February Birthday Dress with Purple Flower Patterned Tunic and White and Yellow Primroses

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So this would be… four months late? Forgive me, Sage, EmilyRose, Celestina and the rest of you with birthdays in February. Or think of it this way: the presents are opened, the check from your grandma long since cashed, and yet there remained one unexpected gift!
… Yeah, maybe not. I’ll try to be a little more prompt next year… And I believe I still have January and April to catch up on, but technically Sylvia and Iris already got January and April dresses, so I thought that of the three choices, those months could wait. In any case, February’s birthstone is the amethyst and the birth flower is the primrose, so that led to today’s color choices. Also, trazy, I need to thank you for forcing me outside my comfort zone — that technique of light patterns on a dark background is not too hard (if the light part is done with a dark enough pencil that you can see it) and looks striking. Expect to see it show up a few more times until I get it out of my system!

Well, that was a short contest! To win the contest, someone had to guess one of the ten movies I rated the highest with movielens, and Sofia won already, with her guess of Casablanca. (The other nine: Whisper of the Heart, Vertigo, The Thin Man, Some Like It Hot, Robin Hood (Disney version), Porco Rosso, North by Northwest, Dr. Strangelove and All About Eve.) Congratulations Sofia!

Mermaid Monday #14: Purple Water Iris Mermaid with Yellow Tail

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So yesterday was Mother’s Day, and then I go and disappoint my poor mother by deciding to take Sundays off! Well, I couldn’t not do Mermaid Monday, but this one is dedicated to my mom, since she likes irises. (Yes, that’s what those flowers are supposed to be, water irises. You all should see the irises she draws: they are beautiful and look like irises, unlike mine.)

Right now, sadly, I live over 2,000 miles away from my family, but this summer, we’re planning on moving, Prismacolors and cats and all, from Michigan to Washington State where they live. You all should appreciate that, because I have a feeling that once I’m out there, Mom won’t let me get away with any more half-year disappearances! Seriously, though, I will probably end up drawing more because I can get together with her, or my cousin Becky, and just enjoy drawing. So wish me good luck with that, once I get to that point.

Empire Waist Light and Dark Purple Prom Dress with Sequins and Scroll Embroidery

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So I got an e-mail from a reader named Brittany who also likes to draw paperdolls, and she suggested that I do some more up-to-date outfits, maybe some pants, shorts, bathing suits and dresses “that are actually in this time period.” (Her e-mail was very sweet and not snarky at all, I just thought that phrasing was funny!) I wrote back to her, but for some reason the response didn’t go through, so I’ll post the reply here:

I think that’s great that you design your own outfits! (It’s fun, isn’t it? :) ) The problem with more fashionable outfits is that I, personally, am possibly the least fashionable human being in America, I wear boring clothes myself and don’t watch much TV or read fashion magazines. So when I think of what’s going on in my life that I might want to draw a paperdoll about, I don’t often think of something cool ;) But you’re really right, that it would be interesting to have more modern, stylish outfits as well, so I will consider some outfits like
that for the future. I used to draw prom dresses when I was in high school, but I haven’t paid attention to prom styles for a while… maybe I’ll start there! Thank you for the suggestion. :)

And it’s true, I mostly wear pretty but unfashionable dresses and skirts. Pretty clothes are one thing, but fashion, constantly changing clothes and adornments that send messages about class, taste and individuality, that’s a whole different animal. To me, style is like a language where my mastery is limited to asking “Is this vegetarian?” and “Where is the bathroom?” So for this particular project I’ll start with something I can get into: prom dresses. After all, it looks like your average prom dress is as far removed from catwalks and Vogue as I am.

Now, looking through prom dresses, they don’t seem too different from the kinds that were around when I was in high school — except that the pick-up skirt is a new one on me. I can see it as a design element, part of a well-balanced dress, but the full pick-up skirt that looks like a poofy, sloppy, satin pineapple? Let’s just say I think the pick-up skirt ought to get off of my darn lawn. I can sort of understand the appeal on an intellectual level, I didn’t mind this one, but it just seems that the line between “opulent and romantic” and “sloppy trainwreck” is just so easily crossed. Well, the children of 2030 need something to laugh at, I guess. Aside from that, it seems like the ball gown skirt is out, sleeves of any sort are out, fussy (aside from those pick-up skirts) is out, and a more classical look – albeit one dressed up with sparkles and pretty designs – is in. Here’s my take on one — and yes, the white paint pen is definitely a new toy.

