Saturday, July 27, 2013


the picture frame was looking a little boring after having it for years. just gave it a little update:)

turn an old dress into something pretty with an imagination. I used a white canvas as a backdrop to make the photos look ready to sell online. recycled clothing. 
Re cy cle Verb 1. convert (waste) into reusable material

used a similar white canvas for a work of art. not really a work of art...but it's start (lol)

shoes that were going to be thrown out made into "Dorthy shoes" Nick calls them:)

Happy Saturday! I've been trying to think of something compelling and intriguing to write about but sometimes ideas come from strange places for me. This morning I was painting and it gave me the idea of what to write today:)  I love taking something old and making it new again. Everything in life can be looked at for what it is...or the amazing potential it CAN be.  It's so exciting creating solutions for anything you dream up. The fun in a project is to see it grow and mature into the master piece it's imagined into. 

Last week, I was sitting next to a little girl coloring a picture with markers. She pushed on the marker so hard that it made a hole in her picture.  She immediately said she wanted a new page because it was ruined. I asked her to write her name on it so I could take it home. The picture now sits on my fridge as a reminder of her and her cute little self. If you look at the imperfections in art as beautiful and unique, it may be the difference between appealing and disgust. One man's trash is another man's treasure. 

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 

Have a wonderful weekend! Thank you for reading my blog, it means so much for me to share it with you <3

xoxo, Mandy

Friday, July 19, 2013


It will take just 37 seconds to read this and change your thinking..

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.

One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs.

His bed was next to the room's only window.

The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end.

They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation..

Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.
Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man could not hear the band - he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days, weeks and months passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.

She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.
He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, 'Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.'


There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.
Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.
If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.
'Today is a gift, that is why it is called The Present .'

I really wanted to share this post because it meant a lot to me reading about this man bringing happiness into some else's life. There is so much truth in helping others see a brighter more encouraging life than the one that reality paints. I like finding pockets of joy in the small things and it happens by looking for them.  

Today I got to spend a full Friday at home!  Because I am usually at the office on weekdays I didn't want to miss a beat of what happened around me having the day off.  On this day I am so so thankful for...meeting up with an old friend over coffee and at the same time, met some new ones. Being able to enjoy the sun and also finding comfort in the shade (a must in Arizona summers. lol). Passing by strangers and seeing a little girl smile after telling her she looked cute with her heart shaped sunglasses. Asking a five year old boy if I could tie his shoes why his mom was looking for earrings at the store. For the food that I eat and the hands to cook it with.  

What are you thankful for?

Have an amazing weekend everyone! 
xoxo, Mandy  

Saturday, July 13, 2013


He grew up where the green grass grows in small town Minnesota.  From a first introduction, when I met Chris Ward in high school, he had a kindness about him and would take anyone under his wing in the shallow halls of high school.  Who would have thought that beneath it all his guided path would later lead him to a journey, not even he expected for himself.  I caught up with Chris almost 10 years later to do an interview for Clartebyamanda.  He was still like I remembered, more than willing to help an old friend and in pursuit of moving forward through his own life. I discovered that where he is now, as a movie producer in California, was not where he thought he could see himself years ago.  But, because of his persistence, passion, and timing he is right where he was supposed to be all along. 

ClartebyAmanda: You grew up in a rural Minnesota.   What encouraged your move to California to pursue film?  When did the possibility of film become a reality for you?

Chris Ward: It was never about pursuing film more so about pursing life.  I wanted to grow as a person and thankfully I had dream and the silver lining of that dream was to go to California.  I didn't plan on being in Los Angels.  I originally moved to Sacramento but was there only 7 days when I took a job opportunity and ended up in Los Angles and that’s when every thing began

It wasn't until the age of 25 when I knew I really wanted to be a part of the entertainment business.  I started at the bottom of a Post production facility called Hollywood Intermediate and through them I worked my way up to DI producer.  It wasn't much but it was as like film school for me.  I was soaking all of the information in and making great connections.  I remember closing my first deal as if it was yesterday.  You never really believe it until your actually shooting a film on location. So many things have to align in order to actually make a movie.  I was 26 years old in Iowa shooting “Lucky” a feature film and prepping a short film that Kirsten Dunst had written and was going to direct.  I was shooting in Iowa, Sunday – Thursday. and then flying to NYC over the weekends to prep Bastard and that’s when it really was a reality for me.  It was happening.

