Look At Me, Look At Me, Look at Me!


Greetings wondrous ones - and yes! - the web site has been out unfortunately - up at 3am to ring the US and finish sorting out - so we're back on track thankfully. Another month tearing by - it is really scary isn't it. Nearly Christmas. Hope your preparations are on track.
Just had the best 'Grumpy Gals' weekend here at the farm. We met up earlier in the year for a 60th birthday, and decided we needed to get together and have a play. Everyone arrived Friday afternoon - and left Monday mid morning. In between we tried all sorts of techniques, based on articles from the latest 'Cloth, Paper, Scissors'- branching into all sorts. Enjoyed puting images onto the Liquid Sculpey - with a little bit of practice that was quite successful, and we ended up with pictures, poems, recipes, sketches etc on liquid sculpey to go into our 'Grumpies' Journal. I'll be keeping the Liquid Sculpey in stock from now on - 46ml bottle ($17.60) - and 185 ml bottle ($27.50). Hmmm - make $16 and $25 until the end of the year, for our newsletter special. We are so fortunate to be able to get together and have such special experiences - we really had a ball - laughed, ate and played. Yes - and Sunday night we danced and sang in amongst it all (Yay for good old Neil and 'Hot August Night').
Every time I have a look through my rather large pin doll collection I think of what great women we have met along the cloth doll journey - each doll tells a story and brings a touch of affection.
The Adelaide Doll club (Fabric of Society) held their annual retreat in October. Another fun filled weekend, with informative classes throughout run by doll club members. It is amazing what talent comes to the fore on such occasions. We covered silk dying, beading, hands and feet, a sculpy Santa and the best face painting class you could ever wish for!
The Bag Ladies have finally given up on our 'make one pressie for everyone' Xmas luncheon theme. We have loved it - and each year went home with up to 15 gifts made by other members. It was truly special but for our get together on Dec. 13th we're swaping one speccy doll. The pressure is off!
Poor Bali - another bomb! I guess that means we'll have to think a lot more about the trip over next year. If I get the chance will go myself but am sure that many of you who showed interest in the trip would think twice about going now - so we'll sit on it for awhile. So sad for the Balinese. Our poor world - what a mess we seem to be making of it.
Still haven't got the Becky Holloway patterns up on the site - that is soooo bad! Sigh. Have put in a submission for longer days but I think there are already so many on the waiting list that am not too hopeful.
Last month we had classes in Adelaide with the amazing Pam Grose - what a talent! What a great tutor! What a great person! We tried Pam's new 3-D Face Class - and everyone had a ball. There was a lot to learn about face painting, shadowing, layering etc - and the results were wonderful. We also had a Hobbit and then a Fairy class - and to top it off Pam produced some amazing beaded necklaces and chokers so we added on another class and came away with great wired beading techniques on top of it all. What a buzz! If you get Pam to your area for classes do think about the beading as well - it's a great one day class.
Pam is heading across to the US in April next year - so if you are from the US do try and get your club etc to invite Pam to teach - she is one of the best. Contact Pam
Life has been so hectic have hardly read a book since the last chat up - love a little read at night, no matter how late, but it doesn't seem to be happening! What have you read? 'Kissing the Virgins Mouth' - Donna Gershten was a great read - and also 'The Mistress of Spices' - Chitra Divakaruni. Oh - squeezed in 'Driving over Lemons' somewhere too - Chris Steward. That was great - and then not long after there was a documentary that visited Chris's farm in Andalucia. I was so excited - 'I was there when they bought that' - 'I was there when their little girl was born'. Ha - you know what it's like when you live and breathe a book for a few days.
Lightish Brown Doe Suede - called 'Doe' arrived last week too - $22 per metre, same price as the flesh Doe Suede. Both colours of Robe Velour are in stock too - the peachy 'flesh' and the pinky 'skin'.
Karen Shifton's patterns arrived - they've sold very well but still have a few in stock. Click here for updated pattern information
Waiting for the latest Art Doll 1/4's, Belle Armoires etc to arrive - any day now hopefully. 'Transparent Art' is also on the way - looks like another great book for the stash! 'The hottest trend in papercrafts and mixedmedia, Transparent Art showcases the exciting versatility of transparencies also known as acetate in artwork.
Discover a vast array of innovative projects with instructions on how to incorporate stamped, painted, sewn, cut, and even burned transparencies to achieve incredible results. Learn from well known artists who show how these diversely treated transparencies can be fused into a variety of artwork including ATCs, shrines, art quilts, collages, cards, journals, and much more. From simple to sophisticated, from jewelry and altered books to scrapbook pages, purses and more, transparencies will bring an imaginative layer of creativity to your artwork'. That was quite a mouthful but couldn't decide what to cut out!
More 'Handcrafted' on the way as they went like hot cakes - and also Somerset Wedding will be back in stock when they arrive. It's all too amazing isn't it! I think weekends like we just had are a great way to learn from the books - we all had different issues of say Somerset Studio, and we all came up with different articles and techniques that were relevant. Should be more of it I say!
Back to work! Always so much more to go up on the site - we'll get there. Lots of new books. Take care and have fun! Thanks everyone. Be back soon. Joy


