A Spray of Stars Hit the Screen*

July 28, 2017

Been up all hours now. Stayed up too late finishing the cutting-out stages on the quilt. Then up bloody early cuz I couldn’t sleep, plus some crazy person drove from Long Beach to buy my serger in the early dawn. I don’t serge. I also don’t early dawn. You don’t even know what a serger is, if you’re one of my non-sewing readers. Do I have non-sewing readers? Probably a few. I can’t even thread a serger. It takes 5 YouTube videos to thread a serger. Certainly not happening with the brain power I’ve got at the moment.

The Don’t Shut Up show is down. I got to leave early to come home and spend two hours writing the blogpost for it. You can see that here, if you didn’t go to the show. Shows are a lot of work, even when you’re not in charge. I still need to suss out the videos I’ve got and post about the artist talk, but that’s not happening today. Straight up, I need a break from all the cleaning and doing shit. Which is silly, because it’s not like I’ve been doing it full time or anything, but it just gets very overwhelming to have to make that many decisions about what to do with stuff and/or how to store it or get rid of it. I found a cardboard box full of silverware yesterday. In my bedroom cupboard. I didn’t even remember its existence. They’re not solid silver, unfortunately, because then maybe I could pay somebody to clear all this out, but they’ll supplement my stash. My eye is twitching again. The internet is ever so helpful. Causes are stress, fatigue, and caffeine. Well yes. I do have those. Thank you, internet.

Anyway, I will deal with the hangers today, but I’m not planning on a lot else. Well, there’s the pile of clothes I just dumped on the bed. More to go through…aaargh.

So yeah, I stayed up way too late last night because I just needed to be done with the cutting out of tiny little pieces…

See…there’s someone who knows how to sleep properly.

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I finished cutting stuff out sometime after midnight. I think it was about 13 hours total.

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And then early this morning, while waiting for the serger woman to show up, I negotiated space on the light table with Kitten…

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Apparently it’s her table, not mine.

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I just worked around her. Like I always do.

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I sort all those tiny pieces out again into bins…they’re easier to deal with 100 pieces at a time…

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I was visited by a hummingbird.

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So this took two hours…and most of the last hour was sorting through pieces like in the bottom box. Tiny pieces. Crazy pieces. Who the fuck thought this was a good idea?

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These pieces are either missing the paper or missing the fabric. Not bad…and that piece 485 is either the gray or the red. I’ll figure it out when I iron it all down.

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All sorted.

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Fourteen boxes of pieces for today’s ironing pleasure. If I can wake up enough to do that. I have shitty role models around me, all of them asleep. Think I’m going to go take a nap with the clothes on my bed. They probably won’t bug me too much…then maybe I’ll be able to iron for a while.

*Siouxsie and the Banshees, Kiss Them for Me

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You Said That You Could Let It Go*

July 27, 2017

OK, I don’t have much time here. I have to hurry rush go very very fast to get downtown and sit for about 6 hours. OK, probably not sitting the whole time, but it’s deinstall day at the Don’t Shut Up show…it wasn’t up for long, but we did a lot of stuff while it was up. So much work to put the show together and then it comes apart in a day.

I preloaded a bunch of resized photos onto a flash drive and I’m hoping someone will be nice enough to share the school wifi password so I can write a couple of blogposts for the two art groups I’m in. It takes a good 5 hours to write those posts sometimes: Find the photos. Resize the photos. Ask people for better photos sometimes. Start writing. Find all the artists’ names. Find all the names of the art. Resize things again because Blogger is a pain in the ass. Check all the spelling. Email three people whose labels you forgot to photograph. Save a draft. Save a draft again. Preview it. Go back and fix everything you fucked up on. Rewrite Blogger’s code because that’s easier than starting over. Save it again. Maybe publish it.

Now do it again for the other art group. And then sit back and wait for the stuff you know people will want you to fix.

So I’m gonna try and get that done today in between people picking up art. Or maybe we’ll be able to start spackling and painting…who knows?

Yesterday was mostly about cleaning the bedroom. I don’t know about you, but I have no freakin’ clue why I have so many hangers…I don’t even hang most of my clothes up. I live out of the laundry basket most of the time. In fact, you could take my wardrobe down to 7 pairs of black pants and 7 black shirts and I’d probably be OK with that.

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I still haven’t dealt with most of that pile. It was overwhelming. I walked away. Cleaned something else.

