Thursday, January 29, 2009

Party Cats

An 8" x 10" acrylic painting on chunky canvas, listing on eBay later this evening. The edges are black with white polka dots. :)

Wishing everyone a happy and creative Thursday!
~ Carolee

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tile Art

I have this weird little wall in my living room, where a chimney used to be....Our house was built in 1892, and whatever woodstove or fireplace once existed in the long, narrow room is long since gone. But the wall covering the chimney remains. Actually, come to think of it, the chimney is probably still there too, under the wall somewhere.....But I digress...

What to do with such a weird, tiny wall? Since it's too small and narrow for anything but the tiniest painting or photograph, and too big and obvious to leave blank, I decided to adorn it with some of my friend Carol Harnish's wonderful tile art.

Carol not only creates these beautiful pieces, but also designs and makes the stamps she uses to impress the clay. I love the earthy, organic colors and the variety of textures in the glazes she's used...

Why am I telling you this? Because Carol has opened an Etsy shop! And although she's been creating these gorgeous pieces for shows and commissions for some time now, Etsy is a new venture, so she's priced these accordingly (seriously, you'll feel like you're stealing them!)

I love this dragonfly....

And this set of four leafy tiles....

There are some great little goddess pendants too. :) So do run over and take a look....

And thanks, as always, for buying handmade!

~ Carolee

Monday, January 26, 2009

Another Giveaway!

The EHAG's (Eclectic Halloween Artist's Group) are hosting a winter giveaway, with the theme "The Weather Outside is Frightful".....By the skin of my teeth I managed to complete this little offering yesterday:

Its an original acrylic painting on canvas (8" x 10") with painted edges, so there's no need for a frame. :) To enter, just click here, and you'll be magically transported to the EHAG blog where you can leave a comment. LOTS of other goodies there too, so run on over and drop your name in the hat!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Sculpting Bug, Part Two.....

Just had to share the result of my little foray into sculpting figures - a cat! (I know, what else?) Her name is Rose, and it was so much fun watching her come to life. I'm discovering that paperclay is just like paint, in that once you begin, the piece leads you in whatever direction it an adventure!

I so wanted to keep her, but there's the pesky budget to think about, so she's listed on eBay now. I set the opening bid a bit lower than I probably should have given the time involved, but since we're all in the same boat with this economy, I'm leaving it to fate, and trusting she'll find a good home. :)

~ Carolee

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thinking Spring

As I sat here painting yesterday, snow flurries falling outside, afghan across my lap and furnace running almost constantly, my thoughts couldn't help but turn to spring (just a few weeks away!) so I found myself painting this little fellow on a welcome sign. I love the country French feel of the soft greens and bright pinks contrasted with the black and white.

Suitable for indoor or outdoor use, it's listed on eBay now. :)

Look for a sweet little Black Cat Valentine later this evening, and possibly a small catnip canister as well - I'm on a roll, hehe!

~ Carolee

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Sculpting Bug....

....Has bitten me again!

It's been awhile since I offered any pieces with sculpted accents, so I thought it was time to get my hands into the paperclay again! First up, a whimsical cat and perhaps a moon - after that, who knows? Sometimes these things take a direction all their own, and all I can do is follow. So stay tuned for some wicked and whimsical new pieces. :)

In the meantime, I've been tagged again....I usually opt out of these things as graciously as possible, mostly because I think who really cares to hear random stuff about me anyway? I'm not all that interesting, really! But it's been awhile since I've played, and this tag (from Sonia at A Dark Raven's Next) is for six random things not written before....So not having much else to say today, here goes, hehe:

1. I play the piano. Or rather, I used to play the piano. We have an old upright grand in our living room, but it's been ages since I've touched it - just haven't had the time. And to be honest, I never played all that well anyway. ;)

2. I hate television. I mean, I really, really intensely dislike it. We don't have it here (although we do rent the occasional movie) and when we stay at a hotel and John turns it on for a few minutes, it's seriously like nails on a chalkboard.

3. If it weren't for my very practical husband, I'd probably turn into a crazy cat lady. We have three here in a small house, but left to my own devices, I'd have at least a dozen. I love ALL animals, but have a special affinity for cats.

4. I completely tune out when I'm creating. Completely. Like I'm in an imaginary world or something - the Secret Garden or Alice through the looking glass. Last year when our house filled with smoke (from our next door neighbor's furnace mishap), John smelled it from upstairs, and came down saying "Hello?! Do you SEE this?!" and I looked up completely surprised. I also remember my daughter explaining to one of her little friends (who had apparently asked me a question) "Oh, my Mom can't hear when she paints." Yep - absolutely oblivious....

5. I think the right tea in the right circumstance is magic.

6. As I age, and I see others around me aging, my greatest fear isn't the failure of my body, or the diminishing of my circumstances - it's that I'll become cynical and judgemental. I don't want to become, for lack of a better word, cranky. If anything, I want to become more open minded, more understanding, to embrace life's adventures and to never, ever stop creating. Age should be an awakening, don't you think? :)

I won't tag anyone else in particular, but if you're so inclined, do feel free to tag yourself.

Back to sculpting now!
~ Carolee

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'm a Winner!

Just had to share the fabulous giveaway I won from the Fiber Farm CSA blog (home of Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm and Hudson Valley Fiber Farm)....A single season membership in Dye Dreams Four Season Sock Club! This includes a skein of fingering weight yarn, a winter sock pattern and a reusable tote. If you're a knitter, you'll understand how cool this is, and if not, well... trust me, it's pretty cool. :)

I'm a HUGE fan of the CSA (community supported agriculture - buy locally, support your local farmer, etc) and am soooooo jazzed (do people say that anymore?) to be a member of the country's first-ever fiber farm CSA! If you're a knitter, or know a knitter, check out the links above to see how it works...

Off to work on some Halloween goodies now, and yet ANOTHER giveaway - this one for the EHAG group - stay tuned for details!

Wishing everyone a happy and creatve Wednesday!
~ Carolee

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Just had to share this little black kitten, who looks very much like my Merlin did a couple of years ago, before he grew into an elegant, sleek panther. :)

The words around the edge are appropriate for any cat, don't you think?

It's painted on solid wood, and although you can't really see it in the photo, the edge is routed and painted with a black and white checkerboard. It will list at 9PM eastern on eBay. :)

~ Carolee

Sunday, January 18, 2009

On World, One Heart Giveaway

UPDATE - Comments will be closed at 8AM eastern standard time, Thursday, February 12th. I'll draw and post the winner shortly thereafter. Thanks so much for playing!

I'm so happy to be participating in this worldwide blogging event this year! I discovered it last year, on the very last day - far too late to pull something together and join in the fun. But this year, I'm so there!

Hosted by Lisa at A Whimsical Bohemian, One World, One Heart has become a huge annual event - a cyber party of sorts, where bloggers and others from all over the world can visit with each other, share stories and comments, make connections and perhaps leave the party with a little goodie. It's a reminder of the basic goodness and generosity in this global blogging community (although you do not need to be a blogger to participate here!), and the chance to make new friends we might otherwise have never known. How cool is that?!

Here's my humble offering - a whimsical little star shaped, wooden box, painted by yours truly and dusted with a bit of vintage glass glitter. All you need to do to join in the fun is leave a comment here (it must be in this post) and on the 12th, I'll draw a name from the magic cauldron, and send this piece to the winner. If you do not have an active blog, be sure to include your name and email address in your comment, so I can reach you in the event you win. This last bit is very important, because if I can't reach the winner after 7 days, I will draw another name.

Thanks in advance to everyone stopping by and leaving a comment - I so love hearing from you - and do feel free while you're here to grab a cup of your favorite magical brew, and have a look around! Or to find others with wonderful giveaways, just click the logo at the top of this post and it will take you to the "gypsy caravan" of participants. :)

Artful Blessings,
~ Carolee

Friday, January 16, 2009

"Je t'aime"

With less than a month until Valentine's Day, I couldn't resist painting this sweet little guy, holding his message of love....

Valentine's Day has become kind of a big deal around here, where weather and funds permitting, the gifts sometimes go over the top.

It all started many years ago, early in our marriage when John (who is British) railed against the "stupid American holiday invented by the greeting card companies"...(nevermind the actual origins of the day are in fact British, we won't go there)....But suffice to say he was not on board with the whole candy and flowers thing.

