Double Numbers…

I’m trying to get my butt to the gym this morning. I need food first, and my brain is very discombobulated, and I’m on the phone with the girlchild in Boston, and I’m reading this weird book. Wait. I’m not reading the book right this minute. All these things do not stop me from going to the gym. The food is in the toaster oven and I’m wearing my gym clothes…that’s a start. I might not finish writing this before I decide to leave, but I’m starting it at least.

Focus is an issue. I really need focus. That’s why I make to-do lists, by the way, so when I’m wandering around the house, trying to figure out WTF I’m supposed to be doing, I can look at the list and go, oh hell no, I don’t wanna do that. Ha! And then I do it because it needs to get crossed off. I’m very motivated by crossing things off the list…by not having to move it to the next day. At least I know how my brain works.

Well, so someone gave me this to do the Tiny Pricks project and it’s a little stretchy, plus it’s not a solid base for stitching, and you can’t really see it unless there’s something behind it. So I had this fabric lying around (thanks to whatever person gifted me this, because I just used a chunk of it), and I pinned it down and stitched it…

Not a lot…just enough to hold it…

I ironed it after this. Now it’s ready to stitch. I don’t think I can transfer letters onto it, though. I could write on tracing paper and pin that on and stitch over it and then pull out the paper, but that sounds like a pain in the ass. Sigh. Not sure. I will need to figure that out before 1 PM today, I think. Maybe.

It was hot and humid yesterday. Not as hot and humid as it COULD be, but enough to make that big dog turn over to cool off.

Ugh. I ran a lot of errands yesterday. My doc is on medical leave and we’re still trying to find an answer to the weird pain/discomfort I get randomly, so this substitute doc, who is old and jolly and tells jokes about gall bladder stress tests with pepperoni pizzas, he ordered a bunch of tests and I get to sit around waiting on those. And then I went to JoAnns, which is hell on a good day. So they don’t carry my batting any more, which sucks, because I can’t buy it by the yard locally now. I can buy like a king-size batting and just cut into that, or I can buy a 40-yard roll and store it somewhere. Boychild wanted to know how long it would take to use that up. I usually buy 3 yards at a time, about twice a year, so 6 or 7 years. Nope. That’s silly. Annoying and silly. Then I went to Costco and you know how that goes. It’s just full of people who don’t know how to drive their carts. But I crossed off a big chunk of stuff on my to-do list, plus we have three bags of Ancient Grains now, so that’s good. I’ll deal with the batting later. It’s still on my list, but…I don’t know what to do about it. Make a decision.

I cooked. I exercised. I traced. Kitten is following me everywhere. It’s sweet.

So I was tracing and it was midnight and I’m realizing that I got to piece 323, and I’m looking for 324, and I’m realizing there’s a whole ‘nother set of pieces that’s got the same numbers as what I was just tracing. Seriously? I double numbered 280-323. There’s two pieces numbered 280…two pieces numbered 281. Ah sheet. So the second set all get ‘a’ after them. Plus this thing has 43 more pieces than I thought it did. So much for brain power, eh? Not sure how I did that. But I did.

That’s 280a you’re looking at. And 281a. 282a. Fuck.

I filled one yard of Wonder Under (which JoAnns still carries, but I do buy by the bolt, because I’ll use it much faster and it’s not the size of a fat middle-school kid) and started on a second. I’m almost halfway through. All good things. If I just traced all day instead of running around and doing things, I would be done tomorrow. (not happening)

Oh yeah, if you aren’t a patron of mine and you aren’t on Facebook, you probably didn’t see this video…I posted this publicly so people could get an example of what I do for my patrons…

You can also see it on my Patreon page here. My patrons will get the next part of this sometime this week. I started editing it last night. It’ll be done soon. I’m trying to build alternate sources of income related to my making art, so I can spend more time making art and less time copyediting etc. As I take on a 100K-word job because I need to pay back some college loans for the boy plus trim some trees and that whole thing where you don’t get paid in the summer but you still have to buy supplies for school and food and pay the damn mortgage even though there’s no paycheck coming. That shit is stressful.

Anyway. Selling stuff here and there, trying to figure out whether I can retire ever; these are all on my mind.

Working on the second yard. Up too late.

