Face Away and Pretend That I’m Not*

September 18, 2017

Grades are due in a week…it’s part of why I put my head down and put in 10 or so hours this weekend. I got some significant stuff out of the way, but there’s more in the classroom. That plan to spend an hour on the deck drawing? Well it turned into a half hour of talking and a glass of wine, but that was fine. I forget to take that time for myself…there’s always something dragging me back into what I have to do…so it was nice to have someone else remind me. Yo! Go sit outside and relax!

I’m not great at that.

So I didn’t get as much art done as I wanted to, but it’s coming…this is a busy week with lots of meetings, so who knows what’s going to happen. I’d like to be done with the cutting sooner rather than later, but I can’t guess how much longer it’s going to take. I’m over 6 hours in now and it doesn’t seem like I’m half done…although I did a bunch of tiny pieces yesterday and I feel like the rest is mostly larger pieces, so maybe I am halfway? Hard to say.

Lots of numbers and letters…this bit took forever and fussy little scissors.

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You can see them all there…the little triangles will wait to be cut out until I’m ready to iron them down. They get lost too easily.

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So here’s where I’m at…trash box at the top…to-be-cut-out on the left, and stuff I’ve cut out on the right. It seems like there’s still more in the to-be-cut box than the cut box…so I guess I still have a lot to go.

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Usually cutting out takes less time than ironing, so this being halfway would make sense…and big pieces are generally easier to cut out than the fussy little ones.

We’ll see. I’ll be lucky to get 2 hours in tonight…Tuesday might be a little better. Wednesday for finishing? Eh. Maybe Thursday. But ironing together by the weekend? Maybe even Friday night? That would be nice…this thing is taking longer than I thought it would.

Cat standoff…

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Things are getting slightly better. Less growling. Not getting along yet per se, but hey, we’ll take what we can get.

Still working on this…filling in the left bottom. I did a pink and a maroon, lots of French knots and some chain stitch.

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Soon I’ll have to decide what to do with the rest of the left side.

Puppy sleep.

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Spending the whole weekend working makes my brain fuzzy…seriously. It does. Aaugh. This job. It really does try to take over everything. I guess the art is kinda the same way, but I prefer that. Almost every waking moment thinking about art? Not a problem. Maybe it’s because school is such an impossible problem and art is a solution to me.

*Linkin Park, Faint

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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


Hung Down with the Freaks and the Ghouls*

September 15, 2017

The parrots are back…San Diego’s loud squawky parrots, perched in the trees around my house. They’re quiet at night, unlike the dog I live with, who took offense to all noises last night. I forget how hard September is…I keep walking around muttering “This is HAAAARRRDDDD,” to myself, like that helps. It doesn’t, by the way…in case you were wondering.

Yesterday I taught 130 students how to create a webpage. For most of them, it was their first time. It actually went pretty well…we’ll have to see how it goes from here on out. It’s our first year doing digital portfolios…so we’ll have to make sure we stay on top of it. Really. However hard it is.

I’ve been trying to do some grading every day. Can’t say I’m always particularly successful about it, but I’m trying.

I was 4 nights behind on this…seriously, what is my problem? I did 4 different things/colors in the bottom left…almost filled up in there. Gonna hafta decide what to do next. Aack.

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It’s funny that the dogs and Satchemo have figured their shit out, despite cross-species shit, but the other cats are still not OK with it. I spent about 10 minutes last night with the treat bag, placating all three of them. LOOK! When we’re together, she gives us treats! Let’s be together and not scratching or hissing! Fun stuff.

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This dog? Huh. Getting jealous in her old age. Or maybe she always was.

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I was watching 28 Days Later last night and cutting shit out. I did a couple of hours of it, I think…but I wasn’t very efficient. The top box is trash, the big box under it is all the stuff that still needs cutting out, and the bottom box is the stuff that’s done.

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And this is where I realize the heating pad has been sitting on the couch for months…like since my back/neck last bothered me that bad. Maybe May?

