Unless This Music’s Thumping*

October 14, 2018

First of all, I have a friend whose husband was in an accident and is currently in a coma. She’s young, three kids, the youngest is still a nursing babe in arms. If you are so inclined, she’s going to need financial help no matter what happens…just to keep her head above water for a bit. The GoFundMe is linked here. She was my partner in teaching science a few years back…I know how amazingly strong and creative she is, but I also know how devastating this is for her. Please help if you can. If you’re one of my quilting friends…a chunk of fabric came from her before she moved to Morocco for a while a couple years ago…in fact, this piece, By All Means, is entirely made from her fabrics and some of her rejected blocks for a show about recycling materials.

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Because I don’t piece stuff. And I get a lot of pieces of fabric from people who are getting rid of stuff. Anyway, it’s hard to know how to help in this situation, and I’m not a prayer person…I’m just sending telepathic bolts of Get Better Dammit toward Paul…but know that what she really needs is money right now. And a miracle, if you believe in those.

Anyway. Sigh. Bad things happening to good people.

Friday night, I went to my stitching meeting, but drove back through a lightning storm, arriving home to a bunch of frantic dogs…well, really only one who was truly frantic. This was around 11 PM, when most everyone was sleeping (one cat, three dogs), except for Calli, who was still trying to dig through the floor to get to a non-thunder place.

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She kept going until around 1:30 AM…ugh. This one just barked at it, but was unperturbed. He barks at everything.

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I didn’t get much done on this at the meeting…just butterfly bullion knots. First I did the sleeves on the quilt that needed to go to the photographer.

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I tried one of her mom’s shirts on Calli…I don’t know if it helped…but this was a calmer moment than the ones before.

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I had a ton to get done Friday night, but mostly I held the dog.

Oh yeah, I’m fascinated by these moons. I keep buying them. I don’t know what I want to do with them. You can find them here. I figure I will make a fabric home for them at some point…

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Anyway, so I got nothing done Friday night. At some point, I remembered that I had planned on some hand embroidery on this one…the one that was due to the photographer at noon. Now could I have emailed him and asked for more time? Of course…but I didn’t. Because I need to get going on the other one. I got up and started stitching.

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I had about an hour and a bit…and I used every minute of it…

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Nothing fancy…just added texture and color.

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I like doing this. I should do more.

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That requires me to finish quilts earlier than deadlines though so I can spend time doing that.

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Anyway, it’s at the photographer. I ran some errands, and was home for about 25 minutes, long enough to eat lunch…then off to the first opening of the day…

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This is at the Boehm Gallery at Palomar College. You can see my two quilts hanging on the back wall.

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It’s a very cool show with lots of interesting work. Below is Kathleen Mitchell’s glass piece Rough Childhood. Mammogram is the quilt on the left; Part-Time Oasis is on the right.

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These two bird women by Maria de Castro are beautiful. Hoopooe on the right, Hawaiian Neme Goose on the left.

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Then Cheryl Tall’s piece O Happy Days in front of my quilts…

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There were many more pieces in the show…it’s up until November 8, I believe.

Meanwhile, the girlchild is still playing soccer, in case you were wondering…but I only see bits and pieces of it online.

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I was grading stuff at that point, finishing that heinous assignment that’s been plaguing me for weeks. It’s done! Then I got an email about parking that reminded me that I had signed up to see an exhibit at Sparks Gallery Saturday night, since I knew the man was playing in yet another show that I couldn’t crash (guest list only)…so I drove downtown to this beautiful sunset.

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The show was a fundraiser for Space4Art, which has a new property and is trying to get money to build an affordable space for artists to show and live where gentrification won’t kick us out. What a concept, San Diego…instead of closing them all down or turning them into million-dollar condos.

I really liked this piece, Untitled (Anti-Analogy) by Tml Dunn.

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And of course, my friend Linda Litteral’s huge long work from her Meditations series displayed in the window…

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Now if I’d had more energy or drive, I would have driven down to Bread and Salt for the Latin American festival of art…it looked awesome. But I knew I needed to draw. So I came back and inked the stuff I’d penciled in on Thursday night…

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Still working on this section…added some more stuff in here…

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Took some brain breaks to hang out with Kitten, who ventured out because the dogs are at me ex’s house with the boychild…

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She helped me draw (not)…

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Still more work up here…although I headed down to the legs first.

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Not done with those…and so I have more nature stuff to go in the bottom and to the left, and then to decide what to do with the upper right. We’ll see. I put in about 2 hours of drawing with a lot of sitting around being tired. Two nights running I’ve gone to sleep horrendously late…not by choice, but that’s just the way it was. This week will be interesting. I’m taking one day off to help with something…so maybe I’ll get caught up on some work in between that. But I also need to finish the drawing and get going on this quilt.

