Sunthing Special, works of art by Cari Miller

Sunthing Special, works of art by Cari Miller Sunthing Special is works of art by artist Cari Miller: fun, funky, colorful, unique and affordable paintings, photos, notecards, Akron items and more!

Operating as usual

We took the kids to Washington DC around Christmas in 2019 to show them the buildings, monuments and museums of the Amer...
01/11/2021

We took the kids to Washington DC around Christmas in 2019 to show them the buildings, monuments and museums of the American people. The United States Capitol is a symbol of the American people and their government and democracy. A democracy that must be protected, not just for us, but for a world that looks to us as an example.

DISCLAIMER: ANOTHER STRONG POLITICAL OPINIONNot to beat a dead horse (though kind of an appropriate metaphor, don't you ...
01/11/2021

DISCLAIMER: ANOTHER STRONG POLITICAL OPINION

Not to beat a dead horse (though kind of an appropriate metaphor, don't you think?) but I can't help but remember the police* at the top of the parking deck in downtown Akron ready for anything during peaceful BLM protests downtown last June vs. the woeful lack of security for what was known to going to be a violent protest at the Capitol on Wednesday.

I don't know WHY the Capitol was so easily breached. Videos and testimonies and "sources" and on and on show and say all kinds of awful and scary things and the tiniest bit of optimist in me that hasn't been beaten completely down (again, the word "beat" comes up) hates to think that it's ALL true.

All I have to say is there BETTER be over-the-top security in the days before and including the inauguration. Or I fear even MORE for the future of our growing-more-fragile-every-day democracy. And I'm pretty fearful as it is.

As a side note, I am a Democrat (duh!). During pre-election discussions with Republicans I heard how they didn't like Trump personally, but that they were voting for him because they were against people (i.e. Blacks) rioting and looting during protests and that people should respect police*.

Hmmm... how does that argument work based on what happened Wednesday? Riots, looting, and the death of two police officers? And of all places, in the US Capitol???

And don't even get me started about how one could allegedly vote for him for those two "reasons" (excuses) and ignore all the abhorrent atrocities he's done over the past four years ...

*I support the role of the police and the difficult job they do. However I don't support racist police and police brutality. I do support a more diverse police force and also diversity and anger management training for police.

01/09/2021

FYI Not only is my Sunthing Special Web site down, but also you can't message me on FB because my FB page is also all messed up. You know, because it's mine, and not much works around me as you have probably figured out. So if you want to contact me about a post, please leave me a comment or send me a text at 330-208-5693. Thanks!

So I just have to share this. I told you in an earlier post that I had to go gluten-free because a blood test showed I w...
01/08/2021

So I just have to share this. I told you in an earlier post that I had to go gluten-free because a blood test showed I was gluten intolerant but I didn't have Celiac disease, which is a serious autoimmune disorder. But in either case, I couldn't eat anything with gluten (mainly food with wheat, barley, rye) again the rest of my life, which is a huge sacrifice for me.

WELL, for 2-1/2 months I've been gluten-free AND NOT AT ALL happy about it, and I still have incredibly bad stomach pains. So I went to a nurse practitioner at a GE's office yesterday morning. First, she said it sounds like I most likely have stomach ulcers because, you know, it's me. I have an endoscopy in two weeks to prove (or disprove) that.

She also said that there is still a likelihood that I DO have Celiac disease! So to be sure, I have to EAT some gluten every day through January 19. She suggested one Saltine cracker a day, because if I DO have Celiac disease, even the tiniest bit of gluten is really, really, really bad.

But you know what, despite the NP's disapproval, I was like, um, if I get a free pass to eat gluten, I'm going to EAT gluten. Mind you, I'm not going to go crazy (or at least that's what I told myself). I figured I'd only eat a little bit a day. Yesterday I was going to eat one piece of pizza. Well, it turned into three. But it tasted soooooo good. Who could blame me?

This morning I took a trip to Wal-mart. And you see what happened. But in my defense, I have several days to spread it out before the items expire, AND there ARE four other people in my family who also have sweet tooths (teeth?). And I figured I am in pain all day ANYWAY, I may as well enjoy a few minutes of my favorite foods each day. Sure I could be doing some major damage to my intestines, but please, let me just savor a few more days of my favorite foods before I have to say goodbye to them forever ...

Found a way we could all share some good karma in these troubling times. Brighten the Valentine's Day of someone(s) in n...
01/08/2021
Summit court collecting cards for seniors and their caregivers

Found a way we could all share some good karma in these troubling times. Brighten the Valentine's Day of someone(s) in nursing homes and their caregivers through a project coordinated by the Summit County Probate Court with a card, real or virtual. Deadline is February 10. I've got a bunch I've been holding for just the right occasion -- and this is perfect!!
https://www.beaconjournal.com/story/news/2020/12/14/summit-court-collecting-cards-seniors-and-caregivers/6545166002/

New Year's and Valentine's Day cards to be collected and distributed through Feb. 10.

