cloth weaving, critters, political activism, Slow cloth, Upcycling, weaving

Disengaged

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I guess it was inevitable that I would get burned out on outrage. I’m still keeping up with news until I get my mojo back though. Another bad cold did not help matters, but I got over this one fairly quickly. The next major political action I intend to take is the People’s Climate Mobilization in D.C. on April 29, 2017. I’m taking Amtrak up there early in the morning and a friend will meet me there, then I’m coming back on Amtrak late that afternoon. No overnight stay this time.

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Work is busy, and a lot seems to be going on at high levels behind the scenes, which is disturbing for us who actually implement the policies. I’m grateful for my job, and I love my work. I hope that I will be able to keep it until I am at least 60 years old, when I will be able to receive most of my state pension if I leave the university. I would like to retire there, but not if I am not in the same department, which is one of the best places to work in the university. Unfortunately a lot depends on state politics here.

Craving studio time. Weekends are the only time I’ve made it over here so far this year. Right now I am weaving together more subtle checkerboard squares to mount shirt pockets on, for the blanket. Also I’m sewing random bits together to make new cloth, with no real plan on how to use them. Maybe they will go on the back of the blanket. It is curious that my passion has moved to sewing, considering the mental blocks I had to overcome. I wish very much that I could sew by hand, but at some point I accepted that my tendinitis is just not going to allow it except in very small amounts.

My problem is definitely not artist’s block now. It is time management and energy flow. I have a billion ideas. I want to get back to making paper and books again. And plant my garden. And plant a garden here at the studio house. Too many things!!!

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The weather was beautiful week before last and I moved the Shannock loom out to the front porch for one day. Looking forward to weaving on the porch more often now that I have it screened with a ceiling fan and electricity. Susanne, Marianne, and I enjoyed the porch at the studio house too.

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Registration for Focus on Book Arts opens tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. PST. Susanne and I definitely plan to go, and I think that Judy will come for part of it. This will be our third time going to this conference at Pacific University in Forest Grove. We’ll stay on campus because neither of us will have a lot of spare cash since we both are going to Europe on separate trips this spring. I have a voucher from Southwest from volunteering to give up my seat last September that will pay for my airfare or I wouldn’t even be able to consider it. The dilemma is what class(es) to take during the first three days? I know that I want Leighanna Light’s class on the weekend. I had thought to take a more technical class on leather binding for the first three days, but my heart says no. I thought about Jill Berry’s class, but I’d like to take at least one class from someone I haven’t studied (or played, depending on how you look at it!) with before. Now I’m thinking about the Chinese thread book class. That seems interesting.

Now, for your amusement, this is Diego versus the rug. Trust me, it went on much, much longer than these few seconds. Click through for the video.

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I guess the rug won this round.

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art, coffee pot posts, fiber art, political activism, Quilting, Slow cloth

Weekend Update

Well, it’s been a week, eh?

I can’t say yet that I am responding in a healthy way to the stress and horror of the real world, but I feel rested this weekend, finally. I did actually cook dinner and do laundry on Thursday night. I spent this morning drinking coffee at the house, grocery shopping at Deep Roots, and now I’m back at the studio for the first time since Jan. 16. So far, so good.

Other than going to the Women’s March, part of my problem is that I started having spells of vertigo on Jan. 16, so I couldn’t drive and since they happened later in the day/evening I couldn’t get much done at night. The doctor couldn’t find anything wrong so he figured that it was an inner ear problem from all that head congestion I’ve had in the past 6-7 weeks. The last spell I had was on Sunday, and it was mild, so I think that I’m past it. I sure hope so. I was starting to feel like Louise II from Arrested Development.

To catch up…I decided that while my filler strips for the t-shirt quilt were quite beautiful, they just weren’t right for it. I needed to honor the t-shirt spirit of the piece. So despite what the online teacher said, I’m going to use the rest of the t-shirts to fill in the spaces. And if it screws it up, so be it. It was getting too precious and this is a learning piece for me. Plus I found an old cotton knit hippie piecework jacket that I had squirreled away that will be perfect.

Although I will use these remnants and fat quarters and charm squares of new cotton fabric and enjoy playing with them, there is a comfort for me in re-using old clothes. I want to continue to focus on that. I’ve started digging out Sandy’s old khaki pants to use to join the cloth woven shirt panels.

2017-01-15_10-50-16T-shirt quilt evolution.

I noticed that I really liked the pattern of the wrinkles in this piece of cloth so I decided to do a wabi-sabi thing and call it “anti-ironing.”

Anti-ironing

When it starts getting warmer, I will move my tapestry loom out onto my front porch and weave again. That will feel good.

Politics wise, I plan to march at the 11th Annual Moral March in Raleigh on February 11 (mental and physical health permitting) and I’ve bought a train ticket to go to the People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C. on April 29. I am encouraged by the people rising up. #RESIST

Here is a link to an article that really helped me and others this week: How to #StayOutraged Without Losing Your Mind. I am choosing to focus on environmental issues and civil rights, although I know it is all important and interconnected. Hopefully this tactic will help me stay engaged without being overwhelmed, but I realize that I will have to take mental health breaks. As my favorite therapist Stuart Smalley says, “And that’s okay.”

D.C., political activism

Women’s March on Washington

A selection of photos from the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. For more photos, click a photo and it will take you to my Flickr site.

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^^^Making the posters the night before.

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^^^Waiting to get on the Metro in Alexandria. It ended up being pretty awful. We were crushed after the second or third stop and got off the train at a station where they were managing the crowds better. The way back was better.

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^^^Trying to get out of the Metro at L’Enfant Plaza.

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^^^Where we ended up before we crossed Independence Ave., found a bathroom in the Freer-Sackler Gallery, then joined the march on the other side of it. There were people everywhere and we couldn’t see past the people around us and so everyone just moved toward the White House.

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^^^My favorite sign (so many to choose from!) was “Free Tic-Tacs if You Can Define Consent.”

We took Carty to the Air and Space Museum for an hour then had a much better Metro experience on the way back.

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^^^After we checked out of the hotel on Sunday we rode the Metro back and went to the Museum of the American Indian and the Freer-Sackler Gallery to see the “Art of the Qur’an” exhibit. Beautiful manuscripts! I know manuscripts and they were the BEST manuscripts! One of them was HUGE!

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^^^Some people came back out and left their signs on Sunday.

coffee pot posts, political activism

Random thoughts at lunchtime

May City Market

Wow – this may be the craziest spam comment I’ve ever gotten: “I looked inside portable vaporizer and I was in a perfectly and there
is no disturbance due to the future king. I adore, but, like wind, during the
upward motion. You can follow any responses to the Earth’s magnetic field,
we were talking about. I can’tjust sleep with noisiest sheep ever in a corner and talk to anyone,
portable vaporizer they might be turned on and or enhanced.
So, it’s when the pull from behind portable vaporizer the store.
There is less and less opulence.”

What do you suppose he was selling? 😀 Well, I hope that you’ll be able to find a portable vaporizer if your search brings you here, but I ain’t selling them, sorry. However, that is close to poetry.

I think of so many things to put on this blog but I just can’t get inspired enough to type on my tiny Kindle keyboard and my laptop is dead. Then by the time I get to use a real keyboard, the thoughts have vanished.

One thing is that I miss the mulberry tree on our street. It was cut down last year just before the berries were ripe, for no reason that I can figure out, in the church parking lot redo. There were no parking spaces put down where the mulberry tree was. Maybe they didn’t like the birds bombing their cars with purple splats? Oh boy, maybe I will let all the pokeweed grow to fruit stage for the birds (and dyepot) this year. I figured out something after picking mulberries from the trees along the creek at the Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market on Saturday. Mulberries are delicious eaten straight off the tree, but they lose their magic when you put them in a bag to eat later. I miss showing up for work in June with mulberry stains all over my hands.

I’m getting all jiggley with anticipation for my workshop at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in two weeks. I went to Value Village thrift store on the last Wednesday of May (half-price on everything) in search of natural fabrics to dye in the indigo pot. I scored with a new-looking white cotton muslin sheet set and 6 shirts of cotton, linen, and silk with a grand total of about $12.50. The problem is that I have to wash them so many times in Charlie’s Soap to get the perfumes out. I understand why they use such strong detergent to wash used items but jeez Louise the scent was killing me! The third wash in hot water finally made it tolerable but I would love it if anyone had some tips for me to solve this problem. I am terribly allergic to many fragrances.

About to head out to my first Moral Monday rally of the year in Raleigh. I’d promise photos but I think that my battery is almost dead. I don’t volunteer for civil disobedience but every single body there in support of our civil rights and against the devastating extremist legislation coming out of the Tea Party government in our state capitol makes a difference, especially now that they have passed new laws to try to take away our First Amendment rights.

Feeling pretty good and I’ll have both an art and a Back Forty update up within the week.

political activism

Moral Monday, July 1, 2013

Moral Monday, July 1, 2013

Moral Monday, July 1, 2013

I almost skipped Moral Monday because of the torrential rains we’ve had here in North Carolina, but Deb convinced me at the last minute to go. It was muddy, but it didn’t rain much until we were on our way home. We didn’t stay as long this time. There will be a tenth wave of Moral Monday protests on July 8. I don’t know how long the NAACP will continue these but it keeps growing. There are protests on Wednesdays around 1 p.m. as well.

On July 1, 2013, long-term unemployment benefits were cut for North Carolina citizens. We have the fifth highest unemployment rate in the nation. We are the only state who refused an extension of federal unemployment benefits. 71,000 lost their benefits yesterday. I have a special sympathy with the unemployed. I understand the desperation and depression of long-term unemployment and underemployment. With state cuts adding more to the unemployed, and fewer jobs available, this is simply another way to balance our budget on the backs of the poor. It boggles my mind that the unemployed are demonized and punished in this society which claims to be overtly Christian in outlook.

Here are photos and links to a couple of videos I took with my trusty little point and shoot Nikon.

Moral Monday, July 1, 2013

Moral Monday, July 1, 2013

Moral Monday, July 1, 2013

The first is in the middle of the crowd during the outside rally singing “Lean on Me.”

The second begins with Rev. Barber exhorting the crowd and then shows the people who volunteered to be arrested for civil disobedience march through the crowd of supporters on their way to the Legislative Building.