Pattern Sale -
20% Off - Click HERE!
Natural Soap!Soap and Lotion
Search For Pattern!
Search For Designer/Supplies!
Click HERE for What's New!

Download Patterns (PDFs) Available On Etsy ... Click HERE!

Dollmaker's Journey

December 2009 Issue 97

Back to... Archives

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

December 2009 Issue 97

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 read all the past issues online.  Go to:
The archives include an easy to follow index to all the past issues.

Dear Dollmaking Friends,

'Tis the season for celebrationsHappy Hanukah, Kwanza, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year. In the spirit of the season, my son gave me a website where you can listen to a new song written for Hanukah by Senator Orrin Hatch, Senior Senator from Utah (and a Mormon). Senator Hatch's colleagues were saying that while there are many different songs written for Christmas, very few exist for Jewish holidays. Senator Hatch spent one year writing a special Hanukah song, which you can now hear on the internet. He hopes someday to have Barbra Streisand sing it, but in the meantime, we hope you enjoy it. Read the story of how it was written, and then click on the arrow to listen to it.

For those who celebrate Christmas, listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and watch a child's nativity here:

You will also find some free projects, great tips, and my favorite recipe for Kissing Cookies (the secret is inside.) Don't forget to take advantage of our biggest sale of the year, as all books, CDs and DVDs are on sale through December 31st.

We wish you a very happy holiday season.

Bonnie and Mary Ann


2009 has been such a wonderful year for Dollmakers Journey!  Weve loved having the opportunity to serve more and more cloth doll makers all over the world!  As a special gift to all of you - our valued customers - we are going to do something weve never done before.  We are starting our annual JANUARY SALE ON GENERAL SUPPLIES in December so from now until the end of the month well have TWO SALES going on at once!  Thats right, you can enjoy the 20% discount on the BOOKS, CDS & DVDS through 31 December, and also get the 20% discount on GENERAL SUPPLIES from now through 31 January.  Be sure to take advantage of the extra savings!

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.


1.  An 18th century Continental European law restricted the serving of fruitcake because it was considered
        B. "sinfully rich"
Fruitcake reigned supreme in the age of Queen Victoria, and it was a staple of Victorian tea.

2.  This is a centuries-old slang term for the day that English households start preparing their "Christmas puddings."
        C.  Stir-up Sunday
Stir-up Sunday is an Anglican Church term for the last Sunday before the season of Advent.

3.  Italian families traditionally celebrate Christmas Eve with a meal of seven different kinds of
        A.  Fish
The reason for the number seven is hotly debated. Depending on who you ask, it could be the number of sacraments, wonders of the world, deadly sins, hills of Rome, days Joseph and Mary traveled, or a host of other explanations. Many families serve more than seven different fish dishes.

4.  French Bche de Nol is also commonly known as:
        B.  Yule log
Bche de Nol is a sponge cake that's been covered in frosting or some other filling and rolled into a log-like cylinder.

5.  Milan is the birthplace of this traditional dome-shaped holiday cake.
        D.  Panettone
Italians bought more than 68 million panettoni to eat or share last Christmas.

6.  British tradition claims that eating this during the twelve days of Christmas will bring happiness throughout the next year.
        A.  Mincemeat tarts
While the traditional mincemeat recipe calls for meat and suet, many commercial versions are vegetarian.

7.  The confection we now know as a candy cane originally looked like this:
        B.  Straight white sticks
Postcards from before 1900 show plain white canes. Stripes began appearing in the images in the early 20th century.

8.  What ever-growing tradition did Germany contribute to the holidays?
        B.  Christmas tree
In the 1800s the tradition of a Christmas tree was widespread in Germany. It then moved to England and later America through Germans who immigrated to Pennsylvania. The Germans also contributed stockings, carols and the gingerbread house.

9.  If you get a lump of coal in your stocking, you can thank the
        C.  Italians
Putting a lump of coal in the stockings of naughty children comes from the Italian tradition of La Befana, in which Carbone Dolce, a rock candy that looks like coal, is often used as a joke.

Congratulations to Andrea Luliak from Sebastian, Florida. 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!


When I saw the delightful new doll pattern from Colleen Babcock called "Give Me a Kiss" of a girl hanging from a bunch of mistletoe, I couldn't resist asking everyone the following question:
(You can see this doll at

Q:  The romantic (and sometimes frightening) tradition of kissing under the mistletoe comes from
        A.  England
        B.  Italy
        C.  Brazil
        D.  Greece

Everyone who emails in the correct answers by January 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 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.


When Mary Ann and I went to our Doll Bee Christmas Party last week, we received lovely gifts from Julie Booth wrapped in gold tissue paper. The paper looked expensive because Julie had crumpled it and then smoothed it out, creating an antique looking paper. She tied the gift with tan paper twist cord that she had opened (it opens about 1" wide) and flattened. If you can't find metallic gold tissue paper, use gold ink to stamp a design on regular tissue paper and then crumple it.

By Bonnie B. Lewis

At our last Doll Bee the question was raised on how to create stand-alone dolls using weights in the feet. Mary Ann attended a class with Colleen Babcock who used shot pellets (e.g. stainless steel BBs) stuck to duck tape which was wrapped around a wire armature foot. The foot was then wrapped with batting, skinned, and a doll was created. Caution: don't use lead shot, which can cause lead poisoning and health problems in small children.

For a larger doll, use sturdy shoes from the baby department, and fill the bottom of the shoe or base with something heavy. If the doll is for display only, you can even fill the shoes with plaster of Paris. Following are some things I have used successfully.

I have weighted dolls with pennies, washers, drapery and fishing tackle weights. To use these I usually tape or sew the items to the inside of a shoe sole or inside the bottom of a stump doll base.

To make a porcelain doll feel real and weigh 5 pounds (like a newborn life-size doll) I filled the cloth body with plastic pellets available at most fabric and craft stores. However, these pellets, although marvelous for positioning the doll in different poses, are not as heavy as the other things mentioned. For a smaller doll I filled it with sandbox sand from the hardware store. This sand is preferable because it has been sterilized and doesn't contain unpleasant surprises.

If you wish to use sand, pea gravel (small smooth rocks used in landscaping), or aquarium gravel, it helps to place the small loose items in a Ziploc plastic bag or sew a fabric bean bag, fill it, sew it closed, and place it inside the doll.

Once upon a time people used wheat, rice, and dried beans inside dolls for weight. We don't recommend this. If the doll gets wet or it is in a humid climate, the grains can sprout, rot or mildew. Also, rodents are a problem when food is used.  I noticed a doll I bought in Turkey used candy sprinkles for fake grain in pots. Today the candy is all gone, eaten by tiny bugs.

Another recommendation is to use fine glass beads usually found in auto stores. These are used for sandblasting and come in different sizes (grits). They are cheap, heavy, and smooth. Put them in a bean bag before placing them inside the doll.

Last but not least, use rocks. I was making Nambi, a Ugandan jungle elf sitting on a mushroom knitting fairy wings from moonbeams, dewdrops, and spider silk. She needed something heavy inside her bottom so she could balance on top of a large mushroom. Her body was made from a paper Mache dress form, although her arms, legs, and head were fabric. I filled her body with rocks from my patio, poured Paverpol on top, and let it set. The Paverpol glued the rocks to the body so they wouldn't rattle when the doll was moved and created a satisfactory solution.

We would love to hear about creative solutions you have used. Please email your suggestions to Bonnie at and we will mention them in a future newsletter.


ALL DOLLED UP: Beaded Art Doll Competition
ON-LINE Voting Has Begun:
Voting for our 6 semi-finalists ends 1/15/10

See the new Hoffman Challenge fabric for 2010 here:


When Bonnie was a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New England in 1967 she met a delightful woman who baked special cookies for her local grocery stores and farm markets. Her name was Mrs. Kelly from Danvers, Massachusetts, and she shared some of her secret recipes. Here is one of Bonnie's favorites. The secret is that a Hershey kiss is buried inside the dough, creating a tasty surprise. They are called kissing cookies.

Kissing Cookies

5-3/4 oz. package chocolate candy kisses
(Doubled recipe needs 84 kisses 14 oz. bag = 84 kisses)
1 cup margarine
1/2 cup confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup chopped walnuts

In large bowl soften margarine at medium speed with mixer.  Mix in sugar.  Add vanilla.  Beat until fluffy.  Fold in nuts and flour and mix well.  Divide dough into 40 parts.  Place dough around cookies, covering kisses with dough.  Place on ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake for 10-15 minutes (until light brown) in 375 F. oven.  Roll in confectioners sugar.  Cool on wire rack, then roll in confectioners sugar again.


