Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Is it winter yet?

Today I went outside, which I haven't done much lately, except to go to work.

I discovered that the water lily in the goldfish pond, still has a bloom!



Usually they shrink down and become dormant roots, in the cold weather.


The koi fish are doing well, but they have eaten all the plants in their pond.






The color of the sky suggests that winter is near, but the air is still creepy and warm.


Here is a picture I took when I went to the Huntington beach pier, about 10 days ago.




There wasn't much going on as far as clouds.



The tide was out pretty far.



Every other day or so, I have made a little jewelry.


I made another pair of sequin earrings.



These came with two holes, which led to a different design.

I had to put a little bead in between each sequin, because static was making them stick together.



I made these necklaces out of painted glass beads.




Today I made this chain with some faux crystal beads.



Sunday, November 5, 2017

Made some earrings out of sequins

The past few weeks, I haven't done much, but my phone is full of pictures.

I plan to go to the beach later today, but I need to make room on my phone camera.

While I archive my photos, I might as well blog about the last few weeks.

Hopefully I finish my blog before the sun sets!


One of the things I have been doing lately, is making jewelry with sequins.


My favorite pair of earrings are these old earrings made from sequins.
I have had them since the 80's.



They used to be longer, but they got damaged.
I added the bead on the top and an another sequin at the end.
You can't tell by the picture, but it is an angel.


The other day I got out my bunch of sequins and thought about remaking this earrings.


These sequins and confetti come assorted in a bag for about $4.50.

You can find them anywhere they sell crafts.



I discovered that I had already started a chain of iridescent angel sequins.



(The ghost shape didn't work, because the eye holes were too small to fit a metal loop.)

I think I used about 18 sequins per earring.

They came out looking awesome!



I really like the abstract shapes the angels make.




A few days after making the angel earrings, I went to a Jo-Ann craft store.

I was still thinking about the earrings, and saw a similar bag of random sequins.

This sequin assortment had some very specific, long shaped sequins that I liked.

I bought a whole bag just for those sequins.

Now, I have enough random sequins to half fill a shoebox!



I sorted out the long sequins from the rest, and sorted them by color.





I started a chain of pinkish, translucent earrings but the project stalled when I ran out of each color:





I barely had enough black and dark sequins to make a longer set of earrings.

The sequin package also had a lot of  large, round sequins.


(Large, round sequins are easy to find in their own package at the store.)

I haven't found a way to string them together in a way that hangs nicely, though.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Short trip with the 3rd Gens

There was a meet-up and lunch today with people who have similar cars as mine.
It was organized by Kevin, who is the son of Don the mechanic.
I saw a lot of people I haven't seen in awhile!
Also some people I saw at the picnic this summer.

We met at Canyon high school in Anaheim, drove up Santiago Canyon road, and stopped at Fuddruckers on El Toro road for burgers.


I expected to see a lot of fire damage, but most of the damage was back and east of there.


It was a nice drive and not a lot of traffic.


Here are some pictures, (of the high school parking lot because I was  busy driving during the scenic part...)

There were 8 or 9 cars. 

Camaros outnumbered the Firebirds, stick outnumbered automatics this time. 




(The pictures are a bit smaller because I am going to share them in the car forum.)




The green car is still completely undone inside- wires every where and no interior door panels, so I brought out the red car.



Polishing a car (and its rims) is a good workout!

Red car was happy to get some TLC this weekend.


The green car will have its day in the sun soon.


Meanwhile I enjoyed other friends cars, some who have also recently been restored.



The best thing I like about the group I hang out with is that we all drive our cars regularly.

They all have a little wear and tear...but they are too fun to drive, to leave them in a garage.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Flowers and earrings and not much else.

Not much has been going on.
The fires and other disasters have been pretty depressing.



Nothing exciting happening at work, except that it's still hot.

Today it was 90 degrees.

It's disgusting.

All the flowers around the office are blooming.






There's been a mosquito problem at the office for awhile.

I got bitten again this week, about 10 times on my knees, even through my jeans!

I now have mosquito repellent on my desk.



I didn't do any drawing or any work on the cars for two weeks.

There is a car club meeting on Saturday the 21st, and the interior of the green car is still in shambles!



I did make a pair of earrings early last week. (I got the idea from an online catalog.)

It was supposed to be some pearls and gold beads, in order descending in size.

I gathered some beads together but I didn't have enough faux pearls.






I did have some clear acrylic beads that were the right size.





Here is what I ended up with.


Very fab!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Solder and silicone bakeware

This week I went to Michael's for the first time in a long time, and they had a sale on bakeware.

One thing I have noticed is silicone molds for baking are really popular.

They come in all kinds of shapes nowadays.

I don't bake, but I like to melt things in them.

They are good for up to 400 degrees, which can handle candy, baked Fimo clay, and even solder.




The silicone molds I like best, are the ones used for fondant or candy.

I picked up these two molds.




The big one was about $7.

The small one is for laying a pattern on top of cupcakes. It was 2.99!


The more obvious thing would be to press Fimo clay into the molds, but I'm not into clay right now.

