Saturday, November 21, 2015

So many places, so much fun


This is Day 22 of Art Every Day Month or AEDM, and it was just exactly the day I needed to get my head back in the game.

Some of you will remember last month when I took my lawn mower to my front flower bed.  I explained how one lady in the neighborhood thought I was a fool and should rake all my leaves rather than mulching them into the soil.  Since summer is over and I don't have to water my herb garden early in the morning, I'm not normally dressed and out of the house at 8ish a.m..  Therefore, I don't often get a good view of my neighbor's "trash."

But this is what her trash collection looks like each and every week.  In spring and summer, it's grass clippings, in autumn it's leaves.

It's an every week occurrence, because she even sweeps the street in front of her house.  If only I was on her list of good or nice people, I would have all those bags of potential mulch.  But I'm the evil neighbor whose lawn doesn't look pristine and manicured each week.

I know you're thinking this is going somewhere, and it is.  I was actually waiting on my friend Kathy, who I hadn't seen in nearly two months.

Upon arrival, while Kathy was visiting my "loo," I took time to take a photo of the things we would more than likely exchange.  It was our custom to have something for each other, usually something hand made.  Remember though, this is the lady my friend who dumped a couple hundred pages of printed photos off on me and told me to throw them in the trash if I didn't want them.  Instead, I spent nearly six weeks making her an altered book of Kings and Queens of England.  So I never know what the gift will be.

Before we went to the kitchen, however, I gave her a choice of all the completed book covers I had made over the last week or so, and you can guess (to my surprise) the one she chose.

Yes, it's the chic butterfly child I was so unsure of.  I couldn't believe she chose it over one with flowers. It's too bad I don't seem to show the hanger I made and assembled after I scanned it.

This is what Kathy brought me.  October was the month that Kathy worked three times a week at her church sponsored thrift store, and she bought it as soon as she unpacked it.  Not the best photo,

because I seem to have missed the ribbons and bows that were on the left side of the long sleeved sweater tee.  For those of you who have no idea the wonderful significance of this sweater tee, I collect rocking horses.  I have around 450 in all shapes and sizes.

BTW, that is Bleubeard (neck and back of his head) in the photo hiding under the sweater.  That's about as close to the camera as he comes these days.

After I changed into the sweater tee (after all, how could I resist?), I noticed Kathy's new fob she had made.  Isn't it lovely?

Besides the butterfly girl, I gave her some templates with instructions for card making.  Some are for envelopes, others for intricate shaped cards.  Since I don't make cards, and she does, I thought this would be an appropriate gift I would never use.  I also gave her a new gallon of silk flower cleaner.  I'll never use it, because I don't have lots of silk floral arrangements in my home anymore.  It had never been opened, so I was delighted to pass it on to her.  She loves making floral arrangements for her home, and I thought it was something she would appreciate.

After we caught up on talk and our latest art projects, I showed her my reorganized laundry room and pantry.  I'm still proud because they took nearly three days to finish.

Then it was off shopping.  I hadn't even thought about taking photos until Kathy started talking about the beautiful autumn foliage.


I managed to get the heat vent from her car in this photo.








We were definitely not in my neighborhood anymore, and had passed through about four different neighborhoods to get to JoAnn's (a fabric and craft big box store in the US).

The first thing I took a photo of, I wanted to disguise.  However, I kept getting enough of the image you would be able to make it out.  I went through at least twenty filters in PhotoShop, including three blurs, two brush strokes, five distorts, three pixilate, two artistic, and finally every texturize filter.  The last texturize filter finally did the trick, and you will never guess what this is.  However, I will reveal it next week.

Here Kathy is looking at the texture plates and trying to decide which ones she wants.  I ended up buying FIVE of them for her as part of her Christmas gift.  She got a tree, a snowman, swirls, bubbles, and two that were repeating patterns.  I have an ulterior motive though, since I want to use them the next time I visit and use her Big Shot.

Although she was looking for the poinsettia Nestables, she settled on a different oval set she didn't have.  It was also part of her Christmas gift.

Next it was off to the Mall to buy Kathy's eyebrow powder.  On the way, we did a bit of window shopping and Kathy saw this dress.  She wondered who would ever wear it.  What do all you fashionistas think?

Most of the clothes looked similar to ones my internet friend Darla sees on her daily walks.

We stopped at another store to look at the display in the window because Kathy asked if this dress was to be worn or just placed on your mannequin.  To be honest, I was more interested in the Thanksgiving decorations that seemed to be everywhere.  A bit surprising, since I thought most stores would be showing Christmas wares, but it seems, at least in the mall, all thoughts were on "our" holiday this next Thursday.

On our way out of the mall, after buying Kathy's eyebrow pencil and a bra for me (sorry, no photos), I saw this animal that looked like something my neighbor would make from leftover metal parts.

