Monday, February 11, 2019

Review: 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die by Loren Rhoads

Long time no book review, right? I've been plugging away at my reading since the start of the new year. This book was on my list of books to check out from last year and I'm so thrilled that I was able to pick up a copy. The book is called 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die by Loren Rhoads.

I've been blogging about Goth travel destinations for a while now, it's even one of my favorite Pinterest boards. Cemeteries have always been a highlight wherever I've traveled because you can learn so much about the history of a place and it's almost guaranteed to be much less of a tourist trap than you would ordinarily visit. This book seemed pretty tailor-made for me.

The book consists of short entries and photographs of, yes, 199 cemeteries around the world. They list where you can find the cemetery in real life and online as well as tidbits of the history of the cemetery as well as notable people who are buried there. My two favorite cemeteries in the world, Glasgow Necropolis in Glasgow, Scotland and Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia appear in the pages. I found Rhoad's writing to be perfectly clear and she definitely has a feel for what the most interesting stories are.

And there are some truly beautiful pictures to boot.

The hardback is a truly gorgeous quality book. The cover is a nice velvety black and the edges of the pages have a gorgeous wrought-iron-like pattern. It's definitely coffee-table ready.

If you're a US reader, you'll find this to be a much more easy bucketlist to follow because the book has 100 American cemeteries. Others, from the rest of North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia all share real-estate in the second half of the book. So, it is pretty biased in that regard. Still, I managed to fill mine up with post-it notes of places I want to remember and go see someday.

If you're looking for a gift for a spooky friend, a beautiful coffee-table book, or a ready-made spooky bucketlist, I can highly recommend this book. I'll be picking up Rhodes other book, Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel for my next read of hers.

You can find 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die on Amazon here!
You can find 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die on Book Depository here!

What have you been reading lately?

Saturday, January 5, 2019

7 Gothic Tarot Decks

There's an old myth that your first tarot deck should be a gift from someone, but that shouldn't hold you back from picking up a deck that appeals to you! Here are some of my favorite Gothy-themed tarot decks.

Sinking Wasteland Tarot by Pixel Occult

This is a gorgeous Indie tarot deck with a post apocalyptic goth aesthetic and fully illustrated cards. Find it on Etsy here!

The Gothic Tarot by Joseph Vargo 

This is THE Gothic tarot deck. It has everything--vampires, crypts, ravens, wolves, gothic architecture. It's so over-the-top it makes me giddy. Find it on Amazon here!

The Tattoo Tarot by Diana McMahon-Collins and Megamunden

I love classic tattoo art, even though my tattoos are quite a bit different. This tarot uses some of the best motifs of classic tarot art and has some tattooed folk in the deck on a stark background for fun readings. Find it on Amazon here!

The New Wave Tarot by Last Craft

Did you know that you needed Siouxsie Sioux as The High Priestess, or Robert Smith as the King of Cups? I didn't until I saw the New Wave Tarot. Find it on Last Craft Design's website here!

Tarot of the Vampires by Ian Daniels

Here's another vampire themed tarot deck for you with a nice baroque gothic theme. This reminds me of the vampire art I printed out and glued into my journals when I was a teenager and it's a lovely nostalgic deck to me. Find it on Amazon here!

The Deviant Moon Tarot

The Steampunk Tarot by Barbara Moore and Aly Fell

This is actually one of the first tarot decks I ever collected, and I love the steampunk takes on the classic Rider-Waite-Smith imagery. Find it on Amazon here!

Dark Days Tarot by Wren McMurdo 

We'll end today with another indie tarot deck, and a beautiful square one at that! This is the Dark Days Tarot, a black and white tarot deck with a diverse cast and beautiful imagery. Find it on their website here!

I've been doing a daily draw on my tarot instagram @melioramagic, if you want to see more tarot decks.
Have you ever given tarot a try? What is your favorite deck?

Standard disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. I do not link or recommend anything without actually loving it myself, and please don't feel pressured to buy anything you don't need. For more info, see my review and affiliate link page.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Lessons Learned as a Goth in the Tropics

I grew up all my life on the mid-atlantic seaboard, in Maryland, where the summers are hot and humid, but we also have. You know. Autumn. And winter. 2016, 2017, and 2018 have been strange years for me thus far, since my job required me to travel to some places that have been pretty tropical--Australia, Vanuatu, Hawaii, and Honduras especially, and let me tell you, I learned a thing or two about being a goth in the tropics.

