tapestry

01-25-21

Taking a break to write a post and to remind myself that I am not my job, and of that second agreement:

Don’t take anything personally.

“Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

Often I am frustrated with one of the people I support as an admin. This is the sixth year that I’ve been his support admin in two different capacities. He is a smart man, and personally we get along, but he isn’t good at working as a team. I happen to be very, very good at what I do so it is quite irritating to ask questions and hear that there have been email discussions that I haven’t been copied on. I really need to at least be informed in order to do my job well.

I guess a silver lining might be this: if he (and others) really think that there is no need for me to know a lot of what they discuss, it won’t be a problem for them when I retire in two years. HA

The other good thing is that the people that I actually report to as my supervisors are well aware of the problem, so it doesn’t reflect on me badly. And I’m still managing to do a good job despite that.

Now, a photo of the tapestry weaving yesterday. I’m finding that my back is not at all happy about this “new” activity, but I have a goal to finish this in time to exhibit in the Tapestry Weavers South exhibit this June. I’ll do a little more after my work day is done – at least fifteen minutes.

coffee pot posts, Coronavirus Chronicles, depression/anxiety, tapestry, weaving

Sunday morning coffee pot post

Yesterday ended up being a very good day. I felt some sense of normalcy coming back to my brain. Sandy was very caring, and encouraged me to go back to my tapestry loom. My back muscles aren’t in great shape right now, so when I took a break he gave me a massage. I’m going to set a timer today so that I have to get up every 10-15 minutes and turn it off. It is too easy to get wrapped up in the weaving and then say I’ll take a break after this, oh, maybe after this…next thing you know your back is locking up in the sitting forward position.

As far as the tapestry, “Cathedral,” goes, this is one that I’ve been working on for five years, with many breaks that have sometimes gone for months. The breaks started with my neck issues, which are now nearly non-existent, and then depression. The weaving is beautiful but what people don’t see is that the tension is terrible and there will be big problems in getting it blocked to lay flat when I cut it off. I haven’t done this before because I’m usually pretty good with even tension and straight edges, so thinking about it can make me really anxious and obsessive and shut me down. Will all this work be a waste of time? Anyway, the photo is a detail of the area I wove yesterday.

When I went back to it this time, I reminded myself that this is the section that is mostly in shadow, and I don’t need to worry over the details so much. I am using a very painterly approach to this tapestry, blending 2-3 colors of fine wool yarns to create depth of color. Some of the yarns are handspun naturally dyed samples that someone gave me long ago. I’m pretty much through with them. The round metal circles are rare earth magnets that hold the canvas with the cartoon to the back of the tapestry.

Sandy made blueberry pancakes for lunch and we got Wendy’s for dinner through the drive through window after picking up my prescription from the Walgreens drive through window. As much as I’d like to boycott Wendy’s, I guess it is just not happening right now. It’s the easiest choice we have for food when we are depressed and tired. I like their chicken pecan apple salad.

Last week’s installing of the pull out baskets in the lower cabinets went well. I didn’t screw them down to the bottom of the cabinets because once the weight of the cans and storage containers was in them they worked just fine without that. If I eventually use them for lighter weight storage I will have to attach them.

It had the further purpose of me pulling everything out, cleaning, reorganizing, and throwing the cardboard trays I had been attempting to use in the recycling bin. I can see what I need to reorder more easily. I’m putting things that I don’t use in boxes to either go to Goodwill, Reconsidered Goods, or the lake house. As I finish a book, it goes in the box to take to the used book store, the book bus, or I walk it around the block to the Little Free Library. (The problem with that is that I usually find something to replace it!) Little by little, room by room, I’m getting this place cleaner.

Pablocito is sneezing a lot so we are going to tackle the dust in the laundry room where he spends much of his time on a cushion on top of a cabinet, watching the birds and squirrels and napping. It is one of those rooms that you suddenly realize that there is a coating of thick dust on every door and window sill and lintel, and there are a lot of windows in that room. Surely he is not allergic to cat hair but it makes sense that the dryer lint could be the culprit.

art, collage, Coronavirus Chronicles, tapestry, weaving

Afternoon in the studio

^Detail, “Cathedral”

I have managed to get started in the studio again – there’s nothing that I am over excited about happening BUT I have actually started weaving on Cathedral again and glued some stuff down for collage and doodled a pretty good page during a long Zoom meeting.

As far as Cathedral goes, I finally worked out why I couldn’t weave it for so long. The tension is terrible…so uneven and I tried warping and rewarping this sucker for a solid month before I finally said fuck it and started weaving it anyway. So, after all this time and work I became terrified because it is definitely going to have puckers and and crazy tension problems when it comes off the loom, and I just couldn’t bear to think about it. I was already suffering from severe depression and that just added to the pain.

But all that work and time is wasted if I DON’T finish weaving it, and once I get it off the loom I can warp it with a much shorter warp (at the time I was warping for multiple tapestries – big mistake) and begin another weaving. Now the plan is to be less persnickety about the details and get it to a place that is even on the top and finish it as a smaller tapestry.

^Lighting makes a big difference in how we perceive color. I chose the cool lighting on the left.

Today we are getting some remnants of Hurricane Laura moving through but it’s not bad at all. Sandy and I have decided to go to Haw River State Park tomorrow for our adventure since the weather report is a bit better and I don’t want to stop the studio energy.

I do need to remember to take frequent breaks for my back and neck and shoulders. Yesterday my massage therapy studio emailed to say that they will be re-opening soon for existing customers and I hope that my therapist will continue to work there. I have been seeing her for about four years almost every month until after January. I canceled my February appointment due to bad allergies and at the time we didn’t know that they would be shut down so long.

The good thing about working from home most of the time is that my physical problems are much much better, which leads me to believe that I don’t get up and move enough when I am in my office. Here I can take my laptop to the porch, or to the sofa, or to the bedroom, or answer email on my phone. I get up and play with the cats, take breaks lying down if my back or neck hurts. Teleworking has been good for me.

Not doing too well mentally, though. I brood a lot in my bedroom, play games to numb my brain. Read a little. I can’t watch TV or videos for long – I wish I knew why. It would help to have that distraction and to be able to focus on online workshops.

Okay, break over. Back to Cathedral. I am accepting that it won’t be getting into any shows for technical skill, but it is worth finishing, puckers and all. Who knows, maybe I will be surprised.

Coronavirus Chronicles, tapestry

Zoom Thursday

Like everybody else confined to home, I am having a tough time remembering what day of the week it is. I know today is Thursday because I have a Zoom invite to a meeting with my co-workers.

Work emails that I have been accidentally copied on show me how dysfunctional certain other departments are. Our department rocks.

Anyway, while I wait for the Zoom meeting to begin, here’s what I’ve been doing: a whole lot of nothin’. I did send a photo of my caterpillar tapestry to ATA for the (now) online small-format tapestry exhibition Renditions, at the last minute because I can’t remember much of anything these days unless I have it on a to-do list. I have some collages calling my name, but I haven’t managed to get up the motivation.

Budget cuts at work are gonna be brutal. Having to wait for other departments to make decisions until I can do what I need to do is excruciating to me. I’m not a procrastinator when it comes to work – I like to do my part and get it over with.

A lot of departments also like for me to do their part.

Sleep has eluded me for the past two nights. Neck pain has increased since I haven’t had massage therapy since February and the ergonomics of my home office space suck. Right now I am sitting against pillows in bed on my laptop. I have a fabric pack with rice that I microwave that works well for a heat pack, and I have a lot of acetaminophen and ibuprofen on hand. I’m trying to lay off the xanax as much as possible.

I am not feeling panic. I felt panic after Trump was elected. Then we began mentally preparing for chaos. I just didn’t anticipate it taking this form. If one of us gets sick in the next few weeks, I might feel panic. So we are staying home.

We have decided to stop going out for take-out food and supplies, even for curbside pick-up. I ordered a few more things from our local Costco delivery as opposed to Costco online. We’ll see how that goes. I ordered more of the cat food that only Petsmart carries that the boys like, although they have started, very grudgingly, eating the prescription cat food from Chewy that I ordered several months ago. I put a little of it on one side of the bowl and if they are still hungry after eating the food that they like, they now eat it instead of leaving it in the bowl. Pablocito begs for dry food as a treat! I have to give it to him when Diego is asleep.

Later today I will place an order to Deep Roots Market for fresh food. They started a bike delivery service and they made the news!

I realize that the people who pull the items and make the deliveries still put us at risk by them touching them, but we’re doing what we can.

I will have to take Diego to the vet for a follow-up on his stitches next Tuesday though. I hope that they are following social distancing better than they were the day of his surgery.

Okay, enough noodling around on the blog. Time to get back to work.

tapestry

Super Tuesday and a caterpillar

I started hemming the caterpillar tapestry on Sunday and noticed that it wasn’t laying flat and was ready to steam and block it when it occurred to me that it didn’t need to be and should not be flat and rectangular! I am so used to working in 2-D and in rectangular shapes that I had not considered otherwise. It does need to hang for this show (the non-juried small tapestry show at Convergence this summer) in a particular way, so I am stuffing it lightly in the middle and leaving it flat on each end. When I get it back I may take off the backing and stuff it more.

Spring break means that it is very quiet at work, giving my nerves a big break in spite of our offices still being open. I got outside for a little while yesterday and did a bit of yard clean-up. We still need to get some outside help with all the wood in the yard. I had hired our next-door neighbor to help and he volunteered to split wood. Said he loved doing it, then he smashed his finger and broke it. Somehow I need to deal with all this wood. Now I wish that I had let the tree guy take it all away. I was doing him a favor and instead he left it in chunks too big for us to handle…he turned out to be a real jerk. Corey split enough for us to use all winter and it burns very well in our wood stove. I am going to text the guy who dug my garden bed and hugelkultur bed and see if he wants it.

I panicked a bit this weekend when I heard that my friend’s husband is in critical condition with coronavirus. Her mother had pneumonia and was at a nursing home facility recovering, then her husband had pneumonia a few days later. Then he was tested and the whole thing was hitting the news and on Monday the Washington Post reported that one of the two people in critical condition had died. When it affects someone you know and love, shit suddenly gets real. I’ve tried not to pester her with texts but we are still playing Words with Friends and I’ve checked her daughter’s Facebook page and so he must not be any worse.

I realize that it is not nearly as important in the larger scheme of the world, but I can’t help but worry about how the pandemic will affect my Ireland trip, which is less than four months away. I bought travel insurance for the flight but not the art retreat, which was very expensive and I had to pay it in cash from my savings. So I don’t even have it on my credit card. It’s paid for, but what happens if I can’t get there and she doesn’t cancel it? I had it in my head that I had covered it with the travel insurance for the flight, but I didn’t. I’m waiting for my insurance agent to call me back with information. Oh, me.

We went to Oden Brewing last night and played rummy and then bingo. We have become such an old couple! It’s been nice to have it so close by. They are going to host an Irish music jam twice a month. Now if they would just brew another malty stout or porter that isn’t high alcohol, it would be perfect.

If you haven’t voted yet, please do so! Every vote does count, no matter what you’ve heard. Even if your candidate has dropped out, the numbers say something about how you would like for our government to work. And be nice to people who aren’t voting the way you are. Everybody is sick of the sniping.