As I was making cookies this year for the holidays, my daughter-in-law told me I needed to pass along these two cooking tips that I learned long ago.

1.  When rolling out dough or doing something else that will really mess up your counters, lightly wet down the counter with a clean sponge. Then put a large piece of freezer paper (paper side down) on the water. The paper will stick to the moist surface, and the waxed surface enables you to roll out bread, cookie dough or rolls easily. Just oil or flour surface first. When finished, throw away paper and you have a clean counter.

2.  When you make cookies, cool them on a doubled sheet of newspaper instead of cooling racks. The paper absorbs excess oils on the bottom of the cookie, which prevents rancidity and helps the cookies last longer. I used to worry about newsprint, but then I saw a TV show where they wrap new babies in newsprint in an emergency situation. They said that newspaper (inside sheets) were more sterile than most other items you could grab. I do try and let the black print be on top, rather than a lot of colored pictures. I don't know why, it just seems safer.


July 17 21, 2010 23rd Annual National Doll Festival
Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers, Chicago, Illinois

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


Free Victorian Lady Ornament tutorial and pattern from Stephanie Novatski
(Hint: print pattern portrait format and pictures in landscape format)
See more of Stephanie's amazing patterns at

Ree from Tipsy Teacup Creations posted directions on her website showing how to create thick yarn ringlet curls on the sewing machine using a hairpin lace loom (available at
See her pictorial at

New Fun Cloth Santa Pattern!  (Download or Printed) by Judi Ward

In Guatemala kids tell their worries to Worry Dolls and tuck them under their pillows. Make some with your children out of clothespins, scraps and yarn.

And from Crafty College some oldies but goodies

Web of Angels - Free Angel Crafts

Free Holiday Crafts - Crafty Visions Newsletter


Wait until you see the magnificent legs on Stiletto BUNNY GOODES newest pattern!  This doll really rocks!

We finally have KAT LEES Flamingo Santa and just like all of KATS patterns her extremely detailed instructions are just like taking an expensive course.  You are going to love her whimsical detail.

This month we're welcoming two wonderful new designers to our Dollmakers Journey family.  If you are looking for sophisticated doll body construction then you are going to love any one of the four fantastic fairy patterns from the United Kingdom's CASSIE RAFFERTY. With innovative techniques and superb pattern presentation CASSIE'S designs are sure to enhance your doll making skills. Click here to
meet "Flame", "Lillum", "Silene" and "Viola".

"Icarus" is the premier pattern from Australia's SHIRLEY GIDDY and we think it's a winner!  Shirley has packed this pattern with detailed instruction and outstanding illustrations that will guide you through the creation of this gentle elf.  We can't wait to see what SHIRLEY has on the drawing board for her next pattern!

Well there's no doubt about it, CYNTHIA SIEVING is definitely on a creative roll!  Her newest offering is 'Well Wishers".  Have you ever wanted to make a doll for someone just because?  CYNDY has imagined
the perfect character to embody your good wishes.  Take a look and see what we mean.

Can you believe it - JILL MAAS has released yet another new pattern! "City Girls"  step out of the pages of JILL'S 2009 Calendar.  They are colorful, quick and easy  a winning combination for sure.

We've been oohing and aahing over SUZETTE RUGOLO'S beautiful and elegant "Boudoir Doll"  an enchanting addition to any boudoir. Simple fabric variations will give you a wide array of looks that
would suit any bedchamber.

We thought that after youve finished needle felting your dolls hair your might like to learn about other exciting ways to use your felting needles.  FAST, FUN & EASY NEEDLE FELTING by Lynne Farris will guide you through the exploration of 8 different techniques that are sure to get your creative juices flowing.

We just fell in love with WILD AND WONDERFUL FLEECE ANIMALS by Linda Carr.  Each of the 20 projects is shown in color photos with variations and the book has a special pocket with full size pattern
pieces and templates.  You wont be able to stop at one! (Bonnie's granddaughter, age 11, fell in love with the book and made the duck for her baby sister. We even bought polar fleece in lots of colors to make all the animals for next year!)

We have three new holiday patterns for your enjoyment.  "Frosty Fifties and Follow the Star are two wonderful snowman variations by MAUREEN MILLS. 
Goe the Reindeer from ELAINE LEGROS is our very first reindeer pattern and he would be a terrific addition to any holiday dcor.


