Saturday, December 31, 2011

Okie Dokie

Happy Last Day of Old Year. My head is buzzing less, but hasn't stopped buzzing. Tinnitus is becoming more interesting than mostly maddening. Hip hoorah.

Anyway, here are two images from Autumn. Loud and quiet? Frenzied and calm? Both contain much mystery and can be points of contemplation. You get to decide how to put them to use. As to the drawing - I was slightly disappointed in it, and remembered all the musical instruments I've wasted in this life. On the other hand, a friend was Excited and plans to use a drawing inspired by this piece as a party invitation. Ya just never know. Draw on!

The crows, ravens, black birds (?) were perched on a wire outside my son's Duluth, Minnesota apartment on an early October morning. I was waiting outside and looking up. Birds on wires.
Two. For a long time. They would move a bit - mostly their heads, and become more abstract geometric forms than their actual selves. The digital camera got a workout, as did my decision making. Will I ever use these images? I'm hoping so. They became sort of a short-hand bird alphabet on how to sit on a narrow wire filled with electricity. They were calm. I was a little nervous. But having fun and hoping that they'd still a bit longer. They stayed longer than I stayed interested. Birds; 1, Sue:0

Who knows? Its the last day of December and they might still be on line.

On to the next 30 Day Challenge. Deviant Art? Etsy? Writing personal letters in long-hand on PAPER and mailing the envelope with a STAMP? Choosing deadline is at hand. Fork in road is being stared at.

Happy New Year to one and all, young and old, friend and foe, rich and poor, ill and healthy.

On to working on Pudge's pastel brother - so far he's named "Pretty Bertie" - whether he'll put up with this is another matter.

Sue Rowe

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Getting Back in Practice

It's been an interesting bunch of weeks, with no end in sight. As a usually really healthy person I am getting bored with tinnitus, lack of get-up-and-go, that one ER trip in the middle of the night where Panic Attack was diagnosed, and other stuff.

However, I now feel EPATHY for folks dealing with tinnitus, fatigue, panic attacks, and other stuff. And the spouses and friends who keep hanging around.

Friends have shared life stories I'd not heard before. Some good. Some bad.

I have to Buck Up, Little Soldier, and head into this possible New Normal. Gotta get funny. Gotta get to work.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas, and please don't mention bells around my head.

- Fare-thee-well,

Thursday, November 24, 2011

30 x 30: Da Challenge is Done & Done

Good morning on Thanksgiving Day!
And good-bye not so good page of llama sketches from Llama Magic booth time last May. Yup. This page was number 900 - more or less - really more - of the 30 Day Challenge to rid home of at least an average of 30 things for 30 days. All noted on reused sheets of paper folded and stapled for just this purpose. Two days and four pages for more cleansing and recollecting.

Note - some artists/journalers would balk at the tossing of a sketch or 12. Judgement? Well, a llama's gotta go when a llama's gotta go. There ARE other drawings of the lovely creatures, & photos & memories. And this sheet of drawings didn't scream "Nooooooo!!!!" as it headed for the waste-basket. That is always a sure test. I have ripped bear drawings into quarters - a ritual sort of thing for drawings-to-go-away - with my saying "Sorry, Steve, ya didn't make the cut." And the bear crying out - silently - in chunks - as it headed for the trash. This sheet had no soul. Again, Judgement on my part. A llama fan may have disagreed, or may have tossed the drawing months ago. We will never know.

A month of appraisals and considerings and choices is coming to an end. I'm glad to have done it, and glad to get onto a different 30 Day attempt. Stuff will continue to be culled, and new things will come home. Some cleaned and organized spaces are yet to be touched. Do I fear the spell of un-hoarding will be broken? Will we put something in those newly opened spaces soon, or ever? Should I take photographs? Which areas still need attention, and will we budget the time? Christmas is coming. A time for getting, yes, but maybe a time for the givings to outnumber the gettings. THAT might be an on-the-side Extra Challenge. Hmmmmm. To have the house emptier, on purpose, at year's end? "On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave away...."

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all. No fighting - no biting. May the best team win.

- Sue

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

30 x 30: Day 26 - Records Are Made to be Sorted

30 x 30 Challenge is taking me places I seldom go. Like into the shelf in one closet holding a shelf-worth of semi-vintage vinyl. One stash among several, but an easy one to tackle.

Let's see who might be hiding in their jackets. Hello, Johnny Cash. Hi, Steve Goodman. Hey, Steve, thanks for making our college Metals studio time so much easier to survive. Karen of NZ & I could still harmonize on a bunch of your fine tunes. Don't worry - all your big old platters are safe here for some while. Same with your singer/songwriter compatriots, John Prine & Neil Young. Cat Stevens and Gordon Lightfoot, too. Can't get rid of the words or the tunes. Got me through the many days of old teenage and young twenties. You were all doubled up on 8-track or cassette tapes; some munched by the '66 Metallic Blue Mustang, sorry, but still in fine form as records.

Cat and Gordon accompanied me on those daily trips back and forth from Gurney to Hurley. And Bill Withers, too. Holiday Inn maid days. Years and years on northern Wisconsin's part of U.S. 2. Could push the 8-track tape buttons just so - repeat, skip, skip, repeat. The interior of a Ford Mustang is not very big and the speakers really could fill the air with solid sound. No, I didn't speed much... but the engine was always whispering that it was able if I was willing.

But back to the reality of records. With the invention of CDs, well, our large vinylly buddies starting showing up at garage sales not in small stacks but often in large boxes. Kind of like their friends the complete set of whatever encyclopedia your family could afford. (Our family never afforded any, but that's a whole other story.) Well, if I could get a box of records for almost free or FREE it was time to ad to the collection. In fact, the availability of wide types of music led to my increased interest in same. I had heard of Lionel Hampton and Buddy Guy and Charlie Parker but our family's taste ran to Johnny Cash, Andy Williams, and a children's version of "Robinson Crusoe" that right now is playing in my brain. We were brought up on Kitty Wells and Eddie Arnold. Now I can listen to lovely Ella and Duke and Pete Fontaine. But also Winnie the Pooh and The Point and many many Miles Davis and Dave Brubecks. Thank you, thank you, garage sale folks.

Anyway, on to the sorting..... "Christmas at Liberace's" with a lovely piece by his mom, Frances, on the back cover - keep. "Christmas with Colonel Sanders" - go. All the Dire Straits - keep. Most of the Bill Cosbys - go. Duplicate Blues Brothers? One can stay, one can go. Every albun touched, moved, sorted, debated. About twenty have been chosen to go. And yet I have mixed emotions. Maybe a semi-hoarder's sense of history, or potential use, or, heaven knows...... Gotta fight the hoarder that is hiding for a moment. Gotta cultivate the organizing get-rid-of-er.

Total Challenge Stuff be-goned to date: 888

Then to chose another Challenge or continue to the end of the 30 days or over-lap the two.
We shall se what we shall see.

Enjoy some tunes!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

30 x 30: Day 24 - Over 800

Sunday, Nov. 20 , 2011

Today I attacked the CD music basket. Judge and jury. Sorry, Irish Tenors - we won't see you on the flip side. Bye bye, "Santa & His Mighty Elves" - still sealed in your plastic. Toodle-loo, Telemann. Sorry, Pinky Zukerman. Will send these and eight other discs to more appreciative homes - cross fingers.

Safe are some Bachs, Stevie Ray Vaughns, and even a few operas. Oddly, I didn't have many CDs. Since childhood I have stayed true to the big black vinyl things - the things with grooves that needles read. Record players, from Mono on live solidly in memory, and the darned decent system found years ago at a garage-sale still does the trick when I want music old school. In fact, I have way too many albums, and duplicates of Dire Straits, Johnny Cash, Moody Blues, and others because at garage sales and fleas I go into protective mother hen mode. I must save this plastic from a worse fate then being stacked next to Walter Brennan and Paul Harvey in their own odd albums. Miles Davis and Lionel Hampton share shelf space with Winnie the Pooh, Oblio and Arrow. Just because.

Art magazines also took a hit today. I was thrilled that the stack brought to the latest Van Gogh Cafe all went to new homes. A new stack of old magazines is being assembled. Yes, a few articles were culled, but most of the periodicals are being offered intact. Because basic techniques and tips seldom go out of date most of the magazines should be of use to someone. Whew. Even included some Art Calendar issues - out of date in part, but still inspiration-filled.

So.... drumroll......... Today's thirty items bring total to: 811. 811. Yup. And you'd never know a thing was gone. Does make one aware of just how much a normal 3-bedroom split-level home can hold. Even one room...... even one drawer..........

Keeping a written tally has been essential. I know exactly what IS gone. I know what has been judged un-needed.

On to tomorrow. Harder? Easier? Each item debated is different. But at least it's being considered. On to the sorting. Dare to begin?


Thursday, November 17, 2011


one day
I was walking
home from the Farmers Market.

The mind was on other things.
Pondering parts.
Enjoying the the walk.

Perfect Fall mornings don't happen every day.
The sign said Holcombe.
What the brain picked out was be.

I was
We are

Maybe take a walk
instead of guilt
make time for joy


Thursday, November 10, 2011

30 x 30: Day 14 - Taking It Easy

Excuses, excuses......?

Actually, no.
Yesterday's tally came to 20 items - including a long black velvet skirt, one pair of heels from long ago, and a bunch of ancient receipt books from the early art fair days.

However, I admit to taking it easy. Will plead ill health and major day at dentist on Tuesday. "You have longer roots than most people," she says. Oh goody. Thanks to iPod, lots of Glenn Gould playing lots of Bach, and other forms of relaxation, I am now again able to think unfuzzy thoughts concerning items stashed in house. Today the thoughts are papery.

Paper. Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots (you get the idea) and lots of paper. "My name is Sue and I am a paper-oholic." Since the days of salivating over the sounds of Captain Kangaroo removing thick sheets of construction paper from his own art supply stash, I have been in love with the stuff. Any size, any weight, and color. Doesn't matter. If it's big enough to mark or glue it's good enough to keep around. We (I?) have paper in filing cabinets, under the bed, under couches, in doors, drawers, underneath and on top of tables. Paper in plastic bags, paper in portfolios, paper in everything except a large flat file. Boy, I would love to have a large flat file.... Cheap copy paper to expensive printing and watercolor and pastel papers. Handmade paper from Todd's college days to handmade paper from excellent artisan paper makers. Paper that too good to use - hahahahahahaha. Sigh. And those used mistakes or scraps still too good to toss. AND those pieces still in progress from 2000 and 2005 and 2009 and yesterday. Oh, and THE JOURNALS and SKETCHBOOKS. Filled, half-filled and new.

So.... today's easy little treat was sitting down in from of the card drawer in one hutch and pulling about 60 pieces out to toss or give away. Charity holiday list packs, orphaned envelopes, etc. Gone and gone. Can you tell? A little. This drawer will gladly give up quite a few more pieces. However, it also holds some lovely greeting cards purchased from artist friends, and beautiful commercially-made cards to share with friends and family. Another 30 Day Challenge? Actually write to a person, attach stamp to envelope, and send a greeting to a far-away (or local) someone???? Hmmm.

Anyway - Day 14's tossing came to more than the 38 listed, but we will go with 38.
30 Day Tossing/Giving: 511

It's time to reflect on first half of challenge and rest up for last half. Yes, I know that this challenge could go on for the next four months, but that sounds like Drudgery. I don't like Drudgery. I like paper. And for now I like moving a few hundred pieces somewhere other than here.

Clean Happy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

30 x 30: Day 12

No, I haven't been typing here.
Yes, the ridding home of 30 things a day has merrily - ha - been going on.

Work desk drawer is almost pretty. Adhesives/tape shelf is all organized and neat.

File cabinets were attacked early this morning. The recycling bin got a nice work-out, and there's lots of paper left to the task.

One item that was hard to part with was a large colorful hardcover cookbook. Titled "The Encyclopedia of Creative Cooking", it was edited by Charlottle Turgeon and published by Weathervane Books. It looks like I probably bought it at Savers for $2.99. A long time ago......

It's a wonderful book - filled with 2000 recipes and 800 full-color photos. Says so right on the cover.

I don't think I ever cooked or baked anything from a recipe in this tome. However, in son Tyler's pre-school days, we spent many hours turning the pages and playing "Yuck and Yum." Soda scones? Yum. Birthday cake on page 125? Yum. Pickled mackerel in a lovely glass jar? Definitely Yuck. Most often we had similar tastes, but differed on green pea soup (page 645) and ham hocks in sauerkraut ( page 412). This book holds many more Yums than Yucks and if I come upon another in a bookstore or antique shop I'' certainly give it a knowing pat.

Total to date: 441

On to the next -


Thursday, November 3, 2011

30 x 30: Day 6, 7

Greetings -

Days 6 & 7 were not the greatest for the tossing and the ridding.
They were spent mainly prepping for, and delivering stuff to a large holiday boutique.
Not a bad thing, but not a keeping-on-task thing.

But because of 30 x 30 the bookcase is no longer in my bedroom closet, there are fewer un-used cookbooks in the kitchen, and I am more aware of Stuff. And duplicates and triplicates of Same.

Though not lots of stuff has moved physically, it HAS been in the mind lots. Even while working on other projects I think about particular spots in the house, or particular things, and debate merits of keeping or ridding. This is important. Often we get things, put things in a place, and, well, there they stay. Enjoyed? Maybe. Maybe not. They become part of the house's landscape (house-scape?) and blend into the daily indifference. I don't really know what's in that stack of magazines. I only know that they where important enough to keep - at least once upon a time.

Times change. A ba-drillion years ago I owned years of magazines relating to horses, miniatures, miniature horses, quilting, art, more art, bicycling, farming, & other far-flung interests. If I really wanted to hoard particular things they would probably be magazines. But through life's moving on most of these magazines did, too. Parting with the paper was not easy, but now the paper is seldom missed. It helps to remind ones-self of items no longer possessed, and even miss them a bit, but then smile and know that they were a part of living one chunk of life. Life holds so many chunks.

So this weekend holds lots more debating, choosing, and recalling. I hadn't known how much time it takes to simply think about A Thing, much less Thousands of Things. Maybe I will photograph a few goodies. Maybe photographs will be some of the stuff chosen to go....

Just for fun, even if not in the mood to be moving stuff on take ten minutes to just look carefully at your won goodies and wonder if they are usually ignored, tolerated, needed, enjoyed, or loved. And Why. Your awareness of walls, shelves, drawers, and doors will be changed for the experience. Thinking about The Stuff.

Total stuff moved on: 250


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

30 x 30: Day 5

Greetings -

Day 6 of the Adventure is upon our little home. Oddly, I have kept "on task" for five whole days. Even with work obligations, yes, heading out to drink coffee now and then, and watching a weekend of football, the 30 plus items per each day have been chosen and relieved of their house-al duties.

