Monday, December 7, 2020

Ho Hum Holidays

Greetings - 

This holiday season I am both jazzed and somber. Been playing the Vince Guaraldi "A Charlie Brown Christmas" for many weeks. I am a Guaraldi jazz, though, so this is simply excellent music here .

I no longer bake holiday goodies, but because a nearby sister-in-law DOES, I got to bite the wing off an angel. Now this is about enough white sugar for me for a long time... Sigh. Memories of scooping the cups of the white stuff into the Kool-Ade. I heart sugar. But the brain no longer does...

A very few packages are being wrapped and sent. That is OK. This is perhaps the oddest holiday season many of us will witness. The goal is to be careful and stay more or less well. Social media will be used early and often in oncoming weeks. And if the gift giving and receiving spills over into the New Year - so much the better? We will need color and lightness and good surprises to see our way to Spring.

My job is to sell amusing items to people. But my job is also to sit tight and try not to come down with the COVID-19 infection. My "job" is sending out little original art postcards of encouragement, hope, and joy. Reminding others (and myself) to Breathe.

Working on the postcards is almost a kind of meditation. A focus. A purpose. A reason for listening to jazz instead of even more news. The news will always be there. Jazz is a needed breather in the day.

Your job is to keep breathing - while appreciating the major efforts of those thousands of amazing humans WORKING at keeping people breathing. Not just from effects of COVID-19, but from the many other foes the human body battles in the epic quest to Keep Breathing.

Someday the new normal will happen. But not for a long while. The sky has darkened. The little string of 100 LED lights is brightening (a little) a corner of the living room. Hmmm. Living. Room. That might be just enough for the time being. A bit of Light in a Room in which to Live.



Friday, December 4, 2020

Making Tiny Books

 Greetings - 

Confession: I have a number of books on how to make books. But I do not use them. I read the texts, look at the beautiful illustrations, sometimes try to understand the instructions. But mostly I buy these books in the hope that they will magically make me a bookmaker.

(Insert laughter here.)

Confession: I am too lazy to be a book maker. 

Kind of.

What I like to make are small accordion books. Out of watercolor or printing papers. I like to cut the strips. I enjoy creasing the folds. I like that they can be carried in the art supply bag almost anywhere I go. However, in the way things frequently go, I neglect to fill the pages.

But sometimes books get finished.

These four artist books were part of a 2020 art exhibit at ArtReach St. Croix here in Stillwater, Minnesota. Pages are approximately 3 1/2" x 2 1/2" or 3" square.

There was no particular planning, though each one held some rules. The main rules were: 1) stick to one theme, and 2) dare to goof around. None of them are perfect. All were experiments. Each turned out O.K. I am happy with them.

You, too, can grant yourself a bit of book making time. There are many tutorials on YouTube on how to fold one piece of copy paper into a small book or 'zine. There are also many ways to make simple tomes. Grab scissors, glue, and papers. Make a collage. If you have a bunch of favorite quotes, add them to an accordion book, and keep it nearby. Give it to a friend. Put it in a Little Free Library.

Ever onward. Keep loving books!

- Sue

Instagram: surobear1

Facebook Page: Sue Rowe Studios

Thursday, December 3, 2020

This Morning

Greetings - 

This morning I got up  about five AM, turned the plant lights on, heated water for herbal tea, decided NOT to turn on the TV, and did play the Lionel Hampton band jazz record that with already on the record player turn-table. Huzzah for Lionel Hampton...

Next...., flipped light switch to brighten studio, switched on the large light box that now sits atop main studio work table, got tea, got around to scribbling three pages in the journal, and glued some paper to other paper. For particular people.

This thought came:

Maybe I would like to meet almost everybody in the world & ask them why they are who they are.

So, there is that, among so many other thoughts. 

I feel that I am going backwards in so many ways. But forward in others. Hanging by many threads. Riffing life. Caring/not caring. Being/not being. Some of you - many?- know the drill.

Trying to figure out who the next bunch of Sue Rowe is/are.

Paper, words, and people will be involved. And bears and bunnies and squirrels.... But the bell jar of Now has to be tipped over somehow. I do love "safety." But also so much other stuff. The battle is real....

On to whatever challenges the hours, day, week, year brings. I have no idea about how the holiday season will go - I'm thinkin' Low and Slow.

AAARROOUUUUU! (a good howl is better than no howl at all)

- Sue

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Personal Challenge Postcard Project

 Greetings - 

It's November 1. Congratulations. We have made it this far in the "Adventure" called 2020.

This month's Personal Challenge is to send or give away 150 cards or postcards.

Ever onward.

- Sue

Friday, October 2, 2020


 Just because I don't blog doesn't mean that I do not THINK about blogging. 

