Up into the Sky…

Good news…got into a show. Womanscape is going to Quilts=Art=Quilts, so you can see it there.

Bad news…one of the shows I was in has canceled due to COVID. OK news…they’re trying to find a new place to travel the exhibit. So what do I do the last two nights? Enter two more shows. Always doing that. But between that, the paperwork part of being an artist, and my day job, I haven’t made it to the sewing machine much. That is frustrating. And today won’t be much better…

I managed a whopping 45 minutes on Monday night and zero minutes last night.

I am up in the sky, which is significantly less complicated than the shit down below (on the quilt and in real life, right?), so it shouldn’t take much time. That said, I have exercise class and book club (in person!) tonight, so the odds of my having any mental or physical energy left when I get home is low. So tomorrow it is. Goals adjust. I want to be done, but I can’t magic that into happening. I have a shit ton of school work to do as well, so that’s not helping. I did come in here, into the studio last night to do some stitching, but then entered a show and did some other paperwork for art, and yes, did a few things for school…

Because I walked/hiked earlier…3.4 miles. I needed it.

Last week I hardly did anything (granted it was hot and that doesn’t help)…walking all day at school doesn’t count. Although it does…just not as much as I’d like.

Hello friend.

It was big. And didn’t stop coming toward me until I said Hi.

Anyway, I didn’t cook either, bless those who live with me, but after I’d finished eating and we were still watching the show of the night (which is from a comic book I actually read…well, the first few anyway…I’d read them again), I needed something to work on, so I pulled out the scarf I started on Sunday in class. I really SHOULD have pulled out the SJSA block and just gotten it done, but I didn’t. I will. I promise. It needs to get done. Lots of things need to get done. Ugh.

Kitten for sizing. So this is going to be covered in stitching, mostly running stitch. I wanted to get the outline in so I could start adding parts, like veins and a heart and fingernails and lungs if I decide to do that. I have no idea what’s going to be going on around her, but it will be cool. Now that there’s an outline, I don’t need to mark things…I think. Makes it easier. OK, maybe need to mark the heart and the eyeball…and the hair? I don’t know…we’ll see. Fun stuff. Great way to use up all the thread I have…except you know it won’t use ALL of it up. This is almost all of one card of perle cotton. I’ve got about a million more.

And at the end, being Californians, we checked the news.

Oh yeah. Good thing. All politicians suck in many ways, but Larry Elder? Fuck me. He would have devastated the schools. All the things that help my kids, my students? Yeah, gone. Dumbassery. For all the talk of Newsom being heavy-handed with the pandemic, I’d rather be here than in Florida. Our numbers are better. Yes, we’d like to solve the homeless problem and make houses more affordable, but that’s not one guy…that shit has been around through Democrats and Republicans and unless we become much more socialist (oooh…bad word) than we are, it’s not changing. Voting one guy out and replacing him with a talk-show host who is an absolute idiot is not how to solve that shit. Let’s remember which party likes to help people more when the next gubernatorial election comes up. Hopefully we’ll have someone on the ticket who has some plans for that. The fewer rich white guys in charge, the better. The fewer totally unqualified, inexperienced, mouthy assholes in charge, also better.

OK, so today is early in, plan like a whirling dervish, work hard all day, be efficient as hell, hope no one co-opts my prep period so I can actually get the 19 contracts completed and off my computer that need to be done apparently by Friday, plus probably fill out at least one more I saw pop up yesterday…plus work out and then hang out (outside) with my book club friends. What book is it? Dunno. I read it…just don’t remember which one it was. Probably it doesn’t matter. Stitch down if I can tonight…I’m so close to done.

Shooing Snakes

It’s interesting that my brain is sure I should be up earlier on a Monday and tries to make me wake up and succeeds because as soon as any coherent part of it wakes up, it starts to worry about work and how to get it all done…that said, I was dreaming about snakes of all sizes everywhere and the dogs and cats were on them and chasing them and I was afraid one of the snakes was a rattler (they were all rattlers) and would strike, so I was running around, moving cats and dogs and shooing snakes.

If that isn’t a metaphor for life right now, I don’t know what is.

I spent a few hours last night trying to organize and finalize these gridded selfies for my Advanced Art kids, emailed all of the ones I had (28/38), planned the week for both art classes (as much as that ever seems to work), spent hours on science, made two videos, I have another 4-6 videos I need to make today and tomorrow for art, I think. I wrote it down. Graded nothing since Friday night…although I graded during gaming, the easy stuff, not the thinking stuff. Nobody should be grading thinking stuff on a Friday night. Gaming, being watched by the dog (she needed to pee), bouncing back and forth on the Mac between game info and what I was grading.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I’m gone this weekend, although I do have wifi, and grades are due in a week. So I need to not only plan for next week, which is usually multiple hours of stuff, but grade everything that counts for this trimester and input it all. Fun stuff. You wish you were me.

