Sunday, April 29, 2012

"Friend and Familiar"

Just popping in to share the latest piece, a bentwood treasure box featuring a beautiful black cat set against the full moon...

It's up for grabs on Etsy now. :)

♥ Carolee

Friday, April 27, 2012

Snow White + Chocolate = The Perfect Afternoon

Oh yeah, and John too. ;)

All work and no play makes Carolee a slightly crazed least I think that's that what John sensed when he suggested an afternoon away from the studio. We considered the city (Philadelphia), the Chesapeake Bay, and Bucks County, but in the end -considering gas prices and the usual dog walking dilemma - settled on staying close to home. So off we headed to the quaint little town of Lititz, just about twenty minutes away...

It's been awhile since we wandered around the downtown area, and we found quite a few new shops and cafes. One of my favorites was Zest, filled with gourmet kitchen goodies...

and This Place...

The Chocolate Cafe.


We stopped in for a decadent drink, John opting for hot cocoa (we're talking 70% pure cacao here, as the very gracious and helpful proprietor explained) and a "Chocolate Strawberry Lush" for me - surprisingly healthy and low cal, made of the same dark chocolate, half a dozen fresh pureed strawberries, and seltzer - basically like a liquid chocolate covered strawberry.

Lots of tempting treats to take away too, but we were fairly restrained (with difficulty, hehe).

Suffice to say if  you're ever in Lancaster County, this place is a must.

You're welcome. ;)

Another new and wonderful shop was called simply "Haven", and it was. I wish I could share a link, but the store is that new, I can't seem to find Witch's balls, wonderful beaded jewelry and windchimes, crystals and stones...just beautiful.

We also noticed Aaron's Books moved from Broad Street to Main Street, and while we've been meaning to visit for awhile now (I seem to remember they used to be the meeting place for local SCA members, which has always intrigued me), time was pressing, so we headed off to catch a late afternoon showing of "Mirror Mirror"...

Definitely not traditional, a little hokey, but still fun, and the visuals were great. I mean, Snow White, castles, magic spells - what's not to love?

An altogether perfect afternoon.

Tomorrow, it's back to work - refreshed, restored, and inspired by fairy tale magic.

(Thank you, John!)

♥ Carolee

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Halloween in April?

Of course!

Halloween year 'round, teehee!!

Just popping in to share the very first Halloween clock of 2012, super whimsical...

 I just love polka dots, don't you? And moons and stars, and black cats and mice...

There are two other clocks in progress, but they'll be going with me to the Ghoultide Gathering in October. The one shown here is now up for grabs on Etsy.

Okay, back to the studio for me - between Etsy, commissions and preparation for the show, my head is spinning...

Back very soon!
♥ Carolee

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Witch's Letters

Letter writing, *sigh*...

A lost art, some believe - but then, so are many other old-world things I love; tatting, hand embroidery, baking bread without a machine....Sometimes shortcuts aren't such an improvement after all. Sometimes doing things the old fashioned way brings more satisfaction, more warmth.

A cup of tea, a fountain pen, a piece or two of beautiful stationery and tales to share with a dear friend...what could be better, or more heartfelt?

As much as I love writing letters (which admittedly I don't do nearly enough), I love receiving them even more...sitting down in a comfy chair, aforementioned cup of tea within reach, sunlight or lamplight, savoring every word, every bit of news. And wanting to write back immediately, although it doesn't always work out that way. ;)

I've been thinking a lot about letter writing this week as I painted "The Witch's Letters", a combination lap desk/stationery box, whose drawer will contain a crescent moon stamp and several shades of blue and purple sealing wax...

The drawer's interior is decoupaged with beautiful French script paper and stamps...

What a blessing it was to paint this piece, and I'm happy to say it's already found a good home.

I read recently that many schools are actually dropping penmanship for their curriculum! I know I sound very old here, but how perfectly awful! Can you imagine? The possibility that we're just a generation or two away from old fashioned writing becoming a thing of the past...It makes me sad for those children growing up without knowing the joy of having a penpal, or receiving their first hand written love letter.

I know I can't be alone in this - please tell me that some of you still write letters, still enjoy written correspondence? I do hope so....

Finally, I suppose there's a certain irony in railing against technology while using a computer, and please don't get me wrong - I do love the computer, and it has it's own blessings. I just think it needn't be one or the other.

I'll leave you with Emily Posts guide to writing longer letters, circa 1922. ;)

Until next time,
♥ Carolee

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Wheel of the Year

Rising and setting, waxing and waning, emergence and harvest....

While my own spiritual path has been fairly traditional, I also find myself drawn to the cycles of Mother Earth, and find a certain harmony and balance when I make the effort to live in tune with each season. The Wheel turns, the cycle repeats year after year, and we all become part of the ebb and flow - birth, growth, maturity, and eventually death - and rebirth, as the cycle begins again.

I had the opportunity to reflect on the wheel- and the pagan festivals and celebrations therein - this past week as I completed a commission for a very special collector...

As we experienced the transition here in southeastern Pennsylvania from winter to a very early spring, this piece was such a blessing to paint, and inspired me to do a bit of reading about the Old holidays. Fascinating stuff, and serves to confirm what I've believed for a very long time - that there's ultimately more which unites us than divides us.

Can one observe Christian holidays as well as Pagan? Can one love both God and Goddess? Personally, I don't see why not (and please, if you disagree, do so respectfully and without prosyletizing - I'm not into being scolded).

If nothing else, it's a question that deserves further exploration, further reading, and perhaps a little prayer and meditation. I do know that when I try to work with the natural rhythm of the Earth, rather than against it - or oblivious to it - I feel calmer, and more balanced.

And that has to be a good thing.

Until next time, wishing you all the blessings of this beautiful season,
♥ Carolee

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Sneak Peek...

Just a few hours until the April PFATT Marketplace update, and I finished this treasure chest just under the wire...

You can see why it took so long, hehe...I think this is probably one of the most detailed pieces I've ever painted - and one of the most fun. :)

You can't see it in the photo, but there's an ocean scene with lighthouse and sailboat on the back, and a hot air balloon on one end. But I think my favorite part is the rainbow birds on top. They look so happy. The three dimensional heart is pretty cool too. ;)

It will be up for grabs on a first-to-email basis, on Tuesday, April 10th at 10AM Pacific time (1PM eastern).

In the meantime, painting accomplished, I'm off to bed before I turn into a pumpkin, hehe...

Until next time,
♥ Carolee

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Happy (and Healthier!) Easter

Looks like I did it again - 8 days without a blog update, eek!

I have a good excuse though. I was in the hospital. Then the day after I got out, John went in again. Seriously. Stomach ailments for me (still no diagnosis, but I'm on the blandest of diets, and will be going through some more testing), and another episode of heart failure for John.

He's much better now, and we're enjoying a quiet Easter at home. The brunch we'd planned has been moved back a week. At least. I'd really like to be able to order something other than jello or oatmeal before we go. ;)

Meanwhile, I'm painting like mad, trying to catch up on commissions - some long overdue - and also trying to meet a deadline for the upcoming PFATT Marketplace. Well, actually, I already blew the deadline, but was very kindly granted a reprieve. Truthfully, I was all set to skip it this month, and just be "out on vacation"...

Until I saw this...

How could I resist?

"Follow Your Heart", now in progress...

Yummy colors, yes? I think it would make an amazing treasure chest or memory box, and the black frame around the top will be lettered with inspiring phrases. I'll post pics here and on facebook when it's finished. :)

In other news, it's looking as though the epic "Road Dust and Wanderlust" trip will be a two parter, with the larger leg of the trip postponed until I gain a little more mobility - which means not only weight loss, but adjusting to a new, permanent, ankle brace. The first leg of the trip - Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida to the Keys and back again - is still on, and I'm beside myself with anticipation! Details soon on the Road Trip blog (as soon as I find time to post that is, hehe)...

For now, it's back to work. ;)

Wishing you and yours a Happy and Blessed Easter, and a joyous spring! Back again very soon with pics of the completed chest....

♥ Carolee