Organizing Blog Posts… Calendars and You!

Blog CalendarI talked about my Red Binder a little while ago. I love my Red Binder, but I wanted to write about the other tool I use for organizing blog posts.

It’s a calendar.

I use Calendar Labs to create my monthly calendars. I like Calendar Labs, because you can choose which day to start your weeks on. Since Marisole and Friends Paper Dolls always post on Mondays, I can choose to start my weeks on Monday, rather than Sunday. I find it’s easier to plan if I do it that way.

As you can see from the photo, the Calendar gets filled in as I figure out what is going to go up each week. I took this photo mid-November when I was still figuring out what the month was going to look like. These posts often change and move, but my general goal is to have two printable paper doll posts and one non-paper doll post each week. At the bottom of the calendar, I keep a list of what posts I think I am going to have completed in time to post them in any given month.

Since I work in spurts to activity, its possible that I might have four or five pages of paper dolls ready to go up. Now, I could post these all in a row… which would be great for five days.

The problem is that the next five days there would be nothing.

In Blogging, consistency is just as important as frequency.

So, while I might want to show off what I’ve done from a long Saturday afternoon spent working on blog things, I know the smart thing to do is to space out the posts and the calendar helps me to do this. It also gives me breathing room and space and makes sure that I know I’m going to have something up each week. It allows me to plan vacations or busy times of my life without having to worry about the blog.

Does it mean I always manage to get up everything I wanted to get up when I wanted to get it up? Nope, often not, but it sure helps me map out each month and it lets me know if I am going to be desperately short.

What I hate, more than anything else, is realizing at 8pm on a Saturday night that I don’t have a Marisole Monday & Friends post even drawn for Monday. Can I get it done in a day? Yes, I can, but I won’t have any fun doing it and the product won’t be very good. So, I usually don’t. I need to know ahead of time if I’m out of scanned materials.

I think sometimes blogs function under the assumption of spontaneity. There is a tendency to assume that someone just sat down at their computer and produced in a moment a wonderfully written post with great photographs.

I don’t really think that happens. (Maybe I’m wrong? Any other paper doll bloggers want to chime in here?)

A great post comes from planning, from knowing what you want to post and then carefully putting it together. It’s a labor of love and it always takes time. Spontaneity is a myth.

Bone Fairy…. and Hiatus


{PDF of the Bone Fairy Paper Doll}

I think everyone goes through a “drawing creepy things in college” phase.

This paper doll was part of my “drawing creepy things in college” phase. I was obsessed at the time with the Duino Elegies by Rilke. The First Elegy contains what remains my favorite Rilke quote, “Because beauty’s nothing but the start of terror we can hardly bear, and we adore it because of the serene scorn it could kill us with. Every angel’s terrifying.” I memorized the entire first elegy out of the A. Poulin Jr. translation I bought for a dollar at a thrift store in college.

Anyway, this paper doll was inspired by angels (the terrifying kind) and fairies (also the terrifying kind) and so she’s a little dark. She’s up in the Printable Paper Doll Index along with the rest of the random non-series paper dolls I’ve ever posted.

Since it’s the last day in May, this also begins my month long hiatus. I will still be checking in on the blog, and checking my email, but I have conferences and work obligations that are going to make this coming month nearly impossible for my usual update schedule.

I hope that when I return on the first of July, I’ll have had time to make some changes to the site, built up a big of a backlog and be able to continue out the year strong. We’ve had 55 posts over the last five months and I’m quite proud of that. See you all in a month. :)

Punk Girl… A black and white paper doll…

{Click Here for a PDF of the Paper Doll}{Click Here for a PDF of The Paper Doll’s Stylin’ Clothes}

My best friend in middle school and in high school and college was a girl with a distinctly punky style. I admired her guts at wearing vynal pants in our small Alaskan town. This was before the days of days of universal internet shopping (we had Amazon and it pretty much only sold books back then), so the school was pretty sedate in style. (Not from desire, as much as lack of access.) Her style, on the other hand, was loud and bright and adventurous. I’ve always admired her for having the gall to go for it when I didn’t.

Since I wasn’t going to actually wear the clothing I admired so much, I made up for it by drawing paper dolls. This was dates from my college years, back in 2005. I remember planning on doing that brick pattern, by hand, for the entire sheet of clothes and then concluding life was way to short. Unlike a lot of my stuff from college, I’m still pleased with this one, though I see a few flaws that I would correct now, except that I want to keep the integrity of my old art.

Enjoy her. She’s been added to the index as well.

I have also, quietly, migrated the Dictionary Girls into retired status. The series hasn’t been updated in six months and I hate to leave it hanging as a “possibility” when I know, secretly, that it’s probably not. I do want to have a full figured paper doll series, I just need to think about how to handle it. Having said that, inspiration might strike and they might return. I just don’t want people to think they update often when, in truth, they don’t.

