And All the Papers Lied Tonight*

Hmm. Cold weather (for us…remember my blood is thinner than you icy folk). Rain clouds still looming. So my weekend so far has been very focused with bursts of art. Mostly because I stayed up until 2:30 AM last night…well, wasn’t it technically this morning? Because Art Brain was drawing and I didn’t know how to get her to stop. I didn’t have work as an excuse to go to bed. Probably why I feel a bit groggy this morning. Because someone still got up at 6 to go to work and I definitely heard that. Ugh. That’s tomorrow morning. I will go to bed earlier tonight! Art Brain? You listening? I’m not kidding. We need to go to bed early tonight. Seriously.

Yeah. So. Saturday I quilted some…like 2 hours’ worth…nah, only an hour…

But I started on all the fussy little bits in between heads. What a pain in the butt.

Then we went to an art/music thing called A Ship in the Woods…it was a bit of a drive, weather cold, plus a shuttle service to get us in…it’s a house up in the Escondido area with a huge yard and a lot of art stuff filtered around. A band was playing inside. There was art inside as well. Mostly I just wanted to see what it was like, but I had also seen a piece by one of the artists, Kyle Ranson, so I was interested in that…this was on the outside of the house, made up of smaller pieces of wood.

Fascinating…

Another one inside…

And outside…those are ceiling fan blades…

Makes you want to redo your house so your neighbors run screaming in the other direction, don’t it?

It’s a nice space. I’d go back when it’s warmer. And there was more performance or outdoor stuff going on. Like summer maybe. We’ll see.

Yesterday dawned with pretty blue skies and big fluffy white clouds, with a cat sitting in a box. Yeah. There’s art stuff in there. She doesn’t give a fuck. She’s sitting in it anyway.

Chaos reigns. The skies eventually grayed up and dropped down upon us.

So I went back to quilting…the VAST EXPANSE of crap around the edges.

I did at least 2 hours yesterday. Or only 2 hours…depending on how you look at it. I’ve made it around the whole sun and down one side. There’s a significant amount of quilting left. At least another couple of hours, I think. I’ll be working on that today, and also going to buy binding fabric.

I graded in the afternoon and evening…late into the night, trying to get caught up…while watching a documentary about feminism.

From that, I started drawing. Because I wasn’t ready for bed…I was watching the last 15 minutes of the doc, because I’d finished grading. On Friday, I had copied the first drawing that I’ve been trying to redo for days, enlarging it 200 and 250%, to give me a choice.

I wasn’t sure which would work best.

I thought I would just tape it together and then go to bed.

By the way, 250% was the better choice. So I knew I wanted the core of this drawing, but it needed some major changes. I was going to leave it until today, but Art Brain took over. Yes, it was already past midnight at this point.

I said, I’ll just trace some bits and THEN go to bed…

I don’t know why I listen to Art Brain when she’s like that. I traced some more, but then opened up the other sketchbook so I could see the other fails…and pull from them as well.

One of the things I wanted was the shoulders above the ground…

Art Brain on a roll…

It’s not done…but I did finally take a break on it.

The ground is next…and the hair…and whatever is above her head. I don’t know what that is yet. Maybe that’s tonight…but not that late. Not if I have to teach tomorrow.

Today is more grading…a dog hike…some fabric purchasing. Laundry. I need clean clothes for sure. And I don’t know what else…I should shower first…

*The Psychedelic Furs, The Ghost in You

Always Had a Fear of Being Typical*

So. So many things in my head for the last long weekend until May. I want to get EVERYTHING done PLUS go see art and music and eat and hike and all that stuff. So Many Things. So many things that I don’t know where to start. There’s definitely schoolwork to be done. Tons of it. I did a little last night…more to come. I need to do some every day, basically. An assignment a day would be good. More than one would be better. Eyes wide. Shit. End of trimester looms.

Art. There’s always art to be done. I know I want to be done with the quilting this weekend…

Figure 5 got done last night, except for her left wing and a cloudy bit on her left arm.

It took about 2 hours to get that much done.

I had help.

If you call lying around on the floor and depositing hair on the chair help. Also my sweater collection on the chair is interesting. I don’t know if I get warm because of the lights or because I’m wrestling this giant-ass beast of a quilt around to get it quilted, but whatever sweater I’m wearing just ends up discarded on that chair until I pick them all up and put them away.

