Don’t Tread on Me…

My show is up in Pittsburgh! I’m still hoping to get there to see it, if that’s possible. There are 6 pieces and it’s called Elemental Fiber

It’s in the Society for Contemporary Craft’s satellite space in the BNY Mellon Center at 500 Grant St, Pittsburgh.

It’s an interesting space…open to the public in the Lobby of the Steel Plaza T-Station at Oliver Street and Grant Street in downtown Pittsburgh. The glass also makes it hard to photograph, but I really appreciate their sending me these.

It’s hard to send work off, especially multiple pieces.

It looks good. You should go see it.

I didn’t apply for this show…they contacted me after I didn’t get into another show. Hey, I’ll take this.

I have 6 quilts in the exhibit. I’m not making any comments about the Strip District there. Hmmm. Anyway, if you happen to be in town for Fiberart International…check it out.

I taught the first day of sex ed yesterday…it was pretty chill…mostly looking at what friendship looks like and how you can tell the difference between liking and loving…a difficult concept for many adults. Like that first rush of feeling you have when you are thinking you are falling in love with someone…that’s very different than the love you feel when you have to go through hard shit and you do it together. Or they’re going through hard shit and you are there for them. I think that love is way more important, but I’m not 12. Or an adult who acts 12…most of the time. Teaching middle school means you can access your 12-year-old self quite easily…you see it reflected back at you about 150 times. But in general, in relationships, I don’t do 12.

Tuesdays are long because I do tutoring after school, and then I went shopping for snacks for our state testing days. We asked the principal this year if he could fund the snacks (such a change from the principal who wouldn’t let us have any food or drink, not even gum, because he was afraid they’d get stains on the test booklets)…but there isn’t enough money to do that and pay for the stuff we have to pay for…so every teacher funds that out of their own pocket. There’s no way kids can work that hard for 3 1/2 hours without sustenance. So we feed them.

And then I practiced video editing while cooking dinner…I got my first real Patreon video done and posted. I show the stage I’m at in the quilt and explain a little bit about how I pick fabrics and why everything is organized the way it is. I am still not an awesome video editor, but I’m getting better. It was easier this time. I still watched the instructions video about 3 more times. I’m using Lightworks, which is cool and has a lot of things you can do without a Pro version, but I can’t say it’s very intuitive for a non-video-editing person.

I’ll be doing two videos a month…one kind of a how-to/background of what I do, and one Who Knows What video. I’m thinking art exhibits I go to, or maybe even part of a hike, or watching me draw, or I don’t know. Stuff that fuels the art. I also am writing over there, and people at the $5/month level will get a drawing emailed to them each month. They can stitch it up, make a small quilt (if they’re crazy), color it in, or just stare at it. It’s going to take a little effort to get me on a routine with this, but I’m pretty sure it will get easier with time. It’s nice to make things for people who are helping me make more art.

I did stitch a little after dinner…

I did the arm things…and started the knee things. I’m hoping I have enough green for the rug. I need another bobbin. I should ask about that. I need to prep a new embroidery design for the trip to Boston. I also need to think about packing. Yup.

But last night, I ironed instead…

I have everything almost to the high 600s ironed. I could finish tonight. I think. I’m going to try anyway. This quilt is a little fussy for ironing…there’s lots of little tiny things happening that take some color analysis. Like 12 different blues in one section. Some have to go together and some most definitely shouldn’t. So there’s a lot of staring into space at fabrics. I’m good at that.

Someone sent me this…

Totally feeling it.

Nature Calls…and Then Hits Me in the Ass…

I fell last night while hiking…going downhill, I slipped on some loose rocks. I do fall or almost fall pretty regularly, and that’s why we have padded asses. To land on. Which I did. Unfortunately, there was a large rock where I landed, so I am right now sitting on a softball-sized bruise just to the left of my coccyx. Which I think is intact, because although I feel a bit stiff (and ancient, dammit), there’s no excruciating pain. Good thing really. There’s no ass cast. And trying to keep an ice pack on that part of my body while teaching (or ironing) is not a thing.

So yeah, we hiked with the furry beasts…

We saw a snake right at the beginning, in the parking lot…

It was a little one. But yeah, a Diamondback…

The grasses are going brown…which makes everything look different…

The poppies are gone…but there are still new flowers every time we go out there…

I really should live somewhere that rains more.

