Tuesday, October 9, 2018

International Interesting Friends Day

This morning - early and dark - while cleaning in the kitchen and thinking about yesterday's doings on one particular Facebook thread I started, the thought came to mind that I have so many Interesting Friends.

So why not CELEBRATE this?

So I did. And do.

The ripples in the Friendship Pond have started.
Life is better.

On to more jazz and cleaning in the kitchen.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Ambition - Or None

My own self is in constant low-grade battle. 
About way too many things.
I want to blog more often. I make excuses.
Messages need answering. I am afraid.

(SUNSHINE! Just for a moment.)

I can make myself exercise. Just not at the stuff that might make certain body parts feel better.

I am a great cheerleader. For others.
I am interested in too many things. And nothing.

I WILL READ THESE BOOKS! Some - probably not.
Lack of Ideas? Not a problem.
Lack of will? Much.

It depends on the day or the hour or the minute.

Now there is the Inktober Personal and International Challenge.

Time to put black marks on paper.
I'll let you know how it goes.

I Promise.

(A college English professor taught us to make little use of the pronoun, "I." So it goes. The Lesson is remembered. Carry on.)

Friday, September 28, 2018

Rabbit on Red - Work in Progress

Greetings -

Yes, it has been a while since posting a "serious" blog post. This one was started on Tuesday. It is now Friday. This is not A Good Thing. but on we will go -

Last week I was playing around with using up art supplies - cheap red craft paint, to be exact. It got poured on another sheet of paper intended for the making of more Hearts. But it was a bit thickly applied - so I grabbed the ever- present small sketch book (this one is 7" x 5") and mooshed it onto the other red sheet. Just to see what would happen.

This happened:

It stayed that way for a bit. Monday late afternoon I went to fav Stillwater, Minnesota coffee shop - The Daily Grind. Always carried: laptop computer, headphones, bag of art supplies, sketchbook and other papers, wallet, money for a $2.00 de-caf (sigh).
The place is usually quieter than in the morning and I feel no guilt if staying for a big chunk o'time. The barista hands me that cup with the Buddha quote and elephant image. I settle in.

I've been working on a series of real rabbits photographed by a friend "out East." She has kindly given me permission to use her images as inspiration. Thank, Friend!

An image is pulled up on laptop. And gets enlarged to a size that will fit pleasantly on the sketchbook page. There is no pressure to succeed. But I want to respect rabbit and friend, so will try to create a drawing that will at least be O.K. I use drawing pens and my fingers to set down basic measurements. Oh, and that handy metal ruler that most often stays in computer/art supply tote. Doesn't everybody carry a foot-long metal ruler?

Basic shapes appear:

Chatting with barista is a given. She is taking a class in Photography. Real film. Real darkroom. Playing with chemicals and light. This gives me some hope for the future - embracing whatever is needed to get the results one hopes to create! She is having fun shooting coffee beans and the various machines that go into making a cup of coffee. We talk about tones and composition. I recall my own time in college darkroom. One class was enough for me.

Anyway, out came the small tin container holding gouache and watercolor paints. I'd left favorite pointy-ended water brush at home - gasp! - so had to tackle painting with a small broad-tipped brush. On to the challenge of controlling colors and marks! Lots of people know that drawing and painting eyes is one of my favorite things to do. So this is the first thing tackled on this bunny. Gouache is relatively forgiving. I don't rush things. Still playing with colors. And trying to get shapes more correct. So much looking and comparing. Depicting a 3-D subject on a 2-D surface is always interesting.  So much "lying" on the paper.
Here we go!

When steering toward relative reality it is important to keep checking back at reference source. I see flaws in my drawing, but because this is "art' and not scientific illustration I correct some things and let other mistakes stay. Exact color is not important to me. I want to experiment with making marks. Even with that "giant" brush the eyes' tiny "twinkle" is achieved. Whew. We need all the twinkles we can get. Go ahead. Draw some eyes. paint some twinkles. The brush is used both wet and in a dry-brush fashion - something a bit hard to do  with a water brush. "Don't squeeze the barrel! Don't squeeze the barrel!" White fur around the eye is created by layering white and almost white (dirty white) gouache. Gouache is somewhat opaque, but sometimes not as opaque as one would wish. I like the look of the red paint partially visible "in" rabbit's body. There are decisions that will have to be made... Danged decisions...

