To Arizona and Back Again…

We’re back. Quick trip. More driving than anything else, I think. It was worth it…I wanted to see the whole Things That Matter exhibit in one place…although now I think I might be able to see it in St. George as well! On the way to Zion for Spring Break anyway. We’ll see.

So I had some pieces left to cut…my plan was to cut in the car, so I set this up…double-boxed. I’ve done this before. It’s a little crazy, but it works.

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Arizona is so flat. This might even be the flat part of California.

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Cutting while not driving…

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We try to do 2-hour shifts…after that, you need a break. This section was pretty, through the Sonoran Desert National Monument. It was the short way around Phoenix to get to Chandler. We never went into Phoenix.

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So we went to see the official opening of the entire exhibit of Things That Matter, an exhibit I was invited to be in last year. The preview exhibition, which didn’t include all the work, was at Visions Art Museum in Spring. I really thought I had done a good job of taking photos at that exhibit, but it turns out I didn’t take hardly any…and this trip was no different. Honestly, my phone camera sucks for this stuff, and the sun was going down and causing issues with lighting. So go see the exhibit or get the catalog on Amazon. Because I suck.

But here is Virginia Spiegel’s Boundary Waters 90 on the left and Pamela Blotner’s Miss Pustelschwein Regrets, a fascinating piece.

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Deidre AdamsConnections and Susan T. Avila’s Time to Relax, which needs a front view to see the words.

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My piece Not Less Than, with Rachel MeginnesDon’t Tell Me It’s Raining, then Catherine Kleeman’s Clean Water and Linda Colsh’s And the Deep River Ran On, on the other wall.

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Paula Chung’s PTSD: Betrayal…amazing stitching in this piece.

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Betty Busby’s Let Your Light Shine

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And another view of my piece that includes Susan Else’s amazing and terrifying When? on gun violence in schools, and Alice Beasley’s very cool From Russia With Love.

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Obligatory photo with my piece…

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Elena StokesHorizon XII-Peace and Quiet

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And another Blotner piece, this with Elizabeth AddisonHanuman’s Journey.

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Please remind me if I go to the St. George installation to take WAY BETTER PHOTOS. Sheesh. And all the pieces. Seriously.

So then we ate and went back to the room and I finished cutting out the quilt pieces. California, Massachusetts, California, Arizona. Impressive.

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It took 13 1/2 hours total. Kind of long.

Back in the room, interesting accent wall, especially this bit, which is totally out of reach, even if you’re standing on the bed.

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But don’t hang anything on it with a coat hanger. Warning noted.

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I drew…this is a baby start for something that’s in my head and is much bigger and fancier. Or more detailed anyway.

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I haven’t been drawing much lately. Need to work on that.

The next morning, after a solid American breakfast, we drove back.

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There was crankiness. Sigh. 10 hours of driving does that. I finished the owl’s eyes though! And the giraffe, but I forgot to photograph him. I still need to finish the hut for that block to be done.

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Now that I’m home and ready to work on the quilt that has to be done in like 7 days, the wool stitching is not really a priority. So yesterday afternoon, I sorted all the pieces…

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Less than an hour for that…

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And then I started ironing…a snake before dinner…

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Then the landscaping starts…hard to do because the water goes over and under the feet, and the water is in the 0-100s box and the feet are in the 400s box, so there was searching and I lost a toe so I had to recut it.

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Then a couple of birds went together…

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And the background behind them…

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Here’s where I’m at so far, with about 150 pieces ironed…well, more because of the toes.

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There’s a hill behind the legs, or two hills really, that have to be done, and another bird in the sky. My goal today is first to bang out the 17 errands I need to do, and then iron until the cows come home. Except also go to the gym, make dinner, and grade at least one assignment. Not a small list. But I’m glad to be ironing. It would be good if I were done with ironing sometime tomorrow and then stitching down. I think I need to be quilting by Wednesday. Seriously. You think I’m joking. I’m not. But first, groceries. There’s no food here. Can’t sustain artistic focus without food.

Save Tonight and Fight the Break of Dawn*

Ahhhh. Monday. Hello. Now shut up.

Grades due tomorrow? Check. Not done. Homework you were grading in the car on the way to and from your fiber group meeting yesterday? Check. Not done. The 17 things on your to-do list from the weekend? Check. Not done. Like any of them, I think. Well, not true…I did the school-related stuff, I made it to the grocery store…so there’s food. The laundry got done somehow by 11:45 PM, so there are clean clothes. So I guess, yes, I am in survival mode. What’s new? Less than 2 months of school to go…it is not the sanest time of year.

Proof: between my co-teacher and I yesterday..

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So this afternoon, I need to finish grading one assignment, finish the makeup tests, input it all, and then decide the effort and participation grades for each kid. Fun stuff. It’s only a progress report, though, so it’s not the end of the world…which is apparent to me by the remarkably small number of kids who tried to turn in late work. Hmmm.

So I did trace Wonder Under on Saturday before heading out to the Visions opening of Things That Matter, where I met some very interesting artists (not all of us made it into this photo, unfortunately). Me, Sandra Lauterbach, Martha Ressler, Bonnie Jo Smith, Sandra Poteet, and Lin Schiffner.

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I also really enjoyed talking to Alice Beasley, whose work for this show is highly political and amusing, and Dawn Williams Boyd, whose work caught my eye right away. I think she challenged me to make a room-size quilt. Because? Oh, and apparently I own one of Bonnie’s pieces (totally spaced on that) from a SAQA auction.

There’s a catalog for this show, currently available at Visions, and hopefully other places soon. Not all of the artists in this traveling show were accepted into this exhibit, so it would be nice to see the full show when it opens in November in Chandler, Arizona…some truly beautiful work.

My piece is hanging next to Susan Else’s amazing piece about gun violence.

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That’s a gun barrel with a classroom inside it. Amazing.

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I really sucked at taking photos at the exhibit, but you should go see it and buy the catalog anyway…it’s what will help us ship our work all over the country.

From the opening, I headed to a friend’s bonfire for dinner…a beach sunset eventually showed up.

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And then to a stranger’s house to watch the band. They removed a door and that back wall to get room for the show. My guy is staring at me…I’m probably doing something weird, like photographing the band.

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Sunday was a fiber meeting, and then attempted surgery on my foot. I stepped on a bougainvillea thorn…I was wearing shoes at the time. I think. Maybe I wasn’t. Anyway, that was Saturday or maybe even Friday, but it was hurting Sunday.

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Unfortunately, he was unsuccessful…it was already swollen by then (it didn’t hurt until Sunday, I swear). I’ve slathered it with cream…even soaked it in vinegar last night. Imagine me tracing Wonder Under with my foot planted in a pot full of vinegar for an hour. It’s still in there, but it doesn’t hurt as much. All the other home remedies involve my making some gooey paste, slathering it on there, and covering it with a bandage for 24 hours. Except it’s the bottom of my foot and I stand all day. Hmmm. So there’s that. I guess if it gets worse, I’ll head over to Urgent Care for a more qualified guy with a headlamp.

Meanwhile, the low-level cold is still fucking over my sinuses. This thing is evil.

What is it about cats lying all over our stuff?

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So yeah, I traced some more Wonder Under yesterday. I have about 5 1/2 hours in, and I’m in the 400s…

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Not even halfway. I have two figures traced…one more to go and then the whole fireplace, which has quite a few pieces in it.

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I’ll try to do more tonight, but I have to finish grades first. And before that, I have to get to school and do something. I wish I knew what that something was, but you saw that text. I THINK I’ve done everything I need for today…but I’m honestly not sure. I guess, as usual, I will find all that out the hard way.

*Eagle-Eye Cherry, Save Tonight