Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blue Moon Wishes for 2010

Okay, first of all, I have to tell you I'm not normally one to make a big deal out of New Year's Eve. In fact, as soon as I finish writing this, it's off to Land of Nod for us, well ahead of the clock striking midnight, the ball dropping, and the neighbors shooting off fireworks (although I have no doubt we'll be awakened at that hour, and spend some time calming down five very frightened fur-kids).

But this year feels a bit different. There's a full moon tonight. The second full moon this month. A blue moon. I read the last time this happened on New Year's Eve was back in 1990, so it's a pretty rare occurrence. Can't just let that go unnoticed. ;)

I'm also not one to make New Year's resolutions. Just the word is a bit much; "resolution". To resolve. It's so restrictive, so demanding, so.....not me.

Wishes are much better, don't you think? I believe there's great power in wishing, and if that's so, there must be even more power in wishing on a blue moon, yes?

So before I say goodbye to 2009, I'd like to share a few wishes for the coming year.

I wish for Health. Not selfishly (although as regular readers know, health issues have been a challenge for us this year) but for those who face challenges far more serious and immediate than ours; for a dear friend's father who is suffering from a very painful cancer, for a relative, a collector friend and an artist friend also fighting battles with cancer. For another dear friend fighting kidney failure and heart disease. For those with no insurance. I wish for health, for quality, affordable care, and for comfort.

I wish for Peace. I wish for the realization that, in the words of Ghandi, "There is no way to peace. Peace is the way."

I wish for warmth, comfort and safety, not only for those of us who walk on two legs, but for our four legged friends and companions. I wish for an end to cruelty, and for those of us with voices to speak up and protect those without.

I wish for magic and joy. I wish for delight in the smallest, simplest miracles we see all around us, every day. I wish that we take time to notice these little miracles, to draw inspiration from them, and to never, ever take them for granted.

I wish for these things and so much more....

What are your wishes? What good thoughts and intentions are you sending up to the universe this blue moon night?

Whatever they are, I wish they come true. And I wish you a Happy and blessed year to come!

(¯`v´¯)
`*.¸.*´
¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`• ~ Carolee

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

♥ ♥ ♥ Collector Love ♥ ♥ ♥

Yes, I know....we're still celebrating Christmas here (the fifth day today) but as usual I can't help getting ahead of myself, hehe.

Soooooooo, with Valentine's Day just a few short weeks away, I thought it was high time to share a little collector love....

I mean, collectors are the ones who enable us artists to Do What We Do. Where would we be without the wonderful people who support and encourage us, who treasure our creations and give them a loving home?

I truly wish I could create a little gift for each and every one of you, but I have just this one...


Remember back in elementary school when we'd make elaborate boxes from cardboard shoeboxes and construction paper to hold our Valentines? This box was inspired by those days - smaller than a shoebox, but much larger than my smaller trinket boxes, and perfect for holding your own Valentines or note cards, a few pieces of jewelry, keys, coupons, or whatever strikes your fancy.

If you're a collector, all you have to do is leave a comment here and I'll enter you in the drawing to win this piece. If you purchase a piece of my work from now through the end of January, you'll be entered twice (or more with multiple purchases). I'll draw the winner's name on February 1st and ship in plenty of time for Valentine's Day.

As usual, I'll be listing work on eBay and Etsy, and hope to pull together a blog sale next month as well.

In the meantime, there's just one new piece on Etsy, listed a few minutes ago - the last tiny trinket box until my supply is replenished later in the month. :)

While we're on the subject of *love*, I also have to tell you about the annual "One World, One Heart" event, coming up very soon. If you're new to this event, just scroll down on the right and click on the magic carpet banner for an explanation. Basically, it's a worldwide blog hopping cyber-party with lots of amazing giveaways (so I'll be creating another piece for this one). Here on this blog the giveaway will be open to collectors, bloggers and visitors alike, so stay tuned....

LOTS of new pieces are in the works, including a very special sewing or knitting chest with a built-in tray, and the first Halloween clock of 2010. I have notebooks all over the house with ideas and sketches galore, and only wish I had the time to paint them all, hehe. :)

I'll be back again on New Year's Eve, and until then I wish you all the blessings this beautiful season has to offer!

Much love,

(¯`v´¯)
`*.¸.*´
¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`• ~ Carolee

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Third Day of Christmas

I'm one of those people who likes to celebrate the season in it's entirety, from Christmas Eve and Christmas Day through Twelfth Night - after which the tree comes down and the house returns to normal (or as normal as it gets around here, hehe).

So here's a quick recap of the festivities so far....

