Thursday, April 28, 2011

Paper doll scrap

A true "dress-a-doll" that required one to create the skirt from crepe paper or fabric, c.1890s.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Herald newsboy

I have a soft spot for newspaper carrying paper dolls. c. 1880s.

And speaking of news, here's the latest Convention Update:

If you are not lucky enough to be able to attend the International Paper Doll Convention in Philadelphia this August, that doesn't mean your paper doll collection has to suffer. Absentee Packages are available to order now and that means you can own all the fabulous original paper dolls that are being created for the conventioneers. This year's convention is offering a bumper crop of brand new paper dolls that are sure to become collectible treasures.
There are five "official" souvenirs that will be presented at the parties and banquets. "Four Famous Fillies from Philly" have been recreated as paper dolls by Gregg Nystrom, a young artist known for his exquisite likenesses. Jeanette MacDonald, Janet Gaynor, Billie Holiday and of course, Grace Kelly are the "fillies," all born in Philadelphia. David Wolfe's artistry is responsible for the fashions to dress the dolls in this book that will be distributed at the Registration Party. The second souvenir book pays tribute to Philadelphia's patriotic roots as the birthplace of the nation and cheers, "Hooray for the Red, White and Blue. Four artists were given carte blanche to create a paper doll inspired by the American tricolor. Jim Howard, Sandra Vanderpool, Eileen Rudisill Miller and Judy M Johnson all contributed a doll and outfits, each in their own inimitably indelible artistic style. Another souvenir book will celebrate famous "Colonial Characters." Famed artist Tom Tierney depicts Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson is represented by Donald Hendricks. The feminine Colonialists are represented by Brenda Sneathen Mattox' Dolley Madison doll while David Wolfe discovered Mary Philipse, the young beauty who was George Washington's first love.
For movie fans, yet another souvenir features to famous classic movies that told the same story. "The Philadelphia Story" and "High Society" are combined in a double-cover book that stars the cast of both films. Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant become paper dolls by Marilyn Henry and Jim Howard while the latter film's stars, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra, are dolled up by Norma Lu Meehan and Bruce Patrick Jones. A very unique paper doll has been designed and executed by talented artist, Kwei-lin Lum.
In addition to the official souvenir books, Absentee Packages will also include a wealth of "extras." Over 25 artists have donated black-and-white paper dolls for those who like to color as well as cut-out. One of the workshops will provide a cute doll, "Winnie Wallpaper," and templates to make clothes for her out of printed wallpaper. And for wannabe paper doll artists, this year's Dress-a-Doll, Jeanette MacDonald, will also be sent to Absentees.
If you'd like to order an Absentee Package, simply go to

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Claire paper doll

Carol Carey, Pat Whalen and I had fun designing for the small version of a 1950s doll. The doll was cut from a Judy Johnson postcard.  Judy has many wonderful reproductions of hard-to-find paper dolls at

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spanish Woman cut-out

An advertising paper doll, published by the Dr. Miles Medical Co., Elkhart, Ind., c. 1910. The back has printed in bold letters: "For Nervous Troubles Dr. Miles' Nervine."

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Happy Easter

German, 1901, if I'm reading the postmark correctly. I'd love to know what this card is about, if there are any German speakers out there. I'm assuming the topic is Easter, because of the eggs, but kittens emerging instead of chicks is quite odd!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

More Brenda Starr

This has an early post-war vibe about it. 1947 would be my guess.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Marisa Parrado

Marisa Parrado's paper dolls are wonderful. You can see her recortables (that's Spanish for cut-outs) on her blog, Cajon Desaztre. As she would say "besozzzzzz"--kisses!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A paper doll window display in Toronto

Bruce Patrick Jones took these pictures of a fashion window display in Toronto last fall. Very cool!


A birthday cottage

I love the whimsical houses of vintage greeting cards. This one is c.1940, postcard is unused,divided back.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Jane, a Fashionable Lady

This is a copy of an original handmade paper doll. From the Margaret Menamin collection. A note on the back (apparently from the artist) says:

Jane, Fashionable/Stylized Lady--Same time as "Elegant gentleman"--but perhaps all of these are from summer of 1939 or 1940 -- I remember going to the Pasadena Library for costume books.
Another paper doll mystery...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Joan Crawford by Gregg Nystrom

Gregg Nystrom's latest. As always, he artfully captures a Hollywood legend. He sends word that he will have Joan Crawford and others for sale at the convention.

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Belle of the Ball"

The two illustrations are from the Dover clip art collection, "Women Advertising Cuts of the 20s and 30s," one of my favorite Dover compilations. It includes a CD-ROM with 607 vintage graphics. 
As you will see, these illustrations are perfect companions for the latest convention update:
Early Convention Registrants to receive "Belle of the Ball" paper doll book.
Those early birds who registered for the 2011 Convention in 2010 not only got a discount, they will receive a Bonus Paper Doll book by artist David Wolfe. The book will be distributed to those who qualify at the Convention.  
"Belle of the Ball" features a classically beautiful paper doll and her handsome male escort.  Twelve breathtaking gowns from 1860 to 2004 are included. The first is from the legendary House of Worth and the last from scandalous designer John Galliano at Christian Dior. Other extravagant gowns include creations by Charles James, Gianni Versace, Arnold Scassi, Balenciaga, Ungaro and Yves Saint Laurent.

