Posted in Emotions, Photography, words

Once upon a mood so terrifying…..

I’m back to what passes for normal. I think. I’m calm. I can function and this functioning calm feels stable. That could change in an instant. I had a manic event that lasted for three weeks and became unbearable earlier this week. I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t calm down. I couldn’t function. But I sure wrote a couple doozy stories for my writing class! This one is for an assignment where we had to write a story based on one of the fairy tales we read. I chose to write about Hans Christian Anderson’s The Toad.

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The Very Pissed Off Toad

Once upon a time, there was a woman named Yael who didn’t like closets. Or boxes. Or girdles. Or cleaning the bathroom. Or being told she was inferior.

“Either there’s no difference between men and women – except for plumbing – or I need a sex change operation” said Yael often.

Oh, my. The people of the church were appalled. And terrified.

“What if the girls thought like that?” cried the fragile men.

“Who will make my supper and wash my socks?” cried the lazy men.

“Isn’t it time we had another baby?” cried the misogynous men.

Yael had a husband, but no children.

“You should have a baby!” screamed the terrified women who like to call

themselves girls even past menopause.

“You should have a baby!” screamed the terrified men.

Instead, Yael went to college. She started a week after her 25th birthday and

a week after she got the braces removed from her now straight teeth. Yael studied hard.

“We hired a woman once. She didn’t work out so we don’t hire

women now,” said the asshole in Human Regulations.

Yael fought hard. She didn’t lose, but she didn’t exactly win.

“I didn’t mean anything by that! You’re overly sensitive,” said the

jerk employer who thought he could grab Yael whenever he wanted.

“I don’t know what your problem is,” said the jerk at the New York

State Human Rights Division when Yael tried to file a complaint after being fired by the jerk employer.

Yael still fought hard. She didn’t exactly win, but she didn’t lose,

either.

Yael went to law school. And to court. And to trial. And to the

Supreme Court where the chief judge said, “This is an historic morning! All the attorneys are women and two of the judges are women.”

Say that shit in New York and you’re permanently off the bench before

lunch, thought Yael while she tried to smile without sneering.

Yael continued to fight hard. She didn’t exactly win, but she didn’t

Lose, either.

One day, a peacock jerk came up to Yael and demanded she pay

attention to him. Yael told him to leave her alone. “Hey, you were coming on to me, bitch!”

Yael looked into the peacock jerk’s eyes to hold his attention. She

smiled. She reached into her left pocket, removed the stun gun, pressed it to the peacock jerk’s groin, and pressed the trigger. She did this until the screaming stopped.

Yael won.

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I like to think that bipolar disorder doesn’t define me, but I’m trying to believe the impossible. I can’t cope without proper medication. Even on the best meds I’ve ever had, I still had a three-week episode that effected every part of my life. On the worst day,  I got an email from the College of Arts & Sciences – part of New Mexico State University – asking for art submissions for a symposium on mental health and justice. I’ve been to these things and never once has there been a speaker who is actually mentally ill. Obviously, we’ve got a lot of work to do before we remove the stigma attached to mental illness. If there’s never one who is mentally ill speaking, that says people are convinced that the 26% of the US population with a diagnosed mental illness are too stupid, too crazy, too irrational to be allowed to speak. Remember when women were considered too irrational, too emotional and not smart enough to speak in public? In case you missed it the first time around, now that the US has a Sex Offender in Chief, you can catch it now.

At the very depths of this manic event, I had to stop what I was doing and make art to submit for the symposium. I’ve no illusions about my work being chosen. I needed to say what I had to say.

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I subscribe to the Digital Photography School newsletter. This week, there was an article about photographing cats. Cats refuse to pose, insist on squirming and leaving as soon as they see a camera. Using the suggestions I read about, I got a fairly decent photo of Tinker.

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I had to play a bit with it.

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I’m linking with Nina Marie. You can see her blog and links to other terrific artists  here.

Posted in Photography, Quilts

The cure for boredom? Be a multi-media artist.

I find that the more art toys I play with, the more ideas I have. At the moment, I’m working on photography and a quilt. They seem to feed into each other. This morning, I spent quality time taking one photograph…..

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and seeing the different ways I could play with it using special effects.

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Light leaks.

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Playing with texture and color. I think there’s a quilt in here somewhere.

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An effect called tiny planet. There might be a jewelry design in there.

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Just for fun. The bottom one reminds me of the traditional quilt pattern Tumbling Blocks. The others make me think about what I could do with fabric and shape.

I’ve been working on the bipolar quilt, and I came up with an idea for a series of self portraits. I’m not finished with the bipolar quilt, but I did get the quilt sandwich put together and started doing hand quilting.

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I haven’t quite decided how to quilt the spaces between the leaves, but I’m toying with the notion of quilting leaf outlines using a metallic thread.

Some of the leaves I’ve finished embellishing since I last posted. img_5757img_5755img_5753

The tentative working title is: Assorted Parts of an Unintegrated Whole. Like so much of my work, this quilt is autobiographical.

Last week while we were in Albuquerque, NM, Jim and I met up with Rachael and Amir Roggel. Rachael is part of the International Jewish Quilters list. We had lunch, good conversation and showed each other our latest work. Afterward, Jim and I went to Quilts Ole in Corrales, NM. They had fat quarters on sale. It would have been rude not to buy fat quarters on sale. So I bought some. I was picking out colors for the sky and soil for the for real version of Tree of Life. I’ve been looking at landscape photos on the Digital Photography School Facebook page and paying particular attention to the sky in those photographs. I’m now having ideas for how to do the sky and soil and thinking about changing how I usually put things together.

Once again, I have a surplus of ideas and not enough time to work on all of them.

I’m linking with Nina Marie. Click here to see her work and the work of other terrific artists.