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Dollmaker's Journey

December 2008 Issue 85

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

December 2008 Issue 85

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,

Paul Phalen, our good friend and webmaster, wrote: "A few days ago I learned of the death of a good friend, Nora Creeach. Nora passed away last week after a battle with cancer.

"Although I never met her in person I knew her better then most of my real world friends. She always was willing to lend a helping hand and adopted my kids (and me) as part of her extended family.

"Nora will be remembered for many things but her biggest contribution was as an Internet Pioneer. Nora and I started working together back in 1996. She was the inspiration for Crafty College (AKA Doll Net Campus), wrote the Crafty Visions Newsletter which has 10s of thousands of subscribers, posted free craft and doll projects all over the Internet and was a corner stone (mostly behind the scenes) of FOCD (For many years she monitored the FOCD list on weekends, holidays and my vacation.) She also founded a Quilters Newsletter, ran help bulletin boards and much more. She was the person I sent all
the odd ball questions on crafts and dolls and she never failed to provide a helpful response.

"Many of you knew Nora and like me will miss her greatly. Please keep her family in your prayers."

We at Dollmaker's Journey wish you and yours a very happy holiday season.

Bonnie and Mary Ann


Our December Sale continues with a 20% discount off of two great categories - FACE MAKING which has a wide variety of products associated with making wonderful faces and SPECIALTY our catch-all
category with lots of interesting patterns.

Be sure to let your families know that Dollmakers Journey Gift Certificates are readily available.

PATTI CULEA'S newest book "Creative Cloth Explorations : Adventures in Fairy Inspired Fiber Art" has an Introductory Special through the end of the month. Be sure to get your copy now while they are 20% off.


Q: Who was it that said, "The only way to have a friend is to be one!"
A. Robert Frost
B. Rene Descartes
C. Abraham Lincoln
D. Ralph Waldo Emerson

A: D – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Just a fun note: In October we talked about the number 13. One hundred thirteen of you sent in the correct answer. How is that for coincidence? Also, a lot of you noticed I forgot to update the subject box for November (I left it October). Sorry about that. It is corrected this month.

Congratulations to Patti Durovchic from Washington state. 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!


Q: Which of these is NOT a kind of Christmas cookie?
A. Lubkuchen
B. Pfeffernusse
C. Stargazy
D. Belsnickel
E. Joulutortut
F. Pepparkakor

Everyone who emails in the correct answers by January 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 December 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.


Once upon a time Bonnie had four children two and under (new baby, twins 1 and boy 2) plus a dog. We realized that putting up a Christmas tree was fraught with peril. If the dog didn't get it, the toddlers would. So I came up with a brilliant solution that works for small children, pets, and grandchildren. Put the Christmas tree in a play yard or play pen without a bottom. Back then we had the kind of playpen that had wooden vertical slats so you could easily see inside. The more modern mesh ones might not work as well, unless the openings are large enough to see inside. You can put gifts inside the play pen, put garlands around the top, and hang stockings from the front on the outside. The tree can still be seen and admired, but can't be tipped over or attacked. We even had a train running around the tree INSIDE the play pen.


Q: I read somewhere that you can make dolls nails from small plastic drinking straws. How wonderful if it works. My daughter is always telling me that I am inventing the wheel.

A: You can make fingernails from straws. Cut them out of a plastic straw, sand both sides, paint and glue to cloth fingertips using either Fabritac or E6000. The fingernail glue that comes with fake nails also works. Tacky glue, plastic glue, and superglue won't work. The nails will just pop off. I have used fake nails that you can buy at a drugstore; they need to be cut to size. Again, use the fingernail glue that comes with them. My favorite fingernail solution is to use Crystal Lacquer. You can apply it with a brush and stretch it past the ends of the finger tips while tacky. The best part of this method is that the nails can never pop off. We include a free information sheet on this technique with every bottle of Crystal Lacquer that we sell at Dollmaker's Journey.

By Bonnie B. Lewis

In the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (1594) Juliet says:

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.
Unfortunately, in the world of dolls and art, it is not as simple. A doll maker, by any other name would smell as sweet, but perhaps not get the respect she or he deserves. Last month I posed a question: I have graduated from a crafter, to a doll maker, to a doll artist, to a fiber artist, to a writer and pattern designer. Do any of you have a special term or phrase to identify what you do?

Mavis Walker from England wrote: "I call the things I make "Figurative Stitched Sculptures," but I am not sure what that makes me! Possibly a sculptor who uses cloth and stitches?"

Kim Sloan said: "What do we say we do? I say sculptor, or portrait artist, or three-dimensional portrait artist. "

Jeannette Schmeichel responded: "When asked what I do I say I 'make cloth figures'. If they're interested, they ask more questions and then I explain."

Michelle Gottschall wrote: "I have been making dolls for a while now and loving every minute of it! I have been selling them through a couple of galleries in Ohio and have found the "how sweet" attitude in many of the people I have met. I understand that most people don't have a clue about the thought and the work that goes into one of our "little people" and that the term "doll-maker" just doesn't cut it for me. I have found that telling people that I make "soft-sculpture" or "fabric sculpture" really gets their imaginations going! They don't picture children's toys when I tell them that!!! So that term works for me! It is always surprising to me that people, especially other artists, can be so judgmental about the mediums that we use. I was at a seminar on painting, recently, (since I hand-paint all of my dolls faces) and a woman was giving a talk on painting with acrylics. She has been a mural painter for 25 years and has a certain amount of success. The people in the audience were water-color and oil painters, and they really were VERY judgmental about the speaker and her medium of choice. As if HER medium wasn't good enough to put her in the same class as they were. Imagine how I felt as a "soft-sculpture" person!! I sure didn't say I was a DOLL-MAKER THERE!!"

Mary Rogers from New Mexico writes: "When someone asks me what I do, I say I'm a cloth doll artist. If they can't figure it out, they don't need to know. At the l last quilt show I attended, I heard and saw some odd reactions to some beautiful art quilts. And year before last, people didn't consider an intricate and beautiful art quilt a quilt because it was a wall hanging! I think if we know in our hearts what we are and, although it used to bother me and I'd go into long explanations of "art doll", not let it get to us we're all right. Believing in oneself is what's most important to me. If some "nit-wit" can't put art and cloth together then smile and let it go. If they're interested enough, they'll find out; if not, it's only their loss."

Paula Rutherford said: "Most of the dolls I make are for children, so I don't mind the "doll maker" label, but when I make something special and artistic or fragile, I prefer "fabric sculptor" or "cloth sculptor." Or even "sculptor of fiber media".

And last, Bobbi Chukran shared: "I used to tell people that I made "sculptures using fabric and clay"
and at least they weren't totally thinking toy dollies. LOL"

I'd like to thank everyone for their input. I guess the bottom line is – choose a label that expresses what you are, and don't be afraid to change it as your abilities, dolls, and dreams grow in unexpected directions.

JUST FOR FUN – Another great gift in a jar


1/2 cup dry split peas
1/3 cup beef bouillon – low sodium
1/4 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup dry lentils
1/4 cup dry minced onion
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice – brown
1/2 cup alphabet macaroni
Additional Ingredients:
1 pound lean ground beef
3 quarts water
1 can diced tomatoes – (28 ounce) undrained

In a 1-1/2 pint or 1 quart jar, layer the first eight ingredients in the order listed. Seal tightly. (If ingredients do not come right up to the top of the jar, you can place a crumpled piece of plastic wrap on top of the last layer to keep layers from shifting.) Yield: 1 batch. Store in a cool, dry place until ready to use.
To give as a gift, decorate jar as desired and attach the following directions:

Friendship Soup Mix in a Jar

To prepare soup, carefully remove macaroni from top of jar and set aside. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, brown beef and drain. Add water, tomatoes and soup mix, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes. Add the reserved macaroni and cover. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until macaroni, peas, lentils and barley are tender.

Serving Size: 16 One 1-cup serving contains:
165 calories, 106 mg sodium, 19 mg cholesterol., 21 gm carbohydrate, 12 gm protein, 4 gm fat, 1-1/2 starches, 1 meat


Mermaid and Merwomen in Black Folklore Art Doll and Art Quilt Opportunity
February 20 – March 31, 2009
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:


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

April 30 – May 3, 2009 – Canadian Doll Artists Association 10th Anniversary Conference
Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
For information email
OR visit their website at

June 11 – 14, 2009 - Figurative Artists Consortium Conference
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Check out their website at

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:


COLLEEN BABCOCK has given us a fabulous new FREE PROJECT called “Pencil Toppers.” Wait ‘til you see the amazing detail!
While you’re at it, be sure to check out her profile.


HOT, HOT, HOT off the presses - PATTI CULEA'S newest book "Creative Cloth Explorations : Adventures in Fairy Inspired Fiber Art" has arrived at Dollmakers Journey. When you combine alternative forms of dollmaking with incredible fiber art techniques you get an explosion of creative inspiration! And we're even having an Introductory Special through the end of the month. Be sure to get your copy now while they are 20% off.

We also have ADELE SCIORTINO'S 2009 Figurative Art Calendar with 13 months of extraordinary dolls from the world's most talented doll artists from Lisa Lichtenfels to Arley Berryhill and many more.

The variety of SUSAN BARMORE'S designs continues to amaze us. Her exotic "Moon Moth" is a great embellishment project and her "Priestess" is just downright fascinating to look out. If you have never tried SUSAN'S style of doll making, now's the time to treat yourself.

