Blue, Black and Gold Angel Gown for Low’s “Long Way Around The Sea”

A flowing, loose gown made of three layers. The innermost layer is a light blue tunic with wide sleeves that fall to the wrist and a full hemline that reaches to the feet. The hem, edge of the sleeves and neck are edged with gold trim. Over that are two sleeveless tunics. The one on the outside is dark blue and open in the front, while the one underneath that is dark blue and crosses in a V at the front near the waistline so that the light blue of the first tunic is visible. The entire dress is belted at the waist with a gold rope belt, which is tied in a bow at the side and has long ends that fall to the knee. The edges of the two top tunics are draped in soft folds which show the gold reverse side of the fabric, and the edges are staggered so that you can see part of the black tunic under the blue one and part of the light blue tunic under the black one. The edges of all three skirts fan out in a trumpet shape near the hem.Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.

Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it! To those of you who don’t, happy end of December, and apologies for the incessant Christmas cacophony.

Lyrika asked me and a bunch of other bloggers to write about one of our favorite Christmas carols this year for one of her Random Magic tours. You can – and should – see the other bloggers’ picks by checking the schedule: Songs of the Season.

I love most Christmas carols and know a whole lot of them, thanks to playing the piano as a kid, so it was tough to decide on just one; I decided to go with one that I wouldn’t expect most readers to have heard before, Low’s “Long Way Around The Sea.” Low is a group that my husband is really into, but I know very little about them other than that I love their Christmas album. “Long Way Around The Sea” is a melancholy song with a classic feeling about the three wise men being warned by an angel against going back to see Herod after visiting the baby Jesus.

I have a real weakness for such dark-sounding songs, and somehow this one puts me in mind of dark colors like black and blue. Even the angel is dressed in a relatively subdued way because she doesn’t want to call attention to herself. No, no, don’t look at me, I picture her saying, just hurry and head back that-a-way instead, OK?

Queens of the Sea #9: Red Patchwork Tunic for Winnie Flapjack from Random Magic by Sasha Soren

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

Welcome to day nine of the Queens of the Sea series, part of the Random Magic Pirates book tour! Here is the mini-bio for today’s pirate, provided again by Lyrika:

Winnie Flapjack: The Future Pirate Queen

Winnie Flapjack is the main character from Random Magic, a girl of distinctly piratical disposition who bests a pirate king and finds her own destiny waiting for her on the waves.

She crosses paths with bemused book-jumper Henry Witherspoon when he quite accidentally helps her rescue herself from a fate worse than death.

Orphaned at birth and essentially a scrappy loner with a gift for magic and sarcasm, she’s brave, feisty, abrupt, resourceful, very loyal and also very tricky.

As Henry soon finds out, he’ll have reason to thank his lucky stars a thousand times for having Winnie by his side — if the experience doesn’t kill him, first.

Winnie is described as wearing a red patchwork tunic; I pulled out all my most random colors for the fabric scrap patterns, because this is indeed a very random book! I still do intend to review it, but I’m not finished with it yet so I don’t want to review it prematurely. When I do, I’ll post it here.

Tomorrow is the last day for this series, and I’m going to have two polls: one for your favorite pirate story out of the ten, and one for your favorite pirate outfit. I’ll definitely do another outfit for the winner of “favorite outfit” — if I’m really ambitious, I might do a second outfit for the one who wins “favorite story.” I’ll try to get it up nice and early, so don’t forget to come by and vote!

The contests will be open until May 27th, 11:59 PM Pacific time. So if you haven’t entered, be sure to write your comment today! Click here for the chance to win an original drawing, for those of you who can give me an address if you win, and click here for the chance to design a pirate outfit, open to everyone!

Check out the tour schedule here! And for more information about Random Magic, here’s the trailer for the book.

Also, check out the Rum + Plunder treasure hunt for more pirate prizes!

March Birthday Gown with Blue Tunic and Daffodils

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

Today, we have a March birthday gown; the birthstone is aquamarine and the birth flower is the daffodil. I always like doing these, but I have an uncomfortable feeling that in all these months I’ve been drawing them, I’ve skipped a couple of months entirely… I had better make a chart sometime.

“What do you think you’ll do today?” my husband asked me.
“Oh, a March paperdoll.”
“Like the Ides of March?”
“Well, not that kind of March.”
Please do refrain from getting backstabbed in this dress, the blue is far too nice to spoil!

I think I have pretty much recovered from being so horribly sick, so I’ll do my best to get back on the paperdoll schedule! (True, today’s is a little late, but where I am, it’s 10:30. That’s not even approaching midnight! Plenty of time.)

Gloranthan Woman’s Dress in Blue and Sea Green from King of Dragon Pass

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

One Valentine’s Day a decade ago when I was in college, my boyfriend gave me a computer game called King of Dragon Pass. I may have looked a little askance at a Valentine’s gift that didn’t come in a heart-shaped red box, but after playing a bit, it became clear that this guy had an excellent sense of what made me happy. (Reader, I married him.)

King of Dragon Pass is a strategy game where you manage every aspect of an clan, making decisions such as which gods to sacrifice to, which of your neighbors to ally with and which to attack, how to amass wealth and respect and how peaceful (or otherwise) your clan is, all while solving day-to-day problems with the help of your clan’s council. It’s set in a fantasy world called Glorantha, which I gather has a long history as a setting for board games and role-playing games, so there’s a whole pantheon of gods and customs to learn about while you pay attention to things like setting up trade routes and training warriors. I love games like that, with so much that needs paying attention to, and I also like that there are so many different events and things to find that even I haven’t seen all of them. (And I loved that game to little tiny pieces, let me tell you.)

Somehow, I always ended up playing the same way: my clan winds up as a fairly peaceful and prosperous bunch of Ernalda (earth mother) worshippers. When I try to be all warlike and propitiate Humakt (death god) and bully my neighbors, I never really get anywhere. Even still, there’s always so many things to take care of and new situations that it never gets old to me. Plus, I love the art: the game itself is text-based, but each event has a beautifully drawn image to go with it. (You can buy some of the original art, although I think all things considered, I’d rather not be hanging that particular chaos monstrosity on my walls.) If you like simulation or strategy games at all, I really recommend it – it’s got a steep learning curve, but with patience, it’s a very rewarding game.

King of Dragon Pass has been on my mind because, more than a decade after it was released, the developers are working on versions for the iPhone, iPod Touch and possibly the iPad! Now, I own none of these devices, but I’m excited anyways, because I love this game and I’d be really happy to see it get popular on those platforms.

Sadly, I haven’t played King of Dragon Pass for many years now, since I haven’t been able to find the CD even though I’ve looked everywhere for it. I think the last time I saw it was three or four apartments ago, and every so often I will have an overwhelming desire to manage cattle and I’ll look for it… I can’t imagine that we got rid of it, even accidentally, but we don’t really have too much stuff… I dropped some hints (on the order of “Hey, you should get this for me, OK?”) to Brian that I wanted the Mac version for Christmas, so he ordered it for me, but hasn’t heard back from anyone yet. I hope I get it soon!

The women generally wear long dresses with a different-colored tunic, belted at the waist, although there’s a fairly good selection of outfits, since women can take on a lot of jobs including trading, hunting and fighting. This is just a generic outfit that’s not really based on anything in particular.