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Dollmaker's Journey

May 2009 Issue 90

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

May 2009 Issue 90

Copyright 2009 by Dollmakers Journey

Dollmakers 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  view this issue online. Go to

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,
I mentioned in last month's newsletter a website on U-Tube featuring Susan Boyle singing. Well, believe it or not, someone has now turned her into a doll! Check it out at
We'd like to share a story with you called "What's The Best Way To Start?"
Once upon a time, there was a king who ruled a prosperous kingdom. One day he went on a journey to some distant areas of his country. When he returned to his palace, he complained that his feet were very painful. This was the first time he'd gone on such a long trip, and the roads he'd traveled were very rough and stony. He then ordered his people to cover every road of the entire country with leather. Yes, this would require thousands of cow skins and could cost a vast amount of money, but the king was adamant.
Then one of his wise servants bravely said, "Why do you wish to spend that unnecessary amount of money? Why don't you just cut a little piece of leather to cover each foot?"
The king was surprised, but he later agreed to his servant's suggestion of wearing "shoes."
The moral of the story: If we want to change the world, sometimes the best way to start is with ourselves.
Bonnie and Mary Ann


Well, the Fairies made quite a racket in the forest during our April Sale.  They managed to stir up all the ELVES/WIZARDS and DRAGONS/MYTHICAL BEASTS who are demanding equal time.  Be sure to enjoy a 20% discount all month long (ending May 31) on the huge array of patterns in these two categories during our MAY SALE.  And guess what? We have three fabulous new patterns in the sale categories!

Remember, visit our website at at the beginning of each month to see what our new sale will be. That way you won't have to wait for a newsletter.


Q: Yabusame is a sixth-century Japanese samurai art practiced from horseback. What sort of athletic endeavor is this?
A: Archery. Yabusame's origins were at the beginning of the Kamakura period. When Minamoto no Yoritomo became alarmed at the lack of archery skills his samurai had, he organized yabusame as a form of practice. Archers ride at a full gallop and shoot a special "turnip-headed" arrow at three targets set up at certain intervals. Hitting all three, an archer is considered to be very skillful. It is now a Japanese Shinto ritual whose purpose is to bring prosperity and peace.
Congratulations to Cathy Koos Breazeal  from Volcano, California. Your name was selected at random from all of the correct quiz entries, and you will receive a $10 gift certificate from Dollmakers Journey. Watch for your name in a coming month!

Q:  Which explorer is credited with being the first European to see the eastern shore of the Pacific Ocean?
Everyone who emails in the correct answers by June 15th will be entered into a drawing for a $10 gift certificate to Dollmakers Journey. The winner will be announced in the next newsletter. Email your answers to Bonnie at  Put May 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.

This is an odd one. If you go to you will get a vocabulary game where you have to match a word with its synonym. For every match you get right, you donate 10 grains of rice to the World Food Program. I went there and in 5 minutes I donated 370 grains of rice. Warning: most of these words DO NOT appear in your standard dictionary (I checked). In the first five months this website fed over one million people. WARNING: This website is addictive. However, it is great for anyone having to take the SAT or ACT college entrance exams. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with dolls, but is great fun.
PUT YOUR CAR KEYS BESIDE YOUR BED AT NIGHT This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Tell your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your parents, your Dr.'s Office, the check out girl at the market, everyone you run across: Put your car keys beside your bed at night. Just press the panic button for your car if you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies. Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this: It's a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it. It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain. It works if you park in your driveway or garage. If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break in your house, odds are the burglar/rapist won't stick around... after a few seconds all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won't want that! And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This is something that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life or prevent a sexual assault. My Mom has suggested to my Dad that he carry his car keys with him in case he falls outside and she doesn't hear him. He can activate the car alarm and then she'll know there's a problem. It would also be useful for any emergency, such as a heart attack, where you can't reach a phone.


