Damn Adulting

May 20, 2016

I forgot to take photos of the other quilt I worked on last night…oh well. I went to quilt class and sewed a binding on that crazy orange quilt. I still need to sew the sleeves on, so another hour or so. It’s an older quilt top. I just wanted it finished. Then I came home and wanted to finish the one I’ve been working on. I almost finished it the other night, until that pesky adult voice that thinks I need to sleep spoke up. Damn adulting.

So I worked on quilting it…

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And finished. I really only had about 45 minutes left. It took about 4 1/2 hours to quilt the whole thing. Not bad. (I did not grade any papers last night…bad Kathy)

It wasn’t bedtime yet, so I found a binding (easier to do from your stash when you are working with a smaller quilt) and used the fabric from the backing to cut two sleeves.

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I originally bought that fabric when I was still married. Back in the dark ages. I was going to make a dress out of it and some other fabrics. Not sure where the others went. Never happened, of course. YES, I used to sew my own clothes. Can’t be bothered anymore. Plus I mostly just wear black. I still have lots of that fabric left, that’s for sure.

Oh, I forgot about this. I’m working with one of my art groups on a Sexism in the Art World show that will open in 2017, and we were talking about making a coloring book. One person had suggested a topic that was eh, yawn, no thanks (there was a reason for it, but still. eh.), and this coloring book came up…

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Midnight is shocked that it was only $10 online. I was not shocked and purchased it for my weird book collection, so when I die, my children and grandchildren will have plenty to talk about and to make them laugh their asses off instead of crying. Yup. I really care about my family. (Just as a side note, there are some very pretty drawings in there)

Simba has now sat on the foot pedal (I trained my cats out of that years ago) and tried to sit in my lap while I was quilting.

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Really! I am a cat! You can let me on the chair! He’s still adjusting, as are we all. Wait until the rest of the family gets home.

Bindings on…

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Small quilts go so FAST. I’m going to remember this when I’m working on the next beast, which will probably take 6 weeks of nonstop work.

You can barely see Midnight in the back…that’s where she sits most of the time.

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No, that tupperware bin cannot be used for anything but cat butts. That is the fourth cat butt that has graced that box…maybe fifth. It’s funny how they claim space. Even now, I’ve got Simba on the floor in here, so Calli won’t come in. Simba comes in when Calli does, but then won’t lie down, like he is now. When Katie is here, it’s a whole ‘nother juggling for space. I regularly have three animals in here, one of the smallest rooms in the house.

Anyway, I’m not home tonight, so the quilt bindings will have to wait until Saturday or Sunday. And then I have to officially admit to being done with this quilt and move on to the big one. I don’t know if I’m ready for that, but my artmaking schedule for the summer tells me I have to be. On the one hand, I’m excited to be starting the big quilt, but I also know how LONG it will take, and that some parts will just feel endless. And I do have another quilt top that’s pinbasted, another old one. I might quilt that first, because I know it needs hand embroidery, and then I’d have that to work on if I didn’t feel like working on the big one (yes, one more reason to procrastinate about the big quilt). Sigh.

OK, but before I can move on to any of that, I have to go to work and pretend I adult well.

Stretching Past What We’ve Always Done

May 19, 2016

Hallelujah for the nice kid in Petco who helped me pick out and install a harness on the little beast yesterday. I wanted to try walking both of them in a nice wide-open area, but the leash was too short and the collar didn’t seem safe enough. Simba pinwheels around a bit on it. So a harness it was (never owned a dog small enough for a harness…so he had to show me how it worked). We only made it 1.56 miles…the big dog tricked me into a shorter path she knows (she walks with my ex and the kids too), plus Simba is a tiny baby really and if I’d gone further, I probably would have had to carry him for a while. So we’ll have to figure that out, because normally I do 3-mile hikes during the week. My SIL has a little dog and says 35 minutes…and that’s what we did I guess. Lots of leash tangling and bizarre walking behavior. The dog has sorta been trained, but not well or consistently.

But this cat…

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She’s still incredibly unsure and runs when she sees him, and so he thinks that’s a game and chases her. She’s whacked at him once, but missed his nose. Not sure if that will mellow out, but I hope so. The other cat has taken another furry addition to the house in stride and doesn’t care.

