Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fall's Best Dressed Pumpkins!

Recently, I finally managed to "carve" out
a little time to actually try my hand
at making some of those divine velvet pumpkins
I've been drooling over for the last couple of years. 
I had been patiently collecting my supplies
over the summer, and as soon as football season hit our house,
I snuggled up in my chair, pulled out all my goodies,
and got to work!
Since I'm not really an "orange" kinda girl,
I chose my own palette of pumpkin colors:
greys, ochre yellows & greens, dusty blues & violets,
robin's egg blue, and a rather stunning teal color that
blended fabulously with all of my choices.
Before long, I had completed my little velvet pumpkin patch-
they seemed a lttle... well, ordinary to me. 
I began hunting through my stash of old jewelry, trim
and millinary pieces, and
Pumpkins that would turn heads on any New York fashion runway!
So, I now present to you..

Of course, my "runway" would not be complete without
taking a look at some of this year's rather unfortunate looking
I'm sure Joan Rivers and her Fashion Police will have lots to
say about these guys:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Welcome to my Studio!

Hello  Again!
I'm back for my second stab at writing my blog and as promised,
there will be lots more pictures today! I realize that my first
post did little to introduce myself, or enlighten you as to what
the heck I even do.  I think I was just stunned that after all
my tinkering around on the computer over the last few months, I
had actually accomplished my "extremely late" New Year's
Resolution to write a blog!
My name is Carol Reynolds.
I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, and today live on the outskirts
of Nashville in Historic Franklin, Tennessee with my husband,
two almost-grown sons, and my grandson, in a wonderful old house
that was built in 1805. On some level, I have been an artist all
of my life, but in 2005, I suprised even myself when I attempted
to make a full-sized Santa Claus- and it actually turned out
looking like...well a Santa! Even though I had never sculpted anything with
papier mache(a very forgiving medium!),I became
hooked and soon began scouring flea markets everywhere in search
of vintage clothing, accessories and toys to add to my Santas.
My next big suprise came when my friends
(very special ladies who believed in me) wanted to buy them!
Their encouragement and enthusiasm were all I needed to keep
going. My first year in "business" I had a wonderful little home
show and was asked to display my Santas at
Cheekwood's Botanic Hall & Museum for their Festival of Trees.
I was on my way!

Two years after I started, my little enterprise was growing
and suddenly my kitchen and office space were way too small
to accomodate my work(or my mess!).
My family was also planning a  mutiny...they were tired of
glitter all over the house...and I quite agreed!
Luckily, a solution was at hand.
There happened to be a 100 year old smoke house on our property
that would work out perfectly for a studio. I threw my husband's
lawn mower stuff out, and began drawing up plans to make it my
 I had visited Carmel, California years ago and was
thoroughly enamored with the little town's precious storybook architecture.
With these images in mind, I sketched out my
"dream studio." First, however, I would need a builder who
understood the complexities of working with an old structure,
and secondly, I had to deal with the hundreds of dirt dabbers
(wasps)and brown recluse spiders that had taken up residency there.
After much planning, we were finally able to start my project
the fall of 2007 and finished it up the following spring. So 
without much further ado, lets get to some pictures of my
little studio:

 This was a challenge! The workmen were ready to ditch the project before they had even started!

It took four men to carry out the old salt trough.
It was carved out of a single log!
Sadly, there was no room for it inside the new studio.
The finished product!
Drumroll please!

 My husband rolled his eyes on this purchase...
but I had to have a mailbox!!
If you are from the Southeast, it looks like I stole it from
Rock City!

My resident elf!
Found it in Birmingham, Alabama and managed to convince
the shop owner to sell him to me!

Come on In!

My door was the first piece
of architectural salvage that I purchased for my studio.
When I found it in Atlanta, I nearly swooned!
It is an old abbey door from Normandy, France
and certainly gives the studio the storybook charm I was looking for!

My next find was this amazing mantle from the 1890's. Complete with leaded
glass curio cabinets, it came from an old brownstone in New York City. The
workmen nearly died when I started painting it pink!
But with all the "little men" in my life,
I needed some pink!
The fireplace surround is a wonderful blend of various antique majolica tiles.

Again, I was in the right place at the right time.
I was in a wonderful architectural salvage store in Nashville one day just as
they were rolling in this antique flower cart.
I just told them to roll it right back out to my car!
It is a fabulous way to display my designer boxes!
This is my groovy mod Santa Claus.
He loves just to hang out around the studio.
Love his 1960's purple go-go boots!


Just had to show you the little sink I found in Leiper's Fork.
(Do not miss an opportunity to visit this tiny town if you visit Nashville or Franklin!)
It was pink; so you guessed it!
It came home with me!
Love these windows from Maine!
Lets go upstairs!
I removed the original roof from the smokehouse and raised a new one by 8 feet which allowed me to place a much needed loft upstairs.
The stair railings and newel post are also antique;
I had fun painting the newel post!
These old shutters made perfect doors for the closets that hold all my vintage clothes!
Couldn't leave out my wonderful grandfather clock.
Loved it from the moment I saw it in an antique shop in Mountain Brook, Alabama. When the shop owner told me it was from Normandy, France, and that it had a St. Nicholas movement, I started rearranging the back of our car so it could come home with me!
This is one purchase my husband DIDN'T roll his eyes at, as he is an avid clock collector himself.
It is the heart of my studio.
Well, this ends my little tour. I hope you enjoyed it!
Today it is hard to look around at my surroundings and remember the former occupants. I love to immerse myself in my work here and receive daily inspiration from my various collections and my creations. Today, in addition to the Santa Clauses, I make Halloween witches, Easter Bunnies...just about anything you can think of!
I sell them at my home from my little studio, as well as on ETSY.
And now, its back to work!
Time to create!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fall Check List

                                               Start my blog?
Yes...its pretty embarassing. Creating a blog was my one and only New Year's resolution for 2012, and sadly it is now almost October!
I found every excuse I could think of NOT to start it- my son's high school graduation, the weather was too cold, the weather was too hot. Not to mention the intimidating task of trying to live up to the hundreds of gorgeous blog sites I have visited over the last couple of years. But, quite simply, I didn't have a clue as to where or how I should begin. However, as I am not getting any younger, I have ultimately thrown caution to the wind and decided to give it a "good old college football try" (what a clever segue into fall!).

What better way to launch my new little blog than by giving a nod to our fading summer season, and a parting glance at the very last flowers in my summer garden. They deserve a little recognition as they have been thoroughly ignored this past month.  I was initially drawn to my pitifully over-grown plot of land (too embarassed to call it a garden at this time of year!) by the heavenly smell of my ginger lilies. They have the most divine gardenia-like scent and serve as homage to my husband's hometown of Montgomery, Alabama,    where this time of year they grow in abundance. 

Picking through the weeds, I managed to rescue a few other late summer beauties. But, already my mind is drifting towards mums & pumpkins, and ideas of what I want to plant next year.

Too bad you can't smell these divine, white Ginger Lilies!

I have no set agenda in writing this blog other than to share my ideas, and snippets of things I love to create and that inspire me. I can't wait to share pictures of my studio, which is already a whirlwind of activities as I prepare for the (yikes!) fast approaching holiday season. I promise not to be too "wordy"- I love eye candy- so lots more photos(I know; two little pictures are pathetic!). But hey...I did it! My first blog entry!