Thursday, December 31, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Mrs Claus, Outfit 15

Happy New Year's Eve!  And thank you for checking out this Santa and Mrs Claus paper doll series.  It's been a really satisfying challenge and I'm so happy with how they all came out.

There have been 30 outfits, 2 dolls, and a lot of original assets created just for this project.  I'll be expanding this set a little bit and putting together a book.  When that's finished, I'll share it here.

I also have the pdf completed and you can download it here. The pdf is 33 pages & it's fairly large so it'll take a bit to download.  There are actually two sets of dolls -- the cover features a Santa and Mrs Claus that are exactly the same as the dolls.  I suggest printing this on matte photo paper or cardstock.

I really hope everyone enjoyed this set. I know I enjoyed making it.  And I really appreciate all of the kind words about this set (and every set, really).  I think of these December paper dolls as a way of saying thank you to everyone who reads my little blog all year long.  I'm looking forward to more posts in 2016!

Even though tomorrow is a Friday and I normally post a fashion doll on Fridays, I will not be posting one this week.  Check in next week for regular posts.

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Santa Claus, Outfit 15

Today I have Santa's last outfit.  I wanted a Victorian style formal coat for his New Year's outfit.  I didn't realize until I started posting them that all of the post-Christmas outfits were primarily green.

I also really wanted half spectacles on at least one of the Santa outfits.  This has sort of a 19th century Rockefeller or Carnegie kind of feel.  (Fun fact: the first college I went to consisted of several 19th century mansions, including Andrew Carnegie's. It's a gorgeous campus!!)

It also feels a little steampunk to me.  Some day I'll do a proper steampunk set!

The tabs on the hat might work on their own.  If not, I've included a back to glue on.

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Mrs Claus, Outfit 14

Creating two matching paper dolls simultaneously can be a challenge.  Naturally, one outfit comes first.  In this case, the dress came before Santa's suit.  And it's been a bit back & forth with this project.  Sometimes Santa's outfit came first, sometimes Mrs Claus's came first.

The most difficult part of this dress was shading the ruffles.  Not drawing them -- I think I have that pretty much figured out.  I tried to avoid gradients with this project.  I wanted simple lines & simple shapes overall.  But I'm also a firm believer of using the correct tool for the job.  I used subtle gradients to shade the ruffles & it seemed to work here.  The pattern on the dress is the same as the pattern on the base doll.  I liked it & wanted to use it again.

Tomorrow is the beginning of the end of this project.  Two more outfits to go....

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Monday, December 28, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Santa Claus, Outfit 14

It's almost New Year's and I thought, with his work completed for the year, Santa Claus might like to settle into a little vacation with Mrs Claus.  Maybe go to a party or two.

This was inspired by a Santa Claus and Mrs Claus set of figurines.  They're posed like they're dancing and I really liked it.  I didn't want a red suit, so I went with a more formal black. The set of dolls had a striped bow, but I really wanted to keep this a little simpler.

The dress for Mrs Claus tomorrow is great! Wait til you see it!

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Mrs Claus, Outfit 13

Today is the Mrs Claus companion paper doll that goes with my Holly King Santa Claus from yesterday.  There isn't a Holly Queen or anything.  Women are a massive part of Neopagan religions and I hope no one takes offense at my Mrs Claus.  I like the way she came out and you can call her whatever you want.  She'd definitely got a woodland feel, too, if you'd rather have that theme.

I didn't post these paper doll outfits in the order that I drew them but I posted them in an order that seemed to make sense thematically.  I knew the workshop set would be last, that the traditional set would be for Christmas day, and that there will be a formal set for New Year's Eve.  What I didn't realize was that the post-Christmas doll outfits are all green and Mrs Claus is sporting a lot of muffs! Muffs seem to give these outfits an old-fashioned, vintage feel that I just love.

Two more outfit sets to go and then I'll have the pdf available!

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Santa Claus, Outfit 13

I hope everyone had a happy Christmas, or whatever you celebrate.  We're pretty secular around my house, truthfully.  This is the only time of year I miss the Church at all.  But it would be a bit hypocritical of me to go to midnight mass once a year for a faith I left ages ago.  I think the Church and all religion are fine institutions.  They just didn't offer what I was looking for.

