Monday, March 30, 2009

Wearable Art!

I'm not what you'd call a "jewelry person"....

That is, I don't go gaga over diamonds and pearls, don't even own any yellow gold, and have never had my ears pierced. Back in the day, my wedding ring, rather than the traditional diamond, was custom made of sapphires, because if I had to wear jewelry, I wanted something different....

But ART jewelry is another story - can't get enough of it. My jewelry box is home to everything from hand painted beads, to art glass, from a miniature kaleidoscope necklace to deliberately mismatched earrings. When it comes to jewelry, the brighter and funkier the better as far as I'm concerned.

I guess I just want something that proclaims "fun" rather than ridiculous expense. ;)

That said, I have yet to keep one of my own creations, but do hope to remedy that this year (I'd really like something fabulous to wear to the Ghoultide Gathering in October!) In the meantime, I'm sending this latest bit of wearable whimsy out into the world via eBay auction.

LOTS of work in this necklace, hehe, and I hope it brings a smile. :) The photo here shows it on orange, but I think it would look amazing on a black sweater.

Next up - a wicked elegant stationary box with all the accoutrements....

Stay tuned! ;)

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

Doo doo-doo do-do doooooooo.....

As I painted away, we apparently we had a brush with dangerous weather last night....

There I was, putting the finishing touches on hundreds of wooden beads (many necklaces in progress) and chatting on the phone with my niece, when the sky became as dark as night - we're talking DARK here, and all in about three minutes time. High winds, loud thunder and hail followed, and I ended the call to go shut down the computer. That accomplished, I returned to painting, barely noticing the scene outside, except to give a brief thought to the recent roof repair. The storm lasted only a short while, and the sun returned just as quickly as it had disappeared.

A short while later the phone rang, and it was my niece again, wondering if we were allright.....

Apparently the Phildalephia evening news reported a tornado had blown through our little town, tearing a few roofs off and doing serious damage to a nearby trailer park. All of this as I painted bats and cats and ghosts....

Gives a whole new meaning to the word "oblivious", doesn't it?

Look for one of the necklaces on eBay later this evening. ;)

~ Carolee

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Best Laid Schemes...

....o’ mice an’ men Gang aft a-gley.

or "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry" ~Robert Burns, "To a Mouse"

I'm up to my ears in hand painted wooded beads for several necklace commissions - and with luck, one for ebay as well. :)

The plan was to have these finished the day before yesterday, but between dealing with the roofer, playing catch up from last week's computer mishap, a visit with our darling daughter (who just moved closer to home - yay!) and the explosion that is my workspace, I'm afraid time has gotten the better of me...

The good news is that progress is actually being made....

No, really, it is. :)

Do you ever feel completely overwhelmed, but in a good way? Like there are sooooooo many projects you hardly know where to turn, and each one holds such possibility you want to dig into it immediately?! Like there are so many ideas and so much inspiration you'll never be able to get to it all? That's kind of where I am....heck, that's where I always seem to be, hehe....

So I must get back to it....

But before I do, I have to share the most recent commission - a tea chest featuring my collector friend Barbara's fur children - soooooooo much fun to paint this one!!

And just a week or so after I sent it off, there came a knock at the door....

The postman, bearing a package from Barbara, with the most wonderful goodies imaginable from Chocolate Flower Farm on Whidbey Island, off the coast of Washington State. The incredible part is that this is the little island where my Mother grew up! How cool is that?!

And isn't my Mom pretty? This is a photo of her back then:

Okay, that really is it for now. Back to work I go, sipping a cup of this heavenly chocolate mint tea, burning a chocolate candle (thank you Barbara!) and listening to the Beatles....Does it get any better?!

Wishing everyone a magical and creative day!!

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

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Belated Thanks

I don't often post blog awards, but having received this one several times over, I'm crying uncle, lol...And thank you to Iva, of Halloween Alechemy, to Julie Mitchell and to Zan Asha for the kind words about my random musings here. :)

The deal with this award is to list seven things that I love, or things that inspire. Difficult to narrow it down when there's a whole world of love and inspiration out there, but I'll pick a few of them:

1. Spirit; God, Goddess, the universe, the creator - whatever name you put to it, being in touch with that force, feeling close to it, expressing gratitude for it's blessings is like a well of inspiration rising up. Basically, being attuned to something greater than myself.

2. My family. I know, everyone says this, but really, if you're doing a "things I love" list and your family isn't very near the top, you're in serious trouble, right? ;)

3. Music. Celtic, folk, world music, classical, blues, jazz - pretty much anything except metal, rap or country. The music I'm listening to can not only inspire, but change the direction of a piece. Absolutely cannot create without music.

4. Animal friends and companions. They're so in tune with the natural world, and so in the moment...and if we listen, have so much to teach us humans about simple pleasures, pure joy and unconditional love. :)

5. Road trips. The kind without an itinerary. Where you just get in the car and GO. No schedule to follow, no timetable, and no plan but adventure and discovery - the best!

6. Informal gatherings, especially with creative types...Nothing more energizing or inspiring than getting together with other artists. Around here, the gatherings are usually potlucks, with plenty of wine, often a couple of guitars, and animated conversation...doesn't get much better than that.

7. Last, but certainly not least - Halloween (You never saw that one coming, did you?!) Bright colors, magic, dressing up, childhood memories, scary tales, parties, and just plain good times. It's the holiday for being a kid again - no obligatory visits, no shopping, no stress, just FUN. :)

So there you have it - seven things out of the gazillion or so that inspire....

I'm supposed to "tag" seven other now, but to be honest I'm not big on the tagging consider this an open tag, and post seven things if you're so inclined. ;)

Or post a comment here - what do YOU find inspiring?

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

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Halloween Goodies and a Clean Computer!

What a weekend...I've been on pins and needles for DAYS waiting to get back here to share all the new Halloween goodies....

Were you wondering where I'd gone?

The condensed version of what happened is that we awoke Saturday morning to a very sick computer; dire warnings recommending immediate service, lest a complete meltdown occur.....

Panic. Computer withdrawl. Not to mention recalculating the weekly budget. Yikes!

Apparently the poor little fan inside the computer tower is no match for three cats and two long haired dogs (go figure, hehe)...So off we went to see the good people at Landis Computer, where our computer stayed until they delivered it good as new just a few hours ago. :)

In the meantime, my friend Jen was kind enough to let me check email on her computer yesterday (thanks, Jen!)

And this morning? A clean computer, no damage to the hard drive, and a much relieved ME - YAY for happy endings. :)

Soooooooo, on to the new work....

This is one I wish I had painted for my own house - a wicked cool stand, perfect for showing off a jack-o-lantern, a candle, or a favorite Halloween collectible. It's listed on ebay now, but ends this evening. I can just picture it as a centerpiece or window display.

These three I decided to list in my Etsy shop (having neglected it for far too long, I think)....I really do try to keep things listed over there, but they seem to fly so fast! I've priced these with the economy in mind - no bidding, just direct purchase, so if that appeals to you, take a peek. :) *UPDATE* - SOLD

I've been busy, busy, busy with commissions too, and making serious progress, so stay tuned. I'll post some commission photos soon....

That's about it for now - so much still to do and so little time (I really do need some elves!) I'm on my way to brew a cup of Jasmine tea and catch up on blog posts now - just a quick break and then I'm off to work on those commissions, and next week's giveaway....

Back again soon. ;)

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

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Signs of Spring

Tiny green buds on the lilac bushes....

Moss appearing on the bricks at the side of the pond.....

And I'm not sure what these little guys are called, but they're coming up all OVER the herb garden....

Spring is definitely on it's way! If you're into hearing some springtime tunes, scroll down on the right and click on the playlist. I'm dating myself with some of the selections, but they sooooooooo herald springtime. :)

Back soon with Halloween goodies galore!

~ Carolee

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An Irish Blessing :)

Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the infinite peace to you.

~ from Ancient Gaelic runes

Sunday, March 15, 2009

New Work and Reminiscing.....

"Costumes and candy and pumpkins alight, The magic of childhood, just for one night!" (or "What Halloween means to me", hehe)...

This one was a lot of fun, bringing back memories of dressing up as early as possible on Halloween, impatiently waiting for twilight when we could set out with our treat buckets - or in later and greedier years, our pillowcases. :) We lived in a wooded area when I was a child, and although there was no witch's cottage, I remember the woods holding a special fascination. We were warned away of course, due to the dreaded poison oak, but it didn't stop us....

I hope this piece brings back some of those memories...Of days before elaborate costumes purchased online, days before trick or treating at the mall, days before we had to worry too much about sending our children out to wander the neighborhood alone. I know it's a different world now, and all the precautions we take are probably prudent....But there's also a lot to be said for the freedom we had back then, don't you think?

Listen to me, I sound like an old lady, hehe....If I say "good old days", someone slap me, OK? :)

Lots of other pieces in progress, and another giveaway coming very soon, this one for blog followers, so stay tuned!

Wishing everyone a magical and creative week!

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

Friday, March 13, 2009

SpookyTime Jingles Surprise!

I was so honored when Dani of SpookyTime Jingles contacted me a few weeks ago about a surprise guest appearance, and in fact, had a very hard time not letting this particular cat out of the bag (pun intended, hehe)....

VERY time consuming, this one, but lot of fun!

Details here, and while you're at it, do take a peek at all the other wonderful Halloween and holiday art - Dani's assembled quite a talented bunch!

*UPDATE* - this one is now sold, but I will consider orders for similar pieces.

Still working on new Halloween goodies; first up - a whimsical footstool, reminiscent of childhood Halloweens. After that, who many possibilities, so little time....

Wishing everyone a magical and creative day!

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

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Catching Up....

It seems like ages since the last eBay listing, so I thought I'd take a break from all the commission work (where I'm finally making some progress) and paint a little tuxedo cat piece.

This long haired fellow just listed tonight - a three day auction with a "buy it now" option. I'm picturing him bestowing blessings on a beautiful flower garden in just a few short weeks...

YAY, Spring!

~ Carolee

Ghoultide Gathering News!

It's that time again, teeheeheeeeee!! (she says in her best witch's cackle).... Just over six months until the most wicked cool extravaganza of Halloweeny goodness you could ever hope to see!!

Excitment is really setting in now as work begins on new pieces for the Ghoultide Gathering show up in Northville, Michgan. Notebooks are kept in almost every room in the house, so when inspiration strikes, I'm ready with pencil and paper... supplies are being purchased, the mailing list is updated, newsletters are in progress, and I'm almost dizzy with the possibilities for new pieces and new displays. :)

But that's not all...

As I've mentioned before, my absolute FAVORITE part of the show is meeting collectors in person. And since many collectors travel a good distance to see the show, this year they've arranged for a block of rooms to be set aside at the same rate the participating artists pay - just $65 a night at the Hampton Inn, which includes a yummy breakfast. How great is that?! The only thing is, they need an estimate as to how many rooms to set aside....Soooooooooo.....

If you're planning to attend, shoot me an email or leave a comment here - I'll pass it on and keep you posted. :)

I should also add, if you're planning a fall getaway, you couldn't find a nicer destination....The downtown area is just adorable - lots of quaint, kicky little specialty shops, great galleries and restaurants - fun place to wander around. There's an old cider mill on the outskirts of town too, where we picked up the best apple cider! Oh - and the architecture! I could have spent hours driving around the back streets in the downtown area, looking at all the gorgeous old Victorian homes. The show itself is held in historic Mill Race Village, which is a sort of a living history museum, with old houses, a church, a blacksmith shop, etc....very cool. You can see a few photos from last year's show here.

I'll leave you with that today, as I get back to work. It's been DAYS since I've listed anything on eBay (was busy finishing a large commission), so I need to get to painting! Look for new work tonight or tomorrow. :)

Until then,
~ Carolee

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sneak Peek :)

Just had to share this one, listing on the PFATT Marketplace on the 10th.... *UPDATE* - SOLD :)

More goodies on the way soon!

~ Carolee

Thursday, March 5, 2009


The stories of childhood leave an indelible impression, and their author always has a niche in the temple of memory from which the image is never cast out to be thrown on the rubbish heap of things that are outgrown and outlived. ~Howard Pyle

Having already shared so much about music as inspiration, and this being a slow week eBay and Etsy-wise (busily working on commissions!) I thought I'd share a few books which spark the imagination. :)

As a child, I was (and still am) a voracious reader. Friends and siblings would be outside in the street playing kick the can, and I'd be curled up in a beanbag chair in my room with a book, thinking these adventures far more exciting than running bases or riding bikes. I'd savor every word, picturing every scene better and far more vividly than any movie....and to this day, I will not, will not, will NOT see the movie until I've first read the book.

The Harry Potter movies? Good, but no comparison to the books. Poe? Entertaining stuff in old movies, but give me the stories any time. And don't even get me started on cartoon versions of fairy tales (although I do love Disney animation).

I've loved books for as long as I can remember, and as Easter and springtime approach, there are a couple of children's books that never fail to inspire.....

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes, by DuBose Heyward. Amazing, amazing tale, and with it's feminist message, hard to believe it was first published in 1939. Basically, the Country Bunny, despite being a single Mother and responsible for twenty one children, bests all the male bunnies in swiftness, cleverness and kindness to become the next Easter Bunny. As my now 27 year old daughter (who also deeply loved this book as a child) would say, *Huzzah*!

The Velveteen Rabbit, or How Toys Become Real, by Margery Williams. Here's my favorite part, when the Velveteen Rabbit asks the Skin Horse in the little boy's nursery how it is that certain toys become Real:

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

And Fairy Tales! Can't forget Fairy Tales.....

These are copies of Grimms and Anderson fairy tales from my bookshelf, published in MCMXLV, which if memory serves (been awhile since I figured out Roman numerals - do they even teach that anymore?) is 1945. They were gift from a great aunt many, many years ago and I treasure them. These are not the sanitized fairy tales children hear today, though....These can get a little gruesome....

In the final page of "Cinderella", for example, after she marries the handsome prince, the birds swoop down from the sky, pecking out the eyes of the evil stepsisters.

And the evil queen in "Snow White"? She dances in red hot iron shoes until she falls down dead. Yikes! Some pretty vivid imagery there...

No clue which of these - or perhaps others - will make it's way into the work the next few weeks (along with more Halloween goodies, of course!) but stay tuned. :)

In the meantime, what books sparked your imagination as a child? What books get your creative juices flowing now? Any favorites? Any new discoveries?

Inquiring minds want to know....

Until next time,
~ Carolee

Monday, March 2, 2009

Celtic Tunes!

Couldn't help myself - with St. Patrick's Day just a couple of weeks away, I felt the need to update the playlist again. If you're into Celtic music, scroll down on the right and give it a listen. :)

~ Carolee

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Spring Fever!

One of the things I missed most when we lived on the west coast was the change of seasons. Days like today - cold and damp, a dusting of snow on the ground and thin layer of ice on the pond, yet with the first tiny green spears of spring daffodils reaching up at the side of the house - spark anticipation in me. This is the time of year we've had just about enough of winter and thoughts turn to spring planting, to flowers and herbs and garden art (Can't get enough garden art!)

This is also the time of year spring fever makes itself apparent in the painting....Can you tell?

I'm picturing this one hanging on porch, shed or garden fence, perhaps near a little faerie garden or faerie house.

More spring offerings coming soon, and more Halloween too (because Halloween anticipation is year-round!)...In the meantime, I'm doing a bit of commission work - and watching the snowflakes fall as I long for the next season, the next cycle....

~ Carolee