Trying to Take Time…

Hope everyone’s holidays went well. We did OK with it…more sleep would always be nice, and we still have one family event tonight, but then it’s all done. It’s tiring and draining…but getting to see family is a plus. I think my theme for this holiday season is just tired though. Maybe I’ll get past that feeling eventually, but I haven’t yet. The only art I’ve been doing since last Thursday is the daily drawing (and I missed Christmas night…too tired). Here’s Christmas Eve.

And last night, which kind of sums up how I’ve been feeling…

Hopefully there will be quilting today some time. I do have copyediting to do still…I’ve made it through one readthrough and am starting the references today. Well, I started them yesterday, but I also had some sewing for the girlchild and some other stuff, so I didn’t get much done. Let’s just call it taking the weekend off the day job. And now I’m back! This week is a bit full of all types of work, but hopefully that will free up some of next week (although none of the grading is done. Ugh. Don’t remind me.).

The man and I made it on a hike on Saturday…

In between bouts of rain…

I appreciate how the outdoors makes me feel. Clears the cobwebs. Must add more hiking to life.

This is real.

I also read my book a lot. It’s due to the library in 3 days. According the the app, I have 4+ hours of reading to do in 3 days. It doesn’t sound like much, but I have a ton of other things to do. And it’s an electronic book, so they will just suck it back when the time is up. I wish it would tell me the exact time it was getting sucked up so I’d have a real deadline. Easier than “sometime in the next 3 days”.

Girlchild is only here for another day. She has been getting all the Simba loves.

He seems OK with it.

And she finally got the good picture of him wearing the hat that she wanted.

Good news.

Sometimes she does pet other animals though…

Not sure Simba is OK with that.

Last year, Dad was in a nursing home for Christmas, recovering from a fall that almost killed him, so it was a reason to take more photos this year…

Certainly, Katie is glad to have him around. But so are we…

The boychild refused to be in photos…but everyone else got their moment…their dad…

And me and the Man.

The girlchild cooked a nice meal…

Yes, we do wear the crowns. It is the way of our people.

I think this was my favorite photo though…

Good stuff.

Meanwhile the cats hide for most of Christmas…except for when the dog is gone and they can come out and play with boxes and new toys…I only caught Kitten in photos though.

The box from Seattle was very exciting for some reason.

And the last pic of the girlchild with the dog…napping.

Poor puppy. Not spoiled at all.

OK, so lots of copyediting and other stuff. Family event tonight. Hopefully some quilting to start finally. This quilt is totally a 2022 finish at this point. No way will I finish by Friday night. Not when I look at my calendar. It’s all right. No worries. More sleep, finish reading one book, finish copyediting the other one. I do envy people who are able to just not work the whole Winter Break. I did take on another job, it’s true…need to pay the bills though. I’m trying to take time around all that. Best I can.

Naps and Books…

Hello Christmas Eve! Full of rain and groceries that haven’t been bought yet. I am frightened of the task before me. First, we need a meat. Any meat I think will do at this point. I admit to having lost all momentum last night on the food front…I’m not really in charge of food. I just pretend I am sometimes. Definitely not when the girlchild is here. I’m leaving in 24 minutes to deal with all the foodstuffs though. WITH her. No way am I doing that alone. Uh uh. Nope. I do have a list…it was a series of post-it notes, but I can’t deal with that in the store. I’d be wandering around for days. So I spent time last night transporting info on post-its to info on my regular printed list, which is organized to match the aisles in the store. Because I haz the left brains AND the right brains y’all. I do both. And I’m not really happy unless I’m doing both. So there’s that. Organize it and then chaos it. AT THE SAME TIME.

I did finish all the stitchdown the other night…

Kitten was useless.

Total stitchdown was 6 1/2 hours…

I find the back fascinating…

I do actually stare at it for a while to find where I didn’t stitch…I had about three things I’d missed. And then, fascinating as it is, it gets tucked away inside the quilt, never to be seen again.

Then last night, after friend Zoom, I cleaned the floors (they were bad), washed the batting, pieced a backing (it was complicated, but I used most of a fabric I had left over…I think there’s like 3″ left of it), and pinbasted the thing.

