Truth Is Only Hearsay*

Feeling chaotic about this quilt. I really like what’s happening and I know I’ll be happy with it once it’s all ironed to the background, but at the moment, trying to iron all these crazy heads that are attached to each other, moving the teflon sheets around so I can iron the bit that’s attached to this particular head, it’s a little insane. It’s not SMALL either. So maneuvering it is also difficult. I don’t have one piece of teflon big enough, so I’m using two big pieces and one smaller piece at the moment, and detaching parts from the sheets so I can move those around to the current head. Also just a bit crazy.

But I like it. I’m looking forward to seeing what it looks like.

I’ve got the margarine containers full of pins and thread holding everything on the ironing board…

Quilts get really heavy at some point. Unwieldy and heavy. I was working on Figure 3’s head…I kept trying to iron the eye in place, but it wasn’t working because I couldn’t see the overlaps…I finally gave up and ironed it outside the face, so I could see it all.

I guess there’s a reason I usually do that. It was much easier.

I only had about an hour last night…but I got the head done…and Figure 2’s head in there, overlapping…

I need to add the cat on her head and the snake that’s hanging out around her neck…then Figure 3 is done and I’m on to Figure 4. Tonight is all about finishing the slides for the presentation I’m giving Monday night though. And work. Plus I’m marching tomorrow in the Women’s March. I guess we do that until that guy is out of office AND the other guys realize the Gillette ad is not a threat to their masculinity. Sigh. Thanks, Gillette, for trying.

What else last night? I had quilt class…

I worked on the antelope. I’m almost done with the horns, and then he has a symbol stitched on him. I also finished the flowers…there was one stitch I had to look up in the notebook of instructions (from January!) and so I remembered to bring that with me. But this month is almost done…August? September? I can’t remember. Slow progress on this lately, despite it being my go-to stitching.

Also, there was this…

Satchemo is the only cat I’ve ever (well, he’s not mine, so I don’t HAVE him) interacted with regularly who had a snotty nose. It’s like he has allergies. He sneezes. He needs his nose wiped. So I feel like he’s old enough (10 or so) to carry his own Kleenex. Apparently he agreed.

OK, parent meeting this morning, then teaching more elements stuff, then walking the dogs hopefully (the rain is supposed to be gone by this afternoon, if not earlier), then cooking dinner, slideshow, and MAYBE ironing. I’m already tired. Reading that made me tired. It’ll be fine. Really.

*The 1975, Love It If We Made It

Felt It in My Youth, Feel It When I’m Old*

Blessed peace, back to the ironing. This piece is not an easy beast to put together, with all 5 figures intertwining and overlapping…but the challenge is something I enjoy. Although I never think about that when I draw it…I just draw it. And then I realize the crazy I’ve created as I put it together.

So basically, I walked in the door at 7 PM and dinner was almost ready. I ate, stitched a bit on a binding that may never get done, and then headed in here for almost 3 hours of ironing. It was delightful.

I started with the details on Figure 2’s face…

Which I didn’t have the time to do the other night…it included ironing the eye before putting it on the face…

This is a little disturbing to look at. Then face completed. This figure has a bird, a nest, a tree, and a vine attached to her, so those were next…

Those went pretty quickly…

And then I needed to decide what to do about the arm dissection there…it’s the arm of Figure 3, which I’m working on next anyway. Although it goes around the corner and some of the pieces do too, so that makes this complicated…but honestly, it’s going to be complicated no matter what I do. So I went for it…

On the right, the pieces are flopping around, not fully ironed down. Then I set that teflon sheet aside (yes, I have multiples of these things)…and turned the entire drawing 90 degrees to get to the right side…and ironed the other hand for Figure 3.

Plus a syringe. Like you do.

I started ironing the torso for Figure 3 and then the arm…

Then added the torso and legs for Figure 1 (they’d been sitting in a box, waiting to be reconnected to the upper torso and head), and connected Figure 3’s arm around the corner.

You can see this thing is getting a bit large and out of control at the moment…although the center section is mostly connected, with all the heads and hair overlapping parts of mouths, plus arms wrapping around the whole thing.

So here she is so far…the bottom part of Figure 2 is in a box waiting for the arm of Figure 5 to connect it back into the image.

