The Picture of a Happy Family

It is just the picture of a happy family at home here, as we nestled on the couch last night, boychild providing calculus support to the girlchild while randomly Googling facts about the show we were watching, SVU (happy wholesome TV), and I graded assignments about reproduction (asexual, sexual, and cloning), often dissolving into hysterical laughter when I read student interpretations of the notes I’d given them. Girlchild cooked a lovely dinner with vegetables, which are no longer forbidden here…well, they were never forbidden, but they were limited and now he eats a lot of things he wouldn’t eat before. Boychild helped out in the kitchen and then cleaned things, which was scary and nice. But eventually girlchild, who gets up earliest, went to bed, boychild wandered off to his room, and I went off to my studio to deal with the flesh and the water.

Tuesday night, I had time to pick the flesh fabrics I was going to use, but not to actually lay them out and iron them. So that’s what I started with…

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There’s not actually much flesh in this quilt. Most of the larger body and a goodly portion of the child are all under water. While I was ironing, though, I realized the bones didn’t go through to the bottom part of the leg. I don’t usually change things at this stage, but this bugged me, so I drew in the lower bones…

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Traced them and ironed them. Easy enough, and now I won’t stare at it, wondering where the bones disappeared to.

Really, that’s when I should have gone to bed. I’ve been up way too late all week, and it’s starting to hurt in the morning. Or maybe Thursday mornings always hurt. Hard to say.

Being my usual cantankerous and stubborn artistic self, I kept going…and I didn’t keep going into something simple. Oh no. I went for the water…big crazy pieces of curliness…

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And this crazy thing…

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That is one piece. I don’t know what I was thinking. It will be “fun” to cut out (not).

I have quilt class tonight, so I’ll start cutting them out then…

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I’m not done ironing yet though. I have at least another 150 pieces to go. I’d like to get them done tonight, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to. I have a little over 6 1/2 hours in so far, which is more than it should have taken for a 600-piece quilt.

I also seem to have more colors of fabric than I normally would for a quilt with this few pieces…

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We’ll see if that’s true at the end. All I have left to iron is the adult woman in the piece. She doesn’t have a lot showing, but her hair is incredibly complicated. Wanna know why? Because when I first drew it, it wasn’t the right size or shape, so I just added to it…and that added about 40 pieces. Crazy, right? Well we already know about that.

Today is the last day of state testing (hallelujah) and my kids started microscopes yesterday, which means my sarcasm spilled over…”What is that?” “I don’t know.” “Where is your slide, your coverslip?” “What are those?” “The things I just stood up there and showed you how to prepare, that I showed you a video on yesterday and made you take notes about the day before. Where are they?” “I don’t know.” It takes a massive amount of patience to teach some days, really, on any hands-on lab day and many technology days, and I can’t say that my patience is at a maximum at the moment. I said, “Oh my God! Look! It’s an e!” about 17 times yesterday (the first assignment is to look at a newsprint letter e).

But they will survive me, as I survive them. And they will move on to the next grade, the next science teacher, and they will either hate them or come back and tell me how they have an A in science now (good job!), and the really annoying ones, the ones I wanted to run away from on the last day of school, they will come see me every day and yell “I love you!” across the quad and hug me when they get close enough…except for the few that I am STILL glaring the evil eye at, even a year later. I think it’s sad that we only really remember the badly behaved or tragic students…that those good kids you see every day doing amazing work…they make me happy in the moment when I see their test scores or their very cool science drawings or their happy little faces as they wave at me…but they’re the ones I forget over the years…their names, their faces. Sigh. Is that proof that the bad sticks to us easier than the happy? Hard to say.

This is an interesting article about an artist who did a show of white women in advertisements over a span from 1915 to current-day, removing all the text and just leaving the pictures. I thought it was telling that the author, a white woman, wasn’t sure if things were better now than they were in the ad from 1915…in fact, they might be worse. In advertising, in imagery about our bodies, I think it is worse.

Me and my early-morning headache (woken by girlchild screaming about spider; I really needed that extra two minutes of sleep, dammit) will now attempt to go to work and be calm and patient for the first part of the day. It’s really up to the kids as to how long that sticks. Looking forward to hopefully finishing the fabric-choosing part of this quilt tonight. And maybe sleeping. That never seems important at night…just the next morning.

Girlchild is now at school, now that the spider is dead. Boychild is intelligently still asleep. I am questionably awake and ready to go to work (well, not really READY per se, but I should go). The happy family continues (yours may be a bit different than mine).

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