Versatility Plus Meaning: Fifteen Blogs

Sometimes I think that blogging is over-rated, or even should be dead. It’s had its Fifteen Minutes of Fame and should know when to leave the stage to allow us to enjoy some fresher and more engaging interchange. I feel this about writing mine because at times I just don’t want to talk and I especially don’t want to write about what I don’t want to talk about, so I don’t.  What is all this thrashing around with words? What did I enjoy before blog-keeping?

I often strongly feel this ache for the metamorphosis of bloggery  when skimming the relentless bleats of others out there yammering into the blogosphere. They drown each other out with thin opinions, baldfaced marketing (OK, SELLING IT) and yawnable or precious writing. They don’t need to exit the stage, they need to take a flying leap into the mosh pit.

Pretty jaded of me, right? And yes, I know to click away and mostly do. Except…..Except……

Except, there are naturellement blogs I find enthralling, unreal, hilarious, titillating, challenging, informative, irresistible. And, regardless of topic and writing style,  it’s always because it’s the person coming through the screen to evoke my response and connection.

So when one of the first bloggers that I felt that idiosyncratic electricity of recognition with, Quinn McDonald of Quinn Creative, nominated me recently for The Versatile Blogger Award, all blog-related misgivings were washed away. This bloody bloggy biz is bigger in better ways than I thought because Quinn just whisked off my blindfold. (She’s a versatile and skilled blindfold-remover, so I feel safe.)

Here’s how The Versatile Blogger Award works: If you’re nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award. (My first blogging nod and thanks, Quinn!)

  • Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  • Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy.
  • Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly
  • Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award
  • Finally, list  7 things about yourself.

Here’s my list of 15 nominees/winners. Go visit each one and see if the writer/person comes through to your heart too. Some of them I know personally, most I don’t and they generally don’t know I follow them. Some post quite often (even daily)  and others leave me aching for another entry for months and months. They range from fellow ceramic artists, to experts/coaches,  to food and lifestyle advocates. I appreciate their being here, just for me.

  1. Archevore by Kurt Harris MD. I’ve just found this one and I’m magnetized by the thoughtful articulate intelligence.
  2. Cleavage: sex, money and meaning by Kelly Diels. Dark humor and dangerously sharp wisdom. Yow.
  3. Discardia: Make Room for Awesomeness by Dinah Sanders. Creator of a new holiday of awesomeness connecting up several of my favorite life arenas.
  4. Gringado by Susan Dorf and Mark Taylor. Two friends who travel to Mexico for months every winter. They are keen observers of lush and not-so life.
  5. Kelly Thiel Studio by Kelly Thiel. Deepest respect for this woman’s artwork and life balancing. She’s charming, too.
  6. Nom Nom Paleo by Big O’s and Little O’s Mom. One b-u-s-y person with time to tell us what she cooks and eats.
  7. Patricia Scarborough Art by Patricia Scarborough. This is full of wry light and air along with gorgeous painting.
  8. Penelope Trunk by Penelope Trunk. Oh, Penelope… I can’t NOT watch you live your life and tell us about it.
  9. Polka Dot Clay Studio by Karen Hansen. So here’s the newer voice of a clay friend and I’ll never be able to guess what she’ll say next. Never. And I love that.
  10. Sequoia Miller’s Blog: ever wonder ’bout pottery? by Sequoia Miller.  I could use more of his quiet deep discussions. Love his pottery
  11. A Spinner Weaver by Annie MacHale.  Here’s an unusual kind of weaving with a prolific,  passionate advocate.
  12. Terry Parker: Pottery Shards by Terry Parker. Another potter friend who’s been busy in her new studio.
  13. This Artist’s Life: Day to Day in the Clay Studio by Whitney Smith. She’s boldly honest with her successes, challenges and musings. And she can write strongly enough to bring us all along.
  14. The Work of Art: Musings on What it Takes to Make Art Happen by Michelle Williams. A new one by the Executive Director of the local Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County. Big ideas.
  15. The Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson. A blog which challenges me to re-think everything I touch and make.


Seven Things About Me…and I’ll stick to the art.

