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Blog Archive September 2012
29th September 2012: It's been a bizarre month in summary I think. Partly because of the weather and other commitments, no modelling work was on the cards...though I have some amazing sets to model...the conditions for location shoots are impossible. Me and Maniac talked about the possibility of old buildings etc for locations but both agreed that actually it's too much of a compromise if we are trying to capture something of a Pre-Raph vibe because the way we're doing it at the moment is by me contrasting against the natural background but trying to strike a balance so that I don't look so much like the background that I stop being the object of the composition...I don't think I've ever spent so much time studying art...certainly didn't spend so much time on it when I actually studied art officially that's for sure!
Am coming on really well en pointe...for me modelling en pointe has very different challenges to dancing. You may think the ground is flat, but it never is. And if you want to pose en pointe in natural surroundings, just finding a location you can be en pointe in without breaking an ankle...dry enough, stable enough, flat enough...that's a challenge. In class though...the challenge if working technique, developing strength...and right now, mastering a number of turns. I get to choose my own soundtrack for pointe training and boot camp (you'd be amazed at the progress TBH...if my teacher says I've done well, you can be sure that's an understatement and actually she's pretty stunned at how I'm doing! LOL) - Echo and the Bunnymen, Lana Del Rey, Lady Gaga, Skeeter Davis, Keane, Taylor Swift...I think it's because I work harder when I'm singing instead of swearing about messing up steps and things! LOL But anyway, it's going so well...that for the first time in years of dancing, old and new muscles are being stepped up a gear to meet the challenge. That's good - it means my basic form and technique all naturally will improve too...but it's been a challenging month for dance in that sense. A good challenge. Very fulfilling. And the new rituals from Maya Magickal I offer - working those for people, again, more challenging physically than when I worked them as I was writing them...because I didn't work on the choreography physically for 2 hours straight the day after I'd had a 3 hour dance class! But still...it's good to be healthy and fit and I do like a challenge.
So I'm stepping up my Zumba too. I am sure I'm not the only one but I find it much easier to meditate after I've done cardio. I used to like running but it never worked out very well when I did shifts so I switched to dance aerobics and then later to Zumba (dance aerobics but a bit more varied). So I'm stepping up my cardio from October...it's a strange thing with ballet; to do it, you need to be cardio fit...but doing ballet alone, won't make you cardio fit. I used to do 4-6 hours cardio a week but I guess I've become a little lazy because now I'm down to 2 or 3! So will be making time for that.
The new way for managing courses and streamlining things with Mayastar has worked so so well it's fantastic. And it's made things flexible enough that I can realistically add an hour's cardio into my day :)
Anyway...I've missed the modelling...but I've been reading a lot of Rhonda Byrne, Neale Donald Walsch and Game of Thrones. Let's hope we have a reasonable autumn and get some good shoots. For those not in the UK we had a month's worth of rain in 2 days last week...all year it's been like this...we had the wettest June since records began...then the wettest July...I know we have a rep for complaining about our weather...I admit, I actually love the English weather - I love the wind and I love the rain...so they wouldn't even make my blog if it weren't for the fact they've put a crimp on so many modelling shoots since March...they wiped out so many scheduled shoots that in the end we have stopped looking for locations because we haven't used the ones we wanted to yet...still waiting for them to dry out! Sooner or later there will be a break in it I'm sure but...this isn't only affecting the UK...the weather's wonky all over the world at the moment...and so I don't know what to expect next...or when. Perhaps summer's just around the corner huh?? :) LOL
Time for a well earned bubble bath methinks...Botanics Bath Elixir - I think I'm addicted to it! (from Boots) X
24th September 2012: Quick update before I'm off for a 3 hour dance lesson :D I've just done the up to date newsletter for Mayastar & Maya Magickal! I hope you will enjoy the offers if you are a subscriber (if not, please request a copy of the newsletter through www.mayastar.net) - Dolphin Rainbow Chakra Healing 1-14 | Orb of Life | Star of Avalon Ascension Connections 1-9 | Crown of Success Good Fortune Spell | Swan Maiden Wish Spell | All with a 30% discount :D <3
And now I'd better shake my tail feathers and get to the studio so I can...shake my tail feathers! LOL <3
19th September 2012: Busy times for Mayastar! Loving my work :D
Tons of Zumba & ballet. Still WAITING for the Grishko Novas (it can't be long now!) | Working out new shoot dates even though I haven't been through all of the images from M&A from the last two! Ophelia's Folly new style silks are amazing...can't wait to model them! V excited .
