Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Angel's Name--Reversible Stable Paper Craft

This reversible paper craft is meant to go along with the angel paper dolls from the previous post. It works in pretty much the same way but must be printed out on two separate pieces of paper due to its larger size. Fold both pieces at the lines (first in half with the colored side out, then accordion style with the top parts folded forward over and showing the back of the paper), cut them out (preferably after folding, so that the guidelines are no longer needed), and glue them together in an X shape (glue each stable to its own back only as far as the fold, then match the front of each stable roof part with the back of the other part). If you've folded and glued correctly, you can flip the stable inside out to show either the Nativity scene or only the animals. If you have trouble with the directions, it might help to look at the previous few posts to see how the paper dolls are put together. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Angel's Name--Reversible Paper Doll

These are modeled after the paper dolls from the public domain book The Twelve Magic Changelings--I had so much fun with those that I decided to create a couple of double-sided, reversible paper dolls of my own. So, here is the angel from The Angel's Name, in both color variations. I know she's originally a Christmas angel, but she might come in handy for Easter, too.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Twelve Magic Changelings Paper Dolls--Fourth Set

Here are the last three of the Twelve Magic Changelings paper dolls! These are the town mouse and the country mouse, the frog who would a-wooing go (I had to look this one up) with the lily-white duck, and the lion and the unicorn (I looked those up, too, to refresh my memory, but what I found wasn't as straightforward as the story about the frog; they have a nursery rhyme, an appearance in Through the Looking Glass, and various other historical and literary references).  So, that's the end of the printer-friendly versions of these, but I've been experimenting with the folding style and will soon be posting a couple new dolls of my own. Keep an eye out for the angel from The Angel's Name, since I obviously had the graphics for her handy.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Twelve Magic Changelings Paper Dolls--Third Set

These are the Magic Changelings that are a person (I'm counting Humpty Dumpty as a person) on one side and some sort of object on the other. The first is Humpty Dumpty, who turns into an egg--the answer to the riddle that is the nursery rhyme. I had to look up Nancy Netticoat, but it turns out that her story is a lot like Humpty Dumpty's.  "The longer she lives, the shorter she grows," because she is a candle. And the third one is pretty straightforward--Santa Claus turns into a Christmas tree, perhaps to hide from someone who happens to wake up!  There's one more set of the printer-friendly originals, and by the time I've posted them I may be finished with the new ones I've been experimenting with.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Twelve Magic Changelings Paper Dolls--Second Set

Here is the next group of the Twelve Magic Changelings paper dolls.  These three are Dick Whittington, Robinson Crusoe, and what I'm assuming is a generic fairy-tale witch. Oh, and I realized too late that I'd forgotten to link to the book itself in my last post; here is a great place to see it as a whole digital book (I picked this particular site to link to because it looks real--you can turn the pages and even see the pencil markings inside the cover if you look close). You can see the original order the dolls are presented in there, too--I did tell you that I renumbered them. Anyway, this is the end of the people on one side, animals on the other Changelings; the next set will be people on one side and things on the other, and the last one will be animals on both sides. It just made sense to me to group them that way.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Twelve Magic Changelings Paper Dolls--First Set

These paper dolls are from a book by M. A. Glen that's available on several public domain book sites (the copyright date is 1907), but they weren't exactly print-optimized.  I've removed the old-book yellowed background and done a couple of other minor enhancements for the sake of print quality, and I'm putting them up here to share! Sorry for the quality of the example photo above; my camera is broken and the tablet isn't the best for taking pictures. Anyway, the original instructions use Mary and the lamb as an example and say the following:  

Cut out the two double figures. Fold on the dotted lines marked A A A A so that the upper part of each of the four figures projects forward as shown in the small picture X. Fold on the lines marked B B where the figures join each other so that the colored surfaces face outward, and then, beginning at the feet, paste the front view of Mary to the back view of the lamb as far as the dotted lines A A. In the same way paste the front view of the lamb to the back view of Mary—as far up as the lines A A. Now paste together the front and back of the upper part of Mary. Then paste together the front and back of the upper part of the lamb. Cut off the letters A A A A B B.

Now if the lamb is held by the feet and turned inside out, Mary will appear, and vice versa. MAKE ALL THE OTHER CHANGELINGS IN PRECISELY THE SAME WAY.

The Changelings will stand alone. If they do not stand firmly after you have turned them, pinch them slightly along the dotted lines that were marked A A A A.

 Look carefully at the finished Changeling in the front of the book. It will help you to make all the Magic Changelings.


I didn't see any finished doll at the front of the book, but I've shown a picture of my first attempt at Mary and her lamb, spread out in such a way that you should be able to see what it's talking about.  Essentially, you need to glue the parts that are already attached at the feet back to back as far as the line, then glue the back of each head to its matching front. If you've done it correctly, the whole doll will be shaped like an X and can then be flipped to show either of the two characters. Here are the first three; I thought that all twelve of them would make too long of a blog post, but the others will follow soon. I've reordered the ones after Mary and her lamb, but the other two I'm posting now are Tom the piper's son with the stolen pig and Goldilocks (or Silverhair) with the baby bear. Print them out and enjoy!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Goat on a Trike

Ok, this one's because I need a laugh. I found it on my computer recently, but this is a doodle I drew a long time ago for a friend who used to jokingly say "Do my homework!"  And whenever she said that, I would grab a pen and scribble something as silly as I could come up with on the nearest piece of paper (usually a cafeteria napkin, but this one happened to survive and be scanned because it was on an actual piece of printer paper), label it "So-and-so's Homework, by Elizabeth," and hand it to her. That particular time we had been talking about goats and bicycles for some reason....

Edit: This sketch is now available on a coffee mug, just because. Find it here.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Angel's Name--Color Change

 I'm changing most of the characters to have darker skin for the upcoming Swahili-language version. (I thought it wouldn't quite make sense otherwise.)  Hopefully I'll be able to recolor them all without actually having to redraw them, but of course I can redraw anything that doesn't look right recolored (and then try to get it sized and placed exactly right in every illustration, which is more work than I want to do if I can avoid it). Here's one of the recolored illustrations side-by-side with the original one. I don't intend to bother with the wooden soldier, but the angel is the main character and the first one I'm working on. It's time-consuming, but I think I'm pleased with the results so far.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Angel's Name--Inspiration

The angel in this picture next to the printed copy of The Angel's Name is the one from my grandpa's tree--it actually used to be on top of my grandma's electric organ around Christmas when I was a kid, and I have a foggy memory of insisting that she ought to have a name. I don't remember how old I was, but for some reason I thought she looked like either a Susie or a Betty....  My grandma told me that she didn't need a name, but that might have been because I wanted to name the angel before eating a dinner that was already getting cold! It was some kind of awkward time for it, at least, though I don't remember precisely why. She isn't made of glass, obviously (she's wire and netting with a plastic head and a few miniature light bulbs), but she does seem to be part of the inspiration for the angel in the story.  Anyway, a tree topper angel with no name was the first thing that popped into my head a few years ago when a third-grader handed me a pencil and demanded that I write a story on the spot. I only had about five minutes before I was scheduled to work in a different classroom, but I took the pencil and scribbled down what eventually became the first page of text in The Angel's Name.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Angel's Name--Available!

It's done! The Angel's Name (click to see the listing) is finally available to order. It's only possible to get it directly from CreateSpace at the moment, but it's supposed to also show up on Amazon in 3-5 business days. Royalties are better for books ordered from CreateSpace, anyway (fewer middlemen), but of course more people have an Amazon account.  I keep  meaning to post pictures of the proof copies, but I've been rather busy. There were quite a few changes that I needed to make to the illustrations after I saw how they actually printed out, and I thought that since I just missed Christmas with this book I might as well try to get it out by New Year's.  There were also a few formatting changes, but I'm pretty happy with it now. It feels great to have finished the project!