WDW Pics with close-ups

Posted in Main, outings at 2:05 pm by carrie

The castle front and back…

The carousel in Fantasyland…

The Teacup Ride…

A butterfly at Epcot…

And because I can’t resist… a rare up-close of Nutmeg in her native habitat with Mickey ears… (it’s a hidden Mickey Meg!)


Walt Disney World… with a new camera!

Posted in Main, outings at 9:18 am by carrie

I’ll get the still pictures up later, but in the meantime, here’s a beautiful short movie Nathan shot with his new Canon T2i. This camera is amazing… the color, texture and detail… superb!

If you would like to see it full screen, and it’s so much better if you do, click on the little icon on the bottom right of the movie.

Disney World Camera Test from Rather Large Robot on Vimeo.

I’m particularly fond of the bunny shots :) We had a blast at the park, can’t wait to go back!!


Super Happy Tokyo Love

Posted in Main, Sharing the Handmade Love at 4:42 pm by carrie

Do you have a friend who gets a crazy-ambitious idea and then makes it happen overnight?

Cut to my friend Pinguino. She is amazing. She organizes bizarre food challenges, makes clothing out of duct tape and is a terrific artist to boot. Oh, and she planned a trip to Antarctica to meet penguins. You know, the norm.

Last weekend she co-hosted a show called “Super Happy Tokyo Love”. I was a featured artist :)

This is what I made for the show:

The inspiration… Puccho Japanese Candy…

I revisited my love for sculpey and made these necklaces. They are characters from a Japanese candy called Puccho. They have flavors like strawberry, peach, melon and yogurt. I also got the inspiration from a very creative woman who made some puccho cupcakes, which are adorable!

The necklaces are about the size of bottlecaps. I sculpted them, baked them then painted them. So fun :)

The inspiration… the Hayao Miyazaki film, My Neighbor Totoro

Three little cupcakes with our friend Totoro and his two other little friends… I don’t know their names (I bet someone else out there does). These were a lot of fun to make… I especially like how the blue one is looking at the white one and they all seem to say “Why am I stuck in green icing?” :)

The inspiration… the soot spirits from another Hayao Miyazaki film, Spirited Away

This is a soot spirit, or Susuwatari. I thought he might like to hang out inside of a donut covered in his favorite food sprinklings. It dawned on me that taking a photo of a donut from straight on didn’t show the curves of the icing… oops. But there’s the front and the back looking… donut-like.

Hopefully there will be pictures from the event up, soon… there were a few pictures on facebook of the turtle race through the downtown Tokyo set. You know, like Godzilla, but with turtles. Wish I could have been there :)


Happy 4th Blogiversary :)

Posted in business-a-go-go, Main, Mind Wanderings at 8:58 am by carrie

Four years of blogging. Almost 300 posts and over 2100 comments. Wow.

I really wish I could make this a more regular occurrence, this blogging thing. I just need to go out and do exciting things and be creative so I can share more often ;) Having the store made it easy to share. There was so much to talk about all the time.

It’s been just over two years since we closed Violets are Blue. I miss climbing the steps to the store, iced nonfat caramel macchiato in hand, opening the door to the familiar Violets are Blue collective scent, hearing the beep of the alarm… opening the little squeaking shutter door that we fixed dozens of times and setting my purse down and turning on the CD player. Keys onto the bulletin board that I wish I would have kept. Using that strange little metal key to turn on the hose, hearing the traffic whiz by me on foothill blvd, cordless phone clipped to my back pocket as I watered the plants. Lavender and roses. Go back inside, wash my hands and start tidying up a bit. The first little bell jingle of the day at the front door… is it UPS Brian, Joe, Michele or a customer? I really didn’t realize how wonderful all of that was until now. (But dang it, I complained about the holidays every year, didn’t I? lol)

I’ve had dreams lately that I’m in my old space but the landlord doesn’t know I’m there. I sneak inventory in and out at night and refrain from advertising or posting a sign. I think it vaguely resembles a speakeasy. Towards the end of the dream, I’m driving my Volvo up to the store in the night, in a panic, thinking that the store is gone, empty or the locks have been changed… that I’ve been found out. Then I wake up in an overly-emotional panic and ask myself… “what was THAT all about?”

I know that Maylene has several photos of me scraping the hand-painted logo off the window… with a smile on my face. I turned to her after the flash to say “Gee, I’m not emotional or sad at all… I’m really surprised by that”. Bits of paint flaking off to the ground, in a little blue, purple and white dusty puddle. I sweep it up and throw it out with little more than a “goodbye”. Looking back, I should have saved those paint shavings in a little box and put it on the mantel.

That’s morbid, isn’t it?

Switching gears now…

So… today… what am I doing?

I’ve started several projects. Scratch that, my husband and I started a few projects and I have started multiple projects.

First off… starting businesses with friends? Not so much a good idea. Makes me really sad to say… but it’s the truth. Unless you have a bullet proof business plan. Just. Don’t.

Moving along… we joined a film making group and made one little film. We’re always coming up with other ideas for new films and animated pieces, which is a lot of fun.

I started selling digital art sheets on etsy and have done pretty well with it. I’ve also thought about doing interior decorating, party planning, photography, production art for websites, animation, graphic design… just to name a few. I guess I’ve been reinventing myself a bit, and working on a portfolio is part of it.

And there’s also violetcottage.com, amazon.com and the reopening of my ebay store. Mostly my favorites from Midwest, but I’m branching out into other areas, too, including more handmade things, which I’d like to start creating daily. I like pretty little things, what can I say?

I think I’m a gypsy or… what’s the term… I’m a renaissance woman? That’s a good thing, right? :)

Several of you that used to come to Violets are Blue have emailed me to say hello. I have a folder called “Love Letters” for these emails. I reach into that folder when I’m “Blue for the Violets” and it really brightens my day. So to each and every one of you who have reached out… a HUGE thank you. I miss you all more than you know!!

I think “Violets” is a part of me… and it will continue to exist in one form or another for as long as I can imagine, even if it’s only in cyberspace. But wouldn’t it be nice to be back on that busy Boulevard with the familiar schedule… which included that daily caramel macchiato ;)


Maple View Farms

Posted in Main, outings at 1:02 pm by carrie

I’m a huge ice cream fan. When we happened to stumble upon Dairy Farm Road and drove up directly onto the front porch of the Maple View Farms ice cream shop… I was in heaven :)

The ice cream is very fresh. So fresh, in fact, that you can see the cows which produced the milk for the perfect java chip ice cream you are eating (for example) right across the street.

Perhaps the cows thought we came bearing treats… because they inched in closer and closer to us at the fence, then began mooing in unison as to say to each other “act cute, we may get something out of it!”

I’m not sure why I didn’t take a picture of our ice cream? The fact that it was so crowded that we had to eat it in the car was a factor…

On the way home, we took the two-lane country roads… here are a few semi-blurry pictures:

And our happy little passenger… notice her window of nose prints:

We ended up at the Q-Shack in Durham for dinner. All roads here lead to good North Carolina BBQ.

After all the excitement, we went home… and Meg heard a fire truck siren. She goes from listening, to seriously listening to howling.

Her instinctive howl pose is SO cute.

Next time… the beach!


Another collage sheet :)

Posted in Main at 11:03 am by carrie

Blue, shades of lilac, gray and white flowers now on sale in my etsy shop:

Print this and use it in shadowboxes, for collage, mixed media art projects, scrapbooking, paper chain… lots of fun stuff!