Up and At ‘Em

Good morning. Splendid extra hour of sleep? Well, maybe. I mostly wasted it on checking my clock because it was light and I thought I hadn’t set the alarm. My brain went right into staying up an hour later though. I was working Saturday night well past bedtime (school stuff, unfortunately). I’m not done with grades. I have to do about 15 redo grades and then input everything, which is more than it has been in the past. There’s some new thing we have to check for certain students. The government doesn’t trust us to do certain things, so we have to check a box saying we did it. I’m not sure which teachers aren’t doing it, but if they aren’t, they’re still gonna check the box. So yeah. Didn’t fix that problem with more work, did we. I have not fully planned the rest of this week for 8th grade. Again. I’m not sure when I will get ahead. Ever. Like more than 5 days max ahead. I have through Wednesday planned, but only if I get the lab set up today. Lucky for me it is only a 4-day week, but we are camping this weekend, so I won’t have access to internet to plan, so next week’s gotta be planned before I go. I had Friday for that, but I added an exercise class because I can’t go earlier in the week, and then the cat needed to go to the vet, and then the Man decided he wanted to be out of here by 2 PM, and all of a sudden, the day is no longer mine to lesson plan, eh? ‘Tis how it works.

I also need to start the next quilt, at least on the drawing page. I managed to put all the bindings on Saturday…

That’s some old-school fabric there for the sleeve. Then the bed quilt…

Only got the art quilt pinned last night…

Other art stuff happened this weekend though. I went to the opening of Portraits of the Anthropocene at Dance Place in Liberty Station…and a bunch of my co-teachers showed up…

So did the Man…

I have two quilts there…

Through early January, so check it out…also some other very cool art there.

And after that, we ate…

It was really nice of them all to show up, and we had a good time.

The next day, I had a quilt guild meeting. Met an old acquaintance and made a new one. Also did some slow stitching…

Came home, graded for a while, and then went for a much-needed hike with Simba and the Man…

The weather was beautiful…just the right temperature…

Although all three of us are out of shape…

Saw a coyote…

It’s a little blurry. Every time we come to Crest, these days, we see a coyote.

Quilts=Art=Quilts is up at the Schweinfurth Art Center. You can see the whole exhibit here. I screenshot a couple of shots of my quilt.

Gotta love those orange dots.

I love seeing my work in a space I can’t visit, so this is awesome for me. It’s up until January as well.

I also voted. You should vote too.

And visited the parentals, who have had a week to recover from their trip and seem to need another week at least. Katie was happy to see us though.

Happy her parents are home too.

OK. School. Two-hour staff meeting. Dropping the sewing machine off to be cleaned/tuned up. Finishing grades. Setting up a lab. Cooking dinner. Hopefully starting to sew the binding on to that quilt and/or drawing the next one. I have high hopes for the next one. More time during the week to make art? Working on it. For now, gotta get up and at ’em. Whatever that means.

At the End…

Good morning, ye who have probably slept. Well done you! The crazy brain shenanigans plus coyotes and puppies who think they need to vanquish them, plus the remaining phlegmy cough of my bedmate…sigh. That said, things are progressing here. I finished quilting finally! A miracle, to be sure.

Over 16 hours in there. That’s a lot. Then I cleaned the floor and trimmed the quilt…

One of the reasons I would clean a floor…to deal with a quilt.

Then I wore it for #quiltyghost…

Originally, I was like, oh let’s do an art quilt for this challenge, and then the Man realized that the body fit right where I was (she’s a little taller)…

Even has my glasses on. Then last night, I cut the binding and sleeve fabrics…more donated fabric for the sleeves. I’m trying really hard not to buy fabric unless I have to. Hard when that’s my go-to for when I have a shitty week. Luckily the fabric store is rarely open when I can go…still…it’s better that way.

Hopefully I’ll get the binding sewn on tonight, although I need to prep my Quilt National quilt to ship too, so we’ll see.

I also trimmed the bed quilt from the summer…

‘Tis huge. And then I cut the binding for it as well, which I had bought back in 2006 or whenever I started this beast. Probably I need to make some pillowcases too.

I also did a lot of school stuff, mostly grading. I didn’t get enough done. I never do…but grades are due in a week, so I need to be done at some point. Or some version of done.

Saturday night, I had the dogs out to pee, and I just happened to look up into our tree…I’d heard a barn owl the other night, just one screech, unlike the Great Horned owls I’m hearing all the time.

