Summer in Alabama is probably my least favorite season. First of all, it is very hot and humid. Secondly, there are cockroaches. Thirdly, it rains in the afternoons, but the rain doesn’t actually cool anything down.
We are having a freakishly hot June. It’s been in the high 90s for the last week and it is not looking to cool down at all next week. I am miserable in this heat, but I suppose it could be worse.
Someone who is not miserable in the heat (or at least isn’t showing it) is Marisole in today’s colored version of Beautiful Boho. A big part of color selection for me is finding colors I wouldn’t normally think to combine. Part of this is instinct, but I borrow most of my color schemes from various sources around the internet and then alter them as needed. Design Seeds more muted palettes were what I used on this paper doll set. I wanted to use colors that felt like they were modern and came from nature.
I went back and forth about what to do about Marisole’s glasses in this set. Originally, I had them plain silver, but it just seemed so… well, plain. So, after some debate, I decided to make them a soft grey-teal color. It’s a color that shows up a lot in the paper doll set, but it is also fairly neutral. I also had a lot of fun painting her toe nails with her different sandals.
I don’t think I mentioned this last time, but the paper doll’s hair is based in part on the last hairstyle in this fantastic video of 100 years of black hairstyles 1910 to 2010. My only complaint about the video is that it ignores wigs which were commonly worn by black women, particularly 1940s through the 1960s. Never the less, it is a fascinating time-lapse piece.
Later this week there will be the first Flock post of 2015 (embarrassing but true).
Today’s Poppet paper doll is all about Victorian children’s clothing of the late 1860s and early 1870s. I love Victorian children’s clothing. I just love it. I even love it in the 1840s when I generally think all the clothing looks really stupid.
I think it is a combination of my natural fascination with childhood studies and exposure to books like The Little Princess at a young and impressionable age. It is likely also because I have a fondness for the idea of antique dolls with little wardrobes of perfectly sewn clothing pieces. The Little Princess was full of dolls. Anyone else remember that book?
And I am not talking about the Shirley Temple movie version where her father wasn’t really dead. I’ve never forgiven them for changing that part.
Anyway, we have Peach, a new Poppet paper doll, with an elegant promenade costume from Godey’s Lady’s Magazine in 1969. Her fashion doll also has a Promenade costume from that same fashion plate. I couldn’t find a decent reproduction of the plate online. Because Godey’s plates folded out, when people digitize the bound volumes they rarely take the time to fold out the plates. The result is that the text is reproduced, but not the folded plate. This is one of my pet peeves about mass digitization projects.
Back to the paper doll- Peach has, of course, a French fashion doll with her who I have left unnamed. Her fashion doll has a walking dress of her own with a hat attached. I have rarely drawn something as small as the fashion doll and I am worried a little about the fit of the gown. I did a quick Photoshop fit test, but you might want to leave some black border for wiggle room on that one. I love the whole paper dolls with their own dolls which are also paper dolls thing. It is hard to pull off though.
Anyway, I used several sources when working on today’s paper doll. The doll herself is based on the brown-complexioned bisque bebe dolls produced in France and Germany by companies like Steiner, Bru, Jumeau and many others. You can see some examples of these dolls on my Pinterest Board about Antique dolls. These dolls were most common in the late 19th century. As I mentioned above, her dress is from an 1869 Godey’s Lady’s Journal fashion plate. I used Dover’s excellent book- 80 Godey’s Full-Color Fashion Plates, 1838-1880 (ISBN: 978-0486402222), now out of print, for the 1869 plate. I know there are lots of sources online today for fashion plates, but too many of them omit the context of the plates, since plates were often cut. That is why I like having books of fashion plates in my collection for reference.
Next week, I will share a related Poppet clothing set with some underwear from the 1870s- when even children wore staybands or corsets- and two more outfits and a ballgown for her doll. Also, another pair of shoes with stockings.
I really do have to draw more historical children’s clothing for the Poppets. I had far to much fun with this set.
Remember that you’ll need to cut along the shoulders of the paper doll, so that she can wear her dress.
It has been a while since we saw Marisole, hasn’t it? I mean… at least since early April, I think.
As her friends grow, I find I sometimes miss her. She is the longest running paper doll on this site and I really do still have a fondness for her.
Today, Marisole is rocking a wardrobe inspired by the boho looks of brands like Free People. I have only recently discovered Free People and if I had a job where I could get away with wearing their clothes on a regular basis, I would. I also wanted to draw a jumpsuit. I don’t like jumpsuits, but they are in fashion and I am trying to be more open minded about them. Today’s Marisole paper doll also has glasses, because I think glasses are cute and I don’t draw enough paper dolls with glasses.
I also have horrendous eyesight and am blind as a bat without my contacts in. As a child, I had glasses and I hated them. Maybe a paper doll or two with glasses will help kids not dislike glasses so much.
Over the years that I have been drawing paper dolls, which has been a fairly long time, I have come to realize that I really value diversity and variety in my paper dolls. I can’t imagine just drawing modern paper dolls or just drawing historical paper dolls or just drawing fantasy paper dolls. One of the things I like about paper dolls is that they can literally be anything. I’m about to get through the last of the backlog I have of Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper dolls. I have one more after this colored and one more waiting to be colored.
That means it is time for me to return to my sketch book. I’ve made a poll to help me decide what I should make next for them. Below I’ve listed my four major ideas. Vote on one of them and I might make it.
What Should I draw Next for Marisole Monday & Friends?
A ballerina or dancer. Tackle your fear of tutus. (38%, 36 Votes)
Space princess! Like a normal princess, but with ray-guns in space! (29%, 28 Votes)
Something for Marcus. Anything. Poor boy needs some more clothes. (19%, 18 Votes)
A warrior with armor. Lots of Armor. (14%, 13 Votes)
Sometimes, I create paper dolls and I have a lot to say about them. I can wax philosophical about what I was thinking and feeling and….
Other times, I just have a paper doll that I’ve drawn and I really haven’t got much to say about her. Today’s paper doll falls into the category of I don’t have a lot to say about her.
Partly, I think this is because I drew her last year and she’s been sitting quietly in my unfinished folder waiting to be finished. By the time I was ready to post her, I hadn’t really anything to say. I do think it is important to post a variety of different paper dolls and I am not giving up non-historical sets while I’m on my historical paper doll drawing binge.
Hazel’s summery paper doll wardrobe is fairly basic. She has two bottoms, five tops and three dresses. Her two pairs of sandals are a little chunky, but that seems to be the style as of late. There’s a total of 26 outfit options here which I think really makes the paper doll versatile. She can share clothing, of course, with the rest of the Mini-Maidens paper dolls.
On Monday, I posted a poll about which historical period I should research next. The options were intentionally selected to be fashion eras that I either knew very little about or have generally thought that I didn’t like. If you haven’t voted, please do.
What historical period should I research next? (And therefore make a paper doll of...)
Ancient Greece and Rome (33%, 32 Votes)
Rennissance Italy (22%, 21 Votes)
The Mod Look of the 1960s (21%, 20 Votes)
The 17th Century (16%, 15 Votes)
The 1830s (8%, 8 Votes)
Total Voters: 96
The poll closes on the 29th. So far it seems that Greek/Roman has surged ahead. I am surprised. I confess that I thought Renaissance Italy would win by a landslide. Never the less, vote if you wanna and we’ll see where it ends up. 🙂
One of the things I really love to do is hold drawings where the winner gets a custom paper doll. Part of the fun of these contests is that I never know what people are going to ask for and sometimes I am really surprised.
As always when I create one of these paper doll print outs, a part of me is very nervous. I always worry that I am not going to “get it right” for the person who asked for the paper doll set.
Morgan asked “For the clothes something comfy but still sort of dressy, tomboyish but still girly, if that makes any sense. For the hair color and style, curly long orangish red hair, blue eyes, and freckles. But if possible I would love to have the color theme be turquoise.” And she was kind enough to send me some great reference images.
As I usually do with drawing winners, I wanted to post both of these sets at once, as I don’t think it is nice to make my winners wait when they have been so kind to wait a few weeks anyway.
Color scheme wise, I was asked for turquoise which is one of my favorite colors (well, teal really). Beyond being really hard to spell, it’s also a color with lots of variation. Since it can be a fairly green color or a fairly blue color, I wanted to use several shades. Now, I tend to stay away from monochromatic schemes, so I also used a bright yellow and a bright green as accent colors.
Anyway, I hope you like your paper doll set Morgan and if the color scheme isn’t quite what you imagined, let me know. I can recolor her. I always worry about color schemes. Meanwhile, to my other winner, I promise your paper doll will be up in a few weeks.
By the way, I think this is the first contemporary paper doll I’ve ever done with just pants and no skirts or dresses. I haven’t been through all the archives to confirm that, but I think it’s true.
One of my pet peeves is that fantasy movies always default to the assumption that the characters involved are white-skinned. I just saw Into the Woods which I recommend highly- I am a huge Sondheim fan- and I noticed they had some brown-skinned extras which is great, but all of the main characters were white skinned.
I know one of the common arguments against skin-tone diversity in classic fantasy or fairy tales is that they are often European in origin and it wouldn’t be accurate to have brown skinned characters; however, I’m not sure the argument for “accuracy” really holds up. First of all, there was a lot more diversity in Europe a lot earlier than most people realize. Secondly, if there are going to be giants and magic, can’t we accept the idea that some of the characters might be darker skinned? Does that really deeply violate suspension of disbelief? We are talking about a genre of story with singing harps, talking animals, and pumpkin coaches.
This is all a really complicated way of saying that I try to give my fantasy paper dolls a variety of skin tones, including weird ones like green, more green and orange. Um… Is it bad I just noticed I have two green skinned paper dolls? I could have sworn one of those had blue skin. I should keep better track of these things.
Moving on from her skin tone, I stuck with the pale scheme I had planned and tried to focus on greens, blues and purples while using yellow and pink as accent colors. I think it came out pretty well, though coloring those detailed patterns took forever. Every time I add a bunch of pattern, I promise myself that it is the “last time” and then I do it again- because I really do like pattern.
Changing topic a bit, one of the most common questions I get is “Why don’t you sell your paper dolls?” I decided to answer this question for Abby of While She Naps. Abby took my thoughts about hobby and business, combined them with those of some other very talented crafters, and created a really great post about business, craft, and why we do what we do. I recommend going and reading it post-haste.
Meanwhile, Vikings are winning my “What historical period should B&B visit” poll which means, I suppose, I should go learn something about Viking dress. If you have not voted, please do. It is highly likely that I will not totally ignore the outcome. It is also highly likely it will take forever for me to get it done, because I am me.
There are some periods of fashion I’m naturally drawn too. I love the regency era and the 1870s. I have a strange soft spot for the 1920s and the mod looks of the 1960s. However, 1940’s fashions just doesn’t do so much for me. Still, one of my goals for my paper dolls in 2015 is to do more historical paper doll sets and to stretch myself into eras that I’m not naturally interested in.
As a result, today’s paper doll is clad in 1940’s fashion finery.
Truly, the 1940s is a fascinating time in fashion history. World War Two interrupts the middle of the decade and the end of the war welcomes in a whole new style of clothes thanks to Dior’s New Look. Prior to 1947, however, there is cloth rationing in many countries, most notable England, and an emphasis on “Make Due and Make Mend”. Magazines would publish articles on how to transform a man’s suit into a woman’s suit or how to turn dishtowels into aprons.
Hats were still required for day wear. Our paper doll is sporting three different hats and two purses. Marie Claie UK published these wonderful photos of 1940s fashion on their blog- photo number 27 inspired one of her hats. Her black purse is from 1945 and is based on this purse from the V&A. Her shoes are from 1943, based on this pair at the Met.
So, I usually manage to get these paper doll sets up on schedule to post early Monday, but clearly today I wasn’t so on the ball. Never the less, I’m not technically late, just a little delayed I suppose with today’s paper doll coloring page of a princess and her four paper doll dresses- everyone needs paper doll dresses, right?
This week’s Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper doll features Marisole and some pretty traditional fantasy gowns. Fantasy sets seem to be the favorite of my readers and I enjoy them. I wanted to play with pattern for these, so they are heavily patterned- much more than I usually do with my paper doll sets. I’ve been challenging myself to use more patterns lately.
Should you think Marisole needs some paper doll friends, I’m sure she can hang out with Marcus the Warrior or the Coastal Princess. I know she’ll have a light colored, pastel based color scheme, though I’m not sure exactly what colors yet.
The crown is less a “crown” and more a simple circlet. I wanted to do something simple that would accent her very patterned dresses.
And since it’s later than I usually get these done and I am very tired, I am going to call this post finished. Thanks everyone for your kind wishes while I was ill last week and hopefully we’ll have a normally updating blog this week.
If you want, let me know what you think of her in a comment. 🙂
This is going to be an uber short post today, because I really have a million things to do. Still, I have neglected the blog for a week and I didn’t want to keep neglecting it.
Sometimes, I feel like it is a small monster. If I don’t feed the blog monster, it might someday hunger for the souls of children or possibly lollipops. Either way, it is in my best interest to make sure that it is fed.
Anyway, today we have the Marcus paper doll from last way up in full color. The designs are based on my whole pseudo-Medieval/Viking thing. I really wanted to stick with earth tones and simple colors, nothing too crazy or vivid.
Starting off 2015 with a Marcus 2.0 paper doll as my first Marisole Monday & Friends set. I wanted to do a Marisole doll for 2015, but I didn’t have done finished and this was finished, so up it goes. In total, there were 23 new Marisole Monday & Friends designs posted last year which I think is fairly close to a personal best. I haven’t checked my previous years to find out.
I’m pleased with how he came out. I really like the boots and the two pairs of leggings give him more outfit options for a total of six. Not bad for a six piece set. He’ll be up in full color next week. After that, I hope to have my Majorette paper doll done which I promised someone. Before moving to the South, I didn’t actually know that anyone did baton twirling anymore. You learn new things everyday, I suppose.
Right now, there’s a little drawing/contest so enter that if you wanna.