That’s where I was grading by the way. Pens are there to fill out the gradebook I keep on paper, but everything else is online. I did go through the worksheet and the website I assigned them and filled it out myself, just to see what answers I SHOULD get. Holy moley, sometimes I wonder how some of these kids will make it through life. They just make up random shit…this assignment was so easy, I filled out my worksheet in less than 7 minutes. Granted, I didn’t have to go find pictures or write full sentences, but they should have been able to handle it easily in the time I gave them. And many did.

Simba is still trying to figure it all out.

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I’m looking forward to the kids coming home next week to help out with this puppy thing…because it’s a bit tiring. The timing could have been better. He does go to bed and sleep all night, except at 3 AM when he hears an animal in the bushes and thinks he needs to protect all of us. Puppy growling.

I have blood testing this morning, so I’m fasting (no caffeine, no food) and that’s never a good start to the day…especially since we have testing, so I have no prep, no bathroom until 12:15…unless I call admin. Which I may have to do today, after 40 ounces of water, or whatever it is. And they’ll still complain about my veins. Whatever.

I wanted to finish quilting last night, but knew I’d have to be up extra early for the lab tests, so I stopped before midnight and went to bed (see, I CAN do that).

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I’m almost done, though…dammit! Oh well. I’ll finish tonight, except I really should grade something tonight. I’m trying to get caught up, which means an assignment a day. And I can’t get through much while we’re testing. We’ll see. I’d really much rather finish quilting and get a binding on this thing than grade papers. Shockingly.

I’m also starting to process (in my head) a collaborative project I’ll be working on over the summer for the women’s group I’m in. Honestly, these types of projects kind of terrify me, because I’m not used to working with other people…in art. I work with other people all the time at school, and sometimes I know I don’t know enough to do stuff well, but I just research the heck out of it. This thing, it’s a little weird and I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out, and I guess I’m really an introvert/loner, because the socializing that needs to happen to create the project is really freaking me out. Whoops. I’ll be fine. My art brain is just having a moment. It will get over it, as my co-art person says, when I have enough wine and brainstorming to get past it. More on that later, but it starts with a $5 nightstand. Stretching past what we’ve always done is usually a good thing.

But now, now I need to drive to the lab and let the bloodsuckers have at my poor tiny veins. Then I can eat. And more importantly, get caffeine.

Again. As Usual.

May 18, 2016

Busy day yesterday. One car in the shop. Got a ride home and the second car’s battery was dead. Got that replaced, then drove out to UCSD to pick up a dog that needed a home…this is Simba…

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A very tired Simba. I’m sure coming here was probably a bit overwhelming. Another dog, cats, a yard. He’s been pretty good about it, although I don’t think he’s eaten anything yet but two chicken treats, and it took a while to get him to go to sleep in his own bed.

He needs some shots and to be neutered, which girlchild will handle when she finally gets home.

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Simba showed up because of the girlchild and one of her friends…and it’s funny, because I just had this conversation with the boychild, who would love to have a cat, but can’t have one in the dorms and doesn’t want to get one until his living situation is more stable. And sure, shit happens. You could have pets and then have a stroke and be in the hospital for months. So have a plan for that. We have multiple backup plans for pets in my small family circle here in San Diego. And I suspect most of my friends know (from past experience) that I take rescue animals most of the time. Some of my best pets started out as an oops that some kid picked up outside a grocery store, a freebie that couldn’t be in the apartment or whatever.

Anyway, between the car and the puppy (because he is still a puppy), I didn’t get any art done. I was so exhausted by the time I got through dinner, I couldn’t focus. So I eventually went to bed.

However, I have some photos from a couple of openings I went to last weekend (there were 4 in two days…I actually missed the 5th one due to exhaustion).

First of all, I went to the Allied Craftsman show at Sparks Gallery, in downtown San Diego. I know a few people in the show, so I wanted to document for the two groups I’m in with them (I still have to write posts for those two blogs…tonight!). But I also saw this artist at the show…by Alexander Arshansky, this is Native American

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His work is very detailed…this is Born in Fire

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His work was upstairs in the gallery, separate from the Allied Craftsman show, but definitely a joy to look at.

