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Writer's Block: Greenery

Today in 1971, Greenpeace was founded. How are you helping to keep your section of Earth green these days?


What a cool topic! Lots of ways. Our entire household has a disproportionally small footprint for an American household. There's only one car. It's a compact. We don't use it much, it's Kitten's car and she drives for errands and combines them and goes maybe once a week, tops. When he worked, Karl bicycled to work. We've been composting since I moved in. Kitten's gardening and growing our food -- albeit the loss of the tiller meant the loss of this year's crops, we did get herbs and lots of apples and mulberries. We make and do things for ourselves all the time.

Kitten went out and got the Daylight corrected low-wattage high performance new fluorescent bulbs for all the fixtures. They last longer and use a tenth of the electricity as normal bulbs. They're all cool and spiraly looking and give cleaner light for painting by too. We are all self employed artistic people working from home and doing things with our hands and minds rather than commuting and wasting gas and time clogging traffic.

They bought new Energy Star laundry machines that function better, but use far less water, far less soap and wow far less electricity. They are planning on similarly upgrading the big freezer once they build up to doing that. They cook -- from ingredients, often without any packaging, just go off to the grocery with reusable bags in tow and use them. It's a lot of little things like that.

Myself, I don't really buy much other than my art supplies and most of the packaging from my art supplies gets reused as storage boxes or shipping for something else or cardboard for projects. The permanent packaging they come in is useful permanent containers like colored pencils tins that I save to use for loose pencils and other things if I get fancier pencil cases, as I have for some of the tins sets. This let me migrate the ones that came in flimsy cardboard into something more useful and permanent, I don't throw those out.

I'm saving all my plastic creamer containers and turning them over to her to get washed out and used for food storage -- rice and flour and things like that in these nice little free canisters that come from the creamer. Coffee cans get reused for the useful things they are whether they are metal or plastic. Soda bottles get saved as water bottles. We drink more coffee or tea than soda anyway usually.

So the food bills are lower and the electricity bill is always getting shaved -- little habits like turning off the lights except wherever I am if I'm up at night, just there and not the rest of the house. Keeping things up. Cleaning. Fixing stuff. Reusing stuff instead of just buying and buying.

I sometimes look at the number of trash cans the neighbors put outside versus the one little can we put outside where even after a deep cleaning it's not overflowing, and I know that all the little things add up and we just are not generating as much garbage.

I save the greeting cards and tissue paper and fancy wrappers that swap cards and ACEOs come in sometimes and stack all that up in the great stack of collage supplies, where it will be recycled into art. I will often buy art supplies that are green because they are -- and I do count the 100% cotton Arches or Fabriano watercolor paper as green because cotton is one of those tree free renewable crops like hemp, though I am thoroughly enjoying my Aquabee Tree Free Pads and my Canson Universal Recycled Sketchbook.

On reading an article about paint disposal, I started wiping out my palette and making sure the paint skins are in the trash rather than going into the water supply. This is for acrylics -- it's a little known thing that it does much less damage in a landfill than it does going into the water supply once it's dried. That could be something like the beer can rings that animals get stuck in -- I can see where especially red and yellow stringy acrylic paint skins would look like bait to fish and other animals and get eaten. Then cause problems gumming up birds' gizzard stones and internal intestinal trouble just with its texture and inert nature on top of any toxicity from some colors.

It's a whole lot of little things, but I measure it by looking at the scale of those trash cans and the way our bills go down and the lack of driving. We read up on these things and take them into account in our decisions. Kitten is slowly xeroscaping the yard, taking out some trees that were planted in ways that'll eventually kill them anyway to let the others survive and thrive, bad combinations like the cedar causing cedar rust in the apple tree, or trees that are too close to power lines or water lines or other city infrastructure things and to each other, jammed into too small an area where they can't grow.

Everything that comes out is being replaced with large shrubs or local trees that'll do better in their place, and spread out more with room for the new trees and bushes to grow in.

They're planning to take down the cheap paneling throughout the downstairs and then use it as temporary fencing material to contain the puppies. Nothing is wasted.

Much as it may alarm some people in PETA and so on, I consider using and wearing leather to be green -- it's a food byproduct and something humans have been using as an organic sturdy material since the Pleistocene. I eat meat, so I'm not repelled at wearing the hide or using it to house my colored pencils. I know that in the very long run the leather items I have will possibly degrade more gracefully than the nylon and styrene and so on in the trash, when they are worn beyond use.

But for leather items that takes a very, very, very long time and they are particularly nice when they're broken in and sensual and well-fitting in the case of boots and jackets. My easel is made of fast growing beechwood, and I know there's starting to be a big trade in farmed eucalyptus "Lyptus" art furniture. I bought my laptop desk used at a thrift store. We buy a lot of things used or salvaged them, useful stuff that would otherwise get trashed by a disposable culture -- and sometimes fix it up again so that it's nice as if it's new. I bought eight new brass nuts for this old cart to spiff it up instead of buying a new particle board cart. It's things like that. It's a lot of cumulative little things. And when I bought those brass nuts I got the receipt and put them and the receipt in my pocket instead of getting a bag. In shops very often I don't bother getting a bag unless I have more stuff than my pockets can handle or the bag I brought along. And then sometimes I buy the shop's reusable-with-discount bag.

Kitten's Tightwad approach to living well on as little expense as possible, combined with a general awareness of green living, results in the natural combination of those things. We live green and save money because a whole lot of living green does save money. Waste is just that, wasteful. We are in many ways living in the lap of luxury here. We do get the things we want as well as the things we need and we eat well.

We eat pork a lot more often than beef. That difference alone, treating beef as a once in a great while treat and pork as the more common meat, pork and chicken, reduces the land area needed for our food. Pigs live on everything including trash. Pigs do not need vast ranches reduced to cow meadows to produce their meat. Pork is tasty meat too. She does things to the chicken to make it very tasty too. And they are thinking of doing some pot hunting as well, of populous prey species, going to areas where the deer are heavily populated and thinning the herd once they get the good new big freezer for all the venison. Nothing will be wasted. Carve the bones and boil the hooves for glue and tan the hides and use the antlers and everything else, and give honor to the deer's spirit for this bounty.

And all that is luxury on less money. But we don't measure luxury by What Other People Think Of It at all. Our luxuries are sensibly limited to the things that we actually enjoy, use, create with and thoroughly get into, that are likely to get worn out with use rather than replaced by next year's zippiest new model. We dress well on thrift store chic and look better than people with big clothing budgets because it's chosen well, looks good on us instead of on some random model and most of all is exactly the clothing each of us likes most. The outfit that flatters you is the one that you really like, that tells the world who you are and what you think of yourself.

I have magazine subscriptions but don't take the newspaper, thus all that paper is not thrown away. My magazines are all the sort that I keep and collect back issues for reference, that's like buying books.

Hundreds of little ways all integrated together, and in any discussion of major plans it'll come up whether there are greener ways to do this or that. Eventually we will have a black solar roof and other cool things to bring the bills down even farther. Depending on local ordinances we may or may not be able to build a windmill and start getting checks from the power company instead of a bill, but when we get the farther out in the country bigger house, we'll definitely be able to do the windmill and more. That is part of our long term plans.

I love this house and the way we live. Full of real luxury and not a grain of expense wasted on pretension. It's sensible and workable to go greener and greener. It helps the individual as much as it does the environment.

Also I donated a couple of artworks to the Fieldhaven Cat Rescue effort and I donated an artwork to the Endangered Species Quilt recently, as well as putting in a small donation to the World Land Trust -- my ACEO group on eBay has now gotten up to 3 1/2 acres of rainforest preserved and when the gorgeous quilt sells, that may go way up. I know if I had the money I'd be bidding on it like a maniac and trying to push it over a thousand, which is what it's worth as a quilt and as a quilted artwork at bare minimum. The jaguars getting corridor down in Ecuador won't know my name, but I'll know they're there. These things are good to do too.

