All That…

It’s a Monday morning. We all have feelings about that. My current feeling is that I’m not ready. I did get almost caught up with grading…well, until this week, when everything at the end of everything is due. Friday will feel overwhelming, for sure, but for now, I’m trying to get to a place of managing that. The trimester ends next Friday, the science unit ends this week, all the art projects end this week. And the month ends! It’s probably not related. Plus in the last week and a half, there are 4 pickups for art. I’m handling 2 of them and the men are handling the other 2, because they’re all during my work day…during a normal person’s work day, honestly. So yeah. Not sure what I’d be doing if I didn’t have people home to do pickups. Negotiating alternate pickup methods, I guess.

Did anyone do QuiltCon? I am realizing I prefer an actual class with a teacher talking to me to a pre-recorded video class. So be it. I’m in it for the human interaction. I watched both my classes, but haven’t started due to materials issues and time issues and just plain issues. I might get there. We’ll see. I missed the lecture I signed up for because I forgot about time zones, which I’m sad about, but it was recorded, so I watched it anyway: Chawne Kimber, who looks like fun to watch quilt. Like she’d be fun to take a class from. Future thoughts. I’m also signed up for the SAQA conference in April; looking forward to that, although some of the events start right when school ends, which could be complicated. We’ll see. My current QuiltCon project, by the way, looks like this.

That’s not much there. It might become more. We’ll see.

I did some other stuff, embroidery finishing, then piecing, and putting borders on, but it’s a recent Sue Spargo piece that hasn’t been published yet, so I can show anything but the cat guarding one of the spools of thread.

Just know I’ve been working on it and it will eventually show up here, probably in the next month or so. Mostly brainless easy stuff that I can do when nothing else is working.

Saturday, we did a longer hike (it was actually 1.4 miles shorter than it was supposed to be, not sure why)…this is another Coast to Crest challenge hike, from 2019-2020 though. It starts in Del Dios Highland Preserve, on the Lake Hodges side.

And basically it goes up 1100′ in less than a mile, no switchbacks. It’s not impossible…just hard.

And then at some point, you cross over into Elfin Forest Recreational Forest. This is not all the way up.

But we didn’t start that high up, for sure.

Spring has started to show up.

The point is to get to the Lake Hodges overlook, but you walk by Olivenhain Reservoir to get there.

It was the longest 6 miles I’ve ever done. It just felt hard.

Although the weather was perfect…cool with a breeze.

So yeah, we started at the level of Lake Hodges…down there.

Yeah. So my legs are still feeling it two days later.

Mostly flat. Literally 1365′ feet up and then back down. Averages out.

Anyway. Not a bad hike…might be easier to go up the Elfin Forest side? Hard to say.

Hey! There’s my piece in the California Fibers: Historical References show that is currently open in Los Angeles.

Yeah, mine is the big one, One of My Kind. There are appointments available to go see it, or you can see it online.

I did do the stitch down on the little owl last night…then sandwiched it.

And then fought the sewing machine and the sewing machine foot for a while and gave up and read my book. Because life is too short for fighting machines. I’ll try again tonight.

For now, I need to get some work done. A pissy parent demanding things, plus getting ready for school and teaching and all that.

Appreciate the Sunsets.

Mid week already? That was fast. I’m even somewhat caught up. Wait. No. I still have 5 assignments to grade from last week, and even though I finished grading all the late work yesterday at 8:20 AM, there is now more in the pile that needs grading, because that is how the never-ending pile of grading works. It’s why the last week of school is such an inordinate relief. There cannot possibly be any more grading for at least two months! A reprieve! Sundays back. No constant planning, trying to answer emails, contacting parents. Such a relief.

Unfortunately, we are quite a few days away from that. In fact, with the trimester ending in 2 1/2 weeks, we are well into panic mode (we being the kids) because we forgot that what we do every day counts for a grade. You know. Like school does. That said, I had expected yesterday to be really stressful and yucky, and it was very manageable. The kids mostly listened and/or did the nothing they do on a regular basis. This is when standing over them (or like I do, rolling my chair around the room and staring into their panicked eyes) helps to get them motivated. Yesterday I called parents during class instead. Muted myself on the Zoom and called and left messages because they aren’t going to answer a number they don’t recognize, and even if I were calling from the school number, they probably wouldn’t answer. Ah well. That’s nothing new. The checked out kids are always there. This year is harder for that, sure. I was reading instructions for a program we’re supposed to be monitoring, and they say to “walk around and make sure they are on task.” Um. OK. Imma gonna do that. Rolling my eyes. It’s like the distance learners and teachers don’t exist sometimes. Please give me some more useful supports, y’all. I’m at my wit’s end with monitoring this program.

So we’ll see how today goes…Day 2 of a project…could be chill; could be not. Never know. Even in person.

Here’s the final finished picture of the Sue Spargo Block-of-the-Month quilt Earth and Twig I finished.

I do have another one pinbasted, ready to go, and a third one that is a finished top, and a much smaller one that’s finished. I should keep this going. First I want to finish the little bird quilt I have, though. Although it’s been hard to find the energy in the last few days to sit down at the sewing machine. Maybe tonight? We’ll see.

So I did finish ironing all the bits of Wonder Under to fabric in the most recent art quilt…

It only has 56 colors in it (small quilt) and it took a little over 4 hours to pick all those fabrics.

I started cutting them out Monday night…

And finished last night…

in 4 1/2 hours total. Tonight, I’ll sort them and maybe start ironing it together. So fast! I think I’ll do a few fast and easy ones like this and then start thinking about the next big one. I have ideas and I have one that’s drawn and numbered and ready to go. I’m just not ready for a big one yet. I need some quick successes, achievements, goals.

Here’s one of mine getting ready for a show in Los Angeles at Studio 203, opening the 20th. This is California Fibers: Historical References.

Not sure I’ll get up to see the show, but there should be video and maybe even some online stuff. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, Spring is coming (Southern California does Spring early…sorry to all the snowed-in states)…the coyotes don’t care about humans on their paths…

And I’m no longer walking in the dark, which is nice.

Although I do appreciate a good sunset. Today is going to be pretty easy, I hope, and maybe I will get some grading done as well, knock some of those projects off my to-do list. My goal is always NOT to be working at 9 PM on school stuff, but on art stuff instead. So more of that. And I forgot to wish my mom a happy 80th birthday on the internet…although I made her a chocolate cake, so I think we’re good. Although it could have been more lava-like. My fault…should have taken it out of the fridge earlier. Anyway. Both parents have their 2nd vaccines scheduled, they’re relatively healthy, and those are good things right now. OK. Off to work. In the other room.

The Bones of This Nation

Ah Friday. But also rain, lots of it. I see a bit of blue sky out my window, but I don’t know if it will last. My moods are sort of mirroring the weather this week: fucking all over the map. I’m not sure why, but I bet there’s a reason. My job? Yeah some of it. Finishing a quilt? Not usually an emotional thing, but these are fucking unprecedented times. I think being immersed in a difficult and time-consuming project in a medium I love is a good thing, like a big chunky and all-encompassing book you’re reading, and it helps distract me from the other stuff that sucks or makes me anxious, and when it’s done, there’s this letdown, like WTF am I going to do now? I can’t have a single down day; I need a new project. It’s OK. In the back of my brain for days, I’ve been planning new projects. A few lighter ones and then perhaps a heavier one. It’s like my reading…I just finished reading the Indigenous People’s History of the United States, and it’s dense and heavy and often difficult to read…

Certainly some of this history better explains our fascination with our right to guns. I did love the ending though…

The bones of this nation will mend after the revolution. I can get behind that. I can get on that train. But this next book needs to be a bit lighter to help my mood.

Also, in the mood, my dad is finally coming home next week. His brain will take a year to heal. We don’t really know how he is at the moment. I just know my mom is really excited and we’re glad to have more time with him. So many things affect mood. I’ve been kind of trapped at home this week; didn’t get my mid-week walk due to emergency union meetings, so I’m antsy and irritable, more than usual. Hiking tomorrow though. Hopefully.

So I managed to do all the hand sewing on the binding in one four-hour marathon run on Wednesday…

I started in book club and finished on the couch with a variety of animals.

This is an amazingly bad, late-night picture of it…

Of course, I stayed up past midnight on a school night to finish it. It’s going to the photographer this week.

