No need to buy a paper doll (costume) DIY

Halloween is my fave holiday!

The only drama is convincing my hubby Ray he wants to make me happy by dressing up. Lucky for me he is a good sport. I found a stellar musical note shirt and an outrageous record player necklace for the 24k gold plated bling for his Bruno Mars costume. (You knew Bruno grew a mustache, right? LOL)


I went as a paper doll!


Suggested by the tune-track playing in my head. My Popa used to sing the first couple of lines to the Mills Brothers’ “Paper Doll” to my mom.

I’m gonna buy a paper doll that I can call my own
A doll that other fellows cannot steal

I don’t know that I had ever heard the full song from the 1930s until I started this costume and went looking for it. Paper Doll by the Mills Brothers. 

paper doll costume.JPG

I saw the cute costume above. Alas, not in my size. But a good idea I thought. It’s just a front so I will be free to move, especially if I build it in 2 pieces.

  1. Fabric-paper means I can sit and the paper will bend without too obnoxious a crease.
  2. I can always recycle the paper into my art journal.

Yeah, but I have a larger bust than the model. What to do? Then I saw this coffee filter dress.


Eek! I am so not doing that skirt, but I am grateful it gave me a solution for my bustier top. Coffee papers are flexible and shaped right. Saved!

I know, I know, you might have heard me swear off coffee filters after I made a couple hundred paper and coffee filter flowers for my wedding, so this should be relatively easy… oh, the little white lies we tell ourselves!


Materials for bustier:

  • Coffee filters
  • Washi tape
  • Color Sprays – Lindy’s seem to be the only ones that do not clog.
  • Acrylic paint – white to repair a sprayed area I did not like.
  • Retro Comets Stencil by Mary Beth Shaw
  • Double-sided tape and packing tape



  1. Fold your coffee filters in thirds for the tabs and waist. Fold a bunch over leaving about a 1″ ruffle, fold a few in half, and some I simply flattened.
  2. Your shape is not my shape. I suggest, you kinda build the costume as you try it on, taping as you go.
  3. I completed the V and waist part of the bustier with washi tape.

Front of bustier before paint (the back looks pretty similar but there’s a goodly amount of tape.



Because my top had become so ruffled, I decided to go with a pencil skirt.

Skirt Materials:

  • Trash bag(s) so you can peel up your fabric-paper.
  • Painter’s or another removable tape
  • A mixture of 2/3 Elmer’s Glue and 1/3 water or Modge Podge
  • Cloth a bit bigger than your pattern – I used what I had in my stash, a 25-cent pillowcase I picked up from the Pine Senior Center Thrift Store as the base for my fabric-paper. You could use muslin or cheesecloth.
  • A combo of papers from your stash – I used:
    • book paper – worked like a charm!
    • saved baby wipes – thicker so took longer to dry
    • paper wine labels – must have been backed with some kind of plastic as they did not want to play nice with the other papers
    • misc previously stenciled papers
    • a shopping list
    • a receipt – thermal paper loses its ink
    • printed tissue paper
  • Stencils used:
  • Acrylic paint – white mixed with water to “knock back” the colors and unify the collage. Then I stenciled with red, yellow, and blue because it would match my comic strip makeup.
  • Sponges for paint
  • Safety pins to attach costume to clothes later.



  1. Tape down your trash bags.
  2. Tape down your fabric.
  3. Paint layers of glue mixture on to fabric and papers. Tip: Generous glue over stingy!
  4. Let dry completely overnight and hit with a heat gun if necessary.
  5. Stencil over the top and let dry.
  6. I considered this, but why use one stencil when two will do?! Optional: Make a 6” slit in the skirt over one knee, and alternate coffee filters in slit and above it as a ruffle.


Step 3 above. Step 5 below.


I must admit, I am pretty dang stoked how my costume turned out!



There are as many amazing patterns for paper hair as there are for paper dresses. The Cardboard Collective has a good starter diy.

Serendipitously, the hat for my hubby’s costume came with a half head shaped insert. All I had to do was copy the pattern and viola! Full head wig structure.

