Finally Ironed…

One thing I love about this week is that feeling that starts to rise up…the one that feels like days off from work…the anticipation of not having to write lesson plans or create curriculum from your butt because your district hasn’t given you any for the last 4+ years and the damn standards changed or even just that glorious feeling that I can stay up late, sleep in the next morning (fuck, I’ve got jury duty next Monday…even earlier than fucking school, the bastards), and make art for hours without having to worry about that whole day job thing. But also, the panicked emails of parents who want a miracle for their student’s lack of work in the form of a parent meeting NOW it must be NOW why can’t you do it NOW. Fun stuff. It won’t fix the progress report that’s coming home. So meetings and emails…lots of them.

So now I have a quiz to grade…not sure I have the brainpower for it. We have a lab today anyway, so it won’t be happening yet. It’s a lab we’ve never done before exactly like this…so we’ll see how it goes. I’m hoping it goes well. It meant I had to traipse around to three stores last night trying to find two different types of chocolate chip cookie (long story), and also do the grocery shopping, and then cook dinner. Long day. I finished grades at school before I left, so as of now, they’re complete. Which is nice. I have tons of work to do at school still…they’ll make us clean our rooms so THEY can clean our rooms. Plus we need to make glaciers. Being a science teacher is a weird job sometimes.

It was late when I made it in here, but I entered a show, dealt with a bunch of personal stuff, emails, bills, figuring out that I need to ship three quilts this week alone…which means I need at least one box. And the girlchild comes home Saturday night, so her room needs about 40 quilts moved. Minor issue.

I bought the background fabric on Wednesday night last week, and then wasn’t able to get any of the ironing done. I had to stitch the background together first, make it big enough…

This was an easy ironing job…

Mostly one solid piece, not a lot of fussiness.

Calli helped.

Not at all. In no way, shape, or form.

Now they’re ready to be stitched down tonight. Hopefully that will be easy peasy…

And then I can finally quilt this bastard, like three weeks late. Sigh. Oh well. It’ll get done.

One of my students. I want you to see what I get to deal with…

Best part is his spelling of science.

I have a piece in CraftForms right now, at the Wayne Art Center in Wayne, PA.

See if you can figure out which one it is…

It looks like an interesting show actually…lots of variety in materials and shapes and techniques…

Too bad I don’t live near Pennsylvania.

It’ll be there until February 1. Check it out!

OK, off to the mines. That’s what we’re doing today…mining. It’ll be good. Really. Then tutoring. I’m already tired. I think I’m cooking again tonight too. Ugh. OK. Work. Four more days. Translator canceled for this morning’s meeting. Could be difficult.


I’m not at school. Not going today. Going on a quick weekend trip. Crazy timing for that, but it’s possible there is never a good time. Currently sitting in an airport… not sure where getting sick is more likely: school or airport waiting area. They both are cesspools of germiness.

Kittens made it successfully through their spaying; we’ll see them Sunday.

I managed to find (at a store, 10 minutes before they closed) a background for the quilt…

It’s even washed, but it needs to be pieced. It didn’t happen last night. I exercised, graded the last of the hellacious essays, and packed instead. I even posted my Patreon video. All good.

While I was grading, Kitten explored the tree…

Very closely.

Well I’m hoping this is a fun trip. I packed hiking boots. Doesn’t that guarantee fun? More later…probably while I’m sitting in an airport somewhere. Back to trying to finish grades…

I Like the Rock Cycle.

I was supposed to go to book club last night, but somewhere in the middle of the union meeting, where I realized it was STILL going on, I also realized how tired I was and how many essays I still had left to read, and the responsible teacher brain took over on both and said, Self…stay home and read the things, even though they might kill your brain, because that will make the next week easier. So I did. I didn’t finish a whole class, though. At some point, somewhere after the mermaid commentary (I’m not explaining it…just know that a kid went off about how one teacher is not a mermaid in the middle of his essay about what happens to the mass of a candle when it burns.), my brain said, oh hey, fuck this, you need a break. I read essays until 10:30 PM, so I don’t feel bad. I also went to the store and got stuff for lunches for next week, at least the first part of it, and ingredients for the boychild to make the cookies I need on Monday for school. We give the classified staff food because they take care of us, although there is one staff member I would like to NOT get any of the foods, but I can’t manage that and it’s a pretty petty thing to think this time of year.

