Sunday, November 6, 2016

FALL and YARN

There is just something about the fall that makes me want to get into the yarn!
Last year it was my scarves of which I still have a few for sale, but this year I've gone into creating 
YARN BASKETS!!


I have always had a "basket" fetish from wayyyy back.
If you have ever been in my house or studio, you have witnessed this obsession.



These are just a small sampling!
******************

I've been doing a lot of painting lately and frankly, need to sell some, so decided I needed to take a break and, as always this time a year, out came the yarn. 
I had in my mind what I wanted to do. Colorful fun baskets using up some of the yarn I had left from the scarves, but didn't know just how to do what I had in mind.....so....off to good ole' You Tube I went and started looking at different basket making vids.


The first ones I did are called "Coil Baskets" and I love the look

BUT, a lot of work! It would take too long to make a bigger one.
So back to You Tube and finally combined a few vids and came up with a crocheted basket that goes a lot faster and has a great look also.

********************
So now I am off and running!!

And having a great time!
***
Materials: Some are all cotton yarn and jute. Some are cotton and cotton blend yarns and jute.

*************

And multiple uses!
I use one of the larger ones to hold my balls of yarn while I am crocheting. 

Are they for sale? Of course! But my debut for them will be at the Arkansas Craft Guild Christmas Showcase
In a few weeks. After that, I will be offering them in my Store and I will be making more....
Can you say "addicted" ?


Hope you love 'em! I do.

Thanks, as always, for stopping by to see me.
Suzi

and, oh yes. What's next?? Rag baskets!!



Monday, September 19, 2016

BARTERING

bar·ter
ˈbärdər/
verb
  1. 1.
    exchange (goods or services) for other goods or services without using money.

I love to barter!
Nearly....no....all.....the art in my house has been acquired through bartering.
Now let me say this about that...that does not mean I will trade for anything. It has to be something I really want, have room for, can use or need.
When we had our picture framing business I did a lot of bartering. Extensive dental work was bartered for framing! 
Yes, I love good bartering.

One of my loves is wind chimes. If you watch any of my videos on You tube, you will hear my wind chimes in most of them instead of music. Often I combine the two.
My Dad made wind chimes with beautiful sound to them. He was a welder by trade but this was something he did when he retired and he did a local art fair and made a killing!
This is one of his. I only have 2 left. It's been about 35 years.

He would etch his own drawings (very good ones) into the plexi clapper. birds mostly.
***
When you come to our house, you come to the back because the front faces the lake. We have a 2 car carport and when my Dad was still alive and making his chimes, this carport was lined with his chimes and the sound was what heaven must sound like to me. These were pipe wind chimes and he hung them just right for the tones to be melodious.
We called it "Dickson's Cathedral" (Dickson was my maiden name)
Wish I had a pic of how it looked then but these are some pics of the ones I have now and, of course, they all have stories:
The bamboo one up front, my daughter bought for me when she went back to the Bahamas for her one year wedding anniversary.
The blue one was a gift from "Blue Moon Art Gallery" when they closed. I was with them the 17 years they were open.
**


This one I bought in the Bahamas when I went there in 2008 to my daughters wedding.
**


This is a beautiful Shell one I purchased 
just because I love it! 
The pipe one in the background is another one of my Dad's

This is a large pipe chime I purchased...nice deep sound.

I SAY ALL THIS.....to show you the wonderful barter I did recently with my new friend Jeri Bellini who, among other things, makes wind chimes out of recycled everything!!
When I saw them I knew I wanted and had to have, and when I learned she coveted one of my Journey Journals, well...the rest was history!
****
So here is my new treasure!! Bottle caps, forks and knife, cradle for a casserole dish and the top from an old light fixture on top!! Now, sound is not what this one is all about...it makes sound but not really a chime, more of a "clank"...this one is about taking discarded treasures and turning them into something wonderful!
I LOVE it!!!

And here is what Jeri got.

Journey Journal No. 87
and this is "Sassy Suzi" (Jeri's name) which was inside.

We are both happy campers :)

I've loved being able to have treasures from other artists through the years and loved that they want my art enough to trade. I've only been turned down once by an artist I admire but that is okay. I also have had to turn down offers on my end also. 

Just wanted to share a little about bartering!
thanks for stopping by,
Suzi



Thursday, September 8, 2016

WALLPAPER JOURNALS

I have a "couple" of wallpaper books (and this is not all of them)
And these are not just your B grade wallpapers...these are very very nice wallpapers!
I have a friend who is a decorator and I finally had to say "no more"....at least for now :)

I also have LOTS of old books. Some I have acquired and many given to me by precious people like you!
So the other day I was working on an order for a Journey Journal
and got to thinking "Why not make Wallpaper Journals"?
Why Not.....
So here I am, purging some wallpapers and some old books and really having a good time!
******
These Journals will be different sizes but in the smaller (5x7 and smaller) range and mostly gorgeous wallpaper with other miscellaneous papers interspersed.

Here is my first one
To find out all about these journals and price and ordering information CLICK HERE.

Hope you will want to grab one up!
Thanks for stopping by,
Suzi



Saturday, September 3, 2016

REFRESHING 2 DAYS IN THE STUDIO


Lea Ann, Kea and Cindi
*
I just spent 2 GREAT days teaching these 3 gals and I have to say how refreshing it was!!
Now this is NO reflection on those of you who do a lot of workshops, but as an instructor it was great to have 3 students who didn't even know what Alcohol Inks are but still know how to do terrific art!!
And it was wonderful to have 2 days of not being compared to other instructors, and I have had several terrific students who don't do that, BUT, I've had many who do.
It was just refreshing.
*
So here are some photos from our two fun days together.
*
DAY ONE
We spent the day learning about mark making and using those marks to make painted papers and trying out all kinds of different papers that are all around to paint on.

