Everything Takes a Lot Longer…

I had two weekday mornings to sleep in, and now I’m up early again. Ah school. Yes. I’m coming. Apparently parking will be an issue, so I’m debating getting a Lyft…what are the odds that they can find my house? Hmmm. Who knows.

I remember this about summer…everything takes a lot longer than you think it will. Here’s the pluses: I have everything I need to fix the sink area. I also learned how to use a tile saw. I hate saws. They scare the crap out of me. I’m pretty convinced I’m going to cut off my hand every time I use one. But I did it anyway. Progress! Home Depot twice in one day! Now that’s summer. Some day I’ll find the money, time, and energy to do the carpet in the rest of the house…that’ll be a crazy summer. Or remodel the kitchen! Need a lottery ticket on that one.

Anyway, I did manage some artsy stuff as well. I think I spent close to 5 hours writing a blogpost about the art and poetry exhibit one of my art groups, Feminist Image Group (FIG), had back in December. Precisely why did I take so long to even start it? Because I knew it would take a long time. You can read it here. There’s finding all the photos and resizing them and finding all the titles and artist names, but then also checking for permissions on the poems and then copying, reformatting, and in some cases retyping those. But it’s posted! Now I can move on to the more recent show. I also posted a quick thing to the other art group whose blog I manage, California Fibers. We had our website professionally redone and I’ve never used Squarespace before. It seemed fairly straightforward. All that stuff takes time. I do it because it matters; it makes those groups better.

My next mental task (despite the work I’ll be doing today) is to figure out what I can do for the refugee problem here in the US…with kids being locked up with no essentials for days, weeks, months on end. I don’t have a lot of spare money. I might have airline miles. I feel like being in San Diego, close to the border, there must be something else I can do besides Paypal. But I don’t know what it is. I can’t even formulate a drawing in my head…and drawings don’t save kids’ lives. Or adults for that matter. It’s true I didn’t vote for this president…and the people who are in office who I did vote for, they are pretty vocal. They need to be more so. Sometime today I’m going to figure out how I can contact those people and do so. In between smart-designing middle schools. Or whatever I’m doing today. The NPR news report I heard yesterday about the conditions in the facilities where they are holding children was disgusting. This is not the America I want to live in. There is no excuse for this. No wishy washy lawyer language that makes it OK.

With that in my heart this morning, I’ll be off to work to figure out how to teach kids. Refugees some of them.

I did some sewing stuff yesterday…I just realized that I missed the leaves on the bottom right. Duh.

That baobab fruit was in the way.

I traced this and it’s in my bag for the conference. I don’t like down time. I may not even pull it out, but at least I’ll have it. And a sketchbook.

Sitting for long periods of time sucks. Hopefully it will not be a lot of that. I need action. Not sitting.

I ironed for a little bit in the afternoon…

And then after dinner…all those fabrics for one succulent.

I had to stare at the drawing for a long time before I decided on hair color. Here’s everything I’ve ironed so far and a chaotic pile of all the fabrics.

I like to clean up before I start the next day…

It helps me see everything. I honestly don’t have much left…some clouds and rain, and the eyeballs. I think that’s about it. A rainbow. So I could easily be done tonight and starting on the trimming of the pieces.

My cold is still here, but barely. Hopefully tonight or tomorrow I’ll have the energy to walk the dogs. I need to start exercising. I’m feeling blah. Heavy. Tired! Still. OK. Work, then political crap, then art. Or all three will merge. We’ll see.

Too Many Threads; Not Enough Knots

Sheesh. What a morning. I’m efficient, but not efficient enough. Too many threads; not enough knots. What am I getting done? Some things. I filled a bunch of cracks in my driveway yesterday so they can seal it in a few weeks. I need to fill more, but need more sealant to do that (note: trip to Home Depot). The right eyelid is twitching again. It comes and goes. I’m trying to get enough sleep. I did better last night. I think that’s because the cold is getting better. Hard to sleep when you can’t breathe. I don’t know how many nights of 8 hours of sleep I will need to feel human again though…probably more than I can get in the next week. I will have to be up early tomorrow and Thursday, unfortunately.

