Saturday, December 13, 2014

Nightmare Before Christmas Holiday Trees

Christmas trees are a kind of bizarre tradition, don't you think? Nothing says festive like a piece of dead foliage sprinkling pine needles all over your carpet! Especially if you're going to decorate it nicely with lights and shiny baubles. So, combine this slightly bizarre tradition with my favorite Tim Burton film, the Nightmare Before Christmas, and you get one wicked tree. Here's some inspiration from people who had the same idea:









If you want more Goth Christmas inspiration, look no further than my Pinterest board! Lots of decor ideas for your spooky, festive home.

If you celebrate Christmas, how do you decorate your trees?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

St Cuthbert's Churchyard, Edinburgh

At the end of November I went to Edinburgh and, while I was there, popped into a small churchyard to take some photos. Now that I've finally gotten around to editing and uploading them, I thought I'd share them here.

If you would like to see the rest, including some great color shots, click here to visit my Study Abroad blog.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

24 (Non-Clothing) Gifts for Goths!

As the holidays approach it's time for the loved-ones of Goths to panic about what to get them (or that's what my family tells me!) If you don't want to take the gift-card cop-out but aren't sure what size or type of clothes they're into, here are twenty-four gift ideas sure to make Goths of all ages smile:

  1. A CD from a favorite Goth band, or one of the classics like The Cure, Depeche Mode, Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees. 
  2. Scented soap or bath salts from Etsy
  3. Themed fridge magnets. I'm partial to the poetry ones, which come in themed packs like Vampire or Edgar Allan Poe
  4. Black nail polish
  5. An old fashioned horror film, or one of the many sets out there.
  6. Sponsor a bat in their name!
  7. Dark stationary, perhaps from Evil Supply Co.?
  8. A popular book on Goth, like that by Jillian Venters or Voltaire, or like the one I reviewed on Wednesday!
  9. A dark mug. Bonus points if filled with treats
  10. Dark buttons/pins from Etsy or similar
  11. A new cellphone case, especially good if they have a popular phone such as an iPhone
  12. A Goth keychain
  13. Calligraphy pen
  14. If you can source them, a small (cleaned) animal skull. Be sure to wrap carefully!
  15. Black candles
  16. A package of loose tea 
  17. A jewelry box or stand
  18. A stuffed animal bat
  19. Flavored Lipbalm in an unusual scent like Absinthe or Rose
  20. Halloween craft supplies (will require sourcing in advance)
  21. A Journal
  22. Sample perfumes from BPAL or similar
  23. A spooky vinyl decal
  24. A print from an artist that they like
If 24 ideas aren't enough, check out my Gift Ideas for Goths Pinterest board with great ideas and pictures! I've also been posting a lot on my Goth Christmas board, so be sure to look at that.

What would you like to see under your Christmas tree this year?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Art of Gothic: Music + Fashion + Alt Culture

Thank you again, Mr. Postman, for filling my mail box with all sorts of fun goodies. Recently I was sent a copy of the new book The Art of Gothic: Music + Fashion + Alt Culture by Natasha Scharf to review which I just finished reading this morning.  Along with a cup of the Pumpkin Spice Chai by Twinnings that also came that day, of course.

Now, there are a lot of books about the Goth subculture floating around by Voltaire or Jillian Venters but this is the first one I've seen that actually focuses on the artistic side of the movement rather than a history of the subculture as a whole. As someone who is interested in Art History, I'm really fascinated by it, so I was excited to give this a read.

The book itself is lovely. The large, glossy pages are laid out really well and, if you ask me, it looks pretty nice on a shelf. Inside the book talks about different ways that dark art flourishes in the subculture. It starts with art derived from our favorite Goth music groups, including music posters and album covers, and then goes on to discuss the fine art, gothic comics, movie posters, interior design, wearable art and some bits on fashion. Some of the sections hi-light specific artists like Roman Dirge, Marilyn Manson, and Steven R. Gilmore, while others are more theme-based.

My favorite chapter is about The New Escapism and talks about the aesthetics that videogames and other "nerd culture" influenced Goth, and vice versa. Fans of Vampire: The Masquerade and Bioshock take note, this was a fun section. I hate to sound cocky, but it's rare that a book on this particular branch in the subculture reaches me something new because I'm pretty "geek goth" and have been surrounded by nerd culture since my first family Dungeons & Dragons game in my childhood. But hey! What do you know? I did learn something new, and it was pretty fun.

I will say, though, that this book is not about the Goth subculture. It's not a history. It is not the same discussion of how Bauhaus and Siouxsie Sioux evolved into what happened today that we've all read six hundred times. It's about how the aesthetic of Gothic evolves over time and has influenced a lot of different aspects of alternative art and expression, so the book plays fast and loose with the concept of "Gothic." It focuses on dark themes and things that take inspiration from Gothic but aren't directly Gothic themselves are included. So in the book we end up with a Game of Thrones movie poster, a My Chemical Romance album cover, Steampunk art, John William Waterhouse paintings, and a Rob Zombie jack-in-the-box, among other things. I'm certainly not bothered by this, but I'm sure some people would be.

The righting of the book is pretty good with an easy to follow casual tone that doesn't sacrifice snark to be informative. The foreword by Andi Sex Gang is really interesting, and talks about how gothic is about "being artistically challenging and culturally subversive" while enjoying darker aestheitcs. The foreword ends with the call to action: "Although gothic has been redefined and reinterpreted over the years, it will never truly disappear because there will always be a need for an alternative to commercial culture and brain-numbing mainstream music. Goth as a subculture is here to stay, so let's make it even more interesting, challenging, potent, and creative." I'll drink to that.

So, that's the end of my review! It's a fun book and I'm grateful someone is exploring the parts of the subculture I hold nearest and dearest to my heart. It's certainly something new in the world of writing about Goth, unless I'm missing some holy grail older book. If you would like to order your own copy, you can do so on Backbeat Books (I think it'd also make a great Christmas present for the spookster in your life, too.)

What other books would you like to be written about the Goth subculture? 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

25 Goth Pet Names

So you've taken a look at my list of unusual Goth pets and decided (after a lot of research and consideration because you will be bringing a real living creature into your house that relies on you for its care and preservation, eyebrow raise), hey, maybe it's time to get a new pet. But what to name it? As a kind of fun, silly post I thought I'd make a list of 50 Goth pet names.

Music Names:

  • Murphy
  • Siouxsie
  • Eldritch
  • Eloise
  • Banshee 
  • Balaam
  • Lulu
  • Seraphim
  • Jezebel

Literary Names;

  • Lestat - Interview with a Vampire
  • Mina - Dracula
  • Harker - Dracula
  • Shelly - Mary Shelley
  • Bunnicula - Bunnicula
  • Byron - Lord Byron
  • Hippolita - The Castle of Otranto
  • Annabel - Annabel Lee
  • Carmina - Carmina

  • Bela (Lugosi) - Dracula, etc.
  • Morticia - Addams Family
  • Maleficent - Sleeping Beauty
  • Nosferatu - Nosferatu
  • Lily - The Munsters
  • Jack - Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Victor - Corpse Bride

What are your pets names, and how did you chose them?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Gothic Spiderweb Kitchen Accessories from Sin in Linen

Whoo, I love getting mail! Don't you? This week I had some really fun stuff come my way, and the thing I was especially excited for were these Spider Web Kitchen Linens sent to me by my friends at Sin in Linen.* Thanks guys!

So, what they sent me was this lovely apron, modeled by yours truly:

(P.S. has my hair gotten long or what??)

The apron is nice quality and covers pretty much your whole front (a lot of aprons I've seen have fairly low neck lines, but this one is quite high over my chest), but not very thick so try not to spill a lot of liquid down yourself. The waist ties fit comfortably around my (plus-sized) waist with enough room for a big bow, and the pocket is nice for sticking a spoon or other small item in while you're being nice and domestic. I like the detail of the lower layer, which brings it to a nice mid-thigh length on me.

Here is the bow detail:

And the matching oven mitt and pot holder set:


The pot holder and oven mitt are lovely and functional. Once I was done modeling pre-made pies (better looking than they were tasting, in my opinion) I actually went to cook something, including holding hot pans, and they worked perfectly to keep the heat away. 

Mmm. Bacon.

Unfortunately, when I actually went to use it I discovered something tragic: there was a little bit of water on the counter top and when the pot holder got a little wet the dye started to run, leaving blue over the spider webs.

It's kind of disappointing, especially since the pillows I reviewed from Sin in Linen over the summer didn't have that problem at all. I was a little nervous to wash them, since I didn't want to end up with completely blue stuff. Luckily I decided to just try completely rinsing the pot holder since it was already fairly blue, and when it dried the blue was gone. So apparently it's just a matter of rinsing these out thoroughly before you use them and making sure all the black dye has gone, then it isn't as much of an issue.

Besides the blue dye scare, I'm really happy with these products and they're a great way to spook up the kitchen while you're making nice treats. Plus, one-size fits all, and at $22 for the apron and $14 for the pot holder and oven mitt set they're sold at a great price. Maybe if you're really into it you could also add in a matching gothic Spider Web table cloth, and if I had my own place rather than a shared flat I would have loved to have decorated with that as well. Holiday presents for the spooky Goth in your life? Maybe!

If you're not much of a cook, you might also want to see some of the items in their Skull D├ęcor section which has really cute stuff, including this awesome skull bedding.

Have you guys gotten anything fun in the mail lately? Or what have you been baking? Please, share recipes in the comments down below!

*Disclaimer: Items reviewed in this post were sent to me for review, but all opinions are completely honest and my own. Any questions can be directed to and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

5 Goth Ways to Patch Denim Holes

I've only just started wearing jeans again after having worn just skirts (and the occasional yoga pant) for many years, but one thing I always loved about jeans was how they looked when patched. Something about patched jeans appeals to me, so even if I'm not going to tear up my one pair of skinnies I'll be keeping this list around for if that ever happens. So, here are five Goth-approved ways to patch holes in your denim:

Spider webs!

This is my favorite way that I discovered on Pinterest and I'm just stunned that I didn't think of it before. Basically you sew around the hole and then weave the thread in a spider web shape. Wouldn't it be cute in white thread on black denim or with a small spider bead? Tutorial here.

Safety Pins

This one reminds me of middle school when all the Cool Alt Kids would rip intentional holes in their jeans and string safety pins through them. Still, this is a great punky look. Youtube tutorial here.

Fabric Patch

Have a small scrap of Halloween fabric left over from another DIY (or need an excuse to buy pretty fabric like the ones on my Dark Fabric Pinterest Board)? Here's how to patch denim using whatever fabric you prefer: Tutorial here.

Fish net

For a variation on a fabric patch, why not cover the hole with a scrap of fish net? Again, in a contrasting color this would work wonderfully. If you wanted something even more deathrock, use safety pins to keep the net in place. Similar to this.

Cute Monster

For something a little cuter on less fancy jeans, how about a monster face? Using the hole as the mouth, arrange felt eyes and teeth in a monster shape and stitch in place. Tutorial here.

How do you patch your torn denim? Or do you just get a new pair?