A Place in the World

Still here, still trying to find a place in the world. I realize for many that the US has never had a place for them. As an educated white female, I always had a place…not a great one, not an equal one, but better than many. We were never 1st-class citizens. And now it is worse. Depressing and worse.

What do we do? Ah well, that is always the question…

There’s that. There’s making art, donating money (when I have it, which isn’t now), writing postcards, protests…

When I can handle them, marches, figuring out how to get rid of half the Supreme Court without violence, voting, persuading others to vote. Sigh. I remember in college locking arms with others in front of women’s health clinics to keep the anti-abortionists from harassing women coming into the clinics. It was the era of bombing clinics, but no part of me considered that. Youth. But I did think about that when I was at the vigil on Friday night. People will die. Many of them will be women who aren’t allowed to get healthcare they need or who find it unsafely, illegally. Women will die. For this shit. Ignorance. Unscientific ignorance.

Still processing all of that.

Meanwhile, there was an artist event at the California Fibers’ show at Visions this weekend. I’ll post more about that on their website and link it here later this week.

They all had better clothes than me…not hard really.

The show is up through July 2…you should go check it out. It’s a wide variety of textile art.

I’m still ironing stuff down and cutting things out…

I’m getting close to done with the ironing…

I’m almost done with the 800s, so maybe 250 pieces left? Or less?

Nowhere near done with the cutting out unfortunately. Getting there. Although now this competes with copyediting, which started Friday and will hopefully be done this week. After this morning’s science meeting. I take breaks in between copyediting to go beat my yard or house into submission. Copyediting means I must be supervised…

She’s not very helpful.

I am trying to finish up some embroideries/small quilts to put on Etsy. I got these done on Thursday…

I’ll let you know when I’ve had time to put them on Etsy…

I might rephotograph too…ugh…

I know I’m trying to do too much. That is always the case though.

Oh yeah, baby owl…see the little white bit in the hole? That’s one of the babies!

That’s the best photo I’ve gotten, though. They hide when I come up further into the yard. Getting brave though!

OK. Science meeting, then copyedit, then more yardwork. Finish my book before it’s sent back to the library. Try not to burn down the country while I’m at it. Huh. Maybe.

My New Podcast

Not really. Don’t get excited. I don’t have time for a podcast…I’m too busy making art. Well…ha! Trying to make art. I did make a video Monday about 7 hours into an eventually 10.5-hour drive (luckily I didn’t drive the last two hours…I was done) and mentally titled it “What the Fuck Am I Doing. Where the Fuck Am I. And Why the Fuck Am I Here.” It’s a really long title for a podcast, but it seemed appropriate at the time. I’ll post the video here once it’s done processing. I actually made TWO videos (they are so lame and unprofessional, but thought process! Yes that.) and then put them together (mad skillz) and now that’s uploading. So yeah.

I think I made the video to entertain myself more than anything, which is why I write this blog…well, to document my brain in time. I do go back and reread months sometimes when I’m having a really hard time, and it reminds me that certain things cycle through life. The beginning of school is always hard. So is the end. So are the two weeks right after school get out. It’s a reset. And this one has been a kind of crazy one.

If you’ve watched the video, you don’t know what happened! The Man has had 3 weeks of elevation sickness while hiking the Sierras. It’s been beautiful but incredibly hard. So he had to make a decision, and I drove up to see him after 3+ weeks of not seeing him and to support him in his decision, either by sticking him on a bus north or driving him north or bringing him home. In the end, adulting and money issues brought him home, which sucks and is sad, but also a relief I think for both of us. It doesn’t mean he’s done. It just means he’s done for a while. It’s job time. I love him for trying over and over again to do this hard thing and for deciding it’s time to stop for now.

It has meant that I haven’t gotten much art done. Packed Sunday and tried to set up everything I needed to. Drove Monday all day. Tuesday, drove back home. I’m exhausted. Still. Plus add a friend’s daughter’s wedding on Saturday, Fathers’ Day stuff on Sunday…I haven’t had much time to focus on recovery yet.

Friday night, after checking out of school, trying to reset my neck again at the chiropractor (slightly more movement), and taking the dog to the vet, I ironed for a bit.

Watched How to Train Your Dragon…no, never had time to watch it before.

So that was after Friday night, almost 2 hours of ironing. I was tired, but ready to iron on Saturday and Sunday! So motivated. Ha!