Hey local SAQA members! We’re getting the group going again. I will be hopefully putting together a monthly meeting in the La Mesa/El Cajon area too…I want to meet once a month to just hang out and stitch stuff, and show what you’ve been working on. Nothing stressful or worklike. Just fun and hanging out. That’s my goal anyway.

What else did I do yesterday? I got a new chiropractor…my neck is still sore, but I think that’s my fault. Phone and computer and all. I spent a lot of time setting up stuff for a new blogpost for one of my art groups. It takes forever to find all the photos, resize them, find all the names of the artists and the artwork, and in this case, write names of poems etc. Some misunderstanding about Fair Use Laws…but I’m still working on that post. I have two more to do for that group and then I’m going to try to do the other group’s blog as well. Sometimes I hate all the stuff I take on for other groups, but I also know it benefits me in the long run. So I do it.

Sometimes it takes me a long time to get it done though. There just aren’t enough hours in the day for everything. This was my post-dinner, still-watching-American-Gods stitching…

Working on the tree. Nothing fancy here. I’m just doing this until I get my act together to start the next embroidery pattern sample. I picked threads and mocked this up…now I just need to transfer it to the fabric.

I’m doing this on a white fabric. I do love the black, but it’s a pain to transfer the pattern onto, and this one is complicated. I’ll transfer it later today and start embroidering hopefully tonight. I just realized I have no mock colors on the nipples, so I’ll have to figure that out. The pen colors aren’t particularly accurate either, but they’ll do to remind me of what I was thinking. I would do it differently if I could use more than 5 colors. I would use about 20 or so!

Kitten was blocking my access to the pink fabrics last night…

Speaking of colors! I was going to keep this quilt all in the muted range, and then my brain said, heck noes, you needz all the colors. So I went a little bright in her chest area.

It’ll be fine. There’s a lot of green and brown in this. Not sure what I’m going to do with her hair yet. That’s another large portion of the quilt.

OK, well I have plenty to do now…mostly filling in poems and sending emails and hoping people respond and then renting a tile saw and trying to figure out how to use it. Minor detail. I might even finish ironing sometime soon. Well. It’s taking me a long time. So maybe not today, but still soon. Ish.

What Kind of Heart Doesn’t Look Back*

First of all, I would like to thank that hyper little guy RB who was sitting in the front of my classroom playing Uno and coughing all over the desk (I even moved away from him) for the oogy feeling in the back of my throat right now. Ah yes, the gift that keeps on giving…a student cold. Woo hoo! Thank you thank you. C’mon immune system…I fed you avocado and bok choy…do your thing! I know I’m still tired and running low, but you can’t make me be sick on top of all of that. I need recovery time…not something else from which to recover. Sigh. Head down on desk. Go take your vitamin C. Again.

So things are happening around here. Cleaning (a little) happened. My office got straightened up so I could iron in here. The kitchen table is slowly appearing. This space…this space, I have not touched. At all.

Really, I could just blame the cat. But it wasn’t her fault. I’m not sure how to organize some of the stuff over there. That’s part of the problem. I think I need to buy two frames and maybe some matboard. And some organizers (NOOO…I hear my son yelling that there is no need to buy MORE things. I should just throw some out. I did do some of that yesterday too.). Whatever. I am a messy person, but a mostly organized messy person. My studio is a prime example. Of course, I would love to have a studio two or three times this size, but I’ve seen the genetics, and my mom’s studio looks just like mine. Except bigger. With more organizers.

I am considering boxing up the crazy quilt stuff and opening up that space…but it’s largely inaccessible space…so that doesn’t necessarily help. I’ll think about it. Certainly the blues, greens, purples, and whites have expanded beyond the bins I have. This was my straightening up before the new quilt…found a place for the completed embroideries, put all the fabric away from the last quilt, swept the floor…

Now I’m ready to iron. I didn’t actually do any of that until around 10 PM.

We spent 2 hours at the vet…ugh…Simba needs his teeth cleaned and Calli has some huge lumps that need handling.

