Thursday, January 29, 2009


I have a friend who is for reasons private to her, housebound. I know that she loves the paper dolls that I make and that she'd love to make her own. But she does not feel capable, or even qualified to do so.

In my travels over the internet this past year I have heard snippets of talk hinting at this same dilemma. The wish to make a paper doll coupled with a disbelief in one's own ability to do so.

So I decided to write this blog entry for my friend, and for any of you who similarly wish to make your own paper doll.

I am no expert. I just love making paper dolls. That's all that is needed to embark on this adventure. Love. So let's make a paper doll.

Valentine Paper Doll with moveable parts

I don't know if she is going to be a hot tomatoe or not but she will be wearing a skirt with tomatoes as the motif. She is going to be a Valentine paper doll with moveable parts. If you wish to make your own doll please feel free to follow along and see what you come up with. Each doll will be original, unique, and yours.

I drew roughly, the outline of the skirt area (profile) which I will use in the design process. From the paper label I then cut sections of the tomatoe images and arranged them to fit into a collage that wasn't meant to denote tomatoes in exact perfect form, but rather a mass of red color with the occasional bit of green tossed in for contrast. This collage I placed within the boundaries of the roughly drawn skirt profile. Having a generous margin area included in the profile enabled design choices in placement of the image overall. It's nice to have wiggle room.

I started with an illustration from a cartoon that I'd clipped from a magazine and which has intrigued me for years. It's good to have a clipping file--a place to keep your bits of paper all in one spot. Images and colors and ideas are everywhere around you. Magazines in doctors' offices or hairdressers' salons or airport lounges are examples. My local library has a FREE bin full of disgarded magazines. In languages not mine, and mine as well. I love using foreign language copy as backgrounds. I clip colors, shapes, images. It doesn't matter. If I notice it I clip it. I don't stop to question why. The 'why' will come into play later during the design process.

So I had a concrete idea to use the silhouette of this skirt shape that I saw in the original cartoon image. See the photograph at the beginning of this blog entry? It's the skirt section of a valentine paper doll that I am making. It is 2" high and at the widest point (bottom) across is 4 and 1/4". If you like the shape, draw your own version. If you want both sides to be the same, fold a piece of paper in half and draw half of the shape. Just keep drawing shapes until you get one that you like. This will be your skirt outline which you will use to make a template.

We will make a template in the next post so see you then! In the meantime, start a clipping file. Open your eyes. Look at packaging. Soak labels from tin cans and wine bottles. You can find these in the trash. Free art. At the library there is a section where posters and bookmarks and flyers advertise theatre and other events. They are chock full of images. Free art. What can you see? Creative hugs, Norma.


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Your comments make my day! Thanks for dropping by and we'll see you soon, I hope, *smiles* Norma


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