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Dollmaker's Journey

February 2002 Issue Eight

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February 2002 Issue Eight


Copyright 2002 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.
Visit out companion website:

** New! **
You can now read all the past issues online. Go to:
The archives include an easy to follow index to all the past


Dear dollmaker friends,

The world of cloth doll making gets more exciting every
day with wonderful events to challenge us, talented new
designers publishing patterns, (and talented old designers
publishing new patterns!) and a myriad of ways for us to
connect with and support one another in our creative
efforts. We hope the information in this newsletter will be
one more way for you to keep your finger on the pulse of
doll making energy. Enjoy!

Mary Ann and Bonnie



Check for winners.



Dollmaker's Journey is always excited to bring you the
patterns of a new designer. We'd like to introduce you
to the very talented VALARIE GARBER of Longwood, Florida.
Valarie's "Tango" is a dancing duo with so much flair. The
graceful "Molly Mermaid" is a beautiful wall hanging and
"Madame Flutterfly" has painted silk wings to die for. We
think Val has a long, successful career ahead of her as a
pattern designer!



To save yourself time and energy, get all the details on
upcoming doll related events such as the Kansas City Doll
Extravaganza in April, Quilt Market (they need doll
centerpieces for American Cancer Society – free pattern
link at Karen’s site), We Folk of Cloth in October, the
Gypsy of the Night Sky 2002 Treasures of the Gypsy
Challenge and many other events by regularly visiting
website. For the most comprehensive news on designers,
events, challenges and activities be sure to check out and


We’re joining Doug and Barb Keeling’s crusade to “PUT A
FACE ANYPLACE!” In their fantastic book “Focus on
Faces” Doug and Barb make it easier than ever to create
wonderful, imaginative faces for your dolls. With over 75
faces to trace or copy, and separate facial features to
mix’n’match, their step-by-step instructions will guide you
to a new confidence in face making.

In addition, we now have a selection of the Keelings’
“Focus on Faces Rubber Stamp Kits” that will enable you
to put fabulous faces on dolls, pins, quilt squares, garments,
accessories – the sky’s the limit!

To top it all off, we’re excited to bring you 4 of Doug and
Barb’s popular doll patterns: the dashing senior super hero
“Twissel Man”, the delightfully pixilated “Internet Ida”,
“Sparkle” the charming fairy grandmother and the sweet
fairy “Breeze.”


To date we have had 8 newsletters, filled with lots of fun ideas
and projects. Now we have back issues available on our website
at ( We
have also created an index that will be updated with each
Customer Connection, so you can readily find articles, contests,
tips, and supplies. The number in ( ) indicates which issue. The
index can be found at We hope
this will make it easier to find and access information in our past


If you want to try crystal lacquer (sold at, the starter set
has a 2 ounces bottle with a special applicator tip and pin
(the pin is taped to the instruction sheet). The refill kit is 4
ounces, and has a tip lid and cap. Actually, we have never
used the applicator tip. We just unscrew the lid (if it is
sticking, try holding it under hot water for a few minutes),
dip in a tiny paintbrush, and paint the lacquer on the eyes,
lips, and nails. We find we have better control this way,
and the applicator tip does become clogged with repeated
usage. If you have problems with lids sticking, try wiping
the lid and rim to remove excess liquid, and coat the
screwed area with petroleum jelly (Vaseline), or put a piece
of plastic wrap on the bottle before screwing the lid back


Philippine dollmaker Winnie Rose Reyes recently shared
the effect Susanna Oroyan's books had on her personal doll
making journey. From her study she put together the
following outline of dollmaking techniques.


