sihayadesigns: (Me: Illustrated)
I have always processed difficult things in writing. I know that makes a lot of people very uncomfortable. If you think that you would feel uncomfortable reading this entry, please, for my sake, skip it. It is not for you.

I am a writer, but when I'm handling my own emotions, not always the most eloquent. So what follows is just sort of a portrait of where I am emotionally right at this very moment. I don't know where I'll be tomorrow, or in a week, or a month. It's also predominantly focused on me, and how I am coping with my complicated, messy, and sometimes selfish feelings around the death of someone I deeply loved. A memorial, a post for her, may come later, when I've had more distance and time to choose my words carefully.

Comments on this post will remain private/screened. Also, major trigger warning for the topic of suicide.

Waves. )
sihayadesigns: (Magic: Luna)
Whoo. SUPER busy weekend.

Thursday was the day of Two Dinners. One at my mom's, and one at Jason's dad's. I ended my day feeling like Jabba The Hutt, shamefully waddling home. I ate way, way too much. The day was pretty uneventful, except for my nephew running-full speed and faceplanting into a credenza. Scared the piss out of me, but he got up with a swollen face and a cut on his cheek. Thankfully, no concussion, which I fully expected, considering the force at which his face struck. Children are resilient, man.

On Black Friday, Jason and I went with [ profile] twelvepetals and her wife Jen (and their cousin) to get a little Christmas spirit. After a truly tasty brunch at Atwaters and some shopping at Belvedere Square Market (truffles, plum and vanilla bean preserves, triple ginger muffins), we headed to Valley View Farms to gawk at all of the Christmas displays and pick up some decorations or our house. There were lots of pretty things to look at, omg. If we didn't have animals, I would 100% carpet my home in glittery poinsettias. Ended up grabbing LED candles for the mantle, some peppermint ornaments, and a slew of hot chocolate mixes. After that, it was on to the Amish market, where we picked up cheeses, apple bread, and other sweet treats to stock our pantry. It was a good day of pumping money into the local economy and small businesses.

Saturday was PACK ALL THE ORDERS! day. I've been having a Black Friday - Cyber Monday sale, and it is going well. I spent most of my day chiseling down a mountain of orders. Jason took five XL grocery bags of packages to the post office today.

Yesterday, I got to work making new stock (and some custom work). I'm selling so well at the sale that my stock is running low, especially on wirework necklaces. I'm vending on Thursday, so I need a few fancier pieces to show. So it's nose to the grindstone to get some new shinies done. I need a full day to make tags, hooks, and general prep, so I only have two more days. Gotta get to it.

I bought my tickets for A Longwood Christmas next Saturday. Very excited.

In the evenings, Jason and I watched Jessica Jones. We're alllllmost through the season, and MAN I have lots of things to say about how the villains are essentially different aspects of toxic masculinity, but I'll save it for when I'm finished the series.

But for now: more work.
sihayadesigns: (Default)
Jason and I got back from Salem last night around midnight. Much more successful attempt at a vacation than this year's trip to the Outer Banks. There were a few down notes, but overall, a good time was had. The trip. )

Most of my pictures from the trip are up at my Instagram! Holy cats, we did a lot.

As for other goings-on:

-- I made it to Faire once this season. I had a better time than expected (since I've been in a weird headspace lately), and it was nice to not be scrambling from one show to the next. Mostly, I wandered. It was exactly what I needed, along with good times with fun friends (Jen & Laura).

-- I attended a Witches' Tea Party at [ profile] damejenn's, which was EXQUISITELY decorated. The refreshments provided were well-chosen and delicious. The company was delightful. I made fun cupcakes. Again, pics at Instagram.

-- I've been working on getting a handle on my situational depression and anxiety. I only had one anxiety attack the whole time I was in Salem. Part of that was knowing that the kitties were in excellent hands. Abby is a godsend. But Nox is a bit thinner than I'm used to seeing him, and he's due for a vet appointment in a week, so I'm trying to manage the anxiety that comes from that. We had a great snuggle earlier today, and he's still eating, even if he's being a super fussbutt about it. Good thoughts appreciated.

-- The next two weeks are going to be mostly me completing the next FaerieMag order. It's smaller this month, probably because they ordered so much stock last month that they're still working through. This batch is mostly holiday stuff, and, for the most part, not as work-intensive. Which means I might be able to put out a small holiday retail collection this year, huzzah.

-- Transcendence is headlining the All Seasons Hafla on Sunday!


Jun. 2nd, 2015 02:43 pm
sihayadesigns: (Default)
It has been a long but pretty good two weeks. I started it off by getting sick as hell. Jason gave me the Head Cold Of Doom, and I was down for the count for almost four days. Like, couldn't open both eyes at the same time sick. It was not fun.

But I came out of it just in time to stop at Laura & Jen's impromptu memorial day get together. I've been slowly making up social rainchecks that I had to issue while I was ill-- Karyn & I met at the NGA for delicious food (bourbon and apricot glazed turkey, omfg) and then a wander to the butterfly garden at the natural history museum. Abby and I met up for a jaunt around the botanical gardens and then a trip to the Freer-Sackler to see Whistler's Peacock Room, and a modern art piece based on it, Filthy Lucre / REMIX (aka, the Peacock Room as a nightmare-scape). It was immersive and absolutely wonderful, so if you like art, you should definitely go see it.

I got to go to the zoo with my family (including baby Zeke), and it's awesome just how much he loves animals. Like, he spent half the day blowing kisses to the animals. Adorable. Sunday, Jason and I hit up Tacoma Park for brunch at Republic and a trip around the farmer's market for heirloom tomatoes, Atwaters' bread, and delicious fresh soft cheese with lavender infusion.

I've been documenting with lots of pics over on instagram:

Work-wise, I sold through a half dozen of crescent moon earrings in two hours, and am finishing up a few commissions before I begin the next wholesale set for Faerie Magazine. I'm going to do a mini-collection of Elizabeth I & Anne Boleyn pieces next week.