And even more.

Individual papers and bits remain a joy to toss, but a guilt to count. A semi-happy medium gets figured into every measure into trash. If and when you decide to do the ridding you will have to do the choosing. It's interesting to weigh the importance of the sheet of stuff to how it figures as A Thing. You will have to be The Decider.

A Miracle of The Ridding: Riding Boots. Once upon a time I rode horses. Semi-seriously. Over low fences and through basic dressage tests. Some day we will write about Seat Bones. Anyway, two pair of boots existed in my universe. But where? No sign of them for many years. In fact I thought that only one pair was still around. But where? I even told Tara she could use them because they would be her size. Didn't really matter, though, because we could never find them. So.....

While ridding bookcase in bedroom closet of, gasp, books, I had to pry open the doors on either side of shelves. Right side door? Early edition of "Native Son" with dust-jacket? Check. Pry open left hand door. TWO PAIR OF RIDING BOOTS. One vinyl, one leather. Doesn't everybody store riding boots in the bookcase in the bedroom closet? Tara tried on the no maker but made in England pair. Fit! Old vinyls didn't whisper of their long-ago Fargo, North Dakota daily horse-y dramas, Blood, sweat, tears? Ya sure, you betcha. Both pair are sitting in the kitchen now. Found and found.

Now to decide about The Bookcase. I'd not considered moving this bit of childhood home out of life. Todd did. Argh.

On to our daily choosings and decidings.

Five day total: 232

On to this one and only Nov. 2, 1011 -


Sunday, October 30, 2011

30 x 30: Day 2

A day of paper and cloth.
Goodwill is getting a lovely plain black sweatshirt, a pair of never-worn black denim shorts, and re-getting a never-worn navy blue wool Ralph Lauren skirt(yes, purchased for 3.99 at Goodwill). Some day I will be a Business Woman, but I won't be wearing that skirt.....
The garbage can got a small piece of blue denim waved for mended a yet un-mended pair of favorite jeans.

Old business papers - OLD business papers - have been set aside to be destroyed. I did not count each piece of paper as a separate item. That would have been too easy. So each envelope of paper items was The Unit. Still, they added up nicely. Try it!

One Monkey Mask on a stick (planned as a Christmas gift) was tossed.

Stick broke while moving vast amounts of stuff out of small closet in preparation for re-insulating our attic. Woo hoo! New insulation AND forced awareness of closet-y things. The cross-roads of 30 x 30 and moving stuff out of closet - Luck? Fate? Miracle? Now to see if closet is remarkably different when stuff is sorted. All the coats, jackets, and Coach purses are whispering "Don't pick me. You can't pick ME." They are probably right. I am not a Shoe Person. I AM a Cool Coat-and-or-Jacket Person. I semi-hoard Coach purses - all found at garage sales for $4.00 or less. (Sister & I have personal code of Coaches - never pay more than $4.00) (Daughter Tara gave me three she lucked into one day - all in a FREE box) I have too many Coaches, but so far they are safe here. And except for the utilitarian goose-down jackets, all the other garments are too nifty in their own rights to give up right now. Please don't hate me (O.K., go ahead) because of the vintage fur and leather beauties waiting for their chance to warm and charm. Some-one had to love them, and right now that girl is me. And the 1950's Chimayo woolen jacket that Dear Sis gave me, after those few times I got to wear it while visiting here Out West, well, I so don't want to spoil it that it mostly stays unworn. Sad. True. MUST WEAR JACKET MUCH MORE OFTEN.

Calendars? Well, two large art types from 1999 & 1994 are gone. AND the mystery is solved of "Where in the heck is that 2008 Extreme Sports calendar????? Bought and put away, for safe-keeping, in late 2007, of course. For a while my calendar of choice was scary doings by brave people - especially rock climbers. I Am Not a Rock Climber. But that winter I had to settle for people doing other scary things like surfing, snow-boarding, & the like. January 2008 comes around - hmmmm - time to hang the new year. But the paper new year has been disappeared. Forever. Until now. It had slipped into a narrow space between bookcase (doesn't everybody have a bookcase in their closet) & a file box of old journals, & is now pretty darned worthless. I did cut two scary photos from it before adding 'er to the out-pile. Note to self - Hang 2012 calendar immediately upon getting it in house.

Also attacked was a drawer in the work desk - actually an antique kitchen work desk - full of drawers & doors yearning to be peered into and purged. Noooooooo. Yes. O.K. Here, because the 30-per-day challenge had already been reached, I gave the tally sheet the fun of counting each piece of paper. Out went directions to art fairs that no longer exist, directions to folks' homes that I finally remember how to get to, newspaper articles no longer useful (it happens!), etc, etc, and more etc. 30 total right there. Yippee!

Day's adventure: 84
Total to date: 123

Ya can't tell...
- Sue

PS - The NIKE sneakers got sneaked out of trash can - and became useful - at least for one night of usefulness. But I'd not thought of using them unless they'd been tossed out. A minor miracle of the 30 x 30.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

30 x 30:51

Fifty one (plus) things are gone.
You can't even tell.

But I DID find the still-in-plastic Brand New 2008 Extreme Sports calendar. Yup. Found out why I couldn't find it. Closets keep being mysterious beasts.

Ever onward-
Time to watch some college football. Am cheering for Arkansas in honor of Auntie Mck.


30 -32:Hoarding?

To hoard or not to hoard?

"Boxes equal security," a friend told me long ago. I was signing a copy of JUST NORTH ENOUGH for her. If you get a signature you get a bear. Her bear had LOTS of boxes. A hoarding bear or simply a more-secure bear? Perhaps a less secure bar?

Monks and nuns come to mind. Can they be hoarding inward things?

I would tend to hoard paper. Yesterday Tara and I walked to a garage-sale. I bought a book on 1930's Fashion for her, a 1904 receipt journal for me (it was $1.00 for somebody's lived life in 1904....), and then "had" to buy a small un-used receipt journal for fifty cents. However, I passed on buying MUCH more stuff I wanted to buy - just because it was paper. Particularly, types of paper I do not own. Sad ANDProud? You betcha.

The old journal holds information "From May 1st, 1904 to May 1st, 1905."

Hmmm.... just now really checking it out. What's this? A verse written vertically in the margin of the long thin page.

Let us be unashamed of soul
How is it under our control
To love, or not to love?

Along the page noting purchases including
tobacco .25
seeds .15
5 1/2 yds print .27 1/2
wagon grease .25

It's been a really long long time since most of us have bought a bit of wagon grease.

Do you think that folks hoarded a fair share of wagon grease in 1904? Or tobacco?

Folks in the Stone Age probably hoarded rocks. Rocks equalled security.

Off to today's ridding home of 30 things. And then fighting urge to hit the garage-sale circuit in search of more security. But must go visit this morning's Stillwater Farmers Market. Wagon grease? No - caramel roll.


Friday, October 28, 2011

30 - 32: 30 Things - 1

So. Yes. Today was day one of the deciding to sell, toss, or donate 30 things. Things be Gone!

I stayed in the kitchen for the first task -

What left? Actually - OVER 30 things, including, but not limited to:
15 - knives, forks, cups
1 - small capped container for paint
9 - misc. paper items
3 - walkie-talkies
1 - old toothbrush
1 - large jar
1 - gold label
3 - packs of shoe-laces
1 - book (a book!!!)
and misc. bits and pieces of junk-drawer misc.

total: 35+

Yes, I had a few hoardery moments - but they passed. Hooray!

Next challenge? Bedroom closet - woo hoo! Yes, a couple Green Bay Packer sweatshirts might (might) have to make tomorrow's list....


30-31:30 Things Times 30 Days

O.K., here goes.
This might be tough, but who needs an easy challenge?
Today begins the ridding of home of 30 things times 30 days.
Will we notice the going away of 900 things?
I sure hope so.
And where and how does one begin?

I'm heading for the kitchen.

Wish me luck.
And if this challenge inspires you to to do same - Good Luck with the lifting!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

30 - 30: The Doing - Done

Deed done.
Not a great bunch of blogs, but blogs none-the-less.

As in If you write you are a writer.
As in If you paint you are a painter.

Quality is not the issue.
It is simply The Doing.

The Texas Rangers keep doing.
The St. Louis Cardinals keep doing.

The innings and outs go on and on.

On to our Challenges.
Go Texas!!!!!

On to tomorrow.

30 - 29: Tara's Suggestion

Tara's Suggestion.
To type: Go Texas!

Go Texas!!

St. Louis broke our Brewer-fan baseball hearts way back in 1982.
Part's of my heart still ain't over it.

So - to cheer against the Cardinals just comes easy.
Plus, maybe it's just Texas' turn to be great.
I hate seeing athletes lose.

I love seeing athletes DO.

Texas: 7 St. Louis: 4

So far.
On to "God Bless America."
And a couple more innings.


Go Rangers!

30 - 28: The Next Doing

Greetings -

So many possibilities for November.....
Write a letter every day?
Train for a 5-K?

Probably the Challenge is the Ridding from Home 30 Items for 30 Days.
I'm almost excited.
And planning parts of the attack.
And dreaming of empty spaces.
Ready for nothing to begin and everything possible.


30 - 27: The Homestretch?

With this posting, there are "only" three to go in the 30 Day Challenge.
However, today IS the day.
And tonight holds both The Van Gogh Cafe get-together (subject: Winslow Homer) and The World Series. Go Rangers!!
So it'll come down to discipline.
That darned discipline.
And Wanting to Succeed.
And maybe it's already been missed by a day.
I'm not going to do the math.
27 to 27.
That was the plan.
27 possible pitches in perfect game.
How many sentences in perfect blog?


30 - 26: 4

4. Four.
A minute ago it was 4:04. In the morning. I am up and typing. Bleah, as old Snoopy would say.

But, nonetheless, just a short note noting that "four" and/or "4" is my favorite number. Yes, even before Brett Favre.

I don't know why. Maybe because of balance of even-ness? Maybe because I was born in April?

4 was even part of a self-portrait painting we had to do once upon a time in college.

Do you have a particular number that you are most fond of?
Do you know why?

at 4:12,

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

30 - 25: Yup

"If grief deprives us of laughter, we are in trouble."- Clifford Kuhn. M.D.

30 - 24: On To It!

Greetings -
It's time to hunker down and type!
So posts might be boring but they will exist in the universe.
Baby typing steps?
What ever it takes.

Gave beautiful Swiss Chard to a friend this morning.
It is sad to have the garden still hinting at the bountiful green spot it was this summer & fall.
Now it's Swiss Chard and a few struggling brussel sprouts.
Better a bit of green than none.

Better a bit of effort than none?
On to tasks.
And the choosing of the next 30 Days Challenge.
Dare to join the fun?


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

30 - 23: A Little Hike

It's a nippy day, but it's a new day.
It's time to get back into Exercise Mode.
It's time to decide on one mile or three miles.
Walk-man or IPod.

Robert Johnson is singing and blues-guitaring on "American Routes" radio.

Maybe the devil is standing at the cross-roads of Greeley and Pine right now.
That's just a half a mile down the hill.
Hmmm. And on to finding out.

May your day be devil-free,

Monday, October 24, 2011

30 - 22: Another Day - Another Bear

Once upon a time these were the only bears I knew of:

Goldilocks' three
Captain Kangaroo's Dancing Bear
Yogi and Boo-boo
real ones who wrecked our farm's oats crop and ransacked our town's garbage dump.

Then, in October of 1997, I happened to sketch a bad copy of a calm grizzly bear's head done as a woodcut illustration for a 1920's hunting magazine.
Who knew?

May you, too, luck unto the pathway to another of your life's many livings.

It only takes one paying-attention to just one different and possible path.
On to finding invisible trails!

- Sue

30 - 21: Shallow

Yup, I'm shallow.
The Packers beat the Vikings.
(The Husband/Dad team)
It's was almost scary close.
Mr. Ponder will be good.

But the game is over.
Packers are 7 and 0.
Tara & I could drink our beer
& listen to the thre-hour post-game chat
worn out but happy.

And we fans can rest up
in the bye week.

Go Pack!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

30 - 20: Something New

Wow. Twenty typings so far. Ten to go.
This is now almost a habit.
But my habits seem to come and go.
So this must simply be continued.
So it WILL be a habit.

Once upon a time
One habit was
to ride
a bicycle
every day.

6 in the morning
after helping
milk the cows

and the rest
after milking
from about 6:30
till eight
in the Wisconsin
summer evening

the habit
didn't want to be

but the rule was
Get On the Bike
And Start Up the Hill

and by the time I'd gotten to the top
of Gurney Hill the rest of the

- Sue

Friday, October 21, 2011

30 - 19: Baking

Greetings -
Three minutes to two loaves of home-made bread. Hot. Crusty. To set alongside the 24 banana-walnut muffins. Or 22 if some of the family has grabbed onto them.

I am compelled to bake bread. The kneading? The needing? The Thanks from family? The memories of hot ovens long ago? The knowing of the basic recipe? The muffins get made to not waste hot oven. They get timed to leave as bread sits waiting for stove to hike up that extra 25 degrees.

Beep beep beep!

Time's up-

Thursday, October 20, 2011

30 - 18: Sunflowers

Greetings -
Sorry, tiny spiders, and other wispy beings that had been napping cozily in between the sunflower seeds still outdoors on chilly but tough little heads.

This morning was harvest time for the five stalks out by the fireplace. The much larger specimens out in the actual garden dropped their bounty weeks ago. I had no warning and, judging from the empty husks on the ground, the rodents/birds must have eaten their fill. Sigh and oh well. They were grown to be consumed and consumed they were. Some days we have no voice in what happens to our plans. Plan anyway! And plant anyway!

And plant any way. This year we grew garden goodies in real garden, Hansel egg plant in flower bed, sage and basil here and there. Experimented with peppers/tomatoes in some spots where they did not thrive. Sorry, plants. Even now, with frosts all around, one brave pepper is sporting lots of potential blossoms. It's finally hoping to do the growing-produce it was bred and planted to do. Sorry, pepper. Seeded lettuces in large flower pots lorded over by magnificent giant huge red coleus. I thought that the color combos would be fun, plus harvesting salad greens from patio would be fun. No fun. Lettuces didn't have a chance.

What thrived? Basils of several kinds, sunflowers, Swiss Chard, cauliflower, tomatoes. Even the green beans produced well. They just didn't know that I still don't love green beans and thus somewhat ignored their filling plants. Sorry, green beans.

I'd hoped to harvest the huge lovely sunflowers that backed the garden. Sigh. One day the heads were full of plump goodness and soon afterward the ground was covered with empty husks. Why and how? I do not know. Should I have cut the heads off earlier and left them to dry somewhere "safe"? Will have to ask around.

