Let Me Enfold You*

October 22, 2018

I’m excited! The 2019 official Spring Break vacation is booked! We’ll even have no showers for a couple of days! Oh boy! I like showers. I do. Especially when hiking and camping. But I’ll live. It’s Utah this time…we tried to stay in one place a bit longer than last time, although last time, there were a couple of campsites that I was glad I didn’t have to stay there more than one night. Anyway. It’s done…although the tent caterpillars in Zion are keeping us out of the campsites there, and you can’t book Bryce in advance, so we’ll only actually be IN one of the National Parks to camp. It’s OK. We will survive. Looking forward to lots of rock and probably freezing my ass off at night. It’s a good thing I’m bringing my own personal space heater.

I also booked the girlchild home for Winter Break, which is nice. Now I just need to get my parents to answer email so I can book her graduation trip. I have no idea what full name my mom has on her drivers’ license. Can’t book a flight without that. Like does she have her real middle name that she never uses? Or her maiden name as her middle name? Or what? I don’t know. I never changed my name when I was married, so I don’t know what people do. Honestly it’s a practice I’ve never really understood, so there’s that.

Anyway, trip progress was made. That’s all that matters.

What did I do all weekend? I did go to see the Visions opening at the Visions Art Museum. There were some interesting pieces in the show. I always recommend it. I also graded a bunch of stuff and traced a lot of Wonder Under, like 6 hours’ worth or so. All good.

But what it looks like HERE is a lot of piles of Wonder Under…which is not very exciting for YOU, but it is for ME. This was Saturday night…I had almost 4 yards traced…

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Piles of done yardage…

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Three dogs refusing to be photographed. Or to lie in the same place…

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More yardage on Sunday!

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I’m done with the main figure…I’m doing the water contrails or whatever you wanna call them.

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I’m in the second to last of them, around piece 820…so another 170 pieces to go.

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I seriously considered doing those last night, but the clock (and my teacher brain) told me no. Fun stuff. So now you know what I’ll be doing tonight.

OK, this song was on what I was binge-watching yesterday…and I remembered how much I loved it when I was young…

So now you get to listen to it.

*This Mortal Coil, Song to the Siren

Three-Dog Late Afternoon

October 20, 2018

Weekends are for catching up on sleep. For catching up on errands, although I did a pretty good job of that on Thursday. For catching up on grades, unfortunately. And hopefully for a little free time and relaxation. I’m going to see the Visions exhibit this evening…looking forward to that.

But before that, I gotta wake up. Ugh. My head.

I walked the dogs again on Friday…by myself this time…

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I took them over three miles, trying to tire them out. It worked. Tired me out too…but then I’d already had a long walking day at work. The kids played a rock cycle game and I always have a few who need me to walk them through it. It went well otherwise though. My legs were dead by the time I got to the dog-walking part of the day, but it was good for all of us.

After dinner, I eventually persuaded my legs to stand up again. I didn’t trace for long, because I didn’t realize how late it was…but I’m in the 300s now. I wanted to be much further along, as always. So tracing is on my list for today as well. A nice big fat chunk of it please.

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I sat for a bit…Satchemo love…and Simba putting up with the cat.

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Who knows whether he likes it. He always looks nervous. That cat has sharp pointy bits.

Anyway. Art tonight, by other people, hopefully making my own as well. Same for tomorrow. I’ll never get caught up with grading anyway.

Happy birthday to my dad, who is hopefully still in Spain (if he’s not, I don’t know where he is)…he’ll be home soon, and then his dog will be at HIS house, making all the caterwauling noises that she makes. Plus walking the dogs will be easier.

Exciting Piles of Wonder Under in My Future

October 18, 2018

‘Tis early. My brain is fog. Or oatmeal. Not sure which. Oatmeal is stickier. So that.

Yesterday’s lab was much mellower than the previous two days. Maybe that’s because I’d done it before? Or because it was more like direct instruction instead of their reading instructions. Reading is always an issue for us…so many language learners.

Calli had to go to the vet yesterday, more pee issues, but at some point, the boy decided the little one needed some exercise. There’s playing that happens when Katie’s not here, but Katie has toy issues and Calli has jealousy issues, so we hide all the toys while Katie visits…which sucks for Simba.

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He likes toys.

Calli isn’t allowed to play because she’s a bully. She gets sticks thrown for her outside. Katie doesn’t actually fetch anything…she just tries to herd everyone who is fetching. It’s a pack of dogs…not just two.

After dinner, I didn’t do any grading. I figure I will do a bunch today. I took the day off to sit in a waiting room hopefully for not too long. But it means I’ll have some wait time there and here at home, so I can get a chunk of grading done.

So I started tracing pretty early last night. I was starting to think I was totally OK on time with this, but then realized I’m going to Boston and I don’t know what’s happening with Thanksgiving. So I panicked.

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I traced for about 3 1/2 hours and got two yards mostly filled…and another one started.

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I’m only in the mid 200s though. They were fussy pieces to trace. So I’m a quarter of the way through and it took about 3 1/2 hours. So another 10+ to go? I’ll do some tonight (maybe today? Although right now, a nap sounds lovely) and some tomorrow night, but that won’t get me done. We’ll see.

Anyway, gotta get out of here. Exciting piles of Wonder Under in my future.

With All These Things That I’ve Done*

September 11, 2018

I just completely freaked out because I was checking all my art exhibit entries for the last few weeks, looking to see what notification would be next, and I noticed a double entry. That’s incredibly unprofessional. My stomach dropped. I never do that shit (OK I accidentally did it once a million years ago when the kids were small and I was newly divorced, but luckily, I only got into one of the shows I double entered…which is how the odds go anyway, usually even lower odds than that, honestly). But it’s OK. One of them is only in print, so I don’t send the piece anywhere. Deep breaths. Panic over.

I did get into the Power of Women show that will be at IQF Houston, so that’s good, since I made the piece for that show…not that I wouldn’t have been able to show it elsewhere, though. God knows I do that often enough…here’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman

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Lots going on in there. Wish I could go to Houston with her, but I’ll be in Boston the following weekend and Chandler, Arizona, the weekend after. Seems like enough travel. Plus Houston is pretty expensive. So she’ll travel without me, like most of them do.

Meanwhile, I’m looking at some of the people who friended me on Facebook recently. I do actually scroll through their feeds and make a decision, like if there’s nothing there, I assume they’re a bot or a Russian spy, so I don’t accept. And if their politics are out there, well and truly not gonna get along with mine, I don’t accept. I’m not always sure why they’re friending me, except maybe to get me to like their store or their quilting or whatever, but then you’re posting pictures of guns and kneejerk Trumpisms, and I’m like, I don’t want to see that on my feed, plus you’re gonna hate my vulvas, so why are you clicking friend again? Such a complicated world.

Anyway, that’s two shows that have notified in the last week, and both were acceptances. Good odds so far, but it’s guaranteed they won’t all be.

I had a long work day yesterday, and all I wanted to do when I got home was walk the furry beasts, so we grabbed them and ran. Well, only a little running, just to see how tired the little one was after 2 1/2 miles.

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It was a lovely temperature. We went down this hill we never go down, but then we had to go up it as well. Funny, the picture does not convey the real upness of this hill at all.

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Then I made dinner and did some stuff to get my printer to work again, which involved a cable, because our internet is super bad at the moment, or maybe it’s just mine on the computer, but the (previously wireless but now wired) printer was refusing to work. And I needed it to work. So it was late when I started ironing.

Cherries…I started with cherries…

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And then I did the rest of the fruit bowl, plus ironed the dirt from yesterday.

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I didn’t get far. I was tired. I didn’t sleep well the night before, plus I walked a lot. So that makes it hard to want to stand and pick out fabrics for a long time late at night. Here’s the rest of the 100s, laid out, ready for me to iron tonight.

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I get into the fleshy bits pretty early on in this quilt. She has a lot of decoration on her, so I have to decide if that will be in flesh color or different colors…probably the latter. This is not a political statement quilt…just a reaction to a poem I wrote years ago. It’s a nice break from the last quilt, which was difficult and in my head in a much different way. Last year at this time, I was doing the gun quilt. That was really difficult.

Anyway, art…make it often and in spite of all the other crap.

*The Killers, All These Things That I’ve Done

Hot Funk, Cool Punk, Even If It’s Old Junk*

September 10, 2018

It was a busy crazy weekend. Quilts were delivered…always good. Went to a show. Pix below. Made some art, watched a movie, graded stuff, dealt with the death of a phone (well, not totally dealt with yet, but hopefully today)…all that. Didn’t sleep well last night. Hours of tossing and turning and hot flashes and busy brain. Feel pretty braindead this morning. Lack of sleep is not the best way to start a week, unfortunately.

So we drove up to the Boehm Gallery at Palomar College for the show That’s What She Said, here with 3 other FIG members under Helen Redman’s work (the amazing woman in the pink scarf). This is here to remind me to put it on the FIG page as well.

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Helen does some amazing work on wood and paper…

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Michelle Montjoy also has work in this show…

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There was no statement for this one, a bunch of marks covering a pillowcase, counting up what? I wanted to know.

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As a mom and a teacher, living today, right now…this was particularly good.

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There were many more.