Except that would probably drive me nuts…

I really do appreciate all the hikes and being out in nature. Even with the giant ass bruise. Ouch. Poor dead butterfly…

Beautiful though…

Here’s the full Patreon Amanda Palmer picture…we are in the top far right.

Thanks for an awesome weekend y’all.

Speaking of Patreon, I recorded three more short videos last night, so I’m editing tonight. Hopefully those will go up tonight. My second video for the month might well be at Walden Pond…you just never know.

When I got home, I did some things. After dinner, I worked on this sweet thing…who is close to done…

She’s got a rug and some knee and arm designs…and that’s it. I’m hoping I have enough of the green to finish the rug. We’ll see. I should prep the next one or two for the trip to Boston. The last three are smaller…they should take less time. This one has actually been pretty fast, compared to the last two. We’ll see what the final time is though. I’m currently at about 6 1/2 hours. Not bad.

Then I ironed…

That is a run of blue, for sure. I didn’t even finish that section…just the stuff under water. Wait, no. I didn’t finish ALL the stuff under water. The windows aren’t done. I know. It doesn’t make sense right now. It will. More of that tonight. I’m about halfway through the 500s. It’s taking forever, but I am past the halfway mark for sure now. It feels like I might finish. Someday. Hopefully before we leave, but no guarantees. Probably not.

Speaking of leaving, the job calls. Today I start teaching sex ed. I’m not ready. It will be fine. Too much talking though. This week is easy…all relationships and liking vs loving and all that gooby stuff…well, and statutory rape. Fun stuff.

Stupid Scissor Rules

Well. That was a weekend. I’m so glad I planned it though. I remember thinking, ah, no, you’re going to Boston the following weekend, it’s May, which is always a clusterfuck, LA is a pain in the ass, you’ll have to get somewhere to stay, blah blah blah, all the things you say when you’re trying to talk yourself out of something you really want to do. But I didn’t. Amanda Palmer was great. Amazing. A performance more than a concert, but riveting. Even though I knew some of the story, I hadn’t heard it from her, and that made a difference.

We drove up to LA, found our hotel, which was within walking distance of the venue, and hung out for a bit…

Hanging out looks like this after driving up to LA. Then headed out to get dinner early, because…well…so I joined Patreon originally to support Amanda Palmer. I had been reading her blog and she talked about it and I checked it out and went HEY. This is a thing. This is how we as a society support musicians and artists the way they want to be supported. This is how we back their projects and encourage them to do new things, better things, things that may not be very commercial, but are very much what we want to see. So I joined. And one of the things about her Patreon is she wants to hear from us and see us, so she sets up a photo shoot before every show. Ours was here…

And we needed to be there by 5:45. So we ate early…at Mikkeller…

Which has great art…

So we were at that park, waiting for AFP to show up and the security for the park? the buildings around the park? kicked us out. Because we were gathering on the walkways. They left the homeless guy on the lawn, but a bunch of liberal, semi-strange-looking people is definitely a danger to humanity.

Amanda showed up and talked to us…

Which was cool. There are many needy people who are fans. She is good to them, very patient. Much more patient than I would be.

I wish we’d had more time to walk around and photograph art around the area, but really, after the photo, we went back to the hotel for about half an hour and then headed to the venue…

The Ace Hotel is an old theater that’s been converted/adapted.

The inside is completely amazing…totally over the top…this was taken after we all left…

Our seats were in the lower balcony to the right. It was good.

She talked a lot, played a bunch of songs, there was definitely ukulele…it was emotional, sometimes painful, and funny on top of all of it. An amazing show. Four hours plus of amazing. It must be exhausting to do the show. I wanted the needy people to be quiet, but they never are. She handled them well. There are times to respond and times to ignore. I was worried the man would be bored, because he wasn’t really an AFP fan in the beginning, hadn’t heard anything since the Dresden Dolls, but she talked a lot about music and being an artist, and I think that dragged him in. He liked it. I loved it…it was a very personal experience, despite the hundreds of people and not being able to get through the bathroom line. It was worth the 5 hours of driving and getting not so much sleep and going to an iHop on Mother’s Day (oh hey, mistake) and not getting much work done and all that.

I did a drawing, but I don’t have the energy (or time for that matter) to get up and photograph it (find it first). I’ll do it later.

Yeah. Cool. Totally worth the trip.

I came home, rushed through all the errands, graded 96 emails worth of makeup work (ha!), came in here, and started ironing.

I was supposed to record the last bit for my Patreon video, but I forgot. So tired. So I’ll do that tonight. I wrote it in the calendar. After dog walking. It’s on the list.

