Monday, December 26, 2011

Your Cheatin' HeART...

Hank Williams wrote the lyrics to the song...
I just took it to the "next step" with a piece of art!
I'm "cheatin'..." a little here on this new Santos Cage Doll!
Here are a few "before and after" pics:
I was unhappy with the cage doll that I had been
working on; prior to my cancer diagnosis... 
and so two days ago just tossed it!  Yup! In the trash...
I found this reproduction vintage Santos (left) online 
at Tuesday Morning, for a real deal of a price. 
After removing the upper body... I did a bit of a "re-fit" 
using my original  cage doll skirt and wooden wings;
hence the "cheatin" heART!
I love it...  the vintage patina I was able to achieve 
with a bit of gesso, wood stain, and sanding 
sure beats those boring gray slats of wood!

It's nice to be "back"... Daryle

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Wishes...

Beneath our tree, snuggled in my Dad’s old 
handmade tool box, 
is our vintage paper maché infant Jesus. 
This evening at our 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. 
Christmas Eve Candlelight services... 
a soloist will be singing Michael W. Smith’s 
wonderful song:  “All Is Well”  
Here are some of the lyrics:

All is well, all is well
Angels and men rejoice
For tonight darkness fell
Into the dawn of love's light.
Sing Alleluia!

All is well, all is well
Let there be peace on earth
Christ is come go and tell
That He is in the manger.
Sing Alleluia!

Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed Christmas!  
And please know, that “all is well!”  
Daryle & Katie

Monday, November 21, 2011

To Everything... There is a Season!

About four weeks ago, I (Daryle) was diagnosed 
with having a slow growing type of cancer.
Never the news you want to hear, but for this... I am thankful:
It was detected early and the prognosis is very encouraging!
I continue to have no symptoms and am feeling really good!
So good... that we're going to spend this week of Thanksgiving
with our whole family... gathered up in Vermont!  How fun is that!
When we get back from Vermont... I will meet with the oncologist
and together, we'll make some decisions about treatment plans.
I am in good hands... and believe with all my heart the truth
expressed in Roman 8:28
           "And we know that God causes all things 
           to work together for good 
to those who love God,
to those who are called 
according to His purpose."

My game plan is to take some time off, here at Woodstown Whimsies
and just take care of myself for a while!
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers...
Blessings to you and yours, in this season of much joy! Daryle 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Santos Cage Doll... Comin' Along!

Have you ever had "one of those weeks"... 
that too quickly turned into "one of those months"?
I found some time today to finally apply a coat of paper clay
over the duck cloth fabric armature!
I did manage (two weeks ago) to stain and add several more 
decorative features to the wooden cage.
The arms are articulated... jointed at the shoulders,
elbows and wrists.  I will apply paper clay to them,
and add fingers eventually.  I hope to work on her face
this weekend.  Those are German bead eyes in the sockets.
I have cut out a metal mesh Victorian corset, using an
old window screen... it is soaking in a vinegar and bleach solution,
to give it a worn, rusty patina.  The plan is to hand stitch the
parts of the corset together, add some dribbles of paint 
and give it that "old world" appearance... a vintage "find" from
another time and place.  Blessings... Daryle

Friday, November 4, 2011

Artful Giving & Spirited Surprises... a juried show!

I just heard several days ago from the folks at 
Riverview Renaissance Center for the Arts...
that two of my book faeries will be in the juried exhibition
at the gallery in Millville, New Jersey 
November 18th through December 30th, 2011
I couldn't be more excited!  
This is a celebration of fine artisan furniture and furnishings
from the tri-state area: Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.
I invite you to stop by and/or take a look at the gallery:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Newest Issue of Art Doll Quarterly...

I hope you will take a moment to look at the newest issue of ADQ...
I had the joy of having an article that I submitted published: 
"Folk Art Dolls That Are Functional!"
You'll find the article on pages 58-62...  
Warm Wishes during these, crisp, cool November days!  

