Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Introducing Clara

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.

15 comments:

  1. Thank you for doing this. We love you.

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  2. What a wonderful tribute for your daughter. I plan on following the blog for my own six-year old would love the paper clothes!

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  3. Oh my. What a beautiful tribute to your daughter Allison. I am truly sorry for the grief you have experienced at the loss of her.

    How wonderful Allison helped you with naming the doll.

    I wish you continued success with this blog and the paper doll which is adorable by the way.

    I also wish you many blessings to you and your family as you carry on in this earth with the blessed hope we have in being together again in Heaven.

    Mary

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  4. I am so, so sorry for your loss.

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  5. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. This site is a nice tribute to your daughter and her interest in the dolls. I am looking forward to sharing these with my granddaughters. Thank you.

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  6. I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter. Praying God's peace to you and your family.
    Thank you for sharing your work in Allison's honor. I know many children (and adults) will be blessed by the Clara doll. I am looking forward to sharing Clara and her outfits with my daughter.

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  7. You are amazing! I can't wait for the Aussie girls to see this! Our thoughts and continued prayers are always with you. Love you! Aunt Judy

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  8. What a lovely project. I know an eight-year-old who will really enjoy these. Thank you!

    Love, Amy

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  9. I have been looking forward to this blog for a long time! As soon as I saw Clara I recognized your model. What an amazing blog! I plan on printing out four sets for my girls and I may just cut out a set for myself!

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  10. These are amazing! My girls had a wonderful afternoon with Clara and her outfits, and I'm looking forward to more enjoyable afternoons to come with your beautiful designs. Thank you for sharing your talents!

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  11. mindy - what a fantastic tribute! thank you for sharing a little bit of your story - i am excited to see what you create!

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  12. Thank you for all your kindness. I really hope you like these paper dolls!

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  13. I am so, so sorry for your loss. Please accept my deepest condolences. These images are an incredible tribute to your daughter Allison and I hope in the creative process that you find comfort and peace. I plan to share these images with my two young granddaughters and will share the story of how they came to be to them.

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  14. We are going to use Clara and her 1950s outfits with the girls at our church's Mother-Daughter '50s themed Banquet. Knowing your story, makes that even more special. Thank you.

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  15. I too am very sorry for your loss. I just stumbled across this site while searching for some help with the Roots Magic genealogy software. I am 61 years old yet paperdolls still intrigue me, perhaps because I used them to survive some childhood abuse. The name Clara caught my attention also. My abuse was such that I had to develop multiple personalities to survive (I am healed by Heavenly Father at this point-He is Almighty in myriads of unexplainable ways!). But during one incident I believe my great-grandmother, Clara Elizabeth, helped walk me through it from the other side. I don't know why your sweet daughter chose the name Clara but it is a beautiful name, soft and flowing. You've done beautiful work. I pray the very best for you and your family and I am certain Allison is in the very best hands in the universe and you will be with her again!

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