While listening to the rain. It’s ready for quilting now. Not sure when I’ll get to that. The next few days are kind of busy. Apparently people want to do shit. I’d be OK in a pillow fort with my book, but whatever. I actually took a 2-hour break in the middle of that paragraph to do the shopping. It wasn’t bad, but the girlchild needs to make puff pastry from scratch (no worries there) and I have to make eggnog from scratch (doesn’t look hard, at least). And there’s no basil. Apparently basil is an important holiday spice. I did not know. Oh yeah, closeup of safety pins…

Just to prove I was down on my knees, poking myself in my fingers at 10 PM last night.

What else? Still drawing each night…here’s Wednesday…

And Thursday…

I Zoomed with my stitching group last night…we were supposed to meet in person two weeks ago and it got rained out, but this was a nice thing. Very chill.

Missing Ann in the picture…she’s 2 or 3 hours ahead of us and had to get up early. I’ve been working on the Chirp quilt from Sue Spargo, which she recently published, so I can show it.

There are 24 flowers in the border, 4 of each type. I’ve done 2 types, 8 flowers. This is taking a long time. I wonder if that’s why this year’s “easy” block-of-the-month didn’t have a fancy border? I like it, but it’s time-consuming. Then again, for me it’s more about the process than the product.

Girlchild is enjoying Simba…

I think they like each other.

OK, I have two cards to do, technically my Xmas cards too (but whatever), plus make the eggnog to make the breakfast casserole, then make the breakfast casserole, plus more copyediting, and I really need caffeine, because I’m still not awake. (Just want to read my book…have I said that?). And a family event tonight, two tomorrow, another Sunday probably, and one Monday. Am I grading things? Not at the moment. That will catch up with me though. Got to sew some things up for the girlchild as well. Need a nap. Christmas Eve should involve naps and books and little else. That’s what I think. For my future self maybe.

The Burnout Section…

Finally. A morning with no doors opening and people talking at 5 AM. Sure, they’re going to work, so it’s a legit reason (plus everyone in my house is on East Coast time?) and so will I (notionally…I sit here at the computer and copyedit in my pajamas, plus I can pee whenever the fuck I want, so it’s not my real day job)…but it’s nice to have a morning when that noise doesn’t wake me up. Most mornings, the 5 AM wakeup isn’t too bad. I grab the dog, throw him into bed, and go back to sleep for another hour or so, but sometimes I just toss and turn and it’s hopeless. Sigh. I love being a light sleeper…not. I’m jealous of those who put their heads on a pillow and then they’re OUT. And they’re OUT until the alarm goes off. I’ve never been like that. Certainly I’m not now.

So yeah, I’ve been copyediting every day for a few hours, banging through this book. More today. My brain running through all the words and trying to find the bad ones. Ironically I was on the burnout section yesterday afternoon. Oh yeah. That. Then running errands, delivering quilts, doing some science planning (like you do on vacation), reading my book, grading some stuff, making a million pancakes (I do that often; solves my morning food issues…don’t have to THINK…just grab and eat). My to-do list is VAST. I have done hardly anything on it. I have added things to it though, because that makes sense. Ugh. Today I will try to cross some things off of it. Just for fun.

So I have been doing some stitchdown…I’m at about 5 hours and getting close to done. In fact, I’ll probably finish tonight.

I think I have the rest of an arm, plus a head, and then the sky. Not hard to do. Then clean the floor, piece a backing, hope I have enough batting (I could check that…did I just add to the to-do list? Fuck me.), then sandwich and pinbaste.

Wait a minute. I might be able to finish this by the end of the year. But do I want to? It’s better if it has a 2022 date on it…gives me more time to get it seen. I think. We’ll see.

I’m still drawing every night. I’m really enjoying the long and skinny challenge here…

In both directions…

Although that volcano is a bit too penisy. I was thinking of a drawing one of my science teacher friends was showing me. Ah well. Not every drawing is perfect, that’s for sure. That’s the cool part about drawing MORE is that I get to work stuff out on paper instead of in my head.

Half the time that I’m sitting on this chair, Kitten is sitting behind me, wondering why the chair isn’t big enough for both of us.

And squawking about it. It makes things a bit uncomfortable, but she’s an old lady and I love her, so I put up with it. Honestly, I spend most nights delicately moving my body around two other cats so I don’t disturb them, so I’m just an old cat lady.

We have this hole in the wall (we were looking for a potential leak, long story), and Luna keeps staring into it, like there’s a giant bug in there (there might be).

Sure, I could fix the wall, but I have on my to-do list (not for this week) remodeling the bathroom, so why fix it if I’m going to tear it all out in 10 years, right? Sigh. OK. I might fix it, but there are other things currently on the list that are higher priority.

Anyway, I’m delivering another quilt today (realized a few days ago that there were only shipping dates and I live in town, so why would I ship it?), plus finally seeing the shows at Visions, plus more copyediting, lots more, and IDK what else. Honestly I just want cookies and ice cream, but exercise is probably a better choice. I think I have pilates later. Yeah. I do. And I found more batting, so I don’t have to go to JoAnns three days before Christmas (oh hallelujah, angels sing on high). I have mostly avoided the mall this year, which is good. Trying to keep that mood going, but might need to get meat from Costco later, which scares me (Costco, not the meat)…but whatever. Yeah. Happy holidays y’all…hope it’s full of lights and family and food and healthy people with vaccinations and all that. And art. Lots of art.

I Appreciate Breaks…

Hi Monday. You can’t make me go to school today. Ha ha! OK, I’ll probably grade some stuff, and I’m definitely working (copyediting), but the million kid-related, district-related decisions are gone and I don’t have to wear a mask for 8 hours. That’s all good. Yes, I will be at school next week for two days. I own that. And I’m doing school-related things tomorrow too, but it’s a break. I appreciate breaks. I would appreciate them more if all the animals would let me sleep in, but that’s on me, right? I choose to have these furry beasts, and one of them now is on the boychild’s hellaciously early sleep schedule, and it’s OK, because I will get to sleep in on Wednesday morning. I hope. I think. Who knows. I don’t sleep well most nights anyway. Saturday I did. Or maybe Friday. All the way through. No bathroom, no tossing and turning, just blissful sleep. For hours. Gotta love it.

So quilt-wise, I have been doing the stitchdown…

I actually broke the foot on Friday night…it’s old. That’s a break that I don’t appreciate. It’s from the old machine. So I ordered a new one, and it arrived Sunday.

So I wasn’t going to do this on Saturday anyway, and it worked out. I’m probably halfway, maybe more than halfway done…with a little less than 4 hours in.

The back…

It takes a little practice with a new machine, getting settings right, figuring out the tricks. I’m getting there. I still don’t think I’m finishing this in 2021 though. I can get it pinbasted and start the quilting, and maybe even finish the quilting, depending on the other shit that I don’t know about yet that hasn’t yet appeared on my calendar but inevitably will…but no way am I getting the binding on as well. So that’s OK. I’m OK with it being the first 2022 finish. It’s not like the abortion issue is going away.

The next quilt is already designed in my head. It needs to get down on paper.

Speaking of paper, I like to try doing a Drawing a Day over Winter Break. I had some weird-shaped sketchbooks I bought years ago…and you know how those things become precious, so it’s hard to even open them and draw in them. Well I started drawing in them. They’re not THAT weird…just different sizes/proportions to my usual ones. So hopefully some differently sized quilts in the future?

I just randomly draw…this one is a good example of random.

It’s different than drawing for a quilt theme or idea that I have. I just let the brain spill onto the paper. How do I fill all the spaces? What goes here? It’s good practice. I wish I could find a way (time!) to do it more often.

