Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Boys on a New Sign

One of the many advantages of having the black and orange Halloween brothers around (other than the obvious cuddles and purrs) is they make the purrrrrfect models....

Just had to share this one, listing on eBay at 9PM eastern tonight (Sunday), with a buy it now option. :)

I was so pleased with the way this one turned out, I briefly thought of keeping it...But I'm afraid keeping my work would be a slippery slope, at the end of which would lie the need for a REAL job...not an appealing thought, so up for auction it goes. :)

More work to be listed on eBay and Etsy in a couple of days, but first I must finish the two commissions in progress - and tomorrow will be spent taking a friend to the hospital for some tests. So stay tuned....lots of new Halloweeny goodies coming up!

~ Carolee

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Toys and Timepieces

My head is spinning with possibilities.....

After spending the better part of the day in the little black Beetle, my friend Jen of Gypsy Mare Studios riding shotgun, driving the backroads of Lancaster County as we visited various Amish woodworking shops, we made the most AMAZING discovery: an old fashioned clockmaker! Not a factory, not an importer, not a mass production type operation, but an honest to goodness master artisan. After oooohing and ahhhhing our way around his showroom, I discussed the possibility of purchasing a limited number of handmade carriage clocks, unfinished and ready for painting, with glass front cabinets, and fine movements playing Westminster chimes on the quarter hour. He was completely amenable, and will have a prototype ready for me by the end of July. :)

But wait! It gets better....

We also discussed the possibility of an unfinished granddaughter clock! Teeheeheeheehee!!! (that was my best, most excited witch's cackle!) A bit smaller than a grandfather clock, but still HUGE, and offering a world of possibilities for a truly one of a kind timepiece!! The trick with this one will be freeing up enough cash to actually make the purchase, but if I can swing it, this one just may be my showpiece for the Ghoultide Gathering. :)

Now, as to the TOYS....

As I mentioned a few days ago, there's a roly poly toy on the way - a wooden bell, handmade and imported from Russia - very hard to find, and I purchased the last one my supplier had in stock. I'm thinking either a black cat toy or a Baba Yaga witch, not sure which, but Halloween toy lovers stay tuned.

Finally, I just picked up my old Sears Kenmore sewing machine from a local service shop, and the plan (drumroll, please) is to introduce the very first King of Mice Studios doll this summer! Although it's been years, I used to be quite the seamstress, sewing most of my daughter's clothes when she was little, and even did a stint in a sewing factory (the job from hell, but I came away with a bit of skill and speed, hehe)...No clue yet whether this doll will be all cloth or partially sculpted, but I DO know she will be a Witch....Teeheeheehee!! (there's that cackle again)....

So yes - possibilities!!

In the meantime, I'm finishing two commissions - both memorials and both such a blessing to paint - which I hope to have finished in the next few days.

Then it's on to toys and timepieces...(and the year's remaining commissions).

Wish me luck!!

~ Carolee

Monday, June 23, 2008

Blessed Bees

Listed on eBay, this piece is my little tribute to those magical, hard working insects responsible for about 1/3 of the consumable plants on the planet - and sadly in danger due to colony collapse disorder.

Although I'm allergic to their stings, I find them such beautiful and fascinating creatures. There is much folklore surrounding them (some of the symbolism I've added to the top of this piece) - and I have to share that one of my absolute, all time favorite books (and the inspiration behind most Blessed Bee pieces I've done) is Sue Monk Kidd's "The Secret Life of Bees" - a must read, can't recommend it highly enough...

All of this is by way of saying that these magical insects are indeed "blessed", as are we by their existance. If you have a minute, click here for more info on what we can do to keep them from disappearing. :)

~ Carolee

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Wicked Stitches

Just have to share this one, a new knitting/sewing chest, listed now on eBay....a bit of a departure for me with the primitive style, but since the piece came to me painted a solid black and distressed, it just screamed "folk art".

As my supply of hand spun yarns increases (thanks to some fabulous Etsy sellers) I seriously need one of these chests around here - something to store my latest knitting project, along with a few extra skeins of yarn, assorted needles, scissors, etc.....Perhaps one day I'll get around to painting one for myself.

In the meantime, I'll send this piece out to a fellow knitter or seamstress, with blessings for many years of wicked stitching. :)

I'll be working on commissions over the next few days, but also hope to get at least one piece listed on Etsy tomorrow. No clue what it will be, but I'm thinking BRIGHT!
Check it out sometime in the late afternoon or early evening.

