Friday, October 29, 2010

EXPLORATION #12 Fifty Things

Write down (or document) fifty things about one of the following: A trip to the library, a trip to the grocery store, a walk in your neighborhood.

I would love to talk about a trip to the library, but our local library doesn't really provide much inspiration.

I chose to document one of my many trips to my local grocery store. I love to cook and my schedule is constantly changing. Due to these two factors I make at least three trips a week to the store and try to venture out once a week to the Whole Foods Market. I LOVE Whole Foods :) My regular trips are made to Publix. Publix, where shopping is a pleasure! Our Publix truly is a pleasure. The employees are very friendly and helpful. I know most of them by name. The store is always neat and clean. I usually don't have any problems finding the items I need and the produce section is spectacular.

I did have a major panic attack a few months back when they remodeled. I still find myself looking in the wrong place for things. I do not approve of the changes. I find the layout does not make as much sense the new way. I am sure they paid someone thousands of dollars for the redesign, so I am adapting and my friendly worker bees always point me in the right direction. They will even go to another store in the area while I am shopping if they are out of an item. That is what I call going above and beyond. They get my vote for excellent customer service.

Fifty things... whew that sure seems like a lot of observing. Here goes. I went out today on a Sunday morning. Sunday mornings are a great day to shop most anywhere. #1)The parking lot was unusually empty.#2) A bright neon green Kia Soul was parked in one of the handicap spots.

#3) A nice display of Christmas poinsettias greet me at the front of the store.

#4)As I entered the store I was greeted a cheery hello by Eva. Eva works mostly the day shift so I normally only see her on the weekends. #5) Eva had on an extra sweater. #6) The sweater is light blue with flowers in the background. It has been a little cooler in the mornings than most are use to. I find it refreshing!

I was a bit nervous and anxious about this exploration. I wondered how I would explain if I was confronted during my photo shoots. Unlike the others participating in explorations, I don't usually snap random photos in stores:) I had decided I would say I was participating in some type of photo project. I hoped that would satisfy anyone who would ask. I didn't want to be seen as a spy or secret shopper type. As I normally do , I headed straight for the bakery. I wanted to say hello and see if Marge would allow me to snap a quick photo of her in action. She does a great job making the yummy sweet goodness of M & M cookies. #7)Sadly, Marge was not here today. 8#)An older woman ,whose face showed she would rather be somewhere else, was behind the counter. She was polite and friendly and carefully placed my purchase in one of the wax lined bakery bags. #9) They were out of the whole wheat multi grain bread my daughter and I enjoy. I decided I would settle on the marble rye. The rye does have its limits. I can say it isn't the best choice for a blackberry and peanut butter sandwich.

I continued on past and stopped at the deli. #10)Eddie was working. Eddie is always full of energy. He moves with precision as he slices and weighs my roast beef. He quietly ask me if I need anything else. I say no and he gives a nod and a smile and is suddenly gone from view.

#11) A mother strolls by with a young child in her cart. #12) It is obvious they stopped by the bakery as the young girl is holding one of the small cookies they provide for children. #13) It is a chocolate chip cookie. #14) The mother looks somewhat distracted, almost sad. I wonder what she is thinking about as she pulls a number from the deli ticket machine.

I head over to produce. I usually spend a great deal of time in this department. I LOVE veggies and fruit. #15) I am disappointed the bananas are still somewhat under ripe for my taste. I purchased two anyway. I know in a few days they will be just the way I like them. I scan the area looking for Edward.#16) I cannot find him anywhere. Edward always seems happy to see me. We always chat about life in general. He says he is amazed that anytime he sees me I have a smile on my face. #17) A young man, dressed in blue jeans and a dark green polo, scans the apples. He seems overwhelmed by the choices.#18) He picks up a Granny Smith and a Gala apple and places them in his cart. #19)I take time to straighten the one misplaced yellow pepper. It decided it would mingle with the red peppers. You can see the sneaky little guy out of place in my produce shot.