So much has happened I don't know where to start! Our computer wizz has everything back in working order - and feel rejuvinated after the Bali holiday so keen to get back in and get things up to date. Hope all is well in your little neck of the doll world. Any news you need to share with us? Love to know all the latest doll filth and gossip. Ha.
Bali was fantastic - and soooo inexpensive. Met a wonderful US woman who lives in Bali - we hit it off straight away and couldn't believe it when she said she makes cloth dolls! Aaaagh. We had the best time back at her bungalow looking at her dolls and painting and beading and....and.... Pam is very talented and so inspired as she has established a Charity that earns money to support a village in the North East of Bali. Through the Charity Pam loans the money for a woman to buy a pig, for example, and supports a breeding program until the woman becomes self sufficient. When I was there we went shopping for school books for a young boy and his sister who were able to start high school because of the program. (No free schooling there). It was really exciting, and Pam and I chatted about bringing a group over to do some classes, see the textile and bead manufacture, and go out to the village. Do you think we could get together a group? I'm not sure if people think that Bali is safe at the moment - but security is great at the airport and we headed straight away from the crowded beach areas. Not a problem the whole time. We would centre ourselves at Ubud - and there is so much to see! We would do a couple of classes with Pam - dollmaking and journalling - and then a fantastic beader from Melbourne is interested in coming over, teaching beading to the group - as well as to some locals, so that they would get some benefit from our visit.
If you are interested let's know - it won't be expensive as Bali is sooooo ridiculously cheap! Probably head off about this time next year - maybe a little earlier before the high tourist season starts.
I stayed in a magnificent bungalow outside of Ubud in the rice fields. $15 a night including breakfast - and it was like a little slice of heaven. So very beautiful - and a short walk to a little restaurant for a great $2 feast - a little longer walk into Ubud for a shop up, and swap over my book at the second hand book store. The Balinese are the nicest people - and they really do need tourists to come, as after the bombing at Kuta things are quite bleak in some areas. Cummon - let's do it!!!!!!
Have you had rain in your area? Hope things are looking up for dear Australia - our gum trees aren't out of trouble, but things are at least green!
Doll club last Tuesday was great. So many have shifted away but we love our little group and have so much fun. The patterns from Becky Holloway finally arrived - and there are some fantastic choices. Working hard to get them up on the net, but we started early on one at the club and ended up with some huge and magnificent santa and moose! Some of the patterns are huge - and the Santa had to have a small wooden frame to stand on. It looked a bit daunting when we first opened the pattern - but is fantastic - so I'll put some pictures up when they return completed next month.
Will have the range up next week hopefully
Jill Maas! What a clever woman - and what a great time everyone has had in Jill's classes up in Queensland over the last couple of weeks. Jill is really a gem - and her Amelia. Well - look for yourself. "Maas Magic!"
Good Books!Have you been reading lately? Just finished Jodi Picoult's 'My Sister's Keeper'. Wow - it is great! Am so envious of what amazing minds some people have. Some write best sellers - others design dolls that we wish we'd thought of! In Bali read 'In the Place of Fallen Leaves' - Tim Pears. A bewdy. Picked up 'Touching Earth' in Bali too - Rani Manicka. That was a find as it is about Balinese twin girls - it has a very sad patch, but is a great read nonetheless. Any treasures you can tell us about???
Speaking of Books - have so many more in stock at present! Another job Joy - get em up on that site girl!
Big parcel arrived today - the flesh Doe Suede is back in stock. Woo hoo - it's great to work with. Will get the back orders out over the next few days. The Art Doll 1/4 etc have been sitting in the US for weeks - why? Who knows, but they are in Adelaide now so I'll get them thru customs and out next week. It's strange how sometimes we have a run where heaps of little things seem to go wrong! Never seem to get an order in lately unless it's a chase! Last week I woke up, went to turn on the bedside lamp - globe blew. Walked out into the kitchen and put the kettle on - didn't heat and thought I'd done something wrong. Hmmm - element gone. Put the toast in the toaster - started sending out smoke signals as it wouldn't turn off. Amazing but true - ha. Such a lucky gal in general tho - but just strange. So many of our wonderful doll friends are fighting serious illness - should never complain.
Sorted my notice board yesterday - spread the photos and cards etc in a bit more order - and couldn't help but thinking how lucky I am to be in this business where everyone is so nice! Recieve the greatest cards and notes and little pressies. How fortunate can one be eh - fantastic friends we've all made all over Australia and the world - many we haven't met even.
Did you see 'Grumpy Old Women'? - isn't it the best! Wished I'd taped it. A group of friends here want to open a book store called Grumpy Old Women Incorporated - or something like that! When people come in they'll never know which Grumpy Old Woman will come out to serve them - with a 'What do you want now?'. Ha. Tried to buy a copy of the series but no luck. What a treasure.
On my calender have 'Dawn's Doo' for tomorrow - that has certainly sped up on us! So many excited women on their way for a treat with Sherry, Mimi, Marilyn and Suzie. Hope somebody will report in for us with all the news. (Master's Magic and Apprentices - ten terrific days ahead!)
Penny just went across to Geelong for a class with Patti Culea, sponsored by the Trolly Dollies. Penny said it was fantastic - and she couldn't say enough about how friendly and wonderful the group are. Mary often gets in touch - and they really are a commited group up to great things!
Have a new stock of Margaret Ball's 'Embeadery'. The first order just went in a flash - so can send the back orders out next week too. Won't be long!

