It’s About the Fact That They Go

I have a piece in Form Not Function, which opened last night…Womanscape

I got a couple of comments last night from people who had seen the show and loved this piece, which I appreciate. I loved making it. It started as a drawing way back in 2010 or so, then turned into what I thought would be a really long triptych (in my head), and then last summer, I redrew the parts into this. And it didn’t get into a variety of shows I entered it into (as always), and then it got in here. And that was good. Really, it’s not about where they go…it’s about the fact that they go.

So I’m staring at this piece and the comments and trying to figure out what the big piece of summer 2019 will be. Summer 2018 was remarkably unproductive on the art front. Having jury duty for an entire month hanging over your head does not help you make work. Or me at least. I’m thinking I will do a smaller piece when I finish what I’m working on, because I don’t have a drawing for a larger piece yet. I have a bunch of smaller ones. Plus it’s good to have some smaller pieces on hand. It’s also good to have some smaller pieces with no nudity in them, but I don’t think I care about that right now.

First though…I need to finish this one. So last night, I cut the last of the pieces out.

Here they all are, with the trash I save until I’m done ironing it together…

And then I found a bunch of boxes for sorting…

And I sorted them…

Total cutting time was 10 hours and 10 minutes. Sorting took a whopping 40 minutes. It always feels longer.

I want it all ironed together by the end of the weekend…maybe even into the stitch down. I do have to grade stuff. But I already did one thing last night…

That’s me grading 51 videos with furry assist. I actually stitched and cut stuff out while watching these. I don’t think I can iron and watch though. I have another 50 to go.

I need to finish that drawing for my Patreon, plus a bunch of other stuff. I need to wash and iron the finish embroideries and send photos to the official peeps. I need to grade more stuff and clean up around the pool and clean floors. I need to buy some frames and some art supplies.

School was rough this week. We did reproductive anatomy and puberty, plus two days of testing, all on very little rest and relaxation. So this card in my box after school on Friday was needed and appreciated.

I love you too, guys…even when you’re being jerks. You’ll grow out of some of that. Next week is more puberty, plus menstruation and ejaculation and pregnancy. Woo! Oh my. Right now, I’m going to take my shower and then make another cup of tea and come in here and start ironing things together. I want to do that. So I’m gonna.

Before We Get Too Old*

It’s Friday before a 3-day weekend. Today I teach about puberty…an exciting time in our lives that we’re eternally glad has ended. We had two days of testing, which is exhausting for our kids, but tiring for us as well.

I feel what she’s feeling. And this one…

Well, that’s a skill that will help her in her future (don’t worry…she was done with the test by then). We have a week off before the next batch…so that’s a good thing. Meanwhile, I’m trying (but apparently not very hard) to get grading done. And so many other things done. Nothing is done.

My co-teacher and I mapped out the plan for next year. We’re still piloting new curriculum, which fucks everything up. But we have a rough idea now, which makes me feel better. This will be our 4th year of trying to revise for NGSS, and it’s hard. Not the content part…but the flow and the curriculum…

We think pretty damn hard about what we teach…sometimes probably too hard. Anyway, this thing will come out again. And get revised. And made electronic. Not yet.

After school, my chiropractor told me he’s not accepting my insurance any more, because they suck. So I can pay more and go less often, or go find the 4th chiropractor in as many years. Sigh. I can’t deal with that right now. Put on to-do list. Moving on. Came home and exercised. It seemed to be the right thing to do.

Then I edited the 2nd Patreon video…it went up this morning. I am doing two a month…I might do a short third video, another public one, for the beginning of June, to try to persuade more people to be patrons. I started the drawing for the patrons as well…but didn’t finish it. I had the idea while driving to the chiropractor. It’s going well. It should be done by the end of the weekend, easily.

Then I stitched for a little while…

And after I cleaned the dishes and sat back down, I started cutting. I wanted to finish last night, but I’ve been so tired…I went to bed early instead.

The top box is all that’s left to cut out. Tonight I’ll finish and hopefully sort the pieces. Then I can start ironing…probably not tonight though. I won’t be able to show the ironing process yet…it’ll have to wait until July. Although I will probably record some of it for the Patreon…since it’s private, it doesn’t have the same rules of not showing things.

I’m really looking forward to putting it together, but on here, I guess you’ll be watching me embroider and draw. I’ll try to do more of that. Or there will just be lots of pictures of the furry beasts.

That one looks cranky.