I thought it. I didn’t do it.

Anyway, 6 more essays for that class, another 14 for the last one. Oh jesus. I might not finish. I WILL FINISH. Meanwhile, another student is telling me how I should be able to grade his makeup work before progress report grades are due, because all he can think about is himself and he has no idea what I’m staring at. Hopefully I do not go off on him today about his misunderstanding of teacher work loads. I worded a slightly irritable email about maybe turning it all in the FIRST time so he wouldn’t have to beg me (this is not the first time), but he won’t get it, because 12. Selfish. World revolves around me.

I wish the world revolved around me. I’d have clean floors and…wait. That’s all I can think of right now. Hmm.

My sub plans also are written now too. Mostly. I think. I had one sub cancel and another one came in. He’s a math whiz, so tomorrow that will not be helpful at all, unless he also loves the rock cycle. I hope he loves the rock cycle. I do.

Anyway, tomorrow, at this time, I will be sitting in an airport, ditching school. This is cool. I’m not very good at ditching school, as you might know. It’s easier to never be absent. I hate writing sub plans and dealing with behavior issues afterwards. I don’t get sick much, so that helps. Really, it’s only travel at this point. As I get older, I’m sure there might be other shit that makes me miss days. Hopefully I’ll get more comfortable with it. Here’s Calli warming my butt while I write sub plans.

She’s good at that.

Here’s Simba trying to persuade me to read more essays.

I almost quit so many times. Persistence!

Here’s Calli continuing to rest while I grade.

I need to write some sort of matching or Bingo game about how to write a CER to help these kids. I don’t know where to start. I’ll figure it out over break. Maybe.

After 10:30, I came in and read all the crazy stuff I got in email today, including two acceptances to shows, which is very cool. Two pieces are going to the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts in Ojai, California, opening January 18…Climate Goddess, which has never been seen anywhere…

Part of that is because the space is small and they needed small work. I don’t have a lot of that.

The other piece is Sweet Delicious, which was made for another show and is based on a poem I wrote…

The other show I entered is called Art Quilts and is at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, in Sebastopol, CA. You Pollute Me has been in a bunch of shows.

So that was cool news, all in one day.

Then I ironed…gave her a face and hair.

And then did the stuff in the middle and the space cat…

So now it’s all ready for a background. Except my first idea won’t work with the fabrics I picked. I went through my stash, and what I need are 4 different 26″ squares for my idea to work. But I only usually buy half yards, so that’s less than 26″. The other pieces I had were from my stash of backgrounds, so I had bigger pieces. Sigh. I think I’m going to have to go shopping. I know basically what I want. Then I can iron it all down. I can pretty much guarantee it’s not getting stitched together tonight though. So I’m behind again. Accept it. Sometimes stuff takes a long time to do, eh? I’ve done better in the last week in terms of artmaking…over 9 hours, vs the week before with only 5 and a bit, and that was with vacation time in there. I’m about 10 hours into the ironing. Almost there.

The eucalyptus trees started dropping these. They’re pretty on the mud.

Do you think my fence needs work?

Dad says it just needs a few replacement boards. Can you see how high my eyebrows are right now? I don’t think he’s seen it in this state yet. Maybe this month. Before the bushes start coming back.

OK, go to work and keep reading essays, while kids make amazing rock cycle comic pages and are totally on task and focused, and don’t flip out because I’m going to be gone tomorrow. And so is their history teacher. And in 8th period, their math teacher. It’s Friday the 13th too, so you know that’ll be a thing. Maybe Freddy Krueger will be my sub. That might motivate them. Plus I bet he likes the rock cycle.

Doesn't Look Like Much…

Well it’s humpday. My brain is confused by days. As a teacher, I should have this down. What day is it? I write it on the board every day. You’d think I’d have a clue. This week is weird, though. I’ll be out on Friday, so I need sub plans and a video explaining shit. Plus packing and laundry and grocery shopping. No worries. Two meetings tonight. Not sure how all this will get done.

I have two more periods of grading this hellacious assignment. Grades are due Tuesday, less than a week away. I’m in Portland for three days. Grading will happen on the plane and in airports, but I don’t want it to happen once we get there. There honestly won’t be time. A stressful trip but hopefully a fun one too.

The sunset last night from the chiropractor’s office…

It was prettier in person of course.

The kittens went off to their spay surgery location last night…spay today; we’ll see them on Sunday night (well, the man will see them tomorrow night). Apparently one really didn’t want to get in the cage at the foster location. Awww. We are no longer fostering by the way…they’re ours. Because they were gone, though, Kitten came out to explore her favorite thing this time of year, the Christmas tree. Yes, it only has one ornament on it. I’ve been busy.

Really, she just wants to eat pine needles and throw them back up. It’s a strange ritual.

I graded until about 10:30 PM. I don’t think I’ll be able to do that today with the two meetings. We’ll see. Maybe I can grade some in class, but I doubt it.

Then ironing…I so want to be done with this step, but life is busy. I got everything ironed except the last head…

And the center bit…and I laid out all the 800s…but to keep ironing would have put me well past 1 AM, so I stopped at midnight. Ish. Sleep is a thing I need. So I have a head to do, the center bit, and the space cat, about 72 pieces. Then I need to figure out the background, which is a bigger deal. Because I have no idea what I’m going to do about that. Maybe give up and go shopping on Thursday after work. I wanted to piece this background and this was going to be the perfect piece for that, and it might still be, but I haven’t had the time to see if I can pull it off. Too much time being responsible and shit.

Oh yeah, she’s headless…

Here’s some loose bits that will hang out around the women…

A spaceship and a monarch butterfly. You know, like you do.

Look! That’s all that’s left…

Doesn’t look like much because it’s not. I might not go to book club tonight. I might do this instead (shhh). Or I might get out of the first meeting too late anyway to traipse all the way across town.

It’ll all get done eventually. Even decorating the tree. Cleaning the girlchild’s room (she’s coming home in 10 days, 15 hours, and 18 minutes. Give or take. Winter Break. It’s soon too. All good. Really. OK. Off to NeedyTown. We play a game today. It’ll be OK.

I Killed an Iron…

Happy Monday! I know. It’s Monday. I’m trying a positive attitude. I actually did OK this weekend and am feeling OK about going into this week. Not awesome, but OK. As always, I’m tired. I’m behind in grading. And the floors are dirty. What’s new? I know, right? It’s not raining. That’s a plus. Today’s classwork is a known thing. Also a plus. The lab is tomorrow. That will be harder, but it’s a pretty easy lab. I’m only working 4 days this week…at school…because I’m ditching school for a day to go to Portland. Why Portland? No good reason. We had a free flight that needed to be used before the end of the year, so we picked somewhere relatively close. Honestly, if we sit in the Airbnb for the whole time, it will be OK.

So I did a lot of artmaking this weekend…I think that’s why I’m feeling OK about it being Monday. This was Saturday afternoon…

It was a delightful afternoon. I gave myself about two and a half hours to iron.

It’s a great form of meditation…

Kitten break. They finally got big enough to be spayed…it’ll be this week, mostly while we’re gone. Poor babies.

These are the 200s, all laid out for ironing.

This thing is going together pretty easily. Here’s the start of Figure number 2…

Saturday night, we had the man’s work party, on top of a downtown building again.

It was OK. Snacking food is hard for a diabetic. There was gambling AND a murder mystery AND a masquerade. Seemed like a lot. The man won pizza socks. Lots of them.

Sunday was slow-moving, like my dad in his truck, carrying a lime tree from a friend’s house that is about to be sold to my house where it will live in the ground quite happily. Hopefully.

I grocery shopped, did laundry, and even graded. But I ironed for another 2 hours. I actually killed my iron last night…

I’ve dropped it multiple times, super-glued the base back together twice, but this was The Death of It. Seriously, pieces went flying. Everywhere. It’s gone.

Luckily, I keep a spare.

Kitten interaction in between things…

That’s my leg, Luna.

Kitten (the real Kitten) likes to hang out while I iron.

Sometimes right in front of the screen. There’s Figure 2, getting ironed…

Then she has eyeballs and she’s right side up.

The hardest part of this quilt might be deciding which way is up. This will be the third quilt this year where I’ve had that issue.

Starting on Figure 3. That’s where I had to go to bed.

I won’t be done tonight, but I’ll be close. Stitchdown by the end of the week. Then hopefully quilting next week.

Here’s my top nine on Instagram for 2019. Interesting…two aren’t quilts and two are old quilts. But that’s OK.

And one has no face. That’s just weird.

OK, today is the festive (not) forced holiday party at work for 2 hours. Shoot me now. Then I can come home and iron to my heart’s content. Well, I have a grading goal, but THEN I can iron.

We Survived…

Today we take a bunch of kids to the zoo. Hopefully we don’t lose or damage any of them and they all come back with us. Well, you know, our classes are big this year…we wouldn’t miss a few of them. No really. It’s usually a good field trip, one I enjoy, even though I currently feel like I’ve been hit by a Mack truck. My team rocks, though…they’ve handled a good chunk of what’s going on today, which I appreciate. I, however, will be carrying about 17 epipens and inhalers in a backpack, along with 149 permission slips, just in case we have to call a parent or guardian about a kid. I feel like that could be automated, but what do I know. Nothing, by the way…I know nothing.

I stayed late last night for an hour-long parent meeting, plus the last bits of field trip stuff. Came home way too exhausted to deal with going to the gym (too bad…I really wanted to this week). Plus I was supposed to make dinner, so timing was an issue.

I started grading the horrible assignment last night…made it through about three of them before my brain shut down. One of those three was actually pretty awesome. One could have been awesome. The third one was the ouch. I’ll keep working on them. I need to get through them before next week. I don’t want to take my computer with me at all. And grades are due about 36 hours after I get back.

This weekend is busy. Not horribly so, but enough. I’m tired. I’m always tired though. The holidays are demanding. I’m looking forward to the girlchild coming home and having a lot of time for art. I will have grading to do, of course, but hopefully it won’t be too bad.

After dinner, after talking to the girlchild on the actual phone, after doing some work, I sorted the quilt pieces…only 8 boxes because there are only 800 or so pieces in this one…

This part doesn’t take long usually. I had some assistance? Not really. Luna is incredibly curious about Kitten.

Kitten is less interested…

Although she didn’t do as much hissing as before, and I played with both of them at the end of a long ribbon. So there was some staring at the little one, who played like a kitten. And they’re all fascinated with the Christmas tree. So I think there’s hope. We’ll see.

It took about 48 minutes (which included cat interactions) to sort all these…

Then I came into the office and cleaned up a bit so I could iron. I made it through part of the first torso and all the stuff behind.

That’s about an hour’s worth. More tonight, hopefully, after the artist talk I have to go to. It’s going to be a long day.

Here’s some of the drawing stuff I’ve been doing for school…I did a worksheet for a video and website we wanted the kids to go through…

I don’t know if doing this is ever worth the amount of time it took.

