DIY trick ‘and’ treat Halloween panties

halloween underwearTreat tonight’s date to a naughty trick with these devilish DIY bad girl panties. A sexy, full-on naked, first impression leads to a very spooky, downright scary surprise. Caution: may cause long term trauma when dealing with a first time face-to-panty explorer…

She lifts the hem of her angel costume and beckons him closer. In the dim light of the party host’s bedroom he can see she’s not wearing any underwear.

“Not a natural blonde then, eh?” He chuckles at his joke. He can’t believe his luck. It’s easy, too easy.

“Crawl to me, slowly,” she orders.

Dropping to his knees, he obeys. Closer, closer, his heart beating faster, faster, pounding to the tempo of the Halloween music booming below. Now his head is bowed at her white stilettos. He follows the curve of her bare, sweet smelling calf with his lips, his tongue. This is his first time. Anticipation is ringing in his ears. Now up her thighs, spread just wide enough to take his cheeks between and squeeze, gently, as he rises towards his prize.

But suddenly everything is wrong! Cold, so cold and horrifying! He’s face to face with a swarming mass of scorpions!! He cries out, falls back, traumatized down to very gut of his manhood.

“Holiday birth control at its finest,” she laughs, and walks over him back down to the party.

What you’ll need to make your own DIY Halloween panties:
1 flesh coloured thong (La Senza)
1 package creepy critters (Dollar Store or Walmart)
flesh coloured thread

Arrange plastic insects/scorpions/spiders into a… um… suggestively pubic simulation. Sew to secure in place. And because this subversive craft is all about ‘subtlety’, chose critters that match your natural… um… hair colour – cockroaches for blondes, scorpions for brunettes. Oh, and that green beetle fellow if you’re in the mood for a Brazilian rainforest surprise ~wink.

nerd panties

Note: This technique can also be used to DIY the most frightening Halloween underwear of all… Microsoft, Star Trek, and Noam Chompsky certified NERD PANTIES!! Although I think the scariest thing here is that I actually own all these pins.

Welcome to the glamour of the void

haute couture depressionWhen we untether ourselves from a set of behaviours and/or beliefs (however unhealthy) that have anchored us in this mad mad world, we must face the inevitable hell of ‘the void’. You’ve been there, when your brain chemistry is crashing hard and your whole universe turns in on itself and any semblance of hope dissolves into putrid stringy traces of vomit in your tortured throat – not to be too dramatic or anything. Welcome to the glamour of the void.

6:25AM – you’re sprawled on your bed in a frenzied state of wanton despair, with nothing to look forward to but the bland blind routine of daily responsibility – lucky you. No bullshitting, such purity of emotion is a rare and magical thing in our age of diffusion through screen and language. There’s something so fabulously indulgent about waking up to a viable world where everything good and beautiful exists only as a mockery of self.

We’re taught to fear the void, to stay in the arms of abusive lovers and abusive substances rather than embrace its grim romance. But no sense pining for bygone Byron days of poetic emotional abandon. Let’s get real. The void can be navigated and negotiated just like any other system state, provided, of course, you’ve got the balls.

5 tips to help you survive the void:

1) Accept the void with unrelenting compassion. Breathe. Feel the horror, the pain, and the misery as it is, as an eternity.

2) Go through the minimal motions of a day. Respect your system state and don’t pick a fight, do the dishes, or ask for a raise. And make sure to avoid news media!

3) Dress the part. Above is a 2014 collection of void-approved designs inspired by fashion design houses Chanel, Dior, and Alexander McQueen. But you don’t have to style your pain in haute couture. Even if it’s just apocalyptic back-of-the-drawer underwear, just be sure to carry a symbol of today’s truth. Note: Tragically, Lee Alexander McQueen didn’t make it through the void… a man gifted and cursed by a genius sensitivity.

4) Give yourself permission to force-feed your system: maximize your nutrients, drink lots of water, get some exercise, connect with your social support. Trust system state logic, it hasn’t failed you yet!

5) Don’t force hope. Today, there is none. And that’s perfectly OK. You may have the vague memory of being someone who had hope. Other people around you may provide precedent of hope. Whatever. That’s enough for today.

The void, just like a craving, is one of our most intimate human experiences. If we accept it for what it is, without panic, it can be an interim glamour in and of itself. There is no bridge. You must brave its black waters to get to the other side. Trust time and system state support to balance out your brain chemistry. But more importantly, trust the larger system to carry you up and along with it into the future. Reach your body into the current and let go… float, glassy eyed and screaming, into the glamour of the void.

Recover from a bad first impression using only the clothes on your back – and someone else’s!

terrible first impressionWhen I get off the elevator Tuesday morning on the 6th floor, I find Dr. C talking to my boss, who looks quite overwhelmed by the white haired 10th floor phenom.

“Cymbria!” Dr. C turns and greets me with neon pink lips spread wide. “Paper’s got to roll itself for a few minutes. I’m borrowing you for an emergency.”

She doesn’t say another word as she leads me up to Blank Canvas Living’s offices, despite all my questions and panicked pleas for training, something, anything, Aaaack! We get off the elevator and she takes me down a bleak, almost institutional, hallway without giving me the tiniest hint of what to expect. Not even when she opens a green glass door, about halfway down, and guides – who are we kidding, shoves! – me through. The door clicks shut behind me and I’m in a small white office with silken green carpeting that looks suspiciously like-high end Astro Turf. There are two chairs, but their purpose is lost on the fire haired woman who, I’m assuming, is my first ‘real-time’ creative counseling client.

It’s my turn to be speechless. A faint scratching, grinding sound is coming from under the opposite chair. That’s right, under. My client, a well-dressed 30-something businesswoman, is curled up in the fetal position gnawing on a chair leg. No joke. What the hell?

I wait for an opportune lull in the gnawing. “Are you Ok?” I ask.

“Do I look Ok?!” she snarls. “I’m gnawing on a f*&^^*ing chair leg! I hate my job. I hate my life. I hate my hair. And I hate the *&^^%&*((* photocopier that jammed and made me crazy this morning!”

“I like your hair.” My voice is so meek, even I’m not sold.

“Whatever. Who the hell are you anyway?”

“I’m Cymbria. It’s my first time.”

“Dr. C had better not be charging me for this. And seriously, why would I take advice from someone wearing such an abomination of a sweater?
recovering from bad first impressionShe’s right. Dr. C may have helped me burn my ugly pants, but the sweater she met me in still haunts my closet, its ease too easy an argument on so many grey/black branded mornings. I take it off and toss it on the grassy floor between us.

“Oh sure,” she says, letting go of the chair leg, “like that ratty old tank top is any more professional.”

“Fine.” I take that off too, and let it drop like a limp white flag of surrender. But this is no resignation. I’ve got her full attention now that I’m down to my bra and jeans. It’s my turn to call her out: “And I don’t know how I can listen to someone bitching about their life when they’re wearing a fresh-pressed button-down and Christian Louboutin heels!”

“Fine.” The woman picks herself up, strips off her shirt, and kicks off her shoes. She stands her ground with arms crossed and jaw set, challenging me.

“You want professional?” I say, as I take her white oxford from the top of our laundry pile and button it over my bra. It’s a tad loose, but the more like a lab coat the better. Off go my jeans and I make an improvised matching skirt from my repurposed ‘ratty’ white tank top. Recovering from a terrible first impression demands high risk creative problem solving. “Now hand over the tights. You came here wanting to expose your brain for someone to poke around in. Hosiery sharing isn’t anywhere near as intimate and you know it.”

She gives me her tights and lets me dress her in a true tickle trunk representation of how she says she feels. I tie my sweater sleeves (so what if they stretch – t’is a noble sacrifice) behind her back for a straightjacket effect, then get her to put her feet in the wrong end of my jeans to trap her legs. She draws the line at letting me hood her with her black gabardine pencil skirt – “can’t wreck the hair,” she says, which I take as a possible sign of improving moral.

We sit facing each other, transformed. “Now,” I say, as professionally as possible, ignoring the pain of her glorious but too-tight Louboutins, “how can I help?”

This is a Story Thread post – Click to read more…

I woke up officially too fat for all my clothes – and I’m loving it!

This post is about as PC as sending back an adopt Namibian baby after the novelty of carrying the little tike round on your hip has worn off. You’ve been warned! I woke up fat today, with a couple tike’s worth of pudge cantilevered out over my own hipbones. Not one single waistband would button or zip. A winter’s worth of last-hurray-before-milestone-birthday denial fueled debauchery, combined with a classic feminine retention, conspired to maximize the bloat factor – and on a Friday no less!

But I have a secret, I kinda like it. Actually, I feel like I’m breaking all the rules because I’m loving my new pounds in a sneaky, indulgent sort of way. I’m deep into a one night stand with a new partner, a strange woman with hedonistic appetites and soft, yielding flesh. I can’t help but wonder… Is this what it’s like to be a man? The lure of a novel body is intoxicating. How do men survive surrounded by so much flesh? Do they feel the same intense, driving curiosity to explore, and by exploring, possess? These curves are fresh and foreign, and I’m drawn into the passionate exoticism of knowing another body for the first time. The temporal (oh please dear gawd let it be temporal!) nature of my current weight allows a sense of detachment; my internal body image has not had time (or my permission!) to adjust. I am free to explore, to indulge – but what to wear?!

The temptation to dress for concealment, rather than display, is strong – and entirely culturally driven. But the logic is all backwards… What joy can there be in hiding? Hiding implies shame, and I feel no shame for maxing out my humanity in preparation for said epic B-Day (maybe a wee smidgen of guilt, but let’s not go there). Blank Canvas Living is, in essence, about honouring our humanity, and what could be more human than breakin’ out the cleavage.

My back-of-the-drawer-fat-day clothes don’t celebrate shit. Neither do yours. Let’s not kid ourselves. We all have go-to uniforms for when we wander too far from our own, uniquely personal, weight baselines. Instead of camouflage, I started searching my closet for something, anything, that would highlight my new curves. After various exercises in claustrophobia, I finally settled on an outfit: an extremely forgiving stretch gray A-line skirt; a serious push-up bra; and a fuchsia faux-pashmina, draped over my shoulders and cinched at the waist with a wide, embroidered belt.

So far the outfit has prompted at least one “is that Scottish…?” coworker complement. But more importantly, I think I look how I feel – powerful – like a medieval knight strapping on my house’s colours (heralding… pink?) before charging into battle. And as an added Friday bonus, I get to enjoy the delightfully fleshy treat that Tia Carerre (see left) was such a dear to sign last time I found myself in a similarly salacious situation.

Note: Ever notice how the holes on your belt form a statistical weight bell curve? The indents on my belt (shown above) reduces my waistline to a mathematical function through time. But any further ‘reducing’ requires a less numerical form of ‘crunching’ … sigh.

Blank Canvas Sampler: A new species of Urban Anas to add to the genus of dabbling ducks

Historically, samplers began as a way to record and collect needlework stitches and patterns for future use and adaptation. When a needlewoman saw a new or intriguing piece of stitching, she would quickly sew a copy onto a piece of cloth. These samplers evolved organically over a lifetime, the patterns spreading outwards with the deceptive randomization of fractals, as the needlewoman’s collection grew in variation, texture, and complexity.

After borders and alphabets were added in the 17th century, along with religious and moral verses, samplers became more deliberate, organized, and methodical. No longer a collection of tactile experiences, samplers became a showcase for skill and were taught to young girls as a “sign of virtue, achievement, and industry”.

Sound familiar? Our 21st century culture celebrates those who channel their energies into ‘profitable communication’. Everything we do has become a demonstration of skill, rather than a collection of knowledge and experience. But humans are not efficient, or perfect. Our stitches are brushstrokes, not pixels. When we allow our hands to record our world, a new honesty surfaces in our observations. The Blank Canvas Sampler is a collection of true life images and people, overheard tidbits and cultural commentary. Let’s bring the sampler, and our lives, back to their root humanity.

Click here to discover the Blank Canvas Sampler

Note: This matching winter morning couple made last Friday’s walk to work feel a little less like a walk to work

Blank Canvas Thinkers: Karl Lagerfeld quotes about work/life balance and the perfect day

While these quotes from Karl Lagerfeld’s ‘Karl on Karl’ interview will resonate with any deeply creative person, they highlight the contrast between the visionary and all the tiny French fingers, living between bonbons and pinpricks, that labour over his Chanel haute couture. These petites-mains bring his dreams into the physical, then wait quietly for him to come and tighten their work, until every hemline and seam echo his “will and discipline” – thereby achieving a certain perfection. His self direction must be respected, even admired, but can any man be called a genius when he has left no room in his philosophy for the regenerative chaos of love?