Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Seasonal Wreaths

I've finally made time.. not timet to read, or get a massage or do my nails or even get a long needed pedicure. I have made time to take photos of my new fabric wreaths and post them in my handmade shops. It's easy to forget how much fun it can be to list your items when you believe in them. Colors have always impacted my life, therefore, I can't go into a fabric store and not go NUTS surrounded by coordinating materials. My custom wreaths take 5 different fabrics. Normally, I would go into the store intending to buy ONLY a quarter yard of 5 different fabrics. But the holidays creep up quickly and the craft fairs are a plenty, so I have no choice (oh, sure!) but to purchase anything I can get my hands on. I have recruited my friend's Mom, Sandra, to tag along. She more than tags along, she helps me find the perfect fabrics that will go together and offers a point of view that helps often. When we both agree, we know we have the right fabric combination! Thanks, Gigi! (her grandkids gave her that name!) I have some for the holidays, for little girls rooms, for halloween and for the glorious fall when all the rich colors come into our yards and our homes. Please take a gander and some of my colorful creations! Susie

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A New Kind of Custom

Hi People! I wanted to tell you a little story. I got a phone call the other day from a darling Mom who ordered a bag tag from me recently for her daughter. She had also sent me a note through my e-commerce site asking if I would be interested in creating a birthday invitation for her daughter. There were only going to be 8 invites. What did I care if there were only 8! Of course I was interested. A few days went by and I finally heard from her. (BTW, it had taken me a few days to get back to her since I had not looked on that email in quite a while.) We were gabbing away like old chums, but when she was delighting in telling me how her daughter loved to draw and how she had a nice little portfolio going already, I stopped her right there in mid conversation! "Wait!" I demanded. (quiet on the other side. She was probably thinking.. sheesh!) So I said to her, "How about if your daughter draws what she wants for her invite and you send me the art and I put it into invitation form?" She looooved the idea! I was pretty proud of myself. I don't think that this is an original idea, but it's generally not done, I don't think. I also had a big craft fair coming up and needed every free second I had. I felt it would benefit all of us if Nicole could use her own art for her Spa/Slumber Party and I could get my bearings here for this fair. I got the art.. actually 5 pieces. They are from a program called Fashion Design Pad. I think this is how it works; her daughter, Nicole, creates the face with hair color, eyes, lips, nose..the whole shebang on the computer. She then colors clothes onto the little computer models. She happened to send me a blond, a brunette and an Asian. I used all three and had them hold hands. Her wonderful Mom sent me a base for text and I changed it around a bit and then we finalized it over the phone when she got her proof. Here is the result. Isn't it cute?

AND, to save time, I made out the envelopes with green marker and added cute gift stickers next to her guests names. It turned out so adorably! This is truly why I love what I do. Personalizing things in a non- traditional manner is so much fun for me. And also, being an artist who doesn't enjoy repetition, this was right up my alley. Everyone was happy.. I can't wait for Nicole to get her envelope!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sigh~ The other night I had a choice. It should not have been a difficult one, and in the end, it unfortunately wasn't. Does this sound contrary? Well hear me out. My son, has made the soccer team at his high school. He's a sophomore. His frame is very thin, but his heart is huge. He's made every tryout time, every practice, has perfect grades, a super sense of humor, and is an all around lovely young man - yes, I have been told this by many, not in my family, but by various people with whom he has just spent some time. I was so happy he made the varsity soccer team. He ran hard, played hard and is sitting on the bench hard after all that work. It breaks my heart. We tell him to talk to his coach or assistant coach and ask then to give pointers on how he can improve his game. They've given some advice, of which he's taken gladly and respectfully...yet still, a cold butt on a cold bench with a few others who are going through it as well is the result.

