Yo! Busy weekend, mostly cool stuff. Work (day job) takes up too much time, as usual, and too much of my trying-to-sleep-dammit brain. But I got a bunch of fiber and art in there this weekend.
Quiltwise, didn’t get much done…didn’t iron at all on Friday night, and then did an hour or so each Saturday and Sunday nights…so this is part of Saturday…
Did the lower torso that is above the arm…then realized the whole damn thing was too heavy to keep on the ironing board, so pulled another Teflon sheet and started the upper torso on that.
It’ll all fit together at some point. Last night, I continued on the upper torso…
At this point, I have some arms to do. I’m in the 800s, almost done with them, I think. So more than halfway finally. Still a lot to do…another big head, her head, the arms, and some stuff in the background. Not a fast iron.
Friday night was a no-iron night because I went to see the Man’s band play…here he is pretending to be Exene of X.
That’s some neon green there. Pretty exhausting show for both of us, though. Friday nights are hard. I managed to get up and go to my quilt guild meeting the next morning to listen to Sara Trail of Social Justice Sewing Academy talk. Great talk, very inspiring. Put it on my calendar to do another remembrance block when I get a break from school. There are 50 or so here in San Diego County that need to be done, so volunteer! (wherever you are, there are unfortunately people who have been killed for a variety of sketchy reasons who need to be documented and remembered…).
I stitched while she talked…been a while since I worked on this, but I got a chunk done.
On Sunday, I went up to the PHES Gallery to see the opening of FIG’s Portals show.
I need to post all those pictures sometime this week…but it is the first time I saw mine hanging. It’s much bigger than I had originally planned it to be.
Definitely commands attention. I’ll be participating in an artists’ talk on October 2 at 5 PM at the gallery with two other artists.
I drew some things for school…this was the hairy gravestone reject.
They were good until I put the hair on them. Don’t even ask.
I was really excited to see a monarch caterpillar in pre-cocoon mode…
But 12 hours later, it hadn’t done anything new and looked mostly dead. And this morning, it was gone…with three more green tomatoes. I know I have a tomato stealer; apparently they like caterpillars too.
I did find another one on there, so maybe there’s hope.
We have a lot of birds though. So I’m not incredibly hopeful.
So it’s Monday. Y’all know that. It’s a busy week: union meeting AND back-to-school night. Plus all the other stuff. I rewrote the whole 8th-grade month in my head while trying to fall asleep last night. Should really stop doing that, but it’s amazing what my brain is capable of when it should be sleeping. The weather has cooled off a bit, although it’s still muggy. The boychild left this morning for his new CalFire posting; not sure when he’ll be back, because there are crews on fires and his new one may need to do something. So either he’ll be back Wednesday or who-knows-when. I need to get to school and hope a copier is running somewhere.
I am in Phoenix for QuiltCon. I got here by getting up at holy shit in the morning and packing the car and leaving by 6 AM. Hence my face.
It’s a 5-hour drive to Phoenix, which always seems doable until you’re doing it. Luckily the man came with me, so it wasn’t just me in my head. It’s a drive we’ve done all too many times. There are some interesting rocks and some ups and downs of the road and there was a moment of “did I wait too long to get gas?” (I did not…it was fine) and then we were here and I got dropped off and took my tired and sort of brain-weary self into the convention center. I bought caffeine and then they wouldn’t let me take it into the show, so I downed it one (bad plan) and headed in for my guild’s official photo (I don’t have a copy of that) in front of our donation quilt.
Later, I took a photo of ME in front of it (I think I made two blocks…couldn’t tell you which ones), because I was supposed to be posting all these pictures for our guild challenge, and I pretty much failed on all of it.
I’m going to blame my brain and/or Arizona time change. But there’s that.
One of the first quilts I saw, I looked at it and thought, “That looks like a Sheila Frampton-Cooper quilt.” I was right. This is her Dragon Dance.
Unfortunately, there was someone standing there and I was trying to get the right angle and fucked it up, so in the way of ALL quilt show photos, it’s crooked. I still love it, so there we are.
I have a ton of quilt photos, but I’m going back and forth between the iPad to get the photos and the laptop for easier typing, so I’m not going to add all of them now. But there were some…this is from one of the Social Justice Sewing Academy quilts…
It reminded me of some of the politics going on right now.
