Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Art Unraveled and Sedona 2014

This was my first year at Art Unraveled in Phoenix, AZ. I took classes with the lovely Jane Eileen, Jane Davies, Kelly Kilmer, and Traci Bautista. It was a very different experience than Artfest (better accommodations, no beach to walk along in the during the down time, 108 degree weather), but it was still a great time. I'm looking forward to going again soon!
 After Art Unraveled, we drove up to Sedona for a couple of days. What a GORGEOUS place! 
 These are from our shortish walk around Bell Rock. So much beauty all around us. 

We did LOTS of shopping while were there. One of my favorite places was this store. Do I remember the name of it? No, because my mom kept calling it the Ticky Tacky store. It's a better name than the original anyway.
I'm looking forward to both Art Unraveled and Sedona again. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Stop Thinking and Start Writing and a writing prompt

I used to teach a community ed class called Stop Thinking and Start Writing. I loved it. I loved inspiring others to put pen to paper, loved their excitement when they brought their writing to class to share. I think teaching that class will go down as one of the highlights of my teaching career (11 years now; who knows how much longer),

I stopped teaching it for a couple of reasons. 1) It was just too much to teach it (and plan for it) and do my master's work (and my husband was soon to be deployed for the 2nd time).

2) It stopped being fun. This, I'm sure, had to do partially with being overwhrlmed and exhausted. But it also had to do with a shift I saw in what many of my students wanted. Before, they just wanted to write, to have that rush that comes with a well written piece or a page or even a sentence. Later, many people wanted advice on publishing. They wanted to be "great" writers and get big advances. And I totally get that because, as a writer with a rather large student loan debt from my MFA, I, too, would like to "make it big" someday. Or at least pay my bills.

But I'm not there yet and so I began to feel utterly unqualified for that work. And teaching became a chore because, instead of finding new ways to inspire my students, I was trying to help them be something I wasn't yet.

Here's the whole point of this ramble: I still just really want to inspire people to write. I still love it. So, I'm going to use my blog to do so.

Is this going to be a regular gig? Pfft, I don't know. I always have the best intentions to blog regularly, but often fail. So I am choosing to make no promises.

But I shall try.

One thing I want to do us share some of my collages as writing prompts. Today's prompt is at the top of this post: look inside.

If you'd like, you can respond to the prompt and leave your writing in the comments. Or maybe you'd like to post it (if so, instead of posting my picture on your blog, would you kindly just give a link to mine?) on your own blog and leave a link in the comments.

Lovely! I can't wait to see where this inspiration takes you!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Andria's Camps for Awesome Girls

If you live in the Salt Lake Valley and have a daughter age 8-12 who likes arts and crafts and/or creative writing and would like more information on the camps I'm teaching this summer, please email me at craftycampsandria@gmail.com.

P.S. The previous post's video is shows an example of a junk journal we'll be doing for the Arts and Crafts camps. Woohoo!

Junk Journal Video

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Fat Tuesday: Dear Target

Dear Target,

I don't get you.

For the longest time, if I dropped by your "Women's Plus" department, I couldn't find anything that would be appealing to a plus-sized thirty-something. All of your plus-sized clothes were for women much more...matronly than I am. Even though I am closer to 40 than I am to 30, I still don't want to wear something my grandma would wear.

I've never understood why you have so many cute clothes in your misses section and yet only stocked things which vaguely looked like circus tents and the like in the "Women's Plus." Maybe you don't think chunky chicks shop at your store? Or maybe you want to discourage us from shopping there altogether? Send us over to Evil*Mart instead (who is starting to have cuter clothes for luscious ladies) because we're a "lower class" of person?

But, last summer, to my delight, I discovered that you had cute, young dresses and shirts and more (oh, my!) in that little corner next to the dressing rooms where I had been disappointed so many times before. In fact, it seemed to be bursting at the seams with fashionable frocks, and I felt like you had finally heard my silent prayers.

I guess it wasn't meant to last, because, when fall began, the number of cute clothes began to shrink and the number of clown clothes grew once again. Still, you'd conditioned me to keep checking back every time I dropped by on a whim.

