Sunday, December 22, 2013

Santa's Workshop is overflowing...

vintage Jeep truck embellished with fake snow and bottle brush tree

...with projects that needed to be finished, so he sent them to Auntie Sisters craft room! 

So much to do in so little time!

Trees to be decorated,
gifts to be made,

personalized gifts
  tags for the presents.

altered tp tubes for gift card holders

more tags

tp tubes from a swap buddy

yummy pumpkin spice cookies

Baking goodies and wrapping gifts,
gifts for the grand kids fill every corner

successful and first time baking by my niece, Tori

I am grateful to be Santa's helper, tinkering and crafting, but I also know that taking the time to enjoy the blessings of the season is a gift I seem to put on the back burner all to often.
So on this snowy beautiful day, I am going to hang the stockings,

sweet granny made stockings bought at a flea market
relax and read the Christmas cards sent from family and friends,
It is so wonderful to hear from old friends!

enjoy the awesome decorations in my neighborhood,
How can you not admire all of this hard work???

and sing out loud to my favorite Christmas carols on the radio!
sweet vintage graphic

While dreaming of a white Christmas,
vintage santa in a waterless snow globe and miniature bottle brush trees

keep the reason for the season in your heart,

vintage ornament in a waterless snow globe

and pray for those less fortunate.

hand painted slate found at a thrift store

Merry Christmas to all, from the bottom of my heart!
Hugs, Susan

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Time For Everything


As the hustle and bustle of the holiday season entwines itself into our daily activities, do we make time to be truly thankful for all that we have? Do we bestow kindness on to strangers? Do we share of what we have in abundance?

My Thanksgiving will be shared with people that I love, great food, and a few extra days to relax and enjoy the company of others. I wish all of that and more for you!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!


Ecclesiastes 3

King James Version (KJV)
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.
13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

What is your favorite part of October?

Do you like the process of picking that "special" pumpkin?

Hand-picked lovelies from Susies Garden Patch    

Do you find yourself giggling at the spooky decorations everywhere?

An altered spool that I created for a swap at the yahoo art group Art For The Creative  Mind

Does the macabre frighten or enchant you???

A decoration that I altered and enhanced with markers and Glossy Accents

Are you fascinated with the folklore and mystery of Halloween?

Altered books that I created for my shop Auntie Sisters, using art supplies from my favorite designers, Tim Holtz

My favorite art project this fall!

Altered puzzle pieces featuring "The Raven" for another swap at Art For The Creative Mind

Do you like creating spooky vignettes when decorating?

Hand-crafted art work from around the world created by my crafting buddies.
 The miniature wizards chest was made by my favorite You Tuber, Fiona Jennings.
Anyone else recognize their wonderful creations???

Are you more suited to simple harvest decor and sweet scarecrows?

Love these Wizard of Oz Happy Meals toys that I borrowed from my grandson.

Do the colors of Autumn sing to your soul?

My neighbors beautiful trees.

Do you enjoy the harvest of nature's bounty?

Butternut squash

Are you squirreling away some treats for a cold winters day?

Are you moved to thankfulness for God's creations by the simple ghost shadow of a leaf?

No matter what you fancy, October is a special month to me in so many ways, and my wish is the same for you!! 



Friday, October 18, 2013

Operation Write Home

Have you heard of "Operation Write Home"? Their mission is to support our nation's armed forces by sending blank handmade greeting cards to write home on, as well as "Any Hero" cards of gratitude to encourage them. 

A simple, thoughtful project for all ages to do and at a little cost but with a big impact.

Take the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our heroes and their families by serving them through Operation Write Home. You can participate in this endeavor with your creative friends and family at home, in school, or with your service organization. 

Local Event

Join us at the State Street Market Shops , Elgin, Illinois, this Saturday October 19th, 2013 from 1:00 to 4:00pm in our cafe. We will have supplies on hand for card making and assembly, you just need to bring a pair of scissors, glue and a crafty friend or two. 

Your donation of A2 sized (5 3/4" x 4 3/8") envelopes would be greatly appreciated.

As always, the cafe has complimentary coffee and snacks and soft drinks for a nominal fee.

Can't make the event? Stop by State Street Market Shops any time between now and October 25th and donate your spare change or A2 sized envelopes to help support Operation Write Home.

A little love goes a long way!

Visit the Operation Write Home web page for more information at this link:




Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Summer Sabbatical...

...Is Good For The Soul.

I've certainly missed sharing my creative endeavors and storytelling with everyone.  I originally planned on taking a break from blogging for just a few weeks and then two weeks turned into three, and then a month...and here we are.

I am happily tanned and relaxed after a joyous time of swimming at my favorite lake for two weeks and enjoying my kids, the grandkids, and a sprinkling of brothers, sisters, and friends.

