Monday, 27 June 2011

Return of the ranty Feminist: Know your Birth Control Facts


This pissed me off. I usually love Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross, but this pissed me off.

Neither of them claim to be experts BUT a lot of people look to them for advice because they talk about things that nobody else will, such as in this case birth control.
I cannot describe how disappointed I was to find them telling people myths and scare stories that were designed to scare people with vaginas (I say people with vaginas because we aren't all women) out of using birth control.

First and foremost, which or even if you use birth control is YOUR personal decision to make, you need to find out the facts and then decide what is best for your situation because what suits one person doesn't suit another.
I'm not an expert either so I'd always recommend you go talk things over with your doctor (or nurse depending on who deals with reproductive health in your country), but I know enough from the time I spent volunteering for my local sexual health services (I used to mystery shop family planning clinics to make sure they were doing their jobs properly, it was actually really fun :) ) that IUDs don't cause spontainious misscarriges.

As far as I'm aware (as in there might have been some newer developments since I stopped volunteering), contraception comes in the following types:

Male and female condoms
"The pill"
The implant (Implanon)
Injections
Contraceptive patches
Diaphragms and caps
IUD
IUS
"The ring"

The safest form of contraception and the only one that is 100% likely to work is just not to have sex at all, and that works for some people, but for some of us it just isn't that practical, and unfortunately sometimes it can also be taken out of our hands.

Probably the most common for of contraception is the male version of the condom. In the UK you can get these free from your Family Planning Clinic, GUM clinic and sometimes from your GP, if you're under 25 your GP will pretty much THROW THEM AT YOU whenever you go in for a check up (seriously I went in with earache once and left with a purple baggie of condoms and a chlamydia test), your local area may also do a similar scheme to the "C-Card" scheme that runs in mine, where if you apply for a card you can get free condoms in various places (sometimes including Student Unions and Libraries), which is handy if you're caught short and happen to be passing a Library at the time.

Female condoms (sometimes referred to as Femidoms), are not so widely available. Personally I'm not fond of them because I think they look and feel like a plastic shopping bag, but as I said this is my personal feeling and obviously they work fine for some people, so if you've not tried them, give them a go and see what you think.

I put the pill in quotes because there isn't just one pill, there are several different versions, with different combinations of hormones in, so if you find one isn't working out for you (for example you lost your libido, you've suddenly turned into the mood swingyest person on earth or you just keep forgetting to start taking your pills again after the week you stop), ask your doctor to switch you to a different one.
Initially I used a pill as my form of birth control (I actually used it before that to help regulate my very heavy periods that would often happen out of the blue), the first one I tried made me angry and weepy all the time, the second one I kept forgetting to take after the week off and the third one was the best of the three, didn't alter my moods plus it had three weeks of real pills then one week of placebos to help me remember to take them.
There is no proven link between the pill and cancer.

Implants (Implanon), are plastic tubes that go under the skin of the arm.
I'm not really sure how they work, but they last around three years, and this is why I eventually decided while I was a student that this would be the best option for me. When I became a student I had so much stress in my life and remembering to take my pills at the right time combined with having sex with a guy for the first time was just added stress, so I decided that something that could take part of that worry away for three years was just what I needed at the time.

My mother uses the injections, personally I can't see myself ever using this one because I have a fear of needles, but depending on which injection you get it can last 8-12 weeks.

The patch is similar to the pill in that you get a new one once per week and then have a week without a patch.
The effects of the patch last seven days.
It can be a little hard to use in that sometimes it can fall off before it's supposed to.

Diaphragms and caps seem stupidly complicated to me and again I can't see myself ever using them, but if you think they're right for you talk it over with your doctor.
Diaphragms and caps are made of latex or silicone and cover your cervix to prevent sperm getting past, to actually be effective you have to use them with a spermicide which can heighten your risk of UTIs, unless you use them in conjunction with condoms they cannot be used to prevent STDs. You have to leave a diaphragm or cap in for at least six hours after having sex but unless you take them out after a certain amount of time ( I'm not sure how much time, ask a dr) there is a risk of toxic shock syndrome.
Because they don't protect against STDs and you have to leave them in for six hour they are NOT recommended if you're having group sex.
Diaphragms and caps are 92-96% effective and in the UK they aren't really "pushed" as much as other birth control because they are less effective than other kind of birth control (I assume this is why Planned Parenthood aren't "pushing" them either), and so are of little interest to most people unless they dislike other forms of birth control or can't use other forms of birth control (a lot of the pills and things aren't recommended for people with heart condiditions or depression)

IUDs DO NOT CAUSE RANDOM MISSCARIGE.
An IUD causes the lining of the uterus to change so that a fertilised egg can't attach (this is similar to how the morning after pill works).
For some people the copper in the IUD can cause them to have heavier periods, this is not a miscarige.
 If you are using an IUD and suspect you might be pregnant you need to URGENTLY see a Dr as there's a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy. Pregnancies occurring whilst using an IUD are pretty rare though.
IUDs are 98-99% effective but cannot be used to prevent STDs and can last 5-10 years

IUSs are similar to IUDs but contain hormonal birth control rather than copper.
I'm very much considering this next as it can also last 5 years.
This also alters the lining of the uterus to stop eggs attaching, but in some women it can also stop them releasing eggs in the first place. This is a little to extreme for some people, but for me I like the idea.
in general it tends to make periods lighter.

