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.

New Year, New Crew

Oh yes. I finished a quilt. It still needs some ironing and certainly the cat hair needs removal. That’s on task for tonight. The other one I finished a while ago needs the same, but also needs ink. Then they both go to the photographer on Friday. I think I’m entering 5 shows in the next week. Crazy that. I already had two on the books, waiting to hear. I need to figure out total hours on the last two quilts too. Also going to do that this week. None of these tasks are particularly picture-heavy though. I like posting pictures. So I guess I’ll work on what else is visually interesting (besides the dying cyst on my toe…it was on purpose, but it’s still ugly) for a few days.

I need to start drawing (or redrawing) the next quilt, but I will have to finish ironing etc first. Probably not tonight. I did one art entry last night…figured I would do one a night, except I think I have to call on one of them. That’s actually one of the reasons I haven’t entered that show in a while. Phone calls take time during the work day. I often don’t have that time. Today, for instance, I have my homeroom class for more than 3 hours, I miss my prep period, I can’t pee that whole time, and I have to keep them engaged and not off task without computers. I am not looking forward to it. I’m also not in a good mood, which doesn’t help. It never does, eh? And this afternoon is the dentist, and I already know there’s a problem. Blood sugar is frustrating as well…I’m waiting on results of yesterday’s test results…hoping there’s positive progress, so I don’t have to worry about more stuff.

All that. Swirling in my head.

But I finished a quilt! A big one! One I’ve been processing mentally for like 6 years. That’s a plus. Here were the last two hours or so…cat butt…quilt…now I have a poked hole in my right middle finger from the needle. Because I forgot the thimble sticky pads. Or I was just too lazy to rummage through the box to my right and find them. Sigh.

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It’s not a small quilt…about 54×80″. The next one will be much smaller. It has to be, for the space. I’m drawing a response to a poem I wrote many years ago…a short poem. I used to write more poetry, but honestly, I’m not very good at it. And it’s not that this one is particularly good either…it just elicits a visual response (or 17) from me, so that works.

Speaking of visual responses…one of my students decorated her page on Safety…definitely went above and beyond. My kind of kid…

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I love this. In the first week, I find out who the artists are, who the kids with impulse control are, who the kids that like to answer everything are (whether they’re right or not, or even on topic), who the kids that can’t sit down for 5 minutes are, who the babies of the family are, who should not be in the same class together, who may never smile or speak (I worry about some of those), who is going to fight to turn classwork in, who isn’t listening to directions, who doesn’t understand directions, who needs way more support than I can ever provide, who has way more in their head than how to get through 7th grade.

New year, new crew.

Great Combination

What I’m supposed to be doing right now is finishing my grades for the 2017-2018 school year. You know, the last grades, the final hurrah, the penultimate (penultimate? Or ultimate? There’s some rule about that, but I can’t be bothered to think about it right now) the penultimate no goddammit, it IS ultimate, but I need a bigger better word for that…supreme? Eh. Anyway. It’s the last grades of the year. Until next September, when we do all this over again.

It’s OK…I’ll finish them eventually. But right now, I’m more obsessed with WordPress’ autosave thing not working and having to constantly tell me about its fucked-up self. Surely there’s a fix for that? IDK what…but annoying much guys? Yeah.

So I’m definitely sick now. Thought I beat it, but it’s back with a snotty vengeance. Plus sleep. Man I need sleep. I want a nap right now. But no. I am awake, it is the right time to be awake, I’ve had one cup of tea, I should be functional.

Yesterday, I made no art. I’d like to make some today, but who really knows if that will be possible. The book I’m trying to finish (and keep out of the hands of the e-library) is all I did yesterday and this morning. I’m a third of the way through it…but really, I need to be grading shit. Seriously…even this is a waste of time right now.

So. Artsy photo of one of my last lessons (nice font, eh?0…

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Came home to Katie and a hummingbird…really need to get spot of dust out of phone. Damn Apple for refusing to do that (“we can replace the camera.” “the camera is new.” “oh. well. then. LIVE WITH DUST.”).

