Thursday, July 27, 2017


We are almost done prepping for The Ely Blueberry Festival.

I just did a "terrible" thing as a pastelist. 
This is a landscape based on a real photograph I took while on Bear Island Lake (would I lie?) in northern Minnesota. It measures approximately 11 1/2" by 24" - I think. No time to find or build a real frame. So.... of to Michael's craft store I go. This morning. And... they are having a sale on these long poster frames. Buy one, get one freee - I think. So.... I am using the frame mostly as a barrier against bad luck. And if the pastel painting is purchased the customer is free to frame the piece as he or she pleases. Whew? Whew.

Here is another view - 

See? There will be options.

Sometimes we have too many.
Sometimes not enough.

Off to Ely we go! Good ol' Booth 15. Next to the main street - Sheridan - so we get to see the world of Ely go by past the back of our booth. Sad that our usual crew to our left won't be here this year. Sad that two of "our" trees blew over just before the festival last July. Made for a hotter spot than usual. Glad that the weather forecast is O.K. But one is never Sure of the forecast. We will see what weather gods have in store for us this year. When visiting the Northland it is best to have a suitcase with a little bit of everything packed. Sandals? Check? Goose-down vest? Check. 

On to the double-checking - 


Summer Day

This day is going slightly more smoothly than yesterday.

Appreciating the tiny things.

And plants that survive adversity.

On to the Adventures, big and small, that fill each of our days.

Good Luck and Best Wishes!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

An Actual Personal Challenge - Big Moth

This past Monday a good pal and I headed for Como Park and Zoo in St. Paul, Minnesota. Dee is a lover of all things Butterfly-y, and the Butterfly House had recently opened for the summer.

We both needed a day to goof off - and amazingly both of us were free on Monday to do so. Yes, there is ALWAYS work to be done, but we needed a refresher course on Play.

As we joined everybody who owns a stroller in the metro area we recalled our years with our own young tykes. However, we were glad this day to be on our own! Time to enter the House! Right away there were were more butterflies and moths and flowers and sensory overload then we could slmost manage. Dee and I started photographing the winged creatures immediately. So many to choose from - look here! Look there! And here's another! Click click.

As Dee is a professional photographer and seriously interested in "her" butterflies I knew that I could go my way and we would both be in our Happy Place. I photographed with both old iPhone and older Olympus digital camera. So many patterns. So many color combinations - 

Here and there would rest a large moth. I have a thing about moths. It is not a good thing.... It is one of those senseless panicky things. But biology is always interesting. And my skin wasn't crawling. I was ahead of Dee in the house. A moth was resting on a small tree within sitting distance of a raised bed. I had art supplies...

So... it was time to stop snapping and start sketching - 
Here is our subject:

Because I did know know how much time I would have with this beauty I decided to concentrate on right half. Out came the little plastic bag holding a small amount of many art supplies. I started with a simplr pen drawing - noting body segments as best I could. At no time did unreasonable fear arise in brain. Just a moth and an artist having a moment. After body was blocked in out came that little metal tea bag container now filled with goauche and watercolor pencil sections. Yay for the watercolor brush's hollow barrel having been recently filled with water. On to adding correct color to paper moth - or as closely as I could.
A few people watched as I sketched. Some gave compliments. Of course I said, "You can do this, too." One kind young woman took this shot - (as you can see - sketch is not quite life-sized - this was a LARGE - to me - moth). And it kept putting up with all of us. Thank you, Mr. Moth.

Why do I know this moth is a "mister"? A staff member came over  and said this is a male Atlas moth. His abdomen is smaller than the female's, but his antenae are longer. These notes were scribbled into sketchbook. I did not have time to see about finding a female. Once upon a time I was going to be a Biologist.

Gouache was great for laying in color. I tried to correct wing shape - never getting it completely to my liking. But it sure was great practice working with this very patient model!

After a time my phone signaled a text message. It was Dee. She was waiting outside! I typed that I was almost done. A few more areas of color put down, and a "Goodbye," to both moth and nearby resting butterfly.