In addition to the wig structure you will need:

  • Newspaper and scissors to cut individual locks of hair
  • Barrettes or bobby pins
  • Marker
  • Tape to hold the hair in place


  1. Mark where your barrettes are going to clip on to hold the wig in place. You do not want to glue hair over the top of these.
  2. I went for curls about 1” wide cut mostly the length of the newspaper but a few, the width. I learned newspaper cut in strips curls pretty much like curling ribbon. Pay attention and if there are pics with colors you want to show, curl them out.
  3. Starting at the bottom, I taped ringlets in place then affixed with single and double-sided tape.



A Jack-o-Lantern full of thanks to my buddy Joe for doing such a fantastic job applying my (water soluble) make-up!



I cried my paper doll came out almost exactly as I imagined. Happy dance!

The costume was as labor intensive as I thought it would be and somewhat more difficult, but I had a truly good time making it and I was absolutely ready to PARTY!



Music May – Drowning in a Sea of Love

This is what happens once a month when the Baxter (or Norman) living room becomes a music hang-out. There have been as many as 8 of us, but this month we were 4 ~ me, Ray, Randy, and George. No matter the number, there always seems to be a flow to the selections people choose. I am sharing the plays as You Tube links although half of these we simply listened to on the turntable or CD or as mp3s.

Ray started out the night with Louie Louie written by Los Angeles based singer Richard Berry. (You can read Ray’s entire post about the song here.)

Louie Louie was released in 1957 on Flip Records (as a “B” side) by Richard Berry & the Pharaohs. The 1956 songs “El Loco Cha Cha” by Latin bandleader Rene Touzet and “Havana Moon” by Chuck Berry (no relation) were major influences.


As play continued, Ray brought out his pic of Richard Berry and signed album, the trivia gained serendipitous wings.

Did you know: Richard Berry’s voice rings out on Etta James’ hit Roll with Me Henry? (That and the song Work with Me Annie by Hank Ballard and the Midnighter’s could be a post unto itself!)

Ray played Mary Lou by Young Jesse and Randy asked if he’d ever noticed that Young Jesse sang backup on Tell Me You Love Me on Berry’s Louie, Louie LP. Ray had not. (These two, I swear, they get excited like little kids! Keeps ’em healthy and happy!)

Ray treated us to a Mary Lou version by Ronnie Hawkins & the Hawks 1959 and a live version by Frank Zappa & the Mother’s of Invention (helium anyone?!).

More trivia: If you are familiar the group called The Band from the late 1960s/early 70s, not Ronnie, but the best of the Hawks eventually formed that group in the late 1960s.

I imagine you could be familiar with Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon. Have you heard Desperado Under the Eaves? Randy shared it. Having lived in SO Cal, my ears pricked up at this lyric:

And if California slides into the ocean
Like the mystics and statistics say it will
I predict this motel will be standing until I pay my bill

Randy likes amusing songs. Hence Stan Ridgeway’s Peg and Pete and MeToe ~ Zach Brown Band, and Girl in a Country Song ~ Maddie and Tae (True this.).

My hands-down fave play of the night, Sound of Silence as performed by Disturbed. (I might still be in shock that this was a pick from Ray, except how does one not like this song?) Lead singer David Draiman’s voice is amazing and if it does not give you chills please get someone to check your pulse quick!

On that heavy note, George shared a version of the Cranberries’ Zombie by Bad Wolves, you can hear how the orig lends itself to this darker version. Apparently sales proceeds from their version go to Dolores O’Riordan’s children.

George shared Skin by Rag n Bone Man, a song about holding on to someone when the love is gone or perhaps was not there in the first place.

He also shared  What a Shame by Shinedown with this lyric I loved, “There’s a touch of grey for every shade of blue…”

Playing off of my downed love theme or George’s chosen genre, Randy used one of his plays for Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart by Chris Cornell of Sound Garden fame.

Check out the instrument Luna Lee is playing. It is a Korean Guyaguen. I wonder if the Musical Instrument Museum has one.

Luna Lee’s Patreon site:

My theme for the night was drowned love. What songs come to your mind when you think of drowning in a sea of love? Maybe:

  • Sara ~ Stevie Nicks “…drownin’ in a sea of love, where everyone would love to drown…”
  • Sea of Love ~ Honeydrippers Theirs is the version I heard first in the mid 1980s. I am married to an early Rock and Roll historian and now know the original was by Phil Phillips, 1959.)
  • Beaches of Cheyenne ~ Garth Brooks
  • Bitter Green ~ Gordon Lightfoot “…some say he was a sailor who died away at sea…”
  • Venezuela ~ John Jacob Niles 1957 Rita Connolly’s version is the one I heard first and like the best but my fave by her is Ripples in the Rockpool.