On that note, here's a Holly King.

The Holly King is part of a Neopagan idea where two entities represent different aspects of nature.  The Holly King rules one half of the year, from Midsummer to the Winter Solstice while the Oak King rules the opposite half.  You can read more about it here.  As some of you may know, I've scheduled these posts ahead of time to free up my December so I can spend it with my family.  As I write this, the day is Yule, the Winter Solstice, where the Holly King reaches the height of his power again.  Seems appropriate to me!

You could also just call this another woodland Santa and I'd be ok with that, too.

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Friday, December 25, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Mrs Claus, Outfit 12

Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate it.  It's a big day around our house -- we have a 6 year old and an almost 4 year old.  Christmas is truly a joy with kids.  We start our morning with stockings, cinnamon rolls, a little John Denver, and copious amounts of coffee.  Oh yeah, and presents followed by a trip to Nana's house.  Just how I spent my Christmas as a kid!

This outfit was inspired a bit by "White Christmas", one of my favorite Christmas movies.  I love Danny Kaye SO much.  I could just make Christmas movie themed paper dolls -- how fun would that be?!

Check back in tomorrow for more outfits!

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Santa Claus, Outfit 12

Happy Christmas Eve! I debated about which set to have today -- Santa or Mrs Claus -- and decided to go with Santa.  This is a busy day for him, after all.

After making so many fancy, whimsical, creative costumes this month, I wasn't really looking forward to a "traditional" Santa.  I spruced it up a bit with a subtle tree pattern and a cute little holly pin.

Check in tomorrow for Mrs Claus.  And remember, I'm running this through the end of the month and there are a few more terrific costumes coming after Christmas.

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Mrs Claus, Outfit 11

Before I post the outfit, I just want to say happy birthday to my husband.  He never reads my blog (which is totally fine -- it's a bit outside his interests!) but he is a steadfast supporter.  He constantly encourages my art and for that, I am forever grateful.  So happy birthday, Mr Matthews.  We're having a Super Mario party and ice cream cake, which you would know if you read this :)

Is it wrong that I want her bag?! It's great and I want one.  This is one of my favorite sets.  So far, I think it's the woodland set, the Renaissance set, and this as my top three.  Though it's hard to pick favorites when they're all my "babies".

For Christmas Eve & Christmas day, I have more traditional Santa outfits, so check in tomorrow for that! 

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Santa Claus, Outfit 11

It feels good to follow up the blah blue woodland set with this set.  I really like this set.  It's another one that may inspired a tutorial next year.  I don't think there are a lot of paper doll artists who use Illustrator, bu the techniques I use are not just for making paper dolls!

Much like the Father Frost/Russian set, this is not a strict expression of any national costume.  It's inspired by Scandinavian/Lappland/Sami dress and cultures without really being a strict example of any of them.

The flowers are awesome! I almost used a folk flower motif I created a while back but thought the better of it.  It would have worked but this is way better.  The snowshoe came out better than I expected it would, too, so I'm happy with that.  The hat hasn't been tested yet, but it should work.

Tomorrow, Mrs Claus has a great coordinating outfit.  I'm excited to share it!

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Monday, December 21, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Mrs Claus, Outfit 10

Like I said yesterday, these are not my favorite outfits.  Unlike yesterday, I like this reindeer.  I created some Christmas illustrations and this was one of the pieces I drew for that.  I liked it then & I like it now.

This outfit, too, is a little bland. That hand reaching out for the reindeer took a few tries, even after sketching it on paper first.  It works ok here, I think.

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Santa Claus, Outfit 10

I had an amazing art teacher in high school.  She really influenced my art and the way I think about art.  One thing she taught us was to be self-critical.  Not in a negative way, but in an objective way.  She wanted us to see our work as a process to be improved upon, always.

If I were filling in one of her self-critique forms, I would have some choice things to say about this set.

Every series has a weak link.  I think this blue woodland set is it for me.  Not that it's bad, just that it needs some improvement.  The reindeer doesn't look quite right to me and the outfit is kinda boring.  I like the filigree pattern and the notched trim.  But overall, it's kinda bland.  And that's ok.  It just means that I have more to learn.  We all have more to learn.  When I get cocky and less than humble, my art suffers.  I also rushed this pair of outfits and that's never good.