Also in the show was the Sien Collective, the collaborative work of artists Meagan Shein and Siobhan Arnold. I particularly liked the cyanotypes…this is a uterus on legs.

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And it was as tall as I am. This one is much smaller and unfortunately photographed crooked (there was an issue with lighting)…but very cool.

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Meanwhile, in Springfield, Missouri, the Extreme Fibers show was opening at IdeaXfactory, with two of my pieces and some very interesting works by other artists. The pieces in the back are Fruits of Nature and Storybook Paper Dress by Hannah Klein. Mine is In Deep.

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Then my work Untied, with Big Head by Shen Chen Hsieh, and the dress again in the background by Klein.

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It’s always cool to be invited to be in shows, especially when the work is so varied.

Saturday night, we watched Annihilation, and I cut out the whole quilt. There’s the book I’m reading…book club is Wednesday, and I probably won’t be able to go, but I’m trying to read anyway.

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Sunday was a chaotic day. Then we went to the parentals for dinner. Simba has to be on a leash, because he takes off into the upper regions of the yard and can’t be retrieved. In the far distance, my dad is explaining all the sprinkler issues to Calli…or maybe to the boychild.

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Yes, I was grading. It needed to get done. Then we came home and I did some stuff for school…and then set up for sorting Wonder Under, which I’d really wanted to get done way earlier.

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Then back to the office, where I had to clean up from the last quilt. Lots of trying to organize by color. There’s definitely a space issue in here…always has been.

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It took about an hour to clean everything up. It was late then…but I did start picking the base fabrics…plus the background, that blue at the bottom.

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I didn’t iron all of them though, because it was after midnight and a school night, so that means it’s bed time.

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I have lots more to do on this, obviously. All week? Well, all week, I have meeting after meeting after meeting. Plus back-to-school night, which is exhausting. So I’m going to get some of it done, but I suspect it will take me all week to get ironed. Maybe not. Cutting out by the weekend? Sure. That’s doable, I think.

Kitten’s not sure…

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Meanwhile, I need to go function. Unlike my printer at the moment. It’s not functioning. Or my brain. Annoying. The music is trying to wake me up, but the boychild says it’s fully apparent that I am not functioning well. Only half a cup of tea in me. Definitely still asleep.

*Billy Joel, It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me

Sitting Untouched and Growing Cold*

September 8, 2018

You know how I like to make art every day? Well it isn’t always possible, but I do try to at least do something with fabric and/or thread every day, although I guess technically Wonder Under isn’t fabric, but it’s fabric-related, and same with drawing, damn, I just talked myself out of my own plan. Fuck. Anyway. I try. Something. But some days, especially Fridays and Saturdays, there isn’t time or energy or whatever to let me do that, and most days during the school year, I don’t touch anything art-related until after 9 PM. So yesterday was one of those days, and that’s fine, because it was gaming night, and while I am gaming (no we aren’t freaking done yet even though we killed the Prince of Ziinch holy crap it’s Tzeentch they never showed me his name and now I know why they were pronouncing it so weird or something I don’t even know who he was, but he had feathers and was way smarter than any of us and wouldn’t freaking die, I shot him 3 times and so did everyone else, and now I have all these crazy wounds and flea buboes and I think I have chaos gases surrounding me), like I said WHILE I am gaming, I stitch. Because my Friday brain would otherwise be snoring away, exhausted by the day…damn, the week.

In the aftermath of the game, where I stopped stitching, just before we started putting away 7800 chips, another 450 dice, and all our other crap, each of us sporting a pile of wounds. But no. We’re not done with this campaign. It’s OK…it’s just kind of amazing.

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Slow progress on this. I finally finished the July blocks…at least, I think they’re the July blocks, by finishing the hippo’s ears. The August blocks are the three across with the rhinos, bird, and butterfly. So that’s what I’m working on now…

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Then I think the other three that are randomly not done are the September blocks. Maybe. So there’s the rhinos. They still need more work. But I got most of the flowers done. The blue flowers are complicated as hell…

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They have french knots in slippery rayon, drizzle stitches, outlining with more of that crazy rayon shit. I’m still outlining…

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Petting small furry things…

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The boychild is followed around by animals all day and sometimes he gets annoyed and brings me one or two. This morning, they followed me around, well, the cats don’t really follow unless the little one thinks there’s food and the big one wants pets.

So last night, after gaming, I graded stuff. Because that’s what you do at 11 PM on a Friday. I think I’ve actually made my life easier (eventually) with the new warmups. They take longer to make/plan, but less time to grade. And they’re still writing.

Then I got up this morning and finished packing up quilts, wrote 4 statement pages, found some nails…delivering in about an hour.

