Saturday, January 26, 2013

paper dolls

This is a special place . . . where good works are done- where elegance is spun from snippets and scraps . . .

I'm gonna buy a paper doll that I can call my own
A doll that other fellas cannot steal
And then the flirty, flirty guys with their flirty, flirty eyes
Will have to flirt with dollies that are real 
-the Millls Brothers 1942

What is it about paper? It just has the basic appeal of becoming whatever you desire with so very little effort. 
 A humble material for a world of creative possibilities.

This is me -the me seen by a 5 year old. A paper portrait by my granddaughter -  green construction paper and lots of glitter - I think she  captured me perfectly!

Winter afternoons in the attic with scissors and a new book of paper dolls.  How I wish I had saved some of them, I especially loved the babies and oh those movie stars! The clothes never stayed on,  and the dolls never stood up like we wanted them to, but that didn't discourage us. We wore out the little tabs trying!

The necessary tools were few - scissors for lots of cutting out, glue to paste the dolls that suffered bent necks and 
ankles onto cardboard, scotch tape for mending whatever needed it - usually the tiny tabs that held the clothes on.

Then there were Sunday mornings with Katy Keene. 
 She was in my newspaper every  weekend with a reader-contest  to design clothes for her.  I must have entered a hundred times, but never made it to print. The fun I had trying was so worth it  . . . .

Ok  . . . .Im still at it  . . . . .capturing some of my favorite dresses and  memories with colored pencil

And yes, I'm still buying them - brought this book back  from Hawaii.  I may never put scissors to it,  lots of inspiration for  fun in my painting.

Another recent find - filled with creative ideas!

I recently spotted a tattered  box in an antique shop, and inside discovered this treasure. The doll is painted with watercolors, and the clothes are cut from fabric that has been glued to paper.The fabrics are a clue that she was created probably in the 40's. People asked me what on earth I was going to do with it, but at the time I just knew I  had to have it. . .I eventually framed the collection and it now hangs in the nursery. -

This inspired me  . . .. Paper dolls as art?  Why not! 
They have a charm like no other.

This little Southern  sweetheart was a gift, 
 created with torn paper by Mississippi artist Roz Roy

Are paper dolls a thing of the past? 
No, Never Fear - the fun goes on . . . .


  1. How very cute - remember these from long ago.

  2. Hi Jan,

    I’ve nominated your blog for a Liebster Award. You can find the details in a post on my blog. If you choose to participate, please leave me a reply here so I don’t miss it. Can’t wait to read more about you!


    1. Hi Laurie - thanks so much for your note - i will check out your blog! Jan

  3. Hi Jan, strangely enough I have just done a post nominating you AGAIN for a Leibster award (its OK I have two - you just do one post and mention both nominees - just chose which set of questions you prefer to answer). Love the touch of nostalgia and memories on your blog. Do email me and let me know if OK with you.

  4. Your drawings are especially charming. I love making little dresses, too.