Wednesday, April 28, 2010

O Frabjous Day!

Callooh! Callay!

Just when I'm beginning to come down from my Tim Burton/Alice in Wonderland buzz, the fanciful Miss Vanessa Valencia announces the third annual Mad Tea Party!

Soooo many ideas swirling around in my head for this wonderful blog event (parties and giveaways not the least of them, hehe!) Click here for more info, and stay tuned for details on some Mad Tea pieces ala King of Mice. ;)

Speaking of new pieces, today was just sooooooo productive (and FUN too!) I painted three new boxes: "Wicked", "Blessed Bee" and "Believe in Magic. "Blessed Bee" has real button accents on the flowers, and "Believe" has sparkly, glittery dragonflies. All three will list on eBay tomorrow evening with a "buy it now" option. :)

I have soooo much more to share, but I'm beyond tired tonight, and if I don't crash soon, I'm afraid I'll turn into a pumpkin, hehe. So I'll be back tomorrow, hopefully well rested, and ready to pick up right where I'm leaving off tonight...

Until then,
♥ Carolee

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Some Things.....

Are soooooo worth the wait, teehee....

This piece took the better part of a week, but I'm just thrilled with the result: an original, one of a kind checkers game table/storage chest, with removable lid, measuring 15 3/4" x 15 3/4" x 17" tall. The other sides depict a skelly, witch, mummy and pumpkin and two scarecrow guys dancing. Oh - and it will appear in a fall magazine ad for the Ghoultide Gathering too! It's listed now on eBay. :) ~ SOLD ~

Back very soon with more goodies and lots of news!!

♥ Carolee

Monday, April 26, 2010

Painting Madly Here....

Just flying in for a moment to share a peek at the current work in progress - a very large checkers game/storage chest/table which I'm ticked pink (or maybe black and orange?) to say will appear in a national magazine ad for the Ghoultide Gathering this fall!!

It will also be available for purchase later this evening, so stay tuned (update - just a day late, hehe)...

Off to paint a whole big bunch of checkers now....

♥ Carolee

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Back So Soon....

Seems like I was just popping in here yesterday, hehe...Not to bore you with constant posts, but I just had to share this one, which unless it sells directly (feel free to email me if you're interested) will list tomorrow night on eBay...

I'll tell you, Merlin is a constant source of inspiration for wizard cats! Sometimes we really do think he's magic - he has the most amazing ability to disappear without a trace. Not to worry though- he always turns up for dinner. ;)

The wooden platter shown here measures 13 1/2" in diameter x 1", and comes signed, with a certificate of authenticity. $260 plus shipping. ~SOLD~

OK, off I go to work on another project now (no rest for the wicked, hehe)....

♥ Carolee

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Blessing the Bees

I'm the first to admit for most of my life, I've had a love-hate relationship with bees. OK, maybe hate is too strong a word. A love-fear relationship is more accurate.

They're truly magical creatures, beautiful and hard working, pollinating our fruits, flowers and vegetables and providing the planet with about 1/3 of our food. Pretty impressive for such a small insect...

But there's that sting thing. And that allergy thing. Having experienced both, I've developed shall we say, a healthy respect for bees. So why would I want to attract them to my garden? Because it's important we all do our part, and because there are times when a small risk (the odds of getting stung are actually pretty small - the bees are just looking for food and nectar, not human flesh) is nothing compared to the magic that happens when we give Mother Nature a little encouragement.

By now we've all read about colony collapse disorder - scary stuff - and I've been reading lately that our harsh winter didn't help matters either. So what to do?

Plant a bee garden
! Make a bee house! Welcome and bless these magical creatures. Thank them for their hard work, their honey, and the food they provide. Learn to fear them less, and love them more. Give them a home. Make a difference.

With all this in mind, I have to share a peek at my latest honeybee homage, this large sign or door crown. I'm picturing it bringing a little enchantment to someone's bee friendly garden. :)

I'm off to have a cup of tea now (sweetened with wildflower honey of course) and begin another painting...I'll be back very soon with new work, and a hint at things to come with EHAG's "Black and White Fright" challenge.