But first, groceries and parent email for school and shower and probably not in that order. And I’m hungry.

*Cake, Love You Madly


The Words That Would Mend the Things That Were Broken*

October 6, 2018

I’m desperately trying to be efficient these days, and mostly sucking at it. I listened and slept a lot (well, as much as I could)…it means very little art is happening, which always feels bad, but work is burying me at the moment and that also feels bad. And somehow the new iOs is screwing with my photos uploading to the cloud. Annoying. So it’s almost noon and I was up at a reasonable hour, I’ve made about 5 dozen cookies for a social event later, I sent all the files and info for the Surface Design Journal’s Exhibition in Print, which I got into (cool!), and now I’m trying to write this before bathing the dog in special shampoo, taking my own shower, and grading some shit. Later today, I plan to eat Indian food, because the main man has two shows today that I’m not invited to and can’t crash, and the boychild and I like Indian food. Then I hope to finish this damn quilt with the thread I bought, and then put a binding on it with the fabric I bought after school yesterday. The binding is the brown on the right…the others are impulse buys. Wait, no, they are useful additions to my stash.

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Don’t question it. I keep my fabric contained in here. There’s no reason to panic until I start to take over your living space.

There are more pictures I want to put in here, but iCloud is holding them hostage. Or my phone is. Hard to say. I’ll figure it out.

Meanwhile, I got stuff to do. If I see you later today, cool. If not, here’s the announcement for the next show I’m in…you can see me at the opening next Saturday…

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I have two pieces in the show.

OK. Off to the races. Get it done. Maybe eat some lunch. That would be smart. And yes, the sketchbook and my Sharpie are screaming at me. I’m listening!

*Maroon 5, Won’t Go Home Without You


Survival Is Insufficient

March 18, 2018

I officially ran out of milk this morning, but I haven’t gotten to the grocery store yet, so I’m using cream in my tea. It’s a bit much…not my favorite taste, but my brain has informed me that the tea is necessary and it’s my fault for remembering a burrito on the way home last night but not milk. To my credit, the burrito place didn’t also carry milk, and I don’t think horchata would be good in tea. So there.

Yesterday I spent 9 hours in the car with the same 3 women (we didn’t lose anyone) avoiding all the Los Angeles traffic (don’t know how) and going to two diverse openings, eating cheese, crackers, pretzels, bread, and a bit of wine. Some tea. Lots of ignoring Siri wanting me to go here or there for no apparent reason. I came home exhausted. I finished my book…this is funny, actually. Apparently the library app tells you how many hours until the book is due, so I’m sitting there with an app that won’t update, finally driving to the house where I’m picking everyone up, reading while pumping gas, trying to finish the book, with 49 pages to go. Nope. We had to leave. Someone suggested going to Barnes and Noble to finish those pages (I was gonna do that). But when I got home with my burrito, I opened the app, expecting the book to be gone, and it was there! So they calculate the 21 days based on the time I checked it out, but it doesn’t actually RETURN until midnight. Oh hallelujah, I finished. I hate not finishing. So that was positive.
The whole day was pretty freakin’ positive. It’s nice to hear people talk about your work. It’s fun to see all the connections between artists in your life and other people too…one of the artists in the second show is married to a man who used to manage a science program I was involved in…so it’s a small world.

Anyway, at some point, I’ll post the two shows…for now, I just have some bits and pieces. The first show is at the Branch Gallery until May 6. I’ll be back on April 14 for the artists’ talk…

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There’s my piece with other members of California Fibers (I’ll post all this later this week)…

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She’s big! But looked nice with the high ceilings. She’s called I Can’t Be Your Superwoman.

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People were asking if it’s my biggest piece. She’s 52″w x 88″h. I have some that are 72″ wide and more squarish…so it’s a crapshoot as to whether she’s the biggest. I’d have to do math to figure that out.

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It has 1323 pieces (approximately)…so a lot. But not as bad as some.

We had plenty of people at the opening, lots of artists.

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We checked out the knitting store next door, and then the fabric store, Sew Together. We did in fact purchase some fabric (shocking). It was different stuff than I usually see down here…they had a class going on while we were there.

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Their bathroom sign.

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Then we kamikazed down to Oceanside…and saw this parked outside the museum…

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Our show Artifacts is part of the big read in Oceanside. The city read Station 11 by Emily St. John Mandel. I read it last year before entering the show. It’s a cool idea.

