Friday, November 29, 2013

the day after the feast ~

Is this the way you feel today???  haha.  Apparently Juan Carlos had more to eat than me!  At least he's playing the part!  No - I was good - I had a little bit of each yummy dish!  And only one plate.  And I felt great after!  I LOVE food!!  But I think the days of overindulging are done for me.  It really is a lifestyle change...and not a diet.  Being over 40 really does make a difference - at least it does for me - in how your body changes and LOVES to hold on to every extra pound.  So frustrating!  Especially for a person who's genetics seem to make it a daily struggle of diet and exercise to even maintain some semblance of a normal size!  Haha.  Doesn't help when you work 24/7 and the work you do means you're sitting ALL THE TIME!  I don't know about you - but I direct so much energy into whatever I'm doing - that I can only really concentrate on one thing that "passionately" at a time!  It's either work/business OR diet/exercise!  If I do one or the other with all my being -- it's great -- just seems like I can't do both (to the extent that each needs doing) at the same time!  Oh well... life is for living... and I will continue to do the best I can!  I'm not stressing over it!  It's just what IS.   :)
I do have to say - I'm really liking and feeling GREAT on the Garcinia Cambogia (this is the kind I get - from Amazon) supplement!  I've been taking it for a little over a month now (check out Dr. Oz's video on it) - and I sleep better, I eat better, I have more energy -- and I'm losing some L-B's!  :)  Yay!!  It gives a little boost to helping with the diet efforts too!
Anyway -- I hope you all had a great day yesterday!  And spent some wonderful quality time with your family & friends!
P.S.  There's a little old SALE going on over at A Joyful Soul!  It last through St. Nicklaus Day next week (12/5) -- 30% OFF everything and anything your heart desires!  Even Gift Certificates!!  GREAT gift ideas!!  Please check it out and see if there's something you just have to have!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

being thankful ~

Give Thanks by Sue Allemand,
Hmmm -- where do I start??  It's been a weird year... so many things happened that it's all just a blur to me now.  That is....everything before the sudden death of my Mom on Nov. 5th.  I was clicking along...working, working, working... starting a new business does that to you.  Days, weeks & months just breeze by - for better or for worse.  But I'm a Master Multi-tasker - so being busy was a good thing.  Being passionate about my art and my business again - was a good thing...IS a good thing!  So many ideas -- so little time!
Things were cruising along at a great pace - I was excited and energized - and I was bobbing and the FLOW I call it.  Problems arise - you handle them - and move on to the next...all the while, being so in the zone and you just KNOW you're headed in the right direction!  Dan took a few days off for the coming weekend so we could go down to Arkansas to see my Mom & Dad -- we hadn't been there since late April -- and my mom was getting lonely for some "kid" company!  haha.  So I was getting things "handled" with the business, the cat, the house, that we could be gone for a few days - no problem.  She was so excited we were coming -- and that the rest of the gang would be coming down for Thanksgiving!!
Then bam -- a call at 11:30pm the Monday night before the trip - that just knocks you off your feet.  A sucker punch to the stomach! They're doing CPR on your mom and she's being taken to the hospital.  Unreal.  My mom had Parkinson's Disease for a number of years - and was managing that - but over the last 6 months had had numerous little illnesses (unrelated to PD), falls, problems with medication & blood pressure - that left her frustrated more than anything!  She just wanted to feel "good" again - so she could get back to LIFE...get back to her kids & grandkids and traveling the 12 hours to come visit everyone.
I got out of bed and tried to pack -- tried to think -- my sister's and I were getting in the car to make the 12-hour drive... we had to be there for her...we had to see her.  I just couldn't function... I think I packed 5 black sweaters in my bag - and not much else - just shoving stuff in...trying to wrap my head around what was going on.  And a short while later - a call from my brother - that she was gone.  GONE.  Just gone.
I knew in my heart and the logical part of my brain - that she was in a better place - where there was no pain, no ticks from Parkinson's, no medications, no restrictions to her movement, no foggy parts or disconnected memories in her brain, no more doctors poking her every couple days.... and knowing how Parkinson's it progresses & deteriorates... that passing out from low blood pressure and not waking up was a peaceful, painless end that I would have wished for her
but... BUT....
there's always that selfish BUT!
I choose to be THANKFUL and GRATEFUL for the time I did have with her -- for having such a great Mom who was always doing and thinking of others!  Who was always taking in a stray pet, a stray family member...a stray kid...  feeding anybody and everybody with her delicious cooking...making sure everybody was happy and healthy and had everything they needed.  She was kind, loving, generous, supportive...and left us way to soon....and I'll miss her so much!
But I know she'll be with us all (the whole family) -- at Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow (and forever) -- we'll save a seat for you Mom...and some sweet potatoes!  xoxo

Friday, November 22, 2013

another GIVEAWAY - Set of 6 Penny Rug Buttons

Hi Everybody!  I'm in the mood for GIVEAWAYS!!  I guess this is the right season for it huh?  haha.  So.... here's the next one.... and it's RIGHT HERE on my Blog!!!
WHAT YOU WIN?  A set of 6 of my Apple Penny Rug Buttons (from JHB Intl)!
GIVEAWAY!  Set of 6 Apple Penny Rug Buttons designed by Sue Allemand (JHB Intl)
WHO WILL WIN??  THREE (3) winners will be chosen to receive a Set of 6 Buttons!
HOW YOU WIN?  All you need to do is... write what you're GRATEFUL for... below in the comment section!
WHEN YOU'LL WIN IT?  I will pick 3 winners on Sunday 11/24 at Noon (CMT)!  PLEASE make sure I can get ahold of you!  Either check the blog after Noon Sunday for your name - or make sure your posting under your Google Acct, Profile or something so I can notify you!
I'll START:  I'm GRATEFUL for the love, health & happiness of my FAMILY!
What are you GRATEFUL for today??

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Charlie Snow Rubberstamp GIVEAWAY!!

Oops!  I just realized I never posted the GIVEAWAY on my blog - just Facebook!  Here ya go -- HURRY HURRY though - it's the last day!!
***HURRY HURRY!!! LAST DAY... LAST DAY!! Only a few hours left!!! Get your booty on over to my Art Page on Facebook and post your favorite inspirational word - to win one of my Charlie Snow Rubber Stamps!! 3 WINNERS will be chosen at NOON 11/21/13!!! Hurry Hurry!!!
It's GIVEAWAY TIME!!! I have 3 of my licensed Charlie Snow Rubberstamps to give away!! These are no longer in production - so it's probably the last chance to get them! Just comment here with your FAVORITE inspiring word! 3 winners will... be chosen on Thursday at Noon! Oh and while you're there - make sure you hover on LIKED and make sure you check Get Notifications (cuz lots of you are complaining you're not seeing my posts! )
GIVEAWAY!!  HURRY!  Ends 11/21/13 Charlie Snow Rubber Stamp by Sue Allemand

HUGE mini inspirations SALE!

ONE TIME ONLY SALE!!! Now thru Wed. 11/27 ONLY! All MINI INSPIRATIONS Wood-Mounted Art Cards (Christmas & Everyday) are on SALE for only $6 each!! (Reg. $9.50)
  Includes an envelope & FREE SHIPPING in the USA!! No limit! 
These are a GREAT idea for your HOLIDAY Card Giving ~ and they get a decoration for life!
Believe Santa Mini Inspirations Art Card designed by Sue Allemand,
Here's another Christmas/Winter one:
Love & Hope Snowman designed by Sue Allemand for
I'll be making some for our family Christmas card this year! 
Click HERE to check out all the Christmas Designs we offer!
This is what each one looks like on the back!  A place for a sweet To/From & Message - and a stand so they can put it on a shelf, table, etc.
We have LOTS of Everyday Art designs for you to choose from as well!  Click HERE for Everyday Designs!
I have LOTS to tell you and catch up on....hopefully I'll get to another post today to tell you all about what's been happening lately!  But I wanted to tell you all about this GREAT sale - so you can get your Christmas gifts/cards going before Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

