Forest Green Empire Waist Dress with Red and Gold Trim (Versions 1 and 2)

Click for larger version (PNG):dark overskirt, light overskirt; click for PDF version: dark overskirt, light overskirt. Click here for the list of dolls.

Sorry about the confusion over the last contest! See, we were out of town for the weekend; I don’t like to announce that sort of thing to the whole Internet, so I didn’t say it, but I wanted to keep to my schedule so I set up Saturday’s post to go automatically. Right up until we left, I was sneaking looks at my computer, thinking “Surely someone will guess in the next ten minutes?” On Saturday, I saw my mom, and she informed me that Ana had guessed correctly, so she posted a comment saying that Ana had won — and she should know, because she was there. Then, to Mom’s surprise, people kept guessing anyways! I think she might have even taken it a little personally…

In any case, my birthday was the 3rd, and I had a wonderful birthday, complete with chasing down the FedEx guy for one of my presents, a mix CD from one of my best friends that I listened to while coloring tonight and a perfectly clear night on Puget Sound so Brian and I could stand out on the edge of the low tide and stargaze. (Oh, and my dad freaking out about the aging process, the day wouldn’t be complete without it: I suspect my 30th birthday next year will be a little hard on him.)

Anyways, Ana won the contest, and here’s what she wrote:

ok then cool. first off happy belated birthday and secondly I’d like the first black and white regency gown from may ( coloured, please. I’d like dress to be a deep forest green with the accents and trim in gold and deep red (preferably without looking too christmasy in the process).

Without looking too Christmasy? Oh, I think I failed that one right off the bat… Would that Ana had won in summer when the associations wouldn’t be so strong! But oh well, I enjoyed myself thoroughly, and Ana, I hope you like at least one of these versions!

This dress is actually a little difficult – it’s too fussy, and you see the overskirt is actually intended to be lacy or semi-transparent: with the rest of the dress forest green, I thought a forest green overskirt would simply look too heavy, so I originally wanted a semi-transparent gold overskirt. However, I failed to make it look anything like how I wanted, and I gave up and made it white with just a little bit of gold, despite how carefully I try to stick to the contest winner orders. Still, I couldn’t help messing with it in Photoshop, which produced the version with the darker, gold-embroidered overskirt, and I found a place in my heart for both versions. I think the darker one makes the dress look a little more exotic and the whiter one just can’t help but give off that Christmas vibe. Which one do you like better? Take the poll…

Prismacolors used: Dark Green, Tuscan Red, Jasmine, White, Pale Sage, Kelly Green, French Grey 90%, Cool Grey 20%, Bronze, Dark Umber, Black, Sakura white gel pen, 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

Pink 1860s Ball Gown with White Scroll Pattern

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

Well, today’s dress wasn’t quite what I wanted. I was planning on trying to draw lace with the white gel pen, but I ended up doing it all in pencil instead, and then I picked up the wrong pencil while doing the bodice and colored for a while before I realized my mistake. What I have here is totally different from what I wanted, because after my mistake the only thing I could do was to make it as dark as possible and draw something distracting on top of it. I probably wouldn’t quite so annoyed about my bodice mistake if that skirt hadn’t taken so long!

Anyways, I just thought I hadn’t done a hoop skirt for a while, and it would offer a lot of opportunities to practice drawing lace with the gel pen, which I didn’t even do…

… I’m just going to post this and be done with it!

Halloween Masquerade Costume Series #7: The Cursed Sisters, Part 6

Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.
The buzz of voices around them grew so loud, and her partner seemed so tense, that Linnetta squeezed her eyes shut, wishing herself anywhere else.

“Whoever that one is, she’s gone too far,” he said quietly, and she forced her eyes open and found the cause of the commotion: at the top of the stairs, a newcomer in a black and orange gown. “This must be unbearable for you,” he continued. “Or do you know her?”

“I don’t,” she said uneasily. “It’s someone’s idea of a joke…”

“Perhaps,” he replied. “Or perhaps not.”

As they were talking, the strange women Linnetta had been trying not to notice all night had gathered at the base of the stairs; the other revelers had given the five of them a wide berth, and they stood motionless, staring out at the dance floor.

“I think you do know who she is,” her partner continued. “I think you’ve known each of them since you saw the third one; possibly the second.”

“No,” she said, shaking her head. Wisps of hair fell out of her updo, sticking to her face. “It must be some kind of joke. A trick, to try to scare everybody.”

“I’m afraid not.”

“But how? How is it even possible that they’re…?”

“They have made their own pacts,” he answered lightly. “There are other powers than those you have dealt with, you know.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

“Liar,” he replied, with an indulgent smile. “I know all about the bargain you made… Almost all, anyways. Was it that you were already sick, and you traded their lives for your own? Or was your illness part of the ruse, so you could avoid suspicion?”

“I — I could never do such a thing,” Linnetta whispered, but it was unconvincing even to her.

“And so you were able to possess them, and manufacture their deaths one by one. But Georgiana has been seeking her revenge ever since the night you directed her off that cliff. Did you think she could let such a thing rest, even in death?”

Linnetta turned reflexively towards the woman in the black spangled dress, and her eyes were so captivating that she didn’t even realize the queen of the ball was being announced. Her partner had to give her a little push towards the center of the dance floor; a crown was placed on her head and everyone started applauding. She smiled graciously and waved, but faltered when she saw her sisters. Why had no one else noticed they had taken their masks off? While everyone else was clapping, they stood motionless, their hands linked, their faces mangled and ghastly; the only face she could bear to look at was Lenora’s, bloodless and as pale as her gown. Panicking, Linnetta turned back to her dance partner, and while he still wore his mask there seemed to be no difference between it and the skin beneath. He reached for her hand; the embroidery on the cuff of his sleeve pulsed as if stitched with blood vessels, and the bright lining of her gown was setting her skin on fire.


I hope you enjoyed my little Halloween story… In the end it really was just an excuse to do some creepy masquerade gowns, but it was fun to write too. Thanks to my husband Brian for brainstorming the original idea with me and editing it.

No thanks to Brian for writing a Python script to vote automatically for fairies 20 times. That’s right, the proper fairy vote count ought to be whatever-it-is-minus-nineteen… That means it looks like literary characters get next week, probably, since I doubt he’s going to try a stunt like that again.

You know I had to do this poll… vote for your favorite masquerade costume!