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My piece, Give Me Time, is part of that show…

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I’ll post more about that show later too…but there were interesting bits from the book all over…

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Waiting outside for my crew to find their ways back out…

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A much bigger opening…

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Girlchild has been a little absent lately, apparently because she’s on Insta instead.

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My friend Susan made these for the March for Our Lives on Saturday…

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We’re watching you! I think that’s what it’s for.

Here’s some of the fabric I bought yesterday…

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Lots of black and white. Plus hedgehogs. Can’t explain that.

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OK, so I have three quilts to deliver to the photographer, I have school stuff to do, there’s the grocery shopping, my head throbbing, and cleaning the studio so I can start picking fabrics tonight for the next quilt. It was a good day, but I’m feeling a bit Hit-by-a-Mack-Truck this morning. Hopefully that will improve over time.


In the Key That Our Souls Were Singing*

December 2, 2017

OK. Well that was an exhausting week. I got to sleep last night, despite 46 texts from my kids while I was asleep, plus a text and phone call from the pool guy, and a very insistent, apparently starving cat. I have lots of plans for the weekend, but as always, everything small and tiny takes up all the time. I’m still in pajamas (hey, I was in pajamas all day yesterday) and the first cup of tea hasn’t quite kicked in. Probably need to make cup number 2.

In good news, we made concrete and learned about superplasticizer and nobody died or got concrete up their noses, so we’re good.

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What’s funny is that they all had the same recipe…but look at the results.

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That’s a sign of what we deal with every freakin’ day. I’m laughing, actually, because otherwise I would be crying. Two more weeks. Two more weeks with a field trip and an official observation. I didn’t leave work yesterday until after 5:15, because we had to clean up all the concrete stuff, help the company who came out pack up all the stuffs, and then try to revise our field trip and notify everyone in the world that we were doing that.

I made it to gaming…but brought shit to cut out, because I’m trying to be DONE DAMMIT. I’m a little over 17 hours in…

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Home to puppy. Fell asleep soundly for a good long time…

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So I’m almost done. The bottom has maybe 10-15 pieces left. And then I’m done.

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Did I mention that I was almost done?

So. I can’t work on that until I get through the second readthrough on the copyediting. Doing that now. Then finish cutting and sort the pieces. Then IRONING! Woo hoo! Finally get to see it go together.

I got into a cool show this week that will be at the Oceanside Museum of Art February through July, opening March 17 from 6-8 PM (I can put 4 people on the free list to get in). It’s called Artifacts, and will be opening with two other exhibits at the museum, all based on the book Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, about a future civilization where we have lost electricity and many other things that make our society go. I did read the book before entering. I’ve seen the work that will be in our exhibit, which is with Allied Craftsmen, and it is pretty amazing…wood, ceramics, fiber, basketry…a wide variety of good stuff. So that was good news.

And I’m looking forward to some music and drawing tonight…need some down time after all this.

*Earth Wind and Fire, September


Things Don’t Feel Right Over Here*

June 24, 2017

Yesterday we had a nice hike planned, and it started out that way, but didn’t end so well. I almost wasn’t going to write about it, because on some level, to me at least, it’s embarrassing, but realizing that first of all, I do write about a whole shitload of my personal experiences on here because it helps me process stuff and get it out of my head, and second of all, I really have nothing to be embarrassed about…that shit happens and I should try to see the interesting and the good in all of it. That’s how I’ve been trying to roll for the last few years, and I should just keep on keeping on.

So we started the hike and I was fine for quite a while…it was Sunset Trail, planning to come back on Big Laguna, up near Mt. Laguna off Sunset Highway. I’ve done portions of this hike or exactly this hike maybe 5 or 6 times, so this is not a newbie thing. I was fueled by one of the boychild’s really tasty apple cheddar scones (Smitten Kitchen, amazing taste)…

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It was warm, but no warmer than other hikes. We had expected it to be a little cooler though, based on the weather apps.

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There was a wide variety of seedheads to wonder about…this one was huge.

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And beautiful views, although lacking the partial cloudiness that had also been promised.

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I took a photo here of both kids about a year ago…

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And here as well…

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I was still doing OK here. I had plenty of water and was moving slowly because of the heat, but I was moving.

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Here’s Water of the Woods…no cows this time (boychild says they were just beyond here to the right…)

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Certainly more water than we saw last year…which is partly why I wanted to come up here…to see water in Big Laguna…

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Going up the hill to the second section of Sunset Trail…this is where I started to really feel the heat…

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But I was still OK enough to see and photograph wild strawberries.

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And then sometime after that, in the next mile, my body revolted. I’ve had heat exhaustion before, but this was pretty bad. I started a new medication earlier this week that probably contributed to this…it causes dehydration and dizziness. I’d had one bout of dizziness early on after starting the med, but was fine the two days before, so I wasn’t expecting my body to just stop. But stop it did. Every time I stood up and tried to get another few 100 yards, I would feel like I was going to fall over. At some point, the boychild and I decided to call…so that’s my helicopter. I got lifted out to a local park where they evaluated me. After some cool air and rest, they released me to my promise to get electrolytes in me and that the boychild was coming back to get me…which he did. He hiked back and got the car and came to the park for me.

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I had 5 Forest Service guys, who helped out and trained a newbie on how to assist a heat-exhausted hiker who had plenty of water (I really did…this is where the med was an issue), then 2 guys with the helicopter, 3 in the ambulance, and a paramedics truck with 2 more guys in it. Another newbie was training in the ambulance. I’m glad I provided them with a willing victim on which to practice.

One of the best parts was the helicopter ride…there was no door, but I was strapped in and holding on with both hands. Pretty awesome…although as he landed it in the park, there were 17 people recording the landing with their phones. Oh yeah. I thanked everybody, except my own body, which wouldn’t follow directions. Came home, called doctor, and she pulled me off the medication. Seems that’s not what it’s supposed to do, shockingly. I’ve drunk a ton of fluids and I’m still nauseous and headachy…it takes up to three days for the medication to get out of my system.

I’m often frustrated with my body’s inability to behave. I’ve been diabetic for 15 years now and I try to deal with it the best I can, but it’s frustrating as hell some days. If you’ve seen my piece Fully Medicated, you can see the issue’s been around for a while…

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Yeah, that’s the second penis-free quilt that AQS pulled from their exhibit last year…all about managing medications and how they affect your body. I would love to be medication free, but it doesn’t happen. So I’m back to a previous medication now and trying to find a better balance, whatever that means.

I will hike again as soon as I get this shit out of my system. Although now I’m nervous about it, worried my body might fail me. No matter how stubborn and persistent my mind is, my body needs to be well enough to follow through.

I did finish Block 9 of Folk Tails last night though. This is not the 9th block I’ve finished…just Block 9. I think it’s the 7th one I’ve finished…

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This looks like the 6th one I’ve finished, but there’s another half-done double block lurking somewhere…not sure where. Attached to something else probably.

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This is Block 10. A bigger hippo this time.

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I have two nights stitched on here as well…mostly two different blues on the left, filling in the herringbone stitches with fly and straight stitches.

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On Thursday night, we did an artists’ talk at Sparks Gallery for the Allied Craftsmen show…

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It was interesting, although it would be nice to have more people show up. It is downtown though, and a Thursday night. It was nice of them to host it. The best part was hearing fellow artists talk about their work and process…sometimes what we do overlaps and sometimes it doesn’t. Turns out I’m a planner (didn’t used to be…and I wanted to do one this summer that wasn’t planned…not sure that’s going to happen at this rate). But you probably knew all that by watching what I post.

OK, so I have work planned out for the next few days. I’m hoping the nausea goes away and I feel more like myself soon. I’m hoping the new med gets out of my system and lets me exercise without feeling like dying. I’m hoping to get back out on that trail and next time pass by that meadow where the helicopter landed and keep on going, strong as I ever was.

*The Roots, Don’t Feel Right


Far from This Opera for Evermore*

May 11, 2017

Somewhere about two months ago or so, I must have run out of Wonder Under, the fusible stuff I use when I make quilts. I’m sure somewhere in my head was a reminder to buy more, a reminder that fell into a back corner of my brain, pushed out by more highly prioritized items, like buy cat food, sleep more than 4 hours a night, and don’t forget to do the laundry. That’s unfortunate, because when I finally made it home yesterday after testing (Day 1 of state-induced hell), a team meeting, a union meeting, AND book club, I was looking for Wonder Under to trace the new piece…and not finding it. Ugh. Argh. Crap.

So I found what I could…

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Which was little bits and pieces and one larger piece. And that larger piece is pretty beat up. But it’s better than nothing, right? It’s not like I have time to go to the hell that is JoAnns for more. I have quilts to pick up from the photographer today, plus apparently I’m going to have to try to fit a vet visit in…I’m pretty sure that’s not gonna work, but both dogs are still sucking on toes even with cones on. I had to involve my ex, the dog whisperer last night, to deal with Mr. BiteyFace because of the cone.

