Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sneak peeks and such!

Happy sunny and bright Wednesday to all my art and animal loving peeps!

Here are some new WIPs as well as some of the ones i posted before...the chick on the sheep has been a challenge. I have never sculpted an animal on all fours!! They are always stanging upright like humans. Go figure! The piece in front is going to be the party chick train!! I think it will have a patriotic theme and the chicks will be holding mini flags. The frog holding the pumpkin will be on the next SpookyTime Jingles update.

Here is a 6 x 8 gallery wrap canvas painting of my catfish sculpture. A fun project to do while the clay dries....

I just took a break out on our back patio with Missy, one of our feral cat tenants. Well, as you can see, she's not so feral anymore....i can pet her and rub her tummy any time :). I force her to let me pick her up. She squirms and rolls that round body around, but i know she really loves it. Tee hee. Isn't she beautiful?

I made this mosaic table a few years ago at a class at the John Campbell Folk School in Brasstown NC (a fabulous place...check out their site!). We learned how to make ceramic tiles and sculpted pieces out of clay, fired them and then incorporated our handmade pieces into mosaics. I etched one of my favorite quotes into the center piece. "I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that i can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now." One of the cats is usually sitting smack dab in the middle of this table, so I thought i would get a photo in while i had a chance.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Catfish SnipPet

I finished my happy, smiling Catfish piece last night. He is up for grabs in my etsy shop right now. It took me forever to take his photo...tried several different settings and backgrounds and angles....nothing worked quite right. So, the photos aren't purrfect, but i can promise that Mr. Catfish is especially cute :)! Many MEOWS to all of you!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tweet, Tweet :)

We had a wonderful weekend with Brian's parents. On Friday night, we had dinner at Ramsey's which is the ultimate in southern comfort food. Then we came home and watched The Wrestler in HD....shoowee, i wasn't quite prepared for the gore, but i could appreciate Mickey Rourke's performance. Note to self: Remember to warn my own mother NOT to see this movie. She would be horrified.
On Saturday, we enjoyed a leisurely morning on the patio soaking up the warm breeze and lots of coffee. After that, we headed to our favorite lunch spot and then to the Equus Run Vineyards for some wine tastings and afternoon jazz. The ride out there is absolutely beautiful and the weather was P-E-R-F-E-C-T. Here is a photo of me with a painted horse sculpture at the vineyards (would love to have that in my yard!) and a lovely shot of some guys fly fishing.

We finished up our day with a hearty dinner at an Italian Lexington classic, Joe Bologna's, and a competitive game of Scattergories.

TWEET! TWEET! The chick is complete!~~
So, now i am back to work and ready for a productive week! I finished my little party chick and should be done with my happy catfish this afternoon.
This piece is available in my etsy shop right now.

Have a wonderful week, everyone!!!
xoxo Carrie

Friday, April 24, 2009

SnipPet WIPs and Show and Tell

A Catfish, a Party Chick and two Sheep in process! These silly SnipPets are drying and should be ready to paint by the end of the weekend.

I received a fun package of goodies from my mom yesterday, so i thought i would share the quirky contents with you. She found a woman in Raleigh who recently bought a warehouse full of trims, ribbons, millinery flowers, folk art treasures, etc. from an 80 year old couple. The lady can't use it all, so she has been having big warehouse sales over the past few weekends. So cool! I have found a few spots around the house for some of these odds and ends...and the rest may end up incorporated into my artwork.

My hubby's mom and dad are on their way to Kentucky from Georgia right now! The weather is FABULOUS here, so it should be a lovely weekend visit. We will be heading to our favorite restaurants, taking a scenic drive through some horse farms and enjoying some jazz and wine tastings at a local vineyard. Oh, and I also want to go see that new Earth movie...hope we can squeeze it in!

I hope all of you have some fun plans for the weekend....what are you up to??
Hugs to all,

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day Planting and Upcycling!

Happy Earth Day to all of my special blog friends!! I thought i'd share my two Earth Day projects....vegetable container gardens and a little art upcycling. Here is my first attempt at growing herbs and vegetables. I am going to place them on our sunny front porch and hope that they will survive and florish! The thought of walking right out of the house to pick tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, cilantro, basil and rosemary is so exciting! I will keep adding to my collection as it gets warmer. If any of you have a green thumb and want to share some growing tips with me, please feel free!!

