Making Art, Ignoring the Rest…

Well if you ignore most of the stuff on the to-do list, you get a lot of art done. Six and a half hours worth of it. Am I done with ironing? You’d think I would be…but no. Because I found more mistakes. I seriously don’t know where my brain was when I numbered this, and that messed up my tracing…because I trace by number, and I didn’t realize there was another double-numbered section, so I missed tracing about 20 pieces. It’s OK…I figured it out yesterday during that six and half hours!

So I set up my smaller light box and wandered back to it a couple of times, traced the missing pieces, then cut those bits out, and then put them in the pile of to-be-ironed pieces. What a pain.

I did manage to get well past the fucked-up sections though…while watching/listening to the mandated videos I have to get through for school. I get tested on bloodborne pathogens, sexual harassment, mandated reporter duties, and integrated pest management.

Three hours’ worth. Fun stuff. But it’s done. That’s worth it.

These guys…

Mom is ironing. We must sleep. It was hot.

The big girl went in the pool…

She uses the pool the most…supervised, of course, and she can’t swim as well with the back legs any more.

After dinner, there was more of this…seriously down to the last line…a word and a half, plus signing it and dating the speech itself.

Soon.

More sky ironing. Cat has moved. Sky is dark. I’m still listening to work crap at this point.

I’m not really good at listening, honestly. I space out. But I’ve seen the same stuff over and over again and know most of the answers already. I’m not good with Audible books or podcasts though. I totally zone out when people are talking to me. Just so you know.

Nighttime…she’s still sleeping…old lady.

She’s a good girl. She did move in between, I swear.

So I’m at almost 13 hours of ironing. Sigh. So slow.

I’m much closer to done though…less than 100 pieces, I think…

Just need to finish some of the body parts and the hair, and then decide what to do with the pieces around the edges. Should they all be one color? Should they be different values of one color? Should they be all different colors? I don’t know. Maybe black and white, but then what do you do in the middle? Alternate or find a fabric that is both (that’s not hard…my black and white stash is massive). Anyway. That’ll be a decision for later today hopefully. First I’m going to the gym. Tonight I have a birthday party and a show…so that should be cool…but not really artsy. I was trying to come up with a drawing for the last embroidery last night while I was attempting to fall asleep (a really bad time to be thinking about such things). I think I came up with one, but I need to actually draw it too. OK. Outta here.

Seventeen Tangents

So the plethora of emails yesterday and today from work and art sources, many with good news, some just with details of meetings etc, served to throw me into shallow-breather panic mode. It’s OK. I’ll figure it out. My usual way to deal is to tell it all to fuck off and make some art. I should be allowed to do that for the last two weeks before school starts, right? It seems to be the way I roll in early August. Seriously, I’ve been writing a blog since 2004 (although not a lot in the first few years), and I often go back and read certain time periods of previous years, especially when school is making me feel crazy, if only to remind myself that this is always the way and I suck at sleeping and stress.

Well then. Moving on. Accept the crazy and make art instead.

So first of all, the 300s is where most of the numbering fuck-ups occurred. This is the 300s, all laid out (with part of the misnumbered 200s as well). What that means is that instead of 10 pieces in each pile of 10 (for example 300-309 should be in one pile, then 310-319 in the next), some piles have 20 pieces and some have like 25 because I double fucked up. Sigh.

And some I forgot to put the a or b on the piece, so I have to stare at it and figure out which piece 319 it is…the original, 319a, or 319b?

Chaos. Fucking chaos. And then I had started laying out all the flesh for Figure 1 and realized it was like 12:20 AM, and I needed to iron it all down before I went to bed. Well. Fuck sleep too. I mean really. Old people are supposed to nap more. Maybe I’ll nap.

