Category Archives: art

A library that checks out skulls, furs, and mounted fish

This 2017 video starts with a library in Anchorage Alaska where you can really check out bones, mounted animals, and other preserved bits and pieces from wildlife.

I can see a teacher checking out native animals to display for his/her students, bringing nature into the classroom.

I can also see writers checking out the same conserved beasts and setting one up in his/her office as inspiration.

In this short video, you’ll see a snowy owl. I imagine that J K Rowling could have had that sitting in her office as she wrote about Hedwig.

I know libraries are more than books. Years ago, I checked out artwork to put on my walls before I filled my walls with my paintings and family photos. I have been in a library that offers patrons large cooking pots and tools for canning. They also had games and jigsaw puzzles to check out, too.

If I lived close to that Anchorage, Alaska library, I know I would be checking out interesting animal artifacts. If not for inspiration, I’d love having them around just to look and wonder at.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

A little goodwill

I was in Sissy’s Treats and Treasures in Seymour when I looked out the door. I saw something that attracted my attention, a big red and black bug.

I’ve heard of people making painted rocks and setting them out for others to discover, but this is the first one I’ve found.

On the back it read:

It says: take a picture and post on Facebook — GBW Rocks — Keep or re-hide — Please enjoy! — The Wiliing Family 🙂

I still have the rock bug, but I plan on leaving it for someone else to find soon..

Maybe it will make someone else’s day as it did mine.

I just remembered another rock I was given about six years ago.

Grandson, Eli had made it for me early in his reading and writing career.

To photograph it, I went to my jewelry box and found it. — Yes, I kept it all these years. Grandmas cherish little gifts like this.

Set up this as my last photo so it will show up on Facebook as per request on back of rock.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Sissy’s store visit continued

Being in the country means my internet connection is DSL. That is why it takes me so long to upload or download files, especially videos. Even this thirty second video took all afternoon to find its place in my computer.

It is frustrating, but I’m still happy I have something that connects me to people outside this house. It would be like going back to the stoneage if I couldn’t meet up with friends and family daily. Mail would be my only option and I don’t want to go back to that.

Anyway, here is the very short video I shot at Sissy’s yesterday. If you need a gift and don’t want to face a huge monster store, stop in and look around, but don’t forget your mask.

And please remember to check out my books and paintings, too.

watercolor pins
painted tiles
Me at Sissy’s before the pandemic.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

A visit to Sissy’s in Seymour

You never know what you will find at Sissy’s.

You may find tiles made by me.

Or my books….

and books by other local authors.

Or daughter Rebecca’s copper trees.

Sissy’s is a special place.

I took a 30-second video at Sissy’s but it is taking forever to download. It looks like I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to post it.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Column from last July

I’ve been reading old columns on YouTube. Yesterday I thought I’d do something more recent. I chose one from last summer when Bob’s cancer treatments were working and he and I could happily work together. It turns out I couldn’t read it, but I’ll share it here instead.

A new adventure for the Manzkes

July 2019

When Bob and I lived in Illinois, we grew sweet corn to sell. Bob would pick it early in the morning into the back of the pickup truck. He’d then park the truck in the yard and put a sign up: fifty cents a dozen, self-serve. We never took our corn or pumpkins to a farmer’s market.

I’ve attended the Seymour Farmer’s Market many times in the past. Since we don’t grow much of a garden, I never even considered exhibiting. When I looked up the market on Facebook I saw the ‘about’ section said: Seymour Farmer’s Market has a venue of produce, crafts, and entertainment. “I do crafts and art,” I said. “We should set up at the Seymour Market.” The crazy thing is that Bob agreed.

Stashed in a shed I found the old canopy I used to use when I took my watercolor paintings to art fairs. To my astonishment, all of it was there. The two holes nibbled by mice were patchable. The only trouble was there weren’t any instructions on how to put up the canopy.

I started working on the assembly alone in our backyard, but I didn’t get very far. I needed help. Bob wandered out to see what I was doing and I drafted him to help.

There were all kinds of polls and six plastic connectors. All we had to do was to match everything up so it would stand on its four legs. I’m afraid that was easier said than done.

            Most of the braces and legs were the same length and could fit one into another. They even had numbers on them from 1 to 4. You’d think that meant four legs, but the 1s turned out to be part of the canopy roof arch.

            It took hours to get the stupid thing together, but we did it. It was a proud moment for us to stand under its shade.

            Okay, so we did this once, we shouldn’t have any problems when we took it to Seymour’s Farmer’s Market. Right?

            Lucky for us we got there early, because setting up that canopy was a bummer—and imagine I used to do it alone.

            Bob wasn’t much help our first Tuesday. I pulled all the parts out of the bag and put things on the ground in an orderly fashion—the canopy was very old fashioned compared to everyone else’s at the market. Since we were working from the ground up, Bob couldn’t bend to pick up parts. All he could do was hold the top and stop it from flying away.

            I put some of the legs together, but I couldn’t figure out how the plastic attachments connected them—and this is after practicing.

            Bob kept telling me I was doing it wrong, but he didn’t have very many ideas about how to get the darn bugger together.

            Did I mention it was a hot afternoon? Did I have to mention that I was totally frustrated?

            Somehow we got it together! Heavy sigh.

            The rest of the setup wasn’t hard: tables, chairs—painted tiles, copper trees, and my books were for sale.

            The rain didn’t come right away, but it did come. The only thing I had to worry about was my books. The other items could get wet. Luckily, it didn’t rain too hard and there wasn’t any wind to blow everything away.

            Our first afternoon had many highlights, like all the nice people who stopped by to visit.

We exhibited every Tuesday at the Seymour Farmer’s Market through August after buying a better canopy. (I wish I could say the same for 2020.)

Bob and I never went expecting big sales. Mostly it was to get out of the house and see people. We’d have lunch at the market and snacks, too. It was a good outing we could do together.

Here are some photos Bob took of me and our farmer’s market setup.

Susan with her books and more

Here’s a Farmer’s Market away from Seymour. There wasn’t a lot of traffic stopping by that day, but we still had fun.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved