The Two Newest…

I finally got some new work photographed. I finished one in early April, but like no one was leaving the house then, except the essential workers and crazy people, so I held onto it until I finished the big one in July, and then dropped both of them off. I’m still really paranoid about leaving the house and interacting with humans…it’s like my introversion has gained a legitimate excuse for more hermitude than normal. Hopefully I’ll be able to reverse that…in like a year or so when it’s OK to come out.

Anyway, I keep forgetting to post about these, so here’s Hold On, drawn back in February (?), you know, when COVID-19 was barely a twinkle in your daddy’s eye…

She’s 53” w x 43 ¼” h. She’s obviously about climate change and our general destruction of the planet…

These things are always heavy on my mind…

Although apparently I also had missiles on my mind…something to do with North Korea, I suspect, with the president pissing off people who like to blow shit up.

I put some positive things in there, things we’re trying to put in to counteract the crazy, like those windmills harvesting wind energy.

It might be too little too late, my friend.

Even the bees are dying out. So she’ll get entered in some shows in the next few months.

And then in April, I drew this giant beast of a quilt, Coronawood

She’s 77″ w x 81″ h. Did I say a beast of a quilt? Yeah, she’s large. I just kept drawing until I thought I should stop.

Those angels have shown up in a quilt before…although less angry, I think.

This Earth Mother isn’t really sure how to fix anything. None of them are.

Why Coronawood? In the beginning, and even now, it sometimes seems like this is a movie, a made-up thing, not that I don’t believe in the virus, I really really do…I just don’t believe in all the made-up shit that people are using as excuses to not wear masks, to not stay home, to not slow the spread, to not take this seriously. It’s like a bad movie, made up in Hollywood, like a Sharknado series of the COVID type. And I keep waiting for either all the red shirts to die out (Star Trek reference, sorry, geek alert) or for the good person to show up who will solve it all and make humanity human again.

Seems like I will be waiting for that happy ending for a long time.

Remember Flatten the Curve? They aren’t even saying that anymore because we so obviously couldn’t even do that for very long before our need to party, gather, holiday, dine out, drink in a public establishment, or whatever took over.

This is why I’m teaching at home…for a long time. Because of this virus and our inability in the US to believe in science and elect intelligent officials…or at least officials who have the brainpower to realize they don’t know everything and trust the science to the scientists and the doctors.

This quilt is beautiful and haunting and deadly. I wonder how many COVID quilts I will make before it’s something we can fix or heal or vaccinate or avoid or whatever. Maybe one more? Maybe 200. Hopefully toward the lower number.

Happy Saturday all. I’m gonna take my heat-rashy elbow pits and my tired brain and try to art something before I have to work on school shit all tomorrow. I’ll post these two over on the Recent Work page in a bit with prices…interesting that, a conversation about prices, since another Etsy piece sold yesterday. My prices are all based on how much time each quilt takes to make. It’s actual real math. I have a formula. They’re worth it. Thanks to those who help me make more by taking one or two or three off my hands. I love to make. I also need to pay off my daughter’s college loans and eventually retire from teaching (not soon, don’t panic). So I charge appropriately for the making. Enjoy them!

Infiltrating Through*

So I knew I wasn’t going to get any art done last night. I had to go get my quilt from the photographer, so I can enter the show today…so here’s the quilt that will hopefully have a name by the time I get home tonight…

It’s about 44×60″. It took 82 hours and 40 minutes to complete, with about half of that in the last week.

It’s about climate change and how we humans negatively affect the universe we live in. Seriously. It’s the universe. We suck.

Although apparently the Humboldt squid will benefit from acid waters and warm oceans. So we’ll have more and bigger of them…I predict all the horror movies of the future will be squids and floods.

Certainly the oceans and wildlife will be affected…they already are.

Bleached coral, dead fish, pollutants in the water as well…we don’t just stop at carbon dioxide and emissions…we forget about how all that affects what we can’t see.

Humans are pretty selfish animals.

You want me to bring politics into it? Stop letting ignorant people make decisions about science…science that it takes many years to study and understand.

Ah yes, and then there’s the plastic trash. Don’t get me started. Take responsibility for your shit, folks. All your shit.

