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…

I Guess I’m on Vacation…

Wow. So it’s a surreal world today, isn’t it? My principal announced in the last five minutes of 2nd period yesterday that school would be out for the next 5 weeks (the last 2 weeks are our Spring Break anyway) and the crowd went wild. Literally. Like wild animals. Fun stuff. By the end of the day, each class was down 7-10 kids, which made it much easier to teach. Some kids cried, some whined, some were planning trips to venues that will most definitely close down in the next few days. The teachers were torn…on the one hand, this last week was really difficult and the 3-week stretch to Spring Break seemed endless. On the other hand, holy crap, had to get my classroom ready for deep cleaning before I left, post a video of the lab 1/3 of my students missed, make sure I had everything I needed out of the classroom, fill a big bag with stuff to grade, and then start processing it all last night. My kids who need the free breakfasts and lunches every day. The kids on suicide watch. The kids who prefer to be with their friends. How to come back after 5 weeks and get them back into the middle of a unit. How to behave for the next 5 weeks. I’m pretty good at self-isolation in general, but I do run errands and go to the gym and all that. How crazy do we get? Hard to know. Weird shit.

OK. Well. First of all, I have two shows that are essentially closed down, one for three weeks. That’s the Southwestern show. I think they reopen April 5. The library show is open today and tomorrow, and then the libraries close Monday until April 6. So I’m going to try to see it today. At some point, I have to ship two pieces out of here…but I think I have a week or two to deal with that. My head is whirling between what I SHOULD do, and what I CAN do, and what I NEED to do. My Spring Break is usually pretty straightforward: spend a day or two getting the errands done and then drive away from San Diego with a bunch of camping equipment. I have three weeks until we hit that, and who knows what will be happening then. So I can spend three weeks grading stuff, exercising, and making art. Sleeping in. Peeing when I want to. Trying not to worry.

This is the show at Southwestern College, which should be open after their Spring Break…you can see my two pieces on each side of the sculptures…

Looks good. Wish I could see it in person…but I will hopefully be traveling. To campgrounds. With a lot of cleaning supplies.

Ah, who knows what is happening in three weeks.

I’ll try to take pictures at the library today.

I was so bamboozled last night that I just sat on the couch, petted animals, and downloaded books from the library.

Eventually I came in the office and processed the video I needed to put together for my students. I stayed late at school yesterday and recorded all the pieces.

At one point, I was sandwiched between a warm and purring Luna…

And a warm and not-purring Simba…

Which helped enough to get my brain where it needed to be to come into the safe place…

Where the iron (and Kitten) was. I ironed and talked to my SIL (who is in Seattle, a week of self-isolation ahead of us, but with 3 kids cooped up with her). My niece, a senior in high school, has dropped her first official song on the world, on Spotify and iTunes…check her out.

My favorite part is when she sings about how she’s not dramatic. But dramatically. There’s also a great video of her and her mom dancing to the song while my brother reads. Which is about how it always is.

We all find ways to entertain ourselves. Boychild and I have a hike planned for Monday. Or walking the dogs. Same deal. It’s the only day with no rain.

I got all the 300s ironed together…I think it’s time to start ironing the flesh together.

I also woke up at like 2 AM with an entire drawing in my head. So there’s that. Tonight maybe?

Calli. You are a goofball. OK, well, again, wash your hands, stay safe, whatever that looks like for you. Stop buying all the toilet paper and rice. There are other healthier grains out there, people. I’m going to go shower now and venture to the post office and then hopefully to the library show. I don’t know what’s happening beyond that. Can’t process it. I guess I’m on vacation.

As Are We All…

It’s hard not to start today with the REM song It’s the End of the World in your head, even though it’s not. The world continues whether we get tested or get sick or die or not. These are stressful times. I know that if I’d made the time to make art last night, that would have been good, but I couldn’t get my head there. That’s the same head that kept me up until after midnight and woke me up at 5:15 (or was that the rain?). It’s an anxious head, so I do what I can to mellow its ass out. I should have meditated. Ironically, most of the stress is coming from school and kids who are reacting to the rain and Daylight Savings (being tired) and probably also to their parents’ stress over coronavirus and probably their jobs and the same stuff we teachers are feeling. But they turn into umbrella-poking, pencil-throwing, off-task, selfish dipwads. Wait. So do the adults. Sigh. Not all of them. Just enough to make it difficult.

It was a day. I left school. I delivered some art. Then I came home and the boychild and I made a grocery list for enough basics to get us through a few weeks (or possibly longer). I bought dog food (essentials) and then stood in a long line at the store, which was pretty well stocked with everything except rice. And wipes. I don’t understand how half the county will only be eating white rice for the next month, but whatever. There were plenty of other grains and frozen vegetables and some meat (not much chicken choice) and a bunch of toilet paper. That’s the thing I didn’t buy, because we have enough and I don’t understand that panic. I already got all my meds, so that’s good. Probably there are still some things we need, but even in Italy, the stores aren’t closed. Girlchild reports that Boston stores are wiped out…not even frozen veggies are available. Weird. Well, lots of humans in a small space? Anyway. It’s not the apocalypse and dammit there aren’t even zombies, but people are starting to think about what this might look like and canceling things left and right and that’s probably a good thing. It doesn’t FEEL good at the time, but in the long run, I think it will be better for our future sick people if we start to close shit down now.

Speaking of canceling, I suspect San Diego County schools will be closed starting next week, which is a whole ‘nother issue. We don’t know what that looks like, but I did order more batting last night…hopefully it will get here or I will be piecing what I have in my stash or making some smaller and long, thin pieces during the next few weeks. I’m trying to look forward to some time with no students (this year has been rough) and nothing to do (except grade about 6 things, two of which are not fun), but I’m worried about family and friends and what the next month or so might look like. As are we all. Well, except for my students, some of whom think this is the best thing ever! Until they realize all the fun stuff is closed and they can’t go hang out with people and even their games aren’t that interesting for that long. Or maybe they are. Some of them won’t get enough food or will be left home alone for too long, and that worries me with some of them.

I should focus on artmaking in a pandemic.

I don’t think I’m saying anything y’all haven’t already whispered to someone else or heard in your head or flat out yelled at the top of your lungs in a Starbucks.

Here’s the view from the top of the downtown library…somewhere I’d never been until yesterday.

That opening is canceled. The art is there and you can see it, but no large gatherings.

And here are blurry playing cats…which I may see a lot of over the next few weeks…

I’m sure I’m not the only one wondering what to do about vacation plans…I think social distancing includes hikes in the middle of nowhere, don’t you? But our trip to the National Parks in April is probably not happening unfortunately. Do we cancel? Do we wait and eat the money? Do we just go to the Airbnb stuff and not camp? Is that even an option? I don’t know the answers to any of that.

Anyway. Be well. I said that yesterday. Stay safe. Take care of yourselves. I’m hoping I’m writing about art tomorrow morning, because this stuff…I just need a break…all of us do and it’s not happening any time soon. (But imagine doing this years ago without the internet and Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and Spotify and books on your device and all the other things that entertain us! Now that sounds awful.)

Be Well, Y’all…

So we have this prediction in the house that March 21 is the day the US will hit the point of pandemic crisis that Italy just hit, with so many cases they can’t help anyone. That gives me 9 days to prepare…a grocery list, mostly for the animals; meds are in house, except one we need for the dog (calling on that today); I counted the toilet paper rolls…I think we’re OK (and I’m not waiting in line at Costco, because that’s just stupid). But more importantly…do I have enough Wonder Under, batting, and thread if I need to make a few quilts. Because I’m assuming schools will close at some point. San Diego is pretty clear of the virus (that we know of) so far…we’re behind the rest of the West Coast anyway. So I think we have that time.

Yesterday was a cluster for making art. I had a meeting run long, and then the grocery store was empty. Made dinner, graded an assignment, and that was basically it. SUCKED. I hate that. Tonight? Ugh. Maybe. Got one assignment done, though. Thanks Kitten for your oversight.

I have a pile of stuff that needs grading, and I know the next five days at school are high-maintenance, so there won’t be any of that happening there. Calli also is closely regulating what I was doing.

Sigh.