And now the Brussel Sprouts are finally sprouting. It was our first time playing with these guys, and reports all around spoke of no sprouts or late sprouts. I was comforted to know that it wasn't just me as novice sprout gardener. Now the stalks are sporting a number of teeny lumps and clumps, so we shall see. I have the courage to attempt them next year.

Ahhh. On to next year.......
Thanks, sunflowers!
May your day be seeded with sunshine.
- Sue

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

30 - 17: Oct. 27

Hmmm. Home. And with a week to go in the first 30-day challenge.

So far - so good. Kind of.
Must post 13 more times in the coming week. Will any be interesting? I will try. Yoda: There is no try. There is only do.

We have learned that in three days away many things can be seen, learned, accomplished, heard, tasted, eaten, watched, sampled, dreamed of, jotted, laughed over, sighed about.

We have been cold, hot, wet, excited, sad, happy, full, tired, enlightened, and over-joyed.

Through odd circumstance, and a convenient gas-station vacuum hose, the car's interior is cleaner now than when we left home.

And we are now home. To recall happy memories, yet learn that life can become death in one moment. And mourn the passing of a young man we didn't even know, except through news our daughter Tara would report.

Journeys can take many forms and homes many shapes. May you be happy on yours and also in yours.

Ever onward and so it goes.......

30 - 16: Lambeau


It's grey and wet and cold, and breezy in Green Bay, Wisconsin; we are warm and dry and watching reality-TV shows on antiques and junk and estate sales in a motel room spittin' distance from Lambeau Field.

Last night we got some good bar food to go from Stadium Grill. Watched Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed get married. It's fun being shallow now and then.

Hoping to get to Lambeau Field later. First, we must clean out the car, meet RT for coffee, and see what the day brings.

I did a little journaling early this morning - mainly to the point of needing to allow myself to relax and have fun with the images and words again. To not think of "pressure" and "must do" and "should do." When fun goes out of art it shows. Boring starts. And dull, and not-caring. The bears know when I'm trying too hard-not hard enough. I have to give art supplies and themes due respect. And also simply clear the brain to allow fingers to scribble at will. No rules. That's hard these days. Or New Rules. Or Different. When the bears get boring the bears get bad.


On it it-
oh, and of course, GO PACK!
- Sue

Monday, October 17, 2011

30 - 15:Vacation


Not as a concept. As a tiny short happy fact. Weather won't matter. Grey, windy, cold, wet have all been dealt with before. Destination is iffy. We have a map and a general direction. No specific plans. Except to Vacate.

The scary part is dealing with Not Bringing Any Materials With Which to Make Product.
On purpose. Bringing art supplies, A NOVEL, radio headphones, a few tasks, and the hope to learn how to relax - if even for tiny short moments.

Wish me luck.

Fare-thee-well, and may you, too, vacate early and often.
- Sue

Saturday, October 15, 2011

30 - 14: Pencils

Today was a day of getting pencils.

Tara and I went to the Stillwater High School Choir "Garage Sale." She donated clothes and she bought clothes.

I stuck with the art/office theme - buying 4 cardboard mailing tubes, a bunch of Post-It notes, a bundle of new pencils, a journal, 2 books on Scouting, for resale, and a book on the history of knitting in America. I do not knit. By tradition I am a crocheter . However, this was the one book I had to buy. No reason. Left the Tiger Mother book for another buyer. I guess Tiger Moms and Stillwater kids are not a good mix.

Then Todd called from a garage sale out of town. Would I be interested in over 100 pastel/colored pencils for $5.00? Yes, I think so. Actually, there were probably closer to 150 - including charcoal pencils, French pastels, and two different brands of water-color pencils. Heck of a deal? Ya sure, ya betcha. Oh, plus a very good little pencil sharpener.

Gotta go draw?
Pencilly yours,

Friday, October 14, 2011

30 - 13: Wow

This is the time of year that leaves me most with mixed emotions. Spring happened so long ago that if it were not for photos of Spring flooding and young green plants I'd have forgotten it had happened. Summer was a wonderful blur of art fairs, wildly successful (for us) gardening, and a bit a travel and other fun. Days were long, but not long enough.

Now by nine PM the sky has been dark for two hours. Skies seem ominous even when simply Fallish. It's hard to find the ambition for all the Autumn's tasks. The hammock mocks..... I think it get used a total of less than twenty times all summer - combined total by all who live here. That's kind of sad. I want to take a hammock nap NOW. But it's cool and dark and quite breezy outside. Not the warm calm sunny sort of evening that a person has now misses forever. Forever!

One great thing about now, though, is the possibility of The Dramatic Sunset. If you see one appreciate it. That one is a one-of-a-kind. All sunsets are. And all sunrises, and all noons. Dramatic or calmly-not-memorable, each part of every day is the only one. If I don't jot down a bit about the day, that day vanishes - sunset or no sunset. The weeks have been rushing by - the busy ones that should be noted. And, darn, those weeks are the least recorded.

So on to the next posting, the next sunrise, the next drawing. And the next remembering to whisper "Wow" every now and then.


30 - 12: Baseball

I am shallow.

Watched Detriot Tigers win while sitting on bed, sipping tea, and matting bear pastel reproductions. If cheering for a particular team, even as a fair-weather fan, I can get almost as nervous as when "our" Green Bay Packers are in a close football game.

The natural cycle of hits by Tigers was fun to see. Little weird spot of history.

Facial expressions of players, coaches, and fans, are as fascinating as the game. Indifference, anxiety, joy, calm determination, prayer, sadness, anger - all at the same time.

So on to the continuing play-offs. Let the games begin -

Go Tigers! Go Brewers!

- Fare-thee-well,

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

30 - 11:

Greetings -
Bread is rising and it's time to sit and think about being Thankful.
Today Thankful for: (go for 30 & in no particular order)
1- friends at coffee
2- 3 Mr. Jade plant are still thriving
3-working computers
4- family getting along
5- beautiful weather
6-rain in forecast
7- apples for baking
8-people wanting to buy my art
9-friends commenting on Facebook
10-Steve Jobs' imagination
11- TED talks
12-Green Bay Packers
13-potential vacation time
14- Stillwater, MN being kind of "cool" again
15- radio stations of many kinds
16 - basil still growing
17- doing a 30 Day Challenge
18- the Lily Lake tennis courts
19 - books in general
20- quantum physics
21- "free" CDs and books from Stillwater library
22 - having "fixers" in the family
23 - not needing to buy fashionable clothes very often - hahahaha
24 - a cleaner studio area
25 - the post office
26 - tea
27 - cookies
28 - ESPN Radio
29 - sunflowers
30 - the ability to walk
31 - chickadees
and so much more.


30- 10: Home

Greetings -
It is good to be home. Spent a big chuck of last week doing the Bayfield Apple Festival. Drove up on Thursday and set up booth. We were a few spaces closer to the gazebo than usual. Didn't have an asphalt park path running through our space this time! Weather forecast was for normal weather, with standable winds. This is always good - though not to be trusted!

After getting things from truck to booth - with only one minor tip-over (the park is notorious for it's subtle ups and downs), I headed up the hill to Eckels' Pottery. Dede and crew were busy selling ceramic goodies and other of their offerings. I picked through a dish of wonderful large ceramic buttons - choosing three for fashion-designer daughter, Tara. Stayed with hues of pale green, blue, yellow, white - all in different patterns. Met a lady who often buys my cards at Dede's shop. We talked about Life, of course - ha! It always comes back to Life.

Will add more about the wonderful weekend later. Now it's time to clear off a few horizontal surfaces. Wish me luck!


