My focus this week is not on the blog, on the show notes, on getting everything cleaned up and dusted off. There is a LOT to do. I could have made a big production of these steps and launched a real "rebirth" of the show ... but the risk is that would have stymied me into never actually getting a show up. So, here in its simplest form is Episode 175. (I do know that iTunes is not showing the CMP. Will work on that.)

Mentioned in this show:

Index-Card-A-Day (ICAD) at Daisy Yellow 

35 Ideas Under $10

Map Art Lab: 52 Exciting Art Explorations in Mapmaking, Imagination, and Travel   by Jill K Berry  and Linden McNeilly

You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination by Katharine Harmon

My Map Book by Sara Fanelli

Valerie Goodwin's fiber art blog

Art Quilt Maps: Capture a Sense of Place with Fiber Collage-A Visual Guide by Valerie Goodwin

Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts: A Stress-Free Journey to Original Design by Rayna Gillman

Temporary direct listen link: Episode 175

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"Coco" has become a semi-frequent guest at our house on our inevitable path to dogdom. Not all of us have been on board with the idea of another addition to our household, although it has been a subject of debate and pining by one for years. Coco is a pretty extraordinary dog, and I think she has swayed those of us who were pretty set against a dog. There are still a number of challenges, and common sense tells me that a dog really is the last thing we need, but as with so many things... it's a very complicated issue. For the moment, we've borrowed Coco now and again.

Today, she tried out her new, and very pink, quilt, a gift from Opal who met Coco last fall during our most recent collaborative visit. Coco is a lucky dog to have an Opal original!

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I am going to pretend, I think, that the New Year starts next week. That may be the only way to manage and not feel guilty that entering the new year, I am not completely on top of things here. Next week, schedules get back to normal, and so "then" maybe I can deal with the New Year!

I did give in and treat myself to a pocket Moleskine Evernote Smart Notebook order from Amazon.com this morning. I spent a long time debating in recent months about different Moleskine calendar formats. (I didn't find that I actually used my full-sized Moleskine weekly paper version last year though.) I really wanted the violet one. But weekly format or daily? Can I limit myself to a page a day? Probably not. Could I fill in the weekly one with a thumbnail sketch a day? Still tempted by that thought.

I haven't ordered anything yet.

But I have been wanting to do some shared folders using Evernote. I am a huge fan of Evernote. (I really should be an Evernote ambassador!) However, you have to pay for the monthly service to use the shared notebooks feature, which is too bad for those of us who can't really do another monthly expense. But by trying the Moleskine, I will also get a trial of the premium version. So, today's impulse purchase makes some kind of New Year's sense!

In poking around, I saw these, and while I am not a Disney/Mickey/Minnie fan, these are just too darn cute.

Has anyone missed me?

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ICAD day 23

A birthday podcast and thoughts on going "daily" in May. Plus, duct tape, Danny Gregory's podcast (from a while back), book reviews, and more.

Featured Podsafe Music:

Intro Clip: Jim Fidler ~ All I Really Wanted [PMN]
Today ~ Amy Dalley
Love Will Rule the World - Joshua Kadison
Someday - Katy Pfaffl
Born to Shine - Joshua Kadison

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Trying something different in May, a spin on daily concepts we have talked about many times. I am curious to see how the month will take shape and am hoping this will rekindle something approximating the kind of "daily" that was, for a while, such a big part of me.

Choosing just one fragment each day is an odd process of distillation. One thing from all the moments in a day, or maybe two. And what is drawn may or may not be the most significant thing. It is just one thing.

Today, determined not to get behind, I tried to decide what to draw for day 7. Many moments vied for attention, all of them equal in the tide of a regular day. Why the moment of making dinner? Why that rather than the forgotten diabetes kit at school or the hours of writing at work or the funny moment in the car with the frisbee (yet again) or the accusation that I work all the time (as justification for whining about playing frisbee in the house) or the hands of gin rummy and the eighty second shower? All have something to do with the story of the day. And yesterday, three trips to the pharmacy probably shaped the day more than a funny comment in the car. Even funnier was that he conveniently forgot that his brother is away for most of the week and so got two cupcakes from the birthday kid, one for himself and one for his brother. Clever!

Choosing only one isolated moment flattens the day. What is the point and purpose? How can I be satisfied with so much of the texture if the days missing?

The juxtaposition of images and days is also interesting to watch as subtexts and sub narratives seem to emerge, intentionally or not. Two images from the early part of the month seem connected but they have no bearing on one another. Only in snapping a photo the first time of the early sketches did I see what might be perceived as cause and effect. It almost derailed me. And I keep trying to fit in enough markers to clarify the storyline. I am hyper aware of the confusion. But, really, the drawings are for me. And I know what is and isn't related.

This is an exercise in paring down as much as it is an exercise in discipline and routine. It is not easy! And it may not be worth repeating. But is is, without a doubt, good practice.

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When I posted earlier this week about 'threes,' I was only halfway serious. I was poking fun at myself and the seemingly unrelated string of odd events all in rapid succession. Maybe it is my way of standing up and roaring to the ether that I am still here, still standing, and still fighting even in the silence, even as untethered and as alone as things feel.

A few hours later, my post felt eerie and prescient, frightening and surreal, and all too-familiar. I had to call 911 for a medical issue, the second time in thirty days. As I quickly pushed everything out of the way to make room for paramedics and listened to the sounds of sirens coming down my street and knowing they were for my house, I knew the 'next' number three was unfolding.

Did I stop and take photos as I stood barefoot in the street at the ambulance door a half hour later or from the window as I listened to the idle of the ambulance still in the street an hour later? No. That was something I thought about even later, the fact that many of you would have chronicled the event, captured the moment of dark and lights and silence and noise and shock and fear. No photo.

Today, standing in the ICU, I snapped a photo and then another. Fodder maybe. Positions and equipment and things that are familiar because they dot the landscape of recent years, but things I would never be able to draw from my head. I looked at those photos to find something to attach with this note. And I couldn't. Instead, the shoes I am in.

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Wonder, whimsy, floor plans, a few creative nudges, a "map" quilt that doesn't know where it is headed, and more. This one is very loosely strung together!

 

Featured Podsafe Music:

Intro Clip: Jim Fidler ~ All I Really Wanted [PMN]
Arthur Lee Land ~ True North [Ariel Publicity]

2013-may1-shadow

 

I fell off a skateboard on Sunday. (Yeah, umm, okay... we could talk about why I was on a skateboard. Not a lot of damage, but still...)

Then on Tuesday, I got rear-ended. (Not a lot of damage but still...)

As I drove home from this morning's pair of school drop-offs, I was thinking through things and wondering if there is still a "third" thing to come. Or maybe it has already happened in the recent span of days. I thought of seeing a coyote loping down the street as I turn up my hill on Friday evening. It took me a minute to process what I was seeing (a really strange, thin-legged, shaggy dog) and come up with "coyote." I thought of the swell of tidal moods over the weekend. Or maybe there is something of significance yet to come, something more than an oddity or minor pulse in the days.

Am I superstitious about such things? Not really. I am pragmatic. I have learned over the last few years that there is no rule of threes. Sometimes things, good or bad or in between, come in dozens or, on the flip side, in nano threads that, taken together, might still be invisible to the naked eye. But today, the thought occurred to me that maybe I should "be careful," that maybe there was still another shoe being thrown my way, a third still to come.

Home again and a few hours into my work morning, there was a sudden rift in the fabric of the day, and I realized that maybe I wasn't looking at the big picture. Maybe the third thing was and is happening, just not a direct hit.

It is hard trying to keep things sorted out when philosophy, belief, faith, and personal mythos all seem to collide or swirl in and out of state.

Don't you think?

I did, however, edit 173 today. A bit more production to make sure all the pieces are hooked up, and it will be available here on the site. It's way overdue. Today is May 1, which makes me hang my head that there was no March release and no April release. Yikes. My good intentions and 'year' plans are being challenged, for sure.

There should be visible stitch lines in a post like this, the threads that hold the little clusters together before the post is posted, the stitches that show the stops and starts, the pauses, the get up and go and come back again that often interrupt and change the content that was unfolding.

I drafted the above, thinking I would snap a phone photo and post from the car either at the first pickup or at the afternoon soccer. I grabbed my things and headed out the door. Sitting, parked on a corner where I have parked a thousand times before but not where I usually park this year, I thought I would play a game of Scrabble in the few minutes before the bell.

Would you believe it that in those three minutes someone rear-ended me again? At low speed, obviously, but pulled straight into me, the crunch of impact jolting me from my fog. Really? I was already on the corner. The last car that should be there. And someone decided to park behind me--and in me.

As my kid came out and decided to skateboard up and down the sidewalk hill a few times, I held my breath and wondered, again... what is coming.

And how many!

I caught sight of my shadow looming in front of me. Seems somehow fitting.

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While I was working in the kitchen the other night, I needed paper towels. Maximizing my efforts, I bundled up a bag of trash and headed down to the garage. When I came back up, ready to resume dinner-making, I realized I had forgotten the paper towels. I gathered up a load of recycling and headed down again. Back up, I stood at the counter again, ready for the same task, and realized I had forgotten the paper towels. Ranting aloud, I took out the under the sink trash, tied it up, and headed down. Up again and, you guessed it, still no paper towels. I went down the final time only to get them and succeeded. Crazy!

I thought about it today when I pulled out the pile if pieces I have been working on. Right now I seem unable to sew during the week, so u am looking to weekends to get seams in. But with six days in between, I have to stop and figure out again what pieces and strips were out and what sizes I need to put here and there to meet target sizes. Unfortunately the nice little piles I make each weekend get pushed aside, wadded into the buckets on the table, and obscured through the course of a week. So this morning, as I took stock if a bunch if in-progress pieces, I pinned on little identifiers so that I know what I need for each. Hopefully it will save time and maximize efforts.

Anyone need a paper towel?