Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Liebster Award

I'm still alive, hi. 
It's been a bit rocky here for the past two months, but could be worse. 
Anyway, I got the Liebster Award from The Enchanted Parlour, thank you, and I am now going to do this thing all wrong. 
I'm not nominating anyone specifically just because I have a bit too much to think about right now. Swamped, so to speak. But if you're following my blog, haven't yet gotten awarded, and have less than 200 followers, boom, you're tagged. 


THE RULES:
1. Post the award on your blog.
2. Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to their blog.
3. Write 11 random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 11 bloggers who you feel deserve this award and who have fewer than 200 followers.
5. Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter and ask your nominees 11 questions.


11 Random Facts

1. My toenails are always painted. Even during the coldest winter when I wear three pairs of socks at a time. 

2. My sleeping patterns are completely messed up. I go to bed at 5am and wake up around 1pm. Making appointments with clients is a bit challenging sometimes. 

3. Repetitive sounds annoy me. I don't like the sound of a metronome, I've gotten rid of most ticking clocks in my house, and I can't stand the sound of people chewing. 

4. I'm a bit of a princess, and need someone to look after me. I blame Mom and Dad, they've spoiled me rotten. 

5. I like working alone, and prefer to make my own schedule so that I can do most of my work while others sleep. This is why I run my own business and do a lot of freelance-work. 

6. My favourite food is pizza. Home made, filled with tomato, mozzarella, and... broccoli. 

7. When I feel like I need to get a lot of work done, I stay in my PJ's all day. Somehow, it helps me focus. But not every time, I'm in my jammies now, and haven't gotten anything done today. Oops. 

8. I drift off easily. It happens during conversations, dinner, watching TV. It feels like falling asleep, stumbling into a fairytale of wonder and excitement without really sleeping or moving. So if we're talking and my eyes glace over, just let me be, I'm happier there. 

9. Birds scare me. They're like little dinosaurs, smart and ferocious. 

10. I like shopping, but I need someone there who's willing to pay for anything I may find. I reckon Husband number Two should be wealthy. 

11. I'm partial to blond, long-haired men (like you didn't already know that). 

The Questions

1. When and why did you start blogging? 

I don't remember when, but the reason is quite clear. Put plain and simple, I love talking about myself. As I feared I might start annoying everyone I know IRL, I started to blog about my thoughts and outfits and things I've made. Blogging isn't only a way of venting anymore, it also offers me a creative outlet. 
Although I do use it mostly for venting. 

2. With MP3s and internet streaming, do you still buy CDs or DVDs?

Sadly, no. 

3. How would you describe your style of dress? 

I haven't really given this much thought. I've dressed the same way for many years now, but haven't bothered to categorize my style. I feel closest to Romantic and Victorian Goth, so that's probably it. 

4. What religion or philosophy do you ascribe to?

 I'm not a very religious person. I was raised into Lutheran religion, like most Finns, but I've never really liked the idea of turning faith into business. Today, I feel most drawn to the ancient Finnish animistic ways. 
I believe that each living thing has a spirit, I believe in a greater, dual force that sometimes offers aid and guidance, I believe in rebirth and the power of the elements. 

5.What are your favorite TV shows on the air right now?

I'm a bad girl, and stream TV-shows instead of watching television. I like Penny Dreadful most of the shows currently on air. 

6. What other hobbies do you participate in, besides blogging? 

I play Oblivion and dance in an oriental fusion-group. 
Most hobbies I used to have, writing, sewing, and knitting, have turned into work, and I haven't gotten around to coming up with new hobbies. 

7. If you participate in the arts, which ones do you participate in? Are you a hobbyist or a professional? 

Writing and textile. Pro. 

8. If a movie was being made about your life, which actor/actress would play you? 

Scarlett Johansson could make a good me. At least we're of height. 

9. Choose one: Coffee or tea? 

Coffee. 

10. What colors have you dyed your hair? 

I've been red, orange-blond, black, and dark brown. Red is good, I'm sticking with this. 

11. Introvert, extrovert, or ambivert?

Introvert. 95%

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Life Has a Funny Way

So. 
I need to vent, so this is a zero-pic post. 
This weekend, I went to Helsinki with a bunch of girls. I came home Sunday night, and everything was fine. Husband picked me up in the middle of the night, and had even made a very late dinner for me. 
The next day, I woke up at around 3pm, ventured downstairs still half asleep, and found him on a sour mood. He went to the shops for groceries, and after he came home, he said We Need To Talk.

