Dress Up the Court Alchemist in Some Extra Outfit Options

Last week, as you may recall, I posted my Court Alchemist paper doll. This week I am posting the rest of her wardrobe which gives her five outfits in total. I really do think the clothing makes the paper doll and I was always that kid who would have far rather have had dozens of outfits over dozens of paper dolls.

In fact, I remember when American Girl magazine published paper dolls and I used to get so annoyed that the dolls were “almost” in the exact same pose, but not quite. So, they couldn’t perfectly share clothing. Drove me just nuts as a kid. Here is a picture of one of the paper dolls.

Are there any children’s magazines left that still publish paper dolls?

I recall with much fondness the feeling to getting to check the mail for my American Girl magazine and it’s promised paper doll. In fact, if you want a similar experience (and you have an HP web enabled printer), then you might consider my HP Paper Thin Personas Printer Ap which prints a full color or black and white paper doll every Monday, automatically. You can also print the paper dolls on demand directly from the printer which is, I have to confess, pretty neat.

Court Alchemist Paper Doll wardrobe in Black and White for Coloring
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So, there are three dresses in this set. In my head, these are all fairly informal dresses. And who doesn’t need socks held up by some odd sock suspenders? (There is something inherently hilarious to me about sock suspenders… I might have a problem.)

I went back and forth about the patterned dress. I wanted it to look like a pattern that could be woven on a simple loom, but it ended up looking sort of like abstract eyes and now all I can think is, “The dress is staring at me…”

Court Alchemist wardrobe in full color
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As for tools, along with last week’s tool collection, this set adds a sextant, which is a tool for measuring the angle between any two visible objects, most often the horizon and stars. It was crucial for navigating back in the days before high levels of technology. As a girl with NO sense of direction, I am totally grateful to whoever invented GPS.

So, Friday there will be another page of Her Ladyship and Monday there will be an elf.

Meanwhile, you can follow me on twitter @paperpersonas for blog updates, random paper doll thoughts and a smattering of librarianship.

Southwest Boho Paper Doll Set in Full Color

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll with a Southwest inspired wardrobe So, with last week’s paper doll I spoke a little about why I decided to dabble in the Southwest trend this season and today I wanted to show off the colors I used for the paper doll set. I knew from the start that I was going to be using a desert inspired color scheme. It is the Southwest, after all.

As a child, we visited the Grand Canyon. I will always think of reds, browns, ochre and sandy khaki when I think of that landscape. I confess to not being much of a desert person by nature; however, I do think they can be astonishingly beautiful.

I did not want to fall into the trap of just using a monochromatic warm color scheme though, so I also decided to include a pale turquoise, a very pale bayleaf green and a darker green for contrast. Normally I try to keep my color schemes to five colors, but this set needed a lot more. (I blame it on that patterned pencil skirt.)


Printable Asian paper doll in full color inspired by the Southwestern fashion trend of Fall 2014
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Things I love: All the skirts. The bag. Those shoes. That cardigan.

Things I’m not sure about: Her hair. The V-neck top. The choice of base color.

Still, I am going to call this one a win.

Contemporary Marisole Monday’s As Far as the Eye Can See

As I know I have mentioned in the past, I work in bursts. This is for two reasons. Reason one is that I just seem to work better that way and reason two is that I’ve figured out how many sketchbook pages a paper doll set is likely to take up and I loath wasting paper.

So, taking Marisole Monday & Friends as our example… I know that the average mix and match set for Marisole Monday & Friends contains 11 outfit pieces and two pairs of shoes. Feel free to check my math, but I am pretty sure that I’m right about this one.

