Monday, December 31, 2012

Fast Away the Old Year Passes


 I believe it's some sort of law of nature that as we age, the passage of time speeds up exponentially.

As a child, the time between Christmases (or birthdays or any other special day) seemed like a lifetime. Now, at 53, I sometimes feel as though I'm careening downhill in a cart with no brakes, no ability to slow down these moments, these days, these experiences. They fly by at such speed I wish I had more time to savor them. And I wish I could go back and tell my younger self to do just that.

And now, just when I've finally become accustomed to writing "2012" on checks and documents, here it is 2013!

I've seen and heard many comments this year from people who say they cannot wait to put this year behind them. That the new year must be better. I suppose that's human nature. To see something magical and transformative as the clock passes from one year into the next.

But in looking back at 2012 - in reflecting on both the challenges and blessings - there is much I want to keep, and to hold tight. Discoveries made, lessons learned, friendships formed...

First and foremost, to me, 2012 will always be the year I got my husband back. John's retirement (necessitated by several physical disabilities) has been a blessing to both of us, and he has (knocking on the wood of my computer desk as I type this) miraculously spent an entire year OUT of the hospital. Those of you who've been reading here for a while know how huge this is. Friends who haven't seen him in a while comment about how much improved he looks, and he says he feels much better too.

2012 is also the year I decided to get serious about getting healthy. While it's a long road, with an even longer stretch ahead, I know I'm on the right path - and if I stay on track, I will eventually reach my goal.

Creatively, 2012 has been a marvel! Notebook upon notebook filled with more ideas than I could paint in a lifetime, and it's been such a joy to see a few of them manifest. I can only hope 2013 brings such creative energy and inspiration!

And finally, but by no means least, friendship. 2012 saw me taking a several weeks tour of the southeast with someone who has become one of my dearest friends. And while our planned cross-country journey didn't materialize, I consider myself so lucky to have had this experience, this break, and will treasure the memory of it all my life.

2012 also found me reconnecting with old friends on facebook (so much fun to be in touch with people you haven't seen for ages!), and spending many hours enjoying the company of friends in the "real world". Good friends, good food, good wine, good music - it doesn't get much better, and if you resolve to do just ONE thing this year, making time to connect with dear friends is a good place to start.

And in a few short hours we'll turn the calendar, and 2013 will dawn bright and promising and filled with creative possibility!

I know there will be challenges, but my one and only resolution will be to weather them gracefully, while always keeping my focus on the blessings.

May your 2013 year be filled with love and  light, magic and joy!

See you next year!

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






Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmastide at Chez Clark

2012 has been a Christmas to remember, filled with the comforts of home, with friends and family and furkids, and most of all, much love.

In the wake of heartbreaking events in Connecticut, and again on Christmas Eve in Upstate New York, I've felt the need to immerse myself in home and family, reflecting on how very much they mean to me, how blessed I am, and how precious these people and these moments spent with them truly are. Sometimes I take that for granted. Sometimes it gets lost in the shuffle.

So I thought I'd take a few minutes to share a little glimpse of these people I love with you, and of our Christmas, beginning with daughter Courtney...


 A beautiful child, who is no longer a child. Thoughtful and kind and bright, and I can honestly say a pure joy to raise.

And the Mice President himself, husband John, shown here beside me in a rare photo (I'm positively phobic about cameras, but gave in just this once at Courtney's request)...


 We've been together for well over 30 years and faced plenty of challenges together, and I can't imagine anyone I'd rather build a life with. He's been supportive of every crazy idea I've ever had, and always, always keeps me laughing.

And that's a lot. ;)

Soooo, back to Christmas....I used the word "Christmastide" above, because I'm committed to the old fashioned notion that the celebration is not just one day, but twelve. Today is Boxing Day, or St. Stephens Day - the second Day of Christmas, and our halls will remain decked until Epiphany on the sixth of January. On January fifth ("Twelfth Night") we're hosting another little holiday gathering here. :)

Our Christmas Day celebration was, as always, pretty traditional. John is English, and loves the whole Dickensian feast thing, so we always do prime rib with Yorkshire pudding, all the trimmings, and of course, Christmas pudding (a.k.a. plum pudding) for dessert. This photo was taken just after the sprig of holly was removed and the flames doused...


It's served swimming in custard sauce - soooooo good. :)

Dear friends joined us for the feast and we had a wonderful time.

And presents! At the risk of being one of those annoying, bragging parents, I have to share a favorite, made by Courtney. This beautiful teal scarf...


You Tube secretly taught her to knit (succeeding where I admittedly and repeatedly failed, lol)...I had no idea! Can't wait to wear it outside, it looks so warm. She also made me an ornament - decoupaged with pretty, artsy paper...


I need to try this.

Anyway, for a former art student turned businesswoman, it's very cool for me to see her creating, and I like to flatter myself that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. ;)

In addition to these handmade treasures, I was thoroughly spoiled with lots of other goodies, including a replacement for my favorite, long ago broken Kliban coffee mug (Thanks, Ann!)...Anyone remember this little ditty?


Hehe. ;)

And thanks to several family members who heard about our poor, broken, on-its-last-legs stove, we're off to home Depot tomorrow, gift cards in hand to buy a new electric range (yay!)...

The prospect of an accurate and reliable oven, and four working burners - oh joy, oh bliss!

But the best gift of all was spending time with these people I love, the ones who bring joy and warmth and comfort not only to the holidays, but to every day.

We may not have much in the way of material possessions, but we are rich beyond belief when it comes to the things that truly matter, and I consider myself incredibly blessed.

Until next time, wishing you a season of love and light and peace,
♥ Carolee





Friday, December 21, 2012

A Visit to Chestnut Hill

I so love the rural beauty of Lancaster County this time of year, flurries flying, the scent of woodsmoke in the air, horses and buggies on the road, their passengers bundled up in scarves and blankets, the tradition of  a single candle in each window as a welcome to travelers...It's truly a breathtaking place in winter, a hearkening back to another age.

But there's also much to be said for, as the song says, "Christmastime in the city". With that in mind, John and I took a rare day off yesterday for a ramble around Chestnut Hill, one of Philadelphia's oldest - and most beautiful - neighborhoods. Stately homes and more than a few mansions can be seen on the drive into the city, and once downtown, the buildings look this this...


 Just charming,with all the shop windows dressed in greenery and ribbons. After dark, tiny white lights are everywhere, and on Wednesday evenings, carolers stroll the sidewalks. Some of the shopkeepers really go all out with window displays, like this one at Roberstons Flowers...


We also visited Penzy's Spices, and oh my!! I can see why daughter Courtney loves this place. We were delighted to discover more than a few salt-free spice blends and rubs there, which John should have a lot fun with, as he further explores his recent interest in cooking. For my part, it took every ounce of willpower I could muster to stay away from the hot cocoa mixes. ;)


Strolling across the street and down a bit, we found this little shop, The Bone Appetite...


Shhh, don't tell Cosmo and Cadie, but I think Santa Dog is bringing them some very special, iced polar bear treats, hehe. :)

But by far, my favorite stop was this one, The Tangled Web...


Colorful, yarny goodness!


Do you think five days until Christmas is enough time to knit up another gift?


Of course it is! Needles will be flying around here every evening. ;)

All of this walking and shopping (admittedly most of it window shopping, hehe) was broken up by a visit to the Iron Hill Brewery for lunch, which was just delightful. I was bad, and had creme brulee for dessert. NO willpower when it comes to creme brulee, I tell you. Absolutely none.

It was an altogether magical, Christmasy sort of day, and I must give credit to John, who bore it all - even the yarn store - without complaint. What a guy, right?

On the way out of town, we were treated to a glimpse of this mural being painted...


Beautiful, and reminded me of the days I was the one climbing ladders and scaffolds. Oh, to be that young and limber again, *sigh*...

