Advice Feed

Advice via Alex

I'm knee deep in my list of "to do" for school, and I've sadly neglected this blog. Thankfully, Alex volunteered to pass on some advice and get the "August Break" caught up!

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Get your hands dirty! It's a whole lotta fun!

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Eat dessert with both can get more into your mouth at once!


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Make your own fun. Possiblities exist everywhere. Trash really can be treasure!

August Break: Days 26, 27, 28


Use Your Stuff

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Stuff lurks in my art room, even after a serious destashing of said art room.

It perches on my windowsill, resides in drawers, sits on my table.

This stuff gives me the evil eye, sighing in desolation, claiming to be abandoned, ignored, and stating that yes, it too, wants a purpose in life. It wants to travel, to make someone smile.

"Please use me," it cries. "I was made for better things!"

So,needing to tuck some money and address labels into a larger package, I gave into stuff's demands.

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From a non descript coin envelope to one worthy of the runway, all thanks to "stuff."

My stuff had one last request: "Please use us. Create magic and send us on our way. There's a big world out there, and we want to see it!

Focused on the Destination

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I'll 'fess up...I can be a bit of a magpie, distracted by anything that's shiny and glittery, at least in the mixed media world. So many courses, so many things to try, and I want it all.

And, in the past, I tried it all....metal, jewelry, collage, sewing, journals, photography, etc. Some I thrived on, and some...well, those results hit the trash can for the most part!

And, so many workshops, both in person and on line. And, again, I want to take them all. Never mind that I have to earn a living, I still want to sign on the dotted line. If I signed up for every workshop that caught my eye, I'd never complete them, even if I quit work.

And, so with some coaching from the marvelous Lesley Riley and her Artist Success program, I'm beginning to figure out what it is I really want to do (photography and journaling), figuring out how to combine them, and learning how to ignore all that glitters.

I'm figuring out how to make things fit into what I want to accomplish, and to quote Patti Digh, I'm learning to let go of the monkey bars, get off the ship, and follow my desire lines.

It doesn't mean that I don't get tempted now and then and do something for the heck of it. I do.

But, thanks to Lesley, I'm not only having fun, but I've:

 - redesigned my blog and am continuing to do so

 - destashed my  art room, big time

 - taken a few chances and plan to take even more

 - learning to do more with photoshop

 - sent away to create postcards using my photos (Look for a give away soon!)

 - beginning to get off of the automatic settings on my camera

 - and so much more!

Now, the technical part of all of this makes me want to cry at times. Just cry. The stubborn Russian in me declares that it is not going to get the best of me, and I am figuring it out. Sometimes, it takes longer than I'd like, but I get there. Not always on the path someone else may have designed as the express route...I tend to take the scenic path...but I get there.

What's even cooler, I'm learning to apply some of the same lessons to what occupies me in the workplace.

In less than a half a year, I turn 60, and honestly? Well, to use a cliche, I figure "the best is yet to come!"

I'm linking up with Kim Klassen's "Texture Tuesday," and for a bit of technical jargon, I used:

 - Kim's "I Am" texture, applying color burn at 69%

 - Kim's "Dream" texture applying color burn at 57%




I Need to Remember This

So, I started with this:

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Cropped her down a bit...

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Stirred up some photoshop elements magic, threw in a texture or two, and got this...


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I'm going to print her out and focus on this quote; too much monkey brain going here. (Although, I have to credit the monkey brain; it's what woke me up at 3 am, leading to this.)



He causes gales of laughter, this Aussie of ours! Whether it's a doggy bagel crammed in his mouth, or his barreling through the house with a squeaky football, he loves to play. He can't catch a frisbee to save his life, but glories in the pursuit. I've got a lot to learn from this fellow.

This page, as so many, started out completely differently. It evolved ...layers of paper, paint, a slightly altered photo, some sanding, and so it went. Add some pens and some rubber stamping, and I bet it made you smile.