It’s either one of the parents of our three, or one of our three! OK, I know it might not be, but they do return to their hunting grounds. So it’s probably mom or dad. I went back inside, put the dogs in, got my phone, and came back, and they were still there, staring at me, waiting for their picture. I obliged. Beautiful birds. Noisy as fuck when they’re babies, but beautiful.

Someone asked about Nova and Luna…they’ve been hiding while Katie (my parents’ dog) was here. Although Katie is pretty chill in her older age, these two still aren’t fans. So we moved their cage into the bedroom to give them a safe space. I did catch them on Sunday hanging out though…

And the night before, the Man was playing a late show, so it was just me, Luna, and Simba for a while…well, Katie was on the floor, not sure where Nova was, and my cat has been living in my office lately.

I finished a book…not gonna recommend it. It was OK. But I liked this…

It was a horror novel for book club; we read horror every October. Here’s the section a lot of people highlighted…

Which is what I’m teaching right now in 7th grade, so that’s always interesting, the connections.

This bug was tiny…took me about 5 minutes just to get my phone camera to decide it existed and it could focus on it.

On Sunday, I also did a Zoom artists talk for Quilt Visions with Libby Williamson and Wen Redmond. If you pay for the series, you get to see all of them. They are all recorded, which is probably how I will be able to see most of them.

There are 8 total. You can purchase the pass here…I figure that’s one of the ways I can support the museum, since they don’t have entry fees any more. Plus then I get to watch all the videos.

OK. Well work calls. Like a rusty barn door about to fall off its hinges. I did not grade all the things. I’m not even sure I posted all the things I need for today. And there’s a parent phone call I might have to make that is not how I want to spend even one minute of my day. Parents who harass. Fun stuff. But quilt stuff at the end, so that’s good, and I have my skeleton t-shirt on (that’s as dressed up as I can handle today). There’s only a few kids who come to our door, so we have a small stash of candy for later. Hopefully someone will sweep the steps before the littles show up.

Unfolding

Kitten bit my arm this morning. Left a mark. Why? I was grabbing her food bowl…her empty food bowl. To fill it. I don’t understand why that’s a biteable offense, but there you are. She is a calico cat. They have their own rules.

I’m supposed to be on the Quilt Visions Zoom on Sunday, if you’re interested. It’s not free, unfortunately, but I get it…they need to stay up and running and they don’t charge to get in anymore. You can find info here. I pay for the season pass so I can watch all the other ones, since most of them are during the school day. I like listening to artists talk about their work.

I had an opening last night of Allied Craftsmen: Unfolding, an exhibit at the Rose Gallery at Francis Parker School. It’s a funky show…Allied Craftsmen always has a great mix of different media and materials that makes it super interesting. I will post more later (I have to leave early today; getting a ride to school), but here are mine with others…

I absolutely sucked at getting names of things. That’s my Eyeball Tree with Judith Christenson’s piece (with a poet…like I said, I sucked at getting names).

This one I can do: Nakedman (mine), then a piece by Cheryl Tall, A Year in the Leaf, an artist’s book by Charlotte Bird, and Kathleen Mitchell’s glass Revealed in the front.

I talked for a while with three art teachers, all male, who had so many questions about quilt art and fabrics. One compared it to music and talked about how they are paintings. It was cool.

Also my BirdFoot through the fronts of Linda Litteral’s piece.

Which I again forgot to get the name of. In my excuse, I came directly from teaching all day and was only slightly functional. Functional enough to remember another pair of pants, because it was Pajama Day at school.

Here are the backs of some of Linda’s inscrutable faces though…kid drawings.

A truly beautiful piece. I’ll post more of this show when I can. It’s up through mid-December, I think.

OK. Exhausted. Must be a Friday. Must be a day, actually. I do sleep better as the week goes on…my body is like You. Will. Sleep. And then I do. All my classes are getting assessments today (quiz for 8th grade, written academic for 7th). I don’t expect excellence today. I hope for it, but it’ll probably be a little rough. I only finished planning and posting stuff for today at 9 PM last night. Done with this year. Totally.

I’m busy this weekend: dentist, grading, lesson planning, artist talk, parents are home! So dog will be gone. She’ll be happy to have them back. She’s not a bad dog…it’s just an adjustment for everyone. OK. Oh yeah…I did quilt a bit last night. Not enough. So much for being done in two days. Ha! Welcome to life.

Someday I will probably sew this cat into a quilt because she’s messing around back there. Hasn’t happened yet. Lucky cat.

Achievement Unlocked…

It’s weird. On the one hand, I seem to have missed most of the month of October. Busy as hell, not chill, no relaxation, very little down time. Pro: Time in this hellacious school year seems to be moving quite fast. Con: Time seems to be moving quite fast. I can’t get everything done. There’s probably a movie about this. Or a song. I don’t have time to look it up though. I get to the end of the day, and I realize, oh shit, I still haven’t called the vet for the cat’s retest or the sewing machine shop to get my machine cleaned, and now they are closed. Fuck. OK. Write it down for tomorrow. Do over! Except tomorrow is just as nuts. I realized yesterday that the end-of-trimester grades are due in less than 2 weeks. FUUUCK. I’m so behind. So I forced myself to grade one class of the harder assignments last night. I can do it in chunks. But either I lesson plan and kids have work to do or I grade and kids have grades. I’m having a hard time finding a place in the middle where they have both those things AND I get to exercise, eat, sleep, and (most importantly) make art. I stood at a school-board meeting last night for over an hour, listening to them bitch at each other, so we could explain to them that not offering us cost-of-living at the very least is a pay cut. They started at 2.5%. Inflation is 8.2%. We all have to pay our bills, pay for gas, food, school supplies (that’s kicking MY butt) out of our salaries. The district next door to us would pay me $12K more a year. Can’t afford to move to it, because I would lose most of my years. Such a stupid system. Of course, they do it to make us stay. So I spend valuable grading time staring at the school board and wondering why teachers have to fight so hard for a fair wage. Then I come home and grade. Unpaid. Yeah. Stupid system.

I do have some cool stuff coming up…there’s an art opening at Francis Parker School on Thursday from 5-7 PM. I’m coming straight from school, so I will need to bring extra pants to school, because it’s pajama day. It’s also bargaining, so I have to wear red. I decided to splurge ($20) on a pair of red pajamas to solve that problem. They have pockets. That’s a plus.

Meanwhile, I’m getting so close (but still not done) on the quilt. I forget that on a big quilt, the trip around the borders is LONG. It was about 10:15 last night, and I’m like, shit, I’m not even going to make it down one side. So I stayed up a little later and made it down one side. Achievement Unlocked! The night before, I did a bunch of the little bits in the center, filling spaces, and then started on the right side…

Not totally sold on the variegated thread. It will be fine from a distance. But damn, this thread is linty as shit. I feel like I need to up my thread game, but I don’t know where to start. Ah well. The rayons shred like crazy, but less lint. My local quilt stores focus more on embroidery threads than quilting threads. And everybody has their favorites. I may just go back to rayon when this is done.

So I finished half of the right side, then the bottom to there. Almost to the edge. Then around that corner, across the top, and down the rest of the right side. Feels like two nights. Then trim and bind. Got a crown that needs replacing (that’s not cheap) that will take up time on Saturday, the Man has a show (still don’t know if I can/want to crash it), plus lesson planning and grading. Neverending. Plus those two damn phone calls. I didn’t even finish my calendar bullet journal thing for this week, Sunday was that bad. Sigh.

But I got to cuddle with this guy last night…

It’s been chilly at night and in the morning. He’s warm and nice.

And the old lady is usually around somewhere…

Sometimes she’s just a little too much in my space. Funny, because this morning, I don’t know where she is. Gonna have to chase her down to give her meds.

OK, running a lab in 8th grade, cars on ramps, speed calculations. In 7th grade, plate tectonics stations. I had no aide yesterday in two high-needs classes, and I teach one station while the other two APPARENTLY work independently. Only if I glare at them. I have to get through two groups today, even if it kills me (and it might). I hate the sub shortage. They pull my SECA to help kids who need more help (I get it) and they don’t tell me, so I can’t even shift the class into a less needy situation (we have a lesson for this week that is whole group), because I don’t even know she’s not showing up until like 10 minutes into class and she’s not there. So frustrating. Odds are I will have to cover someone’s class during my prep tomorrow or Friday…lots of teachers out, few subs. I’m next on the list. So when do I grade/prep? At home. At night. On the weekends. Starting to think about the next quilt though. My brain is all over the place, mostly tired thoughts honestly. Quilts of women sleeping while chaos abounds around them. Wishful thinking.

Mostly a Blur…

Seems like last week was mostly a blur. I don’t expect much more of this week. I’ve got meetings and art openings and a shit-ton of work (that never seems to go away). I graded literally nothing this weekend, because I was planning for about 10 hours instead. TEN HOURS. Not kidding. Both days. Making labs make sense…I still have one I dreamed about and need to fix again. I had to review an entire engineering design project and backwards plan it into the calendar to realize I don’t have time to get it done before Thanksgiving Break. I should probably be panicking about grades as well. Again. Still. I just can’t get caught up. At all. Pretty sure I’ll have to sub on my prep period one day this week…too many people out, not enough subs.

I try to finish working by 8:30 PM…9:30 if it’s really bad. I’d like to go to the gym tonight, but grading. Fuuuuck. And the stuff I’ve ordered for labs is taking months to get to me. So frustrated right now. So overwhelmed. So the gym is a necessity really.

I did get quilting in every night…but man, gone are the days when I’d quilt all Saturday afternoon. It was even cold and cloudy…perfect weather for that. Instead, I redesigned labs and made sure I had all the materials and that everything made sense.

Friday night’s quilting.

More words. Then Saturday night, onto the body below…

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Dickhead.

Then last night, I finished up the outline quilting…

Which always takes the longest…

NOT a small piece. And started the background quilting…

I usually quilt with a rayon thread. I don’t know why…I’ve been doing it long enough that I’ve forgotten why. It has a bit of shine which makes it stand out better than a cotton? But I didn’t feel like driving all the way to JoAnns on Saturday (I hate Joanns…or JoAnn, as it is now), and my local quilt store only had cotton, so I got one solid and one variegated. I don’t usually use a variegated thread in the art quilts. Too much distraction from the image, but I think it’ll be fine. Just a little bit of light in some areas. Totally unpredictable areas. I got a chunk of the center part quilted, in between body parts.

Need to do all around the edges. Maybe done tonight? Probably tomorrow night. Then trim and bind. I did buy the binding on Saturday, because all the quilt stores close too freakin’ early during the work week. Such a pain. But it’s pretty close to done. Finally. Seriously. Two months later than I had hoped. This job is kicking my ass this year. Worse than last year. Makes me wanna cry sometimes. OK, more than sometimes. A lot. Science co-teacher is back the 7th of November. IDK what he’s gonna start with, though…probably won’t be on the same page as me, because his sub has been working with the other 8th-grade teacher. Oh well. It’s someone. A warm body (BRAIN!) who might be able and willing to help.

This is what I taught Friday…

OK, not really, and certainly the density explanation is a little weak, but I they were writing and I was trying to get them to see the difference between the two words. The destiny of the blocks is to be dumped over and over into the water. Their density was something totally different.

Simba gets it.

He’s so cute for a middle-aged man.

I updated my Current Shows tab up there for all the crazy stuff that’s happening right now. Shows here and there, shows everywhere! I think there are 9 pieces out? Maybe more. Two openings this week, another next week. Then three maybe four more pieces going out for next year. Need to make more. Need to go to work first. Dammit.

All Through It and Beyond

Oh my. Hello Friday. Bless you for your existence. Although school has been OK this week. Busy as shit and still buried in lesson planning, but the kids have been (knock on fucking wood) OK. It’s been a decent week. Engaged in labs, doing things. It’s exhausting on my end, but they learn, so that’s good. My 15,000-step days aside…and I have no clue what I’m teaching in 8th grade next week. MINOR ISSUE.

I’ve gotten a lot of quilting done this week, mostly last night, when I had a stitching Zoom and stitched all through it and beyond. I’ve seen video of one exhibit going up where I have work…

Allied Craftsmen’s show Unfolding opens at the Rose Gallery at Francis Parker School on Thursday October 27 from 5-7 PM. I have three pieces in the show.

Then WE Gallery has a show, Portraits from the Anthropocene, opening at Dance Place in Liberty Station on Friday, November 4, starting at 5:30 PM. I have two in that show.

There’s one of mine on the left. So lots of chances to see my work locally at the moment.

