Monday, March 28, 2016

One step forward, two steps back

I am back drawing flowers again.
A lot has been going on at home and at work.

Mom is pretty stable.
We still don't know what kind of a tumor she has in her brain, but they gave her an anti inflammatory (like cortizone) and every day she is more talkative and more like her old self.

Family that was visiting for Easter has gone home.
I couldn't let them sleep on my old mattress with the spring sticking out of it, so I bought a new mattress and that's nice.

The new office manager at work spent all last week shuffling our schedules around.

The last 5 years or so, I had been working nights, every night, until 9 or 10 because no one else wanted to cover that shift.
I complained about it so today was my first day going home at 5!

Almost. I got home at 6:30, but I still got to see a great sunset.
(I had not used my iPod with camera in so long, the battery was dead.)

Unfortunately, every day looks like I will no longer have any time to draw while I'm at work...

I used my free evening to pick roses from my garden and draw them.

I tried not to think about the mayhem going on at work while I was gone...
I sketched the roses with water soluble pencils:

I filled in the background with bright pink PH Martin's liquid watercolor.

I used some of the same pink watercolor for the color of the roses.
I also pulled out some of these watercolor brush pens by Bienfang.

I don't know if they still make them. They are similar to a water brush (on the left)
I brought a set of these Bienfang paint brush pens a few years ago, and every single one of them leaks at the seam.
(I put scotch tape on the one on the right to keep the paint from getting all over everything.)
I used those to make the details on the roses:

It was a mess but fun.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

It's Easter Week, everyone should be on vacation

That's what everyone says to me, but actually this week has been the busiest, yet.
I have family visiting so I gave them my newly decorated bedroom and I have been sleeping on the floor in my drawing area.
It's not bad. I'm surrounded by my books and my art supplies, so if I get up at 4 am I can draw or make beads.

I found a book about native American costume I bought long ago, hoping it would be full of pictures.
It ended up being just lists of tribes and descriptions of the kind of things they wore.
It was still inspiring. I made these bracelets:

I spotted a book on a shelf that I had never really gotten into.
A lot of people know it, somebody gave it to me 15 years ago.
It's called The Artist's Way.
I tried doing the exercises 15 years ago, but I was a different person.
Nowadays. I really appreciate inspirational stuff!
So, I hope to get past chapter two this time...

Monday was a good day for drawing at work.
The flowers I picked the other day, all bloomed into huge blossoms.
I still forgot to pack a magenta color.
Gel pens:

This month I switched back to my multi-media paper sketchbook.
I wish I had more time to use it properly!
I tried doing a wash:

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Flowers Are Back In Bloom

During the week I tried to make a collage about recurring dreams I had, about flying over trees.
I thought I would try a little Photoshop, but there wasn't enough time in my days to focus on making any effects.
I ended up pasting it in my journal.
This was almost all the art I got done this week!

Today I drew these sketches of flowers.
It was nice to have a moment to draw again.
This was watercolor pencil and water:

I noticed that over the last few weeks the art supplies I have stashed at work have been dwindling.
I needed a magenta watercolor pencil.
What I had instead was a random pink opaque acrylic marker, and a neon pink gel pen.

I filled in the background on another page with a Sharpie:

It was very nice to draw again.
Tomorrow is Sunday, and I also have a few days off next week, so maybe I'll get back into the swing of things!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Green For Spring

Yesterday I pulled out my green beads to make something green to wear for St. Patrick's day.
I ran out of time, (but I did already have a green bracelet and earrings.)

This necklace I made some months ago with black beads, because I was in a black mood:

I switched the black beads for a jade color and it is much more wearable.
This was an easy necklace to make because the silver leaves are all one piece.

Today I made these earrings with some beads I got at Hobby Lobby.
Hobby Lobby can be expensive, but they also have plastic beads that I haven't found at Michael's or JoAnn.

These beads came in a package of many kinds of green plastic beads.
I was disappointed that there weren't enough of these beads to make a bracelet.