Don't we all just love the conversations that begin like that... We need to talk, and as it turns out, there's nothing for you to say really. 

We got married in June, 2007. Today, March 23rd, 2015, he said he's had it. 
We're getting divorced. 

I should be devastated writing this, but I'm not. I'm a bit angry, a bit sad, and quite worried about the future, but not a weeping mess. 
Drunk, yes, but not a mess. 
Gemini are funny that way. When something goes horridly wrong, we flip for two hours, and then say, oh well, could be worse. It could be raining. 

It is raining, by the way. The skies are weeping for me as it seems. 

Or maybe for him. I think he has it worse than I do. 

Anyway. Vent. 

I don't think I ever expected this to last forever. We met when we were both broken up about previous relationships, got married pretty hastily, and have always been a bit distant to each other. We've shared our lives, but not innermost secrets. 
Funny. 

We started out as friends, and we're going to remain friends. There was no drama, other than the two hours of him being scared about having to tell me this, and me being upset about what he told me. There is no hatred, no betrayed trust, no nothing. Just love that somehow went away, and somehow still remains. 

In my opinion, break-ups should go like this. No real hurt, no real pain, no shattering of lives. Just change, a slow alteration. 

I'm going to remain here until I get everything sorted out. This means I'm going to have to find more work, and to make my small business turn real profit. For this, I may require a bit of help. Spread the word if you can, and please leave tips on where to advertise my patterns and ready-to-wear garments. 

It's going to be a rough year. 

After my last break-up, I lingered on the brink of death for six months. I'd lost the only friend I had, and my whole life had broken to a million pieces. 
This time, I have a strong safety net. I'll be fine. 
Just need a bit of love right now. 

Heather

Sunday, March 8, 2015

So you swore never to dye your hair again?

A few years back, I chopped my hair short after a dye-disaster. I'd hennaed my hair for a long time, and got annoyed with red. I dyed over it with a store-bought brown, and.. well, it went black. I can't pull off pitch-black hair, so I decided to want my natural colour back. As I am both impulsive and impatient, I grew it for three months, and chopped it off. 

Short hair was fun for a while, but I started missing long hair pretty quick. Good thing this grows fast, so last spring I had gained both length and my natural tone. 
Which is brown. A nice, lively brown, but still very brown. 
And a bit boring actually. 
This pic is about 11 months old, but it shows my natural tone pretty well. 

A week ago, my annual spring breakdown culminated with me staring into the mirror wondering what the hell I was thinking when I figured a natural brown would look really nice on me. I wear black all the time, and it makes my hair look bland and dull. 
So the impulsive Heather sighed, and remembered the last package of henna safely stored into a cupboard. 

Mmm, red, I thought, and literally slapped myself on the wrist. Last time, I loved the red. But. Maintaining it isn't a real picnic. It takes a whole day every two months, and henna smells funky, and it's messy, and it's hard to find good quality henna here in Finland. 
Twirling a strand of mousy brown around my fingers, I sighed again, and prepared the witch's brew. 

I use natural henna powder with no added ingredients. The powder is green to begin with (the photo is from the internet, btw), and smells like dried hay. It's very fine, and turns into dust as it's poured out of the bag. I add warm water (not too hot, boiling water can be lethal to henna) and a bit of coffee, and mix the stuff into a smooth, silky gunk. I let it sit for two hours, and apply. To hair. 



I've given up wearing gloves when applying. Rubber clings to hair, pulls at it painfully, and since henna isn't poisonous (you shouldn't eat it, though), I just let it stain my hands. It'll rub off in a week or so. 

This is also old, I snapped it after the last times I did henna. My hands looked the same after this time, though!

So. A week ago, I was home alone as I made the choice to go red. I warmed up the sauna, added the gunk to my hair and walked half naked into the living room not knowing Husband had returned. I was dripping with reddish brown liquid, and made my cool-as-a-cucumber Husband say "what the fuck have you done". It was fun. After a quick explanation of "I wanted to be red", he said OK, and I spent the next four hours in the sauna. 

