Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mad About Tea!

I know, I know - I said I'd share this piece in the Mad Tea Party post. But I think it deserves it's own post, hehe....

This is one of those pieces that came together like ~*magic*~ from beginning to completion, inspired by not only my love of tea, and of Alice in Wonderland, but of the firm belief that we really ARE mad here, and yes, all the best people are!

It's hand made here in Pennsylvania of birch wood, with brass hardware, and wooden ball feet, painted in acrylics and finished with a clear, acrylic varnish.

It measures 15" x 7 1/2" x 4 1/4", and comes signed, dated, and numbered 1/1, with a certificate of authenticity.

I'm offering this for direct sale here on the blog on a first-come basis, and passing on my savings of those eBay fees. $275 plus shipping to the first person to email me at :) UPDATE ~SOLD~

(I should add that the tea is from my personal stash, and not included, but I'll send just a couple of bags anyway!)

Thanks, as always, for taking a peek at my newest creation! I'll be back very soon with new work and more rambling, hehe....

♥ Carolee

Friday, June 25, 2010

Won't You Join Me?

Do come in...

Magic and madness are afoot...

You see, I've been working, working, working - spinning like a dervish most days, and until just a day ago had completely forgotten about the Mad Tea Party! A sacrilege of sorts, when you consider how much I adore all things tea, and how much FUN Miss Vanessa Valencia's annual Tea Party event always turns out to be. But the oddest things conspired to remind me....First, there was an email from my very talented woodworker agreeing make me just a few more tea chests (yay!) Then, just a few hours later, there was a crazy, windy thunderstorm, and when I threw open the windows to cool the house a bit, it blew a box of tea right off the countertop, depositing it at my feet (a sign from the Tea Gods to be sure!) Finally, I was surfing the internet for things related to party invitations (more on this at a later date), and I kept coming across the phrase "The Mad Catter"....WELL, you don't need to hit ME over the head...

Okay, sometimes you do. But eventually I come around...

Which brings us to the magic and madness (a Mad Tea Party and a giveaway!) Let's just have a peek in the pantry to see which kind of brew we'll try... Tea? Tisane? Chai? Iced? Hot? Green? Black? Herbal? Rooibos? Decisions, decisions...

I think I'll have the Lady Grey. Love, love, love bergamot. I should add here that my tea pantry is usually not nearly this neat. I knew you were coming, so I tidied up a bit. :)

Now, how about a teapot? Which would you choose?

I think the red and black. OK, it's technically a coffeepot - But it has a very definite Mad Tea Party feel, don't you think?

Now all we need is something sweet to go with our tea...

Lemon bars?

Perfection. I think lemon and tea were meant for each other in the same way as strawberries and chocolate are...or red wine and a really good brie. It just doesn't get much better.

By the way, how adorable is the Alice in Wonderland Tea cozy and hot pad set? They were a gift from a collector, who made them herself. Sooooooo sweet, and not the only gift recently. I must remember to write an entire post about all the goodies people have surprised me with these past months. It's just amazing to think of all the people who support and encourage my work, and to receive gifts on top of that is ...well, overwhelming

I wish I could give a gift back to each and every one of you, but if I did that, I'd need to get a real job before too long...I can do the next best thing though, which is a little giveaway. A very little giveaway - just a couple of inches tall, this one....

A tiny trinket box of cupcakey goodness.

Sweet. :)

All you have to do is leave a comment here, and (this is important!) if you don't have a blog, leave your email address. I'll draw a name via random number generator one week from today, on the morning of July 3rd.

I also have to share I have the most marvelous "Mad Catter" tea chest in progress, so do check back. I'm using my big ginger boy Arthur as a model....

Isn't he a love? I can just picture him serving tea in a big hat...perhaps with the Dormouse....can't you? I'll update this post with a photo as soon as it's finished.

In the meantime, I'm off to do a bit of visiting myself, so make yourself at home - have a lemon bar, enjoy a cup of your favorite brew, and have a look around.

I'll be back very soon!
♥ Carolee

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Midsummer Blessings

Tonight marks the shortest night of the year, and in a very short while, the longest day will be upon us - or I should say upon those of us who live in the northern hemisphere.

There's something magical about the summer solstice (other than the fact that it brings us closer to autumn, hehe)...Midsummer is not only a cause for celebration, but an excuse to revel in all things summer...

All things summer
. I was thinking about this quite a bit today, as I painted a piece to honor both the day and the season.

A home filled with light, fruit trees and flowers, a glass of wine outdoors, honeybees, the warmth of the sun...there are just a few of the things that come to mind when I think "summer"...

This particular piece sold within seconds of listing, but I'm hoping to bring further summer blessings to another piece tomorrow...Fireflies perhaps? Hummingbirds? Garden cats? Another sun goddess? Stay tuned, I'm painting as fast as I can, hehe. :)

In the meantime, I have some tedious life-maintenance type tasks to keep me busy all morning, the first of which is to inquire about windshield repair on the Beetle, which seems to have been vandalized last night. Gotta love this neighborhood. ;)

The house is also getting away from me, and I need to do some serious cleaning. But I also want to set aside a bit of time to mark the day; planting flowers, harvesting mint for tea, listening to some summery music (see the playlist on the right sidebar) and maybe doing a bit of reading....

How will you be celebrating? If you do, or however you do, I wish you a magical time and an abundance of summer blessings!

I'll be back soon...

~ Carolee

Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Listening to the Sea"

When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused. - Rainer Maria Rilke

Like all of us, I've watched the disaster in the gulf unfold these past weeks in absolute, utter heartbreak - and more than a touch of anger. Having spent much of my adult life in a southern California beach town, I have a deep love and respect for the ocean, and the incredible, magical creatures who inhabit her. To see them dying as a result of man's greed and shortsightedness is almost unbearable.

I suppose it's natural the sea would make it's way into my work of late, a sort of catharsis I guess. I'm not sure how effective raging against injustice with a paintbrush is, but I know I'm in good company, and for whatever it's worth at the end of the auction, 20% of the sale price will be donated to the Nature Conservancy.

I wish it would be more, I wish it could be the entire thing, but we do what we can. :)

If you go to the eBay auction, there's a description of this piece, which I've titled "Listening to the Sea".

I've painted two others as well; tiny trinket boxes, a sea turtle...

and a dolphin....

It was such a blessing to paint these pieces, and I should add there's one more in the works I hope to share early in the week.

In other news, we're wading through the massive red tape insurance bureaucracy in the the hope John can begin treatment soon (details in this post). In the meantime, we're remaining optimistic, and very, very thankful for friends and family who've been so supportive and encouraging. We love you all, and I'll post updates here as they happen. :)

That's about it for now, except to show you a peek at the amazing world of possibilities my very talented woodworker delivered this past Wednesday....

TeeHee! Just like Christmas (or maybe HALLOWEEN?!) ;)

Many of these pieces are earmarked for commissions and the incredible Ghoultide Gathering show, but some will also make their way to eBay, Etsy, The EHAG Emporium and the PFATT Marketplace, so stay tuned.

I'm off now to put my feet up, call an end to this 15 hour Saturday, and enjoy what I think is a well deserved glass of 15 year old single malt (thanks, Kim, hehe!)

Back much sooner next time, I promise....

♥ Carolee
PS - If you like raucous gypsy music, check out this band I just discovered (although friends tell me they've been around for awhile) - love, love, love it!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Gypsy Caravan!

Well, for all my high ambition, I managed to complete one piece for sale this week.... but what a piece...

Maybe it's all the moving around we did when I was a kid (California, Oregon, New Jersey, Pennsylvania) or the maybe it's the bit of travel I've done since, but wanderlust seems to be a constant dream, and source of inspiration...

"There's something in October sets the Gypsy blood astir.. We must rise and follow her, When from every hill of flame, she calls and calls each vagabond by name" ~ Bliss Carman

The idea of hitting the open road with no plan, no itinerary, no responsibilities or obligations to fulfill, no schedule to keep - just setting off on an adventure - is absolute HEAVEN, don't you think?