#Marchmeetthemaker was about range. It’s true I mostly make art quilts in a specific way about women’s issues and environmental issues. I do branch out though. I draw all the time, and recently made an artist book. I’m messing around with some new ways of making art quilts. I taught a class last year in embroidery on small art quilt blocks. I designed 9 embroidery patterns last year as well.

So all that was new and different. I’m challenged by some of the groups I’m in to do different things, and that is a good thing…although I seem to continue to come back to what I love…which leads to #igquiltfest…why do I quilt?

Ah. Well. Fabric obsession since young childhood. I remember pulling my mom’s box of fabrics she had from pajamas and dresses she’d made out of the cupboard, just to rummage through them. I have an art degree and gravitated to screenprinting, but when I got pregnant, it got too difficult to find the time to make screens, pull prints, clean screens. I never got a full hour or two to do such things, so I flipped to fabric. So much easier to carry around, drop if you needed to, etc. Plus the tactile quality of the fabric…the amazing patterns and colors available. It was a good thing for me. Still is.

Don’t know what she’s saying…but it’s probably along the lines of Pet Me.

OK, off to school. I have so much going on today…hope I make it home at some point. I realize social distancing is a thing, but I’m at school all day and life goes on. I won’t shake people’s hands? I did yesterday. Sigh. OK. Be well, y’all. Stitch on. Stay safe.

My Authentic Space…

I have a couple of shows opening this week…one is an artist book show with a group I’m in, Feminist Image Group (aka FIG).

The opening is this Saturday.

This was kind of a weird thing for me…but I like a challenge. I actually made three pages and rejected one. This is called Ominous Nature

Each page is a box. I’m not sure why I wanted to do that, but I did. Anyway, the opening is this Saturday from 12-2. The exhibition is on the ground floor in the Dickinson Popular Library, but the reception is on the 9th floor in the Art Gallery’s Valerias Sculptural Garden. I haven’t been to the downtown library ever, so this should be interesting. I have to kamikaze down there after school to deliver the piece…should also be interesting.

The other show is Contingent Upon at Southwestern College, with the group Allied Craftsmen…

It opens tomorrow and includes Portrait of the Artist As a Young Woman…and And Then There Was One

So that’s cool. Meanwhile, I’m making the next piece…it’s coming together slowly. I have the first 300 pieces (mostly) ironed together…including all these tiny little cars…

And these tumbling birds, which started showing up in drawings in December, I think.

They’re in that artist book above too. I do seem to repeat images for a while…sometimes a Long While. And then I did the swathe of space behind them and the Earth.

I do the Earth next, I think. I can’t remember when I drew this, but if I drew it today, there’d be coronavirus added to it. Certainly there’s war and pollution and fires and climate change already there. I haven’t been drawing much lately, but my brain certainly has been talking to me about drawing. It’s the one thing I wanted to do over the weekend and didn’t do. There’s never enough time for everything I want to do.

Yesterday was exhausting too. I taught a difficult (not really, but the kids made it that way) lesson…kids just not engaged in a fairly simple task. Not processing information. Hopefully today will be better (sigh. It’s unlikely.). I went to tutoring. Then to a school board meeting as a union rep. I got home around 6:30 PM, totally exhausted, made dinner, and read my book for a while. It’s due Friday and I don’t think I can finish in time, unfortunately. I’d like to, and I can re-request it, but there are already two people waiting for it. It’s good too…I just needed to input some grades and then I wanted to iron things together. Art drive. It’s loud.

The #marchmeetthemaker prompt yesterday was my authentic space. Here’s where I do a lot of my work…the studio/office.

It’s about 10 x 10′, which is a little small for everything I have in there…

especially when the ironing board is set up in the middle for me to iron…but I’m grateful to have had it all these years. MY ROOM.

There’s a lot of fabric in this room, yes. Never enough. Here was the setup while I was ironing, to give you a good idea of how little room there really is in there.

It works well though. I would love to remodel this room, pull out the old, holey floor, redo the wallpaper, put in real storage, put in a bigger window and maybe a room air conditioner, replace or fix the sliding glass door so I can open it more easily, get rid of the popcorn ceiling. All that is a healthy chunk of money though, and that’s not in the budget yet…I think the bathrooms and kitchen are higher up on the list.

I don’t just work in there though. I have a large light table in the living room, and a few stages of making involve sitting on the couch and cutting shit out. So this is also part of my maker space.

Where I often have helpers…

Yeah. Not helping.

Anyway. Today. Get through assessment, hope it’s at least quiet and productive. Go to union meeting after school. Hope it’s quick and productive. Go to grocery store for tomorrow morning’s breakfast items…hope that’s quick (yes, and productive). Then cook dinner, maybe grade some stuff (ugh), and then iron some more. If I’m still awake. Daylight Savings is kicking my tired ass. Maybe skip the grading and iron instead. Seems like a plan.

Momentous, Not Calamitous

Ah yes, that feeling of the first morning after the time change. The pro? This…

Good morning March 9. You look good. For now. I realize you will turn into clouds and rain later, but we need that, so I’ll accept it. It’s my 53rd birthday today…a suitably prime number. I’ll accept that too.

The sheep where we stayed this weekend.

The man picked a place within walking distance of a few wineries…one was closed until July, though, and the road for a few of the others was a little iffy, but we did it. The first one, Highland Valley, came with Nate…

Dogs are always a plus for us. They have a nice, small, personable setup with a great view…

And we carried a bottle away for later. We actually stayed in an Airbnb directly across from here (not that house…that house was crazy huge).

We found out later that I actually knew someone down the road from where we stayed, three houses down, and I’d been there years ago, but it was all avocados then…now it is more grapes. The fires came through here unfortunately. We saw some evidence of that.

Poor Nate. Works so hard.

A good winery has something that brings you back besides the wine, eh?

Not a lot of greenery yet…

There was an actual barn owl in that owl box, but the sun was right behind it, so I couldn’t get a picture of it.

I am regretting our delay in getting an owl box up, because the owl has left and I’ve heard the mockingbird a few times. No mockingbird. Want owl instead. Does not keep me awake with his/her gentle hoots.

We walked back to where we were staying to drop off the bottle and grab a backpack. The next winery was further out…this is where we met the property’s cat…

We persuaded her to stop before leaving with us…and walked the mile to Domaine Artefact.

It was much busier, more of a business and less personable. But they had food and we needed lunch.

There was another one in the area, but at that point, we decided to take a break. It’s supposed to be a 1-ounce pour for a tasting, so maybe the equivalent of two glasses of wine at that point, but I’m guessing they were more than that. Plus a 2-mile hike in there. So back to the residence for the man to nap and me to read my book.

This is the road we were walking on…recently resurfaced with no lines…so not the safest in the world…

It was fine in daylight. Probably they don’t expect people to be walking it. Certainly we were the only ones. I’m laughing about it, but it was fine.

At night we headed out to Cordiano Winery, which was huge and very busy. We found a table and had some wine and dinner…

And then headed outside for another glass and a chilly view. They have blankets and these guys…

So we were fine. Back to the home base for sleep…we had planned a trip to the Safari Park in the morning, but the man was feeling like he was coming down with something (no fever, so probably not COVID-19, but he still didn’t feel well), so we had breakfast and headed home to try to catch up on stuff (laundry, groceries, email)…the children missed us.

Maybe. We had dinner at my parents, where I received this mutant cheesecake slice…

Hopefully a portent (momentous, not calamitous) for the year. Hey, cheesecake is pretty good no matter what it looks like. I cannot complain. And then yes, I did grades. And answered school emails. Then I sorted all those pieces I finished cutting last week…finally!

Kitten was not assisting. I find cats very unhelpful in most stages of quiltmaking…all sorted.

I made it to bed a little early, although the time change confuzzled my brain and wouldn’t let me fall asleep. Gotta love a new day with not enough sleep! My faithful companion…

I did a little wool stitching that I can’t show you before I went to bed. I’m up now. School today. My birthday includes a 2-hour staff meeting, which seems remarkably unfair. Then exercise and someone else making dinner. I’ll refrain from grading today, out of respect for myself, and then will start ironing! Which is exciting, I must say. May the 53rd year have a lot of art and beautiful landscapes…

Weekend Requests…

Oh my. Friday is tired. Or I’m tired. Not sure which. I’m still fighting the tail end of the flu from two weeks ago…my lungs have crap in them and my sinuses are not happy. It’s not bad. It’s just annoying. Much like some of my students. Nothing is really bad…they’re just annoying. And the unit is actually rolling along pretty well, mostly because we’ve taught this many times before, so it’s comfortable. It’s not a new thing. It’s easier because of that. Which is good. We still need to figure out how to do something that needs the sun on a day it’s supposed to drop an inch of rain, but I’m sure we’ll be fine. FINE I say.

I finished grading one of the big assignments last night. Now I need to start the assessments, which just feel painful. I can’t do that this weekend, though, because it’s my birthday weekend! So we’re leaving town. We’re not going very far, but it’s far enough away from the pile of papers that I won’t be able to do anything with them. Which is OK. Probably that’s a good birthday gift. I’m OK if I’m buried next weekend in papers. It’ll be worth it.

This quilt is going slowly still, although I’ve done a lot on it this week. I keep track of my hours, so I can see a daily, weekly, and monthly hour count. I’ve been way down since November. I’m not really sure why. It feels weird though. This last week was almost a normal amount of artmaking. Anyway, I did finally finish cutting all those pieces out, 806 or so of them…

It actually only took another 25 minutes to finish them, so that was cool. Now they need to be sorted, which probably won’t happen until Sunday or Monday. I do hold onto the cut trash until the quilt is done, just in case I need a small piece of something. It’s easier than cutting a new thing sometimes. I don’t like to waste fabric, which is funny, because I have tons of it and will never run out. Some remnant of my grandmother’s Depression-era sensibilities. So next week, I should be able to start ironing it together. Sounds good!

So last night, I did a little cooking, some exercise, some grading, some reading (I love to read…wish I could do more of it)…but didn’t get around to cutting these out until after 11 PM somehow. I had to pack for this weekend too, so that took up some time. My faithful couch companion…

Who did come sleep with me last night…sometimes when it’s warm, she stays away, but it’s not warm yet. And yeah, the kittens are on the bed too, so it gets a bit crowded. When they’re full size (they’re only 6 months old), it will get worse, I think.

Yesterday’s #igquiltfest was about Quilting on the Go, I think…I often work in other places, although last year, it was all embroidery for some reason. Top left is waiting for the man’s band to go on, top right is the girlchild’s college graduation, bottom left is I think driving to Arizona? and the bottom right is the campground at Bryce Canyon National Park.

We have a trip coming up in about a month, another National Park trip. We’ve talked a little bit about what might happen with the coronavirus here in California and how that might affect us. Our plan is to go with hand sanitizer and soap (if there’s any left by then), but the other part of my plan is what am I going to stitch on during the trip? I stitch in the car, in campsites, by the campfire. I also draw most nights…which is easier than trying to stitch in the dark. But I’m not sure what I want to work on. It needs to be small and portable. We’ll see. I haven’t decided.

#Marchmeetthemaker yesterday was Close Up…which is easy…

People spend a lot of time close up on my quilts. There’s a lot of stuff going on usually. I like to fill all the spaces.

No parent meetings today, hallelujah. I’m not sure how useful one of yesterday’s was…the other one was easy peasy and successful, which is nice. It’s good when you can get a kid the help they need.

I think I need to take the big sketchbook with me this weekend. I want to sit on a deck/porch/something outside with a view and just draw. Will that be a thing? I’m not sure. I’m not totally in charge of this weekend. We’ll put in a request, eh?

I do actually miss these buttheads when we’re gone.

I know they look sweet there, but last night, one of them knocked a guitar over (loud), and the other one climbed halfway up one of my quilts (seriously?). So they got yelled at and/or frightened by loud noises. They are boisterous babies…which I’m sure we will miss at some point.

OK, school. Finish the things. All the things. Ha! So not happening. Then weekend requests: plenty of sleep. Some drawing time. Some physical outside stuff. Some relaxing. Some stitching. Some reading. Some decent food. Some quality time NOT thinking about coronavirus or Trump or the environment or stupid people or school. Aiming for that.

So Close…

I was so close to finishing the cutting-it-out phase last night. It’s hard to stop, but realizing I needed to be up early for another parent meeting persuaded me to stop…plus experience that tells me it doesn’t look like much in that top left box, but it’s probably an hour’s worth of cutting.

