It’ll Never Happen…

In a previous relationship, I suggested that the Republican right was out to get women, and I was told no, I’m wrong, it’ll never happen. Hmmm. Gaslight much? I’m frustrated with my country. I’m frustrated with the inequalities. I’m frustrated with the need for control over uteri and what they do. For fuck’s sake people, I HAVE one of them and it does not listen to me. Also why aren’t the sperm part of this lockdown on rights? Y’all waste so many of them. I feel like that’s an issue.

All joking aside, we can propose vasectomies for boys, education for boys, laws against men, OR we can just give everyone the right to choose what is right for them. Free will…it’s what’s for dinner. And what does it mean that I’m sitting here wondering what they don’t want us to see or notice that these documents were leaked? What ELSE is going on? What are they trying to distract us from? It’s sad to me that what I used to think of as the highest court in the country has been downgraded to a political puppet. It’s not about laws or rights…it’s about control. I’m not sure those proposing all these changes have any sort of long-term memory. It’s been like this before…and maybe they should read some dystopian novels…when you try to hold the people down, they will revolt.

I guess more quilts are in the works. It’s interesting…I did just finish the abortion rights quilt in January (see it at Visions Art Museum in October!). It was hard to make. Hard to draw. Hard to work on. Emotional. And I’m glad to have never had to have an abortion, never needed to make that decision, but I know women who have. And I’m glad they had the choice. So the quilt I’m working on now was supposed to be lighter, give my mind a break. But now I feel bad for working on a “light” quilt, one with no political or social message. (Rolls eyes at self). Well there are tons of deadlines coming up. Guess they will all be about wars…wars with tanks, wars on the body, wars on women…wait, no, wars on everyone who is not a rich white male. Wars on gender, sexuality, race, color, poverty. We have learned nothing. And damn, those pink hats aren’t gonna do it this time. I need Thor and his hammer or some equivalent.

Sigh. Meanwhile, I teach. It’s hard. Their attention is nil. It’s a fight with some classes. Pay attention! Listen! Get on task! Wake up! Heads up! Stop yelling out! Some days I feel like I’ve been in boxing matches all day.

The meditative quilting at the end of every day is a plus. It’s a relief. It’s a joy, even though it’s tiny and fussy and scrunched up.

A leaf-nosed bat…

It’s a slow process…Monday night, I did the rest of the torso, one of the pupfish on her breast, the bat, all of the plants on the bottom right, and a little bit of the sky.

That was a little over an hour, I think. Then last night, I did the rest of the plants, the quail, the other pupfish, the heart and lungs and other breast, and a bit more of the sky.

So tonight, I should be able to work on the arms and/or the head. It’s getting closer to being done. I’m going to need binding fabric. More importantly, I need to draw the next one. It was a rough draft in my brain. Sleeping last night made it much more clear. Also Roe v Wade made it more clear. And dumb people made it more clear. Controlling people. People who say I’m imagining a war on the uterus. Whatever. I roll my eyes at you.

Another thing I did last night was spend an hour plus on the phone with the Man, who I hadn’t talked to since I left him at Kennedy Meadows. We text, but it’s hard to keep a coherent conversation going between his work and mine, and his lack of Wifi at night. It was nice to hear him talk. It’s still 3 1/2 weeks until I see him.

After that, I did some plant reconnaissance…had two succulents I’d cut off a huge plant that I’m trying to establish elsewhere in the yard, and in doing that, I noticed some new flowers…this one has never flowered…

And I thought I’d killed this one…

I get two succulents mailed to me each month. It’s one of the things I started in quarantine to make me happy, and it continues to do so. I keep most of them alive. I have no idea what that offshoot is gonna look like, but I’m looking forward to checking it out.

And this one came from the ex’s house, fell off a rock. I didn’t know it flowered…and so BIG.

I need to transplant some of it back to his rock.

Meditations with cats…

Really, just this cat.

Oh and here are some Nida oldies…I don’t even remember painting this one for my cousin and her husband…

My cousin died in 2020 (not COVID) and this just showed back up at my house. Huh. Not sure what to do with it. This is circa 1987, in case you didn’t think I always did weird bodies. I did.

And this is high school…another gift…this to my great uncle.

I loved Vanity Fair magazine and would draw the models with my own take on it. I guess you can see the beginnings of my style peeking out here. Certainly I was looking at shadows and blocks of dark and light before I ever started working in fabric.