Look for a preview of a very cool new piece here on the blog too - a musical bell, imported from Russia, and soon to become a Halloween roly poly toy. :)

Until tomorrow....

~ Carolee

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy Solstice!

Okay, I know - technically I'm a day late.....

I'm not sure why I was thinking the summer solstice fell on the 21st this year (as it often does) but today being the weekend, and only a few hours late, I'm celebrating anyway. :) Nothing too wild - my days of dancing naked in the moonlight are over, I'm afraid, hehe. I'm thinking more along the lines of a cookout and glass of wine, as we unwind out back by the pond. There's something so peaceful about the sound of the waterfall as twilight falls, tiny fairy lights reflected in the pond, the bullfrogs singing .....assuming the neighbors don't decide to break into their fireworks stash early, that is. Firecrackers and M-80s, one of the many joys of living "in town", *sigh*.....

But there's an upside too - the scent of summer barbeques wafting down the street, the sound of children laughing and splashing in backyard pools, neighbors chatting on front porches and stoops. The houses here are quite old (ours was built in 1892) fairly small, and many of them attached ("twins" they call them), but they have a quaint quality about them, especially those adorned with windowboxes and hanging baskets of summer flowers. We finally picked up our hanging baskets this week - nasturtiums (the flowers are soooooooooooo good on salads!) and instead of the usual snapdragons, we planted lavender along the small walkway out front. None of these particularly match the deep crimson roses bordering the porch, but like art, if you love it you display it, and somehow it all works.

On the painting front, look for new work to be listed on eBay and/or Etsy tomorrow evening. Several pices are in progress, and I have no idea which I'll be inspired to finish first, but stay tuned.....

In the meantime, I hope everyone is enjoying summer's blessings. :)

~ Carolee

Monday, June 16, 2008

Wicked Brew

Just had to share the latest piece (listing tonight) - a whimsical wine set perfect for displaying your favorite bottle of Halloweeny goodness this season (shown here with a favorite of my own, hehe!)

The set includes a large wine coaster, the wooden glass holder and two hand painted glasses, which I will personalize at the request of the winning bidder (great gift for an October wedding, anniversary or handfasting, yes?) LOTS of fun to paint, this one, and after all the dentist and doctor visits this week, I seriously needed some fun!

Still no idea what's plaguing me, other than some rather intense nerve pain whenever I eat or drink anything. I'm hanging in there, but having to work in between episodes, so commissions have fallen about a week behind. I'm also trying to get a few items listed over on ETSY, so stay tuned....

Not much else new around here, except that we finally finished planting the herbs and veggies; not too many this year, and I'm still in search of more sweet basil (need enough to make and freeze pesto for the winter) but it will do. We also picked up a few plants for the pond, and a beautiful new yellow koi. Next on the list will be hanging baskets for the front porch, and strawberries for the back....I'm sooooooooo late this year!

I added a few new tunes to the playlist, so if you're so inclined, check them out. I'm afraid my age is showing with some of them, but oh well....

Right now I'm off to forage through the fridge for our very late dinner, and pour myself a little glass of boxed sangria (I know, I know - boxed (shudder) - but with gas at $4 a gallon, what's a girl to do? Actually, with a strawberry and some orange slices thrown in, its not half bad. ;)

Until next time........

~ Carolee

Thursday, June 12, 2008

John Lennon Was Right

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

Take for instance the well orchestrated schedule I had going this week to finish two commissions, and list new work on both eBay and Etsy - now postponed by another day or two due to multiple dental and doctor visits, the result of which is still up in the air, with a visit to an oral surgeon tomorrow morning keeping me ever hopeful that SOMEONE will discover the source of some major nerve pain I've been having. Theories have included neuralgia, a sinus infection, and an old root canal in need of repair....I know - more info than anyone cares to know, but I'm posting it here because it has me reflecting on the vicious cycle we call stress.

In general, I'm not a "schedule" kinda when I fall behind said schedule, it kind of freaks me out. Guilt ensues, I wonder if people think I'm flaky (hey, I'm an artist, right?) and I start stressing.....which of course does all those symptoms absolutely no good; and therein lies the vicious cycle.

