The Locals / by Susie Lubell

 Art work by Allison Strine

In the last few weeks something crazy has started to happen. Local artists have started coming out of the woodwork. Or maybe I've opened myself up to being found. I got an email from a woman named Melissa who is very well known in the ketubah making community. Her work is beautiful and she is the master of search engine optimization. You google any kind of Jewish Gay Interfaith Multicultural Buddhist Polygamist Ketubah and she will have a landing page with some general info and the links to her real website. It's genius.

So she found me on ETSY and she emailed me! And she lives five minutes from me and wants to have coffee! Which we're still trying to plan.  So I emailed her back telling her how flattered I was that she would reach out and how I really admire her work and she wrote back more nice things and soon we're swooning over each other and once we can finally get coffee on the calendar we'll meet and I'll tell you all about how great she is in person. Did I mention she moonlights as a jazz singer?

And then the very same week Marcy from ETSY Chai, the Jewish ETSY team that I'm on, emailed to tell me that she put me in a treasury and would I be interested in meeting because she lives about twenty minutes away. OF COURSE! So we meet and she's adorable and makes wonderful pottery and does a lot of craft shows and we might even do a show together this October and have side by side booths!

But wait, there's more. I went to see a Jackie Greene concert in Santa Cruz last Saturday which was UNBELIEVABLE. My brothers have been obsessed with this guy for years and I finally get it. He's AWESOME. My oldest brother was leaving for Mexico for two months and this was basically his going away party. And while we're hanging around waiting for Jackie to roll my brother introduces me to a girl from his soccer team named Laamie who it turns out reads my blog! And she was so excited to meet me because she's also an artist and has two kids the same ages as mine. But she was so modest and it turns out that she is quickly becoming the next biggest thing in assemblage jewelry and fashion design and recently scored a contract with Anthropologie! Hello!??!

And it also turns out that the woman who is renting my brother's place while he's gone is a big time jewelry designer who lives eight months out of the year in Indonesia sourcing and designing her pieces and the other part apparently living in my brother's house! Go to her website and you'll see a picture of OPRAH wearing her earrings! Then go to her story page and you'll see a picture of her with a giant grin which my brother says is because she's sleeping in his Tempur-Pedic bed. I don't know this girl yet, but she's only one degree away so it's only a matter of time.

And then yesterday I received a beautiful print in the mail from the wonderful Allison Strine whose talent and humor is a daily inspiration to me. I actually reached out to her! Misanthropic me!  So this lovely print arrived yesterday which maybe explains why so many wonderful artists are finding their way to my little corner of the world. I guess my creative slip is showing.