Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The Tinder Post.

Not too long ago I decided to join Tinder. And I have some things to say about it. Now I'm not saying I actually MET with any of those mentioned, and I am certainly not going to set out to hurt anybody's feelings here... that's not cool. Tinder is your own prerogative and you are the way you are, I'm not about to slam that. I'm only here talking about my own experiences and preferences. 

Things I've learnt about myself from Tinder...

If you post a photo of yourself with girls hotter than me, I will left swipe you. That's not necessarily a fault with you, just that I'm not interested. If that girl(s) is kissing you, I will very quickly left swipe you. What are you hoping to achieve exactly? Prove that you're desirable, or in a relationship and cheating? Not cool. Even faster left swipe if you're asking for a girl to join in your threeway.

If you have a photo of your torso taken in the bathroom mirror, I will left swipe you. Evidently you are looking for someone equally as vain and are going on face value.

Photo of you snuggling/playing with 'my cousin's/brother's/sister's kids' but aren't interested if the other person already has kids? Left swipe. I get that sometimes women think it's sweet when men interact with little kids, and think 'oh, he must be father material' but it's a massive double standard and you need to stop doing that.

Cuddling a cat or dog? You sucker, I'll probably talk to you.

Red head? I will be all over you like a fat kid on a donut. Not even kidding. 

If you have a seethingly sarcastic bio you will likely be right swiped. I find a quick wit alluring. There may be a barrier in texting/chatting in some ways when it comes to tone, but wit and sarcasm are easy to detect if they're followed through on it. Some of my best conversations have been based entirely on sarcasm. And puns. I'm ok with puns. Hit me with your best pun. 

For the love of Zeus don't ask me how I am as a starting line. What do you want me to say to that? just 'good, you?', 'oh, just slipping into my wet look cat suit and heading off to the local BDSM chamber' 'well actually my kid just threw up on me, so gonna take a shower now LOL'.

Things I've had sent to me as a starting line: 

'hey do you want to come over and watch porn on my flat screen mirror?' Truth be told I did giggle at that one. But no.

'Snap chat me? *wet explosion emoji winky face* Also, NO. Apparently snap chat sex is a thing? I did not know that. That being said I'm only new to snap chat and my longest streak is 11 days (let's not stop ever, Mandy. Til the day we die)

'Hey I noticed you read tarot, want to come to my hotel room?'. Do I honestly look stupid? Why not send 'Hey girl, I noticed you read tarot, want to climb into my van and have some candy corn?'

'You're probably not going to believe me but we're here from Sydney and my friend crochets, plus he was actually saying he wanted to get his tarot read while he's here, want to hang out?' No, that wasn't actually a sleazy pick up line. That one was telling the truth.

'What animal would you steal from a zoo?' I answered all of the otters, in case you're wondering. I also explained at length that I wouldn't just walk in and take them. I'd spend the time letting them get used to me, then when the time was right they would come with me willingly to freedom or not at all.

Can I serenade you with my guitar? I may be naked. Well, ok. That's a new one. He knew who Goodnight Nurse were so that's a small plus I suppose. I didn't go along with it so there were no other small surprises.

Things I accept and won't cringe at:

Star wars gifs. Totally fine... then commence epic gif-off. 
'Hey there, I like coffee too' Good. We can be friends. 
A genuine 'Hi, I really like your photo, I think it's cute' That's good! Do that. Do not just send 'Hey babe, you hot lol' Bonus negative points if you write 'u' instead of 'you'. Golly gosh I have high standards, don't I? 

If I have to explain what the big words I use mean it's not going to work out. Just go. I'm not a total IQ snob but I am a self-confessed grammar nazi and appreciate a little intelligence. Just a smidge. 

And lastly: 
 Let me make this perfectly crystal clear. If you are into, erm, how to put this, 50 shades stuff, then it's probably not a good idea to spring that on someone you've only just met. Ask first, for the love of bacon. It's a little twisted. And not at all in a good way. In more of a 'you want to do WHAT?! Uh, no. Yes I'm sure. Please leave' kind of way.

So there we have it! That's all I have so far... it's been funny and entertaining having Tinder, that's for sure. It's also surprisingly given me the opportunity to step a little outside of my comfort zone and meet people again after thinking I'm a giant hideous swamp creature from the black lagoon and no one would ever want me ever again. So thanks to those who helped pull me out of my slump. Internet apps are fantastic for the introverted. I've also made some friends, had some laughs, had some beers, and scored free puppy cuddles. Most of all I think I've learnt that if you are just honest with people, you will eventually find someone who you can actually click with. And that's pretty neat.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Handmade Smudging Wand

You should know by now that I won't buy what I can make myself. especially when it comes to personal items such as smudging wands, tarot pouches, and crystal hammocks. I'd been collecting my materials for this for such a long time now that on the eve of the Aries Super Moon I brought them all together and came up with this. 
The feathers are a combination of artificially coloured purple rooster tail (purple is my colour), natural pheasant tail, and mallard duck plumage. For the wand itself I've used a dried length of bamboo. I would have preferred willow branch but not wanting to order it online, I couldn't find any where I live. It's bound with brown leather cord, and has a larger crystal quartz generator and two smaller pieces to amplify it, plus a small amethyst chip. Overall I'm happy with the end result, it's been left under the full moon with my crystals and tarot decks so everything is now on the same vibrational level. I look forward to using it in my first ritual cleansing! 

Thursday, 13 October 2016

King of Wands, The Full Moon, and Aries.

This morning I posted on my personal Facebook page this:
Wait? The upcoming full moon is going to be in Aries?! Well that explains everything. King of Wands this month and a full moon in Aries... why am I not feeling more motivated?
I had a couple of friends ask me to explain what I meant, so here I am! I'm no astrologer, and I don't claim to have a great wealth of knowledge on this but I know enough about divining with the tarot, crystal lore, the lunar phases, and the signs to know when it is affecting me. And it always does! Synchronicity is no joke, people. I am one of those hippy people who believes that everything is pre-written in the stars, everything is precisely where it should be, and we're all on the journey of self discovery. It all came crashing down on me when I picked up my first tarot deck and it understood me to my core and shook my life upside up down. Then everything else just came flooding over me like a big-assed wave of spiritual awareness. That first deck (Doreen Virtue's Angel Tarot by the way) still brings me a perfect state of calm. The smell of them is familiar, the cool buzzing feel of them in my hands still excites me. But probably the most significant thing about them is how they always, always, always speak the truth and tell me exactly what I need to know. Every time. My other decks can sometimes be temperamental, I find I outgrow one or two, or I use them specifically for different purposes, I find myself having to 'reset' them and constantly keep them cleansed. But not my angel cards. I won't cleanse them.... they have part of my soul I have part of theirs. 

So this is what's going on with me right now in relation the card I pulled for the month of October when I did my year-ahead spread back in January, the upcoming full moon in Aries, and my own personal experiences and feelings at the moment. If anything has been made abundantly clear, it's like although my shadow side has lay back dormant in the dark, it's certainly made itself known lately and I find myself oddly at war with myself. I've always fought with it, as you do. The point is to embrace it and work with it but I haven't gotten there yet. I'm Aries.... I don't do moderation haha Polar opposites, the yin and yang, mastering your feminine and masculine, aligning your sun and moon. Got the jist of it?  Just as every planet and the sun moves through a constellation, as does the moon.This upcoming full moon is a super full moon. The sun is in Libra, so I think the polar opposite means we're facing both our character and our essence being, against the moon which is our emotional aspect. Shadow and Light. Typically shadow work is done on the new, or dark, moon. That's also the time I usually notice it more prominently, but not this time. This lunar cycle my shadow self is out in full light and quite frankly I'm not sure how I feel about that. I know what it's like, and there's a reason I don't often let it out to play. 

The full moon is all about new beginnings, setting new intentions, it's abundance, fertility. I like to cleanse my crystals at this time, and I also like to make a little full moon quartz elixir and really draw down the watery silver magic into myself. With the moon being in the sign of Aries, the warrior, and the first of the zodiac houses (and also moi sun sign), it means that the energy is HIGH to just get the fuck out there and do stuff. Us Arians are loads of fun with our spontaneity, passions, and fiery natures so this particular time feels extra energetic for us. 
That's fine, the rub comes in when you look at my card for the month which is the King of Wands. Oh gosh, TOO MUCH FIRE! Wands in tarot = element of fire = energy, the 'spark'. At the moment it just feels like too much pressure and is presenting itself as high anxiety and hot temper. I'm supposed to look forward to the challenges rather than fear them this month, as an Aries ram should but I'm just feeling too much heat, too much energy. 

