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Dollmaker's Journey

July 2005 Issue 46

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

Dollmakers Journey


July 2005 Issue 46

Copyright 2005 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,

Miss Independence, our July Doll for All Seasons pattern, is finally ready for her debut. She stands on one leg, the other kicked high in the air, celebrating freedom and independence with a joie de vive that has to be seen to be believed. She sports knee high vinyl boots, sparklers in her hands (made from Gold Iris Angelina Fiber), and an amazing showgirl sequin top hat topped with firework metallic feathers. For this doll you will learn how to use a copper pipe to create an invisible stand support system, along with a full body armature which enables her to pose in any position. We have also created 50 kits that include EVERYTHING you need to create the COSTUME (28 items including 9 different ribbons and trims) except for ethnic fabric of your choice, stuffing, aluminum armature wire, basic dollmaking supplies, wooden base of your choice, and of course the patterns. We have even cut copper pipes for each kit. Her wig is silky fleece, a new fabric now available in fabric stores and Wal-Mart. For the sample doll we used Ethnic Fabric #13, light African, but feel free to use any ethnic fabric you like. If you don’t buy the kit, you will need a mini pipe cutter (available in most hardware stores in the plumbing department.) She can be removed from her base for shipping and storage. When we brought her to our local fabric store to see which name they liked (we thought of Lady Liberty 2005, Let Freedom Ring, and Miss Independence) the salesladies said she just looked like Miss Independence, and the doll agreed. We think you will enjoy her as much as we do. Check her out at:

Mary Ann and Bonnie


We want to be sure you take notice of our newest designers so our July Designers of the Month are JACQUIE LECUYER and SHELLEY HAWKEY . Be sure to treat yourself to 20% off their wonderful patterns during the month of July.

Don’t forget Miss Independence, our July COSTUME ONLY pattern debuts at half price - $4.50. A limited number of kits are also available. Patterns will be half price until our August doll is ready.


We’re pleased to welcome four more talented designers to the site. JANET CLARK, our very first designer from the United Kingdom, brings us four very whimsical felt dolls that will easily capture your imagination. You must take a peek!

NITA KEELER makes her debut with “Gilded Mushroom” a lovely fairy and a fanciful pin doll called “Nosey Neighbors.”

Canada’s EDWINA SUTHERLAND joins our family with four charming designs “Flame & Ember,” “Emmeline,” “Flowerpot Fairies” and a wonderful pincushion doll “Miss Thimble.”

Another talented Australian CAROL SAUNDERS joins our family of designers with three of her classic patterns, “Dollie In Stitches,” Delightful Doris” and “Sage the Dragon.” Stop by and take a peek.


We've decided to have a HALLOWEEN COSTUME CONTEST for our Doll for All Seasons. We're inviting you and challenging you to create the Halloween costume of your dreams to fit our doll body. Of course there will be lots of prizes and a surprise for everyone who enters. Send pictures to Bonnie Lewis at before October 15th. Our customers will help choose their favorite costume. We would also love to see pictures of any of the dolls you have made from this pattern to date. We’re dying to get them in our Showcase for everyone to enjoy. Please send them to Bonnie also. If you want them entered in the Halloween contest, just put Halloween contest in your subject line in your email.

One of our customers asked: “Can we use the likeness of someone famous or a comic book character? Can the pattern be altered slightly, or a part of it left off?”
You can manipulate the body any way you want. Change the legs for a tail, add ears, or make any other changes you wish. You can make a costume to represent a famous person or cartoon, although beware of copyright issues. You are allowed to make a doll for your own use or a gift, but resale of a licensed figure could be tricky. You will notice so far we have created an Asian Face, Caucasian face, and African face. Feel free to make a longer nose, pointed chin, etc. Basically, this challenge is to use our Doll for All Seasons pattern as a starting point, and from there the sky is the limit! You can also get one of our monthly costume patterns and change it any way you want. Please address any further questions to Bonnie Lewis at


Anything Goes Handbag or Miniature Quilt Challenge for Kaufman Fabrics
Deadline: August 1, 2005
Go to and click on "anything goes"

Hoffman Challenge 2005
Deadline: August 5, 2005
Go to

2005 Second Annual All Dolled Up: Beaded Art Doll Competition
Deadline: August 15, 2005
Theme: Over the Rainbow
For more information go to:

Adventures of the Gypsy – 2005 Treasures of the Gypsy Challenge
Deadline: October 1, 2005
Details will be included in your entry package of goodies. To participate in this unique event, sent $15.00 for US participants and 18.00 US for participants from Australia to:
Pamela Armas
Treasures of the Gypsy
P.O. Box 748 Mountainair, NM 87036

Doll for All Seasons Halloween Party Challenge
Deadline: October 15, 2005
Send photos to Bonnie B. Lewis at
For more information go to: and click on Halloween Challenge

Through the Looking Glass Doll Challenge (Fairfield Poly-fil Challenge)
Deadline: December 31, 2005
For details and entry form, go to:


August 11-14, 2005 – Enchanted Doll Artists Conference (EDAC)
Albuquerque, New Mexico

August 18-20, 2005 - Discover! A Creative Festival for Doll and Bear Makers
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, DC.
3 day festival for doll and teddy bear makers with workshops, seminars, vendors

September 17-18, 2005 – Magic Doll Exposition
Las Vegas, Nevada
For more information email Lee Bryant at

September 21-25, 2005 - Art and Soul
Hampton, Virginia
Mixed media art retreat

September 29 – October 2, 2005 - Camp Doll U 2005
Trinity Lutheran College, Issaquah, Washington.

In the Spirit - October 6-9, 2005 – In the Spirit
Hartford/Windsor Marriott, Windsor, Connecticut

April 27 – 30, 2006 – CDAA Conference
Holiday Inn Convention Center, Fort Erie, Ontario

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


One of our designers, Marcia Acker-Missall, has written a wonderful information and project sheet on how to use Tyvek in dollmaking. You can print it out at:

Check out Just for Fun below for free projects to make with your children, including recipes for clay that is perfect for accessories and ornaments.

By Arley Berryhill

I noticed there seems to be many questions about how to start different projects, or how to use a product.

I understand wanting to know as much about a project/product before starting work, but some people seem to have a fear of making a mistake, or not doing it "right". This fear is stopping these people from even starting.

Here is a lesson I learned at an early age: GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO MAKE MISTAKES.

So, you never used a certain product or medium before? Okay, get some of it and try it. Play with it. Experiment. See what happens. Go ahead and start a project using it. Maybe it will turn out great, and maybe it will become a big mess.

Give yourself permission to make a mess and start over.

Don't get frustrated. Remember, this is a hobby you are doing for FUN.

Don't ever be intimidated by a pattern or product. Just start it. If you find you have questions or problems, there is always a number to call or email to write to. (Every pattern designer includes their contact info. Every product has an #800 number.) If you find it's still too much for your skills right now, then put it aside.

If it's not fun, then don't do it.

I understand investing time into a project, only to be upset when it doesn't turn out. I become upset because I feel I've wasted my valuable "free" time on something that didn't give me the results I wanted.

But, did I really waste my time? Did I learn anything from this project? Did I try something new? Can I use anything learned from this to apply to something else? If the answer is "Yes", then I have not wasted my time.

I just didn't get my project finished like I wanted to. AND THAT'S OKAY.

I have more than enough stress in my life and career with deadlines and things needed to get done. Why would I want to pile more stress on my hobbies?

So, my message is: Go ahead and get started on those "scary" projects. Don't be afraid!
Have fun. Arley

You can see some of Arley’s fanciful patterns at:
Be sure to visit his website at


We have no less than SEVEN brand new patterns from BECKY HOLLOWAY that we are just wild about. They are several holiday characters atop Bon Bon Boxes, a Magi, a Nutcracker Prince and the spectacular “Faery Dust & Dragon Fly Wings.” You’re going to love them all.

ALLISON MARANO has just released her newest CD “Wood Knots” a thoroughly delightful woodland creature sent in an environment made entirely of cloth. We fell in love with this doll when we saw it at AFIC and know you will, too.

Those Phat Phaeries ELLEN HAYTAS and KATE ERBACH are at it again and their newest pattern “Gertie on the Beach” is a real hoot. We know this pattern is going to fly out the window!

We’re thrilled to finally have MARILYN HALCOMB’S long awaited, award winning “Grandma’s Flying Lessons” an unbelievably precious project.

SANDRA CORSON-WALKER has just released the most delightful baby dragon you’ve ever seen called “Dunwoody.”

SHELLEY HAWKEY has really been busy and has already released three more terrific patterns a sweet female troll “Brook” and two enchanting sprites “Nel” and “Jax.”

“In the Style of Queen Anne” is an absolutely fabulous cloth reproduction of an antique wooden doll from BARBARA SCHOENOFF that you are sure to enjoy.

“Damsel” is a delightfully versatile fairy pattern from KAREN SHIFTON – great seller or wonderful gift! We also have her terrific handbag called “City Satchel” that’s quick and easy to make up.

UTE VASINA charms us once again with her impish “Mopsy” a troll pincushion doll. We love it! We also have SHERRY GOSHON’S enchanting sprite “Echlin” that was once a class and a colorful jester named “Merlin” from PATRICIA HARENZ.


Judy Skeel, one of our designers (, has shared a recipe for Cornstarch Clay that she uses to make Santa heads, hands, doll accessories, and holiday ornaments. When it is sanded smooth and varnished it has a porcelain-like finish. It can be painted or left white. We thought this might be a fun project to share with your children this summer.

Cornstarch Clay

1 cup salt
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
Food coloring or tempera paints (optional)
Heat the salt and 1/3 cup of water over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. (An adult should prepare this mixture, which gets quite hot and bubbly.) Remove from heat and add the cornstarch and ¼ cup cold water. The mixture should now look like thick mashed potatoes; stir until it thickens, then let cool for a few minutes before kneading. If the dough feels too sticky at first, your child can work in some extra
cornstarch as she kneads. Add food coloring, if desired.

