Mia Goes Minimalist and Monochrome…

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll I am both very excited and a little nervous about today’s colored version of last week’s Minimalist fashion paper doll.

Why nervous?

Because color is something I love. I adore color and pattern and surprise and color… well color is something today’s paper doll set lacks.

Minimalism in fashion usually relies on a black and white color palette and is considered to be austere and simple. It has been popular for several years on the runways. I didn’t go as wild as I could have with shape, because I wanted everything to be wearable. This is not, after all, a fantasy paper doll set where I don’t care about realism and/or whether or not a person might actually be able to function in these crazy clothes. I am very pleased with the outcome (and this was the fastest coloring job I think I’ve ever done.)


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Were I to make a list of things I’d never done before on the blog, I think doing a paper doll set entirely in black, white, and grey would end up on the list. I’m not certain, and I don’t really want to go pouring through over 500 posts to find out, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never done it before.

While I do agree that many of these shapes mirror Seagulls and Seaside, as was pointed out by a reader last week, I think the color really changes the tone of the entire set. I’m most pleased with Mia’s shoes (I love drawing shoes, though I really think one pair came out a little clunky) and the collared blouse.

Mia Goes Minimalist…

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll I love March. I love March for the fashion magazines that come out in March. March, like September, is a big month in the Fashion magazine world. It’s right after Spring Fashion Week and the fashion magazines are stuffed with the new seasonal looks.

I always like to buy several when I go to the grocery store. I love Vogue for it’s amazing photo shoots, but for paper dolling purposes I want simple clear photos of clothing. (Models jumping around or standing in wierd poses are beautiful and all, but a pain to draw off of.) Generally, I pick from People StyleWatch, Elle, Instyle, Vogue or Bazaar. This time I wasn’t impressed with any of them except Instyle, and there wasn’t a new People Stylewatch to be had, so I just got my Instyle and spent Saturday drawing this paper doll set. (Also watching Escape from New York and Wall-e, but I digress.)

All of Mia’s clothing is based off items I saw in InStyle with a focus on things that were part of the minimalist collections that have been on the runway as of late, especially from Micheal Kors, Carolina Herrar and Ralph Lauren. I didn’t want to do pattern and I didn’t want to do anything elaborate, I wanted to focus on shape.


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I’m really pleased with all the clothes, but a little less pleased with the doll. I decided to make her a Mia after I finished drawing the whole set, because I haven’t done a Mia yet this year, but once I finished her I realized that I have done a very similar hairstyle before for Mia before.

Anyway, I’m still pleased with this paper doll set and very excited to color it. It’s going to be a lot different I think than any other set I’ve done which is, to me, exciting.

Marisole Monday: Mia as a Garden Fairy In Color

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll It’s raining so hard tonight that I find I don’t want to do anything, but curl up on my couch in my sweats and listen to it. Winter has come to Alabama and with it a lot of rain.

So, Marisole has gotten to be green and blue, but Mia never has, so I thought it was high time she got the chance to show a little more variety in her colors.

I’ve been watching the show Cranford from Hulu and have been enjoying it very much. The show is awfully fun and full of beautiful historical costumes. I think it’s supposed to be set in the 1840s, though it’s hard to tell. Some of the dresses have distinctly 1840s silhouettes and other’s are older. Though the town is small and in the country, so it would be a little behind the times. I confess that the 1830s and 1840s are not one of my favorite time periods for ladies dress.

The show often shows beautiful English gardens and I wanted to capture those colors in today’s printable paper doll.


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Marisole Monday & Friends: Mia as a Fairy in the Garden

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll First things first… I forgot to write on the wings that they’re meant to be pasted to the back of the doll. My bad… Sorry.

Secondly, Happy Veteran’s Day. One of these days, I will remember this holiday far enough in advance to do something thematic. Still, I think Veteran’s day is one of the more important US holidays, so I want to thank any of members or former members of our armed services today.

Meanwhile, I’ve had several requests for fairies over the years. I’ve never done one, except for a Halloween set where I did a fairy costume, but other than that I haven’t done many fairy paper dolls.

