A Time to Rewind and Be Recorded Absent*

March 28, 2018

So. I realize after a million years of being myself that I inhabit stress regularly. Yes, it’s Spring Break, but I have too much to do and it’s wearing on me. My counselor was convinced that I thrive on stress…I think it’s more that I’ve had a lot of it for so long that I don’t know how to switch it off. But it’s also what allows me to finish a lot of things in a short period of time. This quilt will be finished today…easily…unless a nuclear bomb drops on San Diego, in which case, all bets are off. But I have about three thousand other things that need to be done in the next three days. Some of them need to be done today. And that’s heavy on my head.

I got back from returning that hellish sleep device and cleaned the floor so I could pinbaste this one…

IMG_2489 small

Had to move all the camping stuff we accumulated in the entryway to do it.

IMG_2490 small

There’s something we need to take on the trip that’s not on my list. I remembered it at 2 AM but didn’t write it down (I can’t write shit down at 2 AM) and now I can’t remember what it is. Fuck.

IMG_2491 small

This is not a huge quilt…

IMG_2492 small

That might be part of why it’s going so fast…quilting started next and kept going…

IMG_2494 small

I was done with the outlining around 6 PM…perfect! Time to make dinner…

IMG_2495 small

In the last week, I’ve done over 22 hours of artmaking, compared to 11 hours the week before…granted, I haven’t had to go to school. That helps.

IMG_2496 small

I love this. I need a title though. Like before Friday.

IMG_2502 small

Don’t help me. It’s OK…it’ll come to me.

IMG_2504 small

Birthing the gender wars.

IMG_2505 small

Maybe. We’ll see. Today? Today I trim and bind. I don’t know if I need to buy binding. I probably don’t have enough of anything that will work. I usually only buy half yards, and this would probably take all of that. So I’ll have to see. Plus I need to pack up a quilt and deliver it to my mom so she can deliver it while I’m gone. Because she’ll be gone tomorrow. Although I have a key. Duh. I could deliver it tomorrow even if she’s not there. See? Stress. Plus I need to grade an entire SHITLOAD of stuff before Saturday.

And then? Then I need to figure out what I’m making next. Can’t stop.

*Roots, What You Want

Advertisements

I’m Near the End and I Just Ain’t Got the Time*

March 12, 2018

Well. Daylight Savings Time flip flop sucks. I’m pretty sure I didn’t sleep last night but I’m up NOW. All the fun of trying to fall asleep early with all the excitement of the alarm going off in the dark! It’s like winter all over again! Sigh. It is kind of a miracle that I’m awake at all, but since I didn’t ever go to sleep, I guess there’s nothing to wake up from. Old lady teacher brain strikes again? Who knows. The 2-hour staff meeting after school is going to be fun. If I stay awake, it will be a miracle.

By the way, I graded nothing this weekend…nothing at all. I was supposed to try, but instead, I tried to finish the quilt…which in the long run, was probably a better way to spend the weekend. Actually, there was an hour and a half in a sailboat (that wasn’t sailing) on the water with wine, cheese, grapes, and friends and family…

IMG_1969 small

And these guys. Same thing we did back in August, but I think the weather was actually better this time?

IMG_1970 small

Beautiful sunny day, relatively relaxing.

Then came home and finished all the quilting around the edges. The thread broke about 300 times. Somehow I managed to stay calm and not get frustrated and just tie another knot and start over.

IMG_1978 small

The tension is off…she’s going in to the repair guy the end of this month. Good timing.

Here’s what I bought yesterday…only two were possible bindings, the top and bottom…which I used on the last quilt as well.

IMG_1980 small

It was still the best choice for this one…

Cleaned the floor again (lots of leaves from the storm over the weekend), laid it out, and trimmed it.

IMG_1982 small

It was perfectly square the first time…that never happens.

Put the binding and sleeves on.

IMG_1985 small

Sat on the couch to pin everything down. Petted the puppy.

IMG_1986 small

Pinned! Then started the handstitching. Did not finish.

IMG_1989 small

That’s going to take a while. Not forever though. She should be done this week, so I need to try and get it to the photographer next week, if I can. I might need to put it off until Spring Break. This week is a bitch…not sure next week is any better. I’m scared to look at it. If I can get the daily tasks done, I’ll be doing pretty well…from what I remember, by the end of the week, the tiredness slaps you in the face and you’re all of a sudden used to the time change. Fun stuff.

*Alison Krauss, Can’t Find My Way Home


From the Ranks of the Freaks*

March 11, 2018

I need to go back and read blogposts from previous months of March, to remind myself that this month is a slog…through grades and assignments and trying not to look ahead to Spring Break, because if you do, you’ll forget about the 7 meetings you have this week. OK, I’m not up to 7 yet, but it’s getting there. And two of them are 2 hours long. I just checked. I’m at 6. 6 meetings. Ugh.

My birthday was Friday and I have to admit it was a rough one. I have a friend who always takes her birthday off from school, but her interactions with kids are not as a teacher, so I think it’s easier for her to walk away from it for a day. Ours requires lesson plans and a hope that shit will actually go the way you planned. The kids singing Happy Birthday was alternately awful and heartfelt. I got lots of hugs. But it was still a lab day…and those are hard. I’m not a big birthday person anyway…I just like a little acknowledgement. Middle school is probably too much acknowledgement.

So I decided that I was not working yesterday. I did do a little work, but mostly I quilted. Which was the right thing to do. My brain is still not happy, but art brain had fun.

Really all I’m doing is outlining. It’s the drawing line brought back in…

IMG_1931 small

It was a rainy day anyway…

IMG_1932 small

Sure, I had errands I could have done. I could have graded tests. Ugh.

IMG_1933 small

It was way more fun to finish the outlining. Besides, I had a plan of getting the binding fabric on Saturday, because we have a thing today that will take up some of the afternoon.

IMG_1935 small

So I just kept going. It’s meditative. It lets my brain relax.

IMG_1937 small

I haven’t quilted the outside part yet, but that’s tiny and won’t take long. I finished the shoe about an hour before the quilt store closed, kamikazed over there, and picked out two possible binding fabrics (I’m not good at deciding sometimes)…

IMG_1940 small

Came home, threw the fabrics in the washing machine, and then headed out to two art openings in the rain. I feel like when it rains, the artists need even more support, because fewer people go out in it. More on those shows later this week. I’m way behind in posting about where I’ve been.

This is Friday night, though. I was waiting for my dinner companion to show up, so I was tracing Wonder Under for the next piece. I didn’t quilt Friday night, because I was tired and that’s when I make mistakes. So I traced. Except Satchemo was pretty convinced it was dinner time (it wasn’t).

IMG_1928 small

Kitten came out and sat with me for a bit. You can see the reflection of the light table in the window. I love my light table. It’s my favorite piece of furniture in the house.

IMG_1929 small

And here’s back in time to Thursday night, the opening of #MyVoice/#MiVoz, the 11th Annual Dia de la Mujer exhibit at The Front in San Ysidro.

This piece was fascinating…the three parts kept turning, so it was hard to photograph, but I tried! This is Hidden Treasures by Paola Viola, 3rd place in Emerging Artists.

IMG_1886 small

Another view as the pieces keep twirling…

IMG_1887 small

And people are hiding behind, reading the pieces…

IMG_1914 small

This is Hurts Like Hell by Michelle Montjoy.

IMG_1889 small

This piece is by Kim Niehans, a fellow FIG member. I was tired, so I was bad about photographing the labels, so I don’t know what it’s called. Luckily, I am computer savvy, so I went to her website and checked…and she is so good at posting her work! I love artists who realize they need to post stuff. This is Self Evident

IMG_1892 small

This is Gail Schneider’s Sally Yates.

IMG_1893 small

More fiber! This is Will Work for Free by Cat Chiu Phillips…made of fabric from designer bags.

IMG_1894 small

And one of my favorite FIG artists, Bhavna Mehta’s work in paper and embroidery, Resist with your voice #3.

IMG_1896 small

She’s got crazy talent…

IMG_1897 small

I saw the mural at the San Diego Art Institute for this, but love this print too…this is Arzu Ozkal’s San Diego Women in Resistance.

IMG_1907 small

Detail shots…

IMG_1908 small

It’s a beautiful piece…

IMG_1909 small

This is another FIG member, Judith Christensen, and her piece Women’s Work 2015-2018.

IMG_1911 small

Each piece is part of a list, lots of groceries and other stuff. We all make lists.

FIG member Anna Stump won 1st prize for Established Artist with her Another Fucking Princess piece that was in our Don’t Shut Up exhibit last year (my piece in this show was also in that exhibit).

IMG_1913 small

This is a detail of Ingrid Hernandez’ Make America Great Again (MAGA)

IMG_1918 small

Ah yes, Donald Trump on toilet paper. A classic.

IMG_1920 small

This piece was resin and leaves, very interesting…Mara Nasland, winning 2nd place in Emerging Artist, with her piece Rising from the Ashes, Stronger Than She Ever Was

IMG_1921 small

Intriguing structure, glowing with light.

So that was Thursday night. I think I have 4 other shows to post about, but not now. Now I need cat food and breakfast and a plan for groceries and maybe a revised birthday sometime in the future. Like a day where I redo it. Redo’s are good.

*Aimee Mann, Save Me


Promises Me I’m Safe as Houses*

March 8, 2018

I left school early yesterday…meaning I walked out the door within 30 minutes of the school day ending. I wanted to walk the dogs…it’s been a while. So I walked in the frong door, put them out to pee, and changed into dog-walking attire…so as soon as they came in, they were excited, running around, woofing woofing woofing. They know what it means.

IMG_1853 small

This has seemed like the safest place to walk lately, in terms of coyote incursions. We know they’re there…but I’ve never seen them in the 3-mile loop I do with the dogs. Boychild has seen them further out. I figure if I can’t see them, I’m probably OK…

IMG_1857 small

Plus the dogs like all the good smells…

IMG_1858 small

And it’s apparently spring there…plus there were 5 runners and at least 5 bikers.

IMG_1859 small

But there we are. Coyote. On the flat open area. I yelled at him, picked up the little dog, and took the other branch of the trail. He didn’t budge. Even followed us a bit. Sigh. Well next week it will be light longer, so hopefully coyotes subscribe to daylight savings time and will stay hidden for another hour.

IMG_1861 small

Girlchild says I should walk where there are no coyotes. No such place exists. I know they have a place here…it’s just scary with the dogs.

My TV-watching companion is working hella hours at work lately, so I was on my own for dinner. Read my book…book club is next week already again and I am not done. Nowhere near done.

Then I started quilting. Quilting is relaxing. Meditative.

IMG_1864 small

Especially when the machine is being nice and stitching with no issues.

IMG_1865 small

I got all of the water/land of the Earth done, and some of the sky around the figures.

IMG_1866 small

I did a little outlining on the figures and this caduceus (can’t spell it; can’t pronounce it!).

IMG_1867 small

Not even halfway, but I did quilt for 2 1/2 hours last night. Tonight I have an opening to go to, so I don’t know how much I’ll get done. We’ll see.

For #marchmeetthemaker, I posted some of my process…because I finally got it down. It helps me get stuff done. What do I do next? I already know. I draw. Then I trace. Cut the Wonder Under. Iron it to fabric. Cut the fabric. Iron the pieces together. Iron it to a background. Stitch it down. Sandwich and pinbaste. Quilt. Bind. Repeat.

519A08B5-008B-4327-B458-EC3D77F1B998 small

It’s working for me. Has been for quite a few years.

The next two nights are kind of busy, but hopefully I’ll get some quilting in…then finish it up Saturday? I have stuff to do Saturday and Sunday…if I want to buy binding fabric, it probably has to be Saturday. This is part of why I think everything out. When will I have time to go get binding fabric if there isn’t enough of something here? Now Saturday is in my head as Go-Get-Binding day. I might even write it in the calendar (probably should).

Now I should probably get to school…morning meetings suck. And yet they still exist.

*Depeche Mode, Never Let Me Down Again


All the Roads We Have to Walk Are Winding*

March 7, 2018

Well. So. I can finally quilt this thing. I have not been as efficient as I sometimes can be. Not sure why. Lack of rice krispy treats I think. That’s probably a good thing now that I think about it.

I’m finding school frustrating; you may have noticed. I think we work hard at giving kids the supports they need to think without giving them the answers. I’m frustrated at the moment with the lack of try I see. I know, I know, they’re 12. Try is hard. It’s hard for grown adults to get up off the couch and do something every night. It’s not hard for me, really, because I like it. I like it better than the couch. I guess I’m wired slightly differently. I’m OK with that.

So I did tutoring and talked to kids who just didn’t get it. There’s one girl who goes to tutoring every day and does hardly any work. It’s just social. Better than home? Yes, for some kids, school is safer and better than home. OK. Well. I will bury my frustration and keep trying. I’m the adult in there, so I should be able to do that.

Meanwhile, I came home, cooked dinner, ate, and watched some X-Files…sewed some more balls on…see! Progress! I’m doing one color at a time. It’s relaxing.

IMG_1840 small

No, that’s not parmesan. It’s all my pins. Although it’s cracked. I need a new one…pin container that is.

So I cleaned all the tile floors after dinner and then pinbasted the quilt. I only clean floors when I need to pinbaste or trim quilts…

IMG_1842 small

Lying around on the ground pinning at 10 PM is the best way to end your day.

IMG_1843 small

I had a hard enough time getting up off the ground.

IMG_1844 small

Wow…that’s some foreshortening. No way is that boob that big…

My work made it into Textile Fibre Forum…part of the Threads of Resistance exhibit…

IMG_1846 small

It’s always interesting to hear someone else write about your work. I didn’t make that piece with the thought of Adam and Eve, but I do see how everyone sees that.

This quilt, Rooted in America, made it into Fantastic Fibers, hallelujah. I’m so glad this piece is going out in the world.

Especially right now…

From last night’s episode of Electric Dreams

Great version of that song.

*Cat Power (and Oasis), Wonderwall


And We’ll All Float on OK*

February 1, 2018

Yesterday was long. It began with a parent meeting and a breakfast of a handful of peanuts (not the best choice) and the teaching part went all day, like it does, into a meeting about who teaches what and why and how and when and maybe which…who knows. At some point, I got a second wind and started doing art things, quite a few of them. I didn’t do school things because I did lots of them at school and I should be allowed to stop at some point. Really. Today I have to remember to go to the chiropractor after school too. Somewhat hard to remember that shit.

So that was January, a whirlwind of not being able to do art for some reason. Seriously, I looked back, and most weeks I manage 13-20 hours of art…on top of a 60+-hour week of school (ugh). But until this week, I was doing about 4-5 hours a week. Maybe not helping with the feelings of stress. But I’m back on track! Woo hoo!

Seriously, it feels better.

Left for work yesterday morning with two furry beasts staring out the dirty window. It’s on a 2nd floor…hard to clean it, really. Need to replace it with something easier to clean. Normally the puppy is not out, but my housemate was running slow, so Simba got a few more moments of house freedom.

IMG_1141 small

After dinner, I put the bindings on the quilt I’ve been working on for months. That’s a fun binding…

IMG_1149 small

Usually my bindings are more mellow.

Wait. Well there’s this one…I finished the handstitching last night on this binding, but I purposely picked something crazy. Now I need to do the embroidery on it…that will take a while.

IMG_1150 small

I had wanted a January finish, so I should have done the handstitching on the other small quilt first and finished IT yesterday, but no…I did not think that far in advance. I liked last year when I was finishing one thing each month. Well. Until the summer, when all that fell to shit…so why am I worried? It’s OK…I didn’t have a finish last January either…I think I was a day or so off.

Dumped this on the couch so I could pin the binding back…

IMG_1151 small

So fast! So easy! This one will actually be done when the binding is done. I’m only doing bindings in that little bit after I’ve eaten my dinner until the show we’re watching stops. So if they’re 50-minute shows (figuring for commercials), that’s not a lot of time. It’s OK. They’ll get done.

IMG_1152 small

No rush.

My couch partner. He was quite happy when I sat still.

IMG_1156 small

Unfortunately for him, I suck at that. I eventually made it up off the couch again, after 10 PM, and started tracing freakishly small pieces of spine and ribcage and metal structure.

IMG_1159 small

I’m about 7 1/2 hours in and honestly? Almost done with the tracing. I think I have about 100 pieces left…or 120. That’s an hour or two. The little ones go faster. So hopefully I’ll finish tracing tonight and start cutting pieces out.

Meanwhile, from Tuesday’s drawing, there’s this little rodenty thing. I didn’t draw him with a purpose…was thinking mole and then he got a tail, so maybe mouse, or I don’t know what. Little mammal thing in a hole.

IMG_1157 small

Julie didn’t like that he didn’t have ears, apparently, or that he wasn’t biologically valid, which is amusing, because absolutely none NONE of my birds are real. Seriously, I just make that shit up. It must be obvious. But now I have this…

IMG_1148 small

because she sent it to me for future reference. I’m amused because this is a drawing about us getting nuked to oblivion due to our idiot president’s penis size (sigh), and she’s worried about that thing having no ears. I researched nuclear bombs and umbrellas and the rest was just random drawing. Filling space. And I’m months away from being able to make this quilt.

It’s fine. I’m amused. Now you know how much I research…sometimes a LOT, sometimes nothing at all.

Girlchild has finally found the wifi and time to post on her blog…check it out. And now I’m off to another parent meeting and day of teaching, luckily without the meeting at the end. And then art…really, after the gym and reading my book, but art.

*Modest Mouse, Float On


No One Told Me About Her*

January 28, 2018

I have these goals to go on long hikes on the weekend or go hang out at the zoo (new passes for Christmas) or sit down on the deck and do a new drawing (that’s a perennial goal for me), but often it just ends up being the grocery store and the compost bin and maybe laundry if I’m really organized. I have two openings coming up in LA, and the thought of having to drive all the way up there and back in a day is disheartening…although I’m gonna do it. Twice. Which means having to plan ahead for the school stuff I normally do on the weekend.

It’s not that I’m not getting anything done…I just always want it to be more. And I forget how much energy school sucks out of you (I have three THREE parent meetings this week…for parents who just figured out their kids are failing. Sigh. I guess I’m glad they figured it out.). Meetings and grading and explaining and planning and grading and sending the parent email (I did that at 11 PM last night. Normally I do it today, but I’ll be in a car for a significant portion of the day.). It’s supposed to be almost 90 degrees here today, but my feet are freezing. I should go sit on the deck. Really. It’s warm out there.

I am glad to say that I finally finished the quilting on the small quilt.

IMG_1081 small

The lighting in here seems worse than usual…so quilting during the day is easier (although impossible during the week). I’ve been considering pulling this room apart at the beginning of summer, removing wallpaper, replacing flooring, painting the whole thing, maybe a new window, take the TV I never watch out and put more shelves in, replace a bunch of plastic drawers with something more sturdy and wall to ceiling, maybe even put in French doors instead of the sliding door so I can get more air in here…or something. But I don’t think I can afford it. I can think about it though and price shit out and see if it’s something I can do in the future.

IMG_1083 small

At some point, I won’t be paying for college any more.

IMG_1085 small

This was really quick to quilt because it’s small. The tree leg was the most complicated bit. It was only 4 hours and 45 minutes total.

IMG_1086 small

But it was just big enough that I wouldn’t have enough fabric for binding…I generally buy half yards, and that’s what this was going to take.

IMG_1087 small

But nothing worked. OK. Don’t lie. You didn’t even try. You wanted to go to the fabric store. It’s true. I haven’t been there in a while. I like the fabric store.

Here she is trimmed…

IMG_1088 small

About 36 x 42″ or so. So I made a trip to the store and put all that in the wash…

Then settled down to some TV and finishing this finally. Packed up all three blocks to send back to Social Justice Sewing Academy…

IMG_1089 small

And then graded for a while last night…cleared out all the makeup work (37 emails) and input those, plus pulled grades for another assignment from the website. I don’t have to grade anything but the last question…and then it gives me the score. Easy peasy.

Then heard briefly from the girlchild. With 11 hours difference, her day is my night etc. But this morning, I heard a lot. I’m going to let her tell her own story on her blog, though, although she’ll need wifi to get that posted. There are two posts so far, but she’s got another two written and ready to post. You can read her here if you want…all I can tell you know is that this is her bed in her host family’s house…and she’s feeling a little overwhelmed. (The bed alone would do that to me.)

IMG_1094 small

I remember doing this…barely knowing the language, staying in a strange house. It’s hard. But worth it. I hope she feels better after a long night’s sleep. She’s trying to learn two languages at once and adjust to a new place and not get sick. Hard stuff. Makes me appreciate my host family even more. They were really easy compared to some.

Here’s the fabric I bought after they came out of the washer. I didn’t allow myself to wander and shop much. I didn’t have much time and I don’t have much money. Although! The first check for the commission piece showed up yesterday, so I’m going to be starting tracing Wonder Under tonight! That’s actually exciting. I’m looking forward to it. In fact, I got some of the purplish fabrics for the spacey bit I think. Or I just liked them. Yeah that’s it.

IMG_1095 small

There’s the one I picked for the binding. I actually picked two, but couldn’t decide until I got home. The store was full of people, so I didn’t feel super comfortable throwing my naked climate chick out on the floor and trying binding fabrics out around her.

IMG_1096 small

Sometimes you just have to buy more than one and decide in the peace and quiet of your own home.

So now I have three bindings to sew down, plus one quilt that needs a lot of hand embroidery…it’s going to be my go-to for after dinner but still watching the end of that TV episode. So it’ll probably be around for a while. I’m hoping to finish one of the others in January, just to say I finished something in January, because I’ve been lax as hell this month. Normally I do 50+ hours of art-related stuff each month, and the last month has been only 20 hours…and that’s WITH time off from school. Lame. Yeah, it’s OK, I know the kids being home and being discombobulated about what I was doing next was part of that. But I’m done now. I’m on a roll. I have 60 days to get this quilt done…partially because that’s what I put in the contract, but also because I leave on vacation in 63 days. Don’t laugh. I’ll be fine. I have a goal now, a place to look forward to. That helps so much. Really, it does.

I’m going to be feeling better this week. The cold is going to go away, I’m going to get some exercise in, I’m going to finish some things and start some things. It’s all good.

*The Zombies, She’s Not There