2017 In Review & Plans For 2018

Hi everyone!

My apologies for taking so long to upload this. January has not been kind to me. I’ve been extremely ill twice, and two of my pets have passed away so I have been very depressed. I’ve finally had the time and energy to finish this post. This is just going to be a quick summary of my 2017, and my plans for 2018.

January

January was pretty slow – I just worked, and wrote my last exam for my degree.

February

I went to Red Room with Juan, and teased my hair really big. I really loved this look!

I also got this incredible drawing of myself from Trevor Schuster. Here’s a side by side comparison of the drawing and the photo he used!

I did a shoot with Wasabi Foto that is very different from my usual style, but I love the result!

March

I handed in my leather bound research report on the 3rd!

I won an award for Trevor at Ink & Iron for best half back colour tattoo! Excuse the sunburn! Here’s my tattoo as well, for those of you who haven’t seen it.

I went to a cosplay picnic in my Little Sister cosplay from Bioshock! I had some awesome photos taken there. This one is my favourite.

My husband and I got engaged! We waited to announce it when we got the ring though, as we decided to have a ring custom made.

I also convinced my non-Goth friends to go to Attrition! Look at how gorgeous they looked!

April

I had a stall at Fantasy Fayre and made this skirt so that I could wear a viking inspired outfit!

I went to visit my beautiful friend Neko in Clarens for the weekend and had so much fun! I wish she didn’t live so far.

I had a photoshoot with Taikutsuna Majo, where two of my beloved pets modeled with me. Sadly they are both no longer with us.

At Pagan Freedom Day I shot with a bow for the first time in years!

May

I graduated my Honours Degree in Strategic Brand Communication!

Unfortunately just a few days after my graduation, my dog, Layla, had to be put down. I was heartbroken and it took me months to recover.

I got new synthetic dreads that I put in for a week. I loved this look I did for Geekfest! I had a stall there and it went really well!

I had a lovely day out with my friend Krisne where we went vintage shopping and drank lots of tea! We even stopped by a charity shop that is also a cat sanctuary and I made a new friend!

June

I was very busy with my jewellery business this month! I had 3 stalls and worked very hard to create stock.

I went to ICON to support my fellow stallholders, and got to fight a knight! Look at how ridiculous I look in the armour! It was lots of fun though!

July

I started working at the company I work at!

I also attended the last ever Dark Noise party with Juan. I’m so sad that I don’t have any more Dark Noise parties to look forward to. They were always so much fun.

August

I was very busy with stalls again this month.

We finally had our engagement photos taken! Thank you to Derek Whitton Photography for the beautiful photos.

My grandfather passed away and we went to his funeral.

September

I visited Neko in Clarens for a week to de-stress and have time to make jewellery stock for my biggest market for the year.

I had a stall at a Harry Potter festival and it was extremely busy! Luckily towards the end of the day I managed to take photos with Simone at the photobooth!

It was my birthday and my mother and I went to watch the Gauteng Philharmonic Orchestra perform Disney songs. It was such a fantastic show!

October

It was my biggest market for the year – rAge. I was extremely over-worked but it was worth it. I wore my Little Sister cosplay again and even found a splicer!

November

I had a stall at Discworld Day! I dressed up as Adora Belle Dearheart from Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal. Unfortunately it was extremely hot and I was unable to manage my stall for the majority of the day. Luckily some kind stallholders looked after me and even drove home with me to make sure that I was safe.

It was my kitchen tea and we went to the botanical gardens. I just love the look on my face in this photo. It was the exact moment that I realised that the lingerie I had just opened was from my mother!

We got married! The day did not go according to plan because it was pouring with rain the whole day, but it was still perfect! Thank you to Swallow-Tail Photography for our amazing photos and my beautiful makeup.

The next day we left on honeymoon, which was absolutely incredible. We went to Paris, Venice and Rome! I’ll write a post all about the wedding and honeymoon! I don’t want to spoil too much, but my absolute favourite place we went to was the Paris Catacombs. Here’s my favourite photo I took there:

December

We got back from honeymoon on the 7th December and I was back at work the next day.

I had 2 amazing photoshoots to end off the year. One with Dark Arts Society:

And one with Shyne Photo:

I worked until the 22nd of December and didn’t do much in my time off. Hardly any of the plans I made worked out unfortunately. But I did have a Harry Potter marathon with Bree!

Sadly one our rats, Dovahkiin passed away suddenly around Christmas, followed by my rabbit, Frodo and one of our other rats, Eddie, in the first week of January. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, the year didn’t start off well for me, but I hope that it gets better.

 

Plans For 2018

This year is going to be a busy one for me.

