Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year Blessings!

Well... here we are, at 61...
(taking this pic just 4 days following Katie's surgery!)
Healthy, happy, and truly blessed to be able to 
welcome 2013 with open arms and a full embrace!
Daryle & Katie

Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Workbench... Ripping Wood for a New Santos Cage Doll

la Angel de Su presencia
"The Angel of His Presence"
The idea all came together early one morning during 
the bleakest days of mid-November. 
I was reading these ancient words from the book of Isaiah, 
and they just seemed to jump off the page:
In all their affliction He was afflicted, 
and the angel of His presence saved them;  
in His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, 
and He lifted them and carried them all the days of old.”  
(Isaiah 63:9  NASB) 

In those moments, the images of a love that is so powerful, 
its very presence lifts one up– became the creative spark 
for this Santos cage doll.

I am using some knotty pine, wood rope trim, and worn tobacco stakes
from Lancaster County for the the cage. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Em, Chad & Stella... too!

Emily, Chad and Stella were able to come down from Vermont 
and spend December 24th thru the 29th with us too!
Life is good...

Christmas with the Grandsons!

Tell me... does it get any better than this?
The boys had Christmas Eve with Gram & Pop-Pop,
here in South Jersey... it was a two-day free-for-all!
(and we loved every minute of it...)

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Best Gift...Given the Day After Christmas!

The best gift we could have been given, 
was heard from the surgeon following Katie's surgery
the day after Christmas... 
It was pre-cancer and the lymph nodes were not involved.
No further treatment will be needed... 
just four weeks of rest and relaxation!
I (Daryle) planted winter pansies back in late November;
which are blooming just outside our family room window.
They are Katie's favorite flower, in our gardens...
XO... sweet wife!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Christmas Poem

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him

Nor earth sustain;

Heaven and earth shall flee away

When He comes to reign:

In the bleak mid-winter

A stable-place sufficed

The Lord God Almighty,

Jesus Christ.
(taken from Christina Rossetti's  "In the Bleak Midwinter")

Wishing you a Blessed Christmas gathering... 
where hearts are merry and bright!
This year, white orchids (phalaenopsiscascade
over our Italian Christ figure.
Daryle & Katie

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Winter 2013 Issue... of PRIMS!

My complimentary issue of PRIMS just arrived...
with my most recent Santos Cage Doll:
"The Keeper of Lost Dolls" included on pages 78-83.
The editing staff graciously (generously!) chose a "baker's dozen" 
photographs to include with the article.  I am thrilled!

Assistant Senior Managing Editor, Jennifer Jackson Taylor
was kind enough to print in the Letters to the Editor section 
of the magazine, a follow-up note that I had sent to her
about an earlier publication of my "Miss Moses" cage doll.

For those of you who have encouraged me  
during the past six months to keep at this labor of love... 
I cannot begin to express my appreciation and gratitude!  
Your posts have meant the world to me!  Thank you, Thank you!

So for now... I'm just floating on "cloud nine" and enjoying it so!
(wink!) Daryle

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

On Eagle's Wings... a Poem

I found a poem by Kathleen Higham, and share it, in part:
Rising Oh so high
I hear the angels sing
The softest feathers comfort me
Nestled on the eagle's wing.

A peace that I have never known
When to the heavens, I see
My Father smiling down so sweet
As He reaches out for me.
Wishing you, much peace...  Daryle

This Santos Doll was a recent "find" at a Tuesday Morning Storein Delaware. Oh, the bargain hunter in me... I paid far less than half the retail price of this much sought after Santos!  She is also at their website, listed as "Senorita Maria"... Happy hunting!

Sunday, December 9, 2012


It is never the news you would choose to hear...
as Katie found out just after Thanksgiving
that she has a non-aggressive form of uterine cancer.
We remain hopeful, as her doctor has scheduled
surgery the day after Christmas.
Pray with us... for healing and wellness!
Daryle & Katie

Monday, November 12, 2012

Frutti and Tutti...posing for their publication!

