See Where That Goes…

Hey y’all. Two days of silence. Well, only here. The rest of my existence has been loud. I just didn’t have time to write in the last two days. But today, I am back to school, and this is part of my morning wakeup routine. I’m really not awake until after 9 AM, which is difficult, because I usually have students at 9. And they require interaction…energy I usually don’t have at 9 AM. Hence writing, which gets the word part of my brain in gear, plus also makes me reflect on the day and what I might need or want to get done.

Needs and wants are often very different, of course. I want to go back to sleep, because oh hells that was a shitty night’s sleep and I’m mostly braindead…but no, I get to sit through a few hours (or more) of meetings and professional development, which is pretty much the bane of my existence. I mean, I guess another colonoscopy would be worse, but I don’t need another one of those for like 10 years, so that’s a plus. These damn things come every week (although not the all-day version, which has its own special level of suckage). It is what it is. My day job pays the bills and is generally not boring and I even enjoy the teaching/kid parts (well, mostly), although not when I realize two of my top students were copying off each other. I’m disappointed in that.

I’m also sort of reeling still about finding out Saturday that my cousin Jennifer died. She was a sweet and quietly sarcastic woman and although she had been sick for a while, we all had hope that things would turn around. I did see her in October, but had plans to do that again…too late. So I’m sort of walking around in a daze with that one…trying to put something that makes sense in that hole in my head where she resided.

Saturday I was in Palm Springs for a class taught by Svetlana Shigroff…who I follow on Instagram. I’m not sure how I found her…Instagram has its algorithms…”you like this so your friends like that”. I had seen her work and then a video of her making the work, and I was fascinated by the process and the product. I feel like I should follow those urges to learn new things, so when I saw she had a class coming up (I actually missed the first one in November, couldn’t go then), I signed up. Yes, it’s a 2-hour drive. Each way. It was Winter Break. I felt like I could handle that.

And I could…the class was tufting, which is kind of like rug hooking…here’s the setup…

You can see the weird tool we used on the frame.

You work from the back…

It took me a while to get the loops regular and consistent…

This is still from the back. You can use a variety of fabrics, but I stuck to jersey because for me, it was more about the image than the texture.

There were about 13 people in class. I’m pretty sure I knew one of them from somewhere (odds of that)?

Still from the back. Definitely some new muscles using this beast.

I got as much done as I could…

Here’s the whole class with their pieces…

I’m famous! Nah. But if you want to follow the artist on Instagram, you can…

You can see I didn’t sit for this…

And she had a better picture of the group than I did.

I made it home by 5:30 and settled down for some cheery Chernobyl and brainless stitching.

The next day, I had an opening up at the beach…so you need to see the water…yeah?

I have two pieces in this show with Allied Craftsmen at the Front Porch Gallery in Carlsbad, California. This is my work, Desert Daughter, in front of Arline Fisch’s cool metalwork.

And my snarky self with Some Like It Hot…which meant I got to explain menopause to two college students.

Home to kitten activity…and getting ready for school.

Sometimes they stop moving. On me.

Finally started drawing again…this thing will be done soon, with or without Luna’s help…

It’s coming. All good. Meanwhile, school is back in the schedule. I can be irritated by the lack of work I got done over break, but there’s no need or purpose for that. I am trying to process Jennifer’s absence. I have a lot of grading that’s still not done. I can’t fix all that. I can just start now and see where it all goes.

Quickly…

This is quick. I need to leave. Oh wait. I really need to leave. Never mind. I’m bringing it with me. Openings that are only 14 hours apart. Hence my headache. No wine at the last one. Nothing but coffee and yogurt at this one. Ouch.

So this is from last night’s opening of That’s What She Said…Artists Speak Out, at the Martha Pace Swift Gallery in Liberty Station. This is a Feminist Image Group (FIG) show and is up until January. There’s an opening every first Friday that I’m going to try to be at, so plenty of time to see this show.

I have two pieces in the show…this is All Stacked Up in My Head…

At some point, I’ll get an official post up for this one…not sure when.