Karen Shifton's latest patterns are on the way too - and quite a few are waiting for the Rabbit and Lion pattern - so all will be here next week hopefully.
Well - that's enough for one day. I'm off to bed - with a good book. Sigh. 'Web Pages for Dummies'. Sad isn't it. See ya soon (ish) - you know me by now! xx joy

So sad to hear that we won't have Alaine Flavell's happy smile and bright clothes to brighten us up anymore. Alaine ran Earth Pallette dyes - her husband is going to keep the business going. Alaine will really be missed.
Also sad to hear that Judy Waters passed away last week. Judy was so well known to anyone who had attended Doll U in San Francisco - it was Judy's baby and she had a ball being queen for the week! She hasn't been in good health for some time.

June 10
Back again! This year is sure buzzing by! It's 3am so I'm going to have to type fast. Off to Bali and things are a bit rushed.
If you would like a fun weekend in October come to SA! The Adelaide club are putting on a weekend camp at Wellington - it's from Friday arvo to Sunday arvo and we're trying to organise extra activity for the Monday for the interstaters that are coming. It's only $90 - and there will be several optional classes to choose from. Think on that one eh! There are details on our web site - or give Peta a ring if you are interested on (08) 83880252. I'm giving a simple embellished silk doll painting class on the Friday night.
Have just sent a newsletter to all the pattern club members - so you'll receive early next week. Many of you will have heard the big long story of Rebecca Holloway patterns - I thought they would be here for the Xmas before last! I've made at least 40 calls to Canada, but I think that the patterns are at last on their way. Do hope so as they are soooo good, so hopefully by the time I get back they will be here.
For some reason Quilting Arts isn't here yet - very late! Everything is ready to go and Russ will post out as soon as they arrive. Sometimes I get them before any one else - and sometimes I'm last!
Lots of good reports on Patti's new book - and wonder women is working on a third in the series - embellishing cloth dolls! Marni from our local doll club made the beginners doll in the book - and wow!

