Reasonable Requests

OK, the internet is working but who knows how long it will hang out here. We have another solution we’ve ordered and is on the way. Hopefully it will solve the problem. But I’m actually typing this on my computer instead of my iPad, my phone, or my school laptop at the moment. A blessing!

So. Saturday. I finished grading a bunch of stuff and then went in and finished ironing. You can see I have Kitten as a companion AND the internet was working. I have no idea what I’m watching…either Luther or Maniac on Netflix.

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It only took another 30 minutes or so to iron it down to the background. In total, this quilt ironed together in 6 hours and 45 minutes…

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The wonder of smaller quilts. Then, since I was waiting around anyway, I started stitching it down.

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I guess I could have graded something else, but like I’ve said before…I don’t like giving up my entire weekend to school. Kitten was happily ensconsed in my chair. (Dear WordPress..that is TOO a word.)

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More stitching down…it took just under 3 hours to stitch it all down.

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So I finished on Saturday afternoon…well, evening. Then a relaxed dinner at home with a weird movie and some stitching with cat paws on the leg…

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After the movie, I drew for a bit. I’m skipping one of the shows I wanted to enter because I don’t have time to make something for it…really…I could, but it would hurt. I need to relax a bit. So I’m aiming a little further out. I needed to work out some ideas in my head, and this was a good start. It’s going to need a redo, but I took a bunch of notes to myself and I have a plan in my head now.

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Sunday brought dogs. Some are more social than others. Simba, we’re talking to your cranky butt. He used to play with Katie, but he’s been cranky this time.

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Just wants people cuddles. We had storm clouds come in and rain on us for about 14 seconds…the remnants of a tropical storm coming up through Mexico are going to just tickle us with horrendous humidity as they go by.

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This is after Sunday dinner…got the road done in that section and started work on the butterfly, the last block in July. Then the tree and house, plus the giraffe and horned thing on the bottom are August. I have September sewn down and then was messing with October in here last night, trying to figure out what to do with all the bits and pieces…

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With October, then I sew the whole quilt together. I’m not sure what happens in November? I think borders. I’m not sure where that bag is. It’ll take me some time to get there though.

See, I come in here and then they lie down all over the floor again. It’s like Twister getting around them.

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Here’s our newest baby gecko. It’s hiding in a little hole in the sink drain down there. Can’t get it out. We should name him. Fred.

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We’ve had a lot of them this year.

So after dinner, I did some school stuff, sort of finished progress reports. I have a few things I’ll update today, and then I’m done. So I pinbasted this one…

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AND this one. Because once you’ve cleaned the floor and moved stuff out of the way, you might as well do all of them.

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So that’s two wool quilts ready for quilting. Ha! Well I don’t know when that will happen. I guess I finished one over the summer that had been languishing for years. I seem to like working to deadlines at the moment, so they tend to take precedent over the other stuff.

Anyway, so I can start quilting tonight, if I have the energy. I’m running on extra tired for some reason. Still. Take the vitamins, eat the foods, get the exercise. It took a long time to fall asleep last night. I’m feeling it this morning. As always. May this week be less tiring than it looks when I stare at the calendar. May there be art every night. Those seem like reasonable requests.

Almost Ironed

Computer refusing to function again. Probably going to have to manage that soon. It’s frustrating. I’m not even sure where to start. It’s interesting how much we rely on the internet for our existence…for those of us who remember having to function without it. It was on the internet I read the statements made yesterday to the Senate Judiciary Committee, since I was at work all day. Very triggering stuff. I don’t know any woman who could do what she did and be lying about it. I don’t care that he was in high school…it’s a testament to his character, as was his testimony yesterday. He’s unfit to be in the most powerful court in the country. He already was, based on his personal bias. This country I live in right now? It’s ugly. It’s always been ugly though, big parts of it…racism, sexism. I guess it’s just more obvious now. In our faces. There’s white privilege showing. If I were a POC, the ugly would have been in my face all along.

Yes, my head is in a place. Knowing what’s wrong is one thing. Knowing how to make it right is the problem.

I got home early yesterday, but the boychild and I had to deal with the flea infestation at the parentals, so we did that. And then I tried inputting grades, but the computer refused after a while…so I went back to the school computer. Got those in (oh so slowly…10-key input is so much faster).

The good news is that I finally finished all the embroidery on those 96 balls. I don’t remember when I started this…late 2013? Probably 2014…

She Spargo’s design, stitched by me at every soccer game I went to for many years. Sat around for at least a year, getting the guts to put all those stems and balls on. Supposed to be done ages ago. Now I just need to quilt it, which is funny because I still haven’t quilted the one I finished before it.

