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Dollmaker's Journey

October 2008 Issue 83

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

October 2008 Issue 83

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 beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere we go…" And to get ready for the holiday season we have all Christmas, Angel and Religious categories on sale until November. There is a wonderful article in Guidepost Magazine about people knitting sweaters for underprivileged children. If you like to knit, check out our charity corner below for some free patterns. We loved all your responses to our question "Who first invented scissors?" Some of you even sent in pictures of early models. Just remember to include your name and state/country in your response so we can give you credit and send you a gift certificate if you are a winner. Check below for free Halloween ideas and a free online class where you can make a fabulous soccer player doll. Bonnie's grandchildren have requested a private one-on-one Santa's Workshop day at her house to make gifts for their siblings. (With 20 grandchildren, she should be busy between now and Christmas!) We have included some websites with simple gift ideas that even children can make with a little adult supervision. Have a wonderful day, and we will give you an update on this project in November.

Bonnie and Mary Ann


Our OCTOBER SALE continues with a 20% savings on all the items in the CHRISTMAS, ANGEL AND RELIGIOUS Categories so be sure to stock up.


Q: Who first invented the scissors? (Hint: Contrary to popular opinion, it WASN'T Leonardo da Vinci.)

A: Scissors were first invented in 1500 B.C. in Ancient Egypt. However, "spring scissors" comprising two bronze blades connected at the handles by a thin, curved strip of bronze appeared in the Middle East 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. This strip served to bring the blades together when squeezed and pulled them apart when released. Cross blade scissors were invented by the Romans about 100 A.D. Modern-day scissors were invented of hardened and polished cast steel in 1761 by Robert Hinchliffe. He lived in Cheney Square, London and was reputed to be the first person who put out a signboard proclaiming himself "fine scissor manufacturer." One reader let me know that the first US patent of pinking shears came from Louise Austin of Whatcom, Washington.

Congratulations to Dianne Sahakian from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 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!


In honor of Halloween this month, our question deals with unnatural fears.
Q: Triskaidekaphobia is the unnatural fear of what?

Everyone who emails in the correct answers by November 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 October Quiz in subject box. Please include your full name and where you live (state/country) in your email. NOTE: Several times in the past a winner was drawn with no name or state/country included. When that happens we have to draw again. So please, make sure you include this information with your answer.


Guidepost magazine sponsors a Knit for Kids where people around the world knit sweaters for needy children. They even have free patterns you can use. To get free patterns or information on where to submit finished items go to These sweaters are delivered all around the world – in America, Romania, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kosovo, etc. Give a gift that will bring warmth and a smile to a deserving child.


This is a sign Gloria Winer has hanging over her worktable:

Art is too much fun to be restricted to those who are good at it!!!
Author anonymous.


Q: How do I use your braided mohair or wool hair?

A: I know you purchased braided hair. The easiest way to use this hair is to cut a piece twice as long as you want finished hair to be. Then remove cord that holds it in a braid (it should easily pull out), and tie a piece of matching thread or yarn in the middle of the hair. This will become the center or side part. Separate the hair on each side of the "part" by fluffing out the strands of wool. Sew the middle "part to the doll's head, arrange the loose hair over the sides and back of the head, and add a little tacky glue to the head, pressing the hair in place. You can braid part of the hair, tack loops in place, curl it by wetting it and wrapping it around soda straws until dry, comb it, use hair spray, etc.

Q: Several purchases ago you were kind enough to include a small piece of black "mohair" that is on the pelt as a gift. I finally made a doll that has asked for that piece of mohair... so I've cut it using the T pattern to create a wig. I had to piece it to make it work but i think once glued to the cloth head it won't be a problem. I'm contacting you because the hair is badly matted and before turning and gluing the 1/4 inch for the front I wanted to "detangle" the hair. Please tell me what you would suggest.

A: Because Tibetan Mohair is on a skin, you can comb it, curl it, and even carefully wash it. Just think - goats and sheep are outside all the time, and their hair gets wet in the rain. The danger lies in using extreme temperatures on the mohair, which will cause the skin to harden. Excess agitation (like rubbing it when you wash it) can cause the hair to felt. I would suggest you wash it gently with a tiny drop of baby shampoo, using tepid water. Make sure you rinse it in water the same temperature. Place it between towels and pat to remove excess water (don't wring or squeeze too much), and let it air dry (don't use a blow dryer), Once dry, you can comb it, style it, and curl it.

Q: I am new to doll making and I have a few questions about the braided wool: When this is taken apart (unraveled) does it have a wavy look to it? Also, do the ends stay nice and not frizz? And, one more question - how far does one of the braids go, will it cover one dolls head? Does the braided mohair work the same way and the braided wool?

A: Both the braided wool and mohair work the same. Depending on the size of the doll, one braid is more than enough to make one or more dolls. I have used our braided mohair and wool for long braids or curly styles. Just cut a length as long as you wish (I would lay the braid over the top of the head and cut the ends even). Remove the holding cord, tie hair in the center of the braid, and unbraid hair, fluffing it. You will end up with a wavy hairdo, and the ends look very natural. Although wool and mohair has a natural crimp to it, you can straighten it using tools for real hair. The wool tends to be a little coarser than the mohair, but they both work for dolls.

By Sue Fahey

I always preface my comments with this true statement: " I am an American living in Canada. Yes, I married an alien, a Canadian. I love my native country but bring other perspectives to it." In other words, not every American product is perfect.

That said...have you tried Dylon Dyes? I'm a quilter and sometimes dollmaker who does dye fabric. I've tried Dylon versus Rit, and it isn't even a contest. Dylon is hands down a winner: clearer colors, mixes well with other dyes of the same line, less fugitive (in the dyer's use of the word). Rit is less expensive in America and more readily available. I think Dylon is British-based and Canada probably has a trade agreement with Britain dating back to the days when guys AND gals wore powdered wigs.

I did a head-to-head test of the dyes of 6 pairs of socks with a nice lilac dye of both brands. I used 2 poly-cotton blend socks, 2 pure cotton and 2 unknown content (cheap). The dyes for the cottons were equal, the Dylon was nicer in both of the other two categories. Both the hot and cold water dyes are very nice. I am still wearing all those wretched purple socks too, so both have not damaged the fiber and stand up well in repeated washings.

Editor's Note: Currently we dye all our ethnic fabrics with Rit, because we deal with large quantities of fabric dyed in the washing machine. However, for small amounts of fabric, Dylon Dye sounds like a winner. It is available at most fabric stores, but only in small containers. Just make sure you prewash all fabric before dyeing it to remove excess sizing, and dye fabric wet, not dry for even color results. If anyone else experiments with different dyeing methods, we would love to hear about it. Email with any comments.


See a slide show of the current Hoffman dolls on tour for 2008

Mouse Tales Contest
Due date: November 15, 2008
See how creative you can be with Jennifer Carson's Mouse Tales pattern. Pattern is available at
Send her a photo of your Mouse Tales creation with Mouse Tales Contest in the subject line. First prize wins a prize package worth $50.00. Second place will receive the pattern of your choice plus another gift valued at $20.00. The third prize winner will receive one pattern of your choice. Send your photos soon, deadline is Nov.15th, winners will be notified on Dec. 1st and be featured in Jennifer's winter newsletter. Send emails to

Mermaid and Merwomen in Black Folklore Art Doll and Art Quilt Opportunity
February 20 – March 31, 2009
A juried exhibition for art quilters/ doll artists at the Avery Research Institute Center for African American
History & Culture at the College of Charleston, South Carolina
Some of the first tales of mermaids and merwomen were brought to America by Africans enslaved along the coast of South Carolina. Many of these folktales were stories of African ocean and river goddesses.
Because of the rich oral traditions of these peoples, few if any of these stories were written down until they were recorded by collectors of folk tales at the end of the 19th century.
You are invited to share your visual interpretation of a Black Mermaid/Merwoman in an art doll or art quilt.
We are seeking work that is original and innovative. No kits, quilts or dolls made in a workshop with the aid of an instructor. Quilt must be multi-layered and joined by stitching. Dimension in any direction must not exceed 50 inches. Dolls may not exceed 32 inches in height. If dolls are to be displayed on a stand, the artist will be responsible for providing the stand. If dolls are to be mounted on the wall please make sure it has the necessary hanging apparatus. We welcome both small and large works. Only quilts/dolls
created after December 31, 2006 are eligible. Preliminary acceptance will be granted based on the acceptance digital images. Final acceptance will be granted upon the receipt and examination of
quilts/dolls. We reserve the right to omit from the exhibition accepted quilts/dolls that do not contain the same qualities as the submitted images. The exhibition coordinators' decision is final.
Calendar :
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 - Deadline of entry receipt
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - notification by e-mail of acceptance
Accepted works posted online at
Thursday, February 12, 2009 - Shipping instructions will be e-mailed
Tuesday February 17, 2009 -February 19, 2009 - Works accepted at Avery Research Institute Center for African American History & Culture at the College of Charleston (quilts/dolls will not be accepted prior to February 12, 2009)
Saturday, February 21, 2009 4:00 p.m. - Opening reception Avery Research Institute Center for African American History & Culture at the College of Charleston , Charleston, South Carolina
Tuesday March 31, 2009 - Exhibition closes
April 1 through April 5, 2009 - Return of non-touring works
You can get all the details here -

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


December 3-6, 2008 – Dazzling Daze with Patti Culea
San Diego, California
Private workshop with room and board included.
For more information about the workshop go to or contact Patti at

