Green Cat

Learning to Airbrush

My husband and I embarked upon a project to learn how to collaborate creatively. We started building and painting a large scale model of the Neo Zeong from one of the Gundam TV series. I hopped right in and started painting – I’ve been sharing pics along the way on Instagram. With my new found skills and some nudging from the Mr., I decided to take on a smaller scale project. I ran across this guy while at the Dick Blick art supply store near us:

I’m not a huge fan of this particular green and almost didn’t buy it. As I was humming and hawing over the purchase, Husband leaned over and said, “you could paint it.” And lightbulbs went off… I have a TON of pink airbrushable paint from a project I never finished. So, once we got it home it was a matter of figuring out the material which proved to be quite easy. At first, we thought it was polystone but nope! The cat is plastic! Once we figured out the composition, there are a ton of ways to peel the paint. Husband has some paint stripper for clearing off plastic car parts, which worked like a charm. Bubbling off the paint:

After one coat:

The paint stripped off nicely after a few coats of stripper and I was able to primer the kitty with some Mr. Surfacer.

The airbrush took about 5 refills to get the cat covered but it’s nicely coated.

I put in a few more details with a Gundam Marker to make the M pop.

Tellogen Effluvium or How I Discovered the Fun of Wigs

Not sure what Tellogen Efluvium is? Hair loss – it’s a more medical term for your hair coming out after a significant shock to your system. And it happened to me….

I know all the guys suffering from male pattern baldness are saying, “boo hoo to you.” but I had no idea what to expect.

I have A LOT of hair – it’s really fine by the strand but dense across my scalp. When I was in the hospital earlier this year, my hair was put up in a bun on my head and that bun didn’t come out for months. I had a big dread lock on top of my head by the time I was awake and aware of what was going on. I initially thought the hair falling out was minor adjustment but I realized it wasn’t, as the steady stream of strands came off my head. I lost more than half of my hair in the span of a month or two.

Below is the worst of the bald spots:

Before heading back to work full time, I had to decide – rock the “see through to my scalp” hair or give my head some cover until the hair grew out? I hate to admit it, but I couldn’t rock out with my scalp out. I had to cover it. In come the wigs….

I took a trip to Nigel’s Beauty Emporium and they were amazingly helpful. I never wore a wig for daily wear before, just a couple of hours here and there for costumes. They helped me pick a wig, showed me how to put it on, and care for it.

I’m now, officially, addicted. Its so nice to be able to change my hair style in the blink of an eye. I’ve had a lot of fun playing around with different styles.

This is my favorite wig – I literally can’t leave the house without getting stopped by someone wanting the name of my hair dresser:

These are a couple I like quite a bit but are not my daily wear “work” hair:

I may post more about wigs and wig care resources I used to learn what to do.

post work out goofy face

How I almost died and learned to love exercise

I am a nerd, raised by nerds, who stares at computer screens all day for my livelihood. I am not an “exercise” person. I’ve always had the attitude that “stupid,” “sporty” people exercised and I was definitely not one of them. I don’t like sweating, I don’t like being tired and I definitely don’t like the “bimbo” stereotype of girls who exercise. Oh boy, did I get proven wrong by my own body.

2016 was a crappy year for a lot of people but for me it was literally the worst. Near the end of the year, I contracted Influenza and MRSA pneumonia. I fell asleep on Christmas Eve and woke up three weeks later, in 2017, plugged into machinery and confined to bed. I had been in a medically induced coma and had several surgeries – my lungs were not functioning on their own.

Once I was really awake, it dawned on me that I withered away – I had a hard time moving because I had no muscle left! I lost over FORTY pounds and had to gather my strength to walk, talk, and live again. It took every ounce of energy I had to move, every ounce of patience I could muster to stop myself from crying at every difficulty, and an even greater amount of rest to get myself well enough to go home.

It wasn’t easy but with the help of physical therapists, nurses, and my husband – I got up, I got walking and I got better. After three months, I was released from the hospital but I wasn’t done pushing myself. Believe me, I tried to get away with the minimal amount of working out at first but really soon realized that if I didn’t move my body everyday, I’d slide backwards and would end up in the hospital again.

