I am not a throw away girl [day 7]

rethink-good-trash-can-metal-no-symbol-tiaraI wrote this a few days ago.  It goes to the tune of Madonna’s song Material Girl.  I think I might need to do a music video with it.  :)

Not a Throw-Away Girl

Some stores discount, some stores ship stuff
I think they’re okay
If they don’t give me reusable options
I just walk away

They can bag and they can stock  
But they can’t see the light, that’s right ‘
Cause the stores without the plastic
Are always in the right, ’cause we are

Living in a disposable world
And I am not a throw away girl
You know that we are living in a disposable world
And I am not a throw away girl

Some use paper, some have bulk
And that’s all right with me
If they can’t use my glass containers
I have to let them be

Some stores try and some stores lie but
Much to my dismay, they sway!
Only stores who save their planet
Make my every day, ’cause they are

Living in a disposable world
And I am not a throw away girl
You know that we are living in a disposable world
And I am not a throw away girl

Stores may come and stores may go
And that’s all right you see
The economy will crash someday
And everyone will see, that we are

Victims of a disposable world
And I am not a throw away girl
You know that we are living in a disposable world
And I am not a throw away girl  Continue reading

I hate cleaning the garage, but I love an art project

The garage (cleaning) art project.

My garage is always a diaster area.  I couldn’t fit a car in there if I tried.  Heck, I’m not even sure a bike would fit.  Now let me be clear.  Even if I could fit a car in my garage, I wouldn’t put one in there.  I like to use my garage space as an art studio, a place where I can do crazy projects like projectwarm.us or any other crazy idea that pops into my head.

Being an artist, I see everything as a blank canvas and every little trinket having some artistic value.  My garage clearly reflects my views.  Continue reading

unplugged toys

I was hoping to have more time to post some non-electronic toys from my childhood and compare them with what my kids will have this week.  I ran out of time, but here’s a few photos of some toys I had.  I’ll post what my kids played with when we return.

It’s Slinky!  It’s Slinky!  For fun it’s a wonderful toy!

I played with mine for hours, well, until the metal got all bent up from playing with it too much.  Then I woud see how far a friend and I could stretch it out.  Then I made a sculpture out of it.

Then I asked for a new one.  Lather.  Rinse.  Repeat.


Yes children, that’s what a pool looks like when you don’t have one built-in in your backyard.  Yes, that might look like a chair, but clearly it’s a diving board.

Toys back in the day required imagination, of the non-digital kind.  Life was simpler back then.

Turning off the computer now.

Off to wake the kids and get in the car.  Pray for me.  This could be a riot!  No, I don’t mean the fun kind of riot either.



crayons are non-toxic, but I don’t want to eat them.

Being the extremely frugal person I am, I was not going to let the leftover queso go to waste.  I was with a large group of people from church, half adults and half kids.  I placed my queso in a non-styrofoam to-go container and realized my kids had leftovers too.  I was warned that there might be crayons in it, but I packed it up anyway.

And yes, I heated some up today and there were crayons in it.  They must have been yellow or really small pieces, as I didn’t see them, but I sure tasted them.  Yuck.  :(

think different [day 359]

This is part of an old Apple shirt that I made into a new shirt.  I like the tagline ‘think different’.  It’s a great slogan and it can be applied to many things.  I didn’t think about this when I was coming up with my new domain name, but it’s the same concept.  Rethink good is thinking differently about what is good in life.  It seems as though society is always looking for better, distracting us from the good things surrounding us.  Today, I’m going to step back and look at everything differently.  I have a crazy busy day ahead of me, but filled with good.  Good work, good friends, good chaos, good kids… I could go on.  Even bad things are blessings and can be good.  It’s all in how you look at it.  Have a really good day.  :)

I’m packing [day 339]

No, I don’t have a gun.  I mean packing for a short trip.  One full day to be exact.  Why do I always feel like I need so much stuff?  A while back, I always had the philosophy that if I forget something, I’ll just buy it.  Rarely did I ever have to take myself up on that.  Now I can’t buy anything if I forget it, so I’m packing a little bit more.  Is this a downside to the ‘no retail shopping’ challenge?  I’m not flying, so no extra bag charges.  It takes a little more time to pack, but that’s okay.

Mental gymnastics.

