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Marie Anakee Living Blog
Friday, 18 April 2008
Robert Bruce Shares 27 Thoughts On Blogging For The Artist

I just read Robert's post 27 Thoughts On Blogging For The Artist and I say go right over and read it for yourself. It's so right on not just for blogging but for artists who wish to make art for a living in general.

If I made a list it would contain much of what he's said there. I would only add that in terms of blogging be more open and take the time to connect with readers. Don't just push your art (or what have you) up there and then ignore people who send comments and e-mail. Blogging is all about networking at this point. It's not a if you build it they would come sort of thing. There are so many blogs out there already that you run the risk of just becoming more white noise that is never seen by people who care. Sad but very true.

Some of the points by Robert Bruce I really liked and thought true:

1)"If you wouldn’t do it without an audience, don’t do it all." 

2)"There’s never been a worse time to be a working artist (if you’re not truly dedicated to your craft)."

3)"If you’re the real thing, you’ll be around in 30 years, still working. Most of these services and sites you now admire will not." (me: there are so many people I've known who have already given up, some because they ran out of funding and others because of #1.)

4)"You no longer need to live in New York or Los Angeles. See: Hugh." (me: Just like we don't all have to go to Paris anymore either. The Victorian's are all dead now. No one cares. I'm still at a loss as to why some people think they have to come to NYC in order to start their artistic life. This is just not true--you need to start now and where you are.)

Makes me think of the quotes by Mr. Plagens I posted here before.

Many people contact me about becoming an artist and art related things. There isn't any secret to learn or anything I can really pass on. All you have to do is work at it as hard as you can for many years (your whole life). A really great article in this area is at the  Happiness Project, What You Do Everyday is What Counts. If you're an artist or say that you're one, one would think art would be at the top of your list of things to do daily. Looking back at the greats in most cases they produced a lot of works. This makes me think about one of my favorite designers which I covered over at (see Subversive Jewelry To Land at Target), Justin Giunta who posted a picture of his showroom at his website. The number of necklaces and other pieces of jewelry that he created was insane. It's hard to even imagine the amount of work that must have taken, the hours... this is what needs to be done. The painful and the unfun. Skirting by, tossing things up in shows with the hope people will be in awe never works. People always notice and in most cases show their true response with their pocketbook.

There was also a really funny comic in Pink Magazine that showed a woman looking at art with the artist standing next to her. She asks him, "so, how much do you think this will be worth after you're dead?" You really can never know so why do things with that in mind? Do it because you must or do it because you love it.

More soon. -MAM

Posted by Author at 12:56 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 22 April 2008 1:23 AM EDT
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Sunday, 30 March 2008
New Blog Book with a Cause
More old news but it may be new to you which is always good. I was invited to be included in a very interesting book on bloggers. I wrote a full piece for Gave That, New Blogger Book Donates to Doctors. A large update is coming soon!

Posted by Author at 3:04 AM EDT
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Saturday, 15 March 2008
Periodic Table Art Project Gets Major Buzz

I'm rather late with this but check out the article at etsy's Storque blog about Jenn's Periodic Table project (read article here). This project ended up gathering a lot of buzz and was featured on BoingBoing amoung other hot spots. For more on the project check out my link list to the right of the screen (scroll down).

More soon! 


Posted by Author at 4:29 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 22 January 2008
Knock Knock
Topic: Book Buzz
Dr. M. at the Best Picks blog just reviewed some of the best books for the new year, check them out here.  You can also see the same review at the Gave blog.

Posted by Author at 12:44 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 10 February 2008 1:44 AM EST
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Saturday, 29 December 2007
New Years Must Read - 50 Ways to Improve Your Life in 2008

U. S. News & World Report just published online thair "50 Ways to Improve Your Life in 2008" series of articles (a ton of reading) and all I can say is run over there ASAP. The pieces on reading, how to make a "What Not to Do List" in the new year, "Smell the Roses", and so much more are extremly well done and will help you make the sort of life changes you crave in 2008.

Wishing everyone a very happy and safe new years!!

Posted by Author at 3:00 PM EST
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Tuesday, 25 December 2007 Yule Blog 2007

Wishing You All A Very Happy

 Holiday's and Safe New Years!


