Monday, May 31, 2010

EHAG Emporium Update!

I've been wanting to paint another of these "Welcome, Dearies!" signs for absolute ages now, and thought this month's EHAG Emporium would be the perfect opportunity...

It's Halloween night, and the trick-or-treaters set out at twilight, daring to climb the steep hill up to the scariest house in the neighborhood - the Witch's castle. But she's not so scary after all, hehe - appearing at the door with a tray of treats!

I had so much fun painting this one, and really love the way the background and the jack-o-lanterns almost glow. Painted in acrylics on solid pine (hand cut by a local Amish craftsman) with a clear acrylic varnish. Measures 11" x 20 1/2". Sawtooth hanger on the back for easy display indoors or out.

$165 plus shipping, which will depend on location. Email me at to purchase. :) ~ SOLD ~

Thanks for looking, and please check back tomorrow for another whimsical piece!

♥ Carolee

Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Work, Challenges Ahead, and Choosing Optimism

I have much to tell, but first let me show you a little piece that's been bringing me smiles all week long (no small feat given the week we've had here!)

It's a display stand/plant stand I found at a local antique barn some weeks ago...sitting in a corner, looking very forlorn, slightly cracked and wearing a drab, dark brown stain. It was just crying to come home with me in the little Beetle, and be given a second life, full of bright color and whimsy...The gentleman at the antique barn dated it around the 1930's or '40's, but I suppose there's no way to tell for sure. A little wood putty, a little sanding, a little paint.....I think it's turning out splendidly though, don't you!?

To be perfectly honest, like a couple of pending commissions, this piece should have been finished days ago, but LIFE has a way of throwing the occasional curve ball.

I suppose I should start at the beginning, and tell you this isn't something we've shared with many people, but recent developments will make it apparent soon anyway...

Many years ago, when Courtney was just little, John was diagnosed with a rare, yet slow progressing form of non-hodgkins lymphoma. Slow progressing, but incurable. After trying a few rather unpleasant treatment options to no avail, he made the decision to stop treatment, and just enjoy life. Miraculously, this worked for many years...Aside from a recurrence in the mid 90s (when he underwent radiation) he's felt pretty good.

Fast forward to two years ago when he had his first heart surgery (regular readers may remember he's had two in the last two years and is the proud owner of a mechanical mitral valve) and blood tests were done prior to the surgery, indicating the cancer had progressed. But the heart was a priority, and he was cleared for surgery. Complications and a second surgery followed, but he's still felt pretty good.

Fast forward again to last week, when (at another Dr's recommendation) he visited U Penn for a consultation with an expert in this type of cancer, which included a biopsy and more thorough blood tests. Long story short, the lymphoma has progressed to stage 3, and they're strongly recommending interferon, along with another treatment. With these treatments, there's an approximate 30% chance of remission, and still greater chance of at least some improvement. Without it, the prognosis for five year survival is only about 50%.

Scary stuff.

But both of us being blessed with fairly optimistic spirits, we're hopeful. Like the heart surgery, this is one of those situations where the only way out of it is through it.

See the little badge on my right sidebar? "Choose Optimism". (Thanks, Jo!)

I believe with all my heart we have that choice. We may not be able to control the disease, or even it's progression. But we CAN control how we handle it. Yes, it will be challenging, and no, it won't always be pleasant. But we can choose optimism.

That said, there are immediate, practical concerns having to do with insurance issues and mounting medical bills, so in addition to choosing optimism, I'm also choosing to work a few extra hours. :) To that end, look for a blog sale to be announced in the next couple of days - Selling items directly on the blog not only saves the time and fees involved with eBay sales, but it allows collectors to purchase items at a price generally lower than the ending eBay bids. And it gives me a chance to focus on happiness and creativity as we face the challenges ahead. Soooo, stay tuned. ;)

Finally, thanks very much to everyone who's left such kind comments on facebook, and offered prayers and positive thoughts! We are incredibly blessed, and send you all much love.

Until next time,
♥ Carolee

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tea With the Girls :)

For years now, I've been wanting to host a Witches' Tea. I mean, not only do I love cooking (and I'm pretty good at it!) but it would give me the chance to use some of the many teapots I collect. It would be in October of course, AFTER the Ghoultide Gathering (when I can take a breath, haha) and we'd sip tea, eat finger sandwiches and scones, wear pointy hats and shoes, and cackle like old hens...Doesn't that sound perfect?!

Until then, I can dream. And make more art, hehe....

This one will list on eBay tonight at 9PM eastern, unless someone wants to purchase it directly before that ($160, just email me). At 21" x 11" it's a pretty good size - large enough for a door crown. :) UPDATE - SOLD

Next up is a tall display stand, perfect for showing off a jack-o-lantern or favorite collectible.

In the meantime, there are errands to run, so I'm off! I'll be back very soon with more photos though. Wishing everyone a *magical* Monday!

♥ Carolee

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tea Time!

I think this is my favorite clock to date...full of whimsy, and that child's tea set you see on top is the last of my daughter Courtney's childhood china tea set (don't worry, she didn't want it, and understands that everything in this house is fair game for art, hehe!)

