Updated February 2008
Welcome to the Magic Threads on line Newsletter!
Starting August 20th, I
will have a new Blog site! I had to wait until my son came to visit so
he could set it up for me. I just can't keep up with all the
possibilities! So go to my new site to read the lastest news and
plan to keep you updated on my travels, moves (Oh, I hope not!!)
and upcoming plans and
I'll to pass along tips, tricks, techniques and interesting facts and
fancy that I run across while teaching or traveling. I promise to add
subtract information on a regular (more or less) schedule.
New patterns are available. Flower Girls are 17" tall cloth dolls
that are gessoed, painted and varnished so they can withstand sun, rain
and pesky critters. They are so adorable sitting in a flower pot in the
garden! This is an terrific gift idea for your favorite gardener.
Jack Flash was a recent challenge at Joggles, but without his embellishments! Now you get to make your own with all the bells and whistles added. The box would be stunning using stamping or quilting techniques. There's lots of room to play with this pattern.
Next is Thisbee. I'm going back to simpler lines and I really love this doll! She is an easy pattern but has a silly hat and fun swing coat! For the expanded version of this doll....consider my on-line class at Cloth Doll Connection.
Beginning September 9 at The Cloth Doll Connection, I will be teaching Thisbee, a brand new pattern. You’ll be able to buy the pattern this fall, but you might want to consider this special class because it will include techniques to create her clothing 3 different ways. In addition to the cotton pattern version, I’ll teach wool and needle felting embellishments. In the third, you’ll learn machine collage. One pattern - 3 very different looks. More information is available at www.clothdollconnection.com This is an ongoing class so you can sign up anytime.
In October 2004, after
4 years in Pennsylvania we packed up and moved to Urbandale, Iowa
(barely a blink outside of the city limits of Des Moines.) Another trip
country with cats!! The 3 cats that made the
West-to-East journey came to the end of their 9 (or is that 27?) lives,
have 2 feisty new ones to introduce to the joys of travel!! This was a
whirlwind move with my husband finding a new job (he's now Managing
Director/Director of Development at The Des Moines Playhouse), buying a
house, selling a house,
12 tons of stuff (really) and moving - all in 6 weeks. I barely
process but my muscles still hurt. I’m getting too old for this.
This time around, we bought a ranch house with a walkout basement (all mine!). We’ve never lived in a house this new and modern, with skylights, Jacuzzi tub, and lots of angles. Our quirky things fit into this space even better than the old Victorian. We have remodeled the basement into my studio, classroom, office, workshop and pattern storeroom. Soooo much better than having everything spread out over 4 floors. My knees are much happier.
The new studio is painted all my ”normal” colors so I feel right at home. The best part about the house is it backs up to a wooded area with a stream, bike trail, deer, fox, owls, hawks, and more yet to be discovered. We have 3 decks with lots of great views of the woods. I am in heaven. My bowling balls and rusty junk have found a perfect setting. All my newest dolls have bark skin. Spring brought all the planting I can imagine...maybe! I'm still imagining. I miss being close to New York but since our son still lives there, we will get back often. Can’t stay away from the great fabric stores for too long!! Des Moines is a great size town; easy to get around and very supportive of the arts. You can’t beat Midwest friendliness!! My classroom is huge and we are right in the center of the country so we are easy to find!! Plan a road trip!!
The Carol Duvall Show
In September, of 2004 I filmed an episode of The Carol Duvall show for HGTV. They sent a crew to my Lancaster studio to film me rather than have me go to Los Angeles. It was a fascinating day. The episode number is 1902 so you can check your local listings for information. It has been on 3 times already and will continue to run occasionally.I demonstrated my Smoke doll with all the fabric embellishing I use to create the fabrics. Watch for it!!
Courage to Create
When we moved to Iowa, I was lucky enough to be introduced to Michele Beschen who hosts a local show about artists. (Her husband was our loan officer!) She asked me to be on her show as soon as my studio was put together. The show aired on January 30 and is simply wonderful. Watch for Michele – she’s getting national attention and soon will be on the DIY network. She is energetic and enthusiastic and is a ball to work with. She definitely makes you comfortable before the camera. Even my cat Ozzie got into the act.
I demonstrated my Muse dolls and talked about all the other things you can do with hand made fabrics. These techniques can be used in quilts, clothing, pillows, altered books and lots more dolls. I’ll be doing classes that include these techniques plus needle felting and working with Tyvek. Want to come play, too??? Most products used in this program can be purchased from www.joggles.com.
For the very best, up to date information on cloth doll events and activities I heartily recommend the following sites, which will give you enough links to other doll sites to keep you happily surfing for days.
A few words given
during on line classes regarding:
COPYRIGHTS AND WRONGS
There have been lots of heated discussions on the on line doll digests and doll clubs about copyrights. I think it’s important to address that issue in every class that I teach so that there can be no misunderstandings. All classes are copyrighted: pattern and class. I ask that you not share the printouts with your friends or doll club members. Since the class contains many things that are not in the pattern, I want to keep this for the on line students and live classes only. If you have friends who wish to take the class, tell them to get on the information list on Doll Street. We may be offering this class again. I consider the dolls that you make from this class to still be my copyrighted designs even if you add some of your own features.
I give permission for you to SELL up to 20 dolls a year made from this and other classes but I do ask that you label the doll as having been made in a class by Julie McCullough. If you chose to enter your doll in a doll competition or State fair, please don’t label it as an original; it’s not. This has become a very difficult issue for all of us who design patterns and teach classes. Just remember that we are the ones who conceive the ideas for the dolls, do the trial and error, come up with the shapes, proportions and assembly directions. We create the soul, you make the body for it to inhabit. If you buy a pattern and make a few changes to the pattern, it is still not your original doll. If you START with someone else’s work, it will never be yours. In order to claim it as your original work you have to do ALL the work!
Buying a pattern or taking a class enables you to skip right to the fun stuff instead of sweating out all those annoying details that the designer must cope with. I’ve had numerous people call me and say “now if I start with your pattern and change this and this and this, is it mine yet?” No, it’s not! I guess I feel pretty territorial about my designs because I do this for a living. It’s not just a hobby! I hope this makes sense to all of you. It is an issue that is becoming more complicated with all the different teachers and patterns that have some overlapping elements. No one can copyright a technique, but styles are very recognizable as "belonging” to certain artists.
When in doubt, go to the drawing board and do your OWN pattern. I know it is still possible to design your own doll and have it come out looking very much like someone else’s. This then gets into the blurry area of ethics! You’re on your own there!!!! If other peoples' first reaction is that it looks like someone else's doll, you need to do more work. People who say, "Oh, but there are only a few ways to make a doll" obviously haven't looked at any of Susanna Oroyan's books!!!!!!
Dolls can, and should be, as individual as all of us.
by again soon for another issue of
The Magic Threads Newsletter
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