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Category Archives: Inspiration

cast of characters

Happy Halloween! I hope the cast of characters that appears at your door tonight are as much fun as this group I found at The Monster’s Ball. The vintage ventriloquist puppets quietly watched as ghouls and headless queens danced with Michael Jackson and scary bunnies.

Looks like I got to Washington, DC just in time to miss the wrath of Mother Nature as she wreaked havoc in the Northeast.  My thoughts are with family, friends and everyone else digging out of the freaky snowstorm that dumped up to two feet of snow on areas that don’t usually see significant snowfall until December or January.

Folks from Maine to Maryland got the trick, but no treat this Halloween. Tomorrow is the beginning of a new month.  I’m going to start it with a treat – no tricks.  Promise.  See you then.

flock it – zoe robertson isn’t afraid to make mistakes

Zoe Robertson’s fascination with non-precious materials, especially those that have “a sensual and tactile quality”, led to her colorful exploration of plastics, rubber and flocking fibers. Robertson uses a wood turning lathe to further manipulate the materials and the results are BOLD.

Double Magnetic Brooches
cast resin, powder coated steel, flock fiber, magnets

“Within my teaching practice I often describe the design process as making a cake, for me this means bringing together different ingredients, mixing it all up and as a result a wonderful object is created. For me the ingredients can be visual research, various materials, a variety of processes, conversations, and ultimately a desire to make something different.” Zoe Robertson


Flocking Marvellous Neckpiece
cast resin, rubber, flock fiber, high density foam, sublimated ink, electroformed, silver plated


resin, powder coated steel, magnets, rubber, flock fiber, sublimated ink

“…This series of magnetic brooches is a visual response to the idea of two communities making a connection. This manifests itself through combinations of form, pattern, color and surface. Aerial maps were manipulated to generate bold dynamic patterns and then applied to the connecting forms by the process of sublimation thus creating a distorted reality. Contrasting surfaces of flock fiber add another dimension which overall establishes a vibrant visual aesthetic for each city…” Robertson on the Connections series of brooches.

Work In Progress


See more of her process here.

Zoe Robertson’s website

damuse musings

Early mornings usually find me greeting the sun on a long walk then sipping an ever-present cup of herbal tea while I check my ToDo list.



On most days this quiet morning routine is followed by a 10-12 hour workday as I follow a dream and build a business. I begin with an hour of research, then write my post for DAM before I get to work on several projects that are in various stages of development.


Day’s end often finds me looking at a sunset that defies description and I reach for my camera to capture the moment again and again and again. I never get tired of this ritual – it has become my gratitude prayer for another day on the planet.

I love the life I am creating as I cruise quickly past mid-life and reinvent myself again, proving that you are never too old to start anew. It is a modest life, honest and real; filled with the energy of both my physical and virtual environment.

It is a markedly different life than the one I was living five years ago.

Every Day

A lot can happen in five years. A lot did happen in five years. Five years ago an initial desire to share art that inspires me sparked a passion that morphed into the Daily Art Muse you are reading today. I shed my executive-director-of-crisis-intervention-non-profit-agency skin and got comfortable in the skin I wear now; this connoisseur-of-fine-craft-and-fine-craft-artists skin. It’s been a grand journey and it’s not over yet.

I spent so much time sharing your gifts that it took me a little longer to get clear on how to share my own gifts with you. The projects I am working on (you have seen the beginnings of a few of them) finally bring my gifts to the larger world. I’m jazzed about finding my niche and sharing more of ME with YOU.

Since I let go of that other life I’ve become known for many things as daMuse, including a sharp eye for finding high quality fine crafts, extensive research skills, consistency and an attention to detail that. . .well. . .gets attention.

More recently, people are starting to understand the value of having someone in the art community who has viewed and studied more than 200,000 artist websites (that might be a record – I don’t know of another person who has looked at as many artist websites). My expert opinion on what it takes to create a functional, beautiful artist website is beginning to have an impact on how artists move forward in this always-evolving online world. Word is getting out about my ability to guide artists as they take their websites from “Blah” to “Ahhhhhhh”.

It is extremely energizing and exciting, however I was recently reminded that when you juggle too many balls in the air, even if you are excited about all of them, you are bound to drop one and stub your toe.

I stubbed my virtual toe. Ouch.

Now I need to be mindful so it doesn’t happen again. Hence, the reason for this musing.  It is time for me to take a step back and do what I tell my students:  Breathe. Repeat. Breathe. Now slow down. Stay calm. You can do this. One.Step.At.A.Time.

The truth is, I’ve been so excited about what I’m working on that in rushing to bring it all to you I haven’t been paying close enough attention to all of the details that usually catch my discerning little eye. When you started noticing mistakes in my posts and let me know (thank you) it got me thinking – what else have I missed? I took a hard look and found mistakes in my other work – that’s not what I want. Nope.

So here’s what I’m going to do. . .

I am going to concentrate on getting these projects to the finish line with grace and integrity. A few are close to completion and I want them to rock your world so while I finish them my posts on DAM will be sporadic.

I am departing from my daily schedule and will post when I can until mid-October when I’ll pick up my regular pace again.

For the next few weeks if you don’t see posts every day you’ll know why.

All of the projects I’m working on involve and benefit you so I want this done well! [Notice I didn’t say perfect…I’m over that idea…but I do want it to be done well]

Here’s My Project ShortList:

~Get The Apprenticeship Project back on the road
~Launch The Artist Lounge
~Launch the 2012 Artist Online program (I’m so proud of the participants in the 2011 round of AOL – they are accomplishing so much!)
~Complete the bigger, more comprehensive eBook that is in the works
Offer a new way to get additional support with resources in the CCC Guide for those who purchased The Cool, Calm & Collected Guide to a Better Artist Website
~Shorten the long list that goes with this short list

I’ll be in and out, up and down, over and under while I check things off of my ToDo list.

If you want to be the first to hear all daMuse News sign up for the newsletter. You can also join me on Facebook where I regularly pop in to post a few quick links for more than 4,000 followers. If you need your DAM fix and I haven’t posted here, you might want to check there.

Many thanks for your patience – I’ll see you soon,


P.S. I hope you enjoyed a glimpse of my daily views. You can have them too – I’ll explain all in my 5th book.  It’s not that hard – you don’t need a lot of money to do this (trust me, you don’t), but you do need a lot of moxie and a sense of adventure.  I’ll tell you everything, but first I have to write the other books. Really. It says so on my ToDo list. Breathe, Susan, breathe.

Best Way To End The Day. . .

P.P.S. If you got this far then you really are a devoted DAM follower and I love you for it. This might be my longest post ever. Since you made it to the end of the post, why not jump down a few lines and leave a comment? Say Happy Birthday to DAM (5 years old in a few days), tell me what you are curious about, or just say HEY!

Hearing from you always makes my day.

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