At the End…

Hello very dark in the morning. I do not appreciate you. Sorry. I’m up early to go to the doc for my stupid knee. I’m not happy about being up early. I tried going to bed a little earlier, and then my brain remembered all the things in the world to be anxious about, so that went well. Then it woke me up at 4:30 because it might be time to get up (it wasn’t). My brain and I are barely speaking these days, though, so I guess that’s par for the course. I’m just hoping for a host of referrals to specialist things that I can hopefully schedule over Winter Break (Ha! I’m gonna bet none of them can be scheduled until well into next year) and then solutions to the knee would be lovely.

My office calendar is still set to November y’all. Not a good sign.

In good news, I managed to finish cutting out all the pieces, about 8 hours total…

And then last night, I sorted them…

And started ironing.

Feels good. I like this part.

School was hard, but only in the afternoon…mostly because of this, although I didn’t get to go to this…

Just half of my kids did. Yeah. Well. I get to go in April? Maybe.

Monday night’s sky.

At school still. Ah well. This week. And next week. And then I’m off for three. Hallelujah.

Gotta go. Today is busy and long. But hopefully more ironing (and maybe a nap) at the end.

Mismatched Shoes…

Someone at work yesterday was like, “only 11 more days” and I’m thinking, wait, what? Oh…they’re counting. Shit, I’m not counting. Why? Because I’m in day-to-day mode and if I start counting, I’m gonna panic about I’m not planned out through those 11 days. Easy for him…he’s not a teacher and doesn’t have to make sure kids have relevant and appropriate work to do. Considering actually just NOT teaching and just showing World Cup highlights every day, since that’s all some of them want. Yesterday’s Costa Rican goal against Germany (the first one) was pretty awesome by the way, if you want to see some actual soccer teamwork. That said, the arguments I’ve had to have with kids who HAVE to watch, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS (oh yeah? everyone in my household has played soccer…the question is, do we go for Wales, England, or the USA…mostly moot points by now). Sigh. I liked it better when the World Cup was at the end of the school year, because then you could just pop it up at the end of class and it didn’t matter as much. Right now? With only three weeks between breaks and progress reports due like the week after we come back? Yeah no. I don’t have the time. Or the patience. I may have totally given up by the end of the school year, so it would be nice to have the World Cup to fall back on. Ah well. I’m sure something else will come up.

I’m glad it’s Friday. I have next week mostly planned. I’m stalled by one thing that I should just get over and walk away from, because it’s gonna be complicated and take too much time. Maybe next year. Just write a note to next year’s Kathy and tell her to try it then. There’s enough new shit this year. I don’t need to make it harder on myself than it already is.

Ugh. I have a meeting this morning. I will get through the day. I know I’m frustrated and overwhelmed and it’s making me emotional. And I’m tired. All good things, yeah? I admit that I don’t love most of my job right now. There are moments of awesome and even OK and then there’s some shit. I need less of the shit.

I am done ironing on the newest quilt though…I got there on Wednesday night finally…here’s all the fabrics I used in the piece…

Usually I count them…I don’t have time this morning. It’s a lot but not as many as some. There’s a lot of white/gray fabrics…there were a bunch of concrete building things and then a ton of plastic…

That was water bottles and plastic bags and milk jugs.

All the pieces ready for trimming…

And last night, I started trimming…

Doesn’t look like much, but that’s a lot of the water bottles and a little over an hour of cutting. This week, so far, I’ve managed 7 hours of art stuff since Saturday. The week before, it was over 15 hours, but that’s because I wasn’t going to work, so I got bigger chunks of time. My left eye is twitching, my left knee is still in pain (doc next week), and I just realized the other night that I’ve been wearing mismatched shoes. I bought the same shoes two years in a row, and I was wearing one of the old pair and one of the new…only figured it out because the inserts are different colors. Sweet jesus. No, it doesn’t explain the knee pain. Unfortunately. That would be an easier fix than what I think it will be.

I am down. I feel down. I have a quilt guild holiday party tomorrow that will hopefully lift my mood. I’m hoping to go to an art opening in the afternoon. We’ll see about that. Maybe just getting a break from the behaviors will help. I think if I can get some of the stuff off my to-do list for school and home (gotta mail a holiday package, which means 17 things have to happen before that), then maybe I’ll feel better. Or I could just curl up with a book (the current one is not that good, unfortunately) and shut out the rest of it…I’ve been doing that a little every night, honestly. Ugh. Deep breaths…it’s Friday and that’s a good thing. And I should just throw out the other pair of shoes (ugh, into a landfill?) because they are beat up and that’s why I stopped wearing them and bought a new pair. OK. Gotta go. Meeting time.

