UFO Friday

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A few years ago I realised that it was pretty much impossible to buy striped pants that were neither skinny nor pretty much beyond my budget. I decided then that I needed to make my own and I’ve had that thought in the drawers of the back of my head ever since. Now that my only pair of jeans were becoming too unsightly I had to dye them anyway and once they were dry again I went straight to work.

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I’m also working around some other “problems”, to do with soap, produce and laundry, that I needed drawstrings for. Crocheting them was a bit easier to handle than braiding or twining, and I could make use of my glittery hook again which is a plus, too. I made the pants I’m wearing in that picture, too, but that’s for another post.

What are you working on this week?
Have a great weekend!

Finished Things Sunday: Menstrual Pads

If you happen to have a problem with the concept, facts and idea of menstruation that’s perfectly okay but this is not the post for you. I bid you a nice day.

If you read on, you’ve been warned. Don’t worry, this post doesn’t contain any depictions of blood and monthly gore, only a bit of talk about a thing that happens monthly to roughly 50% of this planet’s population but is still considered taboo and/or unclean by an absurd amount of people. This is not a feminist rant blog so I won’t go into further details of my opinion about this, except for this:

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Menstruating isn’t something to be ashamed of. Nothing about it is unclean or embarrassing. Don’t hate your body for this. If anything, your moon blood will make you stronger in the end.

My history with menstruation is an entirely positive one. When it first started – I must have been 12 or 13 at the time – I was about to climb over our garden fence to go on adventures in the wild behind the house with my cousin. I noticed that something was feeling kind of unusual, so I told him to wait, went back to the house, pulled down my pants just to see that there was blood, called my Mum at work, had her tell me where her pads were and went back to adventuring. No trauma. Nothing bad. And when my Mum came home she baked me a celebratory cake.

I think this is the probably best way a parent could go about this. Treating it as a fairly normal thing that their (probably XX-chromosomed) child is going through. It might be best to have “the talk” (or, in my case, the “have a book because you like reading better than talking anyway”) before, though. Anyway.

Of course I hurt each month, especially in the beginning. Of course it’s somewhat inconvenient sometimes. But I was never afraid of it nor did I hate it. If anything it made me feel empowered, as in I literally felt more active during these days because the first thing I learned about menstrual pain was that movement is one of the best ways to get rid of it. And if you can’t move, blackberry leaf infusions. Sorry I’m rambly. But ask my close circle of friends, I really talk a lot about the whole “menstruation is EVIL” society issue.

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And part of the issue is the massive amount of waste the “feminine hygiene” industry makes us produce (let alone the fact that it’s not covered by health care in any way and the whole TSS thing, but I promised myself to not make this an angry feminist rant, see above). I already switched to a moon cup (and sponges far earlier, the perks of having somewhat of a hippie Mum) but sometimes that doesn’t cut it (hello there, workout and rather active sleeping habits) or towards the end of the bleeding it’s just a bit of an overkill. And so I made my own reusable menstruation pads.

Wow, this whole wall of text for this one sentence? Eh, whatever. The fabrics are leftovers as almost always – these things are a great scrapbuster -, including purple-dyed brocade* sheets that are what was left after Scoundrel sewed his super-fancy LARP character’s new coat, and the towel that already featured in this FTS here. These are not the first ones I made, but the first try had only one pair of snap fasteners per pad which was not enough to get them decently fixed. So learn from my mistakes and rather put a pair of buttons too many in.

All in all I’m really happy with these. Our foremothers made do with fabric scraps and moss and I feel like I’m just following their way like this.

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Oh, and maintenance is really easy, too. I just rinse them (cold water, or else the blood will coagulate and be harder to wash out), put them somewhere to dry (where not everyone can see them because I know that especially my non-menstruating friends take some issue and I don’t want them to feel uncomfortable) and just throw them in with the wash once laundry day comes around. Perfect. And far more sustainable than the commercial alternative (and prettier, too!).

For those of you who menstruate: Do you use moon cups? Disposables? Self-sewn? Sponges? I still use disposable products when I’m on the road like LARP or at hostels but maybe some of you know how to eliminate this factor, too?

Sorry for the surprisingly long post, I hope you’re having a great weekend!

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*sorry for the mix-up, it’s damask, not brocade. It feel luxourious anyway, though. ^^

10 Things I ♥ in February

10 Things I ♥ in February

  1. Celestine and the Hare, who, together with King Norty’s weasels and badgers and mice and may other critters and stories hail from a shack in Wales. Look around on their website and take your time to explore.
  2. My new red socks. They were a hand-me-down from the Demon Dog’s owner who moved recently and sorted them out, and they make a great match with my favourite leggings.
  3. Pit People, a turn-based co-op hex adventure by The Behemoth. It’s still in early-access alpha but essentially it feels like Adventure Time but as a sillied-up game. Lots of weird scenery, moronic (often food-based) names, frosting-shooting cupcakes, hairy trolls and magnificently stupid hats. Oh, and a great soundtrack. The best thing about it though is the battle princess with the great mace.
  4. Gallica, the French national library, has Le Livre des Tournois, the book of tourneys, by René d’Anjou (aka. Good King René, who held among other things the throne of Naples, oh, you know what, have a Wikipedia page) from ca. 1460 as a complete scan. This is so amazing! I stumbled over it during a bit of research for our LARP background and the illustrations are so great! My French is bad, though (although not as abysmal as my Latin) so it might take a while or some translation until I’m actually curious enough about the tournament rules described in the book (but I’m positive this will happen sooner or later).
  5. Regency Slang. This just made me smile (and want to incorporate these things into my daily use) so I’m sharing it.
  6. Jackie Morris, one of my favourite contemporary artists. I fell in love with her triple hare painting quite a while ago and this way discovered her beautiful style. The way I draw hares by now has been greatly influenced by her, and the banner of my LARP group showing one gives me ample opportunity. Sadly she doesn’t seem to do postcards or any other small prints, but maybe, someday…
  7. This Arthurian Kickstarter.
  8. And this short essay on Vulture Culture, strangely drawing the reader in, making them want to go and look for bones in the wild themselves.
  9. Ninth but not least, my blog is EIGHT YEARS old this month! In blog years that’s pretty ancient, so thanks to everyone who stuck with me and thanks to all of you who came over time (and will hopefully come in the future). Here’s to a magical, glamour-filled year 9!
  10. The calory tracking app of my choice, Fat Secret. It’s far easier than doing all the counting and calculating on my laptop all the time and I can use it on the go. I’m also really pleased that they ask you if you want to lose, gain or keep weight at the beginning instead of just assuming that you want to lose it. And it lets you add exercise. I’m off to do some yoga now. See you!