ClartebyAmanda: What are some examples of the challenges you faced working in film? How did you overcome those challenges?

Chris Ward: Oy vey –Some of the challenges are finding something your truly passionate about that you want to work on for the next couple years.  Now I look back and it all comes down to great content.   Choice wisely who you work with as well.  When your on a project or in production company you’re a family and your all working towards a common goal so there’s is a lot of synergy to the process. I think people can be the most challenging part of this business.  Your dealing with everyone’s ego and trying to keep every one happy and that can be draining. From actors to agents, directors, writers, and managers - I call the producers fire fighters. We are always putting out fires.  I think the biggest challenge of this industry is staying current. Your only as good as your last film and to overcome those challenges like anything else you need persistence.

“When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”

ClartebyAmanda: Being a producer involves a lot of networking.  Who has been the most influential person in your life?  What makes this person significant?

Chris Ward: That’s a good question.  I've met a lot of incredible people and had the chance to work with some of them as well, but I feel there is a few people that stand out. One would have to be Aj Dix.  He’s genuine and real with me.  That sounds cliché but I’ve been able to learn from his mistakes as well as grow with his success.  In the beginning I was trying to build a relationship with him and he would always ask why I wanted to be in film, and I never could answer it and he would say it’s not for me or I couldn’t do this or do that.  It was those words that challenged me pushed me. I wanted to prove to him that I was capable of pulling something of this magnitude off.  I went out produced 2 feature films and short film titled Bastard which closed Cannes film festival in 2010.  When I went back to him in 2011 and told him what I had been up to.  He smiled and said, “I always saw something in you that reminded me of myself when I was young”.  Once I established a relationship with him I had a total different view on the industry and more importantly my goals.  He thought long term and diversifying your portfolio and doing only studio films. I started to really think outside the box and focus my energy on a larger scale. 

ClartebyAmanda: What advice would you give someone wanting to start a career in entertainment?

Chris Ward: Believe in yourself most importantly.  There will be people that doubt you or do not support you but all of that is fuel to the fire. Let that be your motivation.
It’s all about timing.  I don’t care what it is – when it happens it’s because you’re in the right place at the right time and you seize the right opportunity. Nothing is ever given, it’s earned.
Be prepared, be passionate, and be persistence. 

"Achievement is a pat on the back when you least expect it or recognition for what you have done.  That too does not have a limit."Chris Ward

"If I accomplish/achieve something once. My goal is to do it again, but better in one way or another. What can I learn from that last experience and apply it to the next one."Chris Ward  

Film is art and a business. It’s a thin line you need to walk in order to accomplish both." Chris Ward

Many thanks to Chris for so graciously taking the time to do an interview with ClartebyAmanda!:)

Have a good day everyone! xoxo Mandy

Saturday, July 6, 2013


The beautiful bride
Son hugging his mom right before getting married
So young and so many possibilities
A mom watching her youngest daughter walk down the aisle for the first time

 Unified  to become one with God

During the wedding ceremony I can remember the pastor repeatedly saying a marriage is going to be hard, it's not about emotion, it's not about liking each other all the time...'s about commitment and love. Any relationship takes dedicated time and patients to grow.  One of God's greatest gifts is a marriage, to be with someone that builds you up, encouraging you in life. Your spouse is a supporter in all things good and cares about your soul above everything else. As I mature and get older I am learning that my words and actions have a major impact on the outcome of any situation.  Marriage and falling in love is the easy part...but staying together is a blessing in itself! 

Friday, July 5, 2013


Hope everyone had a safe and memorable 4th of July!  

Nick Heward and Friends (Geo Bowman, Scotty Spenner, and Jeff Farias) practicing for their big show at the Crescent Ballroom. Visit Nick at