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Dollmaker's Journey

June 2009 Issue 91

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

June 2009 Issue 91

Copyright 2009 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,

At five minutes and six seconds after 4 AM on the 8th of July this year, the time and date will be 04:05:06 07/08/09. This will never happen again. Just one of those odd little facts you come across every now and then.

This month we are featuring mermaids. We have 65 patterns on sale, along with a couple of freebies. Make a mermaid this month and let her brighten up your bathroom. Paint a wooden base with tan, mix Paverpol with some sand and miniature seashells, spread it on the base, and add a rock (you can find interesting ones in your aquarium shop). If you add the rock while the Paverpol is still wet and put a little Paverpol on the rock, it will stick to the base. Once the sand dries, the whole base will be waterproof. Then perch your mermaid on the rock and you have a beautiful addition to your décor.

One of our designers, Gloria "Mimi" Winer, has a free pattern for a wonderful doll called Mimi's Child which can be turned into a mermaid. It includes a contest, legs, a tail, and flukes. You can find out more in "Our Gift to You" later in this newsletter.

So bring some fantasy into your life. Make a mermaid this month!

Bonnie and Mary Ann


Summer is upon us here in the Northern Hemisphere and our thoughts are turning to ocean breezes, sandy beaches and MERMAIDS! Guess this would be a great time to take 20% off our fabulous array of MERMAID patterns. Be sure to take advantage of our JUNE SALE.

INTRODUCTORY SPECIAL – Barbara Willis's "Cloth Doll Artistry – Design and Costuming Techniques for Flat and Fully Sculpted Figures" will be discounted during the month of June.

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: Which explorer is credited with being the first European to see the eastern shore of the Pacific Ocean?

A: Vasco Nunez de Balboa on September 25, 1513.

Congratulations to Edy Burtis from Corrales, New Mexico. 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: Everyone who reads email knows what SPAM is. Why do we use the term SPAM instead of junk mail?

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. 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.


There is a very special website called "Do One Nice Thing". Debbie Tenzer decided to find small problems that she could help solve to make the world a better place. If you visit her website you can find many great ideas of places and things to donate for charity. For example: go to
Click on ideas. Click on healing. Click on beanies for buddies. There are patterns for beanies for chemo patients (children) with a matching pattern for a beanie for a beanie baby animal. You can make them, donate to a local hospital, or send items or money to the children's hospital in California to help kids there.
If you sign up for their email, they will send two ideas each month to help someone in need. Since she began this movement in 2005, people in 90 countries have joined her efforts to do good deeds. Let me know if any of you participate, and I will mention it in an upcoming newsletter.


Murphy's Laws for Cloth Dollmakers.
(Compliments of The Kezi Works, Portland, Oregon)

The seam you meant to rip out will be the other one.
The pattern you wanted to make again will have the main part of the head missing.
If you knock something off your sewing table, it will be your open box of pins.
Just as you spread the quick-drying glue for the hair, the phone will ring.
The only thing in the house the cat will bother when you dash to the store is the head you just finished.
Your lost needle will be found by your son or husband ... while walking barefoot.
Gathering threads will always break in the middle.
The magnitude of the sewing goof will depend on how much you paid for the fabric.
When you are in a hurry, the eye of the needle will always be too small.
If you need 4 buttons, you will only find 3 in your button box.
When your sewing is going extremely well, the bobbin thread will run out.
The sewing machine light will burn out on Sunday night.
Pinking shears will get dull just by looking at them.
You have 100 spools of thread ... but not the color you want right now.
As soon as you replace the trim you "lost", you will find the lost trim under a pile of laundry.


Q: I am trying (very, very hard) to create my own doll pattern (on the lines of Mary Tressler or Patti Culea) and just can't seem to get it right for some reason. Are there any books or web links do you know of that could help me in my dilemma?

A: Check out our book section at
for books by Susanna Oroyan and Maggie Baggett that show you different methods of designing doll bodies. Also, there are some good videos on how to design doll bodies by Antoinette Cely at
The best online class I ever had to create doll bodies was from Judi Ward at
I took both Design your own doll and Advanced design your own doll class. They were an excellent introduction into designing your own doll patterns.

By Judi Ward

Editor's Note: I went to a meeting at Judi Ward's home last Saturday. She is creating a series of antique-looking dolls for an exhibit at a museum this fall. One of the techniques she told us about is how to antique the face and body using Elmer's White Glue. The dolls end up with very fine natural looking cracks that are perfect every time. Here is what she wrote:

"I just wrote an article for the glue method that June Slack asked me to test and write about. It works sooo well and eliminates so much sanding! The article has more tidbits and lots of pictures, but this is the gist of it. Basically here it is. Let things dry between the coats of course.

*Paint the Gesso coat and sand just enough to take off the lifted fibers. You can do another coat of Gesso if desired.

*Paint the flesh coat. Again sand very lightly. I just rub with a dry, rough face cloth.

*Do another flesh coat if desired.

*Paint all features and hair etc.

*Paint on a good thick coat of Elmer's white glue. It may separate as it sets up. Don't worry, it seems to self correct, and dries smooth and clear as glass.

*Now paint on a coat of clear, matte or satin acrylic varnish. I have used several types and all worked fine. I even used a polyurethane floor finish and a German wood and bamboo finish.

*As the varnish dries very tiny little "cracks" will appear. At first you will think nothing is happening, but soon they start to appear. Let the item dry overnight. You can then rub it with brown shoe polish and rub most of it off or paint a coat of brown acrylic paint over all and rub that off. You may have to add a bit of water to a cloth to rub the acrylic off.

*Finally spray with a coat of Clear, matte acrylic spray like Krylon.

*Viola, you are done and the glue makes the surface so smooth!

*If you use oils let me know how it works. I don't oil paint so have not tried it with those.

Note: You can see more of Judi's tutorials, classes, and patterns at: For patterns and dolls For dolls and mini lessons for classes


My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person: He believed in me.
- Jim Valvano

There's something like a line of gold thread running through a man's words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself.
- John Gregory Brown


Cloth Baby Doll Contest Entries – The Votes Are Counted! Check out which Baby Doll Won!

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

September 30, 2009 – Mimi's Child Interactive Pattern for entry forms and instructions
Download free pattern from her website

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


Paula Starr's "Soft Sculptures", an exhibit of 23 delightful dolls, will be on display at the Sandy Spring Museum in Sandy Spring, Maryland from June 17 – September 13, 2009. With each doll she has created a hang tag with a wonderful poem giving a history of that doll. She says sometimes it takes longer to write the poem than it does to create the doll. Here is one of her favorites:

I thought I could be a ballerina
I tried out and didn't make it
When you're overweight and over 60
It's really hard to fake it!


June 17 – September 13, 2009 – Sandy Spring Museum Art Show
17901 Bentley Road, Sandy Spring, MD 20860
Featuring Paula Starr's "Soft Sculptures"
For more information call 301-774-0022

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 25, 2009 – Black Doll Show and Craft Sale
Riverside Church, South Hall, 490 Riverside Drive, New York New York
11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information contact

July 30 – August 2, 2009 – Enchanted Doll Artists Conference
Albuquerque, New Mexico

August 8, 2009 – Rockville Senior Center Doll Show
1150 Carnation Drive, Rockville, Maryland
Sales is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lots of dolls and doll-related items for sale
For exhibitor information call 240-314-8800

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


Gloria "Mimi" Winer has a free pattern called Mimi's Child (the instruction book/video is NOT free, but you can win the contest without it)
She also has a challenge. The winner will receive a doll made by Gloria which you can see here:
To see pictures of the finished doll and contest rules, click here:

Gloria says: "This is my first Interactive Pattern. We need your help to tell us what we did right, and what we got a little bit wrong. In return for your help, you can win prizes, you get a free update (by download) of any changes, and you get the pattern at least 40% off until the end of the Challenge."

While at her new website, check out her great video on stuffing
For help on specific techniques, click here:
You can see more of her patterns at


Raggedys, Snow Babies and Witches - Oh My! We've just added five more delicious patterns from GINI SIMPSON. It will be hard to decide which one to make first. Stop by and take a peek -

You'll be advancing your needle sculpting technique with UTE VASINA'S charming "Little Folk." Stop by a take a look at this great pattern.