I'm just loving these little mice...

The sugarcube has a touch of sparkle, and the hours are marked by Swarovski crystals.

It's hand made by a local clockmaker of solid maple, measures 13 1/2" tall (including the tea set and feet) x 9" x 4 1/2", has a glass front, runs on one AA battery, and is listed now on eBay. :) UPDATE - SOLD

I'll be back very soon with new goodies...Until then, enjoy this beautiful weekend!

♥ Carolee

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Work and an Anniversary!

I don't know if it's the magic of springtime, or the upcoming Mad Tea Party event, or WHAT, but I've been completely immersed in the idea of an enchanted tea party with cats and mice. Apparently the inspiration for last week's tea chest was a little too much for one piece, and it spilled over to this week as well, hehe...

Fun, yes? You can't see it here but the sugarcube is a little sparkly. It's listed on eBay now. :)

And would you believe this little party is STILL whirling around in my brain? I think it wants to some out in the form of a clock, so stay tuned...

In the meantime, we're just a little belatedly (April) celebrating the fourth anniversary of the EHAG group, and the upcoming Emporium update with a little giveaway over on the blog. So if you love guessing games, jelly beans and Halloween, fly on over there and join the fun!

It's hard to believe EHAG has been around that long, mostly because time DOES fly when you're having fun! (You know, there's a reason for cliches like that, hehe)...At any rate, EBay groups tend to come and go (especially Halloween groups - sheesh, there have been a lot of them!) but EHAG has truly been the gold standard - not only amazing and highly professional artists, dedicated to creating absolute magic in their work, but a more supportive bunch of people you'll never meet. I'm just so proud to be a part of it!

That's about it for today...I'm off to put some tunes in the CD player, light a couple of candles on this rainy day, and begin work on that "Enchanted Teatime" clock...

Until next time,
♥ Carolee

Friday, May 14, 2010


Has it really been almost ten days since I've popped my head in here?! I'm afraid it has, and all I can do is plead a life of utter insanity at the moment - a good insanity most of the time, but insanity nonetheless....

First, I've been working like mad in the studio, and have several new pieces to show for it. The first two are listed on eBay now - a large, sparkly fairy tale sign or door crown....

And a black cat sign, perfect for anyone with, shall we say, an abundance of feline companionship (I think I need one of these myself, hehe!)

I also painted the most whimsical tea chest ever for the PFATT Marketplace, and it sold just seconds after the update.

I've had several inquiries about more of these, and while I never repeat a design, I do have plans for another tea chest sometime in June, and I'm having great fun painting these little mice, so stay tuned. :)

It's been a week of surprises too, most of them via the US postal service, and truly brightening my day, not to mention reminding me how blessed I am to make my living this way, and know so many amazing and generous people.

First, a very special west coast collector who works for a cosmetics company, gifted me with the most amazing collection of beauty products! We're not talking one or two items here - we're talking body wash, body creme, two different mascaras, four lipsticks, eye cream, makeup remover, several eye shadow colors, blush, a beautiful compact, eye pencils...I could go on and on!! I'd share a photo, but everything is already unwrapped, put away in various makeup cases and already in use (hey ,I need all the help I can get, hehe)...Just overwhelmingly generous. So thank you, E. from the bottom of my heart!!

I also received another gift in the mail last week, by way of inspiration for a project currently in the works. This book here. DROOL. Seriously, I covet every home in this book, and if I ever win the lottery, I will SO have something similar built. Thanks sooooo much, L.!!!

Finally, I received the sweetest thank-you note from a lovely girl named Gabrielle who is the new owner of my Velveteen Rabbit box. Her Mother purchased the piece as a remembrance of her performance in the play, and she sent me a thank you, along with photos of her in costume, holding the box. Made. My. Day!

And how wonderful is it that in this age of texting and tweeting and IMing, a child still takes the time to write a thank you note? (Kudos to Mom here too, I know she's rightfully very proud!)

I swear, I am blessed with the absolute best collectors in the world, and it makes me tear up every time I think of their generosity - not only supporting my work, and making this artful life possible, but completely overwhelming me with all these goodies too...

And while we're on the subject of gifts, I also have to share my amazing Mother's Day gift - is this the coolest coffeepot EVER?

I collect teapots, and while this is technically coffee, it will fit in beautifully with my whimsical collection. Thank you again Courtney - you're the best daughter a Mother could ever hope for and I love you to the moon and back!

This is getting LONG, isn't it?! I can't help it, I just have so much to tell, and I suppose this is what happens when I'm remiss about updating more often, *sigh*...

Not to end with a downer, but on the home front there have been some challenges faced and challenges still to come. As regular readers know, my wonderful husband and partner John has spent a good part of the last two years in and out of hospitals for heart surgery, and has been on the road to recovery the last few months. Well, LIFE decided to throw a couple of wrenches into the works again, by way of surgery for basal cell carcinoma last week (successful, I'm happy to say!), and also by way of a more serious cancer returning - or at least that's the fear.