*Snow Patrol, Chasing Cars

There’s Always Time Until There’s Not

Apparently Pinterest thinks I like bread and cheap date ideas. I’m not sure what to think about that. I mean, I do like bread. It’s true. But I don’t think I’ve searched for cheap date ideas. We’re pretty good at coming up with those on our own. Some not so cheap. I’m sure Pinterest has some sort of formula for trying to engage with me. It mostly fails…because it just gives me “pins that are like yours”…well, there’s only so many recipes for that one thing I wanted that one actually needs. So fail.

I am still jet-lagged or tired from life in general or I went into this trip exhausted…why did I think I would get LESS exhausted? Yeah. This weekend is looking pretty sweet. The sleeping part anyway, which I still suck at…I went to bed early last night and then couldn’t fall asleep anyway, despite the exhaustion on the couch. I should have napped there…like father, like daughter? I think he sleeps in chairs more than in beds.

I had all this stuff I was going to do after school yesterday, but I got poured on leaving school (without a jacket, because it’s May in Southern California for goddsake why is it still raining?), so I went home and changed into pajamas instead. It’ll all happen today, I guess. We have another day of testing today. Yesterday was OK. Long. Tiring I guess. I’m trying to get stuff graded and put away. My co-teacher and I tackled the prep room and got it mostly handled. My room is still an issue, but there’s time for that. Of course, there’s always time until there’s not.

The rainbow later in the evening from my house.

It was bright and beautiful.

I came home and cleaned and labeled and ironed and packed up a quilt for a show opening June 8, Indoor/Outdoor at the Athenaeum Arts Center in Barrio Logan. It’s a cool space and looks to be a very interesting show.

Then I dealt with email and online stuff, graded some stuff, talked to the SIL, embroidered a little on the new one…

Which is probably the strangest of the 6…and then cut stuff out for a while.

There is progress, but I’m not done. I want to be done by Friday, so I can start ironing together.

I say I don’t know what I’m going to work on after this, and that’s true, but I have some smaller drawings that are ready to go, all enlarged and numbered and begging to be quilts. So that’s probably the best way to go. And then I’ll have some mental space to draw an abortion quilt. Because I think that’s next. I like to pick really popular topics that everyone can get behind. Rolls eyes. I pick what pisses me off the most. Or makes me cry the most. Or worry the most. Or all of the above.

So there’s that.

I have some pictures from the trip that didn’t make it into the blog before, because WordPress on the iPad is a cranky bitch, that’s why. (Much like me? I heard that. I own that.) We had breakfast at a nice little place with an outside-by-the-river seating area, and this was my tea. That cup fascinated everyone. That is not a cheap cup.

But it is fascinating.

This is the house we stayed in. I just realized they had solar. Huh. I didn’t see the front much.

I did hang out in the backyard…

In fact, I did a drawing MOSTLY out there and documented it (sort of) in a series of videos that will be the next Patreon video…here’s the drawing itself…

So I talk about my sketchbook and how I decide what to draw and all that. It’s about 4 or 5 short videos that I will edit into one. Hopefully tonight. I’m really hoping the jetlag backs off a bit by tonight.

A picture from moving the girlchild’s stuff…this is the lovely elevator that only things can go in…

And these are Canadian geese and babies from Walden Pond.

I realize if you live back east, you see these guys all the time. I don’t. They are very cool. Plus babies. And the water reflections are fascinating too. Yeah. Art brain is whining about wanting to draw. She’ll get to do that this weekend, if not sooner. My patrons will also be getting a drawing from me by the end of the month. Which is like next week.

OK, so another day of testing and at least getting to have lunch from off campus and to hang out with the teachers I never see because we don’t have the same lunch, but the first 4 hours are a pain and you’re not able to pee until an adult shows up to cover your class (somewhat awkward). I don’t know what the hand signal for that is…but seriously. I’m looking forward to summer for many reasons, but mostly for being able to pee when I want to. The wondrous world of teaching…

Tonight? Work on video, finish cutting stuff out. Or get closer to it anyway.

Feet They Hardly Touch the Ground*

More signs that I am not functioning correctly: I tried to condition my hair this morning before washing it. I did something else weird, but I’ve already forgotten it. Normally, I wouldn’t worry too much about lack of brain power at the end of the school year, but we are doing state testing today, so I don’t really want to fuck that up. The plus is that I don’t have to talk all day like I did yesterday, and I was probably super rude to the counselor who called and wanted to slow talk a very simple request while I was in the middle of explaining seminal vesicles and prostate glands, and I just needed to know in 3 words or less WTF you actually needed, not having a conversation right now. Sigh. I was zen last week. I’m too tired to be zen this week.