I went to the pre-season tournament games, which, by the way, were away games. I went to their first game which was about 40 mins away. They lost. The next game was at home. This was just on Wednesday. I was all set to go. I had already worn in my new WalMart stadium seat that has saved one person in our family from having a cold arse.. lol.. Then.. after I fed my son a nutritious, carbolicious dinner, just in case he was called upon to defend his team, I gathered the "ingredients" to start a new project; a small birdhouse. I gathered a lot of materials from my studio and messed up my dining room (much cooler). I armed myself with glue sticks, a wooden birdhouse, gesso, sandpaper, glossy enamel paints, paint brushes of all sizes, paper towels, sea shells, jars of store bought pebbles and, hey.. isn't that enough?? I started this project. I had no clue where it would lead, what the outcome would be, when I would finish. Time was of the essence since the soccer game was at 7:00. I would need to claim my spot shortly on that dreaded aluminum bench along with my other stadium seated soccer parent buddies. Tick Tock Tick Tock Tick Tock .. (I had already dropped him off for early warm-ups etc) The house had only the sound of Fox News chatter and distant dogs barking as the sun was readying to set. My eyes reluctantly darted with hesitance at the clock.. Oh MAN! I need to get going..but that glue gun was so much fun.. the hot glue burning my finger skin was a sensation that was I had missed, weirdly and stupidly. OUCH!.. that's %@# HOT! Crap! and then quickly back to burying my face in the small dyed sea shells of which I had bought eons ago at God knows what craft store, plucking out my next victim to be hotly burned onto the primed birdhouse.

Geeez! What am I doing? Why can't I get my body to move toward my purse and out the door to the car? What kind of Mom AM I? pluck, burn, dig, place, admire.. I just could not break away!!! This is what we crafters/artist are known for; losing sight of anything around us other than what craft is at hand. The smell, the excitement of something new and never created before. The idea that I could sell this thing at my next craft fair, the promise to myself that this birdhouse will be the start of many more natural looking homes for our feathered friends.. it was more than I could take to break away from all these sensations. Soccer? Son? Stadium Seats? Who cares? He won't be playing.. Of course, it would figure if he was put in the game and would make a game saving stop ...and I I would have missed it. Double sigh. Triple sigh! Oh well.

7:00 pm came and went but I finished my tedious, teensy shell appliques in time to go pick up my precious boy. All the regulars asked me, "Where were you? Were you sitting somewhere else tonight? How come you weren't here? We missed you! I put on my best deceitful facade and said, "OH. I wasn't here, I HAD this important art project to finish." "Oh," they replied bewilderingly. I'm certain they were wondering, what kind of Mom misses her son's HOME soccer game for an ART project?

My boy did not play, He says it was fine that I didn't go. I was simultaneously thrilled that I finished this zany birdhouse and sick and embarrassed that I could not control my urges to finish a silly home for birds to go watch my son's team win 1 zip. Maybe, maybe, JUST mayBE.. I'm bad luck at the games?. Well, I can't bring myself to say it was worth it, but boy have I gotten the compliments on this thing since I've completed it.

Next home game, though, I'll be there screaming and yelling and making up for time lost on those cold bug lit grooved stands. I cannot wait!.. Next project.. river pebbles and sheet moss. I will NOT start it on a game day. I promise!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Come n' git it!

I have a dog groomer for my little Peekapoo ( I used to do Rommel myself, rest his sweet soul!) who dabbles in all sorts of things. My husband and I always seem to see her involved in something in the local paper! She's an amazing being! She gets an idea and plows ahead! I wish this to rub off on me a LOT!
Anyhow, one day I got a call from her asking if I would help her in this fair in Raleigh called Got To Be NC Festival. It was at the NC State Fairgrounds.. albeit, we were lucky that it was inside. There were many booths all with North Carolina products available to sampl, and chat with the owners or creators or both.
Her name is Jody Currin and she is the recipe creator of Mrs. Picky Fanicky's Foods. Right now, she has two items for sale. We promoted the Apple Pie MmmMarmalade and the Apple Peach Chutney.
Let me tell you.. Jody, her Mom, "Gigi" and I all donned our royal blue aprons which were embroidered with Mrs. Picky Fanicky Foods in white. Jody's husband had pins made for us that said, "I'm Picky, too!" By the way, the accent is on the i in Fanicky. Don't ask. LOL.. anyhow, here are two pictures of Gigi and Jody in the booth.

Now mind you, the booth doesn't look like much, but I think that was the secret! We had one of the busiest booths there!! I worked with these girls all of Friday and PART of Saturday because I had a wonderful old girl friend from central Illinois visit me. I had to leave them on that Saturday and it about broke my heart, it was so terribly busy. I'm telling you, that line did NOT stop. When the fair people opened the doors to this building, FLOODS of hungry Southerners came swarming to all the booths. These people waited extremely patiently in line to sample these jars of unique tastes! Maybe they saw Jody on TV! This adorable reporter carting a good sized camera a la lights et al.. came over to Jody's booth that early morning as we were setting up. She came right up and asked Jody if she could interview her. "Sure!" Jody said.. and then turned to us in a bit o panic and said, "I am soooo nervous!" We told her her products were fabulous and that she needed to just be herself... and that she did. I laughed so hard at that interview. It is so her! I loved it and apparently it made a big impact on the people who tuned into the local Time Warner cable news network that morning! Oh..the cracker packages we opened to slather the marmalade or chutney onto was a feat unto itself! Our fingers were sore as well as our throats. Mine was burning and as much as I didn't wanna leave them, I was grateful to get the break.
These dudes, I think, were bottling guys. I know the one on the right was, but I'm just not sure what the guy on the left did. Regardless, she met so many people who loved her products. One man came on Friday and said he was with the elite Edible Piedmont Magazine. He said he would tell his editor about these delicious NC products. Who thought he would actually do that? Well, Saturday (maybe Sunday) rolled around and there he was! The editor. He talked to Jody for a long while while Gigi and I ripped open large amounts of Lance Crackers and spooned on the gooey red marmalade and chutney to our desperately hungry customers. Their eyes always popped out of their sockets! It was like Christmas in your mouth! A complete surprise of flavor! The MmmMarmalade tastes like real apple pie. NO KIDDING! Our suggestions were to pour it over a cream cheese block (great for bunko night!) or, of course, use it on your morning toast or your favorite southern biscuit, or my favorite, ( I almost drooled every time I said it) heat it up a tad and drizzle it onto vanilla ice cream! YOU BET I'm going to take my own advice at Christmastime and do that!
The Apple Peach Chutney.. that was a story unto itself!! "What's Chutney?" EVERY SINGLE PERSON WOULD ASK! Ugh!! we took turns with our explanations BUT then this one Indian (india) girl came up, probably in her early 20's and was excited to see the word chutney at our booth.. we had a talk and her country makes chutney usually with herbs such as cilantro and hot spices. Jody's Apple Peach Chutney is totally different than that. It's sweeter. It's ingredients, let's see if I can recall now.. apples, peaches, onion, and apple cider vinegar to give it that "zing" as Jody puts it, into the taste. It was out of this world. We suggested smothering it on a pork roast/chops/tenderloin and cooking it slowly so all that carmelly goodness would coat the meat.. OR pour it over fish, or use as a ham glaze. It would all be so remarkable. Jody sold tons of these jars!
In July, we are going to set up a taste testing area at a family owned gourmet food store in Wake Forest, NC. That's July 11. I'll be helping Jody out with that. It'll be fun. The owner and his wife want to promote these products in their stores! Fabulous!
Also, I can't find her post now, but Jody told me that that Sunday ( I had my visitor, remember? and I didn't work on Sunday) a famous Raleigh Chef came by who has these fabulous cookbooks. She bought some chutney and was to bake it on fish that weekend and do sort of a recipe sampling of her new recipes! I hear she's going to put that recipe with Jody's Apple Peach Chutney name in the new cookbook! JOY! I'd been telling Jody that if were a big believer in Astrology, I would say that all her planets and stars were all aligned perfectly that weekend! It was a great time.
One more tidbit. I fell in love with her Mom, Sandra aka Gigi. She is the most delightful woman! I felt so comfortable with these two girls! Well, Gigi was sort of doing this nervous laugh when I said marmalade. I thought to myself.. what that heck? then she told me.. I was saying MarLAmade instead of MarMalade~ OH God! i was sooo embarrassed as I am always trying to be miss proper in my grammar! So that was so funny. I was terribly conscious of it afterward.. good thing!
Thanks Gig!
Well, here is a picture of Gigi helping out a customer on Friday, the slower of the three days. I loved the way she said pork. it was like a new jersey mob's wife saying it. It was more like Poor ahck? I'm sorry girl.. i just had to say it. But darnitall! she stopped saying it after that. I feel badly! I didn't mean to poo ak fun at her! lol!!!
Do you see a life size photo cut out of Elvis on the side there wearing a blue apron? The idea was that Elvis apparently loved marmalade spread on his peanut butter sandwiches! We got some big fans out of that Elvis! One guy even bought the pin right off of him cuz it made a great gift for his wife whom eveyrone pinned as PICKY! ha!

