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.