Spluttering Back Up…

Well, I can wish and hope that today goes well at school (and really, it’s just the last two classes that make it or break it), but even if it doesn’t? It’s Friday. I get a 2-day reset…yes, a reset that will require a shit-ton of working on school stuff to get it all done, but it is still 2 days. When I had COVID, I planned out a whole month of 8th-grade science, but I’m starting to run out of that and panic. I can’t get my head far enough above the water (I’m seriously in that stage where I’m constantly slipping under and getting water up my nose, and then spluttering back up) to feel like I’ve got it. I really hope the entire year isn’t like this. The planning is one piece, and then the 7th grade is the other. The behaviors in those two classes are difficult and require significant management. Some days I’ve got it! Some days make me want to quit and go work at a quilt store. Can’t afford the latter. So there we are. This week has been hard, and sleep has been hard to find, which doesn’t help. Last night, I must have hit full exhaustion mode, because I slept all the way through.

We did two days of labs, which might have helped with exhaustion AND frustration…

Luckily we have multiple teachers’ aides (kids) who will be cleaning up, because there is sand and rocks everywhere.

I do also want time to iron on this thing…it’s taking forever. I got the other arm done on Wednesday night (after a union meeting)…

This detail feels relevant after hearing about a nationwide abortion ban…

Last night was hard…I had a hard day (well, last two classes) at work, then went to Pilates (ugh…yawned through it), then home and realized I had a Zoom meeting (whoops!). I was too tired to iron at all…just stared at stuff for school and chatted. Sometimes that’s all I have. I did eventually iron after, but it’s been less than an hour every night. 52 minutes. 57 minutes. ALMOST an hour. But not. I’ve been ironing this thing together for a little over 14 hours over the last three weeks. So last night, I did the head…

I didn’t get her freckles done. I almost changed this face from the original drawing (there are other things I changed). The almost smile was an issue, although it is a beautiful mouth. The tears and the smile? So I explained on Instagram that this face is honestly where I’m at right now, ironic, since I drew it last November (that should tell me something)…I’m crying because it’s shit, and the shit is so overwhelming that I’m kind of laughing hysterically, and now I notice I wrote “I”, when I don’t really see this as a self-portrait, but maybe most of my women are some version of me. Intriguing thought.

So I got into Quilts=Art=Quilts and Excellence in Fibers (not sure I said anything about that one yet). In the midst of all the chaos and heartache (IDK if that’s the right word…there’s been some trauma too plus frustration plus all the feels), the art is getting out and seen. So that is my good right now. And my school team. Because I know they have my back even when some don’t. So bend into the chaos today, deep breaths, because I have a backup plan if their little brains can’t handle it, but sometimes they surprise me, and that is always my hope. Let today be that day.

No Additional Time…

Yo! Busy weekend, mostly cool stuff. Work (day job) takes up too much time, as usual, and too much of my trying-to-sleep-dammit brain. But I got a bunch of fiber and art in there this weekend.

Quiltwise, didn’t get much done…didn’t iron at all on Friday night, and then did an hour or so each Saturday and Sunday nights…so this is part of Saturday…

Did the lower torso that is above the arm…then realized the whole damn thing was too heavy to keep on the ironing board, so pulled another Teflon sheet and started the upper torso on that.

It’ll all fit together at some point. Last night, I continued on the upper torso…

At this point, I have some arms to do. I’m in the 800s, almost done with them, I think. So more than halfway finally. Still a lot to do…another big head, her head, the arms, and some stuff in the background. Not a fast iron.

Friday night was a no-iron night because I went to see the Man’s band play…here he is pretending to be Exene of X.

That’s some neon green there. Pretty exhausting show for both of us, though. Friday nights are hard. I managed to get up and go to my quilt guild meeting the next morning to listen to Sara Trail of Social Justice Sewing Academy talk. Great talk, very inspiring. Put it on my calendar to do another remembrance block when I get a break from school. There are 50 or so here in San Diego County that need to be done, so volunteer! (wherever you are, there are unfortunately people who have been killed for a variety of sketchy reasons who need to be documented and remembered…).

I stitched while she talked…been a while since I worked on this, but I got a chunk done.

Mostly boobs.

On Sunday, I went up to the PHES Gallery to see the opening of FIG’s Portals show.

