Of That You Can Be Sure…

So I’m running with exhaustion right now…mental and physical. But it’s weird, because last night, I easily could have gone to sleep at 11 PM. I was completely done. But I didn’t want to go another night without making any art. So I said, I’ll just trace for 30 minutes…and within about 5 minutes of starting, I began to wake up. The tiredness just sloughed off and I’m thinking I can go for another hour (not a good plan). I ended up tracing for 45 minutes and then made myself go to bed before midnight, because I know today will be tiring and my blood sugar will be off (we have a production in the afternoon, so my lunch is way too early). But I could have gone for another hour…easily.

I did about 90 pieces…I’m at about 316. No. I AM at 316. So another 200 and a bit to go. I could do that tonight, if I didn’t have grading to do. That’s all I’m doing this weekend I think. I have a social thing and I think a family thing, but then grading. Until I die. Or my computer dies. Something. It’ll be fine. I figure I’ll be ready to iron stuff down in perfect timing with the end of the school year, which is nice, because that’s what I’ll need. I also need to make a summer to-do list, because there’s some major stuff that needs fixing. Sigh. I love tasks like that when I don’t have a paycheck coming in.

I’m glad I got up and traced. It makes me feel better. I’m still tired and cranky and feel like I’ve failed at dealing with that one kid who’s driven me nuts all year, but I have to be OK with that. There’s always one. I didn’t kill him. That’s a plus.

In really good news (I don’t know why, because I’m about to design 6 more and then stitch them), I finished the last of the models for the embroidery patterns! A miracle…

Look at all that dog/cat fur! It needs washing, dehairing, and a proper photo. But otherwise, it’s good. I need to put an embroidery page on my website too. SUMMER. So many things for the summer. I’m afraid of the to-do list. I do already have an idea for the first of the next 6 patterns. If you want to purchase any of the patterns (and I think kits should be available soon), they are at the Global Artisans shop. If you do stitch one of them up, I’d love to see it. Meanwhile, I’m trying to figure out how to HIDE a penis in one of the next 6. I don’t usually hide them. They’re usually right out there, easy to find. Kind of like in real life.

Deep breaths. I can see the end of the school year right over there. As I’m finishing up teaching STDs today and turning to HIV…we’re almost done! We finished two proposals for working on school stuff over the summer, though, plus I’ll be at three different conferences about how to change up schools. The work never stops…and I should get paid for most of that for once. But there will be plenty of artmaking…of that you can be sure.

Shine Until Tomorrow*

One of my long-time stitchy friends is moving to Portland this month. It’s OK. That’s where her grandkid is and she’s retiring from teaching (well, at least technically…who knows what the future brings), so it all makes sense. I’ve been quilting with her on and off since I was 23. She is in fact the woman you can blame for my knowing how to quilt at all, although my mom is who you blame for knowing how to sew and having some sort of fabric addiction. That started when I was much younger.

In losing her to Portland, I also lose one of my monthly social meetings…so I’ve been working on options. It looks like SAQA in San Diego may start to rev up a bit, and I even found a meeting space here in El Cajon that we could use if people are interested in meeting. I might even go check out La Mesa, because people get freaked out by my town. It’s safe, people. It’s safe. So I’m kind of looking forward to that, although I don’t know how long it will take to get everything moving. And I hope no one annoying comes to the local meetings. Maybe I’m the annoying one, who knows. Change is never easy, but I guess all the crazy that’s happened to me over the years has helped me deal with some of it. Although I’m gonna miss my friend like crazy, I’m still going to try to find a quilt community that I sort of fit into somewhere besides online.

Last night was the last official meeting of the group, but she’ll be back for a bit in July to pack more boxes and move more stuff. I don’t envy her that. At the meeting, I worked on the last of the printed embroidery patterns that I need to do for now…

It’s almost done…just a little bit at the bottom. Then I need to design 6 more.

