Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper dollToday, Margot is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick’s Day is a festive holiday celebrating the life of St. Patrick and Irish hertiage and the excuse to drink a lot of beer, some of it dyed green. Despite being a Saint’s Day, there’s not usually a lot of religion in the celebrations (at least not a lot that I’ve seen…)

Normally I when I do a color and a black and white version together, they are both pretty small. I decided to try out a different formatting option this time. First we have the full color version and then, a little further below, the black and white version.


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I decided it would be fun to do some historical St. Patrick’s Day costumes, so Margot has an early 18th- Century mantua gown on the far right covered in clovers. The mantua was in style until about the 1740s when it got replaced by other styles, but it was very much popular in the early part of the century. The first USA celebration of St. Patrick’s Day occured in Boston in 1737, so a mantua made sense.

Next, she to that she has a 1903 blouse with skirt to commemorate the fact that in 1903, Saint Patrick’s Day became an official holiday in Ireland. The blouse should be worn over the skirt to get the pigeon breasted look which was so popular in the early 20th century. Margot’s hair is covered in a hat and she has a matching parasol.


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So, in 1962, the city of Chicago, known for it’s Irish population, dyed the Chicago River green for the first time using 100 lbs of vegetable dye. They continue that tradition today, though its only green for a few hours. I’ve never seen the river dyed, even when I was living in Illinois, but I’ve always wanted too. Margot has a 1960′s dress with high heels and a stylish flipped hair style.

Lastly, I included a modern pair of jeans and a t-shirt, in case you want a modern celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. I did not, despite a recommendation of a friend, include any green dyed beer. You’ll have to draw your own. :)

Marisole Monday Visits the 10th Century

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll It’s a Margot paper doll this Monday, the first for the new year, I think, and she’s sporting some stylish garb from the 10th century. Yesterday, I posted a pretty long ramble about 10th century Anglo-Saxon women’s dress and if you’re interested, I recommend reading that as well as this post, since the two rather go together in chronicling the epic research adventure this paper doll was.

One of my January drawing winners, Gwendolyn, who asked for this paper doll has been very kind as I slowly did my research and then set to work on drawing the set. I won’t pretend it hasn’t been both stressful and time consuming, because it has, but I am utterly pleased with the outcome and I hope she is as well.

Gwendolyn wrote me that:

I have actually thought a little bit about what I would choose if I ever won, so I can tell you now that I am interested in a Marisole-family doll, who is 10th century Anglo-Saxon. I would love a set or two of daily clothes, but I would also love a maille shirt and helm.

Speaking of the maile shirt, it is based on Anglo-Saxon finds in York and the helm is also based on the same thing. As women didn’t wear maile, I didn’t spend a huge amount of time researching the historical accuracy of such a garment. Personally, I’ll confess, armor doesn’t get me going like clothes do.

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So, let’s talk about the clothes. As I explained yesterday, 10th century Anglo-Saxon’s women dress consists of several layers of clothing. To begin with Margot (our Anglo-Saxon model with a French name…) wears a pair of leggings with windings around the calves and shoes. The shoes come from Anglo-Viking finds in York dating from the 9th Century. The windings around her calves are based on an illustration from the manuscript Psychomachia (British Library MS Additional 24199) which shows a barefoot women on horseback. Sadly, the manuscript hasn’t be digitized, but there is an illustration in Owen-Crocker’s Dress in Anglo-Saxon England. There is no way to know what the top of such leggings looked like. I made them like this so they could be worn with the maile shirt. Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll

The shift’s neckline is based on an illustration of a male farmer’s tunic illustrated in Tiberius B v calendar (British Library MS Cotton Tiberius B v, fol. 4r) and the sleeves are wrinkled as I discussed yesterday. The necklines of the other dresses are also based on the necklines of men’s tunics in the 10th century.

The veils are based on manuscript illustration, though I had added visible pins. Pins are commonly found from this period and it seems logical they were used to hold veils together. The green veil with broach is based on an illustration of the Virgin Mary from the first half of the 9th century (see Plate 1). The brown “poncho” is based on several illustrations and I discuss these cloaks a lot more in yesterday’s post.

Lastly, the embroidery on the red dress is not based on anything specifically. I wanted to use some patterns I found online, but they were far to detailed to easily make tiny enough to work as illustrations at such a small size. I did not include girdles as there is almost no published information on them and I didn’t want to just invent stuff. The colors used in these garments are based on the colors of the famous Bayeux Tapestry (which is not actually a tapestry, but that’s neither here nor there).

Well, I hope everyone has enjoyed the last two days in the 10th century. I certainly have had fun researching and I hope to do some more medieval period paper dolls now that I know more about the eras in question. (I think my next one will be 1300s, a little easier than 900s.)

Marisole Monday: Vivid Victoriana Printable Paper Doll in Color

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable paper doll Something about the fall makes me introspective. Maybe it’s the grey days or the excuse to pull out my favorite tweed trousers again or the fact that I can feel the end of the year looming, but even here in Alabama where it’s hardly cool enough to feel like fall- I can see the leaves changing colors and I know that fall has arrived.

Fall introspection takes different forms for different people, but for me it usually focuses on the blog. It’s a little terrifying to think the blog might be turning four in January. If it was a child, it would be in pre-school.

Meanwhile… here’s a new printable paper doll. And who doesn’t want that?

Last week, we got to see today’s paper doll in black and white and here she is now in color. I wanted to go with a shabby chic color scheme and a break from the usual “Steampunk=Brown” mentality. As I always say when I post a paper doll like this, I’m not really sure how one decides if something is steampunk. Never the less, I’m very pleased with how she came out. She’s a Margot paper doll, because I thought Margot needed some love.

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Thoughts on where the blog is? Where the blog is going? How it should get there? Please let me know. I know I don’t always respond to comments as quickly as I would like, but I do read every one and I love getting them.

Marisole Monday And Friends: Vivid Victoriana Printable Paper Doll

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll Well… I can say what this isn’t pretty quickly. This isn’t a Halloween printable paper doll. I wanted it to be, but sometimes life doesn’t cooperate.

Instead of a Halloween printable paper doll and her clothes, we’ve got a steampunk inspired neo-victorian Margot paper doll and her clothes. I think the paper doll is just as nice as something more themeatic, but it always seems to me like I should try to follow the seasons on the blog, even though I rarely succeed.

This year nothing really Halloween oriented has happened on the blog. I do hope to get a vampire Pixie paper doll I drew an embarrassingly long time ago finally finished and posted, but the truth is that September was such an insane month for me (wedding & flooded apartment) that I didn’t get any of my Halloween plans finished.

More Below!

Marisole Monday & Friends: Late Summer Flowers in Full Color

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Full color version of last week’s paper doll. I wanted the colors to be a little unexpected and I really like how the patterned shorts came out.

I don’t do very many blond paper dolls, so here is one, though in hindsight, I think she’d be cuter as a brunette. I could change her, but we all know that won’t be happening, because I hate re-doing old work.

Speaking of redoing old work, there might be some black and white versions of old Marisole’s showing up on the blog in the next few weeks. It’s related to a project that’s in the works. If anyone has requests, drop me a comment. This might be the only time I ever do this.

I find I tend to work in spurts. I realized I hadn’t done a paper doll with glasses in a really long time and now I’ve done two in a row. Chances are that I won’t do another one for six months now. Funny how that works.

By the way, the summer heat of Alabama is pretty bad. I sort of wish I was living somewhere colder, like my home of Alaska, but I’m learning to survive the 90 degree weather.

Marisole Monday & Friends: Late Summer Flowers

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A new Margot paper doll today in black and white for coloring. Also, she has glassess

It’s been a sort of surreal few days and I nearly didn’t get this done. I’ve been fighting a flea problem in my apartment, as I mentioned last week, and while I don’t see any fleas today, every time I feel a little itch, I get nervous. Needless to say, I’m not really keen on insects at the moment.

Meanwhile, the new school year starts in a few weeks which means things get busy at the library. I like it when the school year begins though, because I find campus feel empty when it is just staff and graduate students.

Marisole Monday: Coastal Princess in Coastal Colors

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So, my original idea was to make today’s paper doll a little bit latino looking with a darker skin tone than I’ve done with a Margot paper doll before, but I think she rather turned out just looking like she got a bit of a tan. So, next time I’ll rethink the color choice. Skin tones are hard, as I think I’ve mentioned many many times before. Personally, I really like the dark blue dress the best. I think it came out just like I wanted it to.

Stumbled across a new tumblr today, called Paper Doll Central. Beautiful work. Makes me wish I still was trying to keep up with my tumblr. Lots of nice paper dolls there worth checking out if you have a few minutes and want to indulge.

I mentioned last week I was inspired by the Mediterranean ocean when I colored this paper doll. I was also inspired by the idea of not using any pinks or reds, just clean clear cool colors. I imagine Margot walking on the beach, wind whipping through her skirts while she watches ships on the ocean. Then, possibly, being attacked by giant crabmen from the planet Neptune.

Maybe I should have drawn her a sword.

Marisole Monday: Coastal Princess

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Today, we have Margot rocking a fantasy look. I know the title seems of today’s paper doll seems a little odd. There’s nothing obviously seafaring about this paper doll, but I already knew that I wanted an ocean color scheme for her before I posted today’s Margot. On Saturday, I went to my favorite game shop to pick up some new dice and met a nice art student with whom I chatted for a while. He spoke so vividly about the colors of the entertainment sea that I knew I wanted to use them in my next paper doll set. You’ll have to wait to next week to see her colored, but I think she’s going to look wonderful.

Spring has come to Alabama and with it pollen. I never used to have allergies and now I am sniffling and sneezing up a storm. No one warned me about this problem when I moved here… It’s beautiful. The trees are blooming. The birds are singing. And I have forgotten what it feels like to have both nostrils working. People keep saying it will be over soon, but I wonder what “soon” actually means.

Back on the paper doll front, I always have trouble coming up with accessory items for the paper dolls. Does anyone have ideas for medieval fantasy-ish sets like this one? I seem to draw a lot of books and boxes and scrolls and swords. I suppose more jewelry would be an option… I need to think on it. Though this might be the last fantasy paper doll set for a while. I’m feeling a little restless with the style.

Marisole Monday: Maurader Princess with Colors… Mostly Orange, as it happens

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Margot, Maurader Princess has returned.

And this time, it’s personal…

Okay, so it’s no more personal than last time, but I was trying to be dramatic.

Whenever a friend of my comments to me in the real world about my blog updates, I am sort of shocked. I forget that people you know.. read this and they also, you know, know me and they might actually have opinions.

Not that I expect them to. Most of my friends are male and most of my male friends are probably just don’t really care about paper dolls to begin with, though they are supportive of my hobby and for that I am grateful.

So, I am running a contest to name the new paper doll series. You can enter until Friday when I’ll choose my favorite as a winner and the winner gets a custom paper doll, so that should be useful incentive. Plus you’ll receive highly limited fame amongst a small, but dedicated audience.

Marisole Monday: Maurader Princess

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Today we have Margot and apparently she’d decided to become a brigand and rob from either the rich or the poor… though robbing from the rich does have the advantage that they have stuff unlike the poor who are, generally, poor. I wanted to call this set pirate something, but I didn’t want to use the word pirate, so I went in search of a synomyn and came up with maurader. And yes, I was thinking of Xena: Warrior Princess when I added the word princess to the title.

I know I’ve mentioned my weird love of that show on this blog before. Speaking of shows I like, I did see the latest Grimm episode on Friday, during which I did draw paper dolls, and while I enjoyed the show, I was struck with how exposition filled it seemed. I thought it was sort of weak. I hope for better things soon enough.

I feel like this Margot paper doll could be friends with my Gypsy Rose who exists in black and white and color. It’s weird to me to think that I posted that set just under two years ago. I can see a lot of things I still need to improve and a few things that have improved.

So, it’s pretty late on Sunday as I write this and I really should be getting into bed since once I start talking about my TV show watching habits, I know there’s a problem. By the way, did anyone else see the new Grimm episode and what did they think?… or you can comment on the paper doll. That would be cool too.

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