Archives For Thoughts

This year has felt brutal in places and the last few days/weeks have been pretty intense (that’s not to say there haven’t been some highlights too but it’s been hard to get them to outshine the negative at times). Tomorrow is a new week though and in a month it will be a new year. So tonight as I try to focus on the glimmers of positive in the last week and forgive myself for skipping blogging and getting behind on work in deference to other emergencies, I am hopeful that soon the highlights will outshine the clouds.

Empty | AmandaMuses


14/06/2013 — Leave a comment

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my increasing lack of written or personal blog content.

I explained briefly my reticence due to concerns about personal privacy (which seem to have gone to an unnecessary extreme), thought that it was time to get over it and share more and then asked somewhat rhetorically about people’s preference with regards to content (semi-personal writing versus image heavy).

Since then, several weeks have passed and beyond posting a collection of travel notes about Pittsburgh and ongoing daily image exercise posts, I really haven’t “gotten over it” and shared much personal content, have I? Lame. Extremely lame. I’m pointing this all out though because I’m not giving up on sharing more and I want the few of you who are still reading to know it. Since my comfort generally lies with imagery, I will probably lean toward image heavy postings at first, but I will try to make a concerted effort to actually open up more with you guys again. Sound good?

Compass Hand

For Tom

12/09/2010 — Leave a comment

It doesn’t matter whether you won or lost…. just that you tried your best. So just keep trying.

Update: Like this photo? Now it’s available as a matted archival print here in my Etsy shop.

It’s been a long time since I’ve shared photos or non-daily portrait work with any regularity; but thank you, dear readers, for your patience.

I think it’s time to end the wait…wouldn’t you agree?

Glacial Melt

26/08/2010 — Leave a comment

Haven’t been feeling it lately as no doubt evidenced in the daily portraits and lack of chatty posts. Hang in there, dear readers, my brain will defrost sometime soon.

In the meantime, please feel welcome to share any content requests you may have. And welcome to all the new readers from around the world–thanks for stopping by!

Var inte rädd … Jag har inte glömt er alla…

In the midst of a move, the last three weeks have gotten away from me. But fear not, dear readers, I shall return to more active and regular updates very shortly…

Don’t Stop

31/03/2010 — Leave a comment

Despite unrelenting rain for the last few days, I’ve been in a pretty great mood lately, yesterday especially. But today, a warm, glorious sunny day, I’m feeling blah–seems I’ve strained my upbeat muscle(s). So, I’m trying to perk up with music in the form of a fairly ridiculous and silly playlist this afternoon. Among the tracks is:

Listening to this sort of music makes me want to cook up a storm and host a massive dinner party for all the people from around the world whom I love. Imagining everyone in one place for once in my life is absurd and thrilling, but maybe some day, right? Perhaps for my next house warming? Who’s in?

The end of print publishing? Or?? Watch and see:


  • Atlas Snowshoes–with ~4′ of snow on the ground, these are almost a necessity
  • Keen boots–without a good pair of boots, snowshoes aren’t much use
  • Under Armour base layers–keep warm and dry no matter how wet you get in the snow
  • Design House Stockholm pleece–warm and snuggly
  • North Face WindWall–keeps the wind out and adds a layer of warmth to any good winter anorak
  • Aleve–after all that shoveling you’ll need it!
  • How about you dear readers? What do you depend on during harsh winters?

    mine, 2, 3, 4, 5,6

    It has always fascinated me how seemingly trivial things can trigger one’s memory on a dime and transport you to another time or place in an instant– hidden snapshots of one’s life peppered throughout our daily comings and goings.

    This morning, paying bills at my desk and watching the rain pour down, iTunes surprised me with a memory jolt– a musical time machine back to college:

    This song always propels me back in time to a rainy night in Pittsburgh— biblical rain, soaking you to the bone and waiting on Carson Street for the 54C back to Oakland. The experience or night holds no significance to my present life, no new characters came into my life that night, no profound observations were made on that day, the rain did not catalyze anything other than hailing a taxi and yet it remains as a warm and vivid memory: Crumpled up in an old leather jacket, waiting beneath a street light flipping through sketchbooks with the other regular from my coffeeshop (who was also waiting for the overdue bus), wet licorice streets, headlights exaggerated by raindrops…

    It seems strange to me that such an insignificant moment in my life remains so firmly imprinted upon my memory and yet it does.

    What random moments are firmly implanted in your memory, dear readers?

    It’s just one of those days; we all have them– you wake up and the world feels grey and unwelcoming. You scuff around and feel sorry for yourself and maybe mope a little. Well today, I’m having one of those days.

    BUT instead of moping about like a fool when I feel like this, I rally my inner troops and forge ahead. This generally involves a longer visit to the closet– pulling out especially fun shoes and a colorful jacket, a bigger than usual cup of coffee, a longer lunch break and a tightening of the circle of dearest friends. When the world feels unwelcoming, I find it best to simply become the ultimate hostess– welcome the unwelcoming and just outshine the grey.