In the same package were these other green beads:
I started the necklace but ran out of time.

At work I debated telling the Office Manager that I would not like to work on the newsletter with the mean young man who used to make my mother cry.
But I just couldn't do it.

Good news / bad news.

More thorough tests were done on my mom and she has a small tumor in her brain which has been causing the memory loss and loss of balance. We don't know what kind of tumor or whether it is operable.
Her ankle wasn't broken, only sprained so she doesn't need to wear more than a brace.

She has started getting a steroidal anti-inflammatory and in the two days that she has been taking it, she has become slightly more alert.

One of the things my mom used to do was edit the church newsletter.
I used to help her proofread it, although she made all the design decisions herself.
It was a little utilitarian in style, but I wasn't going to take the fun out of it for her, just because I was an "art major."
Lately I had been doing it all myself.

All the positions at the church are highly sought after, and now that she is gone the Office Manager discovered we have a newsletter, and was talking about how I will now "work with another employee on it."
I am unhappy because this is probably the only cool part of working there.

This week I have been super busy because we are transitioning to booking events by computer only, and everyone I work with is barely computer literate

Now I will not only have to train another person how to use a computer program, the newsletter job doesn't require two people to maintain it... you know what that means.

I would much rather train some one how to use the photocopier!
Why can't life be that simple?

I know I sound whiny about having to work with somebody on the newsletter, but that person has a very bad temper, and made my mother cry at least twice.

I get along with everyone well including that rude person, but I think I need to stand up for myself...

Monday, March 14, 2016


I knew my job was going to be crazy today, (Almost everyone is out sick) so I prepared by making art at home, instead of trying to do it at my desk.

I was so anxious about the work piled up, I finished with an hour to spare!

I started this collage about a dream:

I was taking a boring class in college.
Another student had an interesting book. A fantasy novel from a series.
When I saw that it came from that same college's library, I went there.
When I got to the top floor, the elevator stopped working. No one could get down from that floor.

The other day I was watching random stuff on YouTube, and one video was about awkward sunburns.
Then I dreamed I had a sunburn, but it looked more like measles:

I had a few dreams this week about answering the door in my pajamas.
One person came to my house to interview me for a job interview.
Another person at my door was a couple friends from high school, whose hair had turned gray.

Today I wore these earrings which I copied from somewhere else:

I made them two weeks ago.
The large bead is plastic but is meant to be an aquamarine.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Using hand sanitizer for gel medium?

Today was a... day.
It rained (I like rain) and there was a pretty sunset, but I couldn't find my camera.

I found out my mom's ankle is only sprained, but she has to wear a boot for 3 weeks.
Two years ago she broke a bone in her foot and had to wear a boot for 3 months!
I don't think she would be able to go through that again.
She can't remember to grab her cane when she gets up!
I think we need more canes so she always has it handy.

I made a ring and some earrings at home, and drew a picture at work.

I found these neat beads at Jo-Ann craft:

It's hard to tell from the pictures, but they are about 1/2 an inch cubes, and the wire goes through at an angle.
I got a lot of positive comments about the earrings. They were pretty easy to make.

I also glued a fancy jeweled button to a ring back.

The button was missing a stone and I found one that almost matched.

At work I had plenty of time to draw this dog. I drew it with Stabilo "stubby" watercolor crayons.

I dreamed I adopted a stray dog, a yellow retriever.
The dog had a ugly face but I was pleased, because now I had an even number of dogs, two black and two yellow.
In real life I have a black dog, black cat, and orange dog.
I guess even while dreaming I have to make everything even.

Instead of using water to blend the crayon, I used the hand sanitizer on my desk.
It's alcohol, and many markers are alcohol based...

I like that it didn't run, like using water would.
I think it is not "acid free" so after time I think it could change colors.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

the new normal

Today I spent much of the day cleaning up my drawing room.
I had a lot of things from the bedroom I painted in there, so there wasn't much room to draw.

