You don't have to stay just because it's long term.

I am going to have significantly more time to work on this blog and my artistic pursuits in the coming months because I have just done the hardest thing I've ever emotionally had to do: leave an emotionally abusive relationship.  

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Abuse is really scary, even more so after you realise what it is. In terms of what I experienced I consider myself very lucky. The experiences I've had over the last year have been mild, although like most abusive cycles, the "good times" were getting less and less, and the "bad times" were getting more intense and more regular. 

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When I realised what was happening, it was like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders and the blind fold had been pulled from my eyes. The transition from healthy loving relationship to toxic relationship was so slow. It also took a lot of research to realise that his behaviour wasn't ok (This article in particular helped me a lot https://everydayfeminism.com/2015/11/signs-partner-manipulative/)

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I don't think my ex realised what he was doing was abuse. It's no excuse for his behaviour, but I truely believe he didn't realise the emotional consequences of his actions. I just hope he learns as much from this relationship as I have. 

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As far as how I'm doing, I'm incredibly angry. I feel betrayed and lied to. I also feel like the last of my childhood hope and trust and naivety has disappeared. I loved this human with all of my heart, and in return all I received was a box I had to conform to which shrank over time. I gave so much time and energy which I could have been putting into my friends and my art. 

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Here's a note to my future self and a note to anyone else about the type of behaviour you should never tolerate in a long term relationship: 

1) Policing your behaviour and calling you out on being "socially unacceptable". 

2) Contempt towards your career path and passions. 

3) The alteration of your space in major ways, particularly buying "shared furniture" which you wouldn't otherwise be interested in or purchase

4) Share of travel based on time schedules 

5) Lack of communication, particularly the silent treatment. 

6) Being involved with my friends and my family.

7) Respecting my emotional needs. 

8) Waiting for things to get better, because the longer you wait, the worse they will get.

9) Hypocritical behaviour.  

10) Alteration of you as a human in major ways. 

11) Being afraid to ask to do things together because it's consistently met with either contempt or a unreasonably negative attitude. 

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These are all the things I can think of right now. I'm sure there are more, and I'm sure I will write a follow up post about how I'm recovering from this trauma. 

There is no excuse for any type of abuse, and just because it's mild doesn't make it any less wrong. There is nothing wrong with me, and if you've had this misfortune of experiencing this kind of behaviour, there is nothing wrong with you either. 

Manic Pixie Sailor Girl

I think I've talked about this before, but I have two problems when it comes to listening to music. 1) I'm a bit of a fuss pot when it comes to what I listen to 2) I need new music all the time to keep me stimulated/ getting bored of the stuff on my Ipod. 

Usually this combination makes for a hellish nightmare of me spending hours to find new music to listen to, but not getting rewarded for my efforts. Somehow in the last few months since I did this last, my googling/youtube skills have improved because I.Found.So.Many.New.Peeps.To.Listen.To!!!! 

Without further ado, here's the first impression of the awesome music I downloaded today. 

Casa Loma: These peeps make this lovely grungy emo heavyish music that I've loved since I was a wee lass. They've only got three tracks available, because according to my internet stalking, they're a pretty fresh band. 

Land Lady: I've mentioned this many a time, but I'm not great with genre categorisation of music, which is great for this band as they describe their genre as "surprise". They're a mesh of all the good things - compositionally sound, dynamic, full of complex vocal harmonies, and feature a range of minimalist and maximalist textures.  

Giraffes?Giraffes!  : Do you like instrumental music? Do you like Math Rock? These dudes have both of these things in their music, and they do them so incredibly well. Their pieces are so intricately constructed with a variety of different textures, and never fall into the "too much going on" trap that some instrumental music falls into. 

The Speed Of Sound in Seawater: What's better than one guitar doing pretty finger picking with sweet lilting vocals? Two guitars doing pretty finger picking with lilting vocals! That's not all this band does though. Aforementioned pretty guitars and vocals are perfectly supported by a super tight bass and drum pairing. Their writing features elements of Math rock, and have a very slight folk sound. It's just good yo! 

Malvador: Sometimes these guys have those oompah circus feels, and sometimes they're more math rocky, but again, they're all things good. They remind me the tinyiest bit of Ungus Ungus Ungus who are a werid amalgamation of circus folk experimental etc. 

Tangled Hair : So much Math rock today! These guys sit down the prettier end of math rock with their glockenspiels and their british indie vocal vibes.  I adore their use of polyrhythms (Which may or may not tangle your hair) 

Delta Sleep: sit on the grungy side of math rock. The rhythms are intricate and complex, interspersed with strong rhythmic unisons. These guys scratch a music itch I didn't realise I have, as they sit partway between various genre spaces. 

Hang In Balance: Do you know what a HangDrum is? It's the mystical spaceship like object that produces the most beautiful singing percussion sound. If flute was a percussion instrument this is what it would sound like. 

The Honey Trees: Do dream pop right. Their vocals are super sweet and floaty (pretty much the sound version of lens flair and bokeh) whilst the accompaniment is moving and light. 

Bolero: Lady Petrova, Shirt: Ebay, Belt: Kmart, Skirt: Home made, Socks: Socks and more, Boots: Dr Martens.

