5 Random Things for January

Hey everybody! I still exist! Before all the holidays, Septicemia was nice enough to nominate me for that Liebster award thing and I was all set to work on it when the holiday rush began and tore me away from the computer. The kids started winter break, Mr. Robot got seriously ill, and while I was focused on all that I kinda lost track of the blogging. Now that kids are back in school and Mr. Robot is feeling better, I finally have time to check in. So hi! I hope everyone’s having a spooky January so far. Here are 5 random things I’ve been doing and dreaming about amid all the chaos:

  1. I got a cool new tank top from Disney’s online store. My mom’s always been obsessed with Disney and I inherited a tiny bit of that obsession. Over the years I’ve really fallen in love with the Haunted Mansion ride, and I couldn’t resist this tank based on one of the ride’s paintings.
  2. While driving around one night looking at Christmas lights, we discovered that one of our local cemeteries was full of tiny lighted trees and nativity sets on and around the graves. Nothing really huge or gaudy, just little personal touches for the season. I’ve never seen them do this before, but I hope it becomes a tradition. The whole thing was very peaceful and sweet. Our pictures are terrible because we were too busy enjoying it, but hopefully you get some idea of how lovely this graveyard full of twinkling little lights was.
  3. After taking a break from crochet for a while, I’ve finally ordered yarn to make the Lost Souls skull shawl. It’s been on my mind for ages, ever since Black Kitty pointed me to the Ravelry pattern. I do love a pop of color with my black, so I’m going to make it in Berroco Vintage Black Currant.
  4. I’ve been mooning over the bed sets on the Ink & Rags site. I decided to spend my money on yarn this month, for the shawl and another project, but someday I’m going to get one of these beautiful duvet covers. I just can’t decide which one, they’re all so cool. These are my top three contenders so far (pictures from their site):
  5. Over the break, I took the kids up to Salt Lake City to visit relatives, and we had a rare foggy evening. The western U.S. is pretty short on spooky castles, but we do have a great big Mormon temple smack in the middle of town. It’s spires looked mysterious and castle-like in the fog, so I snapped a couple of quick pics while I waited to cross the street.

There you go. That’s what I’ve been doing on my break from blogging. I’ll try not to be such a stranger. I hope all of you had time for some fun and are excited for the new year starting. I’d love to hear about your interesting plans and projects. What are you dreaming of doing, seeing and maybe buying this year?

Viking Skulls and Christmas Lights

Sometimes I put off blogging because I’ve been doing stuff, but I can’t think of a cute or interesting way to sum up that stuff. But I also don’t like just disappearing, so maybe I should just worry less about summing things up and just be okay with random sharing.

Last weekend the kids wanted to see the Christmas lights at the outdoor shopping center near us, so we bought them dinner and hot chocolate and wandered around looking at lights. I got a nice picture of the hazy full moon rising above it all.

moon lights

We bought a couple of puzzles and I saw, of all things, a set of beautiful skull coasters at Williams Sonoma (if you’re not familiar they mostly sell super fancy kitchenware) on sale. My youngest offered to get them for me (with my money, of course) for Christmas and had the cashier wrap them up in a fancy box. We’re both very excited about the whole thing. coasters

Then on Sunday we went to a local museum–they have a wonderful exhibit of Viking artifacts that will be gone in a few weeks. They had all sorts of Viking housewares and talismans and burial tokens, and even a few actual bones. I got a picture of one of the skulls, but sadly had to move on before I could get a snap of the one with the trepanning hole in it. Trepanning and similar historic surgery have always fascinated me. It’s both incredibly clever and kind of gruesome.

Viking

Then, last but not least, I treated myself to a new Christmas sweater. It just came in the mail yesterday and I’m quite pleased. It’s Helly Bunny and I think they had them last year as well, but back then I needed the spiderweb cardigan more. The wool blend is a tad scratchy on my dry skin, but I think that’s more me than the sweater. 🙂 hell bunny christmas

So that’s what I’ve been up to, and I hope all of you have been up to something even better. Are you treating yourself to anything special in this dark and depressing winter season?