"Now what did she say?"

 Can you tell these two are sisters?

 "I think that's done"

 Thinking about what colors I need

 Drying time and it was a beautiful day to string up the clothes line!



 By the end of day one this was the collection of paper!
Nice stuff!!

*******

DAY TWO:
"Oh dear! I'm scared to death!!"

Time to start gluing all those papers down

"What do I do with that purple spot in the middle?"


"Hmmmmm....where does this go?"

*******
And when it was all over....
FINISHED (ALMOST) PROJECTS
Lea Ann's beautiful masterpiece!
*
Don't you love Kea's piece!

And last but not least is this terrific piece by Cindi.
Her angel in the middle is not yet finished but going to be beautiful!
*
And the BEST part of the two days was lunch provided both days by Lea Ann and the weather was beautiful to eat out on the deck!!!
BONUS!!!

Thanks ladies for giving this old worn out instructor 2 days of laughter and learning and getting to know each other!

(I think we are going to do this again!)

Blessings all,
Suzi



Wednesday, August 31, 2016

THE TRUTH IS...

If you hear a workshop instructor say,
"Oh it's okay if my class doesn't make, I'll come teach anyway"
or
"I don't care if it's one person, we will have the class!"
or
"It's okay if you don't have airfare in your budget, I'll just fly out there at my own expense...no big deal"
or any thing like that.....
they have:

A: a husband with a very good job 
or a pension from some big company

B: a sugar daddy

C: Had a very good job themselves with a great retirement program

D: An anonymous donor who is paying all their bills

E: They won the Lotto

F: Born with a silver spoon....

or other similar situations.
In other words, they are able - God bless 'em - to teach for fun.
BELIEVE me, I wish I could do that...

HOWEVER, My husband and I live off of his police pension and my social security....and...
my art.
Without that last one, we would be selling our home.
I'm serious.
I'm not saying all this to gain sympathy or sales or anything like that...I'm saying it because I think the public needs to be educated on artists who make a living or depend heavily on their art to pay the bills vs. those who do not.
Believe me, there is a huge difference.
One is looked on as "oh aren't they generous" and the other looked on as "Greedy"!!
*
I guess I got to thinking about all this as I prepared my studio today for students coming in tomorrow.
This studio didn't get paid for by money I "happened" to have.
It came about from a loan.
And I didn't build it to teach in...I was doing about 13-14 art fairs a year at that time. I was using it go create art to sell to pay my bills.
*
As I have blogged before, It all changed in 2009 when I went back to work as a nurse and I only sold in galleries or online until 2012 when I retired.
Guess what.... the studio payment was still there and all the other bills and I needed to make money.
Thus, the beginning of my teaching venture.

If you have been keeping up with my blogs, you know that all that is changing once again, but what doesn't change are those bills.
*
Over the years I have come up with all kinds of things to sell besides my original art:

*FABRIC

*PRINTS

*COLORING BOOK

*STENCILS

*JOURNALS
*CALENDARS

*CARDS

*DOLLS

*JEWELRY

*SCARVES

*BOOKMARKERS

*BLOCK ART


*PACKS OF PAINTED PAPERS

*SMALL ART


*HANDMADE PAPER BOWLS & PLATTERS

oh this list is endless!!
Some things are successful, some not so much....
Some just plain died from lack of interest!

But I keep trying.
I guess what I'm trying to say here is ... be patient with those of us who struggle with this need to make a living through our art.
ESPECIALLY, those who are setting up their tents all over the country. THOSE are the ones who are serious. Many instructors are just "playing" but art fair artists are not.
We are very very serious!

Creating art is something that is inside of us and has to get out, but we need to survive also.
I wish I could just paint..paint what I want...and give it away just for the joy of creating.
I wish I could just pack up and go teach without concern of paying for the trip....
I wish....but as a dear person in my life used to tell me
"If wishes were horses, beggars would ride"

Yeh....the truth is.....
I have to make a living
and so do a lot of other artists.

And I for one DO appreciate all of you who get this...
This is more for those who don't..

Thanks for listening
Suzi

interesting tidbit about Suzi:
I haven't always just done nursing and art.
My original career was as a draftsman back when draftsMAN was the correct label and women just didn't do this. In my drafting career I was an architectural draftsman, a steel detailer and a pipeline detailer.
I have been a bookkeeper. My Parents owned their own welding business and Mom was the bookkeeper. My children's Dad was a welder and I learned the bookkeeping and we took over the business when my folks retired. 6 years into it my husband was killed in a truck wreck and we had to sell it all.
At one time I was a jewelry engraver at a local jewelry store.
I was a police dispatcher for University City in St. Louis.
That was a very interesting job and I loved it.
I also found my husband John there :)
Oh, and I did some legal secretarial work for awhile.
I also worked for several years as an activity therapist 
in a mental health center.
Nursing wise I was a Labor and delivery nurse, Office Manager for a Pediatric Clinic, taught Lamaze childbirth, Surgical scrub nurse, worked on the Urology floor at Jewish hospital in St. Louis (Now Barnes - Jewish) and my last nursing job was as medical office supervisor in an Drug and Alcohol center as a detox nurse.
Just thought you might enjoy that list of things I have made a living doing in my life.
colorful..huh?