Tuesday, November 24, 2020

More Paper Dolls Than Ever!

This has been the busiest year ever for paper dolls! To my surprise and delight, so many people have turned to paper dolls to keep busy and entertained at home. Collectors are collecting, crafters are cutting, artists are drawing, friends are gifting, grandmas are sharing, and kids are playing paper dolls! 

In March, when we began hunkering down in our homes, I offered a Paper Doll Care Package of 10 books for $25, hoping to spread some paper doll cheer. Through my publishing branch, Paper Studio Press, I had excess inventory on many titles and wrapped up a few dozen bundles, marking each with a heart. Considering sales had been dropping over the past few years, I was expecting 2020 to follow suit. In fact, at the beginning of the year I met with business consultants to form a plan to cut back and lower costs in order to remain profitable enough to stay in business for many years to come.

Surprise! Instead of selling a few dozen care packages, we sold close to four hundred! Through our care packages alone, nearly 4,000 paper doll books have gone out into the world, bringing joy to so many. In addition to care packages, we've sold over 11,000 paper doll books... just since mid-March! And just one person, Margie, carefully packs and ships it all to you.

Adding to the excitement, we've got more new paper dolls than ever before. The collection shown here represents 30 new titles that have come out just in the last few months. All but two were produced through Paper Studio Press and Paperdoll Review including glorious new books by David Wolfe, Marilyn Henry, Brenda Sneathen Mattox, Tom Tierney, Julie Allen Matthews, Guillem Medina and Andrea Helen Smith. Plus tons of wonderful reproductions! I couldn't have done it without the digital design wizardry of Julie Allen Matthews, who has a hand in nearly every book we produce. Check out her Paper Doll School Blog! And find all these paper dolls and more on paperdollreview.com!

Are paper dolls the new trend? I hope so!

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Quarantine Crafting with Paper Dolls, Coloring and Historic Fashions

Augusta Dresses Up, paper doll/coloring book by Bruce Patrick Jones.

Among my circle of friends, colleagues and customers, I have yet to find anyone who's been bored during the last few months of quarantine. I'm grateful to be connected with people who have such a wide variety of interests and talents. Several of my sewing friends have been making masks and donating them to the community. My book artist friend, Penny, completed an extraordinary greenhouse popup book which I'm sure will be accepted into a prestigious show. 

With extra time in her home studio, my bestie Bev Micucci decided it was time to put color to paper in her copy of Augusta Dresses Up by Bruce Patrick Jones, published in 2016 by my publishing company, Paper Studio Press (currently out of print). Once she was finished, she gave me a preview via facetime and I was so impressed I asked if I could show off her colored pages here.

This unique paper doll/coloring book represents 130 years of fashions from the Roddis Family Collection donated to The Henry Ford by Jane Bradbury, niece of Augusta Roddis, (on exhibition in 2016-2017). Learn more about the collection in the beautiful book, 
American Style and Spirit: Fashions and Lives of the Roddis Family 1850-1995, by Jane Bradbury and Edward Maeder, published by V&A Publishing, London in 2016. 

I'd love to see more paper doll endeavors from our paper doll community! Send me an email or find me on facebook. And be sure to visit paperdollreview.com for tons of paper doll, coloring and paper crafting fun!

For now, please enjoy the rest of Bruce's exquisite art and Bev's beautiful coloring...

Augusta's parents, Mr. & Mrs. Hamilton Roddis, clothes from the early to mid 20th century.

More clothes for the parents, three of their children, dress-up clothes for the kids.
Augusta's older twin sisters, fashions of the 20s, Catherine Prindle Roddis
Elegant dresses for Augusta, Brother Bill, Ellen Cecilia Roddis.
Sara and Mary dress in old family gowns from 1856 and 1908; classy styles from 1941, 1933 and 1945.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Emergency Medical Professional Paper Doll by Julie Allen Matthews

Emergency Medical Professional Paper Doll
Emergency Medical Paper Doll by Julie Allen Matthews.

