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...