Hello Art Friday…

Hello Art Friday. I’d like to make you a thing. A regular thing. I used to have Friday Draw on my calendar and then every Friday, at night, I’d pull out my sketchbook and draw for an hour. Ah the days! Then I got buried in school stuff and sometimes I do absolutely nothing on Friday nights because my brain is gone, and sometimes I grade things, because it means I don’t have to do it some other time. I don’t know what the solution this year is, but I want to draw more, but also, school is taking so much time that I can’t do the things I want.

Although I took these two days off for the SAQA thing…yesterday we got to listen to a bunch of inspiring artists talk about their practices: Jane Dunnewold, Paula Kovarik, Betty Busby. Best quote: “When you know what you’re about, no one can take that away from you” (JD). Paula made me want to use more, play more, cut things up more. Betty is just amusing and inspiring as hell. I’m spending the next two days in a workshop with her. Looking forward to it. I got to see lots of other people I hadn’t seen in years, since 2019 or 2015 or whatever. Yes, I also got a new student at school, had to add them to my online class, then to the app they were using in class, and then they pulled my sub, the one that has access to everything, fuckers, seriously, if I set up a specific sub that I trust while I’m gone, then you shouldn’t fuck with that. That shit pisses me off. So who knows. I did set stuff up so hopefully anyone can handle it, but you know how that goes.

I have all my art supplies packed up, I’m wearing an old holey shirt and shorts, I got sunburnt yesterday at lunch, so I have my sunscreen. I even packed a lunch so I could save some money and just buy caffeine and maybe spend more time playing during the 2-hour lunch break rather than waiting in line somewhere for food. I have ideas swirling around my head and it feels really good. So yeah, I’m an introvert (I needed a serious alone-time break yesterday between the talks and the two exhibition receptions). So I went to Liberty Station, walked around, ate…

(it looks better than it tasted, unfortunately) got some caffeine, and then sat in the car, trying to charge my aging phone (it was not happy) and drew for a bit…

Oh, I also graded a week’s worth of homework papers while listening to artists talk, and then stitched the rest of the time, because I am notoriously bad at listening if I am not distracting myself with something in my hands…

Definitely making some progress, but it will still take forever :-). Forever is OK though. For some things. Not traffic…

I don’t usually have to sit in traffic. But I did it for art. And besides, the location where the art is happening is pretty nice…

Cooler too. Always a plus. Autumn my ass. Southern California does Autumn for about a week in late October, and then that’s it. We’re done.

My ex is at a wedding in the UK…check out that building…also check out that family! It’s nice to see them all in a photo together.

Also looks like nice weather.

Last night, I sat on the deck in the dark, talking to the Man, collecting mosquito bites. Thought I was staring at a planet up in the sky. I was…it was Jupiter.

Also my birth constellation. Nice coincidence.

This morning, the sky was pretty. My phone can’t handle the pretty…

Unfortunately…

OK, well, the personal art project is definitely suffering this week, but it’s for a good cause. I don’t expect to get much done on it until maybe Sunday, but we’ll see. I will however be slinging some paint and who knows what else today…looking forward to it. Plus after all the emails from school yesterday, it’s good I wasn’t there I guess. I don’t know. Whatever. Just needed a break. If I take two days a month every month? Yeah, that won’t happen…and it’s too hard to do the prep and after stuff. But definitely to remember that making art helps…and maybe taking a day off to catch up on grading AND make art would be a positive thing. We’ll see. For now, though, it looks like there is less traffic today, so I will be leaving soon. Need more caffeine. I’m certainly failing on the sleep front still.

No Additional Time…

Yo! Busy weekend, mostly cool stuff. Work (day job) takes up too much time, as usual, and too much of my trying-to-sleep-dammit brain. But I got a bunch of fiber and art in there this weekend.

Quiltwise, didn’t get much done…didn’t iron at all on Friday night, and then did an hour or so each Saturday and Sunday nights…so this is part of Saturday…

Did the lower torso that is above the arm…then realized the whole damn thing was too heavy to keep on the ironing board, so pulled another Teflon sheet and started the upper torso on that.

