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.

That Lonely Hawk

Well we were all up too late last night, although for good reasons. Makes the morning a bit ragged though. Nice spring-like breeze coming in through the window, beautiful sky peeking through the tree branches, quiet except for the screech of that lonely hawk who’s been out there for the last month, looking for a lady hawk. At night, we get the owl hoots for the same thing…we saw him/her the other night, up in the tree. It was smaller than it sounded. I was expecting a huge bird and not so much.

The man had a show last night. Those are pretty common. It was relatively short, because they were opening for Sonic Moonshine, who asked him to do backup on a song…so we stayed an extra hour and a half or so for that…

It was all good. Then came home and woke up all the animals the boychild had put to bed. Everyone eventually settled back down and went back to bed. But everyone (except the kittens) is moving pretty slowly this morning.

I’m supposed to be going to a stitch-in today, a new one, with total strangers. I’m not sure what to bring…I don’t have anything at a good stage to carry. And my stuff is a little out there. I kinda want to see if this group will be a fit before I haul out the boobs and uteri, yeah? When I started in my old quilt group, it was a class, an applique class, and we did lighthouses and Victorian houses and then the Southwest and I don’t remember what else. And then I started making my own stuff and bringing it and everyone had known me for a few years and it was OK. I’m sure some people were like “eh. her stuff is weird.” but they liked me well enough and tolerated the quilts. I don’t really want to make modern quilts…and what I make is so incredibly NOT a modern quilt…but I want a group I can stitch with once a month. So I’m trying it.

I don’t know what to bring though. I have some hand applique I started last year (as part of the Great Finish Everything plan I had for 2019 that completely failed), which fits about as well as anything else I have. It’s portable and that may have to do.

I really do want to spend the whole weekend with fabric. I have an idea for the Anna Maria Horner fabrics that came. This new quilt is ready to be ironed to fabric. I have stuff all OVER the place. Ironically. I also have a huge pile of grading that got turned in yesterday. Gonna slog through part of that this morning. Then shower. Then make decisions.

I did get to draw at school yesterday for the new unit…

It’s almost all colored in. I’ll photograph it when it is.

At last night’s show, I drew. Dive bar. I needed cleavage and thigh-high boots to fit in.

I was wearing Skechers. Oh well. I really like the fish and the table with the beer being knocked off. I like drawing in bars because there’s no need for it to be a logical finished project. I just draw what pops into my head at the moment.

With all the groups I’m in throwing shows up all over the place, I’m feeling overwhelmed with what I’m supposed to be working on again. So thinking that through. A little.

Plus politics. Wondering what the fuck this country is thinking. I’ve spent many years thinking that, and it just seems to get worse. Makes me sick to my stomach some days. This is not my America. And yet it is.

This sweet baby slept with me for a bit on the couch…

Nova has more dark. Luna has less. And Kitten is big.

Plus making bad decisions about thread again. I have most of my thread locked down so we don’t have a repeat of the surgery of 4 or 5 years ago. Because I don’t have 3K lying around, cat. But she always finds the one I missed. It’s OK. I caught her.

OK. Focus. Get clean, eat, pack some stuff, grade some shit. Leave the house (do I have to?). Hello introvert brain. You need this. Just do it.

That’s Always Crazy

Did you notice January is flying by? Well, almost flown by? I spent some time the other day explaining coronavirus to my students. We used to teach infectious diseases…I remember when SARS came through and we added it to the curriculum to try to calm down some of the crazy shit the kids kept saying. Although I often say a virus is what’s going to take us down, the human race…or at least drastically cull our species. They’re saying it’ll be at least 10 days before this virus hits its peak…so probably 10 days before we’re really sure about the death rate and impact. Scary stuff though. Just like the normal flu that hits here every year for now…but with the potential to be much worse.

Today I have overlapping meetings, an opening to go to, and possibly an online meeting, although that hasn’t been confirmed. Plus it’s the last day of kids trying to figure out how to actually finish what they start. In that realm, I finally finished cutting out the Wonder Under for the newest quilt…

It was only 6 hours to cut it out, but it was spread out over more than a week. I had other stuff shoved in there, some even artistic. I have noticed that I’ve been doing less art this school year…I keep track of my hours, and I’m averaging about 35 hours a month, down from last year, at about 60 hours a month. I’m not sure why…this year has been harder on grading, ironically, since I joined a group to try to reduce those hours. So far have not been successful. The assessments we’re doing are pretty time consuming. Thinking of ways to deal with that. Also thinking of ways to up the artmaking time.

Anyway, I did exercise yesterday. Even better, when I got there early, I graded the last of an assignment in the parking lot before I went in and did my class. All good. There’s never enough hours in the day to get everything done. Some days it feels like I don’t get anything at all done. Yesterday was OK for that.

Ah, that’s what else I did last night…see, it was art-related. I scanned and cleaned up the Patreon drawing and posted it…detail here.

I want to try a larger Bird Daughter. Not sure when that’s happening, though, honestly. Tomorrow is crazy. Saturday is a little crazy. Sunday’s pretty crazy. Then I start a new week at school, and that’s always crazy. Plus a new science unit that we’re not done planning, and it starts tomorrow (NO PANICKING). Yeah. I’m good.

(Look at the big dog asleep. Pet the sleeping dog. It calms you. Do it again.)

I’m not grading tonight. I am sorting Wonder Under and then cleaning up my art space so I can start ironing. Unless the online meeting gets canceled, and then I’ll probably go to the gym, and then do those things. We’ll see. But first all the other things.

These guys keep me sane.

Well. In a crazy way. It’s better than without them, that’s for sure. (notice claws in couch. This is why we can’t have nice things.)

Everybody’s on Something Here*

Hey. Shhh. Guess what. I’m almost caught up with grading. SHHHHH. Don’t tell. I mean, it’s not gonna matter, because I have two major assignments getting turned in Thursday and Friday, so I’ll be buried again like immediately, but this is like a miracle mid-year…it never happens. Teacher reality shows would be really boring. We’d just be sitting around grading and drinking caffeine and trying not to eat all the cookies.

Yesterday was hard. I didn’t have the mental energy for tutoring and the group I was working with was difficult. Not happy about that. But it happens. All the time. Today will hopefully be easier…because no tutoring! Well, you know, the kids not working on this project will continue not to work…although usually it’s the video where they fall short, and we’ve revised the rubric to deal with that hopefully. Maybe. Anyway. School. It’s in my head when I wake up, when I fall asleep, when I drive. Sigh. It leaves when I exercise and when I draw.

I did come home and grade things…I pick chunks. Yesterday was all the makeup work on one difficult assignment, but since three of the kids changed absolutely nothing, it was fast. Faster than I thought it would be anyway. One more of those chunks to do.

Then I drew my January Patreon drawing. Once a month, the $5/month and up folks get a jpg of a drawing. They can color it or stitch it or whatever (not sell it), and eventually I’ll have a bunch to choose from for a coloring book. For some reason, I was seeing birds, so I drew them…with Kitten’s supervisory assistance.

She prefers the real thing. Tonight I’ll scan it and upload it to the Patreon site. The link is here, if you’re interested in joining. It’s a way to support artists to do their artwork, instead of all the side jobs we do to pay the bills.

When I finished that, I started cutting tiny pieces (and large pieces) of Wonder Under out…

I only have about 1/2 a yard left, that piece up at the top. I should be able to finish that tonight? I think? And then sort them. That’s the goal anyway. Always moving forward…which means I need to start drawing the artist book. I’m currently thinking War and Peace. I think. Maybe. We’ll see.

Lots of kitten love yesterday…Luna needed human interaction (pets) for a while when I was drawing…

My Kitten was on the other side, just as close (you will NOT move). Then there was playtime with the man (he’s holding a rattly mouse)…

All three were into this.

But yesterday morning, after playtime, they were adorable. As always.

They are good babies.

OK, off to work. Finish grading the homework, get kids on task, go exercise. Come home and finish cutting these things out and start drawing the artist book. It’s a plan. I like it.

*Phantogram, You Don’t Get Me High Anymore

Absolutely Weird…

Last night, approaching midnight, boychild and I are on my phone, playing owl calls, trying to figure out what has moved into one of our trees. We assumed barn owl, and sure, there’s one nearby…I’ve heard it. But this isn’t that. It’s a Great Western Horned owl. The typical hoot-hoot-hoot instead of the screech. Yes, I stand outside in the dark and listen to owls. Why do you ask?

Busy weekend; how about you? It’s just busy until sometime in late February, I think, maybe later, depending on how things roll. We did grocery shopping early and then walked the dogs.

We tried one of our normal hikes, but someone was throwing another wedding there or something (heart-shaped balloons and a million cars), so we headed to Mt. McGinty…realizing we weren’t gonna do the whole 4.5 miles with the dogs.

Way too much climbing (our car is way the freak down there and we’re not even at the top of the first hill)…there is a an old mine at the top of the first hill…no, not going in there.

Check out Calli’s tongue. She was tired.

We went out about a mile and a half and came back. It was getting toward dusk, and coyotes are always an issue.

The fog was creeping around too, so it was pretty. And there were only a few other people out there when we started…not the crowded chaos that is sometimes the other trail. People with dogs off leash and racing around on bikes. Assholes really. But this was peaceful. My quads are still complaining, but that could have been the new Pilates class as well. Because both in one day…

It was nice. I need hikes. I need outdoors.

After dinner, I made a pattern finally for the book box thing I’m thinking of for an upcoming exhibit. I don’t really make artist books, and this is more of an artist sculpture that is book like than anything else.

Once I had the pattern, I made and cut out three of them. That’s the plan. Draw three. I might stop with two though.

Drawing tonight? We’ll see. I’m drawing flat and then putting them together.

Sunday was an art meeting up north, so it took a good chunk of the day. I came back and graded stuff, then cooked dinner, then graded more stuff, and got some Luna love.

She’s sweet when she wants to be. Especially asleep. They’ve really grown lately…here’s Nova looking slightly cross-eyed. She’s definitely the smaller cat still…

Luna tries to push Nova off her food so she can have it.

Then there’s Kitten…she’s missing a bunch of teeth, like 11. She has a weird genetic issue that attacks her teeth.

Makes for some goofy faces.

At this point, I was cutting out Wonder Under. I didn’t photograph any of that. I honestly didn’t get that much done. It was late, owls were out.

I wanted to pop this in here…wait, need to find the link. Here it is

I’m troubled by all of it. You feel badly for family for the loss of a father and a child. It’s a horrible tragedy, for the other families involved as well. But there was that rape thing…and we shouldn’t shove that under a rug.

OK, off to school and National Park week…I’m wearing my Bryce Canyon Got Oxygen? shirt…which reminds me…I need some earthquake/volcano shirts for the next unit. I know, weird teachers, yeah? Absolutely weird.

Random Friday Title #7

I think I need to start this weekend to build/draw the book project I’m doing. Or admit I’m not doing it. But I bought the paper, so I should try. It amuses me that I thought I would be an architect when I was younger, but then I always joke that I can’t draw a straight line, so that’s why I didn’t. Realistically, as a young, artistically inclined female, I had few role models for that or guides as to what to do with your life. Be an artist? Sorry. Gotta have a penis. Well, except I had Mary Cassatt. Seriously, she was the only female artist they would teach you about in elementary school because no nudity, no flowers you had to explain that might be sexual, no crazy stuff going on…just women and children. Easy! So I used to say I was the reincarnation of Mary Cassatt, because I knew I wanted to be an artist and I didn’t know any other female artists. Sad, but true (thanks, Mary, for your inspiration).

Obviously I moved past that, but I think what is freaking me out about this book project is that I have to draw straight lines. Yup. I need a pattern. That’s tomorrow some time. Or maybe tonight, but we’re gaming again (after a year plus hiatus), so I can’t promise I’ll have brain power or stamina. Maybe enough to make a pattern. We’ll see.

I had a stitching meeting last night, but no one came. It’s OK…really. I’m trying to build a group, but I haven’t found the right situation or people or IDK what. I’ll figure it out somehow. Or maybe just start taking ceramics classes. Hard to say. I started taking a monthly quilt class years ago and that morphed into a monthly stitching meeting that I really enjoyed. I was 23 when I started and everyone was older than me, and none of that has changed, except a lot of the people older than me are retired and can meet during the day. So that doesn’t work for me.

This is the lovely room we are currently meeting in.

Yes, it looks and feels wonderful. Rolling eyes. What did I do? I sat there for an hour and a half and input grades from the last four days. It was productive. I did bring stitching, but this work needed to get done, and if no one else was there, I was gonna do it.

I came home, made dinner, ate it, and started a drawing…with assists.

Some a little closer than others.

I need a redo on this one. Better composition, better hands, better helmet, more stuff. War Daughter.

I like the heart.

Then I cut stuff out for a while…

Hard to do with rampaging kittens, but I employed the Spraying Bottle of Scary Water, which helped.

Luna does like toes.

Lining them up, lightest to darkest.

Calicoes have attitude. Every cat in the house is a calico. Not sure what we were thinking.

But there is play now, and that is cool.

Sometimes there is also sleep, and that is also cool.

Today, my co-teacher and I get to plan all morning, and then we have to go to our afternoon classes and listen to the counselors teach about e-cigarettes and vape pens. I’m hoping their science isn’t crap, because it has been before. I already see typos in their presentation, which just drives me bonkers. You don’t have to be good at spelling etc…but you should have someone else review it so y’all don’t show kids those mistakes. They have a hard enough time knowing what’s right (ah yes, my own typo) without teachers making it worse. And we should know better.

This morning was pretty.

And now I must go.

Hiding a Demon

Hello morning. You had pretty colors and clouds, once I took the pillow off my head that I use to drown out the noise of the early riser. I don’t envy him his early and long commute. He left me with three crazy cats and a drugged-out dog. Poor Calli was supposed to have one tooth pulled yesterday, and ended up with two out and three more to come out at a later date, because her heart is old and beats a little weird. I spent a lot of time at the vet yesterday, reading stupid memes on social media while the boychild sat, wishing he’d brought a book. I also wished that, but thought it would be a quickie. It never is when you forget your book. When you bring your book, especially the one you really want to finish, then it’s quick as hell and you don’t even get to open the cover/app/however you read these days. After getting our sweet drugged-out dog, she did all the things the vet said she wouldn’t for a while (pooped, peed on herself) and then wandered around, trying to stay in my personal space, for quite a while. She seems better this morning, ate some food, and is back to sleep.

DEEPLY asleep. Poor old lady. The kittens were up at 5:30 and are also asleep again, while my cat is stalking a closet, no one knows why. When I opened it to see if we were hiding a demon or even just a lizard in there, she was offended and pounced off. Cats are weird yo.

Luna is always grabby and in your face and getting into things…

Nova is less like that and more like Nova…sweet and cautious, until her sister pisses her off.

Before the vet and after tutoring last night, I found myself here…more enjoying the skies than the store…

You gots to take them wherever you can gets them.

Yesterday was long and tiring. I did finally get a hold of the doctor about the blood sugar. The diabetes nurse isn’t allowed to work with me because my blood sugar is “under control.” Except last week it wasn’t. So we’re reducing my daily insulin…maybe I can stop for a while? It’s all such a guess and mess. I like science that is logical. Ironically, because I’m not a very logical person, as every male who’s ever been with me will tell you. I tell them I don’t have their logic…I have mine, which is kinda like a mountain road, rambling with switchbacks. I can’t help how my mind works. I think it’s a plus.

Here’s a cat making biscuits…

with my sweater. Sigh.

I traced for a couple of hours after grading…

Ten hours in, almost, with three yards mostly full and one barely touched…I hit 690-something, so very efficient last night. Although I stayed up too late. Only about 110 to go. Tonight? I hope. Then cutting them out.

I found an artist residency that looks really good, but I don’t think you can pick the weeks you go…it’s just a range. That’s an issue for me. I can’t just ditch school for three weeks. Sigh. I don’t know. Maybe this is a silly idea. Hard to say why it’s festering in my brain. But it is.

OK, school, listening to really bad reports of why it’s totally safe to live in a volcano but not safe to live in a cave (our ancestors would be confused by that, but I’ll accept the explanation). Really, I just get to sit in the rolly chair and listen to them be kids and talk. It’s not bad.