Thursday, October 29, 2009

Paper People Art Dolls

That's the name of my Swap-bot group that has been consuming huge chunks of my time lately. The reason it has been consuming so much time? We've grown! (

This is a group that is dedicated to making paper dolls, so the focus of what we do is pretty narrow. This was reflected in my group's membership. Up until recently there were about thirty of us in the group, and we weren't very active. I'd create a swap here and there and three or four members would sign on to swap, but to tell the truth, it was getting to be pretty boring! I was even thinking about getting out of Swap-bot altogether until I made a fabulous new online friend. RyeRye invited me to join a group she founded on the "Bot," we began chatting, and the rest, as they say, is history.

So, here I am complaining to RyeRye about the small membership of the group and wishing I had more members to entice into swapping dolls with me. She immediately does what I should have done long ago - INVITE new members. Some group founder I am. Didn't even know I could do that! Does she invite one or two? Oh heck no - she invites bunches, tons, GOBS of new members. And so our membership for PPAD grew from thirty-two paper dolls lovers to 105 members within just a couple of weeks. That girl is nuts, I tell you! Anyway, with our ranks pumped up by this amazing friend of mine, our group is experiencing a renewed vigor and is practically brimming with talented artists ready to swap some gorgeous, original pieces of artwork.

Our group has a gallery on Flickr now where we can post pictures of our dolls for everyone to ooh and aah over. If your curiosity is piqued, you can roll on over to our photostream ( Even if you think paper dolls are for kids, I bet you will still get a kick out of the unique interpretations created by the artists posting here.

I'm very excited about a couple of the swaps we have going on right now, too. One swap is to make a Marie Antoinette paper doll, and while that concept itself is not new, we're taking it to a new level by creating a backdrop, or display stage for her. The most exciting and fun swap I've created for this group, however, is The Huge Traveling Self Doll Round Robin swap. This swap was taken from Lisa Vollrath's site, Go Make Something. (

She originated this Self Doll and put the pattern up, so I can't take credit for the doll or the idea, but I am taking credit for making it into a round robin doll swap. The people who signed up for the swap are making a "Self Doll." That is, the doll has your own face or your self on it. Then, we are sending our dolls off on a round robin journey so each person in the swap can make something for the doll before sending it on to the next person in the circle. We've also made the swap more fun by creating an identity, or theme, for ourselves. My alter ego? I am going to be a Wild West dance hall gal. My inspiration for this came from an anniversary card my mom sent to my husband and me years ago. It shows a dance hall gal and a cowboy at the bar. She's hanging off him with one arm draped around his neck and her other hand in his back pocket. I think that about sums up my personality, folks! We've also got an Audrey Hepburn (hey cpbunch!), a hippie chick, and a fairy princess, to name just a few of the multiple personalities floating around in this swap.

I'm loving the play of ideas and creativity we're bouncing off each other. It's refreshing to the soul to be a part of a dynamic group having fun together. And the best part is we don't have to travel far or invest a lot of money in it. It is happening within our own homes and at our convenience. We set the parameters for how much time we devote to it, and how involved we become with the group.

I bet at this point you're asking, "But what in the heck do you do with paper dolls?" Well, I don't actually do much with them except look at them and display them in my personal, private areas. I don't inflict them on my husband, much, because, well, he's just not that into them. But I guess because I made them as a young child and because I like girly things, I just like them. They're fun to make. So there's the reason I like paper dolls - pretty much a no reason type of reason. So if you find yourself bored with nothing much to do, check out Paper People Art Dolls on Swap-Bot. You may just find yourself elbow deep in glue and paper fashioning a new persona for yourself!

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