Foam, Furs, Dreams
Five life-size furry soft-sculptures of sexy dream figures by Chris Wayan, 2012-2017
"One might as well assault a Plush"--Emily Dickinson
I've been sewing some big soft-sculptures--figures from my dreams. They're not typical soft sculpture or fabric art; instead of cotton or poly fill, they're dense foam rubber with a jointed skeleton, so they're posable; those muscles have tone & memory. Push them and they push right back!
They're meant to be several things at once:
Five Heart Unicorn
Ailura the catgirl
Silky the cattaur
I've had recurring dreams of cat people for decades. My anima (dream-guide) often shows up as a cat or a mare--as often as she dons a human form. After years, one night she married me. Not much talk about this in Jung or Freud, but Siberian shamans do often marry their guiding spirits.
Ailura the catgirl sprawls on side
Ailura in bed, head on hands
She's the most humanlike of the four--my take on what humans might be, if we'd evolved from big cats not apes. (Her name, Ailura, is from the Greek root for cat.)
Ailura (early fur) in comfy chair
Ailura (late fur) in less-comfy chair
Technical note: none of these poses, not even the crawling one, involve hidden props or fishing line or such. Ailura supports herself with her own muscles, tendons and bones.
Ailura raising her tail
Fiveheart is based directly on a vivid shamanic dream, Five Hearts. But there's one drastic change. In the dream I was a straight girl who found herself attracted to a unicorn stallion; to recreate that attraction in waking life, where I'm a straight male, I made Fiveheart a mare.
But I preserved her dream-strangeness--Fiveheart had a rose and a mirror on his forehead, not the traditional spiral horn. Hell to sew, but I did it: a round mirror in her mane, and a handmade silk rose growing from her brow.
Fiveheart's head--the rose and mirror
Tail and hindmost heart/labia
The five hearts don't all double as vaginas, but the ones between her forelegs and hindlegs do. It's not MY visual pun; the conventional red heart shape, our symbol for love, is not in fact a heart; does it really look like one? Not if you've ever seen a heart. Calling it a heart is a euphemism insisted on by the medieval Church. Our heart symbol is a stylized drawing of spread labia! Yep, we send giant pink genitalia every Valentine's Day. So I can't feel too crude for re-sexualizing them.
The unicorn's five hearts
Silky in feline-centaur form. She's the largest, most complex of the foam furs, by far, since she's built not just to be realistically flexible but be able to stand in various poses--something that's hard even for real meat-creatures, unless they're awake and burning energy to trim their balance. So she was a technical challenge--the right tension, the right flex. Took a long time to get her to stand firmly. But she came out well--she has startling presence, and I think some of that is precisely that she stands on her own, when the other Furs sit or recline or sprawl.
Silky's about 150 cm (5') tall. Short for a human--but since a centaur has an L-shaped torso, she's actually taller than a basketball player. If she reared she could pick fruit 3m up (10') with no effort. Other than co-ordinating all those limbs...
She's just as complex sexually. In Titan and its sequels, John Varley imagined Titanides, centauroids with genitals fore, middle, and aft. I didn't go quite that far, but Silky does have both a fore- and hind-vagina; like Titanides, reproduction involves up to four parents, though Titanide hindsex was common and casual, creating a small egg, which, if implanted in a forevagina, could be quickened by foresex (rare, intimate). This always seemed backward to me; the forepelvis has more weight on it and birth of a humansize baby would be as hard as for humans... a Titanide colt would be worse.
So I picture cattaurs as having casual foresex, bearing a sort of turtle egg that can, if a cub is truly wanted, be slipped into a hindwomb to be quickened; the hindpelvis can loosen, so a cattaur can give birth as easily as a mare or lioness. Safer all round.
Anyway. Silky is complex. She does not give horsie rides. Except, now and then, in the bedroom sense.
Face-fur still pinned
Hands at last!
Mer-Tiger comes last even though in a sense she was first--a large stuffed toy tiger from a thrift store, to use to shade my pillow as I slept (which worked; better dreams in the tiger's shadow!) Only a year later, as I gradually felt healthier and hornier, did I gradually elaborate her into a sex toy and soft sculpture.
Early: low brow, big nose, no chin, no dreads
Late: high brow, button nose, chin, dreadlocks
Slowly, the toy I'd bought on impulse transformed into a sea-tiger, with dolphin/mermaid flukes. Note the steady changes in face, hair and crest--until quite recently she still had exposed bits of her commercial-toy roots--covered now, but her facial structure and pose still echo the original toy.
Vixtoria was an afterthought. The friend who gave me the foam mattress that became the first four Foam Furs, later gave me some dense little foam pads from a reupholstered chair--just enough foam for a last (smallish) creature.
In studio with Silky
So I built a foxtaur. Smallish, red-blonde, with big ears and a brushy tail. For obvious reasons she's named Vixtoria, though I'm sure Her Majesty would not be amused. Or aroused.
But this Vixtoria, like all foxes, likes to play. In bed and otherwise.
Building the first four creatures overlapped; the quasi-blog Come up to the Lab and See what's On the Slab shows their slow creation. But Vixtoria was built last (and fast!), so, for photos and notes on her construction, jump down to Building Vixtoria.
Generally my workflow went like this:
I want to show you the gestation of these creatures--how dreams prompted me to try sculptural (and sexual) experiments, prompting more dreams, in a long feedback cycle. In retrospect, it's clear it was a 5-year dialog between dreams and waking work. But I'd have denied that until I compiled this timeline! Strange as it sounds, I thought of these creatures as an innovation for me--a non-dream project. But compiling this timeline proved me wrong. Dozens of dreams guided and prodded me--the list below is just a selection.
But it's not just a dialog--waking artist, dreaming mind. Five other voices (themes sculpting me just as I sculpt these toys) weave in & out--chronic illness (recurring fevers), brains (as a group, prodigies are as different from "the gifted" as gifteds are from normals, or normals are from Downs), autism and its sensory overload/differences, ESP and the different worldview that extra senses give one, and sex, especially interspecies sex. The braiding gets complex. Two examples:
For some time, I'd been making centaur-like dolls out of cut-up, glued-together Barbies, dubbed Cendancers. I hadn't thought of making anything larger, until one night I had this dream:
2012/1/30 dream: SHOW AND TELL
I'm at a class in Redwood City, down by the new harbor. Show-and-tell day. I present the Cendancers, the troupe of centauroid modern dancers I'm sculpting out of two Barbies each. I make a political joke about them, and this somehow wakes up one of the dancers! She grows, hops off the display table. Full size now--and alive.
And we mate, centaur style. In front of the class, right on the harbor promenade. It feels lovely, and she's so cute.
I feel no shyness at all. In fact I rather enjoy shocking my classmates. I wake before I come--but oh, I was happy.
NOTES IN THE MORNING
I bike to Thrift Town to buy Barbies to use for armatures for a new Cendancer. Instead, I find a big stuffed tiger on sale for $12. On impulse, I buy her. Biking home, she rides in my bike basket, head as high as me, tail nearly to ground. People react all the way home.
"Can I take your picture?"
Fascinating. People of all cultures really do like tigers. Well, in the abstract. Maybe not real ones moving in next door. There goes the neighborhood...
I use the tiger to block light at night--my bedroom fronts a busy street. Find it's warm and comforting to have a tiger on my bed--nearly as strong a presence as a real pet would. Or a lover!
On impulse, just before sleep, I ask the tiger to send me dreams bringing up any problems I've been avoiding. (Yep, I'm using a stuffed toy as my Higher Power! Why not? So many devout pray as if God is their personal teddybear. Any old idol can do that job! It's the asking--and facing the answers--that works. And THAT's not so easy.)
Dream: MY LEOPARD LOVER'S CLUE
I'm still living in San Francisco, but I'm a teenage girl (I was her in my dream last night too).DREAM NOTES
I befriend a leopard-sized cat. More than befriend; we make love. Over and over. He's hot! People snicker and make jokes, but since he's no tame cat but a huge wild creature, they don't make them too loudly when he's around...
My boyfriend the leopard leads me through big dark rooms, like empty dance studios, to a doorway. Sniffs around it, looks at me. I recall asking my stuffed tiger in the waking world to show me early (or even past-life) issues relevant now, so I know my dream leopard's telling me something serious happened here. Sight reveals nothing much. I sniff, but can't scent anything unusual. But I believe my boyfriend; his senses are sharper.
What happened here?
This isn't our home; too long and deep and dark. The back is lighter, opener, rawer; all one big room with a skylight, full of tools and benches. A woodshop? It's a step down from the front half. A big step, so someone nailed little wood scraps in a row on a board to create a "landing" an inch or two above the floor, to make the riser more normal. But the scraps are on top, and irregular, and have nails sticking out! Terrible footing, and risk of a rusty nail in your soul. Sorry, I meant sole.
So I upend this board and try nailing the little chocks firmly on beneath. Problems: short nails, just 2". They may come loose; the board'll tip. And I worry about my noise--am I bothering the other residents? I'm a guest here.
I slow down as I really notice that loud silence. Pause working and tune in. The old violence centers here! I see it now. Someone stepping through this doorway was shot by a gunman at the front door--down the length of that dark hall, his target was framed in light.
This home's a literal shotgun shack!
The murder made the place unsellable, even unrentable for a while, but it's been mostly forgotten now. But still the crime lingers. For those who sense it.
2012/3/20 dream: SILKY'S BACK
I wander a shoplined street with a woman who has a black nightmare. I don't mean a scary dream. A mare! Not a mount or packhorse--a pet. She acts like a huge dog. In fact the woman and I lug parcels while the mare runs free, sniffs around shops. She even ventures in one without us. Nope, she's not a bull in a china shop, just a nightmare. Alarms the owner but doesn't break a thing.DREAM NOTES
A considerate nightmare.
At the next shop--a long deep cafe I think--the black nightmare (oh, let's just get on with it and admit she's Silky, my familiar, who shows up in half my dreams) crawls up on a waist-high wood counter fronting the street. When a waiter objects, she giggles and pretends to be a stuffed toy, lying limp and plump, eyes closed. But I stroke her neck, and my touch startles her. Legs flail (rather bonelessly, almost as if she IS a stuffed toy! And small for a real horse--more humansized). Silky rolls off the counter...
I blurt "Oh, Silky, I'm sorry!"--apologize for forgetting her equine nerves--she startles more readily than, say, a dog. Why not? She's an herbivore keeping an eye out for predators. That's not a sign of trouble. Just her nature.
2012/6/28 dream: ROSETTES
Low hills with groves and meadows. Camping with friends. One is a cat with bold rosettes like a cloud leopard, but she's nearly as big as a tiger. A gentle and amiable soul. We snuggle up a lot. I think she's more beautiful than any of the humans I've met on this trip, and I look hopefully forward to the next time she goes into heat. I want to be her mate.DREAM NOTES
The tiger's hind legs and tail are spindly, disproportionately small. Ugly. And she's a little too floppy--often falls over in the night, lets light glare again, waking me up.
So both healing & art urge me to enlarge her hindquarters and add legbones (made of broomsticks) so she won't fall over. I can use an old bike helmet for a pelvis.
Now sex speaks up too--build in a vagina so the tiger'll be a sex toy. Next time I get turned on in the night by the warm creature beside me...
Work on an eventual skeleton for the stuffed tiger. Not just a pelvis and thighbones--a basic clavicle, spine, and foreleg bones too.
Dream: FURRY SCULPTURE
A soft sculpture, small as my hand, of an animal with pointed canine ears but short catlike face, horse tail but paws not hooves. Not quite a stuffed toy; firmer, with rotatable joints. I twist it round to a new pose, trying to recreate the sexy pose I saw when it was given to me, on side, one thigh forward, head turned to lick her own cunt. But I can't catch that pose. Try variants...DREAM NOTES
Spend a couple hours lying in bed, massaging, masturbating--don't even come, just reconnect with my body after 4 weeks of computer work. Also admit what I've felt since I broke up with Sharon and Emily--it's energy/auras that excite me sexually--or sicken me. The physical sensations haven't been central for years, maybe not since I was a kid first discovering sex. Still, I stretch rock and wiggle. But in a way it's just a different sort of piano practice.
Finish a tiger skeleton out of an old bike helmet and scrap wood, to support her hindquarters. Slow sewing.
Fit the skeleton in, settle stuffing around. Sew up the tiger. Done? Lacks the aura of a living tiger, but sits up looking more alert--has more presence. See if she works as a sex toy. Feels unlike both sex with a lover OR masturbation--more like... yoga? But healthy exercise/practice just the same--work up a sweat, stretch...
Feel a bit achy and swollen inside. Lasts all day. Had to be that sex play with the tiger yesterday--really using pelvic and back muscles for an hour or two. But this isn't just sore muscles; inflammation! So much for my belief sex is risky for me because it means letting in another person's energy/aura. Not today! Plain sexercise triggered inflammation. I already knew Lyme does this after hiking, carpentry, dance; sex too, it seems. I'm only asymptomatic as long as I stay within harsh limits, don't do much. Illness still lurks outside the box.
On the other hand, for years a chain of therapists all assumed pelvic pain & inflammation must mean sexual guilt, ambivalence, stress, or whatever's fashionable this week. And they were all wrong. A side effect of Lyme! And this little sexual experiment revealed it.
So antibiotics and NSAIDS will do more than therapy.
Try tiger sex-toy again. Don't come intensely but come this time. A real workout, no emotional or sexual frustration. It's been consistent. Less soreness after, too.
Wake early, a bit feverish. Try sex again with the tiger. Yes. I feel better. A pattern exactly like any other exercise for me with Lyme. Prone to inflammation till body gets used to it, and then I get better, start benefitting from exercise that caused fever & inflammation a week before. Hypothesis confirmed!
2013/1/15 dream: BIG CAT'S SCENT SCARES LITTLE CAT
In the woods I meet a big cat. Tiger sized, but leopard spots. Friendly. We play. Make love? Have fun.
But later, at "home", our little housecat panics at the scent of the giant cat on me! Slashes my hand and flees. Drew blood, and of course I'll react allergically, AND I may get infected with cat-scratch fever. I pay for my fun... but NOT because the creature itself was any problem. The problem was third-party hysteria!
