Send Cookie Thoughts

Hey y’all. I missed writing yesterday. My brain was on GRADE GRADE GRADE mode. It’s been there for 4 or 5 days and I’ve missed some things I should have been paying closer attention to. This school year just sucks. Usually, about now, the school year is calming down, we’re finding a routine, and stuff is getting under control. I’m sure you know the end of that story in 2020. Fuck all that, we’re back in, starting over, fuck the routine, and fuck calm.

Saturday, I ignored school. Mostly. I did a bunch of other stuff, including some art projects I just needed the impetus to get started, so I could then do a little each night. One was the clay piece for our FIG labyrinth…

I used to do ceramics in school and then for a bit after, but I think before the divorce? Or maybe just after? It was hard to find a studio and the time, so it just didn’t happen. Anyway, on Saturday, a super dry and hot day, I started finally. Sliced into the clay, started trying to roll coils and stick them together.

It was much easier Sunday night. I had something started, my hands were remembering how, and it wasn’t as dry out.

I have this clay tool I love, I remember loving it, but I can’t find it. It’s here somewhere, in this house.

She can’t be very tall, so it hopefully won’t take me long. That said, I didn’t work on her at all last night. Last night was kind of a clusterfuck.

The other thing I started was my SJSA Remembrance block, for Nicholas Bils.

I traced his face, and then went and got it enlarged about 150%. Then added it to a larger background.

And then added stuff in the background: his name, his dog, a river (for his dog, whose name was either River or Rio, and because he lived on the water).

And then last night, I started tracing the Wonder Under…

And get that done.

I have fabric for the shirt, but it needs to be dyed. Not sure if I can pull that off this week, so I might change my mind about it. We’ll see. Time is at a premium. Not my choice.

We walked around Lake Murray Saturday night…

It’s too peoply too, but manageable.

It was dusky.

Saturday night stitching was brainless.

Sue Spargo’s Homegrown March blocks. All I can handle is stitching it down.

I only have one done of the four. Don’t get excited.

Sunday, I had an appointment to go to Visions Art Museum to see Judith Content’s amazing work…always better in person.

It’s totally worth it and hopefully won’t close down today.

I was also introduced to Melody Money, whose work I haven’t see before.

She’s got some handwork on there.

Fascinating stuff.

Lots of details…

You should totally go see both these shows.

They’ll be there until January, so even if we shut down museums today, they’ll open back up eventually.

Fun stuff.

Very joyful.

Here’s where I’ve been grading…

Notice the cat? Yeah. It’s a crowded space when I’m doing everything.

Work sucks. I’m freaked out by everything. Everything is overwhelming. Staff meetings make my brains melt. Kid demands made me cry last night. I can’t do more than I am. Yesterday, I walked for 3+ miles to get it out of my head.

I only took the little dog. The big dog is too old for that far. So she was sad, and he was tired. But I needed it.

With that, Happy Tuesday. Love you all. Well, except for the non-mask-wearers. I don’t love you right now. And send cookies. But I’m fussy about them. So don’t really send them. Send cookie thoughts.

I Should Draw That…

It’s been a frustrating day so far. It’s a holiday too…I should be jumping with Teacher Joy, a day off to catch up on my grading. Woo hoo. Yeah, it’s a day off. I appreciate that. I appreciate all of them. Things I need right now though: a massage person who can fix my neck and upper back. I have a name, but I just haven’t followed through. A diabetes nurse who will actually call me when I’m available to talk and will answer my questions. For instance, if my diabetes was out of control last week, why is it suddenly under control this week? Because they ran blood tests and realized it was in control last week, except when it was super low that one night, which they think is something I did, but I went through their list, and I didn’t. My fault? Well, my body’s fault. Sigh. I had an appointment (I thought) this morning, but I got there and they’re like, “Nah, it’s tomorrow.” I’m like “Nah, I wouldn’t have scheduled it for a work day.” So I know the nurse screwed up and she came in and talked to me and tried to reschedule, and I said, it’s cool, that’s a physical, it can wait, I’ll schedule for whenever, but someone needs to answer the diabetes questions like NOW. Of course, the diabetes nurse had disappeared from the office and hasn’t called me yet, so hopefully she will later today or tomorrow…when I’m teaching and can’t answer the phone. I’m not impressed by how Sharp manages its diabetics. There’s no information, no guidelines, no support, or if there is, it’s not on my schedule. I am OK with email or phone calls…I don’t need to be in your office for you to explain how to manage all this…I just want some answers and some guidance. Anyway, the diabetes is FINE (explains last week’s crash, eh?) and I’m to reduce insulin (good news). So I’ll do that.

Oh yeah, and here’s info that I could have diagnosed myself…I’m officially in menopause (really? the lack of periods wasn’t a clue?). The doctor asked last week when the last period was…

Well. So Satan is in charge of my periods. I guess I can delete that app now (I thought I had). It’s nice to be official though. I guess. I mean, I already knew that. I am a crone! Woo hoo! OK, lots of people already thought that but whatever.

Anyway, so I wanted to hike on Saturday, but the man had a different plan in mind. It’s his day off too, so I let him direct the day to here…

That’s different flavors of olive oil and balsamic vinegar in the background…all the local wineries have some gimmick besides the wine for some reason. I really liked their current Chardonnay, picked after the Fallbrook fire last year (?), so a smoky taste.

And then here…

Their shtick was chocolate, not my thing, but beautiful country out there. A nice drive…

Not quite a hike, but time together anyway. After all that and some food, we headed out to Visions Art Museum for their current opening…Ruth McDowell’s use of fabrics, especially big, bright, and crazy prints, has always fascinated me…

That piece is huge, as is this one…

Unfortunately, I didn’t take photos of the labels. Well, I did, but they’re far away and pixelated. So there’s that. I did really appreciate this one for its simplicity…

It’s like an anti-McDowell quilt…except not. It’s smaller and way less busy…and more importantly (?), I can read the label. This is Goldfinches. I really enjoyed her work. I also enjoy that they relaxed the no-photo rule in there, because lots of you can’t go see this show, or maybe now that you know it’s there, you’ll make an effort to go see it? I don’t know. It’s nice. I liked it.

I did some drawing…I really wanted to just sit and stare at the landscape on Saturday afternoon (and maybe Sunday as well) with a glass of wine and draw, but wine tasting rooms aren’t really conducive to that, so by the time I drew, I was tired and didn’t get very far…

It’s obviously not done…and I still find the pussy hat problematic. It’s definitely a symbol, but I realize some groups object to it. Anyway, still working on the daughters.

I traced on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights…

It’s slow progress, but progress nonetheless.

I’m in the 300s, I’ve mostly filled one yard and am well on the way to filling the second one. That’s about 5 1/2 hours…not super fast this time. I’ve done almost all of the background stuff, so next on to the body. My goal this week is to finish tracing this and start prepping the fancy paper I bought for the book I’m going to build/draw. If I’m smart, I’ll make a prototype first. It’s debatable if I’m that smart…that shit takes time I don’t usually have.

The kittens have reached the destructive age of 4 1/2 months, where there is a lot of rampaging and moving things away from them or hiding them completely. Like your hair. Or strings on your clothing. Or your toes…

We have temporarily renamed them Lunatic and Novocaine. It works.

Calli was all up in my business last night when I was grading makeup work…

She has a cracked tooth, but it hasn’t slowed her down. She still chews on sticks and bones and eats just fine. No worries…they’ll take it out tomorrow. Meanwhile, I wish these sweet students of mine would follow instructions. Tell me WHAT YOU CHANGED. Because “I fixed my packet” isn’t good enough if I don’t know what you fixed and you didn’t write in a different color like I asked. I can’t tell you how frustrating grading the makeup work was. And I’m not done. Because it’s a clusterfuck. Sigh. It’s OK.

I have the rest of the day. I can make it good. We’re gonna walk dogs, I’m going to trace stuff; my lunches for the week are prepped (although I forgot yesterday and then was up at 1 AM finishing up, because I needed the crockpot for today’s dinner too). My brain. Is fuzz. I should draw that.

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

I Got My Head Done When I Was Young*

Well here’s a Saturday that is just WIIIIDE open. Until 3:30, when I have to leave for the next 9 or 10 hours and somehow wear/bring/change into appropriate clothing for three different style and weather-exposure events. I seriously can’t even get my head around that. What do I wear to an art opening, then a bonfire, and finally a house party I’m crashing? Jeans and a black t-shirt seems appropriate for all? Maybe? Addition of some warming attire that can be shed, because as a woman of a particular age, I heat up too much inside? Yeah. I’m thinking. So there’s that.

And I had this plan to go to the gym this morning, to get back into that routine, but I got this email last night that says that it’s KIDS DAY at the gym. Oh holy hell…lots of free games and kid stuff…there will be 700 people there, no way in hell. Sigh. I suck at life sometimes. I do have grades to do…they’re due Tuesday. I’m taking one assignment with me to the meeting tomorrow, so I left that one. I graded one and a half last night. I’m sitting here now, about to do all the makeup work, thus frustrating those kids who will wait until Sunday night. There’s one other paper assignment I need to get done, but very few kids did it (it was a makeup test). So there’s all that.

What do I really want to do? Stand here.

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For like the next 4 hours. Seriously. I’m hoping to do some of that today anyway, since I started really late last night, due to the grading. I haven’t gotten very far…about piece 180, I think. I stopped last night around midnight because I was going to be good and go to sleep (I didn’t). Although this is probably one of the most boring phases of the quilt for those watching me, it’s one of the relaxing parts of the quilt for me. OK. Wait. Most of them are meditative in one way or another. I think that’s those artistic brain waves. I welcome them.

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But just tracing around things that are already thought out (mostly, because I have to decide what goes under and needs an overlap and what doesn’t. OK. That’s actually a lot of thinking, but it’s very focused thinking.).

So this guy was hanging out and precipitated a discussion of the differences between lizards and geckos and whether or not the ridges on the tail were one for every time he lost it (he obviously has a new tiny tail there).

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I could not figure this out online. I suspect not. But I thought it would be cool if that were so…like the rings of a tree or the rattles on a rattlesnake.

I finished the intriguing book I was reading this week, Future Home of the Living God, by Louise Erdrich.

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I started reading Erdrich when I was in college as part of my comparative literature degree. I have a bunch of her books from those years, and then as I’ve noticed books coming out, I read more. This one was totally not what I expected, and I loved it. I mean, I’ve always loved her semi-fantastical family woven into Native stories, but this one went sci fi, and that’s almost always a good thing for me. I was able to ignore most of the science questions (I still have lots!) simply because hell, we really don’t understand a lot about all that extra DNA. The only disappointment for me was that there was a letdown at the end of the book (not giving story away)…I wanted more, of course, and maybe that will come or maybe that’s just it. I didn’t see a connection to The Handmaid’s Tale while I was reading, but I guess I can see it now, just in that there’s a reproduction problem (which we know will probably happen) and because of that, shit happens. I’m waiting for the dystopian novel that takes that story and has women taking over because of it, but I don’t know if that’s happened yet. Interesting idea of how paranoid our society might become if women can’t pop babies out on demand (we can’t now either, but there’s enough doing it that it doesn’t seem to be a problem).

ANYWAY…on to the next book. I love reading. Have I told you I love reading? In fact, it’s hard to look at tonight with three THREE social events without thinking, I wonder if I can just bring my book with me? Um. Probably not.

Simba needed loves last night. He got them.

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Although he looks somewhat perturbed by it in this photo.

OK…finish the makeup grades, then get thee to the light table. Eventually make a decision about clothing and get the hell out of here. I do have some free passes to the Visions opening tonight…I keep forgetting about that. If you want one, email me and I’ll meet you out front? I know, that means (a) you want to go, (b) you live in the San Diego area, (c) you’re not already a member, and (d) you read all the way down here to see this in time. Sorry. I suck. Just remembered. I think I’ll take them with me and just hand them out to passersby or something. More eyeballs! I’m actually really looking forward to seeing this piece hanging…

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Not Less Than…part of the Things That Matter exhibit opening tonight at Visions, and then traveling to a variety of places that I should know off the top of my head! Whoops. Working on it. Check the Current Shows page. I’ll get it updated next. I swear.

*Blur, Song 2

You’re Stumbling a Little*

Good morning blue skies. It’s nice to see you, even though I (sort of) appreciated the rain. It wasn’t quite enough. And it didn’t have to be while I was trying to be outside every time. That part made me laugh. I’m leaving the union meeting and some sweet young obviously dissolvable thing just stopped when she saw the rain, looked heavenward, and sighed heavily. I assumed she had a car in the parking lot, like I did, but maybe she had to walk 2 miles home. That would suck. Me? I just walked out to the car, wiped off my glasses, and drove home.

So first of all, today is my mom’s birthday…so here’s a picture for her of a Madagascar sunset from the girlchild…I think I paid $40 for that picture (or for the app that retrieved it from her camera…long story…totally worth it)…

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May she have a delightful birthday. May Dad take her out to dinner. I already made her cake.

Yesterday’s lab…one version of it.

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Lab days are tiring. One more this week, I think, and then one big one next week too. Then done with that for a while. Wait. No we’re not. We have 7 days of labs coming up in a row. (Bangs head on desk for a while. It will be fine. It will.).

Came home after short meeting and graded stuff while puppy was cute.

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And then the two of the furry beasts slept for a bit until I got up to do other things…

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I’m so behind on grading. I was almost caught up last week. It’s such a fleeting feeling.

I came in here and entered another show, plus did some other computer stuff. Never-ending computer stuff. So it was about 11 PM when I finally got my focus on the fabric…flesh tones!

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So easy to pick this time. Not sure why. I did toss some blue into the mix…just a tiny bit in here…

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Makes it fun. Plus links back to all the blue around the figures. The people on this one are pretty small, compared to some of my figures, so it didn’t take long to get all the flesh ironed down and into the box to be cut out.

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I thought I might be doing that today, the cutting, or at least starting it, but quilt class was canceled again for sickness. So I guess I will be ironing and grading tonight…and going to the gym if I can force myself. Honestly? Probably not. Maybe tomorrow night. I’m exhausted already. Up early for another meeting. But I should be able to finish ironing tonight. That would be good.

Here’s all I have left to do…mostly bones and hearts and veins and a tree and all the metal bits. I do have to decide about the back opening. I was going with the flesh tones, but I kind of want to echo the skies, the spacey bits. So I’m still thinking about it…less reality (open cavities and all)…more fantasy. She’s filled with SPACE!

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Which reminds me of the misconception an awful lot of my male students have, which is that we all come from sperm. Yes, folks, it’s the 1600s again and we don’t realize the female is a significant part of the reproduction process. It’s gonna be a fun sex ed unit this year! Seriously. These kids needs some educating.

Here’s all the fabrics I’ve used so far…it’s a lot! But more to come…some greens and reds…not a lot of those yet.

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And if you really want to see THIS quilt…it will be at the Visions Art Museum April 21-July 8 as part of the Things That Matter exhibit…which is cool.

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Because I get to go to the opening. We’re hoping this show will travel all over, so stay tuned.

OK, meeting time and then get through the day without losing my brains. That’s a whole ‘nother drawing, isn’t it? Oh yeah, I did hear from the girlchild finally last night (she’s been incommunicado since Sunday night)…and she had an awesome time with her lemur trip, although the village they stayed in/near had never seen white people before. She said there was a lot of staring…interesting experience for sure. I’m glad she’s having a really good time in Madagascar, learning lots, even though the language stuff is hard. I think this is the kind of stuff that makes us who we are in the world…and I’m glad she’s doing it.

*Massive Attack, Teardrop

When I’m Down You Breathe Life over Me*

I didn’t manage to get a post up yesterday. Way too busy this week. Not sleeping well either. Between the heat and the Too-Many-Things mental space, sleep is just not happening. Hopefully that’s going to get better. When I realized yesterday that everything had been finished and delivered and hung, I actually cried. Like holy crap, you did it. It’s all out there in the world and now you can just hang back a bit and watch. I’ve been looking for that space for 6 months or more. Not that it’s sunk in yet. I’m still eye-twitchy and teeth-grindy. Really need that to stop. More exercise? More sleep? It’s gotta cool down for that. And the exercise, I’m running on exhausted at the moment.

Wish I were Kitten. She is my sleep role model.

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So Thursday, I loaded the car with quilts for my Visions show, Nida Powers, which opens next Saturday, July 15…

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I have the whole back gallery, the VALYA gallery. Which is cool. I’ve eyed that space for a good long time. And I really like the other two exhibits that will be in the space too…

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I stopped by on Friday and saw it all hung. It’s overwhelming for me to see so much of my work in one space. The bathtubs…it’s just cool.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, boychild and I are working on the garage from hell…

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I don’t think we’ve done more than a few quick run-throughs in the past, trying to get rid of stuff, since before the divorce. Fifteen years. There’s baby stuff in there. It’s kind of boggling and definitely overwhelming. I hit about two hours in and lose it. We have a huge pile of recycling, another huge pile of trash, then a smaller thrift shop pile, a school pile, a fabric pile (needs to be gone through), and a Craigs List pile (ugh). We’ve spent probably 4-5 hours so far and only really conquered the center section. We are also going through the shelves and trying to rehome stuff logically as we go. It’s crazy. But needs to be done.

So after a couple hours on that, I loaded up the car with the community quilts and headed to City College for the next installation…Don’t Shut Up opens tonight, 5-8 pm.

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It took a while to hang the quilts…I’ll post the whole show some time in the next few days. There is a panel discussion next week and then an artist walk and talk on July 20.

I didn’t get home until almost 10 PM. Exhausted. Again. That was Thursday. Then yesterday, I got up early (couldn’t sleep) and made sure my small cat and bird quilts had labels and dowels, and then delivered them to Visions for their store.

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If you want a small and appropriate (no penises or uteri) Nida quilt, they’ll be there. Support me and the museum that was willing to give me a solo show. It’s nice to have their support…

As a gift for my work on Don’t Shut Up, I was the happy recipient of a Linda Litteral original…I love her work.

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Her work will be in the Don’t Shut Up exhibit as well.

More garage cleanout yesterday afternoon revealed this Nida original (from some kit teaching you how to draw)…

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Elementary or middle school?

I had my stitching meeting last night, where I didn’t work on this…although I did when I got home. Two nights’ worth…apparently I was too tired Thursday to touch it. Just more chain stitch and filling in around the orange flowers with fly and straight stitches.

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I worked on this at the stitching meeting, finishing Palestrina knots around the hippo and starting the backstitching.

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Slow but calming work. Doesn’t require much brain power. Which is a good thing at the moment.

When I got home, I started tracing what I’m currently calling Long Skinny, for lack of a better name. Kitten is intently watching an ant who is crawling across the table.

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And doing more important sleep work.

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Perhaps she is stealing sleep from me…is that a thing?

I traced about 130 pieces…it was late.

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Only 12 more hours to go.

So more garage this afternoon, an opening tonight, plus birthday celebration (not mine), family gathering tomorrow, car needs work, another gallery pickup Monday, and girlchild is home Tuesday night. So yes. I will be desperately trying to clean up her room at some point (maybe when the temperature gets below 100 degrees). And tracing stuff. Or cutting it out. And hopefully drawing. And sleeping, for gods’ sake. Really.

*Zero 7, Destiny

17 Towels Stuffed in a Hamper

It’s official. I’m living all by myself for the first time in 26 years. You know how I know? I had popcorn for dinner. Ok, now just to clarify, I got home from Boston at like 10:30 at night San Diego time, which was really 1:30 AM Boston time, and I ate “dinner” at Logan Airport before I left but that was at 3:30 PM Boston time and then a fruit and cheese plate on the plane at 7:15 PM Boston time, and then I got home and I was hungry but because my body has no clue what time zone it’s in or when I should eat. Plus I kept forgetting to eat in Boston. So there’s that. This morning, I am eating breakfast like a good girl and I have prepared a lunch of whatever was left in the fridge that had not grown mold or gone bad in some other stomach-twisting way. So yeah. That’s cheese, crackers, and kiwi. It’s a fruit and cheese plate!

The cats missed me. Maybe the dog did. The ex and I are still sharing custody of her. Yeah. Whatever. I’m home more during the week and they would miss each other if they didn’t hang out. So she lives here and goes to Daddy on weekends. You can be sure I will inherit all vet appointments, but he will clean her ears out and bathe her and take her for walks. It’s on my list to take her for walks.

I managed to keep it together when I said goodbye to the girlchild. It was OK. I had already cried all over eastern Boston area, from Home Depot to Target, to Bed Bath and Holy Hell What Don’t They Sell Here (one BBB had a mini Cost Plus inside it?!). She hugged hard and I held onto the tears until I got about 2 minutes down the road. It’s really unsafe to drive while crying by the way, but I’ve perfected it over the years. I cry more in the car than anywhere else.

Certainly the whole thing makes you re-evaluate your entire life. I really don’t need that much pressure right now, though, because it’s the 4th day of school and I’m only semi-prepared for the week.

I do have college dorm pictures. Oh so exciting, right? When you look around at your own personal space and realize how far away from that you are, then yes…yes it is. Girlchild is in a triple…should be interesting. So those will have to come later, when I have time to deal with them.

By the way, I have no idea what’s going on with the first picture on the last post. I’ll have to try to fix that later too. They both came from the phone camera app in exactly the same way…no idea why WordPress had an issue. I did draw on the plane both ways and in the room on the last night there. I wasn’t thinking too hard about drawing…just wanted to get pen on paper. I don’t think I’d drawn all summer, except finishing up the cats (what cats? I haven’t done any cats. Shhh. Maybe no one will notice that they are still piles of Wonder Under that have been cut out.) and the drawing for the big quilt I’m ironing now. So it was kind of a relief to fill up a few pages. Very meditative. In fact, my meditation app prompted me in the middle of the plane flight, and I thought, this is the perfect place to meditate, but then I drew instead. Ah, priorities.

So mom, you’ll have to wait another day (or so) to see dorm pictures (yes, she’s stalking me, but for a reason), but here’s what I drew on the plane…

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In keeping with the Mother Earth where the plants are covering her. I like it. I could make this into a smaller quilt. In my spare time.

Speaking of quilts, Mammogram got into the Interpretations: Celebrating 30 Years exhibit that will be at the Visions Art Museum opening in October.

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They have been good to me. No censorship there (that I’ve seen). Impressive. I should be at the opening; stop by and see my giant boob.

Really, it’s hard to miss the kids. I just found 17 towels stuffed in the bathroom hamper and a bunch of the girlchild’s socks. I wonder if she wants them.

 

Where Am I?

Well. I am in a Starbucks in Temecula waiting for the third game in National Cup, which doesn’t even matter, because they lost the last two, so we’re out, meaning freedom for next weekend, but I’m still trapped out here in tract-home central, super dry air, smells weird (that was Pechanga, the casino)…so I persuaded my ex to drop me, my computer, my book, my sketchbook, my gradebook, and my sewing all in a Starbucks parking lot, and I’ve been charging my electricity and brain (had a whopping 3 1/2 hours of sleep last night…my own fault, of course, trying to have a life AND be a mom and all that sheeit). Caffeine. Thank you. More. Please.

Art? Yeah. Maybe. I don’t know. I have two small sketchbooks with me (apparently one is not enough). I have pens. I could draw.

I have been stitching on the field and in the car…

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More birds, embroidery now. These are July’s blocks (from 2013…do not judge me). They are sitting on my work computer, which I brought with me, so I could finish grading replication stories before I died. I did mostly finish, except for randomly damaged files and kids who thought they submitted the files but didn’t actually ATTACH them. Sigh. But that’s done. Although there is another assignment on there that I have to grade that will be much easier…but I haven’t started it. UGH. I have about 30 more minutes before my ex will APPARENTLY pick me up. I think I am his amulet against the girlchild on the trip back, so he probably will pick me up…plus I have custody tonight, so it’s in his best interest to NOT leave me in Temecula, because it will take me a long time to walk the 64.2 miles or so home. Wow, you so can’t be vague about mileage any more. Too many apps in our world for that.

The music in here is kinda driving me nuts. That and the sound of that machine that makes coffee things. I don’t buy anything but tea, so I don’t know what any of that fancy machinery does, nor do I care. It’s a multibillion dollar industry that I don’t fucking care about except that it is currently giving me wifi and electricity for the cost of a cup of tea. I even gots free milk! And a relatively clean bathroom. Probably cleaner than mine is at the moment, scarily enough.

So yeah, lots of grading in the last few days…

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Laptop in front of computer playing Netflix (Friday night)…because you can never have too many electronic inputs at once. I had my phone out there too. But just to keep track of texts. And Clash of Clans. Because that’s important. (No, it’s not. I do know that.)

Last night, I went to the opening of the new exhibit 3° of Abstraction at Visions Art Museum, featuring Shelley Brenner Baird, Karen Rips, and Pat Kroth, all with very different takes on fiber abstraction. I had a great time talking to Shelley and Karen, who have been in other exhibits with me. Their work is so different from each other’s AND from mine, but I love looking at the texture in Rips’ work and the simplicity, but the incredible depth of color in the discharged areas. And Brenner Baird’s work is so free-looking, with dye drips and serendipitous color all over the place, but with a real sense of peace at times.

The back gallery has Dual Perspectives, featuring Lura Schwarz Smith and Kerby C. Smith, a husband and wife artistic team who work very differently, some abstracted and some not. Lura’s work includes drawings, photographs, and abstracted areas. Kerby’s are printed from iPhone 5S photographs onto canvas and then stitched in smaller squares and tied together. Kerby doesn’t seem to have his own website, but the couple has a site about digital printing, which they both use in their process. A small area of the gallery has work by Rosemary Hoffenberg, titled Active Configurations, definitely in the abstract category.

The three exhibitions have a wide variety of abstract treatments, which although I am completely incapable of MAKING that type of work, I do appreciate looking at it when it’s made well.

So my ride should be here soon, and hopefully I will get some chance to do something artistic tonight, despite the fact that I’m not ready for school (minor issue) and we won’t get home until dinner time, and no one has done laundry or gone grocery shopping for the week (somewhat less minor issue). Whatever. At least I won’t be in Temecula any more. No offense to those who live here. You probably have more comfortable chairs than this Starbucks does. And people aren’t always staring over your shoulder, yes YOU, stop fucking reading what I’m writing, you FREAK.

OK. I’m done now.

Expressions in Equality Exhibit

So the Expressions in Equality exhibit opened Saturday night, and it has some amazing art in it…Hollis Chatelain’s Girls Are Strong being one of them…

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Visions Art Museum does a nice job of allowing the artists to preview the show and take pictures, so here are Pam RuBert and Susan Shie’s pieces…

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RuBert’s wonderfully colorful Green Lady Liberty, spaceships and all…

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And Shie’s ER: Page of Potholders (Coins) in the Kitchen Tarot

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which I did not have the presence of mind to read, so I will have to go back (I don’t deal well with openings).

Compared to the last exhibit at VAM, this was much less abstract, although Freedom of Speech by Susan Wessels is an abstract piece I like, with Deborah Grayson’s Breaths to the right of it.

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Pauline Karasch Salzman’s Lessons Learned is another one to come back and read, with Ife Felix’s Reverend Dr. King’s Dream Unrealized to the right.

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Jerry Granata’s With Liberty and Justice for All definitely caught my eye…

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And Shin-Hee Chin’s Equality: Expanding Circle of Liberty shows the continuing expansion of her techniques…

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I wish I had gone back and taken more photos here…from left to right is Dawn Williams Boyd’s graphic Sisters in the Eyes of Men, Sandra Lauterbach’s Story of the Wall, Chin’s piece, Judy Zoelzer Levine’s Together on the Field of Play, Alice Beasley’s No Vote No Voice, and returning to Chatelaine’s piece.

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In the back, they hung my Work in Progress with Randall Cook’s piece…

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Here is Cook’s “Gay” Marriage…

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Laura Gadson’s B-R-O-A-D-E-N-I-N-G Beautiful, an amazing piece made mostly of words and the eye staring back at you.

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The curator, Sheila Frampton Cooper’s piece, Marie Magdelaine de la Saint Baume

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The quilting on that piece…I should have taken details!

Mary Pal’s The Other 1% hung next to Patricia Kennedy-Zafred’s Tagged, with actual tags hanging from it.

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Blake Chamberlain’s Harriet Tubman was fascinating to look at up close…

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And here’s me with my piece, finished! Hallelujah…

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The back room has the amazing Margaret Fabrizio’s work…

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Margaret is every bit as amazing and colorful as her work…

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She traveled to India to learn how to make these. I love talking to her; she is interesting and funny and always has an opinion on the topic at hand. Plus she has great clothes.

I did not take photos of every quilt, unfortunately (distracted by people), but this is a strong show, well worth visiting for, although I would have liked shorter statements about each quilt hanging with them and in the gallery guide, which should be available this week. I missed Sherry Davis Kleinman and Marion Coleman’s pieces (there were always people standing in front of them). They did have us write longer statements for the docents; presumably if you were in the gallery, someone could produce a book of those for you to read. There is a hope that this show will travel, but perhaps you will have to travel to it…it’s at VAM through April 4.

Gender Equality

Saturday is the opening of the Expressions in Equality exhibit at Visions Art Museum. Sheila Frampton-Cooper is the curator. This is a short version of her curatorial statement…

What drives people to undermine whole populations that they deem different and therefore unacceptable? From racial, gender and sexual inequality to ageism and classism, progress has been made, yet discrimination still abounds. This show begs the questions: What are the issues we’re challenged with, and what would a perfect society look like that’s sustained by pure, unconditional love?

Sheila came to me in Fall of 2013 and asked if I could participate in this exhibit. We talked about how my obvious take would be gender equality, though with teaching a variety of students and life in general, I could certainly do a host of other equality issues. It was gender equality that spoke to me, though. There’s that whole Nature v Nuture thing about male and female that both intrigues and irritates the crap out of me. Don’t assume because I’m female that I can’t do things. Don’t assume that I’m supposed to do things. Obviously, there are things that only a woman can do, like give birth. Imagine being a woman raised knowing that and then not being able to actually have a child.

But what the hell does gender equality mean? There are things that it is physically impossible for a man to do, such as give birth, so that falls squarely in the female arena. Certainly we haven’t figured out how a man can nurse a baby either, although if you’re pro-bottle (my kids never were), there are options to involve both genders in that process. Biologically, men do tend to be larger and stronger, but that is not always the case. We can certainly go back to the caveman stereotype (because stereotypes are so useful) and say Man Hunter, Woman Gatherer, but I have some female friends who would kick ass on the Hunter part and some male friends who would fall woefully short. And all that is OK. Society does throw a wide variety of gender roles and expectations at us that don’t seem at all related to DNA. I know when I was first married, although my husband had gladly cooked for me prior to marriage (sort of a way of attracting the female, right?), after the actual wedding, he made an assumption that the cooking portion of our relationship was my problem. I fought that and won (well, and I’m divorced now, so take that as you will, but he cooks now). I probably continue some of those stereotypes by being a teacher (but I teach science) and a quilter (but my quilts are art). And do I nurture more as a mom because I’m female? Because society expects it of me? Because my DNA tells me to? Or because that’s just the person I am? Hard to say.

When you toss in issues of homosexuality and transgender existences, the whole story turns into a muddle. It’s hard for me to look at how society works now and think that we will ever be capable of gender equality…and it’s not that everything needs to be equal, because it can’t. But certainly in a specific relationship, there should be this idea of people choosing activities and responsibilities based on their inherent passions and abilities, whether they carry a uterus or a penis.

So all those things were in my head all year as the piece grew in my head. Here’s a detail.

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I tagged certain parts of the bodies with male and female symbols. I can’t post the whole thing until after the opening Saturday night, but here is my artist’s statement for the piece:

This concept of gender equality, there are some days when it seems like a dream, like something I woke up with in my head, foggy-edged, but possible. Then I go out into the real world and the expectations others have of me because I am female, daughter, mother, sister, wife, girlfriend…it clashes so incredibly with that dream I see in my head, where there are no assumptions of who or what I will be, or what my son or daughter will be…that there isn’t anything I HAVE to do because I was born with two X chromosomes and you were born with one. There is no government entity or group who is limiting me because of the uterus I have inside me and my ability to give birth, which somehow makes me less of a person to some. Even when people say they don’t believe in those divisions, there ARE some things that only one gender can do (give birth), at least for now, and when your child is small and the comfort they get is from the one who provides food, you wonder how many of these gender differences are nature and how many are nurture. Whatever the answer, and I don’t think we have it now, I would hope that a new relationship would start from a place of relative equality and then move from there. I call it a work in progress because I don’t believe we are doing it particularly well now, even myself, and it can only get better. If I keep the dream in the front of my mind and refer to it as I interact, as I do, as I live, as I love, then perhaps I will get closer to what feels like equality…teamwork…standing together to get where we need to go.

So yeah. The piece is called Work in Progress. When Sheila first asked me to participate, I had a hard time coming up with any hope that this was possible, that gender equality would ever be attainable. Society seems to flip flop on women’s rights and equality, and the current mood is certainly not pro-equality. When 20-year-old women tell me they’re not feminists, because they don’t know why they SHOULD be, I wonder how we will ever enact significant change. When 40-year-old men tell me I’m imagining the conspiracy against my uterine rights, I wonder how we can make it more equal when we can’t even acknowledge there’s an issue.

But maybe that’s it. Maybe we don’t do it as a whole society. Maybe we do it one relationship at a time. Hope to see you Saturday night at the opening, 5-7.