You’re Just the Gravel on the Road*

October 17, 2017

Between quilts, there’s usually a few days, sometimes a week, of downtime, of braindeadness, of not being able to take on the next piece because my brain is still in the last one. Sometimes I have the next one right there and I’m able to jump right into it. This seems to work best when the drawing is already done. Certain parts of artmaking take more brain presence than others: drawing, picking fabrics…that might be it! Amusing. Mostly I’m a worker bee completing the task set to me, more than an artist in creation mode. I don’t mind that though. It’s meditative…it’s part of the process.

So I finished a quilt on Sunday night. I came home last night and ironed it and dehaired it for the photographer…it goes today. I have the next one started. Currently it looks like this…

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Except bigger…that’s from July 3. Yes, that long ago. I have a page in my notebook with a list of things that need to go into this quilt and I’m not sure how all that is going to happen or whether I might just have to start over (it happens), so I’m just letting it all ferment in my head for a day or too. I don’t want to start and not get it right. The last quilt…I felt really unsure about it until it went together in fabric. Then I could see it. I want to feel better about this one. It’s not about making them fast because of a theme…it’s about making them true to me. Which I do…but sometimes it’s harder than others.

I couldn’t deal with that drawing last night…so I found other ways to be creative. This is where it’s good to have some things lying around. I have some hobby sewing I do…you see it here pretty often. There’s this one…I’ve been working on it for 5-10 minutes a day since Jan 1.

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I added two nights’ worth of fern stitch in the bottom right.

Then there’s this one…the bird quilt. I spent quite a bit of time last night spacing out, watching Dark Matter and trying to get this green stem stitched down. Didn’t finish.

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And then this one…I traced the Wonder Under back in June. It’s small, less than 400 pieces. I needed something to do last night, so I sorted the pieces into 100s.

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I don’t know if I’ll pick fabrics tonight or if I’ll have the brainpower to draw the next one.

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But it’s ready to go. I do have a countdown on the next one…it has to be done and photographed in 75 days. I thought I had a ton of time on this last one, and it really stretched me…it was 14 days early, but I had a similar chunk of time, starting August 15 or so, and this next one will be more complicated. It sounds like a ton of time, but it’s not. The holidays are in there…pro: more time to create…con: more not-art shit you gotta do. So I can’t really take time out to make a whole new quilt before I start that one. But I might be able to allow myself two days to pick fabrics before I start drawing. Maybe. I’ll think about it.

Seriously, I’m harder on myself with artmaking (well, and with school) than anyone else could be. I didn’t grade last night. I should have. Oh well.

This morning’s sky. I like being able to see the sunrises…except I don’t like being up early. As the days get shorter, this is good though. Another three weeks of sunrises and then Daylight Savings Time…

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And I lose them again for a while.

*Tom Waits, Day after Tomorrow

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I Came Back as a Bag of Groceries*

August 30, 2017

Rough morning. Sleep in the heat is always difficult. And there are additional night stressors, like the cat who wanted to clean her butt right by my face because she’s feeling anxious. And when it’s over 100 degrees, furry animals right next to you are delightful (ugh). But I know they’re all needy babes at the moment, so I pet them all.

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And when it’s really hot out, you should move furniture, by the way. And books…piles of books. And then cook things. Over a stove. AND with an oven.

It’s fine. I do OK with sweat as long as I can cool down occasionally. Eventually it will cool down again.

I did two nights’ on here, down in the bottom left. I decided I wanted to get that section filled in, so I did a chain stitch in a light blue and then a wavy buttonhole in the orangey-red color. I like that bit.

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We were watching Sense8 while eating and this guy’s shirt fascinated me. I especially like the blue/red ferny things about a third of the way down. So we had to rewind a couple of times so I could get the idea of them…

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I don’t know what I’ll be doing with that…

While we finished watching, I was sewing more of this down…because when it’s over 100 degrees , that’s the best time to work on a wool quilt. You know.

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And then I sat back and watched more Hinterland, always interesting just because I lived in Aberystwyth for a year. I often yell out (in my head), hey! I know that bit of road! Although the art department was in the wrong place. Maybe they’ve moved it? Or maybe there really is a printmaking studio up there…who knows?

I cut stuff out while I was watching (and thinking) all that.

