Things You Shouldn't Do When You're Tired…

  1. Email anyone of importance
  2. Use a knife
  3. Shave your head
  4. Drive

I only did one of those this morning with any issues. I did one with no issues, but it was just butter. You’ll have to guess which one was the problem.

We finally gamed on a Friday, after about an 18-month hiatus. This is how I get my embroidery done, stitching to stay awake on a Friday after a long week. We are playing some Star Trek game…I don’t know if it’s a fancier name than that, but somehow I ended up with two characters.

This is easier, because we can play a story in a night and then if someone can’t come next time, it doesn’t really matter. Last time, our schedules were so complicated that we couldn’t meet sometimes for a few months, and some people had issues with that. So this will work, hopefully.

I’ve been working on this Sue Spargo quilt for about 4 years now, I think. There’s a lot of embroidery. I enjoy it, but I only do it when I’m waiting or a passenger in a car or on a plane or gaming, so it takes a long time to finish.

The cheetah is part of the October blocks (it was a block-of-the-month thing), so I think after I embroider this and the other two blocks for this month, I put the whole thing together and start doing borders. Finally. There’s a bunch of filler embroidery that needs to go one before I can do that though…a road and a ton of grass. It’ll be a while.

There are so many mistakes in those cast-on stitches, it’s not even funny. I should add that to the list above…don’t do complicated embroidery stitches when tired. But it looks fun! I could add more embroidery to this easily…

Then it would take even longer.

OK, I have a busy weekend, an art meeting, a pilates class (a new one, trying new things), grading, artmaking, groceries, all sort of compressed for some reason. Last night’s sleep was hindered by barking puppy (coyotes!)…he’s gonna need a long walk this afternoon or we might kill him tonight.

Also, I joined the Modern Quilt Guild. My quilts aren’t modern at all, and I really have no desire to MAKE modern quilts (all that piecing and straight lines! WTF!), but they meet regularly and do stitch-ins, so maybe I’ll find a group that works for me. I’m planning on going to one of their stitch-ins in February, just to check it out. It could suck; it could be cool. It’s hard to find places where I fit sometimes, but I keep looking.

No worries about my SAQA group…I think maybe having us meet quarterly or every other month is going to work out better…I’ll bring it up at the next meeting and figure it out. I fell into my other two monthly groups when I was young and pregnant with the sweet monsters, so this is just the evolution of that need, to get out with like minds and make stuff regularly. It’s all a work in progress.

See Where That Goes…

Hey y’all. Two days of silence. Well, only here. The rest of my existence has been loud. I just didn’t have time to write in the last two days. But today, I am back to school, and this is part of my morning wakeup routine. I’m really not awake until after 9 AM, which is difficult, because I usually have students at 9. And they require interaction…energy I usually don’t have at 9 AM. Hence writing, which gets the word part of my brain in gear, plus also makes me reflect on the day and what I might need or want to get done.

Needs and wants are often very different, of course. I want to go back to sleep, because oh hells that was a shitty night’s sleep and I’m mostly braindead…but no, I get to sit through a few hours (or more) of meetings and professional development, which is pretty much the bane of my existence. I mean, I guess another colonoscopy would be worse, but I don’t need another one of those for like 10 years, so that’s a plus. These damn things come every week (although not the all-day version, which has its own special level of suckage). It is what it is. My day job pays the bills and is generally not boring and I even enjoy the teaching/kid parts (well, mostly), although not when I realize two of my top students were copying off each other. I’m disappointed in that.

I’m also sort of reeling still about finding out Saturday that my cousin Jennifer died. She was a sweet and quietly sarcastic woman and although she had been sick for a while, we all had hope that things would turn around. I did see her in October, but had plans to do that again…too late. So I’m sort of walking around in a daze with that one…trying to put something that makes sense in that hole in my head where she resided.

Saturday I was in Palm Springs for a class taught by Svetlana Shigroff…who I follow on Instagram. I’m not sure how I found her…Instagram has its algorithms…”you like this so your friends like that”. I had seen her work and then a video of her making the work, and I was fascinated by the process and the product. I feel like I should follow those urges to learn new things, so when I saw she had a class coming up (I actually missed the first one in November, couldn’t go then), I signed up. Yes, it’s a 2-hour drive. Each way. It was Winter Break. I felt like I could handle that.

And I could…the class was tufting, which is kind of like rug hooking…here’s the setup…

You can see the weird tool we used on the frame.

You work from the back…

It took me a while to get the loops regular and consistent…

This is still from the back. You can use a variety of fabrics, but I stuck to jersey because for me, it was more about the image than the texture.

There were about 13 people in class. I’m pretty sure I knew one of them from somewhere (odds of that)?

Still from the back. Definitely some new muscles using this beast.

I got as much done as I could…

Here’s the whole class with their pieces…

I’m famous! Nah. But if you want to follow the artist on Instagram, you can…

You can see I didn’t sit for this…

And she had a better picture of the group than I did.

I made it home by 5:30 and settled down for some cheery Chernobyl and brainless stitching.

The next day, I had an opening up at the beach…so you need to see the water…yeah?

I have two pieces in this show with Allied Craftsmen at the Front Porch Gallery in Carlsbad, California. This is my work, Desert Daughter, in front of Arline Fisch’s cool metalwork.

And my snarky self with Some Like It Hot…which meant I got to explain menopause to two college students.

Home to kitten activity…and getting ready for school.

Sometimes they stop moving. On me.

Finally started drawing again…this thing will be done soon, with or without Luna’s help…

It’s coming. All good. Meanwhile, school is back in the schedule. I can be irritated by the lack of work I got done over break, but there’s no need or purpose for that. I am trying to process Jennifer’s absence. I have a lot of grading that’s still not done. I can’t fix all that. I can just start now and see where it all goes.

2020…May It Be Full of Art…

It was a good New Year’s Day…I never got out of my pajamas…the only thing better would have been a hike, and we have that planned for tomorrow.

Today is the boychild’s birthday…

Wow. That hair. He’s much taller now, hair is longer. Pretty sure he started those bangs the girlchild has…after some revisions by mom. He makes better decisions now. Or at least asks first. He’ll spend some time with dogs and maybe kittens, relaxing. May 2020 be awesome for him, whatever that means.

We hiked with the dogs on Tuesday (yes, I am losing track of days). Simba needed a carry assist at some point…we thought he might have something in his paw, but it might have just been a pulled muscle.

We took them out 4 miles to try to tire the boy out…the boy dog, that is. He’s been in bark mode. Plus we think he misses the girlchild. It was a gorgeous day for a hike…

I love the outside. Plus there was lots of water to look at and stomp through…

Check out that tongue. We definitely tired her out…almost enough to ignore the fireworks on NYE.

I quilted a little bit every day…like one person’s worth…

It was a goal I could handle. Finish one person. Then you get a break.

It stayed that way, one a day, until yesterday…

Yesterday, I finished the requisite person and then had the background staring at me…

I stopped for dinner and then finished quilting the whole thing…

It only took 3 1/2 hours…

So Kitten/kitten play has been happening…a little…

Mostly around corners and under quilts…

There was no hissing here…just play bopping. And this was after Nova went after Kitten’s tail, which was swishing around quite temptingly.

I did my daily drawings…this one from NYE was a little strange…

Here’s the first drawing of 2020…

I always feel like this is such a good practice, drawing every day, but the reality of my days during school are less conducive to this. Unfortunately. I’ve tried instituting a drawing a week, like Friday night, but time is so limited when I’m teaching that I sacrifice the drawing time to actual artmaking instead.

Nova on my sketchbooks…

Not the best footing.

OK, I have two quilts to deliver, a binding fabric to buy (no, I don’t have enough of anything to use for binding), and pilates class…plus grading. I did one period of the UGH assignments (it’s really two assignments put together) yesterday. It took about 2 1/2 hours, but I wasn’t really paying attention well and I will get faster. Or not. I don’t know. Four more periods of those to go…really need to do one a day. Plus decide what art I’m making next. Oh yeah, recap of 2019…only 6 quilts, but 1 was huge…

All of them have been or are going to be in shows, which is cool. Two are traveling for at least a year. One won an award. All good. I feel like making work from my head is a good place right now. Although 4 of these were made for specific themes. My favorite, Swallow Me Whole, was not though. It was a thing in my head that needed to get out. So start 2020 with one of those, one I choose, no theme, just Nida.

Plus I did these last year…

These were a new thing…not sure how successful it was, but it was an interesting experience. I would stitch more of my drawings, but they take so much time, it’s hard to make it a profitable thing. Not that I make art for that…but maybe I’ll design a few for traveling/camping. They were good for that. You can find patterns and kits for these at Global Artisans

2020…may it be full of art and time for that shit.

That One Is for Me…

Ugh. OK. Pros! No 12-year-olds to be seen for miles around. I’m still in my pajamas! The sun is shining on me (but the storm is coming, so enjoy the fuck out of that, because you won’t see it again until maybe Saturday). There are kittens in the house and they are fun to hang out with. There’s a turkey brining in the fridge JUST FOR ME. Yes, I make myself a turkey every year so I can eat turkey sandwiches for three weeks straight in December. It’s weird, I know, but I like it. I earned $50 yesterday doing some research thing for WordPress. Also weird, I know, but they caught me at a weak moment and I’m pretty good at that stuff.

Not-so-pros or -cons: I should go to the gym. I have time and I have a book to read that is probably going to be sucked back to the library tonight, so I really should just go to the gym and read the whole book. I could. I don’t feel like going to the gym though. I need to figure out when to actually COOK this turkey…because I’m supposed to cook dinner too, and I can’t do that in the middle of turkey cooking. But that means looking up times and I think I already threw out the weight thing on the turkey, that was stupid, and I’m feeling tired and not motivated to do anything. My phone is ringing and I don’t recognize the number. I’m tired. Wait, that’s a con I think.

Cons: I only got halfway through grading the kid videos last night. There are 66 of them. I did 34 of them. And you know what? They’re kinda boring and sometimes just plain irritating because we even did a video telling them what to do and they still ignored half of what we said and just did what they wanted. And I suspect they’ve been doing that for a long time, because every assignment is like that. I had two videos where one kid is whispering what to say to the other kid(s) and I’m like, um, so that won’t work in your day job. I love that you want to help, but that kid is flaking and maybe you need to kick them out of the group or have a talk with them outside of the video about what they need to say. Because that kid doesn’t deserve the points. And I remember last year when the kids are like, why did my partner get a higher score than I did and it’s because of that. In the video, you got some extra points because one kid was awesome, but on paper, not so much.

So I have 32 videos to watch today. Ugh. This is how I did it yesterday. Headphones on (until I had to move to the desktop because the internet was being cranky), stitching going…

It’s easy to do this and watch because it keeps my brain occupied. I guess I could have been cutting pieces out for the quilt as well. I forgot about that until later. This was about an hour and a half…but I finished the lion…

Just the bird left and then I’m done with September. It really has not been a good year for working on this quilt…I was reading my blog from a year ago and I was on the August blocks. Plus sewing down the wool for October, which I still haven’t started. I wish at family gatherings that I could sit and stitch, but it seems rude. My co-attender tells me it’s rude. He’s more sociable than I am. I can still talk. It relaxes me. Family gatherings don’t.

Anyway. I need to watch those videos and start grading the packets themselves. They need to be done before we go back to school. I need to grade the CER essay too, but that just hurts my brain. We’re supposed to go to Arrowhead on Friday, but the weather might keep us home. We’ll see. Driving in snow makes me nervous. Reading through past years of November blogposts…I am always doing this: making lasagne (I did that Monday and froze three meals for December), making a turkey, going to family stuff, grading a ton of crap, and somewhere in the process of making a quilt. There’s usually a hike in there (we did that Monday because we knew weather was coming). There’s often a last-minute trip to the grocery store (I went yesterday, but I’m out of one thing I need, dammit, no desire to go there today ffs). My eyelids are often twitching (last year, it was the left one…this year, it is the right one). It’s not my favorite week. Shocking.

So pet more kittens…

Go to the gym because it will make you feel better.

Ouch. Those claws are sharp.

Figure out the turkey stuff…timing and all. I found the tag in the trash, so I know how much it weighs now.

Awww. Sleepy kittens.

They slept a lot yesterday. Like 5 hours straight. Like they’re babies. They were pretty active the day before.

And then cut this thing out. Because you can. Although IDK what I’m going to binge watch now…I finished The Crown

Whatever. It probably doesn’t matter. OK. I have a plan. Turkey. Gym. Videos (from hell). Cutting stuff out while watching and after. Stern talking to with eyelid. Knock it off! This is what it is, this week. It could be better, but I probably should have started earlier on a relaxation plan. Two pilates classes, a hike, and a trip to the gym will help…so will being done with grading. And ironing the quilt together. Still on my to-do list.

Hope all your holiday making plans are going well. I want apple pie this year. I might make my own. May there be lots of artmaking as well. That one is for me.

The Good Meditative Stuff.

It’s my first day of nine days off of school. There’s about 40 hours of grading in there, but let’s ignore that for now, eh? Honestly, all I really want to do at the moment is avoid human interactions. People. Anything needy. Well, except for kittens. Kittens are needy but fun, so I’ll deal with them. And I can deal with a few people. OK, maybe one. At a time. But not before 9 AM. So far today, I’ve done a pilates class (actually talked to three different humans. Maybe four. No, five. But most of it was short and sweet. Take my package. I had knee surgery. My name is Kathy.). I need to go sign all my paperwork for the loan to put solar in. That’s exciting. I will probably need to speak to one person for that. I need to buy milk. No need for speech, y’all. There should be an introvert line at the grocery store. No Need to Ask Me If I Found Everything OK. Seriously. Don’t speak. Yes, there’s self-service in some of the stores, but I’m aware of that taking away people’s jobs, so although I personally prefer the self checkout, sigh. Please just don’t make them talk to me.

After signing papers, I have hours of alone time with my grading and my ironing. Gonna do both. Might have to talk to people tonight. Or not. Maybe not. I just don’t know. I’m OK with not.

So I finished Figure 2 last night…and all the bits in and around her. I’m ready for Figure 3 this afternoon.

Then Figure 4 on Sunday, start cutting out. Be done by Tuesday? Night? Then start ironing together. I’d really like it all ironed together by the time I go to Lake Arrowhead on Friday. Sigh. Then I can draw the next one while I’m in Arrowhead. Get it ready. Because time…it flies. Erratically, yes, but flies.

My right eyelid is still twitching from last week. And people. People are making it twitch.

Sometimes I’m OK with people. I worked on this on Thursday night at my stitching meeting…started the lion…

And finished the tree…

This is Sue Spargo’s Folk Tails 2015 Block of the Month. Yeah. I’m slow. This is September’s blocks. I’m getting closer to done. There were three people there. They were fine.

You’re always getting closer to done if you keep working.

I spent some time with kittens and my book this morning…my toes are fascinating.

Then again, everything is fascinating when you are a kitten.

They love to play…

It’s hard to get good pictures because they are always moving. We are still mulling over names. This is hard.

How do we climb the curtains?

Devious little beasties.

They met Simba. There was fear and confusion all around. A little bit of hissing…

Hopefully they will all get along.

OK, off to the bank. Then back here to grade and iron. It sounds nice, doesn’t it? Well, minus the grading, but let’s just understand that it has to happen. I’ll fit in the good meditative stuff around it. Make that eye twitch go away.

We’ll Survive, but There Might Be Tears…

My heart is still racing, my stomach is in knots, I’m running on an adrenaline rush…why? Because today was the day to try to reserve campsites in Yosemite for Spring Break. Oh yeah. Well. That was a clusterfuck, but we got three nights. In a row. In the same site. We’re old. We don’t wanna move. We could. Well, actually, we probably couldn’t. In 12 minutes, almost everything was gone except for a night here and a night there. TWELVE FUCKING MINUTES. OK. So it’ll be crowded and annoying because people, but YOSEMITE. So we’ll be fine. And we’ll book lonely far-out places for the rest of our trip. Or whatever. The man will tell you I was yelling, “What number! Give me a number!” as he kept asking “Why isn’t it giving a reason?” I’m like, seriously? Because it’s booked. Apparently he wanted like a message saying which nights were gone, and the computer took a while to refresh the availability and other people have bots or alien technology or better internet than I do. Whatever. WE HAVE A SITE. I’m good. Let the other people get eaten by bears because they got a better site. We’re going to hike all the time anyway.

Plus it might snow that early in the year, so there’s that. WE’LL BE FINE.

So that was my start to a Friday morning. It’s stress stress stress for the next week. We’ll survive, but there might be tears. Pilates last night helped. So did art stuff. But I spent a good long time doing work stuff yesterday. Emergency meetings. Managing groups for today. We set up for the lab but still need to do materials. And we have duty.

At least we have a campsite for April.

So when I load photos for this blog, I usually do a quick run through the photos from previous years (I really need to organize photos at some point…some months are totally organized. Apparently November is a chaotic month in every year.)…and it’s interesting that I was in exactly this same stage on a quilt on November 15 in 2016 AND 2017. I don’t know which quilts…I’d have to search more than I have time for right now to figure that out.

So I sorted…

It was late…but it was also fast…

A whopping 35 minutes. Did I clean the office? Fuck no. That will be tonight. Hopefully.

Slightly blurry due to psychotic movement.

Anyway. Crazy day. I need to go. But this first! I’m excited…my piece is here in San Diego! OK, it’s been in San Diego all this time, but now it’s officially finally part of the Tiny Pricks Project AND hanging in San Diego…

Even better, the infamous Diana Weymar staring at it and smiling…

Tres awesome.

