Something Useful…

I’m writing late. I went to school today to distribute food. We ran out early, but hopefully will have more tomorrow. It was good to be out and doing something useful.

Yesterday, the boychild and I got a few more plants for the backyard. This one, a mallow, the leaves can be used for toilet paper…just in case, you know.

Plus the flowers are really nice. It got planted today in the misty rain. We also dropped a bag of stuff at Goodwill. Then did the social distance thing and walked the dogs in the middle of nowhere…almost. There was a picturesque mushroom.

And the skies were beautiful.

And I think the dogs appreciated it. I know I did. This sitting stuff is annoying.

What else did I do yesterday? Paperwork, started my taxes (and got frustrated about an hour into it trying to find documentation on a car that sold…aargh). I need that money though…to either get through the summer or pay off part of the girlchild’s college still.

After all that, and some food and reading, I worked on the braindead stuff…just stitch things down…except I already fucked one thing up. Oh well. The stripes on the bottom were supposed to go vertical. Not the end of the world. This is Sue Spargo’s Homegrown block-of-the-month. I was trying to decide what to take on our Spring Break trip, and Folk Tails (or is it Tales) is too big right now for that, so I was going through my stash and started a bunch at a time.

No worries. I’ll figure it out. It’s relaxing to stitch. I should do more of it. Although I suspect our trip is canceled. One of the parks is closed (although it doesn’t mention the campgrounds) and one of our Airbnb reservations canceled. We still have some hope, I guess. Or not.

Yesterday’s #marchmeetthemaker prompt was self care…it’s definitely this outside hiking stuff. It clears my brain…

And since my gym is now closed and the pilates studio is sure to be next, I’ll need more of this. Despite the rain.

Eventually I made it in to iron…

Got the head and torso done and started on the upper arm.

I’m watching Dead Like Me, which is appropriately amusing and dark, all at the same time. I might have to rewatch all the seasons of X-Files or Star Trek if worst come to worst.

That’s how far I got last night…almost done. So today, I need to ship my quilt to Fantastic Fibers before San Diego goes into secure lockdown, or whatever they’re going to call it. They say they will put up the show if the quilts get there, and I’m afraid if I wait any longer, the UPS place will be closed…or I won’t be able to ship. So I’m sending that today. And then I’ll work on ironing tonight again. Plus some reading. Some exercise…find the free weights and a good video or two. I think my gym provided some. And more thinking healthy thoughts.

An Every Night Thing

We’ve doing a lot of moving and covering of things around here. Kittens are playful but also in everything…from knocking stuff off bookshelves to crawling under paper drawings (UNDER, because that’s fun) to trying to sit in boxes of Wonder Under (I had a cat who would do that, and then I didn’t), to trying to eat fabric and pins and thread. I’ve been zipping things, piling things, heavy things so they can’t move them, picking up and saying no…gotta get them trained to NOT walk on the Wonder Under/fabric stuff. One cat used to knock the ironing board down by leaping off of it (it’s not a great ironing board in terms of balance…I haven’t been able to find a good one, so I’m using my grandmother’s…vintage and ancient, but not the most stable thing in the world.).

Here’s Luna after I moved my drawing (folded up), but I’m still trying to keep the pinned piece from Sunday night so she can’t get at the pins…this is right before she tried to whack the phone.

IN the box that is ON the paper that is covering the pinned piece. I don’t really have a studio where I can close the door, since it’s Kitten’s hiding spot and she needs access. They will get trained. Certainly it takes patience.

I kamikazed home yesterday after the staff meeting so we’d have most of an hour before sunset.

We were the only ones out there for a while, until three bikers showed up.

It was chilly out…weird cold front here in San Diego.

It was 85 degrees two days ago…today is 20 degrees colder.

The pro of hiking so close to coyote hour is the sky…

And the light. Anyway. Good to have exercise. They’re putting in a new parking lot in the next few months…should hopefully solve some of the issues we have parking here, although honestly, when the lot is full, it means there are a lot of stupid people out there doing stupid shit, so avoidance seems appropriate. We’ll see.

Last night, I spent some time working with art entries…I have some work that’s being considered for a show here in San Diego, although it will be open during times I can’t go, I think. Then two entries coming up that I need to figure out. I did get photos back from the most recent quilt. I’ll post them later, maybe tomorrow. They need resizing. The name of it just popped into my head after months of calling it something lame. Love that.

As always, I graded for a while…insert cute picture of kittens…

NOT rampaging through my shit. And a tired Simba after a walk.

His short little legs did 3.26 miles. Pretty exhausting. We like to tire him out because he’s a barky asshole otherwise.