Then dogs and trash trucks and the man and cats this morning there is no way to attempt real sleep. I should remember that at midnight. Honestly, I was going to stop tracing before I figured out the double-numbering thing, and then I knew it would irritate me enough later to possibly delay my tracing again, so I just did it to get it out of the way.

I ate while writing this. So off to the gym I go. Stitching meeting this afternoon. More tracing tonight. FOCUS DAMMIT.

A Lot of Artsy Things…

I was gone for a few days. There was some chance I could have written a post yesterday or Saturday, but mostly I was tired, so I didn’t. I did do a lot of artsy things in the last three days though.

I finished the papercutting/embroidery class with Bhavna Mehta on Friday…and made a house. Each of us picked a body part for our house. I picked the vulva because multiple people picked uteri. This is the back of the house…I drew on the back and shaded what would get cut. To embroider, you need to make the holes where the stitches will go.

You also have to think about whether stitches will cross your cut area…that would be bad.

Also it seems to work better if you do all the embroidery before you cut. On one of my practice pieces, I tore the paper because I was trying to embroider after I had cut. I’m sure with practice, this gets easier.

I was going to make another layer of hair for this section, but we were running out of time…so I cut instead.

Then the next part is to make the house itself. I also made sperm and an egg to hang from the roof inside the house…

The building was pretty easy. And then we put them into a little body part village…

A uterus, an ear, a heart, a ribcage.

A side view of mine with the sperm and egg floating around in there.

A couple people didn’t finish…I was looking at this as a practice piece.

A couple of feet, an eyeball in the back, a better view of the heart…

I have a few ideas of what I could do in paper and embroidery, but I think they would be a lot like my teacher’s work, and not necessarily mine. I’ll think about it.

It was a fun class anyway. No matter what I do with it.

When we got home, I had planned a birthday trip for the man…up to Temecula Wine Country. We stayed in an RV…and I stitched in the morning.

I don’t know if we’ll ever stay in an RV again. But it was a quiet and relaxing morning…

Until we headed to the first winery…

I signed up for a Groupon tour that would drive us around. We were a large group of 24 people. We went to three wineries: Maurice Carrie, Longshadow Ranch, and Oak Mountain (the Cave). They were all nice enough. It was a warm day, though, and shade was often inside…

Although we did find a table in the shade here…

I drew a little. These wineries are big money for this area. And there are tons of them.

We had a good time. And a long nap afterwards. Then we headed out to Old Town Temecula for dinner.

Harvest is in August…

We’d been talking about doing this for a while, so it’s a good thing we finally did (note to self. Who plans shit? I plan shit.).

Sunday, I had an art meeting to come back for…so we came back kind of early (damn roosters). The man was done with trying to live in an RV (yeah). At the meeting, we had planned to start our version/contribution to the Tiny Pricks project…I had a few pieces, but couldn’t pick a short piece of text. Then one of the leaders asked me if I’d do this one…

Aack. Well, the big piece of text will fit on it. But I need to put it on a backing. Somehow. So you can see all the stuff. So I brought it home. The interior stretches…the edging does not. I’m trying to decide how to do this. Dark background, then bright text? Or gray background, black text? Not sure. I found it kind of overwhelming last night with not enough sleep in the last…well…ten days. Let’s be real. It was a very busy ten days. So I’ll try to make a decision on that today. Not sure how I’m going to transfer the text…

With all that in my head, I worked on this a little more.

She’s close to done. Then I need to wash this one and the last one, plus design and stitch one more.

Plus finish a quilt and copyedit an entire book. Uh huh. I worked on a public video I’m doing for my Patreon…and then started the private video for my patrons…

Kitten was glad to have me home again.

And then I started the tracing on the next quilt.

I don’t have much time for this. So I’m trying to be efficient and on task. Ha! Well. We can always try. Busy weekend. Honestly, they’re all like that this summer. It feels like there’s no down time. Oh well. I overscheduled myself.

