Friday, May 31, 2013

day 13 ~ bloglove ~ 100 things in 100 days

I think I told you, a few days ago, that I'm reading The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau.  It's an awesome book and I highly recommend it!!  Anyway - in the chapter "Radical Exclusion and the Quest for Abundance" - he talks about a writer, David Bruno, who decided to pare down his belongings and live with only 100 items!  He was concerned with what he viewed as excessive consumerism - and it's affect in his own life. 
I could NEVER - least not at this point in my life...pare down my belongings to only 100 things!  Chris decided he couldn't either - so he made his own challenge - get rid of 5 things a day for at least one month.  He could either give them away or throw them out - didn't matter - just get rid of 5 things a day.  The more he got rid of, the more he was able to concentrate on his work and enjoy his other activities - free of all that clutter!
Well - I decided to make up my own challenge as well - get rid of 100 things in 100 days!  Starting today - I'm going through everything in this house - and purge!!  There will be donations, there will be garbage - but most of all...there will be less unneeded "stuff" in this house!   Multiples of things like books or paints will count as 1 item for the whole group -- or I'd be DONE today!  haha
Here's my first item - 140 bottles of paint (pic shows only half)!  I'm giving these to a recent Art Student Graduate who is a friend of my daughter's - this should keep her going for awhile!  :) 
I'm not a big "clutter" person anyway.  I like clean and sparse!  haha  But lately it seems like we've been accumulating more stuff - and things are piled and stashed everywhere!  It's driving me nuts!  Especially now that the kids are gone - there's no need for a lot of this junk anymore!!  So it's time - and I'm so ready - to clean out every inch of this house!!  Less clutter means less cleaning - which means more time for painting and fun activities!!
I also cleaned out a whole corner of my studio today -- 8 more pieces for donation here -- plus 6 more from the linen closet!  I had numerous things I threw in the trash - but when it comes to the studio - that could be almost anything, so I didn't count the trash in my number for today!
Or maybe I should only count the items that are still useful to somebody - that I donate or giveaway - hmmm.... I don't know... I'll have to think about it.  But so far, on DAY 1 of the "radical exclusion" - haha - I'm doing pretty well!  15 items! 
Who knows - after 100 - maybe I'll try another 100!  My husband has already asked if he will "find things missing" or if he can just willingly give up stuff!  haha   We'll have to see.... there ARE a few things I would like to see go bye-bye from his closet!  :)
Are YOU up for a challenge like this??

Thursday, May 30, 2013

day 12 ~ bloglove ~ island cowgirl yippee!

Last Friday, the girls and I drove the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway - such a beautiful scenic drive we LOVE to take at least once a year) up to Huntington Beach to visit the awesome jewelry shop, Island Cowgirl!! 

I LOVE Heather's jewelry!  So artsy, imperfect, and handcrafted -- each piece looks like it was made "just for you"!!

Her cute little shop is located right on Main St. in Huntington Beach - straight down from the big pier!  Here's some pics of the inside:

I told the girls to each pick out a ring, for a keepsake from our trip!  These are the rings we chose: 

This one is mine!  The Triple Love Ring!  I just love it - it fits so snugly around my finger - like it was made especially for that finger!!

This is Lindsey's!  The Waves of Love Ring!  It has a heart, a sun and etched waves - for my dive girl!  The words "waves of love" are etched on the inside!

And this is Makayla's!  The Big Faith Ring!  It's pretty big and sits further down on her hand!  She LOVES the bigness of it - with the heart in the center!

We chatted about how much we loved the jewelry -- and so does a cousin of ours (Sherry Iaffaldano) - she's purchased soooo many pieces online - and even sent a picture of herself in to them that made it onto their blog!  They were so thrilled to hear of her island cowgirl jewelry obsession!  :)

We had such a nice day - the girls and I!  After shopping, we made our way down to the pier and the beach.... sooooo many people - and it wasn't even the weekend yet!  Memorial Day was coming up and we knew it would be so crowded Saturday, Sunday and Monday - that we went up there on Friday -- I'm glad we did!  Even wandered around a craft show a bit! 

Huntington is such a beautiful place!  If you get a chance to go there or to drive up (or down) the PCH - do so!!  The ocean views are gorgeous!!!  And don't forget to have some lunch at Rosie's Diner on the end of the pier!!  :)  YUMMY burgers!!



