Tag Archives: gratitude

Monsterful Monday: The electric flamingo

Because it turns out that ‘Tulip’ by La Riche Directions is a lot more magenta than red. How do I know? This is how:

Me with pink hair

It took 2 hours and a lot of standing in the shower (which I am cleaning this week because, well, pink) but I LOVE my new hair colour. It glows and, according to one work colleague, even looks great windswept (because of the ‘halo’ effect). I’m so grateful it turned out beautifully, and also grateful to my friend Evie, who I sought advice from. She dyes her hair all the time- her tips were to, and I quote, “bleach the f*** out of it first with L’Oreal Perfect Blonde Maximum”, and then leave the Directions colour on for an hour- 20 minutes is “for people who actually want the colour to wash out”. It’ll be pink for the next while, but I have plans involving going red, then purple, then blue, then back to pink…

Social funtimes

This weekend we had another Girls Night, which is turning into a monthly thing. This time, we all packed into a couple of cars and headed off to the wilds of the North Shore for glow-in-the-dark minigolf and Mongolian Barbecue. It was lots of silly fun, and great to spend some time with a lovely group of women. A few of us deliberately wore white things for the minigolf, because blacklight. First prize for that goes to my flatmate, who turned up in a white 50s dress and white striped leggings- she was like a glow-in-the-dark Alice in Wonderland, and it was glorious. I’m so grateful to be getting to know my girlfriends in Auckland better, it makes me feel even more at home.

I could have spent Sunday recovering. I *could* have, but I volunteered to model for a promo photoshoot for Moonbright, a forthcoming campaign LARP here in Auckland being written by my flatmates. A bunch of us had a blast running around the Auckland Domain on Sunday (with a break for pizza) with beautiful fantasy makeup by Kara of Painted People (who is amazing, if you’re planning an event in Auckland and want a facepaint artist, seriously contact her, she is worth every penny of her asking price).

I spent the first half of the shoot as a badass cat, and the second half as a blue and purple snake. Lots of excited small children and tourists, including one particularly pushy busfull who after one of them took a photo with one of us wanted all kinds of photos with everyone. But mostly, it was people standing off at a distance taking photos of us with their phones. So if I end up big in Japan, you’ll know why.  Such a fun way to spend a day with friends, throwing together outfits, posing and mucking about. Having four of us made up as cats when there were pigeons around led to one of my favourite photos of the day:

Photo by Matt Brunton

Photo by Matt Brunton

Also the photographer, who’s a friend of mine, made sure to get some photos of the Best Beloved and I in our finery (he spent the shoot as ‘the Violence Fairy’- big-ass wings and gorgeous facepaint but NO glitter), and new pictures of us always make me so happy.

The little things: #lovetober and finding SO many tattoo artists to admire on Instagram, getting excited for the work bake-off, putting the finishing touches on a project I’ll be sharing with you guys soon (so excited!), getting such good things from meditation, Molly Crabapple, texting, good moisturiser (when you’ve spent the day in and out of makeup your skin thanks you for it!), and looking forward to visiting Wellington for Jenni’s birthday and tattoo funtimes.

What about you?

Advertisements

Monsterful Monday: Unexpected liquorice

Because I’m sorry but if it’s a red candy heart and it’s on top of a red velvet cupcake, I anticipate some kind of berry flavour. Weird.

Anyway…(ooh, surprise cream centre!), I think we can all be grateful for the existence of cupcakes, especially cupcakes I totally swiped from an extremely frustrating meeting, because even though the meeting was frustrating at least there was food.

There are probably people who can view both spring forward and fall back with equanimity. I am not one of those people. I like having sunlight in the morning. But I did get an extra night of snuggles with the best beloved, which I am very grateful for.

I’m also grateful for useful meetings outnumbering frustrating ones, for the Four Agreements, for Things and Ink (the latest issue arrived on Friday and was, as usual, both full of interesting articles and beautiful art).

I’m finally a member of the library! I’m very grateful for this even if it is highly dangerous, knowing what I’m like at remembering due dates. For books! I may have already reserved two. And by ‘may’ I mean I did.

I’m very late to the party, but The Bloggess has had me almost falling off my chair with laughter, which was especially good on Friday when I was very grumpy. I’m rather worried at how likely many of her stories would be to happen to me. Luckily I think my Best Beloved would be OK with that. Knock knock, motherfucker.

