Friday, June 28, 2013

freebie friday!!

americana snowmen ornaments, painting pattern, primitives, quick and easy painting

It's FREEBIE Friday time!!  Today's FREEBIE pattern is:  Americana Ornies!  Four, quick and easy ornaments to paint for your Americana tree!!

If you like these FREEBIES and want them to continue -- please FAN me, PIN me, SUBSCRIBE to my newsletter, FOLLOW me on Instagram and SHARE me with your friends who want some FREEBIES too!

I hope you enjoy painting these guys!  And even if you don't paint - you could use these designs to make woolfelt ornies, appliques, or even make them from printed papers for your scrapbook!  HURRY and get yours - the link will only last til Monday (7/1)!  Have fun!

Download your FREE pattern here:  https://www.box.com/s/vz4nzuzoxngw276l47lv

Hugs,
Sue


Friday, June 21, 2013

for the love of blogs

Juan Carlos Allemand, Sue Allemand, kitty love

Random kitty picture!  haha

For the last few years - I have LOVED LOVED LOVED my iGoogle homepage!!  I had all my favorite art blogs, home d├ęcor blogs, craft blogs, lifestyle blogs, tiled on there - the weather in San Diego and here in Wisconsin - the news (what little negative news I let into my world) - and anything else I wanted to keep up to date on...in a quick glance page...that would update all the time, so I didn't have to go hunting each blog and eat up a lot of "work" time!

Well -- As of November 2013 - iGoogle will no longer be available!  :(  I've been dreading that month coming - what would I do - how could I easily get all my inspirational "input" for the day without wasting a lot of time.  I looked and looked and looked -- and waited -- thinking Google would change their minds or would come out with a replacement.... but NO.

But...surprise surprise...I stumbled across an AWESOME replacement!  If you need a way to easily keep track of all the lastest news and posts on your favorite blogs -- this is IT!!  Bloglovin'!!!  All you have to do is sign up - then start typing your favorite blogs in the Search bar!  When you find the blog you want - just click Follow!  So quick and easy!!  I just love it!

Every day you'll get ONE - yep only ONE - email with snippets of all the latest posts by your followed blogs!  If you want to read the whole article - just click on the title and BOOM - you're there!  I SOooo love this!!  And I can't believe it's even EASIER than the IGoogle page!  I don't even have to get on the internet to see the updates!  YEAH!!

Try it out!  Let me know how you like it!

-------------------------------------------------------


A few UPDATES of my own:  As you can see - I gave up on the 30 days of blogging - it just doesn't fit in my life & work style - for reasons mentioned in previous posts - haha.  So instead of trying to be inauthentic and just yacking for the sake of HAVING to do a daily post - I'm going back to blogging when I have something to say or something fun to post!  :)  It wasn't a waste though - I DID learn a lot about blogging and posting!  And I think about my daily life in a different way - I'm now documenting and taking pics of things I think may be interesting for a post! :)

Also - on the purging 100 things in 100 days front -- I'm well over the 100 things!!  I think I'm addicted to getting rid of stuff now!  haha    I've always been an unclutter-type person - but I think I've kind of gone to the extreme... even so far as unsubscribing from a lot of my daily emails so I can "unclutter" my inbox!  I'm in a "cleaning out" mode -- and I'm planning on keeping that a small part of every day!  Yay!

Hugs,
Sue




Friday, June 14, 2013

day 25 ~ bloglove ~ i know...i know...

I'm a bad, bad blogger - haha!  I've missed a couple days....but not because I didn't think about blogging or that I forgot...it's just like I've always thought...my life is too boring for a consistent ~ 30-days-in-a-row blog experience!  haha  Seriously!  It is!  I told you -- I work (a LOT) and I enjoy life.  That's it in a nutshell!  Not too much "exciting" or "blog-worthy"  happens around here....in my opinion.  haha 


This is a whole lot of what I've been doing the last couple days!  Making, printing, and packaging an influx of orders!  But I DID do one thing I'm proud of -- I finally learned how to print my own postage!!  YAY me!  I've always just taken all my packages to my local post office - I've become good friends with the girls that work there over the years!  haha - and they weigh, measure and post them all for me!  And I chat with the girls about our recent travels, and families and funny experiences - while they're processing all my parcels.

Well.... this time... I had an awful lot (this isn't even all of it in the picture - there was about double this after all was done for the day).... and I thought about the other customers at the p.o. - waiting in-line behind me with all these packages...and decided it was about time I gave this postage printing online thing a try!