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I did NOT cut any of this out. I don’t know when I WILL cut any of this out. Sometime soon, for sure.

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I did get into another show yesterday, Futurecraft at the Boehm Gallery, Palomar College, with Allied Craftsmen, one of the local groups to which I belong. The openings are Thursday, October 11, from 1-3 PM, and Saturday, October 13, from 2-4 PM (that’s the one I’ll be at). The show runs through November 7. There’s also an artists’ talk on Thursday, October 11 from 2-3 PM. I won’t be at that either. I have two pieces in the show…Part-Time Oasis

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And Mammogram

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So that’s one acceptance out of eight entries so far…not bad. Then again, this was the one where I was guaranteed to get one piece in, so not so impressive.

OK, on with quilt delivery, then an art exhibit, then some drinks, then IDK what. Food probably. That would be a good plan. Art will come in eventually (besides the management and delivery of said art).

*Cowboy Junkies, Cold Tea Blues

Try to Catch the Deluge in a Paper Cup*

September 7, 2018

This Friday arrived just in time, although I’m pretty sure I was supposed to get some more shit done yesterday and just blew it off. There’s always tonight…maybe. I did finally get the tracing done last night…whatever exhaustion I felt Tuesday night has strangely gotten better. I could look at my daily step count and maybe account it to that. Seriously, Nida, sit down once in a while. The graph of steps related to evening exhaustion is very telling. Wait until next week…I have a school-related meeting/activity after school every day next week. At least two days, I won’t be home until after 6. It looks exhausting. I better rest up this weekend. And occasionally sit down next week.

That’s amusing really…I have quilts to deliver, an art show, grading, gaming tonight, who knows what else. And I have to get to school early today to discuss moving a kid out of one period into another, because otherwise WWIII is gonna start in there. Not something I’m a fan of…trying to explain to a 12-year-old boy why “pussy” is offensive. No, he didn’t get it. I ramped down the feminist rant. Although I did call a kid on the whole “girls are bossy” shit. No sweetie. We’re just confident and you’re not doing anything, so she’s getting your ass on task. High five the girl off to the side and then explain that yelling at him probably isn’t the most effective way to get him to work. She’ll be someone’s boss some day…a GOOD boss. Me? I check my speech so much more than I used to do when I was younger. Which is good.

So I had my stitching meeting last night…and it took me an hour and a half (about) just to chain stitch around those damn rhinos. One and a half rhinos. With rayon thread. Pissy rayon thread. Such annoying thread…

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I’ll be doing more of that at gaming tonight. I left the stitch book at home by accident, so I had to read through the instructions until I could find something I could do from memory. Chain stitch it is. Not Palestrina…haven’t done a million of them yet. I can do bullions from memory. I can’t do woven picot from memory…couldn’t remember what side to start on…top or bottom. Plus I didn’t know how many spokes, because it was the instructions from March again. DAMN. I don’t carry the whole notebook of instructions around with me, so that’s annoying.

Then I came home and I was still awake (miraculous), so I started tracing. I didn’t have a ton left, maybe 150 pieces. The dogs were gone with the boychild, so Kitten came out to clean her nether regions on my light table…

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She spends a lot of time whacking her tail at me for disturbing her while this happens. I traced the head and the crazy hair and the tree with all its leaves and the cat and the bird…it didn’t take long…maybe a couple of hours?

There’s less than 3 yards of Wonder Under…and it took about 5 hours and 40 minutes to trace all 578 or so pieces (there’s more because I doubled up on about 5 pieces…but not a lot more).

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So now I’m ready to cut them out. I might be able to handle that tonight. Well, the start of it. So I’m a little behind my plan. It’ll be fine. I’m not really expecting to get much done on it this weekend, but cutting it out shouldn’t take more than about 4 hours…so maybe I’ll be ironing by Monday or Tuesday night? I’ll have to think about what I want for the background…I don’t want to buy more fabric, if I can help it. Let me rephrase that. I’d love to buy more fabric…always…but I shouldn’t need to for this part. And I really shouldn’t. The house may be taken over by fabric some day if I don’t watch it.

This is a special portrait of Kitten and her frustrating gecko friend…frustrating in that Kitten is inside and gecko is outside, so much batting and banging of the window occurred.

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There’s a gecko (is it the same one?) on this window most nights. It’s like cat TV. Now I really wanna know if its the same one or not. Need to catch it and mark it so I can tell. Yeah. That’s happening.

OK, off to work, more walking around in circles to manage kid work and behavior, plus all the other good teacher stuff that we do. And then a weekend. Looking forward to that, even though it will include grading 140 warmups and another 140 essays. Trying not to think about that part…

*Crowded House, Don’t Dream It’s Over