Shutting Down Randomly

I don’t know what you do when you come home from work, especially after a long frustrating day where you had planned specific work tasks after the kids went home and then your loaner computer (because yours is hopefully getting fixed as it keeps shutting down randomly) shuts down randomly (wait, I think I heard that already) about six times in a row, trying so hard to restart like a good computer would, and then giving up the ghost and popping up that message again about how it can’t possibly restart, there’s something very wrong with it (no duh asshole). So after getting it to start and working on grades and contracts for kids out on COVID or pandemic concerns, and finally coming home around 6 PM, and then getting dinner (that was the best part, away from the house, although it was dark, hard to see the food, one of the issues with always eating outside, you know, it gets dark and all), then mopping a floor, sewing a backing together, ironing all the parts, taping them to the floor, and then getting down on hands and knees at 9:45 PM, wondering if this is the year you buy knee pads, like you’re really an old person now, and pinbasting a quilt together.

Sometimes I wonder about the amount of power my art brain has to get my tired old teacher ass off the couch and doing all that shit after 8 PM on a day when I had no prep period. On a day when the 6th graders decided to sharpen the metal end of a pencil in my new $92 sharpener that can handle colored pencils, and yes, I think I know who did it and hopefully I scared the shit out of him. Certainly if there are any other issues, that thing is sitting on my desk and they can pay me to use it. Yeah. It was a day. I’m kind of on the verge of tears constantly again, and I hate that. So part of this weekend will be quilting instead of thinking about work. A large part of it will also be grading, let’s be honest; grades are due soon for progress reports, so I can’t blow it off.

But here we go. Book club got rescheduled on Wednesday. Luckily I checked the app right before I left, so I didn’t actually leave. I worked instead and fed myself with leftovers from Saturday (probably a mistake to go that extra day, says my 2 AM stomach), and then finished the stitchdown…

That’s 5 1/2 hours worth of stitching.

I can see the figures on the back…

On the front, they are hard to see. Hopefully the quilting will help with that. That starts tonight. Here’s all taped down on a clean floor…

The backing is some fabric I found in my stash, quite a lot of it actually.

It seemed right for a quilt about hiking etc. The etc. is kind of a big part of this quilt.

So far, Mom’s machine is rocking it. Much appreciated.

I also did the stitchdown on my Patreon reward, which is really late now…

That only took 13 minutes though. Much easier. I’ll pinbaste her this weekend too. But my goal is to finish quilting and get the binding on this weekend. I don’t know if I can do that. But I will try. We’ll see.

I have an opening a week from today…two pieces in the show…

PHES Gallery is in Carlsbad, California. It’ll be a bit of a drive. No COVID test that day. With 1-2 positive cases in my classes every week, I’m still getting tested every week. Two new ones this week. Woo hoo!

These are drawings I did at dinner while waiting for the food to come. I can’t remember if I’ve posted any of these.

My pen died, so this is ballpoint…

It works. It’s just not fun.

I don’t think when I do these. I just draw.

Sometimes it will turn into something else in a larger piece…mostly not.

I think I will actually get limes and lemons this fall…they seem to be sticking.

Certainly they’re bigger than they have been…

And there’s more to come.

OK, today shouldn’t be too hard (ha!), at least the school part, except I need to get everything posted for school. My co-teacher is out of town, so I’ve been making lab materials for next week. The copier ran out of staples, so I need to staple 290 packets before Tuesday. I’m hoping to find some classroom helpers today who are done with shit to do that. Work after school, bring a ton of work home, get my COVID test for the week, do some grading, possibly do a quilt Zoom, then quilt until I fall asleep, hopefully in a bed and not on the machine. Tomorrow, repeat. Plus some other stuff. I’ll be glad to get the quilting started…I didn’t think I’d be able to finish this one on time, and now there’s a chance of it…I’m going for it.

When It’s Out…

Long weekends are a blessing. I graded a bunch of stuff over the last three days. I’m not caught up, but I’m panicking less. I managed exercise three days in a row. As the school week goes on, that is less and less likely. So I did well. And I’m ironing. All good. Trying not to think of things I should be ironing or sewing or deadlines that are coming. Just doing the things when I can.

Friday night, I did more trees…

And I think I also ironed the hiker…

Could have been Saturday though. I ironed a bunch on Saturday afternoon…like this…

Starting up the mountain. Last night, I got part of the mountain in…

I’m hoping to get the mountains done and be well into the sky tonight, if not done. I might be able to do it. There’s about 270 pieces left.

I drew briefly on Saturday night…

I hiked this morning with the man…

Just Cowles Mountain…the original plan had Pyles Peak as well, but it was warm…

Although the valleys were socked in. Weird.

A view of one of my quilts behind the amazing Margaret Fabrizio…

We traded earlier this year.

And some pictures of me with my quilts at The Studio Door opening…

I don’t really like posing for photos…

Even with a mask on, you can probably tell.

Not even sure what I’m looking at in that photo…but here’s 1, 2, and 3 in one with me.

We missed a few. You get the idea. Check out the show though! It’s a nice area with many restaurants for lunch or dinner. Parking isn’t awful (but it can be). It’s open through September 25.

Every Friday afternoon, I’m here, waiting for my COVID test…

I’m negative again…it does make me nervous to have any possible symptom (stuffed up nose? sore throat?), so this is how I feel better about it. Stick a swab up my nose once a week.

Meanwhile, Texas politicians are idiots, so is the Supreme Court, I have incredible sympathy for Afghanistan, did I mention how stupid Texas is? Not all Texans, I know. Ida and Henri, sheesh, some people, an awful lot of them, really need help. This as California’s fires started well before the actual fire season.

Maybe there are just a lot of stupid people out there who believe they have the right to govern women’s bodies, even though we can’t do the same to them. I’m angry. I’m pissed off. I would just like to say that I called this 10+ years ago and got told it wouldn’t happen. My ass it wouldn’t. Feel like you’re losing control of the country? SLAM SOME GROUP INTO THE GROUND. That’s what we do. Fight back, y’all. Give money if you can. Yell loud and lots. Those rich white ladies won’t suffer over this idiotic law…it’s the ones who can’t afford to suffer any more than they already do. Yell louder.

Seriously, if you don’t don’t own a uterus, don’t tell people what to do with it. And if you do own one? You get to control YOUR OWN and nobody else’s. Because if y’all can own that, if you can pass laws about that, then it’s about time we took ownership of some dicks out there, and I can tell you, it’s gonna be ugly. You’re not making babies? You certainly don’t need sperm (vasectomies for all men over…um…I’ll give you age 50…at that age, the DNA is getting damaged and you shouldn’t be making babies anyway). And if you use that dick incorrectly? Like raping someone? Well you’ve proven you don’t know how to use it, so we’ll just take it away…starting with some rich old white boys.

Yeah. I’m angry. God damn it. We’ve done this already, before I even was old enough to understand it. Why the fuck do we have to go over all this again with you folks? Do you not listen?

I guess the next quilt is drawing itself again. I’ll let you know when it’s out.

Forming in My Head…

Is there an easy way to ship a tennis racket? Inquiring minds want to know. I need a box. I totally forgot about needing to ship this thing, because on Saturday, I looked at the calendar list in the morning and then refused to look at it again until Sunday. Maybe not the most mature thing in the world, but I was tired of the to-do list and just wanted to iron the new quilt together…so I did…for about 4 hours. I did other stuff too, but this was Saturday’s start…

Notice the top of the drawing over the chair? There’s a cat under there…

She wasn’t thrilled about the paper and kept batting at it. I did a little more after that…

The appearance of part of a snake. It is kind of a pain. I’m still not sure the body in the ground is showing up yet, but if it doesn’t, I’ll make it with outlining and whatever else it needs. I didn’t want it to be obvious, so I guess that’s a good thing.

I got a little ironing in last night…

I’ve got about 5 1/2 hours in and almost 300 pieces ironed down (just short of that). I was going to do more last night and got off track with yet another student email telling me they’d be out for 10 days because of a positive COVID exposure. Sheesh. I can’t keep track of all of them. I got tested on Friday; still don’t have results.

Saturday did include my annual boob squeeze (all is well on that front) and an outdoor quilt guild meeting, where I cut out all the pieces for my Patreon reward…

And saw a Gloria Muriel mural on the way home…

Sunday was mostly setting up school stuff, including the gradebook, and then grading things. I haven’t gotten the routine down yet. I need to grade more things at school. I left some to do this week, plus inputting grades. It was just looking and feeling overwhelming, so I banged some of them out.

Saturday night, we dropped a bunch of pieces for the upcoming show that opens Thursday, and then went out to dinner, and I got to draw for once.

I have a big drawing forming in my head but haven’t found the time to draw it. This week? Maybe.

I did see the Man play in his band on Friday night…drove out to the Hotel Del after dinner for his second set.

It was a private event, ticketed, so I stood on the public path behind them and watched. He’s enjoying being back with the band and has four events in September, none of which I can (or will) go to. The Music Box is requiring vaccination cards or a negative COVID test in the last three days, but it still packs them in like sardines, so that’s a no for me. Another one, I could stand out in the parking lot, but it’s not really a friendly lot. So I think that’s a no as well for me. Too bad. I miss that.

Meanwhile, the Man is still doing training hikes. He left last night for the Lagunas, camped out, and is hiking today and tomorrow.

Definitely happy to be out there. And it looks beautiful.

OK, well hopefully I will figure out all the kids who are out today, all the kids who are transferring to the other team (they tested out of ELD, which is awesome), and the two new kids, no three! I’m getting today. Plus a 2-hour staff meeting where I will stay masked. And then maybe some exercise, because I haven’t done that for days, except for Pilates, and then some art. All those would be good things.

I Should Cut More Stuff Out…

Today, I gird my loins and conquer my classroom, which is an incredible disaster. I also figure out what the hell I’m doing tomorrow in class and make sure I have all the shit to do that. I might even sleep before tomorrow…certainly, hopefully, more than last night. I have never been so unprepared…wait, no, the year I started two weeks in because we were waiting for a background check and they wouldn’t even let me on campus…that year was worse. It’ll be fine. I’ll remember how to do this in person. Last year will stop clouding my brain. It’s PTSD over the workload more than anything. Ugh.

So I’m at school today until it’s done…or I collapse from exhaustion. Which might be by 9:30 AM. That’s what tea is for, yeah?

I finally organized all the fabrics for the current quilt. This is my documentation of the 185 fabrics I used…

Lots of earthy stuff.

I started cutting out Thursday night…continued on Friday…

Friday was fairly exhausting. Then Saturday, the neighbors have a wall being built, so there was jackhammering and Mexican polka. I had a headache most of the day, unfortunately. Tried to do some schoolwork and just couldn’t get my head around it (see distractions above) and ended up cutting out pieces for hours…

Seriously, like 5 hours of bingewatching and cutting.

I also drew a Patreon reward…

Numbered it…

I was trying to make it less complicated than last year’s…failed. Oh well.

And then I traced it on Wonder Under…

And then kept cutting out pieces on the other quilt. I’ll cut these out sometime this week and get going on that.

Then last night, I kept cutting.

I’ve been cutting trees for days. Seriously.

I finally got to some different stuff late last night. I might be halfway? I might not. It’s just hard to tell. I’m sure you’re looking at these and going, yeah, can’t see it. It’s not until I see the bottom of the box peeking out that I think I’m almost done…and I can’t see that yet. That’s about 10 1/2 hours of cutting there.

But it’s progress.

I also washed the dyed stuff out. I like the backgrounds, but I’m not sure what I will do with them.

Because I don’t want to cover any of it up.

Maybe I will have to draw something specifically for it. To fit into the background.

I think I missed one…there should be four, I think. Ah yes, my favorite.

