Shadow & Light 7

I am really in love with this paper dolls hair and I like her ruched skirted outfit. She was heavily influenced by Japanese fashion dolls like Nippon. When I talk about things that inspire me, I don’t usually mention actual dolls- the three-dimensional kind, but they are a pretty strong influence, largely because an artist can create a whole “personality” with just changing the facial screening and the outfit and that interests me.

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While I don’t collect fashion dolls or ball-jointed dolls, I love to look at the pictures and I follow a few blogs devoted to them even though I’ll probably never own one. Even as a child, I never wanted a lot of dolls, but I always wanted a lot of clothing. I think that is part of the reason I liked paper dolls- they could have thousand piece wardrobes with nothing but a piece of paper and some crayons. And my favorite paper dolls as a kid were those based on dolls, not based on people.

Collecting Fashion Dolls by Terri Gold features lots of news about the doll world, but also the most beautiful doll photographs. Doll Epic features more photos of beautiful dolls and a lot of whimsy. I love her fascination with tiny doll weapons (and I think I would share that fascination if I actually collected). I have just recently begun reading Black Doll Collecting. I have always been interested in the issue of racial diversity in toys and I really enjoy reading about issues and concerns of a black doll collector (though I’m never sure what to say… is it black or African American when it comes to dolls?).

Fashion Doll Review has, you guessed it, more beautiful photographs and announcements about what is going on in the doll world. I use it to find out if Tonner or Wilde Imagination or Integrity Toys have anything new I should go stare at. Of the three, some might be interested to know that Wilde Imagination’s Ellowyne doll was one of the things that inspired Marisole.

Speaking of Marisole, I am having a little drawing in honor of my 65th Marisole paper doll, so check out this post for all the details on how to enter. The winner with be announced Monday and will get a custom paper doll.

Shadow & Light 6

Today’s paper doll is another one of my forays into steampunk or neo-victorian or a gross misapplication of my knowledge of 1900’s costume, pick your term. I am not convinced that steampunk isn’t just what happens with goths discovered brown and gears, but I am trying to be open minded about it. I do like pseudo-victorian costume and I always have, so I guess I can’t judge. Though gears when they don’t seem to do anything sort of annoy me, I mean… they should have a purpose. Do I sound like an old man growling about children on his porch? I rather think I do…

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So, I know I promised to get back to normal this week, but it just didn’t seem to quite happen. I have some Curves 2.0 things drawn and colored, so I have no excuse. Would a double post for those paper dolls perhaps help make up for my lack of clothing? I feel so bad for the girls running around in their unmentionables.

For some reason I can not fathom, I have gotten less sleep with week then last week which is odd, since I spent last week house sitting four cats and four snakes, one of which bit me (a snake, not the cats). Since snakes can carry bacteria, I soaked my hand, band-aided it and checked it regularly. It’s healing just fine, but the speed at which a snake can move is shocking. Makes me wonder why anyone would want to keep poisonous ones. Even if the snakes were ill tempered, the cats were mostly sweethearts, with the exception of one which I am convinced is secretly a super-villain. That’s over now and I’m just back to classes and work, so I have no excuse for not getting plenty of rest or keeping up with the blog.

Shadow And Light 5

Among other things, Number 5 is the first Asian Shadow and Light paper doll, as well as being one who has a pair of sandals that lace up to her thighs. I don’t know how they would work in the real world, but I am rather in love with them. Have I mentioned before I have a thing for shoes?

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As B pointed out, I sort of skipped the letter D with my Dictionary Pinup Paper Dolls. I was rather hoping no one would notice… There will be a D paper doll, I promise. I don’t know when… but it will happen. Life gets busy sometimes, but fortunately I have readers who keep me honest. Seriously, if there is ever a problem with anything on the blog, please let me know. I try to keep up with dead links and typos, but I don’t catch them all and I know it. I’m always usually grateful when people point out my errors since it lets me fix them.

Shadow and Light 4

The best thing about the Shadow and Light paper dolls is that I decided to number them rather then title them. Perfect solution to my natural problem of coming up with titles.

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I’m always excited when I stumble across paper dolls in while I’m not actually looking for them. Final Fashion is a great fashion illustrators blog which features lots of beautiful fashion paper dolls. They are available for purchase, but every one can also be seen to just gaze longingly at. One of my pet peeves is when people have paper dolls for sale, but you can’t really see each page of the paper doll or the clothing. There’s a few artists I will buy on faith, but generally I like to see what I am getting. My favorite is her Vionnet paper dolls. Madame Vionnet is a somewhat under appreciated designer from the early 20th century who introduced the world to the bias cut dress. Unfortunately, her style was very much of its time and hasn’t really survived to be present which is a pity.

On a semi-related note to the Madame Vionnet ramble, I am curious if people would be interested in knowing which fashion books I use when I’m doing research. I’ve been on this Japanese kimono book kick for a few weeks (literally, my table is covered in them) and I’m trying to decide if fashion/costume book reviews are something people would like to see. Thoughts from the masses?

Shadow & Light 3

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I’m not totally happy with her face. I’m going to say that straight up, so that I can get it out of the way. Now, onto other things…

I really am pleased with her adventuring outfit on the left and then on the right is her ball gown- for when she can’t show up dressed in what she wore to fight off the molepeople. It’s not a good adventure story unless there are molepeople and zombies and possibly some sort of fishmen. Of course, it should be noted that no one ever asks the molepeople how they feel about these things. I mean, there they are minding their own business when suddenly they’re being attacked.

Poor Molepeople.

Shadow & Light 2

I love contrast of heavy structured pieces with light draped pieces. So, I wanted to sort of play with that and draw nifty harness looking things. See… I was trying to justify my wacky-ness with some sort of artistic statement, but I don’t really take myself that seriously.

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On a semi-unrelated note, I’ve become rather obsessed with Blythe dolls lately. At first, I thought they were creepy- all big eyes and weird mouths, but lately I’ve come to actually think they are sort of cute. Mostly I like their little tiny clothing. Not surprising to anyone who knows me, I’ve always been more of a doll clothing, then a doll sort of person. The same is true for paper dolls. As a child, I was just as happy to have just one paper doll and lots of dresses (if not more happy) then to have a lot of dolls.

I’d like to do some sort of Blythe paper doll, but I’m still working on keeping up with what I’ve committed too and I don’t think I’m ready for that quite yet. If I do decide, it might not be serial which brings back the “What to do with non-serial” paper dolls problem.

On an utterly non-related note, I am now going to walk away from my laptop and curl up on my couch with fresh sweet corn and Harry Potter movies. Summer classes are over and life is good.

Shadow and Light: Introduction

I did a few different things over the weekend and during the week of blog neglecting (actually, I wasn’t neglecting the blog, I was just busy with a lot of other things for the blog, that weren’t ready to be posted). So, I have a few things to talk about today. I have rewritten my FAQ. I’ve added a few more blogs, not paper doll specific, and removed a few dead links from the Links page. Obviously, the menus have been reorganized. One of these days I will over-haul the Gallery page. I don’t like it. I don’t know what to do with it. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I’m dissatisfied with it. I need to think about it.

I’d kill the Gallery if I knew what the heck to do with the content already posted there. Decisions decisions.

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So, I should say that this new paper doll series evolved out of the number of comments I had from people who really liked the shadowed style of paper dolls. I was surprised by the interest in them since I’d always thought I was the only one who liked those paper dolls. How wrong I was.

The truth is that I began this series a long time ago, but never posted it since I didn’t know how to fit it into the schedule and then recently when I looked at the bulging folder full of drawings and the ones in my sketchbook I was really quite proud of, I thought, “I’m bored with Flora. I avoid drawing for her. Just got for it.”

And here we are today with a new paper doll series. I’m excited and pleased (and have songs from the musical Into the Woods stuck in my head, but that’s got nothing to do with this post) and I’d love to hear what people think, as always.

Fashion Doll Friday: Regency Wedding Dress

I have to confess some shock about the level of interest and excitement with the Star Trek Marisole paper doll on Monday, and then of course, I neglected the blog for a bit. Still, these things happen and I am back now with a wedding dress for Flora. The dress with it’s matching spencer jacket is based on a costume from the Victoria and Albert Museum . I sort of rambled on about the dress in a post I did about spencers and how much I adore them.

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Do people care about these sorts of random historical fashion things? I never know if I should be straying so far from the topic of paper dolls… I’m still divided about the “posting pictures from my sketchbook” idea. It’s kinda fun, but, again, I’m not sure people enjoy them. Well loyal fans, what do you think?

Oh, and I spent some time tonight fixing some link problems some of the Magnetic Paper Doll images were having. If you like magnetic paper dolls, you can check out my directions and images on my Magnetic Paper Dolls page. More magnetic clothing sets will be forthcoming as I get them ready.

Pixie & Puck: Roxanne and Irene in Black and White

I’ve never done a black and white Pixie paper doll before, that I recall and I must confess I’m only doing one now because I’m busy and I needed something to post. I felt a little guilty just posting paper dolls I had already posted in black and white, so I did two of them to make myself feel a little less guilty about recycling material. Besides, sometimes the choice is between something or nothing and I’d rather post something.

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I’ve been terribly busy this weekend prepping for classes that start next week and preparing to travel to Pennsylvania for a wedding. I’ll be out of town for a few days. The blog should post on it’s own without me (assuming I get done what I need to get done to make that happen), but there might be a slight hiatus while I travel.

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I enjoy weddings, though I was never one of those people who dreamed about my own wedding day. I never caught the “wedding fever” so common to young girls. I did have a wedding Barbie doll, as I recall, but I think she spent most of her time either fighting monsters or going to balls in her pretty white dress.

Fashion Doll Friday: Archering and Evening Dresses for Flora

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New things I learned this week:

1. Archery was actually a common sport among upper class women in the early 19 century. Along with riding, it was one of the few athletic activities women were allowed to do. Flora’s archery dress is based on one from the Manchester City Galleries.

2. It is entirely possible for me to completely forget what day it is and therefore mess up my planned Curves post. (Sorry guys. It’ll go up next week. My bad.)

3. There are more people interested in a colored version of 2.0 Curves, then a black and white shadowed version, but the shadowed people are much more vocal… Hmm… Who should I listen to? Maybe I’ll outline it and try it both ways… My concern with shadowed has to do with what I feel like is a loss of detail due to the shading… I need to give it more thought, obviously.

Speaking of the Curves 2.0 epic adventure, I hope to have the new series up sometime before the end of the month. I don’t like starting a new series without at least a few posts drawn and prepped. It means I’m not struggling with keeping it going. That’s all the news for now. Enjoy Flora’s Archery and Evening Dresses.