I Woke Up with Rubrics in My Head

My brain. Alarm goes off, not mine. But I know I have to be up in half an hour, have to be up early for a meeting, so instead of slipping gently down the sleep cave and letting my body have that half hour, it goes into overdrive. Loudly. HERE’S ALL THE THINGS YOU NEED TO DO TODAY. NOW. Shut up brain. It’s OK. I need sleep more than I need reminders. NO YOU DON’T WAKE UP NOW WAKE UP. Fuck. So I was awake. I have three mornings in a row where I have to be up early. I don’t like early. It hurts. I seriously woke up with rubrics in my head. That’s just wrong. I even went to bed early, because I couldn’t get focused anyway last night, and I knew I had to be up early. I’m trying to take care of myself. My brain won’t let me.

We had our first local SAQA meeting yesterday…we are a small but creative group. I’m hoping it keeps going. We’ll see how it goes. You don’t have to be a SAQA member to come. You don’t even have to be an art quilter. I’m OK with fiber of any sort. It was a little painful to come home, have a snack, make more tea, and leave again, but it turned out OK in the end. Today I’ll do the same with book club, except have to drive all the way across town. It’s OK. I missed last month because of school exhaustion and I really liked the books this month, plus this is a different-brained group, which is nice.

The library where we met has this crazy mural…I didn’t get the artist’s name, but apparently she’s painted murals in all the East County libraries.

It’s very brightly colored.

I saw another picture of my quilt hanging in France.

This one is coming home next month, I think.

I did cut a bunch of stuff out at the meeting…made it through almost two yards of Wonder Under (although one only had big pieces on it).

I have two more yards to go. Tonight? After book club? I suspect it’ll be an hour of cutting if I’m lucky. Then I have another science meeting tomorrow after school, plus two meetings on top of each other before school, so that will be painful. I think I might be in the fabric choosing phase by Friday? Hopefully? Who knows.

So I have this wallet. It’s nice, has an applique of an owl on it. It’s very well made. I bought it really soon after my divorce, because I needed a new wallet, and I was out running errands, actually in a department store (this so rarely happens, I can’t even tell you), and I saw this wallet and fell in love with it, but it had no price on it. Post-divorce, for a good long time, I really had almost no money at all, but I figured, how expensive could it be? It’s just a wallet. So I go up to the checkout and hand it over. Really, I should have asked for the price, but I think then I wouldn’t have bought it. So she told me the total and my heart sort of stopped a bit, but then I handed over a credit card. It was $40. That was immense at that point in my life. I didn’t have a spare $40 for something I technically could live without. Surely there were much cheaper wallets out there. I bought it and felt crappy for doing it, because money was so tight. But honestly, I’ve enjoyed it all these years and it only started to really fall apart this year. So 16 years? Not bad for $40. But now I need a new one and I want another nice, artsy wallet that holds all my shit, but don’t know where to find one…that will last 16 years again. So that’s a thing.

Meanwhile, I’ve got some school stuff to do this morning. Last night, after the meeting, I had to make a worksheet and organize school stuff, so that didn’t help my brain, I’m sure. Better tonight? Maybe. I can try.

Darlin’, Now There’s Mutiny…*

So it’s Saturday finally. Some weeks, man…some weeks. I have too much to do, of course, but a lot of the to-do list, I did the first step and I’m waiting on someone else. I love waiting. No really. Ha! I’m listening to a podcast about small-group instruction (aka stations or centers). We use these all the time in science, just because it’s the only way to run labs sometimes without spending a million dollars on materials, but we’ve realized with the sizes of our classes that 6 stations isn’t going to do it this year…we’ll need at least 7. Eight would be better. That means coming up with new shit. I love huge classes. Sigh. Also, they are mostly incapable of actually completing work on their own in groups right now, which is going to make the next unit interesting. We are totally not ready for me to be able to focus on one group while the rest work independently. Not unless I’m allowed to use duct tape. Honestly, that’s only about 5-6 kids per nonfunctional class. I’m getting there. Working on them…constantly.

First I need to pack up and deliver two quilts for a show that will be at Liberty Station through January. The openings are every first Friday, so the first one will be October 4…I think it’s 5-8 PM. Then I need to enter another show. Either this afternoon or tomorrow morning, I need to go to the gym. I also need to grade two assignments and prep a couple things for next week. I’d really like to get all the tracing done too, but that’s a harder task. I did trace last night…but before that, we went to our local artwalk…these cat heads were cool…

Garden Dream by Carlos Castrejon.

A prize winner! Nora Clemens, Fish on My Mind.

I also liked these pieces by Laura Lehman…

Interesting how the arms are all pushing out…

Definitely cool work…

I also liked the work by Kenda Francis, although there were a lot of people in that space, so I couldn’t get in there to photograph easily…

I also liked these lifesize sculptures by Sara Duvall

Hard to get photos through the glass…and this one included my legs…

Which actually looks cool the way it worked out. Totally unplanned.

I was pretty tired after all that, but I knew I wanted to work. First, saving yet another baby lizard from the house. We are Lizard Central.

He was so little.

Tracing can be difficult with cat butts involved.

Did I tell you it got warm again? Back into the 90s. I think it’s supposed to be 99 degrees today. Ugh.

I eventually traced around her until she left.

Asking for attention…

Really, she just needed to pee. She doesn’t really ask. She just stares at you.

This is my usual view…television on and sorta watching but mostly listening. Cat in the way.

Giant-ass light table in my living room. I traced for a couple of hours and made it to the late 500s. Progress! I’m in the body at this point, so all the background and foreground are traced. I really do just have the lower torso and legs left. I finished the ribs and redwoods.

Right there is where I stopped. It wasn’t midnight yet, but I was tired. And I knew I had shit to do today. So I think I have about 300 pieces left or so. I have found about 10 pieces that weren’t numbered, and a few where I split pieces because it didn’t make sense to stretch a piece out underneath everything as I had originally numbered them. So a bunch of a’s, b’s, and c’s. Nothing like last time though…no missed numbers and no double numbers.

I saw this when I got up…that’s my piece, Beyond the Concrete, currently in France with the traveling Quilt National 2017 exhibit. I love seeing them all staring at it.

She’ll be coming home after this, I think…although she’s so old, I’m not sure I can put her into any other shows. This QN group didn’t travel as much as the previous one, unfortunately. Oh well.

Oh yeah…this…

I’m the chick in charge of this. Scary! Wait, no, it’ll be fine. It’s really just a hang out. Come by if you are around.

OK, shower, pack quilts, deliver. Then moving on through the tasks. I have no idea what I’m doing tonight, but it’s probably more art. And air conditioning hopefully.

*The Family, Mutiny

I Told You the Truth About the Old Me*

Oh Thursday, you wannabe Friday. But you’re not. You dawned chilly (for us pitiful Southwesterners) and bright, a light breeze wobbling the tree leaves around outside my window. Thursday, you hold no meetings for me. No appointments. No have-tos (well, please don’t ignore grading, dear, because you need to get your teacher act in gear). I will finish ironing today. I will. Imagine me in the front yard, barefoot (why can’t I remember to put socks on when I get dressed? Yes! All you high-school friends. I am still barefoot. Fuck the school AP who made me come into his office to discuss my refusal to wear shoes.), raising my arms to the heavens, fists clenched. I WILL FINISH IRONING TODAY!

This quilt has not been quick and easy. It’s OK. They’re not supposed to be. But sometimes, I want to be done with the task I’m on. And I’m not. This would be one of those times.

But I had book club last night…so after I came home from work and did about a million silly tasks and answered ALL the emails (OK, not all of them), I went to book club. I like book club. I like that I read all these books that otherwise I might not see…because I can be pretty insular in what I read. Plus I’m not very social, so this makes me leave the house. Besides for work. Plus did I mention it’s in a wine-tasting place?

Can’t argue with that. I made it home close to 10 PM, hung out for a while with the people and the dogs and the cats, and then went in to iron, because that’s how I get stuff done…I do a little every day. I ironed for almost an hour…no, I haven’t been in bed before midnight at all this week.

I got the second arm ironed down…that hand got ironed together with the second figure, so I’ll need to connect them up at some point. And then I did the wings. So there’s just the head to do, then put it all together and onto a background, which I suspect will take a much larger floor than I have in here. Sometimes I can do it on the ironing board, but I don’t think this is that time. I’m suspecting I’ll be cleaning the entryway floor tonight and doing it there. Which is fine.

And then stitchdown and sandwich and quilt and bind. But first, go to school and deal with the stress of The Day We Turn All the Things In. I can tell it’s stressful, because I had high-level kids emailing me at 11 PM and expecting an answer. Sometimes I wish I was the kind of teacher who could totally unplug and leave the job at school, and then I’m OK with not being that person. Really, I was so efficient yesterday with all the phone calls and emails and stuff. If only I could do that every day.

Well, today is Thursday, the day I will finish ironing. That makes it a good day. Plus I don’t have to cook tonight and I still have one of these kickass scones for breakfast. Apple cheddar by Smitten Kitchen

OMG, these are to die for. I had apples to use up, so I made a batch and froze them so I (and the boychild, because I am sometimes a nice mom) could have one a day. They don’t last well, apparently, although the boychild says they’re fine. He eats cold food though when I would heat it up, so whatever. I tried to explain to Kitten that she wouldn’t like them. This is the cat who eats my Shredded Wheat if given a chance. Anyway, I’ve been baking one each morning. Yum. Makes a nice change to cold cereal, which I’ll be back to tomorrow.

Oh yeah! My Quilt National piece is going to France! That’s cool…here’s Beyond the Concrete

It’ll be at the European Patchwork Meeting in Sainte-Marie-Aux-Mines, France, September 12 – 15, 2019. It hasn’t traveled much, but this seems good. I wish I could go with it…

*Cold War Kids, So Tied Up

I Did What I Could

It’s really early in the morning…it’s even earlier in California. Some Saturday nights, I would still be awake, for whatever reasons. On school nights, I try to pretend I am not as nocturnal as I really am. We’re leaving Athens, Ohio, and Quilt National. As usual, I feel like I should have seen the exhibit one last time, taken more pictures, something. But that was it. I did what I could. 

Now we just hope we can make it home easily. Thunderstorms are all over the place…it’s peaceful right now, but it’s not supposed to stay that way.

Yesterday afternoon, we had quiet time. I sat and stitched and then drew. Trying to recharge my brain. I graded nothing. No surprise there. I’ll scramble this week. It’ll happen. 

Drawing 1, while a thunderstorm passed over…

Some Sue Spargo, for it’s calming effect…

I managed all three days on this piece, all around the hand…fly and cross stitches…

And drawing 2…

I think I miss pizza. 

Quilt National was very abstract this year, lots of channel quilting, very tight and perfect. I joke that I can’t quilt that perfect (it’s true), so that’s why I make the quilts I make. Some of the abstract was loose and free or big and open or detailed and complex. And sometimes talking to the artist made you feel something more about the piece then you did when you first saw it.

I missed seeing Pamela Allen and Paula Kovarik this time…I was here in 2013 with both, but never found a chance to talk to Pamela. They both had work in again this year. I really loved making it to the opening this time though! Even though I missed a San Diego opening, I think the interactions between artists are truly amazing here: people I’ve followed for ages and finally got to talk to in person. That’s the value in coming out. 

Well I started writing this at 5 AM in Athens. Then we drove to Columbus and that’s where I’m sitting now, waiting for my plane. Hoping for trouble-free travel. Looking forward to my own bed and normal water pressure in the shower and a non-sticky floor…plus hopefully some mental space to process what I saw and heard.

Art Brain on Art…

I’m posting at night just to confuse you. Plus my brain has absolutely no freakin’ idea what day or time it is anyway. I think I have to be up at the equivalent of 4 AM again tomorrow too. I think. I survived two flights and a lot of driving in circles.

We made it to Nancy Crow’s Art Barn this morning…

Then had a nice lunch. I recorded a video about my quilt, and then enjoyed two openings, one for artists only, and one for everyone. Then a banquet for the artists, where I really enjoyed talking to other artists. It’s always nice to hear how others make. And why. And with what. Talk of solids. Hand-dyes. Drawing or not. Design wall or not. Windows in the studio or not. A studio? How big. Where. Do we stitch by machine or hand. When did we learn to sew. What did we do to get to this point in our art.

If only I could figure out when to be hungry.

We call the hotel The Sticky Place. That’s not a good thing.

Ohio is beautiful and green. 

Quilt National is amazing. And overwhelming. I couldn’t even read artists’ statements. My brain was trying to process images and people and the big picture. My brain drew 17 new quilts while I wandered around. This afternoon. This is not my first time at Quilt National …but it’s only my second, and I missed the last opening, due to a canceled flight.

More about the art later. Right now it’s late (in some time zone) and I’m tired, although I wanna be drawing. Gotta be up in the AM though, so to bed it is. Sleep sweet sleep…let art brain mull over the lines and colors while my body rests.

Hello Quilt National…Hopefully

It’s not really morning. It’s still night, as far as my brain is concerned. But I’m up! Woo! Ouch. It hurts to be up right now. There’s something in the backyard that made really weird noises and the dogs totally ran away from, which seemed like a good idea to me as well at the time. And apparently my sprinklers are possessed. They’re set to go off at 6:45 PM, and one of the sections went off just a little while ago, at 3:18 AM. Confused beastie.

So I’m on my way to Quilt National in Athens, Ohio. This is the second time I’ve gotten in. The last time, Delta cancelled my flights at the last minute and I was late, missed the opening. It was depressing as hell, being stuck here and not being able to get out. We missed it by about 6 hours. My parents were there though.

This time, I’d like to be there…and hopefully I will. Neither flight has been cancelled yet. Maybe the boychild’s delayed flight, night in Newark, and lost luggage will be the karma balancing out my perfect flights. Yes? Are the airline goddesses smiling upon me today? I hope so. I’ve got art to see and online friends to meet in person for the first time.

I had high hopes last night of grading assignments that turned into stressed-out panic about the girlchild’s insurance, state testing, and packing. So I did the only thing I could…I stitched…I did blue lazy daisies to the right of the hand.

IMG_4841 small

I am taking this with me.

Then I finished the 6th block of Sue Spargo’s Folk Tails…

IMG_4842 small

I did actually go back and add all the damn bullion knots around the tree. More texture good. I’m taking the next three blocks with me. Hopefully I’ll finish at least one of them and they won’t confiscate my kiddie scissors or my needles. My good scissors are in my checked luggage.

Beyond the Concrete is the piece that’s in Quilt National

Nida027 small

I originally made it to enter in SAQA’s Concrete and Grasslands exhibit. It didn’t get in. I’m quite happy to have it in Quilt National instead. Plus it is now concrete proof (ha ha ha…see what I did there?) that I can get a nude quilt into QN. The first one I got in actually had no nudity and no uteri, let alone a penis (this one doesn’t have one of those either), so I needed to get in again. I’m OK now. It’s OK if I never get in again.

I think this might be one of the first earth mother-type quilts where I put animals all over her body…I was trying to contrast the earth mother who cares about, well, the EARTH vs the mother of the Earth that we have made…the concrete and asphalt and electrical wires and power plants and smoke and cars and lighted buildings. (I think I did a good job of that.)

I know who I want to win…

Anyway, if you’re on your way to Athens, Ohio, say hi. I’ll be the one with my mom and dad (please. Help me. I’m joking. They’re nice people. And they’re paying for me to get there, so I’m immensely grateful.). I’ll be the one pleased to be missing school for two days during testing and sex ed. Hopefully I’ll be the one on time this time, instead of stranded in an airport on the other side of the country.