Saturday was a lot of running around and then a wedding. And then when I got home, I started getting texts from the Man about quitting and coming to get him, and mine back saying are you sure, what about just starting further north, and it was kind of a mess. I didn’t iron at all. Sunday morning, he had processed his feelings and just wanted to see me, which had been in the plan for the next week, but this would work…I just wasn’t mentally prepared for it. So most of Sunday was trying to get stuff watered and packed and purchased and all that. I did iron for just under an hour Sunday night…not my original plan for the weekend, but whatever…

Doesn’t look a lot different…but I had ironed the cat (the fabric cat, not the real cat) and more of the legs I think. Not sure.

Monday was nothing. I wasn’t here. I thought about taking the already ironed pieces with me so I could cut them out, but it was a lot of prep for the time I thought I’d have available…and in the long run, I wouldn’t have had the energy. Monday night, I laid on the bed and read my book. That’s it. We did get home last night around 5 PM after driving a good chunk of the day…ah LA…your traffic sucks. And at some point, I’d had enough caffeine to come back in here and iron some more…

I’ve finished most of the 400s and done some of the 500s, so still not halfway. It’s slow right now. My brain is slow. I’m tired. I did about 2 hours last night and only got 100 pieces ironed. I’ve got almost 10 hours in. SO SLOW. It’s OK. It’s what I need…more time. Hard to choose things. Lots of staring. I’m hoping I can speed it up this week…get it going!

I’m supposed to be doing an artist talk kind of thing (really just hanging out by my work and working and talking to anyone who comes in) on Saturday at the Visions Museum of Textile Art

And it would be good to have stuff to cut out while waiting/standing/whatever. I’ll be there from 11-2 if you want to see the show and talk to some of the artists. This is in San Diego, California, if you don’t know…and will be Saturday June 25.

So my goal is to be all ironed down before then. Well before then. Meanwhile, I’m still trying to find my brain. Wish me luck. There have been some beautiful skies lately though…lenticular cloud at sunset.

Storm clouds last night…

I did a tiny bit of stitching on the trip down from Fresno yesterday…

Again, this is Sue Spargo’s design Homegrown…I really like stitching her stuff for relaxation, especially while traveling. That’s the Grapevine heading toward Los Angeles. I could do without driving that for a while.

This is Nova watching me water everything before I left…

I’d like to think the boychild would do all that, and he might, if he weren’t on a fire crew right now. At the border…

I can’t say having your kid fight fires is the least stressful thing in the world, but he has a brain that remembers all the things, so I think he’ll be OK. But he didn’t make it home last night…so this poor little guy is feeling all lost…

He looks super sad.

Well, one of the things on my to-do list for Sunday was to write this post. I obviously failed. And then that moved to Monday (nah, exhaustion) and Tuesday (nah, let’s just go home instead). So here we are, the first day I’ve had any semblance of brain power for writing. Now I need to take a shower, go buy some boxes, pack up a quilt, ship it, plant some things, wash the hallway for future painting, IRON FABRICS, and IDK what else. Finish my book. Check on the Man. Pet the pup. All those things. Figure out what day it is. That would help.

Magically Get Better…

I’m currently trying to type with a swollen pointer finger covered in a bandaid and Neosporin to try to counteract the weirdo infection under my nail. Don’t even ask how I did it. It involved sourdough starter though. Yeah. You figure it out. Trying to avoid urgent care…can’t get doctor’s appointments any more.

It’s Monday again. I realized there was a bunch of stuff I should have done to get ready for teaching art this week, so it will all have to be done during a short prep period today. Ought to be interesting. We’ll see if I can pull it off. Our staff meeting has been turned into a required 1-hour attendance at the staff-student soccer game after school. While I appreciate the disappearance of a staff meeting, I’m so buried in work that I don’t like the idea of just standing around for an hour and not getting anything done. Much as I love my principal, I’ve got a shit-ton of work to do and I need all the minutes at school so I don’t have to do as many at home. Which SUCKS. By the way. Hello school districts. Get a clue.

Saturday, I did manage to get up to the California Center for the Arts to see the California Fibers show…

It’s a great space and we fill it well. Here’s my corner of the exhibit…

Looks good! When we were leaving, we were mobbed by a group of fans, which was fun albeit a little terrifying in the beginning. They had good questions and were appreciative, which is nice.

Afterwards, we headed out to Daley Ranch for a hike…

It’s going to be warmer this week…we could definitely tell…

Four miles in the bag…dinner out afterward…

It had been a few weeks. He’ll be gone this coming weekend, backpacking on the PCT (short trip) and I’ll be gone the following weekend for QuiltCon.

I’m still cutting pieces out…this is Friday night…

I think I did most of 2 yards…then Saturday night…

Was almost another 2 yards…and last night, just 1 more…

I’m pretty sure there’s only 2 left to do. So another couple of nights? Maybe? I can’t always do one in an hour.

I did some other things, but only briefly…

Got one more flower to go around with the incredibly time-consuming Pekinese stitch…

There are always animals requiring attention…

That one wanted me to move all the cutting paraphernalia off my lap. I gave her a leg.

So yeah, prep a bunch of art stuff with a damaged swollen finger (nice), hope it gets better by the end of the day, sit through 4 soccer games or so, then hopefully DON’T go to Urgent Care, but home to cook and cut more things out. That’s the plan. And then hopefully sleep much better because I won’t have a throbbing finger all night. Ha! I just know that Urgent Care will mean sharp pointy things and I don’t want that. I just want it to magically get better. As do we all!

Teaching Kittens to Fingerpaint

‘Tis Wednesday and I am trying to type this while a senior cat headbutts my chin and licks my hand. Also my right wrist hurts…and trying to figure out if it’s (a) all the computer grading I did yesterday, (b) lifting weights at the gym, or (c) tracing a few really big pieces of sky on Wonder Under is really pointless, because I think it’s all of them. Note to self: take computer off stand to grade. Also go find the wrist brace because last time you wore it for a day and things were better. My chiropractor is already going to have fun with my neck and upper back on Friday. Let’s not add other injuries from your silly job. Tiny little laptop keyboard plus bad angle of body and wrist. Silly.

So I’m not feeling like there’s much progress on the tracing, because I’m up in the big swoopy bits of the sky and the pieces are huge and a pain to fit onto the Wonder Under, so they take much longer to trace than all the small pieces I was doing over the weekend.

I think the first night, I only traced like 25 pieces. But they were big and fussy. Last night? Last night, I started on piece 411 and finished on 441. I’m still in the sky, but I’ve moved from the back right to the back left, and there’s not a lot of it left. So that’s a plus, because I’m used to doing about 100 pieces an hour and this does not feel like movement. I’m 8 hours in and still in the 400s. I’m only getting about an hour and 15 minutes of tracing each night during the week. I went to the gym last night, prepped breakfasts AND cooked dinner on Monday night. Tonight I have an art meeting on Zoom, tomorrow a stitching meeting on Zoom plus science planning. It’s hard to get time to make things right now. But exercise is important and so is the socializing. Most of them are back on Zoom for now, until omicron fucks off. I’m still getting a few quarantine contracts each day…wait. I don’t think I got any yesterday. Is that possible? Knock on wood, knock hard.

I will go back and fill in all those little spaces with the smaller pieces I’ll be tracing tonight or tomorrow night. I hate wasting Wonder Under. I save pieces that are bigger than 3″ square for when I need just a small piece to retrace something (happens all the time) or when I need to make a label for the back of a quilt.

Speaking of quilts, there are three in Escondido at the California Center for the Arts right now in the California Fibers’ exhibit Surface, Substance, StructureSo Cal Mama

I Can’t Be Your Superwoman

And Portrait of the Artist As a Young Woman

I haven’t made it up to the show yet. It’s up until March 6, so check it out.

And I also have a piece in the A Better World exhibit at Visions Art Museum, Bill! Bill! Bill!, a tribute to Bill Nye.

They’ve been closed for the last week or so; I haven’t seen this exhibit either, but I did see it in person when it was at Road to California? I think? Can’t remember where…it was pre-COVID, though, so fuzzy brain. It will be there until April 3. Lots of opportunities to see Nida originals! OK two opportunities.

I’m trying to finish up Sue Spargo’s Chirp before this year’s block of the month starts, ironically because I haven’t finished last year’s either. Silly, but a goal anyway. There are 24 flowers around the edge.

There are four of each type of flower. I have finished three of the types, so 12, so halfway! Woo! Wait, this also might have something to do with my wrist hurting today…those yellow cast-on bullions are a pain to do.

Every flower has them. I’m getting better at them. I guess that’s the plus. I did start the fourth flower type last night, but this is not a fast border to stitch. I suspect they got complaints, because last year’s easy BOM had a super basic border. I like a complicated border, but when you think you’re almost done and then there’s still 6 months of work (I do these slowly), it’s a hard mind thing.

OK. Time for me to get my ass out of here to school, where it’s a Wednesday, so I teach ALL the things, four different things, it’s like my hair is on fire…

Yeah. Welcome to my job in pandemic times. It’s never really a cake walk anyway, but this stuff just makes it harder. My morning science block will be like pulling teeth…I know because I did it with three classes yesterday. The afternoon block should be slightly better? Maybe? But then 6th graders in art. We are starting something new, though, so maybe that will help. It will feel less like teaching kittens to fingerpaint? Hard to say. Tracing the damn sky tonight though. That’s a thing.

Simplify. Fewer Words.

Mid-week posts while I’m teaching are SPARE. Unless I get into a show. Which I did! I have three pieces that will be in a California Fibers show at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, opening in January…looking forward to that. One of them is NOT the one I made for the show, so if you want to see the hiking quilt, IDK when or where that will be…so here’s I Can’t Be Your Superwoman…which did get in.

Dear WordPress: Why are you being so bitchy this morning? I already know today will be a challenge. I don’t need it shoved in my face. Seriously, it wouldn’t let me bold the title. Then it wouldn’t let me delete the caption under the figure that I didn’t even put there. Then it wouldn’t let me add a new box to type in. It’s like dealing with some of my students. Actually, yesterday, two kids did the thing when I pushed them to do the thing, even though I had no help in a class with 8 SPED in it (soon to be 9, I’m pretty sure)…I’m so tired of our SECA shortage. I’m especially tired of not knowing there will BE a SECA shortage in my classroom until the SECA just doesn’t show up. Yesterday was manageable only because two of them were absent. Another one drew a pentagram on my desk and another with chalk pastel (we had a conversation…I think we bonded over blackened fingers for art) and two of the others rocked it. Today is the less capable group, though, but I’m guaranteed a SECA in there due to child in wheelchair (oh good). We’ll see how it goes. Today is hard because I teach 4 different things: an Advisory topic (IDK WTF today is…I never know until I look at the form), the Block 1 of science (today is figuring out what fossils are on the continents in certain eras…yesterday this went well, good good), Art (will be fucking chaos of India ink and paintbrushes, pray for me to the Goddess of Art Teachers and the Hell in Which They Exist with Materials), and finally Block 2 of Science, which is all thinking and figuring stuff out, which often is a dead silent, not even crickets, because WE DID THE THINGS BUT WE DON’T UNDERSTAND THEM. Yeah. So that. And I have a meeting this morning so I have to leave in 10 minutes.

I did no art on Monday night because I was cleaning my studio. I started with putting the fabrics away.

From the last two quilts…one big one and one little one. I can’t focus on the next one until the room is under control. Also I need the boxes the fabrics are in to sort the Wonder Under, so it’s almost forced cleaning. This is a small space and it is already chock full, so without that stage, there is nothing happening.

Then last night, I made it to the gym for the first time in a month (woo hoo!), came home, packed up two quilts that need to ship out today, and finally made it in the studio for artmaking at about 10 PM. Ah good. So I sorted the first 100 pieces and ironed the first set of dirt to fabric.

It’s a start. It’s not a great start, but I’m ready to go for tonight. I should get a full hour in tonight, I hope, maybe more, although the gradebook opened, so I might be doing that instead.

Nova in a mood.

She likes to scratch things.

Anyway, I gotta get outta here, do the school thing, racing through, which is what most days feel like (hence the exhaustion at the end), then Pilates, then home for dinner and art stuff. Plus thinking about sub plans for Friday. I wrote them, but I need to simplify. Bullet points. Fewer words. Hard for me. You might have noticed.

All That…

It’s a Monday morning. We all have feelings about that. My current feeling is that I’m not ready. I did get almost caught up with grading…well, until this week, when everything at the end of everything is due. Friday will feel overwhelming, for sure, but for now, I’m trying to get to a place of managing that. The trimester ends next Friday, the science unit ends this week, all the art projects end this week. And the month ends! It’s probably not related. Plus in the last week and a half, there are 4 pickups for art. I’m handling 2 of them and the men are handling the other 2, because they’re all during my work day…during a normal person’s work day, honestly. So yeah. Not sure what I’d be doing if I didn’t have people home to do pickups. Negotiating alternate pickup methods, I guess.

Did anyone do QuiltCon? I am realizing I prefer an actual class with a teacher talking to me to a pre-recorded video class. So be it. I’m in it for the human interaction. I watched both my classes, but haven’t started due to materials issues and time issues and just plain issues. I might get there. We’ll see. I missed the lecture I signed up for because I forgot about time zones, which I’m sad about, but it was recorded, so I watched it anyway: Chawne Kimber, who looks like fun to watch quilt. Like she’d be fun to take a class from. Future thoughts. I’m also signed up for the SAQA conference in April; looking forward to that, although some of the events start right when school ends, which could be complicated. We’ll see. My current QuiltCon project, by the way, looks like this.

