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Happy Anniversary, CA4G

Celebration Hugs to you!

Below is a blog post I wrote five years ago. It was a post to celebrate several years at Create Art 4 Good. It embraced the growth, the changes, and a big announcement. I am sitting here reflecting on this incredible journey that began over a decade ago, really appreciating all the lessons I have learned and the wisdom revealed. I am celebrating the fact that I have done what I set out to do. I am celebrating the incredible support I have been so blessed to receive. I am celebrating the revelation of my dreams. Each year seems to have brought growth and progress. Each year, the dreams became a little more refined. 

Five years ago, I announced that I would begin formally Greetings4Good. Little did I know at the time that the mission was finally revealed. It is certain to me that I was absolutely meant to begin Create Art 4 Good as I did.  I was blessed to support other artists, curate incredible exhibits, pay it forward with hosting charitable events, as well as financial contributions to local charities, facilitate countless workshops and other creative activities. This was all part of the process. I have learned so much, grown so much, and found perhaps a quieter mission. 

Today, while I celebrate all the business of Create Art 4 Good has taught me, I celebrate more the direction this has taken. When I moved from the Hungerford in 2020, I dedicated myself to a new path, or perhaps just a more specifically dedicated one. I wanted and needed to create more, to honor all those millions of ideas swimming in my head. I wanted and needed to work more diligently on my greeting card business. 

Greetings 4 Good has become my heart project. It IS my mission. Perhaps it sounds silly, but I have always needed to think I could change the world in some way. I feel that my “gift” is not necessarily art,  but the ability to love. I feel that my affection for the underdog, the lonely, the uncelebrated has been the bridge to this business. Cards, especially for no real obligation brighten someone’s day, remind them that they are cared for, and well, it is a simple way to do so. 

I have said for some time that I have been blessed to pick up tools and skills throughout my life that the purpose of which would later be revealed. When I went back to college for a graphic design degree, I thought it was to work on logos and business collateral for others. NOPE. It was so that I would have some sort of knowledge base to begin a card company. These skills coupled with my deep desire to paint and create seem to be the perfect marriage. 

So today- I celebrate Create Art 4 Good. While I still do my best to support other artists through mentoring as well as Rochester Artisans (thank you, Stefani Tadio!), I am keenly aware that this was the foundational business that brought me to the mission of my life.  I still support those in need through donations, the thoughtfulness project, and the 365 project. (in 2021 I set a goal of sending a card a day, and to date I have delivered/mailed/and otherwise nearly 940 cards to friends, family, and mostly complete strangers) I am completely determined to change the world… one greeting card at a time. 

Thank you for listening… thank you for celebrating with me. (below is the original announcement of my card company just for giggles) 

the best is yet to be. 

Sending you so much love!

Susan

Changing the world, one greeting card at a time!

 

 

 

The Big Announcement (August 9, 2016)

Today is my anniversary! Create Art 4 Good was launched on August 9th. It will always be a “day” for me. I remember when I began, it was a dream in the making. I diligently wrote and re-wrote the business plan SEVEN times. YEP, seven. For me, it was about ensuring the success of my dreams. Today, I am celebrating with awe my successes and jumping with vigor into the next dream!

I could go on and on about how much I have learned, and that is completely true. I could share the changes that have occurred in the last few years, (not the least of which is celebrating my dream of a gallery at the Hungerford)- which is also true.

But.

For me, this is a gigantic celebration that isn’t just about celebrating the success I feel in growing a small business. It is about the opportunity that I am jumping into with my everything. It is about the bubbling pure joy that is overflowing in my heart as I write this.

Let me give you the background information.

When I was little, my mom used to say when my father was feeling a bit grumpy he’d go to the hardware store. He would wander around and sort out his thoughts among the nuts and bolts and shiny new tools. When he returned, he was usually in much better spirits. As an adult, I recognize that this was sort of his time out. He didn’t have to talk to anyone, he just found himself in “the zone”- his zone.