Just recd. Ute Vasina's 'Trixie' pattern - it's a cutie! $16.00 in Aust inc post. $14.55 without GST. The Wall Pocket Troll. The instructions will guide you on how to make and decorate the pocket using free motion machine embroidery. Shape a whimsical Troll head using the finer points of needle sculpting. Add inset eyes, eyelids and much more. (Camel Doe Suede in stock)

Also 'Watchful Eye' instructional CD. PDF Format. 13 1/2" Troll. The instructions on this CD include many, color step-by-step photos. You'll learn the finer points of needle sculpting, create a felted bag and make a walking stick and much more.$35.00 ($31.80)

Ann Clemens has a new design - it's been awhile since we've heard from Ann! And Lynne, and Jane, and Heather etc etc!!!! We miss our steady supply of temptation. 'Poppy'is a wall doll with a simple one piece body construction and separate arms with gloved hands. The emphasis is on the face painting and sculpting with colour photographic step by step instructions to guide the dollmaker through the process. This makes an ideal pattern for the beginnering doll maker. $20 ($18.20)

Have quite a lot of new patterns on the way - will get them up when I get back. I'll be checking my emails whilst away - but will be back in the shop on July 1st.
I'll do a posting on DDU - but the parcels sent for the women who lost their 'stash' in the Eyre Peninsula fires were just amazing! Thank you all so much. Everything looked really appealing when it was all packed up. Have a photo on the camera so will get that up when I get back.
Had a great day with Marilyn Halcomb and Bernarda a couple of weeks ago. Marilyn has a fantastic new pattern - 'Grandma's Flying Lessons'. Just waiting for a new photo for the cover and will get on the site - it's grandma fairy teaching her little fairy grand daughter to fly! Magic.
Adelaide Doll Club met last weekend - we had a great day. One of our members - Nicola, had been up to Brisbane for the NOADA display. Came back with three trophies too - so we're really proud of our clever members - and great club!
I really have to get to bed - it's great to chat again! Thanks for all your support and fantastic mail. Will have lots to tell you when I get back - want to see the silver Bali beads being made, and want to check out all the different styles of textile weaving. What a life! Don't miss a minute will you - have fun! Thanks so much. Joy

Creative Cloth Doll Faces by Patti Culea

The face can be the most daunting part of your doll - a book such as this helps build the confidence needed to enjoy painting an identity on your creation.
With Patti's thorough step-by-step approach, readers will learn how to use watercolour pencils, acrylics, and fabric paints to colour a face, how to create a face using collage techniques as well as stamping and beading, and tips for working with stretchy fabrics to create indented eyes, separate eyelids, sculpted lips and much more. $45.00 ($41.00)

March 05
Greetings once again gorgeous gals! Just recd. the latest Quilting Arts - and what a great issue! - so thought a few words of wisdom wouldn't go astray. Talking to Queensland Liz last night and she was saying that as often as we have the best intentions to finish a project, keep in touch with friends, 'catch up' etc etc - there are always those 'Life Interventions'. It's so true isn't it - a great name for those amazing things that come and alter our plans. Alice having her new little boy 11 weeks prem has been one of those Life Interventions that has thrown our plans into a spin. It's been really hard trying to keep up with orders etc and do my bit to help Al out. The baby was 3lb 3oz at birth - so was quite large compared to many born at the same age - and he's doing well. Another four or five weeks in hospital and we should be able to get life back on track. (Ha!).

Pattern club is still on the boil - ordered great new pattern ("Elfshot") - and then tore off to Adelaide when the baby was born and because I wasn't there to confirm the order it didn't go thru - then the pattern was released. I think I still could - and should - have used him as he's so great! Had a few more options tho so wasn't overly worried, but they've turned out not to be pattern club material - so waiting, waiting for something good to happen. There's several more on the drawing board so as soon as one good enough comes out will get it out to all of you patient members!
This issue #17 of Quilting Arts is certainly full of temptation! Info on Fusible web, 'Slash and burn' technique, Angelina, Dyeing, Wax-less Batik, more Art Cards, silk cocoons, mulberry bark - plus heaps of photos of quilts, vests etc - lots of inspiration and ideas. The magazine is $17 per issue - and that includes postage in Aust. if you subscribe. It's magic.

The magazine 'Expressions' is becoming more and more popular. This magazine features Rubber Stamping, Polymer Clay and Paper Arts - The latest issue has all sorts of info - including articles on Turning Gourd scraps into stunning necklaces, creating photo transfers with polymer clay and ink-jet printer, handmade art jewellery, oriental cards, wire work bracelet - and lots more! $13.50 inc post in Aust. for subscriptions - $13.50 per issue.