I think it turns my steampunk, harajuku, gypsy, lolita, victoriana, gothic look up to ELEVEN! The silks are soooo well made and full...they blew me away...I'm totally in love with OF and I know I might be biased because I'm friends with the designer but honestly, hands down, completely objective...they are the best bustles and shrugs I've ever seen. The corsets - especially the tightlacing styles, and the antique lace camis and bloomers...well...I don't know any other designer that puts in that amount of quality work with quality fabric to create genuine great quality...no fake silk taffeta or cheap tulle or burlesque 'underwear' from OF...these are REAL clothes! I LOVE THEM!!! ♥
I know as an exclusive model I am affiliated with Ophelia's Folly in a way I am not with any other designer I work with or model for; most of the work I do is my own or creative and artistic projects.
So why Ophelia's Folly? Why are they the only boutique I would be associated with in this way? Well...mostly, because the clothes that are precisely what I would choose to wear day to day...so Ophelia's Folly are a natural choice for me to model 'for' because I would be wearing their clothes anyway! Also Mama Jane (Jane Arden) is a close friend of mine and we have similar tastes when it comes to quality and style so we are very much of a mind when it comes to what looks good...also her morals, reputation as a designer and a person, the quality of her work and her high standards for the materials she works with make a huge difference to me. It tells me that she takes her 'art' seriously; that she really puts in the work and believes in what she creates. And that is inspirational!
To illustrate the difference...I wouldn't (for example) take a contract modelling for Lovechild Boudoir...because the clothes are not to my style or taste...and I wouldn't model for anyone with a questionable reputation...nor would I take a job modelling for Primark because I don't agree with their position on sweatshops (nor do they make anything of the kind of quality I would consider artistic in any way, shape or form!)...nor would I model for someone I felt used cheap commodities or shoddy workmanship.
For me, (as founder of the New Pre-Raphaelite Movement and what it stands for: www.facebook.com/newpreraph) any creativity is a form of art and should be treated as such. When it is not, it debases the person involved.
I can say without a shadow of a doubt that Jane Arden is an artist in her field. And for me, my whole life is an expression of my art. Magick is an expression of myself and my art; the clothes I choose, the scent I wear, the ballet I dance, the spells and courses I write, the sketches and painting I make, the collaborative work with other artists I do...there isn't a part of my life that isn't part of the overall 'art' of true self-expression which I believe is the fundamental motivation of every artist...and I believe that every person is an artist by nature...sadly many are compromised or corrupted because they don't hold their intentions high above all other things. As it is said in the 'Charge of the Goddess':
"Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it; let naught stop you nor turn you aside. For behold! I have been with you from the beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire"
So...Ophelia's Folly is most definitely my
style...very Pre-Raphaelite...and very 'princessy' too. I look like a
radical from the 1800s...and being the boho type...I kind of am. My
dad often jokes that I'm the female version of Russell Brand because of my
dress and my tendency to break out into Olde English or use obscure words (I
watch a lot of Shakespeare and write a lot of archaic incantations in my
rituals!)...and the strange thing is, I actually went to same boarding
school as Russell Brand...he was a couple of years below me and in a
different house (Roding...I was in Thames!)...so I don't remember much of
him...only his expulsion! LOL
On the negative...mornings getting darker so makes sense to organise some shoots sooner rather than later being nocturnal and all!...though when the clocks change it will give me a month's grace for keeping dawn shoots within my sleep pattern...I must be the only person not complaining the clocks will change this year! LOL
Anyway...will keep you posted & will DEFINITELY post up the final images from the OF shoots as soon has I have the time!
17th September 2012: Frantic weekend...fantastic dance lesson which was followed by a total Barbie DVD fest, strawberries and white chocolate cake, presents (I'm such a girlie girl...I can't help but love it when I get all the presents!!)...and wore my birthday silks from Mama Jane and generally had a good natter with the Wolf man and took it easy. A rare night off for me!
Then intensive attunement preparation over the weekend and a Dance of Destruction ritual to Shiva on Saturday night - the dark moon - it was amazing. And feedback from the ritual is great too! <3
So all is good...and all is quiet on the Eastern front...tonight I have brought all things up to date and now I can look forward to doing some washing (joy), having a bath (woohoo!) and reading oodles of Game of Thrones. Me and Wolf are both reading it at the same time...and though I'm rarely without a book at the best of times I'm sure it's making me read more to make sure he doesn't get ahead of me!!! LOL Having said that, from what others say, they couldn't put the book down either.