So of course, there’s never a guarantee that anything I make will get into a show. I don’t mind that as much…it will go somewhere, yeah? They always do. And we’re on to the next one. I did finally have an entire quilt draw itself in my head last night. It’s not the next one. It’s not even the next next one. It’s the next next next one, and I won’t be able to show it to you. At all. That’s going to be hard. You know me, I’m constantly posting pictures of everything I’m working on. So yeah, the next three deadlines are now on the table…I have work through June cut out for me. Not actually cut out of fabric though…that would be awesome. 

I did have my stitching meeting last night. This and my general exhaustion from having to be up early every single morning this week meant I got no art done last night. I also didn’t drag my sketchbook out for copying, because we got like an inch and a half of rain (that’s more than our annual since July, by far) yesterday, and I don’t want a wet sketchbook. I’m enlarging today after school. It’s on my calendar. Then I can draw the rest of Head 4 and all of Head 5, which doesn’t exist yet. Then number and start tracing and all that all over again. It’s like I never stop. (I never stop. That’s the tip of the day. Never stop.)

So I worked on these guys for a few hours last night at my stitching meeting instead…

I finished the tree above the giraffe and starting stitching the flowers that are supposed to be on that block. That’s the second block for August…the third is the one to the right of it. 

Then once I was home and my cohort had taken his tired overworked self to bed, I did NOT go to bed, because I was still awake…but I couldn’t deal with real art stuff, so I started sewing stuff down for the October blocks. 

I didn’t get very far…just a veggie patch and part of a hut. The rest is pinned down. I have another block for this month that’s already stitched down…it’s part of the section with the September blocks, all ready for embroidery. After October, I think I have to put the whole thing together, finish all the bits of the road that are wandering about and not connected, and then stitch grass all over the entire quilt. That’s gonna take a while. Then borders. 

Meanwhile, real art tonight. Plus exhaustion. Tomorrow is Christmas shopping at pop-up artsy shops and then an opening. I should grade some shit in there too. I really want to sleep in, but my cohort will be up at 4 AM…I’m less worried about that. I can re-sleep after that. His cat though…man, he’s going to get locked in a bathroom if he’s an asshole tomorrow morning. Seriously. 

OK, but I still gotta get through today…trying to figure out the tail end of this part of the unit, plus feed a bunch of kids, and probably do my duty standing around, guarding the bike rack. Important job. You wish you could do it. (Please come do it for me.)

*Jem, Come on Closer

But Not Right Now

It’s morning. Early. OK. Brain not functioning much…enough to make lunch and breakfast and feed animals and even shower, which includes shampoo and conditioner in that order. At some point during the night, someone (or thing? Creepy) scratched a long red mark on my arm. I don’t remember doing it (Kitten?). Who knows. I do know I didn’t sleep well…second night in the last two weeks when I’ve laid there waiting for sleep to come. Adjusting the body, thinking it’s a comfort thing. Maybe if the position is right, sleep will wander over. Nope! I think most teachers don’t sleep well the night before we go back after a break from school. Running lesson plans over in your head, trying to keep everything straight, remembering your routine, what do I have to do in the morning? That’s me anyway.

The awesome news is that the quilt is done. I can deliver it tomorrow to the photographer and get it back and make the deadline. 

I do have a painful bit on my middle right fingertip at the moment. I remembered a thimble finally (and even found one). I finished both sleeves by 11:30 PM. I don’t have a total time yet…will figure that out tonight, as well as what I might be doing next. I looked up a few deadlines…one is a definite, but I need a size range. The other two are still up in the air. I do have two wool quilts that need quilting…I can work on those until my head figures out the rest. I can draw. I can embroider on the body piece that’s been lying around for years. I can finish that hand applique piece that’s also been lying around for years. Plenty of stuff that pops up when the to-do space empties out.

This was a tense moment. Simba is not always pleased by cat attentions. This one makes him nervous. He loved Midnight, but for some reason, Satchemo is nerve-wracking. 

It was cold, though…they eventually settled, but only briefly.

This guy. I don’t post about him much, but he’s about to start 12 days of work with no break, and I suspect that smile will be gone. He does allow his niece to braid his beard at family gatherings…except for the one time when he had shaved it off…she was so disappointed.

