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.

Setting (Crazy) Goals

January 22, 2015

Yesterday in class I explained the whole (very controversial) topic of right-brain/left-brain, and we did a fun little quiz to get kids to think about what they’re good at and why and what might control that and how that might help them study (yeah, I’m mean…I relate it back to doing better in school). I test right down the middle, whether it’s relevant or not…which makes sense because I’m an ex-editor and science teacher who makes art when she should be sleeping. One thing we talked about was writing to-do lists (very few 7th-graders do that) and setting goals (their goals are often crazy, like buy a mansion by the time I’m 19…I don’t think I ever had that as a goal). But I told them that I set big long-term goals in my head, and then I have shorter-term goals, like stuff to finish by June (quilts), and then really short-term goals, like what can I get done this week or tonight. If I didn’t do that, then yes, I’d probably sit on the couch all night and watch a lot more TV. Hell, I still watch the TV…I’m just never NOT doing something else at the same time.

For example, I have quilt class tonight. I have it one Thursday a month. Knowing that motivates me to get shit done that I can work at while I’m there, so it’s not a waste of time. I do like hanging out with my quilt friends, but I need to get stuff done. I can’t waste two hours and do nothing. So I was grading all these videos last night from the last project, and after 11 videos in a row that weren’t more than 17 seconds long and weren’t all edited together like they were supposed to be and didn’t even make sense, because I think all three of the girls had heart attacks for no known reason (pandemic! OK, no), I couldn’t look at any more videos. I made it through one tablet, trying to find them all and send them all to myself or whatever, and at the end of it, my head was hurting and it was 9:30 and I needed to be doing something that wasn’t painful.


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I guess cancer cells are green today. I’ll have to think about what background fabric these will go on.

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I used the same fabrics on them, mostly. I actually crawled under the desk where all the new drawers of pink fabrics are…I think I need to install a light under there…seriously.

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It’s too hard to see the colors under there. I have to pull the drawers out. A light would be cool. Yes, I’m still watching The Walking Dead while making art. I don’t know that it’s had an effect…I already make quilts about body parts.

When I was done, I thought first of all, it’s not very late, maybe 10:30…second of all, I don’t know that these few pieces that now need trimming is enough to entertain me for a whole 2-hour meeting. I remembered that I had Wonder Under that needed trimming from one I traced Sunday night, but I still had one to trace…so that’s what I did…

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It took a lot longer than I expected, and then once I had started, it’s so small, that I just wanted to finish it instead of being responsible and logical and going to bed. So I did.

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Really, if you’re sitting there berating yourself that you don’t get as much done as I do (I hear this all the time), pat yourself on the back for getting enough sleep and being a responsible adult, because getting enough sleep protects you from heart disease and diabetes, and I suck at that.

It’s just how my brain works, though. It was a long, shitty, difficult, exhausting day and I needed to feel better at the end of it. And I did. I felt like I had achieved something, and now I have stuff to work on tonight, and hopefully this weekend I will make a decision about what I’m making these two smaller quilts out of, because I’m not a fan of the upholstery samples, but I think I’m just gonna try it with one…maybe. I don’t know. Annoying.

Probably this is where someone should remind me that grades are due by Tuesday, and I have to get all the projects graded even if I think it might kill me (that is NOT important…you are a teacher and your job is to work yourself into the ground for minimal pay). Like today. It’s OK…the kids are getting a video today, and I remembered my headphones, so I can watch the videos while they are taking notes about the brain. I’m no dummy. I’m a multitasking queen.

I also want to get the top part of the Earth Mother torso drawing done (yes, Julie, you’re right…it will have 13 trillion pieces in it) so I can decide if she’s allowed to have legs. Probably not. Maybe she’ll be in a mountain. An erupting volcano! I read somewhere that the way I’ve been drawing magma coming up from the core is incorrect, that instead of these long tubes carrying it to the surface, it’s more like a lava lamp, with big blobs of magma heading close to the surface through the crust. This is not what’s in the 6th-grade textbook that I used 7 years ago to teach honors 6th-grade science. So maybe she’ll be sitting in a lava lamp. (Yes, I totally simplified all that science…I have to do that all the time. You should see me re-enact DNA replication in the classroom.)

OK, it’s highly possible I could be using my time more wisely right this second. By the way, the boychild is back at college and refusing to answer texts again (ah, communication). It’s OK. I just won’t send the box of stuff he left behind until he answers. Because I’m evil like that. Girlchild is on her last day of finals, so hopefully screaming will subside to below histrionic levels…for at least a day or two. And I have a new stove…so I can cook things without thinking about HOW I cook them or what I cook them ON. That makes life easier. But it’s white, so I’m thinking about taking a Sharpie to it…like henna for appliances. Now that’s setting goals. Not crazy really.

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.

Twitching Eyelid, Missing Stovetop

January 10, 2015

No, this is not a single-mom’s version of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon…or is it?