Halloween for the students.

I would have worn the lemur costume but (a) they only see my head anyway and (b) it was warm on Friday.

On actual Halloween, I exercised, twice actually, did some art stuff, got interviewed for an art video thing…the Schweinfurth Art Center is currently showing Quilts=Art=Quilts, and here is my piece, Swallow Me Whole hung in that space.

They have a cool tour of the show you can see on their website here. Check it out. They’re editing all my words down to a reasonable amount (you know how that goes). I’ll let you know when it posts.

Strangely, Friday night, after gaming, I had energy. I had enlarged a couple of things, still debating what to do next. This drawing from a staff meeting got an extended body…

And I did enlarge the third possible COVID quilt.

It’s smaller than the last one, but it’s complicated. That’s not a bad thing in general. I’m debating.

Size comparisons…

I found out about another show I should enter, but the theme is not something my head is processing right now. So I don’t know.

Saturday also involved getting a nail out of my tire and a 3-mile hike in nature.

Luckily it was late enough that most people had left nature for their Halloween parties.

I’m not kidding. My neighbors threw one. Fifteen kids. We left candy in a bowl in the driveway.

This guy kept eyeballing us, but was much more interested in finding food.

The sky was beautiful.

The neighbors were mostly quiet…impressive, considering the candy consumption that must have happened. We ate out (outside…still not going into a restaurant) and then I sat and drew for my Patreon…

Nova kept trying to crawl into my lap…but eventually I got something done.

Scanned it, cleaned it up, posted it.

Hi Nova. Then Sunday was all school, all the time, in between phone calls and groceries. I finished sending those 28 emails to art students at 9:45 PM or so…which was really an hour later in Kathy brain time. I rode the stationary bike for exercise…gotta incorporate that back in. I got lazy or overwhelmed or whatever.

Then I tried to draw, got the sketchbook out, put it on the couch, found my pen, and Kitten was lying on it.

Straight up, I didn’t have the energy to draw anyway. School really kicked my ass yesterday, on a Sunday. It was just hard. It feels never-ending, like there’s never a break, and when I take a break, then I’m on again for just hours to catch up, and I never catch up. I don’t ever see the kids in person, just online, which is hard for me. I do have relationships with kids, but it’s not the same. I worry about some, I worry too hard about some I should probably just stop worrying about, I try too hard sometimes. Need to let some of those balls drop so I can survive this workload. The plusses of having a team support with all the little stuff, with the kids, with someone to talk to about school or kids; the co-teacher helping with planning stuff and making posts and assignments. That’s all gone. New curriculum, no curriculum, no materials, no support. Exhausted. I’ll be 1/3 of the way through the year on Friday. The vast expanse of time that unfolds before me in this school year…sigh. I do think about quitting. I do. I always expected to teach until I retired. I think I will…but as a high-risk person, I wonder how long it will be before I can go back…if ever.

I need to start the next art quilt. Even if it’s just that little Boom so I have something to work on. I need to start. I need a place for my brain to rest at the end of the day besides this crap.

Friday Tired

Hey. It’s Friday. I’m Friday tired. Maybe more so. I find sitting for so long makes my feet swell up or something by the end of the week. I think it’s the chair or the height of the chair or just sitting for so damn long, but by 7th period, I just can’t stand to sit any more. I don’t get the kids who try to work while lying in bed, because I’d just fall asleep. Oh wait. Some of them do. Their camera is off and I’m talking to them and typing to them and there’s nothing…except probably some drool and snoring on the other end. I get it. This is hard.

My district officially made the announcement yesterday that kids would be going back September 9th. At my school, they will phase in in groups, so our kids probably have another 4-6 weeks until we switch. I wonder which kids I will end up with…and whether I will be teaching for multiple schools. Sounds hard. It’s all hard. Just give me a plan period with my co-teacher so I don’t go insane trying to plan it all myself. She scales me back. Then I scale her back. Then she makes things and I edit them. Or sometimes I make them and she makes me edit them. We always make it too long, too much to start. Right now, especially, too long is not working for any of us.

