Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dollhouse Part 2.1 - Vanity

In keeping with the furniture tutorial theme, here is a how-to for making a paper vanity for your dolls.

Sketch out the shape of the vanity.

Add details to make it more realistic. I made a hand towel and mirror, but you can put in whatever you like. 

Measure your sink and cabinet space, like in the kitchen tutorial, to make storage areas and places for your dolls to wash up.

Color it, cut it out, assemble it, and you're done! I decided to make mine a hanging wall unit, so it could work for dolls of different sizes. In addition to the towel and mirror, I made some nail polish, a blow dryer, and a curling iron for some more realism. 

Even with all the little parts, this project was really easy and fun to do. If you make it, please send me photos - I would love to see your creative interpretations. 

Next week's tutorial will most likely be a bathtub, but I'm always open to suggestions. If there's any tutorial you want, let me know in the comments and I'll try to make it happen.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Formal Introduction - The Name At Last!

Careful readers may have caught her name last week, but today I want to formally introduce the doll that has been unnamed for over two weeks. Ladies and gentlemen, the one and only Miss Rani Taliesin!

Rani is a Hindi name meaning "queen," and Taliesin (pronounced tah-lee-EH-sin) is a Welsh name meaning "shining brow." Taliesin was also the name of architect Frank Lloyd Wright's studio/school, which still exists today. 

Her coloring is nice because it works with almost anything. I tried to create a doll with a darker skin tone to add some diversity to the group, but I ended up smudging her face so I had to go lighter. Someday I'll develop a more efficient coloring technique.

One of my favorite things about Rani is her expression. You can catch her looking concerned, serene, or skeptical. I love photographing her and seeing how her expression changes in each photo.

I'm very grateful for all your name suggestions. They were all great and I had the worst time deciding between them. Thanks for being such fantastic readers!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The AWOL Tutorial

Due to some unexpected issues, today's tutorial will probably be pushed to next week. I'm very sorry about canceling, but I really have no choice. Some things came up, and, while I hate to bail on you, they simply had to come first. See you again next Sunday, and, as usual, let me know if you have any tutorial requests.

Thanks for your understanding!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Paper Doll Art Contest Entry

Today's photo shoot is my entry for Paper Doll Art's contest. Click the link to see more!

The doll in this photo set is named Tesla Jane. Here's the storyline I created for the entry:

Tesla wakes up early to get ready for school. Her hairstyle, a braided headband, takes a while to do and she doesn't want to be late. Tesla picks out a red and white pleated skirt and white shirt with a fish-scale pattern on the top and cap sleeves, a look she thinks is fresh and polished, yet fun. She packs her lunch and laptop in her backpack and sets off.

Tesla arrives a few minutes before her first period class starts, and uses the time to review her science textbook in case her teacher gives a pop test. Science is one of Tesla's favorite subjects; she's thinking about having a career in environmental science.

When the lunch bell rings, Tesla grabs her food to go outside. She likes to carry her food in a brown paper bag because it's recyclable. It's a nice day out, so most students are eating outside.

Tesla sets out her food - celery with peanut butter and raisins, an apple, and a cookie. It's a somewhat nutritious lunch that she hopes will give her energy throughout the afternoon.

After her classes, Tesla dresses up for her internship. For the past few months, she's had a job as an intern at a prestigious environmental planning firm, and today she's presenting her big project - a design for a rest area and sky deck in a local park - to the members of the firm. Tesla and her mentor have spent a long time setting it up, and Tesla really wants it to go well. She swaps her gray and white shirt for an ecru button-down with lace trim by the buttons, and adds a pair of golden dangle earrings. Her pink and blue sneakers add a fun and unexpected touch to the outfit.

When it's time for her to present her work, Tesla connects her laptop to the projector to show what she's done. At first she feels nervous, but after a few slides she gains confidence. 

The members of the firm are impressed by the design, and Tesla's mentor is proud of the work. When Tesla finishes answering questions, her best friends Alina and Rani come up to congratulate her.

To celebrate, Alina suggests they go shopping. Tesla finds a black and white dress in her size, and tries it on in the dressing room. It looks nice, but something's missing.

A mint-colored bow belt adds the finishing touch. While Alina and Rani keep browsing, Tesla takes the dress and belt to the counter to pay.

The three promise to meet up later for sushi, and Tesla goes home to walk and feed her English bulldog puppy, Lucy (nicknamed Lulu). Lulu can get a little rambunctious, so Tesla changes out of her good clothes into something more suitable for play. Her shirt has a whimsical deer print, and the colors set off the black buttons and Peter Pan collar. The denim cutoffs add to the casual feel of the outfit.

