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Dollmaker's Journey

March 2007 Issue 66

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

April 2007 Issue 66

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,

We have been very busy playing with new products and techniques for AFIC in Columbus, Ohio. Those who attend will be the first to see four imaginative new elemental icons displayed in our Dollmaker’s Journey room. We hope to have the pattern available shortly after we return. Each doll features a different product, including Paverpol (available soon), Apoxie Sculpt, Angelina fiber, and Fantasy Film (available soon). We will also have the entire Doll for All Seasons Series on display. Mary Ann’s friend Jim is coming. Wait until you see the outrageous hats he is bringing! Hope to see you in Columbus.

Mary Ann and Bonnie


Spring has finally arrived here in the Northern Hemisphere! Can you hear the fairies frolicking? Well, they are all atwitter here at Dollmakers Journey because they are all on sale for the month of April. Come see our amazing collection of fairy patterns and treat yourself to 20% off.

At long last we have some fabulous new costumes for our Doll and Dude for All Seasons! Thanks to the artistry of Canadian designer EDWINA SUTHERLAND you will transform the doll bodies into “The Geisha” and “The Samurai just in time for the Cherry Blossom Festival! As always, they are offered at a 25% discount as an Introductory Special until the next costumes come out.


August 31, 2007 - “Every Doll Needs a Home"
This annual auction raises money for the women and children staying in the Booth Home. The auction will be September 20. Dolls need to arrive by August 31st. They will be in a display case at the public library until the auction. Mail dolls to:
The Salvation Army Evangeline Booth Miracle Home
ATTN: Pam Small
168 Lafayette St.
Schenectady, NY 12305
For more information call Pam at (518)370-0276 or (518)370-0277

(This post appeared in FOCD, and I am reprinting it with Katherine’s permission.)

My ten year old granddaughter has become interested in sewing, and [simple] patterns* are ideal for a beginner as they are not overwhelming. She is a most creative child with a wonderful flair for bright happy colours.

I have purchased a good quality 3-ring binder, coloured purple of course. Is there any little girl who does not answer “pink or purple” if asked her favourite colour?

In the binder I am filing in plastic pockets for the freebies available at Dollmaker's Journey, gradually increasing in difficulty as the pages progress.

The binder has free pockets and a zipper pocket for a tape measure and an old-fashioned needle book complete with basket of flowers printed on it and small sharp scissors. She is intelligent and capable. One of my feelings is that there is nothing more frustrating for a young person than blunt scissors that chew the fabric, enough to put you off for life.

I am also covering a pretty box, in which are charm squares (she loves those wretched Bratz dolls), other larger pieces of pretty fabric, and many little packets of my far too huge stock of embellishments. This will be her Christmas present.

My 3 daughters are all good needlewomen, but do not bother. I so hope to spark a kindred soul in Jessica, nothing selfish about me!

*Katherine recommends a new free pattern by Judi Wellnitz from North Pole, Alaska called Blume at
for a perfect beginning pattern for children.


Doll Challenge for National Dance Week
See the dolls and winners at

Hoffman Challenge 2007
Deadline: July 27, 2007

16th Annual "Dimensions in Dollmaking"
Theme: History in the Making
Show will be August 22-25, 2007 in San Diego, California
Promise forms due by July 19 and dolls by August 1, 2007
Forms and more information at:

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

“Gypsies of the Sea” 2007 sponsored by Treasures of the Gypsy
The challenge packets are available now, 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.


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 5, 2007 - 2007 Heart of Doll Country Luncheon
Kirtlander Party Center, Kirtland Ohio
Contact Carolyn Englert for more information:

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

June 6-9, 2007 - Carousel of Dolls
International Doll Makers Association 35th Convention
Hilton Indianapolis, North
8181 North Shadeland Ave
Indianapolis, IN

June 28-30, 2007 – Doll Alley
Cincinnati, Ohio
Great teachers, projects, and doll exhibits
For more information check out (under Ohio)

July 19-22, 2007 - Enchanted Doll Artists Conference
Embassy Suites, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Also EDAC website has info on the Gypsy challenge.

August 9-12, 2007 - Doll University presents Camp Doll U
Trinity Lutheran College, Issaquah, Washington, U.S.A.

August 16-25, 2007 – Master’s at Marooochydore (MAM) 2007
Beerwah Q., Australia
Fabric figures and character artists from Australia and Canada
Applications closed June 1, 2007
Website: for on-line application & general 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:


Judi Wellnitz from North Pole, Alaska offers you Blume at

Learn more about it in Granddaughter’s Notebook above.