Up until 2 years ago I only knew how to make one kind of
doll (the one with a nose). Then I found Susanna Oroyan's
ANATOMY OF A DOLL and it blew my mind! It's a
treasure trove of information about the different methods
one can use to make a doll. You might want to get this
book and her other books (Designing the Doll, Finishing
the Figure) if you’re seeking to expand your doll making
horizons. (All three books are available at

This doll is made in an outline form, much like a
gingerbread cookie cutter. The fabric is cut out in the
shape of a doll with seam allowances added, sewn and then
stuffed. This is a one-piece doll, much like GRETCHEN
LIMA'S ( dolls.
The basic rag doll structure is much like the outline form
except parts (arms, legs & torso w/head) have been
separated into three pieces to make foldable joints (like
Raggedy Ann & Andy).

This is a variation of the rag doll form. The face pattern
can be made into three parts: 2 side views of the face (to
make a nose) and the back. Julie McCullough
( makes these as well as 2
piece head (2 profiles sewn together). Leg seams formerly
on the side of the doll can be on the front and back of the
leg, and separate soles, gussets and darts can also be added
to achieve more dimensionality.

This is a non-moveable doll made of different parts, much
like different parts of a puzzle. A more elaborate version of
this is the draping method of Lenore Davis. Patterns are
made by draping cloth on a clay sculptured doll. This is
also in the book. Antonette Cely, Susanna Oroyan, Virginia
Robertson, epb (elinor peace bailey) and a lot of other doll
makers employ this technique in one form or another.

MOVEMENT (moveable joints):
Articulated joints can be achieved using different jointing
techniques. Buttons, visible or hidden, can join arms and
legs to the torso. Akira Blount
(, Julie McCullough and Jane
Darin make button jointed dolls. The ball joint technique is
another option. Shelley Thornton makes such dolls
( as well
as a lot of porcelain and wood doll makers like Maggie
Iacomo. This is also discussed in Anatomy of a Doll.
Wire Armature is another technique. A stick-figure-like
wire figure is embedded in the doll to make it sturdier or to
achieve bendable joints.

To achieve a sculptural look or realism to the doll's head
you can use needle sculpture like Lisa Lichtenfels
(, Jane Darin
(, Virginia
Robertson, Jurate ( or
Antonette Cely (
This is achieved by using a stretchable fabric on the doll's
head so the stuffing can be moved around into places like
the nose, cheeks, etc. (Susanna's book discusses this
technique briefly.)
Pressed cloth head. This is cloth glued over a directly
sculptured or molded head. Paper clay or floral foam are
some of the more popular mediums for the base of such
heads. Sherry Goshon
( sells patterns
and molds for such heads. Anatomy of a Doll also
discusses this technique in one of its chapter.
Masks are simpler versions of this. A mask is made out of
polymer clay, paper clay, porcelain or plaster of Paris and
is then glued to a flat head in place of the face. Gretchen
Lima, Peggy Flynn, and Andra Dunn use this technique.

I really enjoyed learning about all these techniques for
creating a doll. It has opened a whole new world of
dollmaking for me.
Winnie Rose Reyes



After careful consideration, designer Shari Lutz has
decided to allow her popular patterns to remain on
the market. Dollmaker's Journey is delighted
to add three more wonderful patterns to her line of antique
reproduction and primitive style dolls. With "Safrina"
and "Harietta Whiskeritch" you'll have a ball learning
how to construct heads with Styrofoam and paperclay.
A trapunto process is used to make the face of "Aunt
Cathedra and her Crow." Treat yourself to the creative
pleasure of making this unique style of doll.

MARILYN HALCOMB has outdone herself with her
delightful new pattern - "Jack the Jovial Jester and Mardi
Marotte – Girl Tuesday". This colorful character features
awesome needle sculpted hands.

Inspired by the famous Tina Turner song, SANDY
CORSON'S award winning "Private Dancer" is a
graceful, long-legged beauty. This versatile pattern
also includes a stunning gown.