I’m trying out a different teaching location in the house today. I tried it back in April, but it was too hot. It might still be too hot…we’ll see. It’s more an internet test, because I got kicked out of Zoom 5 times in one class period yesterday, and that gets old. Tuesday was hellacious. All day getting dropped, sometimes just on the laptop; sometimes on all the devices. Fun stuff. Also I broke the toilet on Wednesday.

OK, the parts were just old and they were making noise, leaky noises, so I fussed with it and broke things that were plastic and probably 20 years old. So I don’t feel really bad. Plus I’m the one who had to go buy the kit at Home Depot after work so I could make the boychild install it.

He wanted to wait a day, and I’m like no, I need a working toilet so I don’t have to go down the long hallway in the dark at 4 AM and by the time I get to the other bathroom, my body is like (a) nah, I’m good. Don’t need to pee any more, and (b) now I am also wide awake PERK. Fuck that. I need sleep.

So it’s fixed. Now if I could get him to go fix the mailbox. Because IDK how to do that either and I don’t have the time or patience.

This was me trying to grade Wednesday afternoon at the vet with the old lady. Google Classroom has not been doing a good job with the iPad version of the app…

Which is unfortunate.

Wednesday night, I ironed a little. I have no idea how many pieces are left to iron because all I’m doing is all the little pieces in the body that AREN’T fleshy bits. So from the 200s to the 700s, but not all of them because a bunch were already ironed because they were skin.

Thursday night, another quick run at the ironing. About 45 minutes after 11 PM…

Yes, those piles look different. To me. Not a lot. I ironed a glove, a thermometer, some eyeballs, some virions, IDK what else. I’m getting close to done…

This is all that’s left…dirt, fire, blood, hair, lungs, heart. OK. That’s a lot. But I could bang it out in a night if I weren’t so tired.

I’m always tired at the beginning of the year. This is different, true, but the tired part is normal.

I stitched for a while as I listened to Beth Smith talk about the contemporary quilt exhibit she curated for the Oceanside Museum of Art…my piece is on the right, So Cal Mama. The slide show of the exhibit is on their website, so you can see it.

They’ve installed the show and it will be up until February 21…their hope is that businesses will open by then…

I don’t have a list of the other artists. This video will be up on the OMA site soon.

At least we could see the show.

Swallow Me Whole got into Quilts=Art=Quilts…so I’ll be shipping her off in a few weeks…

And here’s the morning, hopeful but predicting warm…

I’m hoping for the chance to stand up and walk around between classes. I’m hoping for everything to work techwise. I’m hoping that the tea kicks in soon. I’ve been trying to go to bed earlier and it doesn’t help most nights…I can’t fall asleep earlier. I’m hoping to get some ironing in. The man and I have a date night planned for tomorrow, but we’re a little nervous about the dinner part. We’ve agreed that if we get there and the table setup worries us with proximity to others (tables 6 feet apart does not mean people 6 feet apart), then we will apologize and get takeout. I’m hoping the girlchild’s interview goes well. I’m hoping the weather starts to cool off. I’m hoping the new schoolroom setup works better. We’ll see.

I’m Useless but Not for Long*

I woke up this morning, having slept through lots of noises and daylight arriving and I feel like I didn’t move all night, I was so tired, I must have been like a block of sleepy concrete that weighed down the bed and refused to let pillows and blankets move, until the first dog whined, and then it was awake time.

Quilts=Art=Quilts opens today and I have a piece in it…this is You Pollute Me

It’s actually not a very big piece…just long.

I’m grading Unit 2…lots of them. I didn’t actually bring them home, because I have three days next week, maybe four, when the kids are supposed to be working on stuff independently (ha!), so I should be able to grade them in time at school. That’s my goal anyway.

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We’ll see what reality looks like, won’t we.

Last night was tiring. But I got the field trip permission slips all trimmed, checked, and double-checked, so I know who’s going and who’s not. I started a spreadsheet for the chaperones as well…and I did seating charts for Monday for the project week, which will drive me nuts, but they do have work to do, so hopefully they won’t be total assholes about being with their friend. I’m always boggled by certain groups…when a fairly high-level girl agrees to work with a boy who does NOTHING. Sigh. Oh well. They don’t always get to pick their groups, so I guess I’ll balance it out. Put all the lazy non-workers together next time.

But the dogs last night…this was after I came back from watching the band play. Calli heard fireworks before I left and it was still upsetting her. The other two just wanted closeness, I guess.

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That’s Calli’s nervous face. At this point, the fireworks happened three hours ago, but she was still panting and breathing hard about it…

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And here she is with her head on my leg. Yes, I petted her lots. I told her she was a good girl and it was OK. It just doesn’t seem to help any more. Oh yeah, and here I am cutting out yard 4 of Wonder Under…

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Four yards in, one to go…

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Hopefully that gets done today…along with the humongous pile of other things that need doing, which are giving me palpitations at the moment: grade one assignment, start looking at the next unit which we’ve never taught before because I’m going to be gone for two days in the beginning of it so I have to leave something they can actually do with a guest teacher, plus find and sew on D-rings for a quilt that has to be delivered next week, and do another blogpost for the fiber art group I’m in, plus laundry and deal with compost bins and vacuuming and cleaning floors and groceries and cleaning up in here so I can start ironing, because if I don’t start ironing soon I’m not going to get this quilt done in time.

Deep breath. Maybe more than one. I’m overwhelmed. I know that. What my brain and body really need is a 7-mile hike today. And I’m not going to get that.

So I did go watch the man play disco, of all things, last night. Not their genre. And I drew this…

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Definitely influenced by the music. I’ve been to this venue, crashing this same party, at least three years in a row, and I recognize the wait staff and one of them waved at me. I’m amused. Anyway. There’s art. I did do art. I did school. I slept. I’m going to make a list and conquer its ass. And then hopefully get some down time. Get out of the house time. Maybe some exercise. Definitely dinner out with that guy I’m barely going to see in the first two weeks of November. Yeah. That.

*Gorillaz, Clint Eastwood

Sometimes I Get a Good Feeling*

Today is finally supposed to be under 100 degrees. Hallelujah. The heat sucks energy out of me. I’m hoping to find enough of it to get me to the gym tonight, even with the remnants of this wacky virus. We’ll see. It’s been rough this week. I did pick up a copyediting job for Thanksgiving week…and maybe another one for after that. I still have to find the money to pay for college on a regular basis, so job number 3 pops up every once in a while.

I have a quilt in Quilts=Art=Quilts, which is opening this weekend at the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, New York. It will be there through January 7. This one was made for a show that it didn’t get into…and it seems to be doing fine with that rejection. This is All Stacked Up in My Head.

Art Quilts and Fiber Arts

It’s actually a similar idea to what I’m sloshing around in my brain right now…a protective goddess trying to make sure we get what we need and want. But a different image of course. Anyway. I fell asleep on the couch again last night…this cold is kicking my butt. Or it’s because of the 17 thousand things I’m trying to do during the day. Or all of the above. I know I need to get out of here early this morning for a parent meeting and duty and tracking down the principal for a question that he probably could have answered by email. Sigh.

I finally got my act together (seriously, I was grading stuff that’s killing me because I have to look up all the chemical and physical properties of most of the elements just to make sure the kids followed instructions, and then I was trying to write a study guide and found a different version of the quiz from last year and I don’t even know why, so my brain exploded for a while. NO. Teachers NEVER STOP WORKING. Sigh. Double sigh.).

So I wasn’t going to draw, but then my stubborn-ass art brain made me. I had another idea for the quilt, so I started with that…the bubble and the hands…and apparently the cat next to me.

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Because when it’s hot, I want a furry beast right next to me. NO! I want it ON me. That’s the puppy earlier.

This is where I got. And it’s not going to work.

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I mean, maybe it’ll work for something else. But not this. It’s OK. This is a process. Not every drawing for a quilt spills out of me in one go. I’m enjoying just drawing a little bit anyway. Tonight we try again! Really. We do. After grading. And maybe another nap. No! I’m going to the gym, remember?

*Pretty Lights, Finally Moving

Turn and Face the Strange*

Well that was an interesting weekend. Believe it or not, I don’t tell you everything I’m doing…and this weekend was the beginning of a significant change here, which has caused some stress and sleeplessness, but should be good in the long term. Once we get to the long term, that is. It has meant that I didn’t do any art for two whole days straight, which is like crazy for me, but I got back to Wonder Under meditation last night for a couple of hours. Yes, I wanted to be done tracing this weekend, but that didn’t happen. I probably will be tonight though, so that’s OK.

There’s 3 days done on here…although I’m not sure I can tell you what I did. I know I did a green straight stitch and then lazy daisy and fly stitch up on the top pieces of feather stitching. I think I did some fly stitching around the sheaf stitching and some French knots before that.

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But I can’t be sure. Sometimes I just have to play catch up on this. I actually did two nights’ worth on Saturday evening and then sat out on the deck for the other one last night…the thing I kept saying I would do all summer and didn’t do. I guess now is the time to start watching the sky and the hummingbirds and the breeze in the trees.