Kitten’s catnip toy has seen better days…

They use a loose weave fabric so the catnip smell comes out, but then they don’t last. This one has done better than some. She loves this toy. She throws it up in the air and bats it around and rubs her head all over it.

Around 10, I made it into the now clean (ish) office, ready to start ironing the new quilt. We’re going to Joshua Tree this weekend, and I want stuff to cut out.

Plus now that I have all these looming deadlines, I need to get some work done.

I didn’t get very far…in the 70s?

But it’s a start. This part is fun. It’s the creative bit where I get to touch all the fabric. I can’t ignore the appeal of the tactile quality of fabric. Plus all the colors and patterns. Anyway. This is a good thing. An every night thing.

2020…May It Be Full of Art…

It was a good New Year’s Day…I never got out of my pajamas…the only thing better would have been a hike, and we have that planned for tomorrow.

Today is the boychild’s birthday…

Wow. That hair. He’s much taller now, hair is longer. Pretty sure he started those bangs the girlchild has…after some revisions by mom. He makes better decisions now. Or at least asks first. He’ll spend some time with dogs and maybe kittens, relaxing. May 2020 be awesome for him, whatever that means.

We hiked with the dogs on Tuesday (yes, I am losing track of days). Simba needed a carry assist at some point…we thought he might have something in his paw, but it might have just been a pulled muscle.

We took them out 4 miles to try to tire the boy out…the boy dog, that is. He’s been in bark mode. Plus we think he misses the girlchild. It was a gorgeous day for a hike…

I love the outside. Plus there was lots of water to look at and stomp through…

Check out that tongue. We definitely tired her out…almost enough to ignore the fireworks on NYE.

I quilted a little bit every day…like one person’s worth…

It was a goal I could handle. Finish one person. Then you get a break.

It stayed that way, one a day, until yesterday…

Yesterday, I finished the requisite person and then had the background staring at me…

I stopped for dinner and then finished quilting the whole thing…

It only took 3 1/2 hours…

So Kitten/kitten play has been happening…a little…

Mostly around corners and under quilts…

There was no hissing here…just play bopping. And this was after Nova went after Kitten’s tail, which was swishing around quite temptingly.

I did my daily drawings…this one from NYE was a little strange…

Here’s the first drawing of 2020…

I always feel like this is such a good practice, drawing every day, but the reality of my days during school are less conducive to this. Unfortunately. I’ve tried instituting a drawing a week, like Friday night, but time is so limited when I’m teaching that I sacrifice the drawing time to actual artmaking instead.

Nova on my sketchbooks…

Not the best footing.

OK, I have two quilts to deliver, a binding fabric to buy (no, I don’t have enough of anything to use for binding), and pilates class…plus grading. I did one period of the UGH assignments (it’s really two assignments put together) yesterday. It took about 2 1/2 hours, but I wasn’t really paying attention well and I will get faster. Or not. I don’t know. Four more periods of those to go…really need to do one a day. Plus decide what art I’m making next. Oh yeah, recap of 2019…only 6 quilts, but 1 was huge…

All of them have been or are going to be in shows, which is cool. Two are traveling for at least a year. One won an award. All good. I feel like making work from my head is a good place right now. Although 4 of these were made for specific themes. My favorite, Swallow Me Whole, was not though. It was a thing in my head that needed to get out. So start 2020 with one of those, one I choose, no theme, just Nida.

Plus I did these last year…

These were a new thing…not sure how successful it was, but it was an interesting experience. I would stitch more of my drawings, but they take so much time, it’s hard to make it a profitable thing. Not that I make art for that…but maybe I’ll design a few for traveling/camping. They were good for that. You can find patterns and kits for these at Global Artisans

2020…may it be full of art and time for that shit.

The Dog Ate My To-Do List

I got to sleep in. It was glorious. Well, the old-lady dog needed to pee at 8, so I did that, and then went back to sleep for an hour. Lovely. More please. But I have work to do as well…so up and at ’em! I had a brainstorm about a thing we need to do for science last night as I was brushing my teeth, so I ran in here and wrote it on a post-it note and then fell asleep thinking about it, so of course, woke up and made it more of a thing than it was on a post-it, while texting another teacher friend about a kid and all the kids and how we get to a (tired, honestly) point of just reacting and we have to step back and reflect, which is what teachers do all the time, but this year, it’s just exhausting and nonstop. So without weekends and breaks and promising yourself to go home and NOT work and trips to the gym or a hike or whatever it is that floats your boat, we’d all go nuts. Although I promised my students I’d finish grading all the makeup work AND the essay thing this weekend. Which might have been a mistake, because I have a quilt to do.

