The Last Day of Summer

I sort of disappeared for a few days. Not really, because Instagram is easy and I was there, but I feel like it’s hard to write the blog if there’s no real art progress and all I’m really going to say is that I read a lot and hung out a lot and ate some foods. Not that those are bad things…we should all do that at some point in our lives. I just wasn’t motivated to write about it. I find that writing here does motivate me to get stuff done, though, which is mostly why I do it. Plus the whole family knows that if we can’t remember when an event happened, we can just check the blog. Which is how we know Kitten is 10 and not 9 (my phone thinks she’s both 9 and 10, and that’s not possible). Most important use of my blog? Figuring out how old the animals are. Yup.

So we were only at Lake Arrowhead for two nights…a short trip. The girlchild isn’t here for long and I have a pile of crap to deal with before school starts, which officially is tomorrow. We have Shakespeare tonight and a birthday dinner tomorrow night, and then she leaves. And school starts. And life continues.

So here’s three days of Arrowhead in no particular order. Lots of blue skies, cooler temperatures, and lake water.

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Oh yeah, and sleepy dogs. Very sleepy dogs.

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And not dogs. Also sleepy. This is what the week after working 10-hour days all summer looks like. Plus maybe some jet lag.

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She claims I took this picture last year. I did not. It must have been her other mother.

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Views of the lake.

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It was beautiful.

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That’s a huge acorn cap.

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We don’t have a regular boat. We have access to a canoe and a kayak. It works.

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Calli plays in the water, as always…

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There’s a bit of a hike back up to the car…

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I’m obsessed with manzanita at the moment…want one for the front yard…far away from the house.

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We have to haul stuff to and from the dock.

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Like dogs.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of these in the water…

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More dog entertainment. We do a lot of that.

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Girlchild in the kayak…

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While me, the boychild, and my ex all canoe. Yeah, it’s weird that I vacation with my ex, but when your kid is only home for a week, you do shit like that.

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It was a little rough out there…

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Hogging the shade…

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Grandpa comes too…he’s in charge of keys and dogs and boat maintenance. Like the 17 spiders we had to kill in the canoe.

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Everyone reads. Well. The dogs don’t.

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They mostly sleep.

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Even with concrete as a pillow.

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We all had a chance in the kayak in the afternoon…there’s the boychild wandering off.

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Dad sits on the dock with the dogs. I got pulled over by the Lake Association during my kayak trip out. He assumed I didn’t have a boat license. Bam! I did. It was in my bra. I pulled it out. It was exciting. No one else got pulled over. He was probably worried about my technique.

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Whatever. Sitting around on a dock reading is not a bad thing.

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I did finish one binding and started another very-not-important one while watching a video.

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While guess who slept.

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At night we attempted this musical game…and then poker.

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With marbles, because we couldn’t find poker chips.

We had two cars because of the dogs…who found ways to sleep on the way back…

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Home.

I did a final steam iron of the big piece in the afternoon, but then was fighting tiredness and significant nausea all evening. The new meds may be the problem…hard to say. I did finally start stitch down at around 9 PM…and fought the machine for a while. It took about 5 or 6 tries to get the tension right. Aargh. It’s different every time I do it. I had the spool horizontal, but the thread was catching on the spool edge and feeding irregularly. So now it’s vertical and threaded differently than the manual tells me, but it’s mostly working. Remind me to take it in after I finish this one.

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I got most of the water parts stitched down…I still have a little bit of it plus the mermaid’s head to do.

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See? Good tension. Not a rat’s nest. Such a relief.

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I went to bed early because I was tired, but the nausea was still pretty bad. I gave up on water and tea last night and found a ginger ale hiding in my stash. It helped. But it’s way too high in sugar to drink regularly. It’s better this morning, but I’m afraid to eat anything. I barely ate last night.

Anyway, today is full of tons of things…need to find two quilts and ship them out of here, and then copyedit, and stitch down…plus be ready for school tomorrow (ugh. So not ready. Positive attitude! Um. Really. For tomorrow’s conference of random professional development? I don’t have any. Really. Can’t.). Last day of summer. It’s the last day of summer. Sigh. It’s OK…last year, I also felt like I got nothing done all summer. Seriously something wrong with that.