    One of my longest standing friends from childhood, loved the Beatles when we were kids; countless weekend hours swam by to the soundtrack of the fab four and today my mind has drifted back to those days:

    Watching this clip from the movie Help!, the semi-sad lyrics of the song mixed with the subtle silliness of Paul and George perks me up and makes me smile.

    How about you, dear readers? How do you perk yourself up when you’re feeling down?

    I’m not one to make new year’s resolutions, generally, but this year it just seemed right. This year, I aim to:

    Draw more

    Draw more

    Draw More
    I’d really like to try and make more of a habit of sketching during my travels and off time.

    Be Happy

    Be Happy

    Be Happy
    I’ve learned a lot during the last few years, I’ve done some pretty exciting things and I’ve done some work of which I can be proud. But happiness and joy have not been at the core of my daily life, at least not as much as I would like.. so in 2010, I want to work on that.

    Write more letters

    Write more letters

    Write more letters
    When I was ten, I had a teacher who gave us an assignment to write a letter to someone every week for a year. It was an excellent habit and one I’ve not maintained dutifully over the last twenty years or so as I’d like to say. Want a letter or to be added to my postcard list for when I’m on the road? Send me an e-mail and I’ll add you to the snail mail list 😉

    Be more active

    Be more active

    Be more active
    Over the last few months, I’ve spent too much time in my workspace (or commuting to it). As a result though, I’ve gotten less active and miss the pace I tend to maintain when living in a more urban environment. This year, I want to be better about making a habit of being physically active since it feels so good.

    Make more art and perhaps sell some too.
    If I don’t make things, I don’t feel good; it’s as simple as that. When I don’t make things, my skills get rusty. This year, it’s time to make time for art no matter what. And to start listening to the people who have been asking and telling me to sell my work for years.

    What are your resolutions this year, dear readers? Need help with yours? Here’s a handy resolution generator.

    While catching up on news and blogs this evening after spending much of the last two weeks on the road, I came across a post by Seth Godin about branding that caught my eye. Over the last few months, my brand hat has been collecting dust on my career hat rack while I shift focus to more graphic art-intensive work; but ever the brand manager (Abranda, if you prefer), my ears usually perk up when the word ‘brand’ pops up on my screen.

    In his post, Godin raises some interesting and valuable points about the breadth of meaning to brand beyond just the logo or visual touch points most of us associate with the word ‘brand.’ So often people seem to relegate branding to simply a function of marketing or design which is both frustrating and reassuring– frustrating in that the topic remains an uphill battle with some audiences, yet reassuring in that the need for responsible brand advocates remains strong. Godin summarizes the issue well when he states “Design is essential but design is not brand.

    What do you think, dear readers? How do you define ‘brand’ or ‘branding’?


    21/10/2009 — Leave a comment

    Photo 492v2

    Sometimes, I’m too shy for my own good…


    19/10/2009 — Leave a comment

    For as long as I can remember, Halloween has been my favorite holiday. Each year, I’d look forward to an annual excuse to get dressed up and be silly, and go around the neighborhood trick or treating, smelling the autumnal smells and laughing all along the way. Today, I still love the holiday, even if I don’t have kids or even dress-up.

    While working in the yard today, I was overcome by the glories of the autumn season– crisp air, golden light, colorful leaves crunching in my hands, even the smell of an eastern fall. Yum. Now inside, settled in with a glass of apple cider and a twitching cat, I am just itching for Halloween. So much so, that I thought tonight, I’d share with you, dear readers, some of my Halloween favorites. I grew up watching these cartoons as a kid and still get a kick out of them:

    Both are old Disney cartoons from 1929… eighty years later they’re still great!

    The last few days of rain and autumnal gloom have lulled my memories back to Göteborg. I haven’t paid it much mind over the last few years– I finished my MFA and didn’t really look back afterward.

    But here I am, back in Baltimore after a move back from Sweden, and two three 1500mi+ moves. I’m meeting and reconnecting with tons of people, so all of the ground I’ve covered in the last ten years is getting shuffled around in the foreground of my mind more than usual. But today, today felt like another day in Göteborg.

    Here is how I remember parts of it:







    Images: Me (scanned from my old printed photos, no less!)

    I can not describe how things have been lately… formulating a cogent description eludes me. So I’ll summarize:


    I feel like I’ve been kicked in the teeth… And it’s my own doing…

    Images: Me


    21/08/2009 — Leave a comment

    Some times, it’s hard to focus on what’s right in front of you….

    Image: Me

    So, can I just pop over to Edinburgh today? Y’know take the afternoon off, go to a museum, stroll along and take some snapshots while window-shopping… and then meet my loved ones for coffee… more strolling and then a late dinner with a view?






    Internet, does that work for you? Can I? Can I, huh, can I?? Yes, I’m 12 today… it IS Friday, afterall…

    Images: Me

    Cheer up mix

    02/06/2009 — Leave a comment

    This morning came in swinging and I, unfortunately, am not much of a boxer. Feeling pretty awful, I paused a moment to take stock of the present and perked up a bit upon the personal remembrance that life is ultimately pretty darn good. Then I built a playlist of Cheer Up music to set a more upbeat and playful tone to the day (about half of the playlist is available for purchase as an iMix here); by the first few songs, I was already feeling better.