I just heard from the wonderful staff at Art Doll Quarterly
that these two characters ( characters)
will be published in the Spring 2013 issue!
This is one of my favorite shots of them...
I said "Say cheese!" and they both turned,
 looking simultaneously into the camera lens!
(click on the pic to enlarge and enjoy the details!)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Woodstown Spared From Sandy's Wrath!

Our heartfelt thanks for the calls and posts and notes
that have come our way in recent days!
Though we experienced the "eye of the storm"
we were spared any serious damage...
Even our potted decorative cabbage and bittersweet
withstood the gale force winds and rain!
Please keep in mind & in prayer the thousands here 
in South Jersey, especially along the shore areas, 
who were not so fortunate.
But for the grace of God... Daryle & Katie

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Keeper's Just Not Herself These Days!

I couldn't help but try my hand at PicMonkey's
Halloween addition... All at my poor doll's expense!
My apologies for not posting in well over a month...
all is well here in South Jersey, we're just busy with "life!"

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The for Keeps!

I just heard from PRIMS magazine...
"The Keeper of Lost Dolls" will be in an up-coming issue!
I'm not sure when or where... but that is irrelevant.
I couldn't be happier; as the completion of this doll falls 
on the heels of my recovery from cancer surgery 
and the prognosis for healing is right up there in the 97%!!!
Praise God from whom all blessings flow...  Daryle

Friday, September 14, 2012

"Heads... You Win!"

After struggling with a head that looked too "impish"...
I designed a more "inner-child" head that seems to fit!
Also found a vintage porcelain faucet fixture at 
Carson's in the Cornfield salvage shoppe (Ephrata, PA)
which became his collar/upper body. It has the words:
"hot", "cold", "warm", and "off" printed on it...
His ARMS and HANDS???
I am working on a second set... 
(the first ended up in the trash bin!)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

We Have a Paper Clay Profile!

Just inching along on this guy...
he has a chin and (a rather stoic) mouth!
I decided to go in the direction of a little impish appeal
with the exaggerated nose and larger-than-life ears!
Truth is... I'm not convinced this is the head for this doll!
(Please... don't tell him that!)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hands & Fingers... A Mini-Tutorial!

My approach to this newest doll's hands and fingers
was a bit different... Though I often use wire and masking tape;
the application of the wire is new.
I began by bending florist's paper stem wire (18 gauge)
in the basic shape of the palm of a hand,
and then extended the wire long enough 
to include the wrist and forearm.
Then, using a needle-nose pliers I bent lengths of
18 gauge craft wire in half; long enough to equal
the length of each finger.  
(I wanted short, stubby fingers for this doll)
Using Alleene's fast grab tacky glue.
I glued each finger to the florist's paper stem wire hands
and allowed them to dry overnight.
After the tacky glue was dry, 
I wrapped the palm of each hand and the wrists  
with masking tape.  The masking tape provides 
good surface for the paper clay to adhere to.
I decided to bend the fingers of his left hand,
in order to allow this doll to hold an object later.
I used my faithful little needle-nosed pliers again
to gently give the fingers some shape.
Next step will be... sculpt those little hands with paper clay!
I hope this was helpful... in some small measure!
Warm Wishes, Daryle

It's Grandma Busha

I just have to chuckle as I post this pic...
without his chin, mouth and ears he looks just
as I remember my Grandma Busha (Yup! Polish...) 
in the morning, without her dentures in!
I do take after my mother's side of the family
in both stature... and good looks!
The upper arms are wood craft turnings;
I'm going to post a mini-tutorial of sorts
explaining my approach to his hands and fingers.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Victorian Hardware to the Rescue!

This vintage drawer pull seemed to be the perfect solution
to that "something else is needed here"  
nudge that I had with this newest doll.
I added a bit more verdi color and highlighted the hardware 
with some metallic antique copper and gold acrylic paint;
that I softly rubbed on with my finger-tip.

