Way Less Than Optimal…

WordPress is now adding a question to the previously blank blogpost, in case I logged in to write a post and had no idea what to write about. I guess that might happen. Maybe? The question is “what would I want to change about myself?” Um. So many things. That I’m not gonna write about here. But thanks.

This last weekend was the weekend of no sleep. There’s a skunk who has decided that late nights outside the bedroom window are exciting, and the little dog is also excited about this; in fact, everyone except the humans who have to function during the day and can’t nap for endless hours is excited. So I’m running on way less than optimal sleep. On a Monday. Ten school days before Winter Break. Also there’s an on-campus field trip thing tomorrow that only HALF of my 7th graders can go to and I haven’t dealt with that AT ALL and I’m not sure exactly HOW to deal with it because my teacher’s aide has been out and I occasionally am getting a sub, and I can’t send my kids if I don’t have a SECA that day. So how do I present that to a bunch of already problematic kids? Um you MIGHT get to do something cool and fun but only HALF of you get to go tomorrow, the rest have to wait until APRIL and OMG you might NOT get to go if we continue to have too many people out. Yeah. Sounds great.

I worked a lot on school stuff this weekend. The pro is that I am caught up (almost) on grading…I have about 6 redoes that need grading and that’s it. For today anyway. The con is that I didn’t plan all the way through the end of next week…this shit just takes too long. Everything needs editing because it’s too complicated, not helpful, and it’s PDF files, so the editing takes even longer. I beg steal and borrow from other stuff we’ve done to try to help with the planning, and it’s still so fucking time-consuming. I think I spent about 9 hours on the day job this weekend. Ugh.

I did also go to my guild’s holiday party. I took 3 fat quarters for that game they play (didn’t win…but I did last year, so I’m OK with that), but my prize for going to the party was 2 half yards. For you non-quilt-math people, I came out with an extra fat quarter. So that’s fun. We made fabric ornaments…

Which was fun. I did not pick holiday fabrics. And Kitten has already absconded with this. I need to get a hanger on it and get the tree in from outside so she will be less likely to steal it.

I spent a goodly few hours cutting stuff out this weekend…

Friday night with Kitten…

Saturday night after dinner…

And last night after all the things. I’m in the sky. So I cut out basically in opposite order from ironing, although I dumped everything into a bigger bin at some point, so I can see sky and flesh in there, and I think flesh was ironed after sky. So there’s still a big chunk of stuff, but I can see the bottom of the bin, so I’m getting close. Probably not tonight, but maybe tomorrow night. This thing has a hard deadline, so I’m really trying to stay on top of it. I’m behind my original schedule already. Sigh. When am I ever NOT behind? In everything really.

Kitten has been following me around…

This was Friday night’s sleep.

The other two are still cuddling against the cold…

Until Nova wants to sleep in the bedroom, and then Luna loses her fucking mind.

This guy won’t let anyone sleep because of that skunk…

Luckily, boychild is home tonight and can take over…the skunk doesn’t like the dirt outside HIS room as much as the dirt outside MY room. And then maybe I can sleep through the night. That would be nice. Seriously feels like there’s sand in my eyes. So tired.

Saturday night…finishing a drawing from the previous weekend, I think.

I don’t know that it’s actually finished. But I’m finished with it.

Too true below…

I am going in to the doc to have them tell me my knee is royally fucked and they will ask me about my period. The one I haven’t had for like 5+ years. I don’t have a clue when the last one was. Fun stuff.

Last night’s sky was (as always) much prettier in person than my camera will show…

Need a new phone. Sigh to that as well. Just paid the property taxes. At least I could afford that.

OK. Staff meetings today. One grade is doing an assessment (they will be fine). The other grade will have to read by themselves to fill out a chart. So that’s gonna go well. Independent anything has been difficult for them this year. It’s exhausting. But it’s short and I’m not cooking tonight, so maybe I can get more planning done and then cut stuff out for longer. That would be nice. That’s my goal then.

More to Be Thankful for…

Good morning. Less sleep than usual. My fault. My desire to sleep in is not matched by the dog’s desire to be awake, fed, and peed. I forget this. Unfortunately.

Also unfortunate. Or at least things to consider: Red Shawl Day on Saturday, which I noticed because I follow a ton of National Parks, and they were all posting about it…per their website, “American Indian and Alaska Native women are missing and murdered at a rate of more than 10 times the national average. Red Shawl Day is an annual national effort to bring attention to the horrible acts of violence committed against Indigenous people, particularly women and children. Throughout the week surrounding November 19, people are encouraged to wear red as a symbol of the loss of sacred lifeblood through violence.” Just proof that justice is not the same for everyone.

Then Sunday was the Transgender Day of Remembrance…”an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.” More people who do not receive equal justice. That followed by the LGBTQ-hate shooting in Colorado Springs by the grandson of my former Assemblyman, Randy Voepel, MAGA all the way down.

They redrew the district lines about 10 years ago, but this is one of the guys I used to email regularly because he didn’t represent ALL of his district, just the white conservative faction (and honestly, the far right). There’s a lot of that dumbassery out here, unfortunately. But sure, let’s make sure all the haters have guns.

I’m currently working on an environmental issue quilt, but guns are ruling for the next one. Or something. Hate? I don’t want to do another hate quilt. We’ll see. I’ve got a while before I’m done with this one.

That said, I finished tracing the Wonder Under last night…

By staying up way too late…

I guess the dog let me sleep in an hour after the Man left for work…that’s a plus. It’s only three yards…much smaller than the last one.

Oh yeah, and this bit…

The vomit. Hence its nickname in my data collection app. So that was 8 hours and 40 minutes of tracing. My hand and shoulder hurt last night…this morning, they are somewhat recovered. The next step is to cut stuff out. I really want to be ironing to fabric by Thursday. I have a lot to do in the next three days, including grades, a dentist’s appointment to finally get the crown I needed back in August, and a Wednesday Thanksgiving dinner…so clean the house and cook. Lots of cleaning and cooking. Plus walking the frantic dog? Yeah, probably. He’s losing his mind right now because the boychild just arrived after being gone since Thursday AM.

I spent most of Saturday grading science units…but we did manage a short hike…

Mostly to try to tire out the barky dog so he’d do less of that…

Plus drawing at dinner, finishing one from last weekend…

The two younger cats have decided to be friends again…less fighting. More cuddling…

The old lady is sleeping a lot…

She had gained weight by the last checkup, but she’s lost weight again this time. One of her meds is for her thyroid, and we’ve had problems getting the right dosage. Plus whatever is going on in her gut causes issues. The truth of it all is that she’s old. But she’s relatively happy and playful despite all that, so that’s a plus.

Oh yeah, Friday’s field trip was OK. Could have been an hour shorter and I would have been OK with it. Expensive place to go, Old Town. The Scavenger Hunt part was good. The kids participated and all. Apparently the 7th-grade group was not as good. I guess that’s the plus of having 8th grade this year.

The graveyard in Old Town…and some diorama thing where the little plastic dog had fallen down.

Anyway, not a bad end to the week. I am enjoying hanging out in my pajamas and not panicking about posting assignments and lesson plans…yet. That’ll be later this week. It’s not a stress-free week, though…never is. Need to catch up on grading and planning so the next three weeks aren’t insane. Need to do Xmas shopping and shipping. Need to catch up on cleaning and yardwork that’s fallen by the wayside while teaching. Plus read 10 books. Is that a thing? I also need to catch up on sleep, which isn’t going to happen if I keep staying up late. But my brain works better then. Sigh. OK. For now, I have one more class of science units to grade so I can take them back to school today. Easier than dealing with them next Monday, plus I have counseling today and need a space that is not inhabited by multiple humans for that. And I need to check the stash for the lab I’m doing next Tuesday. So I need to read the teacher manual for that. Busy week. Always is. But still thinking about all the hinky shit people are doing to other people instead of getting along. Sigh. May there be more to be thankful for as the week progresses.

