Time Has Come As We All Go Down*

Today is the day I’ve been preparing for, the day I get (shit…I don’t remember how many students I have right now…hang on…133 students)…wait, it doesn’t matter how many kids I have, because inevitably, a bunch of kids won’t hand them in, but hey! Let’s be optimistic, even though we’re a public middle school teacher in March about 4 weeks before Spring Break and 3 days before the end of the trimester and there’s very little optimism available to my brain right now, let’s say I get 133 science units turned in today! Yeah! Let’s say it! Yeah! Then I need to grade them all before, well, honestly, Monday night. Yeah! And my doctor is gonna give me shit tonight about working too many hours and not exercising enough! Yeah! And I’m gonna tell her that on the days when I do 12,000 steps AT SCHOOL before I even leave to go home, hell, there’s no steps left in me (not true…I do more because dogs). Yeah!

I do work too many hours. I don’t exercise enough. This is not the time to stress about that balance. When my grades are done, I can stress about it. If I get far enough in the grading by Sunday, I can even take time off and go to the gym. That’s my goal at the moment. It’s a few days out, so it’s still doable. Meanwhile, my lunch is made, I have a plan for the day to balance my sanity with my job (that’s a thing…and this week, that means I’m allowed one Rice Krispie treat a day. ONE, doc, ONE.), and I’m hoping to come home and (well, grade a bunch of science units, honestly) iron the last body down. Hopefully. It’s about 150 pieces, so it’s doable.

By the way, when it’s cold, apparently it’s acceptable to have a cat face up your butt…

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After dinner was eaten, while once-nightly TV show is being watched, I have been sewing on circles…I figure I will never get them done otherwise. I think I got three done.

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Then off to the ironing (I did grade before all that). See this is the part I was kind of afraid of…that’s a lot of little tiny spine pieces…

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But honestly? It was pretty easy to iron together. Because of all the metallics, I used a press sheet between iron and fabric…and I’ll need to remember to keep doing that.

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I decided the space in her back was going to be just that…SPACE. There’s definitely a space theme going on in this. I guess I’m thinking of all the potential a teenager has…and it feels like they have all the potential of SPACE. Or something like that. It’s HUGE.

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Then I laid the spine piece all ironed together on the space and put the border around it…and voila! ‘Twas awesome. Seriously. I really like it.

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Kitten is not so sure…

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I gave her some hair and finished all the finger bits, thus getting me into the 520s or so.

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One figure done. The other one does have another 150 pieces, true…but I don’t think they’re as bad as those back pieces. We’ll see tonight. Then hopefully iron down to the background on Thursday night and start stitching down? I’m not sure how these fabrics will deal with that, but let’s just assume it will work out. Yeah!

That optimism (that really isn’t optimism…it’s some sort of crazy)…is what will get me through the day. Maybe.

Oh yeah, I just finished this book…Golden Hill by Francis Spufford…

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My ex-SIL sent it to me at Christmas and I just started reading it a few weeks ago. At first, I was like…um…this is 18th-century stuff and I’m sort of a fan at times, but it’s not easy to read, but after a few pages in, I realized, OMG. No really. OMG. This book is great. It’s funny as hell sometimes and stressful at others but it was published just a few years ago by someone who generally doesn’t write fiction, but does like history. So the history is there, and it’s definitely got some accuracy going, but then he throws in this half-assed explanation of sword fighting that made me almost fall out of my chair. And he full on admits its half-assed. The ending is also awesome. So yeah, I recommend this book…and if he writes any more like this, I’m in. Totally in.

Now I have less than two weeks to finish my book club book. Yikes. Priorities.

*Kaleo, Way Down We Go (didn’t we just hear this one while writing not that long ago???)

The Pleasure, the Privilege Is Mine*

Some much-needed rain today…we’re at less than 3 inches for the year, so far, and this is the rainy season. The dogs aren’t happy though. Sometimes I think the puppy will hold his pee for days just to avoid wet feet.

I’m at the point in this quilt where I’m dealing with a lot of little tiny pieces, instead of the big sweeping bits of earth and sky, so it looks like I haven’t done much, when I’ve ironed 100 pieces together. Last night, I cut out all the little holes in the second line of the text and laid them out…

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I haven’t ironed them down yet…I want to wait until I get the figures ironed down, so I can get the curve right near the arm.

So then I started on the left figure…

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Again, this is about 80 pieces (lots of finger bits)…the back is another 100 pieces, I think.

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So it’s gonna take me a couple days to get through that I think. I’m hoping to finish this figure tonight. But I’m also trying to get through grades and do things like cook dinner etc. And maybe get enough sleep (ha! Never gonna happen…).

I did sew a few more circles on after dinner last night…on this from a million years ago. It’s just filler stitching…for when I’m not quite ready to get up and iron.

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More ironing tonight. I have a goal…makes it easier.

I have a quilt in this exhibit coming up. I’m looking forward to being at the opening…

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I have a lot of openings coming up…this is one of the ones I can go to, luckily. Tonight I do need to pack up another quilt for shipping for another LA show. I forgot to do that last night…oh well. So many things on my calendar shift days as needed.

OK, off to school. The unit is ending, so today is test day and tomorrow they turn in the last month-plus of work. Always a bit stressful…and then I have like 5 days to grade them all. Crazy really on my part. Oh well. Job of a teacher.

*The Smiths, There Is a Light That Never Goes Out

I’ll Be At Least 2 People Today*

Yesterday was a long day. I left here around 8 AM and had an easy drive to Pasadena to QuiltCon (pictures later this week). I went and saw all the quilts and the vendors. Then I sat in a coffee bar named appropriately Art+Science…

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(mom, you wanted to know what I wanted for my birthday…look up) and graded stuff and drank tea. Really strong tea. Then I drove a few miles west into Los Angeles proper to our opening (more pictures later this week)…

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(sat around outside for a bit and read my book, waiting for the opening to open…)…

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(opening was at the Brewery…)…hung around for a while, and then headed back to San Diego, making awesome time, until some accident that must have had major injuries occurred just north of Oceanside. Added an hour and a half to my drive. Mostly creepy crawly drive, but some out and out stoppage. So like any good artist, I drew. Seriously, I turned my car off and drew.

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But it got dark. And eventually we had to drive again. Apparently seeing all the word quilts at QuiltCon made me want to cover a body with them. I’ve done it before, with parts of bodies. I might need to do a larger version. We’ll see.

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Anyway. I was sort of exhausted when I finally got home, but managed to get the trash out, eat dinner, and semi-function as a dishwasher. And then it was like 10 PM and I thought I should maybe get up off the couch and do something. I considered going to bed, but I wasn’t really sleep-tired, just drive-tired and brain-tired. I don’t need my brain to iron. This is not a brain-heavy part of the artmaking process. So I ironed.

Wait. This is from Saturday, because I didn’t blog Sunday morning. I did this bit Saturday, finishing off the Earth and doing part of the sky…

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The screws from scoliosis surgery…they’ll be floating in the sky later.

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The music-playing device…everybody’s got one…

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The shoe signed by Mac DeMarco…I’m pretty proud of the signature, although the smiley face needs eyeballs. I figure I’ll stitch those. They’re too damn small to cut out.

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That was Saturday and I didn’t want to start the next phase of the ironing, so I came in and finished handstitching the Climate Goddess piece that I’ve been working on sporadically since last June. It’s done.

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Real photos later. When I go to the photographer later. Like much later.

THIS is Sunday night’s ironing. I started on SPACE…

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Space is beautiful. I need to draw more space. Space and ground…

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I’m quite happy with this…

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Then I attached the bottom piece in the middle…I’ll have to hoist everything up on the teflon sheets to iron the sides down…

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There’s writing in the sky…but I only cut the outside edges when I trimmed the pieces. I didn’t do the little holes in the letters, the part that makes o’s and a’s and e’s. Because those are a pain in the butt. I leave them until the end and use the tiny scissors and re-iron the paper on the fabric so I can use it to help me cut.

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Looking good…think the “us” needs the “s” cut out better, but the others are pretty good.

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Of course, that’s only half the words. I’ll do the rest tonight…and get started on the bodies, which is where a good chunk of the pieces are…

So it was a productive and exhausting weekend. I’m still fighting this Not-Really-A-Cold thing that comes and goes and bugs me and then goes away. It’s just annoying. Grades are due next week, so I’m in all-out-grading mode (hence sitting in a coffee shop in Pasadena and grading shit). Hopefully I’ll get this whole thing ironed together in the next two or three nights, then move on to stitch down by the weekend. Hopefully pinbaste and sandwich over the weekend? That would be cool. I’d be ready to quilt next week. I’m still debating getting this other quilt done by April 6…which would actually have to be done by March 28 so it could be photographed before I leave on vacation. Ha! I might be nuts. I don’t even know if I can do that. We’ll see.

*Gnarls Barkley, Who Cares

Be Proud to Be Outta Your Mind and Outta Control*

Well so I thought I’d be too tired and sick last night after work and gaming to do anything artistic. Apparently my art brain totally did not agree. So after I did 24 points of damage on some Bloodthirster thing by blowing out its spleen (I was aiming slightly lower), I came home and sat around for a bit, drank some tea, took some meds before that, and tried to get my head around stupid gun people shit…seriously, I can’t even look at Facebook at the moment with all the stupid gun people shit…then my cohabitant went to bed and I came in here to basically just straighten up the studio and get all the relevant pieces in here so I could iron today. So I’d at least be ready.

I laid out the drawing and moved the ironing board and sorted the first 100 pieces…and then started to iron. And that went on for a while, until I realized it was after 1 AM and I should probably try that sleeping thing (which I really do suck at, so honestly, I might have been better staying up longer, except I am sick and I don’t want to make that worse).

Wait, so let’s go back. I embroider at gaming because I’m tired and it keeps me awake. Sad but true…Friday night socializing is not my strong point. I’m almost done with the road part and then I can start embellishing the rest of the June blocks. These are June, right? Why would you know? Yes, I’m behind. Plus this is from 2013. So I’m really really far behind.

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Don’t judge.

So yeah, while I was trying to wake up after gaming, I set up the week’s pages for next week…this is the basic format I use. Top section for general to-do list. Middle section for art-related, although more the doing of art, rather than the business of art. Business of art ends up in the top section. Bottom section is for exercise logging and doesn’t get used nearly enough unfortunately.

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The other stuff is a little random…to-do lists that I don’t want in the dailies, notes to myself, mostly about art stuff…I found someone else’s version of this and tweaked it slightly for what I needed. Then here’s last week’s after I got through (it was a busy week).

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Sometimes I draw stuff on there too, when I feel like it. Some weeks are busier than others. It’s keeping me accountable for what needs to be done…better than online calendars, although I’m using those too…plus a white board calendar on the fridge. I’m pretty damn visual. It helps to check in with myself regularly. It’s even better when I get to use a lot of colors to do it.

Usually I set up the week on Sunday, but I’ll be in LA tomorrow, heading briefly to QuiltCon and then on to an opening downtown-ish. Then home. Long day really. So I have to get all my Sunday stuff done today…groceries, work email, stuff for class on Monday. So I did it last night. That’s probably what jumpstarted art brain.

But I also want to iron today…because I started last night and here’s an hour’s worth…

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I didn’t finish all the earth bits, but I got a bunch done…planning on doing more today.

Girlchild finally found her phone charger and started communicating again. Apparently they had some sort of caravan transport on three boats to that thing out there? I think? Or maybe that’s coming back? Anyway, she balances way better than I do.

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Not that it’s hard to do that. My balance sucks.

I sent her a puppy picture…because he’s tired of me right now. I’m no fun. I won’t play with or pet him nonstop…

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And I’m the only one here today. Oh well. I have my work cut out for me (ha. Cut out.). I’m going to iron for a while and then do schoolwork. Woo hoo. The ironing…I just wanna do that until I’m done. I love this part of the quilt…getting to see it all come together. Yeah. Gonna do more of that.

*Eminem, The Real Slim Shady

A Spider Web Is Tangled Up with Me*

Yeah that’s a virus inhabiting my head. Dammit. I need a voice on a lab day. I need my head straight. Fuzzy and compromised. Scratchy. Sigh. OK. It’s Friday. I’m a little on the irritated side. Hopefully the lab will go well anyway. I don’t remember how we did this last year. We need warm water but not hot water and I remember 2nd period didn’t work hardly at all…and then we figured out some trick for the later periods. My co-teacher will remember. I hope. Did we use warm water? I just don’t know. Do we have enough yeast? I freakin’ hope so.

This is relevant because our classrooms don’t have hot water. We can get slightly warmed water from one faucet after letting it run for about 3 minutes, and it only lasts for a short time. It’s lame. Seriously, a science lab where we have to wash dishes regularly, and we’re not allowed to have hot water.

BUT YOU WANT ME TO HAVE A GUN.

Don’t get me started. Again. We’re also supposed to lock up any materials that do not say non-toxic on them…so Windex. And baby wipes. And that stupid antibacterial soap. Which the district gave us during the swine flu epidemic. All those things have to stay locked up. So 12-year-olds won’t eat them.

OK. So I graded last night (again) after restarting all the internet-y things because the internet was moving like molasses…cold molasses. And then I made a relatively healthy dinner. And then I found a bunch of my bins…and sorted fabrics.

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This is not a long horrible process…it took just under an hour…

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There’s a lot of big pieces in the first 400…and then a lot of tiny body parts in the next 300.

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But I am ready to iron together tomorrow…and if I really am driving to LA on Sunday (go away virus), then I need to be uber-efficient tomorrow. Ugh. OK. I can do it.

I’m actually really looking forward to ironing. I like that part. I just need to get all the work shit and health shit to behave.

I was tired of standing after sorting those though, so I sat on the couch with Simba and worked on a binding that’s been lying around for a long time. It was what I could handle. This is the same puppy who is currently harassing me because he wants to pee out front (which requires me and a leash) rather than out back (which requires neither). It’s because it rained yesterday and last night, so everything is wet, and apparently his Pom sensibilities are offended by wet dirt. He’d like to pee and poop in the middle of the driveway instead. Yeah. Seriously, that’s what he did last night…little asshole.

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Sometimes all the demanding animals kinda drive me nuts. Calli wouldn’t pee last night because it was cold and wet, so then she woke me up early because she really needed to go. I love my animals, except when they’re idiots like this. I guess it’s good that we live somewhere that is usually pretty dry, so the rain doesn’t cause them even more issues.

Sigh. I want another 3-day weekend. And a clear head. And no sore throat. And world peace. I want that too.

*Coldplay, Trouble

The Dew Will Settle on Our Graves*

‘Tis chilly here in sunny San Diego…some random cold front making it colder than Ithaca, NY, where the boychild is, but probably just for today. I’m pretty sure that will change soon enough. Cold enough to make me a dog sandwich on the couch, a cat sandwich in bed, though. Amazing how close they’ll get when it’s really chilly.

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Yes, I actually cut stuff out with the two of them like that. It wasn’t easy. I’m used to one box on either side of me and one on my lap. Instead the boxes were precariously perched on either side of dogs who move erratically.

Earlier, I graded…because that’s all I ever do…and this one was already half in my spot. She didn’t move until bedtime.

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It was a frustrating day at school. Independent thinking is probably not best achieved on the first day back after a three-day weekend. I still remember what happened Friday, but not so my little chickadees. And even once I got them through a review, then I wanted them to come up with categories. Oh My Goodness. You’d think I had asked them to cure cancer. In my top class, chock full of honors students, I got one table with three categories: True, False, and IDK. Um. Ladies. They’re all true. LAME. It’s OK…today they will have to use what they did to make more sense of the world. I’m just damn cruel that way.

So yeah, I graded because grades are due soon and I know I will run out of time. I always do.

But I also was done with grading and dinner and all that dishery (I even cleaned a bathroom…just one and not the floor) around 9:30 PM or so and I did a few drawings in between cutting out the last of the pieces.

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I like this one better…of course…because it’s weirder.

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I did about 2 hours of trimming last night to finish up everything…with a total of 9 1/2 hours into the process. Box on top is the trash. I’m putting it in a ziplock bag with the trimmings from the LAST quilt and mailing them to someone whose address I saved (seriously, I did…). Box on the bottom will get sorted into bins tonight for ironing probably tomorrow night.