Permission…

‘Twas a busy day yesterday. This notion of giving permission for creative exploration and play…it should be much more prevalent than it is. I realize I rarely do this…give myself time to learn something new creatively. I have to do it all the time for school, even when I’m not interested at all, but I don’t put time in my schedule for my own creativity. Now some of you are going, Nida, you draw/quilt/art all the time. WTF are you talking about? I do make art all the time, but so often I am drawing to a purpose or I’m in the process of making the quilt and there’s no PLAY. The process I use to make quilts is pretty controlled…fabric choice and the drawing are the most free, but even those are not stepping out of the boundaries of what I already know. And that stuff is hard to pop into the schedule.

Hence the paper/embroidery class I’m taking…it’s a way to play in a method I don’t usually use. It’s also in Liberty Station, which is a long and bitchy drive from my house. I’m pretty sure this woman and I have selfied before…

But that’s OK. She hasn’t changed. But it reminds me…I needed to send a headshot for something this week, and I hate those…but I like this one.

You should see the one I have in my prep room at school. Scares the crap out of any kid who sees it.

So I’m taking Paper, Thread, Story with Bhavna Mehta, who is an amazing paper and embroidery artist who I’ve known for a while…she’s in an art group with me. We started by embroidering on some postcards…recognize Georgia O’Keeffe?

Embroidering on paper takes more thought than embroidering on thread. You need holes. I messed around all day, basically…what could be better?

I just wanted to try a bunch of things. Here’s some of the samples…

Although there were a lot more later…ah yes, now we have a hand.

It’s funny…when I first started drawing stuff in ink, like my own stuff, in high school, I used a technique that looked like this, but the cut parts were black ink.

A day of play. In something I don’t usually do. OK, papercutting has never been my thing. It was fun, though. Today I go back and we’ll do a collaborative project. We are each picking a body part. Before you even ask, someone has already chosen the uterus. Sigh. OK. Well. I can do lots of things.

In the evening, I had my 2nd to last meeting with my friend who is moving. After some chaos, we found the Starbucks where SHE was, and I stitched.

I’m only doing one more of these for a pattern. So far. Trying to decide what to do. This one is getting closer to done.

The meeting was fine most of the time. Some weirdness from religious folks about people who don’t believe in God and how religious people could never harm anyone (um. OK. I really had to force myself NOT to say anything…but I knew I would never see that woman again so I was fine. Well, not fine because it’s still bugging me this morning.).

And I finished the drawing…this took about 5 1/2 hours.

It’s big. IDK how big. But big.

So I numbered it…

My goal was large and detailed, but not horribly so, because it needs to be finished soon enough and the copyediting job I knew was coming in August is actually coming early. Like this weekend.

So I have 100,000 words to copyedit, a quilt to finish, school to prep for, and all the to-do list to finish before the world ends. Hey. 727 pieces isn’t too bad.

I really like this quilt. I’m glad to be making it. If I don’t get it done in time, it will still be a great quilt.

And this…

Was in my wallet. I used it to buy tea. I did not go on YouTube.

OK, traffic is piling up as I type. Must leave. More later…although this weekend will be a challenge for that. We’ll see.

In Fragmented Bursts

Up early for a class. Mostly my brain is working, but in too many directions at once. For example, I’m typing this while waiting for breakfast to cook, and I’m remembering something I didn’t put in my bag, plus I don’t know if the boychild ate my goldfish, but I can’t find them (the cracker ones, guys, chillax), but if I’m going to remember to put that thing in my bag, I need to stand up right now and do that, but that’s exactly what they tell you NOT to do, because multitasking like that, in fragmented bursts, is really inefficient and you really don’t get as much done, so I’m going to try REALLY HARD to remember to put that thing in my bag when I get up to get my breakfast, which will happen when the timer dings. In preparation for the ding and the remembering, my shoulders just tightened up and I stopped breathing, which is also not good for relaxing or remembering or anything really except keeping you from sucking in water if you just jumped into a pool.

I packed everything for this class but food yesterday. And that one thing that needs to go in my bag. Honestly, I’ve sort of been packed since last week, except for bits and pieces. I always wish they’d explain why you need stuff in workshops. Like when you say “paper towels”, is that a whole roll? Is it just one that I’ll need to wipe my face at the end of a long day? Is it for glue? Is it because you’re going to give me treats? WTF is it for? There’s nothing in this class list that explains the use of paper towels. And if I pack them and I don’t use them, I’m gonna be irritated.

Anyway, I’m driving across town and if I left right now, I’d be more than an hour early, but it would only take 30 minutes to get there. As I get closer to the time it actually starts, it takes longer and longer to get there. Weird time dynamics. I am looking forward to a burst of non-project-related creativity though. I’m not looking forward to working creatively with people I don’t know (I know the teacher)…that gives me anxiety. But I will get over it and may even enjoy some of them. That’s my hope anyway.

So yesterday, we had no access to our road…it’s a private road, which just means we have to maintain it (aka pay for it) and it’s not even really two lanes wide, which is fine, because mostly then people stay off of it.

So my car had to be parked down the hill and around the corner, which is a bit of a hike…I did that yesterday morning to go get the dogs for their post-surgery checkups. Simba is fine, feisty as usual. Doesn’t like the vet. Doesn’t like big dogs. Calli is still a little rough in the walking arena, but that’s arthritis and not the surgery, and she got her stitches out! Yay! No more cone…

As long as we can keep her off this area…(innovative uses for old soccer socks)…

Girlchild was not thrilled that we cut up her sock for this, but I figure after 4 years, if a soccer sock was left here, it’s not one she really cares about.

The guys also did my driveway, which hasn’t been sealed in probably 10 years…I’ve been patching cracks, but so did they…

And then they swooped in with the sealant and made quick work of my behemoth of a driveway…

Which reminds me, to get out of here, I’m gonna have to hike all the way down the hill in about 10 minutes. Yikes!

The rest of the day was filled up with minutiae and tasks and clearing the to-do list best as possible, but never enough, dontcha know that’s how it always is.

I did manage some of this…

The browns are different…although they don’t photograph well at night for that…

I totally went and got my breakfast because the timer dinged and I did not put the thing in the bag. SEE! See how much brain power I’m wasting on it right now. Sigh.

And then I drew on the Yin side for about an hour…getting closer to done. Maybe tonight?

I did actually plan to be done last night, but sometimes shit happens and you don’t get shit done. Welcome to my life.

OK, gotta get my butt in gear and get out of here…now the maps app is telling me 32 minutes, but the yellow areas are creeping up…hate traffic. Wish me luck. Wish me art.

Like a Climate-Change-Induced Tornado…

I’m home. Palm Springs was tiring and hot, and my brain is full of ideas (as always), but also frustrated by the limitations caused by being a public school. Like I would be the radical alter of Betsy de Vos if I could and upend the entire standardized testing system, but I know someone like me would never get to that position. And my dad told me to work within the system to change it, so that’s what I keep trying to do. Surprisingly, I think my superintendent and I agree on that, the part about getting rid of standardized tests. So it’ll be interesting to see where things go…especially after these conversations about not teaching all the standards (I’m like, dude, no teacher I know makes it through all the standards…it’s fucking impossible). Anyway. I’m not getting much of a break on teacher brain this summer, that’s for sure. It’s whirling around in my head like a climate-change-induced tornado. One more conference before school starts…it will be local, thank god.

Today is a catchup day, get everything I can checked off the list before I relax (ha!) into two days of art classes that were my gift to myself for the summer. I need to pack up my stuff for that as well, and make sure I have food…because it’s an all-day thing on the other side of town. Ah traffic. You are not my friend.

Days like today feel overwhelming. I have to remember that I need to finish one task before going on to the next one. Multi-tasking is not always your friend. I got up early to sweep the driveway again because they’re resealing the whole private road I live on, including my driveway, and the ficus tree had dropped tiny balls all over the place since the boychild swept it on Monday. As I was sweeping and the balls were flipping sideways and backwards all over the place, and I was thinking, 45 minutes isn’t going to be enough time to sweep the whole damn driveway, the guy in charge comes up and says, “Hey. Don’t worry. We have blowers. They’ll do it in like 5 minutes flat.” I may have told him I loved him. It’s all good. On to the next task.

While I was in Palm Springs, exercising the teacher brain, I drew a little bit…I actually started this some other day, I don’t even remember when. I went back to my room for 30 minutes between sessions to make tea, but I often feel anxious when I’m just waiting for things to happen. Staring at the phone and apps is a common way to deal with that, but it often creates more anxiety than not, so drawing really is a better way to occupy my brain. I sat there for 20 minutes or so, tea steeping, and drew some more…so here’s before…

And after (can you tell hot flashes have been prominent?)…

Nah. She’s not done. But I really should work on waiting with a sketchbook instead of waiting with a phone.

Honestly, there wasn’t a lot of alone down time at the conference…this statue of Zeus (?) on the way back from a happy hour with my co-workers…

The shuttle driver gave us a quick tour of houses owned by people…but mostly this is what Palm Springs is…

Very flat. Big mountains. Hot as hell. Palm trees everywhere.

This was an awkward bad-design moment…the bathrooms…you could see the person next to you through the toilet-paper dispensers.

Very awkward. I don’t know who thought that was a good plan.

We left Tuesday a little early, kinda done with the brain part, and my new driver was just as awesome as the first one…I still stitched. (My original driver stayed an extra night.)

I didn’t get very far…I did more when I got home…although this guy wasn’t helping.

Ah…stitching…

Another thing that relaxes me. This will be the 8th pattern for Global Artisans

It was nice to come back to drawing…I really am trying to keep this relatively simple (I could put a LOT more detail in, trust me)…but I think I’ve finished the one side…the yang.

On to finishing the Yin tonight, I hope. It’s got a pretty good start.

I was on Etsy the other day because they’re changing their shipping policies in kind of a weird way and I had to deal with it…and this popped up.

You know, I never actually search for anything that specific on Etsy…interesting. I was thinking of putting the embroidery pieces on here. I guess that could still happen, but I have to think about how to finish them then. And increase the prices to cover that and shipping…makes them kind of unaffordable, I think.

Anyway. Back to today. I’m going to need more tea.

You’re So Funny and I Kinda Like Your Band*

Happy Pride y’all! San Diego has two cool things every summer: ComicCon and the Pride parade. And I’m going to neither of them. Ah well. Enjoy if you’re there…

There’s something about the routine of school that keeps me more on task. I guess it’s because my available time is so short…and there are a lot of things that I just let fall by the wayside during the school year. I rescheduled one of today’s events, which is good, because I might just get most of what I NEED to get done before I leave for Palm Springs tomorrow…there’s things that have been on the to-do list all week that still won’t be done, but I can’t help that. It is what it is. I’m not packed for the trip, and the food is an issue, that and the temperatures. Ugh. Hot. I am ready and packed for my class next Thursday and Friday though…priorities! It’s an art class and I’m really looking forward to it. I don’t often take classes any more. This is my summer treat.

Anyway, before that, I need to get my teacher ass (and brain) to Palm Springs with appropriately casual and cool (temperature) clothing. More importantly, I need enough stitching for the the drive up and back. Seriously. That’s important.

Yesterday was busy, but productive. I’m trying to figure out my retirement…yes, it’s at least 10 years out, but I have bits and pieces of funds and plans all over the place from being self-employed, privately employed by multiple companies, and publicly employed. Talk about chaos. I just want to know if I will be able to afford to retire…like ever. So I’m working on that. Yesterday was the first step in getting that managed.

We walked the little dog…the big dog is still not physically up for that. It’s possible that she thinks she up for it, but that back leg is still not in compliance. It was pretty hot yesterday, so the boychild picked a location I hadn’t been to before, but that has a significant amount of shade. It’s good that it did, because the heat kicked my ass at one point.

I haven’t drawn the superhot hot flash woman yet. Maybe while I’m sitting in a hotel room at night? Who knows.

So this is Oakoasis County Preserve, which isn’t far from here and isn’t a long hike, around 2 1/2 miles, but that’s a good dog distance, especially when it’s hot.

There are still lots of flowers…

But things are definitely drying out. And there were bees buzzing so loudly it sounded dangerous…

The Cedar Fire came through here, so the brush is about 16 years old…

But the oaks for which it’s named are still standing…ah shade! It’s about 15 degrees cooler under there than out in the sun.

And fungus!

I’m fascinated by these…

The shapes and colors, plus their ability to grow on something that is dead in the full heat of East County.

Nature is so cool. That’s why I keep drawing it.

Some parts of the trail obviously have more access to water than others…

This tree is dead now, but forced itself out of the center of that rock…

Science!

We went in the late afternoon…there’s a peek of San Vicente Reservoir…

Nice to see water when it’s so hot out.

We haven’t been hiking…dogs recovering from surgery, plus hot, plus chaos. Next week is the worst for that (chaos) this summer…but on the 22nd, I think it all mellows out. A bit. So hopefully we’ll find some cooler weather and hike a bit more.

Nice meadows…

And flowers…

And more fascinating fungi…pretty sure the one below is a gall…so pretty though.

The boychild had seen California Horned Toads here a few weeks back, but we didn’t see any. They are funky little beasts.

So yeah, a short hike for the two of us who don’t like heat. We left this old lady behind.

She’s still searching out the best stick for throwing purposes. Even though none of us will throw anything for her at the moment.

Both of them want outside…

The two oldest in the house, I think…although a tie with Kitten, who’s turning 11 next month.

We got a lot of boxes yesterday…just for Satch.

He appreciates them…

I did eventually let the dogs out (I won’t babysit the cat outside…his daddy can do that) so I could try to draw the next embroidery pattern…I need something to stitch in the car.

Although it was warm out, the sun is not on the deck in the afternoon and it’s usually much cooler. There’s a breeze.

No. We won’t throw you a stick.

There’s a fire down on the border and we watched this helicopter transport water down there a few times…

The fire is 40% contained so far…mostly it’s on the Mexican side of the border. Good thing there isn’t a wall that would stop people from fighting the fire. Well, there might be in this part of the country. Walls don’t stop fires. People do. And defensible spaces. Anyway.

We came back and I did some of this during dinner. The never-ending embroidery.

It really is relaxing to stitch…I just know I need to get 6 done this summer, and I’m three weeks in and haven’t even finished one. Sigh.

So then I worked on that drawing again…

I added a snake and some other stuff later. I’m not sure I want everything I added though. So there might be some editing before I scan it for the pattern. Basically I’ll need to decide that today. I’m also going to add an embroidery page to my website so you can see them all. The patterns and kits with the threads I used are available on Global Artisans. Of the finished embroideries, one has sold and one is traveling with Global Artisans…the rest are available. They’re not cheap though…embroidery takes time.

It was late when I started working on the drawing for the next quilt. This is about 49″ square…

I wanted the bodies penciled in before I started in ink. I often just draw in ink with no pencil, but this is big and fussy enough that I wanted to be sure the main figures worked before I inked anything.

I added some ink last night, before realizing how late it was.

Oh yeah. Bedtime. Ugh. Too late. Animals don’t understand sleeping in. I think it’s because they just sleep when they want to…

Too bad really. I don’t know how much of this I’ll get done before I leave tomorrow, but hopefully some. I already have a post-it note with a list for today. I should get going on all that. Food, mop, pack, draw, computer stuff…

*The Fratellis, Stacie Anne

That’s on Me…

OK, business stuff. First of all, I loaded three more quilt photos on Society 6 here…if there’s something you see on my Gallery or Recent Work page that you want on a poster or a cutting board (really?), let me know. I’ll see if I have the right resolution photo for it. There’s also a link in my sidebar to Society 6 (or you can just search for my name). Wall art is 30% off until midnight tonight and I think your first order is also 20-30% off, if you’ve never used Society6. Just to be straight up, I don’t make a lot of money on the stuff on there, but it is a cheap and easy way for y’all to be able to own my work without being fabulously wealthy. I’m OK with that. When you win the lottery, you can come back and buy the original. You can tell your rich friends to go buy one. Seriously, I just had a phone conversation with a financial planner about my future retirement plans, and I’m panicking (it will be FIIINNNEEE).

Second, I’ve had a couple of commission requests in the last few days. I do commissions, usually small ones, and I’m usually pretty up front with the fact that I’m not cheap. I can’t be. My time is worth something, whether I’m copyediting, teaching, going to conferences (yes, I’m getting paid for some of my time there), or making art. I’m going to respect that and charge for my time. So if you came to me and said, “Hey I’d like one of your quilts, about this size, with these kinds of things in it, and I have this much money”, I’d suggest you go look at my Gallery and Recent Work pages, because sizes and prices are on there. I keep track of my time using an app, so even if a quilt is small, if it’s super complicated with a lot of pieces, it won’t be cheap. This one, And Then There Was One, is smallish…only 16 x 24″, and it’s priced at $2760 because it has 819 pieces and took over 56 hours to make…

Fussy stuff. It was not a commission. But this one was…

It’s only 8×10″ and was a simplified detail from my Mammogram quilt…

Which is 39“ w x 52“ h and $2900…relatively big, but not a whole lot of pieces.

If you’re still interested in a commission, know that my schedule is tight on a good month…right now, I’m running out into November sometime I think. Maybe longer. So I’d put you on the schedule, and then I’d do a drawing for you, usually for a drawing fee. That kind of depends on whether we have a past working relationship…some of my commission people are repeat users. I trust them to pay me. They trust me to hit the range they asked for. The drawing fee is just because once I’ve done that, you might decide, nah, I don’t wanna do this, and I don’t want to be out my time.

If you’re OK with the drawing (and I’ve edited before at that stage for the client), then I will start on the piece, usually with 50% down payment on the estimated total (includes the drawing fee; also depends on previous working relationship). I make the quilt, finish it so you can hang it, and then send it to you. You have a period of time to decide whether you really want it or not. If you don’t, you send it back, and we’re done. I’m partially paid for my time, you didn’t have to pay for all of it, I still own the quilt and can do something with it…maybe…depending on what it is. It is a bit of a risk for both of us, but that’s the wonder of commissions. If you like it, you pay me off and hang the quilt on your wall. Fini! Anyway, feel free to ask me about commissions. I’ve done a few that are pieces of larger quilts…one owl that someone really liked (actually all of my bird quilts are from larger quilts and can be remade) and then that part of the Mammogram quilt.

All that affects my ability to make my own art quilts, so that’s what I’m working on next. I’m debating how to handle it. There’s a show I was planning on entering that has one theme, but I could subvert it to this other theme in my head, but I probably wouldn’t get in. Probably wouldn’t get in anyway, just because I’d already changed it up and away from probably what the juror/curator are thinking. And I want to work with the ideas anyway. So let’s do it! I had started a drawing last week that I really didn’t like, but it was a way to play with the ideas…so last night, I taped big paper together (dangerous…I usually draw too detailed full size and that’s why it’s better to draw it smaller in the sketchbook and then enlarge it) and started sketching stuff out.

So the original unliked drawing is on the left, the larger paper and the revised drawing on the right (they don’t have a lot in common), and then my journal with all the words I had floating around when I was trying to think about all the ideas I wanted to corral in this space. It’s a start. I’ll hopefully work on it tonight some more. I’m gone a good chunk of next week, but if I’m going to get a quilt done by the end of the August, I need to get a significant bit of it done in the next month…before school rears its ugly head. Plus I have a copyediting job coming up.

Meanwhile I’m financial planning and trying to refi the house plus dealing with a road redo and dogs and appointments and all that. I don’t feel relaxed. Nope.

That’s on me.

Dogs. Stitches out Wednesday, then we can bathe her. She’s doing OK, but is definitely recovering slowly. He’s fine. Just a dick.

Well, we’re trying to keep him from licking his leg. She’s not licking anything, so she gets to be cone-free. Ironic, because he has no stitches and she has two batches of them plus shaved legs and side.

This thing is taking so long! I spent another 2 hours last night and did NOT run out of the blue (oh yes, I almost did)…I’m always closer to done but not actually done.

I’ll be stuck in a car for 2+ hours on Sunday and again on Tuesday. Please let it be done. Please let me get a couple more drawn before I leave. I rescheduled one of tomorrow’s events and I’m blowing off one tonight. I need time to get stuff done.

See my neighbor? He’s kind of a dick too.

But cute. Didn’t seem to care that I was out there. He wanted a drink of water. OK cool. You do you.

Today has gone by very quickly. We’re going to walk one of the dogs later, when it cools down a bit. I’m unapologetically ordering pizza for dinner. Cannot deal. I’m going to do some computer stuff that needs doing, try to draw for embroidery, and hopefully get some of the big drawing done. I should probably look at that hellacious to-do list as well. Damn thing. Rules my life.

Again. That’s on me. I can admit it. I can’t fix it.