Thursday, December 31, 2015

200 Posts

Not that you would notice - because I have not typed - but this month I HAVE Focused and i HAVE Cared.

In BIG and LITTLE ways.

Mostly in One Hour Chunks a few times a day. Doesn't sound like much, but at this fluffy gluffy time of year this is big for me.

A Plan for 2016 is to Blog At Least 200 Times. Sorry, but it's the only way. And I need more than just The Hound of Accountability.

I need Stubborn.

Once upon a time I WAS Stubborn. And some has still got to be inside my wacky little brain/spirit. It made be get on the bike and pedal thirty miles a day. It made me "brave" enough to sign up for that Fargo, ND, horsemanship school. Yup, Shy Sue did what she had to do.

And now I need to do more of what needs to be done.
And of what I WANT to do but Fear Doing.

I need Stubborn. Grit. Do The Deedness. 

And because 2016 is going to be another The Best Year Ever I want/need to chronicle the doings.



This might not be pretty...

But it will get Done!
(No, don't type a wussy Question mark there.)

On to The Doing/Not Doing.

Remember, Stubbornly Not Doing can be a doing in itself.

On to The Grand Adventure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sue the Stubborn
Facebook Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

Monday, December 7, 2015


It's early Monday morning. Dark outside. Sitting under faux Ott Light.
Listening to sports-talk radio guys discussing Minnesota Vikings' ugly defeat to Seattle Seahawks yesterday. They are noting how the team appeared not up to the day's task - especially quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater. "Didn't take chances." "Yesterday he gave you no chance to win." About recent games:"Even though they were winning, Teddy wasn't progressing."

Then about  Carolina Panthers' Cam Newtown and team doing all they did to win THEIR game and remain the only undefeated NFL game - "Because they had to."

A wee tad about Focus and Caring?

I watch football for many reasons. One is to be inspired by great talent and effort.

So what do I do with this? I walk laps in house and clean out a box filled with greeting card this and thats. I need to be focused on organizing and getting stuff in order. And becoming fitter. Never football fit, but get-into-the-jeans-you-like-best fit.

So the task was to focus for one hour. Done and done.


                          If not a Win, at least a SCORE!!

And since then another box emptied. This means a few peace-of-mind breaths. And knowing that much is still to do.

For many of us an hour of focus is easy.
For many it is HARD.

The iPhone and oven timers are my friends. If that One Hour or even Twenty Minutes chunk of time is clinked  I am free to do that decided task and nothing else.

If I don't put boundaries on a plan I flitter and dilly dally and do Other Things  and and and.

And that's even if I WANT to Focus and Care. 

Because without the Timer everything is equally important and in need of doing.
This does not lead to Great Success.

If you can just decide on a task and do that task - well, consider yourself patted on the back.

I'm on Team UnDiagnosed ADD. 

But also on Team Timer.

I'm amazed that I sat here and typed this short blog. And thought only about doing the deed. And did the deed.

On to the rest of morning and day.
A group of us get to visit the National Park Service Headquarters in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin,  and learn more about our wonderful St. Croix River and surrounding area. I will be forced to Focus. Without a timer - ha! 

Then on to more empty boxes. 
And back to football on Thursday.
The Vikings play again.
Against the 10 - 2 Arizona Cardinals.
May each team care and focus.

As for me - GO, Team Timer!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Personal Challenge: Care and Focus

"What's the outcome you're looking for?," was just asked of one sports-talk radio show host to another.

The for-ever question for me.

I want to lose weight.
I want to be stronger.
I want everybody to be happy and well.

But what do I do about the outcome that I want?

A bunch of action.
For a while.

Then I forget.

And go back to default mode.



Today is the first day of December.
Yes, most of the year's Personal Challenges have been seen through.

And yet.... And yet.....

I feel I feel about the same as when January 1st was a new day and the adventure commenced . Though on considering this can't be true. I drew, I wrote and sent letters, I journaled, I blogged. Heck, I even relaxed. And even affected some folks with the days' doings.

Why the Always Questing? And yet seldom feeling satisfied about doings along the journey? 

Oh well. Ever onward. So it goes. (I'm quoting other authors - but can't recall who said what.)

I think December's Personal Challenge will combine A Few Doings and aim for a target at which I am always aiming - though often without real focus or care. Must CARE. Must FOCUS.

O.K., Daring to Care and Focus is The Personal Goal for December. This probably sounds way too fuzzy for you, but right now it feels like two large and very sharp daggers to my little brain.

Well, Hi there, Hound of Accountability. So glad to see you...

For this month I challenge myself to Care and Focus.

On to the only December 1, 2015 we will ever have.

Facebook page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

Monday, November 9, 2015


It's way past Time to post again.
It's Time to start cleaning the studios.
Time to be glad that the garden is still producing.
Time to get some orders shipped and/or delivered.

If plans go right I will deliver these cards and others to the beautiful Grand Hand Gallery in St. Paul, MN, today. Their original design was drawn in the Autumn of 2001. I could not keep being sad and angry all the time after 9/11. I had to hope for some Hope. And Joy. And a wee tad of Light.

