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Welcome to The Muse Academy!
Where your own personal, creative and inspirational, indefatigable Muse can be educated and trained in creativity skills, process, towards a real-life application of your choosing…At The Muse Academy you can adopt, care for and develop these minions of your imagination and they will love you and reward you for it.
Meet the Main Muses who saved the Academy from the Vacuus — (those vile suctioning forces that have no form,  nor purpose or ideas or courage of their own and so will,  if allowed, attempt to suck all that out of you!) — and are waiting to share their unique and dynamic skill sets with you!
Our adorable and adventurous Main Muses are Bookie, Cookie, Arty and Dance, Techie,  and Ponderous.
Here at the Muse Academy you will learn your own vulnerability to The Vacuus.  You will become equipped with skills to protect yourself and your Ideas from those gripping, strangling, suctioning beasts.   Because as much as we all love a great villain, we don’t want ’em hanging around our own back door.   Our Main Muses defeated The Vacuus and turned their Ideas into Idea Currency and that saved our Academy from demise.  You can, too.   Your Ideas belong solely to you.  No one can ever take them from you.  “You can get through anything so long as you have Ideas of your own,” is our motto here.
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The wise and reclusive and somewhat toddy Attic Keeper is the heart and soul of the education and care and feeding of our Main Muses.  In the backstory of The Muse Academy,  when they saved it from the Vacuus storm — and also, I should tell you, from imminent bank foreclosure  — our Main Muses discovered the Attic Keeper and the keys to creativity she held.  These are the basis of our ongoing new curriculum.
Bookie is here to teach you how “Words Change Things.”   And, how our relationship with literacy  keeps us dynamic and fluid,  flexible and wise through our life span.  “We read to get to know others, we write to get to know ourselves,” says Bookie.
Cookie is here to teach you about “Foods For Moods and Flavor Travel Terrains” by cooking with you right in the Student Union Cafe.   Students of this course will experiment with a diverse palette of ingredients and get an all-you -can-eat pass with a plus – one at the Cuppa’ Joe Cafe.
Arty will provide you with your first Power Sketchbook and magic stylus, and soon you will be unleashing your own power and developing Ideas through doodling and observation.  Oh — did I mention this class comes with a free first month’s subscription to our buzzing campus newspaper sketchbook,  “The Daily  Sketch?”
Dance’s course is all about motion — of story expression through music and rythym and voice that flows from your own physical power on the stage at the Theater of Your Psyche.
Techie is a surprise to us all — and so are her plugged-in quests and questions.  It’s not what you think.  It’s all about the new and yet – to – be invented.
Ponderous is cool.  So mellow and cool we can’t ever seem to nail down a set time schedule for his classes.  Or where his class room is located.  We still can’t figure out how to grade his Daydreaming course, so we pretty much just don’t anymore.  Suffice it to say, the more daydreaming, questions, reflections, and general relationship to the natural spontaneity around you will be wonderful and appreciated here.

Oh — and did I mention a cat?

Storm the Rescue Cat up in the Attic Keeper’s studio?
Providing the Muses with a sense of Balast. A giant porcelain white goddess who never seems to move but yet sees and knows and directs all….
Carpe imagi, potential new students!  Sign up today and enroll for a modest fee and find out how to carpe imagi!  The creative skills you acquire here will pay off in many facets and forums and seasons and situations of your life both now and future.
Check your performance anxiety at the campus entry gate —  we don’t teach art, and we don’t teach product per se.  We teach the cognitive, personality, behavioral and reflective skills necessary to solve your problems,  meet your challenges, and bring you depth and joy in your business, personal, hobby, and social life goals.
Oh — did I mention we have a staff to contact to enroll and answer your questions and find a direction that fits just right with your goals?
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Well, we don’t have a staff.  And although The Muse Academy is an imaginative place, it is a very real learning platform for some very real creative skills with real-life applications.
Heidi D. Hansen, M.A., is a very real and very experienced professional in creative skill learning and coaching.  Heidi is a prolific and published freelance artist-writer, Mental Health Advocate with 30 years of education, training and real-life experience as an artist, writer and mental health child -trauma therapist. And wowza, what a portfolio to show for it.
But this is not about Heidi.  It’s about you and your inner Muse.  The minions of your imagination. To cultivate and care for your inner Muse and learn the kinds of creative skills described above, call her at (360) 892-5218, or email her at  A workbook will come out in June, 2017.doghotellogo
Once again, Heidi’s email is .
Heidi takes major credit/debit cards via safe and secure Paypal, using the button here below.  She is willing to fit a fee schedule around your needs, goals and timeline.
To pre-order Heidi’s full-color 30-page workbook on learning creativity skills and applying them to your unique goals, with six 8″ x 10″ signed/numbered inspirational and creative skills prints, pay $39.99 via this Paypal button, put in a few extra bucks to cover postage from Vancouver, Washington, USA, and tell me where to send in when it comes out in June, 2017.
Carpe imagi, and Muse On!
The Muse Academy and all associated works, slogans, constructs and design materials are written, developed and illustrated, by Heidi Hansen and copyrighted to her.  CopyrightHeidiDHansen 2014-2017, reproduction and use prohibited unless purchase and user agreements have been made. 

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The Attic Keeper

Dark wind whipping at the sun window.  Blackness outside the sun window. Dark storm rattling the glass, daring to push open the latch, nearly busting through.
The attic shook.
The Attic Keeper did not.
For it was not a windstorm threatening to blow in this hidden room at the top of The Muse Academy, it was The Vacuus.

And the Attic Keeper had dealt with them before.  And won.
Then, suddenly, a fresh burst of sunny wind came zinging through the attic room, scattering paintings and drawings and papers and books and pencils and paint palettes and brushes and blankets, pillows and rugs.
And the cat.  The big white fluff cat with the periscope tail went flying.


She leaped through the air, surfing the wind that had just blown in through the wall air vent that attached all the rooms inside The Muse Academy.  Four little Muses tumbled out of the vent and into the attic room, cozy and stuffed with all things creative.



They were each a different bright color, and had slightly different shapes.  But they were all just about the size of a favored coffee mug.


And they were trembling.
What was the source of the shaking?  The Vacuus, trying to get in?
Or from the cat’s steely green-eyed glare?
Or, from The Attic Keeper, who ignored the Vacuus howling and banging the window and quietly growled, “You’re not supposed to be here.  The Muse Academy is officially closed.  All Muses have been sent home.  The bank has foreclosed.  On all of it, the academy, the staff, the building, the campus.
“You’re not supposed to be here.  Especially not in my attic.  No one is allowed in my attic under any circumstance.  No one even knows I am here. You have to go. Now.”
Storm the Rescue Cat, who was named so because once, a long long time ago, on a highly rare occasion when The Attic Keeper had actually left her attic room to venture out into a fierce fall rainstorm and rescued this cat.  Whom, at the time, was tiny and skinny and shivering and did not speak for a long time, even though her new home in the attic was filled with soft pillows, high perches, a warm fire, and stacks of cans of tuna fish.

That was then.  Storm is huge and fluffy and swaggers with presence and confidence. The Attic Keeper hasn’t been out since then, and it is a source of mystery to me — how she gets all those flats of tuna fish up there and nobody knows she lives and works there in the attic a the top of Muse Academy.

“We can’t go home,” said Dance, shuffling his feet.
“We haven’t got any,” said Art.
“We are orphan Muses,” said Music, shaking his orange fuzzy head.
“Yeah,” said Book.  “No artist has chosen us yet.  We haven’t been placed.”
“But that’s not the real reason, is it, Muses?”  Attic Keeper eyed the Muses sharply.
The Attic Keeper leaned forward from her chair and put her hands on her knees, breathed in deeply and asked sternly,  “Muses, spill it. What, exactly, is the real reason you stayed on?”
Art Muse waved her hands in the air as Dance Muse put his tap shoes into action and  exclaimed,   “We’ve stayed on to save the day, of course! What else would we be here for?”


