Monday, June 26, 2006

My car is dead. Long live my car!

Busy, frustrating ten days, illustrating my love-hate relationship with Iowa.

On yet another !#*$&!% trip back, this one for a family reunion June 17, my car broke down on US20 in the middle of nowhere, where even wads of cash can't get you a tow truck on a Saturday morning. It took three days to get it towed and another two to get a diagnosis: I could spend $2000 on a car worth $450 in working condition, or I could send her to the Wide Open Highway in the Sky. So long, dear Edna.

I was able to borrow my dad's car for a week to return to MKE on the condition I return it this past weekend. I was thoroughly panicked about trying to get a new car, since I have a lot of unpaid bills from prolonged unemployment and my current job is a finite contract, but when I called the bank in the town where I grew up, they not only loaned me the money, they gave a check to my brother two hours later and told me to drop off the paperwork when I drove through on Sunday. Try that in a metro area...

Corey Taylor from the band Slipknot once gave an interview with a trade mag where he explained his love-hate relationship with Iowa. I saved the clipping but I don't know where it is...the gist of it is that "Iowa is a very conformist, normalist culture, and it's just hell on anyone with the least bit of creativity or unusualness. But if we hadn't all suffered there, we might have been well-adjusted kids with pleasant childhoods, and we never would have gone on to write our music. So in a way, we owe a great deal to Iowa." I identified with that statement so much...I just wish I was a better artist so I could express it better.

Or as my friend Jason (born in Fort Dodge) puts it, "Iowa is a great place to be from. And the key word is 'from'."

Anyway. I've lived in Milwaukee for six weeks now, and I've driven back to Iowa five weekends. That shit stops NOW.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Random thoughts

  • The picture from the last post of FUZZ ensconced in fabric would make a cute quilt, if I replaced the Cheefie-Weefies motifs with something I don't hate.
  • I've remembered why it's been three years since I've made a quilt big enough for a human being to wear.
  • I don't like working with one-way geometric designs, either.
  • I really really really wanna do batik this summer.

I cooked a real dinner last night for the first time in about six months--chicken with tomato, artichoke, rosemary, and feta. It was good.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Satan's Little Helper

I hate the Cheefs, but Ron asked me to make him a Cheefs quilt to use now
and be buried in later. I haven't told him that I bought the fabric with my first paycheck.

I'm trying to get it done by Thursday so I can take it to him on Friday, so I'm just using two 58" x 72" lengths for the front and back and quilting with straight lines. Of course, my four-legged roommate had to get in on the action! Eventually I gave him his own fabric to
play with.

Stash enhancement

On my way back yesterday from a short trip to Iowa to visit Ron, I stopped off at Sun Prairie WI to visit the quilt shop there and found they were going out of business because the owner was retiring. I hauled off 25 FQs of cotton lamé (yeah, twist my arm...), two yards off a bolt, and some thread for $31. I felt like I was taking advantage of her, and I'm grumpy that a store with fabrics I can actually use (i.e., not just "country colors") is no longer available.

And at an antique store in Mt. Horeb I got a quart bag of buttons and belt buckles for $3.50, which shocked the cashier because most of the booths were selling quart jars for $20-25. Even subtracting $5 for the jar, that's just ridiculous! Also loaded u
p on thirty-two 80s-colored zippers for $5. I don't know what I'll use them for; I'll probably put them in the box with the vintage trims that I bought at that estate sale in Indianapolis in 1998.

I still haven't been to any local Milwaukee fiber-art or quilt sho
ps. Maybe if I ever get to stay in town for a weekend...

I also dro
pped a whole lot of money at Hobby Lobby in Dubuque on a new cutting mat, non-stick pressing sheet, and magnetic heart-shaped pin dish (from the new Fons and Porter line of accessories).

I'm just buying stuff to disguise the fact that I'm not MAKING anything (and because, well, I have money again!). I haven't even finished un
packing the kitchen to a point I can start dyeing. Sigh. Self-sabotage.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Moved in, unpacked...

All my stuff is out of storage and in my new digs in Glendale, WI. Yesterday after work I set up my sewing table and started sorting through all my UFOs and random art supplies...funny, after several weeks of jonesing for something to play with I couldn't think of anything I wanted to work on at all and spent the night reading a new Jennifer Cruisie novel. :p

Sunday I went to the J-store and saw a sign that said "75% off remnants" and grabbed a bunch of interesting textures, both cotton and synthetic. Turns out the sign meant "75% off original price" and not "75% off marked price" but I was feeling bitchy and literal, so I got a whole bag of goodies for $9.01, including tax. Heavy home dec and sequined prom fabrics, because I already have more cotton prints than I'll ever use... Most interesting is cotton crepe--actual highly twisted threads in a crepe weave, not mere plain weave with wrinkling mercerized in--that tonight I'm scouring with some other stuff to dye this weekend.

DYE! THIS! WEEKEND! Colors to be determined on the spur of the moment. Usage to be determined later. I just want to get my hands dirty again.

Ron's kidneys are beginning to fail, his cancer is spreading to other organs, and he was in a car accident trying to drive out to Milwaukee last weekend--he's a lot sicker than he wants to believe. He doesn't call me when he's in the hospital, so I don't know how his post-crash surgeries went this week. :( I feel bad I can't be there to help him, but when I was living an hour away he wouldn't let me help him, so what could I do if I was still there? Sigh.