Come Doused in Mud*

Good morning Sunday. I don’t usually write on Sunday. I consider it my day off. But I didn’t write Saturday, because I got up late and then had to get out of here for a social event. No way! I know. It’s crazy.

But honestly, I didn’t get anything done on Friday after school except some work and going to see the man’s band play. After that, sleep. Sleep. And sleep. All the sleep I didn’t do during the week.

So instead, yesterday morning, I picked up my birthday friend and dragged her, with her art degree in painting, and we went to a bar to paint someone else’s vision.

Except, if you know us at all, you know we won’t be listening to the teacher. Much.

So you can see the teacher on the left and her sample on the right. And what she’s telling the students to do.

Neither of us understood the stripey thing, so we kinda blew that off.

You can’t make us. Laurette’s is on the left; mine is on the right. Then we did consider other options besides the tree…like a dinosaur. I was going to do the silhouette of a woman, but this is going in my prep room at school, so kids will see it.

Notice the glass of wine in the left hand. That might be the only way to do this shit.

Not bad. Certainly it was relaxing and amusing to hang out. Although I’m pretty sure she needed a nap afterwards. That’s how we know we’re old. We can’t drink in the middle of the day without a nap.

We were at Twisted Taps…and there’s a Gloria Muriel mural on the left. I feel like I recognize the other two artists as well…but can’t remember their names.

OK, thank you Google. Erin Yoshi did the giraffe…and Amandalynn did the butterfly piece. Very cool.

On the way home, I saw one of the neighborhood goats.

Good way to control all those weeds.

I eventually quilted for about an hour. I’m most of the way through the 3rd side, with a little incursion into the design.

Probably there’s another two hours to go on this…at least. I’d like to get it done tonight. We’ll see. I’ve got a ton of schoolwork to get through first.

Then we went out to a small opening in a garage…this is Cindy Zimmerman and her distinctive pieces…they are all saints.

Good little show. Then dinner and trying to stay awake. I quit trying and gave my body what it needed. Sleep! Bless it. OK, off to work on many things.

*Nirvana, Come As You Are

They Spun a Web for Me*

I made this breakfast casserole on Monday to encourage me to eat something useful in the morning, and I keep thinking, oh, it’s so easy, and it tastes good, it’s just eggs, sausage, and spinach, and this morning, I’m sitting here eating it, and it’s not often that I eat the same thing without getting tired of it, and I’m thinking, it’s because it’s so simple, but no. It’s because of the cheese. I forgot about the cheese. Cheese is wonderful. I love cheese. I don’t know how tasty this would be without it. Probably still OK, and next time, I might add more spinach or put some other veggie in it, but the cheese is staying. Well. That is my morning ode to cheese. It might be the most meaningful thing I say today.

Yesterday, I managed to teach an entire lab about photosynthesis with kids going outside to gather plant material, even in the rain, even though the sun disappeared after 2nd period. Let’s just say I made two fake suns in the back of the room. Good to know we have enough lamps and lightbulbs (I found them! They were in a “logical” place.) to pretend to be the sun for 10 minutes. I remember last year, standing in Home Depot, trying to figure out what type of lightbulb would work, since you can’t buy regular incandescent bulbs any more. These are halogens and they pretend to be the sun pretty well. For a short time. I couldn’t grow crops in my room with them or anything.

Then I spent two hours at a curriculum meeting, before deciding that going home for 5 minutes and then driving in the rain out to book club, which is a pain in the ass for parking, was not gonna happen. I was sad, but exhausted. I came home and ate the boychild’s food instead and then did some stuff and things, like you do, and maybe I have everything for today that I need? But you just never know. I’m up early this morning to take my car in, hoping it’s just spark plugs and not something else stupid. I’m lucky to have one friend who lives around the corner from the shop and will drive me to school after I drop the car off.

Kitten has a goopy eye. It’s not this one.

She wouldn’t face me. She’s mad at me. She has to have drops three times a day, and it’s not fun for anyone really, but we’re trying to make her feel better, which might be the only reason she doesn’t flat out kill us when we do it. Boychild just uses leather gloves. I bully it out and hold her and pet her and talk sweet somethings into her ear as she growls and squirms. And then she glares at me for an hour. Truly fun cats are. Eight more days of it. Whoo!

Puppy is a good sleeper.

He likes to curl up next to you, or even better, on your leg, half perched, and then zonks out. It’s sweet. Except then you can’t move because you feel guilty for disturbing him.

I did quilt last night for about an hour and a half.

Otherwise I was pretty brain dead. I’m actually really impressed I got that much done. I finished one whole LOOOOONG side, almost. It took that long because the thread broke about 7 times and I had to replace at least one bobbin, and there were a few incursions into the figures where I had missed stitching the background before. In fact, looking at this picture, I may have some armpits to fill in. Not sure.

So I have two more long sides, one with a significant divot into the figures that probably qualifies as almost another side. If the thread doesn’t break, which doesn’t seem likely, I might finish in 3 hours. That’s longer than I thought. I have tonight and a little bit of tomorrow night. My weekend is a little crazy. I have at least 75 emails from kids about makeup work, which is good…I’d rather have them turning it in and hopefully bringing their grades up, but it’s a pain on my end to get through all of that checking of the late work. I wish they would figure out they have work missing throughout the trimester, but it seems like they only do it when I hand them a little slip of paper with the assignments listed on it. Sigh.

Another thing I’ll be working on tonight is a few designs for embroidery…like for sale. We’ll see if this works out, but if it does, it’ll be a way people can interact with my work for much cheaper and without having to be near a show. It will look different too, but I’m interested in what that might turn out to be. Anyway. I have some ideas and we’ll see how they go.

Meanwhile, Kitten is offended by the computer mouse and the Sharpie lying next to it. I’m afraid when I start mousing, she’s gonna whack me. I probably deserve it for the eye drops.

*Coldplay, Trouble

Walk ‘Til You Run*

So here’s the trade-off. I went to bed early, before midnight even, because I knew I had to be up early today for a parent meeting. Hard to do on the first day of the week. But that meant that (a) I got no art done last night and (b) I couldn’t sleep well. Seems I have to be exhausted to sleep through. The coyotes didn’t help. Neither did the puppy’s response to coyotes. Shocking that. But I’m not sure I feel any more rested than if I’d stayed up another hour or so. Oh well. I tried. I was tired when I went to bed…it just didn’t translate into sleep when I made it into bed unfortunately…meditative breathing and all.

I did manage to get the binding fabric (s?) for the quilt under the machine, even if I didn’t get any quilting done. I lied…I quilted for about 12 minutes until the thread broke…I was going to go until the bobbin thread ran out, so I could take the quilt with me to the store to pick the binding, but then it broke, so that was an easy decision. I have most of three more sides to do. Two are pretty easy…the third has a huge chunk into the design, so it will take a while. I’ll get it done.

I can never buy just one. I think I already have the blue on the right. Awkward.

So it’s one of the two bottom blues. I like the one underneath, but I’m not sure if it will be too much color change for the binding. So I got the top one too. I can use it for sleeves. The sleeves on this thing are pretty huge. So I’ll finish quilting sometime this week. It just keeps taking longer and longer to get done. And I need to get the other one(s) started.

The best part of yesterday was the dog walk…hike…longness that tired them out.

It was a beautiful day, although chilly…

I really wished I lived in an oak grove. They’re so beautiful. I’d just stand outside and stare at them all day.

This is Crestridge Ecological Reserve…

It’s not too far from us…farther than we usually go on a weekday, but we were there at 2 PM or so.

A benefit of having the day off. The clouds looked ominous at times, in places…

But there was no sign of rain until we headed home…

Which is a good thing, because at some point, we were hiking through stream beds that were still damp and squishy from the last storm.

Usually we walk the dogs for about 3 miles…this was longer, a little over 4.

And we took a different way back, so that was cool.

Definitely greener than usual. We’re over 12 inches of rain this year.

That’s a lot for us.

Fire danger in summer will be bad.

We did tire them out though.

Tired me out too…probably why I didn’t get much done except grading last night. I’m really trying to get caught up. I don’t want to spend every waking moment grading, really.

Anyway. Off to work, long day. Hopefully I’ll have some energy at the end to quilt and/or draw. I like progress. It’s funny that I had the whole day off and didn’t get any art done…except buying fabric. Oh well. I seem to be more efficient when my day is full of stuff I have to do.

*U2, The Unforgettable Fire

And All the Papers Lied Tonight*

Hmm. Cold weather (for us…remember my blood is thinner than you icy folk). Rain clouds still looming. So my weekend so far has been very focused with bursts of art. Mostly because I stayed up until 2:30 AM last night…well, wasn’t it technically this morning? Because Art Brain was drawing and I didn’t know how to get her to stop. I didn’t have work as an excuse to go to bed. Probably why I feel a bit groggy this morning. Because someone still got up at 6 to go to work and I definitely heard that. Ugh. That’s tomorrow morning. I will go to bed earlier tonight! Art Brain? You listening? I’m not kidding. We need to go to bed early tonight. Seriously.

Yeah. So. Saturday I quilted some…like 2 hours’ worth…nah, only an hour…

But I started on all the fussy little bits in between heads. What a pain in the butt.

Then we went to an art/music thing called A Ship in the Woods…it was a bit of a drive, weather cold, plus a shuttle service to get us in…it’s a house up in the Escondido area with a huge yard and a lot of art stuff filtered around. A band was playing inside. There was art inside as well. Mostly I just wanted to see what it was like, but I had also seen a piece by one of the artists, Kyle Ranson, so I was interested in that…this was on the outside of the house, made up of smaller pieces of wood.

Fascinating…

Another one inside…

And outside…those are ceiling fan blades…

Makes you want to redo your house so your neighbors run screaming in the other direction, don’t it?

It’s a nice space. I’d go back when it’s warmer. And there was more performance or outdoor stuff going on. Like summer maybe. We’ll see.

Yesterday dawned with pretty blue skies and big fluffy white clouds, with a cat sitting in a box. Yeah. There’s art stuff in there. She doesn’t give a fuck. She’s sitting in it anyway.

Chaos reigns. The skies eventually grayed up and dropped down upon us.

So I went back to quilting…the VAST EXPANSE of crap around the edges.

I did at least 2 hours yesterday. Or only 2 hours…depending on how you look at it. I’ve made it around the whole sun and down one side. There’s a significant amount of quilting left. At least another couple of hours, I think. I’ll be working on that today, and also going to buy binding fabric.

I graded in the afternoon and evening…late into the night, trying to get caught up…while watching a documentary about feminism.

From that, I started drawing. Because I wasn’t ready for bed…I was watching the last 15 minutes of the doc, because I’d finished grading. On Friday, I had copied the first drawing that I’ve been trying to redo for days, enlarging it 200 and 250%, to give me a choice.

I wasn’t sure which would work best.

I thought I would just tape it together and then go to bed.

By the way, 250% was the better choice. So I knew I wanted the core of this drawing, but it needed some major changes. I was going to leave it until today, but Art Brain took over. Yes, it was already past midnight at this point.

I said, I’ll just trace some bits and THEN go to bed…

I don’t know why I listen to Art Brain when she’s like that. I traced some more, but then opened up the other sketchbook so I could see the other fails…and pull from them as well.

One of the things I wanted was the shoulders above the ground…

Art Brain on a roll…

It’s not done…but I did finally take a break on it.

The ground is next…and the hair…and whatever is above her head. I don’t know what that is yet. Maybe that’s tonight…but not that late. Not if I have to teach tomorrow.

Today is more grading…a dog hike…some fabric purchasing. Laundry. I need clean clothes for sure. And I don’t know what else…I should shower first…

*The Psychedelic Furs, The Ghost in You

Always Had a Fear of Being Typical*

So. So many things in my head for the last long weekend until May. I want to get EVERYTHING done PLUS go see art and music and eat and hike and all that stuff. So Many Things. So many things that I don’t know where to start. There’s definitely schoolwork to be done. Tons of it. I did a little last night…more to come. I need to do some every day, basically. An assignment a day would be good. More than one would be better. Eyes wide. Shit. End of trimester looms.

