Saturday 23 June 2018

A Steampunked Life

Okay, so last week, I told you how excited I was to have my next craft fair lined up already, well this week, I am thrilled to tell you that I will be selling some of my collage pieces at the amazing A Steampunked Life store in Surry, VA! 

A Steampunked Life is a family owned and operated business. They have an amazing brick and mortar store not far from where I live, and spend almost every weekend of the year touring the country to sell at various craft fairs, comic cons, etc. I was lucky enough to meet the lovely Paige, JP and Blaise at the Steampunk, Visions Of Future Past fair a few weeks ago, and even luckier to be invited to bring some of my work to sell at their store! Can you imagine how big a confidence boost that is for me?! 

So yesterday, Brian and I went up to Surry to see Paige. Their shop is incredible! A treasure trove full of gadgets, fabulous clothing pieces, amazing jewelry, books, art pieces and more. We were also invited to tour the workshops in the back, and I am so jealous of all their space and storage. Their shop is my dream. Most of the items for sale are made by the family, or by other local artists. And now I am one of those artists! I feel like a member of their family already, and it is such a wonderful feeling to connect with other supportive artists who appreciate your work and vision.

You can find them on Facebook, HERE.    
And also on Etsy, HERE.

Follow them on Facebook and Instagram @a_steampunked_life to see where they will be each weekend and stop on by if you are in the area!

Photo credit goes to Paige Devletian

Sunday 17 June 2018

Gallopond Gallop Semper K9 5K Festival!

Okay, so after the success of my Steampunk, Visions Of Future Past fair earlier this month, I knew I wanted to do more craft shows where I get the chance to vend in person. I am thrilled to announce that I will be selling at the Gallopond Gallop Semper K9 5K festival next month in Gloucester, VA!!

This 5K run supports the wonderful Semper K9 charity, which rescues dogs and trains them to be service dogs for veterans. Apparently the course is challenging, but also beautiful, trekking cross country over some of our beautiful Virginia countryside. Not that I will be doing any running mind you, but I will be cheering from the sidelines!

Apart from the run, which will be later in the day, there will be live music, food trucks, several craft stalls, and a host of different vehicles for Nascar, Lamborghini, and of course, Steampunk fans to enjoy!

You can find more information on the whole event, which will be on Saturday, 7th July, from 14:00-22:00, HERE.

Sunday 10 June 2018

I took a walk through this beautiful world...

I'm struggling to find the right words today. Celebrities die all the time, as do real, everyday people, and each death is a tragedy for those who knew and loved them. But when we lose someone to suicide, with no forewarning, no explanation, no chance of ever understanding or helping, it really hurts those that are left behind. 

Don't get me wrong, I am not one of those who will ever call suicide a selfish way to go. I am a suicide survivor myself. It has been almost ten years since I was in such an awful pit of despair, hatred and blackness, that I took an overdose. I took a three month supply of Lexapro. Three months! I should be dead. No-one believed me when I told them how much I had taken. Not the EMTs, the nurses or the doctors at the hospital I was taken to. Even people I've confided this to since have looked skeptical. I guess they thought it was just an attempt at attention, or that I was exaggerating.  When my blood work came back, the doctor realised I was telling the truth. He told me that if I just wanted attention, I did not need to take nearly so much. I told him that I hadn't done it as a cry for help. I had done it because I was done. I saw no way out. I wanted all the pain to stop, and I do not do things by halves! 

But somehow, I survived. I came back. I found light again. And laughter. Even love. I am so happy that I failed in my attempt! 

Since then, I have had the sadness to know someone who took their own life with a gun. We weren't close friends, but he was someone I admired, and we shared many mutual friends. Seeing the pain and the suffering that he left behind made me even more glad that I had failed in my attempt. But I still can't blame him. 

When you are so far down that black, spiraling pit of despair, it is impossible to see a way out. You do not believe that there could be a way out. You don't see that your death will hurt others, because you see yourself as unimportant, bad, a waste of life and resources on this planet. You think that the best thing to do, the kindest thing, would be to rid the world of you. In that moment, you are not thinking any selfish thought, despite what others may believe. 

Of course, none of us on the outside, looking in, will understand what is truly going on in someone's heart. How can someone like Anthony Bourdain, who seemed to have it all, kill himself? He was such a phenomenal storyteller. He went to places most people would not dare to go and shone a light on the sufferings of real people, all while embracing local food and culture in a way that made friends of everyone he met. I followed his travels with excitement and enthusiasm, because his shows were so much more than just cookery shows. They took us into normal people's homes, into their lives. He showed us people who, despite living in war zones, still took the time to cook family meals and celebrate food together. He showed us what was important in their lives, and through them, we learned to appreciate the little things more. He broadened all our horizons and our hearts. All with a cynical grin and sardonic attitude. This bad-boy punk chef became an ambassador for all that is good and right in this world. And he will be greatly missed. By his family, his friends, and his fans all over the world. 
The world lost one of the good ones that day. Who can possibly fill those big shoes? Rest in peace Anthony. I hope you have peace from your demons now.

"I took a walk through this beautiful world
Felt the cool rain on my shoulders
I took a walk through this beautiful world
I felt the rain getting colder
Sha-la-la-la-la... "
This song was written exclusively for Parts Unknown by Queens Of The Stone Age.

Tuesday 5 June 2018

Steampunk and Toothaches.

Phew, what a crazy few days! I had an awesome time at the fair, despite being in terrible pain from toothache. I had an emergency appointment at the dentist yesterday morning, and it looks as though I have a cracked tooth, under a cracked filling, plus an infection. I have an appointment this afternoon with the Endodontic specialist to see what they can do for me. It may be a root canal, or if the crack goes all the way down, I will probably lose the tooth. So that's depressing, but it will be worth it to not have this pain any more!

As you know, I was nervous to be selling in person again, but I had a wonderful time at the Steampunk, Visions Of Future Past exhibition at the Hampton History Museum. I got to meet so many cool people and admire all the awesome costumes from vendors and customers alike!
I had a successful weekend, and it has given me the encouragement I needed to go on and look for another fair to do after this.
So, I thought I would share this little video of my table this weekend, and I will keep you all posted of my next event, as soon as I find out where it is!