Check Out the Sky

Um. It’s not morning anymore. Yeah. That day completely disappeared. I’m not sure where. I’m posting now because I know we’re hiking tomorrow, plus I signed up for the SAQA virtual conference, so maybe I’ll watch/listen to some of that tomorrow too.

What have I done today? A virtual meeting for work, handed out school lunches, came home and managed some crazy shit, and cleaned all my quilts off the girlchild’s bed…because we’re bringing her home. She got laid off (a job dependent on people who need to go out and do things and can’t), and things are weird, so we’re bringing her home for now. More people! Hopefully she’s bringing toilet paper with her, right? Yeah no.

Handing out lunches yesterday in the rain…today, no rain…just chilly.

It’s exciting. I came home and video-chatted with my quilt teacher who moved to Portland…

And I made some bugs…see…

She was amused.

We walked the dogs…

When we left, it was sprinkling. I bet you can guess how this story ends…with all of us sopping wet and muddy. Yup. Tomorrow, the boychild and I are going to do 6 miles sans doggos.

Then we’re gonna drive to the airport and pick up the girlchild. After we sanitize her for being in a different city AND on a plane. I put her on a nonstop because otherwise she was sitting in Las Vegas or Minneapolis for 3 hours. Seemed silly.

I called in a food order last night, trying to keep a small business going, and picked up Indian food…the skies were beautiful.

Slow down. Check out the sky. It’s worth it.

Lovingly biting the crap out of each other.

We’re staying away from my parents right now…too many exposures in this household. Although the only place I went today was to school.

I did some more wool work, on this one, Homegrown by Sue Spargo…I do this after dinner while we watch whatever we’re watching.

I worked on another one as well, but she hasn’t published the book yet, so I can’t show you. It should be soon, but who knows with all this crazy stuff going on.

I finally went into the office to finish ironing. I pieced a background and ironed the whole thing down. Interestingly, or maybe frustratingly, I had found one of the windmills had fallen off, so I put it ‘somewhere safe’. I’m sure you already know what that means. Yes. I lost it. I spent a total of 20 or 30 minutes looking for it and then gave up and cut out a new one…

Not a huge deal. There she is, all ironed down.

Stitchdown starts tonight. Some pup was hanging out after I took him out to pee.

Dogs are good. Dogs are nice. This dog barks a lot, but he’s very loving too. When he’s not biting you because you’re combing out his knots. So there’s that.

OK, well I actually posted some stuff on Google Classroom to entertain kids (and maybe even help with learning). The co-teacher and I are recording video of a graphic novel for the kids, related to what we are studying. But nothing can be required right now. That might change after Spring Break, but we’ll see…the district still says we’re coming back on April 20th. Crazy shit, y’all. Crazy shit.

Stay well. Wash hands. All that. Tomorrow’s post will probably be late too, since we’ll be out in nature, avoiding the other people who are out in nature. Like you do.

Something Useful…

I’m writing late. I went to school today to distribute food. We ran out early, but hopefully will have more tomorrow. It was good to be out and doing something useful.

Yesterday, the boychild and I got a few more plants for the backyard. This one, a mallow, the leaves can be used for toilet paper…just in case, you know.

Plus the flowers are really nice. It got planted today in the misty rain. We also dropped a bag of stuff at Goodwill. Then did the social distance thing and walked the dogs in the middle of nowhere…almost. There was a picturesque mushroom.

And the skies were beautiful.

And I think the dogs appreciated it. I know I did. This sitting stuff is annoying.

What else did I do yesterday? Paperwork, started my taxes (and got frustrated about an hour into it trying to find documentation on a car that sold…aargh). I need that money though…to either get through the summer or pay off part of the girlchild’s college still.

After all that, and some food and reading, I worked on the braindead stuff…just stitch things down…except I already fucked one thing up. Oh well. The stripes on the bottom were supposed to go vertical. Not the end of the world. This is Sue Spargo’s Homegrown block-of-the-month. I was trying to decide what to take on our Spring Break trip, and Folk Tails (or is it Tales) is too big right now for that, so I was going through my stash and started a bunch at a time.

No worries. I’ll figure it out. It’s relaxing to stitch. I should do more of it. Although I suspect our trip is canceled. One of the parks is closed (although it doesn’t mention the campgrounds) and one of our Airbnb reservations canceled. We still have some hope, I guess. Or not.