This morning, I also finished the five scent blends for the next run of candle tins. I want my scents to be exclusive to me, so they're not just "pour ready-made scent into wax" dealies. I hand-blended them all myself. They are:

Amas - Sweet lemon and rose cream. A light, refreshing scent that invites love.

Angelica - Oranges and sandalwood musk. Narcotically hypnotizing, you'll fall under her spell.

Avalon - Egyptian musk, dragon's blood, and ripe apples. A bright, airy scent like the eternal mists of the sacred isle.

Invocation - Two ambers, copal, dragon's blood, oakmoss, and a hint of myrrh. A slightly sweet, resinous blend of sacred incenses.

Sidhe Draoi - Moss, fresh soil, green leaves, cedar, and a touch of amber. A fittingly fresh and woodsy scent to honor dryads, forest spirits who are sometimes called "fairy Druids."

Amas and Angelica are recreations of the blends I issued in 2012. Invocation is an updated version of a similar scent. Avalon and Sidhe Draoi are both new. The wax pouring for those begins tomorrow!

Catch up.

May. 14th, 2015 02:04 pm
sihayadesigns: (Default)

Belle Epoque

There's a new update at Sihaya Designs. It's mostly wings (including an expanded Design Your Own Wings option), but there's also some labdradorite and earring odds and ends.

I am toying with releasing some candles next month-- I want to learn how to make pillar candles, but my candle tins I did in 2011 were quite popular. I'm thinking of releasing Amas (lemon, rose, cream, a favorite last time), Invocation (amber, copal, sandalwood), an Avalon-inspired blend, a forest/dryad-inspired blend, and possibly Angelica (sandalwood and sweet oranges). Right now, I've got about $200 worth of wax and containers and oils in my cart, and that has to wait until I restock wire. But this will probably happen, especially if requests are strong enough.


Spoutwood was mostly pretty great. Let me tell you, having Faerie Magazine sponsor me was incredible and relieved SO MUCH stress. They set up the tent, provided all of the merchandising stuff except my earring racks, handled the money, put me up in a hotel, and sold my stuff when I was on stage. A+++, good times. It made for an incredibly easy experience for me.

The Transcendence sets also went well, and I actually loved doing my little solo bit in each set. Our group has really gelled in a way that collaborating feels like a joyful experience, and even though I'm not particularly interested in dancing outside of it at the moment, it's keeping my love of dancing from completely burning out.

On the minus, I got food poisoning from eating at Ruby Tuesday on Friday night and spent Saturday constantly rushing to the port-a-johns. In the middle of conversations with customers, right before stage sets... didn't matter. Lasted most of the day.

As for purchases, I really only made one: I got my yearly Dancing Pig Pottery mug. It reads, "I'm silently judging you."


I am starting to see friends and loved ones again instead of the inside of my studio. I saw Colleen for brunch, am doing Wine in the Woods with Anna, am going to the Smithsonian with Karyn, and am going on a long hike with Jason this weekend. My social calender is slowly starting to re-open, so if you want on it, drop me a line.


We renewed our lease on a month to month basis, despite the upstairs neighbors REALLY dialing back the noise level. Jason REALLY wants to buy a house. I am mostly "enh," about that, but I am a city-dweller at heart, so. We're going to start looking soon, without the pressure of a deadline.

Recommendations: I have been really into Belle Epoque-era Paris & London as a setting lately. I tend to prefer fiction more than non-fiction, but I wouldn't turn my nose up at an engagingly-written nonfic rec. Anybody got any recs for me? I just finished MJ Rose's The Witch of Painted Sorrows, and I loved the settings, even if I felt the characters weren't quite finished.
sihayadesigns: (True Blood: Terry & Lafayette)
One of my oldest friends on LJ has been Kythryne, who runs Wyrding Studios. Over the years, we've traded tips, tricks, materials, and encouragement. Kyth is wonderful, and makes beautiful, swirly jewelry that is often imitated, but never quite duplicated.

Kyth needs help keeping the shop afloat as she deals with a rough patch. It's the primary source of income right now, and needs to remain so. There is a coupon code, and you can read more here.

Please consider buying some shiny things to help out a wonderful person.


May. 30th, 2014 10:45 pm
sihayadesigns: (Statement: Pretty girls & grenades)
Upon witnessing the transformation from no makeup & pjs to dressed and ready to go out, [ profile] tamnonlinear gave me a great compliment today.

"You have weapons-grade femme skills."

Weapons-grade. I like that.

Easy day.

May. 19th, 2014 11:50 am
sihayadesigns: (Magic: Glass lotus)
Wow, so... "new livejournal." It's pretty Tumblr-esque. I'll have to see if it grows on me.

Today, I am having a relaxing day. This weekend was about hunting for a new place to live (hence why I skipped the Transcendence performance at Fez Tones), and then some chilled out social time afterwards. Unfortunately, nothing promising yet on the living space front, though I am making some calls and tracking down private rentals to visit for next weekend. But social time was good! Saturday night, we played Cards Against Humanity with Brooke & Tim. Sunday was Thai food and another fun card game, Gloom, with Jenn & Todd. Gloom is, essentially, Edward Gorey meets Aubrey Beardsley: The Game. If you like the Lemony Snicket books, you'll probably like this, too. Anyhow, really fun! Will have to get a copy.

What things have I not talked about in my flurry of activity? Well, Spoutwood went well. I made enough $$$ to dig myself out of the financial hole that being too sick to work for two months caused. I may not have much left over, but that's infinitely preferable to being in the red. Performing with Transcendence was good, as usual, but I preferred last year's stage to this one. We were mainstage performers this year, which is exciting, but that meant we were sharing the stage with large bands and all of their equipment. Even when they did their best to clear room for us, I was still tripping over mics and trying not to run into drum kits. I never felt like I was entirely focusing on the performance aspect, and so next year I hope we can figure out a better workaround or go back to a less-cluttered stage.

