Friday, December 24, 2010

Cool Yule

December has been a very busy month. Our roof leaked during the rainstorms and the floor in one of the closets got soaked. Now everything that was in the closet is in the living room. It looks very festive next to the Christmas tree. We are finally done with the preparations for Christmas day and are trying to relax a little before the big day. We will probably watch Christmas Story and then try to get to sleep early as we have a lot of driving tomorrow.

The above photo is from two years ago and is of one of my favorite ornaments.

Have a Cool Yule!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Holiday Season is Upon Us!

It's that time of year. I put up the tree and a few decorations but still have many things that need to be done. What I want for Christmas is time!

The photo is from an antique store I passed in Morro Bay. Dan and I went there just after Thanksgiving for a quick vistit.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Project Completed

Here are my completed Pumpkin Head vinyl figures. It took me a while as I had not painted in years. It was hard getting the brush strokes just right so I did a lot of re-touching.

I've named them Patrick and Jill. Here they are in a pumkin patch. I made the backgroung out of construction paper decorated with crayon. The tiny "pumpkins" are putka pods (also called pumpkin pods.) I found them at the Fall Harvest Festival in Moorpark.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Project for Halloween

September is almost over and it is time to start thinking about Halloween. I purchased a couple of Pumpkin Head vinyl toys by Rose Art. They are called Color Blanks and come with markers and stickers for customizing. You can also use acrylic paint which is what I plan to use.

While working on some designs for my pumpkin heads I was inspired by some old-time Halloween decorations. Here are some sketches I made based on some of those decorations.

I just need to pick some designs and start painting!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ventura Harbor

We recently visited the Ventura Harbor. Dan wanted to test his new Flip video camera. Unfortunately there were some issues with the batteries so he didn't get much footage. Still we had a good time walking around and looking at the sights.

We stopped at the The Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center at Channel Islands National Park. There are exhibits on the Channel Islands wildlife as well as some raised relief models of the islands. They also have a small tide pool exhibit with various fish and sea creatures. Here are some anemones and a halibut.

Some of the sea creatures are faux, like the limpets and the sea urchins. I'm not sure about the mussels but the lobster is real.

There is also an observation tower at the visitor center. It's usually windy up there but the view is great.

We walked around looking at the various boats in the harbor. There were mostly sailboats with some fishing boats mixed in.

Here are some different types of boats that we saw.

We stopped by the Ventura Harbor Village Carousel. There are various arcade games, a candy counter, and of course the carousel. Here are some of the carousel animals.

Off to one side of the carousel is Ziggi the Clown. He looked so sad I had to go talk to him. I also put fifty cents in the machine. It was kind of loud in the arcade so I could barely hear what he said - something about picking out something special for me.

The egg that popped out contained Happy Bunny stickers. I'm not sure if I should be glad it was kind of cool or disturbed that it was a Happy Bunny product.

The arcade also had a penny smasher so I got some of those for my collection.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Comic Con

Once again it's Comic Con International time and Dan and I couldn't be there.

These are the first day covers I made for the Marvel Comics Superhero stamps that came out in July of 2007 at a special event at the San Diego Comic Con. They made stamps for ten Marvel comic book heroes. I was only able to make four designs. They were created from sketches I made inspired from Champions character sheets and various comic advertisements. The sketches were imported into Adobe Photoshop were I added color.

Each hero had a "head shot" and comic book cover postage stamps. I had to make envelopes for Spider Man And the Hulk.

The Thing's comic book was the Fantastic Four so I included the whole team.

I included Walf with my favorite, The Thing. This is the fifth appearance of Walf on a first day cover.

The fourth appearance of Walf is on an envelope made by my friend Keith (along with envelopes for the other nine heroes!) Keith also chose to portray Walf with the Thing. His envelopes were all drawn by hand and colored with water colors. I received his envelopes before I had even sent mine out for the cancellations! Unfortunately the Post Office chose to use the plain cancellations on his envelopes.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Odd Toys From Europe

These are some toys that were sent to us by Dan's sister who is currently teaching in England.

