Category Archives: Building Community

Happy New Year, 2017

I have not written for my blog in over two months.

I have not known what to say, or how to say it. “It” being a story too big to tell.

On October 29, 2016, I had a phone call no mother ever wants to get:

Your son is in ICU, he had ___________ surgery, he is stable, etc. etc. etc.

I almost lost my eldest son to a bicycle accident. He was riding home from work on a Saturday afternoon. He was zipping down a hill. He was going too fast. He was preoccupied. He had the coming evening’s events on his mind. He had coffee in one hand. He had an earbud in one ear listening to music. He ran a stop sign. He rode at an estimated 30 miles per hour into the passenger side rear window of an SUV.

My life has been anything but normal since that fated day.

I flew to and lived in Boulder Colorado for two months. I became a nurse, cook, wound care specialist, chauffeur, coach, and more…

I did what any mother would do. I tried my best to do whatever needed to be done to help my son heal.

After a long hospital stay and countless appointments we were grateful to get the “all clear” to travel home for the Holiday’s.

Once home, we hibernated as a family. Ate nutritious meals. Played games. Slept often and late. Enjoyed nature. Laughed. Talked and told stories. Worked on puzzles.

The event created waves of change in our family, in life, and in my fledgling newly hatched business.

You might have noticed, I closed my Silly Girl Factory Etsy Shop. The shop I had opened for business in October 2016 was and is now closed. I stopped making new projects. I stopped writing. I stopped drawing. I stopped painting. I stopped regular life. Instead, I focused on him.

I did whatever I could to bring him to health and healing. Our hours, days, and schedules became completely intertwined. All for him.

As he gained some independence, I tried to move forward in my life as well.

After a while, I began going to few yoga classes. This was not an easy step forward. I was still to afraid to go into public because talking to strangers was too hard. How could I contain the hurt? How could I express the hurt? How could I act normal or be normal? Nothing was or is normal.

Not now. Not ever.

Slowly, I began to draw or create collages or write again, a little, each day. Allowing my work to feed me and ground me. I have so much hope for myself and my little business: Silly Girl Factory.

Self-Care Free, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

I have so much hope for his future and his “regular” life coming back to him.

His healing will take a year, maybe more, not less.

My healing might take longer than his. My spirit took a deep hit. I never wanted to see my child suffer, especially not so much.

I will continue to dive into making my art, my writing, my unique ways of expressing, and creating. I long to share.

Joy. Life. Love. Peace. Hope. Health. Silliness and fun!

I also know that my art will be a container for the hurt, the pain, and the expression of all I have inside that is too big to express.

Thank you for being a trusted reader. May your 2017 be filled with hope, love, peace, health, and everything else you desire. Now you know why the silence came so soon after the excitement of opening my Silly Girl Factory Etsy shop. I plan to re-open. When the time is right.

Happy New Year

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Feeling Lonely

I never feel lonely, unless I spend too much time on social media.

So instead I’ll spend time here creating content that will end up on social media. Is this all a waste of time? Who am I to judge. I have stuff to say, art to make, books to write, and classes to teach.

To get customers interested that means I post in the loneliest place on the planet – social media.

Fixie Bike

It’s not all bad though, we need it – did I just say that?!?!? Do we need social media? No, and yes, and no. But yes. Oops, endless loop here. If I wasn’t on social media, I’d be missing out on connections I have made – wait no, connections have almost always been through face to face encounters and then with social media the relationships can actually get more, interesting? Yea, I’ll give it that. I have collaborated over social media, I have a network over social media, bla bla.

Yep, still feeling lonely. Time to sell some art or teach a class! That’s right. Do some stuff with people, not just a keyboard.

Would you like to connect with me? I make art for people for free! Yep! Free. Check this out: Free Art.

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One Not So Simple Question

I have a question for you. But first a boring bit about me.

I work daily to:

  1. write
  2. draw
  3. workout or walk or both
  4. do some yoga
  5. eat well
  6. sleep enough
  7. take care of family matters
  8. launch Silly Girl (more on that in the coming weeks)
  9. and so on…

Not necessarily in that order each day…

Small space has big rewards. LOVE, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

Small space has big rewards. LOVE, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

Basically while working on doing the right thing for the right reasons, I began to wonder:

How can I serve you? I want to get a sense from people what they need from art and how I could meet that need.

Is it?

  1. Greeting cards
  2. Gift wrap
  3. Fabric with silly designs
  4. Wall hanging art
  5. Small art that can be given as gifts
  6. A new book
  7. Coloring books or postcards
  8. Illustrated cookbooks
  9. Other – you name it (as long as I am not asked to do commissions)

Maybe the need is not an actual art piece, but classes and information, tell me what you want to know. I’ll listen!

Once upon a time I had a friend who would ask me questions based on her own research into the art she was studying (we were both docents at Long Beach Museum of Art), we would both benefit from the exchange of information. You can ask me questions, I’d love to help – anything about art or creativity is fair game! Oh, and yoga too!