We arrived home to two VERY put-out Aussies (even though their best friend Nikki came by to walk them during the day). They've become so spoiled with *Mom and Dad* home all day, and don't like being left alone one bit, which they let us know by much howling and barking when we finally arrive. :)

It's back to work this morning, but only part time for the next few days, as there's still much baking and wrapping to be done. So I'll sign off now, but not before wishing everyone a Happy and Blessed Yule! The days will begin getting lighter now as we enter into winter, and look forward to spring - reason for rejoicing, indeed.

Until next time,
♥ Carolee






Sunday, December 16, 2012

Many Thanks!

The response to the first annual Christmas and Yule ornaments was overwhelming, and left me wishing I'd painted more!  As quickly as each ornament appeared in the Etsy shop, it was gone - and many emails and messages followed from collectors who missed their favorites...


Altogether there were ten of them, and all I can say is I will probably double that next year (assuming I can carve out enough time to paint that many, hehe!)

In the meantime, if anyone has their heart set on a King of Mice original this year, there are still two trinket boxes in the Etsy shop, which I've just discounted by $10, in the hope that they'll find a home for the holidays. I think they'd be adorable as stocking stuffers, with a few Hershey's kisses inside. ♥

I'll be immersed in commission work for the next few days, but also have one new canvas in the works - an 8" x 10" painting of a gnome riding a reindeer through a snowy birch forest, with a cardinal escort.

Cookie baking and wrapping will also commence, as we prepare for the big day. Courtney will be traveling out from Philly, and we're keeping our fingers crossed that out of town guests will also join us!

I hope your own celebration is everything you wish for, and that wherever you are, you hold your loved ones close...

Until next time,
♥ Carolee


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ornaments!

UPDATE - will begin appearing in the Etsy shop at 6PM this evening. :)

....Are on the way. :)  Just a few, very limited edition, dated 2012, and priced at only $39 each. I hope to make this an annual thing, so different King of Mice creations can be added to the tree each year. Details and photos very soon....

♥ Carolee

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Three Yuletide Hares

Hello, and Happy Yuletide! I've been completely absorbed in myth and symbolism this week, and am so excited about the result... 

The triple hare motif - with three hares chasing each other, and sharing just three ears between them - is a symbol appearing in sacred sites from England (the "Tinner's Hares" in Dartmoor churches) to the Middle and Far East. No one seems to understand the precise connection or meaning, although they've come to represent the Trinity in Christian churches, the triple Goddess in pagan tradition, and in other ancient cultures and mythologies, the lunar cycle, femininity and fertility.

I've wanted to explore this image for years now, and finally delved into it (with a bit of a Yuletide twist) on this wooden platter...


The hares indeed share just three ears, yet each appears to have two. I've bordered the design with Celtic knotwork, and a triple garland of holly and ivy.

Immersion in the lore and mythology surrounding this symbol was pure magic - and of course I feel as though I've just scratched the surface, so look for more pieces exploring this motif soon.

In the meantime, this Yuletide platter will be up for grabs on today's PFATT Marketplace (update on December 10th at 9AM Pacific/1PM eastern), as always on a first-come basis.

Back very soon with new goodies to share (ornaments!)...but first, a few hours much needed sleep...

Until next time,
♥ Carolee


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Good Things, Small Packages...

The latest seasonal pieces, a group of trinket boxes, made of birch, painted in acrylics, and some accented with a little sparkly glitter paint....


The brown hare, reindeer and snowshoe rabbit are sold, but the rest are up for grabs on Etsy. :)

Thanks for looking, and I'll be back very soon with new work!



♥ Carolee

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"Visions of Sugarplums"

Just popping in to share this sparkly piece...


It's a bit larger than the oval bentwood boxes  I painted last season, and I really loved working with this size. Available now on Etsy. :) UPDATE ~ SOLD

Back very soon!
♥ Carolee

Friday, November 30, 2012

EHAG Emporium!

The last Emporium piece of the year,  "Yuletide Blessings"...



$110 + shipping which will vary by location. Offered as always on a first-come basis. Just shoot me an email at carolee@kingofmice.com. :) UPDATE ~ SOLD

♥ Carolee

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Blessings and Treasures + New Winter Art

Like many, I find it all too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle this time of year; making the most of the few weeks before Christmas and Yule - creating as much as I can, while also juggling social engagements, entertaining, seasonal decorating, baking, gift-making, and yes, even a bit of shopping (although I remain determined to make as many gifts as possible, and buy from other artists and small businesses).

And by the way, those who know me know this limited shopping thing is quite a departure from my early days. In my family, shopping was - is, in fact - almost an Olympic event. And time was, I could have easily medaled in it. ;)

But something miraculous happened as I aged, and faced some very real problems and challenges. Those things much of my family holds dear; the expensive clothes and designer labels, the big cars and bigger houses, the first-class travel, and so on - became insignificant. Oh, some of them would tell you it's because I just haven't worked hard enough; that all the trappings are unimportant to me because they are unattainable, and shame on me for not wanting and having them.

But that's not it.

My treasure just lies somewhere else. It lies in everyday moments and experiences. In watching the first snowfall. In cuddling a kitten. In preparing a meal for people I love. In self expression. In spending time with my husband and daughter and dear friends. These things are priceless. And at the end of my life, I know I will not wish I had more things. But I will wish I had more time.

So despite the need to work, I am determined to carve out some of that precious time this season - to see the lights, to spend an afternoon in the city with John, to listen to carolers, to knit and stitch, and to create art which speaks to the blessings of this beautiful season. To be mindful.

I think I've made a decent start, at least in the art department. Someone very kindly commented about this piece - a tea tray - on Facebook, saying they could tell I enjoyed painting it. I did indeed, and it made me so happy think it shows...


It was a commission (my favorite kind, with very few guidelines), and I'm looking forward to sending it to its new home this week.

Another piece which reflects the many blessings of the season will be offered on Friday night's EHAG Emporium...


I wanted to create something infused with winter magic, and hope I've succeeded.

Upcoming pieces include a winter hare, a "Cat Carol" inspired piece, some small trinket boxes, and a large hearth basket. But in between, I'll be soaking up all the beauty and good cheer I can manage, spending time with people I love, and refilling the creative well.

Back very soon, and in the meantime, I hope you are able to take some time yourself to enjoy the blessings of this most wondrous season. I'll leave you with this...



♥ Carolee






Wednesday, November 21, 2012

♥ Giving Thanks ♥

Realizing that Thanksgiving is understandably a day of mourning for Native Americans, it's nevertheless the day we here in the US have set aside to think about gratitude. So, aware as I am of the revisionist history involved in the holiday, I can't deny its appeal.

A day of thanksgiving. Of gratitude.

Which should of course be every day, because we have so much for which to be thankful. And I have to say, this year I question whether the day is about thanks at all, or whether its morphed into something about turkey and "early" Black Friday sales (don't even get me started).

I truly hope not.

I hope we manage to keep the focus on gratitude. To God or Goddess, to the universe, to whomever or whatever you call spirit or guide. And to each other as well, remembering the help we've all had along the way.

A tiny fraction of the mountain of thanks I owe...

 I am thankful for my wonderful husband and best friend, and for our beautiful, bright and kind daughter.

I am thankful for our sweet and loving companion animals, and for those who've come before them. They teach me every day about unconditional love and pure joy in the moment.

I am thankful for my family, and especially for my family of friends. We're bound by respect and love and support, which is what family is all about, or should be. I'm thankful for people who love me despite my failings.

I am thankful for whatever creative ability I've been blessed with, and the opportunity to share it. And I'm thankful that people enjoy my work, and make it possible for me make art for a living.

I am thankful for the comforts of home. For the whistling tea kettle, for rain on the roof, for our small garden and pond, for the birds at the feeder, for the roses, for the music we play, for my favorite chair...It's not much, but its ours, and its so much more than many have.