Judi Ward writes:  I just went to Home Depot for light bulbs and found my annual " stuffing treasure". I often find great stuffing during the Christmas season. It is always marketed as table snow etc.
    This time it is called "Home Accents Snow Cover." It was $3.98 for a pound and it is excellent stuffing!  It streams and stuffs smoothly. I tried in an arm to be sure....It is flame retardant and made in the USA!   It has no maker on it. Just says Distributed by Home Depot U.S.A. Inc. 2455 Paces Ferry Rd, N.W.
Atlanta Ga. 30339 If you need stuffing this is a great one!


Weve been waiting for Alex Andersons 4-in-1 Essential Sewing Tool for quite some time and they have finally arrived! You are just going to love this versatile, handmade tool that will not roll off your sewing table.  Click here to check it out another fabulous gift idea!

The fabrics we have been waiting for are finally starting to arrive. We now have the Chamois Craft Velour, Nude Lycra and African Dark Ethnic Fabric back in stock and we have a huge supply of the Doll Face
Pink Craft Velour.

We've added two new shades of Craft Fur  a yummy Pale Pink and a bright Orange for your more colorful characters.

We now have rolls of 1/4" wide STITCH WITCHERY that will making fusing hems a breeze as well as adding embellishments and much more.  The 3" doll glasses are also back in stock.

Check out our Giant Ironing & Craft Sheet a 12 x 18 Teflon coated sheet for fusing Angelina Fiber and much, much more and the perfect gift for any artist/crafter.  Read all about it here 

Freezer Paper Sheets back in stock.


I just wanted to take a moment to share with you a method of constructing an unusual angel for your tree top.   I used my Bottomtree Biddy pattern for the head and arms/hands. Instead of attaching them to the stump as described in the pattern I cut off the bottom of a plastic soda bottle (twenty oz. size) and used that as the base.   If you make her dress long and flowing maybe even with an over drape of gauze or lace and attach wings you have a totally unique tree top angel.   With the bottom cut out of the plastic bottle it slips very nicely on to the top of your tree.   An added plus...if you use those little bright lights on your tree you can insert some of the lights under the plastic bottle and they shine through the clear plastic and illuminate your angel.  
You can see this and more of her patterns at:


Bonnie wrote this newsletter while waiting for the snowstorm of the decade (we are supposed to get 1-2 feet of snow tonight and tomorrow.) She finished three dolls for her granddaughters and only has four more to go. The three dolls are Thumbelina, Little Red Riding Hood, and a Punk Rocker, all made from the same pattern with very different hair, faces, and costumes. The original doll was the Carry-Me Doll by Cindy Bigelow from Cloth Doll Magazine 4-2. She also crocheted peppermint hats, scarves, sweaters and blankets for some Webkinz stuffed animals using free patterns on the internet. Last week her husband slipped in the bathroom and broke his left leg in two places. He now has a hard cast, a walker, wheel chair, and needs lots of help, since he isn't allowed to put any weight on his foot for 8 weeks. This will be a very different Christmas.

Mary Ann


Lisa Lichtenfels created a wonderful permanent exhibit in the Erie Art Museum in Erie, Pennsylvania. The exhibit is called The Avalon Diner. It includes a small room with a counter and several booths (also made by her) filled with lifesize dolls. I had a class from Lisa, and she uses layers of nylon stockings over armatures and batting to create most of her characters with incredible needle sculpted faces. Lisa is a NIADA artist (National Institute of American Doll Artists). If you ever get a chance to attend a NIADA convention and hear her speak, do it.

Lisa is also featured in a DVD/video called "The Art of the Dollmaker". Dru Esslinger was the inspiration for it. It features more than 40 dollmakers. You can read more about it and order it here:

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.

Have you signed up for our *Customer Connection* yet?

It's FREE!!!

If not, simply enter your e-mail address below and click "Join Now!"


Back to... Archives
Have you signed up for our "Customer Connection" yet?

Subscribe to receive News and Updates
from Dollmaker's Journey!


Dollmaker's Journey

© 1999-2019, Dollmaker's Journey
All rights reserved.
Privacy and Security Statement

Etsy Shop
PDF Downloads!

A Doll Net Member Site 
by the Internet Visions Company.