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Dollmaker's Journey

January 2007 Issue 63

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Dollmaker’s Journey
January 2007 Issue 63
Dream ~ Imagine ~ Create ~ Grow ~ Believe ~ Magic
at we help your creative dreams come true.

January 2007 Issue 63

Copyright 2007 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,

Don't you love the beginning of a New Year? It is such a great opportunity to make new goals, finish old projects, learn new techniques, and try things you've never done before. One of my goals is to try and finish one UFO (unfinished object) each month, and then sell it or give it away. I have so many unfinished projects cluttering my shelves that I don’t want my children to have to try and figure out what to do with them if I don’t complete them. I love a quote Helen Carter shared on one of the digests: “God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things--- right now I am so far behind I will never die!”

We were delighted with your response to our December giveaway of Lady Chatelaine patterns and scissors. Photos are starting to come and it is so much fun to see what everyone is doing with it! We’ll be sticking the photos around the site to give you even more ideas.

Now is your opportunity to shop for all those things on your Christmas wish list that you DIDN’T get! All our general supplies are on sale this month. Have a wonderful January.

Mary Ann and Bonnie


Our first sale of the year is always GENERAL SUPPLIES to help you get going on your new creations. Be sure to take advantage of the 20% discount all month long and stock up!



Here are the answers to the puzzle we gave you in December. How many of you got them all?

1: H Y A M L C Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
2: T F N T A D S The First Noel
3: G R Y M G L N Y D God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
4: I C U A M C It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
5: S N H N A I C A I B Silent Night
6: O T F D O C M T L G T M On the First Day of Christmas
7: D T H W B O H F L L L L L L L L Deck the Halls
8: Y B W O Y B N C Santa Claus is coming to town.
9: J T T W T L I C Joy to the World
10: Y K D A D A P A V C A C A D A B Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer
11: I S M K S C U T M L N I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
12: C S B S D I H S Silver Bells
13: H T H A S G T T N K Hark the Herald Angels Sing
14: G G R O B A R Grandma got run over by a reindeer
15: O H N T S A B S O Holy Night
16: A I W F C I M T F T All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth
17: D T T S I A O H O S Jingle Bells (Dashing thru...)
18: W T K O O A We Three Kings
19: I D O A W C J L T O I U T K I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas
20: C R O A O F J F N A Y N Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
21: I B T L A L L C It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas
22: O L T O B H S W S T L Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
23: S B R A Y L I T L S I G Winter Wonderland
24: I B H F C I’ll Be Home for Christmas
25: W W Y A M C W W Y A M C We Wish You a Merry Christmas
26: I H T B O C D I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
27: F T S W A J H S Frosty the Snowman
28: J O S N L Y E T W Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
29: G K W L D O T F O S Good King Wenceslas
30: U O T H R P O J G O S C Up on the Housetop
31: J B J B J B R Jingle Bell Rock
32: I H A B C W Y I’ll have a blue Christmas without you
33: W U N W T A G C Little Saint Nick (Way up North where the air gets cold)
34: J H T S B R T T T T Just hear those sleigh bells ringing
35: C T T M P R P P P The Little Drummer Boy


Bonnie doesn’t get on a soap box often, but something is happening that has put her in a tizzy. Here in the United States 3,500 local Wal-Marts will be closing or scaling down their fabric departments. Many of you depend on these fabrics because real fabric stores are far and few between. I spoke with five Wal-Marts in our local area. The two nearest me in West Virginia are closing the fabric department (Martinsburg and Charles Town). The next closest Wal-Marts in Winchester, Virginia and Hagerstown, Maryland are also closing. However, fortunately for me, the Wal-Mart near Apple Blossom Mall on the far side of Winchester will still carry fabrics and patterns. Most people are not as fortunate. There are NO fabric stores in West Virginia where I live, except for a tiny quilt shop that doesn’t carry anything I normally use for dollmaking.

I was told they are replacing them with sewing machines (but no fabric on bolts - pre-cut fabric only [like who in their right mind wants precut fabric] and no patterns). When I spoke to a representative (a male without a clue) he said that they were still carrying sewing machines, and I explained that I buy fabric every month, but a sewing machine once in a lifetime. (O.K., I have four, but who’s counting?) His response was, “But sewing machines sell for a lot more money!” Our local SCA depends on Wal-Mart for inexpensive fabric for Medieval Reenactments. Our Civil War and Revolutionary War Reenactors ditto and our local theaters also use their fabric for costumes in the many plays they perform.

