And Then There’s the Sketchbook…

Today, I did a lot of inking after work… and photographed it on an empty box left over from the move… I do seem to still have a fair number of those laying about.

A pirate pixie set I have been working on… I listened to Treasure Island on audio book during the drive down to Alabama and well… I got inspired.

I almost gave her a peg leg, but I restrained myself.


Heads for a few different Pixies and a steampunk-ish Pixie set, I finished inking today. Hence the photo-op on the deck… I love having a deck. It’s a new experience.

I’ve been working on more one-shot paper dolls. I like the freedom of the new less scheduled system, because it allows me to play around with things I wouldn’t normally do. I’m not too keen on her lips though, I have to confess. I think she looks angry.

From my Sketchbook….

So, I decided I wanted to photograph my sketchbook on something more attractive than my carpet. Hence the pretty quilt (Thanks, Mom). Along with the quilt, here are the Shadow and Light paper dolls I spent the day inking.

Gothic Marisole paper doll set which I think will be up sometime in October. I wasn’t thinking of Halloween when I drew it, but if the shoe fits…

Punky Marisole set meant to be the counter part to the Goth Marisole set above… I need about a page and a half of sketchbook to fill up a Marisole page (or between 11 and 13 pieces), so I usually draw in pairs having the two sets take up three pages.

A stand alone paper doll who needs both more clothing and some ink… I thought I would give her modern clothing mostly, though I might change my mind later. She’s not even close to being finished- clearly… I really like her pose though and I think I will use it again for something else or for a friend, though maybe I should just finish her first before I start planning other editions to my paper doll nation.

Sketchbook Bound


sketch-8aThe Dictionary Girls get to be a little modern here with a set of nautically inspired clothing. I love the stripes and the flared trousers. Behind this set, if you look closely, you can see the hints of the next page which holds some other pieces of, as of yet, un-inked dictionary girl attire.

Further examples of things I have been working on that are not really blog related. The idea so far is sort of a Marisole styled paper doll, but in a different pose. At first, I thought I would replace Marisole, but now I’m thinking of just creating this new doll as an associate… or something totally unrelated. In my mind, I have named her Magnolia. At first, I thought she would be a specifically magnetic paper doll, but now I’m less sure that’s where I want to do with her.

Magnolia has, obviously, a page of shoes and not much else, I’m afraid. Originally, I thought she would have four different skin tones- hence the four pairs of sandals, but now I’m not sure if four is enough. In my skin tone color gathering I have collected over 36 skin tones, but I will narrow things down to a smaller selection soon. The truth is that many of them are so close in shade, I doubt very much there would be any difference when they printed out anyway.

From the Depths of the Sketchbook

As I sit here prepping this post, I have giving out candy to small children. Is there anything cuter on this planet then children dressed up for Halloween? I don’t think there is.

sketch-7b sketch-7a

Shadow and Light clothing for the paper dolls. Some pirates and some fantasy Gothic attire. As always, I draw heads separately and attach them to the doll as needed. With Shadow & Light, I also tend to draw the heads a little bigger then needed and re-size them- it helps me get in more detail then I usually can.

I’ve been working on some child paper dolls. This is some clothing I have drawn for one. I’m not totally pleased with the doll, but then I’m never totally pleased with anything. All of these dresses are based the clothing of Lenci dolls from the 1920s and 1930s.

Sketchbook, Again…

So, some of you might be wondering what I was drawing while I was not updating and here’s a little look at some of the things that are sitting in my sketchbooks. Normally, I try not to post things that won’t someday become part of this site, but here I’m making no promises.


Most of my paper dolls begin as one doll body with multiple heads, so they look like this in my sketchbook. I have been told by friends that they are, and I quote, “kinda creepy looking”.


Hair is drawn separately, usually, then attached to the paper doll with the power of Photoshop. Sometimes I draw heads with hair, but in this case I didn’t. If I am going to give the paper doll “wigs” I usually draw a short hair style and then create the other styles to go over it.