It was time to go hunt polar bears! And have even more odd adventures. And keep on with our play day. Yay!


Sue Rowe
Facebook Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


And suddenly
 It's Tuesday.

How does this happen?

It was just Tuesday
And now

A later Tuesday
Than last Tuesday.

And almost
The last Tuesday
This month.

I will not Panic.
But I could

It almost
Every day
Is Tuesday.

Or Friday.

These days

Sunday, July 23, 2017


I must meet The Challenge.
I must meet The Challenge.
I must meet The Challenge.

So neglecting to post is not working toward The Goal.
A bookstore in town is going out of business...

So I had to buy some books.
These are are the ones I bought today. A signed first edition of "Born to Trot." Yes, we already probably have a first edition, but I don't know if it is signed. No, I've never SEEN a Keeneland Sales catalog. Yes, there are grandkids of Man O' War in these.

I paid for these at about 4:50 P.M. The closing of the door was at 5 P.M. Someone has purchased the remaining inventory.

After today the bookstore will be a tee shirt store. 

I will mourn the passing of yet another bookstore in Stillwater. We WERE named America's Booktown once upon a time. The fancy dude from England came over to proclaim this thing. But that was about five bookstores ago. We are lucky enough to still have two. And the antique shops have numerous tomes. But stores with books are not the same as book stores.

And this was just part of today's grand adventures. It was one of those days that could hardly hold any more day-ness. You know'em when you have 'em.

And a pal and I might try for another Day-y Day tomorrow.
So, Goodnight. I am more than tired. And a wee bit cranky. Reasons. But soft jazz is softening up my soul, and life will be O.K.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Lumberjack Days

Stillwater, Minnesota's 83rd Lumberjack Days (yes, the event got its name back! [Long story]) starts, sort of, today. Ice cream social at Historic Courthouse, and Talent Show, I think.

Then the true craziness kicks in.

We used to be gone for most of the festivities - Breyerfest and then the Ely Blueberry Festival found us off and away. Not so this weekend.

I plan to take in the event as best I can. We live on top of a hill, can walk to the festivities in about 30 minutes, and even know a few sneaky places to park a vehicle is so choosing.

Weather does not seem to want to cooperate for whole thing. But one takes what one gets.

Now its off to attempt a half day journaling about the past two weeks. It seems I either DO or Journal about doing. And if the words/images don't get set on paper or here it is as if Nothing Happened. Thanks, Brain... (snarky)

On to breakfast with the OCK crew for first time in two weeks. The garden is more weeded. The house is slightly more picked-up. 

Some days we must appreciate our own baby steps - even when our challenge is to do 5K or half-marathon (metaphorically).

On to the Challenges of the day. I hope we all meet ours. 
Best Wishes and here goes!

And soon the State Fair beckons!

Facebook Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


After seeing the woodchuck damage done by serious chomping done to innocent rows of green growing things, I was of mixed emotions climbing the hill to our little veggie/flower garden. We'd been gone a hot humid week. but then got a good rain. (I am lazy. Weeds REALLY pull out far more easily after a soaker.)

Yes, gree. Yes, ugly. Huzzah! No damage to tomatoes or beets or marigolds. Japanese beetles feasted on zinnias, but the Big Zs decided to bloom anyway. Way to go, Zs!

I staked up a few more 'maters, PLANTED some peppers that had been free from our local co-op. The brave plants were already creating tiny peppers, so I am hoping for at least a tiny harvest.

As you can see, the sunflowers took a major groundhog hit. But even they decided to leaf out and attempt to bloom.

I doubt the squirrels and goldfinch will be happy with their harvest. They won't have forest to fell and fill up on this year. Good thing the serious bad of seeds of safe and dry in the galvanized can. I used to be mad at seeing the damage the squirrels did - but at least they got to play with full-sized "trees."

Not this year.

Kale is attempting a comeback as well. I might get a meal or two.
Most of last year's harvest is still in the freezer. Because I live in the moment - and forget all the garden goodies will ready to be used after a simple thaw. Tomatoes, pesto, kale. Sigh.

