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.


Giant Steps Are What You Take*

July 14, 2018

OK, so you know how Pinterest sends you all these emails about what you might be interested in because of stuff you’ve pinned? And it used to always be the same stuff you’d already pinned, which I thought was idiotic, but now sometimes it’s useful (like especially school stuff), so I roll through them every once in a while. But I have no idea what I looked at or pinned that is now giving me boards about medical school. Seriously. I did nothing. It’s not me. And then I’m always looking for fonts for bullet journals, since I am still using the calendar journal thing and I like trying to draw new fonts…but today? Today it gave me a board for Bullets. You know. The things in guns. But like home decor projects with bullets. I don’t think you can see me roll my eyes that hard. Pinterest fail.

So I dye my hair like I dye my fabric…sorta haphazardly. I know for a fact that the amazing woman who cuts my hair would do a much better job, but this is just a semi-permanent color and I’m not worried too much by it being an amazing dye job. It needs to wash out by the time school starts, or close to it.

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Matches my shirt.

After that, I trimmed the two quilts (basically, I woke up after my mid-afternoon space-out)…this one was a bit of a pain because it wasn’t exactly square in the first place. But it’s not that crucial.

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And then this one was a pain because it had to be an exact size, which is really hard for me. I never hear anyone else complain about it, so it must just be me. I like a range…because I’m convinced I’m gonna fuck it up and it will be like 3 inches too short.

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Plus on the long skinny ones, where I don’t leave a lot of room for error, it’s even harder to be even and straight and exact. I don’t do exact well. But after 17 different trimmings, it’s pretty good.

Then I cooked and ate and started this thing. One of the women in California Fibers, Brecia Kralovic-Logan, created a project called Women’s Woven Voices. You can read about it here. Basically, a lot of women weave these strips and tell their story and then they are woven together…

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Brecia adds red fringe to 3 out of 4 of the strips to represent the women who have been affected by sexual abuse of some kind. Scary numbers. So I stole my basket of yarn back from the boychild and started weaving.

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I was raised by a weaver and used to do this stuff on and off…it took a while to get used to the straws, but I got the hang of it. My meeting is a week from Sunday, so I think I’ll be done. I have to go through my stash for things to sew to it too. We’ll see what that looks like. Since it’s supposed to be the story of my life, I’ve been trying to think as I weave, as I choose colors and patterns, what that would look like. I don’t work in a grid like this in my head…hence why I spun off into art quilts instead of tapestry weaving. Anyway. She’s still taking entries, I believe.

After doing that, and watching the last episode of The Handmaid’s Tale (well, until next season), I headed in to cut binding out…and sleeves.

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I got the binding machine-stitched down on this one…

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It was around 11:30 PM by then…so I went in and sat with the dog and the man to pin the binding down for the hand-stitching part. The dog is asleep down at the other end of the couch.

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She follows me all over the house to sleep…although right now, she’s in the entryway (cooler floor than in here).

I didn’t get through all of my list for yesterday. I’m gonna work on some of it today. And then tonight, we are celebrating the man’s birthday, which was last week…so that should be interesting. I hope it’s interesting at least.

Happy pride to all…I don’t own anything with rainbows on it, unfortunately. But I love y’all anyway.

OK. Gotta get something done…like those little quilts…also due next Sunday.

*The Police, Walking on the Moon


Purple Hair, Tea, and a List

July 13, 2018

Friday the 13th! My favorite day, besides maybe Halloween (as long as it’s Halloween when I’m not at school so I don’t have to deal with the candy and the kids). It’s supposed to be bad luck, but really it’s just a number and a day and a really bad series of movies. My favorite! I only just realized what day it was…I keep having to look at calendars to remind myself that it is a day or another day and WTF am I supposed to be doing today (meeting at my district print shop with my co-teacher to print all the crap we need for the beginning of the year, instead of waiting until the week before school starts, for the first time EVAH.).

So I started writing that a million hours ago and then she texted that she was there and we hung out in the foyer at the print shop for over an hour, because it’s the only place besides school where we can be on the district server and actually send stuff to the print shop. Annoying…but air conditioned. So that’s done…the entire first unit is in for copying and we will start the year out organized! Maybe. Well. There’s the disasters of a classroom we have to come back to, after shoving everything in cupboards at the last minute because of the district use of our rooms. Sigh. I’m not thinking about that…or when I might be able to deal with that.

So we took about 8 hours to plan the first unit and beginning of the year stuff, and that was just the time we were together doing that…not all the time we spent doing shit on our own for that. Unpaid. Oh well. It’s my sanity. It’s not like anyone was going to pay me for that prep time anyway.

Then I came home and realized I needed to go to the store for milk, shampoo, and beer. One for each of us! The milk is mine, by the way. Need tea. Should have bought the other kind of milk too, for drinking, but oh well. Yes. I require two kinds of milk.

Still need to clean floors, mopping and vacuuming…with the boychild’s assistance. But before that, finish this, AND dye my hair purple. Because what else do you do on Friday the 13th? Hopefully it won’t fry all my hair, although then I could just shave it all off and be annoyed by it even more than I already am. Seriously, when you’re hot (because of weather AND hot flashes), hair seems like a useless accessory. Then again, so does a bra…so there’s that. So I’m sitting here cooking my hair off and writing this, trying to make my plan for the day when it’s already 2:30 PM, where the fuck did the day go? I just don’t know.

That’s what happened yesterday also. I dropped my car off to get the damn window motor fixed (oh holy crap, those are expensive, but if I have to crawl out of my car one more time to deal with a ticket booth in a parking structure, I’m gonna scream.). So that. It won’t be done until probably Monday. Slightly problematic if I have jury duty on Monday, but whatever. Then off to pick up a quilt from a show that ended…it’ll get shipped out to Arizona in October, so it’s staying in the box. Then to the fabric store for binding fabrics…still haven’t dealt with trimming those two quilts. That would be good to do this afternoon. OK. Make list:

  1. Trim two quilts
  2. Sew binding on two quilts

So then I went to quilt “class” (aka hangout) and trimmed the fabrics for the two little quilts. The more complicated one is on the left…

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And here’s the easier one. Yes, I am using a sandwich tupperware to store those pieces. The other one is a lunch container, I think. They work.

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When I made all the bird and cat quilts, they were all in tupperware for a while. Easier to keep parts separated but organized that way.

Then I worked on the coral-colored flowers at quilt hangout…finished all of them. Also finished the second block for June? July? I don’t know. And started the third one, the one with the sun in it.

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But that was at my nighttime stitching meeting. Lots of that going on yesterday.

Progress! No worries…it will be 2019 before I finish this one. I only work on it at meetings and gaming. I also worked on sewing wool on this one…but I didn’t have the thread to sew the blue circle on and then the leopard is supposed to have spots, and I have the fabric for it and the hole punch, but it’s this huge piece of fabric and so I start reading the instructions, because there must be something else that’s supposed to be made from that fabric, and yessiree, it’s a monkey. Damn. Which monkey?

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So I’ve been doing Sue Spargo patterns since I think 2012, with Earth and Twig (maybe earlier?), and she sends the pattern but she also emails a newsletter. And I just realized this year that maybe those were important, that they had information that wasn’t in the patterns. I always saw the corrections and would go hand write them in the instructions, because I knew I would be way behind in making these (this one, which is called Folk Tails, is from 2015.). But you know what? I didn’t save all of them. So I had to go back to my old email address archives and find all of them and load them onto my computer so I would be able to find them when I finally got around to making the quilt…and sure enough, that’s where I found out about the monkey. So that wool is not done. I needed to find the monkey and trace him onto freezer paper and cut that out and iron it onto the brown wool, and then, ONLY THEN, can I use what’s left for the leopard’s damn spots.

Well we are 27 minutes (nope, now it’s 47 minutes…I went down an internet rabbit hole about stitching patterns, because I don’t have enough of those stashed in my house to keep me going into my 3rd or 4th life) into cooking my hair and nothing is stinging or burning. Also good. My allergies have ramped up since being a disastrous 20-something, so you never know. Sure, I could have tested it in my inner elbow like they always tell you, but fuck that shit. I need the purple to wash out before school starts (OK, maybe my principal needs that), and I don’t have 48 hours to fuck around waiting. Plus Sunday is looking quite busy. So not then.

So if I’m at urgent care later or downing Benadryl, just say nothing. I’ll know it was a stupid decision. I don’t need you to tell me.

Then back to the drawing at 11:20 PM or so…woman on the left, a skeleton, although looking at this, I need a bone pile in there somewhere, and then the volcano. I’m down to just a bit of land and sky…maybe tonight? Damn. Wait. The list.

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  1. Trim two quilts
  2. Sew binding on two quilts
  3. Iron small quilts together
  4. Stitch small quilts down
  5. Finish drawing

Probably those are out of order and more than I will get done today, but it at least reminds me of what I should be thinking about working on, once the hair and the floors are done.

Speaking of hair, those who are around me may have noticed I had one side shaved when I got most of my hairs chopped off. So I have to decide whether to maintain that or not, and I guess I decided that today.

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Tiny little hairs. So tempting to just get rid of all of it in this heat. It’s not even that hot right now. Anyway. I have a list. I can ignore the list. I can get some of the shit on the list done. I can (not) get it all done. But it’s a list. Yeah. Need more tea. Here’s why I bought the milk. Tea. Purple hair. List.


Beat Me Up with Your Letters*

July 12, 2018

Late post today…wish it was from sleeping in and relaxing, but I’ve been up for hours. Took one car into the shop…I’m tired of the driver window not working. Then drove to pick up another quilt…well, quilts, because some little ones were in their shop for the last year, and they just gave back the three that hadn’t sold…so those are back on Etsy. I’m never sure Etsy is working very hard for me, but since I sell about one small quilt a year on there and the expenses are much less than that, it can’t hurt. I don’t work very hard at my Etsy account though. None of the larger quilts are on there. They’re too expensive for that market, I think…and I suspect even some of the smaller ones might be too. Probably most of my stuff is too weird for Etsy too.

Anyway, I also bought the binding fabrics for the two quilts that are now ready, because Yes! I finished quilting the long skinny one yesterday. I finally managed to sit still for like 3 1/2 hours (it’s been hard folks) to finish. Here’s the heart and boobs…

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The whole thing stretched out over my chair…

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Did the face…the pin is another place I forgot to stitch down. Done now.

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And then I went right into quilting the background…there wasn’t much of it.

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So there’s two ready to be trimmed and bound. Maybe later today? I have a lot going on today.

Then I realized I had quilt class today and nothing really to work on. I have a bag I could finish, but I’m missing some materials and haven’t had (made) the time to get those. So that’s out. I could take the binding with me, but I’d have to take all my stuff with me to do that, and it’s too much to deal with. So I remembered those two little quilts…last week at class I trimmed the Wonder Under. So I spent about an hour and a half last night ironing it to fabrics…I think this more complicated one has about 23 fabrics in it (but 90 pieces).

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I am keeping track of time on these, so they’ll be for sale after they’ve been in the exhibit they’re getting made for…so December maybe? I can’t remember when the exhibit closes. It’s a California Fibers’ exhibit at Soka University in Orange County. I have four larger pieces in the exhibit, and then these two small ones will be part of a wall display our whole group is making. It should be cool.

I just used the same flesh fabrics from the quilt I just finished. It was easier. I don’t want to spend a lot of time on these.

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The second piece only has 30 pieces, so it will be quicker to get done.

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I may have underestimated my time with thinking I could finish them in a couple of hours. It’s going to be a bit longer than that. But now I can take them to class with me and get them cut out. That’s a step in the right direction.

So I didn’t get time to draw last night, because I was doing those. Plus I had book club last night. It was an interesting conversation about The Power by Naomi Alderman, especially in light of watching the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale and dealing with politics over the last few months. We spent a lot of time talking about social implications and nature v. nurture…always interesting. My book club is sci fi and fantasy based, so we do spend a lot of time on the science of things, which I really enjoy. I used to review the books I was reading on here pretty regularly. Honestly, I’ve spent most of the last 5 months reading the Expanse series…I have one novella left, and then I’m totally caught up until the new one comes out in December. I’ve really enjoyed the stories but also the portrayal of women in this series, which seems to be a bigger issue for me now that I’m old and mostly invisible. I read one of Philip K. Dick’s books, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, and spent the first three chapters just chafing at his women. Sigh. It makes it harder to read…and watch, honestly, when they turn them into movies. Maybe I’ll try to write more about what I’m reading here. Again.

Anyway, so getting some more stuff done today, although probably more hobby stuff than art stuff. That’s OK. There’s progress…that’s all I need.

*Squeeze, Is That Love?


I Can’t Feel a Thing from My Head Down to My Toes*

July 11, 2018

I keep thinking I’ll get so much done, but then reality kicks me in the head. I did quilt. I did draw. I even walked dogs. All good things. I also drove 2 hours to pick up a quilt and went to the chiropractor. And made dinner from scratch. Still all good things. I did not finish the quilting. I didn’t even finish the outlining. That’s OK. I’m going to do more today. There’s progress…

Although, even though I checked the back for missed stitchdown areas, sure enough, there were three I fixed yesterday…the octopus tentacle was just one of them.

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Where the pin is. It’s OK. It happens most times.

Then quilting the rest of the legs, above the knees…

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Then the dogs earned a walk…and it was cooler (although still humid) yesterday, so we dragged them out to our regular place. I’ve seen the stinky melons on this vine, but don’t remember the spiky balls. So many plants around here have spiky balls for protection…

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And I don’t think I’ve seen these out there ever. It’s weird, because I was just there maybe a week and a half ago…so maybe the bushes were there, and the extreme heat made them flower?

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Lovely cloudy skies…cuts down on the temperatures. Not so today.

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And wild roses…not sure I’ve ever seen them blooming here. But they were beautiful.

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I made dinner…it was lovely. No seriously, it was. I’ll be eating leftovers tonight before book club…for a book I read over a year ago and don’t remember (I just wanna hang out with my book-club mates before school comes back and screws up my schedule). Then I finished all the orange balls (fly stitches) and started on the pink balls (bullion knots).

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Second to last set of balls.

Then back to quilting, up into the torso, which was a bit complicated.

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Uterus done (it’s not a vajayjay, people). Stomach, liver, intestines (it’s not pornography…it’s parts).

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Full view of that section. I have the upper torso, arms, and things floating around. Not a small amount left, but not hard.

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OK, quilting is never really HARD…it’s just time consuming and I’ve got a hard time sitting still sometimes. Like now. Hence the walk in the middle of quilting.

When it’s late and my co-housemates all go to bed, they prefer it if I’m not quilting. Apparently the WHOP WHOP WHOP noise of the machine with my music loud enough to cover that is disruptive to sleep. Who knew? Luckily, I have another project in process, so I moved into the living room to work on the drawing. I seriously haven’t started drawing before 11 PM on this thing most nights. It’s too hot in that room. I need to buy another fan. I used to have it in a certain place and it was easy to unplug and move. Now I share it (what!) and it’s not so easy to move. So a new fan would be smart.

Anyway, I had decided that the mermaid sea mother needed a viewpoint, but I had already drawn in that space. So I could use liquid paper, but then when I trace, there are multiple lines that show up with the light and it’s confusing. Usually that’s what I do, but this was a fairly straightforward cutout. So I did it.

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Then inserted paper behind and drew the earth.

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I added a few more things to the plastic trash.

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And then broke up all the water spaces. It looks really complicated, but I just needed smaller pieces of fabric for easier ironing. Lots of dead fish. But I think the ocean section is done. Although looking at this, the space under her arm looks empty. I need to visualize a sand fabric back there…it will be fine.

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Then while I was driving to Oceanside yesterday to pick up my quilt, I had some ideas for the last figures…definitely a breastfeeding woman. Faceless though…standing for many women? I guess. There’s another one on one of the other waves that I didn’t ink last night…she’s just in pencil.

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Here’s the whole drawing (ish…the top is falling off the back of the light table). As you can see, I’m getting there. Also penciled in is a volcanic area, and I need to put a skeleton in. And then maybe a bird or angel or something? Still considering that. Cherubim? Yeah. Maybe.

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This will be a fun one to explain. It started out as one thing and morphed into 17 other things and I think all I can do to explain it is to call it my brain on politics right now. It feels really bad. Although the Thai soccer players are out! That’s good! Distract me from judges and laws and stupid policies and tweets and everything else. We can’t look away…we don’t dare. But Shee-it. So this quilt is that. All that.

I spent about an hour this morning going through upcoming shows and deadlines and organizing for them. I don’t know if I’ll be able to enter everything I want to, just because I have a finite number of pieces available. But at least I have an outline and some organization for that. I do need to iron fabrics for the two little ones though, because they’re supposed to be done in 11 days. OK, stop hyperventilating. It will be fine. They’re small. You could finish both of them in about 2 or 3 hours if you wanted to. Shush.

What I need right now though is breakfast. And then once I finish the legal stuff I have to do today, then I can quilt all afternoon. It’s warm, but there’s a breeze…and two fans in here. One day at a time. (don’t think about the school stuff you have to organize before Friday. Shush.)

*Genesis, That’s All (so I had this significant other who used to give me shit for some of the music I listen to, and this is one of the bands he shamed me for, even though Pandora picked it this time. But I like Phil Collins…and his bald head…and his earnest voice. So I guess it’s a good thing that SO is out of the picture.)


All You’re Giving Me Is Fiction*

July 10, 2018

So the good news is that I’m released from jury duty all this week, so once again, I feel like I have to get EVERYTHING done this week. No really…car fixed, will done, chiropractor (oh hallelujah on that one), shipping stuff, calling back on insurance stuff, all the crap I never have time to do during the school year. But also, art. Because that shit needs to get on with it. Funny, I have people tell me all the time how prolific I am, but I’m sitting here staring at some deadlines instead of dealing with them. So I have calendars and white boards and to-do lists that remind me, and I look at them and then panic. I also have a task manager that tells me how LITTLE I’ve gotten done, when you consider that I am not going to work every day. I can’t explain that. I know that the pressures of school force me to be very efficient in how I work, and during the summer, my brain kinda rebels and refuses to behave appropriately, which is probably something that I need. So sometimes I just roll with it.

Hi Calli. Speaking of someone who knows how to roll with it.

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Yes, I was hanging out in the boychild’s room with the dogs and the boy’s foot. NOT WORKING.

Then I came in here (two fans still on…it’s not as hot, but it’s humid, and my hot flashes have ramped up majorly in the last month…I can’t stand it sometimes, I feel like I’m on FIRE. Before you tell me how they will go away, in my family, they don’t. My grandma had them until she died at 83. My mom is 77 and still has them. This is my world.)…and I finished quilting this fucker.

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Too many years. Not even anything amazing. Just something I did while watching kids play soccer. All it needs now is a binding fabric.

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Apparently I didn’t buy that in 20-whatever when I put the borders on.

Then while watching the TV after dinner, I did 3 or 4 more balls. There are only 3 or 4 more of the orange ones. I’m getting there.

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I figure I’ll be done with balls by the end of July, and then I’ll sandwich this one too. Aack! Never gonna finish quilting everything. Get one thing out of the pile and put another thing in it.

Speaking of quilting…I did start quilting this one, just the outlining. It’s small, so it shouldn’t take long.

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I’m actually hoping to be done with it by tomorrow, so I can buy binding for it and the other one at the same time, then get binding on and do some handsewing? Maybe Thursday? We’ll see.

This guy likes the sliding glass doors outside my studio. The cats like that he likes that window. They find him fascinating.

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I kind of do too.

So at that point, it had cooled down somewhat and I headed back to the light table to work on the big drawing, which needs to be done this week too. It’s close…

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I’m finishing up the water section…then I’ll finish the land section and put some stuff in the sky. I’m looking forward to all those things. The art things.

But before that, I need to go pick up a piece of art up in Oceanside. Long drive, but it has to be done. At least I can do it…I find the whole thought of not knowing what I can plan for each day very anxious-making. So when they release me from the jury duty for a chunk of time, I feel very relieved. I like having control of my time over the summer, since it’s so hard to do during the school year. I’m sure there’s something psychological in that, but whatever. I’ll take each week I can get…although now I worry that they’ll try to assign me to a trial in the last week, which they can do (thus extending the service time an additional two weeks, which puts me right into the start of school) and then I have major scheduling issues, because I pushed everything on either side of the service dates. But whatever. Let’s revel in this week and get some shit done.

*Neon Trees, Everybody Talks


Oh Life, It’s Bigger*

July 9, 2018

OK, y’all. I’m really trying to stay sane here, but my government is negatively affecting my sleep. Damn Nestle too. WTF with the breastfeeding thing. Babies need breast milk…it’s the best for them. If a mom can’t do it, for whatever reason (except getting her nails or hair done), then OK, that’s a thing. But we shouldn’t be encouraging that. Sigh. And then crazy nominees for the Supreme Court. Damn Mitch McConnell and his mealy-mouthed witterings. Plus the environment…poor unprotected space. I sat there last night staring at the drawing I’m doing and trying to focus on one thing…ONE THING. But I couldn’t. So maybe it’s got immigration and pollution and climate change AND women’s rights all rolled into one. Because it’s not all separate in my brain or in real life.

UGH. I just need my brain to chillax. So I’m writing all this backwards…I drew last night for about an hour, but had to wait for the temps to cool down. I ended up taking the arm from the original drawing and turning it into an angry sea mermaid. Still working on her. Then I can fill in the ocean around her and then try to finish the land bits.

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I went to bed around 12:45 AM (but didn’t sleep for hours)…had to take some notes on what to draw next so I wouldn’t forget it. So those are on my phone for later today. I have today off from jury duty…and 14 thousand things to do.

Petting a hot puppy…

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Pinbasted this last night…the entryway is really warm this time of year…

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So it involved a big glass of icy water and a fan…which is why I got the dog: tile floor plus fan equals cooler fluffy dog.

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She’s ready to quilt…hopefully today too…

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This cat refuses to acknowledge rules. He wanted to lie on the quilt. Multiple times. All my other animals know better.

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So the plan is to ship quilts to Washington for a show up there, go to the post office and mail stuff to a variety of places, find shirts for the boychild, and go get edumacated about the diabetes I’ve had for 16 years. Fun day. Then quilt and draw…now THAT part is fun. More of that.

*R.E.M., Losing My Religion