What I wore: 18/4/2017

Once upon a time I owned a gorgeous pair of black boots.  They were leather with silver hardware and a stack heel. They found their way into my life after a chance encounter at at second hand store.  After countless adventures together, they tragically parted ways with their soles last winter.

 

Since then, I’ve been on the hunt for a pair of boots to replace them.  I had a clear picture in my mind of what I was after, and yet the perfect boots were somewhat elusive.  But recently I snapped up this pair of vegan leather boots on ebay and they are just ideal.  Supple, soft and comfortable, I believe they are set to become a wardrobe staple.

 

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I paired the boots with one of my favourite vintage dresses for a drive to take some photos of street art and lunch with my parents.

 

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I am wearing:

  • Black and red floral dress (vintage)
  • Black leopard fishnet tights (K Mart)
  • Black vegan leather boots (ebay)
  • Silver swallow chain link belt (vintage)
  • Turquoise earrings (handmade by my aunt)
  • Silver ring

 

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This belt belonged to my best friend’s grandmother. It is such a gorgeous and unusual piece.  It always adds a bit of interest to simple dresses, and I love the way it looks when paired with something heavily printed.

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My headscarf is actually the sash off my dress.  As I was wearing the silver belt, I thought it would be fun to pull my hair back with the sash and go all matchy-matchy.

 

 photo DSCF1117_zpsbyjewm7g.jpgThese boots are just what the doctor ordered.  They are beautiful for wearing with my hippie getups, but they will also look great with some of my grittier punk-rock looks.  I have even worn them to work a couple of times over cigarette pants and under prim dresses.  They were a brilliant find and I’m so chuffed with them.

B is for Bondage

This is part 1. of a series of posts I will be writing called The ABC’s of BDsM.  In each post, I will break down one letter of the BDsM acronym to delve deeper into what practices and preferences make up the world of BDsM.  This is by no means a definitive discussion of BDsM, but is rather intended to be a primer for interested beginners.

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B is for Bondage

Bondage refers to the act of  restraining another person.  Bondage may involve restricting a person’s bodily movement, or it can extend to restricting speech and ability to see, through gagging and blindfolding.  Physical bondage is most common, however, bondage may also be psychological, when the dominant partner forbids the submissive partner to move or speak.

There are countless different types of bondage, and the tools of the trade range from the simple to the extreme.  Some common tools for bondage include the following:

  • Rope (which may be used for the Japanese art of shibari)
  • Bondage tape
  • cling film
  • Hand and ankle cuffs
  • Hogties, which force the ankles and wrists to be bound together, either in front of or behind the body.
  • Silk scarves or ties
  • Bondage furniture, such as the St Andrews Cross.
  • Bondage clothing, such as mitts that restrict the use of hands, hobble trousers or corsetry, masks, hoods, binders and straitjackets.
  • Gags, such as ball gags, bit gags, cloth gags, rope gags, o-ring gags and spider gags.
  • Blindfolds
  • Portable points of attachment, such as over-the-door restraints and under-the-bed restraints.
  • Collars
  • Spreader bars

 

There are countless ways to employ bondage techniques.  It could be as simple as the dominant partner blindfolding the submissive so that they can’t see what is going on, or as complex as tying their limbs into a fixed position and suspending them in the air.  Bondage play may employ just one technique, or a multitude of tools and restraints.  As with all types of BDsM, bondage may or may not include a sexual element.  Many bondage enthusiasts enjoy it for it’s own reasons, and do not mix sex with play.  Others use bondage to enhance sexual encounters.  Bondage is often an element in role playing scenes, such as a kidnapping scenario or sexual torture fantasies.

 

So, why are people into bondage?  The reasons why people explore bondage play are as diverse and numbered as the players themselves.  It would be impossible for me to list every reason here.  But there are some reasons that are most common.  For example, a lot of players enjoy the feeling of vulnerability, the idea that they are helpless at at the mercy of their dominant partner.  For some, bondage gives them a sense of safety and security, a feeling of being held tightly.  Others enjoy the beauty of bondage, and see bondage as a way to create a living sculpture or work of art using rope, chains and clothing.  Every person’s reasons for enjoying this practice are complex and varied, as with any type of BDsM play.

As I mentioned earlier, bondage may be extremely simple or devilishly complicated.  But any bondage scene must be carefully planned and discussed between the people who will be playing.  All BDsM play should be safe, sane and consensual.  Here are some important bondage-specific safety concerns to keep in mind:

  • You should choose your equipment with care, making sure that any locks and fasteners are in good working order and that there are no sharp edges that might hurt your submissive.
  • Safety shears should always be kept on hand to release the submissive quickly if the need arises.  It’s always better to ruin your equipment than cause injury to your play partner.
  • Any scene should be preceded with a frank and honest discussion of your wants, needs and limitations.  This includes disclosure of any medical ailments or prior injuries that need to be taken into account when constructing the scene.
  • Both parties should make themselves aware of the signs of distress to look for, and keep bondage sessions short to begin with.
  • The submissive should be released immediately if they experience numbness or tingling in their limbs, or if the restrained limb becomes pale or cold to the touch.
  • Safe words or signals should always be discussed and respected.  If the submissive is gagged, a signal such as holding up three fingers, ringing a bell or dropping an object placed in their hand before play can be used.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of education and practice in bondage.  Bondage can be very dangerous and as such you shouldn’t rush into something complex that you are not ready for.  Read books on the subject, take classes or attend events where you can learn techniques from more experienced players, watch demonstrations and practice your techniques well before using them on a partner.

As you can see, bondage is an exciting and titillating aspect of BDsM play, which has endless applications and appeal.  It can be simple and basic or intricate and complex.

 

So now we know that B is for Bondage. Next time, I’ll be taking you through the ins and outs of discipline…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wall to Wall Festival 2017

Art and culture aren’t things that one typically associates with country towns.  But that couldn’t be further from reality when one considers my hometown of Benalla, Victoria.  Benalla not only has an awesome art gallery and a stellar performing arts centre, but it is the home to the annual Wall to Wall street art festival.

 

Now in it’s third year, Wall to Wall is responsible for some incredible pieces of artwork that are dotted around the town.  Last week, artists began staking out their spots and sketching.  On Saturday I took my camera for a walk to take a look at the works in progress.

 

This year’s offerings are varied and colourful, with a number of amazing 3D pieces included in the mix.  If you have the means to travel to Benalla one weekend, I suggest you do so and take a long walk and gaze upon the amazing works of art that are dotted around the walls and pavements of this town.

 

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As part of the festival, The Wall to Wall committee organized a giant community paint-by-numbers.  Everyone was invited to come along and join in to create an amazing painting.  Sadly, I’d forgotten that this was taking place and I was a tad too dressed up to muck in with the painters.  I wish that I’d worn jeans instead so that I could have joined in the fun.

 

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Do you have a favourite piece?

 

 

 

Five Fandom Friday: My to-be-read pile

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One of my new years resolutions was to get my to-be-read pile under control.  The top of my bookcase in my bedroom is a dedicated space where I keep the books i have yet to read.  However, that orderly pile has begun spilling from between my bookends, and the overflow has formed two additional stacks. This simply won’t do!  I am trying to make time to read more as well as attempting to curb my urge to buy every interesting-looking book that catches my eye.  This is proving challenging, particularly as I often feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choices each time I begin a new book.

 

So I felt that this 5 Fandom Friday Prompt was timely and served two purposes.  Firstly, it will help me identify five books that I am most looking forward to reading and secondly, it will give you a glimpse at my reading material.  Let’s make a start.

 

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  1. The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

I’m obsessed with Tudor history and historical fiction set in this era always piques my interest.  I am a fan of Philippa Gregory’s novels, because I think she does a brilliant job creating strong connections to her characters and it’s fun to imagine what it might have been like to live during those times.  The Lady of the Rivers focuses on Jacquetta of Luxembourg, Henry VII’s grandmother in law.  Jacquetta was a formidable woman and possibly a witch.  I have already read The Red Queen and The White Queen, and Jacquetta was a background character in each of those stories.  I’m really looking forward to reading a story with her at the forefront.

 

2. According to Yes by Dawn French

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to sit down with this book, because each of Dawn French’s other books has barely lasted a week on my shelf before I’ve torn into it. I absolutely adore her characters and her witty yet heartfelt writing style.  From the cryptic blurb on the back, I get the impression that this is going to be a tale of self-indulgence and finally breaking free after a lifetime of denying ones own impulses.  And it sounds very juicy indeed.

