I Need Direction to Perfection*

September 20, 2017

I spent an hour plus last night fighting my internet…slow as heck, same old stuff. Whatever it was, sludge speeds, figured itself out by the time dinner was done, so I could upload photos at the speed of light again (entering a show…yes, hope springs eternal) and do the other internetty things that needed doing. But I had carved out an hour and a bit for grading and then that didn’t happen…and I couldn’t bring myself to sit down and do it after dinner, because I wanted to get to the art stuff, you know? Too many hours of working and you start to go nuts.

So no grading yesterday. None. Sigh. Don’t think about grades being due. You’ll do what you can.

There’s Calli…she’s sick. Some tummy thing. She’s going to the vet this morning…hopefully it’s something simple. Because she doesn’t feel well. Usually she comes down the driveway with me to get the mail. It’s one of the exciting parts of her day.

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Yesterday she just sat there until I started coming back and then she got up and slowly walked toward me. Poor baby.

I did two nights on this…the green feather stitch and blue lazy daisies on the left, building up from the bottom now.

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I guess it’s all either curved lines or straight ones.

Puppy hung out with me on the couch for most of the night.

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See how close he gets? I’m still cutting out…did almost 3 hours last night and I can see progress, the end of the road.

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Although all those octopus bits were a tad annoying. The suckers…that’s what they are.

But it meant I was down in the mostly big pieces of the female figure by the end of the night. Those are the 100s, I think. There’s dirt below…more big pieces. The top box still needs to be cut out, but you can see the box is nearly empty. All the stuff that’s cut out is in the bottom left and the trash in the bottom right.

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I’m pretty close to done I think. Unfortunately, I have a potentially longish meeting tonight, so very little time for grading or cutting…but we’ll see. I’ll still cut stuff…I just may not finish. I’d like to finish…but then I have another meeting Thursday, so even if I finish and sort before that, I won’t be able to start ironing until late Thursday at the earliest. But progress! Remember progress! Because that’s what keeps me going…that and getting to see it finally ironed together and deciding if I actually like it. That’s a big one with this quilt.

Plus the next one is percolating in my head. It’s already started on paper, and it’s gonna be big, but I need to finish this one first. And I might cut myself a break and finish that other smaller one in between. Or not. Hard to say. It’s partially done already.

Anyway, hopefully the dog is better by tonight, the meeting is productive but doesn’t put another piece to be done on my plate (not sure where that would fit), and I get through the cutting stage. My hand would be happy with that.

*The Killers, All These Things That I’ve Done

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An Ocean of Violets in Bloom*

September 19, 2017

Last night I had a great idea for how to write this post. And then I forgot it. This is why I should just start writing it whenever those thoughts pop into my mind. I even have the app on my phone…I’ve written entire posts on my phone…so there’s no excuse. Well, I think the excuse was that I was driving. But whatever that thought, ever so important at the time, it’s gone now. Or not really…because I’ll be driving along and it will pop back in…you know it will.

But for now, the mind is blank. At least on that topic. It’s roiling through a series of other topics instead.

I belong to a quilt guild…just one. I’ve belonged to it since I was about 25 or so, maybe earlier. I was the youngest person there for a really long time…then one woman came who was a year or so younger and another woman brought her daughter. I am no longer the youngest woman there. Which is fine.

I only go about once a year at most…because they don’t have a lot of speakers I want to hear. They used to…or I used to go listen to a lot more? No, I think it really was more art-quilt centered for a few years in the way back, so I saw Laura Wasilowski, Hollis Chatelain, Joan Colvin (that link is a video of Joan, who died in 2007), and Ellen Anne Eddy, along with others. I took classes from most of them, when I could fit them in, so they probably had some effect on me long term, some more than others. I still dye fabric the Ellen way. It may be that I reached saturation…I saw enough techniques that I didn’t need to see more? I went to Patt Blair a few years back because I liked her use of color, and last night, I went to see Sue Carlson for her use of fabric and color. I’m pretty sure I have her first book in here somewhere, so this is not a new fascination with what she does.

It was great to listen to her explain her process over the years…fascinating really. I completely understand the obsession with fabric as the palette. I have some pictures, but honestly, they don’t do justice to the work…although when I got there, a slide show was playing that had me in it (that was weird)…apparently Visions was going to talk about their current exhibits. That’s Carlson’s Dixie Dingo Dreaming

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And one of her fish…

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But really it’s about seeing how she uses ALL the fabrics to build her pieces.

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Aboriginal dot dingo…amazing use of fabric.

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Anyway, I enjoyed it. You should go check out the website and read her blog. Her pictures are way better than mine…

I came home to the two boy animals behaving…

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At one point, I had all 5 animals in one room and no one was hissing, growling, yowling, or barking. It was stupendous. A work in progress.

I did cut things out last night…for almost two hours! Can you tell? I can…barely. The top one is stuff that’s cut out…the bottom left is still to be cut, and there’s the trash pile for just in case.

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Oh yeah…and Satchemo…wanting to be in the middle of things.

Sometimes mornings with all of them are a bit much. Calli wouldn’t eat this morning, someone threw up in the hallway, and Satchemo and Midnight were both in my office sounding off at each other. Whoo!

I did work on the elephant at the meeting until they turned the lights out…a little progress.

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I’ve got nothing else going on tonight, so hopefully there will be another 2 or 3 hours of cutting…maybe I’ll be able to see the difference in the piles by then!

*Prince, When Doves Cry


Face Away and Pretend That I’m Not*

September 18, 2017

Grades are due in a week…it’s part of why I put my head down and put in 10 or so hours this weekend. I got some significant stuff out of the way, but there’s more in the classroom. That plan to spend an hour on the deck drawing? Well it turned into a half hour of talking and a glass of wine, but that was fine. I forget to take that time for myself…there’s always something dragging me back into what I have to do…so it was nice to have someone else remind me. Yo! Go sit outside and relax!

I’m not great at that.

So I didn’t get as much art done as I wanted to, but it’s coming…this is a busy week with lots of meetings, so who knows what’s going to happen. I’d like to be done with the cutting sooner rather than later, but I can’t guess how much longer it’s going to take. I’m over 6 hours in now and it doesn’t seem like I’m half done…although I did a bunch of tiny pieces yesterday and I feel like the rest is mostly larger pieces, so maybe I am halfway? Hard to say.

Lots of numbers and letters…this bit took forever and fussy little scissors.

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You can see them all there…the little triangles will wait to be cut out until I’m ready to iron them down. They get lost too easily.

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So here’s where I’m at…trash box at the top…to-be-cut-out on the left, and stuff I’ve cut out on the right. It seems like there’s still more in the to-be-cut box than the cut box…so I guess I still have a lot to go.

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Usually cutting out takes less time than ironing, so this being halfway would make sense…and big pieces are generally easier to cut out than the fussy little ones.

We’ll see. I’ll be lucky to get 2 hours in tonight…Tuesday might be a little better. Wednesday for finishing? Eh. Maybe Thursday. But ironing together by the weekend? Maybe even Friday night? That would be nice…this thing is taking longer than I thought it would.

Cat standoff…

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Things are getting slightly better. Less growling. Not getting along yet per se, but hey, we’ll take what we can get.

Still working on this…filling in the left bottom. I did a pink and a maroon, lots of French knots and some chain stitch.

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Soon I’ll have to decide what to do with the rest of the left side.

Puppy sleep.

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Spending the whole weekend working makes my brain fuzzy…seriously. It does. Aaugh. This job. It really does try to take over everything. I guess the art is kinda the same way, but I prefer that. Almost every waking moment thinking about art? Not a problem. Maybe it’s because school is such an impossible problem and art is a solution to me.

*Linkin Park, Faint


Stay Wilder Than the Wind*

September 16, 2017

Late writing today…not because I slept all day…ah ah aha ha ha ha. OK. Teacher humor. But yeah, I’ve put in a few hours of grading today already…trying to free up my evening for artmaking…which in this case is really just hours of scissoring. With scissors. Just to be clear.

But I do like the school days when I get to do art as well…so yesterday was the start of a new unit, so I did my cover page…

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I like it better than last year’s…mostly because it’s missing last year’s mistake. So yeah, I got to color on Friday. For my job. That’s awesome.

Which is good, because that was really all the artmaking that happened, being gaming night. I’m training to do runes…but I need a hammer and a ton of money.

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A late-night trip to the grocery store…this never makes me feel safe…

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I finished the block on the left…block 15? I think? While gaming. And started on the elephants. It took me about halfway around the baby elephant to remember how to do coral stitch…the book I use is usually quite good, but for some reason, I couldn’t figure this one out until I looked it up online and then went…OOOoohhh…that makes more sense…

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This morning started with some school work…grading of course…but then a 3-mile hike with the dogs…and a random coyote who was quite vocal and nerve-wracking…and then gave up and went to sleep.

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Tired the damn dogs out at least.

I had been looking at Blocks 15 and 16 and trying to figure out how I was supposed to sew this moon thing on…oh yeah. Sew the damn blocks together. So I did. This is Blocks 4 and 5 sewn to 9 and 10 sewn to 15 and 16. I think. That doesn’t make sense though numberwise. Something like that. I realized after that I should have trimmed them before I sewed.

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That’s some crooked elephant stuff down there. I’ll figure it out…don’t worry. But it’s looking pretty good so far.

Kitten has decided the dog bed is the right size for her…and she’s pushed the blinds to the side for a kitten-sized window out to look at the front yard…mostly at the bunnies.

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She’s still not comfortable coming out here by herself with Satchemo in the house, but both of them were on the bed this morning. Only a little hissing happened. It’s a VERY slow process that involves a lot of petting and treats.

Anyway, I’m grading (and cleaning house a bit) for the next two hours, and then dinner plus artmaking afterwards. That’s the plan anyway. We’ll see how it goes in reality.

*Duran Duran, Come Undone


Hung Down with the Freaks and the Ghouls*

September 15, 2017

The parrots are back…San Diego’s loud squawky parrots, perched in the trees around my house. They’re quiet at night, unlike the dog I live with, who took offense to all noises last night. I forget how hard September is…I keep walking around muttering “This is HAAAARRRDDDD,” to myself, like that helps. It doesn’t, by the way…in case you were wondering.

Yesterday I taught 130 students how to create a webpage. For most of them, it was their first time. It actually went pretty well…we’ll have to see how it goes from here on out. It’s our first year doing digital portfolios…so we’ll have to make sure we stay on top of it. Really. However hard it is.

I’ve been trying to do some grading every day. Can’t say I’m always particularly successful about it, but I’m trying.

I was 4 nights behind on this…seriously, what is my problem? I did 4 different things/colors in the bottom left…almost filled up in there. Gonna hafta decide what to do next. Aack.

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It’s funny that the dogs and Satchemo have figured their shit out, despite cross-species shit, but the other cats are still not OK with it. I spent about 10 minutes last night with the treat bag, placating all three of them. LOOK! When we’re together, she gives us treats! Let’s be together and not scratching or hissing! Fun stuff.

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This dog? Huh. Getting jealous in her old age. Or maybe she always was.

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I was watching 28 Days Later last night and cutting shit out. I did a couple of hours of it, I think…but I wasn’t very efficient. The top box is trash, the big box under it is all the stuff that still needs cutting out, and the bottom box is the stuff that’s done.

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And this is where I realize the heating pad has been sitting on the couch for months…like since my back/neck last bothered me that bad. Maybe May?

OK, I already know I have to grade like a crazy woman this weekend to make up for being sick all last weekend, but I really want to draw for a bit…just sit out on the deck with a cup of tea or a glass of wine and just watch the sky and draw. I keep saying that and then life slaps me upside the face. Anyway, will I be done cutting all these out by Monday morning? I think it’s unlikely…just looking at the weekend…but maybe I will be. We’ll see. But soon anyways.

