My View by Sandra

and other stuff . . .

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

Day 11 – Hawaii Cruise & I won money!

Lucky Cat

Lucky Cat

I woke up feeling as though I were coming down with a cold. Went to the breakfast buffet for a relaxing, delicious breakfast. I’m trying to be sure that I use the stairs every chance I get so perhaps I won’t take all this food home (in the form of a larger me).

It’s getting a little chillier as we head back to the main land. Love saying “main land”. Sounds cool to me. Not feeling fantastic so I just laid around most of the remaining morning. I wish I were major wealthy – I think thing one of my favorite things on this cruise is the over-sized balcony. It’s almost as big as our room. We’ve really spent a lot of time out there.
We headed back to the casino. After all, I had casino money I was playing on so it wasn’t hurting as much. I found another machine that just kept winning. These are 2 cent machines so there’s no huge jackpot – just lots of playing time. Finished out ahead again. What a nice feeling. There was a $1 slot machine that had a ‘spin’ thing on it. If you landed on the ‘spin’, you got to d’oh … hit on spin and win what it had. I really wanted to try it so decided that I’d spend $20 and if it didn’t hit, I’d walk away. Four dollars in, it came up with two bars and a 25 times symbol. Five hundred dollars! How cool was that? I still had $16 of my original $20 so decided to finish that – again for a chance to spin. Four more dollars and this time I hit a seven and TWO of the 25 times symbols. Not sure what the symbols were – just knew they were good. This time, the machine didn’t give me my winnings, I had to wait for an attendant to come so I could sign some forms. I was so excited. This time I won $1,250. With all my winnings, my cruise was paid for.
I couldn’t believe how my luck had changed and then remembered I’d bought a little Japanese Maneki Neko (Lucky Cat) when I was in Maui. I didn’t buy it for good luck, I just thought it was a cute piece of Japanese art that I had seen. I did notice that every shop had one sitting by their cash registers. Could it be the little critter was beckoning the slots to win?
I was on Cloud 9 and except for the nasty cold that seemed to be creeping up on me, all was well in Sandra-Land.

January 7, 2009 Posted by | Favorite Sites, Travel, Vacation | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Day 10 – Hawaii Cruise – at sea day

Uneventful, but relaxing and fun. Had a good breakfast buffet and sat on deck with my computer while eating and people watching. We have clouds and it’s windy, but on a cruise, who cares? I’d love to swim more but there is so much chlorine in the water, it’s hard to survive. I did get some goggles, but just the picture of me in a bathing suit wearing goggles is a picture that not many want to see. Trust me.

I went to the casino for a little while but was lucky enough to get one that paid and paid and paid some more. It was so nice to spend an afternoon where I used the casino’s money and not my own. Did not win a car or a fortune, but it was fun. Met some interesting people as I sat there.

Formal dining tonight. Donna and I dressed up and went to dinner. Lovely. Our dinner partners tonight were from Nebraska, Washington state and Canada. Food was delicious, as always.

After dinner I got my camera and walked all over the ship taking pictures. Everyone was watching shows and doing other things so it was nice and peaceful. It was also horribly windy out on the upper decks. I wanted to get a picture of the huge lighted Christmas tree up on the top of the ship. I just had a little section of deck to go but the wind was so bad, I was afraid I’d get blown overboard. I was in my good clothes so definitely didn’t want that.

I came back to the room and spent the rest of the evening sitting out on the balcony. It was gorgeous.

Donna had gone to a show and said that the two couples next to her got into a fight and spilled a drink all over her arm. Today’s youth? No, two old men dressed up in their suits and tuxedos fighting over who was going to sit where. Sorry I missed THAT show.

Rainbow from our balcony

Rainbow from our balcony

Goodnight and on to day 11.

December 20, 2008 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | 4 Comments

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 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 –

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!


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

Another Blog about Miss Teen South Carolina

When I was growing up, beauty contests were all about beauty. Brains weren’t needed or required. Even good personalities weren’t that high on the list so to make up for those with fantastic personalities, awards were given for Miss Congeniality (and you thought it was just a movie).

I was almost disappointed when it became a big deal that the public know that these contests weren’t just for the beauties, but also for those who were smart and had high ambitions. I sort of stopped watching at that point because I could pick the one who was the prettiest and it was harder to figure out who had it all.

Well, the Teen Miss U.S.A. the other night made me realize why the intelligence and how one presents themselves is so important. I had the t.v. on the channel but was in the middle of changing dvd’s to watch. I started watching at exactly the same time that Miss South Carolina, Lauren Caitlin Upton, was beginning to answer her question given to her by one of the judges. I admit, I wasn’t really paying much attention, but the more she spoke, the more I sat there in total disbelief. I figured it was me so I rewound it to see and hear it again. Did Mario almost seem to be wanting to laugh but couldn’t?

I watched it again but I was still wondering what was going on. Was it my t.v.? I went ahead and watched the other girls answer their questions. I wasn’t going to leave the t.v. at this point. The others seemed okay. Then I watched each of the five take their final pose. Miss South Carolina was definitely the most attractive (to me), but I couldn’t get that answer out of my mind … such as. I needed to know if she was going to win.

She didn’t – as we know now. But thanks to YouTube, she’s now having her 15 minutes of fame – and not for the right reason. I feel so badly for her. It’s so easy for others to laugh at the perils of others. And it’s not just a few people who see it – it’s the world. I hope she gets through it easily even though I don’t see how. There are those who will say that she doesn’t have to be smart – she’s pretty. She will succeed in life probably – no matter what she does.

Another important point – I’ve gone totally blank sometimes when someone has asked me a question. It’s not easy being in front of such a huge audience, at home and in person. Also this was very important to her so she struggled to give a brilliant answer. Perhaps asking to have the question repeated would have been better.

I hope this blows over quickly (not easy with YouTube and the internet) and that she can laugh at too . . . someday. From the other commentaries I’ve been reading, this may be spotlighting education and whether our children are learning all they need to learn.

Good luck Lauren Caitlin Upton!

August 28, 2007 Posted by | Entertainment | , , , , , , , , | 1 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

Where in the h*** is Ladybugville?

Yes, where is it and what is? Ladybugville is my latest endeavor. I love to create websites and ladybugs just seemed to be an interesting subject. I got my first and only tattoo while visiting Sydney (Australia). I was with my mother – we’d just come from a 45 min. flight from Melbourne. I had never flown until the trip from the U.S. to Melbourne. That trip took a long, long time. I was nervous about flying so my Uncle Charl got me a good ole Aussie beer to calm my nerves. Delicious! I wasn’t a big drinker but it was perfect for the day so I requested another. And then another. No one told me that Australia’s beer is a bit stronger and more potent than the beer over here (U.S.)

My newest ladybug design!

When we arrived in Sydney, I was still a bit soppy. My mother figured it’d be good to have me walk it off so we went walking to an area near our hotel – King’s Cross. Quite colorful it is. My mother had – had a stroke fifteen years prior to this trip. She had extensive brain damage. She was so funny, without meaning to be. During our walk, I stopped in front of a store – Tom’s Tattoos – looking at the various designs available. It was still considered risque for a woman to get a tattoo in those days but my mother told me to pick one out and she’d pay for it. It was only five dollars (can you believe?) – I said ‘yes’ and ended up with a ladybug on my boob.

I couldn’t believe it the next morning. I was very excited and when I came home, I would wear tops that I could pull down a tad to show off my pride and joy. I’m sure if my friends were strong enough, they would have hoisted me up and given me a ride on their shoulders to honor me. And, then there were those who thought I was nuts. Every man in my family has been in the military and fought in a war. None have a tattoo.

But the fun thing is that whenever friends see anything “ladybug’ they surprise me with it. I now have a huge collection of ladybug items, and I’ve even named my little red car “Ladybug”. How fitting then that I have a website – Ladybugville. I’ve researched the web and have found so many kinds of ladybug items. I’ll be adding more and more as time goes on.

You’ll just have to stop by Ladybugville and say “hey”.

June 2, 2007 Posted by | My Designs, Shopping | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Backyard drama . . .

squirrelThe players: the squirrel – Luke, the cat – unnamed and the dog –

Luke has been living under the old shed in the corner of my yard.He comes out often and just sits on the rotting wood deck in front of the old shed. LuLu sits and watches too but we’re inside – behind a sliding glass door.I’m now in the habit of peeking out throughout the day to see if Luke is out basking in the sun or shivering in the cold. dog

The other day I peeked out and saw a cat sitting outside the hole that Luke goes in and out of.Occasionally the cat would bend over to see if it could see Luke. LuLu doesn’t mind the squirrel sitting there, but goes into a frenzy when she sees the cat – or “kitty cat” as we call them. How can LuLu tell the difference?

The whole thing seems so sad (for Luke). I haven’t seen him in a few days. Haven’t seen the cat either. It just seems like a lot of drama going on in the back corner of my yard.


March 3, 2007 Posted by | My Dogs | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment