You Put the Load Right on Me*

November 13, 2017

‘Twas a productive weekend…I finished grading 2 or 3 assignments, didn’t finish a bunch of other stuff, hiked a mountain, cut out a ton of Wonder Under, and replaced the headlight in my car (with help). That was an achievement.

We started late…the goal? Clevenger Canyon South, apparently 4.3 miles (a fact we questioned multiple times), on a day that was supposed to be cooler than it felt. The wonder of San Diego is the temperature can be quite warm in the mountains, even in November.

IMG_8967 small

We climbed a lot in the first mile…and if you’d told me I was hiking to that rock (and beyond) that you can see on the ridge, I might have given up. But no. We kept going…

IMG_8968 small

Looking back here on the trail we’d been on before going down into the canyon, where it was obvious one of the fires had gone through here (2007)…

IMG_8969 small

So this little guy…I just about stepped on him. He never rattled…he never even moved. I noticed him, yelled snake, moved my foot further along than I had been planning, all in a matter of seconds. Yes, I realize we’re lucky he didn’t strike…because that’s a baby rattler and he wouldn’t have known to only dump some of his venom in my calf. It would have been an interesting hike, I guess…

IMG_8970 small

From further up, the canyon is down where the green is, although there was still no water.

IMG_8971 small

Evidence of burn even on the rocks…

IMG_8973 small

Looking to the north…

IMG_8974 small

And to the south…actually, my car is way way down there…

IMG_8975 small

This was our goal: two metal chairs bolted to a boulder.

IMG_8976 small

And a view to die for. Well. Not die. But we were glad to get there…

IMG_8977 small

It ended up being 4.65 miles, mostly up for the first 1.7 miles.

IMG_8978 small

And the way down was super fast. Yes…we were to the left of that rock most of the way to the far left peak. We didn’t do the last 0.2 miles to that peak. We had the view already.

IMG_8988 small

Poles were helpful on the way down. The snake was gone on the way down.

IMG_8990 small

More evidence of burn…

IMG_8993 small

And then this was delightful…just remember that what looks like a scary dive bar on the outside houses a lovely bar with cool refreshing drinks and snacks on the inside…

IMG_8994 small

Then last night, I did some feather stitching on this, above the righthand eye.

IMG_9002 small

And I cut out a bunch of this…while watching a show in Icelandic. I think I’m semi-fluent now…

IMG_9003 small

I think this was actually the night before…

IMG_9004 small

There’s more of that in a bit, but these photos are from the Threads of Resistance exhibit, which made it to the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo in Minneapolis, Minnesota over the weekend. As always, I’m behind the sign…

IMG_9005 small

And the curtain…

IMG_9006 small

I kinda wish they wouldn’t hang the signs on the quilts…

IMG_9008 small

But I’m in good company back there…

IMG_9009 small

So I’m a woman of a certain age…who knows if and when I will ever have another period (NOT complaining), but the app updated and now it ignores perimenopause completely. I find this highly amusing.

IMG_9010 small

And kind of a metaphor for women of my age (ignored). Whatever.

I graded more videos yesterday…at 3 minutes per kid, it takes a while, so I poured a hot cup of tea and grabbed my stitching, so I could listen better. It worked.

IMG_9012 small

I got the hippo done and part of the sun…

IMG_9015 small

For some reason, this month’s stuff is taking forever to stitch down.

Puppy was tired…but he wanted to be near me and my Wonder Under…

IMG_9016 small

Sometimes more near than others.

IMG_9017 small

I did about 5 hours of cutting out yesterday and 2 the night before, so I have a hefty chunk done…ahead of schedule.

Speaking of schedules, I need to get my butt outta here and to work. More progress tonight, I’m sure.

*The Band, The Weight

Advertisements

Happiness Hit Her Like a Bullet in Her Back*

November 11, 2017

I never get as much done on a day off as I think I can. Somewhere in there I lose about 4 hours and then it’s dark and dinner time. I can’t really explain it. Time travel or something.

Anyway, most importantly, I walked the dogs yesterday. It had been a while, just because of the weather and the time change and life in general, so I tried to walk them into the ground.

IMG_8929 small

The puppy was tired about halfway in, but he always gets a second wind when we start back.

IMG_8932 small

It was a nice cool day with pretty clouds interspersed with sun…

IMG_8934 small

And very few people on the trail…

IMG_8943 small

Mostly they were all at the beginning of the trail having their holiday card photos taken. Apparently a popular spot.

IMG_8944 small

I wanted to tell the one girl she was probably standing in poison oak, but whatever.

IMG_8946 small

Certainly if she stood on one of those gourd things with her spiked heels, she would never get the smell out.

IMG_8950 small

I have no idea why these are flagged…

IMG_8951 small

Maybe there’s seeds in there? I just don’t know…

IMG_8953 small

Anyway, the dogs were tired out for a bit. They were very excited to be walking, so that’s a good thing.

I did something on the left. I used to be so good about telling you what stitch and where and what color. Not so much by day 314 apparently.

IMG_8960 small

Then back to the tracing. This photo is for Sion…because yeah, they are smaller than my fingernail. I could stitch them or paint them or whatever, but I don’t. I cut them out of fabric.

IMG_8962 small

I am aware of my insanity, yes.

So I finished…8 yards total…here’s 5 of them…

IMG_8963 small

And the other 3…

IMG_8964 small

I got one cut out last night, the easiest one, the one with a big empty space on it. Calli was supremely helpful.

IMG_8965 small

It took 15 1/2 hours to trace everything. Usually it takes less time to cut out the Wonder Under.

IMG_8966 small

I want it all done and sorted by next Saturday. It seems doable, although I do have a bunch of stuff to deal with this week.

Supposedly I am hiking today as well, but it might mean bouncing someone out of bed. Which seems mean, because I got to sleep in yesterday, but…with the day ending so early, it’s gotta happen sometime.

I’m really excited about this quilt. I think it will be very cool looking. I can’t wait to see it.

*Florence and the Machine, Dog Days Are Over


Stay Wilder Than the Wind*

September 16, 2017

Late writing today…not because I slept all day…ah ah aha ha ha ha. OK. Teacher humor. But yeah, I’ve put in a few hours of grading today already…trying to free up my evening for artmaking…which in this case is really just hours of scissoring. With scissors. Just to be clear.

But I do like the school days when I get to do art as well…so yesterday was the start of a new unit, so I did my cover page…

IMG_7864 small

I like it better than last year’s…mostly because it’s missing last year’s mistake. So yeah, I got to color on Friday. For my job. That’s awesome.

Which is good, because that was really all the artmaking that happened, being gaming night. I’m training to do runes…but I need a hammer and a ton of money.

IMG_7868 small

A late-night trip to the grocery store…this never makes me feel safe…

IMG_7869 small

I finished the block on the left…block 15? I think? While gaming. And started on the elephants. It took me about halfway around the baby elephant to remember how to do coral stitch…the book I use is usually quite good, but for some reason, I couldn’t figure this one out until I looked it up online and then went…OOOoohhh…that makes more sense…

IMG_7873 small

This morning started with some school work…grading of course…but then a 3-mile hike with the dogs…and a random coyote who was quite vocal and nerve-wracking…and then gave up and went to sleep.

IMG_7874 small

Tired the damn dogs out at least.

I had been looking at Blocks 15 and 16 and trying to figure out how I was supposed to sew this moon thing on…oh yeah. Sew the damn blocks together. So I did. This is Blocks 4 and 5 sewn to 9 and 10 sewn to 15 and 16. I think. That doesn’t make sense though numberwise. Something like that. I realized after that I should have trimmed them before I sewed.

IMG_7876 small

That’s some crooked elephant stuff down there. I’ll figure it out…don’t worry. But it’s looking pretty good so far.

Kitten has decided the dog bed is the right size for her…and she’s pushed the blinds to the side for a kitten-sized window out to look at the front yard…mostly at the bunnies.

IMG_7877 small

She’s still not comfortable coming out here by herself with Satchemo in the house, but both of them were on the bed this morning. Only a little hissing happened. It’s a VERY slow process that involves a lot of petting and treats.

Anyway, I’m grading (and cleaning house a bit) for the next two hours, and then dinner plus artmaking afterwards. That’s the plan anyway. We’ll see how it goes in reality.

*Duran Duran, Come Undone


Pulling Your Puzzles Apart*

September 5, 2017

It’s funny…I thought I would have all this time yesterday to iron, but grading took forever, plus we walked the dogs in the much cooler weather. Yeah. This dog…

IMG_7683 small

The clouds were low and it was in the 70s…a huge change from 109 on Saturday.

IMG_7689 small

There’s an endangered bird species or two who live here…it’s nice that someone makes their homes decorative.

IMG_7693 small

We tried a new way back, one we won’t try again, because it goes past a variety of sewage treatment areas.

IMG_7696 small

Plus at some point it’s just a paved road. Not my first choice, although this piece of equipment was pretty.

IMG_7697 small

I graded for a couple of hours after that, then cooked dinner and did something on this. Hmmm. French knots in the bottom left, in a variegated thread this time.

IMG_7699 small

And because we were trying to finish watching the first episode of Ozark and I can’t just sit and watch TV, I kept sewing parts down for the next month’s worth of Folk Tails.

IMG_7701 small

I think I made eyeballs too.

Finally to the ironing! I finished ironing down all the pieces of flesh from the day before.

IMG_7703 small

Which probably took close to an hour. And then I started on all those pieces that weren’t flesh but were in the body…there were a ton of pieces in the heart this time, and many more arteries/veins…so the reds were more extensive than normal.

IMG_7704 small

I don’t feel like I got much done really…just the eyeballs and one tattoo and the bloody stuff. I still have parts of the face, the lungs, the octopus tentacles coming off her hand, and another tattoo.

IMG_7705 small

I started the bullet trails through her head, but didn’t get to the bullets. They’re lined up on the bottom. Anyway. I’m almost 6 hours into the ironing and I still haven’t gotten to the 400s…some of them are in the hair too. So I guess that will be tonight. I hope. I suspect 15 hours for the ironing is a good estimate…although I hope it will be less. Maybe by the end of the week? This is a tough week…back-to-school night will kick my ass. We’ll see.

Here’s the pile of pieces that are ironed plus the fabrics before I organized them…

IMG_7706 small

I’m trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour (ha!), which just means midnight instead of 1 AM. So I’ve been watching the clock and making myself stop.

Here’s what I’ve used so far in fabrics…the flesh run on the left at the back of the box…and a ton of reds.

IMG_7707 small

I have to remember that I have tutorial today after school, so exhaustion will be high. But I don’t have to cook dinner tonight…so that’s exciting. No really, it is.

*Coldplay, The Scientist


Crazy Thoughts Have Quick Wings*

August 22, 2017

Eclipses are cool y’all. That’s all I have to say about that.

IMG_7435 small

NASA has way better pictures than I do…not surprisingly.

I’m realizing that I’m still adjusting to new eating times…blood sugar was wacky yesterday, but then I figured out that we have a different schedule on Mondays. Hence my body’s complete confusion by the end of the day. Working on it. Still. Forever.

I’m a little tired this morning. Sure, I went to bed late, but I do that a lot. Puppy wanted to bark at everything last night though, so I remember 1:53 AM and 3:21 AM and 5:38 AM. I think those were all coyote responses, but I’m not sure. Ugh. Still can’t keep my eyes open all the way. Blargh.

Tired the dogs out after school yesterday…apparently not enough for Simba. We did over three miles…

IMG_7445 small

I love how the old seed pods are mixed with the new…castor bean plant. Freaky beast.

IMG_7449 small

I did…um…oh yeah! the three roses on the bottom right. It’s a stitch called rambling rose, which consists of French knots and stem stitches. Very simple.

IMG_7454 small

I was mostly horizontal with Simba. He liked me then.

IMG_7455 small

Eventually I made it upright and cooked some dinner. On Mondays, that usually means reheating leftovers…because if I’m not getting back to the house until after 7 PM, it better be easy.

So I had enlarged this one just because I thought it should be a quilt. And I taped it just to get it done. It’s not huge.

IMG_7457 small

Who knows when she’ll get made…I have a waiting list at this point.

Then I started tracing the newest piece. The pieces are bigger than what I usually do.

IMG_7458 small

I was really trying to keep it simpler than some of my recent pieces. We’ll see how that goes. I only traced about 87 pieces in an hour. Not bad. Not spectacular. But because I don’t have a lot of grading when I get home at the moment, it means all I have to think about is art stuff. So as long as I can fight the tiredness, I can get some stuff done. That gets harder as the year goes on. That part always stresses me out. I’m trying to keep my head in a positive place about school…I wonder if admin realizes every crazy-ass thing they do, messing with the master schedule, assigning yet another thing to teachers to keep track of, making us do a 2-hour homeroom with lunch 45 minutes late. We absorb all of it, try to cope, adjust the peeing/eating schedules, take lots of deep breaths, and come home and walk three miles out in nature to clear our heads. Yeah. Well.

*Jem, Save Me


Like It’s Tryna Get Away*

August 15, 2017

I really hate the days when I can’t find the energy to make art. Even if I got a ton of stuff done (I didn’t) and walked a lot of steps (I did) and even walked the dogs (I did) and made dinner from scratch (I did) and the boychild got safely to college with a minimum of delay (he did…only an hour and a half in Detroit), it still feels like I did absolutely nothing yesterday because I couldn’t even pick up my hand and draw. Hell, I didn’t even do the stitch-a-day thing. THAT was too much work. Yes. I went to bed early. That’s how you know you’re old…you can only do one night of almost no sleep before you crash. Apparently 3 hours is my crash point.

My bulletin boards aren’t done. My room is a disaster. A clusterfuck even. I can’t find anything because I had to put it all away in June. I did finally find my phone. At like 3 PM yesterday. I thought someone might have stolen it. Nope. They didn’t. It’s OK. I still have today to try and get my head straight. And it all doesn’t have to be done today. I have time to get some stuff done in the next few days…although it feels better on the first day to be on top of all of it…because it will be the LAST TIME ALL YEAR that you will feel that way. Seriously.

I am wearing my Threads of Resistance t-shirt today. It’s how I feel. Resistant. And maybe it will help.

I’ll photograph my room today. It’s scary right now.

When I got home from school, I took the dogs on a 3-mile hike. We all needed it.

IMG_7148 small

Not the greatest picture…such a delicate flower.

IMG_7151 small

I had some issues trying to get both of them to walk together after months of not doing it…especially when I was trying to keep them out of the poison oak.

IMG_7154 small

Someone left this on the bridge…

IMG_7163 small

And puppy slept close to me for a long time. Honestly, I didn’t get done with dinner and clean up until 9 or so (not so abnormal)…

IMG_7165 small

But I couldn’t even pick up a needle or a pen. Hopefully tonight will be better. I forget how exhausting the first week can be. I wish I had a project in a better stage right now, like tracing or cutting…I could probably handle that. But no, I’m in the highly creative phase of two different projects at the moment. OK. Well. Draw tonight. No excuses. My day job doesn’t get to co-opt my favorite job.

*Max Frost, Die Young


Last Hike of Summer Vacation

August 9, 2017

Today the boychild and I hiked to celebrate the girlchild’s 20th birthday, because she is 3000 miles away and wouldn’t have hiked that far with us if she were here. Or maybe it was just the last day of summer vacation where I could actually find the time to hike at a reasonable temperature (time is irrelevant in Southern California summers…temperature is the determinant factor of hiking time). Yeah, that’s it. Boychild leaves Monday and it’s been a while since we hiked for realz, so he picked one hike and I vetoed it because climbing mountains is not good for me right now, and then he and I decided we could figure out random trails (really, I figured that HE could figure it out, and he did) to try to make a loop out of something we’ve done as an out as far as the girlchild can possible stand it and then back (which usually ends up being 5 miles or so, but because she was only there in spirit, we managed just over 7 miles). AND…there was fog in the morning, which was abso-fucking-lutely delightful. Seriously. Cool wet fog. Who woulda thought?

But wait. Because I am chronological. Tuesday night, I did some of this in the feather stitching again…a fly stitch with a straight stitch…

IMG_6990 small

Kitten is more playful when the dogs are gone…

IMG_6992 small

Then I quilted…about 2 1/2 hours yesterday…

IMG_6997 small

Then Windows tried to auto-update and killed my computer…

IMG_6998 small

Boychild fixed it this morning.

More quilting…

IMG_6999 small

All I have left is the head and the rocket and the spaceship…and then the whole damn background. I was going to get some done today, but that hasn’t happened yet. It will.

IMG_7001 small

So we got up bloody early to beat the heat and went out to the Crestridge Ecological Reserve, which had mostly no people, a few coyotes, one tiny snake, and a shitload of bunnies.

IMG_7007 small

I haven’t been out here for a couple of summers…

IMG_7012 small

Yes, the sun eventually came out, but it wasn’t too hot out there. Sweaty, but not hot. And poison oak, yes. Right there. At one point where the trail was kinda not trail-like, I was inching around a poison oak bush and talking to it about not touching me.

IMG_7013 small

Yup. Proof the girlchild was with us in spirit. Left by the side of the trail.

IMG_7016 small

She whines on hikes. Unless there’s chocolate. And sometimes even if there IS chocolate. Lots of old trees…

IMG_7018 small

And some transmission towers for the noise effect.

IMG_7019 small

There’s those towers after hiking a mile further on…

IMG_7020 small

Pretty much this is always my view, behind the spiderweb destroyer…

IMG_7021 small

The trail had been hit hard by last winter’s rains…at least this part of it. This would be the off-the-beaten-path part of what we did.

IMG_7022 small

I think he has air!

IMG_7023 small

This part was blocked off…the ditches are taller than I am…

IMG_7024 small

I saw lots of whatever this is (Julie!)…

IMG_7027 small

More ditches…to be avoided so no broken ankles.

IMG_7031 small

We went around and up to and past that water tower…

IMG_7032 small

Up up up. Yeah. It’s warm. It’s near the end. He trudges on, happily. I’m tired.

IMG_7033 small

But I did it. Only an 800-foot gain though. That’s about right for the bad shape I’m in. A good end to the summer hiking with the boy. Man. Whatever. That kid of mine.

OK. Need to finish the quilting and put a binding on that sucker. But first? Chiropractor. He’ll be amused by my morning activity. I always wait until he does the first check and asks, so what the hell have you been doing? My back is fucked up differently based on whether I’ve been quilting, hiking, lifting weights, or grading papers. He loves it. Really.