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Art Journal, telling my travel stories

Do you keep a journal of your travels? I have always kept journals. They are filled with memories that photographs just can't measure up to. If I thought something was big, I painted it BIG. If I thought something was funny , I painted the humor. I always paint  my response to what I see, so my paintings are triggers for all my memories.

I thought it would be fun to share one of my trips with you. This is a journal that has a trip to Atlanta for a trade show. Below are just a few of the journal entries that tell this particular story. Come along with me! 

We left from Colorado early in the morning. It was January and there was quite a bit of snow on the high plains. By the time we reached Kansas in the mid day, we saw a pretty sky and lots of cattle.

We spent the night in Topeka and saw a beautiful sunrise when we started driving the second travel day.My journal says Tulsa - it's not. Why can't I remember I'm driving through Topeka? I've never been to Tulsa!

We saw a lot of beautiful tree in Missouri. Missouri is my home state, and always speaks to me when we drive through. And my son, daughter-in-law and new grandbaby live there too!

We spent the night with our kiddos and drove over the Mississippi into Illinois on the last day of our drive. I have my knitting on the dashboard!

We drove through hardwood forest in souther Illinois and Tennessee. "See Rock City" painted on the side of a barn outside of Chatanooga, TN is always nostalgic for me. We took so many road trips to Florida over my life and this is as familiar as the St Louis Arch to me. 

One last "full moon" painting I made because after all, there was a full moon!
Once my booth was set up, then I waited for customers to buy my art. 
These two ladies were from Georgia

The woman on the left was not interested. So noted!
But these two women loved my cards and bought them for their shop. If you visited my booth I probably made a painting of you. There are a lot of them in this book! I call it reference material.

And the show ended. We retraced our steps home, very tired and doing lots of paperwork in the car.
I painted a beautiful sunrise in New Rocheport, MO as we headed west.
And...have you ever seen cows walk in a straight line? I have not, at least not out in a field. They probably do it all the time. I saw these cows in Kansas.

We spent the night in western Kansas. The rest of the way home we saw big beautiful skies, which I love and can never paint enough of them.

And that's the better part of a travel journal from my sketchbook. How do you record your experiences? I draw and paint it all, and would love to hear about yours.



Celebrate Joy in 2016

I am a cup half full girl. Certainly I have failures and frustrations just like everyone else, but focusing on those things is not going to make my day or my life better. I think it is easier for me to do almost anything if I add a few happy thoughts in to the mix.  I  leave my bad stuff at home. 

I know a few people who look at their day in just the same way. Honestly, they just sparkle! And when I watch them with other people, I see their smiles bring smiles and happier discussions to those with them. You know it really is contagious!

Just like Dick Van Dyke sings to Janet Leigh in Bye Bye Birdie, smiling can work like magic. Put on a happy face. Spread sunshine all over the place and put on a happy face!   

Below is my "spread the love" greeting card.

Inside greeting: Can I borrow some of that?

 I just love this cheerful happy woman with arms filled with daisies. She sends out positive vibes to everyone. If you know someone who spreads the love - let her know it works.

And let's celebrate our joy in 2016.


new greeting card formats for 2016

Oh my!

As an artist, I'm always wanting to make new things. For 2016 I revised my sweet Garden Club Volunteers. I've always loved our antique photo albums with delicate edged photographs and faded writing accompanying the photos. And I am a fan of beautiful old garden journls. The new card fomats are inspired by antique photo frames, vintage faded papers and beautiful cursive writing. I've painted my own vintage look papers, and even used old photos from John's family albums to find just the right square frame that fits my garden ladies. I've added a lovely handwritten font and I think I've made some darling cards that will suit the old quotes I'm so fond of. 

Here are two of the new style. Take a look.....


                                      I love these new cards. Look for them in my shop soon!


My favorite cookies!

Springerle cookies are my favorite

This moring I got up early so I could have the kitchen to myself and made my first batch of cookies. I always start my baking with Springerle cookies since they need some time to meld all the flavors together.

I sprinkled Anise Seeds on my cookie sheet.

I rolled my cookie dough with my Springerle rolling pin, cut the cookies and put them on the cookie sheets to dry out before I bake them. For the cookie recipe, tips and pictures go here.

Happy baking!



Celebrating Friendship

I was recently asked to paint a commission celebrating more than 30 years of friendship. I'm very selective regarding commissions because I would rather paint what I want to paint. As I age, I am more interested in creating things that interest me rather than others. If someone else likes it- that's icing on my cake. I was slightly hesitant to accept this commission, but what a great story to convince me to make a new painting.

Three women have an amazing friendship that has lasted more than 30 years. At this stage of their lives they have been through all that life can deal us. How remarkable that three women can love and support each other through most of their adult lives. They have always been there for each other offering love and friendship to solve problems and celebrate success. Still I hesitated,  but the woman I spoke to told me they planned to present the painting as a gift to one of this amazing trio to celebrate her birthday. And guess what? She was turning 60 on the same day I was turning 60! Well I felt like I was celebrating my own birthday.

I agreed to make a painting of three women who love and support each other. They stand together at the water's edge as one. I tbelieve the ocean is life affirming. It hits all of our sensory needs when we stand on the shoreline. We can feel the water lapping at our feet, hear the waves steady rythmn that helps to cradle us into slower, relaxed breathing. It smells heavenly and tastes salty. And, the vision of horizon is something I can look at forever. Its a place of healing and calm. Friendship offers the same to our lives. Friends are a safe haven that hold your secrets and they often know you better than sometimes you know yourself. They can restore your spirit in meaningful ways. Friends fill the emptiness we sometimes find in our lives and they definitely require us laugh at ourselves. 

What an awesome way to commemorate sisterhood.

Of course I made their celebration into a friendship greeting card ! I want everyone to celebrate great friendships. you can purchase this card in my shop.

your smile, your laughter, your courage and your heart
 I’m so happy to have your friendship.

 May we always cherish our friends for the amazing richness they bring to our lives. We would be incomplete without them. I salute all of my girlfriends! Thank you for making my life so complete!

Cheers, Susan