It’ll all fit together at some point. Last night, I continued on the upper torso…

At this point, I have some arms to do. I’m in the 800s, almost done with them, I think. So more than halfway finally. Still a lot to do…another big head, her head, the arms, and some stuff in the background. Not a fast iron.

Friday night was a no-iron night because I went to see the Man’s band play…here he is pretending to be Exene of X.

That’s some neon green there. Pretty exhausting show for both of us, though. Friday nights are hard. I managed to get up and go to my quilt guild meeting the next morning to listen to Sara Trail of Social Justice Sewing Academy talk. Great talk, very inspiring. Put it on my calendar to do another remembrance block when I get a break from school. There are 50 or so here in San Diego County that need to be done, so volunteer! (wherever you are, there are unfortunately people who have been killed for a variety of sketchy reasons who need to be documented and remembered…).

I stitched while she talked…been a while since I worked on this, but I got a chunk done.

Mostly boobs.

On Sunday, I went up to the PHES Gallery to see the opening of FIG’s Portals show.

I need to post all those pictures sometime this week…but it is the first time I saw mine hanging. It’s much bigger than I had originally planned it to be.

Definitely commands attention. I’ll be participating in an artists’ talk on October 2 at 5 PM at the gallery with two other artists.

I drew some things for school…this was the hairy gravestone reject.

They were good until I put the hair on them. Don’t even ask.

I was really excited to see a monarch caterpillar in pre-cocoon mode…

But 12 hours later, it hadn’t done anything new and looked mostly dead. And this morning, it was gone…with three more green tomatoes. I know I have a tomato stealer; apparently they like caterpillars too.

I did find another one on there, so maybe there’s hope.

We have a lot of birds though. So I’m not incredibly hopeful.

So it’s Monday. Y’all know that. It’s a busy week: union meeting AND back-to-school night. Plus all the other stuff. I rewrote the whole 8th-grade month in my head while trying to fall asleep last night. Should really stop doing that, but it’s amazing what my brain is capable of when it should be sleeping. The weather has cooled off a bit, although it’s still muggy. The boychild left this morning for his new CalFire posting; not sure when he’ll be back, because there are crews on fires and his new one may need to do something. So either he’ll be back Wednesday or who-knows-when. I need to get to school and hope a copier is running somewhere.

Appreciate Those…

Isn’t this beautiful?

One of two pros to early morning wakeup in August: beauty in my eyeballs courtesy of the sky, and cooler temperatures, although I already have a fan on me (this room does not cool down until October). Today is the official first day back for teachers. I have a mask (2500 people in one room), two books on my iPad (might be ambitious), my small sketchbook, a Keen bar…no wait, Keen are shoes…a Kind bar. (I am neither this morning, keen or kind…I am kranky.)

I need to leave in about 25 minutes. I need to finish eating breakfast, drinking one cup of tea, prepping another one, take meds, WAKE THE FUCK UP. Yeah. That last one.

I am still proofreading around all this school stuff. I want to be done with it. It’s not hard…I’m just trying to be careful, because the copyeditor was inconsistent as hell. Next time, I will know to say something before now. Ah well. Learning experience.

I have been ironing a bit at night, but this room is still in the high 80s and stuffy as hell. I have one fan that runs below ironing-board height, which is better than nothing, but in reality, it’s just hot in here. On Wednesday night, I managed some water and things in the water…

Only in the 200s, though. Things need to go faster for me to meet my deadline.

Last night, I started into the flesh of the large figure and also one of the big heads in the quilt.

So now I’m in the 300s but also the 500s. Better, but not great.

There are six figures in this quilt…more than usual. So lots of flesh tones so far and not much else. Now that I’ve actually chosen what flesh tones I’m using, it should go a little faster…I’m hoping.

I met my stitching friends last night…finished one of April’s Homegrown (Sue Spargo) blocks, the bottom left. Then started the top one.

Carefully measured quarter inches there (not). I enjoy working on these. I’d take them with me today if I thought I could get away with it, but it’s going to be crowded and I won’t have room to spread out threads and scissors.

Yes, I am constantly thinking about how to be creative in whatever venue I am stuck.

The Man has a show tonight, but it’s at the Music Box, and I have a choice tonight about being stuck in a room with a ton of people…unlike today. I guess my choice could have been calling in sick. But I do always feel, as a union rep, that I need to hear the stuff from the mouths of the people in charge. So I put on my school shirt (sweating through it right now), pack my bag, and drive to where my carpool will pick me up, go to this thing, debate eating in a room with all those people. I will have to eat. And rejoice in coming home to proofreading and ironing tonight in a house with very few people. It’s all I can do.

Hey, it’s the girlchild! Loving a tree.

Cool. Peace out, Summer Break. You were OK. I appreciated the 11 books, 6 seasons of bingewatching Shameless, 1 big quilt done and the start of another, more sleep than usual (but never enough), the owls! (OK, that started before summer), quilting a bed quilt (that still isn’t done), some time for yardwork (also never done), and naps. Did I mention naps?

Yesterday’s quick nap (I set a timer) with Luna after training and before I started proofreading again. Appreciate those.

Finally Felt…

I’ve been copyediting all week; I finished yesterday. I also finally felt like I was on break last night. Finally felt like I might have had a decent amount of sleep (until I stayed up too late last night and was still awakened by the world this morning…although hallelujah, I think the neighbors are done giving swimming lessons to everyone and their mother…BUBBLES! YAY!). Finally felt like everything wasn’t hanging over me. Well, that was temporary. I looked at my to-do list briefly this morning and there are still a million things on it. As always. Finally felt like I could do something besides work.

I finished ironing everything on the current quilt to fabric Wednesday night…just short of 22 hours to pick fabrics for 1100 or so pieces. Not fast at all. Fucking slow as hell.

But here’s part of the why…

171 different fabrics. I’m not sure why, but I needed a ton of different fabrics to make this quilt. Lots of fussy little vignettes in it, I think. Not sure. But that’s a lot of fabrics for only 1100 pieces. I know. I said ‘only’, but I’ve made quilts with lots more. It seems like there are certain things that up the time: lots of little tiny pieces, lots of fabrics, lots of differently colored things going on. Yeah. Well.

I started cutting pieces out a week ago…and then last night, I did about 3 hours of it…

And got really close to done. You can see the bottom of the box there, but there are still a lot of pieces left. At least an hour’s worth…I’ve been trimming for 11 1/2 hours, so that’s not bad. I leave some of the tiny pieces for later. But I’m hoping to be done today with this part, then sorting, and start ironing together this weekend.

I’ve also been trying to finish some stuff from the last three years…just get them done and on Etsy, where they will languish forever because it took too much time to make them so they are too expensive for anyone to buy. Ah well. I cleaned up, ironed, trimmed, and found backings for two of them, found canvases that should be the right size (knock on wood) for two of them to be mounted on, and cut strips for another one, so hopefully I can put it in a hoop.

So I’m hoping to do the sewing for those today and get them closer to done and photographed, so I can put them all in a bag somewhere out of my studio. One of my summer goals is to clean up around the computer in here (it’s my annual summer goal, and I do it every year, and then school happens and things get out of control again)…and these were just lying around, so they’re getting done. I haven’t even started the getting done of things that I’m supposed to be doing for my quilt guild challenge. Borders on the alien bed quilt next, so I can quilt it at my mom’s. Plus two wool quilts that need quilting.

Also need to get this current quilt done and on to the next one, although I can’t keep up with the evil shit the Supreme Court keeps doing, so I need to do a Roe v Wade quilt, a teacher prays but only if they’re Christian quilt, and a climate change quilt. Again. Not to mention LGBTQ rights and anti-female sentiment and and and…sigh.

Kitten has decided that this bag of science books from my co-teacher is her favorite in the whole world…

I’m not sure I will ever get that bag back from her.

