Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Oh, hello!

I am not entirely sure what to write except to catch up.  I feel like this space is always catch up.  Spend a month furiously, beautifully writing and the wander off only to return.  I do always do that.  I always return to this space.

I find I have grown in painful, powerful ways this year and I am wanting to document them more and more.
One year ago I began seeing a therapist who finally clicked with me and my needs.  We have done such work, such amazing work that I am in awe of who I was even just six months ago versus who I am now.
I am stronger now, more vocal and better able to verbalise what is going on in my heart and mind.  I am able to head off arguments because they are just ghost fingers from my past.  I am untangling myself and standing straighter than ever before.  I am still pinching myself to be sure I am awake.

In March I began massage therapy school.  So far it's been terrifying (OHGODWHATAMIDOING?) and amazing (I didn't know the body could do that!) and I love it.  In some ways becoming an LMT is a means to an end.  I realized that I dislike being a barista, an office admin, a gopher for someone else's schedule.  I want my OWN schedule that I can adjust as I need.  I want something flexible enough to allow me to have a couple of munchkins.  I also want something that I can show up to, on the good days and the bad days and still enjoy.  So far, massage therapy is proving to be just that.
I have an amazing cohort and don't know if I would have stayed the course without them.  We're cruising along to our half way mark in a few more weeks and it feels like sweet relief.  Next March doesn't seem so far away and daunting.






















I would like to try to spend more time in this space talking about things that mean a lot to me.  So I would like to place an easy goal for myself; to blog twice a month.  That is how often I podcast currently and it feels like an attainable goal for the time being.  If you see me in real life, or on other forms of social media, would you please ask me how that next blog post is coming?  I would love your help in keeping on track with this goal and staying accountable.

Much Love,
Anna

Monday, December 5, 2016

Holding Space

I'm not even sure what to write about today other than I want to be more present here.  I feel a little lost in my world right now and unsure what to focus my time and energy on doing.  Sewing isn't interesting right now.  I am actively working on one knitting project.  I podcast (have I told you about that yet? I don't think so) but otherwise I am not fulfilling my creativity and creative energy.

I went to dinner last night with dear friends.  We shared plates of food and wonderful conversation and left saying "We really should do this again.  Soon!"  I feel like I always say that, but have difficulty following through unless I actually SET a date and time.  I should add that to my New Year's Goals.  Spend more time with enriching friends.
Spend more time outside.  Spend more time making things simply for the joy of making things.  Spend time.
We did just that last night.  We spent time walking through my neighborhood, sometimes three abreast and sometimes with me in the lead.  We stopped to say hullo to the neighborhood cats and marvel at the plants and trees gone to sleep.  We sipped the air and remarked on how it tasted of snow.
We sat at a table sliced from a tree, running our fingertips along the smoothed grain and marveled at the colours and texture.  We wobbled in chairs made from stumps, worn smooth from many hands and seats.  We passed food and ideas back and forth, laughing and contemplating.  We bonded deeper and I felt the threads between the three of us grow.
We trooped back to my house in the deep blue cold, arms crossed over our chests and breath pluming out into the night as we marveled at the smudgy Trickster's Moon.  The cantaloupe slice of Cheshire Cat grin that smirked at us all the way back to my apartment.  We seamlessly loaded a bed frame into a car like the stage hands we are.  Moving easily as though rehearsed a hundred times.  I bowed my head to have the back shaved down and relished the touch of my friend's hands and the growl of the clippers.
Today I feel a small sense of renewal and peace.  I would much rather be home, cozied up in my kitchen with stew bubbling on the stove, music flowing, and crafts to make but that is for later.  Another time, another moment holding space and bonding.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Samhain 2016!

Halloween, or Samhain is a beloved holiday for me since I'm all about dressing up in costume!  This year a couple friends and I threw a small party at my house that was all about being relaxed.  We had been to other events in the past couple years but they generally left us tired and hollow the next day rather than glowing and happy.  So Super Chill Samhain was just the thing for us!

I made a bunch of chili complete with a side of cornbread, and then added some pumpkin pasties for good measure.  Friends brought delicious finger foods and other desserts until my kitchen table was fairly groaning from all the delicious food! 


I ran around dressed as a girl version of Dean Winchester from the tv show, Supernatural and my darling Sonya was Sam Winchester!  As usual, we neglected to snap a picture of us together, but we looked fab!

Sonya brought out her Halloween decorations and we plastered my windows with tiny rubber bats, added plastic flies and rubber mice to our pitcher of drinking water, and made my apartment all cozy and spooky.


We had to taste-test the chili to make sure it was acceptable!  Happily, it passed with flying colors.  Sonya also made an amazing punch with Cherry Dr. Pepper, Ginger Ale, Pomegranate juice, cherries and pomegranate seeds.  It was dark and beautiful.  The bubbles caused the punch to appear as if it was simmering gently in the huge cauldron, with little pomegranate gems bobbing up and down.


