Promises Me I’m Safe as Houses*

March 8, 2018

I left school early yesterday…meaning I walked out the door within 30 minutes of the school day ending. I wanted to walk the dogs…it’s been a while. So I walked in the frong door, put them out to pee, and changed into dog-walking attire…so as soon as they came in, they were excited, running around, woofing woofing woofing. They know what it means.

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This has seemed like the safest place to walk lately, in terms of coyote incursions. We know they’re there…but I’ve never seen them in the 3-mile loop I do with the dogs. Boychild has seen them further out. I figure if I can’t see them, I’m probably OK…

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Plus the dogs like all the good smells…

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And it’s apparently spring there…plus there were 5 runners and at least 5 bikers.

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But there we are. Coyote. On the flat open area. I yelled at him, picked up the little dog, and took the other branch of the trail. He didn’t budge. Even followed us a bit. Sigh. Well next week it will be light longer, so hopefully coyotes subscribe to daylight savings time and will stay hidden for another hour.

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Girlchild says I should walk where there are no coyotes. No such place exists. I know they have a place here…it’s just scary with the dogs.

My TV-watching companion is working hella hours at work lately, so I was on my own for dinner. Read my book…book club is next week already again and I am not done. Nowhere near done.

Then I started quilting. Quilting is relaxing. Meditative.

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Especially when the machine is being nice and stitching with no issues.

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I got all of the water/land of the Earth done, and some of the sky around the figures.

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I did a little outlining on the figures and this caduceus (can’t spell it; can’t pronounce it!).

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Not even halfway, but I did quilt for 2 1/2 hours last night. Tonight I have an opening to go to, so I don’t know how much I’ll get done. We’ll see.

For #marchmeetthemaker, I posted some of my process…because I finally got it down. It helps me get stuff done. What do I do next? I already know. I draw. Then I trace. Cut the Wonder Under. Iron it to fabric. Cut the fabric. Iron the pieces together. Iron it to a background. Stitch it down. Sandwich and pinbaste. Quilt. Bind. Repeat.

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It’s working for me. Has been for quite a few years.

The next two nights are kind of busy, but hopefully I’ll get some quilting in…then finish it up Saturday? I have stuff to do Saturday and Sunday…if I want to buy binding fabric, it probably has to be Saturday. This is part of why I think everything out. When will I have time to go get binding fabric if there isn’t enough of something here? Now Saturday is in my head as Go-Get-Binding day. I might even write it in the calendar (probably should).

Now I should probably get to school…morning meetings suck. And yet they still exist.

*Depeche Mode, Never Let Me Down Again

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It Shines Like Destruction*

February 20, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Eurythmics, Love Is a Stranger


Like a Leper Messiah*

February 13, 2018

The girlchild is currently observing lemurs in the middle of cellular nowhere. I might hear from her on Thursday. I’m kinda glad she’s far away, because there are apparently no showers. I am looking forward to lemur pictures though.

Meanwhile back here, I managed to walk the dogs yesterday on my day off…this does in fact feel like a great achievement. It’s hard to get those walks in when I’m dealing with meetings etc. after work and the sun goes down so early. This is one of the few walks where we haven’t seen coyotes yet…

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Oh, I know they’re there…they’re just not in my face, so I’m reasonably OK with it. I try to avoid sundown, best I can.

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The green popped up from the little bit of rain we got two weeks or so ago.

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There’s still water in the stream…

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And there’s more and more of the weird cones protecting some plant that’s supposed to grow here. Makes for a strange landscape sometimes.

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But it tired the assholes out, so that’s good. No barking at night. Some cranky snapping at the cat. He misses Midnight.

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We all do…

I finished a quilt…this is BirdFoot. It’s ancient, like 2007. We watched Hidden Figures (good!) and I sewed the sleeves on. I’ll get it photographed the next time I go in to the photographer.

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I probably kept track of how many hours were in it up until it became a quilt top, but who knows where…in a calendar I tossed years ago? Yeah, probably. Oh well. I can estimate based on stuff similar to it, luckily.

I started ironing late…

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I did a lot of things in the sky. Not all of them. I still need to pick some more purplish fabrics for the last little bit.

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I did get into the 300s though…not quite halfway, but close. Next up is flesh, and that’s time consuming.

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Here’s everything used so far…and the pile to be cut out.

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Today’s gonna be a really long day, but it’s all good…I’m going to have work in another show and I need to go get a piece from another artist. Long story. Maybe later. There’s no rest for the already busy, apparently.

*David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust


Some People Call Me Maurice*

January 2, 2018

Well, luckily I’m not one of those people who looks at what happens the first day of the year and decides that’s how the whole year is gonna play out. Sigh. I’m definitely in a mood though. Late start on this today…had to get up and buy cake mix to make a birthday cake for the kid who is camping in the middle of nowhere to avoid a birthday dinner. Whatever. And my grandma died yesterday. I knew it was coming…but that never really makes it easier.

Grandma would have been 108 this month…I know she was depressed and tired of her existence, but she was still active up until a few months ago. This is one of my favorite pictures of her. She was beautiful, sassy, and funny. I was supposed to go visit her last week or this week, but couldn’t get anyone to go with me. I knew she wouldn’t recognize me, so I didn’t really want to go alone. But it’s probably better to remember her like this anyway.

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Sad.

The boychild was supposed to check in with me. The girlchild finally texted him. I guess unless the bunnies learned how to use the phone, this is proof he was alive.

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Although this morning, he sent me this…so at least we know he’s seeing cool stuff.

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Girlchild and I took the dogs on a long walk…

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More for us than them, I think. Lots of people out on the trail on the first day of the new year.

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Although not a lot on this portion…

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I felt a need to hike all the way out to this thing. They REALLY don’t want us on there. It’s so tempting because of that.

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More weird landscapes in the wildlife reserve…

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The weather was nice, not too warm. The dogs were fine, although Simba had to sniff everything.

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Here he is conked out on the girlchild. He’s getting supremely spoiled.

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I finished grading the big school assignment and input all the grades so far. I have two assignments left, one of which I’m leaving for my TA. Then there are 70 emails with makeup work. I don’t have to finish those this week. I could. But I don’t have to. Tomorrow, I have two hours of professional development as well. Whoopee. Hopefully it will be useful. I did get to choose what I wanted to develop…although honestly, as an introvert, I’d rather stay home and do it. Just give me the damn slides with links and let me do it by myself.

I’m still pushing thread through glue on this. A sharp needle helps. I’m amused by the spacing at the end. I’ve only done the lighter purple letters. I’m debating using orange or lime green on the dark purple letters. Then I have two more blocks to finish. I’m not particularly fast at this.

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I’m doing that in the evening instead of the stitch a day…I’m not doing that again. It was cool, but I’m done.

Then I sorted all the pieces for the little quilt that’s in process.

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I’m going to work on that a bit today, then do some drawing, maybe try to grade the one last assignment, and go to the gym. Finish my book. Put all the wrapping accoutrement (no, WordPress, you don’t know how to spell that) away. I’m making a cake. Mail my holiday cards. That’s about it. I’m sad…about grandma, about the boychild being gone on his birthday. This is the first birthday I’ve missed with him. 2017 was the first birthday I missed with the girlchild. I guess that’s when they’re really grown up, eh? Or antisocial.

I will try to work through the sad today and turn it into some sort of artistic achievement day. Because. That’s best.

*The Steve Miller Band, The Joker


Happiness Hit Her Like a Bullet in Her Back*

November 11, 2017

I never get as much done on a day off as I think I can. Somewhere in there I lose about 4 hours and then it’s dark and dinner time. I can’t really explain it. Time travel or something.

Anyway, most importantly, I walked the dogs yesterday. It had been a while, just because of the weather and the time change and life in general, so I tried to walk them into the ground.

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The puppy was tired about halfway in, but he always gets a second wind when we start back.

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It was a nice cool day with pretty clouds interspersed with sun…

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And very few people on the trail…

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Mostly they were all at the beginning of the trail having their holiday card photos taken. Apparently a popular spot.

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I wanted to tell the one girl she was probably standing in poison oak, but whatever.

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Certainly if she stood on one of those gourd things with her spiked heels, she would never get the smell out.

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I have no idea why these are flagged…

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Maybe there’s seeds in there? I just don’t know…

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Anyway, the dogs were tired out for a bit. They were very excited to be walking, so that’s a good thing.

I did something on the left. I used to be so good about telling you what stitch and where and what color. Not so much by day 314 apparently.

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Then back to the tracing. This photo is for Sion…because yeah, they are smaller than my fingernail. I could stitch them or paint them or whatever, but I don’t. I cut them out of fabric.

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I am aware of my insanity, yes.

So I finished…8 yards total…here’s 5 of them…

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And the other 3…

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I got one cut out last night, the easiest one, the one with a big empty space on it. Calli was supremely helpful.

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It took 15 1/2 hours to trace everything. Usually it takes less time to cut out the Wonder Under.

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I want it all done and sorted by next Saturday. It seems doable, although I do have a bunch of stuff to deal with this week.

Supposedly I am hiking today as well, but it might mean bouncing someone out of bed. Which seems mean, because I got to sleep in yesterday, but…with the day ending so early, it’s gotta happen sometime.