I have to say - right away I was discouraged on the usps.com site!  They only had Priority Mail, Express Mail, and a few others, as options!  No Standard Post, No Media Mail... ugh!!!  And I had all of the above!
So, I thought, "OK that's it - I can't do it.  They don't have the options I need... plus what if I get the wrong weight or I can't print them right." And I was pretty much resigned to the fact that I'd be standing in a LONG line at the p.o.

But with a little more digging...WELL...not really "digging" -- I was sending invoices through Paypal and noticed a button that said, "Print Shipping Label"!!  I clicked through to see what it was.. and Lo and Behold...they had ALL the shipping options I needed!!  They made it so easy!  And from them on, I was off and running...or should I say "printing" and "taping"!  haha  PLUS - I didn't have to fill out all the buyer and address information like on the usps site!  (Granted all these sales happened to be Paypal sales - I guess I will have to go through usps - or just take them to the P.O. if they are Credit Card or other sales...idk.)

It might not seem like a lot to anybody else - but to me - the person who hates change - who hates doing things she's not 100% sure of... this was a giant step!!  And even the girls at the P.O. were proud of me - and we still got to chat while I was dropping off all the boxes and getting stamps!  :)  Yay Me!!!

Hugs,
Sue

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

day 24 ~ bloglove ~ airfares and extras - oh my!

beaches, ocean, http://sueallemand.blogspot.com

I need to get back to MY city!  My San Diego!  Why oh why are these airfares going crazy all of a sudden??  Not only the airfares - but all the extra charges they're adding on now!  I normally get my flights about 4 -5 weeks from the travel date - that's when I always got the best prices!  I was just there a few weeks ago for a quick trip - and only paid $238!  But I've been looking at flight prices for the last 2 weeks -- it is exactly only 4 weeks from today that Dan & I will be going for our yearly July trip back there -- and STILL the prices are tremendous!  I can't believe it!  I have never paid over $400 (even during Christmastime) for a flight back and forth - WI to SD - or vice versa!  

San Diego, skyline from Harbor Island, http://sueallemand.blogspot.com

But the prices right now -- with taxes -- are over $500 each!!  CRAZY!!!  And now - some airlines are going to be charging $1.99 for soda & coffee!!  Can you believe it??  

But I MUST MUST MUST get back to where my soul lives - to where my peace is - to where I belong!  I will go, whether I have to pay the high airfare or DRIVE - haha!  Really, I don't wanna drive -- I've done the long drive TWICE -- and I really don't wanna - that is...until I have to do it for the LAST & FINAL time when we move the whole house (belongings I mean - not exactly the house - haha) there and never look back!  haha  Can you hear my whining??  But really....where does it end with these prices??  It would be soooo much cheaper to drive!  But then there's a week of driving to consider  - ugh!

Is there a place that is like this for you??  A place where you just feel like you NEED to be??  It could be where you are now -- and if it is -- AWESOME!  Or it could be where you know you WANT to be - have always DREAMED of being - just KNOW that's the place for your heart & your mind & your soul??

http://sueallemand.blogspot.com

That's San Diego to me!  It's my EVERYTHING place!  It has everything I want, everything I need....so no matter the cost...I WILL find myself there!  :)

Off to check prices again....wish me luck!!

Hugs,
Sue
  

Monday, June 10, 2013

day 23 ~ bloglove ~ bead & button show 2013

Sue Allemand, beading, jewelry, art, gifts

Yesterday we went to the Bead & Button Show 2013 in Milwaukee!  As always, it was a fun & inspirational tradeshow!  If you're ever in a creative rut...having a "block"...or just need an artist's date with yourself...try going to one of the many, many tradeshows or retail shows (beading, needlework, scrapbooking, quilting, painting, etc.) around the country!   Even if you're not into beading - the color inspiration alone is worth the trip!!!  Just looking at table after table FILLED with beads, stones and gems - thrown this way and that - making up different random color combo's...is an inspiration explosion!!

Last year was the first time I went to the Bead & Button Show - because I just started adding jewelry to my artwork offerings - and I was in complete OVERWHELM!!  So much cool stuff!  I had to have it ALL!!  Of course - most of the supplies I purchased back then is still on my shelves waiting for the "perfect" jewelry project!  haha.  So, in the spirit of "exclusion" for the year (my attempt at decluttering), I DID limit my purchases this year - telling myself I need to use up some of the gorgeous stuff I bought last year before I buy tons more!  And I'm happy to say, I DID keep to it!  I picked up a bunch of cards though - and TONS of inspiration!!

Sue Allemand, jewelry, a joyful soul gifts

I bought a bunch of rosewood mala beads that I needed for bracelets!  I nice rich, dark red that I haven't been able to find anywhere else... along with some buddha and key charms for some pendant art jewelry that I'll be featuring on the new website (Coming soon!)

