Thursday, January 31, 2013

3 More to Go!

Quick update regarding the contest: In order for the contest to happen, 3 more people need to follow this blog by tomorrow. So if you want to win your own custom made doll plus 4 outfits of your choice, please follow Paper Doll World! Click "Join this site" in the sidebar and it will guide you through the rest of the very easy process. (My apologies to the people reading this who are already following; you guys are the best!)

Also, some exciting news. Myagrocks of the blog Paper Dolls Forever (it's adorable, check it out) has agreed to share some photos of her dolls this Sunday! Stop by to see them, and find out the name of the contest winner (that is, if three other people follow by tomorrow).

See you on Sunday!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: Making Paper Dolls Part III

This week's tutorial, tape lamination, is really simple but very useful. It's a technique I discovered to protect the dolls from getting ruined. For this part of the tutorial, all you need is a pair of scissors and some clear tape. I prefer Scotch tape because it's not shiny, but you can use whatever you have around.

Unroll some of the tape from the roll and carefully stick your doll face down, trying to get as much of the body as possible on the tape. It's okay if some of it sticks out.

Next, cut the tape from the roll. You can cut off the excess tape if you want, but it's not necessary. Press  all over the tape to make sure it sticks well, but make sure you don't crease it or create air bubbles. Repeat the process on the other side of the doll.

When both sides have been taped, cut out the doll.

Now your doll is water resistant (but not waterproof, so be careful!) and less likely to tear during play. The one downside is that now you can't change any part of the doll's face or body, so it's best to correct any problems before you tape the doll.

Next week we'll finish up the tutorial with the doll's hair.

Don't forget to enter the contest!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Paper Doll Contest

This contest is very simple - if 5 or more people follow Paper Doll World by February 1, I will give away 1 paper doll and 4 outfits based on the current dolls and outfits available from American Girl or another company to one of those followers. If you win, please send me an email within 7 days with pictures of the doll and the outfits you want.

How to enter: First, follow Paper Doll World. Press the "Join this site" button in the sidebar and it will guide you through the rest. Then, leave a comment letting me know that you're entering, and some way to contact you (email, blog, whatever). You must be a follower to enter, and please, no following-and-leaving as soon as the giveaway is over.

For additional entries: (leave a separate comment for each entry with the URL)

1. Follow Paper Doll World on Facebook.
2. Mention this on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog (Twitter accounts used only for entering giveaways don't count.)

Good luck! The winner will be announced on February 2.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Photo Shoot Sunday: Dress-Up

First, thanks for the responses to last week's photo shoot. The funniest caption, chosen by my brother, was submitted by Audrey. Congratulations!

After the failed photo shoot with Kenna, Vivienne rummaged through the doll clothes.

"Don't you have anything fancy to wear around here?" asked Vivienne.

"Um, I guess," said Cora. "I never really pay attention to that. You should ask Saige and Kenna."

Vivienne rolled her eyes and continued hunting. Finally she found a red dress that was fancy enough to suit her.

"I need some jewelry," she announced. "Do you have any of that?"

"You could ask the human for some," suggested Cora.

So Vivienne cajoled and pleaded until finally she got the earrings from Ivy's accessories set. Then she persuaded Saige and Cora to dress up and take pictures with her.

We only got through two photos before Saige decided that she had to get back to her mural, and Cora got bored of posing in a fancy dress, so this week's photo shoot is awfully short. Any ideas as to what the girls will be up to next week?

By the way, I'm going to run a contest starting Monday. Stay tuned for details!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: Making Paper Dolls Part II

Here's the second part of the paper doll making tutorial. There are two more parts after this, but since I need to process and upload the pictures for those steps, they will be up next week.

In this step, we'll color the doll in and cut it out. You'll need markers, colored pencils or crayons, and scissors for this step of the tutorial.

Tip 1: The secret to getting the right color is blending. Never actually test colors on the doll unless you don't mind drawing a new one if you don't like the way it looks. This applies for both eyes and skin tones.

2: The secret to blending colors with markers is to let the paper dry between layers of color. That way the color doesn't get too dark too early, and mixes properly. 

In this case, I started with green eyes and slowly added brown. Here's the doll with only green eyes. 

Here it is with one layer of brown. It's almost identical to the picture above, but it will change after a few more layers.

Five layers later, the difference is clear and I'm satisfied with the look. However, you can also color around the eye to give the appearance of cosmetics.

3: You can vary the color you use depending on the look you want to achieve - pale pink for a makeup-free mouth, or red for the effect of lipstick. It's all up to you. 

When you are satisfied with how your doll looks, cut it out. Next week I'll show you a trick I discovered to preserving the dolls' appearances so the pencil and color don't get faded or ruined by liquid.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Photo Shoot Sunday: Vivienne's Adventures

Last week I said that there was a new doll in the dollhouse. Here she is!

