Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Soon... very soon, I'll be...

Soon... very soon, I'll be introducing you to a few new art dolls and secret keepers. I can't wait to see how they turn out, you can?

As usual, I had a vague idea of what I might do when I started each piece, but as they progress they always take on a life of their own. They 'talk' to me and tell me what they want to become and how they want to be presented to the world.

Here's a little lady that has come to life, meet Ms. Wildflower!

Back to work...

Or is it play?

Friday, October 22, 2010

A crafting tip!

I recently purchased the Walnut Hollow Clay Embossing Set, and I'm very happy with it overall. However, I did find it very difficult to find the letter I wanted when I wanted it. Part of reason for having trouble seeing them is my eyes are getting worse as I get older, and part of it is because the embossing letters are the same color of plastic as the base of the letters. Well, I took it upon myself to 'tweak' the manufacturer's product so that it'll be easier for me to use.

Materials needed:
toothpick(s)/or small paint brushes
acrylic paint (I picked black but you can use any color you choose)
spray on clear coat
After separating the letters from the breakaway packaging, I dipped a toothpick into the paint and gently touched the letter area with the paint. It needs to be a thin coat so that it doesn't alter how well the embossing letters work. After the acrylic paint dried, I put on a clear coat. I put on several coats of clear, allowing it to dry completely between coats. My theory is that the clear coat will lead to the acrylic staying on longer. I can surely find the letter I'm looking for *much* faster than I could when they were all one color. Check it out in the photos and you'll see how much more the letters pop! Yes, it did take some time to cover each letter but I figure the time it took will more than pay off considering each letter will be much easier to find with *every* project I do. Long term goal? Time saved!

If Walnut Hollow were to ask me to review the kit (I'd love to be asked to review new products. Talk about a dream job! How fun would *that* be?!), I'd say I love, love, love my Walnut Hollow Clay Embossing Set overall and I recommend it for every clay artist and scrapbooker  (No, I do not have any affiliation with Walnut Hollow. This is a review from one consumer, me, that's all)!

However, I'd suggest they change two things about it:

1) Color the text portion of the embossing stamps to make them easier to read (if that's even possible within the manufacturing process).

2) Add a few more of the blue letter holders to the kit or create a package whereby they can be bought separately - maybe even in different lengths or a breakaway type letter holder. That way, one could preset letters in place for commonly used words or phrases - saving time!
Let's face it, many of us are limited by the amount of time we can spend in our creative spaces.
Therefore, everything needs to be organized, efficient and user friendly.

I hope you have found this tip helpful. Free free to share this tip with others, but please give the credit to Doodles and Dabbles when you do.

Thank you Walnut Hollow for creating another great product!

I'm off to craft... something!

James Tripp
Doodles and Dabbles

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Come on... we all want to know...

That's right, we all want to know how the other half lives, don't we? Thanks to http://www.clothpaperscissors.com/ Virtual Studio Tour, this weekend, we can find out.

Doodles and Dabbles has two spaces, one is for mosaics only and is not currently in any shape to be seen by the public (we pulled everything out of the garage that wasn't mosaic related and have to revamp the mosaic area in the near future).

So we're only sharing the mixed media space for now. The space is not completely organized yet but we're far enough along to share a few photos. The back portion of the living room and is 4 ft. deep and 15 ft wide area that has been allocated to crafting/business.  It's not the prettiest studio but in a small house, we chose function over form. Moving from left to right, there's an old china cabinet hutch top on its end and added casters so that it can be rolled out as needed. The hutch contains mostly bulky items; clay, drywall mud, etc. on the top shelf, props and body parts in the 2nd cubby and tools, pasta machine, food processor and presses, etc. in the bottom (we're going to pretty this piece up by making inserts to put over the wired door fronts). I have recently aquired the desk from a thrift store, the cabinets via Craigslist, the paint holder and white drawers were relocated from another part of the house. The little white drawer units hold lots of tools and we've started labeling them: wire, rubber bands, toothpicks, clothespins, pens, measuring tapes, spoons, plastic bags ... you name it. We've subdivided all the desk drawers by using clear acrylic containers and dollar store trays. The uppermost shelf area, just under the window, houses WIP and the clear containers next to them house the items we  *might* use on that project. The white tray on the top is the drying zone for faces, heads, hands and other things; the other rack is for ornaments and hangables. The old spice box on the top left is the home of small packages of polymer clay and the wine boxes on the right store some ribbons. The 4x4 base mini table is a 'lift' so that we can get things to eye level, and it's a wonderful thing to have. We can move it around on the desk or put it out of the way somewhere when it's not needed. Many creations are trickling over into the living room (more than we care to admit), but that will change once we put in additional shelving etc. on the last bit of space to the right of the cabinets (we have an addition 32" of wall space and we're looking for a piece of furniture to fit that area in place of the fish tank).  Welcome to Doodles and Dabbles' studio!  And thank you for taking a little tour into our little corner of the world!