I have the sun left to outline (won’t take long) and then I’m quilting the background, which will be a rancid pain in the ass. I’m not sure how long that will take…at least a couple of hours. There’s not a lot of big open space, like the last one, but there are a lot of fussy little bits in between all the faces.

You can see where I stopped…at midnight thirty. I was tired. I’m still tired. I stayed up too late this week. Trying to settle my head.

Kitten approves.

So I want to finish the quilting before Monday and then go buy binding fabric…trim this beast and get a binding on it. Move the fuck on to the next one. I did go copy and enlarge the original drawing that I’ve been fucking with…so I can trace the outline of the head and then do what I want. I try to draw smaller first, so when I enlarge, it’s not crazy tiny pieces. But that’s just not working for me. So fuck it. Let’s do this thing.

On top of that, I just started a thing where I might be doing some drawings that can be hand-embroidered, partnering with someone who sells this stuff at all the shows. So that’s a thing. If it happens and it’s cool, maybe y’all will like that. Although apparently I need to hide some penises in the drawings. I find penises are hard to hide, personally. They tend to just be Out There. But hey. We’ll see. Some drawings this weekend, then. And next week. Crazy idea, really, but I’m intrigued by the possibilities. It’s a different mindset for looking at what I do. But not an impossible one. I know what the old guy who lives here will say…something about why do I take on more stuff when I’m already overwhelmed? Because it’s an interesting idea that could turn into some income. Or just be cool…hard to say.

Speaking of cool, you rarely see my coworkers…here’s my science coworker-in-crime. Why this picture? When we order stuff using our own money and need reimbursement, the district wants to see pictures of the things we ordered with the invoice…I guess to prove we bought it? And didn’t return it?

So we’re constantly taking photos of the innards of boxes. She was helping…yes we bought that many plastic beakers. We use this shit. And they were very reasonably priced. Hopefully they’ll reimburse.

I also want to walk the dogs this weekend. I want to go to the gym too. And read my book! No small list.

*Imagine Dragons, Whatever It Takes

I Know a Place That’s Safe and Warm from the Crowd*

Why did I not get much done last night? Well, we got to sweep water out of the garage and then move some stuff around because of that. I sat down to read for about 30 minutes, a new book, and that time expanded. Because books are more interesting than grading assignments. Then Valentine’s Day, we go to the total dive we had picked out to avoid the nice-restaurant crowds, and their cook hadn’t shown up. Hmmm. So we drove to dive-ish bar number 2 and ate.

After all that, all I had the mental space for was trying to draw the start of the next quilt. AGAIN. I’m trying to enlarge (and slightly change) a drawing I already did and kept thinking it would be easy, but my brain and fingers aren’t cooperating. Every single face has been off.

Here’s the original (too small and not quite right) drawing…

I want to fix what’s on the face a bit, and then have her shoulders above the dirt, and do something totally different with her hair and the sky. So really, it would be easier to redraw it larger and then fix it there. But I haven’t been able to get the face right…

Attempt number 2 has some things going for it, but I don’t like the shape of the nose at all…or the hair.

Although it doesn’t look as bad in the light of the morning. Sigh. Nope. That nose.

Attempt number 3…didn’t make it past this stage.

Nose is wrong. Eyes too small. Mouth wrong.

I’m not usually this fussy. I usually just go with whatever I draw, figure it’s fate or something.

Attempt number 4…

Fucking A. So I like how the face is going, the stuff ON the face, but totally hate how long and narrow it is. Eyes are too small, needs a forehead.

So I’m debating going to the copy place and just enlarging the first one, but then putting it underneath a larger piece and tracing what I like. Because I really like the eyes and nose and mouth in the first one. And I’m trying to repeat that and maybe that’s not worth this much time. So I think I’m going to toss the smaller sketchbook in my bag and hit the copy store after school.