I need to post all those pictures sometime this week…but it is the first time I saw mine hanging. It’s much bigger than I had originally planned it to be.

Definitely commands attention. I’ll be participating in an artists’ talk on October 2 at 5 PM at the gallery with two other artists.

I drew some things for school…this was the hairy gravestone reject.

They were good until I put the hair on them. Don’t even ask.

I was really excited to see a monarch caterpillar in pre-cocoon mode…

But 12 hours later, it hadn’t done anything new and looked mostly dead. And this morning, it was gone…with three more green tomatoes. I know I have a tomato stealer; apparently they like caterpillars too.

I did find another one on there, so maybe there’s hope.

We have a lot of birds though. So I’m not incredibly hopeful.

So it’s Monday. Y’all know that. It’s a busy week: union meeting AND back-to-school night. Plus all the other stuff. I rewrote the whole 8th-grade month in my head while trying to fall asleep last night. Should really stop doing that, but it’s amazing what my brain is capable of when it should be sleeping. The weather has cooled off a bit, although it’s still muggy. The boychild left this morning for his new CalFire posting; not sure when he’ll be back, because there are crews on fires and his new one may need to do something. So either he’ll be back Wednesday or who-knows-when. I need to get to school and hope a copier is running somewhere.

Wonky It Is…

The rain is here…Hurricane Kay is throwing us clouds and rain and eventually wind (not a fan of that…haven’t been able to afford trimming the trees on the slope…been on the list for a year, but the septic redo took all the available cash). The pro is that we need the rain (although not flood level) and it’s cooler today than it has been…still humid though. I have duty after school at the corner light…trying to find an umbrella (it might be in the car). The Man is hoping traffic isn’t bad this morning, and the Boychild is doing his (hopefully) final training tests for CalFire today. In the rain. But it’s rain! We need it. I’m still dripping sweat this morning though. Ugh.

I’ve gotten about an hour each night to iron…that’s it. Working on one of the two big heads…

That’s the first hour…

And this is the second hour…

The next step is the main figure’s torso, I think. I’m around piece 570 or so. Not even halfway. The Man has a show tonight, so I was going to go see that. Tomorrow is a bunch of quilt stuff. The next day is an art opening. Busy weekend. But hopefully I’ll get some more done. Slow but sure.

Meanwhile, I’ve got a meeting this morning (another one!), a ton of work to do for school, overwhelmed by all of it. The level of kid crazy I had to deal with yesterday was not appreciated. After school was all contacting parents and admin and writing stuff up. Very little “get work done”. I’m realizing this morning that I don’t really know what I’m doing for 8th grade…I was supposed to review it sometime this week, and I literally haven’t had time. So I’m searching for the videos that explain it as I drive to school? Possibly.

Last night, I enjoyed hanging with my stitching friends and doing a tiny bit of stitching…

Slow as molasses on this. And god forbid I actually measure and mark like she suggests. I’m pro-wonky in hand-stitched stuff. Good thing, because wonky it is.

OK, may the wind be kind, the rain spread out, the kids chill (oh that’s unlikely). May I find my umbrella and be super efficient today so I can feel better about next week before it happens. Also, it’s my half birthday, so where is my cake.

Iron Your Heart Out…

Still hot here. Today hotter. A/C still not working right in the classroom. I had three fans in there yesterday, but a state group is coming to inspect our school today, and ironically, it means I have to hide the fans (cords going across the floor, near water sources) to prove my room is safe (on a day when I have 700 lab materials out that could be considered unsafe if the kids weren’t following the rules, which they totally are). Plus the room will be too hot, so I’m not sure how the district will explain that shit on a day when it’s supposed to be 102 degrees. Whatever. Some of the shit teachers have to do (or are asked to do) is kind of mind-boggling. This inspection is mostly about textbooks, which is even funnier for science, because we don’t have any…everything is online. So then we have to teach the kids how to download a PDF to their Chromebooks that we never use. Just to make the state happy. It’s OK…I know this is holding districts accountable…just not for my A/C. The heat makes me cranky. It makes the kids cranky. The hot is going away by Friday, when we will get rain (!). I’m OK with that, even if the Man is not, because he has a show that night and there’s supposed to be a 1/2 inch of rain. Loading in and out could be complicated, but also, fewer people come to shows when it’s raining.