This is one of Latifah Saafir’s quilts, We Still Matter, made for the family of Steven Taylor, who was killed by the San Leandro Police. Saafir used pieces of Taylor’s clothing to make memorial quilts for his sons and grandmother, and couldn’t stand to waste any of his clothing, so this was the leftover pieces…
The quilt is beautiful in its own right, but as a symbol for Steven Taylor, it is even more stunning. The worn-out parts of his jeans as the knuckles…
I appreciate that the Modern Quilt Guild makes an attempt to showcase local groups and people of color, in this case, indigenous quiltmakers. This is Missing and Murdered Indigenous Children: Robbed of Their Innocence.
If you haven’t heard about the shocking number of indigenous children (and women, and men) disappearing with very little news coverage and/or police assistance in finding them, well you should read up on it. I’m fairly sure most of my readers are aware, but it’s something that makes me wonder. America is so obsessed with children and bad things happening to children, but only certain children…or certain women. Let’s change that. I appreciate how so much seems to be happening underground in this quilt by Susan Hudson, a Navajo/Diné artist.
We did hike on Saturday morning at Papago Park…these are the buttes.
It wasn’t a super long hike, about 2 1/2 miles, and not much elevation gain. We were testing out the man’s knee, which got injured last weekend. It was nice to get out though, after spending most of Friday in a car or in a convention center.
This mural was painted down the street from our Airbnb.
My Saturday class got canceled; the instructor tested positive for COVID. So I moved my Sunday class to Saturday. This beautiful art glass piece was in the classroom area…
I took Activist Quilting, taught by Sara Trail of Social Justice Sewing Academy and some other members of the academy. I came in with a brain way too full of things I care about, but my table helped me realize that a lot of it was stuff I carry in my head as a teacher. I took this class (and the other one I was hoping to take) because I want to try to give my students an activist voice of their own. Although as the pandemic continues and some of the true beliefs of staff, superintendent, and school board members have become more apparent, it makes me realize I will have a hard time ever getting permission to do so. I always figured it would be an after-school club of some sort, once COVID is less of a restricting factor, but even that might be an issue in the district I live and work in. That said, I am training to be a facilitator of the workshops anyway, and it was nice to hear Trail and the others talk about how they do these workshops with kids and communities. It won’t be about what’s on MY mind, but what’s on theirs…and that’s what I’m interested in. I can make my own political and social issue quilts–I already do–I’m interested in helping others do the same.
Anyway, my block…
And as I look at it, there’s more I want to add, but I already handed it over. Someone else will embroider it and then hopefully it will end up in a quilt somewhere with a bunch of other blocks. That would be cool.
I also look at it and think, hey those aren’t even all MY issues, but those of my students and they have other things on their minds and it isn’t MY place to document them, but honestly, as teachers, some of our burnout comes from carrying the emotional trauma of the kids we teach. It’s hard to stomach, it’s hard to walk away from at night, and it’s hard to drive away and think you don’t have a resolution of what happened to that kid. And we do it all the time. So for me, in the space I was in, this was my social issue.
Here was my table and their blocks…strange and somewhat awkward to have these conversations with people you have just met, but it happened. The woman next to me is from San Diego and knows others in my guild, so small world?!
It was a good experience. I didn’t do any schoolwork for three days (well, mostly), which was great. I talked to cool people I’ve always wanted to meet at the Quilt National and SAQA booths and met Richard the kilt guy from Global Artisans finally, plus have some new thread and fabric to try out and two big hefty books to read. All in all a good thing. We need breaks. I do have to go to school tomorrow to grade art things and hopefully my classroom is not in disarray…well TOO much. And maybe this little break will help me get through a few more weeks of school without feeling like I’m losing my mind (definitely was the last two weeks).
‘Tis the season for dealing with lost packages, yeah? I’m typing this on the iPad, because I’m in a chat on the computer, trying to replace the thermostat I need that was decidedly NOT delivered Monday night. At least not HERE. Sigh. At least it’s not a Christmas present, and the current thermostat is working. It’s cantankerous though and will probably die on one of these really cold nights. Good thing I have a bed full of cats, right? OK, the new one is arriving Sunday. Apparently. I’ll believe it when I see it…and hopefully I won’t be wandering through the yard with a flashlight trying to find it.
I swear I woke up yesterday thinking it was Wednesday already. So did my boss; he was talking about today’s meeting, which is actually tomorrow. Yesterday was a slog…started well, successful learning experience, fell into the deep turbulent water of What. The. Fuck. by the end of the day. It’s hard teaching such a wide range of abilities, but I also wonder what that group would be like in the morning. I never have them in the morning…just right after lunch or at the very end of the day. And I say things like “tomorrow, we will…” and there’s always this kid going, “We don’t see you tomorrow” (because of block schedule), and I’m lucky I even know what day it is and what I’m teaching…I can’t possibly keep track of who the hell will be in my class on the next day. What kind of crazy is that?
