Be Well, Y’all…

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

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

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

Sigh.

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend Requests…

Oh my. Friday is tired. Or I’m tired. Not sure which. I’m still fighting the tail end of the flu from two weeks ago…my lungs have crap in them and my sinuses are not happy. It’s not bad. It’s just annoying. Much like some of my students. Nothing is really bad…they’re just annoying. And the unit is actually rolling along pretty well, mostly because we’ve taught this many times before, so it’s comfortable. It’s not a new thing. It’s easier because of that. Which is good. We still need to figure out how to do something that needs the sun on a day it’s supposed to drop an inch of rain, but I’m sure we’ll be fine. FINE I say.

I finished grading one of the big assignments last night. Now I need to start the assessments, which just feel painful. I can’t do that this weekend, though, because it’s my birthday weekend! So we’re leaving town. We’re not going very far, but it’s far enough away from the pile of papers that I won’t be able to do anything with them. Which is OK. Probably that’s a good birthday gift. I’m OK if I’m buried next weekend in papers. It’ll be worth it.

This quilt is going slowly still, although I’ve done a lot on it this week. I keep track of my hours, so I can see a daily, weekly, and monthly hour count. I’ve been way down since November. I’m not really sure why. It feels weird though. This last week was almost a normal amount of artmaking. Anyway, I did finally finish cutting all those pieces out, 806 or so of them…

It actually only took another 25 minutes to finish them, so that was cool. Now they need to be sorted, which probably won’t happen until Sunday or Monday. I do hold onto the cut trash until the quilt is done, just in case I need a small piece of something. It’s easier than cutting a new thing sometimes. I don’t like to waste fabric, which is funny, because I have tons of it and will never run out. Some remnant of my grandmother’s Depression-era sensibilities. So next week, I should be able to start ironing it together. Sounds good!

So last night, I did a little cooking, some exercise, some grading, some reading (I love to read…wish I could do more of it)…but didn’t get around to cutting these out until after 11 PM somehow. I had to pack for this weekend too, so that took up some time. My faithful couch companion…

Who did come sleep with me last night…sometimes when it’s warm, she stays away, but it’s not warm yet. And yeah, the kittens are on the bed too, so it gets a bit crowded. When they’re full size (they’re only 6 months old), it will get worse, I think.

Yesterday’s #igquiltfest was about Quilting on the Go, I think…I often work in other places, although last year, it was all embroidery for some reason. Top left is waiting for the man’s band to go on, top right is the girlchild’s college graduation, bottom left is I think driving to Arizona? and the bottom right is the campground at Bryce Canyon National Park.

We have a trip coming up in about a month, another National Park trip. We’ve talked a little bit about what might happen with the coronavirus here in California and how that might affect us. Our plan is to go with hand sanitizer and soap (if there’s any left by then), but the other part of my plan is what am I going to stitch on during the trip? I stitch in the car, in campsites, by the campfire. I also draw most nights…which is easier than trying to stitch in the dark. But I’m not sure what I want to work on. It needs to be small and portable. We’ll see. I haven’t decided.

#Marchmeetthemaker yesterday was Close Up…which is easy…

People spend a lot of time close up on my quilts. There’s a lot of stuff going on usually. I like to fill all the spaces.

No parent meetings today, hallelujah. I’m not sure how useful one of yesterday’s was…the other one was easy peasy and successful, which is nice. It’s good when you can get a kid the help they need.

I think I need to take the big sketchbook with me this weekend. I want to sit on a deck/porch/something outside with a view and just draw. Will that be a thing? I’m not sure. I’m not totally in charge of this weekend. We’ll put in a request, eh?

I do actually miss these buttheads when we’re gone.

I know they look sweet there, but last night, one of them knocked a guitar over (loud), and the other one climbed halfway up one of my quilts (seriously?). So they got yelled at and/or frightened by loud noises. They are boisterous babies…which I’m sure we will miss at some point.

OK, school. Finish the things. All the things. Ha! So not happening. Then weekend requests: plenty of sleep. Some drawing time. Some physical outside stuff. Some relaxing. Some stitching. Some reading. Some decent food. Some quality time NOT thinking about coronavirus or Trump or the environment or stupid people or school. Aiming for that.

So Close…

I was so close to finishing the cutting-it-out phase last night. It’s hard to stop, but realizing I needed to be up early for another parent meeting persuaded me to stop…plus experience that tells me it doesn’t look like much in that top left box, but it’s probably an hour’s worth of cutting.