I didn’t end up going to prom (graduated before the year was over, it’s a long story — although I doubt I could have talked my husband, then my boyfriend, into it anyways) but for those of you who did, what kind of dress did you have?

The Twelve Dancing Princesses (A Christmas Tale), Day 3: Daphne’s Purple Gown with Light Purple and Silver Accents and Moonflowers

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Now, said cobbler’s assistant was actually a wise choice on the part of the Minister of Sorcery. The cobbler himself had encouraged his apprentice to look into a (higher-paid) position with the Sjalfer military, for there was something about his cat-like way of delivering shoes to people and staying under the radar that suggested a potential spy or an assassin. But the assistant himself, whose name was Ced (short for Cedric, but no one called him that), much preferred making things and was rather shy besides. The wordy explanation from the minister left him rather dizzy, but he was already formulating plans before he left the room.

First he visited his master to pick up the slippers that had just been made for the princesses. The cobbler presented a box of them and also a pair of royal blue shoes. “The slippers are for the princesses and those shoes are for you. Special soles, you see,” he said proudly as he turned them over and poked at them. “Wonderful things, muffle your footsteps. Like walking on little clouds, almost. I’ve been working on a pair for the Minister of Defense, but he can wait while you track those silly girls.”

After thanking the cobbler, Ced’s next destination was his mother’s room. The Minister of Sorcery had hinted that returning to the King with no answer might be fatal, and although Ced suspected that this was only one of the Minster’s dramatic flourishes, he had better make his preparations anyways. She was a seamstress, and was stitching away at some golden material as he came in, her hands flying even as he explained the situation.
“My, I can hardly blame them if they have found a way out, even if demons are behind it,” she said disapprovingly. “His Majesty keeps them on a tight leash, yes indeed. You know, I taught Gabrielle how to sew, yes I did, but that was when the Queen was alive, and after her passing those girls got locked up, it seems like. It seemed like a major breakthrough when he first let them out to decorate for Christmas a couple years back! I miss them. You know, I got something for them last year, and I never did get around to applying for an audience… Can you bring them this book from me?” She produced a handsome old book from her closet and handed it to her son. “They do love their fairy tales, those girls. I bought this off a peddler with them in mind. Don’t mention that it’s a year late, of course.”

At twilight, armed with the box, the shoes and the book, Ced hurried to the princesses’ chambers. He had been there before, but only to drop off their finished slippers; being naturally shy and wary, he liked to finish the task as quickly and unobtrusively as possible. So he had hardly ever seen them, much less talked to them, and although he knew their names he wasn’t sure he could tell them apart without looking at their shoes. His mom had taught him the basics of etiquette when dealing with royalty, but all Ced could remember of it was that you kneeled and used titles instead of names. He had developed his stealthy style partially to avoid having to remember such troublesome things.

After announcing his name and mission to the guards at the door, he stepped into the hallway. Usually he would deliver the shoes into individual closets without announcing his presence, but this time he called out “Delivery for the princesses,” and in a moment he was mobbed by twelve young women.

“What have you brought for us?” asked one eagerly.
“The cobbler has finished your slippers, and I’m here to deliver them,” he answered, opening the box and selecting a petal pink pair to pass out first.
“Those must be mine,” one cried, reaching for the shoes. “Pink’s my favorite.” I almost forgot, thought Ged with a great wave of relief, the princesses are color-coded. Juliette likes pink, so that one’s her. He next pulled out a red pair for Perdita and a gold pair for Camellia, and by and by all of the princesses were poking out their feet from under their bell-shaped skirts and admiring each others’ slippers.

This dress belongs to twenty-three year old Daphne. She isn’t as smart as Perdita or as wise as Camellia, and she’s even more passive and shy than either of them, so she often feels a little overshadowed and put-upon. She has a romantic soul and a refined aesthetic sense, and she loves to be by herself, writing poetry and drawing. She’s kind, but not overly friendly with any of the princesses except for Juliette, as the two of them have collaborated in writing songs and lyrics for several years. Her favorite color is violet, and her favorite flowers are moonflowers.