Almost Traced…

Currently I’m eating breakfast, in a virtual science conference (Science Is Cool), drinking tea, waiting for the boychild to tell me when to go get gas and pick him up. I’m mostly awake, thanks to dog shenanigans. The little black and white cat that I’ve seen around the house was in the front entryway (outside) this morning, and Simba lost his mind. I’ve thought about trying to catch the cat, because it’s around a lot and we have coyotes, but IDK if it’s actually homeless or just wandering and very lucky that it hasn’t been eaten yet. Also can’t put food and traps out for that cat unless I’m willing to catch all the other animals out there, including whatever it is that’s eating tomatoes off my plant.

I traced for about 4 hours yesterday, and am now almost done. Which is good.

I had a Zoom meeting for about 2 hours of that after a school meeting that probably just increased my anxiety about this coming year. Ah well. So yes, I traced during Zoom.

Because there are some really big pieces in this piece, I’m having to use some big chunks of Wonder Under…

I don’t know how many yet…I’ve got about 150 pieces left to trace, and then I can count the yards.

I traced all those hours without taking any photos. I was focused on getting done. Staying up too late. Gotta get myself trained back on 10:30 bedtime and 6:30 wakeup. Ugh. My brain doesn’t like that, but it’s what it needs for school.

The girlchild left on Wednesday, but I got the requisite kid-plus-grandparents picture before that happened.

Boychild is probably in the county…was supposed to be home yesterday, but there were vehicular issues, so he’s coming in soon. I need to go get gas so I can actually pick him up. I’m also still proofreading; I made it through the first read, and then a second read for chapter titles and numbers. Gotta go all the way through for at least one more full read, maybe two. We’ll see.

Simba’s face when he can’t figure out why the boychild’s car is here and he isn’t.

Girlchild took a good picture of him before she left…

So much happier.

I found this praying mantis in the yard…

So cool. What else is cool? Kansas. Kansas is cool.

And with the huge-ass conference my district has planned for next Friday (2500 attendees), I throw this out there…

I spent 90 minutes last night doing Active Shooter Training…I got an 80% on the pretest (I feel like that should opt me out for the training, but whatever)…

It was their specific titles for things that kept me from 100%. It’s done now. I still have another hour or so of bloodborne pathogens, cybersecurity, integrated pest management, and mandated reporter training. I always try to have it done before school starts, which means yes, I am working before the year starts. I do actually have to do these trainings outside of work hours. I don’t get paid for those hours, but if I don’t do them, my pay gets docked. So that’s fun.

Anyway, so more caffeine. Take meds. Go get the boychild. Finish tracing. Proofread more. Go watch the Man’s band play tonight, hopefully with a sketchbook. Sleep more. Do the rest of the stupid trainings (they’re mostly the same every year; can’t pretest out, can’t skip ahead and take the posttest). Keep watching this conference (that’s cool, actually; currently talking about how to increase eyeballs on women in science so girls know they can do that). By tonight, hopefully I’ll be cutting out Wonder Under and moving on to the next step. And Simba will be sleeping in another bed, which will be good for both of us. I have less than a week before I have to be back at school. Not fun. But also, I’ll get a paycheck at the end of this month, finally. That will help. Right now though? Going to get the boychild.

More Magic

I’m not finishing this early today. Also WTF is up with the font, WordPress. It’s TINY. IDK if it will be TINY when it publishes, but it’s tiny while I’m typing. I just changed it, but it still looks wrong. I love it when tech stuff changes without any warning. I’m sure it’s on a blogpost somewhere, but I don’t have time to read those. I’m too busy reading fantasy fiction. Let’s be real…that fantasy stuff is what’s keeping me alive this summer. Real Life: hard, currently too warm, too many chores, not enough relaxation. Fantasy Life: Other people are doing the hard things, but they also are awesome at the things they do most of the time and the world is full of magic. I think I need more magic.

The girlchild leaves today. The boychild might be back tomorrow. Too bad they missed each other.

So I’m proofreading a fiction book at the moment. I don’t usually proofread. This is strange because the copyeditor was inconsistent with some stuff and I guess that means I have work to do, but also, it feels like I am reading another book (because I am). I will have to read it at least two more times though, so it probably won’t seem fun anymore. Which is OK, because I don’t usually get paid to read fiction. Maybe I should? I don’t know. Anyway, so I’m working every day, even though it’s break. Ah well. Need the money.

I’ve been pushing to get things done, though. On Monday, Mom and I finally finished the quilting on the bed quilt…

Yes, it’s rolled up. It needs to be trimmed (still thinking about how and where to do that) and bound. I was such a smart bunny in 2008 and bought enough of one fabric for the binding (thought I might have to piece it, but no). I’m gonna get to that next. Maybe tomorrow. We’ll see.

My other super goal is another art quilt done by the end of August. Might be totally impossible, due to the day job. But I’m trying. I’ve been tracing Wonder Under a lot…

That head is one giant piece covered in words. My biggest issue was running out of Wonder Under. I went to the local JoAnn (no S makes no Sense) and they were completely out, so I ordered online, but there were no shipping estimates (spoiled by Amazon, y’all). And I was sitting there yesterday, convinced I would run out, so I drove a long way to the next closest one, which was supposed to have 49 yards, according to the app. They were oh-so pleasant (not) but I eventually found 7 1/2 yards there and bought it, just to find out today that the full bolt should arrive today. Sigh. It’s fine.

I traced through 495 on Monday night…

Then started earlier last night (AND didn’t have to cook dinner, SCORE)…and made it to 792…

Definitely more than halfway. I was hoping to be done today, but it will be tomorrow. Then cut, then sort, then…damn, gotta go back to school and I don’t know that I can get away with trimming things at professional development crap. Unfortunately. I actually find it easier to think and pay attention when I am doing something with my hands at the same time. But the big people in charge find it a problem.

This is not the boychild, by the way.

Today will include a trip to the airport and to my parents’ house for the girlchild to say goodbye, so probably I won’t get as far on the tracing. Plus I’m still nursing an injured right arm…it was doing better, but I think my pilates class this morning did not help. Ah well.

Absolutely true…and might explain my need to make art.

This is also true…although I think it’s day 48 or something.

Also, my floor in my room at school is not done. At all. Nowhere close.

SO! First I will eat lunch (and read fantasy fiction), then proofread for a while, drive around with the girlchild as needed, then trace a million pieces. Dinner in there somewhere. Still not ready to deal with school (despite the texting and decisions and T-shirts and IDK what else). More caffeine too. That. And figure out this font thing with WordPress. So annoying. More magic. Would like that.

Dropped Off…

Hey. It’s the third to last week of school. There are 12 days left. I persuade myself I can do 12 days until the alarm goes off in the morning, and then I wonder DEEPLY about my choice of profession and the pandemic and how few social skills these kids have. Teaching sex ed is usually a pretty easy end of the year, but this year…man…so many inappropriate behaviors. It’s exhausting. I’ve been wearing a mic for weeks, trying to save my voice and it’s still crap by the time I get through the day. Sore throat, rough. Ugh. Most days, I’m not even really sure what day it actually is. I forgot (again) about my before-school duty yesterday because Tuesday? After a weekend? Yeah, no brain power. I remembered after school because I looked at my calendar and actually READ it. I have four places, maybe five that remind me of things, and I still forget.

The pro is that I graded two full assignments in the car on the way up to Ridgecrest. I have three real assignments left to grade. I just need to power through, and then I can decide which of these silly worksheets we do that I actually care about. Oh yeah, and then 16 projects for the kids whose parents opted them out. That’ll take me a bit. Just a bit. They’re trying to hand them in now, and I skim through, thinking (stupidly), “did you read the instructions?”. My high-level kids are still working on them. The lower kids are “WE’RE DONE!” My ass you are. Go back. Anyway. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. That’s a pro.

So Sunday, we drove through the endless, windy, dusty desert to get to Ridgecrest.

It’s seriously a drive I have done way too many times, with at least a few in my near future. Tired of it. But the Man drove up because he knew I had to drive back. So that was nice.

Hotel room was OK, not huge, weird bathroom configuration, but was remodeled relatively recently. Can’t really recommend Ridgecrest for anything. It’s hot and dry and dusty and food choices are mostly fast and furious. We watched two movies, both not very memorable. I stitched and drew.

And read a little. Finished a book…it was short…

That is the last of the flower types. I finished one and a half of them…only three and a half to go. I could have stitched on the road from Ridgecrest to Kennedy Meadows, but mentally couldn’t. Plus at some point it was mountain road, so that’s not a thing for me. Look Straight Out the Window. That’s me. But I’m close to done on this.

At Kennedy Meadows, the Man tried to buy this year’s bandana, but she wouldn’t sell him one (strange excuse about not having very many…weird sales concept there), he saw a friend (and got a bandana from him instead) who worked where he worked for a couple weeks, and then we drove to the campground, where a PCTA person lectured about snow and bears. For a really long time. My plan was to hike out with him for a little way, and then head back all the way home. It was a good plan.

Expect skinnier the next time you see him…well at least with me.

It was warmish and elevation (6500′) was definitely a factor in breathing. Going from sea level up in one day is problematic.

Officially in the Sierras…

We hiked about 2 miles to the bridge over the river and he refilled his water. The plus to not being in the desert section is that there is plenty of water.

And that’s where we said goodbye…for at least 3, probably 4 weeks. Hopefully will meet him somewhere.

It’s never easy sending him off…

I worry about him. I stress about having to do all the things at home. It’s not fun dealing with kid behaviors all day and coming home to no one to talk to. The boychild is here half the time. The cats are demanding. And I hate having to cook all the time. It’s hard to communicate with the Man…sometimes his messages overlap with mine (there’s no cell service; he’s using his Garmin) or he’s messaging all day while I’m teaching, and then when I have time to message back, he’s going to sleep (it’s still daylight, y’all). So it’s hard. But he wants to finish it and I hope he can. I know his knee was painful the first day, better the second day, but elevation is pretty crazy and it’s all up for the next four weeks. With an occasional down. Plus snow and passes and all that stuff.

It is beautiful though. Blue skies, trees, new wildflowers…

Well, some are new. We have these in San Diego too.

From the campground, I drove all the way home…about 5 1/2 hours total with two pee stops. I hate that drive. Really do. Ugh.

I didn’t do much of anything Monday night except eat dinner (thanks to the boychild), make lunches for the week, and make sure I was ready to go. Last night, I finally found the energy to trace some Wonder Under, but I’d realized that I had all this bad shit in the outer part of the quilt, and COVID wasn’t lurking in there. So I had to draw that damn thing in…again…

Almost 1100 pieces now. Then I traced for a while (after exercise, making dinner, deciding not to enter a show, eating dinner, grading one class worth of one assignment, and doing all the cat things, oh yeah, and watering everything)…

So only a whopping 40 minutes in the end. Hopefully more tonight. Getting close to the end. Ready to just sit on the couch and cut shit out. Also Nova would like me to do that so she can shed all over me and knead my belly. Luna massages my shoulders for me (with her claws and all her weight pushing in)…trying to figure out how to get her to do that one spot on my back that hurts. She does not take direction well though.

OK. Gotta go. Shit. It’s late. Ugh. Puberty today and something else. Can’t remember. Ah yes. Menstruation and sperm production. Sounds like a day.

Sunday?

Hey. I’m writing on a Sunday. WTH. It’s OK…I have a 3-day weekend and I will not be home tomorrow morning…I’ll be dropping the Man off on the PCT, hiking a little way with him, and then driving home so I can teach puberty on Tuesday. Like you do. Because I’m trying to be responsible and not take days off when there are zero substitute teachers. That and the Man’s permit is for tomorrow and once I drop him off, it’s not like I want to hang out in Kennedy Meadows or Ridgecrest (apologies if you are from either place). So kamikaze back home it will be.

Yesterday, I did all the things…graded three assignments (two more to do in the car on the way up), shopped for next week’s groceries, got gas in the car, did my laundry, watered all the plants, prepped the school assignments for next week, and made the bullet journal pages for next week. Finished a book that made me cry. OK, maybe life made me cry, but the book was there with me. It’s OK…the second book in the series is sitting on my iPad waiting for me to cry to it as well. HELLO EMOTIONS.

