Check Out the Sky

Um. It’s not morning anymore. Yeah. That day completely disappeared. I’m not sure where. I’m posting now because I know we’re hiking tomorrow, plus I signed up for the SAQA virtual conference, so maybe I’ll watch/listen to some of that tomorrow too.

What have I done today? A virtual meeting for work, handed out school lunches, came home and managed some crazy shit, and cleaned all my quilts off the girlchild’s bed…because we’re bringing her home. She got laid off (a job dependent on people who need to go out and do things and can’t), and things are weird, so we’re bringing her home for now. More people! Hopefully she’s bringing toilet paper with her, right? Yeah no.

Handing out lunches yesterday in the rain…today, no rain…just chilly.

It’s exciting. I came home and video-chatted with my quilt teacher who moved to Portland…

And I made some bugs…see…

She was amused.

We walked the dogs…

When we left, it was sprinkling. I bet you can guess how this story ends…with all of us sopping wet and muddy. Yup. Tomorrow, the boychild and I are going to do 6 miles sans doggos.

Then we’re gonna drive to the airport and pick up the girlchild. After we sanitize her for being in a different city AND on a plane. I put her on a nonstop because otherwise she was sitting in Las Vegas or Minneapolis for 3 hours. Seemed silly.

I called in a food order last night, trying to keep a small business going, and picked up Indian food…the skies were beautiful.

Slow down. Check out the sky. It’s worth it.

Lovingly biting the crap out of each other.

We’re staying away from my parents right now…too many exposures in this household. Although the only place I went today was to school.

I did some more wool work, on this one, Homegrown by Sue Spargo…I do this after dinner while we watch whatever we’re watching.

I worked on another one as well, but she hasn’t published the book yet, so I can’t show you. It should be soon, but who knows with all this crazy stuff going on.

I finally went into the office to finish ironing. I pieced a background and ironed the whole thing down. Interestingly, or maybe frustratingly, I had found one of the windmills had fallen off, so I put it ‘somewhere safe’. I’m sure you already know what that means. Yes. I lost it. I spent a total of 20 or 30 minutes looking for it and then gave up and cut out a new one…

Not a huge deal. There she is, all ironed down.

Stitchdown starts tonight. Some pup was hanging out after I took him out to pee.

Dogs are good. Dogs are nice. This dog barks a lot, but he’s very loving too. When he’s not biting you because you’re combing out his knots. So there’s that.

OK, well I actually posted some stuff on Google Classroom to entertain kids (and maybe even help with learning). The co-teacher and I are recording video of a graphic novel for the kids, related to what we are studying. But nothing can be required right now. That might change after Spring Break, but we’ll see…the district still says we’re coming back on April 20th. Crazy shit, y’all. Crazy shit.

Stay well. Wash hands. All that. Tomorrow’s post will probably be late too, since we’ll be out in nature, avoiding the other people who are out in nature. Like you do.

It Still Holds Tea…For Now…

I started writing this and then somehow overflowed a toilet. Yes, I realize there are things that do that, but I don’t think I’ve overflowed a toilet since the kids were little. Makes me wonder what my plumber is doing right now…probably escaped to the desert with his significant other, never to be seen again. I’m supposed to be seeing this as a staycation, and sometimes I can do that. I’m home. I’m limited in what I can do. Yesterday the pilates place canceled two weeks of classes, but gave me some online freebie, which the gym did too. I just need to schedule classes in my mind so that I actually do something physical. I thought about walking to school today to distribute food, but it’s raining, so maybe tomorrow. It’s less than an hour there and another less than an hour back. I think. 2 1/2 miles each way.

I know this feels weird for everyone. It is weird. It’s all weird.

Yesterday, I came home from food distribution and packed up a quilt for a show.

Womanscape is on her way to the Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, KY, for Fantastic Fibers. I managed to catch the UPS driver and he took it, rather than having to drive all the way to the customer center. Yeah, I insured it. It’s big and expensive and who knows what will happen in the next few months. But it got me thinking about the fact that I really enjoy working on the big complicated quilts, and maybe that’s the solution to my brain right now. Get the next one started. Stop worrying about stuff being ready for deadlines, because all those are going to change or disappear. This is an artist’s retreat of sorts (although I envisioned a new landscape and that’s not happening, is it?).

Yesterday I didn’t do much with art stuff…well, art fabric stuff. I have this pile of stuff that’s brainless, all prepped, so when we’re watching TV after dinner, I can just pick one without thinking about it.

I worked on Fresh Cut last night…black on black is hard at night, that’s for sure. I need better light.

OK, in daylight, it’s better. Maybe this is a daylight-only piece. Things I’m learning.

I did start a drawing though. I’m not sure I like all of it, but it’s a place to start. I think I’m going to enlarge it a bit and make something LAARRGGEE.

Arm needs to move. Cat needs to change. I like the lungs and the heart though…although the heart needs to shift a bit. Maybe. I’ll think about it.

Calli is enjoying more people home. I threw the ball for her a little bit (she’s old and starts to breathe really heavily). You can see the mallow we planted on the left yesterday…bottlebrush right above her.

There’s a ceanothus going in next.

I noticed the crack in this cup is getting worse.

It still holds tea. For now.

I have too many of these in my head…

This one…

Yeah. Well. We run dark here. I guess.

So I didn’t iron yesterday. I think I finished my taxes. It looks good…because of the solar installation.

Might be able to pay off the girlchild’s college…my part of it anyway. Maybe. That quilt is Disrupted. It’s from 2010. The #marchmeetthemaker and #igquiltfest prompts were about your favorite quilt and what you’re proud of. I do love a lot of my quilts, but I’m proud that everything (arteries etc) lined up on this one. It’s impressive when it hangs too. It was for an exhibit called Sightlines.

OK. Well. Chaos around us all. Exercise today. Ironing today. Who knows what else today. Right now, I’m going to go feed kids. And then maybe sit down and plan my day.

Something Useful…

I’m writing late. I went to school today to distribute food. We ran out early, but hopefully will have more tomorrow. It was good to be out and doing something useful.

Yesterday, the boychild and I got a few more plants for the backyard. This one, a mallow, the leaves can be used for toilet paper…just in case, you know.

Plus the flowers are really nice. It got planted today in the misty rain. We also dropped a bag of stuff at Goodwill. Then did the social distance thing and walked the dogs in the middle of nowhere…almost. There was a picturesque mushroom.

And the skies were beautiful.

And I think the dogs appreciated it. I know I did. This sitting stuff is annoying.

What else did I do yesterday? Paperwork, started my taxes (and got frustrated about an hour into it trying to find documentation on a car that sold…aargh). I need that money though…to either get through the summer or pay off part of the girlchild’s college still.

After all that, and some food and reading, I worked on the braindead stuff…just stitch things down…except I already fucked one thing up. Oh well. The stripes on the bottom were supposed to go vertical. Not the end of the world. This is Sue Spargo’s Homegrown block-of-the-month. I was trying to decide what to take on our Spring Break trip, and Folk Tails (or is it Tales) is too big right now for that, so I was going through my stash and started a bunch at a time.

No worries. I’ll figure it out. It’s relaxing to stitch. I should do more of it. Although I suspect our trip is canceled. One of the parks is closed (although it doesn’t mention the campgrounds) and one of our Airbnb reservations canceled. We still have some hope, I guess. Or not.

Yesterday’s #marchmeetthemaker prompt was self care…it’s definitely this outside hiking stuff. It clears my brain…

And since my gym is now closed and the pilates studio is sure to be next, I’ll need more of this. Despite the rain.

Eventually I made it in to iron…

Got the head and torso done and started on the upper arm.

I’m watching Dead Like Me, which is appropriately amusing and dark, all at the same time. I might have to rewatch all the seasons of X-Files or Star Trek if worst come to worst.

That’s how far I got last night…almost done. So today, I need to ship my quilt to Fantastic Fibers before San Diego goes into secure lockdown, or whatever they’re going to call it. They say they will put up the show if the quilts get there, and I’m afraid if I wait any longer, the UPS place will be closed…or I won’t be able to ship. So I’m sending that today. And then I’ll work on ironing tonight again. Plus some reading. Some exercise…find the free weights and a good video or two. I think my gym provided some. And more thinking healthy thoughts.

What’s Up…

Well. Here we are. Hello America, in all your stages of pandemic closures or not. Here in San Diego, schools and libraries are closed. Restaurants are supposed to seat people far apart, 50% capacity. Bars, nightclubs, etc are supposed to stay closed. They haven’t closed gyms and fitness centers…yet. Businesses are still open, but emptyish. I did some errands yesterday…tried to stay away from people, but some haven’t figured out that social distancing also means not standing right behind me in a line. Sigh. The man is at work. I called the parents and offered my delivery services, and they laughed it off. It’s a weird world.

I’ve been doing a lot of prep work on brainless block-of-the-month applique stuff that I can just sit and stitch without thinking. That’s sometimes all I can do. I’m reading a book. I’m petting a lot of furry beasts. I haven’t been able to get my head around grading anything or school stuff yet. I did post one video Friday night for the kids who missed a lab station last week, and then sent a parent email from all the team for things they could do over the break…

I’ll get to grading eventually. Maybe today. Start with something easy.

When we heard the libraries were closing today, I persuaded the man to come out to the downtown library Saturday for an exhibit I’m in that just opened. I took pictures and will post a link once I’ve written/resized all that.

I’d never been to the downtown library until last week. It’s an interesting space.

I posted about help and studio friends for #igquiltfest and #marchmeetthemaker. I have a core group of about 4 or 5 stitching friends. Some I’ve known for 30 years and even when they move away, we try to ‘meet’.

Sometimes in person…sometimes not. Even as an introvert, we need the connections. For most recent finish (can’t remember if that’s #igquiltfest or #marchmeetthemaker)…is this one…Connected at the Hips

And my current project as it was on Saturday…

I straight up didn’t get much done on Saturday. My brain was in a nose dive. I ironed maybe 100 pieces…

Sunday, I got almost three hours in…much better…

I also got some video done for my Patreon…should get processed and posted today…

This is the space I need to be in…

So many shows and openings are being canceled or are up in the air…

But I can still make. I’ve got about another 125 pieces to go on this. So yes, I ran out yesterday and did this…

I use a lot of blue for outlining.

And I did lots of cat/dog watching…Luna watching birds as I watch her…

I guess my paper roll has multiple uses now.

Nova in sleepy mode…

Plans for today? Thrift shop, assuming it’s open, to get rid of some clothes that have been lying around…

Luna when you close the bathroom door…

No privacy here…

Nova destroying another piece of furniture…

They are destructive beasts…when they’re not adorably sleeping together…

Yin/yang cats. I think we’re going to a plant nursery to get a plant for the big hole in the back yard. Then walk the dogs.

Out in the middle of nowhere. My dentist called this morning and we rescheduled to July. I have a jury duty notice coming (oh that’s funny). Book Club rescheduled to April. So now I have time to finish the book. Not sure what’s happening to gaming…that’s Friday. As of tomorrow, I’m distributing food at school three days a week. Let’s see how this goes.

Stay well. Stay sane. Love you all.

I Guess I’m on Vacation…

Wow. So it’s a surreal world today, isn’t it? My principal announced in the last five minutes of 2nd period yesterday that school would be out for the next 5 weeks (the last 2 weeks are our Spring Break anyway) and the crowd went wild. Literally. Like wild animals. Fun stuff. By the end of the day, each class was down 7-10 kids, which made it much easier to teach. Some kids cried, some whined, some were planning trips to venues that will most definitely close down in the next few days. The teachers were torn…on the one hand, this last week was really difficult and the 3-week stretch to Spring Break seemed endless. On the other hand, holy crap, had to get my classroom ready for deep cleaning before I left, post a video of the lab 1/3 of my students missed, make sure I had everything I needed out of the classroom, fill a big bag with stuff to grade, and then start processing it all last night. My kids who need the free breakfasts and lunches every day. The kids on suicide watch. The kids who prefer to be with their friends. How to come back after 5 weeks and get them back into the middle of a unit. How to behave for the next 5 weeks. I’m pretty good at self-isolation in general, but I do run errands and go to the gym and all that. How crazy do we get? Hard to know. Weird shit.

OK. Well. First of all, I have two shows that are essentially closed down, one for three weeks. That’s the Southwestern show. I think they reopen April 5. The library show is open today and tomorrow, and then the libraries close Monday until April 6. So I’m going to try to see it today. At some point, I have to ship two pieces out of here…but I think I have a week or two to deal with that. My head is whirling between what I SHOULD do, and what I CAN do, and what I NEED to do. My Spring Break is usually pretty straightforward: spend a day or two getting the errands done and then drive away from San Diego with a bunch of camping equipment. I have three weeks until we hit that, and who knows what will be happening then. So I can spend three weeks grading stuff, exercising, and making art. Sleeping in. Peeing when I want to. Trying not to worry.

This is the show at Southwestern College, which should be open after their Spring Break…you can see my two pieces on each side of the sculptures…

Looks good. Wish I could see it in person…but I will hopefully be traveling. To campgrounds. With a lot of cleaning supplies.

Ah, who knows what is happening in three weeks.

I’ll try to take pictures at the library today.

I was so bamboozled last night that I just sat on the couch, petted animals, and downloaded books from the library.

Eventually I came in the office and processed the video I needed to put together for my students. I stayed late at school yesterday and recorded all the pieces.

At one point, I was sandwiched between a warm and purring Luna…

And a warm and not-purring Simba…

Which helped enough to get my brain where it needed to be to come into the safe place…

Where the iron (and Kitten) was. I ironed and talked to my SIL (who is in Seattle, a week of self-isolation ahead of us, but with 3 kids cooped up with her). My niece, a senior in high school, has dropped her first official song on the world, on Spotify and iTunes…check her out.

My favorite part is when she sings about how she’s not dramatic. But dramatically. There’s also a great video of her and her mom dancing to the song while my brother reads. Which is about how it always is.

We all find ways to entertain ourselves. Boychild and I have a hike planned for Monday. Or walking the dogs. Same deal. It’s the only day with no rain.

I got all the 300s ironed together…I think it’s time to start ironing the flesh together.

I also woke up at like 2 AM with an entire drawing in my head. So there’s that. Tonight maybe?

Calli. You are a goofball. OK, well, again, wash your hands, stay safe, whatever that looks like for you. Stop buying all the toilet paper and rice. There are other healthier grains out there, people. I’m going to go shower now and venture to the post office and then hopefully to the library show. I don’t know what’s happening beyond that. Can’t process it. I guess I’m on vacation.

As Are We All…

It’s hard not to start today with the REM song It’s the End of the World in your head, even though it’s not. The world continues whether we get tested or get sick or die or not. These are stressful times. I know that if I’d made the time to make art last night, that would have been good, but I couldn’t get my head there. That’s the same head that kept me up until after midnight and woke me up at 5:15 (or was that the rain?). It’s an anxious head, so I do what I can to mellow its ass out. I should have meditated. Ironically, most of the stress is coming from school and kids who are reacting to the rain and Daylight Savings (being tired) and probably also to their parents’ stress over coronavirus and probably their jobs and the same stuff we teachers are feeling. But they turn into umbrella-poking, pencil-throwing, off-task, selfish dipwads. Wait. So do the adults. Sigh. Not all of them. Just enough to make it difficult.

It was a day. I left school. I delivered some art. Then I came home and the boychild and I made a grocery list for enough basics to get us through a few weeks (or possibly longer). I bought dog food (essentials) and then stood in a long line at the store, which was pretty well stocked with everything except rice. And wipes. I don’t understand how half the county will only be eating white rice for the next month, but whatever. There were plenty of other grains and frozen vegetables and some meat (not much chicken choice) and a bunch of toilet paper. That’s the thing I didn’t buy, because we have enough and I don’t understand that panic. I already got all my meds, so that’s good. Probably there are still some things we need, but even in Italy, the stores aren’t closed. Girlchild reports that Boston stores are wiped out…not even frozen veggies are available. Weird. Well, lots of humans in a small space? Anyway. It’s not the apocalypse and dammit there aren’t even zombies, but people are starting to think about what this might look like and canceling things left and right and that’s probably a good thing. It doesn’t FEEL good at the time, but in the long run, I think it will be better for our future sick people if we start to close shit down now.

Speaking of canceling, I suspect San Diego County schools will be closed starting next week, which is a whole ‘nother issue. We don’t know what that looks like, but I did order more batting last night…hopefully it will get here or I will be piecing what I have in my stash or making some smaller and long, thin pieces during the next few weeks. I’m trying to look forward to some time with no students (this year has been rough) and nothing to do (except grade about 6 things, two of which are not fun), but I’m worried about family and friends and what the next month or so might look like. As are we all. Well, except for my students, some of whom think this is the best thing ever! Until they realize all the fun stuff is closed and they can’t go hang out with people and even their games aren’t that interesting for that long. Or maybe they are. Some of them won’t get enough food or will be left home alone for too long, and that worries me with some of them.

I should focus on artmaking in a pandemic.

I don’t think I’m saying anything y’all haven’t already whispered to someone else or heard in your head or flat out yelled at the top of your lungs in a Starbucks.

Here’s the view from the top of the downtown library…somewhere I’d never been until yesterday.

That opening is canceled. The art is there and you can see it, but no large gatherings.

And here are blurry playing cats…which I may see a lot of over the next few weeks…

I’m sure I’m not the only one wondering what to do about vacation plans…I think social distancing includes hikes in the middle of nowhere, don’t you? But our trip to the National Parks in April is probably not happening unfortunately. Do we cancel? Do we wait and eat the money? Do we just go to the Airbnb stuff and not camp? Is that even an option? I don’t know the answers to any of that.

Anyway. Be well. I said that yesterday. Stay safe. Take care of yourselves. I’m hoping I’m writing about art tomorrow morning, because this stuff…I just need a break…all of us do and it’s not happening any time soon. (But imagine doing this years ago without the internet and Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and Spotify and books on your device and all the other things that entertain us! Now that sounds awful.)

Be Well, Y’all…

So we have this prediction in the house that March 21 is the day the US will hit the point of pandemic crisis that Italy just hit, with so many cases they can’t help anyone. That gives me 9 days to prepare…a grocery list, mostly for the animals; meds are in house, except one we need for the dog (calling on that today); I counted the toilet paper rolls…I think we’re OK (and I’m not waiting in line at Costco, because that’s just stupid). But more importantly…do I have enough Wonder Under, batting, and thread if I need to make a few quilts. Because I’m assuming schools will close at some point. San Diego is pretty clear of the virus (that we know of) so far…we’re behind the rest of the West Coast anyway. So I think we have that time.

Yesterday was a cluster for making art. I had a meeting run long, and then the grocery store was empty. Made dinner, graded an assignment, and that was basically it. SUCKED. I hate that. Tonight? Ugh. Maybe. Got one assignment done, though. Thanks Kitten for your oversight.

I have a pile of stuff that needs grading, and I know the next five days at school are high-maintenance, so there won’t be any of that happening there. Calli also is closely regulating what I was doing.

Sigh.

#Marchmeetthemaker was about range. It’s true I mostly make art quilts in a specific way about women’s issues and environmental issues. I do branch out though. I draw all the time, and recently made an artist book. I’m messing around with some new ways of making art quilts. I taught a class last year in embroidery on small art quilt blocks. I designed 9 embroidery patterns last year as well.

So all that was new and different. I’m challenged by some of the groups I’m in to do different things, and that is a good thing…although I seem to continue to come back to what I love…which leads to #igquiltfest…why do I quilt?

Ah. Well. Fabric obsession since young childhood. I remember pulling my mom’s box of fabrics she had from pajamas and dresses she’d made out of the cupboard, just to rummage through them. I have an art degree and gravitated to screenprinting, but when I got pregnant, it got too difficult to find the time to make screens, pull prints, clean screens. I never got a full hour or two to do such things, so I flipped to fabric. So much easier to carry around, drop if you needed to, etc. Plus the tactile quality of the fabric…the amazing patterns and colors available. It was a good thing for me. Still is.

Don’t know what she’s saying…but it’s probably along the lines of Pet Me.

OK, off to school. I have so much going on today…hope I make it home at some point. I realize social distancing is a thing, but I’m at school all day and life goes on. I won’t shake people’s hands? I did yesterday. Sigh. OK. Be well, y’all. Stitch on. Stay safe.