Back to It…

Well it’s official. It’s almost time to dive into the sucking mud of my day job. Luckily, this new drawing is almost at the point where I can start the brainless tracing and cutting stages. I’m really enjoying drawing this…just letting my brain wander around in all the weird shit I’ve read over the years about bio modifications.

Here’s a video of the drawing as of Wednesday night…

And then some of the drawing I did last night…she has pockets! Also that kid with the webbed feet? I think that’s the kid in Game of Thrones…maybe.

I didn’t take a picture of the stuff at the top, but suffice it to say, that I used this photo to create a glove…

I think most of the stuff is done except for what’s under her legs. And no, I don’t exactly know what all that is yet. I know some of it. It keeps waking me up at 2 in the morning and making me take notes on it. Thank you, Art Brain. I both appreciate you and am annoyed by you.

I spent 5 hours working on school shit yesterday. Back again today. Ugh. Getting paid for it at least. Could do without it though. Still need to finish grading stuff! Almost done, actually. Torture though. It’s this…

There has been very little relaxing about this break. That said, I read a lot. I just finished another book this morning. Made me exclaim aloud with the last sentence. So exciting.

This is the second cat who has used the tent…just one to go…

And this is Simba, who is a millisecond away from exploding toward the hand with the dental treat that signals he is to be left alone for hours. And yet he’s excited for that treat. Weirdo.

OK, I need to get out of here for work. And when I get home, I will need to finish ALL the things that have been sitting on my Winter Break to-do list since the first weekend, right before I got sick. Uh huh. Yeah. Bullshit, right? I know. Whatever. I did manage to book two nights in Spring Break at a campground we always wanted to go back to…glad I did that, because there were only 6 left. I got the one right NEXT to the one we were in before. I really liked the one we were in before. That was another ‘wake-up-at-2-AM’ thing…needing to book that before they were sold out. Of course, we still have two nights before and one night after to do something ELSE in Arizona…no clue what. Minor issue. We’ll figure that out.

OK, Break, it was nice (not really) knowing you. Hopefully you have done your job, allowing me to wallow in reading material and a weird drawing, letting me (sort of) sleep in, and I will return, refreshed (semi) to my job, where the kids are the capital, which is the only reason I don’t just jump and run toward the closest job that I don’t have to lug home with me and doesn’t wake me up in the middle of the night. Not sure what that is. But it’s tempting sometimes, that’s for sure. I hate being bored, though, and I love the kids, even when I don’t. So there’s that. Back to it!

Sidetracked…

Quick! Write the blog before you get sidetracked by that email that came in about a show, plus the name of that hedgehog your therapist recommended you look up, and the fact that your tea is already cold…again. Plus try not to think about grading, because even though you bribed yourself all day yesterday, you didn’t FINISH (of course not) and you need to FINISH. Plus yeah. So many things. Is this headache your neck and you need to schedule the chiropractor (probably)? Did you answer that email about the DNA extraction kits (maybe)? Did you finish planning the roller coaster unit (fuck no)? OK. Well. Nope. Got distracted about a folder on Google Drive.

My daughter was diagnosed as ADD years ago. Sometimes I wonder about me. But also on the spectrum? Or just antisocial? (Me, not the daughter) Or is it just that I’m old (not really, if you look at the spectrum, the OTHER spectrum, of age) and people annoy the shit out of me? Maybe that.

OK. I checked the folder on Google Drive. I can move on with my life.

It’s quiet here, except for the dog barking. And the kids next door shooting off their nerf guns. Popopopopopopopop. I’m not on that side of the house, or I’d turn music on to drown that shit out. Boychild and the Man have gone back to work. I just work here. I’ll be at school Thursday and Friday to rewrite a stupid curriculum that I have no choice about, but at least I’m getting paid for those 10 hours. Ugh. Today, I need to finish grading that thing from yesterday and one more thing, finish the roller coaster planning (both unpaid), get my retinas scanned (like you do), go to Pilates, cook dinner (new recipe, might kill me), get the dog to go out and pee even though it’s wet out, finish another book (I finished the one that was due, but this one, I’m at 94% and honestly, the ONLY thing I want to do today is finish that book dammit), work on the quilt that’s on the machine, work on a donation quilt, work on a quilt that I’m helping a friend do, and draw the next piece. Short list, eh? There’s some other stuff I need to do, but I don’t feel like driving to REI or finding the leaf blower (probably not here) or moving gravel. So there.

Sleep and read, man. That’s where I’m at. Unfortunate.

