Applewood Doll Hospital

Kansas City, Missouri

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Last updated on Sep 12, 2020

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DL Sayles

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DL Sayles


Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
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Quality 8 Shipping 8 Customer service 5

About ADHGifts

Sales 326
On Etsy since 2012

My art and writing provide a unique, reverent and cheerful way to surround oneself with Catholicism and to engage those who think Jesus is stuffy.

I few years back I fell in love with Icons. I wanted them everywhere in my home, but, with a growing, young family, that was a bit cost prohibitive. So for Christmas one year, my husband bought me some books on how to paint (write) them myself.
The icon writing process is quite extensive, enough to dishearten a busy mother, with no talent in math and with small children.
Just drawing the darn things out involved a mathematical process used to position everything from facial features to hand placement to head placement to the placement of background scenery to the folds in the clothing. This was a terrifying turn of events for someone who barely has the ability to balance a checkbook.
The paints have to be au natural, which is wonderful, except many of them are poisonous. This is a cause for concern with a bunch of small kids over-running my house.
The actual painting process is beyond extensive. Adding layer upon layer upon layer of gradually lighter paints. The end result is beautiful but it’s an extremely time consuming process. Another cause for concern with a bunch of small kids over-running my time.
I had to make a decision: Do I compromise my art to better fit into my life as it is right now or do I wait a couple of decades until I can devote the time necessary to do my art correctly and without accidentally poisoning any of my kids?
I decided to do as any tortured artist does and spend the night tossing and turning until, sobbing, I made a decision in the early hours of the morning. A decision that would kill part of my soul.
But in real life, I’m a pretty cheerful person. So I had a good night’s sleep and woke up feeling refreshed. I really wanted to paint, so I made the decision to compromise, because I’m a sell out. I was going to freehand sketch my paintings and then paint them with acrylics (the sell out medium until Jackson Pollock made them trendy). But I was going to use many of the Icon writing techniques and blend them with my folkish style.
If it makes any purists feel better, I do hope to one day formally educate myself in this beautiful and traditional art form. I’m just not at a point in my life where that’s possible, but I have a lot of paintings written on my heart that are nearly bursting to spill forth. And spill forth they have.
I started with Our Lady of Tenderness, easily my most icon-like painting, to learn and play around with the technique. One thing the book discussed was that icon writers, essentially, re-paint other icons, which was what I did with my first one.
It came out just lovely and since then I have fallen in love with painting the saints and God’s living Icon, Jesus and even some historical figures, it’s like a dam of creativity broke.
Now the walls of my house are covered in icons.
And thus brings the origin story of DL Sayles to a close. It all began with an aversion to cheap, plastic statues and ended with, for good or for bad, the unleashing of a new Catholic artist on the world.

Shop members

  • DL Sayles


    I like to write, to paint, to laugh and to Catholic. I'm married and have a bunch of awesome kids. My hope is to introduce people to my beautiful faith and to prove that being Jesus-y doesn’t have to equate with being stuffy and not fun.

Shop policies

Last updated on February 8, 2018
Welcome to Applewood Doll Hospital!
Where art and writing provide a unique, reverent and cheerful way to surround oneself with Catholicism and to engage those who think Jesus is stuffy.

Accepted payment methods

Paypal Mastercard Visa American Express Discover Apple Pay Klarna Giftcard
Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
Returns and exchanges
I gladly accept returns and exchanges
Contact me within: 14 days of delivery
Ship items back within: 30 days of delivery
I don't accept cancellations
But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.
The following items can't be returned or exchanged
Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:
  • Custom or personalized orders
  • Perishable products (like food or flowers)
  • Digital downloads
  • Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)
Returns and exchange details
We will work with the buyer to try and come up with a remedy for whatever situation arises. We will allow exchanges or store credit within ten days of order.
We accept payment via paypal and direct checkout.
Will ship to United States via the US Post Office. International buyers please e-mail us for rates. Orders ship out Monday - Friday and are generally sent priority.
Additional policies and FAQs
Please note that our items are handmade so no two will be alike. Many auctions will have a stock photo and the customer will get an item that looks pretty darn close, but won't be an exact duplicate. Also keep in mind color can vary from computer screen to computer screen.