I did scribble a little in my sketchbook, but nothing exciting.
It felt like coming back home after being on vacation.

The other day my mom fell and has a small fracture in her ankle.

Lately she has been forgetting things and being more distant.
This week was the worst, because she realized she can't remember things and words and it made her depressed.

I'm afraid she won't be able to remember to stay off her foot.
The good news is my dad is more retired that he used to be, and taking care of her is giving him something to do.

Little by little I have been explaining what is going on, to her friends that I see at the church.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A few things

Today I didn't draw anything in my journal.
I made a few stretch bracelets to pass the time and a necklace.

The large beads are plastic.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Ways to store and display accessories

Today I didn't do much art. I made a stretch bracelet or three.
At work it was a Tuesday, which is the busiest day and didn't leave me time to draw.

Also my mom isn't feeling well, so I didn't sleep well, so I didn't have any weird dream inspirations.

I was almost not going to blog today, but then I remembered some pictures of my room that I hadn't posted yet.

I have a collection of sunglasses:

This is hanger, available from IKEA.

I end up with so many because I will go driving somewhere and forget to bring sunglasses, and have to stop and buy a pair at the drugstore or gas station.
The 99 Cents store sometimes has good ones too.

Some of the cat-eye sunglasses near the top are from the 90's.
I never wear those. Just the bottom row.

Before I painted I had all kinds of hooks and hangers on the wall for my jewelry:

Like this wrought iron hook thing I found in the back yard.
It was white and I painted it gold, and now I want it white again.

A store I went to put their bracelets for sale in a big jar, and gave me this idea:

Jar from Michael's.
This wouldn't work to store earrings or necklaces but somehow it works for bracelets.

Sunday, March 6, 2016


Today I finished painting the last bits of the bedroom, and did some details.
I went from a peach pink and floral scheme, to gray and purple and gold.
It kind of (unintentionally?) looks like the Blogger background.

Today I was headed to Michael's with my coupon but instead I ended up at Anthropolgie at the Irvine Spectrum.
Anthropologie has the best clothes, and home decorating things, and a fun catalog.
(Luckily their clothes don't seem to come in my size, because they are out of my budget.)

One great thing I can't resist is their collection of knobs.
They have some really wild knobs of all shapes and materials; ceramic and glass, knobs in the shape of animals, and knobs that look like rocks and geodes, for instance.

I almost got these cute fox knobs!

I got some pretty standard looking knobs for the closet doors and drawers.

The closet had the pink knobs that matched my walls, and I replaced them with the large crystal,
and the drawers had small round crystal, and I replaced them with the gold glass knobs

Target was in the area, and I got the fuzzy gray bedspread for $23.

I also got a lampshade at Target for $7.99.
The old lampshade was beige with black flowers.

Earlier in the week, I used my Michael's coupon to buy a LED lighted bunch of cherry blossoms.

I already had this vase with  3 stems of cherry blossoms, (and also some other flowers but I took those out.)
This package of lights also had 3 stems, so it combined pretty well.

Saturday, March 5, 2016


Today was a good day.
There weren't any crises. Yet.

For instance, Thursday was awful.
In the 15 minutes before I closed, I realized I didn't get an important signature (which required the pastor to drive to someone's house to get it), some one passed out in the bathroom, (911) and somebody was having trouble paying for a funeral (which was taking place the next day, not even at our church.)

But today was a little better.
Except for the mouse stuck in the trap I had to kill.

I noticed a person left the (empty) outside storage closet unlocked, because they need to patch a hole, and I don't have that key.
Last month we had as many as 3 people sleeping in the 4' x 6' room under the stair (one of them was charging rent to the other two!) Until we fixed the lock.

It's going to rain tonight.
Sometimes there isn't a right or wrong choice.
I'll pretend I didn't see the After mouse or the door.