My response was to arrange a mid-day workplace delivery of enough pink and red helium balloons to completely fill his office. Said balloons were tied to a coffee mug lettered "What a Guy", which was filled with Hershey's kisses and accompanied by a Valentine saying simply "Happy stupid American holiday". ;)

I've received a gift to mark the day every year since, hehe.

My gifts to him over the years have varied - from the risque to the ridiculous; the after dinner at a nice restaurant presentation of a gift bag, filled with chocolate body paints and brushes, and a note declaring "dessert's on me" very elaborately decorated valentines (we're talking HUGE valentines here - lace, feathers, sequins, glitter, perfume, the works) delivered every day for a week to his office....

And his gifts to me have been quite thoughtful; a romantic dinner out, an anthology of classic love letters, etc...

But last year's gift will be hard to top; the literal repair of a broken heart. February 2008 found me in the hospital's cardiac waiting room, and John in an operating room, as a surgeon repaired his damaged mitral valve. A successful outcome that day (actually a couple of days after Valentine's Day) was the absolute best gift I ever have, or ever will receive.

No clue what this year's celebration will be, but I suppose it's time to give it some thought.

(And if you have any ideas I'd love to hear them, hehe!)

~ Carolee

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Jen of Gypsy Mare Studios just included my little star faced trinket box in her "Palomino" Etsy Treasury (a Treasury is a collection of the creator's recent favorites, usually with a theme). Check it out here. :)

Thanks so much, Jen!

~ Carolee

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cirque du Chats

I had soooooooooooo much fun with this piece! I smiled all the way through it (which was several days) thinking of - well, thinking of just about every cat I've ever known!

Acro-cats one and all, performing amazing balancing acts and death defying feats like high jumping and curtain climbing....

Being brave and bold and fearless - that's what it's all about, right?

Truth be told, I was tempted to keep this one. But that would set a dangerous precedent, and before you know it, I'd have to go get a REAL job. With regular hours....and a boss.....and structure and rules....and no *magic*. (Not that I'm qualified to actually DO anything, mind you - art is all I know.) So I'll happily send this one out into the world, and hope it brings a smile. It will list on eBay tonight at 9PM eastern. :)

In progress right now are two Halloween commissions and a darling little Tuxedo Cat Valentine's box with magical swirly sparkles. It's hard to believe that Valentine's Day is just a month away! I must think of something wicked to send John this year (sort of a tradition with us, but more on that later, hehe)....

Oh! And there are two very cool giveaways coming soon too - big giveaways with lots of artists participating, so stay tuned for details. :)

Artful blessings until next time,
¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*´¨)
(¸.·´ (¸.·´ ~ Carolee

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Little Assistant

Remember the table I've been promising for a few posts now? It was supposed to be finished this morning, allowing me a rare afternoon off to meet a friend for coffee, running back here in time to photograph and write an eBay listing. But how in the world am I supposed to complete anything with this kind of help!?

Ironically, this piece is called "Cirque du Chats". :)

Do you think Merlin can read? Maybe he's just trying to get into the spirit of things....

I suppose it's my own fault for leaving a paintbrush sitting there as I make tea. At any rate, I just couldn't resist grabbing the camera and snapping these to show you one of my studio assistants at work. :)

The table will no doubt list tomorrow. In the meantime, I'll return from my afternoon coffee break to a few more hours painting. With luck, Merlin will be napping by then.....Wish me luck. ;)

~ Carolee

Sunday, January 11, 2009

“Do you believe in fairies?"...

..."Say quick that you believe. If you believe, clap your hands!” ~ J.M. Barrie

I was thinking a great deal about faerie magic today as I painted this garden sign (and tried to justify keeping it here, planted on the end of a post at the entrance to my soon-to-be faerie garden!) It's lettered around the edge with an old English charm, and listed on eBay for just a few days....

I believe in faeries....I believe there's magic everywhere if we only take the time to look for it; from miracles of nature like snowflakes and butterflies, to the wonder in a small child's eyes when some new discovery is made, to that falling over a cliff feeling when you first meet your absolute-forever-one-and-only....