In sketchbook pages, that is roughly 1.5 pages. This is why I trend to draw Marisole Monday & Friends posts in sets of two, but ever since I stopped drawing stands and started using “The Power of Photoshop” to place shoes on their stands, I have found sometimes sets take up much less room.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

This is the page of hair and accessories for the four contemporary sets I drew in September. One of them posted earlier this week “Southwest Boho” and the others will post as I finish them. Obviously, I tend to leave hair and shoes out when I am first starting to sketch.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

Lady-like is a thing I’ve seen a lot of in the fashion magazines for fall. I’m dreading putting together the complicated floral patterns that this set is going to need. The small afro and ankle boots from the first image are going to go with this set and it will be modeled by Monica.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

One of the trends for fall is for bright colors, but simple shilouettes. This set is going to be all about the bright color scheme. The ladylike hairstyle at the bottom of the first image will go with this set and it is going to be modeled by Margot.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

The only one of these sets not based on September fashion magazines. I wanted to so a fun, bright colored, sort of Harajuku street fashion thing. The pigtails on the first image in this post are going to go with this set. It was also inspired by some of the outfits worn by Blythe on my Pinterest boards.

So that people don’t get totally sick of contemporary sets, before the end of the year, I will be mixing in some fantasy and other things. I’d get sick of contemporary sets, I think, before my readers.

Considering how long it sometimes takes me to finish things, it might be next fall before some of these make it onto the blog, but that’s neither here nor there.

Introducing Her Ladyship: A Paper Doll Mini-Series

Her Ladyship In life, there are certain rules, like stopping at red lights and not stealing library books. One of my rules is: Don’t waste blog content.

In that vein, I’ve decided to make my new fantasy set, Her Ladyship, a mini-series. There will be a new page every Friday until sometime in December. (I haven’t decided if I am going to skip Halloween to post something more festive.)

My plan (though we all know about the best laid plans of mice and men) is that I will post these Friday paper doll updates in addition to my regular two posts a week. For those keeping score, that means three paper doll updates a week.

Pretty good deal, no?

Fantasy Printable Paper Doll Coloring Page

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Also for those keeping score, Her Ladyship is the update of the Lady of the Manor paper doll set that I have mentioning for the last several weeks. You can see some of the early doodles and a sketchbook page. This is what she turned into, though there’s nine more pages to share.

She’s not a princess, though she may yet marry a prince. Rather, I imagine she is a noble women and she may or may not be married. Her dresses are all based on fantasy versions of Italian renaissance dress and, of course, she has wigs. Only one wig today, but I promise in later pages there are a lot more wigs to be had. Most of the wigs have floating tabs to help keep them on the paper doll’s head.

Thoughts? Opinions? Feelings about my ten week plan? Feel free to let me know.

Fantasy Alchemist Printable Paper Doll

Obviously, I am embracing the fantasy options for my paper dolls today. Actaully, I have been really paper doll productive over the last few weeks and have managed to get a lot done as far as wrapping up old projects. This set is actually the first thing I drew in my current sketchbook and I am now, finally, getting it posted live on the blog.

Next week there will be a page two of this set with three more dresses, two more pairs of shoes and some other accessories. Sometimes, I get into something and draw more than I mean too. Also, I am still learning with B&B paper dolls how many pieces I can fit on one page.

Court Alchemist Paper Doll in Black and White for Coloring
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To give credit where credit is due, I was inspired by this gown from Armstreet which is entitled The Alchemist’s Daughter; however, why be the daughter when you could be the alchemist? I mean… way more fun.

Oddly enough, Alchemy was considered serious business for hundreds of years. Newton, for example, was an alchemist (he was also a bit of a crazy dude and stuck needles in his eyes to test various optics theories, but that’s a whole different issue.) Probably the earliest attempt to clarify chemistry from alchemy was Robert Boyle‘s Skeptical Chemist (1661) and we can either thank or blame Boyle for helping found modern chemistry. As someone who hated chemistry in high school, I confess to mostly blame Boyle. Never the less… important chap.

Full color Popper Paper Doll
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My favorite part of drawing this paper doll set was getting to draw the accessories. I imagine this alchemist is also the court astrologer. Astrology, mythology and religion were all wrapped up in alchemy theories. Our alchemist has an astrolabe, a tool for predicting the star and planet movements, a falcon, a tool for hunting small mammals, and an armillary sphere, a tool for modeling the planet’s movements. Most of the symbols on her bottles are actual alchemical symbols. So, that was fun to research.

The dress on the left is more of a work dress with a heavy leather apron for protecting her gown from spills and the dress on the right is more of a formal costume with the fancy chain belt. Also, she has some closed toe boots in case of spills of mercury and other things.

