Thursday, March 13, 2014


This week, I took part in the Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap for the first time.  You can learn more about this by clicking on the picture above.  The theme for the swap was "Create", and the only rule was that the postcard had to contain some sort of stitching on it.  

I decided to "Create" a postcard with hidden surprises.  I first sketched my house and some surprise hidden elements that would go inside.  I then scanned my sketches into Illustrator and traced my images.  Finally, I organized and colored the sketches into the final postcard design using Photoshop. 

Sketch of elements in postcard

Sketch to Finished Postcard

I created two layers to my postcard that I stitched together.  On the top layer, I cut flaps that would reveal the surprise hidden elements from the second layer. 

Inside of Postcard

Outside of Postcard

The flaps open up to reveal the hidden surprise elements.  

I really enjoyed participating in this swap, and love the idea of receiving a beautifully handcrafted piece of art from another artist!  I hope my swap partner enjoys my postcard!

Monday, March 10, 2014

From story comic paper dolls

Ever since I can remember, I have had a LOVE for PAPER!  Some of my first and fondest memories of childhood involved paper....reading, writing, drawing, cutting, folding, and creating.  

When I was a little girl, I had a pretty typical bedtime routine...bath, books, bed.  Almost every night after bath time, I would grab a stack of storybooks to read.  I distinctly remember the joy I felt looking at the beautifully hand drawn illustrations and the wonderful feeling of the crisp pages in my fingers.  Many hours were spent flipping through the pages, reading and dreaming about the places and people in my books.  

My love of hand drawn illustrations and stories was not limited to children's books.  I loved comics too!  Every Sunday morning my Dad would get the newspaper and read it at breakfast.  I can recall the wonderful inky smell of the paper, and how I would quickly flip through the pages to find the comics section.  Some of my favorite comics were Peanuts, Garfield, and Frank & Ernest.  I would practice drawing these characters over and over again until I could finally draw them from memory.  To this day, my Dad has kept many of my first comic strip drawings.    

As I grew older, I developed a real love for paper dolls.  I had many different types of paper dolls...Barbie, The Ginghams and Holly Hobbie to name a few.  I also loved making my own paper dolls.    Each season, my mom used to get the big JCPenney and Sears catalogs.  I eagerly anticipated the arrival of those catalogs, because I would page through them and find models that I could cut out and create fashions for.  I spent hours drawing and designing outfits and prints for those models...thus began my lifelong passion for creating paper dolls and patterns.

Pretty Changes Barbie Paper Dolls

The Ginghams Paper Doll Sets

Holly Hobbie Paper Dolls
 These days I have a sweet little girl named Ruby that I can share my love of paper dolls with.  When Ruby was two, I decided that I would design a set of paper dolls that we could play with together.  I developed a set called "Mommy and Me" that has two for me and one for Ruby.  Now that she is five, we have lots of fun dressing up our dolls and changing the clothes.  Ruby has even begun to draw her own dolls and clothes.  I am over the moon that my little girl loves paper dolls as much as me!

So, for all of you fantastic readers out there hopping through this super fun blog hop, I wanted to personally share a bit of my paper doll passion with you.  So, I designed a sweet paper doll named Ginger that has a bit of vintage flare.  Her outfits are patterned with designs that I developed too.  I have made her available as a free download, so just click on the link below, download file, and print off on heavy card stock paper at home.  I hope you enjoy her as much as I do!

Click HERE for free download of my Ginger paper dolls.

My Ginger paper dolls are for personal use only.  Please no selling, copying, or profiting from it.
Copyright 2014 Holly Helgeson Designs.  Please link back to my page when possible. Thank you. 

In addition, I have compiled several of my favorite paper dolls on my Pinterest board.  Click HERE to take a peek at my paper doll pins.  

Thanks so much for stopping by to read about why I love paper!  I would love to know why you love paper too, so please feel free to leave a comment below.  Please hop on over to Claudine Hellmuth for more paper love! 

Here is a list of all the wonderful bloggers participating in the Paperlove Blog Hop.  Please click on each bloggers link below to discover why they all love paper!

The PaperLove Blog Hop is a celebration of all things paper! Follow the links to discover more bloggers who love paper and use it to inspire and delight. And if you want to explore a whole world of paper, and stretch your paper passion further with a host of creative projects, why not join the innovative new online course PaperLove (starts March 31). Led by book artist Rachel Hazell, PaperLove is a five week creative adventure for paper lovers. Find out more HERE.