A Christmas Gift Guide

Hey pals,

 

I never thought I would do a gift guide honestly, but I’ve stumbled upon some cool small businesses and artists online, and some of them are also my friends! What better way to celebrate Christmas than sharing the love of art and creations for others to buy! So here is my Christmas Gift Guide.

 

Cassie Maes’ Bijoux a la Main Jewellery

Cute and quirky jewellery. She also produces custom orders.

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Lena of Art by Lena

She provides a website/social media header design service, all beautifully hand painted and custom to you. Cute wooden Christmas-ish ornaments, stickers, prints, bookmarks, postcards, all kinds of hand painted wonderful-ness!

Check out her other links here.

Dylan / Dylanoliv.art

A real mixture of creative works from photography to drawing to sculptures. He makes cool illustrated sticker versions of sculptures he has made and draws cool faceless people. To buy, send him a message on his art insta @dylanoliv.art

Dylan also has a Redbubble!

Abbi Guse of Abbigail Guse Art

Art prints of ethereal women and landscapes. Also cute stickers and clothes! (I’m particularly partial to those)

Also check out her Redbubble.

Alex of Baby Limbs Art

Funky wallpaper, line character work, gremlins, cute animals and more! Occasionally, she will make bizarre jewellery bits. You can order directly through her on her instagram for postcards and prints, she is also planning on doing christmas cards!

Fox Fisher

Screen printing and teaching short courses, limited edition prints, LGBT+ art works and stickers.

Check out their store here.

Lorna Henson

Handmade elasticated harnesses, custom orders, size inclusive. Either wear as sexy addition to lingerie or a cool accessory addition to an outfit.

Positively Peculiar 

Quirky handmade jewellery and badges, second hand clothes with a 90’s vibe. The badges often have a good political statement which is always a plus for me!

CultureSmart’s Travel Guides!

Kuperard Publishers very kindly gifted me a copy of their ‘essential guide to customs & culture’ Japan edition! This is a whole new level of travel guide that really talks about the culture of the place you’re interested in travelling to with some helpful do’s and don’ts when it comes to conversation. This would be a great present for anyone looking to travel in the New Year and they have a HUGE list of locations they have covered!

And of course, ME! Can’t make a gift guide without shameless self promotion!

As you know, I sell second hand items on my depop, you can for sure find some presents on there (and it’s not always just clothes) all my postage wrapping is reused!

I also make all kinds of art stuff! I particularly like line drawn portraits and making fun wall signs out of scrap pieces of wood, and I sometimes make cute cards! I’m open to commissions 🙂 hit me up on my art insta.

And I do tarot card readings through email! So if you’re interested, give me an email at: artiecardenbusiness@gmail.com (paid through paypal)

 

I hope you enjoyed this little gift guide! It’s mostly art stuff but occasionally something else! I hope you found some good ideas here and thank you for supporting my friends and their small businesses!

 

~ Artie

 

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It’s Time To Celebrate Men in Dresses

Hey pals,

 

Every few months on Twitter, I see a new set of photos going viral of men (or nonbinary AMAB people) in dresses or other femme items of clothes. I saw a tweet today talking about the white members of this group always get a tonne of praise bubt when it comes to black men and nonbinary people, there’s nowhere near as much appreciation. I have to agree, whilst doing my Google search for pictures, most of the people breaking gender fashion boundaries were actually black men who I’d never heard of/never seen the photos. A lot of them are also Rappers and R&B artists, adding another layer of boundary pushing.

(Also, I know my features image isn’t men, they’re nonbinary, it was just a pretty image I wanted to use!)

So this post is just a fun appreciation of the men pushing the gender boundaries with a few nonbinary honorary mentions.

 

Ashton Sanders

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Frazer Harrison

 

Raviv Ullman

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Seth Meyers

 

Jaden Smith

 

ASAP Rocky

(picture 2 is a pair of shorts but low-key looks like a skirt)

 

Young Thug

He has done numerous interviews talking about wearing women’s clothes and explaining that he is not gay. Quite interesting read.

YungBlud

Also is going to or already has set up unisex skirt as part of his merch.

 

Now our honorary Nonbinary Icons

 

Sam Smith

 

Keiynan Lonsdale

 

Ezra Miller

 

There are many more I’m sure (this article mentions a few people I haven’t) and I’m sure there are many I haven’t found or have forgotten. Please share any below that you know of! Would love to know more! I just wanted to put this out there for people born AMAB that no matter your sex or gender, you can wear whatever the fuck you want and I support this! (I also have a tonne of stuff up for sale, UK friends, and I am a trans friendly seller, I don’t care what your gender is you can buy from me!)

 

Men in dresses rock.

 

~ Artie

Recent Thrifted Clothes Haul!

Hey pals,

 

At one of my family’s favourite second hand warehouses, they have a £3 per bag of clothes sale (and the bags are pretty large) and I went to my first a little while ago. I did buy more than I’m showing but some were presents for someone else, not clothes, or did not fit but are up for sale on my depop so check that out! (buying from my depop helps me out a lot!) The tables were piled up so high and they kept dumping trolleys full on top! There’s another coming soon so I plan on going there again coz I found some great things!

First, I found this funky 80’s looking reversible jumper (which is a wee bit small on my arms but my arms are freakishly long and it was too cool to leave it!) it felt very Stranger Things one side and Beetle Juice the other!

I found a few oversized plaid (ish) shirts in a range of colours and brands! The green one is actually Ralph Lauren! The middle picture felt very Bowling For Soup, Ska–style so I had to grab it, living my pop-punk dad dreams.

This was my first attempt at wearing this shirt, with a t-shirt I thrifted from another warehouse for £1.

One thing i’ve been looking for, for a while, are some grungey mens rugby shirts and I found a couple I loved! I wasn’t too sure on the first one as it was a size small, but didn’t look too bad. Definitely one to save for a skinny day. But I absolutely adore the middle one (I think in a XL) I’m dead for the green and burgundy. The third picture is my favorite way to wear it with some corduroy 3/4-length trousers I’d picked up in a charity shop. I plan on replacing the elastic in the waist as it’s a bit stretched out, but otherwise I love them! (It was also the outfit I wore in a music video!)

This was not something I thrifted during this trip, but this is how I like to wear my clothes at the moment. These are my favourite trousers right now (besides the corduroy) real Levi’s from the racks in Brighton for only £10! and the £1 t-shirt I bought at Shabitat when they had the £1 clothing sale on!

 

If anyone really likes these blog posts, I’ll happily make more including pictures of me styling some of the items as I think this is fun. I don’t see a lot of LGBT+ style bloggers or YouTubers out there and kinda fumble my way around. i love clothes, and i love style, and I LOVE thrifting! So, I’d love to share these experiences etc. with you all!

 

~ Artie

Check out my IGTV Video of my recent thrifting experiences and some other clothes I’d picked up that aren’t shown here!

I’m also thinking about showing my thrifted wardrobe in a YouTube video sometime so if you’d like to see that let me know!

Body Shaming When You’re Chronically Ill

Hey pals,

 

I’ve been hearing a lot about fatshaming in the medical industry and also general body shaming and certain standards people are expected to meet online recently. I have a long, complex history with my body and other people’s relationship to my body so these topics have brought up a lot for me I wanted to discuss.

 

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I don’t talk about my weight online, not in specific numbers anyway, because everyone changes their opinion of me once they hear the number. It doesn’t matter if its the weight on my scale or my BMI, people make a judgement they didn’t initially have. My BMI is currently in the ‘overweight’ category leaning close to ‘obese’, and I’m not trying to be up myself here but how am I nearly obese? I am an average mid-size person, but the NHS BMI calculator is saying I need to lose 26.5lbs (12kg/almost 2 stone) to be in the healthy weight range (not mid-healthy i mean barely in the range).

About 6 years ago I was two stone heavier and I received enough fat shaming from my NHS health team to make me want to die. I had to be weighed for my contraceptive pill and I had purposefully been avoiding the scale and said, “as long as you don’t tell me.” and stood on it. I did really well not to succumb to the temptation of looking all for my doctor to just outright tell me anyway! Of course as soon as I hopped in the car I googled the number into ones I understood. I always worked in lbs. And that night I wanted to die.

Before I had gotten to this weight, I was probably roughly the weight I am now maybe 10lbs lighter, and I’d finally decided to go ask for professional health with my disordered eating. I’d told him all the things I had done and been doing and how I was trying to stop doing them, and even though my behaviours fit best with Bulimia, he told me I had Binge Eating Disorder (BED) ignoring all of the self destructive things I was doing from starving myself to purging, I barely even binged, my binged were minute compared to other bulimics I’d met or other binge eaters. I was astonished. Part of his advice is what lead me to gaining so much weight so quickly and sending me even deeper into depression and triggering me more. All of the note books he gave me were for binge eating, not starving or purging or any of the other things I did. All because I was ‘overweight’ by BMI standards.

I’m disabled. I suffer with a lot of chronic pain. I have been told countless times to lose weight because that ‘will make it better’, without thinking about anything else going on with me. I suffer with so much fatigue I barely function 90% of the time. Exercise wipes me out for DAYS. But we should all exercise for 30 minutes a day and if you don’t YOU’RE LAZY.

 

At this point in my life, I am dealing with a very unstable IBD. As I write this, I feel nauseous and cannot eat my dinner and had a couple of bad episodes on the toilet because I accidentally ate something triggering to my stomach yesterday and now just have to suffer. I have barely moved from bed today. I also have an abscess in a VERY uncomfortable place which means I can’t do most of the exercises I’ve been recommended and felt able to do: walking sometimes aggravates it, I can’t sit on a bike seat so can’t get on my exercise bike for 15 minutes, I can’t really leave the house to go to the gym or a yoga class coz I might suddenly be in so much pain I can’t participate and may not be able to drive myself home. But I’m lazy for being overweight. I’ve fiddled with my diet constantly, partially coz I’ve had to cut out foods that trigger my IBD flares, but also trying to get the right nutrients into my body without fucking starving.

I’m bad at feeding myself, coz either I’ll forget and suddenly be so starving I feel sick, or all I do is EAT. I’ve been put on steroids that make you want to eat. At one point, I couldn’t stop eating even though I was so full I wanted to be sick. With an IBD, weight loss is BAD. Either your gut isn’t getting enough nourishment from your food or you’re shitting so much of it out so quick there’s no time for your body to absorb it. So, I guess at least they worry if I’m looking more trim lol.

 

“Just go for a walk,” they say, “anything to raise your pulse,” they say… but anything I like doing I’m not ‘allowed’ because of my disability so OF COURSE I’m not consistent with exercise you tell me I can’t do stuff I enjoy. One doctor even told me I only enjoy those things because I am good at them, because of my disability… is that a crime? Am I not allowed to enjoy things I can do? Ballet and yoga don’t hurt me as much a circuits or zumba (which gave me shin splints btw). I also found out recently I can’t even swim anymore because of muscle problems in my right arm, it’s too painful to actually swim… the number one recommended activity (which I also don’t really like but now I can’t even do)

 

We constantly see skinny people selling us health and size as if it’s easy to reach without a 6 figure paycheck, a personal chef, personal trainer and surgery tbh. And the ‘normies’ of the world who don’t have a disability or chronic illness that takes a toll on your energy and activity level like to cram it down our throats that we just aren’t doing enough. There’s 24 hours in a day, you can use 1 for exercise. But… I sleep 10 hours on average, some days more, I’m slower to do things, I have to remember to take 1500 pills morning and night, doctors appointments and how I’m going to get there and be emotionally prepared for what they are going to say, or wow I need to cook myself dinner but I can’t bring myself to stand in the kitchen nor think of a meal I could make… Check out the spoon theory if you need more explanation.

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Not everyone can walk their dog, or get to a gym, or AFFORD A MEMBERSHIP, or have you ever thought about the process of getting ready to swim and then getting ready to leave from swimming? Most changing rooms are hot and you’re sweaty and you can’t dry off and you can’t get your clothes on and now you’re dizzy and you might be sick! It really just goes on.

 

Most people, including doctors, do not think I am ‘overweight’ when they look at me. I carry my weight around my middle mostly so occasionally I jokingly call myself ‘skinny passing’.

 

Here’s a great experiment: Me, my mum, and my gran. Different heights, I’m 5’7, my mum 5’4, my gran 5’2. Carry our weight differently, mine is mostly my stomach and upper arms, my mum is mostly her bum and stomach, my gran is almost entirely her chest. Poor little woman with great old nunga-nungas. We are all very similar clothing sizes. My gran needed a size 18 to fit comfortably over her boobs. I’m roughly a 16/18 on top for broad shoulders and ribs and 14-16 on bottom for my skinny legs but wide waist. my mum is around 14-16 on bottom but she has issues with the waist being too loose or the calf area too tight. I moved into wearing more men’s clothes coz somehow a small will be tight fitting like a 14 in t-shirts but there’s not shame in wearing a men’s large or even extra large… because there’s no number. Men’s trousers are still a fucking mess if you ask me the waist size isn’t accurately in inches, I’ll tell you that for free.

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My fat friends don’t go to the doctor unless they really have to. They aren’t believed when they think something is seriously wrong, it’s all put down to weight. Skinny white women struggle to be listened to as it is in 2019. Imagine being anything else, poc, disabled, chronically ill, queer, trans, fat, no one listens to us and we have to learn to be a self advocate or bring a trusted person with us to help advocate when it’s too much. I have been spoken to like I’m a fucking idiot and been told how to wipe my own arse on more than one occasion by the same man (a surgeon btw, surgeons have zero social skills) as if I haven’t lived like this for a long time already. I am also belittled by other sick people who have had their disease longer than I have and tell me my case is mild when the last year of my life has been nothing but suffering.

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I’m just tired and angry at the able people out there making assumptions, and the doctors and nurses out there deciding they know what’s happening to my body before I finish telling them everything, and the other sick people who think they are better and more knowledgeable than me because they’ve had it longer or are older than I am. I’m angry for myself and I’m angry for my friends and I’m angry for my community.

I got enough to deal with, kindly, fuck off.

 

~ Artie.

Useful Links to Learn More about being Eco-Friendly

Hey pals,

I wanted to compile a list of videos, documentaries, and blog posts that are good at explaining the global and national issues we face to become more eco-friendly.

This blog post has been in collaboration with Ash from This Dreams Alive blog! Check out her blog,

War on Plastic with Hugh and Anita (BBC One): a useful 3 part docuseries about single use plastics and exposing pricing making it near impossible for people on a budget to eliminate their plastic use. Also includes helpful how-tos and ideas what you can swap in.

Fashion Conscious – How Much Water are You Wearing? BBC : A short video exploring the fashion industry and how much water is wasted with what you are wearing. It also has other parts to it on the BBC youtube channel. (refresh your wardrobe)

Climate Change – The Facts BBC: The Full episode featuring Sir David Attenborourgh. “Look at the science of climate change and potential solutions to this global threat. Interviews with some of the world’s leading climate scientists explore recent extreme weather conditions such as unprecedented storms and catastrophic wildfires. They also reveal what dangerous levels of climate change could mean for both human populations and the natural world in the future.”

Stacey Dooley  BBC Three Blood Sweat and T-shirts , confronting shoppers about how they shop how much water is needed for cotton clothes , Sustainable Fashion a 5×15 talk.

 

How to Delete 99% of your Internet Footprint: a Twitter Thread

The Vogue Guide to Recycling your Beauty Products 

 

Here is a selection of Youtubers/Youtube videos about trying to adjust thoughts and outlook!

Buzzfeed As/Is Try to sell my clothes in 48 hours 

Carrie Dayton Thrift Flip Carrie also has many thrifting videos on styling all kinds of second hand items and thrift flipping, making items cuter. She is a mid-size youtuber, which I find is a nice change particularly when it comes to fashion and clothes!

Jean Bookish Thoughts Changing my Relationship with Fast Fashion She also makes other videos and content around thrifted/second hand items and clothes. She is mainly a booktuber if that’s also your thing!

The Sorry Girls We Transformed Gabbie’s Trash They are a home decor duo but also do some upcycling videos like this one.

Buzzfeed City Dwellers try being Zero Waste for a Week

Beverly Butterfly Thrifted Vintage style haul  A disabled youtuber who also makes content on spiritual things, nerdy things, and has also started branching out into second hand hauls.

Kelsey Darragh Confidently Insecure How not to be a Dick to the Planet one of my favourite podcasts at the moment, but this episode is all about the environment and becoming more conscious and trying to be as minimal waste as possible.

Lex Croucher ‘Eco Friendly’ Companies are lying to you this is her most recent video on the topic as of writing this post, she has a few more I would recommend people watch.

Meateater goes Vegan for Two Weeks BBC 3 an 8 and a half minute think piece. 6:07-7:32 are of just after slaughter and though it is not the slaughter of the animal it is the carcass being stripped down for sale.

Veganism is a Privilege not Accessible to All a great short video pointing out how inaccessible veganism can be for some people and may be a good introductory video for those who believe it is.

The Meat Industry is Killing the Planet some useful info but half fights the point of the video above.

Trying a Zero-Waste Beauty Regime educational, shows you what ingredients to look out for, how to make at home, and a few alternatives.

DIY Cool Ranch Doritos Julien Solomita makes some great cooking videos and shows you how to make these things. A lot of them are him experimenting with making something non-vegan into vegan friendly. He also has Celiac’s disease so his recipes are gluten free too.

Sustainable Fashion Haul Melanie Murphy has been talking about how much money she spends on clothes and how she is trying to change her habits to buying more second hand and from small companies/businesses rather than contributing to fast fashion.

 

Here are some blog posts written by This Dream Is Alive

Become a Tree Hugger: a post about ways to help save the trees, the world’s lungs!

Turning the Tide on Plastic Book Review: A super interesting book review and a great recommendation for anyone who wants to do some further reading.

Top 10 Zero-Waste Essentials: a quick guide for people starting out!

Being Eco-Friendly at Christmas: As we approach Christmas of 2019, this is a great post to keep in mind.

Useful Links Ash Recommends

Fashion Revolution: “We want to unite people and organisations to work together towards radically changing the way our clothes are sourced, produced and consumed, so that our clothing is made in a safe, clean and fair way.”

National Geographic: This source involves a lot more that you think, lots of great articles like the one linked that may shock you and teach you something new. A trustworthy website with a lot of scientific facts to back up their research.

Veganuary: A great project for people to try as a New Years resolution! This site give you all the facts, the why, the how, recipes, even a kit! Also has a page for myth busting.

 

A few of my own videos and blog posts:

I’ve been Vegetarian for 10 years (Video)

A BIG UN-haul! Decluttering my Closet (Video)

Trying out LUSH Products  (Video)

Donating to Charity (Video)

Second Hand Book Haul (Video)

Book Unhauling (Blog)

Second Hand Book Haul (Blog)

A Natural Toner You Can Make At Home (Blog)

25 Ways We Can Help The Environments (Blog)

More Ways We Can Help The Environment (Blog)

I hope you guys learn a lot! I definitely have as I’ve been collating it. Don’t forget that the best you can do it help make legal legislation changes, contact your MPs, contact the big companies involved, demand better.

~ Artie

My Gay ASS Pins

Hey pals,

I’ve been working my way through a lot of my old computer files and have found many things I meant to make posts on but didn’t for some reason (likely, forgetfulness) and this was one of them. I’m a bit of a badge/pin collector, even though I don’t often wear them out. I just wanted to share some of my collection with you here!

 

The first two are ones I picked up at Gay’s The Word in London. They have a great selection of LGBT+ themed badges and have a lot of merch based on the film Pride (the same bookshop!).

The second photo I’m wearing a Jumper enamel pin that says ‘loner club’ because, honestly what described me better? Bought from This is Not A Butchers in Brighton, it’s a great little shop filled with all your nerdy desires! and a small badge with a graphic fist that I bought off Amazon.

And the final image is my disabled travel badge. Just so you no, no one cares and will not offer you a seat even if you have this on and a walking stick!

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Here’s a better photo of my ‘Loner Club’ jumper pin and also my favourite Slytherin house pin! Also from This Is Not A Butchers.

 

If you’d like to see my full collection, let me know and maybe I’ll make it into an IGTV video. I’ve been making a lot of these recently!

 

~ Artie

Dogs Really Do Take After Their Owners

Hey pals,

 

My dog, Layla, has had some recent health bother that was spookily familiar to ones of my own. If you’re new here, I’ve been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in June of this year, it’s new and scary and comes with a lot of life disrupting symptoms.

 

My dog keeps going off her food, having stomach trouble, eating a lot of grass, being sick and being quite sad and lethargic. She was like this sometime in the summer where she couldn’t keep her food down and we changed to rice, chicken and veg, but it didn’t really help and we summed it up to her just being gluttonous and eating too much for her poor tummy to cope with. Now she gets smaller portions!

 

The most recent case was a bit more worrying, she stopped eating altogether for a few days and anything she did eat came back up. She would have moments of being her usual energetic self but most of the time she was quite sad and tired, and would wake us up in the night to go out and try to go to the toilet. I say try because a lot of the time she wasn’t actually able to go, but she was still pooing sometimes!

 

So we took the poor sausage to the vet on a Saturday and he diagnosed her with Acute Colitis! Colitis and Crohn’s are in the same family of illnesses and when he told us I couldn’t help but laugh and say, “Wow she really is my dog!” Luckily, Colitis is relatively easy to treat in dogs (can’t say the same for humans unfortunately) So she got two injections and a short course of antibiotics, we have lessened the veg she eats for now as well as we were recommended to keep it plain for the moment, but all should be fine pretty soon!

 

10 years ago, long before we had our Layla, we had two dogs called Sparkie and Brandie. Sparkie was sadly very ill at a very young age, we found lymphoma when he was 4 and lived until 5 before he was too ill. My great Grandfather also had lymphoma and I believe he died the same year as Sparkie. We always found that interesting. 2009 was an awful year for me for many reasons but most definitely because of losing my Great Granddad and my dog Sparkie.

 

Just something to keep in mind, our dogs sometimes really do take after us in more ways than we think. Take care of your furry friends, because they love us so much.

 

~ Artie