Sunday, February 28, 2010

What Would You Be?

I found this wonderful little question and answer thingy over Lori Anderson's Pretty Things blog, and just had to re-post it...If you're inclined to spend a few minutes, please do copy with your own answers in your comment. :)

What Would You Be?

If I were a month I’d be October
If I were a day I’d be Monday
If I were a time of day I’d be twilight
If I were a planet I’d be Venus

If I were a sea animal I’d be a selkie
If I were a direction I’d be north
If I were a piece of furniture I’d be covered in comfy pillows
If I were a liquid I’d be tea

If I were a gem stone I’d be sapphire
If I were a tree I’d be a cherry tree

If I were a tool I’d be a hammer
If I were a flower I’d be an iris

If I were an element of weather I’d be the wind
If I were a musical instrument I’d be a dulcimer
If I were a color I'd be purple

If I were an emotion I’d be joyful

If I were a fruit I’d be a clementine
If I were a sound I’d be laughter
If I were an element I'd be fire

If I were a car I’d be a Beetle

If I were a food I’d be chocolate
If I were a place I’d be Ireland
If I were a material I'd be linen

If I were a taste I’d be sweet

If I were a scent I’d be spicy

If I were a body part I’d be eyes
If I were a facial expression I'd be a smile
If I were a song I’d be uplifting.

If I were a bird I'd be a goldfinch

If I were a gift I'd be a book
If I were a street I'd be busy

If I were a city I'd be Paris
If I were a door I'd be open

If I were a pair of shoes I’d be comfortable

And what would you be?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Touch of Spring

Just had to pop back in to share two more pieces added to the eBay auctions this evening - painted today as the snow fell, but with spring in my heart! ♥

Back very soon...
♥ Carolee

Of Whimsy and Magic and Childlike Wonder...

Like the banner above suggests, I feel pretty strongly it's all about the whimsy - be it Halloween or faeries, critters or creatures, you can HAVE the "darker" side of things. I mean, really, you can have it. To paraphrase something a fellow Halloween artist/friend said recently, if horror movies and gory Halloween props disappeared from the face of the earth tomorrow, I'd be a happy girl. I'm sorry but I will just never see how murder and mayhem constitutes entertainment. Life is too short and too precious to dwell on the ugly side of things, don't you think?

For me, it's all about the magic - that wide-eyed sense of wonder we felt as children, dressing up on Halloween and setting out at twilight, treat buckets in hand....

Speaking of which, I have a bit of that magic to share with you now...six minutes of Halloween eye candy, beautifully put together by Scott Smith of Rucus Studio:

Wasn't that just magical?!

It has me absolutely giddy with anticipation, and it's only February! At the risk of sounding like a broken record, if you're within striking distance, this show is a MUST SEE. Sooooooooo much fun. And if you visit the site, there's a list of this year's artists posted (which even for the fourth year makes me feel like a little kid sitting at the grown ups table, hehe) :)

See you there?!

In the meantime, I have another bit of whimsy to share - a tea chest finished just yesterday, and listed now on eBay.

I love the little mousie-witch hanging on to the cat's tail, and am thinking I need to paint a few more cat and mice pieces. They're just too fun.

A couple of Easter pieces are in the works as well, and of course, more Halloween, because it's NEVER too early.

Right now I'm off to brew up some of my own tea, watch the snowflakes fly (yet again, *sigh*) and play with paint and glitter.

Wishing you a day of magic and whimsy!

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

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Of Alice Tea and Gypsy Moon...

Sometimes even the most positive, glass half full, borderline manic kinda girl can have an off day....

This morning, mine began with a messy house, a broken vacuum cleaner and a very painful day for the bad ankle. I wouldn't say I was grumpy exactly, but John would probably disagree. ;)

There were good things too - a sunny day, chickadees galore singing in the backyard, and lots of time to paint...but it's hard to stay "up" when you're in pain, you know? Sooooo, what to do? Procrastinate of course, hehe. Which in the end only adds more pressure because I'm behind schedule....So by the afternoon, I was....well, OK, I'll admit to perhaps just a weeeee bit of grumpiness.

Then a package arrived!

A lovely, cheerful, pick-me-up kind of package - the kind of package that banishes the grumps and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. A very dear collector sent me this beautiful Alice in Wonderland tea cozy with two matching hot pads, and of course, I had to make tea RIGHT away, hehe...... How adorable is this???

Thank you, Susan!! You did indeed brighten my day!

After a cuppa Stash Lemon Ginger with honey (soooooooo good!) I settled down at the work table to work on two commissioned signs, both with a kind of magical theme - fun! I also managed to squeeze in a sign for eBay this week - The Gypsy Moon Cafe....

I can almost hear the guitars and tambourines, hehe...It's listed on eBay now, along with a couple of tiny trinket boxes - a Maine Coon Cat with a little red button...

and a Celtic black cat....