Conversations Are So Difficult Right Now

Sigh. I tried to have a conversation yesterday with someone from “the other side” (I don’t believe there are only two sides to anything…especially in this case, because she seemed to believe she was a feminist, as do I, but there were some other things going on…) about feminism. She claimed there were “Real Feminists” (her term) and they didn’t resort to pussy hats and calling themselves nasty women (um. We didn’t start that. We just took it away from the Orange Trumpet). I asked for her definition of real and fake feminism, because honestly, if you believe in equal rights for women (and for that matter, all versions of gender, as we only barely understand them), then I think you’re a feminist. You can be a quiet feminist. You can be a loud proud and in my face feminist. You can be somewhere in between. You can be a male feminist. You can be all kinds of feminist. I didn’t even know about the WAVES of feminism until a few years ago…apparently if you’re part of the 2nd wave, they hadn’t yet figured out that there was more than one wave. Not that it matters to me which wave you are in…as long as you are in the same body of water with us…so honestly, your politics, your voting history, your life existence doesn’t really matter to me, as long as your core belief is in equality.

I think I was a feminist the first time I realized that male artists were “more important” than female artists (they aren’t…you know that’s why I put it in quotes). So that was when I was about 11. Maybe younger. That said, I have a pussy hat. I don’t have a problem with being lumped in with the nasty women. I make art that seems to be in your face, although, honestly, I don’t make it with that purpose in mind. I get accused of it a lot…of trying to shock people with my art. I honestly don’t care if you’re shocked (I do want you to examine WHY you are shocked). I don’t make art so I can stand on a hillside in front of a million people and yell through a mic a bunch of really inappropriate things that upset people. (like I’ve never ever done that. unlike some people.) I make art because that stuff is in my head and it upsets me and angers me and I need to get it out.

I’ve always shown my art because I think it helps our world for (a) those who believe like me to see that there are others out there with similar feelings and build some consensus around that, but also (b) those who don’t believe like me to see other viewpoints and hopefully work around their prejudices or misconceptions or even brainwashing that there are other ways to view issues and the world. If you’re an artist, I don’t care if you show all your work, show some of your work, or show none of your work. That’s your deal.

I’ve used naked people in my art since I was in college (so that’s over 30 years, folks…not new to this rodeo), because I’m more interested in the core of people, the insides, the body shape itself than I am in clothes and the assumptions we make with what we put on people. I’m not trying to shock you. I don’t think nudity is shocking. I don’t think blood or childbirth or breastfeeding or penises or vulvas or uteri are shocking. If you do, that’s about YOU. Walk away if you don’t like it. I will do the same for you. But maybe stop a moment and try to figure out why you’re having that reaction. Don’t stop when you get to the part where it’s a naked person and that’s WRONG. Why is it wrong? Because it makes people do things (I personally think that’s an excuse, but whatever)? Isn’t that about those people? Nudity in itself is not wrong.

If you’re bringing sin into the argument (especially if you’re putting sin on a brand new baby), then you have to admit that religion is informing your reaction. Then maybe walk away? Or…talk to me: “My religion is telling me that this is shocking because of the nudity.” Then see? We can still have a conversation. I say, “Oh, well I don’t believe that, so you can see I didn’t mean for this to be shocking.” And you can say, “Well, I don’t like it. It shocks me.” And I can say, “OK, then. Well move on. Maybe we can have a conversation about something else…like why a pussy hat makes someone a fake feminist? Or where to buy the best fabric locally?” But there’s no need to be defensive about your answer. Just give me an answer. Not angry, not yelling, just an answer. And if I don’t agree? Agree that we disagree and we both (at least right now, right here, in America) have the right to our differing beliefs and feelings…

I do have a hard time with people who voted for Trump and claim they are feminists, but I’ve heard from a few that they voted for him because in general he supported their beliefs…but there was no one who supported all their beliefs. So they let their feminism trail behind on that vote. I can understand that. I’ve had to make similar decisions while voting…to pick my battles…which sucks, but is political reality. I just happen to have like zero things I agree with Trump on, except maybe Space Force. Space Force (pew pew) is an awesome idea. (OK, you know I’m joking, right? Except I really do like exploring space.)