Ok, this is my next art project. My mom found this little antique toy cart at a warehouse sale and sent it to me. I have been wanting to make some pull toys reminiscent of those wonderful antique ones i often see. This cart has been sitting on my desk all week. I just can't decide what animal to add to it...a sheep? a cow? a pig? I am leaning toward creating a sheep with some sort of animal riding on his back. I welcome your thoughts and opinions! This makes me want to hit some flea markets and do a little more art upcycling.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Super SnipPet Sale!

Head on over to the SnipPet shop on Etsy for a HUGE sale on some of my one-of-a-kind, circus inspired animal dolls! Woohoo for sales in this dreadful economy, right?! We all need a break, so I am giving you one :). Maybe you will find a special gift for mom or a treasure for yourself. Here's a little hint at one of the pieces you will see....

Happy Sunday to all of my SnipPet friends! And many thanks from the bottom of my heart to those who left me SUCH kind comments on my sad little post yesterday. I can't tell you how much your words meant. xoxo

SpookyTime Jingles on Etsy!

Head on over to the SpookyTime Jingles shop on Etsy! This shop is filled with special handmade Halloween goodies created by many wonderful STJ artists for a limited time only.

Happy SPOOKY shopping to you!!!

Hugs and happy Sunday to all~~
Carrie and the SnipPets

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My heart just keeps breaking....

Oh me, what a week. Where do i begin? Last Sunday night, Brian and I headed over to help TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) many cats at an elderly couple's house about a mile away from us. The man, Don, is completely blind and the woman, Jean, is confined to a wheelchair. They live on a very small fixed income and can barely feed themselves much less the cats that have multiplied in their yard. Someone abandoned 2 unneutered/unspayed cats in their yard a year ago and now there are AT LEAST a dozen. They are such kind hearted people and have wanted to do the right thing unlike the irresponsible folks who got them into this mess in the first place. All they want is to have them all spayed/neutered and vaccinated. A friend of mine took care of half of them and called on me to take care of the rest. Of course, in the meantime, other kittens are being born so it's like we are chasing our tails with this (no pun intended :)). Brian and I managed to trap 5 of them. The bad news is that they all have herpes (which they can live with and be ok for years) BUT one poor little guy was in such rough shape that he had to be euthanized. That breaks my heart, but i would hate for him to suffer a miserable existence. I went by Don and Jean's again yesterday to check on everyone and deliver some cat food and noticed that the neighbor had a trap set in his driveway. My heart dropped because i knew what this meant...he was tired of the cats and wanted them eradicated. I went over to calmly confront him to no avail. He and his wife had made up their minds. They were tired of the mess and the cats wandering into their yard. He was going to trap them one by one and take them to animal control to be euthanized. I tried to empathize with them but killing them??? How can you do that? I left in a pile of tears feeling so awful and frustrated and angry....why couldn't i change their minds? I felt like i had let down Don and Jean and those innocent kitties. I have never been confronted with this situation personally before, and it was more than i could bear. We are ALL trying to do the right thing. I pulled myself together because i had to head to an apartment complex and try to trap 5 homeless cats there. I have been helping their caretaker in various locations for the past 9 months. After a few hours, we trapped a calico female (probably pregnant) and a fuzzy little black and white one. As late night fell, the only creatures getting in the other traps were possums. I was disappointed not to get all of them, but relieved to have gotten the others. I delivered them to the spay/neuter clinic this morning. But sadly, I just received a call letting me know that the calico had died. After they sedated her, her heart stopped. This sometimes happens if they have undetected cardiomyopathy. They did everything they could to revive her. So again, here I am in a pile of tears. And i dread telling the caretaker the news. I honestly don't know how full time rescue group volunteers or shelter workers do it. They deal with a constant barrage of tragedy and sad incidents. I know there are many happy endings, but it seems like it is always an uphill battle....dealing with irresponsible pet owners and hateful people, trying to spay/neuter so this pet overpopulation crisis will end, illness and disease, etc. etc. I admire people who dedicate their lives to this cause more than i can express. I just don't have the emotional fortitude for it. I love animals too much. It's amazing how something that supplies your greatest joy can also cause your deepest pain. I am sorry to write such a downright depressing post, but i had to express my true feelings. I have always been an eternal optimist and try to focus on the good in every situation....but today, my heart is simply broken into little pieces.

