Monday, January 30, 2017

New Year of the Fire Rooster

It has been a long weekend...

Our church has a large Vietnamese community.
They always celebrate the new year with dragon dancers.

And loud firecrackers!

I got three lucky money envelopes!
(sorry, the other two were given to Mom and Dad!!!)

They have one dollar in each and sometimes a prayer card.
The tradition is to give money, especially to kids.
Some kids fed their money envelope to the dragons outside the church.

I wish I had a good picture of the dragon's face!
It has two people, and a big head with a muppet mouth.

I felt like I should have given something in return, but I don't know the custom!
Maybe next year!

Over the weekend, I didn't make much.
I bought some glass beads with painted metallic stripes.

Inspired by the beads and the firecrackers, I started some earrings, but didn't finish.

I ran out of fine chain.

They say it's bad luck to clean the house AFTER the New Year.
But Sunday was warm, and it was the only day to do this.

I washed the dogs and vacuumed the house, and washed the cars.
And, apparently washed away some good luck!

The Red car has been having trouble starting.
If it is cold, it will start just fine.
But if I drive it a little, like go to the store, when I try to start it the second time, the motor wants to die. I have to give it throttle or gas to keep it alive.

Finally last night, I couldn't do anything to get it to start!
Dad came and tried to jump start it, to no avail.
The consensus is a fuel issue, maybe the fuel pump.

I called my insurance company for a free tow, but they couldn't find any drivers for about 3 hours.
I was pretty cranky, but grateful when somebody finally showed up!

Tomorrow I will see Don the mechanic.
He is planning back surgery for a complicated issue, but he said he has been feeling really well this last week.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Here comes the sun. And the wind

We are having a week without rain.
Pics from earlier in the week:

I don't like the sun.
The clouds after the rain are nice.
But, it's very bright.

According to the guys painting the green car, they need some dry weather to get caught up with their painting and repairs.
(They make their money doing repairs, not painting whole cars for crazy ladies)
It's going to be another 10 days, at least...

Today I took an art class, Mixed Media at Catalyst, with artist Jacki Long.

Today we did some exercises like drawing with the non-dominant hand, and not looking at the page.
This seemed to help me a lot to get unblocked, and everyone else had a lot of great stuff too.

Jacki will have pictures of everyone's work, on her blog for tomorrow...
Link to Jacki's blog:

Jacki is an expert at taking pictures of art, but if she missed any I'll post it later tomorrow.

Mom is doing OK, but all week she has been sleeping, sleeping, sleeping, even though she isn't on her chemo pill.
I showed her some of the stuff I did in Jacki's class today, but she didn't really look at it.
She has a nurse that comes by regularly, and I've seen her sick before, so we don't think she has an illness.
I can't think of any way to cheer her up, (except maybe giving birth, but that's not going to happen anytime soon.)
Maybe her nurse can prescribe some better vitamins.
I'm just grateful for every day we have her with us.

I had a lot of energy after taking Jacki's class, probably due to the Keurig machine in the classroom.

Jacki gave me some more Sundance Catalogs!
I didn't get reading very far into the catalog when I found this bracelet I wanted to copy:

All due respect to the original designers:
Link to Sundance Catalog:

I gathered a chain and some aqua and orange beads.

After looking at them all, I didn't use any turquoise, or the smallest sized aqua beads.

I thought 6 of each kind was enough, but it wasn't long enough.
(The plain chain is the size of my wrist.)

After about an hour and a half, I was tired of putting each bead into a chain link.
I wanted a shortcut to make the strands longer, so I put a connection in the middle.
I put the charms in the middle, too:

In the end I didn't use the plain chain at all, except at the ends.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Earrings etc

Over the weekend I went to Daiso and bought a bunch of stuff.
One other thing I bought was a pair of $1.50 earrings.

I wasn't wearing any earrings that night.
After all, I must have a hundred earrings I've made at home, so I had no excuse to go out without any!
So as penance I bought another pair, just a random earring that I saw.

Once I got home, I decided they were too busy and too long..

I separated the parts and discovered that the studs were not attached to the other parts

I put hooks on the stony-looking pieces and turned them into a pair.
They are irregular and it bugs me...

I divided the long chains in half to make the chains shorter.
I put a gold dangle-y bit on the other half of the chain earrings.

In the end my favorites were the gold-colored ball studs.
To my surprise I left them in all weekend and they didn't become sore.

Oh. So On Sunday I walked to work. It was rainy. I met some puddles, but survived...

I couldn't find videos of the surfer I was following a few months ago.
Apparently he has changed his YouTube user name to  " Man Of Water. "
Anyway I wondered how he was doing with the recent storms?

I can't believe how these hard core surfers will enter into this filthy water after a storm.
It's hard to convince me to wade in any of the local beaches at any time of year!

I don't really watch the whole thing but the surf sound in the background is always relaxing.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

All kinds of stuff.

While listening to the inauguration on Friday, I made two collages:

Yesterday I went to Daiso. 

I went 1 hour before closing so I wouldn't bring home the whole store!

I didn't find ink for a fountain pen I bought at a different Daiso.

I found a variety of paper.

I went for storage containers.

Instead I found some pretty dishes.

I found another cute blown glass whale (for resting your chopsticks.)
This one was a pretty blue color!

I will turn it into a pendant.

Looking straight up, yesterday afternoon:

Today it's supposed to rain more than it did on Friday. 

On Friday, the water flooded the back yard. 
It came up to the back door during an especially heavy downpour, but luckily it was able to run out into the front. 
The driveway was full of dirt.