You have two recourses. First, phone them at 1-800-WALMART and express your concerns. They are keeping track of phone numbers, so if you wish to call more than once use a cell phone, work phone, or other phone number. You can also email them. Go to and click on help. There will be a link to send an email to the corporate office (or you can call them) or your local store management. If you email them, this is the response you will receive:

“Thank you for you recent inquiry regarding the fabric department in your local
store. In keeping with our emphasis on being a store of the community, Wal-Mart
is converting the fabrics and crafts department in some stores to a newly
expanded assortment of merchandise that focuses on life's celebrations. We are
thrilled to offer our customers this exciting new crafts and celebrations center
that makes available craft and party planning needs along with information on
current trends and new ideas in the area of life's celebrations, such as
holidays, weddings and birthdays.”

”In those stores where the new crafts and celebrations center is placed,
merchandise commonly referred to as 'notions' will be included in the product
offerings - such as sewing machines, yarn, needles, thread, etc. As a part of
this conversion, most of our new and remodeled stores opening in early 2007, as
well as a small number of existing stores, will feature the new crafts and
celebrations center in place of cut fabrics. Wal-Mart will continue to carry
cut fabric in most of our stores. Due to the continued evaluation of our
stores, we are unable to share a list of existing stores scheduled to receive
the new crafts and celebrations center at this time.”

Thank you, Wal-Mart Customer Relations


“Gypsies of the Sea” 2007 sponsored by Treasures of the Gypsy
The challenge packets will be ready to be mailed in January, and finished dolls are due in September. To enter next years challenge, send $15 to:
Pamela Armas/Treasures of the Gypsy, PO Box 748, Mountainair, NM 87036.
You will receive a packet of fabric, trims, and trinkets to use on you Gypsy doll. You may add additional fabrics of your choice to your doll.
Additional winners (Gypsy Choice) picked by Pamela Armas as her favorites for 2006 contest include:
"El Duende" by Janet B
"Morra the Gypsy Girl" by Dana Bakke
"Gypsy Twins" by Lucy Landry

All Dolled Up: Beaded Art Doll Competition 2007 – Theme Celestial Reflections
Deadline: August 31, 2007
For more information go to:


March 3-10, 2007 – 2007 Soft Doll Art Cruise
UPDATE: Patti Culea will be the only instructor on the cruise. They cancelled the main focus of Dollmaking for lack of sign-ups. Those who still wish to go will have two 2-1/2 hour classes with Patti, and the price of the cruise will be reduced.
Leave Miami, Florida for a 7 day fun-filled cruise to 5 islands in the western Caribbean on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas. Call Carl at 1-888-537-8267 or Tim at 1-800-755-1191 for more information.

April 15-21, 2007 – Creative Doll Artist’s Voyage
Leave Galveston, Texas for a 7 day fun filled cruise to Montego Bay, Jamaica, Grand Cayman Island & Cozumel, Mexico on Carnival Conquest. Take classes while you sail from Jean Bernard, Sherry Goshon, Jeff Kantrowitz and Maryanne Oldenburg. For more information email Jeff Kantroqitz at or call (718)983-1888.

May 3-6, 2007 - Artistic Figures In Cloth
Columbus, Ohio
Mary Ann and I will be there with many items from Dollmaker’s Journey and a few surprises too. Hope to see you there!

May 10-13, 2007 – 8th Annual CDAA (Canadian Doll Artist Association)
Ottawa, Ontario
Theme: “Floral Fantasy in an Enchanted Garden”

May 18-20, 2007 - Flowers, Fairies and Fiber Fancies
Aurora, Ohio
Contact Joan Stephens at 330-562-9145 for more information

May 13-20, 2008 (tentative date) – WOW New York
New York
More information will be forthcoming

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


Rivkah Rosenfeld shares a special fairy pattern (torso with directions for head) at
Click on Firefly for instructions and pattern.
To learn how to make her fairy wings, go to
On the right side, click on 2006 archives. Go to November 13th to learn how to make fairy wings. She also has a lot of other fun things on her website.