I need to get packed, there’s no way I’m ever going to be ready in time.  Why did I get rid of the boys suitcases?  Oh yeah, they were too small.  Too small?  Really?  What do they need?  Now they’re going to have to share a bag.  How am I going to keep their stuff separated?  That’s going to be a fight.  Passports!  (run upstairs)  Why do I save all this stuff in my fireproof box?  What if I die and someone has to clean out all my stuff?  (run back downstairs)  Clothing.  Check.  Pajamas.  Check.  Towel, washcloth and shower shoes.  Check.  Camera.  Check.  Wait.  Should I bring both of my cameras?  My lenses?  My tripod?  The kids love to do light painting, but do the batteries work in any of the 30 flashlights?  How did I get 30 flashlights?!  Should I downsize those?  Did I charge the 15 million candlepower cyclops?  Will the kids in Mexico really miss the light painting?  Why do I need all these electronics?  Should I bring the book I want to finish?  Where’s the charger for my camera?  Crap, I’ll need my shutter release cable too.  Zuri, get out of the suitcase.  Wait, we have a cat now.  (phone call)  Will all of this fit in the car?  Should I have gotten an oil change?  Did I pack enough clothes?  What am I forgetting?…  Continue reading

what to do with my peeps [day 332]

I used 6 boxes of Peeps to make a video.  Peeps are food, however I didn’t buy them.  After spending some quality time with my Peeps, I really didn’t want to get rid of the little guys.  I took a bite out of one and quickly remembered why I don’t eat them.  They’re cute, but not tasty.  I like the artistic uses for Peeps, but what do you do with them after you play with them?  I handled them for about an hour and they sat in chairs where other ‘peeps’ have been sitting.  I’m quite sure nobody wants to eat them now.  Poor Peeps.  I guess it’s time to get creative and use them in a photo shoot before I send them to a compost pile.

a new set of paint brushes…

My light painting endeavors have stepped up a notch.  I made a new set of paint brushes.  No, I didn’t pull out chunks of my hair and attach it to wooden sticks, I’m talking about light painting brushes.  Never heard of light painting?  Here’s how it works…

If you have an SLR (digital or film), place it on a tripod and set the camera on manual.  Set the aperture on F8 (works well for most simple light painting, although you might have to adjust) and the shutter on the ‘bulb’ setting.  If you can get a cable release for you camera, most of them have a lock feature that will keep the shutter open until you close it, that way you don’t need to be at the camera holding the button down the whole time.  Hold the shutter button down and have people ‘paint’ with the flashlights.  Oh, and this process must be done in the dark or in extreme low light.  Anything that has light on it will show up in your photo.

Now that you have the details on the camera end, let me tell you about the art tools.  Your flashlights are your brushes and color gels are your paint.  You can do this without the color gels, but I like using them, well, because I love color.  This photo is of my new set.  I had a set of color gels leftover from my pre-photoshop days.  These are the same as theater light gels.  Cokin makes the photography set and a company called Roscolux makes some as well.  For the new flashlights, which I made to take down to Casa Hogar Elim for the kids to play with, I used duct tape to attach the gels and color coded them with the duct tape.

The black cards on the left have a set of colors I made from gels and photo mat boards.  They have velcro on the back so I can attach them to a flashlight easily.  And no, you don’t have to get that fancy with it.  You can just hold a gel over the light.  Simple.  I do a lot of this so I have an entire suitcase of flashlights, from pen lights all the way up to my Cyclops.

Cyclops is a very large flashlight… 15 million candlepower.  The light bulb in it is a car headlamp, if that gives you a reference point.  I have some color gels that fit over Cyclops.  This ‘brush’ comes in handy for light painting buildings or any really large spaces.  Cyclops is rechargeable and cost about $40 at Costco.  You can also get some nice 1-2 million candlepower lights at any retail store.

Some other types of lights that work well are pen lights for drawing, LED lights are good, but make sure to get the very bright ones.  I prefer the warm light color of the incandescent type bulbs versus the new LED’s.  Not as energy efficient, but if you’re picky about the warm tones…

Okay, let me show you some examples of light painting.  I did a series for an art gallery showing a while back.  The show was called ‘excessable’.  It was photos of how we have so much excess in our culture and the entire series was light painted.

These were all painted with several different types of flashlights, each exposure lasting anywhere between 3 and 10 minutes.

Here’s a photo from light painting with the kids at Casa Hogar.
You can also do light painting using black and white.  This is from a film camera, my Nikon 6006 with Illford B&W film.  You can also get the ghost images with the light painting by painting a person or object, then moving it and painting the space where it was.

This is one of those art things you have to experiment with a lot to get a feel for what your final images will look like.  It is a lot of fun though!