Aidan came over as a Demon/Calcifer (from Howl's Moving Castle!) and chopped up a fabulous assortment of strange fruit and veggies in the kitchen.

He may have gotten a little goofy...

This is called a "Hand of Buddha" or a "Fingered Citrus" and is one of the oldest citrus fruits.  It was like extremely pithy lemon, and when nibbled produced a slightly spicy flavor.  We added it to the water just for fun!

Miss Sophie Hatter came to sip punch with us and keep Calcifer in line!

We ended up watching Beetlejuice, Hocus Pocus, and then Over the Garden Wall. If you have never seen Over the Garden Wall, YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST!!  It was absolutely amazing delight of music, delicate, handdrawn cell animation, and brilliant storytelling.  Produced by Cartoon Network in 2014, it was a series of 10, 10 minute episodes that culminate in a full tale of two brothers lost in the woods.  Or are they?

Miss Sophie helped us light the fire and kept Calcifer well fed over the evening.



All in all, it was an amazing night full of just the right amount of social interaction, good food, and relaxation I think we all needed!  Until next year!


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Mural and Women's Rights


I came across an article this morning in my limited facebook time, about a mural that sparked conversation about women's rights.
I had seen the mural in progress, stunning naked bodies in various tidal pools surrounded by octopi, otters, and coral.  Nothing whimsical to see rather, powerfully posed women and a man representing the lush beauty of the ocean and the power of women.
Originally this mural was designed with completely naked bodies, but because of an obscure city ordinance, the nipples of the women are required to be covered while the lone male nipple may sit in pert, naked contrast.

Buzzfeed did an article and a short video on this mural once the ordinance was put into effect.  Artist Crystal Barbre had to paint over the women's nipples leaving the mural feeling like something was added awkwardly, because it was.  The Stranger covered it as well as Arts, Fashion and Culture site, Vanguard Seattle

No one.  NO ONE.  Not one person gave a negative remark as Crystal was working on her mural, simply because her mural is beside one of the local Adult Entertainment venues, Deja Vu is it considered to be "lewd material" according to city ordinance.

America has many problems, the majority of which are coming to harsh light with our upcoming circus of an election, but the one that devastates me is our asinine, archaic, and obsolete fuss over women's bodies and how we might display them.  We are perfectly willing to sell products using sexualized images of dewy, sweaty women lusting over cars, hamburgers, perfume, you name it.
God help you should you want to paint a woman on the side of a building holding an octopus and looking divine.  God help you should you need to FEED your infant while running errands or participating in normal activities.
We are so backwards in what we are comfortable with as a nation that it's all I can do just to try and emigrate to Norway or Sweden.  Nudity should not immediately equate Lust or Sexual Desire.
I explained this a lot when I talked about performing burlesque and people would generally consider Burlesque to equate Stripping.  It does not.
Burlesque is designed to start ideas, to titillate and mildly arouse.  Stripping and other highly sexual performances are designed to arouse, erect, and get off.  It's a full service idea.
Burlesque is to Stripping as Erotica is to Pornography.  Burlesque is tasteful, powerful, and leaves you wishing for more.  Erotica likewise, begins ideas and notions.  Stripping and Pornography are (for the most part) base portrayals of lewd acts.  They are sweaty and dirty and leave you breathless but feeling like you might need a shower.  Burlesque elevates, empowers, and leaves you glowing.

However, because the majority of Americans view Burlesque and Stripping as being of the exact same ilk, they can see no difference.  Likewise we view the display of breasts and female nipples with the exact same scorn and derision as if they were offered up in a sexual act rather than being bared because they are lovely and beautiful.

The naked body is beautiful in a non-sexual way.  It is also beautiful in a sexual way.  Learning the difference is the change that we need as a nation.
A woman should be able to breastfeed in public just as much as she should be able to display herself, sexually or not.  The fact that in 2016 we are still shocked by this, and even debating this is utterly ridiculous.  Women are human beings just as much as men are and we needed to be treated equally. Full.  Stop.



Sunday, July 31, 2016

Farewell July!

Hello lovelies!

I've been up to some fun things this month and figured a round up of things would be fun to put together.

Ran around downtown feeling like a goth spy in my trench coat and Modcloth dress.  Did you know that the name of the trench coat is because it was first worn in the trenches of World War I?  I didn't!

Nathen and I succumbed to the thrill of Pokemon Go and we've been strolling around catching those elusive little 'Mons and battling Gyms!  Too much fun.

I am in the process of recreating the dress my Mom is wearing on the left.  Found some perfect blue gingham at Joann's on sale, and the end of the bolt!  Snapped up about 4 yards and am modifying a Simplicity pattern.


