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LATEST NEWS 13th September 2013: It seems I am not keeping this blog up to date very well at all! I recommend those who want to keep up with my blogs and news...for Mayastar, Maya Magickal, Lux Aeterna Temple University as well as my creative projects...and blurbs about henna, ballet, hobbies and corseting...please follow me on my main networking sites:
www.google.annalouisemay.net (Google Plus)
Lots coming up on all fronts...with the expansion of Mayastar & Maya Magickal, some amazing corsets and modelling projects (collaborating with a number of artists...past and present)...new magickal workings are also being developed.
Hence, I'm not getting online to update this blog much - but if you join my networking sites detailed above, you can keep up to date with it all. X
16th August 2013: Currently on retreat so blog is being a bit neglected. Focusing on Temple work at the moment. Not just the Magickal Intensives and attunements but also with regard to the development of Mayastar Academy and those services I offer in addition, through the Lux Aeterna Temple.
However...before leaving for my spiritual sabbatical, I did spend a bit more time on my social networking as I know my corseting hobby has a bit of a following. So now you can follow Mayastar, ALM (Maya) and The New Pre-Raphaelite Movement on these...
It is easier to keep my person updates updated that way when on the go so that's very handy.
I mentioned on my Facebook recently that I was going to be buying some bespoke corsets from Ophelia's Folly...well...unfortunately, she is only currently selling corsets as sets (a corset with a matching or contrasting bustle and shrug set)...which isn't really what I wanted so I am sorry to disappoint anyone who was waiting for those.
However, there is good news! I was contacted by Morgana Femme Couture as they have a floral cotton fabric in and thought of me! And so I have actually placed a rather larger order with them for bespoke corsets (made to measure and the same style and size and my waist training ones). And have been working with a costume designer called Lorrie (she's incredible!) to coordinate having sets put together of skirts with matching corsets and capes. Lots of ditsy floral prints and also some heavier brocade fabrics...all designed so that pointe modelling is possible...made to measure and completely bespoke. Fantastic. Very excited about that.
I also have defined the pieces I am commissioning from Sparklewren (purchased earlier in the year)...so I am looking forward to receiving those hopefully before Christmas (though Jenni always has a long lead time so I shall be patient!). And I am working with Kirsteen of Boom! Boom! Baby! on a selection of prints in different styles that will be more...costume based for themed shoots.
Out of the blue, as I was wondering how I would ever find time to model these new things, I heard from Charles of Emotions In Vision and we plan to get together and do some work in the autumn (we are both pretty tied up at the moment). Charles is fantastic for locations as he often shoots wildlife...so he knows some fabulous spots. It should be fun. And also, although I had obviously been planning the Ophelia's Folly corsets (I want to model samples and styles from many corsetieres), I felt buying more bustles and shrugs probably wasn't the right thing for me. For Jane, she needs to sell them that way because they sell better as sets and that has to be her priority. But for me it would mean my style didn't particularly evolve. The silk items she makes are gorgeous...but they don't quite suit the Pre-Raphaelite look I am going for unless I am wearing a long skirt (like the Hadleigh Castle shoot)...so I am considering different looks but definitely moving as far away from 'burlesque' styles as possible. Although I wear bustles and bloomers around the house, in photographs they definitely don't create quite the right feel I am looking for.
So I think some interesting new things are coming up. And I was lucky enough to be able to purchase some ex-modelled samples from Morgana (Threnody in Velvet), the corset model as we are similar in size and proportion...so I have a Metamorph overbust, a bespoke Puimond Curvy underbust in pale blue with lace detail and a superb Maya Hansen corset dress. Big variety! Considering Victorian, Gothic, Steampunk, Antoinette, Fairy and Ballet 'Costume' themed shoots...but really want to put the emphasis on the corsets.
So look forward to Metamorph, Puimond, Maya Hansen, Orchid, Morgana Femme Couture, Serinde, Sparklewren, Valkyrie, Bubble Fusion and Boom! Boom! Baby! And stunning costumes too.
I am not exactly sure when I will be back in the office but until I am, I still have internet access and I Mayastar and Maya Magickal work continues as usual. Look out for the newsletter coming to an inbox near you soon because while I am away I really don't have time to update the special offers and the main site so there are some exclusives available to newsletter subscribers until the end of the month! X
20th July 2013: Hooray! Admin all up to date and all going fabulously! Been a looooong night in the office and I think it's time to sit down with a DVD and some needlepoint tapestry and have a little ponder...
Though time hasn't permitted because of work, I have lists and lists of ideas for modelling assignments...and some amazing pieces...a purple shot red taffeta skirt and corset set by Serinde...a silk and lace overbust corset with ribbon skirt that was made for a wedding show by Boom! Boom! Baby!...many Morgana Femme Couture designs...and lots of bespoke pieces from Ophelia's Folly, Gothic Burlesque too. Stunning Sparklewren Phoenix and Bird's Wing corsets too. Lots more...Alina Ionescu Design and Valkyrie...soooo many possibilities I feel spoilt for choice. I suppose I am busier right now than I would normally be because Wolf is taking over certain areas of the business so it runs more smoothly...but that means at the moment, doing the admin parts actually takes longer because I have to teach as I go along. I am happy to say he is a fast learner though so I am sure things will balance out perfectly.
I had an idea regarding the OTR corsets that I found always were too tight on my hips to be worn comfortably. My hipspring is about 11"...and my shape is such that I need a 10". I wore a 20" (which is what I wear in my made to measures...and I usually wear it with a 2-3" gap depending on what I'm wearing underneath and that is moderately laced). But to pull in the longline ones for Ophelia's Folly, I had a problem - I couldn't pull in much at all (maybe just an inch or two off my natural waist), and to get any reduction, because of my shape, my hips got in the way and so they got crushed and I couldn't wear the corset for long at all. I am checking out with Mama Jane the dimensions of bigger sizes in the same style as it may be that a bigger size would suit in that style???
As I have trained my waist down in conical busks, I have also found that some 'curvy' shapes with sharp lines in at the waist (such as the curvy underbust style by Puimond), don't give me a good reduction in comparison to the conical. And everyone thinks conical corsets are harder to wear. I think the reason for this difference with me is that I have a lot of core strength from ballet...and for me, a conical busk gently stretches the muscles so that after half an hour wearing, I can pull in by another inch. Whereas an hourglass shape cups the ribs and doesn't gently stretch the muscle the same way. I think it is possible that if I were to take of a conical one after wearing it all day and put on an hourglass shape, I would get a better pull in...but to be honest, I think the tradition Victorian/Edwardian shape suits me better. I prefer the smoother lines of the long candy underbusts from Ophelia's Folly (not made to measure...and not for waist training but more for occasional wear) looks much more flattering. My personal taste I guess. Ballet has programmed me to look for and balance 'broken lines' and certainly this is something I consider when I consider what I will model and how.
A few pix of my daywear intersperse this post...a lot of people are surprised that I wear corsets habitually...they are even more surprised when they find what appears to be a costume in a photograph, is actually the 'party' version of my daywear!
Anyway...all up to date...feeling good...time for a chill out <3
20th July 2013: Busy time of the month again; the Killing Moon Cycle began on the 19th - so the period of the 'overlap' from one month's cycle to the next coincides with the full moon period of the month when I have the most prosperity, psychic, magick, abundance and love spell type workings. The good thing about this is that I know which days are going to be the busiest magickally well in advance so I can organise the preparation of attunements and my personal ritual and spell work to ensure I don't end up without enough hours in the night. Some nights over this period I will be doing three ritual sessions...that's about 6 hour's of magickal work in a day. Pretty intensive! But I suppose when it is your vocation, it doesn't feel like a chore...my work is my art :) So happy happy days.
Also, the more work I do over night the better at the moment because the heatwave continues and is set to continue for another week. Even the roads are melting. It's pretty horrendous really...I have no idea how the non-nocturnal people cope with these conditions! Anyway...a weird side effect of the heat was that in the studio we had fans on for ballet and zumba...I have avoided standing in front of fans because last year, I tore a calf muscle...and the only variable and what I thought may have caused it was that I had stood in front of the fans when dancing. You sweat a lot when you dance zumba or do pointe - you come out absolutely soaked - so a fan directly on you can really have a chilling effect. I couldn't be sure, but I thought perhaps this is what had left that muscle prone to such an injury so I always wear leg warmers on my calves and I avoided the fans. Then this year, I moved in front of them again...I did think about the injury but figured since I had leg warmers on it would be fine. Then I hurt my back. A really odd injury - just a strain I think - but the pain started after my dance class and got progressively worse over a few days and then got better. I thought nothing of it and went back to ballet as usual. And it happened again. The fact it got better in between reassured me it wasn't like a torn muscle but it felt like a whiplash injury and I was carrying my body so lopsided against the pain that I ended up hurting my right knee and right arm because I wasn't moving about properly. So this time I went back to ballet and stayed away from the fans. I also took it easy - as soon as I felt any slight twinge in the area, I switched the exercise I was doing and included lots of stretches. Sure enough, the problem didn't recur. In a way, having to take it easy during ballet lessons is frustrating...but during a heatwave I suppose it isn't too bad. When it's really humid I do find 3 hours pretty exhausting (I have to drink rehydration drinks before, during and after lessons too!). So for the next week I expect I'll be doing two hour lessons and building back up to my normal level. Zumba isn't a problem...basic barre work isn't problem and some of the bootcamp strength exercises are fine too. But I'll gradually add more of them back and then add in my syllabus work for the classical ballet medal I'm working towards and the Grade 5 syllabus work too.
