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Dollmaker's Journey

February 2010 Issue 99

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

February 2010 Issue 99

Copyright 2010 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,

The Winter Olympics are in Vancouver, Canada this week. They have no snow, and are frantically making and importing some.

Meanwhile, in the Washington, DC area we are still digging out from the Blizzard of 2010, where a series of storms dumped 52" of snow in our area, with drifts up to 15 feet. We would be happy to send them all our excess snow! Even though the federal government and post office was closed for several days, Mary Ann managed to ship orders all over the world in a timely fashion. For more about Bonnie's ordeal, read the article below on Inspiration from Unlikely Sources.

One of the highlights of the storm was when Bonnie's grandkids visited. The two oldest boys were in a male glee club organized by their dad. For a fundraiser the choir delivered singing valentines to local residents, which included a box of chocolates and a red rose. When the family came over on Valentine's Day and sang a series of songs to their grandparents, Bonnie suggested they go next door and sing for an elderly widow who helped clear Bonnie's driveway using her snow blower. We brought along a red rose and box of chocolates. The two boys sang all the verses of "Let Me Call You Sweetheart." Our neighbor, with tears in her eyes, said she had never received such a great gift. We found this storm brought neighborhoods together, with people helping people.

In closing, we wish to thank the many readers who sent us uplifting emails about how much this newsletter helps. Many of you mentioned the free education courses in the January Customer Connection Newsletter. I too want to take some of those classes, if I can only find the time. My son saw the list, and was so impressed he is currently taking a class on Milton's Paradise Lost, Paradise Found, and other works. The live lectures are great, and he borrowed some of our Harvard Classic Books to follow the reading assignments. It's never too late to learn something new.

Bonnie and Mary Ann


Our FEBRUARY SALE continues on two great categories - MATURE WOMEN and WALL DOLLS. Be sure to check out the great selection patterns that are 20% off all month long.

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.


Judi Ward organized a project and pattern to create dolls for children in Haiti. Her UFDC group is creating care packages for children. Bonnie made 6 dolls out of polar fleece. We hope to have the pattern available in the next newsletter. Included in a gallon Ziploc bag were the following:

Small tube toothpaste
Small bar of soap – hotel type
Small bottle of shampoo – hotel type
2 pair of underpants
1 t-shirt/undershirt
(Underpants and t-shirts should be same size e.g. size 6 with size 6, etc.)
1 washcloth
1 hand towel (towels and washcloths need to be plain, not velour)
Small, soft doll or animal toy (TY toys are good, and dolls we make are good too)

The faces were sculpted Waldorf style using polyester batting (we were afraid in a humid climate wool would felt and react poorly to getting wet.) Here are some great directions for creating a Waldorf style head -

Any who wish to contribute can contact Judi Ward at


Q: Who was the "Father of Canning" and why did he invent it?

A: Nicolas Appert (1749 – 1841) invented the first successful way of preserving food. During the French Revolution in 1789, Napoleon Bonaparte offered a reward of 12,000 francs for anyone who found a useful way to preserve food to feed his army. At the time food spoiled easily, and because of this, soldiers suffered. Nicholas Appert experimented with various packaging techniques for 15 years, and eventually found that food wouldn't go "bad" when sealed in an airtight container and soaked in hot water for a few hours. He closed the bottles or jars with cork, wire, and sealing wax in order to keep air out of his bottles. He used his award money to build a bottling factory so he could easily supply others with preserved food.

Congratulations to Sue Niven from Victoria, Australia. 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: How do athletes from Africa train for the winter Olympics (ski, toboggan, etc.) when they have no snow?

Everyone who emails in the correct answers by March 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 February 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.


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
- Mark Twain

By Bonnie B. Lewis

How many of you struggle for inspiration when creating unique dolls? I often think I could write the next Harry Potter novel – if I could only get a great original idea. In the January newsletter Mary Ann mentioned her visit to a hairdresser where she got the idea for a wonderful doll. She writes: "When she was at her hairdressers last week he handed her a new business card that said “Mason Shupe – Hair God.” Does that scream DOLL or what! What would a Hair God look like? Hmmmm…"

Several weeks ago the Washington, DC area was in the grip of two major successive snow storms. The first one dumped 36" in West Virginia from Friday to Sunday, and the second on Tuesday and Wednesday added 16", for a grand total of 52". Many streets are still snow covered, and some haven't even been plowed two weeks later. People were stranded in 12 foot drifts for more than 24 hours. The Federal Government was even closed for three days, and our schools are still closed.

My furnace stopped working Tuesday morning before the first storm hit, they fixed it Thursday, and it failed again Friday morning when the snow began. Finally when I realized that no one could even get to my home to fix it, I was rescued by my daughter and son in a four-wheel drive vehicle, and I spent the next week at their home, praying my pipes wouldn't freeze and create more chaos. My husband (diabetic and with a broken leg in a cast and a walker) went to work that Friday, and ended up snowed in a law office for four days, where he spent the weekend working all alone and sleeping on a couch. His blanket was his coat. We're just grateful the heat worked and the power didn't fail. (Hundreds of thousands lost electricity due to the heavy storms.) The only food was from vending machines. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to send his medicines and 3 TV dinners with him. Our furnace was finally fixed three weeks after it broke (they had to special order several parts), and we are now almost back to normal. That is one reason this newsletter is so late – I haven't been able to get to my computer for a while.

I digress. The topic was inspiration from unlikely sources. The snow has definitely given me new ideas. When I was young my favorite story was a Russian Folk Tale called "The Little Snow Maiden." A picture in the storybook (My Book House, Through the Gate, p. 119) riveted my attention, and I have always wanted to make a doll like the one in the picture. Several years ago I took a class from Japanese doll artist Akiko Anzai and started a wire wrapped armature covered with white velvet. Because of all the snow, I think I need to finish her to honor the memory of the "Blizzard of 2010." In the picture she is standing outside a house wearing fur-lined boots, a fur hat, fur muff, standing on tiptoe holding a snowflake in her outstretched hand, while the old couple looks out a window. There are many versions, two operas, and several plays and ballets based on this story, but this is my favorite. For those who have never heard this story, I include it below:


The Little Snow Maiden – A Russian Folk Tale
From Through the Gate of My Book House, edited by Olive Beaupre Miller, published by The Book House for Children, Chicago, Copyright 1910

Once there lived in a little village on the edge of a forest in Russia, a good man named Peter and his wife Anastasia. Now these two, though there was much merry company in the huts about them, were always sorrowing because they had no children in their home. The woman never had to run to her door and peep out to see that her little one did not wander away, because she had no little one. So Peter and Anastasia would stand at their window and watch the neighbor's children and wish with all their hearts that one of these was their own.

One day they saw the little ones in their sheepskin coats playing in the snow. The children made snow forts. They pelted each other with snowballs and laughed and shouted merrily. Then they rolled up the snow into a great snow woman; they put an old kerchief on her head and a little old shawl about her shoulders.

"Now, there's an idea, wife," said Peter. "Let us go out and make a little snow girl. Who knows but perhaps she will come alive and be a daughter to us!"

"Good!" says the wife. "It's worth trying at least."

So out went the two in their big coats and their fur hats, and there in the back yard where no one could see them, they set to work. They rolled the snow together and began to fashion it into a little maiden. And so long had they tenderly dreamed of a little girl, that their great love fashioned her now a most beautiful creature—the loveliest ever seen. Well, toward evening, when the sky was opal and smoke color and the clouds lay purple on the edge of the earth, she was finished. There she stood, before them, complete.

"Oh, my little white pigeon, speak to us!" says Peter.

"Run and skip like the other children!" says Anastasia.

Suddenly the little maid's eyelids began to quiver, a faint flush bloomed on her cheeks, her lips parted in a smile. Then her eyes opened, and lo! They were blue as the sky at noon! All at once, she skipped from her place and began dancing about in the snow, dancing like a little white sprite and laughing softly, dancing like snowflakes whirled in the wind.

"God be thanked," says Peter. "Now we have a little girl to live with us! Run, wife, and fetch a blanket to keep her warm!" So Anastasia ran and got a blanket and wrapped it about the little snow maid, and Peter picked her up and carried her into the house.

"You must not keep me too warm," she said. So Peter put her gently down on a bench farthest from the stove, and she smiled up at him and blew him a kiss. Then Anastasia got her a little white fur coat, and Peter went to the neighbor's and bought her a white fur cap and a pair of little white boots with white fur around the tops.

But, when she was dressed, the little snow maiden cried, "It is too hot in the cottage. I must go out in the cold."

"Nay, nay, my little pigeon," says Anastasia, "it is time I tucked you up all warm and cozy in a nice little bed."

"Oh, ho! No, no!" says the little snow maiden. "I am a little daughter of the Snow. I cannot be tucked up under a blanket. I will play by myself in the yard all night." And out she danced into the cold.

Over the gleaming snow she tripped, down the silver path of the moonlight. Her garments glittered like diamonds, and the frost shone about her head like a little crown of stars.

For a long time the man and his good wife watched her.

"Ah, God be thanked for the little girl that has come to us," they said again and again. Then at last they went to bed, but more than once that night they rose to look out of the window and make sure she had not run away. There she was just as before, dancing about in the moonlight and playing all alone.

In the morning she ran into the cottage and her eyes were shining and glistening.

"This is the porridge for me," she cried, and she showed the good woman how to crush up a little piece of ice in a wooden bowl, for that was all she would eat.

After breakfast she ran out into the road and joined the other children at play. How she played and how the children loved her! She could run faster than all the rest. Her little white boots twinkled and gleamed as she ran; and, when she laughed, it was like the ringing peals of tiny silver bells.

The man and the woman watched her proudly.

"She is all our own," said Anastasia.

"Our little white pigeon," said Peter.

When it was time, she came in for her ice porridge. But, though Anastasia said to her, "Tonight you'll surely sleep inside, my darling." she answered just as she had before, "Oh, ho! No, no! I'm a little daughter of the Snow!"

Thus it went all through the winter. The little snow maiden made Peter and Anastasia very happy. She was forever singing and laughing and dancing in-and-out of the house, in-and-out of the house. She was very good, too, and she did everything Anastasia told her. Only she would never sleep indoors. She seemed happiest and most at home when the little snowflakes were dancing about in the air, and no storm was ever too severe to seem other than her playfellow.

But, when there began to be signs of spring in the air, when the snow melted and one could run down the paths in the forest, when the tiny green shoots peeped up here and there, then the little snow girl seemed to be drooping and longing for something.

One day she came to Peter and Anastasia and said:

"Time has come when I must go
To my friends of Frost and Snow.
Good-bye, dear ones here, good-bye.
Back I go across the sky."

Peter and Anastasia began to weep and lament very loudly. They wished to keep her all to themselves and share her with no one else.

"Ah, my darling, you must not go!" cried Peter.

"Ah, my darling, you shall not go!" cried Anastasia.

And Peter ran and barred the door while Anastasia put her arms about her darling and held her close up beside the stove.

"You shall not leave us! You shall not leave us!" they cried. But even as Anastasia held her tight, she seemed to melt slowly away. At last there was nothing left but a pool of water by the stove with a little fur cap in the midst and a little fur coat and a pair of white boots. Yet, it seemed to Anastasia and Peter as thought they saw her still before them with her bright eyes shining, her long hair streaming, and they still seemed to hear her singing, faintly, very faintly:

"Time has come when I must go
To my friends of Frost and Snow
Good-bye, dear ones here, good-bye,
Back I go across the sky!"

"Oh, stay, stay, stay!" they begged, but all at once the very door that Peter had barred burst open. A cold wind swept into the room; and, when Peter had pushed the door shut again, lo! The little snow maiden had vanished!

Then Peter and Anastasia wept and thought they should never see her again. Anastasia carefully laid away the garments she had left behind; and often through the summer, she took out the little fur cap, the fur coat and the boots to kiss them and think of her darling. But, when winter had come again, it happened one starlit night that the two heard a silvery peal of laughter just outside the window.

"That sounds like out little snow maid!" cried Peter, and off he hurried to open the door. Sure enough! Into the room she danced, her eyes shining as she sang:
"By frosty night and frosty day,
Your love called me her to stay,
Here till Spring I stay and then
Back to Frost and Snow again!"

So Peter and Anastasia clasped the little snow maid in their arms; she put on her pretty white clothes, again, and soon there she was out on the gleaming snow, tripping down the silver path of the moonlight, her garments glittering like diamonds, and the frost about her head like a crown of shining stars.

Each Springtime, off she went northward to play through the summer with her friends on the frozen seas; but every winter, she stayed in Russian with Peter and Anastasia and they came not to mind her going for they knew she could come again.
Can you see why I love this story? The images created are so clear. I already made Jack Frost with white velvet and fur cape, silver and white brocade shoes and jacket, split white satin and silver lame pants, white velvet tights, silk fringe hair, and elf-like ears. He is holding a snow scepter. Perhaps it is time I finished a Little Snow Maiden to keep him company.

Let me know what inspires you. Send your thoughts to Bonnie Lewis at, and perhaps we can share your ideas in a future newsletter.


Wide Eyed Wendy's Valentine challenge from Judi Ward
Deadline: February 28, 2010
Information and free download cloth doll pattern with information on printing her face directly onto fabric

2nd Annual Cloth Baby Doll Challenge from FOCD
Coming in March – more information in next newsletter

See the new Hoffman Challenge fabric for 2010 here:


April 2-4, 2010 - Wendy Froud Three Day Sculpting Workshops
New York City
April 30 – May 2, 2010 - Wendy Froud Three Day Sculpting Workshops
Chicago, Illinois
Three days will allow you to come near completing a fantastical creature or faerie figure. Day One will include connecting to your faerie guide, building an armature and sculpting the head. Day Two will include constructing the body and sculpting the hands and feet. Day Three will include painting, the application of hair and fur and any final costuming. Each day we will be working from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM with an hour off for lunch. The cost is $585.00 which includes polymer clay, armature wire and a selection of materials for hair, fur and costumes. Participants will need to bring basic tools and craft supplies.
Contact Sherry Morgan for more information -

April 29 – May 2, 2010 – Canadian Doll Artists Association Conference
Four Points by Sheraton, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Theme: Renaissance Dreams

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

June 9 – 12, 2011 – Figurative Artists Consortium
Algonquin College, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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


Check out this tutorial on how to make eyes and insert them at Rivkah Mizrahi's blog site.


JULIE MC CULLOUGH has a delightful new “Lucky Leprechaun” with a great collaged jacket just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day. However, with different fabric choices he’d also make a great Christmas Elf.

“Amber” is quite an impish fairy from one of our favorite Australian designers MARILYN HALCOMB. As usual, you will find superb face and body sculpting instructions in this pattern.

Did you know that our favorite Dragon Charmer designer JENNIFER CARSON is also an author? Her delightful adventure story about a squire seeking knighthood is called “To Find a Wonder.” As a compliment to the book, JENNIFER is releasing patterns of the main characters. “Mortimer & Lady” is the detailed pattern for the ambitious squire and his trusty horse that
you will find quite wonderful indeed! In addition, we have her newest dragon – the very spunky “Spanky!” Click here to check them out –

Raggedy Queen MAUREEN MILLS has released three new winning patterns – “We R Family,” “Oh Brother” and “Peppermint Annie” that are sure to delight you. –

Australia’s SHIRLEY GIDDY’S delightful new project “Eros the Snail” has a face that will steal your heart. Just click here to see –

You’ll find lots of innovative costuming techniques in SHERRY GOSHON’S newest pressmold and body called “Asparas.” Known as sky-dancers, they bless humans at important stages in their lives, and are often seen at weddings. You’ve got to check out this charming character –

JILL MAAS has gone off in a slightly new direction with her most recent pattern release “Kathleen” – a spell-binding book doll. Click here to see what we mean –

In her first CD pattern loaded with excellent photos and instruction, SHELLEY HAWKEY brings us “Asia” – a young child doll. SHELLEY has developed a very unique and sturdy way of jointing that involves shrink plastic and wire that you’ll find fascinating.