And I paint nature. ALmost every one of my artworks celebrates the natural world and reminds viewers that this beauty is worth preserving, that some places are wonderful as they are and don't need power lines or hotels. That many creatures that aren't human are at risk of being run over but are fantastic out where they live and good for the human soul and heart. So that green attitude permeates my art and often also my fiction, where it may be subtle but is an underlying pulse within everything I do.

I am pagan, and that is earth centered religion. I find all these living things sacred and wonderful and I walk in a world of beauty, constantly aware of its wonders. I could not stand it when I had to live in gray stamped-out little hives in more urban areas where everything that surrounded me was human.

Oh, and I haven't ever had biological kids. I adopted Kitten. She has two. Just two. So we're not any of us adding to overpopulation either.
Explore-Oil-Pastels-With-Robert-Sloan.com Articles at eHow.com, ETSY shop, My Bonanzle Booth, deviantART gallery, SFFmuse and look for art by robertsloan2art on eBay. Listed on Art Blogs 4 U
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Interesting art blog: Patrick's Art Blog focused on realism!
New Topical Blog: www.robs-art-supply-reviews.blogspot.com for all the cool art stuff that isn't oil pastels!

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
eternalism
Sep. 16th, 2008 09:58 am (UTC)
I never particularly looked at using leather as green before, but you make a good point for it. It does bother me, in some ways, to think that an animal may have been killed for its hide and the rest thrown out in the trash, and that's my biggest problem with it. Thus I don't buy fur and leather direct from the source, if I can get away with it. I've found a whole load of old fur coats at the thrift store lately, and I've been snatching them up if they're any shade of brown, to use as the lining for a full-length cloak I want to make. Can't get much warmer than that, I figure, and with most of the animals the fur came from, I'm almost positive that the rest of the animal was just thrown in the trash. Not too many people I know eat muskrat, after all. So none of the money I spend on the fur goes back to the company that made the coat in the first place. I refuse to pay them for what I consider senseless killing.

From cows it's a bit more tolerable, I think. After all, both the hide and meat were likely used from the animal, and that's better than throwing everything but the skin away. Still a little upsetting, from a big softy point of view, but still better than other things.

I love reading your LJ entries on thrifty and green living. They're so inspiring, and give me lots of ideas on how to cut down my own expenses and live a better life in the process. Doing right by the world instead of by the neighbours. I already don't give much of a damn about what my neighbours think of me anyway, so that's a start. I enjoy being weird too much to give it up in favour of blending in and being socially acceptable. :p
robertsloan2
Sep. 16th, 2008 12:03 pm (UTC)
Oh, using and cutting up old fur coats and leather garments is recycling. It's still good leather and fur, and you're right. But on the minks and other weasels raised and ranched for fur, I don't feel too bad about it because they're ranched. Where I draw the line is when endangered animals are hunted for their fur and their rarity drives the price up and snobs prefer it to animals raised for fur.

I don't think that the rabbit fur producers just throw out the rest into the trash. Odds are that's sold for meat or sold to pet food companies for meat. For all I know, that's where a lot of weasel carcasses go. Cowhide and pigskin, I'm pretty sure the hides come from slaughterhouses that use everything but the squeal.

Even if the bodies of the weasels are thrown in the trash, that is not on a par with other types of less biodegradable trash. It'll go into the ecosystem. It will be eaten, just not by humans. It won't still be there in a hundred years or a thousand unless a lucky mudslide preserves the bones.

Deerhide usually comes from a hunter's kill -- and both deerhide and venison can sometimes be had very cheap around hunting season from trophy hunters who only took the head but had to take the carcass in to be processed.

What is very funny is that for all the materialistic culture says that you buy and consume stupid things to impress people and play one-upmanship, a lot of the people who do it are just playing a head game on themselves. I doubt my neighbors look at our trash can and wonder "Why don't those people buy as much and throw out as much as we do?" Odds are they don't think about it or guess that we're slobs who never clean up and are waiting for the twelve-can day we get around to doing so. I don't think they watch each other as much as the commercials and television content implies they do.

I know that people who do tromp around bragging on their latest possessions are generally viewed as rude and obnoxious. Anyone who pushes people around and goes "Well, I have a Lexus, I should get a better parking spot for being a big shot" is going to wind up getting a hearty belly laugh from the person who got in ahead of him and got the parking spot.

What people do and what they think other people are doing is sometimes two different things. I talk to plenty of normative people who live that way and don't realize that they're living that way. It comes up over Christmas a lot, a whole lot. Every year some several hundred dollar widget or toy hits the top list and there's immense social pressure to get that Playstation or doll or whatever for the kid that whines and begs for it, the kids are supposed to get damn near hysterical over not getting it for Christmas... as opposed to "Okay, they're going to be sold out on this. You can have a PS# if you save up for it."

And not get them used to that type of hype-thing for holiday presents at all, but to something a lot more personal and specific to them, who they are. Or family traditions like art supplies for Sascha.

This thing happens at Christmas in a lot of families. The kid unwraps the Legos. Wants to play with them right now and probably will all day, but has to open all the other presents first, then gets distracted and overstimulated and doesn't want to play with any of it. There's competition between the adults for whose present the kid likes more. They can get pushy about it.

Kitten's idea is for all the adults to coordinate so that all the presents combine into the same game or experience for the child.

Our whole focus is looking at who the children are and what they actually play with most and enjoy most and spend the most time with. Then finding it cheap or used or making it for them. A different focus -- that the holiday thing is for affirming who you are and telling you we noticed what you like and love you, put time and thought into the present more than X budget. This also means if there's a hard year there isn't a set-up disappointment when all the presents are handmade. More a sense of specialness if the presents are handmade.
eternalism
Sep. 16th, 2008 02:33 pm (UTC)
I used to have hugely material holidays when I still lived with my parents. They'd have nearly all the presents under the tree be for me, and nearly all of it was expensive stuff. They'd tell me beforehand how little money they had that year, that presents would be slim, and then present me with a digital camera, a graphics tablet, a bunch of DVDs, and so on and so forth. And be truly surprised when I told them that my favourite present wasn't the one that cost them the most money. Then I'd get this subtle guilt trip about it all, and feel bad that I wasn't obsessing over the expensive present I hadn't expressed any interest in. :/ Personally, I like gift-giving the way my roommate and I do it now. Dollar Store gift-giving. Set a budget,maybe $20 or so, and get people baskets of gifts from the Dollar Store. It's fun, it's cheap, and you get to be creative with it. :D Especially when you take into accoun the fact that you can get cheap sketch pads and chocolates there.

I've always figured that the gifts one receives out to actually have something to do with what one likes, otherwise what's the point? Why give someone something that they won't like or use? Bonus if the presents are both fun and stimulating, too!
robertsloan2
Sep. 16th, 2008 05:30 pm (UTC)
Oh, the Dollar Store thing sounds fun. There's a lot of cool stuff in Dollar Stores. I'd check for "acid free" on sketch pads from a Dollar Store but other than that, they rock for that sort of thing.

Yep. I'm with you on that, think of who it's for and what they're already into, what they already do enjoy a lot whenever they get it.
eternalism
Sep. 16th, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
There are so many things at the Dollar Store that we all love. Candies that you can't get elsewhere because they're so cheap that most stores won't sell them, but they're still good. Paints, pencils, sketchbooks, fancy paper, figurines... So many things that are both fun to give and fun to shop for.

