Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wicked Sweet Cupcake

What's a girl to do when she's craving a birthday cupcake, but housebound with no means of either making or buying one?

PAINT one, of course! Just listed this one on Etsy tonight. :)

Happy Birthday to Me!

Since today is the first day of my 50th year on the planet (yep - I'm 49!) I decided to treat myself, hehe.....a breakfast of chocolate chip cookies and tea with tupelo honey. Does it get any better than that?

And isn't this a great mug?! It was a gift from a favorite collector, and such a surprise to receive it in the mail the other day (thanks, Eva!) The beautiful card you see in the background is from my friend Magdalena in Copenhagen - another fun surprise!

Tonight we're going out to my favorite Mexican restaurant, just a small gathering; John and myself, my friend Jen of Gypsy Mare Studios, her husband Kevin and adorable daughter Zoe - should be lots of fun, and a nice break, as this is still a work day for me (no rest for the wicked, hehe). ;)

There's a new tea tray listed on eBay today - I'm in love with the vibrant sunset colors on this one:

Etsy work still looms - can't seem to keep things listed for more than a day - "a good thing", as Martha would say, but keeps me scrambling...look for new work to appear there today or tomorrow. :)

I've also been having great fun buying hand spun yarns on Etsy (for knitting Christmas gifts, but also a birthday gift to myself), and have to share one of my favorite local sellers, Rachel-Marie, a.k.a. knittydirtygirl....YUMMY hand spun and hand dyed yarns for all you knitters - check her out!

That's about it for now. I'm off to finish my tea and cookies, knit a few rows on a winter scarf-in-progress, check out the latest issue of Artful Blogging (which includes a five page spread on fellow EHAG, AHAO and PFATT artist Melissa Valeriotte) and Art Doll Quarterly (which includes a photo of felow PFATT artist Robin's latest Witch doll) - then light a candle, put some tunes in the CD player and get to work......

Wishing everyone a happy and CREATIVE Wednesday!

~ tHe BiRThDaY GiRl :)

Friday, July 25, 2008


.....As in "crafts and activism". Creating for a better world. I've been reading a lot about it lately, hearing these buzzwords, and apparently "handmade" and "DIY" are an idea whose time has come.....

The current movement (and one need only search Etsy to see it is indeed a movement) toward creativity, individualism and community rather than mass marketing, materialism and consumer culture is certainly cause for rejoicing - and especially exciting for those of us who've been practicing this lifestyle for more years than we care to admit; we've always knitted and crocheted, sewn our children's clothes, cooked and baked from scratch, painted, sculpted, made jewelry and accessories, accented our homes with hand made items and lived what they're now calling a "hand made life" - sometimes for pleasure, sometimes out of economic necessity, and sometimes because we saw value in supporting our local community rather than nameless, faceless, multi-national corporations. We made things. They just have a catchy name for it now. :)

What's exciting to me is seeing the level to which a new generation is committing to this "hand made life"....making and purchasing artisan made items rather than machine made items, seeing value in not only the object, but the love and care that went into it's creation, and treasuring what they find beautiful and unique, rather than following the herd toward overpriced items with designer labels. It's encouraging. It gives me hope.

In that spirit, I'd like to offer thanks to the collectors and buyers of original art out there - young and old - who value our work. And lest I get comments about artists vs. artisans vs. crafters, let me be clear - I do consider myself an artist. But I paint on functional items, I knit, and I sew - so the craft factor is also there, even if I'm reluctant to call it that. Whatever you call it, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for seeing value in my creations, and for enabling me to live this artist's life. Shakey as the finances can be at times (chicken one day and feathers the next, my Grandfather used to say, hehe), it's still the best "job" in the world, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

So thanks for buying hand made. You're making a difference. :)

Artful Blessings,
~ Carolee

Thursday, July 24, 2008

EBay Auction and Etsy Sale

It's that time of year....the ideas are coming faster than I can write them all down, nevermind PAINT them all, hehe. :)

The latest eBay listing is shown above - a whimsical wooden train, tons of detail (very labor intensive this one, but such FUN!) I have it listed for five days, ending Monday evening.

Over on Etsy, I have three new items, priced a bit less than they'd typically sell on eBay. I'm trying to keep the Etsy prices reasonable for the time being, as it's a fairly new endeavor.

The first item is an original painting on wood, another homage to magical black cats. I love the shape of these plaques, very whimsical and they always make for an interesting composition. The dragonfly has a bit of glitter paint on her wings too. :)

The other Etsy offerings are tiny trinket boxes. One with a crow/raven theme and one with a "wicked" witch theme. Fun little gift ideas, perfect for a dressing table or desktop....