I am nowhere near where I wanted to be with this quilt. I cut out nothing on the way to or from LA, because I did all the driving. I was too tired in the hotel. I’m about halfway through the 400s after last night, but that’s still about halfway…no, probably less than that. So I’ll have to decide if I want to bring it to Boston and cut stuff out. I can’t cut on the plane (stupid scissor rules). I could cut at three different graduation ceremonies though. Ah? Thinking about it. I have traveled with stuff to cut out before.

Anyway. It’s a busy week. I’m going to get done whatever I can. I’d like to be done with the ironing, but I can’t guarantee that. I can only try.

And oh hey…next weekend, we’ll be here…

to see the girlchild graduate. She matches the trees and the flowers.

No One Can Do Anything by Themselves…

So the reality right now is that I am totally booked with stuff and making art is difficult and even getting stuff graded is, because last night, before I had my kid drive me to the SO’s show, I was sitting there, gulping tea because I was freakin’ exhausted and didn’t know if I could stand for hours, watching music, but I was grading late work. Because I had 96 emails and I hadn’t graded late work since the first week of April (there was a two-week Spring Break in there, so I only feel sorta bad about that), and I need to catch the fuck up. Holy crap, it’s never gonna happen. It always feels that way in May, though, and then we have testing and when we teach sex ed, the grading is literally just Did they do it? Cool. Give them points, so that makes life easier.

YES. I go back every year and read my own blog to remember that the feeling of burbling panic in my belly and chest is NOT a heart attack or even a panic attack…it is just the last month of the school year. Every Year. So I should just get zen with it. I was not zen yesterday. We did a lab with corn syrup and salt water and isopropyl alcohol, and even though we put stuff in trays (best purchases we ever made), I still had a kid (accidentally) knock an entire tray off the table and onto the ground and no I did not kill him but it totally threw me for the rest of the day holy shit that’s when you know you’re tired…not just tired from no sleep, but also tired of being a teacher. It happens. To all of us. We should buy a mop for the classroom. Totally.

Meanwhile, I’m really really incredibly disturbed by the attack on women’s reproductive rights. I just don’t understand this need to control our uteri and not also hold men accountable. Georgia, you fucking suck. OK. Clarify. Georgia politicians: you fucking suck. Anyone who supports someone else making decisions about what I can and can’t do with my uterus sucks. The politicians trying to overturn Roe V Wade fucking suck. Sometimes this stuff just makes me so sick to my stomach…people have rights. Women have rights. If you’re arguing that a fetus has rights to survive No Matter What, then you need to fund all the support systems that will help someone take care of them, and NOT make an 11-year-old give birth after a RAPE. This shit is beyond me. It makes me want to scream. I don’t even know how to process it into a drawing, because I’m so angry about it. Deep breaths. VOTE. I might move to Georgia and vote. OK, no. But I do support NOT supporting Georgia financially. And the other states who are on this crazy bandwagon. What is this world we live in? We are supposed to be better than this. We aren’t better right now. We’re not great. We’re intensely fucked up. You can rail against Democrats and liberals all you like…they’re not trying to make an 11-year-old who was raped give birth. Not a single one.

Woo! So yeah. Letting that sit with the art brain for a while. It’ll come out. Somehow.

So what I did last night…is make the boychild drive me downtown (cheaper than Lyft)…the sky was much more interesting than this photo. It usually is.

And then I watched the man’s band play…because of where I was standing, I couldn’t get a picture of all 6 of them, but I like their logo for this show. I might steal it.

The man and his keyboards are behind the guitarist on the left.

It was a good show. The band after them was OK…really good when they were doing Weezer cover band stuff…less good when they weren’t. And then the band after them…

I’d never seen them before, but they were good (had a lot of backing tracks though, so what is good in that case?)…the audience was strangely young, even though the majority of the music was 80s. Like I felt sorta ancient. Which is funny, because I was actually in high school and college in the 80s, and a huge number of the people there were totally not even born then. So there was that. We didn’t make it to the end…too tired. Hauled our asses home, decompressed a little, and then collapsed in bed. Around 1 AM again though…that’s three nights this week. Sigh. I just can’t get it all done.

So I made no art last night, although no, wait…I drew this while waiting up at the front for Radio Thieves to go on…

I don’t know if it’s done. It’s small though, I would probably add to it. Or redo it. I like the idea. Maybe it wants to be big.

We leave in a few hours for Los Angeles to see Amanda Palmer. I’m really looking forward to seeing her for the first time. We have a hotel, so we don’t have to drive back for once. Hopefully it will all be very cool. It does mean I won’t get any quilt stuff done, unless I take pieces with me to cut out. I’m debating that. I’m not sure how much time there will be. Right now, it is raining, which I also wasn’t expecting this morning.

Anyway, I need to shower, pack, eat, grade some stuff, and iron some stuff. I need to decide what to take with me: sketchbook? embroidery? stuff to cut out? I also need another cup of tea, because I’m not officially awake yet.

This guy. Is such a dork. And when I started typing this, Kitten wouldn’t move.

She was convinced I didn’t need to see the menus on the left. Ugh.

OK, shower first. That will help with the awake part. I hope. The title is from a show I was watching. I believe that. I’m an incredibly independent woman. I don’t like help. But that’s the truth.

It’ll Be Fine…

Want to watch my video explaining why you should be a patron of the Nida Arts Conglomerate? Here it is. Oh wait. I’m not a conglomerate. But I am a Nida. Watch on…

It’s highly possible that I shouldn’t record videos at 9 PM after going to the gym while waiting for dinner to cook. But realistically, when ELSE am I going to record a video. And hey! Then I edited it! Well. I did, but I didn’t do much to it. Mostly I fucked up a bunch of times and don’t really know what I’m doing (I’m using Lightworks and I watched one 7-minute video and should probably watch a lot more). I’m hoping for more experience with that in the future, which is guaranteed. Really. It is. Here’s the link to the Patreon in case you want to see other stuff.

Patreon sends me an email every day telling me all their success stories. I’m not really worried about being such a huge success that I need to quit my day job. I’d just like to quit the second and/or third job…as I debate when to open my copyediting account back up for the summer. Ugh. So that’s basically what I talk about…why give money to artists? Well, if you like their work and you’d like them to continue to make it, you can buy their work, you can buy products made from their work (embroidery patterns, posters, whatever), and you can support them on Patreon or GoFundMe or Kickstarter or whatever. One of my goals is to get enough money coming in that I can make a coloring book. What about a calendar…I could do that too, but that’s something I need time for…and time is a commodity.

Yesterday, I spent time at the gym. It was nice. I missed it. I got to read my book (which I need to be done reading by Wednesday, for book club). I came home and made dinner, and after that and editing the video, I ironed. I stayed up too late. I admit it. Sigh. My brain was running too fast…one of the hazards of working out late. But I’m not a morning person. I don’t gym in the AM. But I ironed a whole section…that I can’t show you…

I can however show you incredibly vague closeups. Even though I won’t be done ironing this weekend, I will be able to take some of these pieces with me to Los Angeles to cut out, I think. Don’t get excited. I’m not promising anything. I’m driving up to see a concert, sleep, and then drive back. Super quick trip.

It will fuck up the weekend schedule, though. And the man has a show tonight. I’m exhausted at the moment, but will somehow find the energy to go to the show.

So last night, I was done ironing…I didn’t want to start a whole new section and think about it as a whole and all that, so I sat down to watch the rest of the episode of Russian Doll that I was watching…and I can’t just sit and watch things, so I embroidered.

This is another thing I can work on in the car. I love that I pick dark colors, so that all the animal hairs in the house will show up on them. I spend so much time picking hairs off things. Sigh. I do like this red/orange/yellow variegated thread though. It has a nice flow of color. I need to trace the next stuff on this, so I can keep going. All the details. The rest of her hair. Her eyeballs!

Next weekend, I’ll be getting up at ungodly hours due to being back East. Looking forward to that version of lack of sleep. I hope the girlchild is ready for all of us to arrive. This is how far I got before my adult brain started yelling about how late it was.

Looking good. More to go. OK, so a lab at school today, a show tonight with three bands…hoping to go straight to bed after that and then I’ll do 700 things tomorrow. While driving to LA. It’ll be fine. You watch.

Teach Grade Art Repeat

So much prep to do right now! I was making lunches (healthy ones full of happy veggies to make me happy) last night at like 9 PM. Not ideal. But I had a union meeting that ran late and then I was grading stuff, but then remembered the lunches. I hate when it says “takes 15 minutes to cook” and then 45 minutes later, you’re still trying to get it all done. I feel like it takes an expert 15 minutes to cook, and it’s true I was trying to grade stuff at the same time, but hey, it still took that long to cook my protein, as they called it. Whatever. I had prepped it all earlier, before the man cooked dinner. Like I walked in the door from my meeting, fed the dogs, made a cup of tea, and started cutting veggies. That was the 20 minutes of prep. Which was close, I guess. Whatever. TIME. There’s never fucking enough of it.

