Friday, April 21, 2017

Tween Fashion Friday - Maia

My oldest son has been home on his April vacation this week.  It's nice to hang out with both of my boys and we've done a ton of fun stuff this week including a trip to the zoo & the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.  It's been a busy week!!

Today's doll isn't terribly elaborate, simply because I've been so busy this week.

In order to meet my own deadline, I used a pattern from my collection of graphics.  I customized the colors with a bright spring palette.  All of the trees around here are budding & blooming and I just HAD to use some spring colors!

There should be a Josephine on Tuesday, so look for that!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Eclectic Wardrobe of Josephine - Page 11

....And we're back to Josephine this week! I loved created the beach paper doll -- and the awesome folks at ArtRage were nice enough to comment on it. How cool is that?!  I also found more outfits for the beach doll that I forgot I drew.  Might try making a mini book out of that set.

Did everyone enjoy Miss Bunny? You can grab the pdf from the link in the Outfit 4 post. This is another set I'd like to expand.  Maybe more animal paper dolls? Miss Bunny needs some friends.

Right-click to download and print

Today's Josephine is totally random! I found a Renaissance inspired fantasy gown and that inspired the set on the left.  My skirt is more narrow than the example I found.  Once I got the colors blocked in, I thought it looked kind of Moroccan or vaguely Arabian in a totally non-historical way.  I've never drawn harem pants before and decided to go for it on the second set.  And I decided the second top was pretty cool, so I made an alternate patterned version of it! Also, I'm really happy with both hairstyles.  They were both challenging in different ways & they came out exactly the way I wanted!

Josephine's wardrobe is definitely varied! Not sure what's on the table for next week but it should be interesting!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Miss Bunny's Spring Wardrobe - Outfit 4

Miss Bunny has been a fun little project this week - I hope you're all enjoying it, too.  Sometimes I need to break the mold and try something a little different.

Today Miss Bunny gets her Easter dress.  Now, we aren't a religious family in the slightest and we really celebrate a secular Easter.  It's a nice day to get all of the kids together & spend time as a family.

Right-click to download and print

I'm not entirely sure if the flower wreath will actually work. I haven't cut this out yet. I'm not entirely sure how to.  Sometimes I make something pretty for the sake of being pretty. Let's just call it that!

You can download the whole mini series in one handy pdf right here! Maybe I'll cut this out with the kiddos this weekend.  I hope all of you who are celebrating Easter have a lovely holiday, and to the rest of you, happy spring!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Miss Bunny's Spring Wardrobe - Outfit 3

My nieces have always had the most adorable wardrobes! One thing I always liked were their little raincoats.  They've gotten older & cooler, so I'm not sure if they still have cute raincoats.  But they did when they were little. Boys raincoats are much less exciting....

Right-click to download and print

I have to admit, I struggled with my color choices here.  It was tough having a background color and I didn't want something predominantly yellow because I did that with the first outfit.  I settled on pink & orange.  It's not perfect but it's not bad either.

Tomorrow is the last day of Miss Bunny's Spring Wardrobe and I'll have the pdf ready to go, too!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Miss Bunny's Spring Wardrobe - Outfit 2

Today's Miss Bunny is a bit different than yesterday's.  Instead of a frilly dress, Miss Bunny is getting her hands (paws?) dirty.

Right-click to download and print

For Christmas, my husband got me some gardening projects.  I've never really tried growing veggies, but I will this year! I started all of my little plants from seed last it won't be too long before I look like Miss Bunny here. Wish me luck!

Check in again tomorrow for another outfit for Miss Bunny and a pdf on Friday!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Miss Bunny's Spring Wardrobe - Outfit 1

Do you just love Miss Bunny?! I know I do! I worked on this last week while my kids were dealing with a bout of conjunctivitis. Honestly, as sick days go, pink eye isn't so bad.  No fevers, no stomach aches, and generally pretty good moods. And the medicine was a course of eye drops, so I didn't have to listen to them complain about yucky drinks and/or shots.

Anyway...Miss Bunny gets a little dress today.

Right-click to download and print

I found hats were a bit of a challenge with this set.  I'm pretty sure this one will work, especially if you tuck the side tabs under the face. I may have to test these out on my nieces on Easter Sunday.

Tomorrow, Miss Bunny gets another little outfit and I'll have a pdf on Friday!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Miss Bunny's Spring Wardrobe

If April showers bring May flowers, we're going to be absolutely covered in blooms! Seriously, I think it's been raining for a year.  I guess that's part of the reason why I have a bright & flowery paper doll for today!

