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.

Poppet’s Visit the 18th Century… Historical Paper Doll Clothes

18th century historical dress for the Poppet paper dolls So, today the Poppets paper doll series is traveling to the 18th century and rocking some beautiful clothes. One of the great myths of historical costume is that children in the 18th century were dressed “just like adults” and while there is some truth to the fact that children wore very similar clothing to adults, it was rarely identical. Skirt length is a common way to tell that a dress was intended for a child, rather than an adult, along with simpler lines and decorations.

Today’s 18th century outfit is based on a a gown from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her shoes come from a painting by Carl-Ludwig Christinek in 1772 of two sisters. Her pocket is based on these pockets from America. Her cap is an amalgamation of about a dozen different caps from portraits and is, I confess, a little odd looking. I am not entirely pleased with it.

Full color Poppet Paper Doll clothes from the Revolutionary War periodBlack and white coloring sheet of paper doll clothes from the 18th century

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One thing I do not have is a Poppet doll with proper hair for the 18th century, so I am letting Poppy model the historical dress.

Lastly, a bit of the site layout has changed. Mostly just colors, honestly, but I would love to hear what people think of the new design.

Renaissance Paper Doll Gowns for Marisole Monday

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll I must have colored and re-colored today’s Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll set, a dozen times before I settled on this sort of dusty teal, cream and rose color scheme. Seriously, sometimes paper doll coloring is really quite frustrating.

I do love the way the paper dolls look when they are colored and I like choosing colors and playing with color schemes. I don’t think I could ever switch to just black and white.

I really wanted to do a sort of classic princess/fantasy look with this set. I don’t generally draw thinking about children, but sometimes after I’ve done some of my stranger paper dolls (like the dark circus paper doll I’m working on), I find I want to also do things that are strictly for kids.

Of course, I also stand by my rule that if you don’t think one of my paper dolls should be given to a child, than don’t give it to a child.


printable full color paper doll with summer beach clothing
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The next things down the pike are going to be a historical poppet set later this week and then a Marisole circus set and then I’m honestly not sure… Flock need some love and so that might be the next thing to work.

Steampunk Paper Doll Clothes for the Ms. Mannequinn Series

link to a set of steampunk paper doll clothes Over the years, I have done a fair number of steampunk or neo-victorian inspired sets of paper doll clothing. I’d name them all, but I really don’t feel like digging through the blog’s massive archives to track them all down.

Generally, I see the whole steampunk thing as an version of the Arts and Crafts movement of the 19th century. A sort of call back to a fantasy of an analog time while ignoring major issues of the actual 19th century like lack of labor protection, colonization, and treatment of the mentally ill (to name a few), just as the Arts and Craft movement exalted the medieval and gothic periods while ignoring the plague. Within reason, I don’t find this troubling though sometimes I do worry that when we exalt certain periods of history, than it is far to easy to ignore their horrors.

And every period of history, including our own, has a few horrors.

Still, I have always found alternative fashion movement fascinating, be it goth, punk, steampunk or the dress reform movement and therefore have every intention of continuing to draw neo-victorian clothing for the blog.

Black and White fantasy paper doll

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Somehow today’s set got awfully Christmas looking with the red and the green color scheme. I was thinking more burgundy and olive while I started, but it came out a bit brighter than I’d intended it to be. Despite the small number of pieces in this set, there’s actually 18 outfit options and more if you include the shoes each of the Ms. mannequin paper dolls come with.

Okay, quick question to my readers. I’m debating working on Flock stuff this coming weekend or working on Pixies. Anyone want to express a preference?

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