In good news, I got a piece into the Excellence in Fibers exhibit that will be in Fiber Art Now’s January issue, plus there’s a chance it will be at the San Jose Quilt & Textile Museum next year, which would be cool. I have one piece that will be there in October, but I’m juggling way too much that month, with my parents gone, a bunch of art stuff, the parental dog, the Man possibly taking off to hike for a couple of days with a friend, blah blah blah…at least it will be cooler! I guess I don’t have to go to San Jose for the opening…I could go another time just to see the show.

Ironing is slow but steady. I haven’t been starting until late. It’s too damn hot in here. By 9 PM, with two fans on me, it’s bearable. I got a bunch done on Monday night…

Finished the pelvic area…missing an ‘s’ on the ‘Property of’ label (those words will be inked or stitched, haven’t decided which yet. I like the Statue of Liberty’s head though.

Then I ironed the robes of the large Supreme Court figure on the left, but forgot to photograph it, and then detached it and rolled it up, because everything was getting too big and out of control. I started ironing the left big head down…well, at least the neck and the nuclear power plant that will reside on his chin…

Less than an hour last night, just. I had a stressful day at work, with science materials disappearing and reappearing, trying to get kids to move on to the next step (I’m so behind), then to the dentist to deal with my filling, which was a crown, and will be expensive, and will take more time than they are open, so trying to schedule it has been a pain. Plus the money. This month is not good for that…house insurance is due and it’s my first paycheck since the end of June. It’s always tight. I think we have solved it though…they may open on Saturday for me, which I really appreciate (although you wanna look at my weekends for the next 6 weeks? because there’s very few open spots). Sigh. Came home and graded some stuff, planned, put grades in the gradebook. I didn’t have to cook, hallelujah, that’s tonight unfortunately (so hot…), but I was exhausted. Kept saying “It’s only Monday”. Ha! Tuesday, y’all. It was Tuesday. And now it’s Wednesday. So today is trash out, empty dishwasher, empty sink, AND cook dinner. Hopefully those two grown men will help with the first three because it’s not my turn. Every morning this week is a student-related meeting on top of all of it. September is always a little hectic. Little is an understatement.

I need to get some boxes for shipping stuff too…if I have time before Pilates today, the store where I buy boxes is right there…but I’m usually kamikazing in at the last minute from school.

I didn’t sleep well last night. The heat…the noise and light from having the windows open…my brain doesn’t do well with either of those two stimuli. Plus this…

I work when I’m tired…but the art stuff suffers in the end. There are only so many hours in the day. I’m trying to lesson plan while kids are working on labs. I’m speed-planning during prep. I don’t feel like I’ve got a handle on any of it. Plus grading. I realized that all of 7th AND 8th grade will be turning in academic assignments at the same time. OK. It’s going to be busy for a while. Deep breaths (I do meditate every night). Be efficient…be be efficient. Then iron your heart out.

Ruh Roh

So today is my first day back at school with kids…my room isn’t totally ready, I don’t have all the materials for a lab I’m apparently doing tomorrow (I feel like I should be more on top of this shit), and the Man tested positive for COVID on Monday. I’m still testing negative, but woke up with what feels like a stuffy nose? I’m writing sub plans in my head for the next 5 days (well, 3, because I don’t have to teach on the weekend, thank god), and it’s a cluster because it’s those first few days when everything is more hands on, supposed to teach them how to exist in my class, and who knows who might BE in my class if (when?) I test positive. I masked all day yesterday, will continue that. But I feel like I’m a giant-ass redwood about to fall, but not yet, maybe today? Maybe tomorrow? I just don’t know. Do I plan the labs and hope I don’t come back to my room being burnt down? I just don’t know. I’m not even done setting up our online classrooms because I just haven’t had time. The district sucking away that Friday planning time really…well…sucked. Yeah! I’m feeling better right now with a shower and a cup of tea in me, my sinuses have cleared, but my voice is off. Hell, I feel off, but that could all be in my head…I’ve done that before. Or my body is fighting it and let’s hope my immune system, two vaccine shots, and two boosters are all stronger than one variant. Ha!

Just stay away from me right now. For so many reasons. I have had a stuffy nose multiple days this summer…allergies related to weather and/or dust. So who knows.

I finished proofreading last night. That’s a good thing. It was kind of a mess. But it’s done. The mess was not because of me…I blame the copyeditor. But hey, IDK what she started with.

I’m still ironing, but pretty damn slowly. I might need to admit that I’m not going to beat that deadline. It’s OK. I have other pieces to enter, and this one will still get done. There’s just something about an insane deadline.

Piles of pieces in the 600s, 700s, and 900s…last night, all I ironed down was the cat. Hardly anything.

I think I did 16 minutes on Monday night and 26 minutes last night. Big time! Better than nothing. It is what it is. Even if what it is is frustrating.

Not a lot of color in this one. Well maybe there is, but it’s all chaotic-looking here. Lots of fleshy bits. I’m still ironing that pile of lungs/heart/whatever. So far behind.

Kitten is still depositing fur on the black fabrics in that box…

I have a piece in this upcoming show.

And another show in September in Liberty Station. I’ll post that one when I get a thingie for it.

OK. Well, I’m going to go do this first-day thing and hope for the best. It’s humid, I’m sweaty, I have meds for a stuffy nose, I have COVID tests (sorry kids, Imma test right now while you’re writing on that paper), I’m going to write sub plans during prep? I think? I honestly don’t know what to do. Right now, I’m going to print my class rosters and get to school and hopefully everything else will make sense from here on out. Wish me luck. Send the anti-COVID thoughts.

Stapled

Well here we are. Back in. The saddle. School. Meetings and prep today and tomorrow, kids on Wednesday. So incredibly not ready. I would be much more ready if I only had one grade level this year, but that’s not happening. I spent 5 hours over the weekend just finding and trying to make sense of my bulletin boards (gotta get two grade levels up on the wall). It’s all about the staples…

I’ve had to move everything so far to get room for an additional 6-7 units (IDK even how many units I’ll be teaching because I can’t get that far ahead right now). Which means I unstapled everything and then stapled it back up in a different place. It’s all about the staples getting picked up by something other than my feet. Today I have meetings all morning and then this afternoon and most of tomorrow to prep for realz. We’ll see how that goes.

Here’s what 2500 people at a school district conference looks like…

Actually, that picture was probably less than 2500…I didn’t take a photo of the actual conference room (ballroom) we were in (this was breakfast), but it was a lot. Wore a mask. I don’t want to be sick for the first week of school. Was it worthwhile? Eh. Some camaraderie, sure, but we could have done that in a smaller group. One speaker was interesting (because he was funny). The rest? I’d rather be setting my room up. The reason I had to go in over the weekend was because normally they do about 90 minutes on Friday and then we get the rest of the day to prep. We didn’t get that. So that sucks. That’s tone deaf, honestly. But it’s done.

I’m still proofreading. SO CLOSE TO DONE. Hopefully today, although today is kind of a mess. Maybe tomorrow.

I’m also still ironing. I did NOT meet my goal of finishing the ironing this weekend…maybe if I hadn’t had to go in to school over the weekend. And yes, sure, I could have NOT done that and tried to get boards up once school starts, but using last year as an example? I never did it. Never had the time. This year will be similar with two different classes. I will never have time. So I did that. For my sanity. This is Friday night’s progress on the piles of fabric and pieces…

On Saturday, I focused on the main figure, so here’s what she looks like when I’m picking fabrics…

Although I forgot to do the head. Whoops. This is what one fabric of that run looks like…

Not much left of that one after this gets cut out. Which is fine. There is always more fabric.

Saturday night’s final count on the piles…

When I pick the fabrics for the flesh, I lay out all the other pieces too (bones, heart, lungs, hair, etc), but they don’t get ironed down right away. Fleshy bits first, then the rest, which can take a while…

Each pile is some discrete object on the quilt…there’s a pile of arm hair, a needle and some thread, some fingernails. I know those because I ironed them last night…

Still ironing those, honestly. Will be tonight as well. I have no idea how far along I am. I’ve pulled flesh through the 900s, but haven’t ironed all the missing bits in there, back to the 200s, I think. Maybe the 300s. Quite a bit to go. Revised goal? Work as fast as fucking possible this week.

Kitten loves it when I leave these drawers open for her…

She’s still not eating much, but seems perky enough. Comes out for her meds anyway. Wants pets. Still eating pine needles, because that’s a thing. If I could make her food smell like that, maybe she’d eat more of it? Or is it the long stringy stick-like-ness of it? Who knows.

Oh yeah, I drew (and read my book) at the district conference. It made it more bearable…

Too many people. Even if there wasn’t COVID, I wouldn’t have enjoyed being in a space like that with that many people. Lots of bugs in the drawing though.

OK, need to get going, wake up, ready for a meeting with a lot more people, then a smaller meeting, then lunch out (because we don’t get to do that during the school year), then work my ass off in the classroom. I went up and down off the counters about a million times in the last two days, mostly thinking that the next time I’d have to do this…well, I could do it every year, but I’d rather not. So maybe this is it? I spent a lot of time telling myself to be careful and not fall off anything. Oh yeah, and the boards aren’t anywhere near done…I’m missing all the vocab and posters and big ideas and essential questions. For 8th grade, those will get filled in all year, because they flat-out don’t exist yet. So there’s that. Knowing that.

One of the baby owls keeps coming back and hanging out in that tree outside my office window at night. Screeches occasionally. I talk to it. Say hi, how are you, thanks for coming back. Probably it’s coming back for our mouse/rat population (which it is welcome to eat), not for my dulcet tones. I haven’t named it yet. Betty? Betty the Barn Owl? Eh.

Most important part of today…send a thought out to Simba…he’s being left alone all day for the first time in a long time.

Poor pup. OK. Wish me luck for the 2022-2023 school year. I think this is my 20th year teaching? Something like that. Or my 20th starts in February, because I was a mid-year start. Yup. Either way, it’s a lot.

Whatever Psychotic Tension Issue…

Well I don’t know what this sewing machine is thinking, but apparently threatening to throw it into the pool worked. Yeah. Because after thread breaking 17 times in an hour, I turned it off, went to bed, tossed and turned about how in hell I was going to fix this issue in time to get the quilt done for a deadline, and then it freakin’ worked. No issues. One thread breakage in two full quilts worth of quilting and binding. No idea why. I didn’t change anything. Same thread, same needle, same settings, no breakage. This is an issue. Inconsistent tension, the feed dogs won’t stay dropped (yes, I free-motion quilted with them up about 2/3s of the time), and when I zigzag, the needle still wanders as far left as it can and I worry about it hitting the foot, but it seemed to know its limits there.

I called yesterday to set up a time for it to be cleaned out and adjusted. It was in last September for that, but then it was in for repair in March because the foot wouldn’t drop down while free-motion zigzagging. That time, it was gone for 5 weeks. So I figured it would be put on a list and I’d bring it in during school some time (usually it’s 6 weeks out for an appointment), but they asked a bunch of questions (it was just in? Did you clean it…that was MY question. What’s wrong with it? I just printed that list out. SIGH.) and now I’m dropping it off today.

Not before I kamikazed and finished both little quilts though…because it was mostly fucking behaving. It will straight stitch just fine, and now that whatever psychotic tension issue is mostly gone (it popped up briefly), I’m not fighting thread breakage constantly. So frustrating. Yes, it is an 11-year-old machine that I got used (barely used…most people don’t use machines like I do) and yes, I probably need to replace it. Damn, though, the last two lasted longer. I think. Maybe not. Sigh. It’s a conversation I will have with the machine guy, but money is not free-flowing and nothing is cheap. I certainly won’t be buying a new machine. And no, Bernina, Pfaff, and Husqvarna don’t want to sponsor my artwork by gifting me a machine. Too many nude parts in my work, I suspect. Plus I swear a lot. LOL. I’m always impressed when people are gifted expensive equipment to make their work. ANYWAY. All that is negative and the positive is that I have two more quilts that are done or almost done.

They’re not very big…I did all the outline quilting on the bottom but not the top…not a single breakage.

Finishing up this one…

I got the binding on it, using a fabric from my stash. No shopping on this quilt. I had everything. I don’t always have enough for binding, but the smaller quilts don’t take a full half yard (or more), so I can usually pull from stash. I finished the hand-stitching last night while watching The Handmaid’s Tale (am I the only one crying through episodes right now?). We only watch one at a time. Can’t binge this thing. I’d lose my mind.

Then once I had called about bringing the machine in and they said yeah! Bring it! I was like, OK, gonna see if I can get the machine to finish the other one that got set aside in March when the machine broke last time.

Quilted like a dream, no breakages at all. Seriously? Fuck you, machine.