Meet Vivienne Lu, a Star Wars loving girly girl and the newest member of the Paper Doll World family. The other girls wanted a chance to meet her, so this Photo Shoot Sunday chronicles her adventures in Casa Paper Doll. 

"Do you like art?" asked Saige eagerly.

"I guess so," said Vivienne.

"Great! You can help me paint my mural!"

And with that Saige dragged Vivienne off to the wall where she had been working an enormous mural and set her to work. 

Then Kenna pulled Vivienne away for a photo shoot, saying, "It's Photo Shoot Sunday, not Mural Sunday!" Saige reluctantly agreed to let Vivienne go get photographed, but confided in Cora her suspicion that Kenna was just being a camera hog and trying to prevent Vivienne from doing "important artwork."  Unfortunately the shoot did not go as planned...

How do you think the girls reacted to the intruder? Answer below in the comments - the best one will get featured next week on Photo Shoot Sunday.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: Making Paper Dolls Part I

For the first Tutorial Tuesday, I decided to provide some general tips on making paper dolls. For the sake of brevity, I'm breaking this tutorial up over several weeks. This first part is about drawing the paper doll. You will need a pencil, paper, and eraser for this step.

Tip 1: Try to make things as even as you can. Use a ruler or draw lines on the paper to ensure that arms and legs are the same length.

2: However, you don't need to make sure that the proportions are perfect. The important thing is that it doesn't bother you. There's no need to make yourself crazy over the minute details like a slightly bigger toe. 

3: Start with the eyes. They are the hardest thing to get right, and they help you place the rest of the features. 

4: You don't need to go into perfect anatomical detail. Just draw enough so that you are satisfied.

5: Don't be afraid to experiment. If you don't like the mouth, keep trying until you get one you like. The face isn't set in stone during this stage, and it's best that you address any issues you have now rather than later when you can't change them.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Photo Shoot Sunday: Cora Logan

Here is the photo shoot I promised, featuring Cora. There were technical problems with the tutorial, so it will ideally be up on Tuesday. I apologize in advance for bad pictures - the lighting was really bad.

Here's Cora with her doll, Julie. This shot didn't turn out too badly, but the lighting is still not good. Oh well.

This is my favorite, with Cora and her dog Honey in the "snow."Those jeans may look familiar - Saige was wearing them in the last photo shoot.

This picture would be okay if not for the fact that her leggings look really awkward. I promise they don't look like that in reality. I'll probably replace that photo once I have time (I'm on a really strict deadline right now), so please forgive the awful shot.

By the way, that bed is supposed to be the Dreamy Daybed by American Girl, and those little animals on the bed are Squishables. Cora shares this bed with Saige, and the Shiba Inu Squishable belongs to her. The pajamas are very loosely based on the I Love Pets pajamas from American Girl. 

I hope you liked this photo shoot, and I'm sorry that it was both short and of poor quality. But I have a surprise for you - there's a new doll in the dollhouse. You'll see her next week on Photo Shoot Sunday.

Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Quick Update

Hi guys! I know I haven't been here for a while, so I just wanted to stop by and let you know that I'm still here and have real updates planned. I will hopefully have a photo shoot with Cora, and a tutorial on drawing paper dolls, posted here on Sunday.

My original goal was to post every day, but lately I have been so busy that everyday posting is not really an option. What do you think of a 3 posts per week schedule? I'm thinking about having a Tutorial Tuesday in which I share ideas for making paper doll things, and a Photo Shoot Sunday. Please feel free to submit your pictures and ideas too! I'm not sure what other things I would post - I guess that depends on what you're interested in. I think it would be really fun if there was a weekly feature where you send your paper doll photos in, like the Sunday Showcase on Doll Diaries. What do you think?  Please tell me your opinion in the comments.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

How to Not Lose Dolls: Travel Edition

As upsetting as it is to lose a paper doll in your house, losing one while traveling is much worse. Ideally I should have posted this before the winter holidays when most people are planning holiday trips, but better late than never. This list is written with airplane trips in mind, but I hope it will be useful to you even if you choose to travel by other means.

1. Never take your favorite doll with you. This may seem strange, but look at it this way - would you be willing to risk your doll getting lost? I'm a firm believer in Murphy's Law, and I know firsthand how awful it is to lose your favorite doll. If you want to take a doll, think carefully about how you would feel if it was lost, and only take it with you if you don't mind anything happening to it. And don't take too many dolls, either. Each doll you take means another doll that could potentially get lost.

