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Wish You Were Here

August FeMail Suzi 2013

You know I make mail art, right?

I have had a mail art collaboration with Karen Arp-Sandel called FeMail for 7 years.
We are presenting a workshop Art and Story as Deep Connection for Alchemy Initiative this September.
Here is a post about it over on FeMailArt.


I gotta go swimming.
I am boosting my happiness with savoring these last days of August every single day.
It is so tempting to just jump all over my work since returning from our #summeradventure2013.

More more more for you dear Laundry Line Divine readers as the days roll on.
The Out of the Mouths of Babes blog series will ramp up again with great posts by women from all over the globe.
Plus, September is my favorite month for posting.
If you are hungry for a gorgeous poem, Monica Devine posted one here today.

Til next time!

Sunday after #Nemo

Snow Heart by Suzi Banks Baum

Winter has settled around our feet like an overfed cat.
The wind carries snow upwards to sparkle in the air,
sends dervishes whirling across the drifted roadways.

I have kept the fires lighted here at home.
Making really good food.
Eating it after playing in the snow.
And completing my canvas for the 10X10on10 Arts Festival in Pittsfield.

Edge of The Life of the Sleeping Lady by Suzi Banks Baum

January Marsch Kerr joins us today in the Out of the Mouths of Babes blog series on mothering and creativity. Her vivid description of the changes wrought within her by becoming a mother are captured in her words and images. Life events, natural events alter us, at times, deeply, with seismic shifts in our characters, our momentum and purpose. I am so delighted to welcome January in to this discussion.


My family did a lot of skiing this weekend.

I took a nap this weekend and I wasn’t even sick.
How about you?
A nap?
Snow angels?

I hope this finds you cozy.
Xo S

P.S. Here is a set of #whatinspiresme via Alchemy Initiative, who with WAM Theatre and the Y Bar in Pittsfield is hosting this art festival.

My favorite postcard of the holiday season

KAS to SBB832

You do realize that tonight is the ninth day of Christmas, right?

My Mom taught me to appreciate and have my tail saved by the Twelve Days of Christmas. This practice softens my panic to get every freakin’ little thing done by the stroke of midnight on December 24th. And it allows a bit of surprise to carry me in to the New Year.

Who knows when a certain special something will show up to cheer me on a frigidly cold and windy day?

Why, today, my FeMail art partner, Karen Arp-Sandel, with whom I make art and a whole lot of fun, sent me this one-of-a-kind collaged postcard. We sell these at various art events in December and whatever escapes the keen eyes of holiday shoppers, we mail to our special friends.

And how special is this one? That is a New Yorker from the 1940s behind that snappy jester gal.

Thanks Karen!
Here is to a new year of more art, adventure and FeMail!

Here’s where you can learn more about FeMail.
Our next event is an evening program at Kripalu in March, then a day-long workshop with Alchemy Initiative on Saturday April 27th.

xo S

8 Marvels of Connection in the First Week of Advent

#Advent calendar day one. XoS

Well my friends have been busy.

Everyone is hopping with news of growth in their businesses or ideas, in upgraded websites or book releases.

Sort of like celebrating a kid’s new front tooth, this post is a short list of eight things that have come my way this week that inspired me.

At least one of them will inspire you, I am sure.

#mixedmedia #collage element at Collage Studio with @kasart at #is183

Jennifer Currie is my nearly next-door neighbor and a painter and spiritual seeker is doing beautiful work. On her blog she writes about dancing in her jammies every morning. She had a special offer to her newsletter subscribers that I took her up on, and all I can say is, thank you Jennifer. You light up Great Barrington with your joy.

#adventwindows @messycanvas xoS

Advent has long been a time of great anticipation and joy for me. Less joy, honestly, once my kids were big enough to be ‘waiting’ for Christmas, even though we have not had huge Santa strewn holidays. Advent has a very special place in my heart though, not tied to gifts or doing, but is about sitting and listening, waiting- not an easy thing for little kids understandably. They loved the Advent Circle at their kindergarten, but have outgrown that tradition. I have to coax my girl to open the doors on our lovely calendar. Oh, I could go on about Advent, but when I discovered what Mandy at Messy Canvas was doing, I signed up for her ‘Come Thou Long Expected’ Advent journey. Her e-book is written in her steady voice with a month of daily readings and prompts for working in my art journal. Here is the quote I loved today:

“To be seen fully by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow- this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”
~Elizabeth Gilbert

At Alchemy Initiative’s Handmade Holiday Festival in Pittsfield this weekend, I ran in to my collage studio pal, Laurie May Coyle. Aside from raising a sweet angel of a little girl, Laurie has sprouted her own coaching studio and with her friend Ilana Siegal, will be leading a 13 week Creative Productivity workshop here in the Berkshires. I love Laurie’s art. Whenever I see a bird, I think of Laurie.

Then, in a comment here on Laundry Line Divine, I met Spike Mason who introduced me to his latest music video. After sharing it on Face book, I learned from my soulmate in Australia, Justine, that the vocalist, Kristin Berardi, is a friend of hers. Here is what Justine said about Kristin:

“Gorgeous soul, and the mother a son and daughter. Kristin’s singing is as divine as she is herself…. she is a powerful force for promoting women and voice…”

No wonder I like it so much.


I know you might be worried about your holiday shopping, but, if you stop at my pal Janet’s blog, you might take yourself out for a little food adventure. She manages to find the most unexpected foods in unexpected places. And here is her newly updated blog spot, not to be confused with Blogspot. It is ever so roomy there now.

Then, there were some wonders in the mail.

First, my pal Lori Randall Stradtman, who I met in BlogWorld Expo 2 years ago and fell immediately in love with, sent me her new-to-the-world book “Online Reputation Management for Dummies”.

My hub is the first to jump in to @lorirandallstradtman 's new book. Delighted to read and share Lori's brilliance!

I have only begun to dip in to the very clearly written text, laced with her natural humor and clean sharp eye which peers perceptively in to Huffington Post and Nike all while raising 3 kids and a couple of dogs. Lori has written a book that appeals to blog hosts like me. I am always working to improve what happens here on the Laundry Line and I want my presence on the world wide web to one that foots with my value and integrity. Lori has written THE book on how to make sure I do that.  Thanks Gal!

And, of course, being the holiday season, this post of marvels would not be complete without some FeMail! Karen and I got together this week to create some one-of-a-kind postcards to be sold at the Burlington Vermont Holiday Art sHop next week.

Karen wrote a post for FeMail here.  Here is a sample of our little works of art that you can send through the mail. This one is by Karen.

And lastly, this is mail I look forward to getting, I just joined my virtual friend Michelle’s online community at her site Gwarlingo. I often mention Michelle here because she posts some of the most interesting and exciting art and culture news.

I joined because I know being a reputable and steady presence online requires support. And, being an artist, I know the value of that support. So congratulations Michelle! I can’t wait to share my Gwarlingo mail with my Laundry Line readers.

Here’s what we used to do. A lot. We will bake again this year. And I will hope for some decorating assistance from the best little bakers in the Berkshires..almost all grown up!

For today I am taking deep breathes and offering prayers of gratitude that all is well in my household. The kids are working hard at school. My husband made dinner twice this week already. And tomorrow is art day where he takes the steering wheel for our family life for the whole day. I am a very fortunate woman, I know.


I have big news too. That anthology I mentioned is really happening. I am becoming an indie book publisher before your very eyes. More on that when I have visuals to share.

Until then, just know I appreciate your time and attention here on the Laundry Line.


I will close with a quote from one of my husband’s heros, Jacob Bronowski. If you sit next to my guy for longer than 30 minutes, let’s say you are at a party and you get him talking- he may steer you towards some of the wonders of life that he learned about watching Bronowski’s The Ascent of Man in 1973.


Here is the quote that captures the spirit of this post and pretty much everything I do:


The world is totally connected. Whatever explanation we invent at any moment is a partial connection and its richness derives from the richness of such connections as we are able to make…the act of imagination is the opening of the system so that it shows new connections.

~Jacob Bronowski

“The Origins of Knowledge and Imagination” 1978

Here is to our connection,


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