Blank notecards are now on my Etsy site: seven suns and one flower. $3.29 each with free shipping.
01/07/2021

Blank notecards are now on my Etsy site: seven suns and one flower. $3.29 each with free shipping.

My Etsy store lists my "general interest" postcards, like flower photos and sun paintings. But I still have my full line...
01/07/2021

My Etsy store lists my "general interest" postcards, like flower photos and sun paintings. But I still have my full line of Akron postcards available and I can do a custom order on Etsy for you. Please contact me by text 330-208-5693 or email [email protected] if you're interested. :)

01/07/2021

FYI I went on my sunthingspecial website the other day and it was all gibberish code. That was a *nice* surprise. So my sweet husband is doing something. I don't know. I hate computer stuff because I don't understand it and I don't want to. I will let you know when it's back up.

NOTE: THIS POST CONTAINS MY STRONG POLITICAL OPINIONI can't let yesterday's historic events go by without comment. Thoug...
01/07/2021

NOTE: THIS POST CONTAINS MY STRONG POLITICAL OPINION

I can't let yesterday's historic events go by without comment. Though I will try as hard as I can to limit it. Which shouldn't be too difficult because I'm sure the majority of you feel as I do so I don't even have to say it.

Up until a couple months ago, I never, ever, ever in my wildest dreams (or nightmares, I guess) would have thought that domestic terrorists (NOT "American Patriots" as Ivanka called them) would have attempted a government coup -- basically set up by the maniac currently destroying our country as much as he can before he leaves. True, I haven't felt like we live in a democracy since that cretin took over, but still, such an active attempt to destroy it???

And I hate to think of the days up, and through the inauguration. I'm scared to death actually. The man is an unhinged loose cannon with nothing to lose, lots and lots of power and the nuclear code. Yes, resolutions to invoke the 25th amendment or impeach him immediately are great, but extremely doubtful they would happen fast enough.

And then there's after Biden takes office. What kind of madness will he inspire his rapid followers who he "loves" and are so "special" to do next? They are terrorists, NOT puppies!!! They are vandals and criminals. And speaking of, I guess it's not so hard to get into the Capitol Building after all, is it??? And don't get me STARTED on the difference between the response to these protestors vs. the Black Lives Matter protestors. I don't think many of the police force were taking selfies with the BLM protestors like they were with the MAGA protestors.

God help us all. We need to preserve our democracy not just for our sake, but for the world (just look at what the leaders around the world have to say about yesterday's events).

Okay, I guess I couldn't say it briefly ... but arrrrrgghhhhhhhh!!!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/sunthingspecial?ref=seller-platform-mcnavYou can buy my postcards and blank note cards on Etsy...
01/03/2021
Sunthing Special by sunthingspecial

https://www.etsy.com/shop/sunthingspecial?ref=seller-platform-mcnav

You can buy my postcards and blank note cards on Etsy, as well as some photos and giclees. Many items are sold out, and I will be adding more images, so look for those next month. I don't know how people find me, but in 2020 I've had orders from California to Florida as well as the UK and France. Crazy, but cool!!

*my line of Akron, Ohio postcards are available by request

You searched for: sunthingspecial! Discover the unique items that sunthingspecial creates. At Etsy, we pride ourselves on our global community of sellers. Each Etsy seller helps contribute to a global marketplace of creative goods. By supporting sunthingspecial, you’re supporting a small business,...

I'm back so soon because I have something VERY cool to share. My good friend just texted me this image. She said she was...
01/03/2021

I'm back so soon because I have something VERY cool to share. My good friend just texted me this image. She said she was going through her Yahoo news feed and thought this sun looked like one of mine. Well it IS one of mine. It's one that "CBS Sunday Morning" has used several times, called "Sun Swirl 2". My art has appeared many places but NEVER on a frickin' news feed! ❤
(Sure, no one but us knows this is my art, but that's okay ...)

12/31/2020

Goodbye 2020, Welcome 2021, and Goodbye for Now

We all know that when the clock strikes midnight, things aren't magically going to get better, right?

2020 wasn't totally awful for me. Sure it was mostly awful, but there were some good moments. And I have to try to remember that, and hold on to that.

As I look to 2021 in the "the glass is half-empty" kind of mood I'm in, I already know of some some sad things that are bound to happen, and some changes I'll have to deal with (I'm not good at dealing with change AT ALL). And these are just the things on my radar. We all know about the hundreds of things that get thrown at us that for which we're totally unprepared.

But I hope that for me, as well as for you, no matter what the new year holds there are many good, special, happy moments you are able to recognize, treasure and hold close to you when you need them in tough times.

That's all I have to say for now. Until I have more to say or art to show -- take care and thanks for reading. You probably don't hear it enough, but you guys are great. :)

12/31/2020

Update: Physical Health
Those of you who have followed me know that I am queen of quirky (and not so quirky) health issues. Remember the hangnail that got infected and resulted in emergency finger surgery?? Fortunately nothing was life-threatening (My husband took care of that with his two mountain bike accidents and the pulmonary embolisms he got after a long-distance plane ride).

Anyway, this year was filled with lots of issues, a few that were resolved, but some that I will have to live with.

No big deal are the ones that got resolved:
- A bump on my scalp that I had noticed last year got all big and gross. I had two biopsies on it and it ended up being just a freaky cyst. After all the gunk was cleaned out of it it eventually healed.
- Dry mouth and oral thrush (because I had dry eyes as well I was tested for Sjogren's Syndrome; fortunately I was negative for that)
- Frozen Shoulder Syndrome, which I'm still recovering from (it takes about 3 months). Another freaky and random thing which is REALLY REALLY painful. If you don't believe me, just ask my family, which hears me screaming, moaning and/or whimpering when I do my stretching exercises at home.

BUT the ones I have to live with are bigger deals to me (though I tell myself all the time they could be SO. MUCH. WORSE.):
- I found out this summer I'm GLUTEN INTOLERANT!!!! That means I can't eat things with gluten (basically wheat, barley and rye), i.e. my favorite foods like pasta, brownies, donuts, bread, cookies, etc. Or I get very sick (think, can't really leave bed for a day or two). And PLEASE don't tell me how there are so many good gluten-free things there are at stores now, blah blah blah. First, they are SO!!! overpriced. And second, I think all gluten-free foods have a gritty texture to them. I prefer food that naturally doesn't have gluten (wheat, barley and rye) as opposed to something that tries to replace the gluten. Unfortunately I can't even tell you how awful this is for me, someone who rarely touches fruits and vegetables.
So the list of things I eat is very limited, and because of this, I burn out of foods pretty quickly and then the list gets smaller. I'm hungry a lot, which makes me cranky. I have experimented with some recipes but the problem is I spending time making things when I don't know what they're going to turn out like. The majority of time they taste like garbage and they get thrown out because no one will eat them. It's been a few months and I would have thought I'd have it settled by now. But I haven't.
- I started having DAILY MIGRAINES this summer! I went on Trokendi, which is a preventative medicine I take every night. But guess what, I also get BREAKTHROUGH MIGRAINES. Plus, regular headaches too, just for fun. And cluster headaches.
- I have been having random tingling in my hands and feet for months. It's worse in my left hand which I guess is a result of the carpal tunnel syndrome I had 7 years ago because I would hold my canvases in my left hand. I also found out I have mild neuropathy in my legs. They are doing blood work to maybe find out why, but they'll most likely never know. In any event, I will have to live with this super annoying tingling the rest of my life.
- Dry eye syndrome. Again, a new thing. Eye drops forever.

I have a close friend who went to the doctor for the first time in four years. In the last six months I don't think I've gone two weeks without going to one. Lately, with PT, I've been going at least 3x/week.

Again, I know how very, very lucky I am that I don't have it any worse. But at times, along with everything else, you just feel like "Seriously? Now I have THIS?" But don't we all have "THIS" in one way or another?

Protesting in 2020I may not have felt a lot of joy in 2020, but I did feel A LOT of anger toward all the injustices bein...
12/30/2020

Protesting in 2020
I may not have felt a lot of joy in 2020, but I did feel A LOT of anger toward all the injustices being done toward Blacks and other minorities. As well as donating money to certain causes, I took my youngest daughter (as well as other family members) along with me on several protests and other marches (it was voluntary on their parts; I would NEVER push my politics on anyone).

I am firmly against police brutality and police abuse of power. Yet I firmly believe our society needs police as diverse and as well-trained in diversity as possible. I know all lives matter, but I get how a Black people feel their lives do not matter as much as Whites. Unfortunately, you see examples of racism every day. It even happens to well-known celebrities.

It was exciting to participate in the protests and marches. They were peaceful. Everyone wore masks. They were no riots. There were Whites and Blacks, young and old (as noted by the sign of the random guy next to me). Sure I was almost always one of the oldest people there, but it was heartening to see all the young people there as they will lead the future. What was awesome was seeing all the Whites -- without their involvement, no true change will occur as they currently hold the power.

I've loved seeing the changes that HAVE happened since May. And I hope they continue. I hope this truly is a movement, not just a moment, as had been said. The diverse new cabinet president-elect Joe Biden hopes to have is a promising sign.