And the bears came through! Whew.

Our show season is quickly drawing down. I've decided it is more important to clean and organize the art-making spaces here than to set up an art-selling space for one day each week in coming weeks.

We do have a nice bunch of goodies available  currently at Peggy's Holiday Boutique, at the Roseville Staking Center in Roseville, MN. This event runs from Nov. 7 - 15, with long hours and convenient parking. Easy to find - right off of Lexington Avenue. It is like entering a wonderland of wonderful beautiful things, and with free fudge and tea samples to boot! WELL worth a visit or two!

We always have our work at American Gothic Antiques, 236 S. Main, Stillwater. Upstairs in our booth area is where you'll find most of our offerings, but they sell some cards and magnets at the front desk as well. This is the shop where I drew that first bear so it's always fun to point out to customers the same little brown desk I was sitting at on that October day in 1997 that eventually changed my life, and even the lives of others! The power of a few scribbled lines of furriness and text...

Daylight is starting to lift as this is being typed. A crow is crowing. The Moon and planets have disappeared for now. (They were exquisite earlier this dark morning.)

Though the Packers lost I am O.K. Haha. Teaches one to be Good at Something Oneself. And to keep trying. and to not start too slowly at getting better. I watch and do sports for real reasons.

So on to tea and the days "adventures." And cleaning off the kitchen table. Life's so Exciting here.

Thinking how quickly the years have gone by since the Edmund Fitzgerald went down in Lake Superior. Tomorrow is always a day of reflection and remembering for me. Those Fall months at a Fargo, ND horsemanship school completely changed the course of life. "Ya yust neffer know, do ya?"

On to the best day we can make it. It's the only one we've got.

Go, Pack!

Facebook page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Just because I haven't blogged doesn't mean I haven't THOUGHT about blogging. I've blogged in my head. Blogged while taking photographs and seeing sights.

But they don't count because they are not words typed out here.

I'll be back.

- Sue

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

October's Personal Challenge -

Yes, October is nearly half over. The early evenings are Dark and the early mornings are DARKER.
We had a wonderful and warm last outside art festival. Downtown Red Wing, Minnesota is a lovely location for this annual event (this year's Fall Festival was the 49th), and the weather co-operated beyond our dreams. On Sunday the local bank's Time and Temperature sign read 84, then 85, then 87! (We might discuss Earth's temperature changes another time - not today.) This much made up for the same show several years back - when setting up on Saturday the SNOW from a neighbor's booth top blew into the bins of tee shirts we'd just put on. And same sign read 27. (We all CHEERED when temp hit 33 degrees THAT morning!)

On to The Personal Challenge: To Make 30 Things from stuff lying around in the house. You know - that stuff you accumulate from past doings or planned doings, or perhaps bits of pieces of OTHER peoples' plans and projects. That stuff.

For me, for now,  it is back to making Junk Drawer Journals. Paper is IS at our house. But sometimes the individual pieces are more productive if bound together - if even loosely. Human Metaphor here? So on to the making of a bunch more little task organizers, holders of memories, and the like.

Equipment is minimal: papers, ruler, stabby thing, foam core as stabby back piece, waxed linen thread, needle, thimble, scissors, and perhaps some beads or other decorative trinkets. (Remember, we are trying to use up Stuff.)

I use a simple stab-book binding method. Poke holes. Stitch. There are a wide variety of stitching styles. I want fast and easy.

So - on to the morning, and some time goofing off with a little purpose.

Look! It's a slightly less dark early morning. Time to feed the Squirrels. And scribble in the Real Journal. And live the day. And remember to pick up that UV Chocolate Cake Vodka from the local liquor store! (I've forgotten that my specially-ordered goodies are waiting two days now. Nope - alcohol consumption is not high on my daily priorities -  Ha!)

And I must get back to adding more items to our newly-designed web-site, and deal with the kale, and bring in the Mr. Jades, and prep for a few winter art doings, and....

But first a little time for some stabbing... and stitching up those holes.

On to YOUR Personal Challenges. 

And a pat on the back to you all ----- pat pat.

Facebook Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Baby Steps

This is just to remind me that:

1) The Centennial Lakes art fair was a smashing success for us! And FUN in unexpected ways, too. The Life Lesson that from Not Good Things can come Great Things.

2) I have already emptied one box in Studio B this morning.
3) The kitchen counter tops are almost all empty and clean. Except for one...
4) Here is Stillwater, MN September 15th dawned sunny blue clear and fresh-aired. I am sadly aware that many folks out West would do wish the same where they live. 
5) There are projects fulfilled and projects ahead.
6) The little freezer downstairs holds many potential tomato-based eatings.
7) Classical Music rules the radio at present - after Sports Talk rehashing of Vikings loss to 49ers.
8) The Sunday paper has been read and recycled.
9) It's time to join a Tuesday crew for Tuesday breakfast doings.
10) There is a Lake Country Pastel Society meeting tonight. I missed the last one and there are only six a year.

Word for the Week: (for me) STRIVE

Here is me holding "Duffy" one last time. He is a family favorite, but it was time for a new family to give him a new home. Mixed emotions ruled the moment. And Thank You! to new owners. If one can really own an imaginary bear...?

On to a day of working at antique shop, tackling book-keeping, and trying to keep the Hope and Zest that appeared in heart this morning. (this, too shall pass!)

This weekend holds art fair in Marine-On-St.-Croix, MN. About a fifteen minute lovely curving drive north of Stillwater. We'll be in Flag Park - Booth 25 A.

Hugs to all who want/need them!


PS - The new web-design is partially done. We will be adding more content as weeks go along. Eventually it should be a great place to hang around with the bruins. Huzzah and hooray!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September - Attitude Adjustment Needed

I need a Fresh Mindset.

Less Inner Bitchy. More Outwardly Appreciative.

So - ON TO IT!


Mr. Mozart is helping the mellower mood so far this morning.

And a bunch of Facebook Buddies are starting our 30 Day Walk-Cam Adventure again. 

You are more than welcomed to join in - Simplest Rules? Take a walk. Post a photo on your Status.

So - on to the joys and tasks of the day.

It is forecast to be Hot and Muggy here. I plan on re-starting writing Morning pages (3), cooking down tomatoes and filling orders and cleaning house. After coming home from Always Interesting Breakfast.

And continuing to learn How to Work in a Relaxed, non-frenzied manner.

Happy as Possible

September 1st! (Yes, these 'maters are already sauce. No, I didn't simmer the Tennis Ball.)

Sue (new web-site is up, but in progress.)
Facebook Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

Thursday, August 20, 2015

More Lessons from Relaxing

These past ten days have provided some serious relaxing time:

On planes
At poolside
In beautiful country

I might have even already reached the Goal of Averaging the Deed for Thirty Minutes a Day. Smooth plane ride hours can add up quickly.

Now it's time for work again.


Challenge yourself today?
Not that every day isn't its own Challenge.


Monday, August 10, 2015


Another Art Fair is over. Today I will not be zipping around filling holes in inventory.

Today is dedicated to doing "easy" "slow" stuff - that just might be fun.

A day for unplanning. 

A day of doing whatever s-l-o-w-l-y comes to mind.

