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Dollmaker's Journey

December 2004 Issue 39

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

December 2004 Issue 39


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,

This is our favorite time of the year. I know your lives may be hectic with lots of last minute shopping, traveling, and preparing a feast for the holidays, but remember the story of the Grinch who tried to steal Christmas. He stole the lights, the food, the presents, and the decorations, but Christmas came anyway. As Dr. Seuss wrote:

"Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any presents at all!
He HADN'T stopped Christmas from coming!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!"

The true meaning of this holiday season is a chance to remember family and friends - those who have passed away and those both old and new who make our lives richer. We are truly blessed to have you as a part of our Dollmaker's Journey family. We wish you a joyous holiday season!

Mary Ann and Bonnie



Don't forget to treat yourself to 20% off the huge selection of patterns and molds by our December Designers of the month ­ SHERRY GOSHON and her Mom ­ JACQUE UETZ ­

Bonnie found us a fabulous new tool called a "Sixth Finger Stiletto" that can help you do the most intricate machine work and embellishment without getting your fingers too close to the needle.   We're introducing this handy device with a Year End Special.  Buy one now through December 31st and we'll include a FREE "Lint Magnet" - a special, reusable, sponge that keeps your work area clean ­ a $2.99 value.



In our Newsletter #25 we mentioned a site full of free patterns for doll clothes. The web address has changed to: This correction is also on our website archives.



One of our customers shared this great tip with us: " I stuff my life-size snowman with plastic grocery bags. They are free, they don't absorb the water like stuffing does, and when I'm done with it, I pull them out and send them off to the recycling place."

Thank you, Debbie S. from Massachusetts



OUTSIDE THE BOX Doll Challenge
To be displayed at the Creative Festival January 27-29, 2005
Denver Merchandise Mart, Colorado
For rules and entry form check out our September 2004 Customer Connection Newsletter.

Fantasy Guardian Angel for Quilting Arts Magazine Challenge
Deadline: March 1, 2005
Information appeared in their Winter 2004 magazine, including possible pattern.
For more information email them at:

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:

Through the Looking Glass Doll Challenge ( Fairfield Poly-fil Challenge)
Deadline: December 31, 2005
For details go to:
Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on Through the Looking Glass Challenge to print out an entry form and get rules.



Our designer from Uruguay ­ PATRICIA HARENZ ­ has the loveliest wall angel called "My Sweet Angel."  Stop by and read about Patricia and her family in our Designer Bio area.

Hot off the pages of the winter Art Doll Quarterly we're delighted to offer you MARION BOLSON'S exquisite "Prayer Pocket Angel Pendant" ­ an absolutely perfect holiday gift project.



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

April 28 - May 1, 2005 - Santa Fe International Figurative Art
1875 Brandon Drive , Los Lunas , New Mexico   87031

April 28 - May 1, 2005 - 6 th Annual Canadian Doll Artists Association Conference
Holiday Inn, Fort Erie , Ontario , Canada
Call 519-539-7598 or visit their website at:

April 28 - May 1, 2005 - Artistic Figures in Cloth (AFIC)
Columbus , Ohio

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


Dolly Francis in Arizona has designed some Yule Dudes based on the following story. We thought your family would enjoy hearing about this Icelandic tradition. Story of the Yule Dudes

Icelanders have not one, but thirteen Santas, or Yule Lads. These lads are not related to Santa Claus in any way. They are descendants of trolls and were originally used to scare children. In the last century, however, they have become a lot friendlier. The number of Yule Lads has varied throughout the centuries but now they are consistently thirteen. The number 13 was first seen in a poem in the 18th century and the names that they carry today were published in Jón Árnason's folklore collection of 1862.

As you can tell from these names, the lads are very mischievous and they have retained their unique characteristics to this day. They live in the mountains with their parents, Grýla and Leppalúði. . Gryla was an excellent cook, but she was greedy and gluttonous. She would lock the boys out while she and her Black Cat ate sumptuous feasts. They had to fend for themselves. As they got older they came off the mountaintop to a village where the people were making Yule tide preparations. The boys thought what fun and free food for the taking. So they agreed to come off the mountain one by one, starting on Dec 12 th , so no one would get suspicious or get the villagers irate. They come to town, one by one, in the days before Christmas. The first one arrives on December 12th and the last one on December 24th.

