Sunday, December 28, 2008

new and newish

In the shop, you can now choose any five postcard designs in any combination, including multiples of your favorites, and save a couple bucks off the usual single postcard price. Choose and buy here.

Also, my hand stitched fruit ornaments are available again at a reduced price. Sure, they look great on your tree but their colors and design are suitable for all seasons. You an use them to spruce up any cozy corner of your home or workplace. Find them here.

There are three days left of the deepest discount ever on my postcards. I normally sell my set of ten (one of each design) for $12, which is a savings of $3 from the individual prices. Right now you can get the set for $10, a total savings of $5. Don't miss out! Shop here.

I have had a wonderful weekend here in Quiet City, visiting with my brothers and spending time in Portland. I hope you are all relaxing and taking deep breaths after the chaos of Christmas. xoxo!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

gift tags!

Just in time for those after-Christmas gatherings with your friends and family who couldn't be with you for the holidays, I present to you... All Occasion Mix and Match Gift Tags!




The card stock these tags were cut from is upcycled from what was left after I made my wedding invitations. I have been keeping that paper all this time (almost three years!), and I am so happy to be sharing them in another form with you. There are so many vibrant colors and they don't lend to any particular occasion or holiday- they go with everything. Ribbon ties are provided but I left the tags unattached so you can match or contrast however you'd like them.

These tags are now available in the shop!

And don't forget, until the very last second of the year 2008 (EST) my set of 10 postcards is just $10.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

my favorites

For the solstice, my birthday and Christmas I'm making a post of my favorite Etsy finds for you to use as a last-minute gift guide (for yourself or others!) and/or drool-fest.

*Please note. All photos used here and their rights belong to the shop owners. Some of these shops are on vacation for the holiday, but that shouldn't stop you from hearting them, and saving them for later! <3

Squirrel Nook Notebook from You Be and I'll Be

Elk Twins Necklace by Crave Jewelry Design

Queen print by Bad Bird

Recycled Poppy Bobby Pins by Foundling

Sea Treasure Pearl and Shell Rose Ring by Star of the East

My Captain... We've Reached the End of the World print by Hide n Seek

Scoop Neck Deer Tee by The Full Spectrum

Ocean Creatures card set by The Frantic Meerkat

"Scrolls" polymer clay post earrings by Miss Fickle Media

Morocco handmade vintage barrettes by Satura Kitty Creatives


Winter Solstice Sale!

In honor of the winter solstice (winter officially began at 7:04 this morning!) I'm having a sale in my shop.

From NOW until the clock strikes twelve to usher in the New Year, I am offering my set of 10 postcards for $10 (reduced from $12).

I hope you'll be able to take advantage of this for yourself, or for a friend or relative who loves stationery, writing notes in the mail, small art, and/or matt pond PA.

Happy Winter! We're in the middle of a snowstorm here in Maine. Stay safe and cozy and warm!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Last weekend's art show.

It's taken me a week to post about the art show, which means I have simply been catching my breath, going to bed at a reasonable hour, and hanging out with my son. But here are some of the photos from last Saturday.

This is in the last twenty-four hours before the show, tending to the details of my small items:

Gift tags, cut from scrapbook papers upcycled from the leftovers of my wedding invitations. (Yes I have saved that paper for almost three years.)

I also labeled 200 hundred more postcards, just in case. This is my list of songs and their dates, so the labels go on the right cards.

This is twelve of the 19 ornaments I displayed at the gallery, all tagged and ready to hang on display. They are decoupaged in upcycled gift tissue paper, illustrations from vintage and foreign children's books and National Geographic maps.

Then, at Captive Elements Art House:

Being a featured artist for the month means I got this whole wall for my stuff, PLUS a table, PLUS my tree!

And I took a better picture of my cello than the last one I posted.

In this picture, my little (much taller) brother pretends he wants to be in a picture with his dorky big (significantly shorter) sister.

That's better.

Ornaments on the tree in the gallery.

The ornament my parents bought.

Later, at home, my husband took pictures of me in the most relaxed state I had been in for weeks.

And I was finally able to let my hair down.

Quiet City will still be at Captive Elements in the "Bringing It All Together" exhibit until January 15! You know, if you don't have any other plans. Hint, hint. Wink, wink. Call the gallery for hours: 207-786-3606.

ALSO, on Saturday, December 20, Captive Elements will be offering all of their archive art at 25% off. Five days before Christmas, this is the perfect opportunity to surprise someone with a meaningful and local gift for the holidays, at a more affordable price.

ALSO SQUARED, on Sunday, December 21, I celebrate my birthday! And the first official day of winter. We're doin' it up true Maine style with a Nor'easter and everything!

Thanks for everyone's support and kind words about my show. I appreciate it in the truest of ways.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Don't Forget!

"Bringing It All Together"
@ Captive Elements Art House
opening night:
December 13, 6 pm - 10 pm
25 Landry Road, Suite 3
Lewiston, Maine

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

the sky yesterday

Yesterday was dark, gray and snowy. I had the blinds open in the kitchen as I gave my son his snack. I looked out the window to the grayness I expected. A minute later, the kitchen seemed brighter and I glanced up again to see pink in the clouds. Upon further inspection I found this:



As with the last photos I posted of the sky, these have not been altered in any way aside from sizing for the blog. The images you see are exactly as they happened in the sky. Holy moly, right?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

the fruit of this weekend's labors

I finished three sister works this weekend in preparation for the Captive Elements exhibit, which is just SIX DAYS AWAY.

As you all know by now I need to strengthen my skills in photographing things on my wall. I'll work on it. At some point. In the meantime come see these in person! They'll be up until January 15.

These are original sketches and collage on canvas:





Saturday, December 6, 2008

Oh, December

As I am working on more Quiet City goodness for the art show, I want to share with you a few pictures I've taken recently of the sky near my home. One of my favorite things about this time of year is the sky. When it's cold there are colors you can't see because the heat mutes them. The stars are so close. I know it's not officially winter yet, but it's coming.





"I saw a star fall from a green sky
I saw you laugh, your eyes were open wide
I saw your skin uncovered in the night
Uncovered in the night..."
-matt pond PA, "Amazing Life"

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"New Fall"


I just finished the largest piece of artwork I have done since high school, sophomore year. TEN YEARS AGO.

This is acrylic paint, ink and paper on 16"x20" canvas. (I photographed it on my wall; please pardon the quality of this photo.)


"These small towns have ways of making you feel sorry," is from the matt pond PA song "New Fall," which is on the 2000 album, Measure. I want to thank Matt Pond for giving me the ok to continue drawing inspiration from his lyrics and using them in my artwork.

The drawing in the bottom corner is a print from a charcoal sketch I did two years ago. My husband was the model. I have been wanting to do something with that sketch this whole time, and I finally found its purpose. The rooftops are cut from pages of various books I've collected for the purpose of collaging- an old religion book, a home improvement book, a 1960's university yearbook, and a 1970's children's reading textbook.

This piece will be on display at the Captive Elements Art House December show in a week and a half. I'm getting really, really excited.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Official-ish Announcement

Captive Elements Art House December show

December 13, 2008
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
@ Captive Elements
25 Landry Road
Lewiston, Maine

This is QUIET CITY's first art show! My offerings include collage and mixed media art, my matt pond PA-inspired postcard series, and tree ornaments. I hope to see you there if you are in or can be in the area. This is a family-friendly gallery. Tell all your friends and we'll see you all there!

xoxo Courtney Quiet City

Monday, December 1, 2008

too much

Headaches don't subside when all you can think about is your headache. And when you are hosting your family's Thanksgiving dinner for the first time ever, and you've never cooked for more than four people at a time.

This week has been intense but now I get to sit and breathe. But only while paint is drying on a canvas next to me, because the art show at Captive Elements is in two weeks and WHOA.

I just put my boxes of candy up in the cabinet so I would stop eating them while I wait. This is no time for excess, as the November holiday has just passed, and ninety per cent of the leftovers found their way to my fridge. This has never happened before as I was always a guest. With my belly still feeling full of cranberry relish, mashed potatoes, honey glazed carrots, steamed broccoli, rosemary bread, vegetarian shepherd's pie and three varieties of dessert pie, there's no room for candy- especially since I went to a movie over the weekend with my brother, sister, and her husband, where we ate a lot of it.

Speaking of excess, the movie we saw was Twilight. Why is this excessive? Because I am twenty-six years old and I actually liked it. More than what feels right. My cheeks redden at the thought. It's just too much.

My excuse: I still remember very tenderly my early and middle teen years and the vampire stories I was writing by hand in spiral bound notebooks instead of doing my homework. I didn't realize how vividly I remembered that time until I saw the movie.

Oh, excess! Oh, blood and immortality!

Onto business: I am fresh out of decoupaged tree ornaments, so I'll be making more this week using maps and books and canceled postage stamps. My hands itch in anticipation, although I am quite excited about the show and the work I am completing beforehand.

Also exciting: matt pond PA has released a free EP that you can download on their newly-redesigned website. Please hear it.

Paint's dry, or dry enough. Please forgive my randomness but I had to do something other than eat the candy. I wish you a happy December. IT'S DECEMBER!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Headache all week- I would say headaches but I am pretty sure it was the same monster in my skull for five days in a row, roaring and raging and making my eyes blur. I have a lot of work to do today to catch up. A lot of sewing, a lot of decoupaging. I have in my mind merry images of five or so completed ornaments by the end of the day but I know that might be pushing it.

I also have some work to do for the art show I am doing at Captive Elements in three weeks, a custom order for my friend Stephanie, and my son's Christmas gift. Lesson learned: start on Christmas stuff in April.

I found out about the Holiday Art Sale by MECA and SEA, and I am really excited about it. Once I stop hiding under the covers, shivering, pretending we aren't having Thanksgiving at my house this year and I don't really have all. that. cleaning. to do, I'll be very ready for a wonderful handmade arts and crafts event. If you live in Maine, or plan to be around Portland for the first week of December, this is surely an event that will be well worth your time.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Pears have joined apples in the shop! Take a look.



Sunday, November 16, 2008

sweet and sour apple

I've been working on a new ornament design, and last night I was downright giddy about it. After an encouraging test run I had a "THIS IS IT" run, and it's up in the shop now.

It's a Sweet & Sour Apple double-sided tree ornament! Stitched entirely by hand. Oh yeah, entirely. As in, my eyes and hands hurt so I don't know how many of these will be available. :)



This is the easy part.
It's sewing the felt back-to-back over the batting that's tricky and ever time consuming.

And as you can see by my templates, a pear design is also in the works!

xoxo Courtney

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Not French Enough

I have a new piece of art available in the shop tonight.


I am work, work, working.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

colors of rust

Yesterday the low clouds and misty air were whispering sweet secret songs to me so after the craft fair I went home for my camera and headed back out to the towns where I spent most of my childhood.

It's a delicate thing, taking photographs where people are passing, likely wondering why there's a girl standing on the side of the road with her camera pointed skyward. More delicate still is wondering if that house is occupied- it doesn't look so- and wanting to stop and aim the camera at the sagging roof, half-existent barn, and rusty bicycles, but not wanting to intrude.

And standing in the quiet of a warm, wet November day, leaves falling soundlessly around my boots, the damp making my hair wonder if it was born to be curly (it wasn't). The trees stand, black silhouettes against the heavy gray sky and I expected at any moment for a deer to step softly from the woods and look me in the eye. Not wanting to intrude.

A barn in Turner, Maine:

On the right side of this stream is the very wooded yard that was mine from 4th until 8th grade. I played at its edge with my brother:

It feeds into the northwest edge of Allen Pond.

This is the railroad that passes through Greene, heading into Lewiston:

We're in this stage between fall and winter where the trees are all bare, black and gray, and the ground is shades of tan and brown and hay. When you squint on a cloudy day, it's nearly all one color, and I never thought it attractive before. Not until yesterday. November has its own way of being vibrant; it's just being quiet about it.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

this season's tree ornaments

You can get a closer look at this Marcel Proust tree ornament and others NOW in my shop!


Good thing Adam put the little tree up because there was a constant mist or drizzle in the air today, and I could not have photographed my ornaments in the dewy bushes outside. The plastic tree by the window had to do.

I also went on an impromptu tour of the town where my high school is, finding places in the fog to take pictures. I'll post some of those soon.