We’ll be back on July 1 for those things. Fun stuff.

After dinner, we (I) had finally decided to get STARZ so we could watch American Gods. And I love it. Totally worth it. After eating, I finished the house on the first September Folk Tails block, which has been sitting around for months.

I think I’m taking this with me to all the design conferences I have this summer…I can’t sit and listen to people talk for hours. Then again, the one next week has 3 hours a day of Improv. Um. OK. My social niceties will be challenged. I guess it’s a good thing I’m there, for the introvert insight. Like you’re killing your introverts with all your plans! You need to give them the space to learn and create in a comfortable way too. I think people forget that when they plan shit. Unless they are one.

So after all that and whatever else I was putzing around doing (I exercised), I laid out the first 100 Wonder Under pieces…picked a background (I always have a few)…you can see it in the back there.

And starting picking fabrics. Ah bliss…

Here’s where the stress relief is…right here. This is what I’ve been waiting for…

Dirt and rocks…

Yeah. That’s good. Strangely, the quilt my Patreon community picked has those red rocks of the desert that we spent all of Spring Break driving and hiking around, but this drawing is a couple of years old. I had Earth Daughter and wanted to do some different versions of it, and this is the next one, Desert Daughter. Next up? Body parts and cactus. All good. This won’t take long. Then I should draw Ocean or Mountain Daughter? Maybe.

Today is not the day it will happen though. I’m fully booked, I think. Maybe tonight? We’ll see. I might just collapse.

Speaking of the Patreon, I just posted a video on there of me ironing a tiny face. It’s the second video of the month, so almost all my patrons will be able to see it…for only $2 a month, you can see me ironing the most tiny eyeballs ever. The next video is already edited…it’s me drawing…which is kind of cool to watch, I think. That will release the first week of July or so. Next up I need to do my June drawing for the Patreon…looking forward to that in the next week.

*Sara Bareilles, Breathe Again

Whole Days Turn into Holes in My Mind*

I keep staying up late to get art done, and then in the morning, my brain is mad about me for that, like it didn’t know about it last night? I think I just need some mornings that are 8 or 9 AM and not 6 AM. I’m really not a morning person. At all. I mean, I can handle the animals because they’re not too demanding really. They just want their breakfast and pets, and I can do that without too much effort. Plus the petting makes you feel nice and loved. Which is much better than how middle-school kids (and some of their teachers) make you feel during the last week of the school year. The plus is that we’re done with the sex ed. Today is a field trip (which is tiring and exhausting and sometimes stressful) and then movies in the classroom after. Thank god that psychotic principal who wouldn’t allow any videos isn’t here any more. “EVERY MOMENT IS EDUCATIONAL!” OMG dude, then put your ass in my place today after these kids get sugared up for 4 hours and sit in a classroom with them. Seriously.

The hardest part about today is that we have an award ceremony after school, so I’ll be there until at least 5:30. I might need a nap. Thinking about bean bag chairs for my room so I can sleep in there. Like I have time for that most days. Murphy bed in the prep room!

Yesterday after school, I did all the things. It took 30 minutes to find one file from two years ago on my computer. I’m not sure why. I must have been staring at it for ages and not seeing it. I need to run an updated budget to see what I can afford for a newer car. This one is about to start being really expensive. Which is unfortunate. But whatever. It got me through the college years. I also patched one teacher-friend’s jeans and cut and sewed alternative necklines on two sweatshirts for another teacher friend. And I cooked dinner.

After eating, I was working on that cow-like thing. I think it’s an African buffalo.

I finished him, whatever he is. Next on to the house.

And then I started cutting stuff out…

It was late. I didn’t finish. At some point, I did remember that I had a really long day today that is largely caffeine free (might be a mistake). Damn bowling alley doesn’t sell tea. There’s not much left to cut out, so that’ll be tonight…and hopefully sorting it out too. Then I can iron tomorrow, if I have any brain power left.

Speaking of brain power, it’s taking like 4 brains at a time to get stuff done. Here’s science and history…

Yeah, we buy matching shirts. Although only two of us know the rules about how to stand to make your waist look better. I like that my NOPE is the bigger one. We did get approved for both proposals for paid work this summer, though, so that’s cool. I do think my team is mostly awesome. It makes it easier. This is not an easy job. It’s not even always rewarding, which is why people say we do it for not enough money…but there are good people with good intentions, and this time of year, you see pictures of former students graduating with honors and that makes it all good. We know how shitty 7th grade can be for a lot of kids.

Anyway. I should go to work. I need a lot more caffeine and a chiropractor visit, but otherwise I’ll be good. I got my peeps.

*K.Flay, Giver

As We Drift into the Zone*

It’s the weirdest thing. You turn in your last grades of the school year, and all of a sudden, you come home and you don’t have any schoolwork to do. My brain panics a little. Wait. What do I do after work? I don’t have more work? (I mean, I do, but not like grading stuff, which is a never-ending thing along with planning for the whole school year and part of the summer.) I joined this teacher group for the year to try to cut some of my work hours, to streamline the shit so I can enjoy the not-shit more, and so many teachers are already on break and wondering why they can’t get going, why they’re still sleeping in the morning, still in pajamas at 2 in the afternoon. It’s called recovery. And I’m not there yet. My classroom is still a disaster. I’m still teaching sex ed today, plus there’s a school teacher breakfast, so I need to be in early. And then I also have a field trip tomorrow and another award ceremony, and then the sweet horrible wonder of the last day of school. I’m almost done getting everything put away in the classroom. Today I’m typing up the list of hazardous stuff we need to get rid of, so hopefully it can get picked up before they put summer school in my room.

Yesterday was exhausting. This whole last month has been exhausting. Frustrating. Stupid people stuff. Dumb adult drama. Too much work. Soon. Soon it will be done.

So I went home and walked dogs…

We went to the more open space…

The plants are changing color…

It’s been dry and hot in the last week. I had to put the sprinklers back on at home.

They scraped the road…it’s a fire break, so that makes sense. Less chance of getting ticks too, unless you’re the little boy and need to pee by standing on a bush.

No sign of coyotes…although you know they were there.

I know there’s cleaning to do. I need to sew some stuff (quick) for a friend. I need to do my second Patreon video. I found the videos I already recorded and downloaded them. Then I got distracted by something else. Easy to do when the brain is still so overloaded. The men around us teachers keep asking why we’re so irritated, emotional, distant, whatever. Um. So it’s really hard to explain how much emotion and care we put into our jobs. We think about kids nonstop. Not always with irritation! With worry. With sadness. With joy. With hope. So this week, we’re kind of a mess. Come back to me in July and I might have recovered. Mostly.

But I didn’t grade after eating dinner. I worked on this!

I haven’t been working on this at all, because I’ve been doing the embroideries. Which needs to start up again, but I have to do drawings first. Maybe later this week. I have one I want to simplify already. He’s not done, by the way. He needs nostrils and eyes and something on his horns.

I also started cutting stuff out…

I actually did one whole yard and the smaller piece, so I’m more than halfway done. I might be ironing to fabric by Friday. That would be cool. This could be a really fast piece. Of course, that means I’m forgetting all the other stuff that is going to suck up my days in the next week or so. But it’s OK to forget all that right now.

*Weezer, Island in the Sun

Everything Will Work Out

I did a lot yesterday. I marched. I stitched. I read. I ironed. A good day. I didn’t write, because I had to be out of here early, and I was not a responsible adult who went to bed early the night before, because…well…I can’t really explain that. I have stuff to do and it’s taking more time than I thought it would. As it always does.

I ended Friday with a kamikaze trip home after school to grab the dogs and run to the hills before we lost daylight…

With a little rain in the last few weeks, California gets green…so pretty. see the dog head down there.

It was still damp from a week’s worth of rain, but the skies were mostly clear.

We saw a million rabbits and hares, but only one coyote. Oh yeah, and this guy. Just sitting there as we walked past.

Yo. You’re supposed to be scared of people and dogs.

We were pushing it with the daylight thing, but it was a good walk for all involved.

The days are getting longer. This will get easier.