Here’s all the fabrics I’ve used so far…

And about half the quilt is in that tub in pieces on the left. I have no idea how many more pieces I need to do. I still have some 300s, and even a few 200s, to do, and I’ve done a chunk of 400s, but I think they’re all repeat 400s. I don’t even know. So let’s just say halfway, with 7 hours in, which means my 10-hour guess is completely off, and I’m going to need to do like 6 hours today to get anywhere near done. And it’s already 2 PM and I don’t even know how.

The internet was being bitchy. The cat was being bitchy. My brain went off on 17 tangents. The plus is that I made it to the post office AND got rid of two big bags of donated books, but completely and totally forgot to pick up my actual library book. Dumb. This is what stress looks like.

OK. Well we’re gonna do some anti-stress shit today. Ironing and maybe a hike and some stitching and cutting stuff out and maybe draw a little.

Well. Speaking of anti-stress (cries a little into her tea here)…here’s what the Wonder Under looks like now. Some bits of the 200s-400s, all laid out in some crazy logic that Late-Night Kathy understood and Hot Afternoon Kathy (the afternoon is hot, not me…well I’m hot flashy, but not HAWT) is probably going to hate.

It’ll be fine. And in a couple of hours, it’ll be done.

One of the milkweek plants is buggy but also full of seeds. Fly little seeds, fly!

I’ve only seen one caterpillar. I’ve seen lots of butterflies. I suspect my wildlife eats caterpillars.

Almost done with this…one more line.

Then finish the edges.

Interactions went poorly this morning. Honestly, all this picture reminds me of is that someone should be helping me clean the bathroom, and it probably should be one of these cats.

I hate my bathroom. It needs major help. It was on the to-do list for this summer, same place it’s been for the last 10 summers I think.

Kitten is not helpful.

Seriously not. OK, she moved off the chair onto the blues. Which is fine, until I need blue fabrics. In like, you know, 10 minutes or so.

Damn kitteh.

OK, focus. Get it done. Take care of yourself.

I Write Everywhere

I wonder how hard this is, trying to write on the weight machines at the gym? The answer? I can do it, but I kinda have to separate my brain so that one part can count while the rest is trying to write. Odds of my getting dementia due to not using my brain? Very low. Odds of my going insane due to over-multitasking? Very high. Odds of my counting to 10 wrong? Inevitable. Oh well.

I’m juggling things. Badly. Or well. Depends on what angle you’re at.

An amazing thing happened yesterday though: I finally cleared the kitchen table of the multiple landslides of accumulated crap from 7 months of receipts, books, paper, and oh-so-many pens and paper clips. As we go more online, I might have to make art out of my multitudes of paper clips.

I spent three hours in the afternoon creating things in a coffee shop. Two knitters showed up later…

Here’s how far I got yesterday…almost done!

I also copyedited a bit…more of that today. More cleaning today too.

And then I ironed. I did get almost three hours in, like I wanted, but I stayed up way too late. Damn dogs and cats won’t sleep in.

Picking lots of browns for trees and dirt and sand…

Then figuring out what goes where…4 levels of hills, 4 levels of trees on hills, followed by 4 levels of gray concrete and yellow road markings. And then Fire!

That’s about 250 pieces ironed. Since I misnumbered so heinously, I think I have 700 to go. Ok. A goal.

My days are reading about trauma-informed schools, making art about good and evil, house dust and detritus, and the orange baby’s stupid words.

I’m on the elliptical now. Way easier to write here…

That Pile of Papers Isn’t Going Anywhere*

OK, as we get closer to August and the start of the new school year, I am panicking more and more. I’m trying not to, but it just happens…like a tsunami after an earthquake. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve been going to all these teacher conferences this summer…it’s been hard to get my brain off school. Plus I’m currently listening to a recording that’s telling me I need to get up an hour earlier and go to school at 7 AM. Oh yeah. No. Yesterday was massively ineffective in terms of my to-do list…although I did get some stuff done. Not enough. Too much down time. Now that down time was exercise and eating food, plus medical crap, and then recovering from that. I don’t do well with blood sugar crashes, and I’m not doing a good job of monitoring all that right now.

But today is still July and I should stop the panic.

Here’s a calming picture of the winery tour…they took photos of us and just posted them yesterday…

It was a warm day.

So my pool guy just took a leave of absence for a family emergency (his words), but no insight as to how long…just a phone number for referrals. I used to take care of the pool myself…but it’s a pain in the butt and a difficult chemical pool anyway, so I hired someone. He’s not the best, but he’s been doing it a while. Last night, I went out there and cleared out a bunch of pine needles (need to do it again today), and found these feathers…

Parrots? Not sure.

I worked on this a little bit…I’ll be doing more of it later today…

I finally pulled the 7 projects I picked at the beginning of the year to work on…I’ve been writing them in my calendar every week and then not working on any of them. Seven months seems long enough to do that. Maybe once I finish the embroidery on this and the last pattern, I’ll be able to focus on those more, but I’m not sure one a day is the most efficient way to do it. We’ll see.

After that, I headed into the studio to start ironing. What’s my plan? Well here’s the first 100 pieces.

It should take me about 10 hours to iron all these down, maybe more. Here’s the set up. I did put all the loose fabrics away before I started. I hang the drawing up so I can see it.

The ironing board is right in the center of the room…Kitten is watching Outlander.

She also likes The Rook

Ocean waves…

I didn’t get very far. But it’s a start…

My goal is 3 hours today…maybe 4. Plus copyediting. Then more tomorrow…hopefully done ironing by Friday night. That’s my goal. Plus copyediting. I will keep saying that.

This is interesting. I certainly feel that way. I wonder if I can stick a hike in somewhere. Sigh. Not sure where.

Or when. OK, for now, I need to consider lunch. I need to check my journal for the to-do list. I need to copyedit for a while. That’s a lot for the next 45 minutes (ha!).

*Angela Watson, 40-Hour Teacher Week recording

Our Way Is Darkest Night*

Well. In case you were wondering, making an anti-gun quilt doesn’t stop people shooting other people. And neither does voting in politicians who make stronger gun laws, because my state, although it has many positive qualities, cannot stop other states from selling angry white men more guns. And it cannot stop those men from coming back to our state, because we don’t believe walls are the solution…we believe government should be the solution, government should protect us from AK-47s…my state can’t stop men bringing those guns back to our state and killing innocent people enjoying themselves at a garlic festival. I will continue to be angry at those who perpetuate the gun sales (this gun is not necessary to anyone) and the hatred toward other and the anger and the illogical science behind white supremacy. How is a 19-year-old so angry that this makes sense? Killing a child? I’m sad. I’m frustrated.

Sigh.

I also have a massive headache because I had to fast this morning for a medical test and I just got some water and tea and food in me, and my body is still trying to decide if that’s enough. It’s not. More of all of those things.

I’ve been gone from the computer for a couple of days. I’m trying to manage all the things. Ha! There are too many things. Always. The copyediting project came in yesterday, so I will start dealing with that today. It’s a whole ‘nother mind set. The to-do list has spilled over into multiple days on my calendar now, so that’s an issue.

Sunday, I had an art meeting, so I will have pictures from that (also means I need to write a blogpost or two for them. One today. One next week. It’s on my calendar now.). I didn’t get much art done Saturday…I painted ceramics (crap, I need a photo of that) and went to the man’s show. Sunday, I only got this done…

Last night, I only got 5 more letters done. I’ll get there. It’s not hard. I just don’t have a lot of time right now.

Yesterday, I was at the EdInnovateLive2019 conference here in San Diego. This is Sir Ken Robinson, of TedTalk fame. He was funny…and right on.

There were some interesting speakers here, but it was a lot more sitting than I like. I missed today’s lectures for the medical stuff. The conference was at University of San Diego…and it was a beautiful day.

It’s a nice school. Although religious and freakin’ expensive.