Sherry Goshon has a new challenge and free pattern. The theme is “Who Am I?” The pattern is a tiny elfin or fairy pattern. You need to make her into whomever you want her to be and write a paragraph about her. For example, she could be the elfin of the woods that takes care of the berries, etc. The pattern may be enlarged for those who don’t like to work small. You can find the pattern at

Pictures need to be sent to Sherry by July 1, 2007 at
Prizes from Sherry, Dollmaker’s Journey, and Cloth Doll Patterns will be awarded.
Feel free to share this information with doll clubs, etc.
To see more of Sherry’s patterns, go to

That KATE ERBACH – she just can’t stop designing whimsical dolls that are great fun for beginners and dollmakers of every level. Stop by and download her latest project “Etta Mae.”

KAREN SHIFTON took our “Lady Chatelaine” pattern and morphed it into a fantastic Kangaroo. You can also download this wonderful modification for FREE.

By Gloria “Mimi” Winer, Kathy Hays and Bonnie B. Lewis

Musings from Gloria: Some dollmakers are using copper tubes in the doll to fit over a post in the base. I started thinking about how Richard Creager uses copper tubing as part of his leg armature. Sometimes he will use a shorter one-inch piece of tubing baked into the Super Sculpey that extends to the foot sole. I have tried it several times and can't insert a short piece into the stuffing after it is stuffed

How are you getting the tube into the leg? Before it is stuffed? Or have you found a way to push one through the stuffing? I usually wrap floral tape around the wire armature to keep it from moving around while I stuff "in the round" around the wire, It's easy with the right sized hemostats to layer in the stuffing. Floral tape is coated with wax which is tacky enough to grab the fibers and prevent the tube from sliding around as you stuff. I don't know why it never occurred to me to use a copper tube as part of the armature for a cloth doll.

Many years ago I tried to use copper tubing in several ways to make it work to support the doll on a base. I hate those traditional doll stands that grab the doll around the middle. I was not successful with copper tubing and learned to make my dolls self supporting, but it often takes days to balance the darn thing. Copper tubing is very difficult to bend. My hands are not strong enough to use it. Copper tubes are sold in boxes of 12 and the shortest length is 12 inches. I will try again now that I have a small pipe cutter that will do the job nicely without pain. The pipe which is open through the bottom of the foot will fit over a one-inch nail or steel pin sized one mm or so smaller than the copper tube will mean I can make easy bases. I am grateful for comments that I read in FOCD. Isn't sharing and networking wonderful? Hooray for FOCD!

Kathy responds: In the past I have used and suggested to use metal knitting needles. They work, but you always have to cut off the stop on them. A 12" narrow metal tube would be awesome for doll making! What do other designers use? I know some use wooden dowels but they are subject to breakage.

Bonnie replies: I have often used tubes found in Hobby Shops. They are usually found in the train and miniature section. Brass and aluminum tubes bend easily and aren't as good. If you could find stainless steel this would be ideal. They come in many sizes, round and square, and have solid rods that fit inside the tubes. I have used overflow pipes for toilets, but you have to cut off the flange. These are stainless steel and very strong. One of the best pipes is the 1/4" copper tubing used for refrigerator water units. They come in long coils, are easy to cut with a pipe cutter, can be bent to suit the armature, and you can slide sculpting wire inside to attach the tube to the rest of the armature. You can see how we used this in our Doll for All Seasons, Miss Independence (July). We do carry the sculpting wire, but it may not be stiff enough for you.


When two great designers collaborate the resulting project is literally out of this world! Wait until you see what SHERRY GOSHON and KATE ERBACH have in store for you. Come see their “Celestial Trio” with a face mold by SHERRY that becomes the Sun, Moon and a Star on KATE’S wildly imaginative bodies. We know you are going to love this project as much as we do!

She's always thinking of ways to improve herself and gathers her friends around her to form a 'dance class' on Tuesdays in her car shed. The music is turned up and they 'dance as if nobody's watching' from 9 till 10 only stopping for morning tea and a chat! She is an author of several spine chilling novels, grows pink daisies in window boxes and plays the ukulele. Come meet JILL MAAS’ “Dancing Doris.” You’re going to love her!

We now have two incredible DVDs from renowned NIADA Doll Artist ANTONETTE “NONI” CELY “Customizing Doll Patterns” and “Making Faces.” These expertly produced programs will raise your dollmaking skills to magnificent new heights!

From the fertile imagination of Australia’s SUZETTE RUGOLO comes the amazing “Dodo Warrior.” You’ve got to check out this extraordinary pattern!

BUNNY GOODE is treating us to two lovely new patterns “Wilhemina Wallflower” an elegant wall doll in two versions and the very clever “Sleek Chics” with the built in stands.

U.K. designer MADELEINE SARA MADDOCKS’ “Fleur Fantasy Maiden” is a vision in ribbons, laces, silk and beads. A wonderful embellishing exercise!

Australia’s MICHELLE MUNZONE brings us her colorful jester “Emelio” posed on one foot with his flute.