OK. Off to the slaughterhouse. Oh wait. No. School. Yeah. School (no commentary on school shootings here. Today anyway.).

Trust Yourself…

So this is my day off. I did sleep in. With a pillow over my head. Because some people not getting the day off, plus dogs and cat and trash trucks. Not really sleeping, but trying to make up for two relatively early mornings. When you wake up early and your brain goes into overdrive, panicking about all the shit you gotta get done. Yeah. That.

The crockpot is going in 7 minutes. I prepped it already. I showered. I need to…hang on…do laundry. OK. That was 4 minutes. I got the laundry, started it in the washer, filled the dog water bowl, and started the crockpot 3 minutes early. Because it’s stupid to get up again. I’m watching the leaves fall outside. Because it’s Fall. Except it’s supposed to be like 85 degrees tomorrow, so Fall. Yeah. In Southern California.

I’m waiting for my hair to dry, and then I need to go to the grocery store and the pet store, and I really really really need to finish grading. I graded yesterday for a few hours and finished a bunch of stuff, but there’s one really heinous thing I have to do today. And another one I might just toss. Hmm. Don’t tell. It’s just a homework assignment. Nobody’s grade will change because of it. Not just one assignment.

Anyway. Those things are all going through my head, plus the fact that no one in the house wants to deal with Friday’s dinner, least of all me, so I guess we just won’t eat. That’s what I did last night. Long story.

OK, the weekend. I taught a fiber class for the Mingei Museum. Not a lot of people, but it went well…here was the original setup with some background fabrics and some samples I had done already.

I had instructions, just in case. The plus with not many people is being able to work a little bit with everyone. This girl did an awesome solar system.

This guy was amazing.

He did that guy and then built him a mountain.

There were adults in the class (and honestly, I wasn’t expecting kids…)

But everyone brought some creativity.

I gave her a link to a stitch website…I hope she adds some.

I love that someone took this background fabric and ran with it.

Good eye for color.

Here was Julie’s…

It was nice of her to show up…she knows what she’s doing and has a stash, so she took it home and finished it…

Awesome!

I spent the rest of Saturday mostly braindead. I graded a little. We went out to dinner. And I traced until I was done.

Gradebooks. So red.

Oh yeah, I did some embroidery on this one at the class…

And I made this one as a sample…

It needs more stitching.

I love that I used all that Wonder Under for just one long skinny piece.

It took 10 hours to trace everything…

Here’s all 4 full yards and about another 1/3 of a yard…not huge.

Now I need to cut all those apart.

This week is probably a good one for that. I’ll be tired. I’m already tired.

There’s the pile. Kitten was very high energy in between naps.

I’m listening to a podcast about differentiation for students, but it’s super vague. Science is always hard for this. I can’t really differentiate labs easily, not and have them get the same learning.

Yeah. Sleeping hard. I’m jealous.

So Sunday, we had signed up for a food tour of North Park, one of my Christmas presents from last year to the man. It started in a beer and cheese shop…this beer name amused me.

Not enough to drink it. We had great cheese…

and then pretzels and cheese (with kombucha for me…)

Off to an Italian pizza place and a burger place…apparently I stopped taking photographs in between…oh wait, here’s the pizza place…

Good stuff.

There was a little talk of history.

We’ve been on a couple of these. They’re fun. Interesting.

It was just a coincidence that I had been to more than half of the places we went to (it wasn’t my Christmas gift…). There’s so many things wrong with this…

We came back and I didn’t eat dinner, because the timing of the 3 hours of eating constantly didn’t work with my body. Oh well. I think I ate cereal at midnight because my blood sugar was having issues…and it was low this morning. I suck at weekends and managing food.

OK, so I graded a lot last night and then cut one yard out, plus those other two small pieces.

I stayed up too late. All weekend. It’s quiet late at night.

I’m tired today. Really tired. I’ve been really tired for a couple of weeks. Maybe decades. Hmm. I’m looking forward to a week off from school. Ironically, I’ll have a major project to grade over that week, so I’ll be working. Oh well.

Today, I need to finish grading and run all those errands. I need to prep for the week, mentally at least. Too many meetings. I’m trying to fit in exercise regularly. I’d like to spend some time drawing and reading and maybe even sleeping. Not sure those are options. This is the rundown teacher going into the holidays. The podcast is ending well…”you are one teacher…trust yourself to know when enough is enough.”