Friday, November 7, 2008


With the clocks turned back last weekend I am still in an adjustment period about the amount of daylight we have. It's been warm here, warmer than usual, and wet. The clouds are low and wispy, and chunky and heavy. All at once. The light is different in so many ways, even at noontime.

I neglected to get outside in natural light with my camera before the early darkness crept in, so I couldn't photograph my ornaments yet (but I did dry the laundry and bought toilet cleaner and lottery tickets, so at least there's that).

My husband did set up our little Christmas tree in my studio though so that in case the light keeps slipping away from me, I'll have a nice spot for photos. I'll just have to turn on all of the lights in the room, maybe. There's four of them. We rent, so don't ask me why there's that many.

I'm excited to share though, and to list them in the shop.

Tomorrow I am going to the annual craft fair at the high school I graduated from. I don't think I've attended it in at least ten years, even though I went nearly every year before that because my grandparents always had a table in the gym. I hope the music boosters still keep a table there too. As an alumni of the school's extracurricular music program and recipient of a scholarship upon graduation, I have a special place for the music boosters in my heart.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

O for Obama


When I saw this pop up in the corner of the TV screen at 11 pm on Tuesday night... I was finally able to let out the breath I have been holding.

It's good to breathe again. I can't wait until January.

I don't have a subject title.

I know, it's boring with a capital B around here lately. I am currently drying the first layers on my new tree ornaments, and they'll be ready to show you by tonight or tomorrow. They'll be heading straight to the shop when that happens.

Also, I have the opportunity to do the December show at Captive Elements, and I am really excited about that and also nervous because ...I have a lot of catching up to do to get ready for a show. Yikes! I'm up for it though and it's just the push I need.

xoxo Courtney

Friday, October 31, 2008

Whimsical Stars

Please check out the blog Whimsical Stars for her interview with me and several other Etsy artisans. She also has an Etsy shop of her own, which you can find right here.


new new new

Happy Halloween!

I have a new piece of wall art up in my shop today! It's called Sea Song and it's loosely based on the big huge deal I am planning on making as a Christmas gift for my son. (His will be bigger and more detailed.)

Sea Song is a girl who grew tired as she walked along the oceanside so she used a nearby boat to lay down and rest her eyes. The sea sang her to sleep, though, and the boat drifted into the waves. She woke up, surprised, but she knew the water would take her safely home.


Materials: vintage wooden plaque, paper, acrylic paint, black ink, decoupage glue, colored pencils, and a page from a German hymn book.

Eat lots of candy, get dressed up and watch scary or magical movies! It's Halloween! This is a beautiful time of year.

We are probably not going to have any trick-or-treaters at our door tonight (which I was wicked excited about but it's nearly seven and no one so far- so it looks like we'll be eating lots of M&M's over the next few weeks) but I did go out and walk in the leaves, which were deep up past my ankles.


Good enough for me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Michael Phipps

I want to share with you an Etsy shop I came across tonight. I LOVE IT.

Click here:

I love the images for the t-shirts, and that they even have baby/toddler and maternity sizes.


So yes, I drove to Bethel a week ago Monday. The original intent was making the trip with my husband and son, but I ended up going alone and I am glad it happened that way. I have been trying for over a week now to come up with what to say about my visit but nothing was coming. It's hard to sum up in words. I will say this, though: a couple nights ago I saw my Grammy and Grampy in a dream and I am ok with everything.

I have no photos to share of or in the house but I snapped this in the cemetery up the road from it:

And on a road I'd never been on from the center of town:

The mountains were all so beautiful.

In actual Quiet City news I created something new today, using acrylic paint, a page from a book, and a small original illustration on one of the plaques. I am not sure it's done yet. I may share it soon.

This afternoon (ok, ok, it was actually eveningtime, after dinner) I dozed off on the couch and in those few moments before my son hit me in the face with a cup (lovingly, of course; he was just trying to show me his cup, he was excited) I dreamed that I illustrated and painted some beautiful work for matt pond PA that involved pretty girls sitting in the woods with deer close by.

October is nearly done. Where did it go? We are supposed to have rain and snow showers in the morning. WHAT!