Flock Fairy Tales: Oriole as Morgiana from Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

Morgiana's Outfit Options
Like a lot of kids, I grew up surrounded by fairy tales. Long after I was “too old” for picture books, I would settle down in the fairy tale section of the children’s department of the library and devour version upon version of my favorite stories. I was fascinated by the variables of each story and how they would change and how they were illustrated.

Today, in what maybe the last of the Flock Fairy Tale series (or at least the last one I have planned), we have Morgiana from Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. In case you’re wondering why this is the “last” of the fairy tale series, it is because I am out of Flock magnetic paper dolls. Starling, Wren, Phoebe, Oriole, Dove and Swan is the whole family. So, either some of them get more than one fairy tale or I need to drew some more friends to join them.

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves is an interesting tale for a lot of reasons. It doesn’t have any known origins in Middle Eastern sources and the earliest text version is French. The tale was added to the story collection One Thousand and One Nights by the French translator, Antoine Galland, who called his volumes Les Mille et Une Nuits. Gallad’s work was published in several volumes between 1704 and 1712. There has yet to be found a legitimate Arabic or other textual source before Gallad’s version. (Interesting fact: Gallad also added the famous story, ‘Aladdin’ and there are no known versions that predate his version either.)

Whatever debate might be had of the “authenticity” of the tale, the story is at least three hundred years old and certainly has a strong female character in the form of the slave girl Morgiana. Morgiana not only ends up stabbing the last of the thieves to death, but outwits most of them. I won’t summarize the whole thing here, I like these two versions of the tale, but there are plenty of others around.

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I confess that I didn’t make a t-shirt for Oriole as Morgiana, not for any specific reason, just because I forgot. However, she does have a book (unlike Cinderella who I forgot to give a book). Her wardrobe is mostly based on belly-dancing clothes and has, of course, a little bit of a steampunk neo-victorian vibe.

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So, it may not be obvious but all the fairy tale flock paper dolls are done with a base color scheme of about a dozen or so colors. The idea from the beginning has to been to have a fair but of mix and match options, though- as it has been pointed out to me by a few friends, some sets mix and match better than others.

I keep meaning to do a sort of “filler set” of just clothing pieces without any specific fairy tale in mind which would give more clothing options in more solid colors for the flock fairy tale magnetic paper dolls, but it keeps getting pushed onto the back burner. Perhaps if I write it down, it will force it a bit more towards the forefront.

If you’ve missed any of this series, they are Robin as Cinderella, Starling in East of the Sun, West of the Moon, Swan and Dove as Snow White and Rose Red, Wren as Little Red Riding Hood, and Phoebe as Rapunzel.

On that note, I am kinda sick, so I best go back to bed.

Classy Color Blocking: A Printable Paper Doll in Color

A printable coloring page of a paper doll with a seventeen piece contemporary wardrobe. Today’s color scheme is based off the Pantone Colors of Spring 2015- though I confess I don’t really like the Pantone colors of Spring 2015. Still, I try to do Pantone paper doll sets, because it gets me out of my comfort zone. Every once in a while, that’s crucially important.

Since the theme of this paper doll set was color blocking, I obviously had no pattern in it. The pieces were based on fashion magazine content that comes out in Spring. While I confess that the color scheme isn’t my favorite, I really like how both pairs of shoes came out and the blue top with the orange and yellow accents. I’d totally wear that top which is not something I can say about most of what I draw for paper dolls.

In the real world, my taste is fairly conservative and leans towards tweed trousers or boho blouses.

A printable coloring page of a paper doll with a 17 piece contemporary wardrobe.
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I don’t have much else to say about this paper doll set. She’s named Maeghan which I explained last week and you can see more of her with the rest of the Maeghans in my new, Maeghan category. I’d love to say that new exciting fascinating things will happen on the blog in the coming week, but I am pretty sure it will be pretty much just paper dolls.

And while I like to think paper dolls are new and exciting, its hard to argue that they are also what people come here expecting. Surely no one shows up thinking that this place is going to be full of cat GIFs or delightfully trained mongooses.

For the record, I have no idea what you would train a mongoose to do or even if you can train mongooses.

Nicole: A Printable Paper Doll in Color or Black and White

Link to Nicole, printable paper doll in color and black and white Back in Novemeber, I got a email from a reader who asked if I could name a paper doll either Lynn or Nicole for her. She wanted a paper doll named after herself. Now, originally, she asked for a Mini-Maiden or a Marisole Doll, but I have pretty strict naming patterns for those dolls.

I offered a Pixie instead and she said that she’d be cool with that option.

Today, I am pleased to present the result. A Pixie paper doll named Nicole with some layered tops (as requested). I was sort of obsessing over different bird illustrations for a while and so I decided to adapt some of them into a t-shirt design for Nicole. For those interested, her bird shirt was inspired by the work of Dante Terzigini, Inaluxe and Scott Partridge to name a few.

Link to Nicole, a printable paper doll in black and white for coloring with a contemporary wardrobe
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I love bright color schemes that feel a little unexpected. The orange red and very pale yellow are both acting as my neutrals in this set. She’s my first paper doll with glasses since April Showers in color & black and white back in May of 2014. That’s nearly a year. How embarrassing. I really do have to do more paper dolls with glasses.

Link to Nicole, a paper doll with a contemporary wardrobe. Part of the Pixie series, Nicole can share clothing with the other Pixie paper dolls
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Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to remind people that to dress Nicole, you’ll need to cut long her shoulders under her hair. There are cutting diagrams that you can refer to if there are any questions about how to cut out the paper dolls.

Malina: An Autumnal Printable Paper Doll

Link to Malina an Autumnal Printable Paper Doll As I move towards the end of the year, I always find myself beginning to think about the future and what has been done this year. One of the doll artists I admire is Mimi Kirchner and she does these wonderful year end posts where she talks about all the dolls she has made. I never seem to get on the ball about doing something like that. I suppose because with holiday travel and other concerns, I don’t always have time to sit back and think about where the little hobby of mine has taken me.

It’s November all ready though… and December is around the corner. Next thing I know, it will be January and then we’ll be in 2015. I guess I better start thinking.

Meanwhile, today we have a new Pixie paper doll. Malina is the female form of Malcom. It’s a scottish name. I don’t know why I decided that this paper doll seemed Scottish to me. There was no ‘logical’ reason why. Maybe because Scotland is chilly and she has sweaters? Yes, we’ll go with that rather stretch of a connection.

Malina, an autumnal printable paper doll with several outfit pieces in black and white for coloring
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Malina is my 13th Pixie Paper Doll post of the year, though technically my Pixie posts have been longer this year than last year. This year I did a three page Regency set of paper dolls for the birthday of Hans Christian Anderson, a two page Steampunk paper doll set and a two page Turn of the Century paper doll set. Anyway, there will be another few Pixies before the year is over, I assure you.

Malina, an autumnal printable paper doll with several outfit pieces in color
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Malina’s wardrobe is based on the “sporty” trend of 2014, much like Adannaya from earlier this year. The color scheme was inspired by apples and orchards and other fall harvest things, like gourds. (I bought a set of decorative gourds to put on my dining room table… I feel so festive.)

I keep finding myself going back to my thoughts at the beginning of today’s post. How does one calculate the value of a hobby? What level of achievement is needed to actually feel that this blog accomplishes it’s goal?

Hmmm…. I haven’t really got answers to that question.

A New Paper Doll Man for Marisole Monday & Friends

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to a printable paper doll of a young black man with casual clothing This project has been a long time in incubation. I drew my last Marcus 1.0 paper doll in July of 2013. He never looked right to me and he was out of proportion to the smaller more delicate Marisole, Mia, Margot, and Monica.

In the end, I took K’s and Julie’s advice and resized him in photoshop. He got skinnier and shorter. His head got smaller. I printed out the heavily altered version and sketched it up on lined paper as I do when I am testing a paper doll template. I altered it some more. I redrew the face about nine times.

And I’d given up on redoing Marcus 1.0 until I got some really nice comments from my readers asking when I was going to post another Marcus paper doll.

Printable paper doll coloring page of a young black man with casual contemporary clothing
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Is he perfect?

Well… no. He’s got pretty defined hips for a man and he does look a bit girly. Still, I’m more pleased with him than I ever imagined I could be with a male paper doll.

In celebration of his debut, I decided to post both the black and white and the color versions this Monday. I am very proud of how he came out.

Printable paper doll of a young black man with casual contemporary clothing
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So, this is Marcus 2.0.

I don’t have anything Halloween organized for Halloween this year. I am trying to get something done in time for Friday, but I wouldn’t hold my breath anyone. Instead, I offer a rare male paper doll to grace the collection of Marisole Monday & Friends.

I have big plans for Marcus. I’ve already drawn a fantasy set for him and I’m working on a steampunk airship mechanic set. I’m actually having more fun with my male paper doll than I ever thought I would.

Thoughts on other male paper doll ideas?

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.

Paisely Summer, Printable Paper Doll in Full Color

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll Sometimes, I struggle to get started on things, especially when I don’t really want to do them. Saturday night came around this week and I really didn’t want to work on this paper doll. I admit it, the orange dress was giving me fits and I was starting to loath my Pantone Spring 2014 Color Report inspired color scheme.

So, I literally set a timer.

Instead of blowing it off, I took out my cellphone and set a timer for 25 minutes. I told myself I would work on today’s Monica paper doll set for 25 minutes and then I would go do something else. Surely, I could suffer through 25 minutes of coloring. Of course, once the 25 minutes was up, I was so far along that I decided I might as well finish.

And here she is, all colored and everything.

I use a timer to do all sorts of things. From cleaning my apartment in fifteen minute bursts to inking for twenty minutes, I find that once I have done something for a short period of time intensely, I often keep going since I’m already in the middle of it. I hate not finishing things, but sometimes I struggle to get started on them.


printable full color paper doll with summer beach clothing

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As I mentioned before, this set’s color scheme is based on Pantone’s Spring 2014 Color Report and includes several of the Pantone colors. I’m not totally in love with the color choices, but I wanted to stretch myself beyond the colors I tend to naturally gravitate too. Plus, I have done other Pantone inspired color schemes like my Seagulls and Seaside that used the 2013 color report and my Fashion Girl set from 2010 that used the 2009 and 2010 Spring Reports.

Sporty Pixie named Adannaya

Like Jaunty Summer Styles and Minimalism, today’s printable paper doll was the direct result of me purchasing a bunch of fashion magazines in March. Adannaya is rocking the “sporty” look which is very popular. Sort of high fashion meets gym wear and if that seems like an odd match to you then you are not alone (it seems an odd match to me too). Her hair is based on this fantastic updo which I pinned to my hair board on Pinterest. Lurking around my Pinterest boards provides sneak peaks on what I am currently obsessed with. Feel free to follow me.

Anyway, the name Adannaya is from West Africa, Igbo to be specific, and means “Her Father’s daughter” according to Behind the Name. I’m sure I’ve never used the name before. I liked that I could track it to a specific culture. I think calling a name “African” is just as absurd as calling a name “European”. There are about a hundred major African languages, so I wasn’t going to use a name if I couldn’t trace it back to the root language. For Adannaya the root language is is Igbo, mostly spoken in southeastern Nigeria. Someone who knows more than me about the region would know if it was a common name or not, I have no idea, but I liked how it sounded.

Black and White fantasy paper doll

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Anyhow, I’m traveling today, so I’ve pre-scheduled this to rule in my absence. I’ve nearly worked my way through my backlog that I spent so much of February and March building. I suppose this means I’ll be drawing a fair bit over the next few weeks trying to get caught up again. What I really need is another snow closing… but I doubt that’s going to happen. :)

Latanya, The First Pixie Paper Doll of the New Year

I 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.

Anyway, today we have Latanya rocking out in some fun fantasy attire. 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.

Black and White fantasy paper doll

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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.

Florals & Stripes & Ruffles in Full Color

Thumbnail of the printable paper doll clothes Yesterday, I posted this one in black and white. Today, she’s going up in color. I’m not sure if I like doing this whole… one day black and white next day color thing. It sort of defeats the point of being able to reduce workload. I might start spacing them out a week, depending on how things seems to work out as I get into the crazier time of the year for me.

I went back and forth and back and forth about so much with this paper dolls color scheme. I wanted her to be stylish, but not overtly girly. I couldn’t decide between pinks and blues and then I originally conceived of the blouse as being burnt orange with teal flowers. Yeah… that wasn’t my greatest idea ever.

In the end, I settled on a color scheme that was cheerful (which I think we need on these grey days of winter) and mix and matched pretty well, though not as perfectly as some of my other paper dolls have done. There’s really only nine outfit options here, and I think I’d like to do more, but the dolls are fairly large and that limits how much clothing I can fit on a page with them. I have been thinking about doing some sets that are “clothing only” as I have always liked clothes more than dolls, but I don’t want to disappoint people who feel otherwise.

Paper doll outfits or dolls? That’s always the most complicated of questions, isn’t it?

Full color Popper Paper Doll
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