One Step Closer

December 19, 2014

So even though I didn’t get home until 8 PM last night, and then I made a breakfast casserole for today’s holiday party at school and cookies for people who deserve way more than that for how they support me, I was determined to finish ironing last night. By my standards, it wasn’t late when I started, around 10 or so. I start that late all the time, and honestly, there wasn’t that much left to do. So I ironed…

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She looks creepy with no eyes.

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This quilt really isn’t huge or complicated compared to most of mine. It’s funny that 768 pieces is what I consider uncomplicated. Yeah. I know. So I have 11 days to finish this and get it photographed, and if I’m really nice (and smart), I’ll email my photographer now and let him know that…although I think I could get away with an informal photo on this one, at least to start.

I got another art rejection the other day. I’d forgotten it was coming, but it wasn’t a surprise. They took 38 out of over 700 entries. I need to enter more shows soon. Although I have more work to do for shows as it is. It will be a busy Winter Break getting started on all that. And starting to think about the big quilt for summer, whatever it might be. There are some calls for entry that are intriguing, but I haven’t had the mental space to figure them out in terms of my own work yet.

Anyway, I had gotten to that point above, and it was late, but not really late, and I didn’t know how long ironing it down to the background would take…sometimes it’s a total bitch, especially with all those tree branches and leaves. When they come loose from the ironing sheet, they get all tangled up and make me swear a lot. But I wanted it done. Because I knew if it were done, I might stitch down tonight. Maybe. Although boychild flies in tonight.

So I went for it. Because this is where my head is. In the art. It’s what it wants to do.

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I had a significantly stressful and shitty day at work. Technology (and kids) kicked my butt. I was cranky as hell, going out to dinner with friends made it worse (they were talking about school), and then the girlchild was an absolute brat in between (separation from mom imminent), so I had no mental strength left. And finishing this would make it better…would make me less likely to go to bed feeling like a complete and total failure.

Yeah. We all feel like that some days, right?

So I did it.

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Yeah. I like it. With black outlines in the quilting, this is gonna rock.

Sigh. Deep breaths. Because I’m at the point in my art where the last three quilts have just felt so good to get to this point, where I can actually SEE them. I can finally take what’s in my head and really just bang out a good piece of art. Just like that (100 hours later). And that is awesome. I am so grateful for that. Finishing that ironing last night makes it easier to get through today.

Yeah. Sorry. Still makes me all emotional. Not that you can see that part. Someone remind me of that all day when kids are running rampant.

Part of yesterday’s mental exhaustion was leaving school right when the bell rang to get to the girlchild’s soccer game…

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They tied. Not that any of that matters. I took two wrong turns to get there because my brain was offline.

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She’s always angry at me these days. I know it’s normal. It’s just hard to get that every day and not have someone standing behind you, holding you up and telling you it’s OK. It will be OK.

Sigh. Look at the quilt again, Kathryn. It will be OK. One step closer to done. Sometimes you just have to do it all yourself.


Halfway Through

December 16, 2014

So I’m about halfway through. And that’s OK. I’ve got Wednesday…maybe some time on Thursday. That’s enough. Four soccer games this week, though…and the boychild comes home in four days. That’s freaky. We’ve survived the first four months of college. Me without his calming influence; him in a brand-new, demanding environment. I wonder if it will feel relaxing being here, or just more stress? At least there is good Mexican food here.

Halfway through the ironing, by the way. I don’t think I’m halfway through anything else, except maybe my life, if I’m lucky. I have 5 hours and a bit of ironing done and I’m in the low 400s on the pieces. Now that said, I think that pile of bodies was the worst of it. Everything else is pretty straightforward, so you’d think I could get it done in less than 5 hours. About 350 pieces to go…a little less than half.

We’ll see.

So first of all, when I got the pile ironed together, I realized there were a couple of spaces that needed the dark fabric behind them…

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There’s two right there. No biggie. This is easypants. So two pieces traced…

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And then ironed underneath.

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I like that my iron is Anti-Calc. I also did not enjoy Calculus, but mostly because of my teacher. He was kind of a jerk. Assumed math was more important than language. And yeah, I teach science, but writing? Words? Communicating? Pretty damn fucking important. But here’s an interesting question, from last week’s warmup for my kids: words or pictures? If there were someone you liked and you could ONLY communicate via words OR pictures, which would you choose? Yeah. I prefer drawing to express myself really, but words would make more sense to me in communication with others. I love that someone I was texting this week corrected himself, his SYNTAX. Wow. In a text. Can’t beat that.

And then I had these two random pieces left over. Here’s one.

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No freakin’ clue where it belongs. Or the other. Just set them aside. Obviously not crucial.

Moving on. Ironed the damn cat.

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I don’t usually draw the cats as the two black cats in the house. Not sure why. I usually draw calicoes. I think personality-wise, I am a calico. Raise your hand if you know what I’m talking about! Yeah. OK. They’re feisty. And troubled. Black cats…they can go either way…we obviously have the Queen here…

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And she’s a total bitch. I am going to get in so much trouble with the boychild for not combing her belly for the last four months, but she claws the fuck out of me as it is when I comb the rest of her, so he can handle that shit.

The other black one is just mellow. Mostly. So I don’t fuck with her. Much. I can’t really tell you why the calicos end up being in the quilts most of the time: Juniper, Limbo, Kitten. Even Cinnamon, if you go back enough years.

So there’s DNA hand again. Like we can control any of it…

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The background on this quilt is a deep dark blue, so this hand is gonna pop right off of it.

And then there are the flying hearts.

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These have popped up in the last few months. I think of them as hope for my future. Like I have a heart and love and all that gooby stuff, but they’re just loose, flying around, waiting to land/be captured, I’m not sure which. So this is like the third or fourth drawing where they’ve appeared. Never been in a drawing before this Fall, I think. Weird, huh? I used to always have Christmas lights in my drawings. None of those today.

I did pull that drawing from yesterday out again, but it didn’t speak to me tonight. Weird how that works. Sometimes it’s so adamant that I hear it, that I draw it; it just fucking takes over and commandeers the pen, grabbing my brain and making it listen. And then…then it’s silent, like I pissed it off too many times. It won’t listen. It lies in bed with a pillow over its head.

So fuck the drawing.

I was going to stop and go to bed, but it (the ironing) kept dragging at me, so I started the tree…

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The stuff on the tree is next, and then the human figure in the middle of all that.

It’s exciting. I like when the image starts to appear…when it starts to BE a quilt for real. When the shit in my head gets out there and kicks some real-life ass.

Speaking of kicking ass…blurry pictures due to late night, fading light…

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Girlchild made an absolutely awesome twisty header goal…

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And then her coach, being a rancid idiot, barely played her for the rest of the game. But when he did put her ass back on the field in the last 7 minutes, she continued to kick ass. Thus proving that assholes are out there and we all have to deal with them.

Sigh.

So here’s what you need to know about me this week. It is survival this week for teachers. We are about to explode on a daily basis, because we are in a classroom with kids who cannot stop thinking about Christmas. I’d like to say they were thinking about other things, but in my school, it’s all about the presents…not the present. So even though I’m trying to get them through a major project, by the end of third period, I’m about to throw things. And I significantly appreciate those who bring me back down to Earth, who ground me with their sanity, their competence, their caring, their profanity, their beauty, their hugs, their Google Docs. I will be saying Thank You about a million times this week. Maybe even out loud. Maybe I will just hug it out. I think I actually told my co-teacher that I loved her for managing the tail end of a meeting so I could go to my kid’s soccer game.

Working on a creative endeavor, a quilt that means a great deal to me, to my existence, to my core, this week makes it all that much more…well…HUGE. So that’s good. And the rest? Well, fuck it. Hug someone. Then move on.

 


Some Peace and Forgetfulness

December 2, 2014

So my original plan of getting all the fabric picked for the Women at War quilt did not happen. That whole watching-soccer and planning-for-school thing just kicked my butt. Plus digging holes and trimming dead branches off trees. And maybe sleeping. But only a little. Sleep is still not my friend.

But I’m not giving up. I set these goals to keep me on track. Like writing…I am still trying to do some every day; I’m just not worried about hitting a word limit every day any more.

This is what my NaNoWriMo graph looked like…

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I was pretty consistent. I’m happy with what I did.

Then Saturday night, after late-afternoon soccer, I started ironing again…here’s the 4 different flesh piles I had…

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Because this quilt has more bodies in it than I think I’ve ever done. Well, maybe not. I have some with tiny bodies…but these are big…and there are about 9 of them. I think. Hard to tell, honestly, down in the pile. By the end of Saturday, this is what I had in the bin to cut out…

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And these are the other fabrics I’d used besides the flesh tones.

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And here’s the pie I had in the middle of all that…

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So the last two nights, I kept ironing, trying to stay on top of it…

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This is Sunday night…and honestly, I wanted to be done Sunday, and I wasn’t…

Here’s all the fabrics I’d used by then…not very colorful.

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Lots of browns and a ton of flesh colors (which aren’t even in that pile). Here’s the box of pieces to be cut out (guess what I’ll be doing next?)…

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Monday night, I laid them all out so I could see them…again, this is still without the flesh colors…when you realize the red, yellow, blue, and green pieces are little tiny pieces in the big picture, it really is a mostly brown and flesh-colored quilt.

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I finally got to the main figure last night. Usually, I number so that the main figure gets cut out first. I don’t know why I did it differently this time. I only had this much of the lightest fabric…

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I had to fussy iron the pieces on there…but I really wanted to use it. So I made it work.

As of last night, this is what’s left to iron.

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Here’s the pile of fabrics I used for the main figure. That tiny pile on top is what’s left of that light fabric. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it…

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Make a really tiny flesh thing. So it was after midnight when I finished cutting out all the flesh of the main figure. This is what was left…

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The bones, hair, nipples, lungs, heart, bandolier, and bullets. Oh. And a gun. Fun stuff. I was too tired to deal with that many choices, so I left it for tonight. And it’s only Tuesday, so I’m two days late. Not so bad. I should set another goal now. I plan to have all the pieces cut out by (Kathryn, think this through…you have gym and a soccer game in the rain and a meeting and a hike)…let’s say Sunday night. Then I can iron it together next week and (holy crap, I was looking at my calendar and freaking out about how much time was left, and then I realized it was still on November. Damn.) start stitching down the following week, and get it quilted Christmas week. Right? Sure. No problem. We’ll see what that looks like in real life.

Saturday’s soccer…

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was playing against the team whose coach is the same for my daughter’s high-school team. We’ve never liked him, so it was awesome when girlchild made the first goal against them…

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And I think we went on to make 4 more…

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I was grading papers. I also wrote some of the novel. It was not particularly warm.

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Yes, we had soccer yet another day…

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Girlchild is playing well, no back problems at all. She starts the high-school season this week.

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So I’m going to be spending a lot of time freezing and/or wet on metal bleachers.

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But it’s the last year of that, which is kind of weird. Guess that’s part of why I’m an emotional mess all the time. Oh yeah, well, and there’s other stuff. But whatever. I’m getting lots of art made. And entering more shows. And reading a lot. It could be worse. I could be holed up in bed and never taking a shower. You’re thankful I’m not like that. Hell, I’m thankful I’m not like that. I wish I could say that making all this art makes me feel better, but all I can say is in the moment, while I’m picking fabrics or drawing or stitching, in the moment, there is peace and some level of forgetfulness of all the shit, and that is a good thing.


Kicking It Back…

November 29, 2014

So yeah, I’m back. I’ve actually been here all along, but as I’m sure you realize, that whole holiday-with-family thing kind of eats up your free time. So I sleep even less. And at 1:30 AM, I’m not willing to START writing a blogpost. And mornings have been fraught. So here’s what happened.

On Wednesday, I spent a lot of time cutting out Wonder Under for the new quilt, which is for a theme of Women at War, with interpretation pretty open as to what that meant. I’ve felt like other people have been coming after my uterus and everything within and around for quite a while, despite some nice-guy misogynists telling me I was imagining it. I mean, what the fuck do you know as a privileged rich white man? Best thing you can do as a man? Admit that you mostly don’t have a fucking clue what it’s like to be a woman. You might have an inkling, but otherwise: Not inside, biologically, with periods and pregnancy and mood swings and menopause; not outside, trying to walk somewhere in public, dating, safety, being perceived as an object, wearing the wrong thing, whether you’re showing stuff off or not, it’s always wrong. Not breastfeeding, not being the mom, not with society’s expectations. I’m not saying being a man doesn’t have similar issues; I just think there are more “acceptable” options for men (in terms of what society believes). And I full-on admit I don’t understand what it’s like to be a man. Some men have some of a clue, but mostly it seems not. The better men are understanding even when they don’t understand.

So the drawing was full of all these stereotypes and yet she stands tall on a pile of men. Because every man came from a woman, y’all.

Anyway, my rampant feminism aside, I need to get the quilt done in the next…um…5 weeks. Yup. So speedy mode. Midnight? Not helping…

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Licking my elbow does not help me. This might even have been the night before. It looks awfully dark. It is! It’s Tuesday night. I sit on the couch and watch all the stuff I have saved on Tivo…

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If girlchild is still awake, I have to watch her stuff. Some of her stuff is also my stuff…top box is pieces, bottom box is trash…in case I drop pieces in it (which I often do).

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In the late afternoon (because I had to run a thousand errands), I managed to finish cutting and sort them all into bins by 100s. This is a smaller quilt, so there’s only 8 bins! A miracle.

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Of course, I also did the two birds that need to be done in December, so that was two more bins.

And then because this time of year isn’t crazy enough, girlchild and I hiked Iron Mountain in the dark with the group I often hike with.

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She wanted to show she had conquered the mountain.

That night, I realized I would need to clean the office up a bit to be able to cut fabrics out. I hadn’t put everything away from last time (and honestly, it’s a disaster area in here anyway, because all my school stuff lives in here too). So I had drawers open that cats had slept in and fabric piled everywhere…

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I like a fresh start. Plus I need that table cleared off because that’s where I put the Wonder Under pieces.

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And one section of the floor, I think the cats had knocked a bunch of stuff down (they get a bit rambunctious sometimes), so I needed to clean that up. Finding floor space in here has been a priority this last month. Two feet at a time, people. Two square feet is all I ask.

I had a ton of fabric to put away, both from the last quilt and from Houston, so I started by stacking by color, because everything in here is stored by color, except for the ones where I can’t figure out what color it is.

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That was about halfway through. There were some issues with storage. It doesn’t seem to matter how much I use…it is not enough.

And I found this from a million years ago, from an Ellen Anne Eddy class.

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Hand-dyed silk velvet plus thread-painted fetus. You know, like you do. That may still be in here when I die.

So at that point, it was Thursday, and although girlchild does most of the cooking, that means I get stuck with the cleaning (and then she complains that she can’t find anything because I moved it…from the couch to her bedroom), and I also cook a few things and I constantly try to clean up in the kitchen, which drives her nuts, but I can’t stand having to do it all at once.

So this picture is about 10 minutes before dinner is served. She’s making gravy. The fire extinguisher is out because she spilled turkey juices on the stovetop and it got in the box where the controller things are (technical term) and short-circuited something, and for a few minutes, we had loud popping noises and big sparks and electrical fire smoke. So yeah. A typical Thanksgiving…

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The wine? Well. Obvious. See fire extinguisher. Especially after loud pops and sparks. And no, it’s not fixed yet. It’s actually not top on my list at the moment. The rest of it works, I got everything cleared off of there because of the fire danger, and I have other things that are more pressing. No really, the sink is completely clogged and getting fixed this afternoon, so I can finally do all the dishes. THEN I will deal with the stove.

Thanksgiving was small this year…just my parents, me, the girlchild, and the ex…

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Guess he has decided Brits can celebrate that holiday…food was good, of course…

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She makes a mess in the kitchen, tries to set the house on fire, but it always tastes good.

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And yes, we’re still eating it. Ex came over last night and took away two platefuls of food. Sent a bunch home with my parents as well. And then we realized girlchild wouldn’t be around next year to cook.

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Shit. I think we’re going out. I do cook. I just don’t want to spend that much time cooking for so few people.

Or dogs. I don’t feed dogs people food. Dogs LIKE people food.

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Oh yeah. Pie and pi. All good.

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Once the food was all eaten and I had cleaned up as much as I could with a nonworking sink, I finished cleaning up the studio (ah, much better)…

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Hung the new drawing where I could see it, assumed the background fabric I had would work, and started the next fabric-picking adventure…

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I don’t know what YOU do when chock full of tryptophan. I told you I was a bit crazy.

I picked all the stuff on the bottom…

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And then started thinking about the fleshy issues…a pile of 7 or 8 bodies that I need to be able to distinguish from each other? Need at least two sets of flesh runs…

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Luckily, they’re pretty simple bodies, so I don’t need the usual run of 7 fabrics or so. Although on the right, that’s the run for the main female figure, I think. The stuff on the left was the first of the male bodies.

Friday morning dawned nice and clear, and soccer was first on the agenda…of course.

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Girlchild decided to play for another team, because hers didn’t get into the tournament they wanted. Luckily, it’s local, because we have a game a day.

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I graded papers (ah, back to reality) and watched her run around and score one goal…

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They beat an Alaskan team 5-1. I’m sure that team was a little hampered by the over-80-degree weather. Then I came home and helped dad do some yard things and went and bought two trees with him to block off that big open space that has been there since April? March? Don’t even remember how long. I need to go out there today and dig holes and trim off dead stuff and be a responsible homeowner (my neighbors will be thrilled). And I went to the gym. See, this is where time goes. But at the gym, I wrote…yes, I’m still writing. The story’s still not done. And I finished my book (the one I was reading). And these were good things. And then I traced some more Wonder Under for another piece, a small one that’s been lying around for a good long while…

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Of course, technically it has nudity in it, so it can’t go into any of the shows coming up that need smaller pieces. I’m tired of making things FOR something, though, even though I don’t mind the themes that I’ve been in…sometimes you just have to make the stuff you WANT to make. I’m getting a wave of that feeling coming on…strong. I traced this also because I was watching something on Netflix that I couldn’t watch in my studio and I wanted to finish the episode.

Anyway, then back to the studio…where I kept going on the pile of flesh…

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Which is taking significantly more time than I usually take, mostly because it’s complicated to figure out what is overlapping where, and to make sure I have all the pieces for that body, and that the fabrics don’t overlap in the wrong way.

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After 4 hours of ironing, I am barely in the 200s. The plus is I should finish the pile of bodies today, so it will go faster after that. I think. I hope. Because remember how I said I wanted to be done with the ironing by the time school starts again? And there are two more soccer games? Plus I have to plan for school, because hey, we do have to go back there, despite the scary adrenaline rush I get when I think about it? I calculated grades yesterday from the stuff I had graded so far after break. It’s possible I should just quit teaching right now. I’m an absolute failure.

Sigh. So. And on top of all this, I slammed my finger in the door and I keep reopening the wound (bandaids forever!), a Golden Retriever is currently trying to play ball with me, my kitchen looks like a hurricane hit it, and the fish at school has probably died because I keep forgetting to go over there and feed it. Girlchild has applied to her first college, boychild got food poisoning on Thanksgiving from something (he did not have turkey dinner), and I’ve been living on deviled eggs for three days (I’m not sure that’s a bad thing).

This time of year just kicks my ass. So I’m going to kick it back by making lots of art. Yup. You can’t stop me.

Here’s Aug(de)mented Reality 2…for some post-turkey amusement…

Yeah, it’s goofy. Goofy’s OK sometimes.


The Pieces of a Weekend

October 27, 2014

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.

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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…

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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)…

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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.

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We should have won, but tied.

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Toldja she liked to head the ball.

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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…

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I did clean this weekend. One thing (well, besides the entryway floor so I could pinbaste). This:

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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.


I Was Tired…

October 19, 2014

Yeah. I know. I missed a couple posts. I was really tired. And sick. And then I went on a hike, which made me tired again. And sick is still hovering, though mostly only at night. And when I’m tired. And when you hear me talk. Anyway. Hopefully I did enough sleep catchup in the last few days to last for a bit. Still missing a big chunk of my working voice though. Oh well.

The good news is that I finished ironing everything down on Friday night (yes, I went to Sea World with 180 kids and then came home and went shopping with the girlchild and THEN I ironed).

This is what the tree looked like after I pulled it off the ironing sheet…

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See why I was scared to do that? I untangled that thing about three times Friday night, trying to get it to fit on the background…because all of the quilts for this show are supposed to be the same size, which I have a really hard time doing. I can easily do a range, but god forbid I draw the piece so that there’s some leeway on each side. NAW. Let’s make it go RIGHT to the edges.

Yeah, I know. My fault. So I cut the background with about 2 inches to spare on the horizontal and vertical measurements, and then made it work. Maybe. We’ll see when I go to trim it.

And then I put the whole mess on the floor and started putting the parts on to make it fit…and that’s where I have to stop showing pictures. You’ll have to wait until January, when the show opens. Here’s the bottom…

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I had some issues with the batik bleeding again. I’ll have to figure out what I want to do about that…you’d think I’d remember to use that stuff when I wash it, the Retayne…but I always forget. So either I’ll be using pencil or pen or something to handle that. More work. Oh well. Maybe next time I will remember to wash it special.

I was going to be all gung ho after the hike Saturday morning, but it kicked my butt (yeah, hiking while getting over being sick all week was maybe not a great plan, but I really did need to get the fuck out of the house and into nature, so I just did it), so I didn’t get anything done Saturday afternoon. And then girlchild had night soccer, where I graded…

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We were missing a bunch of kids for a variety of reasons, so even though they should have won (they’ve beat this team before), they didn’t…

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And the girls basically had to play all 90 minutes, so girlchild went down with a calf cramp after getting kicked there…

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Thought it was her knee for a minute…dammit…never going to get her through a whole season! But just a cramp. She’s fine today. But we didn’t get home until after 8, and my brain was in a mood, so I fed it and made it meditate. I haven’t been meditating enough, because honestly, a lot of the time when I’m doing the art stuff, it does the same thing for me as meditation, focuses my brain, calms me, gives me some mental strength. But last night, I just felt unfocused and cranky and tired, so I did it. And it was good.

So I came in and did the final step of the ironing down…totaling the ironing out at 15 hours and 18 minutes (my estimate of 15 hours holds!). And then I started stitching down. I wasn’t going to, because I was still tired, but I really wanted to get a START on it. Because Sundays are notoriously bad for artmaking, due to the grocery shopping and the prepping for school and the hanging out with parents. I usually don’t get to do anything until late at night. I wish I were more efficient in the morning, but it really is the only morning I can just space out and make English muffin pizzas for breakfast and hang out and not have to DO anything or BE anywhere. Yes, I’m hanging out with myself (actually, girlchild was here this morning early), and that’s often depressing, but whatever. Someone claimed they were going to “laugh at the loneliness” once, and I thought it sounded like bullshit then and I still do…you don’t laugh at loneliness. You stare at it for a while and eventually you just embrace it, hold on to it tight, and if you can make it go sit in a closet for a while because you’re hanging out with friends or family, or because you’re at school, or because you’re in the artspace and haven’t come out yet…that’s awesome. But mostly, you can try to ignore it or yell at it or just accept that it’s there and hold its hand…but laughing at it is kinda stupid. It’s not gone because you laughed at it. I laugh all the time. It doesn’t make it go away. It’s still there, staring at you. Stupid depression. Doesn’t help. Stupid hormones. Also don’t help.