So there’s three. I think there are 24 days of Winter Break…we’ll see if I get all 24. It’s OK if I don’t. The second sketchbook is really long and narrow. I’ll try one of those tonight. Speaking of tonight, the girlchild is arriving. She’s working while she’s here…hey, so am I! But it will be nice to have her around for a week. Although I’m realizing that not only do I have to finish cleaning her room (I started yesterday with the quilts and the crazy quilt fabric), but I need to clean off her workspace…which is currently MY workspace. Well, one of them. So there we are. No worries. I was thinking the other night though as the Man was blasting metal on YouTube and I just wanted to sit and read my book (in peace, no metal) that I should get a nice chair and put it in the girlchild’s room for just such occasions. But I’m not sure they happen enough. I could put it in MY bedroom too. I guess. There’s so much cleaning and getting rid of stuff that needs to happen first though. Ugh.

OK. Well, let’s not make more work for right now. Today is a busy one. I have three quilts going to Escondido for the California Fibers exhibit that opens at the California Center for the Arts on January 20. I spent an hour yesterday dehairing and ironing quilts and getting them packed up while on the phone with a friend. Then I realized I had to make a tactile page for that show…I knew I had a block I’d made a million years ago (seriously, in 2001, before I really kept track of shows even), so I searched and found it, and then used it and some other lost bits to make a tactile page…

Done! I was worried about getting that finished. So I’m driving those up in a few hours. Then copyedit for a while, clean up the desk and the bedroom for the girlchild, probably wash her bedding too, and IDK what else. Then more stitchdown before driving to the airport. All good. Check the to-do list in the calendar to confirm there aren’t 17 other things to do (there are).

The Man and I finished the Coast to Crest challenge for 2021/2022 on Saturday. There was one longer hike up up up a mountain…

Miners Loop to go up to Black Mountain.

It wasn’t bad. I wouldn’t want to do it in the summer, but that’s true of most local peaks, unless it’s nighttime.

It has a nice loop in the middle. Not ALL loop though.

Then we did the one hike we hadn’t done, which was less than 2 miles…

Because driving all the way up to Del Mar for a tiny hike seemed stupid. And then we went to a local brewing company for a celebratory drink and view of the moon rising.

Could’ve done without all the screaming kids, but whatever. The Man is pointing at Black Mountain, where we hiked.

I guess we have reached that age where we’d like all the young families to go somewhere else to entertain their kids. Ah well. Anyway, we’ll get our patch and sticker for finishing the challenge. And then have to decide what our hikes are from here on out. We bagged a peak anyway…one I’d already bagged. It’s all good.

Shockingly, Saturday night I didn’t have much energy for anything else, so I worked on sewing bits down.

Just a few pieces left on these. This part is totally brainless. The embroidery? Not so much.

OK, I need my shower and more tea. Kitten agrees…

Mostly because she wants my chair. She always wants my chair. She prefers to push me off it. She’s eyeballing it right now. OK. Shower. Tea. Cleaning. Driving. Copyediting. Monday. Not at school though. We need the break.

One More Day…

OK, one more day of school. My copyediting job starts today. The holidays are like impending doom, but I think I can handle them. I have 78 things to do this morning before school, but I have my ugly Christmas not-sweater (it’s a sweatshirt) on so I’m ready for something. A rapid COVID test mostly…but that’s another thing. Sigh.

I started stitch down the other night.

I didn’t get far. Tired. Exhausted really.

I did a little last night too. The new machine is so easy to use for this. Man oh man, such a joy.

Anyway. Not much else to say except Happy Friday, may all your rapid tests be negative, and may the cookies be healthy but tasty. And may all the really annoying kids be absent today (don’t even bring up that TikTok challenge for today y’all. Not in the mood.).

My Days Are Off…

I keep thinking my days are off. Isn’t today Thursday? It feels like I’ve done three days of school (I haven’t). Yesterday had a very Wednesday feel to it…I was convinced I had prep period at the end of the day (I didn’t). My entire prep was eaten up by pandemic contract kids anyway, so whatever. Why give me a prep when I can’t actually prep anything? Or grade anything? Today will be all the late assignments and redoes, and then hopefully I can get my head around one of last week’s assignments. I’d really like to go into break with very little to grade…that is actually impossible…my fault for assigning work. I’ve got two major art assignments plus a science packet and a major academic grade. Yeah. Ugh.

My Winter Break is full of a lot of work, y’all…but hopefully also full of this quilt…which will probably be a 2022 finish. I finished ironing the bubble together on Monday night…

Although I still don’t know where two of these three pieces belong…

I had already recut the R. Typos though…in an anti-abortionist’s sign? Makes sense.

The rest of the quilt rolled up on teflon sheets. It might sound like I don’t respect anti-abortionists (I just typed that anti-abortionshits accidentally). Sigh. I don’t. Because so many of them preach and then don’t follow it. I spend all day asking kids, “Who are YOU in charge of?”…and they sigh and answer “MYSELF”. And then this shit. Get out of my uterus.

You personally can make a decision about abortion for yourself. You should be having conversations with sexual partners before having sex (we actually teach this) about what y’all choose to do if it happens. Shit happens. Women should be able to have sex AND choices. Men do.

Then last night, I pieced the background and ironed the whole thing down. That took an hour and 42 minutes.

And so many of the details are hard to see in this photo. Part of that is the stitching that needs to happen, but also, honestly, like many of my pieces, you need to be up close to see most of it. So stitch down is next, probably 10-15 hours of that, then sandwich and pinbaste, an hour, then quilt for 15 hours or so, then about 6 hours of binding and sleeves. So 37 more hours? In two weeks? Probably not. Not with holidays and a copyediting job and a bunch of science planning that needs to happen. We’ll see. Plus grades.

In other school news, I got this email and laughed (and almost cried)…

That’s a shit ton of videos, and after they sent that, I made two more.

Our school party was Monday afternoon…this is my co-teacher who is awesome sauce and helps keep me sane. I can’t imagine doing all this alone.

She is more sequins than I am…although those tassels are pretty fancy for me.

Yesterday, we got an inch and a half of rain during the day…and I had duty before and after school.

‘Twas damp.

They kept reaching a paw out and touching, very gently, the other cat. And then there was running.

The man is still out and about…Zion…

Beautiful, eh? Plus a flash flood last night that put him in his car overnight…but waking up to this…

He’s OK…his tent is wet, but hopefully will dry out before tonight. More hiking today, I would say…and then we’ll see when he gets home.

It’s been quiet here without him. Lots of quilt stuff and school stuff and reading for me. Plus trying to do all the things. The boychild is cooking tonight, hallelujah. He gets home really late on Mondays and Tuesdays. Anyway…I have to be at school for “an inspirational message” (can you see my eyes roll from here?), then survive the day, do some exercise (I did that last night too…what a good thing!), and get stitching. Three days of school left. I can do that.

This Week Is Always Nuts…

Hey. Five days of school. With a rainstorm on the way. And a holiday party. But I get to wear pajamas to school later this week. Unfortunately, it’s on a day when I have to do something after school…they will just have to deal with my pajamaness. This week is always nuts. I got this. The copyediting job starts Friday. So yeah. From one job to another job without a day off…sigh. It is what it is.

The anti-anti-abortionists quilt (because I guess that’s really what it is…I’m not pro-abortion, like everyone needs to go get one…but I am pro-choice in the case of women’s reproductive freedoms…I mean, men have them, why can’t we?) is closer to done. This is the anti-abortionist bubble, where if you throw enough cash at them, they will let you get that abortion, right?

I worked on it all weekend, but not for any more time than I would during the week.

There’s some tiny shit in there.

I decided to make them all washed out, except for the one woman begging to get in. And there’s some embroidery that will go in this section.

Those are all the pieces left to be ironed.

Maybe 20 more in the other box. Plus then iron it down to the background. I might finish tonight? Probably tomorrow night. We’ll see how efficient I am at work today. I need to have a goodly chunk of stuff graded this week, so I can get this copyediting job done too. I’ll have two art projects to grade (ugh) and the stuff from this week, plus a small packet (double ugh). But not as buried as I usually am.

Saturday, we did the 3rd hike in the Coast to Crest Challenge, Scorpion Ridge to Santa Fe Valley.

It was nice and cool, or this would have been a draining hike. Although this might have been an easier crossing if it hadn’t rained recently.

It wasn’t bad though. There were some climby bits…but we made it to the Selfie Spot.

These photos are what get us the stickers and the patches. Crucial swag that.

Our new buddy.

Don’t usually see them in the middle of the day.

We had a sandwich and a drink after the hike, almost 5 miles, although my phone’s GPS must be failing. It can’t track me any more. The man’s is working fine, but he has a newer phone. So frustrating.

I drew at lunch too, but this was dinner. We might not have gone out again, twice in a day, but the man left Sunday morning early for 6 days of hiking. He made it to Zion by like 3 PM.

Definitely jealous of that view. Maybe not jealous of the cold though.

Meanwhile, I’m stuck here with all the furry beasts.

Some are more sociable than others.

I did get my tree in the house before he left though…

It only has one ornament on it so far. That might be ALL the ornaments it gets…we’ll see. The packages are piled up to keep the cats off it. This tree was a volunteer in my yard. I used to protect its tiny self with some rocks around it, then finally dug it up and put it into a pot. I think this is the third pot it’s been in. It’s definitely grown.

OK. I have to go to work. Engineering design getting taught today…and texture. Exciting stuff. Plus a holiday party. My introvert self is cringing. What’s new. December…it’s a challenging month no matter what.

Not Enough Wassailing…

I made it to the end of the week. I paid my property taxes (ouch). I am almost caught up on grades…well, until the end of today. Then I have more. Weird how that works. I haven’t gotten enough exercise this week, but I rarely do. I’m currently sitting on a chair with a cat sitting behind me, purring away, but not strongly enough to give me a massage. Huh. Something wrong with that.

Next week, the one before Winter Break and the Christmas crazy, is always nuts. I’m not done with shopping, haven’t even started any level of decorating, unless you count carrying the decoration boxes up from the garage. But I managed to order cat litter from Costco and it should be here before we run out (knock on wood, because I don’t have time to go there and buy it). Yeah. I’m not a fan of December. It’s nutsy cuckoo and there isn’t enough wassailing to make up for all that shit.

Apologies if this is your favorite time of year. I do appreciate more time to make art, although the copyediting job may kick that in the ass. Ah well. I need the money. Still haven’t paid off the girlchild’s college and the Man will be hiking for some months in the summer, so I’ll be short then. Sigh. I never feel like I catch up.

This piece is still available for viewing through next Wednesday…

Then I need to kamikaze over to the college on a Thursday night after school to pick it up. It’s good that it got seen again.

I’ve been ironing, of course. I’ve been ironing for days. Why stop now? I only have about 600 pieces to go. 600? Maybe 500. Yeah. 500. More fussy little shit, but what’s new. I got the big pieces of sky in finally.

I picked the main piece up off the teflon sheets and moved it up so I could do the sky.

Then last night, I finished her body and arm…

The hand was so complicated that I did it separately and then put it on. Then I finished the rest of the sky…

To get this photo, I had to stand on one leg and support the right side with my other leg. But you can see that I’m done with the main portion and all that’s left is the bubble. I’m totally doing that separately. This thing is getting unwieldy. But closer to done, which is nice. Sometime next week I should be able to start the stitchdown. Next week is also a bit unwieldy. Just gonna bully through it. Make some apple crisp and hunker down with a book and try to get enough exercise and sleep and not stress out too much about kids who can’t control their own bladders half the time, let alone their brains and mouths. It’ll be FINE. I even get to have a holiday party…um…I’m not really a fan of work parties. The only plus is my work people (the ones I like) will be there too.

I’ve been working on these after eating dinner, while watching an episode a night of Lost in Space. Just stitching things down.

It’s seriously brainless. Which is what I need right now.

OK. Today we get through all the things, then hope the chiropractor can do something about my neck. I’ll be ironing again tonight, of course. And I might have Christmas lights. That would be nice. I like me some Christmas lights.

What Kind of Crazy is That?

‘Tis the season for dealing with lost packages, yeah? I’m typing this on the iPad, because I’m in a chat on the computer, trying to replace the thermostat I need that was decidedly NOT delivered Monday night. At least not HERE. Sigh. At least it’s not a Christmas present, and the current thermostat is working. It’s cantankerous though and will probably die on one of these really cold nights. Good thing I have a bed full of cats, right? OK, the new one is arriving Sunday. Apparently. I’ll believe it when I see it…and hopefully I won’t be wandering through the yard with a flashlight trying to find it.