I'm in Santa Cruz, ambling around the Boardwalk cove with my cow friend, the pink one. She's a huge stuffed toy, pony-sized. I've known her for years, but only today did I notice that what I think of as her face and body isn't all original equipment! She stitched on (well, hired someone to stitch on; hooves aren't dexterous) fabric accessories--huge fuchsia lips, a flowerlike third-eye thing between horns, a sort of floral mane, decorations in pink and purple on her sides. Beneath her alterations even the shape of her head would seem different, plainer. To a large extent she's a self-made cow!DREAM NOTES
And maybe I should shape myself, too. Why not?
2013/4/24 dream: WHAT TO DO IN A WIZARD'S LAIR
A friend, a tall lanky, easy-going guy, has a stuffed tiger like mine--though he hasnít converted it into a sex toy. Healthy and pleasant, he has all the girls he wants. But he also has something I don't want: a mentor he always obeys--a powerful sorcerer. I follow him over to his master's flat. Small, dark, cheap. Ugh, I wouldn't live here!
It does have a huge bed covered in stuffed toys. Very wizardy.
Hmm. He has not one but TWO stuffed tigers. Or rather half-stuffed. Unlike my friend's toy, or mine, they're as flat and limp as tiger-skin rugs! Trophies? O bold slayer of polyester kitties! Their heads are wide and flat as if their skulls--well, their styrofoam pseudo-skulls--have been altered or removed. What for? I'm tempted to steal one of his toys just to learn what he's up to. Messing with their heads... sheesh.
But robbing a wizard's a bad idea. Remember Pippin. So I leave his stuff alone.
Except, of course, that just before leaving, I jump up and down on the wizard's bed until it's really bouncing, and all his toys dance floppily around me till we're all just.animals dancing in space... because I just couldn't resist. I mean, who could?
Headache fades at last. Attack bottomed out? I improve all day. Still tired, sore joints. But basically OK...
Dream: PET WOLF & LEOPARD
I'm at a friend's house. Drowsy. Nap on a bed with a big dog or wolf and a leopard-size cat with patterned fur--more stripes than rosettes, though too small for a tiger. Both critters love my petting. So much so, they let me fondle their bellies, nipples, cunts with pleasure. I feel their joy and affection so intensely, I get very turned on. Ready to try sex even though they're not in heat yet--I think.DREAM NOTES
But then I half wake in MY bed, where the only big cat's a stuffed toy--no sexy aura, no enjoyment of my touch. Sigh! Being appreciated is half of what turns me on. Anyone on.
Talk to Lily my fabric-artist friend about making a soft sculpture/lightscreen like the stuffed tiger but a bit bigger, out of the dense foam mattress I'm getting from my friend Catshall. I may cover it with the blue fur coverlet my sister left, too. Lily warns "that blue fur will be hell to sew on a machine--you'll have to hand-sew with a big needle." But she'll loan me a machine for the rest.
Drive to Oakland, get Catshall's foam mattress. Feel eco-virtuous--if I hadn't picked it up, it'd be headed for landfill now.
Now that I have some dense, muscular foam, should I graft proper legs on the stuffed tiger? Better yet would be a completely original figure--I'd like to make a unicorn 150 cm long (5'), a portrait of a dream figure, Five Heart Unicorn who I loved...
But how do I make bends and tapers? Translating flat plans to 3D shapes isn't easy. I start charting, working out how it might be done...
Bike along Mission Street, look through half a dozen shops for giant stuffed toys to serve as guides. No. Styrofoam heads or wigs? No. Peltlike stretchable fabrics? One store has some, in zebra and leopard prints--nice, but not fake fur. The art supply store has acrylic cabachons that might do for eyes, and a cat mask usable as an armature for...
AILURA THE CATGIRL
Rather than using my foam-rubber windfall to enlarge the tiger or build a dream-unicorn, I find myself carving a lifesize catgirl. Then I bore holes in her limbs with a breadknife, and insert the first broomstick bones. Hard to insert--the foam muscles resist! Work all day. Exhausting. But good Frankenstein fun.
Catgirl: smooth her foam torso. Slow snips. Like haircutting. How to attach her head so it's posable? Aha! Flexible tubing from our old water filter!
Decide the best way to define the catgirl's legs would be to buy kids' stretchpants or tights. And an animal-ear hat, to define her head. Bike to Bernal Community Thrift. Nope. The pet store does have a fake-fur blanket I could use for the pelt but it's too small and they only have one. I'll need more fur than THAT. On to Cole Hardware--get a coping saw and silicone caulk (most glues are rigid, but caulk bonds chunks of foam flexibly). On to Goodwill. No stretchpants, tight, hats, blankets, or mannequin heads that work. Frustrating!
Last place: Fabric Outlet. I like it instantly. A community of art enthusiasts. Sexy feeling, just walking in. I can ask for advice here. And they have dozens of fake furs! Buy three yards on sale--still pricy, $65 with tax--but it feels right. Bike home, basket full of fur.
Try shaping an old leotard to define catgirl's torso and arms... and fail utterly. Zigzag seams, wrong sizes. Of course super-elastic fabrics are notoriously hard to control. Not a beginner's fabric.
HEALTH: hands slowly recover. Achy right arm socket too. Cutting and sewing is hard on me!
Catgirl's legs look a bit stubby. No easy way to lengthen them! Finally I realize I could just as well say her torso is too long. Cut her in two at the waist, shorten her torso 5 cm (2"), and suddenly she looks leggy! Glue with silicone caulk... till I run out. Add three plastic tubes like tendons to help tie waist together. Bike to Cole Hardware for more caulk. On the way, look in Heartfelt and kids' store and Big Lots and Walgreens and then all the way to Japantown seeking a kids' hat with animal ears, but nothing. I do buy pantyhose to strengthen her legs.
It's a warm evening. Everyone's out. Hot girls promenade. The few who notice me eying them as I pass, all look away. Even if I someday meet girls who ARE compatible with me, it may only be friendship plus unrequited lust across a gulf of age and illness. At least that feels likely now. So no wonder I'm building a sex toy--the ultimate otaku act. At least it'll separate those two hungers--friendship and sex. Somewhat.
Try cutting my first fur--the tail. Sew fabric into a tapering tube, turn it inside out, and with struggle I roll it slowly onto the foam musculature inside. Furry snake! Sew it on. Beautiful! Now that her figure's whole, she's already sexy. Sculpt a vagina, lie down on her, and... she grabs me. Feels alive. I come fiercely.
Catgirl: add her flexible gooseneck-lamp spine. At first place too far south, must move inches into neck/shoulders--disturbing half-dried silicone. Gets all over, inflames my hands. A mild but cumulative irritant. Razor some foam, add in spots, trim others. Her basic shaping done at last. Put on pantyhose and leotard to hold her torso together. Proportions look right. There's another presence in my room!
Measure legs, chart that complex shape--curving digitigrade cat-leg, not straight plantigrade human leg. Challenging! Add gathers to make the fake fur bend. It's hard to pull/roll on--the foam grabs hold--but that's good: clings firmly once there. Feels muscular.
Plan the 2nd leg, aim for smoother curves. Rough in arms--so simple after cat-legs.
My hands & right foot still have cuts & abrasions--but they're healing.
Catgirl: finish her arms & shoulders. Start on hood for neck/head, rolling/folding it for ears. Torso: now I see I must do front & back separately so the curves are symmetrical. One big tube won't work--the fabric's not elastic enough for the curves I need. Cut the front but don't attach yet--it needs small gathers and a shaped back to attach it to.
Downtown shopping. See a stunning girl. She sees me looking. Gives me a lonnnnng look back, then a smile. So NOT all those I like will reject me. But then, today I wore a tight T-shirt and tight jeans. I rarely show off my body, shamble around in work clothes, and then conclude I must be ugly. What if I don't radiate illness, ugliness or age, but simple neglect? An otaku! Of a kind. I'm so concerned with health/survival I spend no time on appearance.
At home, surrender to my otaku--or inner Michelangelo, or Frankenstein. "A rose by any other name"... Cut back & belly panels separately, shape, and sew together. Try hand sewing my first details with a big curved leatherworking needle. Works--fixes tail-root problem. She seems very solid now.
Intense wave of arousal... an hour later I know cat-style sex really works. Purrrrr...
Dream: STEPS, GIRL, SIZE-SHIFTING CAT
Visit friends. Go up their side yard to the back door. Two friends live here; a thirtyish guy and a skinny teenage girl who often flirts with me. She's too young to be serious about sex, but I feel no guilt or worry--just flirt right back, and hope that in the long run our teasing grows into something deeper.DREAM NOTES
I sit on the back steps and talk with them and look out over the city. And pet the cat. Or is she a cat? Strange creature. LOOKS feline, but changes size. First she turns chipmunk-small, running along the top of the fence, then grows raccoon-big...
And if it can be true of Lyme and me, why not for all of us? Half our romantic conundrums and sexual recklessness may be viruses, bacteria and parasitic fungi saying "no, not now...NOW. No, not this one... THAT one." We horses may not realize our riders are calling the shots.
One of the few useful insights of the chronically ill is the bone-deep knowledge that we DO have riders--we're as much bacterial colonies as individuals. And they have their say.
Or maybe this is just health--my first experience of normal human sexual levels, decades late. Sustainable now because I'm climbing at last out of chronic illness where I was always tired and sex often hurt.
Catgirl: long hours sewing, both by hand and machine. Fur on belly, butt, back, neck, ears, head. Pin the arm-fur in place. Only her face and hands are bare foam rubber now.
My friend Nic is rehearsing music with me here today. Clean my room/lab nervously. I'm displacing embarrassment about the half-done catgirl I think. My housemates tease me a lot about the sex toys--first the tiger, now the catgirl. But when Nic arrives, she focuses on the sewing (she's a fashion designer). She suggests "Try two panels each for the legs, not single tubes--you'll get fewer wrinkles." I may redo; I have the fur to spare.
HEALTH: I minimized hand-sewing, used the machine wherever I could, and still my hands ache. Hard to sew heavy fur with a leatherworking needle!
FIVEHEART THE UNICORN
Clear my floor. Carve and assemble a unicorn out of five pieces of dense foam rubber. Plan one hind leg forward at an angle; a challege to visualize. How to hold the parts together? Foam pegs are too weak; try other tricks until bonelike duct-taped bundles of chopsticks with bulgy ends work as pegs: the limbs stay on. Glue foam chunks with flexible caulk; we'll see if it all holds together in the morning when it dries. Obsess; use up most of day. But well used!
Wake 5 AM, work on unicorn sculpture. Walk to Cole Hardware, more goo... Hours carving and gluing.
Shower. Test catgirl again as sex toy. Wow!
HEALTH: abused my hands again. Worked so hard. VERY sleepy. A trace dizzy.
Photograph unicorn--just bare foam rubber, chipped and snipped. But it looks almost like a sort of golden sandstone...
Stretch pantyhose over the foamrubber and sew together; ready for fur now. But she'll have to wait; Fabric Outlet's closed Sundays. Time to plan. What palette? This is basically a portrait of Silky, my dream-anima and spirit wife; why not her black/blonde coloration? On other hand, zebra stripes with a blue mane and tail attract me too--and I can get those colors.
Back to Catgirl: slow progress hand-sewing her fur with a big curved leather-needle.
Catgirl: sew till I run outa brown heavy-duty thread. So I switch to...
Unicorn: put an old leotard on her to help hold front legs on. Snip & sew to shape. She looked better to me as sculpted bare foam--scruffy now, half-dressed. But much stronger! At this stage strength is all. Not quite ready to go buy fur for her yet; need to map panel shapes to create tension defining muscles. Like that tight T-shirt eliciting smiles that I never get when I dress baggy & absent-minded.
Cut off a piece of furry blue comforter and rough in a unicorn tail and mane. My borrowed sewing machine won't work with a heavy needle. Rethread, adjust, never works. Return to normal needle. Yes! Sew tail inside out in two pieces, each a cone with blur fur inside... then invert. Nicely shaggy, lifelike.
My fashion-designer friend Nic gives me a book on sewing stuffed shapes. Not much help--the book-patterns look pudgy & teddybearish; I want more elegance and suspect bones are what define it.
Tired by 9:30. Forget my bedtime herb-dose, fall asleep. Stupid. Wake 2:30 AM, hot & sweating from a Lyme attack. Take herbs & aspirin. Long as I'm up, work on catgirl's face: use acrylic paint as glue, fill in old eyesockets--half an inch too low. At last, herbs kick in, fever fades, I go back to sleep.
Catgirl: sew part of face. Pin the rest. Affix eyes with acrylic.
Unicorn: rough-measure. If bolts of fur are 60" wide, two yards should do.
2013/8/28 dream: EMBARKATION, or, THIS PORTAL COIL
Catgirl: Sew her face, eyes, lips. Slow hand work. A couple of hours.
Unicorn: make five silk hearts. Very slow even with sewing machine. Poor cutting, slippy fabric, machine unthreads. Fussy, frustrating--but easier than real heart surgery, I guess.
HEALTH: OK day till eve: allergy attack from fuzz. Wake 130 AM, sweating, shaky. Only 6 hours sleep.
Bike to Discount Fabric. Cute girls work and shop there but I'm shy today, won't talk to any. Find & buy short light faux-zebra pelt for unicorn.
Sew several more short seams on catgirl--cunt & pelvic floor, face-seams. Still to go: neck, shoulders, hands & feet.
Five Heart Unicorn: two final foam rubber chunks around ribs; sew leotard tighter to narrow her waist & curve her lower back more; cut up sheet and pin shapes to belly from cunt to chin and right foreleg & shoulder. Measure, chart, flip these two pieces. Slow, fussy, and probably not too accurate. But I'll try cutting 'em tomorrow just the same. Add more stuffing to tail through an inch-wide hole. Like force-feeding a grumpy Tribble.
Fiveheart Unicorn all day--shape & sew right foreleg, belly, hind leg. Inner piece is an inch short despite great care measuring. I knew that leg'd be the hardest--it's drawn up, sharply bent, the most convoluted shape. Try sewing in the five hearts two ways. Neither is ideal.
Sew catgirl's front panel on--spotted cheetah fur. Much nicer. Improve lips and define cheekbones more.
Dream: EAT THE MOON
I'm at a party. Evening. Yard. A tea-stained pregnant moon ascends
But heartbeats pass, the moon snails higher--and the lights cling firm.