Pleasant Lake is a spring fed beauty located in Westfield, Wisconsin just about in the middle of the state, north of the capital city of Madison. We stay at Happy Days Resort and have been doing so for decades. I met the charming resort owners back in the '80's and we have been loyal guests and friends ever since. 

Fun catching frogs...


Beautiful sunsets

Farm auctions.

Frisbees and floaties!


Who could ask for anything more wonderful??? For many of us, vacations are over, school days are returning and summer nights are getting cooler. As for me- I'm just going to have a little more "R&R"(Retirement and relaxation) for as long as the summer allows!


Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Father Influenced My Art...

Frederic Andres Tovar III

My father has influenced my art in a round about way that he probably never knew. 

always enjoyed coloring, paper dolls and doll houses as a young girl, but was also hanging in the trees and throwing rocks like my brother. My parents divorced when I was 11 and I would seek solace for my pain by talking to my dad's workbench, pretending he was there. Eventually, my brother joined me and together we would decipher the directions for his model kits and the two of us would glue and paint together while discussing how much we missed our dad. Silly painted rocks, doll furniture and more were created over the years, and to this day, I still find solace in the art of creation. I miss my dad every day, and the occasional cardinal will sing to me (his favorite bird) and remind me that he is in my heart and in my art. 

Happy Fathers Day!

Hugs, Susan

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

Let us pause to honor all of those that sacrificed to make the world a better place, and made the United States of America, "The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave".

In Memorial,


Friday, May 10, 2013

Mothers and Others...

Even Sisters and Brothers, Deserve a Special Thanks!

Thank you to my mother for giving me the #2 spot in birth order, so I am the middle child.

Thank you to my stepmother for sharing my father with us and always being so generous.

Thank you to my older sister for mothering me when I needed it.

Thank you to my daughters for showing me by example that I didn't fare to poorly in the mom department.

Thank you to my brother for mothering our mom when she was ill.

Thank you to my foster children for allowing me to mother them in my inexperienced way.

Thank you to my mother in law for raising such a wonderful son.

Thank you mothers everywhere for all that you do and all that you have done to make the world a more loving place. Especially mine!

A little card I fashioned and filled with marigold seeds




Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My Creative Muse Is Back...

...and the art supplies are getting organized! Yah!!

The muse returns with a suitcase full of inspiration.

A little Spring cleaning in my craft room has brought about some new ideas and jump-started my imagination with the help of my muse, Andrea Maria Louisa Elena Serena Florencia Loca, whom I affectionately call "Selma"or "The Crazy Lady". As you can see by her latest photo, she is certainly Senora Loca these days!

I've been gluing, painting, inking and creating with a renewed enthusiasm and I wish to share some of these creative endeavors with you.

My online art group "AFTCM" challenged us to create an Oriental themed mini album using coffee filters. I love the different ideas they come up with to stretch our imaginations and push our artistic abilities! Here is my interpretation and techniques used:

The front cover is vellum over grunge board that has been stamped with cherry blossoms.

The filter pages were stamped and colored. I backed them with heavy cardstock to give them more stability. I  used vintage playing cards to accent the opposite side of the pages.

I utilized each filter page as a pocket for a fan-shaped tag embellished with Japanese ephemera. The tabs are brass jewelry parts that I dry brushed with acrylic paint. The cherry blossoms are stamped with permanent ink and then shadowed with dye ink.

I added a glass beaded tassel to the closure with another brass element and inked all of the edges of the paper with my favorite Distress Inks.

I sent my coffee filter album off to my swap partner wondering why I didn't make one for myself. For whatever reason, Senora Loca only believes in one of a kind originals.

Kind of just like her!!

Crafting away,

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Bunnies and...

some photo funnies!!

My kadiddlehopper , Nellie, panicked but posing with EB

The State Street Market Shops, where I have my booths, "Auntie Sisters" and "The Curiosity Shoppe", does a gratuitous photo shoot with the Easter Bunny every year for their customers. Dogs, kids, grandmas, everyone is invited. A lot of work goes into the posing and persuasion for kids that are not too keen on the giant rabbit. My friend Linda, another shop owner, took hundreds of photos and tirelessly cajoled and bribed the happy and unhappy campers so that there would be a photo rememberance for years to come. The young man who portrayed the Easter Bunny never stepped out of character, and was kind and gentle with everyone. I loved watching the parade of Easter outfits, the special notes slipped to the Easter Bunny and the grins, giggles and tears.

Besides being so rewarding, it is a great marketing tool, and helps creates a loyal customer base year after year. The investment in dollars is minimal, the time spent for someone to shoot, sort, edit the photos and to create the advertising buzz around the event is many hours. But the results...


On Sunday, no matter if you celebrate Easter, Passover or Spring Break, I hope that your day is filled with love and laughter!