That Damn Red Shirt…

It’s a foggy morning. It’s quiet, except for the gurgle of the pool filter/motor thing, which has too much air in the system again, so I’m gonna have to email the new guy. I don’t have time to go out there and figure it out. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’m gonna go out and make sure there isn’t a coyote snout or a gopher caught in there, but then I’m gonna email the expert who cleaned it yesterday. (No dead animals. I checked.)

I need another three days before kids can come back. It’s unfortunate that I only have 24 hours. I’ll be fine. Really, I will. The 4 AM wakeup so I could put something in my calendar was fun.

The second problem is coming home to a hellacious to-do list. I managed to catch the cat and put flea medicine on her, check who all my resource kids were, wonder Why TF they put so many kids in one period with a kid in a wheelchair (gonna be crowded!), print a bunch of school crap, forget to print a bunch of other school crap (hence the 4 AM wakeup), put a label on a quilt that needs to ship out this week, run a load of laundry so I can wear our new team shirt tomorrow (although I don’t have a bra that is light enough to wear under it, so that’s a thing), cook dinner, and quilt. And try not to kill anyone. It’ll be fine. (As I get a text that I’m supposed to be wearing the same red shirt I wore last Friday, like I do laundry all the time or something. Oh wait. IT’S FATE.)

Who was it that said something about how you can tell if a diabetic’s blood sugar is crashing because she is irritable? And then qualified it with the difference between my normal irritability and that related to my blood sugar. Which certainly if you saw me this morning, dealing with the pool, some red shirt thing (NOT the Star Trek thing where you’re gonna die), two meetings like ASAP, which means I gotta get my ass outta here, you would understand why someone would need to know the difference. FUCK. Now I’m irritated.

OK. It’s all good. I got this. Yesterday’s cat legs under a quilt…

It’s where she likes to hide…

Puppy glad to see me when I got home…

We found another scrapey bit where the coyote might have got him. He’s doing fine. We’re all paranoid as hell, but he’s fine.

I did a little of this. I might run out of the blue. I might not. IDK what color the cloud will be…whatever is left over.

Does it really matter? Maybe. Maybe not.

I did outline quilting around the outside edge pieces, all the way around the quilt.

IT’S SO FUCKING MEDITATIVE. Seriously, it is.

So I forgot to look at a clock until after midnight. Oh well. It’s not like I had to be up early this morning to get my ass to school to meet with someone about someone else who is gonna light my world up this year. YAASSS! Bring it! I’m ready. Where’s my damn red shirt.

Today 22 years Ago I Was Not at the Gym

Back to the gym. Trying to remember this habit before school fucks it all up. That’s true of eating right, getting enough sleep, and having personal time.

I was not here 22 years ago. I was at the hospital. The girlchild is 22 today! Wowza. She will be here tomorrow, but is enjoying a music and arts festival in San Francisco today.

I have so many awkward pix I could post of her…mostly screenshots from her Insta stories. Um yeah. I think I’ll wait until tomorrow and post something she won’t hate. Or maybe a birth picture! Oh yeah. Not even digital. So old school. Looking forward to having her home. Bought a bunch of kale and avocados.

Yesterday was school all day, even after I made it home. So much to do. But there’s a rough idea of what needs to happen.

We have a white board. This is good.

Going back is hard though. Never ready. I can get into my room next week, which is good because nothing is done.

I stitched a little at my stitching meeting…this number 9 and the last one I’m designing.

She doesn’t have a name yet.

And then I wanted to be done cutting stuff out.

That was the goal anyway, and I could have stayed up and finished, but I’m trying to train myself for back to school, plus I had a ton of stuff to get done today, so I needed to be up relatively early (not early really…but I’m not a fan of mornings).

So I only cut for a little over 2 hours…up to almost 11 hours total.

There’s so little left, but I really wanted to go to bed at a reasonable hour. I have a video call today where I can finish and then sort them hopefully. I still need to copyedit, edit a video, and clean a lot of things. No biggie.