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Santos Angel

With this Santos... I have decided to sculpt clay of 
over cloth. The cloth I have chosen happens to be one of my
 favorite fabrics. It is a rugged 10 oz. duck cloth cotton canvas, 
that is unbleached. Duck cloth and I have a "long history" of 
working together... going all the way back to our earliest days 
up in Vermont. Kingdom Krafts... which was the name of our 
little registered cottage industry became associated by name 
with "canvas folk art." When folks heard "canvas folk art"... 
they often thought of Kingdom Krafts.
Well... having said that; that was then and this is now!  
I just plain enjoy working with a sturdy duck cloth!
The fabric is nailed with 9/16 tacks to the wooden cage frame,
also a squirt of Elmer's wood glue here and there for strength.
I'm hoping to introduce some old rusty screening by fabricating a 
metal corset over and/or into the paper maché and paper clay.
Happy Sunday evening... Daryle

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday's Favorite... rachel whetzel

It's going to be a perfect autumn day, here in South Jersey...
boatloads of sunshine, a bit of a breeze, and we're approaching
peak color as the maples, ash, and sugar gum trees drop their leaves.

It's also a perfect day to stop by and visit rachel whetzel...
at her blog, website, and shop!

Her dolls have been published and featured in 
PRIMS, Art Doll Quarterly 
and other wonderful publications... 
rachel's blog: "Memories of Mine to Thine" 
is a good place to start... 
You'll love her steampunk doll found on the October 7th post!
Have fun and tell her that I said "Hi!"   Daryle

Monday, October 17, 2011


This past Friday morning the car was packed and we were ready to 
walk out the door...  leaving for a wedding in Olean, NY.  
It would be a seven hour trip from Woodstown.
The phone rang... it was 6:00 a.m.
 "Hi Dad!  The contractions are coming every five to eight minutes...
we're on our way to the hospital!"
And at 12:55 p.m.   our second grandson was born!
Jonathan... "a gift from the Lord"
We arrived in Olean, well before the wedding rehearsal on Friday.  
The ceremony on Saturday was a testimony  to the glory of God, 
and the reception that followed was a hoot!
Katie and I danced the night away... returned to the B & B in Allegany 
and enjoyed breakfast the next morning with the groom's family. 
We arrived in North Jersey by mid afternoon on Sunday... 
(more than ready to see that family of ours) and just in time to snap a pic 
of big brother Ryan holding little Jonathan for the very first time!
We think they're going to be best friends!
Life is good...   Daryle & Katie

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Santos Cage... Body Beginnings!

Focus... "to concentrate attention or energy"
This Santos has helped me to once again "focus"
and move forward!
I have added a "finial" of sorts... 
to the inside of the cage for interest.  
Perhaps something will eventually dangle from it?
I added a halved styrofoam ball, to provide some shape
for the doll's hips... soon to be covered with a fabric armature.
I do so much better "visualizing" with a paper representation...
I like the proportions.  Her long waist will drop when I actually 
"tuck" the fabric and attach it to the wooden upper base.  

Monday, October 10, 2011

Santos Angel... Has a Cage!

"floundering"...  a verb: to struggle, to make mistakes.
Goodness, that says it all!  I feel as though I've been
floundering in the aftermath, the past few weeks.
Perhaps "wallowing" would be an even better word choice!
Having "wallowed" long enough... I started working on the cage
for a new Santos Angel!
 I used some poplar furring strips, over-laying them with 
decorative pine moulding that I attached to a basswood base. 
Her tiny 4-3/4" waist base is pine. Some drywall screws and good 
ol' Elmer's wood glue seems to be holding it all together! This Santos 
will be quite large; the cage is 19 inches high. I'm thinking that will 
make the doll close to 36 inches tall.  Happy Trails!  Daryle

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A New Doll... in the Works!

My excuse?  Well, our downstairs is still waiting for new flooring,
following the carpet soaking waters of Irene!
Two weeks ago we finally pulled the last of the old, original tile flooring up...
(the carpet went four weeks ago)
The new flooring will be delivered tomorrow, acclimate and be installed on Tuesday.
My workshop is a disaster: furniture piled, stacked, jammed and junked all over the place.  Being a bit "over the top tidy"... (Yup! basically O.C.D.)
I struggle to work in a "less than well organized" environment.
This evening I decided to venture into that very same space and at least attempt
to "work on" the base for a new Santos!  I am defining "work on" as taking a photo of potential materials to be used in the base of the new cage doll.  Sad, huh?
And so it goes...  Happy Sunday evening!  Daryle  

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday's Favorite: Abi Monroe's Dolls!