Anyway, click HERE to get info on her jars of yumminess!
I can't wait for July 11 to help out in hoity toity Wake Forest! Why are towns with the word forest in it seem so high falutin'? just a thought.

Order your chutney and MmmMarmalade today.. did i spell it right?



Hi People!
Long time, now see. I am well intentioned but never seem to get my thoughts together enough to get this blog rolling!

Ok.. I want to start by showing off some of my new summer invitations.

Below,are my Family Reunion Invitations. The top sample is custom with whatever you want the invitations to say. The bottom sample is a fill in the blanks so if you don't think you're clever, you can just write in the information. I would also be so happy to make it what you want!
Below is my new Block Party Invitation

I also have been trying to come up with something for the posh pet! Since I do these fun and vibrant bag tags for babies, for toddlers, tweens and college bound kids, why not do some for our pets! These are super for when you're out of town and must leave your furry 4-legged baby behind with a relative, friend, kennel or pet spa! The front has the name of your adorable creature done, of course, in SooBoo fashion. The back side has all the pet's information. You can put anything on there that is relevant to the animal's well being. My Tootsie is black and white, but she is as colorful a pooch as they come. So I elected to use alternating colors in the brightest that I have to offer. The little movement marks are because she's always active. I thought these made her name move like she does! These tags are backed up with coordinating paper and then laminated in a sturdy 3M pouch. I add whatever ribbons I have that go great with your pet's name art on the front for easy ID. It also comes with a vinyl loop to attach to the pet's travel bag (to hold toys, treats, etc) or if they're in a kennel, to attach onto the kennel's fence. It's really a fun idea. I hope it catches on!

Ok.. that's about it for now. I ought to have more later. It's hot enough out to keep me inside and work!
Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Brighten Your Day

Today I transfered over my photos of two items I dd recently for orders.

I usually just use a jpeg of my art directly from Illustrator, but I am trying some photography, without a light box. so far... here's what I have.

I have been making these adorable laminated Personalized Bookmarks for a long time.  I recently added the oval coverstock paper to reinforce the area where the ribbon's attached. 

This Personalized Note Card Set of 12 is just what the Dr. ordered for sunshine in your life!  These folded blank note cards are fantastic for graduates. I also make school mascot cards which are great for graduation gifts as well!



Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Of all places!