Other things: I’m sad about Opportunity, the Mars Rover…I’m sad about the wall and people’s obsession with that instead of solving the other problems with immigration. I had to take Benadryl last night to deal with the stupid post-CT rash from the contrast dye…it’s not going away without help. So this morning, I’m totally groggy (on one of those damn things). And it’s a lab day, so that ought to be interesting. I’m glad that the rash is somewhat better. I’m sad that Monday is the last day off of school for the next 8 weeks. I’m going to totally enjoy the fuck out of Monday then. I’m glad the heavy rain from yesterday stopped before the garage totally filled. I’m superglad that years ago, we put everything up on shelves and off the floor. I’m also glad that the branch that fell off the tree in the backyard onto the very spot where Calli likes to pee did not hit her or the house or the deck. Yes, trimming that tree is on my list…when I get the other crap paid off that needs to be paid off. I’m incredibly glad today is Friday. And I can see blue sky this morning. I’m also glad that I found some of my more expensive diabetes supplies on Amazon. Fuck the pharmacy man. They gougin’.

All right. Off to school. Gonna steal some of the boychild’s Spring Roll Bowl from my Monday night dinner (’twas good) for lunch. It’s spicy, so hot flashes will come…but they’ve been coming anyway. Oh yeah, and yesterday I got a llama. Or an alpaca. I love it. I bought the flowers…our special-ed kids are doing these pop-up shops for coffee every week, and added flower delivery yesterday…

Very nice job on the teacher’s part…oh yeah, I got a chocolate from one of my special ed kids. He can be very nice. I guess they all can be. Laughing about that. Good thing to remember today I guess.

*The Lemonheads, Into Your Arms

Love’s What I Got; Don’t Start a Riot*

Happy V Day y’all. May love pour down on you from the most unexpected places. And for those of you like me who teach through this candy-fueled holiday, I wish you luck. I’d also like to thank the administrator who thought telling kids on a broadcast announcement in 7th period that they couldn’t bring balloons and gifts and candy to class was a good idea. I realize they were desperate, once they realized what today was going to be, but that was a discussion I didn’t need to have in the middle of demonstrating exothermic and endothermic reactions (the reaction in class, by the way, was decidedly exothermic). Oh yeah, and it’s a rain day, so kids are already psychotic. Dear parents, when your child comes home sopping wet and you wonder if we let them stand out in the rain, well yes…yes we do, because your child is taller than I am and with all the rain we’ve had this year (for Southern California, this is a deluge), we’re tired of yelling at them to get out of the rain. They just go out and stand in it, staring up, gobsmacked at the experience. So we let them have it. And if they get sick because of it, well really, you should do more to increase their immune system. Like feed them good food and make sure they don’t play video games until 2 AM. Yeah, like THAT’S an easy thing to do. It’s OK. I parented two of them. Who knows what damage I did. Certainly there were times they came home sopping wet and I wondered why.

But love…let’s feel the love. Me? I felt the love of a Golden Retriever at 5:30 AM when she thought she wanted to pee but then saw the weather. We’ll be going out tonight (not me and the dog…just to be clear…but me and that guy who lives here), unlike most V-days…because my guy got band practice moved off of Thursday night. So that’s love for you.

I got puppy love last night too…grading while watching TV with a puppy companion.

And then the big girl, who apparently now associates rain with thunder, even when there isn’t any, and is anxious constantly.

She eventually settled down next to me as well.

I entered a show before that. I’ve got two more to do in the next few days, one before tomorrow, but I was hoping to hear back from something else first…just to be sure what was available. I guess I could send an email about that. Aargh.

I started quilting late, around 10:30 PM.

I was really tired at the start, but this stuff invigorates me. Art brain wakes up and wants to party. Slowly. With a stabby needle and bad lighting. I thought, well, can I really get Figure 4 done? It’s a big head. She has lots of snakes for hair.

Well, Kathy, the answer is yes, yes you can.

Figure 4. In all her glory. Just Figure 5 and the sun left for outlining, and then the messy background. That will be complicated. But I’m seeing a finish line. I’m thinking I’ll be buying binding fabric soon…like Saturday or Sunday. I’m excited about that.

I really do like this quilt…it’s just been hard to get lots of time on it, and so it’s dragging on. This is one of the enjoyable stages, though…quilting is meditative. It’s peaceful. Well, mostly…unless there’s a lot of thread breakages. I’ve been lucky. My machine probably needs to go in again for service, though. I should make an appointment for when I’m traveling on Spring Break. That would be smart.

