After Thanksgiving, I was ironing all the pieces down…here’s the biggest pieces of flesh on the whole quilt. I used up almost all of this fabric (which I really loved)…
This poor pin…stuck into 4 or 5 layers of fabric pelvic girdle and Wonder Under, then somehow wrenched open and destroyed.
Probably it got caught on something. You know, I use a lot of safety pins in my work…but I reuse the same 500 over and over again (and yes, I think that really is how many I have…so I can have more than one quilt pinbasted at a time. I think I have at least one pinbasted right now besides the one under the machine). The thing about a wrenched-open safety pin is that it’s no longer useful. I tried rebending it, but the top section (OK, I did in fact Google the names of the parts of a safety pin, and despite the fact that many disturbing things pop up in that search, I did find out that the top portion is called the clasp. So you learned something today. Or not.) is almost pulled out and separating, so it is in fact now completely useless for its job. So I threw it away. I almost never throw them away. I’ve even been known to sand the burrs down on the pin part if they are snagging while going through the fabric.
I’m sure this is some metaphor for my life, that I am a useless, bent-out-of-shape safety pin, right? Eh. Whatever. I’m getting by. I’m getting shit done. I’m not getting it all done, but getting some done. It’s not easy. I don’t know why it is easy for some people. I guess nothing affects them. This is a continuous conversation I have with my counselor. I need to learn to barely react to extreme stress. Or something. Sigh. I think I spend too much time in my head with no distractions. I don’t think my brain works like those people’s brains. I don’t even understand how their brains work.
So when I finished all the work duties yesterday, I went shopping for stuff for the boychild (and me, although I failed at that) because snow starts Friday. And I don’t know. He might die. OK, not really. But I’m shipping him some stuff today, including a rewards card to the local sports shop (which is also out here). And I sat and finished my book. And exercised. Because drama. And girlchild. And stress. And garrrr. And then I made dinner after being screamed at, because it’s my fault Etsy people can’t ship stuff here by Thursday (sigh. Don’t leave Halloween costumes until the last minute if you want choices). And we ate together, watching the last and final episode of Big Love, which made me cry, and girlchild is getting all freaked out because I’m crying, and I say, HORMONES, like all the time, and she’s still freaked out (I’m a little freaked out too, because the hormones don’t seem to be mellowing out, and my face breaking out nonstop tells me it probably IS hormones, and hell…WTF? Leave me alone, you silly chemicals. I don’t have the patience for this.). I’m fairly sure all this chemical imbalance is not helping with my moods or my reaction to stress. And my blood sugar levels have been completely fucked up for about two weeks now. I’m getting tired of it.
I finally found the energy to quilt after 10 PM again. Ugh. I really need to go to bed earlier tonight and tomorrow night, because my Thursday AM wakeup call is actually in the middle of the night.
But I quilted two legs…
And a pubic area, plus pelvic girdle and uterus…and then I should have gone to bed, but I’m an idiot and I quilted a bird as well, because it was kinda fun and I didn’t feel like stopping.
That late-night bad judgement that tells me it’s OK, that I’m really not tired (I wasn’t. I had a really hard time falling asleep, even though it was almost 1 AM)…I don’t know what that is. It’s the part of me that wants a different life, I guess. I’m totally jealous of all those fulltime quilt artists I meet, the ones who have a marketable skill and can sell classes and books about their technique (OK, I really don’t want to do classes, to be honest), the ones who have a partner who fully finances their habit, their drive. Man oh man. Do they know how lucky they are? Do they know what it’s like to work a 60-hour-a-week job and come home to screaming drama and cooking dinner and no one will help you take out the trash (yes, we were doing that at 10 PM and she was yelling at me then too, because it was my fault we hadn’t done it earlier). Bloody hell. Maybe I would just be a shitty lazy artist if I didn’t have all that hanging over me. Maybe I would never get anything done because I wouldn’t have this incredible drive to create something to make up for all the other crap. Maybe I’d have given up on art completely.
Seems unlikely. This is who I am. This is how I am. But it would be nice if it were a little less ouch. And weepy. Tired of the weepy. Damn safety pin.
Here’s to trying to pull all the pieces of a weekend (and a brain) together into one coherent post. Why start now? I mean, sometimes I am probably coherent, but if you really expect me to be all together on a Monday morning, then you’re probably a pretty demanding person, and I don’t want to hang out with you. Leave. Go read another blog…the blog of someone who has perfect hair and wears makeup and is all fashion-conscious and shit. I don’t want you here anyway (OK, you can wear makeup and be fashion-conscious and stuff, but just don’t expect me to be making any sense right now).
Weekends are kicking my butt at the moment. I make lists that are miles long and then I realize I got one thing done on them. ONE THING. I actually took grading with me to the California Fibers meeting yesterday. I needed to get grading done. I graded in the car on the way up and at the meeting. It was a slightly contentious meeting anyway (many of them are, but it’s a good group that gets good shows and there’s a core group that I get along with just fine)…so it was good to have something else to focus on. Artists…we are so emotional and opinionated. It’s hard to have a whole room full of us. Saturday night I actually went to a Halloween party, but no one knew what I was…OK, not true…they knew I was a painting. They just didn’t know who the artist was (SIGH. Jackson Pollack. I know. Maybe I don’t expect you to know, but it would be nice if someone knew. I expect too much.). I’m not much of a party person…and I know these people, but it’s still hard for me to stand around and make small talk and ask the appropriate questions at the appropriate times. It makes me want to crawl back into my studio by myself (yes, counselor, I am isolating myself) and make art. And rarely come out.
I didn’t have a lot of time for that this weekend. No art at all happened on Saturday. Saturday was all about errands and soccer and finishing stuff and being sociable. Sunday was all about trying to finish the stuff I didn’t finish Saturday because I wasn’t efficient enough and going to a meeting. But I finally started quilting around 10 PM.
I didn’t get far, just an hour in, just the very bottom section of the scales, with the two hands. I got the heart done too…
But if I figure I have 15 hours of quilting, then it’s not surprising that I didn’t get far. I wanted to start much earlier in the day, in case I didn’t have the right colors of thread, but I was lucky and I seem to have enough of what I need. I might be a spool short (ha ha ha…is that a euphemism for not having all my brain parts in working order? It feels like it is. Don’t judge.) of the background color, but that isn’t going to matter this week…this week, I will just be outlining. I love the outlining stage, when all the features start to pop, like drawing that black line on the white paper. The defining moment. Except I never use black. Black thread is so dead-looking. On this one, I’m using a dark blue. Anyway. This part of the process is very meditative. I gave up over a year ago on listening to music in this stage. I used to always listen to music while quilting, but music has fucked with the dark side of my head too much, so I just put the sound up real high on Netflix (still watching Star Trek) and listen to the blather instead. Fewer triggers.
I also went to the last official game I will see of the girlchild’s season (she has tournaments, and then high-school soccer, and then more tournaments, so it’s not like it’s OVER over…it’s just the season is almost over…one more game, but I’ll be in Houston)…
She really likes to head the ball. By the way, the ref in the back? Asshole. We used to be on a team with the daughter, who seems perfectly nice, but the dad has a Napoleon complex that makes him a psycho jerk on the field, and he seems to be getting worse each year. So we played half the game down a player because she got red-carded for calling him ignorant (which he is). If you can’t control your game, get off the damn field.
We should have won, but tied.
Toldja she liked to head the ball.
Makes for amusing pictures.
Babygirl is annoying me with her need to be right next to (or ON) the computer. She also wants to be on fabric. Or my hand. Or my leg. She’s very needy at the moment. I really need to clean up the studio and get her off the stuff I need less cat hair on…
I did clean this weekend. One thing (well, besides the entryway floor so I could pinbaste). This:
Yup. A spider web. It was a big one. No one sits in that room now that the boychild’s not here. Kinda weird to realize that.
Here’s a video of the SAQA exhibit that is at Poway’s Center for the Performing Arts until Thursday…my Eyeball Tree made it in the video, so that’s cool
That’s all I got. The brain is still wallowing around in Feels-Like-Shit (the town next to Feels-Like-Crap), so I distract it with books and quilting and trying to push everything into the corner. I stay off the social media, I don’t read anything online. I just focus inward and get shit done. I don’t know if it’s healthy or not. It just is. The counselor warns about not letting myself fall back into the hole, and I really do try…but it doesn’t feel like I have control over that. I have control over that damn spider web. The ability to just switch that part of the brain off…I wonder about the person who can do that, who can shove everything under or in a drawer and lock it up. Maybe it’s healthy? I just don’t know. I do know that I don’t know how to do it. I just have to work through it. Apparently for months on end. Frustrated yowl.
Seriously, WordPress, why do you think this is an improved posting experience? I have to click on more things now to see what I need. I was told yesterday that I was old school…I guess so. The old WordPress posting is called “classic.” And I still draw with a PEN on PAPER. And sometimes I sew by HAND. I was supposed to draw last night. Remember my plan to draw every week? Yeah. Well. I was pretty fucking tired last night. I did manage though to sandwich and pinbaste the damn quilt together, so it’s not like I did nothing. Plus I made chocolate chip cookies from scratch for something I’m going to tonight. And my dinner was just going to be uncooked cookie dough (as it should be), but I was hungry later, so I made English muffin pizzas. I think I am turning into a college student. I just haven’t had the energy to cook anything when I’m on my own. It’s too much work. I need to solve that problem.
Anyway, so I had enough batting and I found enough of a backing fabric (which was a front fabric on another quilt, so I had a shitload of it, apparently) last night…girlchild ditched me for some Haunted Trails thing with her friends (OK, I would have ditched me too…it’s OK), so I first had to clean the entryway so I could actually find the floor. That was not a bad thing. There’s still a lot of shit in there, but it’s much better. The cleanliness issue is driving me crazy at the moment. I just don’t have time for everything that needs doing. Even my computer is slow…wasting more time I don’t have. Fucker.
Wow, that’s exciting. This quilt actually isn’t as huge as some of mine have been recently. It’s supposed to be 36×60″. I’m guessing it will take about 15 hours to quilt. I’m hoping to start today, but today is already turning into a clusterfuck of time suckage, so we’ll see how that goes.
I really need to clean this room up. It’s a hoarder’s paradise. It’s driving me nuts. That’s the thing, though. What do I drop so I have more time to clean? Art? Grading? The gym? I could stop reading books, but then I might kill innocent bystanders. Seriously. I need time in my head.
Anyway. It’s ready for quilting. I’ve spent 70 hours and 33 minutes on this quilt so far. Minus the drawing, because I don’t ever time that. There’s too much staring-off-into-space time. Processing time. Which reminds me, I need to draw the next quilt…needs to be done by January 1. Ha ha ha ha. No seriously. It does. It’s OK…it needs to be smaller.
Pinbasting didn’t take long…
I know, Sion. You think I’m nuts for pinbasting. I’m really just very methodical about certain stages of the quiltmaking. I might change my process if I had a good reason. Or if I had time to experiment. I never have time for that. Everything’s always short of time. I never have enough. I should be grading today AND quilting. Plus the gym and the girlchild’s soccer game, and I need to pick up my library book, and because I’m at a meeting all afternoon tomorrow, I need to lesson plan and plan for being in Houston next week and I have so much grading I might fall over and I really need to clean the damn house!
Yeah. It’s deep breaths.
And you know what’s crazy? I signed up for NaNoWriMo this year. I have 28,000 words of a novel and I’m not writing right now (see comments about time above), but I WANT to write. So I’m committing to it. The thing is, I write about a thousand words a day here. It doesn’t take me long, really, and maybe I’ll cut back a bit in November to accommodate the novel. So they estimate 1667 words a day to hit 50,000, BUT…I’m on a plane (or two) on November 1, I have a 4-day weekend thanks to Veterans Day, which includes a soccer tournament and hopefully someone else driving, plus there’s a whole WEEK off for Thanksgiving. I think I can do it (the little voice in the background that is reminding me that grades are due can just shut the fuck up). A school friend gave me her NaNoWriMo T-shirt from a few years ago. And worst-case scenario? I get more written and I don’t hit 50,000. It won’t kill me. But in the 11 days I have off from school, I could do 5000 words a day (could I really? I don’t know that I could.) and be OK.
Hey, you know me. I set crazy goals. Sometimes I meet them. This quilt? Have I been meeting them? Fuck yeah. A few I had to adjust, but I’m doing OK. So I’m estimating 15 hours of quilting. Here’s the problem, though…I’m in Houston for two nights…three days gone…plus catchup when I get back. So my plan is to be done with quilting by November 9. Eeek. That’s tight. Then I need to do binding and figure out what to do with the bleeding spots. Although they’re much harder to see with all the pins…maybe the quilting will help. I’ll still have to do something, but maybe not a lot. And I set this mid-November date…and I really have a little longer. But it needs to be photographed too. And I need to start the next one.
Crazy brain. Thinking it can do all this shit. WTF.
OK, so I did it. I finished stitching stuff down. Presumably, I can sandwich and pinbaste tonight. If I have enough backing fabric and batting, which I meant to check earlier this week, but was sideswiped by a stupid mood that is still here, still messing with me. So I didn’t do it. So hopefully when I get home from school and counseling tonight, I will either have what I need here or the energy to go out and get it. Ha!
I know. Whatever. But seriously. It’s moving. I’m on schedule. I’m doing OK. The rest will get there. I did stay up too late to finish, but that’s only because I was having a 2-hour-long texting conversation with my son about how to stay warm in winter snow…because I’m like an expert (ha!). When it snows in our mountains, I try to avoid hiking. I hike before snow, after snow, but not during snow. And not in a lot of snow, because I don’t have the right equipment or gear, and I know that. The poor boy is stuck there. He’s been looking at gloves. He doesn’t know what to do with a scarf (I could send him pictures). Meanwhile, it’s supposed to be 90 degrees here today. Hmn.
Anyway. I had a late start with everything, because after school, I raced over to Art Produce to help with a house-building workshop…and ended up making my own houses. I’ll show you the wooden one later, but here’s the paper one…
I think it’s cool…
I drew on it after I built it. It was somehow important to me that I build it first. The others drew before building.
By then, I was exhausted. So I came home and tried to grade papers while texting and talking on the phone (SIL) and at one point, I had all three cats in the room with me (wow! don’t know if that’s ever happened before), and then I was finally done (seriously, it took 2.5 hours and it should have taken one), so I came in to finish the stitching. I wasn’t going to, because I was tired, but that’s a lame excuse. So I sewed.
And then I was done an hour or so later…
That’s the back. And then the cat laid upon it. Grr. So I have the next step in the process tonight and tomorrow, and hopefully I’ll be quilting Sunday, although Sunday is already chock full o’ crap. Because my brain’s not already exploding.
Sigh. And no, the mood hasn’t backed off. It’s getting heavier, like a wet scarf around your neck. Or a wet hoodie. All things we texted about last night. Wet jeans. Heavy and cold. Muffling. Chafing. Apparently a winter storm is attacking my brain.
I really need to get to school this morning. Yesterday was frustrating because listening to instructions is apparently something that the 12-year-old brain cannot handle. And they were somewhat surprised that I could read their Google chats, and that I would put it up on the screen so they could SEE that I could read it. And print it out. And show it to their parents if they bloody well didn’t stop doing it right now. Dead silence after that. I might have been a tad cranky. Can’t say I’m less cranky today. Last night’s staying up late has left me with a morning headache. But there are two, maybe three meetings today? And a flu shot? So yeah. Have to go. Stop typing Kathryn. Get off the fucking computer. Yes, it’s quieter here. Yes, the house needs cleaning. Yes, you have stuff here you’d rather do, but you are a responsible human being and you need to go the fuck to school.
Hey, did you see me fall into that hole Tuesday night? Or maybe it was during the day…yeah, it definitely was. I don’t know why. OK, I didn’t know why. I was actually all excited by the lesson I was teaching, because I basically had one kid at each table open up a new Google doc and then share it with their table, and then I handed them a rubric, yelled GO!, and ran away. Everything they asked me I turned back on them. Check your research. Ask someone at your table. Wow, that must really suck. Yeah, you have to work with people all the time when you grow up. I need you to work with your coworkers. There was some screaming, some lambasting, some frustration, but hell…yesterday? Yesterday I saw the product, and they were WORKING. Like TOGETHER. Because they HAD TO. It was a revelation.
Now we’ll see today what it actually looks like, and I totally lied about whether I could see what kid made what correction. I think I could, but I’d have to go back through all the revisions, and I don’t have time for that. Maybe I’ll have them write a reflection about the process and their partners, and then I can see who did nothing. It’s just like the corporate world! Or teacher world! Where you have one staff member who whines a lot and gets everyone in trouble. And another one who never does anything. And the bossy one. And the one who gets it done. And the one who goes home and does all of it and then comes back to school and their teammates are pissed off at them because now they have nothing to do (OK, that never happens in the real world…nobody gets pissed off in my world when that happens. We thank them and promise to do it for them next time, and then hopefully we follow through.).
Anyway, you’d think with a lesson like that, I would have come home with stars in my eyes and a smile on my face, but no. Hormones or thyroid or just bad depressoid brain, it’s been haunting me since the hike on Saturday, or maybe earlier, probably earlier, and I just keep trying to push it away and get shit done. Interesting that getting shit done isn’t helping. Well, it never really does. There’s just more shit to be done. So I fell in that hole, the one that holds on to me and makes me cry all the fucking time and lurks around corners and attacks when you’re not even expecting it.
So Tuesday night sucked. It sucked so bad I didn’t even try to make art. I graded papers, I got tired of that, I went to bed with my book. Which is a murder mystery. About the South. And racism and bad hinky shit that the KKK and worse did. So it’s real cheery. Yesterday, I was obviously still wearing all that on my face; I could tell. But the kids were still doing their cooperation thing, so that got me mostly through the day, but sometime in the morning, I realized part of the bad. And this really sucks, because October is my favorite month of the year. The weather is that in-between stage in Southern California…still super hot some days, beautiful blue skies, then chilly enough for a sweater the next day. There’s the promise of holidays and vacations looming, there’s Halloween, there’s soccer coming to an end. It’s just a nice month. Except 12 years ago yesterday, my life blew up into a million fragments in October, and then I thought I had it all put together again and got my month back, and then I didn’t. And it was somehow harder the second time around, the second time it all exploded. I still haven’t put that back together again. Because I had gotten to a point where I could get past October 22 without much of a thought, because my current life was enough, it was good, I was OK with it, but now it’s not, so the ouch is back, the pain is back, and it SUCKS. And I carried that all day yesterday, once I realized what the heavy was, and it’s still here today, because it still is. Here. I have this elephantine memory that never forgets the bad shit.
It didn’t help that I didn’t see the girlchild at all on Tuesday. I saw her a little more yesterday, but mostly she just screamed at me. I know she’s stressed with school and college apps…her first interview is today and there is proof that she is my kid…the interview isn’t until 4, but it’s a long way north, so she’s leaving right after school (like 3 hours early) to make sure she’s there in plenty of time. She has homework, and all she would do after school is go to Starbucks and do her homework anyway, so it’s just a farther-away Starbucks (or equivalent), but I’m like…oh yeah. I would totally do that too. I would be totally early, just in case.
And then last night, Dr Who was making me cry. Or life makes me cry and I just blame it on the closest TV show.
I tried to do a better job yesterday of taking care of myself, although I don’t know that going to bed early and reading a book is NOT taking care of myself…I just know it didn’t make me feel better. So last night, I meditated (because I had just been screamed at for explaining reality)…and cried through the whole thing. So much for achieving equanimity, or whatever the fuck I was supposed to be doing in my head during that 20 minutes. And then I stitched…
for a while…I’m a little over 4 hours in. Those are knees above…and a bottle below…
And at some point, I thought, “You could finish this step tonight. Totally. It wouldn’t take much longer.” True that. It wouldn’t have taken more than another hour. But it was already 11:48 PM, and I really need to work on sleeping enough each night, and that’s not how you do that. So I didn’t. I left it for tonight.
Because I know that some of my mood is affected by how much sleep I get, although if I get too much, I really don’t sleep, and then I’m more depressed the next day, so there’s some balance, some fine line…and some of it must be related to blood sugar; I’ve been having lots of lows lately. Like almost crashes but not quite. So many things that can fuck with my mood.
Life. A Moodfucker. News at 11. Or in my case, 2 AM.