New Full Color Printable Paper Doll Named Madison

Madison- Full Color Asian Paper Doll

{A Full Set Printable PDF of the Madison Paper Dolls}{PNG file of Page One}{PNG files of Page Two}{PNG files of Page Three}

I don’t have very many Asian paper dolls, partly because it took a long time before I was comfortable drawing epicanthic folds, which are a characteristic of many East and Central Asian people, though are by no means exclusive to those groups. There is a huge variety the shape of the epicanthic fold and I never felt like it looked right until I got to grad school and ended up sitting across from a Chinese student for an entire semester. I don’t know what she did to stay awake, but what I did was use her as a model for my first Asian Pixie paper doll, named Zoe. Of course, she didn’t have blue hair or such a huge head, but I digress.

So, the Poll is over, since January is done and a child paper doll won to my own astonishment. So, I’ll get on that. In the mean time, enjoy Madison.

Meet Octavia- A New Printable Paper Doll In Black and White

{Link to a printable PDF of the Octavia paper doll}

I have to confess that this was a paper doll of contrasts. I like certain parts (her hair and her shoes) and I dislike other parts, but I think all in all, it came out well enough for me to post it. I wasn’t totally pleased with her mouth, so that got changed a bit with Photoshop to make her look less angry. Her hair style is based on one a student in one of my graduate courses wore her hair in. I always thought it was neat and I loved how huge the side buns were with her hair teased out a bit.

Somehow, she made it look sophisticated rather than absurd.

Enjoy the paper doll. There will be another one up on Monday.

In a fairly unrelated note, check out these beautiful kimono’s made from African fabrics. I am totally in love with these, but then I am obsessed with anything which mixes cultural garments.

Cora: In Stripes!

{Link to a printable PDF of the Cora paper doll}

College paper doll, I believe. Actually, I’m certain it’s a college paper doll, because I distinctly recall drawing her while sitting at a very large table and playing Dungeons and Dragons. I’m not sure which is more geeky- the paper dolling or the D&D playing… Hard to say really.

I went through a phase of drawing lots of paper dolls wearing knee high boots and thigh high stockings. I’d say I’ve gotten over it, but I haven’t really. I just came to dislike the limitations it put on their colothing options. It is odd to think that I probably drew this paper doll seven years ago.

My art is still improving, but I have a long way to go before I feel totally comfortable about where I am.

By the way, I wanted to thank everyone who sent me such lovely links during my search for Native American paper dolls. I need to go through them carefully, but I hope to have a better post on the topic with a little lest annoyance and a little more substance before the end of November, but it probably won’t happen until December.

Let’s be honest.

The Best Friends…

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{Click Here to Download for a PDF of all pages of this paper doll to Print}

So, this is going to be a Big Image, Small Post sorta day.

Here are the eight pages which make up the Best Friends paper doll set. (Yeah, I need better names for these things… I’m not good with names…)

My goal with this set of paper dolls was to experiment with slightly different body builds and poses while maintaining a similar enough over all style that the paper dolls would seem cohesive. I’ve never tried to draw this way before. I think I succeeded, but only because I drew them all at once. I can’t imagine trying to do this any other way.

Eventually, this set might get a sequel, but probably not for a little while.

I was going to wait until Monday to have my first paper doll post since I went on haitus, but I felt like people waited for two months and the least I could do was give some rapid paper doll gratification.

I hope everyone in the United States is having a fantastic Labor Day weekend. I have spent mine getting caught up with some work things, eating delightful barbecue and tomorrow I might do something radical and go see a movie. Mostly, I’m enjoying getting the time off work to get a little more settled here in Alabama.

Meet Ethan…

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{PDF Download of all four pages for Ethan and his Wardrobe}

Confession time: I think men’s clothing is boring.

I know I shouldn’t, but I do.

Historically speaking, there’s some neat stuff for men, but right now it’s all trousers and shirts and jeans and shirts and suits and maybe some swim trunks and really… that gets old.

Still, my poll in January (and I, like apparently the caidates for president, take polling seriously) said that what people wanted to see was male paper dolls.

Originally, Ethan here had a girlfriend or just a friend… I shouldn’t make assumptions about my paper doll’s sexual orientation. However, I thought she looked like she’d just been hit with a brick or something, so I decided not to post her or draw her any clothing. She won’t be returning to the blog unless I decide I really feel like it and I doubt it.

Instead, I gave him a some clothing (including a styling Star Trek uniform) and have posted him.

African Inspired Elf

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{Click Here for a PDF of the three page paper doll set to Print}

So, this is a pretty darn old paper doll. Originally inspired when I did my Marisole Inspired by Africa paper doll, I just recently got around to finishing up cleaning her up and getting her posted. I’ve been having some requests for more black and white paper dolls lately. This paper doll was inspired by African Fashion Week along with the idea of doing a set of elves based on something other than the traditional Western Europe approach.

Of course, I never got around to drawing any of the other ones, so we’ve got one elf here. She might be a trifle lonely, but if you print out several of her and color each of them a little different she can have friends… or clones. Clones are like friends.

One of my goals in posting this paper was to respond to those people who’ve requested more black and white paper dolls to color. So here is one- print her, color her and have fun.

Some Fablous Fifties Suits… A black and white paper doll to print…

This is an old paper doll. Really… I seem to recall inking it while sitting at my parents dining room table which I think dates it to my college years… It says 2006 on the page which means I was in my third year of college. All of the paper dolls suit’s are based on the covers of sewing patterns. I recall that I was pretty pleased with how she came out.

Full Set PDF

Click here For Full Sized Paper Doll to Print

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