Cat and dog and new keyboard (finally…most of the letters are worn off)…

Time to iron. I was super tired. This week…

Cat and bird…

Hair and tree done…fussy skinny pieces.

All the leaves ready to go.

So everything is ready to get ironed on the background…once I finish grades. Ugh. I like it so far though. I wasn’t sure in the beginning. Hopefully the background color works. I guess we’ll see.

I Killed Another Red Pen…

Oh my. Two early mornings in a row. I keep going to bed a little earlier, thinking it will help. It’s not. Of course, yesterday’s 11-hour work day did not help. I meant to leave work early, but we revised everything after school for today’s lesson, so I got home late and then sat right down and graded more of the science units. I finished the last class at 10:30 PM. Dinner was in there somewhere. I had help with that.

I killed one red pen…

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Some kid shoved their homework (that they didn’t do) into the science unit. Good way to hide it, man! I’ll never see it in there. You probably think you turned it in! I did actually have kids turn it in blank. I guess it saves them in the moment, because I see 4 papers and don’t call them on it right then and there. I just hand it back with a zero on it though. So I’m not sure how that works.

I only got two balls done after dinner. Slow stitching. Or slow eating. Not sure which. There was a puppy though!

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I think there’s only 3 balls left. Maybe tonight?

Kitten doesn’t really like anyone but me. They all scare her. Here’s boychild making friends with the use of catnip, rubbing it all over her face. She was a little drooly.

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She does like the head scratches. My parents’ dog, Katie, is behaving better this year. Not as much cat chasing. Kitten has made it down the hallway without being chased. Guess Katie is getting old.

So yeah, at 10:30, I came in to iron, after packing up all the school stuff. I only got about 45 minutes in…too tired. I finished the belly and the breasts and that other hand, plus the neck.

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There’s about 120 pieces left. One night if I weren’t doing other stuff. I might get it done tonight…it’s possible. I also have to find two quilts that need to be delivered on Saturday, though…make sure I have the hanging hardware, iron them, dehair them, roll them up. Meanwhile, my doctor is harassing me for more blood tests. I told her the weekend (I seriously can’t handle that after school right now…I didn’t even leave early enough yesterday…or Tuesday…or Monday even.). I will do it Saturday. Along with everything else I can’t get done right now.

Deep breaths. Caffeine. The patience of a saint (I don’t have that last one. Wish me luck.).

Needing the Art…

Well I worked a lot this weekend. I got a lot done. It never feels like enough, because there is always more, but it was a good two days. Until your SIL asks what you did all weekend, and all you can say is “graded shit.” Well. It needed to be done. The next few weeks are busy…more for my date-night companion than for me, but mine will translate into more grades (progress reports are due next week) and hopefully artmaking. I carved out time yesterday for a significant chunk of that. At some point, I’ve done enough grading and I need to do something else.

One thing we did (well, the boychild did) was replace the wireless card in my computer, trying to solve the internet problem in here.

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Spiders had been in there. Weird. The plus is that when I have internet, it is now much faster. The minus is that I am still losing the internet…but only on the computer. The laptop and other devices work fine in here. Sigh. So that’s still a problem that needs solving.

I did do some work in the morning, schoolwork, but after 8 or so hours on Saturday of that, I wasn’t giving up the rest of the day. I started ironing around 4:30 PM…

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This one shouldn’t take long…

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I took a break to make this week’s lunches and start dinner prep. It was group cook night…make your own damn pizza. Although I did the dough prep.

So during dinner’s TV watching hour, I did more of these. I didn’t get much done last week on this.

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I think I still have 7 of them left. SLOOOWWW. I remember predicting the end of July. Maybe the end of September? That’s a little less than a week away. I only work on it when we’re both home and eat together, so last week, I think that was one night? Maybe 2?

Anyway, after that, it was back to the ironing. These are all the 100s, in stacks by 10s.

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I started by ironing the fruit and the fruit bowl separate and then putting them where they belong…

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Then working on the legs…back hip and roots first, then back foot…

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Simba was with me for a while…

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Here’s the whole front leg done…

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And then the heart and starting on the front arm.

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The bird and nest are done, but I quit before ironing all the leaves on. It was just about midnight at that point.

