A Day Off…

I don’t usually write on Tuesdays. I have a routine…set it up when I realized after blogging for a year or two (started in 2004) that I wasn’t very consistent, so I made it like a journal for me, documenting the art but also everything else, exactly what they tell you not to do, but I didn’t care…I was doing it for me more than for others. I had a crazy couple of years when I was blogging every day, more to keep my sanity than anything else, and then I went back to usually three days a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Last week on Friday, I was driving toward Joshua Tree National Park, so that didn’t happen, so I blogged Saturday because that’s when I had time. Then yesterday, I just lost time somehow, well, bad lunch planning for the week. Time consuming in the morning is not a good thing for me. So here I am. It’s Tuesday of a three-day work week (oh hallelujah). I finished grades Sunday night and spent a couple hours yesterday afternoon planning science, since we lose that time this week. I really miss the daily plan time with my co-teacher. It’s making things harder to get done. But that’s what the last two years have been like across the board: Harder to get done. A 4-day weekend will have some work in it…but hopefully it will mostly be art and hiking and yeah, cleaning house and catching up with all the shit I can’t do while I’m teaching.

More pictures from Joshua Tree…

It’s hot and dry, even in November. I’m pretty sure I’ve hiked this exact hike three different times in the last 20 years.

It’s different and yet not every single time.

Dinner had some art…

And then I had a blissful hour to draw Saturday morning.

I’m finding it so hard to find time to do that. It was all the things I was thinking and feeling in the desert, in that space. I need more of that time. But when I do have time, I try to finish whatever project I’m working on. It’s hard to find the extra time to just breathe and draw.

Cindy Zimmerman’s Rain Grotto at the Desert Dairy. A beautiful space in a dry climate…

It was also fun to hang out with other artists for a while. That cow ended up in my drawing.

We made pizzas one night and hung out and talked.

Fire is always fascinating.

We also toured Mojaveland, the wonderfully funky, homemade, artist-filled mini-golf experience Anna Stump is creating. Linda Litteral has an installation there as well…

It was a good way to spend a weekend, even if I’m exhausted now.

We saw an art show too, but I’m going to have to wait to post that…I’m running out of time here before I have to leave for work. I always feel like I’m running out of time. I worked on these in the car on the way back for a little bit.

And last night, after a 5-day hiatus, I finally tried to get my head back into choosing fabrics for the next quilt…

I kind of lost it in my head for a while, the colored-in image. But it’s back now. Hopefully I’ll get it all ironed to fabric over the long weekend. That’s my goal anyway.

OK, off to school to teach the hard stuff. Got a new batch of 6th graders. Ugh. Not sure how I feel about that, but we’ll survive. And no more complicated morning lunchmaking. That’s a mistake. More tomorrow, if I get back on schedule. Who knows if I will…

Missed This, Remembered That…

Saturday was already sorta packed…I wanted to go to a show that was closing that day, plus I had a meeting, an actual in-person meeting. I totally spaced on the fact that it was October and there was a women’s march. Damnit. I meant to look it up, but apparently I’m off the information list or something, and I missed it. Sigh. I did come home after everything I DID do and start drawing an angry quilt in response to the crazy Texas abortion ban. It’s been in my head, drawing and redrawing itself for days, so I finally started to vomit it on paper. With a pen. Much cleaner that way.

I tried drawing part of this in my sketchbook earlier in the day, but eh. Not so much. And my evening was kind of irritating. I almost just shut down and did nothing. My brain was in a bad place. But then I got up and cut the paper and started sketching in pencil, getting the broad idea of where things were going, and kept going from there. This was about an hour in…

And then last night, I started in on the details…which is the one problem with drawing full size…I put too many details in and they’re small…

I’m trying to remember that. But maybe I don’t care as much as I should. I just want a project that takes up all of my mind after work and keeps me going for a while, and work is taking up too much time and brainpower. I need something to counteract that. Big complicated quilt to the rescue!

The closing show I went to was Paula Kovarik’s exhibit at Visions Art Museum…

It was a fascinating show. I have seen some of this develop online, but it’s so much better in person. I’m glad I made it to the show. I did say to the volunteers working there about 5 times that they need to make hours that working people can get to, more than just 10-2 on Saturday. That’s a really rough time for me. If I want to hike, I won’t make it. If I have anything else I need to do, it’s during those same hours. It’s hard, because I know they’re making financial decisions as well, but it’s been near impossible to get there until this weekend. It was totally worth getting up earlier and getting out of the house before I usually do. Saturday is my relaxation morning, the only one I get, so I give it up to very little.

Her work is fascinating…I probably said that already.

The stitched line…

The 3D shapes…

Cutting things up and making them into new things…

The hint of traditional quilting but really not…

Fascinating. Like I said.

I just walked around and enjoyed it…

More than once…

Yeah, that phrase pisses me off.

Crazy amount of details…

If you ever have a chance to see her work, you should. I did listen to her talk back in early August, when the show opened, right before school started (hence my inability to get to the actual show). And I bought her book. Fun stuff. I’m always inspired by how other artists do the work.

I stitched a little on this at the meeting I was at, until I volunteered to remove paper from pieced blocks…

And I drew this at dinner…

The weekend also included a negative COVID test after two positive cases in my classrooms, and a COVID booster. So far, my arm hurts, but nothing else symptom-wise that I’m noticing. Good news.

Nova support on the drawing front…

Although some of her support is not really supportive…

I need those.

And to finish with this…

I wish I lived in a ‘socialist’ country that cared about the health of its people. Sigh. My biggest retirement expense will be medications.

OK, long busy day, already feel tired. Could be vaccine; could just be life. Hopefully energy will rebound at the end for more drawing. I’d like to get done with that stage and onto the tracing.
We’ll see how that goes.

Finishings

Hey. Wednesday here. I’ve got some warmer weather and a crazy schedule, but I am also halfway through the work week. Plus grades are done (for now), so that’s a relief. The fact that you actually finished them an hour after they were due? Eh. Minor issue. She’s not processing them until this morning. I think. It’ll be fine.

I’m currently (like while I write this) trying to upload two videos and combine them into one for an assignment we’re doing today, so the absent kids and those who need more time will have access. I should have done it last night. I spend a lot of time in the Forest of I Shoulds…and I shouldn’t. So it will either get done, or it will be two videos. It’s still processing, so there’s that. At some point, it’ll be done, and hopefully that will be in the next 20 minutes. Ha! A reminder to always do the stuff the day before. Except when you don’t feel like you can. Then don’t.

I’m trying to finish up some smaller projects before drawing the next one. And then I realized there’s a deadline potentially coming up that I said I’d deal with and now I’m not sure I want to. Whatever. I haven’t decided anything yet.

But I finished the Patreon reward quilt…put a binding on it Monday night…

And then forgot to take a final picture of it. OK. That’s about where I’m at right now. I need to put a label on it and then mail it.

I also finished the Social Justice Sewing Academy block and will be mailing it off as well…

It took me a while to get it done…

When I first requested one, it was summer 2020 and I thought I had time.

It arrived a week before school started. 2021.

Which is fine…I just needed the whole 30 days (plus a few more).

It gets mailed this week too.

When I finished the to-do sewing last night, I was going to grade, but then I decided to do this instead.

Relaxing stuff. Learning how it looks. OK. This is cool.

Exactly.

The parentals’ dog is here.

The cats don’t appreciate her. The dogs are OK with it. She’s excited to be here. Hopefully she’ll only pee on the carpet once (that already happened…I think she was excited).

OK, so I have pilates and book club today, this time for real. So I’m not expecting much to happen on the art front. But you never know. I could get back inspired (and not exhausted). I’ve got 8 minutes for this video to process…and I think it’s gonna be a no-go. Ah well. It is what it is. And I have my booster shot scheduled for Sunday…so my left arm will hurt like a bitch on Monday, but otherwise, I’ll be more protected again. All good. Then on to the next quilt! I sense drawing in my future. THAT is good news.

Warm Socks…

I’m loving this cooler weather. I actually wore warm socks to pad around the house, albeit with shorts on, because it’s not flannel pajama weather yet. Quite. It won’t last, of course, but it was nice this weekend to go out hiking with a bit of a chill in the air. Hell, it was just nice to go out hiking, even if it was only 3 miles. I’m fighting for work/life balance (and mostly losing). Here’s the hike view, though, so I don’t forget…

That was Saturday evening, around 5:30 PM.

Friday, after work, after entering a show, I got in the car and drove to Carlsbad, to the PHES Gallery opening of the Allied Craftsmen show. It’s a nice show in a nice space. My two pieces are here…

I lurked behind people and listened to them talk about the pieces. That’s always fun. Although I didn’t get home until after 10 PM, so that was also exhausting. I also got news Friday that two of my quilts at The Studio Door sold, so that was cool…not enough for a new sewing machine or to trim the trees, but it’s a start. It’s always a good thing.

Saturday, I got up early, because my brain knew how much work was on my plate and wouldn’t let me sleep in. I started by cleaning up, ironing, and packing up the quilt to go to the photographer at noon. Then I pieced the two blocks I owed for the community quilt my guild is doing for Quilt Con…they were due at noon to someone’s house, so I dropped them at 11:45 (I was early, c’mon), and then dropped the quilt at the photographer’s. Here’s the blocks…

They had given us some extra fabric to deal with the long pieces in the center, but I fucked that up and ended up having to do some improv piecing, which wasn’t hard and will probably add to the final design…I’ll post it when we have it.

I graded after piecing and before driving to drop things…and then I came home and graded until my sourdough dough was ready for the bulk stage. Then I went to school to deal with the stuff I’d left there…all the late Unit 1s that I had to rip out of kids’ hands (just a little more time! Dude, I need to do progress reports now, not later) and then all the stuffed animal drawings.

Guys, grading art is so hard. Sometime Friday night/Saturday morning, when I wasn’t sleeping, I figured out the best way to handle it…lay them out based on the rubric…who hit all 4 points, who hit most of them, who hit a few of them, and who wasn’t hitting much of anything. Yeah. It worked. I printed the rubrics and graded the obvious As first…they had all the things I asked for. I can’t say the middle lows were easy to grade…they weren’t. But I wrote suggestions, and with some, offered that if they kept going at home and improved it (like actually finished it), their grade would improve.

I know some would just give everyone an A, but this is an academic class and my kids feed into the REAL art teacher (I just play one on TV), and she will hold them to these high standards. Plus this is probably the hardest project we will do. So hopefully the next one will go better. We’ll see.

After 2 1/2 hours at school, I had what I needed, and that’s when I came home and hiked (what I REALLY needed). At dinner, I drew before the food came…

This is the beginning of an idea for the next quilt.

Sunday was more grading, lots more. But Sunday night, I got a chunk more done on this…

It’s taking me forever because of the other deadlines I have. It’s almost done, though, and should be on its way to the Social Justice Sewing Academy this week sometime, assuming I can get to the post office before it closes. I wanted all the things done before I started drawing the next quilt.

Cats are weird, y’all.

I’m gonna shove my face and use the wall as a pillow.

Am I done with grades? Nope. Wearing my Nope shirt today too. Had one kid constantly emailing me all weekend. I stopped answering. I’ll get through the last bit of it today and post grades. Hopefully some of them will learn not to do stuff last minute…luckily it’s a progress report and not a final report card. Then I will have my first chiropractic adjustment in forever, hallelujah. And maybe I’ll get to do something besides school tonight…maybe. I’m still two weeks behind on assignments, so that’s a thing I’ll be doing all week. Plus making videos for this week…kids are still out on COVID contracts. Ugh. Yeah. It’s been too much school lately. Need to get to work on changing that. Again. Still.

Up into the Sky…

Good news…got into a show. Womanscape is going to Quilts=Art=Quilts, so you can see it there.

Bad news…one of the shows I was in has canceled due to COVID. OK news…they’re trying to find a new place to travel the exhibit. So what do I do the last two nights? Enter two more shows. Always doing that. But between that, the paperwork part of being an artist, and my day job, I haven’t made it to the sewing machine much. That is frustrating. And today won’t be much better…

I managed a whopping 45 minutes on Monday night and zero minutes last night.

I am up in the sky, which is significantly less complicated than the shit down below (on the quilt and in real life, right?), so it shouldn’t take much time. That said, I have exercise class and book club (in person!) tonight, so the odds of my having any mental or physical energy left when I get home is low. So tomorrow it is. Goals adjust. I want to be done, but I can’t magic that into happening. I have a shit ton of school work to do as well, so that’s not helping. I did come in here, into the studio last night to do some stitching, but then entered a show and did some other paperwork for art, and yes, did a few things for school…

Because I walked/hiked earlier…3.4 miles. I needed it.

