A Dizzy Twister Dance*

Yesterday, or maybe Saturday, I filled in the big erasable calendar on the fridge for the next 6 weeks…you know, most of my summer break. It’s hairy. There’s a lot of stuff on there. Some of it is going to be really enjoyable, some it will be hard work, and some days there’s just one thing on there…like mammogram or dentist. Sigh. Then there’s the written lists I’ve made, for the week, for the month, for the whole summer. I’m not in the chill spot yet, where I feel like I can relax. I think I need about 5 more days of sleep to get there (um, wait, isn’t there a design conference in the middle of those 5 days of sleep? Oh yeah.). It’s OK. I’m better today than I was yesterday. I slept on the couch after going grocery shopping and then to an art opening I needed to go to. And then I slept in this morning. So I’m working on it. Listen to your body. That’s a drawing.

Drawing! I did some! Ah, I’ve missed it. There’s so many things in my head right now. I need to get them out and about on paper.

Saturday was long and exhausting…but I did stitch in the car in between events…

It’s OK. I wasn’t driving.

Saturday night was exhausting…we went to bed early, but I was fighting the nose snots and achiness of this cold, so I got up at 2 AM and read for an hour and took meds and then went back to bed and fought night sweats and hot flashes. Ugh. Blanket on. Blanket off. Fun stuff.

This is Satchemo. He wanted to be really close while I calendared the week.

I was on the phone with my mom for most of this. My cousin is sick. Really sick. Better since Saturday, apparently, but still…the only info I get is from mom. So I called. Also to confirm that they didn’t want my sick ass at their house for dinner (they didn’t).

I don’t drink beer, but someone in my house does. Say this 10 times fast. I can’t.

So after a nap and making dinner and getting the man to record some music for my first Patreon video for July (hey, this is cool…although I feel bad using his skills without paying him. But only a little.), I decided it was time to simplify the drawing I did a few weeks ago for the next embroidery pattern. I’m not really sure that it’s a LOT simpler…

Laughing at myself. I did reduce lines. I got rid of toes and fingernails. I still wish I could use more than 5 colors, but it’ll work. More Satchemo assistance. The original is on the right. The original (more complicated) version will be released to my Patreon community this week, so if you want to embroider that one, join in! You get a drawing a month for personal use at the $5/month level.

I wish I had more time to embroider some of these. I will need to do a sample of the one on the left. I scanned it last night and printed it out. I’m going to do this one on white fabric…but I need to pick threads first. Tonight maybe…

Sleepy puppy. He plays hard on Sunday mornings…

That’s an interesting stash of stuff on my coffee table. Why tape? I don’t know.

I took more meds and managed to come into the studio and pick all the flesh fabrics.

I was looking at the background fabrics and trying to decide what I wanted to do, and I kind of went for stuff that will blend a little bit with it. I might hate that later…but it’s done now. This fabric…is just gorgeous…

Hopefully I put them all in the right place.

Here’s what’s done so far…they aren’t in order, because I pulled flesh from the 100s through the 500s, so I have no idea how much more I need to do.

I just know the flesh is done and I started on the plants that are on her…not a lot of color yet.

Honestly, I’m going to stick to some desert/earth colors on this one. There will be blues and purples though. More on that later today. The only thing on my calendar is the chiropractor and filling asphalt cracks, plus maybe a Home Depot trip for more asphalt stuff and the materials to fix the sink/counter/tile issue.

This morning…the boychild is a fur magnet…

I had all four animals in with me this morning. In my face, boisterously cleaning nether regions for one of them. Nice guys. Thanks.

Anyway, there’s art in the day…so that’s a plus. And hopefully continued recovery from this stupid cold. Being sick in summer sucks.

*Lady Gaga, Just Dance

What Kind of Heart Doesn’t Look Back*

First of all, I would like to thank that hyper little guy RB who was sitting in the front of my classroom playing Uno and coughing all over the desk (I even moved away from him) for the oogy feeling in the back of my throat right now. Ah yes, the gift that keeps on giving…a student cold. Woo hoo! Thank you thank you. C’mon immune system…I fed you avocado and bok choy…do your thing! I know I’m still tired and running low, but you can’t make me be sick on top of all of that. I need recovery time…not something else from which to recover. Sigh. Head down on desk. Go take your vitamin C. Again.

So things are happening around here. Cleaning (a little) happened. My office got straightened up so I could iron in here. The kitchen table is slowly appearing. This space…this space, I have not touched. At all.

Really, I could just blame the cat. But it wasn’t her fault. I’m not sure how to organize some of the stuff over there. That’s part of the problem. I think I need to buy two frames and maybe some matboard. And some organizers (NOOO…I hear my son yelling that there is no need to buy MORE things. I should just throw some out. I did do some of that yesterday too.). Whatever. I am a messy person, but a mostly organized messy person. My studio is a prime example. Of course, I would love to have a studio two or three times this size, but I’ve seen the genetics, and my mom’s studio looks just like mine. Except bigger. With more organizers.

I am considering boxing up the crazy quilt stuff and opening up that space…but it’s largely inaccessible space…so that doesn’t necessarily help. I’ll think about it. Certainly the blues, greens, purples, and whites have expanded beyond the bins I have. This was my straightening up before the new quilt…found a place for the completed embroideries, put all the fabric away from the last quilt, swept the floor…

Now I’m ready to iron. I didn’t actually do any of that until around 10 PM.

We spent 2 hours at the vet…ugh…Simba needs his teeth cleaned and Calli has some huge lumps that need handling.

We’ll be back on July 1 for those things. Fun stuff.

After dinner, we (I) had finally decided to get STARZ so we could watch American Gods. And I love it. Totally worth it. After eating, I finished the house on the first September Folk Tails block, which has been sitting around for months.

I think I’m taking this with me to all the design conferences I have this summer…I can’t sit and listen to people talk for hours. Then again, the one next week has 3 hours a day of Improv. Um. OK. My social niceties will be challenged. I guess it’s a good thing I’m there, for the introvert insight. Like you’re killing your introverts with all your plans! You need to give them the space to learn and create in a comfortable way too. I think people forget that when they plan shit. Unless they are one.

So after all that and whatever else I was putzing around doing (I exercised), I laid out the first 100 Wonder Under pieces…picked a background (I always have a few)…you can see it in the back there.

And starting picking fabrics. Ah bliss…

Here’s where the stress relief is…right here. This is what I’ve been waiting for…

Dirt and rocks…

Yeah. That’s good. Strangely, the quilt my Patreon community picked has those red rocks of the desert that we spent all of Spring Break driving and hiking around, but this drawing is a couple of years old. I had Earth Daughter and wanted to do some different versions of it, and this is the next one, Desert Daughter. Next up? Body parts and cactus. All good. This won’t take long. Then I should draw Ocean or Mountain Daughter? Maybe.

Today is not the day it will happen though. I’m fully booked, I think. Maybe tonight? We’ll see. I might just collapse.

Speaking of the Patreon, I just posted a video on there of me ironing a tiny face. It’s the second video of the month, so almost all my patrons will be able to see it…for only $2 a month, you can see me ironing the most tiny eyeballs ever. The next video is already edited…it’s me drawing…which is kind of cool to watch, I think. That will release the first week of July or so. Next up I need to do my June drawing for the Patreon…looking forward to that in the next week.

*Sara Bareilles, Breathe Again


Progress on all fronts! I finished grading one assignment (of the 3,000 I have left. Not really. It just feels that way). I made it to the post office after tutoring with 3 minutes to spare to mail the embroidered piece off to the buyer. I laid around on the couch feeling half dead (that’s the part that stayed up too late) for a while. I finished my book! For May’s book club meeting, which already happened and which I didn’t go to, and I really didn’t like the book, so there’s that. But It’s Done. I like done sometimes.

I forgot to say that Womanscape won an award at Form Not Function, the Inspired by Nature award given or funded by Juanita Yeager. I used to read her blog all the time…I was fascinated by her flower quilts. That was a million years ago, I think. I’m not as good at reading blogs any more. The piece was also featured in this article from Insider Louisville about the show…that’s it in the middle.

She looks good. I really like that a quilt about women’s rights won an Inspired by Nature award. It seems right to me.

Anyway, here’s an artsy photo of me getting ready to iron down the image of the current quilt onto the background. You should be able to see it sometime in July. I think. It may not even get in. I think it’s cool, but that’s just me.

I did get it ironed down and started stitching down last night. It’s not huge, so it shouldn’t take long. I’m hoping to get it fully stitched down tonight and then maybe get it pinbasted? We’ll see.

I’ve been having a hard time getting my brain to shut down late at night, so I’ve been trying to draw a little. This is for my Patreon…it’ll hopefully be scanned and emailed out to them tonight…

I may have to stare at it more and decide if it needs more. Well art brain will tell you it always needs more. But does it really?

After that, I think I’m going to put it up to the Patreon as to which smaller quilt I work on next…since I can’t decide and I have end-of-the-year brain. Maybe. I like to have control of things, so that might throw me. Or not. Delegate decisions! I should do more of that. Anyway, I have a bunch of drawings ready to go, so I think I’ll do that.

Awww. What a sweetheart. He was upset because the boychild bopped him for biting while the boychild was trying to pull those nasty twirly twigs out of his butt fur. This is his sad face. He got pets later, so he was fine.

OK, off to work…today is menstruation and sperm production. Oh yeah! And gender. It’s a fun day. Really. It is. Just tiring is all. It’s getting near to the end. That’s a good thing. I’m looking forward to some artmaking time. Seriously.

That Is Not a Short List

Happy Memorial Day y’all. May those who need this time to remember the fighters and the fallen take that time in peace. As I try to figure out why we might be invading Venezuela. I should avoid the living room on weekend/holiday mornings, because someone is out there watching the newsy talking heads and it inevitably gives me panic attacks. The only reason I can see for invading Venezuela is because their “leader” is a dick, and if we’re gonna invade countries where THAT’S an issue, we should start here.

So I’m back in my studio, where the news is hard to hear? Well. Maybe. I am glad I have today off, because as of yesterday, I was still exhausted. I’m still tired today, and I have 17 thousand things to do, but it’s a day I wouldn’t normally have free, so that’s a plus.

So I’m still working on the 6th Earth Mother embroidery…

I got confirmation yesterday that I will be doing 6 more of these over the summer…I have to think about what I want them to look like. I washed and ironed all of them. I call this one Woman with a Future, but she’s Earth Mother 6 on Global Artisans

I’m realizing I need another page on my website for these…I’ll be sending a few to hang out in the booth where they’re selling the patterns and kits. This is Nursing Mother, aka Earth Mother 3.

I have a more complicated drawing of this that I might want to be a small quilt at some point. This is one of two Mother Time pieces…this is actually the 2nd one (I didn’t stitch in any particular order), but is Earth Mother 1 on the GA website.

And she’s sold. I really like the thread for the hair. You can purchase the threads on their website as well…they’re nice to use. I find DMC floss to be a pain in the ass…so I appreciate the thicker threads with some variegation for pieces like this.

So look for 6 more over the summer. I still need to finish what I have here though.

Mostly on Saturday, I ironed the current very secret quilt together. And I’m still doing that. It seemed like I was close to done, because I only had 3 sections left, but those three sections have the TINIEST pieces in them. I recorded myself putting a tiny face together for my Patreon, but I think I will have to wait until after the jurying on this piece to post it. Maybe. We’ll see.

The Patreon crew is slowly building…I’m excited to be doing different things for them, like the videos and drawings. I did have to order a new tripod for my phone, because I had this one from way back and the iPhone 4 weighs WAY less than an X, so it kept falling over. I ended up using a box of fabric to hold the phone in the right place. It worked, but it was in my way. My goal is to finish all the ironing today, but I have a lot of other stuff to do too, so we know how that goes.