As you can see, the little leaves are better than no leaves. so I have hope for a fresh breakfast of eggs and greens soon.

Time to head for antique shop now. But some speed-weeding was accomplished, as well as speed-planting.

Life is better for an half hour in the garden.



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Back to "Normal" -

We survived our nine-day little long visionquest.

 Drive old van to Grand Marais, Minnesota for lovely profitable art fair. Drive home. Switch vehicles. Drive old Buick to Lexington, Kentucky. Yes, the "Kindness of Strangers" Tire Story is yet to come. Enjoy nutsy one and a half days in Model Horse Buddy Bubble. Say "goodbye" a night earlier than planned. Drive to same motel as we stopped at on drive down. Luck into the last room - A Simple Room. (That could be another story.)

Drive all day Friday. Of course we stopped at an antique shop or two. Have good dinner at Texas Roadhouse in Eau Claire. Get home a bit before dark. Check out woodchuck garden chomping - sigh. Sleep a little.

Switch back to van in early morning, and drive south again - but just to Stockholm, Wisconsin. The Mayflies are resting on the two white booths to our left. And on the picnic tables, portable toilets, and trash containers. Soon they will be attempting to rest on us....

We did the show, packed up dry, helped other pals pack up not quite dry, wait in line for dinner and beer under pavillion roof, while thunder and lightning close in, but not too close. Yup. Rained. But Todd and a friend pulled a table under entertainment tent, so a small gang of us ate dinner dry-ish.

Say goodbye to those friends. Head for casino. Todd wins! I draw a good band as O.K. bears. I love that tiny metal case with gouache and watercolors - and those brushes with water in their handles.

We drive home.

Sunday was No Plans Sunday.

But eventually a plan evolved.

Involving another pal and Italian food and more Italian goodies.

The days are sneaking back to normal....

I almost miss The Quest.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Lexington, KY

We arrived here yesterday afternoon. With luck, we plan on leaving EARLY Friday morning. Because some times one is compelled to drive for 30 hours for a day and a half of insane (sort of) Fun.

The power of the equine figurine is strong here. BreyerFest and other national model horse events are going on.

Yesterday, in one of the maze things called Clarion (Holiday Inn North) or CHIN halls a, should I type this, older mann said to his wife, "This is unbelieveable - it really is." Yup. That's why they come. Young and old. Male and, mostly, female, to roam the halls of this od strange dwelling and think "Was I in this room? Do I need another variation of the Breyer Classic Mustang Foal? - this one is slightly darker than the one I have. Are the maids happy that they don't have to clean many of these rooms for several days? Is there room in thecar for one more model? Did I remember my tickets to the real BreyerFest at Kentucky Horse Park?"

We'd done the first many. Then were gone for lots. Got the chance to return last year for the whole long weekend. Yup. Still magical.

This year - sneak down between art fairs. This IS the mild form of insanity. We are too tired to do this. But we have enough glint in our eyes to NOT do this.

So - today is our big day - the A Good Vintage Show will start soon, as well numerous panels on specific areas of the hobby. 

Time for breakfast! Wish us all survival - both metaphorically, and sometimes in reality.

Sue the Unedited

Two friend meeting after long absence - Huzzah!
(E.H. and A.C.)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Yesterday was a blur of starting and finishing a large pastel. Another version of "Seth and the Girls." Just to see if it could be done. It was done. Not the finessed sort. But a scribbled doings.

I listened to the tennis match at Wimbledon.... where Rafa Nadal was defeated bya player who has never won a major. They toughed it out to the very end. The last set only lasted two hours. Equal till it wasn't. Many people were surprised. I have tried learning not to be surprised much. Sports at any level is a good teacher.

Now it is time to start a certain speeding adventure.
I am already looking forward to a doing nothing Sunday. We shall not speak much of the woodchuck who is gnawing through my serious garden not unlike a slow durry tornado. Tomatoes survive. So far.