Show Your Work…

Oh my. So exhausted after two whole days of school. I must be doing it wrong. Of course, sleep is not my friend. I’m teaching a new engineering unit, so my brain decides to go over how it will all work, precisely, specifically, we move from this to that, over and over and over again…while I’m trying to sleep. Not helpful, brain. Not helpful at all. It’s OK…at some point, I will be so exhausted that I will fall asleep even though my brain is trying to do all the things. I mean, it can’t possibly DO all the things.

Speaking of the brain, our school district is back to trying to make us understand how our brains work and how we can work better HARDER because of it. Or better with other people? Much as I like the little brain quizzes (ok, 177 questions is not little, and it was timed, so you couldn’t rest or relax while taking it), I don’t really need the 3 AM email that says because I am STRATEGIC, I need to (OMG get this) SHOW MY WORK. I kinda wanna send that to my kids and all former and current male attachments, because that is all about how my brain gets from here to there with 17 thousand iterations that you didn’t see and you don’t understand. That is the random shit I say sometimes when my entire family turns and stares at me because we were talking about widgets and I’m now talking about cloud movement and there were actually connections between the two in my head, it’s like this crazy twisted ribbon of how I got there, and now I have to SHOW MY WORK and explain to y’all how I got there and you still think I’m nuts.

That however does not make my job easier at the moment. I did successfully post 24 videos of kids dropping egg supply pods yesterday. We did not use real eggs yesterday…practice run. Only one died…

Which is why we’ll be doing real chicken eggs in a week and a half. Hopefully the mess will not be too bad. Ugh. Some interesting designs though…

Mostly there were some big clunky noises though when they hit. So today we’ll redesign with some physics in mind. Hopefully. One class is decidedly “we just want to DO without thinking” so that makes it fun. Not. Gotta love middle-school kids…they do think they know everything even when they know they don’t. May today be easier than yesterday.

Artwise, I’m still ironing. I really thought I’d be done last night, but I went to the gym (very frustrating last two periods of the day, plus trying to plan some shit out without much help), then made videos for each period of all of their drops, then made a doc I need for next week that the stupid curriculum thinks the kids don’t need but they do. Their understanding of what my kids need is almost always off by about 5 years of ability. Which sucks. I scaffold like a bitch, but even that’s not enough some days. One of the brain quiz questions asked if I LOVE my job or DON’T LOVE my job. Right now, it’s a lot of the latter unfortunately. Just because of the planning taking SO MUCH time and having a group of kids that are really difficult all together in the last two classes of the day. Sometimes they’re awesome and I try to hold onto that as much as possible, and sometimes it’s a shit show. Too much of that. Makes you feel like you’re a shitty teacher no matter how many years you have in. So hopefully I will find more love for it; hopefully they will find their chill a little bit too. Too much drama.

So the ironing did not get totally done…but I’m close. Here’s Monday night…

I’m having a hard time picturing this one completely colored in my head. I am using some colors in places I don’t usually use them. But I think (hope?) it will work. Here’s last night…that big piece of blackish fabric is one that I’m kind of questioning, but I think it will work.

I thought about green instead, but there’s all these green hills behind and I didn’t want that part to fade into the back. I wanted it in your face. So we’ll see how that goes.

This is all I have left…

Not much. That’s tonight. Then I can start cutting.

Kitten has been bringing me socks and pieces of my wool stitching…mostly in the middle of the night while I’m sleeping, as she vocalizes quite loudly that she’s brought me my things. It’s been a while since she’s done this…I forgot how annoying and cute it was.

The socks I don’t mind. I wish she’d leave the wool stitching alone. She pulled one block out from under a bunch of other stuff. She does prefer wool to anything else. Weirdo.

OK. I’m not sure what I’m teaching today, because my late-night brain worried about all of it for so long. Sucks. I have to make kids read in both grade levels, which is always a challenge. I could just read to them, but that’s not as useful as their trying to read themselves. They fight it so much. Then pilates after school. Then probably I’m cooking tonight because the boychild is half dead with something awful (not COVID), and then I’ll get to iron. Depending on what school shit I need to do tonight. Which depends on how much I can get done during prep. Or something. I’m not even sure what I need to do at this point, my brain is so tied up in knots. It’s not SHOWING ITS WORK dammit. It comes to me that I spend a lot of time here showing my work though…I guess that’s a thing. Certainly gets it out of my head and into the ether.

