Monday, January 31, 2011

EHAG Emporium

It's that time - the last day of the month, and the first EHAG Emporium update of the new year!

Here's my offering, "The Witch's Letters" - acrylic on a wooden letter box, which measures 7 1/2" x 7". Finished with a clear acrylic varnish, and a bit of space has been left at the top for me to paint your monogram, in elegant calligraphy (no extra charge).

$85 plus shipping. If you'd like to purchase, email me at UPDATE - SOLD.

Thanks for taking a peek, and thanks for checking out our Emporium!! I'm so proud to be part of this amazing group of artists, and I know I speak for all of us when I say we sincerely appreciate your interest in our work!

Happy Haunting!
♥ Carolee

Sunday, January 30, 2011

When it * *Snows **....

....Make art!

As you know, we've had more than our fair share of the fluffy white stuff (trying not to tempt the weather Gods by saying the actual word too often) here in the northeast this winter. Here's a pic of our little house (well, actually half a house, hehe) after the most recent storm...

A good day (heck a good WEEK!) to stay inside and paint. :)

Which is just what I did, catching up on commission work, doing a bit of sketching, and working on the first of two or three pieces commemorating Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rabbit. Those of you on facebook may have already seen these pics, but I thought it would be fun to show the process here as well.

It begins with a wooden tea tray, which is basecoated in a basic landscapey kind of background and framed in black...

Next, a checkerboard border, and a pencil sketch...

A few shadows and details are added...

And still more detail - it's getting there...

And finally, the finished piece...

This piece sold on eBay, but the others will be up for grabs soon, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, I'm off to brew a pot of Good Earth Tea and make progress on a couple of commissions. And if all goes well, I just may venture out of the house this afternoon for the first time in almost a week, and make a quick run to the market...They're expecting another storm soon, and we're in need of the essentials. Nooooo, not break and milk...

Candles, tea and paintbrushes. ;)

Until next time,
♥ Carolee

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It Won't be Long Now, Teehee!!

Mark your calendars and start making travel plans - the bestest, most wicked cool weekend of year will be here before you know it...

And this year, it's a TWO day event, with an early buy for collectors on Friday night. How fun is THAT?!

Those of you who've been reading here for a while are familiar with my....let's just say *overwhelming enthusiasm* for this show, hehe...But at the risk of repeating myself, it is truly a "must see", one of those experiences you just don't want to end!

Click HERE for details. :)

In the studio, work has already begun, with the first piece well in progress, and many others in the conceptual and sketching stages. I'm particularly excited about a wooden train I picked up, hand made by a local Amish toymaker...It's just crying out to become The Halloween Express, or maybe The Enchanted Express, hehe...

I do hope to see many of you there - my favorite part of the show is meeting friends and collectors! In the meantime, it's back to work, but I'll leave you with this little video of a past show, just to whet your Halloween appetite...

See you soon!
♥ Carolee

Thursday, January 20, 2011

♥ Home is Where the Art Is ♥

Many moons ago I worked in an art gallery. It was a wonderful, albeit not very lucrative job - in fact, I think I ended up owing THEM money, hehe. But it was a joy to be surrounded by art, to talk art, to watch people discover art, and to send much loved and carefully selected pieces off to their new homes.

But sometimes....Ah, sometimes it was difficult to bite my tongue. You see, every so often there were these women who would come in with fabric swatches and carpet samples (or worse, with their decorators in tow) and proceed to select art based on what matched their furniture.



My job of course was to sell them whatever they wanted. But more often than not I couldn't help myself, and tried to divine which pieces appealed to them, which truly SPOKE to them, and proceeded to try to convince them to disregard the decor. It seldom worked, but I felt a wee bit better having tried. ;)

There's a method to my madness in telling you all this, which is by way of introducing a photo emailed to me by a very special collector of mine, Eva C. of California....

Eva calls this place her "Sanctum Scriptorium", or sacred space of writing and studying, and as you can see, it's the home of many of my originals. I can't begin tell you how happy it makes me feel to see my work in it's new home, and how honored I am that it adorns such a special place.

Eva (like most collectors I hope) acquires art that speaks to her, art that makes her smile. The absolute BEST reason for buying art, in my humble opinion. ;)

For most of us, home is our sanctuary, our sacred space. And the art we display there should be something we connect with, something that touches us, something to which we feel a genuine attraction.

Furniture changes, but art is forever. If you love it, you'll find a place for it, matching or not. If you love it, it will fit in your home and in your life...

Home is indeed where the Art is, and I'm ever so grateful and honored that some of you like my work enough to give it a place in your home. And by the way, if you'd like to share photos of your King of Mice pieces and displays, please shoot me an email - I'd love to share them here!

Before I go, I'll leave you a link to the latest pieces, and I do hope they too bring a smile....

Until next time,
♥ Carolee

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

♥ Cupcakes and Buttons and Smiles ♥

I'm not sure what it is about cupcakes and buttons, but they never fail to make me smile...

Perhaps it's childhood memories of going through the buttons in Mom's sewing box, or of coming home to freshly baked cupcakes after school...

