The Overwhelmedness…

Y’all, I’m feeling the overwhelmedness this morning. I was also feeling it last night at 1 AM when I was trying to sleep but the to-do list was screaming at me. I know the solution: bang some shit out, get it done, cross it the fuck off the list, run a marathon, come back, and finish the rest of it. Yeah. I know. I have limits. I’m not always sure what they ARE, but I have them. For instance, maybe agreeing to re-copyedit this book (quick readthrough!) in March was a mistake. Maybe signing up for a lightning talk…now see, that one’s deadline moved up a good 12 days. I could have done it without freaking out about it, and now I’m gonna have to freak out about it. I just need to be the most efficient bitch in the world for about two weeks…same thing I told myself two weeks ago.

School is always a big stressor. This year, of course it’s more than normal. Hoping this is not the new normal. Add Job#3, the copyediting, that’s a bad plan while I’m teaching. Ah well. It’s done. I have to do all the things. Today is school, vet with two animals, copyediting, hopefully some artmaking, certainly some grading, possibly some sort of mental breakdown in the middle of it? We’ll see. Checking on that one. Tomorrow is a lot of work, plus house stuff, plus ship a small sold quilt (good news!), and a social event or two in the evening (can’t be simple; has to be complicated). Then Sunday, we lose an hour, I still have all my school work to do, plus going to see the parents for the first time in a while. Then back to school. Chaos. It’s all good. I do just want to hole up and read my book, but we’ll have to see where that fits. Also, there’s no hike in that list. There needs to be a hike in that list. Fuck. Not sure when and where. But hike.

I was lucky to stitch last night with friends. Enjoyed it. Forgot to take a picture of what I did. Now waiting for app to update. I’ll insert photo here. Let’s just say it’s supposed to say Town Hall, but this is what I really felt like.

Also, I slammed my hand into a door jamb yesterday like an idiot, and it swelled up hugely almost immediately. Swelling is down, I can move all my fingers, but the bruise is going to be stupendous. It’s all good.

In other news, Wednesday night, I got the face ironed to fabric…

I think those blues are the river running through it. It was my birthday on Wednesday, so I now have some reading to do…always appreciate books.

And postcards from the girlchild…plus a truly impressive trilobite from the boychild. I suspect they have my number, as it were.

Then last night, after stitching from friends and lying around on the couch like a beached walrus for a bit, staring at owl videos, I finally surfaced and finished ironing the hawk down to fabrics…this is all that was left.

And yes, I stayed up late to do it. Dammit. Fuck Job#2…art is Job #1.

Here’s all the fabrics I used. A TON of browns, greens, grays, and other earth tones.

I’ve already started cutting pieces out, or that box would be more full. I ironed for a whopping 27 hours and 44 minutes. All that realism kicked my butt. Next one will be fantastical as hell. Nothing real. All in my head. Whenever I get to do that one.

OK. School. Two or three docs to make, all the things to copy, grading if I can persuade kids to work without standing on them (ha!), then race home and grab two furry beasts, take to vet, come back, probably more walrusing on the couch, then copyedit. SLEEP. Damn those nextdoor kids if they are up early on Saturday morning. I will be dropping rocks by drone near enough to their sweet little raucousing heads that they run inside to play violent video games instead of wholesome outdoor fun.

Yeah. You know I wouldn’t do that.

Divisible by 11…

Wednesday. March 9, 2022. Hello age 55. Not so bad. I like numbers that are divisible by 11. Yes, I numerology my age. Why not? 54 was pretty…not in reality, but it could have been worse. Hoping 55 includes PEACE ASAP (I know Putin reads my blog…he seems the type), COVID fucking off, kids figuring out how to be at school again, and more free time. ALWAYS with the free time. As I copyedited last night after work. And will do so again tonight. It’s OK. My choice. I do wish someone would clean my bathrooms though. That would be cool.

But for today, the day with a parent-teacher conference for a kid I seriously worry about and who drives me bonkers on a daily basis…oh wait, this is the day I don’t have him in class…so not today. This is also the day of a union meeting, so Zoom for an hour plus. Ugh. For today, though, getting older is not so big a deal.

I now have the overlap of Still Ironing Wonder Under to Fabrics with Cutting Out Fabrics. So I will never see the bin full of ALL the fabrics after ironing, but I am being more efficient with my time. All good.

I ironed a lot of cactus on Monday night.

I had to consider what was in front and what was behind, plus what were the real colors of the cactus (I may have fucked with that slightly…).

Last night, I ironed the rocks behind her arms and up into her hair…

I used that purplish fabric on the left for the first (and probably last) time in the whole quilt. I’m getting close to the end…just her neck and face and then the hawk. So many fabrics!

So many greens really. And browns. Should be interesting to see it all come together. Kitten seems interested anyway.

I feel like the next quilt needs to have a million bright colors in it.

This is true. My new bras are less easy to get off with a shirt on, but I can do it.

Years of practice. Personally think bras should all go away, but I am still a middle-school teacher and that’s a thing. Boobs. Boys. It’s just problematic. The girls worry (WORRY) that I never wear a dress to school. WTF. I don’t think any of their teachers wear dresses to school. Seriously.

And this?

I know who one of them is…the Man falls asleep incredibly quickly. Lucky. So annoying.

OK, today is chaos. Two different labs, teaching art in the middle of that with a new (not new) group of kids (it’s mostly my advisory and 3 6th graders and one kid I’ve had all year). Need to switch out lab materials halfway, for some definition of halfway. Plus the two meetings. Yeah. It’s OK. It’s a sunny day, I have my lunch made, I get a prep period at the end of the day to try to get my head straight (and grade everything). I’d love to come home and go for a walk, but it’s not in the cards today. Or tomorrow. But I’ll have some good food that someone else cooked and I’ll do some cutting and ironing (and copyediting, which equals paycheck). We good.

Trying to Take Time…

Hope everyone’s holidays went well. We did OK with it…more sleep would always be nice, and we still have one family event tonight, but then it’s all done. It’s tiring and draining…but getting to see family is a plus. I think my theme for this holiday season is just tired though. Maybe I’ll get past that feeling eventually, but I haven’t yet. The only art I’ve been doing since last Thursday is the daily drawing (and I missed Christmas night…too tired). Here’s Christmas Eve.

And last night, which kind of sums up how I’ve been feeling…

Hopefully there will be quilting today some time. I do have copyediting to do still…I’ve made it through one readthrough and am starting the references today. Well, I started them yesterday, but I also had some sewing for the girlchild and some other stuff, so I didn’t get much done. Let’s just call it taking the weekend off the day job. And now I’m back! This week is a bit full of all types of work, but hopefully that will free up some of next week (although none of the grading is done. Ugh. Don’t remind me.).

The man and I made it on a hike on Saturday…

In between bouts of rain…

I appreciate how the outdoors makes me feel. Clears the cobwebs. Must add more hiking to life.

This is real.

I also read my book a lot. It’s due to the library in 3 days. According the the app, I have 4+ hours of reading to do in 3 days. It doesn’t sound like much, but I have a ton of other things to do. And it’s an electronic book, so they will just suck it back when the time is up. I wish it would tell me the exact time it was getting sucked up so I’d have a real deadline. Easier than “sometime in the next 3 days”.

Girlchild is only here for another day. She has been getting all the Simba loves.

He seems OK with it.

And she finally got the good picture of him wearing the hat that she wanted.

Good news.

Sometimes she does pet other animals though…

Not sure Simba is OK with that.

Last year, Dad was in a nursing home for Christmas, recovering from a fall that almost killed him, so it was a reason to take more photos this year…

Certainly, Katie is glad to have him around. But so are we…

The boychild refused to be in photos…but everyone else got their moment…their dad…

And me and the Man.

The girlchild cooked a nice meal…

Yes, we do wear the crowns. It is the way of our people.

I think this was my favorite photo though…

Good stuff.

Meanwhile the cats hide for most of Christmas…except for when the dog is gone and they can come out and play with boxes and new toys…I only caught Kitten in photos though.

The box from Seattle was very exciting for some reason.

And the last pic of the girlchild with the dog…napping.

Poor puppy. Not spoiled at all.

OK, so lots of copyediting and other stuff. Family event tonight. Hopefully some quilting to start finally. This quilt is totally a 2022 finish at this point. No way will I finish by Friday night. Not when I look at my calendar. It’s all right. No worries. More sleep, finish reading one book, finish copyediting the other one. I do envy people who are able to just not work the whole Winter Break. I did take on another job, it’s true…need to pay the bills though. I’m trying to take time around all that. Best I can.

My Other Other Job…

Well I am totally off my writing schedule at the moment. Blame my other job. No, wait…my other other job. My job is teaching. My other job is art. My other other job is copyediting. Good news! I’m done with that project, so I can finally take some time off and pretend to be on vacation. Well, as much as anyone can when it’s hot as hell and you can’t go anywhere. But we have our health! It’s interesting, because I keep hearing from people (locally and otherwise), “do you actually KNOW someone who’s gotten sick and/or died from this?” Well yes…to both. Secondarily knowing on the death part, so no need for condolences here…but if you’re sitting around on the beach in San Diego with your mojito and wondering what’s the big fucking deal…you’ll see eventually. It’s too bad you can’t listen to the experts and behave accordingly. Because there are at least two restaurants we won’t go back to for takeout because they weren’t enforcing mask rules, so now they have lost business. And there are a few other places I avoid for similar reasons. At this point, with numbers ramping up in Southern California, my goal is to stay out of the hospital and not get sick, so they won’t have to decide whether I get to live or not…because I won’t need to force them to make that choice.

So here I am, with another small fence that needs building (starting that this week, going a little slower, because it’s not a dog-escape issue), a quilt that needs finishing (batting arrived yesterday and is ready to go), a bunch of other art stuff that needs doing (bits and pieces of starting and finishing this and that), and a little more free time on my hands. That sounds good, because I need some serious meditation time coming up. I feel the future teacher anxiety on my shoulders, and I’m not even one of the four teachers going back to school tomorrow. Hell, I’m anxious for them. And the kids. This school year, though…deep breaths…gonna need my calm mojo (ha!)…wait, gonna need to make some calm mojo, because that’s not how I roll under stress, unfortunately.