Suddenly, it is almost time to close the shop. Sigh. I'd gotten into that lovely "zone." It was so much fun to focus for two hours. Jazz, a short chat, some creating. But stuff started has also got to stop. it was fun while it lasted. And this bunny is different on this morning I'm typing. For better? For worse? For practice. For flow....

(WAY larger than actual image - haha.) And, yes, current image is not shown and is more complete, though perhaps not as "successful." So it goes...



Saturday, September 22, 2018

And Again...

Note to Self -
This is getting boring -
the "I am going t blog today" and then not following through.
Just type something every day.
And cross that off the list for the day.
It is easy.
You can do it.

You just did.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Re-Starting Again....

Just to type

I scribbled
in Week's Journal
of the
To Do's

So Did
So Done

Saturday, August 25, 2018

State Fair - Day Two for Sue

It's the Saturday day of two days of Metro Sketchers and anybody else to draw and paint the Minnesota State Fair!

Heading in EARLY as to snag a bus ride there from a Park and Ride. Heard stories of two hour waits on thursday. Shortage of drivers. Really. 

So - on to the adventures and people and experiences that await!!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Minn. State Fair

Today this morning the plan is to head for The Fair
Not as early as the showers and the workers and the "normal" people 
Who just want to BE THERE when the gates open

But early enough
To get good parking
At a nearby Park and Ride

There are four
To use 
In nine days

The backpack has
chocolate and nuts
and water
and sketchbooks
and stuff for writing and painting

And some money
And my driver's license

And a small book
the Buddhist monk
Thich Nhat Hanh

And batteries
the Sony Walkman

The day
will be
what it is

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Pastels and Goofing Off

In July the Lake Country Pastel Society held its annual potluck and paint out in a Minneapolis suburb park.

This is me playing with bits and pieces found on the ground.

Fred Somers took the photograph.

I had to leave early as to sneak in an outdoor concert by the Minnesota Orchestra in Hudson, Wisconsin.

It wasn't a great drawing, but it was a lovely day in a wonderful setting with good folks nearby.

We are so lucky and grateful to have so many wonderful cultural opportunities in this part of the upper midwest.

I do not take this for granted.


Thursday, August 16, 2018

Tiny Bits of an O.K. Day

* Black swallowtail and monarch butterfly in the zinnias.
*Listened to part of Green Bay Packers vs Pittsburgh Steelers pre-season football game while semi-relaxing in  the hammock.
* Good chats with folks at Our Community Kitchen breakfast.
* Kitchen table is more cleared than less cleared.
* Prepared today for Possible Adventure tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Just Trying to Type

Making Hearts for 2018 Heart Project. Yay.

Treat. Luxury.

This afternoon, in another attempt to not forget to enjoy the use of Summer I took time off from bears and such to read ten pages of a Wendell Berry book. 

While in our lovely patio hammock.

Classical music helped joy up the air.
Hot tea was nearby.

This should not be a rare deal.
It is.

Luxury would be deciding to do a thing until not wanting to do it anymore.

I know of few pals who can do this.

It is an odd goal now.

But today is not a day for such doings.
Back to production work on greeting card designs.

I am blessed/lucky to be able to do what I choose to do for a living.
But Time is a tricky beast, and I need to learn more of its ways.

Best of Luck with your minutes. And on to the hours that we still count as ours.

Perhaps an hour spent with a bunny?

Friend Laura R-S is kindly allowing me to play with her images.
Now to find the time.....


Monday, August 13, 2018

How Many Times Can One Re-Begin?

The brain wants to be A Blogger, but the brain makes excuses.

Writing can be be exciting, but also something that sometimes feel pointless.

That should NOT be an excuse.
It is time to start doing the mental chin-ups again.

                           Here we go again. One?

Friday, July 20, 2018

Quick Post

Just a quick post because a personal challenge for this week is/was: Blog four times.

Now it's time to get back to the hand-setting of more greeting cards. The mixed emotions of having excellent art festivals is that then one has to more more product - in this case - art.

Not complaining. I could still be cleaning motel rooms for a dime above minimum wage. I still heartily dislike vacuuming.

Grand Marais brought some new ideas. The brain NEEDS new ideas. But right now there is no time. But there IS Hope. And art supplies.

On to the grand adventure - this Saturday - in Stockholm, Wisconsin,  in the park by the big river. And excited to clean house on Sunday! 

No new bruins this week - so here are the crew from earlier this summer - 


Thursday, July 19, 2018


Not knowing how others feel after eating certain foods - but.... last night... again..... I ate very tasty pizza - yes, with wheat flour crust.... and brain and body went into serious couch mode immediately. Not saying brain wasn't exhausted by other doings, but I HAD PLANS for doing stuff after supper.

Nope. Woke up on couch after watching some of the ESPY Awards show - zonked out before end of show. Woke up at 4 A.M. The one good thing: the sleep was without aid of headphone radio - so brain got a sort of actual break from sound and "sound."

So now it is quarter to seven in the morning, I'm semi-perky, have visited the garden, made some greens for breakfast, and seem to have some energy again. (I want to have energy most of the time...)

Kale, mustard, dill, beet greens, and basil from the really green veg garden, well, YAY!!

Here's a shot of food source:

Added garlic clove and portabella mushroom to the pan, too. And plopped some garlic hummus onto the pile of sauteed stuff.

So, how to make me REMEMBER to stay away from the yummy bread????????? I'm can so good for long times, and then the brain over-rides the brain, mouth is happy for fifteen minutes, and then life goes Super Blah for hours or even days.

Maybe a shock collar whenever I even think of eating the stuff I know mucks my life up? I'd have to remember to put it on and zap me at the right moment. How to get all the brains on same track? 

Journal BEFORE eating instead of after? Hmmm....

This is why I have to keep blogging. Thoughts come out of the keyboard. Now on to a delicious healthful breakfast. Yes, tumeric in the tea, too. 

And a few more things got finished yesterday - but less than had I not done that pizza thing. Me to me: Don't wake up and smell the pizza.

On to a day - we have a DAY!!
And two days to prep for the lovely one day Stockholm (WI) Art Festival - eek and yay! Come early - most of us are open by 9 A.M. for a show that "starts" at 10! And parking is easier early. I can't think about the remarkable Stockholm Pie Company - but you probably can.

Summer is almost over....
Yes, I hit the hammock yesterday - ten minutes IS better than none.

Facebook Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios

Wednesday, July 18, 2018


Yesterday several local groups volunteered to pick up trash on the Hudson, Wisconsin side of the St. Croix River.

Our group walked the sides of the dike road near Bayfront Park. There was trash (boo) - but not very much. Yay!

And as one was looking into crevices between the many rocks there appeared many cobwebs "floating" in the spaces between the stones.
I had to take a few breaks from the hard work (haha) to study some the delicate, yet, tough formations. Dust particulars had lodged in the threads, and were held firm. They glistened in the sun. Simple magical pleasures.

Here is one of many....

And, here is another - 

These will remain as reminders that there IS Beauty all around us. Of course, we have to decide what Beauty means to us.

Take a few minutes and write down: What Beauty Means to Me. 

I think we do not often give enough thought to what we find beautiful. How the tea canisters are arranged at the local cafe? Cows on sunlit green hillsides? The kinds of fonts we prefer to use while typing?

The tiniest bit of beauty can get one through a wicked tough hour. 

And, yes, I am one to also focus on the not-beautiful, and the current state of piles o'stuff beginning to creep back into life.

So it is time again to do for one's home what one willing does for a river. 

But be willing to admire the beauty that can be hiding in life's cobwebs as well.

On to the rest of another crazy summer week! Stockholm (WI) Art Fair is this Saturday only. Channeling some kind of calmworkfrenzy into mind and body.

Good Luck, everybody!!!


Saturday, July 7, 2018

Four More

Four more Finished Things -

A "Simply Put - We're happy Here" pastel done, matted, framed. And packed in the van for the Shell Lake (WI) Art Fair.

A long  (12" x 36") mixed media Hearts and Circles canvas done. many hearts Many small cirles - courtesy of the punch found by Todd in a storage locker containing MANY rubber stamping supplies. Varnished, wired, and in the van. Punch punch - planets moons circle-y circles of colored magic. We will see what people think of the Heart Project getting bigger and bigger. I see it as Fun and Using Up Stuff.

Two Business Stuff things. Well, three, actually.

Less things in the piles on the pile on the studio table. More things for potential sale. Whew.

So - on to a beautiful summer day! And being a wee bit jealous of the folks who will spending their day at the beach. We artists and craftspeople will be seeing them from a distance.

So many ways to spend the seemingly rare days of summer.

On to this one!!


Friday, July 6, 2018

Crows - Done

Just a quick post. 
The Three Crows are framed.

Not a good photo. But one for accountability.

The next Challenges deal with business stuff - ordering, banking, emailing.

Then on to finishing another pastel. Aiming to have it done for the Shell Lake art festival on Saturday.

On to practicing Staying On Task.
Best of Luck dealing with your daily challenges, too!


Thursday, July 5, 2018

Person Challenge - July

July Personal Challenge:

This will be a Serious Challenge.
I am a much better starter than finisher - though I love having finished stuff.
There is already a list of potential tasks - over thirty, in fact. Some easier than others.
One is/was: pack a sketchbook for CM. Done and done. The plan was made in June. The packet will be mailed today. 

Others deal with matting and framing art, ordering supplies, returning to re-cluttered studio areas. 

Oh, one was to plant remaining needed- to-be-transplanted plants.
Done yesterday during 4th of July thunderstorm.
Two of thirty. Twenty eight to go.

One of today's possibilities: frame the pastel crows - 

The supplies are here. There are no excuses but excuses.
Life Jab in Ribs:
Be Accountable
Do The Thing

Feel free to play along. If we are successful August can be a delight of New Starts - with a history of Finished Things behind us.

On to The Challenge!! Ho hi ~~~~~

Today already held doing battle with cabbage worms and Asian beetles. Nobody has won. Leaves have been lost. But not hope - on either side...

Saturday finds us at the Shell Lake Art Festival in Wisconsin. Weather looks like it may be a lovely day at the beach.

Then next week it's back to Grand Marais, Minnesota for their small but wonderful art festival. Always special to return to the lake, air, and people.

On to the morning! On to the day!

Facebook Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios
www.suerowe.com (Hoping to improve web site soon - yes, another challenge.)

Monday, July 2, 2018

Day -

The day started out in the garden, followed by much production, but very little crossed off the day's To Do list.

Mixed emotions.

Did stuff - but not the Planned Stuff.
So - tomorrow hold's today's stuff, plus it's own stuff, and maybe even some of last week's didn't got dones.

The eggplants are blossoming.

I listened to Roger Miller music tonight.

Life is O.K.

Saturday, June 30, 2018


Going to attempt having some Fun, and thinking, and goofing off, and planning. hahahahaha

Thursday, June 28, 2018


Was just scribbling in main journal about Anthony Bourdain.

Still cannot watch his stuff on the screen.
Will soon.
A dose of Tony is good for brain and soul - even now.

On to this Daylight Getting Shorter Day!!

I am semi-sad, yet semi-perky.

Birds are chirping.

So can I...?

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


I have an odd, but serious, goal.
No, it is not DRAWING strength.
It is being strong.

For a reason that only a few people know - 

No, I cannot do one yet. But the muscles are getting more muscle-y. Really.
So, here be visualization. 
I have  almost two months...

Best of Luck with your Odd Dreams!


Our next art festival will be at Shell Lake, Wisconsin the Saturday after July 4th. Time to get back to the studio! And planking....

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


Today I've been asking people what some of their favorite words are. One of mine is "imbroglio."

Because of this little project I have learned "gubernaculum" and "sesquipedalian." 

The mystery of what resides in each of our little few pounds of brain stuff is always fascinating.

A few of the words I could type here. I simply choose not to - though they led to a great chat about the different ways of cursing around the world.

Asking folks about words can lead to much wonder. Try it!

An hour or two in a coffee shop combined with the Facebook - most often my "drug" of choice.

Now it is time to cut out a sheet of Hearts and got on with the true duties of the day.

I've found I need the structure of a week plotted out in a journal. I am am excellent go-with-flow type, but often the end of the flow is not really where I want to end up. Now the words/task taunt and remind. I need that not-real cattle prod - electric or other. "Git along, Little Susan, git along." (zap!!)

Prepping for the Spring Green, Wisconsin art festival this weekend. I will not be ready, but will be as ready as I will be. It is weird to have that mindset now - but it keeps me slightly saner than many of those other mindsets. And as a person often on the edge of "ARCGK!!!" often, putting the bossa nova music in  the ears and simply going with some of the many things that make up hours helps me realize that days can be filled well with a variety of odd strivings. 

The starting of the large painting of the Minnesota Zoo Russian grizzlies has actually been fun. I'd fought even looking at that 30" x 30" square of Masonsite for a couple months. Now that there is paint over grid marks - well, doing the deed seems possible!

I hope I can do these two bruins justice. And it might be time for a return zoo visit soon. Actions vs words!


