Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween, Dearies!!

The day we've all been waiting for is finally here, and I'm torn between excitement and disappointment it will soon be over for another year (although in many ways it's Halloween around here all year!)

The front porch is decorated with pumpkins galore, we have fourteen bags of candy at the ready and there's a gallon of spiced apple cider in the crockpot. This afternoon I'll make a large kettle of soup for a quick and easy supper, and the kids will start arriving around 6. John and I will take turns sitting on the front porch handing out candy (it's a bit too cold for one person to stay out there all evening!), and Cadie and Cosmo will bark their heads off non-stop. Cosmo can be unpredictable and more than a little protective, so for safety and sanity's sake, we'll keep them behind a baby gate during the festivities.

When Courtney was little, I looked forward to sewing her costume and making the trick-or-treat rounds in our neighborhood. Now I look forward to seeing everyone else's kids all dressed up. Last year's favorites included a little girl dressed like her grandmother, and a toddler in a ladybug suit - so sweet!

Later in the evening I'll probably open a bottle of Vampire wine or Witch's Brew, and we'll watch a scary movie (eat, drink and be scary, hehe!)...I may even read a bit of Poe....

Well, on that note, I must get to work now - NEXT Halloween is just 364 days away, and there's much to be done, teehee!! But first, let me leave you with this link to an archived Prairie Home Companion Halloween show. If you scroll down and click on "segment 7"
you'll hear Garrison Keillor reciting Poe's "The Raven" - a real Halloween treat! (although if you leave it playing, the segment following is a bit dated.) :)

With that, I'm off.....

However you're celebrating tonight, I wish you a magical time of it!!!

Happy Halloween!!
~ Carolee

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Two More Days!!

Halloween excitement is building here, and while part of me can't wait for the big day, another part of me doesn't want it to end.... Much like Christmas, it's the whole season I enjoy, and the anticipation is as much fun as the main event. I'm off to the market this afternoon to pick up candy (LOTS of candy, hehe!) We typically get anywhere from 100 to 200 kids through our neighborhood, and I like to have enough for a couple of pieces each, and always let the little ones help themselves. I'm also big on what we used to call "the good candy"; snickers bars, m&ms, reeses peanut butter cups and so on. Was anyone else disappointed as a kid when someone would hand you a piece of gum or some tiny generic candy? I remember it as if it were yesterday.....nevermind that all "the good candy" went straight to my hips, where it remains to this day. ;)

Apologies for not having anything listed on eBay at the moment, but I'm dividing my time between listings and commissions this week (new work is coming SOON, I promise!) My last Halloween chair of the year is still alone over at Etsy, so I hope to have new listings there soon as well...

Oh! And I'll also have a new playlist after Halloween (Christmas and Solstice music -yay!!) so if you like the autumn stuff, give a listen while you can. ;)

That's about it for today...The EHAG giveaway is still in full swing (see the previous post) so remember drop by there too, if you haven't already!

Happy Haunting!!
~ Carolee

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Ghoulish Giveaway

One of my pieces - a tiny treat box - is included in a giveaway this week (along with lots of other wicked cool EHAG art!) Just click here and it will take to the EHAG Art blog, where you can leave a comment to have your name added to the magic cauldron. Enter anytime between now and Halloween. The winners will be announced Saturday November 1st.:)

Have fun!
~ Carolee

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wicked Stitches and Magic Mending.....

Just had to share this one, listing tonight on eBay. At 6" in diameter, it's the perfect size for shelf or tabletop, there at the ready for sewing a button or raising a hem. I think it would make a great button box too.

There's even a little needle and thread painted inside. :)

On to news....

I'm off to the wilds tomorrow for the annual autumn cabin-ladies weekend. If you've been following my blog for any length of time, you've already read the cabin-ladies definition ad nauseum so feel free to skip this part, hehe:

The cabin ladies are a group of wonderful women friends, who get together several times a year in a rented cabin for the purpose of doing absolutely nothing but relaxing for three or four days. It's kind of like camping, but with amenities like heat, hot water, and appliances, and accessories like breadmakers and wine glasses. No guys, no tv, no computers no phone - just reading, knitting, cooking, scrabble, walks in the woods - basically good food, good wine, good conversation and good friends. Doesn't get much better than that. ;)

When I return, there'll be lots of wicked cool goodies to work on: a spice/apothecary shelf, some signs, a recipe box, and a beautiful birch tea chest with brass hinges. Several commisssions are also in the works just to keep me on my toes. :)

Finally - an appeal! One of the aforementioned cabin ladies is looking for a home for four adorable tortoiseshell kittens (mostly black and orange, and one with a white blaze!) These little girls would just love to find a good home, so if you're fairly local, stable, I know you, and you would like to adopt a kitten for Halloween, please email me. I'd take one myself, but with two Aussie dogs and three cats in a 1500 sq ft house, we just can't. And our 16 year old girl Cheetah is becoming a little senile and won't tolerate another girl in the house (torties are nearly always girls the same way ginger cats are nearly always boys - fun fact for the day. :))

On that note, I'm off to have a very late dinner and get packed for the weekend.....

Happy week-before-Halloween, all!

~ Carolee

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Very First Interview!

I've been dying to share this with you for DAYS now, but as anyone who knows me will attest, I'm a bit technically it took me awhile to figure out how to use the scanner, hehe....

Celebrate 365 magazine is an absolutely gorgeous quarterly publication for the holiday and ornament collector, so when I was contacted by editor Connie Porcher about an article, I was extremely honored, and more than a little excited! When she told me one of my pieces would grace the back cover (the Poe purse on the left), I was pinching myself, haha...

It's truly a dream come true to see my work counted among "some of America's best known folk artists"; the fall issue also includes interviews with fellow EHAG artists Scott Smith, Johanna Parker, Sheila Bentley, Matthew Kirscht and many, many other well known artists.....Here's the photo, showing three of my pieces, which accompanies the interview:

Please do check out this wonderful publication - it's a must-have for the collector - just filled with Halloween and holiday eye candy! Thanks so much again, Connie, for including me. :)

Okay, back to reality now, and back to work. Look for a new piece later today (assuming I can get my head out of the clouds, hehe!)

~ Carolee

Monday, October 20, 2008

October Magic

“There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir, We must rise and follow her; When from every hill of flame, She calls and calls each vagabond by name.” ~ William Bliss Carman

Isn't that a wonderful quote?! There is something magical and truly gypsy-like about October....makes it difficult to stay indoors and work! I usually manage to resist the impulse to play instead of work, but sometimes the day is just too crisp, the colors too brilliant, and my will too weak....Yesterday was one of those days.

So off we went, southeast, toward the Brandywine area - no real destination in mind, but we did want to see some fall color. Southeastern Pennsylvania never disappoints when it comes to autumn scenery. It's just incredible - so much so that I kept forgetting to take photos....Although I must admit I'm more the type to be IN the moment rather than feeling the need to document it. I did manage to snap this photo from a stop at the Chadds Ford Winery though:

If anyone is within striking distance, or inclined to order from their website, the Spiced Apple wine is absolutely incredible heated in the crockpot!

I also managed to snap a couple of other photos this week, a little closer to home...

A farm market, filled with autumn's bounty. Check out big guy in the barn window, hehe:

This was taken approaching a little one lane bridge I travel over on my way home from the supermarket. Notice the first frost on the ground at the right of the picture:

A view of local farmland, taken from the window of the Beetle:

Makes me understand what the poet meant. ;)

Today, it's back to work though, with several wicked cool projects in the works, including a mending box, a spice shelf (perfect for the winter pantry) and a couple of signs. I'm also working on commissions, and trying my best to be a better blogger!

Vanessa's Halloween Party has been soooooooo much fun, but I'm only through the letter "C" when it comes to blog-hopping - eeek! Good thing the party started early - it will take me until Halloween to peek at all the wonderful blogs out there. :)

On that note, I'd better get started on something, hehe....

Wishing everyone a *magical* October!

~ Carolee

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Decisions, Decisions.....

What to wear to Vanessa'a fabulous Halloween party? (see post below!)

A black cat necklace??

Or perhaps a whimsical jack-o lantern???

One of these has already been claimed, leaving just one (the only other Halloween necklace this season!) to list on ebay very soon.....

Stay tuned. ;)

In the meantime, I have to get back to the party. Hope to see you there!

~ Carolee
*UPDATE* - the "Wicked Jack" necklace is now listed on eBay.

There's a big Halloween extravaganza going on today at A Fanciful Twist, Vanessa Valencia's magical blog.....I'm getting ready, putting the finishing touches on a hand painted necklace I'll be wearing in honor of the festivities (to be listed later tonight - photos coming soon!)

In the meantime, please do grab a cup of your favorite brew and join me in attending this not-so-little soiree (over 100 guests!)..... Halloweeny goodness GALORE, teeheeheeheeheeheeeeeeee!! (she says in her best witch's cackle!)

Back again later.....

~ Carolee

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Just one left now, available on Etsy! This is the last piece from the Ghoultide Gathering show, and I've added a faux jeweled spider to the back. I think it would looks fabulous with a bowl of Halloween candy perched on top, sitting on hearth or porch, filled with munchies for all the little Halloween monsters, hehe....This weekend only, I'll offer free shipping within the US. :)

My Relaxing Day Off

Okay, so....the last several days, John and I have been kicking around the idea of what to do with a rare day off on a beautiful autumn weekend. The choices included:

A day up in Bucks County, PA (New Hope, Peddler's Village, etc.)

FaerieCon (huge faerie convention at the Philadelphia convention center - John shot this one down pretty quickly, lol.)

A drive up to the Poconos, specifically the scenic and artsy little town of Jim Thorpe, where a Fall Festival was happening.

Since Bucks county is also planned for November (an apple fest at Peddler's Village), the day trip to Jim Thorpe was the winner......

The view approaching the charming little town:

The view about a quarter mile down the road, almost THREE HOURS LATER:
You see, Jim Thorpe is a very small town, literally carved out of the side of a mountain, with one road in and out. When there's an accident on that road, everything grinds to a halt. For HOURS. No way in, no way out. You just sit, and try to remember the fruit of the spirit is patience....

Fast forward til about 4PM, when we finally DID make it into town. NO PARKING ANYWHERE - just the police out in full force, directing traffic out of town again! By this time, John's head was ready to explode, I needed a rest room, and we were both getting pretty hungry. So we gave it one more try, finally lucking into a parking space on Main Street about 4:30 PM. We went to usually wonderful local steak house, where (probably due to the crowds) we had a pretty random meal, hit a couple of my favorite shops (where I scored some scented soy candles and a few bottles of local wine) and we left - determined to leave much earlier and book a room the next time we run up there. Here's how the town looked after we emerged from the restaurant:

A little dark, lol.....

Today, it's back to work, with new goodies being listed later this evening, after the current listings end. Check out Etsy too - the treat box is gone, but the last Halloween coaster set of the year is still available (very cool accessory for a Halloween party!) I'm also working on a commission, and just ONE Halloween necklace for eBay which I hope to list in a few days. :)

Wishing everyone a relaxing, enjoyable autumn weekend!

~ Carolee

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ghoultide Goodies!

For those who couldn't make the show, I just listed a few pieces on eBay and Etsy last night.....

This one (a very large and vibrant treat box) got quite a bit of attention, but our table was just so packed there was no way to show it revolving (which I actually think is the coolest part of the piece!)

The last coaster set until next year....

"Double, double toil and trouble" treat bowl (Don't you just love Macbeth?!)

A nostalgic sort of trick-or-treat piece done in purples and blues. My favorite part is the little pirate pulling his friend in the wagon. :)

Busy, busy day ahead here in the studio - I'm working on two necklaces; one a commission and the other to be listed on eBay in the next couple of days. Oh - and there are two children's chairs I hope to list soon - the last this season. I'm not sure if they'll be on eBay, Etsy or here on the blog, but they're pretty cool if I do say so; one in purples, one in blues, and each with a small, three dimensional, bejeweled spider on the back. Stay tuned....

I'm also determined to do a little baking this afternoon. There's a bag of granny smith apples in the fridge ready to be made into a nice cinnamony (is that a word?) apple cake. Yummmmmmm.

And finally, I hope to catch up on a bit of long neglected correspondence, both cyber and snail mail. I always feel like such a deadbeat putting these things off, but this time of year, the work has to come first - one of the many joys of self employment, *sigh*....

Off to brew a pot of tea and put some tunes on. Just bought the latest Iron and Wine CD - soooooooooo good!! Hard to believe it will soon be time for Christmas music....

Until next time, wishing everyone a magical and creative weekend!!

~ Carolee

Monday, October 6, 2008

Ghoultide Gathering Report!

What a weekend....Seriously, I'm having trouble writing this because I'm not sure I can even do it justice...

It was an absolutely amazing show - even better than last year, which I didn't even think was possible!

Mother Nature smiled on us with PERFECT fall weather - sunny and cool, and just gorgeous in a historic setting like Mill Race Village with all the leaves turning - couldn't have asked for a better atmosphere!

We arrived at 7AM and there were already lines in front of both buildings, several people having driven and flown in from out of state, determined to have first pick of all the Halloween eye candy on display.....And we're talking a LOT of eye candy! Check out the lineup here by clicking on "artists". Once again, I felt like the cool kids were letting me sit at their table, hehe....

Artists and collectors alike were an inspiration, and I came home with my head spinning thinking of possibilties for next year's show (easy to do when every comment we heard included anticipation of next year already!)

After the show we had dinner with a few visiting artist and collector friends, which was an absolute delight, my only regret being that time and a very long table didn't allow for more conversation with everyone. In addition to meeting up with friends from last year, I met several EHAG and PFATT artists for the first time, and of course all the collectors, both old and new - very exciting, and always the best part of any show!

I went a bit crazier than last year in terms of the amount of work I produced for this one, but still only came home with a few pieces, which will be interspersed with new work on both eBay and Etsy over the next couple of weeks - so if there's a piece you missed at the show, please check the listings. :)

Finally, have to give a shout to Scott Smith of Rucus Studio and the Rawsons of The Whimsical Whittler for pulling all this off - a tremendous amount of work and year-long preparation goes into producing a show like this, and as an artist, it's such a pleasure to do a show that is not only well organized and advertised, but where we're made to feel right at home and all the little details are covered - BIG thanks!

It's back to work today - new designs to be sketched, commissions to begin, and probably a bit of long neglected housework too. ;)

I'll leave you with a few photos - a couple of my own display and a couple taken outside. Not wanting to step on toes, I didn't shoot anyone else's display, but I know there will be photos soon on the other artists sites and blogs, as well as the Ghoultide Gathering blog....

The little church building where we were located:

A couple of close-ups of the table display:

Scott Smith's fabulous pumpkins (displayed outside), which were auctioned and went home with some very lucky collectors:

I can hardly wait until next year!!

~ Carolee

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's Ghoultide Gathering Time!!

It's just about 6:30 AM as I type this, having been up all night painting and varnishing one final piece for the show (a large box/table with a game of Halloween checkers on top!) It's been about - ohhhhh, 20 years or more since I've pulled an all nighter, and I'm feeling like a bit of a zombie....Needless to say, John is doing the driving. :)

No time to write much this morning, have to get on the road....

Photos and new work next week, I promise!

Until then, wishing everyone a magical weekend, and looking forward to seeing some of you at the show!

~ Carolee