The Missing Hand…

Yeah. I skipped a day of writing. I don’t know what day it was though, so that’s OK. Been watching NYC weather this pandemic shit and it’s scary. Sending good thoughts to the whole city and everywhere else it looks like that. Certainly, many of us are questioning any sore throat or dry cough or now, digestive issue (dammit, stop eating beans then!), wondering Was that it? Is this the start of it? I think here in San Diego, we haven’t really gotten the full brunt of the virus yet. Give it two weeks. With that, I’m leaving in a few minutes to go distribute lunches to my kids. We’re down to only two people at a time, so we can socially distance.

Tuesday, we walked the dogs…we’re gonna do it again today. My parents are up to twice a day with theirs, which would be fine by me, but the old lady dog can’t do it. She wants to, but it’s too much for her.

We have places we can walk locally…this is just out the front door and sort of through a neighbor’s yard, although they’ve never complained…but now the house has sold, so who knows. We just go quickly and quietly.

There are no actual grapevines here any more.

But I still like the signs.

Mostly empty. We didn’t see any people.

And a lot of plant material. It’s pretty green this year…we’re over 13 inches of rain, which is a lot for us. There’s more coming tonight apparently. But then I think we might be done for a while. It’s cold and windy today…next week, we’re supposed to hit the high 80s. It will be harder to keep people inside.

I got an email today from an exhibit I usually enter, warning us that there are just a few more days to the deadline. It’s weird thinking about future art shows when it seems like the world is about to burn down in a plague. But I guess that’s hope for the future…hope that the venue will still be viable, hope that we will still be able to have art shows. Hope that we’ll all still be here to send work and hang work and see work.

Here was Tuesday’s drawing. I didn’t draw yesterday. I did other stuff.

Maybe I will draw today. So Tuesday night, the man went to bed early, because he’s working these awful long shifts that basically leave time to sleep and eat and little else, so I finished the lettuces on the last of the October Folk Tails blocks.

Although this was the 2015 block of the month, I didn’t start working on it until March of 2016…so I’ve officially been working on it (on and off) for four years. Yeah. You read that right. A lot of times, I just worked on it once a month at my stitching meeting, and then last year, because I was doing the embroidery patterns, I barely worked on it at all.

Anyway, as I finished that grasshopper block (well, it’s missing a road and flowers), I realized it was time to stitch all of it together. Holy moley. I had some larger bits sewn together, but pinned some more parts…

Sewed them until I had two long strips…

There’s still plenty to do…that hen has no feet, for example.

I feel like I’m going to have to go back through all the instructions to fill in everything I’m missing. Plus it needs ten tons of grass sewn everywhere…

And the road needs to be continued down through the bottom three rows…

I stopped there, because I realized I needed to sew over onto the other blocks and they weren’t sewn together yet. Plus apparently a hut is supposed to go there. Uh huh. Barely fits.

And there’s a spare monkey too.

So there’s still plenty to work on. It’ll be another year. Plus borders! But it was exciting to get it to this stage.

Girlchild is still cooking up a storm…and posting artistic photos.

The result of that photo was cheddar scallion English muffin bread. Very good.

So yesterday, I did quilt for a while…although the machine was being cranky…

As always…

Luna was being a pain…kept trying to hide in the quilt and climb everything in the studio while I was on a video call with stitchy friends…

Trying to get the light right, so the computer has to be in a specific place. Interesting commentary for how I’m going to do this when we start for school. There are a limited number of places that are lit right, have seating, and stay quiet even when people are here. And there are a few people here. Four adults take up room. I’m lucky to have a variety of spaces for people to hang out in.

And cats. Cats can hang out too.

While I was on that call, I cleaned up the huge pile of papers and crap on my desk. Well. I cleaned up most of it. I’m not sure what to do with the other part of it.

Wait for another day. Although the word from on high is that I need to start grading things. All right. I’ll do that.

Then last night, I wanted to start the second one of the Applique Stories blocks…Anna Maria Horner sends 8 fabrics and no instructions basically, and then you make a block out of them. Of course, most people make this flowery bouquet-type things, and I make naked women. But I like this…the one on the right is from January’s fabrics and then on the left, you can see what she sent for March.

I picked the backgrounds…which was hard in itself, let me tell you. Trying to find a color that won’t overwhelm the given fabrics, or clash with them either…it’s difficult. The blocks are about 19×20″, a totally random size that I can’t explain. They could be finished together, but it probably makes more sense to finish them separately. I’m not fusing anything…just cutting pieces and then stitching them in place…and then doing some embroidery. Slow work.

