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A Magical Story of Wonderment Begins With An Ivy Kickstarter Adventure

Susan in her humble studio.

Susan in her humble studio.

The Kickstarter Event has officially launched and you are invited to journey along.

I have reopened my studio. I welcome you into my humble place where Ivy began, ready to expand the line with new designs and stories.

Setting the duration of the event to 60 days will bring the end right up to the holidays. I wish to gift you joy and promise this season. Joining together to bring Ivy back will be the best present ever, there is nothing more I could ever ask for. I hope to gift the young patients at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital some special Ivy wonderment in the upcoming new year, adding hope to their lives gives the return a higher meaning. With grace, we can make it happen. I am here on borrowed time ready do as much as I can with my remaining life. I wish for Ivy to inspire you to find happiness and joy.

Based on the stories from Ivy's past, the Return to Ivy Storybook has set sail to begin a new future... Join our adventure and discover happiness in the ordinary!

Based on the stories from Ivy's past, the Return to Ivy Storybook has set sail to begin a new future... Join our adventure and discover happiness in the ordinary!

Ivy’s hidden messages encourage children not only to dream, but also how to deal with life’s ups and downs, giving them a huge advantage as they maneuver through life. Scientific studies have proven a positive mindset will reduce depression, stress and anxiety in their daily activities. It will improve their resilience throughout their adult years and significantly enhance their ability to cope with adversity.

The Ivy & Innocence storybook is filled with stories portraying an optimistic message that leaves an uplifting impact on the reader, young or old. Hope is a key aspect of optimism. Life is an exciting gift and each day holds something new. This creates an exciting future not only for you, but for your children… becoming the adults that go out exploring, inventing, and discovering ways to make our world a better place.

Let’s encourage our children to dream. Inspire them with uplifting, positive stories so they are filled with wonder. Who knows what amazing things they will aspire to do in the future.

Moving Mountains

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Hello New Day!

Have you ever felt like you are not where you are supposed to be? Not doing what you are supposed to be doing? Do you have that tiny inner feeling, a niggling at your senses, telling you something isn't right? A lost feeling with each ticking second like a poke to your ribs, "shouldn't you be some place else, doing some thing else..."

I am able to subdue the pokes being completely dedicated to getting my life course on track. However, they are still there. Those annoying pokes. Because I am not there yet, although, my path is leading me in the right direction (down the cobblestone lane back). That's how it is with me anyway.

What about you?

I suppose that's how you discover your gift...  when you lose yourself in the love of doing whatever it is you are doing.

I believe we all have natural gifts blessed us at birth. Our first birthday gift, so-to-speak. Talents that seem as natural as breathing and life doesn't feel quite right unless we are doing it. I like to think that is our purpose in life. To discover what our natural gifts are and to use them.

It is different in all of us and I love those differences. Being different makes us interesting. It builds inner character and our individuality.

The excitement really begins when our ordinary selves connect with others, networking our unique talents, our gifts shine brighter and we are able to give so much more because when we join together we are much stronger.

I believe when we (yes, us, you and I, just ordinary, simple, every day people), do whatever we can to give someone hope, to help them dream, to make their load a little lighter or make their day a little brighter... this is the path to a rewarding life. I think this is the secret of happiness.

And isn't this what we are all searching for? Happiness? Using our gifts (things we love doing) to bring hope and joy to another so they can use their talents to bring hope and joy to another and so on and so on and so on - do you see how contagious this is?

I want to belong to such a connection, sparking hopeful energy in others, planting optimism so that it grows and sparks others to dream, hope and inspire.

One day, I picture this ginormous, collective bubble exploding with happiness on a mountaintop...  wouldn't that be a powerful force to reckon with.  It just might move the entire mountain. Don't you think?

I believe so.   :)

Have a wonderful day!  ~  Susan

In All My Ordinary Self

Hello All,

Today was a great day. I was invited to a Birthday Party for two of my great nieces - Sophia (13) and Olivia (11). My how they have grown (pictured below) I saw family I haven't seen in a while. The highlight was when I got to hold a great niece I just met for the first time. Finnlyn was only a few months old! It has been a long time since I have held such a tiny little thing. She fell asleep in my arms... and in that moment, all my ordinary self connected to the vast universe.

But when I returned home, I was back in reality. Earlier this summer, the neighbor's dog had infiltrated our hedge and had trampled down most of my flower bed. Thus, I strategically place a chair to obstruct further canine intrusion.

I decided to go out and take pictures of what I could. While taking random shots and thinking about all the destroyed flowers that would have been so pretty right now... I noticed something.

I realized the sun was just beginning to set. My timing was perfect. The rays were just beginning to infiltrate the hedge and the slats in our picket fence. It was so surreal. I saw beauty even without the flowers. I knew everything, even the smashed things in my world, was okay.

Again, in all my ordinary self, I felt connected to the vast universe. Twice today I was reminded of the wonder around me.

Yes, it was a wonderful day.

:)  Susan

Bright Lights and a Huge Camera

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Hello all!

Today was another day under the bright lights, filming more footage for the kickstarter video. Look at that camera!?!  It was huge.

(Have you ever felt like a bug under a microscope?)

Andy did a great job trying to get me to relax...even though, at times I felt like a deer in headlights. All in all, it was a fun day, although, I am pretty sure I said "CUT" more than he did...

You know that can't be good. OIY!    I am so glad he has tons of patience.  :)

Have a great evening!

Susan

the Camera

the Camera

Andy Setting Up

Andy Setting Up

Romantic Vintage™ Magazine

Romantic Vintage™ Magazine Premier Edition

Happy Saturday Everyone,

Today we had scheduled to do more filming, however, the weather is unbearably hot. My backdoor studio has no air-conditioning. The box fan works but the heat will still convert it into a sauna.

I am fortunate. Not too many people have a sauna studio. :)   Plus, I think their huge camera would melt or the moving parts would fuse together. Everyone would have a meltdown (and that’s…

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Let's Go Climb a Tree!

Let’s Go Climb a Tree!

Susan trimming the treesm

Hello Ivy Friends,

Just wanted to say hi, sending a short note with a small story to tell. I work diligently with Ivy

I was sent a card from my mother (because she is very thoughtful like that) with images she snapped a few years ago of me trimming some branches away from the wires to our house. She also sent an article about climbing trees (article is here: http://www.newser.com/story/210569/stu…

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A Morning Walk with Life's Important Lessons

Life’s Important Lessons

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... it's learning to dance in the rain.

Morning walks…

This morning early (since we couldn’t take our walk last night due to the rain) I took Buddy, our 11 year old black lab, on his walk. Overcast, I grabbed an umbrella – just in case. Off we went. It started to sprinkle. No problem, I was prepared. I like the rain and it was particularly pleasant listening to the patter of drops, reminding me of my childhood camping trips in the…

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Great Week Update

Hope and Maggie arrive at their new home in Cindy's loving hands.

Hello all Friends of Ivy,

I wanted to write and let you know about everything that happened this week. It was a productive week and very exciting. Several things happened.

First I wanted to let you know that “Hope & Maggie” arrived safely at her new home. Cindy (pictured with her beautiful smile) nestled Hope and Maggie into her Ivy collection, making them feel right at home.

I do plan…

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A Happy Home

Sunflower - Copy

Yesterday, the little Girl and Puppy was adopted and officially named “Hope and Maggie”. She is the first piece in the “Return to Ivy” adventure and the first Ivy piece painted in my studio after a very, long time. It was like returning home after a very long trip. It was such a good feeling and after painting a bit, it felt like I never left. I am so excited for the opportunity to bring Ivy back…

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My journey back to Ivy has truly begun! Thank you!! XO
Finished! The first Hand-Painted ‘Return to Ivy’ original item in 2015! My journey back to Ivy has truly begun! Thank you!! XO

Hope and Maggie Original

Hello Friends of Ivy,

Wanted to send a few updated pics of my progress with this first piece in not only my return but back in my studio too.

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Return to Ivy & Innocence
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Painting Update

I did get some of my painting on the camera before the batteries died. Once I begin I need to continue otherwise my paint will dry too quickly because I mix all my colors as I go along. Next time I will have spare batteries on hand, at the ready.  I am learning so many things as I make my comeback.  :)   Such as needing these fancy, googly, magnifying things that I now have to wear to see the intricate details to paint. When my husband brought them home, I chuckled (they look like the eye contraption that jewelers wear)  well, now guess who is wearing them?!? Yes, indeed, humbled I am. And it will be very courageous of me to show these to you… because they are pure silly looking things and catapults me straight into absolute geekyness. No laughing either when you see them in my video. None.

I read this at work today and wanted to share:

It’s your life. Have the courage to do the things that matter the most.

Doesn’t that make you think? I believe courage is doing something that takes you out of your comfort zone but you do it anyway because it matters to you.

So these contraption things definitely take me out of my comfort zone. I would never ever be seen in them, especially in public, but I need them now to paint. I return humbled and geeky because Ivy & Innocence matters so much to me.  :)

How about you?

Update progress Girl with Puppy - Rare Hand Painted Ivy & Innocence Original

Hello Friends of Ivy, Wanted to send a few updated pics of my progress with this first piece in not only my return but back in my studio too.

First Hand-Painted Piece in Ivy's Return!

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Little Girl with Puppy Front view
Little Girl with Puppy Sideview
The Puppy Treat
Little Girl with Puppy Backside

Hello All Ivy Friends,

I have decided to complete this lovely figurine that never made it into Ivy’s production. She is wonderful and is one of two in existence.  I will paint them identical – twins so to speak. I will keep one for my private collection and the other I wish to put up on Ebay. The funds will help minimize the expense of the new kickstarter launch – advertizing, video (over $1k) and/or help pay for the studio cleanup (which I am currently armed with my bucket and rags and broom and vacuum and finding wonderful things).

My studio does not have air-conditioning and it tends to resemble a sauna on these warm days in July… and I am used to battling with the dog over the prime spot from the fan’s wind flow, although, I usually let him win.  :)

I will keep you informed and updated when this rare gem is up on ebay. I need to get my studio prepped for the filming of video first.

I can’t not remember where I have ever sold a hand-painted original Ivy piece… I do believe one hand-painted original currently resides in Florida in loving hands but other than that… I can’t recall any others. This will be a first.

Have a wonderful day with sweet Ivy Dreams!

Susan

Girl with Puppy

Hello All Ivy Friends, I have decided to complete this lovely figurine that never made it into Ivy’s production.

The Return to Ivy & Innocence Storybook Evolves

Adding the Ivy & Innocence pieces into the illustrations has really turning out nice. I will follow this format throughout the new storybook.

What parents put in front of their children in their formative years will shape their character in the years to come. Ivy & Innocence highlights the things that matter most, focusing on the positive elements that build inner strength and a positive attitude. 

What great care, then, should be given to choose a story which suggest the right ideals. One that motivates our young to make the right choices in life. A book that inspires them forward to do great deeds! 

Join us and find treasure in the journey back to Ivy & Innocence!

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and Ivy & Innocence comes alive7-4.jpg

Sneak peak of Storybook images for the upcoming Kickstarter project.

Sneak peak of Storybook images for the upcoming Kickstarter project.

Hello my wonderful Ivy family,

I wanted to post an update and show you what I have been doing, integrating my artwork, storybook and a few existing Ivy pieces all together for the upcoming Return to Ivy & Innocence Storybook Kickstart Adventure. I have been creating several images with the mockup layout of the new storybook along with the Ivy pieces to create a wonderful village setting, showcasing how the two compliment each other (for those just discovering Ivy).

I am almost done with the reworked Kickstarter website and I will be building the a new video featuring the storybook soon.

Before and after my job, I work diligently on Ivy & Innocence, taking a break only to run errands or spend time with my boys or pull a few weeds that are spilling onto my brick walkway. They are overtaking my flowerbed due to my neglect (Oi, it is a jungle out there). The rain we have has made everything soggy but the plants love it… the greenery has exploded!

All my energy is focused on the return because Ivy is so important to me. I cannot thank you enough for taking this new venture with me.

Warm Blessings and Sweet Ivy Dreams,
Susan

The Storybook and pieces Hello my wonderful Ivy family, I wanted to post an update and show you what I have been doing, integrating my artwork, storybook and a few existing Ivy pieces all together for the upcoming…

Birdhouse Gate Limited Edition is up on Ebay for 5 days only!

Rare opportunity to purchase this one-of-a-kind item which was available through the artist.  Signed and numbered 199/250.

I have decided to sell another piece on Ebay in order to create a presence to continue generating advertising funds for the Event. So… if you are interested in owning a rare Ivy piece that was available through the artist with only 250 produced… then skip on over to Ebay… and check out the newly listed item here:  http://goo.gl/D1Col1

With this piece, I am hoping to continue my exposure in the…

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Ivy & Innocence #Birdhouse Gate - a RARE Limited Edition signed by the artist, #Susan #Reader) only 250 made… Now up for auction on Ebay! http://goo.gl/D1Col1

Straight from the artist’s private collection. Numbered 199 / 250. Pristine condition. Saw daylight once when signed. All proceeds will go toward the advertising for #Kickstarter Event (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1700201286/return-to-ivy-and-innocence) Please support my Return to Ivy & Innocence!  Thank you.