I’m down to five assignments that need grading. I really really really want to go to my daughter’s graduation without having to grade shit on the plane. This may not be possible. I’m trying. I want to read my book and sew and draw on the plane. And watch a movie that’s not videos of kids trying to explain plastics to me (that was last year, at my son’s graduation). I’m getting there. I need to see progress. I finished two assignments yesterday. That’s good.

So in terms of art stuff last night, I started at 11 PM. Yup. Late. I really wanted to be so much farther on this quilt than I am. OK. Well. It still will get done. I can do this.

I got through the 200s. I really didn’t get a lot done last night, I’m realizing. And I stayed up too late. I don’t even know how. I must have been doing something else on the computer and I just am not remembering it. Sigh. I think half my brain is already on summer break. Sheesh. So above, those are some of the fabrics I used yesterday. I’m hoping to do more tonight, as always…but also the gym and grading. So time is always the issue.

Not for this guy though…

He just wants to know when it’s dinner time.

And this is her “Ima gonna whack you” look…

Sometimes she is just offended by my existence (I was reaching for the mouse to start whatever I was watching on Netflix, which was a lot more light-hearted than shows about dead baby seals and climate change, although before that, I was watching This Is Us while I was grading, and that wasn’t light-hearted at all, and this is all so ironic, because I’m watching Russian Doll and it’s all about her dying over and over. SUPER light-hearted. So yeah.).

Anyway, I need to go buy a few dozen donuts for my 2nd period class and try to work like I got enough sleep last night…it’s a skill. And then hopefully I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished something by midnight, so I can go to sleep then instead of later, which hurts more in the morning. Teach grade art repeat.

Grading Elves. Uh huh.

I’m looking for a good, relatively basic, free video editor recommendation. The internet is not your friend when you’re looking for such things. I could write a post right now about free video editing programs and I have no clue what I’m talking about. If you have a recommendation, let me know. I’m on a PC usually…I guess I could try using the Mac, but it’s my school computer, and I try not to do personal stuff on it. I just need to be able to string videos together really. Maybe someday I’ll get fancy and add titles or music. OK, I can probably handle titles. Maybe. Maybe not THIS week.

It was a long day yesterday…surprisingly tiring. Tutoring means you have to be ON a lot longer than normal. I made it home and was tired. I’m still tired. I even went to bed early, but according to my sleep app, I moved a lot. Or that might have been the cat. It’s hard to say. I do know the hot flashes right now are awful. Seriously, they’ve been horrible for the last week and a half. I’m not sure why, as always…my body refuses to keep me informed. I remember this happening last year, but later, like around the last month of school…they eventually went away. So there’s hope.

I was relieved that all the quilts I shipped across the country last week made it. I don’t really worry about when I send one or two quilts, but I shipped out seven in one day. It made me nervous.

I gave up on trying to grade stuff when I got home after tutoring. I was going to finish the assignment I’d been trying to get done all day, but then the phone rang and it was dinner time and I was tired, so I did this instead.

Cat assistance not particularly helpful. I need to trace the next parts of it…

I got a new tracing paper…it’s supposed to work better. We’ll see. Really the easy thing would be not be stitching these out on black. Duh.

Eventually I got up and went back to nature tv, although this was sad. It makes me sad to see how we’re destroying the world, but it also makes me sad when baby animals get eaten. Last night was both of those…

Speaking of which, here’s an amazing picture the girlchild took…

Unfortunately, those baby bunnies were dinner for someone. Nature, you are such a bitch.

More closeups of fabric, since I can’t show much right now.

Ironing this thing is not going quickly. I’m doubting my ability to get it all ironed by the weekend. In fact, there’s no way. Seriously. I’m only getting in about an hour to an hour and a half a night. I’m only in the 200s right now after three nights. There are 700 pieces to go. I’m going to try not to think about the next two weekends and how I’m not going to be able to work on this. It will all be fine. FIIINNNEEE. That’s what I say about the grading as well. It will all magically get done. By elves. Grading elves. Grading elves who know how to use computers. Yup.

OK, another meeting after school. Then home, need to make lunches for the rest of the week, plus get some grading done, and then ironing, blessed ironing. May there always be progress. And hopefully sleep.