Just One More Peaceful Day*

September 20, 2018

I haven’t had time to draw in a while. I used to draw a lot more. I’d like to draw more. One I think I do draw is cover pages for science. I also draw when I have a specific piece or exhibit in mind. In science, every unit has a cover page that’s about the upcoming topic. It gives the kids a chance to sort of check out the subject matter, google a bunch of stuff about whatever we’re studying, and start to use some vocabulary words. For me, it’s a chance to draw and color for a good portion of the day. I even sit at their tables with them and color (I usually pick the most disruptive table, so there is a purpose to my madness). Yesterday was such a day…the beginning of Unit 2. I also got a bunch of grading done, so I don’t feel bad about taking a break to hang out and draw.

So the next unit is earth science…

IMG_7505 small

I illustrated some of the vocab words…and then I got to color.

IMG_7522 small

It just took 5 tries to get that picture to load. Internet, wifi, computer, whatever it really is, I’m about to scream. So many struggles. I know, it’s not the end of the world. It’s just frustrating.

When I got home from school, after hanging out at Michael’s and trying to find things that would fit in a graduated cylinder (don’t ask…it’s the life of a science teacher)…we took all three dogs out for a long tiring walk.

IMG_7532 small

At no point in time did my legs get excited about this walk. I was excited. I was breathing in the air…looking at the landscape, taking in the outdoor existence. All good. But my legs were like lumps of wood that I dragged along on the trip. Also, the puppy was like that. Uphill was torture for him. Apparently he spent 4 hours racing around in the morning and he was tired.

IMG_7534 small

So we made him more tired. All of them really, because then Calli basically collapsed at my feet for the next 4 hours. Right there. Not moving. So I cut stuff out for about 4 hours too.

IMG_7537 small

I just refused to do any schoolwork. Looking back on it, that was lame. But I did it. It’s done. It is what it is. Moving on.

At several points, I almost quit cutting because it’s not the most exciting thing in the world to do and sometimes those pieces are a pain in the butt to cut out. All the little tiny flesh pieces, for example, kind of drive me nuts. Yes, I know I drew them, but that doesn’t mean I like cutting them out. Not every part of the process is fun and games.

Anyway, I got down to this…

IMG_7538 small

And I’m looking at the clock, knowing I would have to be up a bit early this morning, and I’m thinking, ah, what the heck. Just finish tomorrow. Except I already know I have a meeting and probably really will have to grade something and I really should just do it. Well, you know me. I did just do it.

Here’s the whole quilt, ready to be ironed together. That’s about 8 hours of cutting…

IMG_7539 small

It doesn’t look like much. I don’t know if I’ll be able to start tonight…maybe a little bit? I have a meeting and I need to grade some stuff. It does feel like the grading never ends. In fact, I’m going to do some now. Before work. I think. And then hopefully I can get this ironed together by early next week. That’s the plan anyway.

*Staind, It’s Been Awhile


Mysteries of Our Disguise Revolve*

September 17, 2018

We each have our method for dealing with stress…mine was hiking for 5 1/2 miles on Saturday evening. I was going to be waiting around for the social stuff to happen anyway. I had worked all day, either on school or art. I need more exercise. I wanted to see how far I could get…I could have gone farther, but in the end, it was good that I turned around when I did…the timing was better.

I do this hike all the time with the dogs…we go about a mile and a half out and then come back.

IMG_7408 small

Scarily, that is a coyote, completely ignoring my presence, about 20 feet from the path. Where I usually walk the dogs.

IMG_7411 small

Boychild says only one adult fatality from coyotes. Thanks kid. Appreciate it.

OK, well then. I was hiking late afternoon, trying to beat the heat…it was warm.

IMG_7412 small

Here’s the weird bridge that’s not really a bridge.

IMG_7426 small

It’s California. There’s always cactus.

IMG_7432 small

It took like 20 minutes for my incredibly slow computer internet to load these photos. But here are the birds that I haven’t looked up yet (heron? egret?) that I saw at the turnaround point…the point where I realized I’d been out for an hour and needed to turn back if I was going to get any dinner.

IMG_7449 small

The birds were totally worth it.

IMG_7460 small

It was a nice hike. Yes, I always worry about hiking alone. I told two people where I was going. I told one of them to call the police if I wasn’t back by 7.

