A Lot of Art…

OK, well sleeping in is not a thing for dogs or the trash trucks or hangry cats or the weed-whacking neighbors. Apparently they don’t know it’s my Spring Break AND I stayed up way too late last night drawing because the inspiration finally smacked me upside the head, and I can’t show you anything until like July. So just know that I’m taking photos and there will be some pic-heavy posts in July explaining WTF I’m doing. Well, I’m entering a show I was invited to enter, and the jurors are all out there in my world, and they don’t wanna be swayed by seeing the stuff first, which I think is funny, cuz you’re totally gonna know it’s mine. But whatever. I’m willing to go along with it.

It makes it hard for the next two months though, because I usually post my entire process and that’s what I write about. I can still write about it, but it will be irrelevant pictures I guess. So I had a preliminary drawing I’d started for this piece a week or so ago, and then I cut the paper the right size the other night (that in itself is sometimes an issue!). Then last night, I started sketching for the final drawing and inked a good chunk of the structure of it. I still have a bunch of vignettes for it, so hopefully I’ll get those done today and tomorrow. I’m not really expecting to be able to start tracing Wonder Under before we leave, but I’d like it ready for when we come back. So drawing and numbering…

So here’s the rest of it. Today, I’m doing all the errands and shopping I need to do before we leave. I have to pack about 7 quilts to ship either before I go or right after I get back. I need to walk the dogs. I have a quilt group meeting tonight, if I can manage to get to it. I finished grading ONE assignment yesterday, so there are still 10 left to do. To be honest, that ONE was the biggest…and then I crazily emailed the 16 kids who didn’t turn it in and gave them a chance to not lose points…but they don’t check their email, so they’ll probably lose out. Oh well. I tried. Tomorrow will be about packing and food prep. Actually, there’s some food prep I’d like to do today if I can. We’ll see. The weather for the trip is finally looking bearable…no 18-degree temps staring us down for now! Still have rain and cold, but not as bad as it was going to be. We tested putting the new tent up last night at my parents’ house, and it was pretty easy. All good.

I meant to write yesterday, because we went to four different art exhibits on Saturday night, but I never got around to it. So here they are…first we went to Oye Como Va at La Bodega Gallery…the Flying Panther Tattoo family made all these. This is by Rob Benavides…here’s an article about him with some contact info.

In a totally different style, here’s one by Matt Howse

And something different in the skull realm by Frank Chavez

And this one by Thomas Fernandez

Another by Frank Chavez…

I seem to like the graphic and highly colored ones the best…another by Rob Benavides…

And one by Marc “Beatle” Lindenmeier of Harry Dean Stanton in Repo Man. Good movie.

From there, we headed out to Bread & Salt for the opening of Warpaint, with Lynn Schuette’s work. A totally different vibe, but beautiful work…hinting at our trip that starts in a few days. I really liked this line of work…

She had a few different series of works in the building…

But the landscapes and this grouping were my favorites…

Beautiful work.

In Bread & Salt is the Athenaeum Art Center Gallery, where Alessandra Moctezuma was showing work with Hilary Paul McGuire in a show called Identity|Antiquity. I especially liked some of Moctezuma’s drawings and etchings…some political and more recent…

Some with kitchen implements…

And an older etching/drawing…a detail below…

Over by the print studio was work by Elena Lomakin…who did some collage with paper and other materials…

And then outside, there was this…Kenneth Capp’s sculpture, Rose.

You’d think we’d have been done by then, but there was one more, which would put us in a place where we could eat…at Visual Gallery+Design, an exhibit called Unfolding. I knew of two of the four artists…this is Sofia Silver’s Cosmic Eye

And Laurie Nasica’s You and I, Highs and Lows, Down with the Current, and Le Tourbillon de la Vie

Also Untitled by Melissa Walter

I also liked Mary Juhn’s Memories

And her Take It, My Love…

Then off to dinner, with this showing up on the walk…

Some people.