busy busy busy

Hi All!  I haven't been posting much lately - I've been busy, busy with orders...developing new product...and getting new class samples finished!  There'll be lots to show soon!
A Joyful Gift Certificates now available!  Great gifts for family, friends, teacher gifts, Secret Santa swaps
In the meantime -- we now have GIFT CERTIFICATES available for purchase at A Joyful Soul!
You choose the Christmas design or the Everyday design - pick the denomination  from $5 to $50 - and we'll issue a giftcode that your recipient can use on the website for awesome jewelry, art prints, tshirts, etc.  OR they can use it to attend an Art Class in San Diego!!  Just check out Art At The Beach for classes & sign-up (new classes will be posted soon)!
What a great gift for your favorite person -- OR tell your hubby to get one for YOU!!  We'll send the giftcard right to your recipient!  OR we'll send it to you, so you can deliver it personally!
I'm working on some cute new ornaments for the Holidays, new small sentiment charms & a fun, TOTALLY personalized jewelry item that I'm calling my "Serendipity Necklace"!  You get to pick and personalize every part - to make it a true "One of a Kind" keepsake!  I can't wait to show you!
Have a great week!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

resin snowman ornaments ~ personalized

HURRY!! Very LIMITED quanitities of my licensed, resin Snowman Family Ornaments left!! I'll personalize them with your family name, or Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays - whatever you wish! Only $5 plus shipping. Email me to get yours - before they're GONESVILLE!! (Note: The quantities left are right on the individual pictures!
Personalized Snowman Family Ornaments by Sue Allemand - Limited Quantities Left!

Monday, October 28, 2013

first "at the beach" class listed!

My first "Art At The Beach" class sign-up has launched!!  I'm so excited to be partnering with Stephanie Ackerman to teach this awesome Mixed Media Vision Board Class!
Mixed Media Vision Board Class with Sue Allemand & Stephanie Ackerman - 2014, San Diego, CA,
It'll be a fun, inspirational morning of chatting and making art ~ at the beach!  You'll be learning some mixed media painting & collage techniques and turn your gorgeous painted canvas into a "vision board" for all your hopes, dreams & ambitions for 2014!!  Saturday, January 18th, 2014.  9am - Noon.  Only $50 ~ includes all supplies & breakfast!
We can't wait to meet you all!
Come see what it's all about ~ and sign up ~ at    We'll be posting other classes and FREE kids classes soon!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

stuffed red pepper soup

It's such a dreary, gray, cold day here in Wisconsin today... so I'm making a pot of my favorite soup - Stuffed Red Pepper!

I found this recipe on the site Tried and Tasty - and I tweaked it a little to suit my spice requirements (haha) - I like it a little more flavorful -- aka spicy.  You will just love this - I've been making it, lately, about once a week - that's how much I LOVE it!  And the entire pot comes out to about 1400 calories TOTAL!  (That's if you make it with lean ground turkey like I do - instead of ground beef).  Let me know if you try it!  Enjoy!

1.25 lb. pkg of Lean Ground Turkey (or 1 lb. ground beef, whichever you prefer)
1 large red bell pepper
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced (or use the pre-minced in a jar)
2 cans (14.5 oz. ea) diced tomatoes with onion & green pepper (or plain)
1 can (14.5 oz.) tomato sauce
2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
2 tsp. Dried Marjoram
1/2 tsp. Celery Salt
Salt & Pepper to taste (I like lots of pepper)
3 cups brown rice (prepared)

In a large pot, brown the ground turkey (beef).  Drain fat if any.  Reduce heat to medium and add diced red pepper, onions & garlic.  Cook until softened.  Add salt to taste.

While the meat mixture is cooking - take a soup pot and add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, marjoram, celery salt and salt & pepper to taste.  Cover and simmer on low heat.  Add the meat mixture to the soup, when the veggies are soft.  Continue to cook on low til heated through.

Make brown rice in another pot.  When soup is heated through - serve up in a bowl and add 1/2 c. of cooked brown rice to the top.

YUM!!!  I also want to try this with cooked cabbage instead of the rice!  :)  I hope it warms your tummy!!


Friday, October 11, 2013

limitless possibility ~

Follow Your Heart Art Print by Sue Allemand 2013. Available at
Print Available HERE
“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”
- Patanjali