OK, I already know I have to grade like a crazy woman this weekend to make up for being sick all last weekend, but I really want to draw for a bit…just sit out on the deck with a cup of tea or a glass of wine and just watch the sky and draw. I keep saying that and then life slaps me upside the face. Anyway, will I be done cutting all these out by Monday morning? I think it’s unlikely…just looking at the weekend…but maybe I will be. We’ll see. But soon anyways.

I’m also trying to get my head out of my ass on exhibitions…I have some I need to enter or at least look at, but the last rejection kind of irritated me. I hate thinking censorship might have happened, but you never know when you have work like mine. I don’t usually mind rejections…I mean, acceptances are nice, but you have to realize the odds and I do. I’m sure I’ll figure that shit out and start entering again. Hopefully soon.

*Smashing Pumpkins, 1979


And We Will Run, We Will*

September 14, 2017

Two long work days in a row. It happens. I’m kinda done with it though. I keep thinking it’s Friday and it’s not. Yet.

So when I finished grading tests at like 10:45 last night, after a 2-hour union meeting, I finally started cutting out pieces. I didn’t get far.

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A bunch of letters and a giant cloud.

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And a sleepy puppy.

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Hopefully I’ll do better tonight. But who knows? I’m behind in grading (as always). School is stressing me out. I guess what’s new? Yeah. I know.

I’ve got an early meeting. And apparently no words.

*Rusted Root, Send Me on My Way


Down Here So Laughable and Small*

September 13, 2017

The good news is that I’m done with the ironing. It’s funny, the disconnect when I type that. I don’t iron clothes. Like ever. OK, once maybe for the boychild when he had a college interview. I don’t iron my own stuff…unless it’s got a major issue. I just buy stuff that won’t need it. Because I spend so much time ironing when making art…that’s why. It took 13 hours and 39 minutes to iron 800 and something pieces of Wonder Under to fabric. It’s probably gonna take another 13 hours or so to cut them all out. Well. Maybe not…it’s taken less time than the ironing on the last two quilts…so maybe I’ll be done sometime over the weekend? Who knows. I have two nights clear…I think. That’s probably not enough (snorts hysterically…who the hell am I kidding? Nowhere near enough. OK, add in Saturday and Sunday, and maybe I’ve got a chance of finishing by the end of the weekend. That’s realistic. So ironing together next week. There’s a plan.).

Yeah, I’m still sick, but not as bad as I was. I’m still getting wiped out easily at night though. I think I worked a 12-hour day yesterday, between school, tutoring center, coming home and trying to make sense of the next unit, and then a last-minute, late-night revision of the quiz we’re giving today.

THEN I made art. Yeah. Well it didn’t take long to iron the last bits. I think I only did art for like 52 minutes last night (yes, I keep track…it keeps me accountable to doing it).

So here was flailing on the couch…

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And Satchemo giving Calli lovepats (no claws) while Calli tried to get me to throw the ball for her.

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Then I realized I had to get up and deal with the school stuff, because we start the new unit Friday and I’m not ready. I had this cider I wanted to try at a restaurant over the summer, just because of the name, and the last time I went to BevMo, they had it, so I bought a couple bottles…and I was feeling kind of ultra-stressed, so I poured a rare glass before dinner…this is Ginja Jinja.

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It was pretty good. I could use more ginger in my ninja though. Seriously. I like ginger.

Ironing didn’t start until almost 11 PM. But it was pretty easy in the end. An eyeball, a gun, this cloud of letters. A coupla tattoos. The male figure’s hair.

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Shit. I shoulda counted these. I always count them. Damn. Hang on a second…101 fabrics…

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This is not an uber-colorful quilt. I think it’ll be toned down a bit from some of my others. Some of that is the background color, but also I didn’t add a bunch of bright color. We’ll see what that looks like next week when I start putting it all together.

But before I do that, here’s tonight’s work…cut out that whole boxful of pieces.

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Lots of big pieces on this one. I did that on purpose. The next one won’t be as lucky. I’m actually looking forward to starting the next one. I’m really unsure of this one…plus it’s a difficult topic anyway. Not that the next one is easy, but it seems easier for me to manage…maybe the science aspect is so clear to me. Who knows.

*David Gray, Ain’t No Love


One Headline Why Believe It?

September 11, 2017

Well. I’m up. I’m showered. I ate something. I fed animals. I’m not sure I’m ready or capable of teaching all day, but at least it’s a short day…mostly because I have to sit through a staff meeting after, but our new meeting space has beanbag chairs, so I can curl up in one of those if there’s a problem. I have in the past sat upon my rolly chair and propelled myself around the classroom when I didn’t feel well. Standing is problematic, for long periods of time even more so. Going to the grocery store yesterday took it out of me…precipitated a 2-hour nap. I can only assume I needed it.

No art yesterday, none at all, although I rallied enough to finish grading the second homework assignment. That’s a good thing. I wanted to draw, but I was too tired. Ironing wasn’t even a realistic option. I’m hoping for tonight…maybe if I come home and nap, I can do some ironing.

I did do two more nights on this…caught up again…still all in the lower left, filling in spaces.

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My nap companion, faithfully guarding my butt from invaders.

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This morning…

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It’s a new day. I don’t feel completely like crap. I think I’m over the hump. That’s good. Because I need to get some art done…it’s like grinding my teeth constantly when I can’t.

*Tears for Fears, Everybody Wants to Rule the World


I Want to Put on My My My My My Boogie Shoes*

September 10, 2017

Well I am ill. Not illin. Just ill. Ill enough that I spent a lot of the day on the couch, trying to grade stuff. And here, at the computer, trying to grade stuff…but not being very successful. I can’t tell if I’m better today or worse…I’m hoping I’ve hit the peak of yuck and it’s all clearing up the phlegm from here on out. But who knows.

It means I’ve gotten almost nothing done. I feel like warmed-over crap…can’t stand for long enough to iron, I guess. I did venture out yesterday and maybe blew my energy for the day. No ironing. I read a lot. I watched some TV, but even that wasn’t anything I felt like doing. I slept for quite a few hours. I know all those things are fine and good for a sick person, but it’s irritating to have to give in to it. Lost time. I hate lost time. Waiting. Standing in line. Sitting through useless meetings. Being sick. Some social events.

I’m not very patient with reality, I guess.

And there’s times when I’m making stuff that I wonder if it makes sense, if it’s what I want it to be, if I’ll make it and it won’t get in, if I’ll make it and it will never get in anywhere. That happens. Those are down moments in the making process…there will be up ones.

I did three night’s worth on Friday, all in the lower left corner…I’m now a day behind again.

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See. Yesterday. Sitting. Not a lot getting done.

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Although being a cat couch is something.

This was also Friday night…I felt pretty good on Friday night. Compared to yesterday.

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OK. So revise the schedule. Finish ironing today? I dunno if I can do that…so let’s say I survive tomorrow and finish tomorrow…and then start cutting out all week…iron together by the weekend? That could happen. It depends a lot on how I feel the rest of today and tomorrow.

Someone asked if I call a sub for my classes if I’m sick. The reality is that we have very few subs in our district and they generally don’t like middle-school science. Plus we’re doing labs and there’s no way in hell I’m leaving these little hellions who will consistently do everything I have NOT told them to do without being called on it constantly with a guest teacher. It’s not even fair to the guest teacher. I’m still training these guys not to touch everything just because it’s there. Not to lose lab materials (there’s a marble loose somewhere in my class and I guilt-tripped my whole 8th period over the cost of that damn thing, and if you’re not a teacher and you’re thinking, it’s Just a MARBLE, you don’t know what we have to do to (a) get funding and (b) train these kids to respect the lab materials…it’s a marble today and a microscope tomorrow.).

Yes. I cannot feed my college kids because y’all lost a marble.

Anyway. It can only get better. Right? I don’t think I’m worse today. Maybe the same. Not very energetic. Not very clear-headed. But alive. And mostly upright. Watching the hurricane hit Irma…sending good thoughts that way. Someone said I should put hurricanes in my quilts…I have, for years. But more now with the climate change stuff in my head all the time.

This song? So not how I feel. But that’s OK. Maybe it will help.

*KC and the Sunshine Band, Boogie Shoes