Archives For life


01/01/2015 — Leave a comment

Ok let’s just say it. 2014 was weird. Really WEIRD. Throughout the year there were positive notes and less positive ones and all sorts of sad, depressing, sometimes terrible happenings around the world. But it’s a new year and in a few hours the sun will rise on our next shot at making things better, brighter and braver. Let’s look back on 2015 in a year with a smile.

Happy New Year, Everyone! Let’s make it a good one…”let’s tell the world about it now, happy days are here again…!”

See last year’s NYE post here.

Wmotd, Week 9

28/02/2014 — Leave a comment

This song has been stuck in my head lately. February is just about over and it seems to have been a tough month for some of us if nothing else because of the weather. Listening to this track on repeat (as I tend to when I write these weekly posts) a number of things come to mind including the greyness of winter but also movement.. and travel. My mind is on traveling lately as it tends to be on and off during the year. There’s something hardwired in me to make me want to travel and explore it seems.

How about you guys? Where does this track take you? What do you hear?

In Every Direction by Junip


13/02/2014 — Leave a comment

If you’re tuning in from America, or keep up on US current events, you’re probably aware of a massive winter storm bearing down on the east coast at the moment.

Pax Snow | AmandaMuses

Last night the storm blew into town, dumping close to a foot of snow in my neighborhood in about 12 hours. The snow drifts on my windows this morning were pretty impressive to say the least.

Pax Snow | AmandaMuses

This afternoon the storm switched to warm drizzling which helped pack down the snow a bit and then switched to freezing rain as the sun went down. Now the storm has switched back to heavy snow. Stay tuned, I guess…

It’s no secret that 2013 has not been my favorite year so far. Hell, let’s just admit it— 2013 pretty much sucked (at least for me and several others I know). It could’ve been worse, things could ALWAYS be (or get) worse; even so it was still pretty bad as years go, imho.

But tomorrow is not just a new day (and chance), tomorrow is a new YEAR. It’s been a long while since I’ve been this excited for the new year— a nice symbolic start to a new chapter and a chance to start fresh and begin again. After all the crap of this past year, I feel confident that making things better and more positive in 2014 will be within my reach.

And because I’m so excited for tomorrow’s new beginning, I can’t help but keep singing this song to myself (and have been for the last few days, to be honest):

If you already know me, you probably also know that I like music and movies from the 20s-40s. This song was written not long after the market crashed in ’29 (and was used at the ending of MGM’s movie Chasing Rainbows released the following year ). Leo Reisman & His Orchestra first recorded the song in late 1929 and perhaps that version may be better known or more popular, but for my money it’s Ben Selvin’s version shared above that does the trick.

If this song sounds familiar, you may have heard it in the context of FDR. It was played at the 1932 Democratic national convention during his presidential campaign and later became associated with the repeal of prohibition during Roosevelt’s first year in office. And while prohibition has been repealed officially for eighty years (as of December 5) and the Great Depression is long gone, this song was written and popular during a time when things weren’t so great. When things were pretty awful for far too many. I’ve felt pretty far from great this past year (or two) and have had more negative things happen to loved ones during the past year(s) than I care to revisit here. So listening to this song on repeat for me is not just amusing and smile-inducing, it’s a song of hope and happiness. It makes me feel better and helps me BELIEVE that tomorrow will be brighter and better (even if that means we have to make it so ourselves with some paint and better lighting). “So let’s tell the world about it now, happy days are here again…”

Anyway. How about you guys? How are you feeling about the coming year? Any big ideas, plans, hopes or goals? Do tell. It’s been too long since I’ve written like this and hope to renew a more conversational tone with you all. So let’s start the new year by talking about what we hope to see around the corner.
xo A

Freezing rain

09/12/2013 — Leave a comment

It’s been another bonkers week and as is becoming a habit of late, my focus has not be on blogging, unfortunately. So it goes.

On the upside, things seem to be settling down. And today it snowed for hours (the first snow of the year) which makes this northerner happy. We’ll see what next week holds in store. In the meantime, here’s a little something I’ve been working on the last few days. Had considered it a “discarded draft,” but will admit it looks kind of interesting. What do you guys think of the piece?

Spark 20, sketch | AmandaMuses

Into the Void

22/10/2013 — Leave a comment

The autumn weather snapped finally, a pleasant enough change, but not so great for outdoor swimming. Instead, I’ve been enjoying the gym indoors for the last few weeks, switching things up and cranking the tunes while grinding away on equipment. It feels great (if exhausting) and allows me the same time to reflect that I get out of swimming (even if I miss out on the wind and sun on my arms).

But I found a solution to ease the indoor transition— a new playlist to keep myself happy and focused while kicking my butt at the gym. And while listening to this new playlist, a track came on that propelled me back in time. Back to brisk autumn weather in Göteborg and catching the morning train to get away to Stockholm for the weekend. This song brings it all back:

How about you? Do any songs propel you back in time or take you some place else? Which song(s) and where does it take you?


