Magick: Blue Moon Fever, Retrograde & Life on Mars

UntitledIn the last 6 weeks+, I have had writer’s block,  all of my social plans have fallen through, fatigue has been at an all-time high, my period has been MIA and I missed 2 out of 3 Dr.s appointments this month so far.

If like me, you’re into astrology and universal signs, you have a basic understanding of what it means for Mercury to be in retrograde. It tends to mean communications get a lot more complicated, understanding gets much more challenging, and it often feels as if everything that can go wrong does go wrong.

In astrology retrograde takes place when planets travel in a ‘backwards’ rotation from our point of view here on earth. In astronomy, planets don’t actually move backwards, the Sun is casting a shadow on the planet that makes it seem as if they are. It is an illusion. An illusion we humans have become apt at reacting to with a certain amount of intensity. Like the Moon, the planets can influence us, or at least me, greatly. When planets go retrograde (Rx), you may find barriers showing up in your life around their areas of influence. Lessons to be learned.

Retrograde Chart

When Mercury went into retrograde April 28 until Jupiter ended retrograde on May 9th, five planets were in retrograde for the first time in 10 years. According to Astrology King, this happening was “resolving karmic issues (and)can result in a massive transformation and evolution of your soul this year.” Having been exploring my shadow self and working on healing, I feel very comforted by this. All that feels chaotic in my life is likely not chaos at all. My struggles having a purpose and playing a role in my karma being resolved makes the discomfort in my life, feel worth it.

Right now Mercury, Mars, Saturn and Pluto are still in retrograde. And I’m finally getting myself grounded! That means I am more mindful about having challenges with logistics, communication, my moods, particularly anger, and change. As a result of this, I am determined to be especially kind to myself, slow down, and appreciate that things will take a little longer to process and manifest. To help me do these things I use crystals, scents via incense or essential oils to work on these areas.  I have finally gotten back into a space where I can use ritual and will do so this Full Moon.

So as the Full Blue Moon hovers over Mars for the fist time in ten years, I will be reserving energy, relaxing into the upheaval and releasing cleansing and clearing my way through the lessons to be learned.

xoxo,

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The Little Things – Valerie June

 

Valerie June PushinSometimes more often than not these days, it’s just about being in the moment. And as Beltane passes and the Moon is in Pisces, and the days continue to get longer,  I celebrate the little things that bring me joy. So I thought I’d share them with you.  I am so in love with Valerie June and love roots music so much. I’m listening to her album Pushin’ Against A Stone. I came across this collaboration between her and my loves Style Like U. The mother-daughter duo who examine style beyond the surface…. So very lovely. Be grounded in the magick….

xoxo,

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ReFashion 2016: Denim Repair

Denim Repair Inspo

Boro and Sashiko are Japanese mending techniques. Sashiko refers to Boro means  rags or tattered cloth. Boro is the textile created from clothing that has been patched several times. Japanese borotextiles (usually clothing and bed covers) were sewn from rags and patches of indigo-dyed cotton during the 19th and early 20th century. The rural population of Japan couldn’t afford new clothing and had to literally make ends meet by patching together discarded cotton rags. Japanese families repaired and recycled everything from fisherman’s jackets to futon covers, handing them down for generations. Sashiko, meaning “little stabs,” is a long, embroidery stitch used for mending or purely for decoration. source

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Although I love hand work I haven’t been able to carve out the energy or time for a lot of it lately. When my mom asked me to repair a couple of pairs of her favorite jeans I took inspiration from the visible patching and stitching techniques of boro and sashiko.

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  1. I pinned a patch to the inside of the jean to cover a large vertical rip.
  2. I started sewing across the patch in a zig zag formation vertically.
  3. Then I did the same thing horizontally.
  4. I turned the jeans inside out.
  5. Next, I added a decorative patch from a piece of a vintage japanese kimono I thrifted.
  6. Then I followed the same technique on a hole on the inner thigh using some recycled denim, also thrifted.
  7. This time, I patched it from the outside.
  8. I turned and repeated the process on a third hole.
  9. Finally, I have a repaired jean that hopefully will become more interesting with wear.

My mom was pretty pleased to be wearing her jeans again.

 

xoxo

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Melancholia, My Shadow Self & the Spring Feels

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I equate Spring with joy. It is promise fulfilled, after all. For me, spring symbolizes blooming flowers, showers, temperate days and the coming of natural abundance. But spring is also another transitional season and as we know transitions, mo matter how beautiful the outcome, can be really challenging. My last spring living in New York City was awful.

It was icy and cold throughout March and by the time mid-April came, it was humid and muggy and would pretty much stay that way all summer. Sometimes transitions are downright oppressive. This year the Spring Equinox coincided with a full moon and a solar eclipse and things got pretty emotional. My body chemistry was out of whack and my coping skills were a mess. My shadows came into the light and issues I never before acknowledged were ever present. But that is just how transitions sometimes go.

A dear friend  and I were just talking about how one day you can feel great and the next you are struggling and how we both have learned to stop scrutinizing it. Embracing the darkness, my fears, my darker impulses, desires, and frustrations is to see my shadow self. Psychologist Carl Jung coined the terms Persona and Shadow Self as reflections of a person’s innate duality.

The persona is your ideal archetype, that which you want to be or what you imagine for yourself. The shadow self, is the archetype that forms the unconscious part of the mind made up of repressed ideas experiences, instincts, weaknesses and embarrassing fears and desires, things that can be associated with negativity in society and therefore, are avoided. The shadow self is the self we hide, where hurt and shame can live without being addressed because of that fear or stigma. Sometimes the shadows are old wounds meant to be healed. So on with the healing.

I have finally received my Goddess Tarot deck. My tarot deck of choice. I am excited to explore healing those spaces through magick and use my Tarot as a magickal tool to do so. The journey continues.

xoxo,

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Magick: New Moon, Journaling & Ritual

 

 

Goddess Witchscape
Original artwork by Vanessa Leigh

I recently covered my journal dedicated to magick in leather. Some witches refer to it as a Book of Shadows, others as a grimoire, I kind of like the simplicity of magick journal. It was a simple thing to do, but it felt important. Not only because the salvaged scrap leather was beautiful and a gift from my dear friend and witchy boo, but it gave the place that I write about my spiritual life and ritual more weight. As to command more of my attention. The New Moon is here and we have just had a Lunar Eclipse. During the eclipse, the sun, moon and the earth line up and for few minutes, the dark moon eclipses the sun. In those few minutes the moon appears in all of its phases and at that time it is said magic can be done for any phase of the moon.

 

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  • The Waning Moon is a timeto work ritual around removing energies, ending relationships, releasing that which does not serve you as well as curses, repelling negative energies, protection and cleansing spells.
  • The New Moon is a time to work ritual and spells for new beginnings, new projects, rejuvenation, dark works, personal improvement, employment, health money and banishment of that which doesn’t serve you.
  • The Waxing Moon can be used to bring growth, power, attraction, creativity, motivation, inspiration as well as luck, love and healing.
  • The Full Moon is a time when ritual is best used to bring knowledge, prosperity, divination, psychic abilities, guidance, fertility and romance. It is also a good time for decision making.

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I have beengoing through it in the last week. As I sometimes do,  I have become overwhelmed and experienced some major anxiety. My body forced me to surrender and in the act of being emotionally swept away I journaled and I made art. In front of my himalayan crystal salt lamp, with frankincense burning to sooth me, I furiously wrote. I sought counsel from a favorite resource and exorcised the root of one immediate problem. And I made art for the Yaruban goddess Oya, intuitively, while still deep in my feelings. And it felt good to look down on the page and see my realizations.

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So tonight (for you, last night) I take advantage of the eclipse and last day of waning moon to cleanse myself of that which that no longer serves me and do a ritual for self-healing. And tomorrow (or tonight for you) I will be setting my intentions for the waxing moon with love, for myself and those that I love, and asking for divine guidance from my Goddesses. There is so much beauty in ritual, healing too. And perhaps most of all clarity of intent and attention which can transform everything.

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Happy New Moon Lovelies.

xoxo,

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ReFashion 2016: Black Is Beautiful

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The Story

Black History Month aka Black Future Month ends with my little tribute to The Black Panthers and a simple and very satisfying refashion! If you follow my Instagram, you will see that when PBS aired the documentary, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution I was fairly obsessed. I was raised in a working class all-white neighborhood in the burbs of Los Angeles in the late 1970s.

I learned respectability politics young from my southern mother and my father, an immigrant from the West Indies. For their survival and mine, I was taught it was important that as a Black person I was extra nice, extra likable, and that much more respectable than my white counterparts. It was as if because I was Black, I didn’t automatically deserve respect. Leaving the white pov or white gaze behind is complicated in this country with our very racist history. Long before Beyonce’s Formation, there was the Black Panther Party. The Black Panthers celebrated Blackness, traded in respectability politics for justice, and all the while shone for being fierce in their own skin.

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At one point in the  documentary (where yes, I was driven to tears) the filmmakers interviewed former Panthers and journalists alike on the style of the BPP. The natural hair, the sleek stylish ‘uniform,’ and “swagger!” Whether you are interested in political ideology or not, there is so much fierceness in the message that BPP gave the Black community which was – love yourself, as you are. Their message was that Black was not only beautiful but worthy. Worthy of love, worthy of justice, worthy of self-determination. There is nothing complicated about that. If you have not seen the documentary yet, do!

 

Boot ReFit

The ReFashion

First of all, I love these boots so hard, they were a major investment piece I bought (on sale) about 8 years ago for my first return trip to NYC after moving home. They are made for all weather and are water resistant, have lug soles, working laces, and a zipper for easy access.  I LOVE these fabulous functional boots, but after gaining significant weight they didn’t fit anymore. My smallest calf size was probably about 19 inches and my widest calf is currently 23inches.  I often prefer ankle boots, but when I have gotten higher boots, I generally got away with having them stretched at a cobbler’s shop or have also had elastic inserts put into boots. Any shoe repair can also do this simple alteration for you.

  1. When I tried on the boot years after my last wearing, they  would not close.e
  2. Reasonable people take out their laces which I recommend, but I partially unlaced my boots enough to see what I was doing on the inside.
  3. My solution for making space across the calves? Detach the tongues of the boots! Because the tongue is sewn into both sides of the boot – it can not be placed where you want it on the leg for coverage. Sometimes it’s sewn into one side of the boot.
  4. Use scissors to cut open the seams where the tongue and lacing sides of the boot are attached.
  5. Once the tongue was freed up, I had about 2 extra inches in overlapping fabric on each side of the boot newly available.
  6. At this point, you want to dispose of any loose threads.
  7.  If you like you can add fabric to both sides of the tongue for more coverage. You can also elect to get rid of the tongue altogether for a cute tongueless boot.
  8. Finally, you will want to get longer laces to properly lace up your boots. I haven’t done this yet but am looking forward to it. Remember you can always switch up the color and/or use grosgrain or velvet ribbon instead of standard corded laces. Now lace up those puppies and go!

Dress: Thrifted  Hat: ReFashioned Leather Jacket: Built to Last
70s Vintage Wallpaper: Interwebs

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xoxo,

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Make & ReFashion 2016 Planner

I’m back! It’s taken me a couple of months to figure our what I wanted to tackle on my sewing projects list. Getting gifted three giant bags amounting to 70 lbs of fabric on top of a newly organized bigger stash, means finally getting organized! I have a couple of ReFashions from 2015 that never got done so they are on my 2016 list!

  • If you follow me on Instagram you may remember me disassembling some thrifted clogs! Well, it’s time to get those perfect platform walking height heels hooked up for Cali’s year round clog wearing weather! I’m So ready! I am going to make either a T-strap style or an Oxford style with a secure ankle strap. I’m not very good with slip on clogs, I tend to twist my ankle a lot!

Clog ReFashion Moodboard

  • I have been meditating on how to make my denim jacket more wearable for ages since I don’t wear it. And I’ve decided on a plan of action. Below center is where I’m at, but thinking about going marching band with it. Think Balmain meets fat adorable majorette! Instead of traditional trims, I’m thinking of using patchwork techniques with denim or velvet to create the banding. I am so into it – which is all that matters of course.

Denim ReFashion Inspo 2016

  • I never even started my Velvet number that was calling me so hard! I have two deconstructed thrift-shop-scored blue velvet dresses that demand action. I thought I’d do a simple slip dress and see if I had enough for a jacket too, but now I am thinking of a simple shape like some of the ideas below. And I’m definitely interested in embellishing the velvet! See Adornment Inspo board further down, please!

Velvet ReFashion Inspo 2016

  • The last project that I haven’t gotten to are sweaters! I am freezing half of the time. AS long as I have been alive, I have been underdressed. Even in lovely Los Angeles, it gets cold and often it will get hot and even when it’s perfectly in between the temperature always drops at night so I will always need to be layer ready. These sweaters inspire me BEYOND to get to sewing. Luckily I scored a new light lovely knit in my recent gifted haul and have a couple of really nice knits as well as a couple of heavy Ponte fabrics to tackle projects. I also have a lovely three-tone looped yarn I hope to use as fringe in at least one project.

Sweater ReFashion - Make 2016

  • I went to an 80s Prom this month with my favorite dancing buddy Betty! I think that warrants its own post – and it just got me on a major nostalgia trip! The 1980s was an odd and unique period that somehow managed to reference, the 50s, a new era of Japanese modernist design, a NeoVictorian thing coexisting with a retro-futurism of sorts. I really need to make a prairie shirt, not to mention some asymmetrical cuts in neutrals. I have some splatter paint style cotton with a bit of lycra, some geometrics and a fab piece of grunge-worthy yellow plaid that needs to be used for the love of the 80s.

80s ReFashion - Make 2016

  • I have some lovely chiffon and polyester blend sheer prints that need to become fabulous timeless maxis! I love how simple color blocking becomes art in prints and lace. I am also really feeling my inner Stevie Nicks these days. Easy witchy high style moments in the making.

Print - Colorblocking ReFashion Inspo

  • And of course, and probably most importantly, the BASIX I didn’t quite master last year! I have some vintage leather, recycled denim and a ton of light-weight two way stretch knit blends that need to become easy tunics/dresses, skorts, culottes and drapey tops. Sounds like the Drape Drape books are coming out of storage! It’s time to get the basics down and that for me means easy, comfy, sultry everyday wear.

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  • Lastly, I am obsessed with fabulous artisanal embellishments. I am first and foremost a textile addict after all. Everything from screen printing and hand painting to beading and embroidery is calling me. I think some artistic adorning will be on the immediate horizon! My leather jacket, in particular, keeps telling me they want a makeover. I am here to serve.

Adornment ReFashion Inspo -Make 2016

 Here we go!

xoxo,

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