This week, I decided to do an Easter mini series.  I wanted to make something cute with an Easter theme.  Initially, I wanted to draw it in Illustrator and add paper textures to it in Photoshop so it looked like a cut paper project.  That didn't work out so well.  My computer chugged and groaned and didn't do what I wanted.  Instead, this is a straight-up Illustrator paper doll.

Right-click to download and print

I wanted to make a bunny paper doll. I've never made an animal paper doll & this seemed like a good opportunity.  This looks like a stuffed toy bunny to me more than an actual bunny. And I needed a floral explosion! The colors are based on the Pantone color trends for fall 2011.  Why? Because I saw the palette on Pinterest and really liked it!

I'll be posting Miss Bunny all this week with a PDF on Friday.  Let me know what you think of this little expiriment!

Friday, April 7, 2017

At the Beach - An ArtRage Expiriment Page 2

On Tuesday, I shared a the first page of the beach paper doll in color.  I decided to round out this week with the second page because I want to focus on an Easter set next week.

After finishing both pages in ArtRage, I've got a few pros and cons about the program.  First, it's super easy to just pick up and use.  The tools are all pretty intuitive and self-explanatory, especially the fact that it's gesture based.  I can interact with my computer screen the way I use my smart phone.  Secondly, I love the way the program mimics natural media.  I used the felt tipped pen for most of the base coloring. It was fun smearing marker and blending layers of markers! I also liked that there were a lot of functional features, such as selection tools and blending modes.

Right-click to download and print

Now on to the cons.  There aren't a lot, really.  Importing patterns and textures is a little more cumbersome than in Photoshop but totally possible.  I had some problems with palm rejection but I'm not sure if it was the program or my computer so I really don't want to blame the program.  ArtRage 4 doesn't have the ability to add type, but ArtRage 5 does so I can't really complain about that either.

ArtRage 4 DOES have a type tool, as the awesome folks over there were kind enough to tell me!
 The biggest gripe I have is my own fault. I used the metallic paint option and forgot to turn it off. I ended up losing about an hour of work and having to do it over, partly because I didn't notice it was still metallic. And the reason I didn't notice is because it really only showed up as metallic when I exported the file.  ArtRage doesn't render metallic media well and that might - again - be the version I'm using.

Overall, I recommend ArtRage as a natural media program.  It's inexpensive and it's fun (and no, no one paid me to say that! I just personally love the program).

I'll probably play around with it more.  If you also test it out, let me know - I'd love to see it!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

At the Beach - an ArtRage Expiriment

So the bad news is, there isn't a Josephine today.

The good news is, there's something different.

Much as I love the Josephine series, I wanted a brief break.  I've been thinking about ArtRage lately - they just released a new version - and I've been thinking about upgrading.  Thing is, I don't use it much so I can't really justify upgrading.

And I thought, why not use ArtRage 4 and see where things go.

Right-click to download and print

This is the beach paper doll from ages ago! I didn't realize it had been almost exactly a year since I posted the outlines of this set. It seemed like a good set to experiment with because I already had the line art and it wasn't a huge set.  That proved very helpful because this one sheet took me the better part of three days to color.  I'm terrible at estimated the time I spent, but if I'd say it was between 6 and 8 hours for this sheet.  And there's a second sheet for this doll, coming as soon as it's finished . (Don't hold your breath for the rest of the beach kiddos.  It might happen. It might not.)

Briefly, I used the felt maker tool in ArtRage for most of this with the pencil tool, too. The metallic paint option is awesome and I used that for the belt buckle and a few other things.  The background and bases are images that I combined & blended in ArtRage using blending modes - which have slightly different result than in Photoshop.  ArtRage 4 doesn't have a type option so I added the title in Photoshop.  The export-to-Photoshop option is fantastic and proved very handy!

The outlines and tabs were Photoshop, as well as the text.  Aside from that, everything else was ArtRage 4.  It really simulates natural media.  There are strokes and brush marks and everything! Lots of fun and I highly recommend it.  Maybe I'll color more black & white sets this way.....

(And I haven't given up on Josephine. I promise!!)

Friday, March 31, 2017

Paper Doll Collaboration 2017 - Fashions from Space

It's the end of March so that means another installment of the paper doll collaboration project! I hope everyone is enjoying this because I know I am.... Coming up with a theme is often the most difficult part for me.  It's nice to have a year of themes ready to go, and create accordingly.

This month's theme is fashions from space - a theme I never thought about but was SO much fun! I love science and sci-fi, but it never occurred to me to make a sci-fi paper doll.  I kept this one simple. I keep thinking that once the year is over, I'll go back and color all of my contributions.

My outfit was inspired by mid 20th century sci-fit.  A while back I decided to read more "hard" sci-fi, like Asimov and Clarke.  Which I've been doing and rather enjoying it! So this owes a bit to that era.

Continue with the them at Paper Thin Personas, Pop Culture & Paper Dolls, and Miss Missy's Paper Dolls!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Eclectic Wardrobe of Josephine - Page 10

Today is another Josephine post and I can't believe I'm already up to 10 pages! This is one of my favorite projects ever, I think, and I'll keep doing it as long as it's fun.

There are some things in this world that I love & would love to know more about.  Embroidery is one of them.  My grandmother liked to cross stitch before her sight weakened and I'm trying my hand at that right now.  It's not difficult, but it's a skill that takes time & patience.  Today's outfits are based on an embroidered jacket I found on Pinterest.

Right-click to download and print

Yeah, I know it's spring and this is more of a fall set.  The jacket I based this set on was these beautiful fall colors & I just loved it.  I'm really excited about how the applique embroidery came out! Once I drew it and colored it, I just fiddled with Photoshop layer styles til I liked it.

So this week is another collaboration week - come back Friday & check that out!!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Beautiful Angel - A Paper Doll Book

Remember that angel paper doll I made for December? Remember how I said I'd make it into a book? Well, I finally got around to it!

Here's the front cover. Order your copy here! 

For this project, I expanded on the December set by adding 6 new outfits exclusive to the book. This is also one of the largest books I've ever put together.  There's a total of 36 full-color wardrobe pages!

These are the six new costumes.  There isn't any real logic to them, much like the December project.  I wanted to expand upon some themes (historical, African textile) and try a couple of new things (flower, nature).

As a way of celebrating another paper doll book, ALL of my paper dolls on on sale right now! Beautiful Angel is 20% off and all other books are 15% off.  Good time to grab a book or three, if you ask me!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Eclectic Wardrobe of Josephine - Page 9

Finally. The calendar says it's spring.  The weather says it's spring.  My husband got me some gardening stuff for Christmas so I guess it's time to get those seeds started!

Today's Josephine is a pretty simple one.  I wanted to add some more neutral pieces to the ever-expanding wardrobe.  I'm also thinking I'll print some of these out & cut them for fun sometime soon. I don't do that nearly enough!

Right-click to download and print

The mustard-ish colored bases aren't exactly what I had in mind but it's ok.  I wanted bright but fairly neutral.  The skirt and pants should mix with a fair bit.  The tops maybe a little less....

Any suggestions for Josephine? In case it isn't apparent, I'm all over the place with this project.  It's an anything-goes, experimental set.  I'm not sure what's up next but it should be interesting!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Tween Fashion Friday - Darby

Happy St Patrick's Day! My mother's family is of Irish descent & I live north of Boston, so St Patrick's Day is definitely a thing around here.  My grandfather's family settled in northern Vermont during the 19th century Irish immigration.  We have very little actual ethnic heritage in any of my family but once a year, my mother and grandfather have corned beef & cabbage.

I actively avoid corned beef and cabbage.

Honestly, I can't even be in the house when they have it. I'm glad they love it and somehow feel connected to their heritage or whatever but really, I just can't.  I'll take my green beer and curried chips, thank you very much.

Today is the last of the green/Irish mix and match sets.  Not sure what I'll do next.  Maybe something bright and spring-ish....even though we have 20 inches of snow here. Again.  Anyway, enjoy your St Patrick's Day and hopefully (HOPEFULLY!!!!!!) spring is around the corner!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Eclectic Wardrobe of Josephine - Page 8

I was feeling a bit inspired this weekend and made a new Josephine sheet.  My first thought was to make a sheet of basics to mix & match with the existing sheets, like jeans, etc.  And then I ended up on Pinterest.

In wandering around Pinterest, I found some gorgeous doll clothing.  I also happened to find two outfits by the same doll designer! (There's also a really interesting interview here with a photo of her super-tidy studio...and I am very envious.)  My dress for Josephine is very, very vaguely based on two outfits (here and here).  I loved the idea of a flower covered 18th century inspired gown and fitted jacket.

Right-click to download and print

I thought about coloring this set in soft pastels and then found bright patterns in my collection that I liked better.  The blue pattern and the pink-yellow pattern really had nothing in common, so I created the striped border in order to join them together.

The flowers were a problem.  I tried using photorealistic flowers and it looked wrong.  Then I tried flat shapes and that looked wrong.  So then I did what I should have done in the first place: I drew my own flowers!! And wouldn't you know it...they were exactly what I wanted.

To finish things off, I created a powdered wig and modified an earlier headwrap with some flowers.

The jacket fits over the dress and the bodice is meant to fit over the dress as well.  It was a tight fit getting everything on one sheet!

If you're looking for the Josephine doll, it's here. And you can find other wardrobe sheets with the "Josephine" tag.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Tween Fashion Friday - Delia

So....anyone else ready for spring? It's cold again here in New England. And dark. And the time change is Sunday. And I am utterly unmotivated to do much of anything.  I'm calling it End of Winter Malaise.  You would think that the middle of winter would be the worst.  Nope.  For me, it's usually March.

Today's paper doll was an attempt at motivation.  I decided to piggy-back off of Moira when I created this set.  I really liked the colors & patterns of Moira, so why not?!

I added a shamrock pattern to this set with colors that coordinate with Moira.  It's fun making these mini-series for more mix & match possibilities.

Hopefully I can snap out of this funk of mine and refocus.  Winter can't last forever!!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tutorial: Creating the Josephine Pages with Clipping Masks in Photoshop

Sometimes, I don't feel like making stuff.  Really, it's just that simple.  It isn't that I don't love drawing & painting & such. I do.  But sometimes I need a break.

This weekend, my oldest son attended a birthday party and we had my younger son's birthday party at our house.  After that, I just wasn't feeling very creative. So I worked on genealogy research instead (which is loads of fun and I recommend it!) and today, I'm taking my mother to the doctor.  She broke her finger spectacularly and needed a crazy cast up to her elbow! Some weeks are busy around this house!

Today, instead of creating a page for Josephine, I want to share a little bit about how I make the Josephine pages.  The techniques here are also the techniques I used to create the Chanel paper doll, the Dupin paper doll, as well as the Akinye and Friends book and the Transformation Dress book.

Like most of my projects, this one starts with a sketch.

This sketch is from page 2 of the Josephine series.  To create the outfits, I use a black & white template and I draw over it.  The template is the actual lines from the finalized paper doll.  I lower the opacity & draw over it in ArtRage.  I'm using ArtRage 4 and I use the pencil tool to sketch.  This could easily be done on paper or in another program. I just happen to like the natural feel of sketching in ArtRage -- it also has a TON of features that I'm still working on perfecting.

Anyway, once I'm finished scribbling, I export the file as a JPG and bring it into Photoshop to line and color it.  I could line it in ArtRage but I'm not thrilled with any of the three pen tools available.  Could just be inexperience on my part.

Here's what my file in Photoshop looks like.  I'm a big fan of folders! I like to keep things tidy and labeled as I work.  Here, I have just the lines for the pants, belt, and shoes.  Each of this is on its own layer.  I do not re-draw the feet - I duplicate those from the finalized, colored doll and add them in here.  I'm a big fan of working smarter not harder!!

To outline the clothing, I use a custom oval brush.  Its gives me a little bit more variability and hand-drawn feel while I draw on screen.  It isn't an essential thing, just a preference. Any hard brush would work fine here. Just make sure your lines create a closed shape or the next step won't work.

Once the clothing is outlined, I fill it with one color.  To do this, I select the outside of the lines, then right-click and then Select Inverse.  This selects the inside portion of the lines.  Why do it this way? If I tried to select the interior of my image, I would only select the empty sections around the lines and not the *true* interior space.  Next, with my image still selected, I go to Select, Modify, Contract and choose a pixel amount, usually 1 or 2.  Again, why? This way, the selection is inside the lines and there won't be any color bleeding outside the black lines.

This is the modified selection.  The (faint) dashed lines are the selected area, now inside of the black lines.  I know there are other methods for doing this (see: Paper Thin Personas.  She uses a great technique!) but this is the one I like for me.

With the selection still in place, I create a new layer UNDER the selection and use the Fill paint bucket to fill it in with a color.  Doesn't really matter what color.

Here's the color fill.  It's highlighted in the group on the right side and labeled Layer 8 for now.  Name it something meaningful! These layers easily get out of control!

Next, I use this color layer as a clipping mask layer for the pattern on the belt.  This isn't the only way to apply a pattern.  Sometimes, I use a pattern layer style to apply an all-over repeating pattern, such as the velvet texture on the steampunk outfit.  Sometimes, I also use multiple clipping masks and merge them into a single layer once they look right.  That's what I did with the strip pattern on this belt.  But for the purposes of this tutorial, I'm using a different pattern.

Open the image you want to clip and place it ABOVE the color layer. In my case, it covers the whole page.

The image you want to clip needs to be above the layer you are clipping it to.  Now, this didn't make sense to me for a while.  Then it occurred to me that it's a lot like a stencil: the interior of the stencil is the thing you're drawing and the outside is the paper you're ignoring.  It's like that.  The color layer below the pattern is the interior of a stencil.  Right-click on the pattern layer and select Create Clipping Mask.