IMG_7466 small

It was an awesome hike. Didn’t affect my blood sugar at all, unfortunately. My body is confused.

Before all that, I did do some ironing. I left this chaotic pile of fabrics…

IMG_7405 small

With only these pieces left to iron on Saturday (it didn’t happen)…

IMG_7406 small

And the to-be-cut pile like this…

IMG_7407 small

Oh yeah, so I painted this birdhouse about a million years ago when one of the big fires was trashing San Diego County…it has flames and a dead tree. Boychild finally nailed it to a tree.

IMG_7476 small

Hey! Remember these? Never going to get done at this rate. I have 10 left. I got 2 done last night. Sad, really.

IMG_7478 small

And then after grading a good chunk of the day (I think I worked for about 10 hours this weekend on school stuff), I finally went in and finished ironing the fabric for this quilt.

IMG_7479 small

There’s about 8 1/2 hours of ironing in here, plus 93 colors. I like lots of fabrics, apparently.

IMG_7480 small

And here’s the pile that now needs to be cut out. I finished the new season of Call the Midwife, plus at least two YA movies that made me cry. Hell, Call the Midwife made me cry. I think I cried on the hike too. Obviously some shit in my head that needs to get out somehow.

IMG_7481 small

So then I headed out to the living room, the couch, with dogs, to cut out pieces…I didn’t get very far, but it’s a start. Happy that…

IMG_7482 small

Tried to pick something to watch that wouldn’t make me cry. I don’t really do comedy. So killing it is! Watching The Sinner…don’t tell me it will make me cry. I don’t wanna know.

More tonight. By then, I’ll know if I’m copyediting 102 hours over the next 5 weeks or not. Stress!

*Portishead, Sour Times


With All These Things That I’ve Done*

September 11, 2018

I just completely freaked out because I was checking all my art exhibit entries for the last few weeks, looking to see what notification would be next, and I noticed a double entry. That’s incredibly unprofessional. My stomach dropped. I never do that shit (OK I accidentally did it once a million years ago when the kids were small and I was newly divorced, but luckily, I only got into one of the shows I double entered…which is how the odds go anyway, usually even lower odds than that, honestly). But it’s OK. One of them is only in print, so I don’t send the piece anywhere. Deep breaths. Panic over.

I did get into the Power of Women show that will be at IQF Houston, so that’s good, since I made the piece for that show…not that I wouldn’t have been able to show it elsewhere, though. God knows I do that often enough…here’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman

K Nida001 small

Lots going on in there. Wish I could go to Houston with her, but I’ll be in Boston the following weekend and Chandler, Arizona, the weekend after. Seems like enough travel. Plus Houston is pretty expensive. So she’ll travel without me, like most of them do.

Meanwhile, I’m looking at some of the people who friended me on Facebook recently. I do actually scroll through their feeds and make a decision, like if there’s nothing there, I assume they’re a bot or a Russian spy, so I don’t accept. And if their politics are out there, well and truly not gonna get along with mine, I don’t accept. I’m not always sure why they’re friending me, except maybe to get me to like their store or their quilting or whatever, but then you’re posting pictures of guns and kneejerk Trumpisms, and I’m like, I don’t want to see that on my feed, plus you’re gonna hate my vulvas, so why are you clicking friend again? Such a complicated world.

Anyway, that’s two shows that have notified in the last week, and both were acceptances. Good odds so far, but it’s guaranteed they won’t all be.

I had a long work day yesterday, and all I wanted to do when I got home was walk the furry beasts, so we grabbed them and ran. Well, only a little running, just to see how tired the little one was after 2 1/2 miles.

IMG_7312 small

It was a lovely temperature. We went down this hill we never go down, but then we had to go up it as well. Funny, the picture does not convey the real upness of this hill at all.

IMG_7315 small

Then I made dinner and did some stuff to get my printer to work again, which involved a cable, because our internet is super bad at the moment, or maybe it’s just mine on the computer, but the (previously wireless but now wired) printer was refusing to work. And I needed it to work. So it was late when I started ironing.

Cherries…I started with cherries…

IMG_7320 small

And then I did the rest of the fruit bowl, plus ironed the dirt from yesterday.

