Friday, June 30, 2017

Taking walks

Today and yesterday, I got up early and walked the dog to the park a few blocks away.

I'll be turning 40 in a couple weeks, and I want to be at least in better shape, then.

One thing I noticed right away was that a huge pine tree had been cut down.

I wonder what happened to it?

The park is connected to a school, and along one side there is a storm channel.
In order to walk all the way around the park and school, I used to have to crawl through holes in a fence.

I remember reading in the newspaper how the city finally created a bike trail there.

The article is dated June 2016 , so I know I haven't walked since then!

I had forgotten all about the new trail.

It was really nice of the city to put this in place:

Maybe they got tired of seeing grown-ups trying to squeeze through kid-sized holes in the fence.

There were a lot of things planted along the trail.

One thing I saw were butterfly bushes, doing much better than plant I have at home.

Bugs really like this plant!

I also found a morning glory.

At home I made a few things in my sketchbook.

I made a grid.

I filled in the squares with stuff.

I dreamed I was in a chase scene, like a James Bond Movie.

I was in a speedboat on the coast of France, but it didn't look like France.

Later, I drove my red car very fast through a European city, and ended up at a gift shop where I was very picky about getting a present for Mom.

It was a little hand-held electronic slot machine.

Mom always wanted to go to Vegas.
I think she got married there, but I can't remember her ever taking the time to go.

Later today I am going to Anaheim to visit my mechanic and the painter, and see what's up.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Maybe tomorrow or the day after.

Yesterday I waited all day for the painter to call.
I left him a message but he didn't answer.

Today I called him and he said something about a friend.
He said it would be done tomorrow, or maybe the day after that!


I drew some faces during the week.

I did my same old process of drawing with a waxy watercolor crayon, and going over it with a watercolor wash.

At least it was something.

I tried a little collage in it, too.

Is it just me or do all my faces look cranky? Hmm.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Monday I called a few of my car friends.
The red car's brake pads are really squeaking now.

Don said to call another friend, Lon, who sells replacement parts for convertibles.
I asked Lon to look for some brakes from a 2000's car, and also a sun visor.
A pair of sun visors costs $100 from the regular parts warehouse!

He would see what he could do.

If I had the green car back, I could park the red car until I got the bigger wheels, and the brake upgrade and clutch was assembled...

I called Roberto the painter again about the green car.

He mumbled something about having trouble finding parts.
I will have to see what he means when I see him.

But in the end he said, "The car will be ready tomorrow afternoon."

I don't know what to think!

It didn't look ready when I saw it a few weeks ago...
It didn't sound like he worked on it, at all last week.

I will be happy if it is somewhat ready by the 15th.
The annual '82-'92 Camaro and Firebird (and friends) picnic is on July 15th.

There will be a lot of dust and powder all over to clean up.
Also I have the carpet to re-upholster the interior, which is next on the list.
Rumor has it that a friend of mine from the car club recently had his car painted, and I heard the paint shop had it for a year...

Here is the original green car right after I bought it in 2001.

I thought it was awesome in my memory, but every time I see the old pictures, I don't think it will ever be this dark and shiny again.

But, we can't be young again ourselves either, right?

Around 2006 or 2007 the paint flaked off, and I had it repainted.

Here is the same car after I wrecked it two years ago.
It shows the paint job I didn't like, from 1 day Paint and Body.

The paint was very shiny and well applied, but way too bright green.

(I can't show the whole picture, because the carnage is too awful to look at, even now.)

Here is a nice Camaro I saw two years ago at a show in San Diego.

I would be happy enough if my car will be close to this color and shine:

Here is the current green car right when I bought it 2 years ago.

The paint on it was so dry, when the seller rinsed it off with a hose, the runoff was etched into the paint!

Anything will be an improvement on this!

Now I am having doubts.
Was it dark enough? It looked right the last time I went to see it.
It wasn't shiny at all, yet.

I'm nervous and I want it to be done!

I think he really means it will be done tomorrow...

Monday, June 26, 2017

studs on a denim jacket

This weekend I was inspired to put studs on an old denim jacket.

I've noticed a lot of decorated denim jackets around lately.
It seemed like the thing to do.

Some of these studs came with a denim jacket I bought way back in grade school!