I started drawing this somewhere…Palm Springs? Worked on it at one of the wineries we toured, and finished it in one of the lectures yesterday.

Want to color it? Join my Patreon. I need to scan it and clean it up, and then send it off to my Patreon peoples…

Calli last night…waiting for me to solve the problem of firecrackers. I cannot do this baby girl.

I finally finished cutting all these pieces out…

It took 7 hours to cut them all…

And another 41 minutes to sort them…

It was worth staying up a little late for that.

OK, now I’m ready to start ironing. Well. Except the studio is a mess. I have a pile of fabrics to put away. I have to think about guns and white boys and anger and abortion rights and trauma-based instruction (that’s the copyediting) and the beginning of the school year and getting new students. Then I can iron.

*Led Zeppelin, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp

A Few Moments…

Oh my Saturday. A day off? I think that means I don’t need to run any errands today. Because the last two days have kicked my errand-running ass. Really, trying to drive all over town in stupid traffic with stupid people cutting me off or refusing to let me get over from an only lane or not letting me out of my parking space (like really? MOVE…) is not a fun way to spend a day…or two. The plus is that a bunch of stuff is done and out of my hair and some things I actually did EARLY for once in a million years. I still have 4 bags of books that need to make it to library bookshops (why do they make it such a pain in the ass?). But I can do that. AND I got Speculoos cookies from Trader Joe’s (which I really don’t need…but whatever…). NO ERRAND DAY. Actually, today is kinda squishy packed anyway, but with sociable stuff. And dancing. With strangers. Because that’s how I roll.

So one thing I did yesterday was to check out this gallery where I’ll be entering work in September. I should have checked it when I was in Liberty Station last week, but that slipped my mind. And ironically, I’ll be there again today. So I didn’t need to go yesterday, but apparently my brain didn’t know that. Fucker.

Having seen the space, I’m feeling much better about hanging my work there.

I did a return shopping thing, smiled at Greenpeace kids, shipped two things out in a post office I didn’t even know existed, and checked out another library space for quilt meetings (they didn’t have one), plus got rid of some kid books in a responsible manner. I also did a little shopping for food…yet another potluck on my schedule. I think I solved it. Unfortunately, I did have some stressful annoying irritating moments while doing all that. Like seriously, why are people so stupid in parking lots? I just don’t understand it.

True story. It was good. I don’t remember the lyrics any more though, so no fame and fortune for me. Screaming did help.

When I got done with all that, I felt like I owed myself a moment. A few moments. Sitting on the deck with the dogs while talking to the girlchild on the phone and trying to draw.

All the sticks and bits of sticks on the the deck are totally and completely Calli’s fault. I need to sweep again.

Watching the hummingbirds race around…this isn’t a final drawing. It’s a drawing toward an idea.

We’ll see where it goes.

I spent some afternoon time prepping the dinner parts so I could take the little dog out for a short walk. The old lady is still having issues and the boychild isn’t feeling well, so it was just me and the little asshole. Nice plant.

Could be thistle. Could be artichoke? Nah, thistle.

This path goes by houses for a good chunk of it. It’s not my favorite walk, but it’s good for a hot day and a short time period. I didn’t leave until 6 PM, because it was too damn hot…and I still had to make dinner.

Nice bits of shade.

Non native.

Side eye from the puppy about this project…

My words keep getting bigger. I might fix that. I might not. Adjust. Not tear out and redo.

I wanted to cut more out yesterday, but life. You know. It does what it does.

I did spend a few hours cutting though.

See? I tired him out.

I am so not ready for school. I’m not supposed to think about it until August 1. I’m failing at that.

Think quilt! I wanna make this quilt. I like it.

So I finished cutting 3 yards, one to go. I’m going to work on it today and hopefully get done, but I’m hanging with a friend doing something else for a few hours, then the man’s band plays tonight. Tomorrow I have a meeting midday, so that will affect my time. I am hoping that I have a big enough piece of background fabric to do this…I should figure that out before I head out, since the fabric store is near where I’ll be picking up my friend. Because I want to be ironing to fabric tomorrow sometime.