1. Accidental tanning is real

I could pretty much walk around Maryland without sunscreen on and maintain a pretty pale complexion. Not that that's necessary or anything, but it was part of my general aesthetic not to be a horribly sunburned and peeling mess. Not so if you're going to live in the tropics for any amount of time. It was sunscreen every day, multiple times of day or regret it later. 

I now have a sandal tan-line. Enough said.

2. You can survive even wearing all black

I was often asked if I was sweltering hot while wearing all black, and to be honest it never bothered me. Color isn't the big deal in my experience, it's material. I stopped sweltering when I wore lace, cotton, and fishnet and less velvet and leather. 

3. You'll always stand out in a crowd

If I'm walking around New York City in the winter it can be pretty hard to differentiate me from the millions of other people walking around with black coats and umbrellas. My colleagues said that it was never hard to find the goth girl in a crowd of Hawaiian shirt wearing tourists. Helpful if, like me, you always find yourself getting distracted by something and getting separated from your group.

4. A makeup fixative spray is pretty essential

I could get away with just sealing my eyeliner with a bit of black eyeshadow back in the day, but using a makeup fixative spray (my favorite one currently is this one by Elf) actually helps makeup stay throughout the day and not go melting down your face. 

5. There are goths EVERYWHERE

And with that all being said, I met gothy types all over the world! One of the most wonderful things to happen to me while traveling was meeting Goths in coffee shops, concert venues, offices, and while hiking. We are all over the world, and that was a sight to see. I love our big, spooky global family!

I'm settled back in Maryland for the time being, so no more tropical adventures for me. It's nice to be back, and hopefully I'll be writing a bit more. How have you all been?

Standard disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. I do not link or recommend anything without actually loving and using it myself, and please don't feel pressured to buy anything you don't need. For more info, see my review and affiliate link page.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Happy birthday Patricia Morrison

Today, January 14, is the birthday of Goth icon Patricia Morrison, former band member of such iconic Goth bands as Sisters of Mercy and The Damned (among others.) She is now 55 years old. To celebrate the birthday of one of the icons of Goth women, my favorite song and video in which she appears:

Sisters of Mercy - Dominion

What is your favorite Patricia Morrison song?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

OOTD: Public Speaking Engagement

Apparently public speaking is one of the most common fears of Americans, which is something I love, because now my practiced ability of not saying "um" or "uh" and speaking loudly is celebrated as some kind of major talent. So, here's what I wore for a recent public speaking engagement.

Shirt: Thrifted
Skirt: Calvin Klien for Macy's
Shoes: Payless
Handbag: Walmart
Watch, belt: Target
Pearls: Gift

Do you all like public speaking?

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

For my followers who celebrate, Merry Christmas! For those of you who don't, I hope you have a lovely day with the people you care about most. I'm quite busy with things for work still (no rest for the wicked, I'm afraid) but I do have time to leave you all with my favorite silly Goth Christmas tradition: Gothic Christmas by Within Temptation.

 What are you doing for the day?

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Two Minute Goth Planner DIY: Planner Charms

For my third planner DIY on this blog I thought I would do the easiest DIY ever. Yes, easier than gluing an embellishment on a paperclip (and significantly less messy.) It takes two minutes and adds a cute touch to any planner.

To complete this DIY, you will need:
  • A phone charm hook
  • Necklace charms
  • Neetle-nose pliers 
  • ...
  • ...
  • ...
  • Yup, that's it.
You can probably also guess what comes next. Attach the necklace charms to the phone charm hook (I find one or two look best, more than that tends to look rather cluttered.)

And you're done! To add it to a ring binder style planner, clip it into one of the rings and close the planner. You can add it to the lowest ring to make it hang out more, or a higher ring.

Once it's closed: 

To attach it to a coil bound planner, loop the phone charm through itself to attach it to the coil. 

So that's it! A simple two minute DIY planner accessory that adds style to your planner. If you make a bunch of these you can switch them out whenever you want to change up the decor of your planner. Check Etsy or your local craft store around Halloween time for necklace charms.