I needed throw pillows. I have a bad habit of propping my feet up on the coffee table, and throw pillows make that more comfortable. Yes, I know, I could be classy and get an ottoman or a footstool or just put my feet on the floor where they belong, but I’m a rebel! I’m a spooky queen of the night and I put my feet where I please!
So right now I’m putting my feet on my brand new Alice in Wonderland pillow, delivered straight to my door by Cafepress.* I like Cafepress for stuff like this kind of basic stuff–their prices are pretty reasonable and I like browsing through all the designs for the perfect ones. The pillow inserts are a good amount of squishy and the cotton covers are pretty nice. they’re smooth and decently made, and the printing on all the covers is pretty crisp and looks like the online photos.
I’m not sure why I had Alice on the brain, but it turns out Mr. Robot and I both have entirely different favorite quotes from it. Perfect. His favorite is the left, mine the right. I love that they had a design with the longer version of the quote.
While I was browsing I also saw a pair of skull and crossbones Christmas designs I just couldn’t live without. I only ordered the covers (planning to just put them on the regular pillows around Halloween) but Cafepress sent me complete pillows, so maybe they’ll live downstairs in the rec room instead. If you look, you can tell the skull Christmas tree isn’t quite centered properly. That’s a tiny bit sad but not bad enough to send it back. I figure the two extra inserts they sent makes up for it.
Ooh, this one looks so fun! I read it on Septicemia’s blog and the Mad Magpie and just had to copy them join in. I’ve been a bit down today and this (plus the lovely clouds outside) ought to cheer me right up.
What is your favorite candle scent? Scented candles give my husband migraines, so officially my favorite is unscented. Unofficially, I like evergreen.
Do you have a favorite book? Not just one, no. Don’t be silly. But I love Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits a whole lot. I tend to go through phases with authors, so I guess this is my David Wong phase. I had a Kurt Vonnegut phase in high school, a Haruki Murakami phase in and after college, a Roddy Doyle phase around the same time. I had a brief Shirley Jackson phase a few years ago. I never really grew out of my Neil Gaiman phase . . . I could go on, but there are a lot more questions to be answered.
Are you a tea or coffee person? Coffee with real half-and-half and NO SUGAR! Or peppermint tea if I’m sad or sick.
What is your favorite brand and color of lipstick? Currently, Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid in Red Punch. Kind of a scabby brick red that stays on well.
What is your favorite perfume or cologne? Same problem as scented candles, so none. My conditioner smells like rosemary and mint, but that’s as good as I can smell without getting divorced. 😦
Do you have a celebrity crush? Nope. Not really.
If you had to give up the color black, what color would you choose instead? To decorate my house I’d choose red. Red, red, red. To wear I’d probably choose gray. Does gray count? If gray doesn’t count I’d probably choose red to wear, too.
If you could change your name to a stereotypical 1990s/2000s goth name, what would it be? The gothic name generator gave me Entropy Striker, which is better than anything I ever came up with. I’m embarrassed to admit that I really had a cheesy goth name in the late ’90s, online at least. Once upon a time I was Shards of Glass. So dark!
What are your top three tips for surviving hot weather while black clad? Billowy dresses, thin fabrics, and air conditioning. It gets to 100 degrees F (38 C) here pretty regularly, so I try to just stay in during the day and early evening.
What song will always make you happy (doesn’t have to be a goth band)? Shreikback’s Nemesis does a pretty good job. I also secretly love the B-52s when I’m down.
Are you active in the arts (ex. play and instrument, paint, write, etc.)? Not particularly. I write decently when I get around to it. I crochet and knit and I can sew a tiny bit.
If you had a teacup/mug inscribed just for you, what would it say? It would say “We’re all mad here,” like the Cheshire Cat.
What is your number one non-gothy hobby? I’m a really good cook. I love to look at cooking magazines and try new recipes.
If you could be a supernatural creature, what would you be and why? This is a tough one, they’re all so cool. A sexy-but-deadly succubus. Or a cruel but beautiful fairy queen.
What horror monster-based power would you have? I’d like to hypnotize people with my eyes the way Dracula does. That would be cool.
Do you feel confident or comfortable interacting with other goths/gothy people? I have the same problems with everyone. I think there are goths like, an hour away from me but I’ve never bothered to find out for sure.
Which is more important for a look: great hair or great makeup? I’m not great with either, but I admire people with great hair.
Is there something you wish there was more of in your subculture? Book clubs. 🙂 That would make me finish rereading Wuthering Heights. But seriously, goths should take a cue from regular geeks–just relax and be more open.
