Hiatus

Dear reader,

Please note a hiatus will be present from the date of this post until possibly the new year, depending. I’m undergoing surgery, quite likely as this post is being posted on my blog (hello future!). It’s possible I’ll not be back of my number of posts for a while so I’m placing this post in case you don’t here from me and worry. I’m probably fine, just recovering.

Yours in art, poetry and singing,

Anne

Henna, my experience with it

Hello readers, robots and cyborgs.
Let me start by saying that no, this is not turning into a beauty blog or something, I have far too much cynicism and definitely too much sarcasm for that. I do, however, want to write about my experience with Henna.

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Yes, this stuff. It’s like the devil, and poison ivy got together, and this was what has left in the bed afterwards. A sort of blackish, greenish slab that you cut up into bits if you only have a small amount of hair. If you are like me, though…

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You have a lot of the stuff. So half a bar (I use Lush Cacao Rouge but you do you). I put it in the double boiler and add some boiling hot water (about 1/4 of a cup will do) and then stir at the thing till it looks like satan herself has thrown up in your double boiler and you have to clean it.

I don’t have a photo of that, because I want my readers to remain sane. Or at least sane enough to read the rest of this blog post.

You then take it to a wet area (bathroom for you fancy types) and paint it into your hair like its the ambrosia of the gods and only this will make you pretty again. You will need gloves, and a hair paint brush or similar and some glad wrap, a shower cap that is a bit too big and if you have fair skin some Vaseline to keep it away from your ears and forehead. Really do not put on your best clothes. And have lots of towels ready wherever you are going to sit down for the next few hours. IMG_9469

Take it from me, this is my fourth time at doing this. This rodeo does not get easier. You want to put as much of this what I will politely call liquid on your hair using the paint brush. You want the liquid hot but not scalding, you want to die your hair, not lose it. If you have a lot of hair expect this to take a while. Slowly brushing this stuff into every nook and cranny takes time. Keep the pot in the double boiler near you, but not on the flame because burning the house down in your PJ’s is not very fun.

Once it is all on you will go into what I call the distractingly sexy” stage
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I wrap my liquid doused head in the cling wrap and then put the shower cap ontop. The reason I do this is that you need to keep this liquid on your head for many hours. Some people will wrap it very tight and try and sleep with it on, but I am not one of them. I like my bed to not smell like henna for the next year. It smells. It isn’t a bad smell, but its not really a great smell either. It smells like grass that has been chopped up, fried in a curry sauce and then slowly boiled for many hours. Like I said it’s not a brilliant smell and you can easily get heartily sick of it. Don’t worry once you wash it off the hair itself smells fantastic.

Anyway at this point time to binge watch or read, whatever you can do for the next few hours. You want to leave it at least two hours, more if you can stand it. It can get cold, wet and it can drip if you do not wrap it tight enough. I have learned that it’s a good time to get stuck into a Netflix series you are looking forward too or that book you have been saving for a rainy day.

This is what it tends to look like once you have washed it off. Your henna will take into your hair a bit slower than most commercial dyes so it can take a few days for the full effect to be evident.

The next stage is knots. I’ve done everything I’ve ever known about knots to stop them happening but no matter what I do, if I do the Henna myself I get knots. I have curly combination hair, so need a good shampoo and conditioner for that sort of hair. I also use a long toothed (Afro comb) and wide toothed comb to brush through the knots. A little hair may come out but if huge chucks come out, see your local hair care professional.

Two main things you need to avoid are chlorine and salty water. Especially at the early stages of the dye. You can’t really go swimming with your henna. Sorry. Fresh or desalinated water should in general be fine.

Bleach is also a big “Nono” as is methylated spirit (so avoid nits, don’t go into area where nits are based) most nit care products are also a big Nono. Most of these things just end up causing the henna to come out, but bleach may also end up causing your hair to go a strange color or just fall out.

If you have already dyed or bleached your hair, do a tester with a small patch or get a hairdresser to help you. Some hairdressers are quite happy to use products you bring, but do ask them when you make the appointment. If they don’t know the product they probably don’t want to use it.

result:

Pink Punk and Trans Fighter now on Redbubble [Shop]

For those who follow my comic, I have now made two new bits of art that are fetured in my comic. Pink Punk and Trans Fighter, both of which are featured here. Again 90% of funds raised going to my surgery fund, the other 10% to Greening Australia and A Gender Adgenda. Why these places? Well they both helped me in some pretty dark times in my life and I feel they both need help to keep on doing what they are doings. Of course once my surgery has happened I may up the amount that will go to them from sales.