I am thankful for our health. There have been serious challenges these last few years, but we've weathered them, and are looking forward to better days. That's a lot.

I am thankful to be here. To struggle, to fail, to fight, and sometimes to prevail. I'm thankful for every moment of my incredibly too-short life, and I am thankful for the chance to learn and grow and evolve. I am thankful for an open heart and hopefully open mind, and pray it will always be so.

I am thankful.

Wishing all those who celebrate a happy and blessed day of Thanksgiving.

Much love,
♥ Carolee








Tuesday, November 20, 2012

An Enchanting Arrival!

I've long been an admirer of the work of folk artist Jennie Hepler-Takens, of Prim Pumpkin, so like many others, it was with a glimmer of hope that I recently entered her blog giveaway.

And guess what?

I won this beautiful *Topsy Turvy* doll (two dolls in one, changed by flipping her costume upside down), which appeared in the spring issue of Art Doll Quarterly!

Isn't she sweet?!

She's holding a little quote from Mae West, which reads: "Few men know how to kiss well"...


..."Fortunately, I've always had time to teach them."


Indeed, hehe!

Jennie, thank you soooooo much! I will treasure her, and she will live in a place of honor among other original Halloween keepsakes in my studio space.

To which I must return now - but I'll be back soon, I promise! In the meantime, do visit Jennie's blog and take a peek at some of her other wonderful work!!

Until next time,
♥ Carolee




Sunday, November 18, 2012

"Friends in Christmas"

What a perfect start to the holiday season!

Friday afternoon found me traveling to West Virginia with friends Hugh Luck and Jennifer MacNeill Traylor, to see artist Paul Gordon's annual "Friends in Christmas" show.

The event began with a gathering at Paul's home, to which we were graciously invited. And what a home! He's created a place of warmth and magic, every surface adorned with treasures. With Paul's permission, I took a couple of photos. The first is a cabinet filled with sooooooo many holiday collectibles...


Next is a Christmas table display. Beautiful! And another thing that really grabbed me was the paintings on the left - hanging not on the wall, but on a door. Since there can never be enough art, I think I may have to try this. ;)


Finally, a shot of the dining room, and the most incredible walls I've ever seen. It doesn't show here - but the ceiling is a deep cerulean blue. It almost gives me hope for my own dining room walls (unfortunately covered in old, plaid wallpaper - ugh.)...But perhaps we could see what's underneath those years of paper and try a similar glazing technique, yes?


A magical evening altogether, and just carried over to the next morning too, when we arrived at Paul's studio to discover some of the finest folk artists in the country exhibiting their work. These photos by no means cover everything, just a few highlights.

Pat Murphy, of Murphy Bears created these whimsical little birds...


A polar bear shadowbox from needlefelt artist Deanna Ellis...


An array of pincushions from fiber artist Deborah Hartwick, of Heartwells Designs...


And an incredible piece from our host, Paul Gordon. I love the child climbing the tree inside the lantern below...


And look at this beautiful doll peddler from artist Allen Cunningham. Such fine detail in all those little dolls!


And after missing out on one of Allen's snowmen a couple of years ago (I was too slow, and they sell FAST, lo), I was just delighted to capture this darling Snow Queen, adorned with antique lace...


A couple of small gifts were also purchased, holiday tokens for friends who love handmade treasures as much as I do. ♥

All in all, a truly magical way to begin the holidays, made even more so by the invitation Paul extended to participate as an exhibitor next year - heeheehee!!! This will be my very first Christmas show, and I'm so honored to be in such company. So yes - TWO shows for which to prepare next year, which is making me think I need to acquire some serious organizational skills. (Stay tuned, hehe)...

In the meantime, it's off to the studio to complete a commission, then a little Thanksgiving shopping. We'll be spending the day here at home, with dear friends joining us for the feast. Daughter Courtney has weekend plans with her beau. And extended family....well, they celebrate together, sans us. But truly, family is not always the group of people we are born into, but the group of people who are accepting and supportive of us despite differences. Some people are lucky enough to have that, and some people have to create it for themselves. Whichever you have, I hope you spend the day in the company of people who love and accept you.

Until next time, wishing those here in the US a very Happy Thanksgiving!

♥ Carolee

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sneak Peek...

La Befana, the Christmas witch of Italian folklore...


She'll be up for grabs this Saturday morning at 10AM Pacific/1PM eastern, when PFATT Marketplace opens its doors...UPDATE - SOLD.

 In the meantime, it's back to the studio - with more Christmas and Yuletide goodies on the way soon!
♥ Carolee

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

"Visions of Sugarplums"

Just popping into share this new print, which joins several more (also new) in my Etsy shop today...


There are only a couple of each available, so please drop by and take a look - I know I'm just wee bit biased, but I think they make great holiday gifts!

OK, back to work, and I'll be back in a day or two with a new, original Christmas piece!

♥ Carolee

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Mighty Storm

Like most of the east coast, having prepared as best we can, we're now hunkered down, awaiting Sandy's wrath.

"Sandy's" wrath?

Sounds kinda silly, doesn't it?

A facebook friend pointed out yesterday that people might take these storms more seriously if they were named after terrifying mythological creatures, or perhaps demons. "Sandy" just sounds so innocuous. That said, the weather service is doing a much better job with winter storms this year; Draco, Gandalf, Iago...now THOSE are storms. ;)

As is this one, name notwithstanding. The rain began last night, and has continued steadily, and as I type this, the wind is picking up. Our little backyard already looks like a bit of a mud bath covered with leaves -  and while I can't imagine another six inches out there, that's the prediction.


As long as we have power, the painting will continue, although if downed tree limbs become an issue, I may forgo my usual spot under the skylight for a safer interior room. Despite all the preparation the last couple of days (food, water, lanterns, extra propane, clearing the yard of possible projectiles, etc), I did manage to get one more piece painted - a small Cosmic catnip box, which is listed on Etsy now....


I think it would make a wicked cool stocking stuffer. ;)

And speaking of stocking stuffers (see how I did that?), look for Christmas and Yule pieces beginning next week. I'm determined to finish a couple of  commissions first, but truly cannot wait to get started (as usual, more ideas than time!)

In the meantime, we'll see what Sandy brings, and make the best of being temporarily grounded. Ever the optimist, there's a hearty stew simmering in the crockpot, a baroque playlist on spotify, and if all that goes down, there's reading, knitting and board games by lantern light.

Be well and stay safe, my east coast friends!

♥ Carolee


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Yikes!!

It's almost midnight, Saturday the 27th - the day of Vanessa Valencia's fabulous Halloween party - and I just now realized I completely spaced it off!

Apologies all around, and in my defense, like so many others, we're in the path of Hurricane Sandy here. Which means the last several days have been all about obtaining emergency lighting, propane tanks, non perishable food and water, pet food, etc etc... Add to this a visit to the emergency room for daughter Courtney, and surgery for furkid Arthur (our big ginger cat), and well...my mind has been elsewhere.

I do intend to spend a bit of time making the party rounds, just as soon as we're sure we've battened down the hatches here.

In the meantime, I wish you all a very Merry Hallowe'en, and I wish all those in the path of the hurricane safety...

♥ Carolee

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A *Magical* Weekend!!

Have you ever had an experience that lingers long after it's gone? A moment - or hour or day - whose memory leaves such a blissful imprint, that the high seems to continue?

Such was the 2012 Ghoultide Gathering...

Months of preparation, of wild imagination and flights of fancy, all for a few brief hours of magic. This is hands down my absolute favorite weekend of the year, but this year truly topped all others. The new venue (in Chelsea, Michigan - more about this wonderful little town later) allowed all the artists to be under one roof again (the first time in five years!) and I must tell you the Halloween energy was just *electric* Seriously, you could feel it. Pure, creative, Halloween intensity!

