10 February 2012

Rising and Sinking: Paintings and Budgets

image via World Market

Happy Friday! I don't have any idea where this week went, but I stayed busy as usual. A sweet friend of mine said Wednesday, "I can't imagine you ever not being busy." She said it wasn't because I take on to much but that there would always be so many things that interest me all around me that I would always have something I wanted to be doing. It's a little spooky how people can peg you even if they don't spend a lot of time with you.

As the seasons begin to transition I always like to pop around to some of my favorite shops to see what they are up to. Yesterday I visited Cost Plus World Market's online store and ran into these two very interesting paintings by Maxine Price. At her website you can learn all about her very interesting technique and focus. I love the colors, the knife strokes and earthy simplicity. The above is titled Just Because II. For some reason when I first looked at it, I had a connection to it that made me feel strong, as if I was propping the world up on my shoulders and everything was opening up.

image via World Market

This is Just Because I. When I look at it I have the sensation of sinking into something very deep and interesting. It's intriguing that the most vibrant color is at the top of one and the bottom of the other, farthest from the white "entryway." A destination to work for -- mystery.

Wall art is so much fun and has such a way of personalizing and spicing things up. There are so many great resources for affordable art now that is really is something for everyone. And I think it's okay to rotate things and put things in a closet or behind a dresser for a while.

I have a few pieces hidden away under beds and behind dressers. I am not getting rid of them because they are investment pieces to me, but it's fun to rotate things around so that you can enjoy them more and see them with fresh eyes. A few simple shifts around the house can really make a big difference. Are you feeling the Spring itch to shift? What one thing would you most like to change?

One last note for today on dollar stores. I went through a dollar store web site yesterday and I was astounded at how many things from there I could potentially source for our wedding. Dollar stores have their cheesy, low quality reputation, which in some cases is well earned. But I am continually surprised and what I can find there and how I can make it work, rather than spending much, much more money. For instance I am thinking of spray painting some shells bright metallic silver. In that case, I need inexpensive shells that don't need to be physically beautiful. They just need to be shell shaped. Score -- a basket of shells for $1.

I also think I found some just the right sized tote bags that are good quality and might work for guest bags for $1. I am going to go check them out, but I was impressed at what I saw online. I'm going to look at some vases, floral supplies and other things as well. It's a blessing to the budget if any of these things work. 

I am really playing the numbers game, enjoying subtracting dollar amounts from my budget instead of adding them at any possible turn. And I'm having quite good luck. When I initially created our budget I based everything on basic retail costs. I did not take into account catering discounts and photographer discounts which are offered to us by the vendors we like through The Man's work. Those are significant and very helpful. 

Now that I am realistically looking at purchases it feels like a lot of things are quite a bit less than I originally budgeted. I know there is still a lot to add in and that budget could easily get eaten up by other things, but any savings is savings in my book.

I guess when I say I've had good luck, what I really mean is that I've spent a lot of late nights sourcing things for many hours and rethinking how I can cut costs. It's amazing how much you can save when you go from buying large quantities of things that cost $1 versus $3 or $5. So, having said all that, what I wanted to say was ---  give your dollar store a chance when you need anything for catering, taking food to parties, decorations, floral supplies or any of those things. You might be surprised. 

Hope you have a fantastic weekend. Weather is promising to be not too grand here, which is a bummer. But it's been so hot here the past few days that maybe rainy will be a nice change of pace. Hope your weekend is grand, wherever you might be and that you spend it with your favorite people.

Thanks so much for coming by this week and sharing your comments. I really do appreciate your comments and enjoy getting to know you from all around the world. So if you've lurked, say hello. Let's get to know each other. I would love that.

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