I was going to do a NaNoWriMo linkfest, but honestly? I’m a little fatigued by NaNo. Even though it’s only four days into November–not to mention I’m not nano-ing. If you’re a writer, you’re probably subscribed to writing blogs that are doing a fantastic job of putting out and promoting NaNo-related content.
So, instead of NaNoWriMo, I’m going to talk about Japanese paper dolls.
Yep. You heard that right.
A few days ago I had only the vaguest idea that there might be such a thing as Japanese paper dolls. But I have a 5yo daughter who loves pretty things, and she’s studying Japan at the moment, so my thought processes went something like:
Japan–>must do related activity–>5 year old loves fancy patterns, bright colors and pretty costumes–>kimonos!–>rats, I don’t sew and I can’t fob this off on husband who does–>I know! JAPANESE PAPER DOLLS!
So, I googled around and realized I was not the first one who’d made the above connection. Turns out making Japanese paper dolls is a popular activity–and not just for kids. This klutz-proof tutorial yielded us several lovely dolls, albeit with black construction paper hair and faces, because 5-and-3-year-olds cannot fathom faceless dolls.
Of course, pretty Japanese-patterned origami paper is not a staple of our arts & crafts supply shelf, but not to worry. You can actually print out origami paper. It’s not as rich and finger-friendly as real Japanese paper but it does in a pinch. Alternatively, glossy magazines can yield suitable paper–for my test-run doll I made a kimono out of a picture of pink blossoms from a Birds & Blooms magazine.
After making our dolls, we pulled out Children Just Like Me: Celebrations and read a double-page spread on Hina Matsuri, the Japanese Dolls’ Festival that takes place in the spring.
I find real dolls rather creepy (thanks, Chucky), but paper dolls are so delightful and charming. I especially like the ones with period clothing.
What about you? Anyone into paper dolls, origami, or pretty paper?