Tags: art

new year

I dunno, you?

Yeah, I was going to post more, but yesterday I didn't, like, get up. It's the weather-two-states-off-rheumatiz. And it sucks.

Still reading Conan Doyle, with online annotations and pastiches, and still getting a smile out of the level of analysis that speculates on whether Dr Watson is perhaps making things up. Not telling the whole story, and so forth. Really. It seems to be the most common type of criticism of the stories, at least online (Sherlock Holmes fandom goes back a hundred years). While I am thinking, all the other detectives (except Poe's) are referring to Holmes, who was father of them all, down to CSI and Castle. And all those confusing problems with the timeline of Conan Doyle's stories? I'm thinking he was just not paying very good attention to his continuity, being as it was just popular pulp he was writing while patients for his medical practice were thin on the ground.

Last night (in another window on the forest) I was following a liveblog I found for the City Council meeting concerning the Edgewater hotel renovation, which lasted literally all night, until past 7 a.m., although I did not. A friend of mine from college who is now on the School Board mentioned on her Facebook that she was there, signed up to speak on one of the questions, and ended up getting her chance at like 2:30 in the morning, although I was done well before that. People were getting kinda short with each other by that time I gather. I learned a lot about the project, and remembered why I don't go to meetings anymore.

Is there any way for political culture (local or national) to possibly be just a tad less alienating to those of us who don't want to play that way? Or does it have to be dominated by the blowhard kids you never wanted to hang around with on the playground cause they wouldn't give you the time of day?

Things I found in the basement today: calligraphic piece that just needed a bit of mounting board trimmed off the bottom so it would fit in the frame; red postal stickers that will be just the thing to put on the calendar like stars; laundry basket that had paper files in it; paper files that were very fat because they included a lot of photos and postcards and printed materials from a series of vacations, that I had been thinking should be assembled into books; slide projector and box for it, which are now together and off the floor in a place that I am less likely to lose them again; file basket full of things I started writing; kitty's feather pillow.

How Do I Rule

1. Still the jock of my Yoga for Chronic Pain class. Not practicing a lot, but after my walk I lie down and stretch at least minimally. Is that all it takes? apparently.

2. Still walking every day. Today, warm and sunny, another barefoot walk. Number One Son convinced me to walk more barefoot because, jeez, I have callouses even inside my shoes. As it gets warmer I try every sandal and shoe in my possession to find something that will replace boots (wearing out) and walking shoes (likewise ready for replacement). There is no shoe I can wear without socks that will not give me blisters within a couple of miles. Today I started out in flipflops and took them off after I got past the gravel alley and the coffeeshop. Lots of nice grass out there already. I don't walk as fast, but there is nothing for staying in the moment like bare feet on the ground.

3. Finished e-filing taxes when I got home.

4. At one and the same time, I was reviewing inventories of the calligraphic artwork I've taken to the OddCon art show the last several years, of which I had not kept very good track. That gave me an idea for something to showcase this time, then digging it out one thing led to another and now I have stuff sorted out to hang Friday. Also prospective work for WisCon art show dug out of the files, and paperwork for Balticon (application deadline May 1). After months of doing nothing, this is some kind of improvement.

5. Sat down and read (I'm halfway through Kathy Reichs' "Bones" series which I am taking in order) until bibliofile stopped by to visit. We channeled kitty's thoughts, then cats and dogs living together -- leading (through Ghostbusters apocalyptic reference) to programming prospects on racism, sexism and social class for OddCon and WisCon. White Men in SF: Threat or Menace? It's a, it's a joke, son.

6. Hey! found sculptures on my walk! brought em home.

7. Cut narcissus from the yard for the table.

8. Made a salmon quiche for dinner. With bread and salad. Fruit later. (Fridge still overfull since Number One Son's vacation visit.) Sitting down with television now.
new year

In Our Heads group art show

So we went to an opening of a group show, at the Madison Enterprise Center on Baldwin St, where I saw my neighbor Jo Jensen (also known as Bill's Mom). She rooked mahvelous, very dressed-up-for-official-opening with arty earrings and required eccentric artist persona. I like the playfulness of her work, and that it's also plenty serious if ya want to think about it, art as necessary to life. She does all kinds of stuff, lately mixed-media assemblage, more or less, surrealist and representational. (Maybe that link won't work for you, except on Facebook.)
The other artists were showing abstract swirly watercolors, very colorful, with blocks of words in, only completely separate from the calligraphic kind of work I'm used to;
a lot of very small more or less representational paintings, and this is one of my favorites; and
some pretty cool photographs.
new year

Superfluous Technology

"Twitter is more fun and useful when you access it from your mobile phone." I think not. Phone, rather elderly, for speaking and listening; full keyboard for tap tap tapping out letters and lines and sentenes. Collapse )

But I was nattering about Twitter. Not that I spend a lot of time with that, since I have plenty of other things going on through the laptop which is my usual mode of access, although I can see it might be useful in The Future. I follow a few friends, when I get there, and post very little, which is after all the form, isn't it, posting 140 characters. Or less. It's poetry; publicity; or weblogging, which after all is the original recursive navel-gazing of the intarwebs, Look At What I Found On The Internet. I love the Proust that I am currently reading there -- occasionally, when I get there -- one phrase at a time, in a very artfully edited edition.
new year

An extremely various day.

Making an effort to move back from New Zealand time. I was up, I was reading, I was online. These rainy days are making preparation for the Open Studio harder than it might be, and my geraniums are all frost killed. Went for my walk, with pink umbrella, and took a flyer to the coffee shop.

Along the way I got on the phone to Barb's doctor's office, following up on last week, still trying to get through. This was a Women's Health Clinic, which information made the injuries from when her husband threw her around last winter before he was institutionalized a bit higher on my list of possible factors to discuss. I got two recorded messages, yadda yadda about getting prescription refills and then about protocols for your flu appointments, and then the musical selection that started playing was Clapton's "Tears In Heaven" which was a bit much for me, how could you make this shit up. I was very polite but insistent to the office staff, that I would like to talk to the doctor about giving Barb a referral to the hospice people for assessment. She said the doctor would get back to me. Right.

When I got home it was not nearly time to try calling them back yet, so I lay on the floor and breathed for a bit, did some stretching, and then changed the bulb on the slide projector and got that working again. Just checking: it was a little wacky, but I got it calmed down. Then went downstairs to start piling up boxes and stuff to haul up for the display. I was working on the flyer I had been meaning to do when bibliofile came down after a while with a helpful snack, and showed me how to do some word processing tricks I didn't know. After a couple of Blue Screens of Death, in the course of the day I eventually threw it together the way I wanted it. But first there was a phone call, so I went upstairs to talk to the doctor's office again.

This time it was not the doctor, who seems to make a specialty of avoiding this patient, but Diana, who reports to the doctor and makes a specialty of stonewalling. Since I am not a relative or anything she could tell me nothing, of course, so instead I told her some things. Just checking whether she knew Barb is living alone now and has no one to take care of her. Whether she realizes Barb is starving to death -- now about half the weight she was when she was healthy, many years ago. I allowed as how it didn't seem like Barb has anyone listening to her, since she would quite literally rather die than go to an emergency room again. Most recently at the ER she got an antibiotic, for cellulitis that is complicating the lymphedema she is attempting to care for on her own, but she has trouble keeping it down. So many things are wrong, I'm a bit surprised she has managed to hang on this long. The reason she can't get the referral to hospice is that one is not eligible for hospice until the doctor has pronounced only six months to live. I asked how long she expects a person weighing eighty pounds to last, but of course she couldn't answer that either, and I was trying hard not to sound sarcastic. It is possible that I was emphatic enough that Diana's notes will in fact go to the doctor, and I emphasized that Barbara has severe quality of life issues to manage for the remainder of her life, which the hospice people seemed to understand right off, and all I am asking about is a referral for an assessment. Thanks, and talk to you later, I said.

After that I went and folded clothes furiously for a while. Then I had another little lie down on the floor and breathe.

Before the afternoon light was gone I went out to the garage and surveyed the possible floor layouts for this year. Set up the art fair display panels, with bibliofile's help, arranged an extension cord and moved some stuff around.

Mr S has had a remarkably busy day: moving a boat, fixing a car, and now still off until late for his refresher course and physical test for fire management. I am having some sit down with the television time, although I seem to have missed most of CSI, while bibliofile is baking. One thing at a time.
new year

Early Retirement

So I've been thinking about retirement. What would that mean? Number One Son asked. It would mean I wouldn't have to do any more of those fucking art fairs, was what sprang immediately to mind. So I think after twenty years, it is time after the Art Fair On the Square in July to just say no. No more art fairs. This one, punt.

And since my kid is in college, my career as a Professional Mom is winding down. It also means ditching all the stuff I thought I should have done and haven't, all the careers I forgot to have. Get out of jail free! My ambitions were great, and they are hard to give up, but I'm tired, and I can't do all the everythings that were possible when I was sixteen. If I had a proper day job I could retire on disability, but just being gentle with myself will have to do.

Mr S seems to be having a great time in retirement. Today he puttered around doing professional-level grounds maintenance in the back garden, and then went out to the shop. He says the rule (he made it) for him and his buddy at the shop is, No Production Work. If someone wants them to fabricate several of something, No, just one, and if someone wants them to build another cool thing like the one they did already, No, they've already done it. (The latest was a shiny steel piece to fit a special brake into a motorcycle wheel that was the wrong size for it, very pretty and sculptural and useful too, although I am a little fuzzy on the functional details.)

So I had a long talk with Dr Talk about what is it I want to do in my early retirement, and we decided it is really more of a career change. I am going to Make Books. That is what I have always wanted to do, and everything else has been good practice but a little too unfocussed. Hardly anyone can make a living from it, but I don't need to do that. And it is a very wide field. Anything can be in a book.

I know my friends will be happy to see what I come up with. You may offer me any encouragement you like.
new year

Listed under T for Today

I was having trouble with that very long list of things To Do and feeling like I had done nothing at the end of the day. Sometimes not even the short-list things. It can take me a week to get everything done that can be listed on a two-inch post-it.

So a couple weeks ago, it was on a Monday, I started using the handy Today pages that fit my calender notebook to list the things that I HAD done. It is usually a short list, Collapse )

I don't even have the sewing projects on the big To Do (Someday Maybe) list. I just keep up with the mending. Maybe that is all there is to it.
new year

Random landscape

This is the opened-up cover of my new food diary. I wanted lined paper with skinny lines and what I had on hand was yellow with blue lines (looseleaf paper I trimmed) so I found a piece of paste paper I painted some time ago that looked good with that. I tried a new binding out of Diehn's The Decorated Journal that involves sewing the signatures pamphlet-style directly through the cover, but I don't like how they are lined up because the holes cut through the paper right in a row. This is four signatures (each five sheets, folded making eighty pages) and you can see the tails of the pale green embroidery floss I used to sew them. Glued in pale green ribbon marker between the sheets of the cover. Arches text wove in two layers, so it's a lightweight little cover. Then I put some gilding on the front, the little sun shape, which looks kind of dark in the scan, but it's 23k gold.

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new year


on my walk i found a picket fence in sections leaning against a signpost, on the curb with fenceposts and all, that someone was throwing out. not that the garbage truck would pick it up like that, but still. it was a good five feet tall, nine six-foot sections and eight posts.

this was not lumber strictly speaking since it had been made into something, and there were no odd bits left over, but it was scrap. lumber as a noun used to mean household clutter, like in the story (saki?) "the lumber room", but now lumber means milled wood. (lumber as a verb is a way of moving heavily, something to do with clumsy and cloddish. not to be confused with lumbar which is the lower spine. but i digress.)

i called mr spouse on cellphone, he called zeke who it turned out wanted a garden fence for mrs zeke to keep the deer and bunnies out of her garden. mr s went with truck and loaded it all up, to the delight of the people who were trying to get rid of it, and now it is a fence kit. not scrap.

finding ways to make discarded pieces fit together is most satisfying to me. piecework with fabric. collage. paper pulp from trash. our old grill, that we put on the curb when we found a different old grill, now has new owners cooking out with it two doors down.

this is also how i write, which is more a matter of fitting interesting things together and rearranging until i am pleased than a linear process with a logical conclusion.