Friday, April 29, 2016

Looking up

Things are looking better.

Yesterday we spent a long day at the hospital.
Mom's new neurosurgeon prescribed her a stronger steroidal anti-inflammatory, to reduce the swelling around her brain.
By the end of the day she was more alert, and talking and walking again.
She was even chewing gum again!

Today she has been calling me at work, asking for the phone number of a plumber with a certain name, but we don't need a plumber, and we don't know anyone by that name.
We're just happy because she is talking and using the phone again.

My sunflower tree is blooming.

Can't wait to see what it looks like tomorrow when, the rest of the blossoms open.

I made some jewelry yesterday too.
(I didn't copy any ideas this time, just stuck things together.)
I made a bracelet for Mom, just something shiny:
I didn't get the string right, so it looks a little square?
Some green and gold earrings for me:

Tassels are really popular in jewelry.
I had this large bead and I thought it would look good with a tassel.
I could buy a ready-made tassel and stick it on a necklace.
But I already have so much stuff I don't need to buy more!

I made the tassel out of chain and I am not entirely happy with it.
I haven't finished making a necklace for it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Today was a long day.
I spent several hours with my mom and dad at UCI medical center in Orange.
We got a new neurosurgeon for mom and scheduled a date for the biopsy in 8 days.
I feel confident with her new doctor but it has been a long road and it still isn't over yet.
It was sad when they gave her a mental evaluation and asked her questions and she couldn't answer hardly one.

I anticipated a slow day and brought a pencil case with art supplies to work.
It wasn't my regular case with "travel" things like a paintbrush and a variety of pencils and crayons.
Instead I accidentally brought a box of "Gelatos"

These are similar to water soluble crayons but they are softer, more like oil pastel.
They roll up, like a glue stick.
They are very soft and crumbly, so they get used up quickly and make a mess.

They are expensive, I think $20 for 5. I have only seen them at Michael's.

I drew the flowers on my desk:

I really wanted to blend the colors, like I always do, but I didn't have a brush.
Maybe it's better that I left it alone.

I added more marks and wondered what to do.

Eventually I ran out of time.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

All work and no play

Today I find myself all alone in my office, with nothing to do and without any of my drawing tools.

I keep some things in a pencil case to bring to work with me, but a few days ago my Mom found them and she started doodling and I couldn't bring myself to take them back.

We got a new doctor for Mom because her previous doctor left town, and she will see him tomorrow.
She has been steadily getting worse, but we have had a few days of "just staying the same."

If I have time I will try to draw anything in my sketchbook with just the office tools.
I'm sure there's a few Sharpies somewhere.

The giant sunflower in the backyard is starting to bloom.

It is going to have several blossoms.

Here is another sunflower that popped up.
This is the size of all the other sunflowers that I've seen:

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A drawing of flowers

Things at home are messed up.
My mom is mostly paralyzed from her brain tumor. Every week is a little worse.
Last week she could barely walk with a walker, and this week she can't sit up straight.

There was some kind of mix up and after trying for over a week, the insurance company told us yesterday that they can't provide a home nurse unless we put her into hospice (that means refusing any further treatment)

My dad and I are getting into the routine of caring for some one who can barely move.
I guess no one wants her to go to the hospital.

My brother will be coming into town early next week and my sister is coming May 1st, so hopefully they can help make sense of things.

Today was a usually slow day at work, so I made some time to draw the flowers on my desk.
I'm getting better at managing my new tasks with drawing.

I started out with a sketch in water-soluble crayons:

After I scanned it, I decided it needed more colors:

I blended the background with hand sanitizer instead of water.
It kind of is a gel and it doesn't blur the scribbles as much as water.

What I ended up with by the end of the day:


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Today I made a collage

When I went to the bookstore the other day, I actually did buy a book.
 It is called Art Journal Kickstarter.

There are a lot of similar books like it.
Some of them have different journals/techniques/prompts by one author or more authors.

This one has a different artist on each page and an interview with the artist.
There were about 75 artists featured inside!
The cover of the book is awful, but the artists featured inside are great.
Some of the questions were "what inspired you to make this one"
and "name an artist who inspires you"
I will enjoy looking up all these artists!

The other day I found an unused glue stick in my desk at work! I felt nostalgic.
Today I put it to use.
I had a whole hour where nobody showed up.
I tore up a recent Forbes magazine and made a collage.