So what else this weekend? I delivered this, freshly ironed and with hanging hardware, for the Inside/Outside exhibit that will be opening at Art Produce on May 4…

And I don’t know what else I have…ahhh…grading on the deck…

And puppies…

Funky clouds at my parents’ house…

More puppies while embroidering…

Anyone who thinks embroidery is quick is nuts.

But it is relaxing…you’ll probably see a bunch of this going on for the next month. But now? Errands. Gotta go. Get it done. Yup. Now.

You Got Time, You’re on the Mend Babe*

Well I am officially on Spring Break. There was a definite feeling that a huge weight had dropped from my shoulders yesterday afternoon. Totally ironic, since I have like 7 things to grade in 4 days. And packing. And a bunch of art stuff. I certainly don’t feel relaxed at the moment…I think I have to wait until I’m hiking through a canyon to get there. We started the break with an escape room adventure…which started in a total dive bar…

Hence wine in a can. We did pretty well in the escape room…

Despite the scary additions. We managed to escape with 8 minutes to spare. Pretty good for teachers after the last day of school before break, which included a talent show.

We even came back to our rooms after school and had to get them cleaned up so hopefully they can clean them before we come back. They didn’t do it over Winter Break though, so I don’t know what to expect. Probably nothing.

I met the man for dinner, came home, and basically tried to be functional and failed. I did a little on this.

He’s just sniffing it. I’m worried I’m not going to have enough of the gray thread, so I’m doing those bits first, in case some need to be another color. Nine meters (is it meters?) sounds like a lot until you’re stitching with it. The plus is that it’s not very hard to do this.

So on my plans for today: finish the damn taxes. Start the drawing for the next quilt. Hopefully hear back from photographer on pickup of the other two quilts. Prep a quilt to be delivered tomorrow (it needs ironing and hardware). Start to seriously pack for trip. Grade a pile of Unit 6 (they’re quick and small). Input grades. I think there’s other stuff on the list that I don’t remember.

Here’s the paper ready for me to start drawing…

I’m going to make myself do the taxes first though. Hi guys…

There will be no sleeping in on the first day of break. OK. Taxes. Do them. Do them right. Move on. Maybe sit on the deck in the sun for a bit too. That would be good.

*Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, You Worry Me

I’ve Placed Faith in Geography*

I’m on hold. This is not a philosophical statement, although sometimes life feels that way, eh? I’m on hold with my online prescription service because there’s been a problem with putting things in my cart, and I feel like that’s kinda rude on their part, judging my ability to pay for my meds, so I’m calling to fix that shit. Oh yeah, they’re not fixing that shit. They want me to clear my cookies, and I don’t do that for just anyone, assholes. The nice woman who is the interface between me and the web folks says that THEY say if I clear my cookies, it will only affect their website. OMG you fucktards. So untrue. Absolute bullshit. Sigh. So the other option is that I call back the next time it happens. Great. So that will be in weeks. Someone remind me to do that and have the TIME to call in and walk through something like that. Not happening on a school day, is it. It’s OK, I can order meds by calling, but they ask all these questions and want responses and I just don’t want to deal with that crap. Especially before tea.

Well good morning all! It is the last day before Spring Break, hallelujah, and I am ready for it! Nope. I’m not. Not at all. I did work my butt off yesterday and created all the posts we need for the project when we come back from break. And realized I hadn’t copied one thing that we needed. Oops. Fuck me. Then I delivered my quilts to the photographer, so I should have those back in the next few days. Deadline met! Then I headed out to San Diego Mesa College for the opening of Subterranean…here’s me and Grace Gray-Adams with our respective pieces.

As another friend said, they put the person who makes lint and the person who uses lint together. Nice. I had good feedback from people…so no one came up to me and said they hated them, which is always a plus.

I did have an interesting conversation about thread and holes from the needle with one man, who knew a lot more about sewing than most men (or even people) do. This show is only up until the 25th. That probably means I will need the boychild to pick up the pieces, because I might not be back yet. I’m not sure I have pickup info yet. One more thing for the to-do list. Sigh.