 

3. The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett

There’s a reason why this book has been sitting on my shelf for such a long time.  Terry Pratchett is my favourite author, and this is the final book that was published after his death.  I have been trying to work up the courage to read it, because I know that it’s going to be emotional, almost like saying goodbye to a close friend.  The Shepherd’s Crown features one of my favourite Pratchett characters: Tiffany Aching.  Tiffany is a young witch who is steely and fierce yet still has all the vulnerability of a teenager.  I know I’m going to love this book, but it breaks my heart that once this one is done, there are no more new Pratchett books left to read.

 

4. The Colour Purple by Alice Walker

Since seeing the film several years ago, I have been burning to read The Colour Purple.  The copy on my shelf is battered and dog-eared, having been purchased from a tiny book stall in Melbourne.  This story of two sisters in the Deep South, facing unimaginable oppression and fear, promises to be moving and poignant.

 

5. Aimee & Jaguar by Erica Fischer

A true story of two women who fell in love in Berlin in 1942, and the gut-wrenching realities that pulled them apart.  I have been searching for more queer fiction to add to my literary menu, and this story has been on my to-read list for quite some time.  I am truly looking forward to being transported back in time by the words and pages, and walking with the two title characters as they discover one another and develop their love.

 

What have you been reading lately?  What’s on your to-read pile?

Things I love Thursday 6/4/2017

It’s the first Thursday of April and it’s time for a Things I love Thursday post.  Pour yourself a cup of tea and relax while I share all the things that I’ve loved lately.

 

I love:

  • Celebrating my one-year anniversary with my beloved, David.  He is such an amazing person and he makes me feel so blessed. We have had an awesome year together and I can’t wait to see what adventures the future has in store for us.

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  • Having Mr Ringo peer over my shoulder while I read.  He’s such a curious little dude.
  • The late emergence of Autumn weather.  The final week of March was almost unbearably humid and hot.  I honestly wondered if the weather was ever going to cool off.  But like clockwork, April brought a crisp morning wind and a chill to the air.  I’ve happily been rocking knits and socks, and I’ve had the perfect excuse to break out the slippers I was gifted months ago.

 

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  • This Deadpool stuffie that David bought me for our anniversary. For our first date, we saw Deadpool and played the arcade machines at the cinema.  So now, Deadpool is kinda “our” movie.
  • Lush’s Ruby Red Slippers bubble bath bar.

 

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  • Argyle vests
  • Putting the sleeves on a jumper I’m knitting for myself.  I”ve already finished one simple jumper for myself, thus completing my new years resolution of knitting an actual garment.  This time I’m working on something with more shaping and raglan sleeves.

 

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  • This awesome Monsters Inc tee shirt I picked up for $7 at Uniqlo.  I have a few Uniqlo shirts now and they are such good quality.
  • The Good Dinosaur.  I finally got around to watching it and it made me cry so hard. And also laugh so hard.  And then cry again.  And laugh some more.  It was a yo-yo of emotions.

 

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  • finding the final Sandman book to complete my extensive collection in the op shop for just one dollar.  It was a proud moment.
  • Project Runway.  I’ve become a tiny bit obsessed.

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  • This room service pizza I got for dinner on our anniversary.  It was not vegan (it had goat’s cheese) but it was vegetarian. It had zucchini, pumpkin, pine nuts and leek. It was so amazingly good that I didn’t even care that I had a food baby for our anniversary-celebration-sexy-times.
  • Actual vegan recipes I’ve made these past few weeks, including an off-the-charts mushroom stroganoff and a mock-chicken and vegetable soup. I’m getting extremely good at this vegan cooking thing.

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  • Finding a mega-cute heart hoop for my helix piercing.  I’m always on the lookout for unusual body jewellery and I really haven’t changed the stud in my helix since I got it pierced nearly eighteen months ago.  This heart was just the ticket, and it’s so comfortable.
  • Wood fire smoke
  • Being able to snuggle under layers of quilts without exploding from heat.

What do you love this week?

Daily outfit 20/3/2017

I’ve really been feeling the pin-up vibe with my outfits lately.  Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I’ve been listening to a lot of The Baseballs amazing do-wop covers. Perhaps it’s because the steaming hot end-of-summer temperatures have made me feel all warm and sultry under the collar.  Whatever the reason, I’ve been reaching for my hairspray and winged eyeliner to create the perfect pin-up look.

 

I wore this outfit to dinner a few nights ago, and managed to snap off a few pictures as I raced out the door.

 

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I am wearing:

  • Cruelle De Vil Tee shirt from Threadless
  • Black and white polka dot skirt from Best N Less
  • Red buckled stilettos (thfited)
  • Black studded leather belt (gift from my ex)
  • Dice earrings from Equip

 

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I recently purchased the NYX vinyl liquid eyeliner and it’s been a godsend in this hot weather.  The applicator is a very thin brush, so you can easily apply your liner with pinpoint precision.  It dries fast and has the most deliciously patent finish.  Best of all, this stuff doesn’t budge.  I can be sweating like a disco queen under a spotlight and my eyeliner remains crisp and clean.

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I’ve opted to wear a pretty apple-tinted gloss on my lips rather than my traditional full red lip.  I just find gloss to be a lot more forgiving in the heat.  This one is the Innoxa Antioxidant Lip Glaze which I reviewed a while ago.

 

Although the days are drawing in and the air is a little crisper in the mornings, I’m sure that my love affair with pin up style will continue right on into Autumn.

American Horror Story: Roanoke style

I have just finished season 6 of American Horror Story and I was completely blown away.  This season was so stylistically different from every incarnation of the show that has come before.  From the way it was presented, to the storytelling and the visual style, Roanoke was grittier, darker and more haunting than the last few seasons of AHS.  I also noticed that the costumes for this season were vastly different from what we’ve seen in the past couple of years from American Horror Story.  After the flash and panache of Freak Show and the vintage decadence of Hotel, Roanoke delivered a set of looks that seemed older, more careworn and somewhat grimier than it’s predecessors.  I thought I’d jump in and take a look at five characters from the series that I liked the most and create a look for each one of them. Starting with the baddest bitch of them all…

The Butcher

The Butcher

The Butcher was one of the most chilling villains AHS has produced.  She’s utterly brutal, single-minded and unconcerned about the prospect of getting blood under her fingernails.  Her look is utilitarian and harsh, with a few feminine flounces left behind from her former life as a proud lady of England.  Colours are muted and stark, boots are scuffed and accessories are few for this terror of the blood moon.

 

 

Shelby

Shelby

 

Shelby’s look is pure yoga chic.  Comfort is the name of the game, with relaxed cuts and breathable fabrics aplenty.  Choose a form-fitting tank top and yoga pants and layer over a poncho or wrap for adventures off your yoga mat.  Flat shoes are best to maintain contact with Mother Earth, especially if you find yourself traipsing through the woods.  Shelby doesn’t wear a lot of jewellery, but I couldn’t resist these molar earrings, which reminded me of one of the scenes that squicked me out the most.

Cricket Marlowe

Cricket Marlowe

 

Cricket is the epitome of minimalism.  His monochrome look embodies dark colours and body cuts and the end result is striking and powerful.  I’ve added the barest of nods to Cricket’s psychic gift with this horoscope-themed bag.  The blood red pendant is the perfect reference to the blood moon, which is the most dangerous time for the inhabitants of the Roanoke house, as Cricket finds out.  Rather than copy Cricket’s white shag haircut, I recommend topping off the look with a mystical turban.

Scathach

Scathach

 

One of the more mysterious characters in the Horror Story universe, Scathach has an earthy, feminine style.  Her clothes are old fashioned cuts, remnants left from her life before she became the witch of the forest.  Earthy tones and natural materials are woven together to create a look that is both arresting and slightly sexy.  The corset lacings and bare decolletage are enticing, but the long skirts and boots keep the look grounded.  Scathach wouldn’t be complete without her crown of antlers, and a still-beating heart to offer her subjects.

Audrey Tindall

Audrey Tindall

 

Audrey’s style is deeply romantic, with elements of 70’s vintage and Victorian era lace collars.  She tends to wear long lines, high necklines and sweeping sleeves and skirts.  Her makeup is minimal and shoes are pretty yet functional. She is utterly elegant, favouring drop earrings which show off her long neck and delicate features to perfection.  And of course, she wouldn’t even leave the horrors of the Polk farm without her wedding ring. What a romanic!
Have you watched Roanoke yet?  What did you think?  Did you have a favourite look from the series?
Psst!  If you liked this post, you may also be interested in checking out my AHS: Coven Style post.