Finishings

Hey. Wednesday here. I’ve got some warmer weather and a crazy schedule, but I am also halfway through the work week. Plus grades are done (for now), so that’s a relief. The fact that you actually finished them an hour after they were due? Eh. Minor issue. She’s not processing them until this morning. I think. It’ll be fine.

I’m currently (like while I write this) trying to upload two videos and combine them into one for an assignment we’re doing today, so the absent kids and those who need more time will have access. I should have done it last night. I spend a lot of time in the Forest of I Shoulds…and I shouldn’t. So it will either get done, or it will be two videos. It’s still processing, so there’s that. At some point, it’ll be done, and hopefully that will be in the next 20 minutes. Ha! A reminder to always do the stuff the day before. Except when you don’t feel like you can. Then don’t.

I’m trying to finish up some smaller projects before drawing the next one. And then I realized there’s a deadline potentially coming up that I said I’d deal with and now I’m not sure I want to. Whatever. I haven’t decided anything yet.

But I finished the Patreon reward quilt…put a binding on it Monday night…

And then forgot to take a final picture of it. OK. That’s about where I’m at right now. I need to put a label on it and then mail it.

I also finished the Social Justice Sewing Academy block and will be mailing it off as well…

It took me a while to get it done…

When I first requested one, it was summer 2020 and I thought I had time.

It arrived a week before school started. 2021.

Which is fine…I just needed the whole 30 days (plus a few more).

It gets mailed this week too.

When I finished the to-do sewing last night, I was going to grade, but then I decided to do this instead.

Relaxing stuff. Learning how it looks. OK. This is cool.

Exactly.

The parentals’ dog is here.

The cats don’t appreciate her. The dogs are OK with it. She’s excited to be here. Hopefully she’ll only pee on the carpet once (that already happened…I think she was excited).

OK, so I have pilates and book club today, this time for real. So I’m not expecting much to happen on the art front. But you never know. I could get back inspired (and not exhausted). I’ve got 8 minutes for this video to process…and I think it’s gonna be a no-go. Ah well. It is what it is. And I have my booster shot scheduled for Sunday…so my left arm will hurt like a bitch on Monday, but otherwise, I’ll be more protected again. All good. Then on to the next quilt! I sense drawing in my future. THAT is good news.

Up into the Sky…

Good news…got into a show. Womanscape is going to Quilts=Art=Quilts, so you can see it there.

Bad news…one of the shows I was in has canceled due to COVID. OK news…they’re trying to find a new place to travel the exhibit. So what do I do the last two nights? Enter two more shows. Always doing that. But between that, the paperwork part of being an artist, and my day job, I haven’t made it to the sewing machine much. That is frustrating. And today won’t be much better…

I managed a whopping 45 minutes on Monday night and zero minutes last night.

I am up in the sky, which is significantly less complicated than the shit down below (on the quilt and in real life, right?), so it shouldn’t take much time. That said, I have exercise class and book club (in person!) tonight, so the odds of my having any mental or physical energy left when I get home is low. So tomorrow it is. Goals adjust. I want to be done, but I can’t magic that into happening. I have a shit ton of school work to do as well, so that’s not helping. I did come in here, into the studio last night to do some stitching, but then entered a show and did some other paperwork for art, and yes, did a few things for school…

Because I walked/hiked earlier…3.4 miles. I needed it.

Last week I hardly did anything (granted it was hot and that doesn’t help)…walking all day at school doesn’t count. Although it does…just not as much as I’d like.

Hello friend.

It was big. And didn’t stop coming toward me until I said Hi.

Anyway, I didn’t cook either, bless those who live with me, but after I’d finished eating and we were still watching the show of the night (which is from a comic book I actually read…well, the first few anyway…I’d read them again), I needed something to work on, so I pulled out the scarf I started on Sunday in class. I really SHOULD have pulled out the SJSA block and just gotten it done, but I didn’t. I will. I promise. It needs to get done. Lots of things need to get done. Ugh.

Kitten for sizing. So this is going to be covered in stitching, mostly running stitch. I wanted to get the outline in so I could start adding parts, like veins and a heart and fingernails and lungs if I decide to do that. I have no idea what’s going to be going on around her, but it will be cool. Now that there’s an outline, I don’t need to mark things…I think. Makes it easier. OK, maybe need to mark the heart and the eyeball…and the hair? I don’t know…we’ll see. Fun stuff. Great way to use up all the thread I have…except you know it won’t use ALL of it up. This is almost all of one card of perle cotton. I’ve got about a million more.

And at the end, being Californians, we checked the news.

Oh yeah. Good thing. All politicians suck in many ways, but Larry Elder? Fuck me. He would have devastated the schools. All the things that help my kids, my students? Yeah, gone. Dumbassery. For all the talk of Newsom being heavy-handed with the pandemic, I’d rather be here than in Florida. Our numbers are better. Yes, we’d like to solve the homeless problem and make houses more affordable, but that’s not one guy…that shit has been around through Democrats and Republicans and unless we become much more socialist (oooh…bad word) than we are, it’s not changing. Voting one guy out and replacing him with a talk-show host who is an absolute idiot is not how to solve that shit. Let’s remember which party likes to help people more when the next gubernatorial election comes up. Hopefully we’ll have someone on the ticket who has some plans for that. The fewer rich white guys in charge, the better. The fewer totally unqualified, inexperienced, mouthy assholes in charge, also better.

OK, so today is early in, plan like a whirling dervish, work hard all day, be efficient as hell, hope no one co-opts my prep period so I can actually get the 19 contracts completed and off my computer that need to be done apparently by Friday, plus probably fill out at least one more I saw pop up yesterday…plus work out and then hang out (outside) with my book club friends. What book is it? Dunno. I read it…just don’t remember which one it was. Probably it doesn’t matter. Stitch down if I can tonight…I’m so close to done.

Thanks Mom…

OK. There were some successful moments over the weekend. I took my machine in, and he still thinks it’s fixable (if it’s not, there’s a plan…it’s a scary plan, but a plan nonetheless). Meanwhile, I borrowed my mom’s machine, which someone said looks like a spaceship.

It is huge. It has its own suitcase. It weighs a ton. But it works. I had to read 5 bits of the manual about threading and bobbins and free-motion quilting and tension, but it works. Hallelujah. I stitched down Saturday night and Sunday night and can probably finish that tonight (knock on wood).

It’s so lovely not to fight tension for this…there are some fussy bits and adjustments going on, but they are easy to make.

Such a relief. Thanks mom. I’m going to get this thing quilted and done as quick as possible so she can have her machine back.

Although I still have a Patreon reward I’m trying to finish…Friday night, I ironed it together.

I like her. She’s small.

And then on Sunday morning, I got up early and took a Zoom class from Judy Coates Perez for Craft Napa…slow-stitching a scarf…ah, meditation.

I really am appreciating online classes…because I wouldn’t be able to go in person.

Ah yes, I am doing a woman. But all of it will be filled in with stitching. I’m gonna be here a while. But it’s so nice. I’m tempted to bring it to my staff meeting today (it’s two hours), but I suspect that’s not appropriate. Too bad. They say ‘self care’ but I’m not sure how much they mean it. Like ‘self care’ but only if you get all the other things done.

I did work this weekend. I started on Friday afternoon while waiting in line for my COVID test…

Sadly, I can’t remember if I had a positive test in class last week? Or if it was the week before. It’s all a blur. I do know that I have to update many of those 28 contracts for the kids who are out…I did the art contracts last night. I can’t do science until the last assignment is ready…hopefully sometime today? Although I have a kid meeting during my prep and this long staff meeting after school, so IDK when I will make the weekly video, copy the post to 16 contracts, and then email all those families. Because that all needs to happen too.

It’s been hot. I think today it’s going back down, but Friday there was very little to no air conditioning in our classrooms. Fire alarms were going off randomly and they shut the system down, so it was hot and sweaty and loud all day. I’m hoping today is better. I do know the AC wasn’t working yesterday. Ugh. Prepare for sweat!

Sometimes grading is so very hard. She’s a sweet kid…

But I have no clue what she is talking about.

OK, so off to school. Today is an easy teaching day, at least…mostly. The staff meeting sucks. Already. I hate 2-hour meetings. They lose my brain an hour in, if not sooner. Then home, hopefully to exercise, then finish the stitchdown. I should check my batting stash. Pinbaste tomorrow? Then start quilting? I hope. It’s a plan. I like plans. They tend to keep me on track, both mentally and for life in general.

Complicated Fingers

Hey. It’s Wednesday and I’m feeling overwhelmed. I got caught up with some school stuff, which is good, but yesterday, the work day started before 8 AM and ended after 6 PM. Today will be the same. Thursday will start earlier and will have to end earlier, only because I have to be somewhere. And it’s not like I’m getting shit all the way done with all that. The shit I was supposed to do during prep yesterday didn’t happen because we have these new short-term contracts the state wants us to do for kids who are out on pandemic quarantines, and it’s quite a bit of work…not the actual contract. It’s pretty easy, once you have everything set up and all your videos or whatever you’re gonna do made…OK, that actually took most of my prep (also my computer decided it didn’t want to be my friend any more), but then emailing every kid and parent, searching out parent emails, cutting and pasting. I did 11 contracts last night…I probably will have 11 more to do today (I had one I didn’t do last night, because it’s the other subject and so are the other ones I’ll get today)…and it took 90 minutes after school to get it all done. Meanwhile, nothing gets planned or graded for the kids who are actually IN class. I know we have to provide work for everyone, but someone at the district needs to hire someone who can code a program/system/app/I don’t give a fuck what it is but it will go do all the menial shit that’s in the system so I don’t have to…and all the other teachers don’t have to repeat the same work I’m doing. That’s the idiotic part. Politicians pass a law to help kids, but the infrastructure to help the teachers is not in place (what’s new there??? Nothing), and teachers can’t help ALL the kids because they’re helping the kids who will trigger the state to audit our procedures and fine us if we don’t do the things that the state doesn’t give us the money for in order to create the infrastructure. SIGH. A friend asked where all the COVID money went. I DON’T KNOW. Here’s a good place for it. Also, when politicians vote for things, they should be required to sit in my classroom with me until almost 6 PM and HELP ME search out all those parent emails and record videos and set up lessons.

None of that happens. So instead, I am feeling overwhelmed and like I literally got nothing done yesterday that was on my plan…and because I have a union meeting this afternoon, probably today’s prep will be similarly fucked.

Anyway. I can’t say I come home in a great mood…and no exercise because everything ran too late and then I had to cook dinner and I’m pretty sure two phone calls came in and I didn’t answer either of them.

I have renewed my optimism that I will be incredibly efficient during prep today, because I don’t have a prep tomorrow.

I have been ironing. Not much each night, but at least an hour before bed. Monday, though, I managed about 3 hours of ironing. I was really good about getting work done in the morning…so here I am, up in the sky finally.

I’ve decided that I’m the only one who can see the figures…

They are damn subtle. I will pull them out with stitching…

I was hoping to be done Monday, but I had about 50 pieces left, including some complicated fingers and a face that would have to be done separately and then ironed in.

So last night, I finished all that…

With stitching, the face will appear. I can see it.

Hard to get a picture of the whole thing until I get it on a background…which will be tonight, hopefully. Iron it down, clean the space up a bit, and start stitching down.

My Social Justice Sewing Academy block is closer to done…just a little more embellishment.

The back is fascinating.

Kitten keeps trying to lie on it.

She follows me around when I get home, trying to figure out how to get close to me. Not ON me…just close.

Shit. Which reminds me, she needs her meds. Gonna go do that, then brush my teeth and get out of here. I promised a kid a folder up front at the office by 8 AM, and that’s not too long from now. I think I’m fucked on that deadline…hopefully dad will come later. Wish me luck for the day, that it’s productive and less frustrating than yesterday.

Not Hard. Just Time.

Hello Friday! It seems like it was just Tuesday. I guess that’s a good thing. I have a ton of stuff to get done today, on Friday, and hopefully that will actually happen so I don’t have to do all of it in the middle of the night. I’m supposed to deliver 7 quilts tomorrow to a gallery…awesome thing that! Opening is this coming Thursday.

Good thing I’m reminding myself of that, because I thought I had another week. All seven quilts need to be ironed and dehaired and readied for exhibit. Luckily they are smaller and not particularly wrinkled, but it needs to happen before tomorrow afternoon. So there’s that. I think one needs a label and slats too. Not hard. Just time.

That’s the mantra right now. Plants need watering. Not hard. Just time. I really need to draw a stethoscope for this Social Justice Sewing Academy block. Not hard. Just time…plus getting the cat off the bag it’s in. That’s harder. She has sharp pointy bits. School…need a doc done, some posts done, papers copied, grading warmups and some other stuff. Not hard. Just time.

