Y’all. Fabric Doesn’t Go Bad…

Damn. I was sure I wrote a blog post on Monday. I blame Daylight Savings…I lost an hour and I lost part of my brain with it, apparently. Still looking for it. Tell me if you see it. It doesn’t have any tags, but it’s running fast and zigzagging so you can’t shoot at it.

So yeah. What the fuck have I been doing anyway? Besides lesson planning and grading and screaming into the void? I still haz no sewing machine (I called. I was desperate. It’s not ready.). OK, I pulled out the old machine and 2 hours later, I found the pedal and the cord for it. It works fine for straight lines and basic stitching. I don’t want to attempt stitchdown or quilting on it. But it’s here for the crazy thing my quilt guild is doing, which involves these, and honestly, the crazy part is me because I wanted rainbows and wasn’t willing to just go with two fabrics.

More on that crazy shit later. When I can get any of it done. It’s straight lines (mostly) and brainless (sort of. there is math).

Meanwhile, I’m still trying to applique this thing by hand.

That fish fabric is some Matisse garden fabric from 20+ years ago. All these fabrics are from 20+ years ago.

(Y’all. Fabric doesn’t go bad.) Hey, so headless, missing fish parts, but getting there. Yes! Those are some Kaffe Fassett fabrics from back then. Even then, I loved his stuff. More on that below.

I’m getting down to the last bits, although this thing will need a bunch of embroidery, because I did that shit on my art quilts back then.

The fish are done. No, I can’t explain this quilt.

Seriously, it’s about childbirth and IDK what else. 21 years ago I had a 4-year-old and a 3-year-old and was working full time as a copyeditor and was still married. So another world, y’all. Another world.

I will finish her though. This year. Maybe even this month.

Back to Kaffe Fassett…I saw the new collection for 2021, started looking at what I wanted. Figured out that I wanted too many of them, so I used my birthday money (and some other money I got, thanks mom and dad) and bought a fat quarter package of all of them.

I will use these until I die. Or I run out. Hopefully the latter comes first. Yes, I washed and dried and folded all of them. I did not iron them. That’s crazy. I’ll iron them when I use them. I bought them from a quilt shop online that I haven’t shopped at before…and they were nice enough to send me a note…

Whoa. They know who I am. So that’s weird? Or cool. Anyway, check them out: StitchCraft. I just searched for that link and saw some other things that are catching my eye (MUST STOP). So I’ll think about those things. Support the indies! Yes, I could shop locally, and sometimes I do, but I also can’t leave the house much and this is faster and easier. Sigh. I miss shopping for fabric when I don’t actually need something specific, just wandering around the shop. I may schedule that.

School. Sigh. It has “this intoxicated thing inside of it.”

I have no idea what this kid is talking about. Although he mentioned atoms and balloons, which was on topic.

Also art. I’m going to have to do the start of a sketchbook page every day I teach art this week and next.

It’s OK. I do them during my prep period. I have to do two of them today, I think. And grade three assignments. Plus late work. It’s OK. Really. I’m sort of resigned to my online teaching existence right now. Because there are only 8 more working days until Spring Break. I may feel differently next week. Or even tomorrow. Or later today. My co-teachers who were recently quarantined (again) are feeling the pain of pivoting (hate that word) back to distance after being hybrid. I guess I’m used to it. It’s not like I have a choice. After break, they are going back to 5 days a week. That will probably be my reality in August. But I’ll be vaccinated and mostly feral. It’ll be fine.

I’m still walking, although I had to be non-strenuous (aka flat) until my stress test.

Lake Miramar has a dirt trail below the paved trail for most of the distance around the lake. Most? At least half.

It was muddy at times, but worth it to be off the pavement.

Almost 5 miles.

More than a little chilly. And breweries have opened up, so we stopped for a freezing outdoor cider before going home.

It was nice. Relaxing. Almost normal. Not really. But better. We were outside for dinner too…also cold.

I’ve been drawing before dinner. It’s good. To draw. I missed it.

Monday’s walk with the little dog, who had some pent-up energy.

Me too, little dog.

Dinner Monday night. Good food, but the recipe said 20-minute prep, and that was an hour.