Friday, October 7, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

30 - 9: Kinda Cheating

Here is some typing to say that typing's been done.
Off to Lake Superior, Bayfield Apple Fest, and more of The Grand Adventure!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

30 - 8: Failing Up

So sorry to hear of the death of Steve Jobs. He and Apple crew helped bring semi-high-tech to us millions of masses. I draw funny bears for a few thousand folks. And show them off from Apple products. Thank you, Mr. Jobs. Your imagination, far thinking, and making things work for so many "normal" folks.

Today held finishing an acrylic painting on wooden board that, in view of it's creation, is titled "So Bad I'm Almost Good." I'd planned for the bear to be a lovely "portrait" in blue and black tones. Bits of yellow, red, and lots of white. A classy bear. However, through layers of trial and error, he became a laughing stock and something of a wasted effort. Or so it seemed. When I looked into his failed-efforts-of-eyes the phrase came to mind: I'm So Bad I'm Almost Good.

Well then.... stubborn sets it. Back out come the paints - go in with brushes and fingers. Keep mucking about. Touch here, wash there. Hmmm, a bit of life? A little hope? Why, yes, perhaps. Amazingly, after failing and failing Bad Good is turning out O.K. Hooray!

Life lesson? Once again the power of goofing off has paid off. If you have some work that seems beyond hope - paint, paint again!

RIP Steve Jobs.......


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

30- 7: Just a Note

Oh oh. Almost forgot about the 30 Day Challenge!

Ta da!

Back to working on products. Several new black and white card and magnet designs.

Good night -

Monday, October 3, 2011

30-6: Big "Really?"

This large pastel in really titled Big "Really?" Yes. Really. In honor of oldest younger brother, Rick. REALLY.
Traditional in our family now, when listening to almost any tale Rick is telling, is for someone, some time, to note whether, at any point in the story, Rick has stated "really." If not, well, "facts" perhaps, are not to be trusted.

This pastel piece really exists, but I don't know if actual bears ever frolic upright on the shore. Doesn't matter. This one does.

Take some time to have some fun, challenge yourself to a big Something New, maybe even dance on the beach. Now or soon. Really! On to the Grand Adventure.

- Sue

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Greetings -

Sunday is the day I go shallow. Football rules through into winter. KFAN radio allows one hour a week of Packer talk on its station, so the headphones will be on from 8-9 this morning. This weekend we have a booth at the Stillwater Art and Jazz Festival (66), near the banks of the St. Croix River. Weather was perfect yesterday, and is priming for more perfect today. LOTS of ambitious folks will be hoofing the Twin Cities Marathon in fifteen minutes or so. BEST of LUCK to one and all. While you are fighting for your breath and urge to quit I will probably be chewing on a lovely muffin from The Daily Grind and sketching the goings-on in Lowell Park. Listening to pre-game points and plans. Keeping the thousands and thousands and thousands of dedicated runners in back of mind as some bit of life inspiration.

Football is like that, too. Great care in planning, training, effort toward the victory. Sometimes stuff go well, nobody gets seriously injured, plays are completed as planned. But often, well, crap happens. The center muffs the snap, a great player gets carted off the field, "your" team loses. Amazingly, life goes on. Usually there is a next week - practice, get better, don't give up. Love it, hate it? Doesn't matter. Just show up and do the work.

Plus, focusing on one thing for three hours is fun. When possible, I journal the games played by the Green Bay Packers. Every play, my reactions, lots of commentary by radio guys Wayne and Larry, a bit of TV stuff, notes on other day's doings. This is crazy - but also great fun. One must stay focused. Open to action, emotion, and how the ink and paper are holding out (& batteries for radio headphones!). It's not so much about the outcome as the practice of doing. Natalie Goldberg might consider it three hours of Zen writing practice. I consider it a weird compulsion that I freely admit to scribbling. I also curse much more freely on paper than in person....

So, on to the day. Yesterday score: Michigan over Minnesota: 58-0??? Memorable radio comment: "Two Wolverines and a Gopher are tussling by near side-line."

May your day be tussle-free.
- Sue

Friday, September 30, 2011

30 -4: Stillwater

Saturday and Sunday, October 1 and 2, the Stillwater, MN Fall Art and Jazz Festival will be going on near the banks of the Scenic St. Croix. This afternoon when we set up our booth the show organizer stated that we "will be facing the river." This is a good thing. I live in Stillwater. A nice 30-minute hike down the hill. The river is always there, but I usually manage to get down to appreciate it about four or five times a year.

This is sort of sad.

People come to town from all over the world to appreciate the water and land where we live. To watch the lift-bridge go up and down (except when it mal-functions and traffic backs up more than the usual back up during usual bridge ups-and-downs). To visit The Historic Courthouse up on 4th and Pine, or check out The Warden's House near the location of the old prison. To ride a paddleboat down the river or ride a hot-air balloon over the river.

This weekend holds the opportunity to look out over the St. Croix Valley and see it as both a local and a tourist. We will hope to be busy in our little white art fair home, but if not, to take some deep breaths, look up and out, and give thanks for being able to take the view for granted.

and go appreciate a local landmark!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

30-3: Van Gogh Cafe

Sept. 29 - A new arts group came together in Stillwater, Minnesota tonight. Called "The Van Gogh Cafe," in honor of our first subject, it consisted of a room full of folks - all women - interested in convening for talk of art, life, and a bunch of et cetera.

After sitting down with the beverage of our choice we listened to a presentation on Vincent van Gogh illustrated with examples of his work, both well-known and obscure. A vase of fresh sunflowers on our table was a great added touch, though at least one folk's allergies were set off by same. Oh, the price one pays for being in the presence of a little bit of beauty. Following the presentation we shared questions and possible answers regarding Vincent's life. Was he perhaps affected by chemicals present in his paints and solvents? How was his work presented and marketed after his death? How much of his life is myth? Fact? One recent visitor to France spoke of one region's artists seemingly to work only in the style of van Gogh's bold style.

Chat following the main topic ranged freely - and time zoomed toward our 8:30PM adjourning. Heading out the door we agreed that The Van Gogh Cafe is very much a welcomed addition to Stillwater's arts activities.

Winslow Homer will be the topic of next month's meeting: Thursday, Act. 27th - from 6:30 - 8 PM, at The Bikery, 904 4th Street. All are welcomed, and there are no costs above the price of a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, and maybe a tasty treat or two. For more information contact: The Van Gogh


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

2 - 30 Day challenge

A bit from my second book, ROUGH TERRAIN:

So now Al was alone at the lake.

Mallards quacked at his feet - hoping for crackers and bread.

Al kicked the drake into the water. A calm, lovely, high arching kick.
Plop! Swim swim.
The duck was fine.
And Al was better.
These days it didn't take much.

I have no idea why Al is at the lake, if he knows these ducks, or why he decides to make the drake fly a slightly different way. Thinking in snap-shot form is my usual way of working. I am in awe of the novelist's way. What? You can see more than one picture? Your characters are in view for more than a minute? How do you do that?

Anyway, back to work. Pastels or acrylics? Business or art? Greeting cards or new stuff? The afternoon is zooming past, and the patio will too soon be in complete shadow. Time to head for some art supplies and see what happens.

If needing a heady dose of inspiration, check out the blog untitled "Roz Wound Up." You'll not be disappointed!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Year-long 30 Day Challenge

Good Morning -
It's 5:04 AM. As a challenge, and in honor of TED Talks, it's the first day of following Matt Cutts' suggestion to try doing something new for 30 days. Big, little - it doesn't mater. It's the doing.