I got up, I made my lists…which is funny, because Calli got left alone for a while yesterday while the boychild went to get approved to hike (broken toe fixed! mostly!), and she decided to take it out on my listmaking strategies…

The dog ate my to-do list. It’s OK. It was the old notebook. Most of the useful stuff had been transferred over into a new one. I do like HAVING them, though. I don’t know why. Just because. Documentation of the crazy. She was anxious.

I’m supposed to be keeping track of my actual work hours this week for school…I’m dividing it up into planning, prep, teaching, grading, duty, and meetings. We’ll see how it goes. The plan is to reduce some of it and get that time back for me and what I want to do. It’s impossible to track the thinking time unfortunately. There’s a lot of that going on.

When I got home, what I really needed was a walk. And the boychild can do that now, so we grabbed the dogs and went…

We’re getting close to Daylight Savings, when doing this will be much harder. I hate that. So I’m trying to use time now…

The dogs are a little out of shape. I might be too…a week of being sick and not working out at all seems to have had an effect. I’m still stuffed up a little and not fully healthy. But I’m mostly better.

I did grade a little last night. I also read a little. But mostly I stitched shit down. When I felt tired, I got up and heated up my tea. Then I came back and stitched some more.

I can’t say this part is particularly exciting…but it’s a little meditative. You’re just moving the fabric under the needle and trying to decide where to go next in a logical manner.

I actually planned to try to finish all the bottom section…and I did do that and more before midnight hit.

Including the butterflies…

So today, I’ve already paid all the bills, scanned the contract I needed to email, transferred some of my retirement funds to different funds, did a little bit of planning for school, dumped the batting into a pile of hot soapy water in the bathtub, and am listening to the weekly podcast for how to get more fucking efficient in my work day, while I type this blog. I’m also eating my breakfast while I type. Because I need to finish stitch down, take a shower, clean the tile floors, sandwich the quilt, and start actually quilting. Because the photographer wants it by next Saturday (oh dear. OK. Yikes.) It’s a good thing I have no need to sleep, right? OK. I’m going to get on that now. Move the batting. Start stitching. Shower. I’m gonna get this done.

It’ll Be Pretty Chill…

Everyone slept better last night. Everyone peed when they were supposed to. Everyone laid down and stayed asleep, or at least were quiet about their issues and didn’t wake up mom. Well, there was definitely a cat playing with a catnip toy that I heard at one point (bat bat bat tiny bell ringing). Mom ears hear everything eventually.

We started school yesterday with no internet, no phones, random bells, which was fine, because we didn’t need the internet yesterday and keeping the front office from calling me is a plus. Like every period. Stahp. Please. So they couldn’t call us. Amusing. It was all fixed by 3rd period, though, so then it was like normal, which really just means there are a bunch of kids with tech issues that they didn’t solve and they think excuses them from work. And the front office keeps calling. I need to start making those tech phone calls. In my spare time. I don’t seem to have any of that. I did finish grading all those videos last night, which is a plus.

I made it home after a meeting and recording a couple of videos for class, and we walked the dogs. I look forward to these trips out into the semi wild. Plus exercise feels good. I’m sorry for you if that’s not the case. Even when it hurts, it feels good.

We watched a turkey vulture swooping around, looking for something dead.

It was really close at one point and quite large and beautiful. I’ve always been fascinated with birds. They end up in a lot of quilts. A turkey vulture is actually in the newest quilt.

There’s a coyote in this picture. See if you can find it.

It was closer when I first saw it. Interestingly, last year, on the same day, we also saw a coyote…but I think it was the other place we hike. I don’t think these guys noticed…

Although sometimes the little one refuses to go any further. I think that’s laziness more than coyote super-sense though.

The big girl is much recovered after a summer of iffy hips. She’s still iffy, but she’s moving pretty well for an 80-year-old.

So I have a piece in this exhibit…it’s a traveling exhibit, so it will be all over the place.

It’s cool that my piece is second from the left. Here’s the actual link so you can read about the quilts and exhibit. My quilt is about Bill Nye, because I teach middle school science and he’s done some good work about climate change.

I finished grading videos at 10:20 PM. Then I cut stuff out. I cut out one yard on Sunday night and two yards last night…

That’s four yards to go. Not bad. I have a SAQA stitch-in meeting tonight at the El Cajon Library from 6-8 PM (you don’t have to be a SAQA member to be there). I’m taking some of this with me. Maybe I can get done by Thursday. I did buy background fabric on Saturday…well, I bought 4 different options, because I couldn’t decide.