That one fabric just damn well set itself up to be breasts…seriously. How could I NOT?

These are a challenge. I would never put these together. I like a challenge.

I wouldn’t even BUY half these fabrics. That’s what I love about this. Really. It’s fun.

I probably did this for 2 or 3 hours last night…walked away, walked back…added a bird. No starting drawing.

No nothing. No more fabrics than those 8. Honestly, those 8 are the challenge.

She was off balance, so I added the hand…here they both are…oh wait, the hand is still missing.

Must have added that later. Oh well. I can keep adding if I want. Tonight I have a Zoom stitching meeting, and my plan is to stitch stuff down during the meeting. The actual stitch down is easier to do while it’s flat, rather than trying to hoop it. The pieces are really only held in place by a few pins.

Anyway. So that was the last two days. I’m coping. I’m not sick (yet?), but question every cough and sore throat tickle. I know people who are sick. I hope everyone is OK. I know the world will be a different place when this is done. I’m sad about that…like all of you. And sitting and waiting is not my superpower…I’m glad I have the art to keep my brain occupied. Maybe tomorrow I’ll show you the missing hand…but I’m thinking she needs fingernails first…

In That We Flail…

So this is kind of like summer break for teachers, in that we flail and don’t know what to do next, but also not, because I can’t run all the errands I don’t run during the school year. Or go to the gym more. I did ‘work out’ this morning, best I could with three cats judging me. And trying to sniff me. And getting in the way in general. The world is weird. We’re all negotiating it from different places.

Saturday, I watched/listened to more of the SAQA virtual conference. It was interesting. I stitched during some of it…still working on the Folk Tails Block of the Month from Sue Spargo, 2015. I’m close to the stage where I can sew all of it together…

Which will be interesting. It’s why I was working on some different blocks, because although I’ve dragged this one around on at least three different camping trips, it’s getting too big for that. So I was prepping others for our Spring Break trip, which is now officially and sadly canceled. We might camp out in the front yard, but it won’t be the same. The man and I watched the CNN Pandemic show on Saturday night…probably not the cheeriest stuff at the moment, but we were interested…and I almost finished these two blocks, minus the road, grass, and flowers, which can’t be done until I sew the whole thing together and find the instructions for how to do the flowers…

I think I just have two lettuces to stitch in the vegetable garden. Then October is done and ready to stitch to everything else. I need to add a hut somewhere and a monkey somewhere else, and then IDK what else. It’s nowhere near ACTUALLY done…trust me.

Have you seen Kitten’s eyes? This is the look she gets when I’m convinced she’s staring at ghosts, because when I turn around to see what she’s looking at…

There’s never anything there.

I did a little stitch down after that…just an hour or so. Listened to a podcast about anxiety in a pandemic.

I should meditate more. Exercise more. Yeah, I know.

I’ve had a hard time with #marchmeetthemaker and #igquiltfest lately, but Saturday’s word for one was Change. Well. I do all the things. It feels chaotic and changey right now.

Change can be good or bad. Or both. This one just feels…changey.

Sunday morning dawned sunny-ish and I took myself out onto the deck and drew.

During Winter Break, I did a drawing a day. It’s possible that’s a good thing right now. Although the table needed cleaning (I did it later).

I even recorded some of this for my Patreon folks.

I also recorded video of my reading one chapter of the book that my co-teacher and I are reading to our kids. For those who are actually paying attention. She says there are 4 of them. Well. That’s interesting. I’m wondering if we go to online education on April 20, which seems likely, how many kids will actually show up.

I need to record the next one soon. Well. Before Thursday. I should be able to do that. I’m…not very booked up right now. I also set up my calendar for the new week. It’s mostly empty.

I’m still not grading things until I know if this trimester is going to count.

Sigh. This quilt…I got the catalog for Opposites Attract, which is supposed to open in Australia next month…at the moment, it won’t open in April…but it will eventually. Which is all we can hope for.

I have another quilt UPS is trying to deliver to a venue, shipped before the venue closed. They’re still going to hang the show, but they don’t know if the public will ever see it in person. OK. That’s what we’ve got right now. I said before that I’m lucky I’m not dependent on art income for survival. For now, my teacher salary is intact, so deep breaths. I know people in dire straits, but our household will survive for now.

#marchmeetthemaker yesterday was Tools and Materials…always starting with a sketchbook and pens, then Wonder Under (didn’t make the photo) and fabric, plus scissors and thread and a sewing machine. My gloves…

Seriously need washing…a different view…

You’ll be glad to know I finally got them in the wash today. Yay! They’re nice and clean now.

More stitch down last night…in fact, I finished.

Four hours and 40 minutes total to stitch it all down. Right now, I’m washing batting so I can pinbaste it. Hopefully before dinner.

A view of the back, to be hidden inside for eternity.

This is what kept me up until 1 AM.

Today has been relatively quiet. The man is working 13-hour shifts for three days, and then he’s off for four. He was up early. I wasn’t. By the way, this is the best cat toy ever. There’s one hole we cut in the top, plus the two you can see. They’ve played with this for weeks now.

I can’t even finish a book at the moment. Sad but true. I have a list of things to do, but my brain is fighting it.

This is the stash of glass from boychild digging planting holes in the backyard…it’s like a dump, about a foot or two deep. Old glass mostly…

Weird. We used to be the trash dump?

I sold a quilt on Etsy. Oh hey, I’m on Etsy…the link is in the sidebar. Not that there’s much on there any more…but one of the cat quilts sold, so I took myself and two wipes to the post office, wiped down the self-serve machine, and shipped that baby. I saw two people.

Ah yes, made bean soup. This is my lunch this week…with the additional of bread things.

Girlchild added an egg on top. She’s creative that way. Sounds good though. Beans taste good.

OK, so the day is more than half done. I have batting washing…then I’ll pinbaste. Ready to quilt. I want to draw again today. I’m tired. I think we’ll try to walk the dogs tomorrow. Or at least me. Because that’s two days inside, no, three, and I’m going a little bonkers. Maybe not so quietly. Music helps. I feel bad for canceling on my chiropractor…she’s a good person, trying to stay afloat, I’m sure, but I’m feeling like we’re quarantining mostly here…with girlchild having been on a plane. Maybe it’s pointless because the man is going to work…I just don’t know. It’s hard to know where to draw the line. I don’t want to get her sick if I’m exposed; then she really can’t work. I did go to the store yesterday, but I did my best to stay away from people. It’s hard when they don’t move sometimes. I talked to my neighbors on Friday from about 20 feet away. The pool guy showed up this morning and knocked on the door…it’s a new guy, and he wouldn’t back up. Aargh! People! More people I know are quarantining because of fevers and other symptoms. Stay healthy. Stay hydrated. Stay sane, whatever that looks like. Stay calm, as much as you can.

My Brain Needed Somewhere Else to Land…

Happy V Day to all! I want to say, well, except the assholes, but maybe they need a Happy V Day and that’s why they’re assholes. Now you see how I can teach middle school, although I already know (a) I didn’t get enough sleep because I got sidetracked by making things and (b) I’m missing one SECA today. So it’ll be a challenge, but I think I can do it. It’s not like I have a choice. But here are two examples of my day job. First, it’s the only place I can think of where the words “Then don’t smell the scissors” might come out of my mouth. Followed by this…

SIGH. I only have one period left of these to sit through. And there were some very good ones that restored my faith in humanity. And learning. And schools. And children. This was not one of them. This is what happens when you copy a bunch of shit off the internet that you don’t really understand and then you try to read it and instead of figuring out how to pronounce all the words you copied, you start each word nice and loud and then you are whispering at the end because you don’t have a clue how to say it. WIScon(si…).

I will hopefully be done with these tonight, and that will just leave a bunch of smaller things to grade and a pile of makeups, which will be even bigger by next Friday. Oh. Also an assessment they’re doing today. Shit. OK. Well. Hmmm. This weekend is a clusterfuck already. I guess it will be more of one.

This is why I stayed up way too late last night. My brain needed somewhere else to land or it would never fall asleep.

I did hang out with my stitching group last night, including one member who rarely shows up and another who had moved away for 13 years and came back. THIRTEEN YEARS. Wow. And we’re still meeting. That’s cool. I think I’ve been in this group since I was pregnant with the girlchild, and she’s 22 1/2 now. So that’s a thing. I got to work on Folk Tails, my Sue Spargo Block-of-the-Month from 2015 that might never ever get done…

The cheetah is almost done…but there’s some wiggy flowers that go in the block next. Then I might sew this to the larger bit? Or do I have to finish the other two October blocks to do that? I might. It’s not a fast quilt when you only work on it one night a month and then you didn’t do even that for most of 2019. It might travel to the National Parks with me in April…or it might be too big for that. Hmmm. Hard to say. We’ll see.

Then I came home and graded stuff, one more class of the projects. It was after 11 when I finished. But no way was I going to bed without something. The really lucky bit of going to my stitching meeting was my knowledgeable bookmaking friend, who gave me multiple solutions for how to connect the two pieces I’ve been working on. She was very helpful. So now I have to decide how to do it. Easy? Medium hard? Really hard? Sorta hard but kinda creative? We’ll see. I didn’t do that last night, though. More brain power than I had. Instead I meditatively stitched shit down…

Still working on just getting it all attached so I can take it off the cutting matt and do some more decorative stuff…although I guess I did a little on those leaves. Most of it is stitched down now, which is good, because something good should come of staying up too late. I just kept stitching, thinking “just one more” and then I looked at the time and went “oh shit, no more” and went to bed.

It’ll be fine. It’s Friday. It’s Valentine’s Day (makes middle-school kids crazy). It’s the day before another 3-day weekend. And we’re giving them an assessment that’s HARD. Well, unless you’ve been listening, in which case, it’s pretty damn easy. Gonna go buy a donut reward for the class that earned them, so at least one group of kids won’t totally hate me. Wait. The line at the donut store today might be hellacious. Sigh. We’ll see. I’ll do a driveby.

See Where That Goes…

Hey y’all. Two days of silence. Well, only here. The rest of my existence has been loud. I just didn’t have time to write in the last two days. But today, I am back to school, and this is part of my morning wakeup routine. I’m really not awake until after 9 AM, which is difficult, because I usually have students at 9. And they require interaction…energy I usually don’t have at 9 AM. Hence writing, which gets the word part of my brain in gear, plus also makes me reflect on the day and what I might need or want to get done.

Needs and wants are often very different, of course. I want to go back to sleep, because oh hells that was a shitty night’s sleep and I’m mostly braindead…but no, I get to sit through a few hours (or more) of meetings and professional development, which is pretty much the bane of my existence. I mean, I guess another colonoscopy would be worse, but I don’t need another one of those for like 10 years, so that’s a plus. These damn things come every week (although not the all-day version, which has its own special level of suckage). It is what it is. My day job pays the bills and is generally not boring and I even enjoy the teaching/kid parts (well, mostly), although not when I realize two of my top students were copying off each other. I’m disappointed in that.

I’m also sort of reeling still about finding out Saturday that my cousin Jennifer died. She was a sweet and quietly sarcastic woman and although she had been sick for a while, we all had hope that things would turn around. I did see her in October, but had plans to do that again…too late. So I’m sort of walking around in a daze with that one…trying to put something that makes sense in that hole in my head where she resided.

Saturday I was in Palm Springs for a class taught by Svetlana Shigroff…who I follow on Instagram. I’m not sure how I found her…Instagram has its algorithms…”you like this so your friends like that”. I had seen her work and then a video of her making the work, and I was fascinated by the process and the product. I feel like I should follow those urges to learn new things, so when I saw she had a class coming up (I actually missed the first one in November, couldn’t go then), I signed up. Yes, it’s a 2-hour drive. Each way. It was Winter Break. I felt like I could handle that.

And I could…the class was tufting, which is kind of like rug hooking…here’s the setup…

You can see the weird tool we used on the frame.

You work from the back…

It took me a while to get the loops regular and consistent…

This is still from the back. You can use a variety of fabrics, but I stuck to jersey because for me, it was more about the image than the texture.

There were about 13 people in class. I’m pretty sure I knew one of them from somewhere (odds of that)?

Still from the back. Definitely some new muscles using this beast.

I got as much done as I could…

Here’s the whole class with their pieces…

I’m famous! Nah. But if you want to follow the artist on Instagram, you can…

You can see I didn’t sit for this…

And she had a better picture of the group than I did.

I made it home by 5:30 and settled down for some cheery Chernobyl and brainless stitching.

The next day, I had an opening up at the beach…so you need to see the water…yeah?

I have two pieces in this show with Allied Craftsmen at the Front Porch Gallery in Carlsbad, California. This is my work, Desert Daughter, in front of Arline Fisch’s cool metalwork.

And my snarky self with Some Like It Hot…which meant I got to explain menopause to two college students.

Home to kitten activity…and getting ready for school.

Sometimes they stop moving. On me.

Finally started drawing again…this thing will be done soon, with or without Luna’s help…

It’s coming. All good. Meanwhile, school is back in the schedule. I can be irritated by the lack of work I got done over break, but there’s no need or purpose for that. I am trying to process Jennifer’s absence. I have a lot of grading that’s still not done. I can’t fix all that. I can just start now and see where it all goes.

The Good Meditative Stuff.

It’s my first day of nine days off of school. There’s about 40 hours of grading in there, but let’s ignore that for now, eh? Honestly, all I really want to do at the moment is avoid human interactions. People. Anything needy. Well, except for kittens. Kittens are needy but fun, so I’ll deal with them. And I can deal with a few people. OK, maybe one. At a time. But not before 9 AM. So far today, I’ve done a pilates class (actually talked to three different humans. Maybe four. No, five. But most of it was short and sweet. Take my package. I had knee surgery. My name is Kathy.). I need to go sign all my paperwork for the loan to put solar in. That’s exciting. I will probably need to speak to one person for that. I need to buy milk. No need for speech, y’all. There should be an introvert line at the grocery store. No Need to Ask Me If I Found Everything OK. Seriously. Don’t speak. Yes, there’s self-service in some of the stores, but I’m aware of that taking away people’s jobs, so although I personally prefer the self checkout, sigh. Please just don’t make them talk to me.

After signing papers, I have hours of alone time with my grading and my ironing. Gonna do both. Might have to talk to people tonight. Or not. Maybe not. I just don’t know. I’m OK with not.

So I finished Figure 2 last night…and all the bits in and around her. I’m ready for Figure 3 this afternoon.

Then Figure 4 on Sunday, start cutting out. Be done by Tuesday? Night? Then start ironing together. I’d really like it all ironed together by the time I go to Lake Arrowhead on Friday. Sigh. Then I can draw the next one while I’m in Arrowhead. Get it ready. Because time…it flies. Erratically, yes, but flies.

My right eyelid is still twitching from last week. And people. People are making it twitch.

Sometimes I’m OK with people. I worked on this on Thursday night at my stitching meeting…started the lion…

And finished the tree…

This is Sue Spargo’s Folk Tails 2015 Block of the Month. Yeah. I’m slow. This is September’s blocks. I’m getting closer to done. There were three people there. They were fine.

You’re always getting closer to done if you keep working.

I spent some time with kittens and my book this morning…my toes are fascinating.

Then again, everything is fascinating when you are a kitten.

They love to play…

It’s hard to get good pictures because they are always moving. We are still mulling over names. This is hard.

How do we climb the curtains?

Devious little beasties.

They met Simba. There was fear and confusion all around. A little bit of hissing…

Hopefully they will all get along.

OK, off to the bank. Then back here to grade and iron. It sounds nice, doesn’t it? Well, minus the grading, but let’s just understand that it has to happen. I’ll fit in the good meditative stuff around it. Make that eye twitch go away.

It Either Will, or It Won’t…

It’s been a rough week. Yesterday…had ups and downs…ups that remind you of how it can be. We did the cover page for Unit 2. We kinda know each other now, more than before. The kids drew, and I rolled my chair around to work with every table, stealing a colored pencil everywhere I went. I started up front, with the kids who don’t do anything or are off task or just plain don’t understand, but I made sure to make it to the back tables too. They’re all seated by their homework grades at the minute. It means some days I want to kill the front tables, but then I look back, and there they are, all the kids who work their butts off, working their butts off, staring up at me. Yeah. I’m good. And honestly, checking in with some of the knuckleheads was good too. I still have this one boy’s look in my head. For the warmup, I stole something from my co-teacher…”I wish my teacher knew…” and he had written about how nervous he is all the time. And he’s this big adult-looking kid who’s always either half asleep or something, and he’s got this sad look on his face, and now I worry even more, because how do I fix that? I don’t. I work with it. Aargh.

One way I know this year has been a rough start is that I never finished coloring my Unit 1 cover page. I’ve never NOT finished. Ever. So I was gonna finish Unit 2…and I did.

OK. There were a million other things I could have been doing in the classroom, but honestly, sitting with the kids and coloring with them was the best thing…both for me and for the group and for the individual kids. It was good. Plus in 8th period, this kid is showing me his drawing from across the room, and I’m trying to figure out WTF it is and I think it’s toes, and I’m trying to figure out what toes has to do with chemical reactions, and he’s a super needy kid and has this look on his face and I just lost it. Laughing so hard I’m crying. It’s OK, he didn’t mind, and I gave him a side hug and said thanks for the laugh, you might pick up some extra credit off that. My god it was awful. Still chortling on that one.

Satchemo is still with us, but he won’t eat. The hardest part of owning pets is knowing when they’re done…when there’s nothing else we can do.

Especially when there’s no warning.

I spent some time with my stitching friends last night…I took something easy and brainless to work on. It’s what I needed.

This is Sue Spargo’s Folk Tails block-of-the-month from 2015. It’s the third quilt of hers I’ve done. They are a nice filler for me. I don’t have to create anything or think about it. I just follow someone else’s instructions and do it and it’s relaxing and not stressful. I haven’t gotten much done on this all year because of all the embroidery patterns, so it’s nice to get back to it. It’s slow. But that’s OK.

I came back from stitching, entered a show, made food for the opening tonight…oh yeah, there’s an opening tonight in Liberty Station. I’ll be exhausted, but I’ll be there. And I have an opening tomorrow too. It’s going to be an interesting few days. So many things to do…so little time. Tonight is What She Said…Artists Speak Out, in Liberty Station, located behind the Solare restaurant, the Martha Pace Swift Gallery, from 5-8 PM. I have two quilts in that. And then tomorrow is the Mingei/Allied Craftsmen show Metamorphosis at City College Art Gallery. I have one big quilt in that. The Mingei is under construction at the moment, so they’re doing stuff in other places.

Then I sat and cut for an hour and a half. It doesn’t look like much…the pile on the left is done.

The stuff on the right still needs to be cut out. I honestly don’t know when I’ll be doing that. The man has a show Saturday night. I have a hundred things to grade. Well. Technically, way more than that due to the shitload of students I have. Woo! Love it. Ugh. Seriously, this weekend hurts to think about. Openings are cool, but when I’m stressed like this and just want to get work done, it’s hard to do what feels like wasting time. I’m considering taking a chair and stuff to cut out tonight. It’ll be fine. I’ll be fine. I’ll be sleeping in on Sunday. Trying not to think about the cat or the workload or how it will all get done. It either will or it won’t.

Making Up a Title…

Well here’s an interesting commentary on recycling and the current government…my fees went up because we can’t send stuff to China (I’m actually OK with not sending it out of the US…it’s one of the things I think should stay here so we can stop shoving it under the carpet), but my trash company won’t even take all our recycling because they’re missing the machinery to actually recycle it, so there’s that, and what are they actually doing with the extra money and recycling? There’s no information about that at all…just we have to offset these expenses that we aren’t going to explain to you. I’m still trying to figure out how the current government helps me financially (it doesn’t), but I’d really like to solve the recycling issue here in this country. That would be nice.

It was a busy weekend. That’s why I didn’t write either day. I bought background fabrics the previous weekend but didn’t get that far until Saturday…I ended up picking the second one from the top.

I just leave this stack here and pick from it for background or backing.

Friday night, I finished cutting out the Wonder Under and then sorted it…

It didn’t take long…

This was Saturday morning, trying to organize my brain.

Sunday morning looked similar, but I think there was a different cat, plus a different page in the journal. It’s cleaner at the moment. It won’t stay that way.

One of Saturday’s jobs was to sort all this and put it away.

If I don’t clean the studio in between each quilt, I can’t think straight. Sorted by color for easy storage.

I was video messaging a friend by now who moved away…here’s my set up for the newest quilt.

It’s harder to concentrate on picking fabrics when I’m talking to someone. I’m really slow.

But I got some done.

Saturday night, we went to the Adams Avenue Street Fair, hung out, watched some bands, mostly Buck-O-Nine, which was fun except for all the dumb rude people.

Yeah that.

Late night gecko encounter…

Kitten was excited.

Sunday was a million more things to do, including a pile of grading and seating charts…finally stitched a bit with dinner…

Haven’t worked on this for ages. It’s very meditative.

But I needed to do actual art…so I ironed for a while…

I haven’t gotten very far…most of the 0-100s box and some of the 100s box. Need to figure out the rest of the ocean…

Sleepy puppy waiting for me to pet him…

Or for the boychild to let him in. Boychild broke his toe, so he won’t be hiking with me this week. I’ll survive. But it sucks for him.

OK, off to work. I’ve got shit to do this morning. As always.

Everything Takes a Lot Longer…

I had two weekday mornings to sleep in, and now I’m up early again. Ah school. Yes. I’m coming. Apparently parking will be an issue, so I’m debating getting a Lyft…what are the odds that they can find my house? Hmmm. Who knows.

I remember this about summer…everything takes a lot longer than you think it will. Here’s the pluses: I have everything I need to fix the sink area. I also learned how to use a tile saw. I hate saws. They scare the crap out of me. I’m pretty convinced I’m going to cut off my hand every time I use one. But I did it anyway. Progress! Home Depot twice in one day! Now that’s summer. Some day I’ll find the money, time, and energy to do the carpet in the rest of the house…that’ll be a crazy summer. Or remodel the kitchen! Need a lottery ticket on that one.

Anyway, I did manage some artsy stuff as well. I think I spent close to 5 hours writing a blogpost about the art and poetry exhibit one of my art groups, Feminist Image Group (FIG), had back in December. Precisely why did I take so long to even start it? Because I knew it would take a long time. You can read it here. There’s finding all the photos and resizing them and finding all the titles and artist names, but then also checking for permissions on the poems and then copying, reformatting, and in some cases retyping those. But it’s posted! Now I can move on to the more recent show. I also posted a quick thing to the other art group whose blog I manage, California Fibers. We had our website professionally redone and I’ve never used Squarespace before. It seemed fairly straightforward. All that stuff takes time. I do it because it matters; it makes those groups better.

My next mental task (despite the work I’ll be doing today) is to figure out what I can do for the refugee problem here in the US…with kids being locked up with no essentials for days, weeks, months on end. I don’t have a lot of spare money. I might have airline miles. I feel like being in San Diego, close to the border, there must be something else I can do besides Paypal. But I don’t know what it is. I can’t even formulate a drawing in my head…and drawings don’t save kids’ lives. Or adults for that matter. It’s true I didn’t vote for this president…and the people who are in office who I did vote for, they are pretty vocal. They need to be more so. Sometime today I’m going to figure out how I can contact those people and do so. In between smart-designing middle schools. Or whatever I’m doing today. The NPR news report I heard yesterday about the conditions in the facilities where they are holding children was disgusting. This is not the America I want to live in. There is no excuse for this. No wishy washy lawyer language that makes it OK.

With that in my heart this morning, I’ll be off to work to figure out how to teach kids. Refugees some of them.

I did some sewing stuff yesterday…I just realized that I missed the leaves on the bottom right. Duh.

That baobab fruit was in the way.

I traced this and it’s in my bag for the conference. I don’t like down time. I may not even pull it out, but at least I’ll have it. And a sketchbook.

Sitting for long periods of time sucks. Hopefully it will not be a lot of that. I need action. Not sitting.

I ironed for a little bit in the afternoon…

And then after dinner…all those fabrics for one succulent.

I had to stare at the drawing for a long time before I decided on hair color. Here’s everything I’ve ironed so far and a chaotic pile of all the fabrics.

I like to clean up before I start the next day…

It helps me see everything. I honestly don’t have much left…some clouds and rain, and the eyeballs. I think that’s about it. A rainbow. So I could easily be done tonight and starting on the trimming of the pieces.

My cold is still here, but barely. Hopefully tonight or tomorrow I’ll have the energy to walk the dogs. I need to start exercising. I’m feeling blah. Heavy. Tired! Still. OK. Work, then political crap, then art. Or all three will merge. We’ll see.

Too Many Threads; Not Enough Knots

Sheesh. What a morning. I’m efficient, but not efficient enough. Too many threads; not enough knots. What am I getting done? Some things. I filled a bunch of cracks in my driveway yesterday so they can seal it in a few weeks. I need to fill more, but need more sealant to do that (note: trip to Home Depot). The right eyelid is twitching again. It comes and goes. I’m trying to get enough sleep. I did better last night. I think that’s because the cold is getting better. Hard to sleep when you can’t breathe. I don’t know how many nights of 8 hours of sleep I will need to feel human again though…probably more than I can get in the next week. I will have to be up early tomorrow and Thursday, unfortunately.

Hey local SAQA members! We’re getting the group going again. I will be hopefully putting together a monthly meeting in the La Mesa/El Cajon area too…I want to meet once a month to just hang out and stitch stuff, and show what you’ve been working on. Nothing stressful or worklike. Just fun and hanging out. That’s my goal anyway.

What else did I do yesterday? I got a new chiropractor…my neck is still sore, but I think that’s my fault. Phone and computer and all. I spent a lot of time setting up stuff for a new blogpost for one of my art groups. It takes forever to find all the photos, resize them, find all the names of the artists and the artwork, and in this case, write names of poems etc. Some misunderstanding about Fair Use Laws…but I’m still working on that post. I have two more to do for that group and then I’m going to try to do the other group’s blog as well. Sometimes I hate all the stuff I take on for other groups, but I also know it benefits me in the long run. So I do it.

Sometimes it takes me a long time to get it done though. There just aren’t enough hours in the day for everything. This was my post-dinner, still-watching-American-Gods stitching…

Working on the tree. Nothing fancy here. I’m just doing this until I get my act together to start the next embroidery pattern sample. I picked threads and mocked this up…now I just need to transfer it to the fabric.

I’m doing this on a white fabric. I do love the black, but it’s a pain to transfer the pattern onto, and this one is complicated. I’ll transfer it later today and start embroidering hopefully tonight. I just realized I have no mock colors on the nipples, so I’ll have to figure that out. The pen colors aren’t particularly accurate either, but they’ll do to remind me of what I was thinking. I would do it differently if I could use more than 5 colors. I would use about 20 or so!

Kitten was blocking my access to the pink fabrics last night…

Speaking of colors! I was going to keep this quilt all in the muted range, and then my brain said, heck noes, you needz all the colors. So I went a little bright in her chest area.

It’ll be fine. There’s a lot of green and brown in this. Not sure what I’m going to do with her hair yet. That’s another large portion of the quilt.

OK, well I have plenty to do now…mostly filling in poems and sending emails and hoping people respond and then renting a tile saw and trying to figure out how to use it. Minor detail. I might even finish ironing sometime soon. Well. It’s taking me a long time. So maybe not today, but still soon. Ish.

What Kind of Heart Doesn’t Look Back*

First of all, I would like to thank that hyper little guy RB who was sitting in the front of my classroom playing Uno and coughing all over the desk (I even moved away from him) for the oogy feeling in the back of my throat right now. Ah yes, the gift that keeps on giving…a student cold. Woo hoo! Thank you thank you. C’mon immune system…I fed you avocado and bok choy…do your thing! I know I’m still tired and running low, but you can’t make me be sick on top of all of that. I need recovery time…not something else from which to recover. Sigh. Head down on desk. Go take your vitamin C. Again.

So things are happening around here. Cleaning (a little) happened. My office got straightened up so I could iron in here. The kitchen table is slowly appearing. This space…this space, I have not touched. At all.

Really, I could just blame the cat. But it wasn’t her fault. I’m not sure how to organize some of the stuff over there. That’s part of the problem. I think I need to buy two frames and maybe some matboard. And some organizers (NOOO…I hear my son yelling that there is no need to buy MORE things. I should just throw some out. I did do some of that yesterday too.). Whatever. I am a messy person, but a mostly organized messy person. My studio is a prime example. Of course, I would love to have a studio two or three times this size, but I’ve seen the genetics, and my mom’s studio looks just like mine. Except bigger. With more organizers.

I am considering boxing up the crazy quilt stuff and opening up that space…but it’s largely inaccessible space…so that doesn’t necessarily help. I’ll think about it. Certainly the blues, greens, purples, and whites have expanded beyond the bins I have. This was my straightening up before the new quilt…found a place for the completed embroideries, put all the fabric away from the last quilt, swept the floor…

Now I’m ready to iron. I didn’t actually do any of that until around 10 PM.

We spent 2 hours at the vet…ugh…Simba needs his teeth cleaned and Calli has some huge lumps that need handling.

We’ll be back on July 1 for those things. Fun stuff.

After dinner, we (I) had finally decided to get STARZ so we could watch American Gods. And I love it. Totally worth it. After eating, I finished the house on the first September Folk Tails block, which has been sitting around for months.

I think I’m taking this with me to all the design conferences I have this summer…I can’t sit and listen to people talk for hours. Then again, the one next week has 3 hours a day of Improv. Um. OK. My social niceties will be challenged. I guess it’s a good thing I’m there, for the introvert insight. Like you’re killing your introverts with all your plans! You need to give them the space to learn and create in a comfortable way too. I think people forget that when they plan shit. Unless they are one.

So after all that and whatever else I was putzing around doing (I exercised), I laid out the first 100 Wonder Under pieces…picked a background (I always have a few)…you can see it in the back there.

And starting picking fabrics. Ah bliss…

Here’s where the stress relief is…right here. This is what I’ve been waiting for…

Dirt and rocks…

Yeah. That’s good. Strangely, the quilt my Patreon community picked has those red rocks of the desert that we spent all of Spring Break driving and hiking around, but this drawing is a couple of years old. I had Earth Daughter and wanted to do some different versions of it, and this is the next one, Desert Daughter. Next up? Body parts and cactus. All good. This won’t take long. Then I should draw Ocean or Mountain Daughter? Maybe.

Today is not the day it will happen though. I’m fully booked, I think. Maybe tonight? We’ll see. I might just collapse.

Speaking of the Patreon, I just posted a video on there of me ironing a tiny face. It’s the second video of the month, so almost all my patrons will be able to see it…for only $2 a month, you can see me ironing the most tiny eyeballs ever. The next video is already edited…it’s me drawing…which is kind of cool to watch, I think. That will release the first week of July or so. Next up I need to do my June drawing for the Patreon…looking forward to that in the next week.

*Sara Bareilles, Breathe Again