We are very excited to introduce you to a wonderfully talented new designer from the United Kingdom COLLEEN BABCOCK. You are going to love her pattern presentation! Her first release is called “Gather Ye Rosebuds” an exquisite stump doll with a clock built into the base. It certainly would make an extraordinary gift. With the purchase of COLLEEN’S items you will also get links and passwords to FREE online tutorials.

PATTI CULEA has two exciting new stamps that can be used for fantastic wearable projects “Stargazy Origami” and “Tassel Lass.” We think you are going to love them.

BARB and DOUG KEELING’S face stamps are always fun and can be used in so many ways on dolls, for wearables, quilts and much more. Stop by and check out the three newest ones “Ellie,” “Lisa’ and “Peggy.”

We have another wonderful face making course from KAT LEES called "Face Painting Workshop CD" that is included in the sale for December. You'll be turning the doll bust you make into a fantastic pillow. Check it out!

We'd love to know what they have in the drinking water Down Under that causes the creation of such imaginative patterns! It's hard to describe RHONDA MCGINNITY'S "Sachiko Japemo" - you'll have to take a look and see for yourself!

JENNIFER CARSON treats us to the most precious "Spring Rabbit" you've ever seen. A real heart melter, this one.


Congratulations to designer SHERRY GOSHON for being asked to make a 2008 White House Christmas Ornament representing her state of Iowa. Click here to what she created -


Mary Rogers writes: "I've found my inner child is feeling older than she should. I've spoken with her often to no avail but do remind myself and her everyday to the following quote:

"You're never too old to set another goal or dream another dream."

"Amusing that I should call this a quote since I have no idea who said it. But it does help and I wanted to pass it on."


My granddaughter Jade told me her father likes puzzles. We went to and printed out lots of puzzles. She chose a lot of paper and pencil ones, but those that require arranging pieces in a special order we printed on cardstock, laminated them, cut them out, and slipped them into sheet protectors with directions included. We assembled everything in a book which she is giving her dad for Christmas. We also included an erasable marker designed for use on white boards. We found you can draw lines on a maze, fill in blanks, etc., and then just erase the answers with tissue paper if the original puzzle is in a sheet protector. Out of the mouth of babes!


Over the Fabric Department the Dolskin and Bucksuede Bamboo and Doe are all back in stock. The Mini Stuffing Forks and Antonette Cely’s “Cloth Doll Making Theory" have arrived as well.

For doll size charms (including wings, crosses, star of David, etc.) check out


Bonnie is still busy hosting Santa's Workshops. With four more grandchildren wanting them she may be busy up until Christmas Eve! Family is flying in from Utah and driving down from Massachusetts, and Christmas and New Year's should be filled with lots of family and friends, including all 20 grandchildren. She set up her angel tree in the living room. It has more than 50 handcrafted angels, snowflakes, stars, a few fairies hoping they look like angels, and a few ornaments. There are also 34 nativities from all over the world displayed in the "angel room", from one on the head of a pin to a large carved wood set from Israel made from olive trees. Elves and Santas are consigned to the basement recreation room.

She went to the G Street Doll Club Christmas party, where Judi Ward announced she is having a beginner designer workshop in her home in February. While there Bonnie acquired another doll to donate to charity. She delivered 8 dolls to Salvation Army this morning where they assured her they would find good homes. Unlike many other charity drives which require dolls to be store bought, in original boxes, the Salvation Army accepts handmade dolls, knit and crocheted hats, scarves, Afghans, etc. Mary Ann made her a wonderful doll called "Gather Ye Rosebuds" by Colleen Babcock. The apron has a printed poem on it, and in front is a clock. Bonnie's sewing room doesn't have a clock, and this doll will be a perfect addition. Both kits (which include the clock and special heavy duty felt) and patterns are available at

Mary Ann has her usual Christmas crazies and has been spending every spare moment sewing and baking. She fell in love with DEANNA HOGAN’S “Sleepy time Santa” and has just finished the 9th one! It was the perfect gift for her Ana and Mike, all five of Jim’s cherubs, our assistant Tara and a close friend. She managed to squeeze in making the Gather Ye Rosebuds for Bonnie- Colleen’s construction techniques are quite innovative and making it was a wonderful experience. On December 4th Mary Ann, Jim, daughter Ana and her husband Nik attended the Cirque du Soleil production called “Kooza” that was absolutely awesome. Jim was chosen by one of the clowns for a bit on the stage that was extremely funny. It was such a wonderful evening. All of Jim’s children will be home this week and Mary Ann will head up to NJ to be with her parents for a few days. She feels so very blessed to have so much love and joy in her life from so many sources and wishes the same for all of you!


Chanukah starts at sundown on December 21. To learn more about this traditional Jewish holiday, watch the History Channel's fun mini movie at

Print your own gift tags. Lots of websites, but here are two to try:

Print your own wrapping paper with a color printer and these sites:

Print wonderful folded boxes on cardstock here:

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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