So, imagine the combination of excitement and dismay when I saw this sign on February 13 in an empty Women's Plus department (well, it wasn't actually empty but overflowing with clearance items from your other department):

Excitement because, I couldn't help but think, "New? New! This means they're going to start having clothes that I'll want to wear! Clothes that, like the thin girls, I can walk down the street in and feel proud."

Dismay because, well, look at that sign: "Women's Plus Collection arriving early February." Um, Target, February only has 28 days this year, which means that, by the time I took this picture, the month was half over. Where are my "new" clothes that this sign promises?

I went back to your store this week, and, what did I find? Did I find brand new, cool, funky, comfortable, affordable clothes to fit my size 22 physique? Nope. I found this sign. Still. No clothes that I could wear and like myself in. Disappointed? Yeah, a little.

Dear Target, I do hope when your store actually gets some new clothes in my size (looking like it'll be in at least March by this point), that I will be writing another blog post extolling the virtues of your garments. Until then, I wait, half hoping, half dreading, what I'll find the next time I wander down to that corner next to the fitting rooms.



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fat Tuesday: Standing in the Checkout Line

A couple of weeks ago, I was standing in the checkout line at Evil*Mart and started reading the magazine covers. Here are a few:

"Look Good in Cozy Clothes" 
(Isn't the point of wearing cozy clothes being comfortable? And, you know, warm?"

"How They Did It: Half Their Size!"
(You know I'm going to open this magazine and it's just going to tell me all about their amazing diet and how they walked a little more. I always get sucked into these kinds of stories. And I'm always disappointed.)

"Improve Your Diet"
(Okay, maybe this one isn't so bad. But, still, it feels like all the magazine covers are against me!)

"Get An Insane Body: It's Hard, But You'll Look Hot!"
(Yep, that's what matters, seventeen year old girls: Looking hot! *growls*)

"Hollywood's Secret Diets: Get Thin Fast"
(Because losing weight quickly has always helped me before!)

"Outsmart the Over-40 Hidden Fat Trigger To Lose 1 LB Every Day!"
(This is another one that I get sucked into every time. Of course there's a hidden fat trigger! That is the only reason I'm fat. Because of that darn hidden fat trigger!)

"Lose 20 LBS in two weeks on the DUKE DIET DOCTOR'S LAST-CHANCE DIET!"
(Wait, this is a doctor's diet? I might have to go back for this one...)

Sorry this is so blurry. I was afraid that the Evil*Mart security was going to tackle me.
"The Bikini Body Plan"
(I already have a bikini body...just nobody's gonna be wanting to see it.)

I was getting, not surprisingly, very irritated by the many, many covers that touted hot bodies and losing 50 pounds a month. 

But, I decided not to get mad. Instead, I decided to think of other headlines for magazines. 


"Enjoy Wearing Whatever You Want When You Want!"

What do you think? What would you like to see on the cover of a magazine? Tell me in the comments!  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Fat Tuesday: 2 Reasons I Hate Photoshop

I hate Photoshop. Why?

Well, first, is that I have no idea how to use it. Seriously, Adobe, could you create some product that I can actually figure out and use? Because, right now, the best I can do is save my documents as a PDF. And that's just because it's an option for Pages (at home) and Word (at work).

I sort of think that Photoshop was created to make people who think they're intelligent, educated human beings and transform them into monkeys hitting the keyboard, hoping that SOMETHING will work!

And then, of course, there are things like this:

Did you SEE that? People who wield Photoshop are like magicians! They can totally change a human being (perfectly normal human beings who, if they walked down the street, you would think, hey, that person isn't ugly) and make this person into something that will never be seen in nature! (Or, again, walking down the street.)

Back "in the day", when magazines airbrushed the models on the front covers, there really was only so much that could be done, you know? But now, with Photoshop, they (I don't really know who "they" are; perhaps "they" are actually the robots who are plotting the demise of the human race; I know they've been working on getting rid of human teachers for years) make a person perfect.


There is no competing against perfect. Not for me. Not for the, as the video points out, the elementary school girls who read magazines and think that they're fat.

Photoshop, I hope you feel some shame for making the rest of us feel like hideous beings in comparison to your glittering images. Although, as you are computer software, I know you have no feelings. But you and your robot companions better be careful, because I'm watching you.

Always watching...