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Blog Archive March 2013
13th March 2013: I've just completed the Mayastar updates and newsletter. The opening ritual for the Killing Moon for March will be tonight (Wednesday night) after my dance class. I have other ritual work that I will be completing before the Killing Moon opening so it will be a magickally intensive night!
I am doing some research and prep for a Shakespearean project that Wolf and I will be starting in April...have some beautiful 'fashion as art' designs by Alina Ionescu for this particular project and some silk and coutil corsets on their way from Morgana Femme Couture which I plan to wear for most of the shoots too. I can't wait! My notebook is overflowing with lists and sketches! I think it's going to be amazing <3
I received the order of pointe shoes from Grishko I made through Dance Choice in Russia. I don't know what has happened to Dance Choice but they have vanished from the internet suddenly. I've emailed to find out if this is temporary or not...we'll see. But it is a bummer if it permanent because I bought my ballet supplies from them and in particular I get through a lot of pointe shoes (both dancing and modelling) and they were so much cheaper through Dance Choice than they were in the UK...not to mention, I could get Novas - which fit my feet so much better than the 2007s (which are the next best fit but not great for my feet) which are the only suitable Grishkos distributed in the UK. Anyway..I found somewhere else but the shoes are £46 :s I guess it's good fortune that I put in a bulk order with Dance Choice before they vanished - I have four pairs of Novas (two with medium shanks and two with soft shanks...I am not sure which I prefer for dancing but the soft shanks are certainly more attractive for modelling as they create a perfect line with minimal breaking in!) plus a pair of white satin pointes and black satin pointes which are just for assignments. So at least I have enough to be able to be sure which shank I prefer before I have to start paying through the nose for them!
My ballet lessons are scheduled for this week and next (I am working my personal schedule over two weeks where possible as it makes it much easier for scheduling spell and ritual work without over booking myself!) so am feeling very organised tonight! <3
Time for a bubble bath I think...and a good read...I'm reading The Painted Man Triolgy by...hmmm...Peter Brett I think. It's fantastic. I don't know how I ever managed before Kindle that's for sure! Fantasy novels are notoriously (physically) heavy and sometimes a bit of a trial to read in the bath. But Kindle has it covered! Fantastic!
2nd March 2013: I can't believe I haven't managed to update my blog this month! But it has been a whirlwind of a dream month here at Mayastar!
My long term partner, Wolf, is (finally) moving in so there has been a lot of organising to do. We have been friends for 7 years...and together (handfasted) for three years. But his work has meant we had to fit in around other commitments. So it's fantastic that he will be here all the time...and also he will be helping out with the development of Mayastar (especially with the admin side as over the years, the practical side of the work has become 'full time' and some months it is hard to keep on top of the admin...which also means a lot of half written courses are waiting for me to have time to finish the manuals too...with Wolf's help this will undoubtedly run much more smoothly...great for me and great for all students and clients of Mayastar and Maya Magickal!).
In addition I am involved in a number of creative projects with Wolf. He is an artist and will be doing his own work artistically...but also collaborating on projects with me and with me and Maniac.
Because he was tied up with other commitments the ballet project seemed the most viable as it required shorter photoshoots but could be spread out over a period of time. However, with new developments...we have settled on a different project. I am doing research for this at the moment (reading and watching a lot of Shakespeare...even research is fun!). Things may be a little delayed because of the move...lots of organising to do...but still, it will be worth it because we will have much more time to dedicate to creative projects too! Everyone's a winner! I am very excited :D
Wolf and I share a number of interests...probably because we have been friends for so long we've always discussed personal projects with each other and provided each other with feedback and inspiration...but in particular his tarot and occult inspired art is an area we have discussed and debated in the past. It will be great to have the support for Mayastar so that Mayastar can continue to develop...and also to be able to put more time into personal creative projects because the artist I work with most will be here all the time (woo hoo!). But I am also looking forward to working magickally with him as we are a similar level and similarly studied in the black arts. Though he approached magick from a different angle, we have an enormous cross over in our practises and knowledge and so this is something we will work with too - for our personal spiritual development and ascension work.
A very exciting time, personally and professionally!
In addition to this wonderful news...well...I'll just cover the updates because I've left such an enormous gap!
I have decided to ALL of my waist training corsets from Morgana Femme Couture (in Victorian styles). And I've ordered a full set in different coloured dupion silks and also some plain coutil ones for bed. Their corsets are by far the most comfortable and most flattering I have. And although the first ones I had were samples, the sizing happened to be absolutely perfect on the 20" ones (27-20-30). And I am currently lacing them to 22" without actually beginning 23/7 training.