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And I would have had to lay out all the 300s and cut out a lot of the leaves (they’re small) before being able to iron them down. I do try to head to bed around midnight. So I ironed for 3 1/2 hours and I’m more than halfway done. I won’t get that much time tonight, but I will get some. We’ll see how well I do, but I would hope to be stitching down by Wednesday or so. I don’t have any night meetings this week until Friday, so that’s a plus. I do need to grade a lot still though…hopefully mostly at school. We’ll see.

I did not get the copyediting job, so that’s actually kind of a plus. He wasn’t the most accurate guy when it came to communication. Turns out he wasn’t just ignoring me for days…he was getting other quotes, which I don’t mind…but TELL me you received my bid and then TELL me why you aren’t answering. Geez. Professionalism. Meanwhile, I have students begging me to grade their late work (I do that once a week and I did it Sunday morning) and demanding that I change their grade because I didn’t tell them about the back page (I did) and kids losing their science folders in their backpacks (yikes!). Sigh. This job carries a significant amount of frustration, true. That’s why I love (and need) the art so much. Hell, I’d need the art no matter what I did for a living.

I’m Not Expecting to Grow Flowers in a Desert*

I was more successful at making art last night. Despite the long day, I managed almost 2 1/2 hours on the quilt…mostly dealing with the fleshy bits. But before that, there was dinner and a little bit of this. Remember last week when I said it would probably only take 5 more nights to finish these? Except I wasn’t home for the next 4? Well here’s where I finally worked on it…

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Still not done. Working on it.

Then I came in here and dealt with paperwork for one show, prepped it all and sent it off. I still need to do another one, but I need to buy a shipping box, which means I need to get to the place that sells them during their opening hours, which means I need to NOT be at school during their opening hours. This is more difficult than you might think. I’m going to try this morning, I think.

Then I finally started ironing. I pretty much started with the flesh run…6 fabrics from light to dark. Which means crawling around on the ground under the sewing table, because that’s where all the flesh colors are. I mean, something has to go under there…it’s not like there’s colors I don’t use so I can hide them away. I realize when I’m 70 that crawling under the table might be an issue, but at 51, I’m still doing it.

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So I ironed all of those down. It takes about an hour to pick them, and this is a smaller, less complicated figure than most…and then an hour to iron them. Here’s one of the colors…

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I do try to fit them together in such a way that I’m wasting the least amount of fabric. When people think that I am only right-brained, I show them things like this and explain why, and they raise their eyebrows right into their hairline. It’s the same when I tell them about numbering over 2000 pieces.

It’s a process. It works for me. Here’s all the fabrics I’ve used so far…not a lot of color yet.

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It will come. She’s decorated. It’s part of the poem. So there will be color all over her. I just haven’t gotten to that part yet.

Here’s the pile of stuff to be cut out.

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The real question is how much do I have left. I don’t know…because when I pulled the flesh pieces, I pulled from the 100s, 200s, 300s, and 400s…and this is what’s left.

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This is the hair, the decorations, the tree, the eyeballs, the lungs, the heart…all the non-fleshy bits. They all still need ironing. I guess that’s tonight…after yet another meeting. I’m supposed to have book club, but I don’t think that’s happening. I haven’t given up on it yet…but I’m pretty sure I’m not going. Sigh. It’s OK…I haven’t finished the book anyway. I will…just not this week, not with meetings and crap every night until I collapse on Friday.

Meanwhile, here’s Satchemo, lying on my lunch bag. He likes the kitchen counter. It has the potential for foods.

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Here’s the poster/announcement for the Extreme Fiber Art show I’m in right now in Springfield, Missouri, great idea of Pam Rubert. My quilt Untied is in the bottom center, next to Susan Shie’s work.

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Pretty cool show…

And then I saw this yesterday…Richard Scarry was my favorite when I was a kid. I blame him for my artistic need to fill the page…OVERFILL the page. Him and Dr. Suess…way too much influence, if you ask me.

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Ruben Bolling is apparently a pseudonym for Ken Fisher, a cartoonist, the author of Tom the Dancing Bug. “His pieces demonstrate concern about the power of large corporations and satirize the way government has been corrupted by money.” According to Wikipedia anyway. Well, I appreciate his comic anyway. You can go check out some of his other comics here. I could spend some significant time over there, but I need to go buy a box. Before school.

*Big Country, In a Big Country

Some People Say I’ve Done Alright for a Girl*

I wake up in the morning and my brain is still heavily involved in a conversation it was having with itself last night before I went to bed. Like maybe it went on all night while I was sleeping (not that I slept all night; y’all know how that goes…it might be why my eyes are a bit twitchy this morning) and it will continue to go on while I’m teaching and maybe I’ll get reinvolved in the conversation some time after school. If it lets me. I wonder sometimes if I’m a little insane, because it really does feel like parts of my brain are over there discussing things without telling me until something is decided. And then I remember Art Brain. I constantly let her go wander around with drawings. She always comes back, sometimes years from now, like the most recent quilt.