Whatever it is, I had so much fun combining the two elements in this original, hand painted birch wood box, listed now on eBay. I hope it brings a smile to someone's Valentine's Day!

I'll be working on commissions all this week, with just one other piece listing later today (Halloween this time!)...

Back soon!
♥ Carolee

Sunday, January 16, 2011

♪ ♫ Party Like it's 1899 ♪ ♫

We all need a break now and then, right? A little diversion to distract from every day worries and responsibilities, something to bring a smile and spark the imagination?

Overdue commissions notwithstanding, this weekend found me taking a little break to run over to New Jersey with my friend and fellow artist Jen, to attend Hugh Luck's (another friend and fellow artist) fabulous post-holiday Steampunk party...

For those of you not familiar with steampunk, think a combination of Victorian with Jules Verne and H.G. Wells; lace and feathers mixed with goggles, clockwork parts and gears...It's a fun sort of genre of decor and dress, and a FABULOUS idea for a party.

Here's our host, the handsome and uber-talented Mr. Luck, of Pine Street Studios...

The evening began with a generous serving from the "cogsmopolitan" punch bowl - sooooooo good!

I was good though, and only had one...Yes, those are my hands, the closest you'll see to a photo of me, hehe...those fingerless gloves arrived in the nick of time for the party, purchased on Etsy from seller DarkDestiny, and beautifully made. (There's my recommendation for the day!) ;)

To say the party was crowded would be an understatement - this is the kitchen - and before things really got going!

And you MUST see some of the costumes...People really went all out! Here's Hugh's best friend, the handsome (and also very talented) Joe Mingari...

And how do you like this HAIR?! How clever is this? I'm told an empty water bottle was hiding inside somewhere...

Elegant ladies...

Dashing gentlemen...

A magician added to the evening's entertainment - he was good!!

Later in the evening, a disco ball was added to the gears on the ceiling, and the dancing began (or so I'm told, hehe - we had a very long drive home, so didn't stay that late)...

I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse...It was such a fun party, I just had to share!

Today, it's back to reality though, with much painting to be done for eBay, Etsy and several past due commissions. Look for another update very soon, with photos of a few of my pieces in collectors' homes, and some early info about this year's Ghoultide Gathering (soooooo excited!)

Until then, enjoy your week, and don't forget to drop by the EHAG Emporium, where a GIVEAWAY is in progress (LOVE these pieces and soooo wish I were eligible to enter, hehe!)

♥ Carolee

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Of Critters, Colds and Commissions :)

It's only been a couple of days, but I have much to tell, so this will be one of those posts that's just all over the place (kind of like my addled brain lately, hehe) As some of you know, John makes good natured fun of me, describing my thought process as "X plus Y equals.....Oh look - a butterfly!"

Where was I?

Oh yes, Critters. I've been having so much fun painting cats and mice lately, I'm afraid I've neglected Halloween for Valentine's Day...I'll be back with a few spooky, witchy, wicked pieces very soon, but in the meantime, I want to share what I've been up to....

I had soooo much fun with this one, especially the outfits on the little mice - kind of like when I was a kid and would sit for hours drawing costumes for paper dolls. (Anyone remember paper dolls? Do kids still play with those? I hope so)...

And this one, similar to the trinket box you see in the previous post, which sold on the PFATT Marketplace. There was so much interest in the little teacup mouse, I painted one more on my very last box and listed it on eBay so everyone would have a fair chance to grab it...

It's titled "Sweet Dreams". :)

Which brings me to my not-so-sweet dreams of late, due to a nasty headcold I seem to have picked up from John, who's had a bad case of bronchitis for the last week or two. Ugh - I hate headcolds, and consider the most effective treatment to be a combination of Airborne, echinacea tea, zinc and DENIAL. And with a wicked cool Victorian Steampunk party at my friend Hugh's house this weekend, I'm determined to get over this. I want to party like it's 1899. ;)

Moving along, I want to add a few words about commissions. You may have noticed the little blurb on the upper right about the special order process, the beginning of a more in depth cautionary policy I need to write for new customers...You see, much as I love creating a piece with someone specific in mind, I've made a resolution of sorts this year to steer clear of repeating old designs. The fact is (and any artist will tell you this) the best work happens with fresh inspiration and the least amount of direction. It begins with the spark of an idea, a general theme, and from there it's a leap of faith on the part of the artist and the commissioner. So basically, if you're the trusting sort, and are OK with letting the magic unfold, I'll accept your order. If you want to manage the process and details, I'm probably not the artist you want. X plus Y equals "Oh look - a butterfly!" and all of that. ;)

Finally, I've had a few collectors send me photos recently, showing my work in it's new home!! I ♥ LOVE ♥ this!! It's such a blessing to know something I created is part of someone's holiday display or everyday world, but to actually SEE it makes me grin from ear to ear. It also gives me butterflies to see my work displayed with that of other artists I admire. :)

So next week I'll begin a series of posts sharing how some of you display your King of Mice goodies. To that end, if you'd like to join in the fun, please feel free to contact me at for info on where to send photos (the kingofmice email address has limited space, so I'll shoot you another one).