Anyway, if you wonder about copyediting, here’s what I did…

Not bad. I deleted a lot of those comments too, because we resolved them before I sent it back. It’s just easier that way. Those were mostly reference issues. This is my 5th book with this author, which is nice, because it’s easier to figure out their patterns when you continue to work with them. Luckily, he likes what I do. I don’t do a lot of copyediting, usually only one or two projects a year, just to help with some of the additional expenses that come up. This money will be for tree trimming. I’m debating whether to get it done now (probably the best plan) or wait until after summer, when I know I won’t need the money for the summer. I don’t get paid for teaching again until the end of August, which is a little painful. I try to plan for it, but no one plans for a pandemic, right? Well, maybe we should from here on out.

Saturday was mostly copyediting, but I did need to make more pancakes using up the sourdough starter…trained by the girlchild…

No, I did not eat all those…I froze those puppies for breakfasts. Easy peasy.

Then in the afternoon, I had a quilt guild meeting…I forgot to take a picture during the meeting, so this is what you have…

I worked on this while watching the meeting. I don’t like sitting still; I guess that’s obvious.

Then I copyedited all the other minutes of the day, until dinner time or so…it was hot, so we did this…

Tonight’s dinner was very similar. It’s cooler outside than it is inside too, although there are bugs. Bitey bugs. I didn’t manage any bug bites the last two nights though, so that’s a plus. It’s too hot for the biters to come out. Interesting conundrum. Tomorrow is supposed to be cooler.

Then we sat around and listened to 80s music and hung out and I tried to finish the book that is due back to the library (electronically) tomorrow. Then I cut some 6″ pieces of paper and drew some things for Patreon rewards and/or Etsy. Did I embroider more? Hard to say.

So I’ll do one version in embroidery and one as a tiny quilt top. So that’s four more? I think I have one person who’s on this reward level, so once she chooses one (after I make them all), then I’ll put the others on Etsy I think. Then I need to do a 10″ design…a few versions…so I’m thinking of ideas for those.

For my next quilt, I think I’m going to do another daughter…so far, I only have two, right? I think? Time for another. I have a Rona Daughter already drawn. I’m still debating what an antiracist quilt by a white old lady would look like. What am I trying to say? I’m not saying it to BIPOC…I’m saying it to the white ladies who don’t get it. Some voted for Trump; some don’t vote. Some say racist things. Some just think them. Some are mostly OK people but have a few stereotypes that need to be banished from their minds. I’m second-guessing myself constantly at the moment, trying to figure my own brain issues out on that continuum. How do I show white privilege to those who don’t see it? So that’s percolating in my brain.

Meanwhile, I have batting and I just need to piece a backing, clean the entryway floor, lay the whole thing out, and pinbaste it. And if I’m smart, I’m gonna do that at night, when it’s notionally cooler.

Although it is night right now and I am sitting in the dark with a fan blowing on me, and I am still too hot.

Last night was too hot for cats…

Apparently flat spaces are good though.

This is the light table, cleared for cat occupancy.

OK, normally in this last paragraph is where I figure out my plan for the day, but it’s currently after 8 PM. I’m going to start by cleaning the floor where I would lay this all out, and then piecing a backing. Then I will decide how I feel and maybe drink a gallon of water to make up for all the sweating I’m going to do in the entryway that has no windows while kneeling on the floor and pinning things together. Then maybe I will collapse somewhere (hopefully not on the entryway floor due to heat exhaustion) and finish my book before the library sucks it back from me. You should wish me luck. Then tomorrow I can quilt! With two fans on me…because when it’s a million degrees is exactly when you should have an 80″-square quilt on your lap. Mmmmhmmm.

Usually My Fault…

Well I am mostly braindead today. My fault for going to bed late. It’s usually my fault, eh? Plus yesterday was mostly copyediting and not a lot else. I want to be done with it so I can just do art all the time. I’m getting close. The references were yesterday…today is up in the air. It’s the man’s birthday and we were going to go to the zoo, which is still open, yay, but he’s also braindead, so we’re debating doing it later or doing it another day. Sometimes sitting around and doing nothing all day is a thing. I personally feel like I do too much of that already, but then I remember that if I’m doing that (or doing silly things that don’t further my art or my work in some way), there’s a reason for it. My brain is pretty good at trying to give me space. Like stop reading Facebook or watching the news because all that shit about schools needing to open and withholding federal and state funding if you don’t…sigh, this country is fucked up at the moment. OK, it’s always fucked up, but this is beyond the usual fucked-up mess. Frustrating as hell.

Anyway, so on Monday, I was also not very functional, but it’s because I did the 17 million errands including the dentist and the TB test (which I have to get checked before 1:20 PM tomorrow…no, I don’t have it…how could I? I’m literally around almost no one on a regular basis), and I think that was the first time I had an almost-normal errand run in four months and it killed me. Not really, but I was tired and covered in hand sanitizer by the end of it. By the way, those automatic hand sanitizers? I’m lame when it comes to using those. They scare me. It keeps shooting the sanitizer out while I’m trying to get away from it. Oh yeah, and the dog had his teeth cleaned, so I spent about 2 hours dealing with the vet on either end of that. So it’s no wonder that I got very little else done. I did do a bunch of stitch down, because it was easy to do…

I am 6 hours into the stitch down…I guessed 9-10 hours total and I might be in that range. I am more than halfway now…I’m on the top half of the central figure and then have the two angels. Hopefully I’ll get some done tonight. I’m wavering on when to finish this one. I have to make a new smaller one and have it photographed by August 1. I think. Or I can choose to keep doing this one. I just don’t know. Today is not the day for decision making, that’s for sure. This whole week might be a goner for that.

Sometimes the back is really interesting too. I need to remember to cut pieces for that one corona virion where 4 of the parts disappeared. Maybe after writing this I will remember to do that.

So yesterday, after copyediting, I had no brain left. I just wanted to sit and stitch, but nothing hard. No decisions. So I pulled out the Sue Spargo Homegrown and finished stitching down the rest of February’s houses.

They are comforting in the process and bright colors. Although they are all wonky. I like wonky, luckily. I pulled out March this morning, so I could prep it for the next mental-fail day. Have I done any embellishment on these? No. No I have not. Don’t judge.

So the other crazy thing my brain decided on back in May was to do this Tattoo quilt by Happy Sew Lucky aka Berene Campbell. I sent you to read her reasons for making the blocks in the first place. I think that’s where I originally found her quilt, was in reading about quilt artists who make work in response to shit that’s going on. The graphic quality of her quilt spoke to me as well, and I bought the patterns. I knew they were foundation paper piecing (FPP), which I’ve done exactly one block of…ever. I think in the beginning I thought I might try it again, but no. I’m not. I’m really not. I also don’t want a huge quilt. I don’t have a lot of wall space and wouldn’t put this on a bed with the psychotic animals who live here, so I let it simmer in my brain for a LOOONG time. She’s doing a stitch along of sorts, one block a month; she sends out great info, these are awesome patterns, and the FB page where people are sharing their color versions is great inspiration. It doesn’t hurt that Tula Pink also made one using her fabrics, so people are swooning over it. If that gets Berene more income, I am totally for that. But here I am, not willing to FPP (my sanity is important), but wanting to make it, but not wanting it to be that big. Hmm. Respecting the artist’s work is also important to me, but I did buy all the patterns, so I am less worried about that at the moment. I’m not UNworried about my plans…just less worried.

So yeah. First I cut out a piece of paper the size of the image as she designed them. And I stared at that for a full 2 hours. Maybe. OK. I cut it out, looked at it, and walked away from it. Then came back. Then walked away again. Filed it in the part of my brain that processes art shit and let it do it’s thang.

And then came back and sized it in half. So a 10×16″ block image is now 5×8″. Uh huh. That’s tiny. But doable. Next step…redraw for applique. Yeah. Seriously. It’s my preferred way to make quilts, usually fused applique, but I think for this, it’s simple enough and I get enough satisfaction from the hand applique, that I should do that. I may hate myself after doing all those letters like A and R and P with the fucking tiny holes in them, but I’ve been hand appliqueing since I was in my early 20s and I’m pretty good at it, so whatever. And this is my quilt. I get to do what I want. I started with the block for July, Truth. A good one.

Ah, wonkiness, you are my bestest friend. I’ll go over this with pen and straighten some shit up. And then I did the next three months…

Some are easier to redraw logically than others. But I like it. I’m going to keep going. If you think these are cool, go buy all Berene’s patterns and make her happy too. I realize she might not be thrilled with what I’m doing…it’s hard to know how artists will go with redoing their stuff, like adding to it or using different colors, cool, but redrawing it into a different technique…I just don’t know. ALWAYS buy their stuff before you do anything like this. It’s definitely not cool if you don’t buy their stuff.

Damn, I miss this kid. She’s far away.

Thinking about selling her car.

This cat, thinking about nothing but being right where her mommy is.

Every time. She follows me all over the house. She’s in here now, occupying the green fabric drawer again…as Luna continues to occupy plastic.

She mostly fits in there. It doesn’t look comfortable, but I’m not a cat, so WTF do I know.

OK. I still have no idea what’s happening today, so I’ll start copyediting and see where we go from there. I’m also going to plan on doing some stitch down tonight (or even during the day, you just don’t know!) and maybe some prep on that Homegrown quilt, or maybe I’ll look at my drawn daughters and see if one could be a quilt. Honestly, it’s the 8th of July…could I finish another quilt before the end of the month anyway? I don’t know. I could if I could get my brain in gear and work more hours a day. Uh huh. Anyway. This post was interrupted by the girlchild and car things and lunch. Still nothing has been decided for today. It’s OK. I should go get my TB test looked at. Like now. OK. Plan for short term. Long term will follow.

Not a Fast Process…

I’ll finish this post Saturday, but right now, Friday night (actually Saturday morning, because it’s after midnight), there are four people in four different rooms watching four different things: one music, one anime, one racial justice, and one door-is-closed-and-I’m-not-bugging-him (and if I text and ask him, he won’t answer, or he’ll just say WHY. Legit question). You can guess which person is watching which show if you want. I’ll never tell.

OK, it’s Saturday for realz now. Yesterday was weird. I did another retirement meeting…mostly making sure I’m on track (I mostly am…some changes need to happen…one of those changes is NOT somehow finding an additional $26K a year to save somewhere, despite their always recommending it). I had an online art opening webinar, which was cool and weird at the same time (next time, I will remember to have embroidery available so I’m not just staring at the screen for over an hour. I like to listen…but not stare at people’s faces for so long.). You can watch the virtual opening here for For the Love of Gaia, a show about climate change that’s being installed at the International Quilt Museum in Nebraska, available for viewing in August in person. It’s not a short video, but most of the artists talk about their work (I’m at 34:45). And then I walked. I needed to be outside for a while. That’s a pretty common issue for me. Boychild and I had transferred a chunk of the wood debris to my parents’, but the dumpster was full, so my tasks were done (well, are they ever done?), and I just wanted to walk. So I did. And about 5 minutes into the walk, I saw this on the ground…

Hmmm. There is a lot of trash on the side of the road. Some of it is masks and gloves, but other stuff that’s just dropped or falls out of the trash truck is all there too. Hard to say where this came from. Normally I pick up some of the trash, but I’m scared to touch most of it these days. I think this one qualifies.

There was someone on my side of the road at one point, so I crossed over to a side where I don’t normally walk. I always thought this was a bush like the ones we have all over our property, but it’s not…not with that thing.

The name of ours is escaping me at the moment. It’s a word I constantly lose from my brain; I’m not sure why. Probably I will remember it before I finish writing this.

In the art world, I’ve been working on this embroidery…

And I had an in-person, socially distanced social meeting today in a park, and I kept stitching on it.

There is nothing fast about this process, but it is relaxing. I need some of that. Exercise helps too, and being outside, but at the moment, I seem to feel really stressed out. So more of the not-stressful things please and thank you.

I finished ironing all the bits together last night, with the two angels complete…

They will be hanging out in the sky…

With their mask, O2 supply, and nasal probe (no, that’s not a paintbrush…). Plus a few Covid-19 virions as Enemy #1…

I need to piece the background and then iron everything down to it. I have 21 hours into the ironing so far. This is ALSO not a fast process.

On top of that, I’m working on these still…

I have the first 14 blocks done…

I need one more by tomorrow. The next batch will be the same pattern, but with the colored portions on the opposite pieces. That probably only makes sense to me. I need to piece more improv bits to do that. I thought about doing that last night, but was braindead. Ironing was easier. Improv while tired is not a good plan.

And dots…I should be done today, but I didn’t do last night’s and I want to add two more. But here is Thursday night’s dot…

I had to find more beads for it.

It looks like a Christmas wreath.

So I’m a little behind. I had a stitching meeting on Thursday, so I got more grass embroidered on this…

I started at the bottom and am only adding fly stitches. All the other greenery was already there. I’m about three rows up? I think? Although looking at this, I think the lion needs some too. Plus I found a mistake. I had sewn the tree in the bottom left on its individual block, but when it got sewn to other blocks, I added the top fluffy bit. I did not remember to stitch the sparkly shit around it, though, so that got remedied.

It’s probably a good thing I’m re-reading this quilt (aka stitching stuff all over it). It does mean it will probably never be finished.

So California has a resurgence of the virus. I feel weird leaving the house. The social distance meeting I went to today was the farthest I’d driven away from my house in over three months. And I think it was OK. Exercise still feels scary, so I’m researching a good mask for exercising. I think that would make me feel better about being in the pilates studio. There’s a fine line here though. Am I doing more than I was in the beginning? Highly possible. This week, I have two different vet appointments. The following week, another vet plus dentist. The week after? Haircut and eye appointment. I need to keep the vet appointments, but they are very good about limited contact. I can cancel hair and eye if necessary…hell, I can cancel dental as well, but it’s been a while since my last cleaning. These things are harder to do when school is in session, so I often push them into summer and breaks. We still limit our grocery runs and other errands have largely fallen by the wayside. I have some gardening to do, so I might need to run out for plants, but it’s easy to stay away from people in that situation. I saw at least three teachers from my school were hanging out at the beach together, nowhere near social distanced. Sigh. All young.

I just took another hour break in writing this, trying to get a new version of Microsoft Office to install so I can copyedit. I figure my 2013 version is a little old, so I’m hoping this will help me with some of the issues I had last time with conversions between my version and my author’s version. We’ll see. At some point, I’m probably going to need a new computer as well. I’m not there yet.

Here’s Kitten, guarding the drawing. I hung it back up to help me place everything.

The bottom is in three parts right now, with a few other bits and pieces floating around, plus those angels and virions. You can see how big it is here. Well. It’s bigger than that. A little crazy.

Speaking of crazy, this kills me. It’s just so wrong. I know it’s not the first time…

Change needs to happen. I’m doing things on my end. Vote, y’all. Don’t let this sink back down like we have school shootings. Until the next one. Don’t.

Yeah well. And masks. Wear them too. I still don’t have the patience or mindset for making masks. I probably could…I just don’t want to. This is one I ordered from Melly Testa

A fellow artquilter. I actually ordered two styles from her, because I lost two of the ones I had here. Hopefully I will be better with these. Plus, when you purchase an individual #MellyMask through her Etsy, you are purchasing two masks, one for yourself, and one that she will give away to local essential workers. That makes me feel even better, because I can’t even manage my own masks, let alone masks for other people. They are really well made too and comfortable.

OK, it’s Saturday evening now and I will be spending some time with the man, plus doing some stitching. Tomorrow is the last day the girlchild will be here; she’s been incredibly helpful with cooking and shopping…probably saved my butt during the last three months of school. We will miss that and miss movie night with her as well. I always wish we had more time. Tomorrow, I will try to remember to take pictures of her socially distanced with her grandparents and with me before she goes. I also started copyediting today, and I want to just bang that sucker out in the next two weeks, so that’s a goal. And, as always, I have those art goals intermingled with exercise and taking care of the house. Strangely, being stuck at home has made it easier to do some of the garden and yard things I wanted to do, but there’s still a lot of cleaning and organizing in the house that I usually try to do over the summer. Plus quilt plans, yeah? Shows are coming up and I need to think about my artmaking priorities. The topics that are speaking to me now? Pandemic, still, of course; antiracism and how that would look in a quilt from a white woman; and the ever-present climate change that is just as desperate an issue as it was before. OK then. That’s not a demanding list of ideas at all.

Update TOC

It’s so quiet this morning. I can hear some bug or bird outside, and the pool motor is relatively quiet today, for whatever random reason. Sometimes I enjoy the quiet. I used to always need noise. I think I’ve spent enough years listening to kid noise that quiet is sometimes a blessing of sorts. It’s still hot here. It’s not unbearable, but it’s not pleasant. Have you seen the Bahamas? I guess nobody hasn’t seen the destruction there. I have to admit to not knowing much about the Bahamas besides the trip destination part. I had no idea there were so many islands. I hope we help. Can I force my government to help countries in need? Well, no, no I can’t. It makes me sad, how stupid we are right now. Ignorant. That was part of the conversation at my stitching meeting last night: ignorant vs stupid. Willfully ignorant in some cases. Ask me how many of my students still think the Earth is flat due to some dumbass Youtuber. The world. Is disturbing. I’m sure it always has been, but it seems worse right now.

So yeah, I had my monthly stitching meeting last night…I’ve been meeting with these women (and more; over the years, we’ve shrunk) for over 20 years.

We were taking a group picture for a member who now lives many miles away and whose birthday it was yesterday. We drink caffeine and stitch or crochet or knit or sit and talk because getting anything out of the bag is too much hard work. We bring stuff to share, like patterns and magazines and books we’ve made (OK, that’s just one of us…the rest of us marvel at the bookmaking but don’t do it ourselves.). It’s a good thing, these meetings of the minds.

I worked on hand-stitching this…

I’ve got to send some info to the Mingei this weekend, I think. So I should get some stuff ready for that.

I came home and finished up the last of the copyediting, marrying the Bibliography, and making sure all the stupid formatting worked. One of the last tasks was to make the table of contents fix itself (the page numbering), and after 20 minutes or so of searching the internet, the answer appeared. Just hit the damn Update TOC button. Sure. It took a while to figure out how to get that button, but once I did, it was like magic.

She’s done. I read all those words. About 5 or 6 times each one. And now I’ll get paid and I’ll be able to get the big trees trimmed before one of them drops a big branch on my roof.

I came home and actually exercised while reading my next book. I was exhausted. I’m still exhausted. It took a lot of energy and willpower to not just go to bed. I thought about it. But once I was up, off the couch, I wanted to do something on the drawing. At our stitching meeting of the minds, while I was answering the question of what the hell is coming out the nipples of the woman I’m drawing (she’s an earth mother…that’s a stream going out to the ocean…it’ll make more sense in color), they were suggesting other things I could draw, so there’s a grey whale…

Or a penis, since that was also a suggestion, and honestly, whales are hard to depict like this. Hopefully it will read better in color. Less penisy.

I also did a sun on the opposite side from the moon…

I’ve got some desert plants that need to go in somewhere…legs? land? And a decision about how to finish it up. Getting closer. I might finish tonight. It’s possible. Then number it and start tracing. And SLEEP. Oh yeah, I have an opening tomorrow night…for The Big Story at Sophie’s Art Gallery in Kensington. It’s 5-8 PM…stop by. I’ll be there closer to 5:30…and probably gone before the end, just because I’ll need to eat. But it’s still a cool little show.