This is Womanscape.

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She’s big…54″ wide by almost 82″ high. I like to do one really big quilt a year, usually over the summer. Last year was a bit weird for that, because I finished the big one in January or so. There’s a lot going on in here…honestly, this is a picture of my brain having a bunch of mostly related conversations…starting with a drawing from 2012, tearing it up into bits, and reworking it into this.

I also finally photographed this one, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman

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Yup. It’s me. Back when I was young and skinny. My kids are in this one too. Shadows. I just realized girlchild has what looks like a target on her uterine area. Whoops. She’ll love that. Anyway, obviously I made this one for the IQF Power of Women show, but if she doesn’t get in, she’ll get in somewhere. So that was the summer…two quilts. Nice.

I think I entered 8 shows in the last 3 weeks. Waiting to hear on all of them. It’ll take a while. Probably be a bunch of rejections too. I do have one where I’m guaranteed to get one piece in. That’s a plus.

So I finally finished all those pink bullion knots! A miracle. There were a lot of them for some reason. Now I only have one color left, this blush orange, they call it. And here’s why I left it for last. That stitch. It’s crested chain stitch. It’s not HARD…but I keep having to look at the book to remember what to do next.

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Plus I’m not very good at keeping it even yet. Oh well. It’s progress. I always feel like I could embellish these Sue Spargo quilts forever, but then I remember I have more of them and maybe I should just finish it and move on! I know. Crazy.

I did finally get to tracing around 9:30 at night. I had tutoring after school and then went to Home Depot for wood slats for the quilts I need to deliver and then I was trying to book a hotel or AirBnB for the Chandler opening of Things That Matter in November. Yes! I’m going! It’s a long drive, and I may hate myself in the middle of it, but I’m going. We’re going. November will be a clusterfuck of travel. What’s new? Anyway, I traced for about 45 minutes, and then I was tired and nausea took over my brain.

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These new diabetes meds are a constant issue. The positive is they’ve brought my blood sugar down. The negative is they regularly make me sick to my stomach. I’m not sure what to do about it. I thought it was getting better, but the last week wasn’t great. Patience, I guess. This is how they make you lose weight (it’s one of the side effects)…you can’t eat or you throw up. Fun stuff.

Anyway, I took a break for about an hour and then felt better and started tracing again. I don’t do well with nausea. But then it was late, and even though now I felt fine and wanted to keep going, I also want to survive a day with middle-schoolers, so I went to bed. I’m in the 300s somewhere. So much for being done last night. I’m just under 3 hours in. More than halfway.

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Maybe tonight I will get more done and/or feel better. Some nights it doesn’t bug me…not sure why. And I get dehydrated but plain water makes it worse.

This is Kitten Television. She has pushed the slats over so she can watch the birds and the bunnies in the front yard.

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And if she’s really offended by their existence, she bangs the slats and wakes me up. My cat is so weird.

*The Dollyrots, Brand New Key

I’m Unusually Hard to Hold On to*

I’m thinking this was a very good weekend. It helps to have an extra day, doesn’t it? Especially for teachers, who usually lose a half to whole day of their weekend to planning and grades. I spent a significant chunk of time on school stuff, only because I had to organize the parent email for Sunday, but it wasn’t too bad. I know it will get worse, so I’m enjoying this weekend, when I had some time to laze around with a book or just NOT do something, which is really hard for me.

So we went to a couple of local wineries on Saturday afternoon…this one was nice, because of the view.

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It was a great day for grapes as well…

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And they had alpacas.

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We came home after and had some dinner, and I started trying to finish this drawing…

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And then decided I should stitch these to their boxes…these and four quilts need to be delivered next weekend for the Soka University show that opens on September 20.

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I’m going to have to figure out when I can go see it…since it’s only open Monday-Friday.

I’m still working on these…I have 5 pink balls left to embellish, and then all the dark orange ones…

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And then I’ll have TWO wool quilts that need quilting.

Puppy sleep…

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Ah yes, on Sunday, I finished the drawing. It’s good, although I’m still debating something in the top right.

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And then I numbered it…

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High 500s, I think. Not bad. Not huge. Not too complicated.

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Then we planned a hike to Hollenbeck Canyon this morning…need to get in one good long hike each month. Today was the day.