Now I am off on my journey down the general merchandise isles. #20) Several members of the stock crew are loading the empty spaces with canned vegetables. #21) I screech to a halt when a young man topples over the small box of canned potatoes he is stocking.

I scan the pasta for whole wheat or whole grain .#22)Barilla has some nice varieties. I will have to decide what toppings it will have. I think a nice light alfresco will do nicely. I will have to circle back around for some fresh grape tomatoes.

#23) The remaining breast cancer items have been marked down to 75%off.

#24)I wander over to the cereal isle and find General Foods has their brand buy one get one free. I am very frugal so I usually wait until the items I want are on sale. I decide on Cheerios both multi grain and original.

#25) Further down the isle I am met head on by an elderly man. He smiles and says good morning. He looks very comfortable. #26) He is wearing khaki colored pants, a multi plaid colored shirt and a frumpy looking light gray sweater.

#27) My list is short today. I stroll down to the dairy area. I am distracted by the Entenmann's display. I should have ate breakfast before shopping. (I do have an M&M cookie sealed away in my bakery bag...) I'm off to seafood.

#28) While I am waiting at the counter a man delivering Budweiser products goes by me. Surprisingly he seems like he is happy to be here. Working on a Sunday... delivering beer... a smile on his face...? No, I'm not thinking he has been consuming his product. I am just pleasantly surprised. My last hope for a photo of one of my "favorite" employees has been crushed. Rebecca is not working today. Rebecca is AWESOME! She really makes a great Cajun steamed tilapia. Yummy! #29) I guess it is a sign. The tilapia isn't on sale anyway. I shall check the ad on Thursday.

A few more items and I will be done, however, I am barely halfway through my assignment. I am going to give myself some extra credit! #30)As I round the corner to the frozen food I am greeted by an unusual find.

What an odd thing to be placed for sale near the ice cream. Perhaps, he has landed here by mistake.
A kind of cute little guy in a weird way. #30) His eyes are two different colors. (Bet you had to look again didn't you?)

My shopping list is complete but not so of my observations.

I could have sworn there was a whole M&M cookie put in my bag :)

EXPLORATION #11 Differences

Collect multiples of one thing (such as leaves, stones, shells,seeds,etc.) Lay them out in front of you . Observe them in detail using the "object log" list the differences you see. Try to document at least twenty five things.

I have always had a thing for buttons. My grandmother had a round gold metal box with raised black swirls on the lid. The tin contained her special stash of buttons that had been lost or removed from old clothing. She believed in recycling to save money. Nothing was wasted. Whenever she would bring out the gold box I would sit for hours and rummage through the box asking her tons of questions. I wondered where the buttons came from, how old they were, what king of garment they were used on etc. I must have drove her mad with questions. If I did she never let on. She would satisfy my curiosity and sometimes I think she "elaborated" on things to peak my interest even more. It has been a long time since I have played with buttons. My daughter has taken up sewing and to my surprise she too has a love and fascination for buttons. When we are out together we keep our eyes peeled for different buttons and randomly buy bargain bins of buttons just to see what treasures lie within.

My collection reflects a very tiny sample of the buttons we have collected. I had a very hard time picking the buttons I would use in my comparison.

I think you will agree most of the differences are quite obvious. They are different in size and color. They are made of many different types of materials which include glass, plastic, & metal. Many of the buttons have a different texture. Some are smooth, bumpy, soft, silky, and even prickly. They also come in many different shapes. Most people probably have the word round pop in their head when they think of button shapes, but as you can see... we have all kinds of shapes. We have footballs, ladybugs, palm trees, words, curly Q's, flowers, round, square and dog bone just to name a few.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Choose an everyday object. This can be something you find on the street or something you have. Look at the top half of the object for fifteen minutes. Record everything you see there in detail. Then do the same for the bottom half. The longer you look the more you will see.