Ebay and Etsy listings accomplished, I'm turning my attention this week to the Ghoultide Gathering show and a couple of pending commissions. Sooooooooo much to do for the show, and again, the ideas are spinning around in my head faster than I can begin to paint them all! I also hope to get a summer newsletter out sometime next week, and begin work on the first King of Mice Studios doll. No rest for the wicked, hehe....

Until next time, wishing everyone a happy and CREATIVE week!!

~ Carolee

Monday, July 21, 2008


I'm soooooooooo tickled and beyond honored to say I've been invited to join the wonderful PFATT group on eBay! These ladies are not only a super talented bunch, but so sweet, so supportive, and most of all, so FUN!

So yeah - what a high! I'm not only blessed to be in the company of the wonderful EHAG Halloween artists, but now the PFATTIES as well - doesn't get much better than this. And you've gotta love the acronym....speaking strictly for myself, it's perfect, lol. :)

A little heads-up for tomorrow night - look for a very cool new piece listing on eBay. A hint: This one is extremely detailed, and perfect for a mantle, long table, or the base of a Halloween tree. Stay tuned....

Until tomorrow,
~ Carolee
*Quick update* - an overabundance of late sunlight made it impossible to get decent photos last night, so look for the new goodies TONIGHT instead (come on, rain!)

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Whole Day Off!

One of the many treasures here in southeastern Pennsylvania is the Brandywine River Museum, often referred to as "The Wyeth Museum". It's one of my favorite local Go To places when I'm feeling the need for a break (as I've been for a few weeks now, hehe). So yesterday, with a friend I met through the Victoria message boards who is visiting the area, I headed south to Chadds Ford.

In addition to all the wonderful Wyeth art, the museum has two special exhibitions this summer. The first is a collection of antique boxes - carved, inlaid, painted and originally designed for storing everything cutlery and sewing supplies to teas and spectacles....As someone who loves to paint boxes, these were quite the inspiration, and made me wonder if someday my own boxes will be handed down through generations. I may be flattering myself, but I like to think so. :)

The other special exhibition was a collection of paintings by the equestrian artist Alfred J. Munnings. Absolutely breathtaking! And the first thing that came to mind was "Jen needs to see these!" (my friend Jennifer of Gypsy Mare Studios, who has been planning a visit too). :)

After viewing the exhibitions we took the two tours the museum offers; Kuerner Farm (the inspiration for so many of Andrew Wyeth's paintings) and the Wyeth home and N.C. Wyeth's studio.

For an artist and HUGE fan of Andrew Wyeth's work, seeing these places in person was like standing on holy ground....

The spring in the Keurner's barn

Andrew Wyeth's "Spring Fed"

Wyeth's "Ground Hog Day". We saw this exact still life in the kitchen of the Kuerner farm, but photos aren't permitted inside.

The Kuerner home

"Evening at Kuerner's"....It's interesting how Wyeth alters the physical details of a landscape to convey an idea; the absence of the large tree in front and some of the windows at the side of the house.

It was a thorougly enjoyable day, right up until the ride home - when the air conditioning in the Beetle decided to give out - black car, black interior, and 95 degrees out - NOT fun. After dropping my friend off in Lancaster, I went directly to the dealership, where they decided to keep the car and give me a loaner. With just enough time to make it back to pick John up from his carpool ride, I set out in a brand new Jetta. The plan was to pick John up, throw a blanket over the back seat of the loaner and go pick the dogs up at Doggie Daycare (we never leave them alone all day).....So what do you suppose is the first thing John says to me?

"I hope you remembered to take the housekey off the keyring at the dealership?"

"Ummmmmmmmmm...."(stammering, sputtering, stuttering and generally feeling pretty stupid)....

So after picking up the dogs, we had to drive back into Lancaster to get the housekey. Good thing he's a patient guy and good thing I'm worth the trouble, eh? LOL. :)

So that was my day off, and I'm not likely to have another for quite a while....

Today, it's back to work, with new Halloween goodies to be listed on both eBay and Etsy later today, so stay tuned!

~ Carolee

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wicked Brew

Better late than never (see previous post regarding "artist-time", hehe) I finally listed something on Etsy - this whimsical wine set, shown here with a bottle of my favorite cabernet.

After I photographed it I realized I had intended to paint a spiderweb on the inside of the wine coaster, so I'll add that tomorrow and take new photos if it hasn't sold yet.

There's also a new gourd necklace listing on ebay tonight - this one a finely detailed etching of a raven in flight - lots of fun, but major eye strain...

Stay tuned for another piece tomorrow. :)

~ Carolee

Sunday, July 13, 2008

"A Magical Tea" Chest

Just listed this whimsical folk artsy tea chest on eBay tonight. A bit time consuming, this one, but lots of fun (and another one of those I wanted to keep, hehe). :)

Look for new work on Etsy tomorrow evening (*note* - in artist-time, tomorrow evening can mean anytime in the next two days!), and until then, try to stay cool.....I don't know about anyone else, but I am SOOOOOOOOOO ready for autumn!

