Pretty in Bows and Pastels… Mostly Bows

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Life has a way of getting crazy and getting away from me, but I finally feel a little more on top of things after a few weeks of nothing short of total insanity. I finished a paper for one of my classes and that leaves two more to write and one final to take. Not terribly bad, all things considered.

The first hard frost of winter hit the corn fields, and my car today. So, I guess I should be tracking down my wool socks and getting ready for the long cold winter. Personally, I would rather it stayed fall a little longer, but I doubt its going too. I think winter is actually here.

Since the winter is coming, I decided to go pastel for these vintage inspired dresses. I wanted to make the sorts of things I imagine a Southern woman wearing to church… of course, being neither Southern or having ever gone to church more then twice in my life, I have no idea if anyone would actually wear it to church. Still, I like them, but the black wig might not fit under the pastel green hat.

Quick Note

Hello all,

I just wanted to say that I’m traveling for the rest of this week and might be out of town for a bit of the week after, so things are going to be sort of on pause here until I get back and possibly longer. I will update before the end of the month, so keep checking back and I’ll be replying to comments as I can.

I hope everyone who is celebrating Thanksgiving has a wonderful one. :)

– Rachel

Sketchbook Bound

Dictionary Girls Clothing

The Dictionary Girls get to be a little modern here with a set of nautically inspired clothing. I love the stripes and the flared trousers. Behind this set, if you look closely, you can see the hints of the next page which holds some other pieces of, as of yet, un-inked dictionary girl attire.

Magnolia

Further examples of things I have been working on that are not really blog related. The idea so far is sort of a Marisole styled paper doll, but in a different pose. At first, I thought I would replace Marisole, but now I’m thinking of just creating this new doll as an associate… or something totally unrelated. In my mind, I have named her Magnolia. At first, I thought she would be a specifically magnetic paper doll, but now I’m less sure that’s where I want to do with her.

Magnolia

Magnolia has, obviously, a page of shoes and not much else, I’m afraid. Originally, I thought she would have four different skin tones- hence the four pairs of sandals, but now I’m not sure if four is enough. In my skin tone color gathering I have collected over 36 skin tones, but I will narrow things down to a smaller selection soon. The truth is that many of them are so close in shade, I doubt very much there would be any difference when they printed out anyway.

Marisole Monday: Commercial Fisher

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Technically, it’s just past midnight here in Illinois, but its still Monday in Alaska, so I think she still counts as on time.

When I was a child, the we’d go out for a few weeks each summer and commercially fish for salmon and halibut, so I wanted it to be accurate beyond my own memories. Commercial fishing is some of the most back breaking labor I have ever done. It’s hard work, but you can’t beat the views. When I was 16, I was offered the choice of working for the summer fishing or finding a job.

I found a job.

My mom actually requested this paper doll a few months ago and it took me a while to decide what exactly to include on the sheet (Hi mom!). So, we have Marisole, with coloring as close to a self portrait of me as you’ll ever get on this blog, and she has a wardrobe of proper fishing clothing from her heavy duty dark green rain gear (overalls and a jacket) to her bright orange rubber gloves for baiting hooks and cutting fish. She comes with a small Pacific Halibut (slime not included) and a King Salmon, though neither looks as good as I wanted it too. She also has a gaffhook, a gutting knife and a little green tin of bag balm to wear under her gloves.

The cold storage we sold our fish too was in Hoonah, Alaska and it gave away baseball caps. I still remember my father walking around in his jeans with his bright pink Hoonah Cold Storage cap on his head. I had one for years, but I don’t know what happened to it. So, Marisole has one of those too along with some t-shirts, jeans and long underwear. Most importantly, Marisole has her Xtratuff boots which are a required part of any fisherperson’s wardrobe.

Personally, I think she’s prepared for her adventure.

Cocktail Dresses with Ruching

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This beautiful sent of cocktail dresses was meant to show off ruching which I have been practicing. I love the combination of the apple green and the strawberry pink, but also wanted to have a more sedate color scheme for the less adventurous among the Dictionary Girls. I am pleased with how both dresses came out, but I sometimes admire the work of other paper doll artists and know I need more practice.

Lately, I have been very impressed by Siyi Lin an artist from Taiwan, I think. Her work is beautiful and often featured in Haute Doll Magazine. She has both a webpage and a Picasa album which I confess to staring at for far too long. I love her colors and her drape and her faces. I think her paper dolls are done with vectors and that is something I really want to learn how to do. Someday, I’ll have the time to take a class on vector drawing. Yes… I’ll fit that in between my classes, work and job hunting. Not any time soon, I fear, but someday.

But I’m really inspired by her paper dolls of Ann Estelle and Betsy Mccall and I wonder about doing a child paper doll. I’ve played around with them in the past. It would certainly be a paper doll of a doll rather then a real child.

But this brings up a deeper more complicated issue of what should I do with paper dolls that aren’t part of my standard series, and I don’t have an answer. I don’t like the Gallery, but I don’t know what to do with the content I have there and the Short Run dolls were fine, but I haven’t used them in a while. I need to somehow consolidate the paper dolls that are not part of a series under a sort of umbrella category somehow… What do people like more? A gallery approach or something else? Does anyone, but me care? Possibly not.

From the Depths of the Sketchbook

As I sit here prepping this post, I have giving out candy to small children. Is there anything cuter on this planet then children dressed up for Halloween? I don’t think there is.

Shadow and Light

Shadow and Light Clothing

Shadow and Light clothing for the paper dolls. Some pirates and some fantasy Gothic attire. As always, I draw heads separately and attach them to the doll as needed. With Shadow & Light, I also tend to draw the heads a little bigger then needed and re-size them- it helps me get in more detail then I usually can.

Child paper doll

I’ve been working on some child paper dolls. This is some clothing I have drawn for one. I’m not totally pleased with the doll, but then I’m never totally pleased with anything. All of these dresses are based the clothing of Lenci dolls from the 1920s and 1930s.

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