I also finished painting the faux soldered body cage...
and the tiny birdcage. (what will I put inside it?)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Root's Old Mill Flea Market... Finds!

We just returned from our annual three day get-together 
in Lancaster County, with dear friends from Vermont.
We spent Tuesday morning at Root's Old Mill Flea Market in Manheim.
I found this circa 1940 metal glove mold and two china dolls.

One of the dolls (the armless cutie) is marked Nippon (pre WW II) 
and the other is marked Germany.  They were $3 for the pair...

A bit of paper clay and some wire; 
and two new arms will be in the making!

The glove mold was marked $8 but the vendor agreed upon $6
It was a good day...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Borrowed Body Parts...Yikes!

It sounds like something right out of a Hitchcockian film...
Rather macabre beginnings for a new doll; 
involving borrowed body parts!
I salvaged the old wooden legs and vintage infant shoes
to incorporate in NEW (and improved) doll!  
(see August 12th post)

The head is "borrowed" from one of my other dolls...
Eventually my plan is to sculpt a "self portrait" doll head
(the charming little child I once was... Ha!)
and place it on this vintage box body.
I designed a faux "soldered" cage to fit over the body
 (it will be painted and distressed along the way...)
The tiny birdcage (Thank You Tim Holtz!) will hold
something dear to my heart.
The enameled metal number "14" just happens to
be my birthday, and the vintage glasses are for my old eyes!
And so the journey begins...  
Thank you for stopping along the way!  Daryle

Thursday, August 16, 2012

She's Finished... Here's a Sneak Peek!

I just sent a CD of pics off to Laguna Hills, California... 
to the senior managing editor of PRIMS magazine 
for their consideration, in a up-coming issue!
Sooooo... I'm keeping "the Keeper" under my hat; until I hear if
Stampington & Company would like to publish her.  
If so, well... then we will all have to wait to see her in PRIMS!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Relegated to the Back Burner!

This one just isn't going to happen... 

I have, without an ounce of "regret"... 
already relegated the whole idea to the back burner!

Well... even farther (or is it "further"?) "back" than the "back burner";
as I have already sawn the wooden leg turnings shorter
and retrofitted them to some small vintage boxes that I
had on hand... for a NEW doll body!
(new pics to follow... I promise!)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A New Day... A New Diversion... A New Doll!

The makings of a new doll!

The BODY: 
a flea market find... a metal eye glass cleaner dispenser with a wonderful patina of verdi green (9 inches high).

Repurposed (from an old chair) wood turnings that I had painted and used on an old outdoor angel, back in Vermont. 

Vintage leather baby shoes, found at a shop up in Grande Isle, Vermont.

The Assemblage...
I cut out 3/8 inch thick wood "feet" to fit inside each shoe, then drilled a hole near the "heel" to fit the smallest end of the wooden chair turning, and then pushed those thick thighs right up the ol'... bottom of the metal dispenser (that conveniently was open with a flanged metal flap for dispensing the cloth tissues!   

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Yet Another "Lost Doll" is Found...

I came across this little (3.5 inches tall) frozen charlotte
at the Cowtown Flea Market today, here in Woodstown...
Her "dress" appears to be folded triangle scraps of wool
that have been stitched together to make a skirt.
She will be a perfect addition to the Keeper's "found" dolls!

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Final Coat...

It seems to be my newest mantra:
"Layer upon layer... brush it on, wipe it off!
And... it seems to work!
I used FolkArt "warm white" and "raw umber"
for the head, upper chest and hands.
Then I inked the eye brows and lower lashes
using a ZIG 0.5mm point pigment ink, acid-free pen.
The final coat is Plaid's outdoor matte sealer;
giving her a soft, well-worn appearance.

Now... it's just a matter of "assembling" her!

