perfect for Spring – hand painted canvas bags in my Etsy shop!

do you ever shop at Blitsy? it’s an online marketplace with awesome deals on art and craft supplies. you need to be a member to shop Blitsy, but it’s free to join. then you receive daily sales emails – but you need to be quick, because the items are available for a limited time only (unless they sell out first, which happens often!)

a while back, i ordered some canvas tote bags and burlap pillowcases from Blitsy. last month i FINALLY got around to painting a couple of the bags (pillowcases to come later!) -

spray painting canvas tote WIPi spray painted the background one of my favorite colors: a bright turquoise blue…

sketchbook and canvas tote WIPi wanted to recreate a recent page from my sketchbook, minus the words (those will be appearing in a later canvas piece)…

canvas tote/red fabric marker WIP

using my fabric markers (Tsukineko Fabrico Dual Markers – also purchased from Blitsy!), i drew some big whimsical flowers. painting came next! it was my first time using Jacquard Textile Colors and i loved the result – the colors are really rich and saturated…

worktable: Jacquard Textile colorscanvas tote/red flower WIPred and orange Jacquard textile colorsgreen and white Jacquard textile colorssketchbook and canvas tote WIPcanvas tote/purple and blue WIPcanvas tote/purple and blue WIPcanvas tote/purple and blue WIPthese bags, along with a canvas messenger bag, are now available in my Etsy shop – only three bags currently available, each one unique, hand painted, and perfect for Spring!

hand painted canvas tote/red, purple, yellowhand painted canvas tote/purple & blue plaid, sunflowerhand painted messenger bag/orange, yellow, redhand painted bags/collagehand painted bags/text’til next time…


creative? make sure to check out my other Etsy shop – Susie’s This & That – where i have lots of art & craft supplies: milagros, jewelry supplies, stamps, clay, ribbons, paintable items, paper flowers, embellishments, LOTS of miniatures, and so much more!


art-filled day…

my husband and i took advantage of the beautiful sunny weather a few weeks ago and set up a painting area outside. we set up our canopy and our 6-foot table underneath and carried LOTS of art supplies outside.

i love when lawrence and i get to do artwork together; he works a ‘regular’ job during the week, so these times are rare…

acrylic paints in boxgelli plates

i was excited to use my ROUND (!) gelli plate for the first time! i told myself today was just about playing, so i wasn’t worried about finished products, just going with the flow.

lawrence worked on creating mosaic crosses…

lawrence creating mosaic crossescreating a mosaic cross(sorry for the inconsistency in the photos – some were from our digital camera, some from my iPhone.)

using round gelli plate for first time!

i had to get a picture with my new round gelli plate BEFORE i covered it in paint!

first use of round gelli plate

my first print with the round gelli plate! remember, i was just playing with it, so i of course started with my favorite color (Americana’s Calypso Blue from DecoArt), then added a darker blue and got a cool, water-looking print.

first round gelli prints

i used one of my favorite stencils, the random text box stencil from Retro Cafe Gallery on the round gelli plate. i made some prints on white cardstock, some on old (rectangular) gelli prints. i was pretty happy with the results…

first round gelli prints

i’m thinking i’ll use these in future mixed media projects (stay tuned!)…

gelli print

i also made some prints with my rectangular gelli print, this time using blues and orange (i LOVE this color combo!).

i’ve been wanting to make prints with large doilies, and today was the day…

doily gelli prints

next time i’ll use brighter colors for more vivid prints. i do love how i ended up with a half-painted doily – that will definitely be used in a future project too!

i tried out my set of alphabet metal stamping set on a piece of wood, just to see how it looked -

using metal stamps on wood piecebut i had to stop and take photos of my paper mache skulls while the natural light was still right.

paper mache skulls(these are all available at our website, at $18 each.)

painting area outside(my mom checking out what lawrence is doing)

it was a good day. it was a beautiful day to be outside, i got lots of gelli prints ready for future pieces, lawrence created two beautiful mosaic crosses – all in all, a good day.