Until Tomorrow…

Good morning. Or as I am feeling it, Morning. So incredibly never ever ready to go back after time off from school. Plus the dog barking at a skunk last night while we were trying to sleep did not help. Luckily no spray…the skunk was outside and the dog inside, but the obvious intrusion into our personal area seemed to drive the little guy nuts. Eventually we got him settled and then tried to sleep again. Ugh.

In good school news, I finished grading the last of the stuff (except for homework, which will be quick), but lots of one grade level didn’t actually do the assignment in the first place, so there’s some issue with that. I don’t have time in the schedule to make them do it in class, so I made a video for those who want to improve. We’ll see if that helps. This year is certainly causing me to jiggle my expectations and revisit how I teach, just because they have COVID brain and can’t function in a classroom. Or maybe it’s just too many devices. Hard to say. Certainly it’s one of the hardest years I’ve taught…and I thought the Zoom year was gonna be that. Ha! The universe chuckles.

I was reading my old blogposts yesterday…sometimes I do that to remind myself that this is all cyclical. And sure enough, Thanksgiving week was a lot of food crazy, not enough exercise, plus a lot of grading, but didn’t finish it all, made some art, but it’s never enough…and it was Santa Ana windy hot! Just like last week. Some things never change. I don’t know if that’s a relief or annoying. Hopefully next year, I will look back at this year and think, oh hallelujah, it’s not that bad. That’s my hope anyway.

So besides grading, we did hike on Saturday…we went out to Barnett Ranch in Ramona…

This is not a hard hike or a long one, but we had the pup with us, so I was aiming for new and different but not too hard.

It’s a nice enough hike. Could have been longer…

Looking at our schedules, I think that’s it until Winter Break for me anyway. We’ll see. Got too much shit going on.

I also ironed both days, but not much…like an hour each day. Back to that sucky schedule…

Although I was more efficient last night…got all the way through the 300s (almost), so I’m about 2/3 done…

Just have the head and all its stuff and then the vomit. Like you do. I was hoping to be done with this part before school started, but no. Maybe I can get the rest done tonight, but it’ll probably take two nights. We’ll see.

I did get these out for the teachers’ manual for our curriculum.

I hate how I have to comb through tiny little print and multiple sources to get what I need to actually TEACH this thing. So frustrating. Plus have to have the headspace and time to figure it out. Hence when it takes an hour to plan one 51-minute class…that’s too much. There’s something wrong with that.

So yeah. Did not plan all three weeks out. Got 6 1/2 days done. Maybe. Not a good sign. Well I don’t have to grade anything but homework for a few days, so maybe I can plan a bit more. Ugh. Really just want to be able to come home and NOT do any of it.

Because that.

OK. It’ll be fine today…starting two new engineering projects on the same day…one I’ve taught before and one I’ve never taught before. Plus 2 meetings. Or 1. Depends. Ironing tonight. After cooking. Hmmm. Might be a tad on the exhausted side by then. So yeah, probably not done until tomorrow.

Antonyms of Fine…

Apparently I have no clue what day it is. Not surprising, really. I get like this over breaks. One day at a time. Do the things for that day, then make a pillow fort and disappear into a book. I had a legit reason…the book was going to be sucked back by the library demons at 2:33 PM today and I needed to finish it before that happened. I’m not entirely sure I understand what happened in the book, but when the fourth (in the trilogy, yes, really) comes out, I will just reread all of the three previous books and maybe it will all make sense. I really liked parts of it; just wasn’t sure how they were related to previous parts. It was confusing.

I really loved that highlighted bit. Because my co-teacher and I joke about everything being fine, but it’s not. It’s just hard this year. So I missed writing the blog yesterday, even though I wrote it down in my bullet calendar list of things to do, which I’ve been mostly ignoring, except for the parts where I have to be places and feed people. This morning I have to be two places. So I’m up because of the dog and the cats, earlier than desired, but whatever. That’s because the boy left and the dog thinks daylight is an alarm clock. He distinctly does not understand sleeping in.

So yeah, I made a lot of food that is still feeding people, and my family showed up…well, some of them anyway.

Minus the last-minute gravy the boychild helped with, so I officially still have never made gravy, and the cranberry sauce I forgot was in the fridge, but remembered. It was good. I never liked cranberry sauce until I had it made fresh.

This was after all the eating and drinking, so most people are smiling. The next day was the Man’s family, well, some of them…

This time before the eating, and at a much prettier table.

Also, I didn’t have to cook, which I appreciate.

And then there’s the artmaking, which I greatly appreciate…I sorted on Wednesday afternoon, while the turkey was cooking and before people arrived…

And then I started ironing to fabric. This piece has relatively few pieces (630) and is smaller (much) than the last one (28×36″ image). Those are little baby mountains…

This was what I had ironed after Thursday, I think…

And yesterday, I graded all morning and through the England v USA World Cup game. It needed to be done. Also someone needed to score, but I guess that didn’t happen. I’m not done with grading or planning. It’s possible that I never will be. I have two harder assignments left to grade and about two weeks more of planning to get me through to December. But it’s been taking me about an hour to plan each day of this unit/project, crazily, so I don’t know that I’ll get that far through. We’ll see. Too much researching shit, trying to figure out how better to present it than our curriculum does (because even when it’s pretty good, it still isn’t).

I also finished my book. But didn’t exercise. There’s 78 things on the to-do list that aren’t done. The Christmas shopping is mostly done, though. I need to assemble some things and I’m waiting on some stuff and I have to pick up one thing today, but otherwise, I might be sorta done. Kind of. More done than I was a week ago anyway.

I spent a goodly chunk of time ironing yesterday afternoon and evening and night though. And that was good. This piece of sky is one of my hand-dyes. I occasionally like to do it myself. Find it fun.

But then I dye things that are hard to use. This will be good sky though. I made it through all the fleshy pieces…they started in the 100s, then through the 200s and most of the 300s, I think.

Of course, I only did the flesh. I still need to do all the non-fleshy bits: the bones, heart, lungs, burning trees, and polluting cars. So that’ll take a while. I might be halfway through? Not sure because of the numbering. Feels like I’m further on than that, but the head is complicated and so is the vomit. So today sometime I’ll work on the bits in the torso that aren’t flesh, and then I’ll have a better idea of where I’m at. I’m also going to pick up a quilt and hopefully hike/walk the dog and the Man. So here’s what I’ve gotten so far…need a bigger box, plus extra points if you can find the cat butt and tail.

Also need to grade at least one of those hellish assignments. Ugh. Don’t feel like it, but it has to be done. I know some people just don’t do any work over break, but it’s looming over me and I know how panicked I would be next week (or tomorrow!) if I hadn’t done what I did. I need my head above the water, not doing that thing where you’re kicking your feet to push your nose and mouth up a little to get air, which was the last three weeks. Sigh.

When I made it to bed, a bunch of animals followed me…Kitten settled down by my feet, which is not normal for her…usually she comes up later and shoves into my back.

She was there for quite a while before she wandered off to sleep on a blanket somewhere less crowded. Simba was squished between us most of the night…

Although this was before the Man came to bed. Luna showed up in the dark. Nova doesn’t come in on the bed any more. She would, but the dog freaks her out. Her loss.

OK. So I’m up. I need to shower, go get my quilt, pick up the Xmas thing, go for a hike, probably eat somewhere in there, grade some shit, plan some other shit, iron fabrics, probably do a date-night thing, and read another book (it’s OK; it’s short). Today is Saturday. I’m just writing that for my own assistance. I need to remember to do all the things tomorrow that get me ready for school, and the more times I remind myself that today is Saturday, the more likely it is that I will remember to do all the things on Sunday that will help me go to school on Monday. I’m glad I’ve had time this week to recharge without students around. To plan without panicking. To get caught up on grading. That’s good. Plus make a bunch of food and freeze it so my December self panics less. These are good things. Maybe next year I can have a break from school that isn’t full of grading and planning (ha!). Next year, I’ll have taught all this once and will have more help. Hopefully. For now, I’m thankful that it’s Saturday and not Sunday. I can do a Saturday.

Head Banging

You know, I’m currently in a Zoom for school (yes, well before school hours) because they couldn’t send it in an email. It’s chaotic and I’m not going to remember any of it. Plus someone just ordered at Starbucks and was not on mute, so hopefully she got stuff for all of us. CLUSTERFUCK FRIDAY. I had a headache when I got up. It has NOT gone away.

I’m having a hard time concentrating to write this. Head banging away while listening to woman back East who apparently couldn’t do this Zoom at a time when it was reasonable for us to be required to go.

I ironed everything down on Wednesday night…the right way this time.

Wow those heads are big. But that’s real. They’re so big and in our faces. Stupid Supreme Court. I’m seriously not coherent today. I have school shit all over the place, grades due, too many things to get done, plus the Man has two shows this weekend and I have an artist talk. So I’m feeling sort of BEYOND overwhelmed. So deep breaths. All over the fucking place.

Last night, I did the serious iron…the spray with water and 30 seconds of heat over the whole thing. It’s all I had time for. Hoping that I can stitch sometime this weekend, but it’s not currently looking good (cries into her tea).

Note to self. Trying to write while this woman is talking is very difficult. Plus the dog is barking somewhere. I should figure out where. OK. I give up. Pro: It’s Friday. I need to get through today without feeling like I’m a shitty teacher (ugh), then meet with the parental units about their trip, then figure out how to get to the La Mesa Oktoberfest to see the Man play. Then hopefully get a full night’s sleep. Then grade my ass off on Saturday. Not sure I’ll make it to my guild meeting tomorrow. Then another show. OK. I’m getting my head around it.

Dear Wild Animals:

Dear wild animals: I realize many of you are nocturnal and I sympathize with that whole ‘avoiding predators’ things, sleep during the day, yada yada yada. But I am not nocturnal. Well mostly. Let’s put it this way. I have to subsume…no, not subsume…sublimate (something sub anyway…is subserviate a word?)…my nocturnal tendencies to hold down a day job that requires some level of awakeness (oooh also not a word) and ability to make 7,000 decisions in 14 seconds flat. So when you, wild animals, are traipsing through my yard and on my roof at holy shit in the morning, the little dog who is currently sleeping with me loses his tiny little mind and barks and boofs until at least an hour after you are done traipsing. Please traipse elsewhere. Or do it more quietly. Please.

Tired. Yes. Why do you ask? When am I NOT tired? Hmmm. Good question.

I think I might finally be getting back to some normalcy in the art stuff after last week’s disruption. Monday night, I had to pack a quilt, a HUGE quilt, that need ironing and lots of dehairing and is just huge and awkward as hell to get done in here (stop making huge quilts!)…

So I got that packaged up into a box that was 83″ high. And yesterday, I shoved it into my car after school and dropped it off so it could go to Quilts=Art=Quilts in Auburn, NY.

Hello box that is almost as long as my car. I love this quilt. I love that it’s getting into shows. I don’t love shipping it. This weekend, I need to clean up and pack two more quilts…wait, no, there are five quilts going out between 10/8 and 10/14 I think. Still waiting for an answer on one…because they want delivery during the day…not shipped. Um. Artists have day jobs? Really? Sigh. It’s a school, too, so you’d think they’d get it. No answer yet. OK. So there’s that. It’s done. So last night, I’m like, where the hell am I on the quilt that I wanted done by the beginning of September that is now going to be an October quilt because my day job is a time-sucking asshole? Oh yeah, sew the background together. Easiest thing I’ve done all day. Seriously. Then I trimmed it. I did measure twice (good). I probably should have checked my drawing with the measurements twice (oh well) because I had graded for about 3 hours and I was tired. I knew I was tired, but I wanted to be making art dammit. Anyway. The measurements are fine. Somehow in my head, though, even though I’m staring at a drawing that is taller than it is wide, I started ironing with the fabric horizontal instead of vertical. Luckily I didn’t get far before I figured out shit wasn’t going to fit. And I didn’t iron hard yet, because I didn’t know if it was in the right place. So I could pull off everything I’d ironed.

It’ll be fine. Everything is fine. Tonight (hopefully…after school and taking the cat to the vet and cooking dinner) I will try again. Thinking it through. Again. Wish me luck. I also ironed the nonwoven version of my drawing down to some silk I had lying around (welcome to my weirdo stash)…plus a random diatom thing that we put on there to use up the nonwoven.

I trimmed the silk away on the smaller piece…didn’t have time/energy to do the larger one, but I will. Then I can paint the silk from behind and see how that looks. That’s not happening soon…I have grades due in less than a week and that’s all I’m doing is grading and trying to plan 8th-grade science with zero help. I emailed the other teacher and that’s a no. I don’t think he’s doing anything but the provided curriculum, which has no labs, or hardly any. It’s driving me and my kids bonkers. I’ve been trying to map out the next unit so there’s plenty of hands-on stuff, but I can’t even get my head around the subject matter (Force and Motion, Velocity, Speed, ugh…it’s not like there’s a shortage of cool things to do…I just can’t figure out how to organize it). I will have to get there at some point (actually really soon), but I’m not ready. Hopefully my 7th-grade co-teacher will be helping this week with some real basic stuff. Here’s my piece in the PHES Gallery in Carlsbad…the artist talk with four of the artists (including me) is Sunday night at 5 PM.

Hopefully I will be coherent. Questionable at this rate. This is a mental war I’m having with the online library at the moment.

I order books online to read on my iPad, and they’ll be like 6 weeks out or 3 weeks out and then they all come the same week. Every time. Luckily they have a new thing where you can say, um no, deliver it next week instead…so if you’re like me and you already have one book you’re reading that’s supposed to take 7 hours and you only get to read for like 30 minutes most days and another book queued up that’s supposed to take 9 hours, and you really really want to check out a third book, but you can’t. Because you only get them for 21 days and there’s already 5 people in line behind you, so if you start reading it and don’t finish, it might be another 21 days before you see it again. Or more. Someday in the future we will just pay writers a living wage no matter what and all the books will be free and fully accessible. Seems reasonable, yeah? I think so. But for now, no, I will try to save up all the books I want to read (right now, I am obsessively checking out every book written by two women authors…been working on them all year. I think I have four books left for one of them and only three on the other. Then I can read other things (I do read other things while I’m waiting for these to show up). Who are the authors? Natasha Pulley and Sarah Maas…light, except when it’s not, total fantasy or steampunk or dystopian strange fantasy. Not real. Makes up for everything else. OK. School. Today is rocks and landforms in 7th grade and designing systems to capture energy in 8th. I’m hoping 8th runs itself and I can do some planning. 7th never runs itself. It requires constant putting out of fires and sometimes arguing with the adults who are supposed to be helping kids in the class, which I honestly could do without. So hopefully that’s solved today too and I can do art for real with a larger portion of my brain tonight

.

Three Days of Art…

I had a great three days of art, although I hit some line on Saturday and had to come home a few hours early and take a nap to beat a migraine that was starting. I’m still tired, but that’s normal for me, unfortunately. Certainly, this is not the week that will fix that. I’m glad I signed up for the conference. Most class situations I need to travel, so there are travel costs, plus hotel etc, and then it’s too expensive for me. This was perfect…in town, no travel/hotel costs. Kept my food costs down by bringing lunch one day. Wish I had had more energy for hanging out after, but that was my body telling me I was doing too much. I know the next SAQA conference is in Florida, so that’s not happening, but I’d keep my eyes open for another one (although they don’t do workshops usually, and I really enjoyed that).

The best part about workshops is getting to know/hear how another artist’s brain works. Betty Busby has a very interesting and creative brain, and it was very cool to listen/see her process. We did lots of fabric painting, which was cool, but also the nonwoven stuff in the cutting machine was very cool too.

But first the painting…sun prints…

Plants under the silk…

Metallic paints…

This needs ironing…

I didn’t make as many as some…

I had more silk…just never know what to do with those pieces…

Although I have more ideas now than I did. The coolest part for me was the nonwoven stuff in the cutting machine. I did a few diatoms the day before…

And then went home Friday night, did schoolwork for 2 hours (ugh), then took one of my drawings, thickened the lines and simplified it…

Until it looked like this…

Then texted it to Betty, who put it on her computer, and then we made a cutting file of it…

Tossed my other piece of nonwoven into the machine…

And got this!

Fiddly as shit. The plan is to iron it to silk, then paint from behind, cut the silk away from the design, and then put that on a background for quilting etc.

The leftovers are pretty fascinating too…

I was not organized enough to save them for a backwards version. Not really backwards. Opposite? Notan? IDK. But certainly I have some ideas…she showed us how she has all these parts (if I divided a drawing into parts) and you can compose with the parts.

Hmmm. More ideas. Also finally found my Inktense pencils and played around with them a little bit before my brain shut down.

It really did shut down. I drove home and went straight to bed for an hour. In the afternoon. Took meds. Woke up and felt better. I did not get enough sleep last week and my brain was in overdrive. Plus Saturday night, we went to the Man’s dad’s 85th birthday party. So I needed to be awake for that.

Sunday was all work. Simba on guard dog mode…

Until about 9:30 PM, when I started searching out all the quilts that need to be shipped or delivered in the next few weeks. A big one needs to go out ASAP. I have one more roll of quilts to pull down for two of them that are going later, but I found a chunk of them.

Some of them have never been in shows, so that’s cool. And now the studio is a disaster area! I’ll get the exhibits on the page where I tell you what shows I’m in…as soon as I get progress report grades done and survive this week. It’s hot again. What are the odds that my class A/C is working? Three work orders, no change. I’m gonna be irritated if today is still no change. Probably gonna be irritated anyway, honestly, because I was gone for two days and a bunch of kids did absolutely nothing. Ah well. It is what it is. You reap what you sow. Or something. Off to the day job. Hopefully I will get back to ironing soon…probably not tonight, but soon.

Just Some Part…

My school district sends out this “motivational” email every Wednesday and most of us groan and immediately delete. Today’s is about high achievers and how they push themselves. But then it tells us to be humble enough to embrace the power of small things to make a difference. I’m not sure how those are connected? I know I am a high achiever…it’s a pain in the ass sometimes and I wish I could let more things go or suck (well besides cleaning house and maintaining the yard). But that doesn’t mean I don’t know about the small things. I came home from staying late at work yesterday, and spent 20 minutes drinking a fresh cup of tea while reading my book. Then I did more work. Unfortunately, any time I want (or need) to take a day off, the school prep work going up to it is heinous. Plus knowing I won’t get any school work done for three days, so that puts me even further behind. This is why I don’t take time off during school. But for this? Making art stuff? Listening to artists? I know my art self needs it and wants it, so it’s telling high-achieving work self to fuck off, and so work self has been dominating in the evenings. The stress of taking time off to make things better! Sigh.

Monday night, I did treat the art self to an in-person talk at my quilt guild by Valerie Goodwin.

I missed book club for it. I did grade homework during the main part of the meeting; got through a week’s worth, so I’m almost caught up on those (almost meaning I just have last week’s to do). I did full on listen to Valerie though. She’s fascinating and so is her work. I took a Zoom class from her last year and really enjoyed her mind, so needed to hear the talk, even though I was exhausted. On a Monday! Yeah, I know. Came home and worked some more and didn’t manage any of my own art at all. Ah well. It was for a good cause.

Last night, I stayed late at work, trying to get sub plans written. Then came home and graded all of the Unit 1s that had been lying around for the last two weeks, not getting done. Put all that in the gradebook and then realized I had never finished one of the assignments that needs to be pushed out while I am gone. Huh. OK. Did that. Then it was 10 PM. No way in hell am I not doing art for two nights in a row. So I hustled (slowly and exhaustedly) in here, found the background fabric, ironed it, cut it, and got it ready to sew together. At that point, it was 10:30 and I needed to go to bed. But it’s ready for the next step…

Tonight I need to prep my Visions quilt for delivery this weekend (if someone ever answers their email), and then maybe get started on ironing this together. Realistically, it might not be tonight. But I will try.

And then I’m taking two days off to nourish Art Brain and escape the crazy 7th graders…the 8th graders are fine, it’s just the curriculum that’s driving me nuts. The 7th graders though…whoever decided those 60 kids should all be together on the same team must have been doing crack. There’s some wonderful, super high-level kids, some OK kids, and some brats from outer space. We always have that, but I think it’s usually spread out over 5 classes? I don’t know what the problem is; I just know my whole team is over them and it’s not even the end of the first progress report period. Although that is coming soon.

My parents’ dog visited Monday to Tuesday. It’s a practice run for when they are on their trip to the UK and she’s here all month, which might kill all of us. OR…we’ll all adjust over the first week and get on with our lives (cats, I’m talking to you. Also, Katie, chillax.).

She needs a good brushing (she sheds horrendously) and maybe some CBD oil. Same with the cats and maybe the Man. Even Simba gets jealous…

Although this is his chill self.

OK. I’m tired. What’s new? I have sub plans; just need to set up and clean up my room a bit so it’s easier for the guest teacher to find and manage shit. I need to contact admin and tell them to police my 7th-grade classes. I need to plan and grade like a crazy woman (crazier than usual). I have pilates (hallelujah…because I didn’t make it to the gym yesterday, no thanks to the day job), I have to cook dinner and the chicken is not defrosting fast enough (give it time…and perhaps a hot-water soak later). Then prep a quilt and hopefully iron stuff. We’ll see. AND pack up supplies for my workshop, some of which haven’t arrived yet, and Amazon sent one of those “it’s late but you could reorder it” emails (dammit…no time for that), so who knows how that will roll. Probably not well. Whatever. I’ve got some part of this. Not all of it. Not “I got this.” Just some part.

