Friday, September 28, 2007

Paper Doll Links

I've added more links to the right, including two paper doll sites from Denmark. The creators of both sites reached out to me to find out more about the 2008 convention, and I hope to see both of them in NJ next year.
Kattis Klipdockor, a Swedish site, has many printable paper dolls from vintage magazines. This Elizabeth Taylor is from a 1952 issue of a magazine called Aret Runt. If I'm missing one of your favorite paper doll sites, let me know and I'll add it to the list.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Here's a Boots paper doll from the collection of Carol Carey. It's one of my favorites. How often do you see a paper doll wearing glasses?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Helene by Helen Page

This paper doll is from my personal collection. I believe it is part of a boxed set called Romance paper dolls, circa 1949. Correct? I know the complete set was on display in San Antonio. It is in a booklet format, with a cutout for the face to show through when closed.

UPDATE: Thanks to Jean Sullivan for providing this correct information:
The Helen Page Helene is from A Box of 10 Cutout dolls with Dresses. Romance came later in book format and had only 8 dolls. Mary Young's Lowe/Whitmnan ref. book shows this set on p. 14 and also on page 82. Mary states this boxed set was shown in the 1945 and 1947 catalogues. Jean

Helen Page

One of the highlights of San Antonio was a Special Exhibit of Helen Page's work. Collector Marion Creamer was lucky enough to have a paper doll of herself as a child by Helen Page (Marion added the gold wings!) and there were many examples of Page's work and original art, including the Marmee doll that apparently was never included with the Little Women set published by Shackman. Helen's daughter, Margaret Allen, was in attendance, and said her mother still paints every day. San Antonio convention-goers let her know how much her mother's work is cherished by collectors.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Margaret Brown's Hand Made Paper Dolls

Most of us remember drawing our own paper dolls at a very young age, but how many of us held on to them? Margaret Brown did. It was a delight to see her childhood collection in San Antonio.

Gene Maiden

It was good to see Gene Maiden in San Antonio. He suggested "I'll Take Manhattan" for our convention theme, and was among the first to register for the 2008 event, too.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Alphabet Land

Doing this blog has certainly been a challenge. I'm not technically inclined, but seeing what is possible, I've had to stretch. And it helps to be married to someone who knows his way around HTML. So, with his help, I've put together a new look for the 2008 convention blog. The letters in the blog logo were created by Marney Makridakis of Artella and can be purchased at

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


There are some things you see at convention that you don't see anywhere else, especially in the competition. Here you'll find one of a kind items and original artwork and an occasional masterpiece. In that latter category is the paper doll book dedicated to Elizabeth Taylor drawn by the late Charles Wolfe. His brother David Wolfe brought the book to competition, and it won the People's Choice award. Each page of this book faithfully renders a costume that Taylor wore in a film. Each outfit drawn, painted, embellished by Charles Wolfe. A masterpiece.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Paula, John and Dee

Here's Paula Sherrick, John Axe and Dee Radcliffe in San Antonio.
These and other photos were taken with my cell phone camera--my apologies for the less-than-perfect resolution. (I have since discovered how to access the phone settings for sharper images.)

Joyce McClelland and Jim Faraone

From the 2007 convention in San Antonio. Joyce's presence at the convention was absolutely heroic after battling a bad case of strep throat. Jim is a longtime supporter of paper doll collectors, and publishes his own newsletter, Paper Doll Pal. He also has a national reputation in the world of fashion doll makeovers and holds an annual fashion doll convention in Las Vegas.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A new newspaper paper doll

This ran in the Style section of the May 27, 2007 issue of the New York Times. You never know when a contemporary illustrator will use the paper doll motif to illustrate an article. It's always delightful to open up the newspaper and find something like this.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mrs. Maggie Jiggs

The new and improved registration form had room for improvement! Thanks to Deanna Williams and others for pointing out that information on double room rates would be good to have! I've rescanned the form in, so check the previous post for the latest version.

Here's Mrs. Maggie Jiggs, another great newspaper doll, discovered at the Indianapolis convention which Sondra Leeds hosted last year.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Latest Convention Registration Form

Little Nemo's Bear

Another great newspaper supplement--this time a paper doll based on the popular Little Nemo comic strip of the era. From the New York Herald, 1907. This was a gift from a fellow collector.

The Best of Both Worlds

Collecting doesn't have to be an either/or proposition. You can build a collection that includes vintage and new paper doll artists. In fact, if I hadn't started collecting the vintage items, I never would have discovered the new artists out there. And vice versa.

Case in point: Kwei-lin Lum's paper toy sets such as "Fortune Cookie" and "Day of the Dead." Part of the pleasure of collecting those sets is seeing how she organized information and thought through layout and construction. As a result I look at older paper toys with new eyes and seek out special ones to add to my collection.

Kwei-lin's art is a factor in my developing interest in old paper toys, especially the card stock supplements that were included in newspapers more than 100 years ago. I found this lovely May 1898 Baltimore American supplement "Puss and her family" at last year's convention in Indianapolis.

Gregg Nystrom

It was wonderful to see Gregg Nystrom and his art work in the convention sales room this year. I bought his Kim Novak and Josephine Baker.

Paper doll conventions are attracting new artists--and we hope new collectors. I'd like to spotlight some of the new artists and their work on this blog--and I should emphasize that they are new to me, not necessarily to everyone else reading this!

And thanks to Teri Pettit and Kim Brecklein for reminding me about the importance of protecting artists' copyright. I've resized and marked the scans of current art work on this and previous posts, to prevent copying.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Caruso and Farrar

This 2002 souvenir by Sandy Vanderpool is devoted to opera stars Enrico Caruso and Geraldine Farrar, and was purchased in San Antonio. A gorgeous 10-page booklet, each page is artfully laid out with the name of the opera alongside each costume.

A 2000 luncheon menu souvenir

It's always nice when a paper doll dealer keeps your interests in mind, and those relationships are easy to build at conventions. For example, I told Marion Creamer that I was keeping my eyes open for souvenirs by Bruce Patrick Jones. I must have missed one that she had in the sales room--she emailed when she got home that she still had it for sale, and was I interested? Absolutely! Here’s what arrived in today’s mail. This was a menu for a 2000 paper doll luncheon.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Collector's Eye

There's a lot to be said for eBay. It's easy and accessible, a 24-hour garage sale and flea market. But most of what I've learned about paper doll collecting I picked up at paper doll conventions. Nothing beats seeing the item first-hand, getting a feel for the paper and--most importantly for me-- finding out what other people collect, what they value and hearing them talk about their passion, either casually on the sales floor, in a workshop or in a special exhibit. Suddenly, newspaper paper dolls, handmades and Raphael Tucks are on my radar. And the hunt begins. Here's Jack Cranford, by Tuck.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


I've been posting pictures of old souvenirs I picked up in San Antonio--beautiful items that were distributed at prior conventions or paper doll luncheons. Here's one that was featured at a luncheon in L.A. in 2002, which had an Italian theme: Venecia, by Brenda Sneathen Mattox--which is actually the cover of the luncheon menu! A lot of these items rarely, if ever, come up on eBay. That's why the convention salesroom is so important.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Aunt PittyPat!

I believe this is Ralph Hodgdon's work--it's not signed anywhere that I can see. Deanna, if you're reading this, correct me if I'm mistaken. Another great San Antonio salesroom find.


There were many wonderful souvenirs at San Antonio. I don't want to spoil the surprise for those who haven't received their absentee package yet. I'll post those souvenirs later this year. Here's a souvenir from this year's L.A. paper doll "Gone With the Wind"- themed luncheon in March: Scarlett O'Hara by Bruce Patrick Jones. Three other hat cards were included. And yes, a vendor had it for sale in San Antonio.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Cut or Uncut?

I'm partial to partially-cut sets. They're less expensive, easier to find, and there's the wonder of a paper doll that a child actually played with. Betsy is unusual, with both tabbed and wrap-around outfits, and that's what drew me in when I found her in a box in an unofficial sales event at San Antonio (ie., someone opened their hotel room for sales before the convention began). Most of the outfits were cut out. No markings indicating date or publisher, but that's part of the fun: getting to rifle through the Mary Young books in search of the answers!
UPDATE: This is a Sam Gabriel set called Dolly and Her Dresses. No year given in the latest MY book, however.

Bridge Tallies

Barbara Barnett asked me about how tallies were used; as far as I can tell, they were used to keep score during bridge games. After the game, many were pasted into scrapbooks. As you can see from the reverse of my Spanish galleon, some tallies were never used. There's room on the tally for totaling your score, plus a line for table and couple number, so these beautiful tags were used as place cards at the table, too. An old scrapbook I found from the 1920s a few summers ago indicates that many of these bridge games hosted a lunch between rounds of play. I'd love to hear from anyone who can shed more light on the use of bridge tallies.

Goody bags

Kwei-lin mentioned some of her finds at Marion Creamer's sales table -- which is where I found the Barbara Barnett set. Marion also made a generous donation to the goody bags -- a vintage bridge tally was included in each attendees folder. Here's the lovely Spanish galleon I found in my folder, which also contained generous donations from other artists. More on that later.

Advertising dolls

These two advertising dolls were among my finds in San Antonio. The vendors had a wonderful assortment of paper dolls and cut-outs such as these. Part of the fun of attending conventions is getting to know vendors and the kinds of items they stock. The doll on the left has advertising on the back for a dry goods store in Brooklyn.

Monday, September 3, 2007

A Charlie Chaplin cut-out

Here's an old Charlie Chaplin cut-out published by Saalfield that I bought my first night in San Antonio during an "open room" sales event, a time-honored convention tradition--vendors who are so inclined prop their hotel room door open with a chair, post a sign and get down to business, with rows of boxes on beds, bureaus, chairs, floor, countertop. It's a fun way to meet sellers and other buyers, and to chat casually and learn a lot about paper dolls and the people who collect them.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

A convention find

I was thrilled to find this Barbara Barnett paper doll in the sales room in San Antonio. "Liza" was created as a souvenir for the 2003 convention in Cleveland, Ohio. This is just a few of the outfits that came with the set--all tucked in a large valentine cut from one of Barbara's signature wallpapers.


I haven't unpacked my bags from San Antonio yet, but wanted to get this blog rolling to let everyone know about next year's event and to share the fun and good times we had at San Antonio. Over the next few weeks, I'll scan in pictures from San Antonio, and describe some of the wonderful souvenirs and purchases I came home with.

If you were in San Antonio too, I hope to hear about your great finds and favorites. And if you've never been to a convention, I hope you'll check in on this blog frequently, and see what you've been missing. Feel free to ask questions; I'll do my best to answer them.

This is the first time I'm helping to organize a convention, and I'm on a steep learning curve, so thank you for your patience!

And if you're not on Garth Lax's convention email list and would like to be, let me know. Garth's email updates are an important part of the build-up to convention. If you know someone who isn't online but wants to stay current with Garth's updates, let us know, and we'll find a way to get a printout to that person.

The 2008 International Paper Doll Convention will be held August 6-10 at the Embassy Suites in Parsippany, New Jersey.

Registration is $205 until Feb. 1; $220 after that date.
Make checks payable to Linda Ocasio, 96 Minell Place, Teaneck, NJ 07666