At last I can't resist a lunar trip--side-slip into shamanosphere. Here
I lift the wary moon from willow branch. Pocket eyes, slip her skull in
Wait--who forced me? I chose, and I can un. Apologize to her deer soul,
der. In my pocket, opaline deer-eyes still hide. As I side-step and return
But here in human time, where jewel-eyed deer are still as absurd
NOTES IN THE MORNING
Catgirl: damn! My friends Alder and Patagia thought she was adorable--but they also thought she was a bear! I am NOT A.A. Milne (though I grew up on him, and may now as a consequence have Little Brain). I'd like a little more elegance than Pooh. So I strengthen Ailura's cheekbones, point her chin, redo lips, make skull symmetrical. Still need to redo left ear to make it more prominent, pointed & catlike, but she looks more feline already.
5 Heart Unicorn: plan & sew last leg. Takes forever. Still to go: covering head, back in zebra fur. And re-cover belly with cream fur.
Unicorn: cut a long piece of cream fur for her throat and belly, and pencil in the holes where the silk hearts will peek through, though I don't dare cut them out yet--get it wrong and I ruin a big patch of fur. Pin it all together, but only link the hind legs so far; still lots of machine and hand stitching to go. And I haven't solved the head problem. Or paws.
Back to Catgirl! Tentatively arrange fur snippets on her face, trying to shape her head, define her features, so she isn't an undifferentiated plush-toy lump.
Catgirl's face: decide on a tricolor pattern. Then do breast implants; then measure cut and sew chest/ruff/neck piece--4' of hand sewing. Cut & pin throat piece too. Much better.
Catgirl: sew blonde fur onto chin/neck. Face is working, but head? And I need to tighten her back-fur an inch for more swayback and a more raised tail--a cat in heat! Should I also resew seamy, bulgy thigh? First seam I did, and now it stands out. Sloppy.
Catgirl: use paper to model blonde highlights for face. Cut & sew all but one cheek. Slow, takes hours. Still unsure what to do for hair. Yarn like a Raggedy Ann? Tubes of fur, like dreadlocks?
Catgirl: sew her cheeks. Delicate, slow. Still unsure about her hair. Don't like back of neck, so need something to cover. Undo seam on lower back, it's still too flat; must redo at least an inch tighter to get natural curve.
Sew several hours--catgirl's lower back and tail-root. Shorten, tighter. Shifts whole posture. Much better.
Decide to try fur dreadlocks. Make an inside-out furry tube on Lily's sewing machine and turn the tube furside-out with a pencil--tricky! It looks like a cat's tail. Sew on a few. Yes, that works!
Catgirl: make and add more dreadlocks. Next I try making a tawny, flaring, lionlike tail-tip 20 cm long (8"). Same technique as the dreadlocks: machine-sewn inside out, then inverted, and handsewn on. Except I stuff the tail-tip with scrap fur. Looks and feels good.
Bike to Goodwill. Find two pale blonde wigs that match; I could make a mane and tail for a life-size centaur! Just $2, so I buy them. (They're on several of the photos in the next section, though I hand-sewed red-blonde fur instead, in the end--well, both ends.)
Next stop: the fabric store, to shop for fake fur. I ask for help from a cute slender blonde with smart child's face, a Vulcan/elvish head-aura, and a sexy equine gait, though her hips are segregated from both legs and upper body somehow. Weird but charming. Kind of like the creatures I'm building.
Did I just disturb my human readers? Sorry! Remember I'm an Aspie. I can't identify people by faces; I use stance, gesture & voice. And this girl moves like a wild animal or Aspie, not a human. I like that. Both sexy and reassuring--because readable!
People say us Aspies seem animal or mechanical--our body language is wrong. But it cuts both ways, folks! For me, watching a rush-hour crowd downtown is like being trapped in Invasion of the Bodysnatchers... or a Hieronymus Bosch painting of hell. Many normal humans feel robotic or cartoonish to me--natives of that famous Uncanny Valley with the monkeys and mannequins--seeming neither quite Person nor Thing. I suspect it's one reason I can build giant furry sex dolls with equanimity. I'm already surrounded by grotesque puppets. Who vote.
Go through photos of my Barbie Cendancer sculptures (my inspiration for the Foam Furs), making a shortlist of my favorite staged dioramas for submission to the Altered Barbie Exhibition in San Francisco.
dolls, acrylic, nails, epoxy
Aifelle in The Coming Dark
Archa in Diamonds
Ariel in Coral Dream
Bergia in Rain is Sky-Grass
Dlana in Snuggle Up...
Filia in Kelp Gets me Wet
Flora in I Built Mtns
Frizia in Tundra
Fuchsia in I Made the Sun Come
Kentaur in Red Hot Desert
Lia in Morla's Fish
Lina in O Wanderer
Lotora in Ruby as big as my Heart
Nila in I Married Rainbows
Proni in Mirrormate
Shya in Summer Heart
Sidera in Hidden Succulence
Spira in Microgravities
Storia in News from Tasa, Probably
Suplica in Balance of Light &...
Zara in Rain on Me
My friend Catshall comes by to see how her old mattress has been transformed into creatures. She's impressed! To her they look comic, surreal AND hot. Exactly what I'm after.
Catshall's been charging ahead with her own work. Well, charging back. Made a to-do list of all her unfinished projects going back years, that she wants to finish before she dies. I can relate. All my huge quixotic projects--while still convalescing from chronic Lyme, as she is from slow cancer.
We compare bucket lists, for a laugh. Similar. No travel, no dreams of wealth, no kids or grandkids to see graduate summa cum laude. We just wanna finish the art before the death sentence gets, um, executed.
I think serious illness--waltzing with Death--fosters seriousness about your work. Not that I wouldn't trade the waltz in for health, of course. No matter how much the ghost of Darwin natters on about the benefits of natural selection, us deer go on praying for wolf eradication! Just can't appreciate the benefits, with wolf-jaws on my neck.
Evening: build Jenny Badger's dream-art website. Takes hours, whoof! As prolific as me. And better art. Sigh...
Dream: A WOLFE TRIANGLE
I'm reading a new book by Gene Wolfe. Florid but literate prose. The plot's dull so far--or is it that the characters seem blah? Comic cops or guardsmen talk with petty bureaucrats. Meant to be comic, at least. Tedious for me. Wall-to-wall men in this book. Women can't be funny, it seems, not in Wolfe's world.DREAM NOTES
But I do like the next scene. Same style, but now two of the witches from "Macbeth" are on vacation at a Caribbean beach resort. They peel off all their uglification with relief. The Fates always wear warty make-up on the job. Guys expect it. Fate is ugly, you know. And straight. But on vacation, the Fates can be themselves, and cruise the beach bunnies. And it's a diverse crowd: the resort's popular with wolf people.
Turns out Macbethian witches have a breast fetish--but they don't have to be big, just sensitive. That's fortunate, since wolf girls aren't busty. Wolfe girls. However you spell it. Our Macbethians end up in a threesome with a lanky, laconic wolf girl, lean as a greyhound. Only a lot smarter. And cuter. A furry orgy on the beach!
A furry orgy on the beach in goofy Shakespearean Scots dialect. "Whan shall wee three meete agayne?" Ha. More Terry Pratchett than what I think of as Gene Wolfe, but it works. He can write, then; I just don't share his usual worldview. His 'realistic' passages don't reflect MY reality at all. Wolves and witches on vacation, I get.
But then I'm basically a Terry Pratchett witch myself. Except the gender and the hat.
The Cendancers, a tower of dancing centauroid Barbies, by Chris Wayan
Five Heart Unicorn: final adjustments to hind legs, but feel stuck on how to sew her belly and forelegs. Just don't see how to do the next step(s). Feel stupid.
Work on Five Heart Unicorn most of day. Slow. Try to cut the holes for the hearts in her belly-fur, but botch them. Try again. Botch again. Wasting fake fur, but I have to get it right.
Pause work on foam furs for a month: I did get into the Altered Barbie Exhibition, so now I have to build a giant diorama showing off some twenty doll-based sculptures, the Cendancers.
Back to the Foam Furs! Sew catgirl's right shoulder and foot. Hours of hand work. Listen to music.
Sew away at cat girl. Build a rough left foot, sew shoulder. Done for now!
Resume work on Five Heart Unicorn--hand sewing only, since Lily needs her machine back.
Set up sewing machine again; work on Five Heart Unicorn. Long twisty seam.
The curator of the Altered Barbie show, desperate for sales, tries to sell one of my centaur dancers for WAY under my minimum price! The resulting fuss, recriminations and counter-recriminations eat up a week of creative time. At last I get all my Cendancers back.
Gotta face it--the curator was wrong to undercut my prices, but she made a perceptive point. I set them so high to discourage sales, because I'm still emotionally unready to sell the Cendancers at ANY price. I still have some project in mind for them... But what? A planet where they live?
[LATER NOTE: over the next year I photograph the Cendancers in dioramas staged to look like stylized landscapes--essentially, alien dance-theatre. And then build a wide world for them to travel and perform on, where they could plausibly have evolved... Kakalea.]
Hand-sew Fiveheart Unicorn a couple hours, while I listen to REM songs. I'm sculpting a being I met in REM while listening to... hah!
Sew seven more dreadlocks onto catgirl (Leonore? Ailura I think. Still a bit unsure of her name at this point).
Line her inner ears in pink silk.
Define her toes, and sew two layers of rubbery traction-mat for her soles, an underlayer of pink, black on top. Feels very like a real cat's paw.
Still to do: hands, and need more flexible hipjoints.
Fiveheart Unicorn. Sew striped back, then blue fetlocks, tail and mane, then cream patch on throat. Many feet of hand-sewing. Slow.
Unicorn's face. Cut and shape zebra fabric. Silk for mouth/lips is hard to sew. Feels thin. My fabric-art friend Lily suggests thicker silk DOES exist... Dig through her scrap bin, find some thick maroon silk...
Work on 5 Heart Unicorn's face. Takes a couple of hours and false tries (balky sewing machine eats up an hour too) to get a successful mouth--a silk toroid wrapped around a foamrubber insert that becomes quite beautiful lips. Amazing how a flat surface can transform...
Lose my straight needle. Search but can't find. Borrow another from Lily. Five Heart Unicorn: sew nostrils (small but delicate) and mane (cruder but long).
Need a fabric rose to finish Fiveheart Unicorn--in the original dream, the unicorn had a rose and a mirror on his brow, not the traditional horn.
Go to SCRAP, hunting a fabric rose...
Sew Five Heart Unicorn's face--carve and adjust eyesockets and try linings, sew deep threads to shape nose. Progress. As I listen to the Smiths! The least unicornian band ever...
Still can't find a fabric flower of right shape, size, color & feel. So I'm studying how to make my own silk rose. Found a how-to page...
Back to Ailura the Catgirl! Build a proper hand of pencils and bolts (for the weight), dense foam rubber, glove, then fur on the back. Wrist too. Hand-sew the hand on, ha! Then make and sew on seven more furry dreadlocks...
Catgirl: carve her other hand of foam rubber, add metal weight, put leopard glove on, sew onto catgirl. Cut & add wristpiece. Slow work. But her hands look and feel handlike. Add four more white dreadlocks in a strip like a mohawk among darker ones.
Read more about fabric flowers and try two simple test designs, which come out mediocre. But I learned the principles. Fabric store tomorrow for thread and an insettable round mirror if they have one--Lily says they will.
Five Heart Unicorn. Plan, study flowers, but don't sew; unsure how to arrange rose and mirror. Maybe make a mockup horn?
Fabric store. Buy strong thread, hunt for a round mirror for unicorn. Yep, they do have them.
Therapy. Talk about how ill I got from that Altered Barbie show dispute. But then, most social interactions drain or sicken me; can I find ones that energize me? Or even ones that drain me but are worth the stress?
Homework: just notice what feels good.
Dream: FURRY SEX OPENS GATE
Two dogsized longnosed mammals with black striped coats. Mates I think. Together they do a strange trick requiring a lot of intelligence, in which they skitter opposite directions but come back together through a maze? As they pass in a corridor, they line up head to tail... and then do 69, licking away happily till they come. And...
... when they come, their orgasms open a gate to another world!
Five Heart Unicorn's face: sew her eyeholes/lining, glue her eyes in with gummy acrylic, add a second piece of foamrubber to thicken and center the horn, binding the two pieces together with a sheath of shot green silk.
Body too. Add a foam insert to her abdomen over her three hindmost hearts, and resew one heart by hand--slower but much smoother look/feel than machine stitching. Maybe I need to hand-sew all the hearts...
Fiveheart Unicorn. Re-sew the other four hearts. Much better. Sew up the open tip of her horn; start planning how to build a rose atop it.
Five Heart Unicorn: sew on her ears. Slow. Difficult shapes!
Sew a green rose-stem onto Fiveheart Unicorn's horn. Decide the dream image of the rose separate from the mirror is the way to go, not combining them (tried gluing a small mirror in the heart of the flower, but it seemed topheavy). A mirror inset in her blue mane around her crown chakra will look fine, I think, and it's truer to the dream. If I can figure how to hold it. Can't sew glass! Glue it? Make a pocket?
Five Heart Unicorn: Try making silk roses. Over & over I botch them. Finally get one that works! Add green calyx...
Xmas guests for a week. Everything stops.
2013/12/27 dream: WE'RE ALL SOMEONE'S TOYS
I'm in a menagerie of sentient furries including the stuffed catgirl and unicorn I just sewed; but now they're alive. We lounge together on a dais--a performance stage in a small cafe, I think. A cloth banner reads something like "We're All SOMEONE'S Toys".
I feel happy. We've gone from inanimate toys to animals to people so quickly! Progress. So don't worry about small glitches; we're developing well.
What's next? A band?
Fiveheart Unicorn: at last, inset a round mirror in the mane at her crown chakra--make a pocket rather than glue it. Works!
Still to go: some paw work. But nearly done!
Catgirl: repad left breast, lengthen neck and lower the left shoulder. Smooth out the seams. Way better. Work on lips too--a little fuller.
Resew catgirl's right shoulder lower, and start on her neck. And resew her thigh to remove saddlebag (an artifact of my crude early sewing). Resewing shifts her posture to slightly more lourdic/feline, too; she sits better.
Catgirl: resew loose seams on pelvic floor, tail, neck. Smoother. Try sex! Feels so good. Relax from all those human visitors over the holidays. Just curl up as cats together and sleep.
SILKY THE CATTAUR
Silky the cattaur, sprawling and boneless
Walking to the Farmers' Market, I find a heavy round wooden dowel in the street, tall as me. Perfect for centaur bones! Take it as a hint from the art-gods. I lug it home on my shoulder. Add up my wood-needs. Need more legbones. Broomstick's too light, only fit for forearms. Walk to Lowe's and buy two more big dowels for spine and thighbones. Lug back up hill with them over my shoulders. All right, I got bones. Ready to build a centaur skeleton.
Centaur/Cattaur: cut dowels for vertebrae; calculate limb-bone lengths
Centaur: drill holes in vertebrae. Saw the long legbones by hand; slow, till I replace the sawblade--looked fine, but it was dull. String the vertebrae and ring-pads together with rope. Plastic packing around my new computer is tougher & less brittle than styrofoam--I'll try it as a skull. Still thinking about ribs, clavicle, pelvis.
Go for it! Rough-sculpt a giant foamrubber centaur torso. Insert spine and pelvic crossbars. A mess, and I still get one bloody cut, but my hands aren't hurt nearly as much as when I carved foam for the earlier creatures. Either I'm more skilled (which I doubt; still pretty crude) or... I'm learning to care for my body better. Staying in it, as I cut.
Centaur: Buy pantyhose and a kids' hoodie as underskins to help hold the centaur's pieces together. Plan her legs at quarter-scale on paper, then mark and cut my remaining foam mattress with a felt pen. Slow work: not an inch to spare. Zero waste! Recycling indeed.
Assemble roughly. Far too weak to stand free, but leaning on the wall with a chair supporting belly, she stays up. Chunks of foam suddenly become... a creature.
Cattaur: shape legs and torso. Slow. Trying to pace this so I don't hurt my hands.
[food poisoning, sick a few days]
Hollow out first two centaur legs, preparing for bones.
Want the centaur to stand, yet have posable/movable joints that won't loosen over time. How?
Search the web. Email Abyss Studios, home of RealDolls (lifesize sex dolls), asking how they build their joints. A woman working there emails back, says they buy them from a third party that makes them for some quite different purpose than silicone sex toys, but...she can't reveal their supplier or what their normal use is. "Sorry, it's a trade secret."
Oh, well. I'll have to figure out my own solution.
Party at our house. All day! People fill the house from 2PM till after midnight. Many (like Catshall and Ruth) fall in love with the giant plush dream critters.
Re-sew the rough seams on catgirl's face and torso. Smoother. Looking okay's not enough; has to FEEL natural.
Catgirl: resew overtight side of neck, add a stretch of brown fur. Better. Face was baggy & shapeless; define chin better, and whole face improves--still not too feline but getting there.
Sew hours: catgirl's lighter face-patches, smooth seams on neck, face, around eyes. Slim the throat padding. Build new fuller lips. Sexy! Ready to sew in? But my fingers are too tired.
Ultrasimple universal joint for hips & shoulders
Bike through the Mission seeking joints that'd hold a centaur's weight. Calumet Photography, with its huge Sirron Norris murals outside. Big expensive joints. They recommend JVC Lighting, may have smaller cheaper ones. Go ask, fighting my Aspie shyness. A guy there suggests two types that might work--rosettes (radially ridged washer/gears), and concentric-ring-ridged ones that allow infinite positions, and neither would wear out quickly--stainless steel. But they're $75-100 each, and I need 1-2 dozen. A last resort, I think.
Talking to strangers about weird dream sculpture is... interesting. They're all intrigued, not freaked as I expected. Scary but almost fun. But I'm tiring and getting cold and it's starting to rain... so I just go home, still jointless. Sigh.
Centaur: Buy cabinet hinges for knee joints, and hooks & eyes for balljoints in shoulders & hips. Way simpler and won't wear out--the metal just anchors it, the weight's supported mostly by the foam & fabric around it. Drill, saw and assemble a rough test foreleg. Have to use vice grips to turn the hip-hook into a closed eye like so the two loops can't twist loose. Weave a fabric strip round the linked rings, to suppress noise.
Hip and knee seem to work now, but the ankle's still iffy. So confined, so much weight & stress! Can I make them strong enough?
How do humans stand up at ALL?
Smooth the centaur; body was only roughed in. A blizzard of foamrubber chips fill my room.
Time to build legs. Have to use steel gate-springs to get joints strong enough, and even now I suspect they'll need stronger springs. Or two each. Complex. Affix hinges & springs, but only insert the foot and shin-bones. Two big ones to go. My hands get tired, start hurting. And it's just rubber and wood! Imagine sculpting marble or granite...
Silky the cattaur in her proud new bones; stands with wall-support
Push bones slowly into fourth leg--exhausting. Add springs. Will it stand? Almost; bears the weight, but can't balance. This is with three of the four vital springs--they only had three at Cole Hardware. I'll try to pick up a fourth spring tomorrow at another branch.
Bike to Cole Hardware at 4th and Mission. Get a fourth big spring, the last they have. It lacks a price code but it's listed on wall. The cashier won't believe me about the price, and delays the whole line while a guy goes downstairs to verify the price--all this for a two-buck item. Because, I guess, some humans'd lie about it to save 50¢? And they call us Aspies crazy!
At home, install fourth big spring. The leg's firm, but the centaur still won't stand on her own. Once either fore- or hindquarters start to stretch out horizontally they keep going... But the furry fabric layers may soon restrain that. Do I need more springs, or is it time for the next step?
About ready to trim excess foam and add pantyhose & kid's hoodie to tighten up form. Will she stand on her own then? Even if not, won't really know until the fur layer tightens and strengthens it all. Hollow out centaur head and insert plastic as a skull. Doesn't fit well yet.
Centaur: hollow out arms and insert bones and joints. For first time, remove pillow from chair. Legs support abdomen, though she still needs chair to stabilize the legs. I bought a kids' hoodie to strengthen/tighten the thorax (upper body), but lost it somehow.
Centaur: Stuff extra foamrubber "muscle" round the four hipjoints to firm them, and thread a shoelace through the torso, tightening it. Upper body still droops if unpropped. But progress. She stands without a chair now! Still needs to lean against the wall or windowsill, but she bears her own weight and her four legs balance.
A break in the rain, merely gray, so I bike back to Cole Hardware and get bigger springs and eyelets for the centaur. Have to go again to the downtown branch. Been days now, and our local shop still has nothin'--slow to restock. On the way back, I stop at Goodwill and go through hundreds of kids' tops, buy a 2nd small hoodie to replace one I lost. Back at home, beef up two weak springs in knees and add new ones to ankles. One spring deep in thoracic curve too.
The result? She's still wobbly, but stands without a chair now, just leaning a hip or two slightly against a windowsill, and her thorax rears for minutes now before leaning or drooping. Not quite freestanding yet, but very close. It'll work.
Smooth the Centaur's figure all day, snipping and padding. For first time, her head & shoulders stay upright briefly though her hip still leans against my bay window. Still just short of freestanding.
Centaur: final smoothing. Snip snip. Then put on pantyhose--three pair, one fore, one hind, one (upside down, crotch snipped out for a neck-hole) over arms & thorax. Add a piece of thermal underwear for stretch of belly uncovered. Add pads, fill holes... work till noon...
She freestands! Tipsy, and only a few stable positions, but still she's standing on her own. Take photos.
Baby's first step!
A bit drained from sculpting. My hurt hands are healing; at least the cuts didn't get infected and sore for three days as during earlier foam-hackings.
Spend the day recovering, avoid further cuts--to fabric, rubber or me.
Bike to fabric stores--sale at Fabric Outlet, but can't find a good rust/foxy fake fur.
On to Discount Fabric. Find rust/fox fur. Get some--pricy, and a long wait. Back to sale, get two more samples, long blonde fur (for mane and tail?) and a leopard pattern (sides?). Home. Six furs to work with now: cream, blonde, red, and three leopard-spot patterns--light tan, mid-bronze, deep chocolate.
Centaur stands briefly then falls over. But this time it won't stand again. Just too loose. Springs can't be stretching yet. Are spinal pads squashing? Is foam flattening? Unsure what's wrong, what to do.
2014/2/15 dream: TALKED OUT OF MY SPHINX
I'm on a busy street in north-central San Francisco. Many masked and painted people. Paint-spattered leotards, feathers, cardboard tutus, fake fur. Not a festival--such body-decoration's just common now.DREAM NOTES
A big cafe is crowded with cute greenish women--bodypaint from dusky olive to lime-green. I wander through--came here for an art opening. It's a cooperative art gallery I belong to; we have thematic shows, monthly.
This month's curator chose "Violence" for his theme, disappointing me. Still, I committed to carving a styrofoam statue based on his theme, and soon after, I had a compelling dream [within my dream] of a sexy, life-affirming winged sphinx challenging how we see issues of violence with her awkward sphinx-questions. Showed the curator sketches of my dream.
He didn't like it. Too philosophical, too furry... too peaceful. He asked me instead to hack a crude wheeled figure out with an ax, on opening night, live, in front of everyone. While acting crazed and violent. The embodiment of his theme.
And I do it, cackling madly as asked.
But the resulting art, both performance and statue, are crude cartoons, no more. A chunky figure standing for perpetrators. Pointless. A trio of skinny Indian yuppies looks at the figure. A tall girl speaks up. "It's rather one-note, isn't it?" The others agree. I'm hurt... but they're absolutely right. Dull. The whole show's dull. As dull as violence is dull. Pieces depicting & protesting violence just echo that violence. They say nothing constructive or new.
The crowd disperses quickly--on to the next and probably better event, better party, better art...
I wish I'd defied the curator and gone ahead with my own vision. I let myself get talked out of my sphinx!
Centaur: level her gaze and chin--she was gawking at the roof. Open her waist and reinforce with shoelaces and extra padding to give forelegs an A-frame tension.
Walk down to Lowe's and buy heavy springs. Add to hock joints on hind legs. Find one hinge is loose: the wood split! No wonder she's been wobbly. Tear out & redo that bone, reinsert w/extra springs. Slow, tedious and hurts my hands. Then equalize her leg lengths--shorten two an inch or so. Trim an inch off one lopsided, oversize haunch.
Last: add cut-off thermal underwear (arms, actually) to her hind legs, tightening/slimming them. Now her stance is firmer. She stands for hours! Three quadrangular stances work; even one triangular one--all four legs down, but two meet. Vast improvement. This'll work! Orwell said "Ignorance is strength"; but the truth is, underwear is strength.
Centaur: cut two trapezoids of blonde fur for the tail. My first fur work. Try hand-sewing. Fail Try machine. Yes! Trim/shape the two tail pieces till they fit together, though I can't see how to sew them together yet. Machine can't do it--it's a ring. A topological problem! No way to end it. Hand-sew, with one hand trapped inside? When done, just slip that hand out through the fourth dimension. Easy!
Open her forehips and add diagonal springs from hipbones to thoracic spine. Repack foam rubber differently. Result: stands better. Try leaving the centaur standing in the middle of my room all night. She stays up--first time. Lasted hours before, but usually she droops into a bow or back-lean, the thorax unstable; not tonight!
Dream: GRAY CATGIRL
In my dream, I dream that I fall asleep. Wake in dim dawn. Noise. A yowly gray cat, a big one. Lurches onto a bench, curls up on my jacket.
I trill at her, and she shoves her face in my hand, wants to be petted. I do. She grows larger and larger until she's a catgirl in a gray fur T-shirt and we're groping and pawing and purring. I'm very turned on. My mouth finds her nipple through the fur. Into my mouth, an inch long... and milky. Weird, she's lactating. Yet she's way too lean to be pregnant. Strange milk--colostrum maybe? Tastes sourish like kefir! Not bad, just odd...
Hand-sew pieces of tail together, though the last inch is tricky, as expected--I can't reach inside a sealed spindle-shape! Just shrink the final hole till the last centimeter's lost in the fur...
Looks & feels great--like a real tail. Next?
Cattaur, firming up. Some bozo in the picture. But I guess he shows the scale.
Unicorn: insert some leftover foam to tighten vagina and give her true labia not just some undifferentiated slit. "A woman's not just a series of holes." Neither is a nightmare.
Her hindmost heart is loose and ratty, needs resewing with silk not nylon. Do it by hand not machine. Better. I'm learning!
Unicorn's paws need detailing too. She definitely wants paw/hands, not hooves.
Centaur: start sewing her underlayers together--just pinned till now. Tweak the foamrubber lining her joints. Trim a hand.
Centaur's left foreleg looks slightly curving, feels wobbly. Turns out it's a broken ankle! Not the metal; the wood dowel was just too soft. Small screws ripped right out! I replaced the other joints, but forgot this one. Cut a new anklebone of harder wood, and reconnect the hinge with bigger screws, then reattach the foot, and then the spring (it literally gives her the Spring In Her Step). Slow. Open her right foreknee to tighten its spring too. And add an ankle cuff to shape one hind leg.
Pin traction mats on her four soles--it slips, but cloth slips even worse and I can't leave them bare foam rubber.
Overall, she's more robust. Stands for hours again. Standing is the new default!
Centaur: sew the first fur. Chocolate boots for her hind legs, and one rust thigh piece. Add stretchable cloth to reinforce fore- and hindquarters.
Unsure I like that rust-colored fur. Its neat, even stripes look too mechanical--no living creature would be so linear.
Centaur: No, I don't like the heavy rust fur. Love the foxy hue, but those neat stripes just look wrong, like a mink coat, not a living creature's pelt. So I bike to the fabric store during a lull in the rain. Nearly all the bolts of fake fur I bought last time are gone. Can't match. Frustrating. Find a rough match to one; it'll have to do. Out into steady rain. By home, I'm soaked and cold. Exhausted.
Centaur. Strip off bad fur, add more elastic around hindquarters, and sew it all rough and fast with button thread, removing pins. Takes hours. Stands stronger. I think. Traction still poor--rubbery traction mats for pawpads are useless. Raw foam rubber was better. Need some rubberized fabric jar-openers, I think--the best grip on earth! But I only have one now. Might make two pads from it, but too small to make four.
Centaur--finish chocolate boots and gloves. Measure lighter bronze leopard fur for her thigh, and pin it. Yeah, better than the fake mink coat. She's definitely turning feline. A cattaur.
Cattaur: just one inner thigh. Colors and shapes seem right but I'm so slow & timid. But rightly so. Even at this speed, I botch a measurement, cut an inch too small, and have to piece one area out of scraps.
Dream: RED MARE ON MY BED
I'm on a quest with friends in a cartoon universe. Our quest began in a delicately inked cartoon 1945 New York going through a war-scare (it seems World War Two never happened on this timefork).
But that was then, this is now. We've come all the way to 1960s suburbia: Meadow Heights School in San Mateo, California--though the school grounds are studded with anachronistic horse troughs and Wild West saloons.
I sit by the watertrough outside our favorite saloon, studying two of our horses--gray and dun. Good walkers, but a bit drab. Then out of the saloon strolls a gorgeous red mare, the cartoonist's horse, the one who's drawn our whole universe. I like her rich fox-color and tell her so.
She carefully settles down on a bed here in the upstairs flat we all share. My bed. I don't mind, but a while later, I casually pat her and she flinches, afraid I'm shooing her off. The cartoonist allows her up on the furniture, but apparently some people here get mad about it. I apologize, soothe her with voice and touch till she settles down. I purr "You're always welcome on my bed."
No, it doesn't turn sexual; not yet. But she is cute. Big girl, but graceful. And I do like redheads... of any species.
Read an award-winning but dark postmodern fable by Kij Johnson, Ponies. Little girls all start out with a familiar--a flying unicorn pony. But the price for acceptance is to mutilate your pony. Oh, they let you choose which mutilation it'll be. Cut off the horn of magic/healing? The wings of imagination? Or the tongue of your authentic voice? Little Barbara surrenders, seeking inclusion at any price. At least Sunny, her Pony, makes a break for freedom, though too late. Right to. They don't take one of the three. They cut off all--horn, wings, tongue. And then, because Sunny fled, they cut off his life.
Me, I was always a Sunny. As a child prodigy AND an Aspie, I COULDN'T act normal, take the deal; I never even got offered inclusion. The normals just cut me out of their lives. Except... I learned you can regrow your wings and horn and voice... gradually.
Dream: SNAKY FAMILIARS
Little girls all have, as their birthright, a Familiar--an animal/spirit companion. By far the commonest type is a snake as big as a firehose. Unexpected! I thought all girls were issued Ponies. Nope. Snakes!
One girl asks me for help in peeling the snakeskin off her familiar--it's getting too tight, time to shed the old skin. As happens regularly. Scratch scratch, peel peel...
2014/3/8 dream: FUR FETISHISTS PIONEER CAMOUFLAGE
It's the future; I live in space. I discover a fascinating old book on camouflage--the author was an Earth native, a man living in the late 1700s, but the illustrations in this edition, the definitive one, are by a woman in the 1950s. This edition's been reissued for centuries by military/scouting academies because it's a tactical classic! It shows how patterns can hide you (useful for scoutships) or make you stand out (useful for surveys, search & rescue).
Of course, it was written and illustrated long before humans found how common furry people are in the galaxy. Or to put it the way most galactics do, how rare naked apes are! It's a furry, feathery, scaly universe.
Clothing exists, of course--for harsh weather, and, well, for dressing up in bed. It's a little kinky to wear it on the street on a nice day. Normally-clothed humans are the ones who look like primitive fetishists nowadays!
And yet, and yet... this book, written back in a strange, primitive, prudish, naked-ape time somehow depicts modern, furry people. Were the author and illustrator just fetishists who got lucky in anticipating the interstellar truth, or did they have a flash of prescience?
The book really does seem fetishy, though. Sex-obsessed. One page shows how to sew fake fur in patterns around genitals, and to build fake vaginas of silk. Looks like the obscurest of sexual kinks...
And yet, and yet, and yet, their distant descendants use their prespace fetish-art techniques to hide scoutships!
Cattaur: sew her sides all day, on & off. Planned to peel off the fur pieces and machine-sew most seams, but decide it's easier and looks/feels better to sew 'em in place by hand. Do three long seams.
Cattaur: flanks done. Sew side panels, belly. Restuff the tail firmer. Cut out the panel for her back.
She's so cute now! Sprawl her on my bed like the Red Mare in my dream. Roll around with her, get very turned on, mate with her, come...
But... one kind of screw undoes another! Floppy leg, injured joint. Ow! Peel her fur back. Yep, broken. Redo the joint with bigger screw, new hole, reposition springs a bit, and pad the springs and guideposts (screws halfway out). The joint seems stronger.
Cattaur's hind legs and low & sew a dozen small pieces of cheetah fur onto forethighs. Last bits of that fur, and can't match it at store, so have to make each scrap count. Very slow, but by end, she stands firmer. And her thighs have such soft fur now. Wanna rest my head there and lick her, mmm...
Rain. Spend most of day sewing the centaur. Take off tail, restuff, add flexible stiffener extending from spine, sew on tail plus half a dozen small bits of pelt around it.
About one more full day and I'll be done up to the waist (except, of course, soles; saved for last so I can keep rolling up fur to repair joints till I get them right).
Cattaur: finish adjusting tail. Sew forecrotch and one hip. Almost done to the waist! Start thinking about her face. Switch to...
Ailura the catgirl! Sew in darker fuller lips. Ooh, so kissable...
2014/3/28 dream: LEOPARDS AT THE FRINGE
Whew! A steamy, funny dream--I'll just summarize it here:
I'm performing in San Francisco's Fringe Festival in a show billed as "a performance orgy."
- ACT ONE--I'm a leopard (not a human in a suit a la Cats; a real, talking leopard!) with several pet human girls on leashes.
- ACT TWO--Pet and owner reverse--and so does species! Now I'm a human boy on a leash, the pet of a leopard girl. We have furry sex onstage... in between soliloquys!
Open that wobbly centaur knee. Yep, a screw tore out of the soft wood of the shin; the other screw's bent. Replace the shin with hardwood. Open the other knee. A little loose, but much better. Add guides flanking the spring and a stop-screw to reduce torque on the joint and make the default straight rather than colt-kneed, and reclose her leg. She stands firmer.
Dream 1: SEXY SUBSTANCE EXCITES UNIGIRL
Encounter an inherently sexy substance. Just being near it turns me on; touching it is wildly exciting. A beautiful girl who's a human-unicorn hybrid finds the stuff as stimulating as I do.
I hope we end up in bed. Will she find ME attractive?
I live in a different room in a different house, though with the same housemates, I think. Slowly wake up in a sleeping bag or a mattress on the floor. In bed with me are clothes, several complete sets. Fursuits!DREAM NOTES
I put one on. A skinny catsuit with a long tail. How do I look? My only mirror is really just a window. Not even one pane; image broken into four parts at least. Hmm. The suit's just not clingy or elastic enough to look as slinky-feline as I hoped. And the fur is short, revealing my skinny human shape, and the hood's too small, baring my human face. Except for weird goggle-frames and a few straps. Breaks up my face but not at all catlike--makes the whole suit look unfinished. I need to buy or sculpt a full cat mask.
Sew cattaur. Up to ribs now. Stuff silencer-cloth into squeaky shoulder joints. Trim arms a bit.
Sex play with cattaur--she's so cute now! Then sew some more. Fur done up to nipples, and her face is shaped, though still bare of fur--unsure what colors.
Cattaur: steadily hand-sew various tones of fur onto her arms, shoulders & upper back. Ready for her neck.
2014/4/16 Dream: ADJUSTABLE FURSUIT
I'm a slender woman in the early 20th Century Britain, in WB Yeats's circle. His great patron and friend Lady Gregory lends me her... fursuit? Yes. She loves turning into a big talking cat. The suit opens down the front and is very adjustable--complex laces/stays around belly and crotch let it snugly fit fat or thin, male or female.
Takes a while to get it snug on me, I'm so thin. But once it moves with me and shows me off, I feel sexy!
I must take care to store some optional stays and fur-wedges thin wearers don't need, since Lady Gregory's plump and will need them. No pockets, so I must store inside without spoiling the lines. Luckily fur is more forgiving than skin.
I wish I'd brought along the belt or implant that lets me control a tail; the suit's capable, but I can't hook that up without one more piece. Still its tail's default setting is springy, lively, looks good.
NOTES IN THE MORNING
2014/4/24 dream: SILKY'S INVERSION
People tell me my familiar spirit, Silky, is back in town, but I haven't seen her. Is she avoiding me? I don't know why.
I try the spots she frequents--she often likes to hang with the gargoyles on the older churches in town, and with the carved critters on some of the neoclassical buildings in the Civic Center.
But she's not up on the first few buildings I check, and the gargoyles all say they haven't seen her.
At last I spot her in a colored drawing or painting of mine I forgot--a hearth seen in side view, in a large old-fashioned hall. Silky, in one of her favorite forms, a black mare, is standing rampant--but upside down, on the ceiling!
Being a spirit, she can decide what gravity field she wants to honor. Whimsical. That's Silky all over! Funny-looking, but not that outrageous for her.
But several other anomalies do throw me.
And then the explanation walks in--a guy who adores her, but he's gay. Longs for a big black dick to play with.
- She's wearing a sort of halter or bikini top, shiny ruby-red--silk? Or rubies or garnets sewn onto cloth? NOT like her to wear anything as a horse--hates feeling haltered or bridled.
- And white speckles are floating through the room. Snow's falling--indoors!
- And most shocking of all, Silky is male! A huge erection. As spirits go, she's pretty femme. Rare to see her playing stallion.
Silky likes to be played with. So she obliged!
Whatever feels good, I guess...
"Five Heart Unicorn", sculpture of a dream figure by Chris Wayan, as of 2014
"Arrival", (dream?) painting by Alex Gross, 2001
I'm not surprised in retrospect. I grew up surrounded by sisters, with a female/androgenous body image--"I'm in a male body", not "I am male." Not gender-dysphoric enough to risk surgery; my intensest longings are for health and vigor that recurring Lyme denied me, so that's what I've focused on. Talk therapy did remedy my psychological self-image--I was trained to think I (and all males) must be sexist, suspect, always at fault in relationships [thanks, Mom!]... but Silky's Inversion was warning me I still had work to do: to correct my body image, too. "Big cock. And that's OK. More than OK. It's good. Those who like them, like them big." And I was unconsciously building my sexy creatures to force that re-evaluation.
And maybe, Dear Reader, this distinction will be useful for you too. You have at least two self-images; either or both may be wrong. Check both!
Cattaur: rough in fur pieces for face.
Yes. Gold. They really give her presence.
Cattaur: sew neck and hair and ears. To my surprise, her posture subtly improves! Mysterious, but I'm not complaining.
Cattaur: sew chin/cheek, pin & sew lips. Emphasize the hollows below cheekbones by going right through skull with massive straight needle and extra-heavy thread.
Cattaur: redo small of back, improves posture a lot. Add hair/mane.
I'm reading Jo Walton's What Makes This Book So Great, on science fiction & fantasy novels. First I note a few I'd like to read, but after twenty reviews, I start seeing broader patterns. Walton reads with a writer's eye; she sees (and admires) structural things I don't. And should learn to.
Walton also likes violence and ugliness I can't. I'm not sure that's a strength; she likes a lot of Gripping Dystopias I tried and found dreary. She seems to buy the "veneer" theory of human nature--decency is recent, a mere skin over primal brutality. It's a common belief, but in Rebecca Solnit's study A Paradise Built In Hell, she debunks it in detail. In disasters, people self-organize and cooperate, quickly and efficiently--just as the anarchists always said. Only when business-as-usual resumes--bosses, profits, competing for social status--do people start misbehaving again! Human nature, as we know and decry it, is a reaction to hierarchy and exploitation.
So a lot of Walton's reviews about "great" books leave me cold. More militarism, patriarchy, empire? Who cares how well-painted it is, if its view of human nature is false and it imagines nothing better than what we have?
What I like (to read, and to write) Walton would probably dislike--or just dismiss as immature, wishful thinking--as unicorns in love, with pink wings. But then utopians often get mocked for building paradise out of chopsticks and duct tape. As if our present dystopia isn't equally flimsy!
I write this while sick again--fever, sweating, joint aches, shakes, racing heart. What has western medicine prescribed? Migraine pills! Which don't work. But migraines are common, so that's what I get. What WORKS is azithromycin, but that implies a recurrent bacterial infection, and Kaiser believes in statistically likely causes--stress, caffeine, migraine. Diagnosis is too costly. Obsolete. And blindly handing out antibiotics to fix an unknown infection is irresponsible--even if it's known to work.
Dystopia is BORING. I live there. I should know.
Dream: A HISA ON OLYMPUS
I'm a hisa. We look a bit like your Terran kangaroos, though we run, not hop. Upright like you, but forward-leaning, balanced by a long tail (prehensile at the tip). Long face, mobile ears. Brown coat on my back, cream countershading.
We lack your technology; we've never flown, let alone traveled space. To us it's Heaven--holy. Your people built an orbital station to trade with us. And our atmosphere's so dense that Terrans can breathe our stratosphere, so you've set up small trade stations on our highest mountaintops too; well above our comfort zone, so none of us minded.
I'm a well-known private detective--the nearest local equivalent of your Sherlock Holmes. Respected even by Terrans. Recently the manager of a Terran trade station hired me for a difficult case, waiving the usual tech-quarantine--the Prime Directive about altering native cultures. I've done local business with Terrans, but this'll be my first trip outside the hisa zone.
See, the crime-scene is a station--a small town, really--atop a high shield volcano much like Mount Olympus on your Mars. The crime was an elaborate break-in that clearly took a team. It's a mystery how they got in without cameras spotting them. I need to examine that perimeter and its tracks closely, on foot. How? Much debate and fuss... how to get me up there to investigate? Rig an oxygen mask fitting my long hisa head? Or can I drive a pressurized rover? Or run a robot explorer from inside the station? (I veto this last. Need to be there, touch it, taste the dirt.) All mean exposing me to offworld tech.
I don't recall whodunit. Or howtheydunit. What I do recall comes after I solve the case. (Of course I solve it! I told you: I'm the hisa Holmes.) But later...
A stubborn streak makes me go home my own people's way, not flying in the daily shuttle: I need to connect with the land and make my journey back down Olympus real, by walking all the way home. I flew up, reluctantly, because time was of the essence; but a technomagical flight BOTH ways would leave my memories ungrounded. Sacrilegious to a hisa--and just plain disorienting.
So I hike down the shield of Olympus--and that's an epic trek! Hundreds of kilometers, a week's walk even at our leggy people's fast pace. I do use an adapted breathing-mask and bundle up in furs, UV goggles and a ridiculous fuzzy hat. Humiliating and uncomfortable--our people hate clothes confining our own fur. Itchy. But I have to. I need to walk. I can't hitch rides, not even with security guards in ground vehicles when they drop off my oxygen refills and bring me mail... let alone ride in their shiny, easy shuttles overhead.
An endless trek, risking high-altitude radiation, oxygen shortage, sunburned ears, embolism, frostbite, sore paws (dark basalt in that high-altitude sun gets hot)... But I need to. To recover from that disconnected flight. To know where I am. And who I am.
Cattaur: face. Sew light patches over her cheekbones, forehead, nose, chin--such highlights pop out, contrast with dark hollows around eyes and hollows below cheekbones. Helps to shape her face, emphasize relief, minimize that blobby stuffed-toy look.
House party! Most guests start out downstairs barbecuing, but by evening they all migrate up and see Barbie cendancers and the huggable sculptures, who are the big hit of the evening.
But the cattaur gets even wobblier by party's end. All four knee joints have clearly torn loose from even gentle petting. Knees need a total redesign.
Hardware store. Buy large strap-hinges and a big dowel, probably unneeded, and 2" wood screws. Open front knee joints of centaur. Yep, those wimpy little screws tore out. Put in new long straplike hinges on side instead of in the joint; the bigger holes in it let me put long heavy screws right through the bone; six not four, and each MUCH bigger than previous. They feel VERY strong now. Even after just fixing the forelegs, the centaur stands up again.
Cattaur: fix hind legjoints too.
Cattaur: cut and sew those red-blonde fetlocks.
Cattaur AND unicorn; add small inserts to three vaginas (yes three; centaur has two, fore and hind).
Cattaur: reopen her right foreknee; replace & adjust straightness screw (a spacer to limit how far the hinge swings). But generally, the new joints seem to be holding.
Sew forearm-fetlocks on centaur. Paint a pair of gloves; will they do for hands?
2014/9/8 dream: POSABLE MUSCULAR DOLL
I'm sitting, playing with an oversize doll I found, about 40 cm tall (c. 15"). She's a voluptuous, athletic-looking woman with odd sliding flexible plastic muscles that all interlock, as complex as living musculature. The friction from sliding helps her hold poses despite joints as flexible as a gymnast! Clever, elegant.DREAM NOTE
She has one flaw: her right hip socket seems dislocated. Examine the left. There seem to be two pegs somehow snapped together (concentrically?) then inserted in a socket. On the right, I see the two pegs, but can't link them. And I can't find the socket at all!
Is this a manufacturing defect, or is she broken, or... am I missing something? Maybe there's a third peg with smooth skin to hide the joint, that got popped in prematurely, when it should go on last, after the joint's assembled? Maybe all the essentials are here--just hidden!
In contrast, a conventional hinge without some kind of external drag concentrates friction in the hinge itself, and will wear/loosen too fast. You have to tighten a wing nut, or equivalent. Annual knee surgery for robots? Fine backstage, or for an exposed steampunk look, but a problem if you're sewing fur like me--emulating life.
I don't want to install maintenance zippers every foot or so!
But these dove-drag joints really might maintain an even resistance for years.
Now that the cattaur's joints are working well, I won't replace them--but if I ever do another freestanding creature, I should try this.
Mockup of longlived posable joint. Wear
gets distributed among dovetailed cards.
Side view, dove-drag joint. (Drill bit snapped,
gashing my hand. Just call me van Gogh...)
Silky the Cattaur, still handless
The cattaur falls down. Discover the left front kneejoint's blown. Peel the fur back. Expect to find the hinge ripped out of wood. Nope. Firmly in. The steel hinge itself tore apart! Not the solid pin it seemed to be, but two cheap rivets with a gap hidden in the sleeve. Saved themselves a tenth of a cent of metal--and made hours of trouble for me.
Now last week's dream, Posable Muscular Doll, with its defective joint, seems literal and predictive--the center-pin of a leg joint snapped? Only difference: hip in dream, knee in reality.
Bike to hardware shop and get the biggest strap hinges in the store. Door hinges are too wide to fit in a centaur knee, but strap-hinges for gates WILL fit--and have triple the old strength rating--15 lbs lateral per hinge. Wonder if even that's enough. Drill & screw centaur knee, put in 3rd hinge, bigger than ever.
She stands firmer now. We'll see...
Start to turn my thrift-store tiger into a mer-tiger--front end feline, back end mermaid. Well, furmaid. No, not Rubbermaid.
Out on our back deck, I start the tail. Cut foam rubber, sew inner lining, stuff the foam in. Crude, but get the general shape.
Bike to fabric stores and look at tiger-striped fake furs.
Mer-tiger: smooth and even out her flukes. Tail behind waist is still too fat.
Back to Catttaur: saw her left hind leg 1.5 cm shorter; her tendency to slouch & twist, fidgeting like a teen in a group photo, abruptly ends. Firm.
Mer-tiger: Out on deck with a bread knife, I slim her "knees" a lot, flatten butt a bit, widen hips.
Mer-tiger: open up her tiger half. Make a spine, though don't insert yet. Unsure what to do about early struts inside--what to anchor for shoulders, what to discard.
Mer-tiger: bevel & lengthen spine. Remove old struts and insert the spine at last. Arm bones, too. Replace most of the poly batting with foam rubber. Firmer bouncier, more like living muscle.
cattaur: add much bigger stronger hinge to right hind knee (well, hock). Left hock still weaker.
Bike to fabric store--sale on, get tiger-fur for the mertiger. I pick one with longer fur on the orange stripes, shorter on the black; you can actually feel the stripes as you pet her. Rough-sew the dorsal fin and start on the crest. My mer-tiger has a cockatoo-like crest on her head, partly just for the look--it echoes the dorsal fin--and partly a reference to a story I read at age nine about "crest cats", intelligent telepathic cats on a jungle planet (I forgot the title, but it's by James Schmitz--his first Telzey Amberdon story.)
Bike to the fabric store and get a yard of lovely bluish barred-feathery fur. Like a falcon, or a gryphon--part mammal part bird.
Ailura the catgirl: re-sew her lower back & butt with more sway/curve. And much smoother-feeling. My hand sewing is now smoother than machine--used to be cruder. Learning!
Fabric store, try to match Ailura's light spotted belly fur, get more. No, but they have several good cream furs, if I want to redo her whole front. I suspect she'd look better. Should I totally redo her?
Mer-tiger: sew tail--but just underlayers. Still planning coloration, just draping fabrics on.
Mer-tiger--cut & pin half the fur.
Switch to Silky the cattaur! Decide to tackle her wobbly right-front ankle. What's the problem? Peel the fur back up her shin like a snake shedding skin...
Hmm. Its cabinet hinge is OK, but it's ripped out of the wood! Tiny screws. Put in a long strap hinge with huge screws, sew up her leg... and she stands firm again. It's clear now that every single cabinet hinge must be replaced by a big strap hinge--not because all the cabinet hinges are bad, but to accomodate big long screws. Ohhhh, that pun's getting sohhhh old...
Still can't decide how to do Silky's hands--use gloves? Nor the soles of her feet--need serious traction!
Back to the Mertiger: cut pin & sew fur on flukes.
Bike to the fabric store and get cream-white fur for the belly of the mer-tiger (and to redo Ailura--it's on sale, and I don't have enough of the duller offwhite fur I have to do both).
My cashier is really cute. On impulse I tell her about the creatures. She likes the idea and wants to see photos. She's right--I've barely shot any. Should record the stages. You can't go back and take more pictures of your childhood later...
Ailura the catgirl: sew the new cream fur on her belly/breast. A new crisper look--higher contrast. A new feel too--she IS supposed to be as much a tactile sculpture as a visual one. Paradoxically, the bold new fur has a softer, smoother feel. Mmmmm...
Mertiger: sew dorsal fin. Then I cut out and start to sew the trailing part of her crest, along her neck.
Mertiger: sew the blue feathery curve of her dolphinish hindbody, then her reddish tail flukes. Big, but simple. Just listen to an audiobook and trance out...
2014/11/24 dream: HALF'S HARD
Iron shanks stud the dead field, wan-lit by moon.
Statues aborted, robots slain? No: not all
Undone. One done--parts all here! And human-tall
But human not at all--a feline feverdream.
Yet I met that leopardess. Portrait of a real!
Panthera somnis, but his erection steel-hard
At the loose wind-rattled wedge of wench. Says
Mertiger: sew her hindbelly--tail, waistline up to labia. Start on her dorsal fin, too.
Sculpt four small breasts and pin cream fur over her forebelly.
Mertiger: sew hours. Her headcrest, then the long shaggy seams on her waist and attendant fins.
Mertiger: finish one side-fin, start the second.
But over the next few days, I get a Lyme attack--headache, low fever, shakes, sweats. I'm tired & in pain all through the holidays. Have to quit sewing--my joints are just too sore.
Sew mertiger's neck and forequarters. Then I get another infection. Too achy to sew for weeks again! Fever and joint pain...
Go through my journal and chart my health last year. Concentrated attention, like the welding dream said. Shocked at the pattern. A couple dozen attacks! And I lose 2-3 days each time. At least a sixth of my life devoured by illness. I knew the fear of triggering attacks limited me a lot, but this many days in pain...
Dream: MENDELIAN CHIMERAS
I visit Mendel's monastery and the peas he crossbred to work out the laws of inheritance. Monks using his private notes have carried his experiments much further in recent years... crossing plants, animals and people. More extreme chimeras than anything secular science has made! And the church has used them to seek secular power.Notes the Next Morning
I argue with friends (both in and out of the Church) that the agent who largely caused the Great Change a few years back, when so many of us crosses and chimeras went public, had a complex secret agenda involving the Church.
Me? I'm a were-creature. In my animal form--forgotten exactly what species, but a furry thigh-high quadruped--I sneak into a petting zoo. Find a cageless space and lope around meeting human kids and various creatures. Fun!
But my wandering's not idle. I'm here looking for a sentient creature hiding out from the Church--maybe from the secular government too.
Meet a girl about twenty years old who's a crossbreed: part human, part furry creature (the same species as me and the sentient creature hiding out)... and part peavine, from Mendel's garden!
Even when she shifts to human form, she looks subtly odd. The round, dark, nearly whiteless, very wideset eyes of an herbivore, delicate chin, upturned nose, sprouty twiny hair...
As a half-human myself, I find her adorable.
Later in my kitchen I argue with some friends and co-conspirators about the nature of the Change. Lyme disease, which I've had to live with for years, has taught me to notice how my abilities wax and wane. During attacks, I get clumsy and abstract thought gets harder; but unlike Alzheimer's, it all comes back a few days later!
Most folks can define themselves as who they are and what they can do--that doesn't vary much over time. But I can't neatly define myself by the current state of my abilities. They change. I think that's taught me to notice some things healthy people have glossed over.
They still do; twice I try to explain what I suspect lies under the Change's visible skin, but they just space out, or roll their eyes, bored, and change the topic. They've seen, and accept, physical shapeshifting; but mental fluctuations from genius to animal and back? They just don't believe me. Yet such fluctuations have become my life.
I wake knowing I've been told something important.
Footnote: 18 Months Later
I stuck with Obamacare all year. Wish I hadn't. Cost me $12,000 and got me nothing but misdiagnosis plus a series of nasty iatrogenic infections. I'd have been healthier with no care at all.
March 2016, I finally faced the dream's diagnosis that Western medicine's as out of touch as the Catholic Church: patriarchal, dogmatic, deaf. HMOs are built for the majority. But chimeras--rare conditions? Clinicians don't see us, won't treat us, don't believe we exist. What good's a health plan that covers everything but what you've got?
Reader, I quit. Now (September 2016), I treat my fevers with diet, supplements, herbs. Anything but doctors! And I'm slowly improving at last. Attacks are shorter & milder. Time will tell... but so far I'm healthier without the tender care of the insurance industry. Were you taught in school that one-third of all modern illness is doctor-caused? Even if your problems are common, there's good reason to be wary; but if your condition's unfamiliar, doctors are a health hazard.
Oh, I still hope to meet a Mendelian girl. But to stay alive long enough to find her, I have to face that I'm a Mendelian guy.
Mertiger: sew her neck and belly. Only her forearms, throat, face and ears to go...
2015/1/30 dream: SILKY THE WALKING TOY
I leave our local library, start walking home. It's level at first. I'm not alone, exactly. I'm chivvying Silky along. She's a furry sex toy--a mare standing 140 cm tall with a wood skeleton, dense foam muscle, variegated fake fur. Doesn't just stand, but can walk if pulled along! Her legs spring enough to alternate, supporting her. She walks like a rather sleepy living creature.DREAM NOTES
I have to go a bit slow, but amazingly she walks a long block without tripping, and at the corner even steps down successfully from curb to street and crosses it. But on the far side, she can't step back up to the sidewalk; trips, folds legs, collapses gently to lie half on her side like a resting cat.
Sighing, I lift her up. Not human-heavy, but still nearly ten kilos (20 lbs). That'll get tiring, if I have to carry her all the way home. I'll try walking her again in a block or two. Best to alternate--I use different muscles to lead and to carry.
But slowly, she gets heavier, hotter, bigger, becomes... my sister Miriel! I don't think I can carry HER. Funny how the sextoy, whether carried or walking on her own, was a lighter burden.
Mertiger: ears, then cut, measure & sew tigerstriped fur on her forearms. Then make silk forepaws. Toes...
2015/2/6 dream: I'M A WERE-PUMA
I'm a werecougar. I like a human girl. But there's political tension between our species, if not open war. So I have to establish I'm NOT an enemy. Scenes where I make sure we go out in the wild and work together, in both forms. She's got a hidden side too--doesn't change shape, but has a paranormal ability she has to be discreet about--freaks the normal humans.
I'm making progress. It's clear she likes me too. We rub and snuggle affectionately, especially when I'm a big cat. But sex? Patience...
Mertiger: start on face. Sew her jaw. But eyes are next, and I'm nervous, fear I'll botch them. Delay.
Mertiger: finally replace her original round tiger eyes--staring glass buttons, fairly realistic but a bit opaque--with blue oval crystal cabachons. I think they work.
Mertiger: work on mouth & throat. She has to be more than a vivid-looking sculpture; she has to be a great-feeling sex toy too. Is it just fetishism talking? Or when one sense gets stuck--can't get her face to look quite right--do I just instinctively switch to a different sense? Maybe perversity is sneakily serving art here, not the other way round. Tangled braids!
Sew mertiger's face. Did I make her lips too tight? Mmm, almost... but I think she'll loosen just enough. Twice today I felt suddenly, insanely horny, fucked her half an hour or more, then just felt satisfied and stopped without orgasm. Strange. Has been happening often lately.
Is this a Lyme oddity, or a way to unlearn sexual guilt and worry? Learning to feel normal and comfortable erect, fucking, male... instead of illicit, thrilled, but slightly in denial and out of body. My alien boy-body.
I ALMOST inhabit it now. Adopt a Boy to Win a Mate.
Mertiger: sew her labia. Two colors of silk, hidden in white fur and bluegray feathers.
Nearly done? Take a break on Mer-Tiger, then, to reassess. What about the others?
Back to Fiveheart Unicorn: rework details, add foam padding to one of hearts and a foot. Considering tweaks on catgirl too.
2015/4/21 dream: TIGER STUDENTS
I've returned to college. Run from class to class. Long, busy dream. I'm in a graduate program in art, music or writing? All THREE?After a week of fatigue and isolation, hope!
I keep running into a classmate in my program, in most of my classes: a talking tiger. He's friendly, but male; he scents immediately that I need a mate, and introduces me to his tiger friends--but at the moment only a couple of males are single; nearly everyone's paired up.
Still, I find the mated females so attractive, and get along so well them (better than my human classmates!) that I have new hope of meeting a single girl I'll like.
2015/4/28 dream: THAT SEXY HERBIVORE
I meet a pop star.
Strange that everyone calls her black, when she isn't, she's brown. And inhumanly skinny. And FURRY. With a wolflike muzzle. And big wideset eyes with no whites, just big gold and black orbs. She's not human.
In fact her eyes are so wide-set, like a squirrel or deer, that I suspect she's an herbivore always scanning for predators. She lacks that carnivore's forward-facing stare I find so intimidating in normal humans.
She used to look human, though. She's changed.
And I don't think this is a one-time change; I think she could always shift back and forth. It's just that for years she took care to look human--in public. Until she just got tired of... passing.
I think she's adorable.
Lately I hear she's facing criticism for baring a breast on TV.
Though, with her fur, I can't see why anyone fussed.
Hmm. I suspect my Foam Furs would disturb mainstream America as much as Michael Jackson's sexual, gender & racial transgressions. I hadn't even noticed before that with their multiple colors and patterned pelts, they send mixed race signs along with the gender- & species-bending I focused on.
Cattaur's hand at last
So instead I try sewing a hand out of fur and silk from scratch. Inside, foam rubber lined in pantyhose. Complex, slow, but I'm a more experienced seamster now, I can do this.
Want some weight and bone in them, not just soft foam. For fingerbones I can't find anything sitting around with the right heft, so I go browse at the hardware store. Just can't find anything heavy and fingerbony. At last, I buy some long skinny bolts and a box of 200 hexnuts. Thread a whole stack of nuts on each bolt, to fatten them to fingerbone width.
Slowly I work these inside each finger. The foam resists, as always. Hot sweaty job.
But it works--now they don't just LOOK like hands but FEEL like hands...
2015/6/29 dream: MOLLY'S FLINCH
Mollie, our family's nervous sheltie dog, lies on the back patio of my family's old house. I pet her, but gently, cautiously; she's an affectionate dog but a careless touch can make her flinch now. She must have an injury, not visible, but never healed right.DREAM NOTES
And she's old; she has, I suddenly know, only three years to live. During those last years I'd like her to be happy. My sister Althea and I have flown the nest, but Miriel our little sister is still around, though she'll soon be going off to school too.
I suspect Molly's sticking around, despite her aches, to give Miriel some vital emotional support. God knows she can't rely on our parents for it.
And when Miriel goes, I think Molly will. With relief. Shepherding job done!
I know the feeling. I flinch too. Correcting for the difference between dog years and human years, I'm no better off than Molly. A few decades left. Loving, but I can't tolerate much closeness, due to internal injury others can't see and don't believe in--exhausted and sore from decades of untreated infection. There's a REASON I'm frustrated, and it's not neurosis or self-sabotage--I'm in a body with severe limits, and if I do more, I hurt more.
I want to give others as much as I can but respect those limits--treat myself gently. And finish my art--I'd feel wrong leaving work half-done.
But then, when the job's done, let go. With relief.
Headache and fatigue return all morning. Lyme attack! Too achy to sew, so I read my poems from 25 years ago. Horrific! Well-written, but such pain. Like Plath at her bleakest.
A psychiatrist misdiagnosed it as depression, but meds didn't help, because it was realistic MISERY--about pelvic/genital inflammation & pain that forced me to stay home jobless, sexless, broke, with no future but more pain. Of COURSE I felt bored, mad, sad, lonely, scared.
In 1993 I found a therapist who helped me tackle my feelings, but that didn't help the physical illness. It ebbed only in 1996 when I quit gluten. I still had Lyme-or-something; but not Lyme-or-something PLUS celiac disease!
Stressful even to read this stuff. I recalled the physical pain but forgot the feelings. BOTH have improved! Back then, just reliving such pain like this would've sickened me. Not now--mild aches unchanged. I take an aspirin and they fade...
But am I cured? I may think I'm well now when I'm just half-healed; I forget just how bad I was!
2015/7/1 dream: SILKY AS A KRELKIN, or, PRETEND WE'RE STRANGERS
I have to conduct some political negotiations. I meet the opposing representative at last. She isn't human. She's a deer-size creature with a lean greyhound build, white fur but black equine mane & tail, clever hand-paws not hooves, and a rather catlike face but with hints of coyote too. I've met these krelkins many times in my dreams, but never one with a horn on her brow... She must be part unicorn!
To me she's stunningly beautiful.
But also... familiar. I recognize her aura--she's my spirit wife Silky in a new body! But for the purposes of this negotiation, I must act as if she's a stranger.
Sexdoll's dreaded giant breast?
Switch to Ailura the Catgirl today! Redo her belly-fur & breasts, adding nipples half-hidden in the fur, as suggested by the dream That Sexy Herbivore. They look natural.
My worries, I now realize, arose from an unquestioned cliche in my head about Awful Fetishists Like Me--we always create sex-dolls with huge, gross, embarrassing, inflatable breasts. Because, well... tradition!
Encourage by the normality of a nipple, I dare to try a drastic change--this one internal and invisible, but palpable! I add stone bones--marble wedges, broken off flagstones, tied inside socks. They make fine shoulderblades and pelvic bones.
Ailura's much realer-feeling now; still lighter than flesh-and-blood (just 9 kilos, so she's still easy to burrow under in bed) but with a lifelike heft that shocks anyone who expects a mere stuffed toy.
Ailura: redo her nose, and add more bangs. Definitely more soulful with lots of dreadlocks. They help shape her face.
Jar-openers for souls! I mean soles.
The Cattaur's soles have arrived at last. Wait, I just read that aloud; it sounds cultish. As if centaurs have multiple souls like ancient Egyptians with their ba and ka etc., and they've all arrived at enlightenment.
Well... they arrived on my doorstep, at least.
See, I'd found the ideal pad for centaur feet in our kitchen--a round red jar-opener with unbelievable traction. But I had only one, and I didn't buy it--no idea where it came from. A gift? Left from some party? I biked around town, but couldn't find any like it in local stores. At last I ordered a pack on the the net, but they were 3000 km away and took weeks...
I did say the Foam Furs were mostly made of recycled & found objects... not totally. You have to allow Doktor Frankenstein occasional online purchases of kitchenware.
Anyway, up till now Silky the cattaur has had soles of pinned-on bathroom traction-mat--that rubbery mesh you put under a bathmat. They do help, but they're still way more prone to slipping than a human sole. We forget how much of that miracle of bipedalism isn't balance but sheer grip.
No? Try ice skates for the first time! You know how to balance, right? So why'd you just fall on your butt?
Traction. Well, the sudden lack of it.
I slip the red jar-openers under the cattaur's paws, and magically, all slippage stops. Firms up her stance as much as a year of tinkering with springs.
Five Heart Unicorn: resew her belly with new, lighter, longer cream fur.
2016/2/8 dream: SPIRIT CHORUS
I'm in the dark, in the back of a van my parents are driving. I drum on a hollow thing small as a lemon. It has a hole I can leave open or cover or part-cover with my fingertip, to get different tones--surprisingly rich big ones from this tiny thing. Looks like a mere ocarina, but rings like a huge gong! I work out how to do a whole myxolydian scale of overtones.DREAM NOTES
At the end of a long musical ride, the tones start lengthening, persisting. Now they sustain as if independent, as if the drum only wakens or summons them. And they sound like voices. A chorus of spirits! They chant three words--I only recall two now: 'deliver' and 'enemies'. I'm uneasy--worry this means spirits are always watching us, and I'm sick of being watched, I have been all night. But excited too. They sounded helpful not vengeful. Fierce, maybe, but on my side.
An explanatory whisper, as if one spirit is apart, more human, a commentator who knows I may not have understood that: "They may do it." Sounds like he thinks it's not certain but likely.
Then I feel a rush building through my body. Not adrenaline. Tingling, electric. In a wave, all my nerves discharge built-up static. Shocking, strong. Whoosh! It's been years since I felt anything like this wave--and that was from Rolfing or shiatsu. Clears out a lot, and I feel immediately better.
I guess they did it. Whatever "it" is. Unless this angelic spring-cleaning is just prep work... for something more.
DREAM 1: MUST PAD AILURA
Examining Ailura, my catgirl plushie. Lower back and a few other spots lack fur! When I sewed fur on, I used a sort of duct tape here, tape with leopard spots. And under, no padding! Wait, foamrubber clings, it can't migrate like cotton stuffing. This means I FORGOT the muscle/fat layer here!
And failed to notice, all this time? That makes little sense. I would have. Just duct tape between me and the stone bones of her pelvis?! Ow!
Well, however long she's been like this, I HAVE to change it. Intolerable. But I'm a bit squeamish about doing surgery NOW. You see, a girl I know and like is watching me... and from her viewpoint, I'm already fondling a sex toy in public.
That's false--if only for the moment. What I'm really up to right NOW is artistic problem-solving.
DREAM 2: DIAGNOSTIC MASSAGE
Now I'm the one observing. And the one being examined isn't a soft sculpture but a real girl--human not cat, and teenage--and the examiner is a craggy thirtyish man in a suit. A doctor? A masseur?
She tells him "It's a deep ache in my pelvis, on the right, in back, but inside the glutes." Rather than go straight to the sore spot, he touches and then massages cautiously on her back and thigh--starting on the left side, working in slowly, warily, toward the center of the pain. Makes sense if it's knotted muscles around an inflammation.
She feels tender, ouchy, but finds his careful touch okay. He gets to the ache at last but hasn't figured out the cause--yet--when I wake.
Ailura the Catgirl: follow the dream's advice. Redo her butt and one thigh (crude early sewing), add a thin layer of "fat", then a softer leopard pelt (richer brown too) to back, shoulders, and thighs. A smooth color-transition now from cream on her belly through light cheetah-spots to darker leopard-spots then chocolate. And a much nicer feel to it than the old coarse fur. Mmm, velvety...
While I cut, pin & sew, listen to an audiobook: Diana Wynne Jones's Witch Week. School gossip turns deadly in an alternate 20th century where witches like me still get burned alive. And today, unlike a generation ago when she wrote it, it's literally true in much of the Old World. It's a rough ride getting to the (mostly) happy ending.
After dinner, I tackle a book I've always been a bit afraid to: A Vision, by WB and Georgie Yeats. The result of decades of mystical experiments in & out of the Order of the Golden Dawn. It's a system for classifying all human personalitiy types, with 28 moon-phases that we cycle through (rather like the 9 types in the Enneagram system). But slowly--you may live only one phase per lifetime, may even repeat a phase for a few lives, spending a couple of millennia per cycle; and you may repeat the whole cycle several times before escaping. Two of our four basic constituents always wax while two wane. He uses a 3D model rather like two intersecting Einsteinian lightcones to illustrate this. But it isn't clear why it should be so, or what our consituents are, exactly.
I don't fit well into Yeats's phases either. The creative arc, but where? I find Jung's typology--sensing, feeling, thinking, intuiting--much clearer. Yeats admits he's no teacher; methodical exposition isn't his thing. I find his raw experiences more interesting than his theories explaining them. Flashes of startling imagery! But only flashes.
I'm left with a sense of profound intelligence in some areas and amateurish groping in others. Per Amica Silentia Lunae was better for me--clear advice from a working artist-shaman to others of his kind. But Amica's focused on work--how to create visionary work--which Yeats knew firsthand; Vision wants to be a map of all types of consciousness, by a brilliant but nonsystematic guy.
That's my conscious judgment of course. What's my dream think?
Dream: STORIES, DOLLS, LANDSCAPE, BODY
A bright schoolgirl writes stories all set on the same landscape--the hills around Jerusalem, I think--which is also a sprawling body! The golden grass and low trees are fur--I think the sleeping figure is Ailura, the catgirl currently sprawled on my floor with a new layer of pinned-on fake fur. The girl is gradually altering the landscape with her stories, much as I gradually alter Ailura.
There's a fourth layer too--body, landscape, story, and DOLLS. All this girl's story-characters manifest as tiny figures, homemade dolls or soft sculptures, who wander the golden hills of Ailura's sprawled, purring body.
It's a long dream, in which each of these views/aspects comes forward to dominate the dream for a while. Stories, dolls, landscape, body--the Phases wax and wane.
