I Know You Better Than You Fake It to See*

January 12, 2018

It’s Friday. Maybe you’ve noticed. Short weeks aren’t necessarily easier weeks (and the only short part was the part with the kids in it). And I’ve been blowing off schoolwork all week, so I’ll actually have to grade something this weekend. It’s three days. I guess I can do that.

My students are trying to figure out the difference between solids, liquids, and gases. Yesterday, I sat and listened to one class argue about whether liquids were wet or not…I like to just let them go sometimes. And this is where they went.

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I love that stuff. Chemistry is not my favorite subject to teach…I’m a life science person. But the new standards mean I don’t teach much of that. Chemistry is good for labs though and for making them question everything they know. Today we’ll continue with that. Fun stuff.

Still doing herringbone. Closer to done.

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So I enlarged the drawing I’ve been working on…I did it at 200% and 250%, because I wasn’t sure how big to make it. I generally do the larger, but I need to stay within a cost constraint on this one, so bigger becomes a time and cost issue. So I taped the 200% enlargement together, because it looked doable. Sometimes the pieces are way too small. I added space on the top and will need to add a little on the left side to center it…but even with that, I’m still looking at an image size of about 35″ x 43″…which is right where I want to be. So that’s good. Lots of water in the bottom of the piece…

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I still think I’m replacing that head. We’ll see. It’s not quite right.

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I have cut off and replaced heads more than once in the past.

I have to admit that I didn’t get much done last night. I was tired and did some cleaning, put the wrapping paper away, which meant reorganizing the whole damn closet (not a 5-minute project). And I tried to go to bed a little earlier. So I could have done more drawing, but more standing? Probably not. Long day. Another bunch of errands after school. Too much.

So when I went to bed, Kitten was on Calli’s bed. And Calli is too scared to lie down with her.

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Mommy. That thing has sharp points. So Calli lies down on the floor. Now I know Kitten will end up curled in bed next to me, so I tell Calli that. Sad face Calli.

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Kitten looks over at her even. She wouldn’t mind sharing the bed, but Calli won’t do it.

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Big Golden Retriever scared of a chubby little cat. Funny stuff.

So weekend plans: art openings and maybe the Star Wars movie and some gaming tonight and some sewing stuff down and finishing the drawing and maybe getting started on that quilt and hanging out with the kids and probably desperate crazy shopping for the girlchild’s trip. And grading. It’s a good thing I have three days, eh?

*Smashing Pumpkins, 1979

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Well, You Don’t Know Me, But I Know You*

January 10, 2018

I think the puppy must be about to burst. He’s been refusing to pee since the rain started. On Monday. I carry him out and even put him under a tree, but no. He’s wide-eyed, trying to escape back to dry parts (aka the house). I think he must be voiding himself somewhere unknown, like while I wasn’t watching, he’s learned how to use the toilet and is just badmouthing me in his head as I put on his leash and try to persuade him out into the bushes. Luckily, the rain is supposed to stop today. It’s not like we didn’t need it…we just didn’t need it in such large amounts in a short period of time, as the mudslides north of here attest. Timing is everything.

So really, Simba’s problems are minor in the bigger picture. He’ll poop somewhere, sometime. That part is guaranteed.

Yesterday was the first day back with students. They were pretty zoned out by the end of the day. So were the teachers. We started a new unit, so I got to draw and color with them. It was probably all any of us could handle.

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I had tutorial after school, so I had exactly zero brain by the time I fought the weather home. I read for a bit even…the book club book for February is kinda big, so I started early for once. I don’t always make it to book club, but I always read the book.

Then I made dinner and did the stitching I usually do afterwards…just a little a night. This is a closeup of what I finished the night before…

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And last night. Not sure I have the right variegated thread for the last word. Maybe I’ll go balls out with a teal or pink. Who knows.

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Then I really wanted to finish ironing this smaller piece that’s been rolling around my art spaces for months now.

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It only took another hour or so…ironed everything down…

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Pulled a leftover piece of background I had lying around (that’s the plus with doing smaller pieces)…and ironed the whole thing down. Easy peasy.

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Now she’s ready to be stitched down…sometime later this week? Maybe.

Then back to the drawing board. A little slower last night…brainpower reduced by day job.

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Land…water…there’s going to be space above, but I need to enlarge the whole thing to do that…or maybe just copy the top and tape it to the next page? But with this one, I think I need to see the whole thing. We’ll see. More tonight. The work day will be shorter…so that should help. We have to sit through some professional development (again), so that’s annoying.

Anyway. I see progress, even if it’s small.

All the animals are missing my kids…who are visiting cousins in Seattle. They are so in my face this morning too, because they had company yesterday, but today, will be left again all day. I feel bad for them…wish I could take them to school, but that can’t happen…too many kids with allergies. Plus Calli would pee on them in her excitement. And Simba might bite someone, because he’s an antisocial dick sometimes. And the cats are pretty unpredictable with humans.

OK. This headache and I need to go to school now.

*Laurie Anderson, O Superman


She’s a Bad Mama Jama*

October 13, 2017

Well. Some days one’s plans do not follow one’s plan. It is what it is. I’m grateful that I’m not in the middle of hurricane wreckage or fire danger. Although I keep looking at the sky for some evidence of fire…must be training after the last two big fires down here. There are so many disasters at the moment that it’s hard to know what to support, where to send whatever it is one can send. I did just add wildfires to the next quilt list of ideas. Certainly the amount of plant growth we had in the last year because of all the rain might have been a factor in how out of control these fires were. Although if these were human-set fires, that’s a whole ‘nother level of crazy with which I can’t deal. Humans are pretty fucked-up creatures.

So with all the fuckedupedness swirling around in my brain (that IS a word), I left school yesterday to buy binding fabric for this quilt. It didn’t take long to find one that worked…and a few others, because I like fabric. You might have noticed.

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The bottom one is the binding. The top one is sloths. I have no need for sloth fabric. Except sloths. Yes. So that explains a small portion of my stash. And now that I have the orange fabrics home, I think I already have the top one. Sigh.

So I was supposed to come home, eat, and go to the gym, and that all fell to hell at some point. So I graded shit for about 3 hours…well, and dealt with union stuff. I’m pretty sure there was something else I was supposed to do, but whatever. Sometimes that’s just the way shit works out. I think I figured I’d rather grade all that stuff LAST night than tonight. Although I will probably still grade tonight. The never-ending spew of assignments that need attention. The plus is that when I personally counsel kids, they turn shit in. The minus is the spew of emails and stuff that needs 7 clicks to access instead of 1 because it was late.

Anyway, this happened around 10 PM…I hate trimming quilts. It’s a pain in the ass. Some part of me just wants to hack haphazardly at the edges and come what may. And then the ordered part of my brain that wants the focus on the image, not the edges, comes in with the rotary cutter, kneels down on the floor at 10 PM, and carefully cuts, straightens, and measures until it’s square. Not square in shape, but sides perpendicular and square edges.

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She’s about 62 x 67″ I think now, finished. The plan tonight is to get the binding on. And email the photographer? I know I want to ink this one too. We’ll see how far I get tonight…I might have another plan that keeps me from getting far on this.

So this year at school…we did a lot of planning last year. This year, we’re tweaking stuff. That means supplementing some of last year’s stuff so we can make sure kids understand the concepts. We were lucky to get a big chunk of money last year for materials and equipment…and we’re making sure we use it. So today, we’ll be doing a demo with some elements, showing the kids some of the physical and chemical changes that can happen to certain types of elements.

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And we made a video (well, my coteacher is putting all the clips together into a video) so the kids who were absent can watch what happened…so the workload is still pretty hefty at the moment. In fact, the next unit barely exists, because we didn’t need to teach it to last year’s kids…they got it in 6th grade. So we need to make that happen somehow. I can’t say it’s easier than last year…well, maybe it is, but it’s still pretty time-consuming. I can tell you that dropping acid on metal is fun and so is hitting charcoal with a hammer. I do have a strange job some days. From personal counseling of about 50 kids to hammering elements.

OK. Thinking good (although mostly useless) thoughts about Northern California…and Puerto Rico (because the president won’t)…and everyone who is losing health insurance and Las Vegas, damn the gun people, and anyone else who is staring at their news feed like I am and wondering why. At least it’s Friday. Peace out my loves. But first, this might help…

*Carl Carlton, She’s a Bad Mama Jama


The Images Stuck in Your Head*

December 7, 2016

So a huge feeling of relief as I finished that quilt yesterday evening. And then I sat around for about 10 minutes before I got started on the next one. To my credit, it’s been drawing itself in my head for a couple of weeks. I think. I’m not sure when I did the first part of the drawing, and certainly this idea has been percolating for months. The second one is also germinating in that chemical slop that lives in my art brain. The third one? I’m not sure. Yet. I had an idea, but it’s gone. But I’ve got time on that one. The plan? Finish the three skinny ones for one wall, then the small one for the other show, then another bathtub, unless one of them gets into that other show…then I might need two bathtubs. Yikes. OK. Don’t worry about that right now. Got enough on my plate. I do have one bathtub drawn and enlarged and numbered though. So that’s a plus.

Including science. Teaching it. Trying to understand what I’m teaching (some days)…prepping for and cleaning up after labs. Just trying to see the big picture for the next unit. I honestly am mostly ignorant of a lot of what I’m doing these days until I realize I’m ignorant and start reading or watching videos. This is so much easier than it would have been 20 years ago. YouTube saves my butt.

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Using up ALL the balloons in the world. ALL OF THEM. OK, not really. Certainly we’ve used more AlkaSeltzer this year than I thought possible. And we’re buying stock in vinegar, baking soda, and yeast. And handwarmers. Don’t even ask.

So it’s a relief some days to come home and just sit on the couch with all the animals and a TV show and needle and thread. I know some of you understand. Even though all I had to do was two sleeves, top and bottom, and they’re pretty boring (and I finally poked a hole in my finger…knew it would happen…no callouses)…it was still relaxing.

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Which is good, because my neck is sorta half frozen in a bad place at the moment. Today I’m hoping is the day we finally budge it (after a month plus of trying a variety of things).

Anyway, there she is, fully bound.

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A mere 85 hours of work, completed basically from about November 1st to now. Five weeks. Not bad. Should have been able to do it faster, but whatever. Life kicks you upside the head and you just bully through. Photographer delivery tomorrow.

Amusingly, I was cleaning up before starting the next one, and I found these…the pieces I traced correctly but then lost and had to redraw or steal from the wrong-way-round pieces. I never even cut them out. Wow. Tired much?

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Cat head. Legs. Eyes. Inner ears. Top of head. Yes. I can recognize pieces just by looking at the shapes. Granted, I also know what I was missing.

I might still iron the other head together and make a mini quilt out of it. It’ll be hard to figure out the time taken to complete it, because some of it is tied up in the others of the other quilt, but I bet I could do some rudimentary math and figure it out. So maybe that’s also a goal this week. I can toss it up on Etsy for that crazy person who wants a head on a quilt. You know you do.

Meanwhile, I pulled this back out. I need to get this part drawn enough so I can enlarge it and add the rest of the body and head. I did this back in November some time. I didn’t date it…I usually write the date. Dammit. It’s probably in my blog though, huh? Yeah. I bet it is. (this is why I keep this thing…it’s my brain when I can’t remember shit.)

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Uh huh. November 22. Found it. I thought it was earlier than that. OK. Well with a cat on one side, a giant Golden Retriever sprawled on the other couch, and this little guy behind me on the back of the couch (I am NOT a cat)…

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I kept going…

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I like where I’m going with this. I’m not sure about the head, but I do know what’s going on down below and behind and around her. So I will probably keep drawing on this tonight and then copy? Tonight? I do have a copy place that’s open until 10 or 11 PM (well hallelujah for that, right?). Or maybe I’ll draw and then do the other head. We’ll see what I’m in the mood for at the end of the day. I’m getting my first ever massage and THEN doing chiropractor right after. I met the massage therapist…I’m OK with Viking women going all crazy on my back and neck at the moment if it will help.

It’s nice to finally be moving on to the stuff for the solo show.

*Elliott Smith, Between the Bars