Here’s to mostly tolerant guys who (and I’m quoting an artist’s husband here) put up with the crazy quilters in their lives. It’s gonna be a rough 2 weeks for everyone in this house (well, except the furry beasts and maybe the boychild). I’m looking at early starts every day this week, as all the parent meetings in the world got scheduled this week.

But art. I’m looking forward to maybe just drawing tonight. That would be nice. I think I have to stitch two fish eyeballs on the quilt tonight (OK, it’s not QUITE done). And there’s plenty of school stuff to deal with…always. I think I graded 6 things over break, but I have a ton of lesson planning still left to do. It’s just gonna suck for that stuff for a while, until we get through piloting new curricula. Blech. Not a fan. And I’m not even really piloting this. I keep thinking I should dump it and run for the project-based-learning hills. Next one. Totally not doing the next one. I think. Sigh. I don’t know what I’m doing next. 

OK, well it’s only 3 weeks and then a break again. We can do 3 weeks. But I always have a big project for over break, so I’ll need to figure that out. But not right now.

You Let Your Feet Run Wild*

It’s interesting how short 9 days of vacation feels. Like that’s a good chunk. If I’m driving places and camping and hiking and cooking in 50-mph winds, then it feels like a long time (sorry, just channeling the last trip). But when I sit at home and eat a lot of pretzels and popcorn while running some lame errands and basically make an entire quilt in a week, then it feels like nothing. In the last week, I’ve spent 28 hours making this quilt. In the previous week, a school week, I spent 10 hours making this quilt. So I guess that’s the difference. Close to full-time job (I haven’t done anything today yet…give me time) vs that’s why I don’t sleep much because I do it all after work hours.

Speaking of sleep…I didn’t sleep last night. Seriously I was awake for hours. I don’t know why. Weird though and I feel mostly shattered this morning. Good start.

So the news on the unknown batting is that it worked just fine…a little loftier than what I usually use, but it quilted OK. No bearding, no freaky behavior that I noticed.

I didn’t have enough of the one color of blue thread to do all the outlining and the background quilting, but it did last long enough to do the outlining, so that’s a plus. 

There were a few thread hijinks. I said “You bastard” a lot. IDK whether that’s the thread or the bobbin or the quilt itself. But I said it. In general, though, there were not a lot of issues once I switched out the old needle. 

Although that nest was pretty impressive.


Tiny little eyeballs…

All the stuff that I love about making quilts…

I also made a turkey and mashed potatoes and the family Swiss green bean recipe for dinner…turkey is a little too salty. I didn’t rinse the brine…because one recipe said to rinse it and one didn’t. I should have. But I have turkey for sandwiches for the next two weeks (some in the freezer…don’t panic). I’m happy about that. 

At 5 hours and 45 minutes of quilting, I had finished the outlining. That was before dinner…I think? Maybe? 

I took a break, ate dinner, graded one assignment, and then went back to quilting. At this stage, I need a lot of breaks. My back was hurting. It’s hard to keep going…until you’re close to the end (I almost gave up many times)…then it’s race away until you finish.

Sleepy old lady with her toy…

She’s a good girl.

There’s the whole thing, all squished up for the last bit of quilting the background. 

It was only 8 1/4 hours. Not bad. More than I thought it would be, but that’s OK. Lots of details will do that. So now she’s ready for trimming and binding. I need to go out this morning and buy binding. I will not be going to a big box store for that. Still avoiding JoAnns. She goes to the photographer on Tuesday, so that’s enough time for me to hopefully get the binding and sleeves on and dehair the beast, as well as deal with all the school stuff that needs to be done by Monday (yikes!). And then? I have no idea what I’m working on next. I’m sure there’s a list somewhere, but I haven’t looked at it in months. Maybe something short and fun? Or another deadline. Who knows? Someone should figure that out.

*Kaleo, Way Down We Go

Better Than Pie

Things that keep me up at night: wait. Happy Thanksgiving first. Happy day of eating and family and friends and eating and maybe football or whatever. And sleeping and drinking and avoiding political discussions like the plague.

