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Dollmaker's Journey

April 2006 Issue 54

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

April 2006 Issue 54

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,

We think it’s about time to offer a challenge and designer KATE ERBACH has issued one for our Customer Connection readers. She has created a FREE pattern called “Annie La Bouche” You have until 30 June 2006 to complete the doll and send us pictures. Send pictures to and put challenge in the subject box. Make sure you identify who made the doll, a way to contact to dollmaker, and the name you have chosen for your creation. Dolls will be judged in three categories: Best use of color, best use of vintage pieces and viewer’s choice. First place will receive an original Annie La Bouche doll made by Kate. Additional winners will receive Dollmaker’s Journey gift certificates.

Mary Ann and Bonnie


JUST IN!!! Hot off the presses we have PATTI CULEA’S newest book “Creative Cloth Doll Couture - New Approaches to Making Beautiful Clothing and Accessories.”
Every bit as wonderful as her first two books its chock full of solid techniques for creating fabulous costuming for your dolls. A MUST HAVE resource for your reference library. Special Introductory price 20% off until the end of April.

Some of the best online classes from CRAFTY COLLEGE are now available on CDs for your creative pleasure. Needle felting queen KATHY HAYS will teach you all the fundamentals throughout her Bear series as well as her fantastic head class “Noggins.” “Tea Time” is a cloth doll wall clock that every dollmaker should have. Not only will you make a beautiful cloth doll, but with “Primrose” you’ll also learn how to make traditional flat felt for her clothing and 3D felt for her hat and bag. Each course is packed with color step-by-step photos to guide you expertly through the process. Why not treat yourself to one of these terrific classes on CD!


April and Easter Time makes us think of lambs so be sure to get 20% off our Tibetan Lamb all month long as well as our Angelina Fiber.


In the coming weeks we will be introducing our Doll for All Seasons DESIGNER SERIES. We have asked a variety of your favorite designers to create characters/costumes for our Doll and Dude and we are thrilled beyond words with what they are coming up with. So, keep an eye on the site so you don’t miss these great patterns at their introductory prices.

CHARITY REQUEST - The New Orleans Public Library Needs Books

As you are looking over your doll library, if you have any duplicate books, consider the following: The New Orleans Public Library is asking for any and all hardcover and paperback books to restock the shelves after Katrina. The library staff will assess which titles will be designated for the shelves. The rest will be distributed to destitute families or sold for library fundraising. The books can be sent to:
Rica A Trigs, Public Relations
New Orleans Public Library
219 Loyola Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70112
If you tell the post office that the books are for the library in New Orleans, they will give you the library rate that is less than book rate.


We’re pleased to welcome new designer LORI FORTUNA and her enchanting little pixie “Totzie Ticklewish.” A perfect project for a favorite little one in your life.

The awesomely talented clay doll artist JEAN BERNARD has begun to produce molds of her sculpted faces. The first one “Mother” has the most blissful expression and will fit perfectly on SHERRY GOSHON’S doll body “Fern.” JEAN will teach you how to use sealer and regular makeup to produce a beautiful complexion on the face. We are very excited to have this new mold and look forward to bringing you many more.

by Bonnie B. Lewis

Every once in a while I receive an email that has a wonderful message. I have heard several variations of this story, and even used it for an object lesson when I taught a class at church. I just wanted to share it with you, since spring is traditionally a time for new beginnings and reassessing your life.

Mayo jar and 2 cups of coffee

When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things--your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions--and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.
The sand is everything else--the small stuff. "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first--the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

We hope that in your hectic life you will make time to play and create dolls for special people in your life.


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).

International Art Doll Festival
April 26, 2006 (midnight deadline for pictures)
Dolls will be sold at the Eastman Gallery during the show and then at an online gallery. They are also accepting charity dolls. For general information go to and click on the International Art Doll Festival graphic. To go directly to that webpage:

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
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

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

September 28-October 1, 2006 – Camp Doll U
Issaquah, Washington (near Seattle)

March 3-10, 2007 – 2007 Soft Doll Art Cruise
Leaves Miami for 5 islands in the western Caribbean on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas. Take classes from Ute Vasina, Patti Culea, Leslie Molen and Barbara Willis
Call Carl at 1-888-537-8267 or Tim at 1-800-755-1191 for more information.

May 3-6, 2007 - Artistic Figures In Cloth
Columbus, Ohio (not updated yet)

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


KATE ERBACH has treated us to another fantastic FREE pattern “Annie La Bouche.” The doll is 22” – 24” tall. Join our “ANNIE LA BOUCH CHALLENGE” where you can win one of Kate’s dolls and other prizes.

One of our customers, SASHI from England, has designed a wonderful Butternut doll pattern as a thank you for everyone who has helped her through the years with her dollmaking. It is beginner friendly, so people new to dollmaking can make it also. It fits size A4 paper, and the doll will be about 11” in height. Go to print out the pattern.


Q: How do you make molded felt doll faces?

A: Molded felt doll faces can be achieved in several ways. The first is to glue felt to a plastic, resin, or Sculpey face mask. Several of our designers use this method. The mask is not removed.

You can also stiffen the felt with several different substances, mold it to a mask, and then remove the felt. Sisters and Daughters sells molded face kits that use a product called Perfect Sew to stiffen the mask. It is then removed from the mold and the same face can be molded over and over again. You can see them at:

There is also a system using a positive and negative face mask with lots of steam and pressure to create a mask. If you go to and enter molded felt doll faces you will find many web sites that talk about this process. For a general overview of molded felt faces check out Jean Lotz tutorial at:

Q: I am somewhat technologically challenged, as I'm sure at least one other person must be. There are a couple of segments in this newsletter that I want to print out, but don't want to print the entire newsletter. Can one of you, or your handy computer whiz print the instructions to isolate one area to print out?

A: It is easy to only print out one section of the newsletter. Just use your mouse to left click on the section you want (this will highlight it) dragging the mouse to the bottom of the text you want, right click and press copy, and then paste onto a blank sheet of paper in your regular Microsoft Word or other word processing program by right clicking and press paste. That way you can just print what you want. We also keep a record of all past newsletters on our website under archives, and you can copy and paste items from any of them also.

ORGANIZING UFO’s – A Lighthearted Approach

One of our customers, Velia, wrote the following in response to my article last month:

“I am so glad to read that the professionals have the same problems I started encountering when I began quilting, i.e. fabric stashing, and now with doll making my STASHES of stuff are running me out of my house! I dread going into the bags with "body parts" because I cannot resolve the problems I faced when I started them. The instructions were not too clear for a novice in doll making, or the measurements of the clothing for the dolls did not fit. I made the doll and clothing EXACTLY as called for, and no way in the world can I dressed them - the heads are too large for the openings, and the dresses are humongous for the body. Since I am not a dressmaker, I cannot fix the problems.
So the best thing to do is list all the stuff on eBay! Problems solved. Start a new collection when all is gone! That is my solution.


MICHELLE MUNZONE treats us to “Isabo” a beautifully embellished fairy and the charming “Perri Pincushion.”

JUDITH PRIOR has another terrific dragon that’s easy to construct “Egbert” and the very sassy “Miss Felicity Frog.”

We’re squealing with delight over KAREN SHIFTON’S fabulous new mermaid pattern “The Sirens.” You’ll learn how to needle sculpt the most magnificent hands.

We have another magical character from the Mystic Garden of DE RUE JOHNSON. Stop by and take a peek at her amazing “Green Man.”

Another wonderful project for your little ones is the latest release from those amazing Phat Phaeries KATE ERBACH and ELLEN HAYTAS. Come meet the “Dragalongs” easy to make felt dolls with a bonus purse pattern included.


BEADS – Very unusual beads from Bali
Beads of Bali (

BUTTONS – Get tiny buttons perfect for dolls (1/8” and ¼”) in many colors from Home Sew

SOLDERING IRON AND STAND ($5.00) for burning organza from American Science & Surplus

TABLE TOP TRIPOD ($3.95) – Perfect for taking pictures when you need hands to be in the picture from American Science & Surplus

VELOUR - We’ve just added another shade of Craft Velour called “Chamois” that seems to have a bit more yellow in it making it a nice peach color.

WATCHMAKER CASES ($4.95) – Aluminum round boxes with clear glass tops perfect for organizing beads and small doll parts from American Science & Surplus

Bonnie was asked to go to Southern Virginia University in Buena Vista, Virginia and be a guest lecturer in Business 407 – Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management. She drove down with her husband and shared ideas on starting an online business like Dollmaker’s Journey. She brought a few dolls, and the students asked lots of questions. As a thank you the instructor, Don Clarke, invited her to a special art auction to raise funds for the university. The paintings began at $500 and some sold for thousands of dollars. The event was hosted by the Marriott Corporation. Bonnie fell in love with a bronze sculpture, but since bidding began at $5,000, she didn’t get it. The Dolls for All Seasons series is currently on display at a Gallery in Friendship Heights, Maryland.
A special event in the Lewis family was the birth of a new granddaughter, Rebekah Elise Vezzani, born April 13, 2006 at 3:24 p.m. She weighed 9# 4 oz. and was 20-1/2” long. She has lots of curly brown hair, so long that the nurses put a bow in it. Bonnie made a doll and quilt for the new arrival. This makes 17 grandchildren, with another on the way.
Mary Ann had the fun of bringing her 60 year old boyfriend Jim home to meet her parents over the Easter holidays. How wild is that! Everything went smoothly and he was warmly welcomed by all of the other members of the family at the Easter Sunday get-together at her sister Sharon’s home in Howell, NJ. Mak has been tasked with making the ring bearer’s pillow for her son Mike’s upcoming wedding using a Hawaiian quilt design and hopes to get started on it very soon. On Saturday the 22nd she and daughter Ana went to a fabulous seminar at the National Geographic Building given by Cesar Millan – the Dog Whisperer. He’s quite a dynamic speaker and they thoroughly enjoyed the program.


Wonderful vintage hat site from Judi Ward – lots of ideas for trimming a hat

Fun blog sites:
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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