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I have book club tonight, so I will go out and socialize with my tribe. Plus I read the book. So that’s a plus.

Girlchild has some access to Messenger this week, although she is back to camping in the wilds of Madagascar. On the beach. Near a hotel. Where no one likes to go.

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It looks somewhat like my Spring Break trip to the redwoods last year…except the trees are smaller.

She’s really enjoying this. I’m really glad.

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They seem to take care of the kids…unlike my group when I went abroad in college, which flew me to London and kept me there for about 3 days, but then sent me off to the wilds of Aberystwyth with zero support…although I think they gave us Thanksgiving dinner…that’s something. I guess we were less likely to die of a nasty disease in Wales. And they apparently spoke English there, although some days that was questionable.

Anyway, today I throw cellular respiration into the mix. That should make smoothies of my students’ brains. It’s OK…they’ll survive. I might not.

*Tom Waits, All the World Is Green

It Shines Like Destruction*

It’s interesting how I can get most of my to-do tasks done, except the cleaning ones. Those just suck and I suck at doing them. I just can’t get motivated to clean the kitchen floor. I guess it’s a good thing I don’t throw parties…I’d have to clean floors for that. I did clean the kitchen counters last night…and the stove, so I guess it’s not hopeless. I just reach an ending point on cleaning, and it’s never when everything is clean. I’d rather draw or something…anything else.

The project videos are done. It’s a miracle. I have plenty of other crap to grade, of course, but those are out of my hair. Next week, I get all of Unit 4, which will have to be graded in 6 days. And people wonder why I’m not going to a bunch of social stuff on the weekends. I did about 12 hours of grading this weekend, maybe more. Ugh.

No more 3-day weekends, which help with balance. Five weeks until Spring Break though. I can do that.

Sometimes school seems really heavy and hard. It’s usually right about now.

So add on hikes and art and whatever else makes the head rise above the slog…because I still have to go back every day and teach difficult subjects to kids who don’t necessarily want to learn. Labs help to keep them engaged, but it’s nothing if they don’t get understanding out of the labs…so we’ll see how that goes.

But yes, we walked the puppy yesterday…he needs exercise, and so do we…

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It was a gorgeous but chilly day. Good day for a hike.

Then I came back and finished up as much of my to-do list as I could…and in between cutting out pieces of the new quilt, I did some smaller drawings that could be quilts…

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I don’t really like all of them. And I have absolutely no time to make them, even more importantly.

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I realized last night that I have five openings in the next month…two in Los Angeles. It’s gonna get a little crazy around here.

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And grades are due for Trimester 2. I like this one…

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I needed those breaks, because I trimmed pieces for about 4 1/2 hours yesterday. My hands get tight…

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But I don’t think you can tell from here (trash top, to-be-cut in the middle, cut in the bottom)…I’m almost done. Like maybe an hour or two from finishing…with about 7 hours in. So that’s cool. It means I should be ironing together this week. My favorite part…where the image finally starts to appear (besides in my head). I hit the halfway mark on most quilts (on time) some time around finishing the trimming and starting the ironing. Although I need to be faster on this half, for sure. Keeping that in mind.

Meanwhile, back to school today, hammering the photosynthesis chemical reaction (which hopefully they’re getting by now), so I can throw cellular respiration at them next. Then tonight, I can cut out the rest of the pieces hopefully…

*Eurythmics, Love Is a Stranger

Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night*

I’m sitting in here, in my studio/office, listening to the rhythmic sounds of the septic pumper truck outside my window…once every 4 years, whether you need it or not? I don’t like waiting until there is a problem. Last time, we had to replace the whole septic field, so that was fun. Anyway, it means I’m trapped here for a bit (ironic that, because honestly, on the average weekend, I don’t leave the house much anyway, except for crazy errands etc. and the occasional meal). I have a bunch of schoolwork to do still, even after 4 hours yesterday of grading another period of project videos, plus 62 emails of makeup work. Done! All of it! Well, I still have more to do. It’s never-ending.

While I was working yesterday, Satchemo came in and investigated one of the cat hiding places in my office…this one will disappear in my remodeling plan, unfortunately for the cats.

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Then I headed out for the deck, because yesterday still bordered on warm enough (today is not…unless you live back east and you’re used to much colder than this.). Simba agreed and laid out on the deck with me…

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I tried another version of the drawing…

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And got somewhere this time…a much better start. Still needs more, and yes, I had to break out the liquid paper, because the lines weren’t going where I wanted them to go. It happens.

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Although now I’m annoyed that both figures are turned the same way. There’s a third figure that I think will fix that, and then I’ll draw off the bottom as well. I think it’ll be fine. If not, I’ll flip the skelly.

Back to the studio, where Kitten has picked her new sitting spot…

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Yes, Kitten, that IS why I put the fabric in those boxes.

Somewhere in there is when I graded for 4 hours. It was quiet and frustrating and I had to get up and stomp around the house a few times and hallelujah I’m almost done with that.

I had enlarged the drawing I did last week…200%. I didn’t want something too big. There’s a deadline I honestly don’t know if I can make. But here it’s taped together…

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And then I numbered it…hey…not too bad.

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There’s some tiny stuff, but not too much of it.

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And then I cut stuff out on the scoliosis for a few more hours. It’s slow…but it’s going…

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Time for art, time for work. Today is similarly planned…one last class of project videos, plus finishing up another assignment and inputting some of those grades, so kids can be happy or despondent. Seriously they should already know which based on what they did or didn’t turn in, but apparently that level of self-review is not fully developed yet. I think they hope for magic sometimes. I mean, sure, I blew off the video and half the pages are blank, but maybe she won’t notice?

I noticed. Anyway. It is what it is. Trimester 2 is notoriously bad for our kids. The number of holidays? Spring messing with their hormones? It’s hard to say.

With that, I am hoping the pump-truck guys are near to done so I can get my own shit done (ha ha…see how I did that? Shit? Yeah. OK.). Art, work, food, sleep. I want a dog walk today too. I bet the dog would go along with that.

*Sarah McLachlan, Blackbird (yeah, the Beatles song)

I Am Superman and I Can Do Anything*

Well I finally managed drawing on the deck on a sunny day. As opposed to drawing on the deck on a rainy day? That would actually be harder to do with the weather we have. I’m going to try again today, because it was nice. Duh. Of course it was nice.

If you are back East or anywhere else it’s snowing, I’m sorry. You’re thinking, seriously Nida? Why CAN’T you get your butt outside on a gorgeous day and soak in some of this obviously Southern California (those aren’t my palm trees) wondrousness?

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And the answer is, I don’t know. I have my weekly journal there, my sketchbook, a pile of art proposals that are coming up, the inevitable cup of tea? Perfect. Enough sun to warm my feet…bare feet. Yup. In February.

So I did this and rejected it…although there are things that might pop up elsewhere.

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Sometimes I just have to move the pen around on paper until better ideas pop in.

So I started another one, which might stick. It has some issues.

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That lower hand, for instance. I know where I’m going with this though, so it wouldn’t hurt to either start again or enlarge this and cut that crappy hand out and do another one. I think this might work.

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In the middle of all this drawing, I sold a quilt…a small one, but that’s money. That’s the grocery money this week and next. That’s a cushion I didn’t have when I wrote my post yesterday morning. That’s a deep breath.

I appreciate that. So that quilt will be winging its way (ha! It’s a bird) to Colorado on Tuesday. If the post office stays open late enough and I can book out of tutoring on time.

Then I came inside and graded more projects and videos. This was my second smallest class. I was going to do both the small classes at once, but after I got through this period and an entire video of one of the kids in the class yelling out “My ass itches” while the kid doing the video tried to keep it together (oh man, that other kid is in BIG TROUBLE on Tuesday…), I couldn’t bring myself to do another 16 of them.

Plus Kitten was being a pain in the butt. That tail was flicking at me the whole time.

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Two periods left to do. I’m doing the big one today. I might need mental assistance afterwards, but it will be done.

Then I started cutting tiny bone pieces out…

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After dinner out and a visit to a local brewery, we came back and I tried to video chat with the girlchild. Apparently they could hear everything I said, but she sounded like she was in a metal drum and syncopated. SIGH. It’s OK. I saw she was alive…good thing, because she leaves tomorrow for 5 days. It’s OK. I’m doing fine. Sometimes I get sad and miss my kids, and that’s OK. It would be weird if I didn’t.

So then after that, I cut more pieces out. The top one is the trash, the middle one is actual quilt pieces, and the bottom is what still needs cutting…which is a lot.

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But a lot of that is big pieces…all the details were on top, mostly, the last stuff I ironed down.

Girlchild did finally gt a picture of herself in the beach paradise of Antalaha, where she’s based for a lot of her stay…

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Look! She’s alive! And also barefoot in the sun (huh…well…genetics). We should maybe feel sorry for the boychild for being in New York right now in the snow and cold (or not…he chose that).

Today? I’m going to sit outside again. Really. I am. And I’m going to torture myself with more project videos. And I’m going to cut more things out. Really, just like yesterday, minus dinner out. And it’s Sunday. Which means I need to send the parent email for school. But otherwise, I have tomorrow off as well? So I can kinda be relaxed and sort of pretend my job doesn’t inhabit my entire life today, yeah? Maybe? Gonna try.

*R.E.M., Superman

When You Only Got a Hundred Years to Live*

Hello Saturday morning. You started a little earlier than I wanted (whiny animals), but you’re bright and sunny with wispy white clouds flitting across. And at the moment, you don’t have a whole lot of stuff muddying those blue skies in your head. A hope for drawing time. Realization that you will have to grade some shit. Hunger, but no desire to cook. A long to-do list, but doable with three days off. That’s the real issue. If I had a 3-day weekend every week, maybe I could keep up? Well no, you know the work would just expand to try to fill it. But today? Today I want to go buy some dirt and plants. It’s warm and I want to plant some stuff. It’s Spring here (well, sort of). There’s this nursery that’s a ways out, but it has a million plants. It’s where I got my Christmas tree, the one that’s currently living on my deck. But then I remember I have no money, literally nothing for the rest of the month (well, I’m working on that…I almost took on a huge copyediting job, but then the reality of WHEN I would do that. Ha! No. Not happening.). SIGH.

It’s OK. I got this. This is like when I was a freelancer and would have no money for months and then one month, I’d get ALL OF IT. I’m waiting on a retro pay check from work, plus some other stuff. It would help. Meanwhile, all the bills for kids are due. Sometimes it’s scary how close to going under I am. STILL. After being divorced for how many years? I make decent money. I don’t know how some families do it. (They don’t send their kids to college and help them. I know.)

Anyway, I got this. I do.

I’ll hold off on the gardening. I can draw for free.

Last night, I graded the second period of videos and projects.

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Simba helped. I’ve done the two biggest classes…I’m hoping to do the two smallest today, then the last class tomorrow.

Simba wants to play a lot. He’s looking traumatized here. He’s not.

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After dinner, I managed to get in here and finish the ironing. There’s a line of leaves in number order, so I can pick the fabrics for each one. Yeah, they overlap, so they can’t all be the same color.

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I am that crazy.

I went through my pile of gray/black crazy-quilt fabrics from a million years ago to find a 3rd metallic fabric…I realized I needed a darker one.

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These are fussy fabrics. I’m going to have to be careful with ironing them. But they should turn out cool…hopefully.

Then the last thing I ironed was the bones of her back, where she had the surgery…lots of little bone pieces…might be the most important part of the quilt.

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Here’s all the fabrics I used…although I’m still waiting on the iris color for her eyes. That’s 115 different fabrics…

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It’s a lot…but it will be worth it. Now comes the cutting out…pick a show and binge watch it…it took 11 hours and 39 minutes to iron everything down. That’s kind of a long time, but not horrendous.

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Probably it will be 5 or 6 hours to cut all these out. So I could finish this weekend…and then start ironing the quilt together? This is coming together quickly. I guess it’s not huge, is it? I’m debating trying to finish another piece by early April…for me to pull that off, I’d need to finish this one early plus get all my grading done. Yeah. I don’t know that I can do all that AND go to work every day (tempting…I have a LOT of vacation days).

OK, some grading, maybe buy the dirt (I have stuff I can transplant), sit out on the sunny deck and draw for a bit, then start cutting this thing out. I can do that.

*Five for Fighting, 100 Years