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ARTELLAGRAM ~ 3-10-06 ~ 5 Tips for Making Gold Out of What You’ve Already Got
March 10, 2006

Hello ~

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Creative Alchemy: 5 Tips for Making Gold Out of What You’ve Already Got

Tony and I just got home a couple of days ago from our month-long road trip, during which we explored new areas of the southwest U.S., found lots of stores that are now carrying Artella magazine, and pinpointed where we next want to live! It's good to be home, to be sleeping in one place, and be totally still for a little while. And yet I'm already missing the motion, the element of surprise, and the anticipation of the known adventure that comes from a month on the road.

I think that this challenge of finding balance between movement and stillness is a paradox that creative people struggle with constantly and nowhere is it more prickly than when we deal with our creative projects. Though most of us are usually stronger in one or the other (stillness or movement), all creative projects require a cycling and re-cycling of both. And then, often it's our circumstances that make us feel that we're stuck in one cycle or the other. Just as traveling leads to feeling like we're caught in a movement cycle, a lack of resources may lead us to feeling like we're stuck in stillness beyond our control.

One definition of recycle is "to extract useful materials from waste". So as we go through the cycle of stillness and movement, we can literally make something from nothing, much as the old alchemists who were said to make gold from base materials. Here are few tips for maximizing your resources...alchemizing what you've already got.

  • A Tip For Alchemizing Time
    When you write down something on your To Do List, also write down how much time it the item will take. Whether it's two minutes or two hours, writing down how long your tasks take requires you to be realistic about how much time you have in a day and how much can truly get done, which in turn helps you start looking at time management more realistically and efficiently.

  • A Tip for Alchemizing Outgoing Money
    Brainstorm in two ways. When you need money for something, try brainstorming along TWO lines of ideas: 1) how to get the money and 2) how to get what you need without the money. They are two very distinct different lines of thought and will allow you to come up with many more ideas.

  • A Tip for Alchemizing Incoming Money
    Give your brainstorming leverage with creative hypothetical questions. Ask friends to help you identify your natural gifts and talents, as they are sometimes easy for us to see ourselves. Once you’ve made a list of your key gifts and talents, ask yourself this "million dollar leverage" question in your journal: "If I was going to win a million dollars if I figured out away to make money with this talent within 2 weeks, I could __________...." and see where it goes.

  • A Tip for Alchemizing Skills
    Split the work with someone else. There are often a lot of skills that we have to learn to keep up with technology. So divide and conquer by partnering with someone else to learn a new skill together. If you and your partner have complementary strengths, you can each learn the portion of the skill related to your strengths, and allow the other to learn those aspects that you would find more difficult. Then you can either trade information, or enter into an agreement that you will each help the other in the area of your "specialty".

  • A Tip for Alchemizing Systems
    Put decluttering first. An organized home and office is probably the most important "system" that you can have. If you have a cluttered or disorganized environment, working through that clutter is truly the best alchemizing step you can take. Diane Armstrong’s 30 day e-course, 30 Days to a Clutter-Free Castle is a wonderfully delightful and efficient step-by-step method for decluttering your home or office, and you can try it out for free here in The Shoppes of Artella at the above link! Or take a look at Diane's and my "DeCluttering for Creatives" virtual workshop for a right-brained look at clutter's metaphor and meaning.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    If you found this article helpful, consider this a whisper from a little birdy…check out the current BlogJog "sneaky" sale on the Artella News Blog! There, you can get Artella's BusinessBlitz Intensive™, which has many more "maximizing" tips just like these, on sale for over 50% off if you use the link and password given. But hurry - it's only through Sunday!

    NEW Artellagram Feature!
    Remember how I used to include a quote or two here? Take a look at the new Quotz Crystal™ at the bottom of the Artellagram! You'll get one with each and every Artellagram. They're prepared in high-resolution, so you can print them out and keep them on your bulletin board as your valuable "nugget of goodness" for the week!

When I think about "making something from nothing" in art, I think about all the great ways we can recycle items and use them in art. For example, right now, in the second week of March, it's the perfect time to find really great 2006 calendars at great mark-downs. You can buy some with your favorite images and then make use of the images all year long in your art! To see a few my art journal pages that have been inspired by calendars that I bought on after-the-new-year sales, click here!

So how does recycling apply to writing? There are lots of sources where words already exist, where you can use those words as the basis of your creative writing…you don't even have to come up with new words at all! One example is a technique that is popular with altered book artists, but it is something that can be done by writers at any time, any place, with absolutely any book. It's the technique of using found words on a page to write a poem. Altered book artists typically isolate the words and then use the page itself as a canvas to illustrate the words. In the altered book page shown at the left, (and shown larger at this link), I isolated words to create a short piece that says,

They were married
Her existence was complex
She wore sweet-swelling flowers

And the page is adorned with a bridal gown made of flower petals, complemented by other flowers strewn on the page. But without even picking up a single art implement, by simply looking at any page with words on it, you can give yourself the challenge of constructing a new piece of creative writing, given the words that already exist. Try it with all different kinds of books and see what you come up with!

Now it's easier than ever to get Artella news at least once a week, sometimes more, in the Artella News Blog. And what's more…with almost every post, there's a BlogJog "sneaky" Special hidden in the post, which is a sale or freebie that's listed exclusively in the blog, and only for a few days. Look what's 50% off right now!

Quick Artellagram Links to our current hot items:

    1. If you can answer "YES" to any of the questions listed at this link, then it's time for TOYS! I wholeheartedly invite you to join Jill Badonsky and I next Wednesday, March 15, at 8:00pm EST for our next teleclass, "Reel It Out, Yo-Yo It In: Get Permanently Unstuck with Ingenious Toy Tools". We've got amazing things up our sleeve...a handful of revolutionary, never-before-seen-ANYWHERE tools that Jill and I have developed that will help you make bold changes in all aspects of your life! You've gotta experience this stuff to believe it! If you're ready to try something really different, come PLAY with us next week! The ultimate in "Jilly con Marney" style! Details are at this link.

    2. The "Sprites of Spring are back…Come sign up!! It's time to sign up for Artella's next Gift Exchange program, "The Sprites of Spring", a sure cure for the winter doldrums! Join this wonderful project to be someone's very special Secret Sprite. It's as simple as sending two creative offerings to your assigned Sprite-ee over the next two months. The full details of this super cool way of spreading a little magic and creative generosity can be found at But be sure to sign up by March 15 – the Sprites' solid deadline.

    3. Announcing...a new Creative T.W.I.S.T.! Our first creative T.W.I.S.T. (Toying With Imaginative Skills to Share) was a great success! Look some of the amazing Altoid Dolls in the next Artella issue, "Body and Soul!" We've just posted details for our next TWIST, "Magical Mini Quilts", at this link! Please check it out!

    4. Want creative people to know more about YOU? If you'd like to market a product or service that is relevant to our amazing, creative readership in an upcoming e-Artella issue, please send an email to for more information. We are committed to bringing e-Artella readers information about fantastic opportunities out there! But don't worry, print issues of Artella will continue to always be 100% zero advertising.

    5. New Upgrades in Artella Memberships! If you haven't looked into Artella Membership in a while, maybe you should! There's a brand new weekly "Memo from the Mansion" newsletter, the new AdCouragements™ series, and the Mansion is now full of so many interesting, inspiring archives! Over 400 amazing clip art images! Almost 100 archived audio presentations! Almost 100 PoemPaintings to inspire! Reading Room articles, Games, our famed daily LinkLatte™ newsletter (which so many of you have told us is the BEST part of their day!), exclusive eCards, teleclass recordings, and so much more! The best part is that it's only $3.00 a month, with no commitment, ever. Find out more and sign up at

    6. Help me say welcome! I'd like to welcome Nici Derosier to our Artella administrative Team! Our virtual team is expanding and we continue to be so fortunate to be working with folks who feel like family: Zura, Deb, Chantal, Bobby, Fred, Pattie, Nici, and the "bjb team"!

    7. And speaking of lucky… I just want to thank you for all the wonderful feedback you've been sending about Artella 9, and thanks for spreading the word about THE JOURNEY: Destination & Imagination. Artella readers are absolutely the best, and we couldn’t ask for more!

1. Jennifer Louden of is giving Artellagram readers a 20% discount on her helpful product, the Inner Organizer, during the entire month of March. This is a GREAT tool for living in the moment and tuning in. For the discount, go to and use the code: MAR06MM. ALSO, be sure to visit this link for information about Jennifer's Women's Creativity Spa with Camille Maurine, as well as her upcoming Creativity Day Spas. Heavenly!

2. Jill Badonsky has teamed up with UCLA's Dr. Robert Maurer to train individuals to become Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaches on-line and on-the-phone. Develop another stream of joy and income by being a creative catalyst for individuals wanting less frustration, self-sabotage and procrastination and more inspiration and creative fulfillment. Their next training begins April 20, 2006. Enrollment is limited, please email Jill for more information or to apply.

This Quotz Crystal™ is a high-resolution JPEG, suitable for printing. Print it out to remind you to BEGIN something new!

If the image doesn't show up below, go to to see it.

~Sending truth and trust, at each point on the cycle,

Artella Founder & Publisher

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