Sunday, September 7, 2014

Quick Post: Please Help

Hi everyone - this is just a quick drive-by post, though I promise that the second half of the Cerise Wolf tutorial will be up on Tuesday. (I had a lot of fun making it and am thinking about expanding it into a EAH doll tutorial series, so if you're interested in that, please let me know!) 

In the meantime, it would be wonderful if you could just take a few seconds to vote for me in the Doll Wardrobe Fashion Design contest. I spent so much time and energy putting that entry together (one of the reasons that I didn't post much this summer), and your support means a lot to me. And the standard deal applies: if I win, then I'll do a giveaway, so everyone benefits. Just click the picture below!

See you on Tuesday!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Make Your Own Cerise Wolf (Part 1)

It's been a whirlwind few weeks, but I'm finally back with the Cerise Wolf tutorial I promised you. Cerise has never been my favorite Ever After High character, but the Cerise Wolf doll design is pretty cool, and if you didn't get a chance to grab one at SDCC, here's your chance to make your own!

I'm going to split this tutorial in two parts because my internet connection is really bad (it's limited by week, and I can't upload all the pictures at once without burning out all this week's allotment). The first part will focus on creating the doll, and the next will show you how to create her costume.

As usual, the first step is to sketch out the doll's outline and facial features. 

Use purple and gray colored pencils to draw in her eyeshadow. (Sorry for the bad photo quality in these - I can't edit them without blowing out my internet access, but I'll fix them as soon as I can. Hopefully you can get a better idea of her face from the images in the previous post).


Use tan colored pencils to draw in her skin tone and brows, and use pink for her blush. I added some shading to her face and body to make her look more dimensional.

Color her eyes and lips with marker. My marker tip was too large to let me draw in fangs, so I left them off, but you can always add them after taping the doll by drawing them on with a pin tip dipped in white paint. 

Cut her out and tape her up, and you have your own Cerise Wolf! If you're not satisfied with how she looks, you can very lightly add color and blend it with your fingertip to achieve the shade you want. 

Cerise has white hair with dark brown/black stripes. To add shadow to make it look dimensional, shade her hair with a light gray colored pencil. The doll has blunt cut bangs but I don't like the way they look on my dolls so I made some sideswept bangs instead.

That's it for the first part of the Cerise Wolf tutorial. Check back soon for the rest! Hope you enjoy it, and if you make your own please share the photos - I always love to see what you create.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


As the title indicates, this is yet another bits and pieces post. Things are a little crazy over here, since I'm packing up to move on Friday. Please pardon the metaphorical dust!

1. It's been forever since I did a Sunday photo shoot, and almost as long since I featured a paper doll! This one solves both problems by showing off my latest creation, Cerise Wolf.

I took these photos when on vacation with my family. We went camping, and the woods seemed the perfect place to showcase Cerise's wolf side. 

As you can probably tell, these photos weren't actually taken in the woods - I love photographing my dolls, but not enough to get poison ivy and spider bites. So I compromised by posing her on a wooden ledge. Her cape, when folded out, functioned so well as a stand that she barely needed tape to keep her posed. 

I'm really pleased with how she came out - to me she's more beautiful than the actual Cerise Wolf - but I'm also thrilled with how the pictures turned out too. These were all taken with a cell phone camera, and yet I managed to get a nice blurry woods background without the use of fancy lenses and settings. (I say this not to boast but to encourage you - Paper Doll World is all about achieving the results you want on a budget, and if I can do it, of course you can.)

If you liked these photos, stay tuned because I have a tutorial on how to make your own Cerise Hood! (Yes, in addition to finally having a Sunday photo shoot, there will also be a Tuesday tutorial. I haven't completely abandoned you!)

2. I hate to be self-promotional, but I really need your help in the Doll Wardrobe photo contest. My entry is #3, and if you would just take a few seconds to vote for me I'd be extremely grateful. Since I don't like doing these sort of vote pleas (that's why I'm never going to run for government office, haha) I'm making a deal - if I win, I'll set up a giveaway here as a thank you for your help. Everyone benefits! Just click the photo below:

3. All right, this is the part of the miscellanea that's sad for me to type. Like I said earlier, I'm moving in less than a week to university, and as you can imagine I'll have much less time for dolls and blogging once the school year starts again. (I'm also not keen on bringing my entire doll collection, limited as it is, and freaking my roommate out.) After a long talk with my dad, I decided that the best thing to do is to put Paper Doll World on hold. I don't want to give up on blogging altogether, and I do want to get the store fully running, but for this next semester at least blogging will have to take a backseat. I've been a fairly sporadic blogger this past semester, so while I would love to say that this has just been a rough patch and to expect more posts, that isn't true. I'll pop in from time to time, but (and I truly am sorry about this) don't expect regular posting. I will try to schedule as much as I can in the limited time I have, so we'll see about maintaining some level of blogging normalcy.