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

day 11 ~ bloglove ~ so thankful

WW II Statue, Seaport Village, San Diego, California
What a beautiful day to walk along the Embarcadero in Seaport Village - Memorial Day - seeing 5 Navy ships parked across the bay at Coronado Island... knowing that for today... those men who work those ships...are HOME with their families...enjoying picnics...remembering those who died doing exactly what THEY do everyday...and being thankful for all that we have! 
It was such a glorious morning -- and I LOVE this walk!  I used to walk this route every morning when I lived downtown -- watching the fishing boats leave for the day -- saying hi to the shopkeepers sweeping the walks and opening their stores for the day -- and I would walk around "Kissing" Statue and head back home. 
Well - a year or so ago... that HUGE statue was taken away.  It was suppose to be an art installation that would only be here a short while and then travel the country.  But being right here - in the heart of  & Marine country... next to the USS Midway Museum and across the bay from the Naval Station at ended up being here for many years and had become worn and decayed.  People tried to raise money to save it and have it restored - to no avail.  :(
I thought that was the end of the awesome statue of the Navy man kissing the WAC Nurse - so sad - but I travel back and forth to Wisconsin so much that I didn't find out.... until yesterday...when I made my walk -- that that beautiful statue was replaced!!  It no longer stands HIGH above the trees like the old one did -- but it's still HUGE all the same!  And it caught my heart and my breath for a minute!  It's fully colored now - with a few added touches that I either didn't notice on the other statue - or the artist added for detail!!  It's gorgeous!  Red roses in her hand, the seams down the back of her nylons, etc.  I just LOVE it!! 
THANK YOU to all the people who's names are on the plaques leading up to the statue, who donated to bring back this piece of US nostalgia for everyone to see and photograph!  It's AMAZING!  And one of the many reasons I LOVE San Diego - you know what makes a city great - the history & preserving these beautiful art pieces and buildings and landmarks that make this city spectacular!
P.S.  If you find yourself down at the San Diego Seaport Village Embarcadero - strolling along toward the USS Midway -  come take your picture with the "Kissing Statue" (that's what I call it - haha) and don't forget to check out the Bob Hope Memorial around the side of the Fish Market (push the button to hear one of Bob's performances to the troups)!  So cool!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

day 10 ~ bloglove ~ is not so LOVEd lately

Bad - bad girl!  Haha.  I guess trying to blog while I'm on vacation is not an easy thing to do!  A lot of days we'd be gone from morning til night, and by the time we rolled in... I was too tired to even turn on the computer!  But having fun and loving life is the main thing right??
I'm a few days behind - but that's ok!  I forgive myself!  :)
Anyway ~ we've had an awesome couple days ~ and I WILL post about them as soon as I get the pics downloaded!  For now, I'll leave you with an awesomely fun thing to do here in San Diego -- bonfires on the beach!!  There are firepits that are maintained through the awesome & generous benefactors who continue to keep them open through their donations!  I wish we had them in Wisconsin - but like so many other things there.... I'm sure they'd find a safety issue that would ban their use!
But here - you can bring your own wood, paper, etc...and have a wonderful, peaceful, winding down of the day!  LOVE!! 
San Diego, California

Thursday, May 23, 2013

day 9 ~ bloglove ~ my absolute favorite place....

Welcome - everybody - to my absolute FAVORITE place in the world!!  Watching the harbor seals and sea lions in LaJolla, California!!  I could sit and watch them ALL day -- and I HAVE!!!  haha
La Jolla, California
Yep - these are all harbor seals on the beach!  There's a ton there now because it's just past pupping season and lots of these are babies not yet ready to leave mama!  They're so adorable to watch right after they're born -- just like little kids -- they don't wanna listen and do what the mama seals want them too!  They wanna swim and play all day!!  Not lay on the beach and sleep! 
A short walk from here - the sea lions are sleeping on top of each other on the rocks!
Sooooo adorable!!
And I LOVE my pelicans too!
I could spend days and weeks and months - just listening to the waves and watching the animals!  Even the seagulls!  haha  This is where my soul feels like it belongs!  By the ocean....
I AM HOME!  :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