That’s not much there. It might become more. We’ll see.

I did some other stuff, embroidery finishing, then piecing, and putting borders on, but it’s a recent Sue Spargo piece that hasn’t been published yet, so I can show anything but the cat guarding one of the spools of thread.

Just know I’ve been working on it and it will eventually show up here, probably in the next month or so. Mostly brainless easy stuff that I can do when nothing else is working.

Saturday, we did a longer hike (it was actually 1.4 miles shorter than it was supposed to be, not sure why)…this is another Coast to Crest challenge hike, from 2019-2020 though. It starts in Del Dios Highland Preserve, on the Lake Hodges side.

And basically it goes up 1100′ in less than a mile, no switchbacks. It’s not impossible…just hard.

And then at some point, you cross over into Elfin Forest Recreational Forest. This is not all the way up.

But we didn’t start that high up, for sure.

Spring has started to show up.

The point is to get to the Lake Hodges overlook, but you walk by Olivenhain Reservoir to get there.

It was the longest 6 miles I’ve ever done. It just felt hard.

Although the weather was perfect…cool with a breeze.

So yeah, we started at the level of Lake Hodges…down there.

Yeah. So my legs are still feeling it two days later.

Mostly flat. Literally 1365′ feet up and then back down. Averages out.

Anyway. Not a bad hike…might be easier to go up the Elfin Forest side? Hard to say.

Hey! There’s my piece in the California Fibers: Historical References show that is currently open in Los Angeles.

Yeah, mine is the big one, One of My Kind. There are appointments available to go see it, or you can see it online.

I did do the stitch down on the little owl last night…then sandwiched it.

And then fought the sewing machine and the sewing machine foot for a while and gave up and read my book. Because life is too short for fighting machines. I’ll try again tonight.

For now, I need to get some work done. A pissy parent demanding things, plus getting ready for school and teaching and all that.

Appreciate the Sunsets.

Mid week already? That was fast. I’m even somewhat caught up. Wait. No. I still have 5 assignments to grade from last week, and even though I finished grading all the late work yesterday at 8:20 AM, there is now more in the pile that needs grading, because that is how the never-ending pile of grading works. It’s why the last week of school is such an inordinate relief. There cannot possibly be any more grading for at least two months! A reprieve! Sundays back. No constant planning, trying to answer emails, contacting parents. Such a relief.

Unfortunately, we are quite a few days away from that. In fact, with the trimester ending in 2 1/2 weeks, we are well into panic mode (we being the kids) because we forgot that what we do every day counts for a grade. You know. Like school does. That said, I had expected yesterday to be really stressful and yucky, and it was very manageable. The kids mostly listened and/or did the nothing they do on a regular basis. This is when standing over them (or like I do, rolling my chair around the room and staring into their panicked eyes) helps to get them motivated. Yesterday I called parents during class instead. Muted myself on the Zoom and called and left messages because they aren’t going to answer a number they don’t recognize, and even if I were calling from the school number, they probably wouldn’t answer. Ah well. That’s nothing new. The checked out kids are always there. This year is harder for that, sure. I was reading instructions for a program we’re supposed to be monitoring, and they say to “walk around and make sure they are on task.” Um. OK. Imma gonna do that. Rolling my eyes. It’s like the distance learners and teachers don’t exist sometimes. Please give me some more useful supports, y’all. I’m at my wit’s end with monitoring this program.

So we’ll see how today goes…Day 2 of a project…could be chill; could be not. Never know. Even in person.

Here’s the final finished picture of the Sue Spargo Block-of-the-Month quilt Earth and Twig I finished.

I do have another one pinbasted, ready to go, and a third one that is a finished top, and a much smaller one that’s finished. I should keep this going. First I want to finish the little bird quilt I have, though. Although it’s been hard to find the energy in the last few days to sit down at the sewing machine. Maybe tonight? We’ll see.

So I did finish ironing all the bits of Wonder Under to fabric in the most recent art quilt…

It only has 56 colors in it (small quilt) and it took a little over 4 hours to pick all those fabrics.

I started cutting them out Monday night…

And finished last night…

in 4 1/2 hours total. Tonight, I’ll sort them and maybe start ironing it together. So fast! I think I’ll do a few fast and easy ones like this and then start thinking about the next big one. I have ideas and I have one that’s drawn and numbered and ready to go. I’m just not ready for a big one yet. I need some quick successes, achievements, goals.

Here’s one of mine getting ready for a show in Los Angeles at Studio 203, opening the 20th. This is California Fibers: Historical References.

