PostHeaderIcon Phoenix ComiCon Booth 468

May 27th, 2016 Author: Susan

I will have a booth at Phoenix ComiCon next weekend, from Thursday, June 2nd to Sunday, June 5th, 2016.
The Vented Hat Lady
Booth # 468
If you’re there, please stop by and say hello!


July 21st, 2015 Author: Susan


I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a while, but heath issues reared their ugly head. I’m on the road to recovery! Yea!

Anyhow, I’ve been working on some small paintings. They are of jewels, some are inspired by Italian Renaissance Illuminations, most are out of my imagination. I really enjoy working on them!

I’ve stared cutting the matte board for them, so they look more professional. Until I get them all completed, there will be some that are unfinished, but still available for purchase on my Etsy shop:

Susan’s Etsy Shop


PostHeaderIcon Next Sale is on May 1st, 2015

April 9th, 2015 Author: Susan


You are cordially invited to the Alwun House in downtown Phoenix on Friday, May 1st, 2015 for the opening of the Arizona Intertemporalist Steampunk Exhibition. I will have a small sales booth, # W-3 on the map below from 7- 10 PM. I will have Vented Hats as well as leather and cast resin jewelry. Please come on out and support the show. I look forward to seeing you there!


PostHeaderIcon Arizona Steampunk Society Scavenger Hunt Rules and Regulations

March 9th, 2015 Author: Susan

Arizona SteamPunk Society Scavenger Hunt 2015 Rules and Regulations
Code Name : S.T.E.V.E. – Steampunk Treasure-hunt Extravaganza for Victorian Enthusiasts

Please read this entire set of rules and regulations.

How to Enter:

Simply fill out the on-line form (link listed below).

Please Make sure you have the following information before you log on to sign up:
Team Name
The names (first and last) of every person on your team.
The email addresses of each adult on your team.
The phone number (optional) of each adult on your team.

Link to the on-line sign up form:

(There may be 3-5 people on each team. There must be at least 2 adults per team.)

Time Frame:

April 1st – December 31st 2015 (8 full months)
There will be at least 1-2 events every month that people can go to to get their photos taken at. (Monthly dinners, Second Fridays, Conventions, etc..) These are not the only places and events you can take photos at. Please feel free to take your photos when and where you can. Make it an adventure!

Individuals and/or teams do not have to follow the list chronologically. Any item can be done at any time, unless it’s a multi-part item, in which pieces need to be done once per month (such as the Geocaching or The 8 Month Challenge). These multi-part items cannot be done all in one month. Any single item listed can be done at any time during the 8 months of the Scavenger Hunt.

Photography and Video:

Photos and video must be digital and may be taken with a cell phone camera.

Photos and videos must be submitted monthly, by the last day of the month. All photos must be submitted by December 31st, 2015, or they will not be eligible for this years Scavenger Hunt or prizes.

Each team is required to take their own photos and videos, and submit their own photos and videos.

Be as creative as possible (without breaking any laws!) in the set up of your subject(s) in your photos and videos.

Please take either landscape or portrait oriented photos only. Please do not turn the camera on an angle if at all possible.

Photo and video submissions must all be labeled with the team name, item number, and the item title of the Scavenger Hunt item. It is very important for the judges to have this information so your team may receive points.


Judging will take place between January 1st to February 28th, 2016.

Judges may not participate in any Scavenger Hunt activity as a Team Member, nor may they assist a Team in any way, including taking taking of photos or videos. Judges are expected remain impartial.

Judges will be have been selected from different areas of the state of Arizona.


Participants may be age 5 or older. There may be no less than 3 and no more than 5 participants per team. There must be at least 2 adults in every team, no exceptions.

We invite every Steampunk in the State of Arizona, including, but not limited to, those in the Arizona Steampunk Society, and any other Arizona based Steampunk group to participate in the Scavenger Hunt. This Scavenger Hunt is open to any and all Steampunks who live in Arizona.


