Late Nights in My Head

January 24, 2015

It is apparently a Nirvana morning…which is definitely better than the Cheap Trick from yesterday, which haunted me all fucking Friday. It didn’t help that I spent most of the day hacking student accounts (they do give us the passwords for a reason) and trying to track down their projects so their grades weren’t absolutely horrendous…just sort of horrendous (Student: “I know we did a couple of minutes of video!” Me: “I have 36 seconds.” Student: shocked look). My brain needed a huge dose of sugar in the AM (which I did not give it) and by the end of the day, was just whimpering and refusing to cook dinner or even get off the couch. It’s OK, the pizza guy remembers me. He’s this old guy who’s scared of the dog who died almost two years ago, so he always calls from the driveway so I can put her somewhere safe (Um. Dude. She’s in a box in my bedroom. Yeah. I know that’s weird, but whatever.). And then he tells me he missed me. Nice guy.

Anyway, so I started by blasting music this morning because girlchild was up early for a college interview. She’s leaving an hour and a half early, because she IS like me in some ways. I’d rather be there and know where I need to be and sit in the car and read for an hour than be rushing around trying to find the place. Boychild? Not so much. I think he is like his dad in that he has faith that it will take X minutes to get there and it always takes X minutes. In my case, I know X is gonna get fucked by Y and Z and then beat up in the parking lot by a gang of punctuation marks. And there’s some things you just don’t want to be late for…

Anyway, I’m finally trusting Pandora to not fuck with my head any more (and there are so many variables to why that works right now, I can’t even tell you…there ARE some things I don’t write about to the whole world, believe it or not), so I have a soundtrack this morning while I’m trying to collect my thoughts after staying up Way Too Late. I don’t know why I do that. I really don’t. I think I hate lying in bed and not being able to sleep, so I just stay up until the only thing I can do when I get into bed is pass out. Last night, I started working on grades at 6:30 while waiting for the pizza guy (OK, really, I started at the soccer game), and I was done at 10:45. It really doesn’t usually take that long, but the server for the grade program was freakin’ slow. It kept hanging, so I would log out and log back in to get it to respond. There was a lot of wait time. But it’s done. And I even figured out how to make it use my alternate grading scale, because I don’t believe a 64% should be a D-…62%? Sure. But let’s give those other kids a break.

So I finished grades on a Friday night for the first time in a million years. Why? Because I don’t want to think about school all weekend. Although I have to plan next week a bit. But for a short, 4-day week, this one kicked my butt mentally. Field trip drama, sick teacher, kids flailing on post-holiday behavior? Drives teachers to drink. Really.

When I was done, it was time to play with fabric. I wanted to draw, but didn’t have the mental energy left to do so. Welcome to my world. I didn’t have my little scissors with me Thursday night, so I didn’t cut out all the little spiky bits on the cancer cells…so I did that last night…

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Them’s some freakin’ tiny ass pieces. Sharp tiny scissors…I didn’t use them in the old days, because I didn’t want to waste the sharp points, but now I just figure they are part of my tool set. If I need to buy more, so be it. It’s no different than buying more fabric or Wonder Under. I don’t know why I think of scissors as being such sacred devices. Maybe because Mom had the same pairs of scissors the whole time I was growing up and I would constantly get it trouble for using the wrong ones for paper or fabric or food or whatever. They’re not that expensive any more…easy to replace when they get screwed up, or just take them in for sharpening. They aren’t your great-grandmother’s scissors that she used to cut the umbilical cord on her 4th child.