So the current quilt…is still in the drawing stage and probably will be for the rest of this week. Because I’m having a lot of fun letting my brain just wander around with this biopunk/steampunk/cyberpunk, channeling Margaret Atwood and other weird shit that’s in my head because science teacher brain.

I started inking Monday night…

I really got into it. I sat on the couch for about an hour, spacing out, watching cat videos, and then got up and did this.

I had penciled stuff in, but I always change it a little when I use ink. I moved the entire butterfly up a bit.

The post-its have notes about stuff I want to think about or put into the drawing, and then in the middle of the night, I have ideas and I type them into my phone for the next time I’m drawing…

There’s more penciled in above and below…not slacking on the details in this one. So I’m going to keep going. It’s not political (yet. Or is it?).

I’m also still quilting this, although to be honest, not working consistently on it.

Two columns done, three to go, plus borders. It doesn’t take long; I just have a lot of other shit going on right now. You might have noticed.

Grading…

This was my view for 4 hours yesterday…probably another 4 today, if I can pull that off. Ugh.

Boychild made his own birthday cake…raspberry frosting was quite tasty…

It was chocolate on the inside, so I didn’t get a taste of it, but the rest of the fam did when they came by for presents.

We have a very similar picture from last year (watching the boychild open stuff). Mom petting the dog.

Where’s MY cake?

From the book I finished, which was better than I was expecting:

My milkweed is not only still blooming, but has caterpillars!

I would have thought it was too cold for them, but there are three of them…

I need to plant more seeds because these plants are at their leggy ends…

As you can see.

Plus now my deck has fungus…

I really need to replace these top boards. In my spare time. Ugh. Maybe summer.

OK. More tea (or heat this cup up for the fourth time). Read my book. (C’mon, it’s still break). Eat lunch. Grade some stuff. Then let them scan the eye (means I have to put pants and a bra back on. Ugh). Then more grading and some exercise. More tea. Break is coming to an end. Need to enjoy it as much as possible.

Not So Single-Minded…

Hello 2023. And Happy New Year to those who make a mental shift about now for that reason. We made a nice warm dinner, played a wordy game for a while (until someone got tired of losing), and then I mentally flailed while watching Serpent Queen until 11:57 PM, when we searched for a fake ball drop that happened 3 hours earlier, kissed, and went to bed. It rained all night.

The mental flail was more about what to work on…this is why I don’t like a lot of down time between art projects. It makes me uncomfortable to just SIT and not do anything. That said, I have a book I need to finish by Wednesday at 7:09 PM. I think I’m going to make it, but I had to stop reading the one I was almost done with and focus on this one, which I wasn’t expecting much of, but it is proving more interesting than I thought. I joined a new book club with my friends in the old one, this one focused on mysteries. Hoping for some more recommendations. Hoping to read more, actually. It’s been hard to fit that in once school is in. Too much visual stimulation, reading-like, for school. Not very interesting stuff most of the time. But I managed 55 (almost 56) books last year…not bad…could be better.

So I made a goal to do better in 2023. Things I care about right now: reading, art, travel, my family, my friends. My job is pushing it this year. I obviously care about it because I don’t blow it off. I just think it is taking more than it should from me. Yeah.

Anyway, what else has been going on? Well you know that drawing I started the other day? I rolled it up and put it away. I have two deadlines I’m looking at that are pretty far out, but I find both of them interesting, so I had picked one, the one I’ve been thinking about for months, but then when I got to the paper, I felt like I didn’t know enough to draw it yet. I do have a rough sketch on that paper and I’m not giving up on it; it’s just that the other one started talking to me. Mostly during this hike we did on New Year’s Eve (trying to avoid the rain and the people who like to hike on the first day of the year, by hiking on the last day of the year instead).

Hollenbeck Canyon out past Jamul…

It was nice and cool…well, actually cold and rainy at times…

Totally great for letting your brain wander around…

My knee behaved fine…I’ve been doing physical therapy and trying to exercise enough. I find it’s hard to get out of the pajamas right now. Easier when it’s cold and wet to just stay on the couch and not do anything.

But I feel worse after that. So this is better. I think today is officially the last day of break when I have nothing that I have to do on my calendar. Which sucks. Lots of work and medical stuff over the rest of the week, with a little art stuff sprinkled in. I guess I have to think about work. Don’t want to. As usual.

ANYWAY, back to the drawing, I had done some research (I like to research stuff) and came up with some things tickling my brain, mostly Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy (my goodness, how DO you spell that…ah, one more capital letter). And some other stuff. Anyway, I cut out a piece of paper, walked away from it, and then started drawing.

So far, I’m all in pencil.