Other ones I used to decorate this old messenger bag I had in college:

(I saved the bag in case I needed more studs, but I didn't use them after all.)

There isn't much to putting in the studs.
The studs have prongs on the back.
You push them through the fabric and then press the prongs inward to make them hold.

I also considered adding patches to the back of the jacket.

I have a bunch of patches from some long-lost relative who was into sports.

I didn't get around to using the patches, but I came up with some interesting combinations.

Here is the result:

I also just bought this really cool wallet on Amazon.

My old wallet was from the same company, called Shag Wear.
They only sell wholesale, but there are different designs at different vendors.

I couldn't resist this one that looks like a little journal!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Sun Visor and Sam

Last night, I was cleaning my red car and decided to fix the sun visors.

The sun visor is a cardboard flap covered with cloth.
It fits on an arm with a plastic fitting inside the flap.
Over time the plastic inside gets old.
This causes the sun visors to flop down loosely.

I took apart the sun visor which is pretty easy, just unscrew the screw on the flap.
Inside the flap is a plastic piece which slides over this metal arm.

I went to Autozone with the little part, but when I got there, the part had vanished.
It must have fallen under the seat.

I went in the store and asked, and Autozone doesn't carry them, anyway!
I would have to order it online.

Today when I got up, the sun visor wasn't on the living room chair.
It was in the patio.

Dad had found it in the yard.

Sam had chewed it all up!!!

I guess he got his revenge for the shots he got earlier this week...

Thursday, June 22, 2017

This week in June.

I'm finally recovered from my cold and the church carnival.
I didn't take as many pictures as I'd like. I think I took five photos total.

However the school's Facebook page has hundreds of pictures!

One of the church ladies said that she used to make jewelry but got bored with it, and one of these days she is going to give me her beads and stuff.

Earlier this week, I saw this neat idea for a necklace on the internet.
I thought of her and made a necklace, which I hope to give her in exchange for the bead supplies.

I didn't have big piece of dichroic glass to use as the center piece.
I used a large metal fish bead.

I also didn't have all that many green beads, but I did have a variety of aqua beads.

I started with one half and then did the other.

Here is the result:

(The lighting in my room is not very good. I tried to fix the exposure in Photoshop.)

Wednesday was my day off.

Sam needed his rabies shot, so we did that.
As usual he sat in a chair instead of the floor, and tried to be the center of attention.

Weds. I also caught up with Don and the car painter, having heard nothing from them in 10 days.

I was very disappointed to hear that Don had not ordered my clutch parts, yet.
The clutch is doing OK, for now, it seems to like the heat, and doesn't get stuck much.
However my brake pads are getting noisy.
I don't want to buy brake pads yet, because I plan to get bigger brakes soon, but Don hadn't found the upgraded brake parts I need yet, either.

The painter said he was working on another project right now, but my car would be all back together by Saturday...
It was all very disappointing

Finally, I found an interesting story on the internet about drawing a circle.
Apparently people from different cultures draw their circles clockwise or counterclockwise.

I followed a link on that page to something called QuickDrawWithGoogle.

This "game" was the way the people in the article gathered the data for the story.
It invites you to do a quick sketch with your mouse, and an Artificial Intelligence tries to guess what you are drawing.

It was a good waste of time...
I guess that counts as doing some drawing?

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Warming up

This week, I had a very bad cold.

On Thursday we had a going-away party for our pastor, who had been with us for 13 years.

I should have been on the decorating squad, but I was feeling pretty out of it.

Yesterday was the first day of the church carnival.

The theme is Fiesta.
The theme is ALWAYS Fiesta, but this year the staff was more excited than other years to decorate.

We used tissue paper flowers for some decorating, and I showed a group of ladies to make them.

Mostly I was in the office, directing traffic, and worrying about the slow start.

The Friday of the carnival always starts slow, but this year looks to be another success.

I didn't take many pictures yesterday, but I was feeling lousy and tired.

I'll be sure to take tons of pictures today!

I didn't realize how miserable I was all week, until I got up today and felt OK!

I did make some fiesta-inspired earrings this week, from these cute clay bird beads:

This morning when I got up, I saw a click-bait video about "how to beat laziness with this Japanese idea."
The idea is called Kaizen.