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It was shady and cool at the start…

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Those weird gourds…I’ve never seen the yellow flowers before though.

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And these spiky things are pretty cool…

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It’s definitely summer to fall here…

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Old oaks, mostly dry grass…this is near the top of the hellish hill…we hiked up from the dark green in the middle right. Boychild took a different (aka longer) route…

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You can’t see him, but he’s waving from the crotch between the two hills. He eventually caught up with us. Long legs and youth…I never had the first and I barely remember the latter.

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The path down into the back valley…

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There’s a coyote in this picture. Wave if you find him.

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Dead snake…probably got hit by the bike that went by earlier.

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And the long view out toward the south and the Jamul mountain range.

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Boychild for the win. It was a little over 5 1/2 miles. Not bad. Home before lunch!

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There’s all the parent emails I input and/or checked on Saturday. Kitten’s got this under control, yeah?

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OK, so on the schedule for today: enter one more show (I’m up to 6 or 7 I think), drop sewing machine at mom’s so she can take it in to the shop for me and they can figure out the tension/feed dog thing, make my lunches for the week, start tracing Wonder Under, pack up the 4 quilts that need to be delivered next weekend, put a label on one of those quilts, maybe read my book. Not a bad ending to a 3-day weekend.

*Sara Bareilles, Love Song

I Can’t Feel a Thing from My Head Down to My Toes*

I keep thinking I’ll get so much done, but then reality kicks me in the head. I did quilt. I did draw. I even walked dogs. All good things. I also drove 2 hours to pick up a quilt and went to the chiropractor. And made dinner from scratch. Still all good things. I did not finish the quilting. I didn’t even finish the outlining. That’s OK. I’m going to do more today. There’s progress…

Although, even though I checked the back for missed stitchdown areas, sure enough, there were three I fixed yesterday…the octopus tentacle was just one of them.

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Where the pin is. It’s OK. It happens most times.

Then quilting the rest of the legs, above the knees…

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Then the dogs earned a walk…and it was cooler (although still humid) yesterday, so we dragged them out to our regular place. I’ve seen the stinky melons on this vine, but don’t remember the spiky balls. So many plants around here have spiky balls for protection…

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And I don’t think I’ve seen these out there ever. It’s weird, because I was just there maybe a week and a half ago…so maybe the bushes were there, and the extreme heat made them flower?

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Lovely cloudy skies…cuts down on the temperatures. Not so today.

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And wild roses…not sure I’ve ever seen them blooming here. But they were beautiful.

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I made dinner…it was lovely. No seriously, it was. I’ll be eating leftovers tonight before book club…for a book I read over a year ago and don’t remember (I just wanna hang out with my book-club mates before school comes back and screws up my schedule). Then I finished all the orange balls (fly stitches) and started on the pink balls (bullion knots).

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Second to last set of balls.

Then back to quilting, up into the torso, which was a bit complicated.

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Uterus done (it’s not a vajayjay, people). Stomach, liver, intestines (it’s not pornography…it’s parts).

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Full view of that section. I have the upper torso, arms, and things floating around. Not a small amount left, but not hard.

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OK, quilting is never really HARD…it’s just time consuming and I’ve got a hard time sitting still sometimes. Like now. Hence the walk in the middle of quilting.

When it’s late and my co-housemates all go to bed, they prefer it if I’m not quilting. Apparently the WHOP WHOP WHOP noise of the machine with my music loud enough to cover that is disruptive to sleep. Who knew? Luckily, I have another project in process, so I moved into the living room to work on the drawing. I seriously haven’t started drawing before 11 PM on this thing most nights. It’s too hot in that room. I need to buy another fan. I used to have it in a certain place and it was easy to unplug and move. Now I share it (what!) and it’s not so easy to move. So a new fan would be smart.

Anyway, I had decided that the mermaid sea mother needed a viewpoint, but I had already drawn in that space. So I could use liquid paper, but then when I trace, there are multiple lines that show up with the light and it’s confusing. Usually that’s what I do, but this was a fairly straightforward cutout. So I did it.

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Then inserted paper behind and drew the earth.

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I added a few more things to the plastic trash.

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And then broke up all the water spaces. It looks really complicated, but I just needed smaller pieces of fabric for easier ironing. Lots of dead fish. But I think the ocean section is done. Although looking at this, the space under her arm looks empty. I need to visualize a sand fabric back there…it will be fine.