Saturday morning, I got up early and met a marching friend for brunch. I liked this cactus.

We went down and listened to music and speeches…sort of…while I stitched. I needed the mental down time. I didn’t want to stand. I’ve been standing all week. Two hours of standing is too much right now.

It felt good. Relaxing. Positive. And then we marched…because it’s important that we still represent…that the politicians can see that we’re still here and we’re still not happy with what’s happening, whether it’s immigration or women’s rights or issues of racism in our country.

I didn’t bring a sign this year. But I liked this one.

So true.

These were beautiful and heartbreaking. The immigrants who died in custody as they were trying to come here for safety. Children…

That’s not OK.

We need to be better than that. I hope we can be.

So I did some stitching Friday night during the movie watch…finishing up the August blocks…

So that whole section is done until I sew it to the next section, so I can finish the road and flowers on the other side of it.

I think I have to do the September blocks before that happens. Which I started at the march.

Didn’t get much done, but it’s a start. After dinner and some couple time, I came in here to iron…got another cat done…

And a snake…

And then the arm of Figure 4…

Along with a hurricane. I’m in the 900s. I’m getting closer to done. I’m hoping to work on it today as well, but I have school stuff, the slides for the talk tomorrow, and groceries. So I need to be efficient as hell to get to ironing as well. OK. Plan made. I also suspect I will need to iron Figure 4 by itself, instead of trying to fit it into what I’ve already ironed. It’s getting too large, too heavy, too unwieldy. But that’s OK. I’ll do Figure 4 and then see if I can add it to this. Or I might have to wait until I iron it to the background. It’ll be fine. Everything will work out. In time.

Truth Is Only Hearsay*

Feeling chaotic about this quilt. I really like what’s happening and I know I’ll be happy with it once it’s all ironed to the background, but at the moment, trying to iron all these crazy heads that are attached to each other, moving the teflon sheets around so I can iron the bit that’s attached to this particular head, it’s a little insane. It’s not SMALL either. So maneuvering it is also difficult. I don’t have one piece of teflon big enough, so I’m using two big pieces and one smaller piece at the moment, and detaching parts from the sheets so I can move those around to the current head. Also just a bit crazy.

But I like it. I’m looking forward to seeing what it looks like.

I’ve got the margarine containers full of pins and thread holding everything on the ironing board…

Quilts get really heavy at some point. Unwieldy and heavy. I was working on Figure 3’s head…I kept trying to iron the eye in place, but it wasn’t working because I couldn’t see the overlaps…I finally gave up and ironed it outside the face, so I could see it all.

I guess there’s a reason I usually do that. It was much easier.

I only had about an hour last night…but I got the head done…and Figure 2’s head in there, overlapping…

I need to add the cat on her head and the snake that’s hanging out around her neck…then Figure 3 is done and I’m on to Figure 4. Tonight is all about finishing the slides for the presentation I’m giving Monday night though. And work. Plus I’m marching tomorrow in the Women’s March. I guess we do that until that guy is out of office AND the other guys realize the Gillette ad is not a threat to their masculinity. Sigh. Thanks, Gillette, for trying.

What else last night? I had quilt class…

I worked on the antelope. I’m almost done with the horns, and then he has a symbol stitched on him. I also finished the flowers…there was one stitch I had to look up in the notebook of instructions (from January!) and so I remembered to bring that with me. But this month is almost done…August? September? I can’t remember. Slow progress on this lately, despite it being my go-to stitching.

Also, there was this…

Satchemo is the only cat I’ve ever (well, he’s not mine, so I don’t HAVE him) interacted with regularly who had a snotty nose. It’s like he has allergies. He sneezes. He needs his nose wiped. So I feel like he’s old enough (10 or so) to carry his own Kleenex. Apparently he agreed.

OK, parent meeting this morning, then teaching more elements stuff, then walking the dogs hopefully (the rain is supposed to be gone by this afternoon, if not earlier), then cooking dinner, slideshow, and MAYBE ironing. I’m already tired. Reading that made me tired. It’ll be fine. Really.

*The 1975, Love It If We Made It