Until then, I'll leave you with a book recommendation, one of my all time favorites, and a "must-read", Sue Monk Kidd's "The Secret Life of Bees". Truly amazing - a quick read, but one that stays with you long after you've finished it.

Wishing you a *magical* and productive day!
♥ Carolee

Sunday, April 18, 2010

No Rest for the Wicked ;)

It's been a crazy busy week here, and isn't likely to let up any time soon...But I'm not sure I'd have it any other way....Well, alright - maybe a day off once in a while, hehe. ;)

I've been painting like a madwoman, and have some new work to share. First, these two adorable little bowls, part of a set of four I picked up at an antique store last weekend. The other two are destined for the Ghoultide Gathering....

The orange bowl is sold, but the blue one with the tuxedo cat is listed on eBay.

Here's another piece, also listed on eBay - Isn't this just the coolest shaped box? I love the curved lines - so elegant. I wanted to do something special with this one, so sculpted a little accent/handle for the top. My daughter says all my moons look like me, hehe...I don't see it. OK, maybe just a little...

I had such fun with the Celtic knotwork border on this one. I think it gives it a wee bit of a mystical feel.

I've also been working on the first card for the upcoming oracle deck. SUCH fun! No details yet, but stay tuned...

Overall, it's been a wonderful, productive week, with just one disappointment. Some canvases I ordered arrived dented. Boo Hiss. So back they went, a replacement order placed, as I began rescheduling and juggling completion dates.

The week ended on a high note though - Saturday night dinner with good friends, which is always a treat. It seems ages since we've entertained here and I'm determined to remedy that this summer. It just doesn't get any better than good food, good wine, good music and good company, does it?

Speaking of good wine, I'm off to have a glass now...Actually, I'm off to have a glass of mediocre wine, if there is such a thing, hehe. I'll be back soon though, with more new work, further rambling, etc....In the meantime, I wish you a magical, creative week. :)

♥ Carolee

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Halloween in April?

Of course! (Halloween all year 'round, hehe!)

Just had to share this one, black cats dancing at twilight on All Hallows Eve, as a tiny mouse looks out from one of the jack-o-lanterns...

You can't see the back in these photos, but there's a spiderweb there.

This is one of those children's chairs I picked up at the Amish toymaker's shop over the weekend, and is one of the last three he's made. (I snagged the other two as well).

I'm posting this one here on the blog for one day before listing it on eBay. The "buy it now" will be $295 either way, so if it's a "must-have", just shoot me an email before I list it. (First-come, as always) :) ~SOLD~

♥ Carolee

Monday, April 12, 2010

Old Friends, New Friends, Good Times and New Work

It's been quite a weekend here!

After a rather boring start with Friday night's annual vacuum cleaner purchase (with five fur-kids, this has become an AT LEAST annual event, *sigh*) things began looking up Saturday morning when I headed off to Lancaster to pick up fellow EHAG and PFATT member Pam of Soft in the Head. Actually, there are so many of us who are members of both groups we've taken to calling ourselves the PFATT (silent P) Hags, teehee....Not far from the truth in my case, but I digress...

With Pam riding shotgun in the Beetle, we hit the road bright and early and began our tour of architectural salvage stores, with an Amish toymaker thrown in for good measure. And I'm happy to report, we scored some real treasures. I won't share Pam's finds (although trust me, you don't want to miss the goodies she has in store for the Ghoultide Gathering) but I will share a couple of mine - a plant stand, not shown, a set of old wooden bowls...

and several children's chairs, hand made by aforementioned Amish toymakers, and shown here, in progress...

Pretty cool, yes? I'm picturing it either sitting by a hearth or used to display a favorite Halloween doll or collectible. :)

After our treasure hunt we headed over to Jen's house, where we were all joined by Joanne of Disgusted Cats. What a wonderful evening! Our guys were there too, and everyone hit it off as though we'd known each other for years (well, OK, Jen and I have, but that's another story, hehe)...Great Mexican food, a tour of Jen's beautiful gardens, and many, many glasses of Sangria later, John took this photo. can you tell we were just a wee bit tipsy? Hehe...

Left to right are Joanne, Me (hiding in the back), Pam and Jen. :)

It was such a great time, we're already planning the next get-together.

Feeling a little fuzzy the next day, I did a wee bit of basecoating and some sketching, but saved the detail work for today. Which is GORGEOUS, by the way. Sunny and 65, koi pond waterfall babbling outside the studio, flowering crabapple in full bloom...

As uncertain as self employment can be, I feel truly blessed to "work" at home.

Speaking of which, I should get back to just that. I'll leave you with the last piece I completed, listed now on eBay - a star fairy trinket box. I so love painting faces...

That's about it for now. Oh - wait a minute, no it's NOT, haha....

I have to tell you about the latest EHAG challenge - "Black and White Fright"!

Participating artists will be challenging themselves to create a piece of Halloween art with a black and white palette. Methinks it's time to drag out the pen and ink again. Stay tuned - we'll be listing our pieces the first week of May...

In the meantime, I'm off to work on an illutration project and hopefully finish that chair today.

Thanks so much for visiting - I'll be back very soon. :)

♥ Carolee

Friday, April 9, 2010

Blog Sale and PFATT Sneak Peek!

It's been awhile since I've had a sale here on the blog, and I thought it would be fun to try some smaller pieces. By saving on listing fees, I'm able to offer these a bit less than the eBay or Etsy prices, and considerably less than commission prices.

These pieces are available on a first come, first serve basis, via email to, and payable via immediate paypal or credit card only. A brief description, dimensions, price and shipping information follows each item. Please click on the photos for a larger view. :)

And don't forget to scroll all the way to the bottom for a sneak peek at tonight's PFATT Marketplace listing, "Butterfly Blessings". :)

"Eek!", hinged wooden box, 3" x 3" x 3", $35 + $7 shipping anywhere in the US. SOLD

"Magic Moon", hinged wooden box, 3" x 3" x 3", $35 + $7 shipping anywhere in the U.S. SOLD

"Seek Magic", wooden box painted in acrylics, 6" x 3", $39 + $7 shipping anywhere in the U.S. SOLD

"Starlight", wooden box painted in acrylics, with magnetic closure. 6" x 3", $39 + $7 shipping anywhere in the U.S. LISTED NOW ON EBAY

Spring "Welcome" Signs on light sage green background, with free personalization offered at the bottom of the sign ("The Clarks", "Friends", etc) Two available, $39 each with shipping in the US anywhere from $7 to $14 depending on your location. LISTED NOW ON EBAY

Thanks for looking, and again, just email with questions or to purchase. :)

Finally, a peek at tonight's PFATT Marketplace update. I've painted this magical birdhouse with blue butterflies against a celestial background...

It lists tonight at midnight (Pacific time, I believe) and is up for grabs to the first person to email. :) SOLD

♥ Carolee

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Blog Sale Tomorrow :)

I've been working on some smaller pieces this week, and thought rather than list them on eBay and Etsy, I'd offer a few here on the blog. My thinking is that the savings in listing fees will allow me to offer a few items in a lower price range. :)

Not sure what time yet, but I'm thinking some time in the afternoon EST. Stay tuned...

♥ Carolee

Flying In....

....Very quickly today, to share the latest piece - "Butterfly Blessings", a wooden birdhouse, up for grabs on the PFATT Marketplace on the 10th (tomorrow at midnight, Pacific time).

I so wanted to keep this one, and hang it from the flowering crabapple overlooking our pond. It's in full bloom now, right outside the studio window..

But sell it I must, to the first person to email me after it lists. :)

In the meantime, I'm working on a couple of goodies for the Esy shop, which I hope to update tomorrow (my little cupcake painting is getting lonely over there, hehe)...

Back very soon, and in the meantime, wishing you all the blessings of spring!

♥ Carolee

Monday, April 5, 2010

Surprises and Expectations

As Easter weekends go, it was shaping up to be a beautiful, albeit pretty quiet one. Warm temps, not a cloud in the sky, daffodils in bloom...

My plan was, of necessity, to work all day, bake a cake for dessert, and let John handle the cooking - er, grilling. The house was a mess, but oh well - no one was coming over anyway.

Then the dogs ran to the front door and began barking. LOUD. LOUD and frantic...

"Who could that be on Easter Sunday?"

