Weekend Requests…

Oh my. Friday is tired. Or I’m tired. Not sure which. I’m still fighting the tail end of the flu from two weeks ago…my lungs have crap in them and my sinuses are not happy. It’s not bad. It’s just annoying. Much like some of my students. Nothing is really bad…they’re just annoying. And the unit is actually rolling along pretty well, mostly because we’ve taught this many times before, so it’s comfortable. It’s not a new thing. It’s easier because of that. Which is good. We still need to figure out how to do something that needs the sun on a day it’s supposed to drop an inch of rain, but I’m sure we’ll be fine. FINE I say.

I finished grading one of the big assignments last night. Now I need to start the assessments, which just feel painful. I can’t do that this weekend, though, because it’s my birthday weekend! So we’re leaving town. We’re not going very far, but it’s far enough away from the pile of papers that I won’t be able to do anything with them. Which is OK. Probably that’s a good birthday gift. I’m OK if I’m buried next weekend in papers. It’ll be worth it.

This quilt is going slowly still, although I’ve done a lot on it this week. I keep track of my hours, so I can see a daily, weekly, and monthly hour count. I’ve been way down since November. I’m not really sure why. It feels weird though. This last week was almost a normal amount of artmaking. Anyway, I did finally finish cutting all those pieces out, 806 or so of them…

It actually only took another 25 minutes to finish them, so that was cool. Now they need to be sorted, which probably won’t happen until Sunday or Monday. I do hold onto the cut trash until the quilt is done, just in case I need a small piece of something. It’s easier than cutting a new thing sometimes. I don’t like to waste fabric, which is funny, because I have tons of it and will never run out. Some remnant of my grandmother’s Depression-era sensibilities. So next week, I should be able to start ironing it together. Sounds good!

So last night, I did a little cooking, some exercise, some grading, some reading (I love to read…wish I could do more of it)…but didn’t get around to cutting these out until after 11 PM somehow. I had to pack for this weekend too, so that took up some time. My faithful couch companion…

Who did come sleep with me last night…sometimes when it’s warm, she stays away, but it’s not warm yet. And yeah, the kittens are on the bed too, so it gets a bit crowded. When they’re full size (they’re only 6 months old), it will get worse, I think.

Yesterday’s #igquiltfest was about Quilting on the Go, I think…I often work in other places, although last year, it was all embroidery for some reason. Top left is waiting for the man’s band to go on, top right is the girlchild’s college graduation, bottom left is I think driving to Arizona? and the bottom right is the campground at Bryce Canyon National Park.

We have a trip coming up in about a month, another National Park trip. We’ve talked a little bit about what might happen with the coronavirus here in California and how that might affect us. Our plan is to go with hand sanitizer and soap (if there’s any left by then), but the other part of my plan is what am I going to stitch on during the trip? I stitch in the car, in campsites, by the campfire. I also draw most nights…which is easier than trying to stitch in the dark. But I’m not sure what I want to work on. It needs to be small and portable. We’ll see. I haven’t decided.

#Marchmeetthemaker yesterday was Close Up…which is easy…

People spend a lot of time close up on my quilts. There’s a lot of stuff going on usually. I like to fill all the spaces.

No parent meetings today, hallelujah. I’m not sure how useful one of yesterday’s was…the other one was easy peasy and successful, which is nice. It’s good when you can get a kid the help they need.

I think I need to take the big sketchbook with me this weekend. I want to sit on a deck/porch/something outside with a view and just draw. Will that be a thing? I’m not sure. I’m not totally in charge of this weekend. We’ll put in a request, eh?

I do actually miss these buttheads when we’re gone.

I know they look sweet there, but last night, one of them knocked a guitar over (loud), and the other one climbed halfway up one of my quilts (seriously?). So they got yelled at and/or frightened by loud noises. They are boisterous babies…which I’m sure we will miss at some point.