Anyway here are the links and images of the two new products:

Trans Fighter Roundell


PinkPunkPoster

Happy purchasing,
Anne

Animals as Elements: A introduction

The Animals as Elements art series started for me, like some of my art as a reaction to another similar art project another artist was doing. In there case, so they were depicting the elements anthropomorphically as humans or human-like animals or as mythical generally human shaped animals.

I thought, hey what if I drew the elements as if they were animals? And so Animals as Elements was born. In the beginning, they started as A5 cards that I used to depict the element and the animal in an abstract or surreal depiction. I never felt that made it real enough. These elements are as real as the animals I am using to relate to them. I want people who see this art to get that relationship between our real world, our abstraction of the real world and the strange world that exists in-between. Eventually, I was led to me depicting each element as related to an animal.
Elements as Animals wasn’t a great name for the series, so I decided to make the series named Animals as Elements.

Within my art, I try to depict connections, as well as the subject. I also try and bring a certain rawness, an unspoken truth of the reality that is faced.
I hope you enjoy each elemental depiction and my reasoning behind each one. This art series has been a work of love and taken me five years to make and will appear as a zine for purchase in due course.

Yours in art,
Anne

Vegaterian Rogan Josh, based on the Kashmiri Style

This isn’t usually a food/recipe blog, but a lot of people have asked for this vegetarian adaption of a classic Indian Dish I have constructed.

Ingredients

Olive Oil

Coconut oil

1 Tablespoon Ground Fennel seeds

1 Kg of plain yoghurt (lactose-free optional)

1/2 Tablespoon whole cloves

Asafoetida powder

One tablespoon of crushed garlic

One large cinnamon stick

1 kg of tofu

Five large potatoes

Four teaspoons sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you like it hot)

2 cups of water

1/4 teaspoon garram masala

1. Beat yoghurt in a large bowl until it is smooth and creamy

2. Heat oil on a medium stove in a medium-sized pot, add garlic and cinnamon stick and gently cook until slightly brown, add potato and fry until browned, add water and let steam off the heat until needed in a pot

3. In a large hot frypan add slices of tofu to coconut oil until brown on either side, once done add to the potato to the pot

4. Heat oil on a hot stove in a large pot, once hot add cinnamon stick, cloves, ground asafoetida and garlic

5. Place the potato and tofu mixture and cook slowly stirring for about 3 minutes

6. Place in paprika, pepper and stir

7. Slowly add yoghurt in small batches of about a tablespoon at a time till its all added. Add the remaining spices and simmer until done. Add any water if needed until it is cooked

8. Add more garram marsala as you serve

Where does my art come from, what’s the meaning behind it

It’s autumn in Australia. The heat from summer still comes and goes but it’s not enough to stop you venturing outside anymore. You have just moved into a house by the bushland and their is a whole hill to explore. Walking through high dry grass and bursaria bushes that seem to snag at you, their is a sharp drop ahead. Casuarinas, wattles, eucalyptus have seemingly started to fight back against the bursaria here, following them closely a couple of baby kurrajongs have joined in. You can hear the kangaroos but not see them. The grass gets greener and thicker and the slope sharper and more rocky, granite replacing ancient dry clay baked in the summer heat. Here a creek has worn away at the hill. Slowly forming a gully that is glistening in the low morning sun. The granite and the rocks, the grass, the newly growing trees mixed with their older wiser seeming parents.

This was the gully. The place I spent a lot of my youth, when I wasn’t up a tree. It is what inspired me to start my art and poetry practice.

I wrote a poem about this gully, it talked about how it glowed, flowed, how it was strikingly buetiful. I felt like I could tell this gully’s story. How it formed, how it was beautiful, how peaceful and tranquil it was. I did an artwork that went with the poem. Together they appeared in the school paper.

I was promised I would get my artwork back. That the front office would look after it and I would be able to take it home.

I never saw it again. I felt betrayal, silenced, I never shared my poetry and artwork with any of my teachers the rest if my primary school life. I felt like barely anyone cared about it. Or the environment it was inspired by. As more people moved into the suburban haze, the scars by their refuse becomes more obvious.

This is where all of my art comes from. The silence of my inner child, trying to speak. I wanted to scream and show what I was feeling, but only through art was I able to really express it.

Three things are combined here, my spirit, my soul and my body. Each speaks in my art. Sometimes just one speaks, sometimes two, or all three. This rawness comes out.

Zine coming!

