Category Archives: crafts

New and old cutting boards

Last August our daughter, Rebecca, introduced me to
Longshadow Woodworks at Art Street in Green Bay. Ever since I’ve been working with Aryn and Courtney Kern talking about replacing my three kitchen cutting boards. (

I measured and remeasured, and re-remeasured, hoping I’d get everything correct. I then emailed my measurements to the Kerns for their estimate.

They gave me their estimate but said they couldn’t do my custom work until winter. That was okay with me. We had been putting off getting new cutting boards for years, and years, and years. (Bob and I moved here in 2001.)

Today I met Aryn Kern at the Artigras event in Green Bay and picked up my three maple cutting boards–Aryn and her husband Courtney drive from Minnesota for both Artigras and Art Street.

I was extremely happy with their creations for our kitchen.

Guess which are the old cutting boards and which are the new ones.

I held my breath when I slid the new boards into place. They fit perfectly!

Susan with Aryn Kern at Artigras

Thank you, Aryn and Courtney, for doing a wonderful job. I love my new cutting boards. I love them so much I will think twice before cutting on them. The wood is just too beautiful. I don’t want to scratch it.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved


I saw a short video on the internet that braided the hanging drawstrings from a sweatshirt hood. It looked easy so I gave it a try.

made with flat cording
made with regular cording

To start, take the cord straight toward you. You will fold it in thirds. Hold the top fold and take the loose end that is on the right over your held fold. Bring it back under the cording. It is now back on the right. Use that right hand cord and start braiding over middle cord. From this point it is simple braiding.

Finally, you will have the first fold become a tiny loop. The end of the cord goes into that loop (it should be a tight fit so it doesn’t come out) and you are finished.

This is hard to give written directions without diagrams. I hope you can understand what I wrote. Otherwise, go to the internet. Here’s one link with multiple weavings:

Here’s another:

These instructions a bit differently than mine, but you’ll find many suggestions and directions out there.

It doesn’t hurt to give it a try.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Unusual creations

I paint small.

Today I’m showing watercolor earrings I just finished.

Here are a few. They are coated to protect the art.

They are $5 each pair and $1 postage from me. There are more at Sissy’s in Seymour.

Thinking of buying local? From the artist? Need a unique gift? Contact me at

Copyright 2019 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved.

Picture Perfect Day

Today I joined a group of women from the Outagamie County University of Wisconsin Extension – Association for Home and Community Education at their fall Picture Perfect program.

The people there were dedicated to repurposing cards and calendars.

Some of the women were taking old cards, cutting and pasting them together to form new cards.

I worked across from Lois Schwister. We and others were taking old calendar photos, putting them into plastic sleeves, and making flipbooks. These would eventually be used by people with dimension.

The repurposed cards are given to other people to use as they wish.

It was a good day to work with industrious, talented ladies who also made a great pot luck lunch.

Copyright © 2019 Susan Manzke, All rights reserved

Freshly made coffee

I’ve been working on my alcohol ink tiles so I have more to bring and sell at Oneida Apple Fest in Green Bay tomorrow.

Here’s the latest I’ve invented.

Freshly painted coffee mug tiles.

I hope you like coffee.

I will bring some over to Sissy’s to sell soon, too.

Copyright © 2019 Susan Manzke, All rights reserved