Same spool of thread, same needle, didn’t even clean anything out, no tension change, no breakage, no nothing. Well, except the feed dogs kept popping back up. Kind of annoying. Makes it harder to drag everything around, but on a smaller quilt like this, it’s not impossible.

Then got the binding on the other one too, again, from stash.

We’re going to Los Angeles for a few days to celebrate the man’s birthday, so I’ll have to finish the hand-stitching in the car. Or a brewery. Or a hotel room. Whichever works. These two have names, but the hand-appliqued one I finished almost two weeks ago doesn’t. They are all going to the photographer hopefully this weekend though.

And then I have to figure out what’s next. I need to finish a small one for my Patreon, but then I need one for an upcoming “family friendly” show. That phrase drives me nuts. But whatever. It’s in my head and I’ll maybe draw it in the next few days. Need to draw the little one too.

Speaking of drawings, apparently this is Captain Kangaroo…

I wasn’t thinking that when I drew it…although it did make me laugh a lot.

OK, we leave later today. I need to drop off my machine, do a bunch of packing, then drive to LA. Hopefully there will be some walking and eating and drinking and maybe some art and drawing and stitching. Who knows? It won’t be here, though. The boychild will hold down the fort and feed all the animals. I was looking forward to meeting the man on the trails this summer, which unfortunately didn’t happen. He is exercising his knee, though, and hoping to get back on trail in a month or so…but then I have school, so meeting him is much more complicated, especially if he starts from Washington instead of the Sierras. So I guess LA will have to stand in for the Sierras? Not really a fair comparison, but it will have to do.

Totally Off…

Well I’m totally off on everything: blogposting days, artmaking times, blood sugar management, exercise. Hopefully I will do better with everything next week, although maybe I should just do my best and do the things and I don’t know. I mean, honestly, I’m never really sure what day it IS at the moment without looking at the calendar…about 5 times. Today is Saturday and I have two things on the calendar and that’s not too bad. Yesterday, I had a few things, but some got moved. Then I was supposed to drive to San Clemente (about 90 minutes) to meet a friend halfway for lunch, and I got about 10 miles into it and apparently a nail took out my tire. On the freeway, of course. Anyway, so after getting OFF the freeway as safely as possible, getting the nice AAA person to put on the spare, and driving very slowly to the tire place, and getting a new tire, my good friend had made it all the way down here and we had lunch anyway.

I drew at the tire place…

I almost didn’t put my sketchbook in my bag, because I draw when I’m waiting for food, but this was supposed to be more of a social thing, and I probably wasn’t going to draw.

She’s irritated about the tire, but it was a pretty easy fix. Didn’t need to replace all 4, which is good, because I don’t get paid until the end of August. Summer expenses suck.

The place where we got food is no longer seating people outside (sigh), so we took it all to a park…

But they didn’t put plasticware into the bags (apparently we needed to get it, which I’m a fan of doing, so I don’t get random plasticware in my takeout, but no, we didn’t think about it, so we used naan as spoons. Which was a little messy, but the food was good. And there are leftovers. It was a good afternoon.)

Then last night I finally got this little quilt on the machine for stitchdown…

I didn’t get far, but I wanted to get it started. The machine had been acting up with the quilting on the last one, so I was hoping it would behave, and it seems to be. Hopefully that will continue.

I also stitched some more bits and pieces down on one of the April Sue Spargo Homegrown blocks after dinner…

We’re watching Season 4 of The Handmaid’s Tale. I have some issues with this season. It is less believable than previous seasons, so far.

Anyway, I’m hoping to get the stitchdown done today, maybe even sandwich and pinbaste it. It’s not big. I have an idea for the next one…another one of those things that comes into my brain right before I’m about to fall asleep and then doesn’t let me fall asleep. Someone asked about my drawings and whether they are ever happy. Some are. Look more carefully. Yesterday’s was annoyed for good reason. Today I will probably not draw, but maybe she will be tired. Or asleep (I’ve never drawn someone asleep…oh wait, yes I have). Or dancing. You just never know.

Looks Like a Pillow Fort

The first thing I did this morning was talk to a very nice customer-service rep who was in South Carolina, at which point I realized that there is still a hurricane or stormlike thing (seriously, I don’t watch the news much so I had forgotten and she was asking if it was raining here and I was like heck no, it doesn’t rain in July here like ever almost never and then she told me where she was and I’m sitting there trying to remember about a hurricane or tropical storm and I felt really out of it. Good news…the customer service rep is FINE) or maybe it’s not a hurricane any more, but yeah, so removed from all of that, but really appreciate nice and helpful reps. It’s a shit job and I’m glad we were able to make each other smile today. Even though her company totally fucked up my order. Because she fixed it. And some poor woman somewhere is looking at my offbeat purple bras in her package and wondering why her perfectly normal old-lady white Playtex bras did not arrive. Me too, lady, me too; hopefully you got a nice customer-service person too.

I started not writing this yesterday, like normal. But then I did things yesterday and then the day was over and I hadn’t written. It happens. It will probably happen again some time. It is not the end of the world. I still made art, even SAW art yesterday (WTH?!) and I will write today instead.

Quilt progress! It’s happening. Tuesday I kept ironing…

And more on Tuesday night…

Finished the bottom, more complicated square…and started the top, the sky…

Last night, I ironed the rest of the sky together…

And ironed the whole thing down.

It’s not large. It’s just complicated. Hopefully I’ll start stitchdown today or tomorrow, although there’s lots of stuff on my calendar at the moment. People apparently want to see me. Not sure why.

On Tuesday, I went back to Torrey Pines and hiked with the niece…

I might have damaged her. It wasn’t a super short hike…

I didn’t make her limp, so that’s good. Or she’s faking it.

And then yesterday, we went to the California Center for the Arts in Escondido to see the Allied Craftsmen show there, Crafting Memory.

There’s my piece, Sediment, which was in Visions some years back. This is one of those venues that needs to be ‘family friendly’ but can’t really define what that means. Another art group I’m in is having a show there with a different theme, but I don’t have much that doesn’t have nudity in it, so I’m considering what to do…don’t enter? Enter what I have, which is mostly nudity and let them decide? Or make a new piece? Ugh. It’s a nice space…go see the shows that are there. Definitely worth it. There’s a teacher discount and a senior discount and a student discount. Probably military too.

We’ve been dining at the parents’ house while the niece is here…I walked two dogs with dad last night for the first time in a long time.

I’m tired. Always tired. My hip hurts and it’s hard to find a comfortable sleeping position. This sweet baby wanted to knead my arm with her claws last night…

Really not conducive to sleeping. I think I need some sort of cocoon for sleeping that keeps pokey cats out and cushions all the painful old parts of the body and blocks the sounds of dogs panting and mockingbirds chirping and neighbors dragging trashcans around and isn’t really hot or cold…I’m building this thing in my head and it’s got noise-canceling powers and looks like a pillow fort. Seriously.

OK. Not sure all that’s happening today. It’s the man’s birthday, so dinner out at least, and the niece leaves, so IDK whether we will see her today, and maybe I should shower and have more tea and that would help with the sleepy part. And maybe the brain-working part. Hard to say.

See All the People and Do All the Things…

Good morning on the day after fireworks. For those of you with dogs who don’t like fireworks, you are maybe a little exhausted like me, as I listened to the old lady dog pant and breathe way too fast most of the night. Her breathing is back to normal this morning, but it was a long night. She was doing OK until more fireworks at about 1 AM. I also was doing OK until then. I am way too light of a sleeper for this stuff.

Hope your 4th was enjoyable at least, although I spent a good portion of the day thinking about Native American issues (I’m reading The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich) and those who don’t feel like the flag and the pledge of allegiance are for them (I am one of those people and I’m pretty damn entitled). But I did step outside to see a few sets of fireworks…I think only half were legal, which is scary in these dry firelike conditions. You’ll appreciate my photo from the bedroom window.

Yeah. Toldja you’d appreciate it. Best fireworks photo ever. Not sure why I try to take these every year, but I do. EVERY YEAR. I’m rolling my eyes at myself.

Also, this quote…

For those who doubt my patriotism. Exactly.

So much art progress has been made. Well. Has it? I don’t know. Things are getting done. That’s a good thing.

So first of all, official photos of the Quilt National exhibit are here. I will hopefully be there in person in September for the closing ceremony. In all the videos I saw posted, I couldn’t see my quilt, which made me sad, but that’s OK. Because here it is in all its glory, thanks to the QN photographer.

I don’t have the catalog yet, so I can’t tell you who else’s pieces are in this picture…

Looking forward to seeing her in person…for the last time, probably, because she sold. But this show does travel, so maybe she will pop up near me somewhere. Hard to say. Again, you can hear me talk about her here.