The King of Wands is very sure of himself. He is the king of his suit, so if we look at the page as being young and foolhardy, kind of an idiot, and not really sure what he's doing, the king is the Jedi master. He's a natural born leader and he gets things done because he is able to set a goal and make the world bend to his ideals to get what he wants. He is clear about his direction and intentions. He has the ability to bring out the best in others but can get a little ahead of himself in his expectations. This means that this month I have been given the King of Wands as a guide, and should take on his nature. Great! Awesome! Fucking amazeballs... I'm going to rock, and be the picture of bad ass. But nope. It's not feeling like that at all. This should be perfect for me, this should be the bread to my honey, I should be on spiritual fire. Not yet anyway. That pesky Libra sun opposite the Aries moon, and so the shadow to my light, is lurking around going 'uh uh, honey, you're feeling too indecisive to do any of that MUWAHAHAHAHA'. Bitch. 

No, I'm kidding. Sorry Libra. My Aries spark has been a bit snuffed this week, it's still there, but it's a real effort to keep it alight. 
PLUS I'm a full-moon-bleeder. I'm not sorry about the phrasing, periods are a highly intuitive and feminine time and tough shit if you don't like that so already BAM hot temper and PMS ON MOTHERFUCKING STEROIDS! At the beginning of the year I was menstruating on the new moon, but it's since shifted to the full. I think that's actually kind of special. It's another little thing that just lets me know I'm a daughter of the moon and stars. It's highly reaffirming for me.

Now, if I wanted to enhance my fire I'd go for stones like carnelian, my 'just go fucking do it' go-to crystal. But right now, uh uh. No way. Not needed. Right now what I need is some aquamarine and smokey quartz. The aquamarine to cool me off, and the smokey quartz to keep my feet on the ground. If I wanted to get some wind under my wings I'd go for the air element stones, all the purples, blues, whites. Selenite, tanzanite, angelite, celestite, amethyst, ametrine. And perhaps that's what I need? I haven't had much of a chance to really sit down and let all of this sink in until tonight. 
Looooong story short is that I'm feeling tired, listless, unmotivated and totally UN-Arian and it's annoying me that I seem to be missing out on what should be the perfect time for me to shine. I could be holding myself up to my too-high expectations again and need to take it down a notch but I'm struggling. 

I do have a weekend off starting tomorrow night, and I get the feeling that whatever it is that I'm not seeing is going to present itself to me. I need to go to the water, so I'll be heading off to the beach to sit and contemplate stuff. Cool my heels. Literally. If you want to read more about this October full moon and what it means there is a good site HERE. Assertiveness, rebellion, a bit of self-care, some self-improvement, and oh, what's that? Go find a passionate relationship? Oh, sure! I'll just pull one out of my magic carpet bag here... I'm kidding. go read it. 

Does that help answer your questions a little? I'm sorry it's a bit muddled up and very long, I get carried away talking about the woo-woo stuff.... it makes me intrinsically happy. 

Richard the Green Crochet Pattern

Richard the Green 
Crochet Pattern by Of Crochet and Life

I know someone who could do with some cheering up at the moment so knowing that they also crochet, and that they also like odd little critters (me included I think) I made up this freaky fellow to send as a surprise. Given how simple Richard is I've written up the pattern for you. He really isn't very complex as far as amigurumi is concerned and given that my brain hasn't been functioning at full capacity lately he was simple for me too. You can thank Ani for the name. I put it to my friends and hers made me giggle.

3.5mm hook
Aussie 8ply (American sport)
Working in continuous round
Repeat between **
sc2tog = decrease
st = stitch
sc = single crochet
mc = magic circle

mc ch 1 sc6 into ring
2 sc in each st around
*2sc, 1 sc in next*
*1 sc in next 2, 2 in next*
*1 in next 3, 2 in next*
*1 in next 4, 2 in next*
1 sc in each st around for 6 rounds
*1 sc in next 3, sc2tog*
1 sc around
*1 sc in next 2, sc2tog*
*1 sc, sc2tog*
Finish off leaving a long tail for sewing

Feet (make two)
With grey
mc ch 1, 5 sc into ring
2 sc in each around
*1 sc, 2 next*
*1 sc in next 2, 2 in next*
1 sc in each st around for 2 rounds
Tie off.

