25 March, 2009

A Good Day

I hadn't realized how much the stress of school was wearing on me until I began to feel it lessen. Today was the first time I felt like myself in months.

San Francisco was warm and sunny. I met with friends for waffles and eggs, and wandered in sunny Hayes valley.

I spent hours hanging out at Isotope Comics (the coolest comic book lounge EVER), stopped by Miette and Blue Bottle Coffee to get tasty treats...

... and stopped in Dark Garden corsetry and happened across the most beautiful corset that fit me like a dream (which I couldn't come home with sadly)....

....and generally spend the afternoon socializing, and sitting in the sun eating chocolates.

I chatted with everyone at every store. I made friends, met a gay porn star, and talked to fabulous people of every type. I was in my element. It wasn't until I realized how much better I felt that I realized how stressed I had been. I'm so happy to be back to my social, friendly self.

This trip back to SF was a good idea. Ahhh :)

21 March, 2009

A Smattering of Thoughts Today

Random thoughts running through my head today:

*I would very much like to design legs for Aimee Mullins.

*I would like to take a few short courses at CSM over the summer:
-life casting
-painting the nude
-experimental glass working
-experimental jewelery
-laser cutting for fashion
-knitwear (creating your own insane knits)
-couture tailoring
-starting a fashion business
-art criticism
-art and politics: from Dada to Deller

*I am going home on Monday! And while at home I will be doing a drag queen photo shoot!

*I am aching to get into latex modeling, but I'm not sure how to make contacts over here in London. Any ideas?

*I am considering opening my own Etsy shop, and starting to sell my prints and simple garments, just so I don't starve near the end of each month.

*I found the mother of all latex stores by accident while searching for a candy store yesterday. I want to work there. I want to wear EVERYTHING in there. I want to design clothes for the store. I want to model for the company. I want to be a part of that world. My friend went in with me, and after spending an hour in there chatting with the drag queen salesmen, selling a catsuit to a man in a suit, and buying myself a FABULOUS latex hood my friend turned to me and said, "wow, I've never seen you so in your element. Holy shit, that was amazing. It was like you suddenly turned on the fabulous."

I want to make things and create things and collaborate with artists and other designers. I want to be inspired.

19 March, 2009

I Am Going to Take CSM On...

Being at CSM right now is causing me to have panic attacks. And when the panic starts to take over, I get angry. I get furious. I get so mad adrenaline starts pumping through my veins and I feel the urge to hit something.

I wanted to speak with my tutor and sort out my grades and my progress today. He, of course, was not available. He is never available. And I feel like I've gotten very little help from him, or any of the tutors.

I feel like I'm being treated unfairly.

I am tempted to go in and speak with the head of the department tomorrow, but I've decided I need to calm down first. I am going to fly home on Monday and I am going to do everything except think about school. I am going to pamper myself and spend ridiculous amounts of money on pretty things and massages and excellent food and social outings with people who care about me and support me.

And then when I get back into town I am going to speak with student services and find someone to be my advocate in this. I will schedule an appointment with the head of my program and speak with her and the dean about whether or not I am in the right place, and what I can do to get more help on my projects from the tutors.

Then I am going to speak with the evil tutor, and in more eloquent terms tell him that I will play his stupid game, if he would just tell me what the game is. But I can only do all this once I have calmed the fuck down, because if he insulted me at all right now (and he will, because he is an ass) I would say something I regret.

I am also going to rally my classmates over the break and write a letter to the head of the fashion department stating that we feel that we need MORE tutorial time and more help, and have every student who is struggling (or not) sign it.

Chances are I will annoy the staff until they hate me. But fuck, they already do so what do I have to lose, right?

I am fed up with this place, and instead of crying about it like a child and accidentally yelling at my friends and storming off, I am going to annoy the fuck out of the school until they give me some fucking help. I mean, what am I paying them for? I am paying their fucking paychecks, and I want to know what the hell I am paying for, if not some god damn teaching...?

18 March, 2009

New Hairs

This Redhead wanted to go blonde for a change, but it wasn't in the cards when I spoke with my stylist this morning. So instead I refreshed my red, added some black bits in, and had the stylist cut my fringe wider, longer, and made the back shorter and more severe.

The result of a few hours in the salon:

What do you think?

I'm thinking of bleaching out a few strips in my fringe and dying them back to my very unnatural red color, just for some contrast.

15 March, 2009


It is beautiful outside. Absolutely lovely. It's crisp but sunny and clear. I wore a hoodie and a very short skirt and was a little too warm.

Brick Lane was incredibly busy. Live music filled the air, crowds of fashionable people wandered about, eating and drinking. My flatmate and I shopped a bit, bought cupcakes for all our stressed out flatmates, and nibbled on salt beef bagels as we wandered.

The sun warmed and enlivened me. It felt like a proper spring day, and I have nothing to do but enjoy it and relax.

It's a good day in London.

14 March, 2009

Whew, Ugh, Sigh, Mrrrh

Yesterday was yet another disappointing day in that I presented my last project to a rather lukewarm response from my tutors.

This project was supposed to be a fun, no-stress project. But any project is stressful when you're supposed to "try a bunch of different things" and you have very little money to do so. It's funny how much experimentation costs, really. Let's say you are going to try a screen print on 10 different types of fabric. Unless you have stores of fabric laying around in your house, you have to go out and purchase those 10 fabrics, and enough to try your print a few different times on each one.

Generally you would want to try several different kinds of chemical processes on each of those fabrics, so you buy certain binders, chemicals, and fun things like foil, flocking, etc etc. By the time this fun little project is over, you look back and realize you've managed to spend 75 GBP without even trying. Seeing as how I have 1pound in my bank account, experimenting of this nature wasn't really in the cards for me this time around, and I think I am going to get a low grade because of it. But I mooched off of friends and tried really hard to do the best I could.

In an annoyed and defeated moment, I threw all my work into my locker and left it there, so I have no photos to show you. But I will grab the stupid thing next week and share some of my work. For now, here's the cranky burnout velvet scarf I did. It was supposed to be far more complicated, but I had a lot of trouble with the burnout. it didn't quite burn correctly and so I spent hours scrubbing it, and it still looks rough in places. It has a vintage look to it in person though, so that's alright. I wanted to try a bunch of other things on top of the velvet burnout, but frankly I ran out of time and energy near the end. I also found that almost everything I did to it really made it look grandmotherly, instead of simple and austere. So I opted for minimalism this time around:

In other news, I was informed that some of my work was being poorly imitated by some others. Which is flattering, and doesn't really bother me. But it was cute to see some of my friends get up in arms about it on my behalf. :)

I am just glad that this term is more or less over. I am so in need of a break.

My friend and I were discussing what CSM really stands for, if not Central St Martins. I've decided that it is either Catering to Sleep-deprived Masochists, or Confusing Students More.

The strange thing is that although I am physically exhausted, I am dying to get back into the print room and play with techniques more. I want to make things. Despite my anger at the school and Evil Tutor Man, I am still dying to make things. I think that's a good sign.

12 March, 2009

Well Fuck You Too!

You are looking at the oh-so-proud recipient of yet another failing grade.

Unsurprisingly, this grade was given by the same tutor who failed me the last term. Hm, and I got almost exactly the same grade. In fact, almost everyone who failed that last project also failed this one. Makes one wonder. Are we all really not improving at all? Or is there a bias of some kind at work here?

This was a huge let down. I didn't think my project was fabulous, but I don't think I deserved to fail. My team mate passed, and she is FURIOUS at the tutor on my behalf. But I am just feeling defeated.

I tried to not let this news get to me. Thirteen people failed again, and there were some tears and slamming of lockers. But I just silently scrubbed at my fabric and tried to think of other things. I was feeling alright about it for a few hours when my fabric decided to misbehave. It didn't help that this current assignment (which is due tomorrow morning) had some sort of unknown chemical reaction and didn't actually do what it was supposed to do. The print looks a bit shit and I am very annoyed. Not only that, but the entirety of the project has had to be changed because I ran out of time and money. I have a very bad feeling about my project now. I expect I will fail this one as well.