The idea is to not discourage yourself by trying to accomplish too much at once.
Instead the idea calls for doing things for only one minute at a time.
Eventually it will help you to change your habits.

This sounded like a lot of fun!
It reminded me of the 1-minute and 5-minute drawing exercises we would do in art class to get warmed up.
I tried this today, and as soon as something got discouraging or boring I changed to another task.
It was great.

I didn't let myself feel guilty about not getting something done to completion.

In fact, by switching tasks up every few minutes, I got a lot of chores done!
I even made the first collage I did, all week:

I have set a lot of goals for myself this summer, because I am turning 40.

Maybe this trick will help me accomplish some of them...

Sunday, June 11, 2017

June gloom.

I was very inspired by the nice self-portrait I made last week, but this week, I seemed to be too busy to paint.

There was a deadline change for the church newsletter, because the printers are going on vacation, and other things stressed me out.
Now I have caught the cold going around the office!

With some rest, I should be feeling better in time for the church carnival next weekend.

I'll take a clue from the animals and chill out.

This week, I did look up some tutorials on line on how to make a ring with wire.

I came up with a couple rings, none of which I like enough to wear.

These two are the same design but with different colored metal.
I followed this tutorial:

I liked the aluminum one better.

This was a different design:

I didn't actually have the website in front of me while I was making it, so it ended up a little wonky.

The next one will be better.
I haven't put away this batch of ideas, yet.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Visit with Green Car

I had another nightmare that one of my cars was stolen
"because I left the windows down."
My Dad was telling me about it, but I couldn't understand what he was saying.

I dream about losing my cars in various ways, all the time.
Theft. Meteorites. Sinkholes. Spontaneous combustion.
(Except when Mom was sick, then it was awful things about Mom.)

But now it's back to losing the cars.

I have been super busy at the church. The carnival is next weekend!

Also one of mom's friends passed away recently.
I was on the unofficial reception party detail.
It went well, but there wasn't much time left over to feel creative.

Today was my day off.
I called Roberto, and he said its not done yet but come over and look at the Green Car.
I was nervous but I went.

The color turned out nicely. At least we have cleared that hurdle.

Ten years ago, I had the original green car repainted and they messed up.
It was super shiny, but Waste Management or Army green.

Now it is definitely the right original color.

It was covered in rubbing compound, (alot of white powder) so I couldn't really see any defects.
I trust he knows what he's doing though.
I did ask about that patch on the lower door above.

He has polished one corner of it, (the Sail Panel) really nicely.

He says the rest of it should be done by Sunday (which probably means the Sunday after this one!)

Picturing myself trying to polish it to perfection, even with buffing machines, it must take hours and hours.
I didn't complain about anything or the time it is taking...

While I was in the area I visited Don the mechanic and ordered a clutch for the Red Car.
Clutch parts cost about $80, for a stock transmission.

[If I had a stick shift in the Green Car, which has a powerful 5.7 liter 350 set up for racing, a heavy duty clutch kit costs around $1000.
The Green Car currently has an automatic shifter from a 4th generation (early 2000's) which has computerized options and cost me about $1200 from a freind.]

On Don's desk I spied this epic set of drill bits from another project:

I said, if "I had a set of something like that, they would never be in their place."

Don said "But the slots are labeled?"

I'm just not an organized person!

Sunday, June 4, 2017


Recently I added lot of family on Facebook that haven't seen me in years.

I needed a face to put up, but I really don't like photos of me!

I haven't drawn a self-portrait in many, many years, so that's what I did today.

I took out a mirror and some watercolor pencils.
I'd like to do it in acrylic paint, but I knew I wasn't ready for that today.

I haven't hardly done any drawing in a few weeks, except for some face sketches in crayon last month.
I can't even remember when I used my watercolor pencils, last.

I started out with a drawing a big oval, then drawing in the features:

Here's a little further along:

I like to photgraph the progress, because I tend to overdo everything!

Here I went over everything with a wash of water:

Then I had to fix few issues.

This is where I ended up:

I think it was better in the previous.

There, I fixed the hair a bit:

I was very surprised that I could do this after neglecting drawing for so long.
I guess it helped to have a purpose.

I think I'm going to switch from wire jewelry to water color pencils this week...