I look forward to getting back to my usual intensity of dance...and to the weather cooling down a bit too!
I had better be getting on - have more ritual work to complete tonight and will be starting my next ritual in about 40 minutes so better set up the temple!
7th July 2013: I will try to cram as much as I can into this blog...but I am astounded by June! I worked so much ritual and spells and as it has before, it had a knock on effect with positive manifestations in my own life and also for Mayastar and Maya Magickal. It's been amazing! I've been pleasantly busy...but Wolf has been assisting with as much of the admin as he can do and organising my diary, setting up the temple for rituals and making sure I never run out of appropriate incenses.
By popular demand, I am going to be adding an article detailing options for the higher level accredited qualifications available through Mayastar as fixed packages. They will be detailed on the site but available on request because of the amount of the fees, they will need to be paid by bank transfer. I've been offering the higher qualifications for a while and have a number of students studying for degrees and doctorates and have awarded a number of Advanced Diplomas to date too! So it makes sense to have some kind of 'package' available for those who want to pay ahead rather than buy in smaller packages as they go along and build towards the higher level qualifications. It is an exciting time though. And I find that actually it seems to work well in planning my own day to day life when I have more students taking large packages. It means that if I allocate time each day for temple and spiritual work, there is always some to be getting on with and Wolf keeps my diary and all the details I need up to date so it's running like clockwork.
On a frivolous note, I tried my own henna mix (henna powder, lots of honey, jojoba oil and oodles of Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner). I was quite surprised with the result as I applied it to towel dried hair so I was concerned it would be a bit too diluted. But in fact the colour has taken amazingly well. It washed out more quickly than the Lush one...but did leave a little residue. If I had given my hair a second shampoo or conditioned it after washing the henna out, there would have been no residue I'm sure. Also, in application it was really easy too - the honey and conditioner made the consistency smoother so there weren't flaky bits of henna dust falling about too. I left it for half an hour for the dye release while I had a bath, and then applied it and left it on for about seven hours. It will still be oxidising at the moment but here is a pic of the colour - trying to show the variations you go get as the henna builds up (so it increases in richness from the roots and you don't get sudden lines like with chemical dye). Also showing the way the hair changes colour in light. This is the most amazing thing about henna to be honest. The dye is absorbed into to outside part of the hair and creates a translucent colour on each strand that your natural hair colour is seen through - so on blonde hair henna looks orangey, and on darker hair it can look deep wine coloured or burgundy. And it always looks very natural. I am so pleased with how this mix worked out, I am considering doing it weekly but adding cassia to the mix to lighten the henna a bit and see how it goes....will keep you posted!
Thank you to everyone that is wishing Amber well. She is doing ok...she is dying but it is a gentle decline and she just feels gradually more sleepy really. In the end she will go to sleep and not wake up. But I would rather that, and for her family to be helping her with and stroking her (she still purrs!) as she goes, than have the shock horror of a car trip to the vets and to be euthanised. It seems like a protracted death but I am assured that although she experiences shortness of breath and weakness as her heart fails, she isn't in pain...she just feels sleepier and sleepier. I am very glad for her. And grateful to those who have her in their prayers.
I had better get on...a busy night tonight with the new Mayastar newsletter to go out. I have also updated the Maya Magickal site to make it easier for people to buy the Tantric Shamanic Rituals and Tantric Shamanic Intensives on the main menu section rather than jumping around pages for all the information and options.
It may be a week before I have time to get the Package Options detailed and up on Mayastar, so if you are interested in taking the Degree or Doctorate level certification and want to pay in one instalment; and are able to pay via bank transfer, them please email me and we can discuss the options. XX email@example.com
29th June 2013: I can't believe it has been a whole month since I had time to update my blog!
I've been having a fabulous month though. Absolutely masses of temple work and dance rituals. In May I worked on developing some other Tantric Shamanic Dance Rituals; they are different from the other spells I do not just in the way they are performed, but in the way they can be tailored to specifics and in that they invoke divinity for assistance so they combine devotional yogic principles, sorcery/witchcraft, shamanism/seidr and prayer. It is a very intense experience and combines many of my passions. I have worked with many types of magick but my style has evolved over the decades and now I know not just what works in principle but what works best using my personal skills and talents to maximise potency of any working.
Also, with the Solstice and the Supermoon combining at the end June, and coinciding with the change over for the Killing Moon cycle, it has been very busy. There are very few days I have not been working ritual and some nights worked two or three!! It's been amazing...and as is so often the case, the simple act of working such magick for others has impacted with favourable manifestations and demonstrations of abundance in my own life...and for Mayastar...
Mayastar has had the most new students in a month this month than in any other month since it was set up 9 years ago! It has had the highest turnover of any single month...and I have completed more Rune Readings and spells for people than every before in any month. I also monitor the number of followers and hits across the Mayastar sites and related sites as well as subscribers to the Newsletters and so on, and again...wonderful manifestations of abundance abound! There are over 1000 followers on the Mayastar FB page now.
I absolutely love my work. I love the students and clients I work with. It is very fulfilling and the nature of my work means that my own spiritual development practices are informed and enhanced by my professional activities. The development of new ritual styles and combining elements that I have used in personal meditation and energy work with elements of Traditional Witchcraft, Solomonic Magick, Seidr, Galdr, Japa...well...it is amazing. The difference in my own life is profound...and I feel that through Mayastar & Maya Magickal I am able to communicate these miracles with others so that they may share in the healing, peace, prosperity & abundance, spiritual & psychic development and spiritual expression, that I am blessed with.
That isn't to say a miracle just happens...we all (myself, clients and students), combine our intentions and that is what makes things happen. Change happens when we make it happen. But Mayastar's most important expression of universal will comes from alignment with the inspiring, fundamental creative principle that defines and permeates creation on all levels. In this sense, my charge as a Priestess and Lightworker is to maintain my connection with that Universal Light, and in a state of love born of true inspiration; and then whether I am teaching energy healing, performing magickal operations for clients or completing rune readings, because my intention is matched with the Universal Light, my work is always infused with power beyond what a single mind would be able to access or manifest. This is the real secret of magick; magick is an act of service and no other magick is real magick. It is not an easy path...it is a calling and a vocation and I know there are pagan religions that use some elements of magick as part of the religious observations, but the path of Magick is the path of enlightenment and individuation and the skills you develop through the process are not an end in themselves!
I do feel I inspire my students and clients...that in a sense, I act as a conduit for that Universal Life Force and assist them to become more aligned with it and to find that harmony, peace and congruity that may have been diminished over time.
So I feel absolutely blessed to be able to say, since its inception, I have taught 3700 courses to over 1500 students...I have completed about 120 rune readings in that time too...and completed over 700 magickal workings for clients too. That sounds like a shocking amount but those figures are totals for over the past 9 years and I started offering magickal workings for others perhaps five years ago. I left my day job to be able to pursue my spiritual work full time...and things are such now that I work with my soul mate so some aspects of the work can be shared and I am able to share my work with more students and clients than I could ever have dreamed of!
Did I mention...I LOVE MY WORK!
And it is always great to hear from students and clients about the successes they have experienced with practising healing, new meditation skills, setting up their own businesses, self healing and psychic development...and how spells have manifested for them too! It's wonderful.
I don't mind that some months I am soooooo busy at all...because when your work is your vocation it really doesn't feel like work. So everyone's a winner.
I have enough time for reading, ballet, needlepoint and bubble baths so I'm definitely not complaining!
Speaking of which...news that is unrelated to Mayastar...let's see...
Am reading a book about Effie (wife of Millais; the Pre-Raphaelite)...and I have just started the Eye of the World which is a fantasy novel. But there are so many in that series that I may switch to reading a JV Jones Fantasy set (with four books) before I embark on the Wheel of Time series because once I start that, that will be years of reading!
For magickal and spiritual reading (I like to be reading something factual, a novel, and something about magick...often with half a dozen books on the go at any one time!), I am reading a book about earth magick, a book about angels and also dipping into Imitation of Christ and A Course in Miracles.
I got a Samsung tablet to help me work when I'm not in the office too. I reply to emails from my mobile phone and it's very convenient. But once a week to type up rune readings, make sure the accounts are up to date and student records are up to date, I save all the relevant emails and go through them in one night to keep things ship shape. So I send all the certificates out and update the diary for the coming week at that time too. It's working brilliantly well. But nights when I update the website can mean I end up working long hours on a computer...so I am hoping that by using the tablet, I can get just a little more of that admin done day by day to avoid epic nights of admin! So far so good. Also, it's fantastic for playing Mah Jong on :D
Erm...other news...discovered a conditioner I like better than Lush's ones...Honeysuckle and Rose by Aubrey Organics; it has no silicone and no protein so doesn't cause build up but it is a lovely rich conditioner and smells dreamy. I am considering trying out my own conditioning henna mix and not using the Lush one next week...I'll see (it may end up too much hassle to prepare my own!)...but I was thinking, pure henna, neem oil, lemon juice, honey and a massive squish of Aubrey Organics Conditioner...perhaps it would be a lovely smelling mix that would be as easy to rinse as the Lush blocks are?? I may give it a go and report back! My hair is in the best condition it's ever been. I am not sure if it's really long enough to wear down in modelling projects yet but I can't wait until it is!
I don't know if anyone else remembers it...but in the 70s, Nailoid made a strange cream that they called 'carnate'. I don't know of anything else like it but you would put this strange pinky white cream on your nails, and buff them on the heel of your hand or with a leather buffer made for the purpose, and they would shine like they had clear nail varnish on. But as it wasn't varnish, they would never chip but it would gradually fade. You could maintain it by just getting into a habit of buffing your nails when you watched TV or something. And whatever was in the cream conditioned your nails and cuticles beautifully too. So where nail varnish would chip, dry your nails and damage them, using carnate was a bit like using henna on your hair...the more you did it, the better! Well...Nailoid make it again! Now it is call 'buff and shine' but it smells and feels exactly the same. So I've been buffing my nails again. They look fabulous (if I do say so myself!). And as I mess about with my nails, tidying the edges and oiling the cuticles too, I was reminded of when my mum used to have me and my sister doing our nails while she did hers back when I was a kid.
So...her birthday is coming up and I've bought her a set for her nails with carnate, a buffer, emery boards, cutcle remover, cuticle oil, hoof stick and orange sticks...plus some additional bonus gifts of things I think are totally fabulous...lip balm for Burt's Bees...Tangle Teazer brush...and of course, Honeysuckle and Rose Aubrey Organics conditioner! I can't wait to see her! She's going to love them :D
I had better get on. I've done a little ritual work, a little attunement work and a lot of admin work today...so I think I've thoroughly earned myself a looooong bubble bath...I foresee Fenjal Bath Oil...Lily Flame candles...Clarin's Eau Dynamisante Body Lotion...and some Dead Can Dance...while I catch up on the latest gossip about Effie, Millais, the PRB and the Ruskins! And I'll follow that up with some word puzzles on my Nintendo DS to wind down before I have something to eat...I think, blueberries, hazelnuts and pecans would go down a treat...hmmm...
Happy happy days! And love to all! <3
28th May 2013: I have just finished the opening for this month's Killing Moon cycle and also sent out an interim newsletter detailing new Tantric Shamanic Ritual options available to clients through Maya Magickal. I have been working on these for a couple of months...they are different to normal spells and rituals because they are essentially 'choreographed'. I use dance, kanji hand gestures and mantra in these rituals which are otherwise carried out silently. I really enjoy working them; they have proven very powerful and I get to work magickally in a new way.
The new workings invoke the powers of Maha Kali (for exorcism), Hanuman (for reversal of black magick or negative energetic influences) and the Goddess Aradia for the manifestation of abundance and desires.
I am really pleased with these new workings and have worked them for myself and a few clients while refining the process of each for more specific results. The process of spellcrafting and ritual choreographing is quite long and a lot of 'rewrites' to perfect the tuning of the spell before I would offer it to others. These are fantastic and I have worked them as intensives too combined with other Tantric Shamanic rituals and this is also proving extremely effective. I am looking forward to more dance rituals later in the year!
Other news...well...not a great deal because of all the temple work and writing I have had to put back a few other projects...but...
I have been considering my hair experiments and have decided I will grow my hair again...I think it will take about 4-6 years to get it to tailbone length (I don't think I'd go past that now...it used to be classic length so I could sit on it but I think it was a bit too long really at that point) because it is so much wavier now than it used to be. I am hennaing it with Lush henna every two weeks now. I have found a good way to rinse it and although it's time (and water) consuming, it is definitely manageable. I am switching to a sulphate free shampoo and I am exclusively using Lush cone free conditioners. I always air dry...never use product or heat on my hair....the main thing I need to get in the habit of is tying it back or clipping it up to prevent damage to the ends. Especially as it gets past shoulder length. Wolf has assured me he will help me manage it because my hair is ever so thick so it can be quite tricky. I think I will keep it layered and with fairy tale ends too. And I guess I had better start teaching Wolf how to french plait!
6th May 2013: Been pretty busy with lots of ritual work and spells over the last couple of weeks.
Finished the Desperate Romantics book and now am just starting another by Jan Marsh about Elizabeth Siddal; Jan has written a lot of biographies and though I haven't read it yet, I have the one she wrote about Christina Rossetti (I am a massive fan of her poetry...though not a fan of her bother!).
I received two single layer white satin coutil training corsets from Morgana Femme Couture last week. I ordered these especially for wearing in bed because I find corseting in bed often seems to wake me up because whatever the weather, I feel too hot. Though I think that may be because I lace down too much when I should let the laces out for bed because of the physiological changes we go through as the body relaxes. Since I started lacing more moderately for longer hours I have found napping and occasionally sleeping my corset no problem...but haven't managed to make a habit of it. I feel this is necessary though to make progress because some days, between ballet and bathing there simply aren't enough hours in the day. Still, even with moderate lacing, in the MFC corsets I achieve an excellent reduction! The stain corsets turned out sooooo gorgeous; really lovely quality satin that isn't glaringly shiny but rather is more opalescent and looks pearl-like. Absolutely gorgeous and I think earmarked for showing off! I have white cotton coutil for general wear too...it seemed kind of indulgent to have white corsets for bed and daywear but they really are stunning and look authentically Victorian. I don't mind if I have to teastain them a little when they start to discolour either...I'm a massive fan of the antique look!