No Fanfare…

Usually I feel like there’s a bigger fanfare coming up to a school break. There’s a countdown. I mean, there’s a countdown in my head, but it’s mostly panicking because I didn’t have a plan for teaching everything this week. So I was panicking about that and not thinking about how today is the last day of school and then I have 9 lovely days off (well, there’s a lot of stuff that needs to happen, so not all of it is lovely, but that is the way of the world…and at least I’ll be able to pee when I want). Today, we are on a field trip…strange, though, because half the team is going to the Zoo and the other half to Old Town, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. But whatever. It’s done. We’re not at school. I don’t have to try to get a bunch of kids to do something they don’t want to do today. And the buses are picking up late because of elementary-school conferences, so we won’t get back until almost the end of the school day. Sweet. So no trying to teach two class periods after a field trip when we’re all cranky and exhausted. And for once, I end the day with 8th graders instead of 7th graders. Netflix? Check.

Then there are 125 or so science unit packets to grade. I got through exactly 9 yesterday (I had other stuff to do during class). I’d like to finish Period 1 and leave it at school, and then if I have the stamina, finish Period 2 (it’s huge) and leave it as well. I’d rather stay at school for an hour and kick those out than take them home. I’ll have to bring 7th grade home no matter what.

Last night, before my quilty Zoom meeting, I managed to post the first three days of stuff for 8th grade for after the break. I’m really hoping to have all the posts for that whole three weeks planned out before the end of Thanksgiving. I need to get ahead of stuff. I need to backwards-plan genetics and geologic time scale, and then see how much time is left for space and magnetism. Not much, I’m thinking. Ah well. This year is hard. I’m doing my best.

In art news, ah yes, the bliss of tracing stuff. I finished redrawing the new quilt on Wednesday night…

I didn’t change a huge amount, but cleaned up lines and added some stuff, especially to the earth head.

Then I stayed up too late and numbered it…

It doesn’t take a huge amount of time to number it…but it was enough to put me in bed late…

This one is smaller than my last few. It needed to be; it has to be done before the end of the year.

Only 630 pieces! Crazy. For me. Not a lot.

Then last night, I was a on a stitching Zoom with friends. I spent the first hour doing something for a Christmas present and the second hour plus another after the Zoom tracing Wonder Under pieces…

Yay! It’s very meditative and calming. Not enough, unfortunately, because I couldn’t fall asleep, and then something was crawling around outside the window, so Simba lost his mind and then I couldn’t fall back asleep. So I’m not awake. And I’m hopefully going somewhere I can buy caffeine. Or I’m taking it with me. IDK. Something. But now I can trace for the next two-three days, then cut it out, hopefully ironing to fabric by Thanksgiving Day. Big chunks of art, please. Yes, I will have to grade shit and plan shit and probably clean shit (fuck, I think Thanksgiving is here Wednesday night…so I need the vacuum fixed…yikes). But I need a break from the rest of it. I need to read a lot and contemplate silence. Or loud music of my choice. And less whining and neediness. That especially. Learned helplessness. Ugh.

OK. Here’s Nova this morning…

Such a sweetheart. Good thoughts for the day. We’ll be outside and wandering around Old Town and trying to find stuff on a scavenger hunt. Sunscreen. I need sunscreen. And a lunch…I bought a sandwich yesterday to take with me. The fun of being a diabetic. Ah, my head just twinged. Drink more tea. Make sure there is Motrin in my bag. I do actually love field trips. I’m just missing the zoo today.

Compelling, Complicated, and Worthwhile…

Can I stay home and draw? I was just starting to get into it last night when I looked at the clock. Damn. Nine minutes past bedtime. Fuck. My fault for going to the gym, right? Except I need that. Except my knees apparently don’t appreciate it. The knees have been fussy for a week now, really painful at times, but I was able to hike, no problem. Going up stairs is the issue…and anything balance-y, which should make pilates interesting. I actually went to the gym because work was stressing me out. The last period of the day just sucked and then I spent an hour trying to figure out what I’m teaching in 8th grade for one day before break, after we’ve turned the unit in, plus field trip stuff. It was a giant downer, so I exercised and read my book…which I don’t really like. Huh. It’s book club though, so I’ll finish it, hopefully before Monday’s book club (laughs quietly to herself…I’m only 50% of the way through and I don’t really like it, so we’ll see how that goes). I’m pretty sure this book is YA and that’s my problem. Or not. The review I read said, “compelling, complicated, and worthwhile.” Maybe that’s the subtitle for this school year? I guess I won’t know until I finish. Ugh. It’s fine. It’s not horrible. It’s just lots of girl meets boy, bad situation, but lust, but unrequited because religion, and I don’t have a lot of patience for that sometimes.

So dinner was late, I had to finish grading an assignment, and Google Classroom was being a jerk…

Still, that is how I feel about this entire school year. It’s exhausting. Three more days until nine days off. Nine days I really need. Nine days that will have too much work in them no matter what. I need to get ahead on the planning. Need to get my head above the water.

Pro: new drawing exists. Con: I need to redraw, so I need brainpower to do that. On Sunday, I started cutting and pasting the one I did at 250%…

And the Man walked by and said “That’s not small. That’s big.” Huh. So I stopped and started taping together the one at 200% instead.

There are some parts of it that need refining and some that just need changing (the top hand needs a purpose…and Monday night at 11:45 PM, I stopped trying to fall asleep and typed the purpose into my phone so I wouldn’t forget). So I started tracing over the bits that work…refining some as I went…

Not a lot of changes here…

Last night, I got a whopping 22 minutes, like I said. I’m hoping for better tonight.

Not a lot of changes here either. Added another plastic bag and another water bottle. Redrew one floating trash bit so it looked less like a student-drawn penis and balls. Like you do. Tonight? More of that. Grading too. Cooking. Exercise. Maybe read more of that irritating book. Irritating because of the relationship between the characters…not the back story. The back story has definitely got some interesting pagan vs Jewish vs Christian patriarchy shit going on. Ah well.

This.

Between school and political stupid Trump and shootings and stupid crap? Yeah. Can’t afford to retire early. Next year will be easier? I keep saying that. I keep saying ‘I can do it,’ and I can. I just don’t like it.

Today. Some pain and suffering all along the way. Need to find a video for 8th grade. I will push through in 7th grade. I feel like a shitty teacher this year. I’m working super hard, but I don’t feel particularly effective. That said, the last academic assignment in 7th wasn’t too bad. And 8th grade mostly understands…I’m not sure I do (Newton’s Third Law makes my brain hurt). And I get to draw at the end of the day.

Out and About…

Well we’re back from nature. Into cold feet and a house that perennially needs cleaning. So much easier to control a campground’s worth of stuff. Although even that can be a pain. The meat didn’t defrost…it was too cold! Well there we are. Years of mom experience to the rescue.

We left for camping around 2:30 PM…drove a little over 90 minutes to a campground in chaparral, mostly, dry, but with oak trees for shade. No showers, OK for a couple of days. It was already cold when we got there and started setting up. It seemed like I kept going into the tent and putting more layers on, or trading out my current layers for better ones.

We had a simple dinner planned the first night…probably a good thing. Mostly we tried to get the fire going…and wondered why people in campgrounds feel a need to play their music loudly.

I managed to finish a drawing I started in May in Ridgecrest, the night before I dropped the Man at Kennedy Meadows to continue his hike.

In bed early, because sleeping bags are warm. Parties around us continued until 3 AM, although we were pro the coyote parties, not the human ones.

We went hiking the next day, although 4 miles was our max.

It was all up. Well the first two miles were anyway. We’re both out of shape. The Man broke his toe in July and wasn’t hiking for a while because of that, and the weekends have been busy with either openings, shows, or my day job sucking up the weekend. We vowed to change that, although my left knee is being cranky and probably needs something.

This was the night of the non-defrosting meat. Warm water baths to the rescue, but my hands are still paying the price today with the repeated dunking in water in dry, cold air. My drawing started in the afternoon, which was a lot of reading and drawing…

This was a big one. I’ve had an idea in my head for the next quilt for about a month now, and this is the first iteration.

After dinner, I did another drawing, not related…

In the smaller sketchbook this time…

Watching the firewood make faces…

The cold chased us to bed around 9 PM again…where the Man had bought lights for the tent…

Fairy lights it is.

Morning dawned cold.

That was after we’d been up for 40 minutes. The cell service was more than we expected, in that it existed, mostly, although not always. The weather app was quite willing to tell me I was actually freezing. We ended up packing out early and eating breakfast at home. There were dark clouds and I didn’t want to deal with rain. Plus I had an artist Zoom at 11, so it made sense. Here was our last view of the area…

Those were not the dark clouds…they were behind me.

We got home in time for the Zoom, managed to shop, do laundry, clean out the tent (the Man did most of that, thanks), and get everything packed away. Every time we do this, we plan to make a list of things we should take, and then the day jobs take over and we never do it, which is how we forget stuff. Ah well. And I’ve misplaced my flashlight too. It’s here somewhere; I just don’t know where I put it down.

I did a bunch of school work yesterday, none of it grading unfortunately. Got a ton of that to do this week and next. More unfortunately. I did pin the bindings on the big alien quilt for the bed…

I’ll be stitching for a while. A bunch of people recommend using those clips to do this. I know I have some…just not sure where.

Earlier, I had enlarged that drawing from the fire…200 and 250%. I started taping it together to see if this is it, or if I’m going to (a) redraw a clean one over the top of it or (b) cut some bits out and redraw them. Don’t know. Will look again tonight. I had to go to bed. A warm bed. Squished between two cats and a dog…a little TOO squished. But warm at least. And not an air mattress. Old bodies.

Work today. Can’t say I’m in the mood. Only five days though. I’d like to get as much work as possible done this week, so I don’t have to do it all next week, but I don’t know how that will play out. Just wish for the best, be as efficient as possible, stay on task, get it done. Art at night…got 8 weeks to finish this next quilt. Don’t make it huge and insanely detailed (might have already blown that edict). Work on it every night…that I can probably do.

Raising a Caterpillar

How to distract yourself from work: try to raise a caterpillar. First of all, I had to bring it home because it was eating so much that I was afraid it would starve over the weekend…

They ate through everything I had, so I offered them my own tomato plants, but they were a different subspecies and the caterpillar didn’t appear to want to eat them…

So I went to school Sunday morning, after watching the caterpillar pace around the edge of the container Saturday night and Sunday morning, and got the right kind of plant…no go! So finally I Googled some more details on the caterpillar and figured out…it wanted dirt! Well, that’s easy. I got dirt…

Oh, it was so happy. So was I. As soon as I put it back in, it started digging…

So in two weeks, hopefully we’ll see a moth. Things I will do to avoid grading and lesson planning, y’all. Totally. Although I did a bunch of that too. It felt like a lot until I got up this morning and realized all the shit I still need to do for this week. Whoops!

I delivered two pieces to a gallery curator/owner on Saturday, and she recorded me talking about them…

Apparently this post is mostly videos. I also packed up three more quilts for delivery tomorrow. I’d like to make art, but I’m spending a lot of time delivering and picking up instead. It’s a good problem to have.

I’ve done a little stitching over the last few days…

All letters really…well some stuff coming up to the letters on Friday, I think.

Last night, I managed to stitch the edge into the stitching, so I got to rip and restitch a bit…

Stitching down the letters is not a fast process. Nothing about those letters is fast.

Lots of video. Like I said.

Saturday night, the Man sang with another band, Sonic Moonshine.

I hung out and drew a bit…

This is Simba’s face after I got home…I was playing elk mating calls (don’t ask why…just know he was perturbed by it)…

This is remarkably true…

And this just made me laugh (as a non-church person)…

Well I’m going to take my container of dirt (and liquefying caterpillar) back to school, hope I survive the day (I’m just tired, still), and get to stitch some more tonight. This coming weekend is the Visions opening, which is nice…I think it’s also Quilt National 2021 with my sold quilt up at the San Jose Museum of Quilts, if you’re up there. I’ve got a busy week and I’ve only planned 8th-grade science completely about halfway through Wednesday. Minor issue. Ah well. I will get there. Somehow. I have three assignments, all in different stages of preparedness. One is typed up but needs slides and a video. One is barely started and only half a thought in my head (gotta navigate the stupid curriculum they provide us with). And the last one exists on paper in 5 different versions, so I have to make something out of that. So the first one needs about an hour, the second probably an hour, maybe more, and the third, at least an hour. Do you wanna know how much prep time I get at school? Not enough to deal with that and everything else, that’s for sure. So it will happen, but probably after hours. Along with the four meetings I have before and after school this week. This year is a challenge…and not in a good way.

This is the Week…

THIS is the week where I get back to regular artmaking. I swear. I have two pieces to prep for delivery Saturday and three pieces for next Tuesday, but otherwise, school notwithstanding, I can art at night. Maybe. Ha!

The show I’m delivering for on Saturday will be at Liberty Station at the end of the month; first official opening is the first Friday in November…

I have two pieces in the show, and they’ll be up for a few months, so check it out. I’ve never seen this gallery space; looking forward to it.

I spent all weekend grading. And I’m not done. Well, I think I’m done GRADING…I just need to post everything and add comments etc. THEN I will be done. THEN I can try to plan Friday for 8th grade (I only got through Thursday in planning) and maybe even the next unit. I’m not crying. You’re crying.

When I grade, I have to constantly distract myself from how boring it is to just sit there for 5 hours straight, sifting through emails and docs and kid verbiage. So my eyeballs are constantly wandering…

Hummingbird through the weird coating on my windows where the kids tore it off.

Simba contemplating his hedgehog…

Simba contemplating ME!

Poor puppy. It’s boring when I’m working, I know. And I’m almost always working.

On Friday night, the Man had a show at the La Mesa Oktoberfest, which was pretty fun (albeit exhausting)…

It was their first time playing there…

Pretty crowded. And then Saturday night, his band played at the birthday party of one of the bandmates…

Nice location, although I was too exhausted by then to do much…

Except draw and read my book, amusingly enough…

Honestly probably should have stayed home and finished grades, but he wanted me to go. They played well. And I’m not going to the next show…it’s a school night and it’s some Battle of the Bands thang…nah. I’m good.

Last night, I headed up to PHES Gallery in Carlsbad, where FIG has its current show, Portals, to be part of the artist talk.

Ellen Speert ran the panel and Paul Henry took photos and found more seats.

We had our token mansplainer in the audience who tried to tell us women have all the same exhibitions that men do and there are no gender issues in the art world. I love it when that happens. NOT. All in all, though, it was a good talk. I hope.

Meanwhile, my sourdough starter is still alive…

Oh yeah, and we got a gift for doing the artist talk…

Best kind…homemade stuff from the artists’ yard.

OK, school calls, loud and clear. Grades. Two-hour staff meeting that better be cut short. The potential for some crazy in science. Ugh. I’m tired. But my goal is to get it all done during the work day so I can drag myself in here tonight and start the stitchdown on this piece. I’ve got three more I need to make before March apparently, and that will be tight. So gotta get going.

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.

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.