Plans. They Work.

Ugh. I’m tired this morning. Neck hurts. Muscle? Or headache that comes with this cold? Or the trying to second-guess everything that will happen today in class. Lockdown drill with some challenging folks. I’m going to pre-meditate. Like meditate beforehand. Except I also have a parent meeting. Aack. Too much. I have book club tonight and I don’t think I’m going to go. I’m not in the mood to drive all the way across town and be outside. I like the people. I’m already tired. I’ve got chills this morning. NOt good. I’d rather stay home and rest a bit, iron some more. I already have a school meeting for two hours tomorrow after school. And another parent meeting. I just need some rest. And some Motrin for the neck/head thing. Then I’m going to meet with this parent and explain that it’s the kid who has to figure his shit out, and then I’m going to give a quiz, which is gonna freak everyone out, and then maybe after all that, I can come home and take a nap or read my book on the couch for a little bit before grading some and then ironing some.

Last night was the SAQA Local Connection meeting…with this crazy mural again.

I stitched for a while. I forgot to take a picture. We only had 4 show up. Not sure what this means for the future. We’re taking a break until January because of the holidays. I’m still working on a monthly stitching group, I guess. Maybe I’ll just hang out at a Starbucks and see who wants to hang out with me.

Kitten does…as long as it’s at home and no other beasts are around.

I get it, Kitten, I do. I graded a little when I got home. Not a lot…just a little.

Then I ironed…got the rest of the torso done…

This giant thing keeps trying to slip off the ironing board. Fabric is surprisingly heavy.

I got down to the uterus and then it was going to get very complicated, plus it was almost midnight. So that’s bedtime. I almost finished the 500s…so that’s just 300 or so pieces to go…mostly tiny little detail pieces though. So time-consuming. But maybe I’ll finish tonight? Probably not. Probably tomorrow. Iron it to the background. Stitch down. I got this. Just emailed the photographer. He’ll give me a hard deadline. Then I’ll see if I can pull it off. Plans. They work, people, they work.

The 7,000 Things…

I created a post this morning and filled it with pictures, because I think I thought I would sit there at lunch or in a quiet moment at school, taking a break from the prep crazy, and I would write some short pithy (doesn’t pithy mean short? well, sort of) amazing blurbs to go along with the pictures. Oh yeah. Ha ha. Laugh all you like. It’s 5 PM and I’m writing it now. Welcome to my world.

I was up early, taking the girlchild to the airport, sending her back to Boston, which is her home, as is San Diego. We will miss her…especially this guy…

I had to be at school early anyway. My brain wasn’t working well though.

I forgot about this. One of the professional learning things last Friday was a few sessions on self-care. One of them was adult coloring. Well I didn’t think much of the coloring pages they gave us, so I drew on top of the one I grabbed.

Hey, one thing I KNOW is self care, dammit.

I finally finished the edges on this. Now it can go.

Ah yes. Coming home to sleep. I’m surprised there’s no puppy there.

This is how far I got on this on Friday…

Pretty good for one day. Of course, I was paying attention to all the talking. In fact, I pay BETTER attention when I’m drawing or stitching. So there.

Yesterday’s hawk in the tree outside my office window.

He was eating something. Ripping it to shreds. Hopefully it wasn’t the bunny who hangs out by the pool. That thing is large.

So my goal yesterday was to finish the stitch down on the quilt. I had started on Saturday. Or Friday. I don’t remember. I really only did the border parts.

My Patreon people will get to see me stitching on this week’s video. I’m not sure how exciting that is, because I didn’t sew through my finger. I have before, but not yesterday. So no blood.

This is what Kitten does while I sew.

It’s noisy. I stopped at the halfway mark and did some dinner prep for the parentals. Looks good, eh?

I always forget to take family photos. So there’s three generations of women and a male puppy. Who is turning 4 and is not a puppy at all.

I should remember to take more of those. That’s me, my daughter, and my mom, by the way. In case you don’t know.

Blurriness means movement. Boychild is trying to dehair the parental dog. Katie’s not having it.

She sheds these giant fluff balls. It’s disturbing. For all of us.

There’s dad in the background with an incredibly spoiled dog.

Oh yeah. He’ll miss her.

When we got back, I started on the second half. I was hoping to finish, and in fact, I sped through it…

Stitch down never takes very long, but in this case, it was only 3 1/2 hours. Nice.

The back is always interesting. (Oh yeah…I have some of the embroideries that I didn’t send to the guy who’s selling the patterns, and I think I’m going to try to either hoop them or finish them in some other way, if hooping doesn’t make sense. This is one of them. Although this one would hoop easily. I’ll put them on Etsy when I’m done. Although they were not fast, so they also aren’t cheap.)

See, you can see the other side in simplified format.

Crazy really. And then I cover it up.

This is officially the last big quilt that will have this fabric on the back of it. I had yardage that I found in a box in the girlchild’s room, and I think this is the third quilt that has it on the back.

It’s some batik from ages ago. Yeah, I had time to piece a backing and pinbaste it. Impressive.

AND I went to bed early. Because early wakeup call.

Well then school. I need another three days to be ready for kids. But they arrive on Wednesday. So that’s not happening. Could I have kids in my room tomorrow? No. Wednesday? It’ll be fine. I’m panicking slightly. I have 120 yards of blue tape. My co-teacher might have just bought 78,000 marshmallows. Neither of us should be allowed out into the world. It’ll be FINE. I’ve been saying it all summer. Tonight I’ll start quilting, but first I need to do like 7,000 things and then cook dinner. Plus breakfasts. And lunches. But I’ll start with the 7,000 things. Apparently someone thinks I should PAY for the car I bought. And then people keep emailing me. I don’t know why.

I’m an Apostrophe*

So my gym got remodeled and got a bunch of new machines, so because I am old, I had to read all the instructions yesterday. I could have watched the videos if I had one of those scanners on my phone, but I thought that was even more geeky and old than I was already being, because they were all SIMILAR to the old machines, but the settings are in totally different places and they did different things. Sometimes very strangely scary things. I think that was my problem last night with getting stuff done. Not only did I teach all day and breathe in toxic fumes (oh fun stuff…I should just wear a respirator all day), but then did tutoring, then came home and went to the gym, which is a good thing, but I used up all my extra brain power on reading weight machines.

Sad but true. Well it will be easier next time. Hopefully. If I remember the instructions. Muscle memory. My right hip is complaining about the weirdo version of an elliptical I was on though. There aren’t enough of the ones I like. Or they’ve hid them. I found my bikes eventually. They moved them. I do like the gym. I get to read. I like that.

So after two hours of that and making dinner, it was super late already. While dinner was cooking, I tried to continue the Year of Finishing Stuff or whatever I’m calling it. The Tuesday piece is a wool block of the month from 2008. It’s about time I finished it. It’s called A Primitive Garden (I know, it sounds like nothing I would do, but I am) and all the center blocks are done. I just have all the borders to do. They are all ironed down and just need the embroidery. But like any stitcher does, I’ve stolen  borrowed from the box of threads I bought for this project and didn’t necessarily return them all. So last night, I sit down with the first border, and the first thread I need, I can’t find it. Of course. Well there we are. I found all these eventually…

That took a while though…going through every project bag and other random bag I had…stuff like this…

Yeah. It’s a lot of illogical. I never did find that first thread ball. But I found some of them. And then I went online and ordered the others, because for $20 I can solve this problem without spending another hour looking for stuff that could be anywhere in this house. I try to be very logical about where I put things (OK, stop laughing…if you’re a relative of mine or you live in this house, some of you are Differently Logical than I am. My logic isn’t WRONG…it’s just DIFFERENT. One of the colors isn’t even made any more, but I think I found a replacement OR one of the balls I have that’s missing a label is the right one. Either way, it’s not the end of the world. I can solve this problem. It might be the only problem I solved yesterday. And that’s OK.

Marie Kondo would not be happy with me, but dammit woman, the thread ALL GIVES ME JOY. Except when I can’t find the one I need.

Did I iron anything? Fuck no. I wanted to, but I also knew I wasn’t even halfway through the school week and I have a 2-hour meeting today after school and I needed to gird my loins with sleep. So I went to bed at midnight. I also hung out for a while with the guy who lives here (and would laugh at my organization), because that’s important too. This month is a clusterfuck of practices and meetings for both of us…kind of have to work at relationships. I know that.

Anyway. Tonight. Tonight I iron! No really. I do. The rule is I don’t have to do schoolwork at home if I worked for an hour or more after school. Except last night, I did schoolwork too…modified a couple of PDF files. It needed to be done and I don’t have my prep today, so that’s going to make it hard to get everything done.

Meanwhile, there’s this.

The week after the girlchild leaves, we basically walk around and find all the stuff she left behind. There’s also sunglasses and a charger she says she doesn’t really need (but I know that she will need it someday when the other one dies, like my school charger…and sound cord…because everything with my computer is dying at the moment). So we’re collecting them for one package.

OK, off to school. Hopefully no rain today. Feeling dampish. And cold. I don’t do well in an all-precipitation climate. I also don’t do well with no art. Remembering that. Again. Over and over again. Plus trying to be organized.

*Imagine Dragons, Whatever It Takes

Infiltrating Through*

So I knew I wasn’t going to get any art done last night. I had to go get my quilt from the photographer, so I can enter the show today…so here’s the quilt that will hopefully have a name by the time I get home tonight…

It’s about 44×60″. It took 82 hours and 40 minutes to complete, with about half of that in the last week.

It’s about climate change and how we humans negatively affect the universe we live in. Seriously. It’s the universe. We suck.

Although apparently the Humboldt squid will benefit from acid waters and warm oceans. So we’ll have more and bigger of them…I predict all the horror movies of the future will be squids and floods.

Certainly the oceans and wildlife will be affected…they already are.

Bleached coral, dead fish, pollutants in the water as well…we don’t just stop at carbon dioxide and emissions…we forget about how all that affects what we can’t see.

Humans are pretty selfish animals.

You want me to bring politics into it? Stop letting ignorant people make decisions about science…science that it takes many years to study and understand.

Ah yes, and then there’s the plastic trash. Don’t get me started. Take responsibility for your shit, folks. All your shit.

So of course, there’s never a guarantee that anything I make will get into a show. I don’t mind that as much…it will go somewhere, yeah? They always do. And we’re on to the next one. I did finally have an entire quilt draw itself in my head last night. It’s not the next one. It’s not even the next next one. It’s the next next next one, and I won’t be able to show it to you. At all. That’s going to be hard. You know me, I’m constantly posting pictures of everything I’m working on. So yeah, the next three deadlines are now on the table…I have work through June cut out for me. Not actually cut out of fabric though…that would be awesome. 

I did have my stitching meeting last night. This and my general exhaustion from having to be up early every single morning this week meant I got no art done last night. I also didn’t drag my sketchbook out for copying, because we got like an inch and a half of rain (that’s more than our annual since July, by far) yesterday, and I don’t want a wet sketchbook. I’m enlarging today after school. It’s on my calendar. Then I can draw the rest of Head 4 and all of Head 5, which doesn’t exist yet. Then number and start tracing and all that all over again. It’s like I never stop. (I never stop. That’s the tip of the day. Never stop.)

So I worked on these guys for a few hours last night at my stitching meeting instead…

I finished the tree above the giraffe and starting stitching the flowers that are supposed to be on that block. That’s the second block for August…the third is the one to the right of it. 

Then once I was home and my cohort had taken his tired overworked self to bed, I did NOT go to bed, because I was still awake…but I couldn’t deal with real art stuff, so I started sewing stuff down for the October blocks. 

I didn’t get very far…just a veggie patch and part of a hut. The rest is pinned down. I have another block for this month that’s already stitched down…it’s part of the section with the September blocks, all ready for embroidery. After October, I think I have to put the whole thing together, finish all the bits of the road that are wandering about and not connected, and then stitch grass all over the entire quilt. That’s gonna take a while. Then borders. 

