The Day Ran Away…

Totally writing this at the wrong time of day for me. I meant to start it much much earlier and then the day ran away from me. Don’t you hate that? It just gets up off the couch and books it down the driveway, and then all of a sudden it’s 8 PM and I don’t know what happened.

Neither does he, if that makes anyone feel better.

So yesterday, I started this video of how I make a quilt from start to finish, using this small spacecat design that was in the last finished quilt. It’s been on my list for a while. I’m going to make a long version for my Patreon followers and a timelapse version for the rest of the world. I get asked a lot how I make stuff, and it’s all over the blog, but I’m going to attempt it in one go. I say that and I’m like 40 videos in and still not done, so WTF am I on about? ONE spliced disaster of a video. Because.

So there’s the drawing I did from the original drawing from some months ago, and there’s the pile of trimmed Wonder Under as well…

This is small, about 10″ square, with only 24 pieces in it. Here are the 13 fabrics I used in it…

And here’s the pile of trimmed pieces…

Oh wait. Those are not trimmed. Whoops. Missed a photo. Oh well. It’s in the video.

And here it is, ironed down to a background.

I stitched it down this morning and then sandwiched it and pinbasted it and all I need to do now is quilt it, trim it, and bind it. And then splice 3,000 videos together. Twice. Unless I can figure out how to timelapse it using the program I use to splice. We’ll see.

I finally started feeling well enough on Monday to exercise again…I started with cat yoga.

It’s not really cat yoga. It’s yoga where my cats stare at me and try to figure out WTF I’m doing. Same, cats…same. I also rode the stationary bike yesterday, and then graduated to a hike today. Exciting stuff.

I got two more days done on these…this is the star-shaped one.

And last night’s total pain in the bullion knot ass…

The lower one, not the upper one.

I haven’t done tonight’s yet. That’s next.

I also finished stitching everything down on this…

My official photographer will get this eventually.

For now, notice Simba in the left corner, and my daughter’s expert fingers, plus Calli in the lower right. It doesn’t have a name yet. I’m working on it.

My SIL sent me a bunch of fabric and I washed all of it and then had to re-iron a ton of it because the dryer folded it all up.

Ironing can be very meditative.

More fabric for the stash…

And then on a stitchy Zoom this afternoon, I was sewing all these pieces down…

And I actually finished…

So now I can embroider on it if I so wish. This is Applique Stories fabrics by Anna Maria Horner and her bimonthly challenge of sorts. Wherein I take some wacky fabrics and use them to make a nude. Like you do. (Most people make flower bouquets. I am somewhat strange in my fabric application.)

I also panicked all over the place about school and being an online teacher and just life in general. So there’s that. I have showered and changed my clothes though, so I feel like I’m doing OK for now.

What’s up next? I’m starting the next quilt. I’ve spent two days now procrastinating about Just Picking a Size of Paper to start drawing on, so there’s that. I can’t do a smaller drawing and enlarge it without going out into the world like I normally do. I did go into the world today. I delivered a mask to my dad so he won’t get arrested driving up to the mountains without one, and then I put gas in the car. That’s all I did. Well, we walked. There were a lot of people (and dogs) out there. I don’t blame them…it wasn’t raining and it was OK out and we all needed to get out. OUT. Yeah. Out.

It’s Perfect I Said

It’s funny that with all this extra ‘time’ (mentally, it does not feel extra, but it is), I can’t manage to write every day. I can’t get my focus on. I’m not the only one.

Today would have been the first official day of Spring Break (well, it still is, but it doesn’t feel like it, right?)…and the man and I had three National Parks lined up. Right now, we’d be 8 hours into a drive to Yosemite, so maybe almost arriving, ready to set up a tent and cook tonight. We were looking forward to the trip, as was everyone who planned a trip for any time between the middle of March and who-knows-when. We only do one big trip a year, always during Spring Break. It makes me glad that we made an effort in the last few months to go to Portland, Joshua Tree, and happening Escondido wine country, because those trips will have to last in our heads for a while. We will just reschedule for next year, although Spring Break will be earlier next year, assuming next year is anything like normal…and this is already happening today…in April…

So we’d be driving into a small bit of snow, setting up a tent in snow, cooking in snow. It could be pretty. We had this issue last year, where we thought we might have snow and it never actually snowed ON us. So it could have been fine. Or amazing. Or miserable. Last year was fucking cold in Bryce. That’s the fun part about camping, is making sure you have enough alcohol and warm clothes to survive all those possibilities. Either way, we’ll plan it again.

Life continues here. I am feeling more human each day, after last week’s whatever-the-fuck-it-was, although my digestive system is still not in fine working order. It is working though, so that’s better than last week. On Saturday, I actually had enough energy and brain power (mostly) to quilt…so I did! Although I had planned to use a totally different thread. I even bought (before the world shut down) thread that went with this background, who-the-fuck-knows-where-it-is-now though, because I was braindead and just kept using the thread I was outlining with.

Which is darker than I would normally use in this situation, but honestly, it doesn’t matter. I’m going to say that a lot from here on out I think.

It’s the right color in the really dark areas and a little dark in the really light areas and so it’s perfect.


Really it’s just me arguing with my own brain, and that’s a losing proposition at the moment, as it spaces out and wanders off to do something else.

Speaking of, I should go plant some sunflower seeds right now. Before the rain starts. The boychild and I moved some compost and some dirt and started on the other composter, because the girlchild has filled one with all her happy veggies and it got overloaded. If she lived here full time, we’d need three to cycle through our compostables appropriately. But two is normally fine. We built a small hillock in the front yard. Down with flat front yards! Up with hillocks?

You see? Some people are counting the days of social distancing…this is Day 24 since school got out, but we weren’t very good about it the first week, so I’m not counting it. Last week, we went to the grocery store (three of them) and picked up food from two take-out places. And dumped stuff in the parentals’ dumpster without contact. That’s it. My car did start yesterday after going nowhere for a week, so that’s good. This week will be the same, I think. The man is still essential and goes to work three days a week for long and horrible shifts, which is why when he’s home, the cats love him…

But he sometimes looks like this…

Which is kinda how we all feel about this.

I didn’t finish writing about the quilting bit, did I. Well, I finished quilting yesterday…or maybe Saturday. I can’t remember. Days are fluid.

Naw, that was Sunday. I finished quilting. And then the man had cleaned the floors, so I trimmed it.

It’s not very big…about 43″ high by 53″ wide. As always, there is cat assistance to be had.

The next part was finding a binding. So I have lots of fabric…I just don’t usually buy more than 1/2 yard of anything, and usually binding needs more than that…so I was thinking this would be an issue. I did some math, though, and realized if I used a batik for the binding, because they are usually a little wider (44″ wide instead of 40″ wide or so), I should be able to get the binding for this piece out of a half yard. So all I needed was something that would work that hadn’t had anything cut out of it yet. Hmmm.

And I was lucky in that two of the fabrics that I actually used in the quilt, well, I had brainfarted (and really really liked them) and bought them twice in half yards, so I had a spare half yard of each, and one of them worked for the binding. It took almost the whole half yard…

But I got it bound. And there was enough of the backing, a lovely lime green with a fade mark in it and some hippos, for the two sleeves, which had to be pieced anyway…

I’m pretty sure this came from my SIL, but I’m not positive. No way I bought this gem. You can see the quilting pretty well on the back here.

And then I pinned it and started hand-stitching all the way around.

The girlchild and I stayed up late and binge-watched Unorthodox last night and I didn’t get all the way around, but more than halfway.

I also worked on these…one dot on Saturday night…

The one on the far left…with cat assistance…

We love our kitties.

And one last night…

The seed-pod-like one…again, I bought nothing new for these. I had all the wool and I’m using threads already in my stash. This is Sue Spargo…she’s posting one a day on Instagram and Facebook and doing wonderful videos explaining how to stitch these. The woman is a creative force.

The cats are bug watching.

Or birdhouse watching…

I drew a little Friday and Saturday…mostly unfocused. Hopefully I’ll get focused starting today.

I have an idea for a big piece and a little piece.

We planted this mallow bush and it might not make it, although it seems to have new growth and a new moth as well.

Sweet fuzzy thing. That is a moth, right. Fuck.

Sigh. This is the bathroom. It needs lots of work. Realistically, it needs to be torn down to the studs and redone. It is also a cat convention area in the morning. Hi guys.

How can I help? Better than Zoom meetings. Cat meetings.

Last bit. I’ve been doing hand applique since I was 22 or 23 years old. Back then, I bought a bunch of thread, so it’s all maybe 30 years old. Sheesh. But I finally got to nearly the end of a spool. I’m hoping I can finish the binding before it runs out.

It’s so old that Mettler decided to renumber everything, so to find a replacement spool, a $3.25 item that has lasted 30 years, I had to find an online conversion chart for the old vs the new numbers, and then find someone who carried it. Then I felt bad for not buying more stuff from them because who am I keeping employed with my $3.25 purchase? No one. Sigh. Money is scary right now. Which reminds me, I need to pay the property taxes. Because that hasn’t gone away.

OK, my plan for the day is to watch the rain fall from the sky, maybe plant those sunflower seeds in the hillock we just created, finish binding, and start the small and the large projects in my head. I think the small one might become something public-ish. I also should shower. And remember to eat and drink things. What else? I don’t know. Function. You too. Be well.

That’ll Do…

Hi. How are you all doing? I’m on day 6 of not feeling right. No fever, no cough, just a fun conglomerate of other symptoms that might be something and might not. So I’m just drinking a lot of fluids and hoping whatever it is goes away soon. I suspect a bunch of you feel the same way at the moment. Or not…

I spent yesterday’s school Zoom meeting lying in bed with a cat and the computer…there’s a quilt meeting today, but I don’t know these people, so I don’t feel like I can do the same thing, although my head’s a little slippy/slidey at the moment. Spacy. Headachey. All good.

I have moments of feeling fine, like Thursday night, when I walked almost three miles without any dogs for once…

It’s not because I didn’t want to walk with the dogs…they had gone over to the other house and I still wanted a walk…which is good, because yesterday, I so incredibly did NOT have the energy for walking, and today isn’t looking much better…hello Hawk.

I even finished my book.

Sitting in the sun…with Christmas socks on. Good choice.

My school team got our twinsies shirts on for the school social media…

And I did a bunch of stitching to get caught up on the dot embellishment…Dot 1…

Dot 2…

I’m just using whatever thread I can find at the moment…not always the right stuff.

Dot 3…

And Dot 4…

Then Friday brought spacey head and lots of digestive issues, continued over for Day 3 of Digestion Bingo at that point…now on the All White Food diet, trying to stay hydrated…plus during gaming last night, I did Dot 5, horribly over flashed, but there nonetheless…

She says each one will take 30 minutes. That last one took more than 30 minutes.

I’m caught up. For now.

I finished the outline quilting on this quilt…

I’d like to finish the background quilting today as well, but I’m not sure of energy and I’m supposed to do a Zoom in about 15 minutes. Ugh.

With rumors of San Diego going into mask requirement, I started trying to find materials in my office. Fabric is not the issue, but the ties…but I have a weird stash of truly old stuff…

I made the first mask from some pattern (please don’t ask me which one…they’re all over the internet and I only have half my brain functioning at the moment)…

I used batiks because they are a nice tight weave, but straight up…

I can’t wear this. I get claustrophobic in it and can’t breathe. Everyone else says it’s fine. So I guess this one is for the girlchild.

I then tried a basic surgical mask…much easier to breathe, but this is only one layer. Not very protective…

So I did a second one yesterday with two layers…not perfect…it only stays on if I have my hair in a bun or ponytail.

But I can breathe through it. Boychild doesn’t like the ties. I haven’t offered one to the man yet, because now that I think I might be sick, I’ve breathed into these and need to wash them before anyone else uses them. Sigh.

No, I can’t make masks for you. I can barely handle making these at the moment. Straight up, sitting up for long periods of time in an actual chair makes me dizzy. So I love all of you…go make your own please or go on Etsy, and if you’re making them for hospitals and medical workers, I love you more; please respect that I cannot. Sometimes we can only do what we can do. As I chug more Gatorade and wonder why it has such an awful aftertaste.

Have a cute cat picture…

And another one….

Plus this wide-awake one…

And lastly, this dog, NOT helping me review curriculum that decidedly does NOT cover photosynthesis.

Ah. School. You still drive me nuts.

I drew for a while last night. It was hard because I was pretty spaced out.

Yes, I am drinking chicken broth. All I really want right now is some really good chicken soup. I will probably settle for mashed potatoes and canned chicken again.

Usually I put my goals for the day(s) in this last paragraph. I’m tired. I don’t like food right now. I want to feel better. I want to finish quilting. That’ll do.

We Have Found the Sunz…

and we are lying in them.

I wish I had a kitten mindset…

Or an old lady dog mindset. But no. I am a worrisome adult human type. Although, this was Calli after the first thunder clap the other night…and me after getting an email from the teachers’ union.

It’s fine. I laid on the floor with her later that night for about an hour and a half, and she calmed down. The teacher stuff…it’ll be fine. I don’t agree with all of it, but it doesn’t really matter in the long run. It’s some routine, some normalcy. It might help the kids; might even help some of us.

I drew Thursday night…still trying to make different shapes and deal with spaces slightly differently.

When you have a recognizable style and you’re trying to fuck with it, your brain often goes back to what it’s comfortable doing. Which is good and bad. Stretch. A little. A lot? Always trying to stretch.

This is last night’s drawing…I think it went really well with the figure and maybe I should have stopped there and come back to it? I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter.

I’m just drawing. I was trying to get that feeling in my head that things are so weird and surreal and I can’t get a handle on any of it. So the body is good. Maybe that’s something I’ll save for the next one. With the Coronawood sign. But bigger and higher and something. I don’t know. Just messing around. Late night with a brain that wouldn’t shut up.

I found that damn missing windmill. I was sweeping my office and it just appeared. Fucker.

Maybe it will get its own quilt. Who knows.

Speaking of quilts, I did a little quilting yesterday.

I’m going to do more today. The machine is behaving now and it’s a pretty smooth process.

Still mourning Australia’s devastating fires…

Suspect this will just be a year of mourning.

Girlchild set a video of pup post-bath to this…

He runs around and rubs his body all over the carpet, like he’s a furry vacuum. It’s amusing. He got a bath because he smelled like the salmon oil we put on the old lady’s food for her arthritis. Or her skin. Not sure which.

Last night, we also had gaming…on devices. Multiple devices. Kind of difficult in some ways…

I do always stitch through these…it helps me pay attention.

Got the random hut and monkey stitched on. Now they need embellishment.

Hi Kitten…

It’s Saturday. Our plan is to grocery shop early tomorrow, so list today. We’ll find out today if the kids are here for the next few weeks without trips to their dad’s…waiting on a test result. It’s a beautifully sunny day, so I’m thinking some minor yardwork. Some quilting. I’m going to try some yoga…it’s close enough to pilates. I’m doing something exercise-like every day. It doesn’t feel like enough, but I also know I’m not eating particularly well…unlike most people, I seem to be eating less…not enough food is not the best plan as a diabetic. Next week, I’ll get trained on the new teaching normal and do some planning apparently (no idea what that looks like). My original panic stemmed from an email that we would need to work our regular school day (but at home) every day next week. I cleared a desk, tried to think what staring at a computer for 7 hours straight would feel like. They’ve backed that down a lot in subsequent emails, which helps with the anxiety. It’s more of a go-with-the-flow thing that I can handle. Of course, they train us, and then we have ‘two weeks off’ for Spring Break. It’s just weird. All so weird.

Art today. Definitely. Art and exercise and less of the news.

The Missing Hand…

Yeah. I skipped a day of writing. I don’t know what day it was though, so that’s OK. Been watching NYC weather this pandemic shit and it’s scary. Sending good thoughts to the whole city and everywhere else it looks like that. Certainly, many of us are questioning any sore throat or dry cough or now, digestive issue (dammit, stop eating beans then!), wondering Was that it? Is this the start of it? I think here in San Diego, we haven’t really gotten the full brunt of the virus yet. Give it two weeks. With that, I’m leaving in a few minutes to go distribute lunches to my kids. We’re down to only two people at a time, so we can socially distance.

Tuesday, we walked the dogs…we’re gonna do it again today. My parents are up to twice a day with theirs, which would be fine by me, but the old lady dog can’t do it. She wants to, but it’s too much for her.

We have places we can walk locally…this is just out the front door and sort of through a neighbor’s yard, although they’ve never complained…but now the house has sold, so who knows. We just go quickly and quietly.

There are no actual grapevines here any more.

But I still like the signs.

Mostly empty. We didn’t see any people.

And a lot of plant material. It’s pretty green this year…we’re over 13 inches of rain, which is a lot for us. There’s more coming tonight apparently. But then I think we might be done for a while. It’s cold and windy today…next week, we’re supposed to hit the high 80s. It will be harder to keep people inside.

I got an email today from an exhibit I usually enter, warning us that there are just a few more days to the deadline. It’s weird thinking about future art shows when it seems like the world is about to burn down in a plague. But I guess that’s hope for the future…hope that the venue will still be viable, hope that we will still be able to have art shows. Hope that we’ll all still be here to send work and hang work and see work.

Here was Tuesday’s drawing. I didn’t draw yesterday. I did other stuff.

Maybe I will draw today. So Tuesday night, the man went to bed early, because he’s working these awful long shifts that basically leave time to sleep and eat and little else, so I finished the lettuces on the last of the October Folk Tails blocks.

Although this was the 2015 block of the month, I didn’t start working on it until March of 2016…so I’ve officially been working on it (on and off) for four years. Yeah. You read that right. A lot of times, I just worked on it once a month at my stitching meeting, and then last year, because I was doing the embroidery patterns, I barely worked on it at all.

Anyway, as I finished that grasshopper block (well, it’s missing a road and flowers), I realized it was time to stitch all of it together. Holy moley. I had some larger bits sewn together, but pinned some more parts…

Sewed them until I had two long strips…

There’s still plenty to do…that hen has no feet, for example.

I feel like I’m going to have to go back through all the instructions to fill in everything I’m missing. Plus it needs ten tons of grass sewn everywhere…

And the road needs to be continued down through the bottom three rows…

I stopped there, because I realized I needed to sew over onto the other blocks and they weren’t sewn together yet. Plus apparently a hut is supposed to go there. Uh huh. Barely fits.

And there’s a spare monkey too.

So there’s still plenty to work on. It’ll be another year. Plus borders! But it was exciting to get it to this stage.

Girlchild is still cooking up a storm…and posting artistic photos.

The result of that photo was cheddar scallion English muffin bread. Very good.

So yesterday, I did quilt for a while…although the machine was being cranky…

As always…

Luna was being a pain…kept trying to hide in the quilt and climb everything in the studio while I was on a video call with stitchy friends…

Trying to get the light right, so the computer has to be in a specific place. Interesting commentary for how I’m going to do this when we start for school. There are a limited number of places that are lit right, have seating, and stay quiet even when people are here. And there are a few people here. Four adults take up room. I’m lucky to have a variety of spaces for people to hang out in.

And cats. Cats can hang out too.

While I was on that call, I cleaned up the huge pile of papers and crap on my desk. Well. I cleaned up most of it. I’m not sure what to do with the other part of it.

Wait for another day. Although the word from on high is that I need to start grading things. All right. I’ll do that.

Then last night, I wanted to start the second one of the Applique Stories blocks…Anna Maria Horner sends 8 fabrics and no instructions basically, and then you make a block out of them. Of course, most people make this flowery bouquet-type things, and I make naked women. But I like this…the one on the right is from January’s fabrics and then on the left, you can see what she sent for March.

I picked the backgrounds…which was hard in itself, let me tell you. Trying to find a color that won’t overwhelm the given fabrics, or clash with them either…it’s difficult. The blocks are about 19×20″, a totally random size that I can’t explain. They could be finished together, but it probably makes more sense to finish them separately. I’m not fusing anything…just cutting pieces and then stitching them in place…and then doing some embroidery. Slow work.

That one fabric just damn well set itself up to be breasts…seriously. How could I NOT?

These are a challenge. I would never put these together. I like a challenge.

I wouldn’t even BUY half these fabrics. That’s what I love about this. Really. It’s fun.

I probably did this for 2 or 3 hours last night…walked away, walked back…added a bird. No starting drawing.

No nothing. No more fabrics than those 8. Honestly, those 8 are the challenge.

She was off balance, so I added the hand…here they both are…oh wait, the hand is still missing.

Must have added that later. Oh well. I can keep adding if I want. Tonight I have a Zoom stitching meeting, and my plan is to stitch stuff down during the meeting. The actual stitch down is easier to do while it’s flat, rather than trying to hoop it. The pieces are really only held in place by a few pins.

Anyway. So that was the last two days. I’m coping. I’m not sick (yet?), but question every cough and sore throat tickle. I know people who are sick. I hope everyone is OK. I know the world will be a different place when this is done. I’m sad about that…like all of you. And sitting and waiting is not my superpower…I’m glad I have the art to keep my brain occupied. Maybe tomorrow I’ll show you the missing hand…but I’m thinking she needs fingernails first…

Normally, Right Now…

Normally, right now, I’d be staring at a pile of grading…actually, no, I’d be at the chiropractor, and she’d be adjusting me, and I would have just finished tutoring, because Tuesdays (it is Tuesday, right?) are LOOONNNGGG, and then I might decide not to do any work tonight because I’d done so much of it before. This week, we’d be starting our ecosystem part of the unit, which we were in the middle of trying to rewrite, because standards-based grading has changed how we assess kids. When we got told we weren’t coming back until April 20, we proactively picked up and moved everything on the calendar for that three-week time period, realizing we were going to lose most of the second-to-last unit. At this point, I suspect we may not come back this year in person, which brings up the question of what CAN we do remotely, and how in the hell are we going to teach sex ed this year? Or are we? It’s just unclear. And overwhelming at the moment. Worry about getting sick, about family members getting sick, already seeing friends getting sick, pile that on top of worry for students, worry about our jobs (if they figure out we can do this on a computer, will they just get rid of some of us? Will our kids even log in? OK. So let’s not dwell on that.). Let’s focus on the present. My head likes to dwell on the future What Ifs, which doesn’t really help.

What did I do today? I recorded three chapters of City of Ember for my students. I attempted 50 minutes of pilates with no equipment and a crazy woman who bends better than I ever did. I swore at the computer. I walked the kids and dogs for 2.35 miles. I avoided the cops. Apparently that’s a thing in the town right next to where I live, where they might pull you over and ask you why you’re out and about. I avoided humans, except for the three I live with. One has been at work for hours. I barely saw him last night. He has one more day of a hellish shift and then four days off. I potentially have four Zoom or Discord meetings in the next week. Wait. Five. I think. I refuse to wear a bra to any of them.

The series continues.

Managing anxiety is not easy without a pandemic. What helps in a pandemic? Blue skies and beautiful fluffy white clouds. Puppies. Kittens. Stitching. Reading. Drawing.

See? Much better. Making art, of course.

Yesterday, I pieced a backing for the quilt out of some light-damaged fabric I got from my SIL ages ago. I think that’s where it came from. I’m not sure if it came damaged or if that happened here, but it doesn’t matter if it’s on the back.