I did finish grading all 110 videos for the current project…I did a bunch while riding the stationary bike. Now that’s multi-tasking! But people always ask me, “How do you do it?” Well that’s one of the ways I do it. Plus I was embroidering while watching some of them as well. It’s one of the easier things during which to multi-task…the videos don’t require me to scroll or type much usually.

Although maybe these kids need a lesson in non-creepy lighting. Or not. Perhaps this was on purpose. I did laugh my ass off at two kids who did Nida News. They even had a logo and sound effects. Awesome.

This is where I quit with the ironing last night. I’m missing a tiny little leg. I’ll probably find it in another box. That’s where the missing eyelid from Saturday was. In the wrong box.

I stayed up until almost 1 AM, so yeah. I did about 3 1/2 hours yesterday and 5 hours the day before. It’s close. Not super close, but close. Pain in the ass tiny piece day. Yup.

There will be time today to walk these beasts…

I need to get out and move around…too much rain this year…

I’m sure I’ll be wishing for rain in about a month, but yesterday was cold and I’m still in a sweater today. Weird for Southern California.

OK, food, shower, grade makeup work, iron pieces, walk the dogs, pack the sold piece, buy hoops for two to go to shows, cook dinner, prep breakfasts, trim the bougainvillea. That is not a short list. I should get going.

Freak Out Morning

I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten something. But I have a packed bag and I’m leaving soonish. It’ll all be fine.

Hey! I finished ironing! Yay! I used 143 fabrics…here they are.

I have a car arriving here in 12 minutes.

Maybe earlier.

I started cutting stuff out last night…actually a good start…I bagged it all up to take with me…

Hopefully I’ll get some done. Katie…my parents’ dog…showed up last night.

Yeah. My sub cancelled yesterday and no one picked up the job, so my co-teachers will have to cover. Sorry guys. At least I’m not teaching sex ed today! Plans sometimes work. See you on the East Coast in a while. No stress! Meditation app on.

I’m Going Anyway

Let the pre-travel panic begin! My sub plans are written, I need to clean up my classroom (aka hide the sex-ed question box so the kids don’t harass the subs about that stuff), I need to make some copies, it would be good if I finished grading some stuff (but honestly, that’s probably not going to happen), I wanted to finish stitching the 3rd embroidery so I could leave its almost-finished ass behind (well, vulva anyway), and I really really really wanted to be done with the ironing on this piece last night. I Was So Close. Damn day job. Seriously. Especially when I have to be ON at all moments. There’s no down time. I’m only half-packed…but that’s better than not packed. It’ll be fine. I’ll be fine. At some point, I just get on a plane.

I’ve spent 13 hours plus ironing for this piece so far…why so long? Well, there are these sections (that I can’t show you), and each one is like its own little scene, so it requires special thought that’s separate from the last scene. Plus there’s a shitload of blues and grays and they all need to deal with each other. I am so close to done though! Seriously close…this is all that’s left…

Not much at all. 50 pieces? If that. So that’s my plan for tonight, after quilt class. Ironically. I will start cutting stuff out tonight too, and then I plan to take it with me. There’s a lot of my family sitting around and chatting on these trips. I might as well get something useful done. I’m seriously bad at just sitting somewhere.

This is the fabric chaos AFTER I straightened it up. It was kind of driving me nuts.

There is a lot of gray in there. It’s not organized by color yet. That’s the last thing I do. I like seeing all the colors together.

It would have taken another hour to finish…and that would have been past 1 AM. I have to teach Yes Means Yes today. I need to be awake for it.

Kitten agrees.

Plus her claw is stuck in the chair. That’s what you get for trying to scratch my chair.

I prepped this piece to take with me…well mostly. This transfer paper is supposed to be less likely to wear off. I’ll let you know if that’s true.

Certainly the other stitchers who are doing this might have been smart to do theirs on white fabric. I’m complicated.

I spent some time yesterday afternoon staring up into my trees while the old dog tried to negotiate voiding her bowels…it takes time…

I often have to dig deep to find patience on a good day, but by this time of year, it’s a significant issue. There it is. Up there. Actually, there were two crows up there squawking about something, so it wasn’t very peaceful soundwise…but peaceful in my head because there’s no 12-year-olds up there arguing about how self defense means you can punch whomever you want. Today we will have the god/baby discussion. Dudes, I teach science. I had a kid tell me her last baby sister was a gift from God because her mom says she and her dad weren’t doing it any more. Um. Oh dear. So. No. I’m rolling my eyes at her mom.

The plus is that no matter how stressed I am, the graduating girlchild is worse off…even though my sub teacher for tomorrow just canceled. We’re good. I’m going anyway.

Don’t Tread on Me…

My show is up in Pittsburgh! I’m still hoping to get there to see it, if that’s possible. There are 6 pieces and it’s called Elemental Fiber

It’s in the Society for Contemporary Craft’s satellite space in the BNY Mellon Center at 500 Grant St, Pittsburgh.

It’s an interesting space…open to the public in the Lobby of the Steel Plaza T-Station at Oliver Street and Grant Street in downtown Pittsburgh. The glass also makes it hard to photograph, but I really appreciate their sending me these.

It’s hard to send work off, especially multiple pieces.

It looks good. You should go see it.

I didn’t apply for this show…they contacted me after I didn’t get into another show. Hey, I’ll take this.

I have 6 quilts in the exhibit. I’m not making any comments about the Strip District there. Hmmm. Anyway, if you happen to be in town for Fiberart International…check it out.

I taught the first day of sex ed yesterday…it was pretty chill…mostly looking at what friendship looks like and how you can tell the difference between liking and loving…a difficult concept for many adults. Like that first rush of feeling you have when you are thinking you are falling in love with someone…that’s very different than the love you feel when you have to go through hard shit and you do it together. Or they’re going through hard shit and you are there for them. I think that love is way more important, but I’m not 12. Or an adult who acts 12…most of the time. Teaching middle school means you can access your 12-year-old self quite easily…you see it reflected back at you about 150 times. But in general, in relationships, I don’t do 12.

Tuesdays are long because I do tutoring after school, and then I went shopping for snacks for our state testing days. We asked the principal this year if he could fund the snacks (such a change from the principal who wouldn’t let us have any food or drink, not even gum, because he was afraid they’d get stains on the test booklets)…but there isn’t enough money to do that and pay for the stuff we have to pay for…so every teacher funds that out of their own pocket. There’s no way kids can work that hard for 3 1/2 hours without sustenance. So we feed them.

And then I practiced video editing while cooking dinner…I got my first real Patreon video done and posted. I show the stage I’m at in the quilt and explain a little bit about how I pick fabrics and why everything is organized the way it is. I am still not an awesome video editor, but I’m getting better. It was easier this time. I still watched the instructions video about 3 more times. I’m using Lightworks, which is cool and has a lot of things you can do without a Pro version, but I can’t say it’s very intuitive for a non-video-editing person.

I’ll be doing two videos a month…one kind of a how-to/background of what I do, and one Who Knows What video. I’m thinking art exhibits I go to, or maybe even part of a hike, or watching me draw, or I don’t know. Stuff that fuels the art. I also am writing over there, and people at the $5/month level will get a drawing emailed to them each month. They can stitch it up, make a small quilt (if they’re crazy), color it in, or just stare at it. It’s going to take a little effort to get me on a routine with this, but I’m pretty sure it will get easier with time. It’s nice to make things for people who are helping me make more art.

I did stitch a little after dinner…

I did the arm things…and started the knee things. I’m hoping I have enough green for the rug. I need another bobbin. I should ask about that. I need to prep a new embroidery design for the trip to Boston. I also need to think about packing. Yup.

But last night, I ironed instead…

I have everything almost to the high 600s ironed. I could finish tonight. I think. I’m going to try anyway. This quilt is a little fussy for ironing…there’s lots of little tiny things happening that take some color analysis. Like 12 different blues in one section. Some have to go together and some most definitely shouldn’t. So there’s a lot of staring into space at fabrics. I’m good at that.

Someone sent me this…

Totally feeling it.