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Another needy furry beast who wants to be right next to me in the heat…

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I did a couple of hours…that was my goal, so I met it! Whoo! I can’t promise I will on all the other nights though. Gotta fit a gym visit in somewhere. I think I cut out 2 1/2 yards, minus those pieces under the scissors.

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Pile of Wonder Under is NOT moving. Cat is. Hence blur.

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You can tell I’m still not very awake. Probably gonna be this way for some more days…between the heat and the additional cat stressors. It will all get better soon. Just don’t expect deep thoughts or complicated math out of me any time soon.

*They Might Be Giants, Dead


Just a Simple Flower so Small and Plain*

August 18, 2017

I don’t really know how to start. I think that’s just Friday morning first week of school tiredness, the tired that makes you yearn for a Saturday-morning lie-in. Just sleeping in until you’re not tired any more (it’s rare that it happens, but it does). Self care for teachers is hard, even harder when you have family at home who don’t realize you spent all day talking and walking and making decisions and remembering stuff well above and beyond a normal day. I do have that…but they’re all furry. With both kids gone and me at school every day, they are all suddenly very needy. VERY needy. I understand that. I am also needy. Unfortunately, no one is filling that need at the moment. Well, there’s something nice about a furry beast right next to you. And petting them is nice. Until the black one bites.

I don’t know if you can see them all…one dog on the right, one by my left foot, and then a black cat on the other side. Just before I took this, the black cat was snugged right up against me, because it’s August? And she’s cold? Nah. She misses the other humans.

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She’s the biter.

Simba eventually moved a little further away from me. Only a little though.

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Calli had her head on my foot for a while.

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Right now, Kitten is on the chair behind me. So there’s some furry interaction that needs to happen. Although I walked the dogs earlier this week, I haven’t had the energy since then. It’s on my mind for tonight, but I will need to find some additional energy reserves to pull that off. Maybe I will just sit in the hallway and throw balls for the dogs to chase.

So yesterday was Day 2 of school, and I came home and collapsed on the couch. Again. I hate feeling that tired. I think I achieved flatness, like a melting scoop of ice cream. Too tired to hold myself in a seated position. I remember thinking about getting a deli sandwich before quilt class…I have a coupon, but it has to be used before 6 PM. I could buy it then and eat it later. I would just have to leave about 20 minutes early. Um no. Did not manage that. I do have leftovers in the fridge, but I forgot that thing where I get tired of eating the same thing for almost every meal. Ugh. Learning curve. I should cook all summer and freeze it all up for the first month of school.

I did finally get up though and sew some strips together. Obviously the next quilt is not ready to be moved around. It doesn’t even really exist. I don’t draw in front of people much, certainly not at this stage, so I figured I would just work on the Folk Tails quilt blocks. I even sewed the two sheep blocks together finally. Then I remembered the birds. They need a border. So I grabbed the stem fabric and sewed the strips together and found all the bits and pieces and even some sewing thread that matched, and I went to my quilt meeting. I managed to pin the stem strips on in some semblance of the correct place (wonky is good), and started to sew.

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Hanging out with humans is often recommended for people like me. The furry beasts are fine, but humans respond a little bit more coherently. Although one of them is also currently teaching (the other two are retired teachers), and she was even more incoherent than I was.

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I made it around two corners, I think, but only on one side of the strip. So I’ll have to go around a second time. It’s not hard, but it will take some time. You’d think I’d come home from quilt class and get right to work on that drawing from yesterday? But no.

I never did get that sandwich, so I started dinner, and then I tried to spend some time with the last bit of cleaning in the bedroom. I found all these pieces for an applique quilt that I haven’t worked on in years…I’m not even sure where the current block is or how many blocks are left. I know I have a lot done. You know how that works? You get close and then never finish? That’s like half the quilt blocks on eBay. Someone died and never finished and their heirs want nothing to do with it. I have a bunch like that unfortunately. They’re all somebody else’s design. I don’t usually not finish art quilts though. I have a couple that are not finished. One that is finished that I don’t like. At all. But mostly I finish them.

I’ve been watching a lot of British television this week while vegging out…River, which was good, Doctor Foster, which was OK, and just started The Bletchley Circle, which I like so far. I’ve been binge watching while doing art stuff all summer. I can’t always watch stuff, like when I’m quilting. But in the drawing and tracing stages, it works. Thank goddess for Netflix, right?