The cats are doing well. Nox is putting some weight back on and overall being less fussy about food. The chemo regimen is greatly bettering his quality of life. We have been spending a lot of cuddle time together, he and I. He is a very happy cat who takes his pills and gets on with his life. I love him so much sometimes I think my heart will burst.

I am NOT looking forward to packing/moving. I have SO. MUCH. STUFF. in my studio that all I can think is "noooooooooooooooo."

My nephew is at that five month old stage where he looks like the Michelin Man. It is very likely my parents will try to attain custody after some preliminary legal hurdles are out of the way. The further away that child is from my sister, the more functional he will be.

My brother is being moved to Hawaii for three years by his job. I am intensely jealous. And sad, because I genuinely like hanging out with my brother. Genuinely liking hanging out with any member of my family is such an anomaly that I'm pretty bummed. But happy for him.

Fandom is good right now. If you're not watching Orphan Black, ye gods and little fishes, you ought to be. The Emmys need to be just a shower of awards for that show, and a crown for Tatiana Maslany. Anything less is a crime.

Jason is adjusting to his CGMS. It's working well as an early warning system, but he's having other health issues right now that are still complicating his efforts to keep his blood sugars consistent. Diabetes sucks not only because it sucks all by itself, but because it causes other, seemingly unrelated things not to work, too. Fuck diabetes, is what I'm saying.

I've been less consistent with the beauty blog, but back to posting this week. I bought myself a really pretty lipstick at Sephora that should be delivered tomorrow, and I can't WAIT to write about that. /magpie

So, there you have it. Nothing terribly interesting. But after the winter I had, uninteresting is okay by me.
sihayadesigns: (Halloween: Hocus Pocus: Nice yabos & th)
Faire: Went to faire the day before we left for NC. I was still feeling very ill from the week before, dehydrated and lightheaded and overall just lacking in energy. A benefit of this is that I needed to stop and rest much more than I usually do, so I saw more shows. I took in [ profile] thatliardiego's 4pm show at the Boar's Head, the Barely Balanced acrobats, Squire on the Wire, the Rogues, Cu Dubh, and bits and pieces of lots of others. One glass of wine was too much for me and made me want to yak. I had to pass over many of the tasty fried stuffs in favor of bland fare like pretzels. While I wanted to be there, I also wanted to be home, in bed, asleep. Also, dancing three songs with Amy & Brooke at the end of the day was a spectacularly bad idea and I should have known better. Ah well, we are very tentatively going to go the Saturday of the last weekend. I would like to, but with NC just past and Gettysburg ahead, finances are tight. We'll see.

Outer Banks:

The vacation that wasn't. )

The Update: I finally got the Halloween update up in the wee hours of Thursday night/ Friday morning. I was working on a serious sleep deficit. For one, about a quarter of my written copy was destroyed in a file issue. For two, it was a lot of work, and I was going to bed around 4am, only to be awoken at 7:45am by hammering upstairs. (Which is still going on today... the upstairs neighbors with the toddlers moved out. They left us Godiva chocolates to thank us for putting up with toddler noises.) Add to that, I had several rush orders from one of the jewelers I work for. But the update is up, an I am pleased with it. Today will be packing orders and getting them out in a timely manner.

siGHt: Friday night (after having gotten three hours of sleep the night before and working an extra shift at Terra Firma), I powered through and went with Jason to see siGHt, Deviated Theatre's 50 minute ghost story "dance opera." To be honest, I didn't know what to expect. They started off with three "rising artist" pre-show openers. A gorgeous silks aerialist whose muscles had muscles doing a dramatic narrative piece, a younger group of girls doing modern dance to "Sail," and a phenomenal group of child tap dancers.

As for siGHt, it was absolutely breathtaking. There's not a lot I can say without spoiling it other than it was creepy, sad, beautiful, and cathartic. The spirits were so unbelievably spooky-- somewhat influenced by Asian ghosts, I thought-- long hair covering the face, ethereal white nightgowns-- and the way they moved, grasping desperately and jerkily, combined with their frenzied whispering and breathwork was a skin-crawling effect. But the dancing was so synchronized and well-executed that it was beautiful, too. There was also an absolutely wonderful child dancer who was on stage for almost the entire 50 minutes. As for the other two characters, I can't particularly say much without giving it away, but they were wonderful, too. If the show ever runs again (this was its second run), I would love to see it again.

Hocus Pocus: Yesterday, I hosted a few friends for an annual viewing of Hocus Pocus. J & I went out and got lots of fun seasonal touches from Target and Pier One, plus new curtains and a rug, while we were at it. The apartment now feels super cozy. We ended up watching Hocus Pocus, The Woman In Black, and then The Decoy Bride, a charming Kelly MacDonald / David Tennant romcom, to wash out the spooky. It was good to see friendly faces and overdose on gourmet cheese and snacks.

I also used up my one-day store of Martha Stewartness and made cupcakes:

Halloween 2012

More pics, including my Autumn altar. )

Kittens: Olive has been an angel since we've been back from NC. She was ALL OVER Anna & Amy yesterday at the party. Mim ate way too much kibble and is now on a diet. Nox is worrying us a bit because he just hasn't really been interested in eating. Rather, he eats pickily and is constantly looking over his shoulder while he does. He's had to be coaxed the last few mealtimes, and Jason spent this morning hand-feeding him chicken. He's not running a fever, no vomiting, no litterbox issues. He seems a little bit more sleepy than usual, but not worryingly so. We're gonna keep an eye on him, and if he continues not to have much of an appetite, it's to the vet with him.

As for me, I want to sleep more today. I have 2 more pearl stringing assignments to complete, and a bajillion orders to pack. But I think I need a nap first.
sihayadesigns: (Deadwood: Thumbs up)
Last week both emotionally and physically wore me out. I did have a very uplifting day yesterday at the Inappropriate Hafla, spending time among friends who genuinely like and support one another. Every time people are shitty, I just have to remind myself: my dance sisters and the dance community here are amazing. They will not let me fall down, or, if I do, they will pick me back up, make me laugh, and then put an alcoholic beverage in my hand. So everything will be ok.

Skits ranged from: T-Rex Fusion, things you can do with bananas, "I'm Elmo And I Know It", dry heaving to Mozart, what REALLY happens at practice, a revisit of one troupe's best on-stage fuck ups, making fun of 'bellydancers' on reality tv shows, gothic parody to the Numa Numa song, and (mostly) un-ironic love fests. Eye of Isis also graced us with their belly-comedy, followed by this JAW-DROPPING piece that was primarily African dance fusion, with a smidge of Indian fusion in there. They BROUGHT. IT. Omg. Really cool ladies, and I hope to see a lot more of them in the future.

For Verve's part, we did a Madonna set, to "Express Yourself," "Vogue," and "Ray Of Light." We used real Madonna choreography, as taught to us by amazing drag queens on YouTube. I was 90's Executive Dominatrix Madonna, and Flissy was 80's Desperately Seeking Susan Madonna. There were glittery cone bras, head-sets, and crotch grabbing. It fulfilled a childhood dream of mine.

I also vended, but pouring rain at intermission caused us to pull EVERYTHING down quite early. So boo to that, but yay for J and [ profile] tamnonlinear helping me manage the chaos. (Proof positive that my faery wings are 100% waterproof.) I did a trade with Cheryl of Venus Out Of Bounds and came home with an armload of delicious-smelling candles.

So, it was a great time. The Kallistis know how to throw a party.

Today, I am being a lazy arse. This is going to be a nose-to-the-grindstone week, as I work diligently on the Halloween update (I received a goooooorgeous black star diopside in the mail. I flailed.) But for today? I need to read and cleanse my brain and not really do anything. I slept in 'til noon-- first, I got up to take care of Olive at 9, then snuggled her on the couch until 12. Woke up to find Nox ALSO on top of me. I have a book and chocolate chip cookies, and blueberry cobbler coffee. The back door is open and the weather is fantastic, and I'm just going to relax, because I'm still actually tired and my body is aching. But this week will be better than the last.
sihayadesigns: (Magic: Faery realm)
I have had a pretty gross day today. In the realm of physical grossness, it was a terrible morning for the cats and their humans. )

In the realm of purely frustrating grossness, I got to pearl 84 on a 90 pearl knotting assignment, and the damn silk snapped. I had to start over entirely.

So, back to reality after an otherwise awesome weekend.

I got to have coffee with Anna, I got to go on a long hike in Patapsco with Flissy and Steve, and I got to go to Longwood Gardens with Abby.


In the daytime, we saw the conservatory-- I love the childrens' garden, with its purple leaved-plants, its rosemary (I stuck my face right in the bush!), and its velvety geraniums, not to mention the gargoyles, water features, and Labyrinth-esque chimes. We checked out the lilypads, with its water lilies and shy mimosa that closes up when you touch it, we saw the orchids, including Sharry Babies that smell like chocolate, and we smelled a peculiar kind of Canary Island Lavender whose scent was frustratingly unidentifiable until I pinged it as lemon pepper.

We took two full trips 'round the light installations-- once in twilight and once in full dark, after wine. It was like wandering into fairyland. Over 20,000 color-changing solar lights in one installation alone, lighting up the pathways like magical will 'o the wisps.

Longwood Gardens Sept 2012

There were also Water Towers made from recycled plastic bottles stacked together, paired with ethereal singing and a rising blue moon. It was utterly enchanting.

There's a whole set of photos from the trip here.

And now, I must go to switch over my laundry, then get back to pearl knotting.
sihayadesigns: (Default)
Home Life: Pretty good. Nothing substantial to report.

Schedule: OMG. The next two months are gearing up to be very, very busy. Still trying to see if J can get off of work for a wedding at the end of Sept, and I need to schedule the annual Hocus Pocus viewing party. Am going to miss out on [ profile] lapinetrose's spooky tea party because I will be in Gettysburg on Halloween weekend. Very sad about this.

Kittens: Finally sucked it up and ordered cloth diapers for Olive. She's become very, very incontinent as her muscles weaken. I figure diapers with disposable liners will be preferable to steam cleaning our carpet twice a month and constantly following her around with a bottle of Nature's Miracle. Plus then she'll be allowed back in bed at night, which is her favorite thing ever. They should arrive in the next three weeks or so, and until then, I will be jury-rigging some baby diapers for her. Also, we're contacting the vet about getting anxiety meds for her. As her incontinence increases, so does the likelihood we'll have to bathe her more frequently, and she gets really worked up. If anxiety meds pre-bathtime will increase her quality of life, that's what we're gonna do.

Renfest: Oh man, it's upon us! I'd really like to go Sept 3rd to see the Baebes, but time (and budgets) are in short supply right now. So we'll see.

Earthquake: So, we had one. My first! I was in the bathroom, cleaning and waiting for [ profile] belladonnastrap's arrival, and everything started violently shaking. It's a mark of East Coast apartment living that my first thought was "our noisy upstairs neighbors finally got a Wii," and then when the cats ran and hid, I walked outside and watched the windows on the buildings shake. Considering no one actually got hurt, I'd say it was kind of a fun experience, though it was alarming at the time, 'cause I had no idea what was going on. Now I know what it feels like. I got a chuckle out of an NPR story that detailed six geologists were having a conference at the time of the earthquake, and even they didn't initially realize what happened, considering how rare quakes are over here.

