Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Good Tidings

And they're off. I've just finished 95% of my Christmas greetings. This year I am mailing 41 and hand delivering about 20 in person. I haven't the time to embellish each one, but I handwrite my wishes within and address them all. I have a few left that will go along with gifts that I've yet to package up. And they will contain more of a letter than a short note. Thanks to all who send me Christmas cards, I've gotten 9 already. I love hearing from my far-flung friends and family.
 
 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday Hussle

My creative projects this holiday season have been many and quite varied. And they are all on a time crunch. I don't want to be the cause of late gifts, so I've been busy. Below are some hand painted signs to be hung in homes or on porches or driveways. The Howard one below has been wood burned. I ended up embellishing it a bit more. The giant ruler is for a child's bedroom to mark heights. A couple coats of varnish are now drying then they are ready to go out into the wide world to my patrons who are giving them as lovely gifts for Christmas

 

I also hand painted 60 frosted glass ornament for the girls over at Meaningful Movements Dance Company. These little dancers will adorn many a Christmas tree.


 

A few more Dancing Darlings were crafted for gifts as well.

These cute, cheeky hand painted coffee mugs were commissioned by a good friend. I painted 5 of these last week.
 

 
 
So, there are many other things I am still working on, mostly gifts for my family and friends which I cannot share quite yet as that would spoil all the fun! Happy Holidays.




The Colors of Winter's Cloak

Yesterday morning was such a gift, a spring morning in the midst of winter. The earth was wet from overnight rains, the air was mild with a gusty breeze. The sky was a dance between purple cloud and golden sun. The usually soft, muted colors of winter became more saturated, the moss like jewels, the clinging oak leaves like amber stained glass.
 
Winter is not all gray. The cedar trees are heavy with blue fragrant berries and the meadows are peppered with red rosehips, golden grasses, and plum red berries from the Buckbrush (Coralberry). I collected several bunches from these plants to make winter arrangements. The soft red, green, and blue make a subtle statement that’s a little more rustic than Christmas’s traditional red and green, gold and silver.
 
Yesterday’s wind blew in a cold front and a blanket of cloud cover and has only gotten stronger since. The air has regained its winter chill and the wind howls a solemn tune as the days shorten and winter solstice nears. The moon is almost new and the nights get darker. This December, the new moon lands on winter solstice. It will be a long, dark night indeed, a bonfire night to be sure. Family, friends, and the cheer and the magic of the holidays are the light of winter. So a fire blazes in the hearth and I work away at my many Christmas cards. Card boxes, pens, stamps, and stacks litter my table as I fold well wishes of peace and happiness into envelopes for those near and far.

 










 

Friday, December 12, 2014

In the Meadow We Can Build a Snowman





20% Off Etsy Shop

For you lovely readers of my blog, a coupon code for 20% off of anything in my Etsy Shop. Use the code BLOGGER at checkout. If there is anything you need or want for Christmas you better get it quick. Oh, the days are flying!
 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Let it Snow

This window was painted for Aurora Pet Salon. I hope it brings some holiday cheer to the shop's customers and all those driving by. Stay warm this winter!
 



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Old World Winter

As Winter gears up for cold, I don hat, scarf, gloves, and coat to paint some festive windows in the chill of December air. Here is my first of the season - a winter scene with old world charm.
 





Monday, December 1, 2014

Hello December

 
December is upon us. It should not surprise us, but always it does. And the New Year is equally sneaky to arrive before our stunned eyes. So, I am trying to slow December down, a difficult task to be sure. We recently equipped our hearth to burn fires safely and efficiently so this is the beginning of my efforts: warm fires, low lights, soft music (Celtic holiday tunes now). For many, this season is full of hustle bustle, a race to the finish, and an inevitable crash after all is said and done. In the past years I have slowed my pace and tried to create my own traditions, ones that allow me enjoy the season, not survive it. I have tried to replace bought gifts with something handmade, or a deed, or time spent with those I love. This doesn't always free up more time, but time is better spent, more enjoyable, memorable, and fulfilling. Along with gifts I am making for my family, I have projects to finish for others who are less crafty yet still want a touch of handmade and one of a kind to their holiday gifts. So the list is long. But a hot kettle, a warm  fire, and some festive music will keep me company as the days shorten.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

Dancer's Story & Giveaway

SEE BOTTOM TO ENTER GIVEAWAY FOR AN 8X10 PRINT OF DANCER'S STORY

Now available in Traveling Chariot Etsy Shop are prints of Dancer's Story, an original mixed media collage. Artists use brush strokes to tell their story, writers use words, musicians use melody. Dancers tell their story with movement, flourishes of hand, feet, and soul. Dancer and choreographer, Martha Graham, once said that, "Dance is the hidden language of the soul." Here, I have used vintage book pages and watercolor to meld the idea of story, dance, and the language of the body in this collage.
 
Now, I'm not a dancer, but my dear friend is. I created this piece to adorn the old brick walls of her dance studio which coincidentally used to house a printing press. We all must tell our story with whatever skill, craft, or art we've been given. If you'd like to own a print of Dancer's Story or give it as a gift a dancer in your life you can find it here. Remember to order by December 12th to ensure arrival by Christmas.




 
Also available in Black & White
 

ENTER TO WIN: To enter, please leave a comment below with your name and email. Also, it would be grand if you could spread the word about my Etsy Shop - Traveling Chariot by promoting the shop on your facebook, twitter, or blog. Thanks!  I will draw a winner on this Saturday, November  22. Thanks.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

The First Snow Falls





Winter Magic

While Winter is not officially here, frigid temperatures certainly are. Below, you can see what gifts these cold conditions bestow: frost flowers. I wrote about them and how they form almost exactly one year ago here .  I came across dozens yesterday and today, more than I'd ever seen before (but they look so similar to last year's photos). They remind me of mushrooms in summer, needing very particular conditions to appear, crouched and hidden beneath trees and in hedges, and then before you know it, vanishing back into the magic from whence they came. Winter's secret treat for those who will look for them.
 







Friday, November 14, 2014

From the Hedges of Devon, England



https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hedgespoken
To see what artist, Rima Staines, is up to and what Hedgespoken is all about go here now.

 
I often find myself a bit envious of the great festivals and events that happen in the southwest corner of England, ancient traditions and art flourish in that ancient landscape. A few years ago now, roaming aimlessly through the tangled web of the internet, I found the art of Rima Staines. I've written of her before. Her art is absolutely magical. Reading of her artistic life, often on wheels, and visits to the wondrous faires and fests of the area have been a pleasure of mine for some time. Her blog Into the Hermitage can provide many hours of indulgence into a world of myth, magic, and nature. Her art has always been the storytelling type, you can see the tales just under the paint. But she is not only an artist of paint. She dabbles in many art forms: She is a musician (accordion), a puppeteer, a jewelry smith, a book binder, an herbalist, just to name a few.
 

Now she finds herself at the beginning of a new path. Rima, and her storytelling poet partner have devised a grand journey. They are hoping to create Hedgespoken, a hybrid vehicle: a wheeled theatre of the imagination and a hedge-loving home on wheels. But she tells it better herself. You can read all about it here. Or watch the grand video below. They have launched a fundraiser to help sculpt this dream into a reality and give the gift of magic to all the lucky folk in England (still jealous to be stateside). If you'd like to help, you can toss some change into their hat here and read more of their brilliant plans. Only a couple weeks left before the fundraising wraps up. There are lovely perks for donations, many include some of Rima's great artwork. You can keep up on their progress on their website and at