Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A New Quest Begins...

Vintage Victorian Paper Doll
One of several antique paper dolls I'm on the Quest to add to my collection

I'm an avid reader of historical romances and I especially enjoy a good medieval tale that has a handsome knight on some grand quest. My personal journey in creating artwork is similar in that I too am on a quest... A quest for the fanciful, quirky and whimsical in my art.

I never know where my muse will take me or what might inspire me but it continues to be an incredible journey of chasing rainbows. I dabble and play with one interest for a while and then I'm off to something else, till the next inspiration is on me and I'm off again. Then I might go through a dry spell where I'd rather read or do other things till my muse kicks me in gear again. I wanted to create a space where I could share this journey and if I'm lucky pass a little inspiration along the way.


I'm in the ongoing process of collecting a special antique paper doll. These very cool articulated paper dolls were made by L&B and Dennison about 100 years ago. I think they are amazing and unfortunately are becoming an expensive hobby for me, but I really love these dolls and they inspire me to create so they are worth the hassle and expense to keep growing my collection. They also have a bit of history behind them since each doll represents an actress, opera singer, or member of royalty from that time period.

The L&B dolls I'm collecting were made in Germany around 1880 - 1910 and each is a heavy, glossy lithographic art work also know as Victorian Scraps. They create a doll @ 14 tall once assembled using brads after adding a torso. Then the fun decorate the doll (or at least that is what the girls of the day did and it's still a great idea).

Victorian Paper Doll by L&B
This was the very first original Ballerina Doll that started my collection and she is still my favorite. My loving hubby bought her for me this past Christmas - 2009. I believe she represents Alexandra Princess of Denmark who later became Queen Alexandra of England after she married Edward VII. She had a scar on her neck due to a childhood accident so she always wore a tall collar of pearls to conceal it.
(some list this doll as actress Lillie Langtry)

Before I started collecting originals I discovered this
high quality scanned set of dolls at

I started printing and playing with these and had so much fun I wanted more of the pretty ladies but sad to say it is very hard to find high resolution images of any of these old Victorian Paper Dolls on-line. Which is why I'm on my "Quest" to collect as many of these original dolls as I can.

Here are some fun ATC's I created using the above dolls. They are from my Corset Doll Collection of ATC's. The brads allow them to swivel closed to conform to the correct 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch size of the ATC (Artist Trading Card)

You can see more of the corset doll ATC collection at

These 100 year old paper dolls inspired me to keep creating more art dolls. I started by creating a generic body template and a few hairstyles then I found great rubber stamps to add faces and create funky outfits for my modern paper dolls. I've even been lucky enough to win a few contests with some of these creations.

These 6 Dolls were my contest entry for 100 Proof Press Rubber Stamps Press it out Contest back in Dec 2009. I loved the concept of taking stamps and using them in a non traditional way from what they were intended. All the skirts are made from architectural elements. I created the doll body and hair styles but all the other elements are rubber stamped images.
All the stamps used for these 6 dolls are by 100 Proof Press Rubber Stamps.

I created this fun folding Fairy ATC for a contest
with Blockheads Rubber Stamps.
The background, hair, crown and clothes are all made
from Blockheads Rubber Stamp images.
In the closed position the ATC is 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches. So she is a tiny fairy doll.

My most recent art doll project was done using stamps by Scrolls Work Rubber Stamp images to create these two huge dolls. They are mounted on 8 1/2 x 11 backgrounds so this shows you how big they really are.

You can find out more about these dolls at

I currently have 4 original L&B Ballerinas and Prima Donnas in my collection. Some of them are mismatched sets but I don't care since I want to eventually own as many of the various parts and pieces I can get my hands on. I hope in the end to have them all. Yes - I dream big.

I'm sure I'll be creating more art dolls and I'll keep adding those antique L&B dolls to my growing collection, so check in from time to time to see what I've found or what I've created as my Quest for the odd and unusual continues.

Grins and Giggles,
Evelyn (EKDuncan)

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