Henna-gunk is drippy and messy, so it's a good idea to wrap something, anything, around it. I used a piece of cotton, and looked very fetching in my stained head wrap <3

Previously, henna has been a right bitch (sorry) to rinse out, and I was very worried this time since our water pressure is a bit low. I was very surprised to find it wash off really easily. 
After a thorough wash, it was orange. And I was happy. 
It takes a few days for hennaed hair to settle. During this time, the colour turns from orange to a deeper tone of red, depending on your natural tone. I got a subtle shade of auburn, and I'm really happy with it. Since my hair had natural lighter streaks, my red has multiple tones. 

This is my hair in natural light. The tone changes according to light and angle, so I'm still staring at myself in the mirror more than usual. 

As suspected, one can no longer find pure henna in Finland. But not to worry, ebay came to the rescue. Once I get my order of henna, I'll do another coat to all of my hair. After, I'll only have to do all of it maybe once a year since henna doesn't fade like commercial dyes. 
So. All the red clothes I have now look bad on me <3

Love,
Heather

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Blood @ Bar15

So as many of you may know, I have soft spot in my dark heart for a Finnish band called Nitroforce 9. They played their first gig this year at Bar15 in Seinäjoki. 
Whenever something fun happens, I miss it. Birthdays, Christmases, Halloweens, every band that plays around here, you name it. I was pretty certain I'd spend Valentine's with the plague, but God decided to look the other way. So I went. Out. With Husband and his cousin.
I wore clothes. 

Velvet wrap skirt: second hand
Lace blouse: second hand
Corselet: H&M
Shoes: Vagabond
Killer bunneh: present from sister-in-law

My outfit was pretty simple. I took my favourite skirt, and paired it with my favourite lace blouse and a corselet beneath to reduce the "look at my skin"-effect lace tends to have. It was comfortable (well, ish, cheap plastic boned things don't feel that good) during the long ride there and back again, and casual enough not to make me an eyesore in a sea of denim. 
The cuffs have large ruffles, and I chose to wear my bangles and many rings. 


 

Make-up was very simple, too, just mascara and black lips. Still, I couldn't escape all the "hey, look, that one's different"-attention. Luckily, this time it was positive: a lady I've never met before said that she thinks I'm remarkably beautiful. 
Way to throw off a shy Goth!





So. Moving on to the band. 
To those who by some fluke have missed this, NF9 plays good old fashioned rock'n'roll that reeks of sex and fast cars. And they do it really well. 
Behold. 
First, go get a bucket. Because hot guys. 


So. As usual, they played good, and made us all sweaty. And before the first encore, something went amiss, and then there was blood everywhere. 
I don't do that well with blood, so panic. 
What, you say, and so did the entire bar. 
Turns out the blond guitarist hit his head on something, and gained a cut above his eyebrow. We all know how much facial wounds bleed, so it was really messy. And scary. 
Despite that, we got at least, like, six encores. As I've said before, NF9 = excellent customer service. 

After the gig, I went to find Husband, realized it was Valentine's and kissed both him and his cousin (hey, hot guys, what is a girl to do) and decided I really needed a T-shirt. 
I have never in my life liked a band so much I wanted to wear something that bears their mark. Ever. 
Until now. 
I also got to ask if the guitarist will live. He promised to pull through.
The cut was pretty nasty, though :|







And that was my adventure @ Wartti, like we say here in Finland.
I don't feel so well right now. 


Heather






Friday, January 30, 2015

January's Homework Assignment: What's on Your Cutting Table?



As many of you may know, I sew for a living. Instead of showcasing work I do for clients, I'm going to offer WIPs that are all for ME. Except one. 
There must always be an exception. 
Let's begin. 

I've always had difficulty with sitting around doing nothing. It makes me feel like I'm unproductive and lazy. So while watching TV (or Husband playing Oblivion or just chatting with his bitches) I knit or crochet. I usually have at least three projects on the needles, and one on the hook, but right now, I'm down to two knits. The first one is a very basic top-down raglan-sleeved top knit in stockinette with upcycled cotton. No surprises there. It's going to take FOREVER to finish, but at least it's a no-brainer. I'll work on it when I don't feel like challenging myself, and it'll be done when it's done. I'm probably going to do the hem in seed stitch, and repeat that solution with the sleeves. And I might also switch to lace. Who knows these things. 