So meanwhile, I have one piece on a deadline here, so it makes sense that I worked on anything BUT that piece. I finished the quilting on this 20-year-old piece last week, and Saturday, I put a binding on her.

It’s the first time in a year and a half that I could go to that quilt store without an appointment. They still have really short hours, so during the school year, Saturday would be the only day I could go, but hopefully that will change by the time it’s an issue. Yes, I often am buying backgrounds and bindings at the totally last minute.

I spent time Saturday night (with Kitten) sewing bindings on…

And finished those and the sleeves on Sunday night.

She’s about 30″ wide by 43″ high, and I started her in 2000 or 2001. It’s all hand applique. She’ll get her official photographs when I have the one with a deadline completed.

Then (because still…procrastinating the deadline project) I stitched down Desert Bunny, which has been sitting around waiting since March.

(I’m still working on a name for the other one…there are some in the running, but no decisions yet).

She’s small, so she didn’t take long.

And then I sandwiched and pinbasted her, so now she’s ready for quilting…

Which ALSO wouldn’t take long, but I’m trying to be good and work on the one with a deadline. I was supposed to be in Los Angeles for 2 1/2 days this week, but my niece is coming down this week instead of next week, so we juggled our flexible plans into LA next week….thus juggling my art plans as well…I can’t do certain parts of my art process on the road. Odds are, I won’t be working on the next quilt on the road no matter what, but I’m using that trip to motivate me to iron. Why is ironing an issue? This quilt has a lot of small pieces and it’s sometimes tedious to iron tiny pieces (you’d think I’d learn), but also ironing is hot and the light in here is hot and it’s not THAT hot here (no heat dome…yet), but my hot flashes plus fairly reasonable summer temperatures just add up to ugh. That said, here’s an hour or so of ironing done…

Tiny pieces, relatively small quilt. Crazy amount of work in this one. Ah well…the brain knows what it wants. So I’ll be working on this all week, and hopefully be done for the weekend. We’ll see.

I’ve gone back to drawing before dinner…here is Saturday night, in between starter (we hardly ever get a starter) and dinner.

Keep it simple! These are small. It’s the sketchbook that fits in my purse. I got a new purse, a smaller one, but the sketchbook doesn’t fit. Dammit.

Also, I can’t remember if I posted this…it’s Margaret Fabrizio’s Hello Kitty Meats the Dragon.

I spelled it like she did…it’s not hung up yet because I wanted to put a sleeve on it, and last night, I finally did that. I met Margaret some years back (when she was still 80-something) and we liked each other’s work. She contacted me earlier this year about trading a piece of art, and I agreed, so I sent one off to her of her choice, and I got these wonderful eyeballs (I did pick it for Hello Kitty too) back…so now she can hang on my wall.

I also was cleaning up my blogroll this weekend (like you do…once every 5 years, whether it needs it or not), and noticed that an artist I really enjoyed, Olga Norris, had passed away in 2019. I obviously have not been doing a great job of reading blogs. Every year, at the SAQA auction, I would note the Olga Norris piece and get outbid at a much higher rate than I could afford, sadly. Well, her husband is still supporting his wife’s work and posted photos of her last pieces, and offers them up for postage and donations to a charity of Olga’s choice, which is just amazing, so I will finally be proudly displaying one of her pieces here as well. It does make you think about what will happen to all your work when you die, though. I’m sure my children would love for me to have a plan.

In other news, Kitten is still missing some teeth and makes some funny faces while squawking at me.

And I finally got milkweed seeds to sprout! I started in April and apparently killed off a hundred or so of them, but now! Now I haz babies.

IDK how I will keep the bunnies out of the plants though…gonna have to think that bit through. They’ve even been eating the succulents.

And this…

Makes me want to go through all the birding books we have here…just for stupid things like that.

OK, I’m up to go to the gym, like a good person. I have an appointment at the Apple Store to try to figure out if my phone refusing to connect consistently to Wifi is a hardware issue. And then I’d like to do some more ironing together of tiny little pieces today. Tomorrow will probably involve some art stuff with the niece, which means I might actually see my work in a show IN PERSON. I know. Crazy. And hopefully I will also be able to reschedule all the stuff I already scheduled over in an attempt to see all the people and do all the things because yeah. That.