I started out very slowly, walking as much as I could, practicing standing up, climbing the stairs. Yes, I was so weak that I had to practice standing up. I moved up to exercising with no weights – going through the motions with my arms and legs. I moved up to filled water bottles and then five-pound weights. I got on my bicycle again. At first I tootled around my parking lot and then biked a little farther and a little farther. As soon as I could bike a mile, I started biking up the biggest hill in my neighborhood – a few hundred feet of elevation in under a mile. I started to notice real muscles forming.

I also started to notice I had really bad mood swings some days and realized that when I tried to take days off from my exercise routines, I would end up moody, sad or angry every time. It was like clock work, I’d take a day off and the next day, the swings would come in to ruin my day.

I biked up the hill every night, taking shorter and shorter breaks until I only had to stop for traffic lights. Once I made it up that hill with no breaks, which I had a hard time doing even before I got sick, I knew I was ready to be harder on myself. So I picked up some workout DVDs; I usually hate the happy bimbos in those things but by a happy accident, I FINALLY found an instructor that didn’t make me want to smash my television screen in. I’ve worked out almost everyday since I put in the first DVD.

After only having use of less than 20% of my lung capacity when I went into the hospital on Christmas day 2016 to a normal capacity of 70% in Mid July 2017, I say the working out has serious results.

I hated working out before because I never worked hard enough or long enough to feel good afterwards. It’s finally happened, I broke through the pain and soreness and don’t feel horrible working out anymore, only sweaty and tired. I’ve learned to live with sweaty and tired.

I love the results of working out – feeling and looking better. I always thought you sporty people were nuts and now, I’m one of you.

Updated Site

I’ve finally had time to set up a new domain with a few fancy bits. I’ll eventually load old content here from other pages and sites.

aPlus.net is the WORST hosting company – so glad to be rid of them.

I found a UI bug in HootSuite

It’s not a major issue but I found it annoying. Over the last week or so, I’ve spent a few minutes here and there scheduling some posts for the @fabric_lover twitter feed. I created posts out until October and I’m happy to have that done. BUT I noticed that the posts were not be added to the scheduled stream.

Hootsuit Error

The posts stop after October 24 but I have posts scheduled until October 31. If you so a hard refresh (shift + F5) of your browser, the posts will show up at the bottom of the screen.

 

Medical Bracelet

Hello again

I spent a couple of months in the hospital unconscious or barely conscious, starting Christmas day 2016 until Mid March 2017. I know there are posts from online after that, but chalk it up to the glory of publishing automation.

I’ve just recently been able to get back to normal life so online posting took a little hiatus. I’m not sure I’ll be able to talk about my hospital experiences anytime soon – it’s too recent and horrible to talk about yet.

I will say – don’t skip the flu shot every year.

Flowers: An Insta Obsession

I love flowers, even though I’m allergic to just about everything that blooms. So delicate and beautiful, they make me extremely happy. I’m on Instagram and have been posting flowers almost since the beginning. Have a peek at some of my favorite snaps.

And my absolute favorite, because they were a gift from a friend/business associate:

Welcome to the Land of Bots!

In my last stint of unemployment, I watched the last MicroSoft Developers conference live and was stuck once again by how future forward the company is. Living in Los Angeles, you can kind of get beaten down by all the Apple fanatics hyping everything from their favorite company as “the new hotness” when, in fact, they are three steps behind MicroSoft and Google. But I digress…

I was fascinated by the learning chat bots they introduced (though their Twitter experiment was a disaster). They seem like a great way to automate some basic customer interactions until a human needs to step in. A lot of tasks need human intervention – tech doesn’t get your company out of having employees.

Since I wasn’t doing anything but looking for a job, I decided to take a few minutes to set up my own Twitter not as an experiment. I used a tutorial that didn’t require much coding just to see how quickly it could be done. Including creating the base account on Twitter (and all the annoyances that entails), it took me a little over an hour to set up and start the bot tweeting.

The spreadsheet method worked really well so I thought I would add some more features by pulling in another service. I set up the other service on the same Twitter account to retweet everything with the word “Frankenstein” in it. I should have known this would get the account locked – there are TONS of tweets with that word in it. Lo and behold – shortly after setting up, the account was locked. Its up and running again now but I didn’t notice for a bit. Oops…

Go follow Shelly Bot for random bits of Mart Shelley’s Frankenstein.