Additionally to LOVING my corsets, I tested out the Lush Caca Rouge henna hair dye. I have been using BAQ and pure henna powder so far. Online there are many mixes recommended for henna and many people add lemon juice. I was unsure about doing this because I anticipated it would dry my hair and in all the years I used to henna my hair, I never used an acidic base to release the colour from the henna...just hot water. And my hair was a deep red for many years using this so I didn't really consider it necessary.
The Lush mix has lemon juice in it...but it also has masses of cocoa butter and is built into bricks which you melt in hot water. The cocoa butter gives the henna a lovely consistency for application...it went on so easily and was much less messy (and crumbly) than henna powder mixes. From the reviews I read online, I wasn't expecting this as many people complain about the mess and the smell and so on. But I suspect now that many of these have used Lush henna blocks but haven't ever used henna powder so are comparing it to chemical dye. Also they seem to often leave the henna on for an hour and then complain the result is subtle...where I always apply henna for 6-8 hours. I also noticed that the colour release from the Lush henna was amazing and happened very quickly - as the blocks were melting in fact. A really vibrant red was released and I think this may be due to the lemon juice.
The lemon juice in it certainly didn't dry my hair. Washing the dye out was also easier in some ways than normal henna powder applications as it didn't dry out and the cocoa butter seemed to act as a conditioner that allowed the powder to wash out more easily. However, the cocoa butter melting into a bath full of water was absolutely awful! I was covered in the stuff and the henna powder stuck to me. I usually rinse my hair in two baths after I have hennaed but it takes a few washes to be completely free of the powdery residue...but this time I had to stand in the bath and thoroughly clean the bath and then run the second bath while standing in the water because I was so covered in henna sludge. I shampooed four times and didn't condition my hair because of the cocoa butter; and my hair felt a little greasy while it was still wet. But as it dried it just seemed very well conditioned and soft.
But I will most definitely be using Lush in future. Despite the horrendous mess washing it out, it did was out more easily than henna powder mix. The colour was more vibrant too. The condition was stunning. The application was easier and much less messy. The price is reasonable. The blocks are also perfumes with essential oils which created a lovely fog of scent throughout my flat and my boyfriend raved about the smell too! (In reviews many people complained about the smell of the Lush blocks...evidently they haven't used powder mixes because the smell of pure henna is much much stronger and more earthy; I like it but many people don't).
I did some photos showing the before and after and put them on my FB page: www.facebook.com/annalouisemay.muse - and I was pretty surprised just how pronounced the colour change was. I really think the Lush blocks are fabulous. So despite the rinsing muck, every thing else about them is a positive including the colour. Fantastic! X
20th April 2013: Have had a hectic month so far. Wolfie moved in so there was some messing about at the start of the month. And we publically announced our engagement to our family and friends. We were already privately handfasted so this was kind of a formality...but still great fun and happy days!
I received three more gorgeous silk corsets from Morgana Femme Couture in lovely Pre-Raphaelite colours (and ordered a few more too! I'm addicted to corsets :D).
Wolf is coming to one of my epic ballet lessons each week now for sketching as a preliminary to the Ophelia Interrupted project. We haven't done a shoot yet but things are edging towards being organised.
I hennaed my hair again. It is the strangest thing to change my hair colour so radically after years of being technicoloured and blonde. I feel like I've gone back in time every time I look in the mirror at the moment. I am very curious to see how it looks in photos. I did a little research and found that the Pre-Rapahaelite Brotherhood inspired Victorian women who wanted appear quite boho and cool to henna their hair. That's soooo great. I think I have authentically Lizzie Siddal hair :D X Speaking of which, I finished the biography I was reading about Lizzie and found I was hankering after more gossip (especially about Rossetti...though strangely I don't really rate him as an artist) so I've ordered the book about the Pre-Raphs called Desperate Romantics (that accompanied the drama of the same name). The reviews suggest it has lots of gossip about the artists and their muses which I totally lap up! I was fascinated to find out Rossetti had such quirks as a vast collection of fabrics which he 'intended' to drape models in to paint them...but ended up with so much fabric that his house was full to the rafters and the papers printed stories and jokes about his obsession! So looking forward to that...
And I'm reading the final Robin Hobb novel in the Dragon series...there were four when I expected a trilogy and this made me really peed off when I read the third book. I almost didn't buy the fourth because I was so disappointed in the third one. But I bit the bullet and I'm glad I did. It's pretty exciting and looks like it's lining up for a satisfying conclusion and a big finish! Fabulous. I have a couple of other fantasy novels due this year too...one for the Painted Man series and one for Game of Thrones...so that should be exciting too.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE BOOKS!!!! <3
5th April 2013: Disappointed that I have had to chop off about 3 month's hair growth again :( It was just too dry and totally wrecked. I had a think back...I used to have hair down to my bottom in my teens and twenties...why can't I seem to grow it past my shoulders now? I mean, it gets to about 8" long and the condition of the ends is so bad I have to give it the chop. This is gutting because I am trying to grow my hair. I stopped using permanent dyes with peroxide developer because red fades fast and I had to put it all the way to the ends...which meant the ends took too much abuse. So I started just bleaching the roots again and using rinses (Stargazer and Directions). And it was in much better condition...until it got to about 6-8" long and the damage of the peroxide (even though it was only very lightly bleached to lift the colour and allow the hair to stain) was awful.
So I went back to the drawing board...when I was a teen and in my 20s, I used henna on my hair. Pure henna with no metallic salts or nasties. It is a pain to do - you have to mix the powder and hot water to form a nice muddy mess and then stick that on your head and leave it for as long as possible. Henna coats the hair so gives a natural translucent colour. It also covers grey. And it leaves your hair in better condition every time you use it.
I suppose I stopped because it just took so long to do...but I've decided, if I want to grow my hair, this is the only way. I can use Stargazer rinses from time to time over the henna...but on unbleached hair they have a very subtle effect and they don't cover grey at all.
Thinking about the days I spent wandering about with a tonne of mud on my head and a towel, with a muslin cloth around my neck to dab up any muddy drips that emerged...well...it made me feel nostalgic. It was a lot of hassle I guess...and that is why I changed to chemical dyes. But thinking back, once I made that change, my hair was cut shorter and shorter. I don't intend to grow it as long as it was when I was a teen but I'd like it to fall to maybe 3" above my waist. And thinking about having long hair and all the messing about with it I could do made me even MORE nostalgic. So I put on some patchouli oil and lotus oil (a fave combination of my hippie goth teens!) and some All About Eve.
I had a great day yesterday. I had a nap because I had ritual work last night and I did a long attunement session after it. (I've just brought all the admin up to date...except for the website updates and the new special offer and newsletter which I will be doing when I finish this blog!).
I received three more of the bespoke corsets I've ordered from Morgana Femme Couture. They are absolutely stunning.
See what I mean! Totally gorgeous. I am wearing the brown silk at the moment. I have upped my hours corseted successfully. I find that naturally within days of doing this I am fastening my corset at 23.5" (let it out a little to eat...and a little more for sleep) and am wearing for a minimum of 12 hours a day. To ensure all my MFC ones get seasoned properly, I am wearing them in rotation and changing corset a few times a day. This is the benefit of having the same shaped body on all of them...they are completely interchangeable and I can wear my corset to match my outfit while waist training <3 PERFECT!
I have two other sets to come from them: sage, beige and pale blue silk ones; and then two single layered white satin coutil ones which are for bed (and these should be ready in about 5 weeks time...by which time I hope to be accustomed to sleeping in my corset.
In more frivolous news...I am planning and plotting my clothes for meeting Wolf's parents on Monday like it's the invasion of Normandy. Considering...which corset is best for wearing for up to 10 hours sitting in a car?? I have decided which coat to wear...(a good start...it's snowing again!)...but I can't even settle on the colour for my clothes...hmmm...will continue to ponder (sometimes I'm so typically girlie I shock myself).
I will have sorted my hair out though...I'll use a permanent (chemical) dye over the lot first...this is just so the bleached blonde ends don't end up a vibrant orange with the roots growing through subtly hennaed. I am hoping if I dye the rest a light brown first, the roots should grow through and blend into the rest a little better. I hope so. It will be easier for modelling because you can henna your hair as often as you wish and blend the roots in without damaging the hair :)
Rather a girlie blog today huh?
Well...when I finish my work it gets girlier! Dying my eyelashes and eyebrows...and then I think a loooong bubble bath and a spot of reading. Then chill out for a while and watch some anime (watching Ergo Proxy again). And tonight I have more ritual work and will do a long attunement session after it again.
Happy days!! <3
4th April 2013: I have been busy this evening doing the 2012/2013 accounts for Mayastar & Maya Magickal. Lots of admin...been staring at a computer screen far too long and jumping into a bubble bath with a good book imminently!
My blog has been much neglected with so many changes coming and lots of preparation to make on the home front. I am excited though. The changes mean that the courses that have been on a back burner for Mayastar will be finalised and a number of creative projects and modelling assignments on the horizon too. And with the changes these things will all run a lot more smoothly and I will have more time to get more done <3
Those following my tight lacing/waist training progress may be interested to know...I have changed my methods. I found it so difficult to sleep corseted and because of the amount of exercise I do, although the reduction from a natural 26" to a corseted 20" is not very big, because I am wearing conical bodied corsets for the purpose of recontouring my ribs so that they taper neatly to the reduced waist, I need to put in the hours. I can lace down to 20" in very wasp waisted corsets; and in those that need some rib compression I can generally lace down to about 22"; but I can't wear them for more than 8 hours at a time at that level so it's not practical for waist training; I need to be corseted for more than 8 hours a day consistently to have permanent results. And it will take months...even years...for my body to grow into the new shape.
So I have decided the best way to do this will be to wear my corset very moderately laced and get my hours up. Make sure that even on days when I have a lot of work, ritual or dance, I still corset (I have been in the habit of missing days when I am dancing...and because I'm dancing a lot more now, that has meant longer periods uncorseted...which has undone some of my progress!) and whenever possible, sleep in my corset too.
This is working well so far. I keep the corset laced to 24/24.5" - but undo it a little more for sleep while I get used to sleeping corseted. And what I will do, is after a week at this level, make 3/4 hours of my corseted time each day at half an inch tighter. Then the next week make 6 hours at the tighter level. Then the next week 8 hours at the tighter level. And then move to the tighter level as the daily level.
So this means the reduction will be slow but I will be keeping the hours up. The reason this is important is as the lower ribs grow (bones are always growing; the cells dying and being replaced), they will grow to conform to the corset shape. There is a certain amount of discomfort involved in the process - the pressure on the ribs can make your back hurt or your sternum ache where they are attached. But this isn't actually painful or certainly not intolerably so. It is perhaps as painful as menstrual cramps...or a mild toothache. And it is kind of like that in the way that you can ignore it but if you suddenly focus on it, it can seem frustrating. It is quite an exercise in relaxation and mind control to ignore the discomfort sometimes!
Anyway...both Wolf and I are excited to do more work that focuses on my corsets and pointe shoes...they really are kind of my trademark and I think my dedication to dance and love of corsetry is something that can be captured in my modelling work. Wolf is also keen to draw me...so projects we plan will employ various mediums and I am excited about the possibilities. I've even bought a copy of photoshop. InterSomnia (Cor) is also keen to be involved in projects and I'm sure Maniac will be too. I can't wait. I have soooo many ideas.
I also have more corsets coming from Morgana Femme Couture and have commissioned pieces from Boom Boom Baby Boutique and Bubble Fusion. I don't think I'll be able to resist doing some fashion shoots...we have done the odd test shoot (mostly me and Maniac) to check the proportions and balance of corsetry and my new pointe shoes. One thing I really notice from the test shoots is, the shape of the corsets is soooo much more flattering. Even closed to 22/23 my waist looks absolutely tiny and forms a real focus; the contouring of the corsets and the length of the busk looks so much better than the longer and shorter busk lengths I wore last year (off the rack). I think a 12" busk is absolutely perfect for me and it look 'right' both on and off pointe.
The pointe shoes look much much better than the Bloch ones I was wearing. Even more than that, my body has changed shape a lot from dancing; the definition in my legs is marked even since the Green Fairy Shoot in August for Ophelia's Folly. Even my face seems to have more definition.
So I am pleased with the overall improvements and I've been messing about with my hair colour to try to work out what really suits...I think I will change the colour throughout the month (partly to disguise the regrowth) so I start with a golden/coppery orange...go through darker oranges to red...and then to a deeper red...and then do my roots and start over with the lighter shades again. I tried other colours...magenta, pink, purple...and although they look good in their own right, I feel the red and orange suit my skintone better and certainly suit the Pre-Raph style better.
I would love to re-do a number of shoots in fact. With the better shoes, the better technique en pointe, the better corsetry etc...I think I may end up re-modelling the Burlesque Silk sets by Lovechild Boudoir and also some of the items from Ophelia's Folly. I have a number of Organza sets that were made to my specifications by Gothic Burlesque (Jane Arden) for the Romantiqua Couture Collection - and these are long length organza bustles which were designed with a ballet project in mind. I have lots of Steampunky and Lolita style clothes by Charlotte Needham (of Loulah Belle & Vilicious) for the RC collection too...and some long satin skirts by Fantasia Couture and Lolita and Gothic skirts by Sequoia...all of which have possibilities for projects. And a substantial collection of Victorian and Gothic style skirts from the Gothic Shop which MOST DEFINITELY need an airing!
So many possibilities...and once Wolf has settled in...so many opportunities!!!
I can't wait to get started <3