Last night’s post-8 PM texts with my co-teacher were “how do we change this assignment we’re in the middle of because ugh teaching it this way is painful and it could be worded better.” On the one hand, I really am grateful for a co-teacher who has a brain that works with mine. But maybe we should relax more at night and read a book or something. I did read for a bit when I got home. I wanted to be all good and go to the gym, but I’m tired…so tired. It was cold and I didn’t want to deal with it. This morning, I wish I’d gone. Oh well.
Ironing is what I do every night before bed, for close to or just over an hour. Not a lot…which is why it’s taking so long to get this done. Plus it’s complicated as hell. This figure is pretty small, but it’s hard to see the pieces under the teflon sheet and small means tiny pieces.
Lots of overlapping finger parts. Here it is upside down with cat butt.
And right side up…hanging over the ironing board.
Last night, I managed 78 minutes of ironing before bedtime. I pushed it a little late…been having problems falling asleep too, so that’s a fun thing. Ironing is the best thing though…it’s meditative. I finally pulled a separate sheet to iron this little baby in her hand, though. Could not see the pattern underneath, because this lies on top of the other figure.
Then I can just pull that piece off, all ironed together, and put it where it belongs…hoping always that it actually fits, because I’m not really perfectionist about it matching the pattern perfectly.
In fact, I’ve had two pieces that I debated putting in at all…they were so small and it wasn’t going to really make a difference to anyone but me. I left one out in the end. The other one is in there. So this is Figure 5…it seems like she blends in with the land a little more than I thought she would (stitching outlining will help with this), and I haven’t finished her right arm (damn fingers, so complicated), but that puts me squarely in the 900s with half of them already ironed (sky behind the other figures), but I still have some 300s and 400s, the other arm of Figure 2 and her head, that need to be ironed down. I wanted all this bottom stuff done, though, before I pull it off the teflon sheets and try to do that. I think I will iron the bubble all by itself and then make it fit. Maybe. We’ll see. Sometimes I have to stretch stuff or fuss with it to make it fit. That’s easier to do one small piece at a time than a big honking piece that has to carefully fit in. I think it will work though. So let’s say I’ve got about 600 pieces to go…that’s two thirds of the way done.
I’ve been ironing this thing together for 13-plus hours. Probably going to take me 20 total. So another 5-7 days. Wow. OK. Well. There we are. Copyediting job coming in too. Actually not sure I’ll be able to finish this quilt in 2021. We’ll see.
What else is going on? Animals. Notice Simba’s terrified look…cats have sharp bits.
But he’s the one who sat where the cats sit.
Luna climbs the Man Mountain.
She’s also pokey sharp.
Nice to see a block I embroidered in a finished quilt…3 down, 2 to the right. It’s huge!
I’m taking a class with Sara Trail of SJSA in February at QuiltCon. I’m taking two classes total, neither of them actually modern quilt stuff. Then again, I’m not really a modern quilter either. I’m still going through my stash. I got through the greens on the shelves (there are three more drawers of green) and four boxes of yellow. It’s going well. I hope they actually want all this stuff. I’ll find another charity group that needs it otherwise. Maybe divide it up. We’ll see.
I hit the 10,000 mark the other night…
Crazy. I think it helps. Sometimes it seems to help. Sometimes my brain can’t settle down even with meditation. That is the same brain that makes the art, though, so I guess there are always pros and cons.
OK. School. Rewrite yesterday’s assignment for my last, lowest class. Teach a bunch of other things today too. Then union meeting. Ugh. Long day. Then ironing. That’s good. I can look forward to ironing those damn fingers and then doing the rest of the sky.
Back to a normal week. I can tell you that my brain yesterday was squawking about how it wasn’t ready to go back to school, but then, I’m not sure it ever is. I mean, the week is completely planned out, although I think someone has to go buy soap at some point and we have to set up a lab. I’m almost caught up on grading for science, and completely behind in art (that’s how it always is though). None of my students are out on pandemic contract (knock on wood HARD, because that’s the only way to keep from getting a ton of contracts). And most importantly, all my lunches are prepped for the week. A fucking miracle if you ask me.
I finally used the new sewing machine for the first time…to fix the boychild’s work backpack. It performed beautifully…going through 4 layers of crap with a zigzag…this time, I figured out that stitch pretty quickly. A good sign. Hopefully over Thanksgiving Break, I’ll get to use it on an art quilt…but it means I need to get the rest of this quilt ironed and cut out…which is not a small amount of work. I’m about 16 hours into the ironing, with about 600 pieces to go. Yikes. It’s slow. It’s all the people…each one is a different batch of 5-7 fabrics from light to dark, with all the pieces laid out in my head. It’s time-consuming. I’ve done a couple hours each day over the 4-day weekend.
It’s a nice way to end the day…I think that is figure number 3 above and number 4 below…
The number of fabrics is growing and getting pretty chaotic.
A closeup of the pile to be cut out…
Sometime yesterday I couldn’t deal with that, so I reordered everything.
Now colors are together at least. And I know which ones I used on the 5 figures so far. The next step is the sky, so expect a lot more blues and purples in the next day or so. Those are all really big pieces too, compared to the little stuff I’ve been ironing so far. I’m in the 900s…after the sky, I have another 4 or 5 figures in the bubble. I’m debating making them white. Like actual white, not the pinky tones us white folks actually are. We’ll see. I’m still thinking about it. Here’s where the idea came from though…
That’s my quilt Wise Choice…the light white and gray figures live in a landscape without choice…it’s a quilt about International Planned Parenthood, giving women the right and ability to choose when to get pregnant, often so they can afford to feed their children. The bubble in color is her dream of a planned future. The quilt is at San Diego Mesa College through December 9…part of their Sowing Seeds exhibit. Check it out…I have more art pictures, but no time to resize right now. On Friday, we tried to make it to three shows and managed only two due to nasty traffic. One of them was this one.
Saturday, we did the first Coast to Crest hike for this year’s challenge, 2021-2022…but we totally mistimed sunset (we both spaced on it)…
Gonzales Canyon Loop in Del Mar…a nice start down down down.
We did realize it was getting darker than we’d anticipated, and neither of us remembered our headlamps. Stupid really. We cut a portion of the trail off once we got to the selfie spot, because it was almost dark…
And then kamikazed out by moonlight…pulling out phone flashlights for the last 10 minutes, when the trees blocked that light. It would have been a nicer hike if we weren’t worried about the daylight…not a bad uphill in daylight, I suspect…a little more nerve-wracking in the dark. We managed to find outside dinner in Del Mar and didn’t even get kicked out for being in hiking clothes.
The block I stitched on showed up on Social Justice Academy’s feed yesterday, getting sewn into a quilt…
OK. It’s fine. I can survive the week. I’ll get some grading done. I’ll come home Friday with a pile of stuff to do, unfortunately, but that’s always what happens. I’ll get some ironing done most nights this week…I think I have book club one night, so that will be more problematic, but the other nights are pretty clear. And I have next week off to look forward to…it’s been a long school year so far. The kids aren’t so bad…it’s all the other stuff the district keeps piling on us. I feel like they are completely tone-deaf since the pandemic started. It’s unfortunate. But all too common. Anyway…off to school. Need more caffeine. That’s a given.
Hey. Wednesday here. I’ve got some warmer weather and a crazy schedule, but I am also halfway through the work week. Plus grades are done (for now), so that’s a relief. The fact that you actually finished them an hour after they were due? Eh. Minor issue. She’s not processing them until this morning. I think. It’ll be fine.
I’m currently (like while I write this) trying to upload two videos and combine them into one for an assignment we’re doing today, so the absent kids and those who need more time will have access. I should have done it last night. I spend a lot of time in the Forest of I Shoulds…and I shouldn’t. So it will either get done, or it will be two videos. It’s still processing, so there’s that. At some point, it’ll be done, and hopefully that will be in the next 20 minutes. Ha! A reminder to always do the stuff the day before. Except when you don’t feel like you can. Then don’t.
I’m trying to finish up some smaller projects before drawing the next one. And then I realized there’s a deadline potentially coming up that I said I’d deal with and now I’m not sure I want to. Whatever. I haven’t decided anything yet.
But I finished the Patreon reward quilt…put a binding on it Monday night…
And then forgot to take a final picture of it. OK. That’s about where I’m at right now. I need to put a label on it and then mail it.
I also finished the Social Justice Sewing Academy block and will be mailing it off as well…
It took me a while to get it done…
When I first requested one, it was summer 2020 and I thought I had time.