Here's a little video, courtesy of  Lori Davis, of the moments just before the doors opened (and the near stampede to Scott Smith's table when they did, haha)...



The band you hear (and can see on the hay wagon to the right, in the far back, in places) is the Appleseed Collective. They were perfect, and most of the artists came away with CDs. :)  My own display is not shown here, being on the other side of the aisle, and near the door - but here are two photos taken by my dear friend Jennifer Mac Neill Traylor, who was also my "second" in the King of Mice Studios booth (and a HUGE help - thank you Jen!!)

The entire display...


And a close up of a few of the goodies...


 Of course, the tables didn't look like this for long, hehe...

Most of these pieces are now residing in their new homes - but a few are left - and looking for a good home for Halloween. ;)

The first three will be available on today's PFATT Marketplace (10AM Pacific/1 PM eastern), and I've marked them down just a wee bit in the interest of not only finding them homes, but also reclaiming my dining room table!. ;) 

OK, where was I? Oh yes, back to the show, and to Chelsea, Michigan...

What an utterly charming little midwestern town!

It's easy to see why actor Jeff Daniels still calls Chelsea home. A charming Main Street with Mom and Pop businesses, a clock tower, and right in the center of town, the Jiffy Mix plant. Doesn't get more Americana than that. ;) But lest you equate small with provincial, I should add that Chelsea is also home to one of the best and most sophisticated gift shops I've ever visited; The Potting Shed...


Is this gorgeous and overwhelming, or what? Shabby Cottage meets Paris Apartment meets Vintage meets Halloween meets Christmas!

We also visited a delightful little place called The Bumble Shop, but alas, didn't take any photos. The proprietors of each shop went out of their way to make us feel welcome, even to the extent of little gifts, and putting up posters all over town that said "Welcome Ghoultide!" How cool is that?!

And as for our Chelsea restaurant experience, I have just three words:  

Mango. 

Chipotle. 

Margarita.

'Nuff said. ;)

 All this makes me want to visit again as soon as possible, but I suppose next year will have to do.

In the meantime, there are those few Halloween pieces left, Look for them on Etsy this Friday, and if anyone is interested in any of the following pieces and would rather not wait, just shoot me an email. Remaining pieces include:

  • House of the Black Cat innkeeper's sign
  • Seek Magic sign
  • Something Wicked sign
  • Annabel Lee coffin box
  • Harvest Moon oval box
  • Witch Haven table
  • Halloween Time Pendulum clock
  • Tuxedo and Tabby Tea Box
  • Wicked Jack sign
  • Wicked Candy Corn pennant
(This list is absent the three pieces which will be on PFATT Marketplace today.)

Finally, thank you Scott and Stephanie for all your hard work - just when I think you can't possibly produce a better show, you completely outdo yourselves!  And farewell until next year to all my Ghoultide Gathering friends...I miss you already!!


 Next up: finishing a few commissions, then switching gears to Christmas and Yule!

(No rest for the wicked, eh?)

Be well, and enjoy the season!!
♥ Carolee
























Friday, September 28, 2012

Two Originals ♥

As you can imagine, most recent work has been held back for the sixth annual Ghoultide Gathering - but for those who can't attend, there are two pieces currently available in the Etsy shop. The first (a cake platter/display stand) is shown in the previous post, and here is the second...


A little more primitive than my usual style - sort of a "King of Mice meets Grandma Moses" thing going on, hehe...But I'm having such fun with it, and can't wait to complete a table in the same style.

OK, just had to share, hehe....back to the studio I go, and back to work on the last few pieces for the show. Hope to see you there!

♥ Carolee

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"Double, Double Toil and Trouble"....

"Fire burn and cauldron bubble"...

Amidst Ghoultide Gathering preparation, I did manage to paint and list a new piece in the Etsy shop - this whimsical cake plate/display stand...