A friend liked the owl up in the tree and asked for a small quilt of it…so I traced it…

Inked it…

Traced it on Wonder Under…

And cut it out last night…

It’s ready for ironing to fabric tonight. It’s a palate cleanser…super small, super easy. And I have a smallish drawing picked out for the next one…one that caught my eye as I was reading back through my blog…I do that as a sanity check, although this last year is a doozy.

I had book club Wednesday, yesterday was full of meetings…this is my work desk view…and the Zoom window on the left is my prep room at school…

I’ll be there today, picking up materials for next week’s demo. My co-teacher is awesome and gathers everything as I panic at home. It’s not ideal. But it’s functional…

I also had a stitching meeting last night. I can’t show what I’ve been embroidering for the last few months, because it hasn’t published yet; just know you’ll see it soon enough. But I did this start of a mend…

I really love this shirt and it developed some holes on the belly area…that’s where I get all my shirt holes. I’m going to embroider/slow stitch over it and wear it anyway. Saving clothes, one shirt at a time.

It’s been chilly here and kittens have been doing lots of cute curling upness.

They are sweethearts.

I have work in this upcoming show in LA. I probably won’t get to see the show, but it’s nice to have this piece shown…show notice…

And the huge piece that will be there…One of My Kind

Those are my kids, my mom, and my grandmother…she’s the skeleton. We bury them, but they still live on in our hearts and minds and often our behaviors.

OK, today will be long and full of work, but hopefully ending in some artistic endeavors and a good night’s sleep. I hope. And hopefully a mood shift. I don’t always have control over those, but I try.

Does Not Currently Exist Anywhere…

Well this is a weird time for me to write, but it’s the time I have. My brain is in some sort of stasis mode in between work and sleep, or maybe somewhere else. I’m trying to bully through the to-do list for today but also to get ready for school tomorrow. I need a certain mindset to get there, and a brain dump here will help with that. I have science sussed out for tomorrow and mostly the rest of the week, although I have to set up and test the demo for Tuesday and finish posts for the rest of the week, but I have done NOTHING (let me emphasize how big those capital letters are…they are as big as a redwood tree looming over me) for the art classes. And maybe Advisory, which I worry less about. I finished grades Friday night around 11 PM and went to bed fairly early. Exhaustion is here and in my face all the fucking time. I graded all through online gaming and managed to pay attention somehow, although not to the level to which my co-player expects. It’s easy when you don’t bring your job home with you. My job is always here and currently making me grind my teeth in a very vexing manner.

Yeah. That.

So I posted last on Friday morning. I’m really trying to get back on an every-other-day schedule, best I can, not for you, my dear readers, but for me, the crazy brain that needs a focus, a goal, a written document of what has gone and what is to come, so I can actually DO some of it and maybe celebrate some as well.

Saturday, I packed up three quilts for delivery to the Front Porch Gallery.

California Fibers’ show Figuratively is opening there October 4 and continues through the middle of November. Enjoy! I have three pieces in the show.

After I did that, I worked for about 2 hours, trying to make sense of the new science curriculum and my stupid schedule that starts next week.

Yes, I stand there. I sit too much right now.

Then we dropped off the three quilts for the next show. From there, we wandered over to the Oceanside Museum of Art for the Southern California Contemporary Quilts exhibit. That link also has a slide show of the whole show, if you’re interested. I would suggest going online and reserving a ticket and time for an in-person view, but I realize not everyone can do that, so the slide show is what will suffice.

This is Libby Williamson’s piece Burn Cycles at the entry point.

I am a haphazard photographer of shows when I don’t have to document them, so I can’t even say these were my favorites, but maybe they were at the time.

This is Lisa Kijak’s Neon Pacific.

Lisa was there with her family while I was there, but I was apparently not in a sociable mood and didn’t say hi, but I do love her work.

I also liked Nancy Lemke’s work Seaside 1.

I was intrigued that the hand fabric is one I own. My gallery co-visitor mentioned that I never make hands out of one piece. Well sometimes I do, but not this big.

Charlotte Bird’s Southland Odyssey is amazing…

Lots of details here.

Intriguing construction too…

Lots of So Cal details.

And one of my favorite artists, Dinah Sargeant, with her piece Spines Return.

Plus a fun wall shape by Gillian Moss, We Came, We Liked, We Stayed.

There are other exhibits in the museum, including a large plein-air collection from Gardena High School, but also some photo and ceramic pieces by Pamela Earnshaw Kelly

I get overwhelmed in museums at times and stop taking pictures of signage…so no names on these two…

But those two were my favorites, and I liked the graphic quality of the little room of pieces by Allan Morrow.