In honor of our furry friends who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge~~

Friday, April 17, 2009

New paintings and my first blog award! Woohoo!

I just finished up two more fun little collage paintings. Like the Tweedle frog piece in my last post, these were done with original illustrations that i created from my animal dolls. I am really enjoying this series....i like the juxtaposition of the "tightness" of my illustrations with a more free form, washy style of painting. Both creations are ready to buy on etsy.

And now for fun and exciting news...I received the Renee blog award from a very special blogger, Just Me Jill! I can't believe it! I am very honored and this was a super nice and encouraging way to end the week. Please visit Jill's blog. She does absolutely precious paintings....all you cat ladies and gents will especially enjoy them!

So, in the tradition of blog awards, i must pass this one along to some of my fellow blog friends. There is NO way that i can pick one, so here are 4 bloggers that i LOVE to check in with. I know you will enjoy them too!

~Chicken Lips: paperclay creations full of sass and style!
~Noodle and Lou: art that overflows with heart!
~Alley Cat Rescue: a fellow TNRing cat lady!
~My Pink Turtle: pure delight and magic!

I PROMISE that this weekend will be filled with CAT CHAT! I am getting ready to head over to the location where we TNRed last weekend to get some good pics. And I will be going to an apartment complex tonight for another cat adventure.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Leave it to me to do things a bit backward....

When I create my paperclay animals, i never do preliminary sketches....i really don't plan much at all. They just sort of evolve as I go. Well, years ago, i decided to do drawings of my completed animal dolls and ended up compiling a children's storybook with them. Soooo, I decided to revisit that concept yesterday. I did a little colored pencil and ink illustration of my Tweedledum sculpture. I wasn't quite sure what to do with it, so I pulled out some small canvases and began playing with the idea of a collage painting. After some more drawing and cutting and pasting and painting and varnishing, this is what appeared! The process may be a bit backward, but there aren't any rules in how art is created, right? I was having a terrible day up to this point, so i had to add some verbage to the painting to remind me to just SMILE!!! This painting is available for purchase in my etsy shop for a very affordable price.

Here is something else that makes me smile no matter what! My sweet pea, Rosie...aka the Oozie Buddha. Love her!!!! Look at that body! Hilarious.

I had a very successful cat trapping adventure on Sunday night that i have been dying to share with you, but i forgot to take photos so i am waiting to post until i get some good pics. Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tweedledee and Tweedledum Frogs

It seems like these two rotund and jovial youngsters have been on my work table forever!! I finally finished them, and they are now available in my etsy shop. Hop on over there for more details. Tweedledee, Tweedledum and I all wish you a very Happy Easter weekend!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Friday Fun!!

First off, i must announce the winner of my bunny blog giveaway! Congratulations to a talented fellow artist/blogger, ButterCup!! My mini bunny clown SnipPet will be hopping to your place very soon! MANY THANKS to all of your who commmented on my giveaway post. You guys are the BEST! You bring lots of love and sunshine to my days :).

I took that photo in my kitchen. I scored those ceramic bunnies on sale last year at Ballard Designs and found the teacup planters on the clearance rack at one of my favorite shops in Atlanta. They are all sitting on an antique wooden ironing board. The window treatment in the background is a set of vintage pillowcases hung on a mock clothesline.

This next photo shows a piece that i refurbished last fall. I purchased this old dark wood Sears dresser at Goodwill for $62. My husband took one look at it and thought i was crazy, but i knew it had tons of potential. I thought it would work perfectly in our kitchen for storage. I primed and painted it, distressed the edges, and added ceramic knobs. I made a few of the knobs in a class and found the others at the Hobby Lobby 50% off...a huge steal! Can you tell i LOVE a good bargain??!

OH, and look, what IS that super cute piece sitting on the shelf???? Why, it is an adorably fabulous Lulette house by artist and blogger, Jenn, of Noodle and Lou!! I am a huge fan of the Noodle and Lou collection, and I am thrilled to have one of her lovely creations. Her artwork is as sweet and special as she is.

Last but not least, I want to remind you that my White Rabbit and Frog Prince SnipPets are now available on Pfatt Marketplace! Click here for more info.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Kitty Spooks!

These two 6" spooky kitty cuties will be up for grabs on the SpookyTime Jingles site on Monday, the 13th!

I'll be announcing my blog giveaway winner in the morning. If you haven't entered, please scroll down to the Bunny Blog post and leave a comment.

There will be lots of "Cat Chat" going on next week. I will be back on my Trap, Neuter, Return adventures starting Sunday night. It is getting cat craaaaaazy around here!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Fairytale Frog and a Storybook SnipPet Rabbit~~

I just completed a Frog Prince and a White Rabbit for the PFATT Marketplace update this Friday, April 10. Be sure to visit the site and check out all of the wonderful offerings by many unique artists!

Doesn't everyone need a Frog Prince in their life???! I like the idea of this fine little fellow smiling up at someone from their dressing table each day. I thought he'd be a sweet reminder (in these tough times) that happy endings ARE possible. I can also see him sitting on a bookshelf among some favorite fairytale books. I hand sculpted his head and golden crown with paperclay, attached him to a wooden spool and painted the entire piece with acrylics. He is decorated with tiny vintage flowers, itty bitty antique buttons and a paper butterfly. He measure about 4 1/2" tall. I was having fun taking photos of him in front of an illustrated children's book, The Thistle Princess, that i adore. The illustrations are incredibly enchanting and beautiful.

I have been dying to create a little White Rabbit, so I finally did it. I hand sculpted his head with paperclay and added it to a wooden goose egg. His ruffled collar was hand sewn with cotton ribbon. He measures about 6" tall. I think this one is just a sweet and simple SnipPet :)!

Don't forget to enter my blog giveaway below!! And please visit the Pfatt site on Friday if you are interested in giving either of these little guys a good home :).

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bunny Blog Giveaway!!!

Happy Monday, my wonderful blog friends!

I feel like i am totally out of the loop! Last Thursday, we headed to Raleigh to surprise my mom for her 70th birthday, so i have been away from the computer for days. We had a wonderful weekend. I went to the cat shelter, Safe Haven for Cats, where my mom volunteers and helped clean and feed the precious kitties there. The facility is amazing! Every city should have a cat rescue just like theirs. Next stop...Suzanna's Antiques! My mom is an artist and loves to create broken china mosaics, so we dropped off some of her artwork at Susanna's. To top off the day, we headed to Chapel Hill for lunch and some reminiscing. (My parents met at UNC and so did my my husband and I.) We ate at Mama Dip's...the ultimate in southern comfort food...and then walked down Franklin Street and through campus. It was clear and warm and sunny....perfect Tarheel heaven!! On Saturday, we enjoyed another sunny day walking around the flea market and my parent's neighborhood. That night, we went to a special birthday dinner with relatives at a fantastically delicious restaurant, Magnolia Grill, in Durham. Last but not least, we watched our team win their Final Four game!!!! GO HEELS!!!
What a lovely was hard to leave mom and dad and come back to Kentucky yesterday. Back to reality!!

It is cold, rainy and downright dreary here, so i decided to do something to perk things up a bit. It is definitely time for a giveaway, so in honor of Easter, I am offering this polka dotted mini rabbit to you. He was hand sculpted with paperclay, painted with acrylics, embellished with a ribbon collar and placed on a vintage tart tin pedestal. The whole piece measure about 4" tall. If you'd like to win this little treasure, just post a comment. The winner will be announced on Friday (April 10).

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Santa SnipPets in the Spring??

Yep! I decided to experiment with a few holiday themed SnipPets. So, here are two smiling Santas. Both measure about 12" tall and were created with paperclay, acrylic paint, wire and wood. HO! HO! HO! HOpe you like them :)! This fine frog is available in my etsy shop and the cat will be up on the SpookyTime Jingles site on the 13th.