This is the first time I've posted about this, and I only do so with John's permission, but it's something we've lived with for a very long time. Long story short, John has a very rare form of non-hodgkins lymphoma. It's been in remission twice (and most recently for many years) but they think it's back. We'll find out more this coming Wednesday, when he sees a specialist at U Penn in Philadelphia. So if you're inclined to prayer, please think of him this Wednesday. Thanks. :)

I'll end this by thanking all our friends, both "real life" and cyber - collectors and artist friends, and friends I know through the wonderful art groups and chat groups to which I belong. Your support and encouragement means the world to me, and reminds me every day how much goodness and light there is in the world.

I'm truly blessed.

Back very soon! :)

♥ Carolee

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"Black and White Fright"

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, one of the art groups to which I belong - EHAG (The Eclectic Halloween Artists' Group) recently challenged it's members to create a piece entirely in black and white...A challenge indeed for someone whose usual palette is full of vibrant color, hehe. And if that were not enough, I decided to challenge myself even further with scratchboard - a medium I love, but haven't worked with in many years.

Here's the result - The Master of the Macabre himself, now listed on eBay (click for a larger view)...

I do hope I've captured him. :)

It's an interesting process, scratchboard, and somewhat of a bold undertaking because there's no preliminary drawing done. You just pick up a fine needle or blade (in this case an exacto knife) and begin etching into the black board. A little tricky, because it's working in reverse, but well worth the result I think.

Mr Poe here measures 5" x 7". I think he'd look amazing double matted in black and white, with a silver Victorian/slightly distressed frame. (Can you tell I used to work in a frame shop?) ;)

Up next: a cat and mouse tea party chest, and catching up on a few past due commitments!

Until next time....
♥ Carolee

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I'm Late, I'm Late....

...But with all kinds of tales to I hope you'll forgive me for the belated May Day and Beltane wishes! Did you have a wonderful day? Was it filled with *magic* and wonder? Did you dance around the Maypole, or weave wildflowers into a garland for your hair?

I didn't either. But I DID have an amazing day - an amazing weekend in fact. Which I'm sure I'll pay for very soon when many looming deadlnes all hit at once....But every once in a while, we all need a break, don't you think?

May Day found me making the approximate 1 hour trek to the Valley Forge Convention Center (with my good friend Jen riding shotgun in the Beetle) to see the National Halloween and Haunters Convention. As some of you may know, I was a little conflicted about going, not being into the horror side of Halloween...And while there was plenty of that, I was glad I braved it to see the art and the costumes. Several EHAG friends exhibit their work on the Spookytime Jingles website (an online marketplace for Halloween and Christmas art) so I was anxious to see all the goodies at the STJ booth, and boy, were there plenty of them!! Check out this display...

I looked and looked, and oohed and ahhed, and looked again, and I think I STILL probably missed about half of it, lol...Quite the display! I also scored a couple of pieces, shown here; a beeswax collage by Iva Wilcox, and a little bowling pin gal by Jen McGlon of Noodle and Lou. There were sooooo many other pieces I'd have loved to buy, but there's that pesky groceries thing this week, *sigh*...

We also met the Philadelphia Ghostbusters, which was kind of a kick, and I marveled at Jen trading lines from the movie with them, teehee...

Who you gonna call?

After a good look around the convention, where we'd also met up with Halloween collector and amazing artist Hugh Luck, we all ran over to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. Sooooooo yummy (and I was good and didn't order cheesecake, either). :)

Altogether a wonderful day!

Sunday found me joining Jen and her family at Shupps Grove in Adamstown for a ramble around FLEA MARKET HEAVEN. Seriously, if you live anywhere close, you must see this place. It's set in a grove of shady trees...

With a little babbling brook...

And in addition to all the tables and tents, this adorable little building chock full of garden goodies...

Inside, upstairs, at the tippety top of an old cabinet, I found this treasure - an old copper tea kettle, which I hope with Jen's help to turn into a birdhouse for the backyard. :)

How cute will that be?

There were many other treasures as well, all calling my name (darn those groceries, anyway!)...A bucket full of old rolling pins...

A teddy made from a threadbare antique quilt...

Totes made from old embroidered linens...

And an old croquet set!

Our yard isn't large enough for croquet, but I covet it all the same. ;)

Maybe I'll go back next week, hehe...

In the meantime, there's painting to be done. Lots and lots of it. A witchy piece on a solid cherry wood panel. Commissions galore. The oracle deck I've been telling you about. Oh - and a scratchboard of Edgar Allen Poe for the EHAG Black and White Fright challenge. Have you ever seen a scratchboard? They're quite extraordinary, and painstakingly detailed. The drawing is actually etched with a fine blade into a black background. Thousands upon thousands of tiny cuts later, you have a drawing. I hope to show photos in progress, so stay tuned. :)

That's about it for now, and I'm sure you're relieved, haha - this DID get rather long, didn't it?

I'm off now to help John with a little cookout (waaaaay to hot to turn the oven on today, so we're grilling)...Wishing you a happy and *creative* week ahead!

♥ Carolee