Dancing: Danced at the Inappropriate Hafla! Flissy and I were robots. We danced to Daft Punk. We have vowed not to do choreography next year. PEEKTURES. ) I also guested in Kallisti's number as none other than Carolena Nericcio herself... Kallisti's piece was poking fun at one of the current debates in bellydance right now. Oneira was the super gothy bellydancer. Flissy was the neo-Victorian/circus-y one. And Amy was the steampunk one. The joke was that they were all doing the same choreography, just in different clothing. Which is, you know, exactly what 99.99% of bellydancers who claim to be goth/steampunk/whatever dancers do. The clothes are an aesthetic, and though you may be fusing elements of other dances (ie, strobing, pop & lock, umm.... crazy aunt dancing, etc), you're basically just performing fusion bellydance, not some Brand New Style. I show up as Carolena, dole out the skirts and zills, and they become Kallisti, dancing ATS. It was fun. I also loved Lilam's piece ("shark merkin" is now a thing) and Lyra's 'dressing up the zar' piece included a dolphin mask. It was WTFery, and I loved every minute.

Work: I took most of today off because I needed it. I have been in the studio until past 2am more nights than not lately. I will be doing a small update of PMC pieces next week (and more Faery Tears), and then Halloween in a few more weeks. I also have to do some custom orders, but I am trying to budget my time reasonably.

Tattoo: As long as Hurricane Irene doesn't stop me, I'm heading down to see Liaa on Saturday to have her sketch me and work on concepts for the tattoo. I also need to start toning up my tummy, 'cause it's for real now.

Spirituality: It's been a quiet month, probably because my energies have been directed elsewhere. I still have a very pretty altar going on, though it will get leaves and more autumnal touches as we draw nearer to Mabon. Pic. )

Autumn Swap: I am going to post sign-ups for the annual Autumn Swap in early September. There are significantly fewer peeps still on LJ this year, but I'm still gonna try.

Sierras Trip: A few weeks ago, my friend Colleen called me and asked me to come for a week to the CA cabin that's been in her family for decades. At first, I could only think of all the reasons I couldn't. Giant update going up. Olive. Blah blah blah. I literally could not conceive of taking time for myself. But the universe gave me a kick in the pants and I eventually stopped making excuses and finally said 'thank you, yes, I will come.'

So I got on a plane and went. I like air travel significantly less than I used to (I seem to be getting more instances of motion sickness as I get older), but for the most part it was OK. The stewardess on the way out was hilarious ("If you are traveling with a child, or someone who acts like a child, first apply your own oxygen mask, and then place one on your husband..."). We had really rough turbulence most of the way. (And on the way back, we descended into Salt Lake City so rapidly that both the girl next to me and I grayed out.)

But the cabin was beaaaaaaautimous. Colleen & Jim were my hosts, and we saw a gorgeous 2,000 ft tall waterfall, ate ice cream from the local ice cream joint, had lunch in the shadow of two mountains in Sierra City, and attended a county fair (at which the bellydancing was horrific!). Somewhere, Jim has a picture of me staring down a soft serve ice cream cone which was distinctly phallic in nature. Colleen and I also went on a beautiful horseback ride around Bear Lake and Long Lake, and our guide pointed out all the local flora-- pride of the mountains, mule's ear, primrose, foxglove. My horse, Bronco, was a fat teenager whose saddle kept slipping, and I had to keep correcting to sit square, which resulted in big ol bruises on the backs of my legs. Add to that, there was still snow in the mountains! All of the locals went on about how the winter was the worst in memory-- the snow didn't even start melting until June. It was totally amazing.

Evenings were quiet and relaxing: we watched movies and Jim cooked delicious dinners. It was a good time, and I am incredibly glad that I silenced my inner worrywart and went.

More pictures! ) That last pic is of a souvenir I bought... when we were in Sierra City, we happened upon a little dusty clothes shop where the owner had two dogs-- one big malamute mix, and one tiny blind pug. He also had a little table of pendants, where I spotted it. Labradorites, amethyst, and sterling silver. FOR $40. I snapped that baby up. It's perrrrrfect for dancing. And it has great energy. I love it.

I think that's all that's fit to print for right now. I'm just glad that I had a moment to sit down and get up to date. Time has been precious of late.
sihayadesigns: (Default)
Five days left 'til wedding. Am both excited and stressed out. J & I spent most of yesterday doing wedding-related things: picking up the wine, buying more decor, getting all the sodas. Tonight, we are getting the tableware. That leaves us with picking up the keg, writing vows and making a dinner mix left to do. That should not at all be hard, and awesome Kevin who is awesome is making us a dancefloor mix (recycled from his wedding, I should think, but I approve of his taste in music).

Wednesday, Flissy is doing a run-through with me so I can figure out what I'm doing with my hair. I suspect it will be similar to this icon... all the other flowers I have are more muted in color and might not stand out. But I did get a tikka to wear in my hair, and I need practice on how to actually put it on.

So far, Saturday is looking mostly sunny-- a little chilly at barely 60 degrees, but not rainy. I will take that.

...trying to type. Mim busy purring forcefully and molesting my face...

My un-bachelorette party was fun this weekend. There was a LOT of food. Shrimp, really delish stuffed chicken (want recipe), spanikopita, quiche (both of which I had for lunch yesterday), cake (topped with penises), fudge, handmade chocolates, pita, hummus... I was stuffed. Scandalous! )Anyhow, thank you to Ariel & Anna for organizing (even if y'all did make me wear the blinky crown & sash) and to my girls who attended.

With that... today I have SO MUCH TO DO. Adieu!
sihayadesigns: (me: halloween!)
Poor Olive kitty. She has had an upset stomach today. Has barfed twice. We are pretty sure she hasn't ingested anything out of the ordinary, as we've had our eyes on her pretty much 24/7, and when we're out, she's in a room that we have 100% kitty-proofed. It might be a stress thing-- we left her for more than an hour for the first time yesterday since Squeaky passed. So she's been getting extra lovin's today. She just got a dual mommy and daddy massage happily stretched out on her back. Seems otherwise fine-- not crying or indicating any other problem. One of my mom's kitties, Zoe, used to puke all the time as a kitten, and the vet's advice was to mix two tbsp. of rice and lamb wet food with her regular dry for a week-- as we're about to go shopping for the week, we're going to pick that up. It's nice to know that if I notice anything else out of the ordinary, I can walk her to the vet myself.