 Nathen and I ran around Ballard on the 14th catching more Pokemon after having a lovely dinner together.  It's been fun to relive parts of my teenage years with this game. It came out when my brothers were the perfect age, so naturally I got engrossed in playing the card game and we all watched the tv show for a while.  Having it as a game on my phone has been just as fun!

 Rattata, on the left, tried to nibble Nate's shoes!  We stuffed him in a pokeball and fed him some pokecandy.

Drowsee, on the right, thought my bed was just the best place for bouncing.  I let him have a couple jumps before catching him too!


My dear friend Bethany and I started a podcast!  We cast when we're able, so it's almost on a bi-monthly schedule.  You can listen to our pilot episode here.

 On the 19th, Bethany, her mum Becky, sister Kamryn, and I went to a knitting event at a Mariner's game!  Aptly titled, Stitch N'Pitch, we got fun swag bags (which were perfect for a knitting project or some extra yarn from the fun vendors at the event) and had a wonderful evening.  Yes, we also played Pokemon Go and caught a couple that appeared to be right down on the field!  It was really lovely to spend time with these delightful women, knit, and mostly watch the game.  While the Mariner's didn't win, a grand time was had by we four!









 Just this last weekend, my buddy Aidan and I wandered around the Ballard Locks (he had never been there before!) shamelessly caught a bunch of pokemon, soaked up the decadent sunshine, and enjoyed the excellent company.

Can you spot Aidan in the tree on the left?
 Admittedly, I haven't lived in Ballard very long, but I was unaware we had a counterweight bridge for the trains that run along the edge of town.  So beautiful it's rusty glory.

Can you find Aidan on the right?  :D  He had too much fun climbing the trees.






No trip to the Ballard Locks is complete without a jaunt over to the Fish Ladder!  There was a spiffing polished metal sculpture that evoked the swirling eddies and crashing water.  We decided the left-hand picture is our folk/punk band album cover.




















 I treated myself to a thrift store jaunt, and found the above green skirt!  I love a good paisley and this 90's skirt even had pockets!  I didn't have the add them in!  The stunning vintage number on the left was found by my darling friend Sonya upon learning that I don't have a pink dress.  Believe it or not, the under-layer is a delicate pink reminiscent of an old ballet slipper.  The black meshy overlayer renders the entire ensemble a stormy lavender and it fits like a DREAM.  Sonya didn't measure me or the dress!  Meant to be.




















Yesterday was spent out in my beloved Lincoln Park over in West Seattle celebrating my friend Jocelyn's birthday!  She wanted a Hobbit themed party since she turned the same age as Pippin was in The Fellowship of the Ring.  We have decided we also need to have lavish Hobbit parties when we each turn 33 which was the same age Bilbo and Frodo were when they left the Shire.  We did a D&D style Choose Your Own Adventure with the Scouring of the Shire as our basic outline.  We kicked Saruman out of the Shire with a leprous Hobbit and the magical powers of another!  Felt beards, Hobbit ears, and a Gandalf hat were mandatory and very fun.  Jocelyn made Lembas bread as well, which was delicious!  Lembas was what the elves of Lothlorian gave the Company to eat on their journey.  While it was touted that "One small bite can fill the belly of a full grown man", the Hobbits, Merry and Pippin ate more than their weight in lembas before their departure from Lothlorian.  I definitely fulfilled my role as Merry and tucked away more than one delicious triangle of this bread!

I've got some sewing projects to fill you in on for next time, as well as the second episode of The Backstage Knitting Podcast!

Much love,
Anna

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Gracious!


Hello my dearies!

I always wonder how I manage to neglect this dear little blog and then it's been nearly five months since I last posted and I realise my life has been busy!  I need to dedicate time to creating posts since there are so many fun things I want to share with you.  We ran off to England again in May and finally visited Scotland and I have pictures and stories from that.  I attended the Fremont Solstice Parade for the first time and that was delightful.  I need to write those up soon!

I wanted to pop in and say hello and that I need to actively try and make time for this space.  I need to writing exercise and the "social" interaction.

xoxo,
Anna

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Costume Blogs and Historical Resources

I'm collecting this here today in part to have one list for the facebook page I manage, and for those of you who read here I wanted to toss together a bunch of links to some of my favourite costume/sewing blogs.

Historical Costumers:

The Laced Angel

Diary of a Mantua Maker

Before the Automobile

Romantic History

American Dutchess

The Costumer's Closet

The Dreamstress


Sewing Technique Blogs

By Gum By Golly

Gertie's Blog for Better Sewing


Bits and Bobs:

The Sewing Academy

NineteenTeen - great resources for the oddments of 19th century life from literature to customs, to carpets mentioned in novels!

Glamor Daze - historical makeup tutorials

The Enchanted Serenity of Period Films

Queens of Vintage - Vintage bits, more rockabilly and current vintage trends.