This is exactly how I feel lately!!  I read this quote today, on a daily inspirational email I get called The Daily Love and was immediately blown away!  YES!!  That's how it truly feels!!  I've just never been able to explain it before!  Writing and being able to adequately express my thoughts and feelings are not my thing - but I'm trying and learning.  So when a quote comes along that perfectly depicts the way I'm feeling - a big sense of "somebody understands" comes over me!
It's no surprise then, that I'm a big QUOTE lover!  I have notebooks and notebooks full of quotes and sayings -- whenever I come across one I LOVE, I have to stop whatever I'm doing and get it written in my book before I lose it or forget!  :)
Anyway, back to the ah-ha moment..... I've been so excited and passionate about my new business direction (actually 3 different businesses - but who's counting - ha!) lately that I've been headlong into it from sun up to sun down -- having to remind myself to eat -- just one thought and idea after another... busy making art, making products, doing research, getting things ready... and dreaming new pie in the sky dreams!  I DO find myself in a "new, great, and wonderful world" like the quote says!  No limits, no judgements, no fears - just lots of possibilities and directions!  Each new idea expands to include more and more!  I feel so alive!  Like I just want to do it ALL!  I want to make art, sell art, teach people how to make art, show kids that they can be themselves through art, that you can relax and be happy and be still with yourself - through art...and through community and nature and positivity!
I'm following my HEART!  And my heart says -- GO!  DO IT!!  BE YOU!!  SHARE YOU!

It's so great to have this feeling again -- after 20 something years!  I didn't think I'd find a purpose and passion, like this, for something again.  I thought I was getting too old to be this tireless and excited about working this hard again!  Where the heck did that come from??  haha.  Building a whole new customer base - finding my "people" - doing shows again - teaching again - manufacturing again.... it's a whole new world!!  EXACTLY!


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

artist donating royalties to Quilts for Kids

Sue Zipkin Sea Shanty Fabric Collection by Clothworks, donated proceeds to Quilts for Kids
How GORGEOUS and cute is this fabric collection by my artist friend, Sue Zipkin!!  This is her Sea Shanty Collection by Clothworks -- and she's donating 100% of her royalties to the charity, Quilts for Kids!!
Her collection will hit the fabric stores in February 2014 ~ so if you'd like to help, please go out and purchase some ~ and you could even make a quilt for a kid yourself!  (Ooooh - wouldn't this make an adorable beach blanket or beachy tote bag??)  If you'd like, you could donate directly to Quilts for Kids and find out more about the organization here!
I just love the bright colors - and of course, you know I ADORE the theme!  I'll be getting some for sure!  Thanks so much Sue for creating such beautiful fabric ~ and for donating to a wonderful cause!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

breast cancer awareness month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month -- if you didn't all the PINK everywhere!  haha  We, as a family, do walks, rides and golf outings for the CURE!  But to "give back" as a company -- we're donating 10% of our GROSS SALES of any "Choose HOPE" merchandise (tshirts, necklace charms, etc.) to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation!
Choose Hope screenprinted t-shirt by A Joyful - $18
Handmade Soldered Charm Pendant by A Joyful - $24
So show support to your friends and family who are going through this trying time - by wearing your PINK - and donating!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

halloween is coming....yay

Yay!  I really LOVE Halloween - and passing out candy to all the cute kiddies in their costumes!!  And I'm even MORE excited this year - because they FINALLY moved Trick or Treating back to Halloween (Oct. 31st) like it should be (instead of the Sunday before)!!  So excited!!
tomato cage ghosts, outdoor decor, Halloween
I just sent my husband to the hardware/garden store to see if he can find some tomato cages to make a version of these cute ghosties!!  When treating was on Sundays - it was always during the day - so no fun, light-up stuff could be seen!!  (This picture was found on Google since I couldn't find the one I took years ago - no attribution was named).  It's so eash - just wrap a bunch of mini lights all over a tomato cage... drape a white sheet or cheesecloth over it...and add felt eyes & nose! 
And - how cool is this DIY Pumpkin Chalkboard Word Search I found on!
DIY Chalkboard Pumpkin Word Search fun for Halloween parties
How cool would this be for a Halloween party!  Make a few and have your guests circle words while your chatting around the table!  Find complete instructions HERE!
And I even got my own pumpkin!  (Yep - my kids a grown and don't live at home anymore -- but can't a girl have a little fun?)  I'm not gonna carve it -- those days are over -- too messy when you don't have to do it for the kids -- and there's that OCD thing.  Just thinking about that ooey, gooey mess on my hands makes me shiver!  haha    Nope - I'm gonna paint the face - just have to think of a design I want!  But isn't this the PERFECT pumpkin shape??
I saw it at the grocery store -- and just HAD to have it!  My husband was a couple aisles away grabbing some bread -- and when he came back I had this HUGE pumpkin sitting in the child seat of the cart...with a BIG smile on my face!  haha  He said, "Where did that guy come from??"  I just giggled!  Now I just have to figure out what I'm gonna do to transform him!  So many ideas!!!
Oh - and did I tell you??  My cat, Juan Carlos, is gonna be a BAT!!!  We have his costume and have been training him to keep it on for longer periods of time!  Seems to be going pretty well!  He doesn't mind the hat so much -- the wings are taking a little longer, as they squeeze his midsection a little and I don't think he likes it much.  haha  But we're making progress -- only 29 days til Halloween!!
What fun things are you going to do??  With or without children....