Q:  I need a machinecompact and not too many bells and whistleswhat do you suggest?
A:  I own several sewing machines.  The one I use the most is my Bernina.  I have one at the very low end of their line and it's perfect for my needs.  I have no interest in the computerized sewing.  You basically need a machine that can sew short even stitches for seam strength.  Look for a machine that you can get an "open-toed" foot for.  Most dollmaking these days is done with freezer paper templates and the open toe enables you to clearly see the edge of the freezer paper.  You can probably get an inexpensive machine that will do the job just as well.  I wish I could be more helpful but I'm really not up sewing machine selection.  Ask me something about doll construction - that's right up my alley!
Q:   What kind of fabric do you recommend for making hands??
A:  I prefer woven fabrics for the dolls I make, but many people have better luck turning the fingers with the knits like dolskin or deersuede.  Generally the fabric for the hands would be the same that you choose for the rest of the body.
By Bonnie B. Lewis and Mary Ann Kaahanui
I have used many things to stuff dolls.  It depends on what I am stuffing.  For general doll bodies I love the long hemostats (uterine forceps), and I have them in many different sizes.  They are also great to turn bodies inside out.  I even have some tiny 3" ones that are great for stuffing fingers that Barbara Graff recommended, and now Dollmaker's Journey carries. 
I also learned to use a flat head screwdriver from Judi Ward, which is great for sliding stuffing along the outside edge of a stuffed body to get it in exactly the right spot. 
Barbara Willis taught me how to use her stuffing forks, which have a pronged tip that can hold stuffing.  We sell two sizes on our site.  The smaller one is perfect for inserting stuffing into tiny pipe cleaner filled fingers.  You take a tiny amount of stuffing, put the end of the stuffing fork in the middle, and twirl the stuffing around it to create an end that looks kind of like a cotton swab.  You then slide this into the tiny fingers and when you remove the handle the stuffing stays in place. 
Judi Ward accomplishes the same thing by cutting off the tip of the eye of a long dollmaking needle and inserting the point in Sculpey and baking the handle in the oven.  You will need to sand the pronged end so it isn't too sharp. I made one when I took her class.  Gerry Krueger from Spokane, Washington, also wrote: You can also use a 12" long upholstery needle instead of a doll needle. These are much stronger. Cut off the tip of the eye, sand smooth, and put the pointed end into a round drawer knob.
Wooden chopsticks work well, especially with the squared off ends (easier to hold) and since I can get lots of them at my local Chinese Restaurant, they are perfect when I am teaching a class of children who need cheap, free stuffing tools. 
Of course, pencils (unsharpened) are great, and the eraser end seems to cling to the stuffing.  elinor peace bailey once sold me a long (18") stuffing tool made from a dowel with a pointed end that she painted and autographed.  She has doll patterns with long legs and arms, and shorter tools just wouldn't work.  So I guess the bottom line is:  use whatever makes stuffing easier for you. 
Mary Ann once took an actual stuffing class from Collette Wolf at a We Folk of Cloth Doll Conference.  They spent the morning constructing a body and the entire afternoon stuffing it.  The gold nuggets she gleaned from the class were these:

  1. Prepare the opening you are going to stuff through by taking a few seconds to baste down the seam allowance around the opening.  When you are ready to close the seam by hand it will be neatly creased and not stretched out of shape.
  2. Ankles and wrists should be stuffed tightly like a drain so, for example, the stuffing in the foot wont migrate into the leg.
  3. When you are stuffing body parts, close your eyes and feel the part with your fingertips.  You will be absolutely amazed how you can feel where you need more stuffing better than seeing it.
We hope that with every class you take or new pattern you try you are mining gold nuggets, too.  If there was anything you were really excited or surprised to learn wed love to hear about it.  Send your nuggets and who you learned them from to Of course, you can find many of these stuffing tools at

In honor of Mother's Day that we in the United States celebrate in May, here are some of my favorite quotes about mothers.
The old proverb goes, "When you teach a boy, you teach an individual, but when you teach a girl, you teach a whole generation."
J. Edgar Hoover said that "the cure of crime is not the electric chair but the high chair."
E. T. Sullivan once wrote these interesting words: "When God wants a great work done in the world or a great wrong righted, he goes about it in a very unusual way. He doesn't stir up his earthquakes or send forth his thunderbolts. Instead, he has a helpless baby born, perhaps in a simple home and of some obscure mother. And then God puts the idea into the mother's heart, and she puts it into the baby's mind. And then God waits. The greatest forces in the world are not the earthquakes and the thunderbolts. The greatest forces in the world are babies."

Discworld Challenge on Doll Street
Judi W. from Doll Street writes about a recent Discworld Competition that Dollmaker's Journey helped sponsor:
"Doll Street recently had a challenge to bring the characters in Sir Terry Pratchetts Discworld books to life.  Judy Skeel sponsored the challenge and she also set up a display of all the dolls at AFIC.  If you didnt make it to AFIC (like me!) you can see the dolls here:
They are absolutely fabulous!  If you click on the details you can read each characters story. 
The winners were chosen by the viewing public and were:
1st place: Ella Saturday; Original doll by Susie McMahon (Cloth doll with cloth over paper clay face)
2nd place: 3 Igors; Original dolls by Kathy L. Houser (Cloth)
3rd place: Hamish and his Buzzard with Feegle Friends; Original by Jennie Loudon (Needle felted Buzzard and 3 wrapped dolls)
Each winner received a $25 gift certificate from Dollmakers Journey and a book, either The Art of Discworld or Nanny Oggs Cookbook.  First place also received a free on line workshop of their choice at Doll Street.  Prizes were donated by Dollmakers Journey, Judy Skeel, and Judi Wellnitz. 
One of the fabulous things about this challenge is that Susie is from Tasmania, Kathy from the States, and Jennie from Scotland.  Truly a showing of worldwide talent!"