So this is where my stovetop used to be…

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Yeah. I had a replacement, but it was too small. We can talk later about why it was too small. Let’s just say it was too small. Meanwhile, the nice installation guy had to cut the wires to get the old one out…it was half-functioning, which is still a lot more functional than this hole is. So when we realized it was too small, my day kind of slapped me upside the face.

It’s OK. I got my car back. I’m just going to drive it until whatever caused issues with it up on Sunrise Highway happens again and it dies again. Not much else I can do. He wouldn’t charge me anything for trying to figure it out. I offered him a turkey. The stovetop installation guy also wouldn’t charge me anything for not installing a stovetop. Turkey? No? Getting the car back meant I had time to go to Sears, return the too-small stovetop, and order one that would fit, because the girlchild now had a car to go to her soccer game. The stovetop? For January 19. OK. It’s all right. I have a mostly working oven, a toaster, an electric tea kettle, and a microwave. Oh, and a crock pot. We can eat. We can toast things. We just can’t fry things or make sauces. Or pasta. Although there’s been some contemplation if we boiled water in the tea kettle over and over again and kept pouring it over the pasta, it would cook to some extent. Insert evil eye glare here.

So there’s that. And I went into my classroom and found all the crap for Monday’s lab and organized some stuff and copied the stuff I need for Monday. So I don’t have to go back there until Monday. Which is when school starts, so I really should be there. But I can sort of ignore it for two days. My left eyelid, however, is not ignoring it. It’s still twitching like a motherfucker.

While the guy was not installing my stovetop, I started sorting all of Mariah’s hand-me-down fabrics by color…

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The kids say they couldn’t possibly make the decisions I do about multi-colored pieces. Or where I draw the line between brown and orange or white and yellow. Or even green and blue. Whatever. It will probably take me months to do this.

The day kicking my ass found me in a bar (oh yeah) with my sketchbook and a glass of wine, trying to make sense of cancer donation quilts once again…first of all, breast cancer cells are alternately terrifying and beautiful in their spikiness.

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But I think I need to draw something not related to cancer. I think these spiky cells will end up in something though. How can they not?

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And when I came home, I figured out how to cook the previously planned dinner without a stovetop, because someone, whose name will stay unknown, kept texting me that she was hungry but couldn’t possibly handle making dinner, and then I tried to quilt, but I was really really tired…

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Yeah, drinking in the early evening after a long stressful day can do that to you. So I didn’t finish her. And today I’m hiking and I don’t know what else, but it isn’t quilting and it isn’t grading papers…it’s whatever it takes to get the damn eyelid under control. Because that’s a sign of stress and it needs to wander off somewhere else.

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.


January 7, 2015

I don’t want to go back to school yet. I guess I have 4 1/2 more days, but this always feels like such a slog from January to Spring Break…even with the three-day weekends. The Five Weeks of March (not the Ides, but the Weeks…all you teachers know that awful stretch of time) are coming. You know the kids’ brains are going to be all damaged by three weeks off, and by the time you get them back, they’ll be affected by whatever weird pollen that causes teenaged brains to go all hormonal in Spring. We see it every year. This is the hardest trimester in terms of content, for science at least, and after grading all their science journals yesterday (that was 5 hours of my life I’ll never see again), their grades will show it. I know I should be planning today, setting up the next unit, writing the next assessment, making sure everything’s ready to be copied, but I just can’t do it. I can’t immerse myself back in the slog yet. My art brain wants to play…it wants to wander about outside and draw things. It wants to be free for just a bit longer.

It’s OK. I go through this every year. I am pulled screaming into the first week of school in the new year. For some reason, Spring Break doesn’t do the same damage…I think because it’s close enough to the end of the year that you can smell it. See it. Feel it. I don’t want to deal with grades or assignments or even kids. I just want to stay up late and make art and hang out and be a human without a job that sucks so much energy. Back to that balance thing. Constantly on my mind.

So what all that really means is that I’m procrastinating. I’ve been grading stuff, but not killing myself (OK, yesterday was a stretch, but I wanted the damn things done). And last night, when my brain was racing, totally wired, I let it iron stuff together that is totally irrelevant, not a deadline, nothing that needs to be done. I just wanna make this little quilt. I got to here before I needed to go to sleep…

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Because I knew I had to be up early. And the left eyelid is already twitching with either tiredness or work-related stress, hard to know which. It’s not like there’s a different twitch for each. So maybe both.

This isn’t a big quilt…it only has 160 pieces in it. I thought about doing it for the FFAC cancer donation quilt, but it’s way too complicated, too many hours. It’ll finish up about 20″ square and I already have over 8 hours in it. For those who are always devaluing an artist’s time, consider how much you get paid for a day of your actual real-life job. I know what that amount is for my job…in fact, I know my hourly rate. Now add in the cost of materials and a 40-50% gallery commission. And taxes. Now you know what an 8-hour quilt is really worth, and this will have more than 8 hours in it by the time I’m done. They want the cancer quilts to come out to about $100, so I need to draw simple and keep it small. I’m hoping to do that today too. Later. (Procrastinating…small and simple is HARD for me.)

This morning, what I SHOULD have done, if I were a good little worker bee, is do the next batch of grading. Ugh. Could not do it. Not after yesterday. I have grading PTSD.

So I finished ironing…

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Again, I could have stopped there, been responsible. Hell, I am being responsible…just responsible to my own self. Sigh.

Found a background…ironed it down…

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Again, I could have stopped there. I could have.

Fuck it. Stitched it down and pinbasted it. Ha!

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Then I stopped. Before the quilting. But it was hard. Now I just want it done. And if I didn’t have any other have-to’s today, like getting a new stove to replace the one girlchild killed, or going to her soccer game, or grading freakin’ papers, I would get it done.

But one of my have-to’s is the donation quilt drawing. Plus there’s another drawing lurking in my brain. Maybe an hour or two in front of the telly with my sketchbook tonight? Balanced by some grading (fuck grading). Sigh. Yes, the art brain is STRONG in this one. As I get older, I am less likely to say no to it. But the kids are getting older and are way more self-sufficient than they used to be, so I can ignore a lot of stuff that I didn’t used to be able to ignore.

And I can grade for a bit at the soccer game…until it gets too dark…

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Because it gets too dark to take photos too…except I keep tracking the sky for clouds like this…

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And this…

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So I’m procrastinating, yes. But not in a bad way. There’s certainly something to be said for not getting too far behind in your job responsibilities, but I will always argue that once you’ve put in an hour or so on that crap (because for a teacher, it could be hours every night if you let it), it’s time to let your brain does what it wants. And mine wants to make more pictures.


Sundays? I Got This…

January 5, 2015

Sundays for teachers are hell. They are the day you get ready for the week. You do all your errands, do all the grocery shopping, get your laundry done, and also lesson plan. You do your best to keep Saturdays free, but Sundays…hell, Sundays belong to the man.

I love Sundays during breaks. I don’t have to do any of that shit. Well, I still have to grocery shop, and I’m sorta trained by now to make them work days. They feel that way anyway. I remember back in the old days, before kids, when I was married but not encumbered, when I didn’t bring my job home with me and have it looming over my head on a regular basis, Sundays were nice then. Late rising, a nice hot cup of tea, reading the paper (who gets that any more?), and watching all those fix-it shows on PBS. Hours and hours of Norm showing you the right tools…if you only had the right tools, your house would be fucking amazing. And Sundays were lazy days. You might make it to Home Depot for all the tools you needed, but you didn’t have to. That could wait until next Saturday, couldn’t it?

Well that explains a lot around here, doesn’t it?

Sigh. So I feel like I wasted many hours this morning on god-knows-what, but eventually, I got my act in gear and started getting work done. I spent an hour and a half on kid budgets…a fun thing you get to do when you’re divorced and all the expenses are split. December is always a clusterfuck for expenses, made even worse by applications to college. I sometimes just want to crawl into a hole and pretend none of that happened (three apps left).

After grocery shopping (holy crap, having the boychild home is fucking expensive) and buying textbooks (not mine; boychild again), I managed time for art…bindings on the two birds…

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They’re pinned down now…waiting to be sewn down. These are the first two quilts of 2015…at some point, I’ll get that summary post done for 2014, wherein I made a shitload of bird quilts.

Sometime yesterday I got the good news that Absolutely Nothing, the Women at War quilt, will be in the show at Grossmont College in March. More about that later. But cool. Yay. Happy.

And then there was this drawing. It so wants to be a quilt. It’s too many hours for the cancer quilt, but I don’t fucking care…

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It gets to be. I drew this ages ago. The Wonder Under’s been trimmed for a few weeks. I traced it back over Thanksgiving break…not sure when I trimmed the Wonder Under…my task app is not being helpful.

So I really should have started the cancer donation, but this one has been fucking screaming at me. So I listened. It only has 160 pieces.

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It’s mostly flesh colors…

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Two sets of flesh colors. It took about an hour and a half to iron the whole thing down to fabric.

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Twenty three fabrics…

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This isn’t going to be very big. It’s not going to take very long. In fact, in a little over an hour, it’s mostly cut out.

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Probably another ten minutes would do it.

Why do this one first? Before the one I know has to be done? Before the bindings are done? I told you. It was yelling very very loudly. In my old age, I try to listen to the ones that yell. There’s a few more that are yelling, but I will do the cancer one next, I swear. Although I have to sew those bindings too. I also need to grade papers and do about a thousand things tomorrow.

I have one more week of break until I have to go back to school. Balance is the thing. I have to figure out how to balance all of the pieces of my life so I don’t feel like shit. It’s kind of important. I’ve got my focus on that. Don’t drop any damn balls, but don’t let the balls take over your life either. I figure once I figure the whole life/balance thing out? I’ll be dead and it won’t matter any more. No worries. I got this.


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