Too Many Threads; Not Enough Knots

Sheesh. What a morning. I’m efficient, but not efficient enough. Too many threads; not enough knots. What am I getting done? Some things. I filled a bunch of cracks in my driveway yesterday so they can seal it in a few weeks. I need to fill more, but need more sealant to do that (note: trip to Home Depot). The right eyelid is twitching again. It comes and goes. I’m trying to get enough sleep. I did better last night. I think that’s because the cold is getting better. Hard to sleep when you can’t breathe. I don’t know how many nights of 8 hours of sleep I will need to feel human again though…probably more than I can get in the next week. I will have to be up early tomorrow and Thursday, unfortunately.

Hey local SAQA members! We’re getting the group going again. I will be hopefully putting together a monthly meeting in the La Mesa/El Cajon area too…I want to meet once a month to just hang out and stitch stuff, and show what you’ve been working on. Nothing stressful or worklike. Just fun and hanging out. That’s my goal anyway.

What else did I do yesterday? I got a new chiropractor…my neck is still sore, but I think that’s my fault. Phone and computer and all. I spent a lot of time setting up stuff for a new blogpost for one of my art groups. It takes forever to find all the photos, resize them, find all the names of the artists and the artwork, and in this case, write names of poems etc. Some misunderstanding about Fair Use Laws…but I’m still working on that post. I have two more to do for that group and then I’m going to try to do the other group’s blog as well. Sometimes I hate all the stuff I take on for other groups, but I also know it benefits me in the long run. So I do it.

Sometimes it takes me a long time to get it done though. There just aren’t enough hours in the day for everything. This was my post-dinner, still-watching-American-Gods stitching…

Working on the tree. Nothing fancy here. I’m just doing this until I get my act together to start the next embroidery pattern sample. I picked threads and mocked this up…now I just need to transfer it to the fabric.

I’m doing this on a white fabric. I do love the black, but it’s a pain to transfer the pattern onto, and this one is complicated. I’ll transfer it later today and start embroidering hopefully tonight. I just realized I have no mock colors on the nipples, so I’ll have to figure that out. The pen colors aren’t particularly accurate either, but they’ll do to remind me of what I was thinking. I would do it differently if I could use more than 5 colors. I would use about 20 or so!

Kitten was blocking my access to the pink fabrics last night…

Speaking of colors! I was going to keep this quilt all in the muted range, and then my brain said, heck noes, you needz all the colors. So I went a little bright in her chest area.

It’ll be fine. There’s a lot of green and brown in this. Not sure what I’m going to do with her hair yet. That’s another large portion of the quilt.

OK, well I have plenty to do now…mostly filling in poems and sending emails and hoping people respond and then renting a tile saw and trying to figure out how to use it. Minor detail. I might even finish ironing sometime soon. Well. It’s taking me a long time. So maybe not today, but still soon. Ish.

Feet They Hardly Touch the Ground*

More signs that I am not functioning correctly: I tried to condition my hair this morning before washing it. I did something else weird, but I’ve already forgotten it. Normally, I wouldn’t worry too much about lack of brain power at the end of the school year, but we are doing state testing today, so I don’t really want to fuck that up. The plus is that I don’t have to talk all day like I did yesterday, and I was probably super rude to the counselor who called and wanted to slow talk a very simple request while I was in the middle of explaining seminal vesicles and prostate glands, and I just needed to know in 3 words or less WTF you actually needed, not having a conversation right now. Sigh. I was zen last week. I’m too tired to be zen this week.

Because of that, I came home last night and didn’t bring any work with me. I hit 12,000 steps before I ever left my classroom, and then went to tutoring. We still had to do the grocery shopping, which meant having the mental capacity to consider what to cook. Too hard. Picked easy stuff. Sometimes you just have to get through it. I have a 3-day weekend coming up, so that bodes well for sleep. I don’t have a free Saturday until July though. Seems problematic. Oh wait, I think the 22nd of June is free. WTF. Oh well. More worryingly, I need to finish this quilt. It does have a deadline and I got nothing done on it over the weekend. So that’s a priority. Over grades even. They’re due later, I think.

So after dinner, I pulled out the 5th Earth Mother embroidery, the one I was working on during graduation ceremony 2 and 3, and then on the plane in the dark, because I knew I was almost done with it…and I finished it. It needs a wash…seriously…all that dog/cat hair.

It took about 5 1/2 hours, so a little longer than the last one. Not sure why. Just because. As far as selling these, it’s hard to do that without underselling my time. I have a formula. It makes this thing expensive. Do we pay artists appropriately for their time? Because the hours up there don’t count the drawing time and the time picking threads or buying the fabric, or the cost of the fabric…I didn’t have to buy the threads, so that helped, but normally you would. Plus time to wash and iron and trace it on there and all that. So it’s really probably more like 9 hours. A day’s work. What is that worth to you?

Just curious. I know the money part never works out.

I did start the last one. It shouldn’t take long…a little bit at dinner each night.

This guy…

Had a tick. That shit is scary. I missed these guys…

And my whacker cat, who slept with me last night and is seemingly more mellow this morning. Maybe. She didn’t whack me anyway. Yet.

And then I cut stuff out for an hour before I had to drive to the airport to pick up the last two of our party.

Yup. Still exhausted. Went to bed before midnight. Didn’t help. More cutting of these tonight…I have a long weekend and I want to get the quilt ironed together by the end of it. Plus I have some Patreon stuff to do this afternoon, so there’s that. And another drawing I haven’t finished. All that. Off to school.

*The Police, Walking on the Moon

No Time to Think About What She’s Done*

I promised to talk about some of the quilts in my Nida Powers exhibit…so I’m picking this one…the first of the earth mothers…aptly named Earth Mother

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This is also the first of the truly long skinny quilts…I started with a drawing on one page of my sketchpad, and then copied it and taped it to the next page…and maybe a third page. She wears a cape. People want me to explain everything in my quilts and the reality is that I can’t. Even this one, which dates back to 2006, I was journaling then, but often I don’t write down what I’m thinking when I make them. Ah, but I just went and looked and found this:

I meant to write about the 1/22/06 drawing to say what I was thinking when I drew it. I drew two eyes and they were too far apart, so I drew a third eye between them. She’s very calm looking. I think of her as native, earth mother type. I had a lot of problems with the arm behind. Used a bunch of liquid paper trying to decide what to do with the hands. Multiple nipples…didn’t like the placement of the first one, so I added some more. Seemed to go with the Earth Mother theme. Maybe that’s the name for now…Earth Mother. I know I want the feet to grow roots and the ground to be layers with tunnels and things down below. The 1989 tattoo is my marriage. I was thinking some people put significant names and dates on their body as tattoos, and that was a significant date, the date of my marriage. The eye relates back to that Indian (from India) thing of the all-seeing eye or even the evil eye. Her heart shows. The child is almost a Jesus figure, but eyes closed and wearing a diaper. Weird. Lots of decorative drawing. I drew the cape and the vine sort of as an afterthought. The halo is off center on purpose. Lots of religious overtones. I’ve always liked the stories of Mary that are sacrilegious and the stories of Our Lady of Guadalupe, so maybe that’s where I’m going with this.

Anyway, that’s where my brain was 11+ years ago. She is the most calm and peaceful of the Earth Mothers I think. She hangs in my entryway usually and I miss seeing her there. But she belongs in the show. Someone was asking about all the animals in the quilts; they’re all mine. I couldn’t figure out one of the cats in this one though. It’s back when Russia (the dog) was still alive. So I think it’s Willow and Juniper and Limbo, but I’m not sure who the other one is. Maybe Kiwi or one of the other dead ones. Even Russia was dead when I drew this…

So my art goals have been shot to hell otherwise. Yesterday was a lot of driving around and freaking out about black mold…it’s OK. We solved that. We had an expert over here, who scavenged some of our wood stain that was going to haz waste in exchange for his opinions and 9 wood screws.

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The big hole now has a medicine cabinet in it and the smaller hole is still there. I’m going to house animals in it.

Not really. I’m gonna fix it. But don’t ask my dad about it. He’s convinced there’s a 2×4 on the right (there isn’t). I know how to fix this kind of shit. I’m good.

Kitten. Seriously. I have video of her whiskers twitching while she sleeps in this position.

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So I didn’t get much done all day but errands and computer shit and I don’t even know what. The garage isn’t handled totally. The Craigslist ads are ready to be written. I’m posting those later this weekend. Don’t wanna deal with it right now.

Then I persuaded all living things that aren’t cats to go for a walk/hike down in Sweetwater…

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Strangely, cats don’t like walks. Well mine don’t.

Finally! Man. I need those walks. This weird plant…there’s still all new growth down there, minus rainfall.

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Fire hazard is gonna be high from here on out.

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Gorgeous evening though…

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Came back and made risotto (you know, like you do)…and then finally got to the ironing around 9:30. Yeah. Late again. So much for ironing all day, right? Fucked up mess. This is just like being at work.

So that’s what a tornado looks like before I iron it together. The brown fabric has been in my stash since I started making art quilts, like 1990 or so. It actually has some pieces drawn in pencil on the back of it. Fucking nuts. Really. I’m so glad I don’t have to do that any more (because drawing all 1320 pieces on Wonder Under is better? Sigh.).

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I was doing tiny buildings with tiny windows. No, they can’t all be the same color. That’s crazy.

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So I’ve ironed about 450 pieces down, maybe a bit more. And there’s still not a ton of color…lots of gray. Which makes sense maybe. I’ve done both legs all the way up to the pubic area, plus the land area below the knees.

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I’m hoping to do some today as well, but I don’t know how much time I have. Here’s the pile of pieces to be cut out. Silly windows.

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The whole fam went to bed after 1 AM (ugh)…no, the girlchild didn’t stay there all night, and Simba sleeps in a crate because he’s a fussbudget.

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Those faces. Calli sleeps through everything.

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Gonna miss the girlchild. Am not gonna miss her sticky labels from apples that I find attached to the kitchen counter every day.

Haz waste is gone. Did I mention that? Some shit got crossed off the list. Medicine cabinets. Another load of trash is ready to go. At this rate, my driveway is gonna look like Hoarder Central for another three months. That should keep the rabble away. Boychild is painting the fixed door. That’s good. And he’s the one that installed the medicine cabinets. (so he’s also the one that unearthed the black mold…)

OK. Checking my schedule. Going to iron until I’m told to do otherwise.

*Talking Heads, And She Was

Holding Hands While the Walls Come Tumbling Down*

So. A coupla things. I am behind on responding to comments. I’m sorry. It’s my first week of school. I’m a little overwhelmed. By all of it.

Second, I don’t think SAQA should pull the whole People and Portraits exhibit from the two remaining AQS shows. I think the artists and their family, friends, fans, and future fans deserve to see the amazing work in that exhibit, and I would never wish for their work to be pulled because of mine, even if mine being pulled is a crazy thing. I hope SAQA keeps up the banned quilt commentary in Chattanooga and points people to SPOOL Quilt Store to see my two quilts…because it’s nice of them to show my work and they deserve the extra business.

Third, someone objected to my calling out Fox News in a previous post. It comes to mind that maybe most of you don’t know that my work has been involved in previous kerfuffles, and every time, I’m hopeful that it will never happen again, because the world will become more tolerant and wonderful and amazing, like I want it to be. Yeah. I’m like that.

Fuck that. I have a legitimate beef with Fox News for reporting my work in the No Place to Call Home exhibit as pornography or inappropriate or any other host of words they used, when one woman called them because she was shocked I had shown a vulva in my work (she probably called it a vagina…most did), and had them come to the show and interview her. The Mancusos left the work hanging (although apparently someone put a piece of fabric over the offending vulva in Virginia), and let it continue on the quilt circuit, where there were no loud obnoxious complaints. Which is how it should be. That was back in 2011. And it reminded me that I had a brief moment of Oh Shit when SAQA announced the current exhibit was traveling with AQS. Because yeah. It’s happened before, but for a real thing, not an imaginary one.