We are frequently asked if we sell the tool for setting the
tiny grommets we sell. The reason we don’t is because the
tool is easily found in any hardware store for a few dollars
and you may already have one. It’s called either a “center”
or a “prick” punch. It looks like a metal pencil and is
normally used to set nails. Although we always send an
instruction sheet with the grommets, we now have detailed
instructions with photos and sketches on the site for easy


Bonnie was asked how to make children's hands in scale
for a doll. She measured her 3-year-old granddaughter and
here is what she found. Jade is 38" tall. Normally on an
adult if you put the heel of your palm against your chin,
your hand comes to the center or top of your forehead.
However, on her granddaughter from the bottom of her
chin to the top of her forehead where the hairline begins we
measured 5" (her whole head from chin to top was 7" high),
but her hand from the bottom of the palm to the tip of her
middle finger measured only 4" and came only to her
eyebrows, and her foot was 5-1/2" from heel to toe. She
kept saying, "Grandma, but I'm not a doll" as she was
measured. With most baby dolls (especially porcelain) the
hands are MUCH smaller than the head, not realistic at all!
So depending on whether you want your toddler doll to be
realistic or not, at least now you have some measurements
to play with. Of course, our proportional scale wheel that
we sell will help you translate these measurements into doll
size. Directions on how to use it are on our website


We’ve just added 17 new pictures to our Dollmaker’s
Journey Showcase. Stop by and take a look at the fabulous
dolls our customers are making from the patterns on the
site. Don’t be shy – we’d love to see and share what you’re
making, too. Details for photo submission will be at the
bottom of the page.


Fortunately for Bonnie, after an eventful December, things
returned to normal in January. She spent the month trying
to find the floor in her sewing room (she still hasn’t
succeeded), turning a bedroom into an office for her
husband because her 28-year-old daughter decided to move
to Boston, leaving a room free (hooray – no more office in
the master bedroom!), and flying to Utah to help her
mother. She went one week before the Olympics started
and sat next to one of the hockey players from Latvia.
Their whole team was on the plane, and the baggage claim
area was filled with competitors from all over the world.
Everyone was arriving a week early to become
acclimatized to the high altitude and time zone change.
Security was extra tight, with trunk checks when you tried
to park your car; hand scans for chemical weapon residues,
etc. While there she picked up some gold, silver and
bronze Olympic medals (fake, of course) which we will use
for awards in our All-Star Olympic Doll Challenge. So if
you want a real (fake) Olympic medal from the site of the
winter games, be sure to enter.

Mary Ann stays extremely busy with the day-to-day
Dollmaker’s Journey business activities. The entire
inventory is kept at her house and the orders are filled from
there. It’s hard to believe tax time is just around the corner!
She and Bonnie will be packing up a large selection of
patterns and supplies to take up to Cheryl Leone’s
wonderful annual Dollmaker’s Tea Party on Saturday
March 9th in New Jersey. (For details contact Cheryl Leone
at Mary Ann’s parents live about 25
minutes away from Cheryl so she gets a bonus visit with
them as well.


Here are some fun websites you might want to bookmark:

Regina Edmonds Push Molds for Polymer Clay
Molds included will make dolls, wings, jewelry, eyes, etc.
If you have always wanted to try Sculpey or Paperclay but
didn’t know how to begin, this site has wonderful ideas for

L S Jewelry store has acrylic stands that adjust from 7" to
12". Their website is:

Potomac Display has all sorts of acrylic display items. For
flying dolls check out their acrylic ornament hangers in
their online catalog. I was very impressed by their wide
variety and it gave me lots of ideas for displaying dolls in
unusual settings. Their website is:

You can get pre-sewn muslin dolls already stuffed for
pindolls or teaching in several places:

Home Sew sells 5" dolls in Natural and White for $1.10
each or 12/$11.95

CR's Crafts sells them in flesh, dark brown and natural for
$1.09 each
Click on dolls, then cloth dolls, then muslin dolls
They are cheaper if you buy a lot, and the catalog has
quantity discounts


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.

You can also read all the past issues online at:
Included is an index to all the past issues.

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:

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Copyright © 2002 Dollmaker’s Journey

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