from the jazz age to the space age

Category Archives: paper doll

I bought this waaaaaay back when it came out in 1997. Between the adorable paper dolls and Isaac Mizrahi (I was/am quite a fan) I was in love. It’s definitely a slice of pop culture which even now, only 16 years later, seems incredibly naive. Mizrahi pokes fun at fashion and modeling, from ageism (Sandee is revealed to be 30! gasp!), the waif look (Sandee loses too much weight and Isaac recommends she gain some), to being too fat for fashion (Sandee’s busting out of the sample sizes even though she looks nearly the same. After she’s fired from Prada, Westwood, & Chanel, Isaac rolls with it and creates the “New New Look.”) Heroin chic and the bdsm look are parodied by Sandee’s disastrous makeover- an obvious act of sabotage (She’s quickly given a makeunder by Isaac’s assistant, Dee Lish).  Sandee’s rival, Dorothy, sports a coke habit and extensive plastic surgery and there’s a handsome bisexual photographer who everyone falls in love with. With cameos by Madonna, Anjelica Huston, Anna Wintour, JFK jr, Dominick Dunne, as well as stand ins for Diana Vreeland, and Carrie Donovan, it’s a bitchy and loving tribute to fashion.
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About 15 years ago I bought a packet of blank postcards thinking, “I’ll totally draw on these and send them to my friends!” Fast forward 15 years and I still have a pack of blank postcards.

I’m kind of a procrastinator.

Since I got married I’ve discovered that the best way for me to get anything done was to be accountable to other people. Obvious? Well not to me. So a couple weeks ago I posted on my facebook asking if anyone wanted a hand drawn postcard. The replies were a surprise to me. Most were from people I hardly know except through the internet. It was nice to discover that I had people interested in my art. So anyway, that’s what I’m working on right now and I’ll post them here when I’ve finished them!

The other project I’ve started is a paper doll poster of Suzy Bishop from Moonrise Kingdom! Look for it in November. Prints will be available in the store for purchase 😀

Secretary style at it’s best! Every week i watch with anticipation to see what she’s going to wear next. Yes, i know, it’s been done before a few times, but i keep drawing little Joan’s in my sketchbook. I figure the world won’t go into melt down if i throw my fan art onto the pile. Christina Hendricks is easily one of the most beautiful actresses out there.
“Was this the face that launch’d a thousand ships- and burnt the topless towers of Ilium? Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.”
i particularly wanted to capture her elegant swan like neck and small lyrical hands.
*she is technically not meant to be cut out & played with, although if you do wish to, you could probably cut her out & glue her to card stock.

prints for sale  
i also drew Peggy, Betty, and Trudy as well, but i doubt i’ll have time to make posters of them.

i finished my Amelie Doll Poster and i love her! The movie is so stylish. Amelie’s style is a shortcut to her character so i really wanted to make some art inspired by the film. From her bobbed hair to the repeating colors of red, pink, brown, black, and spashes of green- everything harmonizes. I love her cute  fashion. Did you know she never wears pants in the movie? Or that she actually has 2 red/burgundy skirts? One has a lace panel at the bottom and one is plain. And her shoes are the same kind the director, Jean-Pierre Jeunet wears. Can you tell i’ve seen the movie a lot? Soooooo many times. But, honestly it never gets old. 

It was very difficult deciding which clothes, costumes, and props to depict. I had to leave out some of my favorites, like her pale pink polka-dotted shirt with the peplum. 