All laws of the United States, the State of Arizona, Arizona Counties, and their cities and municipalities must be obeyed at all times. Scavenger hunts are for having fun, please always show respect to those around you who do not participate in our choice of fandom. If, at the sole discretion of the Judges Panel, a Team or individual is found to have broken these rules or the law while performing the Scavenger Hunt, your team will be disqualified.

Teams must be courteous and respectful to everyone, including their teammates, other Scavenger Hunt participants, the Steampunk Community at large, and the public. This includes judges (who will remain as anonymous as possible), other competitors, people at every location, especially the populace at large and merchants, vendors, docents, etc..

Always play fair. Don’t let your competitive instincts drive you to ruin other people’s chances to win, if you do – you’re team might be disqualified. This means no cheating, lying, stealing, sabotaging, or copying other people’s work. Sabotaging other teams will result in disqualification.

All challenges must be completed and pictures MUST be taken only during the duration of this specific scavenger hunt. Challenges completed or photos taken outside the time frame will receive no points for that item. If photos/videos are found by the Judges to be unacceptable the Team will be notified so that new photos/videos may be taken. The duration for this year’s challenge is April 1st through December 31st, 2015.

Be creative, classy, no nudity or depictions of lewd acts. Photos/videos submitted must have a maximum of a PG rating: AZSPS is a family friendly social club.

Have fun!!!


Prizes will be awarded at Wild Wild West Con 5 (March 2016). At least one member of your team must be present at the Award Ceremony at WWWC5 to win.

Prizes are still being determined at this time (March 2015). Announcements concerning prizes will be posted on the Facebook.

If you have an item(s) you would like to donate as a prize(s), please contact the AZSPS Social Secretary, Susan Holt, at:

Prize Categories:

Grand Prize – This will be the team with the best combination of all of the prize categories throughout their entry photos and videos.

Most Points – (If there is more than one group to earn the most points, the Judges will play Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock to determine the winner.)

Most Items Completed – (If there is more than one group to complete all of the Items, the Judges will play Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock to determine the winner.)

Most Creative – be creative, but be safe. Using your imaginations may garner you extra points.

Most Humorous – use your sense of humor, but be kind. Using your sense of humor may garner you extra points.

Best Use of Goggles – Goggles! Need we say more? (Remember, when the goggles are on top of your head, it is “before an adventure”, when they are on your face protecting your eyes you are “on an adventure”, and when they are around your neck you are “knackered (tired) from an adventure/post adventure”.)

We realize everyone can not attend every event, so attending all of them and participating in all of the items is not mandatory.

The minimum number of item entries for the Competition portion is 35 out of 48.

There is a “just for fun” category. The minimum number of item entries for this portion is 8 (one per month).

Teens and Kids (5-17 years old):

Teens and Kids can participate in this Scavenger Hunt, as long as there are at least 2 adults (18 years old or older) on their team (this is mandatory). Adults on the team must participate in the Scavenger Hunt as well. Teams can be made up of 3 to 5 people. A parent or legal guardian must be present with any child/children under the age of 18 while that child/children is/are participating in this Scavenger Hunt.

Please let the AZSPS Social Secretary, Susan Holt, know who the teens and kids are on your team. The AZSPS will be providing special Certificates to all teens and kids who participated.

Scavenger Hunt Items Guidelines:

Please spend as little money on these items as you can. This is meant to be something fun and entertaining. We know everyone has a different budget to work with. We do not want anyone going broke trying to complete every Scavenger Hunt item on this list. If you can do them all, want to do them all, and can afford to do them all, we welcome you to go for it. If not, please do what you can when you can. There are several free admission events, and several items that can be done at home, in the Scavenger Hunt time frame that everyone can attend. Have a wonderful time!

Some item descriptions in the Scavenger Hunt are very specific. Some item descriptions are very vague. On the vague ones, we want you to use your imaginations and think outside of the proverbial box that your spiffy Steampunk boots came in. Maybe you could even use that boot box for part of a creative item.

The judges are already looking forward to what this creative group can come up with.


Locations will be posted via each teams email addresses at the beginning of every month.

Locations might be either a longitude and latitude, an address, a photo of the location, or a pirate map.

A Steampunk item will be placed at the location already. To receive points for this item your team must get two photos in that location. The first photo must be of the item that was left there. The second photo must be the item you are leaving there for the next team to find.

Please make sure the item(s) you bring to each geocache are Steampunk related and are in a watertight container or bag.

We will try our best to make each location relatively easy to reach.

*** The link for uploading the photos and videos will be provided to the teams via email in April 2014.

PostHeaderIcon Looking Ahead to 2015

December 27th, 2014 Author: Susan


I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a while, Thanksgiving happened, and it was just hectic from there.

As some of you know, last January I tore a ligament in my ankle. I had two months in a brace, then two months in a big orthopedic boot, then two months of Physical Therapy. I thought all was going well, until I over did it severely at Thanksgiving. I went back to the Ortho doc, who has ordered another MRI, and said it looks like it’s just not healing on it’s own. This does not please me. Anyhow, I may need surgery. This does not please me either. However, if it can be fixed, it should be. My hubby knows I have three arts shows/Cons on the schedule and can help with those, and I have friends who have asked if they can help at them as well, so I will at least be able to make those commitments, which I am grateful for. I am not looking to add any more shows/Cons onto my calendar at this time, unless they are small and very local, until the ankle gets figured out.

The shows I am committed to are:

Wild Wild West Con at Old Tucson Studios, March 13-15, 2015

Fine Art in the Garden at Shemer Art Center, March 21, 2015, 9AM – 4 PM

Phoenix ComiCon at the Phoenix Convention Center, May 28-31, 2015

I will be taking commissions with the caveat that I may be down for the count for a while. A friend of mine had a similar surgery last year, and it took her 2-3 months before she could sit normally for a little while and work on projects.

Thank you all for understanding. I am looking forward to the shows/Cons in 2015 and I hope to see you at at least one of them.

PostHeaderIcon Hat Orders for WWWC4

December 4th, 2014 Author: Susan


I’m getting together a hat order so I can have pre-orered Vented Hats ready for delivery at WWWC in Tucson, AZ in March 2015. If you wish to order one from me, I will need to know the following information by the end of December:

What style of hat (standard top, flared top, short top, derby, or another one I haven’t had in stock yet)?

What color of hat (black, grey, or brown are the usual colors if given a choice at ll by the manufacturer)?

What material of hat (leather or felt)?

What size of hat?

What style of gaskets (if you have a custom design in mind, I can try to accommodate it, my skill level will decide)?

What color of gaskets?

Link to my gasket designs: The first 16 are for the top of the hats, the rest are for the sides.

How many side gaskets? (I can make 1-6 depending on the cut, design, and size of the gasket. Ex: 6 small round gaskets look great on a derby.)

I will need a $50 down payment before I order the hat. Email me for my PayPal address. The rest will be due upon delivery at WWWC, or upon completion if I need to ship it to you. Final bill to include shipping.

WWWC (Wild Wild West Con):

Thank you,

PostHeaderIcon How to Talk About Art

September 19th, 2014 Author: Susan


A friend of mine asked me the other day about how to talk about art with more than just sayings like, “awesome”, “lovely”, “that’s so cool”. I thought, “Hmmm, I guess it’s something I’ve had to learn.”

Some of you are new here, so let me give you my qualifications to answer this question with some authority. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a Ceramics Emphasis from Arizona State University, which in and of itself doesn’t necessarily prepare one to talk about art. Part of each art class was critiquing each others pieces, so that was learned there. Also, I was a Docent at the Phoenix Art Museum (PAM) from 2009 to 2014. PAM has one of the absolute best, most acclaimed Docent programs in the World currently. There is a two year training program with amazing mentors and guidelines on how to speak about art. This is honestly where I learned to talk about art as a whole, and as individual pieces.

So, back to the question of how to talk about art or give an artist pleasant (good or bad) feedback.

If I like a piece, I will flat out say I like it. I will then pick something specific that I like about that piece. (Ex: I really like how the greens and blues in your piece make it look iridescent.”) Expanding upon a though is as easy as pie when you ask yourself “What do I really like about this piece? Why do I like it so much?” It really enables you to tell the artist , your friends, and yourself why something hits your hot button.

If I don’t like a piece, I will try to find something in it I admire. “I really like your use of scale and proportion in this piece. It makes the setting almost believable.” Finding something you can connect with in some pieces of art is very difficult., but you really can usually find one element that you can say something constructive about.

If the artist presses you about that piece (which has happened to me before), and wants to know what else you like about that piece, be kind when you answer. Remember this person has poured their heart into this one ugly piece of work. Also remember, someone else will think it’s the best thing they have ever seen. In answering, it’s okay to take a long second look. It’s also okay to be perfectly, clearly honest, yet remain kind. “I’m sorry, but I’m struggling with this piece. I really do like the part I mentioned, but the rest is just a mystery to me. Can you explain it?” You may get a description of the piece, or the process, or both. Don’t ask the artist, “What does this piece mean to you?” You may get a bunch of hooey for an answer. If you get the artist talking about their work, you may learn what the piece is about to the artist. I find it helpful to learn about the piece because it can give me an appreciation for the art or artist. Having an appreciation for the piece or the artist does not always translate into liking the piece, but it does give you a different perspective, and you get to learn a little, which is alwasy a bonus.

Remember, no matter what you say to an artist, keep it positive. Positive, constructive feedback is always welcomed. Suggestions on how an artist can “do it better” when you are not directly asked that question are not appreciated. Find something you can connect to, or even enjoy about that piece (even if it is just one color off in a corner). Believe me, the artist will usually understand your intent and meaning. Last, but not least, ask the artist about the piece. Artists will tell you about their work, as long as you’re polite and open to a conversation. Don’t feel pressured to talk to an artist about a piece, though. If you really don’t want to spend another minute looking at it, just tell the artist to have a great day and move on.

Remember, art is subjective, but there’s always something in any piece you will find interesting.


PostHeaderIcon Question #2 – Why do you do what you do?

September 17th, 2014 Author: Susan


Here is my answer to Question #2: “Why do you do what you do?”

I do what I do for many different reasons, it really depends on the project. Some I do for friends and family, some for money, some to learn a new skill, some to perfect a skill. Making and creating is my happy place. Yes, I can get frustrated with projects, but I find that if I just put it down and walk away the answer will come to me, sometimes in my sleep at night. Art and craft interests me. There’s always a new style or skill to learn and conquer. I find that once I have learned something new, I can translate that media, technique, or tool into other arts. I do what I do because I wouldn’t really want to do anything else.


PostHeaderIcon Questions One – Questions for Artists

September 13th, 2014 Author: Susan


A friend of mine on FaceBook (FB) posted the link to “Questions for Artists”. I have decided to answer these every now and again. I will post them here and on my SAHoltArtist FB page. I hope you find them helpful and insightful.

Here’s my answer to the first question, “Who are you and what do you do?”

Who am I? My name is Susan Holt, and I am an Artist. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from ASU with a Ceramics Emphasis. I am (currently) a 43 year old married woman who works from my home based studio. I like to go to SteamPunk (Victorian with a twist) and SCA (medieval and renaissance) events. I have a 19 year old cat and a 10 year old dog.

What do I do? I do lots of arts. I enjoy making both 2D and 3D art. I paint, do calligraphy, wire wrap jewelry, create cabochons out of clay but I can make my own out of stone, I am the originator of SteamPunk style Vented Hats, I make ladies historic style hats and ladies fascinator hats all by hand. I really do a lot of different arts, it just depends on what the muse inspires me to create day by day. Someone once asked me if I had one art I could do for the rest of my life (one of those if you were trapped on a desert island with only one art questions) what would it be. I said I would go a little crazy being pigeon-holed to only do one style of art for the rest of my life. That just seemed cruel to me. Historically, artists we now consider to be the Old Masters never settled on making just one style of art. They were always learning, creating, and perfecting new and different techniques, tools, and materials. Why are modern day artists told they can only do one thing? I just don’t agree with that philosophy.


PostHeaderIcon Prices Reduced on My Etsy Shop

August 18th, 2014 Author: Susan


I have just reduced a good majority of prices on my Etsy shop.