As I’m now working full time, I have less time for Ayame Designs and for modeling. Because of this, my jewellery business will take preference over modeling. I am going to focus most of my free time on growing Ayame Designs, especially internationally. I have some very exciting new product ranges coming up this year that I will be working on whenever I can. I will no longer be doing smaller markets, as they are not worth my time. The only exception is when it’s an alternative market and it’s not too far to travel. I am also travelling to Cape Town to have a stall at FanCon! This is the first time that I am travelling outside of Pretoria and Johannesburg for a stall so it’s very exciting!

As for my modeling, I will only be taking on work that will result in something amazing and different. I am much more selective about who I work with, and will only be shooting interesting concepts. Unfortunately all the alternative and goth magazines I would like to be published in don’t have themes I would like to shoot, so I will probably only be submitting to open themed issues or magazines this year.

I have just become permanent at my job! This means that I will also be taking on new responsibilities and I am excited to grow in the company. I’ll also be working much harder than perviously, and therefore won’t have as much free time.

I want to commit to writing a blog post at least once every 2 weeks. I am working on a few new posts right now, and also have some ideas for future posts saved. Unfortunately I don’t have as much time as I’d like to film YouTube videos, so I will be focusing on blogging, as I can write little bits at a time when I can, but don’t often have multiple hours free to film and edit videos.

This year I have also decided to cut all negative things out of my life. Whether it’s people who drag me down or things I let happen. I am done letting people or circumstances affect my happiness. I will make more time for people and things that make me happy.

 

I know this is quite a long post! Congrats on making it to the end! PS – My post about my wedding will be up next week, followed by one on my honeymoon.

 

 

J

xx

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Megara: The story of my tattoo

One of the questions I get asked the most is “what does the tattoo on your arm mean?”. While I can answer it in one sentence, that doesn’t even begin to explain what it means to me. So for those of you who have been wondering, I am about to tell her full story, in the most detail I have ever told.

 

Before I start, just in case you haven’t seen it, this is the tattoo I’m talking about:

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Her name is Megara, and she’s been with me for as long as I can remember.

 

I have always had a very vivid and fantastical imagination. So vivid that long ago, I used to see the creations of my imagination in real life. One of these beings was a forest nymph named Megara. Megara was my age, and my imaginary friend, if you wish to call it that. Every night when I went to bed, I would escape from the real world and enter a magical world which I saw through her eyes. She was a little girl, entrusted as the forest guardian, even though she was barely 5 years old. This forest was a special forest, where all the animals lived in harmony under her protection. Megara was gifted a beautiful wooden bow and arrows from the forest spirit in order to protect the magical realm she lived in. She spent most of her days exploring with her wolf companion, having fun and playing with the other animals in the forest, or washing her beautiful long hair in the crystal clear river.

 

As I got older, so did she. As I changed, so did she. I remember it clearly, the day she first got her antlers. It was just after I had moved back to South Africa, aged 12. She had to protect the forest from a swarm of hunters who came to kill everything in their path. It was horrible. Many of her animal companions were killed. But in the end she was victorious. As a reward for her loyalty to the forest and its creatures, the forest spirit granted her antlers – then only two small stumps protruding from her head that looked quite silly. They got larger and more beautiful over the years, as did she.

 

As I went through hellish teenage years with the worst kind of loneliness and even worse “friends”, she was always there. She gave me strength at my darkest time and was the only thing keeping me alive for quite some time when I thought I had nothing to live for. And then, suddenly, she was gone.

 

I couldn’t understand why. I lost my ability to dream. It was as if she had abandoned me, and eventually as if she had never existed.  In hindsight, I know that it was due to the medication I was put on – I was wrongly diagnosed with bipolar and heavily medicated to the point of being nothing more than a zombie. For years, I had to find another way to cope with my struggles. Then one day, she returned to me, older than she was than she left – matching my age as she always had. I know now that this was because I had stopped my medication, and was finally a happier person than I’d been in a long time. While I don’t dream often, I still see her when I close my eyes. I can travel back to her world as I used to in my youth and escape from my troubles.

 

For a long time I wanted to commemorate her return by getting a tattoo of her as she is now – in her most beautiful state. It took years for someone to finally draw her correctly. Unfortunately I can’t draw and it’s not that easy to explain how someone’s facial features look. But finally she was drawn precisely as she is, and I got her permanently inked onto my skin, so that she will always be with me wherever I go.

 

In December, I decided to do a photoshoot where I could become her for a day. Sadly I didn’t have antlers or ears exactly like hers, but it was close enough. I’m so happy with how the photos came out!

 

Model: Jossie Ayame (me)
Photo: Annari’s Photographic Endeavours
Circlet: Ayame Designs (me)
Antlers:  SIN BIN: Graphic and Fashion Design
Corset: Arwen Garmentry
Hooded capelet: Epic Armoury

 

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I hope you have enjoyed these photos and my story of my tattoo.

 

 

J

xx