As for the other things in the video.The withdrawl method? Seriously? People still do that?
I suppose it has it's uses if you're not planning on having a baby but if one came along by accident then you'd be ok with it because otherwise you're pretty certain to have it fail on you because even if your guy has the best come control in the world, that isn't going to stop the fact that sometimes fertile sperm are in precum.
Excuse me while I head desk.

Yaz has been around in the UK for a good few years now (I have a Yaz purse from when I used to volenteer so at least five years), and I've not heard anything about it killing people, sure there's a risk of allergy with every type of pill but I doubt it's randomly killing Canadians.
Also it doesn't cut most people's period down, it works like all of the other pills.

So I hope this helps somewhat and like I said if you're considering your birth control options visit a health proffesional for up to date advice.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Sunday Round Up: Paperwork, fortune telling and crochet!


Monday and Tuesday were spent filling out paperwork for my business, I will be SO GLAD when all the red tape is done with...
Wednesday I visited a psychic fair with my mam.
Thursday was the accessories photo shoot with Forever In Black (that's another preview image up top).
Friday was yet more paperwork.
Saturday was mostly a day of rest, did a lot of work on my super secret crochet project. I have a leg and a half, can you guess what I'm crocheting?
Today is a little more of the same :)

Friday, 24 June 2011

Happenings of the past few days

A preview image for the photo shoot I did with Forever in Black last night

On Wednesday night I went to a psychic fair with my mam, it was a really interesting night of messages from people's passed on loved ones, none for us this time, but since we usually get something it wasn't like a major disappointment or anything to not hear from anybody this time.
A few of my mam's friends got messages which was really nice :)

My mam had a private reading from a guy who was doing a different technique to what we'd seen before, it was a bit like tarot in that he had a stack of cards, but there were more of them than you would get with a tarot deck, and each card had a word or phrase on it.
As often happens when my mam gets a reading done there was a message in there for me, from his stack of cards the man pulled out one that read:
"A Web"

Now call it a co-incidence if you must, I won't argue because all "co-incidence" means is events that coincide, but I found that a little freaky, in a good way though.
He then went on to say to me that he felt I was in a situation where people were accusing me of things I haven't done and that the more I struggle against it, the more it looks like I'm a liar.
That's exactly the kind of situation I'm in at the moment as it happens, and honestly, yes it has been getting to me and a few days ago I finally snapped and did something a tad childish which probably made the whole thing a whole ton worse.
His advice to me is to let go, to let people gossip if they must because their lies will all come out in the wash eventually anyway.
It'll be hard for me, but I suppose that is probably the best way to deal with things.

Preview photo from the Forever In Black accessories shoot.

Yesterday I was part of another photo shoot for Forever in Black, I don't have any of the proper, polished up photographs yet but the two in this post are previews of what is to come.
This shoot was an accessories shoot, so there are lots of photos of hats, collars and cuffs to come :)
I also took my bonnet with me, so there are some decent bonnet photos to come :)

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Vlog: Grav3yardgirl's Paranormal Tag




I've managed to fix the sound, still working on the lighting but at least I don't look like I have liver disease!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Tuesday Tutorial - Secretlifeofabionerd's Summer Bandeau Bras

Unfortunately I haven't found the time to make a Tuesday Tutorial this week, however I decided to share a video tutorial by Secretlifeofabionerd whose videos I subscribe to on youtube instead.


I'm hoping to try this tutorial fairly soon and I'll make a post to show you my results :)

So what else have I been up to?
Well currently I'm typing up all of the paperwork I need to take to the bank with me to try and get a Business Loan.
It's kind of exiting and scary all at the same time!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Rococo and Lolita

Marie Antoinette

Weather or not modern Lolita has Rococo influences has been quite a hot topic of discussion lately, as the Rococo period is one of my favourites art and fashion history wise I thought I'd add my thoughts.

There is no doubt in my mind that when Lolita first started attracting the attention of people in the west there was a very obvious Rococo influence on the fashion, in most, if not all styles of Lolita at that time.
Gothic Lolita, Phaidon

As time moved on, Victorian and Edwardian styles took over as the obvious influences, and now the most popular styles seem to have almost no historical influences at all.
So is there any place in modern Lolita for Rococo?
The answer?
Well yes, of course, though it might not be as obvious as it once was.

The most obvious place that Rococo still resides is with Baby the Stars Shine Bright, and in the Taobao shops that are influenced by Baby's not so OTT take on Sweet Lolita.
Their recent release "Rococo Princess Tea Party" proves that although Rococo may be gone, it is most certainly not forgotten by Baby at least.
This dress ticks all of the Rococo style boxes, ruffles, lace, ribbons and gigantic hat.