Next week I will show off her other three dresses, also more tools and some other rocking shoes. On that note, I am going to go to bed. :)

Southwestern Boho Paper Doll Set to Print and Color

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll with a Southwest inspired wardrobe According to one of the fashion magazines I bought in September, Southwestern is the new Boho.

Personally, I sill like Boho better and a lot of Southerwestern inspired fashion gets dangerously close to worrying cultural appropriation of the area’s Native peoples and that kinda bothers to me.

Never the less, I wanted to get to play around with some of the geometric patterns that are common in the style while steering clear of directly borrowing anything, because there’s a lot of Pendelton blanket patterning in this trend and that gets complicated.

Pendelton woolen mills, their blankets, and their relationship to Native peoples is written about eloquently by Beyond Buckskin, Slate (posted on Beyond Buckskin, I couldn’t find the article on Slate) and Native Appropriations. I am not even going to get into that conversation, but I think consideration should be made when dealing with anything “tribal” and fashion related.

Anyway, these were all things on my mind as I stepped lightly into the Southwest Boho trend of fall 2014.

Printable paper doll with clothing based on the Southwestern trend of Fall 2014

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Mia’s modeling these costumes, because I drew three sets of contemporary fashion at once. There’s going to eventually be a brights set for Margot, a girly set for Monica and then this set which got assigned to Mia. Had someone asked me which of these I was going to finish first, this would not have been the winner, and yet here we are.

Sometimes my paper dolling works in mysterious ways.

Five Blogs I love And you Might, Too (And they Aren’t about Paper Dolls)

5 Blogs I love and you Might Too
First things first: L’Shanah Tovah everyone. It’s going to be a great 5775, I’m sure. I made challah from scratch last night and I can’t wait to share it with my co-workers today. Rosh Hashanah competes with Purim as my favorite Jewish holiday.

Anyway…One of the big struggles I have is finding blogs that I really want to read and I want to come back to. Sure, I can find blogs at a moment, but rarely do I return over and over again. It’s too easy to get bored by either the content or the lack of good images. I have yet to find a really good compelling library blog, though I keep looking for one.

Clearly, I love paper dolls. (And you’re all thinking… Duh!) However, some of my favorite blogs are not actually paper doll blogs. Rather, I like these blogs because they are well written, have great photos and update fairly regularly.

1. Smitten Kitchen

My sister introduced me to this blog (Thanks, sis) and I love the recipes. Last night, I made this challah for Rosh Hashanah and my whole apartment smelled like fresh break. Wonderful. Also, I desperately want to try out this pretzel recipe. Plus, even when I don’t want to make the recipe, I find the writing is completely charming.

2. While She Naps

I’ve been reading While She Naps for a lot longer than I have even owned a sewing machine. All the posts are well written and I particularly love how transparent Abby is about her business and her patterns are totally cute. I can’t wait to make one of these guys for a coworkers grandchild.

3. American Indian’s in Children’s Literature

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned AICL before, but if I haven’t, I totally should. It’s a great blog about issues of depictions of Native American’s in children’s books from pictures books all the way up to chapter books. I don’t always agree with Debbie’s assessments, but I really value her thoughts on the subject. Though, if you have a favorite book with Native characters, than you can expect that it might get slammed here. (I will NEVER look at the Education of Little Tree the same way again.)

4. Wren*Feathers

I love dolls of all kinds and I really like the idea of sewing, even if I don’t always get to sewing. This fantastic blog offers dozens of free patterns for dolls of all different shapes and sizes. The photos are beautiful and the patterns are wonderful. I’ve made several of them myself and I can’t wait to make more.

5. Toy Box Philosopher

Another doll blog (not shocking) comes from Emily at Toy Box Philosopher. I have never read such detailed and thoughtful reviews of toys in my life. Her critical assessments of new products, wonderful photography and open writing style means that I enjoy reading about things I could and would never buy (like this weird surprise birth cat toy that freaks me out a little).

So, those are a few of my regular blog reads. What do you guys read? Any suggestions for great blogs that I might have missed? What attracts you to a blog?

