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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Try to Steal Your Mind’s Elation*

November 10, 2017

I’m so off task at the moment. I love having an extra day…it gives me the ability to BE off task. I worked last night on school and art. I will do more art today, but so far, I’ve put dinner in the slow cooker, cleaned the kitchen, partially cleaned the floors (more later?), talked to both kids (text) and my SIL (phone), and petted all the animals multiple times. I slept in too, although that was an animal management issue. Dozed might be a better word for it.

I spent 3 1/2 hours tracing last night. I got past halfway. Far past…good times. But first, I graded by watching 56 videos of 7th-graders explaining their ideas. With a blood-orange cider to assist in the process.

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And I did two nights’ worth on the right side..some French knots and another stitch whose name I can’t remember.

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At some point, I’ll put together a photo slide show of all of these over the year. Because that’s a good use of my time.

Then tracing…

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I got all the way through Mindhunter’s first season, and then tried to finish Genius, which makes Einstein out to be an asshole, but a genius. Hence the name.

Yes, I did trace individual teeth. I can’t explain that. I just do it. The finger wrinkles (creases? are they wrinkles or creases? hard to say) are smaller, but I do them. There’s a lot of big pieces in this thing, so I don’t feel bad about it.

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I just draw what needs to be drawn.

Puppy was cold…

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Her sister, not so much. She’s such a sleeping freak.

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I have a lot of these piled up to cut out in the next week.

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I keep track of where I am on the tracing…just the number isn’t good enough…I need WHERE the number was. So you can see I got a ton done last night…

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Only 300 or so pieces left to go. Another three hours probably. I can find that today…I think. I need to take these fluff balls out for a walk at some point…

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And do some schoolwork. And more housework…and maybe eat some ice cream. Although that’s probably not necessary. Enter a couple of art exhibits…that too. But also just relax and enjoy a day home with nothing that is mind-bendingly crucial to do. That’s a joy in itself.

*Red Hot Chili Peppers, Californication


And You Got to Take a Little Dirt to Keep What You Love*

November 8, 2017

The morning starts with Apple disabling my ID. That’s always nice. Perhaps later you can crash my computer again and then maybe delete all the grades I input on Monday. I’m not out of the woods yet…it’s still verifying my existence. I could be no one all day.

That might be nice for a while.

I traced for a good solid chunk of time last night, but I wasn’t particularly fast about it. First I finished my book for book club tonight. I read it in 3 days flat. It wasn’t that good unfortunately. Calli wanted to play instead of watch me read.

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Simba was perfectly happy to sit on me while I read.

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Yes! An actual book from the library.

Then I did some red-orange blanket stitch around the eye on the right.

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I also sewed the hippo down on that other piece, and then I decided I could trace while we watched another difficult movie, but I had to fold the drawing so it didn’t cover the couch, since someone was sitting on it.

Sometimes it’s hard to pay attention to something on TV and trace, but I really don’t like just watching TV and not doing anything else. It’s very hard for me to do that.

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I think I’m in yard 6 or something. There’s a lot of big pieces on here, so they take up more space. I traced a baby and then most of her torso, except for the heart. I’m in the mid 300s…no wait…400s. I think. Must be for me to take 3 hours to do it.

You can see how I try to fit the smaller pieces in the spaces between the bigger ones. I don’t like to waste Wonder Under…

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Well I’ve spent all this time trying to clear my Apple ID and it’s still disabled. So I guess I get to call those assholes later…you know, between school, my union meeting, and book club. Laughing hysterically. Ain’t got no time for that.

Speaking of time, gotta book outta here early. Tonight? If I have the energy to stand for another hour or so, I’ll be tracing.

*Tonic, If You Could Only See


Can’t You Hear You Talk Too Loud?*

November 7, 2017

Sometimes I wonder why I try to get enough sleep, go to bed earlier to prep myself for the week or for early meetings. Because then I’ll be working and I’ll totally lose track of the time (like you’re supposed to) and then it’s almost 1 AM and I still need to go to work the next day. Whoops. Oh yeah. Two jobs, sometimes three…sigh. I did about 2 1/2 hours of tracing Wonder Under last night. AND made dinner from scratch. AND finished grades. Plus I had to go buy more Wonder Under after school. I should have gone over the weekend…if I’d thought about it…because it would have been on sale. Oh well. Life goes on. And it’s getting dark so early. Ugh.

I did two nights’ worth on this first…on the left side, fly stitches in purple and lazy daisies in pink…

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Then after dinner, I started tracing. I got all the way up the landscape on the other side, and then started tracing body parts…

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In this photo, you can see the dog sprawled on the other couch…because the paper from this is covering the couch in front of the light table. I finished tracing both arms up to the shoulders, all the hands, and the torso below them…

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I’m up to the high 200s in numbers, with about 3 1/2 hours in total. Usually it’s about an hour per 100 pieces, but the stuff down below was pretty complicated to trace. So I’m figuring about 16 hours total. So with Friday as a holiday, maybe I’ll be done then. We’ll see. That’s my goal. I really want to get all the ironing done the week of Thanksgiving. But in my head, I keep deleting next week (seems a relatively good attitude). I wanna go straight into a week off.

Not happening. I have to deal with school next week.

So I keep forgetting I actually have more time than I thought. Finish tracing this week, then cut it all out next week, ready to iron going into the holiday week. Sounds good. Plus the copyediting that’s coming in that week. Gotta balance it all.

These guys. Man, Kitten looks pissed. Look at that face. To her credit, Satchemo is kinda socially inept. Sigh. The two of them will hopefully get along at some point.

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I was still tracing when that happened. I said I would just be half an hour…it was more like over an hour, because I got into it and forgot to look up at a clock. I’m on the third yard of Wonder Under…big pieces do that.

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Should be tracing time tonight, but I will have been on my feet all day, nonstop walk and talk, so we’ll see what level of energy I have after that.

This guy…barkarama…

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This was after I closed the windows and doors that gave him access to whatever part of the house had an animal outside it…or maybe it was the helicopter that was circling out there after midnight. Probably he was just looking for a lap on which to sleep. I don’t have those when I’m standing and tracing all night. Poor baby.

*Caesars, Jerk It Out


I Used to Live Alone Before I Knew You*

November 6, 2017

Well progress has happened. I blew off school for most of yesterday…and did art instead. I also ran more errands and dealt with my increasingly disastrous shoe issue (they all die at once apparently), and I cooked stuff for lunches and visited the parental units, but mostly I made art all day because that’s what my head could do. Grades are due Tuesday, but I’m far enough along that I think I can easily finish tonight. That’s the plan anyway.

So I drew for about two hours…added some tools, a UFO, and a sun and comet…like you do. When I put the final version together, I think I’m going to move the comet down and away from the sun a bit…but I don’t need to worry about that now.

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On the other side, a rocket and the moon…

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I’m totally leaving the rocket there.

Above, I added more stuff and things…science, a pocket watch, the dollar we don’t get paid…

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A screwdriver and more science stuff…

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But the top wasn’t pulling together, so I added the banner…yes I was watching Einstein while doing this, and he’s kind of a dick toward women (then again, many were, right? Not excusing it…).

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Then we went to the parentals for dinner and I saw this picture again. Well that’s amusing. We actually got the boychild to smile.

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My parents won a family portrait, so we were all in it. It’s a little frightening.

While I was there, I sewed down the snake and started on the hippo.

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Then we came back and I numbered the drawing. I was hoping for the 800s, but knew it was way too big for that (it’s about 60 x 70″)…but 1348 isn’t bad. Really…it’s not.

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That’s totally doable. I’m really liking this one…

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I already marked the salt as knots…French knots instead of fabric dots. Makes more sense. Although there are small pieces in this thing, I didn’t need to make more.

Because of Daylight Savings, I had what felt like an extra hour, so I kept going for a while and did about an hour of tracing…

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I got one side of the landscape traced, into piece 82 or so. Then I went to bed early and couldn’t sleep. Too many things in my head for that. Sunday nights suck for teachers…it’s so hard to clear your brain of the week so you can get enough sleep to get through it.

Anyway, the plan is to finish tracing Wonder Under this week and get all of it cut out hopefully by Monday, so I can alternate copyediting with fabric-choosing. I have some Thanksgiving stuff I have to do, but I’m hoping to have a good chunk of the week to do what I need to get done…I don’t have endless amounts of time to make this quilt, so I need to be on task. As always. OK now to face the week…

*Rufus Wainwright, Hallelujah


I Ain’t Wasting No More Time*

August 29, 2017

I finished tracing Wonder Under. This is very exciting. OK. It’s not. Well. Last night was hard, because my feet were tired from standing and walking, and here I was, standing some more. So it was exciting to be done with that.

I thought the piece had just over 800 pieces, but it was closer to 900…

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It’s lots of bigger pieces, so it took up a lot of Wonder Under, about 7 1/2 yards.

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And over 11 hours of tracing. But it’s done…and now on to cutting it out. Let’s assume another 10 hours or so…usually it’s less than the tracing time, but these are bigger pieces, so they’ll take longer to cut out. I wanted to be ironing to fabric this weekend, but that would mean doing a couple of hours of cutting every night. It’s certainly possible…I can’t guarantee it. Although I won’t have to stand to do it, so that’s a plus. The transition from a summer of sitting whenever I like to standing all the time is somewhat traumatic to my feet. Perhaps I need new shoes? My podiatrist would say so. But he doesn’t pay my bills.

The weather here is a little weird…we got a brief spurt of rain (and thunder) yesterday in the middle of a heat wave.

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It’s supposed to be really hot again today and tomorrow. At least it’s cooling down at night…although it takes my house a while to realize cooler weather.

Meanwhile, adjustments abound. On the left is Satchemo…on the right is Kitten. It’s an uneasy truce at the moment…

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I feel sorry for all of them, but hopefully there will be just a few more days of drama and then they’ll all calm down.

Meanwhile, best thoughts to Texas…may the rain end soon. It doesn’t matter what we think about climate change at the moment…real live people and animals are trying to survive. Let’s take care of them and then figure out the science.

*The Strokes, Someday


Turn and Face the Strange*

August 28, 2017

Well that was an interesting weekend. Believe it or not, I don’t tell you everything I’m doing…and this weekend was the beginning of a significant change here, which has caused some stress and sleeplessness, but should be good in the long term. Once we get to the long term, that is. It has meant that I didn’t do any art for two whole days straight, which is like crazy for me, but I got back to Wonder Under meditation last night for a couple of hours. Yes, I wanted to be done tracing this weekend, but that didn’t happen. I probably will be tonight though, so that’s OK.

There’s 3 days done on here…although I’m not sure I can tell you what I did. I know I did a green straight stitch and then lazy daisy and fly stitch up on the top pieces of feather stitching. I think I did some fly stitching around the sheaf stitching and some French knots before that.

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But I can’t be sure. Sometimes I just have to play catch up on this. I actually did two nights’ worth on Saturday evening and then sat out on the deck for the other one last night…the thing I kept saying I would do all summer and didn’t do. I guess now is the time to start watching the sky and the hummingbirds and the breeze in the trees.

Well. Today? Supposed to be 105 degrees, so less breeze and more ugh. It’s better than torrential rains, though (be safe and take good care, Texas).

I really do miss not doing this stuff on those days when I can’t…I had hoped to do some tracing on Saturday, but it turned into trying to fix a bunch of water issues and clean crap up…stuff that needed to happen, but it took up too much time for me to get to this. Last night though, I took my time back…

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The thing is, I’m almost done. I got to somewhere in the 700s last night before I quit from exhaustion. Went to bed early again…which is good, because there was a lot of cat neediness at 1 AM and 4 AM.

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This drawing has a lot of bigger pieces, because I wanted to make sure I could finish it, and they’re harder to fit into the random spaces on the Wonder Under. So I’ve used a lot of yardage, but there’s big empty spaces in there too. I’ll use them for something. I always do.

But today, I go back to work. Back to getting stuff done and organizing the teacher part of my life. I will hopefully get the last 100+ pieces traced tonight and start cutting them out. We’ll see how that goes.

I think I forgot to mention that All Stacked Up in My Head got into Quilts=Art=Quilts

Art Quilts and Fiber Arts

The opening is October 28 at the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, NY. I won’t be there, but they will. Check it out. Report back.

Meanwhile, I’ll be here, making more. She’s got a lot of things on her mind…

*David Bowie, Changes