Gotta go to work now. Was gonna post Full Moon art pictures, but I don’t have time! I never have time. Oh yeah! I am teaching that workshop in November for sure. I’ll have to post that info too. It’ll be pretty chill. Shockingly. I spend all day teaching 12-year-olds how to sit up, get their heads off the desks, actually DO something, and even THINK, ah the torture. Handing out some fabric and explaining how to iron and stitch it should be easy. Ha. Well. Maybe.

Why Do We Care?

Imagine asking a classroom full of 7th graders this question. Then telling them they’re not allowed to say they don’t. Most of them were up to the challenge of figuring out why they SHOULD care. Some were shallow and just said because of their grade. But some dug deeper. Good conversations.

Then later, I see this…

We’re teaching the states of matter. Here’s why they care…so they can fuck with TSA. I’m betting she didn’t win this one though. The government isn’t great with science.

It was a frustrating day. Reteaching what classroom discussion looks like. Why we don’t all yell at once. Why yelling stupid shit is not productive. I’m behind in the teaching content part because there’s so much behavior teaching. We’ll get there. We just didn’t get there yesterday. By the end of the school day, I was more than a little frustrated with what was showing up in my inbox. They added two kids to one of my biggest classes, making it a potential issue when we’re doing labs. And then fucked with our schedule. We’ll make it work, but there’s no reason why we couldn’t have known about this hiccup a month ago. That’s the frustrating stuff.

So after a 2-hour staff meeting that was mostly a waste of time (I thought), I needed to be outside, moving. So we walked the dogs…

It was our first test of Calli on a full-length hike since late June, because of her hips and leg. She did awesome…

They’re staring at the boychild. I’m not interesting.

There’s still blooming flowers, despite the very little rain…just one day a week ago.

Desert flowers like their sporadic water.

I did a little on this. Tonight I will send the email…I think.

I found out I got two pieces into a show that will be in Liberty Station through January. There’s a first Friday opening every month, starting in October. That might be painful for me. Fridays are tiring. But I got into a show!

Today will be tiring…Back-to-School Night. Ugh. Not my favorite event.

I did start tracing, but only got about an hour in. Maybe I’ll be finished by Saturday? I doubt it, but it’s something to aim for.

If I get an hour in tonight, that will be a plus. OK, off to keep kids from doing stupid shit with water and balloons. I know, it sounds problematic. Welcome to my world.

The Whole Week on Me

Long weekends are nice…even when they are long weekends that are filled with work of all kinds. Hopefully some of the work will be artistic. That’s the plan anyway.

I picked up my quilts from the photographer after school…and then spent way too long trying to name one of them. I had a really good name at one point, but I didn’t write it down anyway, so it’s lost. This is Each Piece Belongs

It’s about 51″ square. I finished it relatively fast, considering all the other crap that was going on.

This is Desert Daughter, which I was working on earlier this summer and then the binding sat around unsewn for quite a long time until I realized it was easier to take two quilts to the photographer at once.

She’s 40” w x 34” h. I’ll get both of them posted in official places on here soon.

When I got back to the house, we kamikazed out to walk the beasts. I think in the long run, I need to transition back to walks on Mondays instead of Fridays. Fridays are tiring. Mondays are too, but I don’t have the whole week on me as well.

It was definitely warm out.

Some guy was wandering around with a backpack that had what looked like arrows poking out of it and a device that is not a pickaxe but looks like one to the ignorant, such as me. Boychild gave me a rundown on pickaxe-like equipment (it was not a pickaxe), which makes me wonder what he does in his copious spare time. We so rarely see people on this hike, and this guy was especially strange.

I had a to-do list a mile long last night: entered a show, packed up a quilt to be delivered today, wrote a bio for today (well, edited one), printed it, washed this and ironed it…then thought about the samples for the class in November, pulled some stuff out and then realized…

How deeply buried the stuff I needed was, and gave up. Tomorrow I will try again…or maybe tonight. This class thing is outside my wheelhouse. Not entirely, but it’s not how I normally roll. I’ll get there…it’s all about trying new things and seeing whether they can help support the artist as she ages. I can’t teach forever, but odds are, I will still need more money coming in for at least 10 years after I retire. Which is scary, sure. But at least I have some options. The Man says he’ll be a Walmart greeter. He is much nicer than I am, so that could be true.

I do have a drawing that I need to post on Patreon today. I had started it earlier this week, but last night, I sat down and watched some Orange Is the New Black and finished it up…with puppy assist.

Patreon patrons will be seeing this later today. It’s about the Amazon rainforest burning. Sigh. Stupid politicians who do stupid shit. Or allow stupid shit to happen.

OK, heading off now to the San Diego Quilt Show to sit in the SAQA booth this morning. Stop by and say hi…I’m bringing some embroidery with me, in case I have stitching time. A girl can dream.