I have a similar “thing”, however usually at a stationery store. I wander around, look and let go. My terrible mood usually turns into something proactive, I buy a card or two (or ten) not usually because I need them, but because I have thought of someone who seems to be going through something or someone who needs to be celebrated. My favorite opportunities are the ones that are not required. An encouragement, a thank you, or just a little bit of love.

Why am I telling you all this? In life we are given many messages, if we pay attention it seems that everything is revealed at the perfect time. My love of pretty stationery, beautiful cards, and fine papers isn’t just an artist thing, I would suggest perhaps it’s a vocation. (more honestly NOT just a vocation but a passion… maybe even obsession?!) I fully embrace the art of thoughtfulness. It gives me life and more importantly seems to positively affect those to who I send them.

One of the things that bothers me about our very fast-paced world is that we forget to take notice, to pause, to appreciate, to recognize. We don’t send cards as often as in the past.  A recent survey that I posted on social media indicates that we don’t send as many cards, as we want to (which inspires guilt), we LOVE getting cards, AND we appreciate cards that are unique, and beautiful. The message is clear -it is vital to pause, to notice, to appreciate each other.

As an artist, it is a natural extension to make cards from the artwork I create. It is affordable for those who appreciate your work and it is a lovely way to share creativity. I have been honored by those who mention to me after sending some of my cards that they were not only proud to send my greetings, but the recipient was delighted as well. One person shares with me that she sends my cards to her “special people” because she likes to send beautiful art.  I love it when I hear from someone I was inspired to send a card to sends me a message that my card positively changed their day, made them feel important or truly loved. I will admit, it is a bit of an ego boost when someone tells you that they exclusively send your images for every reason there is to send a card.

I have listened- and my next step has been revealed.

It is with great honor I announce the birth of GREETINGS 4 GOOD.

Greetings 4 Good sq

Greetings 4 Good will flourish under the parent company, Create Art 4 Good. It will use fine art images to create gorgeous stationery, greeting cards, and other inspiring products. Each week(from now until October) I will reveal the product line piece by piece. I want these images to be your very favorites, so I will humbling ask for your help in deciding which images should go to print! I will invite you to join Greetings 4 Good– which will have some really nifty perks! (free cards, promotions & special offers)

Are you in?

SAVE THE DATE! The official launch date for Greetings 4 Good will be October 7th, 2016 at my gallery – Create Art 4 Good. That night you will see the original images I have created married to the poetry I write to bloom into beautiful and unique cards for you. You will have the opportunity to view and purchase greeting cards that give back (just like with Create Art 4 Good- a donation is made with each sale) and help you to send a little bit of love to those you cherish. This opening will be the gala of a lifetime of making art and poetry and celebrating the bloom of thoughtfulness.

Thank you for celebrating my anniversary, your support of my work sustains me in ways you could never imagine. I appreciate your love and faithfulness.

with great joy, love & peace,

Susan

p.s. send someone a card today- for no reason- JUST BECAUSE – you will both be happy you did!

p.p.s. Starting in October, send a Greetings4Good card (just because you will send a beautiful art card- and make many people happy!)

Hope

All images and writings are by Susan Carmen-Duffy © 2016.                                           The use of any content from this site without written permission from the author/artist is prohibited.

(Please be nice! The universe appreciates your kindness and honor and so do I!)

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Welcome, July

Hello July
Hello July
Welcome July in a sassy way! It’s going to be a great month!

 

Well, hello there! Welcome to July. I wanted to take a moment to share all the fun things going on in my life. 

First, I am not (typically) one to make a big deal out of my own birthday, however, this year, this month, both my husband and myself are turning sixty. I admit, I kind of don’t believe it. There are days my body sure does feel at LEAST sixty, but I feel like I am just getting started in so many ways. But, regardless of what is ahead, I am celebrating. I feel like more than ever, I am in awe of the preciousness of life, the countless gifts I have received, and the love that I have in my life. I AM one blessed human. I am ever so grateful. 