I Could Be Lonely with You*

Sometimes at the end of the day, when I feel too tired to move, but my brain is in overload, trying to get the corporeal self up off the couch, I wonder what exactly it is about my job that makes me feel so exhausted. Sure, I hit 10,000 steps before I left school, but why? What was I doing? It wasn’t even a lab day. I remember sitting through a meeting and sitting for lunch and sitting during prep while trying to figure out how to best support these kids who don’t actually do work. Oh yeah, I did tutoring yesterday. I remember now. An extra hour plus after school of interactions. Tonight it will be the dentist. Also tiring. More sitting. But my dental hygienist talks too much. Shhhh. I’m OK with not having a conversation. I still need to go to my parents and pack up that quilt…probably not tonight though.

Last night, I miraculously figured out how to update the table of contents in a Word doc. I love being 50-some-years old and filling up my brain with utterly useless stuff. It’s OK. I’ll have forgotten the details of that by the end of this month. Plus I know how to Google. I seriously think of Google as an extension of my brain. That’s the one thing I can teach my students. Use your resources!

After eating dinner, while watching Carnival Row (I need a glossary or appendix for this show), I worked on stitching stuff down on this.

I need to do two more samples. It’s a drop-in workshop, so I’ll probably have some pre-cut cotton backgrounds and some prefused fancy stuff, plus some thread and needles. An iron. Not much else. I’ll do one simple one, maybe a smaller landscape and a small flower or something. I’m not sure.

Yesterday morning’s sky…

We’ve had lots of humidity and weird clouds coming up from the south. It’s pretty, but hot and muggy. Even the animals are feeling it…

Kitten is whacking Calli with her tail. Calli doesn’t care. It must be hot.

After dinner, I copyedited a little bit…really, I married Frankensteinian bits of text and fought Word’s need to autoformat. I won! So far. Sheesh. Because sometimes I just open the file and it says shit that’s absolutely untrue. I did NOT fucking delete a bunch of bullet points, you asshole.

I have to admit to sitting around for a while after that. Well, not true. I did go on the stationary bike and finish my book. Maybe that contributed to my tiredness? Ironic that I need exercise after walking all day. But that’s not cardio…just exhausting.

THEN I managed to get up off the couch and draw…

I might be changing that curve. Or not. I don’t know. It’s a better bird than I had in the other version, that’s for sure. Riffing off the Fire and Water piece I finished last year…similar theme, I guess.

This is what it looks like when your cat watches Orange Is the New Black

She might just be hanging out with me…hard to say.

It does make it harder to draw. Or move the paper. So I tried to move her and she whacked me.

Yeah. Sweet beast. She wants to be with me, which is nice, because she doesn’t come out much, but the other cat was in my office, which is her normal hidey hole, and the dogs were gone, so she looked for her mommy. Pet the cat.

More drawing tonight? Well, I need to make another block or two of recycled things, plus the dentist and hopefully putting the rest of the copyedited stuff back together. It depends on how tired I am. As always. I know what I WANT to do…just don’t know if my body and brain will go along with it.

*lovelytheband, Broken

Relax for a Hot Sec

Dogs woke me up. The pool vacuum system is full of air. I stayed up too late. I don’t even know why…trying to get my brain to shut off. Too much copyediting and trying to draw and late night brain stuff. Plus today being a holiday…it makes me feel like I should be allowed to stay up late, but honestly, more regular sleep would be smarter. I don’t always do the smart thing, though. That’s probably why I make so much art. I’m not thinking about being smart and going to sleep and all that stuff they tell you to do. “The number one thing you can do to increase your health is to sleep 8 hours a day.” Well. OK. I’m not good at sleep, never have been.

So Saturday morning, I sat the SAQA booth at the San Diego Quilt Show. There weren’t a lot of people at the show, honestly. Although I haven’t been for years, so maybe that’s just how it is.

I’ve been a SAQA member for a long time. Not a super long time. Just a long time.

I sat and stitched…finally was able to start some embroidery on this! I had a quilt top freehand cut and ironed down years ago. Found it, quilted it, and then set it aside for some embellishment. It’s not like I have a shortage of threads. I have 7 million threads. So I worked on it a little bit.

And I talked to people…some I knew, some I didn’t.

I walked around after and looked at the vendors…bought a little bit of machine-sewing thread. Bought some fabric, mostly Australian stuff…

Fascinating patterns.

And I wandered past a lot of traditional quilts. But there were a few that caught my eye…nice use of color in the cactus, Doug’s Cacti by Andrea Bacal.

This was a block-a-day pattern…sort of crazy and fascinating…

All Around the Neighborhood by Rita Anaya, pattern is That Town and Country by Susan Claire Mayfield.

It looks like fun…

See, there are traditional bones in my body. OK. It’s a little crazy. But cool.

You had me at Bite My Shiny Fabric Ass. This is Sew Geeky by Deidre McLeod.

I actually recognize most of those.

I’ve always wanted to be a hooker…a rug hooker. Sorry for the blur. I was tired. Up too early on a Saturday.

This is Seaside Town, hooked by Beth Luker and designed by Karla Gerard. Her patterns look like fun.

Quilts on the Wall was there…with the Drips and Splatters exhibit. I liked this one, The Aftermath of a Meager Meal by Ann Turley.

And this one, Making Cookies by Beth Shibley…

So that was what I liked. Your mileage may vary. As always.

What I have been doing the rest of the weekend? Well I washed and ironed this…

Hopefully a pattern will be available soon on Global Artisans…I noticed they’ll be offering downloads on the patterns as well, which is cool. No need to pay shipping or wait for it to show up.

And I finished Part 4 of the book I’m copyediting and sent it to the author for review.

With Kitten’s (not) help. I also started on the Bibliography, which will be a big chunk of today, plus spent some time yesterday stitching the pieces of the book back together, with a lot of swearing at Microsoft Word. As always. Almost done though! Hallelujah. I’m ready to be done with it.

I tried drawing last night. I realized that I did need to make a new piece for an upcoming exhibit, sooner than I had thought, so stop wasting time and get on with it! Right?

This drawing sucked. But it’s an idea I will work with over this week…hopefully it will make something I like.

We had dinner with the parents…and I did a little more of this…

At that point, I’d spent about 3 hours trying to get the parent email contact list to work and finally sent it out…only 24 bounces, most of which I could fix by going back to look at what the kids had typed in vs what their parent/guardian had actually written. But also, kids, there are no spaces in emails. Or commas. Or hyphens. How do they not know this stuff? Honestly, they don’t use email. Hardly at all. We’ll have to get them to look at that.

Anyway. Here’s a puppy…

He’s not a puppy really. He’ll be 4 on Friday. You can still see his shaved bit. His coyote bites have healed well.

OK, so more copyediting, wash a quilt so I can mail it later this week, take some stuff to the dumpster, make more scones (I made low carb/low fat blueberry scones last night because we have a ton of blueberries…I just froze a ton of them), do a recycled fabric sample, perhaps draw, input grades, maybe relax for a hot sec? Yeah. Probably not. Hot, yes. It will be hot. Relax? Not so much.

Exploding Blueberries

There’s a blood bath in my breakfast bowl. I forgot what happens to blueberries when you nuke them. Do people still say that? Nuke them? Would my students know what I meant? It seems really old school. Anyway, the berries exploded. I wonder what the inside of the microwave looks like. I’m not looking.

Well I have an extra week on the copyediting. I did finish the last section (minus the hellacious bibliography) last night. I need to do the second and third readthroughs on that, but that won’t be until Friday, I think. Then put the whole mess back together. Do you think I can persuade him to write the next one so it needs copyediting in June instead of August? There are two more, at least. We’ll see.

Hey! I’m going to be sitting the SAQA booth at the San Diego Quilt Show Saturday morning. Exciting stuff. I don’t usually go to this quilt show, because they won’t actually let me show my own work in it. Plus it’s very traditional. At least when I used to go, it was. Who knows.

I was reading the Surface Design Association’s email last night, and clicked on the link to see the website for the Beyond the Surface exhibition. I did get into that show, but was happily surprised to see part of my quilt in the page header.

That’s my baby :-). Serious smile when I saw it.

It’s good, because I’m not making much right now. Not until Sunday probably. I did draw last night, though. I need to do a Patreon drawing, and that’s a good excuse to make myself draw…so after eating, while still watching the very disturbing Black Mirror episode and mourning all the stuff that was on my Tivo extender drive thingie that just died (sigh), I drew with the puppy’s assist…

I think he’s getting a belly rub there. Not from me…so he’s really not assisting at all, except by being cute.

I have a 2-1/2-hour meeting after school today, so hopefully I’ll have the brainpower to finish it. I actually got much further than that.

After dinner, I went in to copyedit though…two hours of that…

Kitten and Pandora assist on that one. It was pretty easy reading, though. The Bibliography is next and it’ll be hard. Formatting. Alphabetizing. I guess it’s easy in that I don’t have to read much for sense…just catch all the commas and semicolons.

I’m ALMOST DONE. Oh hallelujah. I do like to copyedit. I just don’t like to do 17 things at once. Eventually Kitten went to the green fabric drawer (it has green fabrics in it. I’m aware the drawer is not green) and Calli came in to keep me company.

I always have some furry beast with me. Her hair is coming back slowly from her surgery. I just realized both dogs have a rectangle of shaved side. I wonder if they’re cooler this summer because of it? Can’t ask them. Because they’re dogs.

These guys don’t really like each other. But they did not fight this morning. That’s a plus.

Kitten tried to play hide and seek and playful paws around the corner, and Satch was completely clueless. Sigh.

OK, teach all day, then 2 1/2 hours of science training (training. ha. You mean we sit and listen to you tell us why your stuff is so awesome that you can’t give us editable files and then say some shit about copyright which is so unhelpful in a school setting. And we mutter to each other about how annoying you are as a publisher.). Then dinner, which I hope I’m not cooking, but someone just realized they have a dental appointment, so who knows. I’m rolling with it. I can explode some more blueberries for dinner maybe. Finish that drawing! Collapse somewhere soft that is bedlike. Do it again.