Inside the store, which seemed to include farm and nature inspired art, we saw what looked like a bbq grill.  I'm not sure if it was functional or not, but it gave both of us a good laugh, albeit not a very good photo through the glass.

Next, it was off to Hobby Lobby (another big box craft and art supply store in the US), where I bought the two things I had on my list of "wants."

Next, it was off to eat, but that experience will come another day, like TUESDAY.   Kathy got a little close to the building and was inching her way past her car when I took this photo of her.

Our final trip was to Michael's (big box craft store in US) which was in the same shopping center as the place we ate.  By the time we got back to my house it was well after 7:00 p.m. and she still had well over an hour's drive home in the dark.  So, we said our good-byes in my driveway and I headed in the house, while she still had that long drive ahead of her.

Once inside, since I failed to take photos in any place except JoAnn's, I'll show what I bought.  These were all from Michael's and between the two of us, Kathy and I had 50% off coupons for all these things I bought.  On my "desperately need" list was E6000, my go-to adhesive for heavy embellishments.  Much less trouble for me to use this than a glue gun, which Kathy prefers.  And I simply couldn't turn down Golden Fluid Acrylics at half price.

It seems I'm sharing these in reverse order to our shopping trip, but it just worked out that way.   On my "really want" list were the Ultimate, a liquid water based glue that works wonders.  Kathy had given me a small amount left in her bottle a few years ago, and I had used it very sparingly.  Now I have my own, and between it and the E6000, a silicone glue, there isn't anything I can't glue/adhere.

Also on my "really want" list was water soluble stabilizer.  The object is to back with the stabilizer, then sew the fabric or other material.  When completely sewn, the fabric is washed and the stabilizer and glue comes out, leaving only the stitches showing.  It will be easier to show than explain, once I start working with it.  I've wanted this stuff for ages, but have never seen it at JoAnn's.  I had a 40% off coupon for both the glue and the stabilizer, thanks to Kathy printing the coupons and bringing them with her.

Although I don't do much stamping, I love that faux Snellen eye chart.  It and the embroidery thread (not sure why I bought this, but I was in an autumn color mood) were both on clearance, and were impulse buys.

I spent the most money at JoAnn's although it doesn't look it.  I bought Kathy five embossing folders, some beads and bling, and a set of Nestables.  Although on sale, they were still not cheap.  It's why I don't have any, I guess.

For me, I bought two pieces of cotton fabric, both 50% off (no coupon needed), and three spools of thread, all also on sale because they were 40% off.  The rubber stamp was on clearance and the only thing I couldn't claim on the total bill, because I had a coupon for an additional 20% off my entire purchase of regular and sale items, but not clearance items.  I was proud of my purchase and I got all these items, and Kathy's dies and embossing folders for far less than if I hadn't had a really good coupon.  In fact, I saved more than I spent, even though I spent a LOT on the items I bought for Kathy.

Some of you will remember I have said more than once that I have an art allowance of $5.00 (USD) a month, or $60.00 a year.  Since I didn't have to count Kathy's gifts as part of my art allowance, and since I've spent less than $10.00 (USD) so far this year, I am still under my yearly total.  My grand total was (including tax, but not Kathy's gifts or my new bra) $26.88 (USD).  I don't often shop for art supplies, and this is the biggest (purchased) haul I've made all year.   I'm just so thankful for everything I got, because nothing except the fabric is something someone might give me when I raid their recycle bins or dumpsters.

Today was Day 22 of AEDM, and I did some drive-by shooting where I photographed various parts of my city.   I also shared some of the fun things my friend and I did.  It wasn't a mixed media day, but it was a really fun day, and just what I needed to prepare myself for the rest of the weekend.

Thanks as always for dropping by.  It's been fun having you along on this day out and about with my friend Kathy.  I'm always glad when you join me on my adventures, even ones that don't include mixed media or altered books.

15 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

What a great post, like 'Elizabeth in Wonderland', thanks for taking us along on the trip and showing all the photos. Glad you had a fun day out with your friend, and I love the idea of swapping goodies - your pink rocking horse tee is fabulous. Great photos of your drive, and if I can't sleep tonight it will be because I am wondering what that changed photo is! Neighbours seem to be the same all over, mine complains because the flower boxes on my balcony aren't tidy enough, I prefer wild displays - there's always something- Enjoy your new goodies and have a fun day, hugs, Valerie

Helen said...

What a great trip you had with Kathy, and did some Christmas shopping too, lol! the rocking horse sweater is perfect for you. Have fun using your new goodies.

froebelsternchen Susi said...