All the Pieces

All the pieces are done, ironed together. I just need to make them fit. Ha! That’s always the issue. I love it when the quilt top is just one giant ironed-together piece with no holes in it, because it’s easier to get onto the background. Pieces like this with a little bit here and a little bit there, and they all have to fit together, which implies I ironed them together really well (ha!)…those are the hardest. I’ve got two big heads (here’s one of them from Friday night)…

Then there’s the head and upper torso of the main figure with the arms, then the lower torso with the rest of the three figures and the body of one of the big heads. They’re all attached in some way. It’ll be a challenge. It’s not a small piece, so doing it on the ironing board won’t work. I finished the Earth last night…

That was the last bit…and I found the missing ‘s’ finally. It was in the box of 1300s, even though it’s a 300. It has aspirations…

In other art news, Coronawood got into Quilts=Art=Quilts, which is cool. And I’ll be part of an artist talk on October 2 at the PHES Gallery in Carlsbad.

Should be interesting…a wide variety of work.

I spent a huge chunk of the weekend working on school, which is funny, because I only just got my nose above water and my mouth sometimes. Meaning 8th grade is planned through next Monday and is a disaster after that. I spent 5 hours on Sunday just dealing with that, and then the other 3-4 hours was grading stuff and posting stuff and trying to make sense of stuff. I brought home 5 things on paper that I didn’t touch, needed grading. I’m taking some of it to my other quilt guild meeting tonight. Valerie Goodwin is talking. I took a class from her last year on Zoom and wanted to hear/see her in person. Also I won’t be at school for two days this week, so hence my panic about school stuff. But I’ll be at SAQA Summit listening to artists talk and then taking a 2-day workshop. I still need to write sub plans.

That whole 5 hours yesterday was on this chair with this cat behind me…

It wasn’t particularly comfortable.

Later we walked the little dog. Not sure why I call him that, since he’s the only dog we have at the moment. I guess I have a wishful big dog.

We only did 2 miles because all of us were tired. The boychild has been gone a lot lately for work, so Simba has been needy. And a shitty sleeper. I’d like to thank the local coyotes for my lack of sleep today. Boychild may be back Wednesday…depends on local fires. He was on one over the weekend, but seems to be off it now. I told Simba; he understood nothing.

We managed dinner out…

So I drew something very basic that I’ve probably drawn some version of about a million times. Which was fine, because at least I was drawing.

This school year, man. I’m hoping I get a better handle on it soon. It’s been shit. I should say the 8th graders are mostly fine. They are a decent group of kids. I just don’t have the curriculum down until like 5 minutes before class. The 7th grade, I’ve taught this curriculum enough times that I’ve got it, but the kids are a challenge…and not all of them. Just a significant enough number of them that it is hard and exhausting and sometimes they behave and sometimes they are shitheads. Because they are kids, yes, but also because of COVID and not being in school and still figuring out how not to be immature and some of them don’t HAVE to behave at home, so why behave at school? Some days are good, most are ok or tolerable, and then some are just shit. And because I end the day with them, it just throws me. And then the curriculum is stupid, the stuff I’m using for 8th grade. Hate Amplify. It’s lame. So repetitive, only one right answer, hardly any hands-on stuff. There are simulations, but it’s not the same thing. The kids need something to put their hands on, to mess with. Hopefully the next unit is better. I guess it’s only as good as I am, and I don’t feel up to it by myself. I don’t have any other curriculum that I can do with them. And I don’t have time to go searching for stuff, or the brain power, because I would have to be able to get the big picture to do that, and I’d need like a 40-hour week of planning to get there.

On top of all this, some messy shit with adults happened last week at school that still is pissing me off. I need to drop it, let it go, but it’s shitty and I can’t get it out of my head. Thank you brain for that.

I did finish one book, read a whole ‘nother book (the Man hates it when I use ‘nother)…

A Prayer for the Crown-Shy…second book in a series, but basically I love anything by Becky Chambers. Reminds me of why I don’t hike the PCT as a thru-hiker.

Anyway. I’m on yet another book now. It feels good to read. I do love to read. And draw. And sleep. I love sleep so much and I suck so bad at it.

Today is chaos. I’m giving assessments to both classes, although 8th probably won’t finish today. 7th will if it kills me (and it might). Staff meeting after school, plus counseling, pick up the parental dog and bring her back, then off to the quilt guild meeting. I’m not sure I can do all that, but I’m going to try. I should eat something in there sometime. I’d like to say I’ll iron when I get home, but odds are that I will just collapse. We’ll see. A girl can hope.