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Katie has now gone on to live with my parents like normal. Good thing…the cats can freely wander again.

Boychild checked in from North Dakota. I didn’t know North Dakota could look like this.

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I went to gaming and worked on a mamba…

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Not the dance. While gaming. We’ve been meeting less often…too many other things going on in a variety of lives.

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I got the mamba done…still need to do the wild dog.

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I finished this block, although the instructions say something about some symbol near the hut, and it’s nowhere to be found in the instructions. Huh. Oh well.

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That shit happens.

Anyway. Today, I’m expecting lots of staring at a computer (only two assignments left to grade, but then inputting a million things and finalizing the other shit)…maybe some hand embroidery while watching a movie…not sure if I’ll be able to handle anything else…it all depends on how long all the finalizing the other shit takes. But then I’ll be done with that until next school year, which is always a lovely feeling. The last 4 days of school still suck, because now you don’t even have grades to hold over their heads, but at least I’ll be able to come home each day and just chill. Mostly.

Until then…grades. Snotty nose. Spacey head. Great combination.

Tomorrow Might Be Good for Something*

I have my Star Wars shirt on for school. Wait. No I don’t. I have somebody else’s Star Wars shirt on for school (mine is not necessarily appropriate for school, so I borrowed). May the Fourth be with you. I’m prepared for being a hella bitch today in class to keep kids on task. I’m going to engage my inner General Leia. I will only have to do that in two periods…the other three have figured out that they need to work and are doing so. Then we have a talent show at the end of the day. I have no stage talent at all, so I will be in charge of standing over kids and using sign language and my piercing glare to get them to behave (strangely, it works). I’m already cranky and tired, like almost every teacher at my school…it makes you wonder how we survive the last 29 days. I’m never really sure how we do it. With spit and alcohol and an occasional donut. But we do it. State testing starts next week, so the world gets a little wonky for a few days. I think there’s only two kids in my homeroom that might drive me bonkers for 3 1/2 hours of testing. Wait. No. There’s three. Maybe four. Fuuuck. It’s OK. I’ll feed them and use that piercing glare again and more sign language. It’s doable.

I had my monthly stitching meeting last night, but I am feeling a need to get this quilt done ASAP, so I cut things out instead of stitching…

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I got a good chunk of the pieces done…and then I came home and ironed more…although I was tired, and that doesn’t ever help. I finished ironing down the heart-shaped box and started on the hearth.

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Picking the fabrics for that was harder than I expected. The grays of the fireplace are going to be a pain in the butt. I guess the plus is that once I figure out what four fabrics I’m using (stones, shaded stones, grout, shaded grout), I will just have to pile the pieces up and get them ironed. That first part though, picking them? That sounds really exhausting to me at the moment. I bought one gray I thought would work, but now I’m looking at it and I’m not so sure. I guess at some point I will just make a decision about it. It never seems to be as crucial once I get the quilt ironed together…it’s more like, why did I worry so much about that one piece? I guess that is in my nature.

When I was done with decisionmaking, I hung out for a while. There was a cat for a while in there too…

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But the other cat is nervous about hanging out…so she was still in my office. With an ancient art quilt.

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Girlchild was traveling around. She sent me a lemur…

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I still have most of the last 300 pieces to iron down. I have 9 1/2 hours into the ironing, so I underestimated how much time I would spend staring at bins of grays…because mostly that’s what I’ve been doing. I keep thinking there must be another drawer of them somewhere. I have a fabric I want to use and I can’t find it. I’m not sure if it’s in the grays or the blacks…it runs right in between…but I just can’t find it and it’s one of my favorites. Yup. I have favorites.

Anyway, I’m not busy this weekend (yay!). I have gaming tonight, so I’m not expecting much out of myself after that and school…but maybe? And then tomorrow, after taking limpy dog to the vet, I’m hoping to iron. Like until I’m done maybe. And then I do need to grade stuff, but that’s always a thing. Ugh. Maybe that can wait until Sunday. It’s nice to have an unplanned weekend, because the next three are kind of a mess. What’s new? Yeah. At least I can still make art around all that.

*Matchbox 20, Unwell