Posts Tagged ‘fascinator’

The Ball Was

April 19, 2015

Well.

A ball.

I mean.

Really.

It was just smashing.

Lots of fire.

The Serpent Mother was amazing, thank you Flaming Lotus Girls, thank you so much, and it was such a nice treat to be outside underneath fire sculpture, the flames leaping and hissing, the steel tig welded just so, the soft, warm embrace of the air rushing over my skin, it was luscious.

To be outside in a dress with my hair up and flowers and birds in it, well, that is a good night.

Add two wonderful girl friends and some really good music (huge props to CPTN JAY of Airpusher–hella tight, catch it on soundcloud.com/cptn-jay for an amazing set of deep house), and just lit my heart right up.

“This is God,” I mouthed to my friend.

This is God.

Thank you God.

For music and fire and dancing and art.

For joy in my body.

For feeling connected and right with my world.

Really right in my world.

I got to hang with girl friends and download the recent adventures and misadventures in dating.

I got to listen to them and share about life, love, recovery, moving on, graduate school, Burning Man, babies (friends who have just had them), and travel plans for Atlanta in July.

My life feels good and full and I feel a part of my community again.

Rather like I am coming out of a shell.

“You do the work,” she told me today over coffee at Tart to Tart.  “Since you and I have been working together over the last two years, the amount of work you have done is formidable, you really show up and do it.”

“Being humble is also acknowledging that, not just the defects, but the assets, you have changed and it’s pretty amazing to witness.”

Thank God.

I will admit I was nervous.

I can isolate and get disconnected to easily.

I can live in my little space, with my laptop and pretend to know what’s going on and feel content being connected via social media, but it is not a tangible experience, I’m not touching real people, hearing the timbre of their voices, the emotions and the longing to live and love and learn.

I got a good healthy dose of my people today and it was just what I needed.

From a number of different communities and fellowships I get to be a part of.

“You really get into that, don’t you,” a fellow asked me today as we were folding up metal chairs and stacking them in a corner of the room.

“Burning Man?” I asked, “yeah, I love it, it’s hard not to and I am really excited to get to go again this year.”

Super excited.

And my little cache of Burning Man supplies is slowly growing.

Each week I am buying one or two small things, spreading out the spending over the next couple of weeks so I don’t take the hit all at one, and I picked up a couple of little things at the grocery store.

I was able to sneak in a run on Safeway and one to Other Avenues and placed my first order with Instacart to be delivered tomorrow.

I was too tight on time to do all the grocery shopping today I needed to do and since the first delivery is free, well, sign me up.

The fewer things I have to haul on my bicycle the better.

Not that it felt like too much of an issue today, I felt really good in my body, strong and light and quick on my bike.

Up to the Inner Sunset for a while, back to the Outer Sunset over to Safeway on the Richmond side, a quick jaunt on Great Highway, passed by the beach and back, and then home.

I did some cooking and had a really nice meal at home.

Red butter lettuce wraps with sautéed ground turkey with onions, garlic, ginger, zucchini, mushrooms, and brown rice, topped with diced English cucumber.

So good.

I filled my belly, ate an apple for dessert, drank some tea and hopped in the shower.

All prepped and fed and polished and shined up and then I got to play some dress up and put on my outfit for the evening’s merriment.

I wore my new dress, fishnets, my fascinator I made last year for Burning Man but never wore out on the playa, put my goggles around my thigh as a garter belt, and piled my hair in a messy up do with more feathers and black glittered roses, a bit of makeup, a pink glitter lip, and a mask.

Voila!

Masquerade Ball preview

Masquerade Ball preview

Fascinator

Fascinator

I love playing dress up.

Don’t tell.

I had a few mis-fires putting it all together.

But when it happened.

It happened.

“You look amazing!” A woman said to me as we passed by heading into the will call line at NIMBY for our tickets.

“So do you!” We stopped and swapped smart phones and took some photos of each other then went in and got silly dancing.

And in the crush of people heading out from one room to the outdoor area where Serpent Mother was lit up and spitting hot pink neon fire agains the crisp midnight blue sheet of a sky, I heard my name hollered out and was crushed in a gigantic hug.

Friends.

They are so good to have.

I hadn’t seen him since the night I went out to dance my tears away after my ex had broken our relationship off.

I was celebrating a milestone, ten years in the intensive care unit, with some friends at Public Works.

I was not really in the spirit that night, still crushed by the wall of emotions I was trying to keep at bay, to be present and celebrate the ten-year anniversary and to let my friends love me while I grieved the short, but intense relationship I had just been relieved of being in.

Tonight.

Well.

It felt like celebration.

