Black Lace and Red Satin Ballgown with Gold Bats, Plus An Announcement!

A dramatic ballgown with a fitted bodice and overskirt made of rose-patterned black lace over white fabric. It has one shoulder strap decorated with a gold bat with red eyes, and there's four more bats evenly spaced around the scalloped edge of the overskirt. The underskirt is shiny red satin and flares out from underneath the underskirt. The skirt is bell-shaped and reaches the floor.Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.

How sad, it is almost the end of October and I have hardly thought about Halloween costumes… To tell you the truth, I’ve had quite a lot to think about, recently, because I’m pregnant! I’m in the second trimester, and if all goes well the baby will be arriving late April. Things are going well, I’m healthy and doing much better than I was in the first trimester, when I was exhausted and had pretty crazy morning sickness — all within the range of normal, but crazy nonetheless. (If you’re interested, I wrote about it for a new baby-centric tumblelog Brian set up: First Trimester Recap: “Hm, what does this button do?” But it is mostly a bunch of complaining about eating nothing but cereal bars and saltines, plus one of the ultrasound pictures.)

Baby news aside, it is almost Halloween, and that’s important around here, no matter how pregnant I am. It’s always the best time for paperdolling, and as it so happens I feel energetic enough that this October may not be a total waste… So check back again before the 31st!

I guess the only thing Halloween-ish about this ballgown is the “bat bling,” as Brian termed it. (They started life as albino bats, but there was too little contrast, so now they’re gold.) I don’t really know where the roses came from. But no matter, it is dramatic enough that one could acquit oneself honorably at a vampires’ ball.

The Good Queen’s Ghost’s Dress, in Gold, Black and Burgundy with Silver Ribbons

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I drew a Halloween costume one year called The Good Queen’s Ghost, a bloody blue and white gown, and ever since I put it up there have been complaints – mostly from my mom – that there’s no clean version. I don’t really like redrawing things, but I thought for this case, I would consider making an exception, and I put up a poll for guidance; the winning option was to redraw it with no blood – but in the colors it was when she was alive, not in the ghostly blue and white. For apparently it is a rule of the paperdollverse that a ghost’s clothes can change after death; the blue and white is not a color combination that she was particularly fond of in life. (I have enough of a morbid streak that I was rather hoping that another bloody dress would win, but now I am quite glad that the winner didn’t call for liberal application of Crimson Red.)

Now, the Good Queen never did have the slightest bit of restraint. I imagine most of you can think of times you have choked back biting, hurtful, self-evidently true words out of prudence, kindness or fear; there was never any such check on her tongue. Perhaps, too, there have been times where you have hidden your most vulnerable or outrageous feelings, times when you’ve wanted to share the very depths of your precious heart with someone and didn’t, or couldn’t. The Good Queen would not have understood such hesitation, and her passionate nature meant that you always knew precisely where you stood with her, whether she loved you, felt entirely indifferent to your very existence or was wondering why you hadn’t done anything useful with your wretched life, like feeding vultures. In turn, where she stood with other people was never of much concern to her: it was not so much that she had no feelings to hurt, for she was a creature of exquisite emotions, but rather that she valued her own feelings too highly to allow them to be affected by any of the ridiculous creatures surrounding her.

You might say it was due to her great power that she felt so free to dispense with the filter that, for most of us, prevents our every thought from being made public, but no: her brother would claim, later, that she was just always like that. You might suspect that it was an act to conceal a deep vulnerability, but I am quite sure that it was not; I think her vulnerabilities lied elsewhere. And in her own way, she was fair: she treasured the advisors and lovers who stood up to her, she never once took her anger out on unfortunate underlings who just happened to be in the way or messengers delivering bad news, and she only told one lie over the whole course of her life. For many people, she inspired confidence as much as she inspired fear or offense, for although she had zero tact, she was never capricious. (In this way, she was rather the opposite of the Twisted Queen, who was by the way a contemporary and not a relative.)

In dress, too, she always did go in for opulence. That she could exist in a world where the rich gold cloth of this dress would turn thin white shows the depth of whatever pain or curse keeps her here; she never would have put up with it in life. Don’t try telling her you think it’s beautiful in its own way – she would have some choice words for you.

Prismacolors used: Cool Grey 20%, 50%, 70%, Black Grape, Imperial Violet, Greyed Lavender, Henna, Black Raspberry, Goldenrod, Bronze, Light Umber, Dark Umber, Jasmine, Cream, Black, Colorless Blender

Halloween ’10 Day 8: Dragon Masquerade Gown in Green and Gold

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

As I said before, this week we join the mythical ball! At this time of year, not only does my traffic increase dramatically, but my masquerade gowns get quite popular, so I thought I would like to add to my stock. As far as the design goes, this dragon-themed masquerade gown was the low-hanging fruit of the five ball gowns I have planned, and I was able to sketch it out fairly easily and plan the colors without any problems… but in execution, oh, my aching hand! So that’s why it is a day late — it was just too good to rush. The others may suffer a similar fate, so do be patient with me.

I do love designing and drawing masquerade gowns! I like anything I don’t have to do a lot of research for, and by design masquerade gowns can be exquisitely beautiful, wild and creative, or both. If all goes well this week, you’ll see some fun ones…

Prismacolors used:Black, Poppy Red, Sunburst Yellow, Dark Umber, Cool Grey 50%, Pale Sage, Tuscan Red, Dark Green, Peach Beige, Grass Green, French Grey 30%, Black Grape, Lilac, Pumpkin Orange, Spring Green, Indigo Blue, Powder Blue, Sky Blue Light, Cool Grey 70%, Light Umber, Goldenrod, Yellowed Orange, Chartreuse, Yellow Chartreuse, Peacock Blue, Cream; Verithin Ultramarine, Orange, Crimson Red, Peacock Blue, Violet, Dark Brown, Grass Green, Cool Grey 70%; Sakura Soufflé White

Halloween ’10, Day 7: Black And White Cute Bat Costume

Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.
After drawing six iterations of a half-hearted gown, I took elements of the bodice that I liked and drew a cute bat costume around them.

That might tell you all a little more about the way my mind works than I am entirely comfortable divulging, but there you have it.

Next week, we shall have masquerade gowns for a mythical ball. I haven’t come up with a story to catch them in, but even if I don’t, they should be so much fun that they won’t need one…

There’s still time to vote on the Good Queen’s next appearance, but you’ll have to scroll down for it, because now it’s time for my favorite part of the Halloween costume parade: what was your favorite this week? (And last week, actually — I can’t leave out my priestess robes.)