The  ungoal is to sketch without goal.
Journal without pressure.

~~~~~~~~~~have fun?~~~~~~~~~~~~

                      On to the Very Hard Thing for me to do.

                                          Ha, but True.


(On the whole this 30 Day Challenge has been being well met - let the Relaxing Lessons being learned continue.)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Things That I've Learned Can Be Done Slowly

The Personal Relaxing Challenge Goes On...


Things That I've Learned Can Be Done Slowly






Not Thinking

Sipping Tea




Bringing in the Sunday Paper


Playing Slot Machines

Breathing Again




Stopping Again








Friday, August 7, 2015


Yes, I SHOULD be prepping for this weekend's Powerhorn Art Festival (Minneapolis, MN). We will be setting up later today. Booth #89.

But first a few words about Relax ing and Trade-Offs.

This morning I relaxed for a solid two hours. Yes. You read that correctly. Between a bit of semi-serious meditation and listening to "On Being" - regular AND part of unedited episodes, well, yup, time zipped quietly by. It WAS Time well spent.  And I enjoyed the ease of morning.

But... then it was time to make breakfast, check the Facebook, figure out the day's duties, not Freak Out.


Trade-offs. Two hours less time to get stuff done. Yes, I've had The Big Chat with myself about this. But still the mixed emotions.

Luckily the garden is just up the backyard hill. A chunk of time in early-morning GREEN can't be traded for anything!

Here be TOMATOES!!!!! Green now. Some starting to ripen. And friends suggesting recipes for fried green tomatoes. Guessing that's a trade-off, too. Green fried vs red ripe. Good thing there are tomatoes enough for both.

Wishing there was time enough for Time - ha!


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Relaxing - Aug. 5

The "Problem" with arriving at Relaxed is that once one is there it's hard to leave...

Thus, 30 minutes of Relaxing Garden Doings led to 20 minutes of Hammock Relaxing.

These extra minutes will go into my mental Relaxation Time account. Hooray!

And here is a bit of our lovely evening sky as seen by Hammock Cam:

Yes, this upward view was free for the appreciating. And now this is gone, replaced by another sky just as beautiful. I'd have missed it if garden time hadn't become hammock time.

Now it's time to chop the harvested rhubarb and cook up some sauce. Vince Guaraldi on Pandora Internet Radio is music by which to make sauce, yes it is! I will try to chop and peel with as much smoothness as is coming from the computer....

Tomorrow? More prepping for this weekend's Powderhorn Art Festival. Tonight? Who knows?

I could used to this Relaxing Stuff...

Facebook Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

Monday, August 3, 2015

August is Happening

It's August 3rd already. I have not decided on this month's personal Challenge.

But just allowed myself 40 wonderful mid-day minutes in the hammock. Read a book. Listened to music. Was not "busy."

Perhaps - oh, this is hard to type - the Challenge will be to Rest/Relax for 30 Minutes 30 Times this month. Hmm....

Some people might have a hard time understanding why the simple thought of "Relaxing" makes others of us tense up. "Relax? I can't relax? The oceans of the Earth might fall off into space if I relax!" No, they won't. Life will go merrily on.

We don't actually believe this.

So..... maybe this WILL be The Challenge..... "Hard" is all in the perspective.

And here's one of our backyard crows in Winter.

I've drawn him, but perhaps it's time to do his crow-y portrait in paint.

After I get done Relaxing...

Minneapolis, MN is hosting THREE lovely art fairs this weekend. 
Uptown, Loring Park, and Powderhorn. I will be in Booth # 89 in Powderhorn Park. 
And the three fairs have a shuttle bus service. Park at one fair - pace yourself and do all three!

Then YOU can Relax!

Facebook Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

Friday, July 31, 2015

30 Posts in July


* What seems probably impossible can be accomplished.
* Some of the efforts might be Ugly.
* Effort takes Time.
* One must Prioritize. Darn.
* Sometimes it's FUn to mix things up.

* Keep Challenges small at times.
* Keep Going.
* The World will not End if The Challenge is not met.

* It can be good to share one's Challenge with others, but it is not necessary. 

* It's best to keep things sort of Fun. 
*Sometimes a little mental anguish can be a little inward fun.

*So On to August!!
And the Art Festival at Brighton Beach. August 1st. Jut North of Duluth, MN.
Plans planned were not all executed.       O.K.
Lots still to be done. Will do as much as possible.
Lunch plans with friend are Priority 1. YAY!!

Perhaps now Blogging will be a JOY again. I have gained a bit more Freedom. More relaxed about stuff put on page. Lots more options. But I must REMEMBER this.

Yay, July's Personal Challenge!!

On to to day. I'll be "quiet" for a little bit. But first, a big "Whew!"

Thanks for coming along for the bumpy lumpy ride.


Thursday, July 30, 2015


                             bbbbbbbddsfbfgghrsfs  ccgdsss        cvxxfsdvvfbfbfand then thereis BOLD.ssssss

I have to learn to PLAY with MY 

So, O.K., maybe I will. Later.

Three - Wee!!

Yes, the mind does go blank.
It is blank now.
The tinnitus buzzes, of course.

Shall we try a haiku?

Sure, why not?

Dark, the bronze urn sits
Ready. In Summer kitchen.
Again it's for sale.



"Four" is MY Number.
No, I don't know why.

I like Square shapes.
But I like uneven numbers.

I just know that if Ms. Walters asked me, "Sue, if you were a number what number would you be?" I would simply and easily say, "I am The Number Four."

No need for discussion. 



Yesterday I wasn't sure if this Challenge could be pulled off.
It can.

It simply takes Not Doing other things and Doing This.

So simple.
So hard.

Will I regret the time "wasted" typing this never-to-be-read-again sentences?

However, it's the doing that's more important right now.

No, I am not a marathon  runner, nor an American Ninja Warrior.

But I wanted to see if I could blog thirty times in a month.

Some years ago I did - documenting ridding home of at least 30 things for 30 days.

Those were decent reads.
These coming-down-to-wire posts, well..... probably not.

Yet, as the numbers grow smaller I am almost excited.

I'm on little Seabiscuit and we are barreling along!!!!
Poor horse is carrying lots more weight than he usually would...

But as long as his Spirit gallops on, I'll keep him heading for the Finish Line!
Woo hoo!!


Right now these six things are happening here:

1) The fan is blowing cool air in from patio to kitchen.
2) I SHOULD be working on Art Stuff, but I'm heading down the Personal challenge Homestretch.
3) It's sort of fun to be sort of Stubborn again. (It's been years...)
4) The kales are growing.
5) Bunnies are eating plants in Stillwater.
6) It's darker out than it was last week at this time of evening. Boo hoo.




      SEVEN (Yes, the word "Seven" is starting to look weird now.)

Continuing on.......







When I was an eight-year-old girl  I wanted to be a ten-year-old boy.

I thought being an ten-year-old boy must be the greatest thing on Earth.

No, I don't know why.

And now I doubt that this is true.

At least for lots of ten-year-old boys.


Once upon a time I was bored at an art fair. 
This happened often in my early art fair days.

I always had paper and Sharpie Markers.

One day I  drew what would become the first
of a series of Nine-Pane Window drawings.

The bears were always on the outside.
It was always at night.

There were always words involved.
And Mystery.

I was bored enough that there are enough
drawings to make a book.
Maybe someday.
But not now.


Ten More Posts -

I like the number Ten.
I also like the number Four.
And the number One.

Mixed emotions about
Nine, Five, and Zero.

Two is fine.
Three's O.K.

Yes, more mixed emotions.

Eight has helped me through

And yet I cannot


Tomorrow is the last day of July. 
It was a Personal Challenge to blog 30 times this month.

I have a way to go.
But I am getting more stubborn.

Even if I am getting more Boring.

I can see The Finish Line.
But I need binoculars.

Feel free NOT to read.


Winter IS Coming

Though the temperature here reads anywhere from 81 to 86 degrees here..... Winter is sneaking up on us.

So to let us remember.... here is Snow Jabba - in process of melting.

Proud to say that he was created by son, daughter, and daughter's boyfriend; and that this guy, and son - as Slave Leia - made it to Front Page of Reddit. It was an exciting few days, and as all things do - this, too, passed.

Winter of 2013 is history, but Winter 2015-16 is just a few green months away...

On to the days that we've been given - 

This -

This is what I SHOULD be doing------




Still Amazed at how much produce can be produced from a "small" garden. 
To heck with keeping up with the weeding. I can't keep up with the Harvesting!!

And the tomatoes are still green.

These goodies will be given to others.

And hoping to make pesto for ourselves some time today.

My heart goes out to those with large gardens and no "time."
Though  Garden Time is Different.

Hoping you can find some. In your own green space or other space set aside as any kind of Garden. Five minutes of breathing in Green Air can make the rest of the day ever so much better.

On to that rest of the day here~!

And prepping for this Saturday's day at Art Festival at Brighton Beach! Come visit Duluth, MN, and head a bit north of town. We'll be there with "bears" and other friends! August 1st! Come back, Summer, come back...?

Nope. So we must appreciate our Green Stuff while we've got it.
No, I don't mow our lawn - that's Sir Todd's a-doing with the Green!


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

So Many Lives

Have you had many lives?

I have had a few.

Here is a beastie from way back.

Once upon a time I made my living customizing model horses. The plastic figures made by Breyer Molding Company of Chicago, Illinois produced the vast majority of animals that we then then repainted, or repositioned, and then repainted and even haired.

Sometimes an artist gets bored. Thus was created Ella-Loosa - my mascot for Sunshine Pete Appaloosas.

Here she is in all her red-eyed glory!

Ella is the Breyer Elephant - once a normal grey, now, through some genetic mystery, a purple, blue, and white Appaloosa.

Get bored. Let stuff happen. Wise stuff might pour out of your brain. Or you might imagine a black and white pinto banana.




"Whatever interests, is interesting." - William Hazlitt

"Whatever interests, is interesting." - William Hazlitt

The "curse" of being Interested in MANY THINGS leads me to a few Deep Places and too many Shallow Spots.

Just a FEW of the things that fascinate me: (and GO!)

1) fonts
2) weather
3) relationships - human or other
4) growing things
5) quantum physics
6) nutrition (trying trying)
7) motivation  
8) why I Love the color red

Just a very very few.

What sparks YOUR brain? 

A bit of pondering might give you insight into your own "Interesting!"


pastel on suede matboard

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Simple Paper Cup

PAPER & Words are Amazing Things.

A coffee cup can hold more than coffee.
It can hold a message.
Or an image.
An Idea.


I must Remember to make more of these.
I keep forgetting to make more of these.

Re-use. Re-tell. Remember.


Morning Bounty

(This will probably be a day of many unrelated posts. It's all about The Personal Challenge.)

Here be BOUNTY:

Our garden is not large - and the portion allowed for green beans is about the size of an average coffee table.

This is not a normal growing year in the backyard. I cannot keep up.

The beans and kale harvested this morning will go to others.

There will be more green goodies coming!!

And today rain is raining. In recent weeks I'd have been fake bitching. Today I am truly thankful.

Off to the next hours' adventures.

Breakfast awaits!

Oh, and our Brighton Beach Art Festival's booth number is #2. Next to the colorful Christy World (not what she would call her booth!) created by multi-talented Christy Ann Skuban. This art festival is only in it's second year, but already has a wonderful reputation! Come visit Duluth, MN this Saturday. We'll be just a wee tad north of town!


