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two words that changed my life

Happy Birthday Daily Art Muse!


In early August 2006 my father suggested that I start a blog.  A systems analyst for almost fifty years, in his retirement he spent hours on a laptop each day creating programs, cruising the internet and learning…always learning. As we talked about blogs ideas I thought – why not share my notes regarding polymer clay process, techniques, inspiration and tools?  “Do it,” he said.  So I bought a domain name and found a hosting site.  Now what?  He started to help me tweak the blog template and for the first time I was speaking his language (HTML).  Like all good fathers, he delighted in my baby steps…I might have been forty-something, but they were still baby steps.

My father died before we finished the template.  Our last conversation was about a problem I was having with it. When he died the next day I put the blog aside. Couldn’t touch it. Grieving deeply, I decided to start a different blog – just for me – one that wouldn’t remind me of my father.  Without telling anyone, I posted quietly on The Empty Vessel until Cynthia Tinapple (PCD) linked to one of my posts.  Although I didn’t know Cynthia, I enjoyed her blog and often forwarded links to polymer clay art that I discovered through my research.  When I saw that she had linked to The Empty Vessel I immediately wrote to her and revealed that I was the author.  I also told her about the blog that I really wanted to write…and why I couldn’t.  “Do it” she said. Two words.  First from one of my strongest supporters, then from a stranger who was a successful blogger and fellow polymer clay artist.  “Do it.”  And so I did.

On October 3, 2006, six weeks after my father died, I launched this blog (formerly known as Polymer Clay Notes).  It evolves as I evolve. Like its author, the blog has gone through many changes and worn a few different looks over the last two years.  Together we’ve survived technical crashes and emotional tidal waves. Writing this blog has opened my mind and healed my heart. I have no doubt that I channel my father as I learn the technical side of blogging. Many days while I labor behind the scenes looking for the comma or semi colon that blew up the template (again…) I can feel his smile, just to the right of my ear, and I swear I can hear him chuckling softly.

In two years I’ve  written 1,833 posts, sharing art and artists that inspire me. In those posts I’ve used the words ‘beautiful’ (117 times) and ‘lovely’ (53 times) too often, but the art has made you gasp, made you laugh, made you think, made you smile. And you, my dear readers, have contributed more than 2,200 comments and dozens of link suggestions.  My first post was a picture of a frog. A frog because of the color, the repeating pattern, the texture.  Not surprisingly, I continue to be inspired by the same things today.

I’ve peppered this post with pictures of a few of my favorite posts from the blog’s first month. Click on the images to take a trip down memory lane.  Thanks to all of you for making the ride meaningful and worthwhile – I look forward to another year.  And Pop, thanks for everything.  I did it. I’m doing it. I miss you madly and love you always.

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28 Responses to two words that changed my life

  1. DiTTo on all said…

    Your father would be so proud of you and your work.

    Just by reading the above posts, you have touch so many people with your work and it shows that you have created something from your HeART with GReAT PASSiON and shared such a large part of yourself with us.

    SuS♥N, thank you so very much and…

    *¸.•*´¨)* HAPpY♥BiRTHDaY♥DaMuse!!!*(¯`’•.¸*

  2. Your posts fill my soul with delight and joy, with inspiration and warmth. They are beautiful (118) and lovely (54)…and now each time I read them, I will be grateful not just to you, but to your father as well.

    Happy Belated Birthday Wishes!

  3. hi Susan and HBTY.

    thanks so much for opening your heart – it was so real the emotion came right off the screen. I felt a true, open, human connection -something like love. And that’s something I don’t get from computers. thank you xxx ooo

  4. I’m new to polymer clay and new to your blog.
    Followed your link from polymer clay daily which I also just discovered.
    It’s amazing what our fathers teach us and how they affect our lives. You know he is watching over you and very proud of you.
    All the best.

  5. Happy Birthday! Your story is so beautiful & touching, thank you for having the courage to act on those “two words”, you are an inspiration, always. It seems so many of us start our day with a visit, you are “doing it” and with style! Congratulations and may you go from strength to strength. * Ruthie*

  6. Thank you so much your courageous decision to start this blog. It is a constant source of inspiration and information. Your blog is part of my morning ritual…a cup of tea and Daily Art Muse. Keep up the good work, I am truly grateful for it.