til next time…



around here…

here in California we’re FINALLY enjoying some rain!!!  it’s funny how dramatic newscasters here are – other parts of the world are dealing with terrible weather, especially snow storms. here, as soon as ANY rain is in the forecast it’s “STORM WATCH!”

i’m embarrassed for us sometimes (lots of times)…

anyway, just wanted to share some of what’s been going on around here…

morning coffee 2.25.14

i’m a big fan of coffee (favorite: Nescafe!). i have lots of “good morning” pics on my instagram and facebook pages showing my first cup of coffee for the day…

spraypainted tote bag, WIP

one of my latest projects is a new collection of tote bags. i’m enjoying making my own fabric spray paints (love this blue!); can’t wait to see how they turn out! (stay tuned…)

sketchbook page 2.24.14

latest sketchbook page. julie balzer is one of my favorite artists, and she came out recently with a line of face stencils. this was my first time using my stencil. i loved it (although i did feel like i was cheating somehow by not drawing the face myself)!

Etsy supply shop/new itemsand finally – i’ve been adding LOTS of new items to my Etsy supply shop – so many new cool supplies for all my fellow creatives out there!

’til next time…

winter around here…

i’ve been seeing SO many beautiful photos all over instagram and facebook of snow storms and snowy landscapes! i’m a bit jealous, since we never get snow around here – i don’t remember it ever snowing in my lifetime.

i was outside the other day checking out the cactus plants, when i got the idea for this blog post. so here i am sharing OUR winter here in sunny California – enjoy!

flowering cactuspotted fuschiawhite geranium flowering potato bushpotted succulentwhite flowerpotted purple beautybougainvilleame and my shadowyup, winter around here right now is flip flop weather!

’til next time…




inside my sketchbook…

i’ve been using my sketchbooks more and more lately, and really enjoying it. it’s part of my “create every day” goal for 2014. when days around here are so busy that i haven’t picked up a paintbrush all day, i love to sit late at night (when the rest of the familia sleeps) and draw in one of my sketchbooks.


i find myself using words and phrases so much more now, like this drawing from a couple of nights ago, “live a colorful life”. i drew it very late one night and left it to be colored in next chance i got..

…and i LOVE the results!

liveacolorfullife_WIP2.21.14this work-in-progress photo was posted on my instagram page (one of my “good morning!” posts)…



i love working with colored pencils; i think they offer such great texture and layers to a piece…


like i said, i love how this came out! the flowers are a little bit different than my usual flowers, and the colors are bold and vivid – perfect for my handwritten phrase.

even my father, a man of very few words, asked me “why don’t you paint this larger and sell it?”

and i plan on doing just that, maybe on a 12 X 12 inch canvas. i am also recreating something similar on a canvas tote bag; stay tuned to see how that works out!

so – what’s in your sketchbook?

’til next time…


where else can you find me?




find the beauty everyday…

life’s been rough. for a while now.

i don’t want to rehash here; you can catch up on our almost buying our first house (so – they say things happen for a reason), loss, and more loss…(my sister patty…) add to that, my husband and i are currently living in my parents’ house (waiting to move into his parents’ house, but that’s a whole OTHER story…) and i’m trying to help my mother heal from a long bout with pneumonia.

and when time permits, i try to further my life as an artist.

i’m not looking for pity here. i know lots of people (in my real life and in my social media circles) who have gone and are still going through trying times. when life seems to suck, your dreams seem dashed, and you want to just stay in bed sleeping or eating ice cream (don’t judge me!)…

what do you do?

one thing not to do -

don’t ever stop seeing the beauty around you.

this morning, i was helping my father roll the trash cans out to the street for garbage pick up. i was pulling the trash can with one hand and talking on the phone with my husband on the other. i was looking down at the gravel driveway when i saw something shiny.  (if you knew me, this would be funny – my husband teases me about getting “shinied” – distracted – all the time.)  i thought it might be just broken glass but my curiosity was enough that on the way back from the curb – both hands now free – i picked it up.