Friday, June 15, 2018

Patio Garden

For No Good Reason - 

1) It was in place when we bought our home in 1993.
2) The day lilies and some of the other plants were put in by former owners.
3) I often forget to augment the soil....
4) Sedum LOVE this space.
5) Last year for the first time I forgot to put up the Hammock of Relaxing....
6) The tuberous begonias remind me of Grandma Rowe's gorgeous window boxes.
7) Invasive viney things are trying to win their battle for the rocks and soil.
8) There are a number of large animal bones finding in the greenery.
9) The oriental lilies appreciate the bit more sun now that our favorite maple tree had to be cut down.... Oh, the mixed emotions on my part.
10) Ferns thrive here. Some other plants do not.

On to the rest of Summer!

Hoping that you have a Special Green Space.


Thursday, June 14, 2018



Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A Bear FromLast Week -

The sketch books are used for so many things. 

But then there is The Other Paper. This piece is made up of scraps remaining from cutting out Hearts from OTHER papers. So many scraps....

Yesterday I wasted and/or used well two hours gluing scraps from other doings to an oblong sheet of orange card stock. This is the result:

It was during a work shift at American Gothic Antiques - so I could have been doing "nothing." Or drawing thumbnail sketches for Serious Projects. But I did this.

A trusted friend I showed this to thinks it is a finished piece of art. I have no idea.

But it was fun to play with. And it got brain focused and in The Flow. This cannot be be discounted. many of our brains feel much better while in Flow. When time goes away. When the focus in on NOW. When many small decisions and choices create a Something and the back and forth in the skull is relaxed and "easy."

This piece of papers is worth the doing just for that!

On to a day that won't be quite as pleasant. Tech and business stuff. Then, maybe Art and Gardening.

On to a twenty minute walk along the river. 

We all have our priorities. Good luck with your day - every day!


Monday, June 11, 2018

Again again.

A little something from Art on the Lake, held this past weekend on the shores of lovely Lake Minnetonka in Excelsior, Minnesota.

Because of thunderstorms most of Saturday we could bond with under artists under the food tent. Lightning and metal-poled tents always make me nervous.

Sunday was MUCH  BETTER. Many reasons.

People were buying what we were selling. The sun came out every so often. In the end the beer venders were GIVING AWAY BEER!

We were very busy and then not by turns.

During slower times we could have longer chats with interesting folks. Teachers, mechanical engineers, mothers of teenagers, and the like.

Here is me goofing off with "Afton" in the background. It's most always about the eyes.

And now it's about getting a haircut. Soon. The forehead creases will be there forever. Crazy hair can be cured.

On to a shift at AmericanGothic Antiques. Where the bears began. It's going to be a "waste" the day reading, making Hearts, journaling about the too much that happened this past week, and planning too much to do this week.

May you keep on the breathing side of life today...

Fare-thee-well, and thanks, folks, this weekend for sparking a bit of creative spirit. Whew.

On to getting the core and arms stronger by the end of June, July, and August. A need to do a chin-up!!

- Sue

Wednesday, June 6, 2018



I don't have any.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Bears Again

Trying to play again. making Bears became Serious Work - and this is not a good way for me to work. Play is my Work.


Because it was fun to make sixteen bunnies on one sheet of watercolor paper it seemed time to see who might show up if the paper got filled by bears.

This is what happened:

Time spent in a local coffee shop helped. A place that serves whole carafes of coffee. Sadly, decaf for me. Decaf, time on a stool (this place  that single diners seat themselves at the counter, and no laptop temptation.... The tiny tin of gouache and watercolor pencil bits. The water-filled brush. Various brushes and pens and pencils.

Not saying that good stuff happened, but stuff happened.

And at the last I gave away more Hearts.

Bears came and Hearts went.

Working at Playing.

Now it's time to work/play in the garden.

I'm pretty bad at balance...

Excelsior (MN) Art Festival coming up next weekend. Way too soon. Way too soon... Way too soon....... Booth 6. Next to the lake. Mixed emotions? Yup.

Sue the Over-Complicating -Things-Most-Days

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Hearts and More Hearts

Today held way too many options.
But I have spent most of the day prepping papers and cutting out Hearts. For hours.... Perhaps I was finally in The Flow? Perhaps they were excuse to not do other things? Too late to reason now. But there are more Heart Shapes in the universe now. Enough that I can go on to other things and not care these little things for a while.

Now - garden? Go to a coffee shop and draw a bunny? Consider what Memorial Day Weekend means to me?

Simply be thankful that many of us HAVE options, when many do not?

On to a combination of things. And to post this in between router going offs.


Hearts have powers of many kinds. May ours be filled with caring and kindness. Hugs to you who want one.


Friday, May 25, 2018


Sometimes sheep just need their own attention - 

This lady posed at the recent Shepard's Harvest fiber's festival at the WashingtonCounty Fairground.

I was at The Daily Grind yesterday - trying to stay sane. Drawing is a big help. Has always been. So out came the the Altoids container now containing bits and pieces of Prismacolor colored pencils. It's always amazing how much art can still be made with the smallest nubbin of pencil. Three or four blues. A too-pink pink. Some white to blend and mute. I tried taking care to note correct anatomy, but also wanted to catch this ewe's calm demeanor. Then there was the wool..... Anybody can draw this wool - haha! I could STILL be drawing this wool.

But I'd set a timer and the timer ruled. This does help force one to FOCUS and not care so much - both at the same time.

Now it's time to focus on getting our window air conditioner into the main studio.

And see if we can beat pending thunder storm.

Fare-thee-well. Draw a sheep.

- Sue

Thursday, May 24, 2018


No thoughts
but ninety degrees
ninety degrees
ninety degrees

And feeling
not good 
for the gardens

Ninety degrees

Time to head out to the dirt

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Yesterday was Senior Discount Day at our local co-op. We also get free coffee and cookies. I've been not eating the cookies - yay! And buying the kale - yay! And looking forward to eating kale from our garden... Life is not all about kale, but last night's super green salad mix was Delicious And Pretty - with bits of red strawberry and white cauliflower in amidst the many ways nature makes green stuff.

Anyway - this photo was taken at the co-op - but the images were not created at the co-op. The Heart was from a free box small stash of paper doily hearts. They was free. They were hearts. I never treat me to doily hearts, but have loved them since those early elementary learning years in Gurney School. We were one Making Bunch of kids - most likely so that Mrs. Meredith could take a break from teaching twenty five kids in eight grades in one room the reading, writing (cursive!!!), math, geography, and history stuff. Really. 

So one day at the Grind I found a paper doily in my stuff and just started adding gouache paint to the cutouts. It was Fun. The Heart became a bit alive. It might not be finished yet. 

The other part of the photo shows one tiny bit of doings at the Visual Journal group night at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. It's most every third Monday evening of the month - from 7 - 9 PM, with a $3-5 fee to use the very useful space.

We learned a number of things to do with Gelli Printing Plates. I'd heard of them before, but had never wanted to investigate the various ways one can use these. Oh, well. After our fearless leader gave about five different ways of playing with acrylic paint, brayers, stencils, lace, bubble wrap, etc, etc, etc, our group started in. I used a full-sized plate all evening, lent by a kindly member, but it was fun to see what people did with the smaller ones. We shared supplies and suggestions.  I love to add a bit of "gold" to paper, so brought some gold paint. Yes, shared! 

Some people concentrated on adding color to their journal pages. I mainly worked on printing on colored card stock and other weight papers. And even on a manilla hang tag. I now have a stash of stuff for collage or pages to be worked with in other ways.

After about an hour we cleaned up the plates and work spaces and went around the room seeing what others had creating. What a different bunch of images! Stenciled butterflies! Bubblewrap circle back rounds! The Wipe-off-your-brayer pages were lovely, too!

One woman said that she will now get back to working in the one journal she added to - yay! One said that she'd purchased this printing system, had done a couple "plain" color pages and put it away - not knowing the many wonderful ways to put her new toy to work. NOW she is excited - yay!

I am still wondering if I "need" to add a gelatin printing plate to my too many art supplies herd. I know it would be put to use, but there are paintings waiting, and art festivals still to be applied to, and The Garden - late in being but in...

It is good when life is full, but even if it's full of Wonderful Stuff it can be too full. My heart goes out to those whose lives are full of Not Wonderful Stuff. I hope you can find a few minutes in your hours for You Day time.

Not blogging tends to make me nervous. It's a thing I want to do, but I seldom know if it helps me or others. It's just a thing I want to do. And then weeks go by without posting. Because almost everything is interesting much gets not typed about. I did give two Hearts to a young couple on Monday. I was working at the antique shop and we got to talking... about making a living in the arts business and old wood and being a professional blogger (not me!) and mixed media and.... Yes, one of Those Conversations. (A good solid chat is one of my "drugs.") So they each chose a Heart - gladly - we exchanged social media stuff - and even if we never cross paths again, crossing paths once was a lovely thing.

Now this has been enough typing. "Blog" can get crossed off of SuperBetter/Bullet Journal day list, and other things can be accomplished.

Clinky Mayhem is still to be documented - mainly because I want to mentally return to that bell jar weekend of amazing everything.

But the art festival acceptance notifications are piling up, and new art has not.

On to bears and bunnies!


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Prep Time

Work just started on priming a large, for me, three foot square piece of Masonite.

Base underpainting is combination of gesso, violet, and red acrylic paint. Sponged on. Semi-meditative to do. But then.... deciding on subject matter....

Thinking it will be grizzly bear I "shot" two years ago at the Minnesota Zoo. Or a portrait of a sheep. Still deciding on pastel, acrylics, or oils.


That is all.

Monday, May 14, 2018


The California Grand Adventure is over - but the brain is still not back to whatever "normal" is around here.

The living room and studio are filled with model horses and bubble pack and the brain is trying to write down memories of Clinky Mayhem before they, too, go on to other places. Stories were such a large part of the long weekend, but also stressed was the writing down of why we have the horses that we have collected. Of course, this can be used for other collections, as well. Some people have detailed archive records. Many of us do not. More decisions about how to spend our time.

To day I hiked thirty minutes down the hill to sit and write and paint. Max the Bunny happened - thanks to a rabbit photographed by the very talented Laura Rock-Smith.

Here is the Max:

He, like many of us, is not content with being who he is. I have no idea of what adventures he might find, but he is determined to quit sitting and get doing!

As, I, too, should be.

Welcome to this wacky world, Max. And Best Wishes and Good Luck!!


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

How I Spent My One Day Vacation - Day One

Because I did not know that Tara's apartment door did NOT lock unless one used a key to LOCK it, I spent a lovely California day in her apartment - with Beautiful Cat Freya.

However, because of the exhausted brain and body after doing Clinky Mayhem (more abooout that later...) about as hard and good as we could do it, this may have been for the best.

Otherwise, residents of her apartment complex might have come upon me fast asleep on the concrete near the pool.

Sometimes "failure to communicate" can be a Good Thing.


On to Day Two:

Planning to Sloth in Old Pasadena Coffee Shops

Now I'm wondering if real sloths have real plans.


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Poem - Another

odd circumstance
The River 
holds both
loons and pelicans
together separately

A friend watched
a loon tease
a pelican

It paddled
the pelican followed
The loon dived and disappeared

And popped up 
in a different spot

The pelican followed

Over and over 
they did this

Till the loon paddled over
nipped the pelican
in the side

The pelican
swung it's huge beak
and did
no damage
to the loon

Monday, April 30, 2018


Eek - A Poem

The sense that I
on a thing or a doing 
only about
SECONDS, not Minutes -
at a time

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Just to Type

Today was spent attempting to finish the things yet undone on this week's Bullet Journal/SuperBetter page.

Close. Near miss. That sort of thing.

But other things got accomplished.

Priorities can change in the blink of an eye.

Baby basils are now transplanted - not on the list.

A book by Wendall Berry was purchased at Valley Booksellers on Independent Book Sellers Day. I did not eat any cookies. I did not win a door prize. I did see many other books that I could have liked to add to my odd and mixed collection. I took my new book out to the deck behind the store, lucked into a chair in a sunny spot, and watched seven large pelicans do pelican things in the St. Croix River. No one we know has ever seen pelicans on this part of the river. I missed the huge mass of them several days ago - pelicans and loons paddling together. I know some loons will stick around. I am guessing the pelicans will continue north. Yes, I am aware that this is a rambling paragraph.

Tomorrow morning I learn a bit more about working and playing with my new iPhone 7+. Yes, there will be those who will criticize this purchase. I miss the feel of the rubbery case enclosing the iPhone 5. I paid one dollar for the 5. This is not the case with the 7+. So it goes. I am really cheap in some areas of life. But not so with the stuff I treat myself to from that Apple company. Yes, there are detractors in my own family. I choose not to care. Thus endth the sermon.

Now it is time to get back to reading "Dune." Reading this book was to be a priority. I have to remember this. Goodbye, typing. Hello, stuff happening in "Dune."


PS - Still two days to keep sucking the life juice out of April. 

Friday, April 27, 2018

A Bit of Morning

Almost panicked when I'd thought Todd had the keys to the old Buick on his keychain. He is in garage-sale/swap meet mode over an hour away. Call him. Key is on bookcase where he leave it for each other.

