Art Walk Pop-Up

Last weekend, the typically drab common area of my office building came alive with art, craft, people, music, wine, food and fun.  Last weekend, along with eight other artisans, I hosted an Art Walk Pop Up event that was so much fun.  It totally invigorated and inspired me.

Phinney Wood Art Walk 2015

Having done a similar event last December, I wasn’t at all nervous about this one.  That being said, it still lit a fire under my butt, and I worked like crazy getting ready for it.  I signed us up with the Art Up PhinneyWood organization so we could benefit from their marketing and get on the Art Walk map. I created a flyer for our own advertising, set up a Facebook event, coordinated the eight other artists (setup times, tables, food and drink), and sewed and sewed my pillows.  And I loved every minute of it.

Artwalk Pop Up 2015

This being an Art Walk and not a craft fair, I knew this was not the type of event people go to to shop – they go to look at art and drink free wine.  Nevertheless, I sewed a ton of new pillows, even though I knew this was not about making much money. This was more about exposure, practice (pricing, labels, display, etc.), learning from the other artists, and seeing what people like.  This was also about creating a safe and free opportunity for other women like me to put themselves out there.  And that was probably my most favorite part about the Art Walk – hanging out for two days with an illustrator, a gourd artist, a photographer, a fine artist, a furniture up-cycler, a container gardener, a sock-monkey maker, and a purse-maker/seamstress extraordinaire.  I had so much fun with these ladies, learned so much from them, and got so many good ideas.

I loved being around these other artists/makers.  Each of these  women is super creative, doing what they love, in their spare time, creating amazing things.  But making what they love and selling it are two very different things.  Selling is the harder part, because it’s the scarier part.  The potentially risky and expensive part. But I believe in the net and I that we’re all in this together, so we might as well do things like this together, help each other out, learn from each other, and make things less scary and more fun.

Doing a big craft fair is scary and getting in isn’t easy.  Usually you have to be selected, and to be selected you need a good web presence, great photos and marketing materials. You have to pay an application fee, and if you get accepted you have to pay the booth fee – usually $100 to $500.  Then if (or should I say “when”) you get rejected, you get to feel like a complete loser who’s wasted her time and money, and who should seriously consider throwing in the towel all together.

Up-Cycled Furniture and Seattle Container Gardens

On Friday, just before the Art Walk was about to start, I checked my email and saw that I got another rejection letter, this time from the Renegade Craft Fair.  Darn it!  Why?  Well, I think I know in my heart why.  I think I’m not really ready for a show that big.  I think I need to start smaller, doing things like this Art Walk, applying to some smaller shows, taking small steps instead of huge leaps.  Later I’ll try again, after I have some smaller shows under my belt, and more confidence about what I’m doing and what I’m selling (colors, pricing, inventory, display etc.) Rejection always feels bad, but it also offers perspective.  How do I look to the outside world?  Probably like someone who’s just starting out and needs to keep plugging away at what she’s doing.

Lots of people came to our Art Walk Pop-Up and I ended up selling eight pillows.  Lots of people picked up my business card.  My display was a little better than last time, and so were my price tags and care instructions.  I really love the new pillows I made for the show.  Lots of people commented on how great the space looked.  And I met some other cool arty ladies who were also participating in the art walk.

And on Tuesday morning I got this email from the people at the Urban Craft Uprising:


We are so thrilled to invite you to vend with us at the Urban Craft Market at the Seattle Street Food Festival this August!  We are super excited about this event, and to be working again with such a great organizing team.

We will be working closely with the folks at SSFF to coordinate all the details of the market, to fine-tune the booth map and provide you with all the necessary information as the show approaches.

Soon you will be receiving an invoice, and more details in the coming weeks.

But for now, Congratulations!


Art Lives Here | Love Wins

Am I Looking my Age, or Like an Old Lady?

Recently I made a really really scary decision.  I decided to stop coloring my hair.  Yipes!

It’s been six months now, and I’m at that very awkward half-way point, and I’m not sure what to do from here.  Cut it short so it’s all gray?  Wear a hat?  Tie it in a knot in the back or braid it?  Pretend it’s normal?  Color it?!  Why is this so tough?  When is the right time to go gray and how the heck are you supposed to do it gracefully?  I don’t have the answers.  I’m just doing my best to get through this and to look (gulp) my age.

Suzanne Goes Gray

This photo of me with the kids (doing Miles’s science fair experiment) kind of freaked me out.

My natural hair color was dark brown for many years, but when the first gray hairs made their appearance in my late twenties I would have nothing of it; so I started dying it, matching the same brown color.  That was about 20 years ago.  Over the years more and more gray hairs have shown up, and I’ve been dying my hair a bit lighter, and a bit lighter, until basically I became a blonde, and basically lost any inkling of what my natural hair color was any more.

Even though I was blonde until about age 10, I never quite got used to becoming blonde again. I never felt like I found the right shade of blonde for my skin tone. Every now and then I’d run into someone I hadn’t seen in a while who’d say, “Oh my god you’re blonde!” and I’d respond, “Oh yeah, I guess I am.”