OK, school. Finish the things. All the things. Ha! So not happening. Then weekend requests: plenty of sleep. Some drawing time. Some physical outside stuff. Some relaxing. Some stitching. Some reading. Some decent food. Some quality time NOT thinking about coronavirus or Trump or the environment or stupid people or school. Aiming for that.

So Close…

I was so close to finishing the cutting-it-out phase last night. It’s hard to stop, but realizing I needed to be up early for another parent meeting persuaded me to stop…plus experience that tells me it doesn’t look like much in that top left box, but it’s probably an hour’s worth of cutting.

Which means I will finish cutting tonight, but probably not start ironing it together until next week. Just because I won’t be around.

This was the setup…there’s all the grading I did, a cat, and my boxes of pieces…

I think I did almost 2 hours of cutting last night, although it didn’t feel like it. Tonight, I need to pack for our weekend trip, make breakfasts for next week, go to Pilates, and grade the last period of the science unit. It’s a lot. I don’t actually know when we’re leaving tomorrow, so I might be able to push packing until then. We’ll see.

I did a little embroidery on this last night…

Gonna outline a heart and arteries. Probably should be using a hoop. I’ll think about it.

I took that photo because the #igquiltfest2020 prompt was Creative Hands…but then I decided to photograph hands I’d made in quilts…

Some new and some old. I make a lot of hands. I also make a lot of uteri. The #marchmeetthemaker prompt was branding…what am I known for? Missing penii. I didn’t post for that one.

OK, so I have a plan to get 14 thousand things done tonight, right?

These guys. There used to be decorative things in these openings and on that bookshelf.

Now there are cats.

I’m tired. Today will be fine. Did I mention I’m still kinda sick? Can’t kick the sinus stuff. It’s low level but annoying. And my brain wants me to be healthy when the coronavirus kicks in, right? Sheesh. I’m floored by the level of stupidity coming out of the government regarding the SCIENCE of all this. But also the mistakes we made because we don’t have scientists in charge. It makes me wonder what politicians are actually good for, if they don’t understand when they are NOT the experts and they need to call the experts in. I think the West Coast is in for a bumpy ride. Plus I gotta make some hand sanitizer that I’m not allergic to. Woo hoo! Yes, wondering what this will do to our Spring Break trip…hopefully nothing…and hoping we get a handle on it and limit the deaths. Sad for families to lose their loved ones this way…surprised my school district hasn’t already started the ‘clean the desks every day’ thing we had to do with SARS. Give it a week.

Peace out. Make art. Wash your hands.

Me. I’m the Good Cause.

I was supposed to grade this big pile of stuff I brought home, but I decided not to. I did another smaller, easier assignment. I’m OK with that. It was a long day, lots of climbing on counters (just don’t even ask…it’s for science) and meetings and then walking the dogs…wait, I liked that part…

It was raining on my way home, but stopped in time for this. I don’t mind walking in a bit of rain anyway, but the dogs were muddy enough as it was. I’m trying to break my new hiking boots in before our trip…think I’m going to have to take both pairs.

This is what grading looks like sometimes. Sleepy puppy on the left, bitey asshole trying to break into my grading bag on the right.

She likes to tear papers and bite them and eat plastic bags. All very annoying. They are kittens. They do annoying kitten things when they’re not sweetly sleeping with each other.

After all that, I just wanted to cut stuff out. For 3 1/2 hours…

So I did. No, I’m still not done. I still have the stuff in the top right box to cut out.

Maybe I will be better tonight about grading? Or not. It’s not like I didn’t grade. I just chose a simpler, quicker assignment that I didn’t actually finish because my printer is out of ink and I needed a printout to finish it. A printout I already made but left at school. Uh huh. Not on purpose. Grades are due today. I should check them and make sure they’re done. I think they are.

Anyway, a little left to do and then I can iron this beast together…but I will be gone this weekend, so that will make it a little difficult to get a lot done. It’s OK. It’s for a good cause. Me. I’m the good cause.

I’m getting into some shows…Fantastic Fibers yesterday, but also Contingent Upon at Southwestern College…

I have two pieces in this show…it’s only open Mon-Thurs, 10:30 AM-2:30 PM. The opening reception is 3/12 at 11 AM and the artists’ talk is 3/12 at noon. I won’t be at any of it, unfortunately, due to my day job. It’s up through 4/14, and I won’t even be around for my Spring Break enough to go see it. Oh well.

I also got into a book show at the downtown library. The opening is Saturday, March 14, from noon-2 PM. I will be at that one at some point, not sure when.

OK, but today it is photosynthesis day, so I am grateful for the blue skies and sun that are out today (and weren’t yesterday)…to make this lab easier. I’m wondering about next week’s sun-related lab though, since there’s rain in the forecast. We might have to adjust slightly. I remember it raining when we did it last year too, but not a lot. Just a sprinkling. No biggie. A little water won’t hurt them. The kids. Or the lab. We’ll see. First I’m going to work to find that printout. Make some attempt to be efficient.

What They Need…

Grades are done. This is good. It feels good. Ignoring the pile of crap I still have left to grade, because it is never-ending until June 17th or so. Yup. Totally ignoring that. Can’t hear it screaming from in here. I shoved some in a bag and brought it home, and then ignored it all weekend. It’ll get done. Somehow. I have four parent meetings (so far) this week. One is a legit we-gotta-fix-this meeting. Two are probably a waste of time, but we have to document stuff, although I was trying to avoid one of these with just a phone call, and that didn’t work. The kid tells one story; me another. One is interesting in that I’m not sure where the parents have been for the last 6 months of their child not succeeding, so that should be interesting.

March is always a long month for school if Spring Break starts late, which it does this year…not as late as last year, as the man tells me, as he’s checking temperatures in the national parks we’re visiting this year. I’m like, it’s a month out! It won’t be snowing then. Ha. Ha ha. Will it? It could be. Last year, they closed the road in Zion 9 days before we left, and we had to scramble to get new reservations, and it snowed in Bryce 4 days before we got there. And we survived. We spent some time (and money) at REI on Saturday and will be doing some online shopping too. I got new boots…now I need to wear them in a bit. Hopefully that will be easier than last time.

But school stretches out right now. It’s long and kids are often checked out and/or difficult…or it’s Spring and love is in the air. All in all, it’s a difficult month. We’re filling it with plants and animals and ecosystems, so hopefully it will all turn out well. Goodbye rocks! We love you, but we’re done with you for a while.

Saturday afternoon and night, I worked on the February drawing for my Patreon…it looks like I plugged Kitten in here…

She likes to lie on the cord.

A little bit of editing, cleaning up, and later…

She’s ready to post. I keep trying to schedule the drawings earlier in the month, and then I get sidetracked by life. Always.

Sunday I ran a million errands and still didn’t get everything I needed. Frustrating. I cooked and graded and then around 10 PM, I got to cut stuff out…with Simba for a bit…

He was very tired…on the other side…Kitten…

My staunch couch companion…

Still plugged in…

I feel like I’ve done a ton of the cutting, but there’s still a healthy chunk left to do in that bottom box…

Can’t quite see the bottom of the box yet. So more tonight. After walking the dogs, I hope, for the first time in a while. If all the meetings go well and I can get off campus at a reasonable hour.

I’m participating in #igquiltfest and #marchmeetthemaker on Instagram…the first day is intros.

I’m not good at the days after the first day, because they focus either on the business of making or the making of quilts in a more traditional manner, neither of which are really my thing. But I try. Plus yeah, life gets in the way. I missed an entry last week because of that. Spaced it. Oh well. I did get into Fantastic Fibers, so that’s cool…Womanscape will be traveling to Paducah to stare at the AQS headquarters with disdain. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, consider yourself lucky.

They do love each other. This was a little bitey for a bit…

But it started out with Nova cleaning Luna after Luna landed on Nova.

Here’s one of our resident hawks…

On the fence, looking for rodents. I’m OK with that. Our owl has wandered off. We miss him. Her. Whatever. IDK how to tell in the dark.