Yeah, I need to put the Xmas stuff away. Didn’t want to pull the boxes out yesterday with all the rain and wet. Maybe today.

So I will probably start some ink tonight, then some more pencil. Today is the boychild’s birthday. He is getting old enough that it makes ME feel old. Until it doesn’t. Because I’m not that old. Anyway, I don’t think any of that will stop me from drawing tonight, but I do want to get to a stage of this piece that is easier to do with less energy before school starts, because I know I will HAVE less energy when school starts, both mentally and physically. I’m having to full-on STEEL myself for going back (you can do it, one day at a time, you will get through it). Maybe that is always the case, but it seems worse right now. Certainly I feel in giant flail mode.

I have been slowly trying to stitch my way around this giant-ass quilt…

And I finished the April Homegrown blocks (Sue Spargo) finally…moving on to May now.

That sun in the lower right block took a goodly chunk of time on New Year’s Eve. And thread!

Oh yeah, more of the piñata show at the Mingei…

Not what you would expect from a piñata show…

Definitely worth going though…

Just think of it more as papier-mache sculpture. Plus the Mingei has other funky craft work all over the place…

Gotta love a giant Earth covered in beads.

Nova would. If she were allowed to.

Instead, she loved me.

Right up there in your face.

OK. I dreamed (nightmared?) about not having a shower last night. I’m not sure why, but it made me really want one this morning. I have a quilt to quilt, a drawing to draw, and a lot of work to work. I’m hoping to do some of all of it. Also need to pack up a fabric donation box or two, plus cut up more blocks for a donation quilt. I’m liking deadlines that are a long ways out so I don’t have to be so single-minded about making, although it freaks me out when I don’t have something to be single-minded about. I also need to read another third of my book so I finish it before it’s due (I figured a third a day would work). And enjoy the last day of break before the have-tos really kick in. Seems doable.

The List of Things I Feel Like Doing

Yeah I’m about 10 hours off on my normal writing time. I meant to write this morning before I left, but then I had to deal with doctor stuff and then I just plain old ran out of time. I think I read my book for a while too instead getting on with things. Hey, it’s break. I’m allowed.

So the year is almost over. I like reviewing previous year-almost-over posts to see what I was thinking. Last year’s thought was stop having expectations of years. It’s funny…no not funny, strange…but I already know that the next 6 months will be hard jobwise, so I’m just trying to center a reality in that. Balance, my ass. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions in January…I’m a teacher. We do them in August. So accept some of the shit and try to rein it in, pepper it with things I want to do: some art exhibits, some camping, a music show, maybe a trip or two. Then hope to Goddess that the 2023-2024 school year is better than this one.

I just looked at my calendar in here…stopped crossing days off on the 22nd. Good plan.

So since Wednesday, I had some friend time, two friends visiting, separately, so I parsed some time out of my incredibly busy (book-reading) schedule for them. Yeah, I know. Actually, I worked on school stuff for a good chunk of Thursday afternoon, got 8 days of school planned out for real, minus the daily warmups. That was good. I had done a chunk of it already, but needed to figure out this one 3-day assignment and then how everything else fit in. So that felt good. I also did a bunch of doctor things and breakfast with the one friend, down here from Seattle…here’s the only photo I got, in the elevator (I tell you, this is the year of shitty documentation as far as people go)…

There are two other people in the weird elevator with me. Today? I took no pictures of people today, only piñatas. I always forget. Ah well.

OK. So I finished that little quilt…which got named Christmas Lights ’93 (after the year it was drawn)…

I got the binding and sleeves sewn on Wednesday, I think. Then got the binding sewn Wednesday night…

And finished the sleeves last night…

In case you’re saying to yourself, oh hey, I bet that was quick (it was, compared to most of my pieces)…guess how long it took? C’mon. Guess.

Nine hours and 5 minutes. Yeah. Not bad. It’s not huge though either…15″ wide x 13″ high.

The next one will be bigger. I cut paper at about 44″ wide and 54″ high…dunno if that will work, but it seemed like big enough to do what I want but not absolutely massive like some.

So far, it’s a bunch of really light, vague pencil sketches and some totally appropriate post-its (thanks to the SIL for those). It’s possible that I should start a different drawing first, but at the moment, this one is speaking to me. We’ll see. I have two deadlines I’m looking at, and both of them are far enough out that I should be able to do them both, but last year, I thought I would be done with the desert quilt in April, and that so didn’t happen, not even close.

I was freaked out by my finished quilt list for 2022 yesterday, thought I had only finished 5 quilts in the whole year, although 4 were large. Usually I can pull off 6 or more though. Then I remembered I hadn’t put the other one on the list, so 6 it is. Whew. By the skin of my teeth with a tiny finish in the last week. Two finished in December and one in November. It’s been a rough year for artmaking. Sucks.

I did get two back from the photographer today…this is Same As It Ever Was

She’s 57” w x 71” h. Took me from July to November to finish her. Ugh to school for that.

Then this one, which has a tentative name or two, so you’ll just have to wait until I post her into the gallery for a real title…

She’s 35.5 w x 43.5 h and was finished last week. Her fake title for the last month was Vomit…so I need something better than that. No suggestions please. I’ll get there. Some of them, like Same, have names from the very beginning. A small few get titles while I’m working, and most of them just need to percolate in my head for a day or two before it comes to me. This one might be more than a day or two. Give it time.

I also wanted to get this quilt quilted…it’s been pinbasted for over a year, I think. This is a Sue Spargo block-of-the-month pattern that I have always called Bird Crazy, but I know that’s not the real name.

I stitched most of these birds at the girlchild’s soccer games in high school. It got sewn together and then there were 90 balls that had to be sewn on…I think that was at the beginning of COVID? I could be wrong. OK, so I finished embroidering the last of 30 birds in July of 2016. This is the 2013 BOM (I like the embroidery, not the finishing). Oh yeah, and there are 96 balls. Anyway. So this is a 10-year finish? Maybe.

I’ve quilted 7 of the blocks so far. It’s not hard, but I have to be a little creative with figuring out what to do on each block. Keep it simple but not? So that should be done next week hopefully. A few a day. Although none today. So far. It’s relaxing to quilt. Meditative, I’ve said it before. Also to embroider. And draw. Bird DANCE it’s called.

I thought I was done with this block (and hence all of the April blocks), but no, there is a giant trellis stitch sun…

Something you have to stitch all in one go. So not right now. This is also Sue Spargo. It is called Homegrown and might be the 2019 quilt? Maybe? I have another one done and ready for pinbasting, but quilting it will be a mess. Probably this one will be too…so much stitching on them. Maybe just lots of stuff in the skies. I prefer the embroidery parts of these to the finishing parts.

I have two pieces that will be in this show at the Cannon Gallery in Carlsbad.

The opening is January 7 from 2-4 PM. One piece has never been in a show, so that’s cool. I will be at the opening.

We made it to the piñata exhibit at the Mingei today. Very cool.

Totally recommend. I love the Mingei…and hadn’t seen the new and improved version. It’s nice.

Also love that I live somewhere that people don’t ban books. Because that’s stupid.

Also going to go add all the banned books to my reading list, those I haven’t already read (which is an awful lot of them). Also Texas? Florida? Fuck you. Grow the fuck up. Let kids read. You’re not solving problems. And the states with 1-10 bans? I’m curious what those are. Is it 1-10 books? Or 1-10 schools banning books? Not sure. Probably the former. What’s the point of banning so few books? One could ask what’s the point of banning ANY books.

OK. So. It’s New Years Eve Eve and the Man and I are doing date night tonight, because tomorrow night is not a time we want to be out and about, between the celebratory crazy shit and the rain that’s headed our way. It’s been cold and drippy all day today, which is good for the plants and the part of my brain that wants to hole up and read, so hopefully more of that tomorrow, plus quilting and drawing and probably (honestly) some schoolwork. Just because it needs to get done and it’s easier to do in small chunks than big honking ones.

I need to make a collage of this year’s finished pieces too. Tomorrow. Today? More tea and then a discussion of food. Then something off the list of things I feel like doing. Also that crazy landscape that created itself in my head in the car today. That. Totally.

Mentally Chill

Please don’t ask me what day it is. Or even what year. I like to pretend I know what’s going on.

So tiny quilt progress…progress on a tiny quilt, not the other way around, although honestly, I could finish a tiny quilt in one day if I weren’t still fighting this stupid head cold that has planted its phlegmy self in my sinuses and refuses to let go. Anyway, I think it’s been a few days since I remembered I write things, so I managed to iron the quilt together…

It’s easier to do some parts off to the side and then put them on top…

Then onto the background…this was all Christmas Eve…

Then Christmas Day, we cleaned a lot and cooked a little…because we delayed a day for the boychild to get off of work…so I sandwiched and pinbasted.

Then Christmas night (which was actually Boxing Day), after all the presents and dinner stuff, I quilted it…

Super fast while everyone was asleep…

She’s got some attitude…

And then last night, I trimmed it and cut binding and sleeves…

Hopefully I’ll get those on today and get the handsewing done.

I was hoping to get some ‘models’ (aka the fam) to take a photo for me for the next quilt, but I floated the idea and there wasn’t a lot of yah sure, in fact, one fuck off (someone was in a mood), so I’m going to do some reading/research today hopefully and then start some rudimentary drawings tonight or tomorrow. It’s going to be big again. It’s better to have a big piece to work on when school starts, so there’s lots to do that’s not thinking too hard, easy to come home and just do the next step without having to work too hard at decisions. Picking fabric is an easy thing. Deciding what to make next is not. And as much as I know I should be taking a break from school stuff and not working, I also know January and February Me will appreciate it if I do some planning and grading. I took a few days off when I was too sick to do anything, but I can’t really afford big chunks of no work at the moment, not this year. It sucks, yes. I don’t have a solution, no. Teachers who aren’t working over break at all? Congratulations. Your situation is different than mine. Sigh.

Anyway, I only have three assignments left to grade, so that’s good. Next week, I’ll be spending 10 hours working with my co-teacher on that damn tobacco curriculum again, same as last year (hopefully for the last time). Somewhere between now and then, I need to finish the roller coaster project planning and plan the next unit. Most of it anyway. So yeah. Luckily the holiday bits are over and (sadly) the kids are both gone, so it is quiet during the day. Just me and the furry beasts. If only I could get motivated! And stop coughing.

In good news, or is it? I went to physical therapy yesterday for the knee and have a plan, plus a further plan if this doesn’t work. I’d like to avoid the further further plan of surgery, so I’m going with it. Also my NP was on crack, but I knew that when she kept saying arthritis. Anyway…after 6 weeks, it’s nice to at least have something that might work.

This year, I sucked at taking family photos, although here is dad with a spoon the boychild made…

Here is the girlchild with Simba, yet again…

Oh yeah, and we pulled the owl box down to clean it…

Sure enough, there was the missing owlet…

I had thought there were three early on, but only two at the end. They lay the eggs days apart, so sometimes the smallest doesn’t get enough food and becomes dinner.

I finally put more than 4 ornaments on the tree (although not a lot more)…

Simba stuck his tongue out at me…

He’s in a donut to keep him from licking his dew claw, which got hurt the other day. He doesn’t like it.

That fabric looks like my mom’s old sheets. It might even BE my mom’s old sheets. Working on a charity quilt for my quilt guild.

Only need 259 more blocks…

The back of a student’s homework sheet…’mini Nida’…I’m laughing.

I love this kid.

Kitten shoved behind me on the chair…

Nova in her new tent…

Kitten in the tube…

And us old folks (because someone else took the photo)…

I wasn’t feeling my best (Christmas Eve), but I made it out of the house. I’m a little better each day, so that’s good, and I go to the doc tomorrow, so she’ll give me antibiotics if she thinks they’re warranted. Would not recommend this cold. Nope. Nuh uh.

Today? I need to ship the girlchild’s jacket she remembered once she got to the airport. I need to get some boxes to ship fabric to some places (donations). I need a sprinkler to replace the broken one and a lightswitch knob to also replace the broken one. I need to read my book. I need to maybe plant some milkweed seeds. I am actually going to an exercise class tonight, first one in 10 days (yeah, I was that sick). Looking forward to it. Plus put the binding on this little quilt and go read some stuff about magnets and planets. Not together. Shit. Should take a shower too. My plans of drawing every day over break? Completely fucked so far. Maybe try now? We’ll see. The momentum is gone. Sucks.

Hoping your week between the weirdness of the gifty holidays and the drinky holidays is going well. Chill. Or at least mentally chill with the power on so you don’t actually have to be cold.

Really Slowly

Hello Christmas Eve! Actually tomorrow is our Christmas Eve. Or something. This year is too confusing.

I had this plan to be drawing every day during break. Not happening. No brain power for it. I get through a few errands and then need to lie down for a while. I am improving, but it’s slow and torturous. What is this thing? The same cold that everyone else has that’s wiped out the cold medicine section at my grocery store. I finally found more of the stuff that lets me sleep through the night without coughing, so that’s a plus. The rest is more about…well…rest. I need lots of it apparently. So the to-do list languishes. Or gets done really slowly. The physical stuff will have to wait until I have some energy back.

I’m doing a little art stuff every day, not hours of it like I would like to. Ah well. The little piece got ironed to fabrics over 24 hours…

There’s not a lot to it, but I wasn’t feeling well, so I did most of it Thursday night…

And then finished it on Friday night…

Only 33 fabrics…some of which were only used for one piece. Then I cut them all out…

With the idea of ironing them together this afternoon, but I did a bunch of other things (made sourdough starter pancakes to freeze, for the first time since August, wrapped the last of the Xmas stuff, graded two assignments, tried to make sense of another one, showered…that was exhausting)…and now I need a nap. We have one family gathering this evening and I’m already tired. I’m also still short on milk and couldn’t find eggnog, although I can make that from scratch if I have to…I’ve done it before. Probably my body is adamantly telling me what I need (as I half fall asleep here in the chair). Should maybe listen. Just 20 minutes for a snooze, eh?

You can see how the drawing isn’t happening. No energy to clean either; that has to happen tomorrow. We got skunked the other night and half the rooms still reek of it. Luckily Southern California has blessed us with lovely weather (sorry y’all) and the windows are open to dispel the smell.

I Zoomed with friends on Thursday night and made a fence and some veggies…

Do I fix the lumpy carrot or let it be its realistic lumpy self? Who knows.

Simba loves everyone being home…

Although the boychild is back at work until Monday and the girlchild was gone all yesterday, which is why I got his loving attention.

Kitten wasn’t having any of it…

She does RBF well.

This morning, Simba got one of his favorite people on the couch…

He was communing with his other doggie friends, passing the word along in boofy paragraphs.

OK. I can lie down and read for a while. Then go find some milk and maybe eggnog. We are food shopping tomorrow like nutcakes. It’s OK. I wrangled meat yesterday from a big guy who was sure I wanted it all cut up (I didn’t) and then winked at me at the end. Ugh. I don’t know whether to laugh my old chubby ass off at that or be creeped out (or both, which is where I’m at right now). Then off to the Man’s fam for a gathering that will be all noise and color and bright, like holidays are, which sometimes my brain appreciates. I’m hoping to get there in the next 3 hours. Until then, hello couch, hello book, hello pajamas. And hoping everyone gets some time to do what they want with whomever they want, furry beast or otherwise.

Will Get Done Eventually…

Hey so if you want to talk to me this week, probably you should text me. My voice is not doing great. I am feeling better, but the phlegm is real, y’all. Mornings are rough until I get some tea into me. The pro is that it is Winter Break, so I am not trying to write sub plans or come in and teach sick because I don’t have COVID or the flu (probably), and there are no subs. I just have to finish the Xmas shopping and decorating (there are four whole ornaments on the tree) and maybe a book or three. Plus grading. How I know I’m getting better? I graded an academic assignment yesterday…it required brainpower and I found it. I had 14 assignments to grade at the beginning of break. I now have 9. Probably more importantly, I need to plan out the next unit plus or I will be hating life in January and February, and I don’t want that. I need to get ahead. At least a little.

I did finish the newest quilt, which doesn’t have a name yet. It goes to the photographer tomorrow with the last one (I never got around to photographing it).

Lame photo hanging over the couch. This one is not huge. Now going into the holidays, I have an idea for the next big one, but I need the headspace to check deadlines and do some planning, plus I’d really like the fam to stage this one so I can see how all the body parts will go, but so far, I’ve gotten some dissension on that happening. Either way, I can’t get a big drawing going until after we do Xmas Day, which will be Boxing Day for us this year, so is it possible for me to NOT be working on a quilt for 7 whole days?

I tried to distract myself with Xmas ornament stitching that I bought last year and never started…

Fun enough, but not the same as an actual quilt. Then at 2 AM, while lying there, trying to sleep, I remembered that funny drawing with the Xmas lights on it that is floating around my office that I keep meaning to make into a little quilt and never do. Some drawings just call to me and want to be a quilt. This one has called for a while. A LONG while.

The date on it is February 8, 1993. In 1993, I was still married. I didn’t have kids. At first, I was like, ah, this drawing, it’s about 10 years old (because I was on cold medication and could not do any form of math). Nah. This fucker is almost 30 years old. I even numbered it already. Like probably 20 years ago. Who knows? At some point in the past when I thought I’d make it. Well yeah. It does deserve to be made if it’s still around after all this time (it’s not the only one that made it to numbering stage and then got left somewhere, in case you’re wondering).

Poor thing. So I graded yesterday (because I felt better), and then I stayed up late and watched a semi-bad movie while tracing this…

It’s only got 97 pieces.

And then cut out the Wonder Under…

No need to do the sort by 100s step. There aren’t even 100 pieces. So hopefully today, after running Xmas errands (and showering…need to do that next), I’ll be picking fabrics for this sweet little thing. There is a lot going on over the next 7 days, and I can’t say I’m feeling totally with it, so a nap or some lying on the couch with my book will probably still be happening, but for now, I have a little project. Which is good. Never throw old shit away, y’all. It might be exactly what you need. Yes, that is part of my hoarder issue, but it’s also truth.

I did spend about 2 hours yesterday ironing and dehairing the two quilts that need to go to the photographer…that did make me need to nap. Ugh. And I’ll still work on the Xmas ornaments. They’ll probably be done in 2025. Certainly starting them on December 20 was probably not the best plan. Ah well.

Simba thinks we are all silly.

And maybe we are…

Certainly he is getting plenty of attention…

OK. Well I’m off to shower and drive all over heck and back for the 4 or 5 things I still need. I canceled almost everything I was supposed to do this week due to being sick. Probably the best thing for me anyway. At least the family is still healthy (and sucking up Vitamin C and Zinc). Some of the things on my to-do list will not be happening this week, due to my not feeling up to the physical crap, but it will get done eventually. Peace out all…may your holidays be what you need them to be. Sending love to all.

Slows You Down…

Well. It’s Winter Break. And I am sick. A lingering gift from the school year. Thanks. Not thankful for it actually. I need a nap right now (only been out of bed for about 3 1/2 hours). Trying to be functional and mostly failing. It’s not COVID (I tested). It might be the flu (I had a flu shot, but you know how that goes) and it might just be a bad cold (the whole other team had that). I don’t really care. I just want it done.

I was OK over the weekend; didn’t really feel it until Sunday night. Although I had a sore throat earlier on Sunday, but thought it was just sinus crap, allergies, who knows what. So I finished stitchdown on Saturday night…

It always looks cool from the back, never to be seen again…

Sandwiched and pinbasted Sunday night…

My knee was not thrilled about this activity. It won’t bend fully, so it was difficult and painful. But quick, at least.

Then I quilted the whole thing yesterday…

It is in fact the only thing I did yesterday besides reading my book. I felt OK in the afternoon, so that’s when this happened. Nothing in the morning.

I need to figure out if I have enough of something that will work as binding fabric or if I need to find the energy to go to the quilt store this afternoon. Ugh. Pretty sure I don’t have the energy for that. Then trim and bind.

Girlchild arrived on Sunday night…

Simba was very happy to see her. She’s working during the day while she’s here…but it’s still nice to have her around.

Awww. Look. They tolerate each other.

OK, I have used up all my energy. Need to nap a bit and then think about the binding. I did shower today, so that explains less energy. Napping isn’t bad. It’s just that I always have so much to do and now I’m sick and can’t do it. Ah well. Universe slows you the fuck down whether you like it or not.

Draw Some of That Off…

I fell asleep late last night. As I was trying to fall asleep (which is never a successful endeavor, by the way…either you fall asleep or you don’t, but the harder I try, the more I fail at it), I was excessively stressing about all the work stuff I still have to do over the next three weeks, even though I will be on break, and then I remembered one of my favorite things to do this time of year: a Drawing a Day. Almost every day (and I have 23 of them before I have to go back to school) is to pull out a sketchbook and do a drawing a day. It really stretches me because I don’t have a theme and I just drew the day before, so trying to keep the creativity going and think of something new to draw is really exhilarating. Then I couldn’t fall asleep because I was trying to decide whether I would use the same weird-shaped sketchbooks from last year, or just bounce around, or what. And then I started thinking about the next quilt, because I emailed the photographer about having this one done by Thursday (WHAT??? But also yes), so I will be starting something new next week. And what will THAT be? I don’t know yet. So much art excitement about having the next three weeks off. No, the work stress is not gone (I cried a little about it this morning, no joke, this shit is sucky), but maybe I can draw some of that off. Ha ha…draw it off…get it?

Have I discussed how tired I am right now? Yeah. That. Today we survive and think of our brothers and sisters who are still teaching next week. Bless them.

I started stitchdown on Wednesday night…

This piece is small. Ish. It won’t take long. I did more last night…

I’m probably a little less than halfway? I think. I’m hoping to do some this evening. The Man has a show tonight, which I am going to, but it starts later, and I have to clean up my classroom a little and then go to Home Depot for slats, then pack up two quilts to deliver tomorrow morning, and THEN I could stitch for a while before going to see the band. OR I might nap. If I can. Which I often can’t. So there’s that. But assume stitchdown is done tomorrow and then sandwich and pinbaste, so I’m quilting by Sunday. Sounds good. You can see how I assumed I could be done by Thursday. Let’s ignore the fact that I need to wrap all the presents, buy a few more, clean the girlchild’s bedroom because she’s coming home Sunday night at 10:30 or so at night, and probably do some schoolwork as well. Yeah. Ignore that shit. Just do the art.

Whew. Going into this Friday on this little sleep and very few filters and just plain feeling overwhelmed…my 8th-graders should mostly be done with proposals and packets; they get a video about an egg drop in space. They can sleep through it for all I care. It’s a cool video, but they can live without it. There’s no point in starting something new though. The 7th graders are going to be pushing through the last day of their assignment. It was shitty yesterday. I’m not expecting much better today unfortunately. I can just hope that the worst of them are absent. Also we have short periods because there’s an hour + long assembly at the end of the day today. Pros and cons to that I guess. Then I have duty at the light, then back to my room to clean it so my floors will hopefully at least get mopped with a clean mop instead of a dirty one. Cockroaches on a regular basis. Fun stuff. Almost halfway through the year. Whenever I think I can’t do any more of it, I get a break and it gives me the rest I need to get through the next bit.

But there’s drawing at the end of this bit. So that’s awesome.

So I needed a refill on my insulin and my doc’s office screwed up and ordered an old one my insurance doesn’t cover anymore. Luckily the system caught it and said, hey, do you really want to pay this?

Um. Honestly? No. Start over.

And this is my kid-decorated door…

They did pretty well. I glued the title on for them. I also traced the title for them, but they did the rest. I brought stuffing and the garland and a glue gun too. I didn’t even know about the ornaments…they surprised me. They’re good kids. You know what one of the things I have to do before I leave is? Take all that off the door. Uh huh. I know. Well it was up for less than 48 hours. What can I do?

OK. Off to the place where the good kids show up and do their work. And I don’t lose my mind. Hopefully. Drawing. 23 days.

Fake Words…

My lord how is it only Wednesday. Also, brain, let me sleep. If I wake up to pee, it is not because I want to do a deep dive on how to plan the next unit. I really just wanted to pee and be asleep, honestly, as soon as I get back into bed, maybe sooner. Sleepwalking to pee seems OK to me, as long as I’m in the right place during and after.

Today is egg drop for three classes, something tsunami-related for two classes (and trying to get my last period of the day on track is hell on wheels…11 were absent Monday, 5 on Friday, and if you didn’t do Friday’s stuff, you can’t do Monday’s stuff, and if you didn’t do Monday’s stuff, you couldn’t do yesterday’s stuff, blah blah blah that class makes me want to quit 3 out of 5 days a week). Yeah. That. Friday was actually delightful because without those kids, the class was normal. NORMAL. Yesterday it was like wild animals had infiltrated the school.

Sigh. Three more days. I will still have to work a ton over break to try to get ahead in January (and February? Maybe?), but I won’t have to deal with the kids or the daily bullshit. Speaking of shit, I almost said it in class yesterday (it happens; even teachers slip), but corrected to ‘shinole’…pronounced ‘shi-know-lay’. IDK where this comes from, but it worked. The two I was working with (just edited myself out of a wide variety of nouns there) started yelling “She SWORE!” and I’m like, “I said ‘shinole’. What swear word is that?” Apparently I should be using the word ‘shinola’, which does mean shit. Imma stick with the fake word.

I came home early and went to the gym. I needed to. It’s kind of crazy how many Tuesdays I come home and need to go to the gym. I’m glad to have that. Then I cooked dinner and did some more applique for this secret project I’m doing, and then ironed the rest of the pieces down on the current quilt.

Here’s what I did Monday night…

Almost done…closeup of the Earth head…

Lots of details that need a stitching line. There’s some chaos here.

Then last night, the vomit…

Glad I picked black instead of green…

I ironed each of the little things together, then put the vomit down and put them all on top. At that point, it was almost 10:30, my arbitrary stop point, but I was fairly sure it would iron down quickly, so I just did it.

It needs a steam ironing, but otherwise, I’m ready for stitchdown. Also I’m tired. It only took a few more minutes to get it done though. And now I’m braindead. Maybe if I get more tea in me. Probably not though. We’ll see.

I forgot I did this Sunday night…although I messed up the fence.

It’ll be fine. I’m just needleweaving wider posts than were called for. It’s not the end of the world.

One of my students made this cat sculpture for me…

With tiny mousies…

She’s very creative. Sells them to other students. Also gave me two stickers yesterday…science-y ones. I appreciate her.

OK. Some crazy crap…shinole…going on today. I have a union meeting after school and then a book club zoom after that. Not sure when I will have time to do anything. But hopefully more ironing tonight. I need to put a label on another quilt, so I’m going to do that first, because it has to be delivered to a show this week. Thank goodness for friends who pick up art for me, because I couldn’t figure out when I was picking up from one show, and someone agreed to do it for me. Good stuff.