In totally awesome news, Hold On sold this week…going to Seattle, where maybe I can see it in situ someday.

I started this piece in January 2020, and then finished it after my school sent me home for the quarantine. It was strange to finish something about nuclear missiles and the wildfires in Australia and climate change while the world was falling apart. I think every quilt since then (almost) has had a COVID virion in it. Because that’s still a thing.

Anyway, now I can pay my mortgage over the summer. Always a plus.

I also traced more Wonder Under on the new piece on Saturday night…

I’m in the 700s, so about 300 pieces to go…maybe two nights? Depending on the nights. I’ve been tracing for 10 1/2 hours so far. Not super fast. Fast is 100 pieces an hour. When I’m tired, I don’t trace fast. Reality check there. So maybe by Wednesday night, I’ll be cutting up Wonder Under. I could take it with me to Ridgecrest, but it’s a pain to pack up…so I think I’ll wait. It’s not really worth it for one night of cutting things up.

On Friday night, I went to see the Man’s band play…haven’t done that for a really long time.

It was nice to be back for the music and dancing (the Man is on the far left…I did not excel at photography after working all week). Well, except for the sky.

It was nice.

I also took lots of pictures of Kitten this weekend.

Because she was cute.

Well, mostly.

Right now, she’s in my face, stepping on the keyboard, headbutting me while I type. Less cute.

OK. Gotta pack up the last stuff, make a cup of tea, and get in the car to drive a long boring way. Then hang out in a hotel in the middle of nowhere, get up early, then find the trail, hike for a while, hike back, letting the Man continue for as long as his body will let him (hopefully the whole rest of the trail), drive home, and make lunches for the week. Yeah. It’s not going to necessarily be fun or easy, but it might help me with the goodbye part. I wasn’t really prepared for him to be gone until October, but some money appeared for him, so he’s going for it. May his body oblige.

I’ll be back here, holding down the fort, making art, reading books, and petting furry beasts.

They Just Keep Coming…

Sheesh. Another Monday. It’s like they just keep coming, one after the other. I couldn’t find the shirt I wanted to wear. I have some tweaked muscle in my right hip. My right hand is sore…from tracing things, I guess. Muscles I use and then don’t use and then they complain about it. Not sure what the hip is about…probably some exercise I don’t even remember that got it just there.

So Monday…this Monday is all weird. My schedule is all whacked for today. Things I normally don’t do on a Monday are happening today. State testing again this week, but math. That’s always a challenge. Math is harder for a lot of kids. I personally think math is pretty easy, because you know there’s an answer. You just have to figure it out. It’s not like you have to engage the reading comprehension part if you’re not quite awake. The creative part.

Speaking of that creative part, I wrote an article on Saturday morning. Hopefully it’s decent enough. Who knows. I don’t remember what I wrote. I’ll let you know when it publishes.

Is my brain wandering all over the place? Yes, yes it is. I was awakened last night around 12:49 AM (pretty specific actually) by a screech sounding somewhat like a child’s cry of pain. Probably an owl…but not a sound I’d heard from them before. It wasn’t coming from the owl box, but it was a terrifying noise. Woke me and the cat right up. I don’t think anyone else did more than stir in their sleep. Weird. Really incredibly weird.

OK, so in the I’m Making Stuff world, I finished the drawing on Thursday night…

No wait, I did everything but the last bit of the sky. I knew I wanted something, but not a lot, and I wasn’t sure of what, so I went to bed Thursday night and posted on Instagram that the sky needed something. I already had some ideas in mind, and I wasn’t asking for help, but you know how the internet is…a lot of people wanted to help. So I got a bunch of suggestions, mostly to leave it empty (nah…) for the eye to rest (double nah) and I drew what I had been bouncing around in my head already. Amusing though. I don’t do critique groups either. I trust what’s in my head, and although I realize that people are not wrong about eyes resting and/or whatever might come up in a group critique, I just don’t work that way. In fact, it irritates me. Enough that I have to talk myself out of never posting pictures again (don’t worry…it keeps me accountable to do so…so I will continue.). If you put your work out there, people will comment and that’s OK. Not sure where that interior response comes from (probably a couple of art teachers in the past).

