making a shelter for ira starman

Some of our dolls are in local retail shops, and some are in our online shop.

And while I’ve been really happy with how they turned out, and the reception they’ve received, I’ve also felt that they seem a little vulnerable in the spaces they occupy---out in the open and over-exposed, while sitting on their shelves.

Custom made boxes are what I’ve been devising for them, and have come up with several different prototypes. But, I think I’ve finally settled on using foam board.

It’s sturdy and light weight. I use masking tape to join the edges. Inside, I create a little bench shaped structure, made from the foam board as well, and tape that in securely. This allows me to attach starman to his box with a ribbon or string.

Then, add several coats of glue, paint and illustrations printed on inkjet photo paper, and finish with a sealant.

The boxes have turned into a further extension of the art that is inside of them. I like what it adds to our toy art, and they seem happy with their hand made homes made just for them.

Here is Raman with his custom box, who was recently entered into a group exhibit at HOWL Gallery/Tattoo, in downtown Fort Myers, FL.
oooohhh, the places he goes in that box... :-)

dictionary paper blooms and salvaged aluminum wire

I’ve been on the lookout for paper flowers that can be made easily with old dictionary paper. I wanted to add them to our altered bottles to pretty-up the photos in our etsy shop, and to make the bottles themselves even more of a unique gift item.

Jeff adds the sculpted design on the bottles with pieces of masking tape.

Layers of glue are brushed on to make it hard, durable and paint-able. If you would like a closer look at Jeff applying masking tape to a bottle, we have a video showing exactly that, here.

The flower blossom is made from one page of a dictionary (any paper could be used though).
The page is torn or cut in half long ways, and then each piece is folded in half, long ways again.
With scissors, cuts are made on the fold side, about 1/4 inch (.5 cm) in width and about two thirds deep into the folded paper.

This is placed onto a strip of masking tape---the folded edge away from the tape. Now, the photo only shows one section of the dictionary page being used. But, I use both, when I’m making these by just adding the second piece right next to the first one. This makes a much longer strip, and a fuller flower.

For the stem, a salvaged piece of aluminum wire is used that we saved when a hurricane brought down all of our power, cable and phone lines into our yard. You can use any type of wire or stick though. Thin tree branches look really nice.
After cutting the wire with wire cutters, and twisting one end in a small coil shape to help stable the bottom while it stands in the bottle, the other end is attached to the tape.

Then the paper strip is slowly rolled up, keeping the tape in line with itself and pinching it down as you go along.

The ‘petals’ will need to be gently pulled down, a bit, to open up the blossom.
One more thing that I’ve done, for the flowers in our etsy shop, is run the paper through our printer to color the paper. It gives a nice transparent shade of color to your blossom. This is easily done by creating a picture, in any paint program, the size of your paper, with a swash of color down the middle where the fold will be.

These are a couple of our 'nu cola bloom bottles'!
cheers, ~dale

digital art zine - spring issue 2011

Published at, is our first digital art zine of my illustrations featuring jeff’s altered dolls he has made from sculpting with masking tape.
I hope to create these issues twice a year to help document our works' progression. Each image is numbered and the names can be found on the back cover.
Several of the dolls and artwork are currently available in our Etsy shop. More should be up soon. Feel free to inquire about any by contacting us at art AT ocasiocasa DOT com.
This was actually fun to put together and the website at Issuu was very easy to use, and it's free. I would recommend it to anyone who has documents on their computer that they would like to publish in a magazine or catalog format. Issuu will host it on their website and will be available for any of their users to read, but it can also be embedded into your own website with ease.

hilda meets renny - a stop motion video

This is an ocasiocasa stop motion video of Hilda, the art doll, in the making, and who gets a visit by her good friend, Renny. Once again, our music track was created by our son, Lucas.

book cover art photography

Stacked in a pile, high on a shelf, in a hall closet, were some old hardback book covers. Many were Readers Digest. They were put there so long ago, we aren’t sure what happened to all the pages that used to be inside of them. We feel confident that they were used up in some creative fashion, and have two nightstands with collaged tops under glass to back up our claim.

It was time for another art show and I wanted to to include some illustrations, I’ve been working on, of our art dolls.

Attaching the prints to vintage book covers seemed like a unique and appealing way to present them.

The images were printed out and cropped. Artist tape was used to cover the bottom raw edge. And the prints were attached with photo corners.

I liked how they turned out and the response was very positive.

After the show, I put some in one of our local shops, The Franklin Shops on first street, and made a display box with cardboard, from reused shipping boxes, black artist tape and some printed photography.

This is one that sold at the show and is a personal favorite of mine, which I titled,”valentine”. The dolls in the photo are also currently for sale at The Franklin Shops on first street, but look a little different now. You can see an image of them in our last post, here.
happy valentine’s day, ~dale

storefronting square space style...

ocasiocasa original art

The Franklin Shops on first street is a newly opened boutique retail center inside a refurbished 1930’s hardware store, and a welcomed addition to our historic river district.

ocasiocasa original art

Our artwork has taken up residence inside of some of the square space wall-units in the shop.

ocasiocasa original art

ocasiocasa original art

Something new in our space are jeff’s flat wallets.

ocasiocasa masking tape art

He creates and design them, free-hand, entirely from masking tape and draws on them with india ink.
ocasiocasa masking tape art

They have a credit card and id pocket inside, and fold up nice and flat.
ocasiocasa masking tape art

I love the designs on them, and have been scanning and storing his drawn images for possible future projects that I keep thinking up … even though jeff keeps exclaiming, “no pillows.”  hmph.
Well, then ... I say the wallets themselves can also make a cute accessory for the dolls.

Here's to new beginnings.