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Dollmaker's Journey

March 2006 Issue 53

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

March 2006 Issue 53

Copyright 2006 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 really fun when we get to meet one of our designers in person – especially one from Down Under! Last Monday we were delighted to invite Australia’s Marilyn Halcomb to Mary Ann’s home for lunch and a sneak peek at her latest creations. We also enjoyed hosting two wonderful customers Sue Daniel and Celia Sullivan. Mary Ann made a delicious frozen key lime pie from a recipe of Bonnie’s that Marilyn loved so much we are including the recipe in this newsletter. Marilyn is traveling around the United States and Canada for the next two months, teaching and taking classes. Her latest elf is amazing, and we hope to have the pattern as soon as it is released. You can see some of Marilyn’s patterns at

Mary Ann and Bonnie


Patti Culea has another wonderful book on the way. “Creative Cloth Doll Couture: New Approaches to Making Beautiful Clothing and Accessories” is due to be released later this spring. We have already pre-ordered some and they will be on our website as soon as they arrive.


We all know that in the Northern Hemisphere March roars in like a lion so we decided that this would be a good month to put everything in the ANIMAL CATEGORY on sale. Be sure to check it out because there is much more in this category than just animals.

Check out our latest (and first in a new series called Decade Dolls) Doll for All Seasons costume pattern – 1991 – Memory of a Princess. Learn how royalty dressed in the 1990’s. Create a wefted, frosted wig, modern leather high heels with knotted straps, fashionable jewelry (including “diamond” ring, tennis bracelet, necklace, oversize dangling earrings, and crown), Ultrasuede handbag, one piece corselet with matching half slip, and an amazing sheer gown with faux plaid, horizontal rucking, and puffed sleeves. Instructions for wire armature and custom stand are included. This pattern will be half price until a new costume pattern is released. All clothing is designed to fit our Doll for All Seasons basic body pattern.

One of our customers wrote: I was just sitting here stuffing a doll with your "speedy stuffer", and realized once again how much I like this tool. I've had it for a least a year, I suppose, and I've shown it to a number of people in various classes that I've taken. I don't know what I ever did without it! Carolyn Moore
You can see this amazing stuffer at


We are so excited to introduce you to a very talented new designer named STEPHANIE NOVATSKI. She has just released her first pattern named “Lady Regalia” a rag doll of sorts with a Victorian flair. STEPHANIE is a superb artist and her face painting instructions are exquisite. We are looking forward to many more fabulous patterns from STEPHANIE.

We were so delighted when SHERRY GOSHON told us that Jeff was producing molds for a talented new designer. We’d like to give a warm welcome to FRAN PARRIGAN MEEHAN. She is starting her collection with three wonderful face molds, two bodies and a very colorful all cloth Jester. FRAN has a wonderful sense of color and style and we think you will like her work as much as we do. Stop in and take a peek!

By Bonnie B. Lewis

My greatest goal this year is to try and finish one UFO (unfinished object) each month. However, realistically I would be happy to finish any. Every time I begin looking, I find more fantastic projects I started and never completed. I keep them in clear sweater boxes so all the bits and pieces are in one place. I tape a clear vinyl sleeve on one end and slide in a 3" x 5" index card listing the various projects in each box. That way when I finish something, I can put a new project in the box and just change or add to the card. Let's see. I have 30 sweater boxes, and each has 2-6 projects in it. I also have several large open crates and boxes with more unfinished projects, and of course the inevitable jar of heads, body parts, etc. from failed projects. (You never know when they might some in handy!) I probably have enough projects to keep me busy until 2025. And that doesn't count all the new ones I start each month. Well, at least when I clean closets I am never bored.

My children have warned me that if I ever get old I can't move in with them unless I leave all my "sacred stuff" behind. My husband, naturally, is welcome to live with them because his "baggage" is much smaller. (Of course, they don't know what he has hidden in our closets and garage. LOL) I keep telling myself that I need to get rid of a lot, but it seems I keep bringing more in the front door than I can throw out the back. Do any of the rest of you have this problem?

We would love to hear from our readers on things you do to organize your “stuff”. Please send ideas to Label subject heading UFO.


Party Time Challenge from Doll Crafter & Costuming Magazine is over. Winners have been selected and pictures will appear in the September issue (available in June).

Houston, Texas
Deadline for online submission: April 26, 2006
Photos of original art dolls needed. For more information go to: and click on International Doll Festival Banner to learn more.
Contact with any questions

The Art of the Doll (Pump House Regional Arts Center in Wisconsin)
Display: July 1 – August 19, 2006
Must be artist’s original work
For information go to:
Email Phone: (608) 785-1434

2006 NIADA Challenge Invitational Exhibit: You’re out of your Gourd
Deadline: July 27, 2006
Every NIADA registrant is invited to participate using gourds to interpret the theme.
For more information go to

Hoffman Challenge 2006
Deadline: July 28, 2006
To see fabric and for information go to


Year round classes – John C. Campbell Folk School
Brasstown, North Carolina
April 16-22 – Designing the Non-Traditional Figure, Patti Bibb
May 14-20 – Ancestral Treasure Hunt: Mixed-Media Dolls, Dayle Doroshow
June 4-10 – Cloth Dolls-Imagine It, Design It, Create It!, Charlie Patricolo
September 17-23 – A Doll of Your Own, Dee Dee Triplett
October 22-27 – Behind the Magic: A Doll Maker’s Toolbox, Kathryn Walmsley
October 29-November 4 – Advanced Needle Felted Doll, Sharon Costello
Click on for more information or call 1-800-365-5724

April 21-23, 2006 – Magic, Mischief and Mayhem – Art Gone Wild
Best Western Holiday Plaza, Richmond, Kentucky
Take classes from Australian doll artists Di McDonald, Pam Grose, and Pearl Moon
To see class projects and learn more go to

April 27 – 30, 2006 – Canadian Doll Artists Association: Celebration 2006
Holiday Inn Convention Center, Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada

May 6, 2006 - Calgary Doll Club Spring Sale
North Glenmore Park Community Assoc., 2231 Longridge Drive SW
Calgary, Alberta
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Admission: Adults $3.00, children under 12 free
For more information call Marina at (403) 243-6479.

July 20-23, 2006 – Enchanted Doll Artists Conference
Embassy Suites, Albuquerque, New Mexico
For information go to

July 27-31, 2006 – NIADA Conference 2006: New Ideas, Rich Traditions
Sheraton Bloomington Hotel, Minneapolis South, Bloomington, Minnesota

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


Make a crazy patch doll

Great ideas on painting eyes

Stained glass wings


Q: I am trying to make a "buxom" doll with gusseted breasts (Susanna Oroyan does this). I have tried and tried but my breasts always point straight up and my beauty looks like a dachshund with two front legs! Do you know of any patterns or instructions that teach how to do this?

A: Mary Ann and I struggled with this for a while. Mary Ann hates darts (I love them) so she designed a doll body (our Doll for All Seasons) where the torso front has two pieces sewn together with curved edges for the breast. I have found using this technique the breasts aren't too "perky" or pointed, but gently rounded. It also helps to stuff them with a large pompom so they retain their shape. We also sculpt around the breast (bottom and center) to create more cleavage. I have also made breasts with half a Styrofoam ball with a red headed pin and red sequin pinned to the center. The whole breast is then covered with Lycra and looks very realistic. Cleo by Lynn Butcher uses this technique. Our red hat lady pattern used a variation that we really like. We created a flat torso and then appliquéd a Lycra bra to the front. You can stuff the bra as much as you like to create a very full or smaller breast. I didn't see gusseted breasts specifically when I checked Susanna's books. I did see appliqué, darted, and applied breasts. If you have any of the patterns I mentioned above, they can help you in your quest for the perfect breast.

