If I Kiss You Where It’s Sore*

November 17, 2017

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

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

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

IMG_9074 small

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

IMG_9076 small

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

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

IMG_9174 small

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

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

IMG_9183 small

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

IMG_9185 small

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

IMG_9186 small

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

IMG_9187 small

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

Regina Spektor, Better


At Night the Crickets Creepy*

October 24, 2017

Well. After a 10-hour day at work (ugh), I realize that although I wrote this well before I left for school, I never hit the final publish button. I do that now. Tired. Yup. But still gonna aim to draw. Even badly. Bad drawing is better than no drawing.

I’m sitting here trying to get enough tea in me to be functional (let’s be real…semi-functional)…the cold/viral thing is starting to wane, although I mostly collapsed after work yesterday for about an hour. And I’m texting my kids back and forth until they start having a discussion of how to write about torture (ah college…the things you have to write about)…and then I’m really out, because I don’t know that I could ever be pro torture. And honestly I don’t know much about it. Sure, there’s torturing pedophiles and crazy dictators and maybe even the current president (although you know he wouldn’t last long, the big baby)…and since the kids are obviously having this discussion because someone has an assignment due, I’m OK just watching them converse 3000 miles away. I miss them. Lots sometimes. Although I have nothing to add to this discussion but that torture is mean and we shouldn’t do it.

So where am I today? I finished ironing all the fabrics down for the little quilt last night. It’s really not THAT little, but compared to the last one…it’s small. I’m not going to keep going on it right now. I really really really need to start drawing the next one tonight. Somewhere I need to find the brain power for it. So expect a lot of bad starts and flailings on paper with Sharpie tonight. Woo! It’ll be great. Seriously. Maybe it will just spill out of me. Sometimes it does.

More stuff on the right, filling in spaces…

IMG_8581 small

The parental dog is nervous about the new cat…

IMG_8580 small

Satchemo is not scared of Katie.

I started ironing late…had paperwork, school stuff, other crap to deal with…but I didn’t have much left to iron, so I was pretty sure I could finish.

IMG_8584 small

Here’s all the fabrics I used. I really did think it was gonna all be bright colors. It’s hard to know what it will actually look like from this though, because it doesn’t show the mix…there’s a lot of blue in this. The purples take up a lot of space. The browns are all in one section. Same with the yellows really.

IMG_8585 small

There’s the pile…let’s see how long before I actually cut them out.

IMG_8586 small

I did pick up my most recent quilt from the photographer…first one ever with a gun in it? I think? First one on a beige background, that’s for sure. If that’s important…

New work from Kathy Nida

I’m glad she’s done.

New work from Kathy Nida

It was difficult to draw it, to make it, to quilt it. Sigh.

New work from Kathy Nida

Probably not picking this one for my profile picture any time soon.

New work from Kathy Nida

Although those are my kids, my students. Even the annoying ones. We’d protect all of them.

New work from Kathy Nida

Still gotta write a coherent statement on that one. Tonight. I’ll do that tonight. After teaching all day, meeting with admin, duty before and after school in 103-degree temperatures, tutorial, and protesting at a school board meeting. Yeah. It’ll be fine. Really. It will.

I guess it’s good I had another project that was at a good place for occupying my brain for a week or so. It didn’t seem ready to move on right away.

So this was my crew last night.

IMG_8587 small

I told them it was bedtime. Some were more ready for it than others. I get it. I was ready. I’m ready again right now, but it’s morning again, so I can’t really go back to bed. Yet. (growth mindset…that’s a teacher joke.)

Art. Tonight we draw. We draw even if we don’t feel like it. We draw to get to the drawing we need to draw.

*Squeeze, Pulling Mussels from the Shell

I Recognize the Walls Inside*

October 23, 2017

Still sick…although functional. We’ll see how functional after I have to talk all day, right? And stand up for hours. Sick days are a joke. We had 3 teachers out on Friday and only one sub showed up. That’s our reality…and teaching science means even less of a chance they’ll show. I can let it be chaos in the classroom and have the kids get nothing done, or I can push on through. I think I’m better anyway…not well, just better. That’s a plus.

More stitching on the right side…realizing in two months, it will be done, so what shape do I want? I don’t think it will be square, filling the whole thing. That’s a consideration.

IMG_8565 small

Sleepy tired puppy.

IMG_8566 small

I made it into the studio for a little while yesterday, just over an hour. My parents’ dog Katie was in there too. Or is it Katey? I’m never sure. With dog names, you can never tell…my daughter’s dog is Calli, not Cali, because it’s short for Calliope, not California.

IMG_8567 small

Too much information. Here’s the fabrics I’ve used so far…

IMG_8568 small

Not as colorful as I originally planned…it will be lots of blue in the end. Blue on blue with a hint of blue.

Here’s the pile so far.

IMG_8569 small

I’m actually almost done…could easily finish tonight…so I probably will, depending on how I feel. I did get the OK to change my focus for the next quilt, so drawing that is on my list for the week…gotta get going on that one. I have a fairly free week coming up, although grading is a priority. I did a lot of that over the weekend too, although never enough. Gotta get my focus on. It helps to be well, doesn’t it? I think it might. I think I’ll try that later this week…

*Natalie Merchant, I May Know the Word

It’s Too Late to Say You’re Sorry*

October 22, 2017

Ugh. Well I’m sick again. This school year is kicking my butt. Too much work, can’t stay well…I usually get sick like once a year. It’s only October and it’s my second viral incursion. Damn immune system needs to get in gear. Makes it hard to stay caught up. Or whatever that means.

The gun quilt is at the photographer’s…will be picked up later this week. I was trying to get fabrics ironed for a small climate change quilt I started in June, just for fun…

IMG_8558 small

I’m not done. I did a little bit yesterday afternoon after grading shit, running errands, and trying to get other stuff done.