So I will try to keep having conversations, but when someone else uses the term “Madonna lovers” to describe fake feminists, I have to laugh, because the first thought I had was of the singer, because honestly, I’m not a fan of religion FOR ME. It’s not the first thing that comes to mind. It works for some people…some very good and respectful and loving people. I know some of them. But some people use it as an excuse to do some really evil and prejudiced things in the name of their religion or their god(s), and I don’t appreciate that. Don’t start wars because you think God told you to. God told you to get along. If you’re gonna quote him, then follow him.

I tried. I stopped engaging in the conversation, because she thinks I’ve made her a target, and I didn’t mean to do that. I wanted to know what the fuck she was talking about with “Real Feminists.” Because she seemed to think there was a set of rules for that, and I don’t agree. I’ll keep trying. I’m not giving up on communication. I’m not even sure what a fake feminist is. I know there are women who claim they are not feminists, but they appreciate not being raped or beaten with no repercussions, they love driving their cars and going shopping without a man’s permission, they like to vote, they can make choices about their bodies, they can choose to be the most feminine, lacy, home-cooked meal, princess of the kitchen that they want to be (hell, anyone can CHOOSE that, even men)…so I’m not sure why they think they aren’t feminists. Maybe there should be a reality show where those women go back to before we had the vote, before we had rights, or to countries where they DON’T have what we have here in the United States. Maybe then they’d get it.

Double sigh. Moving back to art…which has nudity and uteri and maybe a penis (not in the current one, sorry y’all). Not because I’m trying to shock you. Go back and read it again. Engage in a conversation with me. Don’t just sit there and fume over something that’s only happening in your head.

It’s still hot here in San Diego. That said, it cooled down over 10 degrees and there was a hint of thunderstorm activity (it rained for 14 seconds), so that helped. Kitten has been living in the sink (it’s the coolest place in the house)…

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There’s yesterday’s baby thunderstorm…more noise than product (ha ha ha…wait a minute, I’m still talking about the Prez).

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I did finish the stitch down…with two fans on me. One was on my face and one on my body. Too damn hot. Lights off (hard to see). My lights in here give off heat, unfortunately. I should fix that.

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In the middle of sewing, I had an art group meeting down at Bread and Salt…I love the murals that keep popping up…and this one, melting, was appropriate.

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Then back to stitching…I didn’t have much left.

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Somewhere in the middle of all that stitching, I saw this. This morning, I redid my fridge whiteboard calendar for the next 5 weeks…and the first day of school is in that last week. NOOOOOOOOO. Yeah. OK.

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I don’t have any money to spend right now, but eventually I’ll have to do all that too.

Here’s the back of the stitched-down front…

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I always check the back to see if I missed stitching anything down. Sometimes I catch it here, before I change the needle out, but usually not.

It was hot enough for a bunny to sprawl on the driveway…we debated putting water out for them. Then we get mosquitoes though. Ugh. Solutions? I hate maintaining fountains (I suck at maintaining fountains. And the water heats up so fast. You see me dumping ice cubes out there all day, yeah? Maybe.

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So before he moved the glass, it was better…there was a horse on the left and a brontosaurus on the right. You can still sorta see them. (yes, I see things in beer foam. I see things everywhere.)

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We came back from (air-conditioned) dinner and I did four more of the orange balls. It was way to hot to have the wool on me, so I quit after four. I think there are 9 or so left.

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And at the meeting, I did more of those coral-colored flowers. They are tiny and cool, but a pain in the ass.

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I also noticed that in the quilt that Sue Spargo did, she stitched French knots all over the wild dog. I like that. But I don’t know if I have enough of that thread to do that, so I’m going to wait until the end? And then probably forget about it. Not sure how to make sure I remember? Maybe write it on the instructions for the last month? That would be smart.

I wanted to draw last night, but I drank too much water and my belly got unhappy and then I got tired and I just couldn’t deal with anything else. I’m hoping to do better today. I know I don’t have jury duty tomorrow, but I have to call in again tomorrow night. One day at a time…one more medical appointment conquered tomorrow, and then hopefully I’ll get Tuesday off as well, because I’m supposed to pick up a quilt and go to the chiropractor (I really need that one)…but we’ll see. Meanwhile, I just need to make art like I’m never going to get any more free time, don’t I? And keep conversing. I’m not writing off the human population…I often want to, and I’m sure they feel the same way about me, but I’d really just rather live in a peaceful, respectful, caring world that doesn’t kill people for their beliefs. Crunchy hippie. I know.

And Eight, Eight, I Forget What Eight Was For*

Maybe a nap a day, a tiny nap, a throw-your-head-back-on-the-couch kinda thing, a moment or less than 20 minutes of closed eyes and not reading stuff on the phone…maybe that’s a good thing. It doesn’t feel normal, but apparently it’s what I need at the moment. Today, though, today I’m going to have to come home and get right to work…if I want to be effective at all. Good to know ahead of time. Yesterday, I left school and went straight to Joanns (hell) for thread and batting. It was almost empty, so it was a good thing. Sometimes I’m incredibly efficient. So maybe that nap on the couch between 6 and 6:15 PM was because I’d been ON and GOING for hours. I see my brain poking ahead in the lesson plans, looking for the movie days, which are the only days we teach this unit where we get a break at all. It’s exhausting.

I know there are cultures where napping is normalized for adults. I know old people are allowed to nap. Little kids nap (well…mine stopped at age 2). I do worry that I seem to be more tired right now than usual. What’s causing that? (a lack of sleep, you dingdong.)

So the pluses are that (1) I finished all the stitch down last night…

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I had done some estimating of time based on previous quilts, but this one was quick and easy, shorter than I thought. That’s a good thing on my inexorable stomp toward getting it done.

I was done well before midnight, too, so I took the batting that I had just bought and washed…

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And I trimmed a piece the size of the quilt. What I really should have done next is piece the backing.

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I was apparently too tired for that. I found two pieces that were big enough to piece, and I laid them out on top of the quilt, but that was it.

So I have quilt class tonight. What I’m going to try to do is leave school in a timely fashion (shouldn’t be hard, although I’m blowing off the World Cultures’ Fair, oh well), come home, piece the backing, clean the entryway floor, and pinbaste the quilt, so I can take it to class and start the quilting. Sometimes pinbasting takes a long time. Usually it doesn’t. I have about 2 hours. That’s a medium amount of time. Not a lot. So no naps today, eh?

But if I start quilting today, that’s going to take me about 10-15 hours. So I’m still in the range here. I could do it. I should probably email the photographer. Maybe Saturday? When I have more done? I haven’t even looked at next week yet…I just know it’s painful.

Well and then there’s this thing.

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I think she’s happily napping here. Dogs do it so much better than humans.

Ok, gonna have to drag my tired self to school. Today we start with reproductive anatomy. Can you hear the screams from here?

*Violent Femmes, Kiss Off

Gonna Give My Heart Away*

Sometimes I sit here in the morning, staring at the computer, wondering what it is I want to say. What is important. Or more like, what do I need to get out of my head so I can get through the day and get stuff done. It helps me to parse it out, do this, do that, get this, get that. Each day is a discrete space where these 10 things will happen. It’s OK if some of those 10 things move to another day (that happens all the time) or if other things pop in, but I have a better chance of finishing some of those things if I clear my head and populate it with bullet lists.

Today is teaching renewable vs nonrenewable energy (need to publish the post for that and look up what I thought were reasonable claims from last year). Today I can start grading tests from last week, because grades are done. Today I will be at the tutoring center and I need to go to the grocery store (twice in one week? Bad planning) on the way home. I need to clean the entryway floor so I can pinbaste my quilt (I finished stitch down last night!). I need to cook dinner and pinbaste and hopefully start quilting.

That’s not so bad, right? It all sounds very doable. Other stuff will pop up, but let’s start with that.

Yesterday, I came home and prepped a quilt for delivery to a show today. My mom is delivering it, because all the hours for delivery are during my work day. Sigh. She’s also delivering my co-artist’s piece, because he’s out of state. So that’s not a small thing. I appreciate her doing that. It’s a pain being an artist sometimes.

After dinner, I started working on stitch down. I wanted to finish…at this point, it did not seem like I would…

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There’s always a point where it feels like you will never be done. Last night, I did 12 minutes, then took a 45-minute break (not sure what happened there…probably the dinner was in the oven). Then I sewed for 11 minutes and obviously ate dinner, because there’s a 2-hour break. Then I stitched for 14 minutes and there was a 17-minute break. I think I peed a dog or two and then posted something on Facebook for one of my art groups. Then 35 minutes with a 20-minute dog-playing event? Or maybe the 17-minute break was playing with dogs. A final 32 minutes to finish.

They tell you to take lots of breaks. Luckily (?) I have the dogs to remind me of that.