Mademoiselle Piquet, 1947

Jack and Jill, Dec. 1947. Artist: Peggie Geiszel. A story line using paper dolls revolved around a boarding school and its students.  

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bear, 1950

From Animal Paper Dolls to Dress, Saalfield 1950. A gift from Carol Carey for my husband Rob, who is fond of bears. I found an old picture frame for this cutie.

UPDATE: Tattered and Lost has posted the entire set. It's adorable!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Little Alice Busy Bee, c. 1915

I first posted this American Colortype doll three years ago on my first blog. Little Alice Busy Bee exemplifies one of our convention themes: the American Spirit. More from David Wolfe:

Convention Themes for the Fun of It! 
As always, there will be a real party atmosphere at the Paper Doll Convention to be held in Philadelphia, August 17-21st.

The fun will begin Wednesday evening with a Registration Party and get together.  Held in the ballroom complex at the Philadelphia Airport Embassy Suites Hotels, conventioneers will be presented with their badges and a messenger-style, logo-printed tote bag containing (what else?) paper dolls and goodies!  Finger food and soft drinks will be provided and there will be a cash bar, too.  Norma Lu Meehan will share a special presentation about the history of paper dolls.  A souvenir book featuring "Four Famous Fillies from Philly" will be presented.

Thursday evening's buffet banquet will have a Red-White-Blue theme in honor of Philadelphia's historically patriotic spirit.  The color theme will be carried out in centerpieces designed by Deanna Williams (who is, in fact, creating her usual clever centerpieces for every banquet).  The souvenir book, all red-white-blue of course, will be given out.  It is hoped that everyone will get in the spirit and wear red-white-blue outfits.  A fun paper doll trivia game will garner some lucky players some terrific prizes.

Friday evening will pay tribute to Philadelphia's Colonial heritage. Brenda Sneathen Mattox will share her in-depth knowlege of historical costume of the Colonial period and the souvenir book will include some important Colonial characters.  Dress code?  Powdered wigs and hoopskirts.  Just kidding! 

The final buffet banquet Saturday evening will be a classy affair inspired by two famous films, "The Philadelphia Story" and "High Society."  Movie buffs will recognize that both films are different versions of the same story that takes place in Mainline Philadelphia society.  The souvenir book will pay tribute to the stars of both films.  Lorna Currie Thomopoulos will present the fairy-tale life of Philadelphia's movie queen turned princess, Grace Kelly.  Of course, this is dress-up time, so go for the glitz!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Convention Tidbits #4: Wallpaper Wardrobe

This is Bonita Granville as Nancy Drew. Artist: Barbara Barnett, 2007.

Who can resist the wallpaper wardrobe of a Barbara Barnett paper doll? And who wouldn't want to try a hand at it, too?

Good news: Scott Jorgenson, vintage fashion expert, will be leading a workshop in creating a wallpaper wardrobe at the 2011 Paper Doll Convention in Philadelphia, Aug.17-21. He'll also offer a presentation on collecting vintage fashion in cloth and paper.

But if you haven't registered yet, don't waste any time. The Registration packets will go out in the mail this month, and workshops will fill up FAST! Click on the convention logo to the left to register.

Here are the details from David Wolfe, chairman of this year's convention:


Participants will create a wardrobe for a vintage-look paper doll. The doll will be given to those attending the workshop along with a set of templates to trace around on patterned wallpaper samples.  They
will also be given sheets of details such as collars, cuffs, and bows to cut out an paste onto the wallpaper dresses and playwear. The workshop will be under the direction of Scott Jorgenson.


Scott Jorgenson will offer a presentation that explains how collecting vintage fashion is the same whether it is made of fabrics or print for paper dolls.  Finding genuine vintage treasures in thrift shops or on the Internet offers first-hand fashion history that has been worn in the past and Scott has a collection of over 500 pieces.  He will share some stories about his neverending quest for special fashions and show how those very same styles have been illustrated by paper doll artists in years gone by and also by many of today's leading paper doll artists.

UPDATE: You can register online using PayPal or a credit card by clicking here.

Dora, c. 1875

McLoughlin. From the Margaret Menamin collection.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Scenes from a Paper Doll Party

Jayne Keller's annual paper doll luncheon yesterday in Morgantown, Pa., was great fun: a chance to catch up with friends, make new ones and buy paper dolls, of course. Many dealers and collectors in attendance will also be at the Philadelphia convention in August.

 Artist Lisa Miller and her children Rebecca, 10, and John, 12.

Carol Sullivan.

Margaret Brown and her excellent doll dresses for sale. 
She sews them herself, many are made from paper doll print fabric.

Don Schmidt.

 Marge Seltzer.

Bob Eshbaugh and Marlene Brenner. Bob was selling the collection of his late wife, Margaret Menamin.

Martha Raively and Chris Cannon.
 Lauren Welker sold back issue of her Paper Doll Diary.
 Jan McKay won an issue of Fashion Doll Quarterly in the raffle. 
The issue contains paper dolls by Lisa Miller.

Carol Carey and Patti Fertel.
Patti Fertel created paper dolls from vintage illustrations and packaged them in colorful folders.

Paula Hill's sales table.

Carol Carey holds up a Margaret Menamin creation inspired 
by vintage Dennison jointed dolls and crepe dresses.

Carol Carey and Meredith Petrie chat at Lisa Miller's sales table, as John Miller listens in.