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Blog: Paper Doll, Tackling The Stacks And Piles
Paper Doll Delivers International Paper Fun During the Christmas Lull

Dearest Readers:

For all of you observing Christmas, I hope you're having a merry one, and I anticipate you've settled in to read this post only after a thrilling day of unwrapping presents, partaking of great food and enjoying warm conversation. And for those of you like me, who will be spending the day having Chinese food and going to the movies, I wish you a nifty day off. (And if you're a first responder or otherwise working hard today...thank you!)

Paper Doll is taking one last moment in 2012 to play Secret Santa and carry you through this quiet time before everything ramps up for the new year.

For you parents out there, I sincerely wish that you have another few hours before the words "I'm bored" slip past anyone's lips. You can certainly start by helping your kids write their Thank You notes (and get yours finished too, with the aid of your organized stationery selection). What a great time to teach your kids (or your cranky spouse) how to write an organized Thank You note.

Did that idea bring on some whining? Is it possible that writing notes of gratitude doesn't seem like a fun way to spend the lull of a Christmas afternoon? Or maybe you're low on envelopes and cards?


What if you could make letter writing fun and do it all creatively, without envelopes, scissors or glue? No superior origami skills required!

UK-based LetterFu has just what creative types (big or little) need to add a bit of panache to their notes and keep themselves entertained on this over-exciting day. Pick from a variety of LetterFu or user-contributed designs, or go design-free, with just the fold-lines visible, and decorate the paper in your own style, to your heart's content. A few folds later and you'll have a letter-and-envelope package, all-in-one! (Note: Since A4 paper is a UK sizing standard, you'll probably want to use the letter-sized print option unless you're reading this from across the pond.) The above instructions will suffice for an overview, but there's a little extra detail available -- and it's all free (except for the cost of a stamp).

Once you've gotten that small bit of gratitude-related labor out of the way, and you've dealt the wrapping paper and the leftover boxes, and the novelty of today's haul has faded, what else might you do?

Feel like taking the folding one step beyond?


Did you get a new iPad for the holidays? Polish developers Pixle created Foldify to give you a remarkable way to design your own full-color 3D figures on the iPad screen. Print them out using AirPrint or by creating a PDF of your design. Once you've got a hard copy, cut it out and fold at the lines to create delightful, inventive toys. To get a sense of how it works, watch the video and prepare to be fascinated!

As you work on your creation, you can get a real-time digital preview:

Pick from a variety of abstract and semi-realistic shape templates to get started, from people to vehicles to the little house design that's going to be my first try, and then use the app's features, like color paints and "stamps" to create facial features and tiny details.

Once your design is 3D in the real world, share your creations online with other Foldify users, or with everyone else via Facebook, Twitter, and email. It's $1.99 in the App Store.


Not feeling up to so much activity? Too much eggnog, or perhaps you're a bit sleepy from wrapping oddly-shaped gifts until 3 in the morning? (Yes, Santa delivered them, but he saved the wrapping for you, so you wouldn't feel left out.)

Thanks to a talented duo from Ukraine, you can just sit back and marvel at the amazing DreamPapercut handmade paper artistry from Dmytro and Iuliia at their Etsy store. Each silhouetted design, painstakingly hand-cut from single sheets of paper, is a wonder. Paper Doll's favorite? These biking sweethearts.

2012 Dream Papercuts. All rights reserved.

Yes, that's really just one piece of paper and not a photo!

In case you're wondering if there's something different you can do with all of the photos you've taken this holiday season (once you've Facebooked and Tweeted and flickred and Instagrammed until your battery has run out), there's a new twist on an old stand-by: Paper Dolls!


Jordan Grace Owens, artist and proprietor of the Etsy shop Art & Illustration Goods, customizes articulated paper dolls from photos you supply. You provide a few snaps of whomever (or whatever, in the case of your pets) you'd like dollified and choose the clothes. (Once at the site, click the package you'd like, then scroll down for detailed instructions.)

Want an idea of the splendorous variety already created? Take a peek at her Paper Doll Portraits flickr page. (Perhaps I should replace my so-out-of-date Paper Doll author photo (above right) with one of Jordan Grace's creations? What do you think?)

Order one, two, three or four dolls (or write her, if you'd like to create a bigger "family"), and in about six weeks, you'll receive a customized, stylized, articulated (i.e., moveable) paper doll worthy of display. These run upwards from $25 (plus shipping) for one doll, so they aren't for toddler play. Consider displaying these on the wall or in a shadowbox, as you might with a special photograph or small lithograph.


If you're looking for something for your kids (or you, if you're biding time while the mulled cider heats up) to play with, or if you're perhaps looking to give someone a more magnetic personality, check out Just Like Me's personalized magnetic paper dolls.

These customized, play-friendly dolls are printed on glossy, high-quality, magnetic paper, as are the accessories, and will stick to just about any metal surface. Stick your family on the fridge or the front of the washer/dryer; use a baking sheet to create a portable play board for the little ones.

Select a paper doll by age range (6-12 months, 1-3 years, and so on) and height for boys or girls, or physique type (including grandma/grandpa-suitable dolls) for adult men and women. Look through each of the paper doll models to find the age or physique that matches the person you're dollifying. Each form has a "name" -- when your doll arrives, the form's name will be replaced by your child's (or grownup's) name on the wardrobe sheets.

Next, pick clothing and accessories. Each form or physique has an associated closet (with PJs, rain gear, party-clothes and all-season active-wear) and costume trunk, and once you get past the toddler stage, the options really expand: dance wardrobes, superhero costumes, ball gowns and my favorite (from the grownup collection), Screen Siren dresses!

(What? Paper Doll can't wardrobe herself as Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly while she waits for the toast to pop up?)

Don't forget the various available rooms options, like boy and girl bedroom packages, stages, dance studios, movie sets and personalized backgrounds.

Submit your photo via postal mail or email, and the face will be superimposed on the form/physique you've selected. Only a head shot (like a school photo) is necessary, as Just Like Me will match the doll's body skin tone to the face you submit. When the figures arrive, use standard scissors to cut the dolls and other items from the magnetic sheets, and then the creative fun can start.

Each Just Like Me customized doll is $15 when purchased with a sheet of wardrobe options. Wardrobe sheets are $20, and there are a variety of specialty packages.


No matter what holidays you do or don't observe, I hope the coming year will bring you good health, time for both productivity and play, and opportunities for calm reflection and giddy joy.

May you be organized and serene. And remember, it's not clutter if it truly makes you happy.

posted on: 12/25/2012 10:30:00 AM by Julie Bestry
category: Paper

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Discuss This Post

by Jeri Dansky on 12/25/2012 2:56:41 PM:

The BEST advice on how to write a thank-you note, from Leslie Harpold (RIP): www.themorningnews.org/article/how-to-write-a-thank-you-note

by Julie Bestry (Paper Doll) on 12/25/2012 3:12:31 PM:

Thank you, Jeri. That is an excellent post on writing a thank-you note!

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Paper Doll, Tackling The Stacks And Piles

by Julie Bestry

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Julie Bestry, President of Best Results Organizing in Chattanooga, TN, is a Certified Professional Organizer®, speaker and author. Julie helps overwhelmed individuals and businesses save time and money, reduce stress and increase productivity through new organizational skills and systems.

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