The right traveling companion(s), good food, good wine, a few musical instruments, a warm fire...

What could be better?

Can you tell I was listening to gypsy music as I painted this?

I like to think it's infused with a touch of gypsy magic. ;)

The chest itself is hand made here in Pennsylvania of solid birch and bentwood, and is quite large, measuring 17" x 15" x 11 1/2". I've painted it in acrylics, added a clear acrylic varnish, and lined the interior with softly cushioned periwinkle and black fabric (perfect for cradling a precious collectible, doll or other keepsake).

I've added several wood embellishments, four "wheels" and 28 genuine Swarovski crystals.

This piece took many days to complete, and will not be repeated, nor any orders taken - it's truly one of a kind, and comes signed, with a certificate of authenticity. Commissions for similar pieces typically run $895 and up, but I'm offering this here on the blog, on a first-come basis, for $795 plus UPS shipping, which will vary by location. I accept paypal or credit card by phone.

Email me at with questions or to purchase. UPDATE ~ SOLD

Thanks so much for taking a peek, and I cross-my-heart promise to have more work available next week!!

♥ Carolee

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Best Laid Plans...

And all that. :(

I've been working my tail off all week to get ready for what was supposed to be this evening's blog sale - long days, longer nights...You should see me - paint covered clothes, paint in my hair. I'm quite a sight (and so is this house - eek!)

Alas, between unexpected, albeit necessary doctor and dentist visits, and a HUGE computer mishap (I can't, as of this moment, upload photos!) I'm anything BUT ready.

So, what to do? Well, I'll have two of the pieces ready tomorrow - one large and one small - so will post them then, Friday, at 9PM eastern, assuming the computer tech who is at this very moment on his way, can fix everything.

Another two or three pieces will post next week, and I will give the heads-up here first.

Sincere apologies to those who were looking forward to seeing more of a selection, although if you're looking for something very special, do check in tomorrow night for what I think is one of the best pieces I've ever done. :)

In the meantime, I'm off to paint, and eagerly await the computer guy!!

Wish me luck....

♥ Carolee

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Touch of Enchantment ;)

Yessssss, this is another "fly-by" post, hehe...but I couldn't resist sharing my latest piece....

I know, it follows on the heels of a tea chest and a tea tray - what can I say, I LOVE tea! There is truly something enchanting about it, don't you think? It's up for grabs on eBay now.

Flying out again - must prepare our VERY late supper (90 plus degrees and humid here, so we're having a shrimp salad - yummmmm!)

Back very soon!
♥ Carolee

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Quick Update

Due to an ever changing schedule (doctor and dentist stuff this week) I've decided to hold the blog sale on Thursday, June 10th. Hope to see you there!! :)

♥ Carolee

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"Tuxedo Moon"

Just popping in again (two posts in one day??!!) to share the latest piece, a whimsical plant/display stand, painted on a piece I rescued from a local antique barn.

A bit of sanding, a touch of wood putty, and it's a whole new piece. :)

I just love this little guy, hehe...

It measures approx. 9" from corner to corner, 23" tall and 15" from corner to corner at the base - and is available here on a first-come basis (just email me at before I list it on eBay tomorrow evening. $265 plus UPS shipping, which will depend on location. UPDATE: ~ SOLD ~

Thanks for taking a peek...Off I go to finish an illustration now!!

♥ Carolee

Kicking Off Summer in Bloglandia!

You know, Facebook is fun, but I just can't help but feel this little piece of the web is still "home". :)

Soooooo, with that in mind, I'd like to invite everyone to a little gathering next Thursday, June 10 - a sort of summer kickoff and blog sale. Just a few items, a couple large, a couple small, and one inspired by the beauty of the ocean - a place very dear to my heart, and on my mind a great deal lately, as I'm sure everyone else.

I've also updated the playlist here with a few favorite tunes that say "summer" to me. If you're inclined to give a listen, just scroll down on the right. :)

♥ Carolee