Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

All images and text Copyright 2010 - Michael Smith - Doodle Bag Productions
Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New year

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Bags

The dance of the Sugarplum Fairy
all images copyright 2010 - Michael Smith - Doodle Bags Productions

Rocking Around the Christmas Tree
all images copyright 2010 - Michael Smith - Doodle Bags Productions
These are a couple of the Christmas Bags taking either song titles or portions of the song for their themes

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Problem Puppets

We have been making stories on Sara's bags for about 4 years now, I have taken one of the stories and started making other illustrations from them and compiling them into a different format, breaking them out of the kraft paper world and introducing other colors and expanding the images.  This story revolved around the actions of a puppet who wanted to bring Sara back home and what he does to the school and how Sara and her family repairs the damage.

Sara leaving for school

Week 11

All text and images copyright 2010 - Michael Smith - Doodle Bag Productions
Sara and her Mom get down to some serious research this week trying to find out what this leaf is all about., but a few things happen as they make their plans that will make it a little more difficult for Sara to find her way home!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Week 10

All images and text copyright 2010 - Michael Smith - Doodle Bag Productions
This week Sara is still in the large room of junk but she and her Mom are searching for clues as to where the mysterious little girl they had just seen had gone.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Week 9

All text and images copyright 2010 - Michael Smith - Doodle Bag Productions
Week 9

We get to meet one of the "villains" of the story this week!  In an effort to change the reading habits of the children at Sara's school Alice appears and has found the special page that will tell Sara how to get back to her classroom!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Week 8

All images and text copyright 2010 - Michael Smith - Doodle Bag Productions

Week 8

Here is the 8th drawing in the Broken Beanbag story, Sara and her Mom have to follow the Beanbag deeper into Frogwarts and the chance to find their way home!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


All images and text copyright 2010 - Michael Smith - Doodle Bag Productions
This image is a character inspired by our really good friend's middle child who announced she was going to be a Diva for Halloween.  When her Mom asked her what a Diva was, she told her that Divas wore sunglasses, pretty dresses and wore scarves.  The rest is just some embellishment by the illustrator.  Divas always need places to shop.  

Monday, October 18, 2010

Week 7

All images and text copyright 2010 - Michael Smith - Doodle Bag Production
Sara and Jerry have made it to meet the new Defense against the Strange Arts teacher, who turns out to be Sara's Mom!  She is using her new magical powers to conjure up a chocolate milkshake.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Here is a study for a real "character" our friend Steve as  someone that may show up in Sara's World.  A popular teacher that is prone to give tests on Monty Python and its relationship to the obscure '80's British sit com "The Young Ones", all while running a blog dedicated to the removal of Bryan Adams from the musical landscape.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Character Study

All images copyright Michael Smith - Doodle Bags Productions
Sara's Mom has been undergoing some revisions based on requests from the subject matter, particularly in the hair department.  Originally she was drawn with longer hair because the real Sara's Mom has had her hair cut short forever and refuses to grow it out.  This was met with much approval, but I was still working on it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Week 6

All images and text copyright - Michael Smith - Doodle Bags Productions

            The Beanbag made a move toward the up escalator, stepped onto the moving steps and then tumbled backwards onto Sara.

“Watch out!” She grabbed onto the falling piece of furniture as it bounced toward a moving stair that was heading the other direction. “I guess we are going this way!” Sara fell on top of Beanbag as it skidded down a flight of stairs.  At the bottom of the stairs the two of them bounced off a stony wall and past a set of giant wooden doors that were half opened.  She could see four long tables with kids eating. “That must be the cafeteria for this school!” Sara shouted to the Beanbag who seemed to be in more control now that they had come down several levels of the castle.

“See if you can find a way outside!” Sara pointed to the blue sky through a passing window, “We may have a better chance to find the missing page if we can see the whole building!”  The Beanbag rolled up on its side, almost tossing Sara off and aiming for a smaller set of doors.  They bounded through the doors and crashed down several more flights of stairs! Sara was sure that they ought to be at the bottom at any moment when suddenly…BAM!!!! They crashed into someone who had been standing in the lobby, minding his own business! Beanbag flew into the air, Sara rolled against a wall, and the boy who had been standing only moments before was flat on his back.

“Ow!!!” The boy sat up and pushed his glasses back on and ran a hand through a head of messy hair.  “What was that for?” He asked.

“We didn’t see you,” Sara reached to help him up, “We were racing down those stairs to get outside when you just appeared! Like…magic.” Sara stopped and looked around at the castle one more time before turning to the boy and looking at his dark circular glasses and something that looked like a scar on his forehead.  “Where is this?” She asked him.