Luna

What if you want philosophy, well, I have shared my share of Suzanne-ism’s. I can do more of that! You’ll get that anyway from me!

I can do book reviews or suggestions too – I have read over 50 books this year alone. Yes, call me nerd, silly me! I love to read and write! and draw, and do yoga, and take walks on the beach… la la la

As a reminder:

How can I serve you? I want to get a sense from each of you what do you need from art, from me in particular, and how I could meet your needs.

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Three Sources for Creative Courage

Three sources of Creative Courage. The never give up attitude!

One: Ira Glass

Two: Elizabeth Gilbert

Three: Danny Gregory and his blog too!

Bonus: Julia Cameron

Obviously, there are many many more sources and ways to keep nourishing your creative spirit. But today’s post serves to remind you to: Go Make Art. Any kind of art. Any kind of creative output. Go!

I don’t want you dwelling on reading my blog. Go! Have creative courage!

Yep, showing you that my images are drawn by hand in a 5.5 x 8.5 Canson Sketchbook for Mixed Media. Using Uniball pen and Peerless Watercolors.

Yep, showing you that my images are drawn by hand in a 5.5 x 8.5 Canson Sketchbook for Mixed Media. Using Uniball pen and Peerless Watercolors.

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Free Postcard Project

Hello Dear Readers!

Yes! I am still making art! Yea. This month I am creating Free Art Postcards.

I have been swarming Instagram and Facebook collecting “customers.”

The Free Postcard Project is for March 2016!

Why?
As a challenge
To re-connect with my friends and collectors
To make drawings – especially of stuff I may not normally gravitate towards or even try

But, mostly to keep getting better at what I love – making art!

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I have two gallery shows coming up later this year in Eureka at Redwood Art Association Gallery – I have my own room! As soon as I am finished with the Free Postcard Project, all my attention will move to making new art for these two shows.

Here is a preview of what has come about so far…

Go ahead, tell me what you think. Tell me what to draw (and if you want your free art, send me your name and address).

These are being sent not as copies, but as the original art! Yep, generous. But only for 15 more days (limit one drawing per day). Math wizards, I already have 4 people on my list ahead of you! Wink, wink!

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My Promise

I cannot promise you very much. But I wish to talk about promises anyway. You may know by now, I wrote a book and published it last year. Bla Bla, I know you’ve heard this before.

To finish the book, I was following a promise to myself.

Do you make promises to yourself? Ones you can’t keep? Ones you don’t keep? Are you already tired of the topic of making promises (aka New Years Resolutions)? We are already 15 days into the new year! Ack! You feeling it? Yea, me too! I have not focused enough to get going on any new new promises to myself! Except, I HAVE upped my workout routine! Ouch, my body is sore.

I’m still gonna talk about promises for a bit!

A few years ago I made a promise to myself that I would write a book and publish it. I had no publisher in mind. I had no plan for self-publishing. I had no idea how to self-publish. I only knew I would learn along the way. I knew I wanted to keep my promise to myself.

I wish now, that I knew what motivated the promise to myself so that I could conjure up that moxie again this year!

Let me be clear, when I promised myself I’d write a book, I did not know if any of the content would be of any use to others. I actually did not fully know what it was that I was going to write. I could only hope and pray and… write. The book got much fuller than I thought it would be. And then I published it. And now. Here I am, nine months later, and I’m still talking about the book – Conscious Curiosity! I promise you I will make new work soon (so that you can read about new stuff).

But, I still have a few thoughts about my book, Conscious Curiosity. I wrote the book so that people could figure out ways into deeper conversations with their partner. However, I cannot promise that people will have great conversations all of the time. Especially, not just because of my book! Heaven’s no! There is, as I have said before, no quick fix to life’s wacky moments and twists of fate. I am a dreamer, but also a realist.

I continue to dream of a world where we all are connected, and we KNOW that we are connected. In so knowing, we become and are kinder and more loving to one another and to ourselves.

Back to my book and my promise.

Conscious Curiosity changed my life. Or maybe it’s just me, and my husband and how we worked together that changed our life. Maybe life changed because that’s what life does. I’ll never really know. You could read Conscious Curiosity. I make no promises that it will change your life. Ha! Still, you never know…

Here is The Promise.

Did you notice the capital letters in: The Promise above? I am going to devote the next six weeks to exploring the idea of Conscious Curiosity, again. This time Conscious Curiosity: Communicating With Oneself (as opposed to Communicating to Connect, as in with a partner as my first book explored). I am curious if there is another book in me. I am curious if I could learn to be kinder and more loving to myself. I am curious about what would happen if I became consciously curious about connecting to my deepest being. This curiosity stems from two things: my first book and my new training in Yoga Teacher Training.

I promise to let my readers – you – know how I am coming along. Ugh, ok. There. I said it. Out loud – sorta – on the internet. Last time, the Docents of Long Beach Museum of Art were my cheering squad. Life is different up here. I am seeking a virtual cheering squad! Will you promise to ask me how things are progressing?

My promise to you is that the journey is worth the try. What will you try?

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