#Cosplay: Hysteria Alice Dress, Part II

FACTS is this weekend, and thankfully… my costume is (sort-of) done! Hysteria Alice has been quite the undertaking, but I think I managed to complete the costume to the best of my current ability. You can read more about how I started this costume here.

For those in need of reminding, Hysteria Alice is this character:

Hysteria_Alice What started as an ugly thrift store wedding dress went through quite the evolution…

Dress Evolution 2

I made those accessories that would end up attached to the dress (more specifically, the Hollow Yves skull bow and the Pluto pendant) from air-dry clay, which I then painted and varnished.

Ribbet collage-2

Attaching the Hollow Yves skull (which was, despite my efforts to actually hollow it out a bit, rather heavy) to the bow I made from leftover fabric, posed a bit of a problem at first. It required a whole construct of push buttons and ribbon and even a random ball of fabric to keep it attached and upright… but I think I managed. Somewhat. Behold, the back of the dress:

Back Of Dress

This also works as an illustration to the fact that I absolutely suck at making bows. I shudder at how uneven it is; thankfully it’s on my ass so I don’t have to look at it while wearing the costume. I also didn’t make the clasps that should go on the back of the dress. I’d pay almost 5 euros per clasp if I bought them in my local fabric store, and I’d need about 5… and I didn’t think perfecting a costume detail that hardly anyone would have remembered from the game was worth an investment of 25 euros. There. I’m an avaricious (and generally poor) student cosplayer.

Then, I also attached the pendant to the fabric choker/collar…

Foto op 9-10-14 om 19.49

I guess I underestimated how heavy my dollarstore-bought air-dry clay would be. The pendant actually does look good in real life though. Also, this picture illustrates my meager hand-hemming skills when it comes to curves. *sigh*

And then, at last… we have at last gotten to the part where I show you what all this looks like together…

Bloody Dress

For those of you familiar with the character (or those who checked the reference pics in my first post): yes, the stockings are wrong. I needed horizontal stripes. Unfortunately, not a single store in my hometown carries adult-size, horizontally striped black and white stockings. So, unless I wanted to sew my own tights from a bazillion of striped baby socks, I needed to repurpose the ones I already owned. Alas, shit happens.

I am actually pretty proud of what I managed to do, given my resources… Hysteria Alice has been done often enough for there to be reference material, and though it’s easy to tell that this is far from the best costume out there… it is also far from the worst. So go me, I guess!

I will be posting about my Vorpal Blade efforts later this week. Also, after the weekend you will hopefully get some FACTS pictures from me… unless of course I manage to look bad in all of them. Which is, sadly enough, not all that unlikely, as I am notoriously non-photogenic. Fingers crossed!

Posted in Cosplay | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wretched War – The Dream Is Dead

Hirst1 Hirst2 Hirst3 10075002135_929c5319c7_z10967560173_8e53985207 anatomische les 030

This is “Wretched War – The Dream Is Dead”, a work of art by Damian Hirst. It’s probably one of my favorite works of art, ever. (And as an Art Historian, I can assure you that I have seen and studied a LOT of art. Trust me.) I know that it might come across as pretentious to name Damian Hirst as a favorite artist, but I do. Can’t help it, especially this piece. It may have something to do with the fact that this is a shiny life-size sculpture of a half-dissected, beheaded, pregnant woman, thus combining some of my favorite things in one image. (Not that I’m that partial to pregnancy, but it added to the whole.)

The sculpture is cast in sterling silver, and it isn’t the first cast Hirst made of this mold. If you’ll look up “Wretched War”, or “The Virgin Mother”, you’ll see that those are exactly the same sculpture, cast in other metals. I don’t mind. I like this one best. Not only is it the shiniest (yes, I am that shallow), I also saw this one in real life on an exhibition in The Hague. The exhibition was about anatomy lessons in art and included things like Rembrandt’s “The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp”, skulls and “death masks” of 19th century criminals, Matthew Day Jackson’s “Cadaver Table”, Damian Hirst’s “Fear”, and many more lovely items that made me feel nostalgic about the days of public dissections. It was glorious as a whole, but even surrounded by all that awesomeness, this particular work of Hirst always stayed with me. It’s reminiscent of Günther Von Hagens famous “Body Worlds”, but somehow it’s almost more intriguing…

The exhibition I saw it at has been a while ago already… but I’m now writing a paper on this work and its “siblings”, and I just wanted to share this beautiful thing with you. Enjoy.

PS: In the spirit of preventing legal action, the fourth picture belongs to photographer Leonieke Aalders.

Posted in Art | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Problem With Monogamy

I’m a sexual person. I love sex, and sexual/physical things in general, and I have very little inherent shame when it comes to my body, my sexuality, and the people around me. I have always considered this a good thing, and I still do. Sex is nice, shame is not. However, lately I have found myself in a bit of a situation.