And Quilters Newsletter Magazine reminded me yesterday that my quilt Disrupted (from the Sightlines exhibit, another SAQA show that traveled all over) had a complaint after they published it in their magazine in the December/January 2012 issue. The woman said it was like something out of Playboy magazine. QNM supported me across the board with months of positive letters about my work. That quilt got pulled from a museum in Missouri because something about school children. They did pull it before the show opened, though, but no one told me about it, which is a whole ‘nother issue that I believe has been remedied. Which is a good thing.

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That’s Disrupted. I’ve never seen anything like that in Playboy, but then again, I don’t really check Playboy out, so maybe it’s changed since I last saw one in oh about 1988, because I did this art project then using porn magazines. When I was in college. A million years ago. Maybe it’s gotten more arty, more surreal (please don’t give me shit for giving Playboy shit here).

So this is nothing new. And no I don’t like Fox, but I do like QNM. And no, I don’t like AQS. Or Playboy. But I love Mapplethorpe (look him up if you don’t know). So if you object to something I say, feel free to ask me why I said it, instead of calling me out on it. I’m a deep thinker, a reflective person, and if I call out a person or a thing, there’s usually a damn good reason for it. Just ASK. I can’t re-explain the last 10 years of my quilt life every time I post. And yes, I’ve been blogging since 2004. I also don’t like Trump or anyone else who badmouths women or children or refuges or people of a different race or any other made-up construct that people use to create hate and divisiveness.

In other news, I lied. I have a quilt with a shitload of penises in it. I totally forgot about it…it’s called Absolutely Nothing and it was made for an exhibit called Women at War

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Oh yeah, that’s a woman and she’s standing on a pile of men, who all have penises. OK. I think I only count four penises. But still. Them’s not imaginary penii. Them’s the real-ass thang.

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I had something to say with this quilt too. Shockingly. What’s amusing to me is that I’m cutting out fabrics for a new quilt right now and I’m doing more of those stacked rocks…and I think I’m using two, maybe three of the same fabrics. In the rocks. There’s no penises in the new quilt. Sorry. Because I don’t usually do a whole lot of penises. DAMN. There’s five. I suck. Five penises. OK, sometimes I do a lot of penises. Once.

Yeah. The title comes from the song War…what is it good for? Absolutely Nothing. Say it again. Plus all those woman-at-war-in-society issues.

What I really wanted to show today (before I went off last night and typed all that because I couldn’t go to sleep until it was all out of my head) was my newest quilts, one of which is huge, one of which is just plain weird but needed to be finished, and one of which reminds me of sending my daughter to college.

This is the huge one. It’s not named yet. It’s obviously an Earth Mother, but I’ve used that title before. I’m still thinking about it (no, I don’t need help. Thanks.).

Art Quilts and Fiber Arts

She’s got a ton of detail going on in her…

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And she took me most of the summer to complete…

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She’s like the Earth Mother for Ventura of last year, except without worrying about nudity or politics, like I had to for that one.

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Because yeah, I put a homeless woman in there too. It’s a big problem here in Southern California…and it’s not that I want to get rid of them. I want us to help them, help those who want homes, help those who want stability, realize some will need to live out on the streets, but most do not. Stop pushing them out of our communities because it scares us. Open our community arms and take them in and care for them. All the things an Earth Mother should do.

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This is the weird one…it’s called No Service. It’s been hanging around as just a top for so long that I couldn’t take it any more and finished it.

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And this is the one that reminds me of my daughter…hence the name Earth Daughter. That and she’s obviously a smaller version of the Earth mothers. I drew her on the plane after I left my daughter at college for the first time. Three-thousand miles away from me.

Art Quilts and Fiber Arts

She’s not very big, but she still has all the plants growing in her.

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One arm tree, some thistle, sunflowers, and cactus arm. Yeah. That’s my kid. A 4-leaf clover for good luck.

Anyway. I have a ton of school and art-group work to do this morning, but then I’m hoping to iron more on the new quilt. I did start last night, but I’ll save that for later. Plus whatever the owl background decision ends up being. And that’s where I’m letting my head stay for a while. And then I’m gonna go hold hands for a while.

*Tears for Fears, Everybody Wants to Rule the World