Shadow and Light: Introduction

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I did a few different things over the weekend and during the week of blog neglecting (actually, I wasn’t neglecting the blog, I was just busy with a lot of other things for the blog, that weren’t ready to be posted). So, I have a few things to talk about today. I have rewritten my FAQ. I’ve added a few more blogs, not paper doll specific, and removed a few dead links from the Links page. Obviously, the menus have been reorganized. One of these days I will over-haul the Gallery page. I don’t like it. I don’t know what to do with it. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I’m dissatisfied with it. I need to think about it.

I’d kill the Gallery if I knew what the heck to do with the content already posted there. Decisions decisions.

So, I should say that this new paper doll series evolved out of the number of comments I had from people who really liked the shadowed style of paper dolls. I was surprised by the interest in them since I’d always thought I was the only one who liked those paper dolls. How wrong I was.

The truth is that I began this series a long time ago, but never posted it since I didn’t know how to fit it into the schedule and then recently when I looked at the bulging folder full of drawings and the ones in my sketchbook I was really quite proud of, I thought, “I’m bored with Flora. I avoid drawing for her. Just got for it.”

And here we are today with a new paper doll series. I’m excited and pleased (and have songs from the musical Into the Woods stuck in my head, but that’s got nothing to do with this post) and I’d love to hear what people think, as always.

Curves 2.0 The Beginning…

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When I started this blog, the temptation was to name all of my paper dolls after Greek letters. So, there could be Alpha and Beta and Omega and others. However, I decided that they would end up sounding like some sort of strange paper doll SWAT team.

On an only slightly less surreal note, I have decided to give each of the Curves 2.0 dolls a name based on a letter of the alphabet. So, today we have the first paper doll. Her name is Alyssa. She’s a redhead for I openly confess to having a soft spot for redheads. Her skin looks overly pale on some computers and normal on mine, so I can’t really say much about that. I’ve decided to call the paper dolls “Dictionary Girls” after the idea of “Calendar Girls” which dates from the tendency for there to be pin-ups on calendars.

The plan is to have another paper doll for next week and then some clothing for them the week after so that aren’t running around in their underwear, poor dears.

PS: To everyone who wanted these dolls to be done in the heavily shadowed style of the old Curves sets, there’s another new series starting Friday which will replace Flora and will be in that style.

Out of the Sketchbook

I’ve nearly filled up my sketchbook. So, I’m working on inking which is the last thing and then once I’ve inked a bunch I can buy a new one. I can’t buy a new one until the old one is full.

pencil sketch of paper doll clothing

pencil sketch of paper doll clothing

Ever since I did this fourth of July post, I’ve been thinking a lot about Marisole and historical costumes. These are sketches of costumes from 1910. It was a strange era for women’s costume. I tend to like the costumes, but I love the hats.

pencil sketch of paper doll clothing

This is part of a new series of serial paper dolls which will debut Friday to replace Flora. I need to scan it, but for the time being its still in my sketch book. I love these costumes and am quite proud of them. I think I’ll probably split them up into two posts for the blog.

Marisole Monday: Empire Fantasy

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

It is entirely possible that my least favorite part of posting paper dolls is coming up with the title. (Adding tabs is a close second on the list of least favorite activities, I should just draw them rather then using Photoshop. I don’t know why I insist on Photoshop. It just makes things more annoying.) I think I might just start numbering the things. Or using some strange code…. Seriously….

So it’s very late and it’s been over 90 here for the last week. I am hot. I am sweaty. I am dying from a combination of humidity and heat. We had a thunderstorm this morning which woke me up and dropped the temp, so that it was only 90 degrees today. How nice.

It’s times like this when I miss the cold damp climes of my Alaskan home.

Anyway, enough about the weather. There are paper dolls. They are wearing stylish fantasy dresses. These dresses were inspired by the Renaissance in the same way Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame was actually inspired by the novel, which is to say only in the smallest and slightest way. Truly, I don’t know what Disney was thinking turning a book in which all of the main characters die into a children’s film, though I recommend the novel to anyone who has a really long plane ride and doesn’t mind being depressed during it. Does it show that I’m not a huge Victor Hugo fan? In the novel’s defense I should say the language is beautiful, but the plot is rather depressing. I can’t fault Hugo’s skill as a novelist, but I’d rather read Dumas.

Hmmm… I think that’s enough literary criticism for one blog post. Enjoy the paper dolls. (You can decide if she should die in a mass grave while clutching the dead body of her love. I won’t judge.)

Twenty Minute Doodle

quick sketch thumbnail

Obviously, this is not a Flora post, but it was this or nothing and I figured something was better then nothing.

So, I’ve been trying to do these ten or twenty minute little doodles a few times a week to practice drawing. I thought if I posted one of them here then maybe I would be more motivated to do them. So, we shall see how well that works out. I tend to draw in stages and I often feel very stiff and worried about my work, I don’t tend to freehand anything- there’s always drafts and templates and futzing. I’m hoping by doing doodles like this my more formal paper doll doodles will become more relaxed.

I also wanted to post to assure people that I’m not dead. I’ve just been really busy. I got back from a wedding and then had class and somehow everything else had to come before paper dolls. I hope to have the blog back to normal next week complete with either a preview of the new Curves series or the actual first paper doll in the new Curves series. We shall see. I also have a new shadowed series in the works to replace Flora and a magnetic version of the Pixie paper dolls along with some stand alone paper dolls which I can’t wait to put in the Gallery. Such fun.

