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.

Truly Trudy Three

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

Today we have the last of the Trudy paper dolls. I haven’t yet decided what I should do for my next short run doll. I’ve been combing through by own old file folders of paper dolls looking for things I can post and for things which are nearly done and it would only take a little work to make them totally usable for the site. It is neat to see how my own art has improved and how my style has changed.

The more I learn about the comic paper dolls that inspired Trudy, the more impressed I am by the artists. A few of my favorite Katy Keene paper dolls are the ones in neat poses that you wouldn’t expect to see a paper doll in. Also you can find Katy on a horse. You can tell Bill Woogon, the artist, was having a lot of fun with these. Maybe someday I’ll have the nerve to draw a paper doll in a strange pose though I think if I do, she wouldn’t be on a horse.

Non-Katy Keene dolls which impress me are generally the newspaper paper dolls that were printed in one color without shading. Not being a huge fan of shading myself, I love the sparse line work that makes these paper dolls fantastic examples of how you don’t need a lot of times to make an impact. Some neat ones can be found from Boots, a blog devoted to these newspaper images to color, many of which are paper dolls, and from The Paper Collector and Marge8′s Blog which I’ve already written a bit about.

Truly Trudy Two

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

The first Truly Trudy post talks a lot about where to find other comic paper dolls, so I don’t see much need to go over it again. The jacket is meant to be cut out and then put over the dress and is copied from a similar style I saw on one of the Katy Keene comics I looked at. I would say which one, but frankly I don’t remember. One thing I did notice is that Katy Keene has a lot of evening gowns and so do her friends. I adore the red and black dress in this set, but I’m pretty sure Gloria was supposed to be Katy’s rival. Having not read the comic, I can’t be sure but the speech bubble does suggest some malice.

Perhaps I should actually track down some comics and read them… though I suspect if I had read them as a child it really would have been for the paper dolls.

Truly Trudy One

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

Truly Trudy is based on the classic comic paper dolls of the fifties like this butterfly basedKaty Keene from Marge8′s Blog. Katy Keene had lots of friends who got paper dolls too. I never read the Katy Keene comics since they were a bit before my time, but I do remember reading Archie and Veronica on commercial fishing trips and trading the comics back and forth with my sister.

The Paper Collector also has a bunch of these old newspaper and comic paper dolls including Katy Keene And the newspaper paper dolls Mopsy Modes or Boots or Brenda Starr by Dale Messick who was the first women syndicated cartoonist.

Though I’m not totally pleased with everything about Trudy, I do think there are some strong points. Her pose is perfectly comic book, though I don’t know if she’s busty enough to really have that fifties pin up look. Her face I feel mixed about. I don’t really draw open mouths very often and this is really why. She was a bit of an experiment and is one I may come back too another time.

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