It’s Light.

Pro: It was light when I got to get up. I woke up earlier. My brain was confused. So were the dogs. Plus the man gets up earlier than I do and that wakes me up. Con: I’m still tired. I sorta forgot about Daylight Savings and the time change because my phone did it for me. The clocks in here are still wrong. Whoops.

Saturday I talked to a solar guy…he’s the first one who didn’t say I needed to cut my trees down. He designed a system with the trees. A miracle. This might actually happen. I mean, I’ve grown this one from a tiny plant. It’s a volunteer. I love trees.

Yeah. I know. Trees can cause problems. So can people and I don’t cut them down. Well. Much.

There’s been a lot of dog sleeping going on here…

Lots of dogs too…

And lots of grading. It gets frustrating at times. Sometimes I feel like I’m just recording that they did stuff and I’m not even sure what they’re getting out of it…

Please don’t ask me what she meant by this. I really don’t know. Hopefully texture.

I don’t have any choice with quizzes and tests and projects. I have to grade them. This one amused me.

Physical change vs chemical reaction on scrambling eggs. Yeah. Sigh.

So my co-teacher and I keep searching for the solution to grades. I’m not a fan, but the kids don’t work without something to motivate them, although grades is not always a good motivator. I’m not willing to run a candy-based classroom.

Ah yes. More dogs…not my house, because that fluffy over-shedding one in the middle is not allowed on my couch.

That’s why she looks so guilty.

Meanwhile, Kitten has actually been playing.

She carried that purple mouse into the living room. Brought it right to me.

Good kitty. 6 hours of grading later. Ugh.

I did do art stuff…I went to another opening. This is in Hillcrest…

I think it’s time for another bathtub quilt. Not that my schedule fits that. Wait. A minute. Hmmm. I gots an idea.

I traced Wonder Under finally on Saturday night…see Kitten on her new perch? No fear.

Tracing is meditative. Not enough, because I’ve been grinding my teeth for a few weeks. But better than nothing. Working on that…took a pilates class for the first time yesterday. Gonna try three months. See how it goes.

Core strength would help. Plus my neck and back need it. Strangely, the only thing sore last night was my left foot. It’s better this morning.

I added a space cat to the quilt. I had a conversation with an artist’s spouse on Friday night about the cat in one of my quilts. And I realized this quilt didn’t have one. So I added one.

I guess I’m up to 872 pieces now. I traced again last night…I’m at piece 288. Not bad. I’m looking forward to some down time over Thanksgiving week to get a chunk of this done.

So far, my Thanksgiving plans include cooking my own turkey for December turkey sandwiches, getting my Real ID, going to pilates twice, going on at least one hike, and IDK what else. I guess I’ll figure that out.

Today is prep for a lab and a 2-hour staff meeting. Ugh. Well. OK. First I need to figure out what to do with all these dogs. Doing that now.

HAVE TO. SHOULD. WOULD LIKE TO.

Aargh. Saturday is half gone. OK, not really, because I’ll be up until midnight. So I have 13 hours and 2 minutes left. OK. That sounds better. But I’m panicking already. THIS much to grade, THAT much to prep, THIS much to go buy, find, whatever. I might have overplanned the weekend. Ha! That’s funny. I always do that. I always assume I can get way more done than I really can. So this weekend: I have a pile of tests that HAVE TO be graded by Monday, a pile of homework and warmups that SHOULD be graded by Monday, and an email that HAS TO be sent. Some planning would also be good, but isn’t crucial…although a Monday warmup topic would be helpful. I have a quilt that HAS TO be packed up and ready to ship next week. I don’t even know if I have a box. I have a blogpost for a group that SHOULD be posted. I have an art opening I HAVE TO go to and another one that would be cool, but probably isn’t worth stressing over. I have a solar guy coming over (SOME DAY THIS WILL WORK) and I crazily signed up for a pilates intro class (it’s free. Maybe I am pilate-able. We just don’t know.). Plus I’m driving people to the airport, doing the grocery shopping, taking care of dogs and cats and maybe even myself. I HAVE TO do all those things. Well, some I just agreed to, so they’re now really on the list. I WOULD LIKE TO start tracing the Wonder Under on the new quilt…which is about 42″ square, although after last night’s opening and a conversation there, apparently I need to add a space cat. So I’ll be doing that.

