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If you’re wondering, I got it! I got my Winter Painting! I guess it pays to have a blog where you reveal your heart’s desires to everyone and no one. Jesse snuck around and bought it for me, and now I have a lovely Winter Painting in my room. (Come spring and summertime, I might need to change it out. But with which one??)

The painting is by Emily Martin, aka The Black Apple, my new favorite Portland artist. And, well, artist in general. She is the author of what was possibly my most surprising and favorite Christmas present ever this year:

This is The Black Apple’s Paper Doll Primer: Activities & Amusements for the Curious Paper Artist, by Emily Martin. I didn’t even ask for this for Christmas, so it was a huge surprise when I unwrapped my secret desire. So perfect! I’ve already spent a good long time looking at the lovely pages full of paper dolls, paper clothes, circus bears, and mini-stories. And in the back (be still my heart) there are little scenes to use when playing with them, suggestions on how to best get them to stand up, ideas for projects, and even a make-your-own paper doll.

Cat and Sylvie

These are some seriously cute clothes. Is it bad when my paper dolls are more well-dressed than I am? I might need to sponsor a shopping trip for myself based on all of these! Or get my sewing machine busy. Those stripes and suspenders are too cute to resist. And I definitely need to wear more skirts with knee socks.

Hazel & Olive, and Nate

 I’ve already agonized over whether to cut these beauties out and use them or to leave them in their unspoilt pages. The urge to fold their stylish little paper clothes around them is so strong, but I don’t know if I can bear ruining the perfect pages. I might need to buy a second book…

A perfect indoor scene

More disturbing is the idea that as a 26-year old woman I am excited by the thought of playing with paper dolls. Ah, what can I do? I can’t go back to being 12, but I can sure try. And this book will help tremendously!