It’s a rather out of season. I seem to think of flowers and gardens in the summer when they bloom, but I live in Alabama now where the flowers cling on long after the normal times that flowers are supposed to bloom.

(Pansies in January are freakish. That’s all I have to say on that subject.)

Oh, there are some pixie paper dolls which fairy themes, now that I think of it. I did Fleur, Belladonna and Flora. Of course, I suppose having done 3.5 of them is not a bad statistic over the years.


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Anyway, feel free to comment on the printable paper doll if you wish. I’m pretty pleased at how she came out.

Marisole Mondy & Friends: A Set of Black and White Printable Paper Dolls

First of all… More Black and White Marisole Monday & Friends printable paper dolls (but you’ll need to scroll down…)

Secondly, Check out the new layout. It is still in progress and I’m still messing with it a fair bit, but I have high hopes for eventual success with it.

What happened was that I updated my version of WordPress and updated my old theme. Well.. that messed up the formatting and I decided that the right thing to do was finally bite the bullet and redo the entire thing. So, the blog looked schizophrenic for a few days while I tried out new and different themes. Right now, the theme is Mantra and I can only say good things about it. I judge a theme on how much of the CSS I have to rewrite myself and with Mantra the answer has been… shockingly little. Just a few small tweaks to the code. All in all, a very nice and clean theme.

Anyway, I’m not sure how I feel about the new layout, so feel free to comment and tell me what you think.

As for today’s printable paper dolls… I’m posting some more previously colored Marisole’s in black and white. I think they look charming. They’re all very modern though some of them are two years old.


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Well, I did a series of seasonal paper dolls- or at least I thought seriously about it- and this one was for Autumn. You can see the Autumn Chic in color and I forgot to give her a background pattern, though I’ve fixed that in my black and white version. Paper dolls without backgrounds just look so sad and empty to me.


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Being someone who loves alliteration, I called this paper doll set Candy Coated Couture, which made more sense when she was full color. I think she’s a great example of the importance of mixing neutrals into a colorful scheme to increase mix and match clothing options. Plus did I mention that I love most of her clothing? Now that she’s available in black and white and I think she’s just as cute.


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So, now Mia is getting into the act. Here she is off to prom or maybe some sort of red carpet event. I never wear an evening gown in the real world, but paper dolls aren’t meant for the real world, are they? Enchanting Evening in full color is another paper doll where I forgot to put in a background image. It bothers me, though not enough to fix it. I should really fix the apstorphe in Streets of China first… that’s the one that really gets to me.

Anyway, let me know what you think of the new theme and check back later this week. There will be another update. I’m not sure when yet… but it is going to happen.

Marisole Monday & Friends: Mia with Seagulls and Seaside In Color

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The colors on this Mia paper doll set were inspired by the Pantone 2013 Spring color report and by signal flags for nautical ships. When I was a kid, I remember my father was practicing for his captains license from the US coast guard and I would quiz him on signal flags. It was also the first time I ever heard Morse code in person.

Remarkable stuff, Morse code.

Anyway, I’m rather pleased with how the color scheme came out. Mia will be quite stylish at the yacht club in this set of costumes. I have complete faith in her sense of decorum and style.

So, normally I have no problem coming up with ideas, but lately, I’ve been feeling a little stumped on the Marisole paper doll front. So, I am open to suggestions. Anyone got something they desperately want to see?

I’ve recently had requests for cowgirls, ballerinas (probably not going to happen since tutus sort of freak me out), saris, swimsuits and opera (though I confess I don’t know a THING about opera).

Marisole Monday & Friends: Seagulls & Seaside

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Summer is still in full swing here in Alabama. It rains in the evenings and afternoons and I miss the cool crisp air of the coast where I grew up. People are saying this is a freakishly cool summer here and all I can think is that when it’s not a freakishly cool summer, how horrible that will be.

I miss Alaska.

