Some Definition of Done

Oh lordy. ‘Tis early. I know not for some, but I am truly not a morning person, and it is still dark. I lost my temporary crown earlier this week, and although I’d love to ignore it until my appointment for the permanent crown, that area is sensitive to cold liquids…or even regular tap-water temperature…enough to give me a rancid ache from jaw to eyeball every time I drink something cooler than hot tea. So I made the only appointment I could, at freakin’ 7 AM. So I can guarantee getting to school on time, and also guarantee a difficult mood for me all day. Not sure I can drink enough tea to make up for that.

My brain was already fuzzy on how to do the things. I unplugged my computer at work last night, ready to put it in the bag so I could grade more roller coasters. Brought all the roller coaster drawings home. Left the computer at school. Damn. OK. Guess I’ll be grading those this weekend instead. Ah well.

I’m now sitting in the parking lot at the dentist because they aren’t open yet. It’s a delightful 37 degrees out there. Someday I’ll remember to put a real jacket on for school. This winter has been much colder than usual.

Anyway, I’ve been cutting stuff out every night, in between three Zooms on Wednesday and three on Thursday. Everything hit this week apparently.

Never looks like much. At least you can see the piles getting bigger.

Or can you…

After last night, I had passed the halfway mark. This is just short of three yards. Mostly I got that far because I forgot the school computer or I would’ve done some grading. If I don’t grade constantly, I get really far behind. This week has sucked for feeling caught up.

I did finish the first tattoo block, so that was cool.

Found the next drawing…need to trace it onto freezer paper and pick some fabrics.

Got 18 roller coasters in progress in class…mostly chaos.

Another week and they’ll be done. For some definition of done. Well the dentist was fast and hopefully, I’ll wake up in time to teach. And remember my computer this weekend. Can’t say I’m feeling up to teaching at the moment. Drink the tea. Make more.

Warm Compress on My Life…

Hey. Hey there. Hey there you…who does not know what day it is anymore. Like me. I thought yesterday was Thursday. I think part of it is doing Pilates on Tuesday instead of Wednesday, due to a massively long union meeting last night. I came home and thought it was Tuesday though, because I was confused by the trashcans being out. But then I definitely was checking my email for Imperfect Produce, which comes on Thursday. I think my tired brain wanted it to be Thursday, but my realistic brain was like, you’ve only worked two days m’dear, must be Tuesday. Fuck both those brains.

I’m running on 5 hours of sleep, maybe less, due to the dog barking, possible skunk or zombie incursions (hence dog barking) plus stupid brain that is trying to (a) consider school drama and/or future student/parent drama plus other crap related to students, (b) plan a magnet exploration lab in my head, (c) remember to open the file for the art meeting on Sunday so it doesn’t delete itself because we only have 24 hours to open it and I don’t remember when it came, and (d) fuck, I don’t remember what d was for. Thank you, brain. Really. Plus I think I have a stye in my eye and I can’t tape my knee because I’m having some random allergic reaction to the tape even though it’s not latex.

Fucking sigh. Seriously.

Pros: I finished the union notes and sent them (no help there). I watched three videos (or most of them) and picked the best one. I started the magnet lab on an actual doc so it’s not actually just in my head. One of my co-teachers bought me lunch yesterday, which was really nice. And this kid made me another cat! A cat loaf. A cat head on a bread loaf.

Here’s the three she’s made me…

I’m kinda loving this.

In art news, well, guess what, I’m still tracing shit.

I did hit halfway on Tuesday night though. And if I continue in this way with about an hour and 100 pieces a night, I will hopefully finish Tuesday. NEXT Tuesday.

Seriously, it pretty much looks the same every night. I might cut a new blank piece of Wonder Under and start filling it in (I’m on my 4th yard right now), but that’s it. Fill fill fill. I know it’s totally boring on your end, but on MY end, it’s very meditative and relaxing. Become one with the Wonder Under. Trying to fit as many pieces as possible on one yard. Not wasting a single inch of this stuff that costs maybe $2 a yard. Yeah. Whatever. It’s a game, a puzzle.

Is it still January? Yes. And grades are due Tuesday. Deep breaths. I can’t get any grading done because I’m setting up labs and putting labs away and planning for the next unit and I haven’t even finished planning for THIS unit because my preps are gone, but I need to use my prep today for planning 7th-grade stuff that didn’t get finished (or maybe it IS finished and I just don’t know it, but I don’t THINK it is, and this stye is driving me bonkers need to go put a WARM COMPRESS ON MY LIFE).

In other news, here’s one of my kids.

In an Airbnb I stayed in last year…I have a picture on Instagram that looks very similar except it’s me on 3 hours of sleep. Can’t find it right now, but it exists.

Balloon labs this week.

Cleanup is particularly fun for our teacher aides. Pop pop pop.

Here’s something I cut out over a year ago and then lost in the pile. It’s brainless.

There was a foundation paper piecing quilt designed by ugh someone…Berene Campbell of Happy Sew Lucky. And I don’t FPP. So I traced a block to make it regular applique, then realized I didn’t need a full-size quilt of this, so reduced them all 50%. Somehow. I don’t remember how I did that. But I did. And then drew patterns for all the rest. Hey, this is still Berene’s quilt. And then I finally started actually appliqueing them last night. Don’t expect much out of me. Actually, they’re pretty simple really as regular applique. That FPP stuff though? Uh uh. Not doing that.

OK. SCHOOL. It’s Thursday. Finally. Or my god, still? Depends on which part of my brain you talk to. I’m making 8th graders draw roller coasters. I’m making 7th graders write and learn shit (that’s already an issue). I have a meeting after school, and then need to pick up the parental dog for the weekend. Fun stuff. Tonight’s Zoom meeting was moved to tomorrow night, so I might actually finish grading the late work before I get another snotty email from a sweet 13-year-old who doesn’t have to cook dinner and plan magnet labs instead of obsessing over one assignment. Yeah. I (do not) remember those years.

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.

But I Was Late for This, Late for That*

Adult brain won last night and got me in bed earlier. Not much earlier. Really not even a win, if you talk to anyone about how much sleep I SHOULD get, but better than the night before. So there’s that. Plus I finished grades before we even went to the airport to drop off the girlchild…here’s what the end of doing grades looks like…

Pretty dang happy. Girlchild will hate this photo, but Simba is kissing her. Last time he’ll be able to do that for a while. Next up? Graduation, a trip to Portugal (for her, not me…I won’t make it out of the country this year), and then work like an adult. Who knows when we’ll see her again on that couch. I try not to think too hard about that shit.

So finally, on January 14, I managed to implement my Finishing All the Shit plan for the new year. I assigned one project per day, and I’m supposed to put in about 30 minutes on it a night, after I eat dinner, while I’m still watching whatever show we’re watching, assuming I don’t have an art quilt that’s in a couch stage (cutting things out or sewing bindings) or grading I can do. Or want to do, because I had more grading last night…I just chose not to do it. It will get done. Eventually. But I haven’t been doing a good job of following any of it, mostly because the projects themselves are very disorganized at the moment. So I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to find all the bits that would allow me to just pick one up and work on it.

So I worked on this, Monday’s project…

Which included a puppy face…a puppy who is confused about where his benefactor went.

I don’t know how many years ago I started this, but it was a lot. It’s from a book called Home Sweet Home except I blew off their calm quiet colors. I have I think 6 blocks done? Or this is the 6th one? And there are only 9. Most of the pieces are pretty damn big, so it won’t take long. Here it is so far…

The windows are all done…they just need to go on. This is about 1/2 way done. So there we are. Moving on.

After all that and the dishes and trying to figure shit out and get my brain on task (a difficult thing sometimes), I moved into the room with the iron…

And I did things with it. So this is the bottom section of Figure 2…and I put the hand in that overlapped it. I’m pretty sure that pink hand is from Figure 5, because I pulled it from the box with the 1300s…but it’s missing the finger creases. I don’t know where they are…hopefully in the box with the other fingers (not the 1300s box. Trust me. I looked there more than once.). I just didn’t go looking for them.

Then I pulled that off the teflon sheet and started on the section of Figure 2 above the arm that crosses over it…


Skinny piece…with another arm above it. For now, I just kept going above that arm…

I don’t think I’ll try to iron that arm over the body now. Too complicated. No logical break like with the other hand.

I didn’t finish the face, because however much I WANTED to, that’s when adult brain looked at the clock and said no, go to bed.

Which is good, because it takes me a while to get everything cleaned up and settled and brush my teeth, find the dogs, settle them, take insulin, etc. But there’s Figure 1 getting swallowed by Figure 2, which is almost finished. Although she has a tree, a nest, a bird, and an ivy vine that go with her, so not quite THAT close to done. I’m in the 400s, so I only got about 150 pieces in last night. Not bad. I started around 10 PM. Only 1100 pieces to go! Yeah. Uh huh.

I got rejected from another show last night. OK. Well. There we are. Now I need to figure out what’s available to enter in the next one. Which reminds me that I still have one out there that should be returned this week…haven’t seen it yet. Sigh. Six made it home…no, seven made it home. Sheesh. That’s a lot. Need to deal with putting those away. I emailed about the eighth one. Usually they send tracking info. Well. Sometimes they send tracking info. No guarantees.

OK, more ironing tonight, but also tutoring and the gym…which bites into that time. All good and useful things…but time is a limited resource.

*The Lumineers, Cleopatra