Liz Andra Shaw

Journey into the Creative Mind of a Writing Reader

The Scattered Life Collective #14

December 18th, 2014
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The Scattered Life Collective

On the Menu

Tonight I’m at Rio Rico Mexican Grill blogging with my friends. I’ll be ordering the Tacos Ranchero, which I love. Crispy steak, pico de gallo, and guacamole on soft corn tortillas. Heaven!

This weekend, I’m going to roast a whole chicken in a crock pot. Can’t wait to see how this works, because I really would like to use my crock pot more.

My Instagram Post of the Week

Instagram Post of the Week

Reading

I finished a couple of books this week! Yay! One was West of Eden by Harry Harrison, which is a very elaborate science fiction tale of an alternate history of our planet in which the reptiles develop science and technology long before hominids. I really enjoyed this book.

The other book I finished was Before Bethlehem by James J. Flerlage. This is the story of Joseph’s family before Mary came to them. I don’t know how historically accurate it is, but Joseph is a character that doesn’t get much attention. I enjoyed peeking into his life a bit, even if it’s all made up.

I also got a new Kindle HD 6, because they had a screaming deal on them. I really like how much lighter than my original Fire it is. I am seriously unimpressed with battery life, however. I have to recharge the battery every 2 days, no matter how little I’ve used it during those two days. I once left it 3 days, fully charged, and never used it. It was completely dead on the third day. That’s just not right. I know Amazon would replace it, but I don’t want to send it back. It’s a dilemma.

The Song of the Week

And because one Stevie Wonder song isn’t enough, here’s another one with some Ray Charles to make it even better.

Watching

I finally finished the Photoshop for Mixed Media course offered by Tangie Baxter. So many wonderful videos and instructions! I’ve really enjoyed it. I used Photoshop Elements, so not everything is available to me. I am so sad that I can’t do puppet warp. Some day, I will get a full version of Photoshop. Maybe.

Good Things that Happened this Week

  • It’s been a crazy week getting ready for Christmas at the treatment center. My boss wouldn’t approve putting up the artificial trees, so I was pressuring him to get a live tree that we could plant after Christmas. When he heard what that would cost, he finally relented. So we have artificial trees up and the kids have decorated them. Yay!
  • We had a great time at both of my Toastmasters clubs this week with holiday parties this week. I ended up this year with a great T shirt that says “Caution: May Contain Traces of Sarcasm” and some handwoven purses from Senegal. I love those gifts!
  • I spent a morning working on GED prep with one of the kids – story problems – and I’ve still got it! I can still solve story problems, and I can still teach. The brain is still working – yay!

Round and About

The Color Thesaurus
Powerful Pictures tell Foster Children’s Stories

More links at The Writing Reader Carnival of Creativity for 12/14/14.

My favorite prompt of the week at The Writing Reader: Angelic Visitations.

Inspiration for the Week

When you open a door, you look through and there are a hundred more doors. Step through the next one and there are a hundred more. The more we understand the more we comprehend the vastness of our ignorance. – Sylvia Earle

My Favorites on Flickr this Week

Click through on these to learn more about the artists.

Weeping Rock - Wentworth Falls
Weeping Rock – Wentworth Falls by Henry Brosius

keep  sleeping
keep sleeping by Silke Rieger

storm
storm by Silke Rieger

Untitled
Untitled by mac mitchell

# 3154 "Deep"
3154 “Deep” by Scott Bergey

Jan-sneak-peak-5
Jan-sneak-peak-5 by marynbtol

cadre inchies
cadre inchies by Neija Zeugme

Mammatus Before Sunset
Mammatus Before Sunset by Matt Granz

Untitled
Untitled by mac mitchell

New Wallpapers

Mount Asgard from National Geographic

Icelandic Horses by National Geographic

I hope you enjoyed this! If you decide to join the collective, let me know by leaving a comment so that I can return the favor.

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The Scattered Life Collective #13

December 12th, 2014
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The Scattered Life Collective

On the Menu

Ugh, do I have to eat? A big storm front is moving in, and my head is splitting. Maybe something caffeinated would help?

My Instagram Post of the Week

Instagram Post of the Week

Reading

Ghost Illusion Created in the Lab – this interested me because of the clients who sense the presence of someone in the room. Read all the way to the bottom to see how this may help people with schizophrenia.

The Song of the Week

And because one song by Audra Mae is not enough:

Watching

Good Things that Happened this Week

  • New members this week at both of my Toastmasters clubs – awesome!
  • The work Christmas party was the funnest ever.

Round and About

Microscopic photos of vinyl record grooves

More links at The Writing Reader Carnival of Creativity for 12/7/14.

My favorite prompt of the week at The Writing Reader: Symbolism of Bees.

Inspiration for the Week

We put terrible pressure on our minds. When we tighten them or harden our views or beliefs, we lose all the softness and flexibility that makes for real shelter, belonging, and protection. Sometimes the best way of caring for your soul is to make flexible again some of the views that harden and crystalize your mind; for these alienate you from your own depth and beauty. -John O’Donohue

My Favorites on Flickr this Week

Click through on these to learn more about the artists.

IMG_1142
IMG_1142 by Deepeningblue

life is like a camera
life is like a camera by Silke Rieger

prospects
prospects by Bob May

Queen of hearts art journal page
Queen of hearts art journal page by Tracy Scott

Pastels
Pastels by jellyfire

LIGHT
LIGHT by sreenivasa ram makinidi

I hope you enjoyed this! If you decide to join the collective, let me know by leaving a comment so that I can return the favor.

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Acceptance

December 10th, 2014
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Longfellow

For after all, the best thing one can do
When it is raining, is to let it rain.                                                                                                           Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I’ve been collecting words for art journaling inspiration for years, and it’s high time I started to use them. The word for today was “acceptance.” I chose this quote from Longfellow to illustrate this concept.

I will admit that for years I have been engaged in rather strenuous arguments with reality. In the midst of an exceedingly heated discussion with reality, I was introduced to The Work of Byron Katie through her first book, Loving What Is. It changed everything for me. It’s easier for me to let go of impossible situations and people. It’s easier for me to accept. The work takes so little time, and when I remember to do it, I’m a more content person.

If you tend to find yourself arguing with the rain, with traffic lights, with annoying people, with bad customer service, with the weeds in your back yard, or anything else, check out Byron Katie. And let it rain.

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The Scattered Life Collective #12

December 5th, 2014
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The Scattered Life Collective

On the Menu

I’m still struggling with the gluten free pizza crust copy cat recipe. I think I have the proportion of the dry ingredients correct finally, but now I am working on the amount of liquid and length of pre-cooking the crust. Getting closer every time!

My Instagram Post of the Week

Instagram Post of the Week

This is the start of a spread in a collaborative art journal I’m doing with my friend, Emi. I’m allowed to do one thing to a spread each time I have the book. So this is it for this round. I’m interested to see what Emi does with this.

Reading

Sadly, not much time for reading this week. But I am enjoying Printmaking Unleashed by Traci Verdugo. So much fun! I’m hoping to find some time to try some new techniques this weekend.

The Song of the Week

And because one Star Trek video is never enough, here’s another one!

Watching

Good Things that Happened this Week

  • It’s been a tough week at work, but I’m grateful for support and the opportunity to learn, stretch, and grow.
  • I had the opportunity to read a 13 minute selection from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to a bunch of people who had never even heard of it (gasp!). Several of them are going out to buy it. Of course!
  • I heard a speech about why we should eat bugs, and I found myself intensely grateful that I have access to enough good food to avoid doing that.
  • I had delicious curry with my parents and even brought some leftovers home with me.
  • I was able to help my mom with a church bulletin layout that had her stumped due to my skills in Photoshop. It really didn’t require anything that special, but mom was impressed.

Round and About

I got horribly behind on web surfing this week. My RSS reader is probably going to explode because I’m so far behind. I did stumble across some lovely articles on eating bugs (seems to be a theme this week), but am choosing not to torment anyone else with them.

More links at The Writing Reader Carnival of Creativity for 11/30/14.

My favorite prompt of the week at The Writing Reader: First Line of the Week – Tina Wayland.

Inspiration for the Week

Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place. -Kurt Vonnegut

My Favorites on Flickr this Week

Click through on these to learn more about the artists.
light-cream
light-cream by Alexandr Tikki

# 3083 "My Get Away"
3083 “My Get Away” by Scott Bergey

21024730

21024730 by linda vachon

Journal Page - Wild Wig
Journal Page – Wild Wig by Roben-Marie Smith

SS45M03
SS45M03 by marc-andré tragé

# 3101 "Two Chicks"
# 3101 “Two Chicks” by Scott Bergey

IMG_9536
IMG_9536 by Jeff Grelaud

New Wallpapers

Lofty Frosts from National Geographic

Night in Yosemite from National Geographic

I hope you enjoyed this! If you decide to join the collective, let me know by leaving a comment so that I can return the favor.

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Queen of the Garden

December 3rd, 2014
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Queen-of-the-Garden

I moved to Arizona from the Midwest because I couldn’t stand another winter buried under snow and ice. I wanted to live someplace where I could feel my toes and the tip of my nose at all times. I wanted to know that even on the coldest day of the year, my car would be willing to start up and my driveway would be clear. Arizona has met all those requirements for me.