You can see all the Allied Craftsman pieces on the Sparks Gallery website. Here are two quilts that were in the show, the one on the left by Viviana Lombrozo and the one on the right by Charlotte Bird (who is in one of the groups I’m in).

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Below, in the middle is Jeff Irwin’s Circulation, flanked by his Pump and Vanishing Point plates.

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I photographed other work, but it’s for those blogposts. I’ll link to those here once I actually get them written.

Then I went over the the Cohort Collective’s show at Subtext Gallery, also downtown. The show is called Tiny and the pieces were all…small. These are all by Dolan Sterns, Creatures of Dirt

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They seem to be on old metal lids, apparently done in white out and ink.

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Stearns is a skateboarder and usually does much larger pieces…on walls. Like the whole wall.

There were two pieces by one of my favorite fiber artists, Jaclyn Rose…this is I-breathalyzer.

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And Leave the Way You Came In

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Then a new artist for me, Christopher Konecki…this is Last Glimmer (of Hope)

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He has a wide variety of work…this is Staying Inside on the left and a side view of the other one.

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And then he and Spenser Little teamed up for some great little pieces…this is Cat on Leash

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Mermaid Bubbles

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And my favorite, We Used to Write Love Letters

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A detail of the wire work…

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Then Spenser Little’s wire work…this is Multiface

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Mini Deity Number 2

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His larger deities are bloody amazing; the detail is boggling.

This is Mini Deity Number 1

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And the back side of Schizophrenic on Coffee Multiface

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It’s amazing how little line you need to convey expression. The Tiny show is up until June 10. It really is a tiny show, but there’s a lot of value in seeing it.

Well. Art tonight? Maybe. We’ll see. I’m a little buried at the moment by life. Again. As usual.

Clearing the Mind

May 17, 2016

I have about 15 minutes before I have to get ready to leave…busy crazy day. When you’re a teacher, you can’t do a lot of the things normal people do on a work day. I don’t have a lunch hour where I can run errands. I don’t have a flexible start time. I can’t get an hour off in the morning to go get my blood tested or take my car in. I either take a half day or a whole day (which we never do, because it’s a rancid pain to deal with subs), so mostly you try to do stuff before or after school in some sort of crazy way before school starts or things close (yes, you, post office with your stupid hours).

Today is one of those days…I have a car issue, but the car guy is around the corner from a co-teacher, so I can catch a ride, but it makes the morning a little bit more chaotic. And the afternoon as well, honestly…

I love Mondays though, because 3 out of 4 weeks of the month, I get home relatively early and I walk the dog. We have a couple of local walks we do that are more nature than suburbia…this is going up a pretty steep slope, and Calli is being very good about the baby bunny at the top…

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OK. Really she’s trying to pull me up the slope, which is kinda useful, because it’s really steep. Anyway, it’s about 3 miles and at the end of it, I’m feeling much better, head is clear from work, and the dog is tired.

Unfortunately, it gets muddied again directly after, because I have a ton of grading to do, so I settled down to that for a while, then finally ate, and THEN I could start quilting again…I’d finished the torso the night before, so all that was left was the head for outlining.

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I had my trusty cat companion, who was going a bit bonkers at one point…

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Maybe she objected to what was on Netflix.

Amusingly, I thought I could finish the quilting last night, until I looked at the clock. Whoops.

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Well. Two and a half hours in. She’s outlined and I’ve started the background quilting, but no way was I gonna finish last night. I’m not that crazy. I do have to go to work today and deal with the car and maybe another dog and that’s a whole ‘nother long crazyass story.

And I still haven’t dealt with resizing photos at all. Too much work; not enough time. Especially right now…

Plenty on the Plate…

May 16, 2016

There was a lot of art this weekend. I haven’t even been able to process it really, there was so much of it. Four openings, and there was a fifth I meant to go to, but I was exhausted by then. Honestly, I think I need a whole day to sleep. Today would be nice, but apparently it’s a work day.