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Then while I was driving to Oceanside yesterday to pick up my quilt, I had some ideas for the last figures…definitely a breastfeeding woman. Faceless though…standing for many women? I guess. There’s another one on one of the other waves that I didn’t ink last night…she’s just in pencil.

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Here’s the whole drawing (ish…the top is falling off the back of the light table). As you can see, I’m getting there. Also penciled in is a volcanic area, and I need to put a skeleton in. And then maybe a bird or angel or something? Still considering that. Cherubim? Yeah. Maybe.

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This will be a fun one to explain. It started out as one thing and morphed into 17 other things and I think all I can do to explain it is to call it my brain on politics right now. It feels really bad. Although the Thai soccer players are out! That’s good! Distract me from judges and laws and stupid policies and tweets and everything else. We can’t look away…we don’t dare. But Shee-it. So this quilt is that. All that.

I spent about an hour this morning going through upcoming shows and deadlines and organizing for them. I don’t know if I’ll be able to enter everything I want to, just because I have a finite number of pieces available. But at least I have an outline and some organization for that. I do need to iron fabrics for the two little ones though, because they’re supposed to be done in 11 days. OK, stop hyperventilating. It will be fine. They’re small. You could finish both of them in about 2 or 3 hours if you wanted to. Shush.

What I need right now though is breakfast. And then once I finish the legal stuff I have to do today, then I can quilt all afternoon. It’s warm, but there’s a breeze…and two fans in here. One day at a time. (don’t think about the school stuff you have to organize before Friday. Shush.)

*Genesis, That’s All (so I had this significant other who used to give me shit for some of the music I listen to, and this is one of the bands he shamed me for, even though Pandora picked it this time. But I like Phil Collins…and his bald head…and his earnest voice. So I guess it’s a good thing that SO is out of the picture.)

All You’re Giving Me Is Fiction*

So the good news is that I’m released from jury duty all this week, so once again, I feel like I have to get EVERYTHING done this week. No really…car fixed, will done, chiropractor (oh hallelujah on that one), shipping stuff, calling back on insurance stuff, all the crap I never have time to do during the school year. But also, art. Because that shit needs to get on with it. Funny, I have people tell me all the time how prolific I am, but I’m sitting here staring at some deadlines instead of dealing with them. So I have calendars and white boards and to-do lists that remind me, and I look at them and then panic. I also have a task manager that tells me how LITTLE I’ve gotten done, when you consider that I am not going to work every day. I can’t explain that. I know that the pressures of school force me to be very efficient in how I work, and during the summer, my brain kinda rebels and refuses to behave appropriately, which is probably something that I need. So sometimes I just roll with it.

Hi Calli. Speaking of someone who knows how to roll with it.

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Yes, I was hanging out in the boychild’s room with the dogs and the boy’s foot. NOT WORKING.

Then I came in here (two fans still on…it’s not as hot, but it’s humid, and my hot flashes have ramped up majorly in the last month…I can’t stand it sometimes, I feel like I’m on FIRE. Before you tell me how they will go away, in my family, they don’t. My grandma had them until she died at 83. My mom is 77 and still has them. This is my world.)…and I finished quilting this fucker.

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Too many years. Not even anything amazing. Just something I did while watching kids play soccer. All it needs now is a binding fabric.

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Apparently I didn’t buy that in 20-whatever when I put the borders on.

Then while watching the TV after dinner, I did 3 or 4 more balls. There are only 3 or 4 more of the orange ones. I’m getting there.

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I figure I’ll be done with balls by the end of July, and then I’ll sandwich this one too. Aack! Never gonna finish quilting everything. Get one thing out of the pile and put another thing in it.

Speaking of quilting…I did start quilting this one, just the outlining. It’s small, so it shouldn’t take long.

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I’m actually hoping to be done with it by tomorrow, so I can buy binding for it and the other one at the same time, then get binding on and do some handsewing? Maybe Thursday? We’ll see.

This guy likes the sliding glass doors outside my studio. The cats like that he likes that window. They find him fascinating.

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I kind of do too.

So at that point, it had cooled down somewhat and I headed back to the light table to work on the big drawing, which needs to be done this week too. It’s close…

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I’m finishing up the water section…then I’ll finish the land section and put some stuff in the sky. I’m looking forward to all those things. The art things.

But before that, I need to go pick up a piece of art up in Oceanside. Long drive, but it has to be done. At least I can do it…I find the whole thought of not knowing what I can plan for each day very anxious-making. So when they release me from the jury duty for a chunk of time, I feel very relieved. I like having control of my time over the summer, since it’s so hard to do during the school year. I’m sure there’s something psychological in that, but whatever. I’ll take each week I can get…although now I worry that they’ll try to assign me to a trial in the last week, which they can do (thus extending the service time an additional two weeks, which puts me right into the start of school) and then I have major scheduling issues, because I pushed everything on either side of the service dates. But whatever. Let’s revel in this week and get some shit done.