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

losing my center

Do you ever get the feeling that you're on a gigantic rollercoaster ride in your filled with activity and to-do lists a mile long and NOISE???  Everything is going so fast, and has to be done "yesterday" - that you get to a point where you feel like you can't breathe??
That's how I've been feeling lately - but I was too busy and moving too fast to realize just what the problem was - until yesterday!  haha   I've been working from sun up to sun down -- never getting everything done what I wanted to get done that day -- haven't "had time" to exercise (that was my excuse anyway...I'll do it after this or after that...which never came) -- haven't been eating right (just grabbing whatever I can, when I'm absolutely STARVING, because I forgot to eat all day) -- not being able to sleep at night because I can't shut my brain off (it's still going at hyper-daytime speed!), so I'm perpetually tired...
until I couldn't take it anymore!  I literally yelled -- "Let me off this ride!!!"
I just stopped everything I was doing... turned everything my running shoes on and said to Dan - "I'm going for a walk!  Wanna come??"  And OH did it feel good!  I could BREATHE - I could smell the crisp air, watch the geese making their way South for the winter, see the leaves starting to turn on the trees (Holy cow - when did that start happening - I think I missed the whole summer!).... and have a nice discussion with my husband about how "OFF" I felt!  (He's a good sounding board!)
I'm a big meditation, self-seeker, "live in the moment" type girl -- and I had LOST it!  Lost my center - my balance - my peace.  I couldn't shut my mind off during meditations. When the 15 - 20 minutes were over, I felt like I hadn't done it at all!  All the things I had to do - or ideas for new products - or design & website ideas - or worrying about my sick mom or a million other things... would be popping into my head... I couldn't clear my mind and concentrate on my breathing for even 15 minutes!
Building a new business, selling an old one, passionate about painting again (in a whole new direction) - Mom in the hospital - Niece broke her arm (Poor Raven) - worrying about the futures of my kids - numerous people in my life getting sick and having life-threatening issues - house is a mess - orders to fill............ it was like a perfect storm.... everything happening at once!  But I think I realized it in time!   I can definitely see now, how people can have nervous breakdowns, without even realizing it, until it's on top of them!
That's what my new business, A Joyful Soul, is all about!  Live Happy, Be Joyful, Live in the Moment, Be Grateful... it's time to get back to practicing what I preach!  And that AWESOME walk was the start of it!  An hour and a half to ourselves - observing nature - talking - breathing deep... and drawing hearts on the sidewalk with a rock (like I used to do when we were kids)!
I'm gonna get back into my routines -- I need them!  Exercise, Eat Healthy, Drink my Water, Get some Sun (good old Vitamin D), Meditate, and take some time to relax and sit in the quiet and Be Grateful!  My Art & My Work is a fun, happy, passionate thing for me -- and I need to keep it that way!!  Quit stressing... Think Positive... Enjoy the Journey!  All the cliché's -- THEY'RE TRUE!!
  If you feel things closing in on you - that you're life is too busy - and you're not taking the time for yourself....please...STOP!  It's ok -- things won't fall apart if they don't get done right this second!  Find JOY in the things you do... if there is no JOY, then don't do it!  (Yeah I know - not much JOY in doing housework or whatever chore you have to do...but the JOY comes from being able to sit and relax in a clean house, from the end result!  :)  Simplify your days so you can take that much needed time for yourself - get your exercise in - make healthy meals for your family - get some sleep!  I promise you'll feel so much better!  I absolutely do!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