Thanks to those of you who were kind enough to send kits for the women affected by the fires on Eyre Peninsula. Will contact each of you over the next couple of weeks - really appreciated so a big thank you.
'Elfshot' - Faewyck Studios is in stock - great fellow!! 15" $16.00 ($14.50)
Jill Maas has been providing lots of mirth with her 'Little Singers'. Great little gals with knitted hat and scarf. $13.20 ($12.00)
Robe Velour still hasn't arrived - can't be far away now! The flesh Doe Suede has been sooo popular that am waiting on more of that to arrive as well. Still stock of the Calfskin Doe Suede - it's just so nice to work with.
Prices in brackets exclude GST for overseas customers! Lots of new books in too - next time eh! Thanks everyone - you're wonderful. Be back soon!!!! Thanks so much. Joy

March 05
So - what's new pussycat?? Two beauties from Arley Berry Hill. His patterns are certainly popular - and they do make up so well. Have had such a coup getting permission to sell Arley's 'Gypsy Wagon' pattern - there is only one retailer in the US selling the pattern - and only 'Things I Like' in Australia! The finished wagon is 15" long, 12" high and 9" wide. Great opportunity to embellish. This will be $30.00 ($27.30). For Feb will include postage in Australia. Also from Arley is 'Madame' - a 21" doll - beginning to Intermediate, with turban, coat, gloves and cigarette pattern included.

More details have been released on Master's Magic Apprentices to be held at Maroochydore (Queensland) from the 20th to 30th August 2005.
Am trying to get info on a page on the site - but there will be 4 x 2 day workshops - over a ten day period with 2 days off for shopping etc. Susie McHahon, Marilyn Halcomb , Gloria Winer and Sherry Goshon will be the tutors - will be fantastic. Let's know if you would like a brochure - until we can get detailed info up
Doe Suede finally arrived! Have two great colours - a really nice flesh and 'Calfskin' - $22 per metre but for Feb will do for $20 per metre. Great to work with!
'Artist Trading Cards' has arrived too - at last. Have had amazing trouble getting the order but have finally sent out Art Doll 1/4, Belle Armoire etc. 'Artist Trading Cards' is $28.00 ($18.20).
Julie McCulloughs 'Pixie Dust' and 'Santa Magic' have arrived. (Just in time for NEXT Xmas!) The Art Cards swap we've been doing with the pattern club has been a lot of fun so far - have seen quite a few of the designs and they are very clever. Christine used the wonderful 'flying goddess" from one of her set of Patti's Tome patterns - No 5 with the beading etc. The size on the photo cover was perfect and after bonding the flesh cut out to the fabric Christine coloured and shaded - turned out really well on a background of hand dyed 'sky and cloud'. It is pleasing to accept these challenges and know that you can reach deep into your imagination and come up with something that surprises.
Lots of great stories about Patti's Tome - everyone seems to be having a great time working thru their monthly patterns. The last pattern of the box to put the book in goes out soon - that will complete the set and a great idea to have a box to store the book.
I've cut about 50 A4 pieces of the fabric tyvek so if you would like a free sample to try of the fabric Tyvek-tex then send an email and I'll pop one to you in the mail - until my little stash runs out. Want you to give it a try as it is fun to experiment with and lots of possibilities. It's $10 per metre - 1.5m wide. That's a lot of tyvek! Also have two colours of Doe Suede on the way - one is a really nice flesh colour - will be very handy, the other a fawny shade. Hopefully not too far away!
Have 'Legacy', "Somerset Studio', lots of new books - and lots on the way - but I can see you're starting to doze, so let's hope I get back here soon with more news!
Happy days with lots of juicy moments. Keep making pleasure and we'll talk soon. If you would like any more info on the goodies mentioned here email me on thsilike@westnet.com.au
Thanks everyone! Thanks for dropping by. Come back here every couple of weeks (or so!) for updates on doll matters. Joy

The fine print!!! ....... Prices for US magazines are subject to change - I've dropped the prices way down to what they were - but sometimes the freight - or the dollar may vary. Rest assured I do my very best!
You may find prices of these items will vary with agents - they have to allow for freight.