“Frogwarts School” He said looking a little confused.

“Of course it is. And what is your name?” Sara looked at him as he answered:

“Jerry Kotter. Why? What’s your name?”

“I am Sara.” With a deep breath she began to tell him how she had gotten to Frogwarts and the way that the Beanbag seemed to carry her to places that she had read about. Jerry knelt down to look at the Beanbag, he touched the red fabric and pulled out his wand.

“Revealio!” He said and waved the wand in the air. “I think that your friend here is a little tired, but if you need to find that page with your teacher on it we might be able to find someone who could help you, we have just gotten a new Defense against the Strange Arts teacher who says she is from very far away and she might know of a spell to get you home right away!”

“Well, what are we waiting on? Let’s go!”

Friday, October 1, 2010

Week 5

All images and text copyright Michael Smith - Doodle Bag Designs


Sara and the Beanbag were alone in a dark hallway; stone walls lined either side, decorated with strange carvings between doors that led off in different directions.  Torches were hung from posts mounted in the walls and there were two on each side of a wooden door at the far end.  She couldn’t see the ceiling in the darkness, but was pretty sure that she heard bats screeching to one another and shifting around in the homey gloom. “Now where have you brought us?” Sara questioned the Beanbag, her hands on her hips and one eyebrow raised. “Not that I don’t thank you for saving me from that big fall, but I don’t see the page with Ms. Robinson on it anymore and I think that she was trying to give us directions on how to get back to school.”  The Beanbag who was picking up the spilled books stopped and turned one way, then the other before turning back to Sara and with what looked like a little frustration shrugged as if to say that it didn’t know either.

“Well, we aren’t going to find the page standing here in a hall.” Sara marched up to the closest door and pushed on the handle.  Old hinges screeched in protest until she finally got it opened and stepped through. “What. The. Heck?” Behind the door was definitely a classroom, but it was like no other class that Sara had seen.  It had desks and there was even a chalkboard at the front of the room, but everything else was completely strange!  From the ceiling the skeleton of what look like a dragon hung from chains and along the walls, pictures of all sorts of strange creatures were arranged, but it was like they were little TV screens, because the creatures moved in the frames! “There isn’t anyone in here.” She backed out of the room and fell over the Beanbag who had crept in behind her. “Ooof! Watch it!”  Sara rolled around in the bag for a moment; she could feel the uncomfortable shapes of the books that it had picked up earlier inside of the fabric. “You are feeling a little thin, is that why you had room for the books?”  The Beanbag nodded.

“Let’s go this way.” Pulling herself out of the lumpy Beanbag she stood and pointed to the door at the end of the hallway, “I bet these are all more of those strange classrooms.”  As they walked Sara looked at the signs next to the doors, “Wonder what ‘Transmogrification Class’ is?” She didn’t hear an answer and saw that the Beanbag had crept over to some tall windows, they were really high in the air and the rest of the school could be seen. “This place is a castle!” Sara could see a lake in the distance and a forest, there looked like some sort of sports field to one side and in a clearing between the castle and the forest sat a little camper-like hut on wooden wheels, next to a tree that was boogying away. “Look at that tree! Is that a fir tree?” It looked like a big Christmas tree, “That is a dancing Douglas fir!” Sara laughed. 

With one last glance out the window they turned to the door at the end of the hall. “Here we are.” She glanced at Beanbag, who had scooted behind her again. “Aren’t you brave?” She chuckled and pushed on the door.  This one opened easily, but after one step into the space Sara thought she might want to go back into the hallway and look at the dancing Douglas fir some more.  This place was huge! Behind the door was a giant room, she couldn’t see the ceiling above, or even the floor far below.  They were standing on a landing between churning escalators, one going up, the other down, and as they stood, a third one groaned into place in front of them.  The giant room was filled with these thrumming, moving escalators.

“Now we have a real decision Beanie.” She smiled at the Beanbag, “Up or Down?”

Sunday, September 19, 2010

4th Week

All images and text copyright Michael Smith - Doodle Bag Productions


The girls rode into town, Sara bumping along on the bouncing beanbag and Maura trotting next to her chatting away.

“We should try the general store!” She said over the sound of the hooves and flopping bag. “There is always some good licorice that they sometime give you samples.  If your page isn’t in there we could try the main stables I guess, but the library is closed today so it wouldn’t be in there.”  She looked over at Sara who was holding on with both hands as the beanbag skipped from one side of the trial to the other like it was sniffing the flowers that grew along the edges. Maura’s little pony snorted as the red chair scooted across his path.

“W..w…well, m..m..maybe w..w..we s..s..should s..s..see w..w..where t..t..the w..w..wind b..b..blowing!” Stammered Sara.