Stitching down…

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one of the more boring parts of the quilting process. I know that to stay on schedule, I have to keep MAKING a schedule. So I look back at the Celebrating Silver quilt, because I’ve been basing everything on that one (about the same size and number of pieces)…so I’m guessing 5 hours to stitch it down, another 2 to pinbaste, and about 14 hours of quilting. I want it pinbasted by Saturday night. Quilting starts Sunday? I should remember I have some obligations this week…maybe.

Anyway. Progress. It’s always progress here at Kathy Central. If I keep running forward, then the bad shit can’t catch me, right? Naw, sometimes it’s pretty fast and I’m hiking with dead legs (that was yesterday going uphill…dead legs). Now I’m going to be running forward into the 70 million errands I need to run today in order to be ready for the week. And you wonder why I’m so tired.


Hello Monday…

October 13, 2014

Hello Monday. I was not ready for you. I finished a bunch of stuff this weekend, but not enough (it’s never enough…isn’t that a song? Of course it’s a song.). I don’t feel prepared to face what you will be throwing at me today. For one thing, my voice and throat are significantly challenged (not a good thing for a teacher on the first day of five days…it only gets worse as the week goes on). I think I am officially sick, but with some really low-level viral beast that won’t just come out and make me actually ill. It’s content to lurk in the shadows and make things feel slightly off. I have a formal teacher observation today, though, so I’m thinking through how to teach this lesson without speaking…can I do the whole thing with hand motions? I think I can. At some point, when you’ve been teaching long enough, you can do just about anything.

I worked on the male figure in the quilt last night…I wanted to get it done.

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Looks a lot like the female side, eh? Thought I could do it all in one evening, because it was less complicated than the female…plus I started earlier. Here’s all the 600s laid out.

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I finished the 500s and 600s and did a few of the 700s. OK. Well, I got a significant amount of him done. I balked at the hands (hands are hard. I was tired. Tired and hard do not go together.). I got his sixpack done.

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So tonight I can do the hands and the briefcase and the head maybe. It’s good progress. I’m getting there. It’s moving along.

At that point, I should have been smart and gone to bed. It wasn’t super late though, and I wasn’t tired. At all. Even though it was almost midnight. So I decided to watch the rest of the episode of Star Trek that I had been ironing to, and to work on some hand embroidery until the episode was done, and then maybe I’d be tired…

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Yeah. Right. Made it through a whole ‘nother episode after that before tired hit. Something to do with the cat on the back of my neck? By the way, Data appreciates the embroidery.

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It still wasn’t super late, but it wasn’t early. I seem incapable of going to sleep, or even to bed, at a reasonable hour. Seriously, that damn cat is on the back of my chair right now. Gives me a crick in my neck.

We did have soccer yesterday morning too…not super early, but early enough to set an alarm.

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Everybody loses to this team. They’re good, sure, but they’re also pushy…and not in a constructive way. In a hand-on-the-back kinda way.

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Our girls held their own, though…still lost, but only 3-1, and as you can see above, when their girls threw themselves into ours, most of the time, ours did not fall down. I think girlchild dropped about 4 of their girls just by continuing to stand upright.

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It’s amazing to me to watch 17-year-olds who are about to go to college and play soccer with big scholarships (because one of their worst offenders will probably do just that) and they’re winning by being bad sports. Play the damn game, little girl. When you get beat, you don’t run into someone because you’re pissed.

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Of course, that’s not true. That is what lots of people do…and not just in soccer. You get pissed? You get hurt? You try to take the other person down.

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Soccer as a metaphor for life. Damn that pink vibrates…will be glad when we get back to our normal uniform colors. And one of their parents actually had the balls to come over and tell our girls to calm down? The ref was a good guy, though, and did a good job of calling the dumbass maneuvers.

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So a successful game, even if they lost. You gotta lose sometime, right? Not the green team, apparently. They tried to justify their girls’ behavior, saying “well, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” Um. So when you break someone’s leg? Will it be a problem then?

So. Yeah. I’ve been sitting with Monday for a while now, and it’s still a petulant whiny beast. I’m not sure I want to spend the rest of the day with it. It’s like an immature 7th-grade boy. Ugh. I got no choice. I gotta deal.


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