Thank you, thank you to our medical workers! Artist Julie Allen Matthews received a special request to create a wardrobe of medical clothes that would fit her mix-and-match fashion paper dolls sold through her Etsy Shop. Julie could not in good conscious charge for such a page, especially since the request came from a medical professional. So with permission, she posted the outfits to her Blog and asked me to share the set with our paper doll community. Visit PaperdollReview.com for printable PDFs of the pages shown here, and check out Julie's Paper Doll School Blog and Paper Doll School Etsy Shop

Sunday, March 22, 2020

A Day in the Life of a Paper Doll Publisher

During the first week of the Coronavirus lockdown, I was compelled to record my activities of one daySince I work at home, it's basically business as usual; however it's often hard to stay focused with so many concerns. Each day is a mix of normal and not normal.
A Day in the Life of a Paper Doll Publisher
Thursday, March 19, 2020 

Thursday Morning 

1. Start steel cut oats in InstantPot.
2. Exercise at home with Miranda Esmonde-White’s Classical Stretch program.
3. Jazz up oatmeal with apples, pecans and spices.
4. Hand grind locally roasted coffee beans and make a pour-over coffee.
5. Watch Good Morning America with breakfast.
6. Investigate Cornonavirus maps and consider the well-being of my loved ones across the country.
7. Feed my sourdough starter.
8. Read and answer email.
9. Check Instagram.
10. Scroll through Facebook and post a sobering warning from my friend in Spain, urging Americans to stay home.
11. Spend too much time on Facebook.
12. Shower and change into non-work-out clothes.
13. Take a phone orders for paper dolls.
14. Get a call from the manager of Akari to schedule my hair cut after their shut-down (subject to change) and discuss what’s going on (or rather not going on) in Portland, ME.
15. Chat with my dad and find out how he’s coping with Coronavirus restrictions in northern Georgia.
16. Call post office to see if Norma Lu’s package has arrived. Yes.
17. Go to post office and grocery store (scored two tiny bags of King Arthur AP flour, dried cranberries, two boxes of organic greens, onions, zucchini, red pepper, sweet potatoes, pre-cooked red potatoes, applesauce, trail mix, allspice, 1 can tuna and 1 box Kleenex).

Thursday Afternoon 

1. Review Norma Lu’s original art for “Brides of Windsor,” her next book for Paper Studio Press. Compare likenesses with images in my files to make sure I’m happy with everything. Yes.
2. Call Norma Lu to inform her that her artwork is PERFECT. She is thrilled and relieved. Chat with Norma Lu at length about how we’re all coping with Cornonavirus restrictions.
3. Put groceries away and make lunch: egg scramble with sautéed potatoes and spinach.
4. Check in with my favorite XM Radio program “EW Live” for entertainment news and host updates about life in the New York/New Jersey area.
5. Watch Amanda Hallay’s What We’re Into… for the month of March and subsequently post a link to Paperdoll Review’s facebook page.
6. Take phone orders.
7. Check Maine CDC website to learn we have 10 more reported cases, up to 52 in the state, none reported in our county. Review CDC guidelines for public schools and forward info to my husband who works for our local elementary school.
8. Prepare a list of viewing recommendations for Martha Raively who just signed up for Netflix.
9. Make broccoli salad, empty dishwasher, clean kitchen.
10. Check on my sourdough starter (which has grown exponentially since its feeding this morning) and select a recipe to prepare later this evening: sourdough cinnamon rolls.
11. Greet Chris home from work. Boast about my excellent broccoli salad and make decisions about what he’ll take for his breakfast/lunch tomorrow (leftover oatmeal, granola, turkey sandwich, broccoli salad).
12. Have a brilliant memory of Sharry O’Hara winning a roll of toilet paper at last year’s paper doll convention raffle. Who knew it would be such a valuable prize? (It contained a hidden note indicating the winner would receive a mystery paper doll from Pat O’Rourke, who donated the toilet paper just to see if anyone would use raffle tickets on such an item.)
13. Search my convention photo files to find two photos taken by Ron Fong of Sharry with her toilet paper and post photos to Facebook.
14. Waste more time on facebook.
15. Message with Val Dean to discuss upcoming paper doll books by Guillem Medina.
16. Have another brilliant thought to write down everything I’ve done today and waste even more time doing so.
17. Get a call from Bruce Patrick Jones with a report of the Coronavirus situation in Toronto (similar to most places here in the US). Discuss whether or not the paper doll convention will happen in July.
18. Answer email.

Thursday Evening 

1. Put leftover bean and cheese enchiladas in the oven.
2. Look over school board agenda to help Chris decide if he should attend tonight’s meeting. Yes.
3. Discover an exciting email from Julie Allen Matthews letting me know she’s completed work on Marilyn Henry's convention souvenir. Log into box to discover the AMAZING job she did! Marilyn had a lot of difficulty with this set and I assured her that Julie would take care of everything. And she did! I am so grateful for Julie’s willingness to share her time and talents with our paper doll community.
4. Download Julie’s files, prepare proofs and send to Marilyn for her review.
5. Watch 5 minutes of evening news and prevent myself from bursting into tears over the plea from a young boy recovering from a bone transplant: stay home.
6. Dinner break.
7. Read article about how to accomplish less and not feel guilty about it.
8. Answer email.
9. Organize proofreader/test cutting corrections from Martha and share files with Julie to help with Photoshop edits.
10. Check in on facebook. Appreciate that Sharry’s toilet paper pictures are giving people a chuckle.
11. Plan marketing campaign: lower most all of our back issues to $5, giving customers an opportunity to enjoy more of our magazines while stuck at home.
12. Email with Martha about my broccoli salad recipe and the importance of stocking one’s kitchen with a variety of high quality vinegars and olive oils. (Make dressing: mayo, cranberry pear white balsamic, red wine vinegar, black pepper. Mix with raw broccoli pieces, dried cranberries and chopped walnuts).
13. Make dough for cinnamon rolls.
14. Format clothing pages Judy M Johnson’s Apron paper doll book.
15. Knead dough and cover for an overnight rise.
16. Make sandwich for Chris’ lunch.
17. Get update on school board meeting from Chris, who will remain employed during the shutdown, thank goodness.
18. Take a call from a customer in California worried that the order he placed last week won’t reach him because of the coronavirus situation.
19. Make popcorn and finish watching the movie that we started the night before, Elizabeth (1998) starring Cate Blanchett.
20. Stay up too late reading newspaper reports and worrying about the state of things.
21. Check my cinnamon roll dough. It doesn’t seem to be rising so I moved it next to a lamp to help keep it warm for the night.
22. And now it’s time for me to say goodnight. 

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Paper Doll Magazines Spotlight the 1940s, Antique Brides, Grace Kelly, Whitman Publishing, Comic Paper Dolls and More!

Our Newest Paper Doll Magazines!

Our specialty magazines are the perfect way to learn about paper dolls and fashion history, explore nostalgic topics, discover new paper doll artists, and connect with others who love paper dolls as much as you do. Each issue is lovingly produced by a group of wonderful writers and artists, most volunteering their time and talents. 

I encourage you to give these magazines a try! Visit paperdollreview.com to subscribe and check out tons of back issues. 

OPDAG's Paper Doll Studio Magazine - single issue $8 / 4-issue subscription $28

Paperdoll Review Magazine - single issue $7 / 4-issue subscription $26

OPDAG's Paper Doll Studio Issue 125 - The 1940s

OPDAG's Paper Doll Studio Issue 125 featuring the 1940s

Paper Doll Studio Issue 125 - The dynamic decade of the 1940s is represented in a variety of articles and showcasing more than 40 paper dolls by 30 paper doll artists. Paper dolls on display include classic stars, war-time fashions, pin-up girls and styles of the late ’40s. Plus we've got nearly 60 outfits for our lovely 1940s dress-a-doll! 

Our featured artist is Andrea Smith, who created the 1940s cover paper doll. I think you'll enjoy her charming article in our magazine, and be sure to visit her Stella Marigold Art Etsy Shop. 

The Ultimate Fashion History: The 1940s
Amanda Hallay's Ultimate Fashion History
The 1940s is Amanda Hallay's favorite decade and she happily provided an in-depth article on the topic. A fashion college professor, Amanda explains, "Fashion in the 1940s is so worth understanding as it’s perhaps one of the greatest optics through which to view the fortitude and resilience of the human spirit in times of duress . . . Female '40s fashion can be divided into four distinct camps—uniforms, workwear, utility clothing and Hollywood high fashion. To learn more about '40s fashion, please visit Amanda's Ultimate Fashion History YouTube Channel. I especially recommend her segments, History in Color: The 1940s; The Ultimate Fashion History: The 1940s; and Speaking of Fashion: The 1930s vs. the 1940s.

Rosie the Riveter Paper Dolls by Tom Tierney
Rosie the Riveter Paper Dolls by Tom Tierney
An icon of the 1940s, Rosie the Riveter was a fictional character created as part of the massive wartime propaganda campaign. But Rosie the Riveter became more than a symbol to the six million women hired to do traditionally male jobs. They proudly took on jobs as riveters, as well as welders, electricians, mechanics, boilermakers, crane operators, munitions makers, aircraft builders and more. They worked in factories, shipyards, foundries, steel mills and lumber mills, everywhere there were vital jobs to be done. Learn more about these amazing women in Paper Doll Studio Issue 125 as well as Tom Tierney's Rosie the Riveter paper doll book.

So if you are interested in 1940s fashion, classic stars, World War II history and paper dolls, please get Paper Doll Studio Issue 125! It's just $8 from paperdollreview.com. To learn more about OPDAG (The Original Paper Doll Artists Guild) and our Paper Doll Studio magazine, visit opdag.com

Paperdoll Review Issue 75

Paperdoll Review Magazine Issue 75

Paperdoll Review issue 75 - We've got another lovely edition with a little something for everyone! Marilyn Henry covers a wide range of subjects, from antique bride paper dolls to the Art Nouveau styles of Alphonse Mucha to happy froggie paper dolls. Lorna Currie Thomopoulos talks about her recent trip to the Czech Republic and shares some of her paper doll treasures representing fashions of Old Europe. 

Comic paper doll fans will enjoy Jane Alfano Rasor's piece on Millie the Model, a popular girl comic in the 1950s and '60s. Our newest contributor, Karen Kurtz provides a history of Whitman Publishing, valuable information for paper doll collectors. Our star spotlight is on Grace Kelly, with paper dolls and article courtesy of Lorna C. Thomopoulos, plus a full color 2-page paper doll by Eileen Rudisill Miller! We've got fun finds, nostalgic memories and paper doll party reports on our Reader's Page, plus new books, discoveries and more. All for just $7!!

This issue got a design boost from graphic artist Julie Allen Matthews. For most articles, Marilyn Henry does the initial layout, leaving the fine-tuning to me. This time I turned some of those tasks over to Julie and, using her vast collection of fonts, clip art and her own design esthetic, she gave our magazine a fresh, colorful look. Below are some before-and-after pages to get a sneak peek at our creative process.

Antique Bride Paper Dolls
Article on Antique Bridal paper dolls—initial design concept and final layout.
Froggie Paper Dolls
Julie found just the right font for our Froggie article, and we switched up the title graphic to a whimsical froggie couple by John Darcy Noble.
Paper Dolls of Old Europe
For Lorna's article about her trip to the Czech Republic, Julie created a colorful title design, adding a folksy design element.
Grace Kelly Paper Dolls
Julie chose a fancy font and gilded frame for our Grace Kelly article.