Archive for April, 2008

It’s Good to be Green…even at your wedding

Sorta didn’t do a special posting on Earth Day because it’s like going to church because it’s Easter. But I did press paper (recycled) and even dumped my mop bucket water outside over a new little Ginkgo tree we just planted (using a biodegradable soap).

But today I got a total surprise and was featured on Vintage Indie’s Wedding Blog, Indie Wedding Guide. Just for being green. As I’ve noted before I started my company green even before it was all the ‘buzz,’ and I try all the time to improve or lessen our ‘foot print.’

Here is a little bit about our papier mache.
Middleburg is Green…it’s not just a saying, it’s truly the way we started. All of our papier mache pieces are made from 100% recycled ground newspaper. We just add water and a biodegradable binder. Our paints and glues are all made in the USA (we have checked)–not just beautiful, but smart too.

Also let me share one of my most recent projects, I am the lead on the Etsy Wedding Team. I’m such a sucker for a good wedding. And this is a group of very talented, quality shops on Etsy that create things for a beautiful hand-made wedding. So many do customizable items for the bride and the whole wedding I encourage you to check them out. Here is the ‘our blog’ link or just search on Etsy by inserting “Etsy Wedding Team” in the search window and all my team mates will pop up!

Find more great Etsy Wedding Team Shops on our blog:


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A Coming Out Party

There will be white dresses, champagne and dancing…No not really just being silly.

But I am pleased to announce the members of a group I belong to Folk Art and Friends is coming together to show at Art in the Park on May 3rd and 4th on Elmhurst Art Museum Campus. This next weekend. This is our coming out as it is our first group show together!

Get detailed info about this wonderful show at

The “Friends” that will be showing include Barb Kauffman/Hanway Mill House, Jillian Haupt/Jillian Haupt & Company, Rosann Wynykowski/Four Cats Folk Art, Mary Jurs/ Daydream Design, Greg Morris/Red Barn Studio, Terry Graber/ Terry Graber Studio and myself, Susan Havens-Morris, Middleburg Folk Art Studio.

So come out and see us all and support Folk Art in Illinois and the Midwest.

Looking for a great place to exhibit and sell your work? Join Folk Art and Friends by emailing

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What All Mom’s Want

Moms all over the world would agree that there is an age you wish you could stop your children at or at-least go back to.

Some personal stuff first then the new pieces.
I have loved every age my children have been at and even more as they grow into the person they will be for the rest of their lives. For me with a son graduating this spring and going to college it is bitter sweet daily. When he talks to me and sounds so intelligent, I think how did I raise him to be so wonderful, then the next moment I realize he will be gone soon and I won’t see him. But WoW will I be proud. I’ll turn him over to the next phase of his life. I look forward to being with my daughter more, to do more with her, but she too will be off soon. So if I could I would like to stop them at around 6 or 8, just so they would need me as much as I still need them.

So there is something that maybe will put them back in time a bit.

We are creating for Mother’s Day, Customizable Family Portraits of your family.
You can add any number of children form 1-10+, you choose hair color, skin tone, clothing colors, size of children, boys and girl. We can add a saying to the front of the base or leave it blank. Please see one of these two links for all details. We will even be gift wrapping and send them in white box with black ribbon and a gift tag you can leave a message on.

We would love to make up one for you, just the way you remember them!

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In great company…

Ever go to a party and find great people were invited? The conversation is stimulating, the guest have great interests separate form your own. Well found myself in a very similar place purely by chance yesterday in a treasury on Etsy, titled “a little touch of red” here is the link The curator of this one is another great artist herself. Everyone on the pages work is exceptional, I was very proud to be included. But also noticed I had selected all the same artist on my list of fav’s.

I’ve recently discovered the best way to shop on Etsy is through others shop favorites, it’s like getting a tip from a girlfriend about a great new store in town. You rush over to see if it fits your taste too, and when it does it’s shopping heaven. So pop on over to this great treasury today while it’s still up and shop, shop, shop, it’s like your best friend told you!