OK, well we have another inch of rain coming in today. I managed to get one dog to void outside in a slightly dry moment. The other one is a dumbass and will probably explode soon. I swept the pavement outside the back door twice in the last 12 hours, moving the water that used to drain away. I should remind the boychild to do it later. Ah shit, there’s the rain again. Sigh.

Oh, and Parkland…the high-school shooting a year ago. Let no dumbass make it a stupid gun anniversary. Let’s have a moment of silence and anti-gun legislation and not thoughts and prayers in remembrance. Or worse, a shoot-out somewhere.

*Sublime, What I Got

More and More Complicated

I am functional at the moment. My eyes are open. I’m showered and fully clothed. I even have apples and oatmeal in front of me, ready to eat. The cats are fed. My lunch is packed and in the fridge. My brain, however, is hovering on naptime. Serious naptime. You know that feeling when you’ve been on a plane for like 10 hours and you feel totally squished and too upright and twitchy and all you want to do is LIE DOWN. With a pillow. On your side. That’s kinda how I feel right now. Which is really unfortunate, because I have to go to work and then a union meeting afterwards, so that’s like hours of Not Lying Down and No Pillow. Ugh. No fun.

Last night, I graded a bunch of things, and I ended up with half a TV show I wanted to finish watching before going off to quilt, so I tried to redraw this again.

Nope. Sometimes I start over and over again until I get it right. It’s still the nose…and the mouth. The eyes are better. One time I started about 5 times until I got the first eye right. I really needed a better pen too. This one was old and dragged on the paper. It needs to flow, run wild, move like water across the page. Double nope. It didn’t. So I’ll try again.

Finally off to the quilting…

The Figure 3 head has a bunch of pollution-type stuff going on.

Previously, Kitten had whacked me…hard…three holes in my hand. Not sure why.

So she sat over there and refused to look at me. Calico cats are definitely clear about “You’re doing it wrong.” Although I was trying to get the computer mouse and not doing anything to her at all. So there’s that.

Cat done. Head done…

That’s a big head. I did start this Big Head series way way back. I had a few quilts that were just head and shoulders, but huge. I had less detail in my quilts back then. I seem to be getting more and more complicated. In so many ways!

So my new thing is to stop quilting and then my brain is wired so I have been organizing the photos on my computers, moving them into appropriate folders. I have stuff going back to 2014 that is not organized. There was some shit going on then that made it hard to look at certain months of photos, but I figure I’m well past that dumbassery now. But then I can’t stop organizing. There needs to be a logical stopping point and it’s usually doing an entire month, but that’s a lot. So I went to bed too late (AND I didn’t even finish the month). Plus sometimes it’s hard to figure out which quilt I’m working on if it’s just Wonder Under or pieces of fabric. So then my brain is engaged again and that’s not a good thing. Sigh.

Right now I really want to go back to bed. And then draw. Neither is happening. Oh well. They will eventually.

Please Ignore My Vacant Stares*

The most awesome news ever is that I finished grading the science units. They were weighing on me. I still have 6 assignments to get through, but they don’t require as much brain power. On these, I had to look up stuff constantly to see if kids were just making it up, like does nickel rust? Not really, guys. It’s so much easier to write random stuff than to look it up and research it. Right? The other awesome news is how quickly I got through the medical exam yesterday…the hardest part was finding a vein big enough for their silly needle, and they had a solution for that. I forgot to do a couple of errands this weekend, and I have a bunch more I came up with for the week, but it was a pretty successful 3-day weekend. I’ve said before that all teachers would benefit from that extra day, but since we’re going to go back to school with the sweet hellions who ALSO got an extra day and that means they will act like unneutered werewolves for the next three days, maybe four (shit, V-day is in there, sugar high and lovey-dovey drama, love middle school, really, I do), we really do pay the price for the time off.

I didn’t get as much art done as I would’ve liked, but there’s progress. I’m good with that. I need to see progress.

Calli’s just glad there was someone home with her.

And she had her toy. She’s lying on the floor next to me right now. I’m noticing how much she follows me around and lies down wherever I am. That’s nice.

The little gray cat did a little of that yesterday too. I think this was when I decided I wanted to finish my book, because it was due yesterday and I could have put the iPad in airplane mode, or I could’ve finished my book.

I finished the book. I’m liking this series…the Indranan Wars series by K.B. Wagers. Book club is reading book 1 for this month, but I just finished book 2, and book 3 is in the queue.

I was in charge of dinner last night, and our produce box got these awesome purple Brussels sprouts.

They don’t taste any different, but they’re nice to look at.

Eventually I made it into the office to quilt. I managed to finish the torso of Figure 3…

As well as her other hand, and then I also did the arm of Figure 4 and all the stuff around it (mostly weather-related)…

I wanted to finish the face of Figure 3, but that would have been past midnight, and I was already short sleep from yesterday, so I decided to go to bed…before midnight! I know, crazy. But probably the best choice for the week. I was tired. I’ll finish the head of Figure 3 tonight and maybe be able to move onto Figure 4. It would be nice to be done outlining by Friday night, then finish the quilting this weekend (the background is gonna take a while…look at all those bits and pieces), buy a binding, and get it on. Then start the drawing for the next one, before I start panicking. I don’t think the next one can be very big anyway. A max of 30″ wide? That’s nothing. I can’t remember if there’s a height restriction. Anyway. I’m getting there. I really love this piece…I just don’t love how long it’s taking me to get it done.

Kitten is having a similar reaction.

OK, off to school and tutoring and the chiropractor and Costco. Long day. I’ve got a weird rash that I’m hoping is some random thing instead of a reaction to the contrast from yesterday. I love how my body breaks out in the most random rashes. In the future, my body will be able to diagnose that right away because of some chip in my brain, and the response will be better than hydrocortisone and Benadryl (can’t take THAT while teaching).

*Violent Femmes, Promise

I Love to Feel the Rain on My Face*

I got up early this morning to eat before fasting. Crazy really, but that’s what I have to do if I want to be able to drive to this appointment and back. Now I feel totally nauseous, unfortunately, because in about 30 minutes, I have to start drinking 32 ounces of water. Vomitous. Totally. It will all be fine. Hopefully whatever is upsetting my stomach will resolve in 30 minutes. And then I will be fully hydrated for the rest of the day (note: will need to pee many times). The guy from the radiology office called on Saturday to confirm the appointment and that I knew the instructions. He said I could pee at any time, no need to hold it, but I’m driving that whole time really…so probably not peeing while driving. I’ve heard it’s possible, but probably unsafe. Or damp. Depending on your technique.

So with that, I haven’t had enough sleep, because I stayed up late quilting and then managing some art entries, because 1 AM seems like the best time to do that. Yeah. Not a particularly smart move. But a move nonetheless.

Yesterday was a mishmash of errands and school stuff, although I haven’t gotten all of that done for tomorrow, so it’s still on my list. The never-ending list. I am down to just one class’ worth of science units, hallelujah. These things have been weighing me down for 2 weeks and I’m almost there. Good thing, because grades are due in about 3 1/2 weeks and I didn’t want to be doing these at the last minute. They are harder than normal, due to the project that was tacked on at the end. Those should always be separate. My goal is to finish today…the class I need to do is large, but hopefully mostly coherent. The incoherent ones take longer to grade.

So I started quilting around 10 PM…

And I got a pretty good chunk done in a little over 2 hours…

All of Figure 1 is done…

All of Figure 2 is also done…including all the things attached to her (bird, nest, tree, vine).

And the super long arm of Figure 3 is also done.

So that’s about half of the outlining I think? Maybe a little less…but I’ve done about half of the top arm of Figure 5 as well. And the background quilting is going to be bitchy on this thing, because it’s everywhere and not attached. So that will take time…lots of stops and starts. Or starts and stops. However that goes. So I won’t be done tonight, but I’m hoping to put in another 2 hours tonight. But first, 32 ounces of water and whatever else I’m going to have to drink (bleck) and then scan and pee a lot and drive some more and whatever. Do some schoolwork, hopefully walk the dogs, maybe finish some other tasks. Nap? I’d like to, but I don’t think it fits in my schedule. This is what I get for doing nothing of note on Saturday. Oh well.

Kitten says here’s my butt.

Mostly she’s pissed because someone stopped petting her. Oh well to that too. I’m taking my book with me. Hopefully I can read a bit while waiting for whatever they’ll be doing. Anyway. 6 minutes to water consumption. Still nauseous. Good times.

*The Alarm, Rain in the Summertime