As far as the art stuff is going, really what I need is energy. I did a little stitching after dinner on Wednesday night on the SJSA block (got it out from under the cat for once)…

Then I managed to iron down all the fabrics for the Patreon reward piece…

It took about an hour and a half. I borrowed some fabrics from the one I just finished cutting out and then added more. It’s actually mostly blue in area…I think it’ll be cool. We’ll see though. I need to cut those pieces out. I was going to do that last night, but mostly I laid down on the couch and tried to keep my eyes open while the man talked. Then I went to bed.

Why? Usually I can do the things. Yeah no. I was at school early, then stayed late to plan science…trying to do it all in one day is hard. I’ll get used to it again, but it’s hard. We can’t get everything done and we don’t have the same prep periods, so I just don’t have the rhythm of it yet. I’ll get there. Maybe on Week 3? Maybe by then we’ll be shut down. So many kids out on quarantine or pandemic concerns (they have symptoms but haven’t been tested or if they were tested, parents didn’t tell the school the results…so they’re just out for 10 days)…trying to keep track of those and my head. Ha! Then after all that, I drove 45 minutes to the California Center for the Arts for the closing reception of the Allied Craftsmen show Crafting Memories

There’s my piece. Hopefully I’ll be back here in January with California Fibers and more pieces. I did meet people and pretended to network. Not really. They all came and talked to me and that was OK. Then I Zoomed with my stitching group on the way home, picked up a burger, came home, ate it, and collapsed.

Not my best moment. Today will be better. Today I will do ALL the things and finish them all and then go get tested for COVID because I’m just gonna do that every week or two to make sure I’m not infecting the world…and then clean up and pack up all those quilts and maybe cut some things out or maybe go watch the man’s band (outside…I think this is probably outside of my exhaustion level). And sleep. Because I have to be up early for the annual boob squeeze. Do it! Breast cancer doesn’t care that there’s a pandemic or that I’m exhausted.

Damn zebrafish. Yeah. Going to school now. Doing all the things. Caffeine is also my friend today.

Nice of You to Show Up…

Hey Friday. Nice of you to show up. Appreciate it. I’m back to that world where I look forward to maybe sleeping in on Saturday morning (dependent on neighbor noise and animal incursions). I do already have stuff to grade. Ugh. How did that happen? Oh yeah. My own fault. I’m still trying to get my head around this crazy schedule we have. Mondays and Fridays are normally all the classes, but Monday is shorter. Tuesday through Thursday rotate through blocks of four classes a day, so some days I will have four different things I’m teaching and some days, I will only have two. Today I have three different classes and no prep period (because today is not a normal Friday because we started on Tuesday, don’t even ask, I honestly have a headache about that), so that sounds exhausting. I needed to pee after two classes (they’re LONG) yesterday…three in a row today might be an issue. Certainly, having art at the end of the day with 6th graders is difficult…that’s three days a week. I’m just tired from science teaching and then have to switch gears, from science brain to art brain. Art brain is like, what? I’m tired. Leave me alone.

But it’s nice being back in person (when I don’t think too hard about COVID exposure)…because we can do the things!

Ah science and art in person. What a concept.

Prepping for art is different too…it’s hard to know what they can do in person because I taught it all online last year. So lots of decisionmaking going on in my poor tired brain.

That said, the first week back is almost in the books, and (knock on wood) no one has been sent home yet. It’s a miracle, considering the number of kids who can’t keep a mask over their noses or mouths…

Artmaking has been OK this week, despite the tiredness. My goal is an hour a night, and last night, I managed two plus (because I was in a Zoom meeting for part of it). I’m still cutting things out…this is Wednesday, with Simba’s help…

I also did some embroidery on the Social Justice Sewing Academy block…still just getting everything attached.

My plan is some decorative embroidery in the letters, but I need to do a stethoscope too. Need to mark that this weekend.

Last night, I had a Zoom quilt meeting and cut out the Wonder Under for the one Patreon reward I have left.

So I can iron that to fabric this weekend. And then I cut a bunch…

Both on Zoom and later…

The middle box is getting emptier; the bottom box is getting more full. I watched some news…still trying to get my head around Afghanistan. I feel like I’ve spent 20 years trying to get my head around the Taliban and people like it. I have classrooms full of kids who fled regimes like that. I’m OK with that…they’re hopefully better off here, although sometimes I wonder.