This is a set of Barbabapa characters from France. They are from a children's book by
Annette Tison and Talus Taylor. There is also a series of short children's cartoons that can be seen on YouTube . They are a family of shape-shifting creatures.

Here they are out of the box. The ones in this set are:

Barbapapa - The father of the group. He's the big pink one.
Barbamama - The mother of the group. She is the black female holding a baby bottle.
Barbotine - One of the daughters. She is the small orange female holding a turtle.
Barbalala - Another daughter. She is the small green female holding panpipes.
Barbidur - One ofthe sons. He is the red one who has shape-shifted into a little devil.

There is another set that has Barbapapa shape-shifting into a heart and his other four children.

This is a MiroStars 3 Player Pack. It is a blind box assortment of plastic soccer figures. This box also contains instruction sheet on how to make squads with the figures (they have player stats on the bottom of their bases) and three tiny bags of jelly beans.

The ones we got were:

Bridge from Manchester City
Brown from Manchester United
Eduardo from Arsenal (he is one of the 8 players who are only available in the three player packs.)

These guys look like they are from a Jib Jab greeting card.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Photo Studio In-A-Box

Once again I've been a slacker and neglected my blog. I have been doing things -really! Dan and I took a quick trip to San Diego in early June. We bought new computers to replace our old ones (it was time to say goodbye to Windows XP.) We have been transferring the data from the old computers to the new ones while getting used to Windows 7. I've been working on the art room and recently got a "Photo Studio In-A-Box". It is a portable light box that folds into its own carrying case. It came with small tripod, two small lamps and a reversible background. Very useful for taking photos of small items for ebay.

In this photo, taken in my fabulous art room, I am preparing to take a photo of one of my collectible figures.

Here is my Ugly Doll Ice Bat Action Figure. They are bind boxed and come in 6 different glow in the dark colors. Mine is regular glow in the dark and is 3 inches tall. See how nice and even the lighting is!

This is something we found at Mitsuwa Marketplace in Torrance on our way to San Diego. I don't know Japanese but after poking around the Internet I found they are from a children's book called Dzukan Dwarfs. We decided to get two of them.

They come with a background card that has information about the character in Japanese. If you look closely there is another of these creatures in the window and some others between the refrigerator and the cabinets. This one is about 1 and 1/2 inches tall (including the stand.)

This one is flying high. I wish there was a translation for these, they are very mysterious.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Status Report

Wow! I let two months slip by without a new post.

Earlier this year my sisters and I were helping our parents to move out of their house so it could be sold. They haven't been able to sell it so they have taken off the market and will rent it out until the prices get better. Before they rent it they were advised by people they know to make some changes to appeal to renters. They were told to take down all of the wallpaper, the wood paneling, and paint the walls in a neutral color.

Last weekend my sisters, significant others, and myself had a work party to do some of the tasks. I thought the removal of the wood paneling would be the hard part. However the guys were able to take it down with no problems. The wallpaper was another matter. It took all day to remove the wallpaper from the entry hallway, kitchen and dinning area. And that was with help from the guys when they had finished with the paneling. I hate wallpaper.

On Wednesday I went over to help my parents with some painting. They had already started with that and had painted one bedroom. I helped them finish another bedroom, painted the hallway and started on another bedroom. I didn't mind the painting since I got to use the long handled roller so I could paint up to the ceiling!

Dan and I have also been working on our place. We took all of the stuff that was in the work/art room and set up some shelves, the Expedit series, from Ikea. Dan did most of the assembly but I helped, too! We just need to bolt them to the walls and then I can put all of the stuff back in order.

Here are some pictures:

Looking through the doorway into the room.

This is the medium sized Expedit shelf unit with the desk attached.

The smaller Expedit shelf unit next to a desk acquired at a garage sale and chair donated by my parents.

The largest Expedit shelf unit next to the medium size. The large is about 6 feet tall.

An older bookcase that we already had.

File drawers that my Dad gave me. Don't have much that will fit under the low window.

Monday, February 1, 2010


It's February already? January just flew by. I've been trying to get things organized at home so I can have a more efficient work space. In the mean time here are some Valentines from the early 1970s for your viewing pleasure.