Until next time,
~ Carolee

Friday, July 11, 2008

Painting and Sculpting and Glitter, Oh My!

My head is spinning here with all the work in progress.....I finally listed a piece on Etsy this morning, and hope to be listing something on eBay by tomorrow. And there are lots of goodies in progress for the show too....

Many thanks to those who've sent blog awards my way recently - there are soooooooo many inspiring blogs out there and I have to say that while time doesn't always allow for playing or posting, Right Back Atcha!

I'm off to light the candles, brew the tea and get too work now....Wishing everyone a happy and CREATIVE weekend!

~ Carolee
PS - You'll find some new tunes added to the playlist (scroll down on the right) - have a listen. :)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

"Tis now the very witching time of night..."

Just have to share this one, listing tonight on eBay for three days. It's one of very few clocks I'll be painting this season, the few others most likely going with me to the Ghoultide Gathering in October. Tomorrow will find me painting a commission, and I hope to have something listed on Etsy by Wednesday or Thursday. :)

With July comes the offical Halloween countdown, which also means the usual panic as I try to divide my time between eBay, commission work and preparing for the show. I seriously need some elves - housecleaning and basecoating elves to be exact, and emailing elves might not be a bad idea either, hehe....Anyone know where I can find some of those?

On the home front, John returns to work tomorrow after an unexpectedly long recovery from February's heart surgery. It will be an adjustment again - I've become accustomed to having him around during the day, and also accustomed to the extra help; it's nice to have an extra pair of hands for dog walking, dish washing, errands, and so on. It's also been nice to have the car at my disposal, but tomorrow it's back to being grounded - which may not be a bad thing, given the amount of work I need to produce in the coming months....Wish me luck!

Right now I'm off to scare up a very late dinner. Or maybe breakfast for dinner. Omelettes....Mmmmm. :)

Back again soon with more Halloween goodies to share.....

~ Carolee

Friday, July 4, 2008

All Cats go to Heaven

Just have to share this one, a commission, which was a very emotional project, but such a blessing to paint. It's a memorial piece I just completed for a woman who tragically lost eight cats and two doves in a house fire. She sent photos, along with a bit of information about each of these angels, so I was able to paint brothers together, Mommy cat cradling baby in her arms, and so on.

This is actually the second of three memorial commissions on the schedule recently, with one more (already in progress) to follow. They usually bring a tear or two as I work on them, but it's such a blessing to think the finished piece may bring some comfort.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bumps in the Road

Despite the best plans, sometime life sends us little detours.....

Deciding to run a couple of quick errands yesterday before putting the finishing touches on a very special commission, I set out in the little black Beetle. My first stop was the bank, where I had to deposit a couple of checks and get some Starbucks cash (I know, I know, they're taking over the world, but those caramel macchiatos are to die for!)

So I'm sitting there waiting for the teller to send back that little tube thingy, and the guy behind me gets out of his car and says "Ummmmm, did you know your tire was flat?"

Me: "Eeeeeek!! Nooooo, I didn't, but THANK YOU!".....Now I must admit this isn't the first time this has happened (driving around on a flat I didn't notice). John says it's because "off kilter" is just a normal state of affairs for me. ;)

At any rate, John was at home, only about a mile away, and probably could have walked over and changed the tire for me, but since he's still recovering from heart surgery, and we DO have roadside assistance, I called them. They finally showed up about an hour later and put the spare on. Turns out there was a very large staple stuck in between the treads. Whether we ran over it, or one of the local vandals got ahold of a staple gun, we'll never know. At any rate, not wanting to drive around all day on the spare, I called our mechanic, pleaded desperation, and he agreed to squeeze me into their already tight schedule. I grabbed a quick coffee and flew over there, where they repaired the damaged tire and put it back on. All fixed, except of course for my schedule, which was now several hours OFF, sigh.....

Sooooooo....back home to do a bunch of shipping, out to run those errands (which included an insanely long line at the post office) another quick stop at the supermarket, and by the time we got home it was dinnertime. The best laid plans of mice and men and all that....

The upshot of all this is I'll be putting the finishing touches on that commission today (with a brief break for yet another doctor's appointment mid day) and will share the results tomorrow. :)

The eBay page and Etsy store are both echoing again, but I hope to have new work listed on both sites in a day or two, so stay tuned (One more overdue commission I'm working on too!)

In the meantime, I'm off to make a pot of tea, light a candle, put some Joni Mitchell in the CD player and face the day.....Wishing everyone a happy and productive Wednesday, with as few detours as possible. ;)

~ Carolee