It arrived a week before school started. 2021.
Which is fine…I just needed the whole 30 days (plus a few more).
It gets mailed this week too.
When I finished the to-do sewing last night, I was going to grade, but then I decided to do this instead.
Relaxing stuff. Learning how it looks. OK. This is cool.
The parentals’ dog is here.
The cats don’t appreciate her. The dogs are OK with it. She’s excited to be here. Hopefully she’ll only pee on the carpet once (that already happened…I think she was excited).
OK, so I have pilates and book club today, this time for real. So I’m not expecting much to happen on the art front. But you never know. I could get back inspired (and not exhausted). I’ve got 8 minutes for this video to process…and I think it’s gonna be a no-go. Ah well. It is what it is. And I have my booster shot scheduled for Sunday…so my left arm will hurt like a bitch on Monday, but otherwise, I’ll be more protected again. All good. Then on to the next quilt! I sense drawing in my future. THAT is good news.
I’m loving this cooler weather. I actually wore warm socks to pad around the house, albeit with shorts on, because it’s not flannel pajama weather yet. Quite. It won’t last, of course, but it was nice this weekend to go out hiking with a bit of a chill in the air. Hell, it was just nice to go out hiking, even if it was only 3 miles. I’m fighting for work/life balance (and mostly losing). Here’s the hike view, though, so I don’t forget…
That was Saturday evening, around 5:30 PM.
Friday, after work, after entering a show, I got in the car and drove to Carlsbad, to the PHES Gallery opening of the Allied Craftsmen show. It’s a nice show in a nice space. My two pieces are here…
I lurked behind people and listened to them talk about the pieces. That’s always fun. Although I didn’t get home until after 10 PM, so that was also exhausting. I also got news Friday that two of my quilts at The Studio Door sold, so that was cool…not enough for a new sewing machine or to trim the trees, but it’s a start. It’s always a good thing.
Saturday, I got up early, because my brain knew how much work was on my plate and wouldn’t let me sleep in. I started by cleaning up, ironing, and packing up the quilt to go to the photographer at noon. Then I pieced the two blocks I owed for the community quilt my guild is doing for Quilt Con…they were due at noon to someone’s house, so I dropped them at 11:45 (I was early, c’mon), and then dropped the quilt at the photographer’s. Here’s the blocks…
They had given us some extra fabric to deal with the long pieces in the center, but I fucked that up and ended up having to do some improv piecing, which wasn’t hard and will probably add to the final design…I’ll post it when we have it.
I graded after piecing and before driving to drop things…and then I came home and graded until my sourdough dough was ready for the bulk stage. Then I went to school to deal with the stuff I’d left there…all the late Unit 1s that I had to rip out of kids’ hands (just a little more time! Dude, I need to do progress reports now, not later) and then all the stuffed animal drawings.
Guys, grading art is so hard. Sometime Friday night/Saturday morning, when I wasn’t sleeping, I figured out the best way to handle it…lay them out based on the rubric…who hit all 4 points, who hit most of them, who hit a few of them, and who wasn’t hitting much of anything. Yeah. It worked. I printed the rubrics and graded the obvious As first…they had all the things I asked for. I can’t say the middle lows were easy to grade…they weren’t. But I wrote suggestions, and with some, offered that if they kept going at home and improved it (like actually finished it), their grade would improve.
I know some would just give everyone an A, but this is an academic class and my kids feed into the REAL art teacher (I just play one on TV), and she will hold them to these high standards. Plus this is probably the hardest project we will do. So hopefully the next one will go better. We’ll see.
After 2 1/2 hours at school, I had what I needed, and that’s when I came home and hiked (what I REALLY needed). At dinner, I drew before the food came…
This is the beginning of an idea for the next quilt.
Sunday was more grading, lots more. But Sunday night, I got a chunk more done on this…
It’s taking me forever because of the other deadlines I have. It’s almost done, though, and should be on its way to the Social Justice Sewing Academy this week sometime, assuming I can get to the post office before it closes. I wanted all the things done before I started drawing the next quilt.
Cats are weird, y’all.
I’m gonna shove my face and use the wall as a pillow.
Am I done with grades? Nope. Wearing my Nope shirt today too. Had one kid constantly emailing me all weekend. I stopped answering. I’ll get through the last bit of it today and post grades. Hopefully some of them will learn not to do stuff last minute…luckily it’s a progress report and not a final report card. Then I will have my first chiropractic adjustment in forever, hallelujah. And maybe I’ll get to do something besides school tonight…maybe. I’m still two weeks behind on assignments, so that’s a thing I’ll be doing all week. Plus making videos for this week…kids are still out on COVID contracts. Ugh. Yeah. It’s been too much school lately. Need to get to work on changing that. Again. Still.
Hey. It’s Wednesday and I’m feeling overwhelmed. I got caught up with some school stuff, which is good, but yesterday, the work day started before 8 AM and ended after 6 PM. Today will be the same. Thursday will start earlier and will have to end earlier, only because I have to be somewhere. And it’s not like I’m getting shit all the way done with all that. The shit I was supposed to do during prep yesterday didn’t happen because we have these new short-term contracts the state wants us to do for kids who are out on pandemic quarantines, and it’s quite a bit of work…not the actual contract. It’s pretty easy, once you have everything set up and all your videos or whatever you’re gonna do made…OK, that actually took most of my prep (also my computer decided it didn’t want to be my friend any more), but then emailing every kid and parent, searching out parent emails, cutting and pasting. I did 11 contracts last night…I probably will have 11 more to do today (I had one I didn’t do last night, because it’s the other subject and so are the other ones I’ll get today)…and it took 90 minutes after school to get it all done. Meanwhile, nothing gets planned or graded for the kids who are actually IN class. I know we have to provide work for everyone, but someone at the district needs to hire someone who can code a program/system/app/I don’t give a fuck what it is but it will go do all the menial shit that’s in the system so I don’t have to…and all the other teachers don’t have to repeat the same work I’m doing. That’s the idiotic part. Politicians pass a law to help kids, but the infrastructure to help the teachers is not in place (what’s new there??? Nothing), and teachers can’t help ALL the kids because they’re helping the kids who will trigger the state to audit our procedures and fine us if we don’t do the things that the state doesn’t give us the money for in order to create the infrastructure. SIGH. A friend asked where all the COVID money went. I DON’T KNOW. Here’s a good place for it. Also, when politicians vote for things, they should be required to sit in my classroom with me until almost 6 PM and HELP ME search out all those parent emails and record videos and set up lessons.
None of that happens. So instead, I am feeling overwhelmed and like I literally got nothing done yesterday that was on my plan…and because I have a union meeting this afternoon, probably today’s prep will be similarly fucked.
Anyway. I can’t say I come home in a great mood…and no exercise because everything ran too late and then I had to cook dinner and I’m pretty sure two phone calls came in and I didn’t answer either of them.
I have renewed my optimism that I will be incredibly efficient during prep today, because I don’t have a prep tomorrow.
I have been ironing. Not much each night, but at least an hour before bed. Monday, though, I managed about 3 hours of ironing. I was really good about getting work done in the morning…so here I am, up in the sky finally.
I’ve decided that I’m the only one who can see the figures…
They are damn subtle. I will pull them out with stitching…
I was hoping to be done Monday, but I had about 50 pieces left, including some complicated fingers and a face that would have to be done separately and then ironed in.
So last night, I finished all that…
With stitching, the face will appear. I can see it.
Hard to get a picture of the whole thing until I get it on a background…which will be tonight, hopefully. Iron it down, clean the space up a bit, and start stitching down.
My Social Justice Sewing Academy block is closer to done…just a little more embellishment.
The back is fascinating.
Kitten keeps trying to lie on it.
She follows me around when I get home, trying to figure out how to get close to me. Not ON me…just close.
Shit. Which reminds me, she needs her meds. Gonna go do that, then brush my teeth and get out of here. I promised a kid a folder up front at the office by 8 AM, and that’s not too long from now. I think I’m fucked on that deadline…hopefully dad will come later. Wish me luck for the day, that it’s productive and less frustrating than yesterday.
Hello Friday! It seems like it was just Tuesday. I guess that’s a good thing. I have a ton of stuff to get done today, on Friday, and hopefully that will actually happen so I don’t have to do all of it in the middle of the night. I’m supposed to deliver 7 quilts tomorrow to a gallery…awesome thing that! Opening is this coming Thursday.
Good thing I’m reminding myself of that, because I thought I had another week. All seven quilts need to be ironed and dehaired and readied for exhibit. Luckily they are smaller and not particularly wrinkled, but it needs to happen before tomorrow afternoon. So there’s that. I think one needs a label and slats too. Not hard. Just time.
That’s the mantra right now. Plants need watering. Not hard. Just time. I really need to draw a stethoscope for this Social Justice Sewing Academy block. Not hard. Just time…plus getting the cat off the bag it’s in. That’s harder. She has sharp pointy bits. School…need a doc done, some posts done, papers copied, grading warmups and some other stuff. Not hard. Just time.
As far as the art stuff is going, really what I need is energy. I did a little stitching after dinner on Wednesday night on the SJSA block (got it out from under the cat for once)…
Then I managed to iron down all the fabrics for the Patreon reward piece…
It took about an hour and a half. I borrowed some fabrics from the one I just finished cutting out and then added more. It’s actually mostly blue in area…I think it’ll be cool. We’ll see though. I need to cut those pieces out. I was going to do that last night, but mostly I laid down on the couch and tried to keep my eyes open while the man talked. Then I went to bed.
Why? Usually I can do the things. Yeah no. I was at school early, then stayed late to plan science…trying to do it all in one day is hard. I’ll get used to it again, but it’s hard. We can’t get everything done and we don’t have the same prep periods, so I just don’t have the rhythm of it yet. I’ll get there. Maybe on Week 3? Maybe by then we’ll be shut down. So many kids out on quarantine or pandemic concerns (they have symptoms but haven’t been tested or if they were tested, parents didn’t tell the school the results…so they’re just out for 10 days)…trying to keep track of those and my head. Ha! Then after all that, I drove 45 minutes to the California Center for the Arts for the closing reception of the Allied Craftsmen show Crafting Memories…
There’s my piece. Hopefully I’ll be back here in January with California Fibers and more pieces. I did meet people and pretended to network. Not really. They all came and talked to me and that was OK. Then I Zoomed with my stitching group on the way home, picked up a burger, came home, ate it, and collapsed.
Not my best moment. Today will be better. Today I will do ALL the things and finish them all and then go get tested for COVID because I’m just gonna do that every week or two to make sure I’m not infecting the world…and then clean up and pack up all those quilts and maybe cut some things out or maybe go watch the man’s band (outside…I think this is probably outside of my exhaustion level). And sleep. Because I have to be up early for the annual boob squeeze. Do it! Breast cancer doesn’t care that there’s a pandemic or that I’m exhausted.
Damn zebrafish. Yeah. Going to school now. Doing all the things. Caffeine is also my friend today.
Hey Friday. Nice of you to show up. Appreciate it. I’m back to that world where I look forward to maybe sleeping in on Saturday morning (dependent on neighbor noise and animal incursions). I do already have stuff to grade. Ugh. How did that happen? Oh yeah. My own fault. I’m still trying to get my head around this crazy schedule we have. Mondays and Fridays are normally all the classes, but Monday is shorter. Tuesday through Thursday rotate through blocks of four classes a day, so some days I will have four different things I’m teaching and some days, I will only have two. Today I have three different classes and no prep period (because today is not a normal Friday because we started on Tuesday, don’t even ask, I honestly have a headache about that), so that sounds exhausting. I needed to pee after two classes (they’re LONG) yesterday…three in a row today might be an issue. Certainly, having art at the end of the day with 6th graders is difficult…that’s three days a week. I’m just tired from science teaching and then have to switch gears, from science brain to art brain. Art brain is like, what? I’m tired. Leave me alone.
But it’s nice being back in person (when I don’t think too hard about COVID exposure)…because we can do the things!
Ah science and art in person. What a concept.
Prepping for art is different too…it’s hard to know what they can do in person because I taught it all online last year. So lots of decisionmaking going on in my poor tired brain.
That said, the first week back is almost in the books, and (knock on wood) no one has been sent home yet. It’s a miracle, considering the number of kids who can’t keep a mask over their noses or mouths…
Artmaking has been OK this week, despite the tiredness. My goal is an hour a night, and last night, I managed two plus (because I was in a Zoom meeting for part of it). I’m still cutting things out…this is Wednesday, with Simba’s help…
I also did some embroidery on the Social Justice Sewing Academy block…still just getting everything attached.
My plan is some decorative embroidery in the letters, but I need to do a stethoscope too. Need to mark that this weekend.
Last night, I had a Zoom quilt meeting and cut out the Wonder Under for the one Patreon reward I have left.
So I can iron that to fabric this weekend. And then I cut a bunch…
Both on Zoom and later…
The middle box is getting emptier; the bottom box is getting more full. I watched some news…still trying to get my head around Afghanistan. I feel like I’ve spent 20 years trying to get my head around the Taliban and people like it. I have classrooms full of kids who fled regimes like that. I’m OK with that…they’re hopefully better off here, although sometimes I wonder.