I came home late and graded and went to bed, got up this morning and drove to another opening…Metamorphosis. This is Allied Craftsmen, another group I’m in, with the Mingei Museum, which is currently under construction, so the show is at the San Diego City College Art Gallery until December. This is the member preview…the real opening is Thursday from 5-7 PM. I’ll be there too.

My piece is way down on that wall.

I’m staring to lose track of where everything is. That’s Womanscape.

I also found out yesterday that Swallow Me Whole won 1st place in the Surface Design Association show Beyond the Surface…so that’s cool.

Meanwhile I need to grade like crazy today, hopefully engage in some actual art making time, and go watch the man perform. Exhausted already. Plus still have a sick kitty. It’ll be fine.

What a Good Place to Be*

It’s a good day. It’s a Friday. We’re done with three days of labs and almost done with this hellacious pilot of a unit. Ah to teach the stuff I know works! AND I sold two quilts yesterday. In fact, my portion of my son’s college loans will hopefully be paid off with the sale of the last three quilts. I wonder sometimes what it will feel like to not have to come up with these crazy sums of money to pay stuff off. Maybe that never stops. But if I didn’t have the college stuff, I’d be most of the way toward remodeling one of the bathrooms in this house, which is next on the list: two new bathrooms, a new kitchen, and a backyard redo with a much smaller, more useful pool. Of course, the tree guy is coming sometime in the next month too, so that money needs to come from somewhere. Yikes. It’ll be fine!

I did go update the current shows and recent work sections of my website, as well as marking those two sold. It’s all good. Oh yeah, and I got a rejection and an acceptance in one morning…I Can’t Be Your Superwoman will be at CraftForms 2019 in December, one of 90 chosen from 1300 entries. Not bad…

I have two more shows to enter this weekend. Keep making! Like I need an excuse. Seriously.

I did stitch a little last night. Like one leaf. I sent my shopping list for the drop-in workshop I’m teaching on November 9…come by City College, see the Allied Craftsmen show Metamorphosis, and then hang out with me and fabric and thread! No really. Please. I’ll be there from 1-3 imparting my wisdom. Whatever that means. I’m used to teaching 12-year-olds, so if I tell you to spit out your gum, I apologize.

I did eventually iron. It really is super slow. I’m hoping to be done by the end of the weekend, but I’m not sure it’s possible. I ironed lightning, some stars, the moon, a mountain, and an ocotillo.

Maybe another 50 pieces?

I’ve been ironing for almost 10 hours and I’m only in the 300s. So weird. Not sure why. Lots of searching for colors. I like things that are real to be real colors…whatever that means.

And then I sat on the floor with all my flesh-colored drawers and picked the flesh run…which honestly is most of the quilt. Although I might make the leg sky color. Or part of it at least. Haven’t decided.

I get into habits with certain fabrics and keep using them over and over. I tried to branch out with this, reach into the far back of the fabric drawers, where stuff gets pushed back and never seen. The stuff in the front gets used all the time. That’s why it’s in the front, eh? It was 11:30 PM, though, and this week has kicked my ass. So I went to bed, because there was no way in hell I was going to be able to iron anything before I needed to sleep…and it’s easier to pick the whole flesh run in one go. Tonight? Although I need to grade. I need to grade while I’m awake. Picking fabrics is a different part of my brain…much easier than reading kid essays. That’s the rest of my weekend.

Yesterday morning’s partners…

See this room needs remodeling too. Nice floor. That’s what happens when you iron on the floor. Sigh. Easier than bathrooms though. Floor, walls, storage. I’d love to bump it out a foot or too. I’ll definitely replace the damn doors. Maybe a new window. One with a perch for the cats. I can dream. Bedroom side of the house needs new carpet too. All new flooring honestly. Sigh. It’s never-ending. I can’t stop working until I get through a good chunk of it…if not all of it. It’s not that I want to stop working right now…it just seems overwhelming right now to do all that work…and pay for it.

Then again, it is Friday. Everything seems overwhelming at the moment. But we get through it anyway. Happy Friday all!

*The Housemartins, Happy Hour

Unless This Music’s Thumping*

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*

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

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*

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