Acts of intimacy (exchanging naked photos, talking freely about sex and sexual interest with each other, touching non-sexually, appreciating each other’s body in a potentially sexual manner, being comfortably naked around each other, etc…) are, to me at least, a very natural part of close relationships, romantic or not. It’s not that I look to make friends with people “I’d do”, it’s more that when a very close friendship grows, a certain intimate tension grows with it. And I have no qualms with responding to that tension. To put it simply, to me physical intimacy isn’t restricted to romantic relationships only.
I will use intimacy to show my appreciation of people, be it esthetically (I think you’re physically attractive), platonic-emotionally (I am truly comfortable with you, I love you as a friend), or romantically (I love you as a partner, I have a romantic emotional connection to you). I have even used it to express my appreciation of someone’s skill at one time. (The Abstract Algebra assistant wasn’t physically attractive, nor was he my friend or partner, but he made the most elegant proofs. I just couldn’t resist him. *sigh*)

This poses a bit of a problem when it comes to conventional monogamy. You can probably tell from the above explanation that I’m not a natural at being monogamous. One one side it is a very strange concept to me, I mean, why should you limit the amount of people you can physically appreciate to just one? There are so many different kinds of love, trust, and respect between people, why should only one of them be eligible for physical intimacy? On the other hand I have come to understand monogamy a lot better by trying to practice it. There is a certain emotional possessiveness that comes with romantic love, and the stronger you relate emotional and physical closeness, the more difficult it becomes to allow your partner to have intimate contact with others than yourself. So, I understand it, even though it’s not an instinctive thing to me.

Me and Experiment No.7 agreed to being monogamous when we started our relationship. For me it was a first time and an experiment, for him it was an absolute requirement. At the time it was quite easy to me; I had just been released from the mental hospital, and most of my close friends had either moved out of the vicinity by that time, or had downright dropped me when I became sick. The monogamy agreement to me was simply “even if you find someone pretty, or pretty smart, you still can’t have sex with them.” And that works, because of all those “intimate impulses”, the esthetic one is the easiest to ignore. My current situation is different. I have a slowly growing friend circle again. I am rebuilding my life and trying to reconnect with society and the people around me.

Maybe something is wrong with me, that friendship is always somewhat physical with me, that sex is such a normal commodity to me, that the stronger I feel for/about someone the more I need this to be expressed intimately/physically… (Oh yeah, I forgot hatesex. Hatesex happens.) I just can’t seem to feel shame about it.

Where does the line lay? I won’t have sex (aka touching of genitals) with anyone other than No.7, because I promised. I tend to keep my word. But everything else is sort of free game for me, and I wondered where the line lays with you people. A bit of perspective would be nice.

Posted in Sex | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sur-Real Time… Dali-Inspired Clocks

The art historian in me cringed when I saw these Salvador Dali-inspired melting clocks described as “Art Nouveau”… (Yes. Someone did this. You can check for yourself if you don’t believe me.) Yet woefully attributed to the wrong genre or not, they are still awesome! Bring some surrealism in your house with these beauties…

2387d71bc538421798c9953f01daadde431_l267_l 514_l

Find them here: http://www.theframeworkshop.co.uk/frames-cards-and-gifts/clocks.html (And if you’re on the site anyway… they also have a nice selection of craft materials…)

Now if you happen to have a store and want to buy these clocks wholesale, you can also find them here… http://www.unicornstudioinc.com/

Posted in Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#LifeUnderThe Doom, Day 11: The Joy Of A Job

Doom11

I passed the 10 day mark! It’s not very impressive, given how long the academic year is… but it’s something! The Oath is doing its job; I have been to every class so far, and I even managed to be on time (or well, be there before the lecture started) for most of them. Knowing that I tend to be late to everything and anything, that is nothing short of impressive.

Speaking of jobs… I gave my first private Dutch class this week, and immediately got booked for another 4 sessions the coming weeks, paid in advance. Can you believe it? I can hardly believe it myself. I know that millions of people earn money doing stuff every day, but I still find it incredible that I now have a job, and some form of income… (I make about 50 euros for 7.5 hours of work per month, which may not be much, but added to my monthly allowance it makes for a slightly more comfortable life.) If this month goes well, I might expand this little venture…

Also, I bought my tickets for FACTS, so next week saturday I’ll be rocking my Hysteria Alice costume at Flanders Expo! *excited* More on that in another post…

As for my symptoms… I am managing. Making to-do lists actually helps a lot to keep me on track: even when I don’t have the presence of mind to do something important, there will be some minor, random task on the list that I can do to keep myself from zoning off or crawling up in bed. No matter how mindless the activity, doing something is always better than doing nothing at all. I’m feeling the exhaustion though… There is no amount of coffee that stops me from feeling completely mentally knackered halfway the day. I am hoping that it will go away as I get used to the no-nonsense-allowed lifestyle.

