A Nuclear Error, but I Have No Fear*

May 22, 2018

OK, well I managed to finish the current quilt last night, fully two nights earlier than I thought. Basically everything took less time at the end than I thought it would, which is interesting, because the earlier stages seemed slower than similar quilts of that size. It’s all a crapshoot…all the time I keep track of helps me estimate, but it’s never reality. That’s sort of the lesson I get out of life…you can guess what might happen, but life does its thing no matter what.

But first, we walked the dogs…they always need the exercise. So do I. These flowers are out again…they like it damp.

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Someone left this by the trail…

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After dinner, I sewed bindings and sleeves on for about 2 1/2 hours to finish.

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There was a lot of sleeping going on around me.

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Only three of the four come out here to sit. And that little gray one wanted to be ON the quilt. I said no. Pins in your butt, cat.

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Eventually the two smaller ones left, but the big old lady was tired. And I finished the handwork.

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I knew this one needed some ink…so I added that. Although now, looking at the picture, there’s more to do on that.

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More cat butt. Cats are funny about whatever you’re working on…need to be right on it or in front of it.

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Anyway, it’s done…and now I have to realistically see (or not so realistically, honestly) if I can finish the next one in time. I sort of mapped out time…and then laughed hysterically. Anyway, my plan is to get all the Wonder Under traced this week…and maybe start cutting it out. We’ll see. I’m also supposed to be grading stuff…but we had a major issue realized Sunday night about the websites the kids did. Hopefully we can fix that today quickly (ugh) so I can grade those. Not Panicking. Not Panicking.

I have work showing in Sweden, opening this weekend, part of the Feminism Now show that’s been here in San Diego and up in Los Angeles…mine is the top left…


So if you’re in Stockholm, check it out. I’m not in Stockholm, but a few of the artists are…


One of the things we taught yesterday as part of puberty was in response to the Santa Fe, Texas, shooting. If someone says no, then you’re not entitled to keep harassing them. I also taught about incels…and talked a little about what to do if you are feeling the way that kid must have felt to shoot people because a girl wouldn’t go out with him. Or what to do if your friend is really angry like that. TELL TELL TELL. Or snitch, as my kids call it. I didn’t gender the anger, but saw this quote later…

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This world is really difficult sometimes. Especially when you’re trying to get a bunch of 12-year-olds out of vengeance mode…it’s something I’ve heard from them for the last week. If someone does something to them, like bullying, their response is to get back at them. I realize they’re still kids, but y’all need to get out of the video game and into human reality sometimes. And yeah, it’s mostly boys…a couple of girls, but mostly boys. Large disturbed sigh.

Today? Today is long. Teaching menstruation and ejaculation (oh my!) and then a science meeting and then at some point, I’ll be tracing Wonder Under. That’s a long way away though.

*The Clash, London Calling

Take a Walk on the Wild Side*

May 21, 2018

Yup. I skipped writing all weekend. It’s not because I was out doing totally amazeballs things away from technology, so I couldn’t check in and clear my brain (cuz that’s REALLY why I write, to do the brain dump thing…AND to keep me on task with the artmaking stuff). Nope. It was just because I was trying to get this quilt done…and I was pretty close to successful.

Friday night, I graded…and yes, that woman in the background was me. Totally.

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But I only graded until it was time to head out for the musical event of the evening. This was in the parking lot where I left my car…

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Everyone likes old signs.

Then to the Music Box for that band I follow…

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It was a good show…might be because we got a VIP table this time. Much nicer experience…but not particularly cheap.

Came home and then hey…I was the one who fed all you bastards and threw balls and petted snotty-nosed cats. But I do not get all the love (actually, I’m OK with that)…

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Saturday, I got up (eventually…it was a long, exhausting week)…and started quilting…outlining first.

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And I outlined pretty much all day Saturday, on and off.

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While on FaceTime with the girlchild, do you see the mouse? On the agave leaf? He was trying to get seeds off my weeds (see, having weeds is good for the ecosystem. Please tell my neighbors.).

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Fascinating stuff. Back to the outlining. This usually takes the longest part of quilting, because I have to be (semi) careful and go (semi) slowly.

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It helps that the machine behaved…always. This section will need inking too.

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Then a late afternoon walk to clear the brain and allow my eyes to see in the far distance, instead of cross-eyed close up.

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No coyotes out there this time. Well, that we could see.

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Sometimes you just need to get out into nature. I need more of that.