And then I numbered the pieces, although I missed the sun.

So I guess it’s 1065 pieces…

Not too bad. I tried to keep it simpler. I know it doesn’t look that way to the viewer, but I know what I meant.

Saturday night, I started tracing, although I didn’t get very far…

But last night, I made it to piece 232. So not bad. Probably got another 8 hours of tracing to do. It’s very meditative. Calming. A good place to be right now.

Saturday afternoon, we did an almost normal pre-COVID thing and went to two exhibits, one the California Fibers’ show at Visions Art Museum, where two of my pieces are hanging.

That’s Hold On in its first exhibit. I started this before COVID and finished it in quarantine.

And this is All Stacked Up with Linda Anderson’s piece Perceptions of Life

The show is up through July 3.

Then we headed to the Oceanside Museum of Art to see James Watts’ exhibit there. I love his stuff. It’s fun, it’s deep, it’s so touchable…

You should go see it. Totally.

I spent a little time stitching on this…so close to done.

Finished all of the type 5 flowers and moved on to type 6…

The backstitching is easy but will take forever because of all the petals. Nothing quick about this border…I’ve been working on it for over a year.

Nova likes to lie on whatever is on top of my drawing…

I cover it so she won’t nibble on it, as she has done in the past…

That cat is a weirdo.

OK. So tracing all week. Math testing for two long days. A bunch of meetings, although today’s was canceled. Sex ed this week includes Yes Means Yes, anatomy, and puberty. All good. Easy peasy. Stuff I know. What a relief. Although there was an issue with one class that is heavy on boys…entitled boys…boys who really don’t get it…sigh. We’ll see how today goes when I introduce the law that doesn’t let them be entitled…well, you know, even that law doesn’t work right. But at least it tries. Tired. I’m still tired. We’re getting close to the end though. Close to the end of a very long, very tiring year. May next year be better.

Lost in the Weeds…

I spent about 5 hours yesterday afternoon dealing with the day job. I posted things, filled in pandemic contracts, calculated percentages on finished contracts, graded things, organized some calendar stuff, graded some more things, input some grades, and created one assignment. Unpaid hours, yes, but my prep period today is a whopping 45 minutes, so you can guess how much of that I would have gotten done today. Today I’m sure there are about 4 contracts that will close, so they will need percentages, plus who thinks I graded everything?! Anyone? Anyone? Yeah. That. I got lost in the weeds on the assignment I was doing. I had this issue last year with this assignment. I need to write down what I expect to get and save it somewhere so I can read it next year before I start.

I’m also rocking a stuffed-up nose, but have tested negative multiple times. My team says “take a day off,” and science would be OK (they wouldn’t finish the assignment, but whatever), but art would be a clusterfuck. And the next three days are labs and demos, so no guest teacher can do that. I’d have to either have them watch the video of it from last year’s Zoom or make up some completely different lame filler assignment. So I keep testing and stay masked and take meds for the cloggage.

Sleep has been problematic the last few nights as well, so I’m not feeling it. The whole get up and go. Nope. Drinking tea now to counteract the nope.

I did trace a lot of Wonder Under this weekend, more on Saturday than Sunday, due to my plan to never do the day job on Saturdays. Also, I was listening to the Surface Design Association conference stuff on Saturday morning, so I pieced the next block in Molli Sparkles QAL…

Piecing is not my forte. Directional stuff too…although I’m OK with both those things.

Here they are with the other parts…

Quilt of Chaos! I’m not even trying to make things match…just using lots of black and white prints. Things I can control. Sort of. Because piecing.

There was still another SDA thing, so I pulled the pieces I had cut for the scarf I didn’t start in last year’s QuiltCon…I watched the videos and took notes and bought the materials, but never started. So I pinned them down in a gradient of sorts…

Basted them all down half-assed and started stitching.

Well that’s fun. My official ‘listening to meetings on Zoom again’ scarf.

After SDA was done, we headed to Visions Art Museum to see A Better World, with my quilt Bill! Bill! Bill!.

It’s a nice exhibit to see in person, and looks great on museum walls…

The exhibit is up through early April…check it out!

I did some stitching on Chirp…this is the second of four of the fourth type of flower, with a pain-in-the-ass stitch going around it…

I’ll be good at it by the time I get to the fourth flower of it.

I traced a little on Friday night, then about 3 hours on Saturday night (the man had a show and I didn’t go)…

And another hour last night…

I’ve got 6 different yards of giant sky pieces that I’m trying to fill in with the smaller pieces of the body and plants and all. I hate waste…

This is taking a really long time to trace. I’m at 15 1/2 hours and I’m only in the 900s. It will go over 20 hours, I think. Usually it’s about 100 pieces an hour, but those big swoopy pieces were time-consuming…some in the time to trace them and some in how to fit them best on the yard of Wonder Under. I should finish some time this week though…

Great sentiment.

So survival day. Just get through it. Come home and nap? Not sure. Staff meeting about suicide today…annual notification of what suicidal kids look like. Yeah. We know, unfortunately. Let’s talk, though, about banning books that might help some of these kids, but not banning guns. Oh…you don’t want to talk about that? I’m shocked. Sigh. This country is so fucked up sometimes. With that, I’m going to go teach the next generation to think…maybe.

Sexy Metal…

The alarm went off. In my dream, I was measuring out spaces for desks, but someone had moved my classroom outside, on cobblestones outside some very old (read, not found in California) building. There were sea lions nearby and a million places for kids to disappear into and a billion things for them to be distracted by, plus they were all coming from different places and we had to find room for all their luggage. Teacher dreams, man. Oh yeah, the desks had to be 6 feet apart, but ALL the school was outside, so I could only have this square of cobblestones and all the desks had to fit in that space. Ironically, I never had to do this last year, because I was in the hell they call Zoom classes, where all the desks are far apart or nonexistent and all the children are distracted.

So many levels of weirdass trauma with this pandemic.

Anyway, my weekend was busy, but I did finish all my progress report grades, although sometimes I wonder what I’m teaching and whether I’m effective or not…

Sixth metal? I’m hoping. Although I still don’t know what he’s talking about. Welcome to my world. The assignment I thought was so easy last week was apparently more confusing than I thought. Ah well. So be it. One of the wonders of teaching a school that is 90% or more English language learners.

So what else went on? Well, I traced a lot…over three hours on Saturday night…

We went to a friend’s birthday party early in the evening, and then the man watched his show and I listened to mine. When I’m tracing, I really need something that is mostly listening, not much watching.

No closed captioning, no foreign language, no action without words. Last night, I only got a little over an hour in…more like normal.

I am a quarter of the way through, but as I was tracing last night, I found a whole section I hadn’t numbered, so now, instead of 1329 pieces, I think there are 1372. Stay tuned for more brain farts.

This weekend was also the start of the Surface Design Association online conference, which I signed up for, and happily listened (and watched) to many artists talk about their work, one while driving to pilates, another while finishing grades, and one while prepping lunches. I miss most of it this week, because it’s all during school hours, but they will be recorded. And Saturday morning will be another batch of webinars I can listen to in real time. Not ideal, but doable. When I wasn’t grading or cooking, I was doing the brainless stuff I can handle at the moment…tracing stuff for blocks of the month, which keep me occupied when I don’t have the strength or energy to stand and trace.

That’s all freezer paper for a block of the month on mushrooms. I’m fully a year behind and totally OK with that. It’s a time filler. I don’t make art every hour of the day. My brain needs a break from ALL the things. Hence working on this in the evenings…

Still not done with the 3rd version of the flowers. Time-fucking-consuming. But relaxing as well. Do this stitch over and over again on 4 flowers. Then do the next stitch.

I also worked on this a little bit…a different part of my brain.

Look at the pile of fabrics provided. What do you see? How do they all go together? She needs an eye and IDK what else. More flowers. Perhaps that is a hat and not hair, and she still needs hair. A bird on her head maybe. I think they’re all facing one direction though. We’ll see. This one is different than the other ones…an entire scene instead of just a woman. Interesting.

I didn’t go to Road to California, but one of my quilts did…the left one in that block of five.

I also had a meeting of one of my art groups (on Zoom). I miss that group in person, but it was a really long meeting too. We juried new members in, so I had spent time earlier in the weekend reviewing their work and their statements and taking notes. Usually we jury just from work, but it was nice to hear them talk about their practice. Definitely a plus.

I have another art meeting (on Zoom) on Wednesday. Busy week. Long week. We’re back to 5 days of school finally. I’m just so tired all the time. I go to bed earlier than I used to, per doctor’s orders, but I don’t seem to sleep well…probably because I’m rearranging desks on cobblestones. YES, I know it sounds like rearranging chairs on the Titanic. Fully Fucking Aware of that. It’s fine. This week in science is demos and labs and rock stars. It all makes sense. Art is oil pastels. Hearing that I might have to continue to teach an elective next year…I wish I had one that was less labor- and brain-intensive. Art is hard. Teaching art is harder. I’m not sure I’m cut out for it. It’s not like teaching anything is particularly easy, but there’s this sense of talent/skill that plays in art and I just don’t have the energy for dealing with fixed mindset and art for only one period. If I didn’t have to do science as well? Maybe. We have an art teacher though and I don’t want to be her. Anyway. I get no choices on these things.

Yeah. That. You can’t tell that’s what I’m thinking because my mask is on. OK. Gotta go to school with pennies and magnets (lab!) and hopefully grade a bunch of things about balloons that don’t talk about sexy metals, and then meet with my team about field trips (what??? Finally!), and then come home and do more of that tracing thing. Plus bingewatch that show I’m listening to, because it disappears on January 31 and that isn’t that far away. Plus get enough sleep and exercise. Got it.

Growl Mode…

I’m in growl mode. Didn’t get enough sleep. Didn’t get enough done. Trying to be all zen about today, but it doesn’t feel zen. Want to go back to bed. Want another few days off work. Not an option. Yeah, it’s Monday…maybe this is all about Monday. Some really cool stuff is going on…I got a new sewing machine. My parents surprised me on Friday…told me mom had picked up my machine at the store where I had dropped it for repair (she goes there a lot), so I went to get it from her. And they had traded the old one in and gotten a deal on a new one. I’ve never had a new machine. I owe them some money, which is fine, because they don’t want it right this second, but here she is…

It’s a Viking…I’ve always sewn on Vikings. Looking forward to getting to know her better…many thanks to my parents. May she sew like the wind for a good long time.

I’ve been tracing every night…

It doesn’t look a whole lot different each night, but I made it to the 900s last night, so more than halfway done.

With about 9 1/2 hours in…

I’ve been tracing a lot of small things. The background will be a lot of big things, if I ever get there. Maybe by the weekend? We’ll see. Some nights, I get an hour in…some an hour and a half. Not much more than that. Always have school stuff and grading to do. I spent a lot of time on that yesterday…a good 5 hours or so. Did I finish? Do I ever finish?

This is cool…one in cocoon and one just starting…

That was Friday or Saturday…I should go check again. But I have to work first…today is a challenge. Have to get kids to finish all the things and turn them all in…and then grade them. Never-ending stuff that. Plus a staff meeting where we get to decide whether to upend the schedule completely or grow some classes on the large side. The opportunity to separate some troublesome kids who shouldn’t be together? But we could do that one kid at a time if we needed to. It’s an UGH meeting. OK, they are all UGH meetings.

Drew this before dinner on Saturday. There was no Sharpie in my purse…not sure why. So I was stuck with a ballpoint. Hate that.

Takes too long.

OK. Cranky mood notwithstanding, I still have to teach. Lack of sleep not helpful. I went to bed early. My brain was just not in the best place. Let’s all hope it gets to a better place (or exhaustion) by tonight. Until then, I know I will get to trace later tonight. And I did get a lot done yesterday, even if it felt like a work day (because it was). Crossing lots of things off the to-do list is a plus.

Cat Interference…

Woke up early, not enough sleep, not enough caffeine, did the Quilt National talk, forgot my headphones keep the sound from showing up from my video, oh well, answered questions…

Photo stolen from the QN Instagram. I’ve actually watched all but one of these. I find them fascinating. You can see all of them (they haven’t uploaded this morning’s yet) and all the artist videos for this year on the Dairy Barn YouTube channel. Also, if you want to see my studio tour with sound (because that was missing this morning), you can see it here.

I know. As a teacher, I should remember how this shit works, but my brain was not awake. So there.

I spent the time cutting out Wonder Under, because I find it easier to listen carefully when I am doing something with my hands…

Which, yes, means I finished tracing last night.

So many cat interactions on this…

It took quite a long time to trace, longer than normal.

More complicated pieces than normal? Maybe. Also maybe that I had to think extra hard about overlaps.

I could just blame the cats. They were in the way.

18 hours and about 6 yards. Now I just need to cut them all out.

Yesterday, the man and I did a little driving reconnaissance for some possible training hikes.

Water is an issue. But he has more physical therapy in store and hopefully will be back on the trail in a few weeks or so.

This lizard…I think he’s the one I follow up the steps sometimes.

He jumps up the steps in front of me like he’s showing me the way.

Anyway. The day is half over, because of the talk and the car had to go in and a bunch of school stuff happened (that gave me a headache) and then lunch and I had to record a video for another art group I’m in and it only took about 17 tries to get the words right. I’m tired because I got up too early, but will be walking later. And cutting out lots of Wonder Under. And hopefully crossing some stuff off the to-do list because it’s insanely long at the moment. Stupid long. Maybe nap. Nap sounds nice. I tried it yesterday but cats interfered. Ugh. Ah well. Whatever happens, art will be involved.

Zen and Chill…

So I’m late writing again. Mondays are just not a thing I do well. I get all tied up in stuff that needs doing and all of a sudden it’s 5 PM and I forgot to eat lunch. OK, I remembered lunch today. I think I’m cooking dinner too, so that ought to be interesting. The plus is that I have new glasses. I mailed a Patreon reward out. I walked to Home Depot and blindly (no glasses) picked out a towel rack. My right eyelid is twitching…this is not a thing it normally does in August. This is an end-of-school-year thing. Sigh.

We got the first official school email. We have to do block schedule (ugh. sigh. I like it for art, but sometimes for science, it limits the number of things I can cover in a week). We won’t know exactly what schedule until about a week before school starts. Fun stuff. No master schedule yet…we think we know what we’re teaching, mostly. It could change. I’m trying to be all zen and chill about it. The eye twitch is probably an indicator that some part of me is not so zen and chill. That part needs to pivot.

Anyway, to remedy all that, I’m working on art stuff. As always. I thought I had finished drawing the current piece, but in the end, added COVID into the sky. It’s not gone.

Putting it in her gut makes sense to me. And then I started tracing…

It’s pretty slow going. There are lots of weirdly overlapping pieces, because the two female figures are blending in. So I have to think before I trace about what goes over or under what’s next to it.

Still, it’s meditative. I’m almost 8 hours in, but I’m only in the 400s.

Big complicated pieces take longer to trace. I’ll hit halfway tonight, I think.

Cats are no help. And the man sits on the couch behind the light table and I keep whacking him in the head with the drawing.

Not on purpose. We did a short walk on Friday. His knee was not happy.

Sigh. Frustrating for him, I know. He has one physical therapy session this week. Maybe they can help.

So many cats getting in the way.

Luna was going to grab Kitten’s tail, but I think she rethought that action.

Here’s Kitten lying in the lid of my embroidery box. So helpful.

Well, normally I use this as a place to figure out what I’m doing today, but today is almost over and I’m still slogging through the to-do list. I was supposed to finish a video for my Patreon yesterday and the website was down, so that still needs to happen. I would like to trace for another couple of hours or so. I did go to the gym today, so that was good. I think a fresh cup of tea and maybe a small snack is what I need, and then check the to-do list and cross some shit off of it (always a fun thing to do), and then get that damn video done. Then I can do art things. I can’t think about school right now (someone should tell my brain that part). We won’t know what block schedule we’ll have until August 6. We go back the 12th. Kids the 17th. I’d like to thank the universe for making us PIVOT again. At the last minute. Still gonna be doing that all year, I see. More art to be made in response.