Magic exists, and people who say it doesn't have just lost sight of it, don't you think?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Of Cats and Gardens

One of my favorite subjects recently, St. Gertrude of Nivelles was a 7th century abbess of the monestary at Nivelles, in present Day Belgium. She was a mystic and visionary and is known as the patron saint of cats and gardeners - and I believe also travelers. Painted here on solid wood, with fourteen Swarovski crystals added to her halo, I think she would make a wonderful addition to home, patio or garden. She's listed now on the PFATT Marketplace.:)

Look for another garden piece later this evening (this one faerie themed) and more Halloween work coming very soon....There are more ideas spinning around in my brain than time to create them all, but I'm certainly trying, hehe!

Right now I'm off to light some candles, brew a pot of tea, and paint those faeries - the perfect way to spend a snowy Saturday, yes?

Until next time, wishing everyone a happy and creative weekend!

~ Carolee
*Almost forgot - there's some very cool medievalish music added to the playlist to go with St. Gertrude, so if you like that kinda thing, do scroll down on the right and click play. :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

This and That

Lots of irons in the fire this week, so thought I'd share just a few of them....

The piece above was completed yesterday, a memorial chest in remembrance of Nutsy, a collector's beloved tuxedo cat companion. I painted him just this side of the Rainbow Bridge, gazing at a beautiful monarch butterfly, added to represent metamorphosis. Painting pieces as memorials or remembrances is always an emotional process, bringing up memories of my own late companions. But it's also an incredible blessing to think that my work may bring some small comfort, and someday perhaps even a smile in fond remembrance.

Switching gears, the piece below is one I painted last year, and listed on eBay last evening with no reserve. There's a very cool little sculpted spider, set with faux jewels, on the back of this one. :)

Currently in progress are two plaques; the first, a painting of St Gertrude of Nivelles, the patron saint of cats and gardeners, and the second a faerie themed garden piece. Next up are two Halloween commissions, a whimsical table, a witchy salt box, and an old fashioned stationary box. (I know, I need another twelve hours in a day!!)

Add to all this the fact that I'm coming down with the annual January headcold, and the Christmas tree is still standing in the living room, well - it promises to be a crazy week....

I'm off now to listen to the newly updated playlist (scroll down and give it a click if you're so inclined!), then I'll brew another cup of Good Earth tea, and get to work....

Until next time, wishing everyone a happy and creative Tuesday!!
~ Carolee

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Rescued Menagerie (and studio assistants)

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened. ~ Anatole France

As I work on a couple of commissions and a new piece for eBay, I thought I'd share a few photos of the other loves of my life (aside from the obvious human ones, that is)...

Queen of the household (and she thinks the universe), Cheetah is our very tiny, 16 year old former feral. She has the same heart condition for which John recently underwent surgery, and weighs just over 5 lbs. She gets a bit confused sometimes, waking us at 2 or 3 AM, howling loudly (sounds just like a siamese!) and won't rest until we give her attention no matter what the hour. Is that a sweet face or what?!

Next we have the brothers, Merlin and Arthur. Adopted from CatWorks adoption in Reading PA, they were born on or very near Halloween, and abandoned at a local shelter with their brothers and sisters at five weeks old.

They're big, beautiful boys now, although no more impressed with having their picture taken than they are with strangers visiting. Some of our friends actually question their existance because they hide under the bed the minute strange voices are heard.

This beautiful girl is Cadie. We adopted her from Aussie Rescue four years ago, driving to Ohio to pick her up. Everyone in the world is Cadie's best friend. She's happy, happy, happy all the time, and just LOVES to give kisses.

And this is Cosmo, also adopted from Aussie Rescue. Cosmo is a sweetie but has issues....thunder, trash trucks, airplanes and helicopters, fireworks....even cicadas in the trees make him think the sky is falling. He's very protective of me, and very skittish around strangers. But he has a heart of gold for his people, and that's good enough for us. :)

How about you?! Is there a special rescue in your life? If so, please do share....and if there's not, please consider opening your heart and home to a rescue animal! The kennels are bursting at the seams now, and so many need loving homes...

I'l leave you with that thought, and with this piece, forwarded to me by a collector friend and fellow animal lover (you may need a kleenex):

I Rescued a Human Today

Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her. I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn't be afraid.

As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn't want her to know that I hadn't been walked today. Sometimes the shelter keepers get too busy and I didn't want her to think poorly of them.

As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn't feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone's life.

She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship.

A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well. Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms. I would promise to keep her safe. I would promise to always be by her side. I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes. I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven't walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.

I rescued a human today.

Until next time,
~ Carolee