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Dollmaker's Journey

June 2008 Issue 79

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

June 2008 Issue 79

Copyright 2008 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 Dollmaking Friends,

It's June, and Bonnie is already thinking about Christmas. Last year she gave everyone a family cookbook filled with recipes from 5 generations of relatives. This year she decided to give all her children fabric and lace covered loose-leaf notebooks filled with favorite Christmas stories encased in plastic sheet protectors. There are stories, songs, and poems to share for every day in December. She even included a childhood favorite, Muffit the Little Angel that has 24 chapters (you read one each day until Christmas.) This book has been out-of-print for years, and her falling apart copy was missing the last day (December 24th). Fortunately she located that page so her children can share it with their children. If you think this is a wonderful idea, check out which has some fun stories to begin your collection. HINT: To cover the inside of the notebook, take used file folders and cover with fabric. A piece of ribbon can cover any raw edges along the spine. You could even include photographs of some of the dolls you have made to help illustrate different stories.

Meanwhile, at Dollmaker's Journey we have joined Kate Erbach to work on a wonderful surprise for all of you. SHHHHH TOP SECRET!!! We won't tell you what it is, but when it is ready we will be sure to let you know in our Customer Connection Newsletter. In the meantime, enjoy this issue, and thanks for being part of our Dollmaker's Journey family.

Bonnie and Mary Ann


As you know, we've divided our patterns into a large array of categories. Our general FEMALE CATEGORY is an extensive collection of patterns that don't necessarily fit neatly into other areas. Many of them have not been on sale before. You'll have at least 160 to choose from during our JUNE SALE that will be 20% off all month long. Enjoy!

Question: Often inspiration for a wonderful doll comes from the movies. Who was the first African American to win an Academy Award? (Hint: This person appeared on a U.S. postage stamp.)

Answer: Many inspired guesses (Sidney Poitier, Booker T. Washington [first black on stamp, but didn't get academy award], Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horn, Halle Berry, Paul Robeson) but only one right answer. Hattie McDaniel (1895-1952) entertained America as a movie actress, singer, and radio and television performer. With her role as Mammy in the 1939 film Gone with the Wind, she became the first African American to win an Academy Award (for Best Supporting Actress).
Congratulations to Helen Hoelck from Wallingford, Connecticut. Your name was selected at random from all of the correct quiz entries, and you will receive a $10 gift certificate from Dollmaker’s Journey. Watch for your name in a coming month!


U.S. coins are differentiated by the edge. Old silver dollars, half dollars, quarters and dimes have vertical ridges on the edge. Nickels and pennies have smooth edges. The new "gold" presidential dollars, which are easily confused with quarters being about the same size, have engraved information on the edge, but no ridges. I always thought that was because if you were blind you could feel the edge of the coin to determine what it is. (Pennies and dimes are similar in size, as are nickels and quarters.) So my question for this month is: How many ridges are on the edge of a dime?

Everyone who emails in the correct answers by July 15th will be entered into a drawing for a $10 gift certificate to Dollmaker’s Journey. The winner will be announced in the next newsletter. Email your answers to Bonnie at Put June Quiz in subject box. Please include your full name and where you live (state/country) in your email.

CHARITY CORNER - "Every Doll Needs a Home"

*Calling All Dolls...*
It's that time of year when we turn to all of our fantastic doll making friends sending out a request for help with our annual doll art benefit

The Evangeline Booth Miracle Home run by the Salvation Army is a temporary emergency shelter for homeless women and children located in Schenectady, NY. We will be holding our annual fundraiser on September 18, 2008. The event is called "Every Doll Needs a Home" and is a doll art benefit. Donations of dolls are being accepted anytime now up until August 18, 2008. You can also read more about the Booth Home and doll art benefit by going to:

The live auction will consist of handmade dolls of cloth or cloth and clay. These can be anything from ragdolls to brightly colored funky dolls and/or hand-sculpted cloth and clay artist creations. Porcelain, vintage, and manufactured dolls are also accepted. They will be offered in a silent auction.

Last year's event was a huge success. Because of this benefit and the help of an additional grant, we will be getting a much-needed new roof this spring! The event seems to become more popular in this area every year. Last year we had quite a few new people attending -- there were actually a couple of bidding wars! Everyone always has a good time. Your efforts go a long way to help these women and children. It also does a lot for them spiritually. If you could see their faces when they see that so many women from all over actually care about them and want to help. Spirits around here continue to boost every time another doll arrives. Your assistance not only helps to keep this shelter open but you help create hope where there sometimes was little or none. Some of the dolls that arrive early enough - before August 1st - may appear in the main library's glass (locked) display case for the entire month of August and may even appear in the news.

Dolls can be dropped off or shipped to:
The Evangeline Booth Miracle Home
ATTN: Pam Small
168 Lafayette St.
Schenectady, NY 12305
Any questions? Please call (518) 370-0276 or (518) 3700277 and ask for Pam.
You can also email Pam at Pam.Small@USE.SalvationArmy.Org


Several months ago a grandson accidentally spilled a huge box of beads onto my carpeted sewing room floor (from size 14 delicas to large glass beads). I made the room off limits until I could pick them up. It has now been off limits for two months. Finally I sat on the floor and started picking up individual beads, but after four hours of this, I decided there must be a better way. I got a knee hi from my stocking drawer and placed it over a vacuum cleaner hose. The beads were drawn up by the hose and held in place by the nylon stocking. I put the hose over a large tray, turned off the vacuum, and the beads dropped into the tray ready to re-sort. There is one final note. Don't use a regular vacuum cleaner unless you can detach the roller brush, or you will wear out the rubber belt. (How do I know? I tried this method first until I smelled burning rubber.) I ended up using a wet-dry vacuum that only had a hose attachment. It worked perfectly.


Q : Can anyone enlighten me on working with "Curly Hair"? I have never used it before and cannot find directions anywhere. I'm doing a cloth doll toddler that calls for it and it really is the finishing touch for this doll.

A: Curly hair has no beginning or end. You can just take clumps and tack it to the head. However, if you rub it between your hands first it will look more natural and not as shiny. It is also possible to use felting needles to embed it into the scalp. The technique is explained in our Customer Connection newsletter. The full article is here:

Q: I am really very new to cloth doll making. But I have a hard time here locally, finding the right material to use for the "body" or flesh of the doll. What would you suggest would be the best all round material to use?

A: It depends on the pattern you choose to make a doll. Each pattern will tell you what type of fabric you need to create a doll using that particular pattern. Many are made with cotton fabric such as Pimatex or Southern Belle. We sell this type of fabric dyed in 15 different ethnic shades. All our free charity doll patterns use this type of fabric. Also, if you check out our many free patterns, each indicates the type of fabric to use. Some patterns require doe suede (or bucksuede) or a type of velour (which we also sell). This fabric is much easier to turn but a little harder to sew, since it has a slight stretch. It is also harder to paint a face on the fuzzy side of the fabric. However, it also makes wonderful dolls and Judi Ward swears by it. You do have to be careful not to overstuff it. So my advice? Begin with a pattern, and then purchase fabric as indicated on the pattern.

Q: I was reading you newsletter and you mentioned you attach hair with a needle felting needle and glue on the doll scalp. How is this done? Is there a book I can buy that will show me this technique?

A: Dear Patti - As far as I know there is no book on this technique. However, I wrote several articles on the subject in our free Customer Connection newsletter. One of them is in issue 9 (
Draw a hairline on the head, front, side and back. Put a line of tacky glue along the back of the head at the nape of the neck and lay hair fibers along glue with the ends in the glue. Hold the felting needle at right angles to the head and repeatedly stab the hair until the ends are all embedded in the head. Put another line of glue above this and repeat until whole head is covered. If needle gets glue on it, just wipe with damp paper towel. This technique forces the ends of the hair into the stuffing underneath the "skin", which mixes with the glue and Fiberfil to create a strong bond. Let glue dry before styling and cutting hair.

Q: I am working on a project which uses the Dritz half ball buttons with teeth for joints and the size is 3/4". I have never used this method before and I am having trouble trying to snap the back onto the half ball. My hands are not that strong due to carpel tunnel. Help!

A: See if you can place a small spool of thread over the back of the button - like from Gutterman thread - that you can push down on to snap the back on. The prong of the button will go into the center hole of the spool. You might also try tapping the spool with a hammer .


Denise Dodd wrote: I have some Apoxie Sculpt that I had stored in its original container AND it was shrink wrapped in plastic. It was never opened.
When I went to use it this past week, the part B had like puddles of golden oil on it and the part A was very stiff and hard.? It's almost impossible to work with.
Is there any way to save this?? I hate to throw away so much of it.

