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wide eyed innocence & bloody violent mosh-pits
23 May 2014 @ 05:33 pm
Why did I ever ditch my Charlie_Mouse user name?

Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
wide eyed innocence & bloody violent mosh-pits
23 May 2014 @ 05:18 pm
I think most people on my friends list, both LJ and FB will know who Sophie was. A young alternative lass who was murdered whilst trying to protect her boyfriend from being kicked to death in a local park in Bacup Lancashire in 2007. Police think that the way they both dressed was a significant contributing factor in their attack. Her mum set up an amazing foundation in her memory to 'Stamp Out Prejudice Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere'. I find her story and the work the foundation do in her name very moving. It connects deeply with me. Friends over the years have experienced a wide range of violence and abuse based solely on the way they choose to dress.

My assumption was that the majority of friends felt the same, especially the alt friends. So I'm pretty saddened at the number of de-friending threats aimed at potential UKIP voters. The hatred poured out towards them on my feed this last few weeks, the bile. Fighting hatred with hatred does not work.*

What I haven't seen are posts asking "Is anyone on my flist planning to vote UKIP. Why?" and then a discussion. This may be because FB is hiding all the relevant posts from me with it's advertising led algorithms whilst I decorate the living room within an inch of it's life. It's possible.

I haven't spent much time researching UKIP or any other party for this election. Turns out that was time well not spent as we were disenfranchised due to building work. Nice. However my two friends brave enough to admit their UKIP tendencies are not (to the best of my knowledge) stupid, racist, homophobic or misogynistic. They must have reasons and when next we chat, I'm interested.

I was not planning to vote UKIP myself. However, I was not planning (ever) to vote Tory and one of my closest friends is a Conservative Local Councillor. We have plenty of political differences, but a surprising amount of overlap where we agree. I wasn't planning on voting yellow and I have a good friend who is a Lib Dem Local Councillor.

These days I try to deal with racism/homophobia/hate filled crap differently than I did at eighteen. Instead of a stand up row in a pub or at a wedding breakfast, start a serious discussion. If you have the spoons, it works far better to challenge peoples views, you may learn some stuff too and nobody gets kicked to death. Bonus.

* See history for details.
wide eyed innocence & bloody violent mosh-pits
21 May 2014 @ 07:07 pm

So good to see folks back here!

wide eyed innocence & bloody violent mosh-pits
21 January 2014 @ 01:29 pm
I've been thinking a lot recently about change and how to prepare for it in life. There are some kinds of change which are dramatic. The sudden death of a loved one, unexpected redundancy or a car crashing into a house. They bring dramatic refocus. The allocation of your time and emotions are reshuffled and I'm not sure there is much one can do to prepare for that. You stay afloat as best you can and time, eventually passes.

These sudden, shocking changes are in my life, mostly rare. I'm blessed. They happen, but not often. For me, most change is stealthy. It creeps. My bones and skin feel older, my mind is broader, my opinion of religion is lower and my life, my three score years and ten, is mostly behind me. Those big changes are incremental and creeping. Changes in soft slippers.

It is in preparation for these that I'm attempting new habits. Small daily acts to affect my long term trajectory. Little habits to make me happy, to make my body more lively and to improve my sense of well being. One new small habit each month. Basics really, which seem to have got lost in what november_girl so nicely called the white noise of daily life.

That's the working direction of this year. Get better at the basics.

Happy new year folks. Any of you out there have a direction for your year?
wide eyed innocence & bloody violent mosh-pits
15 November 2013 @ 04:55 pm
I haven't sewn anything more complex than a sunhat in years. I converted my sewing room into a nursery for the lovely lad. Machines went into storage and life became more nappies than necklines. Fast forward five years and I've found a sewing studio with desk space in Kilburn which doesn't mind me just renting occasional days. I feel too excited to adequately describe. I have a few projects planned for the beloved in my life but also and rather selfishly, my wardrobe needs some serious attention.

Today I nailed my first real bit of clothing design since I gave it all up. The design took a couple of days as I'm a bit rusty with translating body shape to clothing drape right now. I fully expect plenty of revisions when it's mocked up in cotton.

The beginning of new beginnings.
wide eyed innocence & bloody violent mosh-pits
14 September 2013 @ 11:46 am

Do men ever get asked "Do you need to ask your wife's permission before making that decision?" I've been asked this three times in the last week about my non existent husband with regards to housing. We will not be using the companies in question.

Why do virtual strangers encourage one to have children in a light breezy 'oh, you totally should' way that a slice of cake might be offered with a cup of tea?

Why do those same strange people look aghast when you mention owning pets, saying things like "They are a lot of work you know" or "It's an awfully big commitment".

wide eyed innocence & bloody violent mosh-pits
13 September 2013 @ 10:46 am
Through a series of unfortunate events, we face moving house twice in the next six months and all the petty utility and storage organisation which that requires. harold_chasen has advised me to view it as protracted glamping. He is wise.

When we return, my little cottage will be very different. More useful as a family home and less well ventilated than since the crash. These are good things on the whole, but today I am getting emotional about giving my little cottage it's final Friday shakedown. The ritual of pre-weekend neatening that I doubt anyone notices but me. There are windows I will never clean again and rooms that won't exist when we return. This little home has meant so much to me. It is more than shelter.
wide eyed innocence & bloody violent mosh-pits
11 June 2013 @ 10:46 am
I have a new project.
Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain by Betty Edwards is a series of observation and perception exercises to reduce left brain involvement with the act of drawing and allow the right side of the brain to take over. I assume an amount of pseudo science is involved, but I'm not aiming to learn brain surgery, I aim to improve my drawing and observation skills. At teaching this, the author seems very gifted and I'm rather excited to begin work.
We plan to revive the Ilford drawing group on the 18th July and I want to start with more gusto than last time. Both caddyman and harold_chasen are far too good and I need to close the gap a little.
Pattern cutting is still wonderful, but I am a little stuck on the back of a frock. I may figure it out this afternoon with luck.
Also, having taken a break from my language learning I'm longing to dive back in. The exams last year saw me sick to the back teeth with study, but now the pressure is off and a little time has passed I'm delighted my interest is still there.
All these things need practice and time. They should be part of daily life, or weekly life at least. Is that really possible? So many dull and dusty daily chores need seeing to. Where to fit it all in?
I guess it's better to be overflowing with plans than steeped in boredom.

Do any of you work on improving skills each day?
How do you fit the important stuff in?
wide eyed innocence & bloody violent mosh-pits
06 June 2013 @ 06:10 am

A while back, a small group of us decided to follow the exercises in The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. One recommendation was to book time each week to do something which inspires you and gives you a shot of creative joy. Visit a gallery, walk in the woods, go browsing in a bookshop. Anything, as long as you do it alone and drink in fresh ideas. Her metaphor is 'filling the well of creativity'. You can only put good ideas out there for so long if you never restock the idea pool. I thought at the time that there was a great deal of wisdom to this, yet of all the exercises and activities, I struggled to perform this. Week after week no go. I feel like I might need to look at this again.

Last weekend I finished the second of three pattern cutting courses. I loved every moment. It genuinely thrilled me. I want to keep that gush of fresh ideas flowing. Currently I have experimental drafts of a jacket block and a contour bock in progress. Also a cotton mock-up of a little summer dress. I'm making this to help me think through some of what I've learned in the skirt and bodice courses, but I'm rather looking forward to wearing the end result. In my life B.C. I often made last minute outfits for myself. Throwing some fabric through the machine ten minutes before leaving the house. I spent time on possibly two outfits and one coat for myself. Everything else was a happy accident and relied quite heavily on safety pins, hairspray and art. I would never, never, NEVER sew for a client that way. So a dress designed from multiple improved upon drafts will be a real treat, not to mention the first garment I've made since Henry. It feels quite special.

I also have some new business ideas. Little steps. Little bits of the jigsaw. Little bursts of excitement just thinking about it.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

wide eyed innocence & bloody violent mosh-pits
17 May 2013 @ 10:55 am
Me: For the last time Henry, please pick up your toys. ALL the plastic balls go back in the bag.
Henry: (Flinging him self to the floor by the shed) You've ruined my life. My whole entire life, you've ruined it.

I laughed like a drain for ages! To give him credit so did he, and we tidied up together laughing.

If this is what he comes out with at three...