Jun 16

Paper dolls: Congresswomen Make a Law

by Hannah Holt »


A few months ago, I went to pick my girls up from preschool and was stopped at a road block. Police cars and firetrucks surrounded my daughters’ school, and all I could do was pray, “Please, don’t let it be another mass shooting!”

I managed to park my car and run closer to the scene. Fortunately the incident was only a structure fire across the street from the school. No one was harmed and after not too long, I was able to pick up my daughters. However, when I reflect on that day, I can still taste the panic of not knowing whether or not my children were safe.

My deepest sympathy goes out to the Orlando victims and their friends and family.

In the wake of this tragedy, I had a dream. It’s not as beautiful or poetic as MLK’s, but it’s a dream nonetheless.

I dream of a world where children play in peace: a world where we don’t need Lock Down Drills in elementary school. I have a dream that semi-automatic weapon won’t be easier to purchase inside the United States than chocolate eggs.*

Image result for kinder eggs

I dream that children can be children for as long as possible, and that they grow up to respect people of different faiths and beliefs. I dream of a world where Republicans and Democrats can put aside their differences to pass sensible gun legislation.

So how can laws be changed? I created a paper doll with some very basic information:

Congresswoman dolls

Here is the pdf.

When I feel overwhelmed about the problems in the world, I think about what I can do. I can vote. I can let my elected official know what is important to me, and I can put as much beauty out there as possible. :) Possibly the best thing I can do is to hold my children close and teach them to be kind. Hopefully their strength and kindness will lead to a better, safer, and more compassionate world tomorrow.

*(Kinder Surprise are chocolates with toys on the inside. In the US, they are illegal because they are considered too dangerous.)

Oct 01

Patriotic Paper Dolls

by Hannah Holt »

Comments Off on Patriotic Paper Dolls

These patriotic paper doll are to honor the women and men serving our country. I have so much respect for those in uniform and their families–hats off to you!

I know, I know…I could have done more to explore all the branches of service (maybe someday I will), but I had to chose one for now. My choice of navy is for my neighbor.

By the way, the naval ceremonial wear for women comes in several options, both pants and skirt. In the full-color version, I display the pants and in the black-and-white version I drew the skirt. You can choose which version you like best.

I hope you enjoy!

Military Paper Dolls


For a pdf of the color version click here.

Military Paper Dollsbw


For a pdf of the coloring page click here.

May 16

Music and Art Paper Dolls

by Hannah Holt »


Sometimes I’m asked how I made the switch from engineering to writing.

For me, it’s a no brainer. Engineering and writing require the same key trait—persistence.

That doesn’t mean all skills transferred. However, differentiating an equation isn’t that much different than writing a story, or painting a picture if you ask the question WHY. Why is 2x the derivative of x²? What makes a good story? Can the painting be pushed further?

Solving an equation to find the answer isn’t very interesting. The process is the intriguing part. It holds the keys to unlocking more equations and blazing new trails. You’ll never find those paths by flipping to the answer key. The longer way takes persistence.

Writing a picture book might not seem hard. Most only boast 500 words. Anyone can write 500 words. However, filling a word count isn’t any more interesting than looking in an answer key. The trick to writing a good picture book is in creating colorful characters. The character needs a journey with a beginning, middle, and end. This requires stakes, motive, disappointment, and success—all in 500 words or less. That is why I love picture books. It’s why I read over 200 each year and critique more than 100 peer manuscripts and write hundreds of thousands of words…so I can find that perfect  500.

It’s a work in progress. It takes persistence.

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of this work: poring in hours no one will ever see. And that’s a good thing. I don’t need to be out there with all this all of the time

However, that means I haven’t been working on other projects, like my paper doll series. Well, I decided to make time. These dolls aren’t as perfect as I want them to be. They could really use five more hours. But often five more hours leads to five more hours, which leads to a complete overhaul. Somewhere I have to draw the line and be done. Persistence needs a deadline.

These dolls are a nod to the arts, but they’re also a tribute to creativity in all its forms.

I hope you enjoy!

Music paper dolls

Ann and Sarah Get Creative in Color (pdf)


Music paper dolls bw

Ann and Sarah Get Creative in Color (pdf)