Next up in the knitting field, a non-Goth colour. Lioness yellow. 
I found two balls of my favourite, discontinued yarn from a flea market. I brought them home, and wondered what to make. I settled for a Baktus-mod in seed stitch. I started knitting, enjoying the feel of mohair-blend. Everything went well. 

And then... 
I dug into my second ball, knit away dribbling on Woody Harrelson, and after three inches, I realized the two balls of yarn came from different dye lots and I have a humongous difference in colour. 
What can a girl say other than FUUUUU!!!!!
I'm going to frog about 10", and re-do the middle bit with black stripes. It'll be fine. 
Maybe it'll make me like bees better. 


Let's move on to sewing. 

This is the exception to the "this is all for ME"-rule mentioned earlier. 
I make sewing patterns as well as custom orders. Sample pieces usually end up in my wardrobe. 
I've developed a liking toward skater dresses. They're pretty, easy to accessorize, and very comfortable to wear. So I made a basic one. And then I wanted one with a hood. And bell sleeves. And a lacing in the front. And can it be velvet? 
So I made one. This is going to be a pattern someday, the dress is all photographed and everything. 
Only it's a bit short for me. And my arms get cold in it. So I'm thinking about adding a longer layer to the hem and the sleeves. 
Someday. 
Unless someone wants to take it off my hands. 



Moving on. 

This project is at the "oh look, fabrics!"-stage, which is naturally the most interesting part of any project. 
I found a piece of black satin from a flea market (do you ever shop anywhere else? well, ebay, sometimes). First, it wanted to be a pencil skirt. Then it wanted to be a loli-skirt. Then it wanted to hide in the closet, and as it came out, it wanted to hang out with red satin, and be a reverse applique dress. 
I said you want to be a what now? and it repeated itself. 
Reverse applique dress. And can you make it long, with a slit so that people can see your legs? or at least a skirt beneath. 
I said fine, but if you go and change your mind again, I'm selling you. 
The fabrics still want to be the dress, so I guess I best hurry. 
Only I can't decide between blood spatters and roses. 
::sigh

 Last up, "the dress that doesn't photograph all that well". 

In the spring, I cut a dress from black, thick chiffon and nude lining silk. 
It's been waiting to be sewn for months now. It wants something more, and refuses to talk to me. 
I hate it when that happens. 
The thing has most of my pins in it, it's in the way, and I actually forgot why I thought I wanted to make a chiffon dress with an open back. Did I think I might go to a party or something? 
Silly me. 


That's all, folks. All that I'm making pour moi at the moment. 
Now I need to get cracking on paying work so I'll have time to finish all of this... 

Until next time,
Heather

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Clever Title, vol. 666

So I've been in a right funk again. There's so much going on I'm finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning. So I sleep until 1pm, work, eat, watch a film with Husband, and go back to work, and stay up until 5am. 
Really healthy. 

So. What's going on. 
I picked up a hobby this fall. 
As long as I can remember, I've danced, one form or another. This autumn, a dear friend encouraged me to take a dance class she's instructing. As I needed something to distract me from work and... well, Husband, I agreed. Every Thursday since September, I've looked like this. 



The class I'm taking is Oriental Cabaret Fusion, and I'm loving it. The first two times I was completely lost, but now I'm starting to feel like I no longer have two left feet and four right arms of which none knows what the bloody hell they're doing. Instead of tumbling about, I feel like I'm actually getting the hang of dancing again. 
Of course, everything is easier when one is home alone, shaking one's wide Gothic butt to Opeth, but still. Fun. I'm even getting the chance to work on my non-existing social skills, yay.

Work has kept me a bit overwhelmed lately. I took an order on crocheted tank slippers (the link goes to my other blog) while struggling with a big order for my fav client. So of course I got stressed out, and now that everything is done, I'm stressing out about Christmas. 
Which I shouldn't be doing. If all goes as planned, I'll be spending Christmas at my Sister's with Mom and Dad and my favourite Brother-In-Law (he's my favourite 'cause he married my Sis, and is a really, really great guy) and my lovely niece. And Sis, of course, who is my inspiration and role model. 
Not that I'll ever achieve her level of greatness. 

It seems I'm feeling a bit unsure of myself again. Even though dancing is allowing me a way to express myself, I still feel inadequate. Unappreciated. Not good enough. 
Well, I guess inferiority complex is better than god complex. At least this can get better. 