I did the zigzag chain stitch in the bottom right.

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I can’t really focus on filling in at the moment apparently. So I keep doing something else on the edge.

Kathy on school (girlchild and I were snapchatting on location)…it’s my new 7th period prep, where I have literally no brain power to do anything.

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Anyway. So there’s a damn good chance I’m gonna come home tonight and still have no energy to draw or even sew the rest of that green stem on. Oh well. It’s not the end of the world. It will get done. I just need to get some rest and adjust to the new shit. I’m disappointed that my school district is not letting us take kids out for the eclipse on Monday. Some liability issue. But I have a distinct and strong memory of one eclipse in elementary school, going outside with our pinhole papers and watching the eclipse happen. I’m not happy that I’m going to miss it either. This just sucks…here’s science right here, right now, exciting stuff happening, and we have to sit inside and watch it on the NASA feed. It’s unreal. It’s so contrary to what they always tell us to do in science, to give them experiences so they can discover shit. Not on the screen! Ah. Well. How can I sneak out during 4th period to see it? Figuring that out.

*Gillian Welch, Acony Bell


Land of the Some-of-You-Can-Be-Free

August 13, 2017

Well, America, I’m not very impressed with some of you today. White America especially, some of you are really pissing me off. The thing is, I suspect those who piss me off are probably not reading this blog…because I think that type of person wouldn’t put up with my art either, or my rants. They’re long gone, hiding away in some back-alley private Facebook page, calling me a skanky ho. Well, as long as they spell it right, I’m not bothered by what they call me. I am bothered by their ignorance, their lack of logic (and trust me, I’m not the most logical at times), and their general dumbassery. Their desire to get back whatever they think they’ve lost, to hurt others in the process. As if they have the right to do so. Their hatred. Their need to tear down and break things.

But I’m not sure how to talk to those people. I don’t know how to change the mind of a 20-year-old white male who can’t see his own privilege. I can’t even figure out how to talk to the white folks on my campus who were offended by my students’ anti-bullying and anti-Trump door sign last year. How can you work in my school and espouse the beliefs that you do? I’m like the governor of Virginia…just leave. We don’t want you.

But that doesn’t solve the problem of racism and gender/racial gaps and inequity and what our police would have done if faced with a similar situation except with a less white-washed crowd. It doesn’t solve the problem of how to solve this damn problem! I can’t talk to these people and make any sense of what they say. They feel disenfranchised? Because they’re not better than someone? I’m not sure I care. Except I care that they’re making it worse for the rest of us…no, not just us whitefolks, but everyone else who fills my country. Who make it strong and beautiful and artistic and challenging and entertaining and tasty and sometimes ugly and smelly and warty. I want it to feel safe, not threatened by nuclear war because of stupidity, not mired in fascist Alt-Right idiocy because…shit I don’t even KNOW why. I really don’t.

All I can do is go to school and meet my new mostly refugee and immigrant students, my mostly NOT American-born white students, and teach them how to stand strong and have faith in humanity (some of it anyway) and hopefully some science too. And that not all the white American-born people hate them. Because I don’t. I try not to hate anyone, although a certain orange-faced dickhead certainly gets no kind feelings from me. Or his minions. The ones backpedaling right now as people find them on Twitter or Facebook and out them for their beliefs. Cowards. But even them…I don’t want them hurt. I want them to grow up and change and be more human to ALL humans. I don’t want to kill them or run them over or hang them. OK. Some days I want to put them all on a very hot and dry island somewhere very far away. It’s true. But normally, I don’t want anyone hurt.

It hurts to be an American right now. It shouldn’t. Land of the free, home of the brave. We stole this country, this land, from the First Americans…the least we can do is keep all those who live here safe and give them as much support as we can. Try to make up for previous dumbassery. Try to make it right, best we can. Try to make it better in the future. Starting now.

I finished a quilt yesterday. Post-election, I have focused on women’s rights for a while and now on climate change, although that’s about to change again. There are so many issues that need support. It’s overwhelming sometimes to keep it all in my head. All the quilt needed yesterday was eyeballs…I’d decided not to cut out tiny fucking pieces this time…instead, I would make tiny French knots…this is why I have a thread stash. This is a Finca thread, but a 12…I was looking for a Valdani or Perle 12, but couldn’t find one in the right color, but this is finer than a normal 12.