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All stitched down and draped over the ironing board. Tonight I’ll get her to the next stage…and hopefully beyond.

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I’ve been doing a half-assed job on Instagram with the hashtags #igquiltfest, which is skewed way far toward the traditional or modern quilter, and not the art quilter (which is partially why I did it) and #marchmeetthemaker, which is skewed toward the crafter/artist more…hard to say on that one, because Insta is fucking with my feed and I don’t see everything. Yesterday, I never posted, because one was about photography, and I use a professional photographer now (who is not online, so I can’t point you to him). I was trying to find one of my photos of my old setup with lights and tripod in the entryway, but they’re all hiding from me. Then #igquiltfest is about notions, and I’m not really overtly a notions person. I have the shit I use, but it’s not fancy. I use Machingers while quilting until the rubber wears off, and then I buy a new pair, about one a year. I covet scissors that are easy to use and sharp, because I do a lot of cutting. I need multiple seam rippers, apparently, I need lots of needles because I break them, they get dull, and I’m always quilting in the middle of the night, so I can’t run out and get more. I need safety pins, because yes, I still pinbaste. I’ve tried the sprays and hate them. I use Sharpies when I draw and Pigmas when I draw on my quilts. And the ever-present teflon sheet…I have about 4 or 5 of them. The cats like to chew on them, so sometimes I have to replace them when they get too many bite marks in them.

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That’s it really. But it’s too many words for Instagram, so I put it here. I can’t remember what today is…oh! Scrappy quilts! Well, hell…mine are scrappy to the moon and back. Probably not what the organizers were thinking of, but whatever.

This quilt, We Won’t Go Back, is going to be in Dia de la Mujer, opening Thursday, 6-9 PM, at The Front, Casa Familiar, in San Ysidro. I’ll be there eventually (long drive at the end of a long day).

This quilt, Earth Day, is going to be in Mind the Gap, opening next Thursday, March 15, at Southwestern College, 11 AM-1 PM. I will not be at that one, because well…work. Yeah. Feel free to take pictures and send them to me.

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More later about more shows…

*Portishead, Glory Box (I really like this song, but it’s problematic on the feminism scale. Like why do you need him to help you be a woman?)

Take That Look of Worry*

Well. That was the weekend. A lot of working. I think I graded on Saturday for close to 9 hours. Fun stuff. I obviously didn’t write here at all.

Friday, I finally finished the cover page for the new science unit. I didn’t have time Thursday, because I was grading units. I colored while kids were writing warmups and watching the short video we showed.

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Then driving through my town, following this guy. Sigh. Big fucking sigh. I wonder how the other person’s family feels about that. I wonder how you’d feel about that if the teacher didn’t throw themself in front of the shooter on campus…the one you allowed to be armed…because they put their family first.

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Yeah whatever.

Apparently the Tivo is warm. I wanted to persuade him to lie on the DVD player too…duster cat.

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It looks like he tried to…

For one of the online March things, they wanted us to take a picture of our machine…this is one of 4? I think 4? A Singer and 3 Vikings. I usually get my mom’s hand-me-downs, but I had one become overly temperamental when I was in the middle of a major quilt, and mom’s wasn’t working for me. So this was my early Christmas present in 2016.

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Honestly I don’t know how people afford machines that can do what I need them to do (which is sew fast and strong without fucking up). This is a Viking Husqvarna Sapphire 855. It was used when I got it, but my repair guy sold it to me with a warranty, as long as I bring it in every year. I can do that. It’s going in the end of this month actually.

So Saturday, I did spend most of the day with these guys on the couch with me.

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I also binge-watched the rest of The Expanse while grading. And some other stuff.

Then for Sunday, they wanted to see the space where we work. I mostly have all my sewing stuff in the same room I have my computer crap…so it’s school and art…and copyediting, when I’m doing that. It needs a serious remodel, but that’s not in the cards at the moment.

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It’s a tight fit with three tables, three bookshelves (well, technically four), and a ton of fabric. I move the ironing board around based on what I’m doing…but on Saturday, the ironing was set up…and there’s the other view. It’s a little chaotic.

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But it works.

More puppy sitting with me. I lost him for a bit…because he was on the couch behind my head.

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There’s the pile of science units I brought home with me. I did two periods Friday night after I got home from delivering a quilt…that was about 3 1/2 hours, I think.

