Heads on a Science Apart*

July 21, 2018

I haven’t really been paying attention to the total hours on this thing. I’ve just been head down, tracing. I did another 5 hours yesterday…not as many as I wanted, but I did some other stuff too, so I’m OK with it. I’m in the low 1400s, so I have just under 500 pieces to go…probably about 5 hours. I might get that done today? Maybe? Maybe not? It’s harder to trace in the morning because the sun hits that side of the house and it’s hot. Nighttime is best.

I have 2 1/2 yards cut out. I filled another 2 yards and set them aside for cutting, and then I think there are 3 more yards in process. The big pieces take up a lot of space but are quick to cut out usually. I’ve been trying to lump together like pieces as much as possible, like all the bricks in the walls, because that also makes it faster to iron and cut out.

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Musical interlude by boychild and dogs. Seriously, the Golden sings and the Pom barks.

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Sometimes I wonder how crazy my designs are…see those tiny pieces? Yeah. Birth control pills. Fucking insane.

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I feel like I’ve been tracing for DAYS. Well. OK, it has been a few days.

Only half a gecko. Not even half.

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The other night, I just left the room lights off and had the TV and the light table on. I made it through a couple of series of TV shows: Crossing Lines was OK and Secret City was interesting for the insight into Aussie/China viewpoints. World politics from another place in the world. Anyway, I don’t do a good job of paying attention to shows when I’m tracing, so it’s OK that they were just OK.

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I just have two main figures (and about 17 thousand leaves) to trace. Easy peasy. I should get started on that.

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Satchemo loving the Madagascar iguana the girlchild brought me…

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Great colors. Anyway, gonna go do some more tracing. Oh yeah! I’m at 17 hours and 45 minutes. I was hoping for about 20 hours…think I’m going well over that. Probably 23 hours. That’s my guess anyway. Then cut them out and start ironing. I have no jury duty next week, so I’m planning a vet visit for the UTI dog, call the tree guy back and see if he can do it in the next two weeks, get the Honda serviced and the back window cleaned up…but otherwise, hoping to get to the fabric ironing earlier in the week (it’s supposed to be a million degrees here next week…that will not help). The foot still hurts. No, I didn’t try the pickle juice. I did apply heat and I stretched and I wore shoes while tracing (ugh…too hot). Maybe it helped. It hurt when I went to bed last night, I think because I naturally point my toes when I sleep instead of keeping the foot perpendicular. I do have a night splint, but it’s hot and uncomfortable. Then again, everything is hot and uncomfortable this summer.

Art! Go make art.

*Coldplay, The Scientist

Oh Take Me Anywhere, I Don’t Care*

July 20, 2018

I actually left the house yesterday. I’m kind of in this frame of mind where I would lock myself up in my studio if I had one. But I work all over the house, so I guess my version is the one where I never leave the house except to get the mail. I only left to run errands at first, but then actually went to a social thing (well, one where I could make art as well). I have another errand or two for today, but they could be put off for a day or so. Hmmm.

Anyway, so I did not trace as much yesterday…although I still worked on the quilt for almost 7 hours, so I’m not really chastising myself there. I spent a little under 3 hours cutting 2 yards of Wonder Under out…so that was a good start.

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I had some computer stuff to do yesterday, so Kitten gave me some love.

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I hung out on the boychild’s bed with dogs again. This one is cute, except at 3 AM when he hears zombies. Or raccoons. Or whatever the fuck he hears that puts us all in imminent danger.

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After the boy left with the dogs, Kitten ventured out into the living room for the first time in forever. She’s been weird about coming out since the boy cat moved in (almost a year ago). But last night, she just waltzed out, sat in her favorite spot, and flicked her tail all over the place until he bopped it. Because that’s how he rolls. He sees her and makes a beeline for her but doesn’t usually attack. It’s kinda like he’s saying HI HI HI HI HI over and over again and she’s a little nervous about it.

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I did start tracing after dinner…

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And she eventually settled down in her favorite (most annoying) spot…on what I was tracing. She hung out for quite a while, though.

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Not sure what changed in her mind, but I hope it sticks. Anyway, I traced for about 4 hours…got about 300 more pieces done, so not my goal of 600 or so a day, but that’s to be expected if I’m not home. I finished one graffiti’d wall and have this one to do. Complicated as hell to trace. Probably much easier to iron.

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Anyway, like I said, I could run a couple errands today. I was planning on going to the gym, but my left foot started cramping last night really badly and is still painful today. I’m hydrated, I soaked it in hot water, I tried massaging it, but nothing’s really working. I don’t know what I did, although standing for hours might not be helping. Who knows? I do plan to get through another 600 pieces today…so hopefully that will happen. I already entered an art show before I wrote this, so maybe that’s the only thing I have to do today. I probably need to eat something. And maybe finish my tea. Sleep. I dream of you.

*The Smiths, There Is a Light That Never Goes Out


July 19, 2018

I need to go buy more Wonder Under this morning, because I used about 5 yards of it yesterday and I’m going to run out. Some days, I find it hard to make any art during the day. It’s too hot. There’s too many errands or other distractions. Need to shower, need to eat, need to go to work…but during the summer, I don’t seem to be any better at it. It often takes me until mid-July to hit my stride. It’s like my brain doesn’t really believe it’s vacation until someone says, oh hey, there’s only four weeks left. Aack. There’s all this shit still on my to-do list dammit. And I’m still on call for jury duty. Damn them. But the panic started…the one where I realize how many days I definitely won’t be able to make art due to people visiting, being gone, or pure exhaustion from school shit. So if I want this quilt to be done, I need to get my act in gear.

So I traced Wonder Under for almost 9 hours yesterday. Seriously. And I was antsy about it. I often am. I made myself go for an hour before I was allowed to take a break. For anything. Because I’m the queen of making excuses to wander off. And eventually, I kept coming back…because I set a daily goal (one I probably won’t meet today…exigent circumstances). I wanted to get a third of the way through, so about 600 pieces. And I did that.

It’s not a small drawing. It’s draped over the light table and the couch (note puppy asleep on the couch back, just under the window).

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I was trying to keep this thing simple (ha!), so there are a lot of big pieces that don’t necessarily save space on the Wonder Under.

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So they take longer to trace (longer pencil line) than the small pieces. Hence 663 pieces in almost 9 hours. I usually average about 100 pieces an hour. Not so much yesterday.

I have lots of animal interactions…

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When I’m taking a break, it’s really just to refocus my eyes and sit down for a bit, because I trace standing up and it’s hard to focus on that stuff for a long time without a break. So I walk around and sit for a while and go pee and make some more tea or eat something if it’s time to do that or go walk down the driveway to get the mail.

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Or watch the puppy sleep.

During one of the breaks, I straightened up my desk. It was a disaster. It still kind of is. I need something to put the scissors in and the pens and pencils I’m using right now. I have another container, but it’s already full. I’m not good at getting rid of marking implements. I don’t think that box is best for that. You can see one of the traced yards there…don’t think I can fit any more on it.

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I don’t know why I keep those scissors. They’ve been gnawed on. It hurts to use them. I think it hurts more to throw them away.

More Wonder Under piled up on the drawing…

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I started around 11 AM and finished after midnight the next day. I’ve got about 5 yards in process of being traced. A lot of big pieces means having to start a new yard before the other one is full.

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Anyway, more of that today, although I’ve got two errands to run this morning and a quilt meeting this afternoon. This thing is way too big to bring with me, so I’ll probably bring some Wonder Under to cut up and maybe some wool stuff. Then I’d really like to go to the gym tonight or tomorrow. There’s other stuff I need to do, but I often get into this artmaking mode and then I can’t do anything.

More distractions…puppy in a box.

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There’s this too. This is one of my favorite tops for work (for winter) and I accidentally got bleach on it (dumb move). So I don’t want to dye it. Too hard to match. Then there’s pens…but again, it’s a weird color (Sharpies are useful for black though). So I’m considering embroidery. Except what? And how? It would have to be more all over or viney stuff. So there’s that. I’ve got some time to deal with that.

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But for now, off to buy stuff. And eat stuff. And maybe trace stuff (well, no matter what, eventually I will trace stuff).

The blog title is one of the things I need to buy. I didn’t even know that’s what it was called. You learn something new every day.

Art for the Win

July 18, 2018

Well the best thing I did yesterday was to get kicked off two juries. I didn’t even do anything that I know of to get kicked off (ah, profiling)…but I’m OK with that. I had to be there most of the day, unfortunately…two trials and not enough jurors. I finished a book, which is pretty good, considering how much time I spent staring at ceilings, listening to other people try to answer the questions. The plus is that there shouldn’t be any more trials this week, and although I’m still on call for the rest of the month, they have a new batch of numbers they’re calling in next week, so hopefully that was it. Knock on wood…wait, the woodpecker outside my office window is doing that for me. Nature loves me.

Anyway, so that made it hard to do anything else yesterday. I was mostly braindead and pretty tired…although I did finish numbering the beast. I don’t think I’ve put this many people in a quilt ever (trying to confirm that in my head…three has happened…wait, I can think of one with four people…). This one has eight people. Ah. Eight different runs of flesh tones. That will be a challenge. So will the background, so the people will show up. Will have to consider all of that.

Simba watching me number…it’s pretty exciting. Not. Not exciting at all.

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So I thought it had 1854 pieces, but then realized I’d forgotten to number the cat, so 1880 it is. I was really hoping for like 1200, but it was not to be. Oh yeah, and there’s a penis in it. I like to point that out these days because people keep hallucinating those things. And no, it’s not in there because I need attention. This quilt is about women and the things we do to them, like send them dick pics or use the penis as a weapon. It’s also about that whole (if you were an art or art history major, you know about this) male gaze turned on itself. What about the female gaze? How we see the world? It would be nice to have some of the world interpreted equally. It never seems to be.

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Anyway, I had hoped to start tracing last night, but I was exhausted…fell asleep on the couch at some point. Did not get enough sleep and spent most of the day sitting around and doing nothing. So today? I’m going to bingewatch bad television and trace Wonder Under…because there’s about 20 hours of tracing to do and I’d like it done by the weekend…and I have nothing else to do today. I do have to call tonight and check that I’m not on jury duty again tomorrow (aack no). But then I can trace more tomorrow.

I still need to finish this weaving of my story. As I weave, I kind of think to myself, “so what happened next?” and I weave what I think that might look like. I have a limited amount of yarn, so that makes it more difficult (not a lot of colors), but I’m OK with that.

Satchemo likes it too…

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Expand the view, and you can see how Simba feels about it.

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I’m finally more than halfway…which is good. It needs to be done by Sunday.

I got rejected for the last copyediting job, with a really snotty comment about my fees. Well I knew those would be an issue for her, so I had addressed it in the offer. Sure, you can find someone who will copyedit your 80,000 words at $15/hour. And they might even be awesome at it…but if they are, they are totally underselling their abilities and making it harder for the rest of us. You should be paying them more. And if they aren’t awesome, which is more likely, then you get what you pay for. Honestly, I’m not going to undersell my skills. I’d rather be making art, and at the moment, I can afford to make that choice. There is, however, no need to be snotty about it. That just leaves a bad taste in everybody’s mouth. Welcome to our America, eh? It spills over into everything.

OK. So I’m up. I got some sleep, hallelujah. I’m going to go trace stuff. I am NOT going to talk to people for a long time (I will talk to animals though). Art for the win.

Gonna Read for a While

July 17, 2018

In case you’re wondering why I’m writing so early (because this is early for Kathy on break), it’s because I’m sitting in a dead silent jury room, half (or more) asleep, after fighting my way through motorcycle accident traffic. Honestly I have zero brain power right now, and I tried going to bed early (for me), but I was still the first one up. Hoping for no jury, but you can’t predict that shit. I have had so much anxiety about this process…I hate being forced to sit like this.

Anyway. Onward and upward. Trying not to read too many political things. Our country…what a disaster. Even the quilt world is full of it. I start so many responses in my head…such a difficult world we are in.

Kitten held hands with me yesterday. She feels me.

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So yesterday, I did manage to get my butt in gear eventually and quilted the two little quilts.

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They’re so tiny, it doesn’t take long.

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Fully quilted, ready to trim…

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I didn’t put a real binding on these…just trimmed them to size and zigzagged the edges with a heavier thread underneath. There’s probably a technical term for that.

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Now I just need to decide how to label them, hang them (after this exhibit), and attach them to the boxes. No problem. I have until Sunday.

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Then I hung out on the boychild’s bed with the dogs…long enough to decide to walk those beasts. Might be my last chance this week.

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Lucky dogs. We went hunting for the vernal pool. Very little evidence of it in summer.

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But sharp eyes (not mine) spotted two baby California horned lizards…we must have disturbed their hanging out together…

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Hard to see…

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But very cool. I’ve only seen 3 or 4 of them while hiking, and never so small…not even an inch long.

Then dinner and more weaving (whoops, no picture)…and then I really wanted to finish drawing last night. The last woman went in. And I think that’s it. Ten hours to trace the stuff that was on the other drawing and then do the rest.

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It doesn’t sound like much.

I did start numbering, but I knew it was a big job, so I quit at 488 pieces. I’ll finish the rest tonight and then start tracing.

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That 488 got all the waves and everything in them, including the Earth Mermaid, numbered. So maybe a third? Hard to say.

Gonna read for a while.

Then You Really Might Know What It’s Like*

July 16, 2018

I’ve been up for a while, fed all the animals except the human ones, balanced some money stuff out, paid the Visa (oh crap) and then the girlchild’s fall semester (oh holy crap), and read some stuff, but haven’t really got the goop outta my eyes or the even the full cup of tea down my gullet. This is NOT the Summer of Sleep. Totally not. Perhaps I should go to bed earlier, but I really do find the late-night hours are the most useful to me, especially if it’s warm. It’s not too bad (yet) today, so that’s nice. Maybe I can use that to my advantage. One more day without jury duty. That’s good. I swear, this regular uncertainty just fucks with me.

I wasn’t very efficient yesterday until later…I was tired and had a brunch thing I had to do, so then you eat the the brunch foods and they make you tired and it’s Sunday so you’re already tired even if you didn’t work all week. Yeah. That. I did bid on a copyediting job last week or maybe the week before? I didn’t hear anything, so I’m betting I didn’t get it. I bid on one this morning, but she’s already said money might be an issue…I think people don’t have any idea how many hours copyediting 80,000 words takes. We don’t just read it once…but at least three times, looking for a variety of stuff. And her sample wasn’t great. So I’m assuming I won’t get that one either. Oh well. Not sure I’d have time to do it anyway. It would really suck to get a job and then get stuck with jury duty…double hours. Ugh.

Anyway, each day I don’t have to sit in a courtroom is a good one.

Kitten is a freak…very needy at the moment.

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We had dinner with the parentals…so Calli wanted the ball thrown 700 times. Grandpa obliged…until we decided she was tired. She won’t ever stop unless we make her.

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I worked on the sun…all I got done was chain stitch around the whole thing and a little bit of backstitch. Then I have to go find the hippo instructions from March or something.

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I tried to get all three dogs in one picture…semi-successful. They don’t follow instructions well.

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Calli is a good girl. Simba is on a leash because he gets up the slope in the bushes and no one can get him down. We let him loose at one point, but he was tired and behaved. Katie was a pain because of food.

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Then we came home and I sewed the binding on the other quilt. This is Satchemo supervising the pinning. He really wanted to sit on it, but I wouldn’t let him.

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Pile of quilt. I won’t be working on this really soon. Or maybe while I’m watching the telly. Who knows. It’s a nice break from standing.

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It’s hard to get up off the couch when the headless wonder is all draped over you. I feel bad getting up and leaving him there. He obviously wants the loves. He was licking my leg (ick).

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But eventually he left, and my brain strangely went to graffiti walls. You can blame whatever I was watching on TV. It had a graffiti wall that said BOOM. And that was it. I was down a rabbit hole. Suddenly it made sense to have a graffiti wall in here.

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Continued it on the other side, added a viewpoint, finished the hill behind.

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There isn’t much left…just the sky to the left. Then numbering it (I’m a little scared of that).

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It’s time to get this one rolling. The deadline on the other one is a ways out, so I can slowly hand-stitch the binding and wait a bit on photography. I do need to finish those two little ones too, but since I finished the binding on the other one, I can use the machine for that today. So finish the two little ones, finish the drawing, number, start tracing onto Wonder Under. Hope for no jury duty.

*Everlast, What’s It Like

Every Day Should Have Art

July 15, 2018

I woke up to 49 texts between the kids about Vitamin B12 and some weird gourd plant. There are worse things.

Still working on the list. Things take time. My brain takes time. I had limited artmaking time yesterday…much like today. So I got right on the making part of it…

These are two small quilts that will be in boxes for a wall exhibit this fall. This one has only 30 pieces in it.

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And it took less than an hour (just) to iron together. Most of that time was actually cutting out the little tiny pieces, because I’ve learned not to cut those out until I’m about to iron them…they just disappear.

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And this one has 90 pieces. I lost two leaves and about four of the leaf stems. I don’t know how. It happens. This one took just over an hour to iron together.

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I like it though.

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Today they can be stitched down, maybe…I want to sew the other binding down first. I hate changing thread and machine feet, so I just try to get everything done that needs to be before I change. So binding first and then stitch down.

Meanwhile, I need to finish weaving, sew a binding by hand (well two, really, but one isn’t crucial), and then embroider a bunch of balls. Plus finish that damn drawing so I can start tracing. So I might finish it before the end of August. A plan!

Yesterday, we celebrated the man’s birthday with a history and wine tour of San Diego’s Little Italy. It was nice. It was more wine than history, but that was the plan all along.

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We hadn’t been down there for about a year or more, since the last Artwalk we went to (not sure what year that was…not this one), and there were some significant changes. It’s a nice area for eating and walking. I think they’re doing more to make it that way.

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We were at an art opening last year down here, but I don’t think we walked around much. There’s a whole new fountain and plaza. Here’s the neighborhood sign and accompanying mosaic…of TUNA. Lots of tuna emphasis.

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We had a nice time…although were mostly useless for the rest of the night. I seriously don’t know what I did…spaced out, watched music videos, read articles. Didn’t make art. That shit happens. That’s part of why I write so much…it reminds me to make work, make more work, don’t just space out all the time. I suspect that’s always good advice.

Today is full of parents and food and groceries. And art. Every day should have art.