Last week I hardly did anything (granted it was hot and that doesn’t help)…walking all day at school doesn’t count. Although it does…just not as much as I’d like.

Hello friend.

It was big. And didn’t stop coming toward me until I said Hi.

Anyway, I didn’t cook either, bless those who live with me, but after I’d finished eating and we were still watching the show of the night (which is from a comic book I actually read…well, the first few anyway…I’d read them again), I needed something to work on, so I pulled out the scarf I started on Sunday in class. I really SHOULD have pulled out the SJSA block and just gotten it done, but I didn’t. I will. I promise. It needs to get done. Lots of things need to get done. Ugh.

Kitten for sizing. So this is going to be covered in stitching, mostly running stitch. I wanted to get the outline in so I could start adding parts, like veins and a heart and fingernails and lungs if I decide to do that. I have no idea what’s going to be going on around her, but it will be cool. Now that there’s an outline, I don’t need to mark things…I think. Makes it easier. OK, maybe need to mark the heart and the eyeball…and the hair? I don’t know…we’ll see. Fun stuff. Great way to use up all the thread I have…except you know it won’t use ALL of it up. This is almost all of one card of perle cotton. I’ve got about a million more.

And at the end, being Californians, we checked the news.

Oh yeah. Good thing. All politicians suck in many ways, but Larry Elder? Fuck me. He would have devastated the schools. All the things that help my kids, my students? Yeah, gone. Dumbassery. For all the talk of Newsom being heavy-handed with the pandemic, I’d rather be here than in Florida. Our numbers are better. Yes, we’d like to solve the homeless problem and make houses more affordable, but that’s not one guy…that shit has been around through Democrats and Republicans and unless we become much more socialist (oooh…bad word) than we are, it’s not changing. Voting one guy out and replacing him with a talk-show host who is an absolute idiot is not how to solve that shit. Let’s remember which party likes to help people more when the next gubernatorial election comes up. Hopefully we’ll have someone on the ticket who has some plans for that. The fewer rich white guys in charge, the better. The fewer totally unqualified, inexperienced, mouthy assholes in charge, also better.

OK, so today is early in, plan like a whirling dervish, work hard all day, be efficient as hell, hope no one co-opts my prep period so I can actually get the 19 contracts completed and off my computer that need to be done apparently by Friday, plus probably fill out at least one more I saw pop up yesterday…plus work out and then hang out (outside) with my book club friends. What book is it? Dunno. I read it…just don’t remember which one it was. Probably it doesn’t matter. Stitch down if I can tonight…I’m so close to done.

Thanks Mom…

OK. There were some successful moments over the weekend. I took my machine in, and he still thinks it’s fixable (if it’s not, there’s a plan…it’s a scary plan, but a plan nonetheless). Meanwhile, I borrowed my mom’s machine, which someone said looks like a spaceship.

It is huge. It has its own suitcase. It weighs a ton. But it works. I had to read 5 bits of the manual about threading and bobbins and free-motion quilting and tension, but it works. Hallelujah. I stitched down Saturday night and Sunday night and can probably finish that tonight (knock on wood).

It’s so lovely not to fight tension for this…there are some fussy bits and adjustments going on, but they are easy to make.

Such a relief. Thanks mom. I’m going to get this thing quilted and done as quick as possible so she can have her machine back.

Although I still have a Patreon reward I’m trying to finish…Friday night, I ironed it together.

I like her. She’s small.

And then on Sunday morning, I got up early and took a Zoom class from Judy Coates Perez for Craft Napa…slow-stitching a scarf…ah, meditation.

I really am appreciating online classes…because I wouldn’t be able to go in person.

Ah yes, I am doing a woman. But all of it will be filled in with stitching. I’m gonna be here a while. But it’s so nice. I’m tempted to bring it to my staff meeting today (it’s two hours), but I suspect that’s not appropriate. Too bad. They say ‘self care’ but I’m not sure how much they mean it. Like ‘self care’ but only if you get all the other things done.

I did work this weekend. I started on Friday afternoon while waiting in line for my COVID test…

Sadly, I can’t remember if I had a positive test in class last week? Or if it was the week before. It’s all a blur. I do know that I have to update many of those 28 contracts for the kids who are out…I did the art contracts last night. I can’t do science until the last assignment is ready…hopefully sometime today? Although I have a kid meeting during my prep and this long staff meeting after school, so IDK when I will make the weekly video, copy the post to 16 contracts, and then email all those families. Because that all needs to happen too.