The office manager and the business manager were inspecting a leaky roof at the church when the downpour happened 
The office manager's iPhone got ruined!

I'm going to walk to the church office (it's only a few blocks from my house) in about an hour to work on the newsletter. 

Right in the middle of the storm!
I'll be sure to keep my phone in a zip lock bag! 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Day off, Inaguration Day.

Today I got up early, like 5:30 AM.
I was happy to see that the next wave of rain had just begun!
Hopefully it will rain all day and night, and put a damper on any wild protests.

I don't work until the afternoon, so I will be able to watch the inauguration on TV, if I want.

Yesterday was my day off. I got up early yesterday, too.

I changed the position of the hanging point on the earrings I made recently.
I wanted to make "umbrellas" instead of tacos!

They are inside-out umbrellas!
However, the long tube bead I added as the "handle" makes the earrings too heavy and uncomfortable to wear.

Later on, I took an art class at Catalyst, Collage and Mixed Media with artist Jacki Long

The class is like art therapy, we are pretty much free to do anything.
You can find more pictures of other people's work at Jacki's blog site.

I struggled to make these faces:

They are collage and acrylic paint on cardboard.

I haven't done enough drawing and painting in my sketchbook lately, (but I have been doing more since the New Year.)
I'm still using the same sketchbook I was taking with me to the hospital during Mom's cancer treatment during the summer!
I used to draw, paint, or journal 1 1/2 pages a day, so it has been going slow.
I bought a new sketchbook with heavier paper recently, and I hope to finish the old one soon.

I brought a lot of paper from home this time, although the class supplies us with all materials.
I miss making flowers.
I made these flower shapes from strips of paper and tissue:

I thought the background needed more paint so I made this one:

In the afternoon, I went to the Huntington Beach Pier to walk again.

The sunset looked like it would be promising.

I like it when the clouds pile up like this after a storm:

But the clouds had mostly dissipated by the time the sun set, and it was not spectacularly colorful.

Luckily, there is Photoshop to add the colors I wanted:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


On my day off I slept and did laundry.

Just now I got an idea for some earrings.
I really liked the ones I did last week:

I had an idea that looked like a wagon wheel.
I'm sure it's not original! Just what I felt like doing next.

It was easy to assemble but it had a lot of parts.

I thought 10 tubes would be enough.

In the end it used 11. I thought it was great!

But when I picked them up and put them on, they folded over like a floppy orange slice!

Still shiny though.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Not missing the green car, yet. No pictures.

Today before work I went to get an eye exam to order new contact lenses.

During the last year, I noticed when I got up in the morning, I could see past my nose without my glasses for the first time since I was a child.
I could read things across the room!

I was surprised when the exam showed my vision had in fact improved, and it wasn't my imagination.

The doctor suggested that my blood sugar must have gone down, (so it must have been high, of which I'm always aware of) but it's still too early for me to need reading glasses.

The only thing that's changed in my lifestyle the past year is moving Mom around, so I guess there was a benefit to all that.

Today the painter said 10 more days to finish the green car, and I'm OK with that.
I didn't go to see it... I don't want to see it!

He said he doesn't need any money or anything, yet.

Half my friends are frantic, and the other half don't know I've sent it out to be painted!

I know he is working on it. Or maybe he hasn't started?
I feel all right about it.

I don't think he's joy-riding around in it!

There were the holidays, and then the rain.
It took him 3 weeks to do the red car's bumper.
He isn't a One-Day Paint and Body for sure!

I've looked up how to paint a car ('cause if I thought there was a way I could have done it myself I would have!) and I know the polishing is a long process especially on a dark colored car.

I know how car guys work when it's not an emergency, too.
I've left cars with Don the mechanic for weeks and weeks, because it wasn't a priority.

Maybe it won't be done 'til summer! Ha.

Anyway I'm happy that its leaking on some one else's driveway...

Friday, January 13, 2017

Rainy day off

Today my dad and I took Mom for a regular checkup.
She usually sees her oncologist on Thursdays, so I got Thursdays off from work.

I was sorry to miss Jacki's class, but she was out sick, so the class was cancelled anyway.
Luckily, my mom won't have another visit for at least another 3 weeks.

She is still taking a week of chemotherapy pills at home, every month or so.
Still not strong enough to walk, but everything else is OK for now.

There was a lot of rain!
The right hand lane on a lot of roads was flooded to the curb.

Mom's appointment took less than an hour, which was a miracle.

I was hoping to go visit my green car at the paint shop, but I didn't want to drive all the way to Anaheim in the pouring rain.

I had a bizzare dream where my red car was hit by another car.
I captured the persons responsible into a soup can!
I walked around with the can, trying to tell the police where I was.
In the end the police never showed up and I had to let them go.

I decided it was safer to stay home and work on my metal jewelry.
First I tried to color some aluminum and copper using a patina solution.

It was supposed to give the metal an "antique patina."

All it did was stink like sulfur.
The container didn't have instructions, just pictures.

Maybe I didn't leave it in long enough.

I got out some aluminum dog tags, and a hammer and other tools.

(The metal blanks are coated with blue tape on one side to keep them from getting scratched while you are working on it.)

I made these earrings:

I didn't copy anything, just kind of remembering other earrings I've seen like it.

I also tried to copy a bracelet I saw in the Sundance catalog.
I couldn't find what I needed to make it, so I began to organize my room.

Eventually I found what I wanted and made this bracelet:

I couldn't believe how time flew by.