18/09/2013 — Leave a comment

Last week was, to say the least, intense. And it probably seems as though I’ve lapsed into another brief (unintentional) quiet spell. While that was not a conscious decision, things happen and so it goes. This week is shaping up to be similarly busy, but in a much better way (hopefully).

While this piece still does not feel “done,” here is another discarded iteration that I rather like.

Untitled iteration | AmandaMuses

What do you think? Any ideas where it’s going? This is another “sibling” of the last two iterations I’ve shared recently here and here. Can you see the relationships?

Let’s Talk

13/05/2013 — Leave a comment

Recently, I’ve had a chance to catch up with a number of old friends and have, as a result, been doing a lot of reflecting on the past. Additionally, a number of folks have asked me why I write so little on my blog these days.

Beginning in the summer of 2000 until about ’06 or ’07 I used to write blog posts quite a bit.* I’d write all sorts of goofiness and, in a lot of ways, Twitter has become my place for sharing silly quips and random observations. When I began AmandaMuses in 2007, I had originally intended that the site function as an (experimental) sketchblog and figured I would maintain a separate written blog. As time has marched on, however, I’ve grown reticent online. A side effect of concern over privacy and questioning of the value of or interest in the content I was posting. As a result, I seem to be writing less and less on any manner of blog and this site has become somewhat singular in its focus on daily image exercise postings and occasional article summaries or travel tips.

Based on a number of offline conversations though, I’m beginning to think it’s time get over it and just post more. While I have already planned a number of travel guides for the coming months, more personal writing may be in order.

What do you think, readers? Would you like to see more semi-personal writing here? Or would you rather I stick to image heavy or image-only content?

*In the recent years, I have merged my old blog’s archive with this site and have slowly made quite a few old posts public. Much of my early blogging will remain private, however.


11/11/2012 — Leave a comment

It’s hard to believe, but today it was warm and sunny enough to be driving around town with the windows down. Even though it’s November, Baltimore is, as usual, somewhat reluctant to admit that it’s fall and that winter will be on the way soon enough.

Light leaves

The leaves are still hanging on though. And some flowers too….

Fall Flowers

Oh well. At least it’s fun while it lasts…

Update: Like these photos? Now they’re available printed on pillows & totes here on Print All Over Me.


06/11/2012 — Leave a comment

Today is finally Election Day here in America. About 30 million people have already participated in early or absentee voting in 34 states by mail or in person. Now let’s get the rest of the registered voters out to the polls!

Still unsure of how to vote or waffling? Here’s a tongue-in-cheek opinion about choosing our next president that I happen to agree with:

With that said, the most important part is showing up to your polling place today and VOTING. Ladies, we’ve had the vote for less than 100 years in most states (thank you, 19th amendment and Susan B. Anthony), GO VOTE and make it count.

Not sure about where to find your polling place? Check your state elections board, or get more details about each state here.

Interested in the results of the election but are outside of the U.S. and/or without a tv? You can follow along on CNN’s website here.

And just in case the embedded player above malfunctions, here’s a link to the original clip.

Hey Baltimore, MD and East Coast–
We made the news (not surprisingly) in Sweden:

View on SVT’s site, just in case

View on SVT’s Site


By now, you’ve probably already heard about the massive storm, Hurricane Sandy, also dubbed Frankenstorm winding its way along the Atlantic coast at the moment.

For most of the day my neighborhood, usually a bustling mix of residences and local businesses, has been eerily empty. The rain has been falling steadily for a few hours now and the world outside my window remains ominous. I’ve seen, sailed and driven through plenty of bad storms, but the silent stillness is always the creepiest.

Waiting on a wire

If you’re in Sandy’s path, readers, stay dry and stay safe.







This time last year, we had a glorious sunset…

2011 Sunset

This year, the sunset is a little underwhelming but I’m glad to have captured last year’s. How’s the weather been in your neck of the woods, readers?

Recently, I’ve been doing some serious tinkering with a new project.. Not quite ready to share, but so far it’s fun and a tiny bit exciting to be doing some a little different…

Five Years

19/03/2012 — Leave a comment

This past week, AmandaMuses turned five, wild! While I’ve maintained a blog in some form since 2000, it wasn’t until 2007 that I finally moved on to a single domain of my own and started sharing some of my work or visual explorations rather than focusing on chitchat. In the last year or two as you’ve no doubt noticed, dear readers, I’ve allowed work work to become rather all-consuming and withdrawn somewhat from this website but change is coming…

Stay tuned, dear readers…

Day 261.2

18/09/2011 — Leave a comment

Lost in the fog today…

Day 261.2

Summer Storm

10/06/2011 — Leave a comment

We’ve been experiencing record breaking high temperatures… which is actually nice–the streets aren’t too crowded and everyone slows down. The other pleasant side effect is the inevitable thunderstorms that roll in after the heat wave…

Summer Storm



It’s been a rainy, somewhat reluctant spring, weather-wise. Today was no exception, complete with tornado and flash flood warnings.. most other days are moody, stormy mornings with sunny afternoons and stormy nights. The cloudy skies have been beautiful though.

This past weekend brought the first peonies of the season though, which always puts a massive smile on my face: