Thursday, November 29, 2007

It's That Time of Year Again.....

Time for the usual High Holiday Anxiety to set in, throwing me into a state of utter panic - about pending commissions, about all the holiday themed work I need to complete in the next couple of weeks, about the boxes of decorations strewn around the house waiting for someone who actually has the TIME to turn this place into something approaching festive, about all those handmade gifts in progress.....I need some ELVES, lol!

I'm wishing we had the time to travel elsewhere for the holidays, saving the need for all the decorating, baking, entertaining and such, but with Christmas being John's only remaining day off this year, travel is out of the question. So I suppose I'd better resign myself to some very long days these next few weeks, and try to remember it's like this every year, and it always comes together in the end. :)

In the meantime, I'd better get busy. There's a new Yuletide sign calling my name, and I hope to finish and list it this afternoon.

But if anyone does know where I can find some elves, lol....

Frantic but festively yours,
~ Carolee

Monday, November 26, 2007

Five Random Things

Lori Rudolph, friend and fellow EHAG Halloween artist, tagged me to write five random things about myself. I've seen these posts on others' blogs, so I suppose it was just a matter of time, lol...(and lookout the rest of you, five of you are next, hehe!) So here goes, five Random things:

1. Although most of my work is Halloween and Fantasy, one of my first loves is portraiture, specifically, colored pencil portraits.

2. I knit. Nothing fancy, mostly scarves, shawls, afghans and lately felted purses.

3. Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, in a moment of temporary insanity following a bad break-up, I joined the army for about ten minutes. The experience was pretty similar to that movie "Private Benjamin", but unlike the Goldie Hawn character, I had the good sense to get out. This whole episode generally shocks people who know me to be the total liberal/pacifist type now.

4. I have a serious CD buying jones. I justify my addiction by telling myself it's a business expense (can't work without music). :)

5. I've always wanted to live abroad, specifically a little cottage in the English or Irish countryside, and if I could afford it, probably would.

So - there you go, five random things. In turn, I'm tagging Jen, Chris, John, Lyndy and Melissa.

And please read on - yesterday's post was a heads up on some new work I'll be listing soon, so stay tuned.....

~ Carolee

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Works in Progress!

Life continues at a frantic pace here, with the house in the usual state of holiday disarray, but I'm happy to say there are also several new pieces in varying stages of completion. I'm sooooooooooo excited about this new work, much of it bringing the Halloween theme (witches and black cats and such) into a mystical, wintery realm.

The first piece is the one shown above, listed on eBay now. The photos don't really show how it sparkles (LOVE that vintage glass glitter), but it's received several "oooohs" and "aaaah's" from visitors to the house. :)

Yesterday found me not decorating the tree as planned, but painting the last ceramic piece to be offered this year - a witchy pie plate, with words of blessing written around the edge; the perfect gift for the kitchen witch. :) Other new work includes a very large apothecary/pantry, which is also shaping up with a wintery yule theme - jars of assorted herbs and spices, magickal oils and elixirs, the Witch's books and grimoire, mortar and pestle, copper kettle, and of course, the requisite cat (or three, hehe)....

Then there's the Snow Queen's SLEIGH! Wait until you see this one....again, a very large piece, suitable for center stage almost anywhere in the house and large enough to hold your favorite Christmas dolls, several gifts, or even the largest card collection. This piece is in the sketching stages right now, so will take a bit to complete, but when it's finished it will be accented with vintage glass glitter and Swarovski crystals. Quite the showpiece. :)

I'm also trying to keep up with the many requests pouring in for new doggie and kitty welcome signs....

All of this, the holiday housecleaning and decorating, the baking and the knitting (another homemade Christmas for us this year!) will keep me busy until the wee hours for the next several weeks.

Throughout all of this, John is doing well, and making his way through the rounds of doctors, specialists and tests, in anticipation of the eventual surgery which will correct his heart problem. We're not expecting it to happen until early 2008, a blessing, as he'll certainly enjoy the season, and Courtney's visit more fully at home.

And as for next year, well - "sufficient unto the day", and all that....

For NOW, we're counting today's blessings. :)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving

It's hard for me to believe Thanksgiving is upon us already....the day we take a moment to pause and reflect on those things for which we are truly grateful.

Life's been a bit of a whirlwind lately, and certainly not without challenges, but sometimes it's those challenges that remind us how truly blessed we are. I once read somewhere that being thankful for the good things is easy, but to live a life of true fulfillment we need to be thankful for the setbacks as well. I love that, and believe it to be true. It's the challenges in our lives that build character - helping us to grow, to learn, and to move forward.

I'm thankful for so many things this year; for the best husband anyone could ask for, and for the life we've built together. For our beautiful and talented daughter (we're so proud kiddo, and love you to the moon and back). For our home; modest to be sure, but warm and comfortable and ours. For our menagerie; Cadie, Cosmo, Cheetah, Merlin and Arthur, and what they teach us every day about unconditional love. For our health, and for the medical advancements and treatments that give us hope. For friends. For family. For grace.

We'll be spending the day quietly here, no big feast or anything. With only one carnivore in the house (no, not me), a turkey dinner isn't practical, and although we received a tempting invitation to dine with friends and family, the drive would have a bit much for John on a day he can spend resting. I'll probably do a bit of painting this afternoon, and we'll watch a movie later this evening - all in all a good day, and another one spent together, which is reason enough for gratitude. :)

Again, many thanks for all the positive thoughts and prayers....