Care to share an embarrassing story relating to your “darkliness”? Isn’t it enough that I told you my ’90’s “goth name”? I’m almost sorry now that my website of dark poems no longer exists–I was such a goth cliche for a while.
How are you at DIY? Not good. That’s why I save money and pay people on Etsy to DIY for me.
Quickly describe your ideal wedding: If we could do it all over again we’d probably do the actual marriage as simply as possible, then throw a casual party afterward. Preferably a Halloween party.
True or False:
I love watching cheesy romance films: No I do not. Unless there are vampires involved.
I ALWAYS remember to wash off my makeup at night: Yes, I really do.
I sleep with plushies: Technically true. I have a Darth Vader tsum tsum I use as an arm pillow.
I wear non-black pjs most nights: False
I still listen to a boy band that had disbanded years ago: False. I’ll bite anyone who suggests differently.
I think Andrew Eldritch is overrated: False. Andrew Eldritch is correctly rated as pretty awesome.
I don’t like vampires: False
I don’t like clubs: True. Too old, don’t care.
I’m dating a goth/darkly-inclined person: False. I’m married to a total nerd.
I don’t enjoy graveyards: False. Graveyards are nice.
Blood makes me queasy: Mostly false
I’d sooner faint than pet a spider: True. I love looking but don’t want to touch.
I don’t like haunted houses: Like, actually haunted or commercial? We have a ton of Spook Alleys here and I just don’t care about them anymore. But actual historical haunted houses, those are cool.
I still browse Hot Topic’s clearance racks: Haven’t set foot in a Hot Topic for at least 10 years.
I’ve never read Dracula: False. I’m up on my gothic classics.
I think “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” is a long & boring song: True. Sorry. It’s fun to dance to, but I wouldn’t just sit and listen to it.
On rare occasions I splurge and order custom-tailored clothes from eShakti.* Custom tailoring from that distance is not the most precise thing ever, but over time I’ve gotten better and better fit. I don’t know if I’m measuring better or they’re becoming more precise in their tailoring or what (maybe both?) but this latest order came out pretty perfectly.
I’m not feeling up to a full Show and Tell post, and I feel awkwardly materialistic showing off a bunch of stuff at once anyway, so I’ll just slowly unveil my sweet new stuff as I get around to actually wearing it. Today is a bit chilly so I went with this witchy half-sleeved dress. The embroidery reminds me just a bit of Romanian peasant blouses, which reminds me of Dracula. This dress makes me want to put on some Dark Ambient music and mix magic potions. Or maybe dance in the woods in the pale moonlight. Or possibly grab a pitchfork and storm a castle. Whatever. I can do all those things now that I have the right outfit.
The “tree of life” necklace is from Etsy, but it’s old so I can’t remember the exact shop. Sorry.
*Sadly, I’m not famous in the slightest, so eShakti doesn’t sponsor me in any way. I had to pay money like a chump.
There’s what I love to look at and what actually works with my life and budget. My favorite realistic brand these days is City Chic. Their stuff is decently made, fits me well and is basic without being totally boring.
My favorite brand/designer to look at is Alexander McQueen, may his soul rest in peace. I love his dark, fantastical style. I don’t usually go in for haute couture but McQueen proves for me that fashion really can be art.
Working Title/Artist: Alexander McQueen: EnsembleDepartment: Costume InstituteCulture/Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: Working Date: Digital Photo File Name: McQ1110_Cab_curious_SS99_Look42_023 1 f2.tif Online Publications Edited By Steven Paneccasio 10/28/13
Photo for the New Yorker Magazine, Goings on About Town, installation of the Alexander McQueen exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum, New York, New York, Martine Fougeron, New Yorker, art, fashion
I can’t think of one outfit I’m ashamed of or embarrassed by. I guess some people look back at old photos with a “what was I thinking?!!?!” attitude and some goth and alternative types are a bit embarrassed by their more “normal” pictures, but I don’t feel that way at all.
I, like most people, was really insecure about my looks when I was younger. I worried a lot that I wasn’t thin enough, not cool enough, didn’t fit in, didn’t stand out, whatever. I grew up before digital cameras so I don’t have a ton of pictures of those days, but when I look back now I wonder what I was so insecure about. I would still wear some of those outfits.
Since I don’t have any shame shots to post, I thought I’d show you
what I looked like before I got so old and fat. Again, I came up before digital cameras, so these are pictures of actual photos I keep in a box in my basement. Apologies for the quality; these were the best I could do.
My head must be larger than standard. I love a good hat and would love to rock a fancy Victorian number or a Roaring Twenties cloche, but most hats don’t fit properly on my head. They either squeeze my head or sit too high and try to fall off. And then there’s the hair issue–my hair is naturally curly and must not be touched once it’s finally dried into a nice shape. Pulling hats on and off makes for an unpleasant amount of frizz. (Sure, goths are known for big, messy backcombed styles, but a halo of frizz is just not the same thing.) So much as I love hats, I rarely wear them, relying on hooded jackets and shirts instead.
But enough of the whining. I do have a proper sun hat, and here it is. I took both bow-front and bow-back pictures, but it normally goes in the back.
This one was hard because, in a way, I don’t believe in mismatched outfits. At least not in the way I think the challenge suggests. To me, a mismatched outfit is one that is just not working in some way–the colors are close but not perfect, or the shoes or jewelry just aren’t popping right. Mismatching is a subtle, personal thing that doesn’t translate well in pictures.
What we usually call mismatches are really off, with patterns or colors that really clash or with radically different styles smashed together into one outfit. But I like that stuff a lot. In my opinion, really big mismatches have left the land of traditional fashion, blown right through the “slightly off suburbs” and settled right into Awesome Town. Stripes and polkadots? Totally. Leather bra with khaki slacks? Ooh, daring. Baseball cap and ball gown? Go for it. Not everything is for me, but everything works for somebody.
So I turned to Polyvore and put together some things that look crazy together, but part of me thinks they just might be crazy enough to work. I’d love to hear (or see) the “mismatch” you have a passion for.
It’s been a few days. Sorry. I think I mentioned I sucked at anything daily. I got distracted by my kids’ spring break and my awesome bathroom painting project (which I’ll show you soon) but I’m back on track to finish this challenge thing.
And without further ado, let’s talk shoes. I kind of do love these shoes–they’re cool and amazingly comfortable–but they obviously aren’t my usual style. I bought them for my youngest sister’s wedding. It was an outdoor summer wedding at the Flamingo hotel in Las Vegas, and her only request was that everyone “wear something colorful.” I’m not sure if the navy blue dress I wore counts as colorful but the shoes definitely qualify.
Now both the dress and the shoes sit in the back of my closet unused, but they bring back happy memories. This sister was the last of my siblings to get married and the second to have an Elvis impersonator officiate. I think Elvis might be a good luck charm–my two sibs who went with traditional ministers are divorced now, but both Elvis marriages are still going strong. If Mr. Robot and I ever renew our vows, we’d better get an Elvis involved. You know, just in case.
A lot of goths are all about the boots. Whether it’s stompy buckled platforms or prim Victorian heels, we will love and wear those boots every. single. day. Doesn’t matter how hot the summer or icy the winter, we won’t sacrifice our style for comfortable footwear. I support that. I get it. I used to be like that until I got old.
Just kidding, I’m not that old. Well, I am that old, but it was plantar fasciitis that made me compromise on shoes, not age. A couple years ago I developed this wicked heel pain that lasted for months and months, and it turns out the main cure is lots of rest, stretching your feet, and wearing sensible shoes like, all the time. Even around the house. So my sexy boots and classy heels drifted to the back of the closet in favor of soft house slippers and well-cushioned flats.
On top of that, I really do hate to be hot. Back in my twenties and even most of my thirties I’d just deal with it, but lately I just can’t. My feet (and the rest of me) need to breathe, dammit!
Oh my gods! I’ve become my mom! She’s lived in Birkenstock sandals and Dr. Scholl’s originals since I was little, and I always thought they were a middle-aged mom’s idea of hippie sandals. I shouldn’t have rolled my eyes; now I’m a middle-aged mom who spends all summer in pretty much the same thing. Only in black. Because goth.
Also, my toenails are terrible. It’s not actually summer yet so I’ve kind of ignored them of late.
The top sandal is Earth Origins (Tracy style) and the bottom is Minnetonka something-or-other. If you squint real hard and like me a lot they can pass for tribal goth, I guess. But I still feel old. 😉
How about you? Are you part of the “boots only army” or do your feet need to breathe? Anything else you’ve adapted or changed with age?
I tweaked the challenge. I was supposed to show you clothing I’ve altered but I couldn’t think of a single thing. I’m just such a lazy and terrible tailor that the only thing I’ve altered in the last year is my kids’ taekwondo pants. (They’re all so very, very short.) So sure, here’s a picture of that, but I’m also showing the sweater and shawl I crocheted from scratch. My youngest is home with a cold today, so she kindly agreed to be my model between sneezes. I might have to steal her shawl-as-headscarf idea.