Flute Test

I got my flute cleaned and refurbished six weeks ago, picking up right before diving into a big gig that left me with very little free time. I finally got to take it out and play, and I wanted to share! My fingers are a little stiff, my breath needs a little focusing, but it felt so good to get into the flow again.

I’m going to attempt to be sharing more of everything in the weeks to come! Hopefully it will inspire you to dive into your own creative endeavors, as I dive into mine!

An Open Letter – by Kat Micari

I am slowly processing what happened in Texas, and I feel this poem is relevant yet again. I have some newer thoughts than this poem I wrote 8 years ago obviously, but the core feeling behind it is still the same.

Last time I posted this back in 2019, I had someone take offense to my illustration because they were made uncomfortable by the nudity of the pregnant woman and felt her overtly sexualized. I don’t see overt sexualization, and that wasn’t the intent, but if you do feel uncomfortable by it, I would invite you to sit in that discomfort for at least a moment and ask yourself why. It is through feeling small moments of unease that we can really get to the core of our inner selves and remain true to what is important to us. And that makes it so much more difficult for others to take control of our minds and hearts.

Kat Micari

Vessels, a black and white pen and ink illustration with nude pregnant woman in profile sitting next to cracked large vase, art from The Little Book of Insurrection or the Poetry of My Discontent by Kat Micari

An Open Letter

To Whom It May Concern:

I am not a cow
Nor a pig
Nor your slave.
I am not chattel.

My womb is my own.
I have felt the quicksilver movement
Of early life within.
Life I created with my partner.
Not you.
Life I nurtured, that I endured hardship for,
By my choice.

It is true that
Women are vessels
For unborn children.
But if something is wrong with a vessel
Or what is stored in the vessel,
What would you do?
If you had a clay pot with cracks in it,
Would you try to store water?
Or would you dump out the water
And patch the cracks
Before trying to use the pot again?
If you had grain stored in that same pot,
And it became moldy,
Would you keep the grain in that pot
Until it returned to dirt?
Or would you throw…

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An Update

My time working on a feature film as assistant costume designer is wrapping up. I may be brought back for one more day for reshoots of a big scene, where they didn’t have time to get all the footage they wanted, but in the meantime, I’m jumping into work on my next theatrical design and finishing a couple wedding alts I put on hold. I’m also going to start tackling my very messy house. I think if I ever do a film again (and I would like to do 1 or 2 a year just because the money is so very good), I will need to hire in someone to clean house at least every other week, which is something I’ve never even considered before. Or just start training my kids to be a little neater. They got to run wild for six weeks, which is great for them but rough on our living space.

Speaking of the kids, they go back to school tomorrow! Which gives me the time during the day to focus on my sewing side of things but also more time to devote to what I do under the Kat Micari name here. It will be good for all of us, and I really hope that we don’t have to shut down again due to the pandemic. So what can you expect here? Well, right before I signed up for the film, I had started taking some online courses, both marketing and music ones. The marketing I’m learning mostly for my shop (https://www.originalsbykatharinetracy.com/), but I will also be applying it here. It has been slow going, but I completed the first marketing course this past weekend.

I want to be creating and sharing more of everything that I love doing here, and I have the feeling since I’ve been working so hard and haven’t been able to process all that’s been going on in the world these past six weeks, then I will be using my art to help me do just that. I actually had my flute cleaned and refurbished the week before starting work, and I haven’t touched it yet, so that is on the docket for this week too.

I want to spend a little time every day writing, making music, and drawing or painting. And I’m excited to potentially have that time now, in between doing what I need to with my costume and sewing work to bring in an income. When the world seems bleakest is when we need to shine our inner lights the brightest.

I’m not sure what the future holds, but I want to continue to grow and learn and create and love every single day. The autumn has always been my industrious time, my time to gather the fruits of my labor and store away for the winter, and I’ve been feeling that all weekend already. I need to balance that industry with nurturing and rest, so I can continue doing what I’ve set out to do. And I hope you will enjoy following me on my journey while continuing on your own path.

Changes Yet Again

I’m working on a movie for the next several weeks. Started last week. It was a last minute opening to be assistant costume designer, and meant that we had to buy a second car very quickly. My niece is watching my kids for the first three weeks, and we are trying to sort out what we will do for childcare from then until school starts. My first week went very smoothly. I feel like I am learning so much, I’m very glad that I’m not the one in charge because of how many people there are and how many changes for each, and I now have the opportunity to try to join the union. So that’s exciting. It’s my second feature that I’m working on, my first on the creative rather than the technical side of costuming.

My kids have so far adapted fine to being away from me, which is good. It will probably be tougher the weeks I won’t be around for bedtime, but it’s one of those opportunities that when the universe opens up for you, you should take it and be grateful. I didn’t expect to open up quite so quickly career-wise as my youngest enters grade school, but that just means I need to be picky and choosy about which jobs I take in the future. If I can swing one or two films a year and design a few theatrical shows, and still be home most of the time to get the kids off the bus, then maybe I can have the best of both worlds and let my guilt and stress melt away. We shall see, though.

