Saturday, June 29, 2013

I got Tagged!

Sary Walrus of The Walrus Room tagged me in a fun blogger challenge and though I don't quite meet the requirements (I currently have 352 followers, not the prescribed under 200) I'm happy to do it anyway. 


5 Things you Need Everyday
  1. My journal. I use it for everything, from jotting down lists of blog post ideas or scraps of poems, it goes with me everywhere.
  2. Blogs. I'm on the internet quite a bit, I'll admit, but I can't help it because I'm obsessed with reading blogs. And not just Goths either! I love getting little glimpses into the worlds of people with other interests, and on any given day I can be tearing through home sewing blogs, or granola crunchy parenting blogs, or biology blogs. Really, anything will do.
  3. Skirts. While I just posted last week about overalls, I'll be honest, I adore skirts. I can't stand the lack of freedom of movement I have when I have to wear pants. It's a total nightmare. So, skirts it is.
  4. My claddagh ring. Given to me by my boyfriend, I wear it every day, and it's something simple and cute to remind me that A. I'm a pretty lucky lady and B. that I need to get my butt back to Scotland.
  5. My camera. I carry it around everywhere and it's my first "big girl" camera, so I use it all the time. So much so that I started a Project 365 blog to document my life in one photo per day. It's been a great experience and now if I don't have my camera on me I feel unprepared.

5 Books You Would Recommend 
  1. Brave New World
  2. The Collector 
  3. Frankenstein 
  4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  5. A Face at the Window

5 Materialistic Wishes For Christmas Presents
  1. A camera tripod
  2. Plane tickets to Scotland
  3. Loose-leaf Earl Grey tea
  4. A new journal
  5. Alchemy Gothic's Draco Black Heart Ring

5 Places You Wish to Visit
  1. Back to Scotland, and hopefully I can if I study abroad again in 2014-2015
  2. Los Angelos, California
  3. France. All of it. Cathedral tours forever and ever.
  4. Rome, Italy
  5. New York City (I've been six or seven times but I would love to go back.)

5 Adjectives That Describe You Somehow
  1. Curious
  2. Stubborn
  3. Temperamental
  4. Loud
  5. Silly
Bonus, my boyfriend's take:

;)


5 Things You'd Say To People About Life 
  1. Never ask an 18 year old unemployed busybody for life advice.
  2. That's it.
  3.     
  4.      
  5.      
I Tag:

Rules:
Thank the person who tagged you to this challenge and post a link to their blog. 
Choose five blogs with less than 200 followers and pass the challenge on. 
Wish them to pass the challenge onward.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Goths in Overalls (No, really)

No, really, overalls. In my journey to expand my wardrobe, I've been poking around various websites looking for what is currently "on trend" in mainstream fashion so that I can be prepared to pounce on them and encorporate them into my wardrobe once they go on sale. While browsing the fatshion tag on Tumblr, I discovered that a peculiar wardrobe piece was currently fairly hot in plus-sized and straight-sized fashion circles. Overalls.

Chances are, when you think of overalls, you either think of farmers, toddlers, or fashionistas trying their best not to look like farmers or toddlers. However, I kind of fell in love with the idea of wearing overalls as a Goth outfit choice. Is such a thing even possible? Let's look.

First up, I put together a TradGoth inspired overalls look. The focal point of the outfit are the striped overalls, but I figured that some tried-and-true Goth staples wouldn't go amiss. To be honest, I also pictured the overalls DIYed a bit to the taste of the wearer, like a band patch stitched to the back pockets or studs on the straps, but those kinds of things aren't easily done in Polyvore.

Overalls2

Next up I tried to make a Fetish-y kind of look with pleather overalls and fishnets, but then realized that I know nothing about fetish fashion and gave up, instead focusing on a casual Goth look. Again, the focal point is the pleather overalls, but they're also shorter, giving room for knee-high boots in a coordinating material. Because these overalls are low-slung on the chest and anyone with breasts could unwillingly be playing peek-a-boo, I added a bandeau under it. A full-length camisole might also work, otherwise the pleather is going to rub through the fishnets and I don't imagine that would be pleasant.


overalls

In another attempt to pay tribute to a style that I know next-to-nothing about, I did a bit of a Gothabilly pin-up look next. I love this because most of the Gothabilly looks I've seen tend to focus on pencil skirts, which are cute if repetitive. These overalls don't have anything under them because they're in a high-cut, more demure style, but I added a light jacket so that I could add enamel brooches, which also scream vintage to me. 

Gothabilly is something I think I could get into because the pieces that it uses the most, like pencil skirts and black pumps, also translate well to a corpgoth wardrobe, but some of the motifs (sugar skulls, iconic tattoo imagery, anything "kitsch") aren't really my style, and I'm not sure I'm willing to give up my fluffy knee-length skirts just yet.

Overalls3

This last look is how I, personally, would wear overalls if I got my paws on any. I'd definitely try to femme them up with lace, high heels, and lots of pretty jewelry. I would also probably wear my corset because while long overalls are lovely, they do tend to be kind of baggy around the waist area, which I want to avoid.

Overalls4


The overalls that I find most often tend to have really trendy details like the super long pockets in the above example, or really baggy legs, or fronts that come down below the bust line, so you have to really go on the hunt to find one that is a flattering cut. They also tend to be really expensive, the pair I currently have my eyes on are $70+. Yikes. Hopefully the trend will be short lived enough that everyone drops them off at Goodwill and they go on major sale at the retailers. 

Do you think you could ever wear overalls, or have you in the past? 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

My Summer Style Resolutions

And, just like that, it's officially summer. Not that I wasn't expecting it, Baltimore has been getting plenty of ninety-degree days recently, and I've been cranking up the air conditioning for a month now. But now it's officially summer, and my whining about the heat is more justified. To keep my mind off the impending heat wave and sunny onslaught, here are some of my summer style resolutions.



1. Paint My Nails More

Readers, I'm going to be candid, I can't keep nail polish on my nails for longer than fifteen minutes. I've tried every solution Pinterest could offer me, from not. touching. ANYTHING! for an hour after I've finished my manicure to quick-dry top coats and submerging my nails in water right after painting. Nada. And I've tried more than my fair share of top coats and base coats and polishes, in my humble (and very miserly) opinion. It always chips and smudges, and then I get frustrated and take it all off my fingers. More and more my nail polish has been regulated to my toes or craft projects, and my fingernails stay sadly bare. Well, I'm sick of it, and I figure the only way to find out how to keep the polish on my nails is to keep trying, so now I'm black polish hunting. (If you have a recommendation, drop it in the comments, won't you?)

2. Dress up and Take Outfit Shots

My wardrobe has experienced more input recently than it has in some time (thank you, local thrift store) and it's making for an interesting pool from which to pick outfits from. Still, it's hard to motivate myself to get up and dressed when my obligations are all taken care of over the phone or computer, and I spend most of the day in a pair of running shorts and a t-shirt. Still, if I'm going to be true to this "I dress for ME!" thing, I really don't have much of an excuse to neglect getting dressed, and taking outfit shots just sounds like more fun anyway. (And will probably be much easier, as I'm hoping to purchase a tripod soon.)

3. Find Fishnets

Admittedly this won't be a huge challenge, but it's certainly a departure from my usual forms of leg-wear. Unfortunately, my standard array of plain black tights won't do during the hottest time of the year, and yet my legs feel bare when they're, well, bare. Fortunately, in my head fishnets pair wonderfully with my fluffy skirts and with my growing collection of pencil skirts, and they breathe wonderfully in the heat. I think I'll be sticking with basic black, tight-weave fishnets for now, but maybe I can find some in red as well. And they'd look so good layered.

4. Style My Hair Differently

After I cut my hair, I lost my ability to style it in all of those awesome historical hairstyles I've blogged about previously. Though it's much lighter now, I still prefer to keep it off of my neck, which means finding cute hairstyles beyond the basic bun or ponytail for medium-length hair. Oy. If only those didn't require a gallon of hairspray and an undercut wasn't calling my name. Or any haircut, actually, because layers might help change things up a bit (and I'm debating changing up my bangs to boot.) For the now it's back to the drawing board, or embracing pinterest for it's multitude of wonderful boards on hairstyles.

5. More t-shirts.

Yes, more. I reach for t-shirts more and more nowadays, even with the wonderful blue blouse I found thrifting the other day. So, to avoid feeling like I'm wearing the same ones, I've been looking for more of them. Hopefully my favorite stores will be having some sales, or someone out there starts making cute black t-shirts with white or gray spooky designs on them. Preferably v-neck and babydoll cut, but I'll take what I can get. On that note, I've been practicing nipping in the waists of my t-shirts to prevent them from being tent-like, and you should look for the results in a future post.

Are you guys planning any summer style changes? If so, what?

Oh, and p.s. You can now buy an art print of one of my more popular Tumblr posts from Evil Supply Company for $5. Isn't it pretty?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Style Inspiration: Art Nouveau

In my last post on style inspiration, I mused on the possible style inspiration one could draw from Gothic architecture. In keeping with that same theme of style from historical art and architecture, today, I'm bringing you style inspiration from the turn-of-the-century Art Nouveau style from Europe. Art Nouveau covers a few different mediums, including furniture, sculpture, painting, and architecture. For my purposes I'll primarily be discussing Art Nouveau as it applies to paintings and illustrations.


Firstly, a bit of absinthe appreciation wouldn't go amiss. As the illustration above shows, absinthe was huge in the artistic circles of Europe at the time, and it made it's way into their illustrations. In your look you can do this by featuring the green fairy herself, or by adopting shades of emerald and peridot. Still more interestingly, you could add absinthe motifs, like the below Alchemy Gothic slotted spoon necklace.



Art Nouveau2

Everywhere you look Art Nouveau is being praised (or condemned) as being one of the more organic styles you can find. This is partially due to the presence of floral motifs and patterns, which are also a perfect element to include in your style. Alongside flowers, vine motifs work perfectly, and will help to convey the iconic whiplash curves that make up the backgrounds of much Art Nouveau work.

Art Nouveau1

Ornate details featured on the dresses of many Art Nouveau women can be found in many articles of clothing (or easily DIYed.) Motifs you might want to consider are the whiplash curves, dragon flies, and leaves featured in the prints. Or a smattering of jewels along the neck and waistlines are also perfect options.

Art Nouveau5

Much of the Art Nouveau style of dress was shockingly revealing for the time, but it wasn't just meant as porn! Many of the women of Art Nouveau symbolized natural symbols and virtues, many in line with those from Ancient Greece. Thin, flowing fabrics perfectly mimic the "grecian" dress styles of Art Nouveau subjects' clothing.

Art Nouveau3


When one thinks of the Goth look, one (probably) doesn't think of a neutral look. However, Art Nouveau ladies are rarely spotted sporting heavy winged eyeliner, so to mimic their naturalistic grace use lighter eyeliner, maybe a bit of blush, and a pale lipstick. Keeping your hair in either a messy bun or long and slightly curled will complete the look.

Art Nouveau4

Would you all consider wearing any Art Nouveau inspired style?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Cleaning out my Closet

Trying to keep busy has been pretty much the bane of my current summer. So, what's a bored and unoccupied Goth to do? Clean, apparently. I spent much of the end of last week tidying my room and, most specifically, my closet. Unexpectedly, this yielded not only a good way to spend a few hours (not to mention several garbage bags filled with old school papers and a rather large box of manga to go to Goodwill) but also a good way to rediscover old pieces of clothing that I'd forgotten about.


I don't have a "before" picture of my closet because I didn't intend to make a post about it until I discovered all my goodies. But basically it was the same except messier and with a waist high black bookcase filled with shoes. And lots and lots and lots of old papers, books, craft supplies, etc. I pulled the bookcase out and put it at the edge of my bed, weeded through all the papers, and then reorganized my clothes. I think it looks much nicer now, no?


First up is this black and white striped pajama shirt that I got at a thrift store for, I believe, $1.5. I'd intended it as some kind of DIY project, but I'm not sure what to do with it yet. I know I need to replace the buttons and shorten the sleeves, maybe take out the lapel and collar as well. Hm.







Next is this blue sleeveless shirt that I might officially propose to now that I've unearthed it. It's in my absolute favorite color (which I've managed to somehow exclude from my wardrobe...) and the chest detail reminds me of military styles. Besides, no sleeves are great for summer, and it layers really well with my black lace cover up.



At some point in the past I purchased (or was given) two identical black pencil skirts with trim silhouettes and a kind of frilly bottom. I really like them, but since I have two I've been trying to think of a DIY project to do with the second, which brings me to these skirts:




These skirts were a Christmas present from my mother, which she's been holding onto because they fit her a little better than me. But, since I've lost a few pounds, they fit me just fine. I like them as they are, so I've been thinking about using similar details on one of the pencil skirts. Not sure which though, or if I'll do a direct copy.




This faux crocodile skin leather jacket used to belong to my grandmother (I got these bad-ass genes from somewhere, you know) and she gave it to me when I was a freshman. I loved it to bits...literally. During my early high school years I wasn't controlling my anxiety well and whenever I got stressed I was compelled to tear things. So I tore the entire lining of this jacket out, piece by piece. Now that I've gotten better at controlling my anxiety, I'd like to take it to a tailor to get a new lining put in. And maybe they could nip in the waist, too, as it's a bit boxy.


Lastly is this men's tuxedo jacket and it's a shame I didn't get a better picture of this because I like it so much. It was my dad's, and I've had it for a while now, and it's showing. The button is missing and there are moth holes in the shoulders, but I want to do some DIY to it eventually. I've got a few ideas, including replacing the front button, taking out the shoulder pads, and nipping in the waist, but other than that it still seems like it's asking for some drama. Lace on the cuffs? Grommets in the lapel? I'm not sure.

Lastly, and this is a bit silly, I found my Goth trivia board game, which was given to me by my favorite teacher in High School (after he kicked my ass at it, I'm ashamed to say.) Isn't it fun?




Have you guys found any fun things in your closets while cleaning?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

They Said It Couldn't (or Shouldn't) Be Done

Almost every Goth home decor guide makes a mockery of painting your walls black. They mention how difficult it will be to change down the line, how cramped it will feel, how dark it will be (as if this were a problem) and, of course, how your mother will never agree to it. However, for those of you who have moved on from requiring parental approval for home decor schemes, I've dug up some evidence that black walls are far from the worst design you could chose, and some tips on how to achieve a wonderful looking room.


Well, we're mostly Goths here, so I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that we don't find black to be gloom-inducing. Or, if we do, that it's not necessarily such a bad thing. So, that isn't so much of an issue. But, what is for some people is the question of space. Luckily, black walls don't always have to turn a place into a tiny, cramped pit of despair. It's all in accessorizing. And lighting. Take this room below.



The walls are black, yes, but it doesn't exactly feel ooky-spooky, does it? Instead, the use of accessories that contrast the gloom of the walls turns it into a much more eclectic space. It also feels spacious due to the abundance of natural light from the door and the use of lighter colored furnishings, like the cream couch, which overwhelm the darkness of the paint to make it appear like a much lighter space. In fact, if I hadn't been looking for it, I would have glossed over the black walls altogether.

Still, what if one wanted to capitalize on the dark nature of the black walls? Is there no hope for those of us who want a black-walled room that is still fully Gothic without it feeling cramped?

Unfortunately, unless you specifically do something about it, a small room is going to feel small. If you want to experiment with black paint, go for a larger space or one with windows. Unless tight spaces don't bother you, of course.



A large span of black wall will appear darker and more oppressive than one which is broken up. Add pieces of art, mirrors, tapestries, posters, empty frames, shelves, or any other wall decor you can think (preferably in non-black colors or in black of a different finish) of to break up the monotony.


There's no reason to stick with just basic black, try something more complex with textured black wallpaper, stenciled designs, or stripes.


If you're too vamp-y for mirrors, try using metallics in your decor which will reflect the light without turning your room into a shrine for your face. Not that there's anything wrong with that (I say, glancing around my room at the six different mirrors scattered around it.)

If you're looking for more inspiration for a black-walled room, there is a Pinterest board with almost two-hundred different photos devoted to my new favorite paint color.

What I'm trying to say with this post isn't that we should all start paint our walls black without consulting our parentals and landlords and spouses, but that it can be a great design option for those that can do so, and shouldn't just be written off due to some archaic Goth decor guides on wikiHow. So, given the chance, would you all ever consider painting your walls black?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Guest Post: Lady's Summer Wear

Well! It’s that time again.

The time when it’s almost impossible to wear countless layers of clothes without feeling like your skin is literally melting underneath. And not the good type of melting like when you’re at a heavy metal gig, we mean literally melting off your bones and yes we know bones are cool but this is not a good look!

Now showing off a bit of flesh is something that most people look forward to when the warm weather sets in. But for darklings like yourself who live in layers of dark leather and other thick materials, the sun can be quite the burden and telling your friends you’re a vampire having to completely avoid the sun will only work for a few days…so it’s time to loose those layers!

You don’t have to lose the black and replace it with pink stuff with frills. You can still keep your image without paying the price of a sweaty back and forehead. It’s easily done and this article is going to show you how to do it!

First, dresses Now wait! I seen you recoil and hiss at your screen but let me finish…it’s easy to find gothic dresses in a 50’s style that show hardly any leg and only a little bit of cleavage and you didn’t go through the pain of getting those sleeves to hide them away for the rest of your life did you? Didn’t think so!

Most gothic dresses you’ll find will be a mixture of black, red, dark purple and green. Take this Hell Bunny dress for example,



This dress shows literally no cleavage, is still a lovely length so you don’t feel like you’re hanging out all over the place and the blood red lips look tattootastic?
Black alternative summer wear is out there for you to find! Most of them will be in a similar style with maybe some checkered patterns and some bows but not enough to make you want to vomit. 

And if you simply cannot bring yourself to wear a dress, you will still have to conform a little to the rules of summer! I know. I’m sorry and if I could find a way to make your thick tights and heavy jumpers heatproof then I would! But unfortunately, you’ll have to make the change for a few months!

Most shops will sell dark colored shorts and t-shirts and you’ll be pleased to know that you can still wear your fishnets and chainmail as long as you promise not to wear a lot of it! A lot of these clothes you will be able to find on www.gothicangelclothing.co.uk.  

And who knows? Maybe you’ll like the change…. or maybe it’ll have you running to buy an extra pair of new rocks to make up for it…

Mary's note: Thank you to the folks at Gothic Angel Clothing for this post! I love hearing about trends and style from people on the other side of the consumer fence, as it were. :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

R&B Week Outfit post (And other stuff)



Happy Red and Black week, readers! I hope you're enjoying yours. I'm absolutely loving reading everyone's posts. Today, I'm going to be keeping it nice and simple with an outfit post, but there's a special announcement and link at the end!


I'm wearing white eye shadow, black liner and mascara, and red lipstick with cranberry liner. I really need to re-dye my hair, it's a nice brown to black ombre at the moment...but unintentionally. Oops.


And, today's outfit:

Underskirt: Fanplusfriend
Blouse: Thrifted
Overskirt: Victorian Trading Co.
Necklace: Alchemy Gothic
Shoes: Torrid


I love this red skirt, I wear it all the time, but with the over skirt it's pretty fancy. But pssst. it's not really an over skirt. It's a lace shawl for a lamp. But it's so pretty!


These are the shoes I'm wearing. I was about to throw them out, but I decided I liked them for certain outfits, this one included. 


The necklace is one of my favorites. In fact if I'm wearing red, I'm probably wearing this necklace. It was a gift from my mother (who has excellent tastes, in my opinion.)


Okay, so that's it for the outfit. Now for something sillier (but still Black and Red!). I went to a concert by one of my two favorite bands, The Mountain Goats, on Monday night. It was great, I cried when everyone sang No Children in unison. And I bought a sticker. 


I also bought a poster because it is so positively metal I just had to:


Badass, right?

But guess what else I've been up to? I've been making a text adventure game, and I just released it! It's called Exhibit Yourself, and in it you must escape from a museum, using all the objects at your disposal to solve puzzles and search for an exit. I think it's good, but I'd love for everyone else to try it out. (And it's FREE!) You can find it here online, and you can find a list of possible triggers for the game on my production blog here.


This is the banner. It's also got Red & Black on it. I'm on a roll, aren't I?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Goth Blogging 101: Naming Your Blog

A few weeks ago a reader sent in a question on how to make sure you have enough ideas for blog posts on a regular basis. Since then, however, I've gotten more questions about how to start and run a Goth blog, so I suppose this is a feature that's going to stick around for a while. Anyway, an anonymous reader sent in a request for a little post about self-branding, or what the fuck do I even call my blog? which is what I'm going to discuss today.



Every blogger has a different reason for why they chose the name of their blog. Mine occurred after a long, long ten minutes of trying to decide what was special about me. After a resounding "nothing" I determined that what I was was an everyday Goth, nothing special. But because my ego is the size of a small asteroid, apparently, I decided I wouldn't just be An Everyday Goth, I'd be THE Everyday Goth.

However, there are a lot of ways to brainstorm for an excellent title name. Some things to consider:

What is your mission?
Do you want to teach something, or to chart your own progress? Are you focusing specifically on one topic or being more general?
Who is your audience?
Are you marketing just towards Goths, or towards alternative types in general? Young people or older ones? What are their interests, what do they need from you?
What is your tone?
Both your mission and your audience affect your tone, but when you imagine your future posts what do you imagine them being like to read? Cheerful? Authoritative? Contemplative?
What is your name?
Okay, that's a pretty obvious question, but have you considered using it in your title?
What do you do?
Are you a student, a professor, a lawyer? Is this likely to manifest in your blog as a theme?
What do you like?
Okay, yeah, Goth is probably one of them, but what else? Think food, animals, fabrics, historical eras, books and movies, articles of clothing, areas of study, and anything else! If you like it, chances are you can make a name with it.

Then, you have to take these aspects of you and turn them into a name. There are a couple of options that prove pretty popular:

Adjective Noun - This is a pretty basic one, and can prove excellent for showing at a glance what you and your blog are all about. 

Article Adjective Noun - A variation on the basic title makes it seem a bit more specific and, therefore, official.
Examples: The Walrus Room, The Dark Victorian, The Everyday Goth (hey guys!)

Noun and Noun - This is a good way to incorporate what you like into your blog title without complicating it. Unless you want to complicate it by adding adjectives to the nouns, of course.

Subject's (Adjective) Noun - Like the previous option, this offers a glimpse into your interests in blogging and what your blog is all about.

Other possible options that I don't have many examples for?
  • Verb(ing) Noun
  • Noun
  • Adjective
  • Pronoun's (Adjective) Noun
  • Interjection (Adjective) Noun
Then, of course, you want to embellish it your title by sprucing up the words and symbols you're using. Here are a few embellishments to think about for your blog title:
  • Words in other languages
  • Accents on letters
  • Intentional misspellings 
  • Ampersands and other symbols
  • Alliteration
  • Puns
  • Abbreviations
If you find that your name is taken, you might want to resist adding numbers onto the end of your name. If you end up with numbers, more than likely you'll be competing with someone else with a similar name, which isn't great for getting your name out there and getting recognized. (And, if the other person has enough influence, you could get sued for copyright infringement. Let's not get sued.)

Here are some other miscellaneous tips and things to keep in mind when coming up with a new name:
  • Keeping your blog name and your url the same cuts down on confusion when readers are trying to find your blog.
  • Easy to remember names keep readers coming back. 
  • Shorter names are easier to remember. As are names that make sense.
  • Your blog name is your first impression, name accordingly.
  • Grammar. Is. Important. (I'm The Everyday Goth, not The Every Day Goth.)
  • Pleasant sounding names make your blog more pleasant to read.
  • Nonsensical names can be used if they stand out enough, but they might confuse readers and send mixed messages about your tone.
  • Copying another blog name with slight changes isn't nice.
  • Be wary of copyright with character names and references to media. 
  • Use cliche sparingly. Unless ~*~xXRavyn's Black Bloody Roses666Xx~*~ really, really, really appeals to you, try to think of something else.
To be honest, naming your blog is a "big deal" in the online world because it's step one on the long, long journey of self-branding, but it's not the end of the world if you end up wanting to change it. Just make yourself a new banner, change your name on your platform, and voila! You've got yourself a new name with minimal fuss. 


For those of you Goth bloggers out there, how did you determine what you were going to call your blog? And, would you change it if you could?