My Brain Needed Somewhere Else to Land…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Getting Loud in Here…

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

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

So I did some of the stitch down on this…

Then I’ll do embellishment…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inspiration comes from many places.

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

It's Not Always Awesome…

For a good 45 minutes last night, lying in bed, trying to persuade my brain to shut up about the tables in my room. We’re doing 3 days of stations, one of which is working directly with me, hoping some small-group instruction will help with what we’re doing next, but also my school thinks this is magical (I think we need smaller groups, but we don’t have time to fix that issue) so my brain sits and worries over moving tables here or there or how to make sure this group is on Station 2 and that group is on Station 3. Fuck my brain. My classes of 36 are going to be fun…let’s just hope they’re still asleep from the weekend and don’t use this as a chance to completely lose it. We have Oreos as bribes.

It was a mentally busy weekend. I did a lot of different things…a whole huge pile of grading, although there is always more. And you never finish.

Saturday, I went to a stitch-in with a new group. I didn’t have any art quilts in a state to travel, so I took some applique I started about a year ago to use these moon-dyed pieces I got from Jude at Spirit Cloth.

This is the Modern Quilt Guild and my work is so NOT modern, but I went anyway. They seem pretty accepting. Swear words were used fairly early on. They are politically in my realm. I think it’ll work. Of course, it’s a Saturday, so I can’t go the next two months. Ah well.

I did finish two of these guys. That’s almost 4 hours of applique. I had one done already.

More embroidery to follow on these.

The rest of Saturday was grading stuff, watching these guys cavort…

(There’s birds out there. Maybe even bugs.)

A relatively quiet dinner with the man (the restaurant was not quiet)…

More cats sleeping.

It is what they do best. Ah yes, I forgot…here are the two drawings (one unfinished) from Friday night at the dive bar, waiting for the band to go on…

I just draw. I don’t think. It’s not always awesome.

Definitely needs more.

Can you see the gigantic moth in this picture? The cats can…

It’s an exciting Saturday night here. I did finally work on the artist’s book. I don’t know where I’m going with it.

I’m just going. Around a corner apparently.

Sunday morning had exercise, more grading, and then an art meeting in the afternoon. Nova looks a little cross-eyed at times.

She has all the dog toys.

Funky flower pods on the way to the meeting. Fuzzy is fascinating.

Honestly there were so many people at the meeting that my introvert self almost left. But I stayed. More art opportunities. I’m feeling overwhelmed at the moment.

At the grocery store, great lenticular clouds.

Weird weather heading our way.

And more floof sleeping.

I got a package of Anna Maria Horner fabrics as part of her Applique Story shipment. I was intrigued by her videos of creating these vignettes using really high color and crazy graphic fabrics. So I used them last night to do this…based on a drawing I started Saturday at dinner.

So yeah, now all that needs to be sewn down. It’s a little crazy. I like it. My brain was all over the place this weekend, I tell you. When that happens, you just have to go with the flow.

Then I sorted all the fabrics that were used in the last quilt, and put them all away.

That means I can start picking fabrics for the next quilt. Hopefully tonight. I’m trying to balance all the things. At once.

Another sleeping animal who doesn’t care about all that.

OK, well now I can go to school and actually figure out what I’m doing with the damn tables. Thanks brain for all that worry. Appreciate it. Hopefully I’ll make it back from school early enough to walk dogs…still chasing the sunlight on that endeavor. Winter sucks for that.

Tired and Dreaming of Leather

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

That was this morning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OK, so what else? Kittens of course…

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

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

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

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