1930s Evening Gown in Light Blue

A 1930's style evening gown. It is sleeveless, and has a deep V neck with ruching at the shoulders and chest. It has a peplum around the hips and a long, fitted skirt that flares out slightly at the ankles. It is a light bluish-green and has a small floral pattern all over.Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.
I’m back! I never can stop paperdolling for too long, even with a baby. As you can see, there’s something different about this dress. It’s one of my black and white dresses, and I’ve colored it in Photoshop. Please don’t worry that I’ve abandoned my colored pencils! I’ve decided to learn to use Photoshop to color for a project my husband Brian and I are working on. I’ve always used it for various things, but there are so many things I still have to learn about it. Melissa Evans’ Coloring Line Art tutorial has been the most useful tutorial I’ve found, although I’ve poked at other ones as well. I’ve got some quibbles about how this one turned out, but it is a first attempt. It is much easier than I thought it would be, once you learn how to break it down. (For example, clipping masks changed my entire outlook on coloring with Photoshop. It makes so much sense! I just never knew.) For this dress, I used a pattern made by Jen of Pixels & Ice Cream, Feliz Navidad Damask. I’m on the lookout now for good patterns and brushes, so if you know of any, please let me know!

You may have noticed an e-mail sign up form to the right. If you sign up, I’ll e-mail you whenever I have a new update. Of course, I won’t sell your address or spam you or anything like that. I hope it’s a good solution to my habit of erratic posting.

Milo smiling and walking around in the rose garden. How is Milo doing, you might ask? He’s doing beautifully! Just look at him. That’s where all my free time goes. It’s also why my desk is piled three feet high with books. (He likes to take them off the shelves, so I have to rescue them.) Another reason why, for the time being, digital coloring wins over ten plastic bags of colored pencils…

I have a long ways to go to get good at digital coloring, so I’m going to try to do a lot of it in the next few months. So let’s have a contest!
What is Milo’s favorite food?
The first person to answer correctly gets to tell me how I should color this 1930s black and white gown. (I’m going to color other ones eventually, but for now I want to practice on this one.)

For this contest, even if you’ve won one of my previous contests you can enter. Let’s call it the great contest reset button. One entry only, please, and my mom and husband are excluded. (You guys get a free suggestion without having to enter, how’s that?) Get your entries in now, while everyone else has forgotten this blog exists!


Black and Blue Assassin Princess Gown

 A dramatic ball gown with a black sequined bodice and long sleeves, puffed blue sleeves at the shoulder and a full, shiny blue skirt with a black sequined hem. There's a wide purple satin sash around the waist and purple satin at the wrists.Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.

A few weeks ago, there was a thread on Metafilter written by a woman who works as a party princess, talking about what her job is like. That is, she gets dressed up as Cinderella, Rapunzel or so on, then arrives at the birthday girl’s house to direct games, tell stories and otherwise let the good times roll. Her tales of how much the little girls love princesses are hilarious, and they’re accompanied by some adorable, funny illustrations. (They’ve also made me wonder why I haven’t found a good way to make millions off my paperdolls. The dresses seem to be a major selling point with this whole princess adoration thing.) They’re posted on the Something Awful forums, so you can’t easily read through them all at once, but here are links to the ones currently available. one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.

Since I’ve been enjoying these stories so much I thought I’d make a paperdoll for them, based off the name she uses on Twitter, Assassin Princess. What kind of outfit might an assassin princess wear? I imagine she is going to the ball not to win Prince Charming’s heart but to stab it. In such a lovely dark gown, snatching the prince’s attention away from a simpering beauty in pink is hardly a challenge. A few dances later, they are standing on a secluded balcony, making small talk about the moon and stars, and he leans in for a kiss… Unfortunately the poofy skirt hides several pockets, one of which holds a dagger. As he’s laying on the ground, the last thing he sees is the *sparklesparkle* of the sequins on the swishy hem of her skirt.


White Princess Dress with Rainbow Skirt

A white gown with a sweetheart neckline and off-the-shoulder poofed sleeves. The bodice is covered with a lacy pattern, and different colors of gemstones scattered along the edge and trailing down towards the waist. The full skirt is covered with seven layers, one for each color of the rainbow, with red near the waist, then orange underneath it, then yellow, green, blue and finally purple. Each layer is longer than the one before, and they split at the front of the gown to reveal the white underskirt, with its lacy pattern, which reaches to the floor.Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.

Hello, everyone who’s still reading! You’ll be glad to know I’m doing well and really enjoy being a mom. Milo is a good-natured, active, curious little boy and every day with him brings something new and wonderful. There are frustrating days too, of course, and around here my suggesting to Brian “Why don’t you take Milo for a walk?” is essentially code for “Please please please let me have a baby break.” So Brian takes baby to the cafe and gets some iced coffee. Daddy gets coffee, a walk and baby time, mommy gets some breathing room and a chance to relax, and Milo gets fussed over by everyone Brian encounters. It’s win-win!

Milo has been a little high-maintenance, especially from around his third month, when he always wanted mommy there to play with him or at least look at him constantly. But in the last week or two, he’s become more able to play by himself as long as I’m nearby. He sleeps better sometimes, too, and then I get all hopeful about life again, and then he goes back to waking up three times a night… but I can see a future where I routinely sleep for an uninterrupted five, six, maybe even seven hours a night! The upshot is that I’m starting to have a little time and energy to think about amusing myself with non-baby related pursuits.

I’ve said it before, but I want to improve my drawing skills, especially drawing people; I’ve been practicing with a book RLC of Paper Thin Personas recommended, and for the first time in my life I can draw ears properly! I also want to keep drawing for this blog — I don’t think a goal of one post a week is too much? My dad has offered to watch Milo on Thursdays when he can, and our first time trying that out was a smashing success.

I’ve got a lot I want to do, as I always do, but for now I’ll start small. Though this dress can’t be described as small, can it? No, this dress says “Hurrah for new shades of Prismacolors! Hurrah for rainbows and poofy gowns! Hurrah for daddy holding Milo while he sleeps so I can draw! Hurrah for enough rest that I’m drawing instead of curling up and falling fast asleep!”

Wondering how Milo’s turning out? Well, enjoy some pictures! We have Milo wearing a shark outfit (never fails to amuse me, because he has the same approach to food as a shark does), Milo playing with his favorite green ball, and Milo smiling in his sleep.


Meet Milo!

Milo, swaddled up and sleeping, wearing a crocheted viking hatOur son Milo was born on April 28, 2012! Both of us are healthy and happy, and everything’s been going very well. Brian and I are having so much fun with him, and my family, our doula Jessie, our doctor and all of our friends have been supportive and loving. (If you’re in the Tacoma, Olympia or Seattle area and looking for a doula, I highly recommend Jessie Keating, who was absolutely wonderful. She greatly reduced my anxiety about childbirth, was supportive of me and my husband in every possible way and was invaluable while I was in labor.) Thanks to everyone who’s asked about how things have been going… and of course, thanks to everyone who’s still reading, considering I haven’t posted since December!

There’s your update on the flesh and blood humans behind this website, but what about the paper ones you come here for? Obviously I have my hands a little full right now, but I’ve had paperdoll plans on my mind lately. (I have rather a lot of downtime in which I can think about such things while this little guy is feeding, although what with all the sleep deprivation my thoughts aren’t quite as coherent as usual.) I’d like to start drawing again, and put some of my earlier plans and ideas into action, particularly the customizable doll. I expect there won’t be any action on that front for a number of months, but it is on my mind. I always return to paperdolls in the end, it seems!

If there’s any paper doll related news, it will be here, though I can’t tell you exactly when that might be. To keep tabs on me in general, you can always see what I’m up to on Twitter!