The patterned paper is now only applied to the color layer below it.  However, if you look at the layer, the paper is still completely intact -- that's the little boundary squares on the work area.  What this means is you can still manipulate the pattern.  In this case, I would like a smaller pattern so I scale the clipping image.

This is the clipped pattern, scaled down and rotated slightly.  What's great about this is that the pattern and the color are still separate.  I can change the pattern at any time and I can still select the color layer separately, too.

Which is what I'll do next.

Use the Magic Wand tool to select the interior of the color layer.  Next, create a new layer to add the shadows.  I like to keep as much separated as possible because it allows for more flexibility.  I might paint the shadows in black and then change the blend mode until it looks right.  If I paint directly on the color layer, I lose that ability, so shadows go on their own layer.  The reason I SELECT the interior first is so that the shadows stay confined to the area I'm painting.  I don't need to go back and try to erase areas that I didn't want.

To paint the shadows, I use a large soft brush with a lowered opacity (maybe 10 or 15 to start) and gradually build up the shadows and opacity until it looks the way I want.  I do the same with the highlights.  Sometimes I use black and white for shadows and highlights.  Sometimes I don't. It depends on the image.  Keep in mind, too, that I'm using a pen and a tablet screen.  This is a bit harder with just a mouse.

Here's the finalized belt in the original pattern.  I have a color layer - that's the merged clipping mask layers I created to manipulate the pattern.  Merging the clipping mask layer with the color filled layer is totally optional.  Above that is the shadow layer and the highlight layer.  These three parts are the entire belt.

And that's basically it.  I color each section of the clothing like this, separately out sections into layers as needed.  I use Group to create folders with like items.  In this case, all of the layers comprising the belt are grouped together and called "belt".  You can further group up these group folders, which is something I do.

One last note about color: keep it simple.  I had a professor who taught me that you really only need three tones to create a realistic form: a mid-tone, a highlight, and a shadow.  That's really it.  So when I'm painting or drawing, I keep that in mind. With these Photoshop paper dolls, I have a color layer (the mid-tone or main color of the object), a shadow layer, and a highlight layer.  It's possible to create more depth with more colors and layers.  Occasionally, I'll do that but mostly, I stick to three colors.

I hope this demystifies a little bit of how I color these images.  It really isn't complicated, aside from making sure I'm on the right layer at the right time!   Any questions, etc, feel free to let me know!

Friday there should be another doll posted and hopefully a new Josephine next week.  Feel free to send me theme suggestions! I love those!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Tween Fashion Friday - Moira

Happy March! When I was a kid in northern Vermont, March was still fairly chilly but all of the tapped maple trees were a clear indication that spring was on its way.  Today, however, in northern Massachusetts, I've been walking my kiddos to school in unseasonably warm weather. 

The weather seems like a silly thing to talk about and yet, I do. A lot.  I'm the sort of person who thinks a lot about place & history, and weather is a big part of a place.  My place has always been New England and something we Yankees love talking about is the weather. When is the first snow coming, the first thaw, when are the trees getting tapped, when will the corn spring up, are the apples ready for picking...etc, etc. I love it.

Today's doll is a bit of an homage to place and history.  It was brought to my attention that I should make a Celtic or St Patrick's doll.  (I have. A couple of times. Like here. And here.)  When I think of St Patrick's Day I think of Ireland, of course.  My grandfather's great-grandfather (so 5 generations back....) left Ireland for northern Vermont.  We haven't retained much "Irishness", honestly.  So when I think of my Irish roots, I really think of my Vermont roots.  I suspect that the green hills & agricultural nature of Vermont was at least somewhat familiar to these immigrant families.

There were a few things I wanted to avoid with this set: no redheads (I've done that) and no stereotypical symbols (though I did slip one in).  My Irish ancestors had black hair and dark eyes.  Funny enough, my Scottish ancestors were redheads -- as is one of my nieces!

I knew I wanted to make a cozy sweater.  I love green, so that was a natural choice.  And I slipped one little shamrock.  The shorts & sandals are there partly because I had the space for them and partly because of the northern Atlantic Ocean.  If you have ever been to the northern reaches of the East Coast, it gets cold! The range of temperatures can be extreme.  Shorts at midday and a heavy sweater by evening is not unheard of!

So long story short, this is my New England interpretation of an Ireland I've never visited but hope to one day.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Eclectic Wardrobe of Josephine - Page 7

How did it get to be the last day of February already?! Also, here in New England we had all of winter in one week (25 inches of snow in 4 days) and then - poof! - spring.  It's been unusually warm so we've been outside a lot.

Also, with today being the last day of February, I've been thinking about my youngest son.  He was almost born on a Leap Year but just missed it.  His birthday is tomorrow and I'm amazed at how fast the years are going. I started this blog the summer after he was born and tomorrow, he turns 5! Happy birthday, Mr. Miles. It's been an interesting five years so far!!