A company called Craft Works Coop is looking for quality U.S. handmade products from artisans. They are looking for dolls on consignment or purchased outright at wholesale which they would then resell. If anyone is interested, go to for more information.


PATTI LA VALLEY has released her “Gypsy Luna” class on CD and you are going to learn many wonderful techniques as you work your way through this elaborate project. We’ve also added her “Hawk Dancer” an easy to make hanging doll with a lot of visual impact. Be sure to check them out!

We’re just crazy about DEANNA HOGAN’S two new patterns - a really fun “Candy Keeper” with 5 variations and the most beautiful angel pin or ornament called “Heavenly Wings.” Treat yourself to a peek at these oh so fun projects!

SUE CHAFFEE SIZEMORE has gone in a completely different direction with her exotic “Irma the Dragonfly Fairy.” You’ll have a lot of fun making this one!

We’re always excited when SHERRY GOSHON releases new molds and these two are surefire winners involving lots of fun techniques. Stop by and take a peek at the pixyish “Jess and her Lil Doll” and the very eclectic “Sadie” a mold/pattern combination.

We’ve just added additional masks for SANDY PINE’S very popular “Myfanwy.” If you haven’t tried SANDY’s terrific patterns, now’s the time to treat yourself.

England’s JANET CLARK switches from felt to Batik in her latest creation “Freya” and adds a variety of exciting materials for the unique costuming. This one is bound to get your creative juices flowing.

ALLISON MARANO has a great new pattern that’s sure to tickle your creative fancy. Stop by and meet “Bowbette” an irresistible Granny Fairy that’s loads of fun to make.

You’ll love using your most precious bits of scraps and trims on JILL MAAS’ beautiful new stump doll “Mariah.”

DOLL BODIES - Pre-made muslin doll bodies and other shapes ready to stuff and complete. Go to and click on Pre-Made Muslin Items
SWIMSUIT LINING – Some designers use cotton Lycra or flesh colored swimsuit lining for their doll faces. You can get it at http://www./


Marilyn’s Mile High Key Lime Pie (named in honor of Marilyn Halcomb’s visit)

1 – 6 oz. can frozen limeade concentrate
¼ cup lime juice (fresh is best)
1 – 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 – 12 oz. container whipped topping, thawed (Cool Whip or something similar)

1 graham cracker crust – Mix the following together and press into pie pan:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup melted butter
2 Tablespoons sugar

Combine undiluted limeade, lime juice and condensed milk in mixer. Fold into whipped topping and pour into pie crust. Chill until set. Serves 6-8. If you want pie to look green, add a few drops of green food coloring to mixture. You can keep this pie in the freezer for months, ready when unexpected company arrives. Just remove about ½ hour before serving.

VARIATION: Use lemon juice and lemonade concentrate instead of lime for a mile high lemonade pie.


Bonnie finally finished the pattern for our new series Decade Dolls. The princess has been photographed, and by the time this newsletter comes out the pattern will be available at half price. She invented a new way to create a frosted hairdo, and all clothing and accessories are accurate to the 1990’s. The Dude for All Seasons, meanwhile, is standing in front of her computer naked, saying “Dress me! Dress me!” At least he isn’t anatomically correct, or she would even be more embarrassed. <big grin> Maybe she should get him a fig leaf.

Mary Ann’s dear boyfriend Jim continues to enhance her life in every way. He’s a great organizer and he’s been busy helping Mak streamline the office area to get the orders filled more efficiently. They are planning for a busy summer as Mary Ann’s son Michael is marrying the beautiful Kyah Lattimer on June 3rd in Temecula, CA and Jim’s son Sean is marrying the lovely Lisa Mecca on July 29th in NJ. Now to find another great dress…!

In a slump? Don’t feel creative? Try this website to jumpstart your mind.
Dollhouse miniatures, dollhouse furniture by Dollhouse Collectables

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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Copyright © 2006 Dollmaker’s Journey


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