Now...those following my waist training project have seen me go through different designs from different corsetieres and designers and I receive emails from people about different designers - asking for my 'review' kind of thing. Well, in this regard I can only give you my personal experience - different corset designs may suit other people where they don't suit me.
For example, the off the rack corsets sold by Corsets UK (also under the trading name Corset Deals) were reviewed by Lucy's Corsetry a short time ago. These corsets are made by the same manufacturer as makes them for Ophelia's Folly (link on the right). Ophelia's Folly has them made in silk...but they are made by the same company in India that makes the Corsets UK ones. This means, if you have tried Corsets UK and found they are uncomfortable and not suitable for your shape, if you then bought from Ophelia's Folly, you might find that you were buying the same style, by the same manufacturer but in a different fabric and any problems you had with the style would be the same.
The problems I had with Ophelia's Folly corsets (and Lucy's review of Corsets UK & Corset Deals showed similar) are: the hip spring is too narrow. This means if you cinch the waist in, and you have a large hip spring (say 6-8" or more than your natural waist measurement at the 'high hip' level), then the lack of contouring in the pattern may mean your hips are crushed. For me this caused nerve pain and numbness after just a few hours wear. I couldn't get a good shape with these corsets. On some people who are tall, a corset may sit above the hip bones and give the 'illusion' of contouring where there isn't any (this is quite common in off the rack underbusts with a shortish busk length - say 9-10") - but if you are not tall and a badly contoured corset puts pressure on your hip bones, it isn't actually safe to wear for any length of time. As such I don't consider these off the rack corsets to be suitable for tight lacing or waist training. They are simply fashion corsets. Albeit heavily boned and sometimes expensive. Not good for regular wear and certainly not suitable for me.
The style from Ophelia's Folly I wore were predominantly the Long Underbust. Now, no one is tall enough for this not to pressure your hip bones - the busk is a massive 13.5" long!!! And when it comes to the quality of the steels there seems to be a discrepency. They are sold as stainless steel, but when Lucy dissected a corset from Corset Deals, there was rust on some of the bones. That is not good! And she had the same problem as I had with the flat steels in the back being too rigid (this means they dig in and don't mould to the natural curve of the spine - long term wear could cause back problems) but the worst problem...the one which rendered them unwearable after a matter of hours...was the busks. These are not reinforced and they are very very long. If you pull in the waist, the busk flexes and bends inwards at the waist (putting pressure on the internal organs), and bows outwards away from the body at the bottom. In my case, this meant the bottom of the busk sat about 2" away from my body! I was advised by the vendor to use pliers to bend it back towards my body. This is not a good solution - it weakens an already inadequate busk further.
The fact that the busk stayed bowed after wearing the corset for just a few hours is a very bad sign. The bones of a corset should keep the shape of the corset. That is what they are for; the fabric does the corseting but the bones hold the corset's shape. The busk should be flexible to avoid it being brittle, but it shouldn't lose its shape after a few hours wear.
So for me, off the rack turned out to be a complete bust. In addition, the people I contacted about these corsets for advice would often advise that they were suitable for waist training and tight lacing...but they didn't wear the corsets themselves. They were just repeating what the manufacturer claims about the corsets. The manufacturers are based in India and don't wear the corsets either! So please ask questions and do your research if you are considering off the rack corsets.
Ophelia's Folly and Gothic Burlesque buy theirs from the same maker of corsets for Corset Deals and Corsets UK. Another Indian manufacturer that sells very cheap off the rack corsets and claims they are suitable for waist training (some of those sold by Ophelia's Folly are, or in the past, have been from this manufacturer), is Punk69. They also retail under a number of different names including Corsets Queen. They use the same photos as appear on some shops supplied by the manufacturer of those sold by Ophelia's Folly, Gothic Burlesque, Corsets UK & Corset Deals, but these photos are not of their own work. Their corsets are very different. And for me the fit was...horrendous! They barely touched my waist and so there was no significant or perceptible waist reduction at all! (Despite the claims they make of a 4-6" reduction on their websites...beware of these kind of claims!).
Anyway...after exhausting off the rack options...from very cheap ones through Superstar UK up to the more expensive ones from Ophelia's Folly...I found there was no way at all these would be suitable for waist training.