Right away I had to try melting solder into it.


My soldering iron had a lot of built-up melted plastic from making Sparkle balls last winter.

It left a syrupy residue on the mold, but after a while I think it will wear away.


As usual, the solder wanted to go everywhere but where I wanted.

I thought of using this copper tape to hold the liquid metal in one place.



The copper tape is supposed to help you place solder around something like a glass pendant.

You kind of wrap it like a picture frame around a piece of glass. Then melt solder onto it.


But all the times I've used the copper tape in that way, the solder peels away.

(I used flux, too...)


Here, I made a loop of copper tape around one of the patterns on the big mold:





Using the copper tape had a better effect at restraining the solder.


This is a different attempt:




Here is the flip side of that one:



You can see the syrupy plastic residue that was coming off the soldering iron from a previous project.



In the end, all of the artifacts I made were still too blobby to actually hang on a chain or as earrings.



They feel more like lead fishing weights.

Part of the problem is that the solder is not getting hot enough with the soldering iron.

It tends to build up, drop by drop, instead of spreading in a thin layer.

I am still too nervous to use a torch...

Monday, October 2, 2017

Dreams

I have been thinking a lot about my mom lately, which is better than shutting it out of my mind.

I think by avoiding thinking about my mom's passing, I was blocking a lot of other things from my mind, too...



Over the weekend I made a few things in my sketchbook.

I drew a face (that I copied from a fashion magazine ) in water soluble crayon, then put an ink wash over it.



I was very happy with the result.

Anything is better than nothing!


I also made some collages in my sketchbook about some dreams I had.

I had a dream I went to Disneyland.
My new shoes made my feet hurt, so I took them off and left them by the entrance.
I walked halfway around the park and regretted leaving my shoes where I couldn't see them.
I went back to get them and found many, many pairs of shoes, all belonging to me.
There was one pair of ugly brown work shoes, and I ordered them to be thrown away.
My co-worker said, "but they're still good."
I realized it was wrong to throw them away, so I gave those shoes to her.


I made a collage about shoes.

Mostly I used pictures of work shoes from a catalog.




In the middle of that, I put some brown shoes.


I covered everything with a little black paint, because that was how I was feeling.




I mixed the black paint with matte medium to thin it a little, but I used too much black paint!




Everything turned into a muddled blob.


I had another dream that my mom was dancing at a church festival.

She used to like to dance, but my dad couldn't dance, so they never went out much.


I found a picture of random 50's people dancing in an old magazine, and made a collage based on that.


First for a background, I laid out strips of paper with different text on it:





I had some translucent paper from Daiso:




I used strips of that to add a little color on top of the text:



The picture of the dancers was discolored so I used colors in the tracing paper to go with that.




Saturday, September 30, 2017

Alive!

This morning I got up and checked on the tiny fish in my vase/fishbowl.

They were alive and eagerly swimming around!





Using properly conditioned water really makes a difference.


I gave them a little flake of food, because it's doubtful enough bugs will fall in there.




Maybe later today I will take the vase apart again and take it to the office.



This week I also started working in my new sketchbook / journal.





The last two years, I had been using a 9 x 12 sized sketchbook, which was the biggest size that I could easily carry around.

Lately I have not been bringing my sketchbook around with me, so I went back to 11 x 14.

I like the bigger size better.


I slopped some paint around.




When I was doing more drawing, I used to fill a 60 page sketchbook in about a month and a half!

The previous two sketchbooks took me about 6 months to fill, each one...


Sometimes if the paper isn't good, too thick or too thin, it can be a little discouraging.

I like the paper in this new one, I'm sure I will get it filled a lot faster.

(Blame it on the paper)

Thursday, September 28, 2017

fishbowl part 2

The other day I got up early to take a picture of the sunrise.

There had been a brush fire, so it was a very dramatic sunrise.



I found that one of the dogs had taken one of my sketchbooks outside.

After many months, I had finally filled it up and put it aside.

Unfortunately, I left it on the floor by their bed! Must have had something tasty on it.




As an appetizer they also had a piece of fiberglass insulation from the old car I had dismantled.

It wasn't anything too important.




It reminds me I haven't done hardly any drawing, or any repairs to my cars.




I bought some small glass pebbles/gravel at Walmart to put in my vase/fishbowl.




I sorted out some of the light colored-pebbles.




The remainder was the darker and translucent glass pebbles:






This sized pebble was better for holding down the aquarium plants at the bottom.





I was more careful with the water I put into the vase.

I used a mixture of pond water, water from my aquarium, water that had been in a watering can for days, and bottled water.



New aquariums need to develop a biological balance.

This can take 1 month or more, before you can safely add fish.

Using the old aquarium water and pond water speeds up the process.


I was being hasty by dumping the little mosquito fish into the vase with tap water the other day.


I added two more of the little fish today.



If they last 24 hours I think I can safely try bringing the vase to the office.

I'm hoping the fish experiment works.

We already have a problem with mosquitoes at the office because of all the plants.

I wouldn't want to bring in a new breeding place for them!