When I was done with those things, I cut out the other drawing’s worth of Wonder Under…

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Really, I should have gone to bed. It was really late. But my head gets in that late-night place where sleep is the last thing it wants to do. I somehow start to wake up again. I wanted to draw at that point, but kept looking at the clock and arguing with myself. The mom part eventually won and took myself off to bed, where I again slept badly. Something about noise and brain doing weird stuff in the middle of the night. I wake up and put my pillow over my head to deaden the sounds of Kitten cleaning herself, or I reach out to touch her, because she is my middle-of-the-night safety…when you wake up and adrenaline is rushing through you and you don’t know why (could just be hormones or a raccoon or someone tromping quietly through your hallway towards your bedroom…you just never know). I get so tired sometimes I think, well, if it is someone in the hallway, they aren’t going to be able to find anything and they’re going to trip over the box in the hallway, so I’ll just go back to sleep and find them on the floor in the morning, head conked by hitting the door on their way down.

The brain is really not interested in the calm meditative things that help it sleep. I should say that I think meditation was the best thing I did for myself over a year ago. Even though I’m not doing it every day at the moment (time!), I seem to have trained the mom part of the brain, the part in charge, to use the meditation techniques without even thinking about it.

There was soccer last night…

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Lots of yelling and screaming.

Google Drive rejected me this morning…

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I don’t blame it. I’ve been fucking with it for three days now. It should reject me. Seriously, what do they want this message to actually MEAN? Like it’s in Timbuktu and will be back in May or the phone line is out? Or it’s on an extended lunch break? I just don’t know. Is Google Drive taking a shower and will call back later? I need more details.

OK, so I need to go to the gym so I can read my book without feeling guilty. Then I will come back and pack up all the boychild’s stuff (he did finally answer after two texts and an email). Then I will do stuff I want to do for the next 20 hours or so. I might draw. I might not. It’s hard to say. But whatever I do, it’s to make up for all the brain cells I punished this week with my job. I think that’s what the late-night musings and inability to put myself to bed mean…it’s a cry for time that is not ruled by grades and assignments and behavior mods and educational technology and interventions and all that crap. Take my brain out for a walk. Feed it something good. Let it watch something and just hang out. It deserves that.

Feeding the Artist Brain

January 17, 2015

The logical thing to do last night, after the first exhausting week back at school, would have been to go to bed at a reasonable hour. I yawned 700 times at the soccer game, fell asleep on the couch after dinner with my computer on my lap (apparently grading), snoring away while the kids stared. I was fucking tired. But no. The artist brain was whining, complaining. It wanted to finish the binding on that little quilt. It wanted it done. AND. AND. (it wanted to draw. it told me. i had ignored it for weeks…)

So the thing with the artist brain is that lots of us have this tendency to create, to make, but it’s harder to get off the couch and go into the studio and make than it is to just go to bed. I really should have gone to bed. But then I wouldn’t have the start of this drawing…

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Because that whole thing started at about 11 PM. And I kept feeding it with tea and wine and Walking Dead, and it kept spilling out…and at some point, it stopped…even though there’s a whole left side to fill in. But wow. I always forget how good it feels to just push the pen around on paper, to stare at the paper for 20 minutes sometimes, waiting for the image to spill out, and then it’s magically there. I don’t even remember uncapping the pen and making the lines. It’s just there. It’s not magic. It’s years of feeding the artist brain…of giving it the time and space and honestly respect to create, even though grades are due and I haven’t finished grading projects and at some point I’m just going to have to suck it up and be a teacher and do the work. You know, in ten years, I probably won’t be a teacher. I will still be an artist. So yes, I have to be a responsible teacher too…

But not last night. Friday nights are mine, dammit. Fuck work. There is nothing in my contract to state that I have to give my job my soul, despite what the politicians want teachers to do. Y’all don’t pay me enough to have my soul, you assholes.

I also numbered these two little guys…

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which have way more pieces than they should for their size. The smaller one is about 6″ square and the larger one is almost 9″ tall. I’m hoping to get those done in the next week. They’re kind of an experiment. Then I have one piece that’s supposed to be done in April and I need to look at the requirements…and the two in July…and a big one by Spring Break. Wow. I’m not overplanning or anything. Whatever. Artist brain demands. I am in the mood to keep feeding it.

I finished this one last night…

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And then I decided to add ink this morning…

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Hard to see the difference in the photos, but I know it’s there. I don’t know how old the drawing is, but I numbered it almost a year ago, thinking I would do some smaller quilts last year, and then the birds took over. It’s called Hold Me and it’s about 18″ square. It took 12 1/2 hours to complete. Doesn’t sound like much, until you realize I work a 60+ hour week as a teacher on a good week (bad weeks are 70-80 hours).

Nope. Sleep not a priority. Last night? I was not in the mood for sleeping once I took up pen and paper, needle and thread. Grading? Hell yeah, it was knocking me out. I suspect that tells me something important. How do I make so much art? Because it keeps me awake.

And you know I did all that after a full day at school and a couple hours at a soccer game. I love it when they play this field because of the colors…

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Girlchild got hit by three girls at one point and went down…

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Bruise on her jaw, her chest, and her head…no concussion. She’s a tough kid. College apps are done. Now we wait. Finals are next week. She’s a little emotional at the moment. Plus the boychild leaves tomorrow night. I think he’s relieved to go back…bored here? No one is ever home, it’s true. I will miss him again though. Cooking will get a bit easier though…no worrying about what we can’t cook, although he is much more likely to eat vegetables than he used to be. I’m glad of that. Too bad we can’t persuade him that pigs are food and steak is like manna from heaven, if heaven were made of cow.

Anyway, I’m hoping to get back to that drawing some time in the next week, and to get the two hands going…because I have to listen to that part of my brain. It keeps me centered…happy. It deserves to be fed.

Binding Late

January 15, 2015

I have a significant callus on my middle right finger from a teeny tiny needle poking the crap out of the same spot. I don’t thimble, because I just move to a different finger if there’s a thimble there. Can’t figure the logic of that out, but if you hang out with me long enough, you’ll realize logic isn’t my strong point. I’ve got it…it just doesn’t look like yours.

I had a goal last night of finishing grading one assignment from December (ugh) and then I would be allowed to work on the two quilts that are hanging out in my office at the moment. Or is it my studio. Some days it’s hard to tell. It’s my Offudio. Or my Stoffice. My Studice. Those are awful. It’s my workspace. Anyway…I managed to grade everything during the girlchild’s game because she was sick and only played 20 minutes…so instead of sitting there and stitching (I could have worked on birds…although I haven’t been doing that much), I graded those suckers and got them done. Insert hallelujah here. Don’t get really excited yet though, because the huge project from before break is still ungraded and mocking me.

Dinner was in the crockpot, although despite an email, a verbal reminder, and a text, the boychild forgot to put it in and turn it on (sigh)…when girlchild got home, she put it in on high though, and it worked fine. So while dinner finalized (aka tater tots…the sign of a good mom), I logged grades and listened to the snuffles of the sick child who has three college apps due today that she has not done. After dinner, I started working.

I started with the outline quilting of the FFAC The 100 donation quilt…

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This is not a big quilt. When the outlining was done, I went on to the background quilting…

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That didn’t take long…seriously, total quilting was barely over an hour.

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Trimmed it. It’s about 10×12″.

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Then I trimmed the other one that’s been lying around for days and found a binding that worked for both of them…they’re kind of in the same blue tone, although the donation quilt is much brighter…and I got the binding on…

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This one is bigger, about 19×18″. It needs ink too. I’m about halfway done with the binding on it. Yes, I stayed up way too late. At some point, I looked at the clock and chastised myself, realizing I COULD stay up and finish the binding, but that was fucking crazy. So I went to bed. You don’t want to know what time.

I did actually finish the binding on the little one. Ouch.

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The ouch is for the hole in my finger. The quilt’s really not that lumpy…in the picture above, it’s all pinned and it distorted it. I’ll photograph it for real this afternoon. It’s nice and flat and square corners. Really. It still needs a label. I couldn’t name it last night…but this morning while resizing the photos, it came to me: Fly, Be Free. I say it all the time. So there’s my third finish of 2015. If you like it, you have a 1 in 100 chance to get it through the FFAC The 100 donation drive on February 4.