But what about Rococo in more OTT styles?
Well the influence is still there, though it is a lot more subtle.
At the height of the Rococo style, women wore huge wigs and even huger skirts, the bigger your wig and skirt, the more income and power you were saying you had.
Wigs and hair extensions have been used a little bit in Lolita for several years now, but in OTT Sweet they seem to be getting bigger and bigger. Just take a look at Gothic Lolita Wigs's most popular styles, some of those are MASSIVE!
The same thing is happening with skirts, the petticoat is an integral part of the Lolita silhouette, but in the last few years OTT Sweet petticoats have been getting much larger, creating the over the top "epic-poof" that OTT Sweet is so famed for.
It's starting to seem in the Western Lolita communities at least that the bigger your wig and the poofier your skirt the more attention you'll get when you post your photo, and this can sometimes give the impression that OTT Sweet Lolitas have the power in the communities.
Lolita is an expensive hobby, even if you do buy from Bodyline/Taobao it will cost hundreds of pounds to get the wardrobe of your dreams, and this is doubly so if you have a lot of wigs and accessories to add to the mix.
Georgian women would drop toxic Belladonna essence into their eyes to make them dilate and appear wider, this often lead to blindness later in life.
The current parallel to this in OTT is the circle lens trend, a lot of OTTs wear these to make their eyes appear wider, and should the wearer cut corners and try and use them for longer than directed, just like the Belladonna essence, circle lenses can cause permanent damage to the eyes.
All of these parallels lead me to believe that Rococo will always in some way or another have influence on Lolita, even if is isn't always obvious.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Onwards and Upwards!

Queen of the Freaks by Fou Chapelier (Gaia commision)


Today was the last of my four days on the Prince's Trust "Getting Started" course, and I am feeling great.
Yesterday was all about HMRC and taxes and things like that, I found that part very hard going as it was pretty boring and maths isn't my strong point, but I suffered through and hopefully I'll get the hang of it because it's a neccesary evil.
Today we learned how to write up a proper business plan, what grants and funding is available to us, how to talk to a bank manager and things along those lines.
I really enjoyed today, I really enjoyed the course on a whole really, I feel like I'm finally starting to get somewhere.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Day 2: Market Research


Today was all about Market Research.
I really enjoy this part of things, I've actually been market researching for a good few months anyway by keeping an eye out for people saying that they wished there was a custom textile printing service in the UK (saw a couple of people say that in the Derpy Chan threads...Don't worry guys it'll be here soon :D)


We did an exercise on first impressions, apparently I come off as friendly, given the drama in my life of late I was glad to hear that :)
Apparently I also come off as "well educated", which is kind of funny because most of what I know I learned from Library books. I left school at 12 because I was really badly bullied and couldn't get in anywhere else, I was home educated until 16 and could only afford to sit one GCSE (exams cost a fortune if you aren't in school) English, which I got a B in, after that I went to college where I studied Maths, Spanish, Sign Language and Fashion, I just scraped a pass in my GCSE maths, the Spanish course was cancelled before the end, I failed Sign Language and I got a good mark in my GCSE Fashion (also a B).
My second and third year of college I took a National Diploma in Fine Art and specialised in Fashion and Textiles, I passed the course with Merit, Merit, Merit which was what I needed to get into University to do Fashion Design for Industry, I got good grades in first year but I didn't like the teaching style, I missed home and I found quite a lot of what I was doing kind of boring and I didn't feel I was getting help where I needed it  , so then in second year I combined courses and studied Design for Textiles, which I enjoyed more, but I ended up having some financial problems, which got me stressed, which meant I couldn't concentrate on one of the modules I was doing and I ended up flunking it (stupidly I got A's and B's for all of the other modules in second year).
I wanted to resit the module over the summer but dues to system errors and sheer staff incompetence (I wasn't sent half of the information I needed), I wasn't able to and ended up having to take almost a year out, that year being this year, which I've spent working on trying to set up my business and consequently decided that I don't want to go back to uni after all.
So I'm probably not all that well educated in a standard sense really.


We also did an exercise on  how best to set out a poster or flyer.
All in all I've had a pretty fun day :)
For part of my market research I need to get as many people as possible to fill in my research survey, it'd be great if any of my UK (or EU) dwelling readers could take a couple of minutes to fill it in for me :)
*click*

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Cats not kids- Why I am Childfree


I do not hate children, I am not going to stand outside a church with a "Kill 'em all" sign and I would never try and stop someone from having a child if that is really what they want, however I am not having any of my own.
When I was little I said I would have lots of children when I was old enough, because when you're a little "girl" that's all you're taught to believe, even now in this day when we can have women in Politics, if you are born without a penis you will be given plastic baby dolls to train you to look after the real thing.
Even if you're lucky enough to have a parent or parents that don't teach you the mantra of "when you are a big girl and have babies", you will get it at school instead, and most likely end up believing that you can do anything in life...So long as you have children.
When I got older I began to question this logic, but I was disappointed at people's reactions to me saying I wasn't sure I wanted children.

"I said that at your age...I CHANGED MY MIND!"
"Accidents happen!"
"BUT YOUR CHILD MIGHT CURE CANCER!"
"You'll never be a real woman until you have a baby"
"Not having children is a waste of a body, why would you waste what you have?"
"That is so SELFISH!"

The more people said those things the more I became sure I didn't want to join the cult-like mentality of these people.
Usually I tend to do things, and if I end up regretting them in the future oh well these things happen, but when it comes to someone else's life I don't follow that format. Surely it would be better that I don't have children and regret not having children, than have a child and regret having it?
There are mothers who regret having children, and I would hate to think I'd bring someone into the world who would grow up feeling unwanted because they were unwanted.
I keep running into people I knew from school that had children at a young age that keep telling me about how hard and thankless their lives are and that if they could turn back time they'd have either waited or not had children at all.
What if I had children and then changed my mind? What then?

True, accidents happen, birth control isn't perfect and it does sometimes fail, but if it did I would do everything in my power to make sure I didn't have to bring another unwanted child into the world. I guess that probably sounds a little harsh, but I don't want children, when everybody coos over babies in pushchairs, I don't, I just don't see the attraction and motherhood doesn't sound like that great a prospect for me.
As I said earlier, if it sounds like something you'd want then go for it, be a parent, enjoy being a parent, but I wouldn't.

When they say "BUT YOUR CHILD MIGHT CURE CANCER!" I often wonder if they mean "Your BOY child might cure cancer.", I'm only 22, if I spend my life studying I might cure cancer. If I spend my life looking after children I'd have no time for that.
And why cancer?
According to the World Health Report in 2004, out of every 100,000 people who die each year, the biggest killer is Malnutrition, 58% of people die of hunger.
Surely I'd want my child to solve world hunger? Or come up with a cure for Cardiovascular diseases, or Infectious and Parasitic Disease? The biggest killing cancer accounts for only 12.49% of deaths in every 100,000.
And what about the other side of that, but my child might be a serial killer?

I am not a "real woman" any way. Real women are skinny, real women are fat, real women have careers, real women stay at home and do house work.
Real women are a contradiction that people use to make people do what they want them to.
I am not a "real woman" and I am glad. Sometimes I'm not even a woman at all.

Personally, having seen several people I've known drop out of school, college and university to have children, I'd argue that if not having children is a waste of a body, then surely quitting education to have children is a waste of a mind?

As for the selfish part, well yes I suppose I do have a few selfish reasons for not wanting children in amongst the non-selfish ones (I kind of like my body how it is right now, and I have UK size 8 feet, it's hard enough finding pretty shoes without having my feet swell up another size), but personally I think it would be far more selfish of me to have a child of my own when there are so many children out there in the adoption system that don't have parents of their own.
Strangely when I mention my feelings on this the person who used the "selfish" bingo in the first place then attempts to tell me that adoption just isn't the same, or that an adopted child will never be the same as a "real one", if that isn't selfish I don't know what is.

My number one reason for not wanting children, I just don't seem to have the same love of small humans that everybody else has, little animals HELL YEAH, little humans, not so much.
I don't hate children, I'm ok with other people's children but I guess half of the fun of that is I can just hand them back at the end of the day when they're being gross.

As I said I'm not anti-child, I don't hate on people that have them (I do hate on people that have them and then don't look after them though), but my choice to not have them is my own, and I just really wish people would quit it with the "bingos", it's something I've thought long and hard about, it wasn't a decision I made in a split second.

It is with great pleasure I can FINALLY announce what my business will be!


*Dramatic drum roll please*
I want to start a UK based Digital Textile Printing Company.
Basically the idea is that I'll start by doing something similar to what Spoonflower and Fabric On Demand (if it takes off though I have some fabulous expansion ideas, but one must not get ahead of oneself), I will have a couple of digitex printers (basically they're like huge inkjet printers that you feed rolls of fabric into) and I can print basically anything onto fabric with them.
I love what Spoonflower and Fabric On Demand do, but shipping and customs fees (honestly the UK has REALLY BAD customs fees), mean that if I order from them it costs a fortune, so my solution is not to take Mohammed to the Mountain, but bring the Mountain to Mohammed so to speak and set up a similar service within the UK.
I'm going to write a market research survey at some point this week and it would be awesome if some of you guys filled it in (should only take a few minutes) :)

Today was the first day of the course I'm doing with The Prince's Trust to get my business started, it's actually a pretty fun course all given, it's all interactive sessions and no death by Powerpoint.
There's some really cool and interesting people also on the course with me, there's a girl who wants to be a reptile breeder and a guy who wants to run his own noodle van.
It's in a really nice venue to, The Royal Station Hotel, I think I may have to take my camera tomorrow and grab a few photos of it :)

Monday, 13 June 2011

May the Gods bless the Groupon Guy!


So as you know I've had a pretty crappylicious week, hey lets not go into it again, but if you missed out on what happened the last couple of posts should clear it up for you.
In an attempt to cheer up Kev and I went out to dinner yesterday, I recently signed up to groupon and one of the offers I signed up for recently was for £22 worth of food at The Last Days of the Raj for only £12.
We ended up spending another £17 on top of the coupon but the food was nice and it's a nice place.
We had a tray of Popadoms and pickles between us (I got pretty much all of the chilli lime pickle to myself because it's my favourite, Kev's not a fan and I can't eat the yoghurt based one so he got all of that), then for our mains, I had Vegetable Dhansak (kind of medium spicy, it has my all time favourite comfort food ingredient lentils in it and also pineapple), and Kev had Horin Mangsho, which is a medium hot venison curry.
Between us we shared a bowl of lemon rice and a garlic naan.
As I said it was nice, a nice treat, good food and if you're in the area and not strapped for cash I'd recommend the place.
It was a nice night out, and I do feel better for it, but to get to Last Days of the Raj we had to pass my mam's house and it was weird going past and not having Tinker bark at me.

Today I went out with mam, we also decided to have a bit of a fancy, smanchy Groupon day.
First we went to get a fish pedicure at Feet Sensations in Old Eldon Square.
I've had a Fish Pedicure before, I had one done when I was last in Whitby, and I loved it, so when I spotted a Groupon for a fish pedicure closer to home I knew I had to have it.
My mam had never been before, and doesn't really like anybody touching her feet (she's REALLY ticklish), but she was curious when I came back from Whitby and told her all about the amazing fishies.
The Groupon was 30 minutes for £6 instead of £15, so she figured if she didn't like it £6 wasn't that huge a loss.
It was kind of odd for me in that Feet Sensations is where Kathmandu, the Goth shop I used to hang out, outside of in my early teens used to be, so it was kind of odd seeing it painted white and full of fish.
My mam ended up liking the pedicure, she said she found it a little weird at first but got used to it, and then the fabulously smooth feet at the end of it is totally worth it.
They have a loyalty scheme, pretty sure once I actually have a reliable income I will be back once a month :)
After that we had lunch at Seven Hills Turkish Restaurant.
I love Middle Eastern food, it's some of my favourite food in the world, and the Turkish Food at Seven Hills was no exception.
We started with a cold mezze of stuffed vine leaves, broad beans, bulgar wheat, humus and a yoghurt based thing.
Mam says the yoghurt thing was really nice so I'll take her word for that, the rest were delicious though, especially the humus NOM NOM NOM!
For mains mam had some kind of vege special dish made of roasted veggies wrapped in slices of aubergine and served with rice  (I had a little taste and it was pretty delicious).
I had a delux vegetarian pide, which turned out to be the Turkish equivilent of pizza, it had artichoke on it, I loved it so good mmmmm :)
They even had a dessert I could have SCORE! I forgot what it's called but it's little deep friend semolina balls in syrup they were fabulous :)

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Changes


Ok I changed my mind, I think it's better for me to keep writing even though I'm upset. Writing helps, it makes me feel at least a little better, and it's better than sitting around doing nothing.
I'm thinking of making a few changes to my blog, I want to write about more serious things a little more often, I'll still post about fashions, and sewing and weird trips with my mam, but I'm also going to start writing about things that are super important to me.
There's already been a little of that, my post about Slutwalk and my post about how I dress the way I dress because I enjoy it.
I promise though that for every serious post I make, I will do something a little lighter the following day.
I want to bring back the Tuesday Tutorial and the Friday Feature too, I'm not sure when that will be though.
I'm also planning on doing a little more Vlogging here and there, hopefully I'll have sorted my sound and lighting issues for the next try.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Shitty Week was shitty

I suppose the only way is up though.
So my friend ditched me for internet drama, it made me angry, it made me upset and I wanted so hard to say awful things because people were saying awful things about me, but no I can't. I just wish that people would at least listen to both sides of a story before passing judgement, I may not be perfect but neither is she.

My boyfriend got made redundant, he's been looking around for a new job but so far it looks like he may have to start working away during the week. The thought of this really upsets me, but that is just me being selfish and needy, if working away is the only way then I will just have to deal with it, and hey at least I will have the cat for company.

My dog was put to sleep this morning. Her cancer got so bad her mouth swelled up and she couldn't eat, she was in a lot of pain and my mam decided that she didn't want her to suffer.
This is what made me cry most of all.
When I was younger, in my early teens, I had a lot of problems and I tried to solve them in stupid ways that only ended up hurting me more and causing more problems, when it turned out that all I really needed to do was to talk to someone. I couldn't find anybody who would listen so I ended up talking to Tinker, she'd lie there being a dog, probably not understanding why I'd blub away about how lonely I was but at least she was something living I could talk to, talking to the walls was no use whatsoever. I say she didn't understand, but I guess she realised I was upset, because she'd always hug up to me, or lick my hands and it made me feel like someone was listening, someone cared.
I moved away from my parents home and I missed her just as much as I missed anybody else in my family, she was family, she may have had four paws and fur but she was my sister.
When she got sick, I was so upset, but relived that I would at least get a chance to say goodbye, and I guess in the long run that was the best way, because I did.
My mam and me cried our eyes out, but she's not in pain any more so it's for the best, and in doggy heaven she doesn't have to put up with a little emo kid bawing to her about her shitty life.
Rest in Peace Tinker, I loved you.

I'm stressing about next week as well. On Tuesday I start my Prince's Trust Course, it's super important I don't screw this up too, my whole plan for my career depends on me not screwing up.

I feel shitty for doing this again, but I'm probably going to vanish again, it might be a few days, it might be a few weeks or it might be a month.
I want to keep this blog a positive space, but I'm not to positive right now, still I guess the only way is up from here.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Lets get some SHOES!

As I promised this post is a little more light hearted than my last few and is a tour of my shoe collection.
I decided to do this as a video, unfortunately the sound and the lighting are a bit pants so to speak, so I've given a little run down of what I'm waffling on about after the video.



This isn't my whole shoe collection, I'm missing a few.
First up are my plain black, every day shoes, I've had them quite a long time now and they're pretty beat up, but they're comfortable.
Then my Pleaser boots and a little anecdote about the time my friend's crazy ex-girlfriend punched my boyfriend, I saw red and walked over her foot, which made a pleasing crunch.
Then my tartan heels, I love these but I can't wear them much because I don't have many things they match and they're a size to small for me.
Then my Pleaser Dollys.
My fabulous, bargain, Florence and Fred strappy heels.
Then my favourite shoes, the light up Pole Dancing shoes (the batteries need changing though)
Finally my Thigh High Boots :)


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

I am not dressing for you

My favourite shoes, a pair of Pleaser Pole dancing shoes with LED light up skulls in the platform.

It's no secret to my subbies (as in subscribers, I'm not quite Mistress yet!), that I love shoes.
Shoes, shoes, shoes, especially shoes with HUGE heels, these shoes RULE!
Someday I will probably break my ankles trying to teach myself to totter around in ever taller heels (I'm currently wearing in a pair of 4" heeled thigh high boots, while they aren't that tall compared to some of my others they force my feet into an unusual shape and I find it quite hard to balance in them, which  resulted in me tripping and getting my foot stuck in a box yesterday), but I still love shoes.
I have loved shoes for as long as I can remember, certainly as long as I have been allowed to have at least some input into what I was wearing.
I remember when I was little that I wanted a pair of shiny, black, Mary Jane shoes, but I never got any (I don't remember if it was because we couldn't find any to fit me, or because my mother didn't like them), so I was forever envious of my school friends in their pretty little shoes.
When I got a little older (around seven or eight) I begged my mother for high heels, I always had a fascination with being tall. I wanted to be the tallest person in the class, and never was (which made me envious of my mam because she had been the tallest person in her class as a child), she wouldn't let me had any at first, but eventually she gave a little and I got my first "clumpy boots", a pair of POD shoes with a very small heel.
As a teenager I got interested in Goth, and at 14 I saved up my pocket money for MONTHS to buy a pair of New Rocks.
I had originally wanted the "cowboy boot" style ones with the spindly heel, I thought they were pretty, unfortunately they were to narrow for my wide feet and so I had to go for a pair with chunky heels.
A year or so later, I found the part of Gothic fashion that called to me most. Gothic Lolita.
Mana Sama

I think what attracted me to Gothic Lolita in the first place was Mana's amazing shoes, and ever since I have coveted a pair of platform Mary Janes.
I've not yet got a pair, but some day I think I will have some.

Now as I said, the reason I have a collection of shoes is because I love shoes, I love how they look and I love how they make me feel.
I wear my shoes FOR ME because I ENJOY THEM.
Twice this week now I have read people say that high heels are only worn to impress men, or that they are "tools of the patriarchy".

I got my first boyfriend at the age of 15, he was a short arse and he HATED me wearing heels because I towered over him like some kind of Valkerye  Giantess, he constantly tried to get me to wear flats instead (I hate wearing flats, they hurt my feet), my second boyfriend, while a nicer person also disliked seeing me in heels, along came my girlfriend who didn't give a damn so long as I was happy, then another boyfriend who was pretty tall but wanted to keep me shorter than him so he could prove his manliness or some such rubbish (he was a bit of manipulative dick and liked keeping me "in my place", funnily enough the only ex I no longer speak to), then finally along came Kev, and he also doesn't really give a damn what I wear so long as I'm happy, he is a fan of me wearing heels BUT he doesn't try and force me to wear them.
As far as I'm concerned him liking my footwear is one of those "added bonus" kinds of things.

If I were dressing for men, I very much doubt I would be wearing Lolita.
Given my experiences, if I wanted to dress to impress men I would have to get rid of most of my shoes, and while I realise that three member of the male gender isn't all of them, a lot of the tall heel wearers I know who date men (I say tall heel wearers because they aren't all women), keep telling me the same thing, men find heels imposing.

So before jumping to conclusions about why people wear what they wear, do what they do or shave, pluck and wax what they shave, pluck or wax, maybe try asking them first.

***

I'm planning on making more of a light hearted post tomorrow, possibly a little tour of my shoe collection :)

***

Day 2: Favourite animal



Tuesday, 7 June 2011

What is in my handbag




So today I decided to show you all the crap I carry around with me all the time.
That up there? That's my bag. I do use other bags from time to time, but this is "old faithful" that I use almost every day.


First up is my sketchbook.
I always carry a sketchbook with me in case I see something inspiring, it's mostly full of fashion drawings of things I plan on making at some point (the safety pin pencil skirt started life as a sketch in this very sketchbook). I very rarely let anybody else have a look into my sketchbook these days, I used to share all of my designs on Deviant art, but then someone traced one of my fashion drawings and said it was theirs so now I don't share my drawings until I've made the garment, because once I've made it you can copy it all you want because I did it first.


Evestus stickers, stickers to promote the ever wonderful Evestus
Sun cream
Batteries 


Notebook (one never knows when I'll need to write down an address or something), wallet and perfume.


House keys, sharpie, pencil, black thread, half a packet of lovehearts, rail card and passport.


Key's to my mam's house, blood red nail varnish, hair tie, Ipod, pens, toothbrush, phone and glow in the dark nail varnish.

***


New meme time :D

Day one: Yourself


Monday, 6 June 2011

Telling women to wear longer skirts to avoid rape is like telling children to grow up already so that they don't appeal to paedophiles.

Photo by Ben Ponton (full set can be found here)

Back in January a Toronto Police Officer was giving a talk at Osgoode Hall Law School when he said "I have been told I shouldn't say this but but you should avoid dressing like sluts if you want to be safe from sexual assault."
After all the years of being told by people in authority in not so subtle ways that is a woman doesn't complete a list as long as her arm of actions "for her own safety" (don't wear short skirts, don't walk down dark alleys, don't sleep around, watch your drink and NEVER EVER go out alone), this was the straw that broke the camel's back and Slutwalk was born.
On April 3rd over 3,000 people marched in protest of the "slut shaming" culture we live in, and soon after other Slutwalks started popping up all over the world.
June 4th was the date of the Newcastle Slutwalk, the nearest to me, and as soon as I found out I dropped everything (including International Lolita day) to make sure I could get involved.

Photo courtesy of Amanda Plews (left), standing with my friend Vicky

I dressed myself in black bloomers, a black under-shirt and a black and white corset, before I even made it to Newcastle I had to put up with people's assumptions and prejudices, as I waited for the bus a couple came along to also wait, my bus stop is quite small, but they made sure to put as much distance between them and me as they could. A car slowed down so that the driver could gawp at what I was wearing and I got a seat on my own on a crowded metro.
When I got to Grey's Monument (it's a statue of Earl Grey, yes THE Earl Grey that the tea was named after) where to march was to begin there was a Preacher (who my friend later described as  "looking like an N-Dubz cosplayer) arguing with an Atheist.
In my opinion they were both wrong, the Preacher was pulling the whole "SIN! HELL! BLAH BLAH BLAH WORSHIP GOD!" thing, and the Athiest guy was screaming at him that Religion is a tool used to control and that Religion is stupid and all about hate, whilst managing to make Mr Preacher look like a brave Martyr standing up to the sinners to his friends.
The Preacher was wrong because the Bible says that we're not allowed to judge, only God can do that (FYI I'm not a Christian, I just like reading people's Religious texts, I'm a Pagan), and if I had to pick a word to describe what he was doing it was most certainly judging.
The Atheist was wrong because he was focussing on all of the negatives of Religion,  yes Religion has been used as a tool to control people, but Religions also have positive attributes too.
In my opinion people should believe or not believe what they choose, and so long as they aren't hurting anybody what's the problem? I think that preaching either for or against religion is hurting people.
Enough about that though, the point of this post is Slutwalk.
Photo from hiwecanhelp

At 12:00 Liz (who organised Newcastle Slutwalk), took to the monument and said a few words about why we were all there, what route we were taking and started the chant before we all set off down the hill towards Newcastle's infamous Bigg Market.
I marched alongside Tia, Queenie, Vicky and Carl (funny of the whole march being as we passed Queenie's brother Craig holding the sign that points to reflex records and screamed "HI CRAIG!" at him and completly random people we'd never met before all joined in waving at him :) ).
Photo from hiwecanhelp

As we passed The Beehive pub at the end of the Bigg Market, some rather wonderful members of society, oh so bravely stepped out of the pub and heckled
"EDL KNOW YOUR PLACE!"
(The EDL is the English Defence League, a pretty racist organisation that want "England for the English" and prey on people's fear of terrorism) .
Without missing a beat Queenie heckled back 
"Fuck off racists!" in her broad Glaswegian accent.
As the march headed back to Monument some guy heckled something as he cycled past at great speed, I actually haven't got a clue what he said because he whizzed past so  fast.
How brave.
We marched along Northumberland Street (this is the main shopping street in Newcastle City Centre), and pissed off a road sweeper by being in his way (oh and some mother tried to run me over with a buggy...Excuse me madam but that's your child you're trying to run me over with...), and made various innuendo jokes about the fruit seller ("My what a lovely pear!", "I'm looking for some big, juicy melons!", "Can I have your cherry?"), before the march ended at Haymarket.

I think the march was a big success, you certainly couldn't miss us, and I hope that it makes people think about what they say more, and maybe it'll change some attitudes with any luck.

***

Day 10: 1 picture of yourself



Sunday, 5 June 2011

Lime chocolate cupcake recipie


I made these delicious little cakes to use up the lime I had in my fridge so it didn't go off, to make them I adapted a polenta flour cake recipe.

Ingredients

Two cups of Polenta Flour (also known as Cornmeal, not Cornflour though, that's something completely different)
3 oz of cooking oil or margarine
Three tablespoons of sugar
Three tablespoons of good quality coco powder
One tablespoon of EnerG Egg re-placer (I would imagine other egg re-placers or in fact an egg itself would work fine to)
One lime
One teaspoon of raspberry jam (if you are using an actual egg you may choose to leave this out)
three teaspoons of baking soda
A small tin of coconut milk

