Sunday, June 01, 2014

working girl

i made a wonky little box for my coasters. my husband liked it but was surprised i felt like they needed to be "corralled."  it's true, i'm not usually a neat freak, but making this little box was a fun experiment.   

i totally got a raise at work this week. which is weird. i mean, i knew that reviews were coming up, and i've been with the company for over 2 1/2 years now; i should know that reviews usually mean at least a tiny bump in pay. and yet, i am always surprised. always.i guess that's a good thing!

i'm putting together stock for the anacortes shipwreck festival! probably not working on that enough. i kind of spend this weekend hanging out around the house, drinking giant beers and watching tv. it was delightful.

this is the first border i'm working on for the round robin quilt.  i am not a huge fan of americana themed things (which is weird, considering how crazy about red i am), but the cool thing about this project is working on stuff you wouldn't ordinarily work on.  i made this friendship braid with the half-hexagon technique, and let me say this: cutting out the damn hexies was a pain in the ass.  next time i make one of these, i'm totally buying a hexie charm pack or something. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

3 years and counting

 this last week was my third wedding anniversary. which sounds weird to say out loud. i kind of feel like D and i hve been married forever, but we haven't. for our anniversary, i bought myself a pretty new wedding band to wear, with his and the kid's first initials on the inside.  it sounds weird that i bought myself a gift (it probably is) but it was actually kind of just a coincidence.  i wanted a band i could wear without my engagement ring, that was a bit thicker than my wedding band.  i just happened to get it a week before our anniversary.
we went to my niece's last weekend and spent time with her and her boyfriend and the baby. it was so nice. we had a barbeque and drank beers and spent some quality time together.  being with them reminds me of how fun bellingham can be! they live close to a sweet little park, and an awesome place to buy beer.  there is something so satisfying about walking around town!  we had a really nice time.  i've been looking forward to summer all spring, but this really made it feel like it was just around the corner.

i'm participating in a round robin quilt with the ladies at work.  the short explanation of a round robin is this; you make a center square, and then pass it on to the next quilter.  they adds a border, and then passes it on. more borders are added, until at the end, everyone has made part of every quilt.  this is my center square! not too wonky or weird, but definitely colorful. i didn't put any restrictions or guidelines on my sheet.  i said i like color and shapes, and if nothing matches, i'll still be super stoked.  that food truck fabric i used as the middle just kills me. i want to make a billion things out of it! 
 

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

braids and baby and britain


i figured out how to do my hair up in milk maid braids. by "figure out" i mean, of course, youtube. hooray youtube!

the best thing about this hairstyle is that while it keeps my hair up and out of the way, it doesn't tire my scalp out. you know how if you wear a ponytail all day, or a bun, by the end of the day your head is like, "shit man, take this thing DOWN?" for whatever reason, these braids don't do that. i love that.  i love it so much. i've been doing my hair like this a lot lately, and i don't see it slowing down any time soon.  for one thing: summer is coming and when it's hot, i hate my hair. for another thing, i'm definitely going through a i-want-to-cut-it-all-off phase.  up and out of the way is just what the hair doctor ordered.
i have already bought like three different fabrics for my sister's new baby quilt.  this is the one i think is winning, though. those little red riding hoods just kill me. plus, the tiny bees match the fabric my sister picked out with my mom for the quilt mom is going to make her. this will come as a huge surprise, but this is an improvised quilt.  i started with some stacks of wonky squares and filler fabric, and am just going to town. i've been listening to a lot of elliott smith while working on it, because it's one of my and my sister's favorite singers.



Friday, May 02, 2014

guild time!


some ladies where i work have a quilting group.  they call it a quilting guild, although there aren't any dues, so i don't know if it's "official." although, to be frank, i don't care if it is or isn't. it's fun to be around people who like to quilt and are making things.  we meet once a month at work and bring things to show or talk about the latest charity quilt.  that's one of the very cool things about the group; they make a charity quilt or two a year, and either give it away or auction it off and donate the proceeds to a group.  i think the next one they are working on is going to be a quilt that is donated to a hospice house.

i keep saying "they" because i'm not so sure about joining.  on one hand, yay, quilters! on the other hand, some of them are kind of uptight.  i really like my weirdo quilts. i like to work without a pattern. i like modern quilts, and improvising as i go. i like to buy fabric with no idea of what it will or won't become. a few of the ladies take very expensive classes and only make quilts with fabrics from the same line and designer, and are very serious about the art and technique of it.  i think all creative people face this; you have painters who prefer realism, and painters who prefer abstract forms and color.

one of the ladies has a physical reaction to my work. a "back up in my chair" reaction.  she spends all of her time looking at my stuff and saying, "no, no, no, i couldn't do this." which is fine, i get it. abstract isn't her thing, heirlooms are. at the same time, i like suggesting she try to loosen up.  she might like it. the same way i might like doing something more traditional. right now i'm just really into color and weirdness, but that doesn't mean that i think the work she does is any lesser than my own. traditional designs are gorgeous, and her quilts are really very beautiful.

there's a snobbery in quilting, though, that i can't get into. it's so hard for me to want to be a part of this thing and wanting to roll my eyes when someone goes on and on about juried shows.  i know that as women our art is often considered "craft," and that things that are useful are often relegated to less than art status. pottery made by men for no reason is art, a lovely water jug made by a woman who uses it daily is craft, for example. what i want is for the quilts i create to be BOTH. useful and beautiful and art.  abstract and homey and make-do. i want it all. i don't want to have to fight to be considered art, and i don't want to argue about why craft is important.  at the same time, i'm probably not carrying as many years of discrimination and disregard as this lady in my group. her work is considered frivolous and in the way, her partner rolls his eyes at the time and expense it costs her.  i have a family and partner who think what i do is amazing. who are supportive and open to new ideas.  i don't have to justify the fabric i buy or the room i use or the time i spend doing what i refer to as "work." i don't have to carve out time for it, i expect it and am given it. it helps that my kids are older and my husband is a hippie. i know not everyone is as lucky. i also think that as women, we internalize what society tells us. that our desires are too much, that our crafts are too distracting from our work, that the way we express our artistic selves is just a hobby. there isn't a lot of value given to women having alone time, to just create without purpose. to play. to explore and make and try new things.

to which i say, as my mother said before me, fuck that noise. let's make quilts and afghans and paintings and design bathrooms that feel like underwater grottoes and gardens that are home for fairies and gnomes. let's not feel bad about taking time to do what we want. let's be kind to ourselves. let's support other women and not make everything into a goddamn competition. life is short. make good stuff.   

Sunday, April 27, 2014

no one is surprised by this



i went to the fabric store to buy white filler fabric.  that's all. i wanted some bleached muslin.  this isn't even everything i walked out with! stupid joann's was having a GIANT sale.  there were so many disgruntled husbands and kids in that store. that part was kind of hilarious. i bought some good blender fabric, some flannels for baby blankets, and i did get three yards of bleached muslin.  so hooray!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

post-post comicon update

oh man, i never updated my blog about comicon! i'm the worst!  at the very least, you have to see this photo of me looking dorky next to ron perlman while my children look fabulous:

my hair literally never does that fucked-up bang thing anywhere unless there is a camera nearby.  also, i am going to be a perpetually short parent.

meeting ron perlman was exactly like when ralphy met santa in a christmas story.  i basically clammed up until we were walking away.  he seemed nice and gracious, though, and i have photographic proof that hellboy lives. what more could i want?

the kids and i had a great time in the city.  we took taxis everywhere, which feels so cosmopolitan. we watched a lot of cartoons on the tv in the hotel.  we spent too much time and money at uwajimaya.  we came home with a billion comics and toys, and the girlchild thought of all the costumes we can make for next year.  she digs the steampunk, and i feel like we will be learning how to make corsets and rayguns this year.  lucky for me, steampunk fashion is friendly toward chub scouts.

see? i'm not always shiny and weird looking! that kid, though, is always cute.

i met bwana spoons like five minutes into walking into the convention.  right after i had said to the girlchild, "yeah, i try not to buy too much on the first day; it's really just a day for looking."  he had some tiny original watercolor and ink paintings, though, and i knew they would go fast.  i've always been a big fan of bwana, and had that dopey star-struck moment.  i actually said to him, "um, i didn't think you would be here." and he said, "yeah, me either.  i got a booth at the last minute."

the boychik and i also discovered, quite happily, skinner.  not only was skinner a nice young man, but his art is amazing and disgusting and wonderful.  i bought the boychik a critical hit shirt because it was boss, and now i wish i had one.  i have a strict rule at comicon though: i buy one shirt.  only one tshirt because let's face it, i have a ton of black tshirts.  this year, i scored and found an anton lavey shirt that my husband LOOOOOVES.  (no, he hates it.) 

it was great to have both kids at the con this year, and i hope i get to take them both for a few mores years to come.  if they ever get too old to go to comicon, i'm going to be sad. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

seedlings

i know it really is that time of year; the danger of frost has passed, and i need to get out in my raised bed garden and plant some stuff.  i like my little garden.  this will be year three (!) of living here, and my third attempt at having a real, honest, veggie garden.  the first year was pretty slapdash; we ripped some azaleas out and plunked in some seeds.  the second year, we put in a three raised beds. two did great, one was too shallow.  this year, my plans are pretty modest. i want to grow some beets (i want to grow a billion beets), some peas, some carrots, and a bushel of kale.  the kale from last year actually wintered over! that stuff is amazing. 

i went to my mom's this year for easter.  i love my in-laws, but they get pretty much every holiday, and to be honest, i did not want to have a jesus-easter. i know, i'm a terrible person. the last holiday at their house had a lot of jesus talk (one of D's brothers is getting back into it, and my father-in-law is also very religious) and it just makes me uncomfortable. i'm not like an angry skeptic/slash/atheist, but i had some bad experiences with people who talked a lot about jesus when i was a kid and the whole thing just makes me cringe.  i never say anything, and don't plan on it, but i spend a lot of time worrying at some point i'll get caught rolling my eyes or being an asshole.  i just wanted to eat my mom's ham and be with my sister's kids and my aunt.  it ended up being a very quiet day, and it was great. 

i spent the whole weekend at mom's, which was very nice.  my relationship with my hometown  suffered after my dad passed away.  i used to love going back, but after he died every trip became a nightmare.  i admit, 9 out of 10 times i still burst into tears at some point driving onto the island. weird little things trip me up; baby cows in fields, his favorite grocery store, random memories.  it's probably worse because i drive his truck now and i banked hundreds of hours in that thing with him traveling to and from school. it still smells like his cigarettes on a hot day.  this is really why i will never part with the truck.