It’s supposed to start raining here in the next 3 hours and I see no evidence of it. Strange. Normally the clouds would start to pile up and all that, but the house faces mostly north and east, and apparently this storm is coming from the west, over the hill and you can’t see it from here. It’s got wind advisories and a goodly amount of rain in a fairly short time, and it’s lurking over there somewhere; you can only see it on radar from here. But it’s coming.
I’m exhausted this morning. Some sort of weird body thing last night kept me up too late. Sometimes my body is not my friend. So I’m fuzzy-brained and nauseated this morning. A good start. Tomorrow I go to the doctor with a list of weird body things with the hope that she can figure it out. Diabetes gone whack? Something else? I don’t know, but I’m hoping there’s a solution. Most days, I feel fine, but when I don’t, ugh.
The sewing machine is still at the shop and I am still flailing here, also still buried in schoolwork. Grades are due a week from yesterday for report cards. I’ve made it through a little more than 2/3s of the major science assignment, haven’t touched the two major art assignments, and I still have 50 late-work emails to deal with. Plus planning for next week and grading this week’s stuff, but right now, I’ll just continue to panic about the stuff that has to be graded and input by next Tuesday.
I’ve been doing little bits and pieces of sewing things in the evenings, reading my book. Not motivated by anything really. I did draw last night, while half asleep.
Her arm just started rooting itself. I don’t know how that happened.
I did walk yesterday…
There’s a large hawk in that tree. Bottom right V, on the left side. Staring at me.
Fascinating seed pods.
Standing at the top of the hill I’m about to go down…
It’s Spring here. Things are starting to bloom.
The slope that collapsed last year is finally fixed? Maybe?
We’ll see what it looks like after today’s rain.
Puppy love. Not last night but Monday night.
He is a sweetheart, when he’s not barking his ass off during class. Sigh.
Teaching. Exhausted. Grading. Hopefully tonight will be better sleep. Maybe I’ll keep working on that drawing. Maybe I’ll do something more…whatever? I have other stuff to work on. I’m just not in the mood.
February is such a weird month. So short. So full of 3-day weekends (which I fully appreciate). You try to use that extra day wisely, make sure you have some free time, time off from school stuff, time to just relax. Sundays just disappear into school and groceries for me, and now gaming has moved to Sundays for now, totally confuzzles my brain. So I need today, the extra day, mostly to catch up with whatever I didn’t get to on Saturday, because my brain just stopped working. Not really. I did grade things. In fact, I’ve graded every day, and before you tell me I should take a break today and not grade anything, I’ve already considered it and rejected it because of the number of things I have piled up. The reality is that we’re getting to the end of a trimester, and the art stuff and science stuff make it harder to grade, because I have to full on change my mindset to pop from one to another; same with going from the 6th-grade art class to the upper-level art class.
Anyway, after grading Saturday morning (while the man watched the impeachment), we hiked the Highland Valley Trail, part of the Coast to Crest challenge from 2019/2020. This is a pretty one, although you never really get away from houses and the road.
It looks like it’s in the middle of nowhere…
But in reality, above those deer is a house…
They don’t seem to mind.
And below us is a road…
It’s a pretty trail though. We could have gone further.
But it was getting late.
Just under 4 miles.
WordPress seems to be having font size issues today. Hmm. We’ll see how it posts. Right now, it looks tiny.
Friday night, I did a little ironing on the Desert Bunny quilt. Yeah, that’s what I’m calling it right now.
I’m sure it will change. I quit when it was flesh time…until last night at midnight. Because that seemed like a good time to pick fabrics for a big chunk of the quilt. I tried to pick fabrics I hadn’t used before or often. Success! At least two of them had never been used.
This is such a tiny quilt. I’m almost done ironing it to fabric. Then I get to trim it. I also finished the sleeves and binding on the Spargo quilt on Friday night, but I need someone to hold it up for me for photography. Maybe later today.
Where Kitten sits while I’m teaching…
So she can see me but not be in class.
I keep trying to relax…pajamas, pets…
I miss treats at school.
I can’t be bothered to get in the car before school starts and go buy a donut. Silly what you miss.
Still doing the bullet journal after IDK how many years. It helps focus my brain. I like to try new fonts. My favorites are the ones that are a pain in the ass to draw…
I mean, my favorites are the ones that are totally different for each letter.
Last week’s, I gave up trying to draw…because it was all plumbing. YES. A PLUMBING FONT. Who knew? A pain in the ass to do.
OK, I need to go pick up art from a show that closed. I entered one show last night and started entering another, which turned out to be another pain in the ass. I don’t have a lot of “family friendly” art…at least, I suspect what most people would call family friendly. Oh well. Everything I have for that show is OOOLLLDDD. So be it. Then more grading, prepping food for my mom’s 80th birthday. I missed my dad’s 80th due to a COVID exposure. So I’m bringing food, especially cake. And hopefully some art. Plus grading. Not hopefully on that. That has to happen. And then no more 3-day weekends for a long while. Spring Break is in 39 days though. That sounds almost doable. We have a short camping and hiking trip planned for break, and then the Man leaves to hike the PCT. For possibly 5-6 months. It’s a weird year, y’all. A weird year.