That's all for today, so thanks for reading, and I'll see you in a few days!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Surprise Again!

Well, my final surprise is out, and though you've probably seen it I'm going to post about it anyway because I still can't believe that it actually happened. I'm not quite sure how to properly share this without sounding boastful and arrogant, so I'm just going to stick this screencap here:

I've got a guest post up on The Toy Box Philosopher! It's been four days and I'm still over the moon. 

As you know, I have a thing for commemorating special occasions with Ellowyne Wilde, and have fallen for "Flora, Fauna, and not so Merryweather" ever since she was released as the January convention exclusive. So when I saw that Wilde Imagination had marked her down and threw in a deal for 25% off plus free shipping, I thought she'd make the perfect graduation gift to myself. So I snapped her up just before she sold out, and when she arrived in mid-June I was so in love with this Ellowyne that I asked Emily of The Toy Box Philosopher if I could send in a guest review. As you can tell from the fact that I'm writing this post, she graciously agreed. 

It was a wonderful experience, and I am so overwhelmed by the fact that I was lucky enough to have it.  In my emails to her I couldn't stop thanking her for the opportunity; not only is Emily a really fantastic person, it really enhanced my enjoyment of this new Ellowyne. Now whenever I look at the doll I think about the fantastic time I had putting together the review, and that makes me adore her even more. 

Some of my favorite photos of the new Ellowyne Wilde doll, who I've renamed Florence Ophelia Wilde (as you can see, I stuck with the trend of giving my Ellowyne dolls Shakespearean names):

I really wanted to get a picture of Ophelia leaning over the bridge, but the scale was all wrong and I was petrified of dropping my new doll into the river, so I settled for this instead. It turned out nicely, though, so all's well that ends well. 

This is one of my very favorites, though I had to rush to get the pictures taken because this area was a mosquito haven. Lucky for Ophelia that mosquitos don't care for plastic. 

I wish I had a photo of myself taking this photo to show you how crazy it looked. I was in front of my house contorted like a Cirque de Soleil acrobat so I could be at just the right angle for the photo, holding out Ophelia at arm's length with my phone in the other hand and her jacket in my lap, and just as I was trying to position Ophelia just right to take the photo, my neighbor drove by and gave me the strangest look. Oh well, at least the photo turned out nicely.

Just like Viola, Ophelia shines in the late afternoon sunlight. Both dolls have such beautiful hair that is so fun to photograph.

I would be remiss if I didn't include a picture of Ophelia with a few paper dolls, since this is Paper Doll World, after all.

Miniatures upon miniatures - these photos got somewhat meta, especially when my sister decided to help arrange the dolls (I didn't share those photos because of internet privacy, but suffice it to say that it was pretty cute), but to me it encapsulates my feeling that no matter what three-dimensional dolls end up on my shelf, my first priority will always be my paper dolls.

I'm going to close off with one of my top favorite photos:

 I love this photo so much - Viola and Ophelia are so different, yet both extraordinarily beautiful. The green tulle on Viola's dress and the olive shantung of Ophelia's jacket are very close matches for their eyes.

That's it for my surprises; I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did. I'll be back soon with, hopefully, some new paper ideas and a few 3D projects as well. Come back soon!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

3D Thursday #2 + Surprise!

You may have wondered about the radio silence lately (if anyone's still reading...), but at last I can finally reveal why I was MIA. Aside from the typical chaos of my everyday life offline, I've been tremendously busy with two special projects and I can finally reveal one of them!

The Doll Mag is celebrating its third birthday this month, and when I found out that the celebration theme was Secret Garden Party I couldn't not share a tutorial. Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden was my favorite book when I was small (I was a strange little child, and the book inspired my lifelong interest in cholera and water treatment. Guess I've never outgrown being strange.), so of course I decided to create my own rose garden scaled down for paper dolls. Click the link to view the tutorial! I'm counting this as a 3D Thursday project because it technically fits the qualifications, even though it's cheating just the tiniest bit by being a guest post.

Some more photos of the garden party (like with many photo setups, I went a little photo crazy) :

Treehouse pictures are practically a staple here, so of course I had to include one in the garden. I think it's a tremendous improvement over the original treehouse.