That’s it for now! Hopefully I will still be on the right track by the time I post again…

Forever Doomed,
QP

Posted in Insanity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cyborg Culture… Richard Symons Art

No matter if you are a steampunk adept, an aspiring cyborg, or just a lover of disembodied hands used in home decor (that would be me), London-based artist and prop maker Richard Symons has just the thing you need. With cogs, gears and circuitry he creates fascinating pieces of art, going from masks that would make any Borg cosplayer drool, to sculptural hand-shaped lamps. To make things even better, he is also available for custom art commissions…

il_570xN.403568663_awou il_570xN.403568675_c58b il_570xN.355330654_rx4mil_570xN.355337457_81tr il_570xN.395404190_8jyb il_570xN.395399363_sbds

I have no words to express how much I want that hand lamp. Seriously. *deep sigh*Find Richard Symons’ work on Etsy! https://www.etsy.com/shop/richardsymonsart

Posted in Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Biology…

Flowers-lookalike-wcth10-934x

Posted in Art | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gratitude, Oaths, And The Uses Of Doom

I want to thank everyone who commented on my previous post about how I struggled with daydreaming and staying coherent enough to study. I didn’t answer any of your messages at the time, but your advice and support wasn’t lost on me. It’s thanks to you that I managed to pass at least my final exam. So thank you. It is an over-used phrase, but it’s true: I could not have done it without you.

It’s been an awful couple of weeks, but the academic year has started again, and I am determined to make the best of it. My parents placed me for a frightening ultimatum after I received the results of my retake exams: if I have to retake even a single exam this year, they will quit paying my tuition. With the hot breath of that doom in my neck, I have no choice but to work my very hardest…
To motivate myself , I decided to take a Silmarillion-style Oath* on it. I figured that might help, given that “for so sworn, good or evil, an oath may not be broken, and it shall pursue oathkeeper and oathbreaker to the world’s end.” And I can really use a bit of pursuing when it comes to being disciplined in my studies. It may seem silly, but I feel it will help. 

This I swear: all classes I shall attend ’till year’s ending, effort ’till exams’ end! My word hear thou, Eru Allfather! To the everlasting Darkness doom me if my deed faileth. On the holy mountain hear in witness and my vow remember, Manwë and Varda!’

It’s been six days since I swore my Oath, and things have been going well so far. I have attended all classes, been to a museum and a concert just this week, and I even -gasp- found myself a job. Yes, you read that right, I have a paying occupation for the very first time in my life! It’s just language tutoring and I won’t make much, but given that my allowance is 50 euros per month, every little bit helps…

I have been making a lot of progress on my Alice Hysteria cosplay (which is good, because the con is in two weeks), I am keeping track of my study efforts with weekly lists of Doom (AKA lists of tasks such as studying, reading books on subjects that don’t immediately excite me, spending time with my family, and going to bed before 1 AM), and I am writing again after a period of complete writer’s block. So, lots of good stuff is happening! I hope things will continue to look up…

6daysAlso, let me introduce you to the DoomCount: as an extra motivation I am publicly going to keep count of all the days I manage to keep my Oath. I hope the steadily growing number will be some form of encouragement…

 

Posted in Insanity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Please Help. Please.

I am very proud of myself for keeping my urge to cut under tight control. I haven’t self-harmed in a long time. However, right now I have the feeling that one of my most-used coping mechanisms is getting out of hand. Severely.

I daydream. A lot. I started doing it as a way to distract myself from the need to self-harm, but then I got into writing fanfic (which was a marvelous outlet, really) and did it more and more to plot my stories… and right now I am capable of daydreaming away hours and hours and hours. I have literally lost entire days like this. I did it for distraction, and then I did it for writing purposes, and now I feel I’m just doing it for its own sake, for no good reason except to escape. I have exams right now, and I have barely studied because of this.

I realize that daydreaming is probably like… the worst coping mechanism for someone as susceptible to psychosis and psychotic symptoms as myself; it’s not as if my imagination needed any more reason to invade my real life. But alas, I was a stupid cunt, I wanted to do anything but cut myself, and now I’m stuck with this. I feel that I am losing control over when, where, and how long I daydream, and that as an addiction, it has replaced my self-harming. It is, in a way, worse than the cutting; at least that as only harming my body. This is literally harming my whole life.

I looked up my “symptoms”, and apparently I suffer from Maladaptive Daydreaming, a condition for which there is NO official treatment. A possible solution they give is to “avoid triggers”, triggers being… well, sort of everything that I like, everything that causes your imagination to play up. No writing, no reading, no cosplay, no internet, no movies, no manga, no drawing, no anything. A complete media fast.

How do I have to do this? I haven’t felt this desperate since I was in the madhouse. I don’t know what to do anymore. Cut everything I like about being alive from my existence, again? Restart cutting to stop daydreaming? My exams are going terrible because I don’t study. I have no focus. I dream away from the moment I’ve read three lines. I can’t keep myself from doing it. I’m so lost. It is better when I have no stress, time to write instead of just fantasize, and people to talk to… but given the exams, I have nothing of that. I’m lost, losing all my time without even opening my course books.

I need advice, more than anything. I don’t know if I can keep this up, but don’t want to get institutionalized again either. It probably wouldn’t even help, for this. I’m terrified of losing my grip on reality completely again. What do I do?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Helpful Advice?

anYo5RL_700b_v1

Mental illness is just as real as any other disease. 

Posted in Humor, Insanity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment