Three Days of Art…

I had a great three days of art, although I hit some line on Saturday and had to come home a few hours early and take a nap to beat a migraine that was starting. I’m still tired, but that’s normal for me, unfortunately. Certainly, this is not the week that will fix that. I’m glad I signed up for the conference. Most class situations I need to travel, so there are travel costs, plus hotel etc, and then it’s too expensive for me. This was perfect…in town, no travel/hotel costs. Kept my food costs down by bringing lunch one day. Wish I had had more energy for hanging out after, but that was my body telling me I was doing too much. I know the next SAQA conference is in Florida, so that’s not happening, but I’d keep my eyes open for another one (although they don’t do workshops usually, and I really enjoyed that).

The best part about workshops is getting to know/hear how another artist’s brain works. Betty Busby has a very interesting and creative brain, and it was very cool to listen/see her process. We did lots of fabric painting, which was cool, but also the nonwoven stuff in the cutting machine was very cool too.

But first the painting…sun prints…

Plants under the silk…

Metallic paints…

This needs ironing…

I didn’t make as many as some…

I had more silk…just never know what to do with those pieces…

Although I have more ideas now than I did. The coolest part for me was the nonwoven stuff in the cutting machine. I did a few diatoms the day before…

And then went home Friday night, did schoolwork for 2 hours (ugh), then took one of my drawings, thickened the lines and simplified it…

Until it looked like this…

Then texted it to Betty, who put it on her computer, and then we made a cutting file of it…

Tossed my other piece of nonwoven into the machine…

And got this!

Fiddly as shit. The plan is to iron it to silk, then paint from behind, cut the silk away from the design, and then put that on a background for quilting etc.

The leftovers are pretty fascinating too…

I was not organized enough to save them for a backwards version. Not really backwards. Opposite? Notan? IDK. But certainly I have some ideas…she showed us how she has all these parts (if I divided a drawing into parts) and you can compose with the parts.

Hmmm. More ideas. Also finally found my Inktense pencils and played around with them a little bit before my brain shut down.

It really did shut down. I drove home and went straight to bed for an hour. In the afternoon. Took meds. Woke up and felt better. I did not get enough sleep last week and my brain was in overdrive. Plus Saturday night, we went to the Man’s dad’s 85th birthday party. So I needed to be awake for that.

Sunday was all work. Simba on guard dog mode…

Until about 9:30 PM, when I started searching out all the quilts that need to be shipped or delivered in the next few weeks. A big one needs to go out ASAP. I have one more roll of quilts to pull down for two of them that are going later, but I found a chunk of them.

Some of them have never been in shows, so that’s cool. And now the studio is a disaster area! I’ll get the exhibits on the page where I tell you what shows I’m in…as soon as I get progress report grades done and survive this week. It’s hot again. What are the odds that my class A/C is working? Three work orders, no change. I’m gonna be irritated if today is still no change. Probably gonna be irritated anyway, honestly, because I was gone for two days and a bunch of kids did absolutely nothing. Ah well. It is what it is. You reap what you sow. Or something. Off to the day job. Hopefully I will get back to ironing soon…probably not tonight, but soon.

Hello Art Friday…

Hello Art Friday. I’d like to make you a thing. A regular thing. I used to have Friday Draw on my calendar and then every Friday, at night, I’d pull out my sketchbook and draw for an hour. Ah the days! Then I got buried in school stuff and sometimes I do absolutely nothing on Friday nights because my brain is gone, and sometimes I grade things, because it means I don’t have to do it some other time. I don’t know what the solution this year is, but I want to draw more, but also, school is taking so much time that I can’t do the things I want.

Although I took these two days off for the SAQA thing…yesterday we got to listen to a bunch of inspiring artists talk about their practices: Jane Dunnewold, Paula Kovarik, Betty Busby. Best quote: “When you know what you’re about, no one can take that away from you” (JD). Paula made me want to use more, play more, cut things up more. Betty is just amusing and inspiring as hell. I’m spending the next two days in a workshop with her. Looking forward to it. I got to see lots of other people I hadn’t seen in years, since 2019 or 2015 or whatever. Yes, I also got a new student at school, had to add them to my online class, then to the app they were using in class, and then they pulled my sub, the one that has access to everything, fuckers, seriously, if I set up a specific sub that I trust while I’m gone, then you shouldn’t fuck with that. That shit pisses me off. So who knows. I did set stuff up so hopefully anyone can handle it, but you know how that goes.

I have all my art supplies packed up, I’m wearing an old holey shirt and shorts, I got sunburnt yesterday at lunch, so I have my sunscreen. I even packed a lunch so I could save some money and just buy caffeine and maybe spend more time playing during the 2-hour lunch break rather than waiting in line somewhere for food. I have ideas swirling around my head and it feels really good. So yeah, I’m an introvert (I needed a serious alone-time break yesterday between the talks and the two exhibition receptions). So I went to Liberty Station, walked around, ate…

(it looks better than it tasted, unfortunately) got some caffeine, and then sat in the car, trying to charge my aging phone (it was not happy) and drew for a bit…

Oh, I also graded a week’s worth of homework papers while listening to artists talk, and then stitched the rest of the time, because I am notoriously bad at listening if I am not distracting myself with something in my hands…

Definitely making some progress, but it will still take forever :-). Forever is OK though. For some things. Not traffic…

I don’t usually have to sit in traffic. But I did it for art. And besides, the location where the art is happening is pretty nice…

Cooler too. Always a plus. Autumn my ass. Southern California does Autumn for about a week in late October, and then that’s it. We’re done.

My ex is at a wedding in the UK…check out that building…also check out that family! It’s nice to see them all in a photo together.

Also looks like nice weather.

Last night, I sat on the deck in the dark, talking to the Man, collecting mosquito bites. Thought I was staring at a planet up in the sky. I was…it was Jupiter.

Also my birth constellation. Nice coincidence.

This morning, the sky was pretty. My phone can’t handle the pretty…

Unfortunately…

OK, well, the personal art project is definitely suffering this week, but it’s for a good cause. I don’t expect to get much done on it until maybe Sunday, but we’ll see. I will however be slinging some paint and who knows what else today…looking forward to it. Plus after all the emails from school yesterday, it’s good I wasn’t there I guess. I don’t know. Whatever. Just needed a break. If I take two days a month every month? Yeah, that won’t happen…and it’s too hard to do the prep and after stuff. But definitely to remember that making art helps…and maybe taking a day off to catch up on grading AND make art would be a positive thing. We’ll see. For now, though, it looks like there is less traffic today, so I will be leaving soon. Need more caffeine. I’m certainly failing on the sleep front still.

Just Some Part…

My school district sends out this “motivational” email every Wednesday and most of us groan and immediately delete. Today’s is about high achievers and how they push themselves. But then it tells us to be humble enough to embrace the power of small things to make a difference. I’m not sure how those are connected? I know I am a high achiever…it’s a pain in the ass sometimes and I wish I could let more things go or suck (well besides cleaning house and maintaining the yard). But that doesn’t mean I don’t know about the small things. I came home from staying late at work yesterday, and spent 20 minutes drinking a fresh cup of tea while reading my book. Then I did more work. Unfortunately, any time I want (or need) to take a day off, the school prep work going up to it is heinous. Plus knowing I won’t get any school work done for three days, so that puts me even further behind. This is why I don’t take time off during school. But for this? Making art stuff? Listening to artists? I know my art self needs it and wants it, so it’s telling high-achieving work self to fuck off, and so work self has been dominating in the evenings. The stress of taking time off to make things better! Sigh.

Monday night, I did treat the art self to an in-person talk at my quilt guild by Valerie Goodwin.

I missed book club for it. I did grade homework during the main part of the meeting; got through a week’s worth, so I’m almost caught up on those (almost meaning I just have last week’s to do). I did full on listen to Valerie though. She’s fascinating and so is her work. I took a Zoom class from her last year and really enjoyed her mind, so needed to hear the talk, even though I was exhausted. On a Monday! Yeah, I know. Came home and worked some more and didn’t manage any of my own art at all. Ah well. It was for a good cause.

Last night, I stayed late at work, trying to get sub plans written. Then came home and graded all of the Unit 1s that had been lying around for the last two weeks, not getting done. Put all that in the gradebook and then realized I had never finished one of the assignments that needs to be pushed out while I am gone. Huh. OK. Did that. Then it was 10 PM. No way in hell am I not doing art for two nights in a row. So I hustled (slowly and exhaustedly) in here, found the background fabric, ironed it, cut it, and got it ready to sew together. At that point, it was 10:30 and I needed to go to bed. But it’s ready for the next step…

Tonight I need to prep my Visions quilt for delivery this weekend (if someone ever answers their email), and then maybe get started on ironing this together. Realistically, it might not be tonight. But I will try.

And then I’m taking two days off to nourish Art Brain and escape the crazy 7th graders…the 8th graders are fine, it’s just the curriculum that’s driving me nuts. The 7th graders though…whoever decided those 60 kids should all be together on the same team must have been doing crack. There’s some wonderful, super high-level kids, some OK kids, and some brats from outer space. We always have that, but I think it’s usually spread out over 5 classes? I don’t know what the problem is; I just know my whole team is over them and it’s not even the end of the first progress report period. Although that is coming soon.

My parents’ dog visited Monday to Tuesday. It’s a practice run for when they are on their trip to the UK and she’s here all month, which might kill all of us. OR…we’ll all adjust over the first week and get on with our lives (cats, I’m talking to you. Also, Katie, chillax.).

She needs a good brushing (she sheds horrendously) and maybe some CBD oil. Same with the cats and maybe the Man. Even Simba gets jealous…

Although this is his chill self.

OK. I’m tired. What’s new? I have sub plans; just need to set up and clean up my room a bit so it’s easier for the guest teacher to find and manage shit. I need to contact admin and tell them to police my 7th-grade classes. I need to plan and grade like a crazy woman (crazier than usual). I have pilates (hallelujah…because I didn’t make it to the gym yesterday, no thanks to the day job), I have to cook dinner and the chicken is not defrosting fast enough (give it time…and perhaps a hot-water soak later). Then prep a quilt and hopefully iron stuff. We’ll see. AND pack up supplies for my workshop, some of which haven’t arrived yet, and Amazon sent one of those “it’s late but you could reorder it” emails (dammit…no time for that), so who knows how that will roll. Probably not well. Whatever. I’ve got some part of this. Not all of it. Not “I got this.” Just some part.

All the Pieces

All the pieces are done, ironed together. I just need to make them fit. Ha! That’s always the issue. I love it when the quilt top is just one giant ironed-together piece with no holes in it, because it’s easier to get onto the background. Pieces like this with a little bit here and a little bit there, and they all have to fit together, which implies I ironed them together really well (ha!)…those are the hardest. I’ve got two big heads (here’s one of them from Friday night)…

Then there’s the head and upper torso of the main figure with the arms, then the lower torso with the rest of the three figures and the body of one of the big heads. They’re all attached in some way. It’ll be a challenge. It’s not a small piece, so doing it on the ironing board won’t work. I finished the Earth last night…

That was the last bit…and I found the missing ‘s’ finally. It was in the box of 1300s, even though it’s a 300. It has aspirations…

In other art news, Coronawood got into Quilts=Art=Quilts, which is cool. And I’ll be part of an artist talk on October 2 at the PHES Gallery in Carlsbad.

Should be interesting…a wide variety of work.

I spent a huge chunk of the weekend working on school, which is funny, because I only just got my nose above water and my mouth sometimes. Meaning 8th grade is planned through next Monday and is a disaster after that. I spent 5 hours on Sunday just dealing with that, and then the other 3-4 hours was grading stuff and posting stuff and trying to make sense of stuff. I brought home 5 things on paper that I didn’t touch, needed grading. I’m taking some of it to my other quilt guild meeting tonight. Valerie Goodwin is talking. I took a class from her last year on Zoom and wanted to hear/see her in person. Also I won’t be at school for two days this week, so hence my panic about school stuff. But I’ll be at SAQA Summit listening to artists talk and then taking a 2-day workshop. I still need to write sub plans.

That whole 5 hours yesterday was on this chair with this cat behind me…

It wasn’t particularly comfortable.

Later we walked the little dog. Not sure why I call him that, since he’s the only dog we have at the moment. I guess I have a wishful big dog.

We only did 2 miles because all of us were tired. The boychild has been gone a lot lately for work, so Simba has been needy. And a shitty sleeper. I’d like to thank the local coyotes for my lack of sleep today. Boychild may be back Wednesday…depends on local fires. He was on one over the weekend, but seems to be off it now. I told Simba; he understood nothing.

We managed dinner out…

So I drew something very basic that I’ve probably drawn some version of about a million times. Which was fine, because at least I was drawing.

This school year, man. I’m hoping I get a better handle on it soon. It’s been shit. I should say the 8th graders are mostly fine. They are a decent group of kids. I just don’t have the curriculum down until like 5 minutes before class. The 7th grade, I’ve taught this curriculum enough times that I’ve got it, but the kids are a challenge…and not all of them. Just a significant enough number of them that it is hard and exhausting and sometimes they behave and sometimes they are shitheads. Because they are kids, yes, but also because of COVID and not being in school and still figuring out how not to be immature and some of them don’t HAVE to behave at home, so why behave at school? Some days are good, most are ok or tolerable, and then some are just shit. And because I end the day with them, it just throws me. And then the curriculum is stupid, the stuff I’m using for 8th grade. Hate Amplify. It’s lame. So repetitive, only one right answer, hardly any hands-on stuff. There are simulations, but it’s not the same thing. The kids need something to put their hands on, to mess with. Hopefully the next unit is better. I guess it’s only as good as I am, and I don’t feel up to it by myself. I don’t have any other curriculum that I can do with them. And I don’t have time to go searching for stuff, or the brain power, because I would have to be able to get the big picture to do that, and I’d need like a 40-hour week of planning to get there.

On top of all this, some messy shit with adults happened last week at school that still is pissing me off. I need to drop it, let it go, but it’s shitty and I can’t get it out of my head. Thank you brain for that.

I did finish one book, read a whole ‘nother book (the Man hates it when I use ‘nother)…

A Prayer for the Crown-Shy…second book in a series, but basically I love anything by Becky Chambers. Reminds me of why I don’t hike the PCT as a thru-hiker.

Anyway. I’m on yet another book now. It feels good to read. I do love to read. And draw. And sleep. I love sleep so much and I suck so bad at it.

Today is chaos. I’m giving assessments to both classes, although 8th probably won’t finish today. 7th will if it kills me (and it might). Staff meeting after school, plus counseling, pick up the parental dog and bring her back, then off to the quilt guild meeting. I’m not sure I can do all that, but I’m going to try. I should eat something in there sometime. I’d like to say I’ll iron when I get home, but odds are that I will just collapse. We’ll see. A girl can hope.

Spluttering Back Up…

Well, I can wish and hope that today goes well at school (and really, it’s just the last two classes that make it or break it), but even if it doesn’t? It’s Friday. I get a 2-day reset…yes, a reset that will require a shit-ton of working on school stuff to get it all done, but it is still 2 days. When I had COVID, I planned out a whole month of 8th-grade science, but I’m starting to run out of that and panic. I can’t get my head far enough above the water (I’m seriously in that stage where I’m constantly slipping under and getting water up my nose, and then spluttering back up) to feel like I’ve got it. I really hope the entire year isn’t like this. The planning is one piece, and then the 7th grade is the other. The behaviors in those two classes are difficult and require significant management. Some days I’ve got it! Some days make me want to quit and go work at a quilt store. Can’t afford the latter. So there we are. This week has been hard, and sleep has been hard to find, which doesn’t help. Last night, I must have hit full exhaustion mode, because I slept all the way through.

We did two days of labs, which might have helped with exhaustion AND frustration…

Luckily we have multiple teachers’ aides (kids) who will be cleaning up, because there is sand and rocks everywhere.

I do also want time to iron on this thing…it’s taking forever. I got the other arm done on Wednesday night (after a union meeting)…

This detail feels relevant after hearing about a nationwide abortion ban…

Last night was hard…I had a hard day (well, last two classes) at work, then went to Pilates (ugh…yawned through it), then home and realized I had a Zoom meeting (whoops!). I was too tired to iron at all…just stared at stuff for school and chatted. Sometimes that’s all I have. I did eventually iron after, but it’s been less than an hour every night. 52 minutes. 57 minutes. ALMOST an hour. But not. I’ve been ironing this thing together for a little over 14 hours over the last three weeks. So last night, I did the head…

I didn’t get her freckles done. I almost changed this face from the original drawing (there are other things I changed). The almost smile was an issue, although it is a beautiful mouth. The tears and the smile? So I explained on Instagram that this face is honestly where I’m at right now, ironic, since I drew it last November (that should tell me something)…I’m crying because it’s shit, and the shit is so overwhelming that I’m kind of laughing hysterically, and now I notice I wrote “I”, when I don’t really see this as a self-portrait, but maybe most of my women are some version of me. Intriguing thought.

So I got into Quilts=Art=Quilts and Excellence in Fibers (not sure I said anything about that one yet). In the midst of all the chaos and heartache (IDK if that’s the right word…there’s been some trauma too plus frustration plus all the feels), the art is getting out and seen. So that is my good right now. And my school team. Because I know they have my back even when some don’t. So bend into the chaos today, deep breaths, because I have a backup plan if their little brains can’t handle it, but sometimes they surprise me, and that is always my hope. Let today be that day.

Like the Wind…

Well. A deserted island is calling me. Nah, it’s only a week until SAQA Summit: 3 days of art quilt stuff and making without being at school. Yes, missing 2 days of school will kick my ass. Writing sub plans for that will kick my ass. But it will be worth it. I just realized I probably needed supplies for the class a couple of days ago, so panicked a bit, but I think I either have most of it or can get it easily. Maybe not silk habotai. I know I have some silk, but probably not that. Anyway, looking forward to that while panicking about the everyday school stuff, like prepping for labs (did a bunch of that yesterday) and making sure my planning is done (it wasn’t). Trying to get far enough out to WRITE sub plans and have stuff planned for the beginning of the next week, since my weekend is pretty full. Good full, but full nonetheless. THIS weekend? Empty. I think. Hallelujah. Need some time. I also want to finish my book. I went to the gym on Monday after school because UGH that day, and I just exercised and read. So I’m at 86%…just need to finish. Not sure when…back-to-school night was last night, union meeting tonight. Busy week too.

Anyway, I am still ironing, slow but sure…maybe just under an hour each of the last two nights.

Worked on the right arm (on the left side)…finished it last night…

Also finished a rocket and a cat. Tonight will hopefully be the left arm (on the right side). I was wrong about whatever pieces I said I was on the other day. I’m now in the 900s, but barely, so I must have been in the 700s on Sunday night. This is not fast. I’m working too many hours for the day job. It’s double everything, double plan, double labs, double thinking. Art at least was a repeat each trimester, and the art teacher and I had a basic plan I was working from. Now I have almost nothing…a curriculum that is confusing and repetitive with a subject I’m honestly not that good at. Fun. I did do two cover pages last week…well, I’m still not done with one. I finished 8th grade yesterday…

Then quickly drew 7th grade (still need to color it)…

I did that in the 20 minutes between science not tutoring (don’t ask) and back-to-school night where the mom who’s been berating me for everything under the sun showed up. Also fun stuff. I would like to thank 8 years of meditation practice for my response to that shit.

OK. School. Plan like the wind. Grade like a hurricane. Go to a union meeting and take notes. SLEEP (oh wait, not yet). Cook dinner. Trash out. IRON for as close to an hour as I can get. THEN sleep.

No Additional Time…

Yo! Busy weekend, mostly cool stuff. Work (day job) takes up too much time, as usual, and too much of my trying-to-sleep-dammit brain. But I got a bunch of fiber and art in there this weekend.

Quiltwise, didn’t get much done…didn’t iron at all on Friday night, and then did an hour or so each Saturday and Sunday nights…so this is part of Saturday…

Did the lower torso that is above the arm…then realized the whole damn thing was too heavy to keep on the ironing board, so pulled another Teflon sheet and started the upper torso on that.

It’ll all fit together at some point. Last night, I continued on the upper torso…

At this point, I have some arms to do. I’m in the 800s, almost done with them, I think. So more than halfway finally. Still a lot to do…another big head, her head, the arms, and some stuff in the background. Not a fast iron.

Friday night was a no-iron night because I went to see the Man’s band play…here he is pretending to be Exene of X.

That’s some neon green there. Pretty exhausting show for both of us, though. Friday nights are hard. I managed to get up and go to my quilt guild meeting the next morning to listen to Sara Trail of Social Justice Sewing Academy talk. Great talk, very inspiring. Put it on my calendar to do another remembrance block when I get a break from school. There are 50 or so here in San Diego County that need to be done, so volunteer! (wherever you are, there are unfortunately people who have been killed for a variety of sketchy reasons who need to be documented and remembered…).

I stitched while she talked…been a while since I worked on this, but I got a chunk done.

Mostly boobs.

On Sunday, I went up to the PHES Gallery to see the opening of FIG’s Portals show.

I need to post all those pictures sometime this week…but it is the first time I saw mine hanging. It’s much bigger than I had originally planned it to be.

Definitely commands attention. I’ll be participating in an artists’ talk on October 2 at 5 PM at the gallery with two other artists.

I drew some things for school…this was the hairy gravestone reject.

They were good until I put the hair on them. Don’t even ask.

I was really excited to see a monarch caterpillar in pre-cocoon mode…

But 12 hours later, it hadn’t done anything new and looked mostly dead. And this morning, it was gone…with three more green tomatoes. I know I have a tomato stealer; apparently they like caterpillars too.

I did find another one on there, so maybe there’s hope.

We have a lot of birds though. So I’m not incredibly hopeful.

So it’s Monday. Y’all know that. It’s a busy week: union meeting AND back-to-school night. Plus all the other stuff. I rewrote the whole 8th-grade month in my head while trying to fall asleep last night. Should really stop doing that, but it’s amazing what my brain is capable of when it should be sleeping. The weather has cooled off a bit, although it’s still muggy. The boychild left this morning for his new CalFire posting; not sure when he’ll be back, because there are crews on fires and his new one may need to do something. So either he’ll be back Wednesday or who-knows-when. I need to get to school and hope a copier is running somewhere.

Wonky It Is…

The rain is here…Hurricane Kay is throwing us clouds and rain and eventually wind (not a fan of that…haven’t been able to afford trimming the trees on the slope…been on the list for a year, but the septic redo took all the available cash). The pro is that we need the rain (although not flood level) and it’s cooler today than it has been…still humid though. I have duty after school at the corner light…trying to find an umbrella (it might be in the car). The Man is hoping traffic isn’t bad this morning, and the Boychild is doing his (hopefully) final training tests for CalFire today. In the rain. But it’s rain! We need it. I’m still dripping sweat this morning though. Ugh.

I’ve gotten about an hour each night to iron…that’s it. Working on one of the two big heads…

That’s the first hour…

And this is the second hour…

The next step is the main figure’s torso, I think. I’m around piece 570 or so. Not even halfway. The Man has a show tonight, so I was going to go see that. Tomorrow is a bunch of quilt stuff. The next day is an art opening. Busy weekend. But hopefully I’ll get some more done. Slow but sure.

Meanwhile, I’ve got a meeting this morning (another one!), a ton of work to do for school, overwhelmed by all of it. The level of kid crazy I had to deal with yesterday was not appreciated. After school was all contacting parents and admin and writing stuff up. Very little “get work done”. I’m realizing this morning that I don’t really know what I’m doing for 8th grade…I was supposed to review it sometime this week, and I literally haven’t had time. So I’m searching for the videos that explain it as I drive to school? Possibly.

Last night, I enjoyed hanging with my stitching friends and doing a tiny bit of stitching…

Slow as molasses on this. And god forbid I actually measure and mark like she suggests. I’m pro-wonky in hand-stitched stuff. Good thing, because wonky it is.

OK, may the wind be kind, the rain spread out, the kids chill (oh that’s unlikely). May I find my umbrella and be super efficient today so I can feel better about next week before it happens. Also, it’s my half birthday, so where is my cake.

Iron Your Heart Out…

Still hot here. Today hotter. A/C still not working right in the classroom. I had three fans in there yesterday, but a state group is coming to inspect our school today, and ironically, it means I have to hide the fans (cords going across the floor, near water sources) to prove my room is safe (on a day when I have 700 lab materials out that could be considered unsafe if the kids weren’t following the rules, which they totally are). Plus the room will be too hot, so I’m not sure how the district will explain that shit on a day when it’s supposed to be 102 degrees. Whatever. Some of the shit teachers have to do (or are asked to do) is kind of mind-boggling. This inspection is mostly about textbooks, which is even funnier for science, because we don’t have any…everything is online. So then we have to teach the kids how to download a PDF to their Chromebooks that we never use. Just to make the state happy. It’s OK…I know this is holding districts accountable…just not for my A/C. The heat makes me cranky. It makes the kids cranky. The hot is going away by Friday, when we will get rain (!). I’m OK with that, even if the Man is not, because he has a show that night and there’s supposed to be a 1/2 inch of rain. Loading in and out could be complicated, but also, fewer people come to shows when it’s raining.

In good news, I got a piece into the Excellence in Fibers exhibit that will be in Fiber Art Now’s January issue, plus there’s a chance it will be at the San Jose Quilt & Textile Museum next year, which would be cool. I have one piece that will be there in October, but I’m juggling way too much that month, with my parents gone, a bunch of art stuff, the parental dog, the Man possibly taking off to hike for a couple of days with a friend, blah blah blah…at least it will be cooler! I guess I don’t have to go to San Jose for the opening…I could go another time just to see the show.

Ironing is slow but steady. I haven’t been starting until late. It’s too damn hot in here. By 9 PM, with two fans on me, it’s bearable. I got a bunch done on Monday night…

Finished the pelvic area…missing an ‘s’ on the ‘Property of’ label (those words will be inked or stitched, haven’t decided which yet. I like the Statue of Liberty’s head though.

Then I ironed the robes of the large Supreme Court figure on the left, but forgot to photograph it, and then detached it and rolled it up, because everything was getting too big and out of control. I started ironing the left big head down…well, at least the neck and the nuclear power plant that will reside on his chin…

Less than an hour last night, just. I had a stressful day at work, with science materials disappearing and reappearing, trying to get kids to move on to the next step (I’m so behind), then to the dentist to deal with my filling, which was a crown, and will be expensive, and will take more time than they are open, so trying to schedule it has been a pain. Plus the money. This month is not good for that…house insurance is due and it’s my first paycheck since the end of June. It’s always tight. I think we have solved it though…they may open on Saturday for me, which I really appreciate (although you wanna look at my weekends for the next 6 weeks? because there’s very few open spots). Sigh. Came home and graded some stuff, planned, put grades in the gradebook. I didn’t have to cook, hallelujah, that’s tonight unfortunately (so hot…), but I was exhausted. Kept saying “It’s only Monday”. Ha! Tuesday, y’all. It was Tuesday. And now it’s Wednesday. So today is trash out, empty dishwasher, empty sink, AND cook dinner. Hopefully those two grown men will help with the first three because it’s not my turn. Every morning this week is a student-related meeting on top of all of it. September is always a little hectic. Little is an understatement.

I need to get some boxes for shipping stuff too…if I have time before Pilates today, the store where I buy boxes is right there…but I’m usually kamikazing in at the last minute from school.

I didn’t sleep well last night. The heat…the noise and light from having the windows open…my brain doesn’t do well with either of those two stimuli. Plus this…

I work when I’m tired…but the art stuff suffers in the end. There are only so many hours in the day. I’m trying to lesson plan while kids are working on labs. I’m speed-planning during prep. I don’t feel like I’ve got a handle on any of it. Plus grading. I realized that all of 7th AND 8th grade will be turning in academic assignments at the same time. OK. It’s going to be busy for a while. Deep breaths (I do meditate every night). Be efficient…be be efficient. Then iron your heart out.

It’s All About Energy…

Today is a holiday for some, not all, as the boychild went off to training today, earlier than I wanted to be up, so then all the animals were ready for me to be up, in fact, I think Luna purposely got herself stuck under the dresser just so I’d get up (and then got herself remarkably unstuck) and the boys next door have new toy machine guns (seriously. I’m not kidding you) that they run around shooting at each other, rat-a-tat-tat, which is not conducive to sleep or thinking or anything but rage, honestly, or maybe less rage and more WTF toward their parents. Religious as fuck but machine guns. Anti-Satan (gasp!) but OK with killing. They seem like nice people. I just don’t get it.

ANYWAY. So I’m up earlier than I want to be, which has been the case since before the kids were born, so you’d think I’d be used to it. It’s still hot here, which make everyone cranky, although I think yesterday was cooler. We had clouds a lot of the day, and sure, they were monsoon clouds, so it’s humid, but not as bad as Saturday. Today dawned clear and hot, though…so all the fans are on and I’m in here typing before it hits 95 degrees inside. Even the internet is cranky in the heat. I was trying to do school work yesterday afternoon, and that was a no-go. Slow as hell and kept freezing. Could be the new loaner computer though. Either way, it gave me an excuse to quit working and iron instead. For whatever reason, my studio was cooler than the living room. There was actually a breeze yesterday. Not so much today…a little air movement, but not much.

So I finished the one figure…her right hand and face were all that I needed to do…

Then I started on the figure next to her…

That’s when I took a break to try to do schoolwork. Waste of time really. We went over to the parentals for dinner, brought side dishes and dessert (what requires the least amount of time in the kitchen)…then came back, it was dark and night and a little cooler, so I got the third figure done…

And started the large figure on the right, after the broken Statue of Liberty…

Some of my drawings are more stream of consciousness than others…I think of them as brain dumps or an anxiety drawing, how do I just get it all out of my head and onto paper. This is one of those. Whatever my concerns and anxieties are, for some groups of people (BIPOC/LGBTQ), this shit is way worse and doesn’t seem like it will ever go away. My old-white-lady concerns are ten million times worse for them. Anyway. I love that I made progress…hopefully there will be more today, but first, I really need to do schoolwork. Way fucking behind.

Friday night, we went to see the Threads of Inspiration show at Inspirations Gallery in Liberty Station. Here is my quilt Bill! Bill! Bill! about Bill Nye…who not only made all those awesome videos we know and love, but continues to advocate for the planet.

This quilt was part of the A Better World exhibit pre-COVID about people who make this a better world. So he’s traveled a bit. A friend of mine sent me this…

So I believe I am 4 or 5 degrees separated from Bill…which feels good. I hope he laughed.

The show is up through the end of September, so check it out, because there are some cool pieces…

It is a SAQA local show, so Southern California and Nevada…

If you’re coming the the first day of the SAQA Summit, the official artists’ opening will be that night.

I will be there for that. I will also probably be exhausted, but what’s new?

Lots of color in the show…

Some fun work…

If you want to see each of these pieces with all the artist info, I’ll be posting them on the SAQA SoCA/NV instagram page @saqa_soca-nv once I get done posting about Desert Diversity, the local show in Phoenix, Arizona, right now. Or stop by on Thursday, September 22, from 6:30-8:30. I think otherwise it’s open only by appointment.

The next opening is next Sunday, from 2-4 PM…

I delivered that piece Saturday. First time out in the world with that one. I will probably be at the opening earlier rather than later, depending on when the grocery shopping gets done. Sundays are a little crazy usually. This coming weekend is a little more packed than I like them. I like some down time, some art time, some reading time, some hiking time. Which means it needs to cool the fuck down enough to hike. Not happening today. Maybe Saturday.

I drew before we ate out on Friday night…it was definitely cooler at Liberty Station. Hungry man…

Didn’t feel like a serious drawing. So whimsical it was.

The view of clouds on Saturday reflected in the pool where I kept putting my feet to cool off.

I couldn’t find the energy to put on a bathing suit and go all the way in…so up to the knees it was. With my book.

Other bits and pieces from the week…I thought this drawing was a pretty effective explanation of yo-yos and energy.

Made me laugh anyway. And here’s the apples I brought home to compost from the apple batteries…they were getting buggy after four days…

Seems like a waste of food, but the kids learn a lot from this. Mostly they’re a little mind-boggled that apples have energy.

I keep finding caterpillars on the milkweed and on the citrus trees, but no cocoons so far…on either.

I think I have too many birds for the caterpillars to survive. Something has been stealing the tomatoes again too…I had one almost ripe one and it’s gone. Probably rats.

This…true…

What can I say? Black is versatile. Hides the spills.

This one was at my parents’ house, just hanging out on the grass.

Probably close to dying, but it was pretty.

I worked a tiny bit on Sue Spargo’s Homegrown. I think I’m still doing April’s blocks.

I had to read the instructions four times and then turn the book with the embroidery stitch instructions upside down to help me get this far.

This. Sigh.

And finally this…

Kitten is doing OK. She’s not great. We’ve been switching her meds around, trying to make her more comfortable, but also increase her appetite with giving her horrendous diarrhea. I think we’re closer to a solution, but I will be happy when I can stop giving her the medicine that makes her foam at the mouth.

OK, so all the things that need to happen today, on my holiday: cook lunches for the week (meat is in the crockpot already), laundry (I did not get to the washing machine first, so I will have to wait…also to shower), grade a bunch of stuff, post things for this coming week, pay some bills, get some posts ready for SAQA’s instagram, fix my website current shows and recent work sections, read my book (maybe), iron some art (definitely), and get ready in general for a short but packed week at school. I’m finally getting my lost filling replaced, got two parent-teacher meetings and one “how-the-fuck-do-we-manage-this-parent” meeting, got one stitching meeting, chiropractor with mini-massage before (that’s a necessity), plus a Pilates class. I think that’s it. I’m not counting next weekend. I wanted to hike but it’s too damn hot. So I’ll aim for next weekend for that. Plus there’s some stuff on my to-do list for the day that I’ve already forgotten, even though I only wrote it down like an hour ago. Hence why I write it down! At least this is a day off…I appreciate that, even if I haven’t been very efficient with my time. Hopefully the heat won’t be too bad today and I can get things done. I will feel better going into the week if I can.

I feel like this whole post is about energy, which is what I’m teaching the 8th graders. Less what I am teaching and more what they are learning. I just throw a bunch of materials at them and then they figure out the things with a little bit of help from me. Which is the way it should be.