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!

Friday, October 24, 2008

You know you want to...

I wish I had known about this sooner, but don't fear... October 25th is the cutoff for signing up.

Beki at Pampering Beki is organizing a Blogger Ornament Exchange for the holiday season. Details are all on her blog.


Brother love, owl love and Etsy love.

My big brother is visiting this weekend from Brooklyn so he can go to the Halloween party at Captive Elements on Saturday. He's staying with us so I am cleaning today. My little brother (ok, he's not little- he's 24 years old and he's taller than me) will be spending some time with us tomorrow before they go to the party. I was going to help him make his mask but my mum let me know he already finished it! I was looking forward to working on it but I am also proud that he did something crafty by himself.

My latest Quiet City wall art piece has sold in the shop already. I will hopefully start making more than one piece every three weeks so I can keep up with demand. (That's a joke.) I still have four plaques left and some sketches in mind so my goal may not be too far off...

This is the last one I sold:


Materials: thrifted wooden plaque (sanded the egdes), page from a German hymn book, drawing ink, canceled postage stamps (that's where the owls came from) and acrylic paint.

I also would love to share with all of you what I have purchased from Etsy recently-ish. I am posting pictures I poorly took myself in bad lighting so please be sure to look at each of these shops.

This book is from youbeandillbe, who is actually my good friend Heather. We worked together at Half Price Books in Texas and I can tell you right now she is one of the sweetest and most beautiful (inside and out) people I have ever met. This notebook is bound by hand with an assortment of papers, so it makes a great little item to stick in your pocket in case a brilliant idea strikes you at an inopportune time, or you can use it to make letter-writing even more interesting. She has more available in her shop, so please click her link and check them out, as her photos of them are way better than mine!
Also, she has a shop announcement about her upcoming quilts. She made a quilt for my son before he was born, and it's seriously beautiful. I don't have any photos on hand of the quilt itself but I'll post one soon.

I picked up these adorable hair elastics from CC's Little Boutique. I love owls and I love tying my hair back, so it was meant to be.
She has many more cute little ponytail holders with a variety of designs in her shop. Also, she ships really quickly and they arrived to me in no time at all!

I also ordered a print from Emily of The Black Apple. This girl means business, as she's one of the top Etsy sellers and has been on Martha Stewart Crafts. Martha Stewart, guys. That's intense. Emily's artwork is beautiful and I can't wait to frame this and hang it in my living room.
When this first arrived I had it propped up against its sturdy mailing envelope on top of the radiator casing in the living room. Once it caught my son's eye he would not stop grinning at it and pointing at it, which makes me officially confident in my purchase.

Last but not least I saw these deer earrings and had to have them. I favorited them and tried to stop obsessing but I was drawn in. They just arrived this week and I wore them for the first time yesterday. I LOVE THESE THINGS and you need to go to Passion Flower's shop to see better pictures. Because mine sucks. (I really need to learn more about the camera I use, and I need to take a picture of these on me.)
They are wonderfully lightweight so they don't tug your lobes down. They are just so delicate and perfect.

Ok, I should try to get some more cleaning done (blahhhhhh) and reward myself with a coffee afterwards. I hope you all have a lovely weekend. If you're in central/southern/western Maine don't forget about the Halloween bash at Captive Elements Art House in Lewiston. Visit them on MySpace or call 207-786-3606 for details.

Monday, October 20, 2008

"We're choosing a path between the stars..."

I recently became a genius when I thought of what my family could dress as for Halloween this year.

Labyrinth is one of my favorite movies and has been since I first saw it when I was five years old. I want my son to be Toby on Halloween.

And I, of course, would be Sarah.

Which means only one thing, and it's brilliant: my husband would be Jareth the Goblin King.

Despite my deep love for Labyrinth and excitement at the idea of creating and wearing these costumes, my husband has declined to make these Halloween dreams come true. I keep asking though, and he keeps saying no.

Recently I thought to ask him why. His response required no contemplation: "Courtney? Maybe it's the spandex?"


Tonight, although defeated, I brought it up again. This time he said, "Not to get your hopes up or anything, but where would we even wear these costumes?"

"It doesn't matter, as long as there are pictures," I told him.

Maybe some other year...


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall Arts and Culture Festival

Today my son and I took part in the 1st Annual Fall Arts and Culture Festival at Captive Elements Art House in Lewiston. For any of you in the area: keep your eyes and ears open for Captive Elements events. They are doing wonderful things for our community.

And please be patient with me now. I took a couple hundred pictures today. Here are approximately 95% of them. Ok, my math isn't great but you know. LOTS OF PICTURES AHEAD.

There was a karate demo from students and instructors at Pelletier's Karate Academy. Unfortunately I forgot I even had my camera with me until it was almost over.


There was a giant Candyland game set up for the kiddies. This was magical and charming to me on so many levels since it was my favorite game as a kid. I hope they do it again next year when my son will be old enough to participate. Or I might just do it myself.

There was a pumpkin painting contest.


And a scarecrow making contest.

Resident metalsmith Hunter Matthews was set up to show us how he works. Hunter is also affiliated with the New England School of Metalwork.


(This anvil he works with is over one hundred years old.)

Sadie Landry was at her potter's wheel for a demo as well.

(With some help from her son.)





My cousin's daughters and I had some fun with the sidewalk chalk. The oldest, Krysta, snapped these pictures of me with my new chalky owl friend.






And... this is just really cute. Guess which one I think is the best, cutest pumpkin pictured here. (Hint: he's wearing a peacoat and I gave birth to him.)

Please visit Captive Elements here on MySpace. Their upcoming events are:

Halloween Gala (adults only)
October 25, 2008
at Captive Elements Art House*
8 pm - 1 am
$10 cover/ $12 at the door
featured artist: Lena Toth

Art Auction to benefit art programs in Lewiston/Auburn schools

mid-November, 2008 (date TBA)
at Fishbones American Grill (Bates Mill on Lincoln Street, Lewiston)
6 pm - 9:30 pm
no cover charge

Celebration of Youth and the Arts in L/A
December 14, 2008
at Captive Elements Art House
1 pm- 4 pm

* Captive Elements is located at 25 Landry Road in Lewiston. To contact the gallery for hours of operation and more information, email or call 207-786-3606 and ask to speak with Kerry Landry.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

October Leaves- continued glimpses of autumn

Early last week while I was making dinner my husband took our son outside to run around the yard for a bit. Last year at this time we lived in Texas and he wasn't walking so this was heartwarming for me to see.


He came back inside with a leaf in each hand and gave them to me.

Friday, October 17, 2008

change of plans-ish


I didn't actually work on the plaques this afternoon. After I ran to the post office and back I got another batch of labels cut for my postcards. Instead of doing them all at once I am doing them in advance as needed... there are way too many cards to do them all at once. I needed some more today because there are two sellers on Etsy who requested my postcards to add to their promo bags for the different events they are selling at this season, like craft fairs and roller derbies. They are located in Pennsylvania and California so this is a great opportunity for me to be marketing elsewhere.

I will work on the plaques early this coming week. I have ideas a-brewing. Tentatively, I am planning on making the drive up and over to Bethel on Monday. As I mentioned in my last post, I am missing that town and more importantly, the home where my grandparents used to live. I just want to go there and stand in the house, and maybe take a walk up and down their quiet little side street like I used to as a kid. Even though my son won't remember the trip, I want for him to be in that house before it no longer belongs to my family- I don't know when that will be. Make sense? And this time I will remember to bring my camera. With charged up batteries. Because it's going to be a gorgeous drive.

Please take a look at Crafty Eye Candy, where my postcards are featured today. I know, right? I thought "Holy cow!" too, when I saw it. Thanks, Traysea!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

thrift store art

Today my son spent the afternoon with my parents. I had full intentions of simply sleeping as long as I could while I was alone, but I had an order to ship out. Once I was dressed and ready, I was feeling kind of ambitious and after the post office I went to the Salvation Army and picked up five plaques on which to create new art. Then I went to Craft Mania to pick up sandpaper and paint, and THEN (yes there's more) I finally re-registered to vote because I was cutting it dangerously close. *knee up, elbow down* Yesssss!

I may also have a cup of coffee to thank for my energy level. Coffee gets me pumped.

At the Salvation Army, I was interested in a really fancy framed mirror on which to paint some pretty black silhouette, but when I picked it up I was disappointed (and grossed out) to find the back, once nicely felted, was scabby and grimy. I'll just keep my eyes open for other mirrors.

These are the plaques, now in my ownership, and destined for great (hopefully?) things:

I dusted and cleaned them, and sandpapered the edges of the smallest one, and packed up an order that was placed while I was gone, all before my parents and brother arrived back with my son.