Previously, they tried to pilfer their favorite foods or play tricks on people (hence their names), but now their main role is to give children small gifts. Every child in Iceland puts their best shoe on their bedroom window sill on December 12th (some try to put their boot, in the hope that they may get more, but so far the Yule Lads haven't been fooled) and they get a small gift from each lad when he arrives in town. But beware not to be naughty or the lad might just leave a rotten potato in your shoe!

They were originally dressed in rags that are similar to farmer's clothes in the 18th century. They are often seen carrying their favorite food.

The first one to come down Dec. 12 was Stiff Leg. Stekkjastaur (Sheepfold Stick), He is also known as Sheep Barn Clod. He liked to steal the ewe's milk, but he couldn't bend his knees.

On Dec. 13th the second one off the mountain was Gully Gawk. Giljagaur (Gilly Oaf) would sneak into the cow barns and wait for the milkmaids to leave so he could steal the cow's milk.

Shorty Stúfur (Shorty) was the third Yule Dude to leave the mountain. Because he was so short all he could find were the burnt pans left to soak on the floor. He thought the burnt leavings were just grand.

The fourth one off the mountain was Spoon Licker. Þvörusleikir (Spoon-licker) would wait for the cook to put the spoon in the bowl and steal the spoon and lick it clean. There was always something good in the bowl.

Pot Scraper Pottasleikir (Pot-licker) was the next one off the mountain. He would arrive late at night on the 16th of December. He would knock on the front door and run to the back door. He would sneak into the scullery and take all of the pots and scrape the food that was left. The people in the house thought they had a ghost for a guest.

Bowl Licker Askasleikir (Bowl-licker) was the next one of the Yule Dudes off the mountain. He would sneak in the house and hide under a bed. When the bowls were put out for the dog and cat he would steal those and eat the food in the bowls till they were clean.

December 18 Door Slammer Hurðaskellir (Door-slammer) would arrive making much noise and disturbing everyone in the village as he went round slamming doors and making lots of noise.

Skyr Gobbler Skyrgámur (Skyr-glutton) would wander into the village and find the barrel of Skyr (Yogurt) that was being prepared. He would break the lid and gobble the whole barrel. He was very fat and greedy.

Sausage Swiper Bjúgnakrækir (Sausage-pilfer) would be there on December 20 th . He was very shifty. He would climb up into the rafters where the smoke was and steal the sausages that were hanging there for the Yule Feast.

On Dec 21 Window Peeper Gluggagægir (Peeper) would show up poking his nose right up to a window to be nosy and find what was going on in the house, and would later steal anything that caught his eye.

On Dec 22 a large fellow with a big nose would appear He was Door-Sniffer Gáttaþefur (Sniffer). He would sniff out all the goodies in a house. He especially liked the lace bread which was being prepared for the Yule Celebration. (See recipe and instructions in pattern.)

The twelfth one, Meat Hooker Ketkrókur (Meat-hook) would arrive on St Thorlaks Day. He knew the villagers would be celebrating their Patron Saint. He would steal the meat using a hook. Sometimes it was too short and he would almost get caught.

On Christmas Eve, Candle Beggar Kertasníkir (Candle-Beggar) would try and steal the children's candles. Candles were very precious to children, because at Yule Tide it is dark all day. On Christmas day all of the Yule Dudes were worn out and all they could do was stare at the Christmas Lights. Then one by one they trotted back to their mountain.

On Twelfth Night the last of the Yule Dudes would go. These boys were so bad that the parents would threaten their children with these Yule Dudes to make them behave or Gryla's cat would eat them. Now their antics have gotten better so that children in Iceland leave their shoes out and sometimes the Yule Dudes leave them presents.

Update: Patterns no longer available.



