Monday, January 6, 2020

2019 Wrap Up and Review

Happy 2020! I hope everyone rang in a happy new year.  We spend New Year's with good friends every year.  This year, the four adults played board games while the three boys (10, 8, and 7) played video games & an epic game of hide and seek. Needless to say, it was fun!

Today I'm wrapping up unfinished projects and putting together a little year-in-review.  First up, I finished the last two pages of the 2019 collaboration project.

The first sheet is for November. The theme was "My Heritage".  Well, I can't say I have much of a heritage!  My family has been in New England for so long that any heritage disappeared ages ago.  On top of that, I'm English, Irish, and Scottish (mostly) and none of that was terribly exciting to me.  So I made two colonial style outfits to represent my old New England roots. The first is based on the reproductions worn at Plimouth Plantation. If you're in Massachusetts, I highly recommend going! It's great! The second outfit is more of an upper class English lady of about the same time. Remember, the colonists thought of themselves as English so this would have been totally appropriate.

This second sheet is for the theme "Snow Queen".  I tried really hard to avoid Elsa/Disney tropes.  They're fine, just not for me. So this is a vaguely Russian inspired snow queen. My goal for this was finished-not-perfect.  That's a tough concept: how do you complete something without making it perfect?! The way I understand it, "perfection" is constant nit-picking and really, that doesn't do anyone any good.  Sure, there are things I'd change but overall, it's ok. And it's done.

That's all of the old business.  If you only look at my blog, it looks like 2019 was a pretty dull year. I only managed 34 posts - my smallest number of posts ever. All of them black and white, oddly enough.  And I felt it in my visitor statistics! Fewer people visited the blog BUT I gained followers on both Instagram and Pinterest so that lower stat here is a little dubious.  Blogs in general are less popular than they once were. I enjoy mine and I'll keep at it til I don't.  The projects I did complete were big ones: the 100 Days of Paper Dolls (split into two sets of 50) and the 2019 Collaboration project.

And that's all the virtual stuff.  The reason why there were fewer posts here is because I did A LOT more real-world paper doll stuff. Here's the list of all that I can remember:
  • Attended my local paper doll party, spring & fall. Always a blast! Really fantastic people. If there's a paper doll group near you, join. It's wonderful. And if there isn't, start one! You might be surprised at what happens!
  • Attended Morgantown for the first time. I plan on going again this year and probably every year that I can. You can read about it here.
  • Because of Morgantown, I met the delightful, wonderful, amazing Jenny Taliadoros. I've been working on LOADS of fun stuff with her including issues 123, 124, and 125 of Paper Studio Magazine as well as issues 73, 74, and the upcoming issue 75 of Paperdoll Review Magazine.  Sometimes it's cleaning up art, sometimes it's creating title headers & graphics.  I'm a bit of a digital Jill-of-all-trades.  And, sometimes I help with editing and layout for other books, too. I could not be happier. It's a thrill to make already lovely art really shine.  
  • I also helped Jenny with two reproduction projects: Sugar N Spice and Mother Goose. Both are really adorable and I highly recommend them! 
  • On top of all of that, I released three books with Paper Studio Press!  
Jospehine's Wardrobe is a labor of love that was entirely reworked for this edition.  It's the absolute best version of this project and I'm so happy to have it available! 

Victorian Mix & Match is another rework.  And I'm glad I did! This needed a bit of work to get it into ideal shape. These two books are just so beautiful! Having a great editor can really make all of the difference and my art has improved immensely working with Jenny!

Finally, the best project of the year (in my opinion!) is Stripes! It's such a terrific concept and being able to work with David Wolfe is just beyond words. We both loved the project and we're hoping to work together again soon.

I guess I was busy in 2019! 

Moving forward, I have a few vague goals.  First, I want to revisit my Etsy shop. I haven't given it as much attention as I should.  I want to expand the download offerings as well as sell physical items including my books, prints, and anything else I can think of.  Secondly, I want to choose another project for the ol' blog. I'm kicking around some ideas so we'll see what happens.  Also, I plan on editing & coloring the 100 days set. AND if that isn't enough, I'm planning on going to Morgantown in May and the national Paper Doll Convention in July. I need to send that check over ASAP! There's also a book with Paper Studio Press in the works.

Wow! Is that it?! I think it is for today! Time to go percolate some blog ideas...