If I fail two projects there is a very good chance I will have to do ANOTHER retrieval project. And I absolutely cannot do that again. I cannot. And I will not. It killed me this term. I am physically wrecked and emotionally worn down to a very thin strip of something that once passed for sanity. The retrieval project is a large part of the reason I did so poorly on the project I just failed.

So if they send me a retrieval project over this holiday, I will do one of two things. I will repeal it, and then not do the stupid thing, instead handing in a letter explaining why I chose not to do it. OR, I will do the project on porn.

Yes, I will do my retrieval project on hardcore porn, just to give them a big ol' FUCK YOU. I'm talking spread pink, big hard cock, cum dripping down her asshole porn. And not only will I do it on porn, I will print a photograph of a giant spread pussy down the front of the dress, and fill my sketchbook with images of sex and all the mess that goes along with it. I will make it the filthiest thing they've ever seen, but I will make it really beautifully and do everything the way they like it done. If they don't like it when I try to make beautiful things, perhaps they should see what it's like when I try to make ugly things...

So fuck you CSM and fuck you Tutor-That-Hates-Me. If you want to fuck with me, I will fuck with you back. Just TRY and throw me out, you bastards. Try. No, really. I dare you.

06 March, 2009

Three Projects Down, One to go....

Photos of the hair project will be forthcoming. We have to organize our model and I need to repair a few things on my piece. It was a depressing FAIL in my mind because it didn't come together the way I wanted. But my partner and I got on well, want to work together again, and we both felt that our overall concept was strong, so I am cautiously optimistic about our marks... (they seem to be taking longer and longer to get them back to us these days.)

No word still on the grades for our Congratulations-You-Failed project. Very nervous about that one.

I'm currently working on my fourth project this term- an accessory. I've decided to keep the design of this piece very simple so I can focus on experimenting with print techniques. I designed and made my screen today and I will start experimenting with various dying/printing/chemical treatments like devore, discharge, flocking, and good ol' screen printing.

The picture below is part of one of the three prints I am going to use on the project. All the black feathery bits will be burned out and transparent, while the white will be solid. Underneath this print will be another smaller geometric print full of color and texture that will be visible through the burned out black sections.

The wing is about 55cm long, and it will be repeated on the fabric a few times. Let's hope this time I plan my time better, work harder, and choose a more realistic end goal so I can actually complete this project with a feeling akin to mild accomplishment.

I can't wait for break.

02 March, 2009

He Came, He Saw, He Went Home. Or: I Am Ready For A Break

The Boy came to visit me for a weekend. It was all the time he could spare, and his timing was excellent, since this was the first weekend I've had free since... well.... god, since this term began. (Point of interest: I looked back and realized that except for an occasional evening where I was too exhausted to work anymore, I have not had a day off from my rather extreme homework situation since early February.)

So The Boy came to visit.

And it was good.

I haven't seen him in such a long time, and we have had some extreme highs and extreme lows in the last six weeks that we needed to deal with in person. I've processed every emotion I can possible think of in that time, from contemplating marriage to contemplating murder. But he is not moldering in a ditch somewhere, and there is no hideous square cut monstrosity on my left hand, so we worked things out in a satisfactory manner it seems.

Mostly we spent our two and a half days talking those problems through, wandering around London hand in hand, snuggling on my TINY bed and in dark bars, and having incredible sex at every opportunity.

But now he is on a big jet plane heading back to San Francisco, and I am unsuccessfully willing this cup of coffee to inspire my new design project.

I have purchased my tickets to go home over my break. But instead of spending my entire vacation in SF, The Boy and I are going to fly back to London together for a week of fun before I start classes again. I think it will be a nice transition from vacation in SF to vacation in London, with my favorite person at my side.

In other news, school has been hellish. I nearly broke down into tears twice in two days last week. And if you know me at all you know that it takes a LOT of stress and an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness before I get that close to crying in public. I get angry, I get sardonic, I get mean, I get furious... But to feel so powerless and scared that I could barely hold back tears? That's impressive.

I cannot stress how ready I am for this term to be over. Over over over. And then some Over with a side order of Completed garnished with a sprinkling of Done.