lazy Sundays and Pinterest

How peaceful and serene is this sitting room?  I just want to transport myself there right now!
Although Sundays are still working days for me -- I do try to spend a little time each Sunday afternoon, browsing on my guilty pleasure - Pinterest!  You can follow me HERE if you'd like!  It's my relaxation, my dream state, my meditation for the day!  :)
I get my color inspiration here... the gorgeous pictures calm me, inspire me, and entice me!  It's the WORLD at my fingertips!  Gorgeous places I've never been (but would love to go), delicious-looking foods I'd like to try, beautiful art studios I'd LOVE to work in, easy tutorials on everything I'd always wanted to learn... it's all reading a good book!
A FEAST for the eyes and the brain!  haha   I can lose myself for hours - down the rabbit-hole - and I LOVE every minute of it!  It takes my mind off the million things I have to do and relaxes my soul!  Thank you Pinterest!!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

an ending and new beginnings ~

Well.... I was going to post some more links to FREEBIE's a few days ago....but lots of things just happened really quickly!  My life was FULL.... TOO full... FULL to overflowing -- and I was being overwhelmed by my own desire to do a million things at once!  I guess that's the way of my overachiever brain...I've always been that way...and it's the way I've always been the most happy!  I don't like being bored.  I'm a multi-tasker to the extreme!  I like waking up excited to see what I'm going to create that day - eager to see how things on my table turn out, that I just want to jump up and get going!
Hand-soldered art charms with inspirational messages by A Joyful
Many of you know that I've been in the middle of rebranding my business for the last year or so.  I still loved doing pattern designing, magazines, licensing, etc.... but I was getting bored... everything started looking the same to me... my tastes changed... my aesthetic changed... I wanted to PLAY!  I didn't want to write down directions for everything that I created - I didn't want to only use easy processes that I could explain in a few line instructions.  So I didn't!!  I started playing with my paints... not planning anything out... not having a commission to do....not having a deadline... and I LOVED IT!!  That's what I needed to refresh myself, my business, and take myself into the next 20 years of my life!  :)
During my "play time" - I was still doing all my pattern and design work - trying to keep all the balls in the air on one side, while thinking and dreaming about the new direction and trying to get that started on the other side!  That was enough balls in the air....and I was keeping up...satisfying both my customers and me.  But then I started dreaming BIGGER!!  Uncontrollable dreaming - while I was sleeping - about a BIGGER purpose... a BIGGER direction.  The dreaming kept going and expanding -- so much so -- that most of my days were spent in the planning and manifesting of my  new vision.  I was swept away with a new passion, a new drive and a new business - A Joyful Soul!
A business where I could do my art...happy art...joyful art.  To only do that which makes me happy and peaceful.  And maybe I could invite some friends who make happy art - to license with me - and together we could spread joy and happiness all over the world.... while living a happy life ourselves!  I wanted everyone to see a little piece of art, a little joyful message - on art, on apparel, on cards, on jewelry, on car stickers, on tattoos.... everywhere people look... I want to spread an uplifting message that maybe gets them to smile - maybe gets them to see the wondrous beauty that life is - maybe gets them to realize what is really important.... and to just BREATHE and LOVE and be HAPPY!
Uh - I could just go on and on and on about my vision - but that's what PASSION does for you!  haha.  Some may say I'm sounding a little "hippie dippy" -- yeah well...maybe I am!  But I believe in it... I believe in the power to help people with just a little phrase, a little joyful color, a little kindness!  I DO!
That's what happened to my time and attention too -- it got swallowed up in the passion of my new business and production -- (oh and ANOTHER new endeavor I dreamed up the other day - "Art At The Beach" - where I'll be teaching and sharing art with kids and adults on the beaches of San Diego this winter - more on that another time *wink*)  that I felt like my brain was going to implode!  YES -- I finally reached that multi-tasker breaking point!  haha    "Hi - my name is Sue Allemand - and I admit that I can't do it ALL!"  haha.  And I wasn't doing justice to the pattern business.  People were asking for new designs... magazines were asking for new projects... licensing was asking for new artwork that fit in the categories they needed to fit the trends.... but I felt NO desire to do any of it!  Don't you feel that way too? -- that if it's not something you want to do or are excited to do -- it's a struggle, it takes forever to do, and it sucks all the joy out of the thing you were suppose to LOVE to do!
So, although I loved designing for the craft industry and helping people make items that would sell at shows and online, so they could help support their families - it was time to move on - time to devote 100% of my energies to A Joyful Soul and what may come next!  Time to pass the pattern business on to someone who's passion it is to take my patterns, add them to their design business, and build something bigger for the future!   And I'm so happy I found someone -- and REALLY QUICKLY!!  haha    This is how quick - It came to my mind - to sell the pattern business (Palette Primitives) - I put together a sheet on what it would entail and include - and put it out into the universe.... well...Facebook (that's kinda the same right?) - haha!  And within a few days - I had the perfect buyer!  She's AWESOME!  And we'll be announcing her in a couple weeks! 
In the meantime, I want to THANK all my customers, vendors, editors, publishers, manufacturers, and shop owners for your support and inspiration over the last 20 years!  I hope to continue to do business with you in the future - and spread a little more JOY around the world!  Here's to what's NEXT!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