Yup. Those are some hippos on lime green. Great backing. I managed to pinbaste the whole thing last night…

I realize as I get older that this kneeling on the ground thing will get harder to do, but it still works for now. Keeping kittens off it took some assistance from the man.

This is funny. Luna’s like, “Hey Dad, WTF is she doing and WHY CAN’T WE PLAY WITH IT?”

Well yeah. You can’t. Every cat I’ve ever lived with at some point has skidded across the room into a quilt laid out on the floor and destroyed what I was trying to do.

In the middle of pinning it…every time I do this, I end up throwing one or two pins out because they’re too dull or they won’t close right any more. I never seem to run out.

I don’t know how that works. They must be breeding.

At this point, they can smell the edges. It’s all pinned. Can’t hurt it now.

So it’s ready for quilting. It’s a good thing I ordered batting before all this shut down…I didn’t have anything big enough in the house.

I’ve been lax with the two social-media things I’m doing this month, but #igquiltfest yesterday was Favorite Fabric. I’m like, yes, all of them. This is such a small subset of what I have…

It’s my palette. I have lots. I love all of it. Seriously, I tried to get rid of some once because I was like, there’s stuff I never use, so I was going through the drawers and only found like one fabric I thought I could get rid of. Now I just figure those will end up on the back of something some day. I haven’t bought fabric for backings in other two years. I just use what I have. Sometimes I piece it. Sometimes it’s something someone sent me. I don’t care. It’s on the wall. Who’s gonna see it?

Girlchild has been cooking up a storm…it’s been tasty.

I have to cook for myself tonight. I will survive. Somehow I persuaded her to prep the scones I like too…I think so she would have photos for Insta.

Because when I do it, they’re never lined up that nicely. Remember that for when I post MY photo. It’ll be like a jumbled mess.

She likes to cook. I don’t mind it, but I’d rather be doing other things. I stitched a little today, just wooly bits, because my head was being mean. Shut up, head.

OK. Well I haven’t done all the things on my list for today, but I did do about two hours of exercise. Still haven’t hit 10,000 steps for the day. During a normal school day, that’s easy. It’s a beautiful day. Spring is here. Weeds need pulling. I have sunflower seeds I could plant. I have a quilt to work on. There’s a bunch of food in the fridge, although we’re running low on eggs. I have nowhere to be tonight or all day tomorrow. Everyone I know and love is still healthy or managing their illness, as far as I know. I’m still OK. Not normal, just OK.

It Still Holds Tea…For Now…

I started writing this and then somehow overflowed a toilet. Yes, I realize there are things that do that, but I don’t think I’ve overflowed a toilet since the kids were little. Makes me wonder what my plumber is doing right now…probably escaped to the desert with his significant other, never to be seen again. I’m supposed to be seeing this as a staycation, and sometimes I can do that. I’m home. I’m limited in what I can do. Yesterday the pilates place canceled two weeks of classes, but gave me some online freebie, which the gym did too. I just need to schedule classes in my mind so that I actually do something physical. I thought about walking to school today to distribute food, but it’s raining, so maybe tomorrow. It’s less than an hour there and another less than an hour back. I think. 2 1/2 miles each way.

I know this feels weird for everyone. It is weird. It’s all weird.

Yesterday, I came home from food distribution and packed up a quilt for a show.

Womanscape is on her way to the Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, KY, for Fantastic Fibers. I managed to catch the UPS driver and he took it, rather than having to drive all the way to the customer center. Yeah, I insured it. It’s big and expensive and who knows what will happen in the next few months. But it got me thinking about the fact that I really enjoy working on the big complicated quilts, and maybe that’s the solution to my brain right now. Get the next one started. Stop worrying about stuff being ready for deadlines, because all those are going to change or disappear. This is an artist’s retreat of sorts (although I envisioned a new landscape and that’s not happening, is it?).

Yesterday I didn’t do much with art stuff…well, art fabric stuff. I have this pile of stuff that’s brainless, all prepped, so when we’re watching TV after dinner, I can just pick one without thinking about it.

I worked on Fresh Cut last night…black on black is hard at night, that’s for sure. I need better light.

OK, in daylight, it’s better. Maybe this is a daylight-only piece. Things I’m learning.

I did start a drawing though. I’m not sure I like all of it, but it’s a place to start. I think I’m going to enlarge it a bit and make something LAARRGGEE.

Arm needs to move. Cat needs to change. I like the lungs and the heart though…although the heart needs to shift a bit. Maybe. I’ll think about it.

Calli is enjoying more people home. I threw the ball for her a little bit (she’s old and starts to breathe really heavily). You can see the mallow we planted on the left yesterday…bottlebrush right above her.

There’s a ceanothus going in next.

I noticed the crack in this cup is getting worse.

It still holds tea. For now.

I have too many of these in my head…

This one…

Yeah. Well. We run dark here. I guess.

So I didn’t iron yesterday. I think I finished my taxes. It looks good…because of the solar installation.

Might be able to pay off the girlchild’s college…my part of it anyway. Maybe. That quilt is Disrupted. It’s from 2010. The #marchmeetthemaker and #igquiltfest prompts were about your favorite quilt and what you’re proud of. I do love a lot of my quilts, but I’m proud that everything (arteries etc) lined up on this one. It’s impressive when it hangs too. It was for an exhibit called Sightlines.

OK. Well. Chaos around us all. Exercise today. Ironing today. Who knows what else today. Right now, I’m going to go feed kids. And then maybe sit down and plan my day.

Be Well, Y’all…

So we have this prediction in the house that March 21 is the day the US will hit the point of pandemic crisis that Italy just hit, with so many cases they can’t help anyone. That gives me 9 days to prepare…a grocery list, mostly for the animals; meds are in house, except one we need for the dog (calling on that today); I counted the toilet paper rolls…I think we’re OK (and I’m not waiting in line at Costco, because that’s just stupid). But more importantly…do I have enough Wonder Under, batting, and thread if I need to make a few quilts. Because I’m assuming schools will close at some point. San Diego is pretty clear of the virus (that we know of) so far…we’re behind the rest of the West Coast anyway. So I think we have that time.

Yesterday was a cluster for making art. I had a meeting run long, and then the grocery store was empty. Made dinner, graded an assignment, and that was basically it. SUCKED. I hate that. Tonight? Ugh. Maybe. Got one assignment done, though. Thanks Kitten for your oversight.

I have a pile of stuff that needs grading, and I know the next five days at school are high-maintenance, so there won’t be any of that happening there. Calli also is closely regulating what I was doing.


#Marchmeetthemaker was about range. It’s true I mostly make art quilts in a specific way about women’s issues and environmental issues. I do branch out though. I draw all the time, and recently made an artist book. I’m messing around with some new ways of making art quilts. I taught a class last year in embroidery on small art quilt blocks. I designed 9 embroidery patterns last year as well.

So all that was new and different. I’m challenged by some of the groups I’m in to do different things, and that is a good thing…although I seem to continue to come back to what I love…which leads to #igquiltfest…why do I quilt?

Ah. Well. Fabric obsession since young childhood. I remember pulling my mom’s box of fabrics she had from pajamas and dresses she’d made out of the cupboard, just to rummage through them. I have an art degree and gravitated to screenprinting, but when I got pregnant, it got too difficult to find the time to make screens, pull prints, clean screens. I never got a full hour or two to do such things, so I flipped to fabric. So much easier to carry around, drop if you needed to, etc. Plus the tactile quality of the fabric…the amazing patterns and colors available. It was a good thing for me. Still is.

Don’t know what she’s saying…but it’s probably along the lines of Pet Me.

OK, off to school. I have so much going on today…hope I make it home at some point. I realize social distancing is a thing, but I’m at school all day and life goes on. I won’t shake people’s hands? I did yesterday. Sigh. OK. Be well, y’all. Stitch on. Stay safe.

My Authentic Space…

I have a couple of shows opening this week…one is an artist book show with a group I’m in, Feminist Image Group (aka FIG).

The opening is this Saturday.

This was kind of a weird thing for me…but I like a challenge. I actually made three pages and rejected one. This is called Ominous Nature

Each page is a box. I’m not sure why I wanted to do that, but I did. Anyway, the opening is this Saturday from 12-2. The exhibition is on the ground floor in the Dickinson Popular Library, but the reception is on the 9th floor in the Art Gallery’s Valerias Sculptural Garden. I haven’t been to the downtown library ever, so this should be interesting. I have to kamikaze down there after school to deliver the piece…should also be interesting.

The other show is Contingent Upon at Southwestern College, with the group Allied Craftsmen…

It opens tomorrow and includes Portrait of the Artist As a Young Woman…and And Then There Was One

So that’s cool. Meanwhile, I’m making the next piece…it’s coming together slowly. I have the first 300 pieces (mostly) ironed together…including all these tiny little cars…

And these tumbling birds, which started showing up in drawings in December, I think.

They’re in that artist book above too. I do seem to repeat images for a while…sometimes a Long While. And then I did the swathe of space behind them and the Earth.

I do the Earth next, I think. I can’t remember when I drew this, but if I drew it today, there’d be coronavirus added to it. Certainly there’s war and pollution and fires and climate change already there. I haven’t been drawing much lately, but my brain certainly has been talking to me about drawing. It’s the one thing I wanted to do over the weekend and didn’t do. There’s never enough time for everything I want to do.

Yesterday was exhausting too. I taught a difficult (not really, but the kids made it that way) lesson…kids just not engaged in a fairly simple task. Not processing information. Hopefully today will be better (sigh. It’s unlikely.). I went to tutoring. Then to a school board meeting as a union rep. I got home around 6:30 PM, totally exhausted, made dinner, and read my book for a while. It’s due Friday and I don’t think I can finish in time, unfortunately. I’d like to, and I can re-request it, but there are already two people waiting for it. It’s good too…I just needed to input some grades and then I wanted to iron things together. Art drive. It’s loud.

The #marchmeetthemaker prompt yesterday was my authentic space. Here’s where I do a lot of my work…the studio/office.

It’s about 10 x 10′, which is a little small for everything I have in there…

especially when the ironing board is set up in the middle for me to iron…but I’m grateful to have had it all these years. MY ROOM.

There’s a lot of fabric in this room, yes. Never enough. Here was the setup while I was ironing, to give you a good idea of how little room there really is in there.

It works well though. I would love to remodel this room, pull out the old, holey floor, redo the wallpaper, put in real storage, put in a bigger window and maybe a room air conditioner, replace or fix the sliding glass door so I can open it more easily, get rid of the popcorn ceiling. All that is a healthy chunk of money though, and that’s not in the budget yet…I think the bathrooms and kitchen are higher up on the list.

I don’t just work in there though. I have a large light table in the living room, and a few stages of making involve sitting on the couch and cutting shit out. So this is also part of my maker space.

Where I often have helpers…

Yeah. Not helping.

Anyway. Today. Get through assessment, hope it’s at least quiet and productive. Go to union meeting after school. Hope it’s quick and productive. Go to grocery store for tomorrow morning’s breakfast items…hope that’s quick (yes, and productive). Then cook dinner, maybe grade some stuff (ugh), and then iron some more. If I’m still awake. Daylight Savings is kicking my tired ass. Maybe skip the grading and iron instead. Seems like a plan.

Bunny Incursion

These post-Daylight Savings mornings are painful. My brain is still asleep. My eyes too. I feel like I’m constantly trying to go to bed early these days to get more rest, and it’s not working. Although I did a better job last night of falling asleep, so that’s a plus. The little dog is currently losing his mind over a bunny in the front yard. Although honestly, if there was a mountain lion in the front yard, he’d sound the same. I just know the last time I looked, it was a bunny. The same bunny Kitten wants to kill. She whacks the blinds when she sees it. Like she’s gonna whack IT if she ever gets to it. The bunny incursions on our property are much more serious than I consider them. To both of these guys.

I didn’t bring any work home last night…a birthday present to myself. Also the staff meeting kinda got canceled because of cake. Long story…but worth it. I had a good exercise class and sewed a little, and then came in here and started ironing the newest quilt…

I only got the first 100 pieces done. I didn’t even lay out the next 100, because the current state of the kittens is that they get into everything and it’s not good to leave a lot of pieces lying around without supervision. But it’s progress. I have a lot of meetings and stuff to do at night this week, so I’m not expecting to get a lot done this week, but a chunk would be good.

#igquiltfest’s topic for yesterday was your favorite pattern, which is funny, because I only have one commercial pattern I’ve ever done, and it’s only for baby quilts, and I don’t even remember the name of it…it’s been so long since I’ve done one. I draw my own stuff…dontcha know?

#marchmeetthemaker was rough/mock up. So I guess these are those too…although I probably have more rough drawings than these, before I enlarge stuff…all the fuckups I have before I get here. Sometimes more than others.

Hell all you have to do is watch this space. I show them all.

Birthday socks from the parents. Appropriate.

I wore them yesterday. A birthday at a middle school is kinda sweet…lots of bad singing and kids who normally hate you (not really, but you know how 12 is) telling you happy birthday and wanting to know why you didn’t take the day off and what you’re doing tonight (avoiding people?) and what you’re getting. Is your mom getting you a new phone? I’m like, um, pretty much my mom doesn’t buy my phone for me any more. The 12-year-old brain…it’s an interesting beast. They also were all excited that school might get canceled for coronavirus, until I started explaining how it would really work. Sigh.

Calli gets it. And she wants you to rub her belly.

Today will be rough…starting an assessment, plus tutoring, plus school board meeting (apparently with media present), plus tired. TIRED. Yeah. Well. I’ll iron some more tonight. That’s something I can look forward to. The 100 tiny car pieces that need ironing. That was another reason why I quit last night…tiny little car pieces. Who designed this thing? Oh yeah. Me.

OK, parent meeting this morning. I wish parents could look online and see, “oh, my kid has this grade because they don’t turn their shit in” and then I wouldn’t have to be the one who tells them that. They could just get on their case and leave me out of it. But no. So in I go.