Christmas Eve was celebrated at my sister's house, where we met our daughter Courtney, dined on a wonderful array of appetizers, and exchanged gifts with my sister and my nephew. Before I go any further, I have to share a photo of her tree - it must be about 12 feet tall, and sparkles with sooooooo many lights and glass ornaments. Isn't it beautiful?

Christmas Day was spent here at home with Courtney, who very kindly cooked the traditional feast since my ankle has left me unable to stand for more than a few minutes. Here's our tree - a gift from Courtney this year, our old one being cumbersome and far too large for the room. I misplaced all the glass icicles, so it was a little simpler this year, but still pretty, I think....

Courtney doesn't like the topper. She says it looks like our tree is wearing a dunce cap. ;)

The second day of Christmas was spent braving the crowds at Pier One for post holiday bargains, and then on to Barnes and Noble to use the many gift cards. Everyone else is careful with theirs, making them last. Not me, haha. It took me about twenty minutes to burn through every single one of them. What can I say, I LOVE books....


Today being only the third day of Christmas, there's still much revelry ahead, and tonight it will be by way of scrabble playing and martini drinking at my friend Jen's house. Must hurry, as John just reminded me it's almost time to leave.

Before I go I'll share one of the last pieces of 2009, a "Witch's Kitchen" sign, painted on a cherry wood cabinet door.

It lists on eBay tonight at 9PM eastern. Trinket and treasure boxes are in the works too, and a large sewing or knitting box, so stay tuned. :)

That's it for now. I'm off to play scrabble and consume chocolate covered cherry martinis (yummmmmmm)....But I'll be back very soon with an update on new work and some surprises in store for 2010, including a new Year's GIVEAWAY. :)

Happy Holidays!

(¯`v´¯)
`*.¸.*´
¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`• ~ Carolee

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Christmas!

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love"... Hamilton Wright Mabie

Wishing you all the blessings of this most joyous season, not only as we celebrate today and tomorrow, but every day throughout the year!

We'll be driving to my sister's house up in Bucks County this afternoon, where we'll pick up our daughter Courtney, then to dear friends' house in the evening, and end the day (or begin Christmas) with midnight Mass, always my favorite part of the celebration.

Tomorrow will be fairly low-key, as John is still recovering from heart surgery, and I've sustained a rather nasty injury to my left ankle (more on this later -- for now I'm focused on enjoying the holiday!) Courtney will help me cook John's favorite meal, the traditional Dickensian Christmas feast of standing rib roast and yorkshire pudding, carrots and turnips, and possibly a Christmas pudding with custard sauce for dessert - store bought this year I'm afraid, but still tasty. After dinner we'll open crackers, wear silly hats, and listen to music. I may even persuade John to break out the guitar. :)

I'll be back very soon with lots of new work. The piece you see above is a gift, but I'm having great fun playing with glitter and baubles, so stay tuned...

In the meantime, however you spend the day, however you celebrate, I hope it's filled with magic and joy!

(¯`v´¯)
`*.¸.*´
¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`• ~ Carolee

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Solstice Greetings :)


Wishing all who celebrate it a Happy Midwinter's Night and a Joyous Yule!

Peace,
~ Carolee

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Winter Magic


Since moving east some 17 years ago (having longed for ages to live where the cycle of the year was more apparent than it was in our California beach town) the change of seasons never fails to signal a change in my outlook. Spring is all about possibility and new beginnings. Summer is about abundance and productivity. Autumn is a time for harvest and reflection, home and hearth. And winter....well, winter is pure *magic*. :)

Since childhood, when my grandfather would sneak outside and ring sleighbells, and my parents would tell us tales of the elves at the North Pole making candy (this happened whenever there was a pink sunset)...when I would sit for hours reading the original Brother's Grimm and Andersen's Fairy Tales (a gift from my great aunt Marguerite) or see "the Nutcracker", I've always thought of this time of year as more magical than the other seasons.

The only detention I ever received was in high school, when the first snow of the year began falling heavily as I sat in Algebra. Now really, how are you supposed to sit in a classroom when there are angels to be made in a field of newly fallen snow? (Which is exactly what I did, along with a partner in crime who is still one of my dearest friends)...Magic like that cannot be ignored.

When my own child came along, I wanted her to experience the magic too, so the season became one of story telling, cookie baking, paint and glitter, and of course, The Nutcracker - which she not only loved as much as I did, but eventually grew to dance. She tells me now that this is her favorite season, and I feel as if in some small way, I've succeeded. And one day, I know she'll pass that magic on to her own children.

But for now, with no children in the house, I find the magic making it's way into my work...

An auburn haired angel with crystal halo....