Things that keep me up at night: my kids. Seriously. They do. Where they are and whether they will survive. Also worrying about whether or not I have enough batting to quilt the damn quilt that is trying to get done. Because today is a freakin’ holiday, duh, and I should have checked that yesterday and gone out and bought batting if I didn’t have enough, because I’m probably going to get to the sandwich stage today and delaying until tomorrow to wait for the store to open (on Black Fucking Friday, oh god) and then buying it and washing it and drying it and THEN sandwiching, and I’ve lost half the day right there.

Damn. Well. I should check now if I have enough, because maybe all that worry is beside the point. I should have maybe gotten out of bed at 3 AM when the rain woke me up (ah beautiful rain, thank you for existing) and done it then.

So the answer is sort of. I have lots of long narrow pieces of Warm and Natural, which is what I prefer to quilt with. I just checked JoAnns hours and they’re really not open today. Tomorrow at 6 AM. Which implies sales and crazy-ass people lining up like loons. So back to the sort of answer. I have a batting remnant that IS big enough…I just don’t know what it is. I used to take classes way back in the day and they would recommend batting types and I would try them out, but I love the W&N because it sticks and I don’t have to quilt super close together and it’s not super lofty. This is not W&N. It might be bamboo, because I remember someone saying how wonderful it was for wall hangings and maybe I bought a small one, and if I did, then I used a piece of it for a smaller quilt, because there is a piece gone. No labeling at all, of course.

On January 10, 2014, I also pulled this piece of batting out (yes, I’m mining the blog for answers to my brain right now)…and I chickened out and didn’t use it, because unknown results! I hate unknown results when I’m on a deadline. It has a weird edge, plus a scrim or something inside it.

IMG_9042 small

OK, I officially skimmed the entire blog for mentions of random batting (I talk about batting a lot), and there’s nothing. I also checked for the word “bamboo”, but apparently I use the word “bamboozled” a lot, so that was unhelpful. So I’m gonna use it. Seize the day! Even if it might fuck up everything! Of course, I’m not actually ready for it yet. Plus, it’s batting. How bad could it be?

Yesterday, I rolled up the bottom bit and put it aside for a while so I could deal with the head and resultant plumes from that area…

IMG_9027 small

Head start. Ah ha ha ha.

IMG_9028 small

Plume to the right is done…plume to the left is started…

IMG_9029 small

Working on a net full of fish…

IMG_9030 small

And a boat…most of the plume is done here.

IMG_9031 small

I did eventually find all the eyeball parts that were missing, but never found the fish part, so I had to recut it. I also found a missing tree part from the 200s…so I inserted that as well. No waste! Well. There’s waste.

And ironed her down…before dinner even. It was a productive day. For art quiltmaking. Not for life in general. It took 13 hours and 46 minutes to iron her together. Not bad.

IMG_9033 small

She’s ready for stitch down. But first some grading…two assignments down and input into the system, plus a sleepy puppy. And I brined a turkey and hard-boiled a bunch of eggs. But that was earlier. I even put a bra on and went to the store, where I forgot the Miracle Whip but remembered more cheese.

IMG_9035 small

Cheese is always good. Turkey is in the fridge in the mop bucket. It’s clean (plus it’s in a plastic bag for the paranoid among us). Then I started stitch down. No wasting time! Must finish!

IMG_9038 small

I got a good 2-hour chunk of it done. My goal is to finish the stitch down before I have to be presentable for social interactions with other humans.

IMG_9039 small

Besides the two antisocial beasts I live with. You know. They ignore me anyway. Oh, I made deviled eggs this morning. Because I wanted them. So there. Tomorrow I will make turkey and some other stuff so I can have turkey sandwiches for a couple of weeks (I freeze it…don’t panic). But today, I stitch down and hopefully sandwich and pinbaste and maybe even start quilting, if the tryptophan doesn’t kill me. That’s the goal anyway. Better than pie. Well. Pie is pretty good if it’s apple pie.

Not Sold on That…

Seventeen things on the list for yesterday. I think 5 got done. Not bad. Love the kid who is currently complaining that I haven’t finished grading her late work yet. Nah, I’m doing the on-time work first…all 8 assignments of it. Strangely, every time I finish a task, it seems two more jump up to take its place. I need to be serious about ironing today though…so maybe I do that first. I know from experience, though, that if I do that, I rarely get anything else done. Sigh. Quilt must get done. Grading must get done.