Monday, July 27, 2015

Not Proud

Several weeks ago I "had" to finish a piece for the Members' Show at Hudson, Wisconsin's Phipps Center for the Arts. I'd been playing with some long narrow canvases (12" x 36). Painting rows of colorful frolicking bears... They were turning out nicely. So I got bored.

Because I like paper even more than I like paint I seldom toss out scraps created when making work.

And I DO want to use up art supplies (hahahhaha).

So I knew that a collage and paint piece was the way to go for the Phipps" show.

Here is a photo of early progress.

It got better.
And then it got worse.

When the piece returns at exhibition's end I plan to make it Batter  - or at least Very Good. Even now it is not Awful, but it is not Wonderful.

I prefer Wonderful Art.

To be continued.....


P.S. - We will have one of the long acrylic paintings at the Brighton Beach Art Festival this Saturday ( August 1st). Come visit us at this small yet lovely and WELL-attended art fair just north of Duluth, Minnesota.

Little Posts Had Best Add Up!

To make that 30 post personal challenge it's time to crank out the typing!

Whole bunch of Baby Steps coming up...

One of my favorite quotes from "The Little Zen Companion":

Easy is right. Begin right
And you are easy.
Continue easy and you are right.
The right way to go easy
Is to forget the right way
And forget that the going is easy.
                - Chuang-Tzu

Of course, I forget this every day....

Till later -


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Two a Days!

The ordered art supplies have arrived!
The new art supplies have arrived.....

So production on greeting cards can continue. Good for business. Bad for "art."

No Minions here any more. Grown tykes have own lives and real jobs.

I miss my Minions...

So am listening to the Kansas City Royals playing the Pirates. KC is winning. They used to be Terrible. Now they are Good.

Some kind of Life Lesson here. If you keep on going you might get better. Or, of course, worse.

It's a chance one has to take.

The keeping going is important. though now it's time to stop.

And keep going.

And, Ely, here we come!



I can't believe how many tomatoes there are in the jungle garden.
Still haven't made pesto...

Mosquitoes are sucking me dry.

The sunflower plants come from the left-over seed in the bottom of the birds' winter supply.

There are still unplanted areas. Will they be put to use?

Green Warm is So Wonderful.

On to the "more important" stuff of the day.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

So Much for THIS Challenge -

Challenges are made to be met - and I feel, though there is still TIME - I'd best to typing SOMETHING.

How can days zing by so quickly? Morning thoughts contain ideas for this blog.

Then the Reality of Day's Tasks happen.

BLOG!! Make it Priority One!!!
But getting that new whole sale account is more important.
Filling that greeting card order is more important.
Getting in that much-needed week-late three mile hike is more important.

And then Today is Tomorrow.
For so many days in a row.

Blog or make pesto?
Blog or to the book-keeping?
Blog or do the laundry?

Oh, and don't forget to work on new web-site!!!
(I keep forgetting to work on new web-site...)

I've have typed something here.
Any word or image counts.

Maybe tomorrow the challenge within a challenge will be: type for five minutes.

Many many many many baby steps to irritate readers?


Ever onward.
Back to work.

This is a lie.
I will return to making greeting cards.

But it's a reminder of why I love to make art.

Until the morrow!

- Sue
PS - We'll be in good old Booth 15 this coming Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, July 24 -26, at the Ely Blueberry Festival in Ely, MN. Come visit!!
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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Too Much Culture - Not Enough Time!

Rather than spending all day Making Art I took a few hours off this evening to hang out with others who also Make Art.

The first event took place at Gallery 120 in River Falls, Wisconsin. Two friends who are photographers are part of exhibition featuring a total of four folks who make excellent images.

About half of the work was from abroad - Europe and South Africa in particular. As a person who has yet to cross an ocean I am still amazed by the many humans who take world-wide travel as a given.

Other subjects were beautiful close-ups of flowers and insects, and the ice caves in the Apostle Islands.

Each photographer had mastered topic, and I could still be there staring at the jaguar staring off frame - guarding its just-downed zebra foal while mare and herd mate look at big cat from hill above.

The artists each were invited to talk about their work, and all added to the specialness of the evening. I find even a few sentences to be eye-opening when then returning to view a picture. And hearing some of background stories made particular photographs even more powerful.

Having enjoyed both wine and coffee at that Opening I was both awake and relatively relaxed when arriving back in Stillwater for the ArtReach Members' Show Opening. No wine please, but Sparkling Water will be wonderful. A total of fifty works filled the two gallery spaces. The opening was well underway and very well attended. A magnificent bronze piece by Jim Schoop, depicting a local Gypsy Dancer, was the highlight of the exhibit. It handily won Best in Show and will probably win the Peoples' Choice award on closing night.

We helped finish off the brownies, and chatted till close of event.

Then it was time to come home and get back to work....
But - first there was Nervous Parenting to do. Daughter Tara was competing at the San Diego ComicCon's Her Universe Fashion Show. Her dress, inspired by the Star Wars Death Star had seventy-two hours of hand-beading, LED lights, and accompanying X-Wing Fighter Clutch Purse. It was magnificent! Just not magnificent enough... Tara placed Third out of twenty-five competitors. So texting and Face-booking and long-distance hugs and You Did Greats and all will be wells were typed and typed.