SUSAN BARMORE never seems to run out of ideas for the most fascinating dolls. We're adding her clever "Mermaids on a Stick," the enchanting "Cosma" and her eerily unique 'Butterfly Witch."

We have something old and something new from elinor peace bailey. You'll find her lovely bead jointed doll "Maggie Goes Shopping" and her spritely new "SeaBreeze" along with a great selection of her
classic patterns.

It's never too early to start thinking about holiday projects. We just love MAUREEN MILLS' "Pumpkin Seeds" and we also have another of her sweet Raggedies - "Annie's Pet."

We've been waiting for months for the release of BARBARA WILLIS'S extraordinary new book - "Cloth Doll Artistry - Design and Costuming techniques for Flat and Fully Sculpted Figures" and it was so worth the wait! With Barbara's skillful guidance you are going to take your dollmaking and embellishment skills to a whole new level through the creation of any one of the wonderful array of projects in this 128 page book. As an INTRODUCTORY SPECIAL we're discounting this wonderful book all month long. Be sure to get your copy soon!

ALLISON MARANO has retired another class and turned it into a terrific CD. You are just going to love her delightful "Grapevine Girls!" Click here to find out all the wonderful techniques you'll be learning

We are adding two darling pindoll/barrette doll patterns from DEANNA HOGAN that are perfect for summer - "The Swimmer" and "Miranda the Mermaid."
Stop by and take a peek.

"Rose Red" is an enchanting medieval beauty from the lush imagination of BARBARA SCHOENOFF. We know you are going to fall in love with her costuming.


Check out the July/August issue of Belle Armoire, p. 74, for a special jacket that Jane Houck created. She worked on it for months using fabrics purchased at a lovely quilt shop in Melbourne, Australia. You can seek some of Jane's fabulous patterns at


For your convenience we now have NYLON/LYCRA. Designers such as SUZETTE RUGOLO use this 4-way stretch fabric over sculpted faces to cover the center seam which is a terrific technique to learn.

We've just added another color of our new Deersuede - a very nice medium dark shade called "Cocoa."

Over in the HAIR Department you'll find a new shade of Straight Wool - a beautiful BROWN.


Bonnie recently attended a meeting at Judi Ward's new townhouse in Rockville, Maryland, where she saw amazing dolls and learned to make a doll stand out of a Lay's Potato Chip canister and clay. Judi Ward invented a wonderful doll stand that works for dolls from 9" to 14". It uses Plastic Potato Chip containers, bleach containers, or other empty plastic containers. Go to and click on the Bleuette in Cloth Album to see step-by-step pictures of how to make this unique stand. You can put plaster or wood putty (we used Crayola air-dry clay) in the base to add weight and cover it with tiny rocks, flowers, moss, etc. We sculpted tiny roses, leaves, mice, etc. from clay to add to the base. She discovered that a plastic dish soap bottle was almost impossible to cut, and the spine was too stiff to bend around a wooden dowel that she inserted in the clay to provide back support to the stand. Bonnie is thinking of turning the back into a tree trunk by wrapping with fabric and covering with vines of Apoxie Sculpt running down the back and onto the base.

Mary Ann was sorry to miss the meeting at Judi’s but she was up in New Jersey. Besides visiting with her parents for Fathers Day Weekend, she and Jim drove into Philadelphia to spend a marvelous afternoon at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. They saw an awesome clothing display depicting French fashions from the late 1800’s. What intrigued Mak the most were the white mannequins that had intricate hairstyles made entirely of white wired ribbon. Hmmmmm……the synapses starting firing. On Saturday Jim and Mary Ann drove further north to Jersey City to spend the afternoon with his son Sean and wife Lisa and son Mike and his girlfriend Becky. They enjoyed a wonderful meal at this little hole in the wall French restaurant that was out of this world. Mary Ann has to put a new roof on her house this summer so she and Jim are planning a variety of interesting day trips rather than a regular vacation. More adventures to come.


Links to favorite websites for unusual things like tiny buckles and zippers for dolls from a new customer

Go to the bottom and click on sculpture to see some wonderful work by Richard MacDonald

Laura Balombini has wonderful contemporary art dolls 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.

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