Lost Myself and I Am Nowhere to Be Found*

May 16, 2017

There are times when my night-owl tendencies can be detrimental (and yeah, I already know I’m going to die early because I can’t sleep enough)…for instance, when I decide to start ironing after 11 PM and it’s a small quilt and I can pick almost all the flesh fabrics in an hour or so, but then they all need to be ironed to the fabric, and it’s almost 1 AM, and I have to get up and go to work the next day…even better, I have to get up and go to work and have duty before and after school in the rain, plus tutorial, AND it’s the first day of teaching sex ed, so I have to impart the seriousness of school rules and how much trouble you will get in if you Skeet Skeet to the girl across the room (if you don’t know what that means, please, it’s OK, don’t feel bad) or yell out about your peepee (seriously happened) in the middle of class. I really need a full night’s sleep for that shit.

Oh well.

It’s all in the name of art.

I went to the gym. I cooked a dinner that said it should take 20 minutes and it took an hour (I think recipes should have to answer for their inaccurate timing shit). I persuaded the girlchild not to fail a class and finish her essay instead of going to a party (OK, I think she actually persuaded herself…I have no highfalutin ideas of my ability to persuade that child to do anything). I dealt with some paperwork here and there. Oh yeah, I had to bathe a dog’s butt (no, you don’t wanna know). And then I ironed.

So this quilt has one human figure and then five hands. So they each needed a stretch of flesh colors. I often try to pick all the flesh in one go…it’s just easier…

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And this is a small quilt, so first of all, it won’t take long to do that, but also, the whole quilt is flesh. Almost. There’s only like 15 pieces that aren’t flesh. OK. Maybe 25. But not a lot.

I started actually ironing at 12:20, because it’s really dangerous to leave all those little bits of Wonder Under lying out on the fabrics with cats in the house. I like never do that.

But I had no choice…there is no way I could have stayed up another hour, and that’s what it would have taken. So I stacked plastic bins on top of all of it and I’ll have to be really careful tonight when I take them off so they don’t fly all over.

The drawing is hanging up so I can see it. With an unfinished unplanned random head top hanging next to it.

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And the last episode of Supernatural on Netflix…with Kitten watching. Not.

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Most complicated thing to consider: what to watch next? Until the next season pops up.

Anyway, I’ll finish ironing tonight. After surviving all the stuff on the list. Yes, I’m tired. I should remember that tonight. Plus don’t plan to cook new stuff for the first time on the night you go to the gym. And start ironing earlier. And and and. Sometimes dealing with art brain is like dealing with a 2-year-old.

*Sia, Breathe Me


Let’s Put Our Heads Together and Start a New Country Up*

May 15, 2017

Well whatever crazy internet thing that was going on has dissipated. My blog hits are back down to normal. Hello normal! Nice to see you too! I often forget there are people out there reading this (hello boychild! I know where you got that photo you sent to the girlchild!). Mothers’ Day. Sheesh…some holiday taken over by the media folks that messes with my head. It’s hard to have them so far away…and looking at pictures of them, trying to decide what to post, well that doesn’t help. Oh well. Moving on…I did get a long FaceTime call with the girlchild at my parents’ house…

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Wherein she tried to explain the chaos of her living and working situation for the next two-three weeks. She still has one final to finish. Then at least two jobs. And living out of a suitcase for a while.

Here’s the photo I found, from 2004…both their hairs are completely different now. OK, well, hers is similar, minus the dorky barrettes. Ages 7 and 8 about…

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And the girlchild posted this…I am just not going to explain it.

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Just to say, well, the kitchen is still a mess and I have a cow costume in case you ever need to borrow one. (And that’s not my wine.)

Yesterday, I found time to weed for a while…the rains this year have kicked my landscaping butt. I was watched by this bunny for all the time it took me to fill one of those big recycling bins. Yes. One.

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That was about a third of the front yard. I didn’t even try to pick the grasslike stuff. I’m gonna weed whack that part. Sorry bunny (he lives under that deck).

In the house isn’t much better. Kitten jumped up to dust this with her paws. Right? That’s what she’s doing up there? Sigh.