I"m writing already because of couple of things that happened to me recently that I wanted to "put out there" in the universe. Yesterday, I had to take my teen out of school for his orthodontist appointment. It was a mid morning appt. I love the girls who work up at the desk (the others are great too, but they can escape my chatty mouth!). They are always coming up with really fun contests for the kids to enter. The last one, being that we live in North Carolina, was to be the one to guess which teams were going to be the last four College Basketball teams to play in the ACC tournament. My son apparently had guessed incorrectly. They shushed me and made me promise in their whispering voices not to say anything but the girl who won (like I can remember her name at MY age!) had not been called yet.. because... ta ta da da!! She was getting her braces off the next day and they were going to surprise her and tell her then! Well, I just thought that was precious. You know, usually, any given person can go into any given office and see lame , sad, sorry faces.. moping around, barely even looking your way, much less, giving you any attention whatsoever! Not here at Dr. Youngblade's office. Martha and Debbie are just the best. All the staff wear matching shirt's or sweater daily. They have so many from which to choose, that you hardly ever see them in the same matching tops twice! Furthermore, when Dr. Youngblade's mother passed away well over a year ago, with the sympathetic souls these women in this office have, wore black sweater sets for weeks. It was one of most compassionate, kind hearted and loving gestures you will assuredly EVER find in an office setting. His Mother painted all the landscape paintings in that office. Anyhow, one of the girls turned 50 and asked when my husband, her old schoolmate(this is how small our town is), was turning 50 as well... "not till August" I muttered.. thinking that mine was just a few months after that... bluh.. . This was Martha, a tall pretty blonde, who's as sweet as she is self-assured. I was noticing when I was up at the curved counter blabbing away, that there was another, what I thought, contest. I asked what these boxes were next to me. I saw a plastic bag in there that had unidentified stuff in it. Martha then explained to me that the church she attends volunteers at a local food bank. She volunteers, I think it was, twice a month. Her eyes showed me the empathy that she had when her boss's mother had passed.. she continued on with her explanation atop her slumping shoulders.. She was telling me that the food bank she's always worked is noticeably low. There are so many employees LOCALLY who have lost their jobs. She reminded me of all the bigger businesses that have let go of so many during this lousy time in our economy. She gave me the number of food products they had then compared to now.. it was definately hard to tell people who came for food that there was none, or not much from which to choose. SO.. the box next to me was for people to open their hearts and wallets and bring what they could in groceries to support this local food bank. I was taken with this.. that these wonderful women come up with so many good things in their little office to get people involved in their community, whether times are hard or easy.. they're always doing something to bring people closer together. To me, these are the TRUE Christians. People who LIVE their lives with constistantly kind hearts and grace. Not the ones, and you know who you are, who go to their place of worship and then go home only to talk horribly about your neigbbors and relatives. I so admire these women, and am reminded every time I go in there how lucky they are to have eachother and to get along so incredibly well (to this they admit they are always on the same page!) and how fortunate the Dr. is to be surrounded by such caring creatures. I told them I would be back to help fill their box.. it looked pretty lame so far. I had no idea when I would be back, but I did go to the store later that day and made it a point to buy some staples for some less fortunate than I. Even though my e-commerce site is not doing all that well, my husband has a job still and I have so much in my life, that it was an easy decision to go shopping for this cause. I happily and proudly gave 3 bags to that unassuming cardboard box that meant so much. And it's true, when you give, you get back.. and I will tell you about that in my next blog. But I just want to add that I will be sorry when my son gets his braces off.. because I won't be making regular visits to that office. I guess I'll make more brownies and cookies and take them to those girls like I used to when we first started going there. Then, I won't miss out on too much of their kindnesses. I saw "Hope Floats" the other night and I have always loved the line they use.. "My cup runneth over." and that's how I feel right at this moment. Stay healthy, honest and employed.. and give what you can when you can.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Some of my Favorites and New Shell Wreaths

I have been searching a lot and reading a lot of blogs that love to show what attracts them. I want to start doing this as well so show readers what handmade items are out there.. whether it be on, 1000 Markets, or Etsy.. there are so many amazing artisans who creating wonderful pieces.. one of a kinds, that make the most special, thoughtful and spectacular gifts you can imagine. When was the last time you recieved a handmade gift other than from your 2 year old? Here are some of my favorites!!

I joined 1000 Markets just about 4 days ago. I've been adding hand crafted items that I love. These latest items were made from shells my Aunt (Chipper- deceased- and from whom I got my endearing SooBoo nickname!) and my ever loving Mom who searches high and low for great deals and unique and lovely items for her home collected for years on end on the Floridan Atlantic shore. These shell wreaths are glued onto 6" grapevine wreath forms and are covered on the sides but not the back. They come with a small satin ribbon attached for easy hanging.

So..that's it! Look at my last post as well!
Love you all!


Monday, March 9, 2009

Mixing it UP!

Showing off my Black-eyed Pea Soup
my first time!