April 30 – May 3, 2009 – Artistic Figures in Cloth
Columbus, Ohio
For information go to

June 11 – 14, 2009 - Figurative Artists Consortium Conference
Ottawa, Ontario

July 11-14, 2009 - National Doll Festival
Atlanta, Georgia
Holiday Inn Select Capitol Conference Center
Free shuttle bus to Marriott Marquis
Email for further information

July 2009 – UFDC (United Federation of Doll Clubs) National Convention
Atlanta, Georgia
Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta

July 2009 – ODACA (Original Doll Artists Council of America) National Convention
Atlanta, Georgia
Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta

July 2009 – NIADA (National Institute of American Doll Artists) National Convention
Atlanta, Georgia

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


Make a scary pumpkin for Halloween. Step by step directions for making your own paper mache paste and clay.

Linda Misa is offering a free online class on how to make a fabulous soccer player doll. You can join the class at
Just click on free online class to find out more. You can see more of Linda's patterns at

Free patterns for quick and easy gifts (some simple enough for children to make or help stuff)


Enjoy two fabulous new books for you at Dollmakers Journey! You are going to love all the wonderful embellishment techniques along with the dolls in Ray Slater's "Cloth Dolls for Textile Artists". "500 Handmade Dolls" is an extraordinary treasure trove of inspiration that you'll never tire of viewing. Click here to read more about them

There's no question that Australia's RHONDA MCGINNITY possesses the funky gene! You have got to check out her unbelievably clever new patterns Sweet Escape and Look at Me! Look at Me! Look at Me! What an imagination she has!

England's MADELEINE SARA MADDOCKS treats us to her sublime Serena stepping right out of the 70s with her guitar in hand.

DEANNA HOGAN has developed a great way of forming an opposable thumb and an interesting 2 part head on her delightful "Sleepytime Santa." You won't be able to make just one!

We've now have three of JULIE MC CULLOUGH'S most popular Christmas patterns - "Victorian Angel Ornament," "Santa Magic" and "On Comet." You'll want to make them all.

There's still time to make ELAINE LE GROS' quick and easy Halloween patterns "Pennie's Pie Pumpkins" and "Awesome Threesome." We also have two more of her charming Christmas patterns - the jaunty "Gilmore Moose" and "Gus Van Elf."


ALLIGATOR FORCEPS, another great tool for finger turning, is now available in 3 different sizes.

JOHN JAMES DARNERS size 7 needles are finally back in stock along with an assortment pack with sizes 3-9.

We're adding a lovely shade of Med. Gray TIBETAN LAMB for all those old ladies you are dying to make and Orange BRAIDED WOOL perfect for the modern witch.

JUDITH PRIOR'S Stuffing Fork Set, 8 oz packages of Paperclay and Button & Carpet Thread in the Natural color are all back in stock.

Duponi silk is $10.50 a yard, but just check out the many colors available.

Fiberfil in black, brown, and caramel for dolls of color


Bonnie is going through a very "moving" month. First her daughter, son-in-law and 3 month granddaughter arrived from Utah three weeks ago. They stayed with her until they found a perfect home close by in West Virginia, bought it, and moved in one week ago. Another daughter, her husband, three children, a dog and cat, are also moving from northern Maryland to West Virginia on Halloween (October 31). In order to put their home on the market, many trips were made bringing things to West Virginia where they are sitting in Bonnie's basement and garage until they move. So November 1st will be busy filling vans and trucks with everything and driving them to the new house. The good news is – now 5 of her children and 16 grandchildren are within a 1-1/2 hour radius. Hopefully the rest she will see at Christmas. The holidays will be wonderful this year! (If she survives the "grandma workshops!")

For her birthday Mary Ann’s son Mile and DIL Kyah treated her to the Broadway show “Wicked” at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles. The performance was out of this world. It has now become Mak’s favorite and she’s doing a good job of wearing out the cast album. Mary Ann and Jim have been enjoying the glorious fall weather and scenery with trips to Charlottesville, VA for UVA football games and a trip to NJ to celebrate her Dad’s birthday. She thinks October has to be the most perfect month of the year. All of a sudden it’s time to start thinking about what Christmas presents she’ll be making this year. She’s decided she needs to teach Jim how to stuff!


If you google "Geisha Hairdos" - you'll find a lot of interesting sites like this one -
The hair style on the Geisha pattern that we sell by Edwina Sutherland is actually made with stretch velvet. It is very cleverly done. (See her geisha at

Grandkids or kids looking for something to make for fun or gifts? Check out this amazing website. My grandchildren made shoebox monster puppets for Halloween that were amazing!

With 20 small grandchildren, we have to be careful which movies we let them see. Here is a great online movie rating system for children

Lots of fun arts and crafts projects, with a great interview with Linda Misa. You can see more of Linda's wonderful patterns 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….) To subscribe to Dollmaker’s Journey Customer Connection, go to:

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