THEN I HAD to get to work. So mixed up some paint, scribbled "Simply put - I'm Happy Here" on the bottom of a painting, and decided that was it for the evening...

Tomorrow's coming WAY too soon, and there's "too much" to do in final prep for Grand Marais Art Festival, but what gets done gets done and what doesn't doesn't. Sometimes Zen practice helps lots - or maybe it's just the REALLY TIRED kicking in.

Ever onward. And Be Kind.
I have accomplished Today...

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Never Too Late

That darned "30 Posts Personal Challenge."
I am tired and semi-cranky and usually am conked out by this time of night.
Not tonight.
Accidentally took a sort of nap around 6:30  P.M. and am now sort of awake.

I am NOT a Night Person. I am a Five A.M. person.

So have been matting reproductions and making greeting cards.
"Monkey work" we call it.
The brain is mostly on the side-lines. Tonight it is listening to an episode of "The Mind of a Chef."
I love shows dealing with food and eating.
I am not one for shows about re-furbishing houses.
I have mixed emotions about shows about hoarding....

Now this piece is long enough for me to consider it a Post.
Disagree, if you choose.

Tomorrow is another day.
Another day. Another Chance. Another post.

Here's a scrap of ink and words from 2014:

Another day toward Grand Marais!!
Booth 5A - here we come!


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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

30 Thankfuls - July 7, 2015

 I am thankful:

1) for the lovely green veggies in our garden up the hill.
2) that weather for Stillwater's  first Summer Tuesday of the season was just about Perfect.
3) for "free" live music available for five more weeks - weather permitting.
4) because the Grand Marais Art Festival is coming up this weekend.
5) that Todd cleaned up most of the downed portion of the apple tree in backyard.

6) that we didn't have more damage.
7) that we can listen to Wimbledon tennis matches on-line.
8) I was able to walk/run  up and down twice a "new" old section of Stillwater's stairs this morning.
9) for Aldi's sale on cherries today. I sat in the van, ate a few from first container, then went in for            three more boxes!
10) for not caring if there are any typos in this post tonight.
11) the box of pre-cut mats arrived this afternoon. My mat-cutter and I have never gotten along...
12) there are always more than thirty reasons to be Thankful.
13) that it was Discount Tuesday for members of our local co-op. I bought a small container of                 coffee-flavored not-real ice cream. No sugar. No milk. But lots of flavor! Pace myself...
14) that the ArtReach exhibition crew allowed me to deliver my entry just slightly after the deadline.
15) for the discovery of how good grilled egg-plant tastes!
16) because our new turn-table works with the old records.
17) our drawing session went O.K. (A parade of widely varied animals playing band instruments is always a challenge!) Please don't judge - we did the best we could!

18) to be able to Own books!!!!!
19) that we have Free Little Library sites in town.
20) to have more clothes than I need.
21) because the days are still relatively long. This will pass all to soon.
22) that the Minnesota Twins baseball team is doing much better than it did the past three years.
23) for the Minnesota Orchestra's free concert in Hudson, Wisconsin last night. Yoda and I were                there - along with a park-full of other music fans.

                         24) that the Orchestra played music from STAR WARS!!!

25) that there is still a bit of un-used space in the garden, and that it is not too late to put in a few               more seeds/plants.
26) for the whistling tea-pot on the stove.
27) knowing that this post is almost finished!
28) for Facebook Shares that get me through the day.
29) that I don't have to read scary novels for a living.
30) although, sometimes, not Thankful enough. (Today there were a few growly patches. Oh well.)

Ta da! And on to tomorrow -


Appreciating the Old Stuff

I have to deliver art to our local ArtReach Members Show today. This Stillwater group has grown amazingly since getting its own space ( a large house across from The Stillwater Library) several years ago. Writers and poets meet there regularly. There are rooms upstairs for classes of many kinds. Two spacious areas downstairs make for excellent viewing of the every-changing (mostly month) art exhibits. The front porch is welcoming spot to sit during Openings. But I digress.

I have to deliver a piece of art there. Today. all of the new work is either packed for art fairs, in galleries, or unfinished. Worthy work we have at home has mostly already been shown there. Time to go deep and see what's to be found... dig dig dig.

Here are the "volunteers" that are heading downtown today - whether they want to or not -

This is a small 5 3/4" x 8 1/2" colored-pencil drawing, matted and framed funkily, but matted and framed. 1998? Evidence of how long bear shaped objects have been showing up by way of pencil, paint, or pen. I don't want to dig deeper. So  - good to go!

These guys show more emotion than lots of my current work. Something IS going on - though I have no idea what.. Well, alcohol MIGHT be involved... But I do not know the situation - before or after. That;s part of the "charm" of heading toward white paper with art supplies. Even with plans these often go awry. Some work will appear much more wonderful than one could have imagined. Other pieces get "Sorry"d to and then ripped into quarters. It happens.

And, if anybody needs an original of two tipsy bruins, these guys are for sale.

Temperature is brisk 54 degrees - heading for 71.  time for a 1 1/2 mile walk downhill, a bunch of stairs, 1 1/2 miles UPHILL, and  doing what must be done for the rest of this beautiful day.
Hoping to see some of you this weekend at Grand Marais Art Fair! Though the weekend of July 11 - 12 is coming up a bit too fast... ONWARD!

(And because I am "behind" in this Personal Challenge be warned that there will be multiple postings soon in catching up. Feel free to suggest a Topic!)

Be kind -
