Shade Bio

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Good evening my cherished otherbeasts! Aren't you glad it's 'Hump Day' Wednesday? I know I am.

I decided I'd like to share something with you that not many people have seen and that many less have understood. I graduated with a BFA in Studio Art, emphasis in Jewelry/Metalsmithing and even though I should have majored in Psychology, I realize that really turned my thesis into a psychological thriller - so I suppose, mission accomplished. I'd like to share that with you now.

I have always been fascinated by human emotion: what drives it, what affects it, the reasoning behind it; I just really am enthralled with the whole idea. I have always loved to provoke thought in people and the goal of my thesis was to do just that.

Let's see if YOU can piece the puzzle together. Challenge issued!

There will be a quiz following this blog! Kidding. Kind of.

In Latin, Septem Peccata Mortalia is translated to mean The Seven Deadly Sins. This series, SALIGIA, is about exploring the relationships between the institution of human emotion and psychological, as well as emotional, threats to social 'normality.' This idea is explored by using precious metals such as fine and sterling silver as well as yellow gold. These materials, often employed in 'typical' or 'classical' jewelry, evoke the feeling of preciousness, value, sentiment, and sometimes, as a symbol of financial status. Since precious materials such as the ones being used already have implied connotations, to use them to idolize and glorify symbols of social 'depravity' presents the observer with an internal struggle: wrestling with and caught between admiring the adornments as artistic jewelry and coping with the uncomfortable ideology wrought with consequences that we learned growing up.

Conversely, when juxtaposed against the opposing Seven Holy Virtues, which are executed precisely with the intent to convey tattered and neglected brooches in seemingly 'lesser' materials such as copper and brass, the viewer is forced once again to question their emotional and psychological state. The intent of these pieces are to be easily ignored or unnoticed when in direct viewing with the more 'precious' and larger pieces. These brooches can easily sit in the palm of one's hand and since materials like copper, brass, paper, and plastic are used more commonly for plumbing or 'less virtuous' tasks, it coerces the viewer to consider that without such basic materials our lives would be in much less of a clean state - the point to which is that without the morals that the Virtues teach, our humanity would be thrown severely out of balance, and a world paradigm would shift bringing much havoc.

These works are multi-layered, rich in concept and narrative, leaving the viewer to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Each individual work can stand alone as its own statement, articulated in a precise manner, but when the pieces are viewed together as a cohesive body of work, a shift occurs in our subconscious: we recognize the artistic value yet struggle to cope with how the actual themes behind the work resonate within our own psyche.Through subtle dualities, incongruities, and potential physical hazards presented in a jewelry setting meant to adorn the body, an internal shift of realization takes place inside the viewer. Since this collection is deliberately quiescent and covert, this body of work will not overtly or directly 'scream' an answer to the observer; rather, each piece of the puzzle lies in wait, letting each individual form their own unique opinions and take what they want or choose to take from the collective presentation - that is the freedom of human emotion.

So, my lovely otherbeasts, did you fit together the puzzle? Do you know which one of the deadly sins is which? 5 points is on the line.

Until Next Time,
~ Shade <3

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread (Dreadlocks)

Hello my lovely little otherbeasts! Was your weekend a swell one and did you go out and shake the town up? Paint it red? If you didn't, there's always next weekend. Dedicate some time to doing what YOU want to do today and what makes YOU happy. After all, you deserve it.

Now then, I know recently some of you were shocked to hear that I dreaded my hair and now have dreadlocks. Let me clear the air a bit by quoting something from a site that I'm going to mention here in this blog, this is the truth about dreadlocks to try and get rid of that nasty stigma attached to having dreads in the first place; most of you are MISINFORMED.

"Dreadlocks are often misunderstood, and have caused much discrimination. Dreads may be thought of as dirty, but dreadlocks must be clean to dread. Often dreads are cleaner then straight hair. Dreadlocks are beautiful, dreads are natural, and dreads are low maintenance - they are care free and spiritual. In today's society, dreadlocks are misunderstood. They are often thought of as dirty, low-class, representing homelessness, drug use, or a desire to be part of another culture. However, the truth is that dreads were often the sign of royalty and holiness throughout history. They predate the Jamaican / Rastafarian culture they are most often associated with today by thousands of years. Dreads were worn by kings and pharaohs, prophets, holy men, gurus, and philosophers since the earliest known times. They were a part of every civilization, religion and culture. Dreadlocks were worn by many figures in the bible as well as famous pharaohs of Egypt; King Tut's dreadlocks still survive to this day."

I had the fortunate luck to have a good friend of mine recommend a "Dread Head" site to me. I thought, 'Oh boo, it'll be another site waving around products and asking you to buy them to maintain your dreads. How boring.' Goodie for me that I was wrong. I was dead wrong. When I went to the home page for The Dread Site the first thing I saw was a picture of a man sitting and his dreads were grazing his feet! This guy had dreads for 22 years and the picture was taken when his dreads were only 18. This guy must know exactly what's going on about dreads so the site must be good. Well, good news everyone!

This site is the cat's meow, the bee's knees, it's fab, it's switched on, it's a bit of alright! In other words - and not to sound trite - it's pretty groovy baby, yeah.

Let me tell you, it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. The members are way awesome and easy to talk to. How do I talk to members, you ask? It's not your usual post something, introduce yourself, hope someone responds, etc, ad nauseam. It's a bit like Facebook where it has an in-site chat buddy program thingy. I started talking to people immediately! I was getting tips, conversing like I did when AIM was totally still cool, suggesting things to people when the Head Honcho, The Law, The Owner of The Site, The Soaring Eagle came swooping down and said, "Hi." I was interested that the Main Dude in Charge was singling me out and conversing with me. I had barely begun typing a warm hello when another message came across, "I gotta warn you, you made two huge mistakes." I stared at the screen. That was a heavy message. My first thought was, "I made mistakes?"

My heart sped up. I erased my original greeting I had typed out. Another message from Soaring Eagle came through and showed up on my screen, "Devastating mistakes." My eyes widened as I thought, "Oh Sh!t! What did I do wrong?!... I made more than one?"

I started running through possibilities in my mind. I hadn't read the chat rules, I hadn't looked over the protocol for engaging on the in-site chat program; maybe I screwed up by suggesting things or somehow had stepped on someone's toes, and now I was going to get banned! My heart was racing.

I was in the middle of typing an apology for something I didn't quite understand when his next message came through, "Wax is a dread killer and crocheting is extremely destructive."

"Wait, what?" I reread it. "My dreads? Oh! My dreads." He was concerned about my dreadlocks. Unbeknownst to me he had read my sign-up information and saw that into the "Products Used" field I had entered "Backcombing, wax, palm rolling, and crocheting." This guy that didn't know me from Eve had read my information and cared enough to immediately contact me about the possible damage I had done to my hair. Wow! I was so relieved I hadn't pissed anyone off.

The ensuing conversation consisted of talking about getting the wax out of my hair, making sure it was gone, why wax is bad for your hair, why crocheting is bad for your hair, and what I could do now to maintain them. Basically Dreadlocks 101. Once we had established that I hadn't ruined my hair or put my health in jeopardy, he relaxed and we started talking about random things and he started telling me about a gathering they had been doing since 1972 out in National Parks nation wide, they even have a mini-movie on how awesome it is for everyone involved. This guy was awesome.

Needless to say, I was - and still am - amazed at how welcoming and laid back everyone in the community is. I was also so impressed by the Site Owner's concern over my dreads and my health concerning my dreads. (Here's a little hint of why wax is bad for your dreads: if it accumulates long enough you can develop mold inside your dreads, which can in turn, lead to dire health consequences.) This amazing man was the guy in the picture with dreads at least five feet long! Somehow I was talking with Soaring Eagle and he was so chill and kind. My Dread Hero for life. If you have dreadlocks and you haven't talked to this man, or have never been to Dreadlocks Site, then my friend, you are missing out big time. This is, in my opinion, the BEST site to visit to learn from, make some dread friends, and really just relax around people. It has a wealth of knowledge and even more people willing to help out and offer methods that may work for you. I've probably visited well over 100+ sites about dreads and this one takes the cake. The cake isn't a lie.

 Portal Reference FTW.

In conclusion, my lovely otherbeasts, regardless of whether or not you have dreads, I wanted to at least share with you about the Gathering that about eleventy billion people attend each year, out in the wilderness, camping, bonfires, singing, dancing, eating, relaxing, having a good time with good people and good nature... heck, it's basically like the Renaissance Festival without the costumes, just really amazing.

There's no admission and everyone works in the 'community' out in the wilderness for a period of one week up to three months. It's like belonging to a tribe. Amazing. Just go check it out, I promise you won't be disappointed.

Until Next Time,
Shade <3

My Etsy Shop (Wings and Things by D&D Studios) is full of Handmade Dreadlock Beads and Cuffs! Made by a Dreadie for Dreadies. <3

See My Other Blog Posts About Dreadlocks:
  • The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread

Dreadlock Status Update: My dreads are almost a month old and they're still freakin' awesome! They're in the juvenile phase so they're acting a bit like unruly teenagers and wanting to do their own thing regardless of what I tell them, so I'm just gently coaxing them and letting them settle down. They haven't begun to lock up themselves yet but I know they'll get there.

 Sorry, Charlie.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I'm Not Lazy, I'm Just Resourceful

Happy Saturday my lovely little otherbeasts! Did you chase this week down to the end of its proverbial rainbow and steal its pot of gold? I know I did.

 This is my pot of gold. You go find your own tree.

I'm sitting and thinking about something. Resourcefulness vs. Laziness. There is a difference.

(That's a very good point, Philosoraptor. Scary, but good.)

Actual lazy people have given people like me a bad rap. See, when it comes to things like dusting, I figure, why am I picking up objects to dust underneath them? I mean, every single time I've picked something up to dust underneath it, I notice that there's no dust... instead, there's a ring of dust free space with an entire ring of dust around it. So I decided that from now on when I dust, I'm just going to dust around those things, because, I mean, it makes sense.

 See how there's no dust where objects were?

See, I'm not lazy, I'm just resourceful. Like when I want a book and it's underneath 7 other books, instead of pulling 7 books off and then retrieving said wanted book, I just grab the 8th one and pull, scooting and shuffling it out slowly; so I only have to move one book slowly rather than move 7 of them. Resourceful.

 Holy Crap! Out of Bookmarks! Stack books where you left off!

Actual laziness in people I can't stand. The people that file for unemployment because they "can't get a job" and are just taking advantage of the system while sitting on their fatty fat bottoms playing video games and eating Cheetos all day while playing video games.

'Nuff said. A picture is worth a thousand words.

 Now, I'm not a rule breaker, but that doesn't mean I don't bend them. I'm a rule-bender. I think taking advantage of a system is a smart thing to do, but only in the instance that you know it's there for that purpose and that you're actually not hurting anyone in the process. I don't really agree with our government or how it's being run or puppeteered. That's another post entirely.

"Good job capitalism. Really. Good. Job." - Angry Clapping Guy

But I digress, people assume in many instances that resourcefulness is just laziness. I contest this fact because we special types of resourceful people tend to just think of smarter ways to accomplish a task. For instance, I need to tell my S.O. something important. So, do I jump up off of the couch like a good little woman and walk across the house and upstairs to tell him? If you know me at all you know the answer to that one. No, I pick up my phone and call the man. Some people say lazy, I say resourceful. Not turning on the TV because the remotes are on the other side of the couch and I’d have to actually move to get them, lazy. Turning my chicken parmigiana recipe into chicken parmigiana casserole, resourceful.

 Harley Morenstein agrees.

Just some perspective peeps. What say you otherbeasts? Calling someone who is across the house and upstairs lazy or resourceful? Consider the context of said argument and I fully admit that the context of said phone call could make it go either way. <3

Until Next Time,
<3 Shade

COMING SOON: Duck Tape Roses

Saturday, June 9, 2012

My Dreading Journey

 Hello Darling Otherbeasts!

Okay, about 5 years ago when I was staying one summer in California, I worked with a lovely young lady named Kaitlin.
 (Someday, inner self, someday we will be able to do this.)
She was the most laid back, easy going, sunshine-y person you could ask for in a co-worker; just a really cool girl.

Kaitlin had these amazing dreadlocks that were just beautiful; several small ones that were nice and neat, no fuzz on her head, no dirt, no straw, and no smell. (I smelled them after she offered. It took some guts to do that because if there's one thing on the face of this earth that I despise, it's 'dirty head smell.') I had always thought about dreads, especially after talking to Kaitlin, Now before then I had always admired dreadlocks but never knew anyone with them... well, sort of.

 (Bad experience cat has had a bad experience.)

A little back-story: Freshman year of college my roommate Alli* (*name changed for privacy) decided to dreadlock her hair. She started by not washing her hair for weeks, rubbing beeswax all in her hair, and to top it all off wore patchouli oil like a dirty hippie.
It. Was. Disgusting.

NEVER USE WAX ON YOUR DREADS! Go here to find out why wax is bad!: TheDreadSite
Or look like this:

I would literally hold my breath upon entering the room, trying not to breathe if i was staying, or holding it as long as possible if I was grabbing something before heading back out. Needless to say, Alli's endeavor wasn't so successful... it was just smelly. We never became friends.

Back to Kaitlin. I had been horrified by my freshman experience with Alli and so I asked Kaitlin all the silly questions about dreadlocks,
- "Are they dirty?"
- "Do they itch?"
- "Are you a hippie?"
- "Does stuff get caught in them?"
- "How often do you shower?"
Kaitlin just smiled her casual smile and indulged me in answering my questions. She kept the dreads clean, they were an easy keep, they didn't itch, they were comfortable, and most importantly: she showered every, single day. Every. Single. Day. Which is, Kaitlin assured me, how she kept them so clean and pretty.

Fast forward to the present. My hair is about shoulder-blade length and straight/wavy.
(Don't mind the nakie face.)

It was at this point of sectioning and back-combing that a friend of mine called to see how my day was. I ran through the minor events and then out of excitement, "I'm putting dreads in my hair as we speak."
She asked as if she hadn't heard me clearly, "What?"
I responded, "I'm putting dreadlocks in my hair right now."
Then I had to pull the phone away from my ear as I heard, "That's f*#king disgusting! That is disgusting. F*#cking disgusting, Stacey."
It's a good thing she wasn't there in person to see the look on my face. Inwardly I snorted in defiance and dropped the subject, asking about a story she had told me earlier on in the conversation.

(Don't worry, she apologized later; turns out she was a bit emotional at the time from another matter entirely.) I never let that conversation - and someone's opinion - discourage me. This was something I was doing for me. It symbolized the beginning of a journey and a dedication to something: my last year in my twenties. That's right, I'm 29 and I'm gonna do something potentially stupid so I can blame it on being in my twenties.

June 1st I decided to take the plunge and get dreadlocks installed on my head and in my hair. I say 'installed' because it was honestly like trying to perfect a work of art. My freshman roommate had it so wrong. Thank you to Kaitlin for the clarification five years ago. You see, dreads won't stay in unless your hair is clean - mark my words - clean, and residue free. The wax only comes in to "lock" the dreads and help them mature - but it's wax specifically designed for dreads and it smells like coconuts and margaritas... maybe a little bit like Starbursts.

I continued on my journey of back-combing and locking them.

(Arms, shoulders, hands... were all killing me.)

After 18+ hours I had my hair sectioned and wimpy dreads put in by back-combing. I say wimpy because I was so much of a chicken that at this point I could still comb them out.
(Notice the slightly skittish look on my face.)
(Plus I was d(r)ead tired from all the work.)

Fast forward again to yesterday and part of today which was spent with a 1mm crochet hook in hand and weaving through all 64 dreads on my scalp. Yes, sixty four, I counted them. I wound up unintentionally stabbing myself repeatedly with the crochet hook, that stupid tiny little metal barb lodged itself in my cuticle at one point. The rest of the action tore up my thumb, index finger, and middle finger pretty badly. Note to anyone who is going to crochet dreadlocks: be careful.
(Also, I don't recommend crocheting unless you have a super huge loop in the middle of your dread that needs to be pulled back in.) Why crocheting is bad.

 (This is pretty illustrative... but imagine two more fingers and more epic-sauce.)

So today I am pretty proud of what I have accomplished. I even adorned my new dreads with wooden beads, a couple glass ones, and one brass bead.
(My dreads in pigtails.)

I have to say that this is the best decision I have made in a long time. Today I wore them up in pigtails - very Harley Quinn style - and I was ecstatic.

I cannot believe I didn't do this sooner. I can style my hair anyway I choose: down and loose, up and elegant, pigtails and silly. I don't have to brush my hair ever again! It's finger-combing out of the shower, let them dry, and then go. Amazing. Ah-may-zing. Believe it or not, I actually feel more feminine having dreads.
(I look happy, don't I? Because I am!)
(This is how my hair looks when down and doing it's own thing.)

And there you have it. 8 days later. Me and my baby dreads. I can't wait to see how my 'babies' grow and 'mature' as time goes on. Best. Decision. Ever. Expect an update later on down the road!

Love, peace, and chicken grease.


 Until next time,
Shade (Stacey) ((Same thing.))

My Etsy Shop (Wings and Things by D&D Studios) is full of Handmade Dreadlock Beads and Cuffs! Made by a Dreadie for Dreadies. <3

See My Other Blog Posts About Dreadlocks:
  • My Dreading Journey Part 1

Tip:  Go Natural. Please don't use wax or other things in your dreads. Go to Dreadlockssite.com for VERY valuable information, tons of epic-awesome-sause dreadheads willing to help out and answer questions, and hands down the most dready community of sheer WIN.

Second Tip: If you INSIST on using products, some resources are: KnottyBoy.com for natural soaps, etc. and  Dread Head HQ. They offer essential amazing products such as Dread Head Dread Wax and Lock Peppa at really great prices.