This is not to say that Arizona is perfect. While my brother in Michiganis clearing his driveway of snow, I am equally busy clearing my backyard from weeds.

Right now, I have some weeds that are knee-high and I am in the thick of battle with them. If you’ve never lived in the southwest, let me tell you about something called caliche.

Caliche (ka-lee’-chee, or sometimes klee’-chee) is a sedimentary rock, a hardened natural cement of calcium carbonate that binds other materials—such as gravel, sand, clay, and silt. It occurs worldwide, in aridisol and mollisol soil orders—generally in arid or semiarid regions, including in central and western Australia, in the Kalahari Desert, in the High Plains of the western USA, in the Sonoran Desert, and in Eastern Saudi Arabia Al-Hasa. Caliche is also known as hardpan, calcrete, kankar (in India), or duricrust. The term caliche is Spanish and is originally from the Latin calx, meaning lime. -Wikipedia

Now, imagine pulling weeds out of caliche. It is so much fun. Not. My primary tool in weed pulling is water. I have to soak the soil and let it sink in first in order to loosen the weeds up enough to pull them out of the ground.

I look nothing like the glamorous young lady in the picture above, but I like to believe that I still am The Queen of the Garden.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, those weeds aren’t getting any shorter.

Credit: Digital collage by Liz Shaw with elements from Artspiration Studio (Tangie Baxter and Rebecca McMeen)
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The Scattered Life Collective #11

November 28th, 2014
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The Scattered Life Collective

On the Menu

Last week’s attempt at the copycat gluten-free pizza crust was edible, but not good. I’m getting closer, though. I’ll make another try this weekend. I did make a gluten-free stuffing for Thanksgiving that turned out tastier than I thought it would.

My Instagram Post of the Week

For after all, the best one can do when it is raining, is let it rain. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
To see the full picture, head over to my Flickr account.

Reading

Ten Soul Feeding Quotes on Writing (and Life)

The Song of the Week

And because one Soggy Bottom Boys song is never enough, here’s another one.

Watching

Good Things that Happened this Week

  • It was a relatively easy week at work – just two days.
  • I had to have some plumbing done, which is always expensive. Andre from Roto-Rooter did a great job, and he fixed a couple of other small things for me without charge. Thank you, Andre!

Round and About

How Discovering Glue Books Saved My Life

4 Free Articles on Handmade Books: Learn How to Make a Book Using Mixed-Media Techniques

More links at The Writing Reader Carnival of Creativity for 11/23/14.

My favorite prompt of the week at The Writing Reader: What Happened Next.

Inspiration for the Week

I used to believe if I could just find the secret, I could be free of all that pained me about myself. And oh the life I would lead!.

I now understand, and mostly cherish, that as humans, our kinks and dents are our way home. Working with them is how you and I live our authentic lives. Not running from, not hating on, not wishing we were different, and not collapsing into, not letting our patterns shape and dictate our choices.
It feels so obvious yet so radically important.

Relaxing into who we are, staying in action on what we care about, surrendering the outcome.

-Jennifer Louden

My Favorites on Flickr this Week

Click through on these to learn more about the artists.

life is a circus
life is a circus by Silke Rieger

Truth
Truth by Marcia

Vlasia Waterfalls
Vlasia Waterfalls by Alexandros Maragos

Beauty 01
Beauty 01 by Bernd Schumann

Continuum.  An altered book in progress. | Catherine Mommsen Scott
An altered book in progress by Catherine Mommsen Scott

# 3079 "She's Gone"
“She’s Gone” by Scott Bergey

'shrooms party like it's 1967
‘shrooms party like it’s 1967

Straumur
Straumur by Ingólfur Bjargmundsson

Collab w/ Christopher Alday
Collab w/ Christopher Alday by Zach Collins

Beyond the Fence
Beyond the Fence by Matt Granz

14-Summer Afternoon on Schut Elegance Cold Press 140 lb
14-Summer Afternoon on Schut Elegance Cold Press 140 lb by Sandra Strait

Portrait Sketch
Portrait Sketch by Danny O’Connor

Singin' the blues
Singin’ the blues by Danny O’Connor

New Wallpapers

If you love the colors of fall, you’ll love all these Autumn Wallpapers from Life Hacker.

Seal Dive from National Geographic

I hope you enjoyed this! If you decide to join the collective, let me know by leaving a comment so that I can return the favor.

