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 :) 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