My son loves different soups. My Mom has made this soup before when I was a kid, but I'm pretty darn sure she didn't cut LEAKS and put them in it! They just sort of melted in the pot with the onions, carrots & celery. I had some old dried (from fresh) thyme as well. That added a lot of flavor. I combined two recipes I found on and from a southern living magazine. I didn't use a bay leaf (didn't have any!) and I didn't add kale or spinach. (that would be ugly and weird I think). Dean said, "Mom, the texture of this soup is like, like indescribable!" You can't get a better compliment than that~ and he's just about 15! I used my fabulous Le Creuset pot for this. The best kitchen gift I've ever received! (Notice I didn't say best gift ever.. I added kitchen! ha!) Also in this soup is country ham pieces. Well, I had never ever seen this item before I moved to North Carolina. I find it unrefrigerated in airtight plastic wrap. I used it first for my split pea soup, another of my boy's faves. Anyway, for all you Yankees out there, after you open the package, you peel apart this ball of's cured so its very very salty. I browned it first in the pot I was using for a little while till it looked sort of crispy, removed it and then cooked the leak, garlic and celery in that..yum! I then added the pre-soaked beans and carrots and a whole cardboard box of chicken stock. I then let it simmer for about 1.5 hrs. was really delicious! It pays to tear out those magazine pages and then make it your own!

So, making it your own.. that's what my websites are all about.. Call it what you want, customizing, personalizing, that's what I do. It's what I love to do for you! Below is a Tea Party Invitation. Make it yours with the hostess' name in SooBoo Style Early American and let me know the colors you like as well. Add this text or any other you desire and it's done!

I also wanted to show you some older hand painted kid's lettering I have done. I think you'll like it. This lettering I can't find anymore. It was carried at Target pre-painted white.

I painted a stool to match.. and a little rocker as well, but the picture is horrible!

These letters are so cute. My customer had a quilt made in these exact colors and wanted to have the baby's name hanging with those colors as well. They turned out deliciously!

This was another commissioned stool. Very adorable for this little girl!

Unfortunately, I think this might be the last time I made these adorable goodie bags for my friend's daughter's class for Valentine's Day Gifts~ I have done many for her over the years, but her girls are growing fast. What was done for these:
Drew out the names in black outline.
Photoshopped the colors in them and added the polka dots or stripes
Added the To: on one side and on the back side, I added From: and her daughters name in the same fun design!
Filled the bags with candy
The bag topper folds over the candy bag like a tent and is stapled to hold the candy in the bag.
Fabulous..all for $1.50 per bag!
Can be done for any occasion..

Party Favors for:
Book Clubs-think the book name in SooBoo name art! and maybe a personalized SooBoo Bookmark!
Teacher Gifts- add a gift card and a thank you note!
Office Parties - add photocopied Dilbert comics and new pens!
Adult Birthday Parties- add chocolate covered strawberries and blindfolds~
Themed Parties- ie.sweet sixteen, add SooBoo's personalized keychains!
Holiday Parties- endless possibilities!
Philanthropic Events-use event colors and fill with custom m&m's and stories of how the money raised will help the cause.
Baby Showers - think adding rattles and pacifiers and pinky rings
Bridesmaid Gifts- add garters and pictures of the bridal showers
Small Store Grand Openings- add savings coupons.
Promotional Pieces- fill with coupons and candy!
Realtor Leave Behinds -fill with your business cards, local eatery bus cards, local businesses cards, an extra key.. be creative and humorous!

Thank your for reading and getting your ideas here~
To order any of the painted wood or custom party bag toppers and bags contact me at!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A new look...

I have added some new look items to my repertoire!

Here's a new item I just put together today! Since I adored that recently made bookmark in LIZA with the brightly colored animal print, I just thought it would be fun to make it into a flat note card~ Let's see what you think!

Here are two great items for baby shower or new baby gifts~ The little pink flowers are so adorable and were hand drawn by me and placed digitally on the blank folded note card. I just love the color combination...the colors of my first bedroom's wallpaper! The pink swoosh of color around the name adds all the whimsy could hope for.

Babies and Toddlers need to say "Thanks" too!

Still going with the PINK theme~I've added a nice brown. Everyone loves their initial!

Giving you ideas! I can make any design of SooBoo's into any format. Here-a great way NOT to lose your luggage..or at least retrieve it easier! Front and back Luggage Bag Tags.

Luggage Bag tags come with coordinating ribbon of my discretion and a vinyl loop. These make wonderful gifts. Just $12 for one and 2 for $20!