Category Archives: creativity

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

Advice taken

Bob used to take food and water out to the barn for the cats that live here. He’d carry everything in one 5-gallon bucket. After a few big snowstorms, we trained the cats to come to the house for food and water.

After the change, Bob continued to carry the large bucket around. One place he took it was to the mailbox. When he had it with he could drop all the mail in the bucket and not lose anything to the wind.

Mail’s here! See the delivery flag has popped.

Bob carried the bucket all winter long. He said he did this in case he fell. Because of his bad hip, if he ended up on the ground, he needed something to push up on to get up.

I started carrying a bucket with me when I go to the mailbox. Wicked winds have caught newspapers in the past. Now they are dropped safely in the bucket.

Mail is in the bucket, safe from the wind and dropping in the snow.

Bob always had great ideas…and a soft heart when it came to barn cats.

Copyright 2020 © by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work/School Day

I almost missed this monumental day. I think it’s a good day to remember my good friend, Wendel T. Bear–the T. stands for Teddy.

Years ago, I had a slide show of Wendel. He went to school, the doctor’s office, grocery shopping, and a ton of other places.

Wendel did all kinds of fun things, like go shopping with his little friend, Pookie.

I started digitizing Wendel photos. Maybe someday, I’ll have a PowerPoint to take on the road again.

Wendel is waiting patiently for his new digital debut.

Copyright 2019 by 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