In search of songs old, new, borrowed, and blue, I picked these for music night:

New to my ears:

Lost at Sea ~ SHEL (2014) Angelic harmonies from this group of sisters! I liked them so much I bought the digital download of their first – what do we call it now – LP? Ha!

Jackie ~ Sinead O’Connor (1988) Periodically I dive into the mountain of hitherto not listened to recordings we collected over the years. That’s where I found Jackie.

Drowning in a Sea of Love ~ Joe Simon (1969?)

Not new:

Capsized ~ You + Me (Rose Avenue LP 2014) This is P!ink singing with Dallas Green. Nice perk of star power – making a totally different type of album with a buddy. Ray and I played You + Me the song at our wedding.

Ghosts of Cape Horn ~ Gordon Lightfoot Lesser-known than the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Brandy ~ Looking Glass (1972) As often as I have sung along with this classic tune, I had paid no attention to who performed it. Now I grew up in the 1970s so the clothing, ahem, style, is not unfamiliar but lead singer Elliot Lurie needed to take a cue from his bandmate and at least wear bell bottom jeans. The song still gets 5 stars, but maybe satisfying my curiosity as to the singers was not the best idea.

The rest of the evening’s playlist (not including the 30 or so songs Randy could not get to!):

Burnout ~ Midland

Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne, performed by Joan Baez (I admit, I did not get to this one.)

Simple Man ~ Shinedown (originally by Lynyrd Skynyrd)

68 year old sings ACDCs Highway to Hell omg, I hope I am still rockin’ at 68, 78, 88, 98, 108 LOL

After Insanity (guitar play by Sophie Lloyd)

Havana ~ Camila Cabello feat. Young Thug a thug – her parents must be so proud. LOL

Just a Gigolo ~ Dave TV Version (I didn’t play the one by Marlene Dietrich and David Bowie but it is quite the contrast!)

Kelly Clarkson and Jimmie Fallon Duets

Somewhere in Brooklyn ~Bruno Mars

How ’bout you? I was inspired by my friend Gwen’s post to go with the groove and link up all my notes.

Do you still have 45s? albums? CDs? Have you graduated to streaming? Ever just sit and listen to music at home for the sheer joy of it?

A brief history of the song “Louie Louie”

By Ray Baxter

This iconic song was written by Los Angeles based singer Richard Berry. It was released in 1957 on Flip Records (as a “B” side) by Richard Berry & the Pharaohs.

The 1956 songs “El Loco Cha Cha” by Latin bandleader Rene Touzet and “Havana Moon” by Chuck Berry (no relation) were major influences.

“Louie Louie” became very popular in Washington state with many local bands performing it live. Two bands to actually rerecord it in 1961 were Little Bill & the Bluenotes on Topaz records, and Rockin’ Robin Roberts & the Wailers (nothing to do with Bob Marley’s group); it was this latter version where the arrangement was dramatically changed from Berry’s original. Then in April 1963 within a week of each other, two local bands from Portland, Oregon also recorded “Louie Louie;” they were Paul Revere & the Raiders and The Kingsmen.

The most popular version is the Kingsmen’s recording, and it is likely the result of the supposed “dirty lyrics” that caused an uptick in sales. An official investigation was started by the FBI, but nothing was found regarding the lyrics; interestingly at the 54 second mark the drummer curses when dropping a drumstick but this the FBI did not take note of. The actual lyrics (on next page) are quite simple and tell the story of a Jamaican sailor returning home to see his love interest. The sailor is chatting with a bartender whose name is Louie.

There are numerous musical mistakes made by Jack Ely (lead singer of the Kingsmen) and my friend and R&R historian Randy Hill told me the following:

“The Kingsmen recorded in Portland at 10:00 on a Saturday morning in 1963. The studio was actually normally a musical theater setting. The Kingsmen’s manager wanted to get a “live” feel, so he had the recording engineer raise the mic far off the stage floor. Jack Ely stood in the middle of the musicians. He was kinda sick (not drunk) that morning, plus he had braces on his teeth. Add to this the fact that he had to lean back and yell up at the mic, and you can see how everything came out slurred.