Friday, July 7, 2017

Small Wow -

The most posts I've ever typed in one year is 81.
Soon, computer willing, that number will be surpassed and I will be in new Blogger Territory - for me.

Odd simple pleasures.

Thanks, Crow. You are welcomed to that bread.


This is only to stay a bit on schedule.

Darn those inner deals one makes with oneself

It would be so much more "fun" 
to ignorethevoices

"Yes, Brain, I WILL quit typing and get back to the packing."

type type type type - to post another post




Speed-packing for Grand Marais
Speed-listing for Kentucky Speed-trip
Speed-remembering Monday deadlines

Speed-living is not what I would generally choose

But there are days when Racing Time is on the schedule

The next two Speed-Weeks will be interesting


---------This is NOT about Quality.
It is only about Quantity.
And racing with the Personal Challenge.

You may ignore these words.

Unless they help you with you own doings.


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Sugar: Thoughts

Once upon a time sugar, in all it's many forms, was taken for granted.
I scooped it onto cereal, poured it into the Kool-Ade pitcher, snuck sugar cubes from the stash we kept for our Shetland Ponies.

Now... sadly, or for good... sugar and my body, especially my head do not play well together. Boo hoo/hooray?

I have not purchased a bag of sugar in over six years. This looks strange to even see typed. But it is true. And life has gone on.

My dealing with tinnitus and daughter dealing with other health issues brought us, several years ago, to sharing a quite restricted diet. Especially in regards to sugar. We began reading food labels with serious intent. We learned to bake with other sweet-ish ingredients. We learned to enjoy foods with little or no sugar added. It CAN be done. 

No pop/soda. Or maybe just a sip of Coca Cola for me. I have not had a whole glass or can of pop since the winter of '11-'12. Can be done. I've never been a fan of sweet tea, so plain iced tea is peachy keen. Water with lemon is delicious. 

When I do indulge, and art fair season can be a challenge on many points, yes, the mouth and brain SO enjoy a good doughnut or scone, but the day after's "louder ringing" that fills head for next day or two.... well, those darned "I did this to myself AGAIN" emotions.

Yesterday I ate a delicious Mexican chocolate biscotti. And now plan to abstain from as much sugar as possible for as long as I can. This weekend holds the Grand Marais Art Fair. Grand Marais is home to The World's Greatest Doughnuts. So.... we shall see. If intake is limited to one per day I will consider this a limited moral victory. I do not plan to stockpile doughnuts. I used to stockpile these doughnuts. Plain or chocolate-iced, in particular... I will be sad, but the head will stay sane.

On to continued prepping for the summer art festivals.
And crossing things off the ever-growing lists.

Two little 3" x 3" canvases await experiementing with brush and goauche. Just to see what happens. John Coltrane is trying to out-do the always-ringing in ears. Sometimes heart/head pulse "cymbals" synch up with digital soundtrack. That's at least always interesting.

It is seldom too late to challenge oneself to a 21 or 30 day Personal Challenge. Sometimes they are fun. Sometimes not. But they ARE a way to learn about oneself. I learned that I can be thought of as a"sweet" person - haha - without much help with those tiny tasty crystals.

You CAN fool some of the people some of the time!

Facebook Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

1/4: Crazy

(Last and First of four speed-blogs today - subjects vary - LOL. Typos happen.)

Last week I mentioned a possible "insane" doings to Todd: Could we do the Grand Marais Art Fair this coming weekend, zoom down to Lexinton, Kentucky for the Thursday of No NANSense, and then bleary-eyed and early, head back Friday to drive straight through to Stillwater, jump into van and drive south to Stockholm, Wisconsin to do the Stockholm Art Fair on Saturday.

He simply said, "We haven't done anything crazy yet this year."

This was our old Buick last year - packed for a special bubble of four days I'd never expected to ever have again:

This will not be the case this year. We do not even have a room. Though, through the kindness of friends, we will be at the "beloved" CHIN the Wednesday evening of the hallway/room insanity. No, I do not know which room. We will bring a few models for sale and a few small bear paintings. And a small show-string for the A Good Vintage model horse show.

We will not see all of our friends. We will do the best we can. I will hope to have another bourbon at the bar. But if it does not happen, well, as the Zen speaker said, "That will be O.K., too."

Life is to be lived. Sometimes I slough off. I hope to zip like a meteor through the next two weeks, and metaphorically "crash" two Sundays to the future.

Four speed blogs today - done and done!
None editted.
I can't care.

This morning I've had chats with people I don't know about land and other subjects that I do. Life is rushed. But it's O.K.

Ever onward.
Facebook Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

2/3: Garden Again

This year..... well.....
The best I can say is "It's O.K."
It is mysterious. Marigolds planted nearly side by side are THRIVING next to some that are hanging in there. Same seen packet.A bit different planting times. I should have kept notes. This year I kept no notes. LESSON: Keep Notes

Three or four varieties of tomatoes - after slow start they are starting to bloom. Friends are harvesting their multi-colored fruit. I still will dream. And now must work to use up the sauce still frozen from last year's bumper crop.

Dill is doing O.K. Fennel is thriving. I hope to see a cycle of Black Swallowtail butterflies work its way through. No Monarch action on the milkweed. I hope they are doing things in other folks' yards.

Zinnias, sunflowers, marigolds, and coleus dress up the veggie garden. I bought my first dahlia this spring. I an wishing it luck.

A few pepper plants, a very few basil, some lettuce, radishes, kale, and collards are greening up well, as are three hills of winter squash. I gave no land over to the growing of summer squash this year, nor to Butternut, though it grew well in 2016. I want a dense intense squash. Come on, little vines! You can do it! There is a short row of pole beans. No peas. No carrots. Though there is still a few bare spots, so you never know.

Time to start the last blog post - which will be the first, of course.

Then on to filling magnet and card racks, banking, making more lists, and pretending to be aware of this lovely Minnesota summer day.

Carry on and 

3/2: Possible Personal Challenge


It's been a problem
of late

Too much
after many years
hardly any

feel better
when consuming
little sugar


after this 
Mexican chocolate biscotti
The Daily Grind
I will track the days
of eating as little
as possible

Be aware
That's the ticket
Wish me luck

Day One

100 Happy Bears - Wrap Up

Blog the 4/1:
No images. Just words. 

June brought a possible aid in lifting a mental "bleah" that had settled into brain though much of late Spring. I don't know when or why these times comes, and though they don't come often, when they do they are NOT inclined to move on. "We 'bleah' non-thoughts and boring doings LIKE it here in your comfy little brain."

But I don't appreciate them taking up squatting. Especially as it appeared  that they had no intentions of moving on.

What to do? What to do? Personal Challenge to the rescue?
Worth a try.

There was to be no pressure - escept that the bears be visibly, or through text shown to be, Happy. There were many ways for this to be done. Dancing. Smiling.Laughing. Making bad jokes in order to make other bears laugh. Whatever it took. Some days I made one or two. One day seventeen showed up. Qualily? All over the place. didn't matter. As long as the paper held Happy Bears.

Over time some "better" ones showed up. Ones that could be used in business. This made my slightly more happy. When people could relate to specific images this made me happy. Mood definitely lightened as June zoomed by. And because it was a task that needed doing I simply had to do it.

Now..... it's time to figure out how to use this mindset through the rest of the year. I don't want to stop drawing happy bears, but the hours in the day demand attention to other doings.

July's Personal Challenge? Though we are well into first week of month there are two doings I am considering. Ye olde Get More Organized and/or Getting Into Better Shape (again). "Focus, Pinky, focus."


Saturday, July 1, 2017


How we stay married -

Deciding to leave for an art fair this morning -

I agree to 6:30 A.M. (but feel a bit of I'd like to leave earlier)

Me, today: Now I'd like to leave at 6.
Hubby: 6:05.


Win-Win wins.

Shell Lake, Wisconsin, here we come!