Then I found this. Oh sigh. Really? So we grew up (and this may be some weird thing with just my family; feel free to tell me that) with wooden coathangers that some poor soul had crocheted over. I think when my grandma died, my mom packed up all of HER crocheted wooden coathangers and put them in a plastic bag with my name on them. This was early on post-divorce, so I apparently shoved them in the back of my closet.

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Where they stayed for like the next 10 years. I think. I just don’t even remember taking possession of that bag, and now I have to figure out what to do with all these.

When my parents die, there will be another 100 of those fuckers.

After dinner, I headed for the couch. I did pistil stitches in a white variegated thread in the very bottom area. Trying to branch out. Or fill in. Or whatever I’m doing.

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Boychild joined me and merged the dogs into one. They should be easier to take care of this way.

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Then I cut stuff out while watching A Series of Unfortunate Events, which was pretty funny.

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I’m so not done. I’m taking this with me too, just in case there’s no wifi. My hand hurts today though. Shockingly.

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The stuff on top still needs cutting out. I did about 3 hours yesterday and I think I’m 9 hours in total right now. I didn’t start until late because I was cleaning most of the day. The cleaning is very difficult…I have to spend way too much time thinking about the implications of the 100 vintage scarves and hankies I found, plus the kid’s book that my grandma’s grandma made (do the math…I can’t). Like where the fuck do I store stuff? I have too much stuff in that room. It’s traumatizing. And cleansing. And dirty and stressful and at some point, I just gave up and vacuumed the living room because it was easier. And then I resized 150 photos for the two blogposts.

I AM HAVING A VERY HARD TIME GETTING SHIT DONE THIS SUMMER.

OK. There we are. Feeling better. Need food, need more caffeine. Leaving soon.

*Gotye, Somebody That I Used to Know


Not Close Enough for the Champagne to Get Chilled*

July 24, 2017

Weekends. I got some stitching done in the car yesterday. Got some cutting out done at the meeting. People make fun of me for always working…although there are down times (Saturday nights usually)…but I actually find cutting those tiny pieces out mostly relaxing. So if it’s a meeting, I actually pay more attention when I’m cutting. I know that sounds weird, but the action of cutting keeps the part of my brain that gets off task from affecting the part of my brain that’s listening.

So I listen better when I cut or sew or draw. I’ve had huge issues over the years with mostly control-freak teachers and bosses who believe people are best paying attention when they are staring into your eyes, unblinking. Yeah. Well they’re wrong. Interesting insight for me as a teacher. I totally understand the kids who are trying to read a book while we’re teaching…luckily we do much less of the direct instruction than we used to, so now they have stuff to do. I would have been drawing AND trying to read a book at the same time, so I get it.

So I cut these out during the meeting…got almost two hours in. AND paid attention like a good member.

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So it’s harder to know how much more I have to do, whether I’ve hit the halfway mark anywhere (nope. Bet I haven’t.). I have about 3 1/2 hours into the cutting. Nowhere near half. But that makes sense, because I only exceeded the halfway mark on ironing pieces down sometime yesterday…here’s my fabrics for the bunch of wildflowers she’s holding…

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I had more greens, but turns out I didn’t need them.

I did over 3 hours of ironing again yesterday, mostly at night. I’m 14 hours in, so I think I’m going to go over my 15-hour estimate by quite a bit. Unfortunately. I’ve barely started the 900s, so probably tomorrow will be when I finish ironing. Today is kind of busy.

On the left is all the stuff that’s ironed down. On the right is all the stuff that’s trimmed.

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And here’s the disaster I left on the ironing board last night. Actually, I think I made myself clean it up.

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The pile on the right is all flesh fabrics. Usually I cut all the flesh in one go, but because of how this quilt was drawn, there are little bits of flesh and then big whopping bits of land and all the things on it, so I just keep the pile of flesh fabrics separate and pull them out when I hit the next fleshy bit. Sometimes I write numbers on the drawing for the colors…1 is the lightest, then 2 etc. In case there’s an overlap farther up or the arms need to match the color of the shoulders. The drawing is not sacred in any way.

I did just check and on an average quilt, I hit the halfway point in total construction somewhere in the cutting-out-fabrics stage. So close to halfway but not close enough for the champagne to get chilled. That’s for sure.

So I’ve finished all the flesh up to the shoulders, but all the stuff in the chest area (buildings, sun, nuclear power plants) all need to be ironed. And I saved out the decorative stuff on the arms: waves, veins, tattoos, etc. So I can work on that now, although I think there will be an issue with food at some point, and I have to be two somewheres this afternoon. Sigh. Busy summer.

All the crap from the garage is now on Craigslist though, so there’s that. I’m not quite done dealing with the garage, but it’s manageable now. I think I have to start working on the bedroom honestly. And worry about school? Not yet. Girlchild goes back to Boston tomorrow…feel like I’ve barely seen her, but she has friends she wants to see as well. Shockingly. And I’ve been busy too…not entirely on her.

Anyway. The to-do list is massive. Time is limited. Sleep is optional. With that in mind, I’ve got art to do and cleaning as a backup.


Read the Lines in My Hand*

April 20, 2017

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…

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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.

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Then the third dog showed up and the shenanigans began…

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

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And then came in here and started ironing…

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

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

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

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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.

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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


I Don’t Want to Fake It*

April 19, 2017

Well finally there is progress on the quilt…for some reason, finishing one task and moving on to the next one feels like movement. I’m still worried about finishing in time…with good reason, really. But I did finish ironing yesterday…122 fabrics used in a little over 12 hours. That’s a long time to pick 700 fabrics, actually. Not sure what’s up with that. Trying to get my mind back into doing it after traveling for a week, I guess.

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Lots of blue…it is in a bathtub though.

Kitten was not helping by sitting on all the ironed pieces. She loves those boxes, and I forgot to block her access…

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Then I started cutting out. Well, first I graded an assignment, which is my current rule. Grade first. Only 6 left. Ugh. SIX. Yeah. Well.

I cut for 4 1/2 hours yesterday. I cut through Walking Dead, the Bronte sisters show on PBS, and an episode of The Americans.

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I did not finish. The bottom box still has the whole bathtub and the water in it to do…plus more. But I got a good chunk done. The plan is to finish cutting today, then sort, then start ironing down.

I threaded through the running stitches last night.

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There was some furry love going on. These two like each other.

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This one just gets jealous.

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Oh yeah. And I got a tattoo. I’ve wanted one since I was approaching my 30th birthday. I might have been pregnant then. My now-ex told me he would divorce me if I got one. Then I aimed for 35, but ended up with a divorce instead…plus no money. It’s hard to spend disposable cash on something like this when you don’t have a lot…so I just put it off…for years. Last year, I had decided I would do it…but just got side-tracked. And then my kids gave me the money for my 50th birthday…so I had to do it. I didn’t have the money excuse. So I finally found the time and went in and talked to the artists…came up with a plan (all this actually happened pretty fast, but I did have a stash of photos I liked on my phone)…and he did it yesterday.

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I’m really happy with it. Big smile on my face for a long time yesterday.

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I know some people will wonder why I didn’t draw something of my own, but first of all, I don’t draw for tats…I draw for what will eventually be quilts. And the detail and size of most of my drawings would be prohibitive…like first, where am I gonna PUT that? And how am I gonna pay for it? I’m OK with this stylized yin-yang eyeball. I don’t need it to be my art.

Anyway, it took me a while to get that off my bucket list (and now I have about 17 other ideas I want…but it’s OK. I gots no money for that.). Now I can do something else I’ve been talking about for years (well I’ve been told I can’t shave my head, but you know how that goes…just give it time)…

*Cake, Love You Madly


Love Was Changing the Minds of Pretenders*

March 8, 2017

Hello International Day of the Woman. Hello American Day without a Woman. I salute you both with a uterus and a few women at work in stereotypical ways…

Art Quilts and Fiber Arts

This is from my newest piece, I Can’t Be Your Superwoman, which can be seen in full at the Visions Art Museum in July. I am going to work today. Yes I know some school districts have shut down for today, but I also know my population. It’s not good for my kids. I won’t shop for anything. I might need to buy food at book club tonight, where we will be discussing The Handmaid’s Tale, which I finished (for the 17th time) last night at around midnight. I’d forgotten the ending. I’m wearing red…ironically, it is my union meeting today as well, a day where we also wear red. Not my favorite color to wear, honestly…but there’s a message there…especially after seeing how the GOP’s healthcare plan bashes women for their reproductive systems. Bashes poor women and their families across the board. How is this better for all? Their ignorance is noted. Their misogyny is noted. Abortions will be expensive and difficult to get…ironically, only the rich will be able to get them. Birth control is again on the chopping block, and maternity care…really GOP? You care about the unborn child but not the mother carrying it? It’s like going back to the Dark Ages. The elderly with no additional income? No break? Pay more. I am lucky to have a good job with good insurance. I know people who aren’t so lucky. I’m betting Viagra is still covered, and so are procedures for erectile dysfunction. Don’t mess with a man’s right to be a man; penalize a woman for being born with this inconvenient set of parts that just happens to be the source of new men (and women, hallelujah).

Feminism

Rants aside…hug a woman today. Or a womanchild. Try to walk in their shoes. If you are a woman, hug harder. We need all the support we can get.

More leaves. At some point, I will have the guts to venture out of the leaves. At some point, the tree will tell me to leave. Ha. Leave. Funny.

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I was a pet couch last night for a while, until I shoved them off and to the side so I could work.

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So here’s how it works when I don’t go to bed early enough…first of all, I started cutting out pieces after doing some other stuff. It was going OK, but looking at the pile, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to finish last night. OK, no problem. I don’t think I said I had to be done on Tuesday. Just keep cutting. I’m watching Victoria at the moment, which I have some issues with (ironically feminist issues), but it’s still nice to watch. I’m tired. I look at the clock. Huh. Well it’s only about 11:20 PM…I’ll finish this episode and keep cutting and then go to bed. End of episode comes. I look at the pile of what’s left and it’s SMALL now. How did that happen? I was not paying attention. Well dayum. I’m not quitting now. It’s not going to take long. Start the next episode, keep cutting until I’m done.

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So that’s how I stay up too late, although I did OK last night. After midnight? Yeah, but not too bad. Then I went to bed and read the last 10-15 pages of The Handmaid’s Tale, because I knew I wouldn’t have time today before book club. That probably didn’t help. But that’s how my brain rolls. And now tonight I can sort pieces and maybe start ironing the damn thing together. Certainly tomorrow I will be ironing…ironing a woman down…ironing down a protest quilt. Seems like a good thing.

*Earth, Wind, and Fire, September


Everybody’s Got to Know the Word*

March 7, 2017

Things you’d rather not come home to…

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I got an email about this from my neighbor sometime midday (this is my property, mind you). The water pipe that’s been leaking for weeks…but maybe you could check with me in enough time for me to register a complaint? Or give approval even? But no. Sigh. I wish we had a good enough relationship for that.

It’s OK. When I first got his description of where he was going to dig, I was worried about the tree, but it should be OK.

I got the email at the beginning of a 2-hour staff meeting where I’m not allowed to have technology. How to get through a 2-hour staff meeting? I draw. My brain is in slow-processing mode in the afternoon…always. I’m voted most likely to fall asleep and/or get in trouble. And I can’t remember half the stuff they talk about because I’m not allowed to use technology to document it. I have piles of written notes in random-ass places that I will never find again. I don’t need more of that. So I’ll put it here…

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Of course, I may never see that either. I figure I must have been hungry for this one…

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For a good breakfast. And on fire. Or tired of the discussion…another 30+ pages for the April meeting.

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Yeah. I’m not getting much out of the book study we’re doing. I am drawing though. So I never found the other sketchbook. It’s hiding somewhere, I hope. But I found one I used to carry around. These are oldies…

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I can’t explain why the person who is supposed to be driving is reading a book.

Most of these were done in restaurants, waiting for food. Somewhat disturbing…

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This was my birthday four years ago.

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It never stops, the drawing urge.

I did more leaves. I may do leaves until the end of time. I did a lazy daisy nested in a lazy daisy.

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And then I cut for hours. I refused to do schoolwork. I just couldn’t. And I was hoping to get done with this. But no. You can see what’s left to cut out on the top right.

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I did a lot. I think I even did most of it. But there’s still a hefty chunk in there. At some point, my hands hurt. I’ve been trying a new pair of scissors. They’re nice and sharp, supposed to be ergonomic and for craft cutting, more paper and fabric than just fabric, but the spring action on them is harder to manage. I wonder about whether they think that’s good because I don’t have to pull them open again, but I do use more energy squeezing. I’m always thinking about how I’ll keep making art when I’m ancient…and maybe I’ll stop sewing, which would be sad, and start painting with big wet brushes, a la Matisse in his later years…big paper or canvases on the floor as I wheel myself around, caregivers racing around trying to control the paint splatter. That might be worth it. It’s true I wasn’t always a fabric artist, so I don’t have to be one forever…but the medium seems to have stuck. I’d be sad to leave it behind.

*Cameo, Word Up