Kitten shows a side view…
Yeah, there’s still a lot of pieces in that box. It probably won’t get done tonight…but hopefully this weekend, I’ll get them cut and sorted, and be ready to iron together next week…more standing after all day of standing. Well, it’s better than too much sitting, I’ll tell you that. Ironically, I still need more exercise at the end of the day; maybe today will be a walk. Tomorrow will definitely be a hike. Plus art. Plus grading. Plus IDK exactly what I’m teaching next week for art. I should figure that out. Plus I have a million posts to put together for classes…hopefully can get those done in class today. I’d like to keep weekends clear of work. I know it won’t happen, but I’m trying. Ha!
Well. That was the first day back with kids. Bam. I’m officially exhausted for the next 10 months. I walked over 15,000 steps on the first day, compared to about 3,000 when I was teaching on Zoom. So my body needs to get used to that again…not sure that’s a bad thing. Interacting in person is strange and somewhat difficult, although I will get used to masks and my glasses and not being able to talk loud enough and hot flashes in a warm classroom because the AC is on but the door is open. Yeah. All that. Sure. Plus the tech changes. Amusingly, our district emailed us last night that the science curriculum (all online) will be available ‘soon’. Not on the first day of school (it’s OK; we don’t really like most of it and/or use most of it). I didn’t even have my kids touch computers yesterday…today for Advisory only. Tomorrow, just for research for pictures. Maybe next week for an actual assignment. I had enough computer stuff last year to last me a long time.
Going back to school is always an energy suck. A brain suck as well, apparently. I don’t remember how to do anything. I even asked one class how to explain an instruction better to make sure I got the results I needed…because I obviously wasn’t! They were very nice and suggested some things. The pro of middle-school kids is their desire to help. Most of them. I stayed late last night to get ready for today…luckily, my first block day is relatively easy. Only one subject and a nice long prep period in between the first class and the last two. Hopefully I will use that prep wisely…as in, get my act together with art class, because yesterday I ran out of stuff and took them for a walk instead. Like puppies. We were all tired. It was legit.
Before I had any kids in there…this might be the neatest it ever is (and you can’t see the counters…I still have some chaos to control).
My team is very cool…our shirts confirm it…
“like a regular team only cooler”…
Ironically, it was muggy as heck yesterday. OK, not really, for those who live in truly muggy areas, but for dry, desert areas, this was ugh. And having to put on shoes and pants was hard. I didn’t wear shoes for 18 months.
We tried to do an after-school photo, and this is all we got.
Still smiling? Probably in shock.
Such a waste of money for these. The man never comes to our school and sees the kids. He just sends this. Dude. Send food. Or money. More useful.
Meanwhile, I’m still cutting stuff out, although not much…I think this was Monday night…
And Tuesday night, after another 56 minutes (can you tell? I’m not sure I can)…
I know I’m more than halfway, but there’s still a lot of pieces in there.
I’m also working on the Social Justice Sewing Academy block…
I finally marked the letters she wanted embroidered (had to find the right marking implements) and got some of it done after dinner. There are ‘does-not-equal’ signs going in between the words, in case you can’t see the incredibly light marks. (They are incredibly light.)
Seen on our walk on Monday…
It’s hard to get good flight pictures sometimes, especially with a phone camera. Beautiful bird.
This is the girlchild, amazing kid, but also…that’s the dress I fixed.
I appreciate the boots. Evidence that she is my child.
I saw this and was sort of horrified, and then realized it was satire (it was the ‘asshole’ comment that clued me in).
Some local music venues are now requiring vaccination cards or recent COVID tests (yes!). Teachers will need both. I taught yesterday and felt OK, until a co-teacher said something about not taking her mask off even when the kids weren’t in there, because their air was still in there. Fuck. I didn’t even think of that. Yes, I’m vaccinated. The odds of my getting so sick that I have an issue are very low…but I teach a bunch of unvaccinated kids…because they can’t be yet. Some have major health issues. Some have family members at home that have issues. I don’t want to be the cause of anyone else’s illness. And we have staff who are not vaccinated. So much anxiety over all these pieces.
Anyway. Today we do a lab! Yay! I missed labs. They are exhausting and a pain but a real joy to watch and experience the kids doing the things. We’ll see how it goes. And then I have pilates (have to remember all my gear…how did I do this before? It’s been 18 months since I lived like this) and book club and then I will just collapse. We’re back!