But first, shower, food, hopefully cut some stuff out before I need to leave.

And That’s Fine…

Oh my, it’s hot. I know some of the hot is my body deciding it wants to be on fire, but the rest is just summer. And it’s not even really THAT hot compared to what it will be in August and September. Turning a fan on helps. Not wearing clothes also helps, but is less socially acceptable. Calli (the dog) thinks going in the pool helps…she’s probably right. That’s the one I always forget to do.

I’m currently listening to a podcast-type thing that I paid for to help me control my hours at school (or on school, because I do a lot of it at home) tell me how to delegate the shit in my classroom. Sigh. OK. I hear you. They do more work so I can do the important stuff. I have a hard time giving up control of some things. I know that.

I went to the gym yesterday. I love the gym. I love having time to read. I love to exercise (I know, weird, huh?). I love the air conditioning. I’m trying to make it a habit again. It used to be. It was easier when other people weren’t dependent on my being home to cook or to cook for. So I’m going to have to figure that out this school year. The gym needs to fit in somewhere. Somehow. I do need to remember to either eat right before I go, or take food with me. My blood sugar started crashing while I was there. That’s two days in a row where in the past, I could just be hungry or skip food and it would be OK, but now, I get really low blood sugar, then eat to manage that, and feel dizzy and like shit for an extended period of time afterward. Not good. Don’t do that again. I sometimes have the same problem with dinner…like I need to eat, so I either have to try to find a snack that won’t blow up my blood sugar, or I need the person who’s cooking to get on with it. It’s not usually a problem, but sometimes it is. I’ve gotten my A1C down to a good number, but I’m still working on the nighttime blood sugars. It’s hard. My body doesn’t always behave logically. Annoying. So my goal today is to eat lunch on time. I’m cooking dinner, so I’m in charge for that one. Good plan.

I didn’t finish all the errands yesterday. I actually left the house and did a bunch and came back and realized I’d forgotten one (sigh). Today I have 5? Potentially 6? Six. I just wrote them on a post-it. Here’s how you don’t forget them.

I’m still waiting on the final version of the book I’ll be copyediting…starting next week, I suspect. I’m running out of days before I go back to school…like always! I hate that. Summer is a discombobulation. I swear, all these cats do is sleep.

Tough life.

Yet when it’s morning and they want their breakfast, I’m not allowed to sleep. Bastards.

I am working on this every night. I am not marking anything. The words are getting bigger for no reason at all. Geez. HATE is really big. Ironic. Or not.

I need to be done by the end of August. I should be able to do that. I also spent a few hours cutting shit out…hopefully more of that today.

I want to be done today. Girlchild is texting me about having to give up her California drivers’ license for a Masschusetts one. It’s sad for her. It’s sad for me too. I’d rather have her in California, but that’s not where she is right now. Stupid shit makes me cry sometimes. This summer is like the worst for that. Sigh. Random tears.

OK. Here’s what’s done so far…

I cut one partial yard (about 3/4s full) and another yard, I did about 2/3s. I’m not doing the math. I have 2 full yards and a 1/3 of the other one to finish. First? Six fucking errands. They are all purposeful. I wish I didn’t have to do all of them, but it is what it is. Then I will come back and bingewatch television while cutting shit out. And maybe if it cools down enough, I will walk a dog. The old lady? Sigh. Maybe we will do a short walk with both dogs and then a longer walk with no dogs. IDK. I want to go out and walk and the dogs are always my excuse, but it’s really fucking hot and I’m supposed to cook tonight. So there’s a timing issue. I’ll figure it out. It’s fine. Apparently my phrase for the summer is “It’s fine” or “And that’s fine”. I’m not sure either are true. What I really mean is that it’s annoying but I will handle it. It takes a lot longer to say that. It’s fine.