Her hair-piece is sewn and ready to glue on... 
(coffee stained jute cord that has been unraveled)
Her three aprons are ready to be layered and add...
(a vintage doily, millinery netting, & embossed papers)
Her "lost dolls" are ready to be attached... 
(haven't figured this one out yet... how to "tie" the
dolls to the cage skirt so they can easily be removed)
Her vintage crocheted glove "bonnet" is waiting...
(to cover up the back of her bald head!)
Oh... her arms!
(they will be wired on)

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Keeper's Dolls...

I noticed a packet of round metal rim tags
that were hanging on the bulletin board,
next to my worktable...  waiting to be used!
"Ah... Ha!" (lightbulb comes on...)
Why not distress them, give each tag a "lost" date
and on the flip side... a "found" date
and create a tag for each of the lost dolls that
"The Keeper of Lost Dolls" has found?


And just what might that look like... on the cage doll skirt?

Don't you just love those "Ah-Ha" moments!"

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Moon Full Bloom!

I finally got some Datura to grow and bloom… 
here in South Jersey!  It has only taken seven summers! 
They seem to thrive here for everyone else... Hmmmm!

This plant started out as a 2011 "left-over" that I found in May 
at a nursery, standing about 8 inches tall at the time.  
Now as you can see, they're thriving in the back corner 
of our patio area!  They just started blooming this week… 
these three opened last evening; greeting us this morning; 
I just HAD to get a picture of them!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Brush it on... Wipe it off!

The process begins: "brush it on... wipe some off; repeat...
brush it on... wipe some off!"

I started with a wash of raw umber 
to provide a bit of underlying shadow.
I will then layer some soft white and cream top coats... 
"brush it on... wipe some off!"

A stray vintage crocheted glove has been sitting around, "waiting..." 
for this moment!  It became the perfect period bonnet!
I tucked the "fingers" of the glove inside the beautifully detailed
work around the crocheted hand and wrist part of the glove.

Her paper clay corset was also given a wash of raw umber 
that I wiped off, and then a wash of patina green and coral blush.

 And then there's the cascading crushed tulle... 
which will somehow fit into the scheme of things... right?
(my hope: the tulle will "frame" all of the lost dolls)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

It doesn't get better than this!

We are exhausted... exhilarated... and everything in between!
Our two grandson's were just here for a four day visit;
these pics pretty much say is all  (though I added captions!)
Jonathan and Ryan... "wrestling"
(you should have heard Ryan giggle and Jonathan squeal!)
Jonathan bouncing on "Pop-Pop's" knees!
(his disposition is as sweet as that smile!)
Ryan "fishing" in one of our birdbaths!
(our birds were not amused, one little bit!)

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Winds of Change... a Clay Corset!

She has taken on a life of her own...
this "Keeper of the Lost Dolls!"
The paper napkin corset is out... a paper clay corset is in
(or should I say "on!)
 Once the paper clay has dried, I will look for some
vintage lace or netting in my stash and then stuff it...
Well, place it... strategically to provide her 
with a bit of proper, 18th century lady-like modesty! (wink!)
 Katie helped me use her paper embossing tool and I cut
some scrapbooking papers and ran them through the embosser;
giving the paper both texture and a bit of curl (after dampening it)!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

"The Keeper of Lost Dolls" is coming along!

The paper clay is drying... I couldn't resist adding a 
bit of blush just to get a sense of what she could look like!
I cut up a piece of vintage millinery netting, 
complete with flowers... adding it to the top of the cage.  
The corset is a single-ply decorative paper napkin 
that I tore in small pieces and applied to the paper clay torso, 
with water and a paint brush.
I cut a "seam" around her neck... to get the effect that the head
was added/articulated, like some of the old 17th wooden dolls.
The inset eyes are vintage black shoe buttons.
I'm not sure what I am doing with the wood and wire
jointed arms... but I'm lovin' it!
I will paint her head, arms and hands... apply a crackle finish,
and then distress it to give her a time-worn look.
I incorporated the label that was on the 
millinery netting... kinda funky and fun!
This is the part of the creative process that I love the most;
when everything (more or less) falls in place!
She is finally coming all together...
"The Keeper of the Dolls!"