Linda Hansen went directly to Aves who manufactures Apoxie Sculpt when one of the batches she received was very hard and difficult to use. Erin, who works there, told her how to fix it. After she followed their advice, it was as good as new! Here is what you do:

You can heat in the microwave for up to 45 seconds, but at 15 second intervals and it will restore it (meaning: 15 second, 15 second, 15 second intervals until you reach 45 seconds)

Take part A and put it in the microwave for 15 seconds, then stop it and see if you can stir it with a skewer. If it is still hard, do it for another 15 seconds, and stir again. If it still looks hard do it for another 15 seconds (but no more than a total of 45 seconds). Do not use the product for at least an hour, because it will be very hot & sticky, not a good combo to have on your hands. If you must use it sooner, stick it in the freezer for a little bit to cool off. For Part B just stir the oil back into it.


Hoffman Challenge
Deadline: July 25, 2008
You must use a recognizable piece of their challenge fabric in the finished doll.
You can get the fabric at
See previous winners at and click on "Hoffman Dolls"
For details go to:

[The Material Girls] Becky Holloway Challenge!
Deadline: September 30, 2008
1. Use the Becky Holloway pattern called "Garden Party" (available at
2.You can change the pattern by upsizing or downsizing and adding bits and
pieces but it still needs to look like the Garden Party pattern somewhat
when you are finished.
3.You must finish and send the pictures to Lisa Risler ( by September 30th, 2008 with a NAME and a good DESCRIPTION of what all you did and how you did it...even a story is nice!
4. Voting will begin on October 5th with the url to be announced as soon as it is available online.
5. NO LATE entries can be accepted to be fair to everyone.
6. Please join the Yahoo Group "Hollowaypatterns" so we can kind of keep up with what is going on.
7. Do NOT show anyone your finished project until after the voting has been done. You must not tell anyone which entry is yours. You will be disqualified -- out of fairness to everyone else entering the contest.
Prizes will be awarded by Dollmaker's Journey, Cloth Doll Patterns, and Cloth Doll Supply.

Treasures of the Gypsy Challenge - Journey of the Gypsy
Kits available now for $20.00 US
For information on 2008 challenge contact: Pamela Armas
P. O. Box 748, Mountainair, New Mexico 87036, USA.
Email address:

2009 All Dolled Up: Beaded Art Doll Competition
Due date: August 31, 2009
Theme: Earthen Mother
Official rules posted here:


July 17-20, 2008 – Enchanted Doll Artist Conference (EDAC)
Embassy Suites, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Visit: or contact Rae Sook , 9827 N. 151st E. Ave., Owasso, OK 74055 for more information

July 26-30, 2008 – National Doll Festival (21st annual)
Tuscany Suites and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
Same time and town as UFDC, ODACA and NIADA National Conventions
Contact information: National Doll Festival, P.O. Box 66823, Scotts Valley, CA 95067
E-mail: or
(831) 438-5349 phone (831) 439-9142 fax number

July 27-August 1, 2008 – UFDC (United Federation of Doll Clubs, Inc.)
Bally's, Las Vegas, Nevada
For registration and more information go to

July 27, 2008 – ODACA Luncheon 2008
Bally's, Las Vegas, Nevada
For registration and more information go to

July 24-27, 2008 – NIADA (National Institute of American Doll Artists)
Imperial Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada
For registration and more information go to

August 2, 2008 – A Day with Dolls #3
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Shelton E Dole Center, 250 South Sixth Avenue, Mount Vernon, NY
For more information call 914-667-7100
Dollmaker's Journey will have a booth there and we would love to meet you in person.

October 19, 2008 - Manitoba Doll Club presents "Village of Dreams"
Time: 10:00 to 4:00 pm
Canadinns Polo Park, 1405 St. Matthew Ave, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Admission: adults $4.00 Children (-12) & Seniors (+65): $3.00
Info: Sylvia 204.482.4932 or Vieve

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


The very generous and creative KATE ERBACH treats us all to another FREE PATTERN. "Celeste" is a flat doll project you'll have a ball creating. Thanks, Kate!