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

September 4-7, 2009 DragonCon Art Show and Convention
Atlanta, Georgia
To enter the juried show with dolls that are SciFi or fantasy themed, apply by April 15.
Information and applications for the show can be found here

October 15-18, 2009 Treasures of the Gypsy Challenge
Houston, Texas
The theme this year is "The Enchanted Gypsy." Send $20 to Pamela Armas to receive your challenge packet of Gypsy fabric and trims. This includes the entry fee and shipping. All dolls to be exhibited at the Houston Quilt Festival!
For more info:
For packet send $20 to: Treasures of the Gypsy PO Box 748 Mountainair, NM 87036


May 21 23, 2009 Fiber Arts Fiesta 2009
Albuquerque, New Mexico
May 28 - June 1, 2009 Creations in Fiber, Inc. Doll Conference
Albuquerque, New Mexico

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

July 8 11, 2009 International Doll Makers Association Convention 2009

Knoxville, Tennessee

For more information call 865-522-2600

Sales room open to the public July 10-11 at 10:00 AM

July 11 - 15, 2009 - National Doll Festival
Atlanta, Georgia
Holiday Inn Select Capitol Conference Center
Free shuttle bus to Marriott Marquis
Email for further information

July 12 17, 2009 - UFDC (United Federation of Doll Clubs) National Convention
Atlanta, Georgia (Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta)

July 11 12, 2009 - ODACA (Original Doll Artists Council of America) National Convention
Atlanta, Georgia (Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta)
July 30 August 2, 2009 Enchanted Doll Artists Conference
Albuquerque, New Mexico
August 15, 2009 Day With Dolls
Babylon, New York

September 8-13, 2009 - NIADA (National Institute of American Doll Artists) National Convention
Arromont, Tennessee
For more information go to
September 16-19, 2009 Dimensions in Dollmaking 2009
Contemporary Cloth Doll Exhibit at the San Diego Quilt Show
Sponsored by the Imitation of Life Construction Company (IOLCC).  The theme this year is Make Me Laugh.  Contact Lois Bouncer at or 760-438-3431 for the details and forms.
September 25-26, 2009 California Regional Doll Festival
Millbrae, California (by San Francisco Airport)
For more information contact the Lowmans at or call (831) 438-5349
October 8-12, 2009 The East Coast Art Retreat
Crowne Plaza, Cromwell, Connecticut
To save yourself time and energy, get all the details on upcoming doll related events at

Make a miniature ham to help iron small things such as doll clothes or children's sleeves.
As an additional aid for ironing for dolls, cover a tongue depressor (overlarge popsicle stick) that you get from the doctor's office. Lay tongue depressor on paper, draw around it, add 1/2" seam allowance around outside edge. Wrap tongue depressor with batting, cut out two pieces of muslin using pattern, sew around outside edge using 1/4" seam allowance, leaving one end open. Slide onto tongue depressor, hand sew open end closed. This is perfect for sliding into a sleeve and using as a miniature ironing board.

England's COLLEEN BABCOCK has done it again with her gorgeous new pattern "Treasures of the Deep." Its chock full of wonderful techniques that are sure to enhance your doll making skills and it is
more than just a doll. Check it out!

We've added two more PATTI CULEA patterns for your creative enjoyment that we didn't have, the very lovely "Olivia" and the darling trio "Frances Elizabeth, Mary Belle and their friend Davey Bob."

Were adding three more charming patterns from MAUREEN MILLS of Sweet Meadows farm at Dollmakers Journey.  Theres a lot of celebrating going on with Birthday Girl and Party Girls.  And if
you are looking for something with that well-worn, well-loved look, Attic Raggedies are just the ticket.  If you havent already, treat yourself to one of MAUREENS wonderful patterns.

From high in the Andes JENNIFER CARSON brings us the Andes Short Snout Dragon that happens to be a fabulous 46 long!  Another great project from our favorite Dragon Charmer!

Are you ready to be wowed?!  We have something very special from new designer CAROLINE ERBSLAND.  Her name is "Crystal, Mermaid of the Lake" and she has one of the most beautiful cloth doll faces we have ever seen.  Thanks to CAROLINE'S expert instruction you can learn to make it, too.  Also new are "Caroline, The Showgirl Diva" and "Bubble Doo", fantastic beaded mermaids that are way too much fun to make. You'll find CAROLINE'S thoroughly tested instructions and photos superb.

