Friday, August 29, 2008

A Wicked Good Anniversary......

.....And a Wicked Good carrot cupcake (my favorite!) to help me celebrate....

Today marks the seventh anniversary of the day I decided to take the leap, give up the day job, and follow my bliss; the day I began selling my own work on eBay instead of painting wholesale items for someone else.

It's been a wild ride so far, full of twists and turns and definite ups and downs. Self employment, especially for an artist, can be a risky thing. As precarious as living "paycheck to paycheck" is, it pales in comparison to living from one art piece to the next.

But I wouldn't have it any other way. :)

I've had the privilege of meeting so many wonderful people over the last seven years, and of seeing my work travel all over the globe. I spend my days CREATING, painting what inspires me, and I'm just sooooooooo blessed that others find it worthy of displaying in their homes. This is truly the best "job" in the world, and I can't thank my collectors enough for supporting my work!

So on the heels of last month's birthday cupcake, here's a little anniversary cupcake, hehe....painted as a little nod to this wicked good artist's life. Appropos of the date, it will list tonight at 9PM. :)

Until then, it's back to work....More wicked goodies coming soon!

~ Carolee

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Autumn Tunes

Just updated the playlist. If you're so inclined, scroll down to the purple box on the right and have a listen. :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sneak Peek

In keeping with my autumn mood, this little treasure box (perfect for storing dried catnip, and I'll even send you some, hehe!) will list on Etsy later this evening:

Sunday, August 24, 2008


As September approaches and the heat and humidity of summer wanes, I find my thoughts turning to Autumn - my absolute, hands down, favorite time of the year. I know, I know - we still have weeks to go, and I'm probably faking myself out thinking the cooler evenings we've been enjoying will continue. Late August and early September can turn into a 24 hour a day sauna here in southeastern Pennsylvania.

But there are subtle signs; the tips of a few trees turning a beautiful amber color, the flowering crabapple tree in the backyard dropping it's fruit to the ground, some of the herbs in the garden going to seed, local shops bursting with fall decor, advertisements for upcoming fairs and festivals....I can't help it - I'm giddy with anticipation!

Some of my favorite things about autumn:

The crunch of leaves underfoot walking down a wooded path.

The scent of woodsmoke as we drive past Amish farms.

Apple picking and cider drinking at a local orchard; coming home to make and freeze homemade applesauce and pies.

Buying and burning fall scented candles.

Big, bulky sweaters and jeans, worn with Timberland boots.

Fairs, shows and festivals (in particular, the Ghoultide Gathering!)

Road trips - to Michigan, and later in the month south to Asheville, N.C....It just doesn't get any better or more beautiful than driving the Blue Ridge parkway in October.

PUMPKINS! Pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins ("puffins"), pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, pumpkin lattes - my absolute favorite flavor (Okay, maybe next to chocolate, lol)

Wearing scarves, shawls and hats I've knitted myself. Comfy-cozy.

Halloween (and buying just a tad more candy than we actually need, teehee!)

Homemade soups; minestrone, tomato bisque, french onion, vegetarian chili with homemade cornbread, cider-baked butternut squash soup....yummmmmmm.

Flannel sheets and knitted afghans on the bed. Cats and Aussie dogs as footwarmers. :)

How about you? What are your favorite things about autumn?

Friday, August 22, 2008


"Just when I think I've made both ends meet, someone goes and moves the ends"; one of my Mother's favorite sayings, and oh so true....

An addendum to that might be "just when eBay is going along smoothly, the Powers That Be decide to make 'improvements'".

Now, if there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's when ANY big corporation starts throwing around words like "improvement" or "enhancement", you'd better lookout.

Sellers have been notified that very soon (late October), eBay will no longer allow us to accept either personal checks or money orders. All payments must be made electronically. The reasons they're giving for these changes are things like "added protection" and "faster and more reliable payment". A more accurate assessment of the situation is that since eBay happens to OWN Paypal, they're instituting a policy where they now get a portion of every single transaction. Brilliant, eh? I can only imagine the corporate bonus the guy who came up with THIS one is going to receive.

So what to do?

Not much where eBay listings are concerned. And I DO prefer paypal, as long as it's not the dreaded e-check, which takes forever to clear.....