Lastly, I’ve been working on Dictionary Girls outfits. I’ve been enjoying drawing things inspired by the fifties and early sixties. This is a set focused on bows which I think is kinda obvious. I quite pleased with both the dresses and slightly frustrated by the shoes. I really love drawing shoes, but I really hate drawing feet which always seem to end up at odd angles. And don’t even get me started on hands…

Seven Blogs about Historical Fashion

Here are seven blogs about historical and vintage fashion that I read regularly. Why seven? Well… it’s a cultural number and a prime and basically because that’s how many I have bookmarked. There are two kinds of research I do. I do focused research and I do wandering, I feel like pawing around the internet kinda wasting time research. Historical fashion blogs are usually more the latter type of research then other former, but these are the blogs I read when I’m looking for historical fashion information and inspiration or just trying to waste use wisely some time.

1. Historical Fancy Dress
Fancy dress costume descriptions and information regarding historical masquerade balls, primarily of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Text and illustrations directly from period sources. Seriously, what could be better then reading about the wacky things Victorians got up too while dressing for costume parties? It will shock and amaze. I just wish there were more pictures (a fault of the topic and the time and not all all of the blogger).

2. Fashion Historia
Exactly what it claims to be, Fashion Historia is the history of fashion, mostly- an eclectic mix of topics. I don’t always read the articles all the way through, but I enjoy browsing it and check back every few days.

3. The Way We Wore
The blog of a wonderful vintage clothing shop (which sells beautiful things you should go look at), The Way We Wore covers contemporary and vintage costume. I don’t go here when I need to find out something specific, but I do love checking up on the posts.

4. Worn Through: Apparel from an Academic Perspective
Don’t let the word “academic” in the title scare you. Worn Through is a wonderful blog about all things apparel related. Its especially nice for its well written book reviews and its great exhibit announcements.

5. Demode
Full of historical costume, as well as projects and a great resouce list, I can’t say enough good things about this beautifully designed blog. Her article on hair styles from the bustle period is among my favorites.

6. Circa 1850
Wonderful blog about making costumes, researching costumes and other historical fashion things and it’s not just about the 1850’s, I promise.

7. Historical Personality Disorder
If you don’t read it for the interesting costume information, read it for the writing. Seriously, one of the most amusing blogs I have read in a long time and I wish I could write like that. Plus its full of information on Elizabethan costume (mostly) and what could be bad about that?

Did I miss a historical fashion blog that you read and you recommend? Tell me about it. 🙂 I’m always looking for more time wasting research.

And More Sketchbook…

I confess, I am not the worlds best photographer. I think I need to get better at sharpening images in photoshop… Anyway, here is more from my sketchbook.

I might have rented Xena: Warrior Princess from the library before drawing these.

I noticed recently, I hadn’t done much casual simple clothing for Marisole recently, so I did these up. I think of them has hiking clothes and I’m thinking of giving her a backpack as an accessory.

These sorts of things are what I draw when I don’t know what to draw.

Sketchbook Rides Again

I finally finished inking my latest sketchbook. I have started scanning the images from it. I hope to have the first set up Sunday since I don’t have anything ready yet for Sunday… Leaving things to the last minute is a bad habit of mine, I confess.

I nearly always draw Pixie paper dolls in half page groups. That’s about how many items of clothing I can fit on a single set. The lower set of clothing is for a Harry Potter paper doll I’ve been planning for a while (though I haven’t seen the last film yet). I realized after I drew her that I needed another sweater for the fourth house, so I’ll have to do that. The upper set is just some normal clothing. I decided I needed more casual normal things for Pixie.

Future Marisole post, I think. I can fit three long dresses easily on one Marisole post. Each Marisole post takes up a page and a bit in a sketch book. Oh, and I’m kinda on a “crown” kick, though I don’t really like either of those.

The last page here is two more Pixie post things. The top is bell dancer inspired clothing- has about as sketch-1cmuch in common with actual Middle Eastern dress as the Marisole fantasy dresses have in common with Western historical costume, which is to say very little. The bottom are some in-accurate but pretty 18th century inspired dresses.

Out of the Sketchbook

I’ve nearly filled up my sketchbook. So, I’m working on inking which is the last thing and then once I’ve inked a bunch I can buy a new one. I can’t buy a new one until the old one is full.

marisole-sketchbook-1 marisole-sketchbook-3

Ever since I did this fourth of July post, I’ve been thinking a lot about Marisole and historical costumes. These are sketches of costumes from 1910. It was a strange era for women’s costume. I tend to like the costumes, but I love the hats.


This is part of a new series of serial paper dolls which will debut Friday to replace Flora. I need to scan it, but for the time being its still in my sketch book. I love these costumes and am quite proud of them. I think I’ll probably split them up into two posts for the blog.