These days I’m getting quite a different kind of reaction.  Like “Oh wow, you’re hair is really gray!”  Or “You have a lot of different colors going on these days.”  Or “Wouldn’t it be easier to color it all gray?”  And most recently, “You are really up with the trends Suzanne.  I just read that gray hair is white hot these days!”  Which is really funny to me because I’m pretty sure that my half grey, half blonde, with some brown here and there hair is the opposite of hot.

Click the image to read the article from the Huffington Post: “6 Reasons Gray Hair Is White Hot Again.”

When you have as much gray hair as I do, growing it out is just kind of weird.  Sometimes I think, This isn’t so bad.  This isn’t so noticeable.  Then I’ll see a picture of myself and think This is ridiculous!  Why not just be a blonde for a little while longer?!  Mostly I feel like I’ve come this far and I shouldn’t turn back now.

When I was at a thrift store in Palm Springs last month, buying two pot holders and a piece of fabric for two dollars, the cashier asked me if I qualified for the senior discount.  I was pretty surprised, but also very curious to know how old I needed to be, and how much money I’d save.  He said “55 and twenty cents”, and I said, “No thank you!”  After that I wanted to rush to the store and buy some L’Oreal Creme #8.  But I resisted.  I’ve also noticed that when I’m at the grocery store the bagger person now regularly asks me, “Can I help you to your car with that ma’am?”  Good grief…

The media might be saying that gray hair is white hot, but I know few women these days who let their hair go gray naturally, and certainly no woman in the entertainment industry under 55 is gray.  When I’m not doubting my decision, I tell myself, The hell with it!  Guys go bald for cryin’ out loud, why can’t I go gray?  And most of the men my age who aren’t bald have gray hair and they look great.  Plus, coloring your hair is a pain in the butt, involves smearing chemicals all over your head, and looks terrible when the roots start showing.  Enough already!

andrew lauren for ralph lauren

This guy, Andrew Lauren (Ralph Lauren’s son) is 3 years younger than me and looks incredible with gray hair. (Although he’d probably look incredible with a rainbow afro.) And then there’s George Clooney…

Okay, enough already.  I’m going gray and that’s that.  It all just seems silly and superficial, doesn’t it?  My husband, friends, and family all still seem to still like me fine, even with my funny half old-lady hair.  And that’s what matters most.  Right?

My Backwards Family

Sometimes when Nadine has friends over at our house they like to mess around with iMovie and make backward movies.  I think they are so funny, but they also impress me with their creativity.  This is screen time I don’t mind.

One night we decided to do one as a family, and since I couldn’t think of what I wanted to write about this week, I thought I’d share this goofy video:

That’s all for this time!  Until next time, have a good time, all the time!

George Washington

Life has been a bit heavy lately, and so today I decided it was time to write about something light.  So today’s topic is about George Washington, the first president of our great nation, and the namesake of the beautiful state in which I live.

This year for Halloween I decided to be George Washington.  I’m not exactly sure what motivated me to be George Washington; I guess I just didn’t want to be anything scary, and I certainly didn’t want to do the sexy thing, and so perhaps I figured that the opposite of scary and sexy would be George Washington.  Miles, who loves to support me in all things silly, said he’d help me with my costume, and so he and I sketched out what we thought my costume should look like.  Here’s what we came up with:

Suzanne Picture of George

My picture of George Washington on the moon (?)

Miles Picture Of George Washington

Miles’s picture of George Washington

Based on our sketches, it was obvious that I would need a wig with ridiculous curls at the ears.  So I splurged and bought one on for $12.  I got it in two days, and I have to say, even though the curls were much smaller than I was led to believe in the picture, it was pretty darn good.

George Washington Wig

The guy on the package – I felt kind of bummed for him.

Nadine decided to try it on, and I love her un-colonial spin on it:

Nadine as George WashingtonTodd, on the other hand, would fit perfectly in the 18th century:

Todd as George WashingtonHalloween was a bit of a rush this year, as I’d been in Texas up until the night before Halloween, and the only part of my costume I’d figured out was the wig.  But no problem, turned out my old pirate costume would work.  I just needed a neck scarf, which I easily made from a piece of cheese cloth I had in my fabric stash, then I put on some white zombie makeup to make me paler, applied a liberal amount lot of rouge, some brownish lipstick, and I was good to go!

Suzanne as George WashingtonI know, it’s not a great picture, but I didn’t take any pictures this Halloween, only this selfie, and not a single picture of my kids!  (This year MIles was an “outlaw”, Nadine was “zombie princess”, and Todd was a guy with a wig, shop glasses and coveralls.)

I told my sister Nicki that I was George Washington, and she asked me if I was sexy George Washington like Cindy Crawford on the cover of George Magazine from way back when.  Um, not exactly…

Cindy As George…I told her I was more like George Washington on the dollar bill,

dollar bill

or in this classic portrait:

Portrait of George

I actually loved being George Washington for Halloween.  Maybe next year I’ll be Ben Franklin!  Or Marie Antoinette?  We’ll see…

Halloween already seems like so long ago.  Christmas decorations have hit the stores big time, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and this little pumpkin on my stoop really needs to be thrown away.