Birdie Drawings…

Posted in Main, Sharing the Handmade Love at 10:04 am by wordpress

I painted some little birds that will be featured in some of my new designs…

Somehow, they all adopted a different little attitude :)

puffed up smug bird

stretching happy proud bird

curious content bird

“I’m watching you with one eye!” bird

this one is my favorite… he’s just super happy

and this one was supposed to be a parakeet… but he turned into an owl-parrot. & he doesn’t look too happy to see us, so he won’t make eye contact.

Yes… everything I draw gets a personality ;)

Made using water color pencils while watching sex and the city 2 (true story).


sales sales sales :)

Posted in Main, Sale! at 9:36 am by wordpress

Time for a little spring cleaning, so everything is on sale at our website and over at ebay. These are our lowest prices of the year!

New lower prices on shipping at our website, too.

If you think you are going to buy 1 item, I’d stick with buying on ebay… but more than one, go over to www.violetcottage.com, because you’ll save a lot with our new combined shipping setup. All items are in both stores :)

Happy Shopping and have a wonderful week!

Click on any of the above items to see its price & description! :)


Scary Weekend…

Posted in Main, Weekend Adventure at 9:43 pm by wordpress

I grew up knowing that an earthquake could strike at any time, but we didn’t really prepare for it. I think we got one earthquake kit once that expired and ended up being thrown away, never being touched (I should count my blessings!). I knew about doorways, staying away from windows, getting under large pieces of furniture etc etc.

The Northridge quake was in 1994. Up until then I hadn’t felt anything bigger than a 4.something. Now that I look at that wikipedia page, that quake was only 10-20 seconds long and was a 6.7… nothing like what Japan experienced. But it did a lot of damage, nonetheless. And scary… boy, was it scary.

I’ve been on the east coast for 3 years. We’ve had warnings and watches and lightning and wind… lots of “extreme” weather, but nothing major. I’ve sort of adopted the locals’ attitude regarding weather events… stock up on basics, ice and beer… lots of beer!

But this time… it was different. The local news mentioned that a big storm was coming our way on Saturday. This storm had left a wake of destruction in its path and there were lots of tornadoes but… err… Sunday… Sunday is going to be sunny and breezy and AWESOME! We can’t wait for Sunday! End of story.

Our usual pre-storm visit to the grocery store was the least stressful pre-storm visit I’d ever had. The last time (can’t even remember when that was!) I ran into our old neighbors at the Trader Joe’s and we joked about the lines and how freaked out everyone was. Nothing happened that time. Or the time before, or the time before…

I was sensing a pattern here…

Saturday morning… woke up late, turned on the weather channel. Storms were heading our way.

My friend, new to North Carolina, texted me and said she was a bit scared. I told her it was nothing to worry about. We chatted on the phone, she hung up because the storm was getting really hairy and she has a 19 month old to take care of. She’s 2 hours west of us. It passed her, and didn’t really do anything but be ominous and loud. Phew… she’s okay.

It’s heading our way now…

The weather channel reported that a tornado touched down in Sanford, which is south and west of us. gulp. The friendly weather channel meteorologist, who kept boasting that he had studied under Ted Fujita, who came up with the Fujita scale for rating tornado intensity, said… “this doesn’t look good… it looks like this tornado is going straight for downtown Raleigh”. He looked scared… or at least a wee bit dismayed.


Yes, it felt like a John Woo movie, find a few doves to release. Yes, deep down I knew we would be okay… but… this was new to me… and all I knew was that tornadoes generally move in a north-east direction, drop houses on bad witches and if it decided to skip up and say hello to us, we were really close. I sort of freaked out (it’s in my nature) and started dragging photo albums into the basement.

Here’s a map of the path of the tornadoes that came to visit yesterday. I took the liberty of marking where we live…

So, it all missed us. One of our neighbors sat on his deck all day and admired the storm with his two little dogs, some other neighbors ran errands and checked the tornado path on their phones, and just went about their day.

Meanwhile, I was hoarding bottles of water and clutching a blankie while flipping through news channels. Crank flashlight to the left of me, passports and birth certificates to the right (don’t ask).

After all was said and done… we were all fine. Just really shaken up.

We decided to drive to the area around our old neighborhood, near Holly Springs, and check it out. We saw some debris, trees that had been snapped… minor damage… but then it got worse and worse. We decided not to drive into any of the subdivisions and be lookie-loos when everyone was so clearly trying to clean up.

Instead, we drove south to Sanford, to check out the Lowes Hardware that had been hit hard. We didn’t know we what we were going to see along the way…

This is a house! (?) !

You see the pictures in the news… it doesn’t do it justice. To be there… to see the damage… the sheer energy that this tornado emitted, and how wide of a path it actually made. To be driving along and all of a sudden see those trees completely snapped in half (the first few photos), and to be surrounded by it. It’s a tremendous and humbling feeling for sure. And quite overwhelming.

Our pictures don’t show even .1% of the damage we’ve seen on the news and online. You should see the aerial shots of the path of the tornado in Sanford (news link below).

The locals were busy cutting down trees and cleaning up. Mostly all smiles, which was surprising… and really cool.

If you’d like to read more, here’s a link to our local news station (that went OFF the air in the middle of their broadcast because the tornado was heading straight for them! To turn to your trusty local news and see a blank, bright yellow screen… sort of eerie! Not like our dedicated NBC news crew in 1994(see below))

When all the storms were winding down, the meteorologist at the Weather Channel reminded us that… “well, Sunday is still going to be gorgeous and AWESOME while you are out there cleaning up the debris with your chainsaws and whatnot!”. Yep.

Again, more respect for Mother Nature. We are so lucky. And our thoughts and prayers go out to those who didn’t fare so well.

Here’s a little Letterman to lighten the mood ;)

I love you Kent Shocknek.


The Last Two Weeks…

Posted in Main, outings, Weekend Adventure at 3:15 pm by carrie

= Bronchitis. 12 full days. I’m SO behind on work. Getting caught up has been interesting!

But this last weekend was jam packed with adventures.

My friend from LA was in town and we went antiquing. Here are some random stealth iphone shots:

And then… we went for a quick visit to the NC zoo with our friends who just moved here from Southern California…

The newest members were these albino alligators that apparently are supposed to be good luck…

So, they had a good luck display outside of the alligator exhibit, which our friends’ little boy posed in!

He had a really fun day! :) (So did we!)

We’re fascinated with alligators, so when we saw this squirrel playing in the tree above these sleepy gators, we were reluctantly curious to what he was doing. I got this video, but really, nothing happens until the 0:46 mark, so fast forward :) (I need to work on my editing skills!) Oh, and you may want to click “full screen” mode to see the little guy in action:

It’s a little hard to see, and maybe you had to be there, but it was hilarious to watch! (And a relief that he got away without a scratch!)

Pollen, allergies, being outdoors… I guess this means we’re officially in the middle of spring!

And pink blossoms and lots of birdies… And grumpy birds, too! ;)