*Neon Trees, Everybody Talks

Conversations Are So Difficult Right Now

Sigh. I tried to have a conversation yesterday with someone from “the other side” (I don’t believe there are only two sides to anything…especially in this case, because she seemed to believe she was a feminist, as do I, but there were some other things going on…) about feminism. She claimed there were “Real Feminists” (her term) and they didn’t resort to pussy hats and calling themselves nasty women (um. We didn’t start that. We just took it away from the Orange Trumpet). I asked for her definition of real and fake feminism, because honestly, if you believe in equal rights for women (and for that matter, all versions of gender, as we only barely understand them), then I think you’re a feminist. You can be a quiet feminist. You can be a loud proud and in my face feminist. You can be somewhere in between. You can be a male feminist. You can be all kinds of feminist. I didn’t even know about the WAVES of feminism until a few years ago…apparently if you’re part of the 2nd wave, they hadn’t yet figured out that there was more than one wave. Not that it matters to me which wave you are in…as long as you are in the same body of water with us…so honestly, your politics, your voting history, your life existence doesn’t really matter to me, as long as your core belief is in equality.

I think I was a feminist the first time I realized that male artists were “more important” than female artists (they aren’t…you know that’s why I put it in quotes). So that was when I was about 11. Maybe younger. That said, I have a pussy hat. I don’t have a problem with being lumped in with the nasty women. I make art that seems to be in your face, although, honestly, I don’t make it with that purpose in mind. I get accused of it a lot…of trying to shock people with my art. I honestly don’t care if you’re shocked (I do want you to examine WHY you are shocked). I don’t make art so I can stand on a hillside in front of a million people and yell through a mic a bunch of really inappropriate things that upset people. (like I’ve never ever done that. unlike some people.) I make art because that stuff is in my head and it upsets me and angers me and I need to get it out.

I’ve always shown my art because I think it helps our world for (a) those who believe like me to see that there are others out there with similar feelings and build some consensus around that, but also (b) those who don’t believe like me to see other viewpoints and hopefully work around their prejudices or misconceptions or even brainwashing that there are other ways to view issues and the world. If you’re an artist, I don’t care if you show all your work, show some of your work, or show none of your work. That’s your deal.

I’ve used naked people in my art since I was in college (so that’s over 30 years, folks…not new to this rodeo), because I’m more interested in the core of people, the insides, the body shape itself than I am in clothes and the assumptions we make with what we put on people. I’m not trying to shock you. I don’t think nudity is shocking. I don’t think blood or childbirth or breastfeeding or penises or vulvas or uteri are shocking. If you do, that’s about YOU. Walk away if you don’t like it. I will do the same for you. But maybe stop a moment and try to figure out why you’re having that reaction. Don’t stop when you get to the part where it’s a naked person and that’s WRONG. Why is it wrong? Because it makes people do things (I personally think that’s an excuse, but whatever)? Isn’t that about those people? Nudity in itself is not wrong.

If you’re bringing sin into the argument (especially if you’re putting sin on a brand new baby), then you have to admit that religion is informing your reaction. Then maybe walk away? Or…talk to me: “My religion is telling me that this is shocking because of the nudity.” Then see? We can still have a conversation. I say, “Oh, well I don’t believe that, so you can see I didn’t mean for this to be shocking.” And you can say, “Well, I don’t like it. It shocks me.” And I can say, “OK, then. Well move on. Maybe we can have a conversation about something else…like why a pussy hat makes someone a fake feminist? Or where to buy the best fabric locally?” But there’s no need to be defensive about your answer. Just give me an answer. Not angry, not yelling, just an answer. And if I don’t agree? Agree that we disagree and we both (at least right now, right here, in America) have the right to our differing beliefs and feelings…

I do have a hard time with people who voted for Trump and claim they are feminists, but I’ve heard from a few that they voted for him because in general he supported their beliefs…but there was no one who supported all their beliefs. So they let their feminism trail behind on that vote. I can understand that. I’ve had to make similar decisions while voting…to pick my battles…which sucks, but is political reality. I just happen to have like zero things I agree with Trump on, except maybe Space Force. Space Force (pew pew) is an awesome idea. (OK, you know I’m joking, right? Except I really do like exploring space.)

So I will try to keep having conversations, but when someone else uses the term “Madonna lovers” to describe fake feminists, I have to laugh, because the first thought I had was of the singer, because honestly, I’m not a fan of religion FOR ME. It’s not the first thing that comes to mind. It works for some people…some very good and respectful and loving people. I know some of them. But some people use it as an excuse to do some really evil and prejudiced things in the name of their religion or their god(s), and I don’t appreciate that. Don’t start wars because you think God told you to. God told you to get along. If you’re gonna quote him, then follow him.

I tried. I stopped engaging in the conversation, because she thinks I’ve made her a target, and I didn’t mean to do that. I wanted to know what the fuck she was talking about with “Real Feminists.” Because she seemed to think there was a set of rules for that, and I don’t agree. I’ll keep trying. I’m not giving up on communication. I’m not even sure what a fake feminist is. I know there are women who claim they are not feminists, but they appreciate not being raped or beaten with no repercussions, they love driving their cars and going shopping without a man’s permission, they like to vote, they can make choices about their bodies, they can choose to be the most feminine, lacy, home-cooked meal, princess of the kitchen that they want to be (hell, anyone can CHOOSE that, even men)…so I’m not sure why they think they aren’t feminists. Maybe there should be a reality show where those women go back to before we had the vote, before we had rights, or to countries where they DON’T have what we have here in the United States. Maybe then they’d get it.

Double sigh. Moving back to art…which has nudity and uteri and maybe a penis (not in the current one, sorry y’all). Not because I’m trying to shock you. Go back and read it again. Engage in a conversation with me. Don’t just sit there and fume over something that’s only happening in your head.

It’s still hot here in San Diego. That said, it cooled down over 10 degrees and there was a hint of thunderstorm activity (it rained for 14 seconds), so that helped. Kitten has been living in the sink (it’s the coolest place in the house)…

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There’s yesterday’s baby thunderstorm…more noise than product (ha ha ha…wait a minute, I’m still talking about the Prez).

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I did finish the stitch down…with two fans on me. One was on my face and one on my body. Too damn hot. Lights off (hard to see). My lights in here give off heat, unfortunately. I should fix that.

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In the middle of sewing, I had an art group meeting down at Bread and Salt…I love the murals that keep popping up…and this one, melting, was appropriate.

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Then back to stitching…I didn’t have much left.

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Somewhere in the middle of all that stitching, I saw this. This morning, I redid my fridge whiteboard calendar for the next 5 weeks…and the first day of school is in that last week. NOOOOOOOOO. Yeah. OK.

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I don’t have any money to spend right now, but eventually I’ll have to do all that too.

Here’s the back of the stitched-down front…

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I always check the back to see if I missed stitching anything down. Sometimes I catch it here, before I change the needle out, but usually not.

It was hot enough for a bunny to sprawl on the driveway…we debated putting water out for them. Then we get mosquitoes though. Ugh. Solutions? I hate maintaining fountains (I suck at maintaining fountains. And the water heats up so fast. You see me dumping ice cubes out there all day, yeah? Maybe.

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So before he moved the glass, it was better…there was a horse on the left and a brontosaurus on the right. You can still sorta see them. (yes, I see things in beer foam. I see things everywhere.)

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We came back from (air-conditioned) dinner and I did four more of the orange balls. It was way to hot to have the wool on me, so I quit after four. I think there are 9 or so left.

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And at the meeting, I did more of those coral-colored flowers. They are tiny and cool, but a pain in the ass.

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I also noticed that in the quilt that Sue Spargo did, she stitched French knots all over the wild dog. I like that. But I don’t know if I have enough of that thread to do that, so I’m going to wait until the end? And then probably forget about it. Not sure how to make sure I remember? Maybe write it on the instructions for the last month? That would be smart.

I wanted to draw last night, but I drank too much water and my belly got unhappy and then I got tired and I just couldn’t deal with anything else. I’m hoping to do better today. I know I don’t have jury duty tomorrow, but I have to call in again tomorrow night. One day at a time…one more medical appointment conquered tomorrow, and then hopefully I’ll get Tuesday off as well, because I’m supposed to pick up a quilt and go to the chiropractor (I really need that one)…but we’ll see. Meanwhile, I just need to make art like I’m never going to get any more free time, don’t I? And keep conversing. I’m not writing off the human population…I often want to, and I’m sure they feel the same way about me, but I’d really just rather live in a peaceful, respectful, caring world that doesn’t kill people for their beliefs. Crunchy hippie. I know.