my Fall FREEBIE pattern round-up

Since Fall is here - and I've been changing blogs, websites, etc.  I thought I'd do a roundup of all my FREE Fall patterns available for you to download!!  There's a BUNCH!!  So I might do this in 2 posts!  :)  Here we start....
FREE Crow and Pumpkin Framed Woolfelt Appliques Pattern
FALL FRAMED APPLIQUES - woolfelt & linen - Click here to download:
FREE Americana Pumpkin Stitchery pattern
FREE Autumn Leaves Table Runner Pattern, stitchery, applique, quilting
AUTUMN LEAVES TABLE RUNNER -  Learn some stitchery, applique and quilting!
Click here to download:
FALL FOLKART BUCKETS - Painting pattern!
Click here to download:
Okie dokie -- you can get started on these and I'll be back tomorrow with more links!  :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

testing DecoArt Ultra Frost

Wow it was a gorgeous day today!!  No humidity!  Great temperature!  Lots of sun!!  Mmmm - the air smells so good!  I hope it's great where you are!
I set out the day working in the studio - and wanted to test out etching some glass gems - to see if they would look like sea glass when they were done!  Sea glass you find at the shore is so irregular on the sides and I wanted to be able to solder some into a jewelry piece - so I set out to find my etching cream!  After an hour of hunting through my drawers and shelves - the heck of I could find it!
So - I remembered I had gotten some DecoArt Ultra Frost paint in one of my shipments from DecoArt and it was sitting right there on the shelf - begging to be tried!
I can't seem to find the White Ultra Frost on their website anymore -- I think they changed it out for the Frost Gloss Enamels which sounds like the same formula and I'm sure would work the same!  They also have a Frost WRITER that you could draw or write with - and that area would look like frost!  So cool -- I'll have to try some Christmas projects with that!
Anyway - I used the Ultra Frost I had - applied one coat to each of the gems with a clean brush - and let it dry on the paper towel.  These are my results:
I LOVE how they turned out!  They really do look like sea glass!!  A couple TIPS:  Make sure you only apply to one side - let it dry - then you can do the back if you wish.  If you try to do it all at once - it will stick to whatever it's drying on (paper towel, wax paper, etc.)  Second - I just dabbed the paint on with a brush - but you could also use a makeup sponge!
On the oval ones in the first picture - I just painted the frost on the backs for right now - I wanted the color of the glass to really show and that helped it not be so transparent...but I couldn't really get a good picture of it - so I didn't post it.
So - give it a try!  It's so easy and you don't even need gloves like you do with etching cream!  Oh and for those of you wanting to use this on glasses - you just let it dry 7 days and you'll be able to lightly wash over the frost with mild soap!  You can bake them in the oven for added durability.  Please read the instructions on the bottle!
Just thought you'd like to know....

Monday, September 2, 2013

country to coastal - cabinet re-do tutorial

home decor, decorative painting tutorial, furniture makeover, vintage look, Sue Allemand Art
This cabinet was made by a friend of mine - using a Wooden Nail Chimney Cupboard pattern - many years ago!  And at the time - I was really into the primitive, country look - in art and in decorating.  But I've moved on -- and now I'm TOTALLY head-over-heels into what I call Coastal Vintage!  Might have something to do with moving to San Diego   - ya think??  The funny thing is -- this is in my house in Wisconsin!!  haha
Anyway - this was the last vestige of country primitive in my house - and it was time to transform it into the new, awesome, coastal piece that I envisioned in my head!  So here you go... step by step... how to transform ANY furniture find into a weathered, vintage look, beauty!  (NOTE:  Just click on the pics to open a larger image!)
decorative painting, mixed media, home decor, how-to, furniture tutorial, Sue Allemand
 Step 1:  Get out your AWESOME DecoArt Patio Paints - I used Coastal Surf and Desert Turquoise.  (If your furniture is bare wood - or you'd like a darker basecoat than what's on it - paint it the color you like first.  Mine was already deep red and tan - so I went with those - I want them to show through when I sand the piece.)
Step 2:  Randomly paint your 2 colors all over the piece.  Just slip slap it on - all over - leaving some of the basecoat showing.  Let dry.
Step 3:  Get out a jar of Petroleum Jelly!!  This is your secret weapon!!
Step 4:  Rub the petroleum jelly onto your piece wherever you want your undercoat colors to show through!  The petroleum jelly stop the topcoat from sticking - and will make it easier to sand off those sections!  Rub it wherever you think "wear" would be on your piece - edges, molding highspots, etc.  You can even apply a little to the middle sections of the sides or where boards connect!
Step 5:  Scrunch up a white or clear plastic bag in your hand.  Dip into white paint (I used regular wall paint I had used in the kitchen) - and smush (that's a technical term - hehe) and dab the paint onto the cupboard until the entire thing is covered.  Yes - you are going OVER the petroleum jelly sections too.  If you're paint is a little thick - you can add a little water to make it more moveable. (Note:  I painted over the hinges too, cuz I wanted them to blend in with the cabinet instead of standing-out.)  TIP:  You might want to use a glove for this - or your nails will get full of dried paint!  :)
Let it dry completely.  Be patient.... go to the beach, relax, have a cocktail...
Did you touch it -- does it feel cold??  If it feels cold - it's not completely dry yet.
The reason you want it completely dry is the sanding part is next - and you don't want it coming off in chunks or to peel!
OK - You've waited long enough - let's keep going....
Now - I didn't get a picture of this - but... 
Step 6:  Get a paper towel, or a piece of old nubby rag and rub all over the cabinet!!  This will take off the paint in any of the sections you covered in petroleum jelly!  Honest - it'll just rub right off!  How cool is that??
This is what it looks like after the rubdown!!  :)
Step 7:  Get out your palm sander - if you have one - otherwise you can just use some medium grit sandpaper and some elbow grease!  :)  Sand the edges of the cabinet, the door, the molding, the closure thingy (Idk what that thing is called - hehe), and randomly around the centers of the sides, and the front.  The door of mine is made of 3 boards - so I sanded the edges where the boards come together.
Step 8:  Create depth & texture.  Tools - bubble wrap and DecoArt Americana Paint - Asphaltum (or any dark brown color).  Pour out some paint onto a paint palette or waxed paper and dip the bubble wrap in it to lightly coat.  Press the bubble wrap all over the cabinet in small, random sections. 
Step 9:  More texture.  Tools - old credit card or one of those fake cards you get in the mail and some more DecoArt -Coastal Surf Patio Paint.  Squeeze paint onto palette in a straight line.  Dip and drag the card into the paint. Then lightly drag the card over random sections of the cabinet! 
Step 10:  Even MORE texture.  Using the same credit card and the DecoArt Desert Turquoise paint - dip the card edge into the paint, then tap the edge in vertical and horizontal directions randomly over the cabinet.  You can also do a few of the "dip and drag" (like Step 9) if you see you have bare sections on the cabinet - step back and take a look at all sides to make sure you have an equal coating all over the front and sides.
Step 11:  Finishing with the white coat cover-up.  Tools:  A bristly brush (any size is fine) and the same white paint you used for the intial white coat.  Dip bristle brush into paint and lightly (so that you see the brush bristles) over all of the "texturized" sections to knock down the color a little!  Do this over the entire cabinet, staying away from the sanded edges if you can.  Let dry completely.  TIP:  Keep a baby wipe handy to wipe off any sections you don't like - or that you get on a sanded section!
Step 12:  You can seal your finished piece if you wish!  I used Minwax Clear Paste Wax on mine!  This protects and seals the paint and the wood without giving a "shine" to it!  I LOVE paste wax.  Just use a soft cloth - rub it on all over your piece - then get a clean cloth and buff it til there's just a thin, light layer all over!
I just LOVE LOVE LOVE how this cabinet turned out!!  It's definitely one piece that I can't wait to see in our new place in San Diego - when we get to finally move there for good!!!  :)  I told Dan I think the ocean view will definitely bring out the blues in the piece!  :)  A girl can dream for an ocean view right??