I was just working through many of my creative blocks when this opportunity came, which is good but also means I have to put a lot of the projects on hold that I was looking forward to working on. I’m hoping I can smoothly move into indie creator mode in September once the film is done. In the meantime, I do have some poems to post, and maybe I can sneak updating my gallery pages finally during a meal break at some point. We shall have to see. I have my weekends, but those are for family time and for trying to rest. But I would like to be sharing stuff again. It’s funny how that part of creating comes in waves for me.

Anyway, I’m having an adventure! Getting to have adult conversation every day and be around a plethora of creative and hard working people in person. It’s inspirational and feels good.

New TikTok and an Old Pic

I’ve signed up for a TikTok account. I don’t know what I’ll use it for yet, but I’m trying to force myself out of my comfort zone a little and engage with a different audience and in a different way. Add me at www.tiktok.com/@katmicari if you’d like, and I will follow back!

In setting up the account, I used a photo from the shoot I did way back before I set up this account here and elsewhere, from 8 years ago! I wanted to keep consistency across platforms, even though an almost decade old photo feels like false advertising (stupid societal programming coming through there still). It reminded me of some of my old glamour I used to feel, though, and it made me feel good, so I wanted to share it. I have a lot from this shoot that I like but have never used.

End of the School Year is Here!

The main reason I haven’t been creating or sharing much this past year is because I’ve had both of my kiddos at home with me, one doing virtual schooling and the other homeschool preschool. We are finally done! We made it, woo hoo! I’m hoping I can carve a little more time out for creating and posting here now that I won’t be lesson planning and prepping every day, but I also want to enjoy this couple of months with the kids, too.

It was wonderful having them home, but I went over a year without a single break aside from a couple solo walks and two weeks of dress rehearsals. I would almost jump into my car with glee when I had to make the hour long drive to get to the theater I am designing for. But we’ve started getting some breaks now that the grandparents are taking the kids once in a while, and I really appreciate the solitude and the couple time with my husband.

Here is the song I wrote in the beginning of the year. I feel proud for surviving with my sense of humor and sanity somewhat intact.

Shifting My Sleep Cycle

I’m attempting to shift my sleep cycle to get up before my kids do in order to do yoga/some kind of exercise and a little journaling. It is tough because I generally like to have a little time to myself in the evenings, but the truth is I’m pretty wiped out by the time we get done with bedtime routines and nightly chores anyway, and it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to create post-bedtime unless I’m really on the crunch for a deadline. So, it is going to be a rough couple of weeks, but if it works, it will be much better for my mental health and my ability to deal with day-to-day stresses. And hopefully that will energize me during the day for being more present for my kids and more focused during the few hours I do get in the day for creative work. Part of this stems from committing myself two weeks ago to do inner work that includes meditation

I finally had a physical, my first in over a decade. I’m starting to try to figure out some of my autoimmune issues. My suspicion is that I have the beginnings of psoriatic arthritis, and I’m meeting with a rheumatologist in September. I want to avoid any pharmaceutical intervention as long as possible, since I’m not yet 40, but having a diagnosis will help point me in the direction of life changes I can make to help myself.

I start a new part-time sew-from-home job tomorrow too, just ten hours a week to start, which is all I can handle while simultaneously taking care of the kids’ schooling and trying to slowly build up originalsbykatharinetracy.com. I’ve got one costume commission and two prom dress alterations I’m doing right now too, so it’s been a busy time, and more difficult than it should be because I’ve gained a little wait and lost some pep and vitality this year. Working on sharpening my mind and body so I can give more to my family, my community, and all my creative endeavors without burning out is important.

My husband also kindly picked me up a half-day relaxation package at a local spa for Mother’s day/early birthday gift that includes time in a massage chair and a 60-min float tank session, which I am definitely looking forward to. It might be a month or so until I get around to using it, but just imagining an entire hour of sensory deprivation and a couple more hours of pampering is enough to keep me going.

So big personal changes for me. Adjustments and fine-tuning to help me grow as an individual and as a member of this crazy human race. Looking forward to what may come creatively out of all of this.

Sign a Friend’s Petition Please!

My friend’s young daughter was forced to be overheated in a very hot classroom because of strict “no spaghetti straps” rules, and in the process was shamed for “the strap maybe slipping and showing her chest”, and now my friend wants to work to change the dress code in the school. https://www.change.org/p/syracuse-city-school-district-sexist-dress-codes-have-got-to-go?redirect=false If you have a chance, can you sign it? Change.org will promote it for free if she gets about another 100 signatures.

It is utterly ridiculous in this day and age for young girls to be shamed in this way because they could potentially distract the male students. The onus of control is on the one who is feeling any sexual urges, not on the object of desire, regardless of how one sexually identifies. It is especially disgusting that it is going on at the elementary level.

Inspirational Quote

“Magic may be real enough, the magic of a word or an act, grafted upon the invisible influences that course through the material world.” – from Robert Edmund Jones’ The Dramatic Imagination, quote attributed to Santayana.

I rediscovered this quote while reading through some old school papers I wrote back in grad school, and it carries a lot more meaning for me now. I’m hoping maybe it will inspire some of you as well.