That sweater looks gorgeous and I enjoyed all that great photos..and yes I am a bit jealous - So many great craft stores .. and so many goodies!
Looks like you and Kathy had a wonderufl day out!
Don't mind the neighbours - the most of the people are crazy...
we have one little trashbox.. and they come just once a month to empty it. And one big box for paper - the emptying is just every second month - and we have to collect empty plastic bottles extra .. but the collection for them is every third month.
Organic trash we collect in our compost pile.

So many trash each week... that can't be normal....no wonder that we kill our earth -

Happy Sunday Elizabeth!
oxo
Susi

Meggymay said...

I loved reading your post today. Thank you for sharing your trip, it must gave been a wonderful day out. Love the sweater you were gifted from your friend.
We wouldn't have all that rubbish taken away. we are only allowed the official sized bin and they would leave the bags for us to take ourselves to the recycling yard.
Yvonne xx

Sami said...

A lovely day out with your friend. Lovely picture on the sweater your friend gave you.
Pity your neighbour doesn't give you the leaves for your compost bin, what a waste that she throws them out!!

Divers and Sundry said...

I've had neighbors like that in the past. They have no idea what harm they're doing to the physical environment by their actions and to the emotional environment by their judgmentalism. Maybe Karma will get her ;) I love your Fall colors :) The trees changing is the best part about Autumn for me.

Christmas is in full view in our stores with Thanksgiving decorations hard to find. I enjoyed going shopping with you. We have those same stores here :)

Karla B said...

Love the photos and Kate has beautiful kind eyes.Guess neighbours are problematic everywhere.Elizabeth, you love in paradise, my friend!

Viktoria Berg said...

I so enjoyed this post, it was almost like being out with you and Kathy! Interesting to hear about your allowance, I love the idea of recycling and making beautiful things from what has been discarded. Personally, I tend to spend far too much on pens and paints and whatnot...

Melinda said...

I always mowed up and mulched any leaves in my yard too..in fact...any time I trimmed my bushes out front I used to lay the branches in the yard and also mow those up ....it was like running an eraser over the branches as I mowed along they disintegrated into great mulch for my grass. I imagine the neighbors thought I was crazy....but oh well. My yard is more "natural" than others on my street too...I do not mow as often..do not put any chemicals on my grass....and never rake any leaves to the curb. I have an abundance of wildlife I can view through my kitchen back window because of it I think....including birds of all kinds, a possum, raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, an albino skunk and I even had a parrot show up this year. I never understood why people raked their leaves and bagged them up for trash. Here if the neighbors rake them at least they go to the curb and the city picks them up in a big vacuum truck to use as mulch and fertilizer within the city.

Rita said...

Some people have manicured lawns. One girlfriend of mine her husband swept the driveway and sidewalks and the street in front of their house and they had a trailer in the woods and he swept the roof of the trailer. Takes all kinds.

What a great shopping day! You really got some good deals--for you and for the birthday presents for Kathy, too. That's great that she lets you borrow her BigShot, etc. It's fun to share and craft together. Leah and I always have a great time.

Have a wonderful day. :)

Darla said...

Great fun filled post. I enjoyed everything but was especially moved by the obviously wonderful friendship you have with Kathy. Everyone needs a good friend who shares their interest. That rocking horse Tee is perfect!

Carol said...

Love the post today...ummm yesterday :) An Eye Candy delight. It often amazes me at the amount of "trash" that is collected each week. Even with recycle bag we never have that much. We have missed trash pick up for the past two weeks and my trash can isn't full yet and we only have 3 recycle bags to put out today. We could go another week if it wasn't for the recycle bags. But then even with those it still wouldn't be as much as most of our neighbors put out every week. Looks like you all had a fantastic shopping trip which can only happen with really good friends . Have a great Turkey week :)

NatureFootstep said...

I love the Christmas horse. It is beautiful.
I´m kind of tired of Christmas and will not celebrate it. Other then some of my Christmas food :)

My name is Erika. said...

Wonderful photos today. I love seeing where other people live and what it is like in those places. You have so many leaves left on your trees and it looks so much warmer than it is here in New Hampshire. But how nice to have a longer fall...thanks for stopping by my blog!

pearshapedcrafting said...

Oh my! This is a real treat of a post! First -your neighbour clearly isn't a gardener or she would recognise the importance of using her clippings etc.We have a good system - especially at the caravan - any greenery that doesn't go onto our garden is sent for shredding to go onto the communal garden areas -here at the flat there is a 'green 'bin that the council take to shred! Second - the rocking horse tee looks great, and I am not surprised about Kathy's choice! Third -the trees look great on your drive to the shops! Fourth - the shop windows look great - not sure about the outfits though! Fifth - loved reading about and seeing the results of your craft shopping! I love that you saved so much money and I think your idea of a craft budget is a good one! I really enjoyed reading about your outing and quite envy your visiting 3 craft stores in one day! Hugs, Chrisx