Monday, December 5, 2016

30% off 2017 Calendar sale Dec 5&6th only

Dear Readers,

   A quick notice to pass along: Lulu has just announced a 30% off sale on calendars and 20% off on all books. Just passing the coupon code along to you:

3RDDAY20  is the code... hope it helps you enjoy your shopping and gift-planning!  The code expires at 11:59 on December 6th

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support of my work!


Monday, November 28, 2016

50% off Amber Lotus Fairy House calendars till 11/30 !

And this special just came in today.... the Amber Lotus Fairy Houses calendars are 50% off today thru 11:59 on November 30th.  ALL Amber Lotus calendars are on this special sale so you may want to check out their excellent selections!

Use coupon code :   HOLIDAY16  to get your deep discount!

Fairy Houses

Remember that this calendar is available in two sizes this year....the regular large wall calendar version and a new mini wall calendar version!

Here is the link to see the large wall calendar:

Here is the link to the mini version:

Sharp-eyed readers may notice there are slight differences to the inside pages between the large version and the mini... enjoy!!

RED Alert! 40% off on my Lulu calendars, today only!!

Greetings savvy shoppers....yes, I just got word from November 28, 2016 only 40% off on all Lulu products. Here is your chance to get my calendar (and other book products) at what will no doubt be the best sale price they will offer this year!

So use coupon code  CYBER40  when you check out to get your savings!

 HERE is the link to my 2017 Faerie Houses calendar in Lulu:

and HERE is a link to my other books in Lulu:

Happy Shopping and Thank you so very much for supporting my art with your really does help keep the lights on! 

With Gratitude 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fairy House book on sale at Target

Greetings savvy readers who may be looking for my book at a nice sale price. A fan told me today that my book is on sale at Target online. I checked it out and it seems to be so...if you too want to see their sale page, I have a link HERE 

The book is on a pre-order sale for $19.49 which is the best price I've seen so far for the book. Happy Shopping!


Monday, November 21, 2016

First Snow and first peek at the book!

Greetings Everyone!

  We've had our first dusting of snow here at the studio and it is so pretty to see the smallest details of leaf and twig etched in white against the dark and grey forest now that all the leaves have browned and fallen off. Up in the mountains a few weeks ago they had their first snow and it was at a time when we down here at the lower elevations were still enjoying colorful leaves of autumn. Naturally a crazy idea got sparked and I decided to see if I could bridge the two zones with a bit of creative expression.

  I had a small house I had been working on but the roof was not finished on it so I decided to quickly change course and made a delicate twig frame to support a leaf roof. I then took the house and drove up to the mountains in search of fresh snow, stopping at several good maple trees that were still in their autumn fire best foliage display along the way. I collected leaves and attached them to the twig frame using Hawthorne thorns (my go-to natural stapler). By the time I cleared the village between myself and the high mountains, I had a fully covered leaf roof that was gloriously bright and festive.

  I headed for a small lake that often has good rocks along the shore for scenic shooting and hoped that I could find a place to set up the house before the sun went behind the ridge. But I did not count on the fact that it would STILL be snowing up there! Thick clouds swirled and blew a blizzard of flakes in every direction. I was woefully under-dressed but I still had an inkling that a good shot could be had if I just persevered and found the right spot. I tried several locations and the sky looked even darker each time I tested the shot thru my viewfinder. I could see that I had just a few minutes left before the pale disc of the sun (when it was visible thru the raging clouds) would dip behind the cliffs and all hope would be lost for a good shot.

  There was one more lichen-covered rock right down by the shore that looked very inviting. I scrambled down, shivering and determined. A misplaced foot went into a hidden boggy part and I fumed at myself...what was I trying to prove? Why bother? This is ridiculous I railed at myself while I set everything up. Then I waited. And waited. And finally, a break appeared in the cloud cover and even though the sun was no longer able to shed light directly on the scene, there was still sufficient golden ambient light to take some shots. One had some of the magic I had hoped for.... this one: 

  In our area it is very rare to get snow AND fall foliage at the same time so I'm glad I followed the nudge from the faeries and went up to the mountains to have this little adventure, and it is fun for me to share it with you now.

Speaking of sharing, it is WELL past time for me to start sharing some of the actual pages from the book. There is so much to say about this book I hardly know where to begin. I'll just share a few snapshots from the pages with you right now and then, in my next post I'll begin to describe in detail what each chapter is about and what you can expect to see and learn from the pages of this book.

Here are just a few snapshots for you to enjoy now:


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Reflections on polarities

Greetings Everyone,

  It is difficult to know what to say or how much. America has been shaken. And now New Zealand has too, but by entirely different events. My heartfelt prayers go out to all who feel scared, fearful, angry, confused or disillusioned. Kia Ora to my friends in New Zealand.

We are living in difficult times and what saddens me most about this most recent American election are 4 separate but related issues:

1      - That we are all being manipulated to think, feel and thus believe that we have to be on one side or the other and that whichever side you choose, the other one is evil, horrible and must be silenced and defeated at any cost. This is not true and this false narrative must be stopped.

2    -  That we have elevated denial to dysfunctional degree and instead we see and hear only what we want to see and hear. We ignore what doesn’t fit our model of what we think is going on. The increased use of denial to cope with a challenging world lubricates our inward spiral towards dis-empowerment and detachment and makes us less able to think, feel or act authentically.

3    - That the fine arts of diplomacy, inspirational leadership, deep listening and creative cooperation seem to be relegated to the trash bin when they are some of the most important tools that are needed now to get our divided country moving forward towards a better future for all.

4    -  That civility and basic decency seem to be fading from the cultural discourse and are being replaced by a sense of righteous entitlement and permission to bully.  I find this deeply worrying.

I know that you come here to find inspiration and connection to something sweeter and deeper than the chaos of modern living… and I will do my best to dig deep and bring forward what creative expression that I can in an effort to celebrate the beauty and magic of this world and our lives here… but this moment has been a big hurdle to get over/through as our collective has been deeply shaken.

What I know to be true beyond all the drama in the airwaves is that we are all connected, no one is separate and that we will get thru this. Nature delivers her own shake-ups: floods, earthquakes and all manner of upheaval and she recovers afterwards, just as we do when exposed to such unexpected and traumatic shifts. We can learn from her example: that every single thing is needed in an ecosystem, whether it is a mighty oak or the delicate, microscopic threads of mycelium that connect the roots of the trees deep underground….ALL of it is needed and crucial. Every rock, every flower, every bug is a part of a greater, magical whole and we each are needed now too. Every voice matters, even those we disagree with. However, as the now-dominant species here on this planet, no matter what we disagree on, we must learn to live more respectfully with the earth that is our one and ONLY home and we have to do this together.

  So on to some inspiration…

As a meditation on how useful it can be to engage with the opposite of our point of view, I give you an image of a sculpture I did earlier this year:

Blessed Be to you and all your Loved Ones

Friday, October 14, 2016

2017 Faerie Houses calendar (Lulu) is ready!

Greetings Everyone!

Happy (almost) full moon!  

Exclusive news: I am thrilled to announce that my self-published calendar, printed thru is now available at a 15% discount just for my blog readers for a limited time.

Here is the cover image:

I will upload all the other pages to my blog soon, but in the meantime, if you want to see the entire calendar or place an order, you can just click HERE. (to see all the calendar pages now, just click on the link above and then click on the word  "preview" once you get to my Lulu storefront page.)

Soon I will be advertising this calendar on my website and thru my newsletter and the discount will be reduced so this is a good chance to get your order in early at a savings. I've just gotten the proof copy today and it looks really great. I've decided to offer just this one version this year. Last year I had a second version with more border art on each image and the feedback that I got from many kind fans was that they preferred the version without the overlaid border art. I listened to your comments and I hope this sleek new layout will be pleasing. Each monthly selection is framed with a color-matched edge that compliments the image. I hope you like it, and as always, thank you for taking a look!

  This time of year is soooo incredibly hectic... the fall leaves are in full glory now and it is a race to get as many new houses photographed with the special colors of autumn as I can. A few days ago we had one of those incredibly magical days and I was fortunate to be up high nearly at treeline to capture some great shots. Here is a special preview for my readers....may you have a wonderful, magical week-end!


Saturday, October 1, 2016

The turning of the great wheel

Greetings Everyone!

Happy early autumn to you! The end of summer is always a challenging transition for me. This year we had an unusual drought all summer long so the chance to get out in the woods to make sculptures or photograph them was especially challenging as the lush green mosses that are a normal part of the forest ecosystem here were noticeably parched and dried and were not good for photo settings. They are recovering now that we are finally getting some rain but all my usual places just were not very photogenic this summer, sadly. So I'm holding off some of the houses that I made and am hoping to get some good autumn shots next week, fingers crossed.

I was out on a scouting hike this past week, looking for new locations and gathering materials for more projects this winter. While I was "looking" backwards missing the warm days of summer, I was also looking forward anticipating that the forest would soon be cold and building materials will be hard to gather. So this time of year I'm like the squirrels in the forest, scurrying and collecting. It had been a bright grey day but all of a sudden there was a hole in the clouds that just got bigger and bigger and soon the forest was bathed in golden light.

As I gazed out upon the quietude before me, I felt humbled and privileged to be able to do this try and bring some of this magic into my artwork and share it with all of you no matter how challenging that may seem.

 I collected lots of great birch bark as there were loads of trees that had died and come down many years ago. Birch bark is such tough stuff that even when the inner wood has rotted away completely, the tubes of the bark that protected the living tree from winter's cold and summer's insects will still be lying on the forest floor, still strong and pliable. When an animal body is taken up by the forest microbes, the white bones are the last to go...white bones that were previously hidden within the flesh of the creature...but with Birch trees, they wear their bones proudly on the outside and when they are long gone, what remains is very useful to me! So I'm always grateful to the trees who give up their bones so I can make more faerie houses and I give a silent prayer of gratitude when I am out collecting and find some suitable pieces to bring back home to the snug studio for wintertime creating.

The days are getting noticeably shorter now and will continue to do so until the end of December. I am keenly aware of the loss of daylight...every week we lose an average of 20 minutes of the precious light. No wonder we get grumpy in Autumn sometimes!

Now that the book is done and in production I finally have time to get back into writing here on this blog and also attending to all the projects that got backed up. I've just completed the new Lulu calendar for 2017 and I am awaiting the proof copies to come in before I make the project available. I've gone back to just a basic frame around each image, no fancy artwork, just the images. I got a lot of feedback that this is what most folks preferred so that will be the design style for this version. I'll share the cover with you now and when the printed copies have been approved, I'll put the link here so anyone who wants one can get them. Here is the cover:

Yes, that is the Hemp house which I hauled up into a secret glen and waited till dusk to capture the moment. I hope the presses can reproduce this cover... sometimes they have trouble with the darker content/image. But if it works it will have been worth all the mosquito bites I endured as I sat still waiting for the twilight to enter the deep cleft in the mountain where this stream flows.

  Stay tuned....soon I will share some more stories about how I make my photos and some actual samples of pages from the book!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Happy Equinox!

Happy Equinox Everyone!

  Here's to the exciting season of change!  Here in my little part of the world we are enjoying some delicious last warm days before it all starts slowing down and turning inwards. A ton of exciting things are brewing on the horizon and my biggest challenge seems to be carving out time to write to all of you to share in the fun. I hope to be better about that now that the book project is buttoned up and my heart is healing from the sudden departure of Oliver.

  I am now able to get back out into the forest and do my work and nothing is more healing than to be in nature! The magic is so palpable whenever I step foot into the deep woods. A few weeks ago I had an especially enchanting experience: I had been in a bit of a rush to get back out to a special place I have frequented in the past. My head was spinning with all I had hoped to accomplish in the short day and I will admit that I was not in a receptive head-space. After I got on the trail and had only walked for a minute or two I was stopped in my tracks. A chickadee had landed on the branch not 3 ft from my head and was chattering away AT me! Soon, it was joined by a small flock of about 6 other chickadees...they were all within a few feet of me and were very animated. I was enthralled. Then I noticed there were several other species coming from out of the woods to join the was astonishing. I stood completely still for more than 10 minutes just mesmerized by the show of a dozen wild birds all dancing and chattering within a 10 ft radius. It was as if they knew exactly what I needed to re-orient myself to enter the space properly.

   I was now open, receptive, calm and deliberative...just as I prefer to be when doing the work. I was soooo grateful! The birds, their mission accomplished, melted back into the forest and took their festive party elsewhere. What a gift!

  Later that day, I was able to locate the special glade I was seeking and I set up a faerie house to shoot in the twilight...I was fairly happy with the shot but may try again when the leaves begin to change their colour- just a week or two from now. Meanwhile, here is the shot....enjoy!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Important capital campaign ends today- please support if you can

Greetings Everyone!

Apologies this is so poorly timed...I just found out today that my local shelter is finishing up an important capital campaign today. If you've been moved by my story about Oliver and can make a small donation to help our shelter out today, your gift will be doubled! But it has to be done by midnight tonight.

Here is the link to the shelter:

and here below is the newsletter announcement I just received....if you can make a donation, thank you so very much. They are a great shelter and this fund will make a significant difference for the people who can't afford to get their animals spayed or neutered. Thank you for taking the time to read this and if you can help out, a double thank you from me and Oliver-in-spirit!!

Here is the direct link to their donation page which will go to this capital campaign, thank you! Click HERE

We're almost there!
Give TODAY and your donation will be DOUBLED!

SNIP banner 2
georgia 2

Why Give to SNIP?

Every year, 6-8 million dogs and cats enter shelters, but only 3-4 million are adopted. Spaying and neutering is the number one thing that we can do to prevent pet homelessness and reduce the number of unwanted, abandoned, and abused animals in our communities. SNIP reduces the cost of spaying and neutering for those who need it most.

kim and puppies
$10 becomes $20 ... $25 becomes $50 ... 
$50 becomes $100! 

Dear Friends, 

We are more than half-way to our $2,500 goal! Give by midnight to help us make the most of this matching gift opportunity.

If you've already donated to our SNIP matching gift challenge - THANK YOU! If you're still considering a gift, please know that just $5 will make a big difference - double the difference. 

By donating today, you'll help ensure that up to 100 more dogs and cats in Essex County will be spayed and neutered.

Thank you for your support. It means the world to us.

Jessica Hartley
Executive Director

Tel: (518) 873-5000

Welcome to the enchanted world of Environmental art and Faerie Houses sculptures created by Sally J Smith. Here you will find photos of the artist's unique art-forms and hear some of the stories from behind the scenes as she shares with you her creative process.