day 8 ~ bloglove ~ coronado island

What a beautiful day today!  Hope you all had a lovely one too!  Went to Coronado Island and sat watching the surfers ride some pretty big waves!  Lot of young ones - like 12 - 15 year olds -- so amazing!  I could sit and listen to the ocean, watch the surfers and people-watch all day!  :) 
Look at this cool sandcastle we found - they must have had a convention for Dickies at the Hotel Del or something!
I love the Hotel Del - such cool architecture!  Such history!
I LOVE this little gift shop that's right inside the door (ugh - I can't think of the name now!  Something and Story  )- they always have the neatest art and gift products! 
And they have THE YUMMIEST truffles!!  And so many varieties!  They're always a nice little treat!  I had the Black Forest Truffle - Lindsey had a Champagne Truffle and Makayla had a Dark Raspberry Truffle!  So so good!!!
Another lovely day in paradise!  Going to LaJolla tomorrow to visit my seals and sealions...and lounge in the sun!  And tomorrow is the big TATTOO day!  Yikes!  Gettin' a little skeered - haha!  My first tattoo -- a sea star!  Not TOO big so I should be good!  haha
Til tomorrow,

day 7 ~ bloglove ~ taco tuesday & margaritas

Sorry ~ didn't get time to post yesterday before I fell asleep ~ I was dog tired!  Left for the airport at 3:30am - with no sleep the night before... so we were dragging when we got to San Diego!  We got some beach time in though and then it was Taco Tuesday time at Fred's in downtown!  So yummy!
Lots of fun girl time - and hilarious girl talk!  People were laughing at us laughing!  So fun!
Here's the girls (Lindsey & Makayla) with their humungous margaritas!   Yep - that's my strawberry one toward the front!  :)
I'll do another post later ~ to make up for missing yesterday!  ;)  Let's see what relaxing mischief we can get into today!  haha
P.S.  The weather is beautiful!!!  I could actually sleep all day in the shade ~ with these ocean breezes wafting over me! 

Monday, May 20, 2013

day 6 ~ bloglove ~ vacay time!

Ugh it's so humid today in Wisconsin!  We're waiting for a big storm that was suppose to come last night...that they changed to this morning...that they changed to 3pm -- it is now 5pm and still no sign of that big thunderstorm!  I'm not complaining - except for the fact that I'll be driving to the airport at 3:30am for a 5:50am flight to San Diego... so IF it's gonna come - it better come soon!  I don't wanna be flying in lightening - thank you very much!
beautiful San Diego, California, San Diego Bay
But I can't wait to get to my "HAPPY PLACE"!  And to have a nice week with the girls!  It'll be so nice to get some relaxing time by the ocean - hearing those waves, smelling that air -- that's where my soul wants to be!
Pacific Ocean, LaJolla Cove Beach
I'll be posting pics - and sharing my favorite spots and our adventures with all of you!  I love showing people around my FAVORITE place in the world!  Hey my gorgeous pelicans and seals - momma's comin' home!  haha  See you soon!
Have a great week everybody!  And stay safe from all the storms around the country!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

day 5 ~ bloglove ~ for the love of tulips

Happy Sunday Everybody!!  It's a gorgeous day out today!!  Hubby is gone on the Chocolate City - 40 mile Bike Ride (Burlington, WI) - the breeze is gently blowing through the windows - and I'm enjoying the quiet and getting some work done!
I also LOVE the view of my multi-colors of tulips out my window -- such beautiful color inspiration!  I only wish tulips lasted all year!
Sue Allemand, garden, perennials
I am NOT a gardener -- I HATE getting my hands dirty!!  Actually it's the dried on, chalky feel on my hands that I hate!  I even seem to get it on me when I wear gardening gloves - it always seeps through!  I guess maybe I could handle it if I wore those yellow rubber dishwashing gloves or something.  haha   But it's still not my pastime of choice....I'd rather be painting or sewing or drawing...
So, I do the least out there that I HAVE to!  Cuz - I DO like it to look nice!  haha   That means that I only plant perennials!!  And perennials for Zone 10 (a.k.a. the Frozen Tundra) are seriously limited - at least for anything with color!   So I plant tulips!  Lots and lots of tulips!!  My favorite flower!  I found some bulbs, last winter, for awesome bright orange ones - so I have like 100 more to plant! 
Dan hates yard work as well... so we're stuck!  Unless we move to an apartment where we wouldn't have to do ANYTHING!  I LOVE our apartment in San Diego - we're on the first floor so I can look out the windows and see the Bird Of Paradise bushes and the palms and pretty succulents the gardeners lovingly tend... and I don't have to touch the dirt myself!  :)  The apartments in Wisconsin don't seem to get the same gardener/landscaping attention though....  Sad!
This is the courtyard out my front door -- I can't find a pic of my "birds"!  haha  Birds of Paradise -- I'll have to take some more -- they draw all the hummingbirds in the summertime!  It's so fun to watch while I'm painting at my desk!  :)
So... to pay homage to my favorite flower - I thought I'd post about them today - before they're gone for the season.  I'm leaving for San Diego in a couple days - and I'm betting they will be gone when I come back at the end of the month.  :(   Thank you tulips - for brightening my Spring days!  And smelling like raspberries!  I will miss you until next year!
Ta ta,