So I will make do with what I have. Despite exhaustion again last night (sure, it’s an every night thing at this point), I traced for almost an hour, until my SIL called to discuss…well…never mind what she wanted to discuss, but it was one of the more amusing phone calls I’ve had lately. Lots of discussion of the shitty jobs we had in college and right out of school, as well, though…which is something to keep in mind as my own kids job hunt. Nobody had a great job out of college. I worked as a temp for at least a year. Shockingly, degrees in art and comparative literature don’t have great job prospects. Things they don’t tell you in college.

Anyway, you can see what I did get traced…I think I’m in the 100s. So another night, probably tonight, I should be done.

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I do have to put on at least one quilt label tonight and figure out hanging hardware for a drop off on Saturday.

I did more hand…almost filled in now. Well, if you ignore that huge space at the bottom. Maybe I’ll fill that with Xs or seed stitch.

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Saturday’s drop off is for this show, opening May 27, 6-9 PM.

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Here’s the other side of the card, featured All Stacked Up in My Head, the piece that needs a label and hanging hardware.

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It’s one of two pieces I’ll have in the show. I won’t be at the opening, but my work will. It has a better social life than I do.

One thing I’m looking forward to today? Kids are done with testing at 12:30 and then we can go OUT to lunch. I know that seems like no big deal, but as a teacher, we never go out to lunch because, well, lunch is 30 minutes long and that includes shooing kids out of the classroom, heating up your food, and peeing for the first time in three hours, so it’s a fast thing, not a leave-work-and-travel thing. First, though, we do need to survive Day 2 of testing, a challenge in itself. Lunch will be well-deserved.

*The White Stripes, Seven-Nation Army


Read the Lines in My Hand*

April 20, 2017

AAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCKKKKKKKKK.

OK. Yeah. Better. Nope. Not really. Realizing how many things are on the to-do list while simultaneously realizing how little time there is to do them. My right eye is twitching again. It’s not supposed to do that on break. And it doesn’t seem to matter that I got a ton done yesterday…today it has multiplied into a monstrously larger amount, I don’t even know how. Part of it is trying to manage four different shows (maybe more?)…finishing work, putting labels on, suspect I need to go shopping for slats or dowels, plus shipping them off…gotta get all that done today and tomorrow. Plus the parentals are gone, so I have their dog on top of mine. And I’m supposed to be deciding what quilts will be in my solo show in July, because I need to know by next Friday. Aack. Double Aack. I have some that are definites (including the one I haven’t finished, oh shit), but I’m blanking on some of the others. Not sure. Need it to fit with the title. Maybe. Maybe it all fits. Who knows? I can’t wrap my brain around it right this minute. Realizing that this weekend is busy as hell, all of a sudden. OK, the realization was all of a sudden…it’s been booked for months.

All I can do is start banging through the list, as always. This is how school stuff doesn’t get done, though…because I’m trying to finish the personal stuff…and that doesn’t even include my original Spring Break goals of finishing all the weeding (ah ha ha ha) and figuring out where all the quilts should be stored and getting my bedroom chaos under control. That shit’s just not happening at all.

So. I got up yesterday and graded one of the longer assignments. Then I started cutting, and I did that for about 4 1/2 hours…

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And then I was done. So 9 hours plus total, I think. And my hand isn’t even that stiff. Good deal.

I had two dogs on the couch with me for most of it…not sure why. I know I’ve been the most boring owner ever this week. Sorry guys.

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Then the third dog showed up and the shenanigans began…

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I ignored them and went on to sorting the pieces out…

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And then came in here and started ironing…

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I am doing all the stuff around the bathtub first…it seems easier that way…

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Well, this tree wasn’t really easy…but it was logical…sort of.

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And I got the cat done after midnight…and that’s where I stopped.

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200 pieces ironed down…only 500 to go. That was my goal for today…I think. I’m not sure I can pull it off though. I have 5 quilts to pull from the pile, check all of them for labels, put labels on those that don’t have them, ship 3 to one location, put 2 in a pile for another location, and then there’s another that’s still in a box that needs to be shipped back. Each batch, I need to look up what else needs to be sent…artist statement? Slats? Return shipping? Who knows. Pain in the ass. Except the work is gonna be out there, so that’s a plus.

Two of the pieces are in this show…which will be up until July 10, I think. The piece on the right is mine, and there will be another smaller piece of mine in the show. I won’t make it to the opening though…it’s free, but you need to register. I think that gets you a free wine ticket though, so you should go.

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And then I’m in this one…but I’m not sure whether it’s just the one piece on the announcement or not. I should be at this opening…

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Anyway, wasting less time here and trying to get everything done without panicking. This is the part where my counselor tells me I must like being overwhelmed because I keep getting into that space. WTF. I don’t know how NOT to get there. Sigh.

*Elliott Smith, Miss Misery