But some of my collectors prefer to mail their payments, and I'm fine with that. So I will still accept checks and money orders on private transactions; sales from my blog, possibly from Etsy, and later in the year I plan to begin selling my work on the PFATT marketplace as well.

In short, I'm rolling with it, but not rolling over. ;)

On a happier note, look for the first treat bowl I've painted in absolute AGES to be listed on eBay this evening at 9, with a buy-it-now option. LOTS of fun to paint, this one:

Theres also a charming little autumn welcome sign listing at 8:45. I'm sooooooooo ready for autumn, but more on that this weekend.

Right now I'm off to enjoy a very late supper of spaghetti with garlic bread, and a glass of red wine.

Until next time,
~ Carolee

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Little Preview

After much futzing around with hardware and inadequate tools (had to send John out at the last minute for things like tiny phillips-head screwdrivers and a hacksaw) I've finally completed what I think may be one of the finest boxes I've ever done. I'm soooooooo proud of this one. (Listing on eBay at 9PM, along with a new tea tray.) :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Work in Progress

*Yet another update* - This very labor intensive piece is finally finished! But daylight ran out before I could get it photographed. So look for it on eBay tomorrow evening (Tuesday) at 9 - I promise it will be worth the wait....

Since there's a decided lack of Halloween eye candy on my eBay page at the moment, I thought it would be fun to give a little preview of coming attractions. :)

I fell in love with this piece the moment I saw it because it's so versatile; a jewelry chest, a sewing box, an apothecary chest, a memory box, a stationary box, a treasure chest..the possibilities are endless. I'm leaning toward painting it as a Witch's Apothecary Chest, for storing "spells and potions" and such, and leaving the practical application up to it's new owner, but we'll see....Sometimes these things take on a direction all their own! My favorite thing about this piece is all the vintage hardware I get to play with; the "lock" and skeleton key, the hinges and handles, the drawer!

The interior of the drawer and the compartment under the lid will be decoupaged today with stationary paper, torn and antiqued to give it a mystical, old-world sort of feel. (Update - done!)

The two shorter, black panels you see resting on top of the chest will be afixed with hinges so they can be lifted to find a surprise underneath. And the longer wood piece will be hand lettered and mounted on the front, over the drawer. :)

If all goes well, I hope to list this one Sunday evening (Update - OK, MONDAY evening, haha) so stay tuned....

Other works in progress include a Halloween tea tray featuring a flying tuxedo cat, and possibly a set of canisters (not yet begun, but waiting in the wings). Then there's all the work for the big show - eek!! Never enough time, and I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating; no rest for the wicked, hehe....

I should add for anyone needing to reach me this Wednesday or Thursday, I'll be out of town, but will return Thursday evening.

Right now I'm going to brew a pot of tea (picked up some of the BEST TEA EVER - seriously, this stuff is like liquid lemon chiffon pie!) at Teavana this past week, after delivering a commission order. Couldn't have asked for a better day - not only did I get my Teavana fix, but better still, I got to meet one of my collectors - the absolute BEST part about this "job" I have! It's such a blessing to meet people who enjoy my work in person, and send my little creations off to their new homes. :)

Off to face the day now, and I'll try to post photos of the finished chest tomorrow....

Until then,
~ Carolee

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Hurrieder I Go....

...the behinder I get!

An old Pennylvania dutch expression, but truer words were never spoken, hehe....

Apologies for the echo you'll hear this week while searching my auctions on eBay, but I've been crazy busy with commission work, and preparing for the show. I did manage to paint three autumn welcome signs - two for Etsy and one for eBay, but two of them sold within minutes, leaving just one, shown here, and available on Etsy (as of typing this anyway!)

Can you tell I'm longing for autumn?

More work coming soon, and I'm considering accepting a limited number of commissions for Christmas pieces (November and early December completion)...

In the meantime, it's now almost 10PM, we've just finished a very late supper, and I'm off to enjoy a glass of wine and do a bit of knitting before turning in.

Back again soon, though, I promise....

~ Carolee

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My Favorite Things

Listing tonight on eBay - the last wall clock of the season:


....To Eva, the winner of this month's giveaway (see previous post)! The little star girl will be on her way very soon. :)

The plan is to make these little drawings a monthly event, anyone who's purchased work from me the previous month being eligible. After going through the records, I write each name on a piece of paper, toss them into the cauldron (OK, actually a soup kettle) and draw the winner. Since I have so many repeat buyers, I'm not quite sure what to do if the same name comes up twice - perhaps limit the number of times someone can win to once every six months...does that sound fair? Still working out the details, but I really like the idea of giving a little something back to my collectors.

On another note, it was my intent this morning to post photos of new work listed on Etsy last night, but I awoke to discover both items had sold - one of them less than ten minutes after the listing posted.... I can't keep up with you guys, haha!! I'll try to get something else listed by week's end, but no promises, as I'm working feverishly to finish a couple of commissions, and a new ebay piece (a wall clock, to be listed this evening).

In the meantime, there's this wicked, whimsical, welcome sign:

I wish time allowed me to offer more goodies than I do, but much of August and September will go to preparing work for the Ghoultide Gathering. The goal is to still offer a few pieces on eBay and Etsy, but I'm not sure how many. And if anyone is within striking distance of Northville, Michigan (just outside Detroit) please come to the show, and do stop by to introduce yourself. It's going to be an amazing event!

That's about it for now. I'm off to brew a pot of lemon ginger tea, light the candles, put the music on (the new Jakob Dylan this morning) and get to work.

Wishing everyone a happy and creative Sunday!

~ Carolee

Monday, August 4, 2008

New Work and a Giveaway

This little witch has been waiting to make her debut for weeks now....Painted on a musical wooden bell which was imported from Russia, she makes the most beautiful sound when tipped. Since only one of these was available, I waffled back and forth as to whether to paint it with a witch or a black cat, and ultimately decided on both. She was a lot of fun, and one of a very limited number of Halloween toys and games I hope to paint in the next month or two. :)

Moving right along, I also have to share a little ornament I painted for the long overdue monthly drawing. Those of you on the mailing list may remember an announcement in the last newsletter about a drawing from the names of all the collectors who've purchased work recently.
Here it is - a sparkling star, painted on a rusted tin ornament, containing a tiny scroll with an inspirational message inside (surprise!)....I'm rather pleased with the way she turned out, and will be sending her off to the winning collector by the end of the week!

More new work is coming soon to both eBay and Etsy, and in the meantime I'm catching up on a couple of commissions, and painting lots of goodies for the big show!

Have to add, I'm LOVING Etsy - the fact that I can set a fair price based on my materials and time, and give collectors the opportunity to purchase work without going through the bidding process...Don't get me wrong - I love eBay too, and the bidding can be exciting - but it's also exciting to offer my work in a new marketplace!

(An aside to all you knitters out there: check out the hand dyed and hand spun yarns on Etsy - they're gorgeous!)

Okay, off to bed with me now, before I turn into a pumpkin (or start buying Etsy yarn again, hehe)....

Until next time,
~ Carolee

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Season of the Witch

Just a quick post today, as we're off to Lancaster's Central Market for a few provisions. Although the main mission today is acquiring some just-picked summer sweet corn, it's likely we'll come home with other goodies as well - we always do; stuffed grape leaves and homemade pita bread from the middle eastern stand, orzo salad from our favorite gourmet place (can't remember the name just now), a few deli goodies for John, and whatever other fresh picked produce looks like we can't live without. Oh - and sunflowers - a must have.

Much as I love summer's bounty though, this is the time of year when my thoughts turn to autumn. I start seriously anticipating cooler days, hills on fire with color, pumpkins appearing at local farmstands, the scent of woodsmoke as we drive through the countryside, sweaters and scarves, homemade soup simmering on the stove....I could go on and on.....When it comes to a feast for the senses, it just doesn't get any better than autumn.

No surprise at all that my anticipation is making it's way into the latest eBay offering, shown here. Lots of falling leaves on this one, a maple leaf closure, and inside the box I've lettered "Must be the season of the witch..."

Indeed - just a few short weeks!

In the meantime, I'm off to enjoy a bit of summer. Wishing everyone a happy and creative weekend. Back again in a few days.......

~ Carolee