Here’s me with my two pieces at Feminism Now. I had to hold still for an interminable amount of time (apparently I can’t hold a smile that long)…

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But it gives you a good idea of the size differential between the two pieces. The smaller one will travel to Sweden next year and be in another show. It was a great opening, lots of amazing work. I’ll get through it when I have a chance and post a link to the official blogpost as soon as I can.

I did finally give the young woman some pupils, some holes in her eyes…

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And I also ironed and pinbasted her into a happy quilt sandwich…

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Ready for quilting. Then I thought about what I had coming up this week, and I do have quilt class, and I want to be efficient about what I get done at all times. Though my smart-ass answer whenever anyone asks me “How do you get so much work done” is that I don’t sleep (and this is somewhat true), the reality is that I am very practical and efficient as well. If I’m waiting for someone to show up and I have 20 minutes, I use it to iron something or cut something out. If I know I have somewhere I’ll be for two hours, and there’s a binding that could be sewn in that time, I wrangle it so that can happen. I don’t just sit at meetings…I’m almost always working. I even find it hard to sit in restaurants and wait for them to bring the food…it’s lost time.

Anyway. So I found binding fabric for that crazy orange quilt that I can’t explain…

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And I cut it and attached it so that Thursday I can sew it down.

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Then I started quilting the newest one. This is where the line comes in…the line that pops the drawing out…

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I love seeing the image become more clear as I sew the dark outline.

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I spent about an hour and did about half of the outlining. This part is so meditative, I find it hard to remember to look at the clock…let alone stand up once in a while and stretch…or go to bed. So she’s in progress. Maybe I’ll have her bound by Thursday too, although that might not be possible…I do have a ton of schoolwork to deal with as well. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, another hour into the disaster that was in my studio and is now in the boychild’s room. Two full trashbags have left and I’m now sorting through that red box. I’m still not entirely sure what to do with all the stuff…

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An ancient plastic needle safe (probably 1960s), full of needles. Can’t throw needles out. That’s crazy. Folding scissors. Ancient as well. Way too cool. A ton of crazy quilt fabric that I piled up by color, so I can easily pop it into the bins. Not even sure how long that’s been in the box, but the plastic bag it was in mostly fell apart when I picked it up. Obviously, there was an organizational gap in there somewhere. I have about 10 days to get it all figured out.

Meanwhile, tons of grading and teaching and all that good stuff. Plus I need to get the rest of that big drawing done. Plenty on the plate…there always is.

Self Portrait with Wall

May 14, 2016

I dragged myself to two art openings last night, both shows I wanted to see, but after a long day, significantly exhausting. I do have photos, but no time to resize them, except for these…

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My new camera has a touch screen, which is kinda cool unless you walk around with your camera poised to take pictures all the time and keep accidentally touching the damn touch screen. Then you get all these weird-ass pictures in between your carefully posed photos and you wonder how old you are and should you really be trusted with technology.

I will post the others later this week, but not right now, because I have to leave for a science thing in approximately 42 Cheerios. Or 32 minutes. Hard to tell which, because I’m still not awake. Seriously. And yes, I went to bed before midnight and no, I didn’t make any art last night, but here’s the thing about going to art exhibits: DAMN. I want to just sit on the deck today in the (hey, there’s no sun here) sun and drink tea and maybe even wine and eat fresh fruit (of which there is none in the house…I think there’s a frozen bag of berries in there somewhere), listening to music (annoying the crap outta my neighbors), and DRAWING.

Yeah. Well. Not today. And I still have to deal with my other neighbors and their desire to trim my trees right before the hottest months of the year. Dumbasses. Whatever.

This is particularly nice, isn’t it? Name that gallery space.

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The thing about galleries is that they’re always in places where parking fucking sucks, whether it’s $12/hour or miles away in the dark, which when you’re a single female close to 50 is totally safe, because no one even notices your existence, let alone that you’re walking around in the dark by yourself. It’s good.