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This bird originally had two eyeballs, but I decided one was better.

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The sheep and the cows all got to see…

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Tiny little beasts…

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And the fish as well, although I like the whites behind the black on the blue fishies. I also added some ink…

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I took her to the photographer today. Done early!

Then I started sewing the birds together in columns and rows…

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A few beaks got squished in seams…same with some feet. Something to remember as I make more of these. Or not. Here it is all sewn together, after a year of not sewing them together.

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And then the border fabric went on.

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I did cut the fabric for the stems and the 96 colored balls…they are much smaller than I thought they’d be. And I don’t know when I’ll get to them. Sometime, I hope. I have other things to do…processing the American hate of the last few days, moving on to the next art quilt, starting school, sending the boychild back to college. Trying to make sense of the crazy.

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Yeah, Kitten, I know. It doesn’t make sense to me either. I thought we were trying to move past all that into a better existence. I guess you can’t just ignore those people who are so angry at the existence of other. I don’t know how to fix them, though, Kitten. I really don’t.


Please Don’t Bother Trying to Find Her*

August 12, 2017

Most summers I manage to make some monster of a quilt, something with 2200 pieces that measures the size of a refrigerator or something. Not so this summer. Too much cleaning and other work. I did finish one though. Well. First I have to embroider a bunch of eyeballs that I decided NOT to cut out of tiny pieces of fabric for once. I know, right? I totally forgot about the eyeballs last night. I came home from school exhausted, ordered pizza and sewed binding for about 3 hours straight. Because that was easier than thinking about anything. The quilt goes to the photographer tomorrow, and now I need to do eyeballs this morning. No problem. That’s easy. But I was already in bed and about to turn the lights out when I remembered the eyeballs thing. So I put a reminder on the calendar…so yes, my phone keeps popping up with a reminder that says Embroider Eyeballs.

It’s all good. Artistically arranged puppy good.

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He was helping me. That background…think it came from one of the donated piles of fabric. It got well used. There’s about 5″ of it left, which I could realistically use in a quilt somewhere.

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I’m trying to be a responsible fabric user…haven’t bought a backing fabric in a year or so. I just reduce and reuse.

She’s long and skinny, that’s for sure. About 68″ long (so taller than I am).

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I’ll post official photos next week. I don’t have total hours yet either…since the eyeballs still need embroidery.

One of the things that’s interesting about this quilt is in the time analysis. It’s probably the same size as the Bathtub quilts, except it’s long and skinny. But it had almost twice as many pieces than the most complicated one of the Bathtubs. It took much longer to trace pieces and iron them, but the same amount of time to quilt. The amount of detail is greater, but the length of the stitching line is about the same? This analysis helps me figure out how to estimate future quilts, both time and price. And to try to control some of my detail tendencies…but it does explain why size doesn’t matter.

Which reminds me, The Goddess of Never-Ending Chaos is currently in Birmingham, England, at their Festival of Quilts.

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She no longer belongs to me…but I have another meditation-pose piece in my head at the moment. I should draw that. Is there time for that in my crazy schedule?

More stuff in the feather stitches…straight stitches and some French knots, filling in space. That’s the official title of this thing, by the way…Filling in Space.

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Then my brain froze. I was exhausted by the conference yesterday…really more a matter of too much interaction (900 teachers is a lot of interaction) than actual physical exhaustion, like what teaching does to you. I had to get up way too early and I didn’t sleep well the night before. I seem to be alternating between stressy interrupted sleep and conking out the next night. Fun stuff.

Anyway, I think I was talking about this Sue Spargo BOM Bird Crazy (oh wait, that’s not the real name…that’s what I call it…it’s called Bird Dance) last summer, about all I needed to do was to trim the blocks and sew them together and then put borders on, and I was debating that, because it seemed easier to sew the 96 circles in the border on before sewing the borders on the rest, but they do need to BE in a certain place, and that’s a pain in the butt without having them sewn on. SO. I didn’t do anything. They’ve been sitting in this box on the couch since then. Like a year (I just looked it up. I finished the last bird on July 29 last year…the BOM from 2013.). You have to be impressed by that, right? You don’t even know how many soccer games these bird blocks saw…so with my braindead brain, I went and trimmed all those fuckers down to the same size (well, except for the two that are not quite big enough). Which I was going to do last August. And didn’t. And then once you’ve done that, you’ve got to sew them together because you just cut off all the knots that are keeping the embroidery in place.