One year we decided to get each other trinket boxes from the Dollar Store, little thin wooden ones, probably plywood or something, and we painted them and decorated them and traded them around. It was pretty awesome; I've still got mine. It gave me the idea to do that again, only this time as well as painting the outside, use some shiny material and pad the inside and make it look all fancy that way, too.
robertsloan2
Sep. 16th, 2008 09:43 pm (UTC)
Oh that sounds neat! Yeah, I used to get big bags of pens and pencils from the dollar store all the time. They often get interesting imported goods too, like those little boxes you talked about.

If you pick up some glue and a used velvet gown from a thrift store, you can cut the velvet into pieces and glue it in to make those into velvet lined little trinket boxes. Those go really well. Or just make velvet pouches for the things that go inside them, seam up and run a casing and a bit of ribbon through the casing for the drawstring. One thing that looks cool is to paint the interior a bright red or rich dark green too. Various neat things you can do decorating little boxes.

If you're planning to do lots of them, check the price on unfinished little wooden boxes at Blick in large lots. However, just check and compare prices because the dollar store may actually be cheaper on those little boxes. On anything like that I look anywhere that's in reach because dollar stores can compete successfully with Blick on some things.

I just don't use drawing paper that doesn't at least have "acid free drawing paper" on it or paint that isn't labeled as lightfast artist grade. I don't worry about that for Sascha's supplies though, I get her kid paint and got her a good brush so that it'd be more manageable -- only to find out that she likes the bolder blunt brushes that come with the kid paint!

I'm not into the figurines much, partly because I'm not into "cute" and partly because I don't have space for breakable 3D decorative items, it's all full of books and art supplies. But they have some really good candles sometimes at a great price, either the big pillars or regular tapers. They rock for spiral bound notebooks too, and bag ballpoints and pencils. Holiday decorations are at postholiday prices usually too, a boon if I want to do any decorating.
eternalism
Sep. 16th, 2008 10:01 pm (UTC)
I'd contemplated making them and selling them at craft fairs before. I'm not sure how well they'd sell, though, and I don't think I know enough people that would want them as gifts if I can't sell them. *chuckles*

You mentioning the paint reminded me that I found a couple of bags of small paint tubes at a thrift store the other day. I wish I'd had the money to pick them up, because I've been wanting to get into painting lately. I was broke at the time, though. Maybe I'll get lucky and they'll still be there when I get some money again. Doubtful, but it'll be worth a look, at least.

Ah, books. I need new bookshelves, badly. I think once I get the apartment more clean and organized, I'll have to get some brock-and-board bookshelves made to hold everything my current shelves can't fit. The bownside to being a bibliophile!
robertsloan2
Sep. 16th, 2008 10:14 pm (UTC)
I would look closely at what the paint is at a dollar store. There are some companies like Marie's where you can get excellent quality at a low price. Others, you have to try it and find out how it stands up. Mystery brand paint, I would do a lightfastness test on it by just painting up a color chart and putting a strip of black paper taped over half of each swatch, so that you can see what faded and how much.

The trick is that in some mediums, it may not be "lightfast" but once you test it like that, you may find that some of the pigments ARE lightfast even if others are so fugitive you wouldn't want to sell anything done with them. Reds, pinks, purples and some blues tend to be fugitive. Earth colors tend to be created from the same pigments as the expensive colors though they may not be milled as fine and thus have a different texture (and maybe take more paint applied to get the same effect).

Oh yeah. The old Brick and Boards system. I've used that many many times. I want more bookcases too and one of these times I'm going to get them. Probably not till January though, the way things are going. I'm catching up on too many other things.

I got involved in a new classical oil painting group on eBay and we're working through a particular book -- which means I'm getting four more colors in alkyd oils in order to have the author's palette, which wasn't separated into "essential" and "useful if you have some of these" colors like Edward Aldrich's is.

I know when I do a painting book I'm going to be much vaguer on palette and less specific, but explain things like the differences between opaque and transparent, what pigments do, etc. so that someone with a gift set can just use whatever hues happen to be in the gift set instead of replacing half of them to have a different version of the same color. But that's my pet peeve with a lot of painting authors.

The things is, in painting, that you can make the same combined color in any of several different ways or many different mixtures. That's true even in colored pencils. But every artist that gets good enough to do a book seems to have a personal palette. The things they have in common usually involve favorite warm and cold primaries, maybe a green or two, and usually (but not in this case) some of the classic earth tones.

While some kits start you off with a set of primaries and white and hopefully the primaries all fall on the cold side or your greens are gray.
eternalism
Sep. 16th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)
Part of the fun of paint, I think, is seeing what colours you get when you mix them around. I find the same thing about dyeing fabric and yarn, really. I love throwing things together and seeing how they'll come out.

I think maybe abstract art might be more my thing, then, than realism. *laughs*
robertsloan2
Sep. 16th, 2008 09:46 pm (UTC)
Another thing I've seen at dollar stores are the cheap little sumi-e sets that include several pony hair or other-hair brushes, a small ink stick, suzuri stone and sometimes also a seal stone and red seal paste. I wound up getting one of those because I had everything except seal paste. When I used it, the ink stick was as good as most of my ink sticks (other than the super one) and just a bit smaller. So that is actually an excellent deal on artist supplies, if you ever see one of those. They get made in China and sold in large quantity. The sticks are Japanese, I think.
eternalism
Sep. 16th, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC)
I've never seen anything like that here, though I wish I had. I got myself a good kit a while ago, with an ink stick and a stone for grinding and a wonderful brush, but the ink was so hard to grind that I didn't use it much. It was a beautiful kit, though, and I'll have to dig it out of storage and give it another go. I've got a steady enough hand to handle a lot of Japanese and Chinese characters decently (my Mandarin teacher complimented me on how well I wrote the hanzi), so I've wanted to do some calligraphy for decoration.

The ink stick sure was nice, though, since it had a dragon painted on it in gold, so sometimes if I got lucky, the ink would come out with a couple of gold flecks and look really nifty!
robertsloan2
Sep. 16th, 2008 10:16 pm (UTC)
Oh nice! Ink grinding didn't seem difficult to me, just time consuming if you want to make a lot of it. The little dragons or lettering printed on them in gold are always so cool, I hesitate to grind them off sometimes! But getting a stray gold flake in the ink is cool!

Oh that is a wonderful thing if you can do Mandarin calligraphy. I never took Mandarin but I would enjoy learning the calligraphy. I bought a kanji book and occasionally practice various letterforms, and my strokes are getting better. That affected my watercolors for the better!
eternalism
Sep. 16th, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
We had really cool teachers helping us write. I'd had some experience with kanji in the past, and the stroke order's basically the same, really. I haven't done anything with fluid strokes of a brush, though, Just ballpoint pen. :p
robertsloan2
Sep. 16th, 2008 10:58 pm (UTC)
Yes, I had noticed that the strokes are very similar. But thick-thin lines are a big part of either calligraphy, which can be accomplished cheap with either a good pointed round or with one of the inexpensive brush pens you can get -- they're probably even available in dollar stores now. If not, ASW had 89 cent ones with 49 cent refills (new point on the cartridge too) that can get tucked in on the side of an order for something else. I've given up on free shipping at ASW though, now they want an order for $300 to get it. Theirs went up and Blick's went down so Blick got more of my business.
eternalism
Sep. 16th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC)
Yikes! I can understand wanting good-sized orders to give a person free shipping, but $300 seems a little excessive. Seems like they expect only the non-starving artists to order from them.
robertsloan2
Sep. 17th, 2008 12:54 am (UTC)
Yeah. It was a stretch when it was $250 but the bargains were worth it to do it annually. Blick lowered theirs and got more frequent orders. ASW will probably not get any more free shipping level orders out of me unless I win the Literary Lotto. (Okay, there is one thousand dollar item that's a hundred dollars lower than elsewhere. But that is Literary Lotto department.)
robertsloan2
Sep. 16th, 2008 12:13 pm (UTC)
I love reading your LJ entries on thrifty and green living. They're so inspiring, and give me lots of ideas on how to cut down my own expenses and live a better life in the process. Doing right by the world instead of by the neighbours. I already don't give much of a damn about what my neighbours think of me anyway, so that's a start. I enjoy being weird too much to give it up in favour of blending in and being socially acceptable. :p