Well. Today? Supposed to be 105 degrees, so less breeze and more ugh. It’s better than torrential rains, though (be safe and take good care, Texas).

I really do miss not doing this stuff on those days when I can’t…I had hoped to do some tracing on Saturday, but it turned into trying to fix a bunch of water issues and clean crap up…stuff that needed to happen, but it took up too much time for me to get to this. Last night though, I took my time back…

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The thing is, I’m almost done. I got to somewhere in the 700s last night before I quit from exhaustion. Went to bed early again…which is good, because there was a lot of cat neediness at 1 AM and 4 AM.

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This drawing has a lot of bigger pieces, because I wanted to make sure I could finish it, and they’re harder to fit into the random spaces on the Wonder Under. So I’ve used a lot of yardage, but there’s big empty spaces in there too. I’ll use them for something. I always do.

But today, I go back to work. Back to getting stuff done and organizing the teacher part of my life. I will hopefully get the last 100+ pieces traced tonight and start cutting them out. We’ll see how that goes.

I think I forgot to mention that All Stacked Up in My Head got into Quilts=Art=Quilts

Art Quilts and Fiber Arts

The opening is October 28 at the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, NY. I won’t be there, but they will. Check it out. Report back.

Meanwhile, I’ll be here, making more. She’s got a lot of things on her mind…

*David Bowie, Changes

Don’t Matter What I Do*

Internet is sorta resolved. I spent hours on it this weekend, and I’ll need professional help at some point, but for now, I’m mostly up and running. Slowly. (“I’ll need professional help”… ha ha ha. Story of my life. Seriously though…it would be nice to be able to fix something without help.)

So it was an insanely busy weekend. But I managed some drawing time…like I wrote on Saturday, I’d decided one of the problems with this drawing was the existing head. It wasn’t quite right…her expression was off. At least for what I wanted.

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Then I filled in with white paper…this thing is like a Frankenstein drawing with all the things I keep cutting off.

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That’s as far as I got Saturday…and then last night, I started drawing in. No the old head isn’t staying. She’s just watching…

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I still don’t think this thing is done. For one reason…there’s no dinosaur yet. And there needs to be a dinosaur (can’t think if I’ve ever put a dino in a quilt? Don’t think so…it’s about time.).

I’m using this Google extension Momentum on my home and work computers. It makes you write a focus each day…Sunday was impressive. But the to-do list went from 16 or so things to just 5, so I did good.

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I made the semi-last-minute decision to add a cloud to this thing, but was trying to figure out how to attach it without the staple gun that I’m pretty sure is at my ex’s house. The animals were not helping.

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Yes. I made a cloud out of fabric and stuffed it. I might make more.

This came in the mail on Saturday.

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Obviously I’m on the Turmoil side of that with my Goddess of Never-Ending Chaos

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It’s hard not going to the opening, but oh well. People are there seeing her, vulva and boobs and all. No there’s no penis. Why? Because she’s a goddess and the only appropriate place for a penis in that scenario is perhaps in her hand. Of which she has 10.

So she’s premiering in Houston, Texas, right now at IQF, which I think officially starts Wednesday or Thursday.

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That quilt has a lot going on in it.

Then over the weekend, Quilts=Art=Quilts opened with two of my quilts…although I haven’t seen pictures of them yet at the show…

Here’s Finding Peace (Bathtub 5)…

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And the ever cheery You Make Me Wanna Die

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Yeah. That one. Crazy painful. Or painful crazy. However you wanna look at it.

So hopefully people saw those too. No penises in any of them…although technically there’s a male in that one. Maybe 2.

OK. Well it’s Monday. I have an early parent meeting. It’s Halloween, so everyone will be dressed up. The teachers have this thing for themes. They annoy me, the themes (well, sometimes the teachers too). This year is Heroes and Villains. I debated Trump. But I decided to make a different statement…I’m going as Ms. Marvel, the Muslim female Captain Marvel. Easy costume from one of the covers. Way easier than last year’s cow costume, which was hot as hell…but kinda like wearing pajamas.

I’m hoping to come home, walk dogs, and then finish this drawing, maybe even number it…OR make more clouds. Whichever makes more sense to me at the time. I am so not ready for it to be November. Sheesh. Not sure where the month went, but it went. My deadlines. Yikes. And I think I’m supposed to hear about 3 entries in the next two days. Knock on wood. I don’t need to get into all of them, but one would be nice.

*The Style Council, Don’t Matter What I Do