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So I laid them out. The cat was NOT helping.

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Luckily I could just follow her picture, because if I’d had to make decisions about what went where, we’d be sitting here in 2020 trying to figure that shit out. And I started sewing them together…until I got distracted by moving the bed and fixing the shower faucet and then stressed out about how I never ever ever get my house clean and organized. EVER. I’m going to finish sewing them together today and put the borders on though, because this is something that can be completed and checked off a list and that’s a good thing right now. I really should be panicking more about school at this point, but I can’t even.

It’ll be a year at least before I get 96 balls sewn on and embellished. No worries about a quick finish on this. And the other BOM of hers that I finished? Still pinbasted from last year. Oh yeah.

So I went to bed way too late last night because I was cleaning at 1 AM, you know, like you do. Because if someone can answer the question of What the Fuck Do I Do with All the School Shirts I Have That I Don’t Like to Wear? Well I’ve got a reward of some type for you. Like a bunch of school shirts I’m thinking. I even got rid of like 5 of them already.

Then the dog started barking early this morning (up way way way too late last night) at the construction next door (will it NEVER END???) and boychild made good smells throughout the house (clearing out the freezer I believe)…

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Both kids can cook. And it’s not because of me. Impressive. He leaves Monday. It’s gonna be a rough week. And I have to try to start drawing the next quilt, because it has to be done in 80 days. Well, before that, so it can be photographed. No problem. (ha ha ha) But first the damn embroidered eyeballs.

*The Zombies, She’s Not There


They Tell Me to Breathe Easy for a While*

February 12, 2017

I didn’t post yesterday because I didn’t do anything Friday but teach and veg out really. Not really, but close enough. It happens. I’m a fan of giving oneself a break when one needs it, best one can. Sometimes the best thing you can do is go to bed early with a cup of tea and read a book. Not that I did that, but sometimes I do.

I have too many things I need to do this weekend. Yesterday I started with the quilting…wanting to be done with the background this weekend. And then I couldn’t stop. I was going to grade stuff first, but I just couldn’t make myself do it. So I didn’t. There’s three days. Surely I can force myself to grade at some point (ugh).

So I fixed the bits I hadn’t stitched down…and then started quilting the background.

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Trying to remember to not do it really small and tight…it’s not necessary on this quilt and it would take forever. It wasn’t always easy though…I broke two needles (probably going too fast) and a lot of thread. Sigh. It’s frustrating sometimes. I think I did about 3 1/2 hours or so…and got more than halfway around. So that’s a good sign for today.

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Because my goal for today is to finish…so after dental cleaning tomorrow, I can go to fabric store and buy yardage for binding. Seriously. It’s almost done. That snuck up on me.

I have the parental dog at the moment, on top of the other two. It’s OK…she entertains the little one.

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When she’s not lying on my floor.

I kept getting distracted while quilting. I need breaks every 45 minutes or so (yeah, I know, it’s supposed to be every 20 minutes, but whatever…I get on a roll)…so I was trying to find the stuff for this quilt. I had all the blocks and the stuff for the borders, but I couldn’t find the instructions until I stood motionless in my living room for about 10 minutes with my eyes closed, visualizing what I had done with it (taken it to stitch meeting to confer with other stitching people about how best to do the borders: attach before or after). Now it’s where it should be.

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Not that I have time to do anything about it. At least it’s organized. That helps.

I also tried organizing all the BOMs I have collected. Probably should stop collecting and finish them instead. Easier said than done.

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Anyway, eventually, each time, I would come back to quilting.

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With or without Kitten’s help.

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Well, hello. Get off the quilt.

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Mommy, you called me. Did not.

So then last night and this morning, I was trying to make sense of all the shows coming up, deadlines all over my head, images all over my brain…nasty nightmare last night that’s still in my head, but not relevant to ANY of this, dammit.

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Straight up, honestly, hard to focus. So I pulled up a calendar this morning on my phone and talked my way through it. “If I do this first, the drawing doesn’t exist, so I need that done by say Wednesday, and if I make that a 6-week quilt, which is one that’s a reasonable size and number of pieces, instead of the crazy-ass thing I’m currently doing, then I could finish it by this date, and that only leaves me this many weeks to finish that one, and that’s not gonna work, and then there’s this other show, and I would have nothing for it, and that’s my local group and I’m a juror/curator/someone in charge, so I want to have something for that, so that’s not gonna work. But what if I do this one and draw that one and then I’d have two of those for that, but no, that still doesn’t solve the problem of having a piece for that show.” Dammit. There’s so many political quilts in my head at the moment that I can’t focus at all. But that’s one thing I need to get through in my head right now. What to do next, with no fucking down time, which is fine, because down time is focused on bad shit and I don’t need that. I need to DO, to MAKE, to SOLVE.

You should go read what I wrote for Through Our Hands though. They approached me and asked me to write about censorship if I wanted, or just about my work. I kinda did both. And that’s where this next drawing was going…

I had had an idea back in November or October? for the local show and I didn’t write it down, but just held on to some piece of it in my head, so last night, while watching Raiders of the Lost Ark for the 17th time (still good, but not the female character…she sucks), I tried to draw it.

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So I’m not saying I can’t do this quilt…on a redraw…but this isn’t where I want the piece for this show to go. So I stopped. Right before the big money moment, yes. This is still a thing, it’s just way far fucking out from where I need to be right now. Ugh. So I quit.

And then had that conversation this morning. And then driving home, the entire drawing for the local show popped into my head, PING, repopulating itself as I drove. Seriously, my brain erased bits and then added more and then adjusted and drew more. I wish I could just download that. Well, I can. It’s called drawing. I’m afraid I’m going to lose it. The boychild gave me these artsy notebooks for Xmas. I used to have a small sketchbook for jotting shit like this down, and then got out of the habit. I’m back into it. It sits by the side of my bed or in the living room (I carry it around) and all these ideas get scrawled into it…words and sketches. So I put it in there…and it’s censorship. That’s where I needed to go. Sometimes my brain scares me with its ability to create shit out of almost nothing. Just random ideas and nothing else, and then there’s a picture, all the lines drawing as I watch, often while I’m driving, and it’s just there. Boom.

I know it’s years of practice. But it’s still cool.

The immigration one is in the notebook too…it’s fully drawn in my head too, but I don’t have a place in the schedule for it yet…maybe summer? We’ll see. Because there’s a fine line between making for one’s own self and making to get into shows. I’m always trying to find that balance. There are some this Spring that I’m just having to say no to…I can’t do everything. Shows and drawings.

Anyway. I need to draw today. I think I can do it in about 2-3 hours. Aack! Plus three hours of quilting and then grocery shopping and I thought walking dogs, although maybe that’s tomorrow at this point. Plus grading. Sheesh.

This is the book I’m supposed to be reading for school. Apparently Midnight was offended by it.

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Whoops. Seriously. It was the cat. Not me. I actually don’t mind Hattie…I just mind how my district is implementing it…by completely ignoring what he says about how it should be implemented. So they keep calling it Visible Learning, but they’re not actually doing it. They’re micromanaging. Oh well. Trying to keep my frustration low on that. Read the damn book, yell while I’m reading it. Trying to assume best intentions. It’s not worth more energy.

I didn’t stitch Friday, so I did two yesterday…the lazy daisy green leaves around Prosper, and then the blue flowers on them until I ran out of thread.

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Still trying to fill in. That’s 42 days. Still want to put a hand and a tree in. So gonna figure that out. Maybe not today.

Today…draw…quilt…shop…cook…clean (seriously. the floors.). But first? Man I’ve got a headache. Splitting. Weather? Probably. Gonna take meds and do the grocery list. Then get my focus on. Art brain demands it.

*Sara Bareilles, Love Song


Bring Your Alibis*

July 31, 2016

So yeah. The sewing machine experiment lasted for about 18 minutes. It jammed up the first time 12 minutes in and then repeatedly after that. Weird things going on with it. I’m taking it in tomorrow, but not after making sure it’s warmed up and jamming happily so the guy can see it in action. I don’t mean ‘jamming happily’ like making good music on a Sunday afternoon. I mean like vibrating needle shaft that won’t move or sew and makes me swearz-a-lot. Yeah.

So the thing is, I don’t really believe in fate or messages from the gods, but sometimes I think you have to look at what’s working and what’s not and choose to walk away from some things. I’ve done my due diligence with this machine and it’s not going to work until I can get it to fuck up for the machine guy and hopefully that will be soon, but there’s no point in the last two Friday nights, where I’ve been grinding my teeth and growling and wanting to throw it in the pool. I mean, yeah, it’s frustrating. But it’s not like I don’t have some leeway on this deadline AND shitloads of other stuff to work on.

So get on with it, Kathryn. I have to admit that Friday night was mostly a wash. But Saturday afternoon, after the machine pissed me off, I took about 15 deep breaths and walked out of the office, determinedly heading for the big drawing on the light table. Because I kept staring at the original drawing and trying to let my head process it…and I’d even penciled in a head and a boat (like you do) the other night, but couldn’t get past that. NOW was the time.

You wonder why so many cats end up in my drawings. (It’s because they’re always WATCHING me. )

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Same with teacups. Except I don’t really feel like they’re watching me. Just that they’re always there. Really I should be drawing more scissors and mechanical pencils.

So I did pencil in some of the stuff at the bottom, like the boat and the general leg placement (there were issues…as you’d think there would be with three people standing stacked up behind each other. Oh hey. That’s a good title. Stacked up. Hmn. Document that shit.). I love that some titles come to me as I’m drawing, and some I have to pull out right before I have to enter it in a show, because I can’t think of anything.

So I added all this stuff at the bottom, referencing my first Earth Mother quilt from a million years ago.

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Puppy is such a cute dork.

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Then I had figured out in my head about 4 or 5 days ago about what was going on the sides…a layered landscape from water to mountains…

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So I added that on each side…

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Here’s the little guy, fishing.

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This quilt actually has two males in it! I know. You’re shocked.

Plus yeah. A cat.

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So it’s not done, though.

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I did start the head, and it’s got references to Tlingit art. I was born in Alaska, and I swear the graphic arts and totem poles from there are so stuck in my head…I think I must have filed it away in baby brain, and parts of it have been leaking out over the years. People talk about not appropriating other cultures’ art, but sometimes it just sneaks in. The Native stuff has been in there for so many years. The idea of filling the figure with symbols…you have to wonder how much influence early exposure has on one’s brain. I do.

Anyway, so I’m hoping to finish drawing this today and then number it. Although technically, I think there are two smaller ones I need to work on as well. So I may try drawing those this afternoon as well. While I’m on a roll. With a Sharpie.

So this is the booklet I got from the class…

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We worked in groups to try to plan a standard yard. Interesting ideas to use rainwater and take irrigation down to nothing or almost nothing. Certainly things to think about.

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Then my evening turned into puppy walk…man, this dog either needs to learn how to poop appropriately for one who has fluffy butt fur, or he needs to get used to my bathing him.

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Bad design.

Then this morning, I pinbasted the wool quilt that has been laying around forever. It won’t get quilted any time soon, but when I feel like it, it’s ready.

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Last night, I remembered I hadn’t sewn any of the eyeball buttons on the next wool quilt, so I did all 30. I flicked one across the room at one point and had to go searching for it. No, I would not have bought more. I would have picked a random button that didn’t match.

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Now they all need trimming. Guess piecing is on the back burner for a while. It’s OK. Julie and I are trying to figure out an easier way to do the borders, but honestly, I guess I did the borders on Earth & Twig above all as one and didn’t die. So I could probably do these that way too. By the time I get enough room in my schedule to put the borders on, it’ll be winter. Winter Is Coming. Yeah right. We have to live through Southern California summer first (doesn’t come until September/October).

Then since I had marshmallows and Rice Krispies, I did this. Sometimes you just have to.

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The kids are on their way back here, mostly to be cranky and entertain the puppy, I think. I’m in need of a nap, personally, but will try to hold it off with caffeine. I want to go finish the head part of the drawing and start some new stuff. Might as well use my non-quilting time wisely. This week is kind of a bitch. Same with next week. And then I’m back in school. Summer is so short some years.

That’s it. From now on, my blogpost titles are always lyrics from whatever I’m listening to as I write…well, until I get sick of that. Or forget I thought of it.

*Hotel California, Eagles