If you have never stopped by to visit Abi at her blog or Etsy Shop...
please do!
Very simply put: Abi is designing some of the most incredible dolls 
that are out there.

You can find her at:

Stop by and tell her "Daryle sent you!"

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Our Finds: Four at Four

We found our newest favorite stop for special "finds": 
The Annex Marketplace in Wilmington, Delaware!

And what was the "fourth" find?
A beautiful "flag throw" (blanket) from the Museum of Fine Art, Boston
depicting fifteen historical American flags.  It came in the original zippered bag
with tags and the museum card.  Yup!  It too was: $4.00
Happy hunting... Daryle & Katie

Friday, September 23, 2011

Congratulations... the "Guardian of Hope" has found a New Home, in Canada!

Congratulations to "Pink"... from Pinkglitterfae Art...
earlier today, our daughter (way up in Vermont) 
picked Betty's number from the hat!  
We couldn't be happier!
Daryle & Katie

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall Equinox Give-Away!

We love the fall season!
The cooler temps, putting our gardens to rest,
and the long shadows that dance across our lawns.
We are so blessed... and want to share that blessing!

What better way... than a give-away!

And so "The Guardian of Hope" featured on page 65
of the fall issue of Art Doll Quarterly...
will find a new home on Friday, September 23, 2011...
the first day of Autumn! 
Just drop us a note, here at Woodstown Whimsies...
and we'll put your name in the hat for the drawing!
Blessings... Daryle & Katie

Monday, September 12, 2011

Birdhouse Shrine: "A Window of the Soul"

Fini...  with a little help (actually a lot!) using 
 DecoArt One Step Crackle Medium... 
I decided to use a blending of raw sienna and burnt umber
for my "fill-in" color with the cracks; as I wanted a richer contrast
against the light, porcelain-like- finish of the skin tones.
Don't you just love paper hats?  
For me... they rekindle warm memories of my grandma, 
who lived with us. Occasionally, she would make me a paper hat,
fold after fold, using a sheet from the Milwaukee Journal.
Remember WHAT he started out as?
(sometimes it's nice to go back to where it all began, isn't it?)

Yup... that funky two-tone wooden birdhouse on stilts!

He stands about 23 inches tall from the top of his paper hat
to the soles on his shoes...
I'm hoping to enter him in a juried exhibition this October
at the Riverfront Renaissance Center Gallery in Millville, NJ.
Happy thoughts... Daryle

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Craftsman Style Doll... (definitely a W.I.P.)

I just returned from a quick trip over the river
(o.k. "and through the woods...") to Delaware, 
making a stop at the Farmer's Flea Market in New Castle.
I came across this craftsman style architectural piece...
It just spoke to me... and for $3.00 with a bit of bargaining; 
came home with me! The seller said it is an old mantle clock case. 
It only stands 9 inches high... and is heavy for its size (2+ lbs. I'm sure)
After a damp cloth cleaning (I am thinking that it is walnut)... 
it certainly has the makings for a whimsical doll!
I cannot find a single nail in it; the four square columns
 are pegged on the bottom of the platform.
And don't you just love the vintage brass tag that I found...
It has "snook 260" stamped on it; in red.
Happy hunting... Daryle

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday's Favorite... Folk Art Dolls!

They remain my first love:
(in the doll world...)

Please take a minute to stop and see what Jan Conwell 
is creating these days... Her blog is J D Conwell Folkart Dolls.

Use this link to stop by and say "hello!"

This is one of her dolls, that I found at the
Primitive and Folk Art Doll Group at Etsy.

Friday, September 2, 2011

On the Brighter Side...

We hunkered down in Vermont, 
in Chad & Emily's first home 
as Irene came through... the pics tell all...
Our whole family was there... Chad and Em had us, 
as well as Naomi, Steve, and little Ryan 
for their first big sleep-over! 
The house was full... our hearts were even fuller! 
Yes, we know we are blessed...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Upon Returning to Woodstown...