OK. Job calls. Car is still in the shop. Not sure what’s wrong with it. Work was hard yesterday. I’m hoping it’s less hard today. Ha! What a joke. I’m hoping I get to keep my prep period…I need it. Grades are due next week. I’m hoping for an easy, cheap car fix. Ha! OK. Work. Go.

What If I Run Out?

I came home Monday night, still on Boston time. Sort of. Yesterday, we shopped and packed, and today we’re leaving on California time. Sort of. I’m still up too early and tired and hungry at the wrong times. If at all (hunger…always tired). I’ve got 9 maybe 10 days of mostly nature in front of me. There’s some art and one house stay, but mostly nature. Mostly have showers and toilets, but maybe not on one night. I might come home on my own; I might bring the Man back with me. So many possibilities (no, I’m not leaving him by the side of the road…he might have a job). I have a couple, maybe three books loaded up to read, some stitching, a sketchbook, and probably more shirts than I need. I have more pants than the Man. IDK how he does it, but I can’t wear one pair of pants for ten days. Not happening.

Here’s hoping for some sleep, some hiking, and some relaxation. Keep the weather nice and the neighboring campsites nicer. Or empty. I’m good with empty. The campsite we’re supposed to be in tonight had 21/35 campsites empty yesterday. I’m good with that. Suspect they won’t all be that empty, but that’s OK. I bought a new camp chair to lounge in. I made rice krispies treats (that’s my camping treat). I get to see some art quilts on the way up. It sounds good, yeah? I hope it is.

Monday, I blogged from here…

The couch in the girlchild’s bedroom. I left for the airport from there and flew home, graded most of one assignment because the video screens in our row on the plane were broken. Sucked. I wanted to see the second half of the movie I started watching on the way out. Oh well.

On Monday, we got to announce (finally) that we got into Quilt Visions…

I’m excited. And so glad the jurors Sheila Frampton Cooper, Lisa Walton, and Petra Fallaux chose the abortion rights quilt, My Body. My Choice.

It’s one of those quilts that might never get into a show. Politics y’all. Difficult topics.

So I thank them for being brave. I appreciate the opportunity to show the hard quilts. I know some people aren’t going to like it. I’m hoping we can have a conversation.

Also, this.

I waver between this level of confrontation and wanting to converse to hopefully give people a different view. I think I know what they will say about their side of it, but maybe I’m wrong. I’m wrong a lot.

I read a bunch the last few days…this is from Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel. The cat amused me.

I really liked that book. Also about a pandemic. Maybe should stop reading dystopian futures.

Because the pandemic. Yeah. I tested negative when I got home on Monday. I have no symptoms, either from my daughter’s cold or exposure before I went on break. Knock on wood that it stays that way. Guess I’m not ready to give up masks at school yet.

I was hoping to get some stitchdown done the Friday I left and/or yesterday around packing, but I just didn’t have the energy. I have to concede defeat. I will not meet the deadline. It’s OK. It’s still a beautiful quilt and will find a home, an exhibition, somewhere to be seen. Most of them do. Yes, some of them don’t. Those always perturb me. Sometimes it’s obvious why…they’re a little TOO quirky and strange. Sometimes I have no idea why.

Last night, we watched the first episode of a series. I wondered why the Man chose that, since the probability of his being gone until sometime in late July/early August is pretty high. Ah well. It wasn’t that compelling. I stitched stuff down because it was brainless. Kitten hung out with me because she missed me.

I missed her too.

I need to keep track of how much embroidery I do while camping. I am currently panicking that 5 blocks of embroidery is not enough. Is that crazy? It might be. I feel like I finished one on the last trip. OK, so to keep track, I have two blocks of the four March blocks embroidered, so I’m taking two with me, plus three or four from April. Should I pack May? Is that crazy? I don’t know. I just don’t know. WHAT IF I RUN OUT?!

Crafty people understand. OK, we leave in 35 minutes. I need to go pack the food and get the hell out of here. See you on the web. I have internet in three days? Maybe?

May the Vax Be Strong…

I have exactly…wait…3 hours less than 5 days until I have to be at school. Plenty of time for everyone and their mother to get COVID this time around, right? The Man spent 2 hours yesterday waiting in line for a test. Ironically, he had no symptoms until yesterday. I suspect we’re all getting this version. May the vax be strong.

I was hoping to hike today, but I suspect it will be tomorrow. I finished copyediting on Monday and sent it all back today. It will be back in my inbox in March, but just for a short review…hopefully. Meanwhile, it’s done and that’s a relief. I started grading stuff on Monday, sort of in panic mode, because I’d mentally listed everything and completely forgot about one nonnegligible assignment. It will be fine, although grades are due in about two weeks, so I can’t forget that part. I know I have two art assignments due before that and I’ll need to go in to grade those. I worry about the kids who will be out with COVID next week…if they don’t come in and they haven’t finished those assignments…they’re on paper. It’s not like there’s a digital version. I do need a digital alternative for the inevitable COVID contracts though. So that’s on my panic list too. My solution to all this panic? Slowly, methodically grade everything. Do the little stuff on my list, one step at a time. Last night, I packed my daughter’s box of the shit she couldn’t fit in her luggage that she got for Christmas (mostly cookbooks). I also sewed on the missing button from my pants that have been in here since November. Does the button match? Nah. Not really. I’m OK with that. I also need to mend a sweater…not sure how exactly to do that, but it’s on the list. So is moving gravel, sanding the mailbox, and washing the hallway wall. Those are all doable things. One at a time. Cups of tea in between. Maybe shower. Not sure. Maybe not.

I need to get more quilting in during the next 5 days. I can do that. It’s slow and careful at the moment. Facial expressions are details that can’t be rushed…

But I spent most of yesterday in an apparent spa day: got a massage so the chiropractor could actually adjust my neck (copyediting hazard), then haircut (twice a year, whether I need it or not), then counseling. All good. So not much quilting has been happening, but there is progress.

I’m almost out of the bodies in color and into the sky, then the bodies in gray.

It’s good to have a goal…I’ll need binding for this, so that means a store, which means I need it by this weekend, or I won’t be able to get the binding on for another week. Ugh. Stupid store hours conflict with day job. It’s a goal.

I do know what quilt I’m making next, so I could start drawing that. Not here, but this is Drawing #15 of Winter Break.

Not every night…but most of them. Often with this guy cuddled up to me for warmth.

Then there’s Nova and her new box…

I think it was supposed to be for the girlchild’s stuff, but I decided to send those in two boxes.

So, UPS store today, plus either a hike or the gym, plus making my favorite wontons (without kid help this time, unfortunately), and quilting and drawing and grading. And gravel. And sanding. And washing. Just got busy, eh? What’s new? It is how I roll. But right now, I’m going to eat brunch and read my book…brunch because it’s almost lunchtime and I was doing other stuff until now. Yah. Fancy.

My Days Are Off…

I keep thinking my days are off. Isn’t today Thursday? It feels like I’ve done three days of school (I haven’t). Yesterday had a very Wednesday feel to it…I was convinced I had prep period at the end of the day (I didn’t). My entire prep was eaten up by pandemic contract kids anyway, so whatever. Why give me a prep when I can’t actually prep anything? Or grade anything? Today will be all the late assignments and redoes, and then hopefully I can get my head around one of last week’s assignments. I’d really like to go into break with very little to grade…that is actually impossible…my fault for assigning work. I’ve got two major art assignments plus a science packet and a major academic grade. Yeah. Ugh.

My Winter Break is full of a lot of work, y’all…but hopefully also full of this quilt…which will probably be a 2022 finish. I finished ironing the bubble together on Monday night…

Although I still don’t know where two of these three pieces belong…

I had already recut the R. Typos though…in an anti-abortionist’s sign? Makes sense.

The rest of the quilt rolled up on teflon sheets. It might sound like I don’t respect anti-abortionists (I just typed that anti-abortionshits accidentally). Sigh. I don’t. Because so many of them preach and then don’t follow it. I spend all day asking kids, “Who are YOU in charge of?”…and they sigh and answer “MYSELF”. And then this shit. Get out of my uterus.

You personally can make a decision about abortion for yourself. You should be having conversations with sexual partners before having sex (we actually teach this) about what y’all choose to do if it happens. Shit happens. Women should be able to have sex AND choices. Men do.

Then last night, I pieced the background and ironed the whole thing down. That took an hour and 42 minutes.

And so many of the details are hard to see in this photo. Part of that is the stitching that needs to happen, but also, honestly, like many of my pieces, you need to be up close to see most of it. So stitch down is next, probably 10-15 hours of that, then sandwich and pinbaste, an hour, then quilt for 15 hours or so, then about 6 hours of binding and sleeves. So 37 more hours? In two weeks? Probably not. Not with holidays and a copyediting job and a bunch of science planning that needs to happen. We’ll see. Plus grades.

In other school news, I got this email and laughed (and almost cried)…

That’s a shit ton of videos, and after they sent that, I made two more.

Our school party was Monday afternoon…this is my co-teacher who is awesome sauce and helps keep me sane. I can’t imagine doing all this alone.

She is more sequins than I am…although those tassels are pretty fancy for me.

Yesterday, we got an inch and a half of rain during the day…and I had duty before and after school.

‘Twas damp.

They kept reaching a paw out and touching, very gently, the other cat. And then there was running.

The man is still out and about…Zion…

Beautiful, eh? Plus a flash flood last night that put him in his car overnight…but waking up to this…

He’s OK…his tent is wet, but hopefully will dry out before tonight. More hiking today, I would say…and then we’ll see when he gets home.

It’s been quiet here without him. Lots of quilt stuff and school stuff and reading for me. Plus trying to do all the things. The boychild is cooking tonight, hallelujah. He gets home really late on Mondays and Tuesdays. Anyway…I have to be at school for “an inspirational message” (can you see my eyes roll from here?), then survive the day, do some exercise (I did that last night too…what a good thing!), and get stitching. Three days of school left. I can do that.

This Week Is Always Nuts…

Hey. Five days of school. With a rainstorm on the way. And a holiday party. But I get to wear pajamas to school later this week. Unfortunately, it’s on a day when I have to do something after school…they will just have to deal with my pajamaness. This week is always nuts. I got this. The copyediting job starts Friday. So yeah. From one job to another job without a day off…sigh. It is what it is.

The anti-anti-abortionists quilt (because I guess that’s really what it is…I’m not pro-abortion, like everyone needs to go get one…but I am pro-choice in the case of women’s reproductive freedoms…I mean, men have them, why can’t we?) is closer to done. This is the anti-abortionist bubble, where if you throw enough cash at them, they will let you get that abortion, right?

I worked on it all weekend, but not for any more time than I would during the week.

There’s some tiny shit in there.

I decided to make them all washed out, except for the one woman begging to get in. And there’s some embroidery that will go in this section.

Those are all the pieces left to be ironed.

Maybe 20 more in the other box. Plus then iron it down to the background. I might finish tonight? Probably tomorrow night. We’ll see how efficient I am at work today. I need to have a goodly chunk of stuff graded this week, so I can get this copyediting job done too. I’ll have two art projects to grade (ugh) and the stuff from this week, plus a small packet (double ugh). But not as buried as I usually am.

Saturday, we did the 3rd hike in the Coast to Crest Challenge, Scorpion Ridge to Santa Fe Valley.

It was nice and cool, or this would have been a draining hike. Although this might have been an easier crossing if it hadn’t rained recently.

It wasn’t bad though. There were some climby bits…but we made it to the Selfie Spot.

These photos are what get us the stickers and the patches. Crucial swag that.

Our new buddy.

Don’t usually see them in the middle of the day.

We had a sandwich and a drink after the hike, almost 5 miles, although my phone’s GPS must be failing. It can’t track me any more. The man’s is working fine, but he has a newer phone. So frustrating.

I drew at lunch too, but this was dinner. We might not have gone out again, twice in a day, but the man left Sunday morning early for 6 days of hiking. He made it to Zion by like 3 PM.

Definitely jealous of that view. Maybe not jealous of the cold though.

Meanwhile, I’m stuck here with all the furry beasts.

Some are more sociable than others.

I did get my tree in the house before he left though…

It only has one ornament on it so far. That might be ALL the ornaments it gets…we’ll see. The packages are piled up to keep the cats off it. This tree was a volunteer in my yard. I used to protect its tiny self with some rocks around it, then finally dug it up and put it into a pot. I think this is the third pot it’s been in. It’s definitely grown.

OK. I have to go to work. Engineering design getting taught today…and texture. Exciting stuff. Plus a holiday party. My introvert self is cringing. What’s new. December…it’s a challenging month no matter what.

Not Enough Wassailing…

I made it to the end of the week. I paid my property taxes (ouch). I am almost caught up on grades…well, until the end of today. Then I have more. Weird how that works. I haven’t gotten enough exercise this week, but I rarely do. I’m currently sitting on a chair with a cat sitting behind me, purring away, but not strongly enough to give me a massage. Huh. Something wrong with that.

Next week, the one before Winter Break and the Christmas crazy, is always nuts. I’m not done with shopping, haven’t even started any level of decorating, unless you count carrying the decoration boxes up from the garage. But I managed to order cat litter from Costco and it should be here before we run out (knock on wood, because I don’t have time to go there and buy it). Yeah. I’m not a fan of December. It’s nutsy cuckoo and there isn’t enough wassailing to make up for all that shit.

Apologies if this is your favorite time of year. I do appreciate more time to make art, although the copyediting job may kick that in the ass. Ah well. I need the money. Still haven’t paid off the girlchild’s college and the Man will be hiking for some months in the summer, so I’ll be short then. Sigh. I never feel like I catch up.

This piece is still available for viewing through next Wednesday…

Then I need to kamikaze over to the college on a Thursday night after school to pick it up. It’s good that it got seen again.

I’ve been ironing, of course. I’ve been ironing for days. Why stop now? I only have about 600 pieces to go. 600? Maybe 500. Yeah. 500. More fussy little shit, but what’s new. I got the big pieces of sky in finally.

I picked the main piece up off the teflon sheets and moved it up so I could do the sky.

Then last night, I finished her body and arm…

The hand was so complicated that I did it separately and then put it on. Then I finished the rest of the sky…

To get this photo, I had to stand on one leg and support the right side with my other leg. But you can see that I’m done with the main portion and all that’s left is the bubble. I’m totally doing that separately. This thing is getting unwieldy. But closer to done, which is nice. Sometime next week I should be able to start the stitchdown. Next week is also a bit unwieldy. Just gonna bully through it. Make some apple crisp and hunker down with a book and try to get enough exercise and sleep and not stress out too much about kids who can’t control their own bladders half the time, let alone their brains and mouths. It’ll be FINE. I even get to have a holiday party…um…I’m not really a fan of work parties. The only plus is my work people (the ones I like) will be there too.

I’ve been working on these after eating dinner, while watching an episode a night of Lost in Space. Just stitching things down.

It’s seriously brainless. Which is what I need right now.

OK. Today we get through all the things, then hope the chiropractor can do something about my neck. I’ll be ironing again tonight, of course. And I might have Christmas lights. That would be nice. I like me some Christmas lights.

Scissors Cutting Wonder Under…

I feel like I should follow up the last post with It’s Monday! Like you don’t know what day it is. It IS Monday. Pros: It’s a new week, I finished grading all the science units AND projects over the weekend, and it’s supposed to rain here today…good for plants. Cons: Monday. Tired. Worked all weekend so I don’t feel ready or rested. Pros: All the stuff for school this week is copied and organized. Cons: We planned a week where we are ON for four out of the five days. Granted, we are ON with Oreos on 1 1/2 of those days. Y’all, I don’t like block schedule. Those periods are so LONG and kids check out unless it’s AMAZEBALLS the entire time. Which sometimes it is…like Thursday and Friday. That is exhausting though for the teacher. This week, I will be demonstrating tectonic plates with Oreo cookies…and magma with corn syrup. It’s cool, but it’s a lot of being ON all the time.

Other exciting things for this week: I need to find a Halloween costume in my stash that will not be too hot to wear in the mid- to high 80s. It should be Disney-themed, but I might just fuck that off, because I don’t have the will or the brain power. I’m supposed to dress like my opposite gender on one day, but I think I already do that every day. Maybe I don’t have to wear a bra that day? That would be AWESOME. Not an issue in middle school at all. I can totally get away with that.

Oh man. My brain is on a roll.

So on Friday, I finished tracing all the pieces…

That’s 6 yards, some with a ton of tiny pieces; some with some whopping big pieces. It took a little over 17 hours to trace them all…not bad for 1500 or so pieces. It’ll probably be at least 7 or so hours to cut them out. I didn’t start until last night…

The day job ran the weekend. That’s about 40 minutes of cutting stuff out. Expect to see shots of that pile growing each night until it’s done.

I really did grade most of the weekend. I had about 50 videos to watch with a smattering of slide presentations to check if there was no video. But they’re done. This is a good thing.

I took a break in between Periods 3 and 4 to go for a 3.6-mile hike…

I just needed a break…and some exercise. It sucks to spend a weekend this way, but if it means I can come home all this week and NOT watch videos, I’m OK with it. The end of the trimester is coming up, and I will be out of town the weekend right before grades are due, so I’m trying to get all the last-minute shit out of the way…because my art class will be slamming me with two projects right before the end of the trimester. So there’s that. I know…it’s my fault…but there’s nothing I can do about that. I’ll figure it out. This school year is not low maintenance.

Cat forts…

They like them.

This lizard has moved into the camp chair I left outside.

It’s there every time I get home. The chair is mostly broken, which is why it’s out there…I guess it’s now a lizard home.

OK. Well I’ve got about a million things on the to-do list this week, but I’m hoping that art will happen in the form of scissors cutting Wonder Under every night. Maybe I’ll be done by the weekend? That would be nice…to be ironing onto fabric next weekend? It could happen. I’d need to clean up in here, of course. No Halloween parties for me…just fabric? Maybe. Oh yeah, it’s school photos today. I’m not in the mood. Think I have some animal snouts somewhere I could use for that…should find those. This week also includes reviewing my insurance because it’s open enrollment, plus a flu shot, book club, some exercise, some planning (hopefully a lot of planning), and a Zoom stitching meeting. Plus a chiropractic adjustment while in costume. Things to think about when choosing one’s costume. Hmmm.

Happy Monday thoughts, y’all.

Staring at the Paper…

So. If you have a meeting after work about a kid, but you also have your exercise class, which is part of what keeps you sane and healthy, do you (I’m not skipping the class, y’all) dress for the class so you can stay longer at the meeting? Or leave earlier to go get dressed. I’m leaning toward the latter. The former is more efficient and makes more sense, but probably the latter is more professional. Or just send notes to the meeting and know your co-teachers will say the same stuff you do, because it’s not like the kid is different in his other classes. He’s pretty consistent. These are the things that keep me up at night…that and my natural distrust of the white male politician. And a sense of overwhelming dread that accompanies my workload.

It’s a good thing I’m drawing an hour every night…that’s my goal anyway. Draw for an hour, meditate, attempt sleep. Repeat. Some of the “drawing” is just staring at the paper, which is also allowed.

Not sure if it’s the future mom or the fetus who isn’t ready in this figure. Maybe both. That night, there was thunder and lightning galore, and Calli lost her mind over and over again. So I didn’t sleep much either.

The left side is coming along…

I will give them a natural landscape to be in, a green space. The bubble on the right is harder to draw.

I think I have most of the figures on the left done. I’m trying to refrain from more details. There’s enough. I got myself all tied in knots over shadows last night…drawn shadows. They just got to be too much. So I got rid of a bunch of them.

I also entered another show, which took over an hour, although that “family friendly” tag is in there, so who knows what will get in, if anything. I did get into two things yesterday, which is nice. Swallow Me Whole will be in Fiber Art Now as part of Excellence in Quilts

And Wise Choice will be going to San Diego Mesa College for their Sowing Seeds exhibit.

It was part of the Earth Stories exhibit and hasn’t been seen locally, I think. It traveled a lot and then got rolled up. It’s all about birth control and giving women the right to plan families and childbirth…ironically very similar to what I’m working on in the current drawing. Things don’t change. I wish they would, but they don’t seem to.

The symptoms from the booster seem gone now…a little fatigue and feeling like I was coming down with the flu, plus a sore arm. I think I’m good now. And more protected, which is a plus.

OK, with that, I have two meetings today during and after school, an exercise class, and then hopefully some delightful drawing going on. One can hope. The drawing itself will be delightful…the things I am drawing are not so much. I probably have to grade some things too. At least it’s nice and cool for a few days…no more lightning, but drizzly clouds. I’ll take that.

Missed This, Remembered That…

Saturday was already sorta packed…I wanted to go to a show that was closing that day, plus I had a meeting, an actual in-person meeting. I totally spaced on the fact that it was October and there was a women’s march. Damnit. I meant to look it up, but apparently I’m off the information list or something, and I missed it. Sigh. I did come home after everything I DID do and start drawing an angry quilt in response to the crazy Texas abortion ban. It’s been in my head, drawing and redrawing itself for days, so I finally started to vomit it on paper. With a pen. Much cleaner that way.

I tried drawing part of this in my sketchbook earlier in the day, but eh. Not so much. And my evening was kind of irritating. I almost just shut down and did nothing. My brain was in a bad place. But then I got up and cut the paper and started sketching in pencil, getting the broad idea of where things were going, and kept going from there. This was about an hour in…

And then last night, I started in on the details…which is the one problem with drawing full size…I put too many details in and they’re small…

I’m trying to remember that. But maybe I don’t care as much as I should. I just want a project that takes up all of my mind after work and keeps me going for a while, and work is taking up too much time and brainpower. I need something to counteract that. Big complicated quilt to the rescue!

The closing show I went to was Paula Kovarik’s exhibit at Visions Art Museum…

It was a fascinating show. I have seen some of this develop online, but it’s so much better in person. I’m glad I made it to the show. I did say to the volunteers working there about 5 times that they need to make hours that working people can get to, more than just 10-2 on Saturday. That’s a really rough time for me. If I want to hike, I won’t make it. If I have anything else I need to do, it’s during those same hours. It’s hard, because I know they’re making financial decisions as well, but it’s been near impossible to get there until this weekend. It was totally worth getting up earlier and getting out of the house before I usually do. Saturday is my relaxation morning, the only one I get, so I give it up to very little.

Her work is fascinating…I probably said that already.

The stitched line…

The 3D shapes…

Cutting things up and making them into new things…

The hint of traditional quilting but really not…

Fascinating. Like I said.

I just walked around and enjoyed it…

More than once…

Yeah, that phrase pisses me off.

Crazy amount of details…

If you ever have a chance to see her work, you should. I did listen to her talk back in early August, when the show opened, right before school started (hence my inability to get to the actual show). And I bought her book. Fun stuff. I’m always inspired by how other artists do the work.

I stitched a little on this at the meeting I was at, until I volunteered to remove paper from pieced blocks…

And I drew this at dinner…

The weekend also included a negative COVID test after two positive cases in my classrooms, and a COVID booster. So far, my arm hurts, but nothing else symptom-wise that I’m noticing. Good news.

Nova support on the drawing front…

Although some of her support is not really supportive…

I need those.

And to finish with this…

I wish I lived in a ‘socialist’ country that cared about the health of its people. Sigh. My biggest retirement expense will be medications.

OK, long busy day, already feel tired. Could be vaccine; could just be life. Hopefully energy will rebound at the end for more drawing. I’d like to get done with that stage and onto the tracing.
We’ll see how that goes.

Working on It…

Ah, my head is filled with things. I have to admit to being a hermit when I’m head down, making a piece. I don’t watch the news, I rarely read it, I barely surface for meals, I don’t leave the house if I can help it. Sometimes bits and pieces of it surface when the people around me say something, and then I fall down a Google rabbit hole. I heard about Nia Wilson a few days ago, but didn’t follow up until this morning. Young woman of color, killed randomly (or not? probably not.). Shit. This world sucks for women in general, but add color to the mix and it explodes in their faces. Imagine as a mom…I worry about my kids all the time, but they’re white. It’s a million times safer to send them out into the world than if they were of color. It’s interesting (or telling, maybe) that so many times, we hear that the white murderer has mental issues…does this make it OK? Sure, the US does not manage psych issues well…there are very few ways to get some people help, but still…WHY did he murder a young black girl and try to kill her sister? Sigh. There is so much violence. None of it is OK, but it’s hard to believe racism wasn’t part of this death. If you raise your children to be blind to racism (and perhaps I didn’t do enough there…I constantly check myself in the classroom, with race, culture, religion, and gender…did I do enough?), then you are part of the problem. It isn’t enough to treat all races, cultures, religions, and genders the same (is equality enough? No, equity is the aim…make up for the privilege)…you have to acknowledge that there are stereotypes and incorrect beliefs in play. Constantly. I know this is something I try to do All the Time in my classroom. Do I do it everywhere else? Nope. I’m sure I don’t. Working on it.