Kitten shows a side view…

Yeah, there’s still a lot of pieces in that box. It probably won’t get done tonight…but hopefully this weekend, I’ll get them cut and sorted, and be ready to iron together next week…more standing after all day of standing. Well, it’s better than too much sitting, I’ll tell you that. Ironically, I still need more exercise at the end of the day; maybe today will be a walk. Tomorrow will definitely be a hike. Plus art. Plus grading. Plus IDK exactly what I’m teaching next week for art. I should figure that out. Plus I have a million posts to put together for classes…hopefully can get those done in class today. I’d like to keep weekends clear of work. I know it won’t happen, but I’m trying. Ha!

OK, off to work. Mornings are hard, y’all.

How Did I Do This Before?

Well. That was the first day back with kids. Bam. I’m officially exhausted for the next 10 months. I walked over 15,000 steps on the first day, compared to about 3,000 when I was teaching on Zoom. So my body needs to get used to that again…not sure that’s a bad thing. Interacting in person is strange and somewhat difficult, although I will get used to masks and my glasses and not being able to talk loud enough and hot flashes in a warm classroom because the AC is on but the door is open. Yeah. All that. Sure. Plus the tech changes. Amusingly, our district emailed us last night that the science curriculum (all online) will be available ‘soon’. Not on the first day of school (it’s OK; we don’t really like most of it and/or use most of it). I didn’t even have my kids touch computers yesterday…today for Advisory only. Tomorrow, just for research for pictures. Maybe next week for an actual assignment. I had enough computer stuff last year to last me a long time.

Going back to school is always an energy suck. A brain suck as well, apparently. I don’t remember how to do anything. I even asked one class how to explain an instruction better to make sure I got the results I needed…because I obviously wasn’t! They were very nice and suggested some things. The pro of middle-school kids is their desire to help. Most of them. I stayed late last night to get ready for today…luckily, my first block day is relatively easy. Only one subject and a nice long prep period in between the first class and the last two. Hopefully I will use that prep wisely…as in, get my act together with art class, because yesterday I ran out of stuff and took them for a walk instead. Like puppies. We were all tired. It was legit.

Before I had any kids in there…this might be the neatest it ever is (and you can’t see the counters…I still have some chaos to control).

My team is very cool…our shirts confirm it…

“like a regular team only cooler”…

Ironically, it was muggy as heck yesterday. OK, not really, for those who live in truly muggy areas, but for dry, desert areas, this was ugh. And having to put on shoes and pants was hard. I didn’t wear shoes for 18 months.

We tried to do an after-school photo, and this is all we got.

Still smiling? Probably in shock.

Yeah. This.

Such a waste of money for these. The man never comes to our school and sees the kids. He just sends this. Dude. Send food. Or money. More useful.

Meanwhile, I’m still cutting stuff out, although not much…I think this was Monday night…

And Tuesday night, after another 56 minutes (can you tell? I’m not sure I can)…

I know I’m more than halfway, but there’s still a lot of pieces in there.

I’m also working on the Social Justice Sewing Academy block…

I finally marked the letters she wanted embroidered (had to find the right marking implements) and got some of it done after dinner. There are ‘does-not-equal’ signs going in between the words, in case you can’t see the incredibly light marks. (They are incredibly light.)

Seen on our walk on Monday…

It’s hard to get good flight pictures sometimes, especially with a phone camera. Beautiful bird.

This is the girlchild, amazing kid, but also…that’s the dress I fixed.

I appreciate the boots. Evidence that she is my child.

I saw this and was sort of horrified, and then realized it was satire (it was the ‘asshole’ comment that clued me in).

Some local music venues are now requiring vaccination cards or recent COVID tests (yes!). Teachers will need both. I taught yesterday and felt OK, until a co-teacher said something about not taking her mask off even when the kids weren’t in there, because their air was still in there. Fuck. I didn’t even think of that. Yes, I’m vaccinated. The odds of my getting so sick that I have an issue are very low…but I teach a bunch of unvaccinated kids…because they can’t be yet. Some have major health issues. Some have family members at home that have issues. I don’t want to be the cause of anyone else’s illness. And we have staff who are not vaccinated. So much anxiety over all these pieces.

Anyway. Today we do a lab! Yay! I missed labs. They are exhausting and a pain but a real joy to watch and experience the kids doing the things. We’ll see how it goes. And then I have pilates (have to remember all my gear…how did I do this before? It’s been 18 months since I lived like this) and book club and then I will just collapse. We’re back!

