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.

Adding to the Totals…

Today is officially the first day I usually think actively about going back to school. This year has been a clusterfuck for that. August 1 is also usually the day when I realize I’m going back to school soon and I blow off everything on the to-do list except art, because I realize how limited my time will be for that once school starts. It’s an odd place to be, mentally. Plus this year, I’m proofreading a book right now in the middle of that, and it’s something I want done before we go back. It takes time, though. So a little of that every day and a little of the to-do list every day and a little art every day.

I finished drawing the newest one…

Nice arm shadow there…taking pictures late at night on the floor. While I was trying to draw the last bit, Kitten gave it butt approval…

Then I numbered it…

I really tried to keep this simple. There’s so many things and details I didn’t add.

But then I covered two giant heads with words. I considered screenprinting them, but setting up a screen and getting that done in summer heat seemed like it would take longer than this. I’ve made quilts/fabric art in many different ways. For whatever reason, this method works the best for me. But simple? Not so much at 1359 pieces…

Could be worse, I guess. I do need to buy more Wonder Under today. Running low. Probably don’t have enough to finish this. I started tracing on Saturday, in between proofreading…

I’ve got over 3 hours in and hit the 300s last night. Not bad. Could be better.

Today, I’m finishing the quilting on the bed quilt…

We got to the bottom, but there are some areas near the top that need fill in, so that’s today. Then pull it off and put a binding on it! A miracle.

We had dinner at the parentals last night…girlchild cooked, which is always good…

I stitched a tiny bit on a Homegrown block that seems to never get done…

This week is the last full week of Summer Break. Sad but true. Next week is training and a super-spreader event. Should be painful. My desk here in the office still isn’t clean. I didn’t paint the hallway. My classroom is still having floors done so I can’t do anything in there. I have a preliminary calendar for the first few days of school for 8th grade; 7th grade is pretty stellar though. I did not clean out my closet. I didn’t plant the slope toward the neighbor’s house. I got some of the palm tree stuff off the backyard slope, but there’s a ton more. The trees are not trimmed. I did not clean out the garage. I did not get enough sleep. I didn’t exercise enough.

I did read 9 books. I did spend 116 hours doing most art (but some proofreading and copyediting in there). I finished one quilt. Not bad. I have a few more days to add to those totals. I seem to appreciate those last days as much as the first few…

Disappearing Fast…

So Summer Break is disappearing fast. Lost two days to a training that could be done in two hours…welcome to the inefficiencies of my day job. Seriously though…wish we could figure that crap out. I’m willing to be professionally developed when it’s actually useful. Not sure this 12 hours will be. That said, this week is still Not School and so is next week. Breathing in and appreciating that. This week, I need to get going on the next art quilt on the off chance I can finish before another deadline (probably not, but I’m going to try). I also need to get some home-related stuff done and I need to get that bed quilt done.

I think we’re at 16.5 hours (which includes about 5.5 hours of practice on muslin). We finally got it to behave appropriately for I think two whole rows, no, two and a half, and then the bobbin thread ran out and then the NEW tablet (mom bought a new one) crashed and then we had to try to restart from there (the app needs a solution for starting mid-row when it crashes) and then the thread broke, so the last row took 45 minutes instead of 11 and a half. Yeah.

But before that, we had weird divots in the stitch and then it would randomly decide to move up instead of staying in a straight line.

I wasn’t kidding when I said the machine was possessed. Inconsistent? Yeah that too. Could very well be user error.

I know with any machine I’m sewing with, I have to get used to it and then I know how to make it work, even if the manual says otherwise. So we’re not there. But we are halfway through the quilting! Mom wanted to rip the straight line, and I’m like NO, we aren’t ripping anything if we don’t have to.

And when I say halfway, I mean I will have to go back and do some filler quilting in between some of the rows (or parts of rows due to demon possession) that are too far apart. But I figure that will be quick. Unlike the rest of it. So probably three more sessions at mom’s? Hopefully? Done this week? I just don’t know. I’ve got a proofreading job coming in this week too, so I need to be home to work on that.

The newest quilt is at the photographer…I did get photos back of Desert Mother though…gotta get her on the website.

I’ve had such a hard time finishing work in the last two years. The day job is a hog.

Every year I say I will work on that, and then I get overwhelmed.

There are lots of super tiny animals in this piece…

Which take forever…

But I love that they’re in there. I also love that I made this totally nonpolitical quilt this year in between what will be more political things because the world is so fucked up at the moment. I know I needed a break after the abortion rights quilt. So this was it…

I feel bad for making nonpolitical quilts sometimes. Plus then people are all OMG that quilt is amazing why don’t you just make those instead of those other ones. Eyeroll. Because the artist brain does not work like that.

Anyway, so there she is.

I did start the drawing on the next one about two weeks ago, pulling from a drawing I did back in November 2021 and then starting to modify it. I had written notes somewhere on what else needed to go on it, but I have no clue where those are. Of course. But I stared at it for a while on Friday night, then went to sleep, and woke up Saturday morning with a goodly chunk of it back in my head, which I wrote down in TWO places…

So as soon as I can get my head out of the exhaustion rut it’s in (too many early morning wakeups for me lately), I will get going on that. Hopefully in about 20 minutes.