This is an assignment we have them do with lyrics of a song about the layers of the Earth…

And I finally got the cover page colored…

Space cat! Yes, I needed a lot of coloring time this week. It’s good. Next week is a lab and then more coloring, and then I’m ditching school for a day. Hopefully I will be well for that, because I’m surrounded by sick people at the moment. I can’t afford to get sick. I don’t have time. Nobody ever has time…that’s when it’s mostly likely to happen.

Wish us luck. This could be newsworthy. Hopefully not. Last year? Oh, last year, when our bus driver took the wrong turn (she was a newbie) and couldn’t figure out how to get us on the freeway without getting hit…oh shit, it was scary. We survived.

Damn Eyelid

Hmmm. Well. I sorta forgot to write for a couple of days. I mean, I usually blow off Sunday anyway, but I’m pretty sure yesterday was Monday and today is Tuesday. In my defense, I’ve been busy and out of a normal daily routine, which is probably why the writing didn’t happen. I haven’t hit relaxation mode yet, and honestly, probably won’t over this break. I just have too much work this week.

In good news, there’s lots of kitten interaction, if only to try to figure out where they’re hiding or to introduce them to the other furry beasts in the house. And I should sleep more on a week off. I really should. Oops.

OK, so Saturday, I ironed for a while…this is Figure 3…all done.

Saturday night, I went to watch the man’s band…and two more bands…

Lots of 80s punk…and the man playing as Exene from X.

Like you do. I was tired after all that and went to bed early. Can’t get the sleep or the eating under control this week so far.

On Sunday, I had tons to get done. Unlike some…

Sundays are always too much stuff. But then I got most of Figure 4 done…

At some point, I realized it was well after midnight…that’s a lot of fabrics…

I was almost done, but it would have taken a lot of time to really get done…that’s it. That’s all.

So that would be Monday.

Monday started at the DMV. I needed to get my RealID and I figured now was better than waiting until the last minute…although I made the appointment two months ago, and this was the earliest I could get in. When I got there, they told me one of the pieces of documentation I had wouldn’t work, even though it was on the list they sent me. Luckily, I had another piece in the car (that expired the day before, but apparently they didn’t care about that), so after 45 minutes or so, I was done. I read my book. Good use of time.

A really good use of time was the 4.3-mile walk we did with the dogs…

We missed one trail but eventually found another one heading the same way…well, not that one…

That was the most relaxing thing I’ve done so far.

Outside. With dogs. And boychild. Plus no grading.

The grading is stressing me out. I keep thinking I’ll just do one part of the larger assignment a day, but that’s not necessarily working. And I won’t have enough days…because I’m assuming Thanksgiving through Sunday are lost days due to family gatherings and travel. I really don’t want a lot of these assignments transferring over into December. It’ll be hard enough to get through those three weeks. Plus grades will be due again. SIGH.

Better to be outside.

And it was a good day for it…supposed to be rain starting tomorrow. Lots of it.

Back to kittens…

They have totally different personalities. And they still need appropriate names. Apparently Sharp and Pointy are not options.

This bag was very exciting…

I just watched for a while and drank my tea.

Back to grading, I persuaded Kitten to come out and be sociable, and then she saw the kittens.

She’s still not a fan.

We lost kittens a few times yesterday. They climbed into the drawers from under the table.

That’s now a thread AND kitten drawer.

I finally made it into the studio around 10:30 PM…with the last bit of the ironing to do.

But I got them all ironed down…

Almost 14 hours…the chaos of fabric piled up…

I stayed up way too late.

There we go. 134 fabrics total. The box on the bottom right is the four different flesh runs.

Going for some variety. Every figure got their own red heart fabrics too. Anyway. The next step is to cut them all out. I also have over 3 hours of videos to watch today…not kitten videos, but students. It might kill me, but I’m aiming to finish it…in between buying snow chains and a turkey and making it to my pilates class. The right eye has finally stopped twitching, but I’m still grinding my teeth. Deep breaths. And more exercise. Wait. Dammit. That eyelid just started twitching again. Aargh.