Today's wardrobe sheet for Ms Josephine is menswear inspired.  I wanted to create something with mix and match possibilities, of course.  I also wanted something that was both masculine and feminine - or neither, because honestly, what do those even mean?!

Right-click to download and print

So Josephine has some nicely tailored, professional outfits this time around.  I knew I wanted a floral suit and I thought long & hard about making both the skirt and the pants floral.  And then thought better of it. There still isn't a lot of mix & match possibilities across the whole project. I really should make a sheet with just neutrals of some sort.  Maybe next week, since I've used up all the backlog I had ready to go!

If you're looking for Josephine, you can grab her here.  You can search for everything in the Josephine series or use the "Josephine" tag to track down more sheets. And I'll get something up for Friday, too!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Paperdoll Collaboration 2017 - Night at the Oscars

I lied.

I was going to make a fourth Valentine's paper doll.  It just didn't happen.  2017 has been a pretty best/worst kind of year so far.  Lots of good things are happening to me, and a lot of less good things are happening around me.  So I didn't get around to a fourth doll.  There's always March for a quick themed set...

Today is the next part of the on-going paper doll collaboration project with Paper Thin Personas, Pop Culture Paper Dolls, and Miss Missy Paper Dolls.  This month's theme is a night at the Oscars.

Personally, I don't care about rewards shows at all.  I do, however, LOVE fancy dresses and elaborate gowns!

My dress is based on a Dolce & Gabbana dress.  I can't seem to track the dress down online. That's fine.  Part of the reason I loved it was because it was a fairly simple black dress but it was paired with fancy, Renaissance inspired jewelry. Sometimes I create things in Illustrator and bring them into Photoshop -- that's what I did here with the jewelry.

And because I can be my own worst critic (it's the best way to grow as an artist!!), that hand is the worst.  I knew it was bad when I drew it ages ago, but seeing it now....the worst.

I'll update links to the other paper doll collaboration pages as they go live, so look for that!

Paper Thin Personas - find it here
Pop Culture Paper Dolls - find it here
Miss Missy Paper Dolls - find it here

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Eclectic Wardrobe of Josephine - Page 6

It's still winter-ish here in New England. This year hasn't been too bad and I'm just about ready to think spring.  In a way, I wish it had been a bit more wintery -- my boys got a bunch of fun snow toys for Christmas that they've hardly used!

Today's Josephine is winter inspired.

Right-click to download and print

I really, really wanted to do something fur this week.  There's a beautiful deer fur texture in my collection that was just begging to be used! And purple leather sounded like a thing that should exist. I don't know how many mix & match sets Josephine has across the whole series.... I'm thinking I should print these at some point!

If you're looking for Josephine, the doll is here.  And you can search the "Josephine" tag to see the entire project!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Tween Fashion Friday - Jaimee

Here's round 3 of the Valentine's Day series! I didn't actually set out to make this a series, but it's worked out rather nicely, I think.  It's so much easier to work with a theme than a blank computer screen!!

So here's Jaimee.  There isn't a whole lot to say about her. Same colors, same patterns.  I even borrowed the hair from one of the angel paper dolls.  Speaking of....I really need to get that compiled into a book.  Any angel requests for the book? Now's the time to suggest them!

One more Valentine's Day paper doll....even though it's over & done with. Why not?!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Eclectic Wardrobe of Josephine - Page 5

Happy Valentine's Day! Not a big deal for me, honestly, but the boys love it.  In true nerd mom fashion, I gave my boys books instead of candy.  They love books so it's a win all around.

Today's set for Josephine is oddly appropriate especially considering I made it weeks ago!

Right-click to download and print

I found a jumpsuit on Pinterest with a bit of a plunging neckline that I thought would be perfect for Josephine. I also thought it would be a good opportunity to create some tops to go over the jumpsuit instead of a second bottom piece.  Black is a color I struggle with and this was a good reason to work on that, too.

Josephine got some fancy tops and I think they're pretty great.

If you're looking for Josephine, you can grab the doll here.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Tween Fashion Friday - Hollee

As promised, I have another Valentine's tween paper doll.  Sometimes patterns & colors are too awesome not to use again!

That heart pattern is so cute!!

I went with another "ee" name.  It was sweet & cute, like Valentine's Day itself. I'm not a big fan of the day, myself.  Seems kind of silly honestly. But my kids love it so I enjoy it more now than I ever did.

Come back next Friday for more "ee" names and mix & match Valentine's outfits!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Eclectic Wardrobe of Josephine - Page 4

There are things I've always wanted to make for my paper dolls that I just never get around to.  Steampunk is one of those things. I'd really like to create a steampunk paper doll book sometime.  Til then, I have a steampunk wardrobe sheet for Josephine.