I decided to use one of the fall pieces I have decorated my office with. This is definitely a good use of company time:)

THE TOP VIEW: A friendly smiling scarecrow, with shiny black buttons for eyes, sits comfortably on top of a straw bale. His smiling face is made of white muslin and he has a hint of light pink blush that creates his cheeks. The upturned smile is made up of small dashes and the nose is a triangle with the point cut off the top. Casually dressed in denim jeans with a soft blue plaid flannel shirt. The denim jeans are sewn around the edges with a yellow heavy duty thread. The shirt has a denim accent that runs vertical up the middle and accented with two beige buttons sewn with dark brown thread. The shirt is further accessorized with a burgundy corduroy vest and a hunter green tie. The happy little guy has several strands of straw coming from both the top and bottom of a burnt sienna felt hat. He sits with a leg up displaying a brick red patterned patch on his knee while comfortably resting his arm on a pumpkin. The pumpkin is well shaped with glistening flecks of pearl glitter. There are small pieces of twine tied securely around both arms and legs. A small bouquet of yellow, gold, orange and amber flowers further compliment the display and show that fall has arrived.

THE BOTTOM VIEW: To my surprise I saw more on the bottom than I had expected. You could see the black felt feet of our smiley little guy. The hay that made up the bale of course. You could see two pieces of metal wire that ran horizontally holding the bale together. The wire had started to rust in some places. There was a label with the UPC code and information that told us the product came from MI but was made in Mexico. It is 6 x 6 x12 in size and made by a company called Flora Craft. The straw is natural and sun baked. Perfect for any season both indoors and out. I liked the burgundy ribbon with the sunflowers that are showing on the sample decoration.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Collect objects that you do not understand or have meaning for. Alternate: Miniature Museum. Collect only very small things and store them in a mint tin or small box.

Okay,so this isn't exactly a miniature collection, however, it is a small collection of small things made from even smaller things:). These are little bead creatures and people my daughter and I have been making. They are fun to make and a good use of the thousands of beads I thought I just had to have.


Map out cracks in your neighborhood.

I had some general good ideas for this exploration when I started it. I had intended on photographing cracks between my home and work. I was then going to piece them together in one continuous map. I have since decided against that. This exploration left me feeling discouraged. I photographed several cracks and have decided my exploration showed me that some of our community tax dollars should be spent on road repairs. No comments necessary. Not much exciting going on here I'm off to complete the next exploration.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Exploration # 7 World of Color

Collect paint chips from a paint or hardware store. Find colors you respond to in the world. Attempt to match them.

I was quite surprised when I came home from my trip to gather paint chips. I would normally gravitate to bright extreme colors but as I looked at the chips spread out on my counter I noticed this was not the case. I think my choice of chips made things a little more difficult than I had imagined. I found matches the best I could but my attempts to display them were the biggest challenge. 1) One of my JUMBO coffee mugs.

color: Mayan Treasure

2) Scales
color: Malted Mint

3) Petals of one of our Sunflowers color:Gold Abundance
4) A gas can color: Fabulous Red

5) The stems of two Marigolds color: French Olive

6) Petals on a flower

color: Orange Crush

7) The "flesh" part of my kitty's tummy.

His fur was just too hard match:) color:Fairytale pink

8) Blue cup holding my colored pencils color: Skydive Blue

9) Painting on the wall color: Textured stone-Maize & Brillant Red

10) Bits of color squares on a photo album color: Hot Passion Pink

11) Stripes in material of a shirt

color: Hibiscus Pink

12) The background color of the book that started this project:) color: Early Spring

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Exploration # 6 Archaeological Dig

Collect objects that relate to your childhood or inspire memories. Alternate: Re-create objects from your childhood using found objects or readily available materials.

I decided I would show a few items from my childhood and recreate some items from my past.

This photograph brings back memories of my first "major boo boo". This photo was taken right before I sliced my arm open on a piece of trim sticking out on the side of the car. My friend and I were chasing each other around the car and before I knew it...slice. Nine stitches later I have a scar and a memory to last forever. I went out the next day like nothing ever happened :) I loved to play restaurant and cook. I always made my own food items and menus. I didn't have the store bought plastic items children have today. I used my great grandmothers apron as my waitress uniform. I tore up flowers, grass, pine cones, etc. to use as my food. I also used empty food packages from our house. If I was feeling really adventurous I would spend hours cutting out paper food items to resemble McDonalds food.

MATERIALS: Paper, Crayons, Scissors.

This cute little guy is where I use to save all of my money to buy presents for people. I am surprised he is still in one piece. I had to do some serious shaking to get the money back out of him. You can probably tell from the size of the pig my presents weren't very extravagant. It is the thought that counts right?

Last but definitely not least I recreated some items much like I did on a regular basis when I was young. Of course, they were life size so I could actually wear them. In addition to my hand made accessories I would wear my red, white and blue bathing suit. I wish I had that photo:)
MATERIALS: found cardboard, found aluminum foil, found gold elastic from earlier collection, red paint ( I always have paints around).

For those of you not from this era or who don't quite recognize these items they are Wonder Woman's accessories. She always had her golden magic lasso, bullet reflecting bracelets and tiara. If you were a fan of the show then I am sure you too will remember this song. "Wonder Woman... All the world's waiting for you, and the power you possess. In your satin tights, Fighting for your rights And the old Red, White and Blue...I have to say this was my favorite exploration so far!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Exploration # 5 The First Thing You See.

A collection based on the first found object you see on your walk. You decide the connection between the items.
Ho hum... another collection thing. I'm not really feeling the collection activity again so soon but I guess I shall make the most of it.
The first item I found was a short rusty nail and a few short steps from there a long roofing nail. What to do with this collection. My mind started racing in many different directions with a lot of ideas. My week had taken an unwelcome turn so I decided to play up on it. See if you can piece the connection together.

And the winner is...

things that cause pain or discomfort.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Exploration #4 Daily Walk

Whew, I'm exhausted! That was one long walk. It was hard to collect thirty things. I drive to and from work so it made my collecting a bit of a challenge. I chose to collect things from my travels during work and play. I tried very hard not to pick up things that were trash, however, other than things placed by mother nature I suppose it is all trash. I guess it could also be considered treasure depending on your perspective. Here is my list as well as my photos of my collection.

1) Plastic disc thing. 2) Pop top. 3) Kmart Rewards Card. 4) Jingle Bell :)

5) 25cent sticker. 6) Used white candle. 7) Broken plastic fork. 8) Pink key identifier.

9) Orange balloon. 10) Silver hook. 11) Green glass stone. 12) Paper clip. 13) Gold elastic.

14) Orange curling ribbon. 15) Church literature. 16) Army pin. 17 ) Used Glade refill

18) Gold screw with plastic clip. 19) Wiggly eye. 20) Silver nut.

21) Arby's receipt for a jamocha shake. 22) egg roll bag. 23) Label from adhesive back.

24) Wood chip. 25) Pebble/stone 26) Green leaf 27) Dried flower of some kind.

28) Piece of a mushroom. 29) Red berries 30) White nut pod?

BONUS ITEM... Just because it caught my fancy. It was too big to put in my collection bag.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Exploration #3 - Light

I chose to do the alternate exercise: Pay attention to light patterns, reflections, and projections. Consider that they are everywhere and document them. I thought this exercise was going to be a real challenge and I was a bit hesitant to get started. It was somewhat challenging but before I knew it I was in with both feet and finding myself looking at things differently.

Reflection of my little bath time buddie:)
Reflections: Window blinds reflecting into many small circles. I'm not sure how the light made the blinds appear that orange yellow color. They are ivory color blinds.

Lights from the ceiling fan creating shadows on the ceiling.

A photo taken through a glass table top. It shows the light from above .

Candles illuminating shadows on the wall.

Mottled light reflecting from surrounding sources.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Exploration #2

"Things you notice on your travels or experiences you have." I decided to make my focus on the five senses. The following represents those senses:

SIGHT- 6/28/10 10:58 a.m. - Parking lot

While waiting for the line at the bank to go down, I pulled over to a shady spot in the parking lot and decided to enjoy a few peaceful moments while I sipped at my coffee. I pulled in under a canopy of green that cooled my car the moment I pulled in. As I sat there, I noticed the many shades of greenery out my window. I was also impressed with all the different shapes and designs. I made a sketch of what I saw. ( I now keep a pen, pencils, paper and my camera close at hand) :) I'm not the best artist but when I look at my sketch I am immediately whisked away to those few peaceful moments under my canopy of green.
SOUND - 6/27/10 11:45 a.m. Swimming Pool
I was working cleaning out the pool and kept hearing what sounded almost like little children playing and fighting. I kept cleaning the pool but I finally had to stop and see what was causing the noise. I looked all around and noticed a bunch of squirrels running back and forth between two trees in the front yard. At first glance, I thought they were fighting over territory or something. There seemed to be about eight of them. I continued to watch and to my amazement it was a whole "family" of squirrels. Big ones, medium size ones and tiny ones. I was pleasantly surprised :) I stopped cleaning the pool and decided to float around and observe them for awhile. I really enjoyed watching them chase each other as they scurried from branch to branch. They sounded like they were really enjoying themselves.
TASTE- 6/28/10 6:45 p.m. Kitchen
Yum! I stopped on my way home from work and decided to treat myself to a special dinner of Tiramisu. I savored each bite of the moist lady fingers drenched in a dark robust flavored coffee. Between the layers were extra little burst of expresso cream liquer and the coffee flavored icing was just right. It was light and not to overpowering. A great compliment to the little piece of heaven. I was sure to devour each bite which included licking every morsel from the fork.
TOUCH - 6/30/10 7:30 a.m. Bathroom
Our cat is a bit of an odd cookie. He aways burst into the bathroom anytime someone closes the door. He is very curious and always on a quest to check out what is going on. If you happen to be doing any business on the toilet he insists he must join you on your lap. As he settles in and gets comfortable I find that I too enjoy the time he is nestled in. His coat has the feel of a rich cashmere sweater. He always has a slight hint of baby powder smell to his fur. (not sure how). In addition to enjoying the feel of his soft coat between my fingers, I find myself lulled by the soft purr and watching his tummy fall and rise as he drifts off to sleep.
SMELL - 7/1/10 2:45 p.m. Bathroom
Some odors have a very distinct smell. Fingernail polish is one of them. As I was getting ready to return to work from my lunch break, my daughter popped in to "freshen" her nail poilish. In a matter of seconds the whole bathroom was full of the bitter aroma. If you weren't careful you could almost taste it. As I drove back to my office I would still get small whiffs of the smell. I'm not sure if the small particles of scent landed on me or were stuck inside my nose temporarily.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

In the Beginning

Everything is interesting...I guess we will wait and see if that statement holds true. I will be documenting the world around me. The book titled How To Be An Explorer Of The World will be my starting point. Come with me if you dare and document the world from your point of view.

Exploration #1 Right where you are sitting.
1) A bright white kitty whisker is on the floor.
2) There are several brown patches in an otherwise healthy and luscious green lawn.
3) The pendulum on the clock is in sync with my heartbeat.
4) The street light pole is completely engulfed with some type of vine.
5) Kitty paw prints run across the entire length of the freshly vacuumed couch :)
6) One outlet is a different color than the rest. (I must fix that when I'm done)
7) There is a scratch on the cherry wood coffee table.
8) The neighbors still have Christmas lights on their palm tree.
9) When the lightning flashes it gives the room a creepy old movie feel.
10) There are twenty one candles in this one room!