At this point I tried samples from different corsetieres. I also had a set of five corsets made by Puimond. I have a problem with the Puimond style though. Most waist training corsets are made to accommodate a 4" gap in the back because the initial stages of waist reduction are very fast and if the gap was much smaller than that, you'd shrink out of the corset in a couple of months! So my corsets from Puimond were made so they should have had a 3-4" gap in the back (part of this is because I am losing weight - not a huge amount but my measurements will go down by 1.5-2" overall). Unfortunately, I found it very hard to lace Puimond's style - they are very lightly boned but made of strong coutil (two layers, one of which is interfaced). They should be perfectly suitable for waist training; but for me personally they don't seem to be because when the corset is laced down (and this takes a lot of work - a lot of relacing once it is on compared to other styles I have from Valkyrie, Orchid and Morgana Femme Couture), with a 3.5-4" gap in the back, the flat steels at the back twist sideways.
I have contacted Puimond about this problem and he advised in one email that his corsets are made to be worn with a smaller gap or completely closed...for me, this would render them no good for a waist training programme unfortunately. I sent photos of the twisted steels and according to Puimond this is a fault and not something he has had before with his corsets. So whether it is a fault with those I bought from him or due to my body shape not working with that style of corset, I really don't know. But they are unwearable for me. Very, very disappointing. But this doesn't mean to say they wouldn't be perfect for someone else with a different shape. I will contact Puimond for advice in this regard and update my blog accordingly :)
I was originally going to buy my waist training set from Orchid Corsetry but due to problems they had over the Christmas period, they were not taking any orders because they can't currently give lead times...or they couldn't in December. But I believe it was a temporary situation and it may all be resolved now. I have a number of wonderful samples made by Orchid and they are lovely. Very high quality. And I also have some gorgeous samples from Valkyrie corsets and two overbusts by Serinde.
All of these samples are wonderful quality and like the Morgana Femme Couture ones, close easily to a comfortable 22" (natural waist currently 26"). The Puimond ones are much harder to close and I can only close to 23". So based on the comfort...the style...the fit...the reduction...and the customer service, I decided Morgana Femme Couture offered everything I want from my corsets. They are stunning designs...very comfortable...triple layered with a coutil strength layer (and coutil shell for waist training); the busks are reinforced with flat steels to either sides which means they keep their shape and also have a lovely flat front. The flat steels in the back hold the shape of the corset but fit to the natural curves of the spine with no pressure; they don't twist or warp at all. The laces are flat nylon and very strong; they slip easily through the grommets allowing you to lace tightly very easily. They are perfectly shaped for rib tapering and waist reduction, while putting no pressure on the hips but creating a dramatic line as they cinch in and then frame the iliac crest. Of all the styles I have, the shape of MFC corsets seems to be the closest to traditional Victorian styles. They also offer flossing on corsets...though I plan in time to floss my own so I am not having mine flossed :).
So...by popular demand, that is my personal review of the corsets I've bought and worn. As I say, different body shapes may suit different corsets so my experiences are subjective but I hope they are helpful if you are looking for corsets or about to start waist training...or just are interested in corset styles! X
7th February 2013: It's been a hectic fortnight for Mayastar & Maya Magickal...developing new Tantric Shamanic Rituals for people and a lot of temple work setting up attunements too.
I've spent a lot of time in the studio perfecting my pointe technique. I am feeling extremely positive out this. My strength has really come on massively. I have dedicated more time to technique and strength for pointe over the winter as working on new steps and dances for the medals and grades I am working to is a slow and too much standing about in the studio when it's cold means my poor bony feet go numb and I'm a liability! But it does mean I've made massive progress over the winter and am looking forward to modelling because I think it will translate into some much more interesting images.
I've been in discussions with Wolf (artist and photographer) and Maniac (photographic artist) about some themed projects and also collecting suitable clothing and props and so on...and several are taking shape at the moment. One will be a ballet theme (this is likely to be the easiest for me...and this one was decided because the weather is showing no sign of drying out even now - I guess it only stopped raining long enough to snow! - so location shoots in natural surrounding may end up deferred...but I can't risk all my projects ending up on hold indefinitely like last year because last year it was just impossible! I need to think of alternatives to location shoots because they are just not guaranteed)...we also have a fairytale theme and a gothic themed one...though the latter may be combined. I have some wonderful outfits for these. It would be nice to find some good gothic locations for them but failing that, things are in the pipeline for creating a new studio at my home :) So one way or the other we will get some great work done this year! I am excited...and champing at the bit!