Warm Socks…

I’m loving this cooler weather. I actually wore warm socks to pad around the house, albeit with shorts on, because it’s not flannel pajama weather yet. Quite. It won’t last, of course, but it was nice this weekend to go out hiking with a bit of a chill in the air. Hell, it was just nice to go out hiking, even if it was only 3 miles. I’m fighting for work/life balance (and mostly losing). Here’s the hike view, though, so I don’t forget…

That was Saturday evening, around 5:30 PM.

Friday, after work, after entering a show, I got in the car and drove to Carlsbad, to the PHES Gallery opening of the Allied Craftsmen show. It’s a nice show in a nice space. My two pieces are here…

I lurked behind people and listened to them talk about the pieces. That’s always fun. Although I didn’t get home until after 10 PM, so that was also exhausting. I also got news Friday that two of my quilts at The Studio Door sold, so that was cool…not enough for a new sewing machine or to trim the trees, but it’s a start. It’s always a good thing.

Saturday, I got up early, because my brain knew how much work was on my plate and wouldn’t let me sleep in. I started by cleaning up, ironing, and packing up the quilt to go to the photographer at noon. Then I pieced the two blocks I owed for the community quilt my guild is doing for Quilt Con…they were due at noon to someone’s house, so I dropped them at 11:45 (I was early, c’mon), and then dropped the quilt at the photographer’s. Here’s the blocks…

They had given us some extra fabric to deal with the long pieces in the center, but I fucked that up and ended up having to do some improv piecing, which wasn’t hard and will probably add to the final design…I’ll post it when we have it.

I graded after piecing and before driving to drop things…and then I came home and graded until my sourdough dough was ready for the bulk stage. Then I went to school to deal with the stuff I’d left there…all the late Unit 1s that I had to rip out of kids’ hands (just a little more time! Dude, I need to do progress reports now, not later) and then all the stuffed animal drawings.

Guys, grading art is so hard. Sometime Friday night/Saturday morning, when I wasn’t sleeping, I figured out the best way to handle it…lay them out based on the rubric…who hit all 4 points, who hit most of them, who hit a few of them, and who wasn’t hitting much of anything. Yeah. It worked. I printed the rubrics and graded the obvious As first…they had all the things I asked for. I can’t say the middle lows were easy to grade…they weren’t. But I wrote suggestions, and with some, offered that if they kept going at home and improved it (like actually finished it), their grade would improve.

I know some would just give everyone an A, but this is an academic class and my kids feed into the REAL art teacher (I just play one on TV), and she will hold them to these high standards. Plus this is probably the hardest project we will do. So hopefully the next one will go better. We’ll see.

After 2 1/2 hours at school, I had what I needed, and that’s when I came home and hiked (what I REALLY needed). At dinner, I drew before the food came…

This is the beginning of an idea for the next quilt.

Sunday was more grading, lots more. But Sunday night, I got a chunk more done on this…

It’s taking me forever because of the other deadlines I have. It’s almost done, though, and should be on its way to the Social Justice Sewing Academy this week sometime, assuming I can get to the post office before it closes. I wanted all the things done before I started drawing the next quilt.

Cats are weird, y’all.

I’m gonna shove my face and use the wall as a pillow.

Am I done with grades? Nope. Wearing my Nope shirt today too. Had one kid constantly emailing me all weekend. I stopped answering. I’ll get through the last bit of it today and post grades. Hopefully some of them will learn not to do stuff last minute…luckily it’s a progress report and not a final report card. Then I will have my first chiropractic adjustment in forever, hallelujah. And maybe I’ll get to do something besides school tonight…maybe. I’m still two weeks behind on assignments, so that’s a thing I’ll be doing all week. Plus making videos for this week…kids are still out on COVID contracts. Ugh. Yeah. It’s been too much school lately. Need to get to work on changing that. Again. Still.

Shutting Down Randomly

I don’t know what you do when you come home from work, especially after a long frustrating day where you had planned specific work tasks after the kids went home and then your loaner computer (because yours is hopefully getting fixed as it keeps shutting down randomly) shuts down randomly (wait, I think I heard that already) about six times in a row, trying so hard to restart like a good computer would, and then giving up the ghost and popping up that message again about how it can’t possibly restart, there’s something very wrong with it (no duh asshole). So after getting it to start and working on grades and contracts for kids out on COVID or pandemic concerns, and finally coming home around 6 PM, and then getting dinner (that was the best part, away from the house, although it was dark, hard to see the food, one of the issues with always eating outside, you know, it gets dark and all), then mopping a floor, sewing a backing together, ironing all the parts, taping them to the floor, and then getting down on hands and knees at 9:45 PM, wondering if this is the year you buy knee pads, like you’re really an old person now, and pinbasting a quilt together.

Sometimes I wonder about the amount of power my art brain has to get my tired old teacher ass off the couch and doing all that shit after 8 PM on a day when I had no prep period. On a day when the 6th graders decided to sharpen the metal end of a pencil in my new $92 sharpener that can handle colored pencils, and yes, I think I know who did it and hopefully I scared the shit out of him. Certainly if there are any other issues, that thing is sitting on my desk and they can pay me to use it. Yeah. It was a day. I’m kind of on the verge of tears constantly again, and I hate that. So part of this weekend will be quilting instead of thinking about work. A large part of it will also be grading, let’s be honest; grades are due soon for progress reports, so I can’t blow it off.

But here we go. Book club got rescheduled on Wednesday. Luckily I checked the app right before I left, so I didn’t actually leave. I worked instead and fed myself with leftovers from Saturday (probably a mistake to go that extra day, says my 2 AM stomach), and then finished the stitchdown…

That’s 5 1/2 hours worth of stitching.

I can see the figures on the back…

On the front, they are hard to see. Hopefully the quilting will help with that. That starts tonight. Here’s all taped down on a clean floor…

The backing is some fabric I found in my stash, quite a lot of it actually.

It seemed right for a quilt about hiking etc. The etc. is kind of a big part of this quilt.

So far, Mom’s machine is rocking it. Much appreciated.

I also did the stitchdown on my Patreon reward, which is really late now…

That only took 13 minutes though. Much easier. I’ll pinbaste her this weekend too. But my goal is to finish quilting and get the binding on this weekend. I don’t know if I can do that. But I will try. We’ll see.

I have an opening a week from today…two pieces in the show…

PHES Gallery is in Carlsbad, California. It’ll be a bit of a drive. No COVID test that day. With 1-2 positive cases in my classes every week, I’m still getting tested every week. Two new ones this week. Woo hoo!

These are drawings I did at dinner while waiting for the food to come. I can’t remember if I’ve posted any of these.

My pen died, so this is ballpoint…

It works. It’s just not fun.

I don’t think when I do these. I just draw.

Sometimes it will turn into something else in a larger piece…mostly not.

I think I will actually get limes and lemons this fall…they seem to be sticking.

Certainly they’re bigger than they have been…

And there’s more to come.

OK, today shouldn’t be too hard (ha!), at least the school part, except I need to get everything posted for school. My co-teacher is out of town, so I’ve been making lab materials for next week. The copier ran out of staples, so I need to staple 290 packets before Tuesday. I’m hoping to find some classroom helpers today who are done with shit to do that. Work after school, bring a ton of work home, get my COVID test for the week, do some grading, possibly do a quilt Zoom, then quilt until I fall asleep, hopefully in a bed and not on the machine. Tomorrow, repeat. Plus some other stuff. I’ll be glad to get the quilting started…I didn’t think I’d be able to finish this one on time, and now there’s a chance of it…I’m going for it.