Clara is going to be the star of my paper doll blog for a while. She was first designed in September of 2010. I had already designed and privately published a collection of other paper dolls and their fashionable outfits. However, I wanted to draw a younger paper doll specifically for this blog.
I drew the doll from a live model, and then got down to business. I sketched a bunch of cute dresses, hats, and shoes on tracing paper, then scanned the images onto the computer. My daughters watched over my shoulders as I converted the sketches into high quality line art using Adobe Illustrator. Mostly they asked how long it would take until I would print them some dresses.
I finished several dresses for Clara and printed a few paper doll outfits for my daughters. They were the research and development team: testing whether the paper dolls' outfits worked after they were cut out. Life got busy, and publishing a blog took second place to a big family vacation we had planned for mid-October. After the wonderful vacation to the central California coast, I got back to setting up the blog.
On October 26, I was working on a logo project for a client while my husband took my two oldest daughters on a bike ride. A normal late afternoon, here in Mesa, Arizona. Until the phone call. The one you never want, the one you hope never to receive. My 11-year-old daughter Allison had been hit by a car. She was killed instantly by an inexperienced and impatient 16-year-old driver. In all the shock, grief, and the aftermath of this tragedy, our world was turned upside down. Nothing was the same, and we had to rely wholly on our faith and knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ for comfort. Wonderful family, friends, and neighbors helped with what they could.
I didn't even think about these paper dolls for several months. But I remembered how much my daughter loved the paper dolls, and so I wanted to continue to draw them. Allison colored the dresses beautifully, and was so excited when I had a new fashion design complete. So this blog is dedicated to my beautiful daughter Allison.
Allison helped choose Clara as the paper doll's name. And Allison was the model I used to create the paper doll.