melle_chantilly: (hood)
I'm doing good these days. I've been knitting and spinning almost with no restraint, taking only a few breaks when my shoulders start aching. I feel like I'm on the right track, recovering faster than I thought possible. Recovery isn't the right word though. I'm learning to deal with the new forms of chronic pain well, taming my body and regaining my mobility and ability to make things with my hands. It feels amazing after so many sterile months.

I'm planning the next milestones, in terms of physical achievements. The next goal is going to PMD in January with Clémentine, and enjoying myself fully. Travel will be longer than what I've done for the past year, so that's what is stressing me out the most. If it goes well, the next step will be festivals. I'd love to either go to WGT with Clémentine or Maschinenfest with Math. I know I'll most likely never be able to enjoy festivals like an able-bodied person, since right now one concert is already a feat in itself. Standing still for more than an hour is very painful, still, and often I have to skip opening acts or leave early. PMD will already tests my limits quite a bit, actually. But I want to do it, and it'll be just like the usual, but bigger. If I have to go sit in a corner in the middle of a show, to let the pain rush over me, that's what I'll do. If I can't watch the show, I still get to hear it and I have to accept it's enough.

I'd love to figure out how starting to work again fits into all that. I miss working so much. Just doing something. Anything. I'd love to earn some money, of course. Money is tight right now, but I get what I need, I can manage with not much, and I don't get more than what feel I deserve (I'm so not done unpacking that). The primary reason I miss working is that I am deeply ashamed of not working. I feel like I can't rightfully justify my existence. I live a life of absolute luxury : I can do what I want of my time. But it feels so wrong. I feel like a fraud, that disability is too big a word for me. It most likely stems from the fact that my parents never supported or even acknowledged my illness, ever. I was told that it was all in my head by my mother, and when I mentioned any type of symptom, chronic pain, fatigue, she'd nod and say it was the same for her. Of course, everyone lives with tiredness and some kind of pain, so why am I the one to get special treatment. I can barely breathe typing this.

I've been thinking of what kind of job I could do. But I don't know how much I can do. I only started living again once I quit working (and after over a year of recovery). Pushing myself to work destroyed my health. I was in so much pain every day that I had to drink to make it go away. I was so tired we had to cancel our holiday trips more times than I can count because walking through an airport was not an option, when I couldn't even go down a flight of stairs. The last concert I went to before this year was 5 years ago. I had to sit, because standing was too difficult. I had to beg for a seat. I stopped giving all the energy I had to work, and I allowed myself to enjoy music again, to go out, to parties or just outside, and to have sex.

I still keep feeling fractured and incomplete, without work. It is a stupid standard I hold only myself to. People can work or not work, it is none of my business and I don't care. I firmly believe intellectually that we shouldn't define people through their economic value in a capitalist society. But I can't help feeling alienated and overcome with guilt. The alienation is also physical. I feel isolated from people, and it is quite natural when you consider I spent most of my life working in direct contact with the public.

My thoughts tend to go to freelance work first, trying to find new ideas. I did start two businesses successfully from the ground up before, so it makes sense. But wouldn't it be a smart idea to get myself back into the system at some point ? As an unemployed freelance, I am entitled to no benefits. I get dizzy when I think about retirement. And I know if I return to being self-employed, I could spiral into work addiction very fast again. I've been trying to think of places and jobs I could get hired for, a few days a week. But most jobs as a sales person would probably be way too physical, not to mention waitressing. It's a bit of a dead end for now. I'll keep looking. Typing all this was exhausting so it's just going to end a bit abruptly like that. If you read it, thank you.

I'm ok :)

Aug. 1st, 2011 12:51 am
melle_chantilly: (Default)
 Last week was okay. I'm back to my normal self. Work was less tiring that I thought it would be. I am still firmly decided to start working less a week from now on.
I will try to take an extra day off every 2 weeks, so I can start doing things again on my personal time. Up until now, I spent my weekends recovering from the week, unable to do anything. Going to holidays for a week at [livejournal.com profile] anatsuno  was really a wake up call. I love cooking. I also love chilling and watching movies, and not being exhausted from work makes it a whole lot more enjoyable. So I think an extra day would be perfect for this.
In order to cut myself breaks from work, I had decided to quit checking my work email in the evenings. Then I realized I would probably miss very important and urgent orders then (Gaga much?). So I've sort of changed my mind. ^^ But I have disabled the email ringtone from my iphone and it changes everything. Not being constantly reminded to check my inbox (especially when it's for junk mail) is fantastic. I find myself forgetting about my emails for hours and it feels good. I can still go check my email once in a while, but I don't feel on such a tight leash anymore.

Valentina is staying home for a few days and it's nice to get to know her (she is a German model who walked for the latest HMS show). We went to Marché St Pierre yesterday and I finally found the fabric for my corset. Tonight we had diner with Florence, Berenice and Gemma and then had a drink in Le Marais.

That's it for today!
melle_chantilly: (Valhalla)
 Haven't blogged in a while. I am so tired I can barely do anything besides work. A bit more than 2 weeks ago I had another order for Lady Gaga so maybe I haven't recovered yet from all the hard work? It seems like it was forever ago, I had to count in my planning to realize it was so recent. I haven't been able to rest properly since then, lots of work, always. It's good but I'm starting to think of how to make things work so I can take more time off. And first thing is I need a bigger place but moving just stresses me out to no end.

I am currently reading Get Real by Donald Westlake and enjoying it a lot. The writing is also very simple, with short sentences, which is good given my current exhaustion. I am binging on Law and Order SVU on weekends and nothing else much. I was put off watching this show for a while after a few stuff I head but I found out that it was actually pretty good.

I've also had a vintage craze and bought a few cheap dresses on Etsy that I doctored a bit to fit me better. I'm expecting that one, which was a bit more expensive (but insanely cheap since it is a silk/cotton 50's party dress) and it is going to need a lot of work (and wearing a corset) to fit me but I'm feeling rather confident about my sewing skills. I need to fix my sewing machine because it doesn't work properly anymore (one side of the seam is nice, the other is just a shitton of tangled mess). Maybe it just need to be oiled and calibrated again.

So yeah, I'm not dead yet!
melle_chantilly: (Lutens)
I've been doing yoga everyday for 15-20 mins for a week now and it feels so good! I haven't lost much strength and I'm regaining some flexibility quickly. I've been focusing on my hamstrings a lot and I can already feel some improvement. Despite really not wanting to see myself while yoga-ing, I asked Math to take a photo of my position in downward-facing dog and it helped me straighten my legs a lot.

I was afraid to push too much on my arms at first, because of the grief my wrists and shoulders were giving me. I tried to be as gentle as possible on the couple first days to see if it was harming me. But the pain started to actually go away. Now it's all gone. Seriously guys, yoga rocks!

It was my mum's birthday on Tuesday. She came over and we had a lovely meal at the restaurant. We did a lot of cleaning and tidying before she arrived so now there are only about 4 boxes to empty and the same amount to give/dispose of. The entrepreneur is finishing the small things left in the apartment himself. He should come paint the radiators on Tuesday and install new door handles and then we should be DONE!

We had out exhibition opening with Math on Friday. It was a great night, even though I was exhausted and just sat on my ass waiting for people to come to me all evening. Lots of friends came, many we hadn't seen in a long while.

Also, I've finally got feedback on the huge job and it turns out Lady Gaga's stylist loved my work! Yeah, you read that right! I don't think it will be visible anywhere this time but I'm on their roster now. *beams*

I'm in the process of hiring a second assistant. I am so so tired. I will probably have to find a bigger workshop before the end of the year too. I need to recover some energy. Some work days are just excruciating and I cannot take a day off.
melle_chantilly: (Glossy Red Lips)
A list feels like less writing to do when in the end it's pretty much the same with lots of dashes:

Good:

-Did yoga for the first time in months. It's like discovering it again. It is awesome!

-We did the first prototype for the next collection yesterday, plus a super accessory. I can't say much but I am proud! Also, brainstorming with someone instead of thinking hard on my own is so good! And so productive!

-I haven't worn my spoon pendant in a while. I sorta forgot about it. It's good news.

-Having a full length mirror at a reasonable distance makes me want to dress pretty. I can finally see what I actually look like, win!

-I know it's old news for most but me, but: baking soda rocks! Why bother with detergents when it cleans a lot of stuff effortlessly (esp the tub! Also I'm always afraid to take a bath and not to have rinsed the detergent properly. Baking soda is good for the skin, double win!)

-Scored the most beautiful Marc Jacob silk skirt in a 2nd hand shop for less than what you'd pay for a silk skirt at Zara. Will wear it for our exhibition opening.

-Currently reading Thérèse Raquin by Zola. Love that book. I didn't remember much of it and what I remember I haven't read yet (and I've read 90% of the book. Um... wondering if I'm confused with another book? Lol)

-The bathroom is finished. The kitchen is 95% finished (we have to put some knife racks and rails up and buy an new oven and fridge). The bedroom is 95% finished (we have to put the curtains up -and buy some art for the wall, but this is going to take some time). The living room is still messy with boxes but they should clear quick once we have built the new bookcases.

-Watched the Millenium trilogie and I have a girl crush on Noomi Rapace. :3

Not good:

-My wrists and arms have been hurting like crazy for the past week. It wakes me up at night and in the morning. I don't know where it's coming from. Too much work? Bed? Random shit?

-I fucked up trying to put a shelf on the wall. Eep! I have to fix my shit and try again tomorrow.

-So, yeah, the huge job I mentioned earlier didn't pan out as well as it could have. I did land a huge order and got well paid for it, but it was supposed to be showcased on a huge TV event and that did not happen. Heh, next time!

I'm not sure (lol):

-The cat is perplexed by the double mirrors on our new wardrobe. It's an angle one so she sees multiple cats instread of one reflection. She stares at it a lot and meows.
melle_chantilly: (Chantilly)
 I haven't been posting much lately since my days have been pretty full. Between work and unpacking/dealing with the workers, there is not much time left for anything.

The flat isn't finished yet but it's being steadily done. Lately the days are split between the joiner and the painter, both finishing the kitchen and the closets in the corridor (or what's left of it, since a wall is gone). They both do a remarkable job. The problem is mostly with the contractor who is so badly organized that I now have the workers numbers and deal with their schedule myself. The kitchen should be done tomorrow (how many times have I said that? lol), except for a screw up that will have to be fixed later this week. A problem again caused by the contractor's lack of organization/focus. (We were making the kitchen plan, and he told us we could not have the sink and the stove next to each other on the counter, so they should be each on one end. And then the electrical plugs can't be around the stove or the sink for obvious security reasons, so they'd have to be in the middle of the counter. But he printed a plan and drew the stove in the middle and the plugs on one side. *facepalm* So every worked did his thing, except now we have to move plugs that ended up with the stove, so we have to break and redo part of the mosaic. Ugh.)

We went to Ikea on Friday and got a new bed and mattress and lots of stuff for the kitchen and bathroom. I'm unsure about the mattress. The first night was horrid but turns out I forgot to put my extra cushion under my pillow. Ouch, my back! Last night was ok but not great. I am afraid the mattress might be too soft. We got the Sultan Erfjord ( the most expensive, eep!) but we can exchange it within a month (provided the cat doesn't ruin it). I don't know what kind of hardness we should get. Math doesn't like too hard (futon hard is a no-no) but I need not too soft. It doesn't help that we spend 2 months sleeping on an old mattress on the floor at the temp flat. I think my scale might be a bit screwed up.

About work, well, I have loads of it. I was hoping for a break after Xmas, but it isn't happening. I also did sales on my shop for 10 days. I know, I know, if I don't want more work that's not the smartest thing to do. But I feel I kinda owe it to my customers. Sales are nice and people who wouldn't buy otherwise can afford shiny things. I pondered extending the sales period and I got back to my senses. I don't need the work, so I have to stop acting crazy. But I have such a hard time not taking work when I can get some! Probably a remainder of when I was flat broke.

There is also this customer who made a purchase for a few stuff through Etsy. She mailed me because she wanted more things and needed guidance. Fact is we're leaning towards a 3000+ euros order. Eep! I keep playing Tetris with my schedule to see how I can make it fit and not extend my turnaround too much. It's great of course (that kind of money all at once would pay for a fancy wardrobe, and then I could still make lots of savings), but it's really stressful too! Although customers that spend that kind of money are usually a breeze to deal with, as surprising as it may sound.

Anyway, I could have done with a quiet weekend (did I mention I have been up at 8:30 every morning this week to welcome the workers?). But no, I was tending a booth at a fetish party in Paris last night. I was really on my knees but Math came with me to help me install everything and Clementine joined me on the stand around midnight. I left at 3am and she did the end of the night. Math came to pick everything up at 7am (on a Sunday morning, bless him!) The night was actually really pleasant (once I managed to get rid of the migraine). I met lots of people, had lovely discussions. I sold enough to pay Clementine, the taxi and the booth rental and a bit more. No big money but those events are great to make new contacts and often people order shortly afterwards.

I think I should spend the day in bed reading and drinking tea. But I have the urge to unpack more boxes. We're getting there, but there are so many of them left everywhere!
melle_chantilly: (Chantilly)
 I was working today (well, a couple of hours finishing an order, and a few more hours of fun tweaking my bra pattern). I had already worked a bit later on Friday, getting ahead on my schedule and starting on Monday's work (that would be what I finished today). So, tomorrow: shopping! :) Math and I were having a hard time finding each other presents for Xmas so we've decided to go shopping together.

We still haven't really planned what we're going to cook for Xmas Eve with my mum. We're going to go to the butchers nearby that makes nice and fancy stuff for the holidays and pick something, and we'll get an assortment of starters at the traiteur downstairs. I'd like to make roasted chestnuts (cooking with the meat) and mashed sweet potatoes. We also need to get a dessert!

My mother will see my tattoo for the first time on Friday. It might be silly but I hope that maybe she'll like it. Also, I realized, after stumbling on a (not so great) Lutens-inspired photoshoot, that my love for Serge Luten's work might have influenced my tattoo design, and not just a little. Maybe it was obvious for everyone who knows me, but it wasn't conscious on my part! But it makes me happy.


Lutens has shot many series of women covered in lace. Now that I think about it, it would be lovely to get the lace pattern on my whole body, lol. 

I stumbled on a picture of Lutens that I had never seen before, while looking for the lace one. So I'm posting it, just because. :)

melle_chantilly: (Glossy Red Lips)
When we visited Berlin a few months ago with Math, I acquired a beautiful corset from To.mTo. It is my first proper corset (I only own a Vollers) and it is a beautiful piece of craftmanship. I haven't worn it outside yet and I was wondering earlier what to wear with it. I might make myself a simple brown latex dress to go with it, although I feel more and more like adding a little diversity to my party outfits, and not wearing just latex anymore.

 <- Here it is, lovely lovely! :)

I also have bought some fancy eye patches at Gothfoxdesigns. They have just arrived yesterday. I actually bought them to wear when striken by migraine. I have recently had strongly one sided migraines and blocking my hurting eye was quite helpful. One of them matches my corset. ;)

I have been lusting after a few items from Artifice Clothing too, but I don't own anything from them. It's quite new for me to want to buy alternative clothing since I can make my own stuff. But I realize how much I love well made alternative clothing, and I love to purchase at another independent designer.

Anyway, earlier today, I thought that maybe one day I could branch out and open a shop where I would sell a selection of items by designers that I really love. Not just my stuff anymore, but a variety of corsets, jewels, clothing and accessories. If it were to ever happen, it would be in a long time from now, of course. And it will most likely remain a fantasy.

But I noticed that it is the first time since I started HMSlatex that I have thought of ever doing something else than just making and selling my own latex. The thought took my by surprise, I must say. I guess it's the sign that I finally feel confident now in my business, financially and mentally. I can afford a workshop, an assistant. I know that it won't collapse tomorrow, even if there will be ups and downs. There are loads of stuff to accomplish. It is in fact just the beginning, but it's getting there. I don't know where, but it's getting somewhere, steadily.
melle_chantilly: (Lying B&W)
 Well, I couldn't sleep last night (tattoo excitement!) so I got up and took the computer to the bathroom so as not to wake Math up. I typed a lengthy blog entry while sitting on the toilet seat, lol. It needs more editing but I'll post it soon. Then I went back to bed and read this week's Courrier International from cover to cover and finally turned the light off at 4:30.

I got up a bit after 10, which isn't bad, but, oh my, the fogginess. Still in bed, I rewrote some bits of the night's blog entry. I got up and had coffee, brioche and tramadol, the usual breakfast, while working on the computer and reading my feeds.

Math left at 2 to meet a client. I headed downstairs with him and had coffee with the janitor. She's a great woman, I like to come see her and chat and relax. Then I went to the workshop, finished a bra and made a couple of panties. I packed a couple of orders for clients pick up. Finally I prepared everything for my assistant tomorrow. She's going to be on her own all day for the first time. I'm not worried but I need to make sure everything is ready when she arrives.

She is great, a lot of help. She doesn't know how to do everything yet, I focused on teaching her the most basic stuff first, then a bit more complicated stuff, making sure she made them to the perfection before going to the next level. I didn't really plan it like that, it just happened that way and I believe it happens to be the right way. She is very eager to learn, making things easy.

Anyway, she's got a to do list, patterns, labels and instructions are ready. It was a rather quiet day, compared to most.

And, oh, tomorrow, I'm getting tattooed! OMG, stressed!! I hope I can get enough rest...

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