Small things: the fact that things like this happen at my work, being able to sleep in, successfully timing mac and cheese completion. The existence of this dress ,even though I can in no way afford it. It makes me happy just looking at it. I also think I need all of these candles. You know, for my fantasy retro burlesque sparkly rainbow apartment. Re-living the 90s (I still refuse to accept they are now retro) with ninja turtles- both the proper 90s ones and the silly Michael Bay ones (which were not as silly, or as far from the original, as we expected). Social time with friends, especially the ones I don’t see often enough. And finally, coconut rum ice-cream. Trying new things. It can be awesome.

Tired-but-happy Tuesday

Sorry folks but you’ll have to wait until next week for the Suit of Pentacles. I was at a convention all weekend, including running two games, and I am still wiped out. It was a resounding success (well done to my dear friend Anna), something I suspected when my one-card pull for the weekend was the Three of Staves/Wands- successful cumulation of enterprises.

Anyway, so tired. So I’ll keep this short and sweet and grateful:

Things I’m thankful for right now: the Best Beloved (who took very good care of me this weekend) tea, a warm bed, early nights, newbies having a good time in my games, laughing with friends, enthusiasm, healing, moving forward, the borrowing of a deliciously warm and snuggly fleece-lined cloak from my best beloved, shenanigans with my friends, meeting new people, Pin Up Girl’s Erin dress, snuggling, shoulder/neck/head rubs, spontaneous Bohemian Rhapsody, loom band bracelets, the Parlour, SARK, recharged Kindle with new Francesca Lia Block goodness, friendly bus drivers, the Post-Punk Kitchen, having limbo music stuck in my head, big strong men cringing away from me because I had an open tub of glitter, knitting, taking a round off to set up for a game and more importantly nap, paneer makhani at the end of a long weekend, getting portrait photos with my man, seeing people play roles I’d written and it being just how I’d imagined, and delicious sleeeeeeep. 

And finally, a snapshot of what one of my flatmates is like:

*Flatmate W runs up behind me.*

“Ellen! Ellen! Ellen!”

*I turn around from where I have been walking with the Best Beloved.*

“Yes?”

“[Best Beloved] was looking for you.” *grins*

“You, sir, are a helper!”

Monsterful Monday- My Arcana Courts, 3/4: Wands

Special mentions first- tea, Voltaren, fruit pie, quiet nights in, snuggles with the Best Beloved, having a fancypants whole food shop at the end of my street, exciting news from friends, knitting inspiration, Groot (Guardians of the Galaxy was so much fun), Kirk the Ravager, Chibi silliness, washing up.

Wands. Now I admit, I was actually going to leave the Wands until last, because of the suits it’s the one I haven’t fully got my head around yet. According to Veronica, wands/staves are the people who inspire you to do amazing things. World-changing things. Being of service to others. These are the most inspirational people in your life, in many ways. Pure magic, raw, hungry, go-out-and-do-it, be-the-change-you-want-to-see energy.

My pages/princesses of wands, I would say, are my Godparents. In their different ways they’ve each shown me what it means to go out and do something to make your mark on the world. One has faced great personal challenges in the form of disabilities. One has spent most of their life in Africa as a doctor. One is a parish priest, making a difference to many lives in many small and large ways every week. Each, in their different way, has done something good for the world. I’m grateful that I had that example growing up, and I hope that in achieving the dreams I have for my own life I can push out that positive energy into the world and bring good to others.

For me, the Knight of Wands is my friend Vanya.  Burlesque, acrobatics, theatre, fire, he does all of it. He’s busy busy all the time working on new things. He’s action and making a name for himself and pure, raw, go-for-it, a blast of fire magic. He takes 100 times more risks than most other people. Sure he has a few more interesting scars because of that, but he also has more successes. He throws himself into things headlong, commits, grabs hold and doesn’t let go. Because of thta he brings other people along for the ride, because they start to realise that if he can do it, so can they. He’s a great example of going after your dreams hell-for-leather, and as with my pages/princesses, I’m grateful for the trail he’s blazed because it’s shown how it can be done. He makes me want to up my game.

My Queens of Wands, I would say, are my fabulous girlfriends Erin and Hannah. They’re the ones who say “of COURSE you can do that!” to even my craziest ideas. They radiate love and goodness, and make peoples lives better just by being in them. They nurture my dreams, remind me of the unique gifts I have, give emotional support. They want to make the world better, again each in their different way. I feel like they visualise the world as they want it to be, and yes can be dispirited when it’s not that way yet, but they keep on loving, feeding, taking care, bringing light. I am so thankful for them.  

