Wave Your Hands in the Air Like You Just Don’t Care*

(I use that phrase in my classroom all the time…most of my kids know the reference.) Today’s photos look the same as yesterday’s. But today the girlchild is home for a few weeks, so that’s cool. Although getting her here was a little chaotic. Her car died in a Boston tunnel (and then reanimated) and the ex’s car blew a tire on the way to pick her up. I was impressed by the speed and competence of her dad and brother in re-tiring the car in the dark by the side of the freeway. I provided flashlight support. I’m good at that. OK. I could change a tire if I had to…seriously.

But the artmaking is the same as yesterday and the day before and the whenever I started this. Someone called this process labor-intensive, and that’s true. If I had nothing else going on, I could do it faster, but that’s never the case. One of the reasons I keep a blog is to remind myself of how and what I was thinking in past years. Nope. Summer’s are always like this, where I’m trying to get major house projects done while I have time and help, because I can’t handle it during the school year, and then I feel like I’m not getting enough art done and I never really do the relaxation thing well or right. Whatever right means.

Accept what I can do. Yesterday sucked for that. Except the girlchild’s room got clean. I ended up making 4 rolls of quilts from what was once 3 rolls. Scarily, about 20 quilts are out traveling right now and will need homes at some point in those rolls. I tried to make the rolls small enough for me to manhandle them where they belong too. And put all the old quilts together in the same roll and on the top shelf, because odds are, they aren’t coming out for shows as often.

I had all of them on the girlchild’s bed most of the last 5 months, because I couldn’t deal with the rolls any more. Anyway. They’re all managed now. For now.

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This one. She eats books. Gotta be careful.

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A photo from the Don’t Shut Up exhibit with one of my pieces, We Won’t Go Back.

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That’s my look of utter relief that I had finished the community quilts on time. I got a lot of interest in this piece…which is cool. One guy even recognized it as the same artist as the stuff in the Allied Craftsman show, which came down this week. I had three shows close within a week, so 7 quilts home (or at someone else’s home, because they were nice enough to pick up mine as well as theirs).

So after getting the girlchild to her dad’s house and leaving her there, I did more chain stitch on this…

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And then went back to fighting cats for space on the glass…

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With 1300+ pieces, this is just not a fast process. I figure it’s about an hour per 100 pieces to trace. Cutting stuff out is faster usually. But ironing takes longer…so I figure with 1300 pieces, that’s about 15-16 hours of ironing to fabric. Then cutting again.

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But when someone asked about prices on the piece at Don’t Shut Up, she was so good…admitted it was probably out of her price range because of the detail. Which was true. It’s not the size of the piece that makes it more or less expensive…it’s more about the number of pieces. So small with a lot of pieces is still not cheap. I won’t work for $1 an hour. I do actually keep track of my time on these, so I know exactly how much they’re worth.

So I only got a couple hours in last night (still stayed up too late)…

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I’m still in the main torso area, but both arms are done.

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I quit just before all those buildings with windows. I’ve done just over 1000 pieces, with about 300 to go. That’s it! And I’m just under 10 hours…so a good guess. But I do need to work on the garage and go to the chiropractor today, and it’s our annual trip to Shakespeare. You don’t get choices when the girlchild is only home for two weeks. So Richard II it is. I think.

The panel discussion for Don’t Shut Up is tomorrow evening, from 6-8. You can stop by the gallery and see the show before at 5 pm. I should be there for the discussion…can’t make it earlier. And then next week is the artist walk and talk. I will be there. And this Saturday is my own show opening and Sunday is the artist talk. No stress! I’m trying to come up with a 5-minute discussion of all my work in that show. Yeah! Yikes. Like trying to explain my whole life in 5 minutes. Born, schooled, art the whole time, married, babies, divorced, art art art, teaching, art. Did I say art? Yeah. Lots of soccer. Not enough air conditioning or vacationing. Hiking. Mosquito bites. I guess summer is affecting my summary.

Hopefully tomorrow will have me cutting out Wonder Under instead of tracing it.

*Cameo, Word Up

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