Friday, April 29, 2016

The Invitation

"It doesn't interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon...
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments."

~Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Friday, April 22, 2016

"I Am #Transformed."

1958 - 2016

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Day The Major Arcana Was Turned Up To 11

We all knew when Priscilla Frank dropped this blurb about Ariel Hart's Lisa Frank inspired (free to the masses) tarot deck on The Huffington Post that this was going to happen, right?

While I was never the biggest fan of Lisa Frank products growing up (I was more of a Mead Supershades girl, myself, later graduating to Yikes!® everything), I am a fan of the parody accounts Nihilisa Frank, and Feminist Lisa Frank floating around the interwebs these days, plus there's something about the mishmash of candy-colored nonsense on a deck of tarot cards, and the humor Ariel brings to the project that I find irresistible.  So, it really was only a matter of finding the right print shop to handle the job!  I ended up using San Francisco based Printer's Studio for this undertaking.  I loved that they had no minimum orders, complete customization, essentially no limit to the number of designs in a deck (up to 170 cards), and their drag & drop uploading system that literally could not get any easier to use.  The entire process was beyond user-friendly, and when I signed up to create my account I received a coupon code for something like ten dollars off my first order, taking the price down to $1.20 for two decks of cards, plus shipping.

I'm totally impressed with the quality, I can't say enough about how great these cards are, but I'll spare you!  I'll just say, I'm so stoked I want to go into the playing card biz now ... stay tuned.

I know others went with Make Playing Cards as their printer, and were just as thrilled with the results.  As pleased as I am with what I got from Printer's Studio, I always encourage people to shop around to find exactly who or what can fulfill their needs so, I had to throw MPC into the mix.  I understand how overwhelming it can be trying to find the right company for the appropriate job, and I highly recommend both of these studios.


Friday, April 8, 2016

Sing Me a Song of a Lass That is Gone

We are moments away from the official end of Droughtlander, almost an entire year after the air date of the final episode of Outlander's premier season (which was necessary to bring us the BEST version of this costume drama possible so, I can't complain!), and in celebration I thought I'd post my essay entry to a "contest" created March 14, 2015 by Costume Designer Extraordinaire, and all around cool chick, Terry Dresbach (these are the kinds of things that come up on misty spring mornings with a bunch of costume & apparel geeks - turned fan girls playing on twitter together) because the conversation had cropped up about how the men of the series sometimes get the lion's share of attention from a largely female audience when there's a really awesome heroine (who has carried the series into it's 9th book, due out in the near-ish future) to celebrate.  So, in honor of Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall Fraser Grey (erm) Fraser (again) we were each to submit a formal essay just showing some good old fashioned love to a lead female character.

Without further ado...

Claire Beauchamp: An Eighteenth Century Riot Grrrl

Claire Beauchamp was born a wild woman; intimately connected to her sacred untamed nature from the start, vividly illustrated by the failed attempt at enrolling her in boarding school. Not even Uncle Lamb, and his unconventional child rearing methods can take credit for the ferocity of the ancient feminine burning within our young heroine. Orphaned, underestimated, and unexpected to have any sense of agency over her own person, this child quickly becomes her own advocate by demanding better, and more for herself, her life, and her future taking, quite possibly, her first step toward becoming the accidental feminist she spends the rest of her life being. Following no one else’s guidelines or framework for how a “liberated” woman is supposed to be, she however, observes, and sources from the lives around her in order to create the woman she is continually becoming, always incorporating the new material with who, and what she already, naturally, is. It is when she is faced with the input of others, or criticized that we see her internally question herself, and struggle to reconcile who she is with who others think she should be, and see her trying on different roles both in her present time, and her eighteenth century life when it is suggested that her approach to life or a certain circumstance is incorrect leaving us to witness a woman slowly suffocating beneath the socially acceptable mask of “propriety” culminating in an extreme, or desperate action to breathe again (shattered wine bottles, and ruined dinner parties come to mind), but always the return to center — her most inherent self is the conclusion.

Through Claire we learn that authenticity is not a glamorous or tidy business, and can only be dressed up in a package that meets societal expectations when society itself is no longer determined to deny its dire importance. Women are neither served, nor serve well whilst striving to attain a standard not created by any consensus of their own by altering themselves in order to be *nice, likable, or neutral. Claire may keep quiet to save herself, and those around her from dangerous situations (and sometimes even that’s a task!), but she’s never going to “shut-up” or play herself down in order to make other people more comfortable with themselves, meanwhile demonstrating an inclusion that is rare in female sisterhood even today. Claire is a spectacular contradiction; a one woman revolution coupled with Caitriona Balfe who comes across both personally, and on screen as someone as effortlessly unapologetically herself as the character she is portraying, I am reminded of Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s words: Well behaved women seldom make history. Claire Beauchamp isn’t making history, she’s reinventing it.

*"Nice" to be read as what a patriarchal society determines a nice woman to be ie: docile, subordinate, pretty window dressing, not to be confused with good manners every human should posses and afford one another male or female.

 Incidentally a Top Five was never chosen because, "There are too many great ones. Too many styles. Some are very beautiful, written by people with degrees in literature and english, some by those who don’t really speak english [sic] at all. Some long, some very short. But what they all share is beauty, passion and love. And after all isn’t that exactly the point? What I asked for?? All equally wonderful, and I refuse to choose between them." From the mouth of T.D. herself ... so, I guess we all won? Admittedly, mine is a little clunky in parts ... I haven't done this in eons, but yay, us!  I'm not sure what we won, perhaps just the pleasure of "winning" itself, but really who needs a prize when this feast of imagination, and costume ecstacy hits our screens?  Yeah, no one.  It's that good.