Figure 3 needs a head…which will underlap (that is so not a word) the head of Figure 2. But at some point, I either need another large teflon sheet (don’t have one) or I need to detach everything so far and move it…which I did last night anyway with the stuff on the other sheet.

Tonight? Well, I have a meeting, but I had one last night too. So I’m hoping to get the head of Figure 3 done…keep it moving. I’ve given up on my deadline, which is fine…too much other stuff to do. I have a Women’s March Saturday, I need to make a slide presentation for my quilt guild and then give a talk Monday night. Next week is a clusterfuck of meetings. There aren’t enough hours. There never are. But I’m loving this quilt. So it will be done. In time for something.

*Twenty-One Pilots, Jumpsuit

I’m an Apostrophe*

So my gym got remodeled and got a bunch of new machines, so because I am old, I had to read all the instructions yesterday. I could have watched the videos if I had one of those scanners on my phone, but I thought that was even more geeky and old than I was already being, because they were all SIMILAR to the old machines, but the settings are in totally different places and they did different things. Sometimes very strangely scary things. I think that was my problem last night with getting stuff done. Not only did I teach all day and breathe in toxic fumes (oh fun stuff…I should just wear a respirator all day), but then did tutoring, then came home and went to the gym, which is a good thing, but I used up all my extra brain power on reading weight machines.

Sad but true. Well it will be easier next time. Hopefully. If I remember the instructions. Muscle memory. My right hip is complaining about the weirdo version of an elliptical I was on though. There aren’t enough of the ones I like. Or they’ve hid them. I found my bikes eventually. They moved them. I do like the gym. I get to read. I like that.

So after two hours of that and making dinner, it was super late already. While dinner was cooking, I tried to continue the Year of Finishing Stuff or whatever I’m calling it. The Tuesday piece is a wool block of the month from 2008. It’s about time I finished it. It’s called A Primitive Garden (I know, it sounds like nothing I would do, but I am) and all the center blocks are done. I just have all the borders to do. They are all ironed down and just need the embroidery. But like any stitcher does, I’ve stolen  borrowed from the box of threads I bought for this project and didn’t necessarily return them all. So last night, I sit down with the first border, and the first thread I need, I can’t find it. Of course. Well there we are. I found all these eventually…

That took a while though…going through every project bag and other random bag I had…stuff like this…

Yeah. It’s a lot of illogical. I never did find that first thread ball. But I found some of them. And then I went online and ordered the others, because for $20 I can solve this problem without spending another hour looking for stuff that could be anywhere in this house. I try to be very logical about where I put things (OK, stop laughing…if you’re a relative of mine or you live in this house, some of you are Differently Logical than I am. My logic isn’t WRONG…it’s just DIFFERENT. One of the colors isn’t even made any more, but I think I found a replacement OR one of the balls I have that’s missing a label is the right one. Either way, it’s not the end of the world. I can solve this problem. It might be the only problem I solved yesterday. And that’s OK.

Marie Kondo would not be happy with me, but dammit woman, the thread ALL GIVES ME JOY. Except when I can’t find the one I need.

Did I iron anything? Fuck no. I wanted to, but I also knew I wasn’t even halfway through the school week and I have a 2-hour meeting today after school and I needed to gird my loins with sleep. So I went to bed at midnight. I also hung out for a while with the guy who lives here (and would laugh at my organization), because that’s important too. This month is a clusterfuck of practices and meetings for both of us…kind of have to work at relationships. I know that.

Anyway. Tonight. Tonight I iron! No really. I do. The rule is I don’t have to do schoolwork at home if I worked for an hour or more after school. Except last night, I did schoolwork too…modified a couple of PDF files. It needed to be done and I don’t have my prep today, so that’s going to make it hard to get everything done.

Meanwhile, there’s this.

The week after the girlchild leaves, we basically walk around and find all the stuff she left behind. There’s also sunglasses and a charger she says she doesn’t really need (but I know that she will need it someday when the other one dies, like my school charger…and sound cord…because everything with my computer is dying at the moment). So we’re collecting them for one package.

OK, off to school. Hopefully no rain today. Feeling dampish. And cold. I don’t do well in an all-precipitation climate. I also don’t do well with no art. Remembering that. Again. Over and over again. Plus trying to be organized.

*Imagine Dragons, Whatever It Takes

But I Was Late for This, Late for That*

Adult brain won last night and got me in bed earlier. Not much earlier. Really not even a win, if you talk to anyone about how much sleep I SHOULD get, but better than the night before. So there’s that. Plus I finished grades before we even went to the airport to drop off the girlchild…here’s what the end of doing grades looks like…

Pretty dang happy. Girlchild will hate this photo, but Simba is kissing her. Last time he’ll be able to do that for a while. Next up? Graduation, a trip to Portugal (for her, not me…I won’t make it out of the country this year), and then work like an adult. Who knows when we’ll see her again on that couch. I try not to think too hard about that shit.

So finally, on January 14, I managed to implement my Finishing All the Shit plan for the new year. I assigned one project per day, and I’m supposed to put in about 30 minutes on it a night, after I eat dinner, while I’m still watching whatever show we’re watching, assuming I don’t have an art quilt that’s in a couch stage (cutting things out or sewing bindings) or grading I can do. Or want to do, because I had more grading last night…I just chose not to do it. It will get done. Eventually. But I haven’t been doing a good job of following any of it, mostly because the projects themselves are very disorganized at the moment. So I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to find all the bits that would allow me to just pick one up and work on it.

So I worked on this, Monday’s project…

Which included a puppy face…a puppy who is confused about where his benefactor went.

I don’t know how many years ago I started this, but it was a lot. It’s from a book called Home Sweet Home except I blew off their calm quiet colors. I have I think 6 blocks done? Or this is the 6th one? And there are only 9. Most of the pieces are pretty damn big, so it won’t take long. Here it is so far…

The windows are all done…they just need to go on. This is about 1/2 way done. So there we are. Moving on.

After all that and the dishes and trying to figure shit out and get my brain on task (a difficult thing sometimes), I moved into the room with the iron…

And I did things with it. So this is the bottom section of Figure 2…and I put the hand in that overlapped it. I’m pretty sure that pink hand is from Figure 5, because I pulled it from the box with the 1300s…but it’s missing the finger creases. I don’t know where they are…hopefully in the box with the other fingers (not the 1300s box. Trust me. I looked there more than once.). I just didn’t go looking for them.

Then I pulled that off the teflon sheet and started on the section of Figure 2 above the arm that crosses over it…


Skinny piece…with another arm above it. For now, I just kept going above that arm…

I don’t think I’ll try to iron that arm over the body now. Too complicated. No logical break like with the other hand.

I didn’t finish the face, because however much I WANTED to, that’s when adult brain looked at the clock and said no, go to bed.

Which is good, because it takes me a while to get everything cleaned up and settled and brush my teeth, find the dogs, settle them, take insulin, etc. But there’s Figure 1 getting swallowed by Figure 2, which is almost finished. Although she has a tree, a nest, a bird, and an ivy vine that go with her, so not quite THAT close to done. I’m in the 400s, so I only got about 150 pieces in last night. Not bad. I started around 10 PM. Only 1100 pieces to go! Yeah. Uh huh.

I got rejected from another show last night. OK. Well. There we are. Now I need to figure out what’s available to enter in the next one. Which reminds me that I still have one out there that should be returned this week…haven’t seen it yet. Sigh. Six made it home…no, seven made it home. Sheesh. That’s a lot. Need to deal with putting those away. I emailed about the eighth one. Usually they send tracking info. Well. Sometimes they send tracking info. No guarantees.

OK, more ironing tonight, but also tutoring and the gym…which bites into that time. All good and useful things…but time is a limited resource.

*The Lumineers, Cleopatra

Come Back Sunday Morning*

So once I start ironing a quilt together, I’m finally seeing the images in color that were in my head, seeing them for real…and it’s very hard to stop ironing. Like to eat or sleep. This weekend was such a clusterfuck of work work work and running around getting stuff done that I was going a little bonkers with no art. So I SHOULD have finished grades last night, but I didn’t…and I may regret that later, but I will deal. And the girlchild goes back to school today, so that’s sad. But I needed some art before my brain exploded, so that’s what I did last night. Put the school computer away, cleaned all the dishes, and walked into the studio. Where the fabric is.

And I started ironing this monster together…five overlapping heads (only one has a whole body…most just have arms and maybe part of a torso).

Tiny little hands that will show up when I do the outlining. I picked a different run of flesh for each figure.