2. Don't take it out on the plane/other means of transportation. Not to be morbid or paranoid, but that increases the likelihood of something happening to it. Paper dolls are feather-light, so it's easy to forget you have one in your lap and accidentally drop or lose it. I know how much fun it is to share the trip with a doll, but that fun isn't worth the heartbreak when you get off and realize that you left the doll behind. Some readers will say that if you watch your doll very carefully everything will go fine, which is true. But do you really want to take the chance?

3. Keep your doll in one place only. Like in yesterday's post, you need to set up an area for your doll, only you need to be stricter when traveling. If you're not playing, the doll should be in X. If the doll isn't in X, it should be with you. When you're not home, you can't forget about a doll for a week or two and then suddenly remember that you lost it. And while you're at it, make that area a pocket in your suitcase or something that will be coming home with you (though not in a clothing pocket; you don't want to run the risk of accidentally putting your doll through the wash) as opposed to a bedside table or something like that, to ensure that the doll will come home safely.

4. Don't bring a lot of stuff. Again, the more you bring, the more likely that something will get lost. A few (no more than 3) outfits and an accessory or two will be plenty.

Sorry to sound bossy and paranoid, but after years of traveling with (and, unfortunately, losing) dolls, I don't take chances.

Good luck with your future travel plans, and have fun on your next trip!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

How to Not Lose Dolls: Home Edition

No photo shoot today - Kenna is missing. The small size of paper dolls is both an advantage and a drawback in that they can be stored easily but they are also lost easily. While I continue to search and debate over whether I should make a new Kenna doll, here are my tips for not losing your paper dolls (or, what I should have done differently):

1. Give the dolls an area to stay in. This can be but is not limited to a dollhouse or other storage container, although having one might be useful to you. For example, their area is my bedroom. The idea behind this rule is to create a "home base" or headquarters where you can corral everything, so doll paraphernalia isn't scattered everywhere.

2. Never let your dolls leave that area. Ever. In my example, the dolls should never leave my bedroom (This is what caused Kenna's disappearance - my sister took all the dolls to the kitchen to play when I wasn't home, and who knows what happened to Kenna during that time). I know this sounds strict, but this way if anything goes missing you have a much smaller area to search.

3. If you want to be even more organized, subdivide your area. In my room, I have an area for photo shoots and an area for the dollhouse. What I plan to do as soon as I find/remake Kenna is to set up a small box on my desk to keep dolls. I like to make clothes at my desk, but my desk gets really crowded and a doll serving as my model is easily lost in the shuffle. If I keep the doll models in a small box, I can find them easily, so they don't get lost and I can finish the outfit/accessory quickly. With a subdivided area, there are even fewer places to look.

Of course this system isn't perfect, but it increases the chances of finding missing dolls. I don't know how insightful or helpful this list was, but I hope it was useful to someone. In a later post I plan to write about how to not lose dolls while traveling, and specific tips for doll storage.

ETA: I made a new Kenna doll. She turned out really nicely, and you can see her in my next photo shoot.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Photo Shoot with Saige

Happy New Year! Here is a photo shoot I did with my dolls.

From left to right - Saige, Kenna, Cora

They are all based on American Girl dolls - Saige Copeland is the 2013 Girl of the Year, McKenna Brooks is the 2012 Girl of the Year (mine goes by Kenna), and Cora Logan is what I named My American Girl #23. All three are dressed in the outfits they come in if you buy them from American Girl, though Cora's hearing aid does not come with her outfit.

Since today is the day Saige is released, I decided to feature her with her collection.

This is Saige with her sweater outfit, accessory bag, and paint set (though not all of it is in the picture). If you look carefully, Saige is wearing earrings. Her accessory set comes with two pairs, and it's fun to mix and match them with outfits. I really like the sweater outfit but I don't think I did a great job on it. The accessory bag does a good job of hiding most of it. :)

This is Saige with her horse Picasso, her parade outfit, and parade saddle set. Again, not thrilled with how this outfit turned out, especially the shirt. The hat actually is not part of the outfit set, and instead comes with a red riding helmet that's not in the picture. Picasso the horse doesn't look too bad in my opinion, but he's not perfect either. 

Here, Saige is with her dog Rembrandt, birthday outfit (it's called her sparkle dress but I'm not into the name), and hot air balloon. The red bag holds a camera, binoculars, map, and logbook. 

Here she is in the balloon. You can see the binoculars here. I'm not sure what the dolls will do with a hot air balloon, but it's a fun prop.

In this picture, Saige is wearing the shirt American Girl gave out to everyone who came to the store today. Since I made her today, I figured that she should get one. The bracelet and necklace are included with her accessory set, the jeans are inspired by the American Girl in-store exclusive jeans, and the boots come with her meet outfit. 

What do you think of Saige's collection? To see it for real, go to the American Girl website.

Who should I feature next, Kenna or Cora?
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