Because of that, I came home last night and didn’t bring any work with me. I hit 12,000 steps before I ever left my classroom, and then went to tutoring. We still had to do the grocery shopping, which meant having the mental capacity to consider what to cook. Too hard. Picked easy stuff. Sometimes you just have to get through it. I have a 3-day weekend coming up, so that bodes well for sleep. I don’t have a free Saturday until July though. Seems problematic. Oh wait, I think the 22nd of June is free. WTF. Oh well. More worryingly, I need to finish this quilt. It does have a deadline and I got nothing done on it over the weekend. So that’s a priority. Over grades even. They’re due later, I think.

So after dinner, I pulled out the 5th Earth Mother embroidery, the one I was working on during graduation ceremony 2 and 3, and then on the plane in the dark, because I knew I was almost done with it…and I finished it. It needs a wash…seriously…all that dog/cat hair.

It took about 5 1/2 hours, so a little longer than the last one. Not sure why. Just because. As far as selling these, it’s hard to do that without underselling my time. I have a formula. It makes this thing expensive. Do we pay artists appropriately for their time? Because the hours up there don’t count the drawing time and the time picking threads or buying the fabric, or the cost of the fabric…I didn’t have to buy the threads, so that helped, but normally you would. Plus time to wash and iron and trace it on there and all that. So it’s really probably more like 9 hours. A day’s work. What is that worth to you?

Just curious. I know the money part never works out.

I did start the last one. It shouldn’t take long…a little bit at dinner each night.

This guy…

Had a tick. That shit is scary. I missed these guys…

And my whacker cat, who slept with me last night and is seemingly more mellow this morning. Maybe. She didn’t whack me anyway. Yet.

And then I cut stuff out for an hour before I had to drive to the airport to pick up the last two of our party.

Yup. Still exhausted. Went to bed before midnight. Didn’t help. More cutting of these tonight…I have a long weekend and I want to get the quilt ironed together by the end of it. Plus I have some Patreon stuff to do this afternoon, so there’s that. And another drawing I haven’t finished. All that. Off to school.

*The Police, Walking on the Moon

Freak Out Morning

I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten something. But I have a packed bag and I’m leaving soonish. It’ll all be fine.

Hey! I finished ironing! Yay! I used 143 fabrics…here they are.

I have a car arriving here in 12 minutes.

Maybe earlier.

I started cutting stuff out last night…actually a good start…I bagged it all up to take with me…

Hopefully I’ll get some done. Katie…my parents’ dog…showed up last night.

Yeah. My sub cancelled yesterday and no one picked up the job, so my co-teachers will have to cover. Sorry guys. At least I’m not teaching sex ed today! Plans sometimes work. See you on the East Coast in a while. No stress! Meditation app on.

Here I Am

It’s morning again and here I am.

I always appreciate it when nature makes it nice to get up early in the morning. I have a morning meeting and no car, so I’m hitching an early ride, but it’s pajama day! Oh yay! Yes, I showered and changed into clean pajamas. I am not a heathen. Besides, I don’t actually wear pajamas to bed…they’re too hot.

Yesterday was the first release of my embroidery patterns…here’s one of them…

They should be available as patterns only early next week, and as kits in late April some time. I still need to stitch my prototypes, which means I need to go find fabric, which is hard to do without a car. I guess there’s the internet. I like to patronize my local quilt store though. I want her to stay in business. The patterns and kits will be available through Global Artisans…this is an experiment for me…I don’t know if it’s a viable way to earn money, but it’s something.

I had quilt class last night, so I ended up getting about 2 3/4 hours of cutting in, and I’m almost done (I did grade too, of course, thus eating into my cutting time). Trash in the top right, the big box has what’s left, and the cut pieces on the bottom right.

I couldn’t stay up late. I need to be functional today. And it’s more than it looks…probably a couple hours there. So tonight, I’ll grade and I’ll finish cutting these, and if I have time, sort for ironing. We’re hiking tomorrow, so I won’t get much done tomorrow, except you know, health and stuff. But I should be ironing things together this weekend, which is good, because I’m running out of time. As always. What’s new? OK, I need to leave with my ride soon, so this is all I got. Good Friday people.

Not to Do What I Have Done*

UGH. Yes. UGH. Woke up with low blood sugar, makes me feel wonderful, holey moley IDK what I even did to deserve that. Love random blood sugar issues. Yesterday: taught all day, pretty chill, stuff I’ve done before, feels comfortable to be doing that sometimes, then a contentious 2-hour curriculum meeting. I love it when the people in charge of the asylum are crazier than those in it. Plus our views of curriculum are so different, even when we teach the same age of kids. And that one woman who basically said our kids were bored because WE weren’t passionate. Oh honey, we’re passionate, and right now, it’s about you and your stupid statements. It’s probably a good thing we weren’t allowed to comment on what she was saying. It would not have been nice.

It was a long day. I graded something. I exercised. I read. I ate my dinner. I entered an art show. Eventually I did art things.

This is not an art thing. This is a very sleepy puppy. I don’t know why he’s so sleepy.

But it was nice. Little furry beasts curled up next to me on the couch is a very nice and comforting thing. There are 12 days of school until Spring Break. I need nice and comforting things.

Honestly, Satch is not really nice and comforting. He’s all right as cats go, but bullies my cat, who won’t even come out here any more. Sigh. And he snores. I still pet him.

I think he needs a therapist though. See that big pile of stuff to be cut out? Yeah. So do I. After almost 2 hours, I managed to make it look smaller. Not a lot smaller, though.

Sigh. Well I have quilt class tonight. Let’s hope that after that, it looks significantly smaller. Some of the issue is that I’ve been cutting out all the tiny pieces, and the big pieces take up more room in the box but don’t necessarily take longer to cut out. So I do expect a change after tonight. Dammit. Really. I guess the pile of trash is bigger. I should know because I lost a piece in it last night. Sigh.

I’m stressed. I need to not be as stressed as I am. I constantly feel like I’ve forgotten to do something. And then I find out I did! I did! Oh good. Tonight I will be semi-social and I will make art things and I will try to relax a bit. Just a bit because SCHOOL TEACHING AHHH. I’m dropping my car off this morning to try to fix the intermittent stalling problem before I drive to Utah in 3 weeks…I can meditate in the boychild’s car as he (who is hopefully waking up soon) drives me to work. Or nap. I could nap. That also might help.

Tune in next time for progress. More progress with little tiny pieces of fabric that don’t cure cancer or save starving children. Yup. I’m in a mood. Need to get out of that before I have students in my presence. Definitely. Go back and look at pictures of the puppy. Who is not a puppy.

*Animals, House of the Rising Sun

Progress Unseen

My website is acting like my students. Won’t do it the first time I ask…finally loads when I try again. I know how they feel. Sometimes it’s just hard to do what you know you’re supposed to do. Grownup brains might do a better job with the have-tos. Because we understand the consequences. I walked yesterday after work…it was good. I didn’t take any dogs. It was still daylight when I got home, even though it was after tutoring. I was definitely tired. My legs were absolutely yelling WTF you already walked all day. Whatever. At my age, budging the weight is not easy, but it needs to go. I need to move.

There’s a walk near home, so I don’t have to drive. I actually walked past my ex’s house, so I saw the dogs…but didn’t feel like dragging them along too…

New flowers though…it’s what we call the flume road. I don’t know why. Presumably there was or is a flume…

It’s just a semi-wild path between houses…

It’s mostly better than just walking on the street, although I do that coming back.

I scared a whole shitload of bunnies during their evening plant munch. I’m always boggled to see ferns out here in East County.

Passion fruit? Or some relative…

I used to have one of those just for the flowers. It’s too hot out here for them really.

They need more water than I usually give plants on my property. The walk was good. Needed. But it’s time too. I lose time…for a good cause, but it feels stressful with everything I need to get done. I graded some stuff after dinner…although I’d already started cutting pieces out. I took a break and did one quick assignment, one part of the big project they handed in last week. Only 6 more parts to go! Yeah, this one is a pain in the butt to grade.

The box on the bottom is everything that needs to be cut out. The box on top is my trash. Every 6 months or so, someone really wants my trash. They are freakin’ tiny pieces. But people use them. I toss them once the quilt is ironed together.

I keep them for a bit just in case I need a small piece of something that gets lost while I’m ironing.

There’s the stuff that was cut out before I started the second round of cutting…with Satchemo in deep sleep.

I kept cutting for another 2 1/2 hours or so. So I figure this will take about 8 hours to cut out, maybe a little less. This (the top right) is a little over 3 hours of cutting…

And it looks like nothing…like I’ve barely touched the surface. I mean, you can see in the trash box that I did something. And certainly the really little pieces sometimes take longer to cut due to fussiness…but it looks like I’ve barely started, when I’d like to think that I’m almost halfway done. Yeah. No. It doesn’t look that way at all. All right then. Progress unseen. There’s a lot of that going around these days. Totally.

