Monthly Archives: March 2012

Catskill Mountain Doll Club~Background

Logo of the Catskill Mountain Doll Club


The Catskill Mountain Doll Club was chartered in September 1989 and has for the past 23 years been a source of information and access to doll lovers of all ages in the Catskill Region.

The Catskill Mountain Doll Club actually started in 1988 with its first ever doll show and sale.  Several of its charter members are still active in the Club including its current president  Marilyn Laufer.  The Club has 10 members and what the club lacks in numbers is more than compensated by the spirit and industry of its members.

The CMDC meets the fourth Thursday of each month  (excluding January and February) in Liberty, NY.  After the business of the Club is concluded, members and guests enjoy a program which includes speakers or projects related to dolls and collectible bears. Members present their own collections or speakers are invited to present a particular kind of doll.

CMDC’s 20th Anniversary

In the fall of 2009, the Catskill Mountain Doll Club celebrated its 20th Anniversary by creating a public exhibit of dolls from the members’ collections.  Hosted by the Liberty Museum and Arts Center in Liberty, NY  For the Love of Dolls included some of the most iconic and popular dolls throughout the 20th, and into the 21st centuries. From rag dolls to porcelain dolls, from Amish to Eskimo, club members displayed their best loved dolls.

Community Service  

In service to the community, the Club has purchased and donated doll and bear books to local libraries, and has collected and donated dolls and bears to area non-profit organizations during the winter holidays, including handmade teddy bears for children who are being discharged from local hospitals.   Members have made presentations, including slide shows,  for other organizations including schools, libraries, nursing homes and other educational programs, such as the 4H.  For the past three years Club members have donated cartons full of dolls and bears to Safe Passage, a local organization serving battered women and their children.

Members of the Catskill Mountain Doll Club paid a visit to the Roscoe Residential Healthcare Facility in Roscoe, NY, in May of 2009  and brought some of their favorite childhood dolls to show  the residents.  Shown here are club members , Theresa Boucher (l.) and Diane Mues.

Here demonstrating an interactive toy dog to the residents is Marilyn Laufer, a charter member of the Catskill Mountain Doll Club and current president. 

Current Activities

Members of the Club are currently preparing a video on making porcelain dolls.  Filmed by Theresa Boucher, the film hopes to highlight methods used to cast, fire and paint porcelain doll heads.

Contact Information

Current Officers:  Marilyn Laufer, President,  Grace Rivera, Vice President;  Lynn Nalven, Secretary and Janet LeRoy, Treasurer.

Contact Telephone:  Marilyn Laufer (845) 292-6628 or Lynn Nalven (845) 482-3561 or write to:

Catskill Mountain Doll Club

P.O. Box 73

White Sulphur Springs, NY 12787


In my next posting, I will be including pictures and information about the Catskill Mountains most memorable shows!

My Five Top Rules for Doll Making

Over the years I have learned many lessons…and have made many mistakes.  So to open this category  I would like to pass on my five top rules for doll making:

1)    Cut it a little larger, longer, bigger…it can always  be cut down

This rule probably could be applied to all kinds of crafts, but is especially effective when making clothes for dolls.  The only time I find it will not work is when patterning the bodices for dolls…the shoulder and neckline is proportional and just adding to the seam lines may throw the proportions off.  But for hemlines, sleeve lengths and widths, arms holes, side seams and waist measurements, this rule works well!

2)    Eyeball it!

You know that old expression carpenters have…measure twice…cut once.  I would insert eyeball it!  Trust your sense of proportion!  Once I was making a doll hat and measured the circumference of the doll’s head for the crown.  When I put the measurement to paper and fabric, I thought it looked too large.  Indeed, I was using a plastic tape measure from which, somehow, almost two inches got chewed off!  I know I said in my first rule to cut it larger, but this would have been really out of proportion!

The cut out fabric for this bonnet looked way too large!  I discovered that I was measuring the head with a tape measured from which almost two inches was cut off!  (Watch for later posting for directions on how to make this bonnet. )

 The first markings for the crown of this bonnet looked way too large!  I discovered that I was measuring the head with a tape measure from which almost two inches was cut off!  (Watch for later posting for directions on how to make this easy and quick bonnet.)

       3) Use the right tool

If directions call for a screwdriver, don’t use a nail file…if for a chisel, don’t use a screwdriver.  Sometimes tools can be expensive, especially those specialty tools for doll making.   But using the wrong tool can often end up in a botched job… and wasted materials!  Spend that little extra and save money in the long run.

4)Use the right glue

There are so many kinds of glues on the market these days…epoxies, resins, silicones and more. Wikipedia lists over 40 kinds!  When considering the kind glue for your project, check out the holding power, drying speed, color or clarity and ease of clean up.  While cleaning up casein based glues like Elmer’s glue© is easy , its holding power is inadequate for ceramics.  Epoxy glues work well for ceramics, but are messy. A whole article can and have been written about various kinds of glues.  Check out the DIY site!  And if you haven’t heard of it yet, Fabri-tac by Beacon© is a great substitute for a hot glue gun.

5)Mull it over!

If you run into a sticky problem that you just can’t  solve, put the project down and leave it for a while…maybe even overnight.  If you let your mind mull the problem or issue over, a solution may come to mind…or you will find a solution in an unexpected place.  Talk to other doll  makers…look on the Internet…sleep on it!

Well those are my first five rules for successful doll making. There are others which I may add later on, but these are the biggies!