Friday night at gaming, I finished Block 15 (bottom right) on Folk Tales (I always call it Folk Tails because of all the animals).

IMG_8553 small

Block 15 is part of May, but I haven’t done April yet…so I started on that.

IMG_8554 small

There are three blocks for April, and I have a lot of embroidery to do on them. Expect to see them rolling around for a while.

Then I realized I hadn’t touched this in days. I did 4 day’s worth around the eyeball…a bunch of filler stitches.

IMG_8557 small

However interesting and challenging it’s been to work on this, and whatever bullheadedness it takes to keep working on it every day for a year, I probably won’t sustain it beyond December 31. It was an interesting experiment. No idea what I’ll do with it…maybe make it the center of a small crazy quilt in all black backgrounds. Who knows? Because I need more projects.

I emailed the woman in charge of the project I’m supposed to be working on next to see if I could change my focus. Much as climate change worries me and however many ideas about it are clamoring for my artistic attention, women’s rights are weighing much more heavily on me right now…and a new drawing for this project popped into my head last night on the way back from the Visions Art Museum opening for Interpretations. It had absolutely nothing to do with the art I saw there…but it’s in my head now. I wanted to start drawing last night, but after about 9:30, I felt like absolute crap and was in bed before 10:30. See, that’s how you know I’m sick. I can’t do anything.

Today is a fiber-related meeting…long drive and interactions with humans. I’m not always up for that. Right now I’m tired and not feeling at my best, stressed about the grading that needs to get done, worried about getting this quilt started so I can get going on it. Probably need to go take more meds. Drink more tea. Maybe nap. Who knows. No time for napping. Shit needs to get done.

*Malcolm McLaren, About Her

It’s Not a Miracle We Needed*

October 20, 2017

Better. A little more focus. I appreciate that. My brain allowing some space for artmaking, even if it isn’t the most challenging part of the process.

First I made time to hang out with friends…I took this to keep sewing down wool for the next month…

IMG_8532 small

My parents’ dog is visiting, so when I got home, I hadn’t seen one of the cats for a while. They don’t like the dog, because she’s a little too interested in them. I finally found her in a cubbyhole in my office…

IMG_8533 small

I didn’t get far on the wool piece…but the hyena(?) just needs eyeballs. I think I might need to sew something together to do the sun…

IMG_8536 small

It’s not a priority at the moment.

The next part of the quilt I was ironing down, after some fish and stuff, was the tree that makes up the majority of her lower torso. It’s intertwining roots, and it was fun to draw, but not as fun to trace, and pretty mind-boggling to pick fabrics for…

IMG_8537 small

But I did it. That puts me at about piece 175. Super slow on this…but just trying to give myself the space to draw sometime soon. I will finish picking fabrics…but I could draw at the same time. If I had the mental space. It really is too much school stress weighing on me.

I’ll get there. Here’s everything ironed so far…lots of tree parts…

IMG_8538 small

Funny, I really think of this quilt as bright, but brown is never really bright.

IMG_8539 small

Anyway. It’s progress. It’s something.

*Phoenix, 1901

I Can Do No More

October 19, 2017

Well. So. Some days you just write off. I did get some of this…

IMG_8528 small

And honestly, that’s a good thing. I tried grading (almost fell asleep doing it), I tried reading the book I’m supposed to be reading for school (more almost falling asleep), I hung out, I went to book club, but mostly just to hang out. I’m tired and stressed and cranky and overwhelmed and worried about getting the next drawing done and a whole bunch of other shit.

So today is going to be better. I’m going to hang out and do some hobby sewing and then come back and maybe grade a little and then work on the ironing of this small quilt to fabric so I can start drawing on Saturday or Sunday. Don’t look at the calendar for the next week, because it’s ugly. I’m gonna do what I can do. I can do no more.

You Paid Me Well in Memories*

October 18, 2017

Everything takes too long. Everything you don’t feel like doing or don’t want to do, it takes forever. It actively gets in the way of the stuff you wanna do. It’s like a large man in a smelly suit standing in front of the dessert menu. Seriously. Move it, dude.

I worked last night…grading stuff. I have to. It needs to get done.

But I couldn’t do it forever. I still don’t have the mental space to draw. I don’t know when I will. Soon I hope. Time is dribbling away in days. Watching the countdown on my phone. Crap! Holding onto 17 daily tasks that pop up on the phone and then I still forget to do them, slot them into the calendar for the next day. Hope I remember them eventually. I start ignoring the reminders. Not good.

So I guess my yearbook alter ego for this year isn’t quite right. Oh well.

IMG_8509 small

This is blurry. It’s not your eyes. I did some stitching under (on top of?) the eyeball.

IMG_8510 small

This is the only exercise this thing is getting right now. Me too. It doesn’t help when it’s 100 degrees out.

IMG_8512 small

So I gave up and started ironing this at 10:30 last night. I couldn’t do anything else. I figure I can iron it to fabric and then it can sit around for a while again.

IMG_8513 small

Hopefully when I get done with ironing, I’ll have a drawing brain.

IMG_8514 small

I didn’t get a lot done…remembered I had to put all the other fabrics away, and then got lost in trying to make the blues work.

IMG_8515 small

It’s something though…and that’s good.

IMG_8516 small

It’s where my brain goes when school is too stressful. I’m not even sure why it’s so bad at the moment…too much stuff to do? Pressure of being observed by someone you don’t even know (that part sucks)? Who knows.

IMG_8517 small

Midnight doesn’t. But she’s inhabiting the blue drawer.

IMG_8521 small

She waited until I found all the blues I needed before she plopped her fat butt in there. Good thing.

OK…meeting before school…maybe too many meetings is the problem? Could be.

*A Fine Frenzy, Think of You