To learn techniques using Aves sculpting clay, go to
Click on Dolls and Accessories to learn how to make a wonderful Fantasy Chair by Jean Bernard. Click on Gourd Customization for a great 27 page tutorial by Sherry Goshon. To see more patterns by Sherry and Jean, go to

UPDATE FROM ARLEY BERRYHILL (On making a mermaid tail)
I just got my "Treasures of the Gypsy" doll on my web page. It's a "Gypsy
Mermaid". Also, there's a bonus on the site. After viewing the doll, follow the link to
see the step-by-step photos of the doll while I was making it.
(Or, go to my main page, then "gallery" to find the Mermaid)
You may notice the tail of the Mermaid looks "different". It's not too clear in the photo, but it's made by wrapping yards of scalloped metallic trim (1/2" wide) around the tail in overlapping rows -- 15 yards of trim was used to do the whole tail.
Now, before someone asks, "But Arley, how could you be a judge and have a doll entered in the Challenge?" I will answer: I did not enter my doll in the challenge, so it was excluded from judging. I like the Gypsy Challenge, and am a friend to Pamela Armas, so I like designing dolls for her Challenge. Since I won the challenge 2 years in a row, I've
decided to take myself out of the contest. So now, I just send a doll in for the exhibit.
Hope you enjoy!
You can see Arley’s patterns, including a new mermaid, at

We’re just squealing with delight over JILL MAAS’ darling “Dot the Pocket Angel.” What a wonderful gift she will be. JILL has included the following charming verse with the pattern:
This little pocket angel,
Is sure to work for you,
She spreads a heap of sunshine
And shares a joy or two
If ever you are worried,
She'll quieten down your fears,
Bringing hope and love and kindness
So laughter fills your years.

These are sure to sell out in a hurry!

JUDY SKEEL has just released her amazing “Beetle Babe” a glorious fairy on the back of a beetle that is chock full of optional techniques that will satisfy any skill level.

We have two delightful projects from SHELLEY HAWKEY “Lacey” the sweetest little love bug and “Willow” a fully weighted baby elf in a lovely nest.

We have two terrific new patterns from PATTI LAVALLEY that are sure to tickle your creative fancy. “Fanta” is an easy armatured fairy with several wing options that has endless possibilities. “Mermaid Pincushion” is simply awesome! You need to see it for yourself.

We had a tremendous response to our December promotional pattern “Lady Chatelaine” scissors holder. It is now available to purchase as a pattern only or as a pattern with one pair of embroidery scissors included. This doll makes such a special gift either by making one up or giving the pattern.


We don’t often take our show on the road but we are very excited about returning to the wonderful ARTISTIC FIGURES IN CLOTH Conference May 3-6 in Columbus, Ohio. CYNDY SIEVING and her talented crew do the most fabulous job of organizing. For those of you who loved and miss WE FOLK OF CLOTH the feeling and spirit are very much the same. It means the world to us to have the opportunity to meet as many of our customers in person as possible so we hope you’ll come out to see us.


Every year at Christmas time we like to send a little something to each of our wonderful designers. Usually it’s some sort of sewing notion but this year it happened to be our Lady Chatelaine pattern. BEV GELFAND wrote us a nice note and said in part “- what an unexpected little package of happy!” I just loved the expression and thought it was indeed as wonderful to be on the giving end as the receiving end. Every once in awhile I’ll make up something I like so much I have to make more than one. A few years ago it was a delightful little witch and I couldn’t stop. I ended up making one for my Mom, daughter, three sisters, sister-in-law and myself. I mailed them all on the same day so that they would arrive on the first day of Fall with a note wishing them a Happy Fall. They were all so surprised. I loved it. Have you ever given or received an unexpected gift? What was it? We’d love to hear your stories and share ideas!


Q: Do doll dressing patterns come with undergarments? If I’m making a doll that is meant to be used, not just observed, do I put appropriate undergarments on them?