I didn’t grade yesterday, but I was at tutoring. That was tiring. After I had dinner last night (super late), I started tracing…

I only got an hour in…I’m tired…

But I’m almost halfway at this point. That’s the wonder of doing a quilt that doesn’t have a lot of pieces.

So sometime this week it should get traced. Although I really need to grade stuff too. Crazy meeting schedule this week. It’s messing with my ability to get that done. Tonight is book club and it’s a million miles away…but I’m going. So there. I read the book. I need a break. Ugh. Long drive. I’m getting old?

OK, I need to get to work and get going on the day. More STDs today…always fun. The school year is winding down. I’m winding up to get some art done. That part is exciting…as always.

*The Beatles, Let It Be

And Then It Got Better…

Well. When your stress levels are high? Organize your photo files. Seriously. Your brain will start to shut down and refuse to stay awake. It’ll be like, this is the most boringest thing EVER. Which explains why my photo files are NOT organized. Like from 2014 on. It’s patchy. The J months are a mess. I mean, I organize every day I download stuff, which is pretty often because of this blog. But then they stay in those daily folders. I prefer to have all the photos of a quilt together, all the animal pix together, etc. But then when I’m looking at a photo of a box of trimmed quilt pieces from 2014, I have no freakin’ idea which quilt it is sometimes. So then I’m staring at the quilts I finished that year and trying to figure out which one I was working on in June 2014. Pain In The Ass. Then again 2014 was kind of a fucked up year. And then it got better.

That’s my mantra for the last 13 days of the school day: And Then It Got Better.

Staff meeting. Shorter than usual. Slightly stressful to think about some of the stuff for next year. Back to no food or peeing for 3-plus hours in the morning. Not ideal. Sigh. Although my co-teacher has to run across campus twice in that time, so I guess at least I don’t have that. It will all be fine. It’s a long way away. (Not really) The plus is that the meeting got done early, so I could kamikaze to the quilt store and buy binding. It’s in the dryer, so I don’t have a picture. I remembered to turn the dryer on at 12:30 AM. Electricity is cheaper then anyway. I hate our new electricity usage plan. The times I’m home and awake are the most expensive. It totally fucks over anyone with a standard day job. It’s not even cheaper on the weekends. So I’m constantly doing laundry at 9 PM at night. And I can’t cook dinner except during those hours.

So I got binding fabric…because otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to go until Friday, and even that might be questionable. I did quilt last night…although I had 17 thousand things to do first. As always. I hooped this one…

She’s going to travel with the store for a while. You can get her pattern (and others) at Global Artisans…rumor has it that kits are also available. I’m designing 6 more over the summer.

Oh yeah, before I ever did that, I walked dogs…and myself…and the boychild.

The weather was a lot cooler than I had expected…

This dove…just sitting there.

The plants are still crazy tall…

But not tall enough to hide the two guys getting naked in the brush. Um. Guys. There’s poison oak down there. Hmmm.

Well. We tired her out.

That was while I was quilting. I only have one section left to quilt and then the background…not much. I should be able to finish tonight. Then trim and bind. This week! The next three days are full of school work though…four different meetings before and after school. Ugh. (And then it got better)

Here’s the quilt waiting for me…

Morning light on the backing. First I’m going to go teach the remainder of the pregnancy stuff, plus do tutoring. Then I’ll get the rest done. Last night, both eyes were twitching. Too much. Too much. Breathe in and out. Deeply. Slowly. Shit. I don’t have a plan for homeroom. Fuck. OK. Off this and onto the job stuff.

More Chock Full…

This weekend is even more chock full than I thought. I’m getting some stuff done, though…but probably not all of it. Today will be a little crazier than I thought. This week might be a little crazier than I thought. Oh well. Roll with it.

I have one class left to grade of the big huge assignment. I need to get it done like now. I also need to calendar the week, so I can get a hold of the minutiae. I need to quilt. I need to write the warmup for the week. I’m sure there’s other crap I haven’t even thought of…laundry, team email, groceries. OK, I’ve thought of those.

Yesterday, I had a school thing to go to, repping for the team. I live closest to school, so it’s easy enough to show up for the girls in science. I got to see one of my kids from 4 years ago too, and she’s still interested in science, so that’s cool. Planning on going to college in a science career too. All good. Although not necessary. I just want them to find their happy, their passion. My kid from this year, who is normally so self-assured and confident, was terrified. She’ll be fine. She’s awesome. She doesn’t know it yet though. School is the safe place. She fits in a slot there. This is bigger and different. I hope she rocks it.

I did quilt yesterday…I was right…this is quilting really fast. I’ll be fine with the deadline…

Although getting binding…not sure when that is happening. That’s the problem with my job and the open hours of the quilt store. So I’ll have to figure that out. They used to be open later one day a week, and they stopped that. It makes it difficult. If today weren’t so crazy (I keep using that word), I might go today. Thinking about it.

Yesterday also meant a trip to Campland to watch the man play…I stitched…

If you don’t face the kickball game, you will get hit in the head.

Chair turned around toward the stage (kickball was over). At this point, it was starting to get too dark to stitch, so I quit…

But I got a bunch done first.

I also tried to draw…

It was a little too dark for it. Lights from the stage got in the way of a successful draw. I was trying to record it too. We’ll see how that looks later. I’m constantly trying to think of what I could record for the Patreon. I have one video that’s done; I just can’t show it until after June 30. So there’s that.

Friday night, we went to the opening of Bhavna Mehta’s new exhibit at Art ProduceThe Body Is a Home

As always, her work is beautiful and different…

I’m taking a class from her in July about papercutting and embroidery. I just want to try new things. I think it’s important to consider how to branch out from the work we always do. It’s easy for me to make art quilts. I like my women’s art group because it makes me do different things than what might be easy. So we’ll see how that goes.

Kitten is often frustrated by the geckos…

And yet fascinated. Me too, Kitten. Me too.

OK, so many things to do. I should start with shower and food, and then try to make sense of the world after that.

That Is Not a Short List

Happy Memorial Day y’all. May those who need this time to remember the fighters and the fallen take that time in peace. As I try to figure out why we might be invading Venezuela. I should avoid the living room on weekend/holiday mornings, because someone is out there watching the newsy talking heads and it inevitably gives me panic attacks. The only reason I can see for invading Venezuela is because their “leader” is a dick, and if we’re gonna invade countries where THAT’S an issue, we should start here.

So I’m back in my studio, where the news is hard to hear? Well. Maybe. I am glad I have today off, because as of yesterday, I was still exhausted. I’m still tired today, and I have 17 thousand things to do, but it’s a day I wouldn’t normally have free, so that’s a plus.

So I’m still working on the 6th Earth Mother embroidery…

I got confirmation yesterday that I will be doing 6 more of these over the summer…I have to think about what I want them to look like. I washed and ironed all of them. I call this one Woman with a Future, but she’s Earth Mother 6 on Global Artisans

I’m realizing I need another page on my website for these…I’ll be sending a few to hang out in the booth where they’re selling the patterns and kits. This is Nursing Mother, aka Earth Mother 3.

I have a more complicated drawing of this that I might want to be a small quilt at some point. This is one of two Mother Time pieces…this is actually the 2nd one (I didn’t stitch in any particular order), but is Earth Mother 1 on the GA website.

And she’s sold. I really like the thread for the hair. You can purchase the threads on their website as well…they’re nice to use. I find DMC floss to be a pain in the ass…so I appreciate the thicker threads with some variegation for pieces like this.

So look for 6 more over the summer. I still need to finish what I have here though.

Mostly on Saturday, I ironed the current very secret quilt together. And I’m still doing that. It seemed like I was close to done, because I only had 3 sections left, but those three sections have the TINIEST pieces in them. I recorded myself putting a tiny face together for my Patreon, but I think I will have to wait until after the jurying on this piece to post it. Maybe. We’ll see.

The Patreon crew is slowly building…I’m excited to be doing different things for them, like the videos and drawings. I did have to order a new tripod for my phone, because I had this one from way back and the iPhone 4 weighs WAY less than an X, so it kept falling over. I ended up using a box of fabric to hold the phone in the right place. It worked, but it was in my way. My goal is to finish all the ironing today, but I have a lot of other stuff to do too, so we know how that goes.

I did finish grading all 110 videos for the current project…I did a bunch while riding the stationary bike. Now that’s multi-tasking! But people always ask me, “How do you do it?” Well that’s one of the ways I do it. Plus I was embroidering while watching some of them as well. It’s one of the easier things during which to multi-task…the videos don’t require me to scroll or type much usually.

Although maybe these kids need a lesson in non-creepy lighting. Or not. Perhaps this was on purpose. I did laugh my ass off at two kids who did Nida News. They even had a logo and sound effects. Awesome.

This is where I quit with the ironing last night. I’m missing a tiny little leg. I’ll probably find it in another box. That’s where the missing eyelid from Saturday was. In the wrong box.

I stayed up until almost 1 AM, so yeah. I did about 3 1/2 hours yesterday and 5 hours the day before. It’s close. Not super close, but close. Pain in the ass tiny piece day. Yup.

There will be time today to walk these beasts…

I need to get out and move around…too much rain this year…

I’m sure I’ll be wishing for rain in about a month, but yesterday was cold and I’m still in a sweater today. Weird for Southern California.

OK, food, shower, grade makeup work, iron pieces, walk the dogs, pack the sold piece, buy hoops for two to go to shows, cook dinner, prep breakfasts, trim the bougainvillea. That is not a short list. I should get going.

Before We Get Too Old*

It’s Friday before a 3-day weekend. Today I teach about puberty…an exciting time in our lives that we’re eternally glad has ended. We had two days of testing, which is exhausting for our kids, but tiring for us as well.

I feel what she’s feeling. And this one…

Well, that’s a skill that will help her in her future (don’t worry…she was done with the test by then). We have a week off before the next batch…so that’s a good thing. Meanwhile, I’m trying (but apparently not very hard) to get grading done. And so many other things done. Nothing is done.

My co-teacher and I mapped out the plan for next year. We’re still piloting new curriculum, which fucks everything up. But we have a rough idea now, which makes me feel better. This will be our 4th year of trying to revise for NGSS, and it’s hard. Not the content part…but the flow and the curriculum…

We think pretty damn hard about what we teach…sometimes probably too hard. Anyway, this thing will come out again. And get revised. And made electronic. Not yet.

After school, my chiropractor told me he’s not accepting my insurance any more, because they suck. So I can pay more and go less often, or go find the 4th chiropractor in as many years. Sigh. I can’t deal with that right now. Put on to-do list. Moving on. Came home and exercised. It seemed to be the right thing to do.

Then I edited the 2nd Patreon video…it went up this morning. I am doing two a month…I might do a short third video, another public one, for the beginning of June, to try to persuade more people to be patrons. I started the drawing for the patrons as well…but didn’t finish it. I had the idea while driving to the chiropractor. It’s going well. It should be done by the end of the weekend, easily.

Then I stitched for a little while…

And after I cleaned the dishes and sat back down, I started cutting. I wanted to finish last night, but I’ve been so tired…I went to bed early instead.

The top box is all that’s left to cut out. Tonight I’ll finish and hopefully sort the pieces. Then I can start ironing…probably not tonight though. I won’t be able to show the ironing process yet…it’ll have to wait until July. Although I will probably record some of it for the Patreon…since it’s private, it doesn’t have the same rules of not showing things.

I’m really looking forward to putting it together, but on here, I guess you’ll be watching me embroider and draw. I’ll try to do more of that. Or there will just be lots of pictures of the furry beasts.

That one looks cranky.

*Snow Patrol, Chasing Cars

There’s Always Time Until There’s Not

Apparently Pinterest thinks I like bread and cheap date ideas. I’m not sure what to think about that. I mean, I do like bread. It’s true. But I don’t think I’ve searched for cheap date ideas. We’re pretty good at coming up with those on our own. Some not so cheap. I’m sure Pinterest has some sort of formula for trying to engage with me. It mostly fails…because it just gives me “pins that are like yours”…well, there’s only so many recipes for that one thing I wanted that one actually needs. So fail.

I am still jet-lagged or tired from life in general or I went into this trip exhausted…why did I think I would get LESS exhausted? Yeah. This weekend is looking pretty sweet. The sleeping part anyway, which I still suck at…I went to bed early last night and then couldn’t fall asleep anyway, despite the exhaustion on the couch. I should have napped there…like father, like daughter? I think he sleeps in chairs more than in beds.

I had all this stuff I was going to do after school yesterday, but I got poured on leaving school (without a jacket, because it’s May in Southern California for goddsake why is it still raining?), so I went home and changed into pajamas instead. It’ll all happen today, I guess. We have another day of testing today. Yesterday was OK. Long. Tiring I guess. I’m trying to get stuff graded and put away. My co-teacher and I tackled the prep room and got it mostly handled. My room is still an issue, but there’s time for that. Of course, there’s always time until there’s not.

The rainbow later in the evening from my house.

It was bright and beautiful.

I came home and cleaned and labeled and ironed and packed up a quilt for a show opening June 8, Indoor/Outdoor at the Athenaeum Arts Center in Barrio Logan. It’s a cool space and looks to be a very interesting show.

Then I dealt with email and online stuff, graded some stuff, talked to the SIL, embroidered a little on the new one…

Which is probably the strangest of the 6…and then cut stuff out for a while.

There is progress, but I’m not done. I want to be done by Friday, so I can start ironing together.

I say I don’t know what I’m going to work on after this, and that’s true, but I have some smaller drawings that are ready to go, all enlarged and numbered and begging to be quilts. So that’s probably the best way to go. And then I’ll have some mental space to draw an abortion quilt. Because I think that’s next. I like to pick really popular topics that everyone can get behind. Rolls eyes. I pick what pisses me off the most. Or makes me cry the most. Or worry the most. Or all of the above.

So there’s that.

I have some pictures from the trip that didn’t make it into the blog before, because WordPress on the iPad is a cranky bitch, that’s why. (Much like me? I heard that. I own that.) We had breakfast at a nice little place with an outside-by-the-river seating area, and this was my tea. That cup fascinated everyone. That is not a cheap cup.

But it is fascinating.

This is the house we stayed in. I just realized they had solar. Huh. I didn’t see the front much.

I did hang out in the backyard…

In fact, I did a drawing MOSTLY out there and documented it (sort of) in a series of videos that will be the next Patreon video…here’s the drawing itself…

So I talk about my sketchbook and how I decide what to draw and all that. It’s about 4 or 5 short videos that I will edit into one. Hopefully tonight. I’m really hoping the jetlag backs off a bit by tonight.

A picture from moving the girlchild’s stuff…this is the lovely elevator that only things can go in…

And these are Canadian geese and babies from Walden Pond.

I realize if you live back east, you see these guys all the time. I don’t. They are very cool. Plus babies. And the water reflections are fascinating too. Yeah. Art brain is whining about wanting to draw. She’ll get to do that this weekend, if not sooner. My patrons will also be getting a drawing from me by the end of the month. Which is like next week.

OK, so another day of testing and at least getting to have lunch from off campus and to hang out with the teachers I never see because we don’t have the same lunch, but the first 4 hours are a pain and you’re not able to pee until an adult shows up to cover your class (somewhat awkward). I don’t know what the hand signal for that is…but seriously. I’m looking forward to summer for many reasons, but mostly for being able to pee when I want to. The wondrous world of teaching…

Tonight? Work on video, finish cutting stuff out. Or get closer to it anyway.