  1. I remember the Class Artist in 2nd grade showing me how to draw a finger and its nail from a side view. Mind blowing stuff.
  2. Almost took Art in high school, but the Speech and Debate coach persuaded me to drop it and take his class, for all four years. (Detour #1)
  3. My first drawing class was Spring Quarter of my Sophomore year in college. I took every Art elective I could after that, but was too scared to change my major. (Detour #2)
  4. I was an artist’s model for about four years right after college (one way to get free instruction, really.)
  5. Had emergency appendectomy. Got corporate job. Years passed. (Detour #3)  Then: Broke my back. Quit corporate job. Began art-making fulltime. Got into first gallery.  All within the same six months.
  6. Moved to the Sierra Foothills for a decade. Explored poetry and community theatre. Oh, and had my sweet babies. (Detour #4)
  7. Rounded up 30 years of art classes into an AA, finding clay along the way. Ah.


~Liz Crain is totally copying her creativity buddy, Quinn, by finding something personal to say at the end of her posts that she intends to be an insightful, touching and witty coda. Love you, Quinn!



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9 thoughts on “Versatility Plus Meaning: Fifteen Blogs

  1. Hi Terry!
    I think it’s amusing that you just now saw this. Please don’t feel any chagrin….obviously we’re in a similar state of “blog-ness.” I haven’t had the clarity of mind since….oh…late MARCH to write, and that’s OK. I have a few drafts I’m now working on. Just can’t write when I haven’t got it in mind to say…and you’re probably no different. Anyhow, hugs to you, we’re not alone! I look forward to whatever you write when you write it! Liz

  2. And I am embarrassed to say I just now got around to reading this post and much to my surprise and chagrin, there was my blog mentioned as well. I obviously fall into the category of blogs you wait months to see a new post! May this inspire me to be a better or at least a more regular blogger. Ended up here tonight when I saw your post on Facebook about working on your website! Thanks for the mention — you are an inspiration!

  3. Oh, Dear Annie and Patty, I feel your pain. The blogging thing is pretty daunting on several levels, which I am sure you are both aware of. I think holding faith works for a time, but then we need refreshment and proof (or at least a sign) that it stills holds enough meaning for our efforts. Rest assured it does. Hard as it is, writing about our art and our process and our world view matters…..and probably mostly in ways we really can never know.
    This award helps the cause for us all.
    Carry on! It matters. (No gullt, either.)
    Love, Liz

  4. Good golly! The painful truth is that I came here to one of my very favorite blogs for inspiration because after 4 years of weekly blogging I am tapped out. And then I see my name in your list!
    Okay, now I’m powered up and ready to go write … something.

    Thanks Liz, I am humbled and honored!

  5. Liz!
    Today I was feeling discouraged about blogging. It takes a lot of time, time that I could be weaving. I was thinking that maybe I just don’t want to do it anymore and I should ask you for your advice. I can’t even keep up with reading my favorite blogs now, either. But, I decided to come here. And, lo and behold, my name is on your list! This must be a sign that I should keep going! <3

  6. Kelly: Isn’t it great to pass around the praise? I know how hard you work and dedicated you are to your art and how connected to your family and all of that matters. Atta girl and keep it up.

    Bob, I’m thrilled you’re reading my stuff and like my artwork! With any luck, I’ll soon be able to get back in the studio and make the 2012 versions of new things, which will only be better I expect. And I do think bathroom installation is a rarified and under-appreciated artform.

  7. And I forgot to say – I Love Your Work! Soon as I get the piggy bank charged up, I’ve got to have a cone top or an oil can….


  8. HI Liz

    I haven’t ventured into blogging, but thought I’d leave you a note. Here in Maine it was above 80° last week and is now 29°, with a cold wind all day. Dog’s water froze solid last night – about 4″ of ice in the bowl – low last night was 19°. No power for about 4 hours – wind and limbs. Daffodils are about 6″ high – no blooms, and our first crocus – all 6 of ’em, are blooming – no visible snow (right now). Sunday was Maine Maple Sunday, when all of the sugar houses open to let folks sample (and buy) their syrup. We’re 7th generation tapping the same trees……

    My artform this week is installing a bathroom in the 2nd floor of a 200 year old house, and installing a generator for a commercial establishment – we all have our challenges 🙂

    Good night…..

  9. Holy smokes! Was I ever surprised to see my name on this list!! I’m so honored, Liz, thank you!! I can’t wait to check out the other blogs you recommended; I know they’ll be great.

    I loved your list of 7 things, especially the detail about drawing the finger from the side view. Now if I could only sculpt it properly….

    Much love and thank you!

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