Which means I will finish cutting tonight, but probably not start ironing it together until next week. Just because I won’t be around.

This was the setup…there’s all the grading I did, a cat, and my boxes of pieces…

I think I did almost 2 hours of cutting last night, although it didn’t feel like it. Tonight, I need to pack for our weekend trip, make breakfasts for next week, go to Pilates, and grade the last period of the science unit. It’s a lot. I don’t actually know when we’re leaving tomorrow, so I might be able to push packing until then. We’ll see.

I did a little embroidery on this last night…

Gonna outline a heart and arteries. Probably should be using a hoop. I’ll think about it.

I took that photo because the #igquiltfest2020 prompt was Creative Hands…but then I decided to photograph hands I’d made in quilts…

Some new and some old. I make a lot of hands. I also make a lot of uteri. The #marchmeetthemaker prompt was branding…what am I known for? Missing penii. I didn’t post for that one.

OK, so I have a plan to get 14 thousand things done tonight, right?

These guys. There used to be decorative things in these openings and on that bookshelf.

Now there are cats.

I’m tired. Today will be fine. Did I mention I’m still kinda sick? Can’t kick the sinus stuff. It’s low level but annoying. And my brain wants me to be healthy when the coronavirus kicks in, right? Sheesh. I’m floored by the level of stupidity coming out of the government regarding the SCIENCE of all this. But also the mistakes we made because we don’t have scientists in charge. It makes me wonder what politicians are actually good for, if they don’t understand when they are NOT the experts and they need to call the experts in. I think the West Coast is in for a bumpy ride. Plus I gotta make some hand sanitizer that I’m not allergic to. Woo hoo! Yes, wondering what this will do to our Spring Break trip…hopefully nothing…and hoping we get a handle on it and limit the deaths. Sad for families to lose their loved ones this way…surprised my school district hasn’t already started the ‘clean the desks every day’ thing we had to do with SARS. Give it a week.

Peace out. Make art. Wash your hands.

It’s Still OK (or Is It?)…

Signs of recovering delirium…the number of blog titles in a row that have the word ‘ok’ in them. The fact that I don’t know what day it is. Or the date. It’s still February, right? At one point, I duplicated a week in February for our science planning calendar. There was a good reason for it at the time, but I’m wondering if it’s still duplicated and now I will have to repeat a week in February because of that. I had to take a nap after the grocery shopping yesterday. Granted, I had already driven to Encinitas or Carlsbad or somewhere up north to pick up two quilts from a show, so I was already physically doing way more than I had in days, so the nap doesn’t seem so bad, right? Except today I have to go to school, and physically and mentally, that’s a lot more than the grocery shopping.

It’s OK. Really. I have a rolling chair. I can sit in it and maneuver all over the room. I’m sure it will be fine. I might need a nap at lunch. Also fine.

I really was better yesterday, despite the nap.

Saturday night, I finally got all these stitched down…

Now I can start doing random embroidery everywhere on it.

Really, it’s just a plan to use up all the thread in the house. Which will never happen of course. There’s just too much of it. But you can’t say I don’t have a plan.

Yesterday, I even ironed, although that was problematic at some point and I had to sit down.

Somehow in all that, I managed to record an hourlong video of who-knows-what. Don’t worry, Patreon followers…I know how to edit. I’m in the 400s at this point. Not halfway yet, because I got dizzy…and gave up…and went to bed early…but close to halfway. Progress anyway.

I finished the artist book and submitted it.

Can’t say this is my thing.

However, one of the reasons I’m in this group is because they make me do things that aren’t my thing. It’s called Ominous Nature. We’ll see if she thinks it’s too disturbing for the library. Since I have I think THREE more possible library exhibits in the future? It would be good to know what she thinks is disturbing. Sigh. Or I should just become a nature artist. Funny, I think of myself as a nature artist a lot of the time.

Oh yeah. All the fabrics I’ve used on the quilt so far. My brain is still on bouncy mode.

Wish me luck today. Wish my students luck too. And someone save me from a 2-hour staff meeting.

She’s cute, but this is after an hour of early morning rampaging, being kicked out of the bedroom, then let back in an hour later due to crying baby noises, then this is my laundry basket…

before she knocked it over. Uh huh. Evil. And yet, when asleep, adorable.

One of them was on my feet last night. Not sure which one. I can tell them apart by feel…their fur is different.

This one. This one got a water bottle sprayed in his face about four times last night for petulant barking.

Barking at coyotes is understood. It does not need to continue for 20 minutes past the coyote incursion into our sound space. He still likes me this morning apparently…

It’s questionable on my end.

OK, well seems like systems are mostly back to normal. I’ll need naps, I’m still in recovery mode, but there is progress toward normal function. Which means progress toward more art function.

For now? Progress to school. Where that rolling chair is. OK? OK. No more titles with OK.

My Brain Needed Somewhere Else to Land…

Happy V Day to all! I want to say, well, except the assholes, but maybe they need a Happy V Day and that’s why they’re assholes. Now you see how I can teach middle school, although I already know (a) I didn’t get enough sleep because I got sidetracked by making things and (b) I’m missing one SECA today. So it’ll be a challenge, but I think I can do it. It’s not like I have a choice. But here are two examples of my day job. First, it’s the only place I can think of where the words “Then don’t smell the scissors” might come out of my mouth. Followed by this…

SIGH. I only have one period left of these to sit through. And there were some very good ones that restored my faith in humanity. And learning. And schools. And children. This was not one of them. This is what happens when you copy a bunch of shit off the internet that you don’t really understand and then you try to read it and instead of figuring out how to pronounce all the words you copied, you start each word nice and loud and then you are whispering at the end because you don’t have a clue how to say it. WIScon(si…).

I will hopefully be done with these tonight, and that will just leave a bunch of smaller things to grade and a pile of makeups, which will be even bigger by next Friday. Oh. Also an assessment they’re doing today. Shit. OK. Well. Hmmm. This weekend is a clusterfuck already. I guess it will be more of one.

This is why I stayed up way too late last night. My brain needed somewhere else to land or it would never fall asleep.

I did hang out with my stitching group last night, including one member who rarely shows up and another who had moved away for 13 years and came back. THIRTEEN YEARS. Wow. And we’re still meeting. That’s cool. I think I’ve been in this group since I was pregnant with the girlchild, and she’s 22 1/2 now. So that’s a thing. I got to work on Folk Tails, my Sue Spargo Block-of-the-Month from 2015 that might never ever get done…

The cheetah is almost done…but there’s some wiggy flowers that go in the block next. Then I might sew this to the larger bit? Or do I have to finish the other two October blocks to do that? I might. It’s not a fast quilt when you only work on it one night a month and then you didn’t do even that for most of 2019. It might travel to the National Parks with me in April…or it might be too big for that. Hmmm. Hard to say. We’ll see.

Then I came home and graded stuff, one more class of the projects. It was after 11 when I finished. But no way was I going to bed without something. The really lucky bit of going to my stitching meeting was my knowledgeable bookmaking friend, who gave me multiple solutions for how to connect the two pieces I’ve been working on. She was very helpful. So now I have to decide how to do it. Easy? Medium hard? Really hard? Sorta hard but kinda creative? We’ll see. I didn’t do that last night, though. More brain power than I had. Instead I meditatively stitched shit down…

Still working on just getting it all attached so I can take it off the cutting matt and do some more decorative stuff…although I guess I did a little on those leaves. Most of it is stitched down now, which is good, because something good should come of staying up too late. I just kept stitching, thinking “just one more” and then I looked at the time and went “oh shit, no more” and went to bed.

It’ll be fine. It’s Friday. It’s Valentine’s Day (makes middle-school kids crazy). It’s the day before another 3-day weekend. And we’re giving them an assessment that’s HARD. Well, unless you’ve been listening, in which case, it’s pretty damn easy. Gonna go buy a donut reward for the class that earned them, so at least one group of kids won’t totally hate me. Wait. The line at the donut store today might be hellacious. Sigh. We’ll see. I’ll do a driveby.

Getting Loud in Here…

I have a lot of things in my head this morning. Too many things, probably. As usual. I’m having that issue artistically as well…too many projects going on at once. I do much better with just one at a time. Drawings are fine. They’re short and don’t usually require a ton of brain power outside of the actual drawing time. Right now, I have a bunch of projects talking to me and it’s getting loud in here.

So last night, I worked on two of them. It meant I didn’t grade anything. I input grades. I tutored earlier. I graded stuff in class. I just didn’t work on the projects at home. I wanted to art instead. It was late anyway…after tutoring, I had chiropractor and pilates, so by the time I was done with dinner, it was late.

So I did some of the stitch down on this…

Then I’ll do embellishment…

This is just for fun. For something different. I like the idea of it.

I wanted to make sure I did some of the other art stuff as well…and there was no way I was finishing all the stitch down last night, so I timed it off the show I was watching. When it was done, I moved into the other room to work on the current art quilt. I’ll come back to this tonight.

This is moving pretty slowly. It doesn’t help to be gone for three nights. This coming weekend isn’t any better. But it works to iron for an hour or so each night. I think last night I managed 38 minutes before midnight…but it’s 38 minutes of progress.

I ironed an asteroid and some missiles and a volcano. That’s it. Not much. More tonight. So many yellows!

I finished the 200s and did some of the 300s. Only 600 to go! No worries. I also have an artist book I’m working on, but my brain exploded over that last night, so I’ll wait to post on it later, after I’ve made some more decisions.

I resized a bunch of pictures of art we saw in Joshua Tree, but I don’t have time to post them this morning, because I have to find the artists’ names and possible links, and that takes more time than I have. I will get to them…but I did draw while I was there…this was after hiking…the rocks inspired the woman…

This was the night we got there…full moon coming, bunnies in the yard…

None of those cactus anywhere to be seen…and this one the following night…

Inspiration comes from many places.

OK, school, then union meeting, then make Patreon video, and grade stuff? And then artmaking. Full day. As always. Looking forward to the artmaking stuff, that’s for sure.

Tired and Dreaming of Leather

You know you’re tired when the alarm goes off and you’re deep into a weird-ass dream out in a swampy forest you’ve never been to, with a bunch of people who seem familiar but you can’t actually place in your real-world existence. Except like there’s that one guy from high school who you had absolutely no interest in and never talked to, and then one person from work who you don’t really like. Plus you’re wearing leather pants or a poncho or something that doesn’t even visit your closet.

That was this morning.

It’s the first 5-day week back to school, I guess. Maybe that’s why my brain is like WHYYYY does there have to be another day. Plus we made them finish something large, so then the kids panic and there’s all this drama, and I’m like, nah. Save it for your mama. I’m the teach. So all that. And desperately trying to plan a mostly new unit before my co-teacher flies away for a few days. It’ll be FINE. No really. It probably will. I’m not caught up. I never finished the last few bits of makeup work. The world did not end. Yet. Although one kid asked me about it…his makeup work, not the world ending. And this weekend is busy, so that’ll make it difficult to do. Ah well. Life goes on.

So it’s not surprising I’m tired and dreaming of leather. Or pleather, because it’s more environmentally friendly. Yesterday after school, I drove to Francis Parker School to see the San Diego Book Arts show there. Turns out I had three friends in the show, so that was cool. I was only expecting one. Did I take pictures? No I did not. I did take a picture of the sky, actually…

It was even more beautiful than this, of course. Anyway. No art photos because? I was tired, I think.

I drove home and then hung out with my now-in-Portland quilting friend, Susan…

I sorted Wonder Under while she knitted. We’ve been aiming for once a month, although in December, we did it in real life.

No idea what I was doing there. I think prepping to fix my work shirt…tiny holes that turn into larger ones, until you figure you have to fix it or toss it or make it into a rag. It’s funny, because this shirt is old, and we get a new one every year, but this one is the best color/fit of all of them, so I’ve worn it to death, while the others are still looking like new.

So I fixed it. With a pirate. Which might be my motto for 2020.

We’ll see if anyone (besides my co-teacher, who knew I would be doing this) notices. Usually students do notice shit like this, but this crew is remarkably NOT into noticing anything. Like due dates or the fact that I shaved part of my head too short, which the Man wants to fix…but I’m waiting for the one bit to get long enough to fake a number 2 shave and then I’ll shave all of it to match. I figure that’s next week…maybe the end of this week. Weird things I do because I’m tired.

OK, so what else? Kittens of course…

They were mostly asleep during all this, but then woke up and started rampaging around the house with Kitten, lots of wrestling and banging around in cardboard.

Ah yes, in the realm of What, Am I Crazy? I’m getting some fabrics from Anna Maria Horner every other month for her Applique Stories thing…which intrigued me…

These are not fabrics I would normally use, although a couple are close…I might actually buy them in a store…but of course, instead of the bouquet-like blocks most of her followers have been making, I’m thinking either decorated uteri or just women. We’ll see. They’re washed. That’s the first step. I’m really liking the thought of something different.

Anyway. Another meeting today. Did I tell you both of yesterday’s early morning meetings were no-shows? Bastards. OK, one was the boss and he has littles. But ugh. That’s not helping the tired. Today is a new unit, a lot of student panic, me being the Chill Queen (no really), and the man having a show later tonight, so dancing is in my future, if I have the energy. You never know!