“That might be a good idea.” Maura allowed, “but the licorice is really good.”

They entered the edge of the little town and Sara looked to see all of the people walking up and down the street and the old timey buildings. “Cool.” Said Sara, she pointed to the building next to the General Store. “What is that?”

“The Boarding house? Why would you want to go there?”

“It is the tallest building in town, if we could get on the roof we can see all around.”

“It’s the tallest building, but not the tallest thing!” Maura pointed to a water tower that was peeking over the buildings on the other side of the street. “We could climb that and see, why, we could see forever!”  They headed over to the water tower, hitched the pony to the posts and Sara told the beanbag to stay in place before they started climbing to the top.

“Look!” Maura pointed to the landing around the edge of the water tower. “Is that a piece of paper?” There was a flicker of white at the edge of the railing, “Hurry!” They scurried up the wooden structure, Sara was a very good climber, and Maura was right behind her.  They climbed over the edge of the walkway as the wind picked up again, lifting the page off of the platform and out over the edge.

“I’ve got it!” Sara shouted and jumped over the railing and reaching out for the sheet, she could see the page, it looked it was a drawing of Ms. Robinson and her class, but the page was just out of her reach!

“Be Careful Sara!” But it was too late Sara had reached too far and her hand slipped from the railing and she fell from the top of the tower, the page underneath her as she plummeted toward the ground!  Before she could even make a sound she saw the beanbag dash to where she was falling!  The bag jumped the last few feet and Sara crashed into it, but it felt like she was falling all the way through it, but it was slowing her down!  Through the darkness she kept falling until she bumped into a hard cold floor.

“Great! Now where in the world am I?” She looked up and down the dark hallway, Maura was nowhere to be seen!

Third Week

All text and images copyright Michael Smith - Doodle Bag Productions


Sara stared at the little girl in front of her and down at the yellow book she had been reading about the family that lived in the little house.  “Are you sure your name is Maura?”

            “Yep.” Said the girl with a confident nod of her head, “and that is my Maw, and Paw, and my sister Kerry. We live in that medium house in the field.” She pointed to the house in the distance that Sara had seen earlier. “What’s your name and where did you come from?”

“ name is Sara, and I am from...”Sara thought for a moment. “I came from far away.” She said finally.  “I have some of my stuff,” and the beanbag shook on the ground behind her.”but I really need that page that just flew away. It will help me to get back home.”

“I can help you find your page!” Maura offered brightly, “Maw, Paw! I am going to go with Sara to look for her page!”

“Sure thing Half Gallon!” Maura’s Paw called back.

“We need to get a horse and a wagon! C’mon!” The two girls went over to the barn and started collecting the tack and saddle for the horses.  They had just pulled down the second blanket when Sara noticed a red shadow at the door of the barn.  That silly beanbag had made its way to the barn and was peeking in on them.

“Is that yours?” Maura pointed at the beanbag that had rolled into the barn.

“Yesss.” Sara sighed. “That thing is why I am here.”  She told Maura all about reading in class and then falling through the bag.

“Well, we really need to find that page for you!” The girls got the saddle on one horse and had started the second when the beanbag started hopping up and down around Sara excitedly.  “It looks like it wants to help!” Exclaimed Maura, but Sara, who had experienced the silly beanbag once already wasn’t sure she trusted it quite yet.

“I don’t know....” But Maura was already getting the little wagon out and hooking it up to the beanbag.

“You can put all of your books in the wagon and I will ride alongside of you two into town.” The girls had decided to look in town for the page first, since that was the direction the wind was blowing.  Hurrying to finish they buckled the last strap down and Sara jumped onto the wagon while Maura scrambled up onto a little pony. “Come on!” They walked the pony out of the barn and the beanbag followed with the brown wagon with Sara and her books.  Everything was going just fine until they got to the edge of the property.  Sara looked at the wooden fence go by when she felt a sudden jerk on the reins.

“Whoa!” She cried and she was pulled suddenly from wagon and all of her books too! And she flew into the air, pulled by the reins still gripped tightly in her hands!

New Website

Below is our new website:

I will still post new things to this blog, but will start to populate the website with more enduring stuff!


All images copyright Michael Smith - Doodle Bag Productions

As a request from the original Sara I did a few bookmarks for her and her brother as well as a friend at school, these were the finals.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Text and images copyright - Michael Smith - Doodle Bag Productions

Week 2


            Sara picked herself up from the ground and dusted off her knees, “Where in the world am I?” Looking around she could see a great big field full of grass and rolling hills in the distance, “and how the heck did I get here?”  The beanbag was slumped on the ground next to a dirt road that was swinging its way back to a log house in the distance with a great big chimney.  The sun was high in the sky and the wind was blowing the grass happily along the edge of the little path.