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Sunday, July 5, 2015

No-Art-Fair 4th - Eek!

July 5th, 2015.

We survived not doing an art fair or flea-market on July 4th! I am so used to loading a vehicle on July 2nd or 3rd and then heading somewhere in wee morning hours of that date that I knew we could not "waste" this rare weekend summer day.

Husband and I often have different thoughts on what constitutes a good way to spend a day, that on the morning of July 4th we agreed (!) to head about thirty miles north of Stillwater and explore a bit of Interstate State Park. The park's website stated that parking would be at a premium during the holiday, but arriving at approximately 9:30 A.M. we had no problem finding a space. A day pass was $5.00, and after using the Self-Pay kiosk we joined the folks already walking and climbing among the rocks. 

Knowing that I would want to document the day I made sure my "good" digital camera was fully charged. I love the iPhone, but wanted lots of "room" in case it was needed. About half-way to our destination, yup, I realized camera was still home hooked to charger. O.K., little iPhone, it's up to you.

Because there are so many images already in phone (yes, I know they have to be moved somewhere else) I chose my photos carefully. Sometimes this is a good discipline. And, yes, I trashed a few along the route. But I was pleased with the pictures I shot and know that I WILL be back - next time with another camera!

 Here is just one image from the day:

Will write later about the geography and a little history of this place. But so enjoyed being with these ancient geological beauties for the first time.

It won't be the last!

And this next weekend holds Grand Marais - one of our favorite art festivals. Life is pretty good.

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Friday, July 3, 2015

Art Fair Mystery - Grand Marais

Art Fairs aren't just about selling ones wares to others.
They are also about meeting new friends and re-visiting old ones.
Sometimes they are about surviving thunder storms and/or hail.
Sometimes they are about surviving an afternoon when the Heat Index reaching 105 F.

They can be the greatest fun.
They can be true agony.
They can hold laughter and tears within the same hour.

Some art fairs allow dogs.
I have MANY photos of Art Fair Dogs.
Two years ago, had I been quicker at the set up for River Falls, Wisconsin's Art on the Kinni I would have at least one photo of a young guy walking his pet porker on a leash. I have only memories. They are enough.

Then here is this beastie:

Two years ago Todd and I were walking around Grand Marais, Minnesota. It was a lovely calm evening. Even with the bars busy and shops open relatively late, there is not much going on on the main drag. After dinner we always hike to several different look-outs to spy on Lake Superior. As we walked closer to one of the many small shops in town I did a double-take when spotting this special window scene. The shop cat was keeping watch over whatever was holding its attention. Or perhaps it was in deep meditation? One seldom knows with cats. It looked at us for a moment as we came closer; then chose, in cat fashion, to ignore those two folks at the window. We were not in any way a concern to Cat. Cat was focused on cat thoughts. I took the photo and we moved on.

The weekend of July 11 - 12, 2015 we intend to be exhibiting at Grand Marais again. The fair is not large - but it IS Special. We get to talk life with Canadians. We got to wee lake Superior in action - for better and sometimes for worse. We artists enjoy getting treated REALLY well by members of the Grand Marais Art Colony. And The World's Best Donuts are on the far end of town. Really. With walls and tables covered in photos of folks all over the world proclaiming same. And there is PIE and great art galleries and music-filled bars and air that is fresh and sweet and Lake Superior-y. If you like rocks the beach is a fine place for picking. If you like trees there are plenty. If you like being alone and then with people and then alone again you can do this easily in Grand Marais.

Oh, and the past few years the Art Fair weekend is one for yarn-bombing sightings all through town.

Now it's time to re-call becoming parents to our son on a sort of long-ago July 3rd. He may be taller than our daughter but he'll always be that Younger Brother.  And I  still remember watching the National Fireworks from my July 4th hospital bed - ha! In person fire-works are better.

And NOW it's time to brew a cup of tea and decide on a chocolate treat from Trader Joe's. The head won't thank me but the tongue will - at least for a little while. And we must learn to appreciate those Little Whiles. Like the cat in the window. Or maybe the cat is still there...

"Happy Fourth of July!," if you celebrate the date, and May Your July 4th be a Lovely Day with the Activities of Your Choosing - if you do not.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July Challenge - Day 1

Good Morning and Happy July 1st!

If I want to be A Blogger I guess I have to blog.
My Personal Challenge to me for July is to post thirty times.

That Contact Thirty Places to sell one's wares never happened - though I did feel guilty and mad at myself that whole month for continuing on with those "I'M TOO AFRAID TO CONTACT BUSINESS PEOPLE" interior mind chat. Bleah.

Forward and sideways!

"Don't beat up on yourself." O.K.

And I DID start being one of The Stillwater main Street Stairs People - ha and yay. 159 steps up. 159 steps down. Just within the past two weeks I have learned so many different ways of dealing with ups and downs.

Will type more of this later.
Time for working at the antique shop, and trying to figure out what should be included in new web-site design.

The garden is coming along and the days re not requiring air-conditioning!

And, with mixed emotions, we will probably be free of doing an art fair this July 4th Holiday Weekend.

Post Number 1 - done and done.

Decide on your own 30 Day Challenge? You can do it! (Or as in the above case - not!)

Life's constant choices -------

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