Completed Art Dolls and Secret Keepers

The dolls on the top left of the hutch are for inspiration and to help with scale.

The cardboard under the lift is to help protect the desk a little bit.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Today's big plan...

Today will be spent continuing to organize the new studio space. It's our hope that the space will be finished soon, as we would like to share it with the Virtual Open Studio Tour - in the studio with Cate - October 15-17, 2010. We hope to be done in order to part in the tour. Whether we are in it or not, you might want to take a peek at some of the awesome studios they have already linked to - there are wonderful artist spaces around the world. Check it out: http://www.clothpaperscissors.com/
I'm off to bring order to chaos!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010



I'm Jim, owner of Doodles and Dabbles in Daytona Beach, Florida. Before I go any further, I should warn you that this is my first attempt at blogging.  That means I will be working out a few glitches and changing things around for a bit. Now, onto the good stuff!

Doodles and Dabbles is a mixed/multi medium art business in Daytona Beach, Florida. We creates all kinds of art work and each piece is one of a kind.

For several years, we have been exhibiting at arts and crafts shows around Central Florida. Given 'the real job schedule' and other reasons, the show we present at are becoming less and less frequent. Therefore, we're embarking on a new adventure via blogging and creating an online presence.

We are also actively seeking storefront locations to sell our products. If you own a store and are looking for unique gifts and home decor, or if you know of someone who is, please email us with relevant information and terms.

Most of the projects can be broken down into three categories:

1) Custom Art Commissioned Pieces: This refers to art pieces requested by clients who have a general idea of what they want. The idea is discussed and the project is brought to life. Some of the projects we have done include, but are not limited to: colored pencil portraits, home movie theatre 3D murals, a painted bed sheet sized banner for a sporting event, an 8 ft. paper banner for a wedding reception, a haunted house wall mural and we've painted concrete jaguars. We have also created several pet memory stones.

2) Mosaic: We do a lot of work with Mosaic Art and Yard Art. Flower pots, stepping stones, bird baths, plaques, crosses, picture frames, mirrors and other mosaic pieces. We have done several commissioned pieces for people who want to renew an inherited piece of furniture and give it new life. Often times one has a piece(s) of china belonging to a beloved family member and they ask us to turn it into a piece of art.

3) Mixed Media/Recycled Art: We are big fans of recycling and have been making art dolls, plaques, ornaments and other gift and home decor items from recycled and upcycled items. Many of our mixed media creations incorporate polymer clay, paper clay and paper mache. Among our best known mixed media projects are 'Secret Keepers'; these are dolls made from repurposed jars/bottles where the doll has a secret storage compartment.

We intend for this blog to showcase what is being created by Doodles and Dabbles, what locations we are presenting/displaying at and what is being sold via the internet: Etsy, Ebay, Artfire etc. In addition, we plan to cover tips and techniques and will share with our readers when we discover products and contests of interest.

We hope you will follow our blog and check back often. We'll be adding links as time goes by. Meanwhile, if you see something you just have to have (or if you have an idea about something you want created), zip us an email and we can work something out.

Thank you for visiting Doodles and Dabbles' blog. Please visit often!


James Tripp