Last pic is the fabric that came in the mail this week, from Anna Maria Horner. Adding to the stash in a different vein…

Fun stuff to add into the mix. This month, the color was blue. Obviously. Certainly a wide range of types of prints.

OK, so we’re ‘planting’ (no dirt, thus fucking with their idea of what plants need) seeds today, so that should be interesting. I have learned to ignore what my first science class of the day knows or doesn’t know, because they are not indicative of the general knowledge. They are either still asleep or they were asleep all last year…or both…so I wait until the next class to evaluate what they know. It’s better that way. Two parent meetings today, and then hopefully walking dogs and cutting stuff out. Oh yeah, I’ll probably have to grade something. Sigh. Seems I spend a lot of my time (awake when I should be asleep) worrying about what things need. People, animals, papers.

This Will Be the One…

Late start to writing. I got up late, slept pretty well, despite kitten shenanigans in the morning. Moved slowly in the AM, went to pilates in the middle of the president explaining how we’re all fine and we had the best response (OMG, that was not the best response…but continue on in your dream world bless your heart). I came back and showered and ate stuff, and am now waiting to go to REI to look at, perhaps buy new hiking boots. My traction is going and I’ve been hiking in them for a good 3 years now, maybe more…it’s time to replace them. If you figure an average of 3 miles a week for three years, that’s 468 miles. Need new boots. Hopefully the new pair will not take a year to break in like the last pair. That was frustrating. I did it wrong? Who knows.

I have art to do this weekend. I have errands to run. I need to finish grades. All those things.

Last night, I managed to iron down the last of the pieces, a few bugs I think and an oil well rig. This is the pile, minus a few that were cut out the previous week.

It was only about another 45 minutes of picking fabrics…nothing major. Then I sorted by color. I like to document what I used in each quilt, although honestly, they all sort of have this rainbow run to them. Some have more grays or whites than others. Some have lots of brown or green.

This one…this one is…I don’t know what it is. Not heavy on anything really. Seems a normal amount of everything.

That’s 126 different fabrics. That’s kind of a lot for a quilt this size. When I was sorting them into boxes, I realized I could have reused some in the later choosing from the earlier, but because I had the flu in between, I’d kind of forgotten about them, even though they were in the boxes right in front of me. Awkward. Sorry guys. Didn’t mean to forget you.

After all that, I sat and cut stuff out…like this. One box of stuff that needs cutting. One box of those that are cut out. And a lid for the trash.

Sometimes I move a box for a puppy to sit next to me…

Sometimes I move it for a cat…

I’m very furry friendly.

Well, unless they get in the way of my actually cutting stuff out, which this one sometimes does.

Here’s where I ended the evening…with most of the flesh cut out and the rest of it to go.

More hours. Relaxing ones though.

Ah. Sisters.

OK, off to the hiking boots and other errands. Art too. Need a quiet weekend when I’m not totally passed out on the couch from the flu. This will be the one.

That’s Always Crazy

Did you notice January is flying by? Well, almost flown by? I spent some time the other day explaining coronavirus to my students. We used to teach infectious diseases…I remember when SARS came through and we added it to the curriculum to try to calm down some of the crazy shit the kids kept saying. Although I often say a virus is what’s going to take us down, the human race…or at least drastically cull our species. They’re saying it’ll be at least 10 days before this virus hits its peak…so probably 10 days before we’re really sure about the death rate and impact. Scary stuff though. Just like the normal flu that hits here every year for now…but with the potential to be much worse.

Today I have overlapping meetings, an opening to go to, and possibly an online meeting, although that hasn’t been confirmed. Plus it’s the last day of kids trying to figure out how to actually finish what they start. In that realm, I finally finished cutting out the Wonder Under for the newest quilt…

It was only 6 hours to cut it out, but it was spread out over more than a week. I had other stuff shoved in there, some even artistic. I have noticed that I’ve been doing less art this school year…I keep track of my hours, and I’m averaging about 35 hours a month, down from last year, at about 60 hours a month. I’m not sure why…this year has been harder on grading, ironically, since I joined a group to try to reduce those hours. So far have not been successful. The assessments we’re doing are pretty time consuming. Thinking of ways to deal with that. Also thinking of ways to up the artmaking time.

