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Articulation April 14, 2005 - The Top 12 Signs It's Time to Clean Your Creative Space
April 14, 2005
Hi ~

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The Top 12 Signs It's Time to Clean Your Creative Space...
12) You now put on a pair of boots before entering
11) You've turned to naming parts of your room after famous mountain ranges
10) You're hearing rumors that the plants are trying to hatch an escape plan
9) Even dust is having a hard time finding a clean nook to land on
8) You're scouring the real estate ads to buy a second home
7) Your wastebasket hasn't been seen for weeks
6) Your friends and family have given your room a nickame with the word "pit" in it
5) Who needs to sit down, anyway?
4) You invite guests to "shimmy on in"
3) You've begun to get calls from the Guinness book of World Records.
2) It takes you more time to find something than it does to just go buy a new one
1) Visitors are asking when your thrift store is opening

I Call it...Spring Environment Cleaning

It's spring, and there are a few things that everyone associates with Spring, like Spring Break, daffodils, Eastern candy on sale at the drug store, and Spring Cleaning. Being the consummate rebel, I have always resisted the idea that I "should" clean, just because it's Spring! In fact, I didn't even realize how disheveled my office had become until two weeks ago, a friend sent a beautiful bouquet of flowers to me, and I realized that I didn't have six inches of surface space on which to display them. Yikes! Definitely time to clean! I shifted my priorities to declutter the office first thing, and when I finished I had a new, streamlined office to show off the beautiful flowers. So, thanks to Karen for both the flowers AND the much-needed catalyst to get organized!

(An aside – the flowers came from, and they were the most beautiful flowers I had ever seen. I'm a ProFlowers customer for life!)

If you, like me, resist the idea of Spring Cleaning, perhaps the idea of "Spring Environment Creating" will resonate. Spring Environment Creating is a fun exercise for your imagination. Pretend your space is your art...

If you are a visual artist and your space is your canvas, how do you choose to embellish the canvas? What do you need to do to create balance, contrast, perspective? How can you change your canvas to control the path of the viewer’s eye, and the feelings invoked by the artwork?

If you are a writer, what story, poem, or essay does your space tell? Do you want to edit any parts of your work? Do you want to add or subtract elements, clarify certain passages, add contrast and interest, subtract confusing digressions?

If you are a dancer and your space is your body, where is there unnecessary tension that can be resolved? What can you do to increase the flow and beauty in your body? What does your body express and how can you express it with stamina and grace?

If you are a musician and your space is music, what genre(s) of music are being expressed? Would you change the orchestration, so that more or fewer instruments are involved? Is the flow harmonious or discordant? Do you enjoy both creating the music, and experiencing it as an observer?

These prompts are only the beginning of the ways that you can enter your space to clean, de-clutter, organize, and re-decorate your space in a way that truly sings to you. Try thinking of these metaphors as your work, and allow your passion for your art to fill you as you perform even the most mundane of cleaning tasks.

Here are some resources from Artella for your "Spring Environment Creating"When you're done with your space, you may end up not only with a renewed environment for Spring, but also new layers of understanding of your art!

Keep your shop and your shop will keep you. - Benjamin Franklin

You need a room with no view so imagination can meet memory in the dark. - Annie Dillard


This week's ArtSplash is called "Spring Cleaning", and you can view it at

. I dedicate it to everyone out there who knows there is more to Spring than cleaning!

Artella News!

1. Free focus groups! It's focus group time, again! The fourth class of "Create Your Own YOUniversity" (aka YOU * U) is now presenting focus groups to test out the eBooks, eCourses, teleclasses, and Web site that they have created in YOU * U. These focus groups are one of the most popular things we do at Artella, and I heartily encourage you to go to to look at these fantastic offers and sign up to take part in the focus groups that speak to you! Not only will you experience first-hand the talents of these brilliant facilitators at no cost to you whatsoever, you'll also receive a fantastic package of free gifts to thank you for your participation and feedback.

Note: Sign up quickly! Make sure when you check out the offers that you sign up for the ones that interest you right away, as some of the groups are very limited in size and can only be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

2. Is YOU * U for YOU? If you have a book or course inside you that’s waiting to come out, we've scheduled the next session of YOU * U to begin June 7. Enrollment is limited to 14 spaces, so be sure to sign up soon to reserve your place in this groundbreaking program, unlike any other course offered anywhere, on- or off-line. Get all the information about YOU * U at

3. More 2-for-1! We're continuing our popular Let's Go WorkSHOPPING special through the end of April! Order any Artella e-course or workshop recording, and you can also give it to a friend for free, now through April 30. It's truly the most exciting promotion we've ever had on our outstanding e-catalog of educational and life-enriching opportunities.

4. Last call for Poets! The deadline for the Quarterly Poetic Idol Competition is Monday, April 18! Enter up to three poems for your chance to receive award packages of up to $150 in cash, plus all kinds of fantastic prizes from Artella. Enter at

5. What's with all those talents? If you missed my teleclass, "Open Up Your UmbrellaVision: Finally Uncovering the Connections In Your Talents", you'll be thrilled to know that a recording of the class is now available! Dominique said,"Marney, you RULE. Somehow in one single hour, you were able to help me see what I’ve been trying to grasp for at least ten years: who I really am and a clear path to what I have to offer." Does your umbrella need opening?

6. Artella's hitting the books! We’ve recently been featured in the newest releases of The Women's Comfort Book and The Women’s Retreat Book by Jennifer Louden, as well in The Difference a Day Makes by Founder Karen Jones, a new book which I cannot recommend highly enough. Keep watching for a special event in which Artella joins forces with The Difference A Day Makes to make a difference in YOUR life!

7.This Week's Poetry Winners! The newest winners of our Bi-Weekly Poetry Contest are...
  • 1ST PLACE: "Eons That Elude Me" by Dawn Richerson
  • 2ND PLACE: "The Death of Me" by Cassandra Key
  • 3RD PLACE: "Exultation" by Barbara J. Gewirtz
  • 4th PLACE: "Amaryllis Monster" by Naomi Sandweiss
Congratulations to these winners! Their winning poems will be displayed in our Poetry Gardens of Fame in the next few days.

8. Artella 8, our upcoming MEGA-Zine, is in the works! The MEGA-Zine will include not only words and art, but music, interviews, art how-to's, and so much more. I am absolutely giddy about this issue, and it will be ready to order get ready to enter a Dreamworld unlike none you've ever known!


Our current Featured Artist is Melissa Chapin! Melissa has placed her unique artisan jewelry on a massive closeout sale, to make room for her upcoming fine art prints. Don't run, don't walk, but leap into Melissa's online boutique to take advantage of this unthinkable prices!

Wanna have some fun? Try our interactive Smart Shopper to help you find the perfect gift for a loved one or yourself.

Want to sell in our Shoppes? Get all the information at


Even if you aren't talented with a sewing machine or a needle and thread, don’t be afraid to add some simple fiber arts techniques to your art projects. For example:

- Use a small hole punch to punch holes around the edges of a canvas or matboard, and then add beautiful fibers as a decorative edging by simply pushing the fibers through the punched holes --- up one hole, down the next, and continue.
- Take a piece of fabric and rip along the grain into ribbon-like pieces and then tie to your project through eyelets
- Gather fibers of different types together, mixing yarn, string, ribbon, threads, and fancy fibers, and tie them into bows. Staple or tape onto your project, and cover the staple or tape with a button, charm, or other embellishment
- Make a tassle: gather a group of fibers and bend them in half, and then wrap a thick fiber about an inch from where the bend is. Thread beads into some of the dangling fibers for extra spice!
- Hang tags or other small pieces from your main canvas with vibrant fibers in colors that compliment your overall composition


The word "yarns" not only refers to a group of fibers, it also refers to stories or tales that we tell. Do some free-form writing on the topic of "yarns". What is the implication of this double-meaning of the word? Think about several of your recent experiences, and write about what kinds of fiber artworks they parallel? Was your trip to the grocery store a patchwork quilt? A disagreement with a friend a tapestry of Asian silk dyed with salt and water? Continue working with the fiber art metaphor to see where your "yarns" take you.


1. is a fabulous site with free knitting videos. It turned Deb, an impossibly inept non-knitter, into a knitter in 15 minutes!

2. And now that she's a knitter, Deb enthusiastically recommends San Francisco's Fashion Yarn Mill Store and Knitting Lounge. She says that they carry the most beautiful yarns you'll ever see!

Remember, if you love hearing about all the intriguing sites that are hiding out in the far corners of the miraculous World Wide Web, be sure to become a Member so that you can get Artella's LinkLatte™ ...your daily shot of creative Web destiny!, every single day!

~in FULL bloom,

Artella Founder/Editor

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p.s. Don't forget to grab your buddy and go WorkSHOPPING to buy 1, get 1 free from our inspiring assortment of e-courses and through March 31!
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