Clothes. 
We had a clothes-swap about a year ago. I picked up the grey top there. It's a delightful garment made with mesh, knit fabric, and jersey, and decorated with a fluffy ribbon. I haven't gotten many chances to wear it, since it didn't go with my skirts. Luckily, I found the perfect hems to pair it with at a flea market. 

Top: mystery
Skirt: Reflex, second hand
pls excuse messy 'do, I've never been BFF's with hair spray

The skirt was size ReallyBig, so I took in at the waist band. It's made with gussets at the hem, and twirls beautifully. 
 
The hem is this wide on both side, and it makes sounds when I move.

The sleeves of the top have lovely details, only they're a little bit short for my arms. I love the rugged feel, it reminds me of the Crunge-look of the nineties. 
You may notice I'm not wearing my wedding ring. Haven't worn it in ages, it seems to clash with the rings I really like to wear.

So. Christmas is, like, in three days. And I still need to finish two presents. Hope I'll make it in time... 

Have a happy Christmas. May your Holidays be filled with starlight and fulfilled wishes. 

Love,
Heather

Saturday, November 29, 2014

November's Homework Assignment: The mouse who ran away



Early this fall, GrandMa moved away with very little warning. She decided not to take the cat with her, since she had issues with medical conditions. Igor remained with us for a full 48 hours. After that, my allergies got the best of me. And not very surprisingly, after getting an almost clean bill of health, GrandMa started missing her pal. Igor was returned to her, and Husband decided it was time to make us three. 

So he built a home for a small reptile. A home with glass walls and a semi-open roof. We went to pet shops to ogle at Bearded Dragons, and we googled the internet for instructions on how to care for a lizard. A reptile seemed like a perfect choice: they're calm, they don't need humans to play with all the time, and they're relatively easy to care for if you study even a little before getting one.

And then... we went to Seinäjoki, and came home with a mouse. 

WTF, you ask, and so did I. Not that I have anything against a small mammal, it's just that... well, we were going to adopt a reptile and I didn't know a thing about rodents! 

Anyway. The mouse was called Beamish. We added von Mousse, and I called him Le Mousse Domestique. 

The first days passed as Beamish slept, and hid, and came out at night to eat and investigate the corners of his home. On the third day Husband got him to climb on his palm. On the fifth day he brought Beamish some twigs to play with, and on the sixth day, his home was empty. 

We were on our way out the door as we realized Beamish was missing, and being late already, we had no choice but to run. We returned three hours later. I put the sauna on, and Husband set a mousetrap (a big plastic bucket with a ramp leading up and all sorts of treats on the bottom, so if Beamish ventured in, he'd be well-fed until we rushed to the rescue) before going out for the evening. Just as he'd left, I heard rattling from the bin cupboard. I pried the doors open, and saw Beamish. I tried to catch him, but he was too quick, and hid under the floor of the cupboard. The last thing I saw was a furry bottom and a ridiculously long tail disappearing into a tiny hole.

The next morning, the mousetrap was empty. It's funny how quickly one gets attached to a small being. I was worried sick over Beamish, and he still hadn't even dared climb on my hand. 

The day passed in silence. No rattling from anywhere, no mouse droppings to alert us of his presence. And then... 







Around four pm I heard a noise from the bin cupboard. Husband went to investigate, muttering about a mole he saw in there earlier while I still slept. He opened the doors, and found Beamish safely inside a bin bag looking for crumbs. He was quickly returned to a cage, and offered food and water. You could not believe how much the little thing ate! 

After his little adventure, Beamish gained a lot of courage. He climbs out every chance he gets, and runs on our hands and arms looking for food and the opportunity to hide in our clothing. He's a curious little thing, and is proving to be a right joy. I'm still a bit overwhelmed at how quickly he stole our hearts, and would not trade him for any lizard. This little guy almost knows his name, remembers a whole bunch of things, and can figure out a way to get out of his cage. I caught him pushing through the bars once, and realized that as a social, smart animal, he's learned to know us, and wants to be with us. 


Funny little dude. I hope I'll learn to be a good mother to him. 


Love, 
Heather 

PS: All photos, part from the last one, are taken by Husband. The last one is a webcam shot I managed one night. Taking pictures of a fast little thing is hard!