It’s been hot. I think today it’s going back down, but Friday there was very little to no air conditioning in our classrooms. Fire alarms were going off randomly and they shut the system down, so it was hot and sweaty and loud all day. I’m hoping today is better. I do know the AC wasn’t working yesterday. Ugh. Prepare for sweat!

Sometimes grading is so very hard. She’s a sweet kid…

But I have no clue what she is talking about.

OK, so off to school. Today is an easy teaching day, at least…mostly. The staff meeting sucks. Already. I hate 2-hour meetings. They lose my brain an hour in, if not sooner. Then home, hopefully to exercise, then finish the stitchdown. I should check my batting stash. Pinbaste tomorrow? Then start quilting? I hope. It’s a plan. I like plans. They tend to keep me on track, both mentally and for life in general.

Complicated Fingers

Hey. It’s Wednesday and I’m feeling overwhelmed. I got caught up with some school stuff, which is good, but yesterday, the work day started before 8 AM and ended after 6 PM. Today will be the same. Thursday will start earlier and will have to end earlier, only because I have to be somewhere. And it’s not like I’m getting shit all the way done with all that. The shit I was supposed to do during prep yesterday didn’t happen because we have these new short-term contracts the state wants us to do for kids who are out on pandemic quarantines, and it’s quite a bit of work…not the actual contract. It’s pretty easy, once you have everything set up and all your videos or whatever you’re gonna do made…OK, that actually took most of my prep (also my computer decided it didn’t want to be my friend any more), but then emailing every kid and parent, searching out parent emails, cutting and pasting. I did 11 contracts last night…I probably will have 11 more to do today (I had one I didn’t do last night, because it’s the other subject and so are the other ones I’ll get today)…and it took 90 minutes after school to get it all done. Meanwhile, nothing gets planned or graded for the kids who are actually IN class. I know we have to provide work for everyone, but someone at the district needs to hire someone who can code a program/system/app/I don’t give a fuck what it is but it will go do all the menial shit that’s in the system so I don’t have to…and all the other teachers don’t have to repeat the same work I’m doing. That’s the idiotic part. Politicians pass a law to help kids, but the infrastructure to help the teachers is not in place (what’s new there??? Nothing), and teachers can’t help ALL the kids because they’re helping the kids who will trigger the state to audit our procedures and fine us if we don’t do the things that the state doesn’t give us the money for in order to create the infrastructure. SIGH. A friend asked where all the COVID money went. I DON’T KNOW. Here’s a good place for it. Also, when politicians vote for things, they should be required to sit in my classroom with me until almost 6 PM and HELP ME search out all those parent emails and record videos and set up lessons.

None of that happens. So instead, I am feeling overwhelmed and like I literally got nothing done yesterday that was on my plan…and because I have a union meeting this afternoon, probably today’s prep will be similarly fucked.

Anyway. I can’t say I come home in a great mood…and no exercise because everything ran too late and then I had to cook dinner and I’m pretty sure two phone calls came in and I didn’t answer either of them.

I have renewed my optimism that I will be incredibly efficient during prep today, because I don’t have a prep tomorrow.

I have been ironing. Not much each night, but at least an hour before bed. Monday, though, I managed about 3 hours of ironing. I was really good about getting work done in the morning…so here I am, up in the sky finally.

I’ve decided that I’m the only one who can see the figures…

They are damn subtle. I will pull them out with stitching…

I was hoping to be done Monday, but I had about 50 pieces left, including some complicated fingers and a face that would have to be done separately and then ironed in.

So last night, I finished all that…

With stitching, the face will appear. I can see it.

Hard to get a picture of the whole thing until I get it on a background…which will be tonight, hopefully. Iron it down, clean the space up a bit, and start stitching down.

My Social Justice Sewing Academy block is closer to done…just a little more embellishment.

The back is fascinating.

Kitten keeps trying to lie on it.

She follows me around when I get home, trying to figure out how to get close to me. Not ON me…just close.

Shit. Which reminds me, she needs her meds. Gonna go do that, then brush my teeth and get out of here. I promised a kid a folder up front at the office by 8 AM, and that’s not too long from now. I think I’m fucked on that deadline…hopefully dad will come later. Wish me luck for the day, that it’s productive and less frustrating than yesterday.

Fingernails in the Dirt…

I just realized the other night while entering some shows with upcoming deadlines that none of the quilts I made in 2020 have been in a show. I’ve entered them in plenty, and one of them sold, so there’s no complaint there…I think it’s because there have just been fewer shows to enter, so then they might just age out and never be shown. Some have been entered in (and rejected by) multiple shows. Interesting. It’s OK…I’m entering them in more right now, just to get their fiber asses out there and in the world.

Have to get MY fiber ass out into the world too. I’ll be at this opening tomorrow night…at some point.

The pictures of the space are looking good. That’s my piece in the middle (above) and left side (below).

The exhibit is at The Studio Door in Hillcrest.

And a few of my larger pieces are also in the show.

It’s nice to see work out and about.

The ceramic piece is NOT mine, but it is fascinating. I think it’s work by Julia C. R. Gray. Looking forward to seeing it up close.

I’m ironing about an hour a night…it’s slow as shit.

Those deer took about an hour to iron together and get placed in the landscape. They’re only about 4 1/2 inches wide.

I almost finished the 300s last night. Hopefully I’ll get the 400s laid out and ironed tonight…they might be easier? There’s a path in there, but some fussy tiny pieces. Last night, I thought I was done and then realized there were fingernails in the dirt. OK then. But there is progress.

I’m also still working on this…finally found a marking pencil I could use on white fabric (I probably have 5 of them…just didn’t know where they were).

So I marked the stethoscope and started stitching it. I need to finish the stethoscope and add more embellishment to the letters, and then it will be done…hopefully by the end of this long weekend coming up. I love long weekends.

Hopefully there’ll be some of this…the boychild and I dragged the little dog out on a 3-mile hike on Monday after school.

The light was cool…although in this photo, it looks like a nuclear bomb is going off over downtown. Interesting.

The man spent a couple nights hiking up in the Lagunas…he had some pretty good views…

Jealous? I was.

That stitching I was doing? It was with Nova on my lap…

Or perched on my side lap…she needed the loves.

Kitten perched on the other couch.

Looking goofy.

OK, I have a ton of work to do. My prep yesterday got eaten up by installing a large digital clock so kids don’t have to open their computers to check the time, many discussions of stamina in school (they don’t got it), and lots of dealing with kids who are out due to possible COVID exposures or symptoms or who the fuck knows what. Today I need to grade stuff. Then exercise after school (oh yes), plus ironing tonight. That’s the goal anyway. It’s a pretty good one.

Not Hard. Just Time.

Hello Friday! It seems like it was just Tuesday. I guess that’s a good thing. I have a ton of stuff to get done today, on Friday, and hopefully that will actually happen so I don’t have to do all of it in the middle of the night. I’m supposed to deliver 7 quilts tomorrow to a gallery…awesome thing that! Opening is this coming Thursday.

Good thing I’m reminding myself of that, because I thought I had another week. All seven quilts need to be ironed and dehaired and readied for exhibit. Luckily they are smaller and not particularly wrinkled, but it needs to happen before tomorrow afternoon. So there’s that. I think one needs a label and slats too. Not hard. Just time.

That’s the mantra right now. Plants need watering. Not hard. Just time. I really need to draw a stethoscope for this Social Justice Sewing Academy block. Not hard. Just time…plus getting the cat off the bag it’s in. That’s harder. She has sharp pointy bits. School…need a doc done, some posts done, papers copied, grading warmups and some other stuff. Not hard. Just time.

As far as the art stuff is going, really what I need is energy. I did a little stitching after dinner on Wednesday night on the SJSA block (got it out from under the cat for once)…

Then I managed to iron down all the fabrics for the Patreon reward piece…

It took about an hour and a half. I borrowed some fabrics from the one I just finished cutting out and then added more. It’s actually mostly blue in area…I think it’ll be cool. We’ll see though. I need to cut those pieces out. I was going to do that last night, but mostly I laid down on the couch and tried to keep my eyes open while the man talked. Then I went to bed.