  7. Take a bow!!! As we tip our hats to you!!! You inject me art juice everyday that I digest, absorb, enjoy and am left hungry for more. Thankyou for FEEDING me.


    Susan, thanks for all that you do for the creative Community!!!! Without you I would not be where I am today! So thanks for all you have done for me personally!! Your One of the best!!!! Many, Many, Many, more years of birthdays please!

  9. What a beautiful, beautiful post, Susan! I’m sure your father is quite proud of the special contribution you’ve made to the art world. Thank you for all you do, there is never a day that I’ve checked your blog and NOT been inspired and moved by the wonderful things you share with us.

  10. What a bittersweet story! God bless you and God bless your dad!

    I’ve been trying to remember when I first found your wonderful blog. I know it was through The Empty Vessel. I think I struck gold that day. I’m sure your dad would agree.


  11. What a wonderful tribute, Susan. Your touching words brought tears to my eyes. Fathers and daughters often share a special bond. My Dad has been gone many years yet I know he still watches over me. Congratulations on Daily Art Muse’s 2nd birthday and thank you for sharing your inspiration.


  12. Again, you pluck my heart strings! I had the pleasure of meeting your father all those years ago and you’ve made me think of my own father who I had lost at an early age. As I have said before, seeing bits and pieces through your eyes is enlightening, amusing, rewarding, refreshing, encouraging. I found your site by chance and it has re-awakened some creative juices on my part, still playing, still exploring but, I’m doing it! I remember the number of hours I spent strolling through your blog and then going to the Empty Vessel and back to this blog. It’s a wonderful experience and look forward to it every day! Congratulations, Happy Birthday and thank you!

  13. Dear Susan,
    I know how I feel when my dad tells me he is proud of what I do (he doesn’t understand why or really, what it is) but it is nice to hear. You were very lucky to have a dad that gave so much and that is still with you. I am glad he started you out on the blog path….I visit every day before going to “work” in my studio. I have seen a lot of amazing things on your trips and I thank you for taking me there. For all of us armchairs travelers, I thank you!! Keep up the great work and know that we are all with you, along with your dad! All the best, Kelly

  14. Susan – Happy 2nd Blog Birthday!

    Your story brought tears to my eyes. A wonderful tribute to your father’s memory. You made me think about not only my dad’s influence in my life, but also in my art. My dad died 9 years ago. Thank you for sharing the journey with all of us.


  15. Do muses really exist? You are proof that they do.

    Of course I was in tears by the end of today’s post. And then I thought to myself “The reason her blog is so wonderful is because she has such a beautiful heart.”

    Susan, your blog is your father’s love, your razor-sharp mind and your generous spirit. No … generous isn’t a big enough word. How can I describe your spirit? I don’t have to. Look at how your blog touches souls all across the world and, even more important, connects us with each other.

    There is nothing more important than that. What you have done is so important. What an honor it is for me to have you as a friend. Thank you so much.

  16. Hi, Susan and happy birthday to your wonderful baby!

    I’m in total tears reading this. Your Dad must be SO proud of you and what you’ve accomplished with and without his help. My dad was my mentor, too, and died when I was only 15. Now in my 50’s, I’m still guided by his words of encouragement and advice and know that he continues to shape my life with an invisible hand and an inaudible whisper. How wonderful to be sharing something so wonderful with the world that holds a piece of your wonderful father!

    I check your blog every day and it brings me joy, happiness, ideas, the urge and need to do my art. I often share it with others. It’s diversity is its magic — a true artist, you see what others often miss and make us look at it, WANT to look at it and it seeps into our minds and pores, ever to inspire us, encourage us and possibly resurface in part, or bits and pieces, somewhere down the line, reformed into something that is ours. I consider it a gift to me and all of your other readers. Thank you and congratulations!
    P.S. Thanks for the bits of previous posts. I want to go back and see all the stuff I missed before I knew about you!

  17. Happy birthday. Your blog is a place I have loved visiting now for over five months. It is my island of inspiration in a sometimes crazy chaotic world. Continued growth, evolving and success to you, the muse. Your post brought out some tears as I thought of the contributions my parents had made on my life. I lost them at a very early age, but they continue to inspire me too. Thank you and happy birthday to the muse.

  18. Susan, I’m so touched by your story! It’s so interesting the unexpected directions our lives can take. I’m so grateful you choose to share your notes with us. I hope the blog continues to be a meaningful and worthwhile adventure for you for many more years to come.

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