art helps me grieve…

art journaling: grief - susie carranza studio

Friday, October 20th, was the fourth anniversary of my sister Patty’s unexpected death. Four years. Since then, every subsequent October 20th always start out terribly, sadly, sometimes angrily for me. I wake up in the early morning hours and relive … Continue reading

not again… AGAIN. 

The world is terrifying and ugly and cold sometimes.

Today is one of them.

Again. 💔

not again... AGAIN. another senseless tragedy. - susie carranza studio
not again... AGAIN. another senseless tragedy. - susie carranza studio


Dia de Los Muertos, 2015…

Gorgeous papel picado, entrance to San Gabriel Mission Cemetery - susie carranza studio

Sharing my Dia de Los Muertos weekend in photos… (Please read my post from 2012 – Dia de Los Angelitos… to see our home altar that year.) ’til next time…

not much painting going on…

the past several days have been very busy around here. unfortunately, no new artwork has been created in that time!

this past week, my mother-in-law ended up in the emergency room. she ended up undergoing another angioplasty to open up a blocked artery. so Lawrence and I have been spending our days at her house, keeping a watchful eye…

on a more positive note, renovations are finally under way at my in-laws’ house. a little backstory on that: when my father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer in January 2013, Lawrence made the decision that he wanted us to move in with his parents for the time they had left with us. unfortunately, there were other individuals in the house who stood in the way of us doing that in time to live with my father-in-law (we lost him within a month; he passed away February 2013). I won’t get into the details, but I will say that we are FINALLY able to get necessary repairs done to the house, getting us closer to moving into Lawrence’s childhood home so we can live and care for his mom. so we’re also dealing with contractors and renovations! I’m enjoying seeing the work being done – I really wanted to join in and tear down some walls…

so, as you can imagine, I’m not getting much artwork done. today’s the first day I’ve been home for awhile, and it was spent printing out invoices and letting customers know orders were shipped out. I do have some photos to share, at least!

’til next time…

newest pieces: mixed media wood plaques

newest pieces: mixed media wood plaques

on our way to Kaiser Permanente on Sunset Blvd.

on our way to Kaiser Permanente on Sunset Blvd.

lavender hibiscus in my in laws' garden

lavender hibiscus in my in laws’ garden

bougainvillea flower hanging on to Lawrence's shoe

bougainvillea flower hanging on to Lawrence’s shoe

spent most of a hot Friday under this...

spent most of a hot Friday under this…

find the beauty everyday…

life’s been rough. for a while now.

i don’t want to rehash here; you can catch up on our almost buying our first house (so – they say things happen for a reason), loss, and more loss…(my sister patty…) add to that, my husband and i are currently living in my parents’ house (waiting to move into his parents’ house, but that’s a whole OTHER story…) and i’m trying to help my mother heal from a long bout with pneumonia.

and when time permits, i try to further my life as an artist.

i’m not looking for pity here. i know lots of people (in my real life and in my social media circles) who have gone and are still going through trying times. when life seems to suck, your dreams seem dashed, and you want to just stay in bed sleeping or eating ice cream (don’t judge me!)…

what do you do?

one thing not to do –

don’t ever stop seeing the beauty around you.

this morning, i was helping my father roll the trash cans out to the street for garbage pick up. i was pulling the trash can with one hand and talking on the phone with my husband on the other. i was looking down at the gravel driveway when i saw something shiny.  (if you knew me, this would be funny – my husband teases me about getting “shinied” – distracted – all the time.)  i thought it might be just broken glass but my curiosity was enough that on the way back from the curb – both hands now free – i picked it up.

my father asked what i’d found.  it was this beautiful, unbroken, glass flower:


this little found treasure made me so happy! my father and i took turns holding it up to the sun and looking at it.

it was beautiful. and has now found a home in a small box until i decide how best to show it off.

later, i heated up some food and headed to my room to eat, planning on working on the computer at the same time. when i came to my bedroom door, hot bowl of food in hand, i found i’d locked myself out. (i’d locked the door earlier as i was changing clothes, and went out the back door to help my father with the trash cans. thus leaving my door locked.)

i grumbled, then laughed at myself and went outside. i needed to go around the house, go through the washroom door and into our bedroom to unlock the other door. maneuvering around the laundry lines, the air conditioner unit, and our dog, i again looked down.

a tiny yellow flower growing out of the concrete, in the crack between the house and the walkway, seemed to be looking at me…


a thing of beauty. again.

if i had not been looking at my surroundings today – while dragging trash cans, maneuvering around physical obstacles, scolding myself for leaving a door locked – i would have missed it.

it was a lesson to me today. recently i’ve been angry at our circumstances, feeling tired, fed up, put upon even, and misplaced…

these two flowers – two very different flowers! – reminded me to always look around me. it was as if a higher power was telling me “here’s a little gift just for you.”

things of beauty surround us.

treasures wait to be found.

if only we look.

so please, no matter what your circumstances, whatever is happening in your immediate world – don’t forget to look around.

sometimes all it takes is a little thing, a simple thing, to make us smile. and, if only for a while, forget everything else…♥

’til next time…