IMG_7321 small

I didn’t get far. I was tired. I didn’t sleep well the night before, plus I walked a lot. So that makes it hard to want to stand and pick out fabrics for a long time late at night. Here’s the rest of the 100s, laid out, ready for me to iron tonight.

IMG_7322 small

I get into the fleshy bits pretty early on in this quilt. She has a lot of decoration on her, so I have to decide if that will be in flesh color or different colors…probably the latter. This is not a political statement quilt…just a reaction to a poem I wrote years ago. It’s a nice break from the last quilt, which was difficult and in my head in a much different way. Last year at this time, I was doing the gun quilt. That was really difficult.

Anyway, art…make it often and in spite of all the other crap.

*The Killers, All These Things That I’ve Done


I Brought the Poop to the Wedding

August 28, 2018

It was an interesting walk…rarely do we get to the wildlife reserve and see only 4 or 5 cars on a weekday afternoon. It’s normal to see people all dressed up. The bridge and the trees just beyond are a magnet to local portrait photographers…all old metal with greenery interspersed.

IMG_7064 small

We hiked for over an hour, heard a pack of coyotes and never saw them, climbed some hills (remember, that’s my goal), tired the dogs out…

IMG_7067 small

Runners ahead…Simba wanted to join them or kill them. Hard to tell which.

IMG_7068 small

And then, on the way back, there’s a wedding going on in the middle of the bridge. So we crashed it. For sure, we’re in the video. There is no way around this without going way out and onto a busy road. I guess if you don’t have a backyard, this is where you go? I was carrying two bags of dog poop and was sweaty.

IMG_7072 small

Weird. Boychild mentioned maybe they lost their original venue. I guess I might have just tried to consider that other people might want to use the bridge. Laughing really. A bike came through, at least one jogger with a weight vest, who knows who else. Plus me and my poop bags and my dog and that tall guy I call the boychild.

It was a good hike though…after a 2-hour, overwhelming, head-banging, hysterical-giggling staff meeting. Some day my principal will figure out how useless most of us are in the second hour. I know I am. I REMEMBER NOTHING.

Back to the binding! I know I did this for about 2 1/2 hours last night…same position as the previous night…actually, I think I’m a bit more prone.

IMG_7077 small

All I have left to do is that bit you can see…plus the two sleeves. I should be able to finish that tonight. I also have three entries to do tonight. Ha!

IMG_7078 small

One thing that really helped last night was these.

IMG_7079 small

I used to applique all the time and I used these because my teacher told me to, and then I ran out or lost them all and I tried to buy more, but I couldn’t remember which ones, so I have a bunch that are way too small and hard to thread AND hold onto, and a bunch that are way too thick to smoothly slide through the fabric, and they all suck. So she reminded me of what to get and I did. And that was a wondrous thing.


Who I Am, Who I’m Not, Who I Wanna Be…*

August 21, 2018

As I get my room ready for the new school year, I wonder where all my fake class money went from last year. Have I been robbed? I had to stash a bunch of stuff in weird places. Have I not found a stash yet? I also wonder where my stash of floor pencils went. Floor pencils are those I find on the floor and then hand out to the kids who never have one. I don’t need to do that this year (although I still will…thrifty genes handed down through generations), because I ordered pencils this year and I found a stash from last year that I forgot I had, so I have about 1000 pencils to hand out. They’ll be gone in about a week. Plus I have all these spiral notebooks from when I used to use them for science notebooks (I now use packets that we grow as we do more stuff…easier to haul home when needed). I should totally sell those with the fake paper money that I can’t find. And where are my seating charts? No one knows. Seriously. I did something with the master at the end of the school year, but my brain refuses to tell me what. And please please remind me next year that YES I do need the square bigger post-its for the first day. The tiny ones won’t work. In fact, we should devise a lab JUST for the use of the tiny ones, because we misordered them and we have a lot. Plus I have 36 times 8 rulers now, so I will never ever ever need to buy any again. I don’t even know how I did that.

My white board eraser was moldy. I need a new one. I need a new nail file. Broke the first nail yesterday before I cut them all down from summer length. And if you want to regularly hit over 10,000 steps a day before you even leave work? You should become a teacher. So easy.

My library book is digital and it’s about to expire and I’m not quite done and I don’t have a lot of time to read today. It’s OK. I turned off the wifi. They’ll never catch me. No fines.

