A Hanukkah Printable Paper Doll!

poppet-hannukah-logoHappy Hanukkah to everyone like me who is celebrating tonight! It’s the Sixth night of Hanukkah tonight and I’ll be lighting the candles in my window and saying my prayers at sundown. Some of you might be playing with this set of Poppet paper doll clothes.

I always tell myself I am going to do a Hanukkah paper doll and then I never seem to actually pull it off. This year I managed it. I chose the Poppets, because Hanukkah tends to be most celebrated by those with children. Plus the Poppets are dolls and I can imagine that dolls might be given as a gift and that seems fitting.

For the holiday, the Poppets have a sweater, tights with Stars of David on them, and a purple skirt trimmed in blue. Of course, they also have a menorah.

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A menorah is a candelabra that usually holds nine candles. Eight candles are for each night of Hanukkah, and the ninth candle, which stands usually taller than the others, is to light the eight candles. It is called the shamas. So, every night you say prayers, light the shamas and use it to light the other candles. Chabad has a nice FAQ about the holiday, if you want to know more.

Frankly, drawing a menorah is actually rather hard. I ended up drawing half of this one and then using photoshop to duplicate it. I don’t think it came out very well, but there is always next year.

I keep telling myself I will be organized enough to do something special over the holiday, like Julie at Paper Doll School does during her month of December post. I never seem to really get around to it. The Holidays are just such a busy time for me.

Again, maybe next year.

I hope that whatever holiday everyone is celebrating this time of the year (or no holiday, that’s cool too) is filled with friendship, family and fellowship.

Peach in the Park: A Victorian Printable Paper Doll

logo-peach-parkToday’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.

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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.

The Princess and the Frog: A Paper Doll Costume

poppet-princess-frog-logoI love fairy tales. I have always loved fairy tales. I have fond memories of, far past the point of being able to read complicated books, sitting in the library reading picture books of fairy tales. I love the lavish illustrations, but I also like reading many different versions of the same story. These days I still like doing that, but now I like learning why and where the different varients of Cinderella or the Twelve Dancing Princesses come from.

Today’s paper doll set is an ode to one of my favorite fairy tales. The Frog Prince or The Princess and the Frog, depending on which version you read. A princess loses her beautiful golden ball down a well and a frog retrieves it for her only if she will marry him. She agrees and then backs out of her promise. The story goes from there.

In the end, I think the moral is supposed to be “keep your promises” or “don’t judge on appearances”, but it could also be, “don’t drop your precious golden ball down a well.”

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Disney did an interesting adaption of the tale recently, but I will always picture the Princess how she was drawn by Walter Crane in the Frog Prince. Walter Crane is one of my favorite children’s illustrators. I was inspired by the pseudo-renaissance look for my own paper doll’s costume.

So, there is a frog, a golden ball, and a beautiful gown for the Princess. I am not much an animal artist, but I did my best to make my frog cute and palm sized. I always thought the Princess in the Frog Prince was a little spoiled, but then I suppose that’s just how fairy tales go sometimes.

Meet Paradisea: Printable Paper Doll

paradisea-logoToday’s printable paper doll is nearly the last of my 2014 backlog. Not to suggest I don’t have half finished paper dolls sitting around my hard drive waiting to be finished, because I have those dating back years and years, but this is the last piece of finished work from 2014.

It feels good to get her up and shared. I’m very pleased that the blog continues to chug along quite nicely. I got a lot of work done with my three day weekend. There will be some Buxom and Bodacious soon and a Pixie post, I think and some sketch book previews this week. All fun stuff.

Meanwhile, we have our latest Poppet paper doll here. She’s named Paradisea, one of the last of the P flower names that I have on file. I might have to switch to other names starting with P or to other flowers. I’m divided on which is a better solution.

I do love me my alliteration.

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Paradisea has a t-shirt and jeans. Her paper clothes are in the way color scheme as Petal’s clothing, allowing the dolls to mix and match. After all, paper doll friends should be able to share their clothes with each other.

Playing in Puddles: A Poppet Paper Doll Dress-Up Set

puddles-logoEmbarrassing confessions of a paper doll blog owner: I drew this set of clothes over a year ago. Over a year!

And I am just now posting them.

There is no good reason for this, except I sorta got wrapped up in other things. Never the less, here they are, just in time for snow rather than rain. Originally, I had planned on calling this set, “April Showers”. It is not april. April is a LONG way off.

In the meantime, I am calling it “Playing in Puddles” and I am very pleased with how these printable paper doll clothes turned out.

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Petal is modeling this set. She’s my latest Poppet paper doll and you can print her here, if you haven’t already. Of course, you can print all the Poppets and their clothes. I’m rather pleased to say that there are now 5 different Poppet dolls and six pages of Poppet clothing, not including the outfit that comes with each doll.

I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday time with family and friends.

Petal: A Printable Paper Doll of a Little Black Girl with Braids

petal-logoPetal is one of my new Poppet paper dolls. She’s got braids decorated with beads. When I lived in Illinois, the grocery store I usually shopped at was right next to a braiding place. The little girls coming out with their hair all braided and decorated with different colored beads were so cute. I chose white beads for Petal, since I thought those beads would match nearly anything.

Along with her braids, Petal has underwear, a skirt, a shirt and some shorts. I tried to base these clothes of things I’ve seen on the market for actual children. Since I don’t have kids of my own, I collect images of kids clothes on my Pinterest boards. Then I adapt them into paper dolls. I figure most people collect images for adapting into paper dolls. My image collections offer hints of things to come, though I have been known to keep projects on secret boards when I’m not sure I want them for public consumption.

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Meanwhile, I am working on polishing up my Search Engine Optimization. I don’t know much about this topic, but I have been trying to write better titles for my posts. Paper Thin Personas remains on the second page of Google search results for Printable Paper Dolls, a fact that I find increasingly frustrating. Oh well… I can’t win them all.

Also, in the realm of blog paper work, the Email Notification thingy on the sidebar should be back up and working. If you already signed up for email notifications when the site updates, you should be receiving them. If you’re not into email options, feel free to follow me on Twitter. I announce post updates there as well.

By the way, Happy Thanksgiving to anyone whose celebrating. I’ll be making pie today and getting green beans prepped.

Meet The New Poppet Paper Doll – Posey

poppets-posey-school-logoSo, here I am kicking off June with a new Poppet paper doll named Posey.

I’d originally intended to give all my Poppets flower names beginning with P; however, I find I am rather running out of them. The only other two I can think of are Pansy (which I would use, except for that fact that it’s a rather derogatory name for an effeminate man and I just don’t like the connotation) or Peony which I will use one day, but calling the Asian paper doll Peony seemed horribly stereotypical. So, this leaves me with Posey for our new paper doll.

Anyone know of any other P flower names? I suppose I could branch out (pardon the pun) into other P girl’s names or simply other flower names.

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Now, Posey’s outfit is based, very vaguely, on a some of the school uniforms I saw when I was studying in England, though it lacks the jacket. I drew the blouse first and I didn’t want to lose the sleeve detail by sticking it under a jacket.

Poor excuse, perhaps, but true none the less.

I confess that I’m not totally pleased with how the skin tone turned out… I recolored it at the last minute, because the other skin tone was horrible. Still, I don’t know how much I like it.

All in all, it’s really good to be back. 🙂

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.

Poppets… Princesses and Poppets…

logo-poppet-princess-in-tealSo… again with the channeling Kate Greenaway thing, also a little bit of Peakswoods (a Korean ball jointed doll company), their fairies of fairytales were one of the inspirations for the Poppets series in general. I have noticed a tendency for ball jointed dolls to be dressed in totally over the top ruffled outfits (like this Little Red Ridinghood ensemble), so there’s a little of that here as well. I have a few dresses in process for the Poppets that take that concept on in a more fluffy way.

This set was drawn to go along with my second poppet paper doll Primrose. The dress, cape and hat, are all in the same color scheme and therefore can be mixed and matched. I am particularly fond of her little button up boots with spats on them.

I realize now that I’ve mentioned Kate Greenaway twice and I probably should pause to say who she was. Greenaway was an artist whose work was published mostly between the 1870s and the 1890s. She drew idealic angelic looking children in pseudo-regency costumes. You can see scans of her work at the Digital Library of illuminated books.

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Last, but not least, I’d like to wish a very Merry Christmas to all my readers who celebrate it. I hope people have fun with family and friends today. I am with family myself and quite content.

Poppets in a Summer Daze

logo-poppet-summer-dazeYes, I know it’s like 30 degrees outside and there’s frost on the grass in the mornings and I’m wearing a wool coat, because I have finally acclimatized to the warmth of Alabama. And I don’t personally wish it was summer. I like the winter. I like the cold. I like rain and grey skys and falling leaves.

However, I also really like cute red-headed paper dolls with shorts and colorful t-shirts.

It was recently pointed out to me that of my white paper dolls, I have a disproportionate number of redheads. This is true. I love red hair. I think it’s wonderful. I don’t have redhair, but I envy people with red hair. Therefore my paper dolls get red-hair more often than perhaps is genetically normal.

Oh, I should mention that I have thought that the sunglasses would work really well and you could hook the two ends together behind the dolls head. When I tried this out, it totally didn’t work, so I recommend taping the ends together and slipping them over the dolls head. My paper engineering skills are in need of some work. I won’t lie about that.

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Seventh night of Hanukkah tonight. I love the end of Hanukkah when all the candles are lit and the menorah glow is so bright and beautiful. As a reminder, these paper dolls are scaled to print out as a half page, not a full page. You are welcome to have your printer scale them up, just be aware that every printer does that differently. 🙂