Cola's Cottage

Please visit me at . We specialize in romantic art of roses and children, and handmade vintage style decor. We also offer vintage finds and apparel.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A new beginning

My new gypsy carriage

Hello blogger friends : )  It has been far too long since I have last posted.  I believe I have been on a journey of finding where I belong and who I am as an artist.  I put my business aside for a while and concentrated on my family and home.  I needed to step back and evaluate my life.  As an artist it is very hard to balance time for creating and family life.  Being the goal oriented person I am I find myself doing one or the other.  When I am preparing for a show my home falls apart.  The family feels neglected and I feel guilty.  When I give my family all of my time I feel guilty for not working in the studio.  These feelings were weighing on me and was stealing the joy from life.

Having this time has helped me to think of what it is I want to be as an artist.  Being an artist must be fulfilling or it just becomes a chore.  Being and artist is a passion.  I feel driven and it becomes a roller coaster ride of highs and lows.  Finding balance seemed to always elude me.

Throughout this time I have been making baby steps in my art and my business.  I created a new web page with the help of my friend Jill Serrao.  She is beautiful talented lady who owns  When I first began my site she was one of the first friends I made.  She paints beautiful roses and creates gorgeous web designs.  I have also been designing new card and pendant designs.  I will show them to you in a future post.  I have stepped back from painting roses to incorporating my art in mixed media designs.  I find joy and freedom in this art form.  I love using vintage and handmade materials in my art.  As much as I love painting roses I feel I am expressing my true self in my new art form.

Months ago I promised myself that I would begin posting again after my "cottage on wheels" was complete and last weekend I had my very first sale out of it.  I had always dreamed of having a traveling studio where I could bring my creations to shows.  My talented husband built me my dream and now it is reality.  As always I used as much salvaged material as I could including the steel siding from the dump : )

The picture above is my carriage in construction.  The bead board doors I had been saving for years for the right project.  We used them as the interior walls.

The picture below is a side view.  I have some painting to do on it yet to add more personality and charm.  I plan on painting awnings on canvas and attaching them to the wood.  The floral streamers on on the corners to  prevent someone from bumping their head : )  Below on the window frame I have vintage hardware attached to use as hangers for my creations.

Above is a lampshade that I stripped and added vintage lace to showcase my ribbon rose pins and wrist cuffs.

Both sides of my trailer open up so that the shopper can shop from the outside and I don't have to have them come inside the small space.  They get the experience of a "shop" without going inside.  Above are my paper creations with my own art and mixed media.

Can you tell I am a girly girl and love pretty things lol : )  I love tags with beautiful imagery and meaningful quotes.  I embellish them with buttons, jewels and vintage ephemera.  The beautiful frame was from a mirror that my parents had that had broke and I saved it to reuse one day.  I put screen behind it and painted it and it makes a wonderful display piece.

This picture is a view of the ceiling of my carriage.  I sewed pieces of upholstery together like a patchwork quilt and attached it to the ceiling.  I needed to keep the building materials light for travel and it was a nice fit.  It makes it look like a bohemian gypsy trailer.  I am half bohemian and I like that I am able to honor my heritage : )

As I am writing this post I realize that my baby steps have amounted to something wonderful that I am proud of.  In my journey to find balance in my life and my art I have created this.  It brings me immense joy to share it with people and see it anew through their eyes.  I hope that you liked it too and as always I love to hear from you also.

Take care and God Bless : )



  1. good morning Nicole.
    Look like you have taken as much time off as I have. Along with you, family is the most important thing in my life. The web site just kind of got pushed to the side. I love your gypsy cart and know it will be a success. I would love to shop with you. I am working some and will be listing on etsy real soon. I love to paint and create and will find the time as it feeds my soul. Keep in touch and good luck with your new ventures.

  2. Nicole,
    Your traveling shop is just beautiful! Wishing you much success with your new adventure. I do think we have to stop sometimes and reflect on the important things but still keep our artistic dreams alive too!
    Pink hugs,
    Vicki Pink Pearl Girl