Not sure I’ll get up to see the show, but there should be video and maybe even some online stuff. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, Spring is coming (Southern California does Spring early…sorry to all the snowed-in states)…the coyotes don’t care about humans on their paths…

And I’m no longer walking in the dark, which is nice.

Although I do appreciate a good sunset. Today is going to be pretty easy, I hope, and maybe I will get some grading done as well, knock some of those projects off my to-do list. My goal is always NOT to be working at 9 PM on school stuff, but on art stuff instead. So more of that. And I forgot to wish my mom a happy 80th birthday on the internet…although I made her a chocolate cake, so I think we’re good. Although it could have been more lava-like. My fault…should have taken it out of the fridge earlier. Anyway. Both parents have their 2nd vaccines scheduled, they’re relatively healthy, and those are good things right now. OK. Off to work. In the other room.

The Bones of This Nation

Ah Friday. But also rain, lots of it. I see a bit of blue sky out my window, but I don’t know if it will last. My moods are sort of mirroring the weather this week: fucking all over the map. I’m not sure why, but I bet there’s a reason. My job? Yeah some of it. Finishing a quilt? Not usually an emotional thing, but these are fucking unprecedented times. I think being immersed in a difficult and time-consuming project in a medium I love is a good thing, like a big chunky and all-encompassing book you’re reading, and it helps distract me from the other stuff that sucks or makes me anxious, and when it’s done, there’s this letdown, like WTF am I going to do now? I can’t have a single down day; I need a new project. It’s OK. In the back of my brain for days, I’ve been planning new projects. A few lighter ones and then perhaps a heavier one. It’s like my reading…I just finished reading the Indigenous People’s History of the United States, and it’s dense and heavy and often difficult to read…

Certainly some of this history better explains our fascination with our right to guns. I did love the ending though…

The bones of this nation will mend after the revolution. I can get behind that. I can get on that train. But this next book needs to be a bit lighter to help my mood.

Also, in the mood, my dad is finally coming home next week. His brain will take a year to heal. We don’t really know how he is at the moment. I just know my mom is really excited and we’re glad to have more time with him. So many things affect mood. I’ve been kind of trapped at home this week; didn’t get my mid-week walk due to emergency union meetings, so I’m antsy and irritable, more than usual. Hiking tomorrow though. Hopefully.

So I managed to do all the hand sewing on the binding in one four-hour marathon run on Wednesday…

I started in book club and finished on the couch with a variety of animals.

This is an amazingly bad, late-night picture of it…

Of course, I stayed up past midnight on a school night to finish it. It’s going to the photographer this week.

A friend liked the owl up in the tree and asked for a small quilt of it…so I traced it…

Inked it…

Traced it on Wonder Under…

And cut it out last night…

It’s ready for ironing to fabric tonight. It’s a palate cleanser…super small, super easy. And I have a smallish drawing picked out for the next one…one that caught my eye as I was reading back through my blog…I do that as a sanity check, although this last year is a doozy.

I had book club Wednesday, yesterday was full of meetings…this is my work desk view…and the Zoom window on the left is my prep room at school…

I’ll be there today, picking up materials for next week’s demo. My co-teacher is awesome and gathers everything as I panic at home. It’s not ideal. But it’s functional…

I also had a stitching meeting last night. I can’t show what I’ve been embroidering for the last few months, because it hasn’t published yet; just know you’ll see it soon enough. But I did this start of a mend…

I really love this shirt and it developed some holes on the belly area…that’s where I get all my shirt holes. I’m going to embroider/slow stitch over it and wear it anyway. Saving clothes, one shirt at a time.

It’s been chilly here and kittens have been doing lots of cute curling upness.

They are sweethearts.

I have work in this upcoming show in LA. I probably won’t get to see the show, but it’s nice to have this piece shown…show notice…

And the huge piece that will be there…One of My Kind

Those are my kids, my mom, and my grandmother…she’s the skeleton. We bury them, but they still live on in our hearts and minds and often our behaviors.

OK, today will be long and full of work, but hopefully ending in some artistic endeavors and a good night’s sleep. I hope. And hopefully a mood shift. I don’t always have control over those, but I try.

Does Not Currently Exist Anywhere…

Well this is a weird time for me to write, but it’s the time I have. My brain is in some sort of stasis mode in between work and sleep, or maybe somewhere else. I’m trying to bully through the to-do list for today but also to get ready for school tomorrow. I need a certain mindset to get there, and a brain dump here will help with that. I have science sussed out for tomorrow and mostly the rest of the week, although I have to set up and test the demo for Tuesday and finish posts for the rest of the week, but I have done NOTHING (let me emphasize how big those capital letters are…they are as big as a redwood tree looming over me) for the art classes. And maybe Advisory, which I worry less about. I finished grades Friday night around 11 PM and went to bed fairly early. Exhaustion is here and in my face all the fucking time. I graded all through online gaming and managed to pay attention somehow, although not to the level to which my co-player expects. It’s easy when you don’t bring your job home with you. My job is always here and currently making me grind my teeth in a very vexing manner.

Yeah. That.

So I posted last on Friday morning. I’m really trying to get back on an every-other-day schedule, best I can, not for you, my dear readers, but for me, the crazy brain that needs a focus, a goal, a written document of what has gone and what is to come, so I can actually DO some of it and maybe celebrate some as well.

Saturday, I packed up three quilts for delivery to the Front Porch Gallery.

California Fibers’ show Figuratively is opening there October 4 and continues through the middle of November. Enjoy! I have three pieces in the show.

After I did that, I worked for about 2 hours, trying to make sense of the new science curriculum and my stupid schedule that starts next week.

Yes, I stand there. I sit too much right now.

Then we dropped off the three quilts for the next show. From there, we wandered over to the Oceanside Museum of Art for the Southern California Contemporary Quilts exhibit. That link also has a slide show of the whole show, if you’re interested. I would suggest going online and reserving a ticket and time for an in-person view, but I realize not everyone can do that, so the slide show is what will suffice.

This is Libby Williamson’s piece Burn Cycles at the entry point.

I am a haphazard photographer of shows when I don’t have to document them, so I can’t even say these were my favorites, but maybe they were at the time.

This is Lisa Kijak’s Neon Pacific.

Lisa was there with her family while I was there, but I was apparently not in a sociable mood and didn’t say hi, but I do love her work.

I also liked Nancy Lemke’s work Seaside 1.

I was intrigued that the hand fabric is one I own. My gallery co-visitor mentioned that I never make hands out of one piece. Well sometimes I do, but not this big.

Charlotte Bird’s Southland Odyssey is amazing…

Lots of details here.

Intriguing construction too…

Lots of So Cal details.

And one of my favorite artists, Dinah Sargeant, with her piece Spines Return.

Plus a fun wall shape by Gillian Moss, We Came, We Liked, We Stayed.

There are other exhibits in the museum, including a large plein-air collection from Gardena High School, but also some photo and ceramic pieces by Pamela Earnshaw Kelly

I get overwhelmed in museums at times and stop taking pictures of signage…so no names on these two…

But those two were my favorites, and I liked the graphic quality of the little room of pieces by Allan Morrow.

Oh yeah, and my piece, So Cal Mama

She was pretty nice too. I recorded video for my Patreon of this and a little of the rest of the show. Hopefully that will get processed in the next 24 hours.

Our current Saturday goal includes a walk and food. Because we were already in Oceanside, we went to Guajome County Park and walked around there…

They claimed it was 4.3 miles, but I think we did something wrong, because it was 3 miles.

Different plants…

Still too suburban, so too many people.

It’s hard to get around all that at the moment.

And then we had our first restaurant dinner since everything closed down in March. I remember being in a restaurant the Saturday after the schools closed, but not after that. We did eat outside, near the edge, far enough away from people, but I didn’t have my hand sanitizer with me, and I wanted it. So I’m still not comfortable with it, but maybe that will come. Or maybe it shouldn’t.

Also apparently some parts of the PCT are in my future, assuming it opens. We’ll see.

Today has just been crazy trying to do all the things. I needed a new sun shade for the window where I work, because the old one broke on Friday and it’s supposed to be in the 100s all freakin’ week holy shit i’mma gonna die. I needed some bins to pack up fabric. I apparently may have sold the quilt that isn’t finished yet…I’ll wait on the contract and deposit for that maybe. For now, it’s a nice feeling…and I need those. Hey Nova…that’s my clean laundry.

She knows. She doesn’t care. And Kitten has taken over my paper box.

So much for getting paper out. Cat in way.

Ah. So it’s after 6 PM, and I still need to post school stuff, or in some cases, create school stuff that does not currently exist anywhere, not even in my head, and I need to finish the ceramic and fabric pieces that are supposed to be done this week, and then finish the quilt that is almost finished so I can make money off of it, because I need some money coming in soon, and then maybe even sleep tonight (ha! Such a joke) and not worry so much about everything under the sun, even though that’s how my brain works and I’m not very good at making it stop. Yeah. All those things.

