My Eyes Are Still Tired

Gotta love Vday for the weird kid interactions. And the weird kid love. But three of the core teachers were giving a test, so that was sort of bad planning (or WAS it) on our parts. It was a hard day. I got home as quickly as I could and booked it outta there to walk the dogs. I needed it…

There’s a hawk in this picture…staring right at me…

It’s getting light later. Good stuff.

Nice side-eye Simba. The dogs had already been on one walk…but I didn’t care…new growth!

Came home, entered a show, graded an assignment, tried not to fall asleep while doing it. Cute kittens…

Did a little more drawing on the third page, glued it together, realized I’m not a paper artist…

Thought about how to attach them, decided it was bedtime…

More cats doing dorky stuff…

Currently sitting in a parking lot, waiting for it to be closer to the time I’m supposed to be at this dye workshop. Traffic north is always a crapshoot. I try to be early. Tonight is some show, but hopefully some grading and/or art before that. Maybe figure out how these book pages go together. That would be good. My eyes (and brain) are so tired…

Most Definitely…

Sitting in meetings sucks my brain out of my head and spits it out on the floor. Especially meetings where I have to pay attention just in case important stuff is said and then someone is droning on and on about something totally irrelevant and my brain just shuts off anyway. I spend a lot of time in meetings…though not as much as I spend in the classroom. Yesterday was a frustrating day in the classroom. “Give us the answers so we can copy them.” “I’m not going to do that.” Well you can guess how that ended. It’s OK. I go back today after a night of semi-sleep (ugh) and I refigure how to make things happen and then they happen. Huge classes full of needy kids. Make it hard. And yet we still do it.

You’d think I’d come home and be done with all of it, but grades are coming up and I need to get stuff done. So I graded one assignment and input it into the gradebook, and then did another period of the longer assignment…and put it in the gradebook, and I’m seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, because I saw a few more A videos (oh hallelujah), which helps me think I didn’t totally flail (it wasn’t me!), and I’m more than halfway through the pile, so that is a good thing.

But there’s no way in hell I was going to get to sleep last night without some artmaking. I did put together my Patreon video for February first. Then I graded. Then I arted. I started at 10:30 at night. I had three to choose from, but one deadline is looming. So I decided I didn’t like one of the book ‘pages’ I’d made, the first one. It’s awkward, not well-thought-out. I could just use it, but I had a third page cut out that I hadn’t used, so I refined the first one into this…

I like it a lot more. I didn’t glue it together last night. First of all, it was late and sleep is a thing. Second of all, I’m not sure I’m done. So I’ll look at it again tonight and then decide, and then glue it together.

So the one on the right is probably a reject. Now I just need to figure out how to attach them together. And then photograph them without Game of Thrones in the background. Minor issue.

This morning is tiring already. But good news about a new show…that I can’t tell you about yet. But soon. I think.

Meanwhile…lots of furry love last night. This was while I was eating dinner and grading stuff.

They really do love each other. It’s sweet.

This one has been a barky asshole lately. Granted, it’s because of the coyote fest that’s going on every night, but sheesh.

He is probably the number 1 sleep disruptor, followed by my hot flashes and then maybe my bladder. No mockingbird at the moment…we can thank the owl for that, I think. I can sleep through the owl, who was in another backyard tree last night. I think he likes us. He? She? Don’t know. An owl box is on our list though.

These two old ladies…

Room for one human (maybe) on the couch. That is where I was sitting while I was grading. I was also playing fetch with Luna, who brought me the rattle mouse at least 10 times to throw for her. She’s a cat. Who fetches. Very cute.

OK, today I torture children by making them think again. I am pure evil. Then I meet up with friends…always a good thing, plus stitching will be involved. Then home to NOT grade another round? I think? Ugh. I think I need to do some of it today. I’ll figure it out. More art before bed though…most definitely.

Getting Loud in Here…

I have a lot of things in my head this morning. Too many things, probably. As usual. I’m having that issue artistically as well…too many projects going on at once. I do much better with just one at a time. Drawings are fine. They’re short and don’t usually require a ton of brain power outside of the actual drawing time. Right now, I have a bunch of projects talking to me and it’s getting loud in here.

So last night, I worked on two of them. It meant I didn’t grade anything. I input grades. I tutored earlier. I graded stuff in class. I just didn’t work on the projects at home. I wanted to art instead. It was late anyway…after tutoring, I had chiropractor and pilates, so by the time I was done with dinner, it was late.

So I did some of the stitch down on this…

Then I’ll do embellishment…

This is just for fun. For something different. I like the idea of it.

I wanted to make sure I did some of the other art stuff as well…and there was no way I was finishing all the stitch down last night, so I timed it off the show I was watching. When it was done, I moved into the other room to work on the current art quilt. I’ll come back to this tonight.

This is moving pretty slowly. It doesn’t help to be gone for three nights. This coming weekend isn’t any better. But it works to iron for an hour or so each night. I think last night I managed 38 minutes before midnight…but it’s 38 minutes of progress.

I ironed an asteroid and some missiles and a volcano. That’s it. Not much. More tonight. So many yellows!

I finished the 200s and did some of the 300s. Only 600 to go! No worries. I also have an artist book I’m working on, but my brain exploded over that last night, so I’ll wait to post on it later, after I’ve made some more decisions.

I resized a bunch of pictures of art we saw in Joshua Tree, but I don’t have time to post them this morning, because I have to find the artists’ names and possible links, and that takes more time than I have. I will get to them…but I did draw while I was there…this was after hiking…the rocks inspired the woman…

This was the night we got there…full moon coming, bunnies in the yard…

None of those cactus anywhere to be seen…and this one the following night…

Inspiration comes from many places.

OK, school, then union meeting, then make Patreon video, and grade stuff? And then artmaking. Full day. As always. Looking forward to the artmaking stuff, that’s for sure.

Legs Like Logs…

I’m baaack. Not awake. Not caffeinated. Not ready. Nothing new! Woo hoo!

We were in Joshua Tree for the long weekend. Got a house. Hiked some. Arted some. Ate some. Drove a bunch. It was warm. And then it was cold. There’s a lot of photos. I’ll deal with them a little at a time.

We stayed in an Airbnb that advertised a funky retro style, which they definitely had…

It was small, but fine for the two of us…

We never did use that fireplace, although we bought firewood. It was a long drive up Friday night, but I had some drawing time before bed.

We knew the next day was the best weather day, so we had planned a hike from North View to the Maze Loop to Window Loop.

It was a tough hike…not because of gain or anything particularly difficult about it. I think we were both tired and it was a little warm and dry and stark as hell and it was maybe a mile too long.

The rocks are fascinating though…

I couldn’t do this in summer at all.

I’ve been to Joshua Tree a few times, although only twice that I can remember as an adult. This is the longest hike I’ve done there at 7.4 miles.

I was hoping to do some shorter hikes, rambles, on Sunday, but that didn’t happen. For one, it was really cold. Second, I don’t think we had the energy for it.

The whole first part of the hike had no Joshua Trees in it, ironically.

Ah, there we are.

It was only about 70 degrees, but there’s no shade and it’s at a higher elevation than we’re used to…which might have been part of the issue. I know my legs felt like logs most of the hike.

It really was a beautiful day though. I was a little disappointed in the trail. The North View part was nice, but we missed out the Maze part because we were only on the outer edges…and the Window section was lame, because you got a better view of the window from the Maze loop than the Window loop. And we had no energy to wander back to do the inner parts of the Maze…it would have added another 3 or 4 miles. Not happening.

We got back to the car, found some food, ate, went back to the house, showered, and tried to chill out a little. Easier for some than others? Hard to say.

That night, we went to see a bunch of art and ate a good dinner. I’ll continue later…gotta go to school and teach kids things. About rocks.

Boychild planted the other two fruit trees…now we have a lime, a lemon, and an avocado.

It’ll be a while before we have fruit, but there they are.

OK, I’ve got food in me and a little caffeine. It’s possible that I might be able to function. Tomorrow, I’ll post about the art we saw…at least some of it, because there was a lot.

My Brain Is a Time Bomb*

Oh hello, Friday. Thank you for coming. Can I offer you some tea? Sure, we all want donuts, but they’re not good for us. How about a healthy snack instead? Fuck healthy? Well, we all feel that way sometimes, but in the long run, I think you need to be making better choices than…um…Friday? Hello? Those donuts are for my students. Could you…um…Friday… WOW. OK then. Kids, I’ll bring you something next week. Friday has gone off the rails.

Oh yeah. I have a 3-day weekend. It’s cool. I’m even going somewhere and doing art and hiking and all the things I like. I’m not thinking about the 2- to 4-hour drive that might be facing me at the end of the day. It’ll be FINE. I’m not considering the shitload of grading I have to do in the next week or so. Also FINE. It will be. I’m sure. I’m also not thinking about the crazy I will have to deal with in class today…it’s OK, because by the end of the day, I’ll have like 10 kids absent in each period because their parents will have pulled them out of school early. I wish I could do requests on those. But no. Not appropriate apparently.

Yesterday, the boychild and I bought a couple of trees with a gift certificate I’ve had lying around since Christmas 2008. Yeah. I know. I’m slow. He’s going to plant them this weekend, so lemons and avocados finally. I can’t tell you how long I’ve wanted a lemon and an avocado tree. This is cool. I’m excited. OK, so it’ll be 3 or 4 years before we get an avocado. No worries. Next a fence! Or a stream bed! These things are all good. No more grass in the front yard. No pictures yet either…after he gets them in the ground.

I graded for a while after that and then went to a late-night pilates class, which I think I will feel later today. Then ate dinner super late and did some art-related stuff…some really good news on the art front is coming. Sometimes the universe comes around and hugs you. Like a kitten…

Yes, that’s Luna’s leg under Nova’s chin. They rampaged before and after this. Luna is a real piece of work. She’s the most hyper and into-everything nonstop cat I’ve ever had. Nova is still a kitten, but way more chill…

Although she does beat the crap out of her sister on occasion.

After dinner, I tried to focus on art stuff. I tried to pack. I tried to resist sugar. I succeeded at that one. I sort of packed. I drew a little. Brain dump. I think I’m only doing two of these.

I might change my mind later and still do the third one, but it’s fine with two and I don’t need to kill myself for this show.

I didn’t iron. I didn’t do any handstitching. Both were things I wanted to do, but it was late and I was tired and I went to bed and slept and then couldn’t sleep because my brain started to worry about everything in the world. You know when that stops? When I’m making art and when I’m hiking. Both things I will be doing in a little over 12 hours. All good. So yeah, Friday. You’re a donut hog, but you lead into the good stuff.

*Robert DeLong w K. Flay, Favorite Color is Blue

A Wednesday Miracle…

I’m going somewhere this weekend, to Joshua Tree. It’s a 3-day weekend for me, so we’re leaving Friday and coming back Monday. Boychild will hold down the animal fort. All of them are staying behind. We’re going to hike and hang out and go see some art and eat some food. I’m bringing my sketchbook, although it might be more important to bring the artist book pages I’m working on…depends on if I can get another one done before Friday. I think I can. I’m also bringing tiny little fabric pieces to cut out and my work computer…because the reality is that when the man takes a nap, I need to work.

Last night, I came home from work and I worked some more. I finished grading packets and input all of those. Tonight I’ll try to grade the last bit of makeup work that’s floating around, and then I’ll start on the projects. It looks like less than half the kids have turned them in…always the problem with these things. We alternate between things that have to be handed back to me during THIS PERIOD and things that take more time and require a kid to hit Turn In on the computer. Apparently that’s hard. I also need to enter some shows and submit some stuff for a new website tonight, so it’ll be busy. That’ll be after I go to the doctor so she can make some attempt to figure out what happened to my blood sugar a month ago. Apparently you need to be seen in person for that. It’s some sort of doctoring magic.

Busy day. Too busy. Looking forward to hiking through a desert landscape to clear some of these cobwebs.

Oh yeah, I forgot…I finished the current unit cover page…

Fun stuff. The kids only have to do 3 vocab words…I try to do as many as I can. It’s a challenge.

I did tutoring yesterday. It’s always exhausting, although there were fewer kids than normal. Because basketball started? Hard to say.

After eating, the speech from our orange dictator was still on, so I worked on the artist book…you can see that Luna is still trying to sit in or on everything.

I’m not really sure what I’m doing with these. I’m just doing them. Sometimes I think too hard.

But I finished one and then glued it together. Went through three glues before I found one that worked.

I can’t have nudity or challenging subjects. I’m not entirely sure what that means, so I just drew.

Covered nudity up with nature. I need to do at least one more of these…the original plan was for three, though, so we’ll see how I feel about that.

The man as a cat couch. They are lovey beasts.

But then you have to get up and do the dishes.

We had all three of them on the couch for a while…

There is still a bunch of play going on…

Apparently it is safer to do this between my feet than out in the open.

I made it in to iron around 9:30 PM. Early! Kitten curled up in here (it’s cold right now) and I worked for a couple of hours.

There’s not much color yet. That will change soon. This is mostly clouds and buildings and roads and tornadoes and nuclear power plants. Lots of gray. I’m 200 pieces in, almost. Tonight there should be more of this…moving into the Earth, I think. Or maybe space comes first. Can’t remember what order I numbered. I always try to be logical and mostly fail. Mostly because my logic changes from day to day.

OK, today is the third and last day of teaching these stations, where I’ve taught the same lesson 10 times now and am heading into 15 turns today. Woo hoo! Ugh. It’s necessary, but the groups are still too large. To do it well, I would need groups of 5 sometimes, and that means 7 days per class. Not happening, unless we get way more efficient. Or two groups during a period. If the rest could work independently and bring their computers charged or at least the charger itself, well that…that would be a miracle. Let’s hope for a Wednesday miracle. Miracle or not, tonight will find me making art like…well, like an artist. Looking forward to it.

It’s Not Always Awesome…

For a good 45 minutes last night, lying in bed, trying to persuade my brain to shut up about the tables in my room. We’re doing 3 days of stations, one of which is working directly with me, hoping some small-group instruction will help with what we’re doing next, but also my school thinks this is magical (I think we need smaller groups, but we don’t have time to fix that issue) so my brain sits and worries over moving tables here or there or how to make sure this group is on Station 2 and that group is on Station 3. Fuck my brain. My classes of 36 are going to be fun…let’s just hope they’re still asleep from the weekend and don’t use this as a chance to completely lose it. We have Oreos as bribes.

It was a mentally busy weekend. I did a lot of different things…a whole huge pile of grading, although there is always more. And you never finish.

Saturday, I went to a stitch-in with a new group. I didn’t have any art quilts in a state to travel, so I took some applique I started about a year ago to use these moon-dyed pieces I got from Jude at Spirit Cloth.

This is the Modern Quilt Guild and my work is so NOT modern, but I went anyway. They seem pretty accepting. Swear words were used fairly early on. They are politically in my realm. I think it’ll work. Of course, it’s a Saturday, so I can’t go the next two months. Ah well.

I did finish two of these guys. That’s almost 4 hours of applique. I had one done already.

More embroidery to follow on these.

The rest of Saturday was grading stuff, watching these guys cavort…

(There’s birds out there. Maybe even bugs.)

A relatively quiet dinner with the man (the restaurant was not quiet)…

More cats sleeping.

It is what they do best. Ah yes, I forgot…here are the two drawings (one unfinished) from Friday night at the dive bar, waiting for the band to go on…

I just draw. I don’t think. It’s not always awesome.

Definitely needs more.

Can you see the gigantic moth in this picture? The cats can…

It’s an exciting Saturday night here. I did finally work on the artist’s book. I don’t know where I’m going with it.

I’m just going. Around a corner apparently.

Sunday morning had exercise, more grading, and then an art meeting in the afternoon. Nova looks a little cross-eyed at times.

She has all the dog toys.

Funky flower pods on the way to the meeting. Fuzzy is fascinating.

Honestly there were so many people at the meeting that my introvert self almost left. But I stayed. More art opportunities. I’m feeling overwhelmed at the moment.

At the grocery store, great lenticular clouds.

Weird weather heading our way.

And more floof sleeping.

I got a package of Anna Maria Horner fabrics as part of her Applique Story shipment. I was intrigued by her videos of creating these vignettes using really high color and crazy graphic fabrics. So I used them last night to do this…based on a drawing I started Saturday at dinner.

So yeah, now all that needs to be sewn down. It’s a little crazy. I like it. My brain was all over the place this weekend, I tell you. When that happens, you just have to go with the flow.

Then I sorted all the fabrics that were used in the last quilt, and put them all away.

That means I can start picking fabrics for the next quilt. Hopefully tonight. I’m trying to balance all the things. At once.

Another sleeping animal who doesn’t care about all that.

OK, well now I can go to school and actually figure out what I’m doing with the damn tables. Thanks brain for all that worry. Appreciate it. Hopefully I’ll make it back from school early enough to walk dogs…still chasing the sunlight on that endeavor. Winter sucks for that.