Meanwhile, real art tonight. Plus exhaustion. Tomorrow is Christmas shopping at pop-up artsy shops and then an opening. I should grade some shit in there too. I really want to sleep in, but my cohort will be up at 4 AM…I’m less worried about that. I can re-sleep after that. His cat though…man, he’s going to get locked in a bathroom if he’s an asshole tomorrow morning. Seriously. 

OK, but I still gotta get through today…trying to figure out the tail end of this part of the unit, plus feed a bunch of kids, and probably do my duty standing around, guarding the bike rack. Important job. You wish you could do it. (Please come do it for me.)

*Jem, Come on Closer

Magic Wand

Hello Halloween…on the one hand, I love dressing up (I’m Dr. Nefario from Despicable Me this year, while surrounded by minions)…my catch phrase is “Do you want to exPLOOOODE?”. Which seems relevant. Tomorrow, we take 260 kids to the zoo, so they can run off their sugar highs from tonight. Hopefully I survive until Friday, because I still have grading to finish. And a quilt.

Yesterday, I worked for a million hours. Got home around 6 PM and kept working…I still have kids trying to give me field trip money, even though the list is done and emailed. I’m done. No more crazy this week (ha. never say no more.)

It was after 10:30 when I made it in here. The first 100 pieces are taking me FOREVER to cut out. Mostly because there’s these tiny little animals in there. So I need to find these fussy little fabrics for them. Although this is water…

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Water is fun. I’ve spent about 2 1/2 hours and I’m only in the 80s. Seriously crazy. It probably doesn’t help that I’m tired and stressed out. Here’s the fabrics piled up as I was trying to pick a bird brown that would show up against the sand brown.

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Then I mostly organized them and went to bed.

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Sometimes that’s all you can do. Tonight is candy for the three small children who come to our door, plus my parents are finally coming back after 7 weeks. I think Katie doesn’t believe they’re ever coming back, so she’ll be excited to see them. Much as we love her, she is a needy beast and the noisiest of the three dogs…well, maybe Simba is the noisiest, but he’s also the smallest.

OK, I have to be trained on epi-pens today. Again. Need to finish bus and chaperone lists. Need to find a magic wand and erase the noise and chaos from my head. That last one seems the most important.

Wonky Is Good

I dream of quiet mornings with no itchy dogs, no squawky cats, no groaning puppy (that’s the noise he makes when he wants out of the crate. If you’re anti-crate, feel free to sleep with him in your house for a while and realize what he does if he’s NOT crated. I’ve never had to crate a dog every night past real-live puppyhood.). I dream of sleeping until I naturally wake up, that means NOT my bladder or someone else in the house or a neighbor or one of those damn furry creatures who mostly I love and care for and pet and cut big tangly bits out of their butt fur and wash their putrid infected belly bits (hmmm…was this a good choice?). This morning? Not an option. So I’m awake but cranky about it. What’s new? I have a shitload to get done this weekend, not the least of which are blood tests before my doctor flips her lid (I told her all along it would be today…IDK why she didn’t believe me.). Also prepping and delivering two quilts to Palomar College, opening in two weeks…that’s first on my list after writing this and showering and eating. Then blood letting (need to drink a ton of water first and I’m not awake enough to do that). Then come back here and keep grading until the cows come home. I’d really like to iron my quilt together too. Going to figure out where that fits.

Yesterday was Picture Day at school. My co-teacher and I like to go all out. She brought the dry ice and the tiara, I brought the unicorn head thingie.

IDK why anyone lets us out of our classrooms. Or lets kids into them.

I made kids measure rocks all day. On Monday, we’ll measure blocks. They can only measure things that rhyme. It’ll be socks next.

Then off to the last session of Warhammer, after 2 years or so. None of us died. Only two mutated and one was reversed and the other one wasn’t so bad. I went insane from corruption…no biggie…I’m still alive, running my dwarven mushroom farm underground, back in the dwarf kingdom, managing some kingly engineering department. Where I should be.

Yes, I stitched. I was really tired. If I didn’t stitch, I would fall asleep. We’ll game again in 2019. We’ll do some fun stuff on and off until then, I’m sure. Managing a game around the schedules of 6 busy adults is not easy, but it’s one of the few regular social things I do these days. I work too much.

I have lots of drawings in my head right now about the Kavanaugh crap. I don’t want someone that angry in the Supreme Court. But reading a few high-school friends’ commentary about whether to believe Ford or not…it must be nice to be a white man and be able to make those decisions with zero understanding of what it feels like on the other side. I guess a lot of us are feeling a little battered at the moment. Speaking of battered, I’ve got these two male students who are talking to me, who are connecting, who are still driving me nuts with their work ethic, but they’re talking. So we chat about life and their weekends (both playing Fortnite) and their moms and it’s a step in the right direction. Because they have shit in their heads that keep them from working…I have a lot of faith in a 12-year-old’s ability to move past that and be awesome.

Here’s progress…working on the road, which is just a hell of a lot of stitching…

I like how wonky it is. I guess this one is my new post-dinner focus for a while…which is good, because without gaming, I don’t know when I’d work on it otherwise. There’s no shortage of wooly blocks of the month in my house. I really like the feeling of stitching and embroidering through wool. It’s very relaxing. I might need some of that today. Although I think it won’t happen.

OK, on to the next step to get my tired butt in gear…

Head-Swallowing.

I keep drawing heads swallowing smaller heads. It’s actually even a notation in my weekly journal, constantly on the to-do list…”draw more heads smaller” is what it says. And yet I keep drawing them the same, not fitting more than one or two on the page (probably a function of page size…I should totally go full size). I’m not sure what it means. People always want me to explain my work, and when they realize that I was really tired last night and I made the mistake of having a glass of wine with dinner instead of waiting until really late, and so I almost fell asleep on the couch at 9:30 PM, like a normal person, but then I realized what was going on and got up and got my act together and did something artistic, and somehow that turned into being awake enough to draw another head-swallowing moment, well they give me that look that makes me wonder how crazy I really am. I’m sure it’s some psychological thing where I feel like my job and life are swallowing what I really want to be doing or something like that. Not so difficult to figure out.

I’m not really crazy. Just a bit. Just praying here to the internet/computer gods that I can keep the connection long enough to post this. New computer card arrives today. Let’s hope it solves the problem. Here’s the drawing, not done.

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I don’t know where it’s going. I just wanted to draw. So I did. That’s a little less than an hour’s worth of pen on paper. It felt nice. I should do more of it.

It’s really only because I couldn’t get the internet to function at all, so I couldn’t grade anything. Frustrating. I need to grade stuff.

I did have quilt class last night. I finished outlining the blue flowers, sewed the rhino horns with split stitch…harder than you might think over wool…and then palestrina knots for the bird’s legs.

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It never looks like much for 2 hours of work. There will be more of it at gaming tonight. I’m on the July blocks now. I think.

In between the class and the drawing, I did sort the fabrics for the next quilt, so I can start ironing this weekend. Here’s in process…

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And done. Very exciting stuff.

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This is not a hugely complicated quilt, so it didn’t take long. If I weren’t so tired (why am I so tired???), I would’ve started ironing it together, but that would’ve meant standing up. I didn’t do a lot of standing or walking yesterday…I was in a training, which meant my classroom went to hell in a handbasket. I love trainings. Actually, we planned for most of it, so that was good, because we needed to do that. We need to do more, of course, always more, but we’re closer than we were.

So this weekend is full of grading and hopefully ironing. And sleeping in tomorrow. I really like to sleep in. I’m such a shitty sleeper, it’s kind of ironic that I get up in the morning and I’m already thinking about when I might be able to put the pillow over my head and ignore the alarm clock.

I’m not even trying to play music right now. It would break the computer. It means I have to come up with a title with no support system. Hmmm.