I did make my own roasted peppers, but still y’all. ‘Twas not fast.

Oh yeah. Go to this link and read this article about how Michaels censored a cross-stitch artist’s book (Stephanie Rohr you can buy patterns there too) they ordered. During Women’s History Month. And then go buy her book from an indie book store. And if you have some extra cash, offer to buy one for someone who doesn’t. I just sent one to one of my daughter’s friends.

Ah Nova. You are the sweetest cat in the house.

OK. School today. Exercise. Hopefully some more poking holes in my fingers with needles (sewing. Nothing weird. Just sewing.).

I Will Ignore Stupid Shit Today

I guess the pro is that March is slipping away from me, disappearing like so much fluff. Spring Break will be here soon, or in my students’ minds, tomorrow (two weeks is kinda like tomorrow). It’s all doable when you break it down into chunks, right? I’m a little concerned that I haven’t finished grading last week’s work…so I’m getting backed up again. It’s a clusterfuck of time, really…takes so much time to make things to use in online school, and then some days, what I’m doing in Zoom is really time-consuming. Yesterday was 9-3 non-stop talking, I think. I was exhausted. Today will be more of the same for art…in fact, I should actually test out what we’re doing in class before actual class time to make sure I know what I’m doing. Like maybe watch the art teacher’s video even. IN MY SPARE TIME. Nah, it’s really good that she makes videos for the kids that I can also use to figure out what we’re doing.

I do want to get more art done, but the sewing machine is clogging up my process, or the lack of sewing machine. Calling today! But I’m still working on the hand-appliqued piece. It deserves to be finished. It’ll look weird with my current style, but that’s OK.

Hi, Simba…and the man…

It’s getting done. I might pull out the old machine tonight though if my baby is not ready. I like sitting and hand stitching, don’t get me wrong, but I need something to get finished for my own sanity right now.

Last night, I hung out on Zoom with my now-biweekly stitching group, which was nice. I’m working on something that hasn’t been published by Spargo yet, so I can’t show it, but it’s also not very exciting at the moment…I’m just sewing flowers on. I have 13 of 24 done. They are time consuming. After the flowers are on, there will be 24 flower centers and about a million little circles that go on. THEN I get to embellish them. So it’ll be a while. She’ll publish the pattern before I finish probably. But it’s been a calming companion since I started working on it at the beginning of the pandemic.

Last night, I managed three pieces on here…two eensy weensy ones and a larger fish body, seen here.

There’s hand embroidery planned for this one. I know this because I wrote it on the pattern. I wrote a lot of things on the pattern, none of them the date. I’m still guessing 2000 though. More sewing, y’all. I need more drawing and sewing.

It’s been raining on and off here for a few days. It’s OK. We need the rain, and it makes for some beautiful skies.

I can’t complain about my view from my home school this year. I’ve seen hawks bank right in front of the window, beautiful skies, hail, clouds, hummingbirds, and the neighbor kids in my driveway with some sort of gun things…OK, that was an issue. I banged on the window and became that bitchy old lady neighbor you all know about…but y’all little shits are not shooting things in my yard. I don’t know if it was birds or bunnies, but get the fuck away with that shit.

Hmmmm. Positive vibes. Calm and relaxed. Time to go grade some shit. Ohhhhmmmmmmm.

May today be calm and peaceful. I will ignore stupid shit today. I will be productive and get shit done. I will pretend those kids doing nothing don’t need a parent contact. Again (the contact, not the pretending…I’m not good at that). I will not stress about the pile of things I need to do, including cleaning the damn house that just gets dirty again anyway. I will send positive thoughts to the frozen chicken in the fridge that needs to be not frozen by tonight for dinner. I will quietly and peacefully flip off any adult who sends me a demanding email, but it will be here, in my house, where they can’t see me doing it (note to self: don’t do it while on Zoom with kids). I will create a mantra that maintains my peace…oh wait…I’ve already got one…ignore stupid shit…ignore stupid shit…ohhhmmmm… I will make art tonight. It will be good.