Also, I finally finished mounting the last of the pieces that need to go on Etsy…

Trying to get some of these smaller pieces sold and out of here. So now I need to find all the photos I’ve taken as I’ve finished them over the last month, gather all the sizing and pricing info, and post those. I’ll let y’all know when that’s done, but hopefully this week. I also had a plan to put some of my older art quilts on sale…will need to get my act together on that too. You can see how summer/free time gets eaten up, yeah?

We hiked Saturday, but just flat because the Man has a broken toe…slammed it into a chair…

Probably he shouldn’t have hiked because now it hurts more, so also probably I will be hiking alone for the next 5 weeks.

Nova asleep in the heat…

The bunny who keeps eating the flowers of my native plant…

A very confused caterpillar…I’m not sure where it went from the cactus (the milkweed was right next to it)…but I can’t find it anymore.

Ah well.

Want some owl videos?

Three babies…

Haven’t seen the parents for a while (would I know? I don’t know if I would know…but they sound different). One seems to hang out here all the time; the other two seem to range around a bit more. Hoping they find a nest and/or learn to stop yelling all the time (much like the neighbor children?) relatively soon. But I’m glad to add them and their mouse/rat-catching to my ecosystem here.

So today: draw more, Etsy some stuff, go have lunch and hang out with teacher friends without thinking about school, read my book? (it’s nonfiction, but there’s a mystery and I suspect old white men are the perpetrators). Shit. I need to start the crockpot for dinner. Ugh. OK. Better now than having to cook later, right? Yes ma’am. It’s still summer. I am still sort of free from stuff (ha!). Working on Zen.

Adding Up to Chaos…

Holy shit…is it Friday already? What the hell happened to this week? Why is that weeks during the school year never disappear like this? I mean, I went to three science meetings and two exercise classes, and then the rest has been trying to get this quilt done. Which it will be! I guess that’s the pro. The bed quilt? Not done yet…although mom called yesterday and asked if she could do one row. Um, yes? Sure? I’m going back there today to hopefully get most of it done. Well, probably not, because it will be a lot of hours and I don’t have a lot of hours.

Anyway, so give a teacher a hug, because they are still suffering from PTSD from the last two years of school and the emails never stopped over the summer, unless you have not checked your work email, in which case, kudos to you. I can’t do that. I wish I could. My goal for the school year, my New Year’s Resolution (this is when teachers do those) is not to bring grading home. I know this will not work, unfortunately, due to two preps this year, but I did say GRADING and not PLANNING. Ugh. I’m freaking out. But everyone I know is freaking out, including those who don’t have two grade levels. And I’ve already fielded 20 or so work-related texts this morning…they are stressing me out even more.

So the quilting got done, both outlining and background, on Wednesday and Thursday…

I don’t know about you, but although I appreciate my machine telling me this, it just prompts me to yell “Fuck You” at it…

I went and bought binding fabric. I actually bought three because there were many old ladies with walkers wandering the quilt store, so I didn’t feel comfortable laying down my GIANT VULVA OPENING on the ground and testing the binding fabrics like I normally do. So I brought them home, trimmed the quilt…

And then picked the one that worked the best. It was hot yesterday, but I just sweat through the tasks. Put the binding on…

Half listening to the January 6 testimony. There’s a reason I don’t watch the news. I’m already anxious. It makes it worse. Binding got on, pinned down, sure I could machine stitch it, but I don’t like the way it looks. Too flat. And then started handstitching while on a Zoom with two stitching friends…

I got halfway around. The rest will get done today; it’s going to the photographer tomorrow. Picking up the desert quilt, then continuing on what I’m calling the Roe quilt right now. Not because it’s another abortion rights quilt, but because it’s a quilt about my response to Roe falling. I feel like this quilt I’m just finishing is a response quilt too…it started out about one thing and then all the other things intruded: Ukraine trying to fight Russia, guns, human rights of all sorts, Uvalde. Korean missiles. WTF else, y’all? I’m guessing the desert quilt is the only nonpolitical thing I’ll do this year. I have a couple shows coming up where I’m not sure what I’m entering because they have requirements about nudity etc and I just don’t care about their stupid rules. Ah well. Following rejections as well.

The milkweed I planted from seeds the boychild gave me over a year ago is finally doing its job!

Yay! I noticed lots of holes in the leaves but couldn’t find the perpetrator until I was watering yesterday. Happy happy.

OK, gotta pack up, go to mom’s , email the photographer, text another science teacher a question, review a bunch of science shit, quilt a bed quilt, finish binding the art quilt, email another science teacher after steps 4 and 5, maybe eat lunch (IDK about that), take my meds, make more tea, holy shit today is a tad on the frantic side. Let’s hope that doesn’t continue (it might…girlchild is home next week, I have two lunches to go to now, gotta clean her room, it’s all adding up to chaos). But Progress! On all the things.

I need a hike tomorrow. Seriously.