MICHELLE MUNZONE'S newest patterns have finally arrived from Australia.  "The Zodiacs" are so cleverly done and would make such perfect gifts.  "Jaclyn in the Box" is another wonderful project for
advancing your embellishment skills.  Stop by and take a peek

"Bird of Paradise" in an enchanting bird with an elf rider from the fertile imagination of JULIE
MC CULLOUGH. "Acrobats" and "Oodles" are additional  patterns that are sure to delight children of all ages.

KAT LEES has packed another CD full of innovative techniques for making her delightful dragon "Muggins."

No one does painted muslin better than SUSAN BARMORE.  Her "Unicorn" is just exquisite. If you like chickens, "Aunt Birdie and Uncle Lock" are the perfect pair.  It's difficult to describe "Eggplant."  You'll just have to check out this very whimsical pattern for yourself.  "The Herbalists" will be just perfect for Fall decorating.  Stop by and take a peek.

We are fast approaching Wedding Season so it is a perfect time for JILL MAAS' "Mother of the Bride" to make her debut.  You are going to love this lady!

CINDEE MOYER has developed an interesting technique for gluing gauze over the face before painting that you'll find most intriguing on her newest doll - the very lovely "Morning Glory."

For those who have many dolls or other collectables, check out
It is a free organizational service for anything you own. You can record pictures, a history, a value, etc. Best of all, it is free, private, and if you have a special doll that you want to know how much it is worth, click on the collectables link and it will search the internet for you for a very nominal fee ($4.95).  It will even help with recycling, donating, and selling your things.
We are constantly searching for good shades of blonde hair which are very difficult to find.  We've just added a beautiful "Pale Lemon" Tibetan Lamb - think "Alice in Wonderland" blonde that we think you'll
like.  Stop by and take a look.

If you have been waiting for 1/2 Liter Tubs of Paverpol, Sets of 10 Gelly Roll Pens or 3mm Chenille Stems, they are all back in stock in the Supply Department.
We are pleased to report that the Doll Face Pink CRAFT VELOUR is finally back in stock!
After many long months of waiting we finally have some fabric back in stock! We are in the process of switching over from "Bucksuede" to what they are calling "DEERSUEDE."  It has the same properties but it seems to be a finer knit that we like better.  We have four beautiful colors for you to choose from - Doll Face Pink, Bamboo, Chamois and Camel.  We also have the Honey Bear Craft Velour and the Calf Skin and Cocoa Bucksuede back in stock.

Over in the SUPPLY DEPARTMENT we are pleased to announce that GRRRIP GLUE is back in stock and after a long winter the PAVERPOL is available once again.

Bonnie was in charge of an annual Women's Conference for her church last Saturday that covered three states (West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland). Among the many classes offered were beginning crochet for fun and charity, estate planning (with a 40 page handout of essential papers you must have in case of fire, emergency, illness, or death of a loved one), allergy-free cooking, incredible gifts of women, back in the work force (how to write resumes and apply for jobs, and what is available in your area), finding joy no matter what, and joys and challenges of parenting. One of the highlights of the conference was a 7 layer cake over 2 feet high sculpted to represent the Washington, D.C. Mormon temple. Erin Whitcomb even sculpted a miniature angel out of gum paste to place on top of one of the spires. (To see pictures of the cake and its aftermath, go to When it was over she drove with her husband to Massachusetts where they attended the baptism of one grandchild and birthday of another. Sorry this newsletter is a little late, but things have been quite hectic around here.
Mary Ann and Jim traveled to Chicago for the wedding of Jims daughter Sara Margot Lyng to Michael Roberts on May 16th.  Everything about the weekend was perfection from the Thursday night family cookout, Friday night church rehearsal and delicious dinner at the Webster Wine Bar, glorious church ceremony and reception at the Hotel Allegro to the Sunday Morning Family Brunch.  Mak and Jim chose to stay on until Monday and capped the weekend by meeting our favorite 61 year old hairdresser, doll making maniac customer none other than Wayne Skipp Poulton at the fabulous Wildfire Grill on Sunday Night.  The three of them spent so much time laughing and enjoying Skipps dollmaking adventures that it was hard to eat the outstanding meals they each had.  Two days after returning Mary Ann made a quick run up to New Jersey for the college graduation of her late sisters eldest son Sean Cantrell who earned a degree in art (animation) from Rutgers University in Camden.  The entire family was very proud indeed.

Go to and enter uneekdolldesigns in the search engine to see fun 4-1/2" historical and literary character dolls. Lots of costume ideas.
Ilana Yahav creates amazing pictures with sand.
Wed 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 Dollmakers Journey!  All we ask is that you forward it intact, with all the subscription information included.
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