A snowy owl, bestowing Blessings of the Season....


And a whimsical cat, soaring high above the clouds, pouring warmth and goodness from his magical teapot....

As of this writing, the angel is still up for auction, and the owl and tea chest have a "buy it now" option, so as to allow earliest possible shipping. :)

The magic continues tomorrow with painting of course, and hopefully a bit of cookie and bread baking. Our celebration is a bit more low-key this year, with John home recovering from heart surgery, and me hobbling around the house on an injured ankle (I've so far refused steroids, but am now re-thinking, haha).

Do you have a particular magical winter memory, or tradition? Please do share....

In the meantime, I'll say goodnight, and sweet dreams. And thank you from the bottom of my heart for dropping by, for taking the time to look at my work, and for your lovely comments. :)

Wishing you a season of peace, magic and joy,

(¯`v´¯)
`*.¸.*´
¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`• ~ Carolee

Sunday, December 13, 2009

"Seasons of the Witch"

As winter takes hold here in the northeast, my thoughts turn as they do every season, to the natural cycle of things; from warm days to hot, from cooler days to cold, from long days to short, so it goes year after year...

And so go our lives. From young to old, from learning to wisdom (hopefully), from birth to death, we're constantly changing, and growing in the process.

Tying these changes together - the earth's cycles and the cycle of our lives - is the inspiration behind this latest piece. I've called it "Seasons for the Witch" because it depicts the four seasons we experience each year along with the triple goddess archetype of Maiden, Mother and Crone (preceded here by Child for the purpose of tying the paintings together - call it artistic licence, hehe).

Like the seasons, the piece turns, allowing any and all sides to be displayed easily depending on the time of year or just personal preference. There are more photos on the eBay auction if you'd like to take a peek. I'll be adding "buy it now" options on the next few listings so as to give the opportunity for immediate shipping, and arrival before Christmas and Yule.

In other news, it's busier than Santa's workshop around here, but in a good way; lots of fun new pieces (a tea chest is up next!) and lots of carols and cookie baking and present making. This is the third year in a row we've committed to a hand made Christmas, and while it's a lot of work, it's also a lot of fun, and makes the day truly special.

Speaking of which, I have some knitting to do. Pockets, to be precise. But before I go, I'll leave you with a photo of my 2009 yarn share from Juniper Moon Farm, which arrived a few days ago. I ordered it dyed in this yummy mustard color, and I'm thinking I'll knit up a shawl or wrap, or possibly a hat and scarf - something to be worn against my black cape....

Gorgeous,yes?

So I'm off to knit, but I'll be back very soon with photos of a wicked cool tea chest. In the meantime, have a happy and creative week!

♥ Carolee

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Blessings and Challenges

It's been a week of both around here, but I sooooo believe we can't appreciate one without the other, yes?

Topping the blessings list is John's continued improvement following last month's open heart surgery. It's been a long haul, but we're seeing light at the end of the tunnel now, and I just can't tell you how wonderful it is to see him growing stronger daily. :)

Blessings abound in the studio too, where inspiration is flowing faster than I can begin to paint, and for the most part, work has been selling like mad the second it lists. For that I am ever so thankful.

Here are a couple of recent pieces I have to share, one on eBay and one on the PFATT Marketplace. A Mitten box, with a trio of kittens a little too distracted by falling snowflakes to find their lost mittens...

And a tiny trinket box (another tuxedo cat)....

Both of these were snapped up, but I do have another piece listed just this evening, sort of a prayer in paint, for all our furry companions. If you click here you can see the whole piece....

And of course there's the ever present blessing of friends and family, and of our daughter, who now lives so much closer to us - the best blessing of all.

The challenges aren't as much fun to write about (or read about either, haha), so I'll be brief. Suffice to say tomorrow morning will find me at the hospital for an MRI of my left ankle, the one I've repeatedly sprained due to general klutziness, haha...They suspect a torn or degenerated tendon, and are talking reconstructive surgery if the MRI confirms the diagnosis.

In the meantime, I'm hobbling around the house in a good deal of pain, having refused to take steroids. NOT a good time for surgery, as John is still recovering and I need to work every minute I can. Not a good HOUSE for the kind of surgery which requires staying off one's feet for several weeks either, with one bathroom upstairs, and two dogs that need walking several times a day. Anyway, I'm taking it one step at a time, but do appreciate prayers and positive vibes. :)

That's about for now. I'll be back very soon with new work to share and hopefully good news on the pesky ankle....

Wishing everyone all the blessings of this most beautiful season!!

♥ Carolee

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Quick Peek....

The Mitten Box, in progress....

Sunday, December 6, 2009

♥ Little Boxes ♥


OK, sometimes it takes me awhile (living in my own little world as I do) but I usually come around eventually....So after several email requests for smaller pieces, it dawned on me that I'm probably not the only one with limited funds this year.

Smaller pieces are always a bit of dilemma, because painted individually, they can be every bit as time consuming as the the larger ones. So what to do? Well, just this once I decided to paint multiple pieces at the same time. Now, I prefer working on a single piece, but sometimes sacrifices must be made, and I was thinking that a few less expensive pieces might be a good way to give back a little collector love this season. :)

To that end, I listed eight little boxes on eBay and Etsy last night, all available for immediate purchase and shipment. :)

Four of them were snapped up within seconds of listing, but as of this morning four remain - two kitties and two star fairies. Just click on the highlighted links above to take a peek. Oh, and I should mention that even though eBay says paypal only, I still accept checks if that's easier. Just shoot me an email. ;)

That's it for the little guys - my supply of tiny boxes having dwindled, I'm returning to large boxes today. VERY large, hehe...the quintessential winter piece, a Mitten Box. :) Perfect for storing mittens, hats and scarves (or perfect for a knitting or yarn stash too!) and tons of fun to paint...So far I'm thinking a winter moon blowing a cold north wind, as three kitten-cats search for their lost mittens.

Soooooo, stay tuned. In the meantime, I'm off to take care of a few household chores, light some candles, walk the Aussies, make some hot cocoa, and settle in for a day of painting.

And I'll be back very soon with photos of that Mitten Box!

♥ Carolee

Friday, December 4, 2009

"The Best Laid Plans"....

..."Of mice and men, oft go awry"....

I'll begin by showing you this sparkly bunch

Fun, yes? So much fun, I got just a weeeeee bit ahead of myself with the glittery accents, and added the sparkles prior to varnishing - eek! So the eight boxes you see here, along with a larger candle box, will not actually list this evening (as I've been optimistically posting on facebook), but will list tomorrow evening instead, after first having been very carefully varnished. ;)

Am I the only one who tends to jump right to the most FUN part of a project first? Not that it ALL isn't fun, but there's something extra-special-magical about opening a jar of glitter...

Anyway, by tomorrow these little gems will be shiny as well as sparkly, and will list on eBay and Etsy, all available for direct purchase.

I've had so many requests this year for smaller, more affordable items, and I think at $39 to $59 these fit the bill nicely. :)

There's a candle box listing tomorrow too - the second piece this week inspired by the notion of a cat wishing upon a star. This one will feature a white "peace cat" with a snowflake wand, granting the wishes of homeless cats everywhere; love and comfort, kindness and compassion, a place to call home, a warm hearth, and peace on earth, good will to all. I'm including a few scented votives with this one too. No photos yet though, as it's still in progress.

That's about it for now. I'm off to feed some very impatient Aussies (the earlier it goes dark, the earlier they think it's dinner time) and then to scare up some dinner for John and I.

And after that, the varnishing will commence, haha. :)

Oh! Almost forgot - Just for the holidays, I set the music to begin automatically, so if you'd rather not hear it, or are already listening to something else, just scroll down to the purple playlist on the right, where you can stop it. (Or not - they're great tunes!)

Back very soon,
♥ Carolee

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wishing on a Star

Sometimes inspiration comes when we least expect it.

I'll just be puttering around the house (OK, I don't do much puttering these days, far too busy for that, hehe)...But I'll be DOING something - in this case I was tidying up the living room - and there it is, a little spark. Like Merlin gazing up at the tree....

He appeared to be looking at a star, and it got me wondering - if a cat could wish upon a star, what do you suppose he would wish for? Other than lots of tuna, I mean. :) Anyway, this is the piece that followed that line of thinking, a little black kitten wishing upon the Christmas star....

Actually, I think my own wishes would be similar.

Peace on Earth, Goodwill to all. It really says it all. :)

Wishing you the blessings of this beautiful season...

♥ Carolee

Friday, November 27, 2009

Just a Peek....

I've been working on this Cat's Pantry piece all week, and just have to share before it lists on eBay this evening. I soooooo love painting all the tiny details; Chateau du Chat wine, Mice Spice, Catnip tea, and so on. Four cats, and six mice (check the auction later to see if you can spot them all!)



Back soon!!
♥ Carolee

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Counting Our Blessings

It's just after midnight here as I type this, so officially Thanksgiving. :)

We have so very much to be thankful for this year, not the least of which is John's brand new mitral valve, and his return home last week. We are also thankful for the support of family and friends, especially our daughter Courtney, and for all the prayers, well wishes and positive energy of so many people we know only here in cyberspace. Your messages, comments and emails have been a blessing through what has been a very challenging time for us.

As always, I'm thankful I have a job doing something I love. I'm thankful for whatever small measure of imagination or artistic ability I've been given, and thankful for the opportunity to use it. I'm thankful my days are spent creating something that may bring a smile, or brighten someone's day.

I'm thankful for our animal companions, who teach me about pure joy and unconditional love every day.

I'm thankful for the challenges and obstacles that help me grow.

I could go on and on here, but at the risk of sounding sappy, or worse, of boring you to tears, I'll stop, and simply wish you a joyous Thanksgiving, and a happy and blessed holiday season!

I'll be back very soon with new work. In the meantime, enjoy the day. :)

♥ Carolee

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Bit of a Detour....

If you've been reading here or following my work since waaaaaay back (pre-blogspot) you may remember when most of the art was of the four legged variety....cats, dogs, bunnies, and so on. Of course, I still include these creatures in my Halloween and holiday work, but it's been awhile since I painted the seasonal dog and cat signs for which I was known once upon a time.

Now, before I get too carried away, I should say this is only a detour, and there's more Halloween and holiday art on the way very soon. :) But being such an animal lover, I felt the need to paint a few dogs and cats again....It's really such a blessing to paint these creatures, and there isn't anything that expresses the peace and good will of the season quite like the unconditional love and overwhelming goodness of our four legged companions....

OK, I'll stop rambling now and show you what I've been up to, hehe.

An Australian Shepherd (what else? Cadie and Cosmo insisted this one be first)...

A westie...

And a Golden retriever angel...

These are all listed on eBay, but I'm thinking of taking a few commissions as well - only pre-orders for a specific pet, painted from photos. As I remember, one of the reasons I stopped painting these for eBay was the emails saying "I really like this one, but can you paint one just like it with different spots?" A person could go crazy trying to anticipate which breed and markings people want, haha.....But there really is nothing like capturing someone's beloved companion for posterity, and if the piece is painted as a memorial, it's truly a blessing to know it offers some comfort.

So stay tuned for just a few more of these, with some new Halloween and holiday pieces thrown in too. :)

On a personal note, I'm happy to share that John is FINALLY home! Our own four legged friends went absolutely BERSERK when he came through the door, and it was quite a job keeping them from leaping up with big claws all over his still-healing incision - yikes! They've been following him around since his arrival, as if they're afraid to let him out of their sight - sooooooo sweet.

For John's part, he's just happy to be home, and happy to have good tea again, having pronounced the tea at the rehab hospital "dishwater". Leave it to a Brit to tolerate hospital cuisine (using the term "cuisine" loosely here) but to complain about the tea, hehe...

Oh - and speaking of beverages, I'm completely smitten with this machine! A gift from my sister, who purchased a newer, less noisy model, it's my new favorite kitchen appliance. (I don't care so much about the noise level as long as it makes me a cup of cappuccino.) ;) Anyway, assuming you've been very good this year, you may want to consider asking Santa for one of these. It's seriously amazing. :)

OK, that's about it for now....I'll be back soon with photos of the new cat's pantry piece I'm working on. In the meantime, have a wonderful, relaxing and creative weekend!!

♥ Carolee

Monday, November 16, 2009

Signs of the Season :)

Has it really been almost a week since I've posted here? It doesn't seem so, yet the calendar says it's so. Sometimes life throws us challenges that make time stand still, at least in our own eyes, our own experience - and I'm afraid John's heart surgery was one of those times. Somewhere in the midst of hospital visits, traffic jams, caring for pets, and general housekeeping, we've moved from Halloween to nearly Thanksgiving, and the beginning of the Yuletide season.

Before I show you what this shift in seasons has inspired, I'll give you a quick update on the home front (skip to the next paragraph if the health updates are getting boring, hehe). John has moved from the hospital to a cardiac rehab facility, where he's gaining strength daily, and working on walking and climbing stairs (a must in this old house). I'm visiting every other day now, so as to catch up on painting, and on general life maintenance, and we talk several times a day. If all goes well, he could be home by the end of the week - giving us something to be extra thankful for this Thanksgiving!

So yes. Since I've "awakened" to the season, carols are in constant rotation in the CD player, inspiring lots of new pieces...I love, love, LOVE the old English carols, and "Here We Come a Wassailing" was the inspiration behind this first piece - a quartet of mummers setting out for an evening of revelry....

I had so much fun with this one, hope it becomes a treasured part of someone's Yuletide celebration. :)

Here's another new one - a winter bunny....

I was going for a feeling of quiet beauty in this one - you know, where you can almost hear the show falling. :)

Both pieces list on eBay this evening with a "buy it now" option. UPDATE - The bunny is sold, but the Yule sign is still available. :)

Soooooooooo many other pieces are in the works too - a cat's yuletide pantry and a mitten box are coming soon, and of course, there are always commissions in the works. (I'm booked through February at the moment, so am scheduling for March now - eek!)

That's about it for this evening. I promise to pop in much sooner next time - possibly with a giveaway. It seems like ages since the last one, doesn't it?

Thanks again to all of you who've sent prayers and positive energy our way these past weeks. It means more than you can know, and we consider ourselves truly blessed to feel so lifted up. Until next time....

Much love,
~ Carolee

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Art Therapy

To say this week has been a bit of a roller coaster ride would be an understatement....As John continues his recovery in a Philadelphia hospital, and I spend my time alternating between his bedside and home, the stress level has been higher than usual around here. Still, I'm making time to paint - which is at first glance a little strange. I mean, wouldn't I want to set all that aside for while, as I focus on John?

Not necessarily. It's true, my time is more limited. But I learned a long time ago that art can be incredibly restorative. There's definite healing power and comfort in it. To take a few minutes to create something calms and touches us on a very deep level. They don't call it art therapy for nothing. ;)

So in answer to all the very kind emails and messages wishing John a speedy recovery, while reminding me to take time for myself, I thank you. And I'm painting. :)

This treasure box was completed just today, a reminder of all the blessings of winter, with a sculpted moon, and a little verse hand lettered around the edge:

"Winter moon, Stars alight, Peace on Earth, Blessings Bright."

Being a bit distracted this week, I couldn't decide what kind of cat to paint, so I decided to paint them all. Well, OK nearly all. There's a black cat, and orange tabby, a tuxedo cat, a Siamese and a gray tabby. Oh, and there are three small snowflakes inside the box.

It lists on eBay this evening, with a buy-it-now option. :)

There's another cat piece in the works too, and an ornament chest coming very soon, although completion dates remain up in the air until my schedule slows down a bit.

John is making definite progress, but may need to go from the hospital to rehab for a few days (noooooooo, not that kind - although a dear friend of ours whose friendship dates back to the seventies said "I always knew he'd end up in rehab someday!") Hehe....

Many thanks again for all the prayers and positive energy, and much love....I'll be back again very soon!

♥ Carolee
PS - If you scroll down on the right, the winter playlist is posted now - just a few of my favorite seasonal tunes (those I could find on Playlist anyway - there are lots more) - So please give it a click if you're so inclined. And have a kleenex handy for "Christmas in the Trenches". It's a true story, and does me in every time I hear it.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Many Thanks

Just popping in to express our thanks for all the prayers, well wishes and positive energy. Due to complications, John remains in ICU. I know he's getting the best possible care there, and we're all praying that they'll get his blood pressure and heart rate under control very soon, so he can make the transition to a regular room, and then home.

I'm commuting back and forth to the hospital, but still managing to get a bit of painting done in between, so will post when I have a piece completed.

Thanks so much again for all the support and encouragement. :)

Much love,
~ Carolee

Friday, November 6, 2009

Quick Update

I'm typing this from an ICU waiting room, so I'll be brief. John's heart surgery yesterday, although a bit difficult, was successful, and he's now the proud owner of a mechanical mitral valve. :) Many thanks for all the prayers, good wishes and positive energy - I'm happy to say they were answered, and he'll soon be on the road to recovery.

I'll be spending most of the next week at the hospital, but will be available via phone for those of you have my cell, and will be checking email once or twice a day as well.

Feeling very tired this morning, but incredibly thankful for this miracle of modern medicine, for his doctors and caregivers, and for friends and family who've been there with support and encouragement - thank you all!

Back soon...

~Carolee

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Hallowe'en and Blessed Samhain to All!

Flying in on this most *magical* of days to wish you a day of fun and an evening of revelry!

The costumed monsters actually hit our neighborhood last night, and I was so happy to see an absence of the blood and gore this year, as the vast majority of children dressed in fairy tale attire; knights and princesses, kings and dragons - it looked like a miniature Camelot out there!

They were overwhelmingly polite too - "trick or treat" and "thank you" and "Happy Halloween!" I'd show you photos, but don't feel right about snapping pics of other people's kids, so instead, I'll show you is the candy bowl, hehe:

Not a piece left at the end of the evening, and we went through several bowls.

Oh - and I have one other thing to share too! Inspired by an appreciation for the season's many blessings, I've painted this double recipe box (which could have sooooooo many other uses too) with a magical scene; the young witch visiting the birds, her charming cottage in the background, crescent moon and stars overhead, birds in flight, whimsical trees (I want to live there, hehe!)

The words of blessing are hand lettered around the top, and I hope they bring blessings indeed to the recipient of this piece. :)

That's it for today - I'm off to do a bit of painting before flying out the door to a couple of Halloween parties (YAY!) I'll be back very soon though, with one of the most detailed pieces I've ever painted - very excited about this one!

Until then, Happy Hallowe'een and Blessed Samhain!!
~ Carolee

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Flight"

Websters defines it first as "the act or instance of passing through air", but I very much prefer one of the subsequent definitions: "a brilliant, imaginative, or unrestrained exercise or display" (as in "a flight of fancy")....

This one (listed on eBay now) did in fact feel imaginative and unrestrained - and I have to admit being quite pleased when, after posting a couple of in-progress photos on facebook, a few people said it actually gave them the sensation of being up there. Hehe - I LOVE that!

What fun to soar above the clouds on All Hallows' Eve, a birds eye (or witch's eye?) view of all the goings on below....

Of course, Halloween is fun on the ground too! Hard to believe it's only two days away. As you may have read in the previous post, the local Powers-That-Be have designated tomorrow night (the 30th) as "Trick or Treat Night" rather than actually letting the kids celebrate on Halloween. I have no clue why (although I suspect the conservative religious nature of the community is a factor) - and while part of me is completely burned they think they have the power to arbitrarily change the holiday (or at least the day it's celebrated), another admittedly more selfish part of is relieved there's no conflict between candy dispensing and Halloween party attendance.

We have two wicked cool gatherings to attend on Saturday. The first is an open house at Jen and Kevin's place. Check out some of her decorations here. Can't wait to everything in person!! Jen's parties are always a lot of fun, and John's the designated driver for the night, so I plan to revel. ;)

The second gathering is a Harry Potter party, hosted by friends Dustin and Eric, the invitation for which arrived on parchment, sealed with with sealing wax, informing us we'd been accepted at Hogwarts next semester, and signed by Albus Dumbledore. If I were twenty years younger, many pounds lighter and blonde, I'd go as my favorite character, Luna Lovegood. As it stands, I'll likely wear basic black with some fabulous Halloween jewelry.

Oh! And speaking of Halloween jewelry, check out Jen's Gypsy Mare Blog! She has a few of her Halloween pendants up for grabs at an absolutely SCARY low price and a dollar for shipping - last time I checked, she only had 7 left, so do run over there!

Okay that's about it for today....Look for "Flight" to list on eBay tonight at 9PM, and some wicked cool boxes on eBay and Etsy soon. There's also a "Seasons of the Witch" piece coming soon, and the first of the 2009 Yule and Christmas pieces too...

I'll be back soon with the new work, and an update on John, who as some of you know is having heart surgery next week.....

Happy Halloween and Blessed Samhain!
~ Carolee

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Different Perspective

I'm having great fun playing with three point perspective in this piece in progress, a painting on canvas - sort of a "witch's eye view" of the village below....

My hope was to finish it this evening, but general life maintenance got in the way (have to run to the Dr's for a prescription refill) so look for it Wednesday or Thursday on eBay.

Can you believe it's just FOUR days until Halloween??!! I can't wait - two wicked cool parties to attend - an open house at my friend Jen's, and a Harry Potter party at Eric and Dustin's house. Not to worry about the trick-or-treaters though; the local Powers-That-Be have decreed Friday the 30th as "trick or treat night"...

Don't even get me started....

Back very soon with a glimpse of the finished painting. Until then, Happy Haunting!!

♥ Carolee

Saturday, October 24, 2009

"Trick or Treat!"

With just a week until Halloween (where does the time go?!), I have to share the latest eBay offering, and the last piece of 2009 featuring trick or treaters in silhouette....

The jack-o-lantern on top is made of wood and paperclay, with a candy corn ribbon around his hat, and his friends are on the feet below. :)

I'm still painting madly here, a canvas this time, and having soooooooooo much fun with it!

Back very soon with a photo. :)

♥ Carolee

Giveaway!

Just popping in to share that friend and fellow EHAG artist Iva Wilcox is having a giveaway on her blog! Iva does the most incredible beeswax collages and ornaments, and she's giving away one of each. Just click here to be magically transported to her blog, where you can leave a comment and enter. :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

¸¸,ø¤º.·:*¨¨*:·...Enchantment¸¸,ø¤º.·:*¨¨*:ø,..

Have to share what's been keeping me so busy these past few days....

I really do believe this one is enchanted, hehe - the painting process was as if the piece were infused with magic right from the beginning - everything flowed so easily, it was almost as if the chest painted itself. Don't you just LOVE charmed moments like that? Where everything just comes together, as if the universe is raining blessings down? I swear, the house could be crumbling down around me and when I'm in that zone, I'm just in my own little world, painting madly away. :)

In the hope that the zen-like painting vibe sticks around for a few days, I'll be spending the weekend working on a canvas, and several little boxes (which I hope to list on Etsy next week).

In the meantime, look for the Enchanted Apothecary on eBay later this evening.

I'm off to forage for supper now (part of the whole charmed painting thing is that I don't really think ahead to preparing meals either, hehe)....

Back again soon with a painting from an unusual perspective. ;)

♥ Carolee

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Enchanted Apothecary

A work in progress....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Blessings

I've been thinking a great deal about them lately, this bestowing, or infusion of grace and goodness in our lives...

(Sorry, no photos this post, just rambling.) :)

Speaking from a strictly personal point of view, we've experienced many blessings these past months, despite some rather serious challenges we're facing at the moment.

As friends and family, and those who follow here regularly know, my husband John underwent heart surgery about a year and a half ago to repair a damaged mitral valve, and has since had issues with heart failure and COPD. Well, despite the success of the surgery, he's now developed something called mitral valve stenosis - a complication that can arise from scar tissue making the valve too tight, cutting off blood flow and resulting in constant exhaustion and breathing difficulty. The only fix? Another heart surgery, this time to replace the faulty valve with a mechanical one.

An unexpected challenge on many levels - physically, financially, and certainly emotionally. But truly a blessing as well. There was a time not too long ago when a diagnosis like this would have been a slow death sentence; when the patient would have been told to go home and stay as quiet as possible, until the heart and lungs finally gave out. What a miracle to live in a time when they can stop a beating heart, replace the faulty valve, and start that heart back up again stronger than ever...I'm old enough to remember a time when this would have been something out of science fiction, but here we are. Amazing, isn't it?

We're further blessed with a daughter now living closer to us, and with friends and family who've stayed in close touch, offered prayers and positive thoughts, sent emails and cards, and who regularly inquire as to John's well being, and for this we're grateful.

And financially, while much of my strategy consists necessarily of procrastination, I tell myself that at least I have a job where the more I work, the more potential for income there is, but one which is also flexible and will allow me to spend time at the hospital those first few critical days. To this end, I want to thank all of you who are supportive of my work from the bottom of my heart; you have no idea what it means to me - to us - especially now. An incredible blessing, and we're so thankful for your kindness.

We still have a couple of weeks before the surgery, during which time I'll be painting madly (both Halloween and Christmas/Yule pieces) and John will be resting as much as possible and gearing up for another hospital stay.

If I owe you an email, it's coming, it just may take a day or two. Shipping will still go out several times a week, and I'll post updates as regularly as possible on facebook, and here on the blog.

We love you all, and so appreciate your continued prayers and positive energy!

Blessings,
~ Carolee

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Winner!!

Congratulations to Awtemnymf, who won the black cat painting in this weekend's drawing!

There's MUCH to do today, including making applesauce, harvesting the last of the summer herbs, and cutting and hanging lots of lavender to dry! And painting, of course - I'm hoping to finish a couple more Halloween items in time for shipping before the big day....

So off I go! Back again later with photos of new work...In the meantime, have a magical and *creative* day!!

♥ Carolee

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Wicked Good Party and a Giveaway!

Flying in to Miss Vanessa Valencia's magical Halloween Blog Party just a wee bit late, but I'm hoping you'll forgive me, as I come bearing treats....

Orange flavored cupcakey goodness, with vanilla and chocolate buttercream icing, and sprinkles and sparkles galore.....

Baked just last night in honor of the occasion, and they'll be going to a dinner party with us later this evening, hehe. :)

But not before I have one for breakfast with a cup of my favorite brew....

(This image is from a "Witch's Brew Cafe" sign painted many years ago - must remember to paint another soon!)

I've also come to the party bearing gifts! Well, OK - gift, hehe....This handsome fellow is painted on an 8" x 8" gallery canvas, and he's up for grabs at the end of the party!

Just leave a comment here over the weekend, and I'll draw a name first thing Monday morning. If you're a blog follower, I'll throw your name in the pointed hat twice.

Until then, it's time to mingle with other party-goers, so I'm flying back out again, leaving a trail of magic behind....

(I'll be back soon, though!)

¸¸,ø¤º.·:*¨¨*:·..·:*¨¨*:·º¤ø,..~ Carolee