The first take was supposed to be a sound check. The drummer yelled “fxxx” shortly into the song, although it’s unintelligible. Ely came in too soon after the break and started over. Ely’s yelling “Let’s give it to ’em” and “Let’s move on outta here” supposedly came from the Wailers. Anyway, the Kingsmen were aghast that their manager wanted to release the mic check as the record. They begged him to let them do the song again, hut he was adamant that this had the raw sound he had hoped to get. The rest is history.”

Richard Berry sold the rights to most of his music (including “Louie Louie”) in 1959 for $750 to finance his upcoming wedding. Despite all the success of his signature song, during much of his adult life he saw no benefit. But then with the help of an attorney Richard was able to reclaim the rights to his song and received in 1992 his first royalty check for $2 million. Sadly, less than five years later in January 1997 he died at the age of 61 due to heart failure.

By some counts there are more than 1600 released versions of “Louie Louie” making it one of the most recorded Rock & Roll songs ever.

Storming the Castle

I like flying pigs because they are full of whimsy and possibilities and permission to fly into something new.


Kristie Taylor gave me the idea for the inked background and awhile back I saw a Graphics Fairy post by Heather that looked interesting, but I wanted to try it brighter.

The flying pig caused me to use waaaaay more artsy crafty goodies than normal.


The crosshatch portion of the large stencil from Mary Beth Shaw’s Private Collection 16.2 for April 2016 StencilClub


Once Upon a Time Stencil by Carolyn Dube


Large Feelin’ Groovy Stencil from Jessica Sporn’s April 2015 StencilClub set.

Mixed Media Paper and Deli Sheets

Staz-On Inks – Claret, Gothic Purple, Blue Hawaii, Orange Zest, Emerald City, Midnight Blue, and Glaze-On

1 flying pig, 1 fairy in the moon, 1 bird wearing a bonnet fussy cut from my stash of scrapbook paper – Graphics 45

Acrylic Paints – black, grey, yellow, pink, Translucent Pearl – Paper Artsy

Distress Crayons -Salty Ocean, Lucky Clover, Wildflower Violet, Squeezed Lemonade

Baby Oil, Sponges and Sponge Brush, Paper Towels, Heat Tool, Scissors


  1. Ink the background landscape on mixed media paper.
  2. Stencil castle and flowers on individual sheets of deli paper. Let dry. Tip: It helps to line up the deli paper and stencil with the landscape on the bottom.
  3. Apply baby oil to all three sheets and the pig. I just did the front sides. Tip: hold the mixed media paper to a light source to make sure it is not blotchy. It is greasy and  looks like this: wierd-face-in-layer.jpg
  4. Use crayons to add a little more definition to landscaper and blend with finger. 20180219_192140.jpg
  5. Let papers dry a couple hours or overnight.
  6. Trim layers.
  7. Place a scrap sheet under the project and apply Glaze-On between the layers – it works as a glue. (I bet good ol’ Modge Podge would work too.) Let project sit under a couple of heavy books overnight.
  8. Pearlize the top layer, add pig, bird, and fairy. I bent the wings a little so they’d stand out)
  9. Hit project with a heat gun to dry. Trim project from scrapsheet.


Shall I frame it or glue it into my art journal?

I had fun with this project and while I am glad I tried it, it did feel a bit too messy for my tastes. I think I prefer the outcome of beeswax and (be still my heart) actual encaustics. Still, I would hate to waste the baby oil.

It was almost my castle on the lake.


Betcha Ed Sheeran never saw a flying pig watching the sunset over the castle on the hill!



Heavy Metal – Take a Ride

“You like music more than art,” I think that was Cecilia’s comment on a recent post.

Maybe. Probably.


At my 30th high school reunion Johnny B aka Ziggy reminded me that I’d once said, “I would rather be blind than deaf because I would never not want to be able to listen to music.”

They nailed it.

I’d say, as part of the MTV Generation, that music and art are irrevocably entwined.

I am also enamored of the art-form we call still call film even though it is shot digitally.