That said! I am celebrating with a one-woman show at Sylvan Starlight Creations. I have been creating for a long time (see above) and I want to celebrate that! I am grateful to Sylvia Serry who owns the gallery for this invitational. The opening is on the fifteenth of July and should be downright fun! I will be demonstrating mixed media art as it is my great love! (one of them anyway) Sylvan Starlight Creations is found at 50 State St bldg c, Pittsford, NY 14534. The opening will be from 4-8 pm.  The show will be up through September! 

Celebrating sixty years of life and creation!

 

Next, I have updated my workshops. At this point, I am very willing to facilitate workshops in person at the gallery or on a video chat. It is important everyone feels comfortable, but by all means, let’s be creative together! 

you can find the listings on the website here: Create With Me

Join the Central Creatives for an open house!

Next up, (so much fun to share, isn’t there?) My beloved new home (well sorta new) is having an opening on July 30th! You can come to visit between 5-9 pm that evening. If that doesn’t work, PLEASE make an appointment- I would love to show you around! This is becoming my happy place! Make an appointment here: Susan Carmen-Duffy

 

Lastly, I HAVE SO MUCH FUN NEWS! I am going to press soon AND that means I will be offering a new subscription plan! Stay tuned! I think it is going to be really nifty and fun!  There are several to choose from right now- find them @ Greetings4Good.org

REALLY lastly, I hope you are doing okay. Covid has paused the world in such an unbelievable way. I feel like the ramifications are far-reaching for each of us. Personally, there have been struggles, sadness, and loss. What has profoundly saved me has been the practice of gratitude, my art, my family, (chosen and gifted family as well!). Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to others. If never before we understood that we are all in this together – we sure as heck should now. 

A blue heart on a white background.
sending you love

That said… I am sending you big giant love. 

Happy July! 

Susan

 

 

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Open Hours!

hi there!

the red door to Central Creatives
This red door is to the left of the golf pro shop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You have been asking for hours to visit- so here they are!  Beginning in May- Mondays & Thursdays 11 am – 4 pm (except for Memorial Day)

I am beginning on the modest side, but please know that you are always welcome to make an appointment.  Appointments are best made via email: Susan

Park between Ferrari’s and the Golf pro shop- enter our building through this red door! follow the hall to the elevator (there are also stairs) make your way to the second floor. The main central Creatives door is directly in front of you- Suite #2795.  The main entrance to my gallery is to the right of that door. Please text when you arrive (as the hall doors are generally locked)  585.210.3161 – is the gallery phone! 

Please wear a mask in the building. I have hand sanitizer available for your use!

I am truly excited to see you!

Blessings & Love, 

Susan

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Checking in

Hey there, how are you?

Today the rain is falling steadily in Rochester, New York. Today, I love the rain, it is cleansing and can be so beautiful. The fresh scent fills me. It nourishes the earth- which seems especially important these days. 

Spring has arrived. Those beautiful yellow-greens are popping up everywhere I look. Grass, trees, plants, they all seem to have the courage of spring.

This season feels more hopeful to me than any others have in quite some time. The path might not be linear but,  I seem to have made peace with the “new normal”. I am diligently trying to function, grow, and even bloom. I am doing the work, both personally and professionally. It is not always pretty, I assure you, (have I shared about the painting I started about a month ago that now has about 37 layers of paint on it with seemingly no success?!) *insert frustrated face here*

One of the things I am working on is my greeting card website. (Greetings 4 Good) I am sure you have heard the story no less than a thousand times.

The motivation to begin a greeting card company began decades ago. (truth be told, it was about half a century ago!) It is funny how life sometimes brings you full circle. Since I was a young child, creating cards has been a “thing”. I remember being quite young and visiting my great-grandmother. She was gravely ill. I was convinced that making cards would heal her. While the idea might be slightly naive, I do believe there was validity in the intent. I made her several cards, some from folded paper, some from leftover Christmas cards, each was filled with great love. Each made that sweet woman’s lips part in a quiet smile. 

For me, greeting cards are about thoughtful intent. It is about sharing my art and my heart. It is about creating connections. Celebrating victories, mourning losses, reaching out to those who might be alone (or just lonely), saying your sorry when you have been wrong; it is about reaching out (even and especially during a pandemic) to share your love. Greetings 4 Good is not just a way to share my work, it is about sharing my love. (and encouraging you to do the very same!)

I believe that my business life just finally caught up with my heart.

 So today, I just wanted to check on you, while I spend the day working on my big dream! (I am up to eight pages of products!) I hope you are feeling warmth and of course, loved. I hope you feel your life is also full of the courage of spring. It might just be time to bloom my friends…

Sending you so much love, 

Susan

The rain is inspiring. Drops in the puddle are like swirling worlds
Spring rain washes the soul and nourishes the earth
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Hometown Holiday Stroll in Irondequoit!

We are so proud to be a part of the Hometown Holiday Stroll in Irondequoit. 

We are teaming up with I-Square to present a warm (socially distant/mask wearing/safe) holiday stroll!

We will be in the Imaginarium with a select group of artists to create a unique shopping boutique just for you!

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Create art (for) 4 GOOD!

Tonight I will be taking a pause in this crazy windstorm of a pandemic to do something basic. Buy school supplies. For kids. 

 I have worked a good part of my life in the world of education and I KNOW that there are kids who never have a new folder or notebook, a new set of markers, a new pencil. NEVER. (It should be noted that at even almost sixty I still LOVE stationery supplies! A new notebook or a great pen? It’s like CHRISTMAS to me!) Anyway- I have spent many resources ensuring my kids (students) have school supplies. I feel it is a fresh start (literally) on a path toward success. So, even though I am no longer working in child education, I know this is a need, not a want. 

So tonight- I will do what I love, CREATE, and share the proceeds to purchase school supplies. The whole idea behind this business (may I remind you that we are celebrating ten whole years!) is that I use what I love to do (making art) for good. Tonight is the personification of that!

I will paint the painting live! (and likely finish it offline)  I will offer it for a week to the public to bid on- The highest bidder will get the painting. I can ship it, or you can pick it up from my studio (@ The Central Creatives in East Rochester – 349 West Commercial Sreet- Suite #2795, studio #12)

My plan is to create a tree. (it’s a thing for me) The symbolism behind trees is important to me. They are powerful, strong, and life-giving. They sustain by a root system that is unseen usually but support the entire structure of the tree- and that is what your help will do for these children. They won’t know you bid on the painting or donated directly to the Irondequoit Community Cupboard, but they will know that someone believes in them. Someone cared about them. Someone who doesn’t even know their name wants them to be successful. 

So join me tonight- on a Facebook live, or just check in on the painting- I promise I will share it here, on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Let’s work together to create a springboard for success for OUR kids. It matters not if you are a parent, a teacher; it just matters that you care. Children who need school supplies need our support. I hope you will actively do so. 

Thank you for listening, for sharing yourself and your resources… thank you for being a light in this weird darkness we are all living. 

my love and blessings to you. 

Susan

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Celebrating ten years

My mother passed away in January of 2010, I honestly wasn’t sure what to do with myself at that time. Losing your mother is so profound. You are with her for longer than anyone else in your life. I needed a place to put my energy. I needed a way to take all the lessons I have learned in my life and make them count.

Create Art 4 Good was born. 

This isn’t my first business, but I suspect it is my forever business. 

I have spent a great deal of time in reflection of this business- Here is a graphic created to share some of what has happened in the last ten years. 

Thank YOU for what you have done to support this. 

I promise… the best is yet to be.

Blessings,

Susan