She’s one of my favorites…

Her body is in two parts, bisected by the arm of one of the other figures.

Putting the face together…

I did try to keep them simple…well. You know. I’m not good at that.

There she is!

One figure done…except I forgot she had stuff on her shoulder…

Like you do…so that’s Figure 1 done.

Here’s the whole setup…you can see how big the drawing is…

It’s draped over the ironing board and I put the teflon sheet (or sheets, depending on how big what I’m ironing is) on top.

It was late, but the thing is, when I’m on a roll, it’s hard to stop. If I didn’t listen to the adult brain in my head arguing with art brain, I’d iron ’til the cows come home. And I don’t have cows, so that would be a really long time. As it was, I went to bed way too late and I will pay for it today. Ugh. But I was feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, and art helps with that. So here is the start of Figure 2…also bisected, perhaps trisected…so this is the bottom part of the torso.

I ironed the first 300 pieces and a bit. Not bad for the first night. I’ll see what I can get done with grades today during prep…maybe I won’t have to work on school all night. I will have to go to the airport. The thing about the girlchild leaving is that she probably won’t ever get to come home for that long again (it was only 3 weeks, despite her claim it was 4, and she was gone for 6 days of it on a road trip)…and right now, it’s unlikely that she’ll move back here. So there’s that. Trust me, I understand needing to live away from your parents…but I still miss her when she’s gone. Normal mom stuff.

Other random things. This bee rode the windshield of my car almost all the way to the grocery store…

I don’t know if that was its plan, but it’s what happened.

This is perhaps the only documentation I have EVER of my dad attempting an artistic endeavor.

My parents were in Portugal on a tour and painted tiles. My mom did one too, but she does art stuff all the time. Dad does not. So there it is…a Bob original.

I was on this couch by myself. And then this happened…

So I went back to ironing.

This morning’s sunset…the rain starts this afternoon and doesn’t stop until Thursday night sometime.

So I was thankful for this. Sheesh. I lied. My weather app says the rain is starting in 15 minutes. Sigh. I guess I should be glad I saw that this morning at all. Got up early! For this. That’s OK then. Now I need to go find my rain gear.

*Portugal, the Man, Live in the Moment

I’m Still in My Bathrobe*

Hey. Weekend. Weekend of work. Sigh. I did some fun stuff though. You should always do the fun stuff when you can. Well. There’s a balance, isn’t there? I never achieve it.

Friday night, I sorted the pieces for the new quilt…

That was a little over an hour…not a hard thing to do, unless you’d already been standing all day…

But I got it done. Now I’m ready to iron everything together. I was hoping to get to that yesterday, Saturday, and that was a no go. I graded almost all day, with a brief interlude of Kitten at the vet for her annual physical, but she refused to give blood, so she has to go back in a better mood. I wish her luck with that. She does not like the vet. Neither do I, but they never ask me to pee in a cup. I guess they didn’t ask her either.

During grading, there are always other living creatures in my space…

Anyway, I came home and graded some more (they’re due Tuesday!). I’m really almost done, but there’s one assignment that I just find painful to grade. So yeah.

That cat really wanted to lie ON the keyboard.

Oh yeah, I forgot…the man was playing a private party Friday night way out in Bay Park or near there, so I dragged the girlchild out…from outside, there’s the man…

Not sure why he’s so blue. It was a good show, but we were tired and came home early (“early”…around 11:30 PM).

Then last night, I’d given him tickets to Mesmerica by James Hood, at the Fleet center. It was pretty cool. But we wanted dinner ahead of time, and parking downtown is such a pain, so we parked at Balboa Park and walked a mile to dinner…

It was good food, although I think my leftover fries are still in the car. It’s cold out there, so it’s like being in the fridge. In trying to get the blood sugar to behave, I’m not eating all the potatoes in the world. I had a great vegetarian dinner on Friday night that the girlchild made, but my blood sugar was sky high after. Sigh. What is “healthy”? It’s gotten significantly harder to deal with the diabetes in the last two years. I’m trying, but I don’t have it yet. I definitely won’t be going vegetarian any time soon. Too damn hard to deal with the carbs.