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I remembered to take a picture of the two backing fabrics. Told you they were obnoxious together. The fish one is at least 22 years old.

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I bought three different fish fabrics to make baby bedding before my son was born. This was one that didn’t get chosen…and he’s 22 years old plus. Graduating this weekend. So it makes sense to use it now. Probably not gonna make a baby quilt out of it now.

More outlining…this is still Saturday…

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I finished outlining around 8 PM…

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Then out to dinner and this cat. Well, he was really close to my face. He didn’t want me to finish my book (I did anyway).

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I was too tired at that point to keep quilting. So I read and then went to bed.

Sunday morning (still hard to wake up)…the background quilting was pretty basic. I just followed the board lines in the floor.

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And did a big stipple thing on the wall. It took almost no time at all to be finished.

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I trimmed it easily…

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Went to the quilt store, bought binding, a fabric I think I’ve used somewhere else in a binding, but can’t remember where (it was the right shade of dark brown)…sewed the binding on after dinner, and then started the hand-sewing.

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It’s going to the photographer on Thursday. So I need to finish sewing and do the ink stuff in the next night or two. And then get going on the next deadline. No problem! Seriously, I’m feeling kind of amazing at the moment. As long as I don’t think about school.

I did grade some on Sunday as well, but noticed a huge issue with what I need to grade…not sure how to solve it. Only panicking slightly. OK, a little more than slightly. Sleep was not my friend last night. This week will be a challenge…I think I’ve been saying that since February. No but this time I mean it! Laughing hysterically (maybe a little TOO hysterically) over here.

I think the quilting took about 5 1/2 hours and I’ve got 2 hours into the binding so far. So things didn’t take as long as I thought they would. I tried to pick a similarly sized/complicated piece to figure the time…but this one was apparently simpler and faster. That’s a good thing. I’m deliberately trying not to think about the other quilt in terms of time. Because grades will be due in the middle of all that. Plus 4 days lost to travel. It’s OK…I’m looking forward to seeing the boychild graduate from college. Seems like a fair trade-off. The other quilt will either get done in time or it won’t. Like all things in life.

*Lou Reed, Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Taking Me Where I Want to Be*

May 18, 2018

Whomp! Upside the head with a Friday. Hey. It’s Friday. This is a good thing. I feel like I’ve been run over by a semi, but otherwise, it’s a good thing. Thursday, ah Thursday, you were a kick in the head. It’s OK…all my extra irritation by the end of a long day? I used it to clean a floor and pinbaste a quilt. I didn’t get as far as I wanted, but that’s life. It sees your plans and then fucks with them.

I didn’t make it to quilt class. I didn’t come right home and pinbaste a quilt. I drove to a hospital twice and tried to avoid a fatality crash on one of our major freeways (I did actually manage to miss this) and ate dinner around 10:15 PM, which was cold pizza because my delivery guy had to be about 70 years old and he was very slow moving (I’m not saying all 70-year-olds are slow-moving and would cause cold pizza, but this guy was and did) and peed some dogs and ran them around for about 10 minutes before leaving again. It’s all good. Today everything will be better, right? At some point, I think that’s true. I’m waiting to hear all the good news.

So before the pizza finally showed up and after I made it home for the second time, I cleaned my entryway floor, so I’d have somewhere to lay the quilt out for pinbasting. Then after pizza, I sewed the backing together…I’ll have to remember to take a picture of that….because it’s big fishes for half of it and Monet florals for the other half. I had two big pieces of fabric. I used them. I don’t freakin’ care what the back looks like.

Laid out on the entryway floor…this is around 11 PM. This quilt isn’t actually that big. I think it’s 44″ x 52″? Something like that.

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Wow. The lightbulbs in there really need replacing…

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There will be no light in your photos. I’m really looking forward to the quilting part, where the details will start to pop.

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I did buy the quilting thread already. I was supposed to quilt last night. I didn’t. It was after 11:30 when I finished pinning. I went to bed soon after, basically after I finished a glass of wine. Just one. So tired.

Sweet Calli…the dogs were very patient with me last night, mostly with my not being there and when I was there, not really being there. They know how to get attention. But yeah, I have deadlines right now.

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And I’m trying to balance it all. But sometimes shit happens and people you love need stuff, so you deal with it. It’s not the end of the world if I don’t make this deadline. The quilt will still get done and put in a show somewhere…just not this one.

*Depeche Mode, Never Let Me Down Again

And Eight, Eight, I Forget What Eight Was For*

May 17, 2018

Maybe a nap a day, a tiny nap, a throw-your-head-back-on-the-couch kinda thing, a moment or less than 20 minutes of closed eyes and not reading stuff on the phone…maybe that’s a good thing. It doesn’t feel normal, but apparently it’s what I need at the moment. Today, though, today I’m going to have to come home and get right to work…if I want to be effective at all. Good to know ahead of time. Yesterday, I left school and went straight to Joanns (hell) for thread and batting. It was almost empty, so it was a good thing. Sometimes I’m incredibly efficient. So maybe that nap on the couch between 6 and 6:15 PM was because I’d been ON and GOING for hours. I see my brain poking ahead in the lesson plans, looking for the movie days, which are the only days we teach this unit where we get a break at all. It’s exhausting.

I know there are cultures where napping is normalized for adults. I know old people are allowed to nap. Little kids nap (well…mine stopped at age 2). I do worry that I seem to be more tired right now than usual. What’s causing that? (a lack of sleep, you dingdong.)

So the pluses are that (1) I finished all the stitch down last night…

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I had done some estimating of time based on previous quilts, but this one was quick and easy, shorter than I thought. That’s a good thing on my inexorable stomp toward getting it done.

I was done well before midnight, too, so I took the batting that I had just bought and washed…

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And I trimmed a piece the size of the quilt. What I really should have done next is piece the backing.

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I was apparently too tired for that. I found two pieces that were big enough to piece, and I laid them out on top of the quilt, but that was it.

So I have quilt class tonight. What I’m going to try to do is leave school in a timely fashion (shouldn’t be hard, although I’m blowing off the World Cultures’ Fair, oh well), come home, piece the backing, clean the entryway floor, and pinbaste the quilt, so I can take it to class and start the quilting. Sometimes pinbasting takes a long time. Usually it doesn’t. I have about 2 hours. That’s a medium amount of time. Not a lot. So no naps today, eh?

But if I start quilting today, that’s going to take me about 10-15 hours. So I’m still in the range here. I could do it. I should probably email the photographer. Maybe Saturday? When I have more done? I haven’t even looked at next week yet…I just know it’s painful.

Well and then there’s this thing.

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I think she’s happily napping here. Dogs do it so much better than humans.

Ok, gonna have to drag my tired self to school. Today we start with reproductive anatomy. Can you hear the screams from here?

*Violent Femmes, Kiss Off

Acting Steady Always Ready to Defend Your Fears*

May 16, 2018

Ugh. Braindead. Twitching eyelid. Mornings. Things I like: more sleep. Really, I think that’s not true. I want more hours in the day. But sleep sounds nice. It’s probably really nice to be asleep. Damn. It’s only Wednesday. Gotta get through relationship abuse (not personally…teaching about it), yes means yes, anatomy, and puberty before the weekend. We used to start on the first day with anatomy and totally freaked them out…but now we start a little easier and talk about liking vs loving. Already had to bring up repeatedly that it’s OK to love someone and NOT want to have sex with them. Sigh.

It was a long day…I have duty this week and I had tutoring yesterday too. I get home and I’m completely burnt out. I did sit down and calculate the hours it would take me to finish this quilt (approximately 31) and how many days I had (approximately 9…well…now 8). And I did some math and stared at the calendar. Then I calculated hours on the next one (100) and days I had (22? I think?). Um. Yeah. I then proceeded to work on this quilt, because I still think I can pull it off. I might be crazy.

Well, you already know the answer to that. I think I need to average 3.3 hours a night to finish. OK. Wait. I’m laughing hysterically. Last night, I did 2 hours and 50 minutes. I could have done more, but I was tired. So I took a break. Tonight I have more time.

I finished ironing the stuff on the mantel. That was easy.

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Then I pieced the background and ironed everything down. That was also easy, although somewhat time-consuming. This quilt isn’t huge (it’s also not small), so it wasn’t too hard. I’m just realizing I’m totally gonna need thread for the background. I don’t think I have anything that will work.

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Total iron down was 14 1/2 hours. When did I start? Thursday. Last night was Tuesday. That was fast.

And then I started stitching down. I got everything down on the floor done and started on the standing figure.

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So that’s on my list for tonight…I don’t know if I need batting though. Damn. I should figure that out now. Because it’s closer to school than home. Ugh. OK. Thread and batting.

Calli on her daily ride back to my house, where she likes to escape the fence and run away to this house. Even though no one is there either. Weird dog.