(cell cam shot : Rockefeller Center NYC 2007)


Also wanted to thank everyone for all of the kind holiday wishes and seasons greetings that have come my way!  See you all next year.

In peace and hope,


Posted by Author at 12:56 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 28 December 2007 9:48 AM EST
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Tuesday, 18 December 2007 Yule Blog

Kenny Scharf said it best (about this time of year):

"Art is social. It's a PARTY, but that doesn't mean everything in it is always happy."

Simple but true. Now back to the party.

Posted by Author at 2:23 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 18 December 2007 2:36 AM EST
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Sunday, 2 December 2007
Outdoor Sports & Skin Cancer
Topic: Skin Cancer Project

I just noticed this article on Dr. M.'s blog that I don't think I posted here yet but, for those who are on holiday in warm spots or who live in one now, this is a really good piece on helping to prevent skin cancer while enjoying the out of door.

From the X-Training Blog.

Look for a winter version soon.


Posted by Author at 1:18 AM EST
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Tuesday, 20 November 2007
Battle of the Bags - Yule Blog

If I remember right the Anya Hindmarch "I'M NOT A PLASTIC BAG" tote and the "Feed Bag" tote came out around the same time. For some reason the aforementioned ended up causing people to trample one another in China just to get one and we all have heard the urban legends from store clears having to follow customers requests to put their Anya bag in a plastic bag so it wouldn't get dirty. They still command a hefty sum on eBay, if you can tell the authentic from the plethora of fakes. The Feed Bag which has a duel purpose of also not being a plastic bag and at the same time feeding a child for 1 school year through the UN World Food Programme didn't seem to garner such an extreme commercial response. Perhaps as a result of few if any sightings on celebrity arms (Anya's on the other hand was seen on many). It did however sell out on , the only place to purchase one at the moment.

Months later the bag has been restocked finally and I think it makes more sense to buy it for $60.00 and know you're actually helping someone in need while getting the eco friendly benefit than buy an over inflated cliché. Who wouldn't like something like the Feed Bag as a gift? The bag is actually rather unique, rustic looking and sturdy. It has such a way of contrasting with all those luxe fabrics of winter as well. To get one or two type in "Feed Bag" at or google it.

You can also buy a matching T-shirt that feeds 100 children for 1 school day by calling 800-727-1274.

Posted by Author at 11:26 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 20 November 2007 11:37 PM EST
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Let's Get This Party Started - The Yule Blog
Topic: Book Buzz

Yes folks it's that time of year once again. The ever fun non-stop party starting Thanksgiving and rolling right along through New Years (as the good old USPS seems to think it’s just fine to keep delivering packages and cards during this time). So in celebration of this wonderful time of year we have the cheeky little concept of the "Yule Blog" to add a bit of spirited fun to .

Coming up you're going to find a number of postings on great gift ideas, entertaining, book reviews and powder (as in snow) requests. Then it's off to, "that's all folks" land until next year.

First I'd like to serve up some reviews and ideas on a popular topic this time of year... perfume. Not only do they make lovely gifts (if chosen with the utmost of care) but they also can create valuable new sensations. Some scientists have suggested scents, both good and bad, can create new pathways in the brain causing people to potentially become more alert and even smarter with aided memory ability. The key is to try and smell something new everyday.

Other studies have suggested smelling fresh flowers helps lower blood pressure and creates a sense of calm. Essential oils can also do the trick especially when fresh flowers might not be easy to come by.

So what about those bottled up scents? We all know how pricey they can be so how about making one or two yourself? Is that even possible without some crazy science lab like setup? Of course it is. The main problem can be obtaining the alcohol needed which, going through the USPS, can be potentially explosive. Many places now require you to have some sort of permit. Due to this there has been a rise in polymer based carriers such as those commonly used in those "dry oil" skin care products. The Dimethylamine related sorts which I tend to try and stay away from. If it isn’t good on hair why should it be on skin? I much rather use pure and natural carrier oils. So how about a nice solid perfume instead? Yes, that's the ticket. These hard perfumes in pretty cases are making a real return to the market and for good reason. Who really wants to chance their cell phone to the possibility of a leaking purse atomizer? Not good. So this makes a book I reviewed a good while ago even more pertinent today... one of my all time favorite books, it's title just happens to be a play on one of my favorite novels: "Scents & Sensibilities: Creating Solid Perfumes for Well - Being" by Mandy Aftel / Gibbs Smith

