Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Last post of the year?

Things have been slow all week.

Sometimes people donate used kids books, and we keep them in a box, for the kids who have to wait for their parents who have meetings.

This week I found a bunch of books I hadn't seen yet, including one Young Adult book I hadn't read before, called The Higher Power of Lucky about a 10 year old girl living in a trailer park in the desert who runs away from her guardian.
It was written in a simple language, but it still made me teary-eyed at the end.

Unfortunately I spent the week reading YA books instead of drawing!

I made these two collage/paintings during the week, though.
This one was about a dream I had of a gift of jewelry:

I made this other one today:

Saturday, December 26, 2015


I was able to draw some things at home during my two days off.

I dreamed about playing a video game, but I don't own any video games...
It took place in space. Soon I was riding in the spaceship.
When I looked out the window I realized we were not in space anymore, but driving down the street to a beach I recognized.

I made the sky with colored ink, which is slightly different than acrylic paint or watercolor.
The bottom part is markers and the stars are Gelly Roll pens.
I think I will try this again. The paper isn't the best quality for this kind of paint.

I cleaned my room and found some neon oil pastels. I made some faces with those, (and paint.)

The faces were not supposed to be realistic, but now that I scanned them and pasted them, they look weirder than I expected.

I made this one with the leftover paint. I like it the best!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Happy Holidays

I get the next two days off and I hope to catch up on my drawing.
I've been writing more and drawing less.
I finished the Victorian lady collage from yesterday. I like it.

I had a lot of nightmares last night which was strange.
The dreams included forgetting how to drive, being in a race where I had to build my own motor in 5 minutes, and having to pack for a trip and not finding any good clothes.
In the last nightmare I found cobwebs by my bed, and when I brushed them aside it threw black widow spiders everywhere, including in my hair!
I killed as many as I could, but it was very disturbing.

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

More collages

Today I finished painting one collage and started a new one.
This one is inspired by a famous portrait by Sargent called Madame X.

I used too much ready-made flesh tone and she came out shockingly pink!
Lately I have been trying to make everything in my journal come out perfectly, but this is really supposed to be a sketchbook, so I will not fix this one.

I started this new picture of a lady from Victorian times.

I started out with tearing up random shapes of paper. (This is a gift wrap from Michael's.)
I apply the pieces of collage first around the head because it is hard to find pieces of paper that fit the spaces.
I could cut out the paper to fit the shape, but I learned it looks better when it is randomly torn.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Gift Wrap

Here's a collage I worked on yesterday.

The hat and clothes were from a Christmas gift wrap that cost $1 at Target.
The background is from a used book of bad poetry.

I like the way her face ended up less realistic and more cartoonish.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Other moments from the Guadalupe festival.

Last night I got rear-ended, when I stopped, to avoid  a speeding SUV. It passed me doing 80 mph, went airborne over a hump, made a hole in a wall, knocked down a tree and landed in my path!
I didn't have my camera of course.
I spent the day working out the details of fixing the small damages to the bumper.

I didn't draw anything today but I found some more images from last Saturday's Guadalupe parade.
I took some videos and they came out better than the photos because it was dark.

I haven't learned yet how to edit a video.
But I learned today how to grab a screen shot using windows 8.
It comes with a  program called Snipping Tool, which lets you drag a box and make a screen shot of anything.

This amazing van showed up after the parade!

In honor of Star Wars I had to post a picture of one of the many Light Saber vendors here that day.
(Because we all know that the Jedi had something to do with the Guadalupe story.)

I was tempted, but I didn't buy one!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Apples again

I didn't eat the apples I drew yesterday.
I painted them again.
It turned out that they looked better than they tasted.
Maybe they sat on my desk too long

I made this collage with a bunch of printer Test pages my boss threw away, and acrylic paint.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Today I painted these apples on my desk.
I think they turned out well.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Guadalupe Festival Part two

Here are some more pictures of the festival that took place on Saturday.

These are some of the 8 floats that were in the parade.

All but one of the floats had live actors performing a scene from the apparition of Mary.
They were tied to the background with a belt.

One of my favorites had Jesus on one side and Mary on the other!

 Other floats were decorated with flowers, like the rose parade.

Besides the 8 floats there were 2 marching bands and 2 groups of native dancers.

Everything went well, despite the cold.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Guadalupe festival part 1

There are so many events going on at the church this weekend!
It will take me a few days to cover everything.
All week and all night yesterday, there were dancers on the outdoor stage.
(My computer froze up when I got to downloading those pics from my phone.)

I had an epic bowl of pozole,

This is a pork stew with hominy, similar to menudo, but without the tripe.
They add chopped cabbage and onions and very hot salsa on top.
I've tried making my own pozole and menudo a few times but it never comes out the same.

Every year, one particular family puts up a tent, and spends hours creating an amazing sand painting.

They make a stencil outline and then pour different colored sand to color it in.
Then they lay pieces of turf and flowers all around.

They call the result a "tapete" which means carpet.

The sand really does look like fuzzy carpet!
Little kids can't resist touching it.

The next day everything gets swept up and thrown away.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Today I went to the beach

I heard there were going to be big waves, so I went to the HB pier today.

The waves were not the biggest, but it was pretty windy, and fun!

The last time I went to the pier, I didn't have a phone that took selfies.
I didn't even know what a selfie was.

So it's been awhile!

Tonight is the beginning of the all night festival of Guadalupe, so I am too busy to draw anything today. I will walk around and take pictures after the people start to arrive.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Preparing for the weekend

Today I painted a background and made a collage of a horse.

The tail didn't fit on the page!
The black wrapping paper was $1 at Target.

Tomorrow night is the start of the Guadalupe festival.
The church will be open 24 hours. People will bring flowers.
There will be services at 12 am and 5 am.
There will be food and music and dancing.

On Saturday is the parade, rain or shine.
There will be about 8 floats, which will be produced by different groups at the church.

Most of the floats have a specific theme from the story of the Guadalupe apparition.

The floats are built on rented U-Haul trailers.

No one wants to rent them too long, so they start building almost the day before!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A better day

Today was a much more cheerful day.

I went to the dentist, and although I dreamed I had two cavities, they didn't find any!

Somebody actually made a joke today at work.
It has been a long time since I heard anything funny.

Also I finished a serious, work-related writing project.
I hope to have more time to draw and paint in my journal.

Here's a picture I drew on Sunday.

The background is a collage made of a napkin from the Dollar Tree.
The poem came from a 25 cent book I got at the used book sale at the HB Central Library.

Meanwhile, every evening after church, there have been folkloric dances on the big outdoor stage.
Here are some of the dancers and their colorful clothes:

Unfortunately my photo editing program froze up and I could only publish this blurry picture.
I hope it's not a virus!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I don't like tuesdays

Early this morning I was awakened by the sound of sirens and a helicopter hovering nearby.
There was a tragic hit and run across the street from the church.

I haven't done any painting today.
(I'm working on typing something that needs a lot of concentration.)

Yesterday I cleaned off my drafting table at home.
It has a catch tray where all kinds of things end up, like pencil shavings, beads and bits of wire, and paper scraps.
I haven't cleaned it out all year.

I noticed there were a lot of beads, so I put them on a string, and made a necklace.

I separated the trash from the objects in the tray.

The necklace ended up being about 40" long or a 20" loop.

I wouldn't normally combine so many different colored beads together.
But in the end I liked it because every bead reminds me of a project I worked on this year.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Holidays are near

It's been very busy around the church. I've been getting behind in my blog!
Last week was the start of the novena or 9 days leading up to the festival of Our Lady Of Guadalupe.
Everyone was busy decorating the church.

One of the prayer groups rents a cherry picker, and they strung flags all over the parking lot.

The flags will stay up until New Year's. It makes everything feel festive.

You can see the big outdoor stage in the lower left corner.
There will be a parade, a Mass and music outdoors on Saturday, rain or shine.

Other people hung fabric inside the church. They used the same cherry picker!

Here is the cloth laid out on the pews

Here is what it looked like when they finished the next day:

On the 11th the church will be open all night, and this altar will be covered with flowers:

It represents the hill where the Lady Of Guadalupe appeared.

It's nice to work in a community with such creative people!

Hopefully I will be able to post something new every day this week.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

More Sparkle

I didn't draw much this week.
Yesterday I was glued to the tv, watching the news...

I painted this red haired girl on Monday, while I was at home.

I painted this guy today at work.
It came out warped.
Maybe I was thinking about the shooter.

For both paintings I drew an outline of the face in colored pencil, and then painted inside of the lines with a credit card and acrylic paint, using it like a palette knife.

Today I also made three and a half more sparkleballs to put up at work.

This one has 100 green (non-led lights.) Two holes per cup.

This one I made with 7oz cups which was something new for me.

They didn't fit together as neatly as the 9oz cups.
It used 50 multi color (non-led lights.)

It takes at least 1 hour to make these.
That's why I don't make them every year.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Sparkle Ball

Yesterday I posted some pictures of a decoration made from solo cups and a string of lights.
I am posting how I made them, but you can also look up the instructions on many places online.
It is called a sparkleball.

You need 50 cups to make 1 sphere.
Also a string of 50, 60 or 100 lights.
They don't have to be Solo brand cups (I got these at Smart & Final) but be sure to use 9 oz tumblers.
Divide it into 25 cups to make each half.

Divide the 25 cups into a group of 12, a group of 9,  and a group of 4.

Arrange the first layer of 12 cups to make a ring.
If you have the correct kind of cups, it will naturally form this shape.

Depending on the style of cups, you can staple them, or melt them together with a hot tool, which is a tool like a wood-burning tool or a soldering iron.
For this project I melted them together with a tool. It smells very bad  and I'm sure the fumes are very toxic, so do it in a well ventilated area.
I melted the cups together at one point at the bottom and one point at the lip. About 1/2 inch welds.

These crystal-clear type cups will shatter if you staple them. But you can get a similar shaped cup made of a different kind of plastic.
(I have also tried connected these spheres with clear packing tape, (Not scotch tape) but this doesn't last more than 1 year.)

Next you build up the next row, of 9 cups.

Some people use clothes pins to hold the cups together until they are welded, but I have been doing this awhile. Sometimes you can put a spare cup in the center and it holds up the other cups.
(In this picture I used a can of nuts to hold up the center.)

Finally top it with 4 cups and you get half the sphere.

Repeat this to make the other side.

Also you will make 1 hole in the bottom of the cup to insert the lights.
Using the hot tool. Don't make the hole too big.
(1 hole for a string of 50 lights and 2 holes for a string of 100 lights.)

You want to leave the cord ends hanging out so you can plug it in or hang it.
I kind of press the lights into the hole in a zig-zag pattern.

If you make the hole small enough, the lights will stay put.
I wanted this sphere to last a long time, so I used hot glue around the hole where the lights go in.
Also I used LED lights which are made of plastic.

First you put the lights in one half of the sphere, and then the rest in the other half. It can be tricky.

After using the tool to weld both halves the cups together, I put more hot glue from a glue gun in the seams.

Eventually you end up with the finished product!