Book yelled out, too. “And those Vacuus are going to break through that window any minute now and we are all perished!”  She dove into a basket to hide, spilling its contents.  Rolls and scrolls of papers.  All over, now, scattering and rolling all across the floor.
“Ideas?”  Book asked, looking through each scroll of paper.
“Archives, if you must know.” Attic Keeper answered, with a sigh. “Those are all ideas. Old, unused ideas.  From The Academy, over time.  Abandoned.  Ideas that haven’t got any artists, either, just like you. ”
“But there are so many!” shouted Music in glee, as she plowed through many other baskets, all filled with ideas.
“Will the Vacuus suck them up, too, along with us, if they break in here?” Dance shivered  a bit as the pounding on the window grew louder, angrier, even.
“The Vacuus will suck us out of ourselves and inhabit our cells.”  Announced Art Muse.
The Attic Keeper was up now, cracking open a can of tuna on the food shelf.  She used a cranky old can opener that required a great deal of force.  Storm was wrapped around her arms as she worked the can opener, purring loudly and nudging her head against Attic Keeper’s hands.  She almost knocked the can opener out of her hand, she was so excited by the fishy aroma that filled the attic.
“No,” said The Attic Keeper.  “Vacuus won’t inhabit your cells.  They will inhabit your Self.  Your personality. Vacuus don’t have any of their own.  So they’ll force or trick you out of your own, and all the ideas and feelings and opinions and dreams and work you have done, are doing, and will do.”
The Muses fell silent.  The Attic room was entirely still and quiet, except for the fire’s warm crackling and Storm’s purring as she dipped her nose deeper into the tuna can.
“Oh, it’s these that they want!”  Art pointed to the baskets of ideas and scurried to pick up those that had rolled into nooks and crannies of the room.
“They want more than that.”  said Attic Keeper.  “Vacuus are entirely empty and have no capacity to use what they suck out.  So they are always voracious for more.  They are always on the prowl.”
Attic Keeper went to a small icebox and pulled out some bowls of olives, celery sticks, some kinds of salami wrapped up in wax paper that smelled spicy and savory, rounds of creamy and sharp cheeses, a selection of mustards and from a bread cupboard, she produced floury loaves and flaky thick bread slices.
She placed them out on a picnic blanket in front of the fire, motioned for the Muses to come and eat, and poured them all glasses of chocolate milk and cranberry juice.
As the Muses grew stuffed and sleepy by the warm fire and their feast and Storm curled up  on the edge of the big work table, Attic Keeper went back to her sketching.
She put on a pair of sunglasses that had one lens missing.  She drew for a while like that, and then put the lens on the other side of the glasses frames and continued drawing.
Art Muse asked, laying stretched out on a pillow, so toasty and cozy and full that she no longer heard the Vacuus outside. “Why do you have those on like that?” she asked.
Attic Keeper didn’t look up from her paper and charcoal pencil, the quick scratching noise of the lead on thick paper so pleasant and interesting to the Muses as well.  They were sitting up now, watching her work.
“To get a sense of shadow.  Negative space.  Most art, music, literature, acting, is about revealing the negative space.  Or, rather, getting the viewer involved in the art such that the viewer experiences the negative space, and thus, knows more of the real space.”
“I never got that, really,” said Book Muse.  “How can you produce something that isn’t really there and that is what makes your art, the art?”
“Wearing sunglasses with one lens helps you do that?” asked Dance.
“Haven’t you had your artists dance, or act,  on stage with blindfolds on?” asked Attic Keeper, a bit testily.  She was not used to company, and was growing more concerned by the minute of how she was going to pack of these Muses to someplace that was not yet evicted.
“No.” replied Dance.  A slight edge was in his voice.  “I never knew to do that.”
Art Muse interrupted. “I haven’t really known how to do that, either.”
“Well, maybe that’s a part of why you never got placed!”  Attic Keeper replied crabbily.  She was concentrating on her work, after all.  These Muses did not belong here in her attic.
Then she paused.  Sighed. Set her pencil and paper and glasses down on her work table.


Gave Storm a massage behind the ears, and said, “Okay.  First things first.  What you need to know the most is how to observe things.  Just get really good at observing things.  From all sorts of points of view. From being blindfolded, to laying flat on your back, to walking barefoot, to listening, listening to stories from other people.  And just people watching.  Trying new flavors of foods.
“And draw your observations out.  Doodle them. You can write them out, too, what you observe.  But it’s best to always carry a sketchbook and a pencil with you and just doodle what you observe.  And don’t observe what everybody else is.  Daydream.  Do your own daydreaming, and put it all in a sketchbook.”
“Haven’t got any sketchbooks or pencils or any supplies at all.”  Music Muse winced, scowled and shook his head.  “Academy’s shut down.  Supply cupboard’s bare.”
A silence fell over the little crowd, and as the fire minimized, the Vacuus banging around could be heard more pronouncedly.
Attic Keeper got up, slid two more logs into the fire place and coddled them into new warm flames with a bit of iron fence post.
“Come over here, then.” She motioned them to a far wall, where hung a long and wide ornamental rug.  A deeply decorated tapestry.  Images of all kinds embedded into the weave of the threads, telling stories up and down and left to right and in circles.
She pulled it to one side and revealed  large cedar wardrobe behind it.  She opened the wardrobe’s doors and what the Muses saw made them gasp.
In wonder.
Stacks and stacks of new, blank, ready-to-use sketchbooks, with jars and jars filled with stylus pencils, new and ready to use.
But that wasn’t what the gasping wonder was about.


The sketchbooks were sparkling and pulsing and glowing and beguiling the Muses to reach out and grab them up, open them to the first blank page and fill it with doodles, ideas, drawings, and words.
“Go ahead.” Attic Keeper said, “These are Observation books.  Go ahead. Help yourself.”  Attic Keeper was smiling now.  Gesturing to them to partake.
And that’s what the Muses did.  Grabbed up several of the Observation Books and the stylus pencils and opened them up and started to engineer their images and words onto paper.
But something else.  Something unexpected and that which, to this day, has remained unexplained.
With every stroke and punctuation of the stylus pencil, a sound was offered to what appeared on the page.  All kinds of sounds and soundscapes.  Water splashing.  Trains rumbling. Running feet. Seabirds cawing at an oceanside french fry stand.  Foghorns.  Rain on a tin roof.  Baby birds waking up at sunrise.  Pebbles being poured out of a backpack onto a garden patch.
And, if you pressed it just right, the stylus pencil would pour out color onto the paper.  Small color, big color, mixed color, vibrant or vague, in thin and thick lines and smudges and drips.
All night long, until they had fallen asleep right onto their working pages, the Muses sat by the fire and worked in their Observation Books.
What do you think their observations were about?
I don’t know myself, I wasn’t there.  But I can tell you that  stylus pencil of this ilk is very loyal to its Muse, and what it produces on paper cannot ever be seen by any other except to the Muse who employed it.
This happy scene would have indeed been happy, except for one thing.  This contentedness and focus and purpose within the attic enraged the Vacuus outside.
And they attacked that sun window with increasingly jealous fervor, anger, and a desire for revenge.
________________________This is the end of Part One.  What will happen to these brave Muses?  Will they save the day?  Or be evicted by the bank foreclosure committee? Will Attic Keeper turn her back on this challenge, and return to reclusivity? Will the Vacuus break through and suck all the Self out of the Muses?  And, will Storm the Rescue Cat learn how to operate that can opener herself?  Check back here soon, because  Part Two is to be continued soon.
Heidi D. Hansen is the creator, author and illustrator of The Attic Keeper and The Muse Academy, and these materials are copyrighted 2015-2017 to her. Permission and payment are required to print or use.
Heidi is available to consult with you about how to enrich your work, talent, or personal life using creative process.  Creativity Coaching is available at a fee of $55.00 per hour, online or in person in Vancouver, Washington. Major credit cards accepted.  Please call Heidi at (360) 892-5218 or email her at for a discussion.  Thanks, and enjoy your day!

Three Simple Spells from The EveryDay Witch and her Kharma Cats

picture985 picture987 picture986Three Spells From The EveryDay Witch

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Who is the EveryDay Witch? There might be one in your life, if you are lucky, and the Everyday Witch might even be you!

The Everyday Witch is a woman who cqn work magic from ordinary things. She can make healing happen with just the things around her. And a little time, a little tending.

I have permission, to present to you today, three of her top ten spells, potions and tinctures. These are all concoctions that you can make at home and school. The Everyday Witch hopes that you will, as you need to.

Depression Spell:

3 cups Motion (keep moving arms, legs, lips to talk)
1 Tablespoon Hope (you can start a new day anytime)
5 shakes of Power (do something that makes a difference)

Anxiety Potion:

5 Gusts of Westward Wind (blow out more fiercely than you breath in)
Set your compass to Middle. (Get your sense of self in the center)
1 Giant Leap Frog (take that leap of faith)

Low Self-Esteem Tincture:

Use your Forgetting Wand liberally (forget what other people say and think about you) over
1 box Expansive Powders (do what you are good at, as much as you can)
and infuse it into
the most beautiful, fantastic mug of your choice that is full of
The EveryDay Witch is by Heidi D. Hansen, M.A., retired Child and Family Therapist. c2014-15. contact: