Sunday, August 24, 2014

free ghost tags and preserving leaves

FALL is coming!  FALL is coming!  It's coming faster than I wish (it means winter is coming - booooo)... but there are a lot of things I do LOVE about FALL!  I love the colors most of all - the oranges, reds and yellows - so vibrant and rich!

Click HERE for a DIY on preserving these gorgeous leaves
It's also a great time to cuddle with your loved ones...cuz it's "sweatshirt weather" here in the Midwest!  Spring and Fall weather in the Midwest, is more like the all-year weather in San Diego - which you KNOW I LOVE!  haha.  Summer is just too hot and humid and full of mosquitos - so the autumn time of  year is a nice break from that!  

I also LOVE the smell of bonfires, roasting marshmallows, going to the pumpkin farm and drinking yummy hot chocolate/coffee concoctions my hubby likes to experiment with!  So good!

Autumn Leaves Coffee Art

And I LOVE seeing the kids' costumes when they come for Trick or Treating!  They're just so adorable!  That was always the most fun -- making costumes for my kids!

So, to get you started in your Fall preparations - here's a FREE fun sheet of tags for you!  Make a bunch of ghosties for all those kiddies, craft fairs and friends!  You can download the sheet here:

FREE "Trick or Treat Smell my Sheet Printable Tags" by Sue Allemand,


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

quieting my mind and the water relation ~

In all things seek balance, photo by Sue Allemand Art

I have, what I guess they call, a "racing mind".... I know many creative people who have it.  Your mind is constantly thinking and planning and working... all day, every day... even when you're sleeping!  I wake in the morning and feel like I haven't slept at all.  And I can remember a lot of things I thought about or dreamed about in the night.  Vivid dreaming - like in color and I can stop, rewind, make things happen a different way, change the scenery, do things better.... OK, maybe it's called being a control freak.... but I can't STOP it!  I always wonder what it would be like to just "zonk out"!  Get a full night's sleep!  A sleep so deep that you don't remember a thing!  What does that feel like??  How much more energy would I have during the day??  How much more could I get done??  

OK - wait a minute.... I get an awful lot done in a day as it is... always working and running around - maybe I don't want to get more done in a day!  haha.  

But at this time in my life, I'm ready to slow down a bit... enjoy every single moment... simplify my life... be peaceful and not stressed...just enjoy what comes.   I've been reading a lot of books and doing classes in the last 6 years that try to teach you to meditate, slow down, get rid of the drama, enjoy the moment, be present, be still - and I've really been loving it!  My life is so much more at ease.  I try not to let things irritate me as much (most of the time - still a work in progress. I think this is really hard to do all day, every day - unless you live in an ashram or alone in a hut in the middle of nowhere!  haha!).  Most days, I go with the flow and feel there's a purpose to everything... I just need to be patient and calm and it'll reveal itself.

But it's a daily practice... I'm still learning.  One thing I can't get the hang of, totally, is meditation!  I LOVE the idea of it, the feeling of it, the practice of it.... but it's still a struggle for me... to quiet my mind long enough for a 15 minute session.  I've done a lot of Deepak Chopra's meditation series and the free 21-day sessions he does throughout the year - I'm doing this one now (Expanding your Happiness - it's free - click the link and come join in!).  I love doing it everyday, right when I wake up - it kind of eases me into awakeness... is that a word?  haha.   But guess who's already awake when I try to meditate -- yep - you guessed it... my brain!  UGH!!  The music is so peaceful... I try to relax and concentrate on my breath and the mantra - and bam... thoughts and plans start bombarding me and before I know it, Deepak rings the bell and meditation is over.  :(   Some days it's over and I feel like I haven't even started -- so I start the recording over!  This time promising myself I'm going to "sweep" any thoughts away and truly get to my "peace".  (This morning I thought about writing this blog post - DURING my meditation - ugh!)

Anderson Pond
Well.... I'm getting better... but I still haven't gone a whole session without thinking!  Some day, I hope I get there!  I think it'd be really beautiful and relaxing to actually have 15 minutes of not thinking.  Can you believe some people meditate for hours??  How the heck do they do that??  It seems to be easier for me to meditate out in nature.  

Harbor Island, San Diego
 When I'm in Wisconsin - I can walk about a mile through the neighborhood to Anderson Pond.  I cop a squat under a tree near the water's edge, pop my headphones on and listen to one of my meditation recordings... or when I'm in California - I sit on my beach chair at Harbor Island or Mission Beach or LaJolla Cove, listen to the meditation, smell the ocean air, feel the breeze -- these are the times when I'm the closest to "shutting it off"! 

LaJolla Cove, San Diego
 It's the WATER, I tell ya!  I feel so much more peaceful near the water.  I know it's where I'm meant to be!  

There's a book I heard about on TV, called "Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do" by Wallace J. Nichols.  It sounded like it explains exactly how I've felt my whole life!  I just ordered it from Amazon and I can't wait to read it!  (You can click the link to order it too - if you wish.)

Do you meditate?  Do you have a racing mind like I do?  How do you deal??  Let me know!  And let me know if you've read this book and what you thought!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

are you a super smeller??

Who loves the smell of Stazon Stamping Pads, other than ME??  Post on Sue Allemand Art Blog,

OK - I gotta ask.... who loves the smell of StazOn Stamping Pads??  Come on.... you can admit it... am I the only crazy one?  haha.  

My husband doesn't agree that it smells good!
I had him shut his eyes and sniff and he thought it smelled like paints or cleaners or something.  I, on the other hand, think it smells like icing or candy or fancy cookies!!  Am I weird??

I've always been what they call a "super smeller", I guess.  I can smell things from a mile away -- and lots of times it's NOT in a good way!  haha.  But I LOVE smelling things -- I love candles, scented oils, air fresheners, fabric softeners, fresh cut grass, rain, shampoo, markers, new books, yummy food cooking, lotions.... and I even smell people!

Yup - that's right - I smell my loved ones when I hug them, or I'm near them, or I smell their clothes when I miss them.  I'll lean on my husband's shoulder and he looks over and asks, "are you sniffing me"??  haha,  YUP!!

Well -- to all my fellow super sniffers out there -- I say OWN IT and SMELL ON!  :)
Have an awesome day!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

tutorial: upcycled painted plastic pots

Upcycled Plastic Pot Makeover - DecoArt Americana Multi-Surface Satin Paint #decoart #americanapaints #paintingtutorial

How many of these worn out plastic pots do you have laying around in your garage?  They're not cute anymore - scuffed up and dirty - but still functional so you think that you should hang on to it to reuse.... but do you?  Well, now you can paint those pots and make them shine again!  All you need is DecoArt's NEW Americana Multi-Surface Satin Paints!

Step #1:  Bring your pots in and clean them with soap and water.  Place them on plastic bags or waxed paper for painting.

Now gather your supplies:
DecoArt Multi-Surface Satin Paints - I used these colors:
Cottonball, Pumpkin Patch, Blue Lagoon, Apple Green, Green Beret, Black Tie
Styrofoam Plate or Palette Paper
Paintbrushes - 1" Flat, #8 Filbert (Rounded tip), 10/0 Liner Brush
Paper Towel
Water Basin

Step #2:  Basecoat the bottom of pot with 1" brush - Pumpkin Patch.  On all basecoats, do one coat at a time and let dry.  It'll take approximately 3 coats to completely cover your pot - depending on what color your pot is to start with.

Step #3:  Basecoat top rims of pot - Cottonball.  Make sure to paint down about 2" on the inside so it'll be cute when you fill the pot with dirt. 

Step #4:  Basecoat rim edge - Lagoon Blue.

Step #5:  Draw vine and leaves around top rim with a pencil.  Using a filbert brush, paint leaves by double-loading your brush -  Apple Green and Green Beret (one color on each side of brush - left & right) and stroking onto leaf sections.  Paint down leaf from tip to base on the left - then tip to base on the right.  Two strokes per leaf.  Paint vine with liner brush.  
Step #6:  Paint highlights on leaves with a mix of Cottonball and Apple Green.  Dip dots between leaves - Pumpkin Patch.
Step #7:  Paint stripes on blue edge - Black Tie.

Step #8:  Dip dots on black stripes with rounded back end of brush - Cottonball.

After all coats, let paint dry 24 hours to cure.  The paint seems to hold up well outdoors - but if you wish, you can spray on some Americana Spray Sealer for added protection!  All done!

Plant with fun flowers or a hibiscus tree like mine!  Adds fun color to your deck!  :)