It’s funny. I want to make another big quilt before Spring Break. I really do. And I have no shortage of drawings that could become a large quilt. But then it’s so easy to make these little ones…it’s tempting to just do one every couple of weeks instead. I have enough smaller drawings…I could totally do that. And there’s the greater possibility that small pieces will sell. There are two small ones I’m doing after this, the hand/cancer cell pieces. The big ones are the better pieces for shows though, so I need to work on that (so I can get more rejections! Now there’s attitude for you.). Realistically, I can only make 5 or 6 big quilts a year, and that would be starting now. I’ll have to decide soon. Because I have this art drive that does not freakin’ stop. No down time, I guess. I should not complain…no artist’s block for me. Knock on wood.

Soccer…yeah…even sick, she played well…

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Although this was a moon ball.

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Back to work. The school type of work…another day of trying to explain how the brain works. I probably shouldn’t be talking…

Drawing Cancer…

January 9, 2015

Oh holy vacation we call Winter Break, as you slither from my fingers and wither away into workload from hell, I miss you already. I spent time yesterday writing homework for next week. I had to go to school to find the journals I thought I had brought home with me. I have tried to pin my brain down to decisionmaking on the lesson-planning front at least five times, and it wanders off halfway through, complaining that it would like to finish the book it’s reading, or go see a movie, or even clean the kitchen, because that is way more engaging than slogging through a lesson plan revamp. Or is there any point in the revamp? All the science standards change next year…why am I working so hard on adjustments this year, when I won’t even be teaching this content next year?

Who knows. I don’t. It was easier last year to let things like that drop. I should keep remembering that. Let It Go. Oh god, now that fucking song is in my head; make it stop.

All right. So yesterday was a giant clusterfuck of you have to be here or there or everywhere and then sit for an hour in a parking lot, and girlchild’s formal dress disaster (aka the genetics of the female body and how none of us look good in those skimpy dresses), and finally at some point, I found myself realizing that I need to get this cancer quilt done. Or at least started. It’s not going to take long, but I know what the next three weeks look like and I’m flailing.

So instead of taking the endless Christmas stocking that will never be finished (hence the endless part) to my monthly stitching meeting, I took my sketchbook and a couple of pens. I figured I would force myself to draw and even if it was crap (boundless crap), I would have a start and maybe I could come home and draw something that wasn’t crap. The night before, I started with the hand in the middle…

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Totally fucked it up. Decided to keep going and drew the mouth, and then the pizza just jumped in there. Crap drawing. But drawing. And I haven’t been doing much of that, so I’m out of practice again. Remember my plan to draw every Friday night? Yeah. So do I. OK. The drawing isn’t crap. The cat is crap. The rest…I could do something with that. The hand sucks. Whatever.

So then I was staring at the paper in this Starbucks in a Barnes & Noble, and although I often draw in public, I don’t really draw with people watching me much. So I drew the hands…

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Which I think are good…remember this had to be simple. But then the bird. And I hated the bird. This morning? Staring at the picture of it? I don’t hate the bird. But he’s got too many damn pieces for this one. I could do the hands again and put something else there (like an anatomically correct heart…not a uterus…I mean, I COULD put a uterus there, but…that would kind of mess with my decision that this piece should not scare the crap out of some poor donor in some state that can’t handle the existence of a uterus). So reject. For now.

Meanwhile, I’ve got Julie and Kathy talking to me about cells and cancer and infusion and ports (I purposely took the sketchbook to this group because Julie’s a survivor and Kathy’s a science person…I knew they could throw some stuff at me that would poke at the sleeping drawing brain cells and wake them the fuck up). So we were talking about more abstract representations of when the chemo goes into the body and attacks the cells, which Julie has obviously visualized (and experienced), and I’m trying to get my head around it, to make an image out of it that is still a Kathy quilt but goes where I want it to go…and I started with the side view…

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Except now I have a breast in there, which breaks my rules for this quilt, and then it deteriorated into a tattoo from a photo I saw online and then there were antennae. If you are in charge of filming my retrospective, you should totally record Julie and Kathy, in a Starbucks in a Barnes & Noble, describing my drawing process. Because Kathy knew it was endoplasmic reticulum. And Julie wasn’t sure about the antennae.

Hell, I’m not sure about the antennae. But I’m getting closer. Really. I know it seems like I’m flailing all over the place, but I’m getting closer.

When I got home, I was tired…but wanted to get a start on the quilting of that other small quilt, which now has a name…

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I woke up to it this morning…the name, not the quilt…

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I do not take my quilts to bed with me.

I finished the outlining. It’s not really dark on that side…I just couldn’t get the camera to behave last night and I was too tired to fuss about it. Now I just need to do the background and bind it and it’s done. Except what I REALLY should be doing is lesson-planning and grading. UGH. I hate responsibilities.

Speaking of, I finished the two commissioned birds and sent them off to their owner yesterday…this is Owl 3

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And this is HeyBird 3

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The first two quilts of 2015.

I’m still watching a lot of this…

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And honestly not getting a whole lot done while I watch. A tiny bit of grading, maybe some stitching, but mostly just watching and brain dead. I know it’s OK to have some down time after finishing major work, and I’m trying to let my brain have that, but there’s definitely a push in my head for getting the next thing done…today being the last real day of vacation before going back, I’m definitely kind of buried in that rushed feeling of checking stuff off the to-do list. Which sucks. And I still need to draw the cancer quilt. Damn.

Time off

December 21, 2014

Time off for teachers: with so many constantly watching us and thinking we have so much free time (ha!), loads of vacation (I work every vacation, no extra pay), too much pay (I have a Masters degree…seriously? Not too much pay), it’s hard to explain to them why I need three weeks off right now. NEED. The fact that I’ve been working 60-70+ hours a week (with no overtime pay, and certainly not a paycheck worthy of professional standards in corporate world for those who don’t get paid for all those extra hours), mostly creating curriculum from scratch, figuring out Google Sites by myself, determining that my in-class wifi wasn’t working, and troubleshooting a hundred different tech problems a day…maybe an hour on some days. AND keeping track of 140 students, letting no one fall through the cracks. Much. Because that’s kind of impossible, actually.

Plus I make art in a pretty serious way on the side (can we really call what I do “on the side”?), and I’m a mom, and sometimes I cook dinner from scratch. House isn’t clean though. Christmas tree is half-decorated, and my Christmas shopping is in some serious trouble. FUCK.

So. Yeah. I need these three weeks, not only to get the shopping done and clean house, or to finish the quilt that’s supposed to be done in a week and a half (I started stitching down on Friday, hoping to get done today…AFTER hiking 12 miles), but to give my brain the necessary downtime to Do It Again. Because that’s what we do, as teachers. We work our butts off and then we take a few weeks off (when we usually spend a significant amount of time planning for the next bout of teaching, plus grading like crazy people), and then we go at it with the same intensity, sometimes even harder, because what we were doing before wasn’t quite working, and we do that until the next break. Repeat. Until retirement or job change or death.

I want to draw tonight. I want to be in my art brain and let it wander about freely, because I have barely been able to do that lately.

That said, I have probably 20 hours of grading to do over break. Seriously. Ouch.

I’m not starting today. This morning, I am going on a hike with my regular hiking group and the boychild, who came home Friday night (no photos…he doesn’t like ‘em). I’m looking forward to more hikes and hanging out with kids and girlchild being done with college apps so maybe she’ll be less cranky and all kinds of other good stuff like baking. And vacuuming. And maybe even starting a new quilt. Yeah. I know. Got some stuff to finish first, but then I will be starting something new, and I don’t even know what it is yet. That’s exciting.

Meanwhile, I’m spending a lot of time doing this (two tournaments in a row)…

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But they made it to the finals on Monday, so that’s good. And I finished a bird. A miracle.

One Step Closer

December 19, 2014

So even though I didn’t get home until 8 PM last night, and then I made a breakfast casserole for today’s holiday party at school and cookies for people who deserve way more than that for how they support me, I was determined to finish ironing last night. By my standards, it wasn’t late when I started, around 10 or so. I start that late all the time, and honestly, there wasn’t that much left to do. So I ironed…

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She looks creepy with no eyes.

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This quilt really isn’t huge or complicated compared to most of mine. It’s funny that 768 pieces is what I consider uncomplicated. Yeah. I know. So I have 11 days to finish this and get it photographed, and if I’m really nice (and smart), I’ll email my photographer now and let him know that…although I think I could get away with an informal photo on this one, at least to start.

I got another art rejection the other day. I’d forgotten it was coming, but it wasn’t a surprise. They took 38 out of over 700 entries. I need to enter more shows soon. Although I have more work to do for shows as it is. It will be a busy Winter Break getting started on all that. And starting to think about the big quilt for summer, whatever it might be. There are some calls for entry that are intriguing, but I haven’t had the mental space to figure them out in terms of my own work yet.

Anyway, I had gotten to that point above, and it was late, but not really late, and I didn’t know how long ironing it down to the background would take…sometimes it’s a total bitch, especially with all those tree branches and leaves. When they come loose from the ironing sheet, they get all tangled up and make me swear a lot. But I wanted it done. Because I knew if it were done, I might stitch down tonight. Maybe. Although boychild flies in tonight.

So I went for it. Because this is where my head is. In the art. It’s what it wants to do.

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I had a significantly stressful and shitty day at work. Technology (and kids) kicked my butt. I was cranky as hell, going out to dinner with friends made it worse (they were talking about school), and then the girlchild was an absolute brat in between (separation from mom imminent), so I had no mental strength left. And finishing this would make it better…would make me less likely to go to bed feeling like a complete and total failure.

Yeah. We all feel like that some days, right?

So I did it.

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Yeah. I like it. With black outlines in the quilting, this is gonna rock.

Sigh. Deep breaths. Because I’m at the point in my art where the last three quilts have just felt so good to get to this point, where I can actually SEE them. I can finally take what’s in my head and really just bang out a good piece of art. Just like that (100 hours later). And that is awesome. I am so grateful for that. Finishing that ironing last night makes it easier to get through today.

Yeah. Sorry. Still makes me all emotional. Not that you can see that part. Someone remind me of that all day when kids are running rampant.

Part of yesterday’s mental exhaustion was leaving school right when the bell rang to get to the girlchild’s soccer game…

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They tied. Not that any of that matters. I took two wrong turns to get there because my brain was offline.

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She’s always angry at me these days. I know it’s normal. It’s just hard to get that every day and not have someone standing behind you, holding you up and telling you it’s OK. It will be OK.

Sigh. Look at the quilt again, Kathryn. It will be OK. One step closer to done. Sometimes you just have to do it all yourself.

Halfway Through

December 16, 2014

So I’m about halfway through. And that’s OK. I’ve got Wednesday…maybe some time on Thursday. That’s enough. Four soccer games this week, though…and the boychild comes home in four days. That’s freaky. We’ve survived the first four months of college. Me without his calming influence; him in a brand-new, demanding environment. I wonder if it will feel relaxing being here, or just more stress? At least there is good Mexican food here.

Halfway through the ironing, by the way. I don’t think I’m halfway through anything else, except maybe my life, if I’m lucky. I have 5 hours and a bit of ironing done and I’m in the low 400s on the pieces. Now that said, I think that pile of bodies was the worst of it. Everything else is pretty straightforward, so you’d think I could get it done in less than 5 hours. About 350 pieces to go…a little less than half.

We’ll see.

So first of all, when I got the pile ironed together, I realized there were a couple of spaces that needed the dark fabric behind them…

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There’s two right there. No biggie. This is easypants. So two pieces traced…

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And then ironed underneath.

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I like that my iron is Anti-Calc. I also did not enjoy Calculus, but mostly because of my teacher. He was kind of a jerk. Assumed math was more important than language. And yeah, I teach science, but writing? Words? Communicating? Pretty damn fucking important. But here’s an interesting question, from last week’s warmup for my kids: words or pictures? If there were someone you liked and you could ONLY communicate via words OR pictures, which would you choose? Yeah. I prefer drawing to express myself really, but words would make more sense to me in communication with others. I love that someone I was texting this week corrected himself, his SYNTAX. Wow. In a text. Can’t beat that.

And then I had these two random pieces left over. Here’s one.

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No freakin’ clue where it belongs. Or the other. Just set them aside. Obviously not crucial.

Moving on. Ironed the damn cat.

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I don’t usually draw the cats as the two black cats in the house. Not sure why. I usually draw calicoes. I think personality-wise, I am a calico. Raise your hand if you know what I’m talking about! Yeah. OK. They’re feisty. And troubled. Black cats…they can go either way…we obviously have the Queen here…

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And she’s a total bitch. I am going to get in so much trouble with the boychild for not combing her belly for the last four months, but she claws the fuck out of me as it is when I comb the rest of her, so he can handle that shit.

The other black one is just mellow. Mostly. So I don’t fuck with her. Much. I can’t really tell you why the calicos end up being in the quilts most of the time: Juniper, Limbo, Kitten. Even Cinnamon, if you go back enough years.

So there’s DNA hand again. Like we can control any of it…

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The background on this quilt is a deep dark blue, so this hand is gonna pop right off of it.

And then there are the flying hearts.

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These have popped up in the last few months. I think of them as hope for my future. Like I have a heart and love and all that gooby stuff, but they’re just loose, flying around, waiting to land/be captured, I’m not sure which. So this is like the third or fourth drawing where they’ve appeared. Never been in a drawing before this Fall, I think. Weird, huh? I used to always have Christmas lights in my drawings. None of those today.

I did pull that drawing from yesterday out again, but it didn’t speak to me tonight. Weird how that works. Sometimes it’s so adamant that I hear it, that I draw it; it just fucking takes over and commandeers the pen, grabbing my brain and making it listen. And then…then it’s silent, like I pissed it off too many times. It won’t listen. It lies in bed with a pillow over its head.

So fuck the drawing.

I was going to stop and go to bed, but it (the ironing) kept dragging at me, so I started the tree…

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The stuff on the tree is next, and then the human figure in the middle of all that.

It’s exciting. I like when the image starts to appear…when it starts to BE a quilt for real. When the shit in my head gets out there and kicks some real-life ass.

Speaking of kicking ass…blurry pictures due to late night, fading light…

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Girlchild made an absolutely awesome twisty header goal…

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And then her coach, being a rancid idiot, barely played her for the rest of the game. But when he did put her ass back on the field in the last 7 minutes, she continued to kick ass. Thus proving that assholes are out there and we all have to deal with them.


So here’s what you need to know about me this week. It is survival this week for teachers. We are about to explode on a daily basis, because we are in a classroom with kids who cannot stop thinking about Christmas. I’d like to say they were thinking about other things, but in my school, it’s all about the presents…not the present. So even though I’m trying to get them through a major project, by the end of third period, I’m about to throw things. And I significantly appreciate those who bring me back down to Earth, who ground me with their sanity, their competence, their caring, their profanity, their beauty, their hugs, their Google Docs. I will be saying Thank You about a million times this week. Maybe even out loud. Maybe I will just hug it out. I think I actually told my co-teacher that I loved her for managing the tail end of a meeting so I could go to my kid’s soccer game.

Working on a creative endeavor, a quilt that means a great deal to me, to my existence, to my core, this week makes it all that much more…well…HUGE. So that’s good. And the rest? Well, fuck it. Hug someone. Then move on.



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