Quick summary of all the items in my entry:
- Doll: Tesla Jane, MyAG #53
- Outfits: Ecru button-down, cap-sleeve shirt, red and white skirt, black and white dress from Janie Jumps. Deer print shirt design from Janie Jumps, deer print fabric from Modes4U.
- Accessories: Earrings and textbook from American Girl. Laptop from Apple. Lunch, belt, dog, and backpack from my design.  

Thank you Alexandra for hosting this contest! Check out Paper Doll Art for more information on entry requirements and photos of the prize. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sneak Peek To-Do/Wish List

A few things I've been thinking about making:

1. Sleeveless shirt from Mon Chat Dans La Lune. It's so pretty, and I love the styling. I'm trying to keep the clothing collection low, though, so I'm a little conflicted over whether or not to make it. Your thoughts?

2. Jacket from L'Atelier de Sitara. Again, same clothing-overflow problem. I would love to attempt a fully-customized denim jacket, complete with patches and decoration, but is it worth the closet space?

3. Backpacks from Doll It Up and American Girl. These would be great for a school photo shoot. Do you think these colors would suit the dolls well, or should I try different colors?

4. Laptop. It's a nice small prop that would work well in many scenes. I'm torn between making a little Macbook or Lanie's laptop. Which do you prefer?

5. Fingerless gloves. These would be nice with the winter clothing I'm starting to accumulate, though I don't think I'll include the AG logo on mine.

6. Pajamas. I typically don't like to make pajamas because I do so few nighttime photo shoots, but these are quite nice. My current favorites are the polar bear and peacock pajamas because they look like they can mix and match well. Which other pajama sets do you recommend?

7. Patience from Wilde Imagination, Sad Sally from Wilde Imagination, MyAG #53 from American Girl. I know, I need to add a new doll like I need a hole in the head, but I'm really tempted to make these. Patience is so pretty, and Sad Sally is so unusual, that I think they would be a fun challenge, and I've recently become enamored with #53. If I make her, she will most likely have a braided hairband because I love how she looks in them. I'm planning on making hoop earrings in any case, but they'll be tricky because the hoops are so small. Which of these dolls, if any, do you think I should make?

What items are on your to-do list?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

In Memory

I had a different post planned for today, but it didn't seem respectful to put it up on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, so here's a more somber photo in memory of the victims. We should never forget the tragedy of senseless violence and honor the memories of the brave people killed on this day twelve years ago, yet another date that shall live in infamy.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Long-Awaited Kitchen Tutorial

Here is the kitchen tutorial you wanted! Sorry for the poor photo quality; I had very bad lighting. This kitchen is based on the one in Lanie's camper.

Draw a square or rectangular shape for the countertop.

Draw some rectangles for cabinets, a dishwasher, etc. I made a refrigerator and a cabinet, but you can make whatever you want.

Add details to the shapes.

Draw a rectangle for the sink. Add some tabs to the sides to attach it to the counter.

Do the same for the under-counter areas (in my case, the refrigerator and cabinet).

Color it all in, cut it out, and tape or glue the pieces together. It can get a little mind-numbing, so make sure to have plenty of time and patience when you assemble the kitchen.

Here is how the refrigerator looks like when fully assembled. I can't wait to stock it with food!

Making the cabinet, fridge, and sink three-dimensional is tricky, but it adds a lot of realism to your kitchen.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Any ideas for future ones, besides the great ideas you suggested last week?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Paper Doll World Featured in Doll Mag!

If you read the latest issue of Doll Mag, you may have noticed my latest project - a set of tutorials especially for Doll Mag! Working with Bella and Lulu was a fantastic experience and I hope you enjoy making the costumes as much as I did.

See page 7 for instructions on making a flapper costume, hippie costume, and more! Thanks Bella and Lulu for the opportunity to share paper doll fun with Doll Mag readers.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fiona's New Legacy Dress

Since Apple White's dress was my favorite (or least hated) of the Ever After High Legacy Day doll outfits, I made one for Fiona. It was nice to finally change her out of her original dress!

You might notice that the purse is not the one included with the Legacy Day set. I didn't feel the need to make an extra purse, since I use the first one to store the items she isn't wearing.

The cape is nice, but the combination of elaborate dress and fancy cape is a little overwhelming. Without the cape, it's easier to see the details of Fiona's dress; I'm especially proud of the high-low skirt. 

The headdress isn't perfect, but I like how it looks on Fiona. I'm not sure about the earrings, though - do you think they look gaudy, or do they look good with the rest of the outfit?

Which outfit do you prefer?