I got home and about a third of the bougainvillea was gone. Stolen!

IMG_6734 small

Nah. Boychild at work.

We took the dogs out for a walk…about 2 miles. I hadn’t been on this bit of trail before…

IMG_6735 small

There’s a great view from one end of it…north…

IMG_6736 small

West…rocks…puppy wanted to climb, but probably snakes.

IMG_6737 small

And south, Mt. Miguel in the distance. You can’t go to the top any more. I guess I’m glad (ha!) I did it before it closed.

IMG_6738 small

It was cloudy and muggy all day, but a little cooler than it has been. A relief really.

IMG_6739 small

Pretty clouds.

IMG_6741 small

I forget how much time gets eaten up by the job. I didn’t start quilting until late, almost 10 PM, and then I was tired and probably not very efficient.

IMG_6743 small

So no, I didn’t get four hours done last night (laughs hysterically). I probably won’t tonight either. I’m about 6 1/2 hours in though, so I must have done about 2 hours last night…mostly the volcano bits with the two grayed-out figures in front and the skelly. I also did one of the graffiti walls. Tonight, I’ll do the other one and then move up the slope. I need to get more than 2 hours done tonight. Right this minute, that doesn’t seem possible.

IMG_6745 small

I’m hoping to maybe hit the quilt store for binding fabric after school on Friday, but that means I need to be done or almost done. We’ll see. I have a hike Saturday night, so I will lose the whole stitching night to that (which is a good and healthy, although probably exhausting thing). That said, I have nothing else planned this week but surviving the first week of school. Always a challenge.

*The Fray, You Found Me


Gonna Read for a While

July 17, 2018

In case you’re wondering why I’m writing so early (because this is early for Kathy on break), it’s because I’m sitting in a dead silent jury room, half (or more) asleep, after fighting my way through motorcycle accident traffic. Honestly I have zero brain power right now, and I tried going to bed early (for me), but I was still the first one up. Hoping for no jury, but you can’t predict that shit. I have had so much anxiety about this process…I hate being forced to sit like this.

Anyway. Onward and upward. Trying not to read too many political things. Our country…what a disaster. Even the quilt world is full of it. I start so many responses in my head…such a difficult world we are in.

Kitten held hands with me yesterday. She feels me.

IMG_5865 small

So yesterday, I did manage to get my butt in gear eventually and quilted the two little quilts.

IMG_5866 small

They’re so tiny, it doesn’t take long.

IMG_5867 small

Fully quilted, ready to trim…

IMG_5868 small

I didn’t put a real binding on these…just trimmed them to size and zigzagged the edges with a heavier thread underneath. There’s probably a technical term for that.

IMG_5869 small

Now I just need to decide how to label them, hang them (after this exhibit), and attach them to the boxes. No problem. I have until Sunday.

IMG_5870 small

Then I hung out on the boychild’s bed with the dogs…long enough to decide to walk those beasts. Might be my last chance this week.

IMG_5875 small

Lucky dogs. We went hunting for the vernal pool. Very little evidence of it in summer.

IMG_5877 small

But sharp eyes (not mine) spotted two baby California horned lizards…we must have disturbed their hanging out together…

IMG_5882 small

Hard to see…

IMG_5885 small

But very cool. I’ve only seen 3 or 4 of them while hiking, and never so small…not even an inch long.

Then dinner and more weaving (whoops, no picture)…and then I really wanted to finish drawing last night. The last woman went in. And I think that’s it. Ten hours to trace the stuff that was on the other drawing and then do the rest.

IMG_5888 small

It doesn’t sound like much.

I did start numbering, but I knew it was a big job, so I quit at 488 pieces. I’ll finish the rest tonight and then start tracing.

IMG_5889 small

That 488 got all the waves and everything in them, including the Earth Mermaid, numbered. So maybe a third? Hard to say.

Gonna read for a while.


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.

IMG_1853 small

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…

IMG_1857 small

Plus the dogs like all the good smells…

IMG_1858 small

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

IMG_1859 small

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.

IMG_1861 small

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.

IMG_1864 small

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

IMG_1865 small

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

IMG_1866 small

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

IMG_1867 small

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.

519A08B5-008B-4327-B458-EC3D77F1B998 small

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