I think about it every day. 

Put it in the Bullet Journal prompts every day.

Have a yellow legal pad with topics and potential stories.

Know that some folks appreciate the typing.

And yet - I do not type.

Yup. Summer is over. And some days it was literally a day (an hour) at the beach.

On to the month some call October.



Saturday, August 15, 2020

Rerererestart -

 Greetings - 

It has been such a long while. And Blogger is a bit different. But the same. I keep forgetting that I liked to blither here. Not with posts that educate and inform. Blither. On to it.

Last night a quick major storm front went there a big chunk of the midwest. Power was out here for some hours. Not too many Just enough.... I appreciate all people and things that go into making our electronic grid system work. I appreciate all people and things that go in to making our Postal System work. I appreciate people wearing masks at Trader Joe's.

Often when I am stressed or otherwise needing for brain to take a little break from the current stuff I go into Thirty Thankfuls Mode. This is just what it sounds like. I start - and cannot quit till mentally noting AT LEAST thirty things for which I am thankful. 

To illustrate:

Right now I am thankful - 

1) that there is classical music in the headphones because Todd just started vacuuming the living room. 

2) that Todd is vacuuming the living room. 

3) that Todd has stopped vacuuming because an old cowboy show is on.

4) for "Have Gun - Will Travel." Not paying attention to it now, but I loved it as when I was a kid.

5) that the garden has survived the storm better than it might have. Cornstalks and sunflowers and pole beans will be propped back up today as best one can prop a little crop.

6) for friends' creative suggested prompting new images.

7) for art supplies in general, and many lovely art supplies right here, specifically.

8) when electricity can sort of be taken for granted.

9) for "too many" excellent books - right here, right now.

10) for broadband internet and friends and family around the world who are a mere click away. I am old enough to remember long distance collect phone calls that cost lots.

11) for iPhones.

12) for You Tube videos that make me laugh, learn, think. Though I really heartily dislike "Live, Laugh, Love," "Love, Fart, Live" - whatever those three words are.

13)when people buy the stuff I make. Really. Thanks.

14) that summer is not quite over. Even with the heat, humidity, and mosquitoes, I LOVE summer. Because of Light. And Green.

15) that there are garden beets simmering in a pot, and that they will be frozen for use in winter - no light/no green.

16) that there are fun options for us to do today - instead of moping about the things we'd usually be doing on this weekend.

17) for the Stillwater Farmers Market. In most years I can only visit about three times. Art fairs rule the weekends. Not this year.

18) for a new to me bottle of unopened bourbon.

19) that goldfinches are part of garden these days.

20) for antique alphabet print sets. I like letters and words and Pointing Finger.

21) for stuff that makes a person laugh hysterically. Ze Frank did that this morning.

22) for Trader Joe's.

23) the Post Office.

24) for good soil. I grew up with sandy loam. I miss sandy loam.

25) for friends with amazing creative skills. Keeps one on one's toes.

26) for keeping the making of Personal Challenges - 30 days, longer.

27) that this list is coming to an end for now.

28) for learning that I can stand in a Cold Shower (the coldest our water can go) for up to seven minutes because of Wim Hof. 

29) for rediscovering some stubbornness (for good) in self. We shall not speak of stubbornness for bad - I am NOT thankful that that stuff I still have.

30) that some days I have to do three or four clumps of Thirty Thankfuls and somehow manage to do them.

OK, enough of this. The rest of day still has to happen. Thank you for reading. Carry on carrying on.



Monday, May 18, 2020


Greetings -

It has been "forever" since I've typed here.
Fears, sloths (watch out for those sneaky sloths), lazinesses, re-lack of confidence (it happens), and not keeping up the habits. Blogging is only one of them.

"BLOG" gets printed in the weekly planning journal often. It just doesn't get done. I draw, paint, read - not enough, even do laundry and/or dust!, but do not type. I do make. daily mandala. Every day - since late last December. Here is one- pre- novel coronavirus days. A bit hard to remember those carefree and merry days.

This is a bit odd, because I actually like the clickity clickity of the laptop keyboard sound. Then there is the "What if nobody reads this?" That should not matter. What should matter is the challenge of the doing. Or - The Challenge of the Doing!

Sis and I have been doing some challenges new to us - for fun. For fun? For fun!

One.... is taking Seriously Cold Showers at least three or four times a week. We are under the influence of Wim Hoff. The Iceman. Google him, if you want to. No pressure. Sis uses her particular words to ward off the cold. I crank up the soundtrack from "Chicago." Seriously.

OK. I have blogged. One down. On to creating a string of something.

And creating a new website. But that's another challenge.

May you keep sane and breathing.

Facebook Page: Sue-Rowe-Studios