"Ugh, I don't know, but the house is a disaster, I'm covered in paint and I don't feel like dealing with neighbors just now."

"Eh. Just ignore it."

Then the barking got louder. And LOUDER...and the jumping against the window began.

"Better go look", *sigh*....

"Someone was trying to get in the front door. They're coming up the side of the house now!"


And I looked up to see our daughter Courtney at the back window, who at the last minute, took the train out here from Philly and showed up at the door bearing a pot of yellow tulips. Made. My. Day. :)

She didn't stay long, having made plans with a friend who was on her own for Easter, but it was still so good to see her.

After she left, it was back to the painting. I actually managed to finish this one, inspired by the herb garden that Is To Be...

Just a few weeks now! We plant most of these herbs and more - lemon thyme, pineapple sage, oregano, chamomile, rosemary, marjoram, tarragon, cilantro and LOTS of basil (not only for summer pasta, but also for making pesto to freeze for the winter)...and usually a couple of tomato and pepper plants too.

I can't tell you how much I love my herb garden. There's always such a sense of anticipation and expectation as the last frost date approaches, and planting can safely begin. It's such a blessing to step outside with a pair of scissors and cut whatever fresh herbs we'll need for dinner that night, or for a salad dressing, or pitcher of iced tea. Can't recommend it highly enough! And the best thing about herbs is, you don't need a yard - they can be grown in containers. :)

It's almost time to sink some new pond plants too. The fish have awakened from their winter slumber (they go dormant at the bottom of the pond through the winter) and we've begun feeding them again...

The water irises are back, but we're fearing the harsh winter was too much for the lilies, so they'll need to be replaced. Every year, John grumbles about what a pain (and expense) the pond is, but I so love the sound of the waterfall, and sight of it from the studio window. It's very....zen or something. ;)

That's about it for today...I'll be out of town tomorrow, attending a funeral Mass for the Father of my oldest and dearest friend. I'd love to be able to say something wise and thoughtful about the circle of life and all that, but loss is still loss, and I feel so heartbroken for those who endure it, as we all eventually do.

I'll be back very soon with new work to share. In the meantime, think about planting something. It's good for the soul. :)

♥ Carolee

Saturday, April 3, 2010

♫ Hippity Hoppity ♫...

♫ Easter's on it's way ♫ ...(Whether I'm prepared or not!)

I'll tell you what, it really snuck up on me this year...Most years I have an entire menu planned by now (or occasionally reservations made, hehe). But this year time got the better of me and the upshot is that we've decided to take advantage of the absolutely perfect springlike weather here, and throw something on the grill. Probably salmon. With lemon dill sauce and steamed asparagus. I may even bake a carrot cake, although that will depend on how productive I am with the painting. Yes, I'm afraid I'll be painting tomorrow - no rest for the wicked, eh? ;)

It's been true insanity lately, as I try to catch up with commissions and still keep offerings on eBay, Etsy, The EHAG Emporium and the PFATT Marketplace. But it feels so good when a favorite project is finished, and I can send it out there into the world. Here's a peek at what I've been working on the last couple of days - a table/bench shown here in progress:

And here all finished:

It was quite literally a dream to paint (as in, it came to me in a dream last week) and I'm hoping a bit of the dream magic stay with it wherever it ends up traveling. As of this writing, there's a "buy it now" option on the eBay auction at a price well below (by about $240) the regular commission price for a piece like this.

The barn owl is still listed on eBay as well, inspired by Molly and McGee of live owl cam fame. If you haven't checked out the owl cam, you really must - it's truly amazing! The picture is in color during the day (California time) and goes to a night vision camera at night. Feeding time is not for the squeamish, but it's truly fascinating to see this wonderful owl family up close. Fair warning though, it can be addictive, hehe. :)

That's about it for now. I'll be back very soon with tales of tea and springtime, and hopefully a few more pieces to share...In the meantime, whether you celebrate Easter or Ostara, I wish you a *joyous* day tomorrow!!

♥ Carolee
PS - Be careful with those jelly beans! I bought what turned into THE most expensive box of jelly bellys EVER this week, when they caused a crown to come loose, resulting in an emergency visit to the dentist - ouch! :-)