I was able to finish this collage I started a few days ago:

I made this collage about a dream I had about the world's fastest roller coaster and two famous celebrities. Maybe it's not finished.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Yesterday and today's

Yesterday, I drew a picture of my lunch, but I didn't have a chance to scan it:

I started this collage yesterday and still didn't finish it today:

I had a lot of dreams too, some of which were subjects I could paint.

I dreamed I was in an art class, it was plein air painting by the sea.
I couldn't wait to tell my friends about this great class.
Everyone else in the class seemed to know right away what they were going to paint, but I just stared at my blank canvas.
A gust of wind blew my sheet of paper into the water.

I was able to get it back, and the teacher gave me another sheet of paper, but I still didn't know what to paint.


Yesterday I finished painting my bedroom, and today I put all the furniture in new places.
It was good exercise so I don't feel so bad about having to give up walking to work.
(I didn't take any pictures of the room.)

I dreamed about making a left turn onto a freeway on-ramp. It went OK, but it began to rain.
It was a big deal because last year I got in a wreck making a routine left turn.

I dreamed I called my friend the mechanic and I forgot he doesn't work at that shop anymore and a florist answered. ???

I didn't draw any of that.

Soon I will have to do a tune up on my green car. It's not running right.
I was supposed to have the car painted last month!

A while back I made a blog just for the two firebirds called
I wanted to document what it takes to maintain a 25 or 30 year old car.
At some point I will have a LOT to post there...
It's just that this week my OCD mind is obsessed about redecorating a room.

This video of a music machine powered by marbles, is one of the most popular videos on YouTube this week:

Looking at the music machine reminds me about all my friends in the car club, and the amazing things they can do with a small block chevy V8.

My car's motor looks like that to me, except it doesn't just sound pretty, it goes fast too,

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Typical Wednesday

Today I didn't do anything unusual.

I got some good news.
Several years ago, a homeless lady had collected 20 shopping carts on the church property.
One day, the city came and took her things away, and she came to complain to me in the office, and spit on me.
I got a restraining order for 3 years, but that expired last year.
She remained in the neighborhood, and once she realized the order had expired she came back, late last year.

I refused to go near her to get spit on again, so nobody was able to do anything.
But now the new office manager told me she was able to work something out with the city, and maybe they will be able to help her find a place to stay.

The mumbling cave man who followed me home last night, is probably still living in his front yard where he has been for 2 years.
The police said either call them while he is harassing me or stop walking at night.
I decided not to walk to work today.

I looked for flowers in the garden at work, to draw, but I could only find one camellia.
They usually bloom in January so this must be the last one.

Don't walk. (In Santa Ana) (rant)

I grew up and still live in Santa Ana. In THAT neighborhood.
For some reason I insist on walking alone, even at night on streets where bad things happen to people.

I every now and then, I start to feel pretty "bad" myself.
The gangs seem to bother only their own kind. They're shooting, but not at me.

Then once in awhile I encounter some one with worse mental issues than mine.

Today was one of THOSE days...

For now, once again, I have to say nothing. You never know when you'll end up in court.

The good news is that I 'm almost done painting my cave, where I can hide!
Sorry no pictures. I don't really plan on taking any more personal pictures of my home.

Especially since homeless people, like the schizo who followed me home tonight, have cell phones with internet, too.

And my favorite TV show the Voice is back! So
I'll have something to do while hiding under my rock.

I didn't sleep much yesterday since I stayed up painting my walls.
The grayish-purple reminds me of the walls in the background of the blog page!

I got up early, which doesn't happen and took pictures of a bunch of new spring flowers.

This lemon is only 2 feet high, but look at all the blossoms!

Maybe if I had slept better I wouldn't have answered back to the troll and said "the reason I stare at him is because he stole the student's bike"

I didn't have much time to draw at work.
The powers that be had decided that from now on, ALL events can ONLY be accessed or booked by COMPUTERS. Oh no! The panic!

All of the data input I now had to do for them left me with little time to draw.
I kind of traced my hand on a 15 minute break.