I mention all this by way of explanation for the huge echo you'll find in my Etsy store and eBay listings for the next day or two. I'm trying to be responsible and make headway on these commissions, while also working on listings. The plan is that at least one of each will be finished in a day or so, with more to follow....

The good news is that I have some uber cool new pieces in the works, including a witchy wine set for the magickal table and a set of vibrant canisters for the witchy kitchen. So stay tuned - I promise it will be worth the wait. ;)

In the meantime, I'm painting away here, and trying to de-stress with the help of some good music, mediocre wine (with gas at $4 gallon I'm cutting back on the good stuff) and some great music (see previous post). And knitting. Thank heavens for knitting - sooooooooooooo zen.

Until next time, wishing everyone a stress free rest of the week.....

~ Carolee

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Music is such an important part of the creative process for me - it not only relaxes and inspires, but can sometimes even change the direction of a piece in progress, taking it in a soothing, mystical direction, infusing it with playfulness and whimsy, adding gypsy-like elements, vivid colors, or sometimes a darker theme...

I like to think my musical taste is pretty eclectic, but the truth is I'm not really big on anything loud - no heavy metal or rap to be found in the collection here (although John's taste runs a little more toward the noisy stuff).

So without having it play automatically (kind of tricky for those reading in the workplace, eh?) I thought I'd share a few personal favorites. Just scroll down to the purple playlist on the right, and click the arrow to begin the tunes. There are, of course, many favorites which are more obscure, but I had to go with what was available on the playlist website.

I hope you enjoy it, and would also LOVE to hear recommendations!

(Did I mention I'm a bit of a CD junkie?)

~ Carolee

Monday, June 9, 2008

Counting Crows Revisited :)

Since there are so many versions of the old English divination rhyme for crow counting, I couldn't resist just one more - this time a painting on wood. It's listed now on eBay. :)

Most of this week will be spent finishing a couple of commissions and beginning another, but look for new work to be listed later in the week on both eBay and Etsy. (There's a big echo over at my Etsy shop now, as everything has sold!)

Wishing everyone a happy and creative week! And if anyone knows how to carve another six or eight hours out of a day, please let me know, hehe....

~ Carolee

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Wicked and Whimsical New Work

This set of Halloween coasters, listed now on eBay, was just soooooooooo much fun to create - and one of those I know I'm going to have trouble parting with. In fact, I toyed with the idea of keeping them, as I searched Etsy and eBay for cool Halloween wine glass charms, picturing them adorning a large buffet table in my newly painted orange dining room come October....

OK, back to reality, lol....The fact is if I didn't sell my creations, I'd have to get a "real job" (the kind with a schedule, a boss, directions, supervision, etc) and we do NOT want that to happen. Would you believe I'm not good with authority and structure? It's true. ;)

Other work this week includes completion of two overdue commissions, a "Cirque du Chats" sign to be listed later this evening, and probably a few goodies on Etsy as well.

We're in for thunderstorms here today - perfect weather for staying inside creating Halloween goodies - so I'm off to face the day now. If I work VERY hard, I plan to reward myself with an evening out; dinner and the new Sex and the City movie. I know, I know, it's the cinematic equivelent of junk food. And acccording to the Rolling Stone magazine review John just HAD to point out to me yesterday "most dudes would rather set their d**ks on fire" than endure it. Be that as it may, I need a little break, and he's reluctantly agreed to go with me. What a guy. ;)

On that note, I'm off to brew a pot of tea, light some candles, put a little Van Morrison on (the new CD is incredible, BTW!) and PAINT...

Until next time,
~ Carolee

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Charming Black Cats

I'm having such fun painting these old black cat charms. This is the third such verse I've found, and the second I've painted in this size and format. To see the first one, and read an earlier post about these beautiful and lucky creatures, click here. :)

In addition to the piece shown above, look for new work to be listed on eBay and Etsy by mid week. In the meantime, I'm putting the finishing touches on a couple of long overdue commissions and beginning a couple more (it's amazing how quickly a couple of doctor and dentist's appointments can play havoc with the painting schedule!)

But I'm back on track now, albeit working 7 days a week...No rest for the wicked, eh?

On a completely unrelated but amusing note, I saw a bumpersticker today I really think I must have. It said: "Come over to the dark side. We have cookies." LOL....Not sure why it struck me as being so funny, but it did. :)

Until next time...

~ Carolee