But be fore calling I'd already mapped time out in walking to and from post office and to and from Walgreens. doable, but not fun, and a serious time sucker. Whew. Keys found where he told me they would be. First World Crisis averted. Yay for cell phones and vehicles and keys and spouses not forgetting. Life now goes normally on. 

And had the key been with him I have learned to remember the wise words spoken by a Buddhist monk: This is O.K., too.

This sentence is not useful ALL of the time. But is - much of the time. 

I am typing at the Daily Grind. No, I didn't get to see the pelicans or loons out on yesterday's St. Croix River. And that is O.K., too. 

I have "too much" to do in the next few days. That is O.K.

It is time to draw a bunny photographed by a friend (Thanks, Laura Rock-Smith!) and think about quantum physics and keep listening to a You Tube soundtrack of quiet piano music/trickling stream.

Photo courtesy of Laura Rock-Smith

May you have or find your "This is O.K., too."


Wednesday, April 25, 2018


Sitting at Tin Bins in Stillwater, Minnesota.

So the bossa nova music is streaming in to brain from laptop headphones. I am both relaxed and grateful AND anxious and antsy.


The lovely hike down the hill held green grass but no real hint at budding trees. It is late April. It is almost MAY. If Spring does come when will it squeeze its way between Winter and Summer? Seedlings and I want to know. I am not asking for a friend.

Anyway, I came here with backpack full of potential business/art/journaling possibilities. But first a visit to the restroom. There, on the loser lever where I never sit sat four dear friends. The Kaffeeklatsch that before I came down with mysterious affliction in late November of 2011 I'd been part of three times a week mornings from 8 A.M. till we got done talking. I am not kidding. For over fifteen years - and now over twenty. No one has aged. Children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren have grown up, moved away, gotten into trouble, done good.

So, priorities instantly changed. I pulled up a fifth chair and it was as time has not gone by. Yes, different problems, but still quilts being stitched, two people helping two others with their phones, talk of property taxes. Life.

We have nothing in pure common except coming together in now a number of difference coffee shops. And enjoying each others' company. And being there for each other. I have not held up my part of the agreement - ! In the olden days we did meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Blizzard or sunshine. Now it Wednesday only. But the commitment to meeting remains the same.

If you don't have a "table of pals" I seriously suggest hanging out in a cafe or coffee shop with tables and chairs close enough for people to "spy" on your doings, and you on theirs. We were all separate until we were together. Together has been lots more fun - most of the time - LOL!

Now it is time to unhook the lovely calming bossa nova and hike back to the house and the business still not done.

For now I am glad I chose friends over potential profits. Treasure comes in many ways.

For your entertainment pleasure I give you some very early bruins -
                                         Pals - 1998: 


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A "Better" Day and Evening

As April zooms by it does leave some evidence along its trail.

After doing "real work" things and going to a theater to see and only nap a little through "Isle of Dogs" I treated the brain to some Keith Jarrett jazz and an hour messing around with paper and paint in Studio B.

Here is a bit of the chaos resulting from a few days' play - 

The single heart is from another day's adventures, but is included to show that SOMETHING WILL come of the colorful "trash" covering the work surface. (Under all this stuff is a goodly-sized piece of clear plastic that is no longer clear. In fact it is so pretty that I'm considering ways to use it in future mixed-media projects.)

This is a little bit of if you want to play just go ahead and PLAY! Make some stuff that might just be fun to make. Or it might be fun to use later. Gather some favorite colors or other supplies and dare to goof off. Play your favorite tunes or click on a favorite movie. Give yourself an hour to Have Fun. It'll be O.K. Even if it isn't.

In the above junk is tissue paper from somewhere, paint on paper napkins, paint on coffee cup cuffs, paint on tea bags, paint on lace. 
On the large piece on the bottom I'd just started using some acrylic matte medium as adhesive, and stuff was drying. There was no plan. I just ripped paper and mooshed it on to a pink piece of 12" x 12" card stock. Yay for using up art supplies any way one can! Black tissue paper. Pink tissue paper. Scraps from other projects. No rules. Just play until one side of the record is over. Stop. Wash hands. Turn record over. Continue gooing.

The whole sheet is covered now - metallic paints helping unite the many layers. And as I have a meeting planned for tomorrow afternoon with a pal  I will probably bring this sheet of paper and some others along to cut and create even more Hearts. 

Life is O.K.