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OK, I’ve eaten and drunk most of my tea and I’m still exhausted. This job kicks my ass some weeks.

Is it realistic to think I will get this quilt sandwiched and pinbasted after school tomorrow, so I can quilt at class? Probably not. Sigh.

*Aimee Mann, That’s Just What You Are

Happiness Hit Her Like a Bullet in the Back*

May 15, 2018

Well today is the big day…the day we start teaching human reproduction and all the resulting crap to our kids. Are we ready? Well we never really are, although as far as attention span, this usually means we don’t have a problem for most of the rest of the year. That’s a plus. It’s a high-maintenance unit though, with not a lot of down time for the teacher. You can’t really set them free on the internet to explore a topic. So direct instruction for most of 5 weeks. Talking every day all day…let’s hope my voice holds up.

I’m so very tired, even with going to bed earlier…I think I can blame school. I’m really looking forward to a break. I guess that’s always true.

Anyway, I came home, walked the dogs, cooked dinner, and then ironed. I wanted to be done. It’s always like that…you wanted to be done or you were done. Or you knew you were nowhere near done.

We ate late so I started late. We ate late because I walked the dogs. So it’s like a cascade of late things. I started by ironing the fireplace…I needed it to be dark so the figures would stand out.

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The female figure even mostly fit…I had to add two pieces of fire to make it work. It happens…stuff shifts around and doesn’t fit perfectly. I’m not particularly anal about perfect ironing. I make it work. You can make the pieces stretch or add stuff behind so it fills in.

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At midnight, this is all I had left…a spider web, a key, and a candlestick in a holder. But I wanted to get to bed at a reasonable time…so I quit. I knew I’d have to piece the background before I could iron it all down anyway…so I guess that’ll be tonight.

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He fit pretty well…I had one piece that needed shifting, but I just pulled it until they would stick together.

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Looking good. Tonight I’ll finish the last little bits and get it all onto the background…and hopefully start the stitch down. I’ve spent almost 13 hours ironing it together so far. Like I said before, I’m not sure I can hit the deadline on this one. It’s going to be tight if it happens at all. Oh well. That’s the way it goes. I don’t think I’ll be able to finish the next one either, honestly. Sigh. I’m debating quitting on this one for a while and trying to get the next one done. I’ll think about that. I’m really on a day-to-day basis at the moment. Probably not the best plan if I have deadlines. Tonight I’ll analyze my remaining time and make a decision.

There was sun yesterday morning. Satchemo found it. The chair is holding his head up.

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There’s no sun this morning. Poor kitty. I wanna be a kitty some mornings.

*Florence and the Machine, Dog Days Are Over

Until I Have to…

May 14, 2018

So over the weekend, I managed about 7 hours of ironing this quilt together…but until I went and added all the time up, it felt like I hadn’t accomplished anything because I wasn’t DONE. Need to work on that mindset. I did OK. No, I’m not done…it’s true…and it’s possible I’m not going to get this done by the deadline. The world will not end. It’s still going to be a great quilt. It’ll show somewhere.

So where am I? I’m still ironing. Yup. Not done.

But first, a sleepy puppy.

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Because he’s cute.

So I left off with the body done…but she’s holding this heart and sewing up a gash in it. So I ironed the heart together…

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And then shoved it in the hole where it belonged…ironed some fingers together to go on top of it.

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Strangely everything fit together fairly well. Then I ironed the hair in there and the face parts separately. They’re too hard to see with all the hair around, and I always iron eyes separately so I can place them correctly on the face. It’s less of an issue with just one eye. With two, I don’t want them crooked.

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Face in place…all good. That hand is HUUUGE. I like it.

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Then I laid out all the 700s…moving into the fireplace area…

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And I ironed most of them down into the hearth. Seriously…that’s about all of the 700s right there.

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I laid out the 800s, which is the stonework and the rest of the fireplace…and then I looked at the clock. Midnight. Damn. Can’t start out the week on too little sleep. It just snowballs by the end, and I’ve got stuff to do Friday night. Can’t be exhausted. So I went to bed.

All that’s left are the 800s and 900s…the fireplace and the stuff on it. Then iron the whole mess together and onto a background. I might be able to get all that done tonight. It’s more likely I’ll get most of it done, but not onto a background. Stitch down tomorrow night or Wednesday? One of those. It’s going to be tight, this quilt. I have to work hard at grading stuff at school, so I don’t have to bring it home. I’m not even going to think about next week. Until I have to.