Until all that is finished… we have a doodle.

Fashion Doll Friday: Regency Wedding Dress

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I have to confess some shock about the level of interest and excitement with the Star Trek Marisole paper doll on Monday, and then of course, I neglected the blog for a bit. Still, these things happen and I am back now with a wedding dress for Flora. The dress with it’s matching spencer jacket is based on a costume from the Victoria and Albert Museum . I sort of rambled on about the dress in a post I did about spencers and how much I adore them.

Do people care about these sorts of random historical fashion things? I never know if I should be straying so far from the topic of paper dolls… I’m still divided about the “posting pictures from my sketchbook” idea. It’s kinda fun, but, again, I’m not sure people enjoy them. Well loyal fans, what do you think?

Oh, and I spent some time tonight fixing some link problems some of the Magnetic Paper Doll images were having. If you like magnetic paper dolls, you can check out my directions and images on my Magnetic Paper Dolls page. More magnetic clothing sets will be forthcoming as I get them ready.

Marisole Monday: Boldly Going…

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

Blame my mother.

This is all her fault.

She is the reason I love Star Trek and part of the reason I love paper dolls. When I was a child, I was allowed to stay up half an hour later with her to finish watching Star Trek: The Next Generation if my teeth were brushed and I was in my nightgown. When I was in middle school, I started watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Recently, I have begun to watch the original series on DVD from the library. In short, I am a bit of a Trekkie- though I like to think a fairly harmless one.

I am sure true die-hard Trekkies could tell me everything that I got wrong on these paper dolls, but I can’t really be bothered to care. I will say this though- finding a decent reference photograph for the shoes worn by those characters was a pain in the behind and I’m still not sure I got them right. Oh well, you win some and you lose some. Feet are not often shown in television episodes.

I heard somewhere (trustworthy source that) that there was a rule in Star Trek that you weren’t supposed to show any fasteners. I don’t really get why. I mean, lacing up clothing has been done for centuries, not to mention buttons. I figure people would hard pressed to invent a better system, but I suppose it does subtly convey the sense of “futuristic” in an interesting way.

Pixie & Puck: Roxanne and Irene in Black and White

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll {Click Here for a PDF of Irene to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to of Irene Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

I’ve never done a black and white Pixie paper doll before, that I recall and I must confess I’m only doing one now because I’m busy and I needed something to post. I felt a little guilty just posting paper dolls I had already posted in black and white, so I did two of them to make myself feel a little less guilty about recycling material. Besides, sometimes the choice is between something or nothing and I’d rather post something.

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll {Click Here for a PDF of Roxanne to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG of Roxanne to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

I’ve been terribly busy this weekend prepping for classes that start next week and preparing to travel to Pennsylvania for a wedding. I’ll be out of town for a few days. The blog should post on it’s own without me (assuming I get done what I need to get done to make that happen), but there might be a slight hiatus while I travel.

I enjoy weddings, though I was never one of those people who dreamed about my own wedding day. I never caught the “wedding fever” so common to young girls. I did have a wedding Barbie doll, as I recall, but I think she spent most of her time either fighting monsters or going to balls in her pretty white dress.

Magnetic Paper Dolls

Magnetic Paper Dolls

I have become fairly addicted to the idea of magnetic paper dolls, so my first ever tutorial for the blog is about how to make magnetic paper dolls with a set of images I created for the purpose. I used to dismiss magnetic paper dolls as the misbegotten children of paper paper dolls, but I promised a friend I would make her some magnetic paper dolls.

She came to visit and while we were hanging out watching a movie (and I was drawing for the blog), she commented how when she had a school library of her own, she wanted to have a set of the Marisole paper dolls that would be magnetic for the children to play with. This got me thinking about magnetic paper dolls in a different way. How hard would it be, I wondered, to turn Marisole magnetic.

Well, since she just got her first job as a school librarian (Yay!), I gave her the in-progress set when I saw her last. She loved them, but was worried that the kids might ruin them. I said I would post the PDF’s of the images on the blog, along with directions so that she could print out new ones if she needed too. Of course, it took longer then expected.

Anyway, here are magnetic versions of Marisole (Pixie magnetic paper dolls are forthcoming). Enjoy them and I would love the hear for anyone if actual children like them. They managed to entertain me for a lot longer then I should admit in public, but I don’t have any readily available children to test them out on.

You can expect to see future editions to these as I convert old sets to the right size and remove their tabs. Enjoy.

{The Directions to Make Magnetic Paper Dolls}

Fashion Doll Friday: Archering and Evening Dresses for Flora

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New things I learned this week:

1. Archery was actually a common sport among upper class women in the early 19 century. Along with riding, it was one of the few athletic activities women were allowed to do. Flora’s archery dress is based on one from the Manchester City Galleries.

2. It is entirely possible for me to completely forget what day it is and therefore mess up my planned Curves post. (Sorry guys. It’ll go up next week. My bad.)

3. There are more people interested in a colored version of 2.0 Curves, then a black and white shadowed version, but the shadowed people are much more vocal… Hmm… Who should I listen to? Maybe I’ll outline it and try it both ways… My concern with shadowed has to do with what I feel like is a loss of detail due to the shading… I need to give it more thought, obviously.

Speaking of the Curves 2.0 epic adventure, I hope to have the new series up sometime before the end of the month. I don’t like starting a new series without at least a few posts drawn and prepped. It means I’m not struggling with keeping it going. That’s all the news for now. Enjoy Flora’s Archery and Evening Dresses.

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