I was inspired by an ad with a man on the crow's nest of a boat.
It reminded me of myself trying to find my creativity.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I went to the book store

Today I went to Barnes and Nobles to steal some ideas, and buy a new copy of Jane Eyre.
I lost the one from 8th grade some time while I was rearranging my room. Maybe it fell apart.
Charlotte Bronte was born 200 years ago this month.

I looked at all the art books and then the children's books.

I found a great, funny book called "The Day the Crayons Quit," and its even better sequel called "The Day the Crayons Came Home," by Drew Daywalt.

The first book is written from the point of view of different colored crayons that share their grievances about how they have been used and abused, or not used at all.

The second book is funny postcards sent by crayons that have been lost or left behind in different locations around the house and other places. Kind of reminds me of the Toy Story movies.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Apple Pear and Plum

Today was discouraging at home.

My dad and I have been trying to get a nurse to come check on my mom.
She doesn't want to/can't get out of bed anymore.
Her doctor approved the nurse, but the insurance company is supposed to send some one, and they haven't.

Luckily I have a friend at the church who is a nurse and she comes by to check on my mom.

I drew the fruit on my desk at work.
I used watercolor crayons.
The desk I use now has a faux wood surface, instead of light gray.

The bright orange color reminds me it was a hot day today.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The sunflower tree

Something unusual has been growing in my garden this year.
I remembered to take a picture of it this morning.

Last year I planted ornamental sunflowers along the fence,
so I would have some pretty flowers to cut.
They did OK, and a few came back this year. They were about 3 feet high max.

This huge thing is the size of a tree.

It must be 10 feet tall by now, and it still hasn't finished.
The fence is not quite 6 feet high, maybe closer to 5 1/2 feet, and it's in a raised bed.
Still it's very tall. It towers overhead.


The leaves are about 12 inches across.

It looks like it will have multiple blooms. I can't wait to see what they look like.


Today I also finally did some work on one of my cars, which I will put in the cars blog.
It was nice to get away from my problems, and escape to the sanctuary of my friend's garage.

I haven't done a single thing to the cars besides change the oil in 6 months.
There are a lot of things that need to be done, now...

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Starts and stops

Things have been difficult at home these days.
My mom who is 78 has a brain tumor, and the treatment is progressing very slowly.
The family has decided to go ahead and do a biopsy so the doctor can treat it better.
However even a biopsy is very risky.

Meanwhile she is losing a lot of mobility...
It seems like every day she moves less and sleeps more.

Most of the time I don't feel like even writing in my journal.
I just feel anxious and turn things over in my mind.

Throughout the week I tried sketching flowers, which is my starting point when I don't have ideas.
I always have flowers on my desk at work.

I started with this one in the middle of last week, but it never got anywhere.

On Friday, I got caught up with my paperwork and it looked like I would have plenty of time to draw.
I started this one and got a little farther along:


Suddenly a mentally ill woman showed up and demanded a place to stay.
She was very rude and brought all her suitcases into the office.
It was very stressful.
However, we did find some one who was willing to put her up in a hotel for 3 days.
I had to go with them to make sure everyone behaved.
The lady was so happy with the help we gave her. I gave her the information for some women's shelters, but I heard she came back

I think I drew this on Saturday.

I was hoping to draw something today, but there wasn't time again.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

A few minutes to draw

Things have been rough all week.
I haven't had time to do anything fun.
I haven't even felt like writing in my journal.

Last week I had a few minutes to sketch these roses on my desk:

Today was slow and I was going to draw.
Instead, I spent my spare half hour watching the security camera feed to see who stole the fountain pump from the barrel fountain we have in the yard at work.
It was little kids about 3 or 4 years old, and they had tossed it into the bushes.

Friday, April 1, 2016

A necklace

This week I haven't had a chance to draw anything.

I have been writing my feelings and dreams in my journal, but I can't seem to find the extra hour or two I need to illustrate them.

Last night I had a great dream, where I had to go to a dress-up event.
I took three dresses and three pairs of shoes to my friends house, where I was going to get dressed
I didn't dream about the event at all, just the dress.
Afterward, it was time to go home and I couldn't find my shoes.
The whole floor of my friend's home was covered with shoes.
Hundreds of shoes, and not a single one of them had its matching pair.

That would have been fun to draw.
At work I vowed to sneak in a half hour and sketch, but it was impossible.

At home today I made this necklace and earrings.

I want to try this with a different color bead.
It's hard to find enough beads in a similar color but different shape
I think I use a different part of my brain for making jewelry, than for drawing and painting.
It always feels like I took the easy way out!