Today began with the two of us sitting in traffic and creeping toward our destination, arriving much later than normal. I scurried in only to find the black screen of death awaiting me. Luckily, my best new friend, Phil, came to fix it. Seems as if one piece of tech was not playing nicely with another. God bless Phil...he gets rid of the gremlins that lurk in my machine. From there, I scrounged to get some copy paper; it seems as if it's to be delivered tomorrow, which didn't help matters today.

Some scented shower gel, an iced chai, and looking at this silly face has cured what ails me.

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday Morning Advice From Fred

You remember Fred, don't you? Or, if it's your first time here, I hope you'll go back to meet him. Apparently Fred makes quite a few folks smile. One person asked to see his wings. Another stated that she hoped to run across Fred again.

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As part of a project for a Yahoo group, Fred agreed to help me pass out a bit of advice. I had to post this advice in a public place, photograph, and then leave it there.

Well, Fred and I put our heads together and agreed on a few things:

 - We had to be VERY VERY CAREFUL where to leave this advice, 'cause you see the folks in the Washington, D.C. area, are mighty sensitive to abandoned packages and such. So, no Metro stations, public monuments, etc. Neither Fred nor I wished to find ourselves in the pokey. DH kindly pointed out that he didn't wish to lose his security clearance in the name of art.

 - Fred and I also agreed that these folks around here need to lighten up a bit as they take themselves mighty seriously. So, a good bit of light heated fun should be highly encouraged.

- I found this bit of advice in this book by Patti Digh, and we deemed it "perfect!" Fred suggested that I attach his image to a jar of bubbles so that folks could put the advice into effect immediately. He even waived his modeling fees.

 - DH agreed to transport Fred and I to a nearby public eatery early in the morning so we could complete our covert operation. A few folks milled about, but no one seemed to pay much attention to us. Within a few moments, we whispered, "Mission Accomplished!"

 - Fred has really taken to this advice bit, so I'm thinking he'll show up here on a regular basis, ready to dispense his wit and wisdom. He pointed out that I really do need to honor our reader's request to see his wings, and so I shall!

Oh, and if you want your own Fred, he can be found at Ikea, for a very reasonable price!

Not One Word But Three

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Do you see him, my little friend? I didn't, at least not when I photographed this gorgeous color drenched flower.

No, I didn't see what was right in front of my face at the time, so focused was I on getting the shot.

I spotted him as I editied ...and edited...and edited...and edited some more.

And, I thought about him. He simply happened to be doing his thing, gathering some food, I think.

But, what struck me was this.

He couldn't really see where he happened to be headed....the end was not clearly in sight.

He trusted his instincts, some inner navigation, his own personal gps to get him where he needed to be.

I own one of those, too, but I rarely pay it any mind. I second guess myself. I find reasons to procrastinate.

I get lost in the "what ifs."

During Christmas break, I came across a poem, "Shake the Dust," and several lines of it grabbed my heart.

"So, shake the dust and take me with you...

grab the world by its clothespins and shake it out again and again and jump on top and take it for a spin and when you hop off shake it again for this is yours.

Mark my words worth it, make this not just another poem that I write, not just another poem like just another night that sits heavy above us all.

Walk into it, breathe it in, let it crash throught the halls of your arms at the millions of years of millions of poets coursing like blood pumping and pushing making you live, shaking the dust.

So when the world knocks at your front door, clutch the knob and open on up, running forward into its widespread greeting arms with your hands before you, fingertips trembling though they may be .

...................................Anis Mojgani


"Shake the dust."  I kept hearing this phrase as I tried to settle on one word.

I dutifully waded through blogs. worksheets. and lists, all in an effort to settle on my one word for this year.

I tested a few possibilities...emerge, live, leap, and more. None sat on my tongue as well as "shake the dust."

It's okay to be scared, to be nervous..."fingertips trembling though they may be."

But, know what? This is my year to "shake the dust."