How to Make It Better…

So many people already saying Happy New Year…I guess that’s legit for Australia, but all you Americans just need to wait a bit. Europe too. Chillax. We’ve got the rest of 2019 to survive.

Speaking of Australia…all the fires and the animals and the people and the crazy fire weather, which doesn’t make the news here hardly at all…my heart goes out to you. Hoping there’s a resolution soon and people can rest easy…although the future weather/drought issues there will still be a problem. I didn’t realize there was such a huge coal industry there. It’s so hard to balance the needs of the world in general in terms of slowing climate change while also making sure people still have jobs and food and homes. It’s a huge mind shift…one that America doesn’t seem to understand either. Our core job needs to be taking care of people…not making money. So many politicians are ignorant (willfully or ?) of the science behind what’s happening and how we humans are making it worse.

Also on my mind…attacks on Jewish people…I hate my current government (because it’s not just the President any more) for encouraging this environment where people are emboldened to attack anyone who is different than they are. Have we learned nothing over the years? I read a friend’s comment about how we are raised to respect others’ opinions, but she was clear in that we don’t have to respect racist or hate-based opinions. I don’t hate you because you are racist…I don’t understand you. I hate your actions toward others. I hate your speech toward others. You are human and so obviously frightened of what is different or what you perceive as taking away from your rights (such an ignorant and limited view of the world). You don’t have the right to hurt someone else because of that…even if the President says you do. This last year has been hard to watch. So much anger and wrongness.

So that’s where I’m ending 2019. Sometimes when I’m drawing or making quilts, I think “this piece of art isn’t going to fix the government or racism or climate change or hate or anything else…” and I get disheartened about what I’m making. It’s not enough. I’m using materials that are causing more pollution, I’m using electricity, my privilege allows me to create art because I’m not trying to find food for my children or clean water…I don’t have tons of money to donate to worthy causes or tons of time to volunteer in worthy places. I try to educate my students about things when I can…there are times when I can’t be political because I teach in a public school…but I can be scientific. I make art because it helps me stay sane. It’s a drive I can’t turn off. I have been trying to be more thoughtful about fabric use in the last year or so…using up weird pieces that have been around for a while. I don’t have a solution for the world right now…I just know large parts of it are messed up and need fixing.

Tomorrow will be all about Happy New Year and looking forward. Today I’m in reflection mode. Ironically, I’m doing this program to help me reduce my school work hours, and they had suggested making monthly goals for school and other stuff, and I don’t know why that sounded like a good idea, but I set up the spread in my journal (which I do use daily…the journal anyway)…

And then. Well. Realized I’m not good at setting monthly goals. I set weekly ones, even daily ones, and ones that stretch out the length of a unit of teaching science (the next one is volcanoes and earthquakes, I think). Also ones that stretch out for the length of a quilt. Sometimes for summer or winter break. Not this break so much…but this isn’t working for me. I can’t get my head around it. OK then. I think I do OK on goals in general, so I’m just going to write this up as Tried, but Didn’t Work.

I did quilt for a while yesterday, the 2nd figure. I’ll do more today, I hope…though my original goal to be quilted by now so I could trim and bind today?

Not happening. So this will be the first quilt of 2020.

I’m still grading almost every day. I prefer doing a little at a time to spending entire days working on it.

This kitten is not at all helpful. Neither is the pup.

I did finish this assignment completely, and stayed up way too late doing another one, but now all that’s left is the three hellacious assignments. I’m just going to bully through one period a day, maybe more if it makes sense. Take a day off when it makes sense. Get through as much as I can. I have 12 days before I go back, and ideally I’ll be done. Which means more than one a day, I think. Sigh. OK. Good to know.

It’s also OK to do some of it when I get back from break. No matter what I was grading, there was always a companion…

These two eventually got off my lap…with some assistance from me.

Although Nova apparently thinks she is cuter than her sister, and should be in all the photos…

Eventually she sat on Luna. It’s nice having siblings…they are amusing.

I did my daily drawing…

This type of imagery shows up often. I was tired. Couldn’t think of what to draw.

This is one of the shows my work is going to be in, coming up in January…

That’s one of my two pieces…the art center is in Ojai, California. I don’t know if I’m going to the opening…it’s a long way for one day. Thinking about it.

OK, time to stop thinking and start doing. I need to put away the Christmas stuff, pack up some boxes to ship, walk the dogs, grade some shit, quilt another person, and IDK what else. Draw. But it’s New Year’s Eve, so I’ll get time for that while having to watch crazy TV. Ugh. I’m not a fan of all the NYE television, and I don’t need to go out and party. I do need to think about how to make 2020 better. Not for me…for others.