It tasted like red velvet fire cake and smelled of playa, soft, sweet, dusty, and popcorn, and just a touch on the nostalgia side of town, with a nice big dash of anticipation for this years event.

“Take the hugging to another area!” A loud bark of a voice jovially ushered us out into the courtyard.

Unexpected Reunion

Reuniting with playa friends is the best

We paused, caught up, swapped photos and then meandered off into the night.

He caught up with his friends.

I went with mine.

Dancing happened.

Then more dancing.

Then some wandering into the fire effects of The Serpent Mother where I ran into another friend and he lit up his portion of the Serpent and sent flames shooting into the sky.

Fire!

Fire!

All in all it was the most successful of adventures.

And although this last photo is blurry, this was what it felt like.

Happy

Happy

In my element.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

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You Could Sell Those On Etsy

July 14, 2014

“They are amazing.”

I felt quite tickled to hear that.

Especially coming from the lady who had only moment prior described herself as liking being dark.

I used to like being dark too.

I still can get my black on like nobody’s business.

But as of the last few years, Burning Man, I have continued to follow my glitter heart, beribboned festooned soul, and sparkle pony self into further ideations of what it means to be me.

I picked up a packet of glitter glue at the store yesterday and decided I was going to make some more hair pieces for la playa.

“It’s like a craft bomb has gone off in here,” I said with a laugh.

There were heaps of flowers in various stages of drying from being appliqued with glitter and curls of ribbon, some pink feathers and tiny glittery birds that I got as a magnet set a long time ago and some of the magnets popped off, so I decided I would incorporate them into a fancy piece, embroidery floss in a variety of colors, plain barrettes waiting to be decorated, loops of thread, and a big pile of buttons.

I thought I would perhaps make a bunch of them.

But I got two done.

And that’s ok.

I sort of got over it after awhile.

The one I made in the beginning, the one my friend gushed over, really is the stand out though.  I took some burlap and frayed it then bunched it up into a circle and overlayed it with a sea foam green netting, then I pinned a green flower with glitter on the petals into the middle of it, added a couple of different kinds of ribbons–one that looked like little green truffula trees–and a tiny blue bird with pink tail feathers that I had added into the teeny rump of the magnet.

Then I sewed it to a green barrette.

The girl at Mendel’s who helped me, last year (I had gotten the majority of the stuff last year between Mendel’s in the Haight and the discount sewing center in the Mission, but had no wherewithal to go through with making the pieces I envisioned) actually shoo shooed me away from using glue to afix the pieces to the barrettes.

“Sew them on, they’ll be more sturdy and if you are going to Burning Man you won’t be worried about the pieces breaking off or flying off the barrette if the glue loosens.”

Good advice.

For I am planning on wearing them to the event.

If I go to the event.

My brain, the malicious monkey part of it, is half convinced that upon arriving to work tomorrow due to my inclement asking for a raise at the event, that I will be fired or I will be uninvited to work the event.

I know that is a big old lie the brain pan is telling me, but I can admit that it’s there, those thoughts.

Most of the time those thoughts are just not good for me so I leave them lie.

I have wrote out what I need, figured out my ask, which is what I asked for last week, broke down the numbers, and am prepared for whatever outcome is to happen.

I am also prepared to not go if the family decides to change their mind.

I don’t think they will and I don’t think they will fire me either, but if so, then, hey, I know I am imminently hireable and something will happen.

For the moment, I act as if I am going.

I know I will be paid what I need and I can leave it alone.

My biggest concern is continuing to stay slowed down so that I can be of optimal service when I get there.

I know the estimated heal time for the ankle is 6 months and it’s been five and a half weeks since I injured it, so it’s still got time to heal.

And when I showered today I could feel it swelling up and getting stiff, so I am icing with peas and took some ibuprofen and I am being easy in my body.

My brain may be a mental mongoose of monstrosity, but at least I can be easy in my being.

And the mind wasn’t that bad today.

I have done a lot of writing over the last few days, loads of inventory, and I know that whatever the outcome, I show up tomorrow for my job and I do my job and I do my job well.

I will be taking MUNI to work.

I have decided to give the ankle another week off the bicycle.

I did not ride it anywhere today.

Rather I just walked up to Other Avenues and bought what I needed to finish out the ingredients for my soup for the week.

I made yellow and green split pea soup with carrots, cauliflower, onions, garlic, chicken, and brown rice.  Pair that with some raw carrots and some homemade lemon humus and I am set for the week.

Or at least seven meals.

That’s about what I socked away in the freezer.

It’s going to be a longer week for me as well, so the extra rest is a good thing.

I am covering two nights shifts in addition to my normal five-day shifts.

I will be doing a nanny share again four days this week, possibly five, although I am not 100% on that, and working Thursday evening and Saturday night.

My plan, God laughs, is to have enough set aside so that I can pay rent for September before I leave for Burning Man.

I just want to have it covered.

So no matter what I make it will be enough.

And it will be fancy hat time when I get there.

Aside from that I feel like this week will be similar to last.

Working and thinking about Burning Man.

And going slow, slow, slow with the ankle.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Not like I even know where I am racing to.

But it will be slow and steady.

Watch Out!

June 4, 2014

I’ve got the glitter glue and I am not afraid to use it.

Seriously.

I just used the last of my glitter glue on a flower that needed a little perking up.

I walked into the Piedmont Store on Haight Street to check out all things tacky and glittered and spangled and sequined after work before my evening commitment and I was astounded at how much they were charging for the ticky tacky.

$12 for a shitty sad little fabric flower.

$18 if it had some glitter and don’t even ask for the one with a sad dyed chicken feather, that bitch goes for $24.

Please.

That’s ridiculous.

I got home and I was inspired and I pulled out the last of the glitter glue I had and freshened up a little fabric flower and one thing led to another and the next thing you know I have created a sweet little, HUGE, flower fascinator.

With three separate fabric flowers in various shade of indigo, violet and purple, you know to go with the new hair.

One of the flowers was a gift from a friend years ago that I have worn many a time at the thing in the desert way out there in the weirdo zone, another was one I picked up in a set from a casino in Reno, I think the set was $6, and the last was one I got at the cheap fabric store on Mission street for $0.75.

I glittered all the flowers, pinned one flower to another, to another, then attached a hair clip, Walgreens, pack of 10 $0.87, and voila!

Something I can sell at Lightening in a Bottle for $65.

Haha.

Just kidding.

Sort of.

I don’t have any plans on selling anything soon, this was a bit sloppily put together, but that being said, I do want to sit down with my wares and really construct a few things.

I have always had a thing for hats and hair pieces and why not have some fun with it.

A little artistic fun with millenary is good for the soul.

I am apparently channelling my inner Carmen Miranda.

I had another idea for a hat piece that I really do actually want to make and I think I will try to get the stuff together to do it.

It will be a little more work than safety pinning a bunch of flowers together, but I think I can do it and it will be fun and a tad Steampunk and there’s nothing else like it out there that I can think of and I like to be original.

So.

Yeah.

That idea I had about a small top hat, set askew, of course, with a Jack-a-lope on its brim, it’s in the works, at least in my brain.

I found a source for brown fuzzy Jackalopes on-line and I want to order one, paint the antlers a sort of silver glitter, duh, and then take fabric markers and change the fur from brown to pink (like my jackalope tattoo), hot glue the little guy on a miniature top hat, add a few feather hackles and maybe a big pink rose drenched in glitter glue, tie a pink satin ribbon around the brim of the hat, and voila!

New hat for me.

I am seriously considering inviting some girls over to do hat making, although, I may be the only one in the bunch so intrigued by head wear.

I have had hat collections in the past and either moved or sold them, or lost them, seems time to start over and get some more on my head.

And why not be the one making them.

How much freaking fun for me.

I need a creative outlet that is not just my writing.

My writing is like my life force, got to have it, got to do it, can’t question it, just write.

“Carmen, you gotta write, or you’re gonna die,” Alan Kauffman told me when I was studying with him.

Pretty much.

So much so that I recently, last week Monday, so today marks my second day doing so, I have been getting up an additional fifteen minutes early to make sure that I get all three pages written in my notebook.

I have not always been able to manage it.

I have been getting up at 7a.m., making the bed, making the oatmeal, doing a little quiet reading, getting dressed, asking for guidance, putting on the make up, getting lunch and dinner packed (can I just say, once more how exciting it is to be making my own homemade humus–this week with lemons fresh off the tree in the back yard at work), doing the hair, brushing the teeth, and flying out the door.

Sometimes with a few pages written.

Sometimes with nothing written.

Then I carry the notebook with me to work and keep my fingers crossed that the boys will nap tandem or that there will be a few moments in between this obligation and that commitment, to sit in a cafe and crank out the three pages.

But I find it so much better when I can do it at home.

So, yup, earlier to bed and earlier to rise.

Makes a (wo)man, healthy, wealthy, and wise.

That being said, it’s an artistic outlet, so is my blog, but it’s such a part of my routine, that I don’t always feel creatively inspired.

These little hat things do really rather light me up.

So, more of that.

I could also make some for my lady friends that are going–I usually gift hand massage on playa, but it might be nice to gift something else.

I can feel the little perfectionist in me piping up, but I think I am just going to hush that peanut gallery, have some fun, and scavenge up some more material for myself.

This weekend I see a Sunday with glitter in it.

My favorite color.

 

Get Yer Pink Hat On

May 28, 2014

I got me a fedora.

I have been wanting one for a bit and when I saw this one, I had to stop and grab it.

Pink.

Sequined.

Jaunty.

Yes.

I said jaunty.

And it works with my hair and my eyeglasses.

Best of all.

The cost.

$4.49.

Courtesy of your local Good Will.

I nanny in Cole Valley Monday through Wednesdays and I walk by the Good Will probably once, perhaps twice a week, depending on what park I am headed to.  It is a great Good Will and it has big windows for “La Leche Vitrine”.

Literal translation from the French: “window licking”.

Now, I am not a typical window licker, I don’t often purchase what I see, I window shop a lot, I am good at it and it’s a harmless, cheap habit.  Today especially.  A girl can’t go wrong with a hat for under five dollars and it’s pink and it’s sequined.

It now also has a pink rose attached to it and a pink feather that I got last year around this time to make hats and all things haberdashery for the playa, from the arts and crafts store on Haight.

I was house sitting in Cole Valley, just off the Haight Street neighborhood, last year about this time and I had decided I wanted to make all my little hair pieces myself, instead of laying out forty, fifty bucks for the pieces that I was drawn to.

Hell I saw some cute ones at Lightening in a Bottle too, but all were quite expensive and I recalled again, with a smidgen of guilt for not having done anything with all the gear I got for this project.

Buttons, bows, ribbons, flowers, glitter, feathers, netting, little metal charms, embroidery floss, hair clips to pin everything to.

I got all the right stuff to make some fascinators and some other pieces.

And I never did it.

I remember taking it all back to Grace Land with me after the house sitting gig had ended and spreading it all over the gigantic table in the dining room, then getting out needle, thread, scissors, the fabric glue and sorting everything into piles and sighing and sitting down to go to it.

And not being able to go to it.

In hindsight, I was pretty depressed and not certain what was happening with my life, having just returned from France and it being a difficult transition from the 9th arrondisement to East Oakland, 51st and International was a bit of culture shock to me.

Granted my dear friend who was letting me stay, was a dear friend, and had all the comforts of a well stocked home, kittens to snorgle with, Netflix on the tv, internet, a big cushy bed, so much nicer than the lumpy futon I had spent the majority of my nights on in Paris, and a big huge vat of popcorn that he had gotten special for making kettle corn.

Thus began my slippery slope that led soon to my relapse on all things sugary and floury and donutty and icecreamy and basically way bad for me and my health.

I picked up all the flowers and ribbons that I had planned to bedeck myself with, shoved them in a hat box and went to the kitchen.

I got out the air popper and poured the kernels in.

I just started with butter and salt, a big glass of sparkling water, and I cued up the first season of the West Wing, which I had never seen before, and proceeded to check the fuck out.

That’s not a solution for me today.

Thank God.

I was reminded of that today and I am grateful to have the way of life I have now.

And also a degree of humility about it, I could have checked out with some booze, there was a fully stocked bar.

I could have checked out with some crack cocaine.

There was East Oakland right outside my doors.

And I did not.

And for that I am ok with the fact that I checked out with the popcorn, then the ice cream, then the donuts and macaroons, and Arizimendi pizza, the hamburger and french fries from Burger Joint, the boxes of cereal and more Netflix, and then lots of self-loathing and hatred.

I got through it with a lot of help from some dear friends who reminded me that this too shall pass and I went to work to get out of the clutches of my historical reliance on food as a means of self-soothing.

It didn’t work for me then, it never had, and it was the place that I went to.

I pray I don’t have to have the experience again.

I lost the weight I put on with that binge that ended up being about three weekends of self-destruction.

And for the first time, for me, it was not about losing the weight (in fact, I have only weighed myself twice in the past year so I don’t even know what it is), it was not about checking out to solace myself.

Buying that pink fedora at the Good Will store when I was window shopping on the way to the park was like waiving a flag of victory.

I wore it all day long.

I even rode my bicycle home with it perched on my head.

Which was a great test for Burning Man.

The brim shielded my eyes and did not get in the way of my glasses and best yet, though it was windy, it stayed put.

That is important.

And when I got home I was happy to deck it out with the feather and the pink fabric rose that I had bought this time last year.

In fact, I am so pleased with the results that I am thinking I may host a little playa prep party at my place and see if anyone wants to sit out in the back yard with me and enjoy the sunshine, drink tea, and make some fascinators and hats and clips.

It would be fun, I have the gear, and so many of my girlfriends are going this year, it might be just the thing to do.

Celebrate my 8th year returning to Burning Man by putting another feather in my cap.

Literally.


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