Q: What does one need to use a press mold?

A: Press molds are used to create faces for dolls that can then be covered with cloth or felt to create a "Lenci" type doll. They can also be used for masks or painted and used for the doll's face. Several of our designers sculpt faces and create molds so you can make your doll face over and over again. You can use either Sculpey or oven baked clay or Paperclay in the mold to create the face. I often brush the mold with talcum powder before using Paperclay to make release easier. Instructions on how to use a press mold are included with the mold.


After our huge snowstorm I sent my grandchildren outside to collect fresh snow and we made mango ice by mixing mango juice with snow. Here is a recipe for vanilla ice cream.


1 cup milk or cream
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 can sweetened condensed milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla

Send the kids outside (young and old) to bring back 3 gallons of FRESH lightly packed snow (no yellow snow, please!) Place mixture in very large mixing bowl. Add 1 gallon snow, mix well, add more snow, mix until snow is hard to mix. Pack in container, put lid on top, put in freezer or put container in snow bank for an hour. This will taste like homemade ice cream. Lots of fun for the kids.


It has taken us a very long time to find a supplier but we are thrilled to finally be able to offer you our favorite Prismacolor pencils – a PORTRAIT SET of 24 and a WATERCOLOR SET of 24. Both are packaged in sturdy tin boxes.

If you just want to try it or only need a little bit of Paperclay we now have the convenient 4 oz. packages. You’ll also find GRRRIP GLUE back in stock.

We are pleased to report that in our continuing efforts to expand the selection in our HAIR DEPARTMENT we have finally located a great supplier for beautiful, hand-dyed mohair locks and roving. We are starting you off with a lovely assortment of colors that we will continue to add to. We know you are going to like these silky fibers as much as we do.

Over in the HAIR DEPARTMENT we are thrilled to report that we have finally received a shipment of braided mohair and wool. We are adding three new colors of the braided wool – Strawberry Blonde, Dark Blonde and Medium Brown. We also have 3 colors back in stock – Auburn Mohair, Light Blonde and Medium Blonde Wool. Our supplier is still not able to tell us when the shipment of white colors will arrive.
We’ll keep you posted. The Fawn Craft Fur that many have been waiting for is also back in stock. –


Bonnie spent most of her time digging out from the most recent snow storms. The snow was coming so fast she would just shovel the walk and it was completely covered again. Then overnight the wind would blow, and all her hard work was filled with snow again. We are supposed to have another storm Thursday. If we get 4 more inches, we will have broken EVERY record on the books since 1877 (most snow in storm, most snow in season, most snow in February – that's where we need 4 more inches.) She has learned that electricity is good, heat is better, and friends are the best.

Mary Ann is thrilled and delighted to announce the birth of her first grandchild Kainoa Daniel Ka’ahanui born to her son Michael and his lovely wife Kyah on February 9, 2010. He arrived a few weeks early and needed to spend about a week in the NICU but he is home now and doing beautifully. If you’d like to take a peek and see what he looks like – the first three photos on this photographer’s website are of him. Mary Ann is looking forward to a quick trip to California for his Christening and she’s sure she’ll be very tempted to put him in her suitcase and bring him back to Virginia.


Click for a cause:

Animal lover? Correctly answer a trivia question (changed daily) at to donate food to dogs in shelters. Love cats? Do the same thing at

Build your vocabulary and feed the hungry at the same time. For every word you define correctly this UN Program site donates ten grains of rice to countries coping with chronic hunger. They have given more than 68 billion grains of rice thus far. Go to

We’d love to hear your thoughts about our Customer Connection newsletter.

Contact the editor Bonnie B. Lewis at with any comments, suggestions, etc.
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