Wishing everyone a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

Much Love,
~ Carolee

Friday, November 16, 2007

'Tis the Season

Although things have been a bit crazed since John's hospital stay (and are likely to remain that way for awhile as he goes through the requisite tests and consultations for probable heart surgery) time marches on, and the holiday season is fast approaching.....

We'll spend a quiet Thanksgiving, just the two of us, and the day after I hope to get the tree up! This is always quite the project, with literally hundreds of ornaments and icicles. We'll drink hot cocoa, listen to Christmas music, and reminisce as we unwrap treasured decorations from years past; the ornament Courtney made in kindergarten, the musical silver bell my grandmother gave me, the Christmas photos to be placed in the antique frames atop the piano, the stockings we'll hang over the dining room hearth...The same items every year, but unwrapping them never fails to give me the warm fuzzies. :)

Courtney will be home for Christmas too - the best possible medicine for John, and we're both sooooooo looking forward to spending some time with her. A year between visits with your child is just far too long.

Work in the studio is moving into Holiday mode too, with a combination of pieces both wicked and whimsical, and also a few welcome signs featuring different breeds of dogs and cats. I paint a few of these every year, and they're always such fun! I only wish I had time to paint all the requests I'm getting, but I need to save time for Halloween art too (never too early to start thinking about NEXT Halloween, hehe)...

So stay tuned, and please keep checking, as I expect to be listing new items every few days. In fact, look for a VERY detailed Witch's apothecary/pantry piece next week, and a wintery "mitten box" soon to follow!

Wishing everyone a happy and blessed holiday season....

~ Carolee

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veterans Day

Since today is the Day we celebrate Veterans Day here in the US, and with Christmas fast approaching, I have to share this video. The artist is folk singer John McCutcheon, and the subject is the Christmas Truce of 1914. I'm not sure if this will appear as a link, or if you'll have to cut and paste. It's about six minutes long, but well worth the watch:

Saturday, November 10, 2007


I've been thinking a lot lately about the blessings in my life, and about the grace we receive in the face of challenges.

There are, of course, those blessings I'm conscious of on a daily basis; my marriage, our beautiful daughter, whatever degree of artistic ability I have, and my general satisfaction with the path I've chosen.

But then there are the unexpected blessings....

While several people I thought would have responded to the messages and updates about John's health crisis have not, there have been so many less "close" to us who have been a real source of strength - calling, sending emails and messages offering help both emotional and practical, and making it much easier to face the challenges that lie ahead. Just when I begin to feel tired or discouraged, strength and inspiration arrives from the most unexpected of sources, and I'm able to move forward.

I know also that these blessings are a manifestation of divine grace. That God, or Goddess, or Universe, or whatever you want to call it, has a hand in weaving the tapestry of our lives, and will continue to do so as we face whatever lies ahead.

So in this season of blessings we remain grateful for all of it, even the challenges. And we thank those of you who've been there for us in person and in spirit. Your thoughts, prayers and encouragement are a constant inspiration as we look forward to brighter days ahead. :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Home Again....for a bit :)

Just wanted to share the latest - John came home today, at least for a little while....But after another more sophisticated test on Thursday, and follow ups with the cardiologist, pulmonologist, and surgeon, he'll need to return to the hospital for open heart surgery to replace his damaged mitral valve.

Scary stuff, but the alternative (eventual heart failure) is even scarier. And we're SO grateful for the technology and skill that makes this kind of fix possible (it wasn't all that long ago this kind of thing would have been science fiction!)

At any rate, I'm happy to have him home, and he's happy to BE home, and that's enough for now. :)

Work in the studio is continuing, with more Halloween and witchy art coming SOON (Look for a new and VERY large Yule pantry next week!) In the meantime, I've returned to my eBay roots with a few wintery welcome signs featuring dogs and cats (to be listed tomorrow).

Finally, many, many thank for all the messages and emails, the prayers, and the positive, healing thoughts sent our way. It's truly a blessing to be part of such a thoughtful and caring community of friends. :)

~ Carolee

Monday, November 5, 2007

Quick Update

Thanks very much to everyone who's commented and emailed. The cardiac cath dept. at our local hospital is "down" today (some kind of computer thing from what I gather) so they've postponed John's test until tomorrow....We're finding that "hurry up and wait" is standard operating procedure, but everyone has been so nice we really can't complain. John is comfortable, if a bit frustrated with everything still up in the air.

We should know more tomorrow. In the meantime, he's breathing easier and they've managed to slow his heart rate - a good thing. :)

~ Carolee

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Hanging In There

Just a quick update...... I'm still dividing my time between home and the hospital, and will likely be at the hospital most of the day tomorrow - more tests, which will determine if John will need heart surgery.

Apologies again if I'm neglecting emails - I will get to them, but things are still a bit frantic around here at the moment. Oh, and shipping is going out tomorrow via priority mail. :)

Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers. They mean a lot.

~ Carolee

Friday, November 2, 2007


Emails will be limited, and shipping on hold for a few days. John (my other half for almost 30 years now) is in the IMCU of our local hospital with what they suspect is some kind of lung problem, so my time at home and on the computer will be limited until we know what's going on. Prayers and good thoughts are appreciated. Thanks so much... ~ Carolee