I was exhausted by the time I left the show. I came home and read for a while, then exercised, and then tried to be functional. This is an issue right before break. I’m mentally done and my body keeps telling me how tired it is. Meanwhile, we’ve been trying to get everything figured out for our trip. The plus is that the nighttime temps in Bryce have come up 10 degrees (still not enough). The minus is the snow has increased.

Well OK then. I’m going to obsessively watch this for the next week. I’m hoping it stays 28 and the snow goes away, but this is better than it was. Although 30-mph winds during the day is also an issue. Apparently the road is currently closed because of trees down on it. Worrisome. I think we’re camping under trees. IT WILL BE FINE. Dad came through on a passport holder that I can shove under all my clothing that is the right size to hold all my diabetes crap so it doesn’t freeze. As long as I have blood running through my core, that is. Which is the ultimate goal.

The man, meanwhile, is totally excited and hyped and into all this trip stuff, so he can go pack and organize everything while I race around with the to-do list and grading. Uh huh.

I do need to finish a drawing before I go, at least…if not start tracing. Last night, I managed to cut a piece of paper out that is the right size for that. That was all. Then I worked on the first embroidery for a while.

So far, so good. I’m using chain stitch and backstitch so far. I’m also keeping track of stitching time, because I want to know how much time I’m using (a lot more than you would think) for whatever I get out of it. Anyway. It’s also relaxing and meditative.

I’m already nervous about how much thread I’m using. I can only use what’s on the bobbin. It seems like a lot? But not? We’ll see. If I weren’t limited to 5 colors, that would be fun. So far, it seems to be turning out OK though.

OK, so survive day, which includes a talent show (ugh). Escape room with coworkers tonight (seems ironic in some way). Come home and attempt to function. Ha! Finish all the things on the to-do list before Wednesday at 6 AM (double Ha! So not happening.). Enjoy trip. Do not freeze to death, have low blood sugar three miles out on a trail, or break a leg. Or crash. Do NOT call Emergency Services. Have a good time! Finish my book. Or books. Stitch a bit. Draw a lot. Hike a lot. Take cool pictures. Don’t hang out with any 12-year-olds. At all. OK, that might not work. Campgrounds tend to have 12-year-olds. I’m gonna try though.

*Death Cab for Cutie, Gold Rush

I Couldn’t Hide from the Thunder in a Sky Full of Song*

I didn’t really disappear over the weekend. I just worked a lot. On everything. There’s significant progress, but I don’t feel relaxed. I’ll get there. I have most of my taxes done, except for one large task that I’m about halfway through doing. Teacher expenses. Pain in the ass to collect. But I need every penny. I got through grading all the makeup work, although as soon as I input everything, the kid emails started. Because they don’t believe it will be graded until it’s graded. So then they email me and tell me how they’re gonna fix things tonight, and I’m like, well, that sucks to be you for progress reports, because I’m done grading makeup work until next weekend, sweet thang.

Then we started trying to figure out our trip, beyond the panicked moving of one place to stay…mucho debate about the next place, because it’s cold. And snow. Or sleet. But definitely cold. And ice. And we are from sunny Southern California and do not do either of these things well. We knew we both wanted hiking pants anyway, and we had our REI dividends plus a coupon, so we headed out. And bought some warm stuff too. Plus went to my parents and found the sleeping bags and the tent we used two years ago (rain flap!)…and of course, we set up the tent in the living room, to see if the air mattress would even fit, because it never went in this tent…

And it does fit…so does the cat…

But it’s pretty tight…mostly because when it’s inflated, it’s pretty tall, and the sides of the tent go in, and it would be an issue with rain. Or sleet. Or maybe even snow…I don’t know, because I don’t think I’ve ever camped in snow. That’s probably not true. But I’ve blocked it out if I did, and now I’m old and the snow thing is really throwing me.

I was OK with the tent, but the man was not and went online and got something we could put two coolers, a fan, a chair, and a television into (not really, something about a guy in Louisiana and a storm, but the tent was fine). So that’s managed. Mostly. We need clothing that ranges from 72 degrees down to 20 degrees. Fun stuff. At the moment, the man is looking forward to this trip and I’m a little apprehensive. I’ll be fine. Just not right now. Right now, I have too much on my plate. I was trying to get shit done yesterday and he kept coming in to show me maps and pictures and other stuff, and I’m like, this is more than a week away I’m panicking about stuff for tonight please ok fine just say it and then I’ll make a noise that sounds like I get it and then I can work on what I’m working on which is due before we leave. Deep breaths.

I tried quilting Saturday before my art meeting (where I got more things to do), but the machine was being a cranky nasty bitch. There were a few of these…

And a whole ton of broken thread. I switched the needles, the position of the spool, rethreaded about a million times, put the sewing goo on the thread. Sigh. I came back and quilted some more at night, and it still refused to behave. It wasn’t until Sunday that I figured out that it wasn’t on the right setting for the foot I was using. I don’t know why it wasn’t…it was the last thing I did. I think? Whatever.

After that, she worked like a dream. Mostly.

Sunday, I pulled it off the machine, even though it wasn’t done, and went and bought the binding fabric, because I knew I wouldn’t have time later this week. Like today.

And then I came home and did more grading and cook prep and taxes and organizing and grocery shopping and I don’t even remember what else.

After dinner, I quilted. And quilted…

And somewhere around midnight, I finished quilting…

Almost 6 hours. Did you know that not last week, but the week before, I did 20 hours of artmaking? While working? I think that was the week I was sick too. My weeks have been nuts. But she’s quilted. Tonight I can get the binding on. I might even finish early. I have to deliver two to the photographer. I should email him. I said I would. OK, done. Emailed.

And then the next one needs to get drawn, but you won’t see that one. You might see these getting done…

Although not until this binding is done. I have six to do. That’s a lot. I might let friends do some of them, once I’ve done one. We’ll see.

I miss this kid. She hasn’t sent me a photo for her graduation announcements. I’m thinking of using this one.

She’s a Leo, in case you were wondering. She really is a Leo too. I’m a Pisces, but sort of atypical. I live with a Capricorn and a Cancer. I’m not counting the dogs and cats. OK, well, I’m going to continue to pray to the no-snow gods and to try to finish shit and exercise and read my book and not panic too much and keep my cool with the kids who are gonna tell me It’s Not Fair for whatever reason. Did I mention grading All the Things? Gonna do that too. Oooohhhhmmmm.

*Florence + the Machine, Sky Full of Song

Here I Am

It’s morning again and here I am.

I always appreciate it when nature makes it nice to get up early in the morning. I have a morning meeting and no car, so I’m hitching an early ride, but it’s pajama day! Oh yay! Yes, I showered and changed into clean pajamas. I am not a heathen. Besides, I don’t actually wear pajamas to bed…they’re too hot.

Yesterday was the first release of my embroidery patterns…here’s one of them…

They should be available as patterns only early next week, and as kits in late April some time. I still need to stitch my prototypes, which means I need to go find fabric, which is hard to do without a car. I guess there’s the internet. I like to patronize my local quilt store though. I want her to stay in business. The patterns and kits will be available through Global Artisans…this is an experiment for me…I don’t know if it’s a viable way to earn money, but it’s something.

I had quilt class last night, so I ended up getting about 2 3/4 hours of cutting in, and I’m almost done (I did grade too, of course, thus eating into my cutting time). Trash in the top right, the big box has what’s left, and the cut pieces on the bottom right.

I couldn’t stay up late. I need to be functional today. And it’s more than it looks…probably a couple hours there. So tonight, I’ll grade and I’ll finish cutting these, and if I have time, sort for ironing. We’re hiking tomorrow, so I won’t get much done tomorrow, except you know, health and stuff. But I should be ironing things together this weekend, which is good, because I’m running out of time. As always. What’s new? OK, I need to leave with my ride soon, so this is all I got. Good Friday people.

“You’ve Been in the House Too Long” She Said*

You know how exercise is supposed to help you sleep? Hmm. Me too. I know that. I don’t always have that experience, but I know it’s supposed to. Last night. Sheesh. No rest. I don’t know if my brain was the issue or my body (my neck really needs the chiropractor, which is tonight, unless I forget again, which is what got me in trouble in the first place)…the dog needed to pee at around 4:30 AM; that was fun. I just don’t know anything but that I was awake a lot for such a short period of time of sleep. I went to bed too late because I was ironing the flesh colors down and I like doing that in one fell swoop, but then I had to be up early for a meeting (ugh). You might have noticed that I don’t like early. I don’t. And I was really tired yesterday after the dog walk…it took me a long while to rally.

The plus is that the kids were much better at labs yesterday, thus saving me from sacrificing one (or ten) of them to the science teacher goddess. Let’s hope that continues. The staff meeting was short and sweet. Also a blessing. Well, not sweet, but certainly not as onerous as some of them are.

Mondays are for dog walks…when I don’t have 2-hour meetings and no daylight. We haven’t been here for a while, maybe a month…the first part of the trail is still underwater…

No biggie…we go around. Although there were ducks swimming in it…and tadpoles growing in it (OK, they’re really hard to see in here, but they’re gray-ish and pretty large).

Is this a quilt blog? Well, sort of. Quilters should go on walks and get inspired.

Still green and bloomy…although not superbloomy here…the dogs still like it…

I just like to get out and exercise…

The wildflowers make it good too though…

It’s like this annual fascination with Spring…

Every year I’m like OMG, look! There’s flowers!

Some sort of renewal in the brain brought on by the weather. Honestly, these flowers are easier to think about than job stress, weight loss, the shooting in Christchurch, the flooding in Mozambique, the idiocy of my elected officials.

Yup. Flowers. And a good long walk after work.

For some reason, the puppy doesn’t like this hike as much as the others. He fights it until we turn back toward the car, and then he’s fine…

Although we took another side trip up to see the vernal pool…which was huge!

And had those other big fat tadpoles, but also these tiny ones…

Makes me wonder where all the frogs are most of the time…

There’s glass up there…that’s why he’s carrying the pup. So he doesn’t get glass in his toes from the dumbasses who break their beer bottles up there. It’s nature, but the town is right there. And people are stupid.

They kept following me around when we got home…although I think this was following someone else around.

After the walk, I did some photo editing for work, some scanning for embroidery designs, some business paperwork, some email…picked colors for this one…

I have a really hard time seeing what they will look like without stitching them out. That’s soon, I guess.

After some flailing time, some braindead time, I finally persuaded my old tired body into the studio for this…picking flesh.

It’s really much easier to do all the fleshy bits in one go, so I did. It was pieces from the 100s through the 800s, so I have no idea how much I actually did…at least 100 pieces, I suspect. I have one piece of the cheek that I couldn’t find, so I’ll need to retrace that tonight.

Fitting pieces together. I don’t like to waste fabric.

Somewhat obsessive about that. Here’s where I’m at so far…

Not a whole lot of color yet. Wait until I do all the other stuff…bugs and sky and heart and hair…it’ll have lots of color then. I fell asleep to imagining the hair all the colors of nature. Which is good, because that’s what this quilt is about…my need to be outside for a little bit every day, for longer when I can. This week will be a mishmash of finding that space, for sure…too many meetings. So I’m glad I got yesterday’s walk in.

OK…meeting, school (last day of labs hallelujah), tutoring, chiropractor (oh holy moley my back and neck will be so happy), and then whatever else I can handle before I iron again. It’s a good plan.

*The Smiths, Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now