Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Some pictures from the HB pier

I noticed that my blogs are getting long and rambling.
I'm going to try to blog more often, so I'm not trying to fit a week's worth of activities on one page.

Mom is doing OK.
Now that she has finished most of her cancer treatment, and is taking less drugs, her blood sugar levels have become regular again and she almost doesn't need insulin anymore.

However today, Dad seemed to think she has developed a cough...

She still isn't walking but she does more and more every day.

On Sunday I was determined to go to the pier again.
It is a good change of scene and a chance to walk.
It was cold and windy and fit my mood.

This time of year there are often great sunsets, because of the rain clouds.

There were no surfers in the water, because of the recent storm.
There were more photographers than usual.

I guess they are taking pictures of the pier with the sun setting behind it.
(I will have to go down to the water and try that view, next time.)

I don't have any photo editing programs on my computer right now, so these really came out nice.
It's amazing how nature can make something that its more beautiful than one could imagine.

Saturday, November 26, 2016


It feels like November at last.

What is your mental age?
One of my favorite bloggers brought up this website.
After answering some multiple choice questions, it guesses your mental age:


My mental age is 43!
Close enough.
I was afraid my mental age would be much younger than myself!

This week, I did a few creative things.

Last weekend I went to Daiso and one of the things I picked up was a silicone mat.
I saw something similar at Michael's for $10, but this was $1.50 at Daiso.

The silicone mat came from the cooking aisle.
It is probably used to put under hot pots and pans.

I used it to make snowflakes out of hot glue:

Yesterday, I went to Art Supply Warehouse in Westminster.
I bought a few tubes of acrylic paint.
I forgot to look for powdered pigment.

I paid for a class in December, Cards and Mail Art by artist Jacki Long.
Jacki has her own blog, here:


I saw an ad for a class on how to use a new line of products called Marabu.
I didn't think I had time for the class, even though it was only a couple hours, but I did buy a few water-soluble crayons.

Classes at Catalyst:

I didn't get a chance to use the crayons, but I did put some of the paint I bought on a few pages of a book.

Lately my sketchbook hasn't been getting much use, but I still bring it everywhere I go.

The other day, I was upset to find the cat on the bed.
I put the sketchbook on her to encourage her to leave, but she just went back to sleep.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Dry spell

Last week, I didn't get anything artistic done.
I had to send the church newsletter to the printers on Friday instead of later today, because this week is Thanksgiving.
It didn't help that I had to share my computer station with the new office manager.

I turned down the job as office manager because I felt like I couldn't take on any more responsibilities... Maybe I could spend more time with Mom and also focus on my art.

I am sure the bright side is right around the corner.

I'm definitely looking forward to getting two days off this week.

Last week, I did use the newer silicone mold with solder:

I liked these shapes the best of all, but still don't like them enough to make jewelry.

Yesterday, (Sunday,) I went back to Daiso.
I bought a lot of neat things. Maybe I'll blog about them next time.

It rained so I really couldn't go anywhere, at least not very fast.

Neither car is very well adapted to the rain.
The red car has all original and drum brakes and narrow tires with no tread left on them.
The green car has a lot of muscle...

Drifting is fun if you're the only person on the road...

I found a marker and drew a grid in my sketchbook.

I wanted to put water on it.
The jar of water on my desk had dried up.

I made a kind of collage in the grid with things laying around on my desk:

Monday, November 14, 2016

Made earrings from buttons.

Today I made earrings from buttons again.
Yesterday my computer informed me that Jo-Ann's beads were all 70% off.
Unfortunately, I'm not doing any projects with beads this week, and have too many already.

I went anyway, but avoided the bead sale.

I bought another candy mold.
I was really intrigued by the coral shape at the top.

I found myself in the button aisle. Jo-Ann's has a whole aisle of buttons!

Some of their buttons are hand painted or made of shell, and cost more than $8 for a pair!

I was just interested in the making process, so I stuck to buttons in the $2.50 range.

At home I used a pliers to cut the backs off.
Nail clippers also help remove the loop on the back of the button.

Use safety glasses because the pieces will fly everywhere.

Some of the findings were already flat on the back.