Why? Usually I can do the things. Yeah no. I was at school early, then stayed late to plan science…trying to do it all in one day is hard. I’ll get used to it again, but it’s hard. We can’t get everything done and we don’t have the same prep periods, so I just don’t have the rhythm of it yet. I’ll get there. Maybe on Week 3? Maybe by then we’ll be shut down. So many kids out on quarantine or pandemic concerns (they have symptoms but haven’t been tested or if they were tested, parents didn’t tell the school the results…so they’re just out for 10 days)…trying to keep track of those and my head. Ha! Then after all that, I drove 45 minutes to the California Center for the Arts for the closing reception of the Allied Craftsmen show Crafting Memories

There’s my piece. Hopefully I’ll be back here in January with California Fibers and more pieces. I did meet people and pretended to network. Not really. They all came and talked to me and that was OK. Then I Zoomed with my stitching group on the way home, picked up a burger, came home, ate it, and collapsed.

Not my best moment. Today will be better. Today I will do ALL the things and finish them all and then go get tested for COVID because I’m just gonna do that every week or two to make sure I’m not infecting the world…and then clean up and pack up all those quilts and maybe cut some things out or maybe go watch the man’s band (outside…I think this is probably outside of my exhaustion level). And sleep. Because I have to be up early for the annual boob squeeze. Do it! Breast cancer doesn’t care that there’s a pandemic or that I’m exhausted.

Damn zebrafish. Yeah. Going to school now. Doing all the things. Caffeine is also my friend today.

Nice of You to Show Up…

Hey Friday. Nice of you to show up. Appreciate it. I’m back to that world where I look forward to maybe sleeping in on Saturday morning (dependent on neighbor noise and animal incursions). I do already have stuff to grade. Ugh. How did that happen? Oh yeah. My own fault. I’m still trying to get my head around this crazy schedule we have. Mondays and Fridays are normally all the classes, but Monday is shorter. Tuesday through Thursday rotate through blocks of four classes a day, so some days I will have four different things I’m teaching and some days, I will only have two. Today I have three different classes and no prep period (because today is not a normal Friday because we started on Tuesday, don’t even ask, I honestly have a headache about that), so that sounds exhausting. I needed to pee after two classes (they’re LONG) yesterday…three in a row today might be an issue. Certainly, having art at the end of the day with 6th graders is difficult…that’s three days a week. I’m just tired from science teaching and then have to switch gears, from science brain to art brain. Art brain is like, what? I’m tired. Leave me alone.

But it’s nice being back in person (when I don’t think too hard about COVID exposure)…because we can do the things!

Ah science and art in person. What a concept.

Prepping for art is different too…it’s hard to know what they can do in person because I taught it all online last year. So lots of decisionmaking going on in my poor tired brain.

That said, the first week back is almost in the books, and (knock on wood) no one has been sent home yet. It’s a miracle, considering the number of kids who can’t keep a mask over their noses or mouths…

Artmaking has been OK this week, despite the tiredness. My goal is an hour a night, and last night, I managed two plus (because I was in a Zoom meeting for part of it). I’m still cutting things out…this is Wednesday, with Simba’s help…

I also did some embroidery on the Social Justice Sewing Academy block…still just getting everything attached.

My plan is some decorative embroidery in the letters, but I need to do a stethoscope too. Need to mark that this weekend.

Last night, I had a Zoom quilt meeting and cut out the Wonder Under for the one Patreon reward I have left.

So I can iron that to fabric this weekend. And then I cut a bunch…

Both on Zoom and later…

The middle box is getting emptier; the bottom box is getting more full. I watched some news…still trying to get my head around Afghanistan. I feel like I’ve spent 20 years trying to get my head around the Taliban and people like it. I have classrooms full of kids who fled regimes like that. I’m OK with that…they’re hopefully better off here, although sometimes I wonder.

Kitten shows a side view…

Yeah, there’s still a lot of pieces in that box. It probably won’t get done tonight…but hopefully this weekend, I’ll get them cut and sorted, and be ready to iron together next week…more standing after all day of standing. Well, it’s better than too much sitting, I’ll tell you that. Ironically, I still need more exercise at the end of the day; maybe today will be a walk. Tomorrow will definitely be a hike. Plus art. Plus grading. Plus IDK exactly what I’m teaching next week for art. I should figure that out. Plus I have a million posts to put together for classes…hopefully can get those done in class today. I’d like to keep weekends clear of work. I know it won’t happen, but I’m trying. Ha!

OK, off to work. Mornings are hard, y’all.