Yesterday’s #marchmeetthemaker prompt was self care…it’s definitely this outside hiking stuff. It clears my brain…

And since my gym is now closed and the pilates studio is sure to be next, I’ll need more of this. Despite the rain.

Eventually I made it in to iron…

Got the head and torso done and started on the upper arm.

I’m watching Dead Like Me, which is appropriately amusing and dark, all at the same time. I might have to rewatch all the seasons of X-Files or Star Trek if worst come to worst.

That’s how far I got last night…almost done. So today, I need to ship my quilt to Fantastic Fibers before San Diego goes into secure lockdown, or whatever they’re going to call it. They say they will put up the show if the quilts get there, and I’m afraid if I wait any longer, the UPS place will be closed…or I won’t be able to ship. So I’m sending that today. And then I’ll work on ironing tonight again. Plus some reading. Some exercise…find the free weights and a good video or two. I think my gym provided some. And more thinking healthy thoughts.

What’s Up…

Well. Here we are. Hello America, in all your stages of pandemic closures or not. Here in San Diego, schools and libraries are closed. Restaurants are supposed to seat people far apart, 50% capacity. Bars, nightclubs, etc are supposed to stay closed. They haven’t closed gyms and fitness centers…yet. Businesses are still open, but emptyish. I did some errands yesterday…tried to stay away from people, but some haven’t figured out that social distancing also means not standing right behind me in a line. Sigh. The man is at work. I called the parents and offered my delivery services, and they laughed it off. It’s a weird world.

I’ve been doing a lot of prep work on brainless block-of-the-month applique stuff that I can just sit and stitch without thinking. That’s sometimes all I can do. I’m reading a book. I’m petting a lot of furry beasts. I haven’t been able to get my head around grading anything or school stuff yet. I did post one video Friday night for the kids who missed a lab station last week, and then sent a parent email from all the team for things they could do over the break…

I’ll get to grading eventually. Maybe today. Start with something easy.

When we heard the libraries were closing today, I persuaded the man to come out to the downtown library Saturday for an exhibit I’m in that just opened. I took pictures and will post a link once I’ve written/resized all that.

I’d never been to the downtown library until last week. It’s an interesting space.

I posted about help and studio friends for #igquiltfest and #marchmeetthemaker. I have a core group of about 4 or 5 stitching friends. Some I’ve known for 30 years and even when they move away, we try to ‘meet’.

Sometimes in person…sometimes not. Even as an introvert, we need the connections. For most recent finish (can’t remember if that’s #igquiltfest or #marchmeetthemaker)…is this one…Connected at the Hips

And my current project as it was on Saturday…

I straight up didn’t get much done on Saturday. My brain was in a nose dive. I ironed maybe 100 pieces…

Sunday, I got almost three hours in…much better…

I also got some video done for my Patreon…should get processed and posted today…

This is the space I need to be in…

So many shows and openings are being canceled or are up in the air…

But I can still make. I’ve got about another 125 pieces to go on this. So yes, I ran out yesterday and did this…

I use a lot of blue for outlining.

And I did lots of cat/dog watching…Luna watching birds as I watch her…

I guess my paper roll has multiple uses now.

Nova in sleepy mode…

Plans for today? Thrift shop, assuming it’s open, to get rid of some clothes that have been lying around…

Luna when you close the bathroom door…

No privacy here…

Nova destroying another piece of furniture…

They are destructive beasts…when they’re not adorably sleeping together…

Yin/yang cats. I think we’re going to a plant nursery to get a plant for the big hole in the back yard. Then walk the dogs.

Out in the middle of nowhere. My dentist called this morning and we rescheduled to July. I have a jury duty notice coming (oh that’s funny). Book Club rescheduled to April. So now I have time to finish the book. Not sure what’s happening to gaming…that’s Friday. As of tomorrow, I’m distributing food at school three days a week. Let’s see how this goes.

Stay well. Stay sane. Love you all.

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.

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.

Bunny Incursion

These post-Daylight Savings mornings are painful. My brain is still asleep. My eyes too. I feel like I’m constantly trying to go to bed early these days to get more rest, and it’s not working. Although I did a better job last night of falling asleep, so that’s a plus. The little dog is currently losing his mind over a bunny in the front yard. Although honestly, if there was a mountain lion in the front yard, he’d sound the same. I just know the last time I looked, it was a bunny. The same bunny Kitten wants to kill. She whacks the blinds when she sees it. Like she’s gonna whack IT if she ever gets to it. The bunny incursions on our property are much more serious than I consider them. To both of these guys.