I just love the knotwork on this is one. :)

More goodies are coming soon, but first there's that commission work to finish (I'm actually getting caught up - YAY!) And work for the Ghoultide Gathering will begin soon as well....

In the meantime, it's dinner and a movie.

Have a wonderful rest of the weekend!

♥ Carolee

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

On Becoming "Real"

When our daughter Courtney was about a year old, a dear friend gifted her with a beautiful hardcover copy of the Margery Williams classic "The Velveteen Rabbit". I was just 23 years old myself at the time, and unfamiliar with book, but it brought tears to my eyes the first time I read it, and still does.

For anyone unfamiliar with the book, it's the tale of a stuffed rabbit who wants to be "real". My favorite passage is where one of the other animals in the nursery, the skin horse, explains to the little rabbit how toys become real:

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

I must say, this passage means even more at 50 than it did at 23. And I'm sure it's meaning will be deeper still if I'm blessed with another couple of decades. ;)

Real. It's not our outward appearance. It's not what we look like, how shiny and new we appear...It's what we are inside after being truly loved. That's what really counts, isn't it?

Sooooo, yes....maybe it's spring and thoughts of bunnies...maybe it's running across the book on Courtney's old bookshelf last week, but it's been crying "paint me!" for days now, and I finally had to oblige....

There are more pics on the eBay listing. Truly a blessing to paint this one, and a nice reminder of what's important too. ;)

There's yet another children's book, crying to painted, but it will probably be next week sometime....

Have you read this one?

It's the story of a Mother Bunny who becomes the Easter Bunny, and how, according to one review, "cleverness and kindness triumph over size and brawn". I read this one as a small child, and also read it to my daughter when she was little. It was written in 1939, and is surprisingly feminist for the time; girls can do anything, etc etc....Gotta love that. ;)

Bunnies, bunnies everywhere it seems! Never fear though, more wicked whimsy is on it's way - can't stay away from Halloween for too long, hehe....

In the meantime, I'm catching up on emails this week, after spending several days without a computer keyboard (spilled water on the old one - eek!) So if I owe you an email, it's coming!

Right now I'm off to wash out my paintbrushes and turn in for the night. Thank you ever so much for visiting me, and thank you for your comments too - I do so love to read them, even if I don't always have time to respond. (I promise to try harder though!)

Until next time,
~ Carolee

Monday, February 15, 2010

OWOH Winner:)

Typing is brief + slow as I killed our keyboard this weekend, but wanted to share the OWOH giveaway winner - Tabby of Crooked Heart Art. Congrats! :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

♥ ♪ ♫ That's Amore ♫ ♪ ♥

♫ "When the moon hits you eye like a big pizza pie, That's amore....
When the world seems to shine like you've had too much wine, That's amore"... ♫

Gotta love Dean Martin. ;)

So, Happy Hearts Day!

I can't help it, call me sappy, but I'm a nut for Valentine's Day. Not just because of the romantic implications, but I just love LOVE, don't you? I mean, LOVE in general, whether it's hubby or significant other, or your child, your best friend in the world, your whole circle of friends, your Mom and Dad, your cat, your dog...There's nothing like Amore. :)

I have lots and lots to share this Valentine's Day, beginning with a sort of joint labor of love called the Penny Tree....

You can go here to read all about it. The auction begins on Valentine's Day, and some lucky collector will win this gorgeous bronze feather tree with all the yummy ornaments shown below (mine is in there somewhere, a small tuxedo cat), with the proceeds benefiting the Alabama chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. There are many truly amazing, nationally recognized artists who've contributed to this, it's a serious treasure!

This is also the last day to sign up for the One World One Heart blog giveaway. Here's a photo of my little trinket box up for grabs...

...and here's the post where you can leave a comment if you haven't already. I've had such fun visiting blogs for this event, and will probably be visiting them most of the year - I barely made it through fifty of the thousand plus participating blogs so far! Lots of visiting still to do.

It will be a quiet Valentine's Day here, just the two of us and five furkids. I'm making one John's favorites for dinner - shrimp scampi, and we'll have these yummy Very Vanilla cupcakes for dessert. Would you like the recipe? It's soooooo easy, not even a recipe at all, really. Just prepare a box of French Vanilla cake mix according to the package directions, including a teaspoon of vanilla extract as part of the liquid, then scrape the seedy contents of one vanilla bean into the batter. Mix and bake. Sooooooooo good with homemade vanilla and chocolate buttercream icing...

And easy-peasy. :)

Not to rush things, but having given Valentine's Day it's due, I want to share just one more thing before I run off - this one inspired by St Patty's Day, a lucky black cat piece, with a very old "charm" for invoking the good luck of a black cat, written around the top. It's up for grabs on eBay now.

That's about it for today, except to wish you a very Happy Valentine's Day! Whether you spend it in the company of your love, your friends, or yourself, I hope you pamper yourself a bit and do something fun. :)

I'll be back very soon with photos of two very special pieces in progress. Until then, I leave you with this song, which makes me melt every time I hear it...

♥ Carolee

Friday, February 12, 2010

Digging Out, Digging In....

Sometimes just have to roll with the punches (or the flakes as the case may be).

The Blizzard of 2010 was most definitely one of those times. With an official record snowfall of over 36" here in Lancaster County, these back-to-back storms had quite an impact. This was taken yesterday, looking up our little one way street...

Thanks heaven for good neighbors, who spent the better part of yesterday digging us out. It wasn't too long ago John was the one helping dig people out in these winter storms, but between his recent heart surgery and my ankle, neither one of us is in any shape for snow shoveling. So a big shout out to neighbor Bill and his son Daniel!

A big thank you as well to everyone who's been so patient about shipping these last few days! Our local post office closes before John gets home from work today, but everything should be on it's way first thing tomorrow morning. As you can see by the road, driving is still treacherous (especially in a little Beetle overdue for a tire change) but we're hoping the thaw will begin soon - and slowly, so as not to bring flooding. I'm also hoping to get to the architectural salvage store tomorrow for a few embellishments needed for commission and show pieces. :)

In the meantime, I'm working on a "Lucky Black Cat" piece for eBay, and getting all domestic (snowstorms always inspire a frenzy of domesticity) with a large kettle of gypsy soup and a couple of loaves of homemade bread today - yummmmmmm.

Here's a peek at the black cat piece, in progress....

I'm loving the combination of blues and teals with the emerald interior on this one - Just in time for St Patrick's Day. :)

But first - there's Valentine's Day, and the One World, One Heart event and drawing. If you haven't already, pop on over and leave a comment to have your name thrown in the hat. Oh - and I've reduced the price on the Valentine trinket boxes to just $39 - there are two left in the Etsy shop. :)

That's about it for now...I'll be back again on Valentine's Day with more photos and some recipe love. :)

Enjoy the weekend!
♥ Carolee

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Blizzard of 2010....

Also known as "Snowmageddon". ;)

I know, I know - I snickered a bit when CNN was throwing that term around last weekend. But I am snickering no more...

This photo was taken at ten o'clock this morning, looking up our street, with the worst yet to come; it's expected to continue (with stronger winds) until about two AM tomorrow. WHERE do you suppose we'll PUT it all?!?!

Here's the picket fence at the side of our house...

And the koi pond...

And one of the dogwood trees. Isn't it a miracle this will be full bloom in just a short while?! (I'm hanging onto this thought, hehe)

Completely oblivious to weather forecasts and dire warnings, Cadie and Cosmo are living in the moment, and thoroughly enjoying themselves. Sometimes I think we should take a lesson from our furry companions and learn to purely enjoy the present. Not a bad way to get through weather, or life for that matter. ;)

I've been using this time to work on a couple of commission pieces, and a yummy Valentine cupcake box for last night's PFATT Marketplace debut. I was all set to tell you it's up for grabs, but it sold this morning. It was such a kick to do though, I may just have to paint an Easter version...and summer...and Halloween (of course!) So many ideas swirling around this snow addled brain, and so little time, teehee....

In the meantime, we're staying warm here with homemade hot cocoa (made with cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom - soooooooo good!)....

...and there are movies, scrabble, knitting...and of course painting. If you're going to be snowed in, this is the way to do it, yes?

I'll be back very soon with more goodies, and until then, there are a few trinket boxes still up for grabs on Etsy. :)

Warmest Winter Blessings,
♥ Carolee

Monday, February 8, 2010

Bracing Ourselves

Like just about everyone here in the mid Atlantic region, we're beginning to wonder just WHERE another snowfall can possibly go? That is, we know it can go where Mother Nature darn well pleases...but where on earth will we put the shovels full (or is it shovel fulls?) as we dig out? It boggles the mind...Yet, here it comes. Another "major snowstorm" expected to deposit another foot of the fluffy white stuff, beginning Tuesday night and throughout the day Wednesday.

We're as prepared as possible - plenty of comfort food, lots of tea and honey, hot cocoa, warm jammies, blankets and duvets, good books to read, knitting to be done, scrabble...and of course, painting. Lots and lots of painting. What more could anyone ask? :)

As I write this, there is still one item listed on eBay, but I want to share a bit of Etsy goodness too. I finally managed another update, listing four new trinket boxes, all up for grabs in the Etsy shop. Here's a peek at just a couple...


I had hoped for a more extensive update, as the Etsy items tend to go rather quickly, but with commission work pending, and a storm on the way, well....let's just say I'm keeping very busy, hehe.