The best thing in the world is ironing these and seeing all the interesting little bits of dye overlap. Anyway. We’ll see what happens next with these. I also did socks…

I need to clean out my sock drawer so they have room to breathe in there. I’m a bit of a sock whore. Ironic since I don’t wear even shoes for a good chunk of my existence. Anyway. I have socks.

I finally photographed all the January and February Homegrown blocks too…

Embroidery that keeps me sane in stupid meetings or on nights when I can’t deal with anything else.

Gophers killed one of my milkweed plants and I found this little guy wandering around on the dead one, so I moved it to the living one.

I have a bunch of baby milkweed plants that I’ve been trying to grow in a shady space, away from the bunnies. They won’t be ready for this caterpillar though. I hope there’s enough food.

I need this in a poster.

It’s been hot.

Petting animals is helpful for back-to-school anxiety…

We got up early Saturday and walked before it got hot…so many sidewalks were marked up.

Some sort of abstract art.

So many of the apps we use for school are not up and running yet. Ironic.

I have to be up and running, but with none of the things.

This is accurate.

Seriously accurate. OK. I have to go to school. I was going to meet with my principal in person and I was debating masks. He’s vaccinated but he has small children. So many decisions to be made. I might just stay masked all year. But now his kid’s class is quarantined (yeah, that shit is still happening), so we are doing it on Zoom. Then get keys to the art room (and supplies!) and meet with the art teacher. Attack my room with some sort of plan. Make lists. Eat lunch. Counseling. That’s necessary. More room attacking, more lists, possible shopping post school for the shit I don’t have. Probably not sleep well another night. I should put a walk or trip to the gym in there somewhere. Then tomorrow is the first day with kids. Oh yeah, I should cut more stuff out. Always.

But It’s a Thing…

Well. It’s been a morning. And into an afternoon. I’m not sure where the days go sometimes. We got up early to hike and then the Man didn’t feel well but then he was OK and then we hiked, but two hours later than we’d thought we would.

The plus is that physical therapy seems to be going well. We upped the mileage to almost 6, but still mostly flat, road walking instead of trail. Slow progress. No pain. His plan right now is to finish the two pieces of the trail he missed in the desert section due to the boulder that is now gone in the Idyllwild area and a now-open fire closure near Lake Hughes. But with all the fires up north, it doesn’t make sense to try to pick part of the trail to do before weather starts to be an issue, so that might be it for the PCT this year. Next year, another 4 months will hopefully finish it. Sigh. I know he wanted to do it in one year, but he did the Desert section! All 700+ miles! So there’s that.

Meanwhile, I’m still working on the current quilt, although my brain kind of gets tied up in knots by it. Usually, let’s say I’m doing a dirt section that needs a run of 4 fabrics, light to dark…then I pick the 4 fabrics, lay them out, and put the pieces that will be ironed on each fabric on top of it, checking the drawing for what numbers go where. Cool, right? Easy peasy. But now I shoved the female figure in there. I want her to show up but not drastically. So I pick a second run of 4 fabrics that are similar but not the same, and then when I check the drawing for level 1 (the lightest), I have to do a second check on whether it’s the body or the ground. It looks like this…

Yes, there’s an extra fabric above…there’s a reason for that.

Here’s the same idea but with the rocks…

I honestly don’t know how it will turn out. I hope it will be OK. Hard to visualize though…even for me, and I do this all the time. At one point yesterday, I had a run of 6 fabrics twice, a total of 12, and was trying to find all the pieces from the 100s through the 400s that were part of that section…meanwhile, pulling out all the pieces that were a rattlesnake, a Garmin, or a couple of deer. Confusing as hell. While on two Zooms…at least those weren’t at the same time. So I still need to do the snake, the Garmin, and the deer, plus a bushy stripe that went through the dirt areas, and then some water in the middle of it. It’s not going quickly, but the day is.

Here’s where I was Wednesday night…

And then, after 5 1/2 hours of ironing yesterday…

Lots of browns and grays so far. I’m going to do more today, hopefully get up into the trees. Which are mind-bogglingly complicated.

Meanwhile, we finally have a master schedule for school. Everything hurts my brain and we haven’t planned anything and we are back next Thursday. Yes. I am panicking. About everything. I did get some new masks that seem comfortable, although I haven’t worn them from 8:30-3:30 yet, so ask me how I feel in a few weeks. My neighbor finally is putting in a fence, and I’m not happy about looking at it or where it is or how it will block my light once they plant shit, or that they are considering planting bamboo (the clumping kind, at least) and I’m just irritated with all my neighbors. So there we are.

Tomorrow is a quilt guild meeting and an art group meeting…that one in person. And I got into another show, a SAQA local show, Domino Effect, which will be at The Studio Door in Hillcrest from September 2-26. The artist’s opening is September 4 from 6-9 PM. My piece is the recently finished A Losing Game

Kitten was upset that I took away the blue fabric drawer, so I gave her the lid to the paper box…

In other animal news, Simba is a dork.

He had to have his teeth cleaned, and they put the IV/catheter whatever in his leg, which he cannot leave alone, so now he has the not-cone, but pillow of shame.

Yeah, it’s under his mane.

And Kitten keeps following me wherever I go.

She’s a good kitty.

I drew at dinner last night…

I don’t think it’s done. But it’s a thing.

OK, I’m tired. I need more caffeine. I need to not think about school for a while, because I won’t get any more info about next week’s schedule until Monday. They really are pushing everything to the last minute again this year. I’m still burnt out from last year. I do not feel the normal, oh hey! school is starting! This is cool and interesting! feelings that I would normally have. I have apprehension and panic from not having anything ready. Fun stuff. I’m going to quickly order some stuff I’ll need and then get ironing for a few hours. Meditative artwork.

Finally Color!

Well the studio is straightened. It’s not clean. It’s really never clean like most people think of clean. There’s just too much stuff in there for it ever to be clean. Most summers I do try to straighten up more than the ‘between-quilt’ straightening, where I just put fabric away and sometimes sweep the floor. I didn’t do that this summer. There’s still papers everywhere (sigh) and general chaos on the floor. It’s just overwhelming to deal with all of it. I’ve got some electrical and sprinkler issues I’m trying to get done before school starts. Those are my priorities. That and a chiropractor. I haven’t been since March 2020. Ugh. But I did put all the fabric away, got most of the cat fur off the blue drawer she’s been sleeping in all summer, cleared off the white table, and swept the floor. So it’s ready for the next quilt.

I finished cutting everything out by cutting all day Monday…I started with the 3 hours of training videos we have to do for school…

So I got through those, and then had a little bit left to cut out (and yes, I still know all the things about pest management, sexual harassment, mandated reporter, and bloodborne pathogens…the trainings don’t change a lot every year)…so I started watching all the Quilt National Artist videos. I got through 16 out of 55.

Cutting everything out took 10 1/2 hours. Then I sorted for another 45 minutes…

They’re in boxes by the 100s…

It makes it easier for me to find things. I lay out 100 pieces at a time and iron those to fabrics…although I say that, and last night, I was already bouncing between the first 100 and the second 100 pieces to find the ones I needed. Because this quilt is nuts…

Overlapping this and that which has to be a different color but only a little different. I hope it looks OK when it’s done. We’ll see.

I didn’t get very far last night…mostly I was cleaning. But it’s a step in the right direction. Remember, I need to be done (hopefully) ironing to fabric by next Tuesday. Actually Monday, so I can pull all the stuff out of the closet. Yikes. That sounds challenging, looking at my week. Sigh. Well. I will have to be more productive in the heat than I have been.

I drew for my Patreon…will be scanning it this morning and getting it posted.

It’s the last Patreon drawing I’m doing. You can still sign up, but it’s reward free! I had a request for a way to just subscribe and not expect anything, so I’ll try to set that up and close down the other tiers.

A bug was on the drawing and I tried to shoo it away and killed it by accident. So it smeared itself across the drawing.

Bugs just suck.

I put a couple things on Etsy the other day, these two hoops…

I have other things that need to go on there…these small pieces just need hanging hoops on them…

And better pictures…these are really dark…

Also, I got into some shows…Earth Matters at the Watermark Art Center in Bemidji, Minnesota, from September 3-October 30. This is Damaging Earth’s Fabric

And then one of my older pieces got into SAQA’s Intersect Chicago booth, which will be open November 4-7. This is Part-Time Oasis

All good news. I had a run of rejections, which is always frustrating. But that seems to happen and then I get into things, and it’s all good. So hopefully that will continue. I will be putting the three newest pieces into the gallery next, and then maybe remembering to update the exhibitions sections. Yeah. I should do that. Uh huh.

OK, I’ve still got errands today, but hoping to do a chunk of ironing as well. It’s still hot here, and the studio has not been getting any breeze. Ugh. This is the time of year when I consider moving the ironing stages into the swimming pool, although the combination of electric iron and water is probably not a good thing. Sigh. Not gonna think about school for a while. Although there are things that need planning. I’m just not ready for them. At some point that won’t matter, but for today, I’m going to try to ignore them and iron away!

Cat Interference…

Woke up early, not enough sleep, not enough caffeine, did the Quilt National talk, forgot my headphones keep the sound from showing up from my video, oh well, answered questions…

Photo stolen from the QN Instagram. I’ve actually watched all but one of these. I find them fascinating. You can see all of them (they haven’t uploaded this morning’s yet) and all the artist videos for this year on the Dairy Barn YouTube channel. Also, if you want to see my studio tour with sound (because that was missing this morning), you can see it here.

I know. As a teacher, I should remember how this shit works, but my brain was not awake. So there.

I spent the time cutting out Wonder Under, because I find it easier to listen carefully when I am doing something with my hands…

Which, yes, means I finished tracing last night.

So many cat interactions on this…

It took quite a long time to trace, longer than normal.

More complicated pieces than normal? Maybe. Also maybe that I had to think extra hard about overlaps.

I could just blame the cats. They were in the way.

18 hours and about 6 yards. Now I just need to cut them all out.

Yesterday, the man and I did a little driving reconnaissance for some possible training hikes.

Water is an issue. But he has more physical therapy in store and hopefully will be back on the trail in a few weeks or so.

This lizard…I think he’s the one I follow up the steps sometimes.

He jumps up the steps in front of me like he’s showing me the way.

Anyway. The day is half over, because of the talk and the car had to go in and a bunch of school stuff happened (that gave me a headache) and then lunch and I had to record a video for another art group I’m in and it only took about 17 tries to get the words right. I’m tired because I got up too early, but will be walking later. And cutting out lots of Wonder Under. And hopefully crossing some stuff off the to-do list because it’s insanely long at the moment. Stupid long. Maybe nap. Nap sounds nice. I tried it yesterday but cats interfered. Ugh. Ah well. Whatever happens, art will be involved.

Self-Care…

I had a wondrous massage this morning. I feel like the next time my school district says anything about self-care, I’m sending them a bill for massage. I mean, y’all need to put your money where your mouth is. You want me to be more chill and relaxed about the crazy shit y’all throwing at me? Give me a massage every week. We might be able to talk after that. Also, less crazy shit. That would be good. Yes, the school nightmares have begun. I am trying to hold them off until next week, but I need to do a related Zoom today or tomorrow, and there are tons of questions already, so that doesn’t help. I did order all my folders for the year (or at least the first half of the year), so that’s done…plus pens. What teacher doesn’t like pens? Especially fun-colored pens. Yo, district! Buy us nice pens. And make them fun, not just the damn district logo. And those massages. I’m not kidding about those.

Yeah. It’s too bad the people in charge don’t listen to us flunkies.

In preparation for school fucking up my art life again, I’m trying to get this quilt into a good place. Whatever that means. I’ve been tracing every night. It’s harder during daytime…hot…and I am more tired during the day strangely.

They’re LED lights in the light table, luckily, so they don’t put out any extra heat, hallelujah. I bought LEDs for my office/studio, but still need to install them. I hate installing things. Kitten is not really helping here…with tracing or installing.

I’m almost to the 700s, so about 350 pieces to go. Not bad. I’m hoping to be done tracing by the weekend. I’m up into the mountains right now…the trees were really complicated and difficult to trace. I’ve found about 6 pieces I didn’t number so far. I just add ‘a’ to the number if I need to number new ones.

This part is pretty boring to watch or read about, but it’s really nice and meditative for me. I put some show on that I don’t really need to watch and just stand and trace for a couple of hours.

Kitten, as you can see, is helpful wherever I am.

Maybe I should dust my keyboard. She puts her head on the right side, so it’s not dusty there.

I’ve been doing a bunch of computer work lately…for two art groups that have regular posts, one daily on Instagram, which I was able to schedule out until mid-August, and one weekly on Facebook, which is dependent on people sending me info. I check it once a week, and usually it’s an easy setup using Business Suite, but these two were complicated. Ah humans. You complicate things. Plus I’m making a video and a slide presentation for my Quilt National talk this Friday. Taking more time than it should…as always.

I am trying to get back on a regular exercise schedule. The last few weeks have been wonky with travel and visiting folks, but yesterday, I did my normal 3.6-mile neighborhood walk.

There’s always something new to look at…

Mountains in the distance. Yeah, it’s warm here, but not as warm as it will be in a month. Get the hikes in before it’s awful. Gym, pilates, hike, repeat.

The man finally has gotten in to physical therapy and it sounds positive. He’s hoping to get back on the trail in the near future, so life will all be up in the air again, as usual, honestly. School starts in a couple weeks, man will be on trail, blah blah blah. You can see how my art is the constant calm through all of this. It’s night time? What stage of the process are you on? Go do some of it. Spend an hour tracing or cutting or ironing or quilting. It’s a good thing. It gives me a good end to any kind of day (unless the machine is being a big weenie). No I don’t have my machine back…I’m borrowing my mom’s to fix the girlchild’s clothes…I don’t think I can quilt with it. Let’s hope I have mine back before that’s an issue.

OK. Today is more than half over…I’m going to work some more on the stuff for Quilt National, then trace, then pilates, then trace some more. Looking forward to it.

Zen and Chill…

So I’m late writing again. Mondays are just not a thing I do well. I get all tied up in stuff that needs doing and all of a sudden it’s 5 PM and I forgot to eat lunch. OK, I remembered lunch today. I think I’m cooking dinner too, so that ought to be interesting. The plus is that I have new glasses. I mailed a Patreon reward out. I walked to Home Depot and blindly (no glasses) picked out a towel rack. My right eyelid is twitching…this is not a thing it normally does in August. This is an end-of-school-year thing. Sigh.

We got the first official school email. We have to do block schedule (ugh. sigh. I like it for art, but sometimes for science, it limits the number of things I can cover in a week). We won’t know exactly what schedule until about a week before school starts. Fun stuff. No master schedule yet…we think we know what we’re teaching, mostly. It could change. I’m trying to be all zen and chill about it. The eye twitch is probably an indicator that some part of me is not so zen and chill. That part needs to pivot.

Anyway, to remedy all that, I’m working on art stuff. As always. I thought I had finished drawing the current piece, but in the end, added COVID into the sky. It’s not gone.

Putting it in her gut makes sense to me. And then I started tracing…

It’s pretty slow going. There are lots of weirdly overlapping pieces, because the two female figures are blending in. So I have to think before I trace about what goes over or under what’s next to it.

Still, it’s meditative. I’m almost 8 hours in, but I’m only in the 400s.

Big complicated pieces take longer to trace. I’ll hit halfway tonight, I think.

Cats are no help. And the man sits on the couch behind the light table and I keep whacking him in the head with the drawing.

Not on purpose. We did a short walk on Friday. His knee was not happy.

Sigh. Frustrating for him, I know. He has one physical therapy session this week. Maybe they can help.

So many cats getting in the way.

Luna was going to grab Kitten’s tail, but I think she rethought that action.

Here’s Kitten lying in the lid of my embroidery box. So helpful.

Well, normally I use this as a place to figure out what I’m doing today, but today is almost over and I’m still slogging through the to-do list. I was supposed to finish a video for my Patreon yesterday and the website was down, so that still needs to happen. I would like to trace for another couple of hours or so. I did go to the gym today, so that was good. I think a fresh cup of tea and maybe a small snack is what I need, and then check the to-do list and cross some shit off of it (always a fun thing to do), and then get that damn video done. Then I can do art things. I can’t think about school right now (someone should tell my brain that part). We won’t know what block schedule we’ll have until August 6. We go back the 12th. Kids the 17th. I’d like to thank the universe for making us PIVOT again. At the last minute. Still gonna be doing that all year, I see. More art to be made in response.

That Night Thing…

Hey so apparently I drew something really big and sort of complicated but relatively quickly. Especially considering I don’t seem to be able to do much during the day. It’s hot and/or humid and I don’t feel very artistic until it’s dark apparently. There’s about 7 1/2 hours in this drawing…

Which is actually pretty fast, compared to some of the big quilts.

I spend a lot of time staring at the blank spaces.

I darkened some of the lines just so I could see where the trail was and where the human bodies were. Otherwise it’s just a bunch of lines.

Sometimes I need a photo for drawing assistance. I photographed my hand, drew it, then flipped the photo to draw the other hand.

So there’s another figure in the sky.

The girlchild came in before I did the sky and was surprised that I was using pencil. She apparently tells all her friends I draw with Sharpie and no pencil. That is mostly true, but sometimes I use pencil first…especially on a really big piece like this. I moved the figure in the sky three times. But also, I often ignore the pencil lines. The sun got a massive redraw in ink, but the hands didn’t. So there’s that. All the mountains were freehand with pen. The hiker was penciled in.

I finished drawing last night and started numbering.

So having the figures fade into the landscape means more pieces where that happens. Of course. Some crazy pieces too. But OK. I got about 500 pieces into the numbering last night. I’ll finish up today…

I try to be logical, but it’s not always possible. The tree is numbered, but the stuff behind isn’t. I think with this piece, I’m trying not to MISS any of the pieces. I’m sure I will though, because it’s complicated with all the overlaps. I suspect I’ll hit 1500 pieces. You’ll know with the next post. I did take a picture of the whole thing, but it was dark (that night thing), so it was blurry…I’ll try again in daylight.

I get friends visiting…

And the girlchild is here, so the work setup is there on the desk. I’ll be there next Friday for my Quilt National talk. If you’re interested, go here to register to get the link. The talk is at 11 AM Eastern, and I’ll be with three other QN artists, so that will be interesting. I’ll need to make some slides for this thing I think. So that’s on the list for next week.

My machine is in the shop, but I have my old one…unfortunately, it has some major issues. It can handle a straight line for about an inch and a half before I have to shut it down and reset it.

That far. That’s how far I can go. Yeah, I needed to piece a house for the Sue Spargo June blocks. Kind of frustrating. Luckily, the current quilt is at a stage where I don’t need a machine. Hopefully I’ll have the machine back by the time I need it. A small piece of black plastic fell out when I was doing this. That seems problematic. I’ll take this one in after the other one comes back.

So today I will finish numbering and hopefully start tracing it onto Wonder Under. I also need to draw a smaller piece for a Patreon reward, the last one I’m doing. I’m shutting the Patreon down…putting payment on pause for August, and then closing it down completely in September. It was an interesting experiment, but I’m done with it mentally. It’s time. But I want to do the last rewards for those who have been with me.

It’s nice to have a big quilt to focus on instead of school or worrying about smaller pieces. I don’t want to think about school or COVID right now (although now I need to add a virion to the quilt, dammit, because it didn’t happen without some COVID stress). I’ll go do that after I finish this cup of tea and take a shower, I think. More art this week. Busy weekend with lots of meetings…although I may miss one or two just due to timing. Ah well. More socializing is happening. That’s good.