Which means I will finish cutting tonight, but probably not start ironing it together until next week. Just because I won’t be around.

This was the setup…there’s all the grading I did, a cat, and my boxes of pieces…

I think I did almost 2 hours of cutting last night, although it didn’t feel like it. Tonight, I need to pack for our weekend trip, make breakfasts for next week, go to Pilates, and grade the last period of the science unit. It’s a lot. I don’t actually know when we’re leaving tomorrow, so I might be able to push packing until then. We’ll see.

I did a little embroidery on this last night…

Gonna outline a heart and arteries. Probably should be using a hoop. I’ll think about it.

I took that photo because the #igquiltfest2020 prompt was Creative Hands…but then I decided to photograph hands I’d made in quilts…

Some new and some old. I make a lot of hands. I also make a lot of uteri. The #marchmeetthemaker prompt was branding…what am I known for? Missing penii. I didn’t post for that one.

OK, so I have a plan to get 14 thousand things done tonight, right?

These guys. There used to be decorative things in these openings and on that bookshelf.

Now there are cats.

I’m tired. Today will be fine. Did I mention I’m still kinda sick? Can’t kick the sinus stuff. It’s low level but annoying. And my brain wants me to be healthy when the coronavirus kicks in, right? Sheesh. I’m floored by the level of stupidity coming out of the government regarding the SCIENCE of all this. But also the mistakes we made because we don’t have scientists in charge. It makes me wonder what politicians are actually good for, if they don’t understand when they are NOT the experts and they need to call the experts in. I think the West Coast is in for a bumpy ride. Plus I gotta make some hand sanitizer that I’m not allergic to. Woo hoo! Yes, wondering what this will do to our Spring Break trip…hopefully nothing…and hoping we get a handle on it and limit the deaths. Sad for families to lose their loved ones this way…surprised my school district hasn’t already started the ‘clean the desks every day’ thing we had to do with SARS. Give it a week.

Peace out. Make art. Wash your hands.

I’ve Got Another 100 in Me…

So my artmaking last night was packing up a quilt to ship it out to a show I can’t talk about yet…but is pretty cool. There’s a balance between the making of the art, which is usually the fun part, the relaxing part, the good-mind-waves part, and then the marketing of the art, which is posting stuff and entering shows and filling out paperwork and packing things up and driving to UPS or FedEx or whatever venue that’s local that’s miles away at a stupid drive time (that’s next week, ugh). That’s the part where I get my work out there to be seen. Which is important to me. I don’t want to be seen, but I want my art to be seen. I’m the introvert; art brain is not.

It’s my fault. I worked all day, did tutoring, made it home after the chiropractor, and kept working. Sometimes that’s the easy thing to do. I graded until 9:30. I’m not entirely sure what happened between 9:30 and 11…but I know some of it was watching the primary returns. Sigh. Well. We noticed that on the station we were watching, they had these little boxes with the faces of the ‘winners’ of each state, and you couldn’t tell them apart…little white men faces. It is what it is. It won’t matter in November if all the people who showed up to vote yesterday actually show up in November. Vote y’all. Both the man and I are apparently surrounded by people who don’t vote. And it’s not just the President, folks; it’s who replaces the next Supreme Court Justice, who decides about things for your grandchildren. It’s the people in charge of the environment and your health care and your retirement and all that stuff. It’s important. It’s your civic duty. Why are you not taking it seriously? I don’t understand. All my household voted (and I count the girlchild in that mix, even though she’s 3000 miles away and voting in a different state). You should too. It’s not even that if you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain…if you don’t vote, you make it worse for the people around you. Take responsibility, educate yourself, make an intelligent decision. Vote dammit.

This is not even one of my students. She said I was smiling and then she changed her mind.

Honestly, I’m more worried about my shoulders and stabby fingers. That was at tutoring.

So this is kinda mean. We had this big hole, because the boychild got a bug up his butt and wanted to remove this stump of a plant that never stopped growing…it’s a weed. So he dug this massive hole to get it out. We also needed to plant something to block the view of the neighbor’s house back there, so I bought a bush/tree thing, and then told him he needed to dig a different hole.

Five feet further along. Where all the rocks are. But that’s where it needed to go! He’s doing it. It’s fine. The other hole will get filled up. Or get a smaller bush.

Yesterday’s prompt for #igquiltfest was a pre-Instagram make (sheesh, I have tons). I’ve been on Instagram for 10 years and blogging for 16. I used to hand-applique my art quilts. This is ancient. One of my earliest art quilts…Elvis Has Left the Building from 1995.

The label is cool…

Naked on the front, bra on the back. So I was 28 when I made this one. I have older art quilts; this is when I was trying to figure out how to take the images I was screenprinting and exhibiting, and turn them into fabric. Turns out hand applique takes a really long time (no duh).

This one isn’t quite as old…this is Caught in the Headlights, from January 2002.

It’s got a lot going on in it, but also is using the Wonder Under technique I use now. Talk about a brain dump…everything I was thinking about ended up in that drawing, wherever it is now.

I’ve made over 100 quilts, art quilts, in 30-odd years. I’ve got another 100 in me. Just give me the time.

Here’s Nova, doing what cats do best. Sitting on my fabric.

Trying to keep these two babies out of my stuff has been difficult. I’ve had to revert back to baby stages, when you just put stuff away, stack it so they can’t get into it, put it up high so they can’t reach it. But they go after the stuff hanging on the wall, jump into bins I’m working in that very moment, bat at what I’m cutting. Sigh. It’s OK. They’re babies. They’ll chill out and we’ll be fine. In 6 months. Maybe.

OK, speaking of chilling out (ha!), I’ve got another parent meeting and a day of teaching…which is fine…because the two dingbats from yesterday who didn’t think before they did will be out. It’ll work. It always does. It’s just a matter of how frustrated I get while it’s working. Then I can come home and make some more stuff.

Me. I’m the Good Cause.

I was supposed to grade this big pile of stuff I brought home, but I decided not to. I did another smaller, easier assignment. I’m OK with that. It was a long day, lots of climbing on counters (just don’t even ask…it’s for science) and meetings and then walking the dogs…wait, I liked that part…

It was raining on my way home, but stopped in time for this. I don’t mind walking in a bit of rain anyway, but the dogs were muddy enough as it was. I’m trying to break my new hiking boots in before our trip…think I’m going to have to take both pairs.

This is what grading looks like sometimes. Sleepy puppy on the left, bitey asshole trying to break into my grading bag on the right.

She likes to tear papers and bite them and eat plastic bags. All very annoying. They are kittens. They do annoying kitten things when they’re not sweetly sleeping with each other.

After all that, I just wanted to cut stuff out. For 3 1/2 hours…

So I did. No, I’m still not done. I still have the stuff in the top right box to cut out.

Maybe I will be better tonight about grading? Or not. It’s not like I didn’t grade. I just chose a simpler, quicker assignment that I didn’t actually finish because my printer is out of ink and I needed a printout to finish it. A printout I already made but left at school. Uh huh. Not on purpose. Grades are due today. I should check them and make sure they’re done. I think they are.

Anyway, a little left to do and then I can iron this beast together…but I will be gone this weekend, so that will make it a little difficult to get a lot done. It’s OK. It’s for a good cause. Me. I’m the good cause.

I’m getting into some shows…Fantastic Fibers yesterday, but also Contingent Upon at Southwestern College…

I have two pieces in this show…it’s only open Mon-Thurs, 10:30 AM-2:30 PM. The opening reception is 3/12 at 11 AM and the artists’ talk is 3/12 at noon. I won’t be at any of it, unfortunately, due to my day job. It’s up through 4/14, and I won’t even be around for my Spring Break enough to go see it. Oh well.

I also got into a book show at the downtown library. The opening is Saturday, March 14, from noon-2 PM. I will be at that one at some point, not sure when.

OK, but today it is photosynthesis day, so I am grateful for the blue skies and sun that are out today (and weren’t yesterday)…to make this lab easier. I’m wondering about next week’s sun-related lab though, since there’s rain in the forecast. We might have to adjust slightly. I remember it raining when we did it last year too, but not a lot. Just a sprinkling. No biggie. A little water won’t hurt them. The kids. Or the lab. We’ll see. First I’m going to work to find that printout. Make some attempt to be efficient.