Saturday, May 18, 2013

day 4 ~ bloglove ~ blossoming creativity

We had the fun pleasure of going to see our daughter's friend, Elizabeth Rhode, feature her art pieces at the Senior Adjudication Art Gallery Show for UW-Whitewater yesterday!
arts, graduate

What fun ~ to see her so excited about graduating and finding out where LIFE and her new art degree were going to take her!  The whole wide world of art, graphics and design is open to her and I know she's eager and ready to create for HERSELF - and not just for an assignment with teacher-given parameters and techniques!  (Yep Liz, it's time to PLAY!!!!)
Elizabeth Rhode, BS Arts Degree, Found Objects Lamp
I just LOVE this Found Objects Lamp she made from some rusty metal pipe, a cogwheel, patina green pipe, and a wheel frame!  So cool and rustic - you'd have to see it in person! 

I'm SOoooo in LOVE with her giraffe - with the girl dancing behind!  Such a wonderful painting piece!  This was my absolute FAVORITE of the show!
I remember Liz and my daughter, Lindsey, when they were young ~ best friends ~ having such FUN taking art classes up north on vacation, doing little projects to bring to swim meets and races to cheer on their friends, using all my art supplies to decorate their rooms or to "try out" an idea..... and then...Elizabeth's first big LOVE of art class in highschool where the lightbulb not only "blinked" on but was like a BRIGHT BLINDING LIGHT ~ showing her to her career path!   Those two friends have done what they set out to do for their careers ~ and we're so proud of them both ~ it brings tears to my eyes... to see what great, strong, creative women they've become!
Thanks so much Elizabeth - for showing us around and explaining your pieces!  We had a great time and wish you all the BEST with the tons of job applications you've been putting in!  ANY company would be grateful to have you - but we know you'll find one that is JUST the right fit! 
Sue & Dan (and Lindsey too - she wished she could come!  :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

day 3 ~ bloglove~ my husband the nutbar

Whew!  It's been a long day!  We drove out to UW-Whitewater (about 1 1/2 hours away) today to view a good friend of my daughter's Senior Adjudication Art Gallery Show!  I'll post on that tomorrow - with pics!  :)  We went to the meat market on the way home, ran a few errands, and home to work on some cushions I'm making for my mom's fireplace hearth - ugh my back!!  The cushions are 5 feet long each so I had to lay out the fabric and foam on the floor to cut and pin - man, I haven't done that in years, and I'll be SORE for it tomorrow!  But they're all cut, pinned and ready to sew in the morning!  :)
All that - to tell you that I'm running late on this blog post (it's 8:35pm) - but I'm determined to keep my commitment of EVERY day for 30 days - so instead of the long Art Show post I was going to do today... I'm just gonna tell you what a funny goofball my husband is!  haha
I mentioned earlier, that on the way home from the art show, we went to the meat market.  While we're standing in front of the cases,  I asked Dan what kind of steaks he wanted... husband - the aforementioned NUTBAR - thought it would be hilarious to have me ask for this:
Yep!  He got a real big chuckle out of making me ask the butcher for the Top BUTT steaks!  As soon as I told her what I wanted... she asked me if I had a preference for which one I like better... and he was just DYING!!  Giggling like a little kid!
He's all MINE girls!  My big, strong firefighter - still giggling when he makes me say Butt or other equally funny (to him) words that I can't mention here! 
And I'm GRATEFUL for every day of the last 26+ years with him!  He never ceases to make me laugh! <3 you Dan!
Til tomorrow,

Thursday, May 16, 2013

day 2 ~ bloglove ~ graduation time

Here I am - Day 2!  Yay!  Just thinking about all the graduations we have in our family this year!  Four college graduations and a high school graduation - all boys!!  Do you give money for graduations??  Most of us do!  You know most of them will spend the money on everyday needs like gas, food, etc.... I don't know too many who have actually used it for savings or for getting new clothes for job interviews, etc.  I wanted to get them something a little more lasting, along with the prerequisite cash, but have been wracking my brain trying to figure out something boys would like and appreciate....

