Disposable stuff is art supplies [day 24]

art dumpsterYou know, I can complicate anything.  I didn’t have a blog post yesterday because I had written so much, I didn’t have the time to edit and organize it, much less find images for it.  Today is simple.  How much disposable stuff is imposed on us?  Receipts?  Flyers?  Napkins?  Bags?  Packaging?  Junk mail?  Magazines?  There’s a lot, although many retailers are now asking, “Would you like a receipt?” or “Would you like a bag?”  YES!  They get it.  Continue reading

cut up magazines [minimalist challenge item #129]

[item] Several cut up magazines

[purchase info] Mostly given to me for art projects, a few purchased new or at Half Price.

[time in my possession] Approximately 1-6 years

[last used] A few weeks ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Recycling bin

[info] I’ve cut as much out of these for my altered art projects as possible.  I have many more piles of them.

motion art sharing [day 327]

I was given a challenge several weeks ago to come up with an artistic creative element to do during a church service.  I remembered about two years ago, I had seen some motion sand art created on a light table with a camera mounted above it.  As I started fantasizing about doing that myself, I started bringing in other objects like colored glass and string.  I’m not sure when I mentally poured the sand out, but my idea was to use the light table with 3 dimensional objects, bringing an altered art concept to the table.  Here’s a video of the motion art, however the music isn’t perfectly synced on the first song.  Video is obviously not my strongest art form.  😉  [the video will not play on mobile devices]

3D motion art to Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) & Stronger

So what does this have to do with my ‘no retail shopping’ challenge?  A lot.  When I started the challenge almost a year ago, I said I would need to be able to shop at work if I was told to do so.  I had to get all of the supplies for this project, including the light table.  Of everything needed to create this, I bought 2 things, one of them outside of the challenge, but it was for work.

Continue reading

the sky is falling [day 283]

Giant, shrink-wrapped books.  They’re everywhere.  I think it rained phonebooks, although I don’t remember seeing that in my weather forecast.  Flint Lockwood must have made another machine, but this one storms phone books.  They’re on top of the mailboxes, on the sidewalks, in the grass, they’re pretty much everywhere.  They’re taking over the neighborhood.

Why do the Yellow Pages still exist?  Simple, because advertisers are still giving them money.  Let’s look at the logic here.  Are these businesses just clutching on to a past dream of advertising success, unwilling to let go?  I walk my street twice a day and nobody is bringing these books in the house.  Now the advertisers are probably paying for internet and print, so as long as they’re getting new customers, they’re probably not concerned with the details, they just want the results.  How many people still use phone books?  I’m sure there’s a small percentage and I’m all for print some for the people that want them.  But why are they mass producing them to throw them in people’s yards when 99% of them will go in the recycling bin, or worse yet, the trash?  I find it funny (the disturbing kind) that they have a dumpster specifically for phone books.   Continue reading

new year’s resolutions [day 219]

I don’t have any resolutions for the new year.  I’m doing the no shopping challenge, I’m getting a lot of things done in my house and I’m doing most of the things I want/need to be doing.  One thing I do want to change is my cooking habits.  Cooking is not fun for me, but I’m trying to be better about cooking more and eating out less.

I upgraded my kitchen this week so I have more counter space and I bought the final piece of Le Creuset cookware to complete my collection.  Yes, all of it was used.

I found an island for my kitchen on craigslist.  I’ve been thinking about doing this for about a year now, but the island has to be on wheels and a very specific size to fit in my kitchen.  Color is no problem, as I can redesign it.  I needed something solid so I can tile the top of it.  After looking at islands, I think this one retails for around $150-$200.  I paid $60.  Here it is after the makeover.

The drawers are on the other side.  I have the tile to do the top, but I didn’t have the setting materials or grout, so I decided to do an artistic treatment and collage artwork on the top.  It’s a great thing to do to recycle and reuse books or magazines.  It’s easy to do, just use spray glue for the artwork, layer it until you’re happy with it and paint a couple coats of clear acrylic over it.  It’s very durable, as I have a bathroom floor done this way.

The next item I purchased (Merry Christmas to me) was from eBay.  It’s the final piece to my Le Creuset cookware.  I bought a steamer insert 6 years ago and the guy at the store told me it would work with a pot I already had.  It didn’t.  So this was not an impulse buy, as I’ve been planning to buy this for a while.  Why?  Let’s just say my MacGyver steamer rig didn’t work out so well.  It steamed great, but it took about 3 hours to clean up and luckily didn’t ruin my stove.  It was pricey, but it works into the no retail thing.  $188 including shipping.  This pot retails new for $315 and you can’t kill this stuff, it will be passed on to your grandkids.

I didn’t pay a lot for most of my pieces.  I got my first one at the thrift store for $4.  I got a set for free with my AMEX points.  All of the others were eBay or factory seconds, and I got their coupon calendar, so I paid next to nothing.

I guess I really didn’t need any of this stuff, but it’s all used and because I was not in a hurry, I found exactly what I wanted and for a good price.  Value might be a better word.  Happy new year.

fine, dress me up like a fairy princess!! [day 161]

The challenge has been challenging this week.  I get my kids clothes at thrift stores or they are hand-me-downs (or handy-downs as Cole calls them), which has worked nicely for a long time.  It’s still working, but here are some of the difficulties.

Boys vs. girls

They say girls are pickier about their clothing, however the person that said that did not have a Joe.  After fighting with him for over an hour, I told him we were going to play dress up when he got home from school, meaning I was going to make him try on clothes since he says he doesn’t have any pants that fit him.  And when I did find some?  He didn’t like them.  His response?  “Oh fine, you’re going to dress me up like a fairy princess!”  Oh, you think the boy would know better than to say something like that…

Let me give you a little background here.  I was a tomboy and hated to wear anything girly.  My mom was all about the frilly, fru-fru stuff, making me wear dresses and entering me in beauty pageants.  (do not get me started on that one)  The photo is of me, one that I altered for an expressive photography class.  It’s part of a larger art collection about childhood.   Continue reading

waiting pays off [day 132]

I really like my house.  I’ve lived here for almost 4 years now and I’ve remodeled 95% of it myself.  The one downside about my house is the lack of windows, resulting in low light in most of the rooms.  On top of that, I have large trees outside blocking the little bit of light I do get.  It’s great for the energy bills, but I wish there was more light.  Someday when I have to replace the roof, I may just add some skylights.

With this situation, I really need a few more lamps in the house.  I have very modern decor and modern lamps are crazy expensive.  I’ve been searching for lamps at thrift stores and on craigslist for well over a year now.  A couple of days ago, I found a pair of table lamps.   Continue reading