Oh yeah, and my piece, So Cal Mama

She was pretty nice too. I recorded video for my Patreon of this and a little of the rest of the show. Hopefully that will get processed in the next 24 hours.

Our current Saturday goal includes a walk and food. Because we were already in Oceanside, we went to Guajome County Park and walked around there…

They claimed it was 4.3 miles, but I think we did something wrong, because it was 3 miles.

Different plants…

Still too suburban, so too many people.

It’s hard to get around all that at the moment.

And then we had our first restaurant dinner since everything closed down in March. I remember being in a restaurant the Saturday after the schools closed, but not after that. We did eat outside, near the edge, far enough away from people, but I didn’t have my hand sanitizer with me, and I wanted it. So I’m still not comfortable with it, but maybe that will come. Or maybe it shouldn’t.

Also apparently some parts of the PCT are in my future, assuming it opens. We’ll see.

Today has just been crazy trying to do all the things. I needed a new sun shade for the window where I work, because the old one broke on Friday and it’s supposed to be in the 100s all freakin’ week holy shit i’mma gonna die. I needed some bins to pack up fabric. I apparently may have sold the quilt that isn’t finished yet…I’ll wait on the contract and deposit for that maybe. For now, it’s a nice feeling…and I need those. Hey Nova…that’s my clean laundry.

She knows. She doesn’t care. And Kitten has taken over my paper box.

So much for getting paper out. Cat in way.

Ah. So it’s after 6 PM, and I still need to post school stuff, or in some cases, create school stuff that does not currently exist anywhere, not even in my head, and I need to finish the ceramic and fabric pieces that are supposed to be done this week, and then finish the quilt that is almost finished so I can make money off of it, because I need some money coming in soon, and then maybe even sleep tonight (ha! Such a joke) and not worry so much about everything under the sun, even though that’s how my brain works and I’m not very good at making it stop. Yeah. All those things.

How to Make It Better…

So many people already saying Happy New Year…I guess that’s legit for Australia, but all you Americans just need to wait a bit. Europe too. Chillax. We’ve got the rest of 2019 to survive.

Speaking of Australia…all the fires and the animals and the people and the crazy fire weather, which doesn’t make the news here hardly at all…my heart goes out to you. Hoping there’s a resolution soon and people can rest easy…although the future weather/drought issues there will still be a problem. I didn’t realize there was such a huge coal industry there. It’s so hard to balance the needs of the world in general in terms of slowing climate change while also making sure people still have jobs and food and homes. It’s a huge mind shift…one that America doesn’t seem to understand either. Our core job needs to be taking care of people…not making money. So many politicians are ignorant (willfully or ?) of the science behind what’s happening and how we humans are making it worse.

Also on my mind…attacks on Jewish people…I hate my current government (because it’s not just the President any more) for encouraging this environment where people are emboldened to attack anyone who is different than they are. Have we learned nothing over the years? I read a friend’s comment about how we are raised to respect others’ opinions, but she was clear in that we don’t have to respect racist or hate-based opinions. I don’t hate you because you are racist…I don’t understand you. I hate your actions toward others. I hate your speech toward others. You are human and so obviously frightened of what is different or what you perceive as taking away from your rights (such an ignorant and limited view of the world). You don’t have the right to hurt someone else because of that…even if the President says you do. This last year has been hard to watch. So much anger and wrongness.

So that’s where I’m ending 2019. Sometimes when I’m drawing or making quilts, I think “this piece of art isn’t going to fix the government or racism or climate change or hate or anything else…” and I get disheartened about what I’m making. It’s not enough. I’m using materials that are causing more pollution, I’m using electricity, my privilege allows me to create art because I’m not trying to find food for my children or clean water…I don’t have tons of money to donate to worthy causes or tons of time to volunteer in worthy places. I try to educate my students about things when I can…there are times when I can’t be political because I teach in a public school…but I can be scientific. I make art because it helps me stay sane. It’s a drive I can’t turn off. I have been trying to be more thoughtful about fabric use in the last year or so…using up weird pieces that have been around for a while. I don’t have a solution for the world right now…I just know large parts of it are messed up and need fixing.

Tomorrow will be all about Happy New Year and looking forward. Today I’m in reflection mode. Ironically, I’m doing this program to help me reduce my school work hours, and they had suggested making monthly goals for school and other stuff, and I don’t know why that sounded like a good idea, but I set up the spread in my journal (which I do use daily…the journal anyway)…

And then. Well. Realized I’m not good at setting monthly goals. I set weekly ones, even daily ones, and ones that stretch out the length of a unit of teaching science (the next one is volcanoes and earthquakes, I think). Also ones that stretch out for the length of a quilt. Sometimes for summer or winter break. Not this break so much…but this isn’t working for me. I can’t get my head around it. OK then. I think I do OK on goals in general, so I’m just going to write this up as Tried, but Didn’t Work.

I did quilt for a while yesterday, the 2nd figure. I’ll do more today, I hope…though my original goal to be quilted by now so I could trim and bind today?

Not happening. So this will be the first quilt of 2020.

I’m still grading almost every day. I prefer doing a little at a time to spending entire days working on it.

This kitten is not at all helpful. Neither is the pup.

I did finish this assignment completely, and stayed up way too late doing another one, but now all that’s left is the three hellacious assignments. I’m just going to bully through one period a day, maybe more if it makes sense. Take a day off when it makes sense. Get through as much as I can. I have 12 days before I go back, and ideally I’ll be done. Which means more than one a day, I think. Sigh. OK. Good to know.

It’s also OK to do some of it when I get back from break. No matter what I was grading, there was always a companion…

These two eventually got off my lap…with some assistance from me.

Although Nova apparently thinks she is cuter than her sister, and should be in all the photos…

Eventually she sat on Luna. It’s nice having siblings…they are amusing.

I did my daily drawing…

This type of imagery shows up often. I was tired. Couldn’t think of what to draw.

This is one of the shows my work is going to be in, coming up in January…

That’s one of my two pieces…the art center is in Ojai, California. I don’t know if I’m going to the opening…it’s a long way for one day. Thinking about it.

OK, time to stop thinking and start doing. I need to put away the Christmas stuff, pack up some boxes to ship, walk the dogs, grade some shit, quilt another person, and IDK what else. Draw. But it’s New Year’s Eve, so I’ll get time for that while having to watch crazy TV. Ugh. I’m not a fan of all the NYE television, and I don’t need to go out and party. I do need to think about how to make 2020 better. Not for me…for others.

I’ve Got Nostalgic Pavements*

Sometimes there’s a moment and it reminds you of a space in the past that was so incredibly different, a moment that should have been the same or similar, and you have a choice: be thankful that the current moment is not like that at all, or worry that all moments will be like that eventually. My brain is a worrier. I spend a lot of time telling that core part of it that those moments aren’t inevitable, that they are the choices of others, sure, and you have no control over those, but that there is a different person in each of those moments, and it’s better to believe (hope?) that this person is better at moments than the last one…or the one before. I think humans are great at hope…it’s what keeps most of us going.

Including that student from yesterday at tutoring who was telling me his plans to play American football and I’m thinking about his grades and, straight up, his size (sure, he’s gonna grow, but maybe not enough), but I’m not going to tell him nope, that’s not your future. I pull out my phone and show him a picture of a former student with not-great grades but an amazing drive and attitude and I tell him about his full college scholarship and his current amazing GPA and maybe just maybe plant some drive or motivation in there, because he has the hope, the hope of a 12-year-old, and I’m not getting in the way of that, and he asks, then can I come back and show you what I did? And I’m like, well hell yeah, I hope you do. I hope you all do.

My car is back. It wasn’t as bad as I feared. It’s funny though…because they want me to bring her in for an oil change every 3000 miles, and I barely remember to check the little sticky thing in the car. I don’t even know when 3000 miles might be. I mean I did 2500 miles last week (whoops, with not enough oil, although THAT light never came on)…but during the school year, I have no idea when that is. And when you’re talking to someone who lives, breathes, drinks cars on a daily basis, it’s hard to explain to them how low the car’s fluids are on your priority list. I mean, I can’t even get the floors and the bathrooms clean at the moment. I swept around the pool last night, but didn’t have time (I was grading) to scoop it all up into the composting trashcan. There’s Too Much to Do. In fact, I stopped typing this for 5 minutes to send a school-related email that I should have sent two days ago. I’m sometimes surprised that my brain can hold onto some of the threads tangled up in there.

IMG_3666 small

Calli agrees.

Anyway, one more assignment is graded. One more thing to check off the list. That’s a plus. Gotta keep doing those.

I finally got done with that assignment around 9 or 9:30 last night…then spent some time trying to center myself. But almost falling asleep at the same time. Fighting that sleep instinct is the crazy part of my existence. This week I am so tired. And I’m hot-flashing constantly…although that might have been my air conditioning not working at school. OK, no, it’s hot flashes…thought they were mostly done, but apparently not.

And then it was 11 PM and normal people go to bed if they have to get up at 6-something the next morning. But I hate going to bed without some art being made, so I managed to wake up enough…because that drawing had been muttering inside my head all day. So it’s rude not to listen. Get up and grab a pen and do something.

I stared at the paper for a while. I’m not ready to draw the thighs, even though it’s weird to start at the bottom and then jump to the top. It’s weird, but I did it anyway. I’m trying to think about who I was as an artist when I was a kid, when I was in high school and college. It was harder then. I didn’t do it every day. There were many other things to do and I wasn’t always inspired. I love that the inspiration is such a deep well now.

So the head…and the cat…

IMG_3667 small

And I put roots in…

IMG_3669 small

Hopefully more tonight, although this evening is a clusterfuck.

I sat on the couch for a moment to finish my thoughts…Simba was happy to be with a human…

IMG_3674 small

There’s some art stuff coming up in the next few days…the opening of Art That Cuts at Mesa College is Thursday night from 5-7 PM. I’m planning on being there. I have one piece in the show…

artthatcuts

Then Saturday, I have two events…I unfortunately will only be at one. The one I won’t be at is the closing reception of Mind the Gap at Southwestern College on Saturday from 1-3 PM…I’ll finally see the show next week after school one day.

FIG_postcard_front_final 400

I’ll be at the artist talk for California Fibers’ Surface and Structure, at the Branch Gallery, Saturday at 2 PM. The show is coming down after the talk, so it’s your last chance to see it. I hope you come by.

See? Busy week in art. Oh yeah, and Fantastic Fibers opened last week I think? Or is it this week. It’s the 14th…right. So that’s in Paducah, KY, at the Yeiser Center, and you should go see that from 5-7 PM. It’s not just quilts, so that is also cool.

Meanwhile, all I know about the girlchild is that she had to walk to the next village (12-15 miles?) and I haven’t heard from her since…it’s possible that I won’t hear from her until she gets back next week. Hopefully all is well and she’s doing interesting things. Crap. Gotta go to work! I love when time just flips by like that.

*Kate Nash, Mouthwash

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…

IMG_2063 small

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

IMG_2067 small

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

IMG_2070 small

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.

IMG_2123 small

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.

IMG_2126 small

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.

IMG_2134 small

Their bathroom sign.

IMG_2135 small

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

IMG_2136 small

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.

IMG_2239 small

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

IMG_2184 small

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

IMG_2235 small

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

IMG_2237 small

A much bigger opening…

IMG_2256 small

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

IMG_2259 small

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

IMG_2260 small

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

Here’s some of the fabric I bought yesterday…

IMG_2261 small

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

IMG_2262 small

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.

I Couldn’t Get Away*

Happy Day after Thanksgiving, the day that splits your friend/family groups in two: either you avoid shopping like the plague or you’ve been doing it since midnight last night. I am the former. I need cat food, though, so I might venture out for that. Maybe. And people food. Although I currently have a turkey in my oven. That’s because I will get no leftovers from the two Thanksgivings I went to, and that’s fine, but I want turkey sandwiches for the next two weeks, and there’s only one way to get that: cook it yourself. It’s easy enough. She brined for a day or so and I tossed her in the oven this morning. I need to make biscuits for tomorrow as well (to go with the poop emoji rolls). But that’s easy to do.

Still on my list: the entire vacation has been all about grading, copyediting, and ironing. I should have been able to finish the ironing last night, but my brain was fuzz…I graded for about 3 hours after Thanksgiving dinner…and then tried to finish the ironing. More about that later.

So my monsters (the ones I birthed) met in Ithaca, NY, for the Day of Food, and I asked for good photos, but didn’t get any of them together (sigh), but got this…

IMG_9268 small

And this…

IMG_9368 small

Well. I guess that’s something. They did a great job of making a Thanksgiving feast, although the girlchild used to make pies from scratch (something about a 6-hour drive each way and an essay being due)…

IMG_9394 small

Here was mine…

IMG_9382 small

It was good.

Then, like I said, 3 hours of grading. With this guy. No I’m not freakin’ done. Sigh. This one project is taking hours to grade. I’m going to do more tonight. Or at some point today. Who knows when. It needs to be done by Monday.

IMG_9352 small

So this is all I have left to iron, less than 100 pieces, but it was late and I was tired (it was after midnight by then), so I gave up. Today. I swear. Sometime.

IMG_9389 small

This box keeps getting fuller and fuller. More and more full. And yet I’m not ready to cut them out. I’m starting to panic on timing.

IMG_9390 small

I will do what I can…it will hopefully get done. Along with everything else. Maybe I should just stop sleeping. Or hanging out with people. Or both!

Huh. Puppy.

IMG_9393 small

He’s such a dork.

I keep forgetting to put this link in…this is the blogpost about the show I’m in at the Rose Gallery. I have to write it there, and I don’t want to write it twice…sorry. You will have to go to the link.

Anyway. Today I bust my butt to finish all the things, realizing fully that this will not happen.

*Flock of Seagulls, I Ran (So Far Away)

If I Kiss You Where It’s Sore*

Oh hallelujah dear Friday before Thanksgiving Break. Although today will be like managing wild and hungry chimpanzees while holding a chocolate birthday cake, I can see a big fat light at the end of the tunnel…at about 3:30 PM this afternoon, to be specific. Of course, I have 5 assignments to grade (not bad, actually), my author contacted me this morning and his manuscript is ready for copyediting (it’s OK…I asked for it over break…I need the money), and I just made a to-do list for all the shit around the house that needs doing, but hell…I just don’t care at the moment. I want to SLEEP…and most importantly…MAKE ART. Yes. That. With gay abandon. Throw confetti all over me. I wanna art myself into the ground.

Yes, I’m a little punchy and a lot exhausted.

Exhausted after doing this cool rock cycle lab all day, which started with teaching kids how to grate cheese (well, crayons) with a knife, in case they don’t have a cheese grater. Well, no, we were making sediment from a crayon rock.

IMG_9074 small

And then I missed photographing all the other steps in between because brain fart. Totally. But here it is after we compacted it and then melted it and then blended it and let it cool off.

IMG_9076 small

So lab days are always exhausting. But it was cool. I have no voice today, but that’s OK.

Then I went to the opening of California Fibers: Points of View at the Rose Gallery, Francis Parker School…there are my three pieces: Feeding Time, BirdWatch, and You Pollute Me. I look like I have a lot more energy than I really did.

IMG_9174 small

The show is really nice. I’ll post the whole thing sometime in the next few days. Not right now.

I came home after grabbing dinner and sat for a moment, trying to find the energy to do ANYTHING. I had Simba on one side of me and Satchemo on the other. My arms aren’t long enough to show both. No, I don’t need a selfie stick. It’s OK.

IMG_9183 small

And then, miracle of miracles, I came in the studio and put all the fabric away, cleaned up, and started ironing the new quilt. This thing is gonna be SO FUN.

IMG_9185 small

OK. Yeah. It’s huge. I get that. But I’m so excited about working on this. Really.

IMG_9186 small

I have my Nida Powers sign in here now. Although I really wanted it to be one word. I need to put it up on the wall, but I decided doing that on a rolling chair while tired would be a big fucking mistake.

IMG_9187 small

So I’ll wait. I will fully enjoy the 9 days off I have, even with all the shit I gotta do. It’s OK. I get to make lots of art in the middle of all that. Yay.

Regina Spektor, Better

Read the Lines in My Hand*

AAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCKKKKKKKKK.

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

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

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

IMG_4175 small

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

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

IMG_4167 small

Then the third dog showed up and the shenanigans began…

IMG_4180 small

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

IMG_4184 small

And then came in here and started ironing…

IMG_4185 small

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

IMG_4186 small

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

IMG_4187 small

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

IMG_4188 small

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

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

IMG_4172 small

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

FPG 05.21.17 California Fibers blog 3.5

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

*Elliott Smith, Miss Misery