We were thankful, upon returning to our home in Woodstown
late Tuesday evening... to find only some large limbs down in
the backyard and water in the basement.
We weathered out the hurricane, up in Vermont with Emily & Chad.
Much of Vermont was devastated by the storm...
with entire towns cut off by mud slides and/or washed out roads.
Our family and friends were spared.  We hunkered down in our kid's
new home (circa 1860) as the storm came and went; 
leaving so much destruction behind its path.
Parts of South Jersey were also hit really hard; as was North Jersey.
It took us hours just to get to where our oldest daughter, hubby, 
and grandson live... due to neighboring towns that
had flood waters and are dealing with washed out highways.
Some of you were praying for us... thank you for that!
With heartfelt gratitude... Daryle & Katie

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Through My Lens...

I have complied a few pics of my Birdhouse Shrine Doll... still a W.I.P.
His paper hat (with metal grommets on each side) is full of illustrations 
and music from a vintage German children's book.
The gold heart hangs in one of the open window panes, 
near a reproduction metal keyhole on the door. 

I really love the sentiment "forget me not" 
and often incorporate it in my assemblages and dolls.
It is on coffee-stained paper, enclosed by a metal frame.
The small, gold heart that hangs in the window frame is paper clay.

Inside the door are my quail eggs... 
I found some vintage doll stockings that fit perfectly 
on his skinny, painted legs!
The vintage shoes were one of those "finds"... though I had to 
add some shoe buttons that had been lost over the years.

The birdhouse shrine is finished... now, to work on that head of his!

Excuse the "spill-over" on the photos but I hated to crop or downsize them...
Wishing you wellness, in the week ahead! Daryle

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday's Favorite...

I hope you'll take a minute to visit Julie Howe
at "My Curious Tea Party!"

Julie is one of the most creative, kindred spirits we know...
she recently posted some wonderful dolls, at her Etsy shoppe!
Daryle & Katie

Friday, August 5, 2011

ADQ Bottle Doll Challenge!

Ol' "Harvest Moon"... is off to California!
After much debate... I decided that his 
funnel hat would not travel with him... sigh!
My thought... give his lovely old crater head 
every opportunity to shine!  Tsk! Tsk!
  He stands only 10 inches tall...
but his smile fills a room!

A "Rule" to Live By!

We have been collecting (Oh, tell me it's not "hoarding")
these vintage wooden rules (or, if you insist: rulers) for years.
A hammer and wood chisel easily pops them apart...
but boy-oh-boy does it do a number on the chisel tip!
The vintage lens that I found along the way... just "fits!"

His hat is heavy manila card stock that I photocopied 
images onto, from a vintage German children's book
of monochrome illustrations and songs.
Then I (surprise factor) coffee-stained it!
I love his red wings...

I'm thinking of incorporating some coffee-stained and tattered 
cotton canvas fabric strips along the front panels of the door,
some vintage slouch stockings... and I have to begin thinking
about finishing his head!
Wishing you a restful weekend... Daryle

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday's Favorite!

I hope you take a moment this weekend to stop by and visit kali at:

You will find her work delightful, whimsical, and always thought provoking!
Here's the link:

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Home for Harriet...

"I had reasoned this out in my mind. 
There was one of two things I had a right to-liberty or death. 
If I could not have one, I would have the other."
-Harriet Tubman
My "Miss Moses"... a tribute to Harriet Tubman
has found a home, here in Swedesboro.
She makes her new home 
with a woman of equal strength and godliness. 
"Her price is far above rubies."

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Birdhouse Shrine Doll... Day #2 and-one-half!

I decided last night (at about 10 p.m.)
to add some papier mache shingles to the roof,
giving it a bit more interest and definition.
And he has wings... of course!
We found this carton of real quail eggs
at the Philadelphia Flower Show three years ago...
they have been sitting on my work table all this time; waiting!
Some are whole, some are broken... some are missing!
"The window of the soul..."  
I cut the wooden arched window using 1/4 inch craft plywood
and inset it, after cutting the opening with my scroll saw.
I love his little vintage shoes!
As always, thanks for stopping by!   Daryle