I swear I woke up yesterday thinking it was Wednesday already. So did my boss; he was talking about today’s meeting, which is actually tomorrow. Yesterday was a slog…started well, successful learning experience, fell into the deep turbulent water of What. The. Fuck. by the end of the day. It’s hard teaching such a wide range of abilities, but I also wonder what that group would be like in the morning. I never have them in the morning…just right after lunch or at the very end of the day. And I say things like “tomorrow, we will…” and there’s always this kid going, “We don’t see you tomorrow” (because of block schedule), and I’m lucky I even know what day it is and what I’m teaching…I can’t possibly keep track of who the hell will be in my class on the next day. What kind of crazy is that?

Last night’s post-8 PM texts with my co-teacher were “how do we change this assignment we’re in the middle of because ugh teaching it this way is painful and it could be worded better.” On the one hand, I really am grateful for a co-teacher who has a brain that works with mine. But maybe we should relax more at night and read a book or something. I did read for a bit when I got home. I wanted to be all good and go to the gym, but I’m tired…so tired. It was cold and I didn’t want to deal with it. This morning, I wish I’d gone. Oh well.

Ironing is what I do every night before bed, for close to or just over an hour. Not a lot…which is why it’s taking so long to get this done. Plus it’s complicated as hell. This figure is pretty small, but it’s hard to see the pieces under the teflon sheet and small means tiny pieces.

Lots of overlapping finger parts. Here it is upside down with cat butt.

And right side up…hanging over the ironing board.

Last night, I managed 78 minutes of ironing before bedtime. I pushed it a little late…been having problems falling asleep too, so that’s a fun thing. Ironing is the best thing though…it’s meditative. I finally pulled a separate sheet to iron this little baby in her hand, though. Could not see the pattern underneath, because this lies on top of the other figure.

Then I can just pull that piece off, all ironed together, and put it where it belongs…hoping always that it actually fits, because I’m not really perfectionist about it matching the pattern perfectly.

In fact, I’ve had two pieces that I debated putting in at all…they were so small and it wasn’t going to really make a difference to anyone but me. I left one out in the end. The other one is in there. So this is Figure 5…it seems like she blends in with the land a little more than I thought she would (stitching outlining will help with this), and I haven’t finished her right arm (damn fingers, so complicated), but that puts me squarely in the 900s with half of them already ironed (sky behind the other figures), but I still have some 300s and 400s, the other arm of Figure 2 and her head, that need to be ironed down. I wanted all this bottom stuff done, though, before I pull it off the teflon sheets and try to do that. I think I will iron the bubble all by itself and then make it fit. Maybe. We’ll see. Sometimes I have to stretch stuff or fuss with it to make it fit. That’s easier to do one small piece at a time than a big honking piece that has to carefully fit in. I think it will work though. So let’s say I’ve got about 600 pieces to go…that’s two thirds of the way done.

I’ve been ironing this thing together for 13-plus hours. Probably going to take me 20 total. So another 5-7 days. Wow. OK. Well. There we are. Copyediting job coming in too. Actually not sure I’ll be able to finish this quilt in 2021. We’ll see.

What else is going on? Animals. Notice Simba’s terrified look…cats have sharp bits.

But he’s the one who sat where the cats sit.

Luna climbs the Man Mountain.

She’s also pokey sharp.

Nice to see a block I embroidered in a finished quilt…3 down, 2 to the right. It’s huge!

I’m taking a class with Sara Trail of SJSA in February at QuiltCon. I’m taking two classes total, neither of them actually modern quilt stuff. Then again, I’m not really a modern quilter either. I’m still going through my stash. I got through the greens on the shelves (there are three more drawers of green) and four boxes of yellow. It’s going well. I hope they actually want all this stuff. I’ll find another charity group that needs it otherwise. Maybe divide it up. We’ll see.

I hit the 10,000 mark the other night…

Crazy. I think it helps. Sometimes it seems to help. Sometimes my brain can’t settle down even with meditation. That is the same brain that makes the art, though, so I guess there are always pros and cons.

OK. School. Rewrite yesterday’s assignment for my last, lowest class. Teach a bunch of other things today too. Then union meeting. Ugh. Long day. Then ironing. That’s good. I can look forward to ironing those damn fingers and then doing the rest of the sky.

Still About Choice…

Well my oh my. Two more weeks of tsunami waves and studentness. Some good, some not-so-good. It is Monday and I am again starting out with a lack of sleep. I did get a ton of shit done this weekend, but it felt like I was running around doing it all, because I took time to enjoy myself on Saturday. What’s new? It’s also the holiday season, so there is more of the running around than usual. Saturday I actually went to a social thing (I know, CRAZY!), one of my quilt guild’s holiday parties. It was fun and I won a ton of fabric! Because that’s what I need, right? More fabric? YES. It IS what I need. I need the vastest, widest, massivest (not a word) Most Massive stash around to make the quilts I make. I did realize though that maybe I don’t need AS MUCH of each fabric. I usually buy half yards because for a lot of stuff, fat quarters or quarter yards aren’t the right size for what I need. Think of backgrounds…blues and browns and greens, plus some of my figures have some pretty large parts to them. So that’s the flesh realm. But for most fabrics, I use little tiny pieces of them, sometimes for YEARS and they will probably never get used up. So I realized I value variety over the amount of each fabric I have…for most of them. The guild kept saying “if you don’t want any of what you won, we do charity quilts…” and I heard that, but also wanted to come home and fondle all the fabrics.

So I did that. And I washed them, because I always do that (allergic to the chemicals), and then I pulled some out that were (a) duplicates of what I already had, (b) things I would never ever use, (c) they were larger than fat quarters (so I kept half and put half back in the pile) and put them in a trash bag…not to throw out though. And then I looked at my stash and started going through it.

For each half yard I had of a fabric I hadn’t cut into or barely cut into, and that I knew wouldn’t work for the uses above of larger pieces, I cut it in half. I kept one fat quarter and gave one to the donate pile in the trash bag.

I’ve had that green fabric for a really long time and you can see how much of it I’ve used. I think this is a good thing. The man thinks I have too much fabric and don’t need any more, and there’s an argument for that. I’ve been trying to use more of my stash, not buying backings or bindings, although that is harder because I don’t have pieces big enough most of the time. I like the variety and this will give me more room for it, plus my charity group at the guild will benefit as well.

All I’ve gotten through is 4 boxes of greens so far though.

It’s OK. I am just doing two boxes every time I come in here to iron. It doesn’t take long.

After the party, we hiked, about 4 miles.

I needed it.

I’m really stressed and overwhelmed and feel like I can’t get everything done. So exercise helps with that. So does making art. I’ve had so little time to draw.

Only at the dinner table on Saturday nights…strange place, food was good, too many screaming children.

I’m not a fan of the restaurant playground. As a parent, I get the attraction. As an old person, I don’t want to sit near it.

Kitten agrees.

I’ve been doing some other stuff to help with sanity. I stitched a bunch of stuff down.

Those are the June Homegrown blocks, Sue Spargo. Brainless applique. All I can handle.

I also fixed my purse and the man’s pants and shirt, plus stitched this little patch into an ornament…

Although originally I accidentally put the ribbon inside. And it needs stitching and/or beads and stuffing. but it’s been sitting around for a year waiting to be something.

And I ironed…Figure three on Friday night…? I think? Or Saturday. This must have been Saturday.

Not sure what the hell I did Friday night. Because this is last night…

Finished her head and complicated hand.

More tonight. Maybe I’m halfway now? I don’t think so. Close though. Fucking complicated thing. Like the topic, abortion and reproductive rights.

I agree.

Yeah that. Fuck it.

And this was good, although unrelated. I had a troubled relationship with this book because of the war theme, but this was good.

Still about choice, though. OK. School. Now. I can do it. I can. All of it. Ugh.