO flash. This eliminates massive shadows and doesn’t wash out the doll’s face. It also helps subdue glitzy fabrics and sequins from reflecting back too much light. NEVER take photos facing the sun. A 90 degree angle is a better choice. For a background, use a light ecru, gray, or pale blue paper, poster board or cloth. (Sometimes for drama you can use black.) If using fabric, make sure there are NO wrinkles. Pale blue felt is a great choice, because it tends not to wrinkle and absorbs light instead of reflecting it. Usually it is a good idea to have NOTHING in the background to distract from your doll no trees, furniture, patterns, clutter, etc. There are always exceptions to this rule, such as a fairy in a natural setting.

There are some online articles on photographing dolls you might want to check out. The best one is Gloria “Mimi” Winer’s tutorial. Go to:
Click on P and go to photographing dolls for lots of good ideas.

In past newsletters I have also mentioned other sites. Here they are again for those of you who missed them:
Photographing Dolls - This is a web lesson on lighting for photography: has a four-part series on doll photography under "Doll collecting".
This link takes you to article 4. Check out the other three also.

This is taking pictures of miniatures:
Click on Collecting Miniatures and then Taking Pictures of Miniatures
How-to with great pictures on photographing dolls:
I hope these tips have given you a few ideas on how to enter doll competitions and win!

Our heartfelt condolences go out to designer MAGGIE BAGGETT whose dear mother passed away this week. Maggie can be reached at



For those who love a challenging project we have SUZETTE RUGULO'S wonderful "The Organ Grinder and his Monkey." Stop by and take a peek at this charming duo.

It's never to early to start on holiday projects. If you are looking for the perfect Halloween Witch then we think you'll love ELIZABETH KENNEDY'S delightful "Maude and Moggie."

From BILLIE HEISLER we have the elfin couple "Tansy & Thistle" who ride lovely wired birds.

Are you ready to journey outside the box with your dollmaking? The amazing MARY TRESSLER has imagined what Raggedys look like when they're all grown up and created a series of 6 Raggedy dolls. Each fabulous pattern comes with a striped body fabric and a hand crocheted wig. Along with the Raggedys there are three other dolls that come with body fabric and wigs including the temptress “Xan” and a very exotic doll called "The Enigma" that was once a class. Also new is "The Priestess". See them all at:

CYNDY SIEVING treats us to a fun and wildly colorful new doll called "Marlene Stanberry" that she says sell like hotcakes for her. Stop by and take a peek at


Q: I am currently collecting supplies to start making art dollsusing Jack Johnston techniques. I wonder if your dolskin is the material he uses for the body covering over the armature? His fabric is a single knit poly, but a Caucasian flesh color.

A: Dolskin won't work for covering the armatures. This is a very stretchy lightweight fabric similar to Lycra with two way stretch without the shine. It was used to soft sculpt dolls such as Cabbage Patch. We do sell Bucksuede which is fuzzy on one side and plain on the other with slight one-way stretch that might work. I called Jack Johnston yesterday and asked what kind of fabric he uses for the doll bodies. He told me that he orders fabric by the bolt and it costs $1500. He is using a special dense knit from Switzerland for his bodies, and it only has slight stretch in one direction, which he uses vertically from head to feet. That way when you stuff bodies they don't get too fat. I have used this fabric for Swiss type molded dolls, and the fabric costs me $35 a yard. The only thing its equivalent in the U.S. is probably a heavy polyester single knit called Windsor Ponte or Windsor Comfort (lighter weight) which is available at Click on Dolls, Cloth Dolls, and Fabric sample card. For $1.00 you can get a sample card of each type of fabric they sell. Then order one body from Jack at (they come in different sizes) and compare the two. You can also talk to Jack directly at 1-800-290-9998 or email him at

Q: I'm interested in the Cody mold and possibly the Ricki mold as well. Can you tell me the size of the faces?Can I make plaster faces using these molds?

A: The Cody and Ricki molds both measure 3" high and 2-1/4" wide. They are designed for Paperclay products or bakeable clays such as Fimo, Cernitand Sculpey. The molds are created from Resin and wouldn't be suitable for plaster, as it usually needs a flexible mold such as rubber. The molds also won't work for porcelain because that needs a plaster mold to absorb some of the moisture in the slip. We have a lot of other molds which you can find if you go to
Click on "Select Pattern Category" and then click on molds. Be sure to click on Next 20 at the bottom to see all the molds we carry.


BOOK - We found a fantastic beading book that was written for quilters, but all
the wonderful techniques apply to doll making as well. "Beading Basics" by
MARY STORI is jam packed with solid information and how-tos that will take
the embellishment of your dolls to another level. Another gem of a book for
your reference library!

STASH PACKS - Our dear friend JOANN LAW continues to bravely battle her leukemia. It has given her great comfort to know that some of her unbelievable stash will go to dollmakers who will make good use of the treasures she has lovingly
packed in her "Stash Packs." Each box contains some hair, beads/buttons, fabric, Ultrasuede as well as lots of other surprises. We know you won't be disappointed.


Faces as a "mask" - I know a lot of dollmakers worry they will mess up all their hard work on a doll when they do the face. A long time ago I had a pattern that was a really cute doll, and the face technique was to do the face on a separate piece of fabric, then cut the face into a face shape oval and glue it onto the head. Add the hair, embellishments, etc. It was really simple, effective and took the panic out of the face designing. However there comes the time when one should "bite the bullet" and go for it. That is why Doug designed our Focus on Faces book to give some help to those "moments of terror" when one moves the pencil toward the blank dolls face. He has just redone the book and instead of having 75 faces it now has 100 faces. What I love is that he took face parts: eyes, nose and mouth and showed some of the different faces you can make by simply moving the face parts around on the face. i.e.: higher, lower, etc. to create really different looks out of the same eyes, noses & mouths. Barb Keeling
You can see this book at:
Patterns and rubber stamp faces are at:



Bonnie has been busy tabulating votes for the Funky Flamingo contest. The photos were also brought to several doll clubs for their votes. She has collected lots of Charity Doll patterns, added directions to some, redrawn some, and sent them to Paul to put on our website. Hopefully they will be available soon. Bonnie auditioned for a Cole Porter Broadway Musical “Anything Goes” and got the part of Mrs. Harcourt. She is thinking about helping them make hats for the play, which will be at the Apollo Theater in West Virginia in September. In the meantime, she is trying to memorize songs and lines and finish Miss Sadie the Church Lady Class for Crafty College.

Mary Ann quietly snuck out of town for a few days to visit her son Mike who by a wild coincidence works at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. During the visit she attended a fabulous Elton John concert called “The Red Piano.” She also saw the $50 million traditional showgirl show called “Jubilee” with the most extraordinary costumes imaginable many designed by Bob Mackie. Talk about creative overdrive it was unbelievable. She’s planning to make up one of the new flamingo patterns and dress it as a showgirl for her son’s office.



Here is a site that shows some Anime dolls:

This is a link to a site by a brilliant Japanese doll maker named Runo, showing her Anime inspired dolls. We mentioned this site in an earlier newsletter, but for those who missed it, go to:

Doll Faces - There are a few excellent tutorials on the Cloth Doll Connection ( Click on Patterns and Tips and scroll down to the bottom. There is also a great one at
She shows how to draw eyes and also how to make them 3D

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:

To unsubscribe, go to:

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Copyright © 2004 Dollmaker’s Journey

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