Can you believe that SHERRY GOSHON has released two new dolls in time for our sale!  "Baby Shannon " is an extraordinarily realistic preemie baby made of cuddly dolskin and needle sculpted to look just like a newborn. SHERRY also has an exquisite new mold/pattern ­ " Willow " ­ with lots of exciting new techniques.  You've got to check it out! ­

Enjoy a new holiday tradition from Iceland this year. Meet the "Yule Dudes," sure to be a hit with your children and easily adapted into other storybook characters. Come see six of these scruffy, troll-like characters created by designer DOLLY FRANCIS and learn more about the story.  Bonnie's grandchildren went nuts over them!

JILL MAAS has just released her delightful "Winnie Mae" ­ the perfect mate for "Wilfrid."  This versatile couple has so many possibilities.  We know you are going to love them both.

We 've just added another great PATTI CULEA pattern. With "Hip Hattie and her Fairie Frannie" you'll get 2 sensational full figured doll patterns for the price of one.

MARY TRESSLER'S "Mikweh" is a sensational muscled male body with a graceful pose.  Definitely a pattern with many possibilities. Also check out Mary's cheerful elf "Murray Christmas."

All the way from Australia we have another marvelous pattern by SUZETTE RUGOLO ­ "Tuppence" ­ a very colorful new fairy with many of Suzette's wonderful construction techniques.

Mermaid lovers will enjoy ANDREA PERKINS' quick and easy "Nerissa & Nina" with the option of pancake or 4 piece heads.

KERRY SEYMOUR enchants us with her beautiful Christmas fairy "Fayona" 



Q: I am attempting to make my first cloth doll -- a 20-inch little boy. I am looking for baby hair-type material. Can you help?

A: Is this doll to be given to a child under 3?  If so, I would use very fine baby yarn for hair and sew it to the head after wefting it. You can even unravel it for a great look.  For realistic baby hair use the mohair we sell on our website and needle felt it to the head following instructions with the felting needles we sell.  You need to apply tacky glue to the head before adding the mohair.  This hair is fragile and not suitable for small children, but it looks very real.  Just give the doll a haircut after applying. The fleece has hair attached to a skin and is very sturdy, but perhaps not as wispy as you would want.  You could thin the fleece, and it is easy to comb and style. 



Book - If you are ready to take your dollmaking to a new dimension, treat yourself to this fabulous new book ­ "Off-the-Shelf Fabric Painting" ­ and learn 15 techniques for creating your own fabrics.

Sixth Finger Stiletto - This amazing tool can help you do the most intricate machine work and embellishment without getting your fingers too close to the needle.

"Bo-Nash 007 Bonding Powder" - This product is recommended by Patti Culea to create her amazing "Stargaze Stitchery Tome."  For your convenience, we now have the Starter Kit and the Refills for this versatile powdered bonding agent.  Think of it as Stitch Witchery in a powdered form.

Tibetan Lamb Fleece - We've just added two more incredible colors:­ "Red" and a rich maroon color we're calling "Wine."

Needles - John James Curved Needles are ever so handy to have on hand for tricky limb attachments.



Bonnie went out Christmas caroling at a nursing home a week ago and fell and injured her left leg. She can slowly hobble to the bathroom, but otherwise needs to sit with her leg elevated and straight. If it even bends at all it goes into horrific spasms. Fortunately the doctor says it should be back to normal in about three weeks. However, the news isn't all bad. Since she must sit and can't go anywhere, she has been busy creating a wonderful surprise for all of you which will be available on our website the beginning of January. Mary Ann has designed the other part of the gift. We are both so excited, but until January 1 st "mum's the word."

Meanwhile, besides working on our special project, Mary Ann has found a wonderful "Tech Guy" who has helped her to update and expand our computer system to keep up with the growing demands of serving our wonderful customers all over the world. It's always a challenge getting switched over to a new system but it all seems to be going smoothly.



Miniature Musical Instruments -

Making fairy wings - Directions for making full sized wings can be adapted for dolls.

Great picture of an eye


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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