I hope you are well

I haven’t blogged since February!!! To say that this year has been overwhelming would be such an incredible understatement! I spent the first part of this year working on getting divorced. My husband has wanted out since last September (and if I’m honest with myself even earlier…). No matter that I promised “for better or worse, ’til death do us part…”, he is broken, and doesn’t want me anymore. So I’ve been working on finding the strength (and to be honest, the money…) to live my life without him, being the best Mom I can. In the middle of a global pandemic!

I am SO lucky that I have such an amazing support system, so many people to talk to and worth through what I need to work through. And two amazing boys who are dealing with their own disappointments beyond the fact that their parents are splitting up.

Liam’s first year of graduate school was cut short by COVID-19, he actually took a leave of absence from Northwestern because they’re on the quarter system. He went to stay with his Dad, who is 90 minutes away, and was practicing for all these upcoming competitions and orchestra auditions, they’ve all been cancelled.

Logan’s first year at San Francisco Art Institute was not only cut short, but it’s the only one he’ll have; the school was already on shaky financial ground, the pandemic was the final straw, so they are closed. So Logan has been applying to transfer to other art schools, and although he got into all that he applied to, none of them have granted him the tuition exchange scholarship (through my working at the University of Redlands) he had. He will probably end up going to Northern Illinois University, where his Dad is now teaching. They actually have a pretty cool program that may fit him well, and thank goodness tuition is reasonable there becuase there’s no tuition remission program for faculty children until the faculty has worked there for 8 years.

So yeah, it’s been tough all around. Logan’s been home with me since mid-March, Liam came out for a visit in early May and stayed until just a few days ago: they’re both gone now to IL. Andrew bought a house there with bedrooms for everyone, (and more!), so they helped him move. Liam will stay out there until he wants to return to his apartment in Evanston, Logan is visiting for a couple weeks to set up his bedroom and tour NIU as much as he can to get a feel for the place. It was great to have them both for so long, we really enjoy hanging out together. It was especially neat to see the two of them interact, this is the most they’ve been together since Liam started college 5 years ago, as he’s always been gone to summer music programs. They’re great friends, and enjoy clowning around:

But to keep things in perspective: my entire extended family has made it through this pandemic so far with their health intact!

Life is different now in so many ways, both big and small. As Americans we are learning a lot right now, how to treat each other to try to stop the spread of this blasted COVID-19. And hopefully, finally, learn to deal with the horrible cost of slavery that lives on to this day.

Personally, I’m spending a lot of time figuring out how to offer lab classes in a meaningful way this Fall at the University of Redlands. It’s a lot of work, and will occupy the bulk of my time this summer, which ends early as we’re going back to school earlier so that students can travel home for Thanksgiving and stay home until the start of the Spring semester.

Also, no big art shows this year! The one in May was of course cancelled, and I’ve just found out that big show I do each October (Art, for Heaven’s Sake) is cancelled as well. My free motion quilting classes I had scheduled to teach at the Redlands Sewing Center were cancelled as well. I may offer classes there this Fall if I think all the things we have to do that will ensure social distancing would actually work.

In the meantime, I’m running a sale on my online dyeing classes, if you’ve ever wanted to try hand dyeing, now is a good time! 😉

The boys left on Wednesday, and after 2 days of deep cleaning I FINALLY built and hung a design wall in my studio!

I tidied the rest of the studio and hung up some quilts and bags for color:

I also spent some time dyeing:

Monday (aka tomorrow as I’m writing this) I’ll be joining Pokey Bolton (creator of Quilting Arts Magazine and the original Quilting Arts TV host) for an interview on her Instagram Live at 1pm PST. I’ll be showing off the results of what I dyed, and we’ll be talking about all sorts of stuff, I hope you can join us!

I’m really looking forward to returning to regular blogging, and MAKING ART!!!!!!!!!!