Bolero: Lady Petrova, Shirt: Ebay, Belt: Kmart, Skirt: Home made, Socks: Socks and more, Boots: Dr Martens.

Speaking of dreampop... What I wore yesterday was pretty darn dreampop. I sewed this skirt in 2014 using vintage material I picked up from shop 55 in woy woy. If I remember correctly, it was from the 60's. I only had a small amount of material to work with, so I made this here boxpleat mini skirt! It also looks super rad with the Bolero I bought from Lady Petrova on Tour! :D 

Daisy for Days

I feel as though I've been in limbo for the majority of this week. I got home Friday evening from being away with the Button Collective, and now today I'm off again, first to Sydney for a gig at the Gaelic Club with the East Pointers (they're a rad Celtic Trio from Canada)  and then to Bulli for the Ilawarra Folk Festival.

This whole week has been pretty unproductive. I mean, I did things, and saw people, but I haven't started on any "long term" projects as I've known I'll be going pretty soon after coming home. I'd call this week a week of busy work. 

Shirt: Thrifted, Belt: Alannah Hill, Pants: Self Drafted, Boots: Dr Martens.

Shirt: Thrifted, Belt: Alannah Hill, Pants: Self Drafted, Boots: Dr Martens.

I went and got a long overdue haircut yesterday, hence why my hair is significantly shorter in this post. Usually I like to keep my hair rather short, but this year life happened, and my hair ended up the longest it's been since I was 14. Because it got so long, I figured I'd get a new style done (I had enough hair to play with style). You can't see it because of how I've done my hair here, but the undercut goes all the way round.

One thing I did manage to do was hit the sewing machine and make my very first pair of long pants. I've been seeing a lot of pants with this silhouette out and about/on the internet, and have been designing a pair like this in my brain for a few months.   I used a light denim (sporting a daisy print) I picked up from spotlight, and decided to go with a scalloped hem (because it's the little details that count). I feel that I have finally mastered the fit of my pants block with these long pants (normally when I sew pants, I end of having to make a bunch of changes from the original pattern I've drawn as I sew. Totally didn't have to do that with these) 

A few weeks ago I went on a trip to spotlight with a friend of mine, and she bought a skirt pattern (because she wants to start sewing). Ever since then, I've been thinking a lot about why I tend to self draft rather than use a pattern. There are a few reasons and all of them just a little bit ridiculous (but I stand by them none the less) 

Reason 1: I feel like I'll learn more by self drafting. This would absolutely be true if I had a pattern making resource book/ made a muslin before sewing to test fit and record changes/ recorded all of my changes either in a notebook or on the pattern

Reason 2 + 3: I feel like it's cheating to use a premade pattern/ I want to make something original. This is a sort of two in one - because it's absolutely not cheating to use a premade pattern, you can make them original by altering them AND there's no such thing as "originality" because everything is inspired by everything else, and is either borrowing elements of a thing or doing something to react to something else. 

Reason 4: Finding a pattern/cutting it out/ making changes to get the fit right is hard work and I'm LAZZZZZYYYYYYYYY. Do you want to know what's just as hard? Making your own pattern, cutting it out, then making changes to get the fit right. 

The only reason for self drafting I have that isn't totally ridiculous is that I find it exciting. I enjoy the adventure and problem solving that comes with self drafting a pattern, and (as much as I complain about it sometimes) I really enjoy discovering new to me techniques by reinventing the wheel. 

I know I've been promising tutorials forever, but I think I'll actually start making them, because I'd love to show people how to draft their own long loose super comfy pants. 

Teeny Tiny Sunflowers

I've been playing a lot recently with The Button Collective who have a dress code of brown, blue and neutral. This means I have been wearing a lot of brown, blue and neutral. I have lots of outfits I love in this colour scheme, but after wearing it for nearly a fortnight, I needed some colour.

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And colour I have had! I opted for mostly yellow today to combat all of the muted tones I've been sporting lately. This outfit was also good to combat the heat of the day (After a cold couple of weeks, Australia has worked out what temperature Summer is suppose to be)

Summer break is a really weird time for me. I've gone from disgustingly busy and strictly scheduled to mildly busy and loosely scheduled. It's lovely not having to worry about time. This new (and brief) influx of time allowed me to plant a garden with my Dad yesterday (which was one of his Christmas gifts to me)

Aforementioned Garden

Aforementioned Garden

He set up 3 big planters in the backyard, bought some fancy dirt, and gave me a bunnings gift card which we used to buy some plants. We planted snow peas, jalapenos, cucumber, berry tomato, eggplant, capsicum, spring onion, spinach and a sunflower (which we ended up putting in the ground because we ran out of pot space) 

I've really enjoyed gardening since moving out (especially growing stuff I can eat!), and it was lovely to spend some quality time with Dad.

In the afternoon I traveled down to Sydney for a gig at the Union Hotel with Button Collective. The other band that played was Echo Deer, who I've seen a number of times at mutual gigs. They're music is a chill mixture of folk blues and country, and as per usual they played an exquisite set.

So yeah, life is chill. Which is a nice change.