Walking around a used books store, I couldn't help but notice all of the gift books for sale. The tiny books with colorful covers that always seem to be pristine. It made me wonder how many of these books are ever really read or appreciated? I've come across a book that might finally break the mold. The title, "Scents & Sensibilities: Creating Solid Perfumes for Well Being" by Mandy Aftel (Gibbs Smith Publisher: $12.95), really says it all.

Like many other gift books it is small (about 5 x 6), has a thick hardcover and is filled with glossy pages. It also has lavish full color photographs that actually add to the book instead of distract or provide useless filler. The cover is bright with stylistic flowers and there are hints of metallic gold. For its size it feels heavy and just a bit decadent. All good things!

Where many gift books fall short is in the "meat" department. Meat meaning good content. Often times the content, especially if Aromatherapy related, is stale, dry and nothing special in gift books. When you go to actually read one it becomes apparent why no one keeps them. In this book however Mandy Aftel has taken the time to write a book really worth giving.

Anyone who is interested in perfume blending or Aromatherapy will treasure and greatly enjoy using this little tome. Mandy starts out by giving a nice, illustrated history of solid perfume making and use. She then goes on to run through a list of ingredients (including essential oils) and materials needed to make your own. While brief, you will get the idea and the illustrations convey Ms. Aftel's precision in blending perfumes, one drop at a time. Top, middle and base note structures are mentioned along with a list of aromatics, some of which include Frankincense, Lavender, Nutmeg and Oakmoss. The photos also give great inspiration. In one, old watch cases are shown to hold your latest aromatic creation.

There are only but a few recipes included in the book but they are fantastic when made. It is refreshing how , "Scents & Sensibilities" encourages the reader to create their own scents and trust me once you create one. You'll find yourself wishing to create many more. This may very well be one gift book you should also give yourself.

Yes the Aftel of Aftelier so instead of the above you can always spring over to her place and pick up one of those dainty bottles of amber luxury and swoon. But what if you can't spring for Afterlier, i Profumi, kai, you know the good stuff I just can't seem to get enough of. Well the so called good stuff doesn’t always have to be so called high end. There are actually some real gems out there with cult followings and cheap price tags. Most, on closer inspection are made in France and some by very old houses. They, the French, just seem to know how to make it best with quality ingredients and time tested distillation / blending practices. Drum roll please:

  • Crazylibellule & The Poppies - Les Divines Alcove Collection (my favorite being "Amoureuse" which blends rose and pepper). These cute little solid perfumes come in delicate paper lip balm like tubes. Perfect as a pick-me-up and at $18.00 a real steal. Snatch them up on Amazon.


  • Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Line in "Sensuality" Black Currant & Vanilla. B&BW claims they use real essential oils in this line and I have to admit they smell different compared to their other house products--they actually smell real and decadent. This one in particular is gorgeous and has a real cult following I hear. And with good reason as it contains some real aphrodisiacal scents hidden beneath the layers. For some reason they never made a perfume spray out of this one (curse you B&BW!) but they did create a very suitable cream. Slather it on and be merry (or married, watch out with this one! It has attractive as well as addictive side effects).


  • L'Aromarine Paris, Vanille is divine or try the Florale scent, both unassumingly pleasing and again with a secret cult following, yes for good reason. You can find it for around $18.00 on Amazon. actually has a number of obscure products and it can be worth the gamble to find something almost, "all yours" if it turns out to be delicious. You never know unless you try.

Next up we'll have some tasty reviews (Aftel makes a return visit) that combine scent with incredible flavor for a new take on the holiday spread and entertaining that gives a real push to the envelope.

Book review published at 2005.

Posted by Author at 3:07 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 21 November 2007 12:15 AM EST
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BIO: My blog was started to share event dates and to encourage everyone to seek out new sensations and experience the world firsthand. Here’s to life! -Marie Anakee Miczak
This blog was started in 2003

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