Happiness Hit Her Like a Bullet in Her Back*

November 11, 2017

I never get as much done on a day off as I think I can. Somewhere in there I lose about 4 hours and then it’s dark and dinner time. I can’t really explain it. Time travel or something.

Anyway, most importantly, I walked the dogs yesterday. It had been a while, just because of the weather and the time change and life in general, so I tried to walk them into the ground.

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The puppy was tired about halfway in, but he always gets a second wind when we start back.

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It was a nice cool day with pretty clouds interspersed with sun…

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And very few people on the trail…

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Mostly they were all at the beginning of the trail having their holiday card photos taken. Apparently a popular spot.

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I wanted to tell the one girl she was probably standing in poison oak, but whatever.

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Certainly if she stood on one of those gourd things with her spiked heels, she would never get the smell out.

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I have no idea why these are flagged…

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Maybe there’s seeds in there? I just don’t know…

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Anyway, the dogs were tired out for a bit. They were very excited to be walking, so that’s a good thing.

I did something on the left. I used to be so good about telling you what stitch and where and what color. Not so much by day 314 apparently.

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Then back to the tracing. This photo is for Sion…because yeah, they are smaller than my fingernail. I could stitch them or paint them or whatever, but I don’t. I cut them out of fabric.

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I am aware of my insanity, yes.

So I finished…8 yards total…here’s 5 of them…

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And the other 3…

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I got one cut out last night, the easiest one, the one with a big empty space on it. Calli was supremely helpful.

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It took 15 1/2 hours to trace everything. Usually it takes less time to cut out the Wonder Under.

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I want it all done and sorted by next Saturday. It seems doable, although I do have a bunch of stuff to deal with this week.

Supposedly I am hiking today as well, but it might mean bouncing someone out of bed. Which seems mean, because I got to sleep in yesterday, but…with the day ending so early, it’s gotta happen sometime.

I’m really excited about this quilt. I think it will be very cool looking. I can’t wait to see it.

*Florence and the Machine, Dog Days Are Over

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Stay Wilder Than the Wind*

September 16, 2017

Late writing today…not because I slept all day…ah ah aha ha ha ha. OK. Teacher humor. But yeah, I’ve put in a few hours of grading today already…trying to free up my evening for artmaking…which in this case is really just hours of scissoring. With scissors. Just to be clear.

But I do like the school days when I get to do art as well…so yesterday was the start of a new unit, so I did my cover page…

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I like it better than last year’s…mostly because it’s missing last year’s mistake. So yeah, I got to color on Friday. For my job. That’s awesome.

Which is good, because that was really all the artmaking that happened, being gaming night. I’m training to do runes…but I need a hammer and a ton of money.

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A late-night trip to the grocery store…this never makes me feel safe…

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I finished the block on the left…block 15? I think? While gaming. And started on the elephants. It took me about halfway around the baby elephant to remember how to do coral stitch…the book I use is usually quite good, but for some reason, I couldn’t figure this one out until I looked it up online and then went…OOOoohhh…that makes more sense…

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This morning started with some school work…grading of course…but then a 3-mile hike with the dogs…and a random coyote who was quite vocal and nerve-wracking…and then gave up and went to sleep.

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Tired the damn dogs out at least.

I had been looking at Blocks 15 and 16 and trying to figure out how I was supposed to sew this moon thing on…oh yeah. Sew the damn blocks together. So I did. This is Blocks 4 and 5 sewn to 9 and 10 sewn to 15 and 16. I think. That doesn’t make sense though numberwise. Something like that. I realized after that I should have trimmed them before I sewed.

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That’s some crooked elephant stuff down there. I’ll figure it out…don’t worry. But it’s looking pretty good so far.

Kitten has decided the dog bed is the right size for her…and she’s pushed the blinds to the side for a kitten-sized window out to look at the front yard…mostly at the bunnies.

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She’s still not comfortable coming out here by herself with Satchemo in the house, but both of them were on the bed this morning. Only a little hissing happened. It’s a VERY slow process that involves a lot of petting and treats.

Anyway, I’m grading (and cleaning house a bit) for the next two hours, and then dinner plus artmaking afterwards. That’s the plan anyway. We’ll see how it goes in reality.

*Duran Duran, Come Undone


Crazy Thoughts Have Quick Wings*

August 22, 2017

Eclipses are cool y’all. That’s all I have to say about that.

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NASA has way better pictures than I do…not surprisingly.

I’m realizing that I’m still adjusting to new eating times…blood sugar was wacky yesterday, but then I figured out that we have a different schedule on Mondays. Hence my body’s complete confusion by the end of the day. Working on it. Still. Forever.

I’m a little tired this morning. Sure, I went to bed late, but I do that a lot. Puppy wanted to bark at everything last night though, so I remember 1:53 AM and 3:21 AM and 5:38 AM. I think those were all coyote responses, but I’m not sure. Ugh. Still can’t keep my eyes open all the way. Blargh.

Tired the dogs out after school yesterday…apparently not enough for Simba. We did over three miles…

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I love how the old seed pods are mixed with the new…castor bean plant. Freaky beast.

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I did…um…oh yeah! the three roses on the bottom right. It’s a stitch called rambling rose, which consists of French knots and stem stitches. Very simple.

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I was mostly horizontal with Simba. He liked me then.

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Eventually I made it upright and cooked some dinner. On Mondays, that usually means reheating leftovers…because if I’m not getting back to the house until after 7 PM, it better be easy.

So I had enlarged this one just because I thought it should be a quilt. And I taped it just to get it done. It’s not huge.

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Who knows when she’ll get made…I have a waiting list at this point.

Then I started tracing the newest piece. The pieces are bigger than what I usually do.

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I was really trying to keep it simpler than some of my recent pieces. We’ll see how that goes. I only traced about 87 pieces in an hour. Not bad. Not spectacular. But because I don’t have a lot of grading when I get home at the moment, it means all I have to think about is art stuff. So as long as I can fight the tiredness, I can get some stuff done. That gets harder as the year goes on. That part always stresses me out. I’m trying to keep my head in a positive place about school…I wonder if admin realizes every crazy-ass thing they do, messing with the master schedule, assigning yet another thing to teachers to keep track of, making us do a 2-hour homeroom with lunch 45 minutes late. We absorb all of it, try to cope, adjust the peeing/eating schedules, take lots of deep breaths, and come home and walk three miles out in nature to clear our heads. Yeah. Well.

*Jem, Save Me


Like It’s Tryna Get Away*

August 15, 2017

I really hate the days when I can’t find the energy to make art. Even if I got a ton of stuff done (I didn’t) and walked a lot of steps (I did) and even walked the dogs (I did) and made dinner from scratch (I did) and the boychild got safely to college with a minimum of delay (he did…only an hour and a half in Detroit), it still feels like I did absolutely nothing yesterday because I couldn’t even pick up my hand and draw. Hell, I didn’t even do the stitch-a-day thing. THAT was too much work. Yes. I went to bed early. That’s how you know you’re old…you can only do one night of almost no sleep before you crash. Apparently 3 hours is my crash point.

My bulletin boards aren’t done. My room is a disaster. A clusterfuck even. I can’t find anything because I had to put it all away in June. I did finally find my phone. At like 3 PM yesterday. I thought someone might have stolen it. Nope. They didn’t. It’s OK. I still have today to try and get my head straight. And it all doesn’t have to be done today. I have time to get some stuff done in the next few days…although it feels better on the first day to be on top of all of it…because it will be the LAST TIME ALL YEAR that you will feel that way. Seriously.

I am wearing my Threads of Resistance t-shirt today. It’s how I feel. Resistant. And maybe it will help.

I’ll photograph my room today. It’s scary right now.

When I got home from school, I took the dogs on a 3-mile hike. We all needed it.

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Not the greatest picture…such a delicate flower.

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I had some issues trying to get both of them to walk together after months of not doing it…especially when I was trying to keep them out of the poison oak.

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Someone left this on the bridge…

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And puppy slept close to me for a long time. Honestly, I didn’t get done with dinner and clean up until 9 or so (not so abnormal)…

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But I couldn’t even pick up a needle or a pen. Hopefully tonight will be better. I forget how exhausting the first week can be. I wish I had a project in a better stage right now, like tracing or cutting…I could probably handle that. But no, I’m in the highly creative phase of two different projects at the moment. OK. Well. Draw tonight. No excuses. My day job doesn’t get to co-opt my favorite job.

*Max Frost, Die Young


No Time to Think About What She’s Done*

July 22, 2017

I promised to talk about some of the quilts in my Nida Powers exhibit…so I’m picking this one…the first of the earth mothers…aptly named Earth Mother

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This is also the first of the truly long skinny quilts…I started with a drawing on one page of my sketchpad, and then copied it and taped it to the next page…and maybe a third page. She wears a cape. People want me to explain everything in my quilts and the reality is that I can’t. Even this one, which dates back to 2006, I was journaling then, but often I don’t write down what I’m thinking when I make them. Ah, but I just went and looked and found this:

I meant to write about the 1/22/06 drawing to say what I was thinking when I drew it. I drew two eyes and they were too far apart, so I drew a third eye between them. She’s very calm looking. I think of her as native, earth mother type. I had a lot of problems with the arm behind. Used a bunch of liquid paper trying to decide what to do with the hands. Multiple nipples…didn’t like the placement of the first one, so I added some more. Seemed to go with the Earth Mother theme. Maybe that’s the name for now…Earth Mother. I know I want the feet to grow roots and the ground to be layers with tunnels and things down below. The 1989 tattoo is my marriage. I was thinking some people put significant names and dates on their body as tattoos, and that was a significant date, the date of my marriage. The eye relates back to that Indian (from India) thing of the all-seeing eye or even the evil eye. Her heart shows. The child is almost a Jesus figure, but eyes closed and wearing a diaper. Weird. Lots of decorative drawing. I drew the cape and the vine sort of as an afterthought. The halo is off center on purpose. Lots of religious overtones. I’ve always liked the stories of Mary that are sacrilegious and the stories of Our Lady of Guadalupe, so maybe that’s where I’m going with this.

Anyway, that’s where my brain was 11+ years ago. She is the most calm and peaceful of the Earth Mothers I think. She hangs in my entryway usually and I miss seeing her there. But she belongs in the show. Someone was asking about all the animals in the quilts; they’re all mine. I couldn’t figure out one of the cats in this one though. It’s back when Russia (the dog) was still alive. So I think it’s Willow and Juniper and Limbo, but I’m not sure who the other one is. Maybe Kiwi or one of the other dead ones. Even Russia was dead when I drew this…

So my art goals have been shot to hell otherwise. Yesterday was a lot of driving around and freaking out about black mold…it’s OK. We solved that. We had an expert over here, who scavenged some of our wood stain that was going to haz waste in exchange for his opinions and 9 wood screws.

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The big hole now has a medicine cabinet in it and the smaller hole is still there. I’m going to house animals in it.

Not really. I’m gonna fix it. But don’t ask my dad about it. He’s convinced there’s a 2×4 on the right (there isn’t). I know how to fix this kind of shit. I’m good.

Kitten. Seriously. I have video of her whiskers twitching while she sleeps in this position.

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So I didn’t get much done all day but errands and computer shit and I don’t even know what. The garage isn’t handled totally. The Craigslist ads are ready to be written. I’m posting those later this weekend. Don’t wanna deal with it right now.

Then I persuaded all living things that aren’t cats to go for a walk/hike down in Sweetwater…

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Strangely, cats don’t like walks. Well mine don’t.

Finally! Man. I need those walks. This weird plant…there’s still all new growth down there, minus rainfall.

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Fire hazard is gonna be high from here on out.

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Gorgeous evening though…

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Came back and made risotto (you know, like you do)…and then finally got to the ironing around 9:30. Yeah. Late again. So much for ironing all day, right? Fucked up mess. This is just like being at work.

So that’s what a tornado looks like before I iron it together. The brown fabric has been in my stash since I started making art quilts, like 1990 or so. It actually has some pieces drawn in pencil on the back of it. Fucking nuts. Really. I’m so glad I don’t have to do that any more (because drawing all 1320 pieces on Wonder Under is better? Sigh.).

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I was doing tiny buildings with tiny windows. No, they can’t all be the same color. That’s crazy.

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So I’ve ironed about 450 pieces down, maybe a bit more. And there’s still not a ton of color…lots of gray. Which makes sense maybe. I’ve done both legs all the way up to the pubic area, plus the land area below the knees.

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I’m hoping to do some today as well, but I don’t know how much time I have. Here’s the pile of pieces to be cut out. Silly windows.

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The whole fam went to bed after 1 AM (ugh)…no, the girlchild didn’t stay there all night, and Simba sleeps in a crate because he’s a fussbudget.

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Those faces. Calli sleeps through everything.

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Gonna miss the girlchild. Am not gonna miss her sticky labels from apples that I find attached to the kitchen counter every day.

Haz waste is gone. Did I mention that? Some shit got crossed off the list. Medicine cabinets. Another load of trash is ready to go. At this rate, my driveway is gonna look like Hoarder Central for another three months. That should keep the rabble away. Boychild is painting the fixed door. That’s good. And he’s the one that installed the medicine cabinets. (so he’s also the one that unearthed the black mold…)

OK. Checking my schedule. Going to iron until I’m told to do otherwise.

*Talking Heads, And She Was


Let Me Take You There*

February 26, 2017

Well I’m head down (and ass down on the chair) on grading stuff. I even resized the photos for today’s post (yeah, it’s Sunday, but I had an early up and get going, so I’m trying to take advantage of the day and get my work done), and then I forgot to write. I’m taking a break from grading right now, because it’s hurting my head, realizing that I have to rework how we teach one thing that we do all year, because so few of our kids can do it, and we’re more than halfway through the school year.

Anyway. My goal is to do grading now so I can do art later. I started a drawing last night and I’m going to have to restart…but maybe that’s later today. It’s mostly in my head at the moment.

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The world is still pissing me off. Not surprisingly. I solve that by signing petitions and sending emails to my stupid state senator and postcards to the people who need them, and then supporting kickstarters and artists who are making resistance art and donating part of their proceeds (or all, if they’re into that…I think artists need to make a living too) to good causes. Plus making art myself. And continuing to yell out that this shit is not right. Freedom of the press, dammit. Even if you don’t like what it’s saying. I love my country right now for all the parts who are protesting, devious as some of them are (the CPAC Trump/Russian flags…what genius). This is what my country does when there’s a dictator in charge…what you read about in the dystopian novels. This is what we are. We are unfortunately also the stupid stuff. It’s the yin/yang. Can’t have the good protest without the stupid.

I did Friday and Saturday’s stitching yesterday…The tree trunk/branches are done, I think. I might add some more twiggy stuff tonight.

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And before that…I’m stuck with both dogs this weekend, due to my ex being in Boston with our daughter. They needed some exercise yesterday, so I went to Sweetwater to see how bad the crowds were.

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The bridge was all about photo shoots, as far as I could tell…one down at the far end, and then two more when we came back. Weird.

There had definitely been rain out here in the past…I don’t usually walk here, because there’s too many people and bikes, but also fewer coyotes in sight during the day because of that…

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It’s pretty damn green this year…

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Went to the bridge so we could see the stream below…

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Simba likes to stand in big grass.

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We saw another trail camera…but this one had a card explaining it.

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So I emailed her…because she had a bobcat picture and I wanted to know where the fuck THAT was. But also she asked about trail data from hiking apps. And I have that.

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Although yesterday we only did 2 miles. I’ll go back, maybe even tomorrow, and do a longer walk. Until I can go back to the other one with fewer people. I’m not a people person, I guess. I like to be out in nature without humanity mostly.

Anyway, so many art-related things crowding my head today, and work has to happen. I want to finish tracing the other piece today and start cutting it out, but also do that other drawing. Plus I think I’m getting sick…knock on wood. I’ve been healthy for a good long time, but so many students ill is a hard one for even a strong immune system. Gonna go take some more vitamins. Ugh. I don’t have time for sick.

*Led Zeppelin, Kashmir