Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Velvet Hammer (it's not what you think)

I've a rough mission statement for Velvet Tart. Just to sum up what Velvet Tart is about in a few short paragraphs. Plus I'm totally going to copy+paste parts of it to Etsy, FB, press releases, or graffiti.

"no...let me sum up: a mask is not an accessory."

I want to make clothes and I want to change clients’ self-perception. I believe self-confidence is the foundation of feeling beautiful. I want to help my clients to feel beautiful: their self-love is reflected in their clothing choices, they have self-awareness and control over their appearance. I don’t want them to just be beautiful—their clothing a facade to hide behind, a role to perform that can be removed or invalidated. 

Also, vanity-sizing. FUCK THAT. Both women and men should know how to shop for their body, rather than paying any mind to the arbitrary numbers and letters tacked onto clothing. My tailoring and consulting services can teach clients what looks good on them individually, rather than stressing about clothing-rack navigation.

Also, bullying. FUCK THAT. As much as I'd like to, I can't punch shitty trolls through the internet. I can, instead, give my clients encouragement and education to speak up against those who would tear them down. Online and in reality. I can add VT's voice to the growing number of businesses who do not tolerate that shit. I can write about it; from resources to retorts against the stupids. 

Also, (any)-shaming. MAJOR FUCK THAT. Also related to encouragement and education of my clients: speaking up against fat-shaming, skinny-shaming, queer-shaming, slut-shaming; whatever kind of guilt trip your boss/aunt/pastor is trying to give you. My bespoke clothing services can create garments custom-fitted for the size and lifestyle my clients wish to have. They will be supported and accepted; and encouraged to support and accept themselves.

 AND MENS: You too, can be beautiful creatures.

Body acceptance. I believe the healthiest thing for men and women is to accept that their body is the only one they’re going to have. I wish they would appreciate their bodies for the individual features and unique beauty they possess. Desire to change one’s body should be an internal decision made with healthy goals in mind (which are various). Change should not happen because of pop culture, peer pressure, and current beauty standards. I want clients to have clothes made to fit them; instead of trying to make their body fit the clothes


There it is. I will probably edit and refine the mission statement further; I prefer my thoughts to mean as much as they can with as few words as they can (efficiency!). I'd like to know your thoughts, my cherished audience. How do you define feeling beautiful, in contrast to being beautiful? Why do you think I address the body acceptance issues of men along with women? Does anything need to be clarified? Can I have more validation? Validaaaate meeee!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Snack Time!

Last week I promised to release my mission statement for my sewing business, my services and my pricing. That didn't happen. To me, it's just another blown deadline, in a long, long....(really damn long) history of falling short of my goals.

To you, my gorgeous readers, it's probably confusing. Maybe even disappointing. It definitely shouldn't be surprising; still, I do apologize.

Sew! Today I give you a tiny teaser of the name and logo of my soon-to-be sewing venture. My target audience has "a sense of humor, a touch of glam, and a streak of cheeky." I introduce to you:

logo for velvet tart costumes and couture: a smirking woman with vintage finger-wave hair giving you a wink.
That sassy vixen is me! Let me style you!

Velvet Tart: costume & couture. I created the name sometime last winter, with the help of my then-husband. It's been waiting in my brain all this time, and after a summer of brainstorming type arrangements, I ended up indulging in my own vanity. I am the mischievous dame winking and smirking my way into your wardrobes!

The colored squares comprise my color palette, and are not represented very well (I used the built-in camera, sue me). Starting on the left they are: a bright salmon, navy, this warm purple that's sort of 80's, and a sunny, sherbet-y orange. I used color theory, friends.

There it is! More on Velvet Tart to come; but it's now 8:08 am--I'm late to start sewing! Story of my life.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

About that..."time management" thing...yeahhh...

It's a little embarrassing that the day after I make a determined, proud pep-talk about how I'm going to get my shit straight....I dive right back into that hot mess. No sleep + costuming + skeletons + sewing + math + microwave burritos = body temperature drop and unexplained crying jags. So I went to sleep. Lots.

This evening I caught up on a pile of computer work I've been neglecting and applied for a couple of jobs. One was for a cake decorator position. I have always loved watching and fantasizing about being a cake decorator. You get to draw, paint, and sculpt in frosting! How could that possibly be awful? It can't be awful--because CAKE! Besides, I've seen the tiny sculptures those kids on Cake Boss have made and I know I have way more talent than that. Disclaimer: I don't want to be a cake decorator just because I obsessively watched all the Cake Boss that Netflix had.

It's because I watched all the Ru Paul's Drag Race Netflix had.
All those ladies were serving confectionary realness. Can't you imagine some Queen's bustier pattern all up on a cake? With glitter and jewels and eleganza?!

While I'm waiting for the cake-painting job offer, I'll finish costuming for which I was commissioned for a play next week. My time management for that has been crap, so I'm way behind. Lucky for me, the director is sympathetic, resourceful, and forgiving. We teamed up and scoured his costume stock to reduce my workload. Making the masks for the last vignette has been delegated to a cast member who actually makes masks, thankfully.

I'm feeling more confident about finishing my work for these costumes, now. However, I'm stuck with a lot of extra fabric since I won't be making as many things. It's nice fabric. Bought for Edwardian/Victorian costumes. I think I may just know what to do with it....

I don't know where I meant to go with this entry, but I'll end it with this: Friday I intend to drop my business mission statement, list of services, and pricing on this blog. Photos of past work and an Etsy shop to follow, hopefully finished by this weekend. Check in tomorrow--I'll be open for business!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

There's dreams...and then there's dreams.

My dreams have become weird. I'm already pretty weird to begin with, and recently my dreams have even been off those charts. Last week I dreamt that I had to help a Japanese water god have a baby. First thing, this Japanese water god is like, 30 feet tall. Next, how the hell does a male spirit squeeze out a baby? I'm on the bank of the river, and I have to search through a codex of different types of spirits to figure it out. When I find the entry for water gods, the description comes with an illustration of exactly how water gods deliver their babies. It's anally. I have to help this giant water god deliver a giant butt-baby. ugh. It was a girl, by the way; so that's how weird my dreams are.

I am not going to write about those types of dreams today (anymore). Instead, here are my dreams for being successful in the very near future. Hopefully before my next student loan payments.

I will get more work. It's hard out there for a ronin artist; one can't just be the production department, one also must be the sales, research, marketing, and payroll departments as well. Also: taxes. However, I know I have talents that people actually need today: tailoring and graphic design. These talents can also provide what people actually want: costumes and pretty pictures. Now, I have the free time it takes to focus on promoting my work, as well as actually completing it.

I will promote my work. Part of getting the word out about your business is just straight up showing it to people. I am really critical of my graphic design and I often get caught up perfecting the most specific details that the layman consumer doesn't need. I also forget about how much costuming I've done over the years; even if they weren't perfect items, they were learning experiences. Downplaying my talent and passion for making clothes isn't helping anyone!

I will make and keep job schedules. My time management is crap. That's how I lost my job. Ask any one of my friends, and they'll tell you how it's pretty much the norm for me to be running a little late. It's never surprising when I'm running super late. I put things on my calendar--then promptly forget them (then wtf is the calendar even for?!). I think this is going to be the hardest item to follow; I basically have to change a core personality trait and learn to follow a routine. This is one of the reasons I'm blogging daily now (yes, it's only been 2 days, shush).

I will eat healthy and get enough sleep. These two items pretty much support all the previous ones. Good food and good sleep improves one's mood, energy, brain function, and ability to follow a friggin' schedule. I'm not on a diet, but I don't exercise very much. So I'm pretty sure I don't need those 14 servings of Cheez-its at 2:00am.

It is a proven fact that platonic affection is a basic human need (no, I'm not going to cite sources for you, google it). It's not a luxury or a preference, it is something that people need to thrive. I'm not an affectionate person normally. My friends respect that, and acquaintances learn quickly about my personal bubble. However, the isolation is starting to wear on me. I am craving human contact and that's rather uncharacteristic of me. But I am, and I'm okay with that. My sweet and joyful Aunt Holly reminds us every time she visits Minnesota that hugs are necessary and loving. Holly gives wonderful, welcoming, warm hugs (woo, alliteration!). So I'm taking a page from her book; I will hug you all. My affection often takes the form of a swift kick to the shin, or jab to the solar plexus if I'm close enough. But now, hugs will not be my way of getting within range; it will mean that I'm happy to see you, and enjoy your company. You know, like a real person. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

#5. I am undecided if I have screwed up my life irreparably.

I wrote the post's title on my Facebook yesterday as I was filling out some meme about "# of things you may or may not give a shit about but you're still going to read because there's no one else posting at 1:00am". I wasn't trying to be clever (for once), I truly don't know if I've made everything FUBAR. Debt, depression, divorce, unemployment (damn, I wish that last one was alliterative), I started wondering if there was a certain point where I could have turned it around; stopped barreling towards the edge of something beyond which I can only see empty space.

Then I cleared the edge (read: lost my job by my own fault), launching out into the air, trajectory unknown. All the fear fell away then, because fear didn't matter. Anxiety and grasping for control were no longer options. I'm in mid-air now, marveling at the space around me, a new perspective that is astounding and terrifyingly brilliant. The rushing wind flaps my clothing, my hair stings as it whips about my face, the height I'm hurtling through takes my breath away. I am hurtling. Towards the ground. Fast. I'm falling, I'm going down! I'M. FALLING. DOWN.

...When I am upset, I want it to stop. To make "upset" stop, I talk to myself; and ask why I am feeling this way (it's ok, manna), what caused this feeling (that's life, manna), and most importantly--what can be done to change this feeling (let's fix this, manna). Once I can identify a logical solution, I can begin to move away from upset. Sometimes, I can't get a hold on a solution; instead I acknowledge my emotional state and give myself permission to wallow. But only for a little while. Wallowing for too long has and will lead to depression, and depression lies. It's easier to get up again when I'm not scolding myself for falling down in the first place.

Falling down....where have I heard that....oh shit. I'M STILL FALLING. I never should have made this analogy because falling usually ends poorly. I still have time, though, and space, between me and the ground. All of my past experiences will lend to my actions in this moment, and that's how I know I will survive. I feel it in my bones; I have the skill and fire and speed and joy (what?) to recover my stability and brace myself for the future.

Life, prepare for impact. 'Cause I'm gonna hit the ground running.

...how? (Fuck if I know. I'll tell you tomorrow.)