Mrs Claus is slightly better so look for that tomorrow.

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Mrs Claus, Outfit 9

We're a little more than halfway through this series.  I'm running this all month, not just til Christmas.  And if I had to pick a favorite today, this would be it, easily.

I love the colors and the way the fur came out.  I drew that bunny specifically for this set, but honestly, I want to use it everywhere!! Tell me that isn't the cutest little bunny ever?! The fox was from a previous project, but I used it here for the contrast.  I like the way it adds a little color.

Tomorrow I have another woodland set (sort of) in blues.  Check back in for that!

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Friday, December 18, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Santa Claus, Outfit 9

I hope everyone liked the nautical themed Santa & Mrs Claus.  The beach set was really fun, too.

Today I have a woodland themed Santa outfit. I tend to scribble notes on my sketches.  This set had "BLUE" scribbled all over the place.  Is this set blue?

Nope.  Sure isn't blue.

And I'm very happy about that.

Sometimes plans change and I really just didn't feel like blue here.  I really liked the rich woodland colors.  And that owl!  I drew that in Illustrator primarily with the pencil tool.  That's really become my favorite tool in Illustrator, especially on the Surface.  It feels like regular old pencil & paper and I love it. The stitching looks more complicated than it is.  I'd really like to do a series of tutorials based on the whole Santa set.  I used a lot of tricks & shortcuts that could be useful to other Illustrator users.

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Mrs Claus, Outfit 8

Today I've got another nautical inspired outfit.  Mrs Claus is sporting a comfy cable knit sweater with toggle buttons, perfect for the winter seaside.  I love sweaters like this so I figured, why not?!

Aside from that, there isn't a whole lot to say about this one.  I LOVE how the wreath came out and the pin was a last minute addition that I like a lot, too. Tomorrow is a totally different theme so look for that!

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Santa Claus, Outfit 8

Continuing on the ocean theme, today I have a nautical inspired Santa.  I'm lucky to be pretty centrally located in New England.  I have easy access to the mountains and oceans alike.  I can't say that I've ever seen a wardrobe like this, but it feels like something I'd see in Gloucester.

I've also always loved the Christmas song I Saw Three Ships (Come Sailing In). It's not a really common Christmas song, but I remember singing it as a kid.  Maybe some of my ancestors in 18th century Amesbury, Massachusetts Bay Colony sang it around their hearth. I'd like to think so anyway.

The hat should work.  Again, I haven't tested this set yet.  Tomorrow is Mrs Claus in her nautical outfit.

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Mrs Claus, Outfit 7

First of all, today is a big day in our house.  My oldest son is 6 today.  It's crazy how quickly it goes by.  He was two when I started this blog, and his brother was a newborn.  I started doing this to fill the time while they napped.  Now, he's in Kindergarten and wants to be an artist like mommy and a scientist like daddy. I love my kiddos to pieces.  Happy birthday Noah :)

Anyway.... Mrs Claus needs some beach wear!

Let me just say, that hat was tough.  I'm still not totally happy with it but it'll do.  My maternal grandmother calls pants like these "clam diggers".  I don't know if that's actually a thing or not, but that's what I thought of while drawing these.  My two grandmothers could not be more different from each other, but that's a story for another day....!

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Monday, December 14, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Santa Claus, Outfit 7

Next up, something completely different!

It's easy to think of Christmas as a winter holiday, full of snowy landscapes and such.  And that's true for some of us.  But for others, Christmas is a summer holiday!  Today's Santa paper doll outfit is some beach wear.

Maybe Santa's on vacation.  Maybe it's Christmas in Australia.  Or some other warm place.  You know, like Boston this year.  Seriously, it's been in the 60s lately and I don't know what to think.  Better than the February storms we had, I suppose.

Tomorrow we'll see Mrs Claus in her beach wear!

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Mrs Claus, Outfit 6

Next in my Renaissance pair is Mrs Claus.  Like I mentioned yesterday, I didn't really want just a bunch of red and green and call it done.  One of the things I love about these Renaissance dolls is the color scheme.  I wanted rich gold tones and earthier reds & greens. I've been very aware of color schemes as I've shopped this holiday season and it's nice to see a move away from just red and green.

I'm not going to pretend that either of my Renaissance outfits are in any way historically accurate.  The necklace was created with a gemstone Illustrator brush I developed ages ago.  That's got to be the thing I love most about Illustrator is the ability to use and reuse things as needed.

The ruff was hand-drawn specifically for the Renaissance dolls.  I picked up a stylus and drew directly on my screen so yes, I'm calling it hand-drawn.  I find the lines between "traditional" and digital media have really blurred for me.  If I draw it with a pencil and paper is it any more hand-drawn than if I use a stylus on a screen? Or a stick in the sand at the beach? Or any other way of making marks?  I don't think so, anyway.

Tomorrow's set is going to be a completely different them.  My husband laughed when I showed him the next set.  A good laugh, not something malicious, so there's that.  Check in tomorrow.

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Santa Claus, Outfit 6

One of the goals for this project was to stretch a theme as far as possible.  I didn't want a bunch of boring variations of red & green and call it a Santa Claus series.  So I researched. A lot.  I'll open up my Pinterest inspiration board when the doll is complete.  Showing everyone my inspiration in advance is no fun :)

Today we have a Renaissance themed Santa Claus.

Another one of my goals was to create as much from scratch as was reasonable, from patterns to brushes to shapes.  All of it if I could.  I sometimes rely a little too much on awesome patterns I find out in the world.  The pattern on the coat started as a drawing on a folded piece of paper (for symmetry).  I took a photo of it, opened it in Illustrator, and drew directly over it with the pencil tool.  Then, I fiddled with the drawing, reflected it to get the right side of the tree (I had drawn the left), merged it together, and created a repeating pattern.  That *sounds* like a lot of work.  It really only took about an hour and now I have a nice little tree pattern forever.  Totally worth it!

A note about the hat: I haven't done a test cut of these.  I'm pretty sure it'll work.  If it doesn't, let me know and I'll tinker with it.

Also, Mrs Claus will have a fantastic Renaissance gown tomorrow.  Just so you know :)

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Friday, December 11, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Mrs Claus, Outfit 5

Yesterday's outfit was a Russian inspired Santa based very loosely on Father Frost.  I discovered that Father Frost usually has a female companion, the Snow Maiden.  Typically, she's his granddaughter.  Clearly this was not going to work for my project.

Instead, I tried to create a Russian inspired Mrs Claus and avoid the maiden concept altogether.  There are some really beautiful depictions of the Snow Maiden.  I'll open up my Santa Pinterest board at the end of this project so that everyone can see my influences. Here, my Mrs Clause is holding a lantern.  Maybe she's help lighting Santa/Father Frost's way through the snow.

Check back in tomorrow for the next Santa outfit!

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Santa Claus, Outfit 5

I don't know about anyone else, but December is flying by! I hope whatever winter holiday you celebrate, it's a happy one.  I have a tendency to focus on Christmas because that's what we celebrate in my house.

Initially, this project was going to be a series of international Santas.  I found that a bit limited and couldn't find nearly as much source material as I would have liked.  One of the themes that I took away from that initial research is the basis of today's Santa paper doll outfit: Father Frost.

According to Wikipedia, Father Frost is a Slavic pre-Christian winter wizard.  He's taken on some Santa Claus attributes in recent history.  Check out the article -- it's an interesting read.

I've mentioned before that my husband's family has a Russian and generally Slavic background.  I find it fascinating.  I love family history and researching his branch has been very difficult but very interesting.  I really wanted to do a Russian inspired Santa because of this.

Tomorrow is a Russian inspired Mrs Claus.  She came out pretty great and I'm eager to share!

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Mrs Claus, Outfit 4

Yesterday I shared Santa in his plaid jacket.  Today I have Mrs Claus in her plaid cape.

This cape is loosely based on capes from Johnson Woolen Mills in Vermont.  Really, just go visit.  The building is old and creaky and amazing.  I haven't been in years, but Dad and I keep talking about taking my boys to get their first Johnson Woolen jackets.  We'll make a family trip of it one of these days.

The other influence for is Armstreet.  They have the most amazing fantasy, Ren-Faire, historical revival clothing.  I could just make an Armstreet inspired paper doll and be blissfully happy.

 So there it is, Mrs Claus in plaid.  Right-click to grab it now or wait for the pdf at the end of the month.

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Santa Claus, Outfit 4

Ok, we're back on track today.  Sorry about that little mix up!

Today we have the first of what I call hunter plaid, but recently found out is actually called "buffalo check" or "buffalo plaid".  I'm not sure of its origins -- that's another project for another day.  The reason I always thought of it as hunter plaid is because that's what all of the hunters in my home state of Vermont wore during hunting season.  My father wears the red & black while one of my grandfather's wears green & black.  If you're ever in New England, go to Johnson Woolen Mills. I have my own Johnson Woolen hunting jacket (it was too small for my dad) and I love it. Warmest jacket I own and might end up being multi-generational.  It's built that well! Anyway, Johnson Woolen is an institution and was the inspiration for this set of outfits. 

Tomorrow, Mrs Claus is sporting her plaid outfit.  I need to add sewing to my list of things to learn.  I'd LOVE to make myself a quilt from Johnson Woolen flannel fabrics.  There's always time to learn!

Feel free to right-click to download this and I'll have the pdf at the end of the month!

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Monday, December 7, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Mrs Claus, Outfit 3

Our lasso-wielding country cowboy Santa needs a square dancing Mrs Claus, don't you think?

I sure do!

For those of you who don't know, one of my hobbies (my husband says obsession...!) is family history research.  I'm incredibly lucky to have all four of my grandparents at the ripe old age of 35.  My father's parents are great-great grandparents with 5 living generations!  As a result of this hobby, I ask a lot of questions about my family.  Apparently my father's parents were square dancers in their rural Vermont town in the 1960s.  That was my inspiration here.

I don't know if this is actually a square dancer's dress but that was the inspiration.  Not only did I create the pattern for this one, but I created the lace edge brush, too.  If anyone is interested in Illustrator, I'd be happy to write up a tutorial about how to make brushes.  It's fun and pretty easy.

Right-click and download today with a pdf of the collection coming at the end of the month.

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Mrs Claus, Outfit 2

Sorry about the out-of-sequence posting.  This is what happens when I try to post too far in advance, I guess.

Today we'll finish up the whimsical costumes with Mrs Claus and get back in sequence on Monday.

I can't believe I skipped over this one considering how cute it is!  One of the nice things about working in vector is that I can use & reuse parts for older projects without any loss of resolution. I developed some curls for a doll ages ago and I haven't drawn them again since!  I copy & recolor the curls and it's a huge time saver.  And I love those curls, so I use them every chance I get!

I'll try to be more careful about posting in sequence now.... We'll finish up with a cowgirl Mrs Claus tomorrow and a new set of costumes on Monday.  You can right-click and save these images, and then grab the pdf at the end.

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Santa, Outfit 3

Edit: I realized too late that these sets were out of sequence! I'll fix it for tomorrow & get back on track, in order, by Monday!

And the Santa paper dolls continue!   Next up are country cowboy Santa and Mrs Claus.  I decided this year (since this project isn't ambitious enough) to create all of my patterns and brushes in Illustrator.  Unless I can't figure it out, like the rope. I have a great rope brush and I'm not big on reinventing the wheel.

The Christmas tree pattern, however, is all mine.  And that hat! I drew these all out on paper first and that really helped to get the hat right.  Sometimes I see something or try something and suddenly it clicks.  It finally makes sense.  And that's what happened with this hat.  I might draw cowboy hats with every set now!!

So here's out country cowboy Santa, lasso and all.  You can right-click and save this image and they will be a pdf at the end.  Enjoy!

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Friday, December 4, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Santa, Outfit 2

First, thanks for all of the kind words!  It's nice to see that everyone is as excited about this as I am.

After the workshop outfits, I thought it would be a radical and fun change of pace to have a whimsical Santa and Mrs Claus.  In order to make this truly whimsical, I used a bunch of different patterns in the same color schemes.  The bells really make this outfit for me.

So, right-click and download this and remember to pick up the pdf at the end of the month.

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Mrs Claus, Outfit 1

Did you love Santa's workshop outfit?  Me too!  It's no secret that I find drawing clothing for boys & men a bit challenging.

Today, Mrs Claus has her workshop outfit.  Do you know any tough ladies? I do!  This outfit reminds me of my grandmother.  She's 85 and single-handedly cares for my disabled grandfather.  She grew up during the Depression, wandered around the East Coast with my grandfather during his short career as a Marine, gave birth to her oldest son at home because the hospital was too far away, and generally did whatever it took to manage life in rural Vermont.  She's still there, just chugging away.  Gram has got spunk to spare, and that's how I feel about Mrs Claus's outfit today.

This reminds me a bit of World War II, with women working in the factories.  A bit of a Christmas Rosie the Riveter I guess! 

A note about these dolls:  I find it easiest to right-click, select View Image, and then save it from there.  There will be a pdf at the end, too.

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Santa, Outfit 1

I hope you all enjoyed seeing the paper dolls yesterday!  The outfits are fantastic, too.  Trust me.

Today is the first of the outfits.  I'll post Santa's outfit on one day, and Mrs Claus's outfit on the next.  Each has the same theme.

The theme for today & tomorrow is Santa's workshop.  I thought that would be a good way to start the month.  I mean, Santa's probably putting the finishing touches on Christmas presents.  It's only the first of the month after all.
For anyone who is interested in process, here's the sketch I worked from.  It gives you a bit of a preview of Mrs Claus's outfit tomorrow!

Right-click to save and download.  I'll have a pdf wrap-up at the end! Enjoy!

If you're looking for the dolls, you can grab them here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December Paper Doll -- Santa Claus and Mrs Claus Paper Dolls

Today's the day!  I gotta say, this is the most excited I've ever been about the December paper doll project.  This one is awesome!

Last summer, I spent some time sketching at playgrounds while my sons played.  I like to draw during the summer and process those drawings in the fall & winter. I took these sketches & turned them into vectors for an entirely different project.  I liked them so much I thought, why not make a paper doll?!

Once the vectors were complete, I sketched out 15 different themed outfit sets for Santa and Mrs Claus.  These are super rough sketches.  I just needed enough to work with in Illustrator. This is a sketch of the bodies and rough outline of the themes.  I tend to write notes to myself -- it can be years between sketch & final project!  I already had the heads from the previous project.  That's one of the great advantages to working in vectors: infinite scale.  I can make these billboard sized or postage stamp sized without any loss of resolution.

I'll share some of the rough sketches each day with the outfit posts.  I originally thought of this as an international Santa project but it expanded beyond that.  None of these are really specific to a culture or country, but more of an homage to different cultures.

So each day this month, I'll share either Santa or Mrs Claus.  At the end, I'll post a pdf so you can grab the whole set.  You can right-click and download each doll/outfit every day.

Here they are!  I totally, absolutely LOVE how these came out.  They print nice & large, too, and shouldn't be too difficult to cut out, even for younger paper doll fans.  Come back tomorrow for the first outfit of the series!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Toddler Fashion Friday - Black and White Round 4

Happy Friday!  I'll admit that I totally forgot it was Friday.  And so the holiday blur begins....

As promised, I have the final installment of the black & white toddler paper dolls.  My nieces and I colored & cut these at Thanksgiving and it was great!  And my mom made some suggestions that I need to think about.  There may be some minor modifications in the future.

I also promised a preview of the December paper doll.

Here it is! These are some of the sketches for Santa and Mrs Claus.  I have the dolls & first week or so of out fits ready to go.  That might be a new record for me!  It's coming along beautifully and I think this will be the best December doll yet.

Here are the two toddlers -- right-click to download & print.  I noticed while printing and cutting these yesterday that there are some discrepancies among these dolls that I want to fix.  It's pretty much just color differences and it's making me crazy.  I'll fix those before I share a pdf. 

Anyway, I'll start posting the December dolls on the 1st.  Mark your calendar :)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the US (or celebrating abroad...)!  Apparently, I've only ever had one Thanksgiving paper doll posting. You can find it here.

So this year I'm sharing a black & white coloring page version of the Thanksgiving paper doll.  It's part of the now-defunct Paper Janes project.  I'm trying to decide if I want to try having a paper doll store with downloads as well as selling books online.  As of today, I'm still undecided.  We'll see what happens.

Speaking of books, shop from your pjs or stretchy pants today!! There are some awesome coupons on the home page.  Grab one of my paper dolls book for the holidays :)

Here are two Thanksgiving paper doll coloring pages.  These will fit the previous Thanksgiving paper doll as well.  Right-click to download & print.  Have a festive, family-filled, and fun Thanksgiving! 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Toddler Fashion Friday - Black and White Round 3

We're at the halfway point of these black and white toddler paper dolls!  Having these prepared in advance has allowed me a little extra time to create the December paper doll series.  It's a good one and I'm really excited to share it!! It's Santa and Mrs. Claus and the sketches came out great!

For today, here are the dolls.

I'll admit, between the Santa paper doll, client work, and family stuff, I've been pretty busy.  If I haven't gotten to comments/emails, etc, I will soon.

Next week I'll have the last black & white toddlers and a preview of the Santa paper doll.  Til then, have a great week!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Toddler Fashion Friday - Black and White Round 2

This month is going by way too fast for me.  We already have our first party of the season -- it's an early Thanksgiving party with some extended family.

And so it begins....

I haven't actually started my December doll yet. I have some sketches started & should be able to get started on it next week.  I'm trying to get a jump on the holidays, but my best intentions don't always work out.  We have Thanksgiving, two birthdays, and 4 Christmas celebrations every year and ANY jump I can get on the chaos is a help!

Today's dolls are black & white toddlers.  I mentioned last week that I'll have a pdf round up after these are all posted.

I assume that people print & color these, but that may not be the case.  If you decide to color these digitally, here's what I recommend.  Set the doll on its own layer and set it to Multiply.  Color on the layer underneath.  Just about every digital art program, whether Photoshop or something else, will have this option.  I have grey shadows that blend nicely when set to multiply.

Anyway, enjoy the dolls.  There are two more sets coming up this month!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Toddler Fashion Friday - Black and White Round 1

For the month of November, I'll be posting black & white toddler paper dolls to color.  Part of this is because I know coloring dolls are popular and part of it is to buy myself some time to work on the December paper doll.  The December doll takes a lot of time & effort and I have a love/hate relationship with it! I keep coming back to it, so clearly the "love" part wins out!

Each Friday in November, I'll post a girl and boy to color.  At the end of the month, I'll have a pdf of the complete set.  You can right-click and save each image to print & color until then.

When I design paper dolls in Illustrator, I create them in full color so going back & making them black and white takes some time. I leave the grey shading and I probably shouldn't.  I just can't have plain old lines for some reason....

You can grab other black and white sets here and here!

So next week, more of the same.  Have fun coloring!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Akinyi and Friends Paper Doll Book

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Masquerade paper doll project.  It came out great and I would LOVE to do another collaboration!

On Halloween, I got a treat of my own -- my proof copy of Akinyi and Friends: A Mix and Match Paper Doll Book.   I learned my lesson with the last paper doll book debacle and ordered a proof copy immediately after creating the book! 

Here are the front and back covers.  I really liked the watercolor background and wanted to include it here.  The dolls are slightly smaller than the ones I posted on the blog.  They needed to fit better on an 8.5 by 11 page.

I also included a preview on the title page.  I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner...!  The preview includes some of the new wardrobe I developed specifically for the book.

For this book edition, I included  4 new full-color wardrobe pages and 3 coloring pages.  The book came out great!  Here are a couple of pictures of my copy.

I'm really excited with the way this book came out.  I may revisit these dolls in another book at some point. Creating a mix and match wardrobe with a limited color palette was a challenge and I'm really glad I did it.

You can grab your copy here and it'll will be on soon, too.  So will the Fairy Tale and Ghoulish Girls books.

For the month of November, I'll be posting black & white toddler dolls to color.  And I need to get started on the December doll....! Check back Friday for the toddlers!!