This poster/print is for sale over at my redbubble store. She is technically not meant to be cut out and played with, although if you do wish to, you could probably cut her out and glue her to card stock.

one of my favorite subplots involves Amelie’s father and his traveling gnome.

i love pop culture, movie, and literary paper dolls! i’m working on some more right now!

as i promised, here are the scans of gordon laite’s “cinderella” paper doll~

i’ve looked for this book for 15 years. finally, this year i ended up purchasing two books. one with the dolls and one with the uncut clothing. there really aren’t enough good things i can say about these dolls. to me, they are the pinnacle of paper doll art. i can’t explain… of course it might be that i just have 5 year old child brain again every time i look at them. something along the lines of “dresses!… cookies!… tea parties!… pretty!…kittens!…robin hood!” {don’t ask}.
Cinderella and Prince Charming
lovely house outfits
glorious golden ballgown
green wedding gown and blue 2nd gown
Charming’s wedding suit and his suit for the ball. 
with what the price a complete copy commands i’m shocked someone hasn’t scanned them in for people to enjoy. the book is out of print and the talented mr. laite died in 1978. click to enlarge and please enjoy them as much as i do 🙂 

i love mysteries~ human, eleusian, and literary. agatha christie’s miss marple was my introduction to the genre. at 12ish years old somehow, someone one left a volume of her short stories at our house. desperate for reading matierial i picked it and fell under their spell. however, dame agatha was soon replaced in my heart by conan doyle. what can i say, i was a victorian nut at the time.
flash forward 25 years! following our move to so-cal so my husband mikael could begin working on his masters, i picked up christie’s “tuesday club murders”.
The.. Tuesday Night Club, a random gathering of people at the house of Miss Marple. Each week the group tell thrilling tales of mystery, which are always solved by Miss Marple, from the comfort of her armchair.”
{thanks wikipedia!}

soon after this i started collecting any agatha christie books i could find at our local used book shops. the older the edition, the better, for the older editions boast delightful painted covers. in addition to miss marple i discovered christie’s stand alone mysteries such as, “murder with mirrors” and “towards zero.”. while i’ve read most of poirot’s cases many times, these we’re new to me. i was instantly charmed. 

in my characteristic over-enthusiasm i decided to make my own set of dolls inspired by the common stock characters in english country manor mysteries from the 1920s to the early 1960s. after making a two page list i whittled it down to five character types:
the spinsterly sleuth, the clever vicar, the dark horse, the it girl, and the good sport.
each is a jointed doll, held together by brads. there are changes of clothes, accessories, clues, red herrings, and possible bloody murder weapons. their clothes are drawn from the general styles of the 1920s to early 1980s, with much mix and match between the decades. 

*covers are from my personal collection of pocket sized paperbacks.

now i can fulfill my desire to daydream grisly murders and their solutions by my paper creations!

“english country murder” coming soon!

after being a flunky the last couple days, i’m back at work while karl sleeps. 

intricately applying layers of color while listening to “bryter layter.”

 my gorgeous husband doing school work to my right. 

yes, i chew my paintbrush ends and yes, it’s really gross. no, i don’t chew pens bc that’s really, really gross. no one is going to touch my paintbrushes but pens are so… communal. 

i have 2 projects i’m working on. one is a commission i can’t talk about yet and the other is a set of 5 paintings that will be available in my shop soon~

working on “the good sport” 

i’m so excited for my new project. as you may or may not know i’m mad about paper dolls. so, i’ve been sketching & painting a new series of 5 dolls. one is finished & 4 more are sketched out in photoshop. i’m just trying to decide who gets what accessories & and trying to decide if the gentlemen should wear trilbys, or fedoras. decisions decisions!

on a related note~ as i’ve nearly finished agatha christie’s novels, i picked up my husband’s volume of dorothy sayers’ “lord peter wimsey” stories. so far, they are completely funny & decent mysteries. not at good as dame agatha or arthur conan doyle, but extremely entertaining none-the-less. lord peter is described in the first story as medium height & blond, with a long nose & a rather stupid looking face. i had a lot of trouble imagining him. what exactly is stupid looking? is he a boring hunky guy? that’s who i usually associate with stupidity. but that was definitely not the description given of him. who- who- who? 
suddenly, simon pegg popped into my head. not that i really consider poor simon to be particularly stupid looking, but he does do slack-jawed confusion very well. how wonderful would simon pegg be as lord peter in a movie? don’t believe me? look at this:

now imagine pegg & frost as wimsey & bunter:

it would be completely amazing.