Oh yeah! The coolest thing is that these days I can be reading it on my kindle...then decide to turn the light out and sync my mobile to the latest location and continue reading on my mobile...then switch back to kindle later. This is a foolproof system...unless you wake up and decide to read for a while...and don't realise the wireless has gone off and keep thinking 'I've read this bit...I'm sure I've read this bit...or am I really psychic?...Or perhaps I wrote the books and became an amnesiac'. Hmmm. The flaw in my perfectly synchronised business admin and playtime stuff...it's all streamlined as long as my internet connection's on...if it's not...well...that's something I've got to work out...apparently that shouldn't be a problem as I should be able to access the net on my notepad via my mobile using something called tethering...
Gonna have to ask Daniel about that...sounds way to technie for me!
12th September 2012: So little time to blog with updates lately :D I am so pleased people are enjoying the new spells and options from Mayastar and Maya Magickal...and I really feel I have nailed it when it comes to a manageable routine...even when it comes to keeping a balance of magickal workings available that are auspicious for working on different days. All in all...things have been busy but running very smoothly.
I am sad to say a family friend died on Friday - it was unexpected (for some reason, it doesn't matter how it happens, it is always is unexpected). The family and friends of DM rallied and everyone has been so supportive. I am really grateful for those students that took the time out to send good wishes and healing. I honestly think I work with some of the most genuine people in the world. X And thank you all for your patience. I kept business as usual when it came to magick but was able to be more flexible with the attunements because they are by call in now - and again, that seems to be working very well for me in organising myself and very well for my students too!
In other news...I've totally battered my toes in ballet - they say pointe shoes don't stretch...well...most parts of them don't - in a way they are very like corsets; heat and sweat will mould them to your body. The main difference with the pointe shoe is the area that has to be tightest to support your foot - that holds most of your weight, is the 'grip' of the shoe around the demi pointe area (that's the bunion joint - the widest part of the foot); that area softens because to get onto pointe you often practice by rolling up through a demi pointe (tip toes) position - so that tight area of the shoe gets broken in. And it moulds to your foot...and it definitely gets softer and less supportive in some shoes over time.
Getting the right fitting is a chore and a half...I am in a 6.5xxxM Grishko (technical terms). The xxx is the width. That is too wide really for my foot but I've got really bony feet and one of the joints in particular just below my little toe, sticks out a LONG way from the foot. So as a trade off, I have to have a slightly wider shoe than I should have but use ingenious methods of making gel inserts that widen the demi pointe while protecting the bony joint by distributing the pressure...but at the same time, make the insert so that it doesn't end up so bulky it crushes my toes or stops me feeling the shoe properly as that would stop the shank (hard part) of the shoe supporting my arch well.
It's very tricky to call. I've got some Grishko Nova 6.5xxxM's on their way from Russia at the moment and they may solve the problem of the toe crushing because they have a slightly wider platform and slightly less tapered box...I hope so!!
Argh! More boring pointe shoe talk for anyone who isn't a Bunhead! LOL X
Other news...still working on the website glitches from the Mayastar updates but actually getting somewhere with them this time!
Today I received the most amazing set of silks from Ophelia's Folly to Mama Jane's tweaked and perfected pattern and my goodness they are absolutely GORGEOUS!!! I cannot wait to model them. I really can't - they are phenomenal. Plus have some antique lace swatches on their way...and silk corsets being made to match the silk sets. It's amazing. Hands down the best bustles, shrugs and corsets I have ever owned, made by any designer, any time and anywhere. MJ really excels with attention to details unlike some others...and I have to say her customer service compared to other designers is fantastic...she doesn't put on airs or come over like a diva or anything...and she's really easy to work with. I thoroughly recommend her work to anyone!
Other than that...very little to report...and getting on with my work tonight...new special offers for Mayastar and Maya Magickal! :D And I very much hope to get the Rune Reading orders and website glitches resolved tonight too! <3
7th September 2012: Ok...so there's good news, there's better news and there's better better better news...which do you want first? :D
FIRST - the workmen have gone away at last and so I'm getting decent day's sleeps...this had been causing a lot of trouble because I took a week off ballet to update Mayastar and Maya Magickal only to find I was deprived of sleep and unable to get all the work done.
SECOND GOOD NEWS - the work isn't finished but it's at a stage where the 'to do list' is listable - that's monumental when you consider the changes so far; the whole are of course packages, discounts, the syllabus and qualification options had been updated for Mayastar - huge work and 77 of the 300 pages of the site present formatting errors which I am slowly working through! Maya Magickal was not so bad; most of the work for these update were the new spells I wrote and added as available for clients - about 30 new workings www.mayamagickal.net - and updating the site was not so tricky as it's not so big.
THIRD GOOD NEWS - the addition Mayastar Home Temple Magickal services sites will be up and running within a month I'm sure; the main writing has been done and it's a case of me putting the websites together but this will mean Initiatory Empowerments for different Deities in ritual, Magickal Mantra Siddhi Rituals (very powerful) and Power Vigils/Novens (carried out in the temple in the context of a magick circle to enhance and concentrate the power of the working) will all be options open to my clients soon!
FOURTH GOOD NEWS - I am 39 in 7 days...and I already started the party for it because Elizabeth I (a personal heroine and inspiration...not just because we share red hair) has her birthday today <3
FIFTH GOOD NEWS - I got some fabulous new incense from 'the incense man' (google him - totally - he's fabulous and he started up around the time I started Mayastar and I only buy my incense from him - he always has the best quality, hand rolled sticks, cones, dhoop...attars and tiger balm too - he's fantastastic)...let me get a link...http://www.incense-man.co.uk/ - I have to say HEM's Dragon's Blood is a personal favourite of mine but I love heavy scents. And the Amber is gorgeous too!
SIXTH GOOD NEWS - my special birthday present from Mama Jane of Ophelia's Folly (an ivory bustle and shrug...unofficially inspired by the Childlike Empress of the Ivory Tower in the Neverending Story...a fave of Wolf and me...and MJ's a fan too!) is on its way and I should get it tomorrow. I am dying to because if the pattern is just right there will be a lot of OF activity coming up and some fabulous shoots, fabulous silks and fabulous corsets...in fact, I MUST get used to training in bed. OF corsets are the most comfortable and best shaped I've ever had and I ADORE corsets. I'm quite the connoisseur! But I am going for serious rib compression as part of my modelling work to get a 20" closed waist...so far I'm a 23"...it's not far to go...but those darn ribs get right in the way! I'll keep at it though...aim for wearing a corset at least 8 hours a day and tight laced for at least 2-3 hours a day...if I can learn to wear them in bed and tight laced after I get up that will be ideal. Anyway...we want a photo shoot to check out the new style and see if we prefer the pattern over all...Jane's a perfectionist and I love a shoot so it's all round GOOD NEWS!
SEVENTH GOOD NEWS - have found a great way of manipulating photographic images I feel suits the style I am trying to create and am working with Mania's GF on it as she's more technical but it's quite addictive when you get playing around.
EIGHTH GOOD NEWS - Maystar and Maya Magickal have had 3 record breaking months in the last 6 months...in a recession or double recession or something (I don't watch the news)...so that is wonderful too!
NINTH GOOD NEWS - with work under control things are back to normal and I am planning some rune reading this weekend and also am back on track with my dancing (have the bruised toes to prove it!)
TENTH GOOD NEWS - my occult supplier still make the best quality magickal oils ever; I can't fault them and I have been using them for two decades now. They're fantastic.
ELEVENTH GOOD NEWS - dad has procured a new 'magic bus' which means jamming time boho style with our musical friends and neighbours with that festival vibe...keen to increase our cajan stylings I have put forth the below as a prospective 'to do' and all in favour said 'yay' - so I hope you like the song because I'll be playing it with the Plotlanders soon! :D
PS - am sure I have many other good newses and gratitudes I could share but for now, these are the top of my list and warranting a blog! :D
5th September 2012: Still ironing out a few kinks on the formatting of the revised Mayastar site but the new options for higher level qualifications is going down very well. And the new spells through Maya Magickal are too!
And the even better news is...when I have tidied the loose ends of these MASSIVE updates and sorted the formatting, the email templates, a few adjustments to manuals...odd jobs and the kind of work that takes hours but leaves you looking like you haven't done anything actually! But when those bits are done, I have some rune readings to complete for some very patient clients (TY TY TY xx)...there are new sites being set up attached to Maya Magickal with new services and options along those lines; expanding the Mayastar Home Temple Magickal work side of things...including Divine Initiatory Empowerments, Magickal Mantra Siddhi Rituals and Power Vigils & Novenas.
Everything is organised but it is a case of sorting out the last updates so I can set up the sites with the new options really...just a case of finding the time for the additional work...but at least this time I know it won't take anywhere near as many hours of work as the recent changes so I'm not 'dreading' the start of it or anything.
So service as usual has pretty much resumed...I have some bits and pieces to finish up this week and then some spells and readings over the weekend and...then I should be set for a little rest before I begin the final updates :D
My dad's got a new 'magic bus'...now, when I say magic, I don't mean my dad's a total stoner or a new age traveller, but he has a bus for gigging and stuff like that (he's a drummer) but I loved the old magic bus because we used to go out and jam in it...and we haven't jammed for ages. Admittedly, Mayastar has grown so much in the last year or so that my time has been a little monopolised...but with things more streamlined, it will be great to spend some quality time with dad and my daisy rock (my pride an joy)...I have a few Skeeter Davis tracks I want to do...though how he'll manage them on a melodean goodness only knows....I think I'll take a spare guitar! LOL :D X
Oooh...and start that she is, Mama Jane of Ophelia's Folly has made a me a TO DIE FOR ivory silk bustle and shrug set...it's to a new pattern style as she's working to perfect precisely the right style of the OF. So it looks like I may be doing another shoot before I've been through Maniac's photo's properly. I may enlist Daniel as my artistic eye on this one. Aurora's done some with saturated colour like the one below and I really love the effect.
Which reminds me!!! Me, Remy, Daniel, Maniac and Aurora may all be heading up to the tate for the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition! So exciting! :D It's a shame Wolf's away at the moment really because he'd be in his element too.
Still...super exciting :D XXX <3
1st September 2012: HOORAY! The new Maya Magickal and Mayastar sites are uploading now; syllabus updated and qualification possibilities, course package options, course information, attunement information...LOTS LOTS more on the site! And on Maya Runes, new readings available...and a lot of new spells available through Maya Magickal too (some of these are included on discount special offers for newsletter subscribers).
The work isn't ENTIRELY finished...there are 'bits' to sort out; standard emails need formatting and some pages need minor updates to reflect new links. There are some other dance spells still to add to Maya Magickal...and Maya Power Vigils and Novenas and Maya Divine Initiatory Empowerments both need the websites doing and information manuals for clients. The priority had to be getting Mayastar updated though...and that meant updating the Book of Inspiration, a number of manuals and a very large website.
I may take a little break from the intensive computer based and writing side of it as including developing the new workings and structuring the syllabus for Mayastar...it's taken over 2 months in all! So I may take a little time before I sort out the Vigils and Initiations, but I invite students to contact me if they are interested in either of these options; they are outlined briefly in the revised Maya Magickal information manual.
Now...in truth...I'm knackered! I've not done so many looooong days work in such a long time...and I've tried my best responding to emails within 24 hours but because people are used to me responding quicker my inbox is getting full of emails that haven't had an immediate response. Unfortunately there's nothing I can do to change that; I will endeavour to answer emails within 24 hours as an ongoing level of service but other elements of my work preclude me from being online all the time.
So I shall get the main bits and pieces done and have a well deserved rest...take a good few weeks and get the final two sites (which are extensions of the Maya Magickal 'Home Temple' work side of Mayastar) up and running as soon as I am able.
I also have neglected to go through all the images Maniac and Aurora have sent me from the last two photoshoots for Ophelia's Folly...and as soon as my eyes regain focus and I can concentrate properly again, I will sort those out. The thing is, because I often like the 'happy accident' shots where the lighting is bad...because I am picky about my form as far as pointe goes too...they tend to pick a big range of images for me to choose from and Aurora and Maniac have both played about with some cropping and enhancement ideas with them too so in all, there are a LOT of images for me to go through...but I do enjoy it so I can't complain!
And I have more silk sets on their way from Mama Jane at Ophelia's Folly soon...some darker colours and...well...a variety!
During all this work for the sites I've missed ballet for a week...but I've heard from Marcus to sort out more singing lessons (it's very boring for non musicians but we have 3 levels of 'voice' - chest, throat and head. Most sing in their head. My last vocal coach taught me chest predominantly to assist projection...it was good and now I have just short of a 3 octave range...but I feel the mid range needs to be stronger; there is a point above which I should be slipping into the throat voice but I'm not, I'm going from chest to head and back...so it's a case of working out some songs to practice, and as Marcus is a musician as well, working out they key and the chords that will suit my range and adapting whatever songs I want to work to them...I've been working on singing in C...previously predominantly in D...and I think C is a better key for me generally...but I need more work on the mid range!).
So...no ballet, not DVDs, no hanging out...it's been all business and in particular the last 2 weeks have been the most intensive of those.
This week, I am looking forward to things being restored to normality a little before I begin any additional work in developing sites...I'm on a 'breather'...plenty of bubble baths, plenty of hot chocolate and plenty of good books for a while! <3