Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Little Practical *Magic* Giveaway!

Apologies for coming to the blog party a wee bit late, but *magic* is abounding here in the studio as well, and sometimes it can be a wee bit...well, distracting, hehe. :)

But I'm so happy to take a break in honor of one of my favorite all time books and movies! In fact, "Practical Magic" inspiration has been swirling around in my head for weeks now...


"Midnight Margaritas"...

"My darling Girl.."...

I can't make up my mind which print is a favorite, so I thought I'd leave the choice up to the giveaway winner - you may choose whichever you like. :) All you need do to enter is leave a comment here, and I'll draw a name on Oct 5th. Be sure to leave me a way to contact you...

Back to the studio for me now (major show prep underway), but I hope to do a little blog hopping later. Until then, wishing you a day of magic and wonder!

♥ Carolee
PS - My Etsy shop is out of most of the Practical Magic prints now, but I'll be replenishing them after I get back from Michigan (the week of the 5th)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Prints!

(UPDATE - All available prints are in the Etsy shop now!)

I'm soooooo excited about this print venture!

While a few of the last batch remain in the Etsy shop, I thought I'd share a few new ones from the print order placed yesterday. Most will be going with me to the show, but I did order just a few extra for those who can't make it, which I expect to list on Etsy later this week. In the meantime, I thought I'd offer them here first.

The first (four available, 8" x 10") is another Practical Magic inspired print; the Aunts, with Gilly and Sally, on the widow's walk of that beautiful house. The quote is one of my all time favorites: "My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage!"

The second print (four available, also 8" x 10") is titled "Merlin" - a *magical* Maine Coon. I love the knotwork border...

And the final print (two available) is one of my favorites, a beautiful black cat with luminous eyes (a 6" x 6" image on an 8" x 10" sheet)...

The prints should arrive in the next day or two, so would ship by the end of the week. $18.50 each with $3 total shipping in the US, $6 international. :)

If you'd like to claim one or more, just shoot me an email at :)

Thanks as always for visiting, and have a happy and creative rest of the week!

♥ Carolee

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Quick Update...

Just reduced the price of this little pinkeep in the Etsy store by $20. Only one available. ♥

Hope to have the haunted house box listed late tonight as well, probably the same price, so if anyone wants both, I'll be happy to combine shipping. :)

OK, back to work (no rest for the wicked, hehe)....

~ Carolee

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Final Stretch...

With less than two weeks until we pack up the Beetle and head to Michigan for the Ghoultide Gathering, well - insanity doesn't even begin to describe it. The studio looks as though a reporter should be standing in the center giving a damage assessment...

And the only thing keeping the rest of house even reasonably intact is my wonderful husband (or he likes to call himself, "the mice president"). Thank heaven for helpful husbands, eh? He's pretty much taken over housecleaning and errand running until after the show, God love him.

No more sneak peeks I'm afraid (aside from the partial in-progress photo above) - much more fun for collectors to be surprised at the show, I think!

But aside from show pieces, I did paint this little treat box, which will probably go on Etsy in the next day or two. A bit different, but the shape of the box so reminded me of a haunted house, I just went with it...

Those stones took forever to paint, but I think they look kind of cool. It says "Boo!" inside. :)

I'll be ordering a few prints tomorrow as well, and adding them to the Etsy shop Wednesday or Thursday, so stay tuned.

That's about it for now. I'm off to brew a pot of tea, and read a chapter or two before turning in. Just started this one...

Perfect to take to Ghoultide, yes?!

I'm giddy with excitement at the prospect of meeting some of you, so if you make it to the show, do drop by and introduce yourself!

OK, now I'm really going, hehe...

Until next time,
~ Carolee

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Embracing Autumn ♥

There are so many things I love about the upcoming autumn season I hardly know where to begin...

♥ Big bulky sweaters, comfy jeans and Timberland boots.

♥ The scent of woodsmoke in the air.

♥ Pumpkins, mums and hay bales on front porches.

♥ Homemade applesauce

♥ A kettle of soup simmering on the stovetop.

♥ The crunch of leaves underfoot.

♥ Kids at school bus stops.

♥ Day trips to the mountains

♥ Cozy comforters

♥ Meeting new and old friends at the Ghoultide Gathering

♥ Halloween!

I could go on and on...

It's been autumn in the studio for a while now, as spicy, scented candles burn and musical selections lean toward the old and haunting. One of my favorite things about being a Halloween artist is immersion in this *magical* season all year long.

Last night we had the first acorn squash of the season (oven baked - I'm not a microwave kind o' gal) and Saturday we'll visit local farms stands for more - and probably pick up some of those pumpkins and mums as well. Today's projects (aside from painting like the wind for the upcoming Ghoultide Gathering!) include changing the garden flag out in front of the house from summer to autumn, and filling the antique watering can with autumn branches (high quality faux until the real thing is available)...

Most of the painting these days is show preparation, but I'm also trying to work in a few pieces for those who can't make it...

I usually paint these pumpkin welcome signs on a dark green background, but wanted to try black, and must say I really like it. It makes a nice contrast to the golden orange. Just two of these available, and they're listed on Etsy now. ♥

I must get back to work now (There's a Gypsy Fortune Telling sign calling my name), but not before thanking all of you who've left such thoughtful comments here on the blog, and on the facebook page, and all of you who've emailed with such kind words about my work. The absolute, hands-down, best part of this *job* (feels funny even calling it that!) is knowing what I do brings a smile, or brightens someone's day. :)

Much Love and Autumn Blessings...
♥ Carolee

Friday, September 9, 2011

Who'll Stop the Rain....