Simba says hi…

He’s glad it’s a little cooler today.

And this cat…Nova…really needed my love and attention last night despite my trying to cut things out…

This is why I’m always covered in fur. I stopped and petted her for a while and then she let me cut things again.

Meanwhile, my neighbors are having a tree removed today. Is that better than swim lessons on the other side? Or jackhammering in the back corner? I don’t know. I think I’ll be OK if I turn some sound on…music or Netflix or anything but power tools and small children. Also I think I need to make a cloth cover for the part of the desk in front of my keyboard because my arms don’t like the wood when it’s hot out. IDK why. I’m currently putting two napkins on the desk instead of sticking to the wood all day. Also maybe should walk away from the computer. Copyediting for 7 days straight does this to my brain.

Happy July y’all. It’s officially the only full month I have off from school. So I have jury duty. Yeah. Thanks. I am going to enjoy all the fabric stuff I do today though…in between gardening stuff and maybe a trip to the gym. But lots of fabric.

Just a Little Longer

Hey. It’s the last Monday of the school year. I feel like with just 4 and a bit days left that I might actually survive (actually briefly felt very ill this morning, so hopefully that was some sort of dream remnant). But I’m not positive about that survival shit yet. I’ll get there. But my grades aren’t done yet, so that’s fueling some level of panic. Plus I think I have three meetings today and then IDK how many more because people keep wanting meetings and I just want to crawl into bed, put my pillow over my head, and stay there until July.

Ah well. So in the artmaking realm, I finished cutting out all the Wonder Under on Friday night (a total of 9 hours and 15 minutes) and then sorted it…

Which doesn’t take very long…

Well, just under an hour for this quilt…

And then I realized to start ironing, I would need to clean up all the stuff from the last quilt, so Saturday night, after working most of the day, I made an attempt and got everything piled up by color…

And last night, after working most of the day again, could not muster the energy to go in there and start putting them away. Which is fine. I’m tired. I’m stressed. Cleaning is not one of my go-tos during those times. It will happen. Everything is ready for the next step of the quilt…except for me.

I spent most of the weekend grading. On Friday, I stayed late and graded all the late work and one last assignment for art…

Then Saturday, I started on the last of the science assignments…this was my seat most of the weekend…

Could be worse. Nova sat on the computer at some point and added to one kid’s assignment…

Undo! Undo! I probably graded for about 5 hours on Saturday. Took a break around 5 PM and walked the dog with the boychild, who is here until his dad tests negative or is 10 days out…

It was warm out…

We only did 2 miles. Then back to grading.

My Advisory class is all graded and done.

Luckily they occasionally make me laugh.

Sunday, I spent another 7 hours grading, with breaks in between to fold laundry and go to the grocery store. Ugh. I finished the science stuff and then had to grade the alternative assignments for the kids whose parents opt them out of sex ed. That was some level of torture. First, there are 17 of them (but two didn’t hand anything in, so that’s fun); second, about half didn’t read instructions and/or thought the instructions were “Copy everything from Google.” So I’m frustrated and irritated and need to change that assignment. In my spare time. We spend more time planning the beginning of the year. By the time we get to the end, we are brain dead and can’t deal. Hopefully we can do some backwards planning this year for next year.

Am I done? No, I’m not fucking done. I still need to input final grades and behavior and effort and all that crazy shit. Hopefully I will have a prep period today, because there are three meetings and I want to come home and collapse (after buying cat food).

My quilt guild is doing a UFO finishing challenge, luckily starting in the summer this time instead of in January. Teachers need a chunk of time to finish brainless stuff like this…I put this on my list last year and didn’t finish it. It only needs quilting and a binding. Wouldn’t take long. This is Sue Spargo’s Bird Dance, which I stitched on for years at soccer games.

This one is a new finish on the embroidery…needs to be sandwiched, quilted, and bound, but it’s smaller than the other one…this is Sue Spargo’s Chirp.

I guess you can see what my hobby stitching of choice is. Totally different from what I normally make.

Then in 2008, I started making a quilt for my bed. I know! WTH. I got the top done, minus the borders…

It’s all alien fabrics, super bright. It would make me happy to finish it and put it on my bed. But I need to learn how to use mom’s longarm for this. I could do it on the regular machine, but it would be a pain. I even have the border and backing fabrics, so I just need time. I already called mom, and she’s in. So those three. No worries. Lots of brainless for a while.

Well hopefully I will be done with grades before I get home tonight, and I can just read my book. Because it’s due Thursday and I don’t want to wait until it’s ready for me again to finish it. So I need to read a little faster. Or more. Something. One day at a time. I’ve been one-daying it for about 2 months now. Just a little longer.

Five Days…

There’s a march tomorrow, one I’ve done before. March for Our Lives…about gun violence here in the US. I’m going to be there in spirit, while my body and brain grade stuff for the end of the school year. I watched a tiny bit of the testimony from the Uvalde families…it was the tiniest bit because I was at school and then had to spend all day teaching kids just two years older, and very much alive, and that’s all I could handle.

I have five more days of school, but grades are due Tuesday. I am behind in the teaching sex ed schedule because the behaviors are pretty immature and it takes a lot to deal with block scheduling…it’s too much. So we will get as far as we can. I have 17 kids opted out of sex ed, so their giant projects are due to me today. That’s gonna take a while to grade. All the art projects are due today. So many kids absent for COVID or field trips or camp and somehow they’re all still supposed to finish. AND I have to have stuff for the kids who are done. I’m done, honestly. Very done.

I appreciated meeting with friends last night…when I was dropping the Man off on the PCT, I had almost finished a Sue Spargo quilt I’ve been working on since 2020. I think I’ve been doing the borders for a year (they are complicated and I don’t work on them regularly). I had about 2 3/4 of the last stitch on the last 4 flowers to do, and I could have done it in the car on the way up to Kennedy Meadows, but then mentally I couldn’t. So it’s been sitting around. I was fairly sure last night would be the big finish, which is kinda cool, since they’ve been around (mostly on Zoom for the whole damn thing). And here we are!

All the embroidery is done; I just need to sandwich, quilt, and bind. Minor work…compared to the rest of it. It’s nice to have a finish. My quilt guild is doing the UFO thing again…so I made a list of the unfinished and it was long. I will need to pick a couple to do though. This will probably be one of them.

Speaking of the Man, he made it over Forester Pass yesterday. He’s coming off trail today to pick up his resupply package. I wish him luck. I think he’s feeling better (besides being sore and tired), so that is a plus. I still don’t know when or where I will be able to meet him. His mileage has been pretty low…I’m hoping for the two weeks after school gets out, but it’s looking complicated. As usual.

I am so close to done on cutting out Wonder Under. I did a goodly chunk on Wednesday night…

Had about 3/4 of a yard left to go. But last night, I was home late and only got 30 minutes in (had to finish a book. Crucial. Absolutely. If you’re at 95% and you DON’T finish, what is wrong with you?). So I’m still not done…

There’s probably 30-45 minutes left of cutting, but I picked sleep last night out of pure exhaustion. So tonight I will finish cutting and then sort. Ironing tomorrow? Hopefully.

Meanwhile, there are cat antics. Nova wants to hug geckos…

And Luna has been a psycho in bed.

No sleep for the weary.

OK, my voice is shot even with a microphone. Today is STDs. Always fun. Plus a ton of grading. Hopefully during prep and not just after school. We’ll see. Looking forward to a weekend, even if it is full of grading and inputting crap. There will be some down time.

I Just Want to Be in a Richard Scarry Book

My plan this weekend was to be super efficient and get the quilt binding on (I managed that sort of) and finish all the grading (oh fuck no, didn’t even come close) and just get my life in control in general (ha ha ha ha aha aha hsdfdsf;ah;g). I did come close to finishing my book. I went grocery shopping and did the laundry. I bought dog food so we won’t run out. I had dinner with my parents, especially my mom, because well I would have anyway, it’s been a while, but it was Mother’s Day, so it seemed more important, you know? There’s a lot I didn’t do. And it’s fine, things will get done eventually, but there’s a lot of crazy going on with my car (because I need more massive expenses this year) and the Man (oh my) and school (nothing new there, it’s just a shitty couple of years).

I did finish quilting…

On Friday night, I finished all the outlining and barely started the border stitching.

Then I finished the borders on Saturday afternoon and trimmed it Saturday night…

Then last night, I put the borders and sleeves on; they still need handstitching. I can handle that. And I’ll probably do some inking, plus I think the snake needs handstitched eyeballs. Because they were gonna be too small to do in fabric. So no rush on that. I missed the deadline for this show by a good two weeks. No worries. She’ll go somewhere. The next one is mostly drawn in my head, so that’ll be good.

I did go to my quilt guild meeting and worked on this sashiko scarf for a bit…

It’s gonna take me a million years to finish this. Also, I don’t know how to stitch in even semi-straight lines. It’s just not in my vocabulary. I started with them and then devolved into whatever direction I felt like.

Kind of a metaphor for life.

What else is going on? Besides my car transmission? Damn car has less than 49,000 miles on it. I’m pissed. Sigh.

I planted freesias this year. I really like freesias.

You know who else likes freesias? Bunnies. Why am I feeding the bunnies? Probably so the barn owls in my owl box have food. Cycle of life that starts with my freesias. I think this is the one bloom that they allowed. Everything else chomped. Fuckers. Stupid cute dumb little fluffballs.

Found this in my classroom on Friday.

Usually it’s cockroaches. I kill those. The occasional spider. Depends on the size and location as to whether I kill them. This? I set her free outside on a lovely plant. Hopefully she survived the student incursions.

This was on my driveway. Not moving.

Suspect death. Cheery. Also beautiful. Hope the eggs got laid before this.

Walked the dog on Friday after school.

Boychild set a deadly pace. Both of us spent all day in a classroom, but he has considerably more energy than I do after that.

My Mother’s Day gift from the girlchild.

Apparently it’s named after me, but they spelled it wrong. It’s an air plant, so it will be really hard for me to kill it. Good plan, girlchild.

These two ducks somehow managed to cross four lanes, very slowly, as cars pulled up and avoided them. The male seemed to fall and/or lie down at one point.

They are not long for this world.

This was the man Friday or Saturday morning. Can’t remember which.

He’s been having a really hard time at his job. I’m going to say it’s a people thing. There might be a resolution to it today. Probably. But he needed a break, so he hiked out a few miles and slept away from ‘home’. I’m wishing him luck today. I’ve been wishing him luck every day for a week though.

Fuck me on this. Seriously. Leave the uteri alone.

I have no faith in the Supreme Court right now. No faith in my country. No faith in my government. It’s been such a clusterfuck. It’s continuing to be a clusterfuck.

I would love to do this.

I mean, I don’t need to have a pillow fight. I just want to be in a Richard Scarry book. But a non-sexist one, because he had some issues with that. Sign of the times? Yeah but you don’t have to be that.

OK, survive school (they have to work in groups, so that should be interesting). Do all the things after school. Finish grades. Ugh. That’s the hard part. Finish my book? Probably not tonight. But soon. Sleep again. Because I failed that task last night. Second chance!

Ode to a Shower…

Showers are wonderful y’all. I appreciate them even when they aren’t great. The water is warm, even hot? Check. It’s above me and there’s enough water to do the things? Check. BOOM. I’m in. Yes, I have been showerless for a few days. Bathroomless even, although there was one down the hill. I had a porta-potty nearby. The flies buzzing in close proximity to the gentler parts were a worry, but survivable.

We left Wednesday and went to see Alice Beasley’s 30-year retrospective show at the California Heritage Museum in Santa Monica. No, LA traffic has not changed. It was worth it though to see more of her work in person.

This is Isle of Dreams Revisited.

And the incredibly relevant From Russia with Love…

Definitely worth a drive up. No matter how much the Man complained about LA traffic. If you just accept that there will be traffic, it’s a lot easier to take.

From there, we headed to Ojai and the showerless campground. It was OK…nothing to write home about, but serviceable for our needs. A nice tree, some great views, and these weird tanks.

The view…in one direction…

And the other direction…

The Man has a thing for campfires, but occasionally we’ve had starting issues. Solution? Buy firestarters…

Totally worth it for my sanity. Oh yes, I draw while he fights the wood and the fire.

I started with the mountain ridge line and added the figure.

On Thursday, we picked what we thought would be a reasonable hike. You know how some 5-mile hikes feel longer than others?

Yeah, this was one of those. It was fine. I think we were both tired and hadn’t been exercising much (for me, in the last week…too much school crap and then going to Boston).

Depending on which app you were talking to, it was 5.5 or 5.6 miles with 1400+ feet of gain.

There’s some gain right there. It wasn’t horrible. It just took us a lot longer than we thought it would.

Lots of spring flowers and butterflies…

I came around the corner into a flock of these little blue butterflies.

You’ve heard of slowing down, slow stitching, slow cooking?

We slow hiked.

It’s not a race. Came back, hung out, had a drink to celebrate the end of the hike, stitched a bit, read a lot, took a nap…

Another fire…

Another drawing…shit, that’s what I could be doing while I wait for all these pictures to load…draw!

This morning, we slept in, then fed ourselves and packed up in just 90 minutes. Drove out of Ojai to Paso Robles, where we have an actual shower and stove and bed. OK we had all those things in the campsite except for the shower.

Tonight is art, tomorrow is hiking and some entertainment. Then book it out of here on Easter for Pinnacles National Park (has showers!). I know lots of people wanna know why I don’t hike the PCT with the Man. There are quite a few reasons (my job is one), but also…showers. My goodness, it has taken two hours with the slow internet here to get this written. Time for dinner and then art! Not sure when I’ll be able to write again. We’ll see. Rest assured that I will be reading, stitching, hiking, napping, and photographing…and trying to avoid thinking about school.

Refreshing Brain and Body…

Currently I’m lounging on the girlchild’s couch, listening to her work on some Zoom-like app. I only hear her side, so it’s a partial story. I’m not really fully awake. Although I’ve slept a decent number of hours in the last few days, I’m in Boston, so it’s the wrong time zone, and I think my body knows that.

I made it to the last day of the Gaia exhibit at the New England Quilt Museum; it was awesome to see the show in person after hearing many of the artists talk about their work on Zoom in the early days of the show. I think this started traveling right before COVID hit. Like many shows, it’s been in some places and canceled in others, but it was an honor to be included. I love this picture of me with Luana Rubin, who curated the show.

I flew on a redeye flight because we had a field trip at school on Friday, so I couldn’t take the day off. I dozed on the plane, arriving at 5 AM in Boston. I slept for about 4 hours in the morning and then we drove out to Lowell for Luana’s talk. She asked me to speak about my piece, which is just proof that I can do anything…talk about a piece with no prep and no sleep! Ah well.

I loved seeing this Cas Holmes piece in person…it’s so beautiful.

I was amazingly bad at taking photos there…probably due to massive lack of sleep. There was a bird exhibit too…this piece was by Linda Heatherley…

I really like the separation of spaces and graphic quality of this piece.

After the show, I got more caffeine (necessary) and briefly checked out this cool artsy space in Lowell…

Then back to the room for a nap before dinner. Rally! It’s nice to be here just with the girlchild. When she is in San Diego, there are many pulls on both our time, so I appreciate being the only one with her, even if it’s just a short time.

Sunday, she coached a soccer game and I watched. I spent 13 or so years sitting on soccer fields watching her play, either grading or stitching while I sat.

It’s a little different watching her coach, but not a lot. It was cold out there, but I did stitch…

Last night, we got takeout in my room and watched a movie, and I stitched some more…

These two blocks from March Homegrown (Sue Spargo) are done. I only finished the bottom one here. Not sure why I dragged a finished one across the country.

I also drew on Saturday.

Lots of zendoodly filling-in of space. Brainless.

I leave for the airport in about 90 minutes…gonna read and stitch until then. I get home tonight and tomorrow is shopping and packing for 8 or 9 days of mostly camping and hiking. Expect more nature photos, drawing, and stitching. Looking forward to it, but also, I’m tired. Hope I catch up on sleep at some point. It is Spring Break…not thinking about school is mostly happening. I did briefly grade warmups and I am set up to watch student videos if I feel like it. I might now ever feel like it. And that’s ok. I have 38 days of school left when break is over and there’s a bunch of stressful things coming up too. I need to refresh brain and body for all of that. So. Back to stitching for a while! See you back on the West Coast…

Naps and Books…

Hello Christmas Eve! Full of rain and groceries that haven’t been bought yet. I am frightened of the task before me. First, we need a meat. Any meat I think will do at this point. I admit to having lost all momentum last night on the food front…I’m not really in charge of food. I just pretend I am sometimes. Definitely not when the girlchild is here. I’m leaving in 24 minutes to deal with all the foodstuffs though. WITH her. No way am I doing that alone. Uh uh. Nope. I do have a list…it was a series of post-it notes, but I can’t deal with that in the store. I’d be wandering around for days. So I spent time last night transporting info on post-its to info on my regular printed list, which is organized to match the aisles in the store. Because I haz the left brains AND the right brains y’all. I do both. And I’m not really happy unless I’m doing both. So there’s that. Organize it and then chaos it. AT THE SAME TIME.

I did finish all the stitchdown the other night…

Kitten was useless.

Total stitchdown was 6 1/2 hours…

I find the back fascinating…

I do actually stare at it for a while to find where I didn’t stitch…I had about three things I’d missed. And then, fascinating as it is, it gets tucked away inside the quilt, never to be seen again.

Then last night, after friend Zoom, I cleaned the floors (they were bad), washed the batting, pieced a backing (it was complicated, but I used most of a fabric I had left over…I think there’s like 3″ left of it), and pinbasted the thing.

While listening to the rain. It’s ready for quilting now. Not sure when I’ll get to that. The next few days are kind of busy. Apparently people want to do shit. I’d be OK in a pillow fort with my book, but whatever. I actually took a 2-hour break in the middle of that paragraph to do the shopping. It wasn’t bad, but the girlchild needs to make puff pastry from scratch (no worries there) and I have to make eggnog from scratch (doesn’t look hard, at least). And there’s no basil. Apparently basil is an important holiday spice. I did not know. Oh yeah, closeup of safety pins…

Just to prove I was down on my knees, poking myself in my fingers at 10 PM last night.

What else? Still drawing each night…here’s Wednesday…

And Thursday…

I Zoomed with my stitching group last night…we were supposed to meet in person two weeks ago and it got rained out, but this was a nice thing. Very chill.

Missing Ann in the picture…she’s 2 or 3 hours ahead of us and had to get up early. I’ve been working on the Chirp quilt from Sue Spargo, which she recently published, so I can show it.

There are 24 flowers in the border, 4 of each type. I’ve done 2 types, 8 flowers. This is taking a long time. I wonder if that’s why this year’s “easy” block-of-the-month didn’t have a fancy border? I like it, but it’s time-consuming. Then again, for me it’s more about the process than the product.

Girlchild is enjoying Simba…

I think they like each other.

OK, I have two cards to do, technically my Xmas cards too (but whatever), plus make the eggnog to make the breakfast casserole, then make the breakfast casserole, plus more copyediting, and I really need caffeine, because I’m still not awake. (Just want to read my book…have I said that?). And a family event tonight, two tomorrow, another Sunday probably, and one Monday. Am I grading things? Not at the moment. That will catch up with me though. Got to sew some things up for the girlchild as well. Need a nap. Christmas Eve should involve naps and books and little else. That’s what I think. For my future self maybe.