I hope everyone in the path of this latest storm is faring well... I'm sure I'll be back with photos very soon. In the meantime, I plan to make the most of it, by way of cooking and creating....

Wishing you all a magical week, and wishing those here in the mid Atlantic states warmth and safety as you weather the storm!

Until next time,
♥ Carolee

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Blessing or a Curse?

Sometimes Mother Nature can bestow both, although being an eternal optimist, I prefer to focus on the blessing side of things....

She graced us last night, and well into today with what they're now calling an "Epic Snowstorm". Now, given the fact that our local weather people tend to be nervous nellies, I usually take pronouncements like this with a grain of salt. But in this case, they were right on the money....

There's a Beetle under there somewhere. :)

This is the backyard pond at about 9AM - the snow continued to fall until about 2PM, so you can imagine!

I read this afternoon the Governor declared a state of emergency, and I can see why. It's a good weekend to STAY PUT.

And a good weekend for Aussie dogs to romp around the backyard. :)

And a VERY good weekend for painting.

After making some headway on a Halloween commission, I decided to paint a few tiny boxes for Valentine's and St Patrick's days. Here they are in progress. They'll have little cat faces on top when they're finished, and will make an appearance in the Etsy shop very soon.

I also painted a Celtic Cat treasure box yesterday, now on eBay.... much as Mother nature can throw a wrench into the works (I have many errands and many supplies to pick up this week, all put on hold for a few days) she also provides the opportunity to slow down, stay inside, and be incredibly productive - always a good thing, don't you think?

So I'm not cursing the snowstorm, but rather blessing it. It threw my schedule off by a few days, moved some things around, changed some completion dates, but sometimes you just have to go with the flow...or the flakes, as the case may be. ;)

That's about it for now. I'm off to have a very late supper, snuggle into a comfy chair and get a bit of knitting done.

I hope whatever weather Mother Nature has bestowed upon you, you find the blessing in it. :)

♥ Carolee

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Flying In Quickly....

Things are a bit crazed here at the moment - ankle injury, part of the roof blown off (yep, again!) and a major snowstorm approaching, so a moment is all I have....But I couldn't resist popping in to share the latest piece, listed now on eBay....

"Merlin's Moonlight Tea", a whimsical chest for tea or coffee discs.

One of these days I'm painting one of these for myself, and KEEPING it here....But for now, there's a roof to be fixed, so I'll send it off happily, and throw in a couple of my favorite lemon ginger teabags. (Stash - sooooo good!)

I'm off now to batten down the hatches, but I'll be back very soon to share more whimsy from the studio...

Until then! :)
♥ Carolee

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Of Quiet Snow and Possibility...

Have you ever experienced a snowfall that seems like pure magic?

There was just such a snowfall last night...

We'd heard the predictions, but errands (shipping to be precise) wouldn't wait, so off we went in the little Beetle. We made it to the post office, thankful it was still clear, and decided to stop by the market for provisions our way home. Mission accomplished, we wheeled the shopping cart out of the store just as the snow began. Not a heavy and wet snow, but fine and sparkling, making it seem as though the faeries had dusted the evening in glitter.

I'm VERY bad about remembering to take my camera when I go out, so can't show you photos, but trust me, it was truly beautiful. We made it home down country roads with no problem and safely home, settled in to watch this movie. (If you haven't seen it, you really must!)

This morning, we awakened very early to find everything blanketed in white. Although it's only a couple of inches, you can barely see the pond...

And this old birdhouse looks covered in fluffy cotton...

I think snow takes on a magical quality when it's pin-drop quiet, and for some reason is WAS this morning; where we usually hear the neighbors out shoveling veeeerrrrrry early, chickadees were the only sound. Alas, one of us had to go do the eight to five thing....but the OTHER one of us gets to make a pot of tea, light a few candles, and soak up all this beauty as she paints and contemplates the endless possibilty this artful life presents. Today, it's a tea chest with a magical moonlight tea party (I'll share more photos when it's finished!)

Tomorrow, who knows. I have this amazing stash of wood taking up half the living room at the moment, so you can see what I mean when I say endless possibility, hehe...

And as if all this isn't enough to inspire, a very dear cyber friend just contacted me this morning about a possible collaboration. More on this later, but I'm VERY excited. :)

Oh - and I almost forgot! The winner to the "Collector Love" giveaway (scroll back to the December posts) is Barbara, a truly wonderful collector from an island in the pacific northwest, which just happens to be one island away from where my Mother grew up - how cool is that? Congrats, Barbara - I'll send the black cat Valentine box on it's way very soon!

Finally, Thanks very much to everyone who visited the grand opening of the new EHAG Emporium! Many items have already sold, but my apothecary chest and few others are still up for grabs, so if you haven't already, please do take a peek. :)

That's about it for now...I'm off to savor that morning tea now, and turn some of this possibility into reality. Wishing you a day of the same!

♥ Carolee