I’ve also included a list here of these great shops, so if you miss the treasury being live, check them out. A tip from a friend.

oh and me

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My Gal Pals

These are my newest ooak sweeties

As an artist you evolve, you try new things. For me these are very different, inspired by my daughter and some things from when I was a little girl. The kids are so hip today, I first had named these little flat girls “My BBF girls” But then my daughter had to tell me that it was much cooler to say “Gal Pal”, by the way she doesn’t say cool, that’s my word.

To show you how uncool I am I have given up my cell phone long ago when I started this business so I even don’t text. But I like that little saying “Best Friends Forever”, I still have a friend in my life that applies to.

Another friend e-mailed me not long ago and said TTYL at the end of her e-mail, and I had to reply back and ask what it meant (If your reading this you know who you are) and she is still laughing at me.

But anyway they are flat because I had dolls called Flatsy when I was younger. I thought they were so cute and They were fun to play with an bend I remember. Mine are a little different, they don’t bend for starters. But painted eyes in general are new for me creatively. They are only .5″-.75″ deep. The ones that are listed now would be the prototypes and I would sculpt them for pressed paper mache if I do go ahead with them. I did three different girls, perfect for “Gal Pal” giving, Happy b-day my bff, I (heart) you mom and just a sweet little Rosie.

I finished them just last week, which by the way was my Miss Poo’s Birthday and found out through the family grape vine she did not want folk at for her birthday. Guess I’m still just not cool enough.

They were just listed today, so they’re up on Etsy now, so pop over to the shop and take a peak.

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Artist Out on Whim

This is a little collection of tiny painting and collages. I saw these sweet little canvases at the art store and had to pick-up some. The other days found myself so enamored with painting on them, maybe a little longing of my former 2-D life. They are just 2″x2″ streched little canvases. They all came out kinda birdie. It was like doing a quick skecth. Very fun! I first thought these would make a great pendents to wear. But then someone at my house said “There to big”. So maybe just little hang abouts. I’m fitting some with wire and some with ribbon. Off to an show this weekend, so this is the briefest blog I’ve written in a long time.

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The Orchard at Middleburg

Which by the way was a real place, when we lived in Virginia our property had once be an orchard. So on 25 acres it only had 13 trees that remand. Not the original trees, but still a nice size. It’s one of the reasons I fell in love with the land. We had two peach trees, 4 pear trees, two huge sour cherry trees and the rest in apple.

As those of you who know me well, you’ll laugh at my over achievers notion that some how I must save and put right some 5 to 10 years of neglect in one year. So I learned and read everything I could on pruning, I became obsessed with “Does that apple tree have the perfect vase formation yet?” I would talk to Greg’s uncle endlessly about sucker shoots, tree forms, when to prune, how to prune etc.

Mind you, I’m sorta a suburban/Chicago city girl. Who never had land, never worked on the land, except for planting geraniums for my mother every summer and maybe some carrots.

Virginia was beautiful though, picturesque, we had natural ponds, a stone pump-house, the orchard you looked over from the kitchen side of the house and porch, and rolling hills. So in my little head I thought I was going to be Martha Stewart. Well mind you I was also freelancing in Washington DC everyday. So when I was told I’d better get going or I was going to miss the pruning season I jumped in with full force. Starting just on the weekends with my husband’s help, but soon realized that was not enough. So after work I would come home don the boots, the loppers, and the bleach bucket and go at it until dark. I had visions of fruit for canning, jams and jellies, pies and ice creams dancing in my head.

But soon learned of poison ivy, burn piles, cut and scraps. We had so many cuttings they made 4 huge piles. The sour cherry were really the worst they were so big you could barley prune the top and full of branches.

Well when the fruit did come in we had to pick it so fast the deer, birds and others made short work of it. I still have wonderful memories of that orchard, it was my friend many a time. It was quiet, you could think, you were alone in nature. So my recent paintings are a series of those memories and visions of that place and my time in Middleburg.

Currently I have made two sizes of prints from the original painting and note-cards. Each have original quotes on them about Friends and Friendships. I was very pleased with the quality of the prints, they picked up a lot of detail and the canvas of the original paintings. The original painting I think will be auctioned off for a charity event later in the year. I will share where and when as it gets a bit closer.

So pop over to my Etsy shop and see “The Orchards of Middleburg”.

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