February Birthday Dress with Primroses

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

Well, this dress shows quite clearly why I shouldn’t put off drawing until 9:30 PM — and furthermore, why I shouldn’t try to correct mistakes at 10:15 PM. The black ribbon used to be a too-light lilac that was swallowed up by the rest of the purple; it did need to be changed, and I don’t know what I could have done better, but I do know I couldn’t have done much worse. Oh well. I like the rest of it, and I hope you all do too!

Misplaced black ribbon or no, at the moment I’m all caught up for the year with birthday dresses, which is a nice – and rather rare – feeling! February’s flower is the primrose, and the birth stone is the amethyst.

This post also shows why I shouldn’t start writing at 10:30 PM, so I think I had better stop here for now! I will try to muster up more spirit on Thursday.

Bonus April Birthday Dress with Daisies

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

Happy April Fool’s Day, everyone! Don’t worry… it’s back to English today.

If you can actually read Japanese, I should mention (for the sake of my pride) that it probably sounded rather more stilted than my usual writing because I wrote it specifically to be put through Google Translate, so that it would make sense when people clicked the link. (Thanks, Google先生 ^^) Trying to write in English through automatic Japanese machine translation is actually a challenging exercise. (Try it sometime, if you’re learning Japanese. Alternately, take Translation Party for a spin!)

For example, that’s what accounts for the strange punctuation in “スケッチを描くこと、と日本語を勉強すること、のは私にとって大切です。” As it is, it’s rendered as the awkward yet reasonable “Drawing a sketch, and to study Japanese, are important to me.” Take out the commas and the meaning becomes “The Japanese wanted to learn to draw and sketch for me is important.” So it would all look slightly different if I was writing for clarity in Japanese and not clarity in Google Translate-assisted English…

The other entries I just ran through Google Translate because the content wasn’t terribly important – I just wanted to add to the feeling of being overwhelmed by another language. If you can read Japanese, you can see they’re rather a mess!

Since my April birthday dress was overshadowed by the April Fool’s day joke, I thought I’d do a bonus one. I hope it helps to make up for my cruelty ^^;;

March and May Birthday Gowns from Liana’s Paper Doll Boutique

Click for the doll.

For those of you who haven’t been following my site for a couple of years (or a decade, depending on how you look at it), allow me to explain why today’s dresses seem rather different from usual: they’re from Liana’s Paper Doll Boutique, which was my first paper doll-centric website. I drew outfits for it from December 1998, my sophomore year of high school, to May 2000, partially through my first year of college. It’s no longer online in its entirety, but from time to time I’ll put up some of the old content as filler for anyone with an interest in how my drawing skills developed, and it’s also a thrill to hear from people who followed the old site from time to time.

I’m not sure why it seemed like a good idea in the first place. I had been drawing paperdolls for my own amusement for a few years beforehand. I wish I knew where some of those old ones were, but I distinctly remember doing some for my cousins and a black-and-white historical set for my own amusement. As I imply above, it wasn’t my first website; I was a geek and put up all sorts of webpages about things that interested me – video games, music, interactive stories. In terms of attention received, it was my most successful, but my future husband e-mailed me after reading my video game site, so I can’t necessarily call my paper doll boutique my favorite project I did as a teenager! In any case, I suppose it was only natural to combine my two interests.

At some point, the site’s host vanished, or I had migrated it to my University of Michigan webspace and that vanished, I don’t remember, but either way it was gone. My mom tried to get me to put it back up online somewhere, but by then I was embarrassed at how childish the drawings seemed. But I don’t mind now, they seem cute to me, so I’ll let you all see them too! As you can see, I always did like the concept of the birthday dresses. It is a little sad, though, that after all this time, I haven’t ever done a whole set, much less a whole set in just one year. Hopefully this will be the year to change that…

January Birthday Gown in Deep Garnet Red with Gold Trim and Snowdrop Corsage

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

Here’s the 2011 January birthday dress! I had thought about not doing them this year, actually, but then I had an idea for a March one that seemed like it would turn out beautifully, and now I think I will take another shot at completing a set this year. Now that January is finished, all I will have to do is one for February and I’ll be all caught up for at least a whole week!

I’ve got a good feeling about this year. This year may bring a dress for every month, including poor neglected April, July and August (thanks Liz!). For those of you with January birthdays, I am sorry this one is late; speaking of which, I’m sorry that today’s dress is late in general. Well, Sunday isn’t too bad — and for those of you for whom it is already Monday, well, I throw myself on your mercy.

January’s birth flower is the snowdrop, and the birthstone is the garnet. Incidentally, this is the first January dress I’ve done that I really like. (Technically, I liked the previous year’s dress, but it scanned out really badly and you can hardly see the pattern…)