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

DAY 100!!!!

....and that's a wrap!

I managed to complete the 100 Days of Paper Dolls! It wasn't 100 consecutive days but I'm ok with that.   The point is this: I started it, I finished it, and I'm proud of that.  It's TOUGH and I very nearly did not complete it.  Honestly, I'm amazed by anyone who completes a 100 day challenge, etc. Even finishing half of it is a job well done in my opinion.

A special thanks to everyone who had words of encouragement. It really does make a difference!! At some point I'll color these and arrange them into something.  Just not sure what yet.

So Happy New Year from me to all of you out there! I'll have more posts & projects in January.  Not sure what or when, but it's coming.  See you in 2020!

Saturday, December 28, 2019

100 Days of Paper Dolls - Day 95

One more more page... I'm really hoping to get that last page finished.  You'd think that vacation would be the ideal time to wrap this up. Nope! Honestly, though, my husband is home for the same days as the kids and we've been doing stuff together. Paper dolls can wait!

Days 91-95 are on this sheet. 

Maybe I'll get up before everyone tomorrow and get that last sheet done. Maybe. And I do plan on finishing the collaboration pages.  That will probably be early January.  I just ran out of hours!

One more page...just one more...!!!!

Friday, December 20, 2019

100 Days of Paper Dolls - Day 90

Wow day 90! Didn't think it would EVER happen but I'm glad I went back to it. Sometimes taking a break is a good thing!

The reason these last two sets were posted so close together is because I drew them back-to-back. I posted one, decided to keep drawing, and managed to pull together today's sheet in about two hours.  That was very speedy for sure!

Today's sheet coordinates with this sheet. Somewhere along the way my numbering and posting got a bit tangled up.  That's fine. It all worked out!

Because my previous sheet had kind of a '40s vibe, I did that with this one, too. Two more sheets to go and then it's on to coloring these!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

100 Days of Paper Dolls - Day 85

THREE TO GO!! Ok, I'm pretty excited at the prospect of finishing this up.  Unfinished projects annoy me....!

This set is very weather appropriate - we've had a few snowstorms this year.  It's a nice change over last year where we had almost nothing.  Although there's some debate in my house about husband (who usually clears the driveway!) is not exactly a fan of the snow!

Fur is so fun to draw! And I love all things embroidered.  This set is meant to coordinate with this one from May. It'll be fun to see them all together at the end of this. 

Ok, back to the drawing board.  Three sheets to go!!

Friday, December 13, 2019

100 Days of Paper Dolls - Day 80

Any one else looking at their calendars and asking where December went?! I met up with a friend this week who said she hadn't seen me in ages. And I laughed because it's true!! From Thanksgiving until New Year's, my calendar is so jam-packed with doctor's appointments, school activities, parent-teacher conferences, and two birthdays ON TOP OF Christmas that I feel like I hardly have time to sleep! I know I'm not the only one, either.  It's a nutty time of year but I wouldn't trade it for anything.  Ok, maybe more coffee....

Today I have Day 80 of the 100 Days of Paper Dolls.

There isn't a whole lot to say about this one. I love ruffles, of course.  And I'm starting to get excited about coloring all of these pages. The end is in sight!

Speaking of color.... The ol' blog has been black & white all of this year! I didn't really mean to do that and I DO plan on having some color posts for next year! Gotta figure out what to do for next year.....!

Friday, December 6, 2019

100 Days of Paper Dolls - Days 66-75

As promised. I have two sheets for the second doll in the 100 Days project. My wrist is fine - it felt terrible most of Tuesday but I rested & here we are.

I've been trying to match the previous doll.  These two sheets are based on this one and this one. When I create a "matching" set like the back half of this 100 Days project, I try not to make an exact match.  Rather, I try to take details and broad ideas from one set and apply it to the second. In the 66-70 sheet, I wanted to repeat the angular yoke, stirrup leggings, ruffles, and vest of the previous set.  With the 71-75 sheet, I wanted to repeat the lace, ruffles, hairpiece, and jacket.  Some of these are more successful than others and that's ok. I'm not crazy about the ruffled skirt on the left...but then again, I wasn't crazy about the one it's based on so that makes sense.  I don't think of this as final, either.  I like to tinker!

By my estimation, there are 4 more sheets to come.  So watch for those!