I just read my blog from last year’s Thanksgiving week, and I’m not going to Costco today. I did it last year on this day. It will be hell. It was hell. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe I’ll do a drive-by. We need toilet paper. But not that bad.

Calli wants something here. You can tell by the way she’s looking at me.

IMG_8950 small

So I ran errands and graded on and off, and then I went to the gym, so the day just sort of slips by. And then I made dinner, but at some point, I started ironing a coyote together. I think it was pretty late, actually. Like after 9 PM.

IMG_8961 small

I got the hill done behind her…well, not all of it. There’s more on the right. I just decided it would be easier to iron some leg parts in there first.

IMG_8962 small

Coyote landscape. Fire. Yeah, I drew this before all the fires last week. California fire season…

IMG_8963 small

Unfortunately inevitable…but not that bad. Not as bad as it was this year.

The other bird. A hill…

IMG_8965 small

And then I started ironing legs. Up to the knees…actually, I think I got up to the hip on one side, and then realized I hadn’t cut out the other side. I have no idea how that happened.

IMG_9007 small

Kitten is surveying it all…this was bedtime. After midnight.

IMG_9009 small

That’s why I’m tired. I go to bed late and then people and animals are up early, and it’s hard to sleep. But late at night is when I get a lot done.

Today I will iron. I will grade one assignment. I will go pick up my quilts. I might take the car in for an oil change. I might go to Costco. But I’m not sold on those two at all.

To Arizona and Back Again…

We’re back. Quick trip. More driving than anything else, I think. It was worth it…I wanted to see the whole Things That Matter exhibit in one place…although now I think I might be able to see it in St. George as well! On the way to Zion for Spring Break anyway. We’ll see.

So I had some pieces left to cut…my plan was to cut in the car, so I set this up…double-boxed. I’ve done this before. It’s a little crazy, but it works.

IMG_8899 small

Arizona is so flat. This might even be the flat part of California.

IMG_8901 small

Cutting while not driving…

IMG_8902 small

We try to do 2-hour shifts…after that, you need a break. This section was pretty, through the Sonoran Desert National Monument. It was the short way around Phoenix to get to Chandler. We never went into Phoenix.

IMG_8907 small

So we went to see the official opening of the entire exhibit of Things That Matter, an exhibit I was invited to be in last year. The preview exhibition, which didn’t include all the work, was at Visions Art Museum in Spring. I really thought I had done a good job of taking photos at that exhibit, but it turns out I didn’t take hardly any…and this trip was no different. Honestly, my phone camera sucks for this stuff, and the sun was going down and causing issues with lighting. So go see the exhibit or get the catalog on Amazon. Because I suck.

But here is Virginia Spiegel’s Boundary Waters 90 on the left and Pamela Blotner’s Miss Pustelschwein Regrets, a fascinating piece.

IMG_8909 small

Deidre AdamsConnections and Susan T. Avila’s Time to Relax, which needs a front view to see the words.

IMG_8910 small

My piece Not Less Than, with Rachel MeginnesDon’t Tell Me It’s Raining, then Catherine Kleeman’s Clean Water and Linda Colsh’s And the Deep River Ran On, on the other wall.

IMG_8911 small

Paula Chung’s PTSD: Betrayal…amazing stitching in this piece.

IMG_8912 small

Betty Busby’s Let Your Light Shine

IMG_8913 small

And another view of my piece that includes Susan Else’s amazing and terrifying When? on gun violence in schools, and Alice Beasley’s very cool From Russia With Love.

IMG_8914 small

Obligatory photo with my piece…

IMG_8917 small

Elena StokesHorizon XII-Peace and Quiet

IMG_8924 small

And another Blotner piece, this with Elizabeth AddisonHanuman’s Journey.

IMG_8925 small

Please remind me if I go to the St. George installation to take WAY BETTER PHOTOS. Sheesh. And all the pieces. Seriously.

So then we ate and went back to the room and I finished cutting out the quilt pieces. California, Massachusetts, California, Arizona. Impressive.

IMG_8928 small

It took 13 1/2 hours total. Kind of long.

Back in the room, interesting accent wall, especially this bit, which is totally out of reach, even if you’re standing on the bed.

IMG_8929 small

But don’t hang anything on it with a coat hanger. Warning noted.

IMG_8930 small

I drew…this is a baby start for something that’s in my head and is much bigger and fancier. Or more detailed anyway.

IMG_8933 small

I haven’t been drawing much lately. Need to work on that.

The next morning, after a solid American breakfast, we drove back.

IMG_8936 small

There was crankiness. Sigh. 10 hours of driving does that. I finished the owl’s eyes though! And the giraffe, but I forgot to photograph him. I still need to finish the hut for that block to be done.

IMG_8939 small

Now that I’m home and ready to work on the quilt that has to be done in like 7 days, the wool stitching is not really a priority. So yesterday afternoon, I sorted all the pieces…

IMG_8940 small

Less than an hour for that…

IMG_8941 small

And then I started ironing…a snake before dinner…

IMG_8943 small

Then the landscaping starts…hard to do because the water goes over and under the feet, and the water is in the 0-100s box and the feet are in the 400s box, so there was searching and I lost a toe so I had to recut it.

IMG_8944 small

Then a couple of birds went together…

IMG_8945 small

And the background behind them…

IMG_8947 small

Here’s where I’m at so far, with about 150 pieces ironed…well, more because of the toes.

IMG_8948 small

There’s a hill behind the legs, or two hills really, that have to be done, and another bird in the sky. My goal today is first to bang out the 17 errands I need to do, and then iron until the cows come home. Except also go to the gym, make dinner, and grade at least one assignment. Not a small list. But I’m glad to be ironing. It would be good if I were done with ironing sometime tomorrow and then stitching down. I think I need to be quilting by Wednesday. Seriously. You think I’m joking. I’m not. But first, groceries. There’s no food here. Can’t sustain artistic focus without food.

Magic Wand

Hello Halloween…on the one hand, I love dressing up (I’m Dr. Nefario from Despicable Me this year, while surrounded by minions)…my catch phrase is “Do you want to exPLOOOODE?”. Which seems relevant. Tomorrow, we take 260 kids to the zoo, so they can run off their sugar highs from tonight. Hopefully I survive until Friday, because I still have grading to finish. And a quilt.

Yesterday, I worked for a million hours. Got home around 6 PM and kept working…I still have kids trying to give me field trip money, even though the list is done and emailed. I’m done. No more crazy this week (ha. never say no more.)

It was after 10:30 when I made it in here. The first 100 pieces are taking me FOREVER to cut out. Mostly because there’s these tiny little animals in there. So I need to find these fussy little fabrics for them. Although this is water…

IMG_8469 small

Water is fun. I’ve spent about 2 1/2 hours and I’m only in the 80s. Seriously crazy. It probably doesn’t help that I’m tired and stressed out. Here’s the fabrics piled up as I was trying to pick a bird brown that would show up against the sand brown.

IMG_8471 small

Then I mostly organized them and went to bed.

IMG_8473 small

Sometimes that’s all you can do. Tonight is candy for the three small children who come to our door, plus my parents are finally coming back after 7 weeks. I think Katie doesn’t believe they’re ever coming back, so she’ll be excited to see them. Much as we love her, she is a needy beast and the noisiest of the three dogs…well, maybe Simba is the noisiest, but he’s also the smallest.

OK, I have to be trained on epi-pens today. Again. Need to finish bus and chaperone lists. Need to find a magic wand and erase the noise and chaos from my head. That last one seems the most important.

Exciting Piles of Wonder Under in My Future

‘Tis early. My brain is fog. Or oatmeal. Not sure which. Oatmeal is stickier. So that.

Yesterday’s lab was much mellower than the previous two days. Maybe that’s because I’d done it before? Or because it was more like direct instruction instead of their reading instructions. Reading is always an issue for us…so many language learners.

Calli had to go to the vet yesterday, more pee issues, but at some point, the boy decided the little one needed some exercise. There’s playing that happens when Katie’s not here, but Katie has toy issues and Calli has jealousy issues, so we hide all the toys while Katie visits…which sucks for Simba.

IMG_8255 small

He likes toys.

Calli isn’t allowed to play because she’s a bully. She gets sticks thrown for her outside. Katie doesn’t actually fetch anything…she just tries to herd everyone who is fetching. It’s a pack of dogs…not just two.

After dinner, I didn’t do any grading. I figure I will do a bunch today. I took the day off to sit in a waiting room hopefully for not too long. But it means I’ll have some wait time there and here at home, so I can get a chunk of grading done.

So I started tracing pretty early last night. I was starting to think I was totally OK on time with this, but then realized I’m going to Boston and I don’t know what’s happening with Thanksgiving. So I panicked.

IMG_8256 small

I traced for about 3 1/2 hours and got two yards mostly filled…and another one started.

IMG_8257 small

I’m only in the mid 200s though. They were fussy pieces to trace. So I’m a quarter of the way through and it took about 3 1/2 hours. So another 10+ to go? I’ll do some tonight (maybe today? Although right now, a nap sounds lovely) and some tomorrow night, but that won’t get me done. We’ll see.

Anyway, gotta get out of here. Exciting piles of Wonder Under in my future.

I Feel the Chemicals Kickin’ in*

I left school yesterday and went to an art opening instead of straight home. It was a good choice, even though I’d walked so much during class, dragging trays of sand and water back and forth from the classroom like some sort of crazy piece of construction equipment (couldn’t the robotics class make me something that would do this?). And tutoring where this one girl I was trying to help with the most confusing math website ever, and I would ask her questions and she would say “No English” but she knew enough to tell me she speaks Pashto. OK. I can’t do that. I tried German and Spanish and she looked sadder and sadder, and I stared at the math website, trying to figure out what it wanted, but it made no freakin’ sense. Teacher fail.

Today is another, different lab, this one with crayons and hot water (could be a mistake…nah, it worked pretty well last year). We’re frantically trying to plan the project that starts next week. I feel buried and overwhelmed. Still. Ugh.

So the art opening was at Grossmont College and is up until Oct 26, and includes two artists I like, Cheryl Tall, whose piece here is Casa de Manos

IMG_8233 small

I never made it back into the room with her work to take more pictures…you’ll have to go check it out. Very impressive.

And then Gloria Muriel…whose mural art has been on here before. But this is a tiny little watercolor drawing. This is Deer Memory.

IMG_8238 small

A much larger piece, Woke Up From a Mayan Dream

IMG_8241 small

And Florentina, which is smallish and beautiful.

IMG_8243 small

Despite my exhaustion, it was a good stop to make. Home to an empty house (well, there were cats and Katie)…I graded stuff for a while. And then started numbering this thing. I took a break in the middle to check in with the musical guy who lives here (he eventually showed up after practice)…but then finished up before bed. I wanted to be under 1000 pieces, just for my own sanity (there is a deadline on this thing), and I was.

IMG_8246 small

991 pieces. Unless I fucked up somewhere and double-numbered something or skipped a whole bunch or just didn’t number it…all of which I do on a regular basis, so I don’t know why I set such importance on that number. But 991 pieces it is. It sounds more doable than 1001. Just barely. It’s a place from which I can estimate time.

I’m also hoping that I numbered it more logically than usual. I did all of the background and then the body and then the swirls of water. It will be interesting to see how that works out.

IMG_8247 small

I did try not to overembellish things…keep it simple. Well, for me. I didn’t need to put all the lines in the turtle. I didn’t need to put more lines in the hillside. A bush can be just one color. I can simplify flowers. Then I do the deer’s eyes and that all goes to hell in a handbasket.

She’s not huge…about 38″ wide by 60″ high? Something like that.

IMG_8248 small

Anyway, I can start tracing Wonder Under tonight. Then there’s probably 10-12 hours of tracing to do. Maybe by the end of the weekend? Hard to say. Depends on the next few days…

Oh yeah, I got my staff ID yesterday. Mine is better than yours.

IMG_8230 small

Really the best part is when I have to use it to get a teacher discount and I pull this out (or any of the last three) and the cashier tries not to show their hilarious dismay. Yup. That’s the best part.

OK, let’s do this day.

*Neon Trees, Animal