Monday, January 7, 2013

My Latest Paper Dolls

A great way to start off the New Year is by making new mermaid paper dolls! Here are my latest mermaids and their inspirations.

My Mermaid Paper Doll No. 75 "Toledo Gold" is inspired by a couple of my favorite jewelry pieces made using the "Damascene Technique". Damascening is a process where precious metal, like gold or silver, is applied in a decorative pattern over the top of a non-precious metal, like iron or steel. Toledo, Spain is the world's largest center of production of Damascene. With my finished mermaid, I wanted her to have a very dramatic look, high in contrast and pattern, just like many damascene designs.

Mermaid Paper Doll 75 - Toledo Gold

My vintage pair of damascene jewelry, "bird & flowers"and "bull" pins.

Carlos's damascene bolo tie from his family trip to Toledo, Spain in 1990. Bolo ties first became fashionably popular in the 1950s then had a big comeback in the 1980s. Just a random side note: the loveable Duckie Dale rocked these "shoestring ties" throughout the '80s movie "Pretty In Pink" (see below). Maybe someday I'll get Carlos to wear a bolo tie in some form of fashion!

Jon Cryer's Duckie Dale sporting the bolo tie.

Mermaid Paper Doll No. 76 "Suvannamaccha" or  "Golden Mermaid" is based on the mermaid princess in the Cambodian and Thai versions of Ramayana, a timeless and enchanting epic of India. My Golden Mermaid is a modern take of the mermaid princess. She is, of course, adorn with her golden jewels yet fashionably fitted with beautiful patterns & rich colors reminiscent of Thai silk fabric.

Mermaid Paper Doll 76 - Suvannamaccha (Golden Mermaid)

Suvannamaccha the mermaid princess. (Source: fckyeahcambodia)

Thai Silk Fabric (Photo: Greg Vaughn Photography)

Mermaid Paper Doll No. 77 "My Sweet Sushi" is derived from a couple of influences: Kawaii and Sushi. Kawaii means "loveable" or "cute" in the Japanese culture and I wanted No.77 to carry a bit of that sweetness to her look...soft colors, hearts, flowers, and butterflies. In addition, some of my favorite Kawaii drawings are that of Sushi characters shown as cute animals or just plain sushi with simple faces. So to carry over that concept of Sushi into my mermaid, I gave her custom-fitted gown the look of being wrapped in seaweed. Although her seaweed (wrapped around her waist and above her tail) is more of a teal green color rather than black!

 Mermaid Paper Doll 77 - My Sweet Sushi

Cute Sushi Animal Characters (Source: A Little Kitty Deviant Art)

Another Kawaii Sushi illustration (Source: Meowza)

Mermaid Sushi. (Source: Honey and Tea)

Seaweed wrapped Spam Musubi (Source: Cooking Hawaiian Style)

Valentine Heart Sushi (Photo: Isriya)

Mermaid Paper Doll No. 78 "Golden Sparkles" is inspired from the flowing fins of the Siamese fighting fish also known as a Betta fish. My boys recently got a pet betta fish (named "Sparkly") for their new aquarium. We were all impressed by Sparkly's beautiful colors (ranges from purple to blue to red) and his large, flowing fins. I thought it would be neat to make a mermaid based on Sparkly. I imagined for this mermaid that she would have hints of golden sparkle as well as the dramatic appearance of swimming eloquently through the ocean waters draped in a flowy gown. 

 Mermaid Paper Doll 78 - Golden Sparkles

A golden-yellow Siamese Fighting Fish similar to our purple Twin Tail Halfmoon betta, Sparkly. (Source:

Mermaid Paper Doll No. 79 "Shanghai Sea" is my version of a 1920s Shanghai Calendar girl wearing the traditional Cheongsam dress. The cheongsam dress was first created in Shanghai, China in the 1920s.

 Mermaid Paper Doll 79 - Shanghai Sea

Vintage Shanghai posters of Chinese calendar girls (called yufenpai) circa 1920s - 40s. (Source: Sleevey Wonders Blog)

Mermaid Paper Doll No. 80 "Embroidered Hand Fan" is largely inspired by my love of Spanish culture. For this mermaid I fashioned her in a gown reminiscent of a traditional Spanish hand fan with delicate cloth webbing. I also gave her a hair ornament similar to the decorative Spanish hair comb known as a peineta . A peineta is usually worn under a mantilla, a lace veil worn over the head and shoulders.

Mermaid Paper Doll 80 - Embroidered Hand Fan

Spanish Fabric and Lace Hand Fan (Source: Lands Faraway)

A Spanish Peineta. (Source: Lands Faraway)

Spanish Basque painter Ignacio Zuloaga y Zabeleta's (1870-1945) portrait of aristocrat and socialite María del Rosario de Silva, Duchess of Alba. She is wearing the Spanish mantilla and peineta (comb) and holding an embroidered hand fan. (Source: porcelainsandpeacocks)

I hope you enjoyed this in-depth look at my latest paper dolls! Also, I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to their New Year! Cheers!!


  1. Your mermaid paper dolls are beautiful. Also, I love all the different things that inspired you!

  2. Yes, I really like them! Love the Asian dolls too. :)
    Another great use to reusing papers... I just did a blog on upcycling paper envelopes here:

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you like them! I will definitely check out your blog and your latest post :) Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I love your paper dolls they are gorgeous! Thank you for following my blog, I am now following you back!


  4. Like your Sushi mermaid one. I am also a big fan of the kawaii - anything made cuter with smiling faces gets me. But please leave the bolo tie with Duckie Dale where it belongs :-P

    1. The bolo tie is kind of growing on me...although Carlos refuses to wear one! I guess I'll just have to rock the bolo tie ;-)

  5. fabulous j! i'll have one of your Sweet Sushi. Not to eat, but to add to my growing collection. And oh how i miss duckie! I used to have a vast collection of bolo ties with matching collar tips and the only dr. martens (influenced by an old ex!) and now all eradicated! what was i thinking?

    1. Blasphemy!!! Oh how I would of LOVE to see your collection of bolo ties! Well, I know what I'll be getting you for your next birthday ;-) After I posted that photo of Duckie Dale I had to watch "Pretty In Pink" again so I did! Miss ya XOXO

  6. Your paper dolls are so pretty! I really adore The Mermaid doll #76!