            “Well, this stuff isn’t going to clean itself.” Sara began to gather her books that had been scattered around, finding the book about the boy wizard in the roots of a nearby tree, and a grabbing book about a wardrobe that was hanging from the limbs above, it had her straw stuck into its spine.  She had just reached for another book that had landed wide open when she heard her name in the distance.  The noise scared her so much that she tossed everything high in the air and spun around looking for who called her.

            “Sara!” Came the quiet call again, but she couldn’t see anyone nearby.

            “Who’s there!?” But no one could be seen!

            “Sara!” There it was again! She looked around and the book that had been perched on her head flopped over and landed next to the one she had been reading before she was sucked down into the beanbag.  It was still open to her favorite page, and she reached for the open book when she realized that the page didn’t have the pictures anymore!  Instead of horses she was looking at Ms. Robinson and all of her class staring back up at her!

            “That is really strange! What are you guys doing in that book?” Ms. Robinson waved for Sara to pick up the book.

            “Sara, you have to cli…” Sara was reaching for the book but she could barely hear Ms. Robinson, the wind was picking up now and blowing even harder making the pages of the book flap back and forth!  Suddenly the page that Ms. Robinson was on ripped from the book and floated on the breeze high into the air and off into the distance.

            “Come back!” Sara called

            “Who are you talking to?” A new voice questioned from behind her and Sara turned to see a little girl about her age wearing a plaid dress and brown buckle boots, behind the girl a family was climbing down from a wagon.

            “You’re Laura Ingalls!” Sara exclaimed and the little girl in front of her looked confused.

            “Nope, I’m Maura, Maura Shingles, and who are you?

For the second Introduction

Character's from Sara's World
All images and text copyright Michael Smith - Doodle Bag Productions

Doodle Bag Productions

The artifacts from Doodle Bag Productions are limited edition, fully functional story bags.  Each lunch bag is uniquely efficient; the artwork having no impact on the size, capacity, or performance of the standard or large sized student lunch bag. 

Created originally as a method for a kindergartener to identify her own lunch on a field trip the custom lunch bag has grown into a weekly serialized story revolving around the adventures of Sara as she goes on a Freaky Field Trip, deals with the trauma of Soggy Stickers, overcomes a Problem Puppet, and fixes a Broken Beanbag with her friends, family, and teachers.

Quite simply, these are Sacks of a Different Flavor.

Monday, August 30, 2010

All images and text copyright Michael Smith - Doodle Bag Productions

Sara and the Broken Beanbag

Week 1

  Sara settled into her favorite beanbag chair, snuggled into the corner of the class and pulled a nice cool drink next to her and reached for the top book on the big stack next to her.  After lunch on a Friday afternoon was the best time of the week!  School was almost done and if you got all of your regular work done Ms. Robinson let you curl up with a good book!

  Sara pushed her head deep into the vinyl of the red reading beanbag and felt the crinkle of the beans popping under her hair.

  “Ahhhh!” She reached over for a sip of water and picked up the book on top of the pile, it was one of her favorite stories about a little girl whose family lived in the old west and had a house at the edge of a big field.  She couldn’t wait to see what surprises Ma and Pa had for the girls.  Quickly Sara flipped to her favorite page with the family in a wagon, she loved to see the drawing of the horses and imagine what it would be like to ride along the bumpy road into town with the family.  She shut her eyes and could almost feel the hot summer wind blowing over the prairie and around the wagon, brushing the smell of the grass past her nose.  She was lost in her daydream of riding with the Ingalls when she felt the beanbag move under her!

  “Whoa!” she called out, pulling back on the book like the reins of a horse and sitting up suddenly, looking around for one of the boys in her class, those guys were always playing some kind of prank.  But to her surprise, no one was around!  Everyone was still busy at work.  Shrugging her shoulders Sara slid back into the beanbag and pulled her book back up and stared at the picture again and read about the family as they headed to town.  Sara was so focused on the book that she didn’t feel the beanbag start to shake again until she was so deep in the bag that the ceiling seemed like it was really far away and the walls of the chair had grown around her, books were falling down next to her.  She couldn’t see her class anymore, but for some reason she could actually hear the sounds of horses clumping down a dirt road in the distance.

  “That’s odd.” She said to herself as she fell deeper into the beanbag and the warm smell of a prairie filled her nose until the beanbag had pulled her down and plopped her out on the underside and she fell down to ground below!  She was suddenly outside in a big field and books were falling around her and the beanbag plopped next to her, wherever she was!