Greetings from a very waterlogged Lancaster County, PA...

We live in town, and a good half a mile from any of the creeks, so the worst of it for us is a nearly overflowing koi pond, and some major driving inconvenience. But my heart is breaking for those not quite so lucky, including a local woman whose car was swept away by rising creek waters just a couple of miles up the road. So sad. And after a very near miss myself a couple of years ago (car stalled in rising waters on a bridge, and after a few terrifying moments a very kind pick-up driver pushed me to safety) I have a healthy respect for flood warnings.

Southeastern Pennsylvania is full of rivers and creeks, and since they flow down from upstate, the worst of the flooding can happen well after the rain stops. Another instance where working at home is a blessing, I suppose. ;)

Most people don't have that luxury though, John being among them. It took him an hour and a half to get home last night, and then out he went again running a couple of errands. (And by the way, what is it about men that makes them scoff at natural disasters?) A guy thing, I guess...

At any rate, since I'm knee deep in Ghoultide Gathering preparation anyway, I think I'll remain safely tucked away in the studio this weekend, candles burning, teakettle whistling and paintbrushes flying.

I hope everyone else in the northeast is staying warm and dry! Good weather for creating, this. ;)

Until next time,
♥ Carolee

Monday, September 5, 2011

Of Halloween, Home and Hearth

As you can imagine, it's absolute madness in the studio these days (September being high season for a Halloween artist and all)...

During the waking hours cider scented candles burn, and inspiring music fills the air - accompanied this particular week by near steady rainfall on the skylight, and punctuated by the occasional sound of the teakettle whistling. I've been listening to the soundtrack of Practical Magic for the last couple of days (a gift from a very special collector!) and am finding it truly puts me in a *witchy* frame of mind; all the better to paint by, hehe...

One of my favorite themes is the magic of hearth and home, the everyday "sorcery" found in all things domestic. This charming little mending box is a perfect example...

The top is a pinkeep, and the interior is perfect for needle and thread, extra buttons, a pair of small embroidery scissors, etc. I think it makes mending seem much less of a chore. ;)

Kitchen witchery has also been on my mind lately, as I work on a recipe box to be displayed at the Ghoultide Gathering. There's been a good bit of kitchen witchery going on in my own kitchen as well - as the weather cools, we've been enjoying the first butternut and acorn squash of the season. Sooooooo yummy, and truly tastes like autumn! If anyone is interested, I'll be happy to share the recipe in the comments section, but I warn you, it's super sweet. John calls it "candy squash". ;)

Looking forward to Halloween, I've also been painting a few pieces inspired by childhood. This one is reminiscent of trick or treating at the scariest house in the neighborhood, the one where we were SURE a witch resided...

I think it would be a super fun way to welcome trick-or-treaters, or welcome adults to a Halloween party. :)

The two pieces shown above will list on Etsy tonight, and I know they'll find loving homes. ♥

I'm frequently asked "How do you part with your work?" - which genuinely puzzles me, because there's truly nothing more heartwarming than to know something I've created is being sent off into the world to bring smiles to someone else's home. It just gives me the warm fuzzies. Truly, it's the best.

Well, that's about it for now. It's back to the work table for me, where I'll most likely be burning the midnight oil painting new signs and treat boxes. I'll be back soon with another update, and in the meantime, wish you all a happy and *creative* rest of the week!

♥ Carolee

Sunday, September 4, 2011

On Playing Nice...

In general, I've found the world of blogging and social media to be an incredible blessing. The ability to connect with artists and collectors from all over the world, to re-connect with long lost friends, to share daily joys and milestones in our lives is something unprecedented, and in many ways nothing short of miraculous.

Delight and joy are contagious. The tiniest details and phrases can spark the imagination, lead to thoughtful conversations, and bring strangers closer together. The phrase "global village" comes to mind. We can truly touch each others lives.

I've been thinking about this a lot after reading this piece on CNN about how all this online social interaction is in effect creating a legacy for future generations.


Something to think about.

Our great grandchildren will know us long after we're gone - in a way most of us never dreamed possible.

But I wonder how many of us are so caught up in the immediate status update, the immediate blog post, the immediate comment, that we forget the impression we're leaving?

For the most part, the people I've encountered online (as in real life) are interesting, thoughtful, and kind; the sort of people who take joy in lifting up rather than knocking down, in building rather than destroying, in offering a kind word rather than an unkind one. They make me feel hopeful.

Occasionally, I run into the other sort; the kind who - like the "anonymous" blog comment I rejected today - choose to spend the precious, limited time we're all given, saying something hurtful and hateful.

I never know quite how to respond to this, so I don't. I move on, offering a silent prayer that whatever is so deeply troubling them will pass, and they'll eventually learn the lesson most of our parents taught us very early on:

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

Until next time, wishing everyone love, light and joy.

♥ Carolee

Friday, September 2, 2011

"Friends and Familiars"

Just popping in for a minute to share the latest black cat painting - a large Innkeeper's sign, perfect for the black cat lover (apologies for the slight glare - black is soooo difficult to photograph)...

In light of the economy - and truth be told, the need to generate a little cash for car repairs - I'm offering just two of these for direct purchase at $125 each, on a first come basis (The usual price is $195 via commission). If you're interested, shoot me an email at :) UPDATE - BOTH SOLD.

Still madly painting Halloween signs, most for the upcoming Ghoultide Gathering, but I hope to share at least one more here in the next couple of days!

In the meantime, I'm wishing everyone in the U.S. a happy and safe holiday weekend, and holding those still dealing with the aftermath of Irene's wrath close to my heart.

♥ Carolee