Meanwhile, I’m still quilting…although almost done with the outlining (by almost, I mean I have another 2 hours probably)…

Up the body…

To the little head and the big head…

Looking good…and on to the other big head…

Need to buy thread for the background today; I have nothing that will work. Also need to get a shit ton of work done this weekend, but hopefully also finish quilting this and get a binding on it. Shit. Probably need to buy binding fabric. Pretty sure I don’t have anything big enough. Hmmm. Maybe that fabric I used for the lettering? I probably don’t have enough of it. OK. Plans.

Yesterday morning was nice. This morning is foggy/cloudy. Or something.

OK. To school. Manage the stuff and things. Try not to react to the stupid stuff. Get through the other stuff. Get it done. Get thread. Water the parents’ house and get their mail. Still haven’t heard from them. Ah well. I feel like the tour operator would tell me if something happened, yeah? Maybe not. And start thinking about the next quilt! It’s gonna be smaller, I swear. I have one small piece that I keep putting together in my head as I fall asleep, totally different style. Maybe should do that.

This Feeling of Sinking…

Oh my. Yesterday was lab lab lab lab lab. Three labs with bowling balls and 2-liter bottles of water (bowling for physics)…

The kids did really well and mostly understood the concepts of inertia and force that were part of it. Plus we got to be outside and moving around. And I made it a competition and paid the top 2 teams with food. If you are a middle-school teacher, you bribe. Constantly. And reward. I’m sure there’s a clear line between bribe and reward (or is there…). Here’s what needs to be put away today…

The other two classes were measuring volume, so I made them do math and they did it! Plus measuring things. All good. It was strangely a good (but exhausting) day. There were very few behavior issues. I was kinda floored. Because my co-teacher? Not so much next door. Some crazy going on there. I guess knock on wood and accept that today will not be better. It’s a rough year for behaviors…I feel like it should be better than last year, but I don’t think it is. At all. Then again, I didn’t have the absolutely sucky group last year. My boss thinks we’ve got 5 years of maladjusted behavior coming because of the pandemic. I feel like the littles will probably be OK…and I’m getting pretty close to retirement in 5 years. I probably won’t notice how they suddenly become amazing. My current 8th graders are actually OK…it’s just the curriculum that’s a problem.

By the time I was done for the day and had to head to the dentist, I was exhausted though. Had the teeth cleaned, got the news that yet another crown/filling thing is failing and will need replacing ($300-500 a pop…already got one scheduled for two weeks from now). That’s not fun. It’s just expensive. Came home, watered some plants, then graded an assignment. Including translation from Swahili. Which I think she copied from somewhere. English to Swahili to English. Only got two classes done. Got stopped by the Swahili for a bit, then finished that class (because the kids in there freak the fuck out if I have it half done for any period of time). I’ll get the other class done today. Trying to get caught up. I hate this feeling of sinking that I’m getting. I sort of know what I’m teaching today in 8th grade. But not tomorrow. I should figure that out. And next week is a total disaster. I need head space to consider things and process. I never get it.

I have managed an hour of quilting each night, which has been nice.

It’s not fast, but it’s meditative. I had book club Monday night, so I stitched during that…

Sue Spargo’s Homegrown quilt. I’m not moving very fast on it.

Then last night, more quilting…

I still have a ton left to do…the top part of the torso and her head, the two big heads, and the three figures on the bottom. Then the background. Not gonna be done any time soon. But I think I have time tonight? I don’t even know what day it is. Problematic. Today is independent and dependent variables, then speed and velocity (not a lab yet…that’s Friday) plus triple-beam balances for mass in the 7th grade. That’s gonna be a challenge.

OK, well gotta go to school to find out about the threat someone made to our campus yesterday. Fun stuff. Welcome to teaching! You are never done, no one gives you money to buy materials, the district sits on your orders for over a month instead of delivering them promptly, and people threaten to destroy the school and/or the people on a regular basis. Gotta love it.

Art-Filled Weekend…

It was an art-filled weekend…and somehow I managed to get a healthy chunk of grading done too. I’m only planned for one grade through Wednesday, maybe, though, so something fell through the cracks. Or I just don’t know how much I can get done in the next two days, so I need to play it by ear. Scary when you’re doing labs though. I need those planned ahead of time. But the lab I was going to do Tuesday, I need to be able to prep before school or after the day before, and I can’t do that for Tuesday…staff meetings and parent meeting. So it got pushed to Wednesday and the thing before it takes up an unknown amount of time. So there’s that. Scrambling a bit.

Quilt Visions opened this weekend. I made it to Friday night’s preview, Saturday morning’s opening and my ‘stand-in-front-of-my-quilt’ time (which was really a long, interesting conversation with one of the other artists), and the dinner on Saturday night. The best part of any of these events is talking to other artists; I really enjoyed that.

I especially enjoyed hanging out with Sheila Frampton Cooper; hadn’t seen much of her since she moved to France, but now she’s back.

I tried to take photos of the space more than the quilts…really, seeing them in person is always better.

Niraja Lorenz won Best of Show with this fascinating piece; I enjoyed talking to her about it (although forgot to get a photo of her)…

Visions is not a huge space…

But they managed the show well…here is Dianne Firth’s piece, always cool to see the shadows her work makes…

And Irene Roderick drew on hers! I loved that bit…

The wall with my piece and two other interesting pieces…

Phil Jones’ heart…

Another view…

A closeup of Libby Williamson’s piece…

And look! I actually took a picture of a piece with the artist.

Sometimes my brain works.

I had a cool conversation with Susan Lapham of the second quilt from the left.

There are a couple of sections I just didn’t remember to photograph…

I tried!

Meanwhile, I did come home on Saturday and pinbasted the current quilt…

After finishing stitchdown on Friday night with Kitten’s interference…

The last time this will be seen…

Before it’s sewn into the quilt…

Pinbasting on my knees is never really fun, but this was quick…

Mostly because I had a deadline to be back at Visions for dinner…

I raided the stash of another quilter who left me a bunch of fabric when she moved…found two full yards of fabric to piece for the backing…

I was playing with all these pieces when I realized I only needed the purple and the green. Good use of them.

The dogs have been playing a bit. Sort of. Mostly Simba trying to play and Katie yelling about it.

Poor Simba…

Last night, I started quilting finally…only about 6 weeks after my original plan.

Still with Kitten in the way…

This week is a little chaotic, so I’m hoping to get an hour done a night, maybe a little more. But we’ll see. I do need to get to school, though, even though I have a few more photos of the show that need resizing, and normally I would add all the names and links. I’ll try to add those later. But for now, need to get to school and do a lab and I don’t remember what else. Yikes. I wish I had a better handle on it. But I don’t.

Fascinating Poop…

While it is awesome and feels really good to get into shows, the paperwork and the prep to get stuff out of the house and into the world is sometimes a bit much. I’ve got two to get ready before Saturday, but am having problems contacting the person I’m delivering to. They keep emailing me, I respond, I get nothing. Then next week, I’m delivering four, so I’ll get those ready this weekend. They’ve been really good about being flexible, which I appreciate, since I can’t deliver during the regular work day. Two nights ago, I was filling out paperwork online and one cell in the form wouldn’t take any answer. Until I put a blank space after it. Don’t understand that shit. Luckily people are mostly helpful and understanding, and it’s just me losing my mind in the background sometimes quietly and sometimes with some force. Day job does not help.

So yeah, I got into Quilt National with Desert Mother

I think this is the fourth time I’ve gotten into QN with a piece made for (and usually rejected from) another show. This one was too late to enter into the show it was made for. I guess it turned out OK. She was the palate cleanser between the abortion rights quilt that will be at Visions starting this month and the two pissed-off Roe v Wade quilts that have come after. It felt bad to be finishing her during the beginning of the Russia/Ukraine war and all the other crazy shit that was happening, but I needed to make her. So that.

Meanwhile, I’m working on one of the pissed-off Roe v Wade quilts…finally doing stitchdown. I got really stuck in my head about starting this, so hard to get the machine set up (not really) and such a pain to do the stitching (not really). But last night, I finally stitched…

Even though it was less than 30 minutes, it was a start…

I’m figuring 5-6 hours. I could be totally off. But the last one, which is bigger than this, was 5 1/2 hours, so hopefully by the weekend I’ll be done? I don’t have any more meetings this week, I think. I did go to the gym last night, which ate up some time, but I needed it. I need it every week. I got to read my book and exercise. Perfecto.

Tonight is pilates and I have to cook and my parents’ dog will be here, so there will be some adjustments going on, but after that, I should have time to stitch down some more. I’ve just been so tired lately. Anyway. It’s progress. Slow as hell this year getting quilts done. It’s frustrating. I did get good news yesterday that my other 8th-grade co-teacher, the one who will actually plan interesting stuff with me, will be back in a month. Halle-fucking-lujah. Not doing it all by myself! What a concept. Looking forward to it.

Meanwhile, Monday morning, I got to school and this was on my door.

Yeah I figured out who left it (I had two reasonable possibilities), so we ID’d it (tomato hornworm, turns into a pretty cool moth) and housed it…

Our school has a garden that is mostly not doing anything at the moment but producing limes and compost tomatoes, so I’ve been trimming the plants to feed this thing, which must be close to chrysalis stage…

So we’ll see how that goes. It’s very slow-moving at this point. And it makes the most fascinating rectangular poops with ridges in it. Sorry. Forgot to take photos of its poop.

Anyway. So that’s where I’m at. Making art slowly. Exhausted by the day job. Raising a caterpillar.

Hello Art Friday…

Hello Art Friday. I’d like to make you a thing. A regular thing. I used to have Friday Draw on my calendar and then every Friday, at night, I’d pull out my sketchbook and draw for an hour. Ah the days! Then I got buried in school stuff and sometimes I do absolutely nothing on Friday nights because my brain is gone, and sometimes I grade things, because it means I don’t have to do it some other time. I don’t know what the solution this year is, but I want to draw more, but also, school is taking so much time that I can’t do the things I want.

Although I took these two days off for the SAQA thing…yesterday we got to listen to a bunch of inspiring artists talk about their practices: Jane Dunnewold, Paula Kovarik, Betty Busby. Best quote: “When you know what you’re about, no one can take that away from you” (JD). Paula made me want to use more, play more, cut things up more. Betty is just amusing and inspiring as hell. I’m spending the next two days in a workshop with her. Looking forward to it. I got to see lots of other people I hadn’t seen in years, since 2019 or 2015 or whatever. Yes, I also got a new student at school, had to add them to my online class, then to the app they were using in class, and then they pulled my sub, the one that has access to everything, fuckers, seriously, if I set up a specific sub that I trust while I’m gone, then you shouldn’t fuck with that. That shit pisses me off. So who knows. I did set stuff up so hopefully anyone can handle it, but you know how that goes.

I have all my art supplies packed up, I’m wearing an old holey shirt and shorts, I got sunburnt yesterday at lunch, so I have my sunscreen. I even packed a lunch so I could save some money and just buy caffeine and maybe spend more time playing during the 2-hour lunch break rather than waiting in line somewhere for food. I have ideas swirling around my head and it feels really good. So yeah, I’m an introvert (I needed a serious alone-time break yesterday between the talks and the two exhibition receptions). So I went to Liberty Station, walked around, ate…

(it looks better than it tasted, unfortunately) got some caffeine, and then sat in the car, trying to charge my aging phone (it was not happy) and drew for a bit…

Oh, I also graded a week’s worth of homework papers while listening to artists talk, and then stitched the rest of the time, because I am notoriously bad at listening if I am not distracting myself with something in my hands…

Definitely making some progress, but it will still take forever :-). Forever is OK though. For some things. Not traffic…

I don’t usually have to sit in traffic. But I did it for art. And besides, the location where the art is happening is pretty nice…

Cooler too. Always a plus. Autumn my ass. Southern California does Autumn for about a week in late October, and then that’s it. We’re done.

My ex is at a wedding in the UK…check out that building…also check out that family! It’s nice to see them all in a photo together.

Also looks like nice weather.

Last night, I sat on the deck in the dark, talking to the Man, collecting mosquito bites. Thought I was staring at a planet up in the sky. I was…it was Jupiter.

Also my birth constellation. Nice coincidence.

This morning, the sky was pretty. My phone can’t handle the pretty…

Unfortunately…

OK, well, the personal art project is definitely suffering this week, but it’s for a good cause. I don’t expect to get much done on it until maybe Sunday, but we’ll see. I will however be slinging some paint and who knows what else today…looking forward to it. Plus after all the emails from school yesterday, it’s good I wasn’t there I guess. I don’t know. Whatever. Just needed a break. If I take two days a month every month? Yeah, that won’t happen…and it’s too hard to do the prep and after stuff. But definitely to remember that making art helps…and maybe taking a day off to catch up on grading AND make art would be a positive thing. We’ll see. For now, though, it looks like there is less traffic today, so I will be leaving soon. Need more caffeine. I’m certainly failing on the sleep front still.