My View by Sandra

and other stuff . . .

Freedom Czar

What fun I've had creating MY czars! You don't have to be vetted, you just decide which Czar you'd like to be and then you go for it!

September 18, 2009 Posted by | My Designs | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Maneki Neko – Lucky Cat

Lucky Cat - Maneki Neko

Lucky Cat - Maneki Neko

So, what now?

I now have new respect for this new “Money Cat” of mine. He rarely left my thoughts. No, I’m not obsessing over him. Whenever something “gets me”, it’s usually that I want to create it and put it in my shops. I think his looks attracted me because I lived in Japan from the age of five through eight. There was, needless to say, a lot of Japanese art all around us. Those were happy times with happy memories. I used to get a magazine called, “Silver Bells” which contained all sorts of Japanese drawings geared for children. I loved to read it and look at the pictures. Seems pretty good though that this childish memory of this Asian art has brought me to Maneki Neko (Lucky Cat). I drew him and then offered him on several items in my shops. The paw looks like it’s waving hello but it’s considered to be beckoning – as in customers to a shop. My cat has the left hand raised but when I drew him, I raised the opposite paw – it’s supposedly luckier.

A black Maneki Neko is supposed to ward off evil spirits and a gold brings wealth and prosperity.

Now I need to order a shirt, travel mug, tote bag (to bring home the loot) and head out to Las Vegas.

I’ll keep you informed of how it goes. If you’d like your own money cat, you can check out my shop at Cafepress. I have several designs featuring this little cutie. I also designed a pair of Keds and have a section of Maneki Nekos at Zazzle.

January 7, 2009 Posted by | My Designs | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I got to design Flip Minos. Very Cool.

As a designer, I love to put my silly, fun artwork on all sorts of products. I have shops at cafepress.com and something new is always coming out. This is the latest thing I get to “play” with – the incredible Flip Mini – the tiny camcorder.

Check them out on my site – bysandra.com.

These are wonderful as gifts for special friends and families.

Flip Mino Camcorders designed by Sandra

Flip Mino Camcorders designed by Sandra

November 2, 2008 Posted by | Favorite Sites, My Designs | , , , , | 2 Comments

Las Vegas, Flamingos and Blogging

I can’t believe that I haven’t blogged since February 2008. I think younger people catch on to this blogging thing much easier than we “old timers”. I shouldn’t use that expression since those who are my age don’t think of themselves that way. I don’t really either.

A friend had pointed out her daughter in law’s blog, and just being back in blogging country, I decided to get back into it. I have fun with it. And I love showing off my new designs.

I celebrated my birthday last week in Las Vegas. Great place to party. One of the nights there, I went up to the room about 11pm and decided to just go to bed. I was tired. After I took a shower, put on my jammies and climbed into bed, I noticed the clock said “9pm”. I couldn’t believe it. It’s hard to figure out the time when you’re in the casinos since there are no clocks. I was going to get up again but decided to just stay there. I fell asleep immediately.

We had gone to Terrible Herbst at Stateline for breakfast on the way in. They have the best toast. Yes, that’s what I said – toast. It’s a thick sourdough with lots of butter. Terribly unhealthy but for a once in a while treat – it’s okay. So, we all decided to leave the Rio early and go have more toast and play the slots at Stateline and then go home.

And if you think the toast was unhealthy – what till you read what we had at Peggy Sue’s Diner on historic Rt. 66 in Yermo. Chiquita Banana Splits. They were huge and we wished we would have shared instead of having one each. If you’re ever over that way – be sure to stop at Peggy Sue’s. It’s a fun, crazy 50’s style restaurant with lots of memorable which would take weeks to see it all.

And now home, I’m back to designing and having fun. I haven’t designed anything new in a while so I was really pleased to get busy again. I’ll go back through and update some of my links too. It’s sort of like I’ve let the yard go but it’s my websites, etc . that I’ve let get messy. I wanted to design a gift for a friend and ‘got in the mood’ again. I also created this Flamingo design for myself. I wanted a new coffee mug so came up with this one (pictured). I also made a matching ceramic tile for it. It is available if you like it too – just click here.

