Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Opening up, Thankful

Hello lovelies, Hope your all having a wonderful week!

Thanksgiving is fastly approaching, and has had me thinking of alot of family things, the past, and the future. And the many things, that I have, to be Thankful for.

 I have wanted to write this post for almost two weeks now, but my fears keep getting in the way. Then I decided that, if I don't share my story, I am not being honest with myself, sharing truth, and therefore, not living the whole and complete life I want to be living.

This month of November, has been just incredible so far, and I have so many great things to share with you. Dreams and wishes, coming true.

I received a magical Birthday gift from my loving daughter and found out I am going to be a Grandmother!!! Really excited about the news! Baby should be arriving in June, we will know more in a little while.

At the beginning of November, I received my congratulations letter, and a complimentary copy from Somerset Studio's Magazine Nov./ Dec. issue, saying that they had published my work, in their beautiful magazine. Let me just say.. OMG!!! I was just sooo excited, over the moon excited, to have my work published in the very pages of the magazine, in which I have so strongly admired. It has been a dream of mine, for some time now.

Then, the next day, I received ANOTHER letter, congratulating me for being published in Somerset Memories Magazine!!! As I kept reading the the letter, it blurred, as the tears welled up in my eyes, and ran down my cheeks. Happy tears, Thankful tears, tears of pride, and tears of accomplishment.

It wasn't until the beginning of last year, 2011, that I called myself an artist. And really believed in myself, and my gifts. This was truly my Ah Ha moment." I AM AN ARTIST", I thought to myself, I have made it. It's now official. I am becoming! Self affirmation is a powerful thing. These are the pieces I sent in to the magazine, but it is the story of how these came to be, that I would like to share with you.

I created these Ornaments as tribute to my family members that have passed. I titled them "With us in Spirit."
In May of 2006 I lost my cousin, then 6 months after that In November, I lost my father. Devastating to loose a parent. The pain was so hard for me to bare. A year and a half later in May of 2008,I lost my Sister, 6 months later in November of 2008 I lost my Grandmother, and 6 months after that in May of 2009, I lost my uncle. That same year in 2009 there was a terrible recession, my husband works in the concrete construction industry and I was working on commissions as a design consultant. There was no work, we were at our lowest point of our lives.
Dirt poor, struggling,scared, shattered and weak.We ended up loosing our home that year too, and with it, there was so much sadness. Loss after loss, I had lost my faith in everything.
 I thought, "How can this really be happening", and it was just so hard to keep going. Not knowing what to do, where we would go, or how things were going to work out.
We donated and sold most of our belongings from that house that we lived in for 11 years. It was all just so difficult.
I was numb,and I didn't like the person that stared back at me when I looked into the mirror. I was devastated by experiencing so much loss so close to one another, that it was hard to process all of the feelings, I was lost, and I was in a very dark place.
We ended up moving into my fathers home, which is a tiny house. Only 820 sq. feet, and was built in the 40's. Though temporary, I am Thankful for having it.
In order to keep going, I had to change my perspective. I started practicing a daily ritual of what I had to be Thankful for. And would recite the words "I am Thankful For... whatever it was... Warm water,this meal,toothpaste, clean clothes, heat, this coat, etc. Everyday, all through the day.
Eventually, I started to see the light again. I started to enjoy life, and wanted to be inspired by the beauty of life. I took a job as an Assistant Manager at a thrift store, and worked there for a year, before transferring into Administrative work, at a Senior Day Center. And, it was better, income, though small, I was becoming again. I also took some courses to help me find "ME" again, and really took a good look at what I wanted out of this life, and what would make me happy. And what I wanted my life to be. I started believing in myself and wanted to explore the options of living an artful life.
 It was that year in 2011, I found Somerset Magazines, the beauty inside the pages. The positive stories of women finding, and living their dreams. It was so inspiring,beautiful, and uplifting, and gave me hope. I thought, "Someday I want to have my work in this book."And began working on a dream. I set up a studio space in a spare bedroom, and began creating art. Healing my soul one piece at a time. I felt an awakening in me, and I liked it!  Looking back, I feel this was a gift sent to me.
So having my work in this Magazine is a huge milestone for me, it marks a momentous journey that I have undergone. A transformation, a place of Happiness and Joy. I have met some of the most amazing people since opening myself up to this new world of color.
And now, I am only thinking positive things for the future. I am so Thankful for my life, and Thankful for Today.
Maybe me sharing my story, will somehow, help inspire someone out there, who has suffered with difficulties too. It is my hope, that we all are Thankful for what we have today, not the past, or the future, but right here and now,this moment. Because this moment is wonderful! 
Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving...
Many Blessings,
Susan Xo


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Frozen Charolettes

Hello Lovelies.