Tonight? Tonight I have a 2-hour meeting after school. I won’t be walking after that. I will be on the stationary bike. It’s not my night to cook (holy hallelujah). I will grade something small again. I will cut more things out. These are my plans. They are pretty simple. Oh yeah, I probably need to enter a show too. OK. Well I wish I could do that and the bike thing at the same time, but I don’t think I can. I probably could grade at the same time though. First I need the boychild to build an adjustable desk for the stationary bike…yeah. That. OK, maybe I’ll just try the iPad. That might be smarter. First I need to go to school and teach what’s alive (me, apparently) and what’s not (a rock. A real rock, not the middle-school kid brain three weeks before Spring Break).

The Pile Is Still There…

That moment when your daughter, who is less than 2 months away from graduating college, tells you she’s dropping out to become a boudoir photographer.

It’s OK. She’s joking. I’m good. I’m laughing even.

Long staff meeting yesterday. It was supposed to be fun, a photo scavenger hunt, but I wasn’t in the mood for it. I have too much work to do. I wanted to get home and walk the dogs. Which I did anyway…

There’s still water in the streambed…

This guy wasn’t scared of the dogs…

Everything is so pretty now…

Lots of flowers and greenery…

Enjoy it now…it’ll be dead in a couple of months…

Walks are good for dogs and humans…pretty interesting flowers on this bush.

I know this bush is always there, but I don’t remember the flowers…

I’m just so happy when I make it out there, even though we got back at like 6:30 and then I had to cook dinner and it was late and I was tired. It’s OK.

Lots of these little guys…

Anyway, after dinner, I did not grade anything. I figured an almost-2-hour staff meeting that was mostly a waste of time (sorry…I wasn’t in the mood for interacting with people. Introvert problems) meant I shouldn’t have to grade at night as well. Plus I wanted to finish ironing…which I did! So 8 hours total of ironing to fabric, with 142 fabrics…

That’s a lot for a quilt this size. But there’s all the pieces…

Now I need to cut them all out. Ha! OK. Easy peasy. I only worked for about 30 minutes, because it was late by then, but I did a little.

You’ll be seeing this pile for a few days. Hopefully not a lot…but who knows. Meanwhile, work calls. Loudly. Sigh. I always feel bad when I don’t grade at night. Silly really. I should be able to take a break. But then I get to school and the pile is still there.

Gonna drag my introverted self out of here now. To school. With a million people. Yeah.

Louder and More Demanding, But Not More Important

Yikes. I think I added three meetings to my schedule just last night…and the weekends are full already I think. And grades! Deep breaths again. It’s funny (not funny) how in just 24 hours I can go from feeling like I might have things under control to kind of a crazy feeling of impending doom. I have too much to do. Next week is no different. The meetings, the list of things that need to be done, the pile of grading (it’s a real pile at school…a notional one here at home, with so much on the computer)…and two different things going on this weekend. I can see why I let exercise slip for a while last year. I’m back on that horse…but it’s time. Time is always the issue.

So I have a plan for the day. Get as much done at school as I can. Come home and walk the dogs. They wanted me to yesterday, but I wanted to go to the gym…so I did. They got their yard time at the other house, so they were fine. They just are so funny…following me around, looking for dog-walk-prep hints. Is she changing her clothes? Is she carrying socks? Which shoes does she have? It must be a walk. And then it’s just the gym and they are sad. They really should be able to tell from the socks and shoes.

Then after I walk them today (because it’s something I need just as much as they do), I can grade an assignment…and then I’m going to sort the Wonder Under, because I did finish cutting yesterday. It took an extra two hours…

So that’s a little over 6 hours total. Not bad. Sorting will take about an hour, and then I’ll check existing fabrics in my stash for a background…most of this quilt is covered with pieces, so there’s no need to worry about a fancy background. It will mostly be hidden. If I need fabric, I can get it tomorrow. I have a friend thing to do tomorrow, plus I need to pick up that lost quilt (that I found). And grade some more…and hopefully start picking out fabrics. That’s a lot to do in a day. Plus we might need to do grocery shopping Saturday, because we have a thing on Sunday. Yikes. I’m realizing how much I need to get done tonight…if I lose Sunday. Stress.

But first, a meeting this morning, a lab all day (oh dear), plus as much grading as I can get done during the day. I didn’t grade last night…I took a night off. I always feel bad when I do that, because it makes me feel more behind. But I”m going to be behind no matter what. I need to find a way to be at peace with my crazy overwhelming life. If I stop going to the gym and hiking and making art, I’ll have time for my job. But my job isn’t more important than those things. It’s louder and more demanding, but it’s not more important.