Circus Paper Doll in Black, White, Red, and Pink

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll based on circuses Last week, the circus came to town in black and white for coloring, but here the paper doll set is in full color. I am really very pleased with how she came out. Sometimes, I know what I am doing with a paper doll set before I start coloring. Other times, I have no idea what I am going do with colors. In this paper doll’s case, I had a pretty clear idea of where I was going to go before I got there.

One thing I noticed as I was collecting images on my Dark Circus Pinterest board was that there was a bunch of red and black. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with the red and black, but I knew there was going to be a lot of it.

Creating a red and black paper doll set was kind a boring, so I did not go with a strictly red and black color scheme (though there is a lot of black and white here).


Printable paper doll in black and white inspired by circuses
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With straight red, black and white, I got bored very quickly and worried about the scheme clashing with the paper dolls pink hair. Instead, I decided to try basically creating two sets in one. There is a black and red set and also a pink and black set. Both sets had a pair of shoes and there are some pieces which can be worn with either color scheme.

I think this effect of “two sets” in one works, because circuses are all about costumes and costumes tend to match more than normal clothing.

Akemi, A Fantasy Warrior Paper Doll

Image link to a printable female warrior paper doll with armor and weapons in color or black and white Today’s paper doll is named for a very close friend of mine in childhood named Akemi. Akemi was a very talented singer and dancer. Also, her family kept ducks.

The ducks got carried off by bald eagles on a rather regular basis.

And Akemi had all of the She-ra action figures including the horse and the cloud palace. I can not express how jealous I was of this She-ra collection. Hours were spent in her backyard feeding ducks, chasing off eagles who wanted to eat the ducks, and having epic She-ra battles.

So, when I was looking for a good name for my fantasy warrior paper doll, I immediately thought of Akemi and She-ra.

I’ve no idea what happened to Akemi. (Also, I’m not positive she didn’t spell her name Akimi, but I think it was Akemi. Now, this is going to bug me… Short of getting my mother to pull my old middle school year book from storage, there is no way to easily answer that question.)

Printable female warrior paper doll with armor and weapons in black and white for coloring
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Moving away from my childhood for a moment, today’s paper doll is a fantasy warrior with five mix and match clothing pieces, two pairs of shoes and some serious weapons. I’ve done a lot of swords, axes and spears, so I wanted to some crazy scythe like thing. I don’t think it would be a very practical weapon in the real world, but it does look cool.

And fantasy warriors should get cool looking weapons.

Of course, if she needs more weapons than she can borrow them from Rebecca Grace, Latanya, Robynn, Astrid, Kelli, or Philippa to name some of my weapon wielding Pixie paper dolls.

Printable female warrior paper doll in color
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All in all, I am pleased with the color scheme I ended up with.I knew I wanted to use red and gold, cliche though they are, for her armor. I added black and cream for contrast after trying out brown and disliking how it looked with the red. Her hair changed color several times over the course of deciding on the black and blond dip dye look (for a while it was red and blond, also blue briefly).

That is all I have to say about that. Enjoy the paper doll.

Circus Paper Doll for Coloring

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll based on circuses Marisole’s gone to the circus this monday, complete with makeup.

I have mixed feelings about circuses truth be told. Sometimes I like them and sometimes I find them deeply creepy. I’m not afraid of clowns or anything, but there is something slightly off dark and strange that runs through the whole idea of circuses and carnivals.

So, I’ve been drawing paper dolls for a long time and I always expect to run out of the ideas, but then I run into new things on a fairly regular basis that I want to do or try out. I don’t know that I’ve ever really done anything like this set. I started collecting circus images that I liked on Dark Circus Pinterest board and then eventually those images evolved into this set of doodles which evolved into this paper doll set.


Printable paper doll in black and white inspired by circuses
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I was going for fashion as much as reality with these outfits. I can’t imagine a clown wearing such insane high heels, for example. My Dark Circus board where I was collecting images evolved into being as much about fashion as it was about circuses.

I’m nervous about coloring this set. I was going to go strictly black and red, but then I really want her to have pink hair.

Problem, will the pink hair clash with the red and black? I just don’t know. Guess the only way to find out is to start coloring.

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