The only bad part about this is that I sandpapered a hole in the skin on one of my knuckles. I am still not sure how I did it but it hurt like mad and it doesn't look pretty, either. I don't have any bandaids. This needs to change. Because, ouch.

While I was sanding I thought (again) about my grandparents' house in Bethel, and how it stands empty now- the house, the garage, the workshops, the porches, the field- and how I wish I could live there and make my Grampy's old workshops and my Grammy's old work/supply room my own. I wonder if they are still covered in the dust from his woodworking and the smell of her fabric and yarn.

Tomorrow my son spends the afternoon with my parents again and I would love to come back and have new things to post! Wish me luck.

xoxo Courtney Quiet City

Monday, October 13, 2008

In the spirit of the Halloween season

There's a spider who lives on the outside of the window in my studio. She's quite plump and she builds an enormous web that takes up almost all of the upper pane. My son is fascinated by her, and will point and repeat "Bug! Bug!" when we walk by the window. There are a few other spiders who live in the window and out on the bushes, and those are interesting too, but none are as big as the one who owns the top pane:


Close up because, whoa!

One day there was a spider fight, and we never saw that smaller spider again... but the big one only has seven legs now, so you can probably imagine how intense it was.

I really love Halloween and it's just a couple weeks away now. This spider would like to wish you a happy Halloween with her sweet seasonal imagery:

***Please take a look at my last entry for information about my Columbus Day free stuff long weekend, then stop by here!***

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Holiday Weekend! (means Freebies!)

**EDIT: Sorry, the freebie weekend is over!***

Well if Columbus Day is good for something, it's a day off from school or work (unless you work in retail). And you know what that long weekend means? COLUMBUS DAY SALES!

From today, Saturday, October 11 until Tuesday, October 14, when you purchase one or more of the postcards from my shop, you'll receive one more Quiet City postcard of my choosing plus TWO more pieces of sweet stationery (postcard and/or note card) from my personal collection. (I am a stationery fanatic, and I have A LOT of it. I have worked in the gift shop of an art museum and a half-price bookstore so I have had temptation everywhere. And oh, how I caved.)

So, you got that? Buy Quiet City postcards between now and Tuesday, and you'll get one more QC postcard plus two more pieces of stationery FOR FREE.

And whoa, there's more! If you buy a set of my postcards, you'll get three more Quiet City postcards and three pieces of stationery from my personal collection.

Don't forget! Place your orders on or before October 14 to take advantage of all of this free stuff! And tell all your friends! Because we should all be writing more notes and letters with our hands to the people we care about.

(Please pardon all of the exclamation marks. I should be sleeping but I just ate three popsicles.)

xoxo Courtney Quiet City

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Quiet City to Canada AND BEYOND

So far on my stat counter I have not seen a high volume of international readers but I did want to note, in case of any visitors here who've seen my shop, that I recently added international shipping prices and options to the shop, whereas before I only shipped to the United States.

Just trying to spread the Quiet City and matt pond PA love!

xoxo Courtney Quiet City

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

More fall, so far.

I have been hit hard with migraines lately, and other headaches of lesser but still-high degrees. The kind where it hurts to blink, or turn my head, or laugh. My eyes blur and squint. I haven't gotten as much done with new art as I have been aiming for recently but I hope that with some ibuprofen and lots of water, I can get back into a good, good habit of sneaking away to make art more frequently.

I have had decent sales in the shop since I opened, which is mostly related to what Matt Pond wrote about my postcards on MySpace and on the matt pond PA website, and also related to some wonderful friends I have. Thank you to all of you who have been a part of it.

Here are some glimpses into what our autumn has held for us. So far.

Nezinscot Farm Store, Turner, Maine- yarn shop

The long way home- Androscoggin River Valley, Turner side

Getting my potatoes ready for Three Potato Soup- special thanks to the late-day sunlight coming in my kitchen window.

Rain falling on a field in Sabattus, Maine- luckily this is the worst we saw of Hurricane Kyle.

In an unfortunate twist, the morning that we left for the Fryeburg Fair, the batteries in my camera were dead and I didn't have time to charge them before we left. It was a beautiful, breathtaking drive- alone, it was well worth the trip into western Maine. There were so many old, old houses and the trees that lined the way were in a perfect state of transition from summer to winter. There were mountains! Lakes! Rolling hills! Oh, Maine!