When dry, this dough is heavy and durable, which makes it excellent for larger items, such as candlesticks, small bowls, trivets or a lasting impression of your child's hand. Cornstarch Clay's sticky consistency is also a plus when sculpting figures: A tail or head easily attaches to a body with a gentle push. One batch of dough is enough to make a slew of snowmen ornaments, Noah's ark figures or dollhouse characters.

1 to 4 days

Cornstarch Clay will keep unrefrigerated for up to 2 weeks when stored with a small bit of wet sponge in a plastic bag or sealed container.
You can find this recipe and more fun at:

Check out other fun recipes at the following websites:
Pick what recipe you want from what you can get locally.
Also try
This website has directions for making several different recipes of paper mache


Q: I am interested in designing and creating a doll/stuffed animal pattern. How/where do you start?

A: There are many classes and books written on how to design your own doll. Check out
Specifically, check out Susanna Oroyan's book Anatomy of a Doll and the series of booklets by Maggie Baggett and Jeannie Rigby from “Creating Heads” through “Bumbling Through Bodies.” A good book on human anatomy is also helpful because it tells you the proportions to use for a realistic body. We send everyone a basic anatomy chart with their first order here at Dollmaker's Journey that would also be helpful.
If you want to learn how to design your own bodies, there are two classes I would highly recommend taught at Crafty College by Judi Ward - Design your own doll and Advanced cloth doll design. You can learn more about them at


We were so intrigued by the NEOCOLOR II WATERSOLUBLE PASTELS used in the cover article of the September 2005 Soft Dolls and Animals! by Tina Kieler that we had to get them for you. They can be used wet or dry and you can even use them for dyeing. What fun you are going to have finding uses for this great product!

TYVEK SHEETS - We’re now able to offer you packages of Tyvek Sheets along with a FREE information and project sheet by the very generous MARCIA ACKER-MISSALL that you can print out from the site.

TYVEK BOOK - There is a very good book on Tyvek called “Surfaces of Stitch” by
Gwen Hedley. Included are many color pictures and suggestions on how to use other plastic films in surface design. It is available at

FAKE FUR - Great fake fur including feather fur
Long pile fake fur and fun fur in great colors from Big 4 Fabrics
CR’s Crafts has lots of fake fur, and it is inexpensive too

MINI RIBBON ROSES – Available from Home Sew in packages of 10 and 12


Best Friends dolls were featured in the Bendi issue (Art Doll Quarterly – Summer 2005). They were created by Elizabeth Marten, Sharon Datillo and Janet Schultz.

Of the 400 entries in Quilting Arts Magazine's Guardian Angel Challenge, Laura Lunsford’s “Girl Mitzie” was one of those featured. She is on the first page (63) of the article on the lower left side of the right hand page (with the bright fuscia shirt and silk ribbon embroidery.) Laura is from Monte Vista, Colorado.

Carolyn J. W. Bell from Detroit, Michigan, was also featured in the Art Doll Quarterly, Spring Issue 2005. Check out her “Funk Face Fridge Magnets.”

Editor’s Note: If you have a doll featured in a magazine, let me know and we will be happy to mention it in our newsletter. Send information to


Bonnie just spent three weeks experimenting with different kinds of armatures to support her Miss Independence doll. After many trips to multiple hardware stores looking for 3/16” and 1/8” pipes, screw rods, raised stands with nuts and bolts (don’t ask!) and trying lots of options, she finally redesigned the foot into a boot to accommodate a ¼” copper refrigerator water pipe found at most hardware stores. Of course, Mary Ann suggested she use this in the first place, but she was stubborn and tried to reinvent the wheel. At least she learned how to use a mini pipe cutter (after totally demolishing the first pipe she tried to cut.) After she cut pipes for 50 kits, she finally perfected the use of this tool! She believes in Arley’s advice above – “Give Yourself Permission to Make Mistakes.” That’s what our dollmaking journey is all about, and she learned 20 things that didn’t work before she finally found something that would.

Meanwhile Mary Ann snuck out of town to attend an American Brain Tumor Association Conference with her sister Barbara who is surviving Brain Cancer. The event was held at a wonderful Resort/Spa called Eaglewood in Itasca, IL. Spending a long weekend with several hundred people who have or have had brain tumors really puts things in perspective. Mary Ann and Barb went into Chicago to see “Menopause the Musical.” If this hysterical show comes to a city near you, treat yourself to a healthy dose of laugh therapy! On another day they ventured into an area of Chicago known as “Little India” and bought yards and yards of red and golden silk to make toppers for the tables for the upcoming wedding of Mary Ann’s daughter Ana. Never a dull moment!


See some incredible dolls sculpted from nylon stockings created by Lisa Lichtenfels

One of our customers has a new website. She would appreciate any feedback you might have. Her name is Retia Causey and her website is:

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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Copyright © 2005 Dollmaker’s Journey

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