Short shorts and Some Questionable Sleeves… A Black and White Paper Doll

So, I went out to the movies tonight and saw “Snow White and the Huntsman” with some friends. I concluded that the Twilight Chick (whose name I had to look up on IMBD) can’t act, that I rather liked Charlize Theron when she’s evil and that the movie was better than Mirror Mirror, but I’ll take the Disney version over either any day. The costumes were pretty beautiful, especially the Evil Queens, but there’s apart where Snow White rides into battle not wearing a helmet- apparently being a princess means you’re immune to concussive head injuries.



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So, before I crawl into bed, I should answer a question.

Monica asked: Do you prefer online paper doll research, or real book research? Internet or Library? =]

Well, that’s a kinda complicated question. The answer is: It depends on what I am researching and why.

If I want inspiration for a modern or a fantasy set, than I usually stick to the internet. I use it for looking at clothing websites or checking out the latest designer shows a It’s really useful.

If I want historical costume, I usually go to books. I own about a dozen different costume books in my own collection, plus I regularly have at least a dozen checked out from the library. The exception to this are the websites of museums and libraries, which often contain digitized primary source documents or photos of items in their collections. Books are great for context. The internet is great for pictures. Some of my favorite internet resources are linked on my Research Resources page which I just finished updating, though I have some more to add later.

The truth is that I don’t really like staring at a computer while trying to draw and I would much rather have a book open in front of me than a computer screen. Though I usually draw from drafted tumbnails, so even with fantasy costumes, I rarely have a computer open when I am actually drawing.

I hope that answers your question, Monica.

So, has anyone else seen either of the new Snow White movies and what do they think of them? Should I do so a Snow White paper doll? Or an Evil Queen?

I draw paper dolls… (Plus here’s a chick with some fantasy dresses)


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So… here’s the thing… I said to the apartment people..I need a second bedroom, because I want a work space and a guest space…

What I didn’t say is this:

I draw paper dolls.

I don’t know why.

It’s not because I have an artistic vision or something… I just like them.

It’s a little nostalgia, a little amusement. It’s my hobby.

Why do some people knit or crochet or make pottery?

I don’t know.

I don’t even really know why I draw paper dolls.

Except this…

Every paper doll is a potential story. What humans wear are physical manifestations of social and cultural forces. We dress ourselves so we can become what we want to be. We dress ourselves as what we think we should be.

Every paper doll is a potential character. What that paper doll wears is about what that paper doll can become. Every time I draw a paper doll, I can create a world.

Also, I like pretty dresses.

This is my hobby.

I don’t knit. I don’t crochet.

I draw paper dolls.

Plus… well… I do need some guest space.

Flirty Eyes and Puffy Sleeves

So, first of all, I want to thank everyone whose entered my drawing and asked me a question. The questions have all been really interesting. It’s fascinating to think about what maybe I have or haven’t said on the blog that perhaps I should have said… and if that’s not the most convoluted sentence ever… I don’t know what is.

The drawing is open until next Tuesday and then I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winner.

And now…. A few words about the printable paper doll of the day….


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The Shadow and Light paper dolls are drawn in a style I developed in college after complaining that most black and white paper dolls needed to be colored to look good. I wanted to draw some paper dolls that were graphic enough to stand alone without being colored, plus I was reading a lot of comics in those days and had a love of the heavy shadowed style of Frank Miller’s Sin City and Marcelo Frusin, who was drawing the Hellblazer comics at that time with Mike Carey was writing it. I stopped reading comics when I got to graduate school, far to much to do and not enough time to do it in, but I hope to get back to them and at least finish Lucifer which I never did get done with and darn it, I wanna know how it ends.

Okay, I know how it ends, but I still wanna read it…

This particular paper doll has “flirty eyes” which is a term used to describe dolls that look to the side rather than forward. It’s a pretty common term in antique and collectable dolls and “flirty eyed” dolls were particularly popular in the 1900s with Googlies and Lenci dolls.

Argh… ’tis a Pirate Lass: A Pirate Paper Doll Set

So… this is practically late. I mean… it’s like 11:50 here in Illinois, but I really really wanted to get a Shadow and Light doll up since it’s been a while since I did one and I have been feeling bad about that.


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Back in the 1980’s I was pretty young, but I remember wearing overall shorts, which were the latest thing, and having a weird affection for when I was old, because I was going to wear thigh high boots. I don’t know why I was so into the idea, but I remember drawing lots of paper dolls sporting thigh high boots and miniskirts in elementary school. Perhaps I saw Pretty Woman at too young of an age…. Oddly, my mother was never concerned as far as I could tell with my thigh high boot obsession.

As an adult, I have never worn thigh high boots… a pity perhaps.

Needless to say, my love of shoes was founded young and even now I love shoes (which I think comes through on my paper dolls.)

And, as you might notice, our pirate is sporting some pretty darn sexy boots.

Shadow & Light 14: Paper Doll to Print

Embracing the gothic once more, we have another Shadow and Light paper doll. There’s something very saucy about both her outfits. Also today is Friday the 13th, so it seems only fitting we do something suitably gothic here in paper doll land. It’s finally started snowing here and I wish it would stop all ready. Not to say I don’t like the snow…. I do, but I walked through it quite a bit today padding from and to work and getting things sorted before my classes start next week.


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I am not really ready for classes to start, but I am working on getting my schedule sorted out as I need to do that before classes begin. I have a big order of textbooks which I am waiting to come in from Amazon (along with a paper doll or two, I confess) and that’s taking what feels like forever.

Still, here we have a shadow and light paper doll and on Sunday there will be a Pixie and then Monday there will be Marisole and we’ll be off and running. In the mean time, vote in the poll if you haven’t and tell me what you’d like to see new for the blog in the coming year. It seems a male paper doll it getting the majority of the interest, so I might have to do what Boots suggested.

Shadow & Light 13: Black and White Paper Doll

And here we have the first Shadow and Light paper doll of the new year. And we are here going into the third year of the blog, technically the fourth if you count the total collapse the site suffered after its first year. Anyway, I’m pleased with how I’ve done and pleased with how things went.


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It’s been a good year for the blog and while I disappeared a bit, I was much better about posting this year than last year. We had a few contests, put up about 140 printable paper dolls (not inculding my magnetic ones), started two new series (Dictionary Girls and Shadow and Light) and retired two series (Flora of the Regency and Curves).

In the coming year, I would like to draw a male paper doll- a challenge from Boots of 19th Century Paper dolls and maybe try to post more sketchbook things. I’d also like to do some child paper dolls. Perhaps as erratically updating series rather then my weekly ones… would that bother people? Having both? Or should I just focus on doing more of what I’ve already committed too.

Shadow and Light 12: Paper Doll to Print

So, I’ve been a little lazy lately with getting things posted. Rather than going home to Alaska, I went to Arizona over the holidays. It’s a very dry place, Arizona. Full of cactus and other desert plants, but the landscape has a desolate arid sort of beauty to it and I’ve been enjoying watching rabbits (also known as mobile coyote food) hop around the backyard. Still, a part of me missed the cold wet forest of my homeland. But I am back in Illinois, land of the corn now, and since I don’t go back to work for a few days, I have devoted myself to working on the blog and paper dolls.


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I’m always looking for paper dollsPrintables 4 Kids is a pretty ad heavy site. I’m not a huge fan of most of these sloppily made ad heady websties aimed at children. I think they usually teach bad lessons about internet veracity (and there are plenty of good kids sites out there). But I’m a sucker for an interesting paper doll and this site has two I’ve found. First there is Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 Printable Paper Doll Activity which allows you to print and dress up a Chihuahua, which always seemed a little mean to the Chihuahua to me. Princess Kate Printable Paper Doll is also available, though I think you have to go to the Disney site to find it.

What and where are other people’s well loved paper dolls?

Shadow & Light 11: Black and White Paper Doll


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Today’s paper doll reminds me of Marlyn Monroe… a dark gothic Marlyin Monroe, I suppose. For those of you who want a far less gothic paper doll- something a little lighter, Lily & Thistle has this darling little girl printable paper doll with two dresses. There’s versions you can pay for as well, but the free version is enough for me. 🙂

I hope everyone is having a great holiday for this lovely time of the year. I’m visiting family, so things might be a little erratic around here. I’ve been thinking a lot about goals for next year for the blog- what I would like to improve and do better at and have more of. The list is long and expensive, but I have high hopes for things going well here in paper doll blog land.

Shadow & Light 10: Black and White Printable Paper Doll


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Today, I had my last finals and my paper due. Classes for the last semester are officially over and I am extremely happy. If you haven’t spent time on Teri’s Paper Doll Scans, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s a wonderful collection of paper dolls.

Shadow & Light 9: Pirate Paper Doll in Black and White

I love pirates. I’ve done pirates a few different times.


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I don’t have much exciting to say, so I thought I would point people to a few other printable paper dolls I’ve found online over the last few days.

Paper Dolls to Print from Fantasy Jr. are aimed at the little ones out there (or those of us who have never really grown up). The paper dolls are officially part of a “no frump” paper doll plan which I can agree with. There’s also some fun Halloween Printed Toys which are jointed with brads and some beautiful Victorian Doll Coloring Pages.

The Admirable Women Paper Dolls come from Unkempt. Each paper doll has a nice little bio and some um… interesting clothing. It’s not really aimed at kids, but they are kinda cool.

So, enjoy these paper dolls along with my pirates. And there will be a pixie post on Sunday. I’ve already finished it and I’m excited. She’s really cute. 🙂