Category Archives: every day life

Grief sculpture, Nazis, and Vote

I’m sharing pictures Maggie sent of the sculpture she mentioned in recent comments. It’s 12 inches long. The artist: Beverly Thomas. Apparently Thomas doesn’t have a website but her gallery info is listed further down. Below is what Maggie, a sculptor in her own right by the way, had to say about the piece.

In other news. I looked out the window at 6:02 and couldn’t see the moon. A total eclipse of the Blood Moon seems portentous on Election Day, wouldn’t you say?

K has gone to the office, so Finn and I will make our loop alone. We did yesterday too because of a business call which gave me the opportunity to listen to the sixth episode of Rachel Maddow’s newest podcast, Ultra. Holy shit. Did you know that in the 40’s there was a Nazi plot to overthrow our government? Not just Nazi sympathizers, including in Congress (which would be shocking enough), but a Nazi spy here on our soil and actual Nazi propaganda from Hitler’s government being distributed through congressional offices to constituents.

My Tuesday morning Indivisible call is cancelled today. I call us The Seven Sisters now by the way. Two of us are out at the polls helping with ballot correction or oversight — one in Georgia and another in New Hampshire. A third has been working the phones for North Carolina. The rest of us have been writing Postcardstovoters. Whatever else happens today, I am proud of these women and honored to call them friends.

78 degrees when I snapped this
Texting with Deb when I shot this. It was warmer HERE than in Georgia!
It just keeps getting more interesting!

Keep the faith! I’d say See you on the other side but results will be a while in coming (she said with a veneer of calm). I remain optimistic.

Marti’s ritual candle. Shared with permission.

A Saturday dog walk

It’s the kind of day when you take your thin cardigan off halfway through your walk. Beautiful, in other words.

I swear dogs are so much smarter than we think. Case in point: passed a beagle who howled in just the right register and with just enough volume to penetrate Beyoncé on ear phones. Oh, hello over there!

I never wear earbuds the whole way because they create a barrier to the world. Before Beyoncé, I briefly sampled a recent Sisters-in-law podcast and whew, switched that off fast. I wouldn’t mind a day of not thinking about Judge Cannon and classified documents.

Do you see the chipmunk?
I love all the directions here
Another arrow in the form of a shadow

A friend who is also an intellectual property lawyer gave me a free and informative rundown on copyright law yesterday. It was excellent timing because of that notice I got on Instagram last week.

I had no idea, for instance, that posting too many words from a book could be problematic (and here I thought I was promoting the author!) I will be more judicious in future, maybe limiting quotes to a short paragraph.

Also “fair use” (a defense against a copyright violation allegation) is broader than I thought. For instance, an image doesn’t necessarily have to be transformed if the artist is using it to make a commentary that differs from the original.

Not making money is a factor, BTW, but not an exemption. I thought it was.

There are also privacy interests apart from copyright issues. Public figures have no privacy interests to protect. So that means, for example, that the recurring Jeremy Irons face in one of my collage series would not run afoul of the actor’s right to privacy. Only the photographer in that case might have a grievance.

Home. Garden having a final flourish
Paper only — border is a photo of a quilt I made. Buildings from a magazine. Barn eave from PCC

The upshot of all this is I want to use more exclusively my own images. The interior magazine image above was originally whole. Yesterday while thinking about all of this, I ripped it in half and oriented one half upside down.

Paper collage discussed above is here doubled exposed and filtered with another quilt I made (below).

Or is it the one below? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. I don’t mind that.

Oh stop now! You’d never know I meant to be very brief here. I have an AWA workshop in a few.

But no discussion of copyright is complete without noting the value of proper attributions: please find some of Deb Lacativa’s extraordinary fabric in quilt above (if you hurry, she has a new batch of vintage, hand-dyed fabrics available). Also, both the nine-patch and woven cloth strips arise out of a long association and class-taking with Jude over at spiritcloth. A real mensch and a maven, she is.

Sitting on the stoop

You know you live in an affluent suburban neighborhood when sitting on the stoop (like now), you hear only tree frogs, cars occasionally passing, and one or two jets going overhead and you declare it HEAVEN.

You know you live in 2022 America, when your battered psyche swings between icy panic, disbelief, and both lazy and full-throttled escapism. Oh, and rage. Did I mention rage? Who knew how important wordle, the spelling bee, crossword and jigsaw puzzles would become to one’s mental health?

This week escapism overlapped with current events in the form of a gripping novel full of political intrigue. Such a page-turner, I devoured 500 pages in two and a half days (see escapism, above).

The very week the Washington Post disclosed that among the stolen papers at Mar-a-Lago was a document revealing the nuclear capabilities of another government, I read the thriller that Hillary Clinton co-authored with Louise Penny.

It’s pretty much ripped from the headlines.

Among the things to love is how the protagonist, a female Secretary of State, makes sweeping critical commentary about the former guy. He was called Eric Dunn, or moron, or corrupt bad actor — you get the idea.

And if you’re a fan of the Three Pines mysteries by Louise Penny (I’m looking at you, Jen), the detour to that Quebec town and the appearance of Chief Inspector Gamache are just added kicks.

I won’t spoil anything here by saying the plot turns on the infiltration of the US government at the highest levels by domestic terrorists, features nuclear bombs, and showcases the sharp wits of a few American politicians.

In other news, yesterday I mailed off two quilts to C. in California. Of my two boys, he’s the bigger gamer, hence the wall-hanging based on a first-person shooter game, Lost Planet. I sent him a vertical landscape as well. For some reason, it’s one of my favorites.

In closing, I’ll share a secret. K is soon making his first international trip in more than two years (he used to be gone about a week a month), and I can’t wait to make pancakes for dinner AT FOUR O’CLOCK!

PS I shouldn’t have said anything! A backyard neighbor is having their house power-washed. All our back windows now closed (and it’s still loud).

PPS Below’s the figure quilt is based on. It’s not the exact magazine ad, couldn’t find that. But you can see outline, weapon, garb, etc.

Dusty west and dry east

On other trips to Los Angeles, it seemed I could not take a bad picture. On this recent trip, however, the landscapes look dusty, uninspired, and ill-composed. I think it was me.

Here on the east coast, it continues to be dry and hot. We missed the scorching heat while visiting my brother, but our plants did not. Through the use of timers and soaker hoses, we were able to preserve a lot, but some astilbe dried to a crisp and several newer shrubs gave up the ghost. I just dug up two of them. I don’t plan to replace them.

I cooked for us all at my brother’s and that was nice but the real contribution of the week was to blow up the solar-powered beach-ball lights that had been sitting in their boxes since Christmas.

It was strange while away to check the daily temps at home and find the Boston area hotter, by five, six, seven degrees sometimes.

It took longer than usual to “arrive” home but here we are. The AC blowing. The dog sighing. Greenery bouncing in a light, hot wind.

Before I sign off, look what Nancy sent me. How nice it was to come home to!

Check out the button! I feel so seen.

Thank you, Ms. Erisman!