By the way, thank you all for your name suggestions and tutorial ideas. I'll consider them all and try to make as many as I can. You guys are the best!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Favorite Tutorial Ever

You might remember that the reason I started Paper Doll World is that I wanted to find better storage solutions for paper doll storage than the solutions I had developed (ie, accordion-folded closets). At last, here is a better storage solution. It's more than a doll closet; it's a portable doll house and photography studio.

You'll need an index card box (any sort will do), index cards, scissors, tape, and whatever materials you use to set up photo scenes.

Depending on the size of your materials, you may want to trim them to fit your box.

Use a little tape to attach your dolls to an index card. If your box has a pocket in front, cut the card to fit and slide it in. If not, put the card inside the box like you would any other card, or tape the card to the inside of the lid.

I put Aisling on the bottom of the card to avoid damage to her face when opening and closing the box; this way, all the dolls are covered by plastic. To recreate this with a standard index card box, cut a sheet protector and tape it over the card.

Attach all the doll clothes to a different index card, and arrange them to your liking. I found it helpful to divide the shirts, pants and skirts, dresses, shoes, and small pieces. The lines also serve to limit the amount of clothing per section, to avoid excess. 

Repeat with your other doll items. Depending on what you have, you may want to arrange things differently; I set up a card for food and a card for props. 

Place the cards in the box, and place all the scene items behind the cards. Now you have a portable doll closet that you can set up as a doll house or photography studio in minutes - all required props and outfits are in one small, centralized, easily transported container. 

 Just for fun, here are some more photos of the new, as yet unnamed, doll.

Two names I really like right now are Tesla and Rani, though I'm worried that neither truly suits her.

I also like Isabella, but I'm not sure if that will be her name because the 2014 girl of the year is rumored to be named Isabella.

Not figuring out her name is driving me absolutely nuts! I don't think I've ever had a doll that was this hard to name. 

Anyway, I hope you liked this tutorial. Anything in particular you want to see next (besides fall items and saris)?

Monday, September 2, 2013

New Girl Revisited

Thanks for your name suggestions! I really appreciate all your help. Unfortunately, I'm still having a hard time making a decision, especially because I re-made the doll.

The previous doll's face didn't seem quite right to me, so I tried again, this time with better results. This new doll looks much sweeter and less pensive, but I still can't decide on a name. I was leaning toward Catalina for a while, but I don't know if that will be the final name because it contains Alina's name and sounds weird if you say them together ("These are my dolls, Alina and Catalina.")  I thought about naming her Catalina and changing Alina's name, but I don't like that idea because I have a really hard time changing a doll's name once I've named it. 

I'm happy that I remade her, though. She and Alina look good together, and the flower sweater and skirt outfit suits her very well.

Some other names I'm thinking about (besides the ones you suggested):
- Anna (though it's awfully close to Alina)
- Natalia
- Natasha
- Ingrid
- Astrid (again, the double A name problem)
- Hazel
- Katia
- Tesla (after the scientist)

Also, anyone have any recommendations for outfits for Fiona, Madeline, and Aisling? Fiona's going to get her Legacy Day dress, but I'm stuck for the other two.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The New Girl

Since my last post was rather vitriolic, I thought that a fun photo shoot with a new doll would be a nice, lighthearted change. 

I've recently become quite fond of My American Girl #55, and since Alina needed a friend, I decided to make her last night. She still doesn't have a name yet (though I'm considering Isla and Rona), and I may not keep her in the end, but here are some photos of the new girl in the doll house.

I know, it's another picnic scene. I can't help it; I love picnics and taking pictures of the dolls in the grass. You might notice that something is different in this picnic scene - the grass is turf rather than green cardboard. Taking pictures with actual grass, or even the fake stuff, makes your photos look much more realistic and fun. The plates holding tamales and pineapple upside-down cake were inspired by the ones at the American Girl bistros. I love the color contrast between the bright picnic supplies and the sharp black and white stripes. 

This is one of my favorite photos. I'm not sure if it's the lighting or the colors, but it just feels so vibrant and peaceful. The painting is based on the one in Saige's painting set. I added a cactus in the foreground for some more color and contrast.

The dress in this picture was inspired by this entry in the Doll Wardrobe Fashion Design Contest, and I love how it looks with her dark hair. I worry that the lack of straps or sleeves makes this dress seem a little too "mature" for her, but I like the neckline too much to consider covering it up with a cardigan or other top.

Just for fun, I posed her with a drawing I made with sidewalk chalk. I haven't drawn on the sidewalk in ages, so it was fun to pull out the chalks and sketch dots and swirls. 

What names do you think would fit her best? Do you prefer Isla or Rona, or do you have a different name that you like?
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