Hmmm. Am I walking too much? 20 miles in 9 days? Not so bad. If I were through-hiking the PCT, I’d have to do that every day. This is just in bits and bobs; 3.6 miles is the short bit, my regular weekly stomp up and down local hills. Added a couple of 4+ milers, one with dog and boychild, one with the man. I’m feeling it this morning. Plus? It helps me sleep. When I am doing more, though, I know that’s a sign that the stuff in my head is being cranky…apparently more so in the last week or so.
I’ve been quilting the Sue Spargo block-of-the-month from a million years ago…wool is not so hard, apparently. Nah, it’s really soft and mostly forgiving.
This is the first wool quilt I’ve ever quilted. I outlined everything so it would stand up, and then started quilting in the background.
Mostly spirals, but some other random stuff. There’s stars and stripes in there.
Some echo quilting around the leaves…
An occasional cloud or swirly bit. And then I ordered more thread, because I will need it.
OK, so I guess that means I can quilt all my wool pieces (there are three of them ready to go). It’s brainless and that’s what I need right now.
I started around the edges, so I’ll still need enough for the middle, and then maybe some parts inside flowers and birds in a different color. We’ll see.
We started hiking the San Diego River Valley’s 2019/2020 Coast to Crest challenge hikes because…well, why not?
Apparently there are still patches left and we can get another one. This is the northern Lake Hodges part of the trail, which starts on the east side of the 15…
And goes under it…so there’s lots of road noise in the first mile…
And then it’s a relatively easy and open trail.
With a view of the lake eventually.
A stream to cross.
I was hoping for a nice relaxing hike with the man, but it turned out to be stressful. No fault of the hike. These unprecedented times mean sometimes everyone is stressed out.
I’m kind of done with unprecedented times personally.
There are many birds that are too far away to see clearly. If you’re into that. I like birds.
We hiked to the selfie spot; didn’t do the whole 7.4 miles. Not my choice. But you know how that goes. Having a hiking partner is nice. Even when it’s not.
There was a coyote, a very skinny one, under the freeway bridge on the way back.
Last night’s hike, I heard them but didn’t see them…
Set out late (and alone) after a science planning meeting that I don’t get paid for and do every week anyway. Thanks to my school board for voting on a reduction in salary plan last night. Work more, pay less. Really appreciate it y’all. It’s been a great year. This makes it so much better.
Gonna appreciate the puppy love…
And sweet kittens…
And get to work. Sigh. Ugh. It was rough yesterday. It will be rough today. Perhaps every day. And maybe after the really long union meeting I am foreseeing in my future tonight, I will make art. If I have the energy. I hope I do.
Yeah. Some president gifted me this day so I could have extra time to grade stuff without having to try to do it during the work day. I do that too. Kids are completing work, asking me questions, typing in the chat, fucking around on Roblox or YouTube INSTEAD of doing what they’re supposed to be doing, and I’m answering questions, typing in the chat, shutting down Roblox and YouTube, but also encouraging everyone to finish ALL THE THINGS, all the while trying to grade the easier, less-brain-encompassing assignments on the other computer. Jumping between tabs on a slow-ass Chromebook the school gave me. The teacher Mac is slightly faster, but not by much. I need a third one that works at the speed of light. What are they giving me instead? Another monitor. So I can have two laptops and two extra monitors to WATCH things. And try to bounce between things, which is already an issue for me. ANYWAY. I have found that there are some things that need my full attention for grading: anything for an academic grade that is more than two sentences OR anything that is artistic and requires some sort of holistic analysis of effort and craftsmanship. Cannot do either of those while doing anything else. Usually I need a rubric up on one screen and the document/photo on another. Big screens. Not tiny Chromebook screens. Also can’t do late work particularly easily while teaching…too much bouncing between screens and printouts of gradesheets. So last night, I graded 62 of the 97 pieces of late work that had come in during the last 8 days. I’m still behind. I’m always behind. And now I have an admin semi-hounding me so she can check in with a parent. Sigh. If only the sweet dingbats would turn work in on time. Life would be so smooth.
We’re hiking today. And I’m cooking some semi-complicated dinner (is it? I don’t know if it is…I just know it has lots of ingredients). We’re getting a late start…I didn’t push for an early morning…no need. So there’s that. I’ll grade some more later today, hopefully get my bread started (I keep mistiming it), and get some more art time in.
Friday night, I ironed some pieces from Sue Spargo’s Homegrown block of the month to fabric and thought I was missing a piece…
I have plenty of fabric, so I found a green that was similar (minus the dragonflies) and used that. The block of the month is from 2018, so I knew I probably couldn’t get a replacement piece. It’s OK, though, because the next day, during my guild meeting, I figured out that the piece of green was folded under and I just hadn’t noticed. There was plenty of dragonfly fabric there.
It’s possible that I shouldn’t do anything on Friday nights that requires brainpower, y’all.
The rest of Friday night I spent putting fabric away from the last quilt and from some monthly shipments I thought I would use in a certain way and decided to just throw in the stash for general use.
I don’t keep a lot of fabric separated…just some Kaffe Fassett fabrics I need for a quilt I don’t seem to be working on at all. Awkward. But I bought them specifically for that quilt and there’s a ton of Fassett fabrics already in my stash, getting used regularly.
This meant I could start picking fabrics for the new quilt. Good plan. Cleaning is pretty brainless. I like the feeling of clearing the slate for the next piece. Remind me to pick fabrics I haven’t used lately in this new one. I’ve already blown that, I think. Whoops.
Saturday morning was my guild meeting. They are very activity-based, challenge-based. I don’t know how many challenges I can handle besides the real-world ones. I have done a tiny bit of wool quilting for the UFO challenge, but not much. I spent most of the meeting trying to get those Spargo pieces cut out and pinned down.
That space under the computer is useful. Then I did some stitch down on the 4th Applique Stories piece.
It’s relaxing to do this…
Just a different way of putting things together. Maybe someday I’ll finish one. Who knows…it could happen. For a while, at the beginning of the pandemic, I stitched through staff meetings and trainings. Now I work through them, planning, posting shit for classes, basic grading. Sad but true.
I love how flowers always make great boobs.
And hearts…certainly not what the designer intended, but I’m OK with that. I’m continuing with this series into 2021. We’ll see where it goes.
After the guild meeting, I needed to be outside. Too many meetings on Thursdays and Fridays.
I find I don’t get outside enough. And it looks like Spring…recent rains make things green. We came home and I did more outside, watering some, cleaning some, finding the speaker that got lost back in May or June last year…it was under a chair pad, and kudos to Anker, it still works.
It didn’t even need to be charged.
The man and I went out for dinner…facing away from everyone.
It’s a bit of a risk, but one that keeps us sane. We stayed home when the governor told us to, which is why the numbers went down. Probably they’ll be back up in 2-3 weeks because of the Super Bowl, unfortunately. Stupid people and parties.
Speaking of challenges, the SIL has issued one.
Definitely needs doing. Then I’m supposed to pass it on, keep passing until someone doesn’t want to any more, and see how many marks get done. I haven’t had time to pull my own stuff, but it’s on the list. Then maybe I’ll mail the card to the girlchild.
Poor Calli…post Super-Bowl dumbasses shooting guns, we think. Super loud. She doesn’t like it.
She’s old and somewhat deaf, but not deaf enough.
Last night, I finally got around to ironing the small owl commission together that I’ve been working on…
It’s the owl from the last quilt, just by itself. She likes owls. I think this is the third one I’ve done for her? Not sure. Maybe second. I’ve done a lot of owls. I recorded the ironing of it for my Patreon…well, at least most of it. It’ll go out to them next weekend, after I process it.
I toned down the background slightly from that in the original quilt. Something this small needs a different focus than in the big quilt. It’s ironed to a background now that will never be seen, so I’ll do stitch down sometime soon (damn, gonna have to pull that wool quilt off the machine to do that! Or finish it) and get it quilted and bound.
Then I started ironing Wonder Under to fabric on the newest piece…
Didn’t get far before it was midnight. Time slips. But it’s a start. Like I said, I wasn’t very good about picking new fabrics so far, but this was the sand and the sky. I guess I can try harder for the rest of it.
One thing that’s sucked about this year (one thing…ha haha ha hysterical laughter ensues) is that school starts a half hour earlier. I mean, it doesn’t really. We had to be at school by 8:30, school started at 9. Now actual school still starts at 9, but we’re supposed to start working at 8, and I do. Usually I start earlier, actually, since my commute is really short. And I never stop. Because it’s always in my face. I did make the smart decision to move school out of my office/studio and into the living room when I started up again in August, so my studio is still my escape from work. I used to do quite a bit of schoolwork in here, and now I don’t. It’s safe here, there’s art materials, occasionally I do a Zoom meeting in here, but mostly, no. Also, the internet in here is wiggy as shit. Another reason to move out to where I can hook up directly to the internet.
Anyway, so having to start 30 minutes earlier doesn’t seem like much, but I refused to get up 30 minutes earlier, settling for 15 minutes earlier alarm time, figuring I don’t have to drive to work, so there’s the other 15 minutes. Many mornings though I still feel drugged by a lack of sleep when I start working…usually before 8. Ugh. Today is no exception. And I didn’t get enough work done this week…I’m behind on one assignment that will not be fun to score, plus all the stuff piling up from this week, oh and that other art assignment I didn’t get to yet, fuuuuuck. Yes, it’s a 3-day weekend, but I’d like to spend it all hiking and arting, and that’s not happening. I need to catch up. If you don’t stay on top of it, you get buried. Since we came back from Winter Break, and we’re teaching how we normally teach (well, best we can), it’s been much MUCH easier to get done with everything and get it graded, at least for science. Art is its own clusterfuck and will be a bigger one today when I delay some stuff because I couldn’t get done what I needed to get done for today and I’m pretty sure the real art teacher didn’t either. Sigh. Anyway, I am always trying to grab time back from my job and let there be a purpose besides a paycheck. It’s a shit year for good vibes from school, so I focus on what gives me some sense of satisfaction.
Like finishing a quilt. I didn’t post these earlier, because I am still searching my mind for a title (no, politely, I don’t want your help, many thanks, it will speak to me when I have time to listen)…
Obviously a quilt about childbirth, but the COVID virion is there as well…
Lurking in the soil with some other things.
I have an online show coming up with USC about childbirth…this Spring.
So I thought I’d do a quilt that just focused on that. I have many that refer to a variety of women’s issues related to the uterus.
Rockets are related.
Anyway, this piece is not huge…like 38″ wide by 65″ high (I’ll measure it for reals when I put it on the Gallery page)…
But it took a healthy 100 hours and 27 minutes to complete. Lots of pieces, lots of details. People ask. I started it in November 2020…and normally I would have finished it faster, but in November, my dad fell and ended up hospitalized, and interestingly, he came home Wednesday finally and I finished this quilt not that much before that. So it’s not surprising I wasn’t working fast.
I went to see him, of course. I only saw him twice the whole time he was gone, due to COVID restrictions. It’s going to take a long time for him to get his memory and physical strength back, but we’re glad to have him. Even when he’s cranky.
I’ve been doing bits and pieces of artmaking in the evenings. I’m really tired these days. Exhausted I guess. Not enough sleeping is happening. I cut out the rest of the Wonder Under for the newest quilt.
This one only has 283 pieces, so it’s going super fast. It’s kind of nice.
I sorted the Wonder Under into bins last night in 9 minutes flat. It’s good I’m not doing a big one right now. I would’ve had to move all the demo stuff for chemistry and art to have the room. Maybe should stay away from a big one until we get through the chemistry units. Spring Break. That sounds good.
I’ve been doing some embroidery I’m not allowed to show you yet, but also started…no, continued quilting this Sue Spargo quilt from a million years ago. This is Earth & Twig, finished embroidering it before the girlchild went to college, but was scared to quilt it.
It’s the embroidery, man…it catches on everything and is annoying to quilt around. Plus I had never quilted wool before (that part is not hard). But mom and I talked extensively last night about FEET and the FOOT CATALOG (did you even know there was such a thing?) because my mom has ALL THE FEET IN THE WORLD and I really do not. I use TWO FEET (don’t most of us?), and when I got this machine, I couldn’t get a foot I liked, and for some reason, just put up with what it came with, but mom’s gonna call Jimmy (the sewing machine guy) and see if I can get a better FOOT. I was obviously semi-hysterical during most of the conversation, because whenever mom said she had a BAG OF FEET, I lost it.
It’s cool. It’ll be fine.
Lots of animals helping me with work these days…Simba barking at the asshole neighbor…
Good dog. There’s my super slow shitty school computer that I borrowed so I can see what the kids see on a Chromebook, but also use while my other computer is doing other things…and there’s the actual teacher-y school computer, which has its own issues, plus the monitor I pulled out of our stash of extras. And Kitten. Not helping by standing in front of the monitor that has the rubric for what I’m trying to grade.
Here’s where you get an idea of how fucking hard it is to grade online art…and it’s not just because of the cat in the way. Apparently the district is going to get us an extra monitor. For distance learning teachers. I think that’s when I first started the semi-hysterical laughter last night. Like keep shoving kids in my classes, because I don’t have to social distance, but almost a year into this fiasco, you’re gonna get me another monitor. Sigh. Fuck you. Whatever. Roll my eyes. I said they should come teach my classes today and see how it goes. People who aren’t in the classroom should NEVER EVER be allowed to make decisions about this shit. Or they should listen to us more.
Calli tolerating Nova, who is bunny-watching.
Kittens sleeping on the bed, until I came in…
They’re not kittens any more. But their faces there are very typical. Luna is pissed because I petted Nova first. Nova is a sweetheart.
My cat, Kitten, is demanding, but loving.
Follows me all over the house, demanding attention. Eating pine needles. Then throwing them up. Like a boss.
Speaking of bosses, I am sort of one…to 177…no wait, I’m down two who dropped…175 students (don’t tell the school; they’ll give me three to replace the two). And work starts in the other room in 6 minutes, enough time to take my meds and walk over there. And teach all day, trying to get everything under control and organized, trying to deal with parents who think I have time for phone calls and explanations that I’ve already said 7 or 8 times, for kids who need help (that I am willing to give) and assignments that aren’t graded or done, and planning that’s not complete, and posts that need to be made, and videos that need to be made. But a 3-day weekend will give me a little leeway, a little extra time for me and not school. And that’s a good thing to get to at the end of the day.
Time has a strange warp to it. I have never put Summer Break on my countdown app (it counts down until an event) until after Spring Break…until this year. Every day, I slide over on the phone so I can see: Spring Break 51 days, Yosemite 55 days, the Man leaving for the PCT 64 days, Summer Break 135 days. 51 seems doable. Until a day like yesterday, and then it’s like, man, how many days left until the weekend (3). I really hate people who will say things like TWO days to the weekend on Wednesday morning…I’m like, fuck you, we still have to survive today. That’s THREE days. I guess they are perkier people than I. Delusional. Sometimes time is so slow in class that I feel like I’m checking the time every minute; yesterday, doing a demonstration on elements, time was faster than a cheetah, skimmed past and was gone. Oh shit. Well. Weird. Because in the physical classroom, I would have done that demo in a 51-minute period with time to spare. Online? Much longer.
But today is Wednesday, hump day, get over it. Dad comes home today. Hopefully being home around familiar things will help with healing, remembering. I’m hoping to see him today; I’ve seen him twice (well except for FaceTime once) since he fell…once when we thought he was dying and once when he was in the COVID ward, from outside a window, standing in the dirt. It’s been a weirdass 2 1/2 months. I’m good with those being over. I’m hoping the next 2 1/2 months have fewer lows and more positive shit going on. School notwithstanding. School is a frustrating exhausting demoralizing annoying all-encompassing whirlwind of stress and anxiety and irritation. More so than usual.
So I hike. And I make art. And I read. And sleep. And pet lots of animals during the day. And plant succulents, because they are harder for me to kill. Small rewards. Mom got her first vaccine shot. Small rewards. COVID sent my whole grade level home for the next two weeks. Well. That sucks. But it’s not surprising. Vaccines aren’t available for the kids yet, and here in San Diego, teachers aren’t even on the list yet. Maybe by the end of the month. Maybe.
Monday, Kitten took over my work chair. This amused my 6th-grade art kids no end.
Eventually I put her on the light table, where she appeared under the doc cam, and then slept on the edge of the couch, near me, for the rest of the class day. She’s a strange needy beast at times. I’ve been doing chemistry demos the last two days, and keeping the cats out of the materials has been hard. I set up and put plastic bins over the test tubes and element samples until I teach, shooing the cat away on the regular.
The next unit will be fun for this crap. All chemistry, all the time. The test tubes have HCl and CuCl2 in them, but they need to sit for 24 hours for some of the chemical changes, so outside they went…
They’re a little damp this morning, but they’ll work. I had a headache all day, though, because of the iodine and sulfur. Windows open, not good enough. Today is corrosion and something. I’ll remember it…tarnish! Yeah. It’s a little easier and shorter, but the vinegar will drive me bonkers. The kids thought it was cool though. So there’s that.
I’ve walked two days in a row (see a need? see above rant)…over 8 miles total. We left the old lady behind on Monday and dragged the little one out for 4 1/2 miles…finally found the gate at the end of the path.
There were a lot of people on the trail, but 16 of them were what looked like a high-school cross country team.
There was definitely evidence of last week’s rain in the creek/river/whatever it is.
But the water’s been higher. We’re just over 4″ of rain since July 1…it’s not enough.
The little boy (dog) was tired afterwards, which is a good thing. The old lady can’t really do more than a mile, mile and a half, right now. Even then, she is very limpy. Which is too bad, because she loves walks.
Yesterday, after a lot of parent and kid issues with school, I walked myself…
I got a late start (dealing with kids and parents after school)…and ended up in the almost dark at the end. This sign confuses me. Should I just knock on the door?
Maybe she will be lurking around outside? I would totally buy cookies from a neighbor kid right now. Except I haven’t had cash in my wallet for 11 months now. Hmmm.
The plus of these late walks are the skies.
Although it’s staying lighter later. Hallelujah. Leaving at 3:30 to get an hour in before dark was rough.
Art: this piece is smaller, much smaller…so it’s going fast. I traced Wonder Under in two nights…
While binge-watching Bridgerton. The man called it soft porn. Eh. That’s possible.
Three and a half hours later, I was ready to trim Wonder Under.
Before that, of course, I graded shit. I do that almost every night. I give myself Saturday night off. Usually. I sometimes have help…Nova was first, then Luna.
I thought I might be able to get it all cut out in one night, but I was exhausted…
So that’s tonight’s work. Then sort it and hopefully iron it to fabric after I iron the baby owl down. I’m also supposed to be quilting my wool piece, the UFO, for progress before Friday night for my guild. Um. Hmmm. Maybe. Anyway. Progress. I like progress. It makes me feel like I’m getting something positive or useful done. My day job did NOT do that for me yesterday…well, except for kids liking the chemistry part. That was cool. Today will hopefully be cool too. We’ll see.
OK, meeting in 25 minutes, school time starts in 11, need to set up demo, get some other stuff pounded out, hopefully no more nastygrams demanding or claiming shit that doesn’t, didn’t, wouldn’t happen. Sigh. Kids. They panic, cry, lie about shit. And parents don’t question that; just assume I am wrong, I am horrible. Sigh. Double sigh. It’s demoralizing sometimes. And this year has so little support…because there’s no one else here and my team is not a team this year and I can’t get answers to stuff I need answers to, because…just because. I’m back to looking at the countdown app. 135 days.
It’s pouring rain. It’s OK. For one, Southern California needs it. For another, it’s not like I could go anywhere…well, except for a hike, and that’s not happening. I took my second Craft Napa class today, and it was fun. Valerie Goodwin makes these cool map quilts and I’ve always been fascinated with them, so it was interesting to see how she makes them and hear how she thinks.
So yeah, this was kind of a pattern class. We all started with the same basic materials and pattern, but I enjoyed thinking about transparent layers more than I think I ever have…
The map lines use a fabric-cutting machine. My mom only has 2 or 3 of those. Not that I need to do maps. I was thinking scribbles and letters and cursive writing. But I do like maps.
There’s the Acropolis. So I’m still working on this. I had to stop stitching because the paint needed to dry…
Tons more hand stitching, plus machine stitching, plus IDK what else. A fun way to spend the day, anyway. I appreciate the online opportunities to hang out and do fabric stuff I’ve never done before. I don’t need more projects to finish, but there’s something really important in looking at your art in a different way, and looking at other people’s art. I miss that with no exhibits I can go to right now…or maybe just a few? Visions isn’t open…but I guess the show up at Front Porch Gallery has limited hours. Maybe next weekend.
I did get up early (for a Saturday) for that class. Now I am tired. It’s OK. I enjoyed it.
Thursday night, I quilted with my monthly quilting group on Zoom…got a good 2 hours in…
It’s a very detailed quilt, so nothing about this is quick.
But the thread has stopped its psychotic breaking, so that makes it much nicer.
Friday night, after gaming, I went back to the torso area, which has an insane amount of detail…
Got the ribcage and the heart done…
And moved on to the face. I thought we might use the machine for class today, so I stopped there and pulled her off the machine. I have all the sky section and the tree to do, which is a lot, but it also is more than halfway done. Hopefully I’ll get some more done tonight; we’ll see.
I have a bunch of schoolwork to do, as always. I did some of it while on the stationary bike on Thursday night…
It was just posting assignments in each of the classes. I knew this weekend would be kind of full; I usually do this on Sunday, but I have a meeting then. The plus is that it’s done. I still need to make a couple of videos and post all of the art stuff, but since I don’t know what half of that is yet, it’s hard to get it done ahead of time.
Speaking of art, we’re doing cardboard sculpture next, so I’ve been teaching them joining techniques…
I guess the plus is that I don’t have to build my own version of sculpture…just show them how to do the bits and pieces. Twice. Because I have two levels of art. Ugh.
Friday, we took the dogs on a short walk. Calli can’t do the longer ones any more.
But she loves them so much. Simba is a freak…this is his response to bikes.
He basically wants to kill them. Not recommended.
Calli post hike…
Kitten didn’t even go on a hike…
But she is one of the three old ladies in the house.
This cracks me up.
It’s a new world, y’all. Except it’s not. Too many angry upset people out there still. I talk about some of that (and who the hell knows what else!) in a podcast, the Unbroken Chain podcast. I was interviewed by Maura James last weekend and she asked lots of good questions…
If you know me personally, you know I can ramble for a good long time.
Actually, if you read my blog, you already know that.
It’s how my brain works. I have lots of words and lots of pictures and they all need to get out. Here’s a link. Hopefully. If I did it right.
I appreciate her searching me out and caring enough to come up with good things to talk about. Certainly a lot of what I talked about is on my mind for the next quilt. So there’s that.
OK. I’m tired. I’m going to get more tea and decide what’s next. Still waiting for the paint to dry on Athens for me to do the machine stitching, plus I still have a quilt to finish, plus two videos to make for school, and probably there’s a bunch of other shit that needs doing that I’m just not remembering because my brain has been in artmaking mode all day, which is such a wonderful place to be. Yeah. Happy Saturday, all.
Ah yes. A country with someone in charge whose speeches I don’t have to diagram so that I can attempt to make any sense of them. A white guy, though. An old white guy. But our VP! Finally a woman, and a woman of color on top of it. So proud. So happy. So worried about those who still feel disenfranchised and ignored. That being-ignored feeling really sucks. I agree. Having people ignore your needs and desperate calls for acknowledgement…I mean, I’m a cis female, but white and educated, so inordinately privileged, but I get that for sure. And I worry about y’all. I don’t know what to do about it though; I don’t know how to talk to you, to help you see the world in a different way. I really try to see how you all are seeing, and I just can’t. It looks like fear and hate to me. So yeah. So many things in my head yesterday. I was lucky to see the swearing ins happen right before virtual school started…trying to watch video with kids on my computer/Zoom setup is not always a positive experience, so we talked a little about the inauguration, but then it was a normal day. Well, this crazy-ass pandemic version of normal.
I’ve been fighting my sewing machine for a few days. The thread kept breaking. I changed needles (twice), rethreaded everything (many times), cleaned out the bobbin area, used thread conditioner, sanded the throat plate, and then prayed to the goddess of the machine. Nothing helped. It improved slightly, but I was still breaking thread about every 6-10 inches of quilting. An incredibly frustrating experience.
I got to the point last night where I was like, shit, I’m going to have to take the machine in, but I’m trying to finish this quilt and I have another machine, but I’m not sure where exactly it is, and there’s a re-learning curve I don’t have the mental fortitude for right now…but sigh, how else?
And magically, really, IDK what changed, much like my blood sugar at the moment, magically, it all started to work. I could sew without the thread breaking.
For an hour. Holy moly. SO MUCH EASIER. It’s like I became a rich white man. Oh wait. No. Not quite. He wouldn’t be sewing. But you know what I mean! Things were easier, I felt like I could achieve something, the world felt like a new presidential team was in place. Yeah. That. Fuck. Yesterday was interesting. I posted this picture before…spot the Bernie.
I love the mitten story. And Bernie. And the dogs and old man in the photo, but that’s something else. This doofus…
OK. Well. I hiked on Tuesday in the wind and cold…
Apparently there’s more coming this weekend. These flowers are fascinatingly huge.
I still try to exercise every day. This is just from AllTrails, an app I use for hiking…
It doesn’t count everything I do, just the hikes I do with the app.
Yeah, my boots got over 150 miles since February, so there’s that. More to come.
I finished this…
Ready to clean it and hoop it up and send it off to its new owner.
My quilt guild is starting a UFO challenge. I needed to post at least one I could finish in the first quarter. This one, I started quilting, but gave up.
Wool is different than cotton, that’s all I can say. I can do it…but something else jumped the queue. There’s also this one…
And another one that needs pinbasting…all 3 are Sue Spargo quilts. I love the embroidery part, but IDK what I will do with them when they are done. Pick a Sue Spargo wall and switch out the three every few months? Maybe.
Ah mornings. You are not my friend.
Today is sunny at least. The crazy wind the last few days has been stressful to watch from my virtual school workspace. Today is much calmer. OK, but today, I am teaching stuff in art that I’ve never really done before (again), so that’ll be fun. FUN. And Zooming for meetings as well (one in 5 minutes). Hopefully quilting later tonight, with the new calm sewing machine behavior…maybe it will continue to go well.
It’s been a few days. I lost track of them, actually. The wonder of a 3-day weekend when I did things that weren’t schoolwork, right? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I worked a big chunk of Monday, grading shit, but mostly I ignored school. Mostly. Not in my head; just in my practice. It’s hard to do that, because the work has to get done sometime. In fact, a chunk of it needs to be done before school starts in 43 minutes, but it’ll happen. Somehow.
So Friday night was the last time I wrote. Since then, I participated in two Craft Napa events, and I have one coming up this weekend. I was waitlisted on one and offered today to take it, but um, yeah, so like, that’s a school day. So I picked another one instead. It’s OK. It’s really just a chance to hang out and do artsy stuff with other artsy people. The actual project doesn’t probably matter.
So Saturday night was a virtual wine tasting…
It was interesting and a good distraction for a Saturday night. We enjoyed it.
Then Sunday morning, I was up early for a recycled plastics sewing class with Natalya Khorover.
Let’s hope the girlchild doesn’t recognize the bag of hers I cut into. I don’t actually have a ton of plastic bags in the house. We have reusable bags, so not many plastic bags make it in here.
I was going to do this long quote, but decided against it…this was more doable.
I got all the letters stitched down. Need more embellishment. I’ll do that…
It was fun to take a class after months and months of not doing it. I’ve always wanted to go to Craft Napa in person, just as a break, but the timing with school is difficult, plus expense. This was very doable.
I did start quilting as well, but I’ve been plagued with thread breakages…
I’ve tried switching out the needles, conditioning the thread, cleaning everything…probably it’s a burr in the thread plate, so I’ll try to deal with that today.
So I got the bottom three layers done, the fire and rocks, basically…
Pretty damn frustrating, if you ask me.
I don’t really need more frustrating things right now.
What else? Dogs.
Lots of animals require attention here. I’m OK with that most of the time.
The man is getting his Pacific Coast Trail permit day today. We think. Hoping for the end of my Spring Break, so we can do a little camping/hiking together before he leaves for potentially 5 months.
I’m almost done with this thing…
A few more TV episodes after dinner and it will be done. Stick it in a frame and mail it to its new owner.
OK, now I can go do the school stuff I need to do and teach all day and then maybe hopefully go for a walk. Then sand down the potential burr on my needle plate and hopefully quilt with wild abandon tonight until I need to go to bed to repeat tomorrow…tomorrow, inauguration day, when hopefully the crazy insurrectionists won’t do something really stupid and irreversible. Sigh. We can all hope for some semblance of order and peace, ’til we return to trying to figure out how to mend a bunch of stuff in our country and help people accept more variety in their worlds than they’re used to. Whatever that looks like…because honestly, some days, I don’t know. Until then, I need to answer an email from a kid that came in at midnight (I ignored it) and do all the shit I forgot to do yesterday. Sigh.
I meant to write this in the morning, before school, but I worked instead. I thought about writing it in the afternoon, but I had to deliver art supplies to students who can’t leave their homes. I got home after that and had a little time before gaming tonight, but instead of writing this, I talked to my mom about my dad coming home in the next few weeks, which is good news, but a little frightening as well. I’m going to go see him this weekend; I get to talk to him through a window. I could go now, but it’s close to midnight and if I know my dad, he’s asleep. Hopefully. I might go to bed before I ever finish writing this. I was up late last night and didn’t sleep well; I had a really low blood sugar drop, no reason that we could see, and it really messed up my nighttime routine. You know, sleep and all. It took a while to come back up, and then I woke up a few times at night to check it. It’s happened once before, about a year ago, and the phone nurse just keeps asking me if I’m sick and did I eat. Well yeah, I did eat and no, I’m not sick. So I just took my insulin tonight and I’m kinda watching the clock and giving it some time to make sure everything is OK tonight. Hopefully. Because I need the sleep. And I need some time this weekend to get some work done, because I didn’t get any done tonight, art or otherwise. Good thing it’s a 3-day weekend.
Wednesday night, I finished the stitchdown on the current quilt…
It took just under 5 hours to do that…not bad…
I wasn’t sure I’d get her sandwiched and pinbasted last night…it was a long day, and it meant mopping the floor first, but I pulled it off…
Sometimes I have energy and I do shit.
It’s not actually a huge quilt…just has a lot of pieces in it for its size. I should be able to start quilting this weekend; we’ll see how that goes, because Craft Napa started on Wednesday. I was able to hang out in the Welcome group for about 50 minutes, until I had to go to a union meeting. I spent most of Wednesday’s prep period, 5th period while kids were working, the Craft Napa meeting, and the union meeting sorting art supplies for my 72 online art students.
I actually had a fairly impressive stash of colored paper. Anyway, I delivered those envelopes Wednesday night around 8 PM, and then today, hand delivered a few of them. In general, I make them go get them from school. As always, some kid three weeks from now will tell me they didn’t even know about this and it’s not their fault they couldn’t do the project. Sigh. I put a lot of time into my classes. Sometimes I don’t want to, but I really don’t know how to half-ass it. Although I lost my mind on Wednesday when they pushed one of my classes to 40 kids. Apparently that is my line: 40 kids in a class. They fixed it (the kid really was supposed to go to another teacher), but I’m still annoyed with myself that my mindset for the 2nd half of the year went out the window in just three days. That said, they flipped about 5 kids from hybrid to distance and back, and then gave me three additional students, so I suspect my crazy was somewhat justified.
Anyway, I have one Craft Napa class on Sunday and another next Saturday, plus the wine tasting tomorrow night, although after the blood sugar thing last night, I’m cautious about that. No, I wasn’t drinking either last night…you sound like the nurse. No no no no no. I wasn’t doing any of those things. Sigh. Stupid body. I hate when you feel like you can’t trust your body. It sucks. Anyway, knock on wood that it was a one-off. Again. The second time.
I’m still chugging away on this…
I might find the pattern designer at some point and post it with this. I might. I’m using stash. One of the designers I follow was asking if people preferred kits or PDF patterns, and it’s not that I don’t like kits, they’re easy, but I have all the floss in the world (I say that, but I had to buy 3 skeins for this one because they were using all the new colors) and besides, I have a dog who eats patterns, and if it was a kit, I would have to buy another one to get the pattern, unless the designer was really nice (dude, I would totally send pictures), but with a PDF file, you can just print another one.
No art tonight. No energy either. I do however have excited sourdough starter.
Can’t argue with that. I’m making sourdough focaccia tomorrow. Or Sunday. Hard to say. I never get the timing right.
I’m teaching radial zendoodles for warmup this week.
These are the practice ones, which all look like hydras. Really, I’m teaching kids how to fold carefully, because that seems to be the bigger issue.
We got this freebie cat tent when the kittens came over a year ago. Nova would sleep on it. Luna would kamikaze all over it, but this is the first time anyone (Kitten) has slept in it.
We planted the Christmas tree…Calli for size.
Of course, that makes me sad, because in a year, when I check the size again, odds are Calli won’t be around. But she’s cute. I don’t know why I say “we” planted the tree. I whacked the bottom with the shovel to break up the roots and helped shove dirt into the hole, but the boychild did the rest, including digging a hole in rock. Or really hard dirt. Maybe really hard dirt is just rock.
OK, I’m feeling OK. It’s 45 minutes since the insulin. I’m going to test my blood and crawl into bed, hopefully for better sleep than last night. Wish me luck. Then do some exercise this weekend, hang out with some quilt artists, do some schoolwork, quilt a little, see my dad through a window, and hope the body and brain feel better at the end of it.