The other fun thing about attending these shows, are the make-it-and-take-its!  If you've never heard of these - they are fun little projects that different booth vendors have for you to do, right there in the booth, to show off their products or tools!  And just like it says... you MAKE it - then get to TAKE it home!  Most are free - and let you get a little hands-on playtime with the products to see if you'd like to purchase supplies and make more!!

Other than the trade floor - where all the booths are set up to demonstrate and sell their wares.... they also have full-blown classes!  Starting a few days before the show floor... classes begin for a number of projects and different media (glass, metal clay, polymer clay, metalwork, stamping, etc.) that you can sign up for!  When you click on the sites for the shows, you'll see a classes tab that shows all the classes they'll be having during the show week!   Or, make sure you sign up to get emails on the lastest news and classes that have been added to the show!  

Conventions and tradeshows are an awesome way to KICKSTART your creative juices - and get re-inspired!  And you'll meet LOTS of new friends and connections in the process!  I always come back rejuvenated and full of ideas!!  Give one a try!

P.S.  If you're interested in exhibiting at tradeshows & conventions - let me know! - I've had some people ask me to do an e-book or checklist on the ins and outs of exhibiting...it's something I'm considering!  :)

Hugs,
Sue

day 22 - bloglove ~ gone sailing window

craft projects, coastal home decor, diy project, Sue Allemand
 
 Here's a fun, coastal DIY project for you from my archives!  Pick up all the random supplies from rummage or garage sales - like the old window frame, a piece of driftwood, copper sheet, an old net, maybe some shells and bits and pieces to add on!
 
Or you can pick up the items you didn't find "thrifting" at Hobby Lobby or your favorite craft store!
It's a fun, unique project that you can have UP in your house or seaside cabin TODAY!  Quick and easy!  Download the complete how-to pattern here:
 
Have Fun!
 
Sue

Saturday, June 8, 2013

day 21 ~ bloglove ~ a little work...a little play

Mini Inspirations Art Cards, Sue Allemand, gifts, mixed media
Mini Inspirations Art Cards - Coming Soon!
What a lovely day -- I worked til 1pm -- designing new pendants, printing artwork, and sanding edges of some Mini Inspirations!  Then Dan and I grabbed his FAVORITE meal - Subway - ugh! (haha) and headed for Petrifying Springs Park for a picnic and a lounge/chat in the sun!  It was so nice to see so many people having parties in the park for birthdays, graduations...and enjoying the beautiful day!

Went for a LONG Saturday drive, out in the county, with the breezes blowing through the windows - just chatting about everything!  That's how we are - we could talk, about every subject, from sun up to sun down and never get bored!  LOVE this MAN!!  :)

Hope you all had a great leisurely day as well!  Tomorrow is the Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee!  :)

Hugs,
Sue

Friday, June 7, 2013

day 20 ~ bloglove ~ the boomerang effect

OK - first things first.... here's Juan Carlos...you asked to see him and here he is - the BUM - sleeping on my hand as I type this!  haha

He's as big as a dog!  haha  People see him on the porch and can't believe how large he is!  A big BABY - that's what!  haha

So anyway.... you can call it a Boomerang Effect or you can call it Law of Attraction or whatever you want...but my effort to exclude stuff from my life, is coming back on me!  A kind of weird "giving" karma -- if you will.  haha  But it's actually kinda funny!

I DO believe in Law of Attraction and the Power of Being Positive -- I live my life in this way, generally!  And I've experienced the attraction of my thoughts before -- but never in this way!!  Never when I'm attempting to get RID of stuff!

Remember a few days ago I talked about giving away 100 things in 100 days ~ in order to get rid of the clutter in my life so I can focus on work and not spending all my time cleaning and sorting??  You can read the post HERE.  Well.... that's going good... I've gotten rid of 28 things in 8 days so far!  That's GOOD right??  At least that's what I thought!

But a strange thing has been happening!  All of a sudden, since I started this....people have been randomly GIVING me stuff!  UGH!!!  It's like I send it out there... and it's coming back to me (only different junk!)!!  It seems like everybody is, all of a sudden, giving me things I don't want or need!  At this rate - if I have to add back into the count - all the things that have been given to me...I'll never be done! haha.

