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Art Stories: Interviewing Landscape, Still Life and Palette Knife artist Carol Schiff


Art Stories

Vintage Indie would like to welcome Carol Schiff as our featured artist. 

Carol Schiff_1
Carol in her studio. 

WHAT IS YOUR PREFERRED MEDIUM? When I first started painting I ventured into watercolor and pastel,and experimented with acrylics, but when I found oils, I fell in love and have stayed pretty faithful to that media. I love the feel of the oils, their texture, the way they blend. I prefer to show brushwork and texture in my paintings and oils are perfect for this.


Carol Schiff_6

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? I have always had a desire to paint or draw, but from childhood I told myself I had no talent. In the 70's I opened a needlework shop which eventually led me to designing my own line of hand painted needlepoint. My lack of drawing skills was an obvious problem, so I started taking drawing lessons. Eventually I gathered the courage to study pastel painting, which I did for eight years. Finally I found oils!

Carol Schiff_2
Well just about everything! The light on an object or scene, the shadows, the colors, anything that catches my eye. Lately I have been experimenting with abstract works, which I find really difficult because the inspiration comes from my mind. Before starting an abstract, I have to think of a composition, determine what colors I want to use and what media. There is no way to know where it will go and I have a high failure rate.

There are so many wonderful artists that inspire. The internet has made it so easy to find incredibly talented people around the world. I spend many hours every week, viewing others' art.
At the moment Andre Kohn is one of my favorites. He is fabulous and I love his lost edges, lose brushwork, everything he does. Another favorite is Lynn Boggess. He has influenced my work with palette knives. He is one of those brave souls who takes giant canvases up the side of a mountain and paints with a trowel. His work is unbelievable and must be seen in person to really be appreciated. He has a totally unique look to his work. I get excited just thinking about it!


Carol Schiff_5

WHAT ADVISE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WANTING TO GET INTO THIS MEDIUM? Almost every town has an artist willing to give lessons in the basics. Do it because you enjoy it, don't become discouraged, and try to paint several times a week. Use the internet to find artists who's work you admire and study their work. Practice, practice, PRACTICE!

Carol Schiff_3

Carol's Studio 

DOES VINTAGE PLAY A ROLE IN YOUR ART OR LIFE? Yes, I love vintage and find it impossible to pass up an antique store. We have a small second home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and I furnished the entire house in vintage. I had so much fun refinishing tables and collecting items I remembered from my childhood. I feel such a connection with vintage items and find it impossible to dispose of them, so I have to be very careful about what I bring home.

I am in the process of refinishing an old dresser into a bathroom vanity at the moment and last month I purchased the metal stand from a Singer Sewing Machine. My clever husband made a beautiful cherry top for it and now it is my favorite little table.

When we are in North Carolina, I spend a lot of time photographing old barns and homes, as well as still life items with that vintage feel. When we are in Florida I paint from these images.


Carol Schiff_7

WHAT IS IMPORTANT FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR WORK? I would like them to know that each and every painting is special to me. I sometimes agonize for hours over a very small painting, getting it just the way I want it. I like texture in my work and want you to touch it. I like drama in it and try for lots of contrast. I want it to evoke a feeling in you, maybe a special memory of a place or item or even a flower.


Carol Schiff_8

The exciting thing about being an artist is that you never stop learning, your work evolves from week to week. Recently I have moved into palette knife works. I enjoy the texture, I want the viewer to reach out and touch....a big no no in galleries! I work hard to improve the quality of my work every day. I have developed a few painting techniques which helps to make my art unique, and I have been fortunate enough to license my work with three companies.

Carol Schiff_9

I love knowing that my art is in homes from Australia to Alaska, that you no longer have to be an art expert or invest a fortune to own original art. The internet has made this possible.

I feel like I am in competition with myself each time I step up to the easel. I try to make each work the best one I have ever created.


Thanks so much Carol for the interview! It has been a pleasure getting to know you. 

Please visit Carol's Etsy Shop Carol Schiff Studio

Her Blog Carol Schiff Daily Painting Studio

Follow her on Facebook: Carol Schiff Studio 



Organic & Whole Living: Special Guest Jennifer of Homemaker Gone Natural Organic Fruit Popsicles

Jennifer is in sunny Arizona, but most of us on the east coast are gearing up for spring and summer weather. When the fruit is ripe and the warm sun is heating things up, this delicious recipe will have your kids begging for a healthy treat like Jennifer's Organic Fruit Popsicles. Please help me give Jennifer a warm welcome to Vintage Indie and while your'e at it stop by her new blog Homemaker Gone Natural full of fabulous recipes, natural cleaning tips and more.  


Do your children love popsicles in the summer?  Mine do, so I came up with a healthier version that we make right here at home, and the great thing about them is they are organic and healthy!


Organic Fruit Popsicles

  • 1 kiwi sliced up
  • 1 lg strawberry sliced up
  • 12 blueberries
  • 1 blackberry sliced up 
  • 4 green grapes halved
  • 4 red grapes halved
  • 1 T honey (I use local, raw honey)
  • Orange Juice to top off (About 1/2 cup ish)

All ingredients I use are organic. 

Mix together honey and orange juice. Divide fruit up evenly into 4 popsicle molds top off with orange juice mixture. Freeze over night. Serve.

  Jennifer Hoover began HomemakerGoneNatural.com after discovering the benefits of a natural, organic lifestyle.   She was diagnosed with several chronic health issues that prevented her from continuing in her then current field.  Thus she began her endeavor as homemaker and discovered that with some extra effort in the kitchen, she could control her health and live life without being constantly medicated.  She is sharing with you her journey of learning to take control of eating and living a natural and chemical free life at www.homemakergonenatural.com 


Just Breathe

It has been such a heavy hearted week. There are so many hurting all over the world and when it hits close to home it tends to effect us all in one way or another. Our prayers are with the famlies in Boston and in Texas today. They're also with those unseen and unheard of who need them. Take a moment this weekend or even the whole weekend if you can and just breathe. 


Carrie Goodman
Image Copyright © Carrie Goodman


Jillian Hall

Image Copyright © Jillian Hall

Sandra arduini
Image Copyright © Sandra arduini

John 10:10(NIV)

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.


Teach Me Math: Math-U-See Beta & Epsilon Reviews

We're thrilled to be working with Math U See to bring you this review of their Beta & Epsilon. 

Beta covers addition & subtraction for multiple-digit numbers and other topics. Our youngest son is working through Beta. Epsilon covers fractions and other topics. Our oldest is working though Epsilon. 

Math U See is the type of math curriculum my husband says he would have written if he was in the business of curriculum.  In his brain (and now mine) the concept of math shouldn't be overwhelming. The instructions should be clear and math should be progressive.  A mastery approach of each ensures that you're student is learning math and offers a way for students to build upon their  knowledge. 

What we thoroughly enjoy about Math U See is that this curriculm fits multiple learning styles. With our youngest and oldest child, they both thrive on visuals, but for certain problems, multiplication and fractions, they both love hands on manupulatives. 


Our oldest using Epsilon, stated these resons why he loves Math U See:

 - The video instructions. They're clear, and Steve makes you feel like you're right there watching in his classroom.

 - Steve doesn't overwhelm you with too much work for each lesson. It is just the right amount of math to help you learn and practice the new concepts properly.

 - The fraction overlays were helpful in the first beginning lessons as well as the blocks. I've found that I haven't needed them in the later lessons.  

 - I like Math U See enough to continue using it through the rest of my middle school years and high school. 


Our youngest using Beta, stated these resons on why he loves Math U See:

 - It is very good curriculum. 

 - It doesn't have too many problems, just enough for each daily lesson. 

 - Steve teaches you tricks and different ways to do math, that I haven't seen in any other curriculum. 

 - The videos are fun because of Steve's personality. I think it makes him a good teacher and makes learning math fun. 

 - I would like to continue with Math U See next year. It looks like you're about to do a lot of math on paper for each lesson, but once you get started with the videos and manipulatives, it makes it go by fast.  



Our resons for using and loving Math U See in our homeschool: 

 - Instructions are concise and simple.

 - The progression of method is helpful.

- The videos are good for the visual learner.

- The tactile learner benefits from the hands on manipulative and the fraction overlays for the Epsilon.

 - The Teacher's manuals are helpful for teaching additional practice problems to do with your students, but we have not needed to use them very often.

 -  The children find Steve's examples and explanation humorous at times which makes him an engaging teacher.

Math has not been a stressful subject in our homeschool with an overwhelming amount of math each day with the spiral method. We prefer the progressive method that Math U See uses. We feel the  mastery approach has given our children confidence that by the time it is time for a test they're well prepared.

We plan to use Math U See with all three if our children through high school. We've only supplemented with fun math games, and math drills to ensure mastery in multiplication facts.




A special thank you to Math U See for providing us with the Beta and Epsilon products needed to conduct our full review. We were not paid for any aspect of this review or for any particular wording in our review.  - Gabreial Wyatt, Editor. Visit our Disclaimer/Disclosure Page for more info.



An Anniversary Letter to Him.




And so it was, TEN years ago today. I came up those stairs, daughter in arm of father, and for the life of me I could not breath.  The undergarment was just too much. It wasn't you. It wasn't about that day. It was squeezing me tightly and I couldn't take it. This was my day, our day, THE day. So I slipped it off before turning the corner.

Though the look on my face was that of a scared "deer in the headlights" kind of look, I knew my breath of fresh air was there. He was waiting for me at the end of the aisle. All I had to do was take a moment, breath him in and he was mine forever. We became one. One body, one soul, life mates. Somehow in the crazy mess-of-a-world we were both living in, God, fate, the inter-webs, they brought us together. 

It is our love story, and one I'm proud to recall this day with you. 


xoxo me. 

10 Year Anniversary Week: Love Birds

This week, I'm so excited to be celebrating my 10th wedding anniversary. It feels like only yesterday we were two love birds, ready to take the plunge and make a life long commitment to marriage.

Truthfully, to me it only feels like yesterday and to him, well he said the same. For some reason 10 just feels like such an accomplishment. That goes without saying it has been hard work and a lot of growing on our parts. We're also grateful we both have parents who have stayed together for over 25 and even 30 years. So this week  I'm celebrating, along with the love of my life and our three children, the best 10 years of my life and to many more in the future.  



Love Birds Cake Topper from sweetshelbys 


Love Birds Jewlery from DelicacyJ


Mosaic76d91bdca9d8b24e175d8227d9192885daae6e8e (1)
Love Birds from Susabellas

Vintage Indie Kids: Wee Stitchery

Oh boy! I can't wait until my little sweetie can pull out the dresses. 
I think these will do. Handmade from Wee Stitchery, they are simply adorable! Some are even created with vintage fabrics! 
Visit Wee Stitchery to purchase any one of these adorable outfits!