So. For the next 30 days I'm challenging myself to post 30 blogs. Maybe not one per day - but a total of 30.

You may want to try something, too.

1) Today's topic is: Cayenne Shortbread. This is a "savory, not sweet" cookie offered by A Gourmet Thyme Too and available at The Golden Fig shop on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, MN. A sleeve of these cookies is almost reason enough to hop in car and head to Grand. )And while on good ole Grand stop in at Wet Paint and buy an art supply or twelve.)

Why? Although a small cookie - each bite packs flour, butter, sugar, heat, and a crunch of Kosher salt into a wonderful mouth treat. One cookie is just enough. But it's lovely to know that there are others waiting. (Not anymore...) Note - Some folks I offered a taste to thought the pepper was too peppery for their taste. More for the rest of us!

The package's hang-tag read: Wonderful as an hors d'oeuvre base. Press some goat cheese in place; top with your favorite pesto, hummus or chutney. Simply enjoy plain with a sip of wine or expresso.

I munched all of mine plain and with a spot of tea. I wish I'd purchased two sleeves.....

On to the day's Grand Adventures -

Friday, September 16, 2011

Home. Alone.

Wow. A quiet house. This truly hardly ever happens. And I don't know if I like it. Todd's bowling, Tara is off at a wedding rehersal, and I just got back from walking up the hill from downtown Stillwater. I'd thought the art crawl was going on tonight, but, nope...., it's next Friday.

One week off is not too bad. Some things in life - especially art-wise - are one YEAR or more "off." Then there are the notes one should write, the notes one wants to write, the vegetables to be harvested, the clothes to be folded. The plans one plans to plan. All the while we ARE doing stuff, and even wonderful things. However they zoom out of mind so quickly, only to be replaced by big clunking chunks of Nagging Guilt. Hmmm. A year already. That cannot be possible. But, yes, it's been twelve months since the Fall Edina art fair, and, yes, you have just put up the booth for this weekend's festival at Marine-on-the-Saint-Croix. The Green Bay Packers are done playing practice games and have already won their first "real" contest. A year has truly passed.

Sigh. So now the choices are: relax and read a book, work on greeting card orders, or start a new acrylic bruin "just for fun." First, it's tea time, and list-making time, and looking-out-the-window-at-darkening-sky time. Sigh.

I'm glad that there is still a wee bit of moment awareness - and a half-hour of silence - every now and then. Sit back and try five minutes.... It may be hard, but it might get easy. And even though we are weeks and years "off" on somethings, it might help to give yourself a five-minutes-right-now every now and then. Today the five minutes found a goldfinch at the bird-feeder. It might be a year before one comes again. We will hope time doesn't fly quite that fast. So on to a few more silent minutes, than back to the joys of sound. Tonight I think Jim Morrison and The Doors will break the silence well. Or Bach. Or Buddy Holly. I'm home alone. And the ears are missing their music.

On to the evening. On to some art. On to the joys of tea and toast. A toast to days and weeks and years and lives of sound and silence.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dealin' With the ADD...

Boo. Hoo. The almost-finished post just went away.............

Just writing about dealing with the friendly-foey ADD stuff today. One can not make bread without finishing the deed. So. Bread. Got. Mixed. Kneaded. Raised. Panned. Raised. Baked. Sliced. Eaten. Wow. One task accomplished while batting around so many others. Did. Play. Tennis. Too. didn't take headphones. So. Was. Distracted. By. Large. Slowly-flying. Bird.

And now I can't find my car keys. Am. Hoping. They. Were. Left. At. Post-office. Yesterday.

Did finally maybe name the events I'd love to have a go at. Round tables of interesting people talking, creating, sharing, eating, drinking. Without butting heads, arguing points, etc etc. A safe haven sort of event. Gotta do some. Gotta dare to fail. Gotta have more fun.

Gotta keep going on the actual "to do" lists and the invisible ones as well.

Time to cross off "blog" - whew.
Yesterday's learning - If you give a friend a tiny inexpensive notebook she might appreciate it more than one would guess.


Monday, September 12, 2011

September 12

These hot days in the Upper Midwest will be coming to an end soon. I am not complaining about the heat, but am pretending the days are simply extra hot short days we have hooked on to the end of an especially short-feeling Summer.

At the U.S. Tennis Open Rafa Nadal is having a tough time this late afternoon. I admire the great effort of both men. Sports can seem shallow in light of Sept. 11, but often they can inspire.

It's time to go buy art supplies. Treat yourself to a bit of something new every now and then. Don't wait till Winter. And make an effort to enjoy at least a bit of every shortening day -

-Ever onward-
Sue and crew

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Summer's Almost Over

Wow. 2011's Summer is almost at an end.
Did you do all that you had planned?
Not us.
But we did do lots, and other stuff than first was "planned."

Some folks like to live all figured out. Some folks enjoy the take-what-the-day-brings approach.

We are in the midst of both.
So some days are too interesting.
Most are at least not boring.

Now that we are superbly busy our garden has decided to explode with produce. I have learned to make pesto. We are still waiting for the huge globs of tomatoes to ripen. Our first try at cauliflowers is looking good. The sunflowers will inspire the planting of many more next Spring.

The new acrylic bear paintings are sold. Red Charlie and Nine Blue Thomas went to new homes from last week's Artstreet show in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

We learned that it's possible to drive a manual transmissioned truck home across Wisconsin without a clutch. It's possible - but not recommended.

So one to September's adventures. May yours be good ones.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Just for Fun

Early this morning I chalked It's all downhill from Here. on our sidewalk, because from there, in that direction, it simply is.

May your day go in the direction that you choose!


* Dare to do something today Just for Fun.*

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Art Fair Time - Stockholm, WI

So....., Saturday, July 16, 2011, didn't really dawn. It boomed and crackled and blew and poured, and I thought Todd and my last words would be "Wow!!" Mr. T was simply driving out of Stillwater - heading for the Stockholm Art Festival. Weather forecasts promised a fine, if humid, day - if we didn't run into power lines or have a tree drop on our precious old red Ford truck. Thunder-lightning-way-too-close was our companion for most of the drive, but skies lifted and rain stopped as we slopped our way past River Falls,Ellsworth, Bay City and the like. Whew and whew.

The park grounds at Stockholm were darned damp but O.K. to drive in. Booths raised the night before appeared fine and dandy. Life was potentially good. We got our goodies out of the truck and up under the trees. Time for coffee and scones - Thanks to the festival folks. Thanks, festival folks!

As the photo above shows - I believe in the power of plastic..... The day was hot and muggy, and downpours often felt just-around-the-next-dark-cloud, but we survived the moisture early and settled in for a day Stockholm Festival shoppers. The small town fills up fast, and I have no idea where people end up parking. But they come early and stay late - a point we always appreciate. When one can make sales before the official opening of a show - ye ha!

We met people from all over the U. S., solved the UWRF Beck/Beckham confusion, and discussed possibilities for chat/art/eating event that's always in the back of my mind. People laughed and chatted and bought and laughed.

After a lovely evening plate of tasty goodies provided by the staff we parted ways with good buddies, gambled a bit at the casino, and napped - thunder and lightning free. A rare "free" summer Sunday was next. I spent it on the couch........ but that's another story.

Thanks, Stockholm - now, on to Ely!


Monday, July 4, 2011

A Summer Morning - July 4th, 2011

The garden looks like we know what we're doing.

Peppers and brussel sprouts and basils that we grew from seed look like they'll make the transition from babe to adult. That's exciting in almost any species!

