Monday, June 25, 2018

June Paper Doll - Set 2

I have NOT abandoned this project! That's the first thing I want to say.

Secondly, June got busy! A field trip, two field days at school, a week of volunteering at the school, a kindergarten performance, Father's Day, a birthday, and two doctor visits and I am TIRED! The month really just got away from me.  OH! And two big paper doll projects that I'm still working on & I'll share as soon as they're ready.

My plan is to ramp up and get as much of the June doll ready & posted this week. There's also a collaboration set going up on Friday so look for that. In the meantime, here's the second June sheet:

The themes for this set were all over the place! "Fish" is a set of leggings. "Orange" is a crop top.  "Southwest" is a patterned top with turquoise accessories.  "Cookies" was a tough theme and I went with a patterned blouse.  "Stickers" was another tough one and I went with patches on a skirt - that's kind of a sticker, right?! And finally "peacock" is a crazy beaded flapper dress and matching headband.  That last one is easily my favorite on this sheet & I really should do a whole series of crazy beaded flapper dresses!

So look for loads of posts this week as I attempt to catch up!

Friday, June 8, 2018

June Paper Doll - Set 1

It's time for another monthly paper doll set! This is the sixth month (!!!!!) of this project and I am amazed that it's still going! I have two commissions I'm working on, volunteering at the school, taking care of my kids & my grandmother, preparing for summer with the kids home, AND somehow managing to get this project done.  Pretty proud of myself at the moment.  I even found time to protest the atrocious school budget in my city.  But that's not relevant here...!

The June paper doll wardrobe is designed for the February doll.  I'm not trying to coordinate colors across months but I do think this set will mix rather well with February, even if that was accidental!

Again, as with the whole year, I'm working from prompts provided by @ellolovey ( Instagram and Facebook).  This is the whole list if you'd like to follow along.

First up is "donut" and I think that's fairly obvious! Then there's "trail" - I made a dress with a map of a portion of the Appalachian Trail. "Neon" is a very 80s cocktail dress and puffy, highlighted hair style. "Accessory" is a simple dress with an elaborate collar necklace & cuff bracelets. Next on the list is "strawberries" and that's a printed button down shirt with a cardigan.  And finally, "gardening" is a set of overalls, rainboots, and gloves.  I've noticed as the year goes by that some of the themes are reused -- and that's fine! It's great to think about the same idea in a different way.

I'll have the next set ready sometime next week! Enjoy!!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

May Paper Doll - Set 5

I realize it's June but I really wanted to get this last May wardrobe sheet up! I'm starting the June set and I'll get that up when I can.  This week is a bit hectic - our small city is having a school budget crisis and I plan on participating in a public rally this week.  Hopefully it'll get resolved soon.  Education is really important to me & we have an amazing, dedicated staff that deserves our community's support.

Ok, rant over. On to the paper doll!

The last round of themes were fun.  "Waves" is a dress with a wave pattern. "Camping" is a set of camping gear.  "Turtles" is a set of patterned pants.  With "bright" I decided to go with bright as in intelligent so I made a lab coat.  "Laundry" is a very full laundry basket.  And "poolside" is a two piece bathing suit in the same pattern as the sarong & one piece suit from previous sheets.

So that's it for May.  Also, in case you haven't heard, I contributed to the Seattle Paper Doll Convention souvenir set! There's a newsletter with ordering information here if you're interested!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

May Paper Doll - Set 4

It's the last day of May & I wanted to get at least one more of the May sets posted.  I have one more to go!! It's been a busy month and it's only getting busier! Time to get more organized....

The themes for this week were fun! First, "strawberry" is a retro shorts set.  "Mix" was a theme for January AND May - this time, I went with a patchwork jacket.  "Geometric" is a 1960s inspired color blocked dress.  "Brunch" was tough so I went with a light, airy California inspired off-shoulder top and linen pants.  "Palm" is a bathing suit that matches set 4's sarong skirt.  And "snail" is a cute purse.

I'm going to make every effort to get the last May set up quickly.  I've got a couple of other things I'm working on and summer vacation looming....! Ah! Back to drawing...

Friday, May 25, 2018

Paper Doll Collaboration 2018 - Animals

It's that time again! I honestly cannot believe how fast this year is going by... I feel like I have an endless list of things that need to get done & they all need to get done yesterday!! Summer vacation is looming, projects need to be completed.... It's good to be busy!

Today's collaboration doll theme was animals or pets. I'm not a pet owner or, honestly, much of an animal lover. Just not my thing.  So for today's theme, I went with a retro inspired animal print set.

I confess, the hands on this are not perfect. They're ok and I'm sure I'm being unduly harsh!

For more of this month's theme, visit Paper Thin Personas and Miss Missy's Paper Dolls!

Monday, May 21, 2018

May Paper Doll - Set 3

Seems like Monday is the ideal day for me to post these May wardrobe sheets! I really didn't plan it that way but it's working out nicely.

Not a whole lot to say about this round.  "Mom" is a retro dress & apron.  "Camera" is a very artsy black turtle neck and camera -- I'm super happy with how that camera came out! For "stack" I have a layered shirt and a layered necklace.  "Balloon" features a pattern from Julia Dreams -- a design shop I like quite a bit.  "Grass" is a graphic skirt....although I sort of wish I had gone Hawaiian with that instead! "Market" is a light jacket and shopping bag.  And finally, "purple" is a tropical sarong and top.  That one doesn't mean a whole lot in black and white! There are also a couple of hairstyles and a pair of shorts to round it out.

And that's it! I'll work on the next set and get that up soon.

Monday, May 14, 2018

May Paper Doll - Set 2

Happy Monday! I hope all of the moms who celebrate Mother's Day had a quiet, relaxing day! I spent the day with my parents, all of my grandparents, and my sister and her family.

Today's set covers May 7 through 12.  The themes this time were: box, medicine, patio, city, stork, and tea.

For "box", I went with a simple box pleat skirt for mix & match options.  "Medicine" is a set of scrubs.  "Patio" is a maxi skirt with fun palm leaves.  "City" was challenging - I went with a bright jumpsuit and dark sunglasses.  "Stork" is a patterned skirt.  And "tea" also features a patterned skirt.

I'll get started on Set 3 and get that up as soon as I can!

Monday, May 7, 2018

May Paper Doll - Set 1

Happy May everyone! I wanted to get this up on Friday but it didn't happen.  There's a TON of stuff I'm working on at the moment -- much of it paper doll related but not blog-worthy yet.

Today's set is the first wardrobe sheet for May.  As promised, I went back to the January doll and you can find that here. Here's the list of themes for this month:

As with all of the drawing prompts, this set is from @ellolovey on Instagram and Facebook.

For this set, I'm tackling the first six themes: simple, robot, self-love, galaxy, and key.

"Simple" is sleeveless dress.  "Robot" is some funky leggings and a graphic t-shirt.  "Self-love" was tough.  I decided to put some lilacs (my favorite flower) on a blouse.  "Galaxy" was fun! The black and white version is plain and boring, but the color was came out great! "Key" features a statement necklace. And "veggies" is a practical apron for gardening.

This may mix and match with some of the January sets, too!

I'll have another set up & ready as soon as I can!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

April Paper Doll - Set 5

I realize it's the first day of May but I had ONE more April sheet to share before moving on! This one is a bit haphazard.  If you view all five sheets as part of a whole, it's not too bad.

The themes this time were TOUGH! First up, "technology." I went with a futuristic metal and soft feminine dress with purple spiky hair.  For "fierce" I went with a gold animal print gown.  "Astronomy" is a purple jacket and telescope.  "Your day" I interpreted as a way I would spend my day - ideally, in a floral peasant shirt, jeans, with a book. "Progress" was another tough one. I made a dress that looks like stairs or a rising bar graph.  And finally, "rise" is a mod sunrise inspired dress.  The white boots/skirt combo would fit under that sunrise dress to complete the mod look.