Last night’s opening is the show Artists Speak Out at the Martha Pace Swift Gallery in Liberty Station. It’s the second of four openings…but I forgot to take a picture of this one last time.

She’s tall. I’m not. I did take pictures of everything again. I should post them. This was left on the stairs…

We ate out there…

Those sliders were the inspiration for my Patreon drawing…although I just noticed the plate. I should have taken a better picture of it. They used to be into all hipster-type dishes, very sleek and either white ceramic or those metal trays. This is nicer.

I started drawing this in the restaurant, but finished it at home.

With two of the three dogs on the couch with me at one point or another.

That one looks very suspicious. The other one was very asleep. As was I mostly. Very tired. I finished the drawing and then went to bed. Early. The old girl woke me at 7:20 AM to pee, which we both did. And then I went back to bed for another hour and a bit. VERY TIRED. Did I mention that? I am.

Anyway, I got up and fed and petted everyone multiple times…

Then I scanned and cleaned up the drawing for Patreon, printed my electric bill for the solar guy, who’s going to tell me to cut my trees down and we’re not going to be friends then. And then I did this and ate something and showered and I think I still need to take my meds and check my journal for today. I need to prep for the quilt workshop next Saturday (stop on by! City College from 1-3 PM. I’ll be there with fabric and thread and an iron. I should probably get another iron. Yeah?). I need to go return a library book and buy parts for my pool cleaner, plus maybe boxes to ship quilts. Cat food? I might need cat food. Need to do some math for that. Damn math.

You know what I wanna do? Sit on the deck and fucking draw. Yup. Sigh.

Something’s Wrong with This Equation…

I keep forgetting to post pictures of the newest quilt…this is So Cal Mama…the next in my apparent series (without even trying) of Earth Mothers…

She’s 70″ wide…I don’t usually work wider than tall, but she was reclining in my head, so…

What’s funny about that is I was drawing her and then realized I would have to add more paper if her legs were going to be down, and there was a limit to how big I could go and I was afraid it would be too long, so I put her legs up in the air.

Ah, the reality of how I design…Torrey Pines and a whale and a bird. If it weren’t early morning, I might be able to tell you which bird. Definitely a shore bird.

There’s another one. And a deer, mule deer. I do actually look at pictures of real animals sometimes.

That’s definitely a turkey vulture though, and a Joshua tree. I had fun drawing and making this…

She’s entered into a show. If she doesn’t get in, you know me…I’ll enter her into another. She’ll get in somewhere.

Have I already started another one? Hell yes I have. Last night, I finished tracing what little was left on this and then added a few things around the edges…

A bird, a butterfly, a bee, a rocket ship, an alien spaceship…that’s all. The normal things.

And then I numbered it…

I got to somewhere in the 800s…later rather than earlier in the 800s.

I tried to stop myself from adding more details, since it’s already pretty complicated. It’s about 48″ square I think. Something like that. Checking for sure would mean standing up and walking into the other room AND finding a ruler or some other measuring device, and all that seems beyond me at the moment. I’m incredibly exhausted, mentally and physically, and I’m looking forward to a break this weekend. Which has two openings, a meeting with a solar guy, a free pilates class (don’t even ask…just laugh a lot), and ten tons of grading. Oh yeah, and an early rise to take two people to the airport, plus an extra dog. So far, I have not been very successful in the annual three-dog photo.

My dogs know I have treats and are sitting like good boys and girls. My parents’ dog is being a dumbass. She’s about to throw herself on her back and cry like a banshee. That’s why she’s sorta blurry.

Sigh. I never talk to Siri on purpose…I just accidentally trigger her on occasion, so she asked what she could do for me and here’s what happened.

Geez Siri. That’s presumptuous of you.

OK. Blow things up. While tired. Something’s wrong with this equation.

Today I Am a Lemur.

Happy Halloween y’all. Today I am a lemur. Tomorrow I will be a cranky old lady yelling at kids about their candy wrappers, but today I am a lemur.

I did blow off all school things yesterday after 3:40 PM and hiked…

Iron Mountain on Halloween was windy and chilly.

But beautiful. I almost fell twice, but a bush saved me. I don’t move well when I’m tired, and doing labs all day made me tired.

Also my classroom is a total disaster, but that’s what homeroom slaves er students are for.

I came home, cooked food and ate it, and sat around for a bit. Then I stood up, because I am crazy, and I kept tracing the new piece off the crappy photocopy.

I needed the old photocopy to help with some areas. You can see how much bigger (and BETTER) this one will be. I’m adding and changing a few things. Not a lot. My instinct is always to add more details, but this thing is already complicated enough.

There’s most of it…there’s the earth stuff in the background to finish…it was after midnight at that point. Ugh. I’m tired today. It will be fine. I’m giving a quiz and setting fire to things. It’ll be good. Tomorrow I’ll post pictures of the newest quilt.

School. Chiropractor. Hike. Collapse.

The wind is doing freaky things. Hopefully it doesn’t do any of that near any of the California fires…and hopefully there are no new fires. What are the odds of that? Boychild and I are hiking tonight…hopefully there will be no fires there too. I’m exhausted already. Hiking 6 miles will help with that.

At least I’ll sleep well.

Lab day yesterday went pretty well. Some people didn’t read instructions. They had to sit down and watch others do the labs. Hopefully (damn, there’s a lot of that HOPEFULLY crap going around) today will be just as easy. Well…easy…because there was a lot of walking and thinking and trying to manage, but at least my aides showed up and helped out and nobody poured all the water into the sugar container. We’re good! I have low standards. It’s interesting…I don’t put out much of the materials any more because I figure some spacey kid will pour the wrong thing in the wrong place and it won’t work. There were a couple where I was like, um, so why isn’t the vinegar IN THE CUP WITH THE BAKING SODA? Like no reaction can happen if you miss the step where you pour the vinegar in the cup. Laughing my ass off on that one. Oh well. They can talk to someone else about what was supposed to happen there.

Anyway, survival day. They’re all survival days. My voice is shot, my body is tired, my brain can’t handle much. And yet I wrote a makeup quiz last night, so something is working. I create lessons on autopilot.

Today is Crazy Sock day. Again, every day is Crazy Sock day for me. I got this.

The official card for the show that opens Saturday. I’ll be at the opening, which starts at 6 PM.

I did tutoring after school. Then I went and picked up my quilt from the photographer. I did something very intelligent with the flash drive with the photos (can’t find it. I was tired. I’ll find it later.). Then I graded stuff, cooked dinner, graded some more. Kitten helped.

She so didn’t help. She’s totally in the way.

We argued about what was punk and what wasn’t. Good conversation.

Then I started drawing.

So I’m not changing much…but the lines after being enlarged to 500% are really thick and it’s hard to tell what’s happening in some places, so I am redrawing, adding and changing a few things (you can see I changed the umbilical cord where it hits the inside of the uterus, adding a placental area. I also gave that baby eyelashes.), but also clarifying where all the lines are. If you’re trying to trace pieces and the line is a 1/4″ thick, there can be a lot of variance in the overlap. I’d rather not have that.

I didn’t get super far.

And tonight I’ll be lucky to get off the couch after we hike. So there’s that. But it’s progress. It’s all progress.

School. Chiropractor. Hike. Collapse.

This sweet thang will guard the house while I’ll gone.

Nerds Read Instructions.

Today I’m supposed to dress like a nerd. I think I always do that. A discombobulated nerd who often wears blacks that clash with each other. I found my lab coat. That’ll have to do. Today we start two days of labs…where kids have to read instructions. I know this turns into a clusterfuck at some point, depending on my students…the ones who don’t read the part about 2 spoonfuls of sugar, and instead pour 50 ml of water into the entire sugar container. Nah. No need to kill anyone over that. I think. READ FIRST. We always say that. Like a million times. Anyway. Then there’s the kid who resubmitted her essay (which was late, but at least she turned it in, right?) about 5 minutes after I returned it to her with about 17 sentences of comments and a giant rubric, and I can guarantee she didn’t read all that. So they get a point here, a point there…instead of the big win. Ah well. ‘Tis slow progress we’re making this year.

It’s Red Ribbon Week. We start with moustaches (we moustache you not to do drugs). Most of my team…

I actually found it difficult to smile with the moustache on. IDK how they did that. Maybe it’s just me.

Speaking of slow progress, I was sitting there looking at my most recent rejection (it’s OK. I’m good.) and wondering what I was going to work on next. The drawing I did Sunday night is still a good start for a deadline in January, but I also know it’s a stretch, that whoever the juror is, they might not go for this. I’ll do it anyway, but I also realized that I have another deadline where I usually just pull from what I have, but what I have that fits the size and time restrictions is pretty limited. Huh. Well. So there’s a drawing I did back in 2016 for a coloring book my art group did. Well, I don’t know if I originally did it for the coloring book or it just ended up working for that, but I really want it to be a quilt. I enlarged it earlier this year, or even last year, and even numbered it, but then spilled wine on it or something and decided the pieces were too small…it started as a drawing in a 9×12″ sketchbook. Most of my big quilts start in the bigger sketchbook. So the lines get really thick when you enlarge. I had done it up to 300%, but didn’t think that was big enough. So yesterday, I recopied it.

The crazy story of my driving to FedEx Office twice after 9 PM (and WHY) will be my first November video on the Patreon. It’s pretty funny. Or crazy. Not sure which. Just know I fucked up a few times there. As per usual. So the bottom copy is at 250% and the top is at 500% total (the copier only goes to 400%, so I had to do complicated math. Well. For me anyway.).

Yeah, I know I can pay a bunch to have them copy it full size, but I like to mess with it. It’s also way cheaper this way. It actually taped together really well, until I got to one section.

The thing is, I want to redraw it anyway, because it was so small and fussy, and I want to fix some things. Like I said before, some of the lines are really thick.

But I think this is a better size. So I made a big piece to redraw it onto as well and got it on the light box…

That’s tonight’s project. I’m going to add some things in the sky around as well.

Kitten cleaning action…

She loves big pieces of paper. And string.

Calli sleeps hard.

Poor old lady.

Kitten was all over the place.

Anyway, slowly slogging through the grading still. Plus I’m picking up the newest quilt from the photographer today. Entering another show. That’s what I do when rejected…make/enter something new y’all. Now I’m gonna go meditate so I can handle the Not Reading Instructions part. While being a nerd. (Nerds read instructions.)

On Jumbled Sleep…

I’ve had three nights now with jumbled sleep…due to my brain in overdrive, the dog barking, just teeth-grinding discombobulation in general. I need to get control of that. It was a busy working weekend…not a lot of time to sit and relax. I took about an hour at the end of Sunday and drew, but otherwise, I worked for almost 6 hours on grading stuff, trying to get caught up (I’m not), plus I had a bunch of art stuff that had to be delivered here and there, and then an art group meeting, which took a good chunk of Sunday. I still have a huge pile of crap to deal with this week, in terms of prepping for labs, getting supplies, dealing with parents and other adults, and who knows what else. I won’t know until it’s here.

I finished the quilt in time. That’s a plus.

Here’s Saturday, for example…I had a Patreon video that was processing, then I was downloading more files for grading on the essay assignment, plus eating my lunch (late) and reading the book that will automatically go back to the library today, even though I didn’t finish it.

I don’t like to sit there doing nothing. Ever.

At some point while grading, I realized I’d left my computer charger at school…on the way there, a friend’s husband called about the spider plants they were trying to get rid of…so these came home with me.

To my boyfriend’s credit, when I started walking in the house with these, he didn’t even question it…that might have been the cold medicine though. He’s been pretty sick. (She went to get her charger and returned with plants. Totally logical.)

Kitten was my trusty grading companion, mostly not lying on the papers I was looking at, and only whacking me with her tail occasionally.

Fourth from the left is my quilt in the A Better World exhibit at Houston IQF…Bill! Bill! Bill! is about Bill Nye arguing with politicians about climate change.

I may be one of the few art quilters still using a binding, it seems. I like how it gives the piece a border…like a frame would.

More sleepy Kitten…now on my bag.

Eventually she got off it, and I piled a bunch of papers in there. I finished some things, didn’t touch others. Gave up on essay reading when I realized I was super tired and ineffective. I’m only doing the makeup essays now. Some are better. Some aren’t.

I spent about an hour, probably less, drawing this. I have a list of deadlines I’m looking at and trying to decide what I want to do next.

It’s a start. I don’t know how I feel about it for real. I do know I’m still tired. I also know making art makes the stress less annoying. Being stressed for art is one thing. My day job? I’m kinda over it right now. I mean I’m still doing my job and showing up and doing the work…I’m just mentally stepping back from some of the people shit. We’ll see how that really flies.