Dear reader, have you ever wanted to hold a pdf or a printed copy of the best poems I have produced? (As voted by Likes in WordPress, have a poem you want in the Zine? Go back and like it now!)

Ever want new original art exclusive to the zine? Ever want to help me as a artist and poet help me get better? Ever answer a rhetorical question out loud?

If you answered yes to any of those questions than your lucky day is coming soon!

Two zines are coming to the Enigma Garden!

Vixen poetry zine – issue 1

Animals as elements

Both will be available soon as hard copy, or pdf. Both will contain extra stuff exclusively to those who purchase a copy!

It’s all coming soon!

Yours in the enigma garden,

Anne

Etsy Store is up!

Etsy Store!

Hi all the Etsy store is up! A few other changes have been made to the site, but not much.

Hope you are all enjoy the art, poetry and such that I put together. If you want more buy my stuff off of Esty or Redbubble! Or if you are looking for something really special go to my commissions page. You can email me details of the sort of thing you are looking for. You get progress shots, and I will try my best to give you the art you are after before you buy. I have 10 commission slots, and NONE thats right NONE of them are currently taken up! So get in now if you need some art! (I also do poetry commissions)

Yours in art,

Anne

Another site update!

Hi all you awesome readers! I have made some updates to the site again!
Note my about page has changed most of all. Also the default font to something a little more Dyslexia friendly (I have dyslexia so makes sense).

Its not much of a update. I hope to get the site looking even better in due course, but it may take longer than I anticipated.
Also expect some new essays soon.

All my dreamwork stuff will soon appear in the archives! From my old dreamwork blog. New Dreamwork posts may appear in essays from time to time. I will also be turning it into a ebook! I just have to work out a sensible structure and format to put it in. At the moment its pretty chaotic! Nevertheless you will be able to get it from me for a small amount of money in the near future.

In reading and writing,
Anne

On paganism and being transgender

(Most of my essays on dreaming and paganism were archived with my older blog. This is the first essay I have posted on this blog, probably not the last.)

Being both pagan and a transgender woman can be a very harsh road. As I was working out my gender identity, I learned some of the hardest people that existed in my community.

There are still Pagans who are followers of a belief that only women who had experience of a period could be “true women”. Forgetting how ableist this is for a moment, it is often explicitly directed at exclusively. Usually paraded in the name of historical accuracy, which if you ever do your reading in neopaganism you know for sure is complete bull shite.

I’m confident that such history, is ultimately flawed, even reconstructionist pagans can never hope to have an entirely accurate depiction of what the pagan cultures they reconstruct. Many modern and ancient cultures though had more than one gender, and our binary two have not always been a strict line that is followed. The whole idea of two-genders an exclusively Abrahamic idea, but it is a duality that historically has been used by those purporting to such religions have used to their advantage.

Almost all reconstructions of pagan beliefs hold that their is nothing to be done about the parts of history that have humans harming each other. Pagans were systematically persecuted for centuries. Conversely, when the pagans were in control of the government systems that did exist, the same was done to the Christians. It’s unfortunate but true. The other thing was that the pagans who did get more modern practices, those that survived to the point of the Christian church’s reach over the Roman Empire, believed that sex and gender were more fluid than those coming from the teachings of Abraham and his followers.

I’m not looking to open old wounds here. I’m looking to compare. LGBTI people often find sanctuary within the neopagan community. The idea of sex being scared, life itself is scared, and these are qualities that many LGBTI people find attractive against the raw, often strict monotheisms, though there is an issue of being excluded. Transgender and intersex people still usually are. I have seen the way too many a pagan ritual or pagan woman’s group that has said I have to have been “born” and or “blood” or have experienced it. I have heard of similar men’s rights that require a penis, or the ability to ejaculate. I think we also shouldn’t go into the “cakes of light” stuff from the often pagan aligned occultism. How LGBTI people can fit into some of this is usually a big question that some of these paths answer, others never even consider, and some make explicit that LGBTI people are just not yet welcome.

So I exclude myself. Work only with women who see me as a woman. Who actually know “biology” is far more complicated. That “Mother Nature” is a fallible woman. That many animals exist in the single-gender environment, swapping their physical gender due to temperatures, age, status etc. The gods to some pagans are infallible just like they are to the Christians. Such a thing seems insanely dull to me. The gods are changing, movable, malleable, and almost every mythology tells of a god or goddess changing their mind or forced to due to their situation or needs. Strict rules are often bent, broken or in some case just plain ignored. Why then can us supposedly fallible humans not be the same?