Hope you have all had a wonderful week!!!

 I have been busy in the studio playing with my new obsession. Frozen Charolette Dolls. Yes, that's right. Frozen Charolette's. What is a Frozen Charolette, you may ask?

Frozen Charlotte is a name used to describe a specific form of china doll made from c. 1850 to c. 1920. The name comes from the American folk ballad Fair Charlotte, which tells of a young girl called Charlotte who refused to wrap up warmly to go on a sleigh ride and froze to death during the journey.
So Sad. Poor Charolette.

They come in all forms, from full bodies, which are very hard to find intact, as most of them are remnants, that are dug up from former factories from the 1800's - 1920's. Usually they have limbs missing. I think that's what I find so intriguing about them.

 These little beauties have stolen my heart. And there are just so many things you can do with these little bisque dolls.

I received several of these for my birthday, with the idea of altering them into something beautiful. The idea of making some pretty ornaments, seemed perfect, so here they are!!!

 I created several of these ornaments, using vintage tart tins, old jewelery snippets,and bits of this and that.

I added crowns on some,and sparkles of course...


Crystals and charms, a little bit of this ....
And a little bit of that...

Made with love....these will surely add some Vintage Cheer this Christmas, or you could even hang them up all year round.

Now I just need to turn all those heads into something fun too!
These are available in my shop, if you are so inclined to have one.
I would love to hear from you,leave me a comment below, so I can personally Thank You for your visit.
Have a Beautiful and Inspirational Day!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Back in the Studio

Hello Lovelies, well I made it through Halloween and my Birthday, and have gotten everything put away! A round of applause for ME! That was no small feat, but it always goes away faster than it comes out, at least.
It feels so wonderful to have everything put back in it's place again. I still have some fall decor up,pretty garland leaves and pumpkins, and plan on waiting to pull out any Christmas decorations until I get through Thanksgiving first.
But my studio, on the other hand...
I do have an all year Halloween space in there, but that doesn't count. LOL! And Christmas has started popping up in there before Halloween even arrived.
For all of us "CREATIVES" we know that in order to fill orders and have availability on Holiday items, we have to start creating before Halloween has even arrived, that sometimes can feel crazy to bounce back and forth, but when inspiration strikes, you have to grab it with both hands and enjoy the ride!
Here's a few projects I wanted to share, that I have been working on recently...

I am so in LOVE with frozen Charlotte's right now. I added some fun crowns to these little beauties and some vintage tinsel and rhinestones to their crowns. I can't show you the finished pieces yet, as these are going to be gifted, and I don't want to reveal the surprise quite yet. But I will share them soon....
Some fun pretty Ornaments I made ....

The backs sides are just as pretty!
I added little vintage, mother of pearl buttons, and some old tatting and laces...
I love how these turned out!
I really love this color palette too!
So soft and pretty...

Some little treat cones...
The insides are painted in this lovely spa blue, and I added some old stock crepe paper frills around the tops.
I also added some Vintage Tinsel trims, and frilly cording too.

I added vintage Holiday images to the fronts of the cones with coordinating papers.
I found these papers at my local Craft Warehouse, and they have an old world type of Christmas definitions, like dictionary pages almost. I instantly feel in love with them and "had" to have them!
And that's what inspired me to create these!
And here they are, a beautiful little trio for the Holiday!
All of these items are available for purchase through my Etsy shoppe, if you love them!
Until next time....
Have a Happy Creative week, and I can't wait to share more projects with you soon!
~Susan Xo




Friday, November 2, 2012

Announcing The Halloween Party Winner

Happy November Everyone!

And you know what that means, time to announce the winner of my give away!!!

Congratulations Anne from "A Little Fur In The Paint!" You were selected as the Winner of the Holiday Treat Cones!!!

Thank You so much for leaving your comments, and to those of you who are now new followers.

I really appreciate your kind words...

This was such a fun way to celebrate Halloween this year!

I have had so much fun hopping around to your parties...  Thanks again to Vanessa from A Fanciful Twist for Hostessing.

Have a Fabulous week!!!