I didn’t bring any work home last night…a birthday present to myself. Also the staff meeting kinda got canceled because of cake. Long story…but worth it. I had a good exercise class and sewed a little, and then came in here and started ironing the newest quilt…

I only got the first 100 pieces done. I didn’t even lay out the next 100, because the current state of the kittens is that they get into everything and it’s not good to leave a lot of pieces lying around without supervision. But it’s progress. I have a lot of meetings and stuff to do at night this week, so I’m not expecting to get a lot done this week, but a chunk would be good.

#igquiltfest’s topic for yesterday was your favorite pattern, which is funny, because I only have one commercial pattern I’ve ever done, and it’s only for baby quilts, and I don’t even remember the name of it…it’s been so long since I’ve done one. I draw my own stuff…dontcha know?

#marchmeetthemaker was rough/mock up. So I guess these are those too…although I probably have more rough drawings than these, before I enlarge stuff…all the fuckups I have before I get here. Sometimes more than others.

Hell all you have to do is watch this space. I show them all.

Birthday socks from the parents. Appropriate.

I wore them yesterday. A birthday at a middle school is kinda sweet…lots of bad singing and kids who normally hate you (not really, but you know how 12 is) telling you happy birthday and wanting to know why you didn’t take the day off and what you’re doing tonight (avoiding people?) and what you’re getting. Is your mom getting you a new phone? I’m like, um, pretty much my mom doesn’t buy my phone for me any more. The 12-year-old brain…it’s an interesting beast. They also were all excited that school might get canceled for coronavirus, until I started explaining how it would really work. Sigh.

Calli gets it. And she wants you to rub her belly.

Today will be rough…starting an assessment, plus tutoring, plus school board meeting (apparently with media present), plus tired. TIRED. Yeah. Well. I’ll iron some more tonight. That’s something I can look forward to. The 100 tiny car pieces that need ironing. That was another reason why I quit last night…tiny little car pieces. Who designed this thing? Oh yeah. Me.

OK, parent meeting this morning. I wish parents could look online and see, “oh, my kid has this grade because they don’t turn their shit in” and then I wouldn’t have to be the one who tells them that. They could just get on their case and leave me out of it. But no. So in I go.

This Will Be the One…

Late start to writing. I got up late, slept pretty well, despite kitten shenanigans in the morning. Moved slowly in the AM, went to pilates in the middle of the president explaining how we’re all fine and we had the best response (OMG, that was not the best response…but continue on in your dream world bless your heart). I came back and showered and ate stuff, and am now waiting to go to REI to look at, perhaps buy new hiking boots. My traction is going and I’ve been hiking in them for a good 3 years now, maybe more…it’s time to replace them. If you figure an average of 3 miles a week for three years, that’s 468 miles. Need new boots. Hopefully the new pair will not take a year to break in like the last pair. That was frustrating. I did it wrong? Who knows.

I have art to do this weekend. I have errands to run. I need to finish grades. All those things.

Last night, I managed to iron down the last of the pieces, a few bugs I think and an oil well rig. This is the pile, minus a few that were cut out the previous week.

It was only about another 45 minutes of picking fabrics…nothing major. Then I sorted by color. I like to document what I used in each quilt, although honestly, they all sort of have this rainbow run to them. Some have more grays or whites than others. Some have lots of brown or green.

This one…this one is…I don’t know what it is. Not heavy on anything really. Seems a normal amount of everything.

That’s 126 different fabrics. That’s kind of a lot for a quilt this size. When I was sorting them into boxes, I realized I could have reused some in the later choosing from the earlier, but because I had the flu in between, I’d kind of forgotten about them, even though they were in the boxes right in front of me. Awkward. Sorry guys. Didn’t mean to forget you.

After all that, I sat and cut stuff out…like this. One box of stuff that needs cutting. One box of those that are cut out. And a lid for the trash.

Sometimes I move a box for a puppy to sit next to me…

Sometimes I move it for a cat…

I’m very furry friendly.

Well, unless they get in the way of my actually cutting stuff out, which this one sometimes does.

Here’s where I ended the evening…with most of the flesh cut out and the rest of it to go.

More hours. Relaxing ones though.

Ah. Sisters.

OK, off to the hiking boots and other errands. Art too. Need a quiet weekend when I’m not totally passed out on the couch from the flu. This will be the one.