Posts Tagged ‘creative’

Hmmm, to what am I referring? It can’t be the laundry detergent or the homemade crackers, since I’ve already reported on that. It is, of course, coffee. In fact, to the wonderful coffee shops in the area, “I thank you”. Now here is why:

It was a couple weeks ago, after making the laundry detergent, and feeling my clothes were once again freshly washed, that I felt I could venture out in public. I agreed to meet with a potential business partner (art related) and while waiting, I decided to clean out my handbag. Women can get a little carried away with the things they stuff in their bags and then…well…carry away. I had post-it notes, coupons, pens, brochures, CDs, and gift cards. Nearly everything came out to file later but, the gift cards I decided to get to know a little better.

I had two Starbucks™ cards. I called the 800 number and after a minute or so, was informed that between the two cards I had enough money for a whole cup of coffee! Whoo Hoo!

I then called the local coffee shop to ask about that card. Although the card had been discontinued, the owner reinstated the amount lost and even doubled the amount to help me out. He had been following my story and thought it was very inspiring and a good lesson for us all. I think he missed seeing me around the place as well. Yay, I will be a lot more alert this month!

During my quest, I also learned that Chick-Fil-A never refuses an expired coupon. I had been purchasing those calendars for several years but never used the monthly coupons. Really Chick-Fil-A? Will you take a year 2009 coupon? I may have to try that.

Last week a friend invited me over for a glass of wine. This led to having dinner with her at another neighbors house. The discussion of my “Dollar a Day Challenge” came up and the  went through her pantry offering me some of the things she and her daughter would probably not eat.
~~~~
“Do you like rice,” she asked.

“Yes, I’m totally out of it,” I replied.

“Good, you can have this, it takes 30 minutes to cook and I’m not going to mess with that!”

“How about couscous?”… “How about peanut butter granola bars?” “How about this, How about that…” she continued.

It wasn’t until she asked about the sticks of butter that I really exclaimed “Yes! I need butter!!!”.

We all laughed as I tried to explain my reaction. “I love popcorn as a snack. I have a whole tub of popcorn kernels but no butter.” “What’s the fun of popcorn without butter?”
~~~
Before the night was done, I had a better grasp of why everyone should set aside a time to look at what is in their pantry, their immediate environment, their lives. There is no better time than now to really reflect on what is really necessary.

The neighbor had taken me to the garage where shelf upon shelf was loaded with cereal boxes, boxed dinners, canned goods, you name it. She pulled down some coffee packets and handed them to me.

“Do you like coffee? I have a Keurig machine and will never use these.”

“Thank you,” I said as I walked back to my car with yet another idea.

Advertisements

Rested and ready best describes my attitude right now and I’m pretty sure my fellow constructor as well. We plan to embark on a three day hiatus from the natural world as we bring our project to within days of completion. I am wearing the same shirt as when we started this project. It used to be a decent casual/business style t-shirt and is now something of a mystery itself. A little paint here, a little paint there, a blob of “not sure what” and somehow, it also smells of bacon!

Oh, the experiments stretched the limits of our imagination. And the care we took in the project far outweighed how we treated our own clothes or our own belongings. We were flinging around paint and tape and scraps of this or that to examine how things would work but, when it came time to put our tests to the actual project all bets were off and, extreme care was taken in the handling of every piece from the box. The house has been taken over by tables, lamps, and rock, paper, scissors but chaotic organization was to be had.

The deadline was yesterday, July 17th, for purchase of the Mystery Build box. I am assuming and hoping that all retailers will stick to that deadline and therefore we can be a little more loose with our descriptions as we progress. It’s tricky though–we do not want to divulge any ideas that may help others along, and yet, we want everyone to become intrigued by our postings so that we can win your votes.

Submission Deadline is July 31st!

Stay tuned!

[addtoany]

Yes, the secret is out. For the next ninety-one daysI intend to focus on my artwork and strengthening my place in the creative world. The first assignment bestowed upon myself is to collaborate with a friend in a creative contest while I continue to seek other avenues by which to pay my bills. (That’s no fun either but, it also requires creativity.)  Here is the first installment of our project.

Building a Mystery...

The contest rules are: The artist(s) creates a sculpture using only the materials inside, and including, the box to interpret a song. The only material we may add is up to 6oz of any liquid so as it is not used sculpturally in any way. The deadline is July 30th, 2011.

It was the afternoon of June 14, 2011 that I picked up our Mystery Build box from the retailer. It sat on my coffee table for nearly a week as my friend Robin and I seemed too busy to connect, even for a moment, to open it. As our curiosity continued to peak, and despite several phone conversations, all I could do is hint that it did seem heavy for being such a small box.

Nearly a week later, we finally got together. Some pizza, a bottle of wine and “the box”. I don’t recall which came first but, wow, what fun we had when we finally opened our Mystery Build box! Inside were all sorts of tiny and larger materials: 2r8dnss a3%$, KJH*(, #@&(*0, h*@, p(*Y+, #(@^?, “c&s, <=@s! and, of course, the box.

During our first intitial meeting we looked, touched, talked, drank, and laughed well into the evening.

Our goal for the night was to agree on our song. CDs were strewn throughout the house as we reflected on the lyrical passions of so many artists. The excitement was dizzying as our minds went from one extreme to another. It was as if the walls were made of mirror and we were in an amazing funhouse that whole evening.

A pattern began to emerge as we honed in on our song of choice. Toward the end of the night, we finally agreed on a particular artist and song unless, of course, something else popped up. We went our separate ways to think on our own a while.

Days later, we gathered the box and all the contents to set up shop in Robin’s living room. It would be a brainstorming roundtable for a while. We had tables, writing boards, spotlights, music and snacks covering every inch, minus a path in and out of the room. We experimented with materials similar to those found in the box by working and reworking our plans until it was just right. We listened to and read the song lyrics over and over. We researched the musician to try to understand the deeper meaning and the inspiration for such a melody. Several hours later we felt comfortable with our progress and called it a night. We’d get together again a few days later. The duration of our break was short lived as the phone calls and emails started the very next morning. It was one epiphany after another: while walking the dog; while in the shower; while asleep in our beds. It just did not matter. This was on our mind and consuming our thoughts so much, in fact, we began to laugh as every idea marked a new beginning. Details about the structure of the finished piece had flipped and flopped and tumbled and turned many times but, in the end, it was strengthened by the shear scrutiny of our brainstorming sessions. The prior planning had paid off and it was time to dig in.

Since the deadline was the last day of the month, we thought we’d start building our sculpture on the first. Weekly activities and duties took priority and we delayed production for one day. I left the office at the end of the week feeling pretty great and ready to begin on that Saturday. We would get together early the next  afternoon and focus on this project all weekend. So I got busy and packed up some munchies, food and drink plus an overnight bag. I hope Robin and I were on the same page about this. I was moving in for the weekend!

Later that evening, I got around to checking my emails. There it was – an email from the North Carolina Museum of Art!

We shared the news and both of us went to bed that evening with an excitement in our hearts and a smile on our face.

~ stay tuned to learn what happens next…