Saturday, 16 August 2014

Melanie Raye's Vlog, Episode 74: Setting (And Maintaining) Boundaries





latest vlog episode- a bit of a serious one today, but important to talk about, I think...



Love,

Melanie Raye.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

My Fan Theory about "Mystical Feather" (from Heather Feather's ASMR Role Plays)

Hello dear readers!

Today I want to write you about one of the most interesting characters in Heather Feather’s ASMR Role Plays (henceforth referred to as “RP”s). This character is Mystical Feather. I have been working on this fan theory for about 4 months now, & I by no means think that I have it all together (heck, I could be WAY off-base, for all I know!), but I wanted to share it with you guys, anyway.

So, let’s jump right in, okay?

In the 2nd Comprehensive Physical Exam RP, Doctor Feather informs us that she “knows all about” people undergoing testing in exchange for cake, which we know from the first Science RP takes place at ASMR Science (we as the audience underwent some of this testing ourselves). This implies that ASMR Science is a well-known company or entity in the Featherverse. We can therefore assume that because Mystical Feather owns ASMR Science (we learned this from the ASMR Science, Testing Your 5 Senses RP), that she too is well-known by many if not all of the characters that exist in the Featherverse. What we don’t know however, is how well she is liked or disliked.

Doctor Feather, as a medical practitioner, seems to disapprove of Mystical Feather’s unconventional methods. I also wonder if the “Skynet” program that logs all our information at Dr. Feather’s office is being imposed on Dr. Feather by Mystical Feather. This would indicate that Mystical Feather has a desire to acquire information about the people who are interacting with other members of the Featherverse. Would this be to gain new potential candidates for testing at ASMR Science, perhaps?

On the other side of the coin though, we notice that several Featherverse characters have business dealings with Mystical Feather. Twin Feathers Spa gets the supernatural hair growth tonic from Mystical Feather, and the Apothecary gets the special pills from Mystical Feather. A worker at ASMR Science (who obviously would be working for Mystical Feather), gives us as an intern a potion for “H” in the Jekyll & Hyde RP. The Twin Feathers Spa girls even mention that they got the hair tonic from “a little shop”, which I would assume is the same shop that we as the audience visited for crystals in the Magic Shop RP. These characters seem to trust Mystical Feather, at least enough to do business with her. Or maybe, Mystical Feather is holding something over them that pressures them to do what Mystical Feather wants. Is Mystical Feather capable of blackmail? Or does she have good intentions, but sees her more shady dealings as a means to an end? This would explain her interactions with us as the audience in the Magic Shop RP, where she essentially tricks us into letting her put a spell on us that somehow transforms us into someone (or something) that would be useful to her as an ally/apprentice.

Mystical Feather strikes me to be quite similar to Rumplestiltskin’s character in Once Upon A Time. She has her fingers in everybody’s pies (or, almost everybody’s anyway). Mystical Feather tells us this straight-up when she says in the Magic Shop (Crystals) RP that "I have my hands in a few projects. I dabble. I have a web with a thousand threads, and I know how each and every one dances". She also seems to like making deals with people. She even made a deal with us as the audience when she cast a spell on us in the Magic Shop RP, in exchange for a crystal. We also see in that same Magic Shop RP just how sweet, charming, and disarming Mystical Feather is. She invokes trust in people. We do not yet know whether we should trust her or not. Does she really care about us, or does she really want control? Maybe it’s both. Maybe she is an idealist with a specific view of what Utopia should look like, and she feels the need to control the other people in the Featherverse in order to make her Utopia a reality, but while still believing that this Utopia she imagines is the best thing for everyone.

Another little note is that Fairy Godfeather in the Fairy Godmother RP pinched “sleeping powder” from a woman with a cape that had MF on it. I can only assume that this is again Mystical Feather. This makes me wonder if whatever we ate at the end of the ASMR Science “Testing Your Five Senses” RP was also laced with the same stuff. This would mean that we are not dead, only sleeping. But why? The message from Doug Ratmann that was hidden in the eye chart in that same 5 Senses RP indicates that he thought everyone at ASMR Science was crazy. Could that be because he thought that Mystical Feather’s (and the other ASMR Science workers’) attempts to create Utopia through human testing were too extreme?

The tests that we underwent during the “Testing Your Five Senses” RP indicate a desire to give humans super-human senses/abilities, such as improved eyesight (with the eyedrops), increased hearing (through the spray), and the ability to smell things more strongly or smell things just by seeing pictures of them (with the stuff that gets shoved up your nose). Could this be because Mystical Feather believes that in order to have a Utopia, the humans dwelling within Utopia need to possess these aforementioned special abilities? It would appear that Mystical Feather also desires for humans to live forever, as she says in the Magic Shop RP "The chains that were binding that mortal body are broken".

The hidden message within the “welcome video” at the beginning of the “Testing Your Five Senses” RP seems to be that people have lost their lives through the testing that they underwent at ASMR Science. Does Mystical Feather regret this loss of life, and fear it like Jekyll in the “Jekyll & Hyde” RP, or is she more like “H”, seeing these people, too, as a means to an end in the pursuit of Science/Utopia/Eternal Life?

In conclusion, Mystical Feather seems to be a key player in the Featherverse, & I know for sure that we will see more of her, both in our direct interactions with her as the audience, and through the impact/ influence that she has on other members of the Featherverse. When it comes to this fascinating character, we always seem to have more questions than answers. One thing is very clear though- Mystical Feather is extremely morally ambiguous. I am excited to see where Heather Feather decides to take her. 

So there you have it- my own little fan theory about “MF” (as she has come to be known).

Bless you all heaps!

Love,

Melanie Raye.

Monday, 16 June 2014

15 Reasons Why I Love My Mama

Hey guys, 

So tonight I'm taking a break from studying coz I want to do something special for my mama. She has been so amazing these last few weeks while I've been practically tearing my hair out from stress, so I wanted to do something to honour her. So here is a list (not comprehensive, by any means!) of 15 reasons why I love my mama.

1. She supports me. She has always let me make my own decisions with regards to what I want to study, my extra curricular activities, etc. Nowadays, she supports me with things like my YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/melanieraye89). It's so amazing to have her in my corner like that.

2. She doesn't just accept my crazy...she joins in, too. One great example of this is the day that we parodied the movie "Mamma Mia" over skype chat. It was glorious, I tell you.

3. She is the most amazing baker. And, ever since I was a little girl, she would let me help her bake...and then came my favourite part. She would let me lick the wooden spoon, the spatula, the beaters, and sometimes even the whole freaking mixing bowl. YUM.

4. She shares some of the same tastes in music that I do. Three artists/bands that immediately come to mind that we both love are ABBA, Shania Twain, and Celine Dion.

5. She lets me share my love of Glee with her by watching a full season of the show with me almost every time I go to Australia to visit her.

6. She loves my friends. It means the world to me that she approves of the people that I have chosen to do life with.

7. She knows that a movie marathon is not a movie marathon without popcorn, chips, dip, and lollies of some description.

8. As I have grown into a young woman, she has become a close friend as well as my mother. I love that we can go out and "be ladies" together, get our hair done, go shopping, out for coffee and/or dessert, or to the movies.

9. She raised me to love Jesus. I have her to thank for a good part of why I am walking so close to God now.

10. She taught me to live generously. I know that one of the main reasons why I so love giving gifts, sharing food, and donating to charities or even random buskers on the street is because she modeled that to me.

11. She shares my love of reading. I never have to pack any books in my suitcase when I go visit her in Australia, because I know that she will let me raid her bookshelf to my heart's content.

12. She says often that she is proud of me and loves me...and not just to me, but on Facebook for all her friends to see. I am glad that she sees me as someone worth declaring her love for.

13. She has always put in the effort to make birthdays, Easters and Christmases really special days for us. I like our special little traditions such as eating pancakes on Christmas morning.

14. When I was little, she used to leave notes for me in my lunchbox to surprise me at lunchtime. I loved getting those little notes so much.

15. No matter how old I get, she will always call me her baby...and I will always call her my mama.






I love you mama!



Bless,
Melanie Raye.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

A Special Love

Hi guys!

Tonight I'm taking a quick break from studying to tell you about a special love of mine- my love for books. There are few things more calming than cuddling up in bed with a good book and getting lost in it for a few hours.

My mama will attest to the fact that when I am on holiday in Australia staying with her, I will sometimes hole myself up in my bedroom for hours on end, consuming one book after another.

I would literally rather spend my spare time reading than going to a party (that is, unless said party involves karaoke...)

So now, I would like to recommend some of my favourite books to you guys. These are all books straight off my own bookshelf...books that I loved so much that I simply HAD to have a copy of my own to keep. Let me know if you've read/would like to read any of these- I'd love to hear from you in the comments!




The first book I want to mention is "October Baby", by Eric Wilson and Theresa Preston. In this case, I had actually seen the movie first, and that in itself had wrecked my heart. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into...but no. The book shattered my heart into a million tiny pieces, and then gently, lovingly, put those pieces back together. You WILL cry reading this book. I can almost guarantee it. But it's a good cry- a cry that leaves you feeling healed and restored. I recommend this book to everyone, but especially young women who might be feeling doubtful of their worth.





The second book I want to tell you about is "Captivating" by John and Stasi Eldredge. This book is so good, and so inspiring, that I find myself reading it at least twice a year. I think every woman needs to read this book. It has totally changed the way that I see myself, and I always feel so empowered and uplifted after reading this book.



The next book is a classic: "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte. I first read this book when I did a study on it in English class in my final year of high school. I find Jane's character so relatable, and always admire her strength through tough and unjust circumstances. There is also suspense in this book that will keep you on your toes, as well as romance. The perfect mix, in my opinion.




The next book I want to talk about is "The Shunning" by Beverly Lewis. This book is an incredible tale about finding yourself and what you believe, in a world where you are surrounded by people telling you what to say and do, or you will be "shunned". It made me look deep inside myself and ask "would I still hold fast to my faith, even if it meant having to leave everything I know and everyone I love behind?" This is a beautifully written story- I couldn't put it down.



"The Shack" by WM. Paul Young made me think about God and Christianity in ways that I never had before. It made me question what "faith" really means, and what a real relationship with God looks like. It also confronts the hard questions, such as "Where is God when I am hurting?" and "Why do bad things happen to good people?" I recommend this book to everyone, but especially Christians who want to have their relationship with God re-ignited and see His Father heart in a new way.  




The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins have become recent favourites of mine. These books carry beautiful metaphors of love being about sacrifice, and show how empathy and the human spirit can still survive beneath terrible oppression. They are also incredibly well written- I devoured the entire series in a weekend :)



I own all 6 of Jane Austen's published works, and I think that all of them are fantastic. The female characters are especially well-rounded. They are witty, sarcastic, strong, and yet charming. These are women that would have gone against the grain of the time period that they were in. The men are dashing, mysterious, and chivalrous. The romances are sweet, elegant, and understated. These are must-reads for all book-lovers, in my opinion.



Ahhh, The Babysitters Club. Sweet, sweet nostalgia. God bless you, Ann M. Martin! This photo is of just one of my 400 (yes, 400!) Babysitters Club books that I own. I've been collecting them since I was nine. I grew up with the characters in these simple, sweet, wholesome novels. They have great messages such as teamwork, friendship, and the importance of family. The books also deal with sensitive topics such as death, divorce, racism, and domestic abuse in ways that are both honest and age-appropriate. Also, some of the supporting characters add great humour to the stories. They're a really easy read, and I still love them now, even as a 24-year-old.



This book, "Loving Our Kids On Purpose", by Pastor Danny Silk, is the best book on child-rearing that I've ever read (and I've read a LOT!) As an early childhood teacher, I found his strategies both practical and effective. He writes very conversationally, and I feel that this helps him to connect well with his readers.



"The Fault In Our Stars"by John Green is really hot right now, and for good reason. This book is incredibly well-written and heart-warming. It is honest and witty, sad and joyful. You will get swept up in the story, and charmed by the characters. I also can't wait for the movie to come out soon! Finally, it must be said that John Green is simply the best at everything. Ever.



"Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott was one of my absolute favourite books as a teenager, and I still love it to this day. I felt really connected to the characters, in particular Jo March. I still maintain that she is the book character I relate to the most out of any book I've ever read. This book is a classic, and one that I will definitely share with my children one day, when they are old enough. I look forward to sitting on my little girl's bed and reading to her each night before she goes to sleep, just like my mama used to do for me. I look forward to hearing her say "Just one more chapter mama! Pleeeease!" And I look forward to smiling down at her, tired as I may be, and saying "Of course, sweetheart".



And lastly, "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers. This book is a modern-day, loose interpretation of the book of Hosea in the Bible. It will break your heart. It will make you cry. It will open your eyes to people. It will open your eyes to love. You will be reminded of how God loves us: Gently. Passionately. Unconditionally. Forever.


There you go guys! I hope you all have a great week, and thanks for reading :)

Love,

Melanie Raye.




Monday, 31 March 2014

Some of my old modelling photos...


Hey guys, so here's a few of my old modelling photos that I did with friends :)













Love,
Melanie Raye.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Vlog Episode 61: "Passport"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWm31Xbtu6Y&list=UUi4I-oWRL3w6ooh36f4bctg&feature=c4-overview

new vlog episode!

Love,
Melanie Raye.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Gentle Parenting

Hey guys!
Recently I've been reading up on a phenomenon/ philosophy called "gentle parenting". Basically, it combines elements of attachment parenting and positive child guidance (both of which you guys already know that I'm a fan of).

I really like that there are people out there who are pro-actively looking for ways to improve how they parent, rather than just accepting the way they were brought up, or the "norm" (e.g. spanking or time-out).

I am actively trying to incorporate elements of gentle parenting into my practice as an ECE teacher. Some examples of this are:

Walking across the room and getting down to a child's level and speaking in a soft voice to them when I want to help them regulate their behaviour, as opposed to raising my voice at them from across the room.

Telling I child what I want to see them do, instead of telling them what I don't want to see.

Offering children more choices instead of always giving direct instructions.

Always believing in the child, and their abilities, celebrating what they are capable of instead of stressing over what they can't yet do.

Making sure that my words and actions towards them are always seasoned with love and grace, just as our heavenly Father is loving and gracious towards us.

Now, I know that sometimes my ideals don't always come to fruition, but my belief is that if I aim for the moon and miss, then at least I'll land among the stars :)

I hope this blog can help some of you guys, as much as it helps me :)

Love,

Melanie Raye.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Coming soon... Watch this space!

Hey guys!
So, I am very excited to announce that my new video camcorder is on its way! It is expected to arrive on Wednesday or Thursday this week. It is a Genius HD camcorder. I am really looking forward to increasing the quality of the videos on my YouTube channel :)
Hope you all have a great week!
Love,
Melanie Raye.