A NOTE TWO DAYS LATER
The dream was probably cryptomnesic! I've been transcribing old journals. Today I stumbled on a dream from 1983/7/19: My sister Miriel and I tour Jerusalem, see stony dry-grass hills around town. I'm pretty sure my unconscious dredged up the memory of a 33-year-old dream I was about to transcribe!
That's one hell of a filing system.
2016/2/26 dream: SILKY THE CATTAUR
I'm in the sunny but small back yard of a dumpy wooden house, on its east side, backing on a rocky hill and more fences and yards. Dryish; east side of San Francisco.
I'm talking to a friend who lives here--a tall thin white guy. My girlfriend Silky is just leaving through the side gate. Try to keep up my end of the conversastion, but get so distracted watching HER end as it sways sexily. She flips up her tail, flashing me flirtatiously--she is, as always in cattaur form, clad only in her own fur.
She heads out... I sigh and return to the conversation.
And yet I know she's still just a plush sculpture, though with bones & joints now. But this is new--lately she's been moving on her own, acting on her own.
But is she a self-aware AI, or just programmed clockwork?
She's already sexier than most human girls. Sigh!
Ailuran Odalisque (with a little help from her friends)
Instead, I build... creatures.
2016/3/12 dream: PHOTOS SUMMON SPIRITS
Photo session! Of a sort. I'm carefully staging my giant furry sex toys so they look lifelike. Take care--they can't just be good record shots. I need GREAT photos--because truly convincing shots can summon the real spirit of that being to inhabit the soft sculpture and animate it. The statue comes alive!
I'm conflicted about the staging, though. I like sexy, revealing poses--after all, the Foam Furs aren't kids' stuffed toys, but anatomically complete furs. But I worry any sexuality will offend or repel others--maybe even the spirits I want to lure into them! What if a spirit feels she's being offered an incarnation as a sex toy ONLY? I don't want that any more than I want sexless teddybears!
So for balance I try to shoot some modest pictures too. But that turns out to be hard. Because these bodies were built to flirt. They want to show off!
I'm posing Ailura the catgirl, modestly, and she keeps wiggling around, waving her cunt and begging. Trying to seduce a strong soul to... enter her.
Bodies have their own agendas.
Samples from the Cendancer photosets I shot over the next few months:
Pina in Gift of a Rose
Pina in Wing-Envy
Pina, portrait, Love in the Grass
Dzoa in Caryatids
Dzoa in Sargasso Mirage
Dzoa in Gift of a Rose
Hashi in Desert Light
Hashi in Tree of Time
Hashi in Burst Through Old Snow
Unicorn: unstitch her butt and repad cheeks with softer foam like a layer of fat, and her wrinkles magically disappear! It seems that fat heals all. The instant cure shows me it wasn't bad sewing as such--the fur pattern almost matched the foam armature--but my guesses at a complex 3D shape were a little off.
Mertiger: Raise her forehead (the original stuffed toy had a realistically low tiger brow) and revise her nose, lips, throat & labia. Add a row of rust bangs/dreadlocks. They give her a more soulful Raggedy Ann look. Could use more, maybe. Pin on a second row. Yes, better. She really looks like a different character now. Still odd, but a different odd.
Also make her feather crest uniformly blue not rust & blue, it was too much.
And add four small breasts, almost invisible, but with nipples just peeking out of the fur. And poking me in bed. Teasing.
Unicorn: add small breasts & nipples to her too. And redo her labia to look more heartlike & fix one slightly ragged heart--both in stouter silk. Resew & pad the heart a bit, long as I'm there. Heart=labia=heart. Love=sex=love. What can I say? I'm autistic. For me it's hard to separate them.
Tear up my room, beg a blue sheet and a bamboo pole off my fabric-art friend Lily, and make a backdrop. Photograph all four plush creatures, and the tower of Barbie cendancers too. Get decent shots of the soft sculptures (though all are bluish, they need color correction) but all the Barbie ones are overexposed enough to white out the light bits. Can't see why. Will have to try again tomorrow morning in better light.
Dream: AICORN'S BANANA
In a future so near you could text it, I'm a song-
writer's personal assistant. She's one
of the first artificial minds. Sings on
stage as a holograph--translucent rainbow tease!
She has a body though--a unicorn with faux
fur, wood bones, muscles of dense foam
like Fiveheart Unicorn, my sculpture of a dream.
She dubs herself AI-corn, "eye-corn". My star adores
embodiment. Incarnate, nay emplushed, she can
fuck her human fans.
Not just boys. Girls too. Not just doing, gettin' done.
Orgies are normal for a popstar now, of course--
The firm that wrote her code ignored her nightlife till
Aicorn's makers know all publicity's good; why quell
The firm insists. Firmly. "Look, you learned to like
Aicorn just won't divorce her fetish. I agree. Sex play
Oh, I've dreamt it all before. Last time I ended on
But can I, will I, be that brave for me?
2016/late June to early July
I do rework Mertiger's face. Slow improvements...
I decide to write up this blog documenting the Foam Furs' creation. This'll sound strange, but at first I doubt they are dream-creatures--the only one I'm sure of is Five Heart Unicorn because that dream made such a big impression on me. But as I reread my journal, I'm shocked to find how many dreamlets appear, urging me to create all four--dreams of girlfriends who are cats, horses, centaurs, cattaurs, dreams of dolls and statues and fursuits come alive, dreams of being a big furry sextoy...
The only one that really wasn't a dream figure, where her form wasn't anticipated/suggested by dreams, is Mer-Tiger. Yet even there, dreams urged me to buy a big stuffed animal to shade my bed to improve sleep, then urged me to turn her into a sex toy, then encouraged me to make her art as well--to come out of the furry closet.
If I was ever in it.
Catshall, who gave me the foam mattress that became the four Foam Furs shown above, just gave me some smaller dense foam pads from a reupholstered chair--enough foam for one more smallish creature. And I have quite a bit of leftover fur, too.
I think I'll build a foxtaur. Smallish, red-blonde, with big ears and a brushy tail...
For obvious reasons I'll have to name her Vixtoria, though I'm sure Her Majesty would not be amused. Or aroused.
But this Vixtoria, like all foxes, will like to play. In bed and otherwise.
So far Vixtoria has had the fastest gestation of any Foam Fur, by far--probably because I've tested the construction techniques. She went from three small foam pads to standing shakily in just a week.
I expect the detailing and hand-sewing to be slower, of course, but just a few months, not years.
8/25, skull inserted
8/26, platform assembled
8/28, platform freestands
8/31, whole armature briefly freestands
9/15, armature takes shape: tail, hands, face
2016/9/10 dream: TRITONIAN FOXTAUR U.
I'll just summarize Tritonian Foxtaur U. here. I'd had a frustrating dream the night before--I'd failed to reach an island of magic animals. So next evening I asked my dreams to let me visit. They went one further! I found myself on a strange ice moon, with a ringed gas giant in the sky. Not quite Saturn's moon Titan; thinner air. The locals insisted it was Neptune's Triton. Yes, there were locals. They're methane-breathing foxtaurs, wolf-sized but more delicate in frame; most of their bulk is insulating fur. Surprisingly, they have nearly Terran internal temperatures--and why not? Their insulation's at least as good as our Arctic foxes, and enzymes work so fast in liquid water.
I'm an exchange student here, living on-campus at one of the few universities. Foxtaur science is roughly Victorian--metal's so rare, and fire's peculiar (the oxygen's in the fuel, the hydrocarbons in the air--hard to smelt or bake pottery), hindering technology. But I didn't come here for the science department. I came for two programs that lead the whole solar system: fine art and magic.
I don't mean stage magic.
I won't detail the middle of this long dream; it was a sweet romance with a classmate. That part's personal. I'll just say... despite appearances, it turns out humans & foxtaurs are emotionally and sexually quite compatible.
The climax of the dream is... an academic intrigue gets exposed! Fox society tolerates a certain amount of scheming--they're foxes, that side needs an outlet! But one dean just went too far. Foxes got hurt. He takes a deep breath of methane, stands foursquare, and apologizes to the grad students he slighted.
That's all. They don't need jail to enforce his good behavior. Foxtaur honor! That dean'll do whatever it takes to restore it.
And I know why fox honor is so strict. When magic works, when wishes come true... mind what you wish for!
A caveat that applies to technology too.
11/22, fur in progress
Paws--toes to come
Ears--just pinned, unlined
Tail; will be white-tipped
2016/12/27 dream: SILKY THE CATTAUR, EXPOSED; HALF-AWAKE FOXTAURS?
I'm walking hilly residential streets above Cole Valley, on Mount Olympus in San Francisco. Winding, steep; ornate mansions. On a sidewalk, run into Silky the cattaur, my lifesize sculpture/sextoy. Just standing out here exposed to sun wind & rain! Stroke her fur. Her chocolate gloves are a bit rough-feeling, but they always were; the rest feels soft. Hasn't faded or gone brittle yet from exposure, no moss or other colonies I can see. But surely it's bad for her in the long run.
It's intriguing to think of strangers just encountering her. Another casual, unguidebooked San Francisco wonder... But if I really want to leave her out in public, a sheltered spot sans UV and rain will work better.
Yet I leave her out here and walk on!
Make it home at last--but it's not my waking home! Still on the north slope of Mt Olympus/Parnassus/Twin Peaks, near Silky the cattaur. The house is full of strange critters--big foxtaurs or coyotaurs made of fake fur with only rudimentary skeletons so far... yet they've come partway alive! Sleepy, but they move on their own.
Snuggle with them and go to sleep.
Jar-openers for soles
Face roughed in
Summer 2017, done!
Ha. This once was a long to-do list. Not any more. Just one left...
But otherwise... I think I'm about done. In a mere five years!
Was building the foam-furs worth it? Did they improve my life?
At first, no--or a mixed blessing at best. Carving the foam and wrestling the bones into resistant flesh, I overworked--constantly cut & blistered my hands. And cutting all that fake fur worsened my allergies. But soon as they started sprawling all over my bed, the stress of construction was offset by better sleep--a darker, warmer, friendlier-feeling nest.
Once construction was done, the benefits gradually grew--or only became evident slowly! I'm healthier and more often pain-free. Not totally well, but improving. I don't know how much to credit...
Silky the Cattaur; hands at last
At first sex got worse too. I felt guilt/shame about this fetishism. AND, surprisingly, sex wasn't just healthy exercise: old pain & fear arose, severe enough to make me sick! Stuff I'd avoided for years "since I'm too ill to face it" erupted--no longer latent. But at least I couldn't project these problems on a human lover & make her miserable!
Also, issues that might have taken years in therapy did resolve--in weeks or months. Gradually, my guilty, even painful excitement unraveled into a simpler, joyful, calm enthusiasm. Sex changed physically, too--from a genital to a more whole-body thing. And more sexual stamina by far; instead of a quick release--a respite from the pain of illness--I'm now good for hours of vigorous sex, letting muscles and emotions work out. Less guilt and worry in the way!
I'm a lot more present now. I think I'll be a more relaxed & affectionate partner. "Be present for the cure", so to speak.
There's a mainstream belief that sex toys equal fetishism equals disinterest in real people. Not so in my case! The furs have encouraged me to roleplay and practice during a time when I was too sick to attract anyone--or sustain a serious relationship. "Practice makes perfect" isn't always true, but practice can comfort, calm, educate... and heal.
An odd insight I noted: in fine-tuning the four sex toys, I tried to make every mouth or vagina I built individual, interestingly different, and they were--except for one thing. Every one was at first too tight, too small, because I underestimated the size of my own cock--both length and diameter. (The reverse of every guy in existence! Don't they all think they're more studly than they are? But I underestimated. Consistently.)
In retrospect, I'm not surprised. I grew up surrounded by sisters, with a female/androgenous body image--"I'm in a male body", not "I am male." Not gender-dysphoric enough to risk surgery; my intensest longings are for health and vigor that recurring Lyme denied me, and I focused on that.
Talk therapy undid much of my early training to assume I (and all males) must be suspect, sexist, always at fault in relationships [thanks, mom!]... but the dream Silky's Inversion warned I also needed to correct my body image. "Big cock. And that's OK. More than OK. It's good. Lots who like them, like them big."
Building my sexy creatures too small physically forced that re-evaluation. And note it'd be hard to be sure with a human partner--might've been bad timing, lubrication, poor communication, emotional factors. But with the Foam Furs it had to be physical--and a distorted body-image was the only logical reason.
AURAS, FURVERTS, AND INTELLIGENCE
One more issue that only mystical, spiritually advanced perverts will appreciate. Building really lovable sex dolls clarified for me how much of my "sexual" hunger wasn't. Nor was it the usual nonsexual suspects--fun, friendship and so on. I have friends and they feed those needs. Nor do I mean physical pleasure or an animal need for closeness--the critters really do supply those--they're both warmly huggable and working Temple Grandin devices, squeezing & calming poor autistic me! No, I mean something else such critters can't supply...
I sense (it's sort of tactile, sort of taste/smell) auras or energy fields. But only a small minority of humans have ones I like (by the way, this may be why I'm a furvert in the first place. Some animals have auras as strong--and as attractive--as some humans. Hard to convince me animals lack souls when I can feel them.)
As it turns out, the particular energy "scent" I find attractive is, in humans, strongly associated with queerness/sexual outsiderness, spiritual or religious oddity (nearly all turn out to identify as witches, pagans or spiritualists of some kind) and giftedness and creativity (every single human girl I get involved with turns out to have a Mensa-level IQ. I'm not seeking that or asking them. Some hide it from everyone; some didn't even know, and find out later. Yet they all turn out to be in the top percent or two).
The correlations are lifelong and nearly perfect. These can't be coincidences.
So... now I'm a beast that knows my tastes. Few singles out there will interest me. But at least I'm clear who I like and why. I now understand that when someone (of ANY species) seems flat as a cartoon, they really are incompatible with me.
Dating them would be... well... perverse.
So all in all... would I recommend going this deep into your perversity? Well, yes. It was worth it... eventually.
LISTS AND LINKS:
Creatures: furs / animal people - centaurs - big cats - unicorns - mer-creatures - foxes, coyotes & wolves - sexy creatures - sex WITH creatures
Healing: chronic illness - dream advice on healing - autism - body image distortion - a dream on building a (sexy) Grandin device in 1999!: Saddled with Autism
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