King of Wands is hard. For every achievement I know those in my life have made, I know they want to do more. We’re all growing and changing, all the time. I’m grateful to have that love and support around me, and to be able to offer it to others. I want to lift others up to achieve their goals, be steadfast, just as they are for me. And that’s what I have to say about that.

What about you? Who are your inspirations? Who makes you want to change the world and makes you feel that you can do it, too? Let me know in the comments!

 

Monsterful Monday: My Arcana Courts 2: Cups

Another week has come and gone, and it was a big week at that. Before I start in on the Cups in my life, special gratitude goes to the movers, Air New Zealand, my Best Beloved for assembling my bed and wardrobe/bookshelves AND taking delivery of all my stuff the day before I arrived, my lovely new flatmates and new work colleagues who so far seem like good people. 

http://bit.ly/1o5GjVC  published under Creative Commons- http://bit.ly/1mhaR6eKnight of Cups by Cassandra Santori Queen of Cups by Cassandra Santori King of Cups by Cassandra Santori

So. Cups. 

Love. Beauty. Emotional richness. Overflowing feelings. I think these people are forces of nature in your life, whether a whirlwind of inspiration, or “receding and returning gently or passionately, or moving lovingly like the tide” (from ‘To love is not to possess’ by James Kavanaugh). Cups people surprise you with joy, with support, with artistic and creative passion. 

My page/princess/daughter of Cups is, as I mentioned on Thursday, Anna C, at the moment, for her planting the seed of inspiration and encouragement to keep going at Acro. She’s full of zest for life and it’s infectious, it makes me want to live to the full just as she does. I’m so grateful to have her shining a light on the path for me. 

My Knight of Cups, well, there are a few. Those people who, when I say ‘oh I’d love to do this when X happens’, reply ‘but why do you have to wait for X, why not do it now?’. Like a former work colleague, J, who when I mentioned the idea of reception bingo (the Offbeat Bride site is a secret compulsion. Not so secret now.) pointed out that I could do the same thing for my birthday, and even prettied up the bingo cards for me. I had so much fun with them and it’s thanks to her. I’m so grateful to those people who push me to live that bit more wildly, to follow my passions and not wait for permission. I’m so lucky and grateful they do. 

The Queen of Cups? Well, at the moment, that’s groups of people too. My fellow Witchbabies at the Parlour. The knitters of the Tiny Owl Knits group on Ravelry. These are wonderful, nurturing, supportive groups. When I, or anyone else needs it, they’re there with (virtual) hugs, good wishes, good energy, and unfailing support. From random acts of kindness to craft swaps to tarot readings, we buoy each other up with love and beauty. In my eyes everyone in those groups is a Queen of Cups, and I’m so thankful to be a part of it.

The King of Cups, the triumphant achievement of love? Well, even though the magnet card for my Best Beloved is the King of Pentacles (more on that when I talk pentacles!) I think of him as my King of Cups as well. Yes, I know, I’m a hopeless romantic. But he brings so much love and happiness, I finally feel like I’ve got it right, like I’ve found what so many people look for. I hope, too, to be my own King of Cups one day, as I’m still a work in progress when it comes to self-love, awareness of my own beauty, and mining the depths of my own emotional richness. I’ll get there. And as I do, I’m so grateful to have the loving presence of my Best Beloved in my life. 

How about you? Who are the people in your life that you’re thankful for? Who brings that special Cups energy into your life, and how? Let me know in the comments!

Monsterful Monday: My Arcana Court, part one: Swords

From Jason Chang on Flickr http://bit.ly/1rW52L7Queen of Swords by Jason Chang Knight of Swords by Jason Chang Page of Swords by Jason Chang

 

 

 

 

I wanted to do something a little different for the next few Monsterful Mondays. It’s partly inspired by the Parlour, but also with the big move happening VERY soon, I’ve been thinking a lot about the people in my life.

In a recent Parlour, Veronica talked about the Minor Arcana Courts of the tarot deck (Page/Princess/Daughter, Knight/Son/Prince, Queen/Mother and King/Father of each suit- cups, pentacles, wands and swords), and how they represent people- people who are in your life already, people who are coming into your life, or even yourself (depending on where they appear).

It got me thinking about the people in my life who have affected me for the better, and the different ways they’ve done this. Those of you who have read me talk about my Best Beloved before will know that I see him as my King of Pentacles.  The more I thought about it, the more I was aware of how different friends represent the different tarot suits in particular ways. I’m grateful for their presence in my life, and I wanted to take this opportunity to shout it out.

I’ll start with my own Court of Swords. People who represent the Swords are about cutting through to the heart of the matter. They’ll give you the honest truth, they communicates clearly and get things done, they don’t back down. If you think about ‘rapier wit’, that’s part of what Swords seem to be about. Cutting through the rubbish and getting clarity and understanding.

My Page/Daughter/Princess of Swords (the gender on the card doesn’t necessarily track to the gender of the person) was my counsellor, who I started seeing last year after an anxiety attack (something I had never had before) combined with the worst depression I’d had.

He identified what was causing the depression, cut through my own excuses, delusions, limiting beliefs about myself, negative self talk- all of it, and then he gently helped me see what was really going on inside me. He planted the seeds (which is what Pages are often about) of a more positive way of being, and got me started on the way out of where I was. For that, I will always be grateful.

Sophie is my Knight of Swords. We’ve been friends for a few years now, and she’s one of the most grounded people I know. She is guaranteed to give you the honest truth, and when I’ve sought her advice she’s always given it to me straight, as well as giving me encouragement to take action to get past the bull and accept what I need to do. Knights are all about action, and I’m very thankful that she’s been there to give me a hard shove in the right direction when I’ve needed it.

Aja, who I’ve known for 14 years now, is my Queen of Swords. Like all my Swords she’s honest, doesn’t dance around the issues. She asks the questions that needs  to be asked, and gives the answer you need to hear, even if it’s not the one you want. She’s supported and nurtured me (as the Queens do) through difficult times, and (like all my Swords) is someone whose good opinion of something is extremely valuable. I’m so glad I have her in my life.

Finally, there’s the King of Swords, and that’s my best friend Ian. He’s got the mastery of communication, he gives the tough love but also the absolute steadfast support. He’s there for me, no questions asked, even when being there for me means saying something I won’t like.  He’s by turns cheerleader and guide, always with my best interests at heart, and I’m incredibly lucky to call him a friend, let alone my best friend.

Monsterful Monday: My life in boxes

'moving II' by Robert S. Donovan- https://www.flickr.com/photos/booleansplit/

‘moving II’ by Robert S. Donovan- https://www.flickr.com/photos/booleansplit/

Just keep packing

The move up to Auckland, which seemed distant even a week ago is now approaching in a manner akin to a freight train. Thankfully, this weekend just gone was that rare and shimmering thing, commitment-free. Somehow, and most of the time, I end up with most every weekend booked with one thing or another, and I’m not complaining. But with the movers arriving on Friday (eek!) to collect my things, I really valued being able to hermit it up and just focus on putting things in boxes. I’m also grateful to Scott for supplying at least some of said boxes.

The furniture I’ve listed on Trade Me has all either already sold, or been bid on (so it will be going), which is another thing to be grateful for, along with the fact that there’s plenty I haven’t had to list because it already had takers.

Decluttering

I can’t even begin to describe how much less stressful packing for this move has been compared to the last one and the reason for it is very simple. I. Have. Less. Stuff. CONSIDERABLY less. My-clothes-fit-in-two-suitcases-now less. I’m so glad I started getting rid of things when I did, it’s meant I’m much further along in the process than I would be otherwise.

I shall call them Squishy. And they shall be mine. And they shall be my Squishies.

Packing the hexipuffs gave me a chance to count how many I have. 220! That means I’m over halfway to a single-bed-sized snuggly quilt of smooshy goodness. It will be glorious!

Come into my Parlour (well, come into Veronica’s Parlour)

This weekend just gone I watched my first recordings of Veronica Varlow’s online tarot circle, the Parlour, because it’s something I’m interested in learning more about (and now that the Atomic Tarot Kickstarter has been funded, I’ll be getting a beautiful deck of my own). I’m watching the recordings because watching the live webinar would mean getting up at 6am on a weekend (but next week it’s on a Monday my time, I might be lucky!) So far, so fascinating. This week, she covered magnet cards- cards that appear again and again for you. For me, at least one of them is the King of Pentacles, which shows up regularly in relationship-type questions since I got together with the Best Beloved. I choose to believe that makes him my own personal King of Pentacles. There’s a great community for the Parlour too, and I can already tell I’m going to enjoy getting to know them better.

Special mentions

Extremely pink pink nailpolish, sushi, warm bed and sleep, mini skeins, my Tetris skills (coming in very useful for fitting things in boxes), Youtube playlists, helpful moving companies (who can’t help but point you at people who can), and the Best Beloved, always.