Right-click to download and print

I admit, I don't know a whole lot about steampunk.  I knew I wanted a dress, pants, lots of frills, leather, and some kind of metal.  Once I laid out the sketches, I had to make some changes so that I could fit two tops and two bottoms.  The vest on the right was supposed to have crazy huge sleeves on it but those had to go for the sake of space.

Next week's Josephine is a complete departure from this!

You can find the Josephine doll here.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Tween Fashion Friday - Aimee

Happy February! I can't believe it's already February.... Time is just zooming right by and I don't feel like I've accomplished much of anything yet this year! I've been traveling a lot -- my grandmother is in the hospital. She had a stroke but her recovery is going really, really well.  She's 86, looks at least 10 years younger than that, and is very, very independent.  She'll be just fine!!

Today I have a pink Valentine's day themed tween paper doll. I really like the pattern. It took me about a minute to whip up in Illustrator. Which just goes to show that things don't have to be super complicated to come out nicely.

I may very well use this color scheme & pattern for the whole month of February. I love how it came out & I wanted to make WAY more outfits than would fit on a page.  We'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Eclectic Wardrobe of Jospehine - Page 3

Thanks for all the love around Josephine! This might be my favorite project ever...which I've been saying about a lot of things lately.  And thank you for the suggestions.  Keep them coming!

If you're wondering where to get the Josephine paper doll, grab it here.

Today's page is not a mix and match set. I wanted to create a historical set and I settled on something from the 1920s.  I wanted to avoid the classic black & gold that seems to pop up in '20s fashion. Instead, I went with pastels.

Right-click to download and print

I have one day look and one evening look. I love how the hair came out! The hat isn't perfect but I think it's ok.  The dress on the right has some quirky perspective stuff but again, I can live with it. The fringe came out way better than I expected!

Keep sending me suggestions. I *try* to get to them but I miss some occasionally.... Next week is something completely different. Again!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Paper Doll Collaboration 2017 - The Year I was Born

Instead of your regularly scheduled mix & match tween paper doll, we have the next installment of the Paper Doll Collaboration Project. (Need the doll? Grab it here.) You'll have to wait til February for more after this week...

The theme for this month is the Year You Were Born.  So yeah, you're all going to learn how old we are! Rachel and Boots have outfits, too, and I'll update the links when they're live. In theory, the outfits can mix & match.  Hats/hair probably won't.

So I was born in 1980.  My mother LOVED Princess Diana.  When I went to London for the first time, I made it a point to go to Harrod's and pick out something Princess Diana related for my mother.  This was late 1999, so not terribly long after the princess's death.

Anyway, my mother watched the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. The earliest paper doll I ever remember owning was a Princess Di set.  Loved it.

Naturally, I thought Princess Di would be a perfect representation of the 1980s.  She was a style icon! This set is based on an outfit she wore in 1980, prior to her marriage. I wanted something sort of elegant. There's so much awful fashion from the 80s, but there's some good, too. And the hair! That flipped hair was everywhere!

Check out Paper Thin Personas and Pop Culture Paper Dolls for their installments, too.  And come back in February for a new theme!

EDIT: We're also added Melissa of Miss Missy Paper Dolls. Check out her contribution! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Eclectic Wardrobe of Josephine - Page 2

Did you like last week's new paper doll?! I know I did! Today I have another page for Josephine. I've created a tag specifically for this set, so hopefully it'll be easy to find.  The paper doll can be found here.

I love mix and match paper dolls.  The pose on this one makes mix and match a little more challenging.... The wardrobe for today might mix a little bit with last week's doll.  And I can't promise you that every set will be a mix and match set. In fact, next week's is not.

Right-click to download and print

Today's wardrobe is comfy & beachy. Totally perfect for January, right?! I'm *fairly* confident that the floating tab will work on the hair piece. I haven't test printed these yet...

Also, I'm happy to take suggestions for this series. Really, anything goes. I have a historically inspired set ready for next week that I'm really excited about.

As always, let me know what you think!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Paper Doll Collaboration 2017

Happy Monday everyone! There are a lot of new things going on this year and today, I'm posting the first part of yet another project.

Over the holidays, Rachel and Boots and I chatted about creating a collaborative paper doll project.  I gotta say, I wish group projects during my school days went this smoothly! We decided to create a black & white paper doll series using one body and with different faces.  We'll be posting a portion of each doll at the end of every month according to a theme.  If all goes well, there will be a massive paper doll at the end of the year! So yay for that!

We decided I would draw the base doll. That's actually one of my favorite parts of paper doll creation! I found a few reference photos and we settled on one from SenshiStock. I LOVE her poses and find her a constant source of inspiration.

With every project, I try to learn something or test something. This time around, I decided to test a paperless method.  So the doll was drawn in ArtRage and lined in Photoshop.  It's entirely digital.

This is the digital sketch.  It worked out a lot better than I had anticipated. I'll draw like this more, I think. It's easier than tracking down a sketch book!

The final drawing was inked in Photoshop.  It's something I'm still trying to perfect.

We'll each post our themed outfit on the last Friday of every month.  This month's theme is the year we were born.  Be sure to visit Paper Thin Personas for Rachel's doll and Pop Culture Paper Dolls for Boot's doll!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Tween Fashion Friday - Alexandra

I recently read a phrase that really resonated: art - no matter how small the audience - has value.  That's a paraphrase and not an exact quote, but like I said, it really spoke to me. This little blog is a reflection of what I believe.  I believe there's beauty and value in all people, of all colors, creeds, etc.  I want people to come to this site and find a paper doll that looks like them.  It's an on-going project and there are more kinds I've people I'd like to include. I'll keep creating for me and, hopefully, for you, too.

Today's paper doll has a cool toned winter wardrobe.  It isn't the most elaborate paper doll I've ever made, but I like the coat and I liked the pattern -- it's from my ever-expanding asset stash.

How are you liking the new Josephine series? I'm having so much fun creating it! As always, if there's something you'd like to see, let me know. I don't always get to every suggestion but I do try!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Eclectic Wardrobe of Josephine - Page 1

Today's the day! I have my new paper doll series ready to go.  I think I'll try to post this on Tuesdays, as often as I can.  Before I post the sheet, I want to talk about technique.

First, I started with a sketch. I could have done it on my computer, but instead I took out my good old paper & pencil. The pose is a composite pose I put together from SenshiStock.  I like her poses specifically because they're clothed.  Nude models are incredibly helpful & I highly recommend life drawing classes, but if I'm drawing at my kitchen table surrounded by my kiddos I'd rather use clothed models.

I knew I wanted a medium to dark skin tone. There's a wonderful image I found on Pinterest that served as color reference & a rough model for my paper doll's face.

Once I did all of that, I scanned my image and brought it into Photoshop. I knew this was going to be a Photoshop project right from the beginning.

This is a very rough breakdown of the steps I went through to color the doll. There's a much more thorough breakdown here -- I've been working on this technique for a while! First, I inked the sketch.  I gave it a thicker outside line using a stroke style.  Then, I gave it a flat color.  I started added shadows and highlights, blurring as needed.  It still looked really flat so I overlaid a brighter, warmer brown and that helped tremendously! I kept layering lights & darks, then added the face and clothing.

Once that was finished, I knew I wanted a border and background that would be on every page of the series.  I also needed a title.  I settled on The Eclectic Wardrobe of Josephine.  I needed something descriptive and a cool name.  Now, I love The Tragically Hip -- a fantastic Canadian band -- and they have a song called Goodnight Josephine, which I love.  And then, there's the amazing Josephine Baker, so really the name was perfect for this project.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this project long-term. As much as I can stand, I suppose!

Right-click to download and print

Here's the final version of page one. I wanted a little mix & match capability.  More pages will make that more fun, of course.  If anyone plans on printing it out, let me know. I can post it with a white background if there's a need for it.

I'm pretty excited to have a new project. There will still be a Friday paper doll in one of the various mix & match series.

Let me know what you think! Should be a fun little adventure for all of us!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Tween Fashion Friday - Inez

Happy January! I did not expect to miss almost half of January without a post, but I needed a bit of a break after December.  I loved making the December angel paper doll series (you can grab the entire series as a PDF here) and, much as I loved it, it was exhausting!   The feedback on the doll was fantastic -- thank you to everyone who commented, shared, etc. It makes my December project worth it every year!

So today I'm back with a new tween doll.

The pattern on today's doll is from a from a bundle of graphic design resources I bought a while back. It isn't a secret that I create some of the patterns that I use and that I buy others.  I do more than just create paper dolls and these design resources come in handy for a variety of projects, personal and professional.

The other reason I mention that is because I'm starting a new doll. Stylistically, it's similar to the Victorian Mix and Match book. I've been eager to work with some new digital paper and patterns, so I created a paper doll in Photoshop specifically for that purpose.

Do you want to see a preview?

Of course you do!

The doll is ready to go. And that's it. I have no idea what day of the week I want to post this on. No idea what to call the series. And she has no wardrobe yet! I also have no theme for the doll. Might be contemporary one week and Victorian the next. Thoughts??

There are more surprises for 2017 and I'm excited to do some new things in this new year!