August 26, 2008 Posted by | My Designs, Personal/Family | , , , | Leave a comment

Hoping to bring smiles to Club Chemo!

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I’ve been truly blessed that I’ve met several special friends on the internet. One group I’ve stayed in touch with for seventeen years. We all began with Prodigy back in the early 90’s. We’ve seen divorces, new grandbabies, new marriages, everything you would with close friends. There’s over twenty of us who are started together as we’ve had some stop writing or who just pop in occasionally.

Last year two of our D.O.L.’s (Dolls On-Line, we’re doll collectors) announced they had cancer. One had breast cancer and one had ovarian cancer. Both were going through chemo about the same time and shared their experiences with the rest of us in daily emails. We in turn offered prayers, words of encouragement and any cartoons or jokes we found. Laughter is the best medicine and can truly relieve some of the pressures when facing such difficulties. Their stories about their chemo experiences almost sounded like social club meetings with others who were going through it too. I came away with the conclusion that your chemo co-horts are an extremely important part of your wellness and positive thinking. They were there not only for their own treatments but to be support for others in their groups.

I decided to do a design or two that I’ll keep in my on-line shop to help raise money (25% of all Club Chemo design sales) for the American Cancer Society. My friend with ovarian cancer mentioned that so little is done for ovarian cancer in mind. So, I made a design for some other cancers as well as breast cancer. I also showed them to my two friends to ask their opinions on them. I didn’t want to design anything tacky or out of place. Both loved the designs and felt they’d be a little fun distraction for those facing chemotherapy and radiation.

My friend designer JGoode blogged this week about connections, and when reading it, I decided to do my blog on the connections we have with friends.

Life can be a bed of roses, but there are always going to be thorns. Good friends are there to try to help pick the thorns out.

Having a chuckle can surely lift your spirits and make difficult days a bit better.

I hope this new design of mine will bring a chuckle or two and perhaps make someone’s chemo session a little easier.

Many items with the Club Chemo logo on them are available at: Art and Design by Sandra.

September 19, 2007 Posted by | Information, My Designs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do Good – Bee Happy!

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I read an article this morning about doing good by making eye contact and smiling at strangers. I had been thinking about that a few days ago also. I do that always. Sometimes someone will ignore you but most of the time, people smile back and say “hello” also. It’s especially fun when someone is avoiding all eye contact yet they look up and when they see that someone is smiling and saying ‘hello’ to them, they beam and seem so surprised.

We see people rally to help each other during crisis. They open their wallets or send supplies, but it’s really people helping people. 9-1-1 brought out a united people who were sad, frightened, grieving, confused – you name the emotion, chances are it was there.

But on a regular ole day (which 9-1-1 started off to be), it seems we’re all busy and caught up in our own little worlds – never thinking that the strangers we pass may someday be someone who can save our life or the lives of those we love and hold dear.

Saying “hi” to everyone I come across is truly an uplifting experience. How can you ever feel down when you’ve made someone smile? It’s not even something that takes up time, money or resources. It’s simple.

It’s funny too that I’m so blessed that I’m one of those people who attracts children. I don’t mean to pat myself on the back. I don’t think it’s anything I do, it just happens. Like they say that if your dog likes someone then that person is okay, it seems to work with kids too. Kids seem to want me to pay attention to them and they smile for me so beautifully. I can make a baby stop crying. I’m probably sounding so corny right now – but again, how you have a lousy day when the toddler in the grocery cart in front of you is smiling and laughing and playing peek a boo with you? It’s truly a gift from God.

These are the joys in life. They require nothing but give so much.
This topic was the suggestion of Jen Goode of J Goode Designs. It’s truly a good one for today, and when I saw what it was, I was eager to participate.

So today as we reflect on what happened on September 11th six years ago today, and think of how it all changed our lives, take a little time to smile at those you meet and say, “hello”. It seems to lift some of the pressures of our days.

Technorati Tags: by Sandra, tuesdays topic

September 11, 2007 Posted by | My Designs | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kanye West invites you to his pity party!

Every day we all hear or see something that just makes us do a double take and wonder what in the world is going on. One of those I heard lately was Whoopi saying that Michael Vick did what he did because basically everyone in the south was brought up to think that was okay. We all know that’s not right and the next day she did scold us for not knowing what she meant.
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A little while ago I was reading the latest on the MTV Awards that will be on tonight. Confession: I”m a grandma who doesn’t even know if she gets MTV on her t.v. I did hear that Britney Spears is supposed to open the show. That didn’t surprise me at all because that girl has been in the news so much lately that it seemed like a great marketing move. There are those who will cheer her on and there are those who will watch to see her fall. It’s very obvious . . . to me.

Evidently it’s not that obvious to Kanye West who is performing. CNN says, “The ever-outspoken West had some less-than-kind words for Spears and MTV.

“I can’t believe she would perform. She hasn’t had a hit record in years,” he said, apparently miffed that MTV didn’t invite him to open the show. “Maybe my money’s not right. Maybe my skin’s not right.””

I don’t get what he means when he says his money’s not right? But, and you’re going to have to help me here – is he saying that his skin is not right because he’s a man of color? This bugs me. Why in the world would he think that? Of all the places where I wouldn’t think the NAACP would ever have to bust would be the MTV Awards. And – here’s my disclaimer before anyone reads this the way it isn’t meant to be – these are not racist statements – I truly am a bit puzzled. Why would there be approx. twelve acts that feature black performers and five or six that feature white entertainers at this show if there was any skin differentiating? (Number is approx.)

I will definitely put it on my list of things to do this week – listen to Kanye West’s music. I figure he must be really, really good to get away with his “woe is me” pity party. I think he’s very successful and does very well so can’t understand why he thinks he’s being discriminated against.

Yes, Britney IS the big money draw, but it’s not because she’s a better performer.

My note: Sometimes I get inspired by just reading something like this in the news. Thus, I did a new design (featured above) which sort of says it all for me.

September 10, 2007 Posted by | Entertainment, My Designs | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who Wants to Run the Country? – Realty Show!

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Realty shows. That seems to be all that’s on TV these days. Every time I think I’ve seen the last new idea for one, another is advertised – some sillier than the previous one.

I’m not saying I haven’t gotten hooked on a couple. I missed the first season of Dancing with the Stars, but got so hooked when I did start watching – in the middle of the second season – that I was calling in to cast my votes for my favorites and then was almost jumping out of my chair when my choice won. By the 3rd and 4th, I was even worse.

I watched The Surreal Life and Big Brother for a couple of episodes each, but I tried to not land on any channel featuring a realty show – even for a second – knowing how addictive they can be. Okay, I have a confession, I did watch Torie and Dean Inn Love last night. Corny, and I surely wouldn’t want cameras following me around constantly, but I was entertained. I’m sure these people don’t really act like they do on the show — in real life?

I started thinking about what could be left in the reality world. I came up with a few.

Kid Nation has been taken. I haven’t seen it, and without facts, I have to say that one sounds very scary. Perhaps it’s been built up much more than it should be.

I came up with another one that might be fun – “Who wants to run the country?”

The way it works:

there are two sides. We’ll call one the Blues and we’ll call the other the Reds. On the Blue side we start off with a huge number of contestants. To make it more entertaining, we include a female contestant, a black contestant and we have a “richer than most” contestant who enters the contest by getting points against him because of his $400 haircut.

The contestants line up and … well, we could have them debate and just watch them pick each other apart while they brag about themselves and everything wonderful they’ve done. In between the debating and boasting and nit-picking, we send them out to various states to meet the … let’s call them ‘citizens’ who will decide which contestant they prefer.

The Blue’s all try to get each other eliminated so they can win for the Blue side. And – the Reds do the same thing. Similar strength trials, debates, and touring the states are also happening with the Red team. Perhaps a Mormon, a former POW and a divorced guy could be interesting Reds contestants. It would make it more colorful. In the rules it also says that contestants would be allowed to join in even after the game has begun. Perhaps having an actor join the Red team would make it more fun and tilt the boards a bit.

Everyone gets in on this – the networks and cable news programs could have discussion groups trying to pick each contestant apart so they’ll get eliminated. They could have contestants create ads that they pay for and that would make the networks and cables some big money to keep them interested.

Contestants could be lied about, everything from their pasts brought out to seem as though it were important, and mudslinging could earn points or it could eliminate the contestant from the show. After the citizens have declared a winner for the Red side and one for the Blues, then each of the victors would be able to choose a contestant either from those who they ripped apart in the first part of the game or a new contestant. Then there would be another season of pulling out all punches for the citizens to find a winner from the two final contestants and their buddies. The theme for this part would be “anything goes”. It could be as dirty as possible, the contestants can use their own money and also get donations to try to convince the citizens that they should be the final choice.

Drugs, having gay children, jail terms, religion, employees, racist remarks, criminal activity, childhood activities, ex-lovers, fraudulent business schemes, family and friends – no subject is off limits.

This show could run for several seasons. And if one side seems to be falling behind or some horrible fact is found about a contestant – no matter what – the other side could be blamed for all of it and points could be taken away.

This is great. I’ll have to figure out some catchy name for it and also a great catch phrase – something that will resonate as well as Trump’s “You’re Fired” or Paris’ “That’s Hot”. And then I’ll have to figure out how all the points can be counted without any problems … That might be the hard part.

August 16, 2007 Posted by | My Designs, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Color Me Green!

I’ve decided to share my whole small attempt to go green. I haven’t been swayed by the celebs – this is being done by me to do my part in saving the planet. The fun thing is that the more you do, the more money you save for yourself. My dad used to nag about turning the lights off when you leave a room. He was from the depression era. I wasn’t. I decided that when I grew up and was on my own, I’d leave every darn light on if I wanted. Well wouldn’t that just show my dad something as I paid my “over what it should be” electric bill. Ouch.

Basically I’ve been green since before Al Gore said a word about it. Yea me! But I started trying to save money. I try each month to save a little more. It’s working, and I’m doing fantastically. Of course what I pay each month for utilities is probably less than the celebs pay for one lunch at a posh restaurant.

I’ve stopped using central air. I live on the Mojave Desert so a swamp cooler works great. Takes a little water, but not very much.

I’ve cut back on the water time for my lawn. I notice my lawn isn’t as plush or green as the neighbors’ yards. I don’t care.

I did switch to the energy efficient lightbulbs. They can really make a difference.

I don’t use the dry cycle on my dishwasher. The dishes come out clean – no problem with water spots, and I never run it without a full load.

I have a clothesline in my garage. During the summer everything dries within a few minutes. I wash all clothes in cold water, except for towels, and I do try towels and sheets in the dryer. My gas bill is next to nothing.

I’ve washed my car twice since I got it October 2006. Is it dirty? Nope. I bought one of those $7 California Cardusters at Walmart. I keep the car in the garage and dust it off before I go someplace. It looks like it was just washed yesterday. I also waxed it on the first wash.

I carry a large thermal bag with me into the market. All of my cold items go in it. I can then run errands without worrying about everything going bad and I tote bags for the rest. The big thermal bags are only about $8 at Sam’s Club. They’re huge, easy to carry and also work for hot foods.