I’m really excited about this quilt. I think it will be very cool looking. I can’t wait to see it.

*Florence and the Machine, Dog Days Are Over


Stay Wilder Than the Wind*

September 16, 2017

Late writing today…not because I slept all day…ah ah aha ha ha ha. OK. Teacher humor. But yeah, I’ve put in a few hours of grading today already…trying to free up my evening for artmaking…which in this case is really just hours of scissoring. With scissors. Just to be clear.

But I do like the school days when I get to do art as well…so yesterday was the start of a new unit, so I did my cover page…

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I like it better than last year’s…mostly because it’s missing last year’s mistake. So yeah, I got to color on Friday. For my job. That’s awesome.

Which is good, because that was really all the artmaking that happened, being gaming night. I’m training to do runes…but I need a hammer and a ton of money.

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A late-night trip to the grocery store…this never makes me feel safe…

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I finished the block on the left…block 15? I think? While gaming. And started on the elephants. It took me about halfway around the baby elephant to remember how to do coral stitch…the book I use is usually quite good, but for some reason, I couldn’t figure this one out until I looked it up online and then went…OOOoohhh…that makes more sense…

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This morning started with some school work…grading of course…but then a 3-mile hike with the dogs…and a random coyote who was quite vocal and nerve-wracking…and then gave up and went to sleep.

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Tired the damn dogs out at least.

I had been looking at Blocks 15 and 16 and trying to figure out how I was supposed to sew this moon thing on…oh yeah. Sew the damn blocks together. So I did. This is Blocks 4 and 5 sewn to 9 and 10 sewn to 15 and 16. I think. That doesn’t make sense though numberwise. Something like that. I realized after that I should have trimmed them before I sewed.

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That’s some crooked elephant stuff down there. I’ll figure it out…don’t worry. But it’s looking pretty good so far.

Kitten has decided the dog bed is the right size for her…and she’s pushed the blinds to the side for a kitten-sized window out to look at the front yard…mostly at the bunnies.

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She’s still not comfortable coming out here by herself with Satchemo in the house, but both of them were on the bed this morning. Only a little hissing happened. It’s a VERY slow process that involves a lot of petting and treats.

Anyway, I’m grading (and cleaning house a bit) for the next two hours, and then dinner plus artmaking afterwards. That’s the plan anyway. We’ll see how it goes in reality.

*Duran Duran, Come Undone


Crazy Thoughts Have Quick Wings*

August 22, 2017

Eclipses are cool y’all. That’s all I have to say about that.

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NASA has way better pictures than I do…not surprisingly.

I’m realizing that I’m still adjusting to new eating times…blood sugar was wacky yesterday, but then I figured out that we have a different schedule on Mondays. Hence my body’s complete confusion by the end of the day. Working on it. Still. Forever.

I’m a little tired this morning. Sure, I went to bed late, but I do that a lot. Puppy wanted to bark at everything last night though, so I remember 1:53 AM and 3:21 AM and 5:38 AM. I think those were all coyote responses, but I’m not sure. Ugh. Still can’t keep my eyes open all the way. Blargh.

Tired the dogs out after school yesterday…apparently not enough for Simba. We did over three miles…

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I love how the old seed pods are mixed with the new…castor bean plant. Freaky beast.

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I did…um…oh yeah! the three roses on the bottom right. It’s a stitch called rambling rose, which consists of French knots and stem stitches. Very simple.

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I was mostly horizontal with Simba. He liked me then.

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Eventually I made it upright and cooked some dinner. On Mondays, that usually means reheating leftovers…because if I’m not getting back to the house until after 7 PM, it better be easy.

So I had enlarged this one just because I thought it should be a quilt. And I taped it just to get it done. It’s not huge.

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Who knows when she’ll get made…I have a waiting list at this point.

Then I started tracing the newest piece. The pieces are bigger than what I usually do.

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I was really trying to keep it simpler than some of my recent pieces. We’ll see how that goes. I only traced about 87 pieces in an hour. Not bad. Not spectacular. But because I don’t have a lot of grading when I get home at the moment, it means all I have to think about is art stuff. So as long as I can fight the tiredness, I can get some stuff done. That gets harder as the year goes on. That part always stresses me out. I’m trying to keep my head in a positive place about school…I wonder if admin realizes every crazy-ass thing they do, messing with the master schedule, assigning yet another thing to teachers to keep track of, making us do a 2-hour homeroom with lunch 45 minutes late. We absorb all of it, try to cope, adjust the peeing/eating schedules, take lots of deep breaths, and come home and walk three miles out in nature to clear our heads. Yeah. Well.

*Jem, Save Me