Anyway, I did exercise yesterday. Even better, when I got there early, I graded the last of an assignment in the parking lot before I went in and did my class. All good. There’s never enough hours in the day to get everything done. Some days it feels like I don’t get anything at all done. Yesterday was OK for that.

Ah, that’s what else I did last night…see, it was art-related. I scanned and cleaned up the Patreon drawing and posted it…detail here.

I want to try a larger Bird Daughter. Not sure when that’s happening, though, honestly. Tomorrow is crazy. Saturday is a little crazy. Sunday’s pretty crazy. Then I start a new week at school, and that’s always crazy. Plus a new science unit that we’re not done planning, and it starts tomorrow (NO PANICKING). Yeah. I’m good.

(Look at the big dog asleep. Pet the sleeping dog. It calms you. Do it again.)

I’m not grading tonight. I am sorting Wonder Under and then cleaning up my art space so I can start ironing. Unless the online meeting gets canceled, and then I’ll probably go to the gym, and then do those things. We’ll see. But first all the other things.

These guys keep me sane.

Well. In a crazy way. It’s better than without them, that’s for sure. (notice claws in couch. This is why we can’t have nice things.)

Everybody’s on Something Here*

Hey. Shhh. Guess what. I’m almost caught up with grading. SHHHHH. Don’t tell. I mean, it’s not gonna matter, because I have two major assignments getting turned in Thursday and Friday, so I’ll be buried again like immediately, but this is like a miracle mid-year…it never happens. Teacher reality shows would be really boring. We’d just be sitting around grading and drinking caffeine and trying not to eat all the cookies.

Yesterday was hard. I didn’t have the mental energy for tutoring and the group I was working with was difficult. Not happy about that. But it happens. All the time. Today will hopefully be easier…because no tutoring! Well, you know, the kids not working on this project will continue not to work…although usually it’s the video where they fall short, and we’ve revised the rubric to deal with that hopefully. Maybe. Anyway. School. It’s in my head when I wake up, when I fall asleep, when I drive. Sigh. It leaves when I exercise and when I draw.

I did come home and grade things…I pick chunks. Yesterday was all the makeup work on one difficult assignment, but since three of the kids changed absolutely nothing, it was fast. Faster than I thought it would be anyway. One more of those chunks to do.

Then I drew my January Patreon drawing. Once a month, the $5/month and up folks get a jpg of a drawing. They can color it or stitch it or whatever (not sell it), and eventually I’ll have a bunch to choose from for a coloring book. For some reason, I was seeing birds, so I drew them…with Kitten’s supervisory assistance.

She prefers the real thing. Tonight I’ll scan it and upload it to the Patreon site. The link is here, if you’re interested in joining. It’s a way to support artists to do their artwork, instead of all the side jobs we do to pay the bills.

When I finished that, I started cutting tiny pieces (and large pieces) of Wonder Under out…

I only have about 1/2 a yard left, that piece up at the top. I should be able to finish that tonight? I think? And then sort them. That’s the goal anyway. Always moving forward…which means I need to start drawing the artist book. I’m currently thinking War and Peace. I think. Maybe. We’ll see.

Lots of kitten love yesterday…Luna needed human interaction (pets) for a while when I was drawing…

My Kitten was on the other side, just as close (you will NOT move). Then there was playtime with the man (he’s holding a rattly mouse)…

All three were into this.

But yesterday morning, after playtime, they were adorable. As always.

They are good babies.

OK, off to work. Finish grading the homework, get kids on task, go exercise. Come home and finish cutting these things out and start drawing the artist book. It’s a plan. I like it.

*Phantogram, You Don’t Get Me High Anymore