The best thing about the internet, besides videos of cute Shih-tzu doggies with round haircuts, is finding friends that share your obsession. My obsession is stationery, and if you are a Mrs. Brimbles fan, I bet yours is, too! Fat, chunky planners with tabs and puffy stickers make me giddy, like I’m 12 years old again, and there is nothing on earth I would rather do then play in a pretty, fat planner/journal!
Hi! I’m Suzi, author of the beloved book Mixed Media Girls with Suzi Blu, Quarry, 2012, and I am super excited to spend the next year sharing my planners with you. My planning style may be a bit different than what you are used to seeing, and I believe that is why Anna Brim chose to include me. Mixed media prides itself on experimenting with non-traditional materials in new and exciting ways, and I bring that process into my planners/journals.
To me, planners are journals: hand-made books documenting our lives. So many of us are compelled to document our every day experiences and what started as scrapbooking has merged with everything else. In my planners I have to-do lists and appointments, but also experiences and observations, thoughts, photos, dreams, and art. A real, physical place I can touch and curl up with and call my home.
Yes, I consider journals to be my home.
I never really had a great home. I grew up in a stressful Italian family in New Jersey (see Sopranos), and as soon as I turned 18, my motto was, “Anywhere But Here.” I have sought the geographical cure so many times that I have stopped counting. I have lived in Woodstock, N.Y., San Diego, CA, and Reno, Nevada, (just to name a few). At the moment, I live in a cute apartment in Eugene, Oregon, (rated the #1 city in America for hippies!) two hours south of Portland. I am unmarried and without children but live with my best friend, a one-eyed dog named ‘Buddy Love’ who rescued me earlier this year.
In 2011, just months before the release of my book, my dad died suddenly from heart failure, and I fell into a long period of horrible anxiety and depression. Although I kept making and teaching art, I completely withdrew from being social outside of work. I had two dogs, Gigi and Finney, who were both very old, in poor health, and who passed away a few months of each other in 2015. I was inconsolable for months, but in April of 2016 I fell in love with Buddy. This little dog has saved me.
Art saves me too. Helping women work through their insecurities about drawing and painting has helped me move out of my grief and back into life. I first came upon Anna Brim in a Youtube video and was delightfully CHARMED by her down to earth and spunky nature.
I am thrilled to make journal/planner pages with the Mrs. Brimbles products for the next year, and help others see that no matter what one’s current artistic skill level, a planner/journal can provide a creative outlet and emotional support. I hope to inspire others with my work, and help everyone see the beautiful and healing parts of life!