Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Year of Paper Dali

Vee sports the trendiest of American Revolution gear.
Paper Dali is celebrating its one-year blog anniversary. Yes, 365 days of paper dolls and printables, with an occasional sewing idea from my crafting table.

It's been a zigzag path from static site to this more active blog ... Shall we indulge in a bit of Paper Dali history?

Paper Dali: Beta Version (2007-2008)
My husband and kids loved my doodles and thought I should put them online. A fabulous graphic designer was found, and Paper Dali was launched on Dec. 20, 2007. The site was bright orange, sleek, and just gorgeous. Why, you can even see it online still in the portfolio. (Does anyone even remember those days?)

In a brilliant bit of timing, I had launched the site just when the economy tanked. So, in 2008, life was keenly different than what I imagined when I started Paper Dali just a month before. All that free time for drawing and learning coding? Gone. Life went topsy-turvy. Plus, the hosting site was a labyrinth; the format difficult to understand. And so, I updated only 3 times in one year.

Then I abandoned Paper Dali.

Paper Dali: The Blog (launched September 2009)
One evening, out of nowhere, my husband said that he had been thinking about my Paper Dali site. He had seen our children enjoying the small, limited collection of dolls that I had drawn. And he said, "You should just make it a blog. You already know Blogger. Can you just do that with Paper Dali?"

I had not thought about Paper Dali for a year ... and this conversation surprised me. I had convinced myself that my drawings were too goofy and rudimentary. By now, I was working full time as an editor and writer, and I could not see how I could possibly ever make time for something as childish as drawing paper dolls with my cheap colored pencils. My husband said, "Anyone can draw a straight line, Veronica. It takes an artist to draw such squiggly lines."

On a whim, I visited the old abandoned site. The comments there and the many emails that I found in my forgotten Paper Dali inbox convinced me that maybe there was a place for squiggly drawings online. And maybe crafts and drawing were needed in my life to balance me out.

On September 2009, Paper Dali re-launched as a blog. And here I am, blogging regularly, drawing often, and loving this whole experience.

Thanks so much to everyone who has ever left a comment and encouraged this doodler of squiggles.

Random Facts From This Past Year
  • The most downloaded paper dolls are:
    St. Patrick (597 times)
    St. Juan Diego (591)
    Our Lady of Guadalupe (548)
    Prayer Strip Jars (510)
    Saint Joseph (453)
  • The Wild West is my least downloaded collection.
  • Every time a miscarriage card is downloaded, I pray for the family grieving.
  • I love when people send me pictures of my dolls in their lives.
  • After receiving my permission, folks have made my paper dolls part of Vacation Bible School programs, church anniversary coloring pages, and even a magazine. 
  • My drawings have been mentioned at One Pretty Thing, OCP, Associated Content, Click Schooling, Heart of the Matter, and The Homeschool Classroom. And I get just giddy every time I see any link to Paper Dali.
  • I am often tempted to go back to my first drawings and redo them. There are a few that I cannot even look at ... Argh. And I feel like I've grown into my folk art/squiggly style and can do better. But the kids remind me of the Walt Disney motto: Keep moving forward.
  • I've had about 10 different headers and blog styles. This one has lasted for about 3 months. It's a keeper. Really.
  • My process is "traditional" (i.e. "not fancy digital stuff). I draw with a pencil on paper. Then I use Sharpies to outline everything ... that's when the Paper Dali "squiggly" look emerges. Then, I scan the drawing, use a free PDF program to save it, then post it on And I write something up here for y'all.
  • Paper Dali was meant to be more about ancient history, but it's gone in a completely different direction. I'm surprised by it ... and delighted, too.
Thanks so much to all of you for encouragement and sweet comments this year!



Gardenia said...

I'm delighted too ! Lovelovelove the saints. thabks for all you do for this mom who's teaching her daughter about the Catholic faith with the help of your paper dolls!

Lacy @ Catholic Icing said...

Happy Blogoversary! I thought you'd been in this longer than a year! I remember the first paper doll I ever found was St. Lucy. That's what first brought me here. I LOVE the orange site. Too cute! Catholic Icing has a it's first blogoversary coming up some time in November. I should look into that and plan something cool :-)

Evann said...

Oh happy day, good friend! I go back to the sleek orange days and was enjoying your goodies even before we "met." Glad we connected and congrats on touching the hearts of so many, people, old and young!

Xhonane Olivas said...

Dear Vee, I rejoice with you!! Congratulations!! You are an admirable mother, wife, writer, designer, blogger, but specially, a woman of God!!....yes, you are all this! I am so thankful for you, for your gifts and for your generosity! Your dolls are part of Familia Catolica as well! i hope I can help a little to bring your talent to the Latin speaking community! May God bless you in all your projects and dream! Love, Xhonane

Amazing_Grace said...

LOVE all you do! ((hugs))

I know how you feel about your old things that you have made. I would like to redo my old games, but I haven't the time to do it. LOL!

Vee said...

Gardenia: Oh, how sweet. I loved thinking about it as helping mommies with my paper dolls. Too cute. Thank you for commenting!

Lacy: Nope. Not too long at Paper Dali. But I love this creative space, so I've probably blogged enough for more than one year. LOL Sound familiar? :D And you should totally do something for your anniversary.

Evann: Oh, my friend from the orange-and-black days. And I was lurking at your blog at the same time. Too funny. So glad we "met" officially. Finally! Thanks for the sweet comment.

Xhonane: You made me blush. You are much too kind. And thanks for the blessing, my Latina friend. Mil gracias por tu notita tan linda.

Amazing Grace: Hugs right back at you. And, yes, that's how I feel! But it's either I spend valuable time redoing old stuff or I move forward. And we're all "Meet the Robinsons" over here. Keep! Moving! Forward!

bwya said...

Happy blogiversary ~ a lot late! Thank you for all of your wonderful drawings and ideas. You always have what I'm looking for for my little one.

God bless you.

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