Did you see the wonderful article about LESLIE MOLEN in a recent issue of Art Doll Quarterly? She’s taking her doll patterns in an entirely new direction and we are thrilled to have her first two CD projects “The Gossips” and “The Gypsy” CDs. Each CD is a five lesson course with hundreds of color photos to guide you every step of the way. Each of these patterns requires a pre-made face form that you will learn to cover, attach and paint. Why not treat yourself to one of these extraordinary patterns!

“Madeline the Sultry Mermaid” by MARY KOCHEVAR has a unique tail that is bound to attract attention.

Just in from Australia’s SANDY PINE – an exquisite fairy named “Aliyah” than can be all cloth or have clay applied over the face.

PATTI LAVALLEY also has a wonderful new fairy called “Ambrosia” – just in time for the last week of our April FAIRY SALE. Be sure to get your 20% discount on our large collection of Fairy patterns.


Q: I am very excited to view the web-page of Dollmaker’s Journey, because I am a Chinese cloth-doll maker with limited dollmaking techniques. I have learned a lot from your page but I still want to learn more skills about how to make dimensional faces. Can your recommend some books about how to make 3-dimensional cloth doll faces? Jojo

A: For help in creating 3-D cloth faces, go to

Check out Needlesculpting by Leslie Molen
We have both a book and DVD

The new DVD by elinor peace bailey will help you with most dollmaking questions.

Virginia Robertson's book, Needle Sculpting Cloth Doll Faces, is one of my favorites. It includes patterns to make and directions on how to do faces, including ethnic ones.

The booklet Sculpt and Wire Heads from cotton cloth is good for fabric you can readily find in China.

Creating Faces CD-ROM is wonderful also.

As for fabric, we carry 15 different ethnic shades of 100% cotton (Southern Belle by Springmaid). This fabric is manufactured in China and dyed by me here in the United States.

For sculpting heads with fabric that stretches a lot, you can use Dolskin, a thin fabric with stretch in both directions. It is polyester based.

Some designers like velour or doesuede (deersuede/bucksuede) that has a slight stretch and is fuzzy on one side and smooth on the other. You can use either side for the right side of the face. These are softer than cotton and easy to sculpt. It helps to get a pattern, see what type of fabric they recommend, and then purchase that kind of fabric.

On our website we have a lot of free patterns. Many of these have sculpted heads, with directions on what to do. Try one of these, using the fabric they recommend, and if you like it, feel free to order other patterns by that designer.


At the request of designer KATHY HAYS we’ve added the wonderful double stick fusing web called STEAM A SEAM 2 that will hold your appliqués together firmly while you are working on them but isn’t permanent until it is steamed. We also have the SAKURA WHITE GEL PEN that so many of you enjoy using.

We’ve just added yet another color of Tibetan Lamb a very rich Cobalt Blue!

We are delighted to report that we have finally found a company that can keep us supplied with a wide selection of essential dollmaking products for the ever expanding Supply section of our site. We now have the WHITE FLORAL TAPE and boxes of 100 CHENILLE STEMS back in stock. We also have 25 yard spools of WAXED LINEN CORD in three colors for achieving tight joints on your dolls. While you are looking around pick up a pack of ten 1.5” PINBACKS for your pindolls. Designer JULIE BOOTH put us on to our favorite new gizmo the BEAD STOPPER! You’ll never have to worry about your beads sliding off your strand again with this fantastic spring-like device that comes 6 in a package.


Designers MIMI WINER and JUDY SKEEL teach a wonderful seam strengthening technique where they apply Grrrip Glue to the seam with a special applicator bottle. We tried it and found it was also perfect for applying tiny trims, Apoxie Sculpt to fabric (more about this in our upcoming pattern), hair, and many other uses. We now have this terrific bottle that comes with a long metal tip along with a spare. Stop by and take a look and learn this valuable technique.


Bonnie had another dream in which she saw four elemental spirit dolls using some of our latest products. She called Mary Ann and said she needed body patterns with pointed toes, bent legs, straight legs, flat feet, bent arms, straight arms, etc. Mary Ann designed a perfect fairy-like body and Bonnie created dolls to match her vision. She and Mary Ann have gotten together several times to play and experiment, and we know you will LOVE the results. We will have an unveiling in Columbus, Ohio and introduce them to our website when we return (hopefully later in May or beginning in June.)

Mary Ann has spent the past several weeks pricing and packing patterns and merchandise with dear Jim’s capable assistance. It’s a lot of work to take our show on the road but having the opportunity to meet so many friends and customers in person makes it so worthwhile. At the same time she is knee deep in fabrics, beads and trims working with Bonnie on these 4 fabulous new dolls. Somebody just has to figure out how to get a few more hours into the day!


Free doll patterns (in Dutch) at this website:

This is a free pattern you could play with.

Needle-felted dolls

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….)

Copyright © 2007 Dollmaker’s Journey

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