Attach green in any st, 1 sc in each around
*sc in next 2, sc2teg*
1 sc in each st around for 3 rounds
Finish off

Attach green to other foot and repeat above but do not finish off

Hold the legs together as shown and sc both sides together. Sc in next st in the same way. sc around the top of both legs.
Continuing in rounds...
sc in each st around for 4 rounds
sc in next 3, sc2tog, sc in next 12, sc2tog, sc in 6
*sc next 4, sc2tog*
*sc next 3, sc2tog*
Tell the legs to get stuffed.
I mean stuff the legs.

sc around for 4 rounds
Tie off

Stitch on details before attaching head to body. Use the photos as a reference or get creative with your own designs.

Eye Patch
sc 2, 11 hdc into 2nd st from hook. Tie off

Arms Make two
mc 6sc
2sc in ea st
sc around for 2 rounds
sc2tog, sc in next 10
sc around for 3 rounds
Add a little stuffing to the bottom of the arm leaving the top unstuffed
Fold the opening in half and sc the two halves together
Ch 1, turn, sc across. Finish off leaving a long tail for sewing

Position arms two rows down from the neck of the body and sew into place.

Attach the head on an angle if you like, I did. It's awesome.

Cut out a little blood spatter and pin the heart onto his chest. I've attached mine with hot glue and pushed the pins in so they should hold. Do NOT give it a child if you use pointy things, for the love of Zeus!

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

The Single-Parent Game

I'm understanding now why being a single parent is the both the greatest and the hardest thing to do. Practically speaking we're doing great, there's nothing that we aren't capable of when we put our minds to it. But mentally it is more draining than most realise. Everything falls to you and I don't just mean washing the socks, cooking the dinner, making the beds, keeping the kids clean, all of that is automatic, I'm talking about the actual raising of tiny humans... that all falls to you and do you know what? That is the most difficult part. Parenting is easy, being a GOOD parent is fucking near impossible. 

I'm coming to realise that striving to be someone who doesn't worry as much, who doesn't stress every meal time that the boys aren't eating the right things, who doesn't feel like she's done enough in a day, and who questions her choices every day isn't what being a good parent is about. Everybody stresses about those things but what I've finally learnt...the thing that's finally dawned on that it's how we DEAL with those stresses that matters most. It's the hardest thing in the world to be worried about bills, an upcoming Christmas, appointments, the wealthfare of your children, the welfare of yourself (that oftens slips by the wayside), what you need to get done today, what you need to get done next week, what you need to start thinking about now in preparation for next month; it's intense and it's hard to feel like you're keeping on top of it all. But you've got to find ways to manage all these duties and chores and parental responsibilities without letting it pull you apart. Do you know that feeling when you're particularly stressed about something and your kids suddenly spill a cup of milk all over the floor and themselves, and you feel yourself snap? Then you find yourself feeling terrible for being 'that person' (cue mummy guilt)? That's what I'm talking about. I'm not saying we all need to be saints, shit happens and sometimes we lose our shit, but we can always work on how we react to the unexpected. So we break it down and we work out ways to cope with that situation so that we don't lose our marbles and take it out on others. Turning it into practical little steps takes away the anxiety and makes it manageable. Write down what you're worried about and NAME IT. If it's stress, admit to yourself that you're stressed about that particular thing, if it's guilt, let yourself admit that it's guilt, if it's anger and frustration, say that to yourself. Giving it a name acknowledges the existence of that feeling... you'd be surprised how realising what you're actually feeling makes a difference to how you can move forward. Then we work out what we can do about it, how do we take away that stress and I don't mean cover it up so it can resurface later, I mean how do we tackle it so we can equalise ourselves again. So it means you have to go into town and pick up item 'X' so you can do that job at home you've been putting off. Maybe it means picking up the phone and actually making that appointment you know you should arrange but keep pushing further down the priority list. Maybe it's pre-planning how to attack the following day so you don't end up with a repeat of today and left feeling that same yucky feeling all over again. Nothing changes unless you make it change or at least work towards making a change. Hell! Even admitting that something needs to change is a fucking brilliant start! And that's how I've decided to go about this single parenting thing so that I can be the best parent I can be (not the best parent ever of all time because they don't exist... you can only do the best you can) and in a way that eliminates my feelings of inadequacy. It helps me keep from feeling like a fish flailing around on the concrete on a hot day gasping for air and hoping someone comes to my rescue. 

There are many other chapters to this single parenting book I've yet to discover and write for myself, but I take it one page at a time and take great pride in the fact that every day I'm more self-aware is another day closer to being completely at one with who I am. 

And that's enough for me. 

How I got back in control of my anxiety

Has anyone else found the past week or so especially more stressful and difficult emotionally and stress-level wise than normal? I certainly...