I still don't know the varieties of perrenials that are growing from seed. Help, serious gardeners????

Art fair adventures are rolling in think and fast. I WILL post pictures. I WILL type details.

Lake Superior has been "friendly" toward our little white tents so far this year. It's got a few more chances this summer to do differently.

Appreciate each summer day, and fall, and winter, and spring? Some mornings it's a challenge - to relax into the possibilities instead of trying to steer most minutes into one's plans.

It's OK to relax. It'sOK to relax.




Have a safe and wonderfully sparkly 4th of July.
Thanks, Founding Moms and Dads and Aunts & Uncles!!!!!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Small Pleasures - Tiny Cows

An artists can't live by pastels alone. Lately, some companions have been a small handfull of tiny cows. They are items left from a former life and only come upon by a chance deep cleaning of a closet. Ya yust neffer know.

So some live out in the patio garden, some stay in the house, and some come on our travels.

The above duo are trying out the acoustics at the Lakefront Park amphitheater in Hudson, Wisconsin. No, they are NOT doing "Moooooon River."

Later they took in the view from the bridge just south of the park. Folks were enjoying a day of sailing on the St. Croix River. The cows were content to stay on dry ground.

If one cow is good, are three cows better? I don't know, and they're not telling.

These strange little adventures will probably not end up as great art, but it appears that the Holsteins will be being hauled along for the rest of the summer.

Go clean a closet - you might be inspired by the mysteries you'll find there!

This weekend it's off to Virginia, MN and The Land of the Loons Festival for the bruins and me.

June 25 - 26 we will be at the Art Fair at beautiful Park Point in Duluth, Minnesota. If you make the trek "Up North" check out our goodies atBlue Lake Gallery in Duluth's Canal Park.

And Best of Luck to all you Grandma's Marathon -ers!!!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Bayfield, Wisconsin, on an early October, early A.M. Our efforts can be to enjoy our foggy days or do something to make them go away.

A great sunset is hard to beat. However, serious fogs have also had me mouthing "Wow."
May the atmosphere surrounding you today be what you hoped it'd be.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pastels back then -

While cleaning out a nook or a cranny I came upon this box of antique art-making stuff.
Have not taken the time to research the exact era, but I'm guessing 1930's?
(Oops, was I wrong - According to these little beauties were made only from 1905 to 1909!)

Although these pastel crayons are "for every use" I haven't had the heart to put one to use. They have survived this long - and they will a little longer.

These muted colors will never give the Terry Ludwig Dark collection a run for the money, but I hope that their original owner made some lovely work. On to making ours!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pastel Magic

Some days pastels have to be loved for themselves.....

Having a bit of fun with a five by seven inch space, fuzzy board, and favorite shapes.

Playing with color. Playing with shapes. You have your own favorites. Use them - or dare to put a triangle where you'd always put a square!
I don't know why a sentence/thought will pop into the head, but I always try to write it down if it shows up. Ya never know if it might lead to the whole new next series.

These marks were made with some of the softest pastels on the table. Mostly Terry Ludwig goodies.

The marks ruled the composition. I tried to stay out of forcing anything. Play play pop pop. Very few areas of layering. The intensity of colors and their relationship to neighbors' colors and shapes became the main point of this little piece. Don't know if it's finished. But I do know that it's fun.

Goof off for even the tiniest part of your day today. In art, in taking a short walk, in ordering a different kind of coffee. In seeing how long you can hold your breath; dare to skip two, or maybe three skips down the sidewalk. It might be when the Magic happens!

Fare-thee-well and Good Luck!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

OADMD - in Honor of Karen Grimm

The One-A-Day-Motivational-Drawing is today inspired by a remarkable woman. Karen Grimm lived a too-short, but really big life. Others will have different words to share. I wanted to gather inspiration from her long-time joy of life and ability to do well in many worlds.

This little page is a reminder that one can accomplish amazing stuff - if a person stays true to the quest. Hard work and heart can do tons. They can't do the impossible..... and that's a sad fact.

Thanks, Karen, for all you did in your many worlds - model horses, real Appaloosas, and flying - to name a few. A few of us will live differently from today - at least for a while. Touching folks' lives is kind of a big deal, and you touched so many. Here's hoping that these little scribbles keep reminding us of how some kind words or acts can make another's day or week or year.

Most often we take our days for granted. Cliche? Yup. But this day is all we might have. If we spend it bitching or angry we have spent that one more minute, hour, day bitching or angry. If we spend it joyful - it will have been spent joyful. too simple? Perhaps. Today is being spent sad yet joyful. And appreciating being able to see one more chickadee, admire one more baby lupine, and wash one more bowl.

Here in Minnesota May is that hard month of in-be-tween-ness. Lots of fields are still cold and empty. We want to see more green and feel more sunshine. But we have to learn to live with the day we have today. May it be a day of growth and a day filled with thankfulness.

Thanks again, Karen. Peter and your family is in our thoughts and prayers.
On to your next Grand Adventure!


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

OADMD - Llamas

Ah yes. Still with the llama theme. Oh well. At least I'm not still "seeing" them when I close my eyes. We must continue on with OADMD attempt to use up pencil bits. Llama inspiration? Ya sure, ya betcha.

Playing with our old friend OADMD April 26 (Frugal) permits us the adding of llamas and reflections upon these Fibery folks. Hour after hour the penned crew remained mainly calm and oddly interested and upbeat. Llamas are built much differently than our usual farm friends - in particular, their body part ratios do not compute to those of horses. We who have memorized equine proportions must retrain our eyes and hands. Heads, ears, necks, barrels, legs, tails - yes, the features add up properly, but their relationships are distinctly llama-y. More about this in a later post.

Yes, one can be both Relaxed and Alert. Maybe it's in the hay........

Goofing off time. Decorative features morph into llamas. This is madness. But the pencil chips ARE getting smaller. Do not forget the point of this post. We are using up pencil points - and still have quite the way to go. It's both exciting and dis-heartening to realize how much use can still be made of those tiny bits of used-to-be pencil. Next......? Inspirational fibers, of course.

To be continued............


Monday, May 9, 2011

Llama Magic 2011

Look ma - no legs! Only kidding. Plenty of the short-hocked, two-toed, woolly shanked underpinning - just neated folded and out of the way.

Yes, I know. These two guys are not llamas. The ram is a sort of vintage English breed. As with some llamas and this sheep, well, the gate-way "drug" seems to be joining 4-H. Hoorah for 4-H!

Attitude is not a feature lacking in llamas. All present in the barn we were in seemed to practice a relaxed interest, yet not REALLY caring about what was going on around them. Perhaps we humans could learn from their example? Only late on the second day did a quiet resignation/boredom seem to set in. Well, with humans and animals alike.

Wake me when it's time to go home......

More wild llama action to follow. Kidding..... Only one bit of adventure on Sunday when an adult fleecy type tried to make a break for freedom. Enough calm and savvy humans were on hand to prevent escape and/or injury. Brought back loose cow/break-away draft horse/errant ewe adventures long set back in my city-fied brain.

Yes, many more photos of our new furry friends remain to be displayed and discussed. And then - let the drawing fun begin!

Looking out at daffodils - hip hip hooray!
And looking forward to vending our bear goodies at the 8th Annual Dolls in Spring doll and teddy bear show May 15th, at the Mermaid Event Center, 2200 Hwy 10, Mounds View, MN (corner of Cty Rd H & Hwy 10 just of of 35W). For more info:

We will have some new images as well as our "classics." Come visit!