Ann Corbett on the FOCD list shares what she does with extra "stuff" (see Just for Fun below.) "Throwing stash in trash??? A cardinal sin! I've tried and just couldn't do it! I was the director of a domestic violence shelter before I retired...I had a Hispanic lady in the shelter with six kids, three of them girls. She made the most beautiful ruffled dresses by hand because she had never had a machine. I took my entire stash to the shelter (not only fabric, but trims of all kinds), then we had a lady donate a sewing machine. Before long, after we found the family a home, we had her in a cottage dressmaking business. She did quite well and was so proud of her accomplishments. A DV shelter is always a good option for donations!"


You've got to check out JULIE MC CULLOUGH'S newest doll "Trapeze!" It has one of the most interesting construction methods we've ever seen. The two legs are one piece and the abdomen buttons over them. We also have JULIE'S sweet "Flower Fairy" - a quick and easy treat.

There are so many superb techniques presented in CHRISTINE SHIVELY'S "The Jewell of Experience" that it's almost as wonderful as taking a class with her in person.

"Tosaki" is a precious fish shaped pincushion from LESLIE MOLEN that would be a most delightful gift.

elinor peace bailey has two colorful new patterns for your creative enjoyment. "Kay-La-Belle" was designed while she was visiting a friend who owns a Quilt Shop and "Lily Ann" came from a drawing done by a very talented granddaughter named Lily - two very fun projects!

Use your favorite bits and pieces to create two wonderful needle cases by LESLIE MOLEN. What terrific gifts they would be!

Another magnificent dragon from Down Under designer JUDITH PRIOR. The "Ambrose CD" is a full course of incredible construction techniques that are sure to delight every dragon maker.

Hanging on Gloria "Mimi" Winer's studio wall is a little essay by Susanna Oroyan.

The Rule of Stuff (as revealed to Susanna Oroyan)

You can never have too much stuff.
The stuff you have is never as good as the other guy's stuff.
The stuff you have is probably too good to use on the doll anyway, better save it.
Any stuff you need is always too expensive.
Your stuff is never where you thought it was.
Stuff multiplies exponentially on its own.
Stuff cannot resist gravity, it prefers being in piles on the floor.
Stuff mutates, the stuff you thought you had is not the stuff you do have.
The natural state of stuff is chaos, don't even try to organize it in plastic boxes.
Stuff stored in closets will always fall on your head.
If you see good stuff, better buy it because you will never find it again....always buy twice as much stuff as you might need.
Really good stuff is irresistible to cats.
Copyright 1997 Susannah Oroyan.


Curved beading needles are back in stock.


Bonnie's little dog Squeakers (named because he always squeaked like a duck to get attention due to a closing trachea) died on Tuesday morning after being sick for a week. Her husband brought him to the vet, but he died on the table before he could be put to sleep. He is survived by his litter mate Bear, who is wandering around the house like a lost soul. They have been inseparable since birth. Squeakers is happily roaming new horizons in heaven, and Bonnie's daughter, Amy, is expecting her first child (a girl) within the next two weeks. This seems to be the story of her life. As one comes, another goes. More updates next month.

Mary Ann and Jim travel up to NJ every two to three weeks to visit Mary Ann’s sister Barb. For Father’s Day they travelled a little further north to Jersey City to spend time with Jim’s sons Sean and Michael, his daughter Molly and Sean’s amazing wife Lisa. Sean and Lisa live in a fabulous apartment in a building constructed in the 1800’s. From their living room windows they have an incredible view of the Statue of Liberty. The kitchen, however, is about the size of a postage stamp. Somehow Lisa managed to produce a huge array of incredibly delicious dishes for a family gathering that was a culinary extravaganza. A grand time and delightfully full stomachs were had by all. The siblings produced a lovely Sunday Brunch the following morning then Mak and Jim went to visit her parents where she cooked a salmon dinner for them. I guess you could say the entire weekend was a gastronomical delight. They are headed back up to NJ this weekend, too, to attend niece Brynn DeToro’s final dance recital. Never a dull moment, that’s for sure!


Unusual fabrics can be purchased from:

Dianne Sahakian shared a wonderful website on how to distress fabric
A special website for children of loved ones with memory loss.

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….) To subscribe to Dollmaker’s Journey Customer Connection, go to:

To unsubscribe, go to:

To change your address, subscribe the new address and unsubscribe the old address.

Copyright © 2008 Dollmaker’s Journey

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