Category Archives: art


In between lawn mowing, I took some time to pour a couple of acrylic paintings on tiles.

Some are better than others, but I’m still learning.

Right now I’m considering my next pour and using less paint and more of the thining medium.

So much to learn.

But I’m having fun.

Maybe if I did let the cat out when the paint is fresh, I’d get some interesting paw prints across my creations. Hmmm, something to think about.

Copyright © 2021 Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Homemade salt clay

I have not made this recipe in ages, so I checked it on the internet and found it hasn’t changed.

This seems like a good project for a family when everyone is stuck indoors.

Cooked Salt Clay Recipe

2 Cups of Flour

2 Cups of water

1 Cup of salt

2 Tablespoon vegetable oil — The oil will make the dough a little easier to knead and work with but some recipes omit it.

1 Tablespoon cream of tartar — The cream of tartar makes this dough last 6 months or longer, so resist omitting it. But if you are making ornaments that you are going to dry right away, the cream of tartar isn’t needed.

Food coloring


In a large saucepan mix the flour, cream of tartar, and salt; add oil and water.

Cook over medium heat five minutes, stirring constantly. Your arm may tire as mixture thickens—having a helper is nice.

It is finished when the dough clings to the spoon and refuses to be moved. Take care not to scorch.

Remove from heat and cool a bit. Divide into fourths and add food coloring. Knead.

After play period, roll dough in a large ball, or in four balls if you have colored them, place them in plastic bags, and store them in the refrigerator. If sticky when removed, add a little flour.

If you made cookie cutter ornaments, let them air dry for 1 to 3 days then they can be painted.

Good luck.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

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