So that’s in my head as I’m starting to pick out fabrics for this new quilt, which is hard to explain in terms of theme, but has more distinct human figures in it than any quilt I’ve ever made (they’re all female…which is another issue I keep going over in my head…the thought of gender and how it determines what we are, or not, and how to portray alternate gender issues from my perspective, which seems woefully incomplete). In my last multiple-women quilt, I had a long moment where I was troubled by my own whitewashing of experience. So much of my work is interior, based on my experience, not quite autobiographical, but mostly…yeah…me. So self-centered, white, but we do what we know? I can’t speak for others. But this quilt is about a wider experience of female, about viewpoints and issues and saving the Earth…really, it’s my brain on the news, a small portion of the news. Not all the women in the quilt are meant to be white. More of a universal womanscape…so my brain is percolating over whether it’s even OK for me to talk about immigration when it doesn’t affect me directly, unless you consider my students who are affected by it. But I won’t be deported. I won’t be torn away from my children (this pains me so greatly, those parents who were sent back without their children…WTF are the people in charge thinking, and if you say to me that those parents DESERVE that because they brought their kids up here, I will let loose in a rant about safety and asylum so verbose that the words might bury you). But there is immigration in the quilt. And pollution. And birth. And loss. And abortion. And breastfeeding in public. And the male gaze. Dick pics. Geez. And how to portray women of color in a way that doesn’t perpetuate racism or stereotypes or assumptions. I’m working on it.

It’s not pretty. It probably won’t get into the show for which I’m making it. That’s OK. I think sometimes I have to make these just to get some of this shit out of my head. Although getting this…Nia?…out of my head? Not happening. Love to her family. May she receive justice, although I don’t think that ever makes up for a death. If John Cowell is really mentally ill, maybe he will get the help he needs, but that will never make up for killing an 18-year-old woman.

Nia_Wilson.0 small

We have to speak up. Us white folks, we have to hold the world accountable, best we can. Better than we can.

With all that in my head, here’s a rattlesnake skin picked up on the last hike…

IMG_6030 small

Yeah, I just left it on the hat rack. Like you do.

I started ironing yesterday with the oil slicks. I got fabric for that.

IMG_6032 small

Hell, I’ve got fabric for everything. Who am I kidding?

Then all the water…this took a while, both to pick and to iron.

IMG_6033 small

I took a break. Satchemo enjoying the breeze with the second tower of Wonder Under pieces. Hopefully he won’t knock that over.

IMG_6035 small

Boychild made dinner. This incorporation of three people into meal choices can be difficult.

IMG_6039 small

‘Twas tasty.

Then I saw this message in multiple places explaining the Original Sewing and Quilting Expo’s official reason for removing the Threads of Resistance exhibit from their last two shows…

IMG_6040

Um. Yeah. Right. (cough…bullshit). Hey, I don’t have a problem with your pulling it because your sponsors and vendors objected and threatened to pull out…but be honest about it, please? Sure, your vendors and sponsors don’t want to be called out, but hell, this world would be a better place with some sincere honesty. Then I can look at the sponsors and decide if that’s where I need to focus my efforts next (there are three sponsors listed whose products I use all the time…). I find that often the negative comments are so loud that vendors and organizers can’t hear the positive comments. Maybe they need to hear those. Louder. Like, I made my Threads of Resistance quilts USING YOUR PRODUCTS. I have a Viking sewing machine. I use Sulky threads. I use Wonder Under. I buy fabric from just about ALL the companies. My batting is Warm and Natural. There. Those guys. (By the way, none of them have given me anything for free…)

I’m back to this, although having a wool quilt on your lap in summer is still an issue. I haven’t been working on it at all.

IMG_6041 small

Time to get the balls done. Seriously.

Then back to ironing. I set a goal for yesterday of 6-8 hours of ironing…I made 6. Every time I took a rest (from standing and the heat in here of ironing under bright lights with little air flow), I would let myself sit for a bit and then I would say, I need to go back to ironing. It worked.

Here’s the mermaid earth mother…all in greens and purples.

IMG_6042 small

I still need to do her internal organs and her hair. I quit just after midnight. I was tired.

So I’m in the 400s, but there are some of the 300s that aren’t ironed yet. The pile of stuff to be cut out and the pile of fabrics used so far.

IMG_6043 small

Based on yesterday, it’s going to take more than 25 hours, but not much more. Today’s goal? Another 6-8 hours…hopefully on the longer end of it, because I’m starting earlier. Although I might need to leave the house. I can’t handle anything else when I’m in this space, in this head space. Careful introspection of how to depict women of color in this quilt. Sometimes I just want to make them all rainbows, but that’s a cop out too. Working on it.