Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Death Becomes Her

Hey guys! Today's midweek post is just a quick excuse to say hi and show off an event that looks like tons of fun. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the biggest and best art museums in the United States, has a new show up starting from yesterday called Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire.


Here's a quick blurb from the press release:

The thematic exhibition is organized chronologically and features mourning dress from 1815 to 1915, primarily from The Costume Institute’s collection. The calendar of bereavement’s evolution and cultural implications are illuminated through women’s clothing and accessories, showing the progression of appropriate fabrics from mourning crape to corded silks, and the later introduction of color with shades of gray and mauve. 

I've posted about the Met's collection of gothable clothing on this blog before, but it's worth noting that they have a fabulous collection and this show looks like it's going to be great.

If you're interested in seeing the exhibition, it is running from October 21st to February 1st of next year. Obviously I'm in Scotland for the moment, but I'll be visiting the states in January so I might be able to pop up to New York while I'm there.

Would you go see the exhibit? What do you think should be included?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Reader Question: Disguising Un-Goth Wall Colors

Dear Mary Rose,
Hello Mary Rose, can you help me? I have just moved into a new house with my parents and, since we're renting, we can't paint the walls. Unfortunately the walls of my room are pale yellow! So un-goth! Do you have any advice for how to make my room look gothier despite the wall color?
Ellie

Hello Ellie! Yes, I do think I can help. Like you, my bedroom color is pretty not Goth. I've got robin's egg blue colored walls and, while they're pretty, they don't match much of anything. While I had plans on and off to paint the walls gray for several years, it stopped being a high priority when I went off to college and started only spending four months of the year at home.

My room, 2012


So, here's my advice for making the best of what you have:

Divert Attention!

If you have a really interesting focal point to your room you can draw attention from the wall color and make it impact less. Your distraction can be anything that you think makes your room special. Beds are the most obvious option because they tend to take up the most physical space in a room, so deck yours with a canopy, a beautiful headboard, or an interesting bedspread.

In my room, the distraction I tried to make for myself is the bookshelf area, which features an amazing piece of art by tumblr user jaynejezebelle and is framed by black curtains. It's the space I mostly look at while I'm on my bed, so it makes sense for me.

This kitchen is painted a pale yellow cream color, but that's not what you were looking at, were you? I thought not. ;)


Cover up!

If you can't change the wall color, try to cover it up with things that are the color you want. Posters, tapestries, cork boards, photographs, or even pieces of clothing can serve as interesting wall decor while hiding as much of the wall color as possible. There are also brands of removable wallpaper, but they do tend to be rather expensive so it probably wouldn't be the best idea for short term accommodations.

A note about safety: If you are using fabric wall hangings, tapestries, or clothing, please please please please please mind any candles you might be using. Do not leave them next to (or under!) the fabric on your walls and extinguish them before leaving the room.

Posing a big baroque mirror like this one across from something dark will both cover the yellow wall and reflect darkness into the room. Or, if you pose it across from the window it will provide light to keep all of the black things you've added to cover the yellow from drowning you. 


Add Spook Elsewhere

If you have an unusual wallcolor, you probably won't be able to get away with "un-goth" details and still end up with a Goth look. I'm not asking that you throw away everything that isn't Goth, but if you want the room to stay spooky looking then definitely expect to add more Goth details to balance out. Luckily for you, it's Halloween season! so it's the perfect time to shop for Goth decor at your local crafts or department store.

Another note: Unless your mess is really spooky, like you've got coffins and bats scattered about everywhere, mess tends to make a room look less Goth. Keeping things tidy will help your aesthetic a lot.

Incorporate it!

While pale yellow isn't a very easy color to integrate with black without looking like a bumble bee, you can do your best to incorporate little bits of it into your decor so it looks like less of a mis-match. Gold and yellow details in your hardware or other pieces of decor will complement it nicely. By the same token, try not to use a color that clashes. Purple might be a lovely and Goth-y color, but it will make the yellow stand out more. If you must have it, keep it away from the walls so the distinction is less obvious.

If you're into medieval and tuscan decor, I find that a lot of rooms with that inspiration have yellow or cream walls. Just add wrought-iron, natural wood, and rustic details and you have a beautiful tuscan-like room.



I hope that helps! Readers, what advice would you give Ellie to help work her way around an unfortunate wall color?

And, as always, feel free to send me a mail and suggest topics or ask a question.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

50 Delicious Pumpkin Recipes

Can you believe pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavored things aren't really big here in Glasgow? I know, it's a travesty. But luckily I've got a list of pumpkin recipes I'm intending to try as soon as I can just so I can get my autumn pumpkin fix. Many of these are vegan friendly, so have a look:



Drinks:

Pumpkin Pie Latte
Spiced Pumpkin Eggnog
Pumpkin Caipirinha Cocktail
Vegan Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Bourbon Pumpkin Pie Milkshake
Pumpkin Pie White Hot Chocolate
Thanksgiving Cider Cocktail

Desserts:

Cheesecake Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Cake with Whiskey Whipped Cream
Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream
Pumpkin Passion Cupcakes
Pumpkin Roll
No Bake Vegan Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Pudding
Vegan Pumpkin Pie Tarts with Vanilla
Gluten Free Pumpkin Mousse Tarts

Breakfasts:

Pumpkin Spiced Crepes
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Pumpkin Baked French Toast
Quinoa Pumpkin Pancakes
Jack-O-Pumpkin Vegan Breakfast Sandwich
Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Pumpkin Yogurt
Pumpkin Spice Quinoa Breakfast Casserole

Soups:

Crock Pot Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili 
Pumpkin Soup
Curried Pumpkin Soup
Creamy Pumpkin Lentil Soup
Pumpkin Chili 
Golden Trio Chipotle Fall Soup with Crispy Tofu

Entrees

Creamy Chicken and Pumpkin
Pumpkin Curry with Chickpeas
Pumpkin Biryani
Pumpkin Apple Harvest Rice
Bacon and Pumpkin Pasta
Pumpkin Fried Sage Flatbread
Miso Roasted Pumpkin and Grilled Tofu over Udon Noodles
Pumpkin Bean Spaghetti
Pumpkin Risotto
Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage
Crispy Tofu Sandwich with Sweet Potato

Other:

Pumpkin Butter
Pumpkin Chutney
Toasty Pumpkin Chickpea Fritters
Pumpkin White Bean Chipotle Dip
Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese
Pumpkin and Kale Hummus
Roasted Cauliflower Pumpkin Swirl Dip
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
Pepitas

To have a look at what other recipes and foods I've been loving lately, check out my Pinterest board. 

What is your favorite pumpkin flavored food?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Playlist: Darkly Cinematic

I've been a sucker for a good movie score since the first Pirates of the Caribbean film and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. There's something about the atmospheric quality to the music that I really adore, and it's great for those music videos you direct in your head on long car rides (you know the ones.) On Youtube I made a playlist of my favorite movie scores and atmospheric-type music that I've been listening to lately: Enjoy!



What is your favorite movie score?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Gothic Medieval Inspired Decor

Since classes are starting soon and I'm about to return to my darling academics (if you'd asked me how I felt about my classes a few months ago I would have laughed, and then probably cried. Finals, ya know?) I've been devoting more of my time to history readings. Medieval architecture has been one of my favorite types of expression and art for a long time now (as you can probably tell) so I was wondering how I could bring this into a sense of home decor.

Medieval Gothic Decor


The Feel

Before the days of indoor heating and nice fluffy insulation, the only thing between you and a chilly European winter were your wood or stone walls and as much fabric as you could put between you and the outside as possible: Tapestries, throws, carpets, and more. Even now, Medieval decor should bring a sense of warmth to the space, pretty much the opposite of my Corp Goth home inspiration. Layers of rich fabric should cover the spaces, making it plush and comfortable while lighting should be subdued, hopefully with candles (if used safely). Of course, you could also paint the walls to look like a stone castle, but I think that might be a bit excessive to me.

The Palette

Most Medieval-inspired decor that I can think of uses a very non-Goth palette. Natural woods, gold, jewel tones (think: sapphire, emerald, amethyst, garnet, etc.) While there's no reason you can't incorporate these, it's easier to pull off a Goth-y look if you limit the palette. Using dark ebony wood keeps the look natural but makes it darker, while swapping the gold tones for pewter or wrought iron and limiting the color palette to a few selected colors will go a long way to making it look more Goth.

The Motifs

Here you can really help blend Gothic and Medieval looks together. Using fleur-de-lis, gothic arches, celtic crosses, swords, armor, etc. Including things like old books with worn covers will give your room an antique feel (or those boxes that have book spines for fronts, which will give you great storage if you want to hide your modern amenities.) If you prefer a more fantasy oriented Medieval style, dragons and (less stylized) unicorns will do well with the look. Of course, how you incorporate these details will change whether your look is kistch or convincing. For example, a standing suit of armor is more ""realistic"" while a helmet trash can is more kitsch. I prefer the historical look but my tastes are not law, obviously. Pro tip: chess sets are a wonderful decoration for this kind of look and a fun game to play.

Do you like Medieval decor? How would you incorporate a medieval look into your home?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Glasgow Necropolis Visit

Hey everybody! Sorry for the patchy posting, I've been settling into my routine here at the University of Glasgow and trying to get re-acquainted with Scotland so I haven't had much time to post. You know what I have had time to do, though? Tour cemeteries. Ch'yeah.

Some of you might remember an old post I did on Glasgow Necropolis as a dream Goth meet up. Well, I didn't have a meet up but I did go there recently and it was absolutely stunning. I didn't wear anything special (the same skinny jeans that I wore in this post with a black v-neck) so there are no cool outfit pictures, but the cemetery shots are worth sharing on their own I think.







If you want to see the full 50 image set I took there, check out my study abroad blog here!

I can't wait to go back!

Have any of you been to cemeteries recently? Which ones?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

New Restyle Bag & Outfit Post

For this coming year I needed a new school bag (my trusty bat skeleton tote got a rather large hole in the bottom and I lost many pens tragically Moon-Door style) so I thought I'd buy myself a cool new one. I've had my eye on this Cathedral Satchel Bag from Restyle, a popular cheap online Goth retailer, for a while now and when it went on sale I decided to buy it. Here are my first thoughts!



I placed the order on August 26th, it shipped on September 3rd and came on September 10th. The shipping from Poland to the UK was quite quick, which I appreciated, and it came in a nice sturdy cardboard box and wrapped in plastic. It was on sale, so the original price of 34.24€ (or $44.95) came down to 24.39€ (or $32.01) plus shipping. Not bad!

Here's what the bag looks like.

 And a close-up of the embroidery (long time readers will already know about my obsession with Gothic architecture):

The handle and tag:




The inside of the bag has a zippered pouch on one side...


...and two pouches on the other. These pouches are a little wonky, but not too bad. You could keep small things that you want easily accessible in here, like a phone, package of gum, etc (the right pouch is pleated to expand, and it doesn't lay like that normally. I just pulled it out so that it'd show up in pictures better.)


Here's the backside of the bag, and a preview of my main gripe with the bag:


But, the bag isn't perfect. The online page says that "Made of solid black faux leather. It's very firm! It will keeps the shape perfectly" which, uh, no. It has the same problem that a lot of soft-leather bags do in that the sides are quite sturdy but the bottoms and sides are loose and hang down below the front and back (as you can see above). I'll try to show you more what I mean:


And here you can see the bottom hanging again in this upside-down shot:




I still like it, but I'm a little disheartened that it does that (especially since the bottom seems perfectly fine in the product photos.) Maybe some sort of insert to straighten out the bottom would help, and I could always DIY one out of cardboard and black fabric... I guess it's a case of good design, but cheap production. For the price I can't complain too much, but it's something I'll keep in mind before ordering from Restyle again.

Anyway, this is the outfit I was wearing when it came in the mail, which I think goes quite nicely with it:


Sweater: Unsure (Safety pins DIY)
Skinny jeans: Forever21
Necklace: Otakon Showroom
Shoes (can't see): Payless.

Have you guys gotten anything new in the mail recently?