Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Where there's a Deal, There's a Way!!

I must tell you what I just discovered recently. It goes back 30 + years to an attitude that I had, "how complicated could it be to make cardboard."  Okay, I just didn't get the folks on MSU's campus spending that kind of money and time to major in packaging!! Well, I owe everyone of them a big, I'm so sorry. I came to this apology after spending way too much time trying to create a packaging solution for myself.  It all started like this...

While out of town, I came across a cute little thrift store that I couldn't pass up.  Oh, come on, like you've never done that.  Anyway, I found two really great picture frames that I could already see wearing an encore creation.
The largest one is approx. 34 x 26
Ok, not bad you say, I've seen those before, you say. Well, so have I but not for $3 each.
I have seen frames like these for as much as $20-$30 each.  The sad part of this is that I knew that there was no way I could put them in my carry on luggage or even my checked bag.  So, I turned, dropped my head and headed out of the store.  But I couldn't stop thinking about them.
 Besides there are so many ideas for empty picture frames...

all via
The next day my travels took me past the same store. I decided to go for it, if I couldn't find a reasonable way to get them home I would donate them to a local Goodwill store. For $6.24 they were mine.
The next day as I travelled here and there I kept my eyes  open for a UPS store.  I spotted one and went in searching for a box.  They had one that was too big but could be cut down for the small price of $11.50!! No way. Next, I tried Best Buy hoping to find a large empty box that I could fold and tape to serve my purpose.  No luck. I did find two big boxes that I hauled into my hotel room along with packing tape and news papers from the front desk. Hence, the new found respect for packaging majors,  I spent way too much time trying to make those boxes work.  Finally I called the UHaul store that I could see outside my hotel room. Yes, they had just what I needed a mirror box for $4.25!!
So back in my hotel room I set to work cushioning and cutting Styrofoam cups ( who can think about a cup of coffee  at a  time like this) as support pieces inside the box as it was about 4 inches too big.  More respect for packaging engineers.  It also helps if you are on a solid surface like a table and not a queen sized bed! Oh, and scissors instead of a box cutter would have come in handy too.

       Laying on the floor between the beds while I crafted support and braces for inside the box.

 Next the cheap in me started to wonder about shipping costs. So off to the hotel lobby and their computer to check on prices.  While I did have the size of the box, I had to guess at the weight. I chose 12 lbs. It's amazing the prices that I got. They ranged from $171 to $17.75. Guess which cost I settled on? That put my total cost at about $30.00  Maybe not a super savings but it was the thrill of making it happen. And it gave me something to do besides sit in my hotel room and channel surf while eating junk from the vending machine!!  Keep a watch out for their encore creation.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Many Faces of Creativity

As I traveled back to Georgia from Michigan this Christmas Holiday, I stopped at a dear friend's home in Nashville , Tn.. I have known Donna for more than 30 years and miss not having her living just a few blocks from me. She left Detroit over a decade ago, but at least now I'm only 4 hours away. Every time I visit her and her wonderful husband Richard, I must visit their amazing garden, Third Day (Genesis 1:11-13)  As it was winter, it wasn't at it's peak so I had to imagine the wonder and beauty that it displayed this past summer.


It helped that this past June, the American Hosta Society held it's annual convention in Nashville and their garden was part of the convention's garden tour. This led to pictures on the society's  member only site that Donna was good enough to show me. Over the past years, I have watched this garden grow and morph into something I could not have imagined.  The combination of hostas and other plants and the amazing stonework creations that Richard has personally ( ok, Donna helped too) created is stunning.  Here are a few pictures that Richard took of their garden , this June.

              There is also the coolest mix of sculpture and unexpected elements to be found in this garden.

                 This cherub appears to watch over the plants lovingly planted in this garden.

                      A red sole pump on the deck railing holds succulents!!

You can stroll through the garden on lovely hand laid stones walkways.

                     There are glorious bursts of color among the many shades of green found here.

I just had to share some pictures of this garden. While Donna is now a certified Master gardener and even judges at Hosta Society events, this garden began life in the hands of two very creative people with a love of nature. Sit back, no sit up and take notice of what creativity and passion can create.

This pond, is a  dry stack stone water feature (dry stack means no adhesive was used), another of  Richard's creations. The pond is home to very large, very colorful Koi.

This lovely yard unexpectedly slopes down to a creek that borders the back of the property.  You can wander down to the creek on a lovely hand laid ( yep, Richard again) stone walkway. If you'd like, you can stop half way down and have a cup of tea on a small stone patio.  Or skip the climb down to the creek and relax on this patio...

 The varied shades of green really jump out at you. Do you see what I see on a stone wall, looking at me?

                                                               More amazing colors!

While most of my posts are about projects that I have completed I wanted to do something a little different. I wanted to show the many facets to creativity. It doesn't always involve paint, screws, beads and glitter, it's more a case of whatever the mind creates and then brings into being.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year

            Got something you have always wanted to do? Well, it's a new year, get to gettin...

                             2013 is as good a time as any!!