I’m also trying to get my head out of my ass on exhibitions…I have some I need to enter or at least look at, but the last rejection kind of irritated me. I hate thinking censorship might have happened, but you never know when you have work like mine. I don’t usually mind rejections…I mean, acceptances are nice, but you have to realize the odds and I do. I’m sure I’ll figure that shit out and start entering again. Hopefully soon.

*Smashing Pumpkins, 1979


And We Will Run, We Will*

September 14, 2017

Two long work days in a row. It happens. I’m kinda done with it though. I keep thinking it’s Friday and it’s not. Yet.

So when I finished grading tests at like 10:45 last night, after a 2-hour union meeting, I finally started cutting out pieces. I didn’t get far.

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A bunch of letters and a giant cloud.

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And a sleepy puppy.

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Hopefully I’ll do better tonight. But who knows? I’m behind in grading (as always). School is stressing me out. I guess what’s new? Yeah. I know.

I’ve got an early meeting. And apparently no words.

*Rusted Root, Send Me on My Way


Down Here So Laughable and Small*

September 13, 2017

The good news is that I’m done with the ironing. It’s funny, the disconnect when I type that. I don’t iron clothes. Like ever. OK, once maybe for the boychild when he had a college interview. I don’t iron my own stuff…unless it’s got a major issue. I just buy stuff that won’t need it. Because I spend so much time ironing when making art…that’s why. It took 13 hours and 39 minutes to iron 800 and something pieces of Wonder Under to fabric. It’s probably gonna take another 13 hours or so to cut them all out. Well. Maybe not…it’s taken less time than the ironing on the last two quilts…so maybe I’ll be done sometime over the weekend? Who knows. I have two nights clear…I think. That’s probably not enough (snorts hysterically…who the hell am I kidding? Nowhere near enough. OK, add in Saturday and Sunday, and maybe I’ve got a chance of finishing by the end of the weekend. That’s realistic. So ironing together next week. There’s a plan.).

Yeah, I’m still sick, but not as bad as I was. I’m still getting wiped out easily at night though. I think I worked a 12-hour day yesterday, between school, tutoring center, coming home and trying to make sense of the next unit, and then a last-minute, late-night revision of the quiz we’re giving today.

THEN I made art. Yeah. Well it didn’t take long to iron the last bits. I think I only did art for like 52 minutes last night (yes, I keep track…it keeps me accountable to doing it).

So here was flailing on the couch…

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And Satchemo giving Calli lovepats (no claws) while Calli tried to get me to throw the ball for her.

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Then I realized I had to get up and deal with the school stuff, because we start the new unit Friday and I’m not ready. I had this cider I wanted to try at a restaurant over the summer, just because of the name, and the last time I went to BevMo, they had it, so I bought a couple bottles…and I was feeling kind of ultra-stressed, so I poured a rare glass before dinner…this is Ginja Jinja.

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It was pretty good. I could use more ginger in my ninja though. Seriously. I like ginger.

Ironing didn’t start until almost 11 PM. But it was pretty easy in the end. An eyeball, a gun, this cloud of letters. A coupla tattoos. The male figure’s hair.

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Shit. I shoulda counted these. I always count them. Damn. Hang on a second…101 fabrics…

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This is not an uber-colorful quilt. I think it’ll be toned down a bit from some of my others. Some of that is the background color, but also I didn’t add a bunch of bright color. We’ll see what that looks like next week when I start putting it all together.

But before I do that, here’s tonight’s work…cut out that whole boxful of pieces.

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Lots of big pieces on this one. I did that on purpose. The next one won’t be as lucky. I’m actually looking forward to starting the next one. I’m really unsure of this one…plus it’s a difficult topic anyway. Not that the next one is easy, but it seems easier for me to manage…maybe the science aspect is so clear to me. Who knows.

*David Gray, Ain’t No Love