I also used a regular nail file to rough up the back, so the glue would stick.
Some of the findings were slightly concave.
I had an angled filing tool from a set of tools that are used to make holes in beads larger.

Earring post backs are cheap and come in different sizes.

I was disappointed to find that my favorite buttons of the bunch, made of clear acrylic, had a unique back that didn't look like it wanted to be chopped up:

I will have to figure out a different project for them.

You can use just about any kind of super glue or jewelry glue.

These glues are all very toxic, and I let them rest about a day.

It is best to let them rest on their faces to let the backs dry straight.
I found these old silvery plastic snowflakes in a tray of beads, and put a back on them too.

I found that for rounded earrings, or finger rings, you can rest them to dry face down in a tray of beads.

I only found one package of these acrylic Christmas light buttons.
All I had to do was attach a earring back:

If I had more I think I could really make gifts out of them, but giving things away, or selling stuff is something I'm still working on...

My phone's camera couldn't capture a clear picture of tonight's Supermoon.
I used the Pastel effect:

Saturday, November 12, 2016

More hot glue and molds. Sunset

I put some more hot glue into molds to see what happened.

I put some Pearl-Ex in the Wilton candy mold.

I tried putting glue and a silvery Pearl-Ex into these large leaf-shaped candy molds:

They look like they would be even more cool to fill with solder!

Here's the results of both:

I'm frustrated with my photography.
I'm sure the camera is focused when I take the picture, but I don't see the results are blurry until much later.

Today there was a nice sunset.

I wish I had a better vantage point, one without light posts!

Like, the beach...

Friday, November 11, 2016

Menudo. Big waves

Tonight I am making Menudo.

It occurred to me that Menudo is a traditional hangover cure and I haven't made any this year for Mom, and I'm sure the chemo is giving her a hangover.

This is about my 4th or 5th attempt at Menudo.
I have eaten all kinds of traditional Mexican foods made by authentic experts, and I can't come close to replicating it.
It is one of those things that you can't really follow a recipe, I guess!

Last week was Mom's last session of going for a chemo treatment at the hospital!

She will be taking lesser strength pills, for a few more weeks.
She is doing great, the tumor is out of sight in the latest MRI's, but I hope the reduced medication will help her feel more like getting out of bed.

Today I am roughly following these two Menudo recipes:



The last time I tried Menudo, I used a beef foot instead of pork feet.
I don't like to combine species, but maybe there's something to it?

Here's the tripe and pig's foot boiling.

I love tripe, and offal, and have had ALL kinds.
If I really have a craving, I'd just cook the tripe and then add pasta sauce! Italian style.

If you want something similar, Pozole is a stew like Menudo, all the work without the tripe.

The dried chili I found in the spice cabinet, (reconstituting in the bowl) (see recipe) is Ancho/Poblano instead of Pasilla but some recipes differ.
I will also add dried California chili powder and a Serrano chili. Not more than 1 Serrano. Also fresh Oregano from my patio.
These are all going to the blender (except the hominy) and then added to the last simmer.

Menudo takes about 4 hours.

I'm still new to blogging and absolutely not a cook.
Sometimes only the dogs get to eat my experiments.
Today was just something more unusual.

The surfing guy I follow on YouTube, Mike Lucas Media, has some cool videos of a recent set of big waves.

Nov. 9, viewing the waves from the shore:


Then the same waves from the surfers POV:


There's a lot of surf videographers, but for some reason this one seems to remind me the most of my own memories of going to the beach and watching surfers.

I also like that he posts his raw video too, so I can wonder about his editing process.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Pearl Ex and hot glue in mold. I painted in my journal for once!

Yesterday, I was more determined than usual to paint in my journal.

I found this teapot.
I thought it would make a nice, simple shape to begin with.

I sketched it out a little.

I painted it by spreading acrylic paint with a credit card, like a palette knife.
While I was painting, I thought about whether or not I had forgotten how to paint.

I guess I remember something...

Today I noticed that everyone seemed to be in an extra good mood...
Maybe now that we know the results of the election, people can start thinking about other things?

After work last night, I noticed a beautiful jade flower pendant that a character was wearing in a TV show.
(I postponed watching Dark Shadows, and now I'm watching American Horror Show.)

I wondered if  I could make my glue stick melts look like jade?
I don't have light green glue sticks, but I have a lot of glitter and paints.

I also have some powdered pigment called Pearl-Ex.
If you touch it, it looks like powdered eye shadow. If you stir it into paint, it is like a dye.

I dropped some Pearl-Ex powder into the silicone molds.
I had metallic green, and metallic pink.

I had no idea what would happen.
I can't stir the powder into glue once it's in the mold.
Would it just float on the top of the glue, or would it color the glue?

To test the Pearl-Ex, I washed the shapes with soap and water.
The powder seems to be stuck good, (and not going to get all over you when you touch it)

I used the white glue stick and then the  nearly-clear glue stick, too.
That had a totally different effect with the exact same pearl colors.

I was really happy with the result.
They actually look like potential jewelry items, instead of clumps of glue.

Here's a comparison using a glitter glue stick, compared to applying Pearl-Ex to a mold:

Monday, November 7, 2016

Video of the surfer pulled from the HB pier

Here is a great video of the very dramatic attempt to save the surfer who was injured near the pier yesterday:


My phone camera doesn't have a zoom like this!
This video is actually better than what I could see with my own eyes from the pier.

According to the news, his condition is still unknown.
They say he was in his 60's, so it wasn't one of the young surfers I watched jump off the pier minutes earlier.
Also, the lifeguard had just gone off duty...

I didn't have time to do anything creative today.

The new office manager, a Cal State Fullerton Student, started working today.

I had to get the Sunday bulletin finished a day earlier than usual because the printer's are closed on Friday, so I didn't have much time to talk to her.

So far it looks like we have to share the same cubicle/computer.
Luckily she was in a meeting somewhere else all this evening.
I like working there in the previous business manager's cubicle, because I can work on records and bulletins away from the distractions of the front desk.

I hope I can still have a workstation somewhere away from the front desk, at least a few days a week...

addendum: 2:35 am Tuesday, this has been bothering me...


When the pipe in the ceiling of an office  burst on Saturday, and I opened the windows to ventilate, I found that one of our many homeless persons had randomly stashed a wetsuit outside the window.

I'm glad I didn't take that manager's position, this job is making me lose my mind.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

More hot glue in molds. HB pier tragedy.

Here is the result from yesterday, when I put plain hot glue into a silicone ice cube tray:

I should have known it would dry opaque. (The sticks were opaque.)
I can't see the glitter I poured in.

Saturday after work I went to Michael's to find transparent glue sticks.
They didn't have any perfectly transparent ones.
I also bought glitter glue sticks.

I had searched the baking aisle at the dollar store and Jo-Ann's, but I didn't find quite what I was looking for until now:

Silicone candy molds.
This one is for making leaf-shaped candy:

This one is by Wilton for making candy pieces, like to stick on a wedding cake:

They had a lot of designs like this, but I liked this one the best for making jewelry.
It was called "jewelry."

I tried filling with the silver glitter, and the almost clear glue stick:

The long strings can become bracelets and the icicle shape would be good for Christmas.
The molds had a matte finish with a result like sea glass.
I still felt like it was all a goopy mess.
Fun, but a mess.

I decided to go to the HB pier again. I hoped the sunset would be better than last week.
I used to go almost every week...

It looked like it would get cloudy but there was still somewhat of a sunset.
It was twice as crowded as last week, and the waves were bigger and full of surfers.

Walking back from the end of the pier. I passed a candlelight vigil.

Suddenly, two surfers threw their boards off the pier and did backflips into the water!

I was sure the security, or a lifeguard would arrest them, but nothing happened.
Maybe there wasn't a lifeguard on duty.

I kept walking back to the shore and taking pictures.
Suddenly the crowd on the pier shouted and pointed.
I thought it was a shark, but it was a surfer, facedown, next to his board.

Even with all the people around, it took long minutes for the nearest surfer to reach him, and longer minutes for the unconscious surfer to be towed to shore.

They performed CPR for a LONG time. It didn't look good.

I wonder if it was one of the surfers who jumped off the pier?
I thought I saw them come right back up...