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.”

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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.”

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.

Sewing in the new studio

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As you know, I’m enjoying my new studio. I spent a good part of every day of my Christmas break from work there. It was hard to let go of that routine. From now on it will have to be on weeknights and weekends, although I will have to carve out time to do the stuff that needs to be done at home too, I suppose.

It helps to have a great studio-mate!

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Looks like we have a big snowstorm bearing down on us tonight so I’m going to try to scoot by there and pick up a few items to work on at home. There are some pieces that I want to hand stitch on.

We’ll have plenty of firewood, although most of this needs to cure to use next winter. No problem, we have lots of old wood in the back since the last two winters were so mild.

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The travel t-shirt quilt layout is basically this:

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Now I’m stitching together strips of cloth and triangles to have a pile of this “filler” material to choose from to put in between the t-shirt pieces. I hung a sheet from a piece of wooden moulding for my design wall and I fiddle around with pinning pieces up and moving them around.

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I’ve spent more than half of the last month sick with two different bad colds. I don’t recommend it as a diet plan, but I did lose five pounds. You have to take the positive where you can get it these days.

2017 First Day Part II

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So, here is what I’m thinking about for 2017.

There will be a local exhibition of six fiber artists at the Congregational United Church of Christ in Greensboro, NC in January and another Tapestry Weavers South exhibition at Yadkin Cultural Arts Center later this year.

I’m planning to go to the Women’s March on Washington on January 21 with a couple of friends. Quite a few women I know are taking buses to DC. We jumped on reserving a hotel room near the Metro station in Alexandria right away for Saturday night before the rooms sold out and the prices jacked up, and will stay in a cheap hotel about an hour away on Friday night. Now I am shaking in my shoes with anxiety about the whole thing. I don’t even like to go to the movies or concerts because I hate crowds. What the hell was I thinking? But I’m going to go because I think it is important. One of my friends will drive and I’ll take my Dramamine and Xanax for the journey.

Winter/Spring is my busy time at work, so I’m not planning anything then except maybe a trip to Lake Waccamaw around Easter.

May 16 is our 30th anniversary. We are going to celebrate the hard work that went into this by traveling to Ireland and southern England for two weeks. We’ve paid for most of the trip already over the last few months. We’ll stay in Howth (on the harbor near Dublin) for one night on the way and one night on the way back, and most of our time will be spent in London and Cornwall.

Yes, I am a fan of Poldark! But mostly, it is because I love sea cliffs and a large branch of my ancestry is from Cornwall.

In late June, Susanne and I plan to go back to Focus on Book Arts for our third time. Because of the trip to the UK, that is currently the only retreat I’m planning. Unlike the last time, I won’t be making it a bigger trip because I need to do it as cheaply as possible. FOBA arranges for room/board at Pacific University and it is less expensive than other retreats. Also, it has a nice selection of both technical classes and loosey goosey creative classes with nationally known book arts instructors.

In June and July I guess I will be blogging those trips!

Sandy and I will try to make it out to Colorado again before the year is out. We both love it there. We’ll try to visit a new national park if we can. We’ve been to Rocky Mountain, Mesa Verde, and Great Sand Dunes so far in Colorado.

I’ll try to get back to weaving “Cathedral” again. Now that I have the front porch screened in I know that I will enjoy weaving on the porch bug-free.

I expect that my current obsession with weaving cloth strips and fabric piecework (and maybe quilting) will continue. So there will be plenty of retreat time right here in Greensboro.