Sturdy Up Your Heart*

May 20, 2017

I’m frozen again. It’s 95 degrees out there. But my brain. Frozen. Too many things on the list. Dogs have been to the vet…one is now coneless and fancy free…the other is on more meds, a bloody abscess cleaned out, and still a conehead. Fun stuff. The washing machine died (again…it died last August too) last night while trying to finish up the boychild’s bedding. I really don’t have the time to deal with that right this second. Maybe tomorrow afternoon? I just don’t know. This might be an online thing. Trying to decide if it’s worth trying to fix again (I never actually fixed it last time…gave Sears the money to fix it and then spent 4 months trying to get the money back because they said my husband let them in the house and they fixed it. Interesting. I have no husband. Or male who lives here at the moment.) or whether I should just accept that the last 9 months of forcing it to work, even though it was apparently unfixable, was better than I thought I would get. Write that shit off. Because buying major appliances when I have no paycheck during the summer seems like a good plan? Fuuuuck.

Deep breaths. The list is long. I will get through bits and pieces of it, a little at a time.

There’s the nervous conehead at the vet. She gets all freaked out.

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And on the way home, she wouldn’t shift over to give the puppy some room…

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Don’t squish your baby brother.

I’m typing now with this one lying on the caps lock. I keep shoving her over.

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I did do some stitching last night…two nights’ worth on the stitch-a-day…it’s about all I did. I was so exhausted. I’m better today. Got over 8 hours of mostly OK sleep. I really needed it.

I stitched a (dammit…just forgot the name of it) feather stitch in blue and then straight stitches in the purple vine, and then put in a few French knots and a stem stitch under the eyeball to finish the thread. Then I did a pink lazy daisy in the feather stitch and straight stitches off the purple vine.

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Filling space. Plus trying to relax. Then I graded for a while. I’m so incredibly behind, it’s not even funny. Trying to catch up. Frantically.

I did work on this at gaming…

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I did the frog and started the grass…plus the symbol on the tree. Still debating going back and adding bullions to the outside of the tree. Then this one is done. Not taking it with me to Ohio.

It’s funny, I’ll be frantically stitching while gaming, trying to keep myself calm (not) and awake (that works). Stress levels are a little insane at the moment.

I woke to good (but a little scary) news this morning. Both the pieces I entered into Threads of Resistance got in.

This is Absolutely Nothing, originally in an exhibit called Women at War

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And this is Work in Progress, from the exhibit Expressions of Equality.

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These were made one after the other…hence the tree showing up in both…I wasn’t done with that imagery apparently. Much like the bathtubs I keep doing.

So yeah, I didn’t have time to make new work for this show, but I do often roll in those topics anyway. There was a climate change one I wanted to enter, but it was like 2″ too big. It’s all good.

So why is it a little scary? Well. So. A few of my quilts have upset people’s sensibilities. And these two have about 10 penises between the two of them, plus yes, full-on nudity, and one is NOT very nice about how I feel about the way women are treated in society.

So. I guess we prep for the media storm this time…because some of these venues could be an issue. The plus is I know the group that organized this show has my back. Most of them have supported me in the past with personal messages or posts online. So I’m feeling OK about opening some eyes, or getting those heads nodding up and down in agreement. And I know the Mancusos will just invite the press in…still think I should get a kickback on their ticket sales if I make the news again.

The show opens July 15 in Lowell, Massachusetts, at the New England Quilt Museum. And then it travels through 2018. Or longer. So check it out.

Now I gotta get through this to-do list or I’m gonna go crazy.

*The Beautiful Girls, La Mar

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You’d Better Change It Back or We Will Both Be Sorry*

May 17, 2017

There’s too much shit in my head right now, swirling around. Massive to-do lists banging into me like two dogs wearing plastic cones on their heads. Wait. That’s real life. I’m tired of their doggy heads banging into the backs of my legs…or both of them trying to get through a door before I’ve opened it all the way. Thunk! One dog gets 7 1/4 pills in the morning; the other gets 1.6 ml? or µl? of some white stuff that he tolerates. Treats for all! Plus soaking of the feets! So time-consuming. And then there’s all the stuff I should be doing for school but keep blowing off…grading, most of it. But also calculating grades and awards. Then the boychild is home in less than a week…I think his room is pretty clean, but the bedding definitely needs washing. And I need to vacuum, but my vacuum is dying a not-so-pretty death, so I need to deal with that. And then I’m gone for two days next week to go to Quilt National…yay! But that’s a planning nightmare for school. You just don’t take off during the sex ed unit. Or. Well. You do. You just plan really well for it.

And this block I’m working on is supposed to be done by the 29th…which it probably will be. It’s not a hard thing to do. It really only needs to be a top, but since the drawn line is really important to my quilts, I’ll have to figure out how to do that without quilting it. I might use batting anyway. Or maybe not, since I think I’m one of the ones in charge of sewing this thing together. I can quilt it later. Maybe. I don’t know.

Anyway. I did manage to finish all the ironing last night…although I did this first, two night’s worth…I did some red straight stitches and then some weird whipped stitch just to the right of the eyeball. Then a barbed chain stitch (I don’t know if that’s a real stitch…it’s just what it looked like as I made it up) and French knots in green near the eyeball and that whipped stitch.

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The color is really dull because I took that photo basically in the dark without a flash. So the next time you see a photo of it, you’ll be amazed by how bright it is.

Then I ironed all those flesh fabrics from last night and cut out the rest of it (a heart…an ovary)…

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So that’s 32 fabrics, a pile of stuff to be cut out tonight, and about three hours of work.

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Like I said, it’s not a hard thing to do…in fact, maybe I should do a few smaller ones. So that reminds me, I need to put an official list together of what is going to be in the Visions show. I should do that this week, because next week is gonna be a cluster. Plus I want it done. I basically know what’s in there…I just have a few wishy washy issues. And being overwhelmed is not helping me deal with them.

I wish I were her sometimes. It looks so easy…

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Goofball dogs.

But really. I think it’s 21 days left of school…and I’m gone for 2 of those. But then I have jury duty. And I need to pick up some copyediting jobs for the summer. Plus I need a big project (or three) for the summer. Right? It’s true, I love that about the summer…a big meaty project or two to focus on with all that “free” time.

OK. Well I still have a headache, so the tea isn’t cutting it. Yesterday we eased into sex ed with Liking vs Loving…much easier than slamming right into anatomy, which is how we’ve always done it. We ramp it up a bit today with relationship abuse, and then tomorrow, we bring out the penises and vaginas. Whoa Nelly. Then slam them upside the head with puberty. It’s on!

*The Human League, Don’t You Want Me


Sleep Don’t Visit, So I Choke on Sun*

May 12, 2017

Hello Friday. I appreciate your showing up this morning, albeit a little early. Perhaps you could make sure that you are more quiet in the morning next time, so you don’t wake the puppy up. He barks and wakes me out of a deep and sound sleep, which at my age, is a rare enough thing that you should be much more careful. That said, you’re here, and I am glad. I’m hoping you go quickly, though, at least the daytime part, so I can, well and let’s be honest here, go back to sleep and wake up to Saturday. It must be hard to be Friday, to be so celebrated but basically asked to go away as quickly as possible…or at least get to the dark part of Friday, because it’s much easier to handle.

I spent about 3 hours at the vet yesterday, arriving after the dogs and my ex, to find out that the dogs were significant victims of foxtails. (Not my yard.) Oh yay and the future is fun. Pills for some and liquids for the other (in retrospect, pills might have been easier…), soaking of feetsies (oh my, they love that), and general mayhem with cones and trying to lick and manipulation of the cone zone. I guess I need to learn to shave those paws. Or find a groomer. Yes the right paw is the worst. Poor babies.

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And those claws. Yeesh.

It was significantly late when I got them home. I had these threads in my mailbox, trying to pick an iris color…long story. It will make sense later. The one on the left is out…debating between the other two.

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I have until tomorrow to decide. I think.

More progress on the hand. I did do seed stitch in the lower part of the wrist area and then filled in with some stem stitches. It’s almost all filled in.

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Yeah. It’s strange. What can I say?I’m sure some people would be happier with all flowers, but I was getting sick of them.

Then I traced. Finished it, in fact. It’s small. It has only 290 pieces. It only took a little over 2 hours…

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I was going to start cutting them out last night, but I was way too tired. I actually went to bed before midnight. Twenty-four days of school left. I’ll be gone for two of them. One of them is testing. One is a field trip. One is the last day of school, which is always a bit hellish. We start teaching sex ed early this year…more content…so next week. I don’t feel ready. Oh well.

And then there’s this. Some of you may have seen this.

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I don’t doubt that…it’s just the definition of nice that’s the problem. Some parts of this world we see every day are really pissing me off at the moment. It makes it hard to be NICE. Really. Anyway, I’m hoping to have some energy to cut stuff out tonight, but will also have all the stuff I was supposed to do yesterday and didn’t do. Crap. Oh well. It is Friday.

*Radical Face, Welcome Home


It’s Never Quite as It Seems*

April 29, 2017

Leaping out of bed at 6 AM, grabbing the phone and finding the camera app. Not to go to work…simply to try to record what freaking animal travels past my bedroom window every morning, usually at 5:30, but apparently it sleeps in on Saturdays. Simba is barking wildly, like he needs to kill it. Then again, he barks at the wind, at phones ringing on television shows, and random shit that’s at least 5 miles away. So I’m not really paying attention to him. Did I catch it? No. It’s either raccoon or skunk…not sure why I care, except it’s constantly waking me up…not because of its stealthy movements through the leaves. I can sleep through that (usually)…but I can’t sleep through Mr. Barkypants. Some part of me thinks if I get a picture of it and show it to the pup that his tiny little brain will go, “Oh. That’s it. I don’t need to bark at that.” Um. OK. So when I write that out, I realize how crazy it sounds. That dog would just bark more.

Yesterday was Calli’s 8th birthday. She acts a lot older this year though…maybe that’s the growing arthritis. I don’t usually have her on Fridays, but I automatically went and picked her up, so whoops. I wanted to go on a walk, so I figured she probably did too (I was right). Even with the arthritis pain, she loves walks.

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It doesn’t matter how I try to organize and untangle leashes…the little one is a leash idiot.

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The plant growth this year is crazy…

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The last time we were here, it was almost underwater…

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This was exciting for both of them…that is a bunny. There were lots of bunnies, actually…

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And lots of wildflowers…

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And these weird giant spiky pod things…

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These flowers are here every year…there were actually fewer of them because they were inundated with the taller grasslike weeds.

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Unfortunately, Simba was badly designed. I constantly consider shaving his butt fur. It’s really impossible for him to poop without it getting stuck in his fur sometimes, which is lovely. Really lovely. He needed a flea bath anyway. The fleas this year have been awful…I feel like nothing is working…

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He doesn’t like water. At all.

Before we went on the walk, Calli went and rolled in the skunk-infused dirt again, so she reeked. So I bathed her with better-smelling stuff and her skin stuff, so she has to sit with it on for 10 minutes. Always fun.

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Yeah, I should remodel this bathroom. Remind me to put in a dog-washing station. Seriously. That pink bathtub has to go.

I finally caught up on three nights on this…almost a third of the way through? And I’m lagging. I filled in the eye on the left with three different colors. That’s it. Now I want to do a hand.

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I tired the dogs out at least. Tired myself out as well…was already physically and mentally exhausted from school.

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I finally managed enough energy to eat dinner and then started quilting. The machine was amazingly well-behaved last night…which is good.

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Kitten was not so helpful. There’s some competition apparently between the two cats for time on my bed, and Kitten is being nonconfrontational with the other cat but very needy in the studio. Pet pet pet. Nice kitty.

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It took a wine assist last night…too stressed to think straight. It’s been a long week. But I got a decent amount of quilting done.

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There’s a lot of things on the to-do list today. But I’m up and trying to be efficient. Gonna get through the first two quickly so I can get on with some quilting and artful enjoyment of the rest of the day. Artwalk is downtown and there’s another opening I want to see…plus The Handmaid’s Tale is on someone else’s Hulu. So that sounds like a good afternoon and evening. I’m hoping. I need some down time before I barrel through grades. Tomorrow I’m hoping to be done with quilting and to buy a binding. And deal with the other quilt. Yeah…that much closer to having a clue what will be in the solo show…probably that’s a good thing.

*The Cranberries, Dreams


Yo, Watch the Way I Navigate*

December 17, 2016

Conflicting music in the AM. Chaos everywhere. The cookie dough is made and in the freezer, so I can make cookies for the big huge gigantic family party tomorrow. I ate breakfast and showered. I have to drop Amazon book rentals at the UPS store. I’m not done Christmas shopping. At all. I’m now waiting for the call to go Pokemon. A load of laundry is in so I have something to wear tomorrow. Drawing? Geez. Maybe. I was exhausted last night. Crashed. Today is blue skies, everything still damp. (I just ran out of here to turn the sprinklers off for the next week…saving water…and the water bill.) Both kids home, one getting the other into their school library, trying to find some article or book for her essay due Monday. So she’s focused mostly on that, and I’m not allowed to talk about how crazy it makes her. She’ll really be here on the 20th…or sometime the night of the 19th. We’re not sure which.

This time of year is always a little difficult for artmaking…a lot of family obligations jump in the way. I have to learn to take a deep breath and let that happen. Know that I will find time for art somewhere, somewhen.

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Dogs trying to get along. They’re not great at it. Puppy is highly energetic again, back to his normal self, bouncing all over the place and trying to eat everything.

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Calli is an old lady and has limited patience.

My tree has lights and three ornaments on it. My daughter has taken over the couch. The dogs get the other one.

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That’s what essay-writing looks like. My light table is right next to her…that’s where the drawing is. Ugh. Well, it’s not like I know how to finish it right now anyway.

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Essay writing takes place everywhere. Puppies are distracting, but appreciated.

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Even when they help with the unpacking. The animals love all the attention…

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Anyway, today does not belong to me. Neither do Sunday or Monday. I’ll do my best to get some art done, but the reality is that family comes first. I can even ignore the 8 grading assignments I brought home for a few days.

Hope you find time for art in all the other stuff. And if you don’t have family hogging your time, I send you hugs. If you want them.

*Gorillaz, Feel Good Inc.


It’s Not the End of the World…

April 27, 2014

I have this way of dealing with life at the moment. I just divide it up into these blocks. There are the blocks that are mindless, things I have to do and can almost do in my sleep (strangely, school is one of these blocks). There are the blocks that are sleep; they’re short. There’s the blocks that are art…I try to fit one in a day. There’s exercise and meditation and a hike a week. There’s the grocery store. I divide each day up again. The block that gets me up and out the door for school. The block that deals with the time right after school. Blocks that aren’t already filled or designated, I make sure there’s a plan for those, because it’s the fucking down time that messes with me. There are some blocks I used to have that I don’t have any more. They’re the hardest to fill…and they need to be filled. It’s kind of ironic, because it’s not like I have time to add groups of new friends or activities, but I almost have to in order to make sure there’s no down time for the brain to sink lower. I need to keep it occupied.

That said, those of you who are parents (or just empathetic to parents) know that you can plan all you like, but life is gonna bitchslap you some days. Tuesday the girlchild had some things that looked like bug bites. She showed them to me, they were itchy, there were like three of them. Wednesday, there were more, but they were moving around and we talked about washing her sheets this weekend (except Tuesday night, she wasn’t at my house), still thinking bug bites. Thursday, they were somewhat worse, and I decided they were hives. We talked about stress (she is still making up work from her surgery AND AP tests start next week…good enough reasons to BE stressed, but she said she wasn’t). We talked about food and soap and lotion and all that good stuff. Nothing new. Apparently Thursday night (again at her dad’s) was bad, but eventually they went away and she went to sleep. When I texted her during the day on Friday and suggested the doctor, she said no way, it was fine, she was better. I got home Friday, she was not home yet, she slammed in the door about 15 minutes later yelling for me, lifted her shirt, and holy shit. Hives everywhere. Solid. Yeouch. I called the nurse, who asked 17 questions, then sent us to Urgent Care. Meanwhile, the kids have been watching way too much House (and I’ve already seen them all), so we were diagnosing her. (Lupus…no, not really). We took her in…you know it’s bad when the staff at Urgent Care gasp when they see it. Anyway, a couple of tests later and we still know nothing, but she has Benadryl in her and they’re prescribing an epi-pen. Sure enough, she was asleep (love Benadryl) by the time she got home, pretty much, and the hives were gone by midnight. Hopefully, whatever freakish thing that caused it is gone, out of her system. Impressive bumpiness, though.

So that was not a block of time that I had planned. It never is, when you’re a parent. I do think that most parents (the ones who pay attention) are much better at dealing with life because of shit like that. You have your afternoon/evening planned, and hives just fucks it all to hell and back. Seriously. It happens all the time, so often, that you always have a contingency plan. It’s how I survive. The back of my brain is always trying to budget time here or there to deal with bumps in the road like that. Like What Will You Do if the House Floods with Human Waste? And you already have a plan for that…and the zombie apocalypse…and random visitors.

So I dealt. Ordered dinner instead of cooking it. Did a little grading, but not a lot. Blew off the exercise in favor of meditation. Made it to bed at a reasonable hour because I knew I had a hike…a hike that might get moved due to weather issues. No problem. I can adapt. I just roll with it. I’m not always happy with the adjustment, but in the end, and I don’t know again if this is the depression or the meditative practices talking, I just need to go with the flow. It’s not the end of the world. There will be another day for ironing fabric. One day of missing exercise will not end my life. So we joked with the doctor about how she needed to send her staff over to check BOTH houses for mold and drugs, and girlchild was probably lying about sex or drugs, because they always do, and when would they start random medication? Yeah. We do watch too much House.

So no art last night. I did hike this morning…interesting story. I’m now three hikes behind on the blog! Aack! It’s OK, one is a repeat…the morning hike did not turn out to be strenuous enough to count for exercise, so I dragged the boychild and the two dogs (girlchild and ex are in Lancaster for National Cup, which no, she is not playing in…just supporting her team) out on a long, bitchy hike…

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Because I’m nice like that. Jake on the left, Calli on the right. This is Mt. McGinty, take 2. I think I can do it by myself now. Maybe. More on that hike later. Whenever later is (did I mention grades are due on Tuesday and I’m not done with them? Whatever. They’ll get done. It’s not the end of the world.). The dogs were extremely tired by then and were apparently huddling together for support.

Then we came home and I managed the depressoid hour of grocery shopping (Saturday night just sucks bigtime. The only plus is that it’s quiet and there are no lines). Drove to Sonic for dinner, because there was no way I was cooking. Plus I am feeling down and out and overwhelmed by shit that I can’t control, so I have not been eating great the last few days. But I got time with the boychild, and he’s moving away to college in a few months, and he won’t call, text, or email when he’s gone, so I’m kinda saving these moments up with just him for later. For when he’s gone. Makes me sad to think of it, but he’s an adult now and this is what he needs to do. I’ll be OK. I’m not a child. I can handle him leaving. I’m just sad about it. It’s OK for me to be sad about things. It better be OK, because I feel it a lot. It’s OK to not be happy when things don’t feel happy. It’s not abnormal. It’s not broken.

OK, I AM broken, but not because I am sad. I am sad because I am broken. Or I am sad AND I am broken. Hard to say.

Then I graded for a while, trying to get all the loose ends tied up, or at least enough of them to make a difference. Or something. I still need to input everything, but I’ll deal with that. It’s not the end of the world.

I feel like I already survived the end of the world. Like three or four times. Godzilla wasn’t there. No one was. Just me.

So then I started ironing, awfully late. Later than I had originally planned for today, but today’s plans came apart at the seams at about 5:20 this morning, or maybe even last night, and so I just two-stepped it and dealt. I’m good at that.

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I’m through the 400s…into the 500s. I could have started ironing the 500s, but didn’t feel like starting it. Depressing subject matter. Couldn’t look at it. Need some distance from it. Maybe tomorrow night. I just ironed all the leftover bits from the body…the heart and the nipples and the eyeballs and the hair and the eye she’s holding onto, or is she trying to catch it? Who knows.

Tomorrow is gym and a meeting and chaos and grading and exercise and meditation and maybe ironing. Hopefully ironing. A little bit of progress a day makes it better…

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It does. This is the pile of fabrics used so far…I’m not even a third of the way through, so there will be lots more.

There is a lot on my plate at the moment. I’m trying to divide it up into doable chunks, things I can handle. There are a couple of things I can’t deal with at all. So I’m not. It’s not the most mature way of living my life, but it’s what I can do at the moment. Really, there should be times in your life when everything is smooth sailing and then times when you are challenged to even get through the next 10 minutes, but that challenge…that’s probably what makes you who you are. Not how you deal when it’s easy…but how you deal when there’s too much and you have no help and stupidity reigns around you. That’s when it’s important. And if you’re a selfish asshole when that’s going on, then you suck. I’d like to believe karma will kick your ass, but I have no evidence of that.

So yeah. I’m ironing. I’m making art. What more do you need to know.


Protected: Political Crapswarm

August 29, 2012

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