Monday, September 26, 2011

One year ago

One year ago I was so frantic and stressed out that I forgot my keys at home two nights in a row. My landlord was not impressed. The second night he was so pissed that he made me show him the keys to prove I hadn't lost them altogether. It was the only time I've ever forgotten my keys, and it had to be the weekend all my housemates were away. H and J were visiting H's parents, and little did any one of us know that trip would change my life.

The reason I was stressed out was because it was the day of Gloriana, a 1890's dance theater show I had rehearsed for the better part of the last six months. That night I would be on stage doing stuff like this:

(That's me, second from the right. Photo by Tuomas Puikkonen.)

(That's me in the middle. Photo by Tuomas Puikkonen.)

I was rushing to the theater at nine in the morning when H called me and - wait - let me backpedal a bit.

A year before that night, give or take a day or two, I had a dream that I had an orange cat named Pulla (it's Finnish and means a sweet roll). When I woke up I had a bad case of a kitten rabies and started looking for one. There was even a big huge disappointment in there, when the owners of one kitten decided to keep her a couple of days before I was supposed to go pick her up. Eventually I decided to just stop looking. That was one week before the day of Gloriana.

These are sweet rolls btw, with a heart of butter and sugar. Nom!
And then H called me.

H: "Hi! We found a kitten. Do you want it?"
Me: "Um, yeah, of course!"
H: "Okay! See you tonight!"

The rest of the day was spent in a stupor of hair, makeup, OMG I HAVE A KITTEN, stretching, rehearsing, curtain call, WTF KITTEN. I kept forgetting about it because everything was so frantic around me, and then it would suddenly hit me. KITTEN. And when I got home, this was waiting for me:


A little tiny orange cat. She was mewing outside H's parents' window in the countryside, near the middle of nowhere. She was perfectly litter-trained and way too young to have wandered very far on her own, meaning someone must have dropped her off there. The first frosty nights came only days after she was found. I can only hope it was just her left there and none of her siblings.

The first month or two she had to be quarantined to protect both her and Kölli. She was in a relatively good shape, although skinny. There was only a mild eye infection and some goo in her ears that both needed attention on a daily basis. She fought none of it, even though the cold eye drops were horribly uncomfortable. There were so many vet visits. But also food, all of which she gobbled down. It took her a week to realize that there would be meals in the future, too. That first week she mostly ate, slept and purred in a state of "I don't know you people but everything seems to be going fine so PLEASE LOVE ME". And we did.

One year later, Pulla is still tiny. She likes cheese and snatching food from people's plates. If I give her a twist tie she's not interested, but if I "forget" one on the table, she will play it to death. She loves to be petted, but if you approach her head-on she will retreat and hide. She's so timid and scared of so many specific things that I suspect the people who abandoned her did not treat her well to begin with. And despite everything she is such a good cat, easy to handle and even medicate. I hate the people who hurt and abandoned her, but I love the chain of events that brought her to me.

She used to live in a box outside.

Huffing glue and causing mischief.

And now she is part of my family.

Bathing in the sun.

Living the good life.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

¡Lucha Libre!

Well then. The summer is over and a two huge projects have been wrapped up in the last two months, making me a very busy cephalopod indeed. The hiatus this blog has been on has not been accidental, but a direct result of me focusing my energy on those projects. One of them is still dwindling, not exactly craft-related, and I will have something to show for it in the next couple of weeks. The other, however, is something you have seen bits and pieces of since April. It all started with this dress:

Next followed this mask:

Other bits and pieces have been completed since, such as this mod of an existing bra:

The ruffle, fringe and rose have been sewed on. There were also sequins.

There were many nights of frantic sewing, and it was all rather lovely.

Sewing layers and layers of fringe, however, was not.

And then there were of course all the choreographing and rehearsing and all that jazz, every bit of which I sorely miss. All of it culminated into one amazing weekend at the end of August: ¡Lucha Libre! All the following pictures are by Nino Hynninen, unless otherwise stated. More can be found here and here.

Apparently I have confidence. Who would have guessed?

Picture by Suvi Korhonen

Thriller dance in the middle of a fight! I made those golden pants, too.

Dont' you just love my skeleton dancers? They rocked!

Fake tattoos, check. Bruises, check. Keeping it classy!

I have to say this was probably one of the best times of my entire life up to this point. Starting from practically no martial arts experience whatsoever I, and many others, practiced up to a point where being slammed down on a thin mattress was no big deal at all. Actually, I really miss being thrown around and then slapped a bit for a good measure. Good times. Amazing, every bit of it, and I'm quite sorry that it's over. As for burlesque, this was my first time on stage and now that the initial shock has worn I'm sure it won't be the last time. I am a strong believer in challenging yourself and testing your limits, and hoo boy did I do that this time!

Tutorial coming? Maaybe.

Now it's time to move on to new projects, and old too. I have so much to show and tell that regular updates are to be expected. Or irregular - tomorrow I'm going to post a special entry to mark the anniversary of something life-changingly grand and important.