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!

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Solstice Greetings :)

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

~ 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,

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


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