Credit goes to my sister for styling the dolls - I was rushing to get the photos together for Bella and Lulu, so she took care of the outfits. I wouldn't have come up with Alia's outfit on my own, but it works, and of course there's no way to go wrong with Isabelle's cape. You know how I am when it comes to Sitara.

The lanterns really make this garden special, but for me the best part is the table and food. I didn't want to go full-on with sweets, but this is a party so I tried to create a balance between treats and cookout food. I was originally just going to use a pizza table and cover it with a tablecloth, but this picnic table turned out so well that I couldn't bring myself to cover up the nice wood grain pattern. 

While the Doll Mag is primarily focused on the 18" American Girl dolls, I couldn't resist sneaking Sad Sally into the scene. She doesn't seem to be too sad about gatecrashing the party.

 A look at the lanterns, my second-favorite part of the scene...

and the flower bushes. I used maybe eight shades of pink on each bud, but it was worth it.

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial! If you make your own, please send me a photo; I would love to see it. Come back soon for the second reveal, and happy birthday again to the Doll Mag!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

3D Thursday #1

One of the primary lesson I've learned in sewing is - shocker - to always start with a pattern. (Before all you experienced seamstresses start laughing at me, some people can sew perfectly well by estimating and eyeballing, but for me that just ends up with a lot of wasted time and fabric.) For this dress I made my own bodice pattern based on a Trio for Blythe tutorial, and adapted the skirt pattern from the free MHD sun dress pattern. Here's a look at my desk in the middle of this process. 

Below, the separate parts of the dress are sewn together, preferably with the skirt and bodice seams lined up. I only realized after I'd constructed most of the dress that my seams were a little off, and as befits a lazy sewing newbie, decided to just leave it be and try to cover it with embroidery. Don't make my mistake!

To decorate, embroider whatever patterns you like on the dress. I drew heavily from the floral designs on the Trio bodices, and also did it all freehand (see "lazy sewing newbie", above). This is the most fun part, in my opinion, so really go wild with designs and embellishments. I added some Czech glass beads for sparkle, but it's all up to you.

Don't forget to try it on your doll every so often to make sure that it fits properly.

Sew up the back up to an inch below the bottom of the bodice, and then close it however you like - with buttons, snaps, eyelets, Velcro. You can even get really fancy and make little thread loops on the back of the bodice to thread ribbon through. While that method looks really nice, it's too complicated for me so I just went with the eyelets (though I tried snaps and those worked well too). 

Thread loops. This dress is, once again, by Trio. 
Make a lining if you're interested, and you're done!

I hope you enjoyed this simple walkthrough. If you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Duel Nature

I started this blog about a year and a half ago with the intention of sharing one of my favorite hobbies - making paper dolls and miniatures. It's been fun and exciting, but the thing about paper dolls is that they're simple. This is great for putting together a fun plaything or scene in a hurry, but the downside is that there's really not much to do in terms of tutorials because they all work the same way: come up with a design, draw it as a flat figure, cut it out and fold or glue together. There's only so many times that you can read or write the same basic steps without getting bored, and the last thing I want to do is bore you.

Also, a side effect of creating this blog is further segmentation of my life. I try to keep my personal life off the site for obvious reasons - you came here to read about paper dolls, not about my daily life, and also basic internet safety - but this separation further cements my feelings of having a dual personality. I don't want to have a "doll side" and a "regular side"; I want to be a person with many interests, and one of them is paper dolls, but due to the things I mentioned earlier that's going to be difficult to mange on this blog.

When I began this blog I had the intention of creating a persona similar to that of Agoverseasfan, who never reveals any personal information - we don't know anything at all about Agoverseasfan except  interest in dolls. For the reasons I previously stated I thought that would be the safest option, but the truth is that I'm miserable. I'm tired of trying to hide my liking of dolls in my everyday life, and I'm tired of not being able to talk here about the other things I enjoy. I just can't reconcile that with my idea that Paper Doll World is specifically for paper doll related posts.

Honestly, I wish I could emulate the blogging style of Beast'sbelle of Never Grow Up and Kristen Rosenau of Pastry Affair. Both are talented writers and photographers, and gracefully walk the line between internet privacy and sharing some of their life and thoughts about it (I particularly admire Beast'sbelle's confidence in taking doll photos in public, something I've always been too scared to try). Reading their blogs gives me the sense of communicating with a real person, not a cardboard cutout like I worry I've become.

I'm torn between wanting to keep all my blogging to Paper Doll World and setting up a separate blog for what happens on my side of the monitor. What are your thoughts, and how do you deal with balancing your online persona?
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