Anyway… Mia is here today showing off some summer fashions pulled from the pages of a few different magazines. Ever since I started posting these paper dolls in black and white as well as in full color, I’ve had more trouble naming them. I used to use the colors as a fall back for lack of naming ideas, but now… there’s not much for it.

Marisole Monday & Friends: Mia Goes to the Bathing Place… and gets some colors…

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So, as I mentioned last time, I always liked the idea of multiple costumes for various activities that was such a part of the Victorian way of dressing. Personally, I think it would be rather fun to have a special outfit I wore while visiting or yachting, but jeans and a t-shirt seem to see me through nearly all of my social engagements. I suppose that says something, perhaps not flattering, about the nature of my social engagements.

The outfits today, are, as I mentioned last week, a grey and teal skirt which can be paired with either the corset, jacket, and top hat to make a traveling or promenade suit or can be worn with the bodice trimmed in pleats for a dinner toilette. The yellow and white yachting costume is sort of practical (barely) and the bathing dress (a swimsuit to most of us) has matching slippers. All things considered I think Mia would do quite well for herself with this set on vacation. Of course, she can share her dresses with Marisole and Margot.

Personally, I just got back from gallivanting around Alabama for work and then finishing up my taxes (I hate doing taxes) and now I can consider all of my obligations for filled for the moment. As always, enjoy the paper doll and, as always, feel free to let me know what you think. Next week, there will be elves.

Marisole Monday & Friends: Mia at the Bathing Place…

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The thing I think I find most fascinating about the Victorians is how many times a day they changed their clothing and the idea of having a specific dress for a specific activity. I love reading through old fashion magazines to find out what was proper to wear for a carriage ride or afternoon tea. As a child, I loved the idea of having special outfits for riding or hiking or going for a walk. It felt exotic and fancy.

My original idea was to do a bride and her trousseau inspired by the Victorian inspired styled I love so much. I always think of this as a chance to draw Victorian inspired fantasy clothing with no guilt about lack of historical authenticity. I realized, after I started that I wasn’t sure I wanted to draw that many items, so instead focused on a smaller set of “bathing place” costumes for Mia.

So, there’s a yachting costume, a traveling suit with an alternate dinner bodice and a swim suit with slippers to match. All in all, she can handle a weekend in on the coast rather well, I think.

Marisole Monday: Dead Roses- In Color

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I feel a little weird saying this is in color when the color is mostly black…

Not the most cheerful color scheme ever developed for a paper doll. I almost made it all black, but that seemed a bit much, even for Gothic Marisole. If you look closely, you’ll see one of my usual tricks for keeping things from looking totally “flat” is to use shades of the same color. So while everything is “black” there is still some definition between the various parts of the garments. I actually did this Marisole in four shades of very very dark grey which look black, but still allow the line work to be seen.

It’s all an illustion.

So, Meredith asked: I think a ballerina paper doll would be cool or mabey a pool / summer themed doll also for some ting tiffrent you could do dolls theamed ot colors of the rainbow

how long have you been drawing paper dolls for?
could you do a cow girl paper doll that would be cool and diffrent

To answer the easiest question, I have been drawing paper dolls for as long as I can really remember. It began when my mother would draw me a doll as a bribe for cleaning my room or other activity and then I had to draw the clothing. Eventually, that evolved into drawing my own paper dolls, though I still prefer clothing to the dolls.

As for your requests, I have added them to my list of ideas. I usually keep a running list of ideas, but since most paper dolls are drawn weeks (sometimes months) before they eventually get posted, I can’t promise anything as far as doing any of those ideas. And I probably won’t to the ballerina, because tutu’s scare me.

To answer a related question, Tawny asked: What is your favorite sort of paper doll to draw? I mean… I think eeery thing you do is great, but what do you like to do the most?

I like drawing everything. I do find I tend to return to certain themes a lot. I like things that are a little alt-fashion inspired and a little fantasy inspired. I often draw from fashion magazines, because it makes deciding what to draw simpler. I always fear that I will fall into a rut and draw the same thing over and over again. I try to keep things interesting using reference images and other materials.

Got a question you want me to answer on the blog?Ask me here.

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