(Photo: me and some random protest marcher in Cleveland)

12/30/2020

When Time Seemed to Stop
I often feel like time stopped on March 13, and every day since then has been one long blur. Probably because for the last nine months basically all five of us (plus Pepper) have been home with each day blending almost seemlessly into the next. It is difficult to keep track of what day it is as every day seems like "Blursday".

We've missed out on countless experiences as event after event after event has been cancelled (or we've cancelled). Although I'd be okay with the kids going to school five days a week, school has been virtual or hybrid (going in two days a week and online the remaining three days). My husband's been working from home since March and won't go back to the office until June at the earliest. The oldest two have part-time jobs and it seems I'm always going to the doctor or running errands, but for the most part we err on the side of caution (and we're all introverts anyway) so we stay home as much as possible.

But I keep thinking of my year of monotonous blur in contrast to the year of blur for those I know. I know of four people who lost their parents this year. In fact, my two closest friends lost their moms (one to Covid) (and my mother-in-law just lost her sister to Covid). In particular, one friend's year was a blur as she spent hours and hours every pretty much single day for months on end at her mom's side, offering her sips of water, playing classical music and holding her hand. Sometimes getting a response but often not. Her life was at a standstill, yet it wasn't. The holidays have been a blur as they -- and everyone else who has lost a loved one -- continue to process their loss, especially at what is supposed to be "the happiest season of all."

On the opposite end, my niece and her husband, already parents to a toddler, welcomed a baby. I'm sure the year has been a blur to them as well, but for different reasons.

In 2020 life paused. It blurred. But like any other year, it ended for some. And began for others. In that way, nothing changed.

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I want my art to bring joy to people

My name is Cari Miller, artist and owner of Sunthing Special. I have been drawing and writing as long as I can remember. In my 30+ year career, I have worked as a reporter, associate editor, graphic designer, commissioned artist, professional photographer, and more. For five years (2011-1015) I had a studio/gallery in downtown Akron. Since then I have been working from my home in NW Akron.

I started painting suns in the early 2000s, and have been fortunate enough to have six of them appear on “CBS Sunday Morning” a total of 11 times. I have been in dozens of shows, and won some awards from time to time. My Akron-oriented items were sold in places like the Akron-Canton Airport and the former West Point Market. But what makes me happiest is when my art finds the right “home”, or even just brings a smile to someone’s face as he or she looks at it. My art is primarily bright and happy, because I have always felt there is more than enough sadness in the world and maybe my purpose on earth is to create art that brings joy to others.

I use a lot of different media and my mind never stops going. I like to use scraps when I can. I also like to use my art to help bring awareness to causes. I have raised a total of well over $2,000 to support causes like Save the Children, the Akron Soap Box Derby, Life is Good No Matter What and the Water Project.

My art is an extension of myself, so this Facebook account is too. :)

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I wanted to let you know that we said our final goodbye to Pepper on April 6. This my fourth attempt at a post and unfortunately Facebook keeps deleting them which makes me cry tears of frustration because Pepper deserves so much more than just one sentence ..
I wrote two really long posts about how we said our final goodbyes to our and only Pepper on April 6. But because Facebook is #$*% both posts disappeared. And BTW #&$% Facebook hasn't work on my desktop computer since my last post on January 11 and it's taken until now to get it to work (sort of) on my phone which is why you haven't heard from me in so long. So instead of reading a beautiful tribute to Pepper you are hearing me cuss out Facebook because it s*cks and it didn't let me talk about my sweet Pepper. Sorry Pepper, you deserve so much more th
I've been in Facebook hell since January but just realized I can post from my home, which isn't ideal but I wanted to let my "regulars" know that on April 6 we said our final goodbyes to our "rescue" dog Pepper. I had typed a short tribute to him but Facebook just deleted it and that makes me want to cry from continued Facebook frustration, which at least is a change from crying from sadness over the loss of the dog who was not perfect, but was perfect for us. What I can say is that who knew such a little dog would leave such a big hole in my heart?? Pepper was my first (and will be the only) dog and I never ever wanted a dog until the fates decided we needed each other. Actually, Pepper was so needy (who knows what his life was like in the 4-1/2 years before he came to his forever home with us) that I considered rehoming him! He immediately chose me as his "person" and followed me EVERYWHERE. I am very independent and was definitely not used to that! In fact, I joked that if I had dated someone so needy and clingy I would've broken up with him. 😉 Fortunately I quickly got used to my "shadow" and if he ever were not about 12" from me I didn't feel right. And we shared so many wonderful adventures together! In fact, I would sometimes sneak him into my studio at Summit Artspace when no one was around. 😉 I could go on and on, but if you've ever loved an animal, you know what it's like -- both the love and the loss. Fortunately we were able to be with him, holding him in his special black-and-white blanket on our sofa when he took his last breath. And with that, he took the joy with him. And our home and hearts feel so empty He will be so missed ...