You will also need either a zester or a very fine grater.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C/Gas Mark 4
In a mixing bowl mix all the dry ingredients well, (if using a real egg I would say add this after mixing the dry ingredients) .
If using oil pour slowly into the dry ingredients whilst mixing (don't just dump it all in at once otherwise you'll end up with lumps) and then add the jam.
Grate the peel of the lime with the zester into the bowl, you only want the green part, as soon as you start getting down to the white fleshy layer stop.
Now for the messy part!
Chop the lime into small pieces (I found it easiest to cut the lime into "rings" and the divide it into segments from there), it's important to make sure the pieces are small so that when you bite into your cupcakes you don't get a whole mouth full of bitter lime.
Add the small pieces of lime to the rest of the mixture and mix well.
Start adding in the coconut milk slowly in the same way that you did with the oil, you'll likely not need the whole can so you can use the rest for something else.
Ideally you want to make your mix a little wetter than regular cake mix (you should be able to pour it into the cake tin/pan rather than spooning it in), but not completely liquid, I'd say around the consistency of tinned lentil soup should be about right.
Pour the mixture into a cupcake tin/pan (I have a silicone one, tottaly recommend them :) ) and then pop it in the oven for 30 minutes, prodding occasionally with a cocktail stick. (side note they smell AMAZING while they're cooking).
Leave to cool and then nom them all up :D

***

Day 9: 2 songs


Kickstart The Fight -Combichrist
Destroy, Improve, Rebuild - Faderhead

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Adam Ant- The Good, The Mad and The Lovely


On Sunday I went to see Adam Ant play at the O2 Academy in Newcastle, it was quite an experience!
First of all I'd like to apologise for how blurry the photos I took are, I had some issues with my camera that night :(


First band of the night were Jesse Rae and The Thistles.
Kev and I don't usually drink in the O2 because the bar is stupidly expensive, but Jesse Rae drove us to it.
I like to think of myself as a nice polite person, but even at my nicest I can only really describe Jesse Rae and the Thistles with the following meme:

No seriously, thy looked like they were dressed by the Monty Python costume department and they mimed their entire set (well the girls did, I'm assuming Jesse did too as his face was covered with a helmet).

Next up were Dressing for Pleasure, I'm not sure if they were actually really, REALLY good, or it was just that Jesse Rae was so bad that someone clanging bin lids together would have been fantastic, but I really enjoyed Dressing For Pleasure, I was a little disappointed they don't have a CD out yet but I have fanned them on Facebook so hopefully they will keep their page updated :)

(why won't my photo turn grrrrr!)
Finally came Adam Ant himself!
I want his hat!
The jacket was nice and all but THAT HAT UNF!
Anyhow, all of those rumours about how he can't sing any more ARE COMPLETE AND UTTER CRAP.
He still has a great voice on him, and he can still leap about the stage like a coiled spring (much more that that berk out of the tribute act I saw last year who's probably half his age but moved like a geriatric drunk uncle at a wedding).
Massively enjoyed the gig, played all of my favourites (Save for "Puss In Boots" and "Room at the Top", though I think only myself and Kurt Dirt like the latter of those) and the gig atmosphere itself was fantastic.
I think my only real disappointment was how fast he raced through Stand and Deliver, I get that he must be sick to death of that song by now, but some of us still love it.

***

Day 8: 3 films

The Nightmare Before Christmas
Repo!The Genetic Opera
Hostel


Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Theatres Des Vampires

Photo by Kev36663

Friday was one of the most awesome live bands I have ever seen, Theatres Des Vampires.
As it was a gig that Kev had booked I went along before the show to help out, I'm used to seeing some odd things be unloaded from vans and buses, but this was certainly the strangest:
Heads on pikes, I didn't manage to get a photo of the two boxes of skulls!

The bands and crew were all really lovely people, and all of the pre-and post prep was done quickly and efficiently (given that when The Lovecrave played for us they were also pretty efficient I think it's safe to say Italy is right up there with Germany for bands who don't mess around).
My Sweet Torment (photo by Kev)

I was on the door for the first two bands with Tia, I wore my fangs for occasion, which amused the doormen (I had to take one fang out to show a very curious doorman how it clipped in and how I was still able to talk and eat with them in- had to use a straw for my drink though).
Three not Goths turned up for job interviews with the venue, can you imagine how odd that must have been to turn up for a job interview and be greeted by a girl with a bonnet and fangs? Lol poor things!
The Foreshadowing (picture by Kev)

As I said, I was on the door, so I missed the two opening bands, they sounded good from what I could hear, but the big, heavy doors kind of muted the performance so I couldn't really give you an accurate judgement of what they were like.
Theatres however, I caught most of once we closed the door.
You know those really rare gigs where the band actually sound much, much better live than they do recorded?
This was totally one of those gigs!
Theatres Des Vampires, photos by Kev.

On top of that Sonia is a really amazing front woman, she commands the full attention of everybody weather she is right down to her skimpy PVC bikini, or in the amazing Medusa outfit, made and designed by their Merch Girl (outfit pictured at the top of the page).
The heads on pikes, tombstones and skulls added a surprising amount of atmosphere to the whole thing (sometimes I find adding things other than bands and equipment to a stage makes it cluttered and distracts from the performance, but it blended perfectly in this case).
Photo by Kev

I really enjoyed the show, so much so that I think this is the best gig I have been to so far this year, and it will take a lot to beat.
After the show I got a photo with Sonia:

Don't worry, I haven't gone mad and chopped all of my hair off! I got a Hime cut, the long part is tied up and tucked into my bonnet!

***

Day 7: 4 books


Jayne Eyere
Wuthering Heights
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (because Eowyn kicks ass)
The Silver Chair

Disqus for Queens Of The Wild Frontier

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