You Know It Ain’t Nothing in Rambling*

July 21, 2017

So I went to bed a little earlier last night and finally got a full night’s sleep with no interruptions (there was that brief moment when I thought the house was haunted, but it was just the ceiling fan moving the blinds around…yes those are the things that keep me from sleeping. I yell out at the cats to attack all intruders, human or haint, and they don’t do shit except stare up into the corners of the ceilings very intently as if there really were something there.). Unfortunately, the alarm went off this morning and immediately thereafter, chaos ensued. First girlchild came and used all my water and demanded things but I was barely awake and I don’t function well in the morning, whenever the morning starts, as those around me should know, and then the water guys showed up, fully convinced they could turn the water off at my house (they can’t, and they didn’t believe me because my driveway currently looks like a hoarder house as we finish the garage cleanout and also because I have boobs and probably I wasn’t wearing any underwear because girlchild dragged me out of bed to unlock the door and use all my water and shit. What the fuck people. I think a close parenthesis needs to go right around HERE.).

So yeah. The water is off. And most of the water containers in the fridge were empty (BOYCHILD) and girlchild used up all the stuff in the house (GIRLCHILD) and I did have enough in the tea kettle to make tea, thank goddess, because otherwise I’d be taking my unshowered ununderweared person somewhere where there was tea. Or water. I do have a pool full of water, but I’m pretty sure things pee in it. I try not to make tea out of pee water.

I have a list of things to do today, but I can’t do them without a shower. I just checked the list and nothing got crossed off yesterday. In fact, I just added something. It’s not that I didn’t do stuff on it. I was working on the garage and the bedroom after the artist talk last night, around 8:30 at night (it was cooler then).

Yes. I have part of a skeleton in my house. It was in my classroom one year when I got pink-slipped and had to clean out the whole classroom and the asshole of a principal (hopefully he does not read my blog…I think he’s um let me think…THREE principals ago? Don’t even ask how many principals I’ve had in 14 years of teaching) MADE ME clean out the whole room, so I had to clean up what previous teachers had left and either take it with me to shove in my then very cluttered garage OR throw it away, so of course I kept the arm. From the elbow down. Trust me, I would have kept the whole thing, but only the lower arm was there.

And to be clear, Kitten had just whacked the fuck out of me for attempting to clean her face (somedays. Calico cats. Are evil.), so I employed the skelly hand to get her back on my good side.

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She does like to be petted with the skelly hand, although yesterday, she attacked it for a bit as well. Hey, it’s either that or a gauntlet with her. Of course, right now, she’s sweetly and quietly asleep in that same place. Because she loves her mommy. When she’s not whacking the fuck outta me.

OK, I was two nights behind. I did some French knots between the buttonholes around that wave shape in the bottom right, and then I did fly stitches around the lazy daisies.

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One thing I’ve realized in doing this project is that there are fewer stitches out there than you might think.

I finally made it into the studio for ironing time around 10 PM or so…Midnight seemed in need of a caffeine fix…

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Seriously, some pieces are too small for words.

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Adding colors…

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Although not a lot of them yet. Here’s the pile of the 200s last night…

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But I also pulled pieces from the 300s, 400s, and even the 600s when I was ironing…because it made more sense to try to iron all the bone and flesh pieces at the same time. So I’ve done all the legs up to the crotch area, but I need to go back and do the land area that’s below the knees. I also did some water in the rocky crotch (seriously…I made a crotch out of rocks. Must be in a mood. Pubic rocks. Ha. Ha.).

On the right is what I ironed last night, which doesn’t look like much. On the left is what I cut out yesterday at my quilt meeting.

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So I had a plan for today and it’s already been kicked to the curb, run over, and salted. Or something else horrible. I’m trying. I’m really trying. Lots to get done. Gonna do my best. Maybe should just make a cocktail and grab my book and sit out on the deck until it looks up.

*Lucinda Williams, Nothing in Rambling

It Doesn’t Get Done if I Don’t Get Doing

July 20, 2017

I have pushed off the school-related panic until August 1. I try to do that every year, but it’s coming so much earlier this summer…it’s hard to ignore it even though the calendar tells me I can. And should. And the to-do list is totally out of control. I crossed one thing off yesterday. I need to do better today, but don’t think I can! Oh well. Deep breaths. I can only do what I can do. I think the problem is that the things on the to-do list are large things that can’t be done in one day, so it will be a while until everything gets done.

I did start ironing pieces to fabric yesterday…honestly, this is one of my two favorite parts of making quilts…this and ironing the whole thing together. It’s the most meditative part too…I have to get my brain into the zone to pick colors, and that’s why I end up staying up way too late. Again. Ugh.

But before I even started, I cleaned off my computer desk. It ends up being a disaster most of the school year, with teaching stuff, art stuff, other crap I have to deal with, bills, etc. all piling up and the cat sitting on all of it. So I made a concerted effort to get it under control…a clean start to the new school year.

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Don’t worry…it won’t stay that way. I already have a pile of papers that needs to be dealt with.

Then I hung the drawing I’m ironing for…she’s long and skinny…hence her nickname.

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I refer to the numbered drawing while I’m picking fabrics…helps me to visualize the whole thing.

Then I laid out the first 100 pieces…

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While Midnight watched. Well. She slept mostly. She was upset that I piled all those boxes full of pieces near her sleeping spot.

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I realized I would be picking flesh fabrics very early on, so I got down on the floor (that’s where all the flesh bins are) and picked a reasonable run with some extras.

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But I needed to start with water…so I went mellow on that. Not bright.

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Here’s the whole setup. It looks bigger in this picture than it feels. Basically I can stand between the ironing board and the table with not a lot of extra room, and I don’t fit at the computer if the ironing board is there. But it works.

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I told the dogs to go to bed, but they’re waiting for me and the girlchild (she was out late too).

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I only got into the 100s, although I did iron some bones from the 200s through 400s. It was easier to do them all at once.

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This is all I’ve used so far. Don’t worry. There’ll be more color once I get going.

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Kitten sleeps through the whole thing. As long as she’s in the same room with me, she’s happy. Well. Mostly.

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The dogs…finally happy…the girlchild came home. She sleeps with both of them. I do not.

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So they will be very sad when she leaves next week. Oh well.

So I did 4 hours of ironing last night. I wasn’t very efficient. It took a long time to get going on the color choosing, and then I had to force myself to stop because it was after 1 AM. I can’t get much done today…quilt meeting plus artist talk at Don’t Shut Up. And I have other stuff I need to do…damn that to-do list. I need full-time staff here.

Well it doesn’t get done if I don’t get doing…

Please Tell Me Why*

July 11, 2017

Hey. You. Are you the one who gave my neighbor’s kid that whistle? The one they blow all the time? Come Here. Closer. No. RIGHT HERE.

It’s weird how I don’t notice the whistle most of the time, but when I do, I can’t make it stop reverberating in my head.

Girlchild comes home tonight. The flight is already delayed. Her room is kind of a mess. My fault. All my quilts. So that’s my job today. And the 27 things I just put on my Momentum to-do list. I haven’t been checking many off, because a lot of them are something like “Trace WU for Long Skinny”…well I’ve been WORKING on that, but only hit the halfway mark last night. I am only tracing after we’ve put in 4 or 5 hours on the garage and whatever else needs doing…so mostly at like 9 PM and later. And then I stay up way too late because art brain is like a little kid on summer vacation who begs to stay up late, and then at 6:30 AM when the dog wants to pee, my real brain swears profusely at art brain.

But art brain deserves some time. She’s waited for it. So yeah. I’m a little ugh sleepy this morning. And full of that high-pitched kid whistle. With a to-do list that is 10 miles long. It’s all good. She’s trying to be patient. To know that hanging out with the kids and banging out some major work on the house while I have help (oh my lord, having help is a joy) is a priority for the next few weeks. Boychild goes back in about a month. Girlchild is only here for 2 weeks. Sigh. Time. Is a bitch. I go back to school about the same time boychild leaves. Fucking sucks.

I can do this. I’ve traced for over 3 hours the last two nights. I hit the halfway point…and more.

This…more chain stitch and filling in spots. On the right. I’m also using up all these weird tiny pieces of Wildflowers thread from the crazy quilt package shares I used to do a million years ago. I get like a yard of thread…and I use it. Oh. I just looked…I didn’t do chain stitch…I did the spiky buttonhole around the one wave. Duh. I was tired. I still am tired.

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Then back to the tracing. I’m not sure why the cats are obsessed with the light table. It’s glass, so that’s probably cooler. Plus maybe they just like being lit from below.

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There were a lot of small pieces in this tracing session. Sometimes the boy comes in with the dogs. When he goes to bed, he brings them all to me. Yes, a 21-year-old goes to bed before me.

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If I sit on the couch, Simba wants to sit with me, but he’s not happy when I’m tracing. Then I got the second cat. Because it’s not annoying enough trying to maneuver around one cat.

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Yeah. And the white one kept trying to knock the wine glass off. This is restrictive guys. Y’all need to stop.

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I’m in the high 700s…with 1300 total…so about 500 to go. Ugh. That’s a lot. What you can’t tell in that photo is that the fan is in the bottom center and it’s pointed right at me. I wonder if they can feel it and that’s why they’re there. It’s possible.

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I’m in the middle of tracing that handful of flowers. Who the fuck thought that was a good idea. Trying to figure out the overlaps and what is numbered what…what a pain. Upside down. Ugh.

What was my original goal on this piece? I think I can finish tracing in the next couple of days. I hope. Then start cutting Wonder Under…this weekend is kinda booked. And I’m going to Lake Arrowhead next week. So that’s complicated. I can finish cutting these out, but I can’t start ironing until I get home. Iron to fabric all next week. Then trim the following week and start ironing down. Yikes. This isn’t going to be done before I go back to school (it might be done. It could be. If you weren’t cleaning stuff out. Which you need to do.). It’s so early this year. I need to check my calendar stuff again. Overwhelmed.

But today, today is easy. Clean girlchild’s room and the kitchen table. Check off some of the stuff on the to-do list. Maybe do a little on the garage without the boychild’s help. I have an idea. I don’t know if it’s doable. Huh. Art brain is on it. Will let you know. Certainly the messing around with art stuff that I wanted to do this summer is apparently off the table at the moment. Oh well. Shit’s gotta get done.

*Lit, My Own Worst Enemy

I’ve Never Hurt This*

July 10, 2017

OK. This is kicking my butt, this whole life thing. I know I’m supposed to be on vacation, and I guess it’s a good thing I am, because I wouldn’t have time to sleep or pee otherwise.

The opening on Saturday night went well. There was food and a dance thing and a spoken-word thing and it was all very cool but I hit exhaustion level but the show looks good. Still working on posting about that for the group. I’m posting on Facebook and the blog for the group, so it’s been busy. We still have a panel discussion this week and an artist talk next week.

Then things are ramping up for the solo show, opening this Saturday, and the girlchild shows up tomorrow night (which means I have less than 24 hours to get her room clean). Meanwhile, in crazy town, boychild and I are in like Hour 9 of cleaning out the garage after years of NOT cleaning it out. It’s getting there. I think. Many more hours left, though…might kill the both of us.

I did a few nights on here, mostly chain stitch on the right still…with some filler stitches around the flowers…

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I’ve been tracing the next climate quilt. When one cat is on the light table, the other lurks nearby…

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All the other lights are off because it’s too damn hot. I’ve got LEDs in the light table at least. As soon as Midnight left, Kitten came back with a vengeance…

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I push and shove until she finds the appropriate butt-cleaning spot.

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Garrrrr. I have about 4 1/2 hours into the tracing, less than halfway.

I found this while cleaning out the garage. It’s old…you can see I’ve been stacking women for years…

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Although they all have clothes on. This is from the printmaking years I think.

Anyway, I’m chugging along…not a lot of rest and relaxation, that’s for sure. Maybe I’ll get there. After I clean the girlchild’s room, finish the garage, whatever. Get some focus? Well that’s the problem…way too many foci. Back to tracing stuff…

*Ratatat, Loud Pipes

When I’m Down You Breathe Life over Me*

July 8, 2017

I didn’t manage to get a post up yesterday. Way too busy this week. Not sleeping well either. Between the heat and the Too-Many-Things mental space, sleep is just not happening. Hopefully that’s going to get better. When I realized yesterday that everything had been finished and delivered and hung, I actually cried. Like holy crap, you did it. It’s all out there in the world and now you can just hang back a bit and watch. I’ve been looking for that space for 6 months or more. Not that it’s sunk in yet. I’m still eye-twitchy and teeth-grindy. Really need that to stop. More exercise? More sleep? It’s gotta cool down for that. And the exercise, I’m running on exhausted at the moment.

Wish I were Kitten. She is my sleep role model.

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So Thursday, I loaded the car with quilts for my Visions show, Nida Powers, which opens next Saturday, July 15…

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I have the whole back gallery, the VALYA gallery. Which is cool. I’ve eyed that space for a good long time. And I really like the other two exhibits that will be in the space too…

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I stopped by on Friday and saw it all hung. It’s overwhelming for me to see so much of my work in one space. The bathtubs…it’s just cool.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, boychild and I are working on the garage from hell…

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I don’t think we’ve done more than a few quick run-throughs in the past, trying to get rid of stuff, since before the divorce. Fifteen years. There’s baby stuff in there. It’s kind of boggling and definitely overwhelming. I hit about two hours in and lose it. We have a huge pile of recycling, another huge pile of trash, then a smaller thrift shop pile, a school pile, a fabric pile (needs to be gone through), and a Craigs List pile (ugh). We’ve spent probably 4-5 hours so far and only really conquered the center section. We are also going through the shelves and trying to rehome stuff logically as we go. It’s crazy. But needs to be done.

So after a couple hours on that, I loaded up the car with the community quilts and headed to City College for the next installation…Don’t Shut Up opens tonight, 5-8 pm.

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It took a while to hang the quilts…I’ll post the whole show some time in the next few days. There is a panel discussion next week and then an artist walk and talk on July 20.

I didn’t get home until almost 10 PM. Exhausted. Again. That was Thursday. Then yesterday, I got up early (couldn’t sleep) and made sure my small cat and bird quilts had labels and dowels, and then delivered them to Visions for their store.

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If you want a small and appropriate (no penises or uteri) Nida quilt, they’ll be there. Support me and the museum that was willing to give me a solo show. It’s nice to have their support…

As a gift for my work on Don’t Shut Up, I was the happy recipient of a Linda Litteral original…I love her work.

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Her work will be in the Don’t Shut Up exhibit as well.

More garage cleanout yesterday afternoon revealed this Nida original (from some kit teaching you how to draw)…

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Elementary or middle school?

I had my stitching meeting last night, where I didn’t work on this…although I did when I got home. Two nights’ worth…apparently I was too tired Thursday to touch it. Just more chain stitch and filling in around the orange flowers with fly and straight stitches.

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I worked on this at the stitching meeting, finishing Palestrina knots around the hippo and starting the backstitching.

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Slow but calming work. Doesn’t require much brain power. Which is a good thing at the moment.

When I got home, I started tracing what I’m currently calling Long Skinny, for lack of a better name. Kitten is intently watching an ant who is crawling across the table.

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And doing more important sleep work.

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Perhaps she is stealing sleep from me…is that a thing?

I traced about 130 pieces…it was late.

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Only 12 more hours to go.

So more garage this afternoon, an opening tonight, plus birthday celebration (not mine), family gathering tomorrow, car needs work, another gallery pickup Monday, and girlchild is home Tuesday night. So yes. I will be desperately trying to clean up her room at some point (maybe when the temperature gets below 100 degrees). And tracing stuff. Or cutting it out. And hopefully drawing. And sleeping, for gods’ sake. Really.

*Zero 7, Destiny