November Birthday Gown with Chrysanthemums and Topazes in Orange and White, and an announcement

Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.

If I get distracted and don’t update, eventually people start to worry if I’m ever coming back. This makes me smile. I call drawing paper dolls a “hobby,” but it seems to have more in common with a curse. When I’m on my deathbed, I’ll probably be drawing the outfit I’ll be buried in — or maybe the one I wish I was being buried in, which will have 90% more pearls.

That said, trying to post something almost every day has obviously come to be untenable. If I’m just coming up with an outfit, it takes from five minutes to an hour to decide what I want to draw and what it will look like, and if I’m researching something like a particular year’s fashions, it might take an hour or two to get a sense of what the styles were like, then that five minutes to an hour again to come up with an original drawing. The time I spend drawing has increased over the years, easily hitting three hours for something with a lot of detail, and then there’s the time involved in scanning, cleaning up and writing a post – an hour, maybe two depending on the post. My job is part-time and the hours vary wildly, so sometimes it’s actually not all that unreasonable for me to take that kind of time working on something, and then just as often I get scheduled for a lot of hours and feel busy again.

Besides the actual work involved, a lot of other factors come into play: do I have a great idea or am I feeling really uninspired? Is there something else I’m really involved in at the moment? Have I put off drawing until it’s fairly late? Would the thing I want to draw take a long time to research? If, after work and chores, I only have time for one interesting activity, do I really want it to be paperdolls? Are my Prismacolors organized, or are all my blues rolling around my desk drawer because I stole one of my plastic bags I use to sort them for a trip through airline security? Do I much feel like sharing myself with the world today, or am I content with keeping to myself, hermit-like? Do I have time to write a good blog post, as well, or will it just be a couple of sentences I pad out so that it doesn’t look so unbalanced next to the dress? What about all those things I said I’d do and didn’t? (If I never heard the phrase “twelve dancing princesses” again it would be way too soon.)

In short, I expect too much from myself, I don’t prepare myself well, then I psych myself out and end up using my time elsewhere or really phoning it in. It’s frustrating and unfulfilling, so I’m going to try a different tack. Here are my main goals:
1) To draw three days a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)
2) To write blog posts that aren’t just afterthoughts
3) To integrate my drawing hobby with my interest in Japanese

The first two are pretty self-explanatory; the third one is something I’ve been thinking of for quite some time, and I think I’ve come up with some good ways to do it.

Well, we’ll see how I do. Wish me luck! And thank you, as always, for your patience. Sometimes I wonder if I unconsciously sabotage myself with unreliable behavior so that I can deflect notice, hoping to drive people away so I don’t have to add their expectations to the already ridiculous weight of my own. Whether it’s that or just plain old laziness, either way you all are much better readers than I deserve.

Today, a November birthday dress with chrysanthemums and topaz accents. How many more of these do I have to do? I know I’ve skipped rather a few…

22 thoughts on “November Birthday Gown with Chrysanthemums and Topazes in Orange and White, and an announcement

  1. We love all the effort you put into your posts, the dresses always look great and I enjoy reading your explanations!
    <3
    -Julia

  2. It makes my day to see the dresses on your blog. Thanks so much for all your effort. No one has any right to ask for more… You are wonderfully talented!

  3. Oooo! A November birthday dress, and my birthday is on sunday! ^.^

    I’m way too lazy to complain about anyone else really. I’m over ambitious as well. I’ll start a project, or dream something up, but then get bored or distracted by something else and never finish it. All we can do is work on self improvement, and hope for the best.

    Thank you for sharing all your lovely talents with us Liana. And don’t worry, I for one, shall never ask for the certain number of certain ladies doing a certain activity! =)

  4. Eeeeee!!!!
    No matter how often you post, we’re always excited to see what you’ve been up to! We all know that you have ridiculously high expectations of yourself :P Just keep on doing all the things you want to do. You shouldn’t feel obliged to do things for faceless people on the interwebz! Of course, we’ll always appreciate whatever you have on offer when you’re not busy ><

  5. No matter how often you post I will always be greatful! Your dresses are so beautiful, I love them.

    This is probably my favourite of all your birthday dresses, I just love the lines and colours of it.

    I would love it so much if you could do a July dress, I dont think we have one yet.

  6. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. We always love what you post, even if you don’t. And of course, we would much rather you post something because you enjoy doing it, rather than feeling that you HAVE to post something because you’ve been gone a few days.
    I think I’m the same as you, though with writing instead of paperdolling. You wouldn’t believe how many stories I have on my laptop that I’ve only written one or two pages for. It’s the idea that if I put it off, I can still do it someday, and that way I haven’t failed. I can still write a perfect story. I suppose it would be the same with paperdolls?
    Anyway, we love anything you post. I’ve now got my friend hooked on your dresses :)
    After this post, I feel bad that I was going to ask if you planned on maybe finishing the Twelve Days of Christmas series this Christmas. (Not dancing! I didn’t say dancing! :P)

  7. Oh I forgot I have a question! Is it still going to be black and white outfits on Saturdays? You give me a wonderful excuse to put everything off and just color :)
    *looks at my other comment* Gosh I leave the longest comments ever XD

  8. I agree with everyone on here. Post when you can, draw when You want too, the old saying still holds strong, “If something is worth having its worth waiting for” Live your life for yourself and don’t feel guilty about all of us out here!!!!!!

    Love the new dress, fab as always….Hugs Chrissy

  9. Dear Liana,
    We all understand that you can’t post something everyday. We appreciate it when you do post and we would much rather you post something because you had time to think and plan the drawing than post something because you were gone a few days. We love you work, no matter how often you post.

    P.S. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the dress

  10. I think that this is one of my favorites….
    Have you done the August dress? I’m not sure if I have seen it, but I might not be correct. That’s all, I think.

  11. I really love your dresses! I am always so happy to see your beautiful creations! But don´t overdo it, take it easy and don´t do anything without inspiration. That is the most inportant, I think.
    And, oh, how I wish I could draw like you can! You are truly amazing!

  12. Liana,
    It’s really okay. I don’t always have time to check this blog on my computer! It’s really fine that you’re busy, and, besides, it makes us cherish your new work even more.
    Anyway, this dress is very interesting. I was never a fan of orange, but I like the way Liana used it here. It’s subtle, which is good, because orange is a very bright color. Lovely!

  13. I clicked on the ‘birthstone’ tag & it appears you are missing april may july & august. I love your dresses- I look at them almost everyday to get ideas for my own dress deigns! Once I get a computer & printer I’m going to print off these gorgeous dresses & play paper dolls w/ my daughter!

  14. Thanks, everyone. You’re too kind ^^;;

    Yes, the black and white dresses on Saturdays are out for now (as are Mermaid Mondays, if anyone was curious). Doesn’t mean I won’t do black and white dresses / contests in the future, but for now we will stick to the plan. ^^

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