then I started reading this book The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau (the author of another great book - The $100 Startup)... and by the 3rd chapter I KNEW I had found my "something extra" graduation gift!  I immediately ordered 6 more copies!  One for each of the college grads and one each for my own kids! 
book review, Chris Guillebeau, live happy, change the world, rules for living, inspirational, graduation
You can check out inside pages or order a copy HERE!
I LOVE this book so much because it talks about how NOT to be a follower, how to live life differently, that it's OK to make your own HAPPY and live on your own terms!  It's so motivational and inspiring ~ and really has a lot of thought-provoking ideas for how be a creative and happy in whatever career path you choose ~ whether as an employee of a company OR a small business owner!  
 This is a philosophy I've lived by my whole life - and try to teach others - especially my kids!  GO FOR your dreams, take RISKS, move beyond your FEARS,  stop worrying about what others THINK or what they're doing, BE YOU!!    
I just cannot say enough about this book ~ it's really been one of my very favorites of all-time!   And I hope the graduates I got copies for will take the time to sit down and at least START reading it ~ cuz if they START, I don't think they'll be able to put it down ~ and maybe, just maybe, they'll get some ideas on how to live a more fulfilled, adventurous & happy life!!  :)
P.S.  I gave my son (he's 24) his copy a couple days ago -- and he's LOVING it!  This kid has not been a "reader", traditionally - but he's almost through with the book and said to me he wished it wouldn't end!  How great is that??  I'm a Happy Mom!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

day 1 ~ bloglove and a FREEBIE paint pattern

OK lovely blog readers ~ I've been inspired by a few other artist friends who have committed to 30 days straight of blogging, in order to: make it a habit, become better writers/bloggers, to share more of our authentic selves by having to come up with something to talk about on a daily basis... and lots more reasons! 
I was going to wait a few weeks to start - since I'm going back to San Diego next week, for 9 days, and thought it would be difficult to keep up with my commitment ~ but I think that's an ADDED challenge that I'm up for!  Also - it may give me more things to write about ~ since there's SO much to do in San Diego and I like to share my LOVE of the city! 
So - today is Day 1 of my BlogLove -- wish me luck on the next 30 days!  I hope that it helps me become a better writer and to be able to express my thoughts in a more authentic way!  I'm excited! 

folkart painting pattern, decorative painting, free pattern, Sue Allemand, primitives

Until tomorrow ~ Day 2 ~ haha... I'll leave you with a FREE pattern for today!  Here's my God Bless the Ewe S.A. Box pattern.  If you don't have a box to paint on, this would also be soooo cute on the side of a wood flower box or on a wood sign board!  Have fun and post pics of your finished projects in the comments or on my Facebook  page for me to see! 
Download your FREE pattern here: 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

freebie owl bookmarks

freebie owl bookmarks from My Owl Barn Blog, free printables
Holy cow!  Two posts in one day!  haha  But I couldn't help it!  I just had to share these awesome FREEBIE OWL BOOKMARKS from My Owl Barn Blog!!  They are really cool looking!!  So if you love to read - and you love owls --- these bookmarks are perfect for you (and me!)  Just "hoot" on over to her blog and print them out for yourself!!   And THANK her while you're at it!
Have a fun weekend!

twine and jute dispenser

twine and jute rope dispenser, Sue Allemand, art, storage

LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea!!  Thank you Garden Therapy!!  I've used other ideas for rope, twine and ribbon -- like sticking the ends through holes in a basket... but the balls always get tangled in the basket!  This one is awesome!!  Keeps the ball of twine nice and neat!! 

I'm off to find mason jars to fit all my different jutes and twines!  To see the full details of the blogpost over at Garden Therapy, click here:


Thursday, May 2, 2013

doodle class!!!!

e-course, e-class, Stephanie Ackerman, doodle lessons, drawing

YAY!!!  A WHOLE NEW DOODLE CLASS started!!!  I'm SOOO excited!! I'm taking this AWESOME Doodle Class from my friend, Stephanie Ackerman!! The class is work-at-your-own pace - so you can still register!! And its filled with TONS of lettering, projects, doodles and awesome tips!! Come have FUN with me! Only $29!!!   I can't wait to learn stuff to add to my art projects!!  Click on over for more information and to sign up!!