A: That depends on the pattern. For the Doll for All Seasons patterns, I have included undergarments to fit the period of the pattern. For example, the Queen of Hearts has pantalets and a slip, Holly Dreaming of a White Christmas has a bra, panties, nylon stockings and a slip, and Kelly, a 15th Century Irish Colleen is wearing a Leine, a combination dress and slip, with no underwear because in the 1600's they didn't wear any. Every designer has different criteria for their costume patterns. I try to include underwear where possible, others don't. If you have a question about a specific pattern we would be happy to check it to see if undergarments are included. Even if a doll is only for display, I can't tell you how many people lift it up to see if they are wearing something underneath their dress. I was once asked, “Do fairies wear underpants?” I believe they do, although they are made of cobwebs and fairy dust. However, since you are the dollmaker, you can make your own decision. Sometimes adding underclothing creates bulk, and the costume would be better off without them.

Q: I want to make my own pressed felt (or other cloth) faces from an original mold. I know how to make the plaster mold from the clay head, but I need to make the second mold (mother mold, that goes on top of the sandwiched felt--is this clear?) from a thin, clear plastic, so that I can see any wrinkles in the felt. I need something kind of like the plastic covering that manufacturers use to seal small toys to a cardboard back. I'm wondering if I could brush 3D crystal lacquer on either the original clay or the plaster face mold to make something like this. Do you know?

A: I don't believe crystal lacquer will work. The process you want is very involved and usually involved a vacuum forming machine. You can read all about it in a past issue of Cloth Doll (Vol. 11 No. 4 Summer 1996) which is still available from Cloth Doll at The article is by Shirley Nigro-Hill and she tells you how to make your own vacuum forming box to create doll heads and what type of plastic to use and where to get it.
Mary Ann and I attended a demonstration at We Folk of Cloth by Shirley Nigro-Hill and she demonstrated her machine, which is available from her for $49.95 plus $5.00 shipping and handling. You can contact Shirley at 308 Washington Avenue, Batavia, NY 14020 or call her at 716-343-6891. Please double check the phone and address because her house burned down in 2003 and I am not sure she is still at the same address.


We’ve just added two new hair fibers. First we have a nice selection of CURLY CREPE MOHAIR BRAIDS. This lovely soft fiber fluffs up to make wonderful hair and beards. We also have BUMPLES TEXTURED YARN for a totally different look. Stop by and take a look at the nice array of colors.

We finally have the GRRRIP GLUE and SIXTH FINGER STILETTOES back in stock and both are on sale along with all of the other GENERAL SUPPLIES through the end of the month. Be sure to take advantage of the 20% discount.

Needles and Pipe Cleaners - We have the curved beading needles, assorted craft needles and the 25 packs of Chenille Stems back in stock.

Recordable push buttons voice boxes for dolls -, enter dolls, then music buttons.


Bonnie printed out 32 Family Cookbooks for Christmas gifts this year. Each book has about 1,000 family recipes, almost 300 pages, hints, tips, and all sorts of valuable information, such as how to make a mustard plaster, what to rub on smelly dogs (dryer fabric softener sheet), etc. She collected recipes for 6 months, typed all of them, and gave copies to everyone in her family. Mary Ann also got a copy. Of course, all the dividers (appetizers, bread, etc.) featured drawings of dolls. Now that Christmas is over, she is beginning new projects to help her Dollmaker’s Journey family. More information later.

Well, the plaid Santa was a huge hit with “Mr. Plaid” Jim and Mary Ann has been informed that it will grace the mantle 365 days a year. He even took it down to his sister’s house to show her – a true compliment! ( Picture Link -

The holidays were a bit too hectic with the large volume of orders we had and trying to make as many presents as possible. It wasn’t until the first week in January that Mary Ann could sit down to write a few cards. It came as quite a shock when she opened the beautiful box of cards (she bought on sale) and discovered the sentiment was written in a foreign language! Those leftovers cards from previous years have been gathered up and put to good use.


Judi from Alaska has a fun blog website with lots of ideas for making dolls. Check it out:

Tis the season to organize your sewing room. Get some ideas at:

We’d love to hear your thoughts about our Customer Connection newsletter.

Contact the editor Bonnie B. Lewis at with any comments, suggestions, 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 © 2007 Dollmaker’s Journey


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