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Natural Beauty

November 26th, 2014
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Natural Beauty

I generally don’t feel very beautiful. I’m aging, and I’m in denial about it. I dye my hair. I dress the same way I did 20 years ago. Then I’m shocked when I look in the mirror and still see an old woman staring back at me. Time can be really harsh.

I made this digital collage to remind myself that beauty is an attitude. It’s not about the dye or the clothes or the waistline. It’s an inner belief that I create and nourish every day.

I am a natural beauty, and age has nothing to do with it.

Credit: Digital collage by Liz Shaw with elements from Artspiration Studio (Tangie Baxter and Rebecca McMeen)
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The Scattered Life Collective #10

November 22nd, 2014
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The Scattered Life Collective

On the Menu

I’m still working on the pizza crust copycat recipe. I will get it! (eventually)

My Instagram Post of the Week

Instagram post of the week

The Song of the Week

And because one song by K.D. Lang is never enough.

Watching


I don’t know what those little scooter things are, but I totally want one!

Good Things that Happened this Week

  • I had a great time teaching my dad to use my Big Shot. He is going to be making Christmas cards with folks at a nursing home, and so he cut out about a hundred Christmas trees.
  • I got to “audition” for Tippie’s role in The Birds for Table Topics at Toastmasters this week. It was quite silly and fun!

Round and About

Lots of links at The Writing Reader Carnival of Creativity for 11/16/14.

My favorite prompt of the week at The Writing Reader: Word of the Week – Glower.

Inspiration for the Week

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy.” ~Eckhart Tolle

My Favorites on Flickr this Week

Click through on these to learn more about the artists.

map-readers
map-readers by Claudia MB

Rough Diamond
Rough Diamond by marc-andré tragé

The land of the wild
The land of the wild by HOWLD

Still-life with Grapefruit & Cherries
Cherries by Sandra Strait

the message
the message by Bob May

HSG
HSG by marc-andré tragé

New Wallpapers

The Stormy Shores of Durban from National Geographic
A Wonder of Planet Earth from The World at Night

I hope you enjoyed this! If you decide to join the collective, let me know by leaving a comment so that I can return the favor.

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The Scattered Life Collective #9

November 14th, 2014
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The Scattered Life Collective

On the Menu

I finally made the Po’ Man’s Bread. It’s a cross between a corn tortilla and a pancake. It was OK, but nothing to blog about.

This weekend I’m going to try to replicate the gluten-free pizza crust at my favorite pizza place. If I manage something edible, I’ll let you know!

My Instagram Post of the Week

digital collage with gratitude theme

Reading

I finished Soul Catcher by Frank Herbert today. I can’t decide how I feel about it. There are deep truths here, buried within a terrible tale of Stockholm Syndrome. I couldn’t put it down.

The Song of the Week


This is one of my favorite albums. So relaxing! I needed this after this week.

Watching


Good Things that Happened this Week

  • I finished Carolyn Dube’s fabulous One Pull Wonders class.
  • I started Tangie Baxter’s Photoshop for Mixed Media and am up to the advanced level. I’m having a lot of fun!
  • I won best evaluator at Toastmasters.
  • I had a great time doing WiiU Fit games with my parents. Some of those are harsh!

Round and About

The Lives of America’s War Dogs

Get More Out of the Books You Read With an Idea Index

More links at The Writing Reader Carnival of Creativity for November 9.

My favorite prompt of the week at The Writing Reader: Scandinavian Trolls on Christmas.

Inspiration for the Week

I am unwritten, can’t read my mind, I’m undefined
I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
-Natasha Bedingfield

My Favorites on Flickr this Week

Click through on these to learn more about the artists.
Wish Upon A Star
Wish Upon A Star by Elné

Live Love Laugh art journal
Live Love Laugh art journal by Vicki Bridges

The Prophecy | Catherine Mommsen Scott
The Prophecy by Catherine Mommsen Scott

IMG_1093
IMG_1093 by Deepeningblue

Untitled
Untitled by 麥蓮意識

Flocking
Flocking by jellyfire

Chihuahuan Desert, Dragoon Mountains, Village of Dragoon, Southeast Arizona, USA
Chihuahuan Desert, Dragoon Mountains, Village of Dragoon, Southeast Arizona, USA by Catherine Mommsen Scott

Northern Arizona
Northern Arizona by Matt Granz

New Wallpapers

Royal Velvet from National Geographic
A Perilous Profession by National Geographic
Kallur Lighthouse from National Geographic
Tasty from National Geographic

I hope you enjoyed this! If you decide to join the collective, let me know by leaving a comment so that I can return the favor.

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Liz Andra Shaw

Journey into the Creative Mind of a Writing Reader