Now it's on to May! I'll shoot for Friday.  I have a busy week ahead of me so I'll do my best. FOUR months behind me!! Pretty amazing!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Paper Doll Collaboration 2018 - Flowers

Here's the fourth installment of the 2018 paper doll collaboration project! The idea was to create something featuring our favorite flowers.  I don't really have a favorite flower but I came across some amazing Victorian trading cards featuring flowers! It's kinda weird that they were used to advertise a meat extract but hey, they're cool anyway!

I chose the rose and aster cards as inspiration for this set.  All of the flower cards are really beautiful and it was hard to pick just two!

For more flower inspired fashions, make sure to visit Paper Thin Personas and Miss Missy's Paper Dolls!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

April Paper Doll - Set 4

We finally have spring!! Yay! Although I saw that next week it'll be nearly 80F so maybe we're skipping spring and going straight to summer....

I'm posting this a little early.  We should have our collaboration pages ready to go Friday.  After that, there's one more April sheet and then it's on to May.

Some weeks, the themes are easy and some weeks, it's a little tougher.  This week came together fairly well.  I have a slouchy shirt for "bridge", a dress with rad headphones for "music", a silky maxi skirt for "spots", a sort of tie dyed t-shirt for Earth, some practical twill pants for "walk", and a reusable canvas bag for "groceries".  I found I had some room on this sheet, so I added some mini black shorts that could easily be layered under dress & skirts as well as a mini denim skirt and a gold top.  The gold top goes with the maxi skirt but could easily work with other things. Apparently I really wanted things short this time around! All of the dresses and skirts are tiny!!

As I said, collaboration set goes up Friday and the last April sheet is next week.  For May, I'm going back to the January paper doll with a new color scheme especially for May. Should be fun!

Friday, April 20, 2018

April Paper Doll - Set 3

I managed to get a sheet ready for this week.  After tinkering I discovered that I can still draw in Photoshop if I hold down the button on my pen.  That's an ergonomic nightmare and I'm not sure how long I'm going to be able to do that.  I tried out some different software and it just didn't have the capabilities I need.  Right now I'm so deeply entrenched in Adobe products that I'm stuck. If I change to something else, I lose a lot of assets and capabilities that I'm built up over the years.  Guess I'll muddle through for now til it patches or I come up with another plan!

For this week, I tackled "chart" with a pie chart skirt and a mix & match top.  "Villain" is a sleek black gown with a skull choker.  The hair that went with that was so fun that I did it with and without sunglasses.  "Gratitude" was a challenge - I found a symbol that represents gratitude and made it a pattern.  Then I made a top & skirt that was very slightly influenced by Tibet.  For "mountains" I made a well-worn mountain t-shirt and fur-lined jacket.  "Bed" is a set of pajamas.  And "ladybug" is a polka dot top.

There will be another set on Friday so look for that!

Friday, April 13, 2018

April Paper Doll - Set 2

So....we're all friends here, right? Good. We need to chat. (If you don't want to read my rant, just skip to the end - the paper doll sheet is there!)

First of all, I am having an amazing year artistically. I'm more productive than I've ever been and I love it! My art has gained a little traction & a wider audience - all good news.  I was also asked to contribute to the 2018 Paper Doll Convention souvenir pack. (if you want a set, you can order it here.  I probably should!!) Pretty great, right?!

Anyone who has read this silly little blog over the years has contributed to this and I am forever grateful.

(Sounds like I'm quitting, right?! Don't panic. I'm not!!)

This week, I've been having some tech issues that have really affected my productivity.  I use a Surface Pro 3 with the full Adobe CC suite...and I pay about $800 a year for that "privilege".  Recently, Microsoft rolled out a Windows update that broke the way my digitizing pen works in Photoshop.  Adobe has not fixed it yet - I'm not the only one having trouble - and has not fixed it in the last six months or so that people have been complaining about it. It just hit me yesterday.  So basically, the only way I can draw in Photoshop is if I hold the button down on my pen while using it.  It's an economical nightmare. My wrist aches.  I may not be able to draw again until Monday!!

Essentially, this means my current year-long series is on hiatus until either 1) Microsoft fixes the pen software that it just rolled out (it probably won't) 2) Adobe patches the problem Microsoft created (more likely but not immediate) or 3) I find software to replace Photoshop, Illustrator, and Adobe Acrobat (not Reader, the full version - I use it to format prints and books). 

The good news is that this does not affect the collaboration project.  I mainly use ArtRage for that and I think I can do everything in ArtRage that I would do in Photoshop.  It also does not affect new projects because I can plan to do those entirely in ArtRage at least for the time being.  And I may be able to get this all back up and running in no time.

I'd LOVE suggestions for professional-grade software.  Really not happy with Adobe at the moment. If I find a suitable alternative, I'll share that, too.

Til then, here's the second sheet in the April set.  I'm hoping to get back up on track soon!!

Friday, April 6, 2018

April Paper Doll - Set 1

It's April and I'm on doll #4 of this doodle-a-day series.  This is the final doll and then I'll start back with the January doll in May. Hopefully I can shorten my production time by re-using dolls! I like all of the dolls and re-using them throughout the year will be fun. I'm also hoping to fall into a more consistent posting schedule.  We'll see how that goes...

For April I knew I wanted two things: a dark-skinned paper doll and a bright, pastel color palette. The first theme for this set was Easter, so I went with a floral dress and hat.  Next was rabbit - a bunny applique sweater.  Garden is carrot patterned leggings.  Rain is a bright yellow raincoat.  Picnic is a plaid shirt with a basket and capri pants.  And finally, logo is a farm logo in pastels.

Also, I just thought I'd share that I have a paper doll in the 2018 convention souvenir packet! You can find out more here or here.  I am truly lucky to be part of such an amazing group of artists!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Paper Doll Collaboration 2018 - Then and Now

It's time for another round of the collaboration project! This month's theme was re-interpreting  an old fashion as a new fashion.  I wasn't really sure where to go with this, but I follow an author on Instagram - Lydia Edwards - who wrote a book called How to Read a Dress. I haven't picked up the book yet.  Based on her fantastic Instagram feed, I probably should! Sometimes she compares old and new clothing styles and that's where I started this project.

On the left, I have an Elizabethan gown, complete with ruffs at the neck and hands, circa 1575.  On the right, a Giambattista Valli gown from 2017.

This portrait was the inspiration for my Elizabethan gown. I wasn't super fussy about including all of the details.

And the contemporary gown.  Again, I wasn't super fussy with pattern, details, etc. I really wanted the overall similarities to stand out.

For more in the ongoing collaboration project series, go check out Rachel's contribution and Melissa's contribution!

Also, happy spring holidays to everyone celebrating! We're having Easter with my family and very much looking forward to it & getting rid of all the snow!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

March Paper Doll - Set 5

This is it! The last sheet in the March paper doll series.  I loved the colors this month & although I wawsn't crazy about the doll at first, it really grew on me over the course of the month.

The themes for this set were fun, too.  For "icing" I made a drippy cake-inspired top.  "Can" I decided to go a bit more abstract - I went with a "can-do" attitude with a Rosie the Riveter inspired overall set.  "Stretch" is a basic pair of leggings.  "Hair" is a fur vest.  For "house" I went with a 1930s inspired house dress. "Dance" is a ballet inspired outfit.  And then "fruit" is a pineapple colored dress. Finally, there's a random skirt just for fun.

April will have a new doll, the last of the new dolls. I'm eager to get started on the new set and I'll have the first one up sometime next week! 

Friday, March 23, 2018

March Paper Doll - Set 4

Every post I seem to start off with: "I meant to work on this but didn't......"  And I guess that's true today.  My posting has been a bit sparse but it's because I'm working on a bunch of stuff.

Today is set 4 of the March paper doll. I have one more sheet after this. Then I'll draw an April doll and cycle through the four dolls through the end of the year.

Right click to download and print

This doll was not my favorite, but the more I work on it, the more I like it!

For "roll" I made rolled up jeans.  "Spring" is a bright green sweater with a flower motif that coordinates well with leggings from the first set.  "Lettering" is a book lover's dream jacket.  And "treats" is a sweet shirt with cupcakes and ice cream.  "Space" is a star covered dress and solar system necklace.  And finally, "desk" is a business suite perfect for a corner office. I also included an orange skirt for some mix-and-match flexibility.

The next sheet will be the last sheet in this set.  I'm amazed that I've kept this up so long!! It's been a tough project.  I spend more time on this than I've spent on any other project for this blog!  It's worth it!!

Friday, March 16, 2018

March Paper Doll - Set 3

So Saint Patrick's Day is tomorrow.  I'm Irish on my mother's side but we've been here so long I don't know if that even counts! I live north of Boston in a traditionally very Irish place. Saint Patrick's Day is a big deal around here.

Because of this, I went a little more Irish inspired with this wardrobe sheet.

Once I finished with the themes for this set, I realized I had a bit more extra space on the page.  I threw in a couple of mix-and-match pieces (the green top and white skirt).  Aside from that, there were some fun themes! For "screen", I went with the silver screen and chose a Marilyn Monroe style dress.  "Jewel" is a bold statement necklace and that matches the "butterfly" shorts.  For "make" I created an artist (naturally!!) and for "green" I made some green jeans.  "Rainbow" is a shamrock and small rainbow. Finally, for "fresh" I thought of gardening so there's a nice basket of fresh veggies.  With that top, I'd suggest NOT cutting the interior spaces. It won't fit the doll correctly if you do.

I'm hoping to post Monday but with yet another Nor'eastern on its way, I'm not sure about that. Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Inking in ArtRage - Video

It's yet another snow day here in northern Massachusetts.  My kids are now wild.  Sorry, civilization, you lost!

Today I'm posting a video capture I took a couple of weeks ago.  It's me, inking a top in ArtRage.  It's about seven minutes long with no audio, no editing, and no commentary at all. It was an experiment to 1) see if I could do it and 2) see how long it takes me to draw.

I'm happy with the video.  It was cool to see that I could do it.  I may try to do this more - I may even learn to edit/add text, etc! As far as drawing goes, I've migrated almost completely to ArtRage.  I sketch and ink in that program now.  I could actually do ALL of my work in ArtRage, but I'm taking baby steps. (As usual, no one paid me to say that - I just love it all on my own!!)

So if you, too, are enjoying another Nor'easter barricaded in your home, here's a little video to brighten your day!

Monday, March 12, 2018

March Paper Doll - Set 2

For those of you who don't know, I live in Massachusetts. We had two nor-easter storms causing major flooding and power outages.  We were lucky - we lost power for about an hour.  Most of my town was not so lucky! And we're preparing for a third storm tonight.

It's been a messy March!

Today I have the second doodle-a-day sheet.  The sheets this month have slightly fewer pieces. I can't keep the pace that I attempted in January and February - it was just too much! I don't think March is any less fantastic, however, and I hope you agree.

Right-click to download and print

This set was fun! I had to think outside the box a bit. For "fragrant" I went with a lemon patterned top.  "Throwback" is a retro skirt and plaid top with a '40s hairstyle.  "Begins with C" is a bright, modern coat.  And "female" I interpreted as feminine and made a neo-Victorian blouse.  "Morning" is a sunny yoga set.  And finally, "blooms" is a brilliant orange floral gown.

The shadows on the gown were tough and I'm not entirely happy with it.  And the black & white pattern was tough.  Overall, though, it's a set I'm happy with!

And the next set should go up Friday....depending on snow days, etc.  March has been brutal!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

March Paper Doll - Set 1

Welcome March! My baby just turned 6 this month.  I don't know where the time goes....

How did he get so big?!

I started this blog shortly after he was born.  So I guess this is almost six, too!


I have the next doodle-a-day set ready to go.  I'm still working from the prompts at @ellolovey ( Instagram and Facebook). 

Follow along with me! 

I made a new doll for this month.  I think I'll make one more in April and then start cycling through. That means that doll #4 will also be the December doll - I'm taking this project through the whole year.

Right-click to download and print

Right-click to download and print

For this set, I went full-tilt Saint Patrick's Day.  She's a redhead with a green palette. I was debating about how to color this set.  I almost went with a tawny skin tone and dark hair but my February doll was sort of like that so I decided not to.  I can tell you that April will feature a dark skinned doll.

So this sheet covers days 1-5.  For "early" I made a dress with a crocus motif for early spring.  "Creature" is a graphic monster shirt. "Food and drink" is a beer on a green shirt.  "Compliment" was a bit harder - I decided to create a denim skirt and a pair of jeans since denim compliments everything! And for "woods" I used a stump and flower motif with matching leggings.

I'm trying to pare down these sets so they're a little less overwhelming for me and a little more regularly scheduled. So look for more sheets soon!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February Paper Doll -Set 6


It's done! Just barely.... I really wanted to get this last sheet posted today.

Right-click to download and print

I REALLY need to streamline this whole process if I plan on making it a whole year!

This set features: weekend (track suit), begins with "a" (an A-line skirt), vases (patterned on a shirt), frame, dinos, and gnome.  Gnome was a tough one! So she got a polka dot cap, green tunic, and leggings.

I'm moving on to March.  I'm going to shoot for 5ish sets next month.  Need to tighten up the process. I recorded a little video of me inking one top from an earlier set and it took 7 minutes! Just to ink it!

Anyway, back with March in a few days. Let me know what you think of this crazy project of mine!

Monday, February 26, 2018

February Paper Doll - Set 5

Here's the next set for the February doodle-a-day paper doll. I think by May these will go a bit faster.  Drawing the base doll is pretty time consuming & my 2018 has been off to a busy start.  My plan is to have 4 dolls in rotation so the January doll will come around again in May, etc. This is the first time I've ever tried a year-long project like this.  It's ambitious and scary and overwhelming...and exciting and fun and a real learning experience!

Right-click to download and print

I streamlined this set a bit.  Initially I thought I'd break the month into groups with 4 or so themes per sheet. That's a lot! This sheet has six themes and the final sheet (going up tomorrow or the first...) will have six themes, too. All of these sheets mix and match really well because of the limited color scheme.

For themes, I tackled: cafe (barista apron), "in your bag" with a camping backpack, four legs features a cat, royal is a gown & crown, tall was tough and I went with a long & lean jumpsuit, and finally bit was really challenging - that's a bit out there with a monster/reptile mouth and reddish sleeve.

The last sheet is well on its way. Tomorrow or the first maybe it should be up!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

February Paper Doll - Set 4

I have fallen WAY behind on this project.  You should not expect this to be finished before the end of the month.  I'm trying but, truthfully, this was a bigger project than I could handle this year.

And yet, I refuse to throw in the towel.  I will keep working on these dolls until every month is completed!

 Right-click to download and print
 Right-click to download and print

This set of outfits was fun! They all came together quickly.  For "pal" I made a top with a puppy on it.  Love was easy.  For "windows", I went with a stained glass window print on a skirt.  And "pencil" was a pencil skirt of course. It seems like each month is working out to be six or seven sheets which is a lot! I'll get to work on the next set!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Paper Doll Collaboration 2018 - Date Night

Welcome to the next installment of the Paper Doll Collaboration Project! This month really hit me by surprise! I've been beyond busy -- my grandmother (who moved in with us in October) is coming home from rehab today.  She broker her pelvis & has been recuperating. I've been visiting her twice a day every day for a month.  It's also school vacation week which comes with its own brand of crazy!

So "date night" is almost a laughable theme for me right now! Though, truthfully, my husband and I were able to go out and catch Black Panther (on opening night!!) because my parents had the kids. The costuming and effects, etc, are amazing.  I enjoyed it very much.  My husband felt is lack something in the plot and pacing.  We often disagree about movies!

Today's sheet features two date night outfits -- a comfy movie going outfit (complete with popcorn) and something a bit more fancy.

Right-click to download and print

I'm finding with this base doll that two outfits fit very easily on a sheet.  And I'm experimenting with text in a shape - I like how it looks!

For more in the series, see Miss Missy and Paper Thin Personas