So this idea of inspiration, of how we keep the artist’s brain primed, ready to create at the drop of a hat…as I get more and more stressed about school and money and the kids coming home (only because I really should put away some of the stuff that was out at Christmas and you can’t even get down the hallway because of that damn chair, and the boychild is gonna be so pissed if I don’t clear out his room. I can see his eyebrow raising at me from here), I NEED to make art more and more. I see lines in other peoples’ work, I get random ideas bouncing into my brain, I just want to sit down with a sketchbook and draw.

But not this.

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“Self Portrait with Wall”

No seriously, I think that’s what that is. I’m so artistic, I don’t even realize when I’m doing it. And I’m sitting here in my office, looking out a very dirty window (project for incoming college students!) at the tree branches hanging down that I’m sure are the ones the neighbor wants to trim, and thinking, fuck no, dude. I don’t wanna see your house. I want to see the trees…see the sky through the leaves and ignore the stupid white fence up there on the slope. I don’t want to know there’s a house up there. I want to be in the middle of nowhere…mentally, at least.

Should be an interesting conversation. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll find an hour on the deck with my sketchbook this weekend, although I am having a hard time seeing that. Worst case, there are two more inspirational openings tonight, one the Feminism Now show where two of my pieces are…

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I’m looking forward to seeing that.

Lost Pupils

May 13, 2016

I love when out of the corner of your eye, you can see that your phone just did something, but when you look back at it, whatever it is has disappeared. I’m amazed by how dependent on our phones we are…and yet I love being able to look stuff up at a moment’s notice, map to multiple places without having to print stuff out, find a restaurant nearby, or pull up my website for some info. Yet in my principal’s meeting, he wanted to know what I was doing on my phone (um, taking notes? or texting my BFF?)…in a meeting two principals ago, he got mad at us for taking notes on our devices and forced us back to paper. The current guy is young enough to be my kid! But yeah, I was taking notes. No really, I was.

I’ve already dealt with the girlchild’s last-day-at-school texts this morning (this box is a million pounds!), last night I finally got the boychild to answer, and then went back and forth with a teacher about how some kids are gonna need consequences and parent meetings. Maybe we were better off when we didn’t hear all that. Hard to say. Being alone most of the time means I like the connection…but it is a LOT of connecting.

So my phone is flashing away at me and I’m still oh so tired. I don’t know what it is about this week. I don’t think I’m sleeping a lot less, but the mornings surely hurt.

I went to my stitching meeting last night and now all I want to do is get on a plane and go to Spain. Or anywhere really. But Spain would be nice. Wish I taught geography so I could go for a teacher scholarship with National Geographic. If you can’t afford to travel, you have to find other ways? Well yeah. I guess.

I was pretty braindead when I got home. I was grading before I left, and then finishing up a comic book I had to return (um, graphic novel). I eventually made it up…standing even…and came in here to stitch down the quilt…

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Like I said, I didn’t think it would take long…

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And it didn’t…about an hour and a half. This thing is small and uncomplicated. Probably a good thing at this point of the school year. Twenty-three days.

The back.

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I check the back to see if I missed stitching anything down.

Then I realized as I was stitching it down that I was missing the black circles (the pupils) in the eyes. I had noticed they weren’t there when I was sorting pieces, and I meant to cut new ones, but forgot. Actually, I noticed even before that I was missing them…after I trimmed the Wonder Under and was ironing stuff to fabric. I thought I had already ironed them and just didn’t remember it…that I’d find them eventually.

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Lost pupils. And I remembered (and forgot again) while I was ironing. And I remembered again last night…but didn’t do it because I really do need to try to get to bed before midnight thirty on a school night. So hopefully tonight…after two openings (ha!), I will cut out some pupils (ironic. I’m cutting out fabric to represent a hole.) and iron them on and stitch them down, and THEN…only then will I be able to sandwich this puppy.

Some Freudian thing about the word pupils and my job as a teacher there. Yes. I know. I got it.

I’m not expecting any work getting done tomorrow. I have an opening at night down in Barrio Logan and I have a science thing all morning. Ugh. Survival of the fittest. I’m pretty sure I’ve proven my worth to society…maybe y’all could mellow out and let me sit on the deck and draw in the sun for a few hours (when would that be? You’d have to be home during daylight AND awake. Not happening. Silly Kathy. That’s what summer is for.).


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