Fun, yes?

That's about it for now, except to express my thanks for your support and encouragement and comments. I was so pleased that five of the six pieces on the PFATT Marketplace sold yesterday, and have received many kind comments about the article as well. The cupcake box is still up for grabs, and I hope it will find a home soon. :)

I'm off to have a very late supper of homemade chicken soup (I'm a very bad vegetarian when I'm sick) and watch the snowflakes fall.

Until next time,
♥ Carolee

Sunday, January 9, 2011

PFATT Pfeature and Other Pfun...

Yes, the "P" in "PFATT" is silent, making it even more appropriate for some of us, *ahem*. ;)

Anywho, knowing I was to be the featured artist on the PFATT Marketplace this month, I decided to offer more than just a piece or two this time around, and can't remember when I've had more fun with Valentines Day...

These are all up for grabs at 9PM pacific/midnight eastern time tonight to the first person to shoot me an email about the desired piece (although since I turn into a pumpkin right about that time, I'll likely answer first thing in the morning). ;)

No orders will be taken on any of these, as many of them took waaaay longer than the price reflects, and I'm getting dangerously low on boxes (note to self - call woodworker!)

But I do have one more cat and mouse piece to share, a tea tray originally planned to be part of tonight's PFATT goodies, but alas, not completed in time. So it's destined for eBay tomorrow at 9PM eastern, and will be up for grabs there. You can see a bit of the pencil sketch here....

I'm having great fun with the concept of cats and mice as buddies rather than enemies, and expect I'll be running with it for Halloween too. Speaking of which...

Can you believe it's LESS than nine months until the FIFTH annual Ghoultide Gathering??! I'm giddy with excitement, and already looking forward to the BEST weekend of the entire year.... Yep, I said best - better even than actual Halloween, and THAT's saying something! Jaw-dropping Halloween art in a magical setting (still pinching myself to be included), nonstop fun with friends, giggling in the lobby of the Hampton until the wee hours - it just doesn't get any better. So if you're within striking distance (or heck, even within traveling distance) start planning now! This isn't just an art show, it's an experience. ;)

Okay, calming down now, deep breath...

In other news, I won a giveaway on The Hive. I'm very excited to say I'll have an ad appearing there all month (created by the talented Sandy of Sam I Am). How cool is THAT? Very generous of Ms. Melissa too (the Hive's Queen Bee) and by the way, if you're not already a member, please click here to join. It's basically an online community of artists, crafters and consumers, all coming together in one place, blogging, chatting, sharing and posting info on work, methods, materials, shows and just LIFE in general. I pop in as time allows, and have to say I've met some wonderful people there. :)

On the home front, things are a bit crazy as we try to schedule John's upcoming radiation treatment, and also scramble to take care of a few household things. I'm working some pretty crazy hours, so if I owe you an email or commission, I promise, it's coming, and I thank you for your patience. ;)

That's about it for now - I'll pop in again to share a photo of the finished tea tray, and next weekend, I hope to have some photos to share of what promises to be a wicked cool post-holiday Steampunk/Victorian formal party actross the river in NJ...stay tuned!

In the meantime, thanks for visiting, thanks for your thoughts and comments, and thanks as always for suporrting my work. I'm truly blessed. :)

♥ Carolee

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ringing in an *Artful* New Year!

Here we are, a week into 2011, and I'm only now managing to pull together a New Year's post! Some things never change, and I'll spare you the resolutions, because let's face it - you'd only giggle if I told you I'd be better organized, or more on-schedule and on top of things this year. ;)

Truth be told, I'm not a big fan of resolutions anyway. I prefer wishes and dreams, journeys and adventures. Are all artists like that, I wonder? Loathe to be pinned down, avoiding structure and schedules and rules like the plague?

My wish for this year (aside from world peace and perfect health for my loved ones) is simply to make it a year bursting with creativity; that my paintbrush infuse each new piece with magic and joy and wonder. :)

I'm rather proud of the start so far - a nearly finished checkers game commission (which I'll share very soon!) and these works-in-progress for Sunday evening's PFATT Marketplace update....

Some of my Halloween friends have been teasing me that I may need an intervention soon, but I can't help it, hehe...I ♥ Valentine's Day, and yes, I'll say it, I ♥ cats and mice and rabbits too.

That said, there's plenty of spooky work on the drawing board as well, including the first ceramic piece I've done in almost three years (a teapot). Look for a wicked cool lazy susan too, and the first Halloween clock of the year. And of course, the EHAG Emporium update on January 31st.

I should add, you may have noticed the little blurb about commissions on the upper right sidebar of my blog here. I am currently accepting just a few orders for spring and summer completion, but the window may close soon, as late summer and early autumn are devoted to creating for the Ghoultide Gathering. If there's a special piece you have in mind, shoot me an email. ;)

That's about it for now, except to express a heartfelt *thank you* for your visits, your encouragement and your support of my work! I can't tell you how blessed I feel to ring in another "Artful* New Year!

♥ Carolee