About two decades before MTV, that maestro of vitriolic song, Tom Lehr, pointed out in one of his shows that movies needed a popular music soundtrack to succeed and then launched into “The Elements” to the tune of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance.

Of course, the connection between music and art has always been a part of humanity from the moment one person looked at a gourd and decided they could play it to their buddy who made regalia from animal skins decorated with dye made from berries and perhaps the feathers of a bird.

Sometimes the separation of music from visual art must be a consciously separate act. One could listen to music with eyes closed or walk quietly through the Heard Museum (through Aug. 20) looking at the art of Frida Kahlo. No right or wrong here.

To be able to look at art, to make art, to share art is a profound freedom when you think about it. There are places in the world where women are not allowed to be creative and men are only ever allowed to let their creativity out within set parameters. Consider for a moment what effect that has on their souls.  I can’t imagine a day without song or some creative outlet.

Let’s dance our way back to lighter topics like a music oriented art journal, a concept I can happily explore!

Doubtless you have listened to music before but if you have not stenciled, try it!

When you look at a stencil do you ever immediately know what you want to do? I saw Mary’s large stars stencil on the computer months ago and thought I was going to make a layered star rainbow – because wow! the options these star stencils give you for layering! Plus StencilClub membership gives you access to a whole community of art-makers who are stars in their own right!

August StencilClub Graphic Mary Nasser.jpg


However, when it arrived in my p.o. box, (you have to know I am like a little kid and I open them in the car before I ever leave the parking lot) I realized I also needed The Sky’s the Limit July 2015 StencilClub set because I was going to pay homage to the 1981 movie, “Heavy Metal” in my art journal.


Yeah, “Heavy Metal”.

What’s not to like about an astronaut flying about the universe in a Corvette? That is a cool image!


Drive it up and let’s cruise a while

Leave your troubles far behind

Still with me? Here was my thought process:

The largest star would hold the happy alien face from Lizzie Mayne’s small Warped Holes stencil (A fave – I swear it smiles at me from my stencil stash!) and one June Pfaff Daley’s mermaids from Mermaidia could ride on top of it (but with Taarna not Ariel as the heroine – so I had to figure out how to draw legs – ignore that hand!).


I gave myself the cleverness award for placing the musical note as her eye and the clef sign as her ear.


I know glitter is often not held in much esteem past grade school crafting, but I’m 50 and I like it, like it, yes I do… A raspberries (beret) for you if you don’t.

The mini and bonus stencils were perfect to incorporate as well as Mary’s It’s a Small World Longitude and Latitude Stencils. Just Plane Fun and the small from the August 2016 Here, There & Everywhere StencilClub set made it onto the pages as background (pics below) too.



Colors I used: Titanium White, Cadmum Red and Cadmum Yellow by Dick Blick. Real Navy by Plaid, and Wild Orchid by Americana. Red and Silver All Purpose Inks applied with Fantastix available from Imagine Crafts, plus Glitter Foam I picked up heaven knows where., and lyric vellum I had in my stash (I was looking for actual sheet music but found the vellum first – LOL.)


You’ve got a touch of redline fever

‘cause there’s just one cure that we know for sure

Pretty sure the cure the songwriter was talking about was sex; That ‘d be an entirely different blog post!

Cures I know about:

Thanks for taking the time to read my brain dump and look at what I made!


p.s. Pink Floyd is singing in my head about the Wish You Were Here Postcard.

Disclaimer & credits: I actually do not consider myself a “fan” of the 80s rock genre called heavy metal. But I obviously appreciated the film. The “Heavy Metal” lyrics I quoted were written by Don Felder, former lead guitarist of the Eagles. My job is not quite as cool as an astronaut’s but I get StencilGirl stencils as a part of it and that certainly delights me when I open my mailbox.  The opinions are entirely my own (duh) and I did not get paid to make art for, write this post, or include links that open in new windows.

Victorian-era Guitar Amplifier

If I played the guitar I think owning this amp would be a kick!

The Pine Music (reviewing) club I belong to had been listening to classical music for several weeks. Holst’s The Planets is great but Bach’s concertos have left m–zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Give me Rachmaninoff!  Now I am not the fan that these kind folks are but I think it is wonderful that people can and do follow their passions.