Today was a good one. Spent it doing makeup lessons for two of my friends, with a quick trip to Sephora. I, amazingly, spent NO money. Shocking. Am amused to note that Lush now offers a Flight of the Conchords-inspired massage bar, "Business Time." It of course warns to take off one's socks before use. I sniffed all of Yankee Candle's new fall offerings-- Moonlight Harvest was surprisingly gorgeous, but pretty much everything else was about the same as stuff they already have in their usual catalogue. Lakeside Birch was more or less slightly woody clean laundry, Be Thankful was Home Sweet Home, and the rest all smelled light slight variations on baking spices. Pretty, but not groundbreaking. I do, however, want their new luminary tealight and votive holders. Very, very botanical.

I promised to fully rapturize about meeting [ profile] dangerdame last night, and so I shall. J and I spent the bulk of the day at a crab feast, so by the time I changed for the show, I was a) very glad that my hair hadn't completely gone frizzy, and b) the scent of Snake Oil covered up the scent of Old Bay. Wore gray slacks, a sexy black racerback tank, and my hot leather corset underneath a pinstripe vest. Happy about two more things: a) the titties were in top form, and b) my recent weight loss means that once again, my corset closes all the way and no longer makes me feel like a stuffed sausage. I smoked up my eyes with silver and felt pretty hot.

The show was a three-person act: sideshow by Albert Cadabra and burlesque by both Gal Friday (the reigning Miss Coney Island) and Veronica Varlow, fresh from an international tour with Emilie Autumn. All three performers were extremely entertaining-- I particularly loved Veronica's fans number, Albert's wookie-in-the-pants stripdance card trick, and Gal Friday's "Constipation Blues" humor piece. Who knew pooping could be so sexy? The only mark on the evening was an EXTREMELY DRUNK bridal party, who managed to spill booze on the stage twice.

Highlight: when passing out raffle tickets, Veronica recognized me and there was lots of squeeage. Jason was kind of whapped upside the head with her beauty, and I got to coo at him that pretty girls like me, neener neener neener. :) We stayed after the show for a little bit, and she gave me a kick ass tee shirt (which I will certainly photograph myself in, dear!) and we chatted about hijinks in Manhattan the next time we're up that way. SUCH a sweetie, and, if you can believe it, even more beautiful in motion than in photographs.

GREAT NIGHT. My only regret? I got no pictures.

And then we came home to Olive, who both wanted to play and puke on the carpet. Poor baby girl. We apologized for leaving her so long and she eventually snuggled up to me and went to sleep somewhere around 5 am. She just ate a healthy portion of dinner, so we'll see how it goes.
sihayadesigns: (beauty: blue/green floral)
Pics of the new apartment at Flickr...

Spent most of the day packing... got through about 1/3 of my possessions. And of those, I am keeping... 3 boxes of stuff. I had a ton of junk in there and about twice as much stuff to donate to Goodwill.

Tomorrow, I am working from the new apartment which does not yet have internet. Also I can't seem to find my cell charger, so... yeah, if I drop off the face of the earth, I'm fine. Promise. Wednesday, I'll be back at Dixie's for round 2 of packapalooza, in which I have to reach into the scary places behind my bookshelf where godknowshat has fallen. I anticipate an even larger trash pile than today.

As tedious and annoying as this is, I will have approximately 2/3 less stuff when I am done, which means I will have room for the stuff we desperately need, like cookware and kitchen pans. Furniture might get moved this weekend, but we will need help. Given that it's a holiday weekend, that might be hard. So, we'll see. If you're local and want to help me haul a big ass dresser down approximately 30 stairs, I'll be your bestest friend.

Oh, and, if I didn't say it before: I got to see my girls this weekend. The ones I never ever ever see, including Rac, who's been in London for two years. There was Apples to Apples and there was fondue, both of which were extremely welcome after being stuck in traffic forever and ever and ever and ever amen. We didn't make it to Tribal Cafe, which I am sad about, but driving any more very likely would have resulted in J falling asleep at the wheel.

Rac still needs to set up a Twitter. Like, for real. Telling us you're alive in 140 characters or less once a week or so is the lazy person's "I love you."

Okay, time to get today's load together for moving. Also, to call the vet and set Squeaky up an appt because his cold seems to have come back. He's got runny eyes. :(

Sweaty, tired, kinda bleary Christina
sihayadesigns: (beauty: the open road)
One of the questions in that last post got me to thinking. It was about whether or not I'd have kids. Upon thinking about it further, I decided probably yes because it's one way for me to create a family unit, something I've always sort of lacked. I mean, blood relations I have plenty of. But I've never been particularly close to any of them. Until very recently, if one of my aunts or siblings called me on the phone, my first instinct was to wonder what was wrong. They're not bad people, we just have so little in common that conversations seem strained and perfunctory. I have a lot of more personal reasons why some members of my family and I are not as close as we could be. At any rate, I have always dated people with very strong bonds to their family, and it has always left me with a sort of longing.

And I kept thinking about that, and how that longing has been present in me for a very long time-- since early childhood, at least. Growing up as the only child of two people who separated before I was born, and in two households in which I was only ever half... well, it created a sense of rootlessness. Every time I packed my suitcase to go to the other parent's house, it was a reminder to both me and my families that I was different. And that I was a reminder of a past best either ignored or scorned. So, yeah, I think I've always been in search of a sense of belonging. Of being a 100% member of something, not just a sometimes member.

Even with friends, this is perpetuated... though it's not at all a sense of "poor Christina, she has no friends." On the contrary, I have lots of friends. I'm a very social person. But forming my own "friend family" has been hard for me because in all of the social circles I've been a part of, I've felt a little like I was on the peripheral. In high school, in my department (vocal music), I was neither a Music Theater Princess or a soulful gospel singer. I didn't fit in either clique. I hung out with the instrumentalists, sometimes the visual artists. I made three lifelong friends there-- [ profile] pawsfurme, [ profile] deliriouscat, and [ profile] 17flyingfish, but as far as groups go, I wasn't really invited to join in any reindeer games that I'd hear about on Monday morning. I just wasn't that close to many other people.