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So probably 13 or 14 unpaid work hours this weekend. One night, I didn’t have the energy to do anything else, so I sewed balls on.

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I think we were watching a movie. I did start tracing Wonder Under on the next piece too. Barely. That might be crazy.

Then Sunday, after all the errands, I finally found the time to iron the bodies down. You can see one of the gaps, though, above her shoulder. That’s the fun part…trying to make everything fit…especially hard when the ironed background is solid like this one. So I had to do some fussy stuff…in there, I just inserted another piece of the darker blue.

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Down by her left hip, I added more land. Somehow, I got the other side to fit.

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I’m not entirely sure how. Then I put down all the other little bits, the screws, the shoe, the music maker, the words.

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And ironed it all to the background. I like it. The movement is nice. Same with the colors…

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Oh, yeah, and so you can see the studio mess is genetic…here’s my mom’s. BIGGER! Yes. That would be nice. You can’t even see the longarm. I don’t know if I will ever have this much space…probably not. Oh well.

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We went out to dinner with my parents, because it’s my birthday this week.

Then I came home and started the stitch down…

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I got about an hour and a half into it…including all the metallics, which stitched down really well.

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I got a lot of the earth stitched down and most of this figure. So not halfway, but maybe close.

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So I could finish tonight? Sandwich and pinbaste? Start quilting tomorrow? That would be cool. Quilting will give the outlines I want…details.

I did finish grades on Saturday. That’s a plus. They’re due Tuesday. But I have to be in early this morning for some stupid meeting. Three early mornings this week. Ugh. But positive stuff on the quilt. Positive stuff on grades being done (although now I have to grade the tests). I just need to get a lot done this week (unlike other weeks…laughing. Whatever.).

*Phil Collins, Take Me Home

All That

Ah, December 31, the last day of the year, the day you evaluate everything that happened in the last 365 days (hint: you only remember the super ups and downs mostly) and try to make resolutions for the next 365 days. Is it a leap year? Nope. Then I don’t have to come up with a plan for one more day. Oh good.

As a teacher, I usually make my resolutions in June (I am NEVER doing that again, stuff like that) or August (That would be a GREAT idea, but if it’s not, then it just quietly slides back into the mud or I angst about it for a while before it slides). I resolve to keep trying to make art every day, to keep trying to balance my job and my personal life, to keep the house less chaotic. I will fail horrifically at the last two and soldier on with the first. So there we are. I’d like to try to meditate every day again, but I made that resolution back in August and have sucked mightily at it every day since then. I would also like to exercise more…more dog walks, more hikes, and more gym visits. Maybe that’s the only thing I need to keep in my head…it is probably the most important at the moment.

I’m going to make a list of stuff that needs doing around the house…then maybe some of them will happen. My house is seriously in need of repair, after 15 years post-divorce with no spare cash to fix stuff, let alone remodel. I made it through the living room area, but there are other spaces that need help, and maybe this is the year we start that. I guess last year’s great accomplishment was cleaning out the garage…that was 20 years of accumulation. Thanks to the boychild for that assist. Maybe I should aim for this summer being the great studio/office redo…pull the wallpaper and the peeling flooring, which means pulling My Fabric Stash outta here, and then redoing all of it. New window would be nice. Certainly a cleaner space. Not sure it’s doable, but it’s certainly something I can put on the list, maybe price out what flooring would cost for one of the smallest rooms in the house. Next on the list? A bathroom. Or three. A kitchen. See, those are all big expenditures. Not happening with college still on the to-pay list.

But the brain, it thinks about things to change. Actually making change is hardest. As always.

Some things never change. Dog hugs.

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Yesterday, we went to a basic falconry class that was a Christmas present…it was very cool, not just to see the birds up close, but to learn about how they’re trained…and that they can fly away at any time when hunting.

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Beautiful birds…the one above is a falcon; below is a Harris hawk.

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It was a beautiful day, nice location. I’ll hopefully have photos of my experience sometime soon.

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Afterward, there was food and drink…this ice pattern was the closest we got to winter here in sunny Southern California. Where climate change continues to affect us, right?

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I came home and had some time before the next event…realized I was 4 days behind on this and did some filling in at the top to make it less bumpy.

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Tonight will be the last stitch on it.

Then out to see the band, at a campground on the bay. Strange venue, with the band inside this building with the ice cream store, but all the chairs outside. So I sat out there and listened and drew…not surprising to see this after watching them up close.

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I’ve always drawn birds, but rarely look at photos of them. They’re all fantasy birds. These guys had such long feathered legs and a square stance. I put him in this drawing…

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And then drew this after a long, drawn-out and semi-torturous text thread with the kids about dinner tonight, which the parental units rejected in the end. Whatever…

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I’m kind of annoyed with the whole world at the moment. Probably need to get out and about and get some shit done for that to change.

I came home to a cat who wanted to be up close and personal. Not a lap cat. A chest cat. My chin resting on you cat.

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Too close. Can’t stitch. Pushed him off and worked on the blocks from the Social Justice Sewing Academy. Sewing through glue sucks. But I got more done. So that’s a plus.

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I’m not ready to look 2018 in the eye yet. I’m having a hard time getting too excited about it. Maybe that’s why people make resolutions? I don’t know. Like close out the year and write it off, have gratitude for the good things, resolve to change the bad things. Then it’s a tool for change. OK. Well. I’m still gonna have an idiot as President. I’m still gonna be making art about it. I’m working on some other stuff, positive stuff. I made some changes in 2017…I’ll make some changes in 2018. You’ll see them here. Have a good New Year’s Eve tonight…stay safe and warm as needed. Think I’m gonna read my book and go for a walk and stitch some. Cross some shit off a list. Pet some animals. Maybe play a game. Drink some tea. Eat a decent meal or two. Maybe draw. That. All that.

Wondering if I’m Blind*

OK. I’m working on daily to-do lists at the moment. Yesterday’s started with 6 things on it; I ended up crossing off 8 (yes, that’s more than 6, why do you ask?) and transferring 3 to today’s list. Today’s list is starting with 7 things. Hopefully those won’t grow.

Stitchdown took a total of 7 1/2 hours, but I finished…with a lot of furry Not-helpers…

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Jockeying for the ultimate cat sleeping spot. He stirred occasionally when I would move the quilt around, but mostly didn’t care that his bed was disturbed AND vibrating.

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All stitched down. I think. Because I missed the spaceship AND the moon at one point.

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Then I had to go buy batting, wash it, and dry it…before I could pinbaste. So I did some other stuff while I was waiting…like two nights’ worth on this…bottom right, filling in space.

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Then because I was waiting for the boychild to finish making dinner (that was awesome cool, by the way)…I pulled this out. This is Sue Spargo’s 2014 Block of the Month, and yes, it takes me forever to do these, but it’s good to have something to stitch on at meetings and soccer games and all that. Seriously, I think this whole quilt came together on the soccer fields…

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I just need to stitch on 96 balls and then embellish them and I’m done. With the top.

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When I put it that way, it sounds like a bit much. Yes, it’s taken me a year to get to this point. You’re right. I’m OK with that. I have the one from the year before that is pinbasted and sitting in the pile with two others to be quilted. I should do that sometime. I think it’s less about finishing these and more about having something in my hands to work on…which is fine.

And then I pieced the back…yes, with the most non-matchy fabrics I could find. I needed 4 yards. I wasn’t buying 4 yards. I had two yards of the leaves, another yard and a half of the green and red stripe, plus some purple to fill in. It’s OK.

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It’s the back. I don’t care. If you do, then insert some rant about how women don’t really fit in, we have to be a little bit of everything, even when it doesn’t make sense.

This morning? Blood tests I didn’t even know I needed (doctor’s office still hasn’t answered me about that), take down of a show I was actually in, and then back here to pinbaste. Why didn’t I do it last night? It was on my Monday to-do list. Because once I got the backing pieced and ironed, it was 11:15. So I didn’t want to stay up another hour and a half when I knew I had to get up relatively early today to get stabbed. I think I’m OK on time…I’m figuring 20 hours for the quilting and another 6 or 7 for the binding. I need to remember to buy binding fabric on Friday. Because Saturday will be crazy. Well. Friday might be too…certainly JoAnns was hellish yesterday. Whatever. I got 50% off my batting. My depression-era grandma would be proud.

OK, making the tea I can’t drink until after the prod and poke. Then off to do stuff so I can come back and do more stuff.

Oh yeah, and I graded one of the six assignments. Five to go.

*Sister Hazel, All for You