Not a Prime Number

I turned 54 yesterday. It’s an OK number, divisible by 9 and 3, not a prime number, but it’s good. Yeah, numbers sit in my head in weird ways. What can I say? It was an acceptable birthday. I felt well, got enough sleep the night before for once, had a break from teaching in the middle of the day (prep period…can’t say I was particularly effective, but that happens), exploded some baking soda and vinegar for class, texted about 10 parents about their kids (one was FINALLY a positive, made me so happy; I have so little time for everything, that the positive contacts have been the first to go), went for a non-strenuous walk, and went out to dinner. My Assistant Principal was my waitress…first time I’ve seen her since some time last March, I think.

It’s weird how our brains are training themselves to recognize people with their masks on. So that was cool.

I did not work after 3:30 PM on school stuff. I probably should have, but the world will not end if I didn’t grade an assignment yesterday. It will end because of the patriarchy and/or human stupidity. Straight up.

Really, if there hadn’t been a pandemic, it would have been a great day to take off and hike, if I weren’t on hike restrictions at the moment and we weren’t doing chemistry labs. So there’s that.

In art, we did a little blind contour drawing…

Bowie is looking good.

I also finally pulled one of these out. I bought canvas last May, I think, wanting to try this. Finally painted backgrounds in December? January?

I have about 4 of these done. And the other night, I finally had the guts to draw on one of them.

It’s kind of fun. This isn’t done. And I need a better white. This one isn’t that good. Actually, I need about 700 more colors to make me really happy, but this is good for now.

I also decided to finish this old hand-applique art quilt. It’s been lying around for way too long, and my sewing machine is still at the shop.

It’s a bit of a mess in terms of tiny little pieces, but I haz the skillz. So far, I’m only missing one piece, which isn’t bad. I think I started this in 2000? Something like that. I’m not sure there’s documentation of anything that far back. I used to put dates on the drawings, but this is an enlarged photocopy and the date isn’t on it. I don’t know where the original drawing is. And it pre-dates my writing the blog. So who knows? I can just place it after the last one I know I finished, which was January 2000. After 21 years, it deserves to be finished.

Cat NOT helping with chemistry setup…

One of the reasons starting another quilt in my normal fashion is not really happening right now. Nowhere to do it. Which reminds me, I need to set up for more chemistry demos today. And tonight is a union meeting, and I really do need to grade some things. But hopefully, I’ll get back to either drawing on canvas (and trying to figure out how I will finish those pieces when I am done drawing) or working on the hand applique. May my 55th year on the planet be full of vaccinations, openings of the things that keep me sane (hello art and museums and music and the like), and a shitload of art.

Ah yes, and this guy…

Whose cute little face was poised under my plate the other night, ever hopeful that I will spill all the foods.

Remind Me Not to Do That Ever Again…

Well grades are done. For last trimester. Now I need to start grading the stuff from last week. But it’s a relief to have the big stuff done on time. It meant grading a ton of art stuff at the last minute, so remind me not to do that ever again. I wanted everything clear before the trimester switch. I was expecting a bunch of switching students, and in reality, two switched and I got three new kids. The school has only TOLD me about two of the new kids. I’m wondering if they will ever tell me about the third. This year sucks, y’all. It really does. Plus I have literally no idea what I’m supposed to teach in art today. I know what I’m doing Thursday and Friday, but today is a blank. I’m hoping something exists by my prep period, but if it doesn’t, I’ll be winging it. No stress! Seriously. I’m supposed to increase sleep and reduce stress, and those are proving difficult. This calendar my team gifted me is helping though…

I really need to get my brain in a better place for all of it. I started the daily meditation practice again…although I keep zoning out in the middle of it. I’m not sure that’s OK. Surely it means something. I realized the series I was on, I had started it so long ago that I couldn’t remember the prompts, so I went back to the first one, and zoned out on it too. Sigh. Thanks brain! I did get to a point with meditation where I was pretty comfortable just doing quick meditative check-ins with my brain/body without the daily lesson, but I figure I need more structure with it at the moment. 63 days of school left in this year. We’re 2/3s of the way through. I’m not sure which sounds better. Science and art are roughly planned through the next three weeks…and then there’s nothing! I love nothing. It’s my favorite when it comes to lesson planning.

Grading is a lot of this…

Well I’m still drawing, because I still don’t have my sewing machine and I’m hesitant to start another new piece. This one came from the other one…

Those swallowing heads again. I’ll probably come back to this drawing. I like the start of it.

At dinner on Saturday night, I did this one.

We do go out on Saturdays at the moment, but only to places that have outdoor seating. It’s still a little chilly here at night, but definitely not like back East, so totally doable with the right shoes and jacket on. Once the man leaves on his hike, I probably won’t be doing that for a while, so best to get out and try to have date nights while we can. I missed drawing the last year…it’s been almost a year since schools shut down, yeah? I tried doing a drawing a day or a week, and just couldn’t keep up. Some weeks, I’d be totally planned Sunday night, or even mostly planned Friday night, but lately, it’s been a last-minute rush using my prep periods to get ready for the class right after. Which sucks. So drawing suffered. Art has definitely suffered.

I pulled this out from a million years ago for the #IGQuiltFest Day 7 prompt of Lessons Learned. I’ve been flailing on those prompts as well. Oh well. I used to do hand applique, still do occasionally, but soon figured out that making art quilts this way would take just too damn long.

Although someday I will finish this one. I hope. Maybe this is something I could be doing while waiting for my machine, eh? See. Lesson NOT learned.

Saturday, we walked. I can’t hike until I have my stress test and some other stuff (IDK what the other stuff is right now), but I was antsy as hell on Saturday after finishing grades (I graded through an art group meeting and a quilt guild meeting), so we found a longish mostly flat hike walk to do.

I don’t really know the difference sometimes between a hike and a walk. But this was easy enough.

Long enough to get a decent amount of steps in, but not strenuous.

When I feel like this, I want to climb things and go up and down hills in the back country. But no.

That’s industrial crap in the background. Just look at the river side! Ah well. Hopefully all that will be done and solved soon and I can go back to climbing hills for fun.

Cats…

Kitten is hyperthyroid and needs daily meds now. Luckily she likes pill pockets.

These two were whacking at each other for a good 30 minutes on and off…

Sibling warfare. They do like each other though. Just not all the time. I understand that feeling.

This week is my birthday, and we had dinner with the parentals last night. Both have had their vaccines. I’ve had one, second one is coming up. We (the visitors) stayed masked for a goodly portion of it. But I wanted a photo with my parents. I always forget to take those kinds of photos, and with almost losing dad last year, I wanted to be sure to get a photo.

Look! Mom is still taller than I am! I am the midget of the family.

OK, well, I should go figure out what I’m doing today, especially in art. And hopefully I’ll do some art stuff of my own tonight. And grade stuff. Because that isn’t stopping for 63 more school days.

One at a Time…

Still no sewing machine. And still buried in grading. I’m getting there, but I’m not there yet. I’m also not feeling well and not getting enough sleep, so all that is building up. I’ve left the hardest project to grade until the last. I just couldn’t get my head around it until now. I’m hoping my rubric is strong and helps me through it.

With very little mental and physical energy after grading, I’ve been sitting down with my sketchbook for a while every night. Honestly, I mostly stare at the empty spaces and consider how to fill them, but it’s a thing. I’m doing it.

The swallowing heads has been a thing for me when I’m feeling lots of anxiety. I’m surprised there haven’t been more of those in drawings this year, but I honestly haven’t been drawing very much. All the increased schoolwork is taking a toll on my art output and time for that. I really like this swallowing head though.

And drawing in itself relieves anxiety. I’ve been having breathing and heart racing issues for a while now, and the doc is doing tests. This drawing is all about those feels. There’s my first COVID vaccine…

The arm licking…it’s weird, yeah? Yeah. It is. I don’t feel right. This drawing is about that.

Anyway. The health stuff will get worked out. Somehow. And I’ll get my sewing machine back. Worst part is that I can’t do any strenuous exercise for now, at least for a couple of weeks, and that’s a big stress releaser for me. I can walk, but I can’t hike. So walk I will. See me rolling my eyes? Ah well. It’s movement.

Here’s why I can’t really start another big quilt right now, at least until Spring Break. This is my light table. This week, we had matter demos…

Next week is full on chemistry, signs of chemical reactions, following week is flame tests and IDK what else. And I don’t even have art stuff on here yet for my art classes. That will be next week. It’s just easier not to have to take this all off, use the light table, and put it all back. At least for a while. I said I might do another smaller quilt. And I might. I don’t like starting new ones while others are still in process. My brain stays with the one piece and focuses on it, and I don’t like mixing those in my brain. Weird? I don’t know. It’s how I work. One at a time.

OK, well, school today, a challenge, but doable. Weekend? Lots of school work. Next week? I turn 54. Divisible by 3 and 9. Good numbers. Not as good as prime numbers, but it will do. Numbers do weird things in my head. They seem to have meaning. I don’t know why. More drawing tonight? Most definitely. I’ve missed it.

Not in the Mood.

It’s supposed to start raining here in the next 3 hours and I see no evidence of it. Strange. Normally the clouds would start to pile up and all that, but the house faces mostly north and east, and apparently this storm is coming from the west, over the hill and you can’t see it from here. It’s got wind advisories and a goodly amount of rain in a fairly short time, and it’s lurking over there somewhere; you can only see it on radar from here. But it’s coming.

I’m exhausted this morning. Some sort of weird body thing last night kept me up too late. Sometimes my body is not my friend. So I’m fuzzy-brained and nauseated this morning. A good start. Tomorrow I go to the doctor with a list of weird body things with the hope that she can figure it out. Diabetes gone whack? Something else? I don’t know, but I’m hoping there’s a solution. Most days, I feel fine, but when I don’t, ugh.

The sewing machine is still at the shop and I am still flailing here, also still buried in schoolwork. Grades are due a week from yesterday for report cards. I’ve made it through a little more than 2/3s of the major science assignment, haven’t touched the two major art assignments, and I still have 50 late-work emails to deal with. Plus planning for next week and grading this week’s stuff, but right now, I’ll just continue to panic about the stuff that has to be graded and input by next Tuesday.

I’ve been doing little bits and pieces of sewing things in the evenings, reading my book. Not motivated by anything really. I did draw last night, while half asleep.

Her arm just started rooting itself. I don’t know how that happened.

I did walk yesterday…

There’s a large hawk in that tree. Bottom right V, on the left side. Staring at me.

Fascinating seed pods.

Standing at the top of the hill I’m about to go down…

It’s Spring here. Things are starting to bloom.

The slope that collapsed last year is finally fixed? Maybe?

We’ll see what it looks like after today’s rain.

Puppy love. Not last night but Monday night.

He is a sweetheart, when he’s not barking his ass off during class. Sigh.

Teaching. Exhausted. Grading. Hopefully tonight will be better sleep. Maybe I’ll keep working on that drawing. Maybe I’ll do something more…whatever? I have other stuff to work on. I’m just not in the mood.

Maybe We All Need Repotting…

Somehow, the month of February whizzed by my head without fully whacking me unconscious, so here we are. In March. Four weeks closer to Spring Break. Another paycheck closer to Summer Break. And no paychecks. Love summer for that. Such a challenge. Every year. That said, it’s getting Spring-like, and that’s nice…new growth on plants, flowers popping up, weeds taking over the yard. All the things!

Well the biggest news, besides my sewing machine being in the shop because it wasn’t dropping the free-motion foot (it dropped feet when straight stitching, but not zigzag; talk about fussy), is that I got my first vaccine. I am a teacher, in case you didn’t know that, and the school I teach for (not AT at the moment, because I can’t go back without these shots) is in a high-infection area (which means that, yes, I live in a high-infection area), so we were first on the list. Got my email on Friday while my science kids were finishing their work; got an appointment for Saturday morning…with a few hundred other people. Seriously, this was the most people I’ve been around since before COVID. And in an enclosed space. Freaked me out.

Plus a shot. Finally getting closer to being safe. Hopefully. I forgot to take a picture when the doc injected me, and he forgot to give me a sticker. Ah well, my co-teacher came to the rescue and met me outside after they monitored me for 30 minutes due to my weirdo reactions to shots.

I’ve been fine, just a sore arm and maybe a headache and fatigue. Hard to say if those aren’t things that I would have felt anyway. Probably! On to the next shot in a few weeks. Exciting stuff.

Our weekly gaming with friends seems to have moved to Sunday night, but that leaves open a night to game in person at home with the two men…we had a new Settlers of Catan expansion, so we read all the instructions 17 times and played a couple rounds.

I almost won one without even noticing. I’m not that good at games. I like to play; I don’t need to win.

Saturday, we did a little hike after taking the sewing machine in.

It’s definitely Springlike.

But the weather is still cool and breezy, so hikes are nice.

We tried a new trail in a place we hike all the time. It had a little up in it.

But it was good. Only 3.5 miles though. No time for a longer hike…left too late.

Then because the sewing machine was being cranky, I did some hand-sewing for a while on Saturday night.

Just sewing things down.

There might be a time when I come back to these and add more stitching.

I enjoy it, but don’t usually make time for it.

I also started this drawing at dinner on Saturday night.

And then finished it last night. It’s small. This is actually a printout of it larger than it is in real life. I joke that now I have the nanites in me, so everything will be fine. Honestly, I’d be OK with the nanites. Fix me, you little machines. Fix me.

Otherwise, I’ve been buried in schoolwork. Posting things, redoing things, making videos of things, grading things, answering too many panicked emails and ignoring others. School is frustrating in the best of times. These are not the best of times. These guys don’t care. They just want pets.

So we pet them. Although Nova, the sweetheart on the right, caught my finger and ripped it open Saturday? Friday? when I was petting her and tried to stop. So it’s a little painful. Otherwise, they’re all good.

This plant finally flowered. I’ve never seen it flower.

I repotted it and it is obviously much happier. Interesting take on the world there. Maybe we all need repotting.

School all day, hopefully some exercise, hopefully some art. A lot of grading. Every day until I’m done.

I Hit Cancel

My sewing machine is having issues. At least I think it’s the machine. It might be the foot I’m using, because the regular straight-stitch foot is working fine, but the spring-loaded free-motion foot won’t go all the way down to the fabric. It’s hovering about 1/2 an inch above and won’t go down. I’m frustrated. I turned off the machine a few days ago and walked away from it, and then came back and sewed stripes because it can do that, hoping it would forget whatever was making it do that crazy shit. But no. I tried again last night, because I have one little thing to quilt and a slightly larger thing to stitch down, and it won’t do it. I tried the floating free-motion foot and I’m not a fan. While quilting, it would randomly decide it would put pressure down or not, and the inconsistency seemed to cause the thread to knot up on the back horrendously. Sigh. So I will call my machine guy (Jimmy. His name is Jimmy, so I will call him that, but also I will ask him to fix this beast or just tell me what button to push to make it work). But it means I’m kind of stalled on those two projects, and because school is such a whiny-ass bitch right now, I can’t focus enough to decide what else to work on. So I sewed more stripes…mirror stripe this time…

It’s too big, I think…too wide. But I will make another one smaller to make up for it. Maybe. I don’t know what I’m doing here. Nothing new. I have many in-process projects I could be working on. Sewing sort-of straight lines won last night at 11 PM when I was trying to decide what to do with my brain.

I also watched this talk by Ben Venom yesterday…

which eventually had me yelling at the iPad. I actually enjoyed the first part, and thought Ben himself, when he wasn’t answering stupid questions, to be quite knowledgeable. I enjoyed that part. His work is interesting and unique in its own way. Honestly, the Juxtapoz interviewer was more than a little ignorant of the quilt art world. No offense, Ben, but I don’t think your work is rebellious…but I’m not your standard quilter. You make skulls and birds and cool things out of recycled fabrics. Even though there’s a lot of heavy metal imagery, you’re cutting most of it up and using the fabric to make your shapes. And you’re a young white male, so I’m not sure what they think you’re rebelling against? You’re using what you like to make a pretty standard art quilt. They’re cool, don’t get me wrong, but you’re not rebelling…except that young white males generally don’t quilt. So there’s that. Anyway, ignore the silly questions about do you know what the Modern Quilt Guild is (who CARES???). I enjoyed what you had to say before all that. Work on!

I stitched with friends on Zoom, but I can’t show you that, because it’s not published yet. It’s not my pattern. But it’s relaxing.

The night before, I had book club. I also had a bug in my head about drawing, so I did that during book club.

I’m not sure I like it or that it was going the way I wanted it too, but it’s there. I might do more on it. It’s definitely not finished. I miss drawing and should do more of it. But it requires more brain power than I have most nights at the moment. I’ve been grading late work every night until 10:30 or so, and I still can’t catch up. Last night, after yelling at my computer repeatedly about a kid who was emailing me about why her grade was dropping because she turned her work in, I finally emailed her parents (and copied her), because she was turning in things blank and/or barely done. I’m pretty sure the other kid who was turning in stuff at midnight, 5 assignments in 2 minutes flat, she’s doing it so I won’t make her stay in class today to finish up. Except I’m in a mood now, so I’ll probably open all 5 of those assignments and see if they’re blank and then make her do them. Because they probably are blank. Or barely started. This is where distance learning is hard. OK, it’s not the only place…but it’s one of them.

School just sucks right now. And this is so true right now.

That’s part of my frustration. I am working harder than a lot of them. And then they get upset because “I turned everything in; why don’t I have an A?” Sigh. I will wake up Monday and feel differently, maybe. Because today is the deadline for all the late work. But also this…

Oh yeah, I hit cancel. And got a flash drive. And walked it to the other computer. It took much less than 764 hours.

I was teaching yesterday and a hawk landed in the tree in front of the window, ON the nest that is there.

Great photo, eh? Not so much. Luckily, no baby birds in that nest. Pretty sure it’s been empty for a while. But cool to see the hawk so close, even if I couldn’t manage a decent photo.

And yesterday morning’s weird fog in the valleys.

Very cool. I miss driving to school (which is in the valley), going from sunny up here, driving a whopping 2.5 miles to school, and being socked in by fog. Speaking of school, ours is on the list for the first official teacher vaccines in the county, so after being canceled out of the other vaccines we thought we were eligible for, we actually might get them in the next week. Finally. I’m glad for my teachers in the classroom, but also glad they didn’t leave me off the list. The only way I get to go back is with a vaccine. I’m so tired of teaching this way. I want to be able to go back in August.

OK, lots of things to manage today, and hopefully I’ll find a way to get my machine fixed too. Incredibly thankful to the people who are offering to pick up artwork at a variety of shows for me. I just don’t have the time to get to those pickups (and some are during school hours), so I appreciate their help. You know me, I like to be fully independent, but that’s not realistic right now. I’ll do some art tonight…whatever it will be…maybe some gaming with the fam as well. It can’t be All Grading All the Time. It just can’t.

I Should Listen…

Weird days, y’all. I’m in a funk. My sewing machine is being cranky. I want to draw. Really badly…but there are 17,000 emails about late work from kids. I banged through 50 of them last night, some legit, some lame-ass how can I turn it in without actually doing any work. Deep breaths. This is what the next week looks like. Lots of grading. Get through it.

I walked last night in response. And then finished ironing the quilt I’ve been working on. I didn’t want to fight the machine and I needed a win, an art brain success.

There wasn’t much left…one arm and hand, a bunny, the base dirt, and the head. I ironed the face and eyeball separately. It’s easier to see them that way and then just place them on top.

It didn’t take long.

Total ironing time on this was 3 hours and 21 minutes. A chunk of that was trying to find a background fabric for it.

I didn’t want to use yardage when I knew I’d have something big enough in the regular stash. Sure enough, there it was. It was probably the background on another piece somewhere.

So now I will have to suss out the machine issue and see if I can make it work without taking it in. Hopefully.

I also stitched these the other night, part of my QuiltCon learning experience.

I took a class from Maria Shell. I’ve always been fascinated with the improv quilts that are mostly traditional patterns but not so traditional placement and colors. I can make a small one, I think. Maybe. Honestly, I’m having a hard time getting enough info from the videos in the time allotted. I have until tonight at midnight. I’m taking notes and there are handouts, but you know how that goes. If you’re in the class, physically (on Zoom or a classroom), you do the things right then and there. Watch a video? You’ll probably never finish. So we’ll see how it goes. I’m just making units right now. Freehand cut. Apparently I freehand cut pretty evenly. I had to work to get them uneven. Amusing.

OK, work today. It’ll be OK. The pile of late work will get dug through before it buries me. I have my first vaccination appointment on Friday (finally teachers). I’m not in the classroom yet, but I want to be. I can’t be without it. I talk to my doctor next week about whether it will be safe enough in August. We know nothing, right? Well, we know some things. It might never really be safe, but I’m hoping we get closer than we have been. And art! I should do some of that tonight, in and around pilates and book club, both good things, but not art. I could draw during book club. Maybe? I could try anyway. I have two drawings yelling at me to get out. I should listen.

All That…

It’s a Monday morning. We all have feelings about that. My current feeling is that I’m not ready. I did get almost caught up with grading…well, until this week, when everything at the end of everything is due. Friday will feel overwhelming, for sure, but for now, I’m trying to get to a place of managing that. The trimester ends next Friday, the science unit ends this week, all the art projects end this week. And the month ends! It’s probably not related. Plus in the last week and a half, there are 4 pickups for art. I’m handling 2 of them and the men are handling the other 2, because they’re all during my work day…during a normal person’s work day, honestly. So yeah. Not sure what I’d be doing if I didn’t have people home to do pickups. Negotiating alternate pickup methods, I guess.

Did anyone do QuiltCon? I am realizing I prefer an actual class with a teacher talking to me to a pre-recorded video class. So be it. I’m in it for the human interaction. I watched both my classes, but haven’t started due to materials issues and time issues and just plain issues. I might get there. We’ll see. I missed the lecture I signed up for because I forgot about time zones, which I’m sad about, but it was recorded, so I watched it anyway: Chawne Kimber, who looks like fun to watch quilt. Like she’d be fun to take a class from. Future thoughts. I’m also signed up for the SAQA conference in April; looking forward to that, although some of the events start right when school ends, which could be complicated. We’ll see. My current QuiltCon project, by the way, looks like this.

That’s not much there. It might become more. We’ll see.

I did some other stuff, embroidery finishing, then piecing, and putting borders on, but it’s a recent Sue Spargo piece that hasn’t been published yet, so I can show anything but the cat guarding one of the spools of thread.

Just know I’ve been working on it and it will eventually show up here, probably in the next month or so. Mostly brainless easy stuff that I can do when nothing else is working.

Saturday, we did a longer hike (it was actually 1.4 miles shorter than it was supposed to be, not sure why)…this is another Coast to Crest challenge hike, from 2019-2020 though. It starts in Del Dios Highland Preserve, on the Lake Hodges side.

And basically it goes up 1100′ in less than a mile, no switchbacks. It’s not impossible…just hard.

And then at some point, you cross over into Elfin Forest Recreational Forest. This is not all the way up.

But we didn’t start that high up, for sure.

Spring has started to show up.

The point is to get to the Lake Hodges overlook, but you walk by Olivenhain Reservoir to get there.

It was the longest 6 miles I’ve ever done. It just felt hard.

Although the weather was perfect…cool with a breeze.

So yeah, we started at the level of Lake Hodges…down there.

Yeah. So my legs are still feeling it two days later.

Mostly flat. Literally 1365′ feet up and then back down. Averages out.

Anyway. Not a bad hike…might be easier to go up the Elfin Forest side? Hard to say.

Hey! There’s my piece in the California Fibers: Historical References show that is currently open in Los Angeles.

Yeah, mine is the big one, One of My Kind. There are appointments available to go see it, or you can see it online.

I did do the stitch down on the little owl last night…then sandwiched it.

And then fought the sewing machine and the sewing machine foot for a while and gave up and read my book. Because life is too short for fighting machines. I’ll try again tonight.

For now, I need to get some work done. A pissy parent demanding things, plus getting ready for school and teaching and all that.