 

Bustles and Hoop Skirts

It’s my youngest kid’s job to empty the kitchen trash all month and put in new bags. She’s taken to puffing the clean bags up with air and using them as bustles, so I hopped on YouTube to show her the real thing. Bustles and hoop skirts are the kind of thing I really admire but just can’t stand to wear. Too fussy for me, but I admire people willing to put up with them for the perfect dramatic look. I admire even more the people who learn how to custom make these kinds of heavily engineered hoops and crinolines and gowns. 🙂

 

 

Trying Too Hard

nuclear redAll you goth and alternative lovers out there, have you ever been told you’re “trying too hard”? I’ve been asked that a few times over the years, and it recently came up again. On Facebook, that bastion of meaningful conversation. :-/ To be fair, the conversation wasn’t totally useless. But there were the comments I’ve heard time and time again: “those people think fashion is a substitute for personality,” “they’re trying too hard to be different,” “they talk about individuality but they all look the same as each other.”

Back in my babybat days I took this stuff seriously. I worried that I was just trading in one conformity for another, I worried that I was trying too hard to be unique, I worried I wasn’t deep enough or cool enough to pull off alternative fashion. Like you have to earn the right to have purple hair or black jeans. The older I get, though, the less I worry about any of that and the more confident I get that I like what I like and there’s nothing wrong with that.

I made peace with the fact that we all strike our own balance between fitting in and standing out. I accepted the fact that by mainstream standards goths aren’t that cool anyway, so not being “cool enough to be a real goth” is the stupidest thing I could possibly worry about. I realized I was never trying at all to be unique, I just was a little different from most people I knew. Even when I tried to look like everyone else and act like everyone else in this super conservative Trump state, people could sense there was something different. And not one of my friends or neighbors was surprised when I went back to black.* The only one my “normal” act was fooling was me.

Funny thing is, the older I get the more I realize how much effort it takes to look exactly like everyone else. Constant diets and hair and manicures and makeup and shopping and microblading and cosmetic surgery all too look exactly like everyone else. I’ve always had “normal” friends who spent an hour or more curling their hair and putting on their “no makeup” makeup, who agonized over which color of boring sweater and skinny jeans to buy. (Or, now that I’m a suburban housewife, which expensive yoga pants to pretend you work out in.)

I spend a lot less time and money on my nuclear red hair and color coordinated (black and red) outfits. I spend a lot less effort just being myself than they spend being “normal,” and I seem a lot happier doing it. I’m amazed that I ever believed for one second that I was the one trying too hard.

If “normal” is who you are then do it. Love it and be happy. I have an evil twin (not literally, but we share our first name and a whole lot else) who looks like a stereotypical suburban mom. Why? Because she’s too busy being an awesome jazz musician to worry about what she’s wearing. There’s nothing wrong with that if that’s who you are. But putting yourself through the wringer just to fit in with a bunch of other superficial, insecure barbie dolls? If you’re doing that, please don’t tell me I’m trying too hard. I’m just trying to be happy with who I am, and you can never try too hard at that. **

*Not one was surprised, but a whole lot of them vaguely disapproved and/or pray for my soul to this day. So it goes, so it goes.

**This rant has been mostly fueled by my kids’ fall school break and a tad too much vodka and coke. I promise, though, that I think the same things when I’m stone cold sober. In fact, I think the same things better and more clearly when I’m sober, I’m just usually too busy to write them down. 🙂

OOTD: Woodsy Witch

IMG_3914I haven’t done an outfit post in ages. That makes me a terrible goth and I must redeem myself. Luckily, my new witch skirt just arrived all the way from England. It’s quite heavy, so it should be nice and warm through the winter. It’s handmade from Corvus Corone and the colors represent the element of earth. There are also lovely skirts representing air, fire, and water and I would have them all if my budget allowed.

You’ll also notice the bright pink hair, a mixture of Special Effects Cupcake Pink and a bit of left over Cherry Bomb. It’s a vibrant hot pink and the color is lasting really well, but about two days after I did it I realized it’s just not me. Next time I bleach my roots I think I’ll go back to Nuclear Red.

IMG_3912

Blouse: Target

Skirt: Corvus Corone Fashion, through Etsy

Boots: Torrid

Goth (Stereo)Types and Why I Love Them All

A few posts ago I wrote about tarot, and I said I loved how each artist brings something new to the same set of symbols. That and some dreaming over dark mori girls (fall always puts me in a witchy, fairy tale mood) got me thinking about the Goth Stereotypes meme.

It’s been going around a long time, but on the off chance you’re not familiar here it is: visit the site for fun description of all the types.

goth types.jpg

People sometimes act like these are hard and fast categories, like you have to pick one and be great at it. If that were the case I would clearly pick Geek Goth because it matches my blog title. But I would also be sad (and not in a fun way) to be limited like that. I am mighty and cannot be contained by one stereotype!

But seriously, I think there are two levels (at least) to stuff like this. On the one hand, it’s just fashion. I see nothing wrong with dressing like a rivethead while sipping fine wine and listening to Bach, or reading Wuthering Heights in your gothabilly pinup dress. On the other hand, I kind of do assume that a rivethead or a gothabilly will have a certain attitude and music taste, and I’d probably use that as a conversation starter.

In that sense, I pick Geek Goth because fantasy novels, cult classic movies, and music of all sorts really gets me going, and fashion comes farther down on the list for me. As a geek, it seems normal to love Sisters of Mercy and Tool and Vermillion Lies and Atrium Carceri and Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. We’re pretty eclectic like that. Fashionwise, I’m the same way. I’ve worn and loved stompy Doc Martens, a Bettie Page pinup dress, swirly witch skirts and slick corpgoth slacks. I like it all. Or most of it, anyway.

Goth, like tarot, is a dark theme, and each goth brings something different to it. The types are just a loose map of common variations on the basic gothic theme. They can be useful for navigating this dark and beautiful world, but once you know your way around you don’t need the map so much.  I love to look at this “goth map” every once in a while and just reminisce about where I’ve been and where I’m headed. I think that’s the best use for it.

 

Should I Get Press On Nails?

I’ve never really worn fake nails. I’m a cheapskate, I work with my hands a lot, and my real nails grow pretty well already. But Dippy Cow fake nails have me reconsidering. This post is zero percent sponsored and I haven’t actually tried the nails, so this is not an endorsement. They’re just really tempting.

All the pictures are from the Dippy Cow Etsy shop–definitely visit to see the awesome. She makes all sorts, including pastels and glow-in-the-dark. The witchy black-and-nude ones change color with temperature.

They ship from the UK, so if I want some in time for Halloween I’d better get to ordering pretty soon, but I just can’t decide between my convenient natural fingernails or amazing pointy fake fingernails. What do you think? Should I take the chance?

OOTD: Quoth the Raven

IMG_3741Fall doesn’t really arrive here until October, but I’m already dreaming about it. As a kid I was so into summer, but it was probably the break from school I really loved. These days I’m more about fall. Cooler weather, falling leaves, Halloween, what’s not to love? I’m already dreaming about it, and dreaming kind of led to a new tunic/dress with flowy half-sleeves. I’m starting to really enjoy the unicorn hair (though my ends are a little fried) and I’m trying to figure out the right makeup for it. I’m going for the red-eyed consumptive look with the pale hair. It’s better in real life–the photos create an airbrush effect that washes it out–but it needs work. If I perfect it I’ll work on some better pictures.

raven foot

. I never know what to do with my face in photos. My natural expression looks mad or hard to most people, and I’m not good at projecting emotions with my face. I’m usually aiming for romantic or brooding and end up still looking vaguely angry. Which is funny because I’m usually pretty happy. The makeup photos are my best attempt at a nice smile.

What I’m wearing:

Dress: Bruno and Betty on Etsy

Shorts: Lineagewear leggings

Belt: eBay

Raven’s foot earrings: eBay

Necklace: Tangents and Tentacles, local craft fair, also on Etsy

Alice in Wonderland Pillows

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.

alice pillows.jpg

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.

 

*As usual, this post is not sponsored in any way.