I did read that in exerpts from The Green Book, a how-to guide filled with celebrities’ advice for would-be environmentalists by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas Kostigen that Jennifer Aniston takes a 3 minute shower to conserve water. She brushes her teeth with a brush wash technique. Okay – that’s saving water and she’s doing her part, but I also wonder what other ways she saves in her new 9,000 sq. ft. home.

I am always slightly amused when celebrities give advice. Years ago Cindy Crawford had her first baby and wrote a book. In an interview she was asked why she wrote the book. She answered that she wanted to let mothers everywhere know that it was okay to play with their babies. And she explained how they could go about doing it. Whoa! If Cindy Crawford wants to give out some makeup tips, that’s great. But c’mon – please don’t tell me that mothers didn’t play with their babies until she came along. I think too many of these people forget they’re just that – people. I think so many think they’re the characters they play on screen.

There are some who truly do practice what they preach – Leo DiCaprio and Ed Begley Jr. come to mind. I still have a lot I could be doing. If you have any good ideas of things you’re doing, please share them with us.

August 13, 2007 Posted by | Environment, My Designs | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My first day on The View – my view!

Thursday, August 9, 2007 – I do watch The View. I dvr it and then watch it later. I started doing that during the Rosie/Everyone feud. That woman was a bit erratic (a bit?) and really trying to make enemies with everyone she came across. I’ve decided I’d like to participate in the discussions and give my view. Sadly – ABC and Barbara haven’t asked me to guest host – so I’ll just have to participate from the comfort of my own home.

Joan Rivers was the guest host (instead of me) today. I like Joan. She gets a bit crude sometimes and a bit ridiculous, but she can be very funny. I guess for her to have made her millions doing comedy, this is a known fact. The face work is so totally obvious, but she does look younger than her real age. It seems like a lot of work and money to me but if that’s what she wants – she’s got it. Too bad she really doesn’t look like herself.

First question up for today. If you could marry for money or love, which would you choose? As hard as Joan was trying to say that most women would marry for money, love won out. It did for me too. I’m not good at being someone else – I like the comfort of being me. I’m not proud I chose love. I’d really like to be rich, but I know when it came right down to it, I wouldn’t have the patience to be married to someone whose main quality was money.

Please feel free to make comments if you’d like to give your views. The next topic was for each to name what they regret the most in their lives and what they regret the least. This is a tough one. The thing I regret the most is that I never let myself believe in me. I was always insecure and the confidence has never been there. I heard Dr. Phil say the other day, “you’re allowed to toot your own horn”. I like that. Why is that we can hear something a zillions times and then all of a sudden one day it makes sense? Another favorite of mine that I wished I would have heard sooner is the author Behrendt’s “I’m just not into you”. Wow. Could have used that one.

My least regret is probably the same as most women who are mothers – that I had my children. I loved being pregnant, I loved birthing babies and I loved and still love they all . . . in spite of.

Club RehabI’m going to allow myself to be as honest and frank as the women on The View. Joy made a comment several weeks ago that she thought Dick Cheney is scary. I thought that was a strange description of someone until I realized that I think Joy is extremely scary. She gives information as though it were fact – which it isn’t always. Her sense of humor can be funny at times, but most of the time it comes across as sarcastic and nasty because of her voice. She does have a gruff, harsh, nasally voice that really can be grating. Joan told her she has an ugly voice. Joy seemed a little put off by that comment. She wiggled herself out of it by saying that yes, she does have a gruff voice but . . . Most people hate their voices even when they have beautiful voices. It’s just we don’t like to hear ourselves. And here’s Joy with a terribly ugly voice yet she seems to think it’s okay. Isn’t that a bit scary?

I’ll be back tomorrow with my view of The View and other tv/movies thoughts I may have. And you’re probably wondering what the Club Rehab shirt photo is doing there? I’m tooting my own horn. It’s one of my latest designs so I thought I’d share it. My design work is my most favorite thing to do.
Happy weekend.

August 11, 2007 Posted by | My Designs, My View | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment