Poppets Go Roccoco

poppet-princess-ruffles-logoOne of the big myths of costume history is that children were dressed like adults, but in miniature. While this is sort of true, I have yet to see a decade where there is not some, however slight, difference between children’s and adults clothing. The differences are often subtle and children were considered adults at a much younger age than we consider children adults today.

This is all by way of saying that I really wanted to make sure this fluffy dress (which has NO historical accuracy about it at all) felt like a child’s dress and not an adult’s dress. I think of the Poppets as between 8 and 10 years of age and I really hate it when I see child dolls dressed like adults, especially in historical outfits or psuedo-historical outfits.

So, to maintain the principle, I’ve shortened the skirts of her fluffy dress. See.. I have some principles (not a lot of them… but I digress.)

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Actually, I’ve been thinking about principle’s lately. If you read Liana’s interview from Friday (and if you haven’t than you really should), she talks a lot about the problems of paper doll poses and the complications of paper doll design. I think about these things when I design a paper doll as well, but I also find I think a lot about the principle of correctness. I made this principle up by the way, but for me I think it’s about the correct outfit for the correct paper doll at the correct time.

By my nature, I am scattershot personality. I tend to work on something in the grip of interest, give it up when I get bored, and then move onto something else. Paper doll designs, projects, work endevaors, whatever, all become mixed about in the messy world I exist in. If I’m reading up on women’s publishing, than somehow this filters into everything else I do. I am very envious of people who can have firm divisions in their heads between project A and project B, but I’ve never been wired that way. This means my paper dolls tend to be schizophrenic. Astronauts to mermaids all have happened over the years. I think this is sometimes the charm of PTP, but I also fear it’s a bad thing. I find I envy people like Boots who commit to a theme and then stick to it.

I can not imagine trying to limit myself like that.

Regency Pixies and Happy Birthday Hans Christian Andersen

logo-regency Today, in honor of Han Christian Andersen who was born in 1805, we have two regency pixies and their wardrobe. This is the last big Pixie set for a while, though I do have some one page Pixie paper dolls in the works that I am looking forward to sharing. I don’t think I’ll do another multipage set for a while. They are a lot of work.

Theses paper doll’s dresses are from about 1800 to about 1815, or so. The latest one being the morning dress with the neck ruff looking thing for Lydia (or Emma, either doll can wear the dresses) which was popular for a while though I find the style a little absurd, myself.


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There is a tendency to make everything in this period white, as that’s what fashion plates usually show, but women aren’t stupid and there are plenty of dark fabrics with prints that were popular for day dresses. They don’t show stains as much as white (does anything show stains as much as white?) and they could go longer between washingings. There’s also a tendency to talk about women being out of corsets. This was sort of true, but as anyone with boobs can tell you, having no support is darn painful.

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Since bonnets were going to be featured in this set (and I do confess I’m not very good at drawing bonnets), I knew I had to keep both of the paper dolls hair close to their heads. Lydia, above, has a braid and Emma, also above, just has her hair pulled back somehow. I imagine it in a neat bun, but whatever.

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It was important to me to give these dolls some clothes, so I decided to do a separate sheet for their dresses. After all, one dress hardly makes a very fun paper doll. So, here is a riding habit, a few day dresses, a ballgown and one of the cropped spencer jackets which I’ve always liked. As for other regency paper dolls, there’s always Flora of the Regency, and two Marisole Monday & Friends sets- Empire Elegance and Regency Romance.

Thoughts? Do the Pixies need more historic outfits?

Poppets go Medieval… sorta…

poppets-dragons-logoWhen I first drew the Poppets paper dolls, I knew I wanted to do historical costumes. This isn’t historically accurate by the way, but it does have a 1300s flair, I think. One of the reasons I steer clear of certain periods of history is that I feel like I don’t know enough about them. I am familiar enough with Victorian and 18th century costume that I feel fairly comfortable simplifying it without losing it’s authenticity, but I know very little about clothing in Europe before 1400.

As a result, I tend to categorize my forays into the “medieval” look as fantasy, rather than history. It keeps me from feeling guilty about not really knowing what I’m doing. However, Gwendolyn asked for a paper doll of a 10th century Anglo-Saxon when she won my drawing last week, so I guess I better learn something about the 10th century.

In the meantime, here’s a Poppet Medieval outfit strictly in the realm of fantasy being modeled by Petunia. I like to think she might be a princess, but I haven’t given her a crown, so the jury is out.

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I’m also really pleased to say I’ve recently stumbled across a new paper doll blog called Paper is Suffcient. It’d a new blog, so go over there, check it out and drop Natalie a comment. We need all the paper doll blogs we can get. 🙂

Latanya, The First Pixie Paper Doll of the New Year

latanya-logoI am excited to introduce everyone to Latanya, the first Pixie paper doll of the New Year. I drew her last year, technically, but that’s not really so uncommon for me. It can take months (years…) for a paper doll to move from my sketchbook onto my blog. I’ve had a request to do a full paper doll tutorial which is a lovely idea, but considering how slow I am at getting things done… it might be a year before its finished.

So, I wanted to do a fantasy paper doll with a autmunal color scheme. So we have Latanya rocking some darn lovely fantasy gowns and a little bit of armor. She’s apparently both a lover and a fighter.

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Her colors remind me of autumn leaves and crisp fall days. I am really adoring her curls and the pattern on her dress which I am very proud of. I am trying to draw more patterns. I say that every year… And every year, I usually end up chickening out because patterns take time and I am lazy.

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My Drawing/Contest closes tonight at midnight. So, if you haven’t entered and would like too, please do so today. I’ll contact/announce the winner tomorrow. 🙂 By the way, I haven’t responded to any of the answers, because I didn’t want to skew the results. I have read them all and I appreciate everyone’s honesty. Winner will be decided using a random number generator.

Pixie & Puck: Xenia, the Fantasy Maiden or Princess

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Today’s printable paper doll is named for Saint Xenia, a Russian Orthodox Saint. I liked the name, because it sounded neat and the paper doll’s color scheme was partly inspired by the beautiful gilt icons I remember from growing up in Alaska.

It’s been a while since I did a redheaded Pixie, so I thought I should do one as I have some weird love of redhair that surely comes from reading Anne of Green Gables at an impressionable age.

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I tried a new technique with the patterns on Xenia’s dresses. I drew the motif, used photoshop to turn it into a repeating pattern and then used photoshop to warp that pattern, so it would look more natural against the curve of the figure. I’m not totally pleased with how it came out, but I’m not displeased either. I’m going to keep playing with it as an option for more patterned paper doll creations.

It feels absurdly good to be back close to a normal week of updating. I have no idea what next week will bring, but this week feels good. Small steps. Now… if I could just finish putting my books back on shelves.

Pixie & Puck: Philippa… Named for a Queen

Another fantasy Medieval sort of Pixie Paper Doll for the this week. I have been on this fantasy Pixie kick for a while… I have one more of a similar style to post and then I shall have finished my flight of fancy in this direction until I get distracted and decide to turn to something else.

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She is named for Philippa of Hainault who was the Queen consort of King Edward III of England in the 14th century. Philippa of Hainault is buried in Westminster Cathedral, so you can go visit her there should you be in London and feel like it. Westminster is pretty darn cool, I have to confess.

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So, the response to the new lips on the Pixies has been uniformly negative. I tend to agree with the concerns leveled by my readers and therefore won’t be continuing in the style after this paper doll set.

Valentine’s Day…

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So, it’s Valentine’s Day again.

I have a history of fairly unpleasant Valentine’s Days, but being that as it is, I still enjoy the holiday as an excuse to eat those weird message hearts that taste like chalk. Personally, I almost wish we’d consider returning Valentine’s Day to it’s roots.

By which I mean the feast of Lupercalia which the Roman’s celebrated from the 13th to the 15th of Feburary. The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain all while drunk and naked. How’s that for a good time?

Apparently, the women thought (well everyone thought) that being slapped by a bloody hide of a dead animal would make them fertile.

Anyway, short of getting slapped with straps of wet animal skin, I’ve decided to draw and post a paper doll. Slightly less messy, I suspect, though also, perhaps, less fun. The Chinese New Year paper doll poll got lots of votes for friends to go with the New Year paper doll, so she can share clothing if you want snakes to go with the hearts.

Goats and dogs, you’ll have to draw yourself.

By the way, I have a history of Valentine’s Day paper dolls. I did two in 2011 Marisole Monday and Pixie named Valentina . I didn’t do one last year, so I thought I better do one this year.