Saturday, July 22, 2017

Spinning wheels

It has been a busy week.
My cousin and aunt and family drove in from Texas on Wednesday.
I didn't know how long they would be staying in town, but the house needed a thorough cleaning.
That took up most of my weekend and Monday.

Having a clean house and washed dogs is worth it!

Furry family portait:

My family wasn't around enough to meet the animals, though.

We went to the Orange County fair for a few hours after work on Wednesday.

It has been many years since I have been to the fair.
It's a lot louder and brighter and more crowded than I remember.

I didn't go on any rides but it was very entertaining.

I didn't take a lot of pictures, but I liked this carousel horse.

Tuesday was my day off and I needed to sort some things out with the cars.

Don the mechanic recently bought new 17" rims and I bought his old 16" rims.

They will go on the red car, which has 15" rims.
This way I can put bigger disc brakes on the red car.

This is what the 15" rims look like:

As you can see they have much less "rim" on them.

I thought I might be able to polish the new wheels myself, but once I got a good look at them I knew they needed to be machined.

The neighbor's son, in the same business complex, is starting his own tire company.

I was thinking about what to do next and asked him to take the tires off the rims so I could shop around for a wheel polishing place.

Instead the neighbor's son made me a better deal on polishing the rims, so they are off being polished.

There are a lot of parts to do with the Red car's brake upgrade.

Here are the old drum brakes on the rear of the car.

Don will have to cut off part of the mounting to make it fit the new brakes.

I ordered some brake parts and it will take a few days for them to arrive, and a few days for the wheels to be polished..

Meanwhile, Don is working on Steve's KITT replica.

It needs a new motor, because the old one blew up...
when David Hasselhoff drove it during a publicity event a few years ago!

I have always wanted to make a KITT car out of one of these cars...
Unfortunately the ones I've had are all so nice in their own way, I could never alter them.

(Steve also has the newly painted dark maroon colored car at the picnic.)

While I was at Don's I drove by the painter's.
The shop was closed and my Green car wasn't hanging around outside.

I talked to the painter the next day on the phone and he mentioned some missing screws and said "It will be ready Saturday..."

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Third Gen Picnic

Today (Saturday) there was a picnic at Craig park in Fullerton for local owners of 3rd generation Camaros and Firebirds.

I missed last year's picnic because Mom was in the hospital last summer.

We had most of a section of parking lot to ourselves.

There were more people at the picnic than I remembered.

Some people came from San Diego and others from Central California.

I counted 16 cars, and also some people who came without their cars.

During the 10 years these cars were in production, they came with a lot of options.

Hard tops, Convertibles, or T-Tops.

Different front ends and rear spoilers, different rims and different motors.

Everyone's car is different, but based on the same body style which is called the F-Body.

These two are Camaros:

A friend named Steve just got his car back after having it repainted.

My car and Steve's car are both Firebirds.

Steve's is a different year and also the deluxe package, which is a Trans Am GTA.

It is a very unique dark maroon color.

I wish the green car was done already!

But, at least I didn't steal the spotlight from Steve's new paint job.

We are planning another picnic in September.
I sure hope it's done by then...

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


The past week seemed to crawl by very slowly.

The office isn't air conditioned.  Luckily work has been slow.

I don't feel like driving very far with the squeaky brake on the red car, and the hot weather discourages me from walking.

I really wanted to go to the beach this week! There were some sunsets I know I missed.

This week, I looked at jewelry for sale at trendy websites, and got some ideas.

I turned these beads into these earrings:

I feel like I already made them, before.

I found a bag of rounded glass pebbles (for putting into vases,) for $1 at CVS.

I liked them because they are not flat on one side like most of those kind of pebbles.

They are not perfectly round like marbles either.

This was the only color I found.

I tried to wrap a wire round one to make a pendant.

I didn't follow a tutorial, but I saw a similar pendant at Michael's.

I didn't like how it turned out. Maybe next time.

Today was my day off for the week, so this is my weekend.

I was unhappily unable to contact Don the mechanic about my brakes.

I spent some time today drawing faces.

I'm always happy when I find time to draw!

I copied some random faces from a fashion magazine.
(The first few pages of many magazines are annoying ads for cosmetics, with big faces.)

I drew it like usual, with a watercolor crayon, and then erased it with a watercolor wash.

Then I decided to go back over it again with more watercolor crayon.

I didn't start out with a proportional face, so it ended up interesting but weird.

Drawing over again with the crayon was a different look so I tried again.

I tried to make the next drawing more in proportion.

I used a sparkly crayon which has a neat effect I like.

After I covered the drawing with watercolor:

Then I went back over it again and added details in watercolor crayon:

This is definitely how I'm feeling today!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

I still have all my fingers

Man those self-portraits yesterday are scary!

I set off all the fireworks without incident.

I duct taped an incense stick to the end of a broomstick to light them.

The fuses worked fine, despite their age, and gave me just enough time to run away.

If you would like to know how the rest of my 4th went, just look up videos of Santa Ana on the 4th of July.

Today the 5th was my day off for the week.

I tried to network and discussed some details with the painter, and about the brakes with Don.

Nothing looks like it will be happening for a few weeks, though.

In the meantime I made lots of jewelry.

Yesterday, while I was waiting for the sun to go down,  I copied a Victorian design for a beaded necklace.

It isn't something I'd wear in the summer, but that's what I felt like making.

It came out OK, but making a chain of tiny beads took hours and hours.

(You can't tell by the picture, but the beads are a dark garnet color, not black.
I guess everything I took pictures of recently was over-exposed.)

Today I had nothing better to do so I looked up jewelry trends.

One trend on the runway that I've noticed and seemed easy to do, was industrial looking jewelry made from thick cord, like parachute cord.

I don't have anything like that.

What I did have was a bunch of leather lacing.
Some of it was regular, and some of it (the brown stuff) was irregular ends from a bag 'o leather bits.

I thought it would be nice to stick a big silver bead on it, and make it more bohemian.

I came up with this:

Those are definitely something I will wear.

It was really hard to find a bead that would fit on thick cord.

I looked around and found other beads and thinner, round leather cord.

The blue beads are the kind that would go in those big chunky, memory bead bracelets.

The orange beads are kid's plastic beads.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Self Portraits and a Bad Idea.

I have no special plans this 4th of July.

My red car is not in any shape for a road trip.

Dad is with the Knights of Columbus.

They always participate in the big Huntington Beach parade.
It can be exhausting.
This year he stayed home and recorded it.

However, after the parade, Dad went with them to one of the Knights house for a get together.

The Knights are very supportive of Dad, and he always has something to do.

Meanwhile at home, I continued working with the mineral coated paper, and crayons.

So far today I've made two self portraits!

The first one I used the same watercolor crayons that I used yesterday.

I started out with a sketch to position everything.

It was going  OK.

In the end I didn't think it looked much like me.

There was something wrong with the eyes.

I decided I couldn't get the right kind of detail with the watercolor crayons, so I tried using regular oil pastels.

I had never really tried making a portrait with oil pastels.

The best ones were the Sennelier's, but I only have a few and not the colors I wanted.

The next best brand was the Cray-Pas.
That set came with a colorless blender which was very useful.

I tried changing position and lighting too.

The next sketch:

I came up with this:

I was sitting in front of a rainbow, batik print curtain.

I used a stick to scratch into the paint.

This one came out looking more like me, but not as nice as my color pencil portrait.

Eventually I will try to do a portrait in paint.

The other day I visited a friend and he gave me some old fireworks.

We used to have big parties at his house and these were left over from long ago.

I planned to share them with other friends, but then I realized what a bad idea that would be!

These fireworks are very old, and will likely explode as soon as the fuse is lit.

I wouldn't want anyone to lose a finger.

Later today I will figure a way to detonate them from a safe distance.

Monday, July 3, 2017

New Faces

Today and Sunday, I got up too late to walk.
It was already sunny outside.

The other day my friend, artist Jacki Long, suggested I draw a face and make a collage out of it.

I started out by tiding up my art space and looking at faces in magazines.

I didn't want to tear a page out of my sketchbook, so I did the drawing using a pad of special paper.

It is a smooth and coated paper, something that would probably be good for making ink lines.

I used water-soluble crayons like these:

Then I drew a few faces with the crayons.

(I wasn't trying to be realistic)

Lately I've been covered the drawing with a wash of ink or watercolor, letting it drip down.

In the first one I drew just an outline of the face.

The watercolor wash erased most of the line.

Also I discovered that the watercolor dried very slowly on this kind of paper.

For the next one I drew a few more details, especially the eyes.

Then I put another wash over it.

This was more interesting, but the wash was supposed to be more pink and less Carrie.

Because the water dried so slowly, I thought of putting powdered pigment or salt on the next one.

Instead, I noticed that the watercolor crayons had a neat effect on the very smooth paper.

They acted less like crayons and more like oil pastels.

I drew more and more lines on the face.

I really like this oily effect, and just drew more lines instead of erasing it with water.

In the end I forgot about tearing it up to make a collage.

Maybe next I'll try another self portrait using the crayons and this paper.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Long way to go

Yesterday I had some time in the afternoon before work.

I went to visit Don the mechanic (and the painter which is a few blocks away.)

It feels like time is flying by and nothing is happening.

Don said he had been waiting to get several parts orders together so he can make a bulk shipment, which is why he didn't have my clutch parts yet...

The clutch is doing OK for now, it doesn't stick as much but the problem isn't going away either...

I'm also working on getting parts for larger brakes.

This day, Don was working on making a replacement for a power radio antenna.

Cars nowadays don't have retractable antennas, they have a wi-fi gadget on the roof, so it is hard to find parts for them.

Later we went to see Roberto and my car.

Roberto wasn't there but my car was outside his place, so we took a look at it.

It looked like Roberto has done a little more work on it.

It was not as dusty with polish, the hood was done and the scary patch on the driver's side door was gone.

Don agreed that the color is right.

But there is no way the painter will be done "tomorrow."

There are still a lot of things left to shine and re-attach.

A man at the unit next door said, "Is that going to be a classic?"

That's an interesting question!

When I got my first 3rd-Generation 15 years ago, it was funky and outdated, but I had a feeling it would be considered a classic car one day.

My 92's are the last of the 80's body style, and are now 25 years old.

The 82 Knight Rider car was the first of the same body style, and that is 35 years old!

You don't see them much anymore, and everywhere I go I get a lot of compliments.

But there isn't really a place for them, or other 80's cars, in the traditional "classic car shows."

I think we need our own class of car show.

You know, there's "Antique" cars like Model T's, and "Classic" cars are usually before 1975.

I wonder what we would call these?