And that's sort of been a pattern for me in life. In college, I picked up a few more friends for life. I always had the perception that they were closer to each other than to me, even though our individual relationships are great. And part of that is totally on me; I'll get into that. Again, I had friends, but that unit-like bonding thing... I was a sort of auxiliary member. It's that way with Faire-- I have a lot of Faire friends, but I'm still sort of a newb as far as hardcore Rennies go, and while I have great friends there, I'm not one of the tribe. Ditto dancing.

I think part of this perception comes from the fact that those who fall into my "friends for life" category are all from different social circles, different points in my life. They don't function like a family, all inter-connected, though they are all individually heart-related to me. And part of it comes from the fact that I fell out of touch a lot as my life and schedule got hectic. I found myself saying "sorry, I can't-- I'll be out of town / at a gig / at work / whatever" way too much. Always flitting from flower to flower and never staying long enough to put down real deep roots. I have probably seemed flighty as hell: unfocused, always consumed with the newest shiny thing or my ever-packed schedule-- because they didn't really get the chance to see the dedication and thought beneath that exterior of excitement and enthusiasm. That sort of thing takes time to show. For all I know, from someone else's perspective, it might have looked like I didn't want in, which couldn't be further from the truth. But I understand how that perception could have formed better now than I did before.

Anyhow, part of this is my own shadow: it's sort of ingrained in me that if I don't fit in my own blood family, how could anyone else accept me into their family, their unit, their home? I know, intellectually, that that's BS and I have a lot to offer, but it's still kind of a lie I tell myself that I have to periodically unravel. It's gotten me into trouble, too-- lingering too long in places I knew were unhealthy for me just because I had a place. Because having my place taken from me was devastating and would recall uncomfortable childhood stuff in an all too stark way. I'm trying to get over that. And I'm doing okay with it. I also have never wanted to look too desperate to be a part of something. Desperation is a turnoff. That's its own can of worms.

This all probably has a lot to do with why I've put so much energy into this journal. It's like my internet living room, and y'all are invited in. It's the gathering place and cross section of those social groups, and it's the closest thing I have to a family unit, outside of J and those few cherished lifelong friends. It's safe turf.

So, I know, as usual, I am stupid busy for the next few months. It's probably safe to say that my plate is full through the end of the year. But I do have a partner who is mine now, who chose me for his family, and we have two little furchildren that really have cemented the beginning of our life as a new family unit. Bio children, adopted children... in a few years, that will all fall into place. But until then, I am going to work on putting down roots. Becoming a real part of a family of friends. Putting energy into the people I love who deserve more of it from me. Putting out the kind of energy I would like to receive. Asking to be adopted or re-adopted. Finding my tribe. It probably will be its own process with ups and downs and lots of navel gazing, but it's important. It's what my soul wants, what my soul needs.
sihayadesigns: (funny: I feel a sin coming on)
Let's see. Last night, stayed in Memphis, and had dinner with [ profile] zenmaster, which was lovely. I got home so exhausted I fell asleep in my clothes. We slept later than intended and then the kitties took up some time.

Got on the road and headed to Waverly, where we visited [ profile] supervillainess and Villainess HQ. Brooke & her team were all super sweet! We had lunch, and I sniffed everything in sight, including things that I am not allowed to talk about. :) But when it happens, many, many of you will be super excited, so there it is. Of the new stuff she's just come out with, Pipevine Swallowtail is my favorite, smelling fresh and spa-like. Sidewalk reminds me of Pimp just a little bit; I think it's the ozone. Killer Treez was Killer Beez + maple. Also smelled a lot of the perfumes-- Killer Beez translated beautifully, as did GingerSnapped. Came home with Paradise Misplaced samples (COCONUT YUM) as well as a re-stock of Jai Mahal Whipped (and apparently I've been pronouncing it wrong; it's apparently Hai Mahal). And a SuperSekrit something that I'm all YAAAAAY about.

Kitties rode on my lap for the rest of the ride to Knoxville, at one point, Olive was asleep in my lap while Squeaky was asleep in my arms. They are now happily running around playing with their ping pong ball. So far, they've traveled EXTREMELY well. Barely any crying, unless they're letting us know they need a litter break. And they're getting so lovey. They tamed up surprisingly fast. Jason has decided that he cannot bear to part them, so we'll be keeping them both.

Tomorrow: the final leg; Knoxville back to Jason's place in Hampstead, MD. About 9 hours, so we should be back home around dinnertime. I doubt we'll get out of be much on Sunday.

In other news, who the hell thought Paris Hilton's My New BFF 2 was a good idea??
sihayadesigns: (love actually: natalie is special)
Current location: La Quinta Suites, Albuquerque, NM

Packed until 4am last night, at which point J & I collapsed exhausted on the bed still half covered in boxes and folded laundry and fell asleep. Squeaky woke us up at 6 wanting food. We fed the kitties then went back to bed until 8:30.

Woke up, showered, finished packing, and then cleaned the bedroom. Got a goodbye visit from [ profile] nmsunbear. Cleaned the kitchen (including the fridge which had leftovers from godknowswhen and I know who left it. Am not surprised). Took out a TON of trash. Loaded the van. J showered and I packed the last orders I'll send before we leave. And off to the vet!

Vet says: a) Squeaky is male, and b) Oliver is actually just an Olive. Whoops! I was wrong, and [ profile] naamah_darling was right. It made me feel marginally better that even the vet had to squeeze around a bit to get a conclusive result. Both kitties blessedly tested negative for feline leukemia. They are still too little (1.2 lbs & 1.7 lbs respectively) to get their first found of shots, and in any case they're both on Amoxicillin and eye drops for the next week. But other than minor kitty colds, they are in perfect health. We are now soliciting official names, though "Olive" may stick, who knows.

We then got our hair trimmed up at Studio Red, stopped to drop off DVDs and buy some pie, then headed to [ profile] newsbean's house for dinner with her and her sweet hubby. There was oohing and aaaahing to be had. The kitties are doing remarkably well, considering they'd been poked, prodded, and introduced to tons of new people today. They haven't actually hissed at me at all.

From there, we went to the hotel, and we've created an impromptu kitty pen in the outside bathroom area. Like all nervous new parents, we completely kitty-proofed the area, including plugging up a kitty-sized hole under the sink. All we need is to be woken by the panicked screams of a kitten stuck behind a wall. They're eating like they've never seen food before and... well, processing the food, too. They get their meds shortly. That'll be a joy, I'm sure. I'm sure eye droplets four times a day will endear them to us. :(

Realistically: update tomorrow night. I have all day tomorrow to finish photoediting; that didn't really get done with us packing up house. Tomorrow we set off after we run a few last errands; not sure where we'll end up, but it'll be an adventure.
sihayadesigns: (angel: angeldance)
Last night was the Glow In The Dark Party at Heather & Jess's, a blacklight-only party with rave-quantity glowsticks. I missed seeing the girls. We've all been so busy lately, and I wanted to make sure I saw everybody before I disappear for three months. Jason spent a good portion of the evening making glow in the dark hats for me to wear out of lightsticks.

Aster, I will have you know that I was only pleasantly tipsy until whatever passionfruity concoction you made tipped me firmly over into the drunkface column. This morning was a slightly bleary one. :)

Anyhow, I had a good time. I've been in a great place lately and for once in recent memory I wasn't totally wiped out by the prospect of being social. I also saw Mike for the first time in a few years. He actually spotted me first-- I almost walked right past him because he's got these giant Civil War-esque muttonchops now. The first thing he did was give me a big hug, and that felt really good. Really gracious. I mean, it's not like I expected things to be awkward or anything, but sometimes you just never know, and I was happy that it was not that way. We did a little bit of the cursory catching up thing and I hope I was not too much of a chatterbox considering the smiley happy euphoric glow of a bottle of wine. But anyway, he seems to be doing well, and I am happy for that. He is good people.

Also, Mizz Ashley-- double date at Joss's when I get back! We need some sushi!

And Heather, I am sad I missed out on pancakes. :(


I'm waiting for Jason to finish his acupuncture treatment, then we're making another round of goulash for dinner. My man is a really good cook, and I'm looking forward to it.

I have a little bit more work to do before I put up a 25-item update on Wednesday. I will likely reduce prices on some older stock-- a sort of "don't make me take it with me" sort of sale, and I'll have three pairs of earrings up for grabs in a contest. FYI, any orders placed after Saturday will not be shipped for a week, as we're driving out west, and I will probably not stop at a PO on the way. Shipping will resume as normal just as soon as I get settled in. I do need to buy or borrow a bike, though.
sihayadesigns: (magic: a little witch in every woman)
Had a busy day today and I need a powernap before I begin work for the evening. Thus, lemme do this quickly:

-- Yay, presents! [ profile] zenmaster's package was full of teas, odd games (J says that I will like Bejeweled), and The Star Wars Vault, which I promptly tore open and pored over. But I still think the best part was the card. Thank you, Jeff. [ profile] belladonnastrap sent me a pretty, vintage-y necklace. And I got pumpkin chocolate chip cookies from [ profile] poisoninjest. I got cards, too-- I have to send thank you ones. Note to self, do not forget! Anyhow, thank you for thinking of me.

-- My final Christmas gift from Jason was this:

Oooh, aaah. I have to give it back, though. He wants to have something engraved on it. It was supposed to be done before Christmas, but he had major problems with the seller. Which-- I have had many, many rants about poor customer service this holiday season, but I will refrain. Instead, I will be thankful that at least the finished product is a quality item that fits, despite the trouble it took to get it that way. Anyhow, I was briefly worried that giving it back may be problematic. While it fits perfectly, at some point last night, my right hand swelled a bit from working a long stretch, and it would not come off. Thankfully, after I let it be for most of the day, it slid off without the assistance of ice and/or butter.

-- Speaking of fingers, owwwwww. I burnt the crap out of two fingers on my left hand while making breakfast yesterday. I bowl of ice water and fresh aloe were needed. It's still icky. Blech. Typing is at least less problematic now.

-- I had some good friend time this week. I hung out with [ profile] bellybalt on Monday, but forgot about possibly doing lunch on Saturday, mostly because this weekend was a timewarp and I thought Friday was actually Saturday. In fact, it was not. Today, I helped Bridget find nice dress clothes. People, this is my superpower. I have missed my calling as a personal shopper. If you ever need help finding clothes, call me up. Is it too late to apply for an internship with Clinton and Stacy? Sadly, my superpower rarely works on me.

-- Jason and I spent a LOT of time in pajama mode this weekend, avoiding the rest of the world. He needed some serious cuddle time and stress-recovery TLC. So we slept in, cooked for each other, and watched most of BSG season one. He's hooked. He's a big Adama fanboy. But overall, I had him mostly to myself, and it was wonderful. He is my favorite person in all the world.

-- I now have candles. Yankee was having a hell of a sale, and I managed to get one of my favorite jar candles (Autumn Leaves) for $15. I got a dozen votives and a small jar candle (Pumpkin Pie) as well. Yay. Now, to replenish my Baltic Amber candle from Voluspa (best sexin' candle ever) and I am all set.

-- Dixie is gone for a week and that means I can sleep on the world's comfiest couch all I want. Whee.

-- Now, I need to nap before I work. I will be burning the midnight oil from now until update time. I am STILL waiting on specialty headpins I ordered December 3rd, and if they are not here by Tuesday, I am gonna blow a fuse or something. But I digress. Much work to be done. But now, quick powernap.
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