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I had three days to catch up on this. I did finish the hand with one of the days, filling in with stem stitch and doing some cross stitches over the seed stitches below. Then I finished the bush to the right of the hand…only half the leaves were done. Then I did some blue fly and lazy daisy stitches in the pink below the bush.

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Back to filling in empty spaces. Still haven’t hit the halfway mark. Embroidery is relaxing though.

Then I retraced some of the pieces (old Wonder Under sucks…which is why Saturday found me at JoAnns with my 50% off coupon buying a new bolt of the stuff), cut them out, and sorted them. Only three bins.

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So easy peasy. Ironing tonight? One would hope. There’s some cleaning that needs to go on in here, the studio. In fact, that’s often the only thing that gets cleaned…the areas where I make art…the entryway floor so I can lay out quilts…etc. Oh well. I do my best.

Also, one of the shows I entered (notifications haven’t gone out yet), Threads of Resistance, posted all the entered work, because it’s an important exhibit even if all the pieces can’t be in the show. You can see the work here. There’s a ton of work, so there will be a ton of rejections…but the work is all out there for viewing. I’m interested to see how what they pick might differ from what I would pick…how to show all the possibilities of resistance with a clear, consistent show that doesn’t violate copyright. That’s a hard one.

OK…working my butt off today and then coming home to be an artist. Oh wait. I’m always an artist. Obviously not a gardener or a housecleaner. I suck at both.

*REM, Cuyahoga


Sweetness I Was Only Joking*

May 13, 2017

Well. For some reason, lots of people are coming to read the blog. Waving! Hi! As the girlchild says, “What did you do now?” Honestly, I don’t know. I can’t Google myself because there are other things I’ve done that rank much higher on Google, so I can’t find the little stuff any more. Did I have a show open this week? Nope. Nothing new there. I think. One next weekend and the following weekend, and then a couple weeks later. I have pieces traveling…but I don’t think any of them moved this week. So yeah. If you’re here, just let me know why. I wanna know.

Because really, all I’m doing at the moment is mostly survival mode. A lot of people tell me I make tons of work. I am constantly working, it’s true. I think that’s important. I also know it’s easier to do now that the kids are in college and gone most of the time. Not that I totally enjoy that existence…I do miss them, all the time, and would take them back…in fact, one comes home in 10 days. Woo hoo! He’s cringing now. And the other one, I just booked her flight home for a 2-week vacay with the parentals. OK, I’m sure she’ll see friends too. But when you come home after a difficult, emotion-grabbing, exhausting job and you think about what you want to do in the evening, it’s not like I’m gonna sit on the couch with my other and talk. I’m going to work. Even when I have social stuff…because this week I had book club and someone over for dinner and three hours at the vet and gaming, and I still made art every night.

I understand if that’s not for you. If you go to bed way earlier than I do (I suck at sleep). If you hang with humans and be in the moment (I do that…just less than you do). I don’t ever just WATCH TV. I don’t know how. My brain needs multiple stimuli to focus, even to calm. So I give it that. I don’t think that’s gotten better with age. In fact, I know it hasn’t. I’m ramping up more in overdrive as I age. Maybe it’s to make up for their being gone…or maybe this is just where I should have been the whole time and life got in the way. Who knows. And it’s funny, where other people think I’m working nonstop, I’m fully aware of every wasted moment, of the time I spend just sitting there spacing out or reading stupid political articles or answering email or just fucking DELETING emails. Or grading stuff, which is not a waste, but feels like a painfully disproportionate part of my free time.

Anyway. Yeah. I gamed last night. I wasn’t in the mood, but I did it. And I ended up going and getting the Master Pistol of whatever Dwarvenist cool stuff. Because I’m the ballistics expert in the group. Seriously not reality. I stitch during gaming, though, because my brain will otherwise shut off and take a nap, because it’s Friday and I’m exhausted.

I’m working on the bottom part of this twofer block…

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Turns out I totally misread the directions for around the outside of the tree. I don’t think I’m going to fix it. But I might.

Then I came home and started cutting out pieces of Wonder Under…with a conehead dog almost on my lap…first one and then the other.

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I got most of it cut out before I decided I was tired. It was late. The small pile on the far right were separating from the fusible web. That’s the wonder of using the last crap bits of Wonder Under that you can find in the house. They often do that. I need to go buy more.

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I don’t know if I’ll have time to finish that today…hopefully…but I have about 17 other things to either do or get ready to do first. Really. Should. Wake. Up. Earlier. Ugh.

One morning a week I attempt to sleep in. Sometimes it works. Last night, though, I forgot to change the alarm on my phone, so it woke me up for school…and that meant it took a long time to fall back asleep because this little guy heard it.

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He’s learned to use the cone to help him hold the ball. Yes, they both have cones on still. His paw isn’t too bad…hers is a mess. So meds and soakings and cones for all! Woo hoo!

Yeah. I could do without that. Anyway, possibly will be ironing to fabric tomorrow? I’m thinking? Maybe? If I’m efficient. OK, I’m always pretty damn efficient. I should own that. With that, I should go be efficient.

*The Smiths, Bigmouth Strikes Again


Sleep Don’t Visit, So I Choke on Sun*

May 12, 2017

Hello Friday. I appreciate your showing up this morning, albeit a little early. Perhaps you could make sure that you are more quiet in the morning next time, so you don’t wake the puppy up. He barks and wakes me out of a deep and sound sleep, which at my age, is a rare enough thing that you should be much more careful. That said, you’re here, and I am glad. I’m hoping you go quickly, though, at least the daytime part, so I can, well and let’s be honest here, go back to sleep and wake up to Saturday. It must be hard to be Friday, to be so celebrated but basically asked to go away as quickly as possible…or at least get to the dark part of Friday, because it’s much easier to handle.

I spent about 3 hours at the vet yesterday, arriving after the dogs and my ex, to find out that the dogs were significant victims of foxtails. (Not my yard.) Oh yay and the future is fun. Pills for some and liquids for the other (in retrospect, pills might have been easier…), soaking of feetsies (oh my, they love that), and general mayhem with cones and trying to lick and manipulation of the cone zone. I guess I need to learn to shave those paws. Or find a groomer. Yes the right paw is the worst. Poor babies.

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And those claws. Yeesh.

It was significantly late when I got them home. I had these threads in my mailbox, trying to pick an iris color…long story. It will make sense later. The one on the left is out…debating between the other two.

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I have until tomorrow to decide. I think.

More progress on the hand. I did do seed stitch in the lower part of the wrist area and then filled in with some stem stitches. It’s almost all filled in.

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Yeah. It’s strange. What can I say?I’m sure some people would be happier with all flowers, but I was getting sick of them.

Then I traced. Finished it, in fact. It’s small. It has only 290 pieces. It only took a little over 2 hours…

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I was going to start cutting them out last night, but I was way too tired. I actually went to bed before midnight. Twenty-four days of school left. I’ll be gone for two of them. One of them is testing. One is a field trip. One is the last day of school, which is always a bit hellish. We start teaching sex ed early this year…more content…so next week. I don’t feel ready. Oh well.

And then there’s this. Some of you may have seen this.

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I don’t doubt that…it’s just the definition of nice that’s the problem. Some parts of this world we see every day are really pissing me off at the moment. It makes it hard to be NICE. Really. Anyway, I’m hoping to have some energy to cut stuff out tonight, but will also have all the stuff I was supposed to do yesterday and didn’t do. Crap. Oh well. It is Friday.

*Radical Face, Welcome Home


Far from This Opera for Evermore*

May 11, 2017

Somewhere about two months ago or so, I must have run out of Wonder Under, the fusible stuff I use when I make quilts. I’m sure somewhere in my head was a reminder to buy more, a reminder that fell into a back corner of my brain, pushed out by more highly prioritized items, like buy cat food, sleep more than 4 hours a night, and don’t forget to do the laundry. That’s unfortunate, because when I finally made it home yesterday after testing (Day 1 of state-induced hell), a team meeting, a union meeting, AND book club, I was looking for Wonder Under to trace the new piece…and not finding it. Ugh. Argh. Crap.

So I found what I could…

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Which was little bits and pieces and one larger piece. And that larger piece is pretty beat up. But it’s better than nothing, right? It’s not like I have time to go to the hell that is JoAnns for more. I have quilts to pick up from the photographer today, plus apparently I’m going to have to try to fit a vet visit in…I’m pretty sure that’s not gonna work, but both dogs are still sucking on toes even with cones on. I had to involve my ex, the dog whisperer last night, to deal with Mr. BiteyFace because of the cone.

So I will make do with what I have. Despite exhaustion again last night (sure, it’s an every night thing at this point), I traced for almost an hour, until my SIL called to discuss…well…never mind what she wanted to discuss, but it was one of the more amusing phone calls I’ve had lately. Lots of discussion of the shitty jobs we had in college and right out of school, as well, though…which is something to keep in mind as my own kids job hunt. Nobody had a great job out of college. I worked as a temp for at least a year. Shockingly, degrees in art and comparative literature don’t have great job prospects. Things they don’t tell you in college.

Anyway, you can see what I did get traced…I think I’m in the 100s. So another night, probably tonight, I should be done.

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I do have to put on at least one quilt label tonight and figure out hanging hardware for a drop off on Saturday.

I did more hand…almost filled in now. Well, if you ignore that huge space at the bottom. Maybe I’ll fill that with Xs or seed stitch.

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Saturday’s drop off is for this show, opening May 27, 6-9 PM.

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Here’s the other side of the card, featured All Stacked Up in My Head, the piece that needs a label and hanging hardware.

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It’s one of two pieces I’ll have in the show. I won’t be at the opening, but my work will. It has a better social life than I do.

One thing I’m looking forward to today? Kids are done with testing at 12:30 and then we can go OUT to lunch. I know that seems like no big deal, but as a teacher, we never go out to lunch because, well, lunch is 30 minutes long and that includes shooing kids out of the classroom, heating up your food, and peeing for the first time in three hours, so it’s a fast thing, not a leave-work-and-travel thing. First, though, we do need to survive Day 2 of testing, a challenge in itself. Lunch will be well-deserved.

*The White Stripes, Seven-Nation Army


And I Say It’s All Right*

April 5, 2017

So Kitten is sitting on my pile of things that need to be done by a certain time, and this is what SHE thinks…

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Yeah, I’m laughing too. Except in a psychotic stressed-out overwhelmed kind of hysterical way. It’s OK! I’m fine! No worries! Just don’t look too closely at me, or I might break. If she lies on the deadlines, I can’t possibly finish them. Not my fault!

I know at some point I will feel more organized about my trip and the current project and school and life in general (maybe not) and maybe even mellow out about traveling, but I’m not there yet. Last night, we organized camping stuff and went through and figured out which tent and which chairs and then couldn’t find my rubber mallet. Sigh. Seriously? I know it’s here somewhere. I need a Spring cleaning. I don’t have time for a Spring cleaning. I need a Spring cleaning of my brain. It’s fuzzy in there, a bit moldy, and possible spiderwebby. Not good. The mallet is not where I always keep it. And no one else lives here but those furry beasts. Dammit Kitten. Put the mallet back where you found it.

I’ve been told I can bring no grading with me. I want to bring some books, but can’t even focus long enough to figure out which ones. Oh well. I’ll get there. Wherever there is. I really need Spring Break. As always. Every year.

I finished the wings of the bird. What bird, you say? The weird purple and orange bird to the right of the tree. Can’t explain it.

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Then I got ready to sort Wonder Under. There’s only about 700 pieces, so 7 boxes. Not bad.

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All sorted. Less than an hour.

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If I were less tired and discombobulated I would have started moving into the studio with this, but I’ve been really tired lately. Plus I did a bunch of school stuff before I ever got to that point. So I didn’t. I went to bed early…after I spent a short time with these dorks…

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I was combing out all his stupid Pomeranian knots and fleas (which are horrible this year even WITH meds) and Midnight was cleaning his head. Nice cooperative moment.

So tonight? I need to finish writing that exhibit blogpost. I could not process all the photos last night AND write it…not and keep any level of sanity. I really should go to the gym tonight, but I’m freaking out about getting everything done before Saturday, so no. Not doing it. That’s sort of how this whole year has gone…no time for exercise. No time for anything but work work work. We have this science project we’re designing for when we get back from break, and it’s named after some wildlife refuge or something, but I keep calling it the Gorgonzola project. It’s not that. It’s something culturally appropriate and I just can’t remember that shit right now. It sounds like Gorgonzola though.

OK, though, but tonight, I really want to start ironing to fabric. I’m so not going to get it all done before I leave, but I need a chunk of it done. Really. Seriously. I can’t afford to not get a chunk of it done. Seriously, not counting the ironing and cutting stages, I have about 35 hours of work left on this quilt. That means I don’t leave the house much (well, that would be the case anyway I think). I certainly don’t get the yard weeded…then again, that would probably be true anyway. And I’ll still have to grade stuff. Ack. My eyeballs are popping out of my head. Seriously.

*The Beatles, Here Comes the Sun


The Lengths That I Will Go To*

April 4, 2017

Well odds are that I wouldn’t have finished cutting out all the Wonder Under on Sunday night, even if I hadn’t had to finish the girlchild’s financial aid all at the last minute. Because it took me over an hour last night. And yes, I should have gone to bed earlier…what’s new? It’s done…in a little over 4 hours. Not bad. AND I graded…and tried to write a post about a show I’m in that opened last weekend. Still working on that, because I need more photos from the people who went. Tonight hopefully.

Yesterday was a 2-hour staff meeting. I wish I could say it was full of useful information, but honestly, the first part was stuff I knew and was kind of rushed. They gave us activities but then didn’t talk about them or let us do them. It was weird. The second half, again, might have been useful if it were concrete and not in some dream world where you don’t need to learn math if you’re not going to use it. Huh. I have had a hard time with staff meetings and professional development this year. I’d like to be able to test out of the stuff I already know. I don’t have time to waste. I hate wasting time. It drives me nuts. Next week’s trip, the worst part is the whole day I lose just to getting up to the area where I wanna be. Long drive. Ugh. Anyway. Over the years, I’ve tried a variety of things to keep me from falling asleep in PD/staff meetings, and drawing has always been the number 1 favorite.

This was done in my Rocketbook, and then scanned. I even emailed it to the coworker sitting next to me. He wants to color it.

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It disappeared the left part of the tree root…I think it’s because it’s too close to the QR code. But it turns out pretty good, I think…blacker than the pen I’m actually using. Interesting. I wish the book itself were more sturdy, the covers. It wouldn’t hold up in my bag for a long period of time.

So then I speed graded for a few hours…there’s Kitten hiding behind the monitor.

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I finished one full assignment and the bits and pieces of another one. Six to go. I think. Banging them out. Don’t want a ton of stuff for over break.

Then I headed out for the couch…Simba wanted a belly rub. OK. I can do that.

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And then worked on this…yellow straight and fly stitches around the red flowers at the bottom, then filled the ‘o’ in Prosper with French knots and did some other flower stitches in that area to finish the thread off.

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And then I stayed up too late to finish trimming all of this.

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That’s a whole quilt on the right. Can’t you tell? Tonight, I’ll sort the pieces and clean up in here from the last quilt, and then hopefully start ironing. There’s no way I’ll finish ironing before I leave, but I can get a good start and maybe take the cutting part with me. I’ve done that before. It’s easy stuff to do in the car or sitting in a hotel room. Not that I expect to do much of the latter. We’ll see. Certainly, when I get back, I need to iron everything down (10 hours), stitch it down (5 hours), sandwich it together (1.5 hours), quilt it (12 hours), and bind it (6 hours) in like 7 days. So yeah. That’s a little crazy. Sure, it’ll be vacation, so I could actually pull it off, but I won’t get anything else done. Sigh. Crazy schedule this year.

*REM, Losing My Religion