Take me to Oregon 


I’ve been contemplating the possibility of going overseas to work for six months. Ireland is top of the list because let’s face it, it’s Ireland. It’s no secret that I’ve always wanted to travel there and listen to all the wonderful accents, and see all the beautiful places, and probably never leave. But right next to Ireland on the top of my list of places to see is Portland. No, not the one in Victoria. The one in Oregon.

I’ve been torturing myself lately, looking at pictures and researching things to do in Oregon and feeling an ache of longing for a place I’ve only seen in my dreams. My friend and I are hopefully travelling to the U.S next year and I’d really like to see Portland if the opportunity arises. And that’s kind of what got me thinking about this potential ‘live and work in another country’ thing. 

I actually looked into it about two years ago, with full intentions of going overseas. But life kind of got in the way a little bit, and so here I am, never having set foot off Australian soil, and still desperately wanting to travel the world. But I’m struggling with things a little bit at the moment, and the idea of running away certainly has its appeal. Except the last time I did that I ended up more angry and unhappy than I have ever been in my entire life. So if I am going to ever do it, I need to do all of my research first. And make sure that I’m fully prepared.

Maybe not this year. Maybe not even next. But at some point, I am gonna see the world. And if any of you have ever worked overseas, and have some tips or info for me, I’m fully open for conversation on the subject! And hey, if you’re a local Portland…ian, I’m also open to suggestions of cool things to do and see! *insert supposedly cheeky wink that is actually more likely to be super awkward and embarrassing for everyone involved*

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11:30 Ramblings

I’m not very good at feeling alone. I’m very good at being alone, but when it comes to feeling it, that’s a whole different ball game. And to be honest, I was never very good at sports.

I am forever torn between wanting to completely cut myself off from everyone (yes, everyone) and just wanting someone to kinda…hug me a little bit. And I mean, I don’t even really like to be hugged, but I think it’s an indication of something deeper. But I almost always lean towards the former. I intentionally shut people out, and it’s not unusual for me to quietly slip from a person’s life without so much as a wave goodbye. Why, you may ask? Well, the short answer is because I’m a bad person. The long answer is…infinitely more complicated. 

People need people. Even if they say they don’t. In my case, that subliminal need for others is at odds with my hatred of the human race as a whole, and something I find periodically frustrating. It would certainly be easier if I didn’t need anything. 

Being human is complicated.

Cramped Creativity

I’m feeling a little cramped at the moment. This is partly due to having no space at dad’s (once again, not his fault) and partly due to the fact that I wish I could just take a month off from everything, sit down and create.

I’m really enjoying my new job, and I can’t adequately express how much I love being at home. In the last month I have been infinitely better and happier than I ever really was in the whole nine months I spent in the city. My life, as a whole, has greatly improved. So please don’t think I’m just here to complain!

As I’ve said (countless times) before, I am a creative person, and making stuff or writing stuff or practicing stuff is what keeps me grounded and mostly even tempered and…y’know, sane. And it’s been a fair while since I’ve really done any. Whilst it’s true that I am in the middle of making a dress, it’s a little different than casual calm creating because a) the friend I’m making it for is in the city, whereas I am at home and b) there is a certain element of stress and pressure that comes with making a dress for someone to wear to her wedding. Don’t get me wrong; my friend has been lovely and accommodating and patient…so very patient with me. Rather it’s a kind of self imposed pressure to not fuck it up because let’s face it; that would suck.

When the dress is done, I have another skirt to finish for my friend Lou. It’s mostly complete but I stuffed up the zip insertion and so now have to buy a new one and fix it properly. Then I have a pair of pants to make for my friend’s six year old son, and then I’ve been asked if I can repair a favourite leather handbag of a woman I work with. It’s great that I’m getting all these requests but it does make it hard to find the time to complete them when I’m working full time and still travelling to the city every weekend. I mean, I haven’t even had time to do my own washing in the last two weeks, much less find time to sew!

And do you remember my 200 words a day writing goal? Well, that’s fallen completely by the wayside. My laptop died and I never had the time and so when I got home, I bought a new tablet to replace my poor dead Atticus. Of course I then got home to discover that it’s not compatible with iTunes so I have to find another way to store and play my music. And, despite being a Microsoft tablet, is doesn’t have Microsoft Office installed…! Which means no writing program for me! At least until I buy the program…at nearly $300 a pop. *sigh*

Now, it’s unlikely that I’ll find that month to take off, especially since I’ve just signed a full time contract for the next six months. But I’m considering another trip to Tassie next year so maybe I’ll get another creative holiday in there then. Until that time though, I shall just have to squeeze in creating time where I can and then perhaps stop taking on commissions one after another!

Oh! Fun little fact which is slightly off topic but which excites me greatly; I’m getting the internet set up at home! Which means I can write blogs on my laptop instead of my phone, and most importantly, try and utilise YouTube to potentially learn how to play my many instruments! It’s a brave new world, y’all! 

Supporting Local (and International!) Artists

I went to Oz Comic Con on the weekend. Though I have gone in previous years for all the geeky stuff, that side of it wasn’t really my interest this time. And as one of the stall holders pointed out, this Con, unlike it’s counterparts such as Supanova and the like, is perhaps less about the cosplay and the movie star guests, and more about the artists and small stall holders that attend. Which is not to say OCC doesn’t have those things, but the focus is just…different.

In my case, the main reason I went this year was to see a couple of friends of mine who actually run a stall at many of the Australian Cons most years (if not every year). I met Marty and Jamie at a Con…oh, years ago now. Totally fan girl-ed the first time I met them, but now we just hang out with considerably less fan girling…still a bit though, because when you’re in the presence of some super talented dudes, you can’t help it. Marty is the artist behind Martin Abel Art, of which Jamie is the director, and a talented photographer and graphic designer in her own right. And whilst I don’t have room to hang any of the prints I’ve bought over the years, I still keep buying them. Because a) they’re amazing and b) supporting local artists – especially when they’re you’re friends – is good.

I wasn’t planning to spend any money this weekend but once I stopped past a particular stall, I think my purse was out before my brain even realised what I was doing. The stall in question was that of Hanna Mancini, the artist and creator trading under the name Hannakin. I can’t even tell you how gorgeous her artwork is, and her handmade soft dolls are so sweet. Each one individually designed and hand crafted, just… *insert heart eye emoji here*. I couldn’t help but throw my money her way in exchange for some of her beautiful creations. Not to mention, Hanna herself is pretty much the most adorable person on the planet (and has some killer fashion sense!).

Directly across the way from Hanna was another favourite artist of mine, the beautiful and supremely talented Mel Macklin. I was going to buy one of her pins this weekend but I got sidetracked and overwhelmed by all the people, so I will have to hop on over to her etsy store and grab one there instead. There was one in particular that caught my eye, called Thunderbolt Brat, who had the cutest little grumpy face and rain cloud dress I wish I could wear forever. Basically, I simply must have her. Despite not buying anything this weekend, I have purchased two of Mel’s prints previously and the sheer amount of thought and detail she puts into her creations is off the chart incredible. 

Just recently I commissioned a tattoo design from an American artist who I discovered though Instagram. A couple of days ago, she sent me a snap of the final product and I can’t wait to have her artwork inked onto my skin forever. The artist in question is Rose Swenson who, aside from being an incredible self taught artist, is like, a musical genius or something. I am eternally envious of her talent…though I say that while my own instruments sit in the corner of the bedroom I’m currently living in, untouched because I’m lazy. But I digress. Rose paints some of the most divine artworks I’ve ever seen and aside from her tattoo commission, I purchased one of her prints last year because I adore the way she paints girls.

And while we’re on the subject of Instagram, it really is a great platform for discovering talented people. Artists, musicians, crafters, fellow sewists; I could sit here and write a paragraph about each and every artist or creator I’ve found but then we’d be here forever. So! If you wanna check out some more ah-mazing creations from some insanely skilled dudes, give these guys a look;

Jacquelin deLeon ~ Creeptoons ~ Dark Town Sally ~ Iren Horrors ~ Alisa Vysochina ~ Schmoe Draws ~ Audra Auclair ~ Fika Art ~ Mab Graves ~ Cyarine Chris McQuinlan ~ Luke Andrew ~ Charapoo ~ Kukula

Supporting artists is one of my favourite things to do. It helps them to keep creating, and it allows me to gather up beautiful things to one day hang in my house…if I ever manage to own one. Plus, when you support local artists, you’re directly putting money into the economy, and that’s not a bad thing either. And if for no other reason, these people have honed their craft and spent years working on and improving their skills. That alone deserves recognition and appreciation. So support your favourite artists, and get cool things and beautiful artwork in return. It’s a win win. 

Adjusting to Home 

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I’ve been home for exactly three weeks. The city already seems like a horrible, yet distant memory to me now. Life back home is…easier. Calmer. Infinitely better. Everything is closer, more accessible, more familiar and has the gentle aura of comfort that turns everything a fuzzy shade of contentment. Life is good.

In the last three weeks, I have

  • Started a new job
  • Joined a gym
  • Gotten a new tattoo
  • Had dinner in front of an open fire
  • Finally purchased a replacement for my old and mostly dead laptop
  • Almost finished the first half of a wedding dress commission (that I’ve been trying to work on since the start of the year!)
  • Gotten reacquainted with the ghost that lives in dad’s house (I’ve missed my ghost)

Things are definitely looking up. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few…minor downsides to the move. Firstly is that I moved back in with my dad. My dad is not the problem, he’s one of my favourite people in the universe. The problem is the lack of space. I’m back in my old bedroom and without any cupboards or drawers, all my clothes presently live in piles on the floor, and in suitcases under the bed. Which is decidedly inconvenient and not ideal. And boy am I missing the days when I had an actual sewing room. Half of my sewing stuff is still in the house in the city, and the few things I do have here are squeezed into one tiny corner of dad’s dining room. Makes for quite the cramped creative environment. And then there is the fact that the return to my home town means the increased likelihood of running into a particular couple of people that were part of the reason I left in the first place. But, it’s all a small price to pay I guess, for a more positive mental state and regular days off!

Currently I am lying on the floor in front of the heater in my dad’s lounge room. It is one of my favourite places. I am warm and cozy, and texting my best friend, dinner is in the oven and everything is right in my little world right now.

Joining the Gym

I joined a gym tonight. Me, the most avid anti gym person in the world, and I joined a gym. I’ve spent the majority of the past nine months in a work polo and jeans that I accidentally bought two sizes two big, and so I didn’t notice quite how much weight I had put on until I went to get dressed a couple of days ago, and realised very few of my clothes actually fit. 

So, against the inner voice in my head screaming at me that I was going to regret it, I went in tonight – prompted by my friend – and signed up. I felt a touch uneasy about it as I filled out my details; what am I doing? I will have no idea what to do, or how to use the machines, and there will be the inevitable anxiety in the back of my brain about doing this new and unfamiliar thing where people can potentially see.

See, I’m a homebody. I’m a solitary kinda gal. So anything involving other people, or doing things in public that I’m unfamiliar with is not exactly my idea of a good time. But I am determined to push myself out of my comfort zone. I’m determined to experience things properly, especially now that I’m in a job that has regular and scheduled days off.

I can’t say for certain yet whether this endeavour of mine will be successful. I’m hoping it will motivate me, and that I, in turn, will motivate myself. I’m hoping that I’ll be like all the other people I know who find themselves actually loving going to the gym. Basically, I’m ready to make a fool of myself trying to use the gym machines, so long as the end result will make me fit into those clothes of mine! 

New Job 

I started a new job this week. Remember the call centre I didn’t hear back from? Well, a couple of days after that post, I heard back from them, and Wednesday was my first day. 

I’m so glad to be home. And to have a job that has set shifts, set hours, and actual days off. Let me say that again. Actual. Days. Off. Today is my Friday, and it’s an actual Friday and I’m equally excited and confused about what I should do. It’s been so long since I had proper days off that it’s going to definitely take some adjustment. But in a good way!

I will have to get used to sitting down in a chair and staring at a computer screen all day instead of moving around and working with my hands, but it’s a small price to pay. I’m just glad that I was able to go straight from one job to another and don’t have to be without money. 

Anyway, that’s it. Mostly because I’m too distracted by 10 Things I Hate About You to wrote a proper post. And this was pretty much just to satiate Louie’s desire for a blog post. Peace out, kids.

Satanic (2016)


**This review has spoilers. But that shouldn’t really matter because if you value your time, I highly recommend you don’t even bother watching the film anyway.

Sometimes I ignore my better judgement and watch a movie that I suspect will be awful, in the vague hope that perhaps I’m wrong. But in the case of Satanic, a “horror” film – and I use that term loosely – that I found on Netflix, the scariest part about the movie was the fact that there are enough people out there with terrible judgement to grant the film five stars.

Satanic is so bad, in so many ways; I don’t even know where to begin. Maybe with the eyeball gouging-ly awful characters, who seem to have no redeeming qualities at all between the four of them, and who seem to do nothing but be douchebags, and scream a lot. Or perhaps I could start with the sub par plot, which is full of holes and lack of research, and has about as much imagination as a rock. Or hell, why not start with the ending, which is so nonsensical and limp that I still can’t believe I actually made it through to the finale without turning it off.

Basically, the movie tells the story of four college friends who go to L.A en route to Coachella, to check out some well known true crime locations. They think they’re all hardcore and, like most ignorant young people, think that Satanism is all about ritual sacrifice and wearing black. Long, dull story short; they pick a fight with a dude who runs a cult supply shop, follow him to his place, essentially walk in on what looks like a bunch of guys in robes about to sacrifice a girl. That same girl then turns out to be a whole lot crazier and fucked up than she looks, and then they all die by way of some invisible, malicious force, supposedly meant to be the devil or something I guess.

The whole film just falls flat. There are no scares, no substance and no surprise. The acting is bad, the writing is worse, and the effects are…lame. And don’t even get me started on the cliches and complete lack of subtlety. Honestly, there was nothing about this movie that I liked. If you’re looking for a good way to spend your time, I’m sure pulling out your fingernails one by one would be less painful than suffering though this film.

Marry Me Not

Dudes, I just gotta put it out there; I’m never getting married. Like, for real. My good friend Em is getting married in two months and we were talking about her wedding today, after her dress fitting. On that note, I’m super thrilled to say that the toile for the bust of her dress fit almost perfectly, so now that the tricky part is done, I can finally make a start on actually making her dress for real!

But it all kind of got me thinking. Marriage really has no appeal for me. I don’t want to be somebody’s wife. I don’t want to go through all the rigmarole, spend all the money, go to all the effort. Even if it’s a simple affair, with nothing more elaborate that going down to the registry office, it’s just…not my thing. I have no interest in it whatsoever, and I’m not sure, if I was ever asked, that I’d say yes.

I don’t feel as vehemently against marriage as I do against the notion of having children. I don’t feel passionately about it one way or another really, I just kind of…don’t consider it. In truth, I rather find the whole idea of marriage to be archaic, and with the whole “marriage is between a man and a woman for life” thing being so exclusive and all, I really don’t feel like it’s particularly appropriate for me anyway.

I don’t begrudge the people who do want to get married, or the ones that already are. You do what’s right and best for you and if you’re a pal and I’m invited, I’ll show up to your day in a suit and a smile like a proper gentleman. I am happy to party on with the best of them. But just don’t expect to ever receive a wedding invitation from me, because if there’s one other certainty in life besides death and taxes, it’s that marriage and I are just not compatible!

The Rest of Us Just Live Here 

It was a slow day at work on Sunday, so I smashed out an entire book. That book was The Rest of Us Just Live Here, by Patrick Ness. After a long run of reading mediocre titles, I’m finally reading more books that are not “just ok”, but rather make me say “holy fuck that was good”, and I’m pleased to say this book fell into the latter category. I read his Chaos Walking trilogy a few years ago, and fell in love with his storytelling and his character development, so I was super excited to finally get my hands on a copy of this book.

The book actually tells two stories; that of the “indie kids” who encounter strange happenings and try to save the world. The kind of story you read when you pick up any urban fantasy series. But the best part about this book – and the cleverly worded title tells you all you need to know straight away – is that the world saving part isn’t even the main focus. Ness tells the story in the chapter titles, and it’s brilliantly presented as second fiddle to the main plot, which centres around a group of friends – very much the opposite of indie kids – who each have their own personal issues, and are just trying to make it to graduation without someone blowing up their high school…again.

Our narrator is Mikey, a soon to be graduate, on the cusp of adulthood, who has anxiety so severe, he can’t stop himself from washing his hands over and over and over and…but as all consuming and frustrating as it is, his anxiety is the least of his problems. He is about to graduate, and his life is about to be turned entirely on its head as a result. He has a drunken father and an overbearing, seemingly unfeeling politician for a mother. His sister Mel, (and a member of his close knit group of friends) is a recovering anorexic, and he isn’t sure whether he is in love with Mel’s best friend, Henna, or his own best friend, Jared. 

This book was so cleverly written, I wanted to read it again straight away. Ness takes the whole “Chosen One” trope, and turns it into background noise. But he does so in such a way as to poke gentle fun at it, without actually paying any insult to the genre. This whole book plays with the notion that not everyone is the Chosen One, and puts the spotlight on the normal ones, who are just trying to make it through their day to day lives. As our narrator says, “…sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.”

The Rest of Us Just Live Here is clever, funny, touching, and to be honest, quite brilliant. Ness effortlessly combines fantasy elements (zombie deer, anyone?) with down to earth, very normal issues and characters. The plot is engaging and entertaining, and the book is well written. I encourage you to give this book a read, I promise you won’t be disappointed.