Finally Color!

Well the studio is straightened. It’s not clean. It’s really never clean like most people think of clean. There’s just too much stuff in there for it ever to be clean. Most summers I do try to straighten up more than the ‘between-quilt’ straightening, where I just put fabric away and sometimes sweep the floor. I didn’t do that this summer. There’s still papers everywhere (sigh) and general chaos on the floor. It’s just overwhelming to deal with all of it. I’ve got some electrical and sprinkler issues I’m trying to get done before school starts. Those are my priorities. That and a chiropractor. I haven’t been since March 2020. Ugh. But I did put all the fabric away, got most of the cat fur off the blue drawer she’s been sleeping in all summer, cleared off the white table, and swept the floor. So it’s ready for the next quilt.

I finished cutting everything out by cutting all day Monday…I started with the 3 hours of training videos we have to do for school…

So I got through those, and then had a little bit left to cut out (and yes, I still know all the things about pest management, sexual harassment, mandated reporter, and bloodborne pathogens…the trainings don’t change a lot every year)…so I started watching all the Quilt National Artist videos. I got through 16 out of 55.

Cutting everything out took 10 1/2 hours. Then I sorted for another 45 minutes…

They’re in boxes by the 100s…

It makes it easier for me to find things. I lay out 100 pieces at a time and iron those to fabrics…although I say that, and last night, I was already bouncing between the first 100 and the second 100 pieces to find the ones I needed. Because this quilt is nuts…

Overlapping this and that which has to be a different color but only a little different. I hope it looks OK when it’s done. We’ll see.

I didn’t get very far last night…mostly I was cleaning. But it’s a step in the right direction. Remember, I need to be done (hopefully) ironing to fabric by next Tuesday. Actually Monday, so I can pull all the stuff out of the closet. Yikes. That sounds challenging, looking at my week. Sigh. Well. I will have to be more productive in the heat than I have been.

I drew for my Patreon…will be scanning it this morning and getting it posted.

It’s the last Patreon drawing I’m doing. You can still sign up, but it’s reward free! I had a request for a way to just subscribe and not expect anything, so I’ll try to set that up and close down the other tiers.

A bug was on the drawing and I tried to shoo it away and killed it by accident. So it smeared itself across the drawing.

Bugs just suck.

I put a couple things on Etsy the other day, these two hoops…

I have other things that need to go on there…these small pieces just need hanging hoops on them…

And better pictures…these are really dark…

Also, I got into some shows…Earth Matters at the Watermark Art Center in Bemidji, Minnesota, from September 3-October 30. This is Damaging Earth’s Fabric

And then one of my older pieces got into SAQA’s Intersect Chicago booth, which will be open November 4-7. This is Part-Time Oasis

All good news. I had a run of rejections, which is always frustrating. But that seems to happen and then I get into things, and it’s all good. So hopefully that will continue. I will be putting the three newest pieces into the gallery next, and then maybe remembering to update the exhibitions sections. Yeah. I should do that. Uh huh.

OK, I’ve still got errands today, but hoping to do a chunk of ironing as well. It’s still hot here, and the studio has not been getting any breeze. Ugh. This is the time of year when I consider moving the ironing stages into the swimming pool, although the combination of electric iron and water is probably not a good thing. Sigh. Not gonna think about school for a while. Although there are things that need planning. I’m just not ready for them. At some point that won’t matter, but for today, I’m going to try to ignore them and iron away!

Never Ready

This is my last full week of Summer Break. We go back next week. Never ready. I’m not ready to teach…our site hasn’t even picked a schedule yet for next year. We get that Friday. We can’t plan without a schedule, although I’m guessing which one I think will pass the vote (shorter periods…all the others are over 106 minutes per class, which is just crazy cuckoo). I’m not ready to be in an enclosed space with multiple people for a long period of time. I haven’t done that AT ALL in 18 months or so. Well, except the gym. But even that’s not all day. Doors open, windows open. I’ll get used to it. The block schedule also screws up my blood sugar until I get a routine going. Four hours with no bathroom and no food break…welcome to our world. Last year was easier…I could get to the bathroom in my house in a really short period of time. Not so much at school. Plus getting kids out of the classroom on Zoom is a single button click, which is much easier than in real life. Then thinking about art supply storage and how to move materials between science and art classes. That’s complicated.

Adjustments to life are gonna happen. I’m hoping that planning is easier than last year. Certainly my co-teacher and I can do the same things again, and I don’t have to make everything digital access. I think. With quarantines still happening, the district hasn’t really told us their solution for how to get those kids curriculum. I think they believe the science curriculum is an easy digital source, but it’s not. So much supplementation and creation of assignments had to happen last year. We’ll see how that rolls, but local schools have quarantined kids on the third day of school, so it’s not like we can wait a while to figure that plan out.

That said, this week is NOT school. I do need to think about some of it, but hopefully more art time than school time will be happening. I have an electrician coming next Tuesday to do a bunch of things I’ve put off for months, nay, years in some cases. One of them may involve attic access, which is in my office/studio. In the closet. Which is filled with fabric. To get access, I have to remove half the fabric and one of the shelves so they can even get up there. So that needs to happen before next Tuesday. I’m currently trimming Wonder Under. The next step is to iron all the Wonder Under to fabric. It would be much easier to have everything done and ironed before the electrician comes. See? Now I have a deadline. It’s totally arbitrary and I could adjust, but this is the one I’m following right now.

I started cutting out on Friday during the Quilt National talk, and then finished a second yard that night…then cut another yard out on Saturday night…

It doesn’t look much different. Sunday’s yard was one of the most complicated ones. It had all the trees in it, so fussy pointy pieces.

So that’s what four yards of trimmed Wonder Under looks like. I have two to go. Today. I have a talk I’m listening to this morning, and hopefully can start cutting the easier yard; then I’m going to try to get the other yard done before nighttime, so I can sort tonight and maybe clean the studio today as well. We’ll see how that goes. It’s been hot, and that often sucks energy away from doing the things. But I have a plan and that helps. I’ve been cutting for about 7 1/2 hours so far, but some yards are more time-intensive than others. I’m assuming 3-4 hours of cutting today.

The girlchild was home for about 10 days, but working every day. As always, she brings home clothes that need fixing. This one was a bit of a pain…needed darts and had a lining and all that.

But it turned out well. I hope. The others were slightly less time-consuming. Certainly she should learn how to hem her pants when she rips out the hems. She left last night on a red-eye for home…

Boston at 3:30 AM our time. Yes, I was awake. I don’t know why.

I volunteered again for the Social Justice Sewing Academy embroidery, and got this block on Friday…

I volunteered in June 2020, so it took a while to get to me…there are some embroidery suggestions provided by the artist as well. So I’ll get started on that once I have all the Wonder Under cut out. Emily Lang made this block, and says “My block is about Ableism, how society seems to attach value and love only to health, thinness, and ability.”

I also got the Olga Norris quilt finally. Her husband was kind enough to mail it to me from the UK, and we watched it wander all over the US before it got to me.

It’s beautiful work…I need to decide where (and how) to hang it. I have a couple of pieces that need homes on the walls.

We walked on Friday, not too far, just a couple of miles. Still aiming for flat.

It was hot and muggy. Walking is hard in this weather.

Calli is hanging in there. She still wants to chew on pinecones that she drops in the pool.

She needs a little help with it. But it’s hot, so the pool is probably good for her.

So I have a plan that might get thrown by the weather, but hopefully it will work. I won’t think about school. I lie. We have three hours of training videos (bloodborne pathogens, pest management, sexual harassment, mandated reporter, etc.) that have to be done before the end of September. I always try to get them done before school starts. I’ve done the three shorter ones so far today. I can do them while doing other things, luckily. Annoying to do them every year, but whatever. Looks like I need to go down to Visions Art Museum too and see the exhibits there. I’ll add that to the list…along with fixing the sprinklers. Maybe I’ll think about making a syllabus after that…surely that won’t take long. Ha! Art. Make the art.

Fading Into the Landscape

Well I missed blogging yesterday. Not sure why. It was a Monday. Mondays mess with my mind even when I’m not even sure that it IS Monday. Blogging schedule is sort of half-assed right now. I slept like crap last night too…heat? sore? brain on fire? Not sure. I’m currently sitting through another 2-hour diabetes webinar. The last one was mostly unhelpful…all stuff I knew. This one might help more, but honestly, it’s more a pathway to the nurses so I don’t have to make appointments to talk to them that take three or more weeks to get. Frustrating process. All this because my numbers don’t make sense. Ah well. At least I am doing something about it.

So I’m tired…this is when the to-do list helps. I can just look at it and pick the things my brain can handle. Later, I’m going to the gym…it’s air-conditioned and I can read for part of it. I’m still on Summer break for a few more weeks. I need a routine I guess.

So Saturday, we went to a local art show. It was OK. Nothing really reached out and slapped me hard, so there’s that, but we also did some walking in the area.

Not a ton…

then stopped to hang out for a while…

We wanted to sit in the sculpture garden, but there was a private event, so no go. Damn those private events.

And then we tried a new restaurant for dinner.

Trying to find a routine for Saturdays again. The man can’t hike, but I can. This makes stuff complicated.

I have to admit to having two days of feeling tired and braindead, maybe a reaction to being out of town?

I did finish all the stitchdown on the May Homegrown Sue Spargo blocks…

I just keep doing these. They are brainless. Because I finished all those other quilts, I need to start something new, and while I’m getting to the brain state that allows that, it’s easier to just stitch stuff down like this. I also traced all the pieces for the June blocks, so today I’ll iron them to fabrics and keep doing the simple stuff.

Although eventually, Sunday night, I managed to cut a big piece of paper and process something that’s been in my head for a few months. Usually I draw in the sketchbook and then enlarge it, but for some, it’s just easier to start at full size on a big piece of paper.

I did start with a pencil sketch this time, just to put things in the right place. For the hiking man, I used a couple of photos I took while he was hiking away from me.

Inking is the next step. Last night, I couldn’t get my head into the next part of the drawing. It might not have helped that Nova was sitting on it.

But eventually she left and everyone left the room and I started to draw out what I had sketched.

I spend a lot of time staring at the drawing, at the blank spaces, during this stage. What’s weird about the drawing stage is that everything has the same weight…it’s just black lines and no color, so in just looking at the drawing, you can’t see what’s in my head. That’s where the female figure is fading into the landscape…in my head. That won’t show up for y’all until I start ironing it to fabrics. So yeah, the figure will fade into the background. Hopefully. If I manage the color well. It’s all colored in my head. Sort of.

Luna has been having some paranoia issues…

Not even sure what she’s staring at.

Kitten just wants to be close to us.

Lots of pets. Lots of squawking. We left for 2 1/2 days. How dare we.

I finally went back to the bird quilt…I got the borders on months ago with all the flowers, but I hadn’t done the embellishment. I finally started last night.

It was just overwhelming at the time. I needed something simpler. There are I think four of every flower, for a total of 24 of the damn things. It’s gonna be a while before I finish this thing, but my stitching group is starting to meet in person again, so this is a good one to take with me to that. Am I nervous about meeting in person? Yeah, a little. My friends are vaccinated, but we meet in a Barnes & Noble and I haven’t spent much time sitting inside anywhere. I figure I can stay masked if I feel weird about it. And maybe I’ll finish this thing.

This reminded me of the few years we had of flat-earthers in class…

Amusing. There’s always some wacky science misconceptions we deal with in class. Well, wacky makes it sound like something that doesn’t really matter, but since a lot of what kids come into class with comes from (1) family or (2) the internet, and we’re trying to teach them to think critically, it’s probably more important that we teach thinking skills than anything else. Maybe if we start every unit with all the misconception memes for that content that we can find…like a pretest? It’s an idea.

OK. Well if I’ve gotten anything from this webinar, it’s that I need to start tracking everything again and maybe even more than I was. I had to drop some balls during COVID teaching, and the diet app lost out to the meditation app. It’s time to go back. Teachers do their reflection over the summer and so we often set annual goals then instead of that New Year’s resolution in January. Back to monitoring…that’s mine. For now. Might be more resolutions later. I’m debating not tutoring this year. It drives me nuts. I’ll probably cave on this one though. Best for kids and all.

Otherwise, today is about doing some yardwork, cleaning the girlchild’s room (because she’s showing up tonight and probably wants clean bedding and maybe my shit off her bed), working on that drawing, and I don’t remember what else. Finish reading my book. School is coming for me. I can feel it. OK, the constant emails and texts from the district and the union are not helping my vacation mind frame, but some exercise will hopefully help with that. When it’s hot, that’s hard. I just need to get off my ass and do it. That’s true for everything, yeah? Get off the ass and do it.