You can't see it in this photo, but it sits on a pedestal. :)

It's listed on Etsy now, and I hope it becomes a treasured part of someone's Halloween celebration this year!

OK, back to the studio (and thanks for taking a peek!)

♥ Carolee

Friday, September 21, 2012

Really??

It's been almost two weeks since I've dropped in with an update?!

Yikes!

All I can do is plead total panic, as I prepare for the biggest (and best!) weekend of the year...

As you can see, the inventory of Halloween goodies grows daily, and is all but taking over the house now...


 I know - this isn't much of an update, *sigh*....but I must get back to painting! Looking forward to seeing some of you at the show, and in the meantime, wishing everyone a happy and blessed autumnal equinox tomorrow!

♥ Carolee

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sneaky-Peeky (and PFATT Update!)

APOLOGIES to PFATT Marketplace collectors!  GoDaddy (my website and email host) seems to be down, so I am unable to retrieve email to see who captured this piece until they are up and running again. Thanks for your patience. ~ Carolee


Infused with magic and whimsy, this one was created as severe thunderstorms blew through our area...


 Seriously - dark as night outside, with wind bending the old oak tree out back, and sheets of rain lashing the skylight overhead...the perfect atmosphere, hehe. :)

It will be up for grabs on a first-come basis on Monday's PFATT Marketplace (10AM pacific/1PM eastern).

Details: The piece measures 15" at its tallest point, is hand made of birch wood, painted in acrylics, and has a sculpted handle. A clear acrylic varnish has been added for protection.

As always, this piece is available to the first person to email me after the update. (carolee@kingofmice.com)

And now, it's back to the proverbial drawing board for me...Ghoultide is less than four weeks away, and I'm in a creative frenzy....eeek!!
♥ Carolee


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Wheel of the Year

While each season has its own blessings, there's something about the turning from summer to autumn that makes me acutely aware of Mother Nature's wonders, and of course, inspires the depiction of this turning.

To that end, I've completed another Wheel of the Year, illustrating the eight pagan festivals - or Sabbats - and the passing of one season to another, one year to the next. The lazy susan has become my favorite piece for these wheels, because like the seasons, it turns continuously...


This is a time of year when I'm normally pretty crazed as I prepare for the biggest show of the year, but the stress factor has been intensified this year by a number of personal issues and challenges (more on that in another post)...So what an incredible blessing to immerse myself in this reminder of the constant and beautiful cycles of Mother Earth! It's been a much needed, creative "deep breath"...

The Wheel is listed on Etsy now, and will travel to its new home infused with the all positive energy, love and light with which it was created. UPDATE ~ SOLD

Until next time,
♥ Carolee

Friday, August 31, 2012

Cosmic Catnip!

It's that time again - the last day of the month, when the doors of the wicked cool EHAG Emporium creak open for business...


I've revisited a familiar theme this time - a "Cosmic Catnip" box, perfect for storing catnip, kitty toys - or whatever else might strike your fancy. The box measures 9 1/4" x 3 1/4" x 2 1/4", and is painted in acrylics and ultra-fine pen and ink, and finished with a clear, acrylic varnish. The interior features a single shooting star. (You can click on these photos for a larger image)..


Signed by the artist (me), with a certificate of authenticity included. $185 + shipping, which will vary by location.

As always, this Emporium offering is up for grabs on a first-come basis. To purchase, please email me at carolee@kingofmice.com. UPDATE ~ SOLD

Thanks so much for taking a peek!
♥ Carolee


Monday, August 27, 2012

Annabel Lee

 By Edgar Allan Poe

It was many and many a year ago,
   In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
   By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
   Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
   In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
   I and my Annabel Lee—
With a love that the wing├Ęd seraphs of Heaven
   Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
   In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
   My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
   And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
   In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
   Went envying her and me—
Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know,
   In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
   Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
   Of those who were older than we—
   Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in Heaven above
   Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
   Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
   In her sepulchre there by the sea—
   In her tomb by the sounding sea.