Catch Up…

Such efficiency yesterday. School stuff done (not all of it, but the stuff that had to be done…although that’s a never-ending task), groceries done (except for what I need to go to a different store for today, which is luckily a holiday for me so I can do that), cooked dinner, tried to use things up, mostly successful (way too many potatoes), finished the slides for tonight (just need to roll up all the quilts and then NOT forget to take anything), did the assigned daily art item, graded some stuff, AND ironed a head together. I feel pretty good about yesterday. Let’s hope today continues that feeling. Because I know going to school tomorrow will once again make me feel like I’m way behind (laughs until cries). I do keep track of my grading to-do list. It used to be piles of papers, but now it’s mostly online, so it is harder to see. I still FEEL it though. Never caught up. Never caught up.

So today I go to the doctor to talk about the weird pain that waxes and wanes. Maybe to talk about my blood sugar numbers. Maybe I will get a little irritated about how that shit was handled. We’ll see. Irritated doesn’t really help things. Straightforward criticism of patient instructions (or lack thereof) is probably more useful. We’ll see. I like my doctor. I don’t really want to find a new one. I just don’t think diabetes care is her specialty.

Anyway. So. Kitten keeps me company as I work on the computer.

Or she might be about to eat that magazine. Hard to say. I spend a lot of time on computers. For art. For work. For everything. Oh yeah, you can go here if you want to see a local article about me. They basically have the artists write their own articles and then refer them to friends. It’s nice to see all my friends’ articles though. We talk about art, but not usually in these terms.

I traced the moon appliques onto freezer paper and got most of them cut out last night. Now to choose some appropriate flesh fabrics.

That was actually Sunday’s assigned project I was working on. A miracle. We watched a movie (and the moon!), so I had some extra time. Or maybe I did this while dinner was finishing up. Can’t remember.

After dinner and dishes, though, into the office/studio for ironing. I started by unsticking everything I’d done…carefully folding it up so hopefully I don’t lose any pieces.

It will come back out later. I need to deal with the last two heads by themselves. They’re just too damn big.

The bottom half of Figure 4’s jaw…

This thing is bigger than it looks here.

You can get a better idea of size here…

That head could swallow that cat.

Head done, except for the eyes and nose slits for the snakes.

I needed to go to bed, because even though I have today off, I had to get up for the doctor. Need to leave soon actually. Anyway, I feel pretty good about that extra hour I did…I’ll finish the eyeballs and nose slits today and then move on. Although today is busy, so we’ll see what I can get done. Dogs walked, doc, groceries, talk plus dinner…hopefully some schoolwork in there. There’s a few assignments I just want done and out of my hair. Let’s hope I’m motivated today.

It’s nice to have an extra day off. Helps me “catch up”, whatever that means.

Everything Will Work Out

I did a lot yesterday. I marched. I stitched. I read. I ironed. A good day. I didn’t write, because I had to be out of here early, and I was not a responsible adult who went to bed early the night before, because…well…I can’t really explain that. I have stuff to do and it’s taking more time than I thought it would. As it always does.

I ended Friday with a kamikaze trip home after school to grab the dogs and run to the hills before we lost daylight…

With a little rain in the last few weeks, California gets green…so pretty. see the dog head down there.

It was still damp from a week’s worth of rain, but the skies were mostly clear.

We saw a million rabbits and hares, but only one coyote. Oh yeah, and this guy. Just sitting there as we walked past.

Yo. You’re supposed to be scared of people and dogs.

We were pushing it with the daylight thing, but it was a good walk for all involved.

The days are getting longer. This will get easier.

Saturday morning, I got up early and met a marching friend for brunch. I liked this cactus.

We went down and listened to music and speeches…sort of…while I stitched. I needed the mental down time. I didn’t want to stand. I’ve been standing all week. Two hours of standing is too much right now.

It felt good. Relaxing. Positive. And then we marched…because it’s important that we still represent…that the politicians can see that we’re still here and we’re still not happy with what’s happening, whether it’s immigration or women’s rights or issues of racism in our country.

I didn’t bring a sign this year. But I liked this one.

So true.

These were beautiful and heartbreaking. The immigrants who died in custody as they were trying to come here for safety. Children…

That’s not OK.

We need to be better than that. I hope we can be.

So I did some stitching Friday night during the movie watch…finishing up the August blocks…

So that whole section is done until I sew it to the next section, so I can finish the road and flowers on the other side of it.

I think I have to do the September blocks before that happens. Which I started at the march.

Didn’t get much done, but it’s a start. After dinner and some couple time, I came in here to iron…got another cat done…

And a snake…

And then the arm of Figure 4…

Along with a hurricane. I’m in the 900s. I’m getting closer to done. I’m hoping to work on it today as well, but I have school stuff, the slides for the talk tomorrow, and groceries. So I need to be efficient as hell to get to ironing as well. OK. Plan made. I also suspect I will need to iron Figure 4 by itself, instead of trying to fit it into what I’ve already ironed. It’s getting too large, too heavy, too unwieldy. But that’s OK. I’ll do Figure 4 and then see if I can add it to this. Or I might have to wait until I iron it to the background. It’ll be fine. Everything will work out. In time.

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