Art. There’s always art to be done. I know I want to be done with the quilting this weekend…

Figure 5 got done last night, except for her left wing and a cloudy bit on her left arm.

It took about 2 hours to get that much done.

I had help.

If you call lying around on the floor and depositing hair on the chair help. Also my sweater collection on the chair is interesting. I don’t know if I get warm because of the lights or because I’m wrestling this giant-ass beast of a quilt around to get it quilted, but whatever sweater I’m wearing just ends up discarded on that chair until I pick them all up and put them away.

I have the sun left to outline (won’t take long) and then I’m quilting the background, which will be a rancid pain in the ass. I’m not sure how long that will take…at least a couple of hours. There’s not a lot of big open space, like the last one, but there are a lot of fussy little bits in between all the faces.

You can see where I stopped…at midnight thirty. I was tired. I’m still tired. I stayed up too late this week. Trying to settle my head.

Kitten approves.

So I want to finish the quilting before Monday and then go buy binding fabric…trim this beast and get a binding on it. Move the fuck on to the next one. I did go copy and enlarge the original drawing that I’ve been fucking with…so I can trace the outline of the head and then do what I want. I try to draw smaller first, so when I enlarge, it’s not crazy tiny pieces. But that’s just not working for me. So fuck it. Let’s do this thing.

On top of that, I just started a thing where I might be doing some drawings that can be hand-embroidered, partnering with someone who sells this stuff at all the shows. So that’s a thing. If it happens and it’s cool, maybe y’all will like that. Although apparently I need to hide some penises in the drawings. I find penises are hard to hide, personally. They tend to just be Out There. But hey. We’ll see. Some drawings this weekend, then. And next week. Crazy idea, really, but I’m intrigued by the possibilities. It’s a different mindset for looking at what I do. But not an impossible one. I know what the old guy who lives here will say…something about why do I take on more stuff when I’m already overwhelmed? Because it’s an interesting idea that could turn into some income. Or just be cool…hard to say.

Speaking of cool, you rarely see my coworkers…here’s my science coworker-in-crime. Why this picture? When we order stuff using our own money and need reimbursement, the district wants to see pictures of the things we ordered with the invoice…I guess to prove we bought it? And didn’t return it?

So we’re constantly taking photos of the innards of boxes. She was helping…yes we bought that many plastic beakers. We use this shit. And they were very reasonably priced. Hopefully they’ll reimburse.

I also want to walk the dogs this weekend. I want to go to the gym too. And read my book! No small list.

*Imagine Dragons, Whatever It Takes

Love’s What I Got; Don’t Start a Riot*

Happy V Day y’all. May love pour down on you from the most unexpected places. And for those of you like me who teach through this candy-fueled holiday, I wish you luck. I’d also like to thank the administrator who thought telling kids on a broadcast announcement in 7th period that they couldn’t bring balloons and gifts and candy to class was a good idea. I realize they were desperate, once they realized what today was going to be, but that was a discussion I didn’t need to have in the middle of demonstrating exothermic and endothermic reactions (the reaction in class, by the way, was decidedly exothermic). Oh yeah, and it’s a rain day, so kids are already psychotic. Dear parents, when your child comes home sopping wet and you wonder if we let them stand out in the rain, well yes…yes we do, because your child is taller than I am and with all the rain we’ve had this year (for Southern California, this is a deluge), we’re tired of yelling at them to get out of the rain. They just go out and stand in it, staring up, gobsmacked at the experience. So we let them have it. And if they get sick because of it, well really, you should do more to increase their immune system. Like feed them good food and make sure they don’t play video games until 2 AM. Yeah, like THAT’S an easy thing to do. It’s OK. I parented two of them. Who knows what damage I did. Certainly there were times they came home sopping wet and I wondered why.

But love…let’s feel the love. Me? I felt the love of a Golden Retriever at 5:30 AM when she thought she wanted to pee but then saw the weather. We’ll be going out tonight (not me and the dog…just to be clear…but me and that guy who lives here), unlike most V-days…because my guy got band practice moved off of Thursday night. So that’s love for you.

I got puppy love last night too…grading while watching TV with a puppy companion.

And then the big girl, who apparently now associates rain with thunder, even when there isn’t any, and is anxious constantly.

She eventually settled down next to me as well.

I entered a show before that. I’ve got two more to do in the next few days, one before tomorrow, but I was hoping to hear back from something else first…just to be sure what was available. I guess I could send an email about that. Aargh.

I started quilting late, around 10:30 PM.

I was really tired at the start, but this stuff invigorates me. Art brain wakes up and wants to party. Slowly. With a stabby needle and bad lighting. I thought, well, can I really get Figure 4 done? It’s a big head. She has lots of snakes for hair.

Well, Kathy, the answer is yes, yes you can.

Figure 4. In all her glory. Just Figure 5 and the sun left for outlining, and then the messy background. That will be complicated. But I’m seeing a finish line. I’m thinking I’ll be buying binding fabric soon…like Saturday or Sunday. I’m excited about that.

I really do like this quilt…it’s just been hard to get lots of time on it, and so it’s dragging on. This is one of the enjoyable stages, though…quilting is meditative. It’s peaceful. Well, mostly…unless there’s a lot of thread breakages. I’ve been lucky. My machine probably needs to go in again for service, though. I should make an appointment for when I’m traveling on Spring Break. That would be smart.

OK, well we have another inch of rain coming in today. I managed to get one dog to void outside in a slightly dry moment. The other one is a dumbass and will probably explode soon. I swept the pavement outside the back door twice in the last 12 hours, moving the water that used to drain away. I should remind the boychild to do it later. Ah shit, there’s the rain again. Sigh.

Oh, and Parkland…the high-school shooting a year ago. Let no dumbass make it a stupid gun anniversary. Let’s have a moment of silence and anti-gun legislation and not thoughts and prayers in remembrance. Or worse, a shoot-out somewhere.

*Sublime, What I Got

More and More Complicated

I am functional at the moment. My eyes are open. I’m showered and fully clothed. I even have apples and oatmeal in front of me, ready to eat. The cats are fed. My lunch is packed and in the fridge. My brain, however, is hovering on naptime. Serious naptime. You know that feeling when you’ve been on a plane for like 10 hours and you feel totally squished and too upright and twitchy and all you want to do is LIE DOWN. With a pillow. On your side. That’s kinda how I feel right now. Which is really unfortunate, because I have to go to work and then a union meeting afterwards, so that’s like hours of Not Lying Down and No Pillow. Ugh. No fun.

Last night, I graded a bunch of things, and I ended up with half a TV show I wanted to finish watching before going off to quilt, so I tried to redraw this again.

Nope. Sometimes I start over and over again until I get it right. It’s still the nose…and the mouth. The eyes are better. One time I started about 5 times until I got the first eye right. I really needed a better pen too. This one was old and dragged on the paper. It needs to flow, run wild, move like water across the page. Double nope. It didn’t. So I’ll try again.

Finally off to the quilting…

The Figure 3 head has a bunch of pollution-type stuff going on.

Previously, Kitten had whacked me…hard…three holes in my hand. Not sure why.

So she sat over there and refused to look at me. Calico cats are definitely clear about “You’re doing it wrong.” Although I was trying to get the computer mouse and not doing anything to her at all. So there’s that.

Cat done. Head done…

That’s a big head. I did start this Big Head series way way back. I had a few quilts that were just head and shoulders, but huge. I had less detail in my quilts back then. I seem to be getting more and more complicated. In so many ways!

So my new thing is to stop quilting and then my brain is wired so I have been organizing the photos on my computers, moving them into appropriate folders. I have stuff going back to 2014 that is not organized. There was some shit going on then that made it hard to look at certain months of photos, but I figure I’m well past that dumbassery now. But then I can’t stop organizing. There needs to be a logical stopping point and it’s usually doing an entire month, but that’s a lot. So I went to bed too late (AND I didn’t even finish the month). Plus sometimes it’s hard to figure out which quilt I’m working on if it’s just Wonder Under or pieces of fabric. So then my brain is engaged again and that’s not a good thing. Sigh.

Right now I really want to go back to bed. And then draw. Neither is happening. Oh well. They will eventually.