Creative Influences: Victorian Paper Dolls

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There are a few topics where you can pinpoint the exact moment that you became interested in it.  For whatever reason, it makes an impression on you that sticks.  Sometimes it’s a huge life-changing moment & sometimes it’s something very small.

I was thinking about how interesting it is that I know the exact moment when I became fascinated with period costuming.


I was about seven years old & my family used to take a lot of trips to various historic landmarks and forts.  My dad was always interested in the Cavalry (he was even in it long before I was around) and the Old West.  He created a lot of his own artwork on those subjects (paintings, drawings, sculptures, etc.) & our home was decorated with them.  So the influence was always there.

However, there was one trip in particular that piqued my own interest.  We had gone to Fort Davis & I remember being mostly bored until we arrived at the gift shop.  That’s when I found this beautiful Victorian Fashion paper doll book (pictured at the top) and fell in love!  My parents bought it for me & from the moment that I opened it up and flipped through it, this little book suddenly became my entire memory of that trip.

I played with those paper dolls all summer and onwards (until they eventually tore apart from wear).  These little dolls became some of my fondest childhood toys.  I loved the detail of their dresses the most!  Some of the designs are committed to my memory as I had stared at them so often.  It’s funny to think that something so small as a paper doll book could have such a huge impact on a child’s imagination but I definitely feel like that was the case for me.  At least with this particular branch of my creativity.

And the best part is, that in writing about this, I’ve discovered that it’s still for sale!  I might have to order a brand new copy!

Anyway, I just felt like sharing a little memory from my past that I felt was relevant.  Since it’s also Flashback Friday, here’s a picture of myself during a fun photo shoot my family once did.

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Thanks for reading! x


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