It's funny that. Most of the people I know who are normative, don't realize how much of materialism comes from just doing what's expected and don't put a lot of thought into being able to put people down with it when they buy something. They get offended if someone who got ahead starts getting snobby about something they bought and if asked about materialism will wind up going almost knee-jerk that it's a bad thing and something ought to be done about it and it isn't right and it's stupid.

And then still buy a lot of brand name things and stuff with packaging and not see a whole lot of the waste that comes in with things that are not Special like buying a Rolex or a Lexus but just everyday Normal Things like breakfast cereal, which everyone does.

The whole philosophy around the Tightwad Gazette is more that if it is a super luxury ultimate coolness thing like getting a Rolex, go ahead and save up for it and get it and enjoy it. After all, if you buy a gold watch and it's that high quality you are not going to be buying another one next year or ever, ever again.

Unless it's stolen and you need to replace it from the insurance money.

But people get hooked into false economy all the time, buy something cheap that looks like a Rolex and replace it when it breaks again and again and maybe in the long run over 20 or 30 years, spend as much as they would have to get the super fancy luxury thing in the first place. One of the things I like about buying things used is that they come with little or no packaging, and if you bring your own bag you can skip any packaging.

When I buy online and it's shipped to me, I expect there to be some packaging -- the practical kind that keeps it from being mashed in transit, that is usually in good enough shape for me to use to ship things out.

What's funny is that art supplies tend not to have as much of the junk packaging as many other things. When Sascha's grandmother gave her this fancy doll with color changing hair, it was packaged against shoplifters so thoroughly that it took the adults a full hour with things like tinsnips to get that doll out of durance vile into the hands of the child. They do this for anti-theft, but it is one of the things that slows down the Christmas jollies to a great extent. Turned out the child was more thrilled with something else and the grandma played with the doll more than she did.

They're toddlers, the boxes everything came in were utterly fascinating.

I'd be very tempted to do them a set of corrugated cardboard boxes covered with on-sale Contact paper for sturdiness, color and cleanability, just nested boxes they can play with. What's insane is that I could probably market that and it would sell.
eternalism
Sep. 16th, 2008 02:45 pm (UTC)
Quality over quantity. Even if it's more expensive at first, if it lasts longer than a cheap thing, it's a bargain. I try to live by that as often as I can, too. Usually when it comes to electronics, since they're the things in my life most likely to wear out and break the bank if and when they need replacing.

Oh lordy, I remember having to wrestle dolls out of their packages... Maybe it's just the lover of instant gratification talking, but it really isn't fun to have to spend 10 minutes trying to untangle those wires and pull away tape in order to get to my dang toy!

That reminds me of my roommate finding out that her parents got a new refridgerator, and she was disappointed that they didn't save her the box to play in. This was when she was about 17, too. Just goes to show that some things never lose their charm!
robertsloan2
Sep. 16th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
Oh absolutely. Things that last a long time are usually cost effective, that's different from just looking at the retail price. Electronics are one of the things where it does matter to get something that's from a reliable brand. The good refurbished ones have consistently outlived the new bottom-of-line bargain computers.

I can't imagine that's fun even for a child who's old enough to be doing the untangling and untaping and stuff.

LOL your seventeen year old friend and the refrigerator box! Some things really don't ever lose their charm.
robertsloan2
Sep. 16th, 2008 12:13 pm (UTC)
LOL -- I'm posting again. Your comments always give me ideas for posts. So maybe I'll go post instead. lol
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