So.... what should I do??  I think the only solution is to try and get rid of the 100 things FASTER!  Maybe I'll throw the attraction "momentum" off, if I speed up the pace??  Or will I just be getting things given to me FASTER as well.....ugh....a conundrum!  :)  Hmmm....  maybe I should start giving away MONEY??  haha

Til tomorrow,

Sue


Thursday, June 6, 2013

day 19 ~ bloglove ~ life as I know it...and soldering day

soldered charms, pendants, original art, prints

The hardest thing about doing these blogposts for the 30 day challenge is that I don't really have much to write about!  Nothing that I think is very interesting - that is.

 My kids are grown - so no fun kiddie pics doing quirky things - or at fun events.  I have a cat that we take WAY too many pictures of, that we've joked we could make a 365 poses calendar EVERY year ~ but I'm sure you don't want to see Juan Carlos (that's his name) sleeping in what WE perceive as hilarious contortions every day!  haha  He REALLY is a character though, so you may see him here from time to time.

It's just Dan and I in the house now - and we enjoy LIFE!  Which means we do what we love or what we feel like doing on any given day!  Dan is a firefighter - so he works 24 hours on and 48 hours off - which means we spend A LOT of time together!  :)  We kayak, go to movies, go for walks, go for long drives, picnic by Lake Michigan or in the park, bike ride, etc.  We enjoy the moment...the quiet...nature...living life to the fullest...and soaking up every wonderful minute of it.  

When we're not doing one of those things - I'm working!  My work is my passion - I have a NEED to create - EVERY day!   AND I'm a big multi-tasker - so....while I'm watching t.v. ~ I'm working... When I'm listening to music or an audiobook ~ I'm working... if I'm sleeping...I'm working - haha!  No kidding!  I don't get much sleep because I'm designing, planning, writing, organizing, painting, sewing, stitching, etc... in my mind!  Now if I could figure out how to get work done while I'm walking 5 miles ~ I'd be all set!!  haha  

It's a joyful, peaceful, and largely uneventful (no drama) life!  And we LOVE it!  But it really doesn't lend well to daily story-telling..haha!  But I'm trying -- 11 more days to go!  If you have any questions you'd like to ask me...I'd love it if you'd post in the comments!  That'll give me something to write about!  :) 

In the meantime, I hope you get some peace and free time to enjoy the best of life as well!  And if you're still in the "it's all about the kid's" stage (and BOY were we in that stage...endless practices, games, taxi service, chaperoning, chairing school committees and events, etc.) ~ KNOW that there IS an end ~ and you'll be sad to see it go!  So enjoy it and them while you can ~ crazy hectic-ness and all!  :)

Hugs,
Sue

day 18 ~ bloglove ~ dreary gray days

random art studio shot

What a dreary, gray ~ and cold ~ few days!  YUCK!!  It always tries to sap my energies and inspiration - and sometimes it wins!  I'm a warm weather, sunny skies girl - that's when I have the most creative spark and energy.  It's especially difficult when you work alone, as so many of us artists do!

I'm trying to work on seaside and sunny paintings to try to counteract it!  Turn up the volume on the music - stand up - and paint while you're dancin'!!

Hugs,
Sue

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

day 17 ~ bloglove ~ movie time

Hi Everybody!  It was a running around, catching a movie with my husband, getting a new cell phone, having lunch, kinda day!  So, needless to say - no work was accomplished... but sometimes you need days like this!  :)  OK - so these days happen pretty frequently with us - but hey - we're "semi-retired" (meaning our kids are gone and Dan works 24hr on and 48hr off - so he's home A LOT!!).

Anyway - we saw the movie "Now You See Me" - and I LOVED it!!!  Very fun and intriguing!  Keeps you guessing the whole way through!!


Love the actors too -- Mark Ruffalo is from Kenosha!  Great to see a hometown boy in so many great movies!!

Well.... it's wine time - then nighty night!  Lots of work tomorrow!

Goodnight,
Sue

Monday, June 3, 2013

day 16 ~ bloglove ~ shutting out the "noise"

Do you ever want to just sit in the quiet?  No TV, no radio, nothing but the birds chirping in the yard - just you and quiet inspiration!  That's what I did today -- shut out the "noise" for a while!  I think I need to start doing that more -- I got so much accomplished today!  Like my dad always said - "I could hear my thoughts"!

Sue Allemand, acrylic painting, art in progress, mixed media, prints
"The Smell of the Ocean...." in progress
This self-professed t.v.-ahololic... turned off the "noise" on the tv - and just painted and worked in the quiet! I cannot BELIEVE it myself!  haha  

Sue Allemand, acrylic painting, mixed media, prints
"Love is EVERYTHING" - in progress
So much of our daily lives are filled with nonsense... distractions... negative energy!  I was reading Kelly Rae Roberts post this morning about her art retreat to Bali (the pics are gorgeous!  You should read her post HERE )- and it just made me want to get back to the quiet - to the simplicity of life.  I picture the Balinese as having no "reality tv", no 24 hr news programs - or maybe no tv whatsoever!  I see them talking walks, enjoying nature, eating only fresh food, meditating, taking in the beauty of the lush green of Bali... and I want that!  I immediately turned off the t.v. - and continued working in the quiet!  Smelling the fresh air coming in the windows!  So nice! 

Sue Allemand, acrylic painting, mixed media, prints
"Love is EVERYTHING" - part 2
So now I think this is a new exclusion for me - and it may be VERY difficult - because of my aforementioned addiction (haha) - but I will be trying to give up t.v. during the day!  No listening while I'm working either.  No t.v. whatsoever, until 7pm at night and weekends.  OK - I admit - there may be a few times here and there that I succumb (because I don't think Dan is gonna be ready to exclude t.v. like I am) - but I'll try!  

I won't be giving up music though!  HEY - I can't exclude everything!!  And music is uplifting and inspirational - so it stays! - just not all the time!  :)  Are you ready to get quiet, get focused?  I am!  I'm hoping I'll be more productive too!  Let me know if you're trying this!  I'd love to hear from you!

Hugs,
Sue

UPDATE:  Day 3 of 100 donated things in 100 days - Count total 24 of 100 - ahead of schedule!

day 15 ~ bloglove ~ love, gratitude & the moment

Sue Allemand, art, mixed media, grateful, joyful, gifts, inspirational
"Gratitude Vase"
Matted print available HERE

We've been inundated lately, with news of the devastating storms and tornadoes in Oklahoma and the Southern States, the 4 Firefighters killed fighting a motel fire in Houston,Texas, wildfires in Wisconsin and California, and so many other heart-wrenchingly sad stories.  I haven't read the newspaper or watched the daily tv news in quite a few years - trying to keep the negative in my life to a minimum - but you can't help hearing about these huge news items from friends, breaking news on tv, radio, etc., and the hits are coming day after day lately!

I find myself, every time I hear even a snippet of one of these awful stories, snapping into a conscious state of gratitude!  I immediately think of all I have in my life - my safe & healthy kids; the love, respect & friendship of my awesome husband; my family; my career doing what I love; beautiful nature; and the peace & happiness in my daily life - and I am IMMENSELY GRATEFUL!

Nothing is more important than the people, relationships and soul connections we have in our lives!  Buildings can be rebuilt...roads can be repaved...objects and possessions can be replaced.   It's the LOVE we have and share with each other that means anything in this life!  Be kind and appreciative of the people in your life, help others as often as you can, and most important - LOVE YOURSELF and your LIFE!  If you're not happy in your life...in yourself...figure out how you CAN be - and DO IT!  No one can MAKE you be happy ~ you need to find it within yourself!  And I KNOW YOU CAN!!  It may take a bold move, a jump into your fears, or a total life rehaul - but you'll be LIVING ~ not just running on that treadmill controlled by everyone and everything else in your life!  Say YES only to things that YOU truly want to do, things that bring YOU joy, to people who love YOU as MUCH as you love them! ~ and leave the rest behind.  Stop doing those things that you only do out of a sense of obligation ~ do what makes you feel HAPPY and fulfilled in the moment ~ because that's all we have... the MOMENT!

And as we've seen recently ~ no matter your age, no matter your profession, no matter "who-you-know", how much you have, or where you live ~ life can be over in a flash!  Quit waiting!!  

Make your life WONDERFUL!!  Now!!

Hugs & Best Wishes for Awesomeness,
Sue

Saturday, June 1, 2013

day 14 ~ bloglove ~ distress marker tips

Wow!  I'm learning more and more about these awesome Distress Markers everyday!  They're so fun and versatile and the colors are awesome!  Now today - on Tim Holtz's blog - he posted some good "Did you Know's" about Distress Markers and a tag tutorial using them!


Tim Holtz Distress Markers - click to purchase from Amazon


 Like - Did you KNOW - that the brush nib has a replacement end - in case you crush or ruin the first one??  I DIDN'T!!  Holy cow!  haha
distress marker tutorials, Tim Holtz, Ranger Ink

Tim shows you how, on today's blogpost HERE!  Plus lots of other tips for using the markers!  And while you're there - you might as well sign up for his feed by email!  He posts tons of tutorials, projects and fun stuff for scrapbooking and using all the products in the Ranger Ink/Tim Holtz Line!!

Just thought you'd enjoy this info as much as I did!  I'm off to turn my markers on their sides!  (Another Tim tip!)  Have a great day!!

Hugs,
Sue