I’m hopeful myself that these things are something more of the pagan community sees as sacred. The ability for the changeable divine. The transgender divine even. The gods are always going to have to change as we do. One day, maybe we will find how to change as quickly as they.

Animals as Elements: 3&4, Lithium Earthworm & Beryllium Salamander 


Lithium and Beryllium are the next two elements on the periodic table. They are both very volatile and odd but also necessary. Hence both having strange creatures as their representatives in this series. The piece you see here is a very early work. I’m mostly displaying it as I often feel I should show how much I have grown as an artist over time. These sort of growths photos help me as an artist, and I am sure they will help others.

Earthworms are deceivingly simple creatures. They are quite complicated life for their size, and the same goes for Lithium. It is a far more difficult element than it seems at first. Even tricking some of the worlds best minds in nuclear fusion when they built the whole stuff up that was a Castle Bravo nuclear test.

Salamander are fascinating little creatures. Some are toxic, others not so. They should not be confused with axolotls and newts. The salamander lives in aquatic like environments mostly in the northern hemisphere. They are the only true vertebrates who can fully regenerate cut off limbs. Although some lizards can perform partial regeneration, it’s not nearly to the extent and ability that Salamanders can. Often they are associated with the alchemical element of fire. I’m not sure why. I blame Agrippa (Alchemy joke for all you Alchemy fans).

Beryllium almost always only occurs with other elements. As part of a crystal or simply just with the other elements. It is slightly toxic and requires specific handling. It’s also oddly invisible to X-rays and thus is often used in plastic and glass on X-ray equipment. It also is very flexible for a metalloid. It’s also sometimes used to date in radiocarbon dating due to its isotope B10s half life.

Virtual Exhibition: Animals as elements. 

As some of you who follow this blog for a long time I intersect my poetry often with my artwork. This has led me to decide to start my first Virtual exhibition of my physical artwork. Although I also dabble in my virtual artwork a lot of that is concentrated on getting art done for my comic. Which also helps me in bringing my narrative skills to bear.

So to help bring the two together in a new way I will be creating a virtual exhibition of my Animals As Elements series of physical art. Each will come with a artists statement of how the art came into being, why that particular animal was chosen and sometimes a poem. This will of course take some time so I plan to realese them about weekly. Thankfully the art is well ahead of the other parts of this process. 

Hope you enjoy.

Yours in creativity,

Anne 

Augustpoetpuza

I am going to be posting a poem every second day in August. I hope. I’m doing this for two reasons, one to practice my poetry skills and try and up the differences between them. The other is to gain more attention to my blog. Yeah I’m a little vain, but I love it when people like my poems. 

All these poems are free! For your eyes to see. If I’m feeling really generous I might even record me reading one or two.

I will be also be making poetry and art for sale section of the site in due course. Possibly before this post goes up. 

Hope all is well,

Anne

Art Portfolio is Live

Hi all!

Sorry its taken a while as I have been sick with a dreded cold fluy thing. I have had to have a bit of a hiatus, but am back now. In site news, I have now put up my art portfolio here:

Art Portfolio

You can even send me a email for a commission, if you like. My rates are resnoble.

Enjoy.

Note only one poem this month, but lots coming in August.

In creativity,
Anne

Nerve Endings- edited by Toni Hill-Meyer – review (repost)

Nerve Endings review  

I’m reposting the link to review of Nerve Endings here so that it’s available my readership. Also goo see the stuff that Elizabeth does on her website / blog. I’m always amazed at how well she keeps up with the publishing industry and manages to read way more books than I’ll probably read in my lifetime. She’s also a excellent editor and writer, and a wounderful freind. 

Author update

Hi readers,

A few more slight changes. Since the writing for hammersmith is now going to only be for the comic which has moved, I have placed all the Hammersmith stuff under one heading on the Enigma Garden site. The comic will be the main place for the story, but I want to keep the story here for prosperity. I might start up text updates in future maybe, maybe not. We shall see. Hammersmith has always meant to be a comic and now I finally feel like my art is good enough for it. So hopefully I will be able update it a bit more often now I am not worrying about keeping the text bit updated.,

https://hammersmithcomic.wordpress.com/

This means more non-continual text will appear here for the moment. I will be writing a few short stories which will likely eventually end up here when I am happy with them.

Cheers,

Anne

Updated about, Facebook page and some retroconjuration

Hi faithful readers, new and old.

I now have a Facebook fan page: https://m.facebook.com/annerowlandsartistpoet/

You can find a link to some other new stuff including a pateron on my About page here and on the Hammersmith comic page. 

I’m also now open to full paid art and poem commissions. I’m not yet sure how to sell them, I’m open to suggestions. You can get such things from my patreon page but I’m not linking to that except from my about page for the moment. More news on that when available.

Their had also been some dreaded retroconjuration in the Hammersmith story. Particularly a bit I was unhappy with in chapter 17. Of course the original is still available in the pandora archive of this blog. For which I ask future readers to forgive me for my mistakes. 

Cheers and thanks for reading and continuing to support.

Anne 

P.s. I’m looking to redesign the art area of the site soon.

Hammersmith Comic

Hi readers!

I’m going to be making the Hammersmith story into a comic. A full fledged comic. With every page a comic strip. I’m pretty excited about this actually. It’s really what Hammersmith was supposed to be to being with. 

That being said this poetry / fiction WordPress site doesn’t deal with comic format strips well. For a start going back and forth would be even more of a nightmare than it already is! Creating a content page was my only way around this. So I’m going to put the Hammersmith comic on a completely new WordPress. To be announced soon.

The comic will likely be as close to fortnightly as I can get. So I’ll be making the announcement of the new site once I have enough strips to keep ahead of myself. So probably a month or two from now. 

I’ll now leave you to your regularly scheduled poetry and short fiction.

Anne 

Hammermith Hiatus

Anyone following my fiction story will have spotted it hasn’t updated for a while. I’m sorry about that but I’m working on another project and their is a issue in the story I have to Retconjurate. I hate summoning the greatest power of the writer but it’s essential. It’s a earlier chapter (book 1) and I’m not sure how to modify it yet. When you see the next hammersmith update you will know it’s been fixed / rewritten. 

It’s a mistake I’m not proud of, and thus I’m not going to draw attention to it.

Usual poetry updates will continue unabated. 

Anne 

My top ten songs 

My top ten songs
I wrote quite a few non fiction articles in my time online. Some I’m not proud of. Some hide in the deepest reaches of the early Internet. The things am proud of are my few but, I think at least half way decent music reviews. I wrote a few for a blog then known as Tomarto Records Monthly. It’s now known Tomatrax and is edited by Richard. I enjoyed writing a little piece to help celebrate the fact that Richard has had his music reviews, interviews, etc. going for a good solid 10 years. A feat well worth celebrating, sharing, and having been a fairly small part of.

Hope you like it.

Redbubble thing

Hiya readers,

Just thought I would let you guys know that I now have a red bubble account. This is basically to help with expenses. I don’t expect to get a whole lot, but a little will help. I will be putting some Hammersmith and art stuff their. Anyway if you want to look and happen to like something you can now buy it, if you happen to have some spare change.

http://www.redbubble.com/people/annewednesday/

 

 

 

Hiatus of hammersmith 

Hi readers,

Just letting you know that their will be a hiatus of the Hammersmith story. I was hoping to puase at a more logical point but it doesn’t seem like I will be able to write the reaming 3 chapters of this “book” before I reach my (2 self imposed, 1actual) declines for these projects. 

In good news this means the site admin project, were by I will make my poetry and my Hammersmith posts easier to find. I will also take some time to get more of my art on the site, in a another section entirely. I will try to avoid bulk posting the art, hopefully I can get WordPress to put it on a schedule for the next few months. 

The other good news is that this site will also have another project of mine coming online soon. Again this will be fiction as opposed to poetry. It will involve more fantasy than science fiction elements, but in reality probably fits into the “steampunk” genre. 

The final bit of news is that as always regular poem output will continue and be accessible through the poetry tags. 

Share and enjoy!

Anne

A few small hammersmith things (not a story bit)

Hiya reader,

I would like to let you know you can now read Hammersmith on Whattpad if you so desire, I have up to chapter 8 their will upload more as more readers read it. The comic chapters can’t be uploaded their so you will still have to visit this site foe them.

Here is the link: https://www.wattpad.com/story/39844638-hammersmith

Anyway a really big chapter is on its way, so look forward to that. I had a lot of trouble writing it. Expect chapters to go a bit slower for the moment as I am making sure there as little continuity errors as possible. Do note that their may occasionally be some Retconjuration, and I will of course keep that to a minimum. Also do note that their a various histories about what happened during the Incident, so no one account can be taken without thinking about the sources bias.

Anyway I hope you are enjoying my story.

Always welcome comments etc.

Anne