Then we walked a mile back to Balboa Park (impressive 2-mile dinner walk, eh?)…lots of weird and wonderful bits of the park at night…

From the Cannibal exhibit at the Museum of Man. It was a little chilly out, but it doesn’t snow here, so we were OK. Mesmerica was like an hour of trippy meditation, so we were both tired after…

And this guy again. So no art yesterday. Can I do better today? Sigh. Well I have a bunch of school stuff to do still. And groceries. Plus laundry for the week, and dinner at the parents, and sheesh. So I don’t know. I hope so. I would like to clean up a little in here, just so I can actually iron. And set up the drawing and the bins…and maybe start the first 100 pieces. I think that’s my goal for the day.

I’ve looked at how much time is left on this quilt versus the deadline I was hoping to make, and I don’t think I’ll be able to pull it off…which is OK. I have other things for the other deadline that will work, and I’ll still finish this…I’ll just do it with a realization that this month is hard, going back to school is hard, the next two weeks are hard. Yeah. That. That’s why I say you should do the fun stuff.

*Weezer, Feels Like Summer

I’m the Master of My Sea*

Still adjusting. I think I manage school fairly well, until I get to four days before grades are due and now the cat has to go to the vet even though she’s fine because they won’t give her the meds unless she goes once a year and the doc office is calling three times in 30 minutes while I’m teaching and one assignment has to be ingested and slurped (seriously) by three different apps before I can grade it and I’m so incredibly not ready for next week, but this week isn’t even over yet and somehow I just ordered 5 limes in my produce box and I don’t use limes for anything and I have to remember to pay for the girlchild’s college which changed due dates and Whythehell did I end up being the point person on all the college/kid stuff in the world heaven only knows and I think there’s something else I’m forgetting because there aren’t enough post-it notes in the world.

I can deal with all of that. What I really want is more time to work on this quilt, because there was plenty of time when I started it and there is not now.

That said, I’m closer. I finished cutting everything out last night…

It only took me 22 1/2 hours. It doesn’t usually take that long. I’m not even halfway through, I think. Probably not. I might not get this done in time. Oh well. It will get done. And the next one is a giant blank space in my head, so there’s that. Aack.

Although now that I think about it, last night’s drawing is a step in the right direction. Seriously. I just figured that out.

Yeah, last night, after doing some of this…

(can you see the girlchild?) at a gym I never go to, because mine is being remodeled…

I came home, cooked my own dinner, graded a bit, and then sat down to cut stuff out, but reached for the sketchbook instead. Because. I should. And I like it. And why not (here’s why that quilt is not getting done, eh?). And I drew this…

And I just now realized this is the start of the next piece…I just need it bigger. And more of it. OK. This is good. I love it when I have these incredible insights in the morning, when I don’t even have tea in my brain yet, but it’s wandering off and figuring all the shit out without my conscious help. Yes!

OK, and then I cut stuff out, but it was 11:30 PM when I got to this…

And that’s one to two hours right there. So I didn’t start. Because (a) I had to be up early today for a parent meeting and (b) I knew if I started, I’d come home to a cat butt in one of those boxes with a bunch of tiny pieces all over that furry butt, and I didn’t want that. So tonight. This is on the bill. There might be other things too. But this for sure.

I finally finished my cover page for the new unit…took me long enough.

I think I did a pretty good job on Iron Man.

All the rest of the stuff in my head is some existential crisis of people and interactions and who’s here and who’s leaving and how long the ones are here will be here and whether there will be others to take their place and some of them will be far away for a long time and some need to at least get out of the house and some said they’d be around and then argue about what that means and and and. I’m in a mood. I’m tired. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed and that’s my own fault plus a job that just does that to you no matter what, so you have to get control of it and make the world your own. Working on it. It’s like when I’m trying to get 24 7th graders to meditation breathe, and they’re wiggly as hell and you’re like, just CLOSE YOUR EYES for the 17th time and then they all do (except one, because there’s always one) and you’re even sitting right in front of one, knee to knee, because he can’t do this without that, and you breathe in the nose for one two three four and out through the mouth one two three four and you only get three breaths in, but that’s enough, because all of a sudden it’s quiet except for that one girl who wouldn’t close her eyes and now she’s flipping her hair all over the place in that way that only a teenaged girl can and the rush of her hair through the cloistered air in the room makes a sound that disturbs the peace.

That’s my brain for today.

*Imagine Dragons, Believer