my father asked what i’d found.  it was this beautiful, unbroken, glass flower:


this little found treasure made me so happy! my father and i took turns holding it up to the sun and looking at it.

it was beautiful. and has now found a home in a small box until i decide how best to show it off.

later, i heated up some food and headed to my room to eat, planning on working on the computer at the same time. when i came to my bedroom door, hot bowl of food in hand, i found i’d locked myself out. (i’d locked the door earlier as i was changing clothes, and went out the back door to help my father with the trash cans. thus leaving my door locked.)

i grumbled, then laughed at myself and went outside. i needed to go around the house, go through the washroom door and into our bedroom to unlock the other door. maneuvering around the laundry lines, the air conditioner unit, and our dog, i again looked down.

a tiny yellow flower growing out of the concrete, in the crack between the house and the walkway, seemed to be looking at me…


a thing of beauty. again.

if i had not been looking at my surroundings today – while dragging trash cans, maneuvering around physical obstacles, scolding myself for leaving a door locked – i would have missed it.

it was a lesson to me today. recently i’ve been angry at our circumstances, feeling tired, fed up, put upon even, and misplaced…

these two flowers – two very different flowers! – reminded me to always look around me. it was as if a higher power was telling me “here’s a little gift just for you.”

things of beauty surround us.

treasures wait to be found.

if only we look.

so please, no matter what your circumstances, whatever is happening in your immediate world – don’t forget to look around.

sometimes all it takes is a little thing, a simple thing, to make us smile. and, if only for a while, forget everything else…♥

’til next time…

the week in instagram…

are you as hooked on instagram as i am?!  you can find (and follow, if you’d like!) me at

bare feet in grass

bare feet in grass

earrings: feathers and arrows

late night: making earrings just for fun

pretty paint water, "dream" heart ornament, Jacquard textile colors

pretty paint water, “dream” heart ornament, Jacquard textile colors

Yogi tea wisdom

Yogi tea wisdom


dandelion: make a wish

putting items in Etsy shop on sale

putting items in Etsy shop on sale

cloudy february skies

cloudy february skies

photo booth on my iMac

photo booth on my iMac

my parents' geranium plant

my parents’ geranium plant

happy birthday to my husband, Lawrence

happy birthday to my husband, Lawrence

finally - much needed rain

finally – much needed rain

lots of heart art going on!

just wanted to share some of the heart/love inspired items i have in my Etsy shop -

heart art collage

and in our website Arte de Nuestro Corazon -

Arte de Nuestro Corazon heart art collage

if you’re a creative soul, i have also been busy adding NEW items to my Etsy supply shop – my 2nd shop for destashing art & craft supplies -

feather butterflies in Etsy supply shop


heart milagro from Etsy supply shop

i had planned on doing a blog post on what i’m currently working on – hand painting canvas tote bags, and more mixed media hearts – but my computer is giving me SO much trouble right now, especially when i’m doing any edits to my photographs.  i’m hoping to get some help working out the kinks very soon…

til next time…

new items for a new year…

i’ve been busy working on my Etsy shop! i created a “SALE” section, to which i’ll be adding certain items at reduced prices. i’ve also been creating new hand painted pieces to add to the shop, and with Valentine’s Day around the corner, i’m hoping my new mixed media hearts, with inspirational words and phrases, will find new homes soon…


these hearts were inspired by